morningbuzz

Dungeon Crawlers, Bangladesh Rivers, Department of Labor, More: Monday Buzz, February 8, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

Boing Boing has a quick writeup on an online database for dungeon crawlers — the graphic ones, not the ASCII ones like Nethack. I took a quick look at it and got a bad case of nostalgia. So many games, so many I recognize. Ah, Wizardry…

The country of Bangladesh is developing a database of its rivers. “A country of countless rivers, Bangladesh is set to build a database of all the rivers across the country by June-July this year in an effort to identify the rivers facing serious problems and thus save those.”

TWEAKS & UPDATES

The Department of Labor has adopted a CC BY policy. “…we are pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has adopted a department-wide Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license requirement on intellectual property developed under a competitive Federal award process.”

USEFUL STUFF

Alan Levine is on some kind of retro roll. In a recent blog post he talks about bookmarklets!

Roundup from Hongkiat: 20 sites to listen to music for free. (And it doesn’t even include YouTube!)

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Edelman: 5 Reasons You Should Pay Attention to Snapchat. Agreed. I’m seeing more and more Snapchat chatter, and less and less Twitter chatter.

Wow, Hadoop is ten years old! Time flies. “When it comes to scale, Yahoo still boasts one of the largest Hadoop deployments in the world. From a footprint standpoint, we maintain over 35,000 Hadoop servers as a central hosted platform running across 16 clusters with a combined 600 petabytes in storage capacity (HDFS), allowing us to execute 34 million monthly compute jobs on the platform.”

Rumors are flying about Google developing a VR device. “In addition to a new plastic casing, it’s said that the headset will support a far wider range of smartphones than the Gear VR. Sources also tell the paper that it will feature ‘better sensors’ and ‘lenses,’ suggesting that it won’t be wholly reliant on the equipment built into your smartphone. The report mentions that “most of its processing power” would come from the smartphone. Google Cardboard, which has been around for over a year and a half, provides two plastic lenses and just holds your smartphone in the right position to function as a VR device.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Oh, yuck. It looks like there’s a really nasty WordPress hack going around. “In the past four days, researchers from three separate security firms have reported that a large number of legitimate WordPress sites have been hacked to silently redirect visitors to a series of malicious sites. The attack sites host code from the Nuclear exploit kit that’s available for sale in black markets across the Internet. People who visit the WordPress sites using out-of-date versions of Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Microsoft Silverlight, or Internet Explorer can then find their computers infected with the Teslacrypt ransomware package, which encrypts user files and demands a hefty ransom for the decryption key needed to restore them.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Not too long ago I mentioned a study that seems to indicate that social media use leads to sleep disruption. Now there’s a study which seems to indicate that lack of sleep can cause increased social media use. There’a a spiral you don’t want to be caught in. “The study, which took place in 2014, equipped student’s mobile devices with software to track usage, and incorporated sleep surveys as well as periodic ‘mood checks’ and questions regarding the perceived difficulty of tasks at hand and participant’s level of engagement with their work.”

Interesting article from the Cornell Chronicle on research being done to make search engines more responsive. “[Wenlei] Xie and colleagues have refined the algorithm (the underlying design of the computer program) to make it faster so search engines can become interactive, responding to your interests in real time. The new method is, they say, ‘breaking a decade-old performance barrier.’ The techniques could be applied in social media and private and commercial databases as well as in Web searches and recommendation systems.” Good morning, Internet…

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