Australian Horses, LA Streets, Egyptian Citizens, More: Wednesday Buzz, February 17, 2016


The country of Australia has created a national equine database for emergencies. “An Australian first, the National Equine Database is a partnership between the CFA and Walking Forward Disaster Relief Team founder Jenna Kelley. The database, launched this week, links horse owners to landholders who can temporarily house animals.”

Tech Wire has a story on Los Angeles’ new municipal Web site. “City employees can go online and see whether the road they want to repave is already scheduled to be torn up soon for some other reason, like replacing a sewer pipe. If it is, they can hold off. Residents can also see the same information, so they know, for instance, how long their street will be under construction. The new tool is called Street Wize, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg for what L.A. wants to accomplish by sharing its real-time information with the public.”

The government of Egypt is creating an online database for Egyptians living abroad. “In a meeting with Egyptian community members in Washington on Tuesday, [Nabila] Makram stated that the new database would provide Egyptians abroad with services like issuing official documents online, including Egyptian national IDs.”


The British Library has released an updated version of its historical search engine. “I’m happy to announce that our historical search prototype now spans the whole period from 1996 to the 6th April 2013, and contains 3,520,628,647 distinct records.” Note that when you hit the link there’s a trends tab and a search tab. Use the search tab for full searching of the BL’s archive crawl. Remember when you could full-text search The Wayback Machine? This is great.

Google is dumping Play for Education. “Back in 2013, Google launched Play for Education, a program that made it easier for educators to purchase apps and books and distribute them to their students’ Android tablets. Now, this program is coming to an end. As first reported by CRN and also confirmed by us today, Google will stop selling Play for Education licenses on March 14.”


I missed this blog post from Amy Johnson Crow when it came out last month: A Growing Source for Free Genealogy: Digital Public Library of America.

In case you need it, the Grammy people have a full list of winners and a historical winners search engine. I don’t know most of these people but very happy Angelique Kidjo won a Grammy.


You may have heard about the Web site GameTrailers closing down. GameTrailers has been up and doing for over 13 years, so there’s a lot of content there. A Reddit user, worried about the content being lost, is undertaking an effort to salvage content from the site and upload it to YouTube. “Right now, I’m going through the website and finding videos that still work and uploading those to the channel. I won’t be re-uploading stuff that’s already on the official GameTrailers youtube channel.”

The US Geological Survey has released its public access plan. “The USGS plan ‘Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research at the U.S. Geological Survey: Scholarly Publications and Digital Data,’ stipulates that, beginning October 1, the USGS will require that any research it funds be released from the publisher and available free to the public no later than 12 months after initial publication. The USGS will also require that data used to support the findings be available free to the public when the associated study is published. The plan applies to research papers and data authored or co-authored by USGS, contract employees, award or grant recipients, partners and other entities. It includes materials published by any non-USGS entity, including scientific journals, professional society volumes, cooperating agency series, and university or commercial publishers.”

You read a lot in tech about “moonshots,” risky projects that may or may not have a payoff. But what about the moonshots which don’t make it? Fascinating article about Google’s X.


It looks like Facebook is going to get sued for removing the account of a user who posted an image of an explicit painting. Just as a warning: this is a painting. But it is explicit. And there is a picture of it in this article. “It means a French court will now be entitled to hear the case of Frederic Durand-Baissas, a 57-year-old Parisian teacher and art lover whose Facebook account was suspended five years ago without prior notice. That was the day he posted a photo of Gustave Courbet’s 1866 ‘The Origin of the World,’ which depicts female genitalia. Understatement of the year.


Guest column in VARIETY: YouTube Red: What’s More Important Than Its Content. “Three original movies and an original series debuted this week (Feb. 10) on YouTube’s Red subscription-video service. The press and traditional entertainment are excited to see the new content, report on its out-of-the-gate performance and pass judgement. The smart minds are more interested in the context of the experience and its fit with creators and their fan communities.” Good morning, Internet…

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