Coroner Reports, Water Supplies, St. Louis, More: Sunday Buzz, February 21, 2016


There’s a new site that provides coroner’s reports from 19th century South Carolina, and it’s called CSI:Dixie. OF COURSE it’s called CSI:Dixie. “CSI:Dixie, a beautifully conceived and profoundly mournful new digital history site, holds 1,582 digitized coroner’s reports from six counties in 19th-century South Carolina. You can search by keyword, or read lists that organize inquest files by the act that killed the person (homicide; suicide; infanticide; accident; natural causes), clicking through to individual cases that fit that description.”

The EPA has released a new mapping tool to provide information about drinking water resources. “DWMAPS allows users to learn about their watershed and understand more about their water supplier. DWMAPS also lets users see if sources of their drinking water are polluted and if there are possible sources of pollution that could affect their communities’ water supply. DWMAPS can even guide users to ways they can get involved in protecting drinking water sources in their community.” Step 1: Arrest all officials involved in the Flint, Michigan scandal…


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper has expanded its archives back to 1874. This is a pay service.

Google is getting rid of the ubiquitous right-sided ad. “Google is rolling out a dramatic change that removes ads from the right side of its desktop search results, and places ads only at the top and/or bottom of the page. At the same time, the company says it may show an additional ad — four, not three — above the search results for what it calls ‘highly commercial queries.'” This is interesting but I think it speaks more to the rise in mobile search than anything else.


Poynter has a very cool story about a new resource called Radio Atlas. “‘Radio Atlas’ is McDowall’s latest side project, and it provides English-language subtitles for radio documentaries produced around the world. I’ve watched three of her subtitled projects so far, and the experience is a hybrid between listening to a radio piece and being immersed in an entirely new culture. I forgot that I was reading subtitles at one point; it reminded me of going to the opera and being able to understand the performers without speaking Italian.”

From MakeUseOf: 21 Quick Browser Tools to Search for Images Online.


BackupReview did a pretty extensive review of Yandex.Disk, the Russian answer to Google Drive. “Yandex.Disk is the company’s cloud storage platform, released in beta a few weeks prior to Google’s own launch of Drive. Since then, Yandex.Disk has been tough for external cloud services to beat in Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey. So does Yandex.Disk have the home field advantage, or is there something to its popularity? Find out in our review below.” Yandex reviews are not something I see often. The multimedia support for Yandex.Disk sounds very good.

Looks like Yahoo is officially up for sale. “The troubled Internet company sent that message Friday, when its board of directors said it had hired banking advisers and formed an ‘independent committee’ to explore strategic alternatives. Yahoo had said on Feb. 2 it would consider such alternatives.”

Wow: Bon Appétit shot all of the pictures in its most recent issue on an iPhone. “And this is key to understanding what’s happening to professional photography right now. Some industries, like fashion and food, have been heavily influenced by mobile phone cameras and Instagram. If you want to spot the most interesting trends in food and fashion, you browse Instagram — and eventually, you post your own photos on Instagram.”


Did Spotify get hacked? Spotify says no, but… “Beginning early this week, user info emerged in three separate data dumps on Pastebin, and for some particularly unlucky users, home countries, account types, and account renewal dates were also revealed. As of yet, it is unknown who is responsible for the recent exposure, and Spotify is denying that their service was hacked.”

Alan Levine is having so much trouble with scammers using his image for catfishing that he’s set up a page to make the images easier to find. He’s also very compassionate about it. If you’re not familiar with catfishing, this Washington Post article will help. What’s so upsetting is how little assistance he’s getting from social media sites. Facebook will ban the Facebook page of a 175-year-old pub because the name could be taken the wrong way, but when Alan reports that his images are being used for fake accounts, Facebook just ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. (Eventually Facebook shut down the fake account. Eventually.)

Oh dear. Two murder suspects used court time to appeal for social media followers. “Spotting the court camera, [Albert] Taylor questioned its purpose, while [Dennis] Gibbs then proceeded to look straight at the lens, saying: ‘What’s up, y’all? You can follow me on Twitter.’ His fellow accused then chimed in: ‘Follow me on Instagram… Snapchat.'”


It’s like March Madness, only for historic documents! “The Massachusetts Historical Society this month launched an online March Madness-style bracket that let’s users vote for their favorite historical documents and artifacts from the 17th to 20th centuries.” Good morning, Internet…

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