Chinese Food, Arizona Mining, Google Fit, More: Tuesday Buzz, February 23, 2016


In development a digital archive of Chinese restaurant menus. “Perhaps motivated by the popularity of Chinese takeout for U of T students — shout-out to New Ho King — UTSC recently acquired 10,000 antique Chinese restaurant menus. Purchased from collector Harley Spiller for $40,000, the collection was recognized by the Guinness World Records in 2005 as being the world’s largest.” U of T stands for University of Toronto. This article is from the school’s newspaper, The Varsity.

A trove of Arizona mining data has been put online. “More than 20,000 files, maps, and reports contributed by dozens of exploration geologists and mining firms are now available. The website exposes more than 8,500 geologic and engineering reports; 6,800 maps – geologic maps, mining claim maps, maps with assays, plats, underground maps and cross sections; and 5,500 historic photographs dating from the 1890s to 2000. The reports comprise over 400,000 pages of materials.”


Use Google Fit? Now you can export your data.

Google is getting rid of its “Google Compare” services, the comparison services for credit cards, auto insurance, etc. It’ll wind down next month. “A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land that while searches on these queries remained high, the product didn’t get the traction it hoped for and revenue was minimal. That’s in part due to the limited availability of the products in both the US and the UK.” Seems like such a product might have exposed Google to more antitrust complaints/scrutiny, too.

Do you remember Qik? Yeah? No? Anyway, it’s shutting down. “You’ll be forgiven for having forgotten about Skype Qik, the short video messaging service from Skype that Microsoft launched in October 2014. It offered low friction messaging—no need to create an account, merely having a phone number would do—similar to WhatsApp, SMS, or all sorts of other popular messaging services. Well, now it’s going away.”


Way back in July, the Government and Heritage Library blog (State Library of North Carolina) posted part one of an article about how to find the parents of orphans during genealogical research. A couple of weeks ago they finally posted part two! As you might expect the article is NC-focused, but if you’ve hit a wall in your genealogy research you might get some hints here.

From Digital Trends: The Five Best Free Alternatives to Google Docs that Run In Your Browser. One that wasn’t mentioned here is what I use to write ResearchBuzz: Writer ( ). I move between computers so much that I wanted to have something I could easily keep open, that provided spellcheck without a lot of formatting nonsense, and that was easy to use. If you just need text editing, I heartily recommend Writer. (And I pay for a Pro account; this is not a paid endorsement. They probably have no idea who I am.)

Just in case: How to Download YouTube Videos With No External Tools or Extensions. From Hongkiat.


The 2016 Google Science Fair has launched. “The 2016 Google Science Fair opens for submissions today. Together with LEGO Education, National Geographic, Scientific American and Virgin Galactic, we’re inviting all young explorers and innovators to make something better through science and engineering.”


Uh-oh. It looks like the hack of the Linux Mint Web site is rather worse than originally thought. “It was confirmed that the forums database was compromised during the attack led against us yesterday and that the attackers acquired a copy of it. If you have an account on, please change your password on all sensitive websites as soon as possible.”

What happens when Google account credentials are leaked on the Dark Web? a lot, and fairly quickly. “A security company recently laid tempting bait online in order to see how hackers would react. The findings aren’t surprising but show how quickly leaked data is used by shady characters.”


One of the things Facebook is using its research for is to create population density maps. “Facebook’s quest to get the world online is paying some unexpected dividends. Its Connectivity Lab is using image recognition technology to create population density maps that are much more accurate (to within 10m) than previous data sets — where earlier examples are little more than blobs, Facebook shows even the finer aspects of individual neighborhoods.” Good morning, Internet…

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