Science Research, Human Remains, Delaware, More: Thursday Buzz, March 17, 2016


This resource is from the beginning of the month, but I just got the corrected URL a few days ago. Two high school students have created a repository of scientific research by students. “Sciacademy accepts any project submitted by a student, he said, as long as it is related to science. [Aram] Baghdassarian and Smith said in response to concerns of unrelated work being published onto the database, there is a process that requires one of them to review the submitted work prior to its posting online under a Creative Commons License.” Please note that the URL in the story is actually wrong and is still wrong! See the comments for the correct URL for Sciacademy. There is very little in the database at the moment but Aram Baghdassarian and Jesse Smith are looking for projects to add to the database. Can you direct them to research?

A crowdfunding effort is underway to create an online database of unidentified human remains around the country. 3D scans, specifically. “Along with digital access to national databases, 3D scanners will be vital to the success of the project, according to the project’s PitchFunder site. These scanners will allow the team to take the skulls of unidentified persons and formulate an estimated version of the facial structure the person would have if they were still alive. This way, friends and family members of the person may help identify them, even long after their death.” The fundraising goal is an incredibly modest $4000 and has almost been raised.

The state of Delaware has launched a new Web site for its court system. “The site was also designed with four new user portals for the public, attorneys, the media and those called for jury duty. Each of these groups can go to a page that will have the most commonly used and requested information.”

A new Web site provides information on the worldwide refugee crisis (PRESS RELEASE). “The site will investigate immigration policy, humanitarian response and human smuggling, as well as the challenges of social integration, economic impact and human development. Refugees Deeply will also bring together key stakeholders in the refugee response community – experts, policymakers and humanitarian workers – through both the digital platform and a series of dynamic events.”


Twitter tool Emojitracker is shutting down after being told it will lose elevated access to Twitter’s Streaming API. Remember, this is the new, “developer friendly” Twitter….


TechRepublic has a roundup of Web annotation tools, both public and private.

Personally I don’t recommend this, because I don’t think it’s necessarily good for your mental health. But if you must: How to see who is ignoring your Facebook “friend” requests. Of course if people have just refused your friend request, I don’t think their name would be on this list.


The Pope is joining Instagram. “The pontiff chose Saturday as the date for his debut on the celebrity-dominated social medium as it marks the third anniversary of his inauguration as the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.” Now everybody’s going to obsess over his favorite filter

Google wraps up the recent Go tournament featuring its AI, AlphaGo. “We’ve learned two important things from this experience. First, this test bodes well for AI’s potential in solving other problems. AlphaGo has the ability to look ‘globally’ across a board—and find solutions that humans either have been trained not to play or would not consider. This has huge potential for using AlphaGo-like technology to find solutions that humans don’t necessarily see in other areas. Second, while the match has been widely billed as ‘man vs. machine,’ AlphaGo is really a human achievement. Lee Sedol and the AlphaGo team both pushed each other toward new ideas, opportunities and solutions—and in the long run that’s something we all stand to benefit from.” I hope Lee Se-dol feels the same way about it.


If you want to use two-factor authentication but you don’t want to use Google Authenticator, LastPass is giving you another option. “It’ll … work with any app or website that supports Google Authenticator (such as Dropbox or Facebook). You’ll have to use old-school codes in those cases, but that should still turn LastPass Authenticator into a management hub for your sign-ins. The app is free, so it won’t hurt to try if you want to simplify your online safeguards.”

I suspect this is the first White House Twitter account launched to support a Supreme Court nominee. “I woke up this morning to the internet buzzing about a new White House Twitter handle: @SCOTUSnom. Was the Supreme Court starting a food blog? But then I realized the new account was actually built as a kind of social media defense for President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination, Merrick Garland.”

LinkedIn has released a new transparency report. “The portion of our member base impacted by law enforcement requests has been relatively constant. In this Transparency Report, we see an uptick in the total number of requests received (we received 134 requests in the second half of 2015, 112 requests in the first half of 2015 and 100 requests in the second half of 2014). Overall, this was the highest number of requests for member data LinkedIn has received during a six-month window, with the greatest increase coming from requests originating in the United States.” Good morning, Internet…

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