Coding, Cincinnati Art, Human Rights, More: Wednesday Buzz, March 23, 2016


New-to-me, at least: Noupe has a story on a code search engine called co.cycles. “Currently, Co.cycles can only help out with questions on JavaScript. It will look for projects that are similar to the search request, as well as for fitting code snippets, functions, and so on. Expansions for languages like PHP and Ruby are in the works.”

The Cincinnati Art Museum has put a large number of its works online. “The Cincinnati Art Museum’s newly redesigned website,, makes nearly 60,000 objects from its collection, accompanied by more than 4,000 high-quality images, accessible online for the first time.”

A new database aggregates what companies say they are doing about human rights. “The UNGP Reporting Database does not judge how well a company is implementing the [United Nations] Guiding Principles, nor does it rate or rank corporate performance or disclosure. Instead, the database enables companies and their stakeholders to draw their own conclusions about how meaningfully a company is reporting on its progress towards implementation of the UN Guiding Principles. The database draws only from information companies publish in their own websites and reports, in order to support integrated approaches to how companies think and talk about human rights in their core business.” I took a very quick look. The number of companies in the database is limited at the moment but is expected to expand. Entities listed include Anheuser-Busch InBev, BP, Coca-Cola, Monsanto, Nike, Target, and Wal-Mart stores.

Gale has launched a new digital archive of LGBTQ history and culture (PRESS RELEASE). “Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity, Part I: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940 brings together approximately 1.5 million pages of fully-searchable rare and unique content from microfilm, newsletters, organizational papers, government documents, manuscripts, pamphlets and other types of primary sources. Content is sourced from major gay and lesbian organizations worldwide – the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, GLBT Historical Society and others, and covers social, political, health and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world, including the gay rights movement and the HIV/Aids crisis.” Being Gale, of course, you know this is going to cost you some dollars.


It’s about dingdang time: Facebook is testing a feature that will alert you when someone is trying to impersonate your account. “When Facebook detects that another user may be impersonating you, it will send an alert notifying you about the profile. You’ll then be prompted to identify if the profile in question is impersonating you by using your personal information, or if it belongs to someone else who is not impersonating you.”

The Lincoln Institute has expanded its municipal finance information database (PRESS RELEASE). “Created in 2013, the FiSC database provided the first meaningful comparison of local government finances at the city level by untangling the complex web of governmental entities in each city – including counties, independent school districts and special districts – to provide an overview of revenues raised from city residents and businesses and spent on their behalf. The database includes data for each year from 1977-2012, tracking more than 120 categories of revenues, expenditures, debt, and assets.”

Google Photos is making smarter albums. “Starting today, after an event or trip, Google Photos will suggest a new album for you, curated with just your best shots. It’ll also add maps to show how far you traveled and location pins to remember where you went—because it’s not always easy to recall the late-night diner you hit on your road trip, or which campsite you pitched the tent in when arriving after dark.”

Do not be confused: Google Chromecast is now Google Cast. “Google today announced a minor change but it’s an important one which reflects how it’s casting technology has progressed over the past couple of years. The company has renamed its Chromecast app to Google Cast to better reflect that the Cast technology is now supported across a variety of devices including but not limited to TVs, displays, speakers and the Chromecast dongle.”

Facebook is making Instagram a bit more Web-friendly. “Facebook-owned Instagram has begun showing notifications in a new drop-down box on its website. The box shows likes, people who’ve followed you, and friends who have recently started Instagram accounts.”


Interesting stuff from MakeUseOf: 4 Ways to Use Government Data to Automate & Improve Your Life. Note to self: spend some time playing with Zapier.


Oh boy, I’ve been worried about this: spammers are exploiting .gov domains. “Spam purveyors are taking advantage of so-called ‘open redirects’ on several U.S. state Web sites to hide the true destination to which users will be taken if they click the link. Open redirects are potentially dangerous because they let spammers abuse the reputation of the site hosting the redirect to get users to visit malicious or spammy sites without realizing it.”

Apple’s iMessages had an encryption flaw. So if you’re one of those people who usually likes to wait a while after Apple releases an iOS upgrade before you upgrade, you might want to reconsider this time, because the flaw has been fixed in iOS 9.3. “Although the latest iMessage flaw affects every Apple device, it still requires a determined attacker to exploit it. The specific bug, uncovered by a team of researchers led by Matthew D Green and first reported by the Washington Post, calls for an attacker to successfully perform a ‘man in the middle’ attack, convincing the target’s iPhone to connect to a fake iMessage server rather than Apple’s real servers.” Good morning, Internet…

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