Architecture, Earth, Thailand, More: Sunday Buzz, April 3, 2016


The University of Southern California has digitized a collection of modernist architecture pictures. “The collection, which is accessible via the USC Digital Library, has been described as the mid-century equivalent of an architecture-focused Instagram feed, featuring non-formal snapshots and otherwise vernacular images of some of the most iconic residential buildings of the era.”

From Techdirt: Putting nature in the public domain. “This week, we’ve got one standout project that seems worth highlighting here at Techdirt because of its commitment to things we all care about: cutting-edge media technology, the planet we all live on, and the public domain. Catalog.Earth is a project to use the first to capture the second and dedicate it to the third.”


Now available on Google Street View: Thailand! “Nestled in northern Thailand, Sukhothai Historical Park was once the capital of ancient Siam. Sukhothai means ‘dawn of happiness’, and now you too can explore this happy place from the palm of your hand with Google Maps. Today, the park joins over 150 new places and national treasures that are now available in 360-degree panoramic imagery on Google Street View.” Thailand, you’re a beautiful country.

Privacy-focused search tools StartPage and Ixquick are merging together into one service. “The Ixquick search engine is soon to merge with StartPage search engine. The Company recently announced the merger via their official blog. As per the stats revealed by the company, StartPage, the search engine launched in the year 2009 has become more popular as compared to Ixquick search engine which was launched in the year 1999.” has launched a Snapchat account.


Good for him: a Google engineer has nudged Amazon into banning crappy USB-C cables. “Over the last few months, Google engineer Benson Leung took to Amazon to review hundreds of shoddy USB-C cables that were available for purchase but not up to specification. Today Amazon quietly made a change to its terms and conditions to prohibit USB-C cables that aren’t compliant with the official standard.”

The AP is going to change its style guide: “Internet” and “Web” will no longer be capitalized. “Associated Press editors announced a new stylebook change Saturday ahead of a session at the annual American Copy Editors Society’s conference — the 2016 stylebook will lowercase the words ‘internet’ and ‘web.'” Wow, this is going to be one difficult habit to break.


At eWeek, Wayne Rash takes a look at the problem of malvertising. “The problem, it seems, is worse than most people suspect. The reason that malvertising is being distributed by the top ad networks is because the malware writers are actually buying ads and then feeding the ad servers content that is infected with malware, but the latest tactics are even more sinister. Now the malware can simply infect your computer without any action on your part. No longer do you have to click on an infected link.”

Do you have a Toshiba laptop? Check your battery. “Late Wednesday afternoon, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall for battery packs in Toshiba laptops sold between June 2011 and January 2016. The recall affects nearly 40 different Toshiba models of PCs including Portege, Satellite, and Tecra models.”


A researcher is working on a way to have a neural network colorize black and white photos. “In a new paper titled ‘Colorful Image Colorization,’ UC Berkeley computer vision PhD student Richard Zhang and his team share how they’re using a ‘convolutional neural network’ to create automatic colorizations that can often fool humans.” It’s not perfect — read the article to see how perfect it isn’t — but for a beginning technology and for automatic coloring, it’s remarkable.

From Columbia Journalism Review — The Influence and Limitations of Black Twitter. “That term, as many by now know, unofficially refers to a sprawling network of African American Twitter users that has emerged as a serious media force in recent years. It has been a consistent megaphone for news and reactions to police killings, while hashtag campaigns such as #BlackLivesMatter and #OscarsSoWhite have led to wide-ranging public discussions on race and privilege. Users have not only highlighted a large, previously overlooked audience for coverage of issues affecting black communities, but also new talent for media organizations to recruit.”


Sunday silly: you can make yourself into a Powerpuff Person. “Sugar, spice and wasting time on the Internet. These are the ingredients that make us all Powerpuff Girls, thanks to Cartoon Network’s Powerpuff Yourself, which turns ordinary Powerpuff Girls fans into animated characters.” Good morning, Internet…

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