Citizen Science, Indian Stamps, Google Chrome, More: Monday Buzz, April 18, 2016


The White House has launched a new site to provide information on crowdsourcing for science. “ provides information, resources, and tools for government personnel and citizens actively engaged in or looking to participate in citizen science and crowdsourcing projects.” There are currently over 300 crowdsourcing projects listed.

A new online stamp and coin museum is going online in India. “Mumbai: Later this week a city businessman will launch a web portal that is a virtual museum for collectors of coins, banknotes and stamps in India.”


Google is going to crack down on fraud in the Chrome Web store. “The company says it’s making changes to browser’s User Data Policy, which will now require developers to be more transparent about how they handle customer data, and which will require user consent when data is collected, among other things.” About time.

The Internet Archive is changing how it generates epub files. And if you’ve noticed some weirdness in existing epubs… “Based on a change in the format from our OCR engine last August, many of the epubs generated between then and last week have been faulty. Newly generated epubs are now fixed, and we will soon be going back to fix the faulty ones that were stored. We have also discovered that some of the older epubs have also been faulty, and it is difficult to know which.”

All right: Skype for the Web without plugins. It’s early days yet. “Microsoft is only supporting the Edge browser initially on Windows 10, but the plan is to allow all browsers to access Skype for Web without plugins once Chrome and Firefox support the H.264 video codec. While video and voice calling works on the web, Skype screen sharing and calling landlines will still require a plugin.”

Are you one of the nine people who are still using the e-mail address that Facebook once offered (and discontinued in 2014)? If you are, Better turn it off, because the redirect is going away on May 1.


Into OneNote? PC World’s got a roundup of useful addons. (Slideshow format.)


The Harvard Law School Library Innovation Lab has gotten a grant to further develop, its tool to fight link rot. “Link rot happens when a hyperlink on a web page or within a document points to a website or online resource that has changed or is no longer available. It is a serious problem affecting as much as 70 percent of all scholarly articles in law, medicine, science, and technology, impeding the ability to follow and evaluate the digital scholarly record.”

MIT Technology Review: How to prevent a plague of dumb chatbots. “You can now chat with all sorts of bots through a number of messaging services including Kik, WeChat, Telegram, and now, Facebook Messenger. Some are simply meant to entertain, but a growing number are designed to do something useful. You can now book a flight, peruse the latest tech headlines, and even buy a hamburger from Burger King by typing messages to a virtual helper. Startups are racing to offer tools for speeding the development, management, and ‘monetization’ of these virtual butlers.”

The SFGate has a roundup of what Revolutionary War sites are doing to get soldier lists online. (Unfortunately, some of it is “We have the lists but we’re not sure when they’re going online.)

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Google are teaming up. “The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Google today announced plans to work together to make high-resolution satellite data a common tool in managing the world’s natural resources, ultimately boosting efforts towards the pursuit of sustainable development.” Good morning, Internet…

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