1970s New York, Traumatic Brain Injury, Second Air Division, More: Saturday Buzz, May 21, 2016


Chris Stein, a member of the band Blondie, has launched a new online archive of photos. If you’re at all interested in music and culture from the 70s and early 80s, you’ll enjoy this archive. Just a cursory look a the archive found Blondie, Joan Jett, David Byrne, Andy Warhol, Devo, etc. There are also some great shots of New York City in the 1970s. “His team has scanned thousands of negatives and slides, and he has good editors but many of the celebrity-type shots they highlighted were obvious standouts, like that of Harry and Andy Warhol (‘a lovely guy really’). Some of the less well-known images that have now come to light are also arresting: Harry standing outside theaters, reading newspapers, or smoking backstage; then Manhattan street scenes of wrecked cars, ordinary shoppers or snowy sidewalks.”

An expanded database provides more access to data on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other issues of the brain. “Researchers at the Allen Institute analyzed brain tissue using transcriptomics, which measures gene activity in tissues through RNA sequencing, and images of disease states are available on the online resource. Coupled with mental health histories and clinical diagnoses, this database provides a holistic view of the brain. The Allen Institute is committed to open- access, and the website includes a data visualization feature that can be used to look at relationships between data sets, such as the variability of genes between males versus females.”

A new online archive tells the story of United States Air Force personnel stationed at Norfolk (UK) in World War II. “Thousands of rare documents have been made available to the public telling the story of US pilots stationed in Norfolk during the Second World War. It features more than 30,000 unique photographs, memoirs and correspondence from the United States Army Air Force Second Air Division.”

A new database shows inspection violations of hospitals in Connecticut. “…what makes this database truly unique is that you can read the entire inspection report and violation along with the hospital’s corrective action. The inspection reports and violations are from 2013-2015.”

The Autism Society of North Carolina has launched a new database of support resources for autism and other developmental disabilities . “The Resource Directory allows users to search by category of service, a keyword, or a provider agency’s name. It includes North Carolina-specific resources that are most often requested by families or recommended by the Autism Resource Specialists that the Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC) employs throughout the state.”


Android apps are coming to Chromebook. This is a big deal! “…we’re bringing Google Play (the most popular app store in the world) to Chromebooks. This means you’ll be able to download and use Android apps, so you can make a Skype call, work with Office files and be productive offline — or take a break with games like Minecraft, Hearthstone or Clash of Clans. The same apps that run on phones and tablets can now run on Chromebooks without compromising their speed, simplicity or security. This is good for users and great for developers – in addition to phones and tablets, they will be able to easily bring their apps to laptops. And all this is built on top of Chrome OS, so users will continue to have everything they love in their Chromebooks.”

Nifty: Google Translate has autocomplete. “This works for English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, but you have to manually pick the input language instead of relying on automatic detection.”

I am always glad to read about museums joining Snapchat. “Wednesday, May 18 marks the official launch of three area museum Snapchat accounts. The Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Peabody Essex Museum will now have art-filled stories for your social media consumption. The museums are joining Snapchat in honor of Art Museum Day, an annual celebration of the importance of museums.”

YouTube is launching a VR app. “We’re creating the YouTube VR app to provide an easier, more immersive way to find and experience virtual reality content on YouTube. It also comes with all the YouTube features you already love, like voice search, discovery, and playlists, all personalized for you, so you can experience the world’s largest collection of VR videos in a whole new way. And thanks to the big, early bet we made on 360-degree and 3-D video, you will be able to see all of YouTube’s content on the app—everything from classic 16×9 videos to 360-degree footage to cutting-edge VR experiences in full 3-D.”


Very nice. Darren Rowse has a fat stack of tips for using Facebook Live. 30, as a matter of fact.


Google may have banned payday loan ads, but that hasn’t stopped Alphabet from investing in one. “Just days after Google proudly announced it had banned the morally dubious payday loan sector from its advertising platforms, its parent company has been revealed to be a repeat investor in a payday loan lender. GV, the venture-capital investment arm of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has backed online lender LendUp since before its launch in 2012 and has provided capital for every equity round LendUp has done since, the Wall Street Journal first reported.”

Hey, it looks like Google is building its own VR headset after all. “Daydream is our new platform for high quality mobile virtual reality, coming this fall. Over time, Daydream will encompass VR devices in many shapes and sizes, and Daydream will enable high quality VR on Android smartphones….With Daydream, we’ve also created a reference design for a comfortable headset and an intuitive controller. And, yes we’re building one too. The headset and controller work in tandem to provide rich, immersive experiences.”


Your vocabulary word of the day is Google dorking. “On Monday, a group within the US Government Services Administration became the latest cautionary tale when more than 100 Google Drives used by the agency were publicly accessible for five months. Investigators said the breach was the result of its OAuth 2.0 authentication system being set up to authorize access between the group’s Slack account and the GSA Google Drives. Blunders like these continue to happen more than a decade after Google dorking, also known as Google hacking, became a widely known technique available to both whitehat and blackhat hackers alike.”

Florida courts will allow Google to be sued because it delisted sites identified as “pure spam”. Pure spam? Bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it? Like pure pollution? “The case is called e-ventures Worldwide, LLC vs. Google. According to the facts laid out in court documents, in 2014 ‘e-ventures was notified by Google that 231 websites owned by e-ventures were being manually removed by Google from all of Google’s search results because they had been identified as “pure spam.”‘ Eventually all or most of e-ventures’ URLs were delisted. The plaintiff argues its sites were not spam, that Google delisted it erroneously and that it has suffered ‘irreparable harm’ as a result.”


Michigan State University research: Social Media Poses Threat to People with Intellectual Disabilities. “A first-of-its-kind study co-authored by a Michigan State University scholar finds that adults with Williams syndrome – who are extremely social and trusting – use Facebook and other social networking sites frequently and are especially vulnerable to online victimization. Roughly a third of study participants said they would send their photo to an unknown person, arrange to go to the home of a person they met online and keep online relationships from their parents.” This study focuses on Williams syndrome, but it would be good to do similar studies for Down syndrome, autism, etc. Good morning, Internet…

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1 reply »

  1. Re the Conn Hospitals database: A note on p 634 of the May 6, 2016 Science Magazine reads “250 thousand: Number of deaths in the United States each year due to medical errors, making them the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer, and surpassing chronic respiratory disease (The BMJ).” Something to think about…

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