NYC Government, Utah Traffic, Romanian Corruption, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, May 31, 2016


In development: a huge archive of NYC records. “…the National Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded $260,000 to New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering. Its goal is to develop a searchable online portal for 120 years of the City Record, from 1873 to 1998, when the paper went online. In the process, the project will scan and digitize 1,723 volumes—more than a million pages—of New York City records. The City Record, which includes both a print and an online edition, began publishing on June 24, 1873, in response to the Tweed Ring scandal. Just like government agencies do today with the Internet, it was intended to provide transparency.”

There’s a Web site that provides information on Utah road crashes. “The website not only shows crashes but how many were deadly and what the causes were, like drunk driving or weather.” The story refers to the site as “new” but it appears to have been up for at least a year. Well done mapping application, easy-to-use filtering.

Romania has a new online museum for corruption. “Romania’s new Corruption Museum hosts the Bribes’ Gallery, where visitors can find some of the most famous cases of bribery in Romania, and the Bribe Test, which lets people test their knowledge on local corruption. The museum’s website is currently available only in Romanian.” Dang. I tried translating this site with Google Translate and no luck. No good with Bing either.


From Search Engine Land: 7 essential Google Analytics reports every marketer must know. “You may be using Google Analytics, but are you using it to its full potential? Contributor Khalid Saleh lays out 7 key reports with which every marketer should be familiar.”


KICKSTARTER CORNER: Britanny Bunk (I’m not kidding, that’s her name) is trying to raise money for an open database of California drought solutions. “The database’s goal is reducing preventable water consumption for surviving a drought (esp. in California). The data (in Excel) helps in making conscious decisions that lead to societal changes (within consumer/lifestyle habits and of businesses/government entities). Database includes references and formulas to get analyses. This project is open for comments. The more funding this project gets, the more it can grow!” It’s a worthy project, but a pledge goal of $17K? And the first rewards tier is at $200?

The very beginnings of a Peanuts comic strip search engine are over on GitHub. You can catch the development thread over on Reddit if you want to participate.


Do you use WordPress? Do you use the Jetpack plugin? Make sure it’s updated. “Researchers from Web security firm Sucuri have found a stored cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability that affects all Jetpack releases since 2012, starting with version 2.0. The issue is located in the Shortcode Embeds Jetpack module which allows users to embed external videos, images, documents, tweets and other resources into their content. It can be easily exploited to inject malicious JavaScript code into comments.”

YouTube is threatening legal action against a video-downloading utility. “Despite the threatening language, TubeNinja owner Nathan doesn’t plan to take the functionality offline. He informed YouTube that his service doesn’t use YouTube’s API and says that it’s the responsibility of his users to ensure that they don’t violate the ToS of YouTube and TubeNinja. ‘Our own ToS clearly states that the user is responsible for the legitimacy of the content they use our service for,’ Nathan tells us.”

Reddit hasn’t been hacked, it says, but is resetting some account credentials after “account takeovers”. “Reddit has reset more than 100,000 user passwords following a rise in account takeovers. Reddit explained that it hasn’t been hacked, but that it has noticed a surge in account takeovers by malicious, or ‘spammy’, third parties, probably owing to a number of recent high-profile attacks such as that on LinkedIn.” Reddit is also considering 2FA. Yes!


From Northeastern: Researchers mine Twitter to reveal Congress’ ideological divide on climate change. “In a new paper pub­lished Monday in the journal Cli­mate Change Responses, [Brian] Hel­muth and his North­eastern col­leagues ana­lyzed the Twitter accounts of U.S. sen­a­tors to see which leg­is­la­tors fol­lowed research-​​oriented sci­ence orga­ni­za­tions, including those cov­ering global warming. Democ­rats, they found, were three times more likely than Repub­li­cans to follow them, leading the researchers to note that ‘overt interest in sci­ence may now pri­marily be a “Demo­crat” value.’ Yet out of that polit­ical polar­iza­tion, says Hel­muth, came a ray of hope: 15 Senate Repub­li­cans bridged the aisle, dis­playing a draw to sci­ence and thus a way to bring sci­en­tific infor­ma­tion to those not receiving it on their own.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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