Bible, Smithsonian, Energy Facilities, More: Thursday Evening Buzz, June 16, 2016


A site which calls itself the “Google of the Bible” (with Google’s permission!) has gone live. “The online Bible is the fruit of five years of work by a team of 10 researchers who wanted to make not only the Bible itself, but also biblical commentary, scholarly articles, and religious lessons accessible through a user-friendly site. Another feature of the site is its stock of Google Maps that allow users to ‘tour’ biblical locations.”

Oh my. At the end of the month The Smithsonian will be launching The Smithsonian Learning Lab. “The digital tools allow you to search the collections, store your favorites for later, zoom in to access them in unprecedented detail, annotate with notes, call attention to details with pins and captions, upload resources from other organizations for cross pollination, share on social media, and even publish your work for others to see and use.” The article is a bit hyperbolic but I’m very excited about this tool.

A new online tool maps proximity of US citizens to oil and gas producing facilities. “…about 12.4 million people live within a half-mile of active oil and gas wells and related facilities that could release harmful pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde into the air. The map also details the 238 counties in 21 states that potentially face a high cancer risk because of that pollution.”

Hat tip to Dave B. who sent me the article on documents from the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation’s three national museums going online. “Not everything will be made public: cabinet documents and material dealing with such things as personnel matters or corporate planning will remain confidential. But after that, pretty much anything goes, [CEO Alex] Benay said, including early drafts of historical assessments, exhibition plans and schedules for travelling exhibitions.”

San Francisco’s Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) has launched an online archive. “Since 1992, Clarion Alley has been the site of more than 700 murals, many created by Bay Area and international artists known for their street art and activism. Now, thanks to CAMP’s thorough documentation efforts, viewers can visit the alley remotely, traveling through time to see, among other eye-catching works, Alicia McCarthy’s 1998 mural Where the Bitter End Meets the Rainbow, Aaron Noble and Rigo 23’s 2000 mural Superhero Warehouse and Mel C. Waters’ more recent homage to Prince.”


And in another sign of impending doom for Flash – and as far as I’m concerned it can’t come fast enough – Safari will start blocking Flash and other content by default. “Starting with Safari 10 in macOS Sierra, Safari will begin blocking Flash across all websites even if you have the plug-in installed, requiring users to activate Flash on a page by page basis. Users can chose to activate only once (this is the default option) or every time. If you visit a website that has Flash and HTML5, Safari will automatically opt for the latter.”


Former Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper has done a little vanishing act on Google. “The Liberal government has had dozens of web pages from Stephen Harper’s days as prime minister deleted from Google search results. The Privy Council Office requests for deletion from Google began last Nov. 4, the day the Trudeau government took office and continued into January. Documents tabled in the Commons in response to a written question from Conservative MP Candice Bergen detail the deletion requests.”

Wondering what’s happened with the 50+ acquisitions Yahoo has made since Marissa Mayer’s been at the helm? Here ya go. “The reasons for Yahoo’s decline are complex. But what’s clear is that the MaVeNS and acquisitions rescue strategy hasn’t been able to save the company from itself, despite Mayer’s protestations that it was successful. It’s worth looking, then, at exactly why these deals were made, and what has happened since. In an effort to track the technology and talent that came aboard, as well as track the receipts for the pricey acquisitions, we’ve put together a list of the 53 companies Yahoo gobbled up under Mayer’s watch.”

Facebook is being accused of bias again. “Facebook has denied showing bias over the upcoming EU referendum where Britons will vote on whether the country should remain or leave the European Union. The social networking site came under fire after users found that it was showing only ‘in favour of leaving the EU’ options in updates, but not the other that supports remaining.”


And another one – the Russian State Duma has passed its own version of a “Google Tax”. “Google sells its content through its Google Play platform, which will be subjected to the law alongside Apple’s AppStore and Microsoft’s appstore for Windows. The tax will be levied based on the customers identified as Russian residents by their credit card number or IP addresses.” It still has to pass the Federation Council and be approved by President Putin, but if it does it’ll go into effect at the beginning of the year. Good evening, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: afternoonbuzz

Leave a Reply