morningbuzz

BPA, Navajo Weaving, Zooniverse, More: Sunday Buzz, June 19, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

If you’re concerned about the presence of BPA in your food packaging items, you may want to check out this new database. “Part of [the Environmental Working Group’s] Food Scores interactive website, the ‘BPA Bombshell’ lists approximately 16,000 food and beverage items likely contaminated with BPA, which is widely used in the 126 billion food cans manufactured in the U.S. each year. I know there’s a lot of controversy over whether BPA is really bad or not. If you think it is, you’ll find the site useful. If you don’t, you won’t. I apologize for the hyperbolic language, but it was the most apt thing to quote.

The Nevada State Museum has created an online archive of Navajo and southwestern art. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded the Nevada State Museum a grant to rehouse, inventory, digitize, and publish the Museum’s Native American textiles and Southwestern ceramics. Digitized images of these artifacts are now accessible to the public for the first time through the PastPerfect online portal.” I can’t give you a direct link to the announcement, but look for the article on the front page called “Online Catalog of NSM’s Navajo Weavings and Southwestern Ceramics Available!”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Zooniverse is relaunching Notes from Nature. From the e-mailed announcement: “The previous version of Notes From Nature was a huge success, but we have always known we wanted to make some significant improvements. Over 1.3 million transcriptions were completed by over 9,200 volunteers from around the world. We are truly humbled by the response to the first launch of the project in 2013. We send out a huge thank you to all of the volunteers who made this happen, and welcome you back to take part in the new and improved project.”

USEFUL STUFF

PC World has a writeup on a Chrome extension that’ll help summarize long articles. “When I first heard of TL;DR I thought it would be a handy tool, but something of a cheat, kind of like Microsoft’s Summarize bot…. Well, I was wrong. TL;DR is a little smarter than that and actually does a bit of parsing to extract key information for you. It’s not perfect, but it works well enough to help you get the gist of a long article.”

Are you a fan of the Vivaldi Web browser? Hongkiat’s got a boatload of keyboard shortcuts. Almost five dozen!

LifeHacker’s got a quick writeup on a Raspberry Pi tool to automatically upload pictures off an SD card to Flickr. I could use something like this, only uploading to Dropbox…

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Matt Cutts of Google is going to go hang out with the US government for a while. “I’m joining the US Digital Service family, specifically the Defense Digital Service at the Pentagon. I’ll be moving out to Washington, D.C., as part of the change. If you’re in the area, please say hello! And if you’re interested in the US Digital Service, you can find more information at usds.gov.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Wow, DMCA notices are off the charts. “The number of requests from rightsholders has increased dramatically, up to the point where Google now handles around three million ‘pirate’ links every day. To illustrate this growth, we processed all the weekly takedown requests as reported in the search engine’s Transparency Report. This shows that 5.1 million pirate URLs were reported to Google in first week of June, 2014, a figure that increased to over 22 million two years later.”

Acer, one of my favorite tech brands, has been hacked. “The Taiwanese computer manufacturer said the breach, conducted by an unauthorized third-party, involves customers that used the e-commerce site between May 12, 2015 and April 28, 2016. Data that may have been compromised includes names, addresses, partial credit card numbers and the three-digit security code on the rear of the card.” three-digit security code?

Catching up a bit this weekend so I’m just getting ’round to the fact that Microsoft had a MASSIVE Patch Tuesday. “The usual suspects earn ‘critical’ ratings: Internet Explorer (IE), Edge (the new, improved IE), and Microsoft Office. Critical is Microsoft’s term for a flaw that allows the attacker to remotely take control over the victim’s machine without help from the victim, save for perhaps getting him to visit a booby-trapped Web site or load a poisoned ad in IE or Edge.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

From Chloe Roberts at Wellcome Library: How do you skim through a digital book? Interesting stats. “We collect data on aggregate (nothing personal or trackable to our users) about what’s being asked of our digitised items in the viewer. With such a large number of views of these two popular books, I’ve got a big enough dataset to get an interesting idea of how readers might be using our digitised books.”

Snapchat is claiming that Millennials have replaced TV with Snapchat (and if that’s so, who can blame them?) “Snapchat reaches 41% of 18- to 34-year-olds, according to the video, compared with about 6% for the average television channel. The 4-year-old social network also has 100 million daily users, each of whom spend an average of 25-30 minutes on the app each day. Snapchat video views have grown by more than 350% in the past year, and twice as many millennials watched the first Republican presidential debate on Snapchat as did on regular TV. At least according to Snapchat.”

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

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Categories: morningbuzz

3 replies »

      • I agree, they should be verified every time an online transaction needs to be verified. I can’t imagine any reason for them to be stored.

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