California Archives, Encryption Products, New Zealand Energy, More: Thursday Buzz, June 30, 2016


As expected, the California State Archives and the Google Cultural Institute are teaming up. “The project, announced Tuesday, means audiences can experience state artifacts and records in a digital format. Three collections are now available online, and the office plans to expand the offerings in the future…. The current collections allow users to dive into the history of the state park system, the secretary of state’s office and an influential political campaign company, Campaigns Inc. An estimated several hundred images have already been digitized.”

A new Web site provides a database of encryption products available worldwide (PRESS RELEASE). “The website was originally conceived as a way to show legislators how prevalent encryption products are and that trying to ‘put the toothpaste back in the tube’ by tampering would be fruitless.” Man this is a skinny press release. Anyway, filters for the database include product type, country (apparently country codes only – boo), cost, and platform. You can also just do keyword search. Annotation looks like; I’d start my research here and get details elsewhere.

The government of New Zealand has launched a new database to show citizens how energy is being used in the country. “The Energy End Use Database is run by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). It allows members of the public to drill down into how energy was consumed in various ways ranging from road transport to space heating from 2012-2014.”

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has released its digital archive for 1913-1923. “Included in this multi-media archive … are match reports, photographs, film footage and administrative records from the revolutionary decade of 1913-1923. The archive also contains an online museum with bespoke videos showcasing key artefacts from the period.”


This should be handy: Google Forms can now automatically grade quizzes. “Now when you create a Google Form you can go into the Form settings and choose the quiz option. Within the quiz option you can choose to have your questions scored as students answer them. You can also choose to show students their scores as well as correct answers.”

Microsoft is finally backing off its horrible Windows 10 upgrade prompt. “Windows boss Terry Myerson acknowledges that the company has received feedback from customers who found the new upgrade prompts confusing which is why this week it’s going to roll out a new upgrade prompt that has clear options to either upgrade now, schedule a time to upgrade in the future, or decline the free upgrade altogether.” Confusing? Understatement of the year.

Google might be adding Internet speed test to its search functions. Great, now Google can point and laugh at my Internet speed. “As discovered by Dr. Pete Meyers, it seems that searching for “check internet speed” will be able to run the test, although he notes that the feature isn’t live at the moment as we have tried checking for it ourselves.” Didn’t work for me either. My favorite Internet speed test is the stupid-easy tool created by Netflix: .


Naked Security has started a series on setting up two-factor authentication on various services. First up: GMail.

For archivists: Techniques for recovering lost texts. “A substantial portion of the Rylands Gaster manuscript collection have already been selected for digitisation, including a number of manuscripts that suffered water damage during the Second World War. The level of water damage varies, some texts are still legible but faint, others have whole sections of pages rendered illegible. The Heritage Imaging Team have been investigating the best way to recover the text in these volumes, unsurprisingly, we have found that a single solution does not fit all. The aim of this blog post is to demonstrate the different processing options available to researchers.” There’s got to be a way you could automate that Photoshop imaging…


Google’s foray into (literal) wearables has hit the healthcare industry. “Project Jacquard, a unit of its Advanced Technologies and Projects division dedicated to producing ‘connected’ fabric, recently announced a partnership with uniform-maker Cintas to create interactive clothing for healthcare and safety.”

Adult Swim is using Vine to give viewers a sneak peek at a new show. “The initial clip is the typical six second, repeating, Vine. After clicking though, the player launches a full-screen video that lets you catch the episode in its entirety — nearly 10 minutes.”


And in our latest episode of “Ridiculous Twitter,” Twitter locked the @SCOTUSBlog account and blocked its tweets. “Twitter — probably through some automated system — decided that our account had been hacked. So it kicked us out of our account — thinking we were the hackers — and then blocked all the tweets, so they have disappeared.” Good morning, Internet…

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