Healthcare Costs, Digitized Newspapers, Faroe Islands, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, July 12, 2016


A new tool provides expanded information about health care pricing. “Amino, a health data company that launched last fall, was already helping connect patients to doctors in their areas based on quality data. The new tool greatly expands its pricing data and covers about 550,000 physicians, 49 procedures and 129 insurance companies.”


The NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) is expanding the scope of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). “Expanding on our current scope (1836-1922), the program will now begin to allow state partners to digitize historic newspapers from 1690 to 1963….NEH and the Library of Congress hope that this expansion will further our goal of representing the political, social, economic, and cultural history of every state and U.S. territory in the open access historic newspaper database Chronicling America.”

The residents of the Faroe Islands got tired of waiting for Google Street View to come map their country. So they started Sheep View. “With the help of a local shepherd and a specially built harness built by a fellow islander, Durita Dahl Andreassen of Visit Faroe Islands has fitted five of the island’s sheep with a 360-degree camera.” I encourage you to watch the video embedded in the article – what a beautiful country!

Meanwhile, the Scotland highlands are coming to Google Street View. “Highlands-based walkers’ website Walkhighlands is ten years old this summer, but has always sought to embrace the latest technologies in a bid to help and encourage more people to visit and walk in Scotland. The views from some of Scotland’s finest walks are set to become more accessible thanks to their latest project in partnership with Google.”

Facebook’s gonna start selling event tickets. “Facebook is one of the most widely used mediums to get the word out about upcoming events so naturally, it makes sense to sell tickets through the social network as well. Facebook knows that this makes perfect sense so it’s testing a new feature which enables users to directly purchase event and concert tickets from within its apps and the website. It has teamed up with Eventbrite and Ticketmaster for this purpose.”


Social Media Examiners asks: Should you use hashtags on Facebook? Spoiler: apparently not! I’m not going to blame hashtags for my posts on the ResearchBuzz Facebook page getting such an abysmal reach, but I’m sure it doesn’t help.


Oh dear: Casey Baumer’s name has been used in Google Docs templates for the last couple of years and it’s giving her a lot of trouble. “Casey Baumer got her first message about Google Docs roughly two years ago. A friend called and asked her, ‘Uhh, did you know your name is the Google Docs name?’ ‘And I had no idea what she was talking about,’ the 20-something food stylist tells Business Insider.” Google is apparently changing the names, now, after hearing from Business Insider.

Who are the workers behind Amazon’s Mechanical Turk? Actually, it’s kind of depressing. “Data collected by Pew from February of this year say that 51 percent of Mechanical Turkers have a college degree, compared with 36 percent of the adult U.S. workforce. Additionally, 52 percent of Turkers make less than $5 per hour on a job (the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour), and 39 percent earn between $5 per hour and $7.99 per hour.”


A researcher has developed a tool that checks for re-used passwords. It’s a bit of a two-sided coin: “The tool, called Shard, is intended to help users ensure the password they use will not leave them exposed to attackers, said its developer Philip O’Keefe, an IT security researcher at Netsuite. However, it could also be misused to automate the process of exploiting leaked passwords to hack accounts on sites where the same password was reused, industry observers said.” It’s a command-line tool and available on GitHub.

It’s 2016, so of course I’m typing state-sponsored cyber attacks. “A senior executive of Alphabet Inc’s (O:GOOGL) Google unit said on Monday that the company was notifying customers of 4,000 state-sponsored cyber attacks per month. Speaking at a Fortune magazine tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, Google senior vice president and Alphabet board member Diane Greene mentioned the figure while touting Google’s security prowess.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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