Attica Riot, Michigan Flood, Crystal Surfaces, More: Wednesday Buzz, September 14, 2016


Now available: a digital archive devoted to the 1971 Attica Prison Riot. “Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Thomas Ruller, director of the State Archives, on Tuesday announced the unveiling of a new website hosting a digital collection of documents relating to the decades of successive investigations and litigation arising from the 1971 Attica prison uprising and its aftermath. Visitors to the site can search by type of document or by the name of hundreds of principle players in the crisis (“Rockefeller, Nelson A.”) and the litigation that followed.” You can get an overview of the Attica Prison Riot at

Now available: a digital archive with information on Michigan’s Great Flood of 1986. From the site: “The rain began late Tuesday evening on Sept. 9, 1986, in west central lower Michigan and gradually moved east into the Thumb region. From September 10 to 12 rainfall over central lower Michigan averaged between 8 inches and 14 inches. Rivers across the region flooded their banks. The Tittabawassee River at Midland, Pine River at Alma, and Cass River at Vassar and Frankenmuth, all reached new records for peak flows during the storm. The Cass River rose to a peak of 24.8 feet — a full 20 feet above its normal height. Eleven dams failed including the Hart Dam in Oceana County, which emptied out Hart Lake destroying the southbound portion of the U.S. 31 Bridge and forcing 300 people to evacuate their homes. Across the state, more than 3,600 miles of road and 30,000 homes were flooded.”

Now available: a database of crystal surfaces and shapes. “Dubbed Crystalium, this new open-source database can help researchers design new materials for technologies in which surfaces and interfaces play an important role, such as fuel cells, catalytic converters in cars, computer microchips, nanomaterials and solid-state batteries…. The work, published Sept. 13 in the journal Scientific Data, provides the surface energies and equilibrium crystal shapes of more than 100 polymorphs of 72 elements in the periodic table.”

Underway: a huge project to gather and digitize old radio programming. “The Radio Preservation Task Force, overseen by the Library of Congress, is taking on a worldwide project to collect and catalog radio recordings. Missouri was chosen to be a pilot partly because of efforts already made in St. Louis as well as in Kansas City, though to a lesser extent. Josh Sheppard, the national director of the task force, says there’s never been a concerted effort by any one federal institution to trace where such recordings are stored or even to determine what is actually left. ‘We realized pretty quickly that at least 75 percent of recorded radio has been discarded or destroyed,’ he says.”


Like ballet? There’s going to be a 20-hour livestream on Facebook Live. “For World Ballet Day Live, now in its third year, the Royal Ballet will broadcast live rehearsals and classes alongside pre-recorded footage including backstage preparations. The event, which is live-streamed continuously for 20 hours, is a collaboration between five leading international companies, including the Australian Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada and San Francisco Ballet, alongside the Royal Ballet.”

Journalists, publishers, and social media networks are teaming up to get hoaxes and false stories out of the news mix. “There is a thriving community of specialists working around the world who have developed and honed social newsgathering and verification skills. These include journalists, human rights investigators and academics. There are also teams working within the social networks who have themselves come from newsrooms and understand the challenges of finding, verifying and reporting stories that emerge online. With the launch of this partner network, First Draft brings these people together to work on ideas and initiatives, including a train-the-trainer programme, the launch of a collaborative verification platform, and the creation of a voluntary code of practice.”

YouTube has launched a sorta social media network. “The brand new Community tab on your YouTube channel gives you a new, simple way to engage with your viewers and express yourself beyond video. Now you can do things like text, live videos, images, animated GIFs and more, giving you easier, lightweight ways to engage with your fans more often in between uploads, in real time. Viewers will be able to see your posts in the Subscriptions feed on their phones. They can also opt into getting a notification anytime you post.”

I don’t get it: AdBlock Plus is going to sell advertising? “According to The Wall Street Journal, Adblock Plus’ parent company Eeyo is teaming up with an ad tech firm to being selling ads through its ‘Acceptable Ads Platform’ by means of its own marketplace. Even Google will help sell these ads through its own ad ecosystems.”


Newstalk has a roundup of how to remove read receipts on various social media platforms. “Last week we told you about the new ‘read receipts’ feature on Twitter. This means the sender will know when the recipient has read a DM. While some people love the addition of this feature, others don’t like it at all. The small tick has become a staple of WhatsApp, Facebook and iMessage. If you’re not a fan, you can turn the receipt off on all of those platforms, without too much hassle. ”


Looks like Apple’s new operating system release had a rocky beginning. “Apple’s just-launched iOS 10 update got off to a rough start Tuesday afternoon. According to widespread complaints across social media, many iPhone and iPad users ran into installation problems. For some, the update process failed with a subsequent error message asking users to plug their iOS device into a PC or Mac for a complete restore of the operating system. Here’s Apple’s support page with a step-by-step explanation of how to do that.”

There are golden parachutes, and then there’s this. “Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer stands to collect a $44 million severance package if she leaves after Verizon completes its purchase of the once-mighty internet company. Mayer hasn’t announced plans to leave, but industry observers say she’s unlikely to stay after the $4.8 billion sale closes early next year.”

Hey! Looking for someone to follow on Snapchat? There’s always the mayor of Yonkers, New York. Good morning, Internet…

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