Qatar Parks, MoMA Exhibitions, Flying Saucer Houses, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, September 16, 2016


Qatar has a new database of public parks. “The database in Arabic includes names of 49 public parks and gardens in different municipalities in the country, with detailed information about their location and facilities.” Google Translate handles it okay but it looks like you have to translate each page individually. Don’t hit the English link in the upper left or you’ll end up at the home page for the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.

The Museum of Modern Art has launched a digital archive of its exhibition history. “Providing an unparalleled history of the Museum’s presentation of modern and contemporary art on a widely available platform, the project features over 3,500 exhibitions, illustrated by primary documents such as installation photographs, press releases, checklists, and catalogues, as well as lists of included artists.”

Big thanks to David H for tipping me to this map of the last Futuro houses in the world. All sixty or so. “The Futuro House, in all its space age retro splendor, is like a physical manifestation of 1960s optimism. Shaped like the Hollywood idea of a flying saucer, the Futuro is a plastic, prefabricated, portable vacation home built to easily adapt to any climate or terrain, from mountain slopes to the seaside. After enjoying a heyday in the late ’60s and early ’70s, the remaining Futuros are now scattered across all parts of the globe, from the Australian beaches to the mountains of Russia, like secluded relics of midcentury technoutopianism.”


Genealogists! You can now use GRAMPS in the cloud. “In theory, you should be able to use the cloud-based version of GRAMPS with any Android, Apple iOS (specifically iPad), Chromebook, Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer. Since it runs from the cloud, no software installation is required. Best of all, GRAMPS is available FREE of charge.”

Google has launched a “Preview Program” for Chromecast. “The support page that was spotted this morning claims that users who join the preview program will be able to try new features, give feedback directly back to the Chromecast team, and will be emailed every time a new update rolls out to the streaming device.”


From one of my favorite Amys, Amy Johnson Crow: How to find your ancestor by researching other people. “Most of us don’t have unlimited time to spend researching our ancestors. It’s natural to want to spend our research time focused on our ancestors. But when we aren’t finding the answers we’re looking for, it can be well worth our time to start researching other people — people who may not even be related to us.”


Interesting: How Google is providing the best Instagram captions. “Social media users are turning to Google, a search engine, to aid their online presence. The lack of originality is beginning to show in the redundancy of tweets, captions and snap chats. With masses of content being uploaded, Googling ideas for an Instagram caption has become a way to maintain a relevant social media presence.” Can’t you just describe the picture?

MIT Technology Review: Google Plays Gatekeeper With Advertisers. “Consumers might not realize it, but Google—and other ad-supported search engines—have been making editorial decisions about the types of ads they will carry for years. These companies won the right to reject ads they consider objectionable in 2007, when a Delaware district court ruled that constitutional free-speech guarantees don’t apply to search engines since they are for-profit companies and not ‘state actors.’ The decision cited earlier cases that upheld newspapers’ rights to decide which ads to run.”


The head of the FBI thinks you should tape your Web cam. “…many found it ironic for [James] Comey, who this year launched a high profile battle against Apple to gain access to data locked inside of the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists. Many viewed that fight as a referendum on digital privacy.” Don’t read the comments.


India is expected to have over 500 million Internet users by 2020, according to Google. “We have now reached a stage where smartphones are super affordable. Well, with the advent of affordable smartphones which indirectly leads to growing usage of internet across the country, India’s online population is said to reach 500 million by 2020, Google’s Asia Pacific Language Head, Richa Singh Chitranshi said. While addressing IT students at Rajiv Gandhi Proayogiki Vishwavidyalaya (RGPV), she said that India’s internet will reach 500 million by 2020. The event was jointly organized by RGPV and an online portal MPPOST.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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