Chinese Jade, Mars Mission, Japanese Laws, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, September 26, 2016


The Smithsonian will launch a digital catalog of Chinese jades next month. “The jades included in the first release are searchable through customizable filter options that combine typological, historical, cultural, material and geographical details. The primary contents are jewelry and ceremonial objects such as ritual disks (bi) and tubes (cong), as well as symbolic tools that were found close to the body in tombs. The majority of the works were produced by the Neolithic Liangzhu culture (ca. 3300–2250 B.C.), which is now recognized as the most prolific and advanced center for jade production in ancient China.”

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has released a bunch of data from its Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM). “The Mars Orbiter Mission has been orbiting the red planet ever since September, 2015. The MOM is also special considering that it is ISRO’s first interplanetary mission. The satellite is orbiting around Mars in an elliptical orbit of about 343 km x 71191 km as of 16th September 2016 and is continuously transmitting all sorts of useful data back to its home planet.”


The Japanese government will be upgrading its online database of laws. “The current system is run by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry. Its accuracy has often been questioned, with several corrections and modifications being made on a monthly basis. The government aims to offer accurate information under the revised system. Not only the internal affairs ministry, but also other ministries and agencies in charge of each law, will check the contents and update the information following amendments.”

It seems like every social platform in the known universe is getting in on the Presidential debates. Including Instagram. “CBS News’ streaming service CBSN is joining forces with Instagram to feature the app’s Stories within its live coverage of the presidential debates. In an election season teeming with digital partnerships between news organizations and social media platforms, CBSN’s Instagram tie-in still manages to stand out from the crowd. The deal marks the first time the relatively new Stories feature will be used by a network as part of its live coverage.”

Science news site EurekAlert is now back online, partially. “The EurekAlert! public ‘read-only’ pages are now online. Embargoed news sections remain offline as our IT team works around the clock to put strong safeguards in place to repel future cyber-attacks. This means that public information officers are still unable to log onto EurekAlert! to submit news releases, and reporters cannot log on to browse potential science-news stories.”


Now this is what I call a born-digital archive. From Canterbury University: Restoring the world’s first recorded computer music. “University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing.”

Google filed a patent for an energy kite. “Like the past, using the sail to harness wind energy to propel a ship could be a solution. There are some problems that render this solution unfeasible for cargo vessels, however. First, these cargo ships demand energy in megawatt range and second, unpredictable nature of wind could make a ship arrive on a port late than its scheduled time which it strictly needs to adhere to. A recent patent filed by Google seems like solving both of these problems. Instead of a sail, it suggests using its flying energy kites Makani to propel engine of a ship.”


Krebs on Security is supposedly back online due to Google’s Project Shield. I say “supposedly” because when I try to connect I get a “connection refused” error, and I’m not sure if it’s me or him. I’m linking to a Slashdot story about Mr. Krebs’ return. Good afternoon, Internet…

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