NYC Archaeology, Sustainable Building, Ogoni Cleanup, More: Thursday Buzz, October 6, 2016


Ooooo. New York City has created an archaeological repository and digital archive. “From a cone-shaped mold used in sugar refining to an oversize oyster, a 7,000-year-old spear tip to a 19th-century Transferware teapot and a bone from a passenger pigeon, which was once the most abundant bird in North America but was declared extinct in 1914, New York City has cataloged and digitized a vast archive of its buried past.” Apparently the digital archive has been available for a while but I guess I missed it. Fascinating story.

UL has launched a new tool for information on sustainable building materials called SPOT (PRESS RELEASE). “UL today introduced SPOT™, a web-based product sustainability information tool that will facilitate the selection of credible green products and enable the design community to apply that information into the Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflow. Currently featuring more than 40,000 products, SPOT database will be a first of its kind tool for architects, designers and specifiers to identify products by sustainable attributes, MasterFormat product codes and building rating system credits such as LEED v4 and the WELL Building Standard™. … SPOT database goes beyond traditional green certification data to include a comprehensive view of a product’s attributes through expanded product listings. The expanded listings will also include safety data, such as fire ratings and, for furniture, performance certifications and claim verifications.”

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People is creating a database of people in Ogoniland as the Ogoni Cleanup ramps up. “Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, President the apex mass-based organisation of the Ogoni people, said the process of compiling a database of Ogoni professionals, graduates, skilled and unskilled personnel were necessary to access Ogoni’s human capacity and the level of training required for the engagement of the Ogoni people for the clean-up.” The Ogoni are an indigenous people of Nigeria; you can read more about them here. The Nigerian government’s page on the Ogoni Cleanup is available here.

Google has announced a new tool for better building / materials decisions. “At Google, we are committed to creating the healthiest work environment possible and using building products that promote human and environmental health and transparency. Inspired by this challenge, we have been making great strides toward giving everyone access to the information needed to understand human and environmental impacts of materials so we can make healthy decisions backed by science. This means you can know all the ingredients of every product in your environment──from the chair you are sitting in, to the paint you purchased for your living room──just like the nutrition labels on the food you buy at your neighborhood grocery store.”


The North Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive has been expanded. “The North Georgia Historic Newspapers Archive now provides access to fifteen newspaper titles published in nine North Georgia cities (Canton, Cassville, Cedartown, Clayton, Cleveland, Dahlonega, Dalton, Gainesville, and Rome) from 1850 to 1928. Consisting of over 63,000 newspaper pages, the archive provides historical images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date.”

The DPLA is once again having a GIF IT UP contest. “Calling all gif-­makers, creatives, history nuts, animators, and lovers of the internet! GIF IT UP (October 1 – 31, 2016) is an annual international competition organized by the Digital Public Library of America to find the best gifs using public domain and openly licensed digital video, images, text, and other material found in DPLA and other participating digital libraries.” So many of these are just brilliant.

Instead of pointing you to individual articles about every last goldang thing Google announced at its event Tuesday, I’ll just point you to the Wired roundup. “IT SEEMS LIKE only yesterday that Google was just a software company. Search and web apps, Android and Chrome. The industry giant’s first moves into hardware were small; it first worked with partners like Samsung and LG to build phones, tablets, and Chromebooks, then timidly branched out into creating its own designs. Well, Google isn’t timid about hardware any longer. In a 100-minute event on Tuesday, the company unveiled an entire line of products made not by hardware partners, but by Google’s own robust in-house product teams. And connecting all of the pieces together, of course, is Google’s speech-controlled, AI-powered Assistant. Here’s everything the company unveiled.”


Hongkiat: 19 Useful Google Apps Scripts to Automate Google Drive. These scripts are from all over the place so please review carefully before using.


Pro tip to parents: don’t let your kids open AdWords accounts. “Google has written off a 100,000-euro ($112,000) bill run up by a 12-year-old Spanish boy who mistakenly believed he was earning money through an advertising account he opened with the internet giant to promote videos of his municipal band.”


A big dump of credential information from a 2012 Dropbox hack has been put online. Two-factor is your friend. “In August, Motherboard reported that hackers had stolen over 60 million account details for online storage platform Dropbox. The details were from a previously disclosed breach, but the true scale of the hack had not been previously revealed. Now, anyone can download the email addresses and hashed passwords for 68,680,741 accounts totally for free. On Monday, Thomas White, also known as The Cthulhu, uploaded the full dump onto his website, a move that he says is to help researchers examine the breach.”


Very brief from the University of Georgia: Using Twitter, Facebook to assess candidates for tenure, promotion. “A report by the American Sociological Association suggested sociology professors’ social media presence should factor into decisions about promotion and tenure.”

From Social Media + Society: Twitter Chats as Third Places: Conceptualizing a Digital Gathering Site “Social media users can harness the interactivity and connectivity of social networking sites to create a sense of place in a digital environment. This article argues that regularly scheduled Twitter chats can function as digital third places, sites of online sociality that both mirror and deviate from physical gathering sites such as bars or clubs. Using Oldenburg’s eight characteristics of (built) third places, this study examines how people collectively identify with others and collaborate in digital gathering sites.” Direct link to full text! YEAH! Good morning, Internet…

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