College Promise Programs, Shell Chemicals, Wayback Machine, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, October 25, 2016


The Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy at University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (PennAHEAD) has created an online database of College Promise programs. “These programs which ‘promise’ a financial or other type of award to eligible students who attend specified schools and/or reside in particular communities to enter and complete higher education, have nearly tripled in the last year, to 150 in 37 states. Laura Perna, Executive Director of the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy at University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (PennAHEAD), and her team of students have created a new tool that will allow policymakers, researchers, and journalists to easily search and compare programs. PennAHEAD’s database, created with support from the College Promise Campaign, tracks program characteristics including nature and characteristics of the promised award, student eligibility requirements, program location, and more.”

Shell Chemicals Company will be shelling out $7 million for the creation of an online database. “Shell Chemicals Co. will pay $7 million to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for the creation of a massive online database that will digitize about 7 million pages of historical files. Howard Pollman, a spokesman for the commission, confirmed Monday that Shell has already paid $2.5 million of that sum. The final $4.5 million will be paid over the next two years to pay for the project.”


Woo hoo! The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has keyword search! Again! Y’see, you could keyword search the Wayback Machine about 13 years ago, but I guess it got too big. This is an exciting feature to have back! “With this new beta search service, users will now be able to find the home pages of over 361 Million websites preserved in the Wayback Machine just by typing in keywords that describe these sites (e.g. ‘new york times’).

From GlobalVoices: Russian Search Engine Will Only List Top News Stories from State-Registered Media “Yandex, Russia’s largest search engine and a major news aggregator, will stop featuring articles from media companies that have not registered with the Russian government by January 1, 2017, on its ‘top news’ lists, RBC reported on Thursday.” It looks like Yandex will keep indexing articles from non-registered sources, it just won’t feature them.

Google spent more in its third quarter lobbying, but fell into second place for spending behind AT&T. Gee, AT&T spent over $4 million in lobbying in the third quarter and now wants to acquire Time Warner. My my. Imagine that. “Google increased its 2016 third-quarter federal lobbying spending 4.2 percent to $3.81 million from $3.65 million in the comparable 2015 period, but fell to second place in lobbying expenditures among 16 technology and communications companies tracked by Consumer Watchdog.”


Make Tech Easier: How to Schedule Windows to Empty Recycle Bin Periodically. “Of course, you can easily reclaim that lost space by simply emptying the Recycle Bin. But if you are like me and deletes a lot of files due to work, then it is a good idea to automatically clear the Recycle Bin at set intervals. Here’s how to automatically empty the Recycle Bin in Windows.”

TechCrunch: Google pollutes new Chrome tabs with ‘article suggestions’ – here’s how to disable them. “I don’t know about you, but I open a lot of new tabs every day, and I appreciated the utility of the old new tab page as much as I dislike the idea of Google constantly guessing at what I might want to read. And while it may be a nice option to opt into, it’s a bit much for Google to just push this content, which for all we know is sponsored, onto every new tab on mobile.”

Ubergizmo: How to download Instagram videos. “Surprisingly, video sharing activity on Instagram surpassed the statistical figures compared to the activity on the video entertainment app Vine. So, obviously, there is a lot of demand to download Instagram videos nowadays.”


Washington Post:
Google and Facebook contribute zero economic value. That’s a big problem for trade.
. “How much value do free online services contribute to the U.S. economy? Ask any user of Google, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter, and the answer would most likely be, ‘A lot.’ But according to every statistic created by the U.S. government, the answer is actually zero.”

Ugh, some bad stuff caught by Bing Maps. “In Bing Maps, a street view at the corner of Pennington Avenue and Hazel Street in Baltimore’s Curtis Bay neighborhood shows a single police car, two officers, and what appears to be a man in the middle of the street bleeding from the skull.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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