Africa Economics, Philippines Poverty, Taiwan Judges, More: Saturday Buzz, November 12, 2016


Google Alerts tipped me to what sounds like a monster new database of African economic data. “ADDaX is the first economic product to cover all 54 African countries, and the only one to use both African and global source material. By integrating international data from trade organizations, government departments, agencies and NGOs, with African data from central banks, country Ministries of Finance and National Offices of Statistics, ADDaX tracks more than 50,000 indicators and includes greater than 26 million data records. ADDaX also features comprehensive province and municipal reporting, including legacy units such as former states.” As you might imagine, this data product is not free.

The government of the Philippines has launched a new site consolidating all agency data sets relating to poverty. “Developed in cooperation with the World Bank-Institutional Development Fund (WB-IDF), the Tala ng Bayan Laban sa Kahirapan (TALAMBAYAN) is designed to present poverty data from all regions of the Philippines in an easy-to-read format.”

What is it with all these judicial Web sites all of a sudden? The Judicial Yuan (one of the branches of the Republic of China, also known as Taiwan) is creating a database of judges and their decisions. “To conform with the values of a democratic nation, Judicial Yuan officials said that they would establish an online platform to present profiles and basic information of all judges, and records of their decisions, so people can monitor their judicial power, enhancing trust in the justice system.”


Facebook is reviving its Rooms app…. sort of. “Facebook’s experiment with semi-anonymous social networking centered around interests, via a standalone app called Rooms, failed. But the learnings from that earlier experiment have now popped up in Facebook’s Messenger application as a new feature called Rooms, which is rolling out now in select markets.”

Is Instagram going to get its own live video feature? (And does anyone else wonder why Facebook doesn’t do more to integrate Instagram instead of developing all these features in parallel? No? Just me? Okay.)
“After adding the Snapchat rip-off Stories features to Instagram, Facebook is now reportedly working on a new feature, which is similar to the Facebook’s Live feature. The upcoming feature will be called as ‘Go Insta’.”


The College of Charleston was supposed to do an event called “Easier Paper Grading with Google Classroom” but couldn’t because of Hurricane Matthew. So they turned it into a six-part video series and posted it online. All six videos put together are roughly forty minutes.

Microsoft has created an app for the color-blind. “The app uses the iPhone camera to adjust colors in a way that makes them easier to distinguish for color-blind people. The enhanced image shows up on the iPhone screen, allowing users to pick out flowers, choose matching outfits or take in the beauty of fall, for example.”

Welp, that was quick: 12 tips and tricks for Google’s Daydream View. “Forget Google Cardboard, Google’s first VR headset is available and it’s pretty darn good. Before you dive deep into a virtual ocean, or find yourself trying to diffuse a bomb with the help of teammates, there are a few things you need to know.”


A wonderful story from The New York Times: Teenager Seeks to Honor Veterans of War by Preserving Their Stories. “As nations honored their war veterans on Friday — Armistice Day and Veterans Day —a 19-year-old in California is trying to preserve as many voices of World War II veterans in the United States as he can. Many of the veterans are in their twilight years, with ages in the late 80s and the 90s. The teenager, Rishi Sharma, has started a nonprofit organization, Heroes of the Second World War, to record video interviews with them for posterity.”

Mashable: Everyone blamed Facebook for Trump, so Facebook killed everyone. No, it apparently was a bug. “Many living Facebook users were ‘memorialized’ Friday afternoon, meaning the social network claimed they were dead.”


Unfortunately there are crooks on the Internet, and even more unfortunately – they innovate. “It’s called ‘Angler Phishing’ and, yes, the name is from the scary deep-sea fish in the movie Finding Nemo. It refers to a clever new scam in which crooks impersonate the social media teams of banks and retailers in order to trick consumers into disclosing sensitive personal information.”

The latest data leak is from a global recruitment company which might need to recruit an IT staff. “On Thursday, it emerged that an outsourcing company named Capgemini had left a database containing sensitive information on the open internet, exposing the names, contact details, resumes, and other personal information of potentially millions of people who used a global recruiting firm.” Good morning, Internet…

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