Irish Students, Colorado Wildlife, New Zealand Aerial Photography, More: Thursday Buzz, December 8, 2016


A new Web site aims to connect Irish university students with volunteering opportunities. “Some Irish students are figting back the ‘lazy and drunken’ sterotypes in a new initiative that matches their interests with volunteering oportunities.” Anybody who thinks Irish young people are lazy has never watched Jack SepticEye.

Another new Web site spotlights the plants and animals of northeast Colorado. “Sterling resident Mack Hitch shares the results of 10 years of nature photography on Plants and Animals of Northeast Colorado… He estimates over 2,000 photos are catalogued on his site, broken down into various categories of plants and animals.” This site is a little of a slow loader, but the photography’s wonderful.

Yet ANOTHER new Web site (I’m kind of flunking the summary writing originality this morning) will house aerial photography of Waikato, New Zealand. “Online access to a bird’s eye historical view of much of the Waikato region is progressively being made available as part of a leading edge national aerial photography project. Waikato Local Authority Shared Services Ltd (Waikato LASS) – owned by the region’s councils – has supported the creation of the Retrolens website so that hundreds of thousands of historic digitised images can be freely accessed. The new website… will contain aerial images taken across the country from the 1930s to the 1990s.”


Google has updated its search app. “Google’s flagship mobile application is getting a big makeover today, with a focus on making it easier to separate the things you need to know about – like upcoming appointments or flights -from the things you’re interested in, like news, sports, and entertainment. The app still maintains its previous card-style design, but it now offers two different sections to better organize its content: your feed, and the ‘upcoming’ section.”

From the New York Times: Instagram Introduces New Tools Meant to Curb Abuse and Expand Privacy. “Instagram announced on Tuesday that it would be providing more tools for users to protect themselves and others from online abuse by allowing them to remove comments and filter out certain followers. The changes will take effect within a few weeks, Kevin Systrom, a founder and the chief executive of Instagram, said in a blog post.”

Google has released Google WiFi. “The new feature for “Google router version 2″ is mesh networking, while the OnHub’s promised-but-never-delivered smart home features are dropped. You can buy multiple Google Wifis, and they’ll all mesh together, offering (hopefully) better coverage than a single device.”

Google has announced that it will run entirely on renewable energy in 2017. “This is not to say that Google computers will consume nothing but wind and solar power. Like almost any company, Google gets power from a power company, which operates an energy grid typically supplied by a number of sources, including hydroelectric dams, natural gas, coal and wind power. What Google has done over the last decade, with relatively little fanfare, is participate in a number of large-scale deals with renewable producers, typically guaranteeing to buy the energy they produce with their wind turbines and solar cells. With those guarantees, wind companies can obtain bank financing to build more turbines.”


The government of Queensland Australia is working on its first digital archive. “The Queensland Government is putting out the call globally to build the state’s first digital archive. Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch will next month invite a worldwide expression of interest for the mammoth project.”

PewDiePie is making accusations about YouTube. “Video gamer Felix Kjellberg, known as PewDiePie, suggested changes to YouTube’s algorithms had affected the discoverability of creators’ content. On Tuesday, a Forbes report named the Swedish gamer who now lives in the UK as the highest-earning YouTuber.” As I have mentioned, I’m a YouTube Red subscriber and I watch YouTube far more than I watch regular TV (which I watch barely at all.) YouTube’s suggestion feature is in my opinion pretty awful. The search function might be worse. There’s plenty of good content but you really have to work to find it.

USA Today: Twitter CEO feelings on Trump tweets: ‘Complicated’. “How does Jack Dorsey feel about president-elect Donald Trump communicating with the world in 140 characters or less? ‘Complicated,’ the Twitter CEO said at Recode’s Code Commerce conference on Tuesday evening.”


The latest big data breach is DailyMotion. “Breach notification service LeakedSource announced the data breach on Monday after the company obtained 85.2 Million records from Dailymotion. According to LeakedSource, the DailyMotion data breach appears to have taken place on October 20, 2016, which means it is possible that hackers have been circulating the data for over a month.”


Apple will start publishing its AI research. “Apple’s AI research department is going to be breaking its long silence and start publishing papers, according to a report by Bloomberg. The tech giant’s newly hired director of AI research delivered the news during his presentation at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference in Barcelona on Monday.” Good morning, Internet…

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