Female Illustrators, Department of Defense, Black People and American Colonization, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, December 15, 2016


Now available – a directory of female illustrators. “On the home page, a matrix of illustrations of female figures appears against a white background, each drawing rendered in a distinct style (submitting one, and having a professional website to link to, are also prerequisites to participate). Below each lady is the name of the artist responsible for creating her, and after that, a series of racial, religious, geographical, and sexual identity tags that can be used as filters to search the directory.”

The Defense Department is pushing forward with open data. “The DOD may have had an open data program but it hadn’t gotten a lot of attention, said site creator Mary Lazzeri to FedScoop. Defense Digital Service Director Chris Lynch says the goal with is to showcase a potential open data strategy to the department while collaborating with startups in the field to create interesting stories with the data instead of just posting it online.”

A new Web site traces the history of the first Black people in the Americas. “The core of [the] new resource comprises a collection of 72 archival document packages. They contain an equal number of manuscripts from 16th century La Española, the Island now shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The selected material documents in various ways the presence of the black-African population and their descendants that lived in the island-colony (the first European outpost in the Americas in modern times) during the first 100 years of colonization. It is the first platform to make this kind of collection of sources available on the internet to the general public.”


Slack has had a couple of updates which take aim at Skype. “Slack, the workplace collaboration platform with 1.25 million paying users and 4 million overall, is adding one more key feature to its artillery of tools for people to communicate with each other, and it’s one that could help it pick up even more users away from other services like Skype and Gmail: it’s adding video calling, the audiovisual complement to the audio chat services that it released earlier this year. Group video calls, for those on paid tiers, can handle up to 15 people currently, Slack says.”


If you’re looking for a quick roundup article for people who need advice on what to do after the latest Yahoo hack disclosure, Sophos has you covered. “Yahoo discovered the 2013 compromise after analyzing data files law enforcement provided after an unnamed third party claimed to be in possession of Yahoo information. For users, the question now is what to do about it. Sophos senior security advisor John Shier outlined six steps you can take to protect yourself from this and all other data breaches… ”

Nifty from TechCrunch: Radio.Garden lets you tune into the globe. “Some of the most beautiful products are the simplest. Take Radio.Garden, for example. This project by Golo Föllmer at Martin-Luther University Halle displays a photorealistic globe full of green dots. Swing your mouse over one of the dots — in Iran, Estonia or the Faroe Islands — and you can hear a local radio station.”


Oh boy. From the CBC: Federal government’s project ‘off the rails’. “The federal government’s bid to merge 1,500 departmental and agency websites into a single site,, is a year behind schedule and almost 10 times over budget. And experts warn it is on track to be another failed government IT project, like the Phoenix pay system.”


International Business Times: German lawmakers want to ban fake news on social media. “German lawmakers are preparing a bill banning fake news on social media. Politicians in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party have proposed the legislation, which reportedly has the backing of the opposition SDP.”


MIT Technology Review: Google’s Long, Strange Life Span Trip. “Why does a mole rat live 30 years but a mouse only three? With $1.5 billion in the bank, Google’s anti-aging spinout Calico is rich enough to find out.” Good morning, Internet…

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