ACLU, VR/AR, Soil Health, More: Wednesday Buzz, January 4, 2017


Gale has digitized the archives of the American Civil Liberties Union (PRESS RELEASE). “Sourced from Princeton University and the ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990 contains more than 2 million pages of material. Included in the collection are internal documents such as memoranda and committee reports; correspondence from clients, members of the board of directors, government bureaucrats, attorneys, and other sources; materials relating to local organizations affiliated with the ACLU, as well as records of hundreds of organizations with which the ACLU had supportive or adversarial relations; and legal briefs and newspaper clippings.”

Now available: a database of over 1000 VR / AR companies. (VR, as you probably know, stands for “Virtual Reality”. AR stands for “Augmented Reality”.) “Companies can add listings to theDirectory free of charge because the VRARA wants to ensure maximum visibility for brands, customers, and clients. The database is searchable by company name, category, location, and comprehensive search tags.”

A new digital library relating to soil health has just launched (PRESS RELEASE). “The Soil Health Institute (SHI) today announced the release of the Soil Health Research Landscape™ tool. The online library and search engine will be a resource for agricultural and environmental scientists, industry leaders, agricultural producers, conservation policy makers, agricultural journalists, and others interested in soil health…. [Steven] Shafer added that the initial library includes more than 1,000 scientific research papers, research progress reports, and other kinds of publications and references. Building the tool’s library of soil health papers and information will be an ongoing, open-ended effort by the Institute and its partners.”


Twitter will livestream the Red Carpet at the next Golden Globes awards. “The ceremony from the Beverly Hills Hilton will air on NBC Sunday, Jan. 8, at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET, and Twitter will be live on the red carpet from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. PT (6 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET), featuring exclusive interviews with celebrities.”

Stringify is now on IFTTT. “Stringify is a thoughtful automation service for the Internet of Things (IoT) with award-winning apps in both iOS and Android. Stringify allows people to connect their products and services together so they can take better care of themselves, their families and their homes.”


Terrific stuff as always from Amit Agarwal: Know What Facebook Can See Inside Your Photographs. “When you upload any photograph to your Facebook account, they look at the actual content of the photograph and try to determine what objects and scenes are inside the image. You may not have added any description, yet Facebook can determine what that picture is all about…. If you are curious to know what information Facebook visual recognition algorithms have found in your own pictures, here’s an easy way to view that data.”

From the University of Vermont: 5 Google Chrome apps and extensions for learner support. “Remember training Dragon Dictation to recognize your student’s voice? That technology was pretty profound in 2004, but the options now to support differentiation for learners will blow your mind. What’s better is that we don’t have to offer these technologies to identified students. Any student (or adult!) can use these apps and extensions if they are helpful. Let’s explore some FREE Google Chrome apps and extensions that support differentiation for a variety of learners.” It’s a short list but well annotated and an unusual grouping.


Horrifying and sad: A Long-Lost Data Trove Uncovers California’s Sterilization Program “In 2007, only after historian Alexandra Minna Stern had spent years researching eugenics in the American west, culminating in a published book, did she find the motherlode. During the height of the eugenics movement, California sterilized 20,000 patients deemed feeble-minded or insane. Stern, who is a professor at the University of Michigan, wrote about the sterilization program in her book, but she had only a patchwork of records to work with.” Stern was pointed to a collection of 19 reels of microfilm. She had them copied, and later the originals were lost DUE TO BUDGET CUTS.

California Magazine: Waxing Poetic: New Tech Revives Sounds from Past Treasures. “In a corner of the Digital Imaging Lab in the basement of UC Berkeley’s Moffitt Library, recent graduate Olivia Dill is checking on the latest shipment of fragile wax recordings from the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. These hard wax tubes, invented by Thomas Edison in the 1880s, are one of the earliest sound recording media. Dill is one of several part-time staffers tasked to scan 2,713 of these rare and fragile items made over 100 years ago by the renowned anthropologist, Alfred Kroeber.”


Threatpost: Plugs Account Data Leakage Flaw. “ has changed the way it handles publicly shared accounts and folders after a researcher found confidential documents and data belonging to users via Google, Bing and other search engines. While maintains this is a case of its customers unintentionally over-sharing, it says it has ‘fixed’ the issue.”

It probably won’t shock you to learn that there are scams in Facebook’s new marketplace. “An Orange County man thought he could trust a new selling feature on Facebook, but instead became the victim of a scam. Harry Voss thought he found a great buy to replace his aging pickup truck. Instead, after wiring a private seller $2,000, he was in for a shock.”


PR Week – Study: How Different Generations Join Online Tribes. “Facebook topped the list for creating tribes, according to Jerry Johnson, EVP of strategic planning at Brodeur Partners, which produced the research. He said more than four out of five respondents across all generations – millennials, gen x, and boomers – said relationships and communities formed on Facebook were becoming more important in their lives. Instagram rated second, though it is only popular among millennials. Less obvious tribe locations among boomers were video game social networks including Raptr and PlayFire.” Good morning, Internet…

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