Google Sheets, Text Files, Craigslist, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, January 10, 2017


Amit Agarwal! What more needs to be said?! How to Make Phone Numbers Callable in Google Sheets. “If you click an email link on a webpage, it opens your default mail program. Similarly, you can make phone numbers on your website “callable” meaning when someone clicks the phone number, it will launch the dialer on their mobile phone and initiate dialing of the specified phone number. It is recommended that you make phone numbers clickable as more and more people would be accessing your site on their mobile devices.”

MakeUseOf: How to Convert Delimited Text Files to Excel Spreadsheets. “You don’t want to be the guy in the office who has to type everything into Microsoft Excel time and time again. So, there will come a time when you must deal with all sorts of information stored in other kinds of files and bring it into Excel. You cannot run away from an ever-present text file.”

Lifehacker: The Best Craigslist App for iPhone. “While there used to be dozens of options, Craigslist apps aren’t nearly as rampant as they used to be. Still, you have some good ones to choose from. If you use the service a lot, our pick is CPlus.” Based on the comments I’d say there’s still room for a competitor…


TechRasa: New Social Media and Messaging Apps Regulations Introduced in Iran. “Iran Supreme Council of Cyberspace is ruling out new regulations for foreign messaging apps and social media platforms. Soon these companies must move their servers inside the country and have a legal representative in Iran.”

From Google: Explore museums in a new way with Tango. “With Tango’s location and augmented reality (AR) capabilities, you’ll soon be able to experience museums around the world in a whole new way—starting with the Detroit Institute of Arts. In partnership with GuidiGO, the Detroit Institute of Arts has built Lumin, a mobile tour that uses Tango capabilities to add AR interactivity and information to further enrich your visit. When you visit the Detroit Institute of Arts, just head to the front desk and ask for the Tango enabled Lenovo Phab 2 Pro phone to explore a variety of works…” Being able to look at the mummy was super cool.


Ars Technica: Google plugs severe Android vulnerability that exposed devices to spying. “Google has shut down a “high-severity” exploit in its Nexus 6 and 6P phones which gave attackers with USB access the opportunity to take over the onboard modem during boot-up—allowing them to listen in on phonecalls, or intercept mobile data packets.”

A database for a poker players’ forum has been hacked. “More than 400,000 members are subscribed to the TwoPlusTwo forum, and it is believed that every username, password, and email address has been extracted, along with any personal data included in members´ profiles. Although the passwords were hashed, simple passwords are fairly easy to decipher. Therefore, if you are a TwoPlusTwo subscriber, it is fair to assume that your details have been hacked.”

The number of MongoDB databases fallen victim to ransomware has blown up. “UPDATE: Fears that attacks would escalate have been confirmed today, January 9, as security researchers confirmed that the number of hijacked MongoDB databases has gone from ~10,000 to ~27,000.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION What did Big Data find when it analyzed 150 years of British history? “The main focus of the study was to establish if major historical and cultural changes could be detected from the subtle statistical footprints left in the collective content of local newspapers. How many women were mentioned? In which year did electricity start being mentioned more than steam? Crucially, this work goes well beyond counting words, and deploys AI methods to identify people and their gender, or locations and their position on the map. The landmark study, part of the University of Bristol’s ThinkBIG project, collected a huge amount of regional newspapers from the UK, including geographical and time-based information that is not available in other textual data such as books. Over 35 million articles and 28.6 billion words, from the British Library’s newspaper collections, representing 14 per cent of all British regional outlets from 1800 to 1950, were used for the study.”

Sourceable: Can Google Maps Really Improve Accessibility? “The power of customer ratings together with the reach of Google Maps and related Google services may potentially drive the message that improved accessibility of the built environment as well as the services and products being offered could really affect the bottom line. So rather than having decisions regarding accessibility ‘trickle down’ from property investors, property managers, project managers basing their decisions on minimum legislative requirements and often largely on cost, the possibly of reversing the direction of decision making becomes real. That is from the customer to the tenant and so on up the chain of decision makers.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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