Historical Brunswick (ME), Chattanooga Flyers, BPA, More: Thursday Buzz, January 12, 2017


A historian in Maine has created his own historical index for Brunswick. “The past can be elusive, its contents fleeting. Often it takes a concerted effort to dig through some archives. Enter retired history teacher and historian Richard F. Snow. Snow — who grew up in Brunswick and resides in Topsham — has put together an extensive index of articles, pictures and obituaries from the Brunswick Telegraph and the Brunswick Record — forerunners to today’s The Times Record — and donated his work to the Curtis Memorial Library. The Snow Index will give locals and folks from away a chance to delve into their family’s pasts by accessing the library’s website, a substantial shortcut over previous practices like coming into the library or browsing newspaper websites.”

I love ephemera archives! A new Tumblr site is creating an archive of band/performance flyers from Chattanooga, Tennessee. I also love that there’s a local news site for the area called “The site, A History of Chattanooga Flyers, accepts submissions from all types of shows, including music concerts, film showings, roller derby games and basically any other show/performance that’s taken place in Chattanooga over the past few decades.”

The government of California has launched an online database of products containing BPA. “The database contains nearly 20,000 entries. It includes such details as a product’s brand and description, size, universal product code (UPC) and category. It also includes a date column allowing manufacturers transitioning to BPA alternatives to indicate the ‘use by’ date beyond which products have been manufactured without BPA.” Link to the database at the bottom of the page, not in the story. If you have lame Internet like I do, you might have to wait a moment for the database to load.

In development: a database for public notices in Virginia. “The Virginia Press Association is creating a website where people can search for public notices published by newspapers across the state…. It will include legal notices routinely published in newspapers and issued by government agencies and private entities such as law firms, contractors and utilities. Those include public meeting notices, foreclosure notices, requests for bids on contracts and proposed zoning changes.”


Is Google going to sell its satellite business? “Alphabet Inc. is in talks to sell the Skybox Imaging satellite business it acquired for $500 million less than three years ago, another sign the technology giant is ratcheting back grand ambitions to blanket the globe with internet service.”


MakeUseOf: Capture Streaming Video From Any Website With These 5 Tools. “A majority of today’s internet traffic consists of streamed video. YouTube alone accounts for a big chunk of that. Over 400 hours of content uploaded every minute, an average of 40 minutes watched per session, and greater reach in the 18–49 demographic than cable TV. And then you have to consider other video streaming sites like Vimeo, Dailymotion, Metacafe, Vine, Twitch, etc. That’s a lot of data flowing around.”

TechRadar: How to connect your Google Calendar to Amazon Echo. “Out of the box the Amazon Echo (and the smaller, cheaper Amazon Echo Dot ) is a fantastically useful device, with its voice-activated virtual assistant Alexa giving you all sorts of information (such as weather and traffic updates) to help you plan your day, but by allowing the Amazon Echo to access your Google Calendar, you can make it even more useful.”


Apparently pranking Google Maps is just a regular thing now. From The Guardian: ‘Chamber of Rats’: Mexican parliament renamed in Google Maps prank. “Pranksters changed the name of Mexico’s lower house of Congress to the ‘Chamber of Rats’ on Google Maps on Tuesday in the latest dig at the political class during a testing start to the year for the country’s government.”

Italy is reportedly reviewing a proposal from Google to settle tax issues. “Italy’s tax authorities are looking at a proposal from Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay between 270 million and 280 million euros ($286-296 million) to settle a tax dispute, a source close to the matter said on Tuesday. A year ago Italian tax police alleged that Google had evaded paying taxes worth 227 million euros between 2009 and 2013 in a move which was said could result in heavy punitive fines.”


The Guardian: WhatsApp, Facebook and Google face tough new privacy rules under EC proposal. “The new legislation seeks to reinforce the right to privacy and control of data for European citizens, with messaging, email and voice services – such as those provided by Facebook, Google and Microsoft – forced to guarantee the confidentiality of conversations and metadata around the time, place and other factors of those conversations.”


I don’t often link to The Sun, but this was very amusing: ‘MYSTERY SEARCH’ There’s a secret version of Google search which can yield some very surprising results. “Although the little known site uses the same Google search bar as you’re used to, mystery searches come with a twist which means you rarely get the results you were expecting. That’s because the engine doesn’t show the results for what you just typed in, instead it shows the results for the previous person’s search – meaning you have no idea what you’re going to get.” Good morning, Internet…

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