British Safety Council, New York Legislation, WordPress, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, January 13, 2017


The British Safety Council has launched a digital archive. “The British Safety Council has unveiled a digital archive of its work, featuring momentous events from 60 years of British economic, social and political history. The archive contains unique documents and correspondence, as well as photographs, newspapers, magazines and posters which were thought to be lost but have now been rescued from oblivion.” Spent WAY too much time browsing the posters.

Citizens of New York have a new resource to get information on state legislative research. “Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Joseph Morelle today announced that for the first time the public has free full access to the most comprehensive legislative research database ever to enable greater transparency and public participation in state government…. The new legislative research tools will allow the public to research legislation back to 1999. Bill information will also include debate videos and hearing testimony. The updates also include enhancements to daily calendars to provide additional information and for the first time ever, a resolutions list. The upgrades are expected to be available by the end of January”


WordPress 4.7.1 is now available. This is a security update so please patch.

Engadget: YouTube ‘Super Chat’ comments are a new way to support livestreams. “Making yourself heard in a livestream chatroom can be nearly impossible — on a busy stream, dozens of messages can scroll by every second. How do you get your favorite YouTuber to notice you? Starting today on select channels, you can pay for it. Super Chat is a new YouTube live feature that lets users pay to pin messages to the top of a chatbox for up to five hours.” This is an interesting idea. Unfortunately all I can think of is how it’ll be abused…

Twitter is shutting down Twitter dashboard. “Twitter announced today it’s shutting down a feature called Dashboard, launched last summer, that allows businesses a suite of tools to track tweets, schedule posts, access analytics, monitor tweets about their brand or other keywords and more. The company says that Dashboard will be fully shuttered on February 3rd, 2017, but there’s not a solid transition plan in terms of how businesses will be able to access similar features going forward.”

Facebook has launched a journalism project. “We will be collaborating with news organizations to develop products, learning from journalists about ways we can be a better partner, and working with publishers and educators on how we can equip people with the knowledge they need to be informed readers in the digital age.” Maybe they’ll launch an advertising project too.


MakeUseOf: Keep Your Notes Private: 4 Encrypted Alternatives to Evernote . “If you’re an Evernote user concerned about privacy, you may want to rethink your use of the app. Recent changes to their privacy policy have many people worried that their notes aren’t as private as they’d hoped. How will these changes affect you? Should you choose another note-taking app? And what else is out there? Let’s take a look.”

Hongkiat: How to Retrieve Your Facebook Messenger Chat History. “Have you ever felt the need to search through your Facebook Messenger’s conversation history in order to recall something you or your friend have said? Well, you will be glad to know that the web version of Messenger allows you to search your conversation history, as long as the conversation history wasn’t deleted.”


The Daily Beast: Microsoft Anti-Porn Workers Sue Over PTSD. Terrible headline. “When former Microsoft employees complained of the horrific pornography and murder films they had to watch for their jobs, the software giant told them to just take more smoke breaks, a new lawsuit alleges.” I’m linking to this here because apparently Mechanical Turk workers also sometimes have to look at graphic and disturbing imagery, and they don’t even have the HR protections to file a lawsuit – at least I wouldn’t think they do because they’d be considered contract workers. Horrifying.


From Earth & Space Science News: Using Archives of Past Floods to Estimate Future Flood Hazards. “Worldwide, floods cause greater economic damage and loss of human life than any other type of natural disaster. We urgently need better assessments of flood hazards to reduce the societal impact of extreme floods caused by Earth’s rapidly changing climate, among other factors. One way of assessing flood hazards is to examine past floods using the records provided by hydrological instruments. We can extend this knowledge back through the Holocene period or beyond using historical documents and natural archives (including alluvial, marine, and lake sediments; tree rings; and cave formations). These extended records can provide valuable information about long-term flood trends.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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