Seychelles, Waymo, LibreOffice, More: Friday Buzz, February 3, 2017


The former president of the Republic of Seychelles has launched a new Web site. “The website holds the digital library archives of Mr. Michel’s Presidency with past press releases, speeches, photo galleries and videos, as well as the latest news, media articles and interviews with the Former President as he embarks on new projects and activities.”


Engadget: Google’s self-driving cars are getting better at autonomy. “Perhaps more than any company (with the possible exception of Tesla), Google’s autonomous driving record has been under close scrutiny. Today the company bears news that while dramatically increasing the number of miles tested, the number of times a human had to grab the wheel because something went wrong — ‘disengagement’ — actually decreased. ”

LibreOffice is finally available for the cloud, but it looks like installing it is not for beginners: “LibreOffice Online is fundamentally a server service. You’ll need to install and configure on your own cloud server with a SSL certificate. Builds of the latest LibreOffice Online source code are available as Docker images. Be warned that this is very much a do-it-yourself cloud project.”

Google has updated recipe search in its app. “If you’re huddling your team together for the big game this Sunday, chances are you’re looking for a lineup of recipes that’s sure to win. Enter Google’s latest version of recipe search. Now when you’re searching on the Google app for a particular recipe, you’ll see a carousel of tappable suggestions to make sure you catch the best recipe to suit your taste buds and kitchen skills.”

DigitalNC has added to its online archive of the Charlotte Jewish News. “New issues of The Charlotte Jewish News from 2013 through early 2016 are now online courtesy of The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Charlotte, located at the Levine-Sklut Judaic Library and Resource Center. The new issues join previously digitized issues that go back as far as 1979.”

Google is getting rid of its Hands Free app. “Google will shut down its experimental Hands Free payment app next week. The pilot program, which launched last March for Android and iOS, gave customers a new way to pay for items, but was only available at a limited number of locations in the South Bay area of San Francisco.”

Snapchat has finally filed for its IPO. “The company has not released specifics around how much it plans to make in the IPO, but reports have pegged it as between $20 billion and $25 billion.”


MakeUseOf: How to Extract Text From Images. “Back in college, one of my friends asked me to edit one of his crucial end-of-the-year essays, and it didn’t seem like a big deal so I agreed — but then he took a screenshot of the essay and sent that to me rather than sending the document itself. This, of course, made editing much harder than it needed to be. If only I knew about text-extracting technology back then!”

Camera shy? You’ll like this article from Social Media Examiner: How to Create Social Media Marketing Videos Without Appearing On Camera. “Do you want to market your business with video? Are you unsure about appearing on camera? You can easily create compelling and budget-friendly videos while staying comfortably off-screen.”


Interesting: Ulysses Here and Now: Using Twitter to Teach Experimental Literature. “James Joyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses has a reputation for being notoriously difficult, and teaching it in the undergraduate classroom entails addressing three barriers: its extreme referentiality, its formal experiments, and its immersion in early twentieth-century Dublin culture. While the first of these barriers can be overcome by consulting the many reference resources available, the latter two barriers require a creative pedagogical approach.[1] My Twitter-based assignment titled ABQUlysses, which I designed for an upper-division literature course at the University of New Mexico, led students to engage with the novel’s form and locale by creating a series of tweets that imitated Joyce’s form and updated the content to reflect contemporary life in Albuquerque.”

Axios: Ex-Twitter CEO: I’m sorry. “Dick Costolo, the former CEO of Twitter, said today during the Upfront Summit in Los Angeles that he missed an opportunity to stop bullying on the platform. In short, it proved to be a very complicated problem (‘lots of edge cases’) and he got distracted by other things…” This is nice but I’d like him to also apologize for how third party developers were treated by Twitter during his tenure.


A municipal government in Ohio has been crippled by ransomware. “The attack forced departments such as the Licking County 911 Center, county auditor’s office and clerk of courts to perform their jobs without the use of computers or office telephones. Sean Grady, director of the Licking County Emergency Management Agency and Regional 911 Center, did not expect an immediate resolution of the problem.” Good morning, Internet…

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