#ColorOurCollections, Pennsylvania Education, New Zealand Economy, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, February 7, 2017

Did you know it’s Color Our Collections week at libraries everywhere? “The inaugural event grew out of a Twitter exchange between the New York Academy of Medicine and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. As it turns out, prints of woodcuts and engravings are just waiting to be colored in.” There’s not a lot of information in this article, but you can also search Twitter for #ColorOurCollections and you’ll find plenty.


Penn State has created a database of educational agencies in Pennsylvania. “Navigate Education in PA is an online database that contains information on more than 4,800 Pennsylvania education agencies, including public, private and charter schools; intermediate units; career and technology centers; and higher education institutions.” The announcement makes it sound like it’s for Penn State affiliates only, but I was able to search it with no problem.

A new tool will provide information on New Zealand’s economic data. “Launched today, the New Zealand Sectors Dashboard provides the latest available data on twenty-six different sectors covering the whole economy, from the primary industries, manufacturing and services sectors to government, education and health.”


Asahi Shimbun: Google update removes sketchy sites in searches in Japanese. “Google Japan Inc. has moved to close weaknesses in the Japanese language version of its search engine that a major information technology firm exploited to elevate its sites in search results.”


Motherboard: The Hidden Phenomenon That Could Ruin Your Old Discs. “Often, it looks like a coffee stain—a noticeable discoloration that for whatever reason you can’t get rid of. Sometimes, it looks like tiny pin pricks on the surface of a compact disc. And there are other times when the whole thing changes color. In any case, when you run into what’s known as disc rot, you’re out a great album or an interesting movie.”

ZDNet: What’s going on with Microsoft’s to-do list successor to Wunderlist?. “Cheshire is considerably less functional than Wunderlist at this point in its development, say a number of those with access to the beta, which has been ongoing for close to nine months, at least. It’s not clear when Microsoft plans to make Cheshire available as a public beta and/or final release (beyond rumors of some time in 2017 for final). I asked Microsoft officials for comment on Cheshire, but a spokesperson said the company had none.”

Gizmodo: How a Video Game Chat Client Became the Web’s New Cesspool of Abuse. “Over 25 million users have flocked to Discord, a text and voice platform for gamers, since its launch in May of 2015. Despite the company raising at least 30 million in venture capital funding, the company has only five ‘customer experience’ personnel and no moderators on its staff. ” This is called a recipe for disaster.


The Register: Chrome 56 quietly added Bluetooth snitch API. “When Google popped out Chrome 56 at the end of January it was keen to remind us it’s making the web safer by flagging non-HTTPS sites. But Google made little effort to publicise another feature that’s decidedly less friendly to privacy, because it lets websites connect to Bluetooth devices and harvest information from them through the browser.”

BloombergQuint: Google Coordinates Funding of Legal Brief Versus Trump Order. “Google parent Alphabet Inc. is organizing the funding of the legal brief signed by more than 120 companies that oppose President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, according to people familiar with the arrangement. While Alphabet is coordinating with Washington, D.C.-based law firm Mayer Brown LLP to handle the amicus brief, other companies have offered to fund a share of the costs, the people said. Alphabet plans to accept the offers, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. A representative for the search giant declined to comment.”


First Monday: Public and proud: How and why some citizens use their Facebook network as a personal public . “This paper is a qualitative study that examines how and why some citizens use their Facebook network as a personal public. The concept of the personal public in this study is defined by a relative sense of privacy in the closed individual Facebook network, together with a sense of publicness based on the mass and diversity of these connections. The paper goes on to argue that the individual may go through a reflection process as they move from personal thinking to public political communication. The process does not guarantee increased reflection, but it serves to show potential individual gains from public political communication that have so far been understudied in research on political debates on Facebook.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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