American Sign Language,, Wall Street Journal, More: Sunday Buzz, February 19, 2017


GIF site Giphy has released new resources for learning sign language. “Giphy released an extensive GIF library on Thursday with more than 2,000 words and phrases in American Sign Language. To create the GIFs, Giphy cut videos from the popular educational series Sign With Robert, adding text descriptions to make the GIFs look like looping flash cards.” As the article notes, there are plans for more materials.


MeriTalk: White House Open Data Disappears, Raising Transparency Questions. “The White House has deleted all of the information that was housed on its open data portal, a move that is creating confusion about the digital transparency of the Trump administration. The database, which was deleted last week, contained information about government salaries, visitor records, and government research. Most of the information has been archived on the Obama administration’s White House page, but some external links and internal pages no longer work in that format.”

Search Engine Land: No more free ride: Wall Street Journal pulls content out of Google’s “First Click Free” program . “The Wall Street Journal has confirmed to Search Engine Land that it has removed its content from Google’s First Click Free program, a system that allows Google searchers to access a limited amount of news content without a paywall barrier.”

Bloomberg: Alphabet Scraps Plan to Blanket Globe With Internet Balloons. “In 2013, Google ran its first tests for Project Loon, an ambitious effort to circulate broadband-emitting balloons across the globe. On Thursday, the company said that’s not necessary anymore.”

TNW: Facebook tests shortcut buttons to rivals like Snapchat and Twitter Wow, this would be a serious pivot. “Facebook appears to be warming up a bit to other social networks. The company is testing displaying links to your other social media accounts prominently on your Facebook profile.”


Fossbytes: How To Contribute To Open Source? — GitHub Just Released A Massive Guide To Help You. “GitHub recently launched a detailed guide about contributing to open source. Since long, newbies have struggled to find projects to contribute to and what exactly to start contributing to them. Veterans have struggled to make new contributors feel welcome and encouraged for contributions. The guide provides detailed timeline steps of what to look for, how to do certain things, how to talk to people of the projects, what things to take care of, and be up and running with your first open source contribution.”


From Delaware Online: UD digitizing thousands of Delaware newspapers. “Newspapers are not meant to last forever, as librarians at the University of Delaware can tell you. They’re printed on low-cost, non-archival paper, which ages quickly and crumbles. The ink fades, making it difficult to read. The paper itself yellows. Newspapers are one the few chronicles of day-to-day history, and they are faulty, it turns out. Which is why the University of Delaware is working hard to preserve them before it is too late.”

Genealogists, you might like this article from TechCrunch: Mylestone lets you access your personal memories through Alexa. “What if our photographs and social media updates could be turned into memories we – or our children – could later access just by asking a virtual assistant, like Amazon’s Alexa? That’s the premise behind a new startup called Mylestone, which is experimenting with turning our digital footprints into narratives that help us recall highlights from our lives, as well as those of our family members and other loved ones.”


Ghacks: Google discloses another unpatched Windows vulnerability. “Google gives companies 90 days after disclosure of vulnerabilities to fix the issue. If the time period elapses without a patch that is made available to the public, the vulnerability is disclosed to the public. [Mateusz] Jurczyk reported the issue to Microsoft on November 16, 2016. Microsoft did not release a patch in time, which is why the system revealed the issue and the example exploit code.”

WIRED: Android Phone Hacks Could Unlock Millions of Cars. “IN THE ERA of the connected car, automakers and third-party developers compete to turn smartphones into vehicular remote controls, allowing drivers to locate, lock, and unlock their rides with a screen tap. Some apps even summon cars and trucks in Knight Rider fashion. But phones can be hacked. And when they are, those car-connected features can fall into the hands of hackers, too.”


The Verge: I don’t need Dropbox anymore, and it’s all Google’s fault
. “For close to a decade, the first app I’ve installed on any new device has been Dropbox. That trusty blue-and-white logo has been my security blanket for storing files online, helping me do the backing up I’m terrible at, and also keeping me sane while switching between review devices every week. But something’s changed now, and the catalyst for that change is Google Photos.”


This showed up in my Google Alerts from,and I’m not sure if I’m impressed or squicked out: Microorganisms in the Library: Bringing Centuries-Old Books to Life . “Sarah Craske describes herself as a ‘British artist, without category.’ Her work, at the intersection of art and science, revolves around the development of her own discipline: Biological Hermeneutics. Hermeneutics refers to the interpretation of texts, a term commonly used regarding the bible or philosophy. Craske translates the concept to biology by exploring the role of books as ‘centers of microbial data and data transfer.'” I think I’m squicked first, then I get past that and am impressed. Good morning, Internet…

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