Nintendo NES, Company Logos, Pocket, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, February 28, 2017


Now available: a new archive of ephemera about the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which goes back all the way to when it was still called the Advanced Video System (AVS). “In developing the Foundation’s Digital Library, one need we identified early on was the ability to house special collections – that is, groups of related media, typically all tied together by one subject matter. One of our core beliefs is that historians are missing many of the tools needed to tell the stories of video games, so we felt that collecting an extensive group of digital artifacts related to one subject matter might go far in ‘open sourcing’ telling that subject’s story. Our first special collection is one near and dear to me, having written several articles on the subject myself: The Nintendo USA NES Launch Collection.” It looks like the archive is maintained in a set of Google Drive folders. Wild!

A new Web site aggregates information on logos going back to the 1950s. “Created by a group of Swiss designers, who are now located around the world, Logobook aims to serve as both a resource and an inspiration to design fans. Currently in beta phase, its creators are adding to it all the time.” I kind of love the Z.O.P.P. logo from Poland, 1970.


I have no idea how I feel about this: Mozilla has acquired Pocket. “Mozilla is growing, experimenting more, and doubling down on our mission to keep the internet healthy, as a global public resource that’s open and accessible to all. As our first strategic acquisition, Pocket contributes to our strategy by growing our mobile presence and providing people everywhere with powerful tools to discover and access high quality web content, on their terms, independent of platform or content silo.” Please don’t mess it up please don’t mess it up please don’t mess it up.

Search Engine Land: Bing UK now displaying National Health Service data for GP & hospital search queries. “According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), the publicly-funded national healthcare system has been working with Bing UK during the last year to improve search results for general practitioner and hospital queries.”


ZDNet: YouTube viewership hits 1 billion hours of video a day. “As the Wall Street Journal first reported, the site reached that milestone in part by powering its recommendations engine with machine learning algorithms. Other factors have contributed to the increase in viewership, including the shift to mobile: A growing number of people have internet access via their mobile devices, and more than 60 percent of YouTube watch time now happens on mobile and tablets.” Just imagine how much more I could be watching if the recommendations engine wasn’t recommending the same videos OVER and OVER and OVER again!

Recode: Facebook plans to lay almost 500 miles of fiber cable in Africa for better wireless internet. “Facebook has a new plan to get more of Africa online: Fiber optic cables. The social giant on Monday announced plans to lay nearly 500 miles of fiber cable in Uganda by the end of the year, infrastructure that Facebook believes will provide internet access for more than three million people.”


It’s not often I read an article relevant to ResearchBuzz that makes me want to punch a wall. Congratulations, History@Work, you did it! (It’s not them, it’s the topic that they brought to my attention.) The title of this bloodboiling item is S.103 threatens digital history initiatives around race. “The power of GIS to illuminate systemic oppression and institutional racism have also attracted the attention of Congress. But not in a way welcome to scholars. On January 11, 2017, Senators Mike Lee (Utah) and Marco Rubio (Florida) introduced S.103–115th Congress, the ‘Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act of 2017.’ The language is blunt: ‘no Federal funds may be used to design, build, maintain, utilize, or provide access to a Federal database of geospatial information on community racial disparities or disparities in access to affordable housing.’ A similar bill was also proposed in the House of Representatives.”

Oh good grief. From Engadget: Connected teddy bears leaked kids’ voices online. “Security researchers have discovered that Spiral Toys’ internet-savvy teddy bears, CloudPets, stored kids’ voice messages to their parents (not to mention names and birthdays) in an insecure, misconfigured database that anyone could access online. While the passwords for the toys’ accounts (over 821,000 of them) were stored in a cryptographic hash, there was no password strength limit — it was trivial to crack many accounts and download voice data at will. And it gets worse.”

Google has let the cat out of the bag about another Windows vulnerability.. “Google’s Project Zero research team has actively been detecting vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s software products for quite some time…. Just a few days ago, it disclosed yet another vulnerability in Windows, however, this time after its standard 90-day deadline had passed. Now, the company has revealed yet another weakness in Microsoft’s software products, and this time, the flaw pertains to Edge and Internet Explorer, which means that it does not only impact Windows 10 but other iterations of the operating system as well.”


Nieman Lab: The Atlantic brings readers into its archives with timelines based on their birthdays. “The Atlantic is 160 years old this year, which has gotten it thinking about ways it can tap its archives. On Monday it launched ‘The Atlantic Life Timeline,’ a feature that lets readers see their lives in the context of events the magazine has covered.” Looks cool both for history and genealogy. Good afternoon, Internet…

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