Holocaust, Quantum Mechanics, Facebook Messenger: Friday Buzz, March 10, 2017


From the International Tracing Service: Card index on Jewish victims now online. “What is left of the card index of the Reich Association of Jews in Germany (Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland) comprises 32,264 registration cards, primarily those of Jewish school pupils, emigrants and deceased persons. Now interested persons all over the world have access to these cards. The ITS has moreover placed an additional 15,000 documents pertaining to the death marches online, thus supplementing the first group of documents on that subject published on its internet portal last year.”

Science Daily: New data mining resource for organic materials available. “Published by the Condensed Matter research group at the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (NORDITA) at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, the Organic Materials Database is intended as a data mining resource for research into the electric and magnetic properties of crystals, which are primarily defined by their electronic band structure — an energy spectrum of electrons motion which stem from their quantum-mechanical properties.”


TechCrunch: Facebook Messenger Day launches as a Snapchat Stories clone for making plans. “Today Facebook is globally launching Messenger Day to put a utilitarian spin on the slideshow format. While Snapchat Stories is for retelling what you’ve done, Messenger Day’s ‘Who’s up for?’ filters and Active Now indicators help you find friends to chat and meet up with.” One day I hope someone writes a book about Facebook and Snapchat.

The Next Web: Facebook launches its first real VR app for 360 photos and videos. “Facebook is today launching its first dedicated app for watching 360-degree videos, Facebook 360. It’s currently only available on the Samsung Gear VR, but it’s likely just the first of such apps to come.”

Engadget: Google’s new reCAPTCHA automatically tells you’re not a bot. Well thank goodness, I need some affirmation. “Over the years, Google has utilised a number of methods to distinguish between human and bots on the web. Its take on the CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) test, known as reCAPTCHA, has required you to transcribe distorted words, confirm Street View addresses or simply just tick a box. Soon, you won’t need to do the hard work, because Google’s making the system invisible.”

G Suite (formerly Google Apps) is getting some updates. “In order for Google to deliver on this cloud promise, we must not only meet enterprise companies where they are today in terms of security, compliance, and connectivity standards — but also raise the bar for what’s possible with our advanced machine intelligence capabilities. That’s why we introduced G Suite. In the past year, we’ve launched more than 300 features and updates to help customers reach their cloud potential. And today, at Google Cloud Next, we announced the next generation of our collaboration and communication tools, designed to help our customers take it to the next level…”

Pinterest has acquired Jelly. “Biz Stone, the app’s co-founder, says that Jelly and Pinterest actually have very similar missions, with Pinterest delivering search results largely pinned by actual people and Jelly crafting a human-powered search engine.”


MakeUseOf: How to Use Google Keep to Organize Your Travel Plans. “You need hotel reservations, flights, and a list of activities. When you make travel plans keeping it all together is essential. A humble tool packs a few powerful features you shouldn’t overlook for your next trip. Google Keep is a useful note-taking tool that provides the organizational features you need when you are on the road alone or with a group. And it’s easy!”


New Zealand Herald: Dutch minister calls for funds for Syria war crimes database. “The Dutch foreign minister paid tribute Thursday to activists who risk their lives in Syria to gather evidence of atrocities, saying it should be used to prosecute those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders was speaking at a meeting of experts who are discussing progress in setting up an independent database to store and analyze evidence of war crimes in Syria’s civil war.”

Los Angeles Times: Snap’s nonvoting stock — everything sold in the IPO — is junk, investor says. “Los Angeles technology company Snap Inc.’s historic decision to go public last week with an issuance of only nonvoting shares sets a damaging precedent for the stock market, leading investors warned Thursday. The comments came as a government advisory group comprised of investor advocates began weighing whether to urge regulators to ban public companies from significantly curbing the power of certain shareholders.”


The Globe and Mail: Canadian firms can’t use social media to report key information, CSA rules. “Canadian companies will not be joining in the U.S. trend of releasing big news first on Twitter or Facebook. The Canadian Securities Administrators, an umbrella group for provincial securities commissions, issued new guidelines Thursday for social media usage, telling companies they must continue to report material information with traditional press releases but can use social media to further disseminate the news.”

Reuters: Google reported by Danish watchdog for unlimited data storage. “A Danish consumer watchdog has reported Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) to the Danish Data Protection Agency for potentially breaking privacy laws by not capping the amount of time personal data is stored on Google’s servers, the watchdog said in a statement on Tuesday.” Good morning, Internet…

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