Minecraft Mods, Curtis Institute of Music, Facebook, More: Monday Buzz, March 27, 2017


MultiMC has started an archive of mods for old versions of Minecraft. “We’ll be doing this by providing a website which agregates links to the official downloads for mods which are still available from their official sources. For mods which are no longer available, we will provide our own download links.” There is very little here at the moment, but it’s new.

In development: a digital archive for the Curtis Institute of Music (PRESS RELEASE). “The Curtis Institute of Music has recordings dating back to 1924, including original broadcasts from the National Broadcasting Company, as well as the recordings of its current and former students, many of whom have gone on to become successful contemporary performance musicians and composers, such as Leonard Bernstein, Jennifer Higdon and George Walker. The Institute also holds copies of its founder’s correspondence, including a letter from Helen Keller, and a special collection of sheet music. In addition, Curtis is digitally preserving the institutional records related to running the school.”


The Next Web: Facebook to test a GIF button for comments. “For all the viral videos and memes shared on Facebook, the social network has been surprisingly cold towards the GIF, as there’s no simple way for every day users to post them without visiting an external website. That may change at last.”


MakeUseOf: Back Up Your Photographs Automatically With These 8 Tools. “Photos on your PC can contain a treasure trove of memories. One of the best ways to ensure you never lose them is by backing them up. Thankfully, there are tons of useful tools that let you make backups of all the photos on your PC. We’ve listed our top eight.”

PC World: Three privacy tools that block your Internet provider from tracking you. “It’s on. Recently, the United States Senate saw fit to allow Internet Service Providers to sell your web browsing history and other data to third parties. The action has yet to pass the House, but if it does, it means anyone concerned about privacy will have to protect themselves against over zealous data collection from their ISP. Some privacy-conscious folks are already doing that—but many aren’t.”

BetaNews: How to create your first Alexa skill . “For the last couple of weeks, Graham, Marcel, Sinem and I, from Red Badger, have been experimenting with Amazon’s Alexa Echo Dot. An Electric Hockey Puck that uses voice recognition powered by Amazon Alexa voice assistant. In this post, I’d like to explain how one goes about creating their first Alexa skill.” It’s less a step by step and more an overview.


The Globe and Mail: Statistics Canada’s excuse for database outage not adding up: former chief. “Statistics Canada’s online database crashed for the second time in two weeks, failing on one of the federal government’s most important days – the unveiling of the budget. The latest data outage started this Wednesday. The failure occurred just days after Statscan’s online database of economic and social information, also known as CANSIM, suffered from a week-long blackout.”

Recode: Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and YouTube are bidding to stream the NFL’s Thursday night games. “The NFL is selling the rights to stream its ‘Thursday Night Football’ games next season, and at least four big tech companies are interested. Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and Google’s YouTube have all submitted proposals to the NFL in the hope of streaming the games, according to two sources familiar with the process.”

TechCrunch: Matroid can watch videos and detect anything within them. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth that times the frame rate. Matroid, a computer vision startup launching out of stealth today, enables anyone to take advantage of the information inherently embedded in video. You can build your own detector within the company’s intuitive, non-technical, web platform to detect people and most other objects.”


Baltimore Sun: Firebombing suspect’s social-media moves a sign that the revolution is being live-streamed. “Police say [Antonio] Wright threw two Molotov cocktails into a home in the 1200 block of Greenmount Ave. killing two teenagers and injuring six other persons. Beyond the horror of the crime itself, what makes this social media moment especially compelling is the way video and Facebook are being used by Wright and the woman who live-streamed his arrest to create a narrative that counters the official version of events from law enforcement authorities.”


Sunlight Foundation: If the White House does not publish visitor logs, Congress should mandate disclosure. “Today, Sunlight announced its support for the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act. This bill would require the White House to publish the visitor logs that are collected by the Secret Service when members of the public are vetted to enter 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

MIT News: Protecting web users’ privacy: System for disguising database queries could prevent customer profiling and price gouging.. “Most website visits these days entail a database query — to look up airline flights, for example, or to find the fastest driving route between two addresses. But online database queries can reveal a surprising amount of information about the people making them. And some travel sites have been known to jack up the prices on flights whose routes are drawing an unusually high volume of queries.” Good morning, Internet…

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