NASA Images, Herbicide Injury, Google, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, March 29, 2017


New from NASA, and I hope you have a spare couple hundred hours: NASA Unveils New Searchable Video, Audio and Imagery Library for the Public. “NASA officially has launched a new resource to help the public search and download out-of-this-world images, videos and audio files by keyword and metadata searches from The NASA Image and Video Library website consolidates imagery spread across more than 60 collections into one searchable location. ASA Image and Video Library allows users to search, discover and download a treasure trove of more than 140,000 NASA images, videos and audio files from across the agency’s many missions in aeronautics, astrophysics, Earth science, human spaceflight, and more. Users now can embed content in their own sites and choose from multiple resolutions to download. The website also displays the metadata associated with images.”

University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture: Online database can help ag professionals, homeowners diagnose herbicide injury to plants. “Agriculture professionals and homeowners now have an online reference if they suspect their plants have sustained injury from herbicides. The new Herbicide Injury Database… contains more than 1,000 images collected across two decades showing and cross-referencing herbicides and the types of damage to many types of plants.”


Search Engine Land: Official: Google makes change, results are no longer in denial over ‘Did the Holocaust happen?’. “Google’s been under intense pressure to alter its results after it was found a week ago to be listing a Holocaust-denial site first for a search on ‘Did the Holocaust happen.’ Now, that’s finally changing.”

The Keyword: Google app: the ultimate Search tool for iPhone users. “Millions of iPhone and iPad users around the world rely on the Google app as a go-to resource for Search. Now we’ve added some new features to make your Search experience even better. Ready to become an iPhone power user? Here’s how.”


Gizmodo: University Threatens Destruction of Millions of Specimens if Museum of Natural History Collection Not Relocated. “According to a Facebook post from the University of Louisiana at Monroe Museum of Natural History, administrators have demanded that 6.5 million plant and fish specimens must find a new home on campus within 48 hours or they will be have to be donated or destroyed. Apparently, space is needed for the track team.” Archival photos offer research value. “Launched just six weeks ago, Smapshot is a public web portal on which anyone can geotag aerial photographs of Switzerland from the 1960s. They superimpose the provided photos onto a virtual map of contemporary Switzerland that was built from data provided by the Federal Office of Topography (Swisstopo). Users can then add anecdotes about the location, provide additional topographical information, chat with other users and share their discoveries on Facebook. And as thanks for their help, they are allowed to print the archival photo that they geotagged.”

Inside Higher Ed: ‘The Fight of Our Generation’. “Librarians are gearing up for a “marathon” effort to preserve federal funding for libraries, research, the arts and the humanities. The Trump administration earlier this month outlined its first budget plan, which if enacted would bring cuts to many federal programs on which libraries rely and eliminate several independent agencies.”


The Verge: Congress just cleared the way for internet providers to sell your web browsing history. “Internet providers now just need a signature from President Trump before they’re free to take, share, and even sell your web browsing history without your permission. The House of Representatives passed a resolution today overturning an Obama-era FCC rule that required internet providers to get customers’ permission before sharing their browsing history with other companies. The rules also required internet providers to protect that data from hackers and inform customers of any breaches.”

ZDNet: This is the dishwasher with an unsecured web server we deserve. “In 2017, previous prognostications of Refrigergeddon — where the internet of vulnerable things begins to turn malicious — may have landed on the wrong whitegood, with manufacturer Miele showing how Washergeddon could start. Over the weekend, CVE-2017-7240 appeared from Jens Regel of Schneider & Wulf, who said he found a directory traversal vulnerability on a Miele Professional PG 8528 appliance.”


Ars Technica: Critical thinking is one for the history books. “Rejection of epistemically unwarranted ideas doesn’t correlate with scientific knowledge, and college students tend to have as much trouble coming to grips with reality as anyone else. Rather than hope that a general exposure to academia would produce critical thinking skills, the authors took matters into their own hands, designing a course that used history and archeology to critically analyze a variety of epistemically unwarranted ideas that have kicked around for a while: the existence of Sasquatch, the Bermuda Triangle, mummies’ curses, the lost continent of Atlantis, ancient aliens, and more. All of these were handled critically, with a focus on evidence, credibility of sources, and so on.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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