Historic New York, PubMed, Firefox, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, April 20, 2017


Brownstoner: Grab Your Phone and Delve Into Historic Images of New York With the Urban Archive App. “Ever wonder what that old building you walk by every day used to look like? A new app — Urban Archive — is here to help, mining the collections of New York City’s institutions to create a mobile archive for the public. Working with Brooklyn Historical Society, the New York Public Library and the Museum of the City of New York, the team behind Urban Archive has already made more than 2,500 historic images accessible and has more than 50,000 queued up and waiting.”


Vox: Too many studies have hidden conflicts of interest. A new tool makes it easier to see them.. “PubMed — a powerful taxpayer-funded search engine for medical study abstracts that doctors, patients, and the media rely on — just started displaying conflict of interest data up front. New information about funding sources and potential conflicts will now appear right below study abstracts, which means readers don’t have even to open a journal article to be made aware of any possible industry influence over studies.”

CNET: ​Newest Firefox browser bashes crashes. “Nobody likes it when a web browser bombs instead of opening up a website. So if you’re a Firefox user, you should be happy with Tuesday’s release of Firefox 53, which cuts down browser crashes by 10 percent for most people on Windows computers.”

Google Blog: Scan your printed photos in just one tap. “PhotoScan lets you save digital copies of your printed photos in just a few taps. Since we launched the app in November, you’ve all scanned a lot of photos — almost 50 million in fact! Today we’re making a few updates to ensure these moments—once trapped in a photo album in your attic— are even easier to scan and share, so you can take them with you wherever you go.”

Digital Trends: Upcoming Instagram Update Will Let You Browse Photos While Offline. “Instagram, the picture-focused network of food photographers and budding models, recently learned a new trick: The ability to work offline. At the F8 developer conference in San Jose, California, on Tuesday, parent company Facebook announced an update that will enable browsing on Instagram without the need for an internet connection.”

Microsoft is shutting down Wunderlist which makes me mad. Not as mad as Google shutting down Google Reader, but mad. “Microsoft acquired the popular mobile to do list application Wunderlist back in 2015, and now it’s preparing users for its eventual demise with the release of its new application ‘To-Do,’ announced today. The new app was built by the team behind Wunderlist, and will bring in the favorite elements of that app in the months ahead, Microsoft says. The company also added that it won’t shut down Wunderlist until it’s confident that it has ‘incorporated the best of Wunderlist into To-Do.'” After all the stupidity around Windows 10 I don’t trust that I and Microsoft will have the same idea about “confident”.


Stanford: Digital archive of antique wax figures becomes a teaching tool. “Huddled over a virtual dissection table, Stanford medical students zoomed in on glistening muscles and nerves in the neck by swiping their fingers across the giant touchscreen designed to visualize an entire body in three dimensions. What they were looking at, however, were not virtual renderings of human anatomy, or even images of the real thing; rather, they were examining high-resolution photographs of wax models made between the mid-17th and mid-19th centuries.” Warning: these wax models could be deeply disturbing.

TechCrunch: Streamers flock to YouTube Live, but the money (and crowd) is still at Twitch. “YouTube Live is making impressive strides in catching up to incumbent Twitch, but it has a long way to go yet. On the bright side, it doesn’t look like they’ll run out of road: Streaming looks to be a fairly sustainable business, suggest stats from Streamlabs’ latest report.”


Did you stay at a Holiday Inn property at the end of last year? Better read this from Gizmodo: Holiday Inn Cops to Massive Credit Card Data Breach. “It seems like every day there’s news of another significant data breach, so here’s today’s: An internal investigation by the InterContinental Hotel Group, which owns Holiday Inn, has revealed that guests at more than a thousand of their hotels had their credit card details stolen. The company identified malware on front desk systems used between September 29 and December 29 in 2016, but that malware may not have been erased until the investigation was completed in March 2017.”

Moscow Times: Twitter Reportedly Caves to Russian Censors, Will Possibly Move Data to Russian Servers. “Russia’s media censor, Roskomnadzor, says Twitter has agreed to the transfer its Russian users’ data to Russian servers by mid-2018. In a press statement, Roskomnadzor said the agency’s chief, Alexander Zharov, has received confirmation from Twitter communications head Sinead McSweeney that the company is currently ‘in the process of determining what information about Russian citizens and organizations in commercial relations with Twitter in Russia can be stored in the Russian Federation.'” Good afternoon, Internet…

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