EPA Open Data, Chamorro Genealogy, Video Game Consoles, More: Tuesday Buzz, April 25, 2017

Medium: US EPA Orders Turn-Off of Open Data Service on 28-Apr-2017. “Last week, after numerous conversations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Information (OEI), and various technical contractors who support them, we were notified that funding is not available to continue operation U.S. EPA’s flagship Open Data Web service. The EPA Open Data Web service represents the U.S. Government’s largest civilian linked data service.”


Guam Daily Post: Roots researcher discovers DNA origins. “Chamorro Roots researcher Bernard Punzalan uses historical records to develop the massive archive that helps thousands of Guam’s native inhabitants discover their ancestry. Recently DNA sampling has added another layer to Punzalan’s family history, and the roots of his tree, he discovered, go much, much deeper. Chamorro Roots is a digital archive of more than 350,000 records compiled by Punzalan in recent years. It started as a means of self-discovery before becoming a widely used resource for Chamorros at home and abroad.”

New to me: a database of video game console variations. Not everything, though, just the top video game companies. “This website is the aim to database all the console variations in the world of the 5 most impactful companies: Nintendo, Atari, Sega, Sony and Microsoft. We have all the console and controller variations ever made.”


Europeana Pro: 470,000 images from Europeana join the new Creative Commons Search database. “The beta version of CC Search has recently integrated 470,00 images from Europeana into its database, which already incorporates artworks provided by cultural institutions and repositories from across the globe. This variety of content includes February’s landmark release from Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as large collections of freely licensed images from 500px, Flickr, Rijksmuseum, and New York Public Library. Europeana’s new addition brings the number of searchable objects on CC Search up to 10,022,832, making Europeana its second main provider, and allowing the discovery of major works by masters of European art as well as photographs, prints, drawings, and more. More openly licensed material from Europeana will be added as CC Search continues to grow.”

Miami Herald: Republicans want to muzzle database of consumer complaints . “U.S. consumers filed nearly 300,000 complaints last year about their dealings with banks, credit card issuers and other financial services companies. Most of those complaints were compiled and made available for anyone to see as part of a database administered by the federal government. But Republicans working to overhaul the financial regulation law known as Dodd-Frank want to bar publication of information from that database, which industry groups have long criticized as potentially misleading and incomplete.”


From Amit Agarwal: How to Unsubscribe from Mailing Lists and Junk Newsletters in Gmail . “Christian Heilmann’s tweet – Feature request for Gmail: automatically find and follow the unsubscribe link in all highlighted emails – prompted me to build an automated system for unsubscribing your Gmail address from the bulk senders. Here’s how it looks like…”

Lifehacker: Collate Is a Privacy-Focused Evernote-Style Notes App. “Windows/Mac/Linux: When it comes to notes apps, you have a seemingly endless trail of options, but it’s rare to find one that’s cross-platform, supports the Evernote-style of rich notes, and works without needing an account somewhere. Collate is just that.”


The Atlantic: Yahoo’s Demise Is a Death Knell for Digital News Orgs. “Yahoo filed its final quarterly report this week. And just like that, the once-mighty tech firm is exiting public trading. The company has been unraveling—slowly and spectacularly—for more than a decade now. But this particular moment is a good one for reflecting on how Yahoo’s troubles are likely to be replicated in a wave across the web, and soon, among businesses like news organizations that rely heavily on advertising revenue for their survival.”

The New York Times: How Google Cashes In on the Space Right Under the Search Bar. “When Google’s parent company, Alphabet, reports earnings this week, the internet giant’s big profits are expected to demonstrate yet again that the billboard space accompanying Google queries is the web’s most valuable real estate for advertisements. In the 17 years since Google introduced text-based advertising above search results, the company has allocated more space to ads and created new forms of them. The ad creep on Google has pushed ‘organic’ (unpaid) search results farther down the screen, an effect even more pronounced on the smaller displays of smartphones.”

TechCrunch: The $999 SlingStudio makes it easy to produce multi-camera Facebook Live and YouTube streams. “Sling Media, the Dish subsidiary you probably know for its Slingbox and Sling TV service, is announcing its SlingStudio hardware today. With this, Sling Media is entering a completely new market because unlike its previous offerings, which targeted consumers, the $999 SlingStudio is meant for video creators who want to produce live video streams for Facebook Live or YouTube.”


PC World: There’s now a tool to test for NSA spyware. “Luke Jennings of security firm Countercept wrote a script in response to last week’s high-profile leak of cyberweapons that some researchers believe are from the U.S. National Security Agency. It’s designed to detect an implant called Doublepulsar, which is delivered by many of the Windows-based exploits found in the leak and can be used to load other malware.”

Naked Security: Ransomware hidden inside a Word document that’s hidden inside a PDF. “SophosLabs has discovered a new spam campaign where ransomware is downloaded and run by a macro hidden inside a Word document that is in turn nested within a PDF, like a Russian matryoshka doll. The ransomware in this case appears to be a variant of Locky. Most antivirus filters know how to recognize suspicious macros in documents, but hiding those document inside a PDF could be a successful way to sidestep it, according to SophosLabs researchers.” Good morning, Internet…

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