19th Century Letters, Camera Settings, Geometry Diagrams, More: Tuesday Buzz, June 6, 2017


Daily Telegraph (Australia): City council releases hundreds of 19th century complaint letters written by Sydney’s most irked residents and ratepayers. “Whinges about neighbours boiling smelly tripe in their backyard and business owners moaning about delays in tramlines being built outside their premises are just two of the thousands of grumbles that can now be accessed through the council’s online archives. The correspondence from irked and irritated Sydneysiders living in areas including Newtown, Camperdown, Pyrmont and Ultimo were found among more than 56,000 hand written letters posted to the council between 1843 and 1899.”

New-to-me: a search engine which allows you to find images by camera settings. From MakeUseOf: How to Find Photos to Study by Lens, Aperture, Shutter Speed, and Genre. “…photography is as much about ideas as it is the gear you’re packing. It’s great to get inspired by the work of someone you admire, but it’s tough to learn from them when you don’t have anything more than the kit lens. That’s where ShutterDial comes into play. This photography search engine helps you search for images by camera settings, including lens type and camera body. With it, you can filter images according to your available gear and study images that you can recreate right now.”

Stanford: Stanford classics student traces history of ancient geometry diagrams. “”Humans have been drawing lines and circles to grasp geometrical concepts and describe the laws of nature for about 5,000 years. But most scholars have approached the history of ancient mathematical sciences through close examinations of texts and writings, an area of study called philology. Eunsoo Lee, a PhD student in classics, hopes to expand that scholarship by tracing the changes and variations in diagrams over the course of human history…. Over the past six years, Lee has examined changes in diagrams used in Elements, a collection of 13 books on mathematical and geometric concepts attributed to Euclid, the ancient Greek mathematician who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, around 300 BCE. He is attempting to build a database of diagrams as part of his dissertation project.” I took a quick look at the Web site and I don’t know if it’s me or him, but the database is not available.


Hey genealogists! Miriam Robbins has started a new Facebook group for historical city directories. “I’ve just created a new Facebook group, Historical City Directories, for those genealogists and historians who are interested in learning about and sharing resources for historical city (and other types of) directories. It is a closed group, and I encourage you to join. You must have a Facebook account, of course, and you will be asked a question before being admitted to the group. This will help cut down on spammers.”

Tubefilter: YouTube Doubles Down On Its Coverage Of Video Game Conference E3. “For the third year in a row, YouTube plans deliver live streaming coverage of E3, the annual conference at which video game developers and publishers will tease upcoming projects. In 2017, YouTube’s E3 coverage will double in size. As first reported by Variety, the video site plans to offer two days of live streaming content rather than just one.”


TODAY (Singapore): On social media, Cambodia’s Buddhist monks double as election correspondents. “Luon Sovath, 37, is the most prominent member of a group of monks who have become citizen journalists, monitoring political events and human rights conditions in Cambodia on social media. Their efforts are part of a growing campaign by Cambodians who are using the Internet to get around the government’s stranglehold on mass media and civic life.”

The Harvard Crimson: Harvard Rescinds Acceptances for At Least Ten Students for Obscene Memes. “Harvard College rescinded admissions offers to at least ten prospective members of the Class of 2021 after the students traded sexually explicit memes and messages that sometimes targeted minority groups in a private Facebook group chat. A handful of admitted students formed the messaging group—titled, at one point, ‘Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens’ —on Facebook in late December, according to two incoming freshmen.”


The Telegraph: Price comparison site Kelkoo takes Google to High Court over abuse of search dominance. “Google faces a new front in its war with Europe over allegations of abusing its search dominance, with the price comparison website Kelkoo suing the internet giant in the High Court. Kelkoo claims Google has crippled its business by illegally exploiting its monopoly over internet searches, and is seeking damages that could run to millions of pounds.”

Bleeping Computer: Hadoop Servers Expose Over 5 Petabytes of Data. “Improperly configured HDFS-based servers, mostly Hadoop installs, are exposing over five petabytes of information, according to John Matherly, founder of Shodan, a search engine for discovering Internet-connected devices. The expert says he discovered 4,487 instances of HDFS-based servers available via public IP addresses and without authentication, which in total exposed over 5,120 TB of data.”


TechCrunch: Facebook is broken. “The problem is this: Facebook has become a feedback loop which can and does, despite its best intentions, become a vicious spiral. At Facebook’s scale, behavioral targeting doesn’t just reflect our behavior, it actually influences it. Over time, a service which was supposed to connect humanity is actually partitioning us into fractal disconnected bubbles.”

Apte Research Group: Mapping air pollution with Google Street View cars. “We used two specially equipped Google Street View cars to repeatedly map gaseous and particulate air pollution, block-by-block, in Oakland, California. By using a year of repeated measurements, our algorithms were able to map pollution at 30 meter scales – an unprecedented resolution for a measurement dataset. We find that air quality can persistently vary even within individual city blocks. We determined that the data requirements for making stable, high-resolution pollution maps are surprisingly modest. This straightforward measurement technique could be scaled up to other cities around the world.”

Rochdale Online: Parents too scared of social media judgement to admit their child had an accident, new research reveals. “Parents left feeling inadequate after reading posts on Facebook and Instagram reveal they would not be willing to admit to their child suffering a serious accident for fear of being judged on social media, new research reveals. The research, from the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), reveals that nearly three quarters (71%) of parents now feel under too much pressure to be ‘perfect parents’, with one in three (35%) unwilling to admit to an accident or near miss for fear of being judged.” Good morning, Internet…

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