Dinosaurs, Wiretaps, Boxing, More: Sunday Buzz, June 11, 2017


From the SV-POW blog (I’m afraid if I put the whole blog name in the headline I’ll break Twitter; it’s the Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week): A database of all dinosaur specimens in the world. “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a database of all dinosaur specimens? Well, there is — or at least, it’s on its way. Gunnar Bivens, who we know from SV-POW! comments as bricksmashtv, in creaing a vast Google-Docs Spreadsheet which at the time of writing has the following entries in various tabs…”

EFF: California Finally Releases Wiretap Dataset. “In 2016, California investigators used state wiretapping laws 563 times to capture 7.8 million communications from 181,000 people, and only 19% of these communications were incriminating. The year’s wiretaps cost nearly $30 million. We know this, and much more, now that the California Department of Justice (CADOJ) for the first time has released to EFF the dataset underlying its annual wiretap report to the state legislature.”


The National Library of Australia has put up a new Flickr album of boxing photos. From the home page: “Boxing photographs from the National Library’s collections showing the variations in boxing fashion from the 1870’s to the 1950’s. Including belted long johns and trunks of all kinds, dressing gowns, boots, plimsolls, sock-suspenders and of course the all-important elastic-waisted ‘boxer-shorts’ specifically developed for the sport by Jacob Golomb in 1925.”

Google Blog: Find Pride events on the map . “People everywhere are celebrating Pride this month. To help you find your local parade and events or just navigate around the crowds, we’ve added the parade routes and event info to Google Maps on both Android and iOS in 35 cities worldwide.”

Engadget: Twitter to stream its first basic cable drama: TNT’s ‘Claws’. “TNT is premiering its new drama ‘Claws’ this Sunday, but if you miss the first showing on the network itself, you can catch an encore on Twitter.”

TechCrunch: Algolia raises $53 million for its search engine API. “French startup Algolia just raised a $53 million Series B round led by Accel, a couple of years after raising $18.3 million with… Accel also leading the round. So it looks like it’s a love story between the VC firm and the software-as-a-service startup. The reason is quite simple. Algolia is still growing like crazy, with its annual recurring revenue doubling every year. Algolia’s goal hasn’t changed — the startup wants to provide the best search experience to everyone building websites and apps out there.”


Painopolis, a podcast for people dealing with chronic pain, has released an episode about how to search PubMed. It’s audio, but the page I’m linking to also includes a 30-minute video tutorial on PubMed. This is very oriented toward consumers/beginners. (Some of the comments about “skipping the math” in medical research papers might make you cringe.)


Bloomberg: Democracy Never Faced a Threat Like Facebook. “The social media giants based in the U.S. may soon face a new attack in Europe: There’s a perception among activists and officials that the basis of their business model — targeted advertising — can be a threat to democracy.”

CBC News: Clock ticking on historical prison documents, former correctional officer fears . “David Harvey carefully turns the pages of an old prison ledger, the pages ripped, the binding cracking as he shuffles each page. It’s this document and hundreds more that are at stake if someone doesn’t take the necessary steps to preserve them, he says.”

Motherboard: Wikipedians Want to Put Wikipedia on the Dark Web. “Wikipedians want to give users the ability to access the world’s most popular encyclopedia in the most secure way possible: On the dark web. Cristian Consonni, Former Vice President of Wikimedia Italy, proposed Monday that Wikipedians should create a dark web version of the site accessible only via the Tor Browser.”


Politico: Trump’s social media director hit for Hatch Act violation. “President Donald Trump’s social media director Dan Scavino violated the law when he called on Trump’s allies to oust a Republican congressman from office in April, according to the Office of Special Counsel.”


University of Washington: Wide-Open accelerates release of scientific data by automatically identifying overdue datasets . “Advances in genetic sequencing and other technologies have led to an explosion of biological data, and decades of openness — both spontaneous and enforced — mean that scientists routinely deposit data in online repositories. But researchers are only human and may forget to tell a repository to release the data when a paper is published. A new tool called Wide-Open, developed by University of Washington and Microsoft researchers Maxim Grechkin, Bill Howe and Hoifung Poon, and described in an article publishing June 8 in PLOS Biology, hopes to get around this problem and help advance open science by automatically detecting datasets that are overdue for publication.” Good morning, Internet…

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