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Armenian Monasteries, Pharmaceutical Research, Portrait Photography, More: Tuesday Buzz, June 13, 2017

NEW RESOURCES

Smithsonian Magazine: Explore Armenia’s Medieval Monasteries in Interactive 360-Degree Panoramas. “Today, the Armenian landscape is dotted with spectacular churches, the most notable of which date back to the medieval period when the development of communal monasteries transformed these remote locations into centers of art and learning. Today, many of these historic monasteries are still off the beaten path, perched overlooking vast gorges or hidden away in forested valleys. This is part of what the 360GreatArmenia VR app and website is trying to solve for by making virtual tours available from anywhere. In addition to the Khor Virap Monastery​, the project has captured more that 300 virtual reality tours of ancient sites within modern Armenia.”

Chemical & Engineering News: Online tool connects drug industry to U.K. academia. “The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has launched a public, online database that allows researchers from U.K. universities and other organizations to identify opportunities for collaborating with major drug companies.”

Library of Congress: Free to Use and Reuse: 19th-Century Portrait Photos. “Military brass, senators, socialites and even babies—these are a handful of Washington, D.C., subjects photographed by Charles Milton Bell (1848–93) during the last quarter of the 19th century. The Library recently digitized more than 25,000 glass plate negatives produced by Bell and his successors between 1873 and the early years of the 20th century. The photographs document the capital city’s social and political history—and also its fashions and preoccupations.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Blog: Using machine learning to help people make smart decisions about solar energy. “We want to make it easy for people to make informed decisions about whether to invest in solar. Project Sunroof already shows you solar potential and cost saving for more than 60 million individual homes. Today we’re adding a new feature, Project Sunroof Data Explorer, which shows a map of existing solar installations in neighborhoods throughout the United States. Now instead of driving street to street, it’s a little easier to see if houses around you and communities nearby have already gone solar.”

Digital Trends: Google Just Made It A Lot Easier To Print From Chrome OS. “For all the advances we’ve made when it comes to desktop and laptop technology, we still haven’t fully mastered the art of printing. But now, we may finally be nearing a solution. It’s all thanks to the latest Chrome OS — version 59, which has now reached the Stable release channel, has a new ‘Native Printing’ feature, which is to say that it can directly connect to all compatible printers within your network. Better still, it can do this without any cloud connection.”

TechCrunch: Snap is developing a second version of Spectacles which may include augmented reality. “Snap extended the sale of its Spectacles into Europe this month, but already the company is working on a second version of the video-recording glasses which could be quite radical, according to a source with knowledge of the plans.

USEFUL STUFF

Smashing Magazine: A Complete Guide To Switching From HTTP To HTTPS. “Setting up HTTPS can be a bit intimidating for the inexperienced user — it takes many steps with different parties, it requires specific knowledge of encryption and server configuration, and it sounds complicated in general. In this guide, I will explain the individual components and steps and will clearly cover the individual stages of the setup. Your experience should be easy, especially if your hosting provider also supplies HTTPS certificates — chances are you will be able to perform everything from your control panel quickly and easily.” Very extensive.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Ars Technica: More than a decade later, how do original YouTube stars feel about the site?. “Modern YouTube stars can bring in millions of dollars through sponsorship and companies they own and run (often built on the foundation of their videos). Polish and premise on-site can match most of what you’d find on TV or streaming services. Accordingly, someone like Jacob Sartorius is better-known to a generation of young men and women than many mainstream celebrities. But even in YouTube’s early going, there were people creating videos and growing some kind of community—it’s just their experiences differed quite a bit from the meteoric video star risings of today, plenty of which end in lucrative business partnerships or studio-based opportunities.” Extensive, thoughtful article.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

SC Magazine: Mouse hovering malware delivery scheme spotted, called potentially very dangerous. “Cybercriminals have started using a new technique to infect computers that only requires a victim place their cursor over a malicious hyperlink for the malware to be injected.”

The Next Web: Thieves use Facebook tricks to steal your money and turn it into Bitcoin. “Polish internet swindlers have cooked up an elaborate scam that involves taking over your Facebook profile to ransack your bank account and swiftly transfer the stolen funds to anonymous Bitcoin wallets.”

BBC News: News and sports websites ‘vulnerable to attack’. “A team of cyber-security experts looked at the security protocols used by the top 500 sites in various industries and online sectors. They found that fewer than 10% of news and sports websites used basic security protocols such as HTTPS and TLS.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

MIT Technology Review: Inspecting Algorithms for Bias. “ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize–winning nonprofit news organization, had analyzed risk assessment software known as COMPAS. It is being used to forecast which criminals are most likely to ­reoffend. Guided by such forecasts, judges in courtrooms throughout the United States make decisions about the future of defendants and convicts, determining everything from bail amounts to sentences. When ProPublica compared COMPAS’s risk assessments for more than 10,000 people arrested in one Florida county with how often those people actually went on to reoffend, it discovered that the algorithm ‘correctly predicted recidivism for black and white defendants at roughly the same rate.’ But when the algorithm was wrong, it was wrong in different ways for blacks and whites.” Good morning, Internet…

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