JFK Assassination, Australia Cemeteries, Carbon Dating, More: Tuesday Buzz, July 25, 2017


National Archives: National Archives Begins Online Release of JFK Assassination Records. “Today at 8 a.m., the National Archives released a group of documents (the first of several expected releases), along with 17 audio files, previously withheld in accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. The materials released today are available online only. Access to the original paper records will occur at a future date.”

The Advocate (Australia): West Coast Council undertakes long term plans for cemetery management . “The finishing touches are being put on an online database of cemetery burials on the West Coast. The searchable database will launch with records from Queenstown Cemetery, which has been used since the early 1900s and has over 3000 burials. Records from other West Coast cemeteries will be added to the database as they are transcribed.”

Nature: World’s largest hoard of carbon dates goes global. “Radiocarbon dating has long been used to reveal the age of organic materials — from ancient bones to wooden artefacts. Scientists are now using the amassed dates for wider applications, such as spotting patterns in human migration. And a Canadian database is poised to help researchers around the world to organize this trove of archaeological and palaeontological data, and to address problems that have plagued carbon dating for years.”


BetaNews: It’s the end of the line For Windows Paint as Microsoft finally kills off its simple art tool. “Among the list of features set to be removed or deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is Microsoft Paint, a fixture of Windows since the operating system’s first release back in 1985. Microsoft doesn’t give any explanation as to why it’s being removed. Indeed, in the list of features being dropped it simply says ‘Microsoft Paint.’ Everything else in the list, including Outlook Express, has at least a one-line explanation. What a sad, inglorious ending.” Someone in the comments is pointing out that the program is being deprecated, not completely removed.

Poynter: Snopes turns to readers to avoid shutting down: ‘we need your help’. “It seems that the ongoing legal battle between Snopes and one of its former contractors is beginning to take a toll. The popular debunking site published a plea to its readers Monday requesting they donate money to help keep its doors open amid a legal fight against Proper Media, a small digital services company that owns, operates and represents web properties.”


PC World: Best password managers of 2017: Reviews of the top products. “A password manager relieves the burden of thinking up and memorizing unique, complex logins—the hallmark of a secure password. It allows you to safely share those logins with others when necessary. And because these tools encrypt your login info in a virtual vault—either locally or in the cloud—and lock it with a single master password, they protect the passwords themselves. But password managers vary widely in their capabilities and cost, so we compared six of the most popular.”

MakeUseOf: Your Complete Guide to Living a 100% Free and Open Source Life . “If you’re only discovering free software for the first time, or even if you’ve been a long-time Linux user, you can only make this change if you’re willing to make sacrifices and miss out on most popular services and programs. You will have to change your priorities and expectations. Is it worth it? I think so. I value the peace of mind I get from using software made by people who respect users over profits. And I like knowing that the code I rely on will stick around and is largely free from ever-changing corporate priorities. I like knowing that my computer isn’t working against me.”


The Verge: Instagram Is Pushing Restaurants To Be Kitschy, Colorful, And Irresistible To Photographers. “When it came time to design their first restaurant, Media Noche, San Francisco entrepreneurs Madelyn Markoe and Jessie Barker found themselves lacking inspiration. Their designer had asked them for ideas and they felt like ‘deer in headlights.’ Ultimately, Markoe says, they came up with a single instruction: ‘We wanted to be Instagrammable.'”

Engadget: Google tests VR as a replacement for dull training videos. “We’ve heard about medical professionals using VR to augment their suites for years, but Google is testing its fit in the broader workplace, starting with employment’s least fun experience: Training. The company’s Daydream Labs hosted an experiment to see if hypothetical new hires learned better by watching training videos or donning a VR headset and walking through simulations — and it turns out, immersive education does a better job. For this single trial, anyway.”


The Register: Sweden leaked every car owners’ details last year, then tried to hush it up. “The story goes back to 2015, when Sweden’s transport agency awarded IBM a contract to manage its databases and networks. The databases pushed to the IBM cloud covered every vehicle in the country – including police and military registrations, plus details of individuals on witness protection programs. Individuals in the database include members of the military, including members of special forces units whose identity and photographs are supposed to be secret.”


TechCrunch: Nexar releases 55K street pics from 80 countries to spur autonomous driving. “Nexar has released a dataset that it says is the world’s largest photo set featuring geographically diverse images for automotive tech development, for an open competition. There are 55,000 tagged photos in the set, taking from over 80 countries, in a variety of lighting and weather conditions. Each of the photos is taken from street level, using Nexar’s community-based V2V dashcam app for iOS and Android, and the goal of the release is to help drive the development of autonomous driving perception models that can handle a wide range of weather, road and country variety.”

South China Morning Post: VPN crackdown an ‘unthinkable’ trial by firewall for China’s research world. “Like most academics, biology ­researcher Dr Jose Pastor-Pareja relies heavily on Google’s search engine, using it ‘every 10 minutes’, he says. But access to this resource is not guaranteed as he works at Tsinghua University in China – where the government has been tightening what are already among the strictest controls over the internet in the world.” Good morning, Internet…

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