Latinx Playwrights, Natural History, NLM, More: Friday Buzz, July 28, 2017


New-to-me, from HowlRound: Creating a Digital Archive of Latinx Playwriting. “After years of toying with the idea, in early 2016 I finally launched the 50 Playwrights Project, a digital humanities project advocating for the work of Latinx playwrights. To give some background, while I was pursuing my PhD, I always wanted this resource.”

The Telegram (Massachusetts): EcoTarium launches digitized database of specimens. “The EcoTarium launched a database of its digitized natural history collection Monday. The searchable database consists of descriptions and images of over 4,000 specimens from the EcoTarium’s collection, including animals, plants and minerals. The collection includes extinct and endangered specimens, some of which are over 100 years old.” The digitizing is still in process; it is expected to be complete by 2025.


The National Library of Medicine is shutting down the web site. “Beginning August 1, 2017, will redirect visitors to the Health and Aging section of NIA Web site. There, visitors will find up-to-date and reliable information on aging research and health and wellness for older adults. Additionally, the NIA Go4Life Web site offers exercises, motivational tips, and free resources to help older adults start and continue exercising. Other sources of information for older adults and their families include the NIHSeniorHealth YouTube Channel, which includes more than 110 videos about various health and wellness information, and the NLM consumer health Web site, MedlinePlus, which offers three topics Exercise for Seniors, Nutrition for Seniors, and Seniors’ Health.”

Mashable: No one likes Twitter’s new notifications. “Twitter is adding more useless clutter to its notifications. The company quietly added a suite of new alerts to the notifications section of its apps and website. Now, instead of just seeing notifications when people interact with you and your tweets, Twitter will surface random alerts about what people you follow are doing.”

BetaNews: Google Play Music and YouTube Red to merge into a new streaming service. “YouTube’s head of music, Lyor Cohen, has confirmed that Google Play Music and YouTube Red are going to merge. Speaking in New York at the New Music Seminar conference, Cohen said that a new streaming service would be created. Rumors of the merger have been circulating for some time, and the move will see Google consolidating its services into something rather more manageable — both for the company and for users.”


MakeUseOf: Clean Up Wasted Space in Gmail Using This Awesome Trick. “If you’ve been using Gmail for a while now, or have been making good use of your Google Drive, the free 15 GB storage might not seem like enough. Before deciding whether to upgrade your storage, you can do a quick search to clear your Gmail account of large and unneeded emails. Unsurprisingly, Google’s Gmail search functions are pretty robust. You can search by date, recipient, keyword, and most importantly for this trick, by file size.”


LA Times: Twitter reports $116-million loss and no user growth since last quarter. “Twitter Inc. on Thursday reported a loss of $116.5 million in its second quarter. On a per-share basis, the San Francisco company said it had a loss of 16 cents. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 8 cents a share.”

Erin Blaskie: Five Things I Learned About Twitter Bios by Reading Over 4,000 User Profiles. “I know you’re probably wondering how long it took to read over 4,000 Twitter bios. It was about 11 hours and 24 minutes… give or take. You may also be wondering why I read over 4,000 Twitter bios. To understand this piece, I need to give you a bit of backstory first.”


TechCrunch: Microsoft launches Windows Bounty program, offering awards up to $250,000. “Microsoft has been running a bounty program for a few years now, launching it just ahead of the release of Windows 8.1 back in mid-2013. At the time, the company was awarding up to $50,000 for exploits, in an attempt to help address any potential security issues before they could become a larger public concern. It’s a tact taken by a number of tech’s biggest names, like Google, Facebook and, more recently, Apple. The software giant’s expanding things a bit today, with the simply named ‘Windows Bounty Program.'” I think they mean “tack” as in sailing, and not “tact”, but I’m not sure. Maybe “tactic”?

DarkReading: Voter Registration Data from 9 States Available for Sale on Dark Web. “Threat intelligence company LookingGlass Cyber Solutions says it has discovered over 40 million voter records from nine different states being traded in an underground forum for stolen credit card data and login credentials. The voter records being offered for sale include the voter’s full first, last and middle name, voter ID, birthdate, voter status, party affiliation, residential address and other details.”

RESEARCH & OPINION ‘Dark ecology project’ will use past weather radar data to trace bird migrations . “Every spring and fall, billions of birds migrate across the United States, largely unseen under the cover of darkness. Now a team of researchers led by computer scientist Daniel Sheldon at the University of Massachusetts Amherst plan to develop new analytic methods with data collected over the past 20 years—more than 200 million archived radar scans from the national weather radar network—to provide powerful new tools for tracking migration.”


A bit outside my remit, but eyesight, it’s important: Don’t blindly trust companies selling solar eclipse glasses on Amazon. “A quick search of solar filter glasses on Amazon will pull up hundreds of companies selling products for safely viewing the eclipse. Many of the glasses are sponsored or recommended by Amazon, and claim to have been certified for safely viewing the Sun. However, some of the vendors being featured on Amazon’s website are allegedly selling counterfeit products, and it’s hard to tell which ones are legitimate.” Good morning, Internet…

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