BirdColourBase, Hebrew Manuscripts, Google Maps, More: Monday Evening Buzz, November 6, 2017


New-to-me: a database of bird colors. The link is from ResearchGate, and from the link: “The plumage colour of birds is a model system in evolutionary biology. The most precise way to objectively measure bird plumage colouration is through physics based spectrophotometry. Many labs around the world have collected plumage colour data from museum specimens but generally focus on a particular family or geographic group. For the last couple of years I have been contacting like minded scientists to pool all of this data into the largest database of precise measures of bird plumage colouration. All incoming data is standardised by mentor and heavy weight of colour science Prof. John Endler. We currently have coverage of over 2500 species and will increase to cover most families across the class Aves with the addition of our 10th lab member! Details of upcoming comparative projects coming soon. Watch this space..” There’s also a Twitter account that’s been going since early September.

National Library of Israel: Historic Moment: The Günzburg Collection Made Public to the Jewish World. “An historic agreement will be signed in Jerusalem on 7 November 2017 between the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem, the Russian State Library in Moscow, and the Moscow-based Peri Foundation regarding the future of the Günzburg Collection, which includes some of the most important Hebrew manuscripts and books in the world. Through the generous support of the Peri Foundation, 2,000 manuscripts and thousands of books in the collection will be digitized, making these significant works accessible online to both institutions as well as to the general public.”


Search Engine Land: Google Maps enables creating & sharing lists on desktop version. “Android Police reports Google is now rolling out the ability to create and share lists of places on the desktop version of Google Maps. This feature originally launched on mobile in February and now seems to be rolling out to the desktop interface. It allows searchers to keep track of saved places and share lists with others via text, email and popular messaging apps.”

BetaNews: Twitter pledges to fix ‘error’ that hides bisexual search results . “Twitter faced criticism over the weekend after it was discovered that the search term ‘bisexual’ appeared to have been blocked. Users noticed that searching for the word returned no news or photo results, leading to claims of censorship and discrimination. The company refers to the issue as ‘an error with search results for certain terms’ and is ‘working quickly to resolve’ it.”

TechCrunch: Salesforce and Google are the latest pals in the cloud. “Salesforce and Google inked a deal today that could provide easier integration between Salesforce tools and Google’s G Suite and Google Analytics. It also named Google as a preferred cloud provider for its core services as part of its international infrastructure expansion.”


Via an IFTTT alert, I learned about Streamable. From the home page: “The simplest way for anyone to embed video content, for free.” I have not tried it. Maybe I’ll find a video of Eggo and try it out…


Gizmodo: Once Again, Google Promoted Disinformation and Propaganda After a Mass Shooting. “As authorities named Devin Patrick Kelley as the shooter in a horrifying massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas which resulted in at least 26 deaths on Sunday, Google once again served up misinformation and posts from conspiracy theorists at the top of search results for his name.”

NewNowNext: How Social Media Is Silencing LGBT Voices. “For some time now, LGBT Facebook users have reported being blocked or suspended for what the social media giant calls ‘abusive content.’ In June, Lisa Vogel, co-founder of the Michigan Womyn’s Festival, reported Facebook temporarily deactivated her account for ‘posting the word dyke too many times during gay Pride month.'”


Georgetown Law: Trump Twitter Use Violates First Amendment, Argue Scholars in Brief by Georgetown Law’s ICAP. “President Trump’s use of Twitter violates the First Amendment, Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) argued in an amicus brief that it filed today on behalf of leading First Amendment scholars such as Erwin Chemerinsky, Lyrissa Lidsky, and Larry Tribe. The brief supports a lawsuit brought by Columbia’s Knight Institute challenging Trump’s practice of blocking critics from his @realDonaldTrump Twitter feed.”

Ars Technica: Flaw crippling millions of crypto keys is worse than first disclosed. “A crippling flaw affecting millions—and possibly hundreds of millions—of encryption keys used in some of the highest-stakes security settings is considerably easier to exploit than originally reported, cryptographers declared over the weekend. The assessment came as Estonia abruptly canceled 760,000 national ID cards used for voting, filing taxes, and encrypting sensitive documents.” Good evening, Internet…

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