Philadelphia Properties, Commonweath College (AR), Mass Extinctions, More: Wednesday Evening Buzz, November 8, 2017


Curbed Philadelphia: New Atlas tool has everything you need to know about Philly properties. “Searching for homes and vacant lots in Philly is about to get a whole lot easier with the launch of Atlas, a new online mapping tool that pools nearly every bit of information about one property into one place…. Atlas now compiles everything one needs to know about a single address into one comprehensive database, including deed information, permits, 311 data, crime statistics, zoning appeals, and the registered community organization (RCO) that’s associated with that property. It also includes historic imagery of the site, dating as far back as 1860.”

University of Arkansas: Commonwealth College Fortnightly Now Searchable Online. “Commonwealth College in Mena published hundreds of issues of its newspaper, the Fortnightly, from 1926 to 1938. This digital collection provides access to more than 200 issues, allowing researchers to utilize the most complete record of activity at Arkansas’s historic radical labor school. The original mission of Commonwealth College was to produce educated leaders for the rapidly growing labor movement. ”


The News Lens: The New Instagram Feed Spotlighting Mass Extinctions. “Everyone knows the Dodo is extinct. But how many of us know that we are currently undergoing a sixth mass extinction event? To raise awareness about this under-reported story, Brit photographer-filmmaker Sean Gallagher founded Everyday Extinction, a specialized Instagram feed on Oct 1.”

Google Blog: Resonance Audio: Multi-platform spatial audio at scale. “As humans, we rely on sound to guide us through our environment, help us communicate with others and connect us with what’s happening around us. Whether walking along a busy city street or attending a packed music concert, we’re able to hear hundreds of sounds coming from different directions. So when it comes to AR, VR, games and 360 video, you need rich sound to create an engaging immersive experience that makes you feel like you’re really there. Today, we’re releasing a new spatial audio software development kit (SDK) called Resonance Audio. It’s based on technology from Google’s VR Audio SDK, and it works at scale across mobile and desktop platforms.”


Genealogy’s Star: Remarkable Lists of Genealogy Pages on Facebook. “Occasionally something comes along that moves from the ordinary to the extraordinary. I have been writing for some time about the movement of online genealogy from blogging to social networking websites such as These lists compiled by Genealogist Katherine R. Willson and others dramatically illustrate that movement.” I am not a fan of genealogy societies (or anybody) using Facebook/Twitter/etc as their only platform; I think that’s really risky. On the other hand, this must have taken a LOT of work.


The Diplomat: Social Media Exhibits Its Disruptive Power in Myanmar. “If the past two decades of foreign interventionism have taught us anything, it is that democracy cannot be imposed upon a nation unless it has the social, cultural, economic, and institutional architecture to enable it. The same should be said of democratic tools — including a free press, elections, and, of course, civic technologies. Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp were once hailed as disruptive forces set to empower, mobilize, and inform the voiceless in authoritarian states. After all, they were the catalysts behind the Arab Spring movement. But as we’re now seeing, technology’s ability to grow democracy depends wholly on our ability to wield it.”

Tom’s Guide: Google’s New Phone Comparison Tool Isn’t Very Useful. “Google has launched a new tool to help you pick a smartphone. But in our time with it, the tool proved far less useful than the company might have you believe.


TechCrunch: Four years later, Yahoo still doesn’t know how 3 billion accounts were hacked. “On Wednesday, in a security hearing that called both Equifax and Yahoo’s past and present executives to Washington D.C., we’re learning a bit more about what Yahoo didn’t know about the biggest hack in history. When pressed about how Yahoo failed to recognize that 3 billion accounts — and not 500 million as first reported — were compromised in what was later revealed to be a state sponsored attack by Russia, former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer admitted that the specifics of the attack still remain unknown.”


Stanford Scope: Abuzz aims to combat mosquito-spread diseases using cellphones. “Itching to help combat the scourge of mosquito-borne diseases? I’ve got just the thing: Abuzz. The crowd-sourced project birthed in the lab of Stanford’s Manu Prakash, PhD, is aiming to map the prevalence of mosquitos worldwide using audio recorded by cellphones. Participation is simple: Spot a mosquito, grab your phone — even an old flip one will do — and point the microphone at it.”

Auto Insurance Center: Revved Up About #Roadrage: Analyzing Over 100,000 Instagram Posts That Mention #Roadrage. “Regardless of how even-keeled you might be under normal circumstances, it’s human nature for a little bit of road rage to bubble up to the surface in these moments of irritation. But what’s the limit, and when does it go too far? We looked at over 100,000 Instagram posts since 2011 tagged with #RoadRage to better understand that times of year when other people and circumstances are most likely to get under our skin as drivers, along with the cities and states with the worst people in which to share the road. Continue reading to see what we learned.” Good evening, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

2 replies »

  1. Thank you for speaking out against using Facebook as an exclusive platform for genealogy. As a genealogist and retired genealogy library manager I find it very disturbing when people choose to share too much information on social sites rather than using monitored genealogy sites. All too often information ends up misquoted and taken out of context.

    • My objection to folks moving their Internet presence solely to Facebook is more about essential information being relegated to “walled gardens” where its distribution to interested parties is controlled by a third party in a completely non-transparent manner. But you make a good point.

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