Historical Wine Prices, United States Code, Female Political Scientists, More: Thursday Buzz, December 21, 2017


UC Davis: UC Davis Creates Wine Price Database With Crowdsourcing, Famed Catalogs. “Recommendations for ‘best buys’ in Champagnes and party menus from some 50 years ago are among the treats in a new crowdsourcing database of historic wine prices from the University of California, Davis. Price the Vintage, with more than 200 digitized catalogs of famed New York-based distributor Sherry-Lehmann, is the most comprehensive online database of its kind. People from around the world can enjoy browsing the catalogs, enter pricing information and help chart America’s appreciation for wine.”

Library of Congress: Historical Versions of the United States Code Now Online . “More than 60 years of U.S. laws are now published online and accessible for free for the first time after being acquired by the Library of Congress. The Library has made available the main editions and supplements of the United States Code from 1925 through the 1988 edition. The U.S. Code is a compilation of federal laws arranged by subject by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives. The Library’s U.S. Code Collection is fully searchable. Filters allow users to narrow their searches by date, title and/or subject. PDF versions of each chapter can be viewed and downloaded.”

New-to-me, from Worcester Polytechnic Institute: Women Also Know Stuff: Making Voices Heard. “The organization Women Also Know Stuff (WAKS) began last year as a nationwide effort to promote political scientists; the kind who just happen to be female. The group’s founders discovered an underrepresentation of women in political science panels (called ‘manels’ on the WAKS Twitter feed), syllabi, editorial boards, and the like. So they set about doing something about it: establishing a national online database of female political scientists, maintaining an active Twitter presence and moving the needle more toward female political science experts.”


Ars Technica: Chrome’s ad blocker goes live on February 15. “Google recently announced a go-live date for its forthcoming ad blocker: February 15. On that date, the Internet’s largest advertising company will start blocking ads in the Internet’s most popular browser, Google Chrome.” Chrome will not block everything; it seems to be focusing on bad actors like autoplay video, intrusive interstitials, etc.


Social Media Examiner: How to Create a Social Media Calendar: A Template for Marketers. “Do you want a better way to plan, organize, and publish your social media content? Looking for a solution that doesn’t cost a lot of money? In this article, you’ll discover how to set up a social media content calendar.”

CryptoAustraliaBlog: Introduction to Malware-blocking DNS Services. “How can you protect your family from malware and phishing with just a little effort? Various alternative DNS services with built-in threat blocking capabilities are now available to the public. This article introduces these public DNS services and helps you pick the right one for keeping your devices safe and secure.”


ProPublica: Dozens of Companies Are Using Facebook to Exclude Older Workers From Job Ads. “A few weeks ago, Verizon placed an ad on Facebook to recruit applicants for a unit focused on financial planning and analysis. The ad showed a smiling, millennial-aged woman seated at a computer and promised that new hires could look forward to a rewarding career in which they would be ‘more than just a number.’ Some relevant numbers were not immediately evident. The promotion was set to run on the Facebook feeds of users 25 to 36 years old who lived in the nation’s capital, or had recently visited there, and had demonstrated an interest in finance. For a vast majority of the hundreds of millions of people who check Facebook every day, the ad did not exist.”

Wired: The Natural History Museum is going high tech to save its archive. “London’s Natural History Museum is digitising its specimens – all 80 million of them. ‘We need to record them to create data in aggregate,’ says Vince Smith, the museum’s head of informatics. With the collection including everything from a blue whale skeleton to Martian meteorites, progress is understandably slow: since the project started in 2014, the museum has only digitised 4.5 per cent of the collection. Undeterred, the 11-person digital collections team has set its sights on recording 20 million specimens in the next few years with specially developed kit.”

The Indian Express: Google, Facebook will have to accept cyber censorship terms to reach Chinese users. “Google and Facebook will have to accept China’s censorship and tough online laws if they want access to its 751 million internet users, Chinese regulators told a conference in Geneva on Monday. Google and Facebook are blocked in China, along with Twitter Inc and most major Western news outlets.”


The Register: Windows 10 Hello face recognition can be fooled with photos. “If you’ve skipped recent Windows 10 Creators Updates, here’s a reason to change your mind: its facial recognition security feature, Hello, can be spoofed with a photograph. The vulnerability was announced by German pentest outfit Syss at Full Disclosure.”

South China Morning Post: That beautiful woman who wants to be your new Facebook friend may really be a North Korean bitcoin thief . “The messages are alluring, the pictures are attractive. But the women seeking to beguile South Korean bitcoin executives could actually be hackers from Pyongyang in disguise, experts warn. In the face of sanctions over its banned nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, the cash-strapped North is deploying an army of well-trained hackers with an eye on a lucrative new source of hard currency, they say.”


The Next Web: Google’s AI can predict whether humans will like an image or not. “Google’s AI researchers recently showed off a new method for teaching computers to understand why some images are more aesthetically pleasing than others. Traditionally, machines sort images using basic categorization – like determining whether an image does or does not contain a cat. The new research demonstrates that AI can now rate image quality, regardless of category.” Good morning, Internet…

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