Urban Mining, Maritime Pets, WhatsApp, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, January 19, 2018


Electronics 360: New Database for Urban Mining in the EU Maps Valuable Resources in E-Waste and More. “The Urban Mine Platform presents the flows of precious and base metals and critical raw materials in products in use and throughout their journey to the end of life. This database reveals the number of valuable materials recovered or lost in the EU’s scrap vehicles, batteries, computers, phones gadgets, applicants or other high tech products that are discarded annually, which is 18 million tons total, almost the weight of 3 million African elephants.”

New-to-me: an online museum of maritime pets. “[Patricia] Sullivan founded the resource in 2006, and runs it with four volunteers from her home in Annapolis, Maryland. She defines a ‘maritime pet’ pretty broadly: ‘We include animals living or working on or near the water, who collaborate with man in times of peace and war.’ Dogs, cats, and prescient chickens are included, but so are cormorants, which have been domesticated as fishing birds in parts of Asia, as well as much larger animals such as the bears and reindeer that played important roles in northern maritime history.”


CNET: After conquering the world, WhatsApp looks to small businesses. “WhatsApp is king of the messenger apps, with over a billion daily users. Now, the Facebook-owned company looks to better expand its reach to businesses. WhatsApp Business is a free Android app released Thursday in the US, UK, Mexico, Italy and Indonesia, with more countries coming soon. WhatsApp did not state when or if an iOS version would be available.”

FDA: FDA to Expedite Release of Recall Information. “FDA has decided that the public would benefit by having recall information about FDA-regulated products as soon as possible, even though further evaluation remains to be done. Moving forward, FDA will include ‘not-yet-classified’ recalls of human drugs, foods, and veterinary products in the weekly Enforcement Report, even while classification work is still ongoing. As an example of how this will work, FDA recently posted a ‘not-yet-classified’ recall of a certain lot of animal feed that contained monensin, which can be toxic to cattle at certain levels and could result in cardiovascular illness or death to cattle.”


Hongkiat: 15 Free Tools to Create Professional Resumes. “If you want your professional skills to be presented through a spectacular CV that perfectly fits for a particular job or industry, take help from these free online resume creation tools that I’m reviewing in this post. You’ll be amazed at the many features these tools can offer that help in creating just the right resume. Let’s take a look.”

Digital Inspiration: Search your Handwritten Notes with Gmail OCR. “Gmail text search has always been very capable but some might not know that Gmail, like Evernote, also performs OCR on images contained in email messages. When you perform searches inside Gmail or Google Inbox, the results always contain matching images that contain the search keywords. I tried Gmail OCR search against different types of images and the results were fairly good. Text recognition in Gmail works for both image attachments as well as inline embedded images.”

WMAR: Sickweather app tracks sickness through social media posts. “Sickweather is an app that tracks sicknesses through public social media posts. It originated in Cockeysville and has since gone global. The three co-founders of Sickweather met at Dulaney High School, now their app is helping moms and others attempt to beat any bugs or illness by tracking them on a live map…. ‘Sickweather is like the Doppler radar or Waze if you prefer of illness. We scrape social media data. We also get data intake from a number of our partners,’ said Michael Belt, co-founder and chief technology officer for Sickweather.”


Reuters: Google announces patent agreement with Tencent amid China push. “Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google has agreed to a patent licensing deal with Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) as it looks for ways to expand in China where many of its products, such as app store, search engine and email service, are blocked by regulators.”

YLE: Finnish researchers to create DNA database of 500,000 people for disease studies. “Researchers at the Finnish publicly and privately-funded research project FinnGen say they want to broadly expand the number of DNA samples of Finnish residents in order to find new methods of fighting diseases.”


Bloomberg Quint: Google Braced for England’s First `Right to Be Forgotten’ Trial. “Google Inc. is bracing itself for its first battle in England’s High Court over the so-called ‘right to be forgotten.’ Two anonymous people want the search engine to take down links to information about their old convictions. Both describe themselves in their court filings as businessmen. One was convicted of conspiracy to account falsely, and the other was convicted of conspiracy to intercept communications, but those convictions are spent, judge Matthew Nicklin told a pre-trial hearing Thursday.” Good morning, Internet…

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