Latin American Music, Arsenic Wallpaper, Tax-Exempt Groups, More: Tuesday Buzz, May 8, 2018


Remezcla: One of the World’s Largest Private Collections of Latin American Music Just Hit the Web. “Over the last 30 years, Alejandra Fierro Eleta — also known as Gladys Palmera — has amassed the world’s largest private collection of rare Latin American recordings. The archive includes more than 50,000 albums, photographs, and other ephemera, focusing largely on Afro-Cuban music from the 1950s….But today, the collection cracks open wider than ever before: Colección Gladys Palmera comes to international audiences through a new website and online database that features artwork, curated playlists, podcasts, and a series of articles written by music specialists, letting fans go deep into Palmera’s stunning treasure trove.”

National Library of Medicine: “Facts And Inferences”—Digitizing Shadows From The Walls Of Death Part 1. “NLM has digitized and made publicly available for the first time, one of four known copies of Shadows from the Walls of Death: Facts and Inferences Prefacing a Book of Specimens of Arsenical Wall Papers, 1874. In this three-part series learn more about the origins of this rare book, the digitization effort, and the arsenic pigments of the 19th century.”

Accounting Today: IRS expands access to info on tax-exempt groups. “The Internal Revenue Service unveiled an online tool Monday to provide easier access to public information about tax-exempt organizations. The new Tax Exempt Organization Search is actually a replacement for EO Select Check, a tool that’s been available since 2012 but had more limited features. EO Select Check mainly offered information on whether an organization was tax-exempt or not, and whether its status had been revoked, but TEOS provides much more information.”


TechCrunch: Oculus Research is now the ‘Facebook Reality Lab’. “Oculus Research is getting a new name. As the AR/VR-focused research group grows more instrumental to the future of Facebook at large, the group will now be called Facebook Reality Labs. The announcement was made by Oculus Chief Scientist Michael Abrash in a post on his personal Facebook page. It’s just a name change, but the announcement marks a further entrenching inside the Facebook org of AR/VR initiatives once confined to Oculus.” Yeah, I don’t think I’d call that just a name change.

Search Engine Roundtable: Cre8asiteforums Shutting Down On May 25th. “Kim Krause Berg, who we profiled, announced at her Cre8asite Forums that she is closing down the forums after 20 years of operations on May 25, 2018. The date is interesting because of it overlapping with the GDPR date, although Kim doesn’t mention that as the reason she is closing it.” Wow.

Engadget: Volvo will embed Google Assistant and Maps into future cars. “Volvo announced today that its next-generation Sensus infotainment system, which will run on Android, will have the Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store embedded within it. Adding Google Maps has some obvious benefits for drivers while the Google Assistant will give users voice control over in-car functions like air conditioning as well as music and messaging.”


Ars Technica: Microsoft continues its quest to bring machine learning to every application. “We’ve been tracking Microsoft’s work to bring its machine learning platform to more developers and more applications over the last several years. What started as narrowly focused, specialized services have grown into a wider range of features that are more capable and more flexible, while also being more approachable to developers who aren’t experts in the field of machine learning. This year is no different. The core family of APIs covers the same ground as it has for a while—language recognition, translation, and image and video recognition—with Microsoft taking steps to make the services more capable and easier to integrate into applications.”

Premium Times: Nigeria to launch open government website in two weeks. “The federal government will in the next two weeks open a website that will convey detailed and updated information and data about its achievements and progress in different sectors of the economy. Also, the government is considering a mechanism that would help measure the country’s corruption index to avoid relying on indices from foreign organizations.”


IOL (South Africa): Mzwakhe Mbuli to sue Google for ‘profiling him HIV positive’ . “Mzwakhe Mbuli is taking legal action against Google. This follows revelations that Google has profiled him as HIV positive. In a television interview with SABC over the weekend, the People’s Poet expressed his anger and disappointment at Google and confirmed that he is pursuing legal action against the internet giant.” Mr. Mbuli is a poet and activist.

BetaNews: Microsoft’s Meltdown patch for Windows 10 has a ‘fatal flaw’. “If you’ve not updated to Windows 10 April 2018 Update but you have installed Microsoft’s Meltdown patches from a few months ago, your computer is vulnerable to a ‘fatal flaw’.”

The Register: Hacking charge dropped against Nova Scotia teen who slurped public records from the web . Good. He never should have been charged in the first place. “Cops in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, will not pursue charges against a 19-year-old fella who had dared to download a cache of public documents. In a brief statement issued Monday, police said that, following nearly a month of investigation, there were ‘no grounds to lay charges’ in a case that had drawn harsh criticism from digital rights groups. The young man had shown no criminal intent in fetching freely available files that anyone could have slurped, the plod admitted.”


Cambridge Day: Internet access is a necessity, not a luxury, must be prioritized like electricity and heat. “We are a wealthy city, and the vast majority of our residents are able to buy Internet access in their home, though even they are surprisingly underserved. I inquired recently with Verizon and Comcast and was unable to procure 1 gigabit service for my own home. (There was a business-level gigabit service available … at $450 per month.) But even if 95 percent of our residents report that they have Internet access, that leaves several thousand who don’t, according to the most recent American Community Survey. And many of those who report having access put up with lower-quality service or having to turn it off periodically to make ends meet.” I am including this editorial because of how striking it is. This is not a developing world country or some incredibly rural place in the US. This is Cambridge Massachusetts, the home of MIT and Harvard. Good morning, Internet…

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