Workplace Chemicals, Firefox Monitor, Muhlenberg College, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, June 27, 2018


Safety + Health: OSHA launches database for workplace chemical information. “A new database from OSHA offers access to safety profiles and information on workplace chemicals. Pooling data from various government agencies and organizations, the OSHA Occupational Chemical Database offers chemical identification, physical properties, permissible exposure limits, sampling information and additional resources for each substance.”

Mozilla: Testing Firefox Monitor, a New Security Tool. “From shopping to social media, the average online user will have hundreds of accounts requiring passwords. At the same time, the number of user data breaches occurring each year continues to rise dramatically. Understandably, people are now more worried about internet-related crimes involving personal and financial information theft than conventional crimes. In order to help keep personal information and accounts safe, we will be testing user interest in a security tool that lets users check if one of their accounts has been compromised in a data breach.”

Muhlenberg College: Muhlenberg’s Distinguished Guests. “What do Muhammad Ali, Eleanor Roosevelt, Billy Idol, Maya Angelou and Carrot Top have in common? Not much—except that they all came to Muhlenberg during the 20th century (in 1970, 1942, 1983, 1991 and 1993, respectively). The Muhlenberg College Timeline of Visitors, a new digital exhibit on the Trexler Library’s website, catalogues nearly 800 visits in five separate timelines: academic, arts, politics & civil rights, popular culture and religion. Click on a visitor’s name and it calls up an image of that person, usually from the student newspaper (The Muhlenberg Weekly) or the yearbook (The Ciarla), as well as a paragraph or two detailing their time here.” What a fascinating idea.


The Next Web: Google Earth’s new measuring tool is a fun toy for geography nerds. “Mapping apps have long allowed us to measure the distance between multiple locations around the globe – but if you’re looking for more precise figures, you’ll want to try the latest feature in Google Earth. The new Measure tool lets you plot as many points as you like on a part of the globe to find out the distance between two points or calculate the perimeter and area between more points.”

Neowin: Google makes file transfers four times faster in Files Go. “Google released the Files Go app late last year as part of its efforts to bring a more lightweight experience to users with lower-end devices in regions with limited connectivity, which also include the introduction of Android Go. Files Go is a file management app that helps users save space on their device by backing up files to Google Drive, finding duplicate files, very large videos and more, but it also allows users to transfer files locally through a wireless connection, and this feature is the main focus of the update announced today.”


Larry Ferlazzo: “All Sides” Offers Useful Materials & Simple Lesson Plans For “Controversial” Issues. “All Sides seems to have a lot of outsized purposes and goals, with a touch of naivete thrown-in about bringing folks with different viewpoints in conversation with one another. But it also does, indeed, have some materials that could be very useful to teachers.”


The Independent: Piss on pity: How a new archive captures the radical spirit of the Disability Arts Movement. “Although a highly successful protest group, the Disability Arts Movement is also inspiring because it brought together a wealth of people from Britain’s creative communities – from comedians and film directors to sculptors and artists. Set up to raise awareness, provoke social discussion and dispel the myth that disabled people want or need to be pitied, it was quite simply ahead of its time. And with the launch of the million-pound archive later this year – and its digital arm this month – this radical protest movement is now taking its place in the spotlight.”

The Verge: Venezuela is blocking access to the Tor network. “Venezuela has blocked all access to the Tor network, according to an Access Now report citing activists within the country. Coming just months after a new round of web blocks within the country, the latest block includes both direct connections to the network and connections over bridge relays, which had escaped many previous Tor blocks.”

New York Times: Their Work Starts at Midnight, Fusing Print and Digital: Meet the Reconcilers. “A mysterious and tight-knit crew spends its nights at The New York Times, creating a digital archive of the day’s paper.” Love the picture.


Newswise: Crowdfunders Aren’t All That Different from Commercial Lenders, Study Finds. “Aspiring entrepreneurs who think it may be easier to raise capital via crowdfunding are mistaken, according to a new study conducted by professors at American University. Serge da Motta Veiga and Maria Figueroa-Armijos of American’s Kogod School of Business along with co-authors John Berns and Timothy Dunne looked at 146,218 loans over a five-year period from the Kiva, a crowdfunding site that allows people to lend to low-income entrepreneurs all over the world.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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