US Neighborhood Socioeconomic Data, China Inscription Rubbings, Architecture Magazines, More: Thursday Buzz, July 5, 2018


National Institutes of Health: NIH-funded scientists put socioeconomic data on the map. “The Neighborhood Atlas…, a new tool to help researchers visualize socioeconomic data at the community level is now available. This online platform allows for easily ranking and mapping neighborhoods according to socioeconomic disadvantage. Seeing a neighborhood’s socioeconomic measures, such as income, education, employment and housing quality, may provide clues to the effects of those factors on overall health, and could inform health resources policy and social interventions.”

XinhuaNet: Yunnan’s ancient inscriptions go digital. “An ancient books preservation center in southwest China’s Yunnan Province is building an image database of inscription rubbings to preserve cultural resources. Inscription rubbing is the practice of creating an image based on stone inscriptions on paper. The image records features such as natural textures, inscribed patterns or engraved lettering.”

ArchDaily: Download All of COAM Architecture Journal’s Issues From the Last 100 Years for Free. “The College of Architects of Madrid (COAM) has made the initial digitization process of their Architecture Journal public, making one of the most important and influential Spanish architectural publications of the twentieth century available to everyone. COAM is a publication known as a platform for debate, thought, and a vital resource for architects, urban planners, and professionals from other closely related sectors.”


TechCrunch: Browser maker Opera has filed to go public . “Norway-based company Opera Ltd. has filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. According to its F-1 document, the company plans to raise up to $115 million. In 2017, Opera generated $128.9 million in operating revenue, which led to a net income of $6.1 million.” Read the article for the details about who owns Opera now and how it split and which part of that split is going public.

Kottke: Goodbye to The Straight Dope. “The Straight Dope — which some readers might know only as an online message board with impressive Google Juice — is closing up the weekly print column that got the whole mess started.”


Make Tech Easier: How to Use Google Tasks: The Complete Guide. “Whether it’s taking out the garbage or picking up your suit from the dry cleaners, there are always things you need to get done. You may already have a to-do app installed to stay on top of things, but you can bet that Google would like you to try their Task appg. If you like apps that keep things simple, then you just might like the Google Tasks app. At least you have the assurance that the app is from a company whose other services you’re probably already using.”

Search Engine Journal: 10 Alternatives to iStock. “Unless you’re a skilled photographer, you probably look to stock photo websites where you can buy royalty-free images. Among the most well-known premium stock photo websites is iStock (previously known as iStockphoto), a long-standing favorite by site owners around the world…. While iStock is an excellent source, it’s not your only option to find premium stock photos.”


New York Times: Facebook Ads Offer Peek at Looming Supreme Court Fight. “Even before President Trump’s new Supreme Court nominee is announced, a fight over the choice is raging on social media. In the days since Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said he would retire, partisan groups have turned to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks with political ads. Some of the ads urge voters to pressure their senators to block or speed the confirmation process for Mr. Trump’s eventual nominee. Others oppose allowing specific jurists to fill the vacant seat.”

Poynter: Digital literacy project sets an ambitious goal: Wikipedia pages for 1,000 local newspapers. “When readers search for a publication on Google, an ‘info box’ populated by Wikipedia pops up on the right side of the search results with basic information like the publication’s founding date, circulation size and editor. But that’s not the case for thousands of smaller local papers that don’t have a Wikipedia page. Mike Caulfield, director of blended and networked learning at Washington State University Vancouver, plans to work with students around the U.S. to create pages and info boxes for the local newspapers lacking them.”


How-To Geek: Browser Extension Stylish Knows What Porn You Watch (And All of Your Web History). “Stylish, a browser extension with two million users, has been monitoring your browsing history for over a year. Stylish was once a great way to remove annoying features from websites—trending topics on Facebook, say, or that annoying bar that follows you as you scroll on Medium. To do this Stylish, the browser extension, needs access to every website you visit.”


The Atlantic: A Game-Changing AI Tool for Tracking Animal Movements. “Developed this year by Mackenzie Mathis and Alexander Mathis, a pair of married neuroscientists, DeepLabCut is remarkable in its simplicity. It has allowed researchers to download any video from the internet and digitally label specific body parts in a few dozen frames. The tool then learns how to pick out those same features in the rest of the video, or others like it. And it works across species, from laboratory stalwarts like flies and mice to … more unusual animals.”


Engadget: AI-powered instant camera turns photos into crude cartoons. “Most cameras are designed to capture scenes as faithfully as possible, but don’t tell that to Dan Macnish. He recently built an instant camera, Draw This, that uses a neural network to translate photos into the sort of crude cartoons you would put on your school notebooks. Macnish mapped the millions of doodles from Google’s Quick, Draw! game data set to the categories the image processor can recognize. After that, it was largely a matter of assembling a Raspberry Pi-powered camera that used this know-how to produce its ‘hand-drawn’ pictures with a thermal printer.” Good morning, Internet…

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