Vintage Playing Cards, Washington DC Murals, Hurricane Maria Deaths, More: Monday Buzz, September 17, 2018


Columbia University: Albert Field Playing Cards go online. “The Columbia University Libraries has digitized cards from nearly two hundred decks of the Albert Field Collection of Playing Cards. The cards date from the 16th century through to 1801, and were mostly European – French, German, English, and Italian, though we slipped in one deck from a very new United States.”

The InTowner: More Murals Replacing Graffiti-Defaced Neighborhood Walls; DPW and Arts Commission Initiative Continues. “Since 2007, the District’s on-going initiative known as MuralsDC has been providing permanent graffiti abatement to building walls that have continually been defaced by graffiti or are located in places where the risk of this type of vandalism is prevalent…. Images of every mural painted since the program began in 2007 can be viewed on the project’s new website … which also features videos, artist information, and a map locator to show where to find the more than 50 murals throughout the District.”

Pacific Standard: A New Database Tracks The Fate Of Hurricane Maria’s Indirect Victims. “These deaths and nearly 500 others are recorded in a new database released by three journalism organizations: the Associated Press, the Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico, and Quartz. The organizations collected reports from Puerto Ricans who believed their loved ones died as a result of Hurricane Maria but whose death certificates didn’t indicate storm conditions as a cause of death. The database is a more personal portrait of Maria’s victims, most of whom died not directly because of Maria’s winds and flooding, but indirectly because of a lack of electricity, medical care, and communication in the wake of the storm.”

Not new, but new-to-me: an online archive of MIDI files you can play and download. (Thanks to Esther S. for the heads-up.) From the About page: “I wanted to hear some MIDIs, so I searched and found a .zip file with 100K+ MIDI files that someone posted to Reddit. I tried playing a few in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc. and then realized that they’ve all dropped the tag. Even Quicktime and VLC couldn’t play back the files.*”


Search Engine Journal: Twitter Bumps Live Streams to the Top of the Timeline. “Twitter announced it will display live streams more prominently, bumping them to the top of users’ timelines. This change only applies to followed accounts, so users won’t suddenly start seeing live streams from accounts they don’t follow.”

Neowin: Llama’s not dead, Winamp 5.8 Beta leaks online . “Winamp was released in 1997 originally developed by Justin Frankel, later sold to AOL in 1999 for $80 million. It was then acquired by Radionomy for an undisclosed sum from AOL, back in 2014. Now, almost 4 years later and ahead of an expected official company announcement, a beta version for the upcoming Winamp 5.8… bearing a build date of October 26, 2016 has apparently been leaked on the web after being uploaded to the public by an anonymous user on a selection of filesharing sites.” As this is a leak, I wouldn’t trust it entirely, but I’m glad to get some evidence that Winamp is still under development.

Engadget: Google brings its AI song recognition to Sound Search. “Google’s Now Playing song recognition was clever when it premiered late in 2017, but it had its limits. When it premiered on the Pixel 2, for instance, its on-device database could only recognize a relatively small number of songs. Now, however, that same technology is available in the cloud through Sound Search — and it’s considerably more useful if you’re tracking down an obscure title.”


East Bay Express: Berkeley Reconsiders Controversial Twitter Tactic. “Last year, white supremacists, fascists, and other hate groups staged rallies in downtown Berkeley, leading to bloody street brawls with the anti-fascists who confronted them. The events were depicted on social media as chaotic, with the police seemingly outnumbered and rarely intervening. Critics accused the Berkeley police of not doing enough to prevent violence, and some far-right activists even claimed that the Berkeley police were part of a conspiracy with UC Berkeley to silence political speech from conservatives.”


Ars Technica: Unpatched systems at big companies continue to fall to WannaMine worm. “In May of 2017, the WannaCry attack—a file-encrypting ransomware knock-off attributed by the US to North Korea—raised the urgency of patching vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system that had been exposed by a leak of National Security Agency exploits. WannaCry leveraged an exploit called EternalBlue, software that leveraged Windows’ Server Message Block (SMB) network file sharing protocol to move across networks, wreaking havoc as it spread quickly across affected networks.”

A new CSS-based web attack will crash and restart your iPhone
. “A security researcher has found a new way to crash and restart any iPhone — with just a few lines of code. Sabri Haddouche tweeted a proof-of-concept webpage with just 15 lines of code which, if visited, will crash and restart an iPhone or iPad. Those on macOS may also see Safari freeze when opening the link.”

World Trademark Review: Social media buy-and-sell groups to be targeted in anti-counterfeiting initiative backed by UK government . “A new initiative has been developed in the UK to create greater awareness amongst the administrators of social media groups about their legal responsibility to prevent the promotion and sale of counterfeit goods. Talking to WTR, one of the organisers claims that the programme – which is backed by the UK government – could be rolled out internationally.”


Harvard Business Review: A Study Shows the Best Times of Day to Post to Social Media . “Our research on circadian rhythms suggests that content platforms like CNN, ESPN, National Geographic, and others can enhance their profit payoffs by at least 8% simply by posting content following the biological responses of their audience’s sleep-wake cycles and targeting content types to when the audience is most naturally receptive to it.” Good morning, Internet…

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