Israel Cemeteries, Table Data, Lime Scooters, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 4, 2019


MyHeritage: MyHeritage Completed Digitizing All of Israel’s Cemeteries!. “We’re very happy to announce that, after five years of dedicated efforts, we’ve completed our ambitious goal of digitizing every cemetery in Israel. It is now the first country in the world to have almost all of its gravestones preserved and searchable online, with images, locations, and fully transcribed records. We’ve put up all this content for free, too!”


ZDNet: Microsoft starts rolling out ability to turn photos of table data into Excel spreadsheets. “Microsoft has started making available its ‘Insert Data from Picture’ feature that allows users to take pictures on their phones of table data and automatically turn it into an Excel spreadsheet. Microsoft announced this feature at its Ignite conference last September.”

Google Blog: Now in more cities: Lime bikes and scooters on Google Maps. “Starting this week, you can see nearby Lime scooters, pedal bikes and e-bikes right from the transit tab on Google Maps in over 80 new cities around the world. When you need to travel short distances or that last mile, Google Maps can tell you if a Lime vehicle is available, how long it’ll take to walk to the vehicle, an estimate of how much your ride could cost, along with your total journey time and ETA.”


For a given value of useful but I really liked it: Portmanteau & Rhyme Generator. From the site: “The code for generating the portmanteaus and rhymes can be found at the entendrepreneur-web github repository. This algorithm was presented at the NeurIPS 2018 Creativity and Design Workshop under the title ‘Entendrepreneur: Generating Humorous Portmanteaus using Word-Embeddings’, the associated conference paper can be found here. All credit for the code and the algorithm goes to Jonathan Simon.”

Engadget: Hitting the Books: The Second Kind of Impossible. “Welcome, dear readers, to Engadget’s new series, Hitting the Books. With less than one in five Americans reading just for fun these days, we’ve done the hard work for you by scouring the internet for the most interesting, thought provoking books on science and technology we can find and delivering an easily digestible nugget of their stories.”

How-To Geek: The Best Chrome Extensions for Making Gmail Better. “We typically don’t recommend using a lot of browser extensions because they can be a privacy nightmare. Still, it’s hard to resist extensions that can significantly improve things for you. We’ve checked out all these extensions ourselves, testing them, looking at their reputations among users, and favoring extensions that make their source code public when possible. Still, you should learn how to make sure Chrome extensions are safe before using them and use them sparingly.”


The Guardian: Revealed: Facebook’s global lobbying against data privacy laws. “Facebook has targeted politicians around the world – including the former UK chancellor, George Osborne – promising investments and incentives while seeking to pressure them into lobbying on Facebook’s behalf against data privacy legislation, an explosive new leak of internal Facebook documents has revealed.”

Elon University: Irons integrates 3D printing technology and history for interactive hands-on learning. “When teaching Elon undergraduates about enslavement in 19th century America, Professor of History Charles Irons aspired to bring the era to life in the classroom. He wanted his students to think more concretely about the realities of slavery that can be difficult to grasp. This quest led Irons to incorporate 3D-printed artifacts from the time period into his teaching.”


Ars Technica: Comcast set mobile pins to “0000,” helping attackers steal phone numbers. “To port a phone line from Comcast to another wireless carrier, a customer needs to know his or her Comcast mobile account number. Carriers generally use PINs to verify that a customer seeking to port a number actually owns the number. But Comcast reportedly set the PIN to 0000 for all its customers, and there was apparently no way for customers to change it. That means that an attacker who acquired a victim’s Comcast account number could easily port the victim’s phone number to another carrier.”


CogDogBlog: Blogging on a Gutenburger Diet . “I have been using Gutenberg editor here since mid December. I am not here to praise it too much or to bury it. But as someone dedicated to helping others use the platform, I don’t see a value in ostrich-heading in the sand about it. And while Gutenburger still flummoxes me, I have gotten as proficient as I was before, and do have some appreciation for the new interface. I cannot say I am fully loving it yet, but it’s not a blog stopper for me.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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