Users are “detoxing” from social media. “Driving the detox phenomenon are a few key factors, say experts. For starters, many users of social media are starting to see it as a time suck — a distraction that keeps them from going about the business of their day. But others also see social media as something of a toxic environment – one in which they see people bragging about themselves or volunteering opinions contrary to their own, all of which can create feelings of envy or resentment.”
A digital archive for the Fukushima nuclear disaster has been launched. “A Tokyo-based nonprofit organization has launched a digital archive of public documents on the 2011 nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, so people can examine whether administrative bodies have pursued appropriate policies since the disaster started. There are currently over 3,000 documents organized by Access-Info Clearinghouse Japan on file, totaling some 60,000 pages obtained from central government offices and local-level authorities through freedom-of-information requests or from the home pages of each administrative body.” These documents are free to access but currently available only in Japanese.
The USGS has released a new tool to track water quality in rivers and streams. “A new USGS online tool provides graphical summaries of nutrients and sediment levels in rivers and streams across the Nation. The online tool can be used to compare recent water-quality conditions to long-term conditions (1993-2014), download water-quality datasets (streamflow, concentrations, and loads), and evaluate nutrient loading to coastal areas and large tributaries throughout the Mississippi River Basin.”
Google is refusing a French order to apply “Right to be forgotten” globally. “Google is refusing to bow to an order from the French privacy watchdog to scrub search results worldwide when users invoke their ‘right to be forgotten’ online, it said on Thursday, exposing itself to possible fines. The French data protection authority, the CNIL, in June ordered the search giant to delist on request search results appearing under a person’s name from all its websites, including Google.com.”
Fun Saturday: Create and explore a landscape from your Webcam. “Make sure you’re in a well-lit area, let your browser access the webcam, and then try pointing it around the room as you use standard controls to ‘walk around in’ the unique spaces that blossom before your eyes.”
A new tool helps archivists handle e-mail archives. “Springboarding off Muse, a team at Stanford Libraries developed an open-source software program to manage email archives. After feedback from colleagues at other institutions, they released the free package, called ePADD, this month. The software can search emails with queries ranging from a single word to an entire manuscript. It can point out connections and networks among correspondents.”
The Walters Art Museum has gone Creative Commons Zero. “By releasing their metadata and images under a CC0 license, the Walters has made an unprecedented move in the United States GLAM world. The Walters is a museum that celebrates its collection as being a part of the public trust – a collection that is made as accessible as possible to the public. Their collection was donated to the City of Baltimore and is practically ‘owned’ by the people.”
The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) has released a huge amount of collection data to the general public. Under Creative Commons Zero.
“This data release includes all of the works that have been both accessioned into MoMA’s collection and cataloged in our database. It includes basic data for each work, including title, artist, date made, medium, dimensions, and date acquired by the Museum. The data will be updated periodically with new acquisitions and research.”
That didn’t take long: there’s already a guy who’s Periscoping full time. “Jon Jacques, a 20-year-old who worked at a video marketing company in New York City, has been spending his free time after work and on the weekends showcasing his street magic performances on the live-streaming app, Periscope. After a while, he realized he could turn his hobby into his dream job. In June, Jacques gained the courage to quit his high-paying job so he could Periscope full-time.”
Research from the CDC: Hookah-Related Twitter Chatter (say THAT three times fast.)
“From the full stream of tweets posted on Twitter from April 12, 2014, to May 10, 2014 (approximately 14.5 billion tweets), all tweets containing the terms hookah, hooka, shisha, or sheesha were collected (n = 358,523). The hookah tweets from Twitter users (tweeters) with high influence and followers were identified (n = 39,824) and a random sample of 5,000 tweets was taken (13% of tweets with high influence and followers). The sample of tweets was qualitatively coded for normalization (ie, makes hookah smoking seem common and normal or portrays positive experiences with smoking hookah) or discouragement of hookah smoking, and other common themes using crowdsourcing…. Approximately 87% of the sample of tweets normalized hookah use, and 7% were against hookah or discouraged its use. Nearly half (46%) of tweets that normalized hookah indicated that the tweeter was smoking hookah or wanted to smoke hookah, and 19% were advertisements/promotions for hookah bars or products.”
I can’t wait to get rid of a couple of the Windows 8 machines in my charge. From How-To Geek: How to clean install Windows 10. “When you upgrade a Windows 7 or 8.1 system to Windows 10, the installer confirms that you have a ‘genuine Windows’ system installed and activates your computer for use with Windows 10. Note that you don’t actually get a Windows 10 product key — instead, your computer’s hardware is registered with Microsoft’s servers. When you install Windows 10 on that PC again in the future, it will check in with Microsoft’s servers, confirm it’s installed on a registered PC, and automatically activate itself.”
Spain’s attempt to “tax” Google News ended up being a huge mess, as could only be expected.
“Here’s the history: the Spanish Newspaper Publishers Association successfully convinced Spanish lawmakers in late 2014 to pass a strict “anti-piracy” law, which mandated compensation for the appearance of newspaper publishers’ content on news aggregation sites as of January 1, 2015. It was effectively directed at Google but applied broadly to all news/content aggregators. In response, Google shuttered Google News in Spain, though it has continued to present Spanish news sites on its main search engine results page (SERP) and in other ways. The Spanish publishers then tried unsuccessfully to get the government to force Google to keep Google News alive in Spain (to collect the tax).”
South Carolina is putting its business filings online (PRESS RELEASE). “More than 20,000 document and certificate requests will be handled by the new online solution annually. The new service is also estimated to save Secretary Hammond’s staff thousands of hours, as well as benefit the citizens and businesses of South Carolina. Before the new online service, most requests took approximately a week to fulfill due to the post office handling time. With this new online service it is anticipated that requests will be completed in 24-48 hours.”
Google’s Project Loon is now covering Sri Lanka. “In the case of Google’s Project Loon, we are talking about a literal taking off, as Project Loon involves the release of balloons into the sky in order to deliver a semblance of Internet infrastructure to various locations that are difficult to have them wired. Having said that, Sri Lanka is the very first country in the world to obtain universal Internet access via Project Loon.”
Yet another Android security bug can render your phone silent.
“By either installing a malicious app on an Android device, or directing users to a nefarious website, hackers can cause an Android device to become ‘apparently dead — silent, unable to make calls, with a lifeless screen,’ Trend Micro explained. If the exploit is installed through an app, it can auto-start whenever the device boots, causing Android to crash every time the device is powered on.”
From what I’m reading on other sites, if the bug is activated by just visiting a malicious site, you can reboot the phone and you’ll be fine. I’m reading a lot of different takes, though – I think this is still developing.