Kickstarter Corner and spotted today: a combination desk lamp and automated document scanner. Oh me oh my. “DigitEYE is a compact and extremely effective scanner that takes up less than 3 inches of desktop space. When on, it automatically scans documents placed on your desk. No technological knowledge needed, no clicking, no frustration. In less than 1 second, DigitEYE will scan, save and upload or send any document, book, or manuscript.” They’re trying to raise $100,000 and I hope they get it – I know Kickstarter’s Kickstarter but this thing looks glorious.
Quartz is launching a bot studio. Because it’s all about the bots. No treble. “Quartz is betting big on bots. The Atlantic Media-owned outlet is getting a $240,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to launch Quartz Bot Studio, a group focused on developing three bot-related projects in the coming year, for everything from messaging platforms like Slack to voice interfaces like the Amazon Echo (disclosure: Knight is a supporter of Nieman Lab). Quartz will contribute its own resources to the Studio as well, and intends for the projects to continue after its first year.”
A new online tool is designed to track disease outbreaks and epidemics. “Microreact is a cloud-based system that combines the power of open data and the web, to provide real-time global data sharing and visualisation, allowing anyone to explore and examine outbreak information with unprecedented speed and detail. This is becoming increasingly important in the race to monitor and control fast-developing outbreaks like Ebola or Zika, or the growing threat of anti-microbial resistance. Microreact allows data and metadata sets to be uploaded via a web browser, which can then be visualised, shared and published in a research paper via a permanent web link.”
Facebook Messenger now has instant games. “Bored while you wait for someone to text back? Now you can challenge friends for high scores on Facebook Messenger’s new Instant Games, like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Words With Friends Frenzy. Available right from your message threads, they load in seconds since they’re built on the HTML5 mobile web standard, rather than having to be downloaded like clunky native apps.”
From the Check Point Software blog: More Than 1 Million Google Accounts Breached by Gooligan. “As a result of a lot of hard work done by our security research teams, we revealed today a new and alarming malware campaign. The attack campaign, named Gooligan, breached the security of over one million Google accounts. The number continues to rise at an additional 13,000 breached devices each day.”
Do you have a Google My Business page? You need this. “Google quietly added a new features to Google My Business Settings at business.google.com/settings that let’s you configure when and how you’d like to get notifications about changes or additions to your business listings on Google.” Google My Business has been awful ever since Google mushed it up with Google+, IMHO. So much better when it was just Google Local.
Google Expeditions is getting 50 new tours! “Students can now travel back in time to visit the famous warship Mary Rose, discover Viking settlements and even try to solve one of the greatest mysteries of all time, Richard III’s death. As well as covering Science, Art, English and History, the launch of this new content will also include several Expeditions that explore a variety of careers. These will invite students to experience a day in the life of those who work as an app developer, surgeon, chef, outdoors activity instructor and many more. Teachers will also be able to take students on a tour to explore the early life of Robert Burns, experience the Aurora Borealis and learn how magnetic forces create such magical skies, or even go inside a plant to see how photosynthesis happens.”
From the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi: Google Faces Legal Hurdles Under Brazilian Internet Law. “The Brazilian Federal Prosecution Ministry has brought civil proceedings against Google for flouting its data protection law. The suit challenges Google’s access to the content of emails exchanged by Gmail users on multiple grounds, including Google’s failure to obtain express consent.” The article also looks at similar challenges and/or privacy rules in Italy and the EU.
The Internet Archive is crowdfunding to build a copy of its archive in Canada. “On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change. For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions. It means serving patrons in a world in which government surveillance is not going away; indeed it looks like it will increase.”
Google has updated Google Earth Timelapse. “In 2013, we released Google Earth Timelapse, our most comprehensive picture of the Earth’s changing surface. This interactive experience enabled people to explore these changes like never before—to watch the sprouting of Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands, the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, and the impressive urban expansion of Las Vegas, Nevada. Today, we’re making our largest update to Timelapse yet, with four additional years of imagery, petabytes of new data, and a sharper view of the Earth from 1984 to 2016. We’ve even teamed up again with our friends at TIME to give you an updated take on compelling locations. “
CNET: Dr. Google may check your eyes in the future. “Dr. Google might be your next ophthalmologist. The search giant said Tuesday it had trained a deep-learning algorithm to spot signs of diabetic retinopathy in patients. It does this in a manner similar to eye specialists by checking pictures of the back of the eye for signs of the disease.”
Great news: the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and the Library of Congress are teaming up. “The Library of Congress today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Digital Public Library of America to become a ‘content hub partner’ and will ultimately share a significant portion of its rich digital resources with DPLA’s database of digital content records.”