WIRED: The Amazon S3 Outage Is What Happens When One Site Hosts Too Much of the Internet . “Although it’s not true that the internet was designed to withstand a nuclear attack, the fact that there’s no central authority in charge of the network makes it, in theory, resilient to attacks on a single company or computer. But as the Amazon outage and the attack on Dyn prove, the internet is actually pretty brittle.”
Spencer Matonis has been doing an unbelievable job keeping me up to date on his university labs project, and today he sent me an article I can share with you, from TUN: UConn Student Makes a Splash in the Startup World. “The University of Connecticut is home to Spencer Matonis, a sophomore who recently took a dive into the startup world, making quite a splash. His venture, titled Coalesce, is a dot com startup that aims to help scientific minds connect with each other by way of lab and research-related topics. ‘Join a network of laboratories modernizing research,’ the homepage invites visitors. As Matonis puts it, ‘At the core of the network that we’re building is this research lab database where students can explore the profiles and websites of hundreds of labs.’ Social networking sites are by no means unique, but this site is truly the first of its kind, exploring a topic that may sometimes be overlooked in popular culture.”
Considering the funding ResearchGate got recently, I think Mr. Matonis is on to something, and I wish him the best.
A Web site launched in early February tracks the spending that congresspeople are voting for. “This powerful tool has been on our workbench here at the Coalition for nearly the past two years. And every day has been worth it to build a robust methodology and framework that will now easily capture every single spending vote and display it online, in real time, for everyone to see.” Really well designed, easy to use.
A new Web site promises to help users uncover hidden bank fees. “Bank Fee Finder is an important tool that helps Americans improve their financial well-being. Most people drastically underestimate how much they pay in bank fees, including ATM, overdrafts, late fees, and any other bank fees. In a study conducted by Common Cents, most people reported paying $5 per month, on average, in ATM, overdraft, and monthly service fees. Yet, a 2016 study conducted by TransferWise revealed that American households spend about $25 a month, or $290 a year in bank fees on average. Unexpected bank fees are especially relevant given another Common Cents study that found 36% of households have less than $500 in savings (including retirement savings).”
I like the idea but you have to supply your online banking information, and I ain’t doing that. It would be nice if you could get some fee information without immediately going to that level of trust.
TechCrunch: Google quietly launches Meet, an enterprise-friendly version of Hangouts. “Google has quietly launched a new video conferencing application called Meet by Google Hangouts, which is designed for HD video meetings. The web and mobile application appears to be the latest addition to Google’s lineup of business products known as G Suite, though product page on the G Suite website listed in the app’s description page on the App Store is not yet live.”
Google has apparently patented a camera hat. “Budding paparazzi rejoice. A new patent filed Tuesday by Google reveals what could become the newest tool for grabbing candid shots of the Kardashian clan — although that particular use case isn’t mentioned in the document.” I can see this being useful for work.
Google Keep is now part of G Suite, formerly known as Google Apps. “Get started by recording your notes, lists and drawings in Keep on Android, iOS, Chrome or the web. While in Docs on the web, access the Keep notepad via the Tools menu. Your Keep notes will appear in a side panel within Docs.”
CNBC: Teens explain how they really use Snapchat and Instagram, and why Facebook still matters. “Although Snapchat and Instagram are competing bitterly for ad dollars, teens have room for both of them on their phones. That’s because they serve very different functions. CNBC talked to 24 teens and young adults between the ages of 12 and 20 about their social media and app habits. The survey was mostly conducted through the teen-preferred communication medium of text messaging, although a couple did respond via email (after being prompted by their parents).”
Google Blog: More ways to watch and play with AR and VR. “AR and VR aren’t just for gaming; they’re also for amazing entertainment experiences that immerse you in the stuff you love like never before. Our team is at Mobile World Congress this week, and we shared a few updates. Let’s dive in.” The Sims on Tango?
SoundCloud has launched a new subscription plan (PRESS RELEASE). “The new SoundCloud Go plan marks a music industry first by offering a fully on-demand, mid-priced music streaming subscription. SoundCloud Go lets listeners discover, stream and share a constantly expanding mix of more than 120 million tracks from established and emerging artists, offline and ad-free for $4.99 per month. SoundCloud Go+, formerly known as SoundCloud Go, is SoundCloud’s premium subscription offering which gives subscribers full access to more than 150 million tracks, ad-free, offline with no previews for $9.99 per month. Additional exclusive product features for SoundCloud Go+ will be announced later this year.”
The New York Times: A Facebook-Style Shift in How Science Is Shared. “Calvin Coffey, a professor of surgery at the University of Limerick in Ireland, has a world of gadgetry, scientific equipment and medical tests at his disposal. Recently, he added another tool: social media.”
Hey! There’s a new Raspberry Pi in town. “Although major Raspberry Pi announcements are very few and far between, you know that when there is one, it’s worth paying attention. Take for example the Raspberry Pi Zero — the $5 (£4) board that apparently came out of nowhere in October 2015 and offered 40 percent more computing power than the original Pi. It’s been a year since the last major unveiling, when we met the Raspberry Pi 3, but the Foundation is back today with a brand new product that nestles neatly between its credit-card sized computer and its flagship board. It’s called the Raspberry Pi Zero W.”
Wow, I can see how this would be really handy for sending out job applications, press releases, etc. From Amit Agarwal: How to Email Unique File Attachments using Mail Merge for Gmail. “Mail Merge, available for Gmail and Google Inbox, is a perfect tool for sending personalized emails to one or more email addresses using a simple Google Sheet. One of the most popular features of Mail Merge is its unique ability to send different file attachments to different email address. For instance, if you are applying for a job at different companies, you can attach the same PDF resume in all email messages but the cover letter could be different with each application.”
Hacker Noon: Ultimate Guide to Voice Assistants. “It will come as no surprise to those of you reading this (thanks!), that the interest and applications of ‘Voice-Assistants’ is growing rapidly. Amazon Alexa recently hit 10,000 skills and there is talk around what will drive adoption for the next 10,000. I won’t be diving into specifics and discussing issues like retention. That is not what this post is about.” This is a massive resource list!
California has launched a new Web site providing information about the state’s water systems. (The link is to a PDF file.) “With data on more than 3,000 community, schools and day care public water systems in California, the website lets users look up their water system and see whether it complies with federal drinking water standards. The site includes an interactive map that shows the locations of 292 public water systems that are currently out of compliance with federal standards for contaminants such as nitrate and arsenic.”