Oooooo. Digital Trends: Uber Movement Is A Newly Released Treasure Trove Of Data For City Officials . ” At the beginning of the year, the San Francisco-based company made available a tome of data based upon countless rides taken by its millions of customers each and every day. Uber Movement includes data that provides ‘detailed historical insights [that] make it possible to measure the impact of road improvements, major events, new transit lines, and more.’ Now, Uber has made this information available for residents of a number of cities, including Bogota, Colombia; Manila, The Philippines; Sydney, Australia; Boston, and Washington, D.C. If you check out the web app, you can look into average travel times between neighborhoods, and also take a closer look at ETAs depending on time of day and day of the week.”
Florida International University: Digital Collections breathes new life into old history. “Everyone knows ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ But some pictures need a little help in getting those thousand words into the open. The Greater North Miami Historical Society had a collection of just such images. Founded in 1997, the society works to preserve the history of North Miami and the surrounding areas, spanning Aventura, Biscayne Park, Miami Shores, North Miami and North Miami Beach. Its historical collection dates back to the 1930s and includes over 4,000 negatives, photographs and other items. As membership in the society declined over the years, however, so did maintenance and organization of the collection. While past volunteers had created an index, many of the items had never been digitized, and so were not only unavailable to the community at large but, stored in less-than-ideal conditions, had begun to degrade.” Only a fraction of the material has been put online and the project continues.
BusinessWire: Civic Action Network Launches Civi (PRESS RELEASE). “CAN summarizes three bills introduced in Congress per week. Members can either receive emails with these summaries or find them on CAN’s website. Once they form an opinion on an issue, members can submit their stance to Civi by favoring or opposing the bill. The service will then provide this information to a real person who will relentlessly call Congress on the members’ behalf until the message has been conveyed. Members will be notified once their call has been successfully delivered to Congress.” Civi will make up to five calls a month free- after that they have different levels of paid service.
Telangana Today: Nizam-era archives to go online. “A dream repository of archival material comprising 50 million odd historical documents and spanning centuries is all set to be available at the click of a mouse. The Telangana State Archives and Research Institute has come up with a proposal for a digital library placing online all its documents that include ‘farmans’ and gazettes issued by erstwhile rulers and also a rich collection of manuscripts. The proposal has already been submitted to the State government for approval.”
Computer Weekly: UK libraries could get national online platform. “The British Library will lead an 18-month long project to investigate the possibility and demand for UK public libraries to get a joint online platform. The project, which is supported by more than £230,000 in funding from Arts Council England and £30,000 from the Carnegie UK Trust, will undertake a scoping exercise to look at what an online ‘single digital presence’ for UK libraries might look like.”
CNET: Google wants to be your travel agent. “Google is doubling down on its price-tracking-for-travel features. The search giant said Tuesday that it’s expanding the information it gives travelers looking to book airline flights and hotels. The idea is to help people find the cheapest price.”
Ars Technica: Google is losing allies across the political spectrum. “With so many Googlers in government, Google had an outsized influence on policymaking during the Obama years. But today, Google is in a different situation. Most obviously, Schmidt worked hard to get Hillary Clinton elected president, and Clinton lost. The issues don’t end there. Given Silicon Valley’s liberal views on social issues and Schmidt’s love for Democratic politicians, it was probably inevitable that conservatives would sour on the search giant. But the larger problem for the search giant is that the company has been losing support among Democrats as well.”
Vanguard (Nigeria): Obaseki proposes Global Database for Victims of Enforced Disappearances. “The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has made a case for a global digital database that will have the information of victims of enforced disappearances across the world. Obaseki made the recommendation on the occasion of the United Nations International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, observed on August 30, each year.” If you’re not familiar with the term “enforced disappearance,” Amnesty International can break it down for you..
eWeek: Instagram API Vulnerability Exposes High-Profile User Information. “Instagram publicly admitted on Aug. 30 that an attacker was able to gain unauthorized access to a small amount of user information. The social networking service noted that it has already fixed the root cause vulnerability that enabled the attack.”
Government Technology: With Hurricane Harvey Comes Money- and Data-Gathering Scams via Social Media, Email, Phone. ” The Internal Revenue Service has issued warnings for people to avoid two new scams. One scheme uses impersonators of the IRS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of a ransomware scam to take computer data hostage. The IRS also issued a warning about possible fake charity scams emerging due to Hurricane Harvey and encouraged taxpayers to seek out recognized charitable groups for their donations.”
The Scientist: Science Labs Offer Help to Texas Researchers. “Yesterday afternoon (August 28), Thomas Jefferson University neuroscientist Tim Mosca tweeted out an offer to help any researchers in Texas who’d been displaced by Tropical Storm Harvey, and encouraged other willing labs to retweet his offer. Dozens picked up on it, and within a day, the March for Science–Houston launched a database with contact information for those labs, along with a description of the type of research they do, indicating what accommodations might be available.”
Ars Technica: FCC ‘apology’ shows anything can be posted to agency site using insecure API. “The Federal Communications Commission’s website already gets a lot of traffic—sometimes more than it can handle. But thanks to a weakness in the interface that the FCC published for citizens to file comments on proposed rule changes, there’s a lot more interesting—and potentially malicious—content now flowing onto one FCC domain. The system allows just about any file to be hosted on the FCC’s site—potentially including malware.”
University of Michigan: ‘Learning database’ speeds queries from hours to seconds. “University of Michigan researchers developed software called Verdict that enables existing databases to learn from each query a user submits, finding accurate answers without trawling through the same data again and again. Verdict allows databases to deliver answers more than 200 times faster while maintaining 99 percent accuracy. In a research environment, that could mean getting answers in seconds instead of hours or days. When speed isn’t required, it can be set to save electricity, using 200 times less than a traditional database. This could lead to substantial power savings, the researchers say, as data centers gobble up a growing share of the world’s electricity.” Oh. My.
Boing Boing: This AI trained on a million logos will now rate your logo. “If an artificial intelligence reviewed your favorite logo, how would that logo fare? now you can find out with Logo Rank, a nifty tool by the guy behind Brandmark.”