A database set up by the government to provide information on physicians apparently has incorrect data in it. “Most physicians are legally required to get what’s called a National Provider Identifier, a unique, 10-digit number assigned to them by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS. Patients can search those numbers in an online database, which also includes physicians’ state license numbers. It’s those license numbers that are the problem: They’re wrong in tens of thousands of cases, an Enquirer investigation has found.” Good grief. Tens of thousands?
Wow, Reddit has kind of blown up, with moderators revolting over the firing of an employee and other recent changes to site policy. “The protest has taken place largely in the form of user protests and moderators making several major subreddits private. When a subreddit is made private, only a select few are able to access it in any fashion. This means the subreddit is effectively closed to public and search engines alike, displaying a lockout page not unlike a 404. As the situation is rapidly advancing, the list of subreddits partaking in the protest is bound to change, but the largest and most common subreddits appear to be showing solidarity in the protest. If one were to visit Reddit’s front page right now, you would note the disappearance of /r/Art, /r/gaming, /r/history, /r/science, /r/Music, /r/books, and many others.”
Former Twitter CEO says Twitter’s new CEO will face “complex challenges”. Gee, you think? “Speaking to the Guardian before his last day at the company on Tuesday, Dick Costolo said that while Twitter had grown revenue by 97% year on year to $1.7bn (£1.1bn), the pressure placed on the company obscured its other achievements in bringing 302 million monthly active users on to the service.”
Apple is expanding its mapping fleet to new states. “Apple’s new cities are located in Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Apple will also continue surveying areas in Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Texas, Utah and Washington.”
Crap. USA.gov is no longer going to update its blog. To get updates, you either have to follow them on Facebook (getting updates from a liked Facebook page? Fat chance), Twitter (possible if you’ve got Nuzzel, otherwise you’re relying on timing and luck), or e-mail (here’s hoping USA.gov’s newsletter either dodges a spam filter or doesn’t end up in GMail’s “promotional” tab). With RSS feeds I knew I was going to get USA.gov’s updates. Now? Plllbbbt.
Oh, ugh. Google’s photo app made a really, really horrible mistake. “Google says it is ‘appalled’ that its new Photos app mistakenly labelled a black couple as being ‘gorillas’. Its product automatically tags uploaded pictures using its own artificial intelligence software.” This didn’t come up in testing so it could be fixed before release? Really?
BuzzFeed speculates about Twitter going an algorithmic route. If it does I will be very, very unhappy. Nuzzel will become much less useful. “In a worst-case scenario, an algorithmic feed could turn Twitter into an inferior version of Facebook, which might, in turn, alienate its core users. But Twitter is a company motivated by profit. And if that worst-case scenario juices revenue, it could prove to be one its investors accept, even as core users decry it.” Great, let’s shit Twitter up all we want to. As long as the investors are happy, right?
More Bing: it will start powering the search at AOL. “The 10-year deal with AOL is the latest to validate the exceptional quality of our search results and marketplace. No longer just a destination search engine, Bing is becoming an integral part of many popular third party devices and services, and Microsoft experiences including Windows, Cortana and Office.”
A campaign is underway to preserve the reel-to-reel recordings of Owsley “Bear” Stanley. This is going to be a huge endeavor as there are over 1300 reels and they’re kind of racing against time at this point before the reels degrade. “Although our campaign opens with a goal of $10,000, that’s just the start. The cost of digitally preserving these recordings is estimated to be US $300,000 to US $400,000 to fund two to four years of professional sound engineers’ studio time. Much of the work is a labor of love, but there is simply too much to do and not enough time for just unpaid volunteers.”
Okay, this just got extra-real: Uber has acquired part of Bing’s mapping assets. “Uber will acquire assets from Microsoft Bing, including roughly 100 employees focused on the product’s image collection activities. In short, Uber is absorbing data-collection engineers from Microsoft to bolster its own mapping work.”
The Digital Public Library of America has gotten a money boost and wants to expand its collections. “The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is on the way to connecting online collections from coast to coast by 2017 – an effort boosted by a new $3.4 million investment, comprising $1.9 million from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and $1.5 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. These two new awards, coupled with significant earlier support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities, will allow DPLA to open new Service Hubs that provide a way for all cultural heritage organizations across the country to connect through one national collection.”
Google’s self-driving cars are now tooling around Mountain View. “These prototype vehicles are designed from the ground up to be fully self-driving. They’re ultimately designed to work without a steering wheel or pedals, but during this phase of our project we’ll have safety drivers aboard with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal that allow them to take over driving if needed. The prototypes’ speed is capped at a neighborhood-friendly 25mph, and they’ll drive using the same software that our existing Lexus vehicles use—the same fleet that has self-driven over 1 million miles since we started the project. “
Bing’s homepage now has sound. This is cool as long as it’s not autoplay. “…when you visit us for your daily dose of surprise and delight, look for the audio icon on the bottom-right of screen to know if you can hear the homepage that day—sound is off by default so you can choose when and where to listen. If you want to learn more about today’s video and the geese calls captured by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, click on the camera icon, also on the bottom-right. This will take you to Bing’s Backstage, where we give you more information about the daily image.”
Google’s got a new health wearable, and it sounds like it’s going straight into a vertical market. Which is how they should have done Glass, but anyway. “The health wristband can monitor pulse, heart rhythm, skin temperature, light exposure and noise levels, providing valuable data not just about a patient, but about their surroundings, too. Where this niche wearable differs from those aimed at the more broad consumer market is mostly in accuracy; the readings it takes are more scientifically rigorous than those achieved by the current crop of Android Wear-powered devices, and the dedicated medical wearable unveiled today also monitors and reports information continuously, for better delivery of real-time actionable info to researchers and medical professionals.”
Reddit is ten years old and has released a bunch of stats. “In addition to detailing that the site now receives nearly 230 million unique monthly visitors, the blog post also specified that the site has received a staggering 16 billion upvotes (and surprisingly only 2.5 billion downvotes) since it was founded in 2005. What was also impressive was the sheer amount of page-view volume that the small crew at Reddit has had to deal with. The post said that there were 334,626,161 monthly page views per each of the 30 Reddit engineers.”