Storify, Seed Catalogs, Congress.gov, More: Sunday Buzz, March 29th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

I just found this a few days ago and it’s not new but it’s lovely. The British Museum has an Instagram series of all its galleries up on Storify.

Now available: a huge collection of online medical journals. “While we encourage you to explore the full-text search tool available on our website, you can now also browse over 3,000 volumes that comprise our 336 journal titles. If you’d rather browse by date or search all fields, we encourage you to download the CSV file, also available on the journals browse page.”

USEFUL STUFF

Dave Winer has open-sourced MyWord Editor. It’s a blogging tool that you can read more about at http://myword.io/editor/ .

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Flickr Commons has reached 100 institutions with the addition of the VCU Libraries. “The VCU Libraries include prints, works of art, historic and medical artifacts, archives and manuscripts, maps and rare books and periodicals, as well as one of the largest collections of comic arts, book art, alternative newspapers and zines in the USA.” Apparently now even when paging through the Flickr Commons, you get big, jarring ads in the middle of the streams. Ick.

You can now do video embeds from Facebook.

More Facebook: it is opening up Messenger for businesses.

Congress.gov has gotten a bunch of updates. Includes: treaties, executive reports, and bills in XML.

Google is launching a major push to get businesses and business information online. I’d probably feel better about this if I hadn’t been using Google My Business for years. It’s always been bumpy and it became a nightmare when it got integrated into Google+. Not to mention the Saturday when I was trying to have a peaceful lunch and suddenly got the phone call that Google had suddenly marked one of our stores as “closed permanently” and we were getting phone calls from concerned customers. Why had it done that? I never got an answer…

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

ProQuest and Google are teaming up for full-text indexing (I think this is a press release.) “ProQuest will enable the full text of its scholarly journal content to be indexed in Google Scholar, improving research outcomes. Work is underway and the company anticipates that by the third-quarter of 2015, users starting their research in Google Scholar will be able to access scholarly content via ProQuest.”

Tech companies are teaming up to demand an end to the NSA’s collection of bulk metadata. “The missive concerns Sections 215 and 214 of the PATRIOT Act, a law passed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that’s been a key legal foundation for the government’s collection of Americans’ call record metadata, for example. The now-infamous Section 215 of the act will sunset on June 1, barring Congressional action.”

The SEC has ruled that startups can sell stock online to anyone. “he Securities and Exchange Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt rules that permit startups to raise money from the vast majority of Americans, including provisions that allow for deals to be made over the Internet. Previously, only individuals with more than $1 million in net worth or income of at least $200,000 for each of the last two years — so called “accredited investors” — could easily invest in startups. Some websites already offer the chance to invest in startups online, but prospective investors had to be accredited and subject to more stringent regulations.” As long as people think of this as less of a “retirement fund” investment and more of a “scratch ticket” investment…

The Biodiversity Heritage Library wants some crowdsourcing help transcribing its seed catalogs. “In celebration of our Garden Stories event, we’ve released some of our seed catalogs for transcription as part of our Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-funded Purposeful Gaming project. Seed catalogs are notoriously difficult subjects for Optical Character Recognition software (OCR) to parse (which produces searchable text files of digitized images), so searching the text of online vintage seed catalogs is often problematic.”

A blog post at GSA.gov makes a recommendation for making Twitter screenshots more accessible. Good morning, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Cars, Reddit, Zillow, More: Saturday Afternoon Buzz, March 28th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Au.to is a new search engine for used cars (PRESS RELEASE). “Like Google, AU.TO crawls the web seeking out cars for sale, collecting both vehicle and dealer data, and sorting vehicles based on user predicted interest, thereby providing custom-tailored search results for individual users. AU.TO features a lightning fast, text-based search, yielding results in milliseconds, not minutes. It also provides the first user-predicted interest algorithm for online car shopping: Think Pandora for cars.” You know, you could just be a search engine for used cars. Comparisons to Google and Pandora aren’t necessary…

USEFUL STUFF

From Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: 13 Must-Have Chrome Apps for Music Teachers.

How-To Geek: The Best Ways to Save Web Pages to Read Later. I heart Pocket.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Reddit now lets you embed its comments on your site. “To generate the necessary code simply click on a comment’s permalink page, then select ‘embed’ to generate the code you need to copy. You also have the option to include parent comments.”

Real estate site Zillow has launched an updated agent finder. “The new tool takes into account ratings from Zillow’s users, as well as data about who the most active agents in a given area are (based on past sales and their number of current listings). Prospective home buyers and sellers can then filter according to their price points, needs and specialties (relocations, short sale, etc.), as well as the languages the agent speaks.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Jack Schofield takes a look at Twitter tool Nuzzel. Thanks to my sojourn in Ick Limbo last weekend, I spent a lot of time tweaking Twitter and Tweetdeck and this past week I’ve found that between a carefully-cultivated TweetDeck and Nuzzel, Twitter can be more interesting than Facebook. (Of course, I also discovered that there are some ridiculously frustrating things about Nuzzel, but that’s a different article.)

Business chat service Slack got hacked. It’s launched two-factor authentication.

Google is pushing back against stories about how much time/effort it spends on DC. “Having whittled its visit count down, Google says it consulted the White House records for other companies. It claims Microsoft made 270 visits over the same period, whereas Comcast made 150 visits — which is in stark contrast to the WSJ’s claims of just 20.” I have never liked the “but this other guy is doing it too” method of defense…

More Google: it is bringing its fiber service to Salt Lake City.

More More Google: Is Google setting up a billing payment service for GMail? “The service, dubbed Pony Express, would ask users to provide personal information, including credit card and Social Security numbers, to a third-party company that would verify their identity, according to a Re/code report on Tuesday.” What could POSSIBLY go wrong? Good afternoon, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Blekko, Glass, Magna Carta, More: Saturday Morning Buzz, March 28th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

The British Library has launched its Magna Charta archive.

Yahoo has launched a new digital magazine: Yahoo Politics.

Georgia State University has launched new online exhibits. “The current exhibit topics include the history of radio broadcasting in Georgia, history of Atlanta women’s organizations, and grass roots activism. Additional exhibits will be added periodically in the future.”

Pixar has made its rendering engine, Renderman free (as in beer). “To download Renderman, Pixar requires you to register for a forum account and provide a valid e-mail address. Once that’s done, you are given an installation package which in turn downloads the actual Renderman components appropriate for your operating system and 3D package.” Note this is for non-commercial use only. Do you wanna render a snowman?

There’s a new pay-to-view video service in town: Vessel. “The videomakers who plan to debut content on Vessel include GloZell Green, MinutePhysics, FailArmy, Brittani Louise Taylor, Shane Dawson and dozens more. Vessel also has exclusive content, such as a reality show about romantic relationships starring Alec Baldwin.”

USEFUL STUFF

From PC World (Warning! PC World!): 5 Google Drive Tricks. I would like a trick to get the Google Drive index page the way it used to be. The new one is awful.

Want to know if your GMail is being tracked (by marketing companies and so forth)? There’s a Chrome extension for that. “Ugly Email is a free Chrome browser extension that works on the Gmail website, and it serves one purpose: To let you know when an email is being tracked before you open it.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Hey! More records from FamilySearch. “Notable collection updates include 2,435,483 indexed records from the Canada Census, 1911 collection; 2,069,202 indexed records from the Australia, Queensland Cemetery Records, 1802–1990 collection; and 310,900 images from the Russia, Tula Poll Tax Census (Revision Lists), 1758–1895 collection.”

Wandering down memory lane? Facebook has a new ‘on this day’ feature.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The University of Rochester Libraries have joined HathiTrust.

Search engine Blekko, about which I have written a few times has been either fully or partially acquired by IBM. In any case, it’s no longer available.

RESEARCH AND OPINION

While I was checking my traps, I stumbled across a paper by James Gips, Muhan Zhang, and Deirdre Anderson of Boston College: Towards a Google Glass Based Head Control Communication System for People with Disabilities (PDF file, free). It’s a relatively short paper that outlines two Glass-based systems that allow people to communicate via head movement. If you, like me, are interested in the medical/industrial capabilities of Glass, it’s well worth a read. Good morning, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Short Friday Morning Buzz, March 27th, 2015

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

The Oklahoma Historical Society has updated its online Oklahoma encyclopedia of history and culture. “Nearly 1,000 of 2,466 original encyclopedia articles have been updated, and several hundred more will be prepared and added in the future, [Bob] Blackburn said. ”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Google has hired a new CFO – Ruth Porat.

The Wall Street Journal has an eye-widening article about how much money and time Google spends on Washington. “Last year, Google spent $16.8 million on lobbyists, more than any other company except for Comcast, according to lobbying disclosures. The 2014 total by Google is more than triple the company’s lobbying spending in 2010, the year before the FTC antitrust probe began, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Google has about 100 individual lobbyists at 20 lobbying firms.”

More Google: it is warning about unauthorized TLS certificates. “The bogus transport layer security certificates are trusted by all major operating systems and browsers, although a fall-back mechanism known as public key pinning prevented the Chrome and Firefox browsers from accepting those that vouched for the authenticity of Google properties, Google security engineer Adam Langley wrote in a blog post published Monday. The certificates were issued by Egypt-based MCS Holdings, an intermediate certificate authority that operates under the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). The Chinese domain registrar and certificate authority, in turn, is included in root stores for virtually all OSes and browsers.”

Yahoo is asking Firefox users to switch back to its search engine. “Yahoo is touting the message that Firefox switched from Google to Yahoo has their default search partner in November so all Firefox users should also consider making the switch as well.”

Harvard, Ohio State, the University of British Columbia, and 10 University of California institutions are getting involved in a project to develop a financial model for open access. “‘Pay It Forward: Investigating a Sustainable Model of Open Access Article Processing Charges for Large North American Research Institutions’ is a yearlong effort to study the implications of new funding models for scholarly communications, particularly the use of article processing charges, and determine their sustainability for research universities in the United States and Canada. The project partnership includes three major research libraries (Harvard University, Ohio State University and the University of British Columbia) as well as the 10 University of California campuses. The project will create a detailed, flexible, and publicly available financial model to help university administrators and librarians develop open access policies and strategies.”

Artifacts destroyed in Mosul will be rebuilt in 3-D. “Two weeks after the sacking of the 300 year-old Mosul Museum by a group of ISIS extremists went viral on Youtube, researchers from the ITN-DCH, IAPP and 4D-CH-WORLD projects launched Project MOSUL to virtually restore damaged artefacts and make them accessible from virtual museums…. To reach this objective, the team is planning to use 4D-CH-WORLD’s technology to reconstruct and model Mosul artefacts virtually from crowd-sourced images available online. 4D-CH-World has spent the past two years designing what it calls the ‘first worldwide fully automated 4D reconstruction system capable of handling large image galleries in the wild.'”

Harvard Working Knowledge has an article on the Tate Museums and its digitial marketing/social media strategy. The article is interesting enough by itself, but if you want the whole 26-page HBS case study, it’ll run you $8.95.

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Pew Research: local news is hard to find on Twitter. (Pew pew pew pew pew!) Good morning, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

India, Scotland, Princeton, More: Morning Buzz, March 25th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Twitter and the government of India have teamed up.

Algerie Telecom has launched Nooonbooks (yes, three o’s), a new digital library of 30,000 books in Arabic. “The digital library “Nooonbooks” comprises over 30,000 books on exact sciences, management, social sciences, law, personal development and general knowledge. Nooonbooks is available by annual subscription priced at DZD 2,400 via one-year licence cards.” (I believe that’s about $25 a year USD.)

Dumfries and Galloway’s Library and Archive Service has launched an online image archive. “Collection highlights include a postcard of the German air ship the Hindenberg over Drummore, the Lusitania off the coast of Galloway, the Queen Mother at Park Farm in Dumfries, JM Barrie with the cast of the Duke of Christmas Daisies and the Burns Statue inauguration in Dumfries in 1882.” Looks like about 3400 items at the moment, with more being added regularly.

New York Police Department crime scene photos will be digitized and put online. “The trove includes well-known scenes, like the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan shortly after Malcolm X was assassinated there in 1965, and exploded lockers at Pennsylvania Station from one of the many attacks in the 16-year rampage in the 1940s and 1950s of George P. Metesky, the so-called Mad Bomber.”

USEFUL STUFF

Heh: How to enjoy Twitter without working yourself into a frothing rage. (Why would you follow someone you don’t like?)

From Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: 22 Chrome Apps Every Teacher Should Know About.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Twitter is testing an offensive tweet filter. “Revealed in a tweet posted Monday by ThinkUp CEO and blogger Anil Dash, the feature known as ‘quality filtering’ is intended to ‘remove all Tweets from your notifications timeline that contain threats, offensive or abusive language, duplicate content, or are sent from suspicious accounts.’ The feature appears as an option on the iOS app’s Notifications screen, where you can turn it on or off.” This new feature is being tested with some of Twitter’s verified users, and not joyless proles like you or me. Well, me anyway.

Twitter is also testing a new suggestion feature. “Spotted today by Marketing Land editor in chief Matt McGee, the ‘You may also like’ feature shows up in the right-rail on some individual tweet pages. It shows several tweets, some related to the content of the main tweet, some not. With the small sample-size — we saw the display on four of 10 tweets we checked — it wasn’t possible to see a pattern.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

MIT Technology Review has an interesting article on fake media accounts in the social media world. If you’ve spent any time on Twitter you’ve probably seen them.

Interesting: How one university archive (Princeton) uses Tumblr. “The design of our Tumblr page reflects what I wanted to convey: Yes, we’re a special collections library with a lot of old stuff, but it’s cool old stuff. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re not always going to try to teach you about the storied history of Princeton—although you will get a sense of that if you keep reading for a while. Instead, like the Comedy Central show, Drunk History, we show you the things that make those of us who work in the archives laugh. Along the way, we also tell the story of Princeton in bits and pieces in a format we hope is entertaining and visually appealing.”

Bing may remove navigation to additional pages of search results past the first. “Bing may drop their paginated search results for some search queries where they are confident that page one of the search results are ‘the most relevant results’ for the query.” One of the commenters to the story said Bing has been doing this for years, but I’d never seen it before – maybe I’ve never searched for something obscure enough? This is a really terrible idea.

Facebook is apparently in talks with news sites to host their content. Unfortunately I don’t have enough adjectives to express what an insufferably stupid idea I think this is. Good morning, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!