John Cage, WordPress, WWI, More: Tuesday Buzz, April 28th, 2015

NEPAL

Skype is offering free calls to land lines and mobiles in Nepal. (It looks like that means to mobiles associated with Nepal, not mobiles that are from somewhere else and happen to be in Nepal, if I’m reading this correctly.)

NEW RESOURCES

A new online archive about John Cage is now available. “Today, the New World Symphony launches a video-based exploration of the work of John Cage, one of the 20th century’s most influential and provocative composers and visual artists. Part of a free, online resource, the archive grew from a 2013 celebration of Cage on the 100th anniversary of his birth, and allows viewers to experience his music and learn more through behind-the-scenes discussions.”

The diaries of a priest who ministered to soldiers in World War I are now available online. “Experts in the Dublin Diocesan Archive and the Digital Library in University College Dublin have worked together for over a year and a half transcribing and digitising diaries and papers of Fr Francis Gleeson, a Dublin priest who ministered to soldiers in World War One.”

USEFUL STUFF

Interesting: The one word reporters should add to Twitter searches that you probably haven’t considered. Note this is more about finding sources to talk to, but it’s an excellent reminder of the importance of language!

From The Intercept: The whys and hows of encrypting your laptop.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

I know like it seems there just was one but WordPress has issued a new security release, WordPress 4.2.1. “A few hours ago, the WordPress team was made aware of a cross-site scripting vulnerability, which could enable commenters to compromise a site. The vulnerability was discovered by Jouko Pynnönen.” And this is why I don’t run self-hosted WordPress anymore… You can get more details about the security issue here.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

A Texas judge has been admonished for writing Facebook posts about her trials.

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism is talking about news media and algorithmic transparency. “There is a lot of interest in understanding the human component to how algorithms are designed, and how they evolve and are adjusted over time and are kept in operation. Facebook and Google: we know there are people behind your algorithm! At a high level, transparency here might involve explaining the goal, purpose, and intent of the algorithm, including editorial goals and the human editorial process or social context crucible from which the algorithm was cast.”

Hmmm.. did Google update its algo over the weekend?

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Research done by the University of Maryland indicates that Google searches for a certain word starting with n may indicate higher mortality rates for African Americans in that region. ” Researchers found that those areas with greater levels of racism, as indexed by the proportion of Google searches containing the ‘n-word,’ had higher mortality rates among Blacks….Given the challenges in measuring racism through surveys, the researchers used a proxy measure previously developed by Seth I. Stephens-Davidowitz, co-author on the study, that was based on the volume of searches for the ‘n-word’ ending in -er¬ or -ers, not including those ending in -a or ¬-as as such searches were shown to be used in different contexts.” Good morning, Internet…

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YouTube, Google, Ancestry, More: Short Monday Buzz, April 27th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Both Facebook and Google are offering people finders after the Nepal earthquake.

The British Library has announced the launch of the Paston Letters. “They offer a unique glimpse into the personal lives of three generations of the Paston family from Norfolk over a period of 70 years — the family name comes from a Norfolk village about 20 miles north of Norwich. The Pastons rose from peasantry to aristocracy in just a few generations: the first member of the family about whom anything is known was Clement Paston (d. 1419), a peasant, who gave an excellent education to his son William (d. 1444), enabling him to study law…. Five volumes containing some of the most studied items have now been published on our Digitised Manuscripts website: four volumes from 1440-1489 (Add MS 43488, Add MS 43489, Add MS 43490, Add MS 43491) and a volume that contains further material from the second half of the 15th century, together with later correspondence from of the later 16th century (Add MS 33597).”

USEFUL STUFF

Lifehacker takes a look at the best DIY channels on YouTube.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

You remember that mention a few days ago that Google can now send map directions from the desktop to an Android phone? Looks like that might be expanding. “This will supposedly be done through Google Search as well. As you can see in the screenshots above, typing in ‘note to self’ or ‘send a note’ will take users to a page where they can type in a note and send it to their mobile device. Setting an alarm follows a similar process where they just need to type ‘set an alarm’ and it will take them to a page where they can set the alarm and have it synced to their mobile device.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Sadly, one of the victims of the Nepal earthquake and subsequent Everest avalanche was a Google executive. “Dan Fredinburg, a respected Google executive who headed privacy for Google X and lead its product management team, has died in the avalanche on Mount Everest which was triggered by the huge earthquake in Nepal. The natural disaster has already killed over 2,000 people in the region and devastated infrastructure. Some 18 other climbers have been killed in what is being described as the worst earthquake to hit Nepal in the last 80 years.”

The Internet Archive is participating in two Web archiving grants. “For the project ‘Archiving the Websites of Contemporary Composers,’ led by NYU Libraries and funded with a grant of $480,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we will work with the Libraries and MIAP. This project will archive web-based and born-digital audiovisual materials, and research and develop tools for their improved capture and discoverability…. The second recently-announced grant project is being lead by Old Dominion University’s Web Science and Digital Libraries Research Group, which received a $468,618 National Leadership Grant for Libraries from IMLS for the project, ‘Combining Social Media Storytelling With Web Archives’ (grant number LG-71-15-0077).”

Oh, ouch: Ancestry’s export tool for the shuttered MyFamily site didn’t export everything. “My aunt Amy, who was always the account administrator, had no reason not to trust Ancestry’s promise to export our data. So after she downloaded the 748-megabyte zip file that putatively contained our collected correspondence, she just let it sit on her computer. … when she finally opened the archive, a few months after MyFamily had gone to the great digital hereafter, she was horrified to find nothing but photos. More than a decade of written correspondence was missing.”

A 64-year-old programmer has sued Google for age discrimination. “A Florida man named Robert Heath has filed an age-discrimination lawsuit against Google in federal court, seeking to form a class action of workers who allege they were denied a chance to work at the search giant because of their age.” Good morning, Internet…

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Hip-Hop, RSS, Bing, More: Sunday Buzz, April 26th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Hey! Hip-hop albums in Google Street View. “Shout out to The Guardian for inspiring us to embark on our own journey through the streets of Google Maps to discover where some of our favorite hip hop album covers were shot. We did a lot of digging to find the exact location of these shots, so we hope you enjoy.”

Are we finally going to get an open, online database of clinical trials? “As announced by Open Knowledge yesterday, Open Trials ‘will aggregate information from a wide variety of existing sources in order to provide a comprehensive picture of the data and documents related to all trials of medicines and other treatments around the world.’ The database is funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.”

USEFUL STUFF

If you use RSS, BoingBoing thinks you should try Feedly. I like NewsBlur, and Digg Reader, and I’m so glad that the idea of viable online RSS readers survived Google Reader’s rise and abrupt, undeserved death.

How-To Geek has a walkthrough on how to use Google’s ARC Welder to run Android apps in Chrome.

From TNW: The 14 best data visualization tools. Divided into resources for developers and non-developers.

From PC World (warning! PC World!) How to add music to your Google Slides presentation.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Twitter has launched a new Trends setup. “We recently launched a new trends experience on mobile and web. Certain users will now see additional context with their trends: a short description and at times an accompanying image. While building this new product experience, we also switched the entire trends backend system to a brand new platform. This is the largest engineering undertaking of the trends system since 2008.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Bing is now pulling in detailed answers from third-party Web sites — just like Google! Ick ick ick.

Apparently more people are hipping to the fact that Google Maps’ editing policy is ridiculous. Thanks to a couple of unhappy Google Maps experiences I already knew this….

Is Yahoo going to launch a search and digital assistant this year? “The two people supposedly heading this project are Jeff Bonforte and Peter Monaco, both of whom are former heads of one of Yahoo’s acquisitions, Xobni, an app that organized the inboxes of Microsoft Outlook. A recent acquisition by Yahoo is an Android launcher called Aviate (now Yahoo Aviate) that predicts which apps you’ll be using during certain situations.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Pinterest wants to predict where you’re gonna pin that cheese fries recipe.

Nate Silver is always a fun read: How Google searches can predict hockey ticket sales. 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!

Zooniverse, Facebook, Twitter, More: Saturday Afternoon Buzz, April 25th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

I had no idea there was an online museum of fishing flies. “There are a lot of great photos for those who like to study flies. This fellow also frames flies with pictures of fishing and outdoor scenes, and the section displaying these creations is quite impressive.”

Facebook has a new app called Hello. Call your friends, call local businesses.

Zooniverse has a new crowdsourcing project – it needs your help spotting chimpanzees.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

If you have an Android phone, you can send directions from Google desktop to your phone.

Do you spend too much time goofing around on Facebook? What if you had to pay for it? Timewaste Timer is “a Chrome plugin and service that will take $1 from you every time you spend more than an hour on Facebook per day. All you need to do is install the extension and put $20 on a virtual deposit account.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Apparently many of Twitter’s top executives don’t tweet that much. “The typical executive at Twitter has tweeted less than once per day since they joined the social network, and two have sent less than one tweet a month, according to analysis by Si Dawson, a web developer from Wellington, New Zealand.” I think you can get a lot of use out of Twitter without tweeting at all, just using it as an information-gathering tool.

Digital Public Library of American and HathiTrust are teaming up to support open e-book standards. “The Humanities Open Book grant program, a joint initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is exactly the kind of program we wish to support, and we stand ready to do so. Under this funding program, NEH and Mellon will award grants to publishers to identify previously published books and acquire the appropriate rights to produce an open access e-book edition available under a Creative Commons license. Participants in the program must deposit an EPUB version of the book in a trusted preservation service to ensure future access.”

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer called its layoffs a “remix”. Not sure what she’s going for here, unless she’s trying to — no, I got nothing.

Facebook’s video views are up to 4 billion a day. Yow! This is up from 3 billion… in January.

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Ever wonder how much paper it would take to print the Internet? Here ya go.

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!

Twitter, LinkedIn, Periscope, More: Saturday Morning Buzz, April 25th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Twitter is now offering Highlights. “When you opt in to receiving Highlights, you will get a notification on your phone up to twice daily letting you know your Highlights are ready. When you open the notification, you’ll go directly into the Twitter app where your Highlights will be displayed in a new interface. View them all by swiping through from right to left. When you’ve reached the last Highlight, another swipe puts you directly into your home timeline.” I’ll stick with Nuzzel, thanks.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Interesting: Google Chrome now does MIDI. Sorta. “Yes, as of more recent beta and stable builds, Google’s Chrome browser has built-in support for hardware MIDI. Plug in a MIDI controller, and you can play – well, this Web Audio MIDI Synthesizer, anyway…”

There’s now a quick way to find those cool 360-degree YouTube videos.

Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) has been released.

WordPress 4.2 has been released. Emoji are now available. Hold me back.

Apparently redesigned Google Glass will be out soon. Because the failure of Google Glass wasn’t about its complete disregard for human social norms and behavior, it was all about how it didn’t have nice frames. For crying out loud.

This should be interesting: LinkedIn has gotten a patent that could potentially fact-check your resume. “The patent for a ‘Interactive Fact Checking System’ was first filed in 2013 by inventor Lucas Myslinski and has been acquired by LinkedIn. According to the description of the patent, the interactive service ‘automatically monitors, processes, fact checks information, and indicates a status of the information.'”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Gah, there’s a kind of scary WiFi security bug out there. Heartbleed was almost exactly a year ago. I am not nostalgic for it. “In an e-mail today to the Open Source Software Security (oss-security) mailing list, the maintainer of wireless network client code used by Android, the Linux and BSD Unix operating systems, and Windows Wi-Fi device drivers sent an urgent fix to a flaw that could allow attackers to crash devices or even potentially inject malicious software into their memory. The flaw could allow these sorts of attacks via a malicious wireless peer-to-peer network name.”

Is Google gonna get all Pinterest-y? “A new feature called Collections is coming soon to Google+, according to sources of ours. While we have limited information about Collections at this time, from what we understand, the feature wants users to create ‘collections’ of their interests, which makes it sound a lot like Pinterest meets a blogging platform.”

Wow, Periscope already has a star. “Her name is Amanda Oleander. She’s 25 and upbeat and a Sagittarius, and since moving to Los Angeles two years ago, she’s worked as a freelance artist, an illustrator for E! Online, the director of client relations for a fledging app developer, and an extra in The Hunger Games. Perhaps most significantly, and definitely most randomly, in early April she was enjoying her status as the ‘most loved’ person on the new social-media platform Periscope.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

An interesting article on Twitter’s balance between free speech and safety. “When users push back against changes, or demand them, it often demonstrates the ways in which structure and profitability are at odds with community needs. Twitter’s fundamental structure, enabling as close to unfettered communication as possible, is simultaneously the source of its profit and its abuse potential.”

Can Twitter predict an IPO’s performance? “The most useful finding for investors may be the way pre-IPO tweets seem to predict a company’s opening day performance. Interestingly, researchers discovered that overall Twitter sentiment in the three-day run-up is usually the opposite of the way IPO performance unfolds. On average, raves on Twitter are associated with first-day price drops, while gloomy tweets are more likely to predict price climbs.”

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!