Thailand, Haiti, Fake Data, More: Monday Buzz, August 3rd, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

The Thai Film Archive is uploading footage to YouTube. Including part of a silent film from 1927!

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Twitter now supports four additional Indic languages. “Today we’ve made Twitter available in Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi and Tamil, and we’ve updated twitter.com and the Android app to support these additional Indian languages.”

USEFUL STUFF

Wonderful stuff from Sarah Werner: How to destroy special collections with social media. “I just got back from a wonderful trip to Rare Book School to deliver a talk in their 2015 lecture series. It was the last week of their summer season in Charlottesville, the week when the Descriptive Bibliography course (aka ‘boot camp’) was in full swing, and the weather was in all its hot, glorious humidity. I wanted to keep things light as well as make some points I feel very strongly about: the importance of librarians and researchers using social media to help sustain special collections libraries.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Happy 20th birthday to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. “Launched two decades ago, years before Wikipedia existed, the site led the way in academic information sharing. It now includes 1,478 authoritative and vetted entries about all manner of philosophical topics. It is updated almost daily, thanks to about 2,000 contributors.”

From Mashable: Inside the failure of Google+, a very expensive attempt to unseat Facebook — “Google+ has become a favorite punchline in the technology industry, but the objective was deadly serious. Interviews with more than a dozen Google insiders and analysts in recent months, many speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, paint the Google of 2010-2011 as increasingly fearful of Facebook snatching away users, employees and advertisers. Google tried to mobilize itself quickly, but approached the task with all the clumsiness of a giant trying to dance with a younger, nimble startup.”

MIT Technology Review: This Is What Controversies Look Like in the Twittersphere – “A new way of analyzing disagreement on social media reveals that arguments in the Twittersphere look like fireworks.” I would have thought they would look more like that annual tomato fight in Spain.

Duke University Libraries has a wonderful behind-the-scenes article on its efforts to database and digitize a huge collection of Radio Haiti tapes. “We’re creating rather sweeping controlled vocabulary — describing subjects, names, and places that appear in the archive. Once we’ve put in all this metadata, we can send the more than 3500 tapes off to be cleaned and digitized. These tasks (organizing, typing in data, cross-referencing, labeling, bar-coding, describing, mold-noting), while arguably unglamorous, are necessary groundwork for eventually making the recordings publicly accessible, ensuring that these tapes can speak again, and that Radyo Ayiti pap peri (Radio Haiti will never perish).”

Queensland (Australia) is putting together its first digital archive. “Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch will next month invite a worldwide expression of interest for the mammoth project…. The state is grappling with how to manage its growing digital records and keep them safe and accessible for future generations.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

A fascinating article from The Atlantic on using fake data to protect real privacy. “There are basically two ways to reduce the risk of a confidentiality breach, [John] Abowd explained. The familiar approach is to perform an analysis on confidential data and then add random error to the output of the analysis. Introducing random error in the output is necessary to reduce the chance that information about any individual will be revealed. But sometimes the random error precisely masks the features that researchers are interested in. Another way, that gets around this problem, is to implement privacy protections on the input of an analysis, by modifying the dataset itself.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Pernille Ripp has some thoughts on Periscoping from schools. “I fell in love with Periscope, the free live-streaming app created by Twitter, this summer while at ISTE. Free, instant access to events happening around the world – finally! The myriad of ways I could see implementing it in my classroom overwhelmed me in a good way….Yet, when I thought about it some more, I started to second-guess my love for it a little bit. I didn’t fall out of love, but I did start to question my own ideas, as well as the professional responsibility that I carry not just as a teacher, but also as an active conference goer/speaker.” 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!

Pocket, NARA, Evernote, More: Sunday Buzz, August 2nd, 2015

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Read-it-later service Pocket is offering a Beta channel for early access features. ” Pocket touts Recommendations as one of the more notable early features Beta Channel users will get access to, but it isn’t limited to that. The public beta channel will be available on the web, Android, and iOS, and Pocket is encouraging its users to get onboard with it.” Recommendations? Ugh. I can’t keep up with the stuff I’m finding to read!

USEFUL STUFF

How-To Geek has a huge article on the Windows 10 privacy settings. “Windows 10 greatly increases the number of privacy options to twelve. In some cases, you can disable many things ahead of time by using the customized setup versus the express. There’s quite a bit to go over, so let’s carve into each category one by one and explain what you should expect to find, and some important things you need to know.”

From Free Technology for Teachers: Create a Random Name Selector in Google Sheets. Jimmy Morrison Pudge!

Evernote has apparently dropped the ability for nonpaying users to e-mail items to be saved, but Amit Agarwal, as always, has your back. “A good alternative is IFTTT. Assuming that you have activated the Evernote and Gmail channels in your IFTTT account, here are the 2 recipes that will help you email notes into Evernote but without having to upgrade to premium.”

From The Wall Street Journal: the best apps for visiting museums.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

NARA wants comments on its relationship with Fold3 and Ancestry.com. “NARA has enjoyed a successful partnership with Ancestry since 2008. NARA has also partnered with Fold3, Ancestry’s sister site, since 2007. In the month of June alone, NARA records received 8.8 million views on Ancestry.com, and 2.5 million views on Fold3.com. We are renewing our partnership agreement with Ancestry.com and Fold3.com, and welcome public feedback.” Judging from my e-mail many of you have… ahem.. strong feelings about Ancestry…

Tinder? Being used as a platform for an exclusive music release? (PRESS RELEASE). mmmkaaaayyy…. “Starting today through Monday, August 3, Tinder users nationwide will discover a video message from Luke inviting them to be the first to experience his new track. Simply tap the banners on either the top or bottom of the card to receive an exclusive link. Fans will also have the opportunity to pre-order Luke’s latest album, KILL THE LIGHTS, out August 7. Tinder users should have the latest version of the app installed to catch the video.”

Google is getting the word out about Google Photos… with food trucks. I now feel totally okay complaining about the limitations of Google Sheets. “When you do these kinds of ‘on the ground’ things, you get to demo your product to people who wouldn’t necessarily have known about it. Food trucks always get people’s attention, so it’s tried-and-true genius. In essence: try our product, get some free food.”

VentureBeat goes hands-on with the new Yahoo Livetext. “The user interface is a lot like Periscope, but for one-on-one conversations. There’s not much to it, either. Users text as they normally would, and the text appears on the screen over the video. To make text smaller you can put in an ellipsis; to make it larger you can add three exclamation points. If you want to see your whole conversation, just tap your text.”

Did you know Google has a car company? “Google has set up its own car company. The tech giant has flirted with major car firms as it explores driverless cars but has also quietly set up its own auto company, according to documents obtained by the Guardian. Google Auto LLC is headed by Chris Urmson, project lead for Google’s self-driving cars. Urmson has been on a charm offensive with the world’s biggest automobile manufacturers. At the North American International Auto Show in January, Urmson announced talks with General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Daimler and Volkswagen.” Eww… “charm offensive” …

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

The Mississippi Attorney General tried to get Google to censor its search results. “Mississippi’s top law enforcement official suspended the campaign against Google last December, after U.S. District Court Judge Henry Wingate in Jacksonville issued a restraining order prohibiting Hood from attempting to enforce a subpoena for ‘millions’ of documents from Google. That subpoena apparently sought information relating to copyright infringement by sites returned in Google’s search results, and infringement by YouTube uploaders.”

If I were Google these would be fightin’ words: “Android is the new Flash”. “Several years ago, Steve Jobs called out Adobe Flash as a trainwreck of security and performance problems, garnering him contempt from industry players deeply invested in the software platform. Today, Google’s Android platform is getting same brutal appraisal, but it’s coming from Android’s own fans.” 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!

Japan, Wisconsin, France, More: Saturday Buzz, August 1st, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

A new tool helps archivists handle e-mail archives. “Springboarding off Muse, a team at Stanford Libraries developed an open-source software program to manage email archives. After feedback from colleagues at other institutions, they released the free package, called ePADD, this month. The software can search emails with queries ranging from a single word to an entire manuscript. It can point out connections and networks among correspondents.”

The USGS has released a new tool to track water quality in rivers and streams. “A new USGS online tool provides graphical summaries of nutrients and sediment levels in rivers and streams across the Nation. The online tool can be used to compare recent water-quality conditions to long-term conditions (1993-2014), download water-quality datasets (streamflow, concentrations, and loads), and evaluate nutrient loading to coastal areas and large tributaries throughout the Mississippi River Basin.”

A digital archive for the Fukushima nuclear disaster has been launched. “A Tokyo-based nonprofit organization has launched a digital archive of public documents on the 2011 nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, so people can examine whether administrative bodies have pursued appropriate policies since the disaster started. There are currently over 3,000 documents organized by Access-Info Clearinghouse Japan on file, totaling some 60,000 pages obtained from central government offices and local-level authorities through freedom-of-information requests or from the home pages of each administrative body.” These documents are free to access but currently available only in Japanese.

The state of Wisconsin now has an online parcel database. “As announced this morning by Mike Friis, Program Manager of the Wisconsin Land Information Program at the DOA, this release provides the community with a web-based mapping interface for browsing the statewide parcel layer. The application, built using ArcGIS Online, enables users to pan and zoom, search by parcel attribute information, and query parcels on screen.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

The Walters Art Museum has gone Creative Commons Zero. “By releasing their metadata and images under a CC0 license, the Walters has made an unprecedented move in the United States GLAM world. The Walters is a museum that celebrates its collection as being a part of the public trust – a collection that is made as accessible as possible to the public. Their collection was donated to the City of Baltimore and is practically ‘owned’ by the people.”

Google Glass is getting enterprise-focused, as it should have been all along. “It seems that Google hasn’t given up on Google Glass — it’s just taken it to a practical direction. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Google is distributing a new version of Glass for business use, in industries such as healthcare and manufacturing.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

GovTrack has launched a KickStarter to help it pay for an intern to write news summaries. “Today GovTrack is fully automated. There’s no staff here. All of the information on the site is collected automatically from the official record. But the official record can’t tell us everything we want to know about what’s going on in Congress. With your help I will hire a full time researcher to add more information about bills to GovTrack. The researcher will report on the political context behind legislation and will tell us what bills really mean.” I’m not sure I agree with how the KickStarter is set up (the minimum pledge is $10, and the reward levels are pretty steep) but GovTrack is a great resource, even as an automated tool. I suspect that as an automated tool with a human writing summaries, it’d be amazing.

Fascinating stuff: the New York Times built a robot for article tagging. “The key feature of the automatic tagging system relies on bringing machines into the mix, an idea that inspires conflicting ideas of progress and dread in some journalists. For Editor to work, the lab needed to build a way for machines and humans to supplement each other’s strengths. Humans are great at seeing context and connections and understanding language, while machines can do computations at enormous scale and have perfect memory. Mike Dewar, a data scientist at the Times R&D lab, said the artificial neural network makes connections between the text and an index of terms pulled from every article in the Times archive.”

Users are “detoxing” from social media. “Driving the detox phenomenon are a few key factors, say experts. For starters, many users of social media are starting to see it as a time suck — a distraction that keeps them from going about the business of their day. But others also see social media as something of a toxic environment – one in which they see people bragging about themselves or volunteering opinions contrary to their own, all of which can create feelings of envy or resentment.”

Yahoo has acquired social shopping site Polyvore (PRESS RELEASE). “On Polyvore, users put together sets of clothing, accessories, and lifestyle goods that express their love for style and shopping in a compelling, digital, social setting. In addition to natural integrations with Yahoo Style and Yahoo Beauty, Polyvore’s strong media experience, where community-powered content is curated and actionable for shoppers, will enhance the full portfolio of Yahoo’s digital magazines and verticals. When it comes to advertising, Polyvore’s technology will bring a proven native ad model, new compelling native ad formats, and strong advertising relationships with more than 350 retailers to Yahoo’s fast-growing native advertising platform, Yahoo Gemini.”

MIT Techology Review took a look at Facebook’s Internet drone. “Aquila, as the V-shaped carbon fiber craft is known, is powered by two propellers and has a wingspan of about 42 meters, roughly equivalent to a Boeing 737 airliner. When covered in solar panels and loaded with communications gear needed to beam down wireless Internet connectivity, it should weigh only a little over 400 kilograms (about 900 pounds), roughly one-third of a Toyota Prius.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Google is refusing a French order to apply “Right to be forgotten” globally. “Google is refusing to bow to an order from the French privacy watchdog to scrub search results worldwide when users invoke their ‘right to be forgotten’ online, it said on Thursday, exposing itself to possible fines. The French data protection authority, the CNIL, in June ordered the search giant to delist on request search results appearing under a person’s name from all its websites, including Google.com.”

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

Fun Saturday: Create and explore a landscape from your Webcam. “Make sure you’re in a well-lit area, let your browser access the webcam, and then try pointing it around the room as you use standard controls to ‘walk around in’ the unique spaces that blossom before your eyes.” 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!

MOMA, SC, CDC, More: Friday Buzz, July 31st, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

The Detroit Jewish Chronicle is getting digitized. “The Detroit Jewish News Foundation is currently digitizing every issue of the Detroit Jewish Chronicle, which was published from March 1916 until July 1951. Come this fall, those pages will be added to the more than 270,000 pages of Detroit Jewish history from the Detroit Jewish News already contained in the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History…”

South Carolina is putting its business filings online (PRESS RELEASE). “More than 20,000 document and certificate requests will be handled by the new online solution annually. The new service is also estimated to save Secretary Hammond’s staff thousands of hours, as well as benefit the citizens and businesses of South Carolina. Before the new online service, most requests took approximately a week to fulfill due to the post office handling time. With this new online service it is anticipated that requests will be completed in 24-48 hours.”

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) has released a huge amount of collection data to the general public. Under Creative Commons Zero. “This data release includes all of the works that have been both accessioned into MoMA’s collection and cataloged in our database. It includes basic data for each work, including title, artist, date made, medium, dimensions, and date acquired by the Museum. The data will be updated periodically with new acquisitions and research.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

IFTTT now has an NPR channel. It’s pretty basic; the trigger is a new NPR story.

USEFUL STUFF

I can’t wait to get rid of a couple of the Windows 8 machines in my charge. From How-To Geek: How to clean install Windows 10. “When you upgrade a Windows 7 or 8.1 system to Windows 10, the installer confirms that you have a ‘genuine Windows’ system installed and activates your computer for use with Windows 10. Note that you don’t actually get a Windows 10 product key — instead, your computer’s hardware is registered with Microsoft’s servers. When you install Windows 10 on that PC again in the future, it will check in with Microsoft’s servers, confirm it’s installed on a registered PC, and automatically activate itself.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Google’s low-wage contract workers may unionize. “Labor organizers with the Teamsters union announced Monday that they’re holding an election to unionize workers for Google Express, the shopping service that delivers everything from toothpaste to televisions purchased by online consumers. The union is seeking to represent about 140 Google Express warehouse workers employed by Adecco, a temp agency that provides much of the delivery service’s Bay Area staff.”

Are major labels going to yank music videos from YouTube? “Unless the world’s number one content distributor loosens its grip, labels could remove their tunes from the site, according to a NY Post report. Unnamed execs from the big three — Universal, Sony, and Warner — told the NY Post that YouTube is one of the music industry’s worst distribution partners as it pays creators very little revenue, and lacks transparency, which could force a major lock down of the content.” And the labels’ videos would go… where? It’d be quite a coup for Facebook.

Google’s Project Loon is now covering Sri Lanka. “In the case of Google’s Project Loon, we are talking about a literal taking off, as Project Loon involves the release of balloons into the sky in order to deliver a semblance of Internet infrastructure to various locations that are difficult to have them wired. Having said that, Sri Lanka is the very first country in the world to obtain universal Internet access via Project Loon.”

Spain’s attempt to “tax” Google News ended up being a huge mess, as could only be expected. “Here’s the history: the Spanish Newspaper Publishers Association successfully convinced Spanish lawmakers in late 2014 to pass a strict “anti-piracy” law, which mandated compensation for the appearance of newspaper publishers’ content on news aggregation sites as of January 1, 2015. It was effectively directed at Google but applied broadly to all news/content aggregators. In response, Google shuttered Google News in Spain, though it has continued to present Spanish news sites on its main search engine results page (SERP) and in other ways. The Spanish publishers then tried unsuccessfully to get the government to force Google to keep Google News alive in Spain (to collect the tax).”

That didn’t take long: there’s already a guy who’s Periscoping full time. “Jon Jacques, a 20-year-old who worked at a video marketing company in New York City, has been spending his free time after work and on the weekends showcasing his street magic performances on the live-streaming app, Periscope. After a while, he realized he could turn his hobby into his dream job. In June, Jacques gained the courage to quit his high-paying job so he could Periscope full-time.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Google has published a Chrome fix for a VPN security hole. “Google has published an extension for its Chrome browser that fixes a serious security hole that can reveal a user’s real IP address even though they’re using a VPN. The vulnerability was made headlines in early 2015 and caused a wave of panic but Chrome users can now mitigate the problem with few clicks.”

Yet another Android security bug can render your phone silent. “By either installing a malicious app on an Android device, or directing users to a nefarious website, hackers can cause an Android device to become ‘apparently dead — silent, unable to make calls, with a lifeless screen,’ Trend Micro explained. If the exploit is installed through an app, it can auto-start whenever the device boots, causing Android to crash every time the device is powered on.” From what I’m reading on other sites, if the bug is activated by just visiting a malicious site, you can reboot the phone and you’ll be fine. I’m reading a lot of different takes, though – I think this is still developing.

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Research from the CDC: Hookah-Related Twitter Chatter (say THAT three times fast.) “From the full stream of tweets posted on Twitter from April 12, 2014, to May 10, 2014 (approximately 14.5 billion tweets), all tweets containing the terms hookah, hooka, shisha, or sheesha were collected (n = 358,523). The hookah tweets from Twitter users (tweeters) with high influence and followers were identified (n = 39,824) and a random sample of 5,000 tweets was taken (13% of tweets with high influence and followers). The sample of tweets was qualitatively coded for normalization (ie, makes hookah smoking seem common and normal or portrays positive experiences with smoking hookah) or discouragement of hookah smoking, and other common themes using crowdsourcing…. Approximately 87% of the sample of tweets normalized hookah use, and 7% were against hookah or discouraged its use. Nearly half (46%) of tweets that normalized hookah indicated that the tweeter was smoking hookah or wanted to smoke hookah, and 19% were advertisements/promotions for hookah bars or products.” 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!

Fishing Vessels, Congress, ICD-10, More: Thursday Buzz, July 30th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Now available: a database of vessels authorized to fish outside of EU waters between 2010 and 2014. “Three non-government organizations have announced the first-ever global website intended to fishing transparency throughour the Eurpean Union (EU). The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), Oceana and WWF heralded a new era of fisheries transparency with the launch of an online database detailing 15,264 EU vessels authorised to fish outside EU waters between 2010 and 2014.”

Yahoo has launched Livetext, which sounds like a mutant combination of Snapchat, Vine, and Periscope. “Yahoo Livetext puts your words and your friend’s real-time reactions at the center of your conversation. Whether you’re watching Avicii DJ at the Creamfields Festival, at Venice Beach or taking in the view from the Eiffel Tower, you can spontaneously connect with the people you care about and invite them to experience moments with you. Your friend’s goofy look or giant smile, even her eye roll or silent sigh, suddenly become a part of your conversation. Simple conversations are transformed into vivid, authentic and memorable experiences that you can share anytime.”

Just can’t wait to upgrade to Windows 10? The ISO file is now available for download.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Congress.gov has gotten another set of updates. I’ll quote a couple of highlights. “We want to make Congress.gov more accessible, and our new feature, ‘Listen,’ helps us deliver on this goal. Listen appears on bill summary pages and will read the text of the bill summary aloud to you. If you would like to focus on certain text, you can highlight it and Listen will read the highlighted text to you. You can also download an audio file of the bill summary to listen to it on the go….When we released Congress.gov in 2012, you let us know that you wanted more content included in the appropriation tables to simplify the process of tracking appropriations. We listened, and delivered new appropriation tables with enhanced content, starting with a table for the most recent fiscal year, 2016. We continue to work our way back, and now have appropriation tables with enhanced content going back to 2005.”

The release candidate for WordPress 4.3 is now available.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Twitter is being sued for failing to remove a copyrighted photo. “Award-winning photographer Kristin Pierson has filed a lawsuit against Twitter, claiming that the social network failed to remove one of her photos. In a complaint filed at a federal court in California, Pierson demands a restraining order and compensation for the damage she suffered.”

Medical librarians, you may appreciate this: there’s a Twitter ‘bot out there that’s tweeting an ICD-10 code every minute. “EveryICD10 has been sharing a new ICD-10 code and description on the social media platform by the minute since July 9, when it first tweeted, ‘E73.8 Other lactose intolerance #icd10.’ Since then it has posted more than 14,500 codes, which at that rate could set it up to finish sharing all 68,000 of them by Oct. 1 when the new diagnostic library goes live.”

VentureBeat took a test drive of Google’s Your Timeline and seems to come away impressed but disturbed. “The last time Google did this — with Google Latitude — users could share such personal information with others. This time around, that’s not possible. It’s private — just as Google Photos, unlike the old Google+ Photos, wasn’t explicitly designed to be used for sharing. Indeed, Google Photos is fun to use for your own personal archival purposes, and people might well find themselves saying the same thing about the new Your Timeline service. The only trouble is, if Google can accurately reflect where you’ve been, things could get a little spooky.”

From the New York Times: Facebook Expands in Politics, and Campaigns Find Much to Like. “Since 2012, Facebook has doubled its government and politics team, which includes a political ad sales group, a data communications team and employees devoted solely to Democrats or Republicans. Katie Harbath, who was previously the chief digital strategist at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, oversees the political strategy side of Facebook’s Washington-based team. And Facebook has rolled out several tools since the last presidential election to help campaigns reach voters more efficiently and effectively. The two most important, campaigns and operatives said, are the site’s improved video capacities and the ability for campaigns to upload their voter files directly to Facebook.”

Is Twitter looking at Facebook too much for inspiration? (They are if they go to algorithim-only timeline displays). “Twitter leadership told investors on Tuesday they were considering revamping the entire look of the service to more closely mirror its ‘While You Were Away’ mobile feature – as Facebook-like as Twitter gets – in an effort to increase general interest in the product. A base of Facebook’s size – about 1.4 billion users against Twitter’s 300 million – isn’t a realistic goal, said Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research Group, who still has the stock listed as a ‘buy’.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

A new phishing campaign uses Google Drive. “A new attack that uses phishing web pages hosted on Google Drive has been discovered by Aditya K Sood, architect of Elastica Cloud Threat Labs, and his research team. The attack lends Google credibility to fool security-trained users exploiting the trust users have with Google. This latest attack was built on previous techniques from last year by adding advanced code obfuscation.” 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!