WordPress, Pacer, Museums, More: Morning Buzz, August 30th, 2014

Remixing EVERYWHERE: The British Library meets Burning Man.

WordPress has released the first candidate for WordPress 4.0.

Wondering why your GMail has all those weird ads? XRay might be able to tell you.

Wondering what theme a WordPress site is using? There’s a Web tool for that. (Thanks Robin Good!)

Pacer is deleting old court files because they’re “incompatible”. “On Aug. 10, the federal courts announced that older court records were being deleted from Pacer for federal appeals courts for the Federal Circuit, and the 2nd, 7th and 11th Circuits, report Legal Times, the Washington Post blog the Switch and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. Older bankruptcy cases in the Central District of California were also removed. The files were deleted Aug. 11.” How wrong is this?

Lovely! Guy puts America’s museums onto a map – and then he supplemented the map with data from Wikipedia. (It’s amazing how many museums don’t have Web pages.

Google has made is security compliance audit report public. “The new reports and certificates now cover Google+ and Hangouts, which is nice, but the real news here is that Google is making both its ISO 27001 certificate and SOC 3 audit report easily available to anybody who wants to take a look. The SOC 3 report is about a 10-page document that summarizes the audit’s finding and lists the services that the auditors inspected. By default, this report is meant to be made public. The SOC 2 report is significantly more in-depth and runs a few hundred pages, but sadly Google isn’t making that one public.”

Do you have an HP laptop? Check your power cord. HP is recalling some power cords as fire hazards. There are over five million of these bad boys floating around out there, so check your cables!

A new project makes the pictures taken by the Farm Security Administration between 1935 and 1945 easier to explore. Among other things, over 90,000 of them are mapped.

Twitter has opened up its analytics dashboard to everybody. Now you can see how many more people see your posts on Twitter than Facebook, despite your Facebook fan page having far more followers. That’s what happened with me, anyway.

Dropbox Pro has added a couple new features as well as a terabyte of space for Pro subscribers. That’ll be handy.

The FBI has digitized millions of files in what it calls a “modernization push.” Good morning, Internet…

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Paraguay, IFTTT, Athens (GA), More: Afternoon Buzz, August 29th, 2014

FamilySearch is beginning to index the 1891 Toulouse Census and is looking for volunteers who can speak both French and English.

A man after my own heart has been uploading pictures from Internet Archive books… to Flickr. “The Internet Archive had used an optical character recognition (OCR) program to analyse each of its 600 million scanned pages in order to convert the image of each word into searchable text. As part of the process, the software recognised which parts of a page were pictures in order to discard them. Mr. Leetaru’s code used this information to go back to the original scans, extract the regions the OCR program had ignored, and then save each one as a separate file in the Jpeg picture format.”

The talent who does the voices of Mario, Luigi, Wario, etc has joined Instagram and is posting cute videos with is voice and character figures. I like the one with the llama.

Nice! Paraguay is getting a digital archive of all 20 of its indigenous languages. “The initiative, which was launched today by officials from the Department of Anthropology of the University, is the first step to collect sound recordings and images of native testimony, grammars, documents, glossaries, legend and work of specialists.”

Interesting question, not sure anybody knows the answer. What does “Don’t be evil” mean in a post-Snowden world?

Taneya Koonce will be doing her first Google Hangouts on Air on September 6th and everyone is invited. “I volunteer with my local chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and my webinar will be for them. The society has a one-of-a-kind newspaper history project to capture history and genealogy information from HBCU student newspapers. During the session, I’ll demonstrate the indexing process and provide details on how you can contribute towards this important effort.”

The NGS has a quick overview article of current crowdsourcing projects relevant to the genealogy community.

IFTTT now has an Eyefi channel and MAN, I’m going to have some fun with that. (I’m already using Eyefi in conjunction with Dropbox for some projects at work. It is SO HANDY!)

The Digital Library of Georgia has announced an enhanced version of the Athens Historic Newspapers Archive. “The Athens Historic Newspapers Archive is now compatible with all current browsers and provides access to nine newspaper titles published in Athens from 1827 to 1928 without the use of plug-ins or additional software downloads. Consisting of over 77,000 newspaper pages, the archive provides historical images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date.”

Google has updated Chrome with a ton of security fixes, so if you’re using Chrome make sure you get the new version. Good afternoon, Internet…

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Instagram, Bing, NOLA, Biodiversity, More: Morning Buzz, August 29th, 2014

Still getting crushed at work!

Google Authorship is now kaput. Really glad I didn’t put too much energy into this one.

Lifehacker is putting out a call for the best free online classes.

Instagram has launched a new app called Hyperlapse, and BOY does it sound cool: “Traditionally, time lapse videos depend on holding your phone or camera still while you film. Hyperlapse from Instagram features built-in stabilization technology that lets you create moving, handheld time lapses that result in a cinematic look, quality and feel—a feat that has previously only been possible with expensive equipment.”

Microsoft has re-issued a Windows security update after some initial problems.

NOLA.com has launched a searchable online database of property transactions in the New Orleans area. “The data, so far, ranges from January 2014 to now, but transfers from the past five years will eventually be added. The sale price is always included when available.”

Bing is taking aim at Web spam.

More Bing: Bing Maps has a bunch of new imagery.

Appalachian State University has been awarded a grant for a very exciting biodiversity database project. “Professor Zack E. Murrell is leading a multi-state, $2.545 million project to create a digitized database of more than 3 million plant specimens from across the Southeast.”

Google has launched a new Google for Education blog. “We love to focus on solving problems. Sometimes practically and other times with wild, imaginative—or even highly unexpected—ideas. These ideas are born through education, when curiosity meets access to information. That’s why we have a vested interest in, and commitment to, learning in all forms. It’s also why we’re starting this Google for Education Blog: a new destination to share our work that’s happening across education, from products to programs, from the practical to the unimaginable.”

From Entrepreneur: four steps to plan a successful tweetup.

Yahoo is apparently experimenting with a new user interface. Don’t everybody hit the link at once.

Kanasas State University is creating a digital archive of agricultural writing. “The contract, worth more than $7,000, allows the team to digitize and preserve important Kansas youth-in-agriculture, agricultural education and rural life publications. Titles include Kansas 4‐H Journal, 1955-1988; Kansas Future Farmer, 1929-1979; and five additional newsletters and magazines.”

Did you know you could search for special characters in Google Drive by drawing them? 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!

MAUDE, Twitter, Pennsylvania, More: Afternoon Buzz, August 20th, 2014

Hey! Using Twitter to get unemployment data. “LSA Economics Professor Matthew Shapiro has found a new way to harvest employment information from tweets and hashtags faster and more accurately than the government’s official reports….There were times when Shapiro’s numbers matched the reports, and there were times when they didn’t. When they differed, Shapiro’s numbers were more accurate than the government’s.”

Twitter will now remove images of deceased individuals at the request of their family. BUT: “… the micro-messaging service said it will consider public interest factors such as the newsworthiness of the content while reviewing such media removal requests and may not be able to honor every request.”

Google System has some stupid Google Search tricks.

The state of Pennsylvania has launched Pennsylvania Learns on iTunes U (PRESS RELEASE). “Pennsylvania Learns on iTunes U brings state standards-aligned resources to the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content that helps educators create courses, including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and syllabi, and offer them to millions of iOS users.”

Genealogists, there has been a major update to the 1861 Census of Canada Database. “Following the release of the 1861 Census of Canada database in 2013, a number of missing records and misplaced images were reported by Library and Archives Canada clients and staff. We corrected over 133,000 entries!”

The FDA has launched an API for accessing its database of medical device reports. “These products are used by millions of Americans, and they are essential, well-performing tools of modern healthcare, but occasionally they present a safety issue due to risks not identified in prior studies, a malfunction, a problem with manufacturing, or misuse. These incidents are collected in a publicly available FDA database called MAUDE – short for Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience. As part of the openFDA project, there is now an Application Programming Interface (API) for this dataset, which provides a way for software to interact directly with the data.” The reports number in the thousands and go back to the 1990s. 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!

IFTTT, Yearbooks, NHTSA, More: Morning Buzz, August 20th, 2014

WordPress 4.0 beta 4 is now available.

Get inspired: 9 Amazing Projects Made in Microsoft Excel.

Here’s a lovely browser-based tool for generating image thumbnails.

This is interesting: IFTTT is teaming up with ADT (ADT press release). “ADT and IFTTT are planning to test a beta version of an ADT Pulse® Channel on IFTTT, connecting a customer’s ADT Pulse-enabled home with more than 100 existing Channel partners. Whether it’s adjusting the thermostat to react to local weather conditions, or arming the security system based on users’ GPS data, an ADT Pulse® Channel on IFTTT could enable users to put many aspects of their home on auto-pilot.”

The Smithsonian is asking for help in transcribing its collections. “After about a year of testing with a small group of volunteers, the Smithsonian opened up their Transcription Center website to the public last month. Today, they issued a called [sic] for volunteers to help decipher everything from handwritten specimen tags to the personal letters of iconic artists to early U.S. currency.”

A new Web site wants to shame apps with lax security. “One high-profile example includes well-liked travel-information firm TripIt. TripIt allows users to bring together information on their tickets, flight times, and itinerary and then sync it with other devices and share the information with friends and co-workers. Information shared with calendar applications, however, is not encrypted, Webster says, leaving it open to eavesdropping on public networks. Among the details that could be plucked from the air by anyone on the same wireless network: a user’s full name, phone number, e-mail address, the last four digits of a credit card number, and emergency contact information. An attacker could even change or cancel the victim’s flight, he says.”

Entrepreneur: The Five Problems Google Will Face in the Next Ten Years. Only Five?

The UT Health Science Center Libraries have digitized a bunch of medical school yearbooks.

The NHTSA is finally launching its vehicle recall tracking tool.

The North Dakota State Historical Society now has an online archive.

The Royal Air Force Museum has launched the RAF Museum Storyvault. “The archive provides free access to recently digitized records, including a Muster Roll of NCO’s and men, an Air Force List of Officers, and a selection of Casualty Cards and other records for those who were wounded or killed in the air service.”

The Drug Industry Documents Archive (DIDA) has been expanded with additional documents on Zyprexa and clincal study reports related to neuraminidase inhibitors. 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!

Bugs, Stars, Craigslist, More: Afternoon Buzz, August 19th, 2014

The UC Riverside Veterinary Entomology Extension Laboratory has released an online database of pesticides registered in California for use against arthropod pests of animals. “Website visitors can search by animal commodity for which pest control is needed (e.g. poultry), by type of pest (e.g. poultry mite or house fly), and by application method and formulation.”

Now available: a new online database of stellar abundances. “The enormous collection, which Hinkel named the Hypatia Catalog, contains data for more than 3,000 stars within 500 light years of the sun, and will help scholars as well as the public learn more about the properties and history of stars in the Milky Way.”

The Folger Library has made all the images in their digital collections available via CC-BY-SA. That’s almost 80,000 images. One caveat, though: “Keep in mind that some Folger images reproduce works that are themselves under copyright protection, so you’ll still need to secure permission from the copyright holder before using them beyond ‘fair use.’ “

Tumblr is going to start analyzing public photos for brands. Blick.

A huge hack has stolen data on 4.5 million hospital patients. “The hackers got away with patient names, addresses, birthdates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers of the 4.5 million people who were referred to or received services from doctors affiliated with the company in the last five years. The stolen data did not include patient credit card, medical or clinical information.”

PI Buzz has a few tips for searching Craigslist.

Twitter is apparently experimenting with showing favorited tweets of people you follow in your tweet stream. I wish they had a beta tester list so people could opt in to this kind of experimenting – if experimenting it truly is…

Social media giants are teaming up to provide social data to academics. Their name? DERP. Really. “Academic researchers will be granted unprecedented access to the data of major social networks including Imgur, Reddit, and Twitch as part of a joint initiative: The Digital Ecologies Research Partnership (Derp).”

Ever wonder how old you are in seconds? Google can help.

Want to turn a YouTube video into a GIF? There’s a very easy tool for that.

What it looks like when someone does a serious breakdown of the items in his Facebook feed.

I had no idea Siri could generate passwords. I normally don’t like to link to slideshows but set of things Siri can do is random and fun.

8 Wrong Predictions about Google. Of course Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer were going to make stupid predictions about Google. But James Altucher? I thought he was more brilliant than that. (But looking back he’s admitted he blew that one.) 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!

Yahoo, Twitter Bots, NASA, More: Morning Buzz, August 16th, 2014

Catching up… Yahoo has a new Finance app.

A small selection of the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine yearbooks are now available online. The yearbooks are from 1952-1967.

When does Amit Agarwal do an article that isn’t handy and useful? How to transfer files between mobile phones and computers.

You know that handle Google Package Tracking tool? You can opt-out if you like.

Sometimes you say “bots on Twitter” and people will reflexively think they’re bad, pointless, etc. But check out this collection of river gauges on Twitter which tweet their levels twice a day but can increase communications in times of flood or emergency. “Users can visit the website to search by geographical location, river name, catchment area or status (normal level, below average or risk of flooding) and are also able to follow on Twitter any gauges that will be of interest to them. The website map features all of the Environment Agency river level and tidal gauges, and a unique Twitter account has been created for each of them. Twice per day, each gauge tweets its current status. For example, Teddington Lock now has its own Twitter account: https://twitter.com/riverlevel_1182.”

Related: Are 8.5% of Twitter’s active users bots?

The US Department of Energy is making its researchers’ papers free. “The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today unveiled its answer to a White House mandate to make the research papers it funds free for anyone to read: a Web portal that will link to full-text papers a year after they’re published. Once researchers are up to speed and submitting their manuscripts, that will mean 20,000 to 30,000 new free papers a year on energy research, physics, and other scientific topics.”

And in the same vein, NASA is giving away free ebooks.

Congratulations to Search Engine Land, which has a new look! 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!

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