NaNoWriMo: Can You Help Me Out?

Hey y’all, big favor to ask.

As you probably know, tomorrow NaNoWriMo starts. That’s National Novel Writing Month. You can learn more about it here: .

Every goldang year I want to do it, and every goldang year I’m too busy. I’m too busy this year. But I’m very tired of being too busy and I want to do it!

As you may know I’ve written a small pile of nonfiction books. When I was much younger, I wrote fiction. It probably wasn’t good fiction but I had fun writing it.

I don’t know if it’s all the nonfiction books I’ve written, but I feel like I have lost the ability to write fiction. Like my brain is in “nonfiction” gear and I can’t switch back.

2014 is not going to be the year that NaNoWriMo passes me by. I want to go for it.

But I could use a little encouragement and I would like to post updates on ResearchBuzz. I would like to think that someone out there gives a darn, or a hoot, or a buzz.

So if you wouldn’t mind reading NaNoWriMo updates at the top of ResearchBuzz for one month, could you let me know in the comments? Or send me a note via the feedback form?

I don’t know how it’s going to end up – I literally have no idea how to get started. But a little push from y’all would mean everything in the world to me.

Thank you!



Reddit, CERN, Food, More: Morning Buzz, October 31st, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Nordstrom has started its own Reddit community. If Reddit manages to do things like this and maintain its sense of identity, it will be pulling off a balancing act worthy of Cirque du Soleil.

IBM and Twitter are teaming up. “Watson, the artificially intelligent IBM supercomputer, can already beat you at Jeopardy. And soon, it will know more than you do about what’s happening on Twitter, too. It’s part of a deal the two companies announced on Wednesday that’s designed to let IBM’s business clients mine the 500 million daily Twitter messages for competitive intel.”

A new app monitors Twitter feeds for suicide warnings. “The Samaritans charity has launched a new app which will notify Twitter users if people they follow on the site appear to be suicidal. Samaritans Radar uses an algorithm to identify key words and phrases which indicate distress.”

The research center CERN has released a large archive of photographs, but needs your help identifying the people, and in some cases the equipment, in them.

A new database of community food policies is now available. “The Growing Food Connections Policy Database is a searchable collection of local public policies that explicitly support community food systems. This database provides policymakers, government staff, and others interested in food policy with concrete examples of local public policies that have been adopted to address a range of food systems issues…”

Ever wonder How much money Facebook loses during an outage?

The UK has opened access to millions of orphaned works. “These works are covered by copyright, but rights holders cannot be found by those who need to seek permission to reproduce them. Under the new scheme, a licence can be granted by the Intellectual Property Office so that these works can be reproduced on websites, in books and on TV without breaking the law, while protecting the rights of owners so they can be remunerated if they come forward.”

Hey! Sketchfab now allows downloading of 3D objects.

Lifehacker breaks down the secret powers of Chrome’s address bar. I use the math trick several times a day. 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!

Gaelic, Reddit, Boston, More: Afternoon Buzz, October 30th, 2014

Hey! Did you know that Bing isn’t the only search engine that lets you search by emoji?

Reddit has launched a crowdfunding platform for its users.

Useful from How-To Geek: How to use Handbrake to convert any video file to any format. That’s what the title says anyway; I’m not sure I’d say any format; it does look useful, though.

Duke is preparing to launch a digital archive of cigarette cards.

Banco de Mexico has released all of its numismatic items into an online database. (Click on the logo in the article for a link to the database. It is of course in Spanish.)

Wondering what the oldest Web sites are? Stanford can tell you. “Some of the earliest pages from the World Wide Web have been restored and are once again browsable, providing a glimpse of how the web once operated. Stanford Libraries has made these pages available with Stanford Wayback, a customized version of an open source platform that enables long-term access to archived web assets.”

A huge archive of 10 million Gaelic words has been launched. “Corpas na Gàidhlig is a searchable online database bringing together full texts dating from the Twelfth Century to the present day. Together they make up a corpus of almost 10 million Gaelic words, which is expected to grow to up to 30 million words over the course of the project.”

Now available: an online archive of Boston Park documents.

You can now find scientific literature by research location thanks to JournalMap. “Articles in the JournalMap citation index are “geotagged” based on locations reported in the study and then plotted on a world map. This means that scientists can use JournalMap to search for environmental literature thematically and geographically by selecting a location on a map.”

Feedly has killed its URL shortener. 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!

100% Googly: Morning Buzz, October 30th, 2014

It ended up that the first five items I pulled last night/this morning to write about were all about Google, so I decided to make this issue 100% about Google and its properties. If you are not a fan, you can skip. The Afternoon Buzz will be the usual varied selection. Thank you!

Want to try Google Inbox but don’t have an invite? You’ve got options.

More Google: it wants to Halloweenify your photos.

More More Google: Google Glass has been completely banned from movie theatres.

Sorry, I’m getting really Googly here: Google has released a new bookmark manager for Chrome.

Okay, I give up, this Buzz is going to be 100% Google: a cat showed up on Google Maps.

Thought-provoking article: Is Google responsible for delivering accurate and truthful search results?

Hoo boy: malware updating via GMail draft. “With the Gmail drafts folder open and hidden, the malware is programmed to use a Python script to retrieve commands and code that the hacker enters into that draft field. The malware responds with its own acknowledgments in Gmail draft form, along with the target data it’s programmed to exfiltrate from the victim’s network. All the communication is encoded to prevent it being spotted by intrusion detection or data-leak prevention. The use of a reputable web service instead of the usual IRC or HTTP protocols that hackers typically use to command their malware also helps keep the hack hidden.”

Google’s anti-piracy algo is apparently doing its job.

Wondering what Google’s DeepMind startup has been up to? Here ya go. 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!

Google, Story Maps, Vine, More: Morning Buzz, October 29th, 2014

Use Vine? Here are 7 Tips and Tricks. I didn’t know most of these but I’m not a huge Vine user.

Do you use Tor? Might want to check for malware.

Now available: a seriously digital Susan Sontag archive. “UCLA’s Library of Special Collections has enabled your voyeurism by making public everything that was once on Susan Sontag’s Power Mac G4 and iBook. And when they say everything, they mean it: The digital archive contains all 17,198 of her emails, Word documents, and MP3s, from the 1990s to the early 2000s.”

FamilySearch has added another new round of records. “Notable collection updates include the 161,880 images from the Australia, New South Wales, Cemetery, Military, and Church Record Transcripts, 1816-1982, collection; the 195,602 images from the Illinois, Northern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1906-1991, collection; and the 57,359 indexed records from the Oregon, County Marriages, 1851-1975, collection.”

Apparently people are more afraid of Google using their personal information than the NSA. “In light of the many detailed reports based on Edward Snowden’s leaks that revealed the sophisticated technologies the NSA and other spying agencies can employ for mass surveillance purposes, a new survey from Survata seems to indicate that Internet users are more afraid of their personal data being used by Google than the NSA.” I wonder if “all of the above” was a choice….

Google is offering the first minute of international calls free via Google Hangouts. This is apparently only through the end of the year.

More Google: it is apparently developing a cancer and heart attack detector. “The idea is to identify slight changes in the person’s biochemistry that could act as an early warning system.” You get that? Google wants to index your biochemical system. One tweak to the algorithm and POW! Your liver falls out.

Tumblr is rolling out Yahoo ads.

YouTube is apparently considering ad-free paid subscriptions.

One of the Duke Libraries blogs has a great post on story maps, both on what they are and resources to make them.

The Archive of Contemporary Music and The Internet Archive are teaming up. “Powered by teams of volunteers, the two archives are partnering to digitize CDs and LPs and then use audio fingerprinting to match tracks with metadata from catalogs and other services. Using Internet Archive scanners, the ARC is digitizing its books and photographs at its New York facility. When complete, this music library will be a rich resource for historians, musicologists and the general public.”

Google Apps for Education users are getting unlimited Drive storage. 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!

NARA, Food, Excel, More: Morning Buzz, October 28th, 2014

If ever I am sad and lonely and want e-mail, I will simply forget to put a link in an issue of ResearchBuzz. Y’all pummeled me with messages when I accidentally left out the link to the useful spreadsheet templates. Here it is: . Enjoy.

Reminder, y’all: the NARA Online Genealogy Fair starts today! Lots of streaming!

Need to know where to go to vote? Google makes it stupid easy.

Google Glass has lost its Twitter app.

Gee, I just use it to crunch numbers: 10 Works of Art Made in Microsoft Excel.

Speaking of Excel, somebody hacked it to play movies.

The USGS has released new topo maps of Maine which include portions of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. (Yes, I know this is a bit far afield, but it fits under ” for reference librarians”. Also, I like Maine.)

Whee! Bing now lets you search by emoji.

PetaPixel pointed me toward this interesting online archive with information about over 10,000 vintage cameras.

VentureBeat has some tips on getting Facebook’s news feed to work better for you.

Did you know there’s a Google Street View tour of the New York Transit Museum?

The USDA has launched the Ag Census Web Maps application, “…a dynamic online tool that gives users rapid access to Census of Agriculture maps and data about crops and plants, livestock and animals, economics, farms, and operators in more than 3,000 counties across the United States.”

The Britain From Above Web site has added more than 1,000 aerial photographs of Northern Ireland. The photos in the article I’m linking to span the 1920s to the 1950s.

The Archive-It Web archiving service has launched version 5.0. “To date in 2014, 326 Archive-It partners have created 2700 public collections on a diversity and range of topics, subjects, events and domains. These collections have become integral to these organizations’ collecting strategies and have helped to raise awareness and understanding about why web archiving is so important.”

Bing has added a bunch of aerial and streetside imagery for state landmarks.

Yes, the online museum of barf bags. Because, that’s why. 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!

Facebook, Surveys, Spreadsheets, More: Monday Buzz, October 27th, 2014

Facebook is now allowing page admins to save and backdate posts.

Now available: new free software for designing surveys. The software itself, Surveyman, is available at .

Ebola scare tactics are spreading to your inbox. Be careful! “Both the U.S. government’s Computer Readiness Team and Trustwave, a private security consulting firm, have issued warnings about an increase in spam campaigns with the Ebola virus as the subject, and messages containing either malicious links or attachments. Analysts say the last two weeks in particular have a seen a significant rise in the spam theme, following the confirmation of several Americans being infected.”

From Hongkiat: 5 (More) YouTube Tricks You Probably Didn’t Know.

Anybody out there still into Second Life? A new tool converts OpenSim regions to mesh. “The Tokyo University of Information Sciences released a new tool this week for converting OpenSim regions to mesh. The new OAR Converter tool takes a region saved as an OAR backup file and converts it to a Collada file, which can then be used inside Unity 3D and other all-mesh environments.”

Want some ideas? 23 Ways to use Twitter Lists.

Google/Skybox has launched Skybox for Good. “Today, at our annual Geo for Good User Summit, we announced the Skybox for Good program, under which we will contribute fresh satellite imagery to projects that save lives, protect the environment, promote education, and positively impact humanity. We’ve captured some images of Nagarkovil village in Northern Sri Lanka. HALO Trust previously cleared landmines in this area and used updated imagery to help verify that people are returning, having built 84 houses and cultivating over 40 hectares of agricultural land.”

PC World (Warning! PC World!) has an interesting article on 5 interesting ways to use videoconferencing.

Are you a spreadsheet nut like I am? Check out this collection of useful spreadsheet templates. These are for Excel but at least some of them also work with Google Spreadsheets. 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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