Short Friday Afternoon Buzz, January 23rd, 2015

Apparently there are rumors going around that Google might buy Twitter. That actually kind of works, in my mind. But Venture Beat says no… at least not yet. “Here’s the reality. Twitter’s stock may be down to $39.07 from its 52-week high of $62.07. But the company is still valued at a steep $24.43 billion. Google’s largest acquisition to date was Motorola for $12.4 billion, and it promptly sold that company to Lenovo less than two years later.”

Language wonk? Check out this analysis of Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. “Schmidt ana­lyzed the lan­guage of Obama’s pres­i­den­tial address—and that of every SOTU speech dating back to 1790—using Book­worm, a simple and pow­erful way to visu­alize trends in dig­i­tized texts. He and a Har­vard col­league cre­ated the plat­form for text analysis in 2011, and have since used it to examine the lan­guage used in every­thing from news­paper arti­cles to more than 500 episodes of The Simp­sons.”

Los Angeles County (CA) will get an online database for municipal stats and records. “The website would be a ‘one-stop shop’ for information on budgets, crime stats, welfare and the like that could be used and redistributed without any legal, social or technological limitations, according to county officials.”

Researchers are doing EVERYTHING with Twitter. The latest? using it to predict rates of coronary heart disease. “Previous studies have identified many factors that contribute to the risk of heart disease: traditional ones, like low income or smoking but also psychological ones, like stress. The Penn researchers demonstrated that Twitter can capture more information about heart disease risk than many traditional factors combined, as it also characterizes the psychological atmosphere of a community. They found that expressions of negative emotions such as anger, stress and fatigue in a county’s tweets were associated with higher heart disease risk. On the other hand, positive emotions like excitement and optimism were associated with lower risk.”

Windows has a roundup on Windows 10, which will apparently be a free upgrade.

Want to see the Super Bowl ads online as soon as they hit the Super Bowl? Check out Tumblr. Good afternoon, Internet…

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Short Wednesday Evening Buzz, January 21st, 2015

Apparently search engines are now the most trusted new source. Not sure how that works, since the news indexed by search engines is often from “traditional” sources…

SplashData has released its annual “Worst Passwords” list (PRESS RELEASE). 123456? Really?

Google has invested one billion dollars in SpaceX. “Although SpaceX was extremely vague about what this investment would mean, reports from earlier this week indicated that it would be used to help build a satellite-based Internet service that would help connect billions of people to the web who today lack Internet access.”

Is the Pirate Bay going to come back? “With only 10 days remaining on its countdown clock, The Pirate Bay has redesigned its home page today to more closely resemble the look it had before it went down last month. First spotted by TorrentFreak, the black waving pirate flag that had filled the screen in recent weeks has now been reduced to a smaller box in the center. The search box and categories are back under the flag. However, these are not active yet.”

The Gambia National Library will be digitized. “The director general of the Gambia National Library Service Authority (GNLSA) has on Tuesday informed lawmakers of the joint session of the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committees (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly that efforts are on track for the digitalisation of the archival materials of the said Library.”

A big Java patch has just been released – if you still have Java on your machine better get updating. Good evening, Internet…

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Are You Missing Bloglines? Here’s a Possible Fix

I’ve been getting periodic e-mails asking what happened to Bloglines, and I unfortunately have not been able to provide any answers because I couldn’t find anything either!

I got a Tweet about it today and I still didn’t know anything, so I got mad and went rummaging around on Google, and I found something! Twitter user @FuturePersp tried it and said it worked.

What I found was a note from a gentleman named Matt Lueck. he’s apparently getting his Bloglines stuff via NetVibes.


Here’s the text if you need to cut and paste anything:

“This was my solution. Log into netvibes using your bloglines info. Click Dashboard then manage. On the left under Dashboards click backup data. Select Bloglines from the dropdown. that will export an XML file from to your computer with everything you were following in bloglines. Now add that to netvibes by clicking add on your page and then import the xml in the menu on the right. Now you can read things in netvibes.”

Those instructions came from a Facebook comment left at . I can’t try it because I don’t use Bloglines, but two followup comments left there and FuturePersp seems to indicate this is a way to get your Bloglines stuff. If you try it, could you please let me know in the comments if it works for you?

Big Game, Big Archive, More: Wednesday Morning Buzz, January 21st, 2015

Google has disclosed another Microsoft vulnerability before MS has released a patch. “Microsoft’s recent ‘call for better coordinated vulnerability disclosure’ seems to have hit a brick wall, with Google as quick as ever to expose yet another Windows security glitch. Rated medium for severity, the bug may just be the most troublesome of the three broadcasted this past month.”

NBC will stream the Super Bowl for free. And apparently with a minimum of annoyances: “Viewers can watch without having to log on and offer proof that they pay for the TV service through cable or a telecom. NBC will stream the Super Bowl to desktops and tablets via NBC Sports Live Extra, its live streaming service for sports. The deal doesn’t include phones, though, since Verizon Wireless has the exclusive on that distribution.”

Speaking of the Super Bowl, YouTube is going to produce its first halftime show.

The New Yorker has a big article about The Internet Archive, specifically the Wayback Machine. “This essay is about two hundred thousand bytes. A book is about a megabyte. A megabyte is a million bytes. A gigabyte is a billion bytes. A terabyte is a million million bytes. A petabyte is a million gigabytes. In the lobby of the Internet Archive, you can get a free bumper sticker that says ‘10,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes Archived.’ Ten petabytes. It’s obsolete. That figure is from 2012. Since then, it’s doubled.”

The FBI is warning about a rise in ransomware.

Crossword Cybersecurity has launched CLUE (press release). “CLUE, the cyber security research database, covers nearly 300 cyber security research projects from over 50 UK universities, representing over GBP 150m of research grant investment since 2007. It provides industry with a searchable view of the UK’s cyber security academic research landscape to enable organisations to collaborate with academia more effectively.” It looks like access is free but you have to e-mail someone to get it.

Phil Bradley noticed that UC-Riverside’s Web site INFOMINE went dark on December 15th.

Pond5 has launched a public domain project. “A media marketplace (and Shutterstock competitor) used by over 100,000 outlets with millions of video clips, stock illustrations and photos, and hundreds of thousands of sound effects and music tracks, Pond5 raised $61 million in financing last year from Accel Partners and Stripe Group.” Public domain materials available include video, audio, images, and a small collection of 3D models.

Oh look, yet another “nobody is using Google+” story

Facebook has announced its intention to shower fewer hoaxes in your news feed. My awkward wording is because I’m not sure how well it’ll work. “Today’s update to News Feed reduces the distribution of posts that people have reported as hoaxes and adds an annotation to posts that have received many of these types of reports to warn others on Facebook. We are not removing stories people report as false and we are not reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy.” Good morning, Internet…

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Texas, Qatar, Magazines, More: Tuesday Buzz, January 20th, 2015

The Texas State Archives has created an expansive digital archive of Texas Senate audio recordings. “The Texas Senate Recordings includes digitized audio files that represent approximately 25,000 cassette tapes. The original tapes were created by and received from Senate Staff Services. The collection includes public committee hearings, floor debates, press conferences, impeachment hearings, and joint meetings with House committees. ”

Is Google going to buy Softcard?

More Google: did you know there’s an URL hack to find in-depth articles on Google?

Hubspot has an article on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest features you might not know about. The title is a big misleading as a lot of the “features” are actually add-ons or third party tools, but it’s an interesting.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has released a study of hashtag standards for emergencies. “This short reference provides great context for countries, states, cities, businesses, journalists, emergency responders and citizens and is a document we highly recommend everyone review.”

Qatar has begun the second phase of its digital library project. “QDL will add an additional 970,000 pages from the India Office Records dating from the mid-18th century to 1951 and historical maps and photographs. It will also include 56,000 pages of Arab Islamic sciences manuscripts, and about 100,000 pages from private papers, including those of Lady Anne Blunt, thought to be the first woman to cross the Arabian Desert in the 19th century.”

This is a bit nerdy and outside the spectrum of ResearchBuzz, but I love it: a guy wrote a program to find ISBN numbers in Pi.

Which has more bias? Wikipedia or the Encyclopedia Britannica? “In almost all cases, Wikipedia was more left-leaning than Britannica. Dividing articles into categories, the researchers found, for example, that stories on corporations were 11 percent more slanted toward Democrats, while observing similar leanings on topics such as government (9 percent), education (4 percent), immigration (4 percent), and civil rights (3 percent). Other categories did not have enough data to significantly identify bias.”

Is Google going to invest in SpaceX? “The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is considering a $1 billion investment in Musk’s satellite project, which leaves a lot of money to be raised. Further out, Musk hopes to extend the system out as far as Mars, bringing Internet connectivity to a planet the CEO wants to colonize.”

Magzter has launched a “gold” subscription option where a flat $9.99 a month will give you access to 2,000 magazines. I subscribed. What would make it perfect is if it had a “random article” feature. Like, “Give me a random article from a magazine in the business category.” I’d be all over that.

Very clever! A paraglide synchronized with Google Maps.

Hey, Google Chrome has a hidden game!

Are you anti-mouse? How to use Facebook with keyboard shortcuts.

From Social Media Examiner: How to network with Facebook Groups.

Apparently 2014 was a record year for malware. “According to AV-Test, an independent security software review group, more than 143 million malware detections were reported in 2014. That’s 72 percent more, according to a recent report, than 2013. Worse, more malware was detected during 2013-2014 than in the previous 10 years altogether.” 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!