IFTTT, Arizona, Twitter, More: Afternoon Buzz, July 9, 2014

Interesting from TechDirt: Distributed search engines, and why we need them in the post-Snowden world. “One of the many important lessons from Edward Snowden’s leaks is that centralized services are particularly vulnerable to surveillance, because they offer a single point of weakness. The solution is obvious, in theory at least: move to decentralized systems where subversion of one node poses little or no threat to the others. Of course, putting this into practice is not so straightforward. That’s especially true for search engines: creating distributed systems that are nonetheless capable of scaling so that they can index most of the Web is hard.”

A digital archive providing history of Jews in Morocco is now available online. The collection is in its preliminary stages, but: “The collection at the museum consists of documents both sacred and secular from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries; items range from canonical Jewish texts to community records and public notices.”

IFTTT, in a continuing attempt to make my head spin, now has a Manything channel.

First it was Nebraska, now Arizona homestead records will be digitized. (Hat tip Genealogy Blog.)

The Commonweath War Graves Commission has updated its online archives. “The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, has completed a five-year project to digitise more than 300,000 documents relating to those who died in the two world wars. Updated online archives, launched yesterday to coincide with the centenary of the First World War, will make it easier for people to find information about family members and loved ones who died during the two world wars.”

From PC World: How to avoid PUPs and shovelware.

Paper at MIT: Twitter as Social Sensor: Dynamics and Structure in Major Sporting Events. “Twitter often behaves like a ‘social sensor’ in which users actively sense real-world events and spontaneously mention these events in cyberspace. Here, we study the temporal dynamics and structural properties of Twitter as a social sensor in major sporting events. By examining Japanese professional baseball games, we found that Twitter as a social sensor can immediately show reactions to positive and negative events by a burst of tweets, but only positive events induce a burst of retweets to follow. In addition, retweet networks during the baseball games exhibit clear polarization in user clusters depending on baseball teams, as well as a scale-free in-degree distribution. These empirical findings provide mechanistic insights into the emergence and evolution of social sensors.” Download a free PDF paper at the same link.

Whoops: big Flash security flaw. Go patch.

TIME asks: How smart are your tweets? You can test the grade level of your tweets at http://www.beakscore.com/ . ResearchBuzz scored an 8.8. 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!

About Tara Calishain

Covering the world of search engines, databases, and other online information collections since 1996.

Posted on July 9, 2014, in afternoonbuzz. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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