Author Archives: researchbuzz

Instagram, New York, Google, More: Saturday Afternoon Buzz, December 20th, 2014

Google and the MPAA are having a slap fight.

Instagram is worth $35 billion? Yowza.

Google Street View, now with Christmas decorations. “Google has a new amazing perk that will make Christmas and holiday window shopping insanely better for Internet users, as the company has updated its Google Maps Business View feature to include detailed imagery of certain business locations in New York and London, decorated for Christmas.”

Yahoo will be shutting down several properties as it moves into 2015. Including Yahoo Alerts, which I haven’t used in years…

Google+ will now almost auto-enhance your videos. And when I say “almost auto-enhance” I mean it will ask first. “…whenever Google now thinks it can improve a video you upload, a banner will appear in the Google+ web app that asks you if you want to preview the potential changes. You can also opt to apply these automatic enhancements to any other video you upload to Google+ Photos (either directly or through Auto Backup) on a case-by-case basis.”

New York City’s Municipal Archives has posted an initial batch of 10,000 pages of colonial manuscripts. “The newly digitized trove contains ordinances from 1647 to 1661, when the island of Manhattan was run by the Dutch and known as New Amsterdam. It also includes handwritten and typeset English translations from the 19th century. The release marks the start of a much larger digitization project planned for next year.”

From TechCrunch: Why is Yahoo still so bad at the basics? Great question.

From Lifehacker: How to automatically back up and purge your e-mail every 30 days.

PC World (warning! PC World!) looks at a Chromebook migration tool from Intel (it only works on Chromebooks with Intel processors). “With a few clicks, users can move their contacts, files, photos, and bookmarks to a Google account, making them accessible through the web. The migration app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows, and if you don’t know what kind of processor your Chromebook is using, you can install a Chrome extension to find out.” 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!

Hawaii, WordPress, India, More: Fat Saturday Morning Buzz, December 20th, 2014

Is Google building a car-specific version of Android?

Looks there might be a Google Local PIN scam going on.

Because I’m sure you wanted to know: the hundred most-used emoji on Twitter.

It looks like more political ad contracts might get put online. GOOD. “In a move that could make it easier for the public to identify who’s behind TV advertising aimed at influencing elections and legislation, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday proposed requiring cable and satellite television providers, as well as radio stations, to begin posting political ad contracts online.”

WordPress 4.1, “Dinah”, is now available.

Google is releasing some more Inbox invites.

Geoscientists are working on more specialized search engines. “…GeoLink and Semantic Scholar attempt to build fine-grained, niche search engines catered to specific subject areas, by tapping into deeper semantic processing that helps computers establish scientifically meaningful connections between publications. When a scientist types in ‘plankton in the Red Sea,’ for example, the search engine would not only understand it as a string of characters that show up on papers, but also know the researchers who investigated the topic, the cruises they took, the instruments they used, and the data sets and papers they published. Google has applied similar techniques to improve its main search engine, but projects like GeoLink benefit from input from scientists with extensive knowledge in the subject area, who identify meaningful links that computer scientists then translate into code.”

FamilySearch has added another round of records. “Notable collection updates include the 269,011 indexed records from the Brazil, São Paulo, Immigration Cards, 1902–1980 collection; the 199,157 images from the China, Collection of Genealogies, 1239–2014 collection; and the 155,719 indexed records from the Canada, Canada Census, 1911 collection.”

From Mashable: The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Podcast. And I still don’t know of a podcast search engine worth a damn.

The State of Hawai’i has launched a new busines monitoring service. “Through MyBusiness Alerts, business owners can sign up to receive a near-real-time email or text message alert when someone makes a change to a company’s official state business registration filing. The service monitors changes to business name, address, status, type, officers, and annual reports.” The implication is that business owners can monitor their own stuff, but I created an account, looked up a business, and got all the way to paying for it, so it looks like if you’re willing to pony up, you can monitor what you like. (Someone correct me in the comments if I’m wrong.)

Bing is making predictions for 2015. Turtlenecks? I hate turtlenecks…

The Colbert Report is now over, but you can still take a Google Street View tour of the studio. I must admit I’d be a bit more excited if you could take a tour of the office he had when he was on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

Now available: an online forest atlas. “Launched this fall, the Global Forest Atlas currently provides a glimpse of the state of forest resources in the Amazon and the Congo basin based on the latest research. Ultimately, its organizers hope it will become a sort of living almanac of forest resources worldwide for journalists and advocates, scientists and general readers.”

Now available: The People’s Archive of Rural India. “Journalist P Sainath created a stir when he quit The Hindu in July to take a break. Now he is back with a new project dedicated to the subject of his journalistic passion: rural India. On Saturday, Sainath will launch the People’s Archive of Rural India, a website that aims to be a “living journal and an archive” documenting the ‘everyday lives of everyday people’ across the under-represented hinterlands of the country.”

Time Inc now has IFTTT channels.

Yikes! Git has a security bug. 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!

Flickr, Yahoo, More: Short Afternoon Buzz, December 18, 2014

Fascinating article from the NYT: What Happened When Marissa Mayer tried to be Steve Jobs. The TLDR is that Yahoo is still a mess and its engineers still apparently get treated like you-know-what. But read the article anyway.

Twitter and Foursquare are teaming up? “The features that could be introduced as a result of this partnership include check-ins similar to Foursquare, recommendations about local businesses and surfacing content according to a user’s location.”

Tate Archive has put thousands of artist artifacts online. “About 52,000 photographs, letters, sketchbooks and technical records offering insights into some of Britain’s greatest 20th-century artists are to be put online for the first time.” (Only about 6,000 are up so far.)

Google’s end-to-end encryption tool is getting closer to launch. “While it’s not ready for a wider release yet, Google this week moved its so-called ‘End-to-End’ tool to GitHub to encourage a wider range of developers to take a look at it and make sure it’s secure. It also released a few more details on how it expects the service to work.”

The Finnish Broadcasting Company has joined the Flickr Commons. 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!

Instagram, Movies, Krispy Kreme, More: Morning Buzz, December 18th, 2014

That’s different: a Twitter-based clock. “A new browser-based clock shows you the time by displaying tweets that mention the current hour and minute.”

Google has brought back the Google News archive. That’s excellent news.

More Google: it is thinking about warning people every time they visit a site that does not use https. Seems like it’s going to really scare people who are just visiting little mom-and-pop sites for stores and stuff that don’t sell online but want a Web presence.

More More you get it: Krispy Kreme is celebrating with in-store holiday hangouts (PRESS RELEASE). “The Joy Goes Around Holiday Hangouts is an interactive experience that utilizes Google Chromebook to connect up to fifteen in-store guests at Krispy Kreme shops in sixteen different countries via a two-minute live video chat on a customized Hangouts page. Playful on-screen prompts such as ‘wave your hand, show off your doughnut, or toast your coffee’ make the Holiday Hangouts experience even more enjoyable.”

You can now add Google Drive files as GMail attachments.

Google Maps: now with Google Cardboard integration.

Someone at TIME tested Twitter’s new harassment reporting tools and then reported on the results.

Ever want to drop a bunch of your recent Instagram photos into a digital blender? Hey, I don’t judge: here ya go. “[Metagramme] takes 36 or 64 of your most recent Instagram photos and combines them into a single image. The result is a colorful, crazy digital amalgam that is part photography and part abstract art. Metagramme can pull from hashtags too, just in case you ever wondered what a blend of 50 photos of a #shark looks like.”

The new National Film Registry List is out!. It’s a wonderful mix of movies and includes Ruggles of Red Gap! Yay! Very funny movie.

The Washington Post looks at the top 20 Web sites through the years. The big lesson I get from this, since I’ve been writing about search engines since 1996, is that nothing is invulnerable and that things change. Google can lose its prominence. Facebook can become an also-ran. I’m not saying I want this to happen, I’m just saying that things are always changing.

A huge number of WordPress sites have become malware-infected because of a vulnerable plugin.

The Nasher Sculpture Center is creating a French sculpture census. “Nasher officials say that for the census [Laure] de Margerie has produced ‘a digital archive of 7,000 French sculptures dating between 1500 and 1960 that are found in American museums, public buildings, historic homes and estates, or displayed in public space. Offered in both English and French, the census presents in rich detail the breadth, quality and diversity of nearly 500 years of French sculpture collected in the United States.'”

Well that’s interesting. Chinese search engine Baidu is investing in Uber. 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!

Kenya, Twitter, Instagram, More: Morning Buzz, December 17, 2014

Google has updated its high-res 3D imagery for New York and San Francisco.

More Google: it is retiring the Google Earth API.

More more Google: Google shuts down Google News in Spain, and external traffic to Spanish news publishers drops a lot. What did anybody think was going to happen??

YouTube is testing an autoplay feature that streams suggested videos automatically. But you can turn it off.

More YouTube: apparently it is testing a GIF tool.

Nielsen has released its Twitter television rankings for 2014. And I know I’m old because I didn’t watch any of the shows it mentions. Whipper snappers! Get off my lawn! And so forth.

More Twitter: 200 librarians to follow on Twitter.

Facebook has started auto-enhancing photographs.
“We’re not ace photographers, but we all take photos. Most could use a little help with light and shadow. So rather than making you manually filter them, Facebook tells me it will now auto-enhance newly uploaded photos starting today on iOS and soon on Android. You’ll be able to adjust a slider to control just how enhanced you want the light, shadow, and clarity, or revert back to your original shot.”

Speaking of photos, Instagram is offering five new photo filters. “Inspired by the photography, art, fashion and design of the global Instagram community, we’re releasing five new filters that we believe are our best yet. You’ll see the filters at the front of your filter tray: Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden and Perpetua. They soften and subtly shift colors to achieve the look and feel you want for your each photo.”

Virginia Tech has created a digital archive of The Kenya Gazette. “The Kenya Gazette is the official record of all laws, ordinances, and appointments made by the colonial and independent governments of Kenya. The historic database currently covers the years from 1977 to 1989, and will eventually include all Kenya Gazettes published since the 1890s.” 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, Skype, Facebook, More: Morning Buzz, December 16, 2014

Apparently high-level participation in comment sections can reduce trolling. I don’t know if you’ve ever done it, but community moderating/wrangling is a seriously tough job.

You can now control your Nest by voice. And yet, still no jet pack…..

Central Michigan University is digitizing its plant and fish samples into an online database. “Thanks to $7.5 million in grants from the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections Program, CMU is among a group of universities that will help put together an online database featuring more than 1.7 million specimens of plant and fish life.”

Google Cardboard has a new app collection.

More Google: You can now make custom Google Maps from within Google Drive. “As well as adding the option to access Maps directly in Drive, you can also now add more layers and points of interest. There’s also support for importing bigger spreadsheets and more info.”

More more Google: Google’s constitution archive has added Arabic documents. These are translations for the most part. “The site allows users to search for different constitutions by country or by year, and is subdivided into themes such as citizenship, foreign policy or judicial autonomy and power.”

The Skype Translator Preview has launched. So exciting! “he preview program will kick-off with two spoken languages, Spanish and English, and 40+ instant messaging languages will be available to Skype customers who have signed-up via the Skype Translator sign-up page and are using Windows 8.1 on the desktop or device.”

Google is closing Google News in Spain today. Not surprising at all. It’ll be interesting to see what fills that void.

Facebook has stopped serving search results from Bing.

Merriam-Webster has announced its 2014 Word of the Year… and it’s culture! 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, Lutes, Hip-Hop, More: Saturday Buzz, December 13th, 2014

You can now add mini-charts into Google Sheet cells. These are adorable.

More Google: GMail is now available in Irish.

More More Google: Google Translate has ten new languages.

WordPress 4.1 now has a release candidate.

Ars Technica has a review of Mint 17.1 and quite likes it. At work I switch between using a Mint machine and a regular Ubuntu machine and the Mint machine gives me fewer headaches.

Instagram has topped 300 million active users and may be bigger than Twitter.

Now in the Cambridge Digital Library: lute manuscripts. “A ‘remarkable’ collection of lute manuscripts dating back to the 16th Century has been put online by the University of Cambridge. The 650 pieces include handwritten scores by John Dowland, Francis Cutting and other early modern composers.”

Do you want to know who said something first on Twitter, created a hashtag or coined a term? There’s a Web app for that.

Cornell University will be digitizing the collections of Bill Adler, the founding publicity director of Def Jam Records. “Adler sent Cornell University 500 vinyl recordings, an impressive collection of books in several languages and roughly 100,000 newspaper and magazine articles about rap and hip-hop.”

Facebook and Twitter have both launched their Year in Review.

Facebook now offers a way to specify end dates to page posts. This would have come in real handy last winter in my Real Job, when I had to post many “We are closed today because of the weather” posts and then had to make sure to remove them in a timely manner to avoid confusion.

Bing has launched Insights for Office. “It can use the words from your entire document (or also those you select) to pinpoint exactly what you are looking for. With the help of this context, we are able to rank the most relevant result at the top. Now Abraham Lincoln the president, is shown and not Lincoln the car company – all displayed conveniently next to your Word document. The results are also prioritized by relevance, including Snapshot, Wikipedia, Bing Image Search, and related web content to help find what you need.” So it’s using your entire document for search context, which assuming privacy issues have been ironed out, is quite clever. 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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