Chrome, Danube, ANS, More: Tuesday Evening Buzz, March 31st, 2015


Computerworld has updated its list of free tools for data visualization and analysis.

From How-To Geek: How to find Chrome extensions that inject ads into Web pages.


WordPress 4.2 beta 3 is now available.

Now available on Google Street View – the Danube River.

Vine is getting into high-res video. “. A new post on the company blog announced a technical change that allows Vine users to upload the higher-resolution 720p HD video to the app. That’s a significant improvement from the 480p resolution.”


The American Numismatic Society is partnering with HathiTrust. “As a result of this partnership scans of nearly 550 ANS titles – including the American Journal of Numismatics, Numismatic Literature, Numismatic Notes and Monographs, and stand-­alone monographs have become fully readable and downloadable to anyone who wants them under a Creative Commons, non-­commercial, attribution, share-­alike license.”

Google is teaming up with Johnson & Johnson to develop AI surgical robots. “The robots will aid surgeons in minimally invasive operations, giving operators greater control and accuracy than is possible by hand, minimising trauma and damage to the patient. Some systems allow surgeons to remotely control devices inside the patient’s body to minimise entry wounds and reduce blood loss and scarring.”

This should be interesting: the UN has created a digital privacy watchdog. “The new ‘Special Rapporteur’ created by the Human Rights Council on Thursday will be tasked with investigating whether countries’ cyber spying programs unnecessarily violate people’s privacy and what people around the world can do to protect those rights.”

The University of Texas at Austin is is looking to crowdfund a collection of public domain, high-resolution insect photos.


From Pew (pew pew pew pew!): the challenges of using Facebook for research. “When Pew Research Center studied how Americans access and share local news in three cities, we naturally wanted to analyze the role that Facebook played as a means for people to hear about, discuss and share local news. But getting the data we needed proved challenging.” Good evening, 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!

Surfing, Data Mining, Web Archiving, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, March 31st, 2015


The BBC has launched the News Timeliner. “The Timeliner uses collections of inter-connected short-form videos to give context to current news stories and aims to trigger memories and journeys into key moments in the past. The current version explores the history of British Politics and Elections through a series of timelines for audiences to experience in the build up to the general election.”

Harry Mayo donated his collection of 1300 surfing photos (mainly from the 1930s-1940s) to UC-Santa Cruz, and now they’re available online.

Harvard is digitizing its collection of early English manor rolls. “The manor roll collection consists of 170 court-rolls, account-rolls, and other documents from various manors, ranging in date from 1282 to 1770. The largest concentration comes from the manor of Moulton in Cheshire. Other manors represented are Odiham Hundred, Hampshire; Herstmonceaux, Sussex; Chartley, Staffordshire; and Onehouse, Suffolk. A limited number of materials in this collection are single-sheet charters and one item is a map of the manor of Shelly, Suffolk.”

The Washington Post has created a searchable database of the White House visitor logs. “The data can be messy: You may find weird glitches and we can’t verify that the data is complete. We’ll also note that the White House logs often include middle initials. Searches in our tool use the entire name provided by the White House, so ‘John A Smith’ and ‘John Smith’ are different people — and a search for “John Smith” won’t turn up the John with the middle initial. After all, we don’t know if John A. Smith is the same as John Smith, so we want to keep them separate.”


Interested in Data Mining? Pedro from Data On Focus let me know about his list of 27 free data mining books. Good stuff.

Google Translate has a new Chrome extension. “Simply highlight the text that you want to translate, and then click the Translate icon that appears. You can also right click and choose ‘Google Translate’. If you click the icon in the upper right of your browser window, with no text highlighted, you can translate the entire web page.”


Amazon is now offering unlimited cloud drive storage. “Unlimited Cloud Storage will let users get either unlimited photo storage or ‘unlimited everything’ — covering all kinds of media from videos and music through to PDF documents — respectively for $11.99 or $59.99 per year.” Couple of things: 1) One of the commenters points out there’s a file size limit of 2GB. 2) Amazon wants you to store all your files with it, yet consumers still do not have the option of two factor login. Considering the ongoing security issues the Internet faces, it seems increasingly tin-eared to offer services like this without commensurate security.

Google Keep now has labels. Still not trusting enough to move away from Evernote.


YouTube is apparently experimenting with ultra-high-def video playback.

New York University Libraries are teaming up wtih the Internet Archive. “New York University Libraries is leading a collaboration with NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP) program and San Francisco-based Archive-It, a service of the Internet Archive (IA) to ensure that the websites of musical composers can be collected, preserved, and made accessible today and in the future, with sound and visual quality at a level significantly higher than current web archiving standards. The project, Archiving the Websites of Contemporary Composers, is funded with a grant of $480,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.” 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!

Haggard, Indianapolis, Greek Manuscripts, More: Tuesday Morning Buzz, March 31st, 2015


Now available from Bangladesh: a digital archive of agricultural theses. “Till now, nearly 6,000 theses and journals of different agricultural universities of Bangladesh have been included in the archive.” I went for a quick browse and everything I saw was in English.

The University of North Dakota Writers Conference is Working on digitizing its decades of archives. “One short montage of ‘greatest hits’ clips includes Allen Ginsberg playing drums, Tom Wolfe talking about the Hell’s Angels singing a variation of the Oscar Meyer wiener song and Truman Capote talking about New Journalism.” There is already some material available online, though there’s lots more to do.

Possibly not new, but new to me: I had no idea there was a digital archive for the illustrations of H. Rider Haggard novels. “The majority of Haggard’s approximately fifty novels were lushly illustrated, many of them repeatedly in different editions and by different illustrators. Illustration was always an essential part of reading Haggard’s romances during the nineteenth-century. Visual Haggard seeks to revalue and reintegrate the illustrations of Haggard’s novels as unique artworks and texts for contemporary audiences.”

The Indianapolis Museum of Art has released a new online collection (PRESS RELEASE). “The new online collection offers a visually rich platform with over 33,000 high-quality images available for viewing and high-res zooming capabilities to provide detailed views of assorted works. A hallmark of the new website is the 21,000 images now available for high-res download, providing open access to imagery for any personal, scholarly or commercial use. Multiple views of many three-dimensional works are also available to provide a unique online viewing experience for the site user.”

Twitter has launched a livestreaming app called Periscope to compete with another livestreaming app called Meerkat.


The final 75 manuscripts from the Greek Manuscripts Digitisation Project have gone online.

The final beta of Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) has been released.


Twitch streamed a music festival this past weekend, so it seems only fair to read rumors that YouTube is going to start a live game streaming service.

Digg is looking for beta testers. I love Digg Reader.

The British Library needs your help georeferencing its map collection. “Using the BL Georeferencer online application, you will be presented with a historic map from a 19th century book; by finding the location on a modern map or imagery alongside, the old map is ‘georeferenced’, and can be overlaid and interacted with in your browser…”

Yahoo issued a new transparency report last week. “This latest transparency report contains information covering the last six months of 2014 (July 1 – December 31, 2014). This includes National Security Letters (NSLs) and criminal data requests (such as search warrants, court orders, and subpoenas issued in criminal investigations). FISA requests included are from January 1 – June 30, 2014, as they are subject to a six-month delay imposed by the U.S. Government.”

Google has been granted a patent for its “smart” contact lens. “As TIME has previously reported, Google has been testing various prototypes of smart contact lens and is currently in talks with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about a lens that measures glucose levels in users’ tears. The company says the chip and sensor are embedded between two layers of contact lens material and a tiny pinhole lets tear fluid from the eye reach the glucose sensor, and the sensor can measure levels every second.” 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!

Storify, Seed Catalogs,, More: Sunday Buzz, March 29th, 2015


I just found this a few days ago and it’s not new but it’s lovely. The British Museum has an Instagram series of all its galleries up on Storify.

Now available: a huge collection of online medical journals. “While we encourage you to explore the full-text search tool available on our website, you can now also browse over 3,000 volumes that comprise our 336 journal titles. If you’d rather browse by date or search all fields, we encourage you to download the CSV file, also available on the journals browse page.”


Dave Winer has open-sourced MyWord Editor. It’s a blogging tool that you can read more about at .


Flickr Commons has reached 100 institutions with the addition of the VCU Libraries. “The VCU Libraries include prints, works of art, historic and medical artifacts, archives and manuscripts, maps and rare books and periodicals, as well as one of the largest collections of comic arts, book art, alternative newspapers and zines in the USA.” Apparently now even when paging through the Flickr Commons, you get big, jarring ads in the middle of the streams. Ick.

You can now do video embeds from Facebook.

More Facebook: it is opening up Messenger for businesses. has gotten a bunch of updates. Includes: treaties, executive reports, and bills in XML.

Google is launching a major push to get businesses and business information online. I’d probably feel better about this if I hadn’t been using Google My Business for years. It’s always been bumpy and it became a nightmare when it got integrated into Google+. Not to mention the Saturday when I was trying to have a peaceful lunch and suddenly got the phone call that Google had suddenly marked one of our stores as “closed permanently” and we were getting phone calls from concerned customers. Why had it done that? I never got an answer…


ProQuest and Google are teaming up for full-text indexing (I think this is a press release.) “ProQuest will enable the full text of its scholarly journal content to be indexed in Google Scholar, improving research outcomes. Work is underway and the company anticipates that by the third-quarter of 2015, users starting their research in Google Scholar will be able to access scholarly content via ProQuest.”

Tech companies are teaming up to demand an end to the NSA’s collection of bulk metadata. “The missive concerns Sections 215 and 214 of the PATRIOT Act, a law passed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that’s been a key legal foundation for the government’s collection of Americans’ call record metadata, for example. The now-infamous Section 215 of the act will sunset on June 1, barring Congressional action.”

The SEC has ruled that startups can sell stock online to anyone. “he Securities and Exchange Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to adopt rules that permit startups to raise money from the vast majority of Americans, including provisions that allow for deals to be made over the Internet. Previously, only individuals with more than $1 million in net worth or income of at least $200,000 for each of the last two years — so called “accredited investors” — could easily invest in startups. Some websites already offer the chance to invest in startups online, but prospective investors had to be accredited and subject to more stringent regulations.” As long as people think of this as less of a “retirement fund” investment and more of a “scratch ticket” investment…

The Biodiversity Heritage Library wants some crowdsourcing help transcribing its seed catalogs. “In celebration of our Garden Stories event, we’ve released some of our seed catalogs for transcription as part of our Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-funded Purposeful Gaming project. Seed catalogs are notoriously difficult subjects for Optical Character Recognition software (OCR) to parse (which produces searchable text files of digitized images), so searching the text of online vintage seed catalogs is often problematic.”

A blog post at makes a recommendation for making Twitter screenshots more accessible. 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!

Cars, Reddit, Zillow, More: Saturday Afternoon Buzz, March 28th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES is a new search engine for used cars (PRESS RELEASE). “Like Google, AU.TO crawls the web seeking out cars for sale, collecting both vehicle and dealer data, and sorting vehicles based on user predicted interest, thereby providing custom-tailored search results for individual users. AU.TO features a lightning fast, text-based search, yielding results in milliseconds, not minutes. It also provides the first user-predicted interest algorithm for online car shopping: Think Pandora for cars.” You know, you could just be a search engine for used cars. Comparisons to Google and Pandora aren’t necessary…


From Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: 13 Must-Have Chrome Apps for Music Teachers.

How-To Geek: The Best Ways to Save Web Pages to Read Later. I heart Pocket.


Reddit now lets you embed its comments on your site. “To generate the necessary code simply click on a comment’s permalink page, then select ‘embed’ to generate the code you need to copy. You also have the option to include parent comments.”

Real estate site Zillow has launched an updated agent finder. “The new tool takes into account ratings from Zillow’s users, as well as data about who the most active agents in a given area are (based on past sales and their number of current listings). Prospective home buyers and sellers can then filter according to their price points, needs and specialties (relocations, short sale, etc.), as well as the languages the agent speaks.”


Jack Schofield takes a look at Twitter tool Nuzzel. Thanks to my sojourn in Ick Limbo last weekend, I spent a lot of time tweaking Twitter and Tweetdeck and this past week I’ve found that between a carefully-cultivated TweetDeck and Nuzzel, Twitter can be more interesting than Facebook. (Of course, I also discovered that there are some ridiculously frustrating things about Nuzzel, but that’s a different article.)

Business chat service Slack got hacked. It’s launched two-factor authentication.

Google is pushing back against stories about how much time/effort it spends on DC. “Having whittled its visit count down, Google says it consulted the White House records for other companies. It claims Microsoft made 270 visits over the same period, whereas Comcast made 150 visits — which is in stark contrast to the WSJ’s claims of just 20.” I have never liked the “but this other guy is doing it too” method of defense…

More Google: it is bringing its fiber service to Salt Lake City.

More More Google: Is Google setting up a billing payment service for GMail? “The service, dubbed Pony Express, would ask users to provide personal information, including credit card and Social Security numbers, to a third-party company that would verify their identity, according to a Re/code report on Tuesday.” What could POSSIBLY go wrong? 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!