Kentucky, Wine, Meerkat, More: Thursday Buzz, July 23rd, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

The state of Kentucky has launched a new database for lost and abandoned horses. “The state veterinarian’s office has launched a Stray and Abandoned Equine Database with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture where people can browse listings of horses that have been found.”

A collection of records for London synagogue seatholders (1920-1939) has gone online. “Revealing details of positions held by forebears, researchers will be able to track ancestors who became wardens, council members, or served on committees of their synagogue, as well as seatholders in synagogues from around the capital city. These fully indexed records allow family historians to search by name, keyword, synagogue and address and with one click see an image taken from the pages of Seatholders for Synagogues in London.”

The World of Fine Wine magazine has launched a digital archive. “The World of Fine Wine, and the publishers Progressive Media International, have worked with digital content specialists Exact Editions to digitise the archive, making the resource readily available to print and digital subscribers alike. The extensive archive makes for a valuable resource; available for universities, corporations and other organisations, who can take out a specialist network subscription utilising Exact Editions IP authentication technology, say the company.” It’s 48 issues over 11 years.

A new online directory intends to aggregate business and service information for transgender people. “…a non-profit advocacy group in Chicago has created an online database to help transgender people find businesses and service providers that are not just friendly, but understanding of their needs. Most of the online directory is comprised of healthcare services, and it includes a rate and review function, as well as the ability to search for businesses and providers by location.The directory, called RAD Remedy — RAD stands for Referral Aggregator Database — is online, but still in development mode.”

There is now a map of Meerkat streams. “The app, which is hosted on Github, takes advantage of Meerkat’s API, which the company released in May. It’s very similar to the Global List already available in Meerkat’s competitor, Periscope: it groups streams in aggregate, so you can see from a zoomed out view how many are streaming in that area. But Meerkat Map actually breaks down further when you zoom in, so you could narrow down to the city level where streams are coming from. Which is either neat or completely creepy, depending on how you look at it.”

USEFUL STUFF

From Hongkiat: 10 URLs to Find Out What Google Knows About You.

From Digital Trends: How to download a Vimeo video.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Maps now has a timeline. “Have you ever wanted a way to easily remember all the places you’ve been — whether it’s a museum you visited during your last vacation or that fun bar you stumbled upon a few months ago? Well, starting today, Google Maps can help. We’re gradually rolling out Your Timeline, a useful way to remember and view the places you’ve been on a given day, month or year. Your Timeline allows you to visualize your real-world routines, easily see the trips you’ve taken and get a glimpse of the places where you spend your time. And if you use Google Photos, we’ll show the photos you took when viewing a specific day, to help resurface your memories.”

Instagram is now allowing more search functionality from the Web. “You can now look up anything from hashtags, locations and usernames right from the desktop. Tags and locations are getting their own pages too, so you can see the most popular related images.” I’ll work with it, but right now I really like Websta and Worldcam, though Worldcam has occasional API issues.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

A woman who was recruited by Google and rejected by Google four times has joined an age discrimination lawsuit. “According to the lawsuit, a Google recruiter contacted [Cheryl] Fillekes in 2007 for possible employment in either Google’s engineering and testing group or its software development group. There were a series of phone interviews and an in-person interview at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. In 2010, a different Google recruiter contacted her and said that from her previous interview scores, she was an ideal candidate. This happened again in 2011 and late 2013. In each case, a Google recruiter contacted her and there were a series of phone interviews, concluding with in-person interviews, but no job offer.” Sue them for wasting your time!

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

A rumor is running around that Google is going to sell custom e-mail addresses for a monthly fee. “As you can see in the screenshot above, the prices start at $2 a month which will give users their own custom Gmail address, letting them choose “you@youraddress.com”, subject to availability of course. However for $2, that’s all you will be getting and you won’t be getting additional storage. However if you want added storage, you can pay $5 a month which is more or less the same feature, but with 30GB of email storage, online support, and access to business tools.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

From Stanford: Google Glass and the Elderly. “Glass will probably find its largest and most loyal customer base in communities dealing with old age. After all, there is a very large population of aging Baby Boomers set on a collision course with all the ills and predicaments that come with age. As Google Glass evolves, evaluation of its adoption to elder care service is vital for further program design and development. This study uses examples and surveys to evaluate the variables influencing the use of technology service programs by the elderly. A questionnaire survey was used to explore the technology acceptance of the elderly in a Google Glass based program. In addition, open-ended questions were used to elicit qualitative information regarding the experience of technology use. The results revealed elderly with higher social welfare statuses, better health conditions, and more frequent tech usage are usually more open to the idea of using Google Glass.” 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!

Pocket, Facebook, XP, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, July 22nd, 2015

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Facebook is adding “secret” videos (yeah right) and a video library for page owners. When Facebook tells me something is secret I do not believe it.

USEFUL STUFF

Pocket users! Check out The Next Web’s writeup on Pocket Rocket. “If you’re anything like me, you love Pocket — and find your overflowing stash of articles daunting. A new service, PocketRocket, will help you navigate the mess by sending you one article per day via email, then archiving it.”

Phil Bradley has a quick writeup on content curation tool Backstitch. “You can set up a free personal account and choose subjects that interest you. I chose to create a ‘CILIP’ collection, and Backstitch went away and found sites, social media resources and so on that I could add into my collection. When I was happy with what I had I could save it and share it. ”

From the always-interesting Aaron Tay: 5 things Google Scholar does better than your library discovery service. “I have had experience implementing Summon in my previous institution and currently have some experience with EDS and Primo (Primo Central). The main thing that struck me is that while they have differences (eg. Default Primo interface is extremely customizable though requires lots of work to get it into shape, while Summon is pretty much excellent UI wise out of the box but less customizable, EDS is basically Summon but with tons of features already included in the UI), they pretty much have the same strengths and weaknesses via Google Scholar. So far, my experience with faculty here in my new institution is similar to that from my former’s, more and more of them are shifting towards Google Scholar and even Google.”

PRIVACY AND SECURITY ISSUES

Unless you’re the US Navy or some similarly exceptional organization, Windows XP support is officially done. “Keeping to its word, Microsoft ended security support for existing Microsoft Security Essentials customers running Windows XP, a little more than a year after support officially ended April 8, 2014. Microsoft said last year that signatures and updates for Microsoft Security Essentials would continue for a limited time, and the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool would also be available for XP users for a limited time.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

In my Real Job ™, one of the things I do is buy advertising. And I stopped buying cable advertising about three years ago, because the writing was on the wall as far as what online video was doing to cable viewership. Now the writing is in really, really big letters: YouTube is bigger than cable. “Google executives say the site outstrips any single U.S. cable network in the key 18- to 49-year-old demographic, and that’s one of the reasons the tech firm’s stock price went soaring in the aftermath of the earnings call. In the hours that followed it jumped as high as 11 percent above its pre-announcement figure.”

Windows 10 is going to be a free upgrade. “Microsoft has reversed earlier policies regarding the cost of upgrading to Windows 10, and will make it free to upgrade. Back in March I wrote Microsoft accepts the inevitable, takes first steps toward making Windows and Office free, and in October 2014, What Apple’s zero pricing of iOS, Mac OS X, and iWork means.”

Eeesh. Yahoo did not have a great quarter. “Yahoo’s adjusted revenue for the quarter at $1.04 billion saw no change from the previous quarter or the year-ago quarter, and it just barely surpassed analyst forecasts of $1.03 billion. The company said it made a net loss of $22 million, or 2 cents per share, from a profit of $270 million, or 26 cents per share, a year ago.” 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!

Seasons, Finland, Shakespeare, More: Wednesday Morning Buzz, June 22nd, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Zooniverse has started a new project: Season Spotter. “Season Spotter is asking volunteers to help identify changes in plants, shrubs, and trees over the seasons, so we can better understand the impact of climate change on vegetation. The project’s images are of landscapes, taken by more than 200 elevated automatic cameras from across North America, and include forests, grasslands, wetlands, dry shrubland, and tundra. It is a collaboration between Harvard University, the U.S. National Ecological Observatory Network, and the Zooniverse.”

McGill University has a bunch of student publications up at the Internet Archive. “Last winter we were able to digitize over 50 rolls of microfilm containing over 9,000 issues of the McGill Daily. Starting with their very first issue from October 2nd, 1911 we are going to be spending the summer uploading just over 9,000 issues dating to 2001 to our new Internet Archive collection of McGill Student Publications. Check back often during the summer as we’ll be uploading a few hundred issues each day.”

Wellcome Library has launched “What’s in the Library”. “Today we’re going public with What’s In The Library?, a project we’ve been working on with the good people from design firm Good, Form & Spectacle. What’s In The Library? plumbs the depths of the Library catalogue, surfacing data from catalogue records and digitised materials to encourage exploration. What we’ve found out so far is that AIDS posters, genetics archives and Medical Officer of Health Reports are very well represented digitally, but our subject coverage has a very long tail. Anthropomorphism, for example, is the subject of 23 items.” (You’ll have to follow the link for the vaguely disturbing lobster picture).

The Gallen-Kallela Museum has joined the Flickr archives. “The Gallen-Kallela Museum is a cultural museum dedicated to the work of Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865–1931). Their goal is to raise interest for the artistic heritage of Gallen-Kallela and tell the story of his life and family. According to the museum, the visual heritage of Gallen-Kallela is important to Finnish people and they strive to constantly introduce new angles to view his life’s work.”

The Georgia Digital Library has added the Georgia Folklore Collection. “The Georgia Folklore Collection consists primarily of field recordings made by Art Rosenbaum donated to the University of Georgia Libraries Media Archives in 1987. The collection also contains associated collections of sound and video recordings from around Georgia, including those made between 1955 and 1983 by volunteers from the Georgia Folklore Society. Some of the artists represented in the collection include the Tanner family, Reverend Howard Finster, the McIntosh County Shouters, Doodle Thrower and the Golden River Grass, Neal Pattman, Joe Rakestraw, Jake Staggers, the Eller brothers, Doc and Lucy Barnes, Nathaniel and Fleeta Mitchell, R. A. Miller, W. Guy Bruce, Precious Bryant, and many more.”

This is one of those “new to me” resources; don’t know how long it’s been around. Nice stuff, though: a JSTOR project that lets you get Shakespeare scholarship line by line. “Understanding Shakespeare is a collaborative project between JSTOR Labs and the Folger Shakespeare Library . It’s a research tool that allows students, educators and scholars to use the text of Shakespeare’s plays to quickly navigate into the scholarship written about them—line by line. Users simply click next to any line of text in a play and relevant articles from the JSTOR archive immediately load.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Breaking News has started offering “emerging story alerts”. “Every day we discover stories that are just beginning to gain traction. This is often a local story that starts small, but our editors believe – through eyewitness reports and our own experience – that it has the potential to become a big story. Or at the very least, attract a lot of media attention. We call these “emerging stories.” Beginning today when you update your Breaking News app (iOS and Android), you can opt-in to receiving emerging story alerts at a frequency of 1-3 a day.”

USEFUL STUFF

From the unsinkable Helen Brown, 5 Great Deep Web Research Resources.

The state archives of North Carolina has a tutorial on scanning local records. “We have written on this blog several times about scanning government records. There was a detailed explanation of how to determine whether scanning is an appropriate document management solution. There have been several overviews of scanning operations for local governments, most recently in response to the question, If our county has a public record on paper and we scan it, do we have to keep the paper version of the record? Now we can also offer you an online tutorial that walks you through the planning process for a digital imaging project and also explains what it means for you regarding handling public records.”

From TheNextWeb: 10 Alternatives to Photoshop. These are desktop apps, not Web apps, and there’s stuff here for Windows, Mac, and Linux, though it seems to be tilted toward Macs.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Interesting. The White House has put up a Twitter account specifically about the Iran agreement. I’m pointing this out not because of my opinions about the Iran negotiations (they do not belong in ResearchBuzz) but because this is such a huge shift. Actively developing social media nodes for individual political policies. Feels like a huge deal.

Google has launched a “Buy it Now” button on mobile, in addition to a bunch of other shopping updates “Finally, to help smartphone shoppers buy with ease from their favorite retailers, we’ll be testing Purchases on Google. When a shopper searches on mobile for a product such as ‘women’s hoodies’, she may see a shopping ad with ‘Buy on Google’ text. After clicking the ad, she’s taken to a retailer-branded product page hosted by Google. Checkout is seamless, simple, and secure, thanks to saved payment credentials in her Google Account.”

Just wow: The Smithsonian is teaming up with Kickstarter. “The Smithsonian is embarking on a multi-project partnership with Kickstarter, the funding platform for creative projects. The inaugural project will support conservation of Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit at the National Air and Space Museum. The funds also will be used to digitize and exhibit the 46-year-old suit. The campaign will start July 20, the anniversary of the first walk on the moon in 1969.” 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!

Jordan, EPA, Etsy, More: Tuesday Buzz, June 21st, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

The universities of Jordan are launching a digital learning platform. “Jordan’s public universities are aiming to increase their Internet presence through a new online platform that will pool lectures, examinations, and lesson plans. The Jordan Universities Network (JUNet), in partnership with Microsoft Jordan, will launch the Jordan Open Courseware Platform—www.elearning.edu.jo —in the autumn.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released updated environmental and public health indicators and made them available in an online database. “This is an online update to EPA’s Report on the Environment. Users can explore 85 individual indicators– on our air, water, land, human exposure, health and ecological condition– using interactive graphs, tables, and maps, and download the data for each indicator.”

The New York University Library has acquired the archive of the art and literary journal Triple Canopy. The thing about this is: this journal has published since 2007 and almost entirely online. The library will expand its holdings as the journal keeps publishing, as an insurance against the Web-based archive of the journal itself going offline/otherwise awry. Considering What’s going on with the Boston Phoenix, I think this is a fine idea.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google has simplified and updated its patent search tool. “The idea is that the new patent search will be easier to use both by experts in the field as well as the general public to look for patents and related materials. Given the rising interest in safeguarding IP among developers and founders who may have never had to consider patents much before, this could prove to be especially useful.”

PRIVACY AND SECURITY ISSUES

What’s the latest company on the transparency report bus? Why, it’s Etsy! “You may notice our report is different than the reports that others have issued. That’s because we want any insights and context we share to reflect Etsy’s unique marketplace, community and mission. We’re not only including information about requests for member information and intellectual property takedowns — which are both generally associated with transparency reporting — but we’re also providing insight into how we strive to keep our marketplace a reliable, trustworthy place to shop and do business as well as how we offer protection to buyers and sellers.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

For the serious nerds only: 9 Things You Didn’t Know About Google’s Undersea Cable. “Undersea cables carry virtually all transoceanic Internet data these days, replacing satellites as the preferred medium. Google and some telecom companies have invested in one of them, called FASTER, that will stretch 9,000 kilometers (5,592 miles) between the U.S. and Japan and is due to go into operation next year. With six fiber-pairs in the cable, each carrying 100 wavelengths at 100 gigabits per second, it will have a peak capacity of 60 terabits per second (Tbps). That’s about 10 million times faster than a standard cable modem.”

I love Digg Reader, which I believe I’ve mentioned until y’all are good and sick of it. But there’s more to Digg than just the reader; it looks like it might be getting back into community as well. “When we rebuilt and relaunched Digg three years ago (ah, #tbt!) we shelved pretty much all of the community features. Our sense was that Digg’s community had almost entirely disappeared. We decided to strike out in a different direction, until the time seemed right to bring conversations back in. A few months ago, our designers and developers started to build. In the past couple of weeks, lots of people have been talking about what makes a good (and bad) community. For our part, we threw some pointed questions out to Digg’s users, especially since we’re in the middle of building community features. Last week, about 1,500 of you were nice enough to fill out a short survey. The feedback was incredibly helpful and interesting.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

An interesting blog post from KevinMD: Why academic medical centers should be on Twitter. Right now. “In recent years, the use of Twitter within medicine has increased significantly, and its uses are as varied as the persons and personalities who use it. For some physicians, Twitter is a method to connect with patients and for others, it provides an method to connect with and share research, insights, and anecdotes with professional colleagues worldwide. Furthermore, Twitter has become a powerful tool for the sharing of information at medical conferences via live-tweeting, and is even used in virtual journal clubs discussing new research or live twitter chats debating hot topics within health care.” 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!

GIFs, Docs, Moths, More: Monday Buzz, July 20th, 2015

USEFUL STUFF

Wanna make an animated text GIF? The Next Web has a cool tool for you. “Slate, which is racing up Product Hunt’s rankings today and got the seal of approval from Product Hunt godfather Ryan Hoover, is a single page that lets you create animated text GIFs and save them to Imgur.”

Jim Birch has an article about GoogleDoc2Html, which is a script created by Omar AL Zabir that cleans up the HTML from Google Docs. “Using Google Docs and the Google Docs Script Editor, this script emails a pretty simple HTML file of the document to your Google email account associated with your Google account.” Mr. Birch has a quick list of instructions and a link to the script that he forked.

tuts+ is offering a free course on crawling the Web with Python. “Recently we’ve started producing short, free courses aimed at those of you with limited time and a limited budget. The idea is that in a set of short videos, clocking in at around an hour of total viewing time, you can learn some useful new skills, without paying a penny.”

From UberGizmo: How to password-protect a USB drive. “However, encrypting a whole drive is not always the answer to protecting your data on a USB drive. May be you just have a single document that you need to protect, or a few MBs worth of files, why go through the whole-disk encryption process? In this tutorial, we are going to list simple to complex methods to password-protect a USB drive, you can select the one that fits your needs best.”

From How-To Geek: How to teach yourself programming on the cheap. “Want to teach yourself how to code, but don’t have a lot of extra scratch laying around to learn how to do it? Nowadays, there are tons of resources available on the Internet that you can use to get yourself up to speed on all of the most advanced coding languages, often without having to drop a dime for the privilege. Though only one of the learning portals listed here will actually leave you with a degree to pin on your wall by the time all is said and done, having the skills these websites provide is still a great way to get started in the world of independent contracting, and being able to build your very own websites on the fly.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Woo hoo! IFTTT Now has a Wikipedia channel. There are several triggers for this channel – picture of the day, article of the day, new edit to specific article, etc – but there are no actions.

WordPress 4.3 Beta 3 is now available.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

The Wikimedia Foundation has released its third transparency report. “In August 2014, we published our first transparency report, which detailed the number of requests we received to disclose user data or alter or remove content from the Wikimedia projects between July 2012 and June 2014. We updated the report in April 2015 with new data, real-life examples of the types of requests we receive, and additional categories such as “voluntary disclosures” and “right to be forgotten” requests. We are happy to continue this tradition with our latest update, covering January to June 2015. During this time, we received 234 alteration or takedown requests and 23 user data requests, none of which we granted.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Google Photo apparently keeps backing up your pictures even after you delete the app. ZOMBIE APP! Well, not really. “It turns out that when you turn the ‘back up & sync’ setting on for Photos in your Android phone, you’re not actually accessing the setting in the app, but in the phone itself. If you delete the app, the setting remains, so all your photos will continue to be backed up to Google Photos even though you no longer use it. Since most people probably don’t make a deep dive on their phone settings on a regular basis, it’s pretty much a set it and forget it thing, it’s very possible that many users have photos in the cloud they don’t know about.”

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

There’s a Twitter bot dedicated to generating moths. Why? BECAUSE IT’S THE INTERNET, THAT’S WHY. “@mothergenerator, a new Twitter bot, adds to the diversity by generating spectacular digital moths, naming them, and tweeting them. The Moth Generator (or lepidoptera automata if you want to get scientific) is a joint venture between artist and poet Katie Rose Pipkin and artist and video game designer Loren Schmidt.” I like the “agreeable semicirus fumosa.” 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!