Canada, Japan, Tomatoes, More: Friday Buzz, August 28th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Canada now has a digital archive for political parties. “Professor Ian Milligan at the University of Waterloo is charting the content of millions of archived political web pages spanning the last decade, allowing the public to compare what Canadian political leaders and pundits said in the past compared to now…. A search comparing depression against recession, for example, shows parties and groups such as the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Green Party and the Council of Canadians tended to describe economic downturn as depression, whereas the New Democrats, the Liberals and the Conservatives more typically use the term recession.”

All the White House photos (over 350 of them) from John F. Kennedy’s funeral have been digitized and are available online. “The 350 funeral photos span a period of three days, from November 23 to November 25, 1963. Events include: President Kennedy’s body returning to the White House, lying in repose in the East Room of the White House and lying in state at the U.S. Capitol; processions to the Capitol Building and St. Matthew’s Cathedral; the requiem mass at St. Matthew’s; the burial of President Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery; a post-funeral reception at the White House; as well as photos of the newly-redecorated Oval Office with President Kennedy’s effects, the caparison of the riderless horse Black Jack, and a night view of the eternal flame near the late President’s gravesite.”

The US Department of State has announced another digitization release. “The Department of State today announces the release of newly digitized versions of eighteen volumes from the Foreign Relations of the United States series, the official documentary record of U.S. foreign relations. These volumes cover events that took place between 1914 and 1947 and were originally published in print between 1928 and 1973.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Instagram is going beyond its iconic square. “Today, we’re excited to announce that — in addition to square posts — you can now share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientation on Instagram. Square format has been and always will be part of who we are. That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to.”

Oxford Dictionary has added a bunch of new terms. Man, Grexit got in there pretty quick, didn’t it? “Among the lessons about who we are right now: The addition of Mx., a gender-neutral honorific for those who do not want to be referred to as Mr. or Mrs., reflects today’s more thoughtful conversations about gender identity, spurred on by the likes of Caitlyn Jenner. Grexit, a term for referring to the possible exit of Greece from the European Union, points to how global our economy is becoming. And the addition of barbacoa illustrates how much people like Chipotle.”

Google is digitizing more material from India cultural heritage sites. “These organisations include the Salar Jung museum in Hyderabad, Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata, Dastkari Haat Samiti, Devi Art Foundation, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Academy of Fine Arts and Literature, Kalakriti Archives, Heritage Transport Museum, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams and the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute.”

Ubuntu 15.10 Beta 1 is now available.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Google Street View is apparently no match for tomatoes. “Google’s Street View team does an awesome job in getting just about everywhere these days, from the Great Barrier Reef to the top of Mount Fuji to inside the world’s largest passenger plane. However, a somewhat brave attempt to offer stay-at-home travelers an immersive view of one of the world’s most bizarre festivals ended in failure this week when the camera-equipped car ended up being overrun by revelers. Oh, and tomatoes, too.”

The government of Japan will create a digital archive of endangered languages. “The initiative is based on the outcome of a 2009 UNESCO study, which found that eight of the world’s roughly 2,500 endangered languages are from the Japanese archipelago. The most well known language featured on the list is that spoken by the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. The language is generally considered extremely close to complete extinction.”

Snapchat has added new channels to its Discover aspect.

Yahoo is teaming up with Girls Who Code. “Yahoo is partnering with Girls Who Code to develop new curriculum, based on the Tumblr and Flickr open-sourced APIs, that will roll out across 500 clubs this school year. Through these lessons, 6th-12th grade girls will learn to build queries to display the most popular content on Tumblr and Flickr – intermediate skills that build on students’ preliminary knowledge of website development.”

The Verge took a look at Google’s new router. 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!

Polaroids, Pocket, Nairobi, More: Thursday Buzz, August 27th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Zun Lee is starting a new digital archive of found Polaroids. “Photographer Zun Lee is dedicated to countering stereotypical, often negative views of the African-American family. While he was working on Father Figure, his book about African-American fathers, he stumbled on some old Polaroids that appeared to have fallen from a family photo album. He was intrigued to see how the Polaroids —’the Instagrams of their day,’ he calls them — reflected ‘the way black people saw themselves in private spaces and in ways not intended to be seen, or judged, by others.’ By searching yard sales and e-Bay, Lee has amassed 3,000 of these now ‘orphaned’ mementoes and recently began posting them on a Tumbler and an Instagram feed named ‘Fade Resistance.’ ”

Hmm. There’s a new video discovery app in town, and it sounds quite good. “To sift through the heaps of crappy video content for us, Hyper has employed a team of journalists and filmmakers who hand-select anywhere from six to a dozen videos each day and package them into a visually appealing digital magazine of sorts. The videos range from one to twenty minutes in duration and span a broad variety of topics, from artsy foodie videos to emotionally draining war-zone documentaries.”

YouTube has offically launched YouTube Gaming. “As promised, and after some excellent road-testing by thousands of dedicated gaming fans (thanks, folks!), YouTube Gaming is now available. Blending gaming videos and live streams, YouTube Gaming brings you closer to the games, gamers, and culture that matter to you.”

Facebook is testing a new virtual assistant. “TODAY, A FEW hundred Bay Area Facebook users will open their Messenger apps to discover M, a new virtual assistant. Facebook will prompt them to test it with examples of what M can do: Make restaurant reservations. Find a birthday gift for your spouse. Suggest—and then book—weekend getaways.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

The NOLA Hip Hop and Bounce archive is expanding with twenty more video interviews which will be added to the archive later this year.

Pocket is now recommending things for you to read based on what you’ve saved. Pocket. I ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH TO READ!

Bing has an easter egg in its search results. Snake game!

Facebook wants to create videos based on your “moments”. “Facebook added a video feature that takes photos and turns them into customizable movies (or slideshows, rather).” It reminds me a bit of Animoto.

USEFUL STUFF

Sometimes on social media you might see a video that’s — well, that you wish you might not have seen. This article by TheNextWeb explains how to turn off video auto-play in social media.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

This is fascinating! How Nairobi Got Its Ad-Hoc Bus System on Google Maps. “In a collaboration called Digital Matatus, researchers from MIT, Columbia University, and the University of Nairobi along with the design firm Groupshot released a map of the entire matatu system last year—a first for a non-formal transit system. And on Wednesday, it became the first informal network to be launched on Google Maps. Just as New York commuters can plot their subway routes on the service, residents of Nairobi can now jack into the matatu system on their smartphones.”

Google’s Government Innovation Lab has created its first prototypes. “In California’s Central Valley, Kern County has announced two prototypes envisioned as remedies for a number of civic challenges. The first prototype is what officials call a Virtual Resource Library (VRL), an online hub that once finished, will act as a crowdsourced resource for county services and collaboration. The second prototype is an enterprise app designed to pluck data from departments for countywide analytics.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Very fun, but very mathy: when will Google index a googol Web pages? I’m not going to spoil the answer for you, except to say: not tomorrow. Remember when Google had just indexed a billion pages and we were all super impressed? Wasn’t that long ago… 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!

Fridges, Potholes, Pennsylvania, More: Wednesday Buzz, August 26th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Mount Holyoke College has a new digital archive. “Mount Holyoke College, the highly rated liberal arts educational institution for women in South Hadley, Massachusetts, has debuted a new online digital archive of about 2,000 rare photographs documenting life at the college from 1899 to 1939.”

Are you nostalgic for the “old” Web — Geocities, Angelfire, etc? Here ya go. “‘Cameron’s World,’ built by Berlin-based designer Cameron Askin, is a frenetic web-collage created as ‘a love letter to the internet of old.’ Divided into thematic rows of over 700 images Askin sourced from archived pages, the website is a well-organized gallery exploding with decades-old browser detritus composed of blinking texts, animated pictorial cursors, MIDI files, and cheesy GIFs.” I’d rather a MIDI file than an auto-playing video ad with audio any day of the week…

The state of Pennsylvania has launched a new tool to show road projects through 2026. “The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has launched a new website and mapping tool to keep drivers updated on current projects and those scheduled for the next 11 years.”

Jason Scott, he of the manual-saving effort, has launched a new site to help everyone in their digital archiving efforts. It’s a wiki called Digitize the Planet. “The overall goal is to be a one-stop shop for information on best practices to convert as much of the non-digital world into digital, preferably without the destruction of the original containers. By links, essays and explanations, this wiki will hopefully grow to allow anyone with items trapped in a non-digital format to give them a shot at immortality.”

YouTube is apparently launching its Twitch competitor today.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

LinkedIn has launched a new tool for SlideShare. “The tool, called ‘Clipping,’ is free and lets users more easily organize slides for themselves, for example, when doing research, and makes it simpler to share individual slides or whole decks through LinkedIn, social media sites or email. ‘Influencers’ on LinkedIn can also use the tool to highlight their most popular or shareable slides, which can help build their identity as an expert.”

Google wants to auto-populate your Google Calendar. “Google announced today that it’s starting to roll out features that will place ticket, flight, hotel and restaurant info onto Google Calendar. Automatically. For example, if you buy a flight, rent a car, book a hotel and set reservations for the day you get into town for business, all of those items will be added to your Calendar if the exact time for those events are available. ”

Reuters TV is now free. “Reuters TV is aimed at mobile consumers who don’t have time or interest in traditional appointment viewing, will cover general interest stories targeted at a U.S. and British audience. The content is produced specifically for Reuters TV.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Google Map Maker is baaaaack….. “Map Maker came back first in Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, the Philippines and Ukraine with a new moderation structure that substantially relies on regional lead moderators. Today Google is saying that Map Maker is again live in 45 new countries. It doesn’t list the countries specifically but the US is among them. You can search to determine if your country of interest is back online.”

Google is so cray cray. It wants to map everything. Even potholes. “Last week, Google filed a patent to help solve pothole problems, describing a system that uses the GPS from cars’ navigation systems in conjunction with another bump sensor that detects vertical movement to map out potholes. Then, the system uploads the data to the cloud.”

Duke University takes a look at its year in digital projects. Lots of good stuff here.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

I know I’m in the 21st century because I have to worry about my fridge leaking my password. “While Samsung’s shiny new refrigerators connect to the Internet, can display your Google Calendar and implement SSL, hackers during a challenge at the recent DEFCON found the refrigerators fail to validate those SSL certificates. That opens the door to all kinds of man-in-the-middle attacks, potentially allowing your neighbor to steal your Gmail login information while sitting on his couch next door….” 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!

Newspapers, Shipwrecks, Ello, More: Tuesday Buzz, August 25th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

In development: an archive for Emmett Till. “The brutal death of Emmett Till — an African-American teenager — in Mississippi in August of 1955, and the subsequent acquittal of his white murderers by an all-white jury, was a pivotal moment in the surge for civil rights in America….Now, 60 years after the tragedy, Florida State University is creating an Emmett Till Archive. The university plans to make the announcement soon.”

Now available: a database of shipwrecks in Rhode Island waters — over 3000 of them! “Users can search most of the 38 fields of information, including names of ships, dates of incidents and cargo being carried. The database documents cases where ships sank and what’s left of them still lies on the bottom, as well as other incidents, such as groundings and collisions, which the ship survived.”

Ancestry is teaming up with Gannett for a huge newspaper digitization project (PRESS RELEASE). “Ancestry, the leader in family history and consumer genetics, today announced its collaboration with Gannett Co., Inc., the largest local-to-national media company, to digitize more than 80 daily newspapers across the nation. Newspapers.com, an Ancestry business unit, and Gannett will provide a historical newspaper viewing experience complete with full text search, clipping and sharing features. Together, they expect to deliver more than 100 million full-page images of historical newspapers in a simple, easy-to-use online archive.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Feeling a little retro? Mail your storage data to Google. “Using this service, developers will be able to send their physical media, including hard disk drives, tapes and USB flash drives to its partners — and those partners will then import it into a pre-selected Cloud Storage class (that’s Standard, DRA and Nearline, Google’s new low-cost, high-latency storage service). The previous version only supported hard drives.”

Google Classroom has gotten some updates.

Foodie photos on Google Maps? It’s being tested. “Though services dedicated to photos of food – like Foodspotting or Forkly, for example – have exited the scene (as well as consumers’ collective consciousness) over the years, snapping photos of your delicious dinner still remains a popular activity. Now Google is looking to capitalize on this ongoing trend with a new feature in Google Maps that encourages users to share their ‘foodie pics’ with others by posting the photo to Google Maps itself.”

Facebook has added a “Donate Now” button. “Today, Facebook for Business announced in a post that it has added ‘Donate Now’ as a call-to-action button available for Brand Pages. These buttons can now appear right on a Facebook Brand Page, or directly within an ad on the site.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Tech Times has an update on the social network Ello. “It’s been a strange year-and-a-half for Ello. In Spring of last year, the site kicked off an invite-only launch after a year or so of private beta testing, its simple homepage greeting users with a plain language manifesto – a shot across the bow against the social network status quo.”

The British Library wants help identifying the zillions of images in its collection. It also wants the process to be fun. Therefore it is hosting a game jam. “An ideal game draws a random image from our 1-million-strong collection and through gameplay the player tells us something about the content of the image. You might choose from our limited set of tags (flora, fauna, mineral, human portrait, landscape, manmade – eg. machine, buildings, ship, abstract, artistic, music, map), or opt to be more creative. If we like what we see, we’ve set aside up to £500 (courtesy of the Andrew Mellon Foundation) to work with someone to polish their game and release it as part of our ‘Mechanical Curator Arcade Game’, a 1980s-style arcade console that we’re planning to install in the British Library this autumn.”

A security researcher who hacked a moving Jeep is leaving Twitter. “Charlie Miller, a former National Security Agency hacker who is the one of the world’s best-known security experts, declined to comment on his departure or say what he would do next.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

A recently-patched IE exploit is being used in the wild. Make sure your patches are up to date! “When it released the emergency patch for the memory corruption flaw (CVE-2015-2502) on August 18, Microsoft warned that the weakness had been exploited in the wild. One day after the remote code execution vulnerability was addressed, security firms Heimdal Security and Symantec reported seeing watering hole attacks in which malicious actors leveraged the bug to deliver the PlugX remote access Trojan (RAT), also known as Korplug.” 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!

New York, India, Australia, More: Saturday Buzz, August 22nd, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Now available: a new digital archive of Australian musical artists. “A new online music archive has been created at the State Library of Western Australia (SLWA) for emerging Perth composers, with a select few also being chosen to break the library’s silence.”

Pyramids, foods, balanced diets? The National Agricultural Library at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created a digital library of nutrition guidance. “This collection allows users to browse and search the full text of over 900 historical and contemporary federal dietary guidance publications.” I did a couple of text searches. The oldest item I came across was from 1923, and was provided in PDF, MOBI, and EPUB formats.

The city of New York has launched an online database of public notices. “Updated daily, the City Record Online (CROL) is a fully searchable, machine-readable online database of all such notices, including schedules for more than 750 public hearings, land sales and contract awards for the $1.2 billion of goods and services that are acquired by the city each year.”

Either the government of India is getting a lot more efficient at creating databases of country resources, or Google News is getting a lot more efficient at indexing Indian news sources so I’m finding out about them. I’m not sure which one. Anyway, the government of India has created an online database of temples and temple properties in Tamil Nadu. There are almost 4500 temples in the database. “The Hindu religious and charitable endowments (HR&CE) department, acting on a Madras high court order, coordinated with the revenue department to create the database with extensive details of all temples in the state, the land they own, their tenants and encroachments on the properties.”

Oh I LOVE stuff like this. Anybody can look at the super-popular videos on YouTube, but what about the ones which have very few views? There’s an app for that. “…Zero Views for iOS is letting people explore the unseen videos lurking behind all the cute cat clips. Of course, this isn’t an entirely new concept, there are similar websites and apps out there but what I like about Zero Views is the endless stream. It kind of feels like Tinder… If Tinder was filled with badly-lit home movies shot on phones.”

Victorian female prisoner registries have gone online. (Please note that this is “Victorian” as in “area in Australia,” not as in “era in history.”) “The prison records of more than 7,000 Victorian women incarcerated between 1855 and 1934 are available to view online for the first time, thanks to the State Archives. The Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) cleaned and digitised the records, which were then indexed by volunteers over an 18-month period.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google is finally bringing Tweets to desktop search results (again).

If I never post to ResearchBuzz again, it’s because IFTTT has a Maker channel. “With the Maker Channel, you’re basically building web hooks that trigger other events. For instance, if you press a button on something connected to a Raspberry Pi, that can trigger any of IFTTT’s other actions, for example, press a button and send an email.”

USEFUL STUFF

From Poynter: GitHub tutorials and resources for journalists. “Last year, Clay Shirky used GitHub as a way to report on Occupy Hong Kong. The platform allowed others on the scene to collaborate with Shirky as he reported his piece. What I admire about this approach is that it gave anyone the ability to clone and then modify Shirky’s document — but Shirky had final approval over whether to integrate those changes into the master document.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Google Express is shutting down its two Mountain View and SF delivery hubs. “The move is part of a broader push within Google to revamp the service, which launched in March 2013, after it failed to make a serious dent in a market crowded with Amazon and a myriad of on-demand startups.”

I have never used Spotify, and after reading about this new insane privacy policy, I don’t think I want to. “The streaming service wants access to the sensor information on your phone, which it says would be used for things like knowing whether you are walking, running, or standing still….What is less easy to understand is why Spotify is seeking permission to access your photos, contacts, and ‘media files.'”

Congratulations, UK! According to Google you’re searching for revenge porn. “Large digital billboards around London, paid for by Google, have been spotted by the public – with a surprising revelation displayed for all to see. The brightly coloured boards – which show popular search terms being used – declared boldly that the UK ‘is searching for revenge porn sites’.” If Google feels the need to have a brand awareness campaign in the UK, how about something a bit more useful? 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!