Category Archives: morningbuzz

IFTTT, Yearbooks, NHTSA, More: Morning Buzz, August 20th, 2014

WordPress 4.0 beta 4 is now available.

Get inspired: 9 Amazing Projects Made in Microsoft Excel.

Here’s a lovely browser-based tool for generating image thumbnails.

This is interesting: IFTTT is teaming up with ADT (ADT press release). “ADT and IFTTT are planning to test a beta version of an ADT Pulse® Channel on IFTTT, connecting a customer’s ADT Pulse-enabled home with more than 100 existing Channel partners. Whether it’s adjusting the thermostat to react to local weather conditions, or arming the security system based on users’ GPS data, an ADT Pulse® Channel on IFTTT could enable users to put many aspects of their home on auto-pilot.”

The Smithsonian is asking for help in transcribing its collections. “After about a year of testing with a small group of volunteers, the Smithsonian opened up their Transcription Center website to the public last month. Today, they issued a called [sic] for volunteers to help decipher everything from handwritten specimen tags to the personal letters of iconic artists to early U.S. currency.”

A new Web site wants to shame apps with lax security. “One high-profile example includes well-liked travel-information firm TripIt. TripIt allows users to bring together information on their tickets, flight times, and itinerary and then sync it with other devices and share the information with friends and co-workers. Information shared with calendar applications, however, is not encrypted, Webster says, leaving it open to eavesdropping on public networks. Among the details that could be plucked from the air by anyone on the same wireless network: a user’s full name, phone number, e-mail address, the last four digits of a credit card number, and emergency contact information. An attacker could even change or cancel the victim’s flight, he says.”

Entrepreneur: The Five Problems Google Will Face in the Next Ten Years. Only Five?

The UT Health Science Center Libraries have digitized a bunch of medical school yearbooks.

The NHTSA is finally launching its vehicle recall tracking tool.

The North Dakota State Historical Society now has an online archive.

The Royal Air Force Museum has launched the RAF Museum Storyvault. “The archive provides free access to recently digitized records, including a Muster Roll of NCO’s and men, an Air Force List of Officers, and a selection of Casualty Cards and other records for those who were wounded or killed in the air service.”

The Drug Industry Documents Archive (DIDA) has been expanded with additional documents on Zyprexa and clincal study reports related to neuraminidase inhibitors. 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!

Yahoo, Twitter Bots, NASA, More: Morning Buzz, August 16th, 2014

Catching up… Yahoo has a new Finance app.

A small selection of the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine yearbooks are now available online. The yearbooks are from 1952-1967.

When does Amit Agarwal do an article that isn’t handy and useful? How to transfer files between mobile phones and computers.

You know that handle Google Package Tracking tool? You can opt-out if you like.

Sometimes you say “bots on Twitter” and people will reflexively think they’re bad, pointless, etc. But check out this collection of river gauges on Twitter which tweet their levels twice a day but can increase communications in times of flood or emergency. “Users can visit the website to search by geographical location, river name, catchment area or status (normal level, below average or risk of flooding) and are also able to follow on Twitter any gauges that will be of interest to them. The website map features all of the Environment Agency river level and tidal gauges, and a unique Twitter account has been created for each of them. Twice per day, each gauge tweets its current status. For example, Teddington Lock now has its own Twitter account:”

Related: Are 8.5% of Twitter’s active users bots?

The US Department of Energy is making its researchers’ papers free. “The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today unveiled its answer to a White House mandate to make the research papers it funds free for anyone to read: a Web portal that will link to full-text papers a year after they’re published. Once researchers are up to speed and submitting their manuscripts, that will mean 20,000 to 30,000 new free papers a year on energy research, physics, and other scientific topics.”

And in the same vein, NASA is giving away free ebooks.

Congratulations to Search Engine Land, which has a new look! 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!

Marvel, Oz, Twitter, More: Morning Buzz, August 15th, 2014

Back with a little stolen time! More catching up this weekend.

Hootsuite looks at an interesting question: when should you respond on Twitter?

UCR did a post-event breakdown of World Cup tweets. “Not surprisingly, Argentina, Brazil and Germany had the highest number of tweets during the recent World Cup, but Bosnia, Cameron and Ivory Coast saw the greatest surge in terms of percentage increase in tweets compared to a year earlier.” has added a whole bunch of words, including ones I like (“cray”), and ones I don’t (“adorbs,” which sounds like something you wear to deal with occasional incontinence.)

Another thousand Old Masters are going online. “Glasgow University is teaming up with National Museums Liverpool, Manchester Art Gallery, Leeds Museums and Galleries and York Art Gallery to make 1,000 Old Masters available on the internet. Experts will explore the origins, history and attribution of each work before cataloguing them in the online database.”

Illustrated London News has launched a new archive featuring material from 1914-1918. “The first-phase website includes the digitised pages from the Illustrated London News 1914-1918; a wealth of editorial features providing rich context for the source material; a timeline; a range of topical insights from “Animals and War” and “Trench Life” to “Sport and the War”; and a blog written by young historians appointed for the project.”

Marvel now has a fashion Instagram account. Because… oh, I don’t know.

1960s Australian counterculture magazine OZ now has a digital archive.

Catching up… Twitter has busted out a new transparency report. “There were 2,058 requests from Jan. 1 to June 30, marking a 46% increase over the second half of last year. The requests affect 48% more Twitter users than in the previous report.”

From Entrepreneur: 12 Things You Should Do on Your Personal Google+ Account Right Now. (No, not deactivate it. Sheesh.) 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!

Kelp, NASA, Classic TV, More: Morning Buzz, August 9th, 2014

Coming soon to New Zealand: a digital archive of World War II veterans.

You probably have seen a lot of news about the Russian gang which has allegedly stolen details on more than a billion e-mail accounts. Krebs has a Q&A breakdown of information. Explain again why Amazon doesn’t offer two-factor?

Zooniverse has a new project — Floating Forests! Help researchers look for kelp!

The Siri Wars continue: Google has acquired Emu. “Emu was at heart an IM client, but it differentiated itself from the crowded market with smart features that incorporated a virtual assistant not unlike Siri to automate tasks based on your conversations – meaning you could do things like schedule appointments to your calendar, set reminders and even make reservations at a restaurant directly from your conversations.”

Now available: a database of information about prisoners of war from World War I. “According to the ICRC, 90 percent of the 5 million cards on prisoners and 500,000 pages of records associated with these cards are now searchable on the Prisoners of the First World War website.”

Do you run WordPress or Drupal? Please upgrade your installation: there’s a pretty serious security vulnerability.

IFTTT now has a Space Channel, which is interesting because it’s not a device channel but a data channel. “The Space Channel is a native IFTTT Channel powered by NASA, Open Notify, Mars Atmospheric Aggregation System, and How Many People Are In Space Right Now.” I’m excited about this because as cool as it is now, IFTTT as an even more mutable push platform with even more custom data feeds would be brilliant.

Bob Poulsen has launched a new Web site that organizes the TV episodes available in the Internet Archives. It’s called RerunCentury and it’s available at . Currently it indexes over 1300 episodes of 160 shows. Shows with at least 40 episodes available include Dragnet, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Jack Benny Program, and The Adventures of Robin Hood.

The Library of Congress has launched an indigenous law portal. “The Indigenous Law Portal brings together collection materials from the Law Library of Congress as well as links to tribal websites and primary source materials found on the Web. The portal is based on the structure of the Library of Congress Classification schedule for Law (Class K), specifically the Law of the Indigenous Peoples in the Americas (Classes KIA-KIP: North America).”

Gmail now works with addresses containing non-Latin characters. And about time too. 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!

Text Extracting, Silent Films, Wikis, More: Morning Buzz, July 31st, 2014

A new database has been launched to remember the British soldiers of World War I. “A total of 1,117,077 service personnel from what was then the British Empire died in the war, which began in 1914. The Every Man Remembered database allows people to commemorate relatives or someone they knew, or find a person for whom no-one has yet left a tribute.”

From The New Yorker: when considering the archives of a writer, what do you do with their digital effects? The case of Salman Rushdie.

The Folger Shakespeare Library has launched Folgerpedia.

Datascope has released a new tool for extracting text from documents. “Ok, ok, ok. You can’t extract text from any document at the moment, but textract integrates support for many common formats and we designed it to be as easy as possible to add other document formats. The whole thing is up on github, to make it easier for the community to add their own integrations.”

Apple has purchased podcast app Swell. Swell immediately shut down, and as you may have noticed on Twitter, I was very upset. I loved Swell. It made it easy to listen to news podcasts without using iTunes’ horrible podcast tools, and you have no idea how much I’m going to miss it. Another heart broken by a free app.

An article in the New York Times asks: Can Reddit Grow Up? In my Real Job I buy a pretty good amount of advertising, and I’d love to advertise on Reddit. Unfortunately there’s no way to do geographically-specific advertising that I can find. (Please let me know if you’re aware of one!)

Amazon has launched a 3-D printing store. “Amazon has launched a new store for 3D-printed goods, which include items that can be customized to change their size, color, material and even aspects of their design. The store covers a range of types of products, including jewelry, electronics, toys and games, home decor and kitchen supplies, and items are supplied by a number of partners including Mixee, Sculpteo and 3DLT.”

Wow! Using regular screenings to crowdsource information on silent films. “Deep in the archives of the Library of Congress’ Culpeper, Va., film preservation center lie thousands of movies in cool, climate-controlled vaults. Hundreds are a century old or older, and unidentified. Their titles have been lost over the years and the library knows little about them, so it started inviting fans of early film to a yearly event called Mostly Lost to help figure out what they are.”

This is rather recursive: people are trying to de-index pages from Chilling Effects, the DCMA notice archive. But Google isn’t having it. “Chilling Effects is the largest public repository of DMCA notices on the planet, providing a unique insight into the Internet’s copyright battles. However, each month people try to de-index pages of the site but Google has Chilling Effects’ back and routinely rejects copyright claims.”

The FamilySearch Research Wiki will be getting a new look.

Google is testing a Timeline View for its knowledge graph.

A little far afield, but you may find it useful: a roundup of 44 tutorials on how to take perfect product shots. 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!

Android, Recipes, Studs Terkel, More: Morning Buzz, July 30th, 2014

Guy reports Instagram security bug to Facebook, Facebook refuses him a bug bounty, guy publishes details of the exploit online. Remember Firesheep? This is similar…

Twitter has reported its latest results and stacked up the serious dollars. “Twitter’s Q2 revenues were $312 million, which was substantially above financial analysts’ consensus estimates. In addition, earnings beat estimates by a penny. Its user numbers also were greater than expected.” Looks like they eked out a profit, too, if you look at non-GAAP.

The Daily Dot has an extensive article on making the most of Snapchat.

Flickr is going to start offering new licensing opportunities for its users.

Now available: a database detailing pay of California public school employees.

Google is turning to crowdsourcing to improve Google Translate. “We’ve just launched a new Translate Community where language enthusiasts can help us improve translation quality for the 80 languages we support, as well as help us in launching new languages.”

From Hongkiat: Create And Customize Maps With Google Map Builder

Android’s got a security problem. “Dubbed ‘Fake ID’ by Bluebox, the flaw is related to how app security is handled. In Android, each app is given its own unique cryptographic signature that determines who can update it and what privileges it has. As The Guardian explains, there are parent certificates and child certificates, both of which are checked against on another during installation to ensure they match and the app is trusted.”

The USDA has launched a new tool to help make recipes safer. You paste a recipe (or import it from a Web site) and it analyzes the recipe and makes food safety recommendations.

A Studs Terkel Audio Archive is going online. “The creation of a publicly accessible digital archive with nearly 5,000 oral history interviews, conducted by the Chicago journalist Studs Terkel, is one of 177 projects awarded a grant this week by the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

So is it legal to resell Google Glass or not?

There are a bunch of online resources for World War I available. Here’s one for WWI engineers. “The compendium includes a collection of photos, accounts, designs, journal entries and lectures. A memorial volume also provides biographies and photos of all ICE members who died in active service or by enemy action.”

Interesting: How AR apps can create a digital dance archive. 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!

GeoCities, Google Maps, Yelp, More: Morning Buzz, July 25th, 2014

Fascinating! How to scan 50 miles of historical documents into an online archive.

The Britain from Above project is crowdsourcing comments on over 95,000 images relevant to World War I.

IFTTT now has a littleBits channel.

Now THIS is a pretty crazy GMail trick: Search GMail and compose new e-mails straight from Chrome’s address bar.

Your Google Maps app wants you to get out there and explore. “Now, whenever you want to discover places in your area, simply tap the new Explore button at the bottom right corner of your map to get a quick look at what’s nearby (where available). With Explore as your guide, you’ll see different places and activities that adapt to each area and moment throughout your day. This also works when you’re browsing other neighborhoods and cities on the map so you can plan your day’s outing or daydream about your next vacation.”

More Google Maps: Google Street View is expanding in Asia. “As is so often the case with Google Maps and Street View projects in Asia, the internet giant has teamed up with the local government and tourism organization for what it hopes will ‘create new ways for people around the world to experience Laos, and by doing so, help create better awareness of this country and attract more tourism.'”

Yelp has launched a Trends tool. “Yelp has launched a new ‘Trends’ tool which allows users to enter search terms to compare 10 years of historical review data from around the world.”

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook search is a multiyear voyage. “In a leaky rowboat,” he did not add. Okay, Graph search is great, but a lack of a plain keyword search — even against your own wall! — is annoying. (I know there are third party tools, but why can’t it be built in?)

Google’s algos are not the same in all countries. Are you surprised? The issues seem to be languages and possibly niches.

Want to “Swipe” Reddit? You can do it with Karma Swipe.

LinkedIn, now with direct sponsored content.

Here ya go: FamilySearch’s latest big add. “Notable collection updates include the 1,160,179 indexed records from the UnitedStates, Hawaii, Honolulu Passenger Lists, 1900–1953, collection; the 50,858 indexed records from the Peru, Cusco, Civil Registration, 1889–1997, collection; and the 99,950 indexed records from United States, Panama Canal Zone, Employment Records and Sailing lists, 1905–1937, collection.”

WOW. There’s a Tumblr devoted to screenshots of old GeoCities sites. OH THE NOSTALGIA. 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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