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…

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Storify, Seed Catalogs, Congress.gov, 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 http://myword.io/editor/ .


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.

Congress.gov 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 GSA.gov makes a recommendation for making Twitter screenshots more accessible. Good morning, Internet…

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Blekko, Glass, Magna Carta, More: Saturday Morning Buzz, March 28th, 2015


The British Library has launched its Magna Charta archive.

Yahoo has launched a new digital magazine: Yahoo Politics.

Georgia State University has launched new online exhibits. “The current exhibit topics include the history of radio broadcasting in Georgia, history of Atlanta women’s organizations, and grass roots activism. Additional exhibits will be added periodically in the future.”

Pixar has made its rendering engine, Renderman free (as in beer). “To download Renderman, Pixar requires you to register for a forum account and provide a valid e-mail address. Once that’s done, you are given an installation package which in turn downloads the actual Renderman components appropriate for your operating system and 3D package.” Note this is for non-commercial use only. Do you wanna render a snowman?

There’s a new pay-to-view video service in town: Vessel. “The videomakers who plan to debut content on Vessel include GloZell Green, MinutePhysics, FailArmy, Brittani Louise Taylor, Shane Dawson and dozens more. Vessel also has exclusive content, such as a reality show about romantic relationships starring Alec Baldwin.”


From PC World (Warning! PC World!): 5 Google Drive Tricks. I would like a trick to get the Google Drive index page the way it used to be. The new one is awful.

Want to know if your GMail is being tracked (by marketing companies and so forth)? There’s a Chrome extension for that. “Ugly Email is a free Chrome browser extension that works on the Gmail website, and it serves one purpose: To let you know when an email is being tracked before you open it.”


Hey! More records from FamilySearch. “Notable collection updates include 2,435,483 indexed records from the Canada Census, 1911 collection; 2,069,202 indexed records from the Australia, Queensland Cemetery Records, 1802–1990 collection; and 310,900 images from the Russia, Tula Poll Tax Census (Revision Lists), 1758–1895 collection.”

Wandering down memory lane? Facebook has a new ‘on this day’ feature.


The University of Rochester Libraries have joined HathiTrust.

Search engine Blekko, about which I have written a few times has been either fully or partially acquired by IBM. In any case, it’s no longer available.


While I was checking my traps, I stumbled across a paper by James Gips, Muhan Zhang, and Deirdre Anderson of Boston College: Towards a Google Glass Based Head Control Communication System for People with Disabilities (PDF file, free). It’s a relatively short paper that outlines two Glass-based systems that allow people to communicate via head movement. If you, like me, are interested in the medical/industrial capabilities of Glass, it’s well worth a read. Good morning, Internet…

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Short Friday Morning Buzz, March 27th, 2015


The Oklahoma Historical Society has updated its online Oklahoma encyclopedia of history and culture. “Nearly 1,000 of 2,466 original encyclopedia articles have been updated, and several hundred more will be prepared and added in the future, [Bob] Blackburn said. ”


Google has hired a new CFO – Ruth Porat.

The Wall Street Journal has an eye-widening article about how much money and time Google spends on Washington. “Last year, Google spent $16.8 million on lobbyists, more than any other company except for Comcast, according to lobbying disclosures. The 2014 total by Google is more than triple the company’s lobbying spending in 2010, the year before the FTC antitrust probe began, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Google has about 100 individual lobbyists at 20 lobbying firms.”

More Google: it is warning about unauthorized TLS certificates. “The bogus transport layer security certificates are trusted by all major operating systems and browsers, although a fall-back mechanism known as public key pinning prevented the Chrome and Firefox browsers from accepting those that vouched for the authenticity of Google properties, Google security engineer Adam Langley wrote in a blog post published Monday. The certificates were issued by Egypt-based MCS Holdings, an intermediate certificate authority that operates under the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). The Chinese domain registrar and certificate authority, in turn, is included in root stores for virtually all OSes and browsers.”

Yahoo is asking Firefox users to switch back to its search engine. “Yahoo is touting the message that Firefox switched from Google to Yahoo has their default search partner in November so all Firefox users should also consider making the switch as well.”

Harvard, Ohio State, the University of British Columbia, and 10 University of California institutions are getting involved in a project to develop a financial model for open access. “‘Pay It Forward: Investigating a Sustainable Model of Open Access Article Processing Charges for Large North American Research Institutions’ is a yearlong effort to study the implications of new funding models for scholarly communications, particularly the use of article processing charges, and determine their sustainability for research universities in the United States and Canada. The project partnership includes three major research libraries (Harvard University, Ohio State University and the University of British Columbia) as well as the 10 University of California campuses. The project will create a detailed, flexible, and publicly available financial model to help university administrators and librarians develop open access policies and strategies.”

Artifacts destroyed in Mosul will be rebuilt in 3-D. “Two weeks after the sacking of the 300 year-old Mosul Museum by a group of ISIS extremists went viral on Youtube, researchers from the ITN-DCH, IAPP and 4D-CH-WORLD projects launched Project MOSUL to virtually restore damaged artefacts and make them accessible from virtual museums…. To reach this objective, the team is planning to use 4D-CH-WORLD’s technology to reconstruct and model Mosul artefacts virtually from crowd-sourced images available online. 4D-CH-World has spent the past two years designing what it calls the ‘first worldwide fully automated 4D reconstruction system capable of handling large image galleries in the wild.'”

Harvard Working Knowledge has an article on the Tate Museums and its digitial marketing/social media strategy. The article is interesting enough by itself, but if you want the whole 26-page HBS case study, it’ll run you $8.95.


Pew Research: local news is hard to find on Twitter. (Pew pew pew pew pew!) Good morning, Internet…

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India, Scotland, Princeton, More: Morning Buzz, March 25th, 2015


Twitter and the government of India have teamed up.

Algerie Telecom has launched Nooonbooks (yes, three o’s), a new digital library of 30,000 books in Arabic. “The digital library “Nooonbooks” comprises over 30,000 books on exact sciences, management, social sciences, law, personal development and general knowledge. Nooonbooks is available by annual subscription priced at DZD 2,400 via one-year licence cards.” (I believe that’s about $25 a year USD.)

Dumfries and Galloway’s Library and Archive Service has launched an online image archive. “Collection highlights include a postcard of the German air ship the Hindenberg over Drummore, the Lusitania off the coast of Galloway, the Queen Mother at Park Farm in Dumfries, JM Barrie with the cast of the Duke of Christmas Daisies and the Burns Statue inauguration in Dumfries in 1882.” Looks like about 3400 items at the moment, with more being added regularly.

New York Police Department crime scene photos will be digitized and put online. “The trove includes well-known scenes, like the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan shortly after Malcolm X was assassinated there in 1965, and exploded lockers at Pennsylvania Station from one of the many attacks in the 16-year rampage in the 1940s and 1950s of George P. Metesky, the so-called Mad Bomber.”


Heh: How to enjoy Twitter without working yourself into a frothing rage. (Why would you follow someone you don’t like?)

From Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: 22 Chrome Apps Every Teacher Should Know About.


Twitter is testing an offensive tweet filter. “Revealed in a tweet posted Monday by ThinkUp CEO and blogger Anil Dash, the feature known as ‘quality filtering’ is intended to ‘remove all Tweets from your notifications timeline that contain threats, offensive or abusive language, duplicate content, or are sent from suspicious accounts.’ The feature appears as an option on the iOS app’s Notifications screen, where you can turn it on or off.” This new feature is being tested with some of Twitter’s verified users, and not joyless proles like you or me. Well, me anyway.

Twitter is also testing a new suggestion feature. “Spotted today by Marketing Land editor in chief Matt McGee, the ‘You may also like’ feature shows up in the right-rail on some individual tweet pages. It shows several tweets, some related to the content of the main tweet, some not. With the small sample-size — we saw the display on four of 10 tweets we checked — it wasn’t possible to see a pattern.”


MIT Technology Review has an interesting article on fake media accounts in the social media world. If you’ve spent any time on Twitter you’ve probably seen them.

Interesting: How one university archive (Princeton) uses Tumblr. “The design of our Tumblr page reflects what I wanted to convey: Yes, we’re a special collections library with a lot of old stuff, but it’s cool old stuff. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re not always going to try to teach you about the storied history of Princeton—although you will get a sense of that if you keep reading for a while. Instead, like the Comedy Central show, Drunk History, we show you the things that make those of us who work in the archives laugh. Along the way, we also tell the story of Princeton in bits and pieces in a format we hope is entertaining and visually appealing.”

Bing may remove navigation to additional pages of search results past the first. “Bing may drop their paginated search results for some search queries where they are confident that page one of the search results are ‘the most relevant results’ for the query.” One of the commenters to the story said Bing has been doing this for years, but I’d never seen it before – maybe I’ve never searched for something obscure enough? This is a really terrible idea.

Facebook is apparently in talks with news sites to host their content. Unfortunately I don’t have enough adjectives to express what an insufferably stupid idea I think this is. 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!