Short Tuesday Morning Buzz, January 27th, 2015

Do you have a Twitter account? Then you’re a poet and you don’t know it! A new tool makes poetry out of your tweets. I asked it to make me a poem and it took a long time but I got two lovely poems out of it. Hold your mouse over the lines to see where they come from; this is handy as I was racking my brains to figure out when I’d written “Muppet strut.”

The University of Virginia Medical Artifacts Collection is now online with over 350 items.

I have trouble just managing one! From David Lee King: Tools for managing multiple Instagram accounts. This was actually written from the perspective of managing a library Instagram.

Bing is now translating Twitter’s tweets (again).

Recently Google released information on security vulnerabilities in Windows. Now it’s released them about OS X.

FamilySearch has done a really big records add: “Notable collection updates include the 24,405,544 indexed records and 1,244,622 images from the US, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980–2014 collection; the 801,893 images from the Belgium, Limburg, Civil Registration, 1798–1906 collection; and the 38,322 indexed records and 687,456 images from the Italy, Napoli, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1809–1865 collection.”

Now online: an archive of TV broadcast videos from Louisiana. There are about 1500 videos on the site so far. Good morning, Internet…

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Monday Morning Buzz, January 26th, 2015

Delicious is planning some upgrades to its APIs. The announcement was made on 21 January but no details yet (and no new entries in the blog.)

Amit never runs out of fun ideas: How to find all your “egg followers” on Twitter.

I know you’ve been wanting to turn your Instagram photos into temporary tattoos. Here ya go.

Elegant Themes has a roundup of 15 apps for holding Webinars. All the usual suspects are here (Google Hangouts, etc.) but also several I’d never heard of.

Pinterest is now personalizing search results depending on whether you’re male or female. I suppose this could work if you were searching for clothes, but the screenshots in this article for two different searches of party were disconcerting.

Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet!) alpha 2 is now available.

Twitter is apparently asking Twitter power users to stop using Instagram so much. Uh, okay. “Twitter, which is older than Instagram, has struggled to keep up with the young gun in the media department. Twitter has released countless updates to the web product and the mobile apps to try to bring more attention to images and videos. It added a tab under user profiles to view media only, and put more focus on images that are used on profiles, like the addition of the Facebook-style header image and the now-larger profile photos.” Interesting notes in the comments about posting Instagram pictures on Twitter… using IFTTT.

Social network Ello has launched the ability to share music and video clips in its feed. And if you’re both a sensitive flower and a fan of Ello, don’t read this article. I didn’t know so much Ello-slagging could fit in so few words.

GigaOm is reporting that Snapchat is hiring journalists. Wait, what? “The company will produce high quality video, images, and text for people to view in the Discover tab. … As previously reported, the company is working with CNN, Vice, Buzzfeed, and a whole host of others to help them tailor content for its upcoming Discover section.” I have never used Snapchat, but … isn’t it kind of ephemeral? Isn’t that its thing?

Adobe has released an emergency Flash patch. Unfortunately that may not be enough: “While Flash users should definitely update as soon as possible, there are indications that this fix may not plug all of the holes in Flash for which attackers have developed exploits. In a statement released along with the Flash update today, Adobe said its patch addresses a newly discovered vulnerability that is being actively exploited, but that there appears to be another active attack this patch doesn’t address.”

Kim Dotcom has finally launched Skype competitor MegaChat. “MegaChat is targeted at people who are wary of Skype’s security (and its browser-based model is also a swipe at Microsoft’s plans to integrate Skype into Internet Explorer so people don’t have to download its desktop app). As with all services that offer end-to-end encryption, however, it still pays to be careful. The Register notes that a security researcher was able to steal passwords from Mega’s file-sharing service back in 2013. Kim Dotcom is seeking to allay similar concerns about MegaChat by offering a bounty to anyone who finds a security bug.”

Kirk McElhearn put up a potentially-useful article: how to add subtitles to DVDs ripped with Handbrake.

Amazon has launched a tool for making Kindle textbooks. “It’s straightforwardly titled the Kindle Textbook Creator, and it makes it easy to transform PDFs into an e-book format. Plain PDFs are pretty static learning materials, but Amazon says its Textbook Creator offers a simple (and free) way to organize an array of educational materials — graphs, equations, charts or anything else you might find in a textbook.” 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!

Short Wednesday Evening Buzz, January 21st, 2015

Apparently search engines are now the most trusted new source. Not sure how that works, since the news indexed by search engines is often from “traditional” sources…

SplashData has released its annual “Worst Passwords” list (PRESS RELEASE). 123456? Really?

Google has invested one billion dollars in SpaceX. “Although SpaceX was extremely vague about what this investment would mean, reports from earlier this week indicated that it would be used to help build a satellite-based Internet service that would help connect billions of people to the web who today lack Internet access.”

Is the Pirate Bay going to come back? “With only 10 days remaining on its countdown clock, The Pirate Bay has redesigned its home page today to more closely resemble the look it had before it went down last month. First spotted by TorrentFreak, the black waving pirate flag that had filled the screen in recent weeks has now been reduced to a smaller box in the center. The search box and categories are back under the flag. However, these are not active yet.”

The Gambia National Library will be digitized. “The director general of the Gambia National Library Service Authority (GNLSA) has on Tuesday informed lawmakers of the joint session of the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committees (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly that efforts are on track for the digitalisation of the archival materials of the said Library.”

A big Java patch has just been released – if you still have Java on your machine better get updating. 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!

Big Game, Big Archive, More: Wednesday Morning Buzz, January 21st, 2015

Google has disclosed another Microsoft vulnerability before MS has released a patch. “Microsoft’s recent ‘call for better coordinated vulnerability disclosure’ seems to have hit a brick wall, with Google as quick as ever to expose yet another Windows security glitch. Rated medium for severity, the bug may just be the most troublesome of the three broadcasted this past month.”

NBC will stream the Super Bowl for free. And apparently with a minimum of annoyances: “Viewers can watch without having to log on and offer proof that they pay for the TV service through cable or a telecom. NBC will stream the Super Bowl to desktops and tablets via NBC Sports Live Extra, its live streaming service for sports. The deal doesn’t include phones, though, since Verizon Wireless has the exclusive on that distribution.”

Speaking of the Super Bowl, YouTube is going to produce its first halftime show.

The New Yorker has a big article about The Internet Archive, specifically the Wayback Machine. “This essay is about two hundred thousand bytes. A book is about a megabyte. A megabyte is a million bytes. A gigabyte is a billion bytes. A terabyte is a million million bytes. A petabyte is a million gigabytes. In the lobby of the Internet Archive, you can get a free bumper sticker that says ‘10,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes Archived.’ Ten petabytes. It’s obsolete. That figure is from 2012. Since then, it’s doubled.”

The FBI is warning about a rise in ransomware.

Crossword Cybersecurity has launched CLUE (press release). “CLUE, the cyber security research database, covers nearly 300 cyber security research projects from over 50 UK universities, representing over GBP 150m of research grant investment since 2007. It provides industry with a searchable view of the UK’s cyber security academic research landscape to enable organisations to collaborate with academia more effectively.” It looks like access is free but you have to e-mail someone to get it.

Phil Bradley noticed that UC-Riverside’s Web site INFOMINE went dark on December 15th.

Pond5 has launched a public domain project. “A media marketplace (and Shutterstock competitor) used by over 100,000 outlets with millions of video clips, stock illustrations and photos, and hundreds of thousands of sound effects and music tracks, Pond5 raised $61 million in financing last year from Accel Partners and Stripe Group.” Public domain materials available include video, audio, images, and a small collection of 3D models.

Oh look, yet another “nobody is using Google+” story

Facebook has announced its intention to shower fewer hoaxes in your news feed. My awkward wording is because I’m not sure how well it’ll work. “Today’s update to News Feed reduces the distribution of posts that people have reported as hoaxes and adds an annotation to posts that have received many of these types of reports to warn others on Facebook. We are not removing stories people report as false and we are not reviewing content and making a determination on its accuracy.” Good morning, Internet…

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Texas, Qatar, Magazines, More: Tuesday Buzz, January 20th, 2015

The Texas State Archives has created an expansive digital archive of Texas Senate audio recordings. “The Texas Senate Recordings includes digitized audio files that represent approximately 25,000 cassette tapes. The original tapes were created by and received from Senate Staff Services. The collection includes public committee hearings, floor debates, press conferences, impeachment hearings, and joint meetings with House committees. ”

Is Google going to buy Softcard?

More Google: did you know there’s an URL hack to find in-depth articles on Google?

Hubspot has an article on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest features you might not know about. The title is a big misleading as a lot of the “features” are actually add-ons or third party tools, but it’s an interesting.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has released a study of hashtag standards for emergencies. “This short reference provides great context for countries, states, cities, businesses, journalists, emergency responders and citizens and is a document we highly recommend everyone review.”

Qatar has begun the second phase of its digital library project. “QDL will add an additional 970,000 pages from the India Office Records dating from the mid-18th century to 1951 and historical maps and photographs. It will also include 56,000 pages of Arab Islamic sciences manuscripts, and about 100,000 pages from private papers, including those of Lady Anne Blunt, thought to be the first woman to cross the Arabian Desert in the 19th century.”

This is a bit nerdy and outside the spectrum of ResearchBuzz, but I love it: a guy wrote a program to find ISBN numbers in Pi.

Which has more bias? Wikipedia or the Encyclopedia Britannica? “In almost all cases, Wikipedia was more left-leaning than Britannica. Dividing articles into categories, the researchers found, for example, that stories on corporations were 11 percent more slanted toward Democrats, while observing similar leanings on topics such as government (9 percent), education (4 percent), immigration (4 percent), and civil rights (3 percent). Other categories did not have enough data to significantly identify bias.”

Is Google going to invest in SpaceX? “The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is considering a $1 billion investment in Musk’s satellite project, which leaves a lot of money to be raised. Further out, Musk hopes to extend the system out as far as Mars, bringing Internet connectivity to a planet the CEO wants to colonize.”

Magzter has launched a “gold” subscription option where a flat $9.99 a month will give you access to 2,000 magazines. I subscribed. What would make it perfect is if it had a “random article” feature. Like, “Give me a random article from a magazine in the business category.” I’d be all over that.

Very clever! A paraglide synchronized with Google Maps.

Hey, Google Chrome has a hidden game!

Are you anti-mouse? How to use Facebook with keyboard shortcuts.

From Social Media Examiner: How to network with Facebook Groups.

Apparently 2014 was a record year for malware. “According to AV-Test, an independent security software review group, more than 143 million malware detections were reported in 2014. That’s 72 percent more, according to a recent report, than 2013. Worse, more malware was detected during 2013-2014 than in the previous 10 years altogether.” 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!