Words, Oklahoma, ARRL, More: Fat Friday Morning Buzz, January 16th, 2015

The University of Glasgow has published a new online thesaurus of over 800,000 words. “The Historical Thesaurus of English is said to be the only resource to make the meaning of every English word from the last millennium available to the public online. It is a digital version of the Historical Thesaurus of English Project, the printed version of which was first published in 2009 after 44 years of work by academics at the University of Glasgow.”

The Oklahoma Supreme Court Network database will upgrade next week. (I had some problems getting to page 2 of this news story; I kept getting a 403 error. Use the “print” option to see the whole article.)

Google may team up with large automakers for self-driving cars.

Keep an eye out: there’s apparently an Affordable Care Act Phishing campaign making the rounds.

Google and Lending Club are teaming up to offer low-interest loans to Google Partners. “The partnership constitutes a pilot program at launch, so this is clearly an experiment for the time being, but it will effectively entail Google purchasing the loans and paying the interest, with the capital being plowed into its own ‘partner network to drive business.'”

TechCrunch has an article about Timeline, which provides background information and context to news stories: “But while Timeline summarizes and links to the Risen news, its focus is broader than that — as the headline indicates, the real story it presents is about the often tense relationship between US presidents and the press. So underneath a brief news summary, you get to the meat of what Timeline does — which is, yes, a timeline, starting with President Grover Cleveland complaining about journalists at his wedding way back in 1886, then jumping through things like the Monica Lewinsky scandal and how the press covered the Bush administration’s claims about Iraq, then finally ending on Risen and, more generally, Obama’s not-particularly-open relationship with the press.”

Google is killing off Google Glass in its current incarnation. “The company announced this morning that the Glass Explorer program is ending, and that Google will stop selling the current version of Glass on January 19.”

Mapillary is using crowdsourcing to map the world, and just raised some money.

Wikipedia has launched a redesigned mobile app. “In the new release, a prominent, contextually relevant image is being added to the top of each article — something that’s designed to engage readers with the topic, the organization says. In addition, the search experience now features a more defined, higher-contrast search bar alongside a list of recently searched topics.”

ProfHacker takes a look at Google’s Inbox (and likes it)

MIT Technology Review takes a deep look at Skype Translator (and also likes it, with reservations.)

The ARRL (amateur/ham radio) online library has gone live. “Current content includes presentations on operating digital modes, HF basics, and impedance matching. While the available material is sparse right now, [Sean] Kutzko invites all radio amateurs to submit material for consideration — as long as it relates to Amateur Radio. The Public Relations Committee will vet all submissions, and once a submission is approved, it will be added to The ARRL Library.”

Wow, Wikipedia is 14 years old.

Want to catch all the Super Bowl ads without the bother of actually watching the Super Bowl? YouTube’s got your back.

Speaking of YouTube, Obama will be interviewed by YouTube personalities after his State of the Union address next week. Good morning, Internet…

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PubAg, Richard Pryor, More: Brief Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, January 14th, 2015

Ba ha ha! Someone built a “Choose Your Own Adventure” game out of Twitter accounts. (I died. I died a lot.)

The National Agricultural Library has launched PubAg a new search engine for published USDA research. “PubAg, which can be found at PubAg.nal.usda.gov, is a new portal for literature searches and full-text access of more than 40,000 scientific journal articles by USDA researchers, mostly from 1997 to 2014. New articles by USDA researchers will be added almost daily, and older articles may be added if possible. There is no access fee for PubAg.”

Mozilla has released Firefox 35.

Facebook will start warning people before showing graphic videos and photos. That’ll be nice.

More Facebook: it will start putting missing children alerts in news feeds.

New security updates are available from both Microsoft and Adobe.

Stanford University has developed an online archive about… Richard Pryor. Pretty cool. “The website curates over 200 primary sources drawn from the comedian’s formative years growing up during the mid-1950s in brothels run by his grandmother and father. Photos, news clippings and other written artifacts not only offer insight into the comedian’s rough childhood and adolescence but also convey the complicated racial history of this legendarily ‘typical’ Midwestern city.” 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!

FEMA, FDA, PA, More: Wednesday Morning Buzz, January 14th, 2015

Launching next month: a digital archive of Massachusetts Anti-Slavery and Anti-Segregation Petitions. “These digitized images include documents that date back to anti-slavery efforts from 1649, but also reflect black Revolutionary War veterans, female abolitionists (including Sojourner Truth), and petitions submitted before, during, and after the Civil War.”

New study: using Facebook likes to make personality assessments.

Speaking of that, does your online avatar reveal more about you than you’d think?. Considering that my current Facebook avatar is a screen shot from a 1970s fabric commercial, the answer is probably no.

Duke Medicine has launched Clinical Practice Today (PRESS RELEASE). “This complimentary series of interactive educational activities is designed to provide clinicians with information, education, and useful strategies on health-related topics.”

Google’s flight search tool is now available in India.

FEMA has released a new data visualization tool.

The state of Pennsylvania is going to get an online database to track educational spending.

The FDA has released a database of guidance documents. It isn’t complete, but “…the new guidance database contains many guidance documents issued by all of FDA’s various offices and centers, and is updated to clearly list all of the agency’s most recent documents as well. The system also contains a number of useful features. For example, regulatory professionals can search for guidance documents by product type (e.g. biologics or medical devices) or by FDA office (e.g. CBER, CDER, CDRH), allowing the user to quickly find relevant documents.”

Microsoft has ended free feature updates and tech support for Windows 7. Security updates are still going until 2020, however. (Not that Microsoft will warn you about them any more.)

Google has opened Google Domains to everybody.

The Smithsonian has released a new free mobile app, “Skin and Bones”. “After installing the app on their mobile devices, users simply choose the animal they are interested in from a map of the [Bone Hall]. Each animal choice has a menu of immersive audiovisual experiences, including videos, animations and activities. When users choose a menu item marked with ‘AR,’ they direct their cameras at the specimen and the augmented reality triggers 3-D graphics. Visitors can watch an eastern diamondback rattlesnake skull sink its long fangs into a virtual rodent or play a game that challenges them to identify bat species by their calls. Other videos explain ideas in ecology, biogeography, functional anatomy and evolution or introduce Smithsonian scientists. ”

Speaking of apps, FamilySearch has launched a new app gallery. “FamilySearch.org today launched its online App Gallery to help patrons more easily find the right application from FamilySearch’s many partner applications, or services, to enhance their family history efforts. With just a few clicks, patrons can now begin to search partner apps to find those that meet their specific need, platform, operating system, and price. For example, if a patron is looking for a highly-rated app that will help them analyze the data in their family tree, the app gallery will allow them to filter and find several relevant partner apps to choose from.” 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!

DocSouth, Yale, Google Glass, More: Tuesday Buzz, January 13th, 2015

Elsevier has acquired Newsflo, described in this TechCrunch article as “…a bespoke media monitoring service that enables academics to get ‘impact’ analytics for their published research, thus helping academic institutions keep track of media coverage and social media mentions, as an additional metric to more traditional citations.”

Yale University Library has announced that the complete holdings of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies have been converted into digital files. (before the archive comprised over 12,000 video tapes.) “This process assures preservation of these unique video documents, many recorded thirty-five years ago. It is also the first stage of the plan to provide free remote access to the Fortunoff collection to university libraries and to Holocaust museums and resource centers.”

Journalism.co.uk has a roundup of Chrome extensions for journalists. 16 of them. I’m going to have to try HashPlug.

Looks like Google will be taking on Skype with real-time translation. “According to a New York Times report Sunday, the [Google Translate] app, which has improved markedly in the last couple of years, is about to take a significant step forward with functionality that’ll allow it to convert speech to text instantly.”

Did you know about the database of cultural landscapes? “The database at http://www.tclf.org offers photos and information about designed landscapes (as opposed to natural or unaltered landscapes) in order to promote awareness and preservation efforts.”

Google Glass continues to make headway in medical-specific scenarios: Augmedix has raised $16 million. “Augmedix, a startup that uses Google Glass as an electronic medical record solution, just raised $16 million. The company, which is already working with five national health systems, will use the money for further product development and deployment.”

More Google: Chrome Remote Desktop is now available for iOS. “If you’ve got the Chrome Remote Desktop extension installed, you can install the free iOS app and control your computer from your iPhone or iPad with ease.”

Amanda Goodman is making a Google Map of libraries with 3D printers. Does your library have one? Pin the map!

Instagram has patched a “private didn’t mean quite what it was supposed to” security flaw.

Chromebooks are getting more open to different operating systems.

How-To Geek experimented with downloading the top ten apps from Download.com and it was a huge mess. I remember when Download.com was a great place to get software. That was a very, very long time ago.

Google wants the Oracle Java copyright case to be decided by the US Supreme Court. “Google has had enough of its long-running legal battle with Oracle over whether application programming interfaces (API)s can be copyrighted. The search giant has asked the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to bypass further battles in lower courts and address the API copyright issue once and for all. SCOTUS, in return, is soliciting the Obama administration for its view of the case before moving forward.”

The UNC Library has announced DocSouth Data. “When the UNC Library launched Documenting the American South (DocSouth) in 1996, the project helped set the standard for publishing historic texts online. Nearly twenty years later, DocSouth is poised to reach a new set of readers—the computers that digest and find patterns in immense bodies of text through techniques known as digital text analysis. The newly-released DocSouth Data makes the full text of hundreds of nineteenth-century books and pamphlets available for easy download as text-only files. The materials come from four text-heavy Documenting the American South collections: The Church in the Southern Black Community; First-Person Narratives of the American South; Library of Southern Literature; and North American Slave Narratives.” WOW! Good morning, Internet…

Microsoft, Hong Kong, Agriculture, More: Monday Buzz, January 12th, 2015

Anyone know what’s up with Bloglines? It was down in September, then it came up again, then Norma G dropped me a note to let me know it was down again. At this writing I can’t reach it. No activity on the Twitter account for almost a year. If you have any skinny leave a comment.

Minda Zetlin tried Google Inbox but disliked it so much she’s going back to GMail. No e-mail signatures? Seriously?

The Chilling Effects DMCA archive is chilling itself. “The much-praised Chilling Effects DMCA archive has taken an unprecedented step by censoring its own website. Facing criticism from copyright holders, the organization decided to wipe its presence from all popular search engines.”

Microsoft is dropping its patch Tuesday alerts for all except premier support subscribers. “For the first time in a decade, Microsoft today did not give all customers advance warning of next week’s upcoming Patch Tuesday slate. Instead, the company suddenly announced it is dropping the public service and limiting the alerts and information to customers who pay for premium support…. the change also applies to the occasional alerts that Microsoft issued when it gave customers a heads-up about an impending emergency patch.” I have a few words about this but I try to keep this blog rated PG.

The waters off Hong Kong are being surveyed with the intent of creating a database of reef fish. “Researchers from the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation studied 20 sites in Sai Kung and the city’s northeastern waters between June and November last year. They recorded 175 species of reef fish, of which 44 are classified as rare. There were sightings of two fish never before recorded in government or academic studies: the yellowbar sandperch, which has a distinctive yellow stripe across its body, and the goby, a tiny fish that hides from predators in a shrimp’s burrow.”

Business Insider took a look at Twizoo, which uses public Twitter data to power restaurant and bar recommendations.

The American Farm Bureau Foundation is launching an agricultural literacy database. “The new ‘Best of Ag Literacy’ database will include more than 200 publicly submitted tools and resources tailored to multiple grade levels. Users will be able to review and download the resources for free, in addition to interacting with other users to share feedback and implementation strategies.”

Simon & Schuster is going to launch online courses taught by its authors. “The cost of the first batch of online courses ranges from $25 to $85, and includes workbooks and access to live question-and-answer sessions with three authors: Dr. David B. Agus, the best-selling author of ‘The End of Illness'; Zhena Muzyka, who wrote the self-help book ‘Life by the Cup'; and Tosha Silver, the author of the spiritual advice book ‘Outrageous Openness.’ The courses will be available on the authors’ individual websites and on the company’s new site, SimonSays.”

From Lifehacker: the best (online) tools for finding information when Google isn’t enough.

According to PC World (Warning! PC World!) macro-based malware is making a comeback. “Two such threats that primarily target users in the U.S. and U.K. and whose activity peaked in mid-December are called Adnel and Tarbir. Both are distributed through macros embedded in .doc and .xls documents that are delivered via spam emails and typically masquerade as receipts, invoices, wire transfer confirmations, bills and shipping notices.”

Microsoft is calling out Google for releasing information about a Microsoft security bug. 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!