Skype, Internet Archive, Rare Books, More: Saturday Morning Buzz, May 16th, 2015


The Harvard Graduate School of Education and Expeditionary Learning have teamed up to create a free online database of exemplary K-12 student work (PRESS RELEASE). “A collaborative project between faculty at HGSE and EL, the Center for Student Work aims to raise the bar on student achievement by helping teachers improve teaching and learning. Teachers can use the free resource – which includes videos, writing samples, and other tools – as a foundation to create their own projects, raise questions, provoke thinking, and inspire excellence in their classrooms.”

Past Rare Book School lectures are now available online. “We are very pleased to announce that audio recordings of more than 100 Book Arts Press/Rare Book School lectures from the past four decades are now available online at Along with most lectures from the past several years, those now converted from the original cassette tapes include talks by Sue Allen, Nicolas Barker, and G. Thomas Tanselle…”

Could be useful. A new iPhone app lets you create disposable phone numbers and e-mail addresses.


Not a lot of annotation, but lots of resources: 60 Free Tools for Modern Storytellers.

From ReadWrite: Your options for music streaming.

The Skype Translator Preview is now open to everyone.


Another update from FamilySearch: “Notable collection updates include 643,899 images from the Peru, Áncash, Civil Registration, 1888–2005 collection; 608,881 images from the Peru, Junín, Civil Registration, 1881–2005 collection; and 531,346 images from the US, Illinois, Northern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1906–1994 collection. ”


From Conversation to action: Digitizing Chattanooga’s historical newspapers. I really, really hope I’m reading this wrong, but it seems like the librarians in Chattanooga Tennessee weren’t interested in taking action until Tom Tryniski offered to get involved.

Reminds me of the old days: different sites define video views in very different ways.

Do you have a digital music label? The Internet Archive wants you to participate in Netlabels day.

Twitter is making it a little harder to figure out how many inactive users it has. Gee what a surprise. “Twitter has stopped disclosing the percentage of its users who take ‘no discernable user action’ on the app, making it harder for observers to figure out whether Twitter’s core user base is growing or dying.”


From The Guardian: Will Traditional Science Journals Disappear? “The Royal Society has been celebrating the 350th anniversary of Philosophical Transactions, the world’s first scientific journal, by holding a series of meetings on the future of scholarly scientific publishing. I followed the whole event on social media, and was able to attend in person for one day. One of the sessions followed a Dragon’s Den format, with speakers having 100 seconds to convince three dragons – Onora O’Neill, Ben Goldacre and Anita de Waard – of the fund-worthiness of a new idea for science communication. Most were light-hearted, and there was a general mood of merriment, but the session got me thinking about what kind of future I would like to see. What I came up with was radically different from our current publishing model.” 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!

Microsoft, Social Media, Coldplay, More: Friday Morning Buzz, May 15th, 2015


This is one of those new-to-me. It’s a guy who is using WordPress as a CMS to archive his grandfather’s and his own photographs. Yesterday he put up a set of prints from Cypress Gardens in the 30s. If you like vintage/archival photography, don’t miss it. He’s got a Flickr collection, too.

The FTC has launched a new resource to help victims of identity theft. “The new website provides an interactive checklist that walks people through the recovery process and helps them understand which recovery steps should be taken upon learning their identity has been stolen. It also provides sample letters and other helpful resources.”

An online archive of British conscientious objectors of World War I are now online. “There are heartbreaking stories in the archive, including William Harrison, a teetotal vegetarian and Christian pacifist, who was arrested in 1917, sentenced to hard labour in Wormwood Scrubs and Newcastle, and not freed until six months after the war ended, in April 1919. Joseph Alfred Pearson from New Brighton, who abandoned his beliefs after brutal treatment while he was held at Birkenhead barracks, was sent to France and died near Ypres: his mother refused to accept his death-in-service memorial scroll and plaque.”

The band Coldplay has launched a new online archive. “Perhaps the most exciting part of this treasure trove for fans is the ‘first official Coldplaygigography,’ which lists every show that the band has played (more than 900) and allows users to upload their own photos from the concerts.”

A new app lets you lets you read news based on how much time you have.

Now available: a database of brain cell types.

Microsoft has released a new tool for making time lapse videos. “On Thursday, Microsoft released Microsoft Hyperlapse, a new set of products that create smooth, stabilized time lapses from first-person videos. For consumers, Microsoft Hyperlapse Mobile offers the chance to turn any long video – from a bumpy bicycle ride to a family stroll in the park — into a short, distilled version that you can easily share with friends and family.” Windows Phone and “some” Android phones.

A Professor at the University of Utah has launched the Social Media Alternatives Project (S-MAP). “The S-MAP is a growing collection of alternative social media site interfaces, privacy policies and terms of service. In addition, the S-MAP hosts interviews with alternative site makers, as well as commentary on the state of alternative social media. The site is freely available to public.”


Amit Agarwal has created a tool to let you see who said what first on Twitter. Probably not surprisingly, I was the first one to use “ResearchBuzz,” on June 20, 2007.

From Practical eCommerce: 17 Tools to Schedule and Analyze Social Media Content.

Wow: from TNW, The 18 Best Blogging and Publishing Platforms on the Internet. I didn’t even know there were 18.


Facebook is teaming up with a group of publishers to allow them to publish straight to Facebook. “The social network will partner with BuzzFeed, The New York Times, NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, National Geographic, Spiegel and Bild, helping them to create fast, interactive articles on Facebook, with stories loading more than 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles.” Whether or not you actually see them is another story.

Google has updated its transparency report. “…the report shows that we’ve received 30,138 requests from around the world seeking information about more than 50,585 users/accounts; we provided information in response to 63 percent of those requests. We saw slight increases in the number of requests from governments in Europe (2 percent) and Asia/Pacific (7 percent), and a 22 percent increase in requests from governments in Latin America.”

At least one court has indicated that Facebook photos can be used as evidence. “A survivor of a robbery identified the Toledo man who shot him and killed another by the shooter’s Facebook profile page. An Ohio appeals court affirmed the shooter’s life sentence, finding that despite claims social media posts can be faked, posts can be used as evidence.” 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!

Opera, Biology, CAD, More: Wednesday Morning Buzz, May 13th, 2015


Now available: a new multimedia tool for teaching about World War I. “ABMC, a government agency that administers America’s overseas Armed Forces cemeteries, established a partnership with LEARN NC, the outreach arm of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Virginia Tech to create a guide to help educators teach about World War I. The initiative matched curriculum-development experts from the two universities with middle and high school teachers from North Carolina and Virginia to study an American WWI cemetery in France and to develop a multimedia teaching guide from what they learned.”

A group of ex-Skypers have launched a virtual whiteboard. “The Deekit app offers all of the whiteboard features you’d expect, such as drawing tools and the ability to add text. In addition, you can pin notes on the side, and the whole app is collaborative: anybody can contribute no matter where they are and in realtime. Boards can also be shared and archived for future reference.”

There’s a new place to watch opera online. And it’s free! “Launched today, The Opera Platform is a new website which will broadcast and archive (for 30 days) full opera productions from some of Europe’s leading opera companies, including Welsh National Opera, The Royal Opera and Teatro Real Madrid.”

The Chicago Academy of Sciences is putting its biological collections data online. “As of mid-April, we have data from 4,643 mammal specimens and 9,075 bird eggs and nests published on VertNet, as well as on the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and iDigBio (two other projects that bring together natural history specimen data). On the VertNet homepage, you can search for specimens with our collection prefix (CHAS) by going to “Search Options” and entering CHAS in the “InstitutionCode” box. See if you can find the oldest specimen, or the specimen collected farthest away, or your favorite mammal or bird species!”


Oh my. A Web-based CAD tool? Yes please. takes a look at using Twitter Curator.

Craig Newmark tips you to 4 Twitter tools that are the “real deal”.


Guess what? You no longer need a Twitter account to use Periscope. “Other improvements were the result of requests, including the ability change profile pictures from Periscope’s default image, making it easier to reply to chat messages while broadcasting and clearly marking when a user has been blocked.”

Flickr has done a big revamp and added new tools. “Today, we’re happy to announce Flickr Camera Roll and Uploadr, two powerful tools that will revolutionize the way you upload, organize, and share every photo you’ve ever taken. With these tools, you can now maximize the potential of all of that free space and finally take control of the photos in your life.” Had a bad experience with Flickr and not particularly interested in going back. Looking for a new place for my photos to live.

Google wants you to be able to order food directly from search results.


From Digiday: Yahoo fails to impress with digital magazines.

The Chicago Tribune’s Instagram account for its archive photography has been an unexpected hit. “Daughtridge and photo editor Marianne Mather post up to eight photos a day, little black-and-white flashbacks from the massive archives of the Tribune Tower. Recent photos show morning commuters on an express bus in 1981, two women at North Avenue Beach in 1960, and a late-career Babe Ruth in his Boston Braves uniform, sitting in the Wrigley Field dugout in 1935.” 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!

Canada, Wright Brothers, Dubai, More: Tuesday Morning Buzz, May 12th, 2015


The country of Canada has launched a huge new online archive of information (PRESS RELEASE). “, a digital initiative of extraordinary scale, is a joint effort of 25 leading research institutions, libraries and archives working together with the goal of creating Canada’s multi-million page, comprehensive online archive…. Canadiana offers more than 35 million pages of primary-source documents in 21 languages, including languages of our First Nations.”

Wright State University now has a Wright brothers newspaper archive. Yeah, those Wright brothers. “The Wright Brothers operated a printing business from 1889 to 1899, before they started their bicycle business, and before they tackled the challenge of flight. Over the years, they worked on several publications and local newspapers, including: The Midget, a small school newspaper; church pamphlets; the West Side News; The Evening Item; parts catalogs for bicycles; and the Dayton Tattler, published for neighborhood friend and noted poet and novelist, Paul Laurence Dunbar.”

The Chicago Academy of Sciences has been uploading its publications to the Internet Archive. “We already have issues of two Academy publication series uploaded to Internet Archive: Chicago Naturalist, published from 1938 to 1948; and The Bulletin of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, published on and off from 1883 to 1995. Keep checking back though, because we’ve got plenty more to share in the future, including motion film.”

Google has announced a giantic database platform. “As businesses become increasingly data-centric, and with the coming age of the Internet of Things (IoT), enterprises and data-driven organizations must become adept at efficiently deriving insights from their data. In this environment, any time spent building and managing infrastructure rather than working on applications is a lost opportunity. That’s why today we are excited to introduce Google Cloud Bigtable – a fully managed, high-performance, extremely scalable NoSQL database service accessible through the industry-standard, open-source Apache HBase API.”

The Wellcome Library has launched the St. Luke’s Hospital archive. “St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics was founded in 1750 by City of London philanthropists to cure ‘lunacy’, as well as to make treatment accessible to poorer people. The hospital was named Saint Luke’s due to its proximity to Saint Luke’s, Old Street. Previously the only provision for the poor in London was Bethlem Hospital, but waiting lists were long and the private ‘mad houses’ were beyond the means of most people.”


From Hongkiat: 40 Tools & Apps to Supercharge Your Instagram Account.


Facebook is firing across Google’s bow with a new link-adding feature. “Some mobile users on Facebook’s iPhone app are now being offered an ‘Add a Link’ option when they post status updates. After selecting the button, users can type in keywords and see search results listing articles on a given topic that have already been shared on Facebook.”

Google has put Madagascar on Google Street View.


The Dubai Digital Library will launch by the end of the year. “The first phase will include more than 1,600 books covering subjects including language, medicine, geography, history, religion and sociology.”

Interesting: How a Seoul bureau chief is using Tumblr to complement her reporting. “Elise Hu, NPR’s new Seoul bureau chief, covered the protests for the network, and interviewed one of the grieving mothers. But perhaps the most poignant part of the interview didn’t make it into Hu’s piece that ran on All Things Considered and NPR’s website.”

Bing wants you to check out its summer movie guide.

Meerkat has launched a developer’s platform.

A Twitter bot will tweet your salary and associated information: “A Twitter bot called @talkpayBot is working as a catalyst for discussion on wage inequality by allowing people to anonymously submit any or all of the following criteria to be tweeted out: age, job title, ethnicity, years of professional experience, sexual orientation, and most importantly, rate of pay.” 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!

Minnesota, MS-DOS, Google Play, More: Monday Buzz, May 11th, 2015


Now available: an online archive of 18th century medical consultation letters. “A NEW online archive has been launched to allow public access to unique 18th-century mail order medicine consultation letters written by one of Scotland’s most famous medics. For the past four years, Glasgow University researchers have been creating an online digital edition of the rare medical correspondence of Dr William Cullen (1710-1790), one of the treasures held in the Sibbald Library of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.”

Phil Bradley has a writeup on Wonder, which is sort of a research assistant/search service.


From The Kernel: How to turn off everything you hate about Facebook.


Elance-oDesk has gotten a new name and a new look.

The digital collections of Minnesota will be better represented in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). “The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), the nation’s premier online digital library, has collaborated with the Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) at the University of Minnesota to complete a tenfold increase in the number of digital items from Minnesota available on its website.”

So an update is when something is added. What is it when something is taken away? A downdate? Google has once again downdated its search with the removal of a reading level filter. “Reading level is no longer available in the search tools dropdown or in the advanced search page. Verbatim is the only remaining filtering option and I’m sure it will be removed soon. Hopefully, Google won’t remove time filters, which are more popular and easier to understand.” If Google removes the time filter I’m going to be really annoyed. It’s bad enough search is being dumbed down.


Attention MS-DOS developers! If you’ve got DOS programs you’ve created and you don’t want them to go away, the Internet Archive will – well, they’ll archive them for you.

Interesting article from Quartz — how a few powerful Twitter users can dominate a conversation.

Apparently Google Play may have a bit of an ebook piracy problem. Be sure to read the follow-up article and Google’s response, such as it is.

Oh dear. The same guy is in charge of marketing and the CFO at Twitter? Those do not seem like things that would overlap.

The BBC wants Google to remove IMDB’s Top Gear page from its index. “Perhaps even more worrying is that the same notice also lists the British home of the video site Dailymotion as ‘infringing.’ While this page may have linked to unauthorized material in the past, it’s certainly doesn’t warrant the removal of the entire homepage.” 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!