Dreams, Famine, Patents, More: Skinny Tuesday Buzz, June 23rd, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

New to me: did you know there’s a database of dreams? Over 22,000 of ’em. If you’re friends with me on Facebook you know I have extremely weird dreams. This is fascinating to me. “The archive is organized in 73 dream sets. Most of those sets are dreams collected from an individual, but some are from groups who were assigned to keep diaries, such as blind dreamers and Swiss schoolchildren. Over the years, people have heard about The DreamBank and submitted their privately kept journals to be preserved and made available to readers. Domhoff believes in granting anonymity to dreamers, and many of the pseudonyms in The DreamBank are both colorful and descriptive such as ‘Pegasus: the factory worker’ and ‘Toby: a friendly party animal’.”

NUI Galway has launched a digital archive of the Irish Famine. “The Digital Irish Famine Archive, which was launched by the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin Vickers, contains three sets of annals from the Grey Nuns: ‘Ancien Journal (Old Journal), Volume I’ and ‘Le Typhus d’1847, Ancien Journal (The Typhus of 1847, Old Journal), Volume II’, both translated from French to English, and the nuns’ first-hand experiences of the Irish migration in ‘Récit de l’épidemie’ (Tale of the epidemic), which is transcribed in French from the original.”

Google is launching a News Lab. “Our mission is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to help build the future of media. And we’re tackling this in three ways: though ensuring our tools are made available to journalists around the world (and that newsrooms know how to use them); by getting helpful Google data sets in the hands of journalists everywhere; and through programs designed to build on some of the biggest opportunities that exist in the media industry today.”

Findmypast has added new records from the Napoleonic Wars. “Comprising over 71,000 entries from the ADM 103 series, these records form part of the wider ‘Prisoners of War 1715-1945′ collection. They contain not only the details of members of the armed forces, but also of captured civilians and merchant seamen of various nationalities. The new Napoleonic additions record the details of Danish, French, Prussian and American prisoners captured by British Forces during the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. They list the prisoner’s name, nationality, rank, service number and the conflict in which they were captured.”

The Canadian Patent Office has put patent prosecution histories online. “In patent parlance, the term ‘prosecution’ refers to the process of guiding a patent application through the patent office to issuance as a patent. Patent prosecution primarily consists of written correspondence between the patent office and a patent applicant (e.g. an inventor or company, typically represented by a patent agent or patent lawyer).”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Okay, the Wall Street Journal has a new Instagram account. WSJ Off Duty — apparently WSJ cooks lots of food and goes to fashion shows.

USEFUL STUFF

Good stuff: the Digital Content Strategist at Blanton Museum talks hashtags, specifically standardizing on a museumwide hashtag and strategies for developing exhibit-specific hashtags.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Bing predicted the outcome of the NBA finals. Back in April. “Bing had the Warriors down to beat the Atlanta Hawks in five games, but the Cavaliers earned their shot at the Championship by dismissing the Hawks in four. The Warriors’ side of the bracket proved to be slightly easier to predict, with Bing only failing to foresee the Houston Rockets’ hard-fought victory over the LA Clippers.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Researchers at the University of Toronto want to use Instagram to help you dress more fashionably. “The researchers mined data from chictopia.com, a social website where users share photos of their outfits. Using the site’s 144,169 posts, the team was able to amass highly detailed statistics for each user, their photo and the fashion it features, along with the comments and response it received from the rest of the Chictopia community. This Fashion144k Dataset, as it’s called, revealed certain correlations and patterns between aspects of a post and the interest it generated, which information the smart folks in Toronto then crunched and coded into their intricate (and seriously brilliant) fashionability-predicting algorithm.” 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!

Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, More: Saturday Morning Buzz, June 20th, 2015

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Cache (which is still a very handy tool) has a new interface. “Google Cache pages have an updated header and now allow you to check the source code of the cached page. Google uses a different background color and more spacing.”

USEFUL STUFF

LinkedIn is offering free trials to Lynda.com. “The professional network is offering its users a free trial to Lynda.com — 30 days for those with premium accounts or 21 days for non-paying LinkedIn users.”

From the always-awesome Jessamyn West, using the Interent Archive’s image feed on Flickr. “Reference question of the day was about finding public domain images. Everyone’s got their go-tos. If I am looking for illustrations or old photos specifically I’ll often use other people’s searches on top of the Internet Archive’s content. Here’s a little how to.”

From Ubergizmo, just in case: How to delete your Google account.

Does Twitter’s new autoplay feature annoy the heck out of you? Does it make your timeline look like a fever dream? here’s how to turn it off.

Using Twitter to find a job.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released its 2015 Data Privacy Report. “The EFF has awarded nine companies a full complement of stars (albeit some host little or no content so certain criteria may not apply). The nine are: Adobe, Apple, CREDO, Dropbox, Sonic, Wickr, Wikimedia, WordPress.com, and Yahoo. So there’s plenty of room for improvement across the tech industry generally.” AT&T and Verizon got slagged (big surprise there.)

Reddit is moving to fully-encrypt traffic.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Should Twitter buy Nuzzel? No! They’ll mess it up.

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Big page sizes mean the Internet is getting slower. “According to new data from the HTTP Archive, the significant increase in size for the average webpage has contributed to significantly longer loading times, leading to significantly more frustrated consumers. With the average site now 2.1MB (up 100 percent from just three years ago), it is no surprise that the Internet is actually taking more time to deliver its results to you.”

Great editorial from The New York Times: Congressional Research Belongs to the Public. “Every day, the Congressional Research Service, a little-known government agency attached to the Library of Congress, churns out papers on issues as varied as the defense budget, the farm bill and nuclear weapons. They’re not classified. They’re nonpartisan. And unlike many government reports, they’re fairly easy to understand. Yet it’s hard for most people to get copies of reports produced by the Congressional Research Service, which operates as an in-house think-tank for lawmakers. That is absurd.”

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

Turning Wikipedia into a printed reference set…. as an art project. “The Wikipedia entry for ‘quixoticism’ runs only about 255 words. But if anyone could argue for a personal mention, it might be Michael Mandiberg. For the past three years, he has been fully engaged in a project that might make even the most intrepid digital adventurer blush: transforming the English-language Wikipedia into an old-fashioned print reference set running to 7,600 volumes.” (No, he’s not going to print out the whole thing.) 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!

England, Volcano, Museums, More: Friday Morning Buzz, June 19th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Here’s a headline I never expected to read: BuzzFeed has launched a news app. With customizable alerts. “But there are touches that make this more than a simple repackaging of BuzzFeed’s journalistic side. For one thing, the feed isn’t just the usual combination of headlines and photos — there are also embedded tweets, pull quotes, related stories, bullet point summaries and timelines that give broader context to the news.”

The area of Sefton in England now has a digital photo archive. “The project, called Sefton Looking Back, has been set up by Sefton Council’s Library Service using old archive photographs dating from 1850 to present day. More than a thousand images are currently on the site with historic images of Bootle, Crosby, Formby, Maghull and Southport all available to view with more regularly added.”

A man after my own heart has recreated the Statistical Atlas of the United States using current data. “The first Atlas, by Francis A. Walker, was published in 1874 using the data from the prior 1870 Census. Counting cover, credits, and all that, it was 56 pages. I got to thinking, hey, I could do that. And if I did, I wouldn’t have to be annoyed anymore. So I recreated the original Statistical Atlas of the United States with current data. I used similar styling, and had one main rule for myself. All the data had to be publicly available and come from government sites.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Street View: now featuring the Mount Etna volcano.

USEFUL STUFF

I had no idea YouTube SEO was a thing. Here’s a guide.

Canva: 12 Common Image Formatting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

LastPass had a security breach, but appears to have quickly recovered.

LinkedIn’s private bug bounty program isn’t private anymore. “Since October, it has been running a private bug bounty program that it says has helped its application security team weed out less critical bugs and focus on submissions largely from researchers already participating in its vulnerability disclosure process.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Amazon has patented its own “smart glasses,”, but apparently it’s going straight for the industrial applications.

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Museum Hack took a look at successful museums on Instagram. “This past May, Diana and Dustin took an in-depth review of what museums are doing successfully on Instagram. They kept score by doing some light internet stalking and compiled the five most popular posts from our favorite institutions. They’ve added some commentary on what made these posts particularly popular.”

A summer research project is being done on Reddit moderating. “This spring, I’ve been reading extensively about digital labor and citizenship online, including the story of over 30,000 AOL community leaders who facilitated online communities in the 90s. With Reddit pushing for profitability and promising new policies on online harassment, I thought that potential tensions arising this summer might offer an important lens into the work of moderators, at a time when listening to mods and recognizing their work would be especially important. ”

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

Interesting reading from WGBH: The museums of 2035. 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 Spindly Wednesday Buzz

NEW RESOURCES

I don’t know how new it is, but I just found out about it: a lot of back issues of OMNI Magazine are now available on the Internet Archive. Not a complete run, though.

Ooooh. Google Trends is going real-time and adding data sets. “You can now find real-time data on everything from the FIFA scandal to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign kick-off, and get a sense of what stories people are searching for. Many of these changes are based on feedback we’ve collected through conversations with hundreds of journalists and others around the world—so whether you’re a reporter, a researcher, or an armchair trend-tracker, the new site gives you a faster, deeper and more comprehensive view of our world through the lens of Google Search…. To help you understand the data behind the headlines, our News Lab team examines trending topics every day and finds interesting nuggets of data that bring news stories to life. You can follow us on Twitter to stay up to date. And for data journalists who want to do their own analysis, starting today we’ll publish data sets on specific topics to our Github page.”

USEFUL STUFF

Hongkiat: 12 YouTube Tricks You Probably Didn’t Know. I did know most of them, but it’s nice to see them rounded up in one place. Also I have no life.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Ars Technica had a go with YouTube Gaming and really likes it. “A slick interface, huge user base, and tons of content should have Twitch worried.”

From Public Libraries Online: What Google’s Algorithm Change Means for Library Web Sites.

Wired: The Glaring Hole in Twitter’s New Shared Blocking Feature. “While the intentions are good, the implementation is bafflingly underwhelming, especially coming from a marquee technology company. In fact, even calling it ‘shared’ blocking at all is a misnomer, because there is no sharing mechanism to speak of. Rather, the CSV file is provided, speeding up the volume at which the blocks can be instituted, but the sharing of that file has to happen through some other third-party service—Dropbox, Pastebin, email attachments, or even handing off physical USB drives.”

Yahoo and 7-UP are teaming up to stream the Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas. “Yahoo will connect 7UP with music fans around the live stream of EDC Las Vegas on Yahoo Screen on desktop, and through the Yahoo Screen App on iOS and Android and connected devices including Apple TV, Roku and Xbox. For the first time, fans will also be able to create personalized schedules with their favorite artists and receive real time notifications when their favorite DJs take the stage through a new experience from Yahoo and 7UP on Tumblr, the EDC Dream Stream.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

We’re going to need bigger pipes: Cisco forecasts that by 2019, 80% of Internet traffic will be video. “By 2019, video will account for 80% of all IP traffic, forecasts Cisco. That’s a 13% increase from last year when it accounted for 67%. The highest traffic-generating countries in five years time will be the U.S. and China, with 85% of America’s Internet consumption dominated by video.”

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!

Maryland, South Carolina, Bing, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, June 16th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

The state of Maryland now has an online database for certified pesticide dealers and businesses. If you click on the link in the article you’ll get an error. Take the period off the end of the URL and you’ll get to the right place.

The state of South Carolina has a new online database showing which companies get the most business from the state government. Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina was #1. “The next-highest vendor totals were: pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran PBM of Illinois with $329 million in business, healthcare company Medco Health Solutions of New Jersey with $303 million, BlueChoice Healthplan of South Carolina with $71.4 million, Bank of America with $51.2 million, printing business RL Bryan Company with $51.1 million, and law firm Nexsen Pruet, LLC with $49 million.”

The Library of Congress has released three new Student Discovery Sets. “The Library’s latest Student Discovery Sets are available now for the iPad and can be downloaded free of charge on iBooks. These sets cover Women’s Suffrage, Japanese American Internment, and Political Cartoons and Public Debates. They join nine previously published sets on the U.S. Constitution, Symbols of the United States, Immigration, the Dust Bowl, the Harlem Renaissance, Understanding the Cosmos, the Industrial Revolution, Jim Crow and Segregation, and Children’s Lives at the Turn of the 20th Century. Through a set of interactive tools, learners can zoom in on faces of suffragists picketing the White House, circle details of lively 19th-century political cartoons, and listen to stories of Japanese American combat veterans.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Bing is going to encrypt search traffic by default. “Bing has already been offering users the option to encrypt search traffic for about a year and a half now. Beginning this summer, we will begin the process of encrypting search traffic by default. This means that traffic originating from Bing will increasingly come from https://www.bing.com as opposed to http://www.bing.com.”

Snapchat now offers 2-factor authentication. Guess what really huge major consumer Web site still doesn’t? Dingdingdingdingding! AMAZON!

USEFUL STUFF

How-To-Geek on managing a bunch of social media feeds in one place. Alternion looks interesting.

Good one from Hongkiat: 10 Useful Image Tools Every Social Media Marketer Needs. Or anybody who’s just trying to make social media images of the appropriate sizes without tearing all their hair out.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

FOSS Force takes a look at why SourceForge is such a mess. Makes me sad. 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!