Category Archives: Uncategorized

NaNoWriMo: Can You Help Me Out?

Hey y’all, big favor to ask.

As you probably know, tomorrow NaNoWriMo starts. That’s National Novel Writing Month. You can learn more about it here: .

Every goldang year I want to do it, and every goldang year I’m too busy. I’m too busy this year. But I’m very tired of being too busy and I want to do it!

As you may know I’ve written a small pile of nonfiction books. When I was much younger, I wrote fiction. It probably wasn’t good fiction but I had fun writing it.

I don’t know if it’s all the nonfiction books I’ve written, but I feel like I have lost the ability to write fiction. Like my brain is in “nonfiction” gear and I can’t switch back.

2014 is not going to be the year that NaNoWriMo passes me by. I want to go for it.

But I could use a little encouragement and I would like to post updates on ResearchBuzz. I would like to think that someone out there gives a darn, or a hoot, or a buzz.

So if you wouldn’t mind reading NaNoWriMo updates at the top of ResearchBuzz for one month, could you let me know in the comments? Or send me a note via the feedback form?

I don’t know how it’s going to end up – I literally have no idea how to get started. But a little push from y’all would mean everything in the world to me.

Thank you!



Paraguay, IFTTT, Athens (GA), More: Afternoon Buzz, August 29th, 2014

FamilySearch is beginning to index the 1891 Toulouse Census and is looking for volunteers who can speak both French and English.

A man after my own heart has been uploading pictures from Internet Archive books… to Flickr. “The Internet Archive had used an optical character recognition (OCR) program to analyse each of its 600 million scanned pages in order to convert the image of each word into searchable text. As part of the process, the software recognised which parts of a page were pictures in order to discard them. Mr. Leetaru’s code used this information to go back to the original scans, extract the regions the OCR program had ignored, and then save each one as a separate file in the Jpeg picture format.”

The talent who does the voices of Mario, Luigi, Wario, etc has joined Instagram and is posting cute videos with is voice and character figures. I like the one with the llama.

Nice! Paraguay is getting a digital archive of all 20 of its indigenous languages. “The initiative, which was launched today by officials from the Department of Anthropology of the University, is the first step to collect sound recordings and images of native testimony, grammars, documents, glossaries, legend and work of specialists.”

Interesting question, not sure anybody knows the answer. What does “Don’t be evil” mean in a post-Snowden world?

Taneya Koonce will be doing her first Google Hangouts on Air on September 6th and everyone is invited. “I volunteer with my local chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and my webinar will be for them. The society has a one-of-a-kind newspaper history project to capture history and genealogy information from HBCU student newspapers. During the session, I’ll demonstrate the indexing process and provide details on how you can contribute towards this important effort.”

The NGS has a quick overview article of current crowdsourcing projects relevant to the genealogy community.

IFTTT now has an Eyefi channel and MAN, I’m going to have some fun with that. (I’m already using Eyefi in conjunction with Dropbox for some projects at work. It is SO HANDY!)

The Digital Library of Georgia has announced an enhanced version of the Athens Historic Newspapers Archive. “The Athens Historic Newspapers Archive is now compatible with all current browsers and provides access to nine newspaper titles published in Athens from 1827 to 1928 without the use of plug-ins or additional software downloads. Consisting of over 77,000 newspaper pages, the archive provides historical images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date.”

Google has updated Chrome with a ton of security fixes, so if you’re using Chrome make sure you get the new version. 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!

Sorry about the silence

Sorry about the silence, y’all — work last week has been rough. And I was doing so good too! Posts will resume shortly.

Google Scholar, SCOTUS, Kickstarter, More: Morning Buzz, June 16, 2014

From Aaron Tay’s blog: 8 Surprising Things I Learnt About Google Scholar. Really thoughtful, lots of external links. Good stuff, Aaron.

Coming next month to Duke: a MOOC on copyright designed for teachers and librarians. “Another point about the focus in this course — our goal is to provide participants with a practical framework for analyzing copyright issues that they encounter in their professional work. We use a lot of real life examples — some of them quite complex and amusing — to help participants get used to the systematic analysis of copyright problems.”

Kickstarter has added an official category for journalism. Yay!

A new report from the Library of Congress examines what countries criminalize religious conversion. “We recently completed a survey of twenty-three countries in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia that looked at the prevalence of apostasy being a capital offense (or as a lesser offense) and the frequency of its application.”

Tesla Motors is effectively open-sourcing its patents. “Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”

Bing is getting into the World Cup.

From GigaOM: Clever piece of code exposes hidden changes to Supreme Court opinions. “Supreme Court opinions are the law of the land, and so it’s a problem when the Justices change the words of the decisions without telling anyone. This happens on a regular basis, but fortunately a lawyer in Washington appears to have just found a solution.”

Nuzzel has gotten a new round of funding. If you use (or try to use) Facebook and Twitter for content discovery, I can’t encourage you enough to try Nuzzel. There are a few things I would change but overall it is BRILLIANT.

The Australian National University Archives has launched a new database. “National Archives of Australia Director-General David Fricker launched the new ANU Archives database, which includes historic documents from Australia’s colonial history.”

Possibly useful: How to factory-reset a Chromebook even when it won’t boot.

The Cloyne and District Historical Society has joined Flickr Commons. “It is a not-for-profit charitable organization of volunteers located in the village of Cloyne in Eastern Ontario, Canada, dedicated to preserve and record the history of the local area and to share the knowledge with the public.”

One of those “because you can” things: How to host a static Web site on Dropbox with Pancake. 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!

OCLC, AOL, Google, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, April 29, 2014

The American Museum of Natural History has opened up a big online archive. “Among the other collections that have been digitized are 3,400 glass plates documenting the daily lives of African-Americans in South Carolina and Alabama, immigrants at Ellis Island and Seminole Indians in Florida in the late 19th century; records of expeditions by Carl S. Lumholtz, an ethnographer, to Mexico during the same period; lantern slides of plants, animals and people around the world; and programs for school children during the 20th century.”

Google’s restaurant search now offers several different filters. I can’t be the only one who uses Google to find restaurants and then checks them out on Yelp.

More Google: it says its self-driving cars are doing pretty okay. “Google says that cars it is programming to drive themselves have started to master the navigation of city streets and the challenges they bring, from jaywalkers to weaving bicyclists — a critical milestone for any commercially available self-driving car technology.”

AOL got hacked and lost more than passwords. “The company said it was working with federal authorities to investigate the attack, in which hackers obtained email addresses, postal addresses, encrypted passwords and answers to security questions used to reset passwords.”

Skype is making group video calling free.

Facebook is open-sourcing the animation engine that powers its Paper app. “Pop joins Facebook’s growing arsenal of open source tools for iOS, including KVOController, Shimmer, and Tweaks. That’s only a small slice of Facebook’s overall open source library, of course, which also includes the likes of the HipHop virtual machine, the Open Compute project and the Tornado Python web framework originally developed at FriendFeed.”

OCLC has released WorldCat Works as linked data. “OCLC has made 197 million bibliographic work descriptions—WorldCat Works—available as linked data, a format native to the Web that will improve discovery of library collections through a variety of popular sites and Web services.” 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!

Twitter, Flu, Google, More: Saturday Afternoon Buzz, April 19, 2014

Heartbleed got you a little more worried about your passwords? Here’s how to do two-factor auth on Twitter.

If you have a Facebook page and you’re as frustrated as I am: a guide to increasing your organic Facebook page reach.

Twitter has purchased Gnip. “Gnip is one of a handful of companies with full access to the stream of activity from Twitter, which has garnered it a lot of knowledge about how to deal with such immense data volumes and deliver it as a product to businesses.”

More Twitter: Scientists at Pennsylvania State University claim that can make a flu diagnosis based on Twitter data that’s availabe to the public. I assume that’s using an algorithim that looks for more than tweets saying “I have the flu.” It could get a little creepy, though: “The Penn State researches note that although they focused on remotely reconstructing a confidential diagnosis of influenza, this technique could be used to identify diseases associated with greater social stigma like HIV. Social media now clearly has a potential social cost.”

Now there’s a “Snapchat for e-mail”. “Similar to Snapchat, Pluto Mail allows you to choose when your email expires (although the options, of course, are far vaster). … Because while you can delete emails after you’ve sent them you can’t erase their subject lines from a recipient’s account.”

Google’s new terms of service make it clear: it is scanning your e-mail for the purpose of generating ads.

More Google: it has released a “Helpouts” app for iOS. “Helpouts for iOS works like Helpouts on the web, offering users the ability to connect to any of the free video chats made available on the Google-powered platform.”

Every wonder exactly what the heck you’re doing, hanging out on the Internet all day? Now you can take an Internet selfie. 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!

Words, Facebook, ‘Bots, Passwords, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, December 11, 2013

The Merriam-Webster word of the year is… SCIENCE!

A look at Google Glass in the operating room.

More Google Glass: it now has a WordPress plugin.

Well, this had to happen: a search engine for government secrets. “The project, based out of Columbia University and launched about a year ago, uses advanced computer science methods in big data, machine learning, and natural language processing to scale up what some scholars have been struggling to do by hand for a decade: Document the rise of government secrecy, learn more about what the government isn’t releasing, and uncover new patterns and information in the millions of documents that do get declassified but contain heavy redactions.”

So Facebook is launching an “Unfollow” button. I’m looking forward to the “If I see one more ad about Ellen’s ‘secret’ there will be mayhem” button.

More Facebook: check out the biggest trends of 2013, according to it.

One minute on the Internet, 2013 vs. 2012. The YouTube stat is positively mind-blowing.

I like this because I’m a stats wonk: a Twitter bot that second-guesses 4th down calls in the NFL.

National Geographic is sharing maps on Google. Niiice.

Microsoft Research has released a new tool that shows how guessable your password is.

More password tools: a new Web site lets you check and see if your e-mail address was part of one of the recent high-profile hacks. 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!


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