Twitter, Idaho, NASA, More: Short Sunday Buzz, October 26th, 2014

Groupon has launched a new Yelp competitor called Pages (PRESS RELEASE). You do not want to hear my Groupon horror story.

Microsoft has opened up The Garage. “Microsoft clicked the Genie on Wednesday and invited the whole neighborhood into its online Garage to try out a handful of consumer apps that are still in the works.”

Twitter has launched Digits, a way to sign into apps using phone numbers instead of passwords.

Don’t want to use GMail or Dropbox? Techspot offers some alternatives.

The state of Idaho has launched an online portal for parcel data about Idaho counties (PRESS RELEASE). “Users can choose from two types of parcel standard downloads: public and comprehensive. Public parcel downloads include seven basic data fields, such as parcel unique identifier, date shared, and date that the polygon geometry was last updated. Comprehensive parcel downloads feature the same information as the public downloads plus 47 more data fields, including property descriptions, total assessed value, and value by category.”

Gombe National Park is now on Google Street View.

Don’t care for Google Analytics? Here are 14 alternatives.

Twitpic’s photo archive has been acquired by Twitter, so it’ll stay online for the time being.

NASA has launched a SoundCloud page of clips from historic missions. 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!

Bit.ly, Grain Elevators, Colorado, More: Afternoon Buzz, October 25th, 2014

Did you know October 30 was Ask an Archivist Day? I had no idea. (That’s a press release).

Firefox and Chrome are flagging bit.ly links as malware. Not just some links, apparently: all links.

Now available: 80 years’ worth of information on Canadian grain elevators (PRESS RELEASE). “Thanks to a partnership with the University of Alberta Libraries, data on grain elevators in Canada collected by the Canadian Grain Commission beginning in 1912 is now freely available online. Fully searchable, digital copies of these records from 1912 to 1998 are openly accessible via the University of Alberta Libraries’ website, Peel’s Prairie Provinces.”

The University of Colorado-Boulder has launched an online research repository. “CU Scholar, which launched Oct. 1, aggregates scholarly content produced by academic and research units on campus. The digital archive allows readers from all over the world to search for and access CU research, without needing to pay for an expensive journal subscription.”

Now available: the Inter-American Court of Human Rights database. “This freely-available database, produced by the editors and staff of the IACHR Project under the supervision of Professor Cesare Romano, allows users to search Inter-American Court decisions by case name, country, and topic. Advanced search features include the ability to search by specific violation of various Inter-American Conventions.”

Google has launched a new app for handling e-mail, and at the moment it’s invitation-only. I am probably spoiled by using client-side e-mail software for many years, but there are many ways I find GMail’s e-mail just awful (especially the filters) and have no interest in the new app.

The latest Windows security hazard? PowerPoint presentations. “Heads up! In what feels like a throwback to the late 90s/early 2000’s, Microsoft has discovered one helluva bug in Microsoft Office. Executed properly, the bug could be exploited to take over your entire system running just about any version of Windows.”

From Hongkiat: 13 alternative Web browsers for smart phones.

OpenStreetMaps is helping the Ebola crisis in Africa. “A subset of the OSM community, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) has taken on creating more robust maps of the affected countries in West Africa. HOT is a specialized team that responds to international humanitarian crises by corralling OSM volunteers to gear their efforts to impacted areas.”

Ubuntu 15.04 will be code named Vivid Vervet. Good afternoon, Internet…

State Department, Birds, Brains, More: Morning Buzz, October 25th, 2014

TheNextWeb offers an in-depth guide to using Pocket. I love Pocket. ResearchBuzz would not be what it is without Pocket.

The US State Department has completed a big archiving project. “The State Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, in partnership with the Library of Congress, recently completed an initiative to digitize and make available more than 50 years of reports detailing U.S. engagement with the United Nations. The reports are the United States Participation in the United Nations and Voting Practices in the United Nations, submitted annually to Congress.”

Firebase has been acquired by Google.

More Google: it is offering a new physical USB key to confirm logins. ” Security Key is a physical USB second factor that only works after verifying the login site is truly a Google website, not a fake site pretending to be Google. Rather than typing a code, just insert Security Key into your computer’s USB port and tap it when prompted in Chrome. When you sign into your Google Account using Chrome and Security Key, you can be sure that the cryptographic signature cannot be phished.”

More Google: it has released a lovely icon set. And it’s CC-BY-SA, to boot .

Facebook has launched a new app called Rooms. “A room is a feed of photos, videos, and text – not too different from the one you have on Instagram or Facebook – with a topic determined by whoever created the room. Early users have already created rooms for everything from beat boxing videos to parkour to photos of home- cooked meals. There’s even a room called ‘Kicks From Above’ that showcases photographs of cool shoes in cool places. “

Ello has filed as a Public Benefit Coporation. Good luck with that. “The news is that the company then filed as a Public Benefit Corporation, which means that it will never legally be able to sell ad space or user data or be sold to a buyer who plans to do either of those thing. Yes, that means that Ello is now a non-profit organization.”

Bird watching site FeederWatch has a new tool to explore decades of birdwatching data.

The Vatican is putting 4,000 manuscripts online for free access. “The library also includes letters from important historical figures, drawings and notes by artists and scientists such as Michelangelo and Galileo, as well as treaties from all eras in history. The ancient documents are now being preserved under the DigitaVaticana programme using FITS, the format developed by Nasa to store images, astronomical, and astrophysical data, and until now, only 500 manuscripts and 600 incunabula were available to view on the Vatican Library website.”

A new online database catalogs the impact of DNA variations on the brain. “A new online database called Braineac details how variations in DNA sequence shape gene expression in the human brain. The open-access resource, described 31 August in Nature Neuroscience, may help autism researchers understand the effects of genetic variants — particularly those in noncoding regions of the genome — linked to the disorder.”

Expedia has launched an image library (PRESS RELEASE). “Expedia.com, one of the world’s largest full service online travel sites1, today announced the next evolution of its highly acclaimed Expedia Viewfinder Blog with the launch of the new Expedia Viewfinder Image Library – a free online resource containing more than 40,000 images for media outlets, journalists, bloggers and other content creators. Empowering the travel community with incredible access to free high-quality travel visuals and inspiration, users can browse the extensive selection of reproduction-quality images with embedded metadata to help tell their stories on a broad range of third-party sites and projects by visiting the Expedia Viewfinder Image Library.”

Google Knowledge Graph: now with video games. “Search queries on video games will result in a knowledge graph panel that includes details like the game’s release date, supported platforms, developers, review scores and more.” 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!

Qatar, Red Cross, Yahoo, More: Evening Buzz, October 24th, 2014

Facebook has launched a new tool for the 2014 elections. “You can click on the map and find, for instance, that while Senator McConnell may be winning the horse race in ‘likes,’ he’s lost in the dust of buzz about his competitor. Roughly three times more people are talking about Ms. Grimes, based on Facebook comments and ‘shares’ of content.”

Google has announced add-ons for Forms. “To give you even more flexibility and options, we’re introducing add-ons for Forms—new tools, created by developer partners, that deliver even more features to your surveys (just like add-ons for Docs and Sheets). Add-ons bring handy extras to your survey building experience, like setting a survey end date, sending custom emails based on responses, storing lists of choices that you frequently add to questions, and more.”

A thorny problem: archiving and digitizing the art of the 2014 Hong Kong protests.

The British Red Cross has released an online database with information about people who volunteered with the organization during World War I. Information on 30,000 volunteers is available with more coming online in the coming months.

Brilliant. A guy is travelling all over Manhattan documenting cornerstones. “For the past six years, the 39-year-old real-estate lawyer has been combing both sides of every street in Manhattan in a quest to document the dated, inscribed rocks that serve as birth certificates for buildings. By foot and on bike, often accompanied by his Labradoodle named Martin, Mr. McCracken has amassed an online archive of the island’s 1,100-plus surviving cornerstones.”

A new, free plug-in checks for bugs in spreadsheet data. “CheckCell, which automatically finds data errors in spreadsheets, was developed as a plugin for Microsoft’s popular Excel program….To develop CheckCell, Berger and graduate students Barowy and Dimitar Gochev used a combination of statistical analysis and data flow analysis to flag inputs that have an unusual impact on the program’s output. They evaluated the procedure against a collection of real-world spreadsheets such as budgets and student grades. They introduced common errors into the spreadsheets, then asked the plug-in tool to find them.”

There’s a new tool under development for archiving Web sites. “Rhizome has already developed a rough prototype of a tool that records all the content you experience on a website as you click around, then uses that information to create a simulation of the website that you or someone else can explore again however you want.”

Yahoo has launched Yahoo Parenting. “Whether you’re a mom, dad, grandpa, aunt, caretaker or guardian, parents come in all shapes and sizes. They are teachers, sounding boards, moral compasses and so much more. Today, we’re launching Yahoo Parenting: a new digital magazine that shares honest stories, relatable anecdotes, trusted advice, and the latest news to help parents of all kinds raise a happy and healthy family.”

MIT has a new page that summarizes research funder open access requirements. “US federal agencies with more than $100 Million annually in R&D will be issuing their open access requirements in coming months, and those policies will be summarized on this web page as details become available.”

The British Library and the Qatar National Library have teamed up to launch the Qatar Digital Library. “The modern history and culture of the Gulf and wider region, particularly its connection with Britain, are vividly documented in personal and official archives, photographs, maps and recordings of traditional music held at the British Library. Insights into the history of science in the Arabic-speaking world and Arabic cultural heritage are also held in the depths of the Library.” 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!

Odia, Names, Google, More: Morning Buzz, October 20th, 2014

A new tool data mines donor information and tells you if your name is liberal or conservative. “The ratings are determined by how often someone with a specific name donates to liberal or conservative politicians. (To arrive at the top 20 names in each group, Crowdpac’s number crunchers did some extra work, looking at names associated with at least 1,000 donations since 1980 to exclude outliers.)” Be sure to do all iterations of a name; according to this tool “Mike” is more conservative than “Michael.”

John Overholt has a new blog curating early versions of Wikipedia articles.

Google Translate has a new Chrome extension.

The Odia language is getting a Wikisource site. “Speakers of Odia will soon have mountains of books to read online in their mother tongue, following the launch of the Odia Wikisource, which will make accessible many rare books that have entered the public domain. Authors and publishers are also invited to donate their copyrighted work, possibly bringing open access to large volumes of books and manuscripts, creating a vast archive of educational resources. And everything will be in Odia.”

Flickr has launched an iPad app.

From How-To Geek: How to use Google Keep for frustration-free note taking. Unless Google decides to cancel it.

Do you want to remove images from Google Maps views? Here’s how.

Google has released a Penguin update.

Genealogists, FindAGrave has new upload and transcribe tools available (they’re in beta). 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!

Whisper, TwitPic, BBC, More: Morning Buzz, October 19th, 2014

Hey! Use Google Sheets to have multi-lingual chats. From Amit Agarwal, of course.

FamilySearch keeps adding those records. “States. Notable collection updates include the 2,694,665 images from the Slovakia, Church and Synagogue Books, 1592-1910, collection; the 2,785,409 images from the US, New Jersey, State Census, 1915, collection; and the 2,155,570 indexed records from the US, Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001, collection.”

The ALA has archived its Ebola Webinar and made it available online.

Google is rolling out another search update in an attempt to downrank sites containing pirated content. “The update will also affect search autofill behavior to prevent sites with pirated content from appearing in results. Furthermore, “legitimate” media sites like Netflix, Amazon, and Google Play will be prioritized to the top of Google’s results page when users search for a particular movie, TV show, or song.”

Do you use Whisper? Do you think it keeps your posts completely safe and anonymous? You might want to rethink that. “The company behind Whisper, the social media app that promises users anonymity and claims to be ‘the safest place on the internet’, is tracking the location of its users, including some who have specifically asked not to be followed. The practice of monitoring the whereabouts of Whisper users – including those who have expressly opted out of geolocation services – will alarm users, who are encouraged to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives. Whisper is also sharing information with the US Department of Defense gleaned from smartphones it knows are used from military bases, and developing a version of its app to conform with Chinese censorship laws.”

A huge fanzine collection is getting digitized.

Is. Isn’t. Is. For reals. Twitpic is shutting down. You have until October 25th to get your pics.

Are parents going to be held accountable for what their kids do on Facebook?

The Internet Archive now has a map of book subjects. Wooooooow. “The relationship data for this map has been generated by first retrieving all the tags of the Internet Archive’s images on flickr and then connecting those subjects which appear together on an image. The resulting similarity matrix has been processed using the t-Distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding (t-SNE) technique which groups topics by the strength of their relationship. In the last step the layout gets cleaned up automatically so that no text blocks overlap.” When I tried this it was kludgy, but as an indicator of what might be possible I really like it.

Twitter will now show you tweets from people you don’t follow. Because marketing. And because famous people don’t have enough outlets to get their faces all up in your face. Blah.

The BBC will start keeping a public log of articles removed under “Right to be Forgotten.”

Snapchat will soon have advertising. 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!

Mocavo, Antique Pianos, Philadelphia, More: Morning Buzz, October 18th, 2014

Mocavo is having an open access weekend.

IFTTT used to have great Twitter triggers that they had to shut down in 2012 because Twitter treats third-party developers like crap. Anyway, IFTTT now has much better Twitter triggers. “…today’s rollout brings additional recipes which let you query deeper into Twitter’s stream, instead of only focusing on your own actions. These new triggers are far more useful, too. They can serve as a valuable research tool, allowing to you to do things like track a hashtag or keyword and turn that into a spreadsheet of tweets, or input that info into Slack. You can also configure Twitter (via IFTTT) to alert you to things going on nearby, or set up a digest of tweets, IFTTT suggests.”

7 Useful GMail Filters. Have I mentioned lately how much I miss Eudora? And its filters which would do everything except make toast?

Case Western Reserve University has joined HaithiTrust.

From the always-marvelous Amit: How to color alternate rows in Google Sheets.

Did you know there was an online museum for antique pianos? (PRESS RELEASE)

Is the FBI going to take action against Google and Apple over encryption?

DELICIOUS, of all sites, is curating an ebola resources page.

The Wellcome Library is trying an odd little experiment where images from its archive are shown to reflect current weather conditions. Could be fun.

The Internet Archive is offering the 2014 Philly Political Media Ad Watch. “The project is a collaboration between the Internet Archive, Sunlight Foundation, Philadelphia’s Committee of Seventy (a non-partisan government watchdog), University of Delaware’s Center for Community Research & Service and the Linguistic Data Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania. It immediately enables local media to do a better job sifting between fact and fiction in political messaging and revealing financial sources of political influence.”

IFTTT has added a Honeywell evohome channel.

Yahoo has launched a new accessibility page. 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!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,975 other followers