Seafloors, Boolean Logic, AA, More: Thursday Morning Buzz, March 19th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

A new search tool allows users to find AA meetings near them (PRESS RELEASE). “Finding Sobriety says that it has managed to integrate a number of new search technologies in the new tool. People will now be able to do a specific search and get even more specific results and this will simply make it far much easier for anyone to find the best AA meetings. In addition to this, the AA meeting finder is on offer for free and as such anyone in need of an AA meeting can easily log on to its website, search using the tool and find the perfect meeting.”

NASA has launched a free desktop application to help you help it to find asteroids. “During a panel Sunday at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, NASA representatives discussed how citizen scientists have made a difference in asteroid hunting. They also announced the release of a desktop software application developed by NASA in partnership with Planetary Resources, Inc., of Redmond, Washington. The application is based on an Asteroid Data Hunter-derived algorithm that analyzes images for potential asteroids. It’s a tool that can be used by amateur astronomers and citizen scientists….The desktop software application is free and can be used on any basic desktop or laptop computer. Amateur astronomers may take images from their telescopes and analyze them with the application. The application will tell the user whether a matching asteroid record exists and offer a way to report new findings to the Minor Planet Center, which then confirms and archives new discoveries.”

The US Geological Survey has released a new collection of coastal and seafloor images. “This portal contains coverage of the seafloor off California and Massachusetts, and aerial imagery of the coastline along the Gulf of Mexico and mid-Atlantic coasts. Additional video and photographs will be added as they are collected, and archived imagery will also be incorporated soon. Areas of future focus include data sets for Washington State’s Puget Sound, Hawaii and the Arctic. … In total, approximately 100,000 photographs and have been collected as well as 1,000 hours of trackline video covering almost 2,000 miles of coastline. Imagery was taken by video and still cameras towed by boat or from aerial flights.”

Ancestry.com has launched a Web site for searching Irish newspapers. “IrishNewspapers.com works much like Newspapers.com (another Ancestry.com site, with mostly US content): You can enter a name or other search terms, then narrow your results to the most relevant dates, places and newspaper titles. You can run a search without subscribing, and the snippet views of your search results often provide enough context to tell whether a particular result might be relevant to your family history (and whether it’s worth subscribing).”

USEFUL STUFF

I’m not sure about useful, but this is fun. Send this Twitter ‘bot a tweet, and it will send you an animated GIF based on the words in your tweet.

This is a little far afield but I would definitely call it useful: how to use Boolean logic to analyze Excel data.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

App submissions on Google Play will now be reviewed by human beings and isn’t it about time? “Additionally, Google announced the rollout of a new age-based ratings system for games and apps on Google Play, which will utilize the scales provided by a given region’s official ratings authority, like the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) here in the U.S.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Do you have a four-digit PIN on your iPhone? It may not be that secure. “The team at MDSec has highlighted the availability for purchase of a hardware tool, called IP Box, that can brute force crack the four digit password that most users have protecting their iPhones.”

The US Department of Defense has released a “draft plan” for public access. “While the Department is careful to note that ‘the proposed plan is a draft,’ and is subject to further revision, it lays out a strong framework for the implementation of a DoD-maintained article repository, as well as a comprehensive approach to ensure access and productive reuse of DoD-funded research data. Of note: unlike the other U.S. agencies that have released plans to date, the DoD will initiate a further formal ‘rulemaking’ process – which will include an open public comment period – before finalizing its policies. ”

Yahoo is exiting China and laying off staff.

From MIT Technology Review: building 3D scans from drone photos. Good morning, Internet..

RESEARCH AND OPINION

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Genealogy, Google, Nuzzel, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, March 16th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

The UK’s Ordnance Survey is launching OS Open Map later this month. “It will be our most detailed open data product, providing a backdrop for integrating and visualising analytical datasets. There’s an enhanced level of detail for buildings – including functional sites such as hospitals and schools, an extended naming of roads and an extensive set of cartographic names optimised for digital styling and presentation.”

Duke has digitized its anatomical fugitive sheet collection. “These anatomical fugitive sheets, which date from the early sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth centuries, are single sheets, similar to broadsides, that are unique in that they contain overlays or flaps that lift to reveal the inside of the human body.”

YouTube has launched a free resource site for musical artists. “Following this morning’s news regarding the launch a “Cards,” a system designed to eventually replace annotations on YouTube, the company also announced the launch of a new site called YouTube for Artists. The website aims to be more of guide to various resources available to music artists promoting their work on YouTube, and includes tips about how to get discovered, how to engage fans, and how to generate revenue, among other things.”

USEFUL STUFF

Feeling Irish on this St. Patrick’s Day? You can access these three Irish genealogy webinars for free through tomorrow.

From How To Geek: How to install Chrome Extensions in Opera and vice-versa.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google has added more imagery to Street View. This time it’s the islands of Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Yahoo is moving towards end-to-end encryption for its e-mail product. “While at this stage we’re rolling out the source code for feedback from the wider security industry, our goal is to provide an intuitive e2e encryption solution for all users by the end of the year.”

David Strom has an excellent overview of data dashboards in various municipalities.

Apparently not even everybody at Facebook is comfortable with Facebook’s “Real Names” policy.

Lots and lots of chatter that YouTube will be launching a subscription service any second now. Good afternoon, Internet…

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Genealogy, Google, Nuzzel, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, March 16th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

This ain’t TIME’s most influential: The Database for Individuals Who Have Transcended Linguistic, Temporal, and Geographic Boundaries. (From MIT Technology Review)

Genealogy Gophers is making a huge collection of digital genealogy books available for free (PRESS RELEASE).

USEFUL STUFF

Maybe not useful, but lets you explore Google Autocomplete and have fun at the same time. Google Feud lets you play Family Feud with Google Autocomplete results.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Now on Google Street View: Khumbu, the home of Mount Everest.

Facebook has updated its community standards. “The revised guidelines clarify Facebook’s policies on a variety of topics, including bullying, threats of violence, self-harm and hate speech. The company is attempting to strike a balance between blocking offensive content and allowing for freedom of expression on its network.”

Nuzzel is experimenting with custom lists from Twitter, and now you can too. ” A Nuzzel Custom Feed can be based on any kind of list of people. For example: people who live in a certain area, people who work at a certain company, people who are part of a certain community, or people who are influencers in a certain topic.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

If you’ve been reading ResearchBuzz for any length of time, you probably know who Danny Sullivan is. He started writing about search engines in 1996. Copyblogger takes an in-depth look at how he writes. And suddenly I feel less bad about the fact that I too have minifigs on my desk…

A change in Google News has apparently gotten company statements in search results. “A Google spokeswoman said that in September the search giant widened the number of sources from which it drew the entries that appear in the ‘in the news’ section of its search results page. Previously, only links to stories on approved news sites such as those of newspapers and TV stations appeared in this section of the main search page.” Gee, what could possibly go wrong…

Twitter is experimenting with TV Timelines. “The concept is fairly simple. Twitter sees you using a TV show-related hashtag, a character’s name, even a key phrase from one of a handful of designated shows. For this experiment it’s American Idol, Big Bang Theory, @Midnight and The Blacklist. A dialogue box pops up on your iPhone Twitter Timeline (at the top) and invites you to try out Twitter TV Timelines. If you accept, you’ll see a very unusual Twitter interface.”

Google Now is going to get an API. 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!

Kansas, Pinterest, Google, More: Tuesday Morning Buzz, March 17th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Now available: an online archive of New Zealand nursing archive oral histories.

The National Museum of African Art has launched its first online exhibition. “The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is launching the online exhibition ‘Sailors and Daughters: Early Photography and the Indian Ocean World.’ The event is part of the museum’s multiyear series of programming, Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa, made possible by a $1.8 million gift by the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. The online exhibition brings together early photographs, albums and related media from the region to a digital audience; photography was part of the flow of people, ideas and technologies crossing the western Indian Ocean at the turn of the last century.”

USEFUL STUFF

Interesting: an online database of disappeared Kansas communities. There are 143 profiled towns in the database – but the estimated count of disappeared Kansas towns is 9,000.

From Mashable: 5 IFTTT recipes to share Instagram photos like a boss.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

The Library of Congress is updating its recommended format specifications. “The Library of Congress has committed to a sustained investment in the Recommended Format Specifications, which means an annual review and revision process. And to accomplish this, it is actively soliciting feedback and comments from any and all who can help us make them better and more useful, for ourselves and to all of our stakeholders and colleagues in the creative world. This feedback is requested by March 31st, after which date our teams of experts will take the input we have received from others and the results of our own investigations to spend the next three months developing a revised version of the Recommended Format Specifications for the coming year. The greater the input, the better the product, so please do not hesitate to contact us here to share your thoughts and ideas about the Recommended Format Specifications.”

Google Flights are now showing which flights have Wi-Fi. “Routehappy is a service that lets you find the “happiest” flights — meaning those with the most amenities and the roomiest seats. Its data is already integrated with Google Flights — once you’ve selected a flight, you’ll see how much legroom you’ll get and whether it offers in-seat power or Wi-Fi.”

Google is Getting rid of its original Google Webmaster Tools API. April 20 is the shutdown date.

YouTube is now accepting 360-degree video uploads. You’ve got to prep your video with a Python script, though. Wow. Feelin’ 1999!

Google Street View, now for Japanese Bullet Trains.

Pinterest is now worth $11 billion dollars, and to be honest that scares the bean dip out of me. Pinterest is a great idea and a good site, though one I don’t “get” as much as I do other sites. But it’s gone from a $2.5 billion valuation to $11 billion in just over two years. Doesn’t that bother anyone else? I was here in 1999 and after, when the bubble burst. This just doesn’t feel good.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

A bug in Google Apps’ domain registrations has caused a big privacy breach. “Google leaked the complete hidden whois data attached to more than 282,000 domains registered through the company’s Google Apps for Work service, a breach that could bite good and bad guys alike.”

Twitter has updated its policies to explicitly ban revenge porn. “The changes appear in the private information section of Twitter’s rules and the abusive behavior policy page — both of which now expressly prohibit users from posting ‘intimate photos and videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent.'” 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!

FTC, FCC, Twitter, More: Fat Monday Morning Buzz, March 16th, 2015

USEFUL STUFF

From Poynter: 5 Ways Newsrooms Can Make the Most of Instagram. A lot of these could apply to museums and other cultural institutions as well.

Google Operating System shares some tips for searching YouTube.

Genealogists! Here’s a MOOC you might want to know about. “RootsMOOC [Massive Open Online Course] is a free, open, online course and a friendly introduction to family history research in the U.S. using commonly available sources. The staff at the State Library of North Carolina’s Government and Heritage Library will help you learn about the most useful sources, tools, and techniques for getting your research off the ground. By the time you’re finished with this course, you’ll have a good start on your own genealogy research and you will know how and where to keep digging.”

Google has launched a new storage service for cold data. “Cold data is often kept for legal or regulatory reasons, so the service is clearly designed with businesses in mind. The new platform, called Google Cloud Storage Nearline, costs just $0.01 per GB at rest each month.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Calendar is now available as an iPhone app.

Bing wants to help you build your NCAA tourney bracket. “Want to come out on top with your bracket? We’re here to help. We know that as much as we all love basketball, we don’t have time to follow all 68 teams. In fact, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Bing, most of us only follow 1-2 teams in the regular season. That means we can’t all be experts and nearly 40 percent of us simply guess when filling out a bracket. Don’t worry, Bing is here to level the playing field for the average fan and make you look like that smart sports analyst.”

Yahoo has launched on-demand password authentication (PRESS RELEASE). “Today, at SXSW, Yahoo announced a new intuitive option for users to login to their account without any need for a password. Upon sign in, an on-demand password is texted directly to a user’s mobile phone.”

Google Code is going away.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Is Nest getting into audio? “Smart home gadget maker Nest is looking for someone to lead what they are calling Nest Audio, fueling speculation that they are moving into speakers and other audio products. The company declined to comment on the new division or job listing.” That could also mean it’s getting into home security, yes?

The FTC has released its 2014 complaints report. “The top five complaint categories consisted of identity theft (332,646 complaints, or about 13 percent of the total), debt collection (280,998, or about 11 percent), imposter scams (276,622, or about 11 percent), telephone and mobile services (171,809 or about 7 percent), and banks and lenders (128,107, or about 5 percent).”

Bing is teaming up with the NCAA for March Madness. “As part of this partnership, NCAA has pulled 10 years of raw historical data about teams, tournaments, win loss ratio, home vs. away stats, etc. and provided it to Microsoft’s Walter Sun, principal applied science manager, to analyze and review. After culling through the information, running through Bing’s algorithms and leveraging machine learning, Walter and his team have been able to identify key patterns over the years that contribute to a team’s success.”

Apple has launched beta testing for iOS 8.3 — but it’s invitation only.

Google has launched an online store for hardware. “The store, which debuted on Wednesday, coincides with the launch of Google’s new Chromebook Pixel laptop. Other hardware for sale include the Nexus tablet line, the Nexus Player streaming box, Chromecast, Nest thermostats, Android-powered smartwatches and a variety of accessories.”

Is Snapchat going to team up with sports leagues for live broadcasting?

The FCC has published its Net Neutrality rules. All 400 pages of them.

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Interesting! What a graph of 8000 fake Twitter accounts looks like.

History Today has an interesting article on footnotes vs. permalinks. “…it turns out that a much more insidious development is coming closer to undermining the footnote: the use of web citations. Historians, like all other academics, increasingly embed URLs (web addresses) in their footnotes. This is of necessity – their source may well be available on the Internet alone. But this practice presumes that Internet sources are as permanent as evidence on paper. We all seem to believe that if something is on the web it will stay there, as it would in a library. In fact this is far from true – the web is inherently unstable. Internet citations decay, become inaccessible, disappear.” 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!