Netherlands, Fonts, Smart Phones, More: Brief Monday Buzz, February 23rd, 2015

Did you miss the Academy Awards? Here’s a quick-n-easy list of winners.

Lenovo has created an automated Superfish removal tool for the horrible adware it installed on some of its laptops.

Fast Company has a writeup on a Web app for designing your own fonts. “Created by Swiss designers Marco Müller and Alexis Reigel, Metaflop isn’t just an easy online tool for creating simple typefaces, it’s also a great tutorial on a lot of the terminology of type design. If you’ve ever read about typeface terms like ascenders, cap heights, overshoot, descenders, and contrasts, there’s no better way to figure out what these terms mean than by using a slider to change their variables and see how it changes a typeface in real time.”

You can now search the full text of PDFs in the Wellcome Library catalog. “You don’t have to do anything special: search as normal and you’ll get more relevant results. But, you can use ‘Search Found In: Full-Text’ from the options in the left hand menu. This narrows your results to searching within the full-text of an item.”

Mashable has a roundup of sites to turn your quotes into interesting visuals. Nice set of resources here but didn’t mention one of my favorites: PixTeller.

Turns out malware might be able to track your phone’s movement by watching power consumption. “The technique is straightforward in theory. The idea is that a smartphone’s power usage depends largely on the distance from the nearest base station. As a user moves, this distance changes, increasing or decreasing the power needed to communicate with a base station. So the power usage profile is strongly correlated with the movement of the phone, or in other words, with the route taken by its owner. Given several different potential routes, the power usage profile should reveal which the user has taken.” On the other hand, there has to be independent knowledge of routes that the user might take or might have taken.

TechCrunch takes a look at Twitter’s future. “The company’s recent earnings beat estimates, proving that the revenue department under Adam Bain continues to provide lift to Twitter’s business. Stock is up several percent. Active user growth, though not exactly world-on-fire material, is measurable at 20% in the past year. The market seems to be responding to the rhyme that Costolo and company are spitting. But what about the product?”

The Netherlands Institute of Military History has joined the Flickr Commons. “The staff of the NIMH administer a unique military history collection containing approximately 2 million images, of which they will be uploading many to the site.” 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!

New York, SSAFA, Tumblr, More: Sunday Buzz, February 22nd, 2015

Do you want to watch the Oscars online? You have options.

The state of New York has put attorney discipline records online. As far as I can tell from doing a few searches, you can get notices of disciplinary actions going back a while, but the instructions for getting details on actions only goes back to 2003.

Some privacy concerns are being raised about Google’s CAPTCHA tool. “…device recognition company AdTruth believes it has found evidence Google’s CAPTCHA killer is collecting far more information than mouse coordinates alone, and that it could use the security tool to inform its advertising services too. The new tool isn’t overtly labelled as a Google service, yet anyone clicking through it ‘consents’ to be tracked by Google’s cookies, AdTruth found. And while the service is intended to do only one thing — determine whether you are a human or not — it is also able to identify a lot more information about which specific human you are.”

Fusion has a story about people who auto-delete their tweets along with links to at least one method if you want to try it yourself. On the one hand I kind of like the idea. On the other hand, it might make me a little too complacent about what I post. I always think twice before I post on Twitter because I know it’s public and part of the permanent record. (Yes, I have thought twice before posting some of my stupidness.)

Do you use Yahoo Mail? The search has been update.

More record adds from FamilySearch! “Notable collection updates include the 744,919 indexed records from the US, New York, Naturalization Index (Soundex), 1792–1906 collection; the 144,735 indexed records from the US, Illinois, Soldier burial places, 1774–1974 collection; and the 85,387 indexed records from the Russia, Lutheran Church Book Duplicates, 1833–1885 collection.”

Did you know there’s an online database of 19th century bookcloth bindings? Beautiful! There are actually several interesting databases here.

The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) has digitized its 1914 Flag Book. “…across the UK and the British Empire SSAFA mobilised some 50,000 volunteers to help more than a million people in 1914. The archive reveals the hardship faced by families at the time. Every town is listed, with the number of people helped, the types of cases and the organisations and benefactors involved.”

A Native American activist is planning a class action lawsuit against Facebook over its real name policy. “Dana Lone Hill is one of many Native Americans to report being suspended from their Facebook accounts, a process that blocks users from accessing any profile information until they provide proof of identity by handing over documents. Lone Hill was suspended after changing the account from her mother’s last name, Lone Hill, to her father’s last name, Lone Elk. Once her case was covered by national news outlets, service was restored.”

Interesting: Tumblr is apparently censoring “torrent” related tags and searches. But you can get them back. “Those who search the site for ‘torrent’ related queries will notice that there are no results displayed, even though there are plenty of posts mentioning the word. The same is true for posts tagged with ‘torrent.’ Tumblr is hiding the results in question from both public and logged in users but the latter can make the posts show up if they switch off the ‘safe mode’ lock on the right hand side of the screen.” 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!

ALA, IFTTT, Googly Eyes, More: Afternoon Buzz, February 20th, 2015

IFTTT has changed its app name to IF and launched a suite of iOS and Android apps called Do. “Take action with the tap of a button. Do empowers you to create your own personalized button, camera, and notepad. Run Recipes right when you want to.” I’m going to need to set aside about six hours to play with this…

The ALA is hosting a copyright tweetchat. “Next week is Fair Use Week so let’s celebrate with a copyright tweetchat on Twitter. On February 25th from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern), legal expert Brandon Butler will be our primary “chatter” on fair use.”

Denmark has opened a huge digital archive. “Denmark’s largest digital photo album with nearly two million images will open to the general public today at 4pm. Danes will have access to the online database at, which includes 1,841,254 documents such as photos, diaries, letters, and sound and video recordings.”

Interested in OneNote? CiteWorld has an overview that’s not quite thorough enough to be a tutorial.

Whoops! Looks like Google may have accidentally labeled some sites as hacked.

A global coral reef project is headed to the Indian Ocean. “The Catlin team is creating an extensive database of satellite-located, panoramic images of the reefs, along with scientific data on reef growth and environmental impacts. This material will be added to the Catlin Global Reef Record online database, which already hosts more than 217,000 panoramic images.”

Someone with MS has created a Yelp for disabled people. “AXSmap functions as both a directory of accessible places and a way for people to leave their own reviews. Users can rate locations on a number of easy-to-understand metrics like how accessible the entryway and bathroom are, the number of steps to the front door, whether or not a place is guide dog friendly, how quiet it is, and more.”

Yes, the social network Ello is still alive. And it has plans. I couldn’t get that into Ello. Never got much interaction when I tried to post there. Even Google+ is better. Good Morning, Internet…

Fun Friday: a Chrome extension gives everything on the Web “Googly Eyes”.

Philharmonic, Yandex, Instagram, More: Evening Buzz, February 19th, 2015

Twitter is being pressured to act more aggressively against terrorists. “An upcoming report has identified as many as 46,000 Twitter accounts that were being used by IS sympathizers during a three-month period last fall — making it by far the most popular social media service for the terror group, according to J.M. Berger, who conducted the study, to be published next month by the Brookings Institution.”

From PC World (Warning! PC World!): How to send personalized mass e-mails using Google Spreadsheets.

I didn’t think you could do this but apparently you can: four tools for scheduling Instagram updates. Check out the comments.

Russian search engine Yandex has filed an antitrust complaint against Google. “According to Yandex, Google is actively preventing local smartphone vendors from pre-loading competing services onto devices running Android. It claims the belief that Android is an open platform is merely an illusion, as, in order to put the Google Play store on their devices, manufacturers are required to install the entire suite of Google services and set Google as the default search engine.”

You remember Google’s Volta logo from yesterday? At least one viewer is worried about it causing seizures.

The New York Philharmonic Archive has expanded. “Leonard Bernstein said goodbye with Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. And Arturo Toscanini’s farewell concert in 1936 featured Wagner excerpts, and Jascha Heifetz playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto. The programs for those farewells are among the 10,000 that have been added to the orchestra’s searchable digital archive, which now has a total of 13,300 programs dating to the orchestra’s founding in 1842. Now people can see the programs for concerts including the 1865 memorial for Abraham Lincoln and the 1928 premiere of Gershwin’s ‘An American in Paris.'”

Should be interesting: Imgur’s getting a topic directory. And a little more: “In addition to Topics, users will also now be able to assign optional user-generated tags, which are linked to one of the broader Topics. Imgur will serve up tag suggestions, but the uploader and Imgur community ultimately decide what the best tags are, with users able to ‘upvote’ tags to determine which are used — examples could be ‘Cats,’ ‘Camping,’ ‘Soccer,’ or anything relevant to the content.”

Do you have a Lenovo laptop that’s fairly recent? You need to check it for adware. Not only adware but adware with some dead stupid (and dangerous) extras: “Other users are reporting that the adware actually installs its own self-signed certificate authority which effectively allows the software to snoop on secure connections, like banking websites as pictured in action below.”

The Guardian runs down 25 alternatives to Photoshop. I really like Picmonkey. It and Gimp do just about everything I need.

Is YouTube setting up another subscription service? 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!

Greenland, Free Things, Twitter, More: Afternoon Buzz, February 19th, 2015

A new tool is available to check the safety of your Google Drive documents, though it’s more for Google Apps. “The tool highlights which files have been shared publicly, beyond your company’s domain or with personal email accounts, and reveals other apps that may have exposed information. It also identifies who in your company is sharing with outside users and scans for harmful file types.”

The Next Web has published a huge list of 300 free things. Divided into categories. Huge list, could be a bad timesink.

MIT Technology Review has a big overview of Project Loon, Google’s Internet-by-balloon project.

Google is apparently putting up a bunch of “this site may be hacked” warnings today. “Many of the sites complaining are in the adult business but not all. There are some sites in the affiliate space, some in credit card sales, some publisher sites and more. I am not sure if this is a bug with Google’s hacked classifier or if there is a commonality between all these sites, such as they are all using the same CMS, which has a major security flaw that was exposed and thus they are all hacked?”

From Entrepreneur Magazine: Five tools for downloading and analyzing Twitter data.

Lifehacker has updated its list of the best Chromecast apps.

A new Web site shows immigrants to England during medieval times. “The new database, accessible to the public, shows that in 1440, the names of 14,500 individuals were recorded, at a time when the population of England was approximately two million.”

Google has launched its 2015 Science Fair. “From now through May 18, students around the world ages 13-18 can submit projects online across all scientific fields, from biology to computer science to anthropology and everything in between. Prizes include $100,000 in scholarships and classroom grants from Scientific American and Google, a National Geographic Expedition to the Galapagos, an opportunity to visit LEGO designers at their Denmark headquarters, and the chance to tour Virgin Galactic’s new spaceship at their Mojave Air and Spaceport. This year we’re also introducing an award to recognize an Inspiring Educator, as well as a Community Impact Award honoring a project that addresses an environmental or health challenge.”

More Google: it is pushing back against the FBI. “In particular, Google sounds the alarm over the FBI’s desire to ‘remotely’ search computers that have concealed their location – either through encryption or by obscuring their IP addresses using anonymity services such as Tor. Those government searches, Google says, ‘may take place anywhere in the world. This concern is not theoretical. … [T]he nature of today’s technology is such that warrants issued under the proposed amendment will in many cases end up authorizing the government to conduct searches outside the United States.'”

More More Google: Greenland is now on Google Street View. 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!