IFTTT, Arizona, Twitter, More: Afternoon Buzz, July 9, 2014

Interesting from TechDirt: Distributed search engines, and why we need them in the post-Snowden world. “One of the many important lessons from Edward Snowden’s leaks is that centralized services are particularly vulnerable to surveillance, because they offer a single point of weakness. The solution is obvious, in theory at least: move to decentralized systems where subversion of one node poses little or no threat to the others. Of course, putting this into practice is not so straightforward. That’s especially true for search engines: creating distributed systems that are nonetheless capable of scaling so that they can index most of the Web is hard.”

A digital archive providing history of Jews in Morocco is now available online. The collection is in its preliminary stages, but: “The collection at the museum consists of documents both sacred and secular from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries; items range from canonical Jewish texts to community records and public notices.”

IFTTT, in a continuing attempt to make my head spin, now has a Manything channel.

First it was Nebraska, now Arizona homestead records will be digitized. (Hat tip Genealogy Blog.)

The Commonweath War Graves Commission has updated its online archives. “The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, has completed a five-year project to digitise more than 300,000 documents relating to those who died in the two world wars. Updated online archives, launched yesterday to coincide with the centenary of the First World War, will make it easier for people to find information about family members and loved ones who died during the two world wars.”

From PC World: How to avoid PUPs and shovelware.

Paper at MIT: Twitter as Social Sensor: Dynamics and Structure in Major Sporting Events. “Twitter often behaves like a ‘social sensor’ in which users actively sense real-world events and spontaneously mention these events in cyberspace. Here, we study the temporal dynamics and structural properties of Twitter as a social sensor in major sporting events. By examining Japanese professional baseball games, we found that Twitter as a social sensor can immediately show reactions to positive and negative events by a burst of tweets, but only positive events induce a burst of retweets to follow. In addition, retweet networks during the baseball games exhibit clear polarization in user clusters depending on baseball teams, as well as a scale-free in-degree distribution. These empirical findings provide mechanistic insights into the emergence and evolution of social sensors.” Download a free PDF paper at the same link.

Whoops: big Flash security flaw. Go patch.

TIME asks: How smart are your tweets? You can test the grade level of your tweets at http://www.beakscore.com/ . ResearchBuzz scored an 8.8. Good afternoon, Internet…

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E-Books, Music Vault, Android, More: Morning Buzz, July 9, 2014

SEO, but an interesting slant: How to use Wikipedia for keyword research.

From PC World (WARNING! PC WORLD!) How to make great charts and graphics in Excel.

From Wired: How Google Map hackers can destroy businesses at will. Google has absolutely — and please excuse my language, it’s the only word that serves — shitty oversight of Google Maps listings. From the small business side, I have no love for Google Maps.

Free from Microsoft: a huge e-book collection! “Although the individual books in the collection have been available previously for those who knew where to look, Microsoft’s Eric Ligman has posted a collection to MSDN which makes locating and downloading your topics of choice significantly easier. Impressively, the collection includes more than 300 titles – and every single one is available cost-free.”

In case you’re still using it, Guy Kawasaki shares some tips for creating a terrific Google+ profile. He says I need a mantra. How about Nuts about searching?

Quick tips from Mashable: 5 Alternatives to Unfriending Someone on Facebook.

It’s boggling enough that YouTube brought in over $3 billion in advertising last year. But more boggling is the fact that this is apparently couch cushion money to Google. “If the figure is accurate, it would account for just seven percent of the $58 billion the search giant brought in 2013.”

Music Vault has put 12,000 concert clips on YouTube. It totals almost 2000 hours of content. You didn’t have anything else to do, right?

I’m actually happy with Google Voice, but I’m constantly worried it’s going to get suddenly killed off. So I’m hanging on to this article from Lifehacker about ditching Google Voice while keeping all its best features.

No, I didn’t. Maybe you don’t either. From Hongkiat: 8 Tumblr Limitations You Probably Don’t Know.

Fortune Magazine reviews Android Wear. I think they gave it a Meh+.

Ooo. How to use your Android tablet as a second laptop screen.

Oh good grief. I have to worry about a billion other daily Internet security concerns, and now I have to worry about a smart lightbulb giving up my WiFi password? I think I’ll be passing on the Internet of Things for now. Good morning, Internet…

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GMail, Iowa, Twitter, More: Morning Buzz, July 8, 2014

GMail supports 13 more languages. That’s a total of 71 if you’re counting. “These 13 new languages are joining the Gmail family: Afrikaans, Armenian, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Chinese (Hong Kong), French (Canada), Galician, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian, Nepali, Sinhala, and Zulu.”

Monitoring/trend tool Bottlenose has some new features.

Christopher Null explains it all. Well, not everything. But he does lay out Google’s different Drive offerings.

More Google: Google Street View — now for cruise ships.

More More Google: it’s still ironing out all the kinks in this “right to be forgotten” idea. ” Google’s efforts to carry out a European court order on the “right to be forgotten” took another twist on Friday as the company restored search-engine links to several newspaper articles from The Guardian whose delinking had stirred a public furor only a day earlier.”

A new historical Iowa newspaper archive is now available online. “It holds historic editions of The Messenger, the Fort Dodge Daily Chronicle, the Gowrie News, Dayton Leader and more dating back to 1856.”

Twitter and the World Cup. The World Cup and Twitter. “This World Cup could have been designed for Twitter – it’s the perfect conduit for mutterings. In the US it’s been pointed out that it may do for soccer what radio did for baseball, allowing fringe supporters such as Stonestreet and millions of other Americans a way to come closer to the fire.”

Beth M. tipped me to a nifty blog called Rare Cooking. Early modern (1600-1800) recipes are updated for today and tried out. Very new but I like what I see so far.

On the drawing board: a new encrypted instant messaging project.

Social Media Examiner has an interesting article on how to schedule and edit Facebook posts. Too bad that Facebook’s organic reach is getting so rotten that it hardly seems worth the effort.

Interesting: a concept redesign of Wikipedia.

But do they have DF Tram? Lifehacker looks at Four alternatives to SoundCloud.

Genealogists, if you want to contribute to GenForum, You better hurry up. 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!

Drones, Commons, IFTTT, More: Monday Buzz, July 7, 2014

How time flies. Google Reader shut down over a year ago, and The Digital Reader asks, “Is anything different?” Not to me. RSS seems as available as it has been for the last several years, and I finally abandoned NewsBlur and LifeRea and consolidated everything into Digg Reader.

Chrome and Firefox developers are adding virtual reality support. I’m old so the first thing I thought was: VRML!

The National Archives Wants to put its whole collection on Wikimedia Commons. Yeah!

Feeling cutting-edge? Here ya go: A beginner’s guide to using personal drones legally.

20 IFTTT recipes to supercharge your iPhone. Oooo… Siri to Evernote.

More IFTTT: Five IFTTT Recipes that Make Android Wear Irresistible.

Microsoft has six security bulletins planned for Patch Tuesday.

Silly: a collection of tweets that use every letter of the alphabet.

Pew looks at threats to the future of the Internet — and they’re really depressing. Good morning, Internet…

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Arizona, FTC, Crypto, More: Short Sunday Buzz, July 6, 2014

From Edudemic: Why (And How) Teachers are Using Twitter.

TechCrunch has a writeup on StepUp, a tool that lets you break down YouTube videos into smaller bits. “The basic idea is to give the average online consumer the ability to chain together and tag/annotate video snippets — cutting a single longer original video down to size as a highlight snippet. Or combining multiple highlights into a sequence of easily digestible chunks that can be used to structure and navigate the video content to aid learning.”

It’s not a fun read, but Tom Krazit’s Why You Can No Longer Expect That the News Will Find You” is important for anyone who tries to consume news on social media, especially Facebook. “The public’s need to be informed is a secondary concern to these companies. Their foremost instinct is to keep their users engaged with their web sites, and they are clearly willing to manipulate the presentation of that content in order to surface the things that they believe will drive engagement.” I remember someone talking to me around 1994 about the delivery of personalized content. “You’ll only get the things you want!” they said. Then and now I find the idea appalling. “How the hell do you know what I want?” It’s one thing to ask and specify, another thing entirely to guess, or algorithm, or however you want to put it.

The FTC has received a complaint over Facebook’s emotion maniupulation study. “The Electronic Privacy Information Center also wants the FTC to force Facebook to make the algorithm public that controls what users see in their News Feeds. Facebook regularly tweaks its News Feed algorithm to ensure that users see the most relevant posts, it analyzes hundreds of data points to ascertain what could be of value. Its unlikely that Facebook would agree to bring out its core algorithm in full view of the public.”

From Hongkiat: 10 Free Crypto Apps to Help Protect Your Online Privacy.

The Arizona Geological Survey has added thousands of maps and files (mostly maps) to its archive. “The maps reflect the changing nature of mining and exploration in Arizona during the 20th century. Most maps from the early to mid century are of two common varieties. There are plan maps showing mining claims along with geology and surface features. A large number are longitudinal sections of mines underground workings often providing sample locations and associate widths and metallic grades. Later 20th century maps are commonly focused on surface exploration efforts covering large areas.” 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!

DuckDuckGo, GitHub, FamilySearch, More: Saturday Buzz, July 5, 2014

Google is launching third-party Android Wear apps.

Larry Ferlazzo continues to build his list of the best Web sites for information on World War I.

Hey, okay! 5 Things DuckDuckGo does Better Than Google. I did not know DuckDuckGo had a password generator.

A new tool hopes to monitor the accessiblity of Web pages around the world. “The tool, dubbed Encore, developed by Georgia Tech researchers can be installed by adding a single line of code to a Web page. The tool runs when a user visits a website where the code is installed and then discreetly collects data from potentially censored sites. The researchers hope the data they collect will allow them to determine the wheres, whens and hows of what’s blocked, as well as identify ways to get around restricted access.”

OOOOOOOO: Offline browsing secrets in Chrome.

A company claiming to represent Qualcomm has gone takedown mad all over GitHub. “A company claiming to represent Qualcomm has shut down a number of repositories on source-code sharing site GitHub under provisions of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) – including at least one repository belonging to Qualcomm itself.”

From Green Bot: How to train Google Now to show you better cards. I suspect some of you will find these tips to involve way too much information sharing with Google.

How-To Geek has an article about installing modern Linux distros. If you want to try Linux, please read this article – installation is so much easier than it was even four or five years ago, and infinitely easier than it was several years ago! (I think my first try at Linux was around 1998, with Caldera!)

Facebook just admitted to a month-long “discrepancy” in reported reach and engagement metrics. “If the reach and engagement metrics you’ve seen on your Facebook page seem a little off, it’s because there’s been a bug affecting those figures. Facebook admitted to many page owners today that there is a discrepancy between the reported reach admins see on posts and the actual reach and engagement of a post.” Facebook, are you TRYING to make me hate you?

It’s summer, but FamilySearch will not slow down. It has added another heap of records. “Notable collection updates include the 466,156 indexed records from the Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1514–1970, collection; the 522,882 indexed records and 522,882 images from the U.S., BillionGraves Index, collection; and the 530,556 indexed records from U.S., Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists Index, 1800–1906, collection.”

The Department of Defense has updated its Education Directory for Children with Special Needs. This directory is not just for military families and provides a lot of useful information.

And from our “Are you surprised?” department, Millions of people are watching the World Cup using illegal live streams. 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, Pi, San Mateo, More: Friday Buzz, July 4, 2014

From Inc: “Three free tools I use to spy on my competitors”.

Google and Chicago Public Libraries are teaming up to allow patrons to check out robots that teach programming. “They’re small motorized robots on wheels that are slightly larger than your hand and were designed at Carnegie Mellon University.”

Matt Cutts, one of the most visible faces in search, is taking some extended time off. Good for him. Take a nap for me, Matt.

Speaking of Matt Cutts, Jason Calacanis apparently hates him for the failure of Mahalo. While there are plenty of reasons to criticize Google for the way it ranks sites and its lack of transparency, hating specifically on Matt Cutts seems a bit extreme…

Google Street View + museums with mirrors = Street View Selfies.

More Google: Google has banned porn ads from search results.

Hey! Turning Instagram photos into View-Master reels.

The San Mateo County History Museum has gone online. “Organizers of the new online exhibit said that like most museums, only a small portion of the collection is on display in the museum’s galleries, with thousands of objects and archival items kept in secure storage until they are needed for exhibition or research purposes. This new online program will allow museum patrons to potentially view 15,000 three-dimensional objects and 200,000 archival items. “

This article I need: 11 Ways to Avoid Technical Glitches with Google Hangouts.

Pi R Nifty: Using Raspberry Pi as a Google Cloud Print Server.

BillionGraves and The Federation of Genealogical Societies are partnering to image all cemetery markers of War of 1812 participants. “BillionGraves and The Federation of Genealogical Societies are asking anyone with knowledge of a cemetery marker for a War of 1812 veteran to upload the image of the marker to the BillionGraves website (www.billiongraves.com) using their free mobile application during the month of July to honor and remember the service of those who served in the ‘Second Revolution.’” 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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