Short Morning Buzz, January 9th, 2015

UC San Diego is starting a Hellenic Studies Center, which will include a digital archive. “The center will feature an expansive digital archive detailing Greek history, people and settlement dispersion. Once completed, scholars will have access to high-definition renderings of Greek inscriptions, historical manuscripts, oral histories, archaeological surveys and more. The collection will be digitized and made public, allowing all who are interested in learning about the Hellenic world the opportunity to explore by date and region.”

Google is offering security tips for staying safe online. Most of these are common sense.

Cardiff Carnival is getting a digital archive.

The Whitney Museum has greatly expanded its online collections database. Here’s the Whitney announcement on Tumblr: “For the first time, our incomparable collection of twentieth-century and contemporary American art is available online. Explore over 21,000 works by more than 3,000 artists.”

A bicyclist has launched a database to track “close call” encounters between bicyclists and car drivers. “When a rider experiences a close call or hears curses shouted at them from a car window, he or she can report and geotag the incident on the database. According to Bicycling, when reporting an incident, a cyclist should provide the location, time, license plate number, car details, and a measure of the level of danger. Once a report is filed, Close Call will warn members within a 60-mile radius in case they also happen to run into the driver.”

The Louisiana Military Hall of Fame and Museum is creating an online database to document the service of veterans from Louisiana. “The Louisiana Military Hall of Fame and Museum in Abbeville is on a quest to archive the service of more than 500,000 Louisiana veterans…. The city of Abbeville and the Vermilion Parish Police Jury both put up the funds to create the online database and so far, the museum has added information for roughly 35,000 service members into the system.” Good morning, Internet…

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Google, Twitter, Toyota, More: Afternoon Buzz, January 8, 2015

Google has lost a hunk of search share, mostly because of Yahoo making a deal with Firefox. “Google’s slice of the U.S. search market fell to 75.2 percent in December from 79.3 percent a year ago, while Yahoo jumped to 10.4 percent from 7.4 percent, according to analytics firm StatCounter. That put Google at its smallest share of the U.S. Web search market since at least 2008, when StatCounter first started tracking the numbers, and the highest share for Yahoo since 2009.”

Hongkiat looks at 8 nifty Twitter bots.

A new Web site is available for finding reconstruction-era genealogy records for African-Americans. “Researchers can use the website’s interactive map to learn which of these services were located near their area of research interest. If the records are online, the map provides a link to the records that tell the stories of newly-freed former slaves in the United States. The site also maps the locations where African Americans who served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) fought in battle.”

The Library of Congress has acquired the archive of Camilo José Vergara. 400 images are already available for viewing at the LoC.

Toyota has released a huge number of patents related to hydrogen fuel cells. “Toyota will invite royalty-free use of approximately 5,680 fuel cell related patents held globally, including critical technologies developed for the new Toyota Mirai. The list includes approximately 1,970 patents related to fuel cell stacks, 290 associated with high-pressure hydrogen tanks, 3,350 related to fuel cell system software control and 70 patents related to hydrogen production and supply.”

The FTC has closed its investigation of Yelp without taking action.

Vestfold Museums of Norway has joined the Flickr Commons. “Vestfold is a consolidated museum located in Vestfold in the south-eastern part of Norway. The museums and archival institution in about one to two hours by train or car from Oslo, the capital. The museums are diverse, ranging from Viking and medieval history, the development of the cities of Tønsberg and Larvik, industrialization in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the history of whaling to contemporary art.”

YouTube will be adding native support for 360 degree videos. Good afternoon, Internet…

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Twitter, Moonpig, Microsoft, More: Morning Buzz, January 8, 2015

Krebs has a roundup of real-time attack trackers. “It seems nearly every day we’re reading about Internet attacks aimed at knocking sites offline and breaking into networks, but it’s often difficult to visualize this type of activity. In this post, we’ll take a look at multiple ways of tracking online attacks and attackers around the globe and in real-time.”

Nest has added 15 companies to its “Works with Nest” programs. “Among the new partners are Lutron, Insteon and Philips Hue. Each company built Nest products into its ecosystem. For example, now with the Lutron integration, homeowners can control their lights, shades and thermostat from the Lutron Caséta Wireless App, which also works with Lutron’s growing smart-home system.”

Lifehacker has started a health and fitness blog.

Apparently the Google News algorithm has over 200 factors. Remember when there were many great news search engines online? Seem to be fewer and fewer….

Greeting card web site Moonpig has had a huge security leak.

From Tuts+: How to build your own tweetstorm tool with the Twitter API.

More Twitter programming: Twitter has released some of its most-requested code on GitHub.

LinkedIn has updated its search feature.

The New York Public Library has posted a Web maps primer. “I was invited to the National Library of Colombia’s 2nd Digital Book Week as a speaker and to give a workshop on digital mapping tools. I thought it would be useful to share that workshop since it encompasses a lot of different processes and tools that make digital cartography today very accessible. It is a primer on working with various free web mapping tools so you can make your own awesome maps.”

All Reddit users are getting a couple of features previously available only to premium users. I am not good at Reddit.

Microsoft is open-sourcing WorldWide Telescope in 2015. “WorldWide Telescope began in 2007 as a research project, led from within Microsoft Research. Early partners included astronomers and educators from Caltech, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, the University of Chicago, and several NASA facilities. Thanks to these collaborations and Microsoft’s leadership, WWT has reached its goal of creating a free unified contextual visualization of the Universe with global reach that lets users explore multispectral imagery, all of which is deeply connected to scholarly publications and online research databases.”

Chronicling America has added a Puerto Rico newspaper. It’s the Gazeta de Puerto-Rico and covers 1837 to 1852.

Elsevier has announced Atlas, a new virtual journal. “Atlas showcases research that can (or already has) significantly impact(ed) people’s lives around the world. Articles published are selected by an external advisory board made up of representatives of some of the world’s most renowned Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), including the United Nations University and Oxfam. Every month the Board selects a paper from a shortlist of suggested articles published in any of Elsevier’s 1800+ journals. Once selected, the author(s) of the paper are awarded ‘The Atlas’ and work with a team of dedicated Atlas science journalists to summarize the research into an easy-to-digest, lay-friendly story format which will be published online. Additionally, all articles featured on Atlas will include a direct link to the full research paper on ScienceDirect which will be made freely available for all.”

Trucking newspaper Transport Topics has started an online archive. Good morning, Internet…

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SI, MS-DOS, USC, More: Evening Buzz, January 6, 2015

The Internet Archive now has 2,400 MS-DOS games playable online. Because they are in a conspiracy to make sure I don’t get any work done.

Two Smithsonian Institution galleries have released their entire collections online (mostly) for non-commercial use. “he free public resource—called ‘Open F|S’—will launch at, allowing anyone to explore and create with the collections, from anywhere in the world. The vast majority of the 40,000 artworks have never before been seen by the public, and more than 90 percent of the images will be in high-resolution and without copyright restrictions for non-commercial use.” Thanks for everyone who sent me a note about this, by the way! Y’all have my back.

Publishers Weekly has an update on Google’s ebook program. “…Google Play has emerged as a much more significant e-book force, particularly for Android, the operating system developed by Google. And it continues to gain traction. Of the 65 countries where Google Play Books is available, close to a third, or 21, were added in the past year, according to spokeswoman Gina Johnson.”

More Google: it has announced Google Cast speakers. “Some of the apps primed to work with Google Cast speakers include Pandora, Rdio, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, NPR One, Deezer and, of course, Google Play Music. Rather than drain a user’s mobile device by using it as the audio source, the speakers will instead pull audio content from the cloud.”

More More Google: it was asked to remove over 345 million allegedly pirate links in 2014. “Google doesn’t report yearly figures, but at TF we processed all the weekly reports and found that the number of URLs submitted by copyright holders last year surpassed the 345 million mark – 345,169,134 to be exact.” (TF stands for “TorrentFreak”.)

Wow! Over $500 million in Kickstarter pledges were made in 2014.

The University of Southern California will be putting testimonies of Armenian genocide online. “The USC Shoah Foundation and the Armenian Film Foundation signed an agreement in April 2010 to digitize the interviews of the late J. Michael Hagopian, recorded on film between 1972 and 2005. The entire collection is expected to be integrated with the archive by the fall.”

Facebook has purchased a voice-recognition startup. Okay, this could get weird.

Because I think topic-specific lists of Twitter accounts are interesting: 100 “must follow” Twitter feeds about tax, according to Forbes. Includes government, tax reformers, professors, CPAs, media, etc. 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!

Hart Island, Yahoo, FCC, More: Saturday Buzz, January 3rd, 2015

Hart Island, the potter’s field of New York City, now has an online map and database. People have been buried there for over a hundred years but this Web site focuses on the over 60,000 people who have been buried there since 1980.

It looks like Twitter is rolling out its “While you were away” feature. Not everybody has it, though.

The New York Times has an article on a search engine startup called Qwant. “Qwant’s other twist to the traditional search engine model is to include social media posts from services like Twitter directly in search results. When people use the company’s search engine, for example, four columns appear on the webpage that offer different takes on Internet queries. That ranges from traditional search results to something called Qnowledge Graph, which offers general information based on the search, drawn from sites including Wikipedia.”

OpenStreetMap is now moving outside the streets with an ambitious Amazonia-mapping project. “…once completed Mapazonia will be an important tool for environmental organizations — for example, those seeking to monitor and reduce Amazonian deforestation — and for humanitarian bodies to use in the event of disasters there. It’s a great example of OpenStreetMap stepping in to fill gaps left by commercial offerings that have no interest in mapping vast areas with few people and little business activity.”

The FCC will vote on Net Neutrality in February. “President Obama’s top telecom regulator, Tom Wheeler, told fellow FCC commissioners before the Christmas holiday that he intends to circulate a draft proposal internally next month with an eye toward approving the measure weeks later, said one official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the agency’s deliberations are ongoing. The rules are meant to keep broadband providers such as Verizon and Comcast from speeding up or slowing down some Web sites compared to others.”

Yahoo and Bing both had a bit of downtime today, but they’re back now.

Google has released information on a Windows 8.1 bug that Microsoft has not yet fixed. Google apparently gave MS 90 days to fix it, and when it wasn’t fixed…

Just in case you need yet another warning/reason/cautionary tale to encourage you to not use horrible passwords, here ya go.

Are you the local myth-debunker for your family, or your office, or your group of Facebook friends? This breakdown of 86 viral images from 2014 and their backstories may be useful.

Lifehacker looks at Kanbanote, which turns Evernote notes into Trello-like boards. (Trello is a to-do manager that many people quite like.)

Snapchat’s privacy practices will be monitored for the next 20 years. “The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved its final order with Snapchat, compelling the California startup to submit to an independent privacy monitor for 20 years and to not ‘misrepresent in any manner…the extent to which respondent or its products or services maintain and protect the privacy, security, or confidentiality of any covered information.'”

TheNextWeb looks at 10 useful Chrome extensions to try in 2015. Includes a Web site change monitor.

Robots can now learn to cook by watching YouTube videos. “The demonstration is the latest impressive use of a type of artificial intelligence called deep learning. A hot area for acquisitions as of late, deep learning entails training systems called artificial neural networks on lots of information derived from audio, images, and other inputs, and then presenting the systems with new information and receiving inferences about it in response.”

Yahoo is apparently thinking about buying a major cable network like CNN. This is a stupid idea. Yahoo has already torched a great deal of its news credibility with those giant, poorly-delineated sponsored ads on its news feed and now it wants to buy a news network? GAH! 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!