Bing, FamilySearch, Google, More: Afternoon Buzz, February 7th, 2015

Bing’s got a guide to the GRAMMYs and a bunch of predictions too.

Anytime anyone says “PowerPoint alternative” I just get all happy. Check out Bunkr. Read the comments on this article, though: I do agree about an offline mode.

YouTube has released a blog post of Super Bowl viewing stats.

Mashable has a brief overview of Tumblr’s new features.

FamilySearch has a new record add. “Notable collection updates include the 2,259,307 indexed records and images from the U.S., Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists, 1820–1891 collection; the 392,161 images from the United States, Freedmen’s Bureau, Records of the Assistant Commissioner, 1865–1872 collection; and the 49,136 indexed records from the El Salvador Civil Registration, 1704–1977 collection. ”

Windows XP and Windows 7 stubbornly hold on to market share, according to article in PC World (Warning! PC World!)

Ars Technica is reporting about a potentially-dangerous security bug in Internet Explorer. “The vulnerability is known as a universal cross-site scripting (XSS) bug. It allows attackers to bypass the same origin policy, a crucially important principle in Web application models that prevents one site from accessing or modifying browser cookies or other content set by any other site. A proof-of-concept exploit published in the past few days shows how websites can violate this rule when people use supported versions of Internet Explorer running the latest patches to visit maliciously crafted pages.”

Rumors: is Apple planning its own search engine? “After initially being the best of friends, Apple and Google are in the midst of a not-so-cold war, thanks largely to Mountain View’s decision to get involved in the smartphone battle. That’s led to Apple reducing its reliance on Google, even doing things that upset its users like removing Google Maps and YouTube as default iOS apps. More subtle changes have come through Siri, which taps services like Bing, Yahoo and Wikipedia for information, rather than Google. These small changes have helped marginalize Google’s hold on iOS users, and flipping the switch on Apple Search in Safari would be a continuation of its efforts in this area.”

Google Registry has launched the .HOW domain. “We believe .HOW can become an intuitive way for creators and consumers to share, identify and discover some of the best learning content on the web. Now you can buy a simple, memorable and meaningful .HOW domain name of your own, sending a clear message that your content is there to teach people something great.”

More Google: Google and Twitter are getting together again, with tweets to start showing up in Google’s search engine. “In the first half of this year, tweets will start to be visible in Google’s search results as soon as they’re posted, thanks to a deal giving the Web company access to Twitter’s firehose, the stream of data generated by the microblogging service’s 284 million users, people with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday. Google previously had to crawl Twitter’s site for the information, which will now be visible automatically.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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David Byrne, Kickstarter, Pennsylvania Roller Coasters, More: Sunday Morning Buzz, May 18, 2014

David Byrne thinks Google is Evil. Read the article and then wonder if Google will dare fling a C&D at him for the logo job.

Which UK and US universities are the most infuential on Twitter, according to THE?

From Amit Agarwal – Getting more advanced GMail filters with Google Scripts.

Bing has added more “Snapshot” information, this time for food and drugs.

Copyblogger has posted an extensive article on its lessons from running a Kickstarter campaign.

What should you post on Pinterest? Apparently it depends on the day of the week.

Yow. Yahoo Likely to Slip Below 10% Search Share Next Month. “In July 2009 when the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal was first announced Yahoo had 19.3 percent of the US search market according to comScore data. Microsoft had 8.9 percent. Now the numbers are almost exactly reversed and Google’s share is 3 points higher than in 2009. So much for strengthening competition.” I guess the question “Is Yahoo a search or a media company” is pretty much moot; it better be a media company or it’s doomed.

Google Play, now with PayPal support.

Facebook continues its quest to belt sand all my nerves with the addition of an ‘Ask’ button. “Now, when Facebook users peek at friends in their network on desktop Web browsers, they’ll see an ‘ask’ button on a profile’s top-left ‘about’ box when pertinent information has been left blank. (These ‘ask’ buttons also appear when clicking through a user’s profile on mobile browsers.)”

Pennsylvania’s amusement park safety records are going online. “Just four inspectors in the department’s Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards cover 800 ride operators. Reports last year showed flaws in how the department handles inspection records, said Michael Rader, executive director of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.”

The British Library wants your help tagging its comic art.

Google has released a Hangouts extension for Outlook. 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!

19th Century Medical Books, Bing, Archives, More: Thursday Morning Buzz, March 27, 2014

Bing has launched product ads.

Twitter is going to let you tag people in photos. You’ll also be able to share multiple photos in one tweet, which is nice.

Library and Archives Canada has launched an initial set of Alberta Residential School photos. More are coming. “Some 150,000 Aboriginal children attended over 130 residential schools located across the country.”

The Wellcome Library has undertaken a huge project to digitize 25,000 19th century medical books. “As with the Wellcome Library’s own collections we are interpreting ‘medicine’ quite broadly, to include related sciences, consumer health, sport and fitness and food and nutrition, as well as kinds of medical practice – mesmerism, phrenology and hydrotherapy, for example – that have since fallen out of favour, but which were important in their time.”

OOoooh, Lifehacker! How to stream your movie collection anywhere with Google Drive. This article also goes into other media like music.

Fun from Mashable: 10 Amazing Google Earth & Maps Discoveries.

More Google: A new Web tool lets you search Google without being tracked: “Disconnect routes your searches through a proxy before the major search engines receive your request. This way, it looks to Google or Bing like the search request is coming from Disconnect and they never know any information about you.”

A bunch of new collections are available at “These birth, death, and marriage indexes from Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, and Montana contain more than 10 million records.” 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!

Bing, Twitter, Fold3, More: Wednesday Morning Buzz, February 12, 2014

Interesting: a Web service that aggregates quotes you gather across the Internet. It’s called Gloss.

Have you heard about OpportunitySpace? It’s developing online databases of publicly-owned land and buildings in various municipal areas, and has launched its first properties database, for Louisville, Kentucky. “The comprehensive catalog brings together property data from various government agencies and centralizes it in a single, searchable website that is free and open to the public. One of its current uses is for the city’s ‘Lots of Possibilities’ land use redevelopment competition for vacant properties, in which residents can submit ideas to repurpose a vacant lot in the city.”

Duke Digital Collections has added over 300 newly-digitized interviews to its Behind the Veil: Documenting African-American Life in the Jim Crow South digital collection. ” The new interviews are specifically focussed on North Carolina residents. Although several regions are represented, many interviews focus on the Charlotte, Durham and Enfield regions of the state.”

In recognition of Black History Month, Fold3 is making all publications in its Black History Collection free through the end of February.

Apparently Twitter is testing an interface design that looks a lot like Facebook. Because all Facebook users are just thrilled with how Facebook presents content, right? I think my head just exploded.

If this is true, ewww! Bing! Is Bing censoring Chinese-language search results in the US? “Searches first conducted by anti-censorship campaigners at FreeWeibo, a tool that allows uncensored search of Chinese blogs, found that Bing returns radically different results in the US for English and Chinese language searches on a series of controversial terms.”

More Bing: Bing is now offering Bitcoin conversion. (And Google apparently still isn’t?)

What a lovely idea for a Tumblr: curated public domain photos.

Old schoolin': apparently the Search Engine Watch forums have gone offline. But is it for good? 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!

Bing’s Buffet of Special Syntax

Monday was a historic day — I gave my first BingSquee. That is, I read an entry in a Bing blog, looked up the associated content, and my resulting “SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE!” was heard for miles around. I’m fairly sure I broke windows.

What was I squeememorating? This recent post on the Bing Community blog, noting that there’s now a guide to Bing query language. Now, there are few things I like more than a good collection of query syntax for search engines. And when I saw Bing’s, I was thrilled. Let me show you some of the highlights, but I also want to encourage you to explore the syntax for yourself.

The guide actually comes in several flavors for but I’m focusing on the HTML version, available at Before you dive into the syntax take a look at the Operator Precedence page, so you can be sure you’re setting things up in the right order. Then click on “Advanced Operator Reference” for lots of fun, including:

contains: — Used with a keyword and finds pages that have links to a specific kind of filetype (as opposed to filetype:, which finds results of a specific kind of filetype.) For example, specification template contains:pdf.

inbody: — Searches for a specified words just in the HTML or metadata of a web page. For example, site:edu inbody:”key performance indicator”.

near: — A real proximity syntax! Use near: with an integer to specify two keywords and how close they should be to each other. For example, “web-based” near:3 dashboard.

norelax: — Apparently Bing has a pretty hard query word restriction: “Bing implements relaxcount for a 5+ word query by default; that is, the fifth word in a query and subsequent appears do not necessarily appear in results.” norelax: used with a query word means it would not be subject to this restriction. You can get a good sense of how this works by trying to query one two three four five snowblower avocado, which gives you about 6200 results, and the query one two three four five norelax:snowblower norelax:avocado, which has 3,920. (That still seems like a lot…)

This list isn’t, of course, all the syntax available, just what I thought was the most interesting. I was also intrigued by feed:, which was supposed to find RSS/ATOM feeds, and hasfeed:, which was supposed to find sites containing feeds, but I couldn’t get either of them to work. Most of the syntax I played with allowed you to stack it together (site:gov contains:pdf “proposed budget” or intitle:news contains:pdf site:edu norelax:autism norelax:study but I didn’t do exhaustive testing.

I knew Bing offered some special syntax but I wasn’t aware it was this extensive. If the feed: option worked I could see myself using that a lot. I will definitely compare the near: operator to the old trick I currently use with Google (“web-based * * dashboard”). Worth a look.