Blog Archives

Qatar, Red Cross, Yahoo, More: Evening Buzz, October 24th, 2014

Facebook has launched a new tool for the 2014 elections. “You can click on the map and find, for instance, that while Senator McConnell may be winning the horse race in ‘likes,’ he’s lost in the dust of buzz about his competitor. Roughly three times more people are talking about Ms. Grimes, based on Facebook comments and ‘shares’ of content.”

Google has announced add-ons for Forms. “To give you even more flexibility and options, we’re introducing add-ons for Forms—new tools, created by developer partners, that deliver even more features to your surveys (just like add-ons for Docs and Sheets). Add-ons bring handy extras to your survey building experience, like setting a survey end date, sending custom emails based on responses, storing lists of choices that you frequently add to questions, and more.”

A thorny problem: archiving and digitizing the art of the 2014 Hong Kong protests.

The British Red Cross has released an online database with information about people who volunteered with the organization during World War I. Information on 30,000 volunteers is available with more coming online in the coming months.

Brilliant. A guy is travelling all over Manhattan documenting cornerstones. “For the past six years, the 39-year-old real-estate lawyer has been combing both sides of every street in Manhattan in a quest to document the dated, inscribed rocks that serve as birth certificates for buildings. By foot and on bike, often accompanied by his Labradoodle named Martin, Mr. McCracken has amassed an online archive of the island’s 1,100-plus surviving cornerstones.”

A new, free plug-in checks for bugs in spreadsheet data. “CheckCell, which automatically finds data errors in spreadsheets, was developed as a plugin for Microsoft’s popular Excel program….To develop CheckCell, Berger and graduate students Barowy and Dimitar Gochev used a combination of statistical analysis and data flow analysis to flag inputs that have an unusual impact on the program’s output. They evaluated the procedure against a collection of real-world spreadsheets such as budgets and student grades. They introduced common errors into the spreadsheets, then asked the plug-in tool to find them.”

There’s a new tool under development for archiving Web sites. “Rhizome has already developed a rough prototype of a tool that records all the content you experience on a website as you click around, then uses that information to create a simulation of the website that you or someone else can explore again however you want.”

Yahoo has launched Yahoo Parenting. “Whether you’re a mom, dad, grandpa, aunt, caretaker or guardian, parents come in all shapes and sizes. They are teachers, sounding boards, moral compasses and so much more. Today, we’re launching Yahoo Parenting: a new digital magazine that shares honest stories, relatable anecdotes, trusted advice, and the latest news to help parents of all kinds raise a happy and healthy family.”

MIT has a new page that summarizes research funder open access requirements. “US federal agencies with more than $100 Million annually in R&D will be issuing their open access requirements in coming months, and those policies will be summarized on this web page as details become available.”

The British Library and the Qatar National Library have teamed up to launch the Qatar Digital Library. “The modern history and culture of the Gulf and wider region, particularly its connection with Britain, are vividly documented in personal and official archives, photographs, maps and recordings of traditional music held at the British Library. Insights into the history of science in the Arabic-speaking world and Arabic cultural heritage are also held in the depths of the Library.” 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!

Facebook, NSA, Bing, More: Saturday Buzz, June 28, 2014

According to an article in A.V. Club, Facebook tinkered with users’ feeds for a giant psychology experiment.

Mashable breaks down the World Cup numbers.

Wait a minute. The NSA did a transparency report? Based on this TechCrunch article I would say it’s more of an opaquity report.

The Philippines now has an online library locator.

What did Lance Armstrong’s drug scandal have to do with Twitter? University of Louisville researchers tried to figure it out.

Microsoft will no longer be sending security notifications by e-mail. Big thanks to Mike G., who forwarded the — uh, e-mail — he got about this. “Readers of Shavlik’s Patchmanagement.org list-serve are pointing to a new Canadian antispam law that takes effect on July 1 as the cause. The law, described here and here, is aimed at curbing unsolicited e-mails. It prohibits the sending of electronic mail to recipients unless they have consented to receiving it.” Microsoft is offering RSS feeds as an alternative.

Bing has updated its search to make Twitter content easier to find. “With Bing’s latest round of new Twitter-related search features, users now can perform hashtag searches to find topics trending on the social media platform, as well as search for specific Twitter handles and celebrity-related tweets.”

Are social search engines back? The International Business Times has an article on startup ttwick.

The Library of Congress has a cool story about the Georgetown Law Library’s project to digitize early legal dictionaries. 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!

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? http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/top-100-most-influential-uk-and-us-universities-on-twitter/2013373.article

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!

IE, Heartbleed, Denmark, More: Monday Buzz, April 28, 2014

This is definitely the headline news of the morning: there is a zero-day security issue in every version of Internet Explorer. Every one. Including the ones in XP that won’t get patched. “Attacks taking advantage of the vulnerability are largely targeting IE versions 9, 10, and 11 in something called a ‘use after free’s attack. Essentially, the attack corrupts data as soon as memory has been released, most likely after users have been lured to phony websites.” If you are using IE (and I hope you aren’t) your best bet is to switch to some other browser until Microsoft issues a patch.

A little outside the normal ResearchBuzz stuff but it showed up in my Google Alerts yesterday morning and I really liked it. Rhode Island School of Design professor Clara Lieu has been doing an “Ask the Art Professor” column for a year now, and in this blog post summarizes all the available columns. There are about a hundred of them, and while some of them are very specific to art (“How Can I Learn to Draw Noses?”), many of them were relevant to the creative process in general. Professor Lieu’s column continues and is now available at the Huffington Post.

I love me some screenshot/screencast tools. Lifehacker has a writeup on one called TinyTake. Windows only, alas.

Wisconsin fishermen have a new resource for finding particular fish species. A new tool lets users search for 160 species by county or habitat types.

I’m still following Heartbleed. If you’re like me and are taking both a practical and nerdy interest in it, you’ll like this article from Rubin Xu on how he stole a server’s private key using Heartbleed.

More security: apparently a person figured out how to DDOS a site using Facebook Notes, but Facebook isn’t going to give them a bug bounty. (“…the conclusion is that there’s no real way to us fix this that would stop ‘attacks’ against small consumer grade sites without also significantly degrading the overall functionality. Unfortunately, so-called ‘won’t fix’ items aren’t eligible under the bug bounty program, so there won’t be a reward for this issue.”) The other large post on this very new blog is an overview of how a site can be DDOS’d using Google Spreadsheets, which they also won’t be getting a bug bounty for….

Lifehacker has a handy tip for finding all those forgotten accounts with a simple e-mail search. Using specific vocabularies in search is very, very handy.

BetaList has a link to GMail tool Sortd, which sounds almost too good to be true. “Sortd is a smart workspace for Gmail that lets you manage your work, tasks and email all in one place (right inside Gmail). Drag important emails out of your Inbox onto a set of personalized priority lists, where you can see a birds-eye view of everything you have on the go.”

From the design end of things: 7 Things I Wish Every Search Box Did. “Great search experience is all about speed and relevance. You want to provide the right result for minimum effort. Your product needs a search engine that thinks like your users, and one that understands from a few letters exactly what is being searched for. How do you do that? Here’s 7 ways.”

WOW: the entire country of Denmark has been replicated in Minecraft.

Joyce Valenza takes a quick look at Vellum, a New York Times experiment for content discovery on Twitter. If I didn’t have Nuzzel I’d be all over this. As it is, it’s interesting.

Ever wonder just how big Big Data is? Check out this Mashable article on the lengths a woman went to in order to hide knowledge of her pregnancy from the Internet. It went a lot, lot further than just not mentioning it on Facebook. 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!

Facebook, Twitter, Google, More: Friday Night Buzz, April 25, 2014

Useful from MakeUseOf: 10 Common Web Tasks You Can Do Without Signing Up. Had not heard of many of these. Tasks include sending mail, joining a video call, and file conversion.

Facebook has acquired fitness app Moves.

More Facebook: it has launched the FB Newswire. “According to Andy Mitchell, Facebook’s director of news and global media partnerships, FB Newswire is intended to help journalists and editors discover and embed newsworthy content from Facebook in their news content, as well as find primary sources to inform coverage of big events.”

More More Facebook: The NYT ruminates on Facebook’s “existential crisis”. (There’s a Gwyneth Paltrow “uncoupling” joke in here somewhere but I can’t find it.)

So apparently Google Glass isn’t really on sale for everybody yet. (And I still don’t want one.)

Meanwhile, Forbes calls Google’s Glass Explorer Program a social experiment that backfired.

From Buffer: The Scientific Guide to Pinterest Marketing. I need “The Scientific Guide to Getting Pinterest in the First Place.”

Also from Buffer: Advanced tips for using Twitter. I actually got sucked into this one and did some following housecleaning. I was following people who hadn’t posted since 2009, which was a little silly…

Oooh, okay: 5 Free Apps for Taking Great Notes. 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!

Mocavo, Facebook, Timelines, More: No-Foolin’ Morning Buzz, April 1, 2014

Today’s April Fool’s, and I don’t play. I’m sure I’ll have a Fool-ish roundup tomorrow, but in the meantime here’s a little something to get you started: Google’s Pokemon Challenge.

Oh, why not: 9 weird Chrome extensions. I like the Doge one.

The Isle of Wight County Press is getting an online archive. “Working with Island web company Matrix Create, we have digitised the extensive archive of Isle of Wight County Press editions, dating back to our launch in 1884.” This is a pay archive.

Should Apple buy Yahoo? Here’s one take. Oh, ick. Ick ick ick ick ick ick.

How does Dropbox know when you’re sharing copyrighted stuff without actually looking at the stuff? Here’s the explanation. Interesting read.

Genealogy search engine Mocavo has added a bunch of new features to celebrate its 300K databases.

Google and Facebook are being sued over “incomprehensible” privacy policies.

More Facebook: if you have too many things set to public, Facebook may give you a “Privacy Checkup.”

The MIT Technology Review always has fun articles: The Anatomy of a Forgotten Social Network: “The most significant difference between Tumblr and its bigger cousin, Twitter, is that there is no limit to the size of the posts that users can create. By contrast, Twitter imposes the famous 140-character limit on all of its posts. Tumblr also supports multimedia posts, such as images, audio, and video.” (Tumblr and Twitter are cousins?)

Michigan State had an interesting writeup about a timeline creation tool called Tiki Toki. I’m gonna have to check this out.

There’s always great stuff on the Social Media Examiner. How Boolean search improves your social media monitoring. 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!

How to Turn Your Facebook “Likes” Into RSS Feeds

As you probably know doing ResearchBuzz is not my real job; I love it but “love” and “pays the electric bill” are sometimes quite a ways apart.

However I have been consciously working to become more efficient in my information gathering and writing (you may have noticed that the daily ‘Buzz has been a lot more consistent since last December) and I have been trying to set aside more time to write.

That came to fruition this month when I wrote my first article in a long time. It was for IT World and it’s called
How to make a Facebook Page RSS list in 6 easy steps. You can read it here (it’s free):

http://www.itworld.com/it-management/410122/how-make-facebook-page-rss-list-6-easy-steps

If you use Facebook for resource gathering, Facebook’s throttling of how many Page posts reach fans can be very frustrating. In the article I outline a way to turn your “Liked” Facebook pages into a set of RSS feeds that you can easily monitor without worrying about what Facebook is going to decide to put in your newsfeed.

I hope you like it. And I hope I get the opportunity to write more articles like this.

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