Museums, Open Data, Coastal Flooding, More: Monday Morning Buzz, May 18th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

A new version of The Open Data Handbook is now available. “The Open Data Handbook elaborates on the what, why & how of open data. In other words – what data should be open, what are the social and economic benefits of opening that data, and how to make effective use of it once it is opened. The handbook is targeted at a broad audience, including civil servants, journalists, activists, developers, and researchers as well as open data publishers.”

Now available: a database on Canadian-related terrorism events. “Quebec has been at the centre of 42 percent of Canada’s terrorist events over the last 50 years, according to a new Canadian research database on terrorism. The database lists 1,185 terrorist or extremist acts involving Canadians that took place between 1960 and 2014, a list that includes 410 events that took place abroad.”

Now available: a database of coastal flooding events in the UK. “To improve our understanding of coastal flooding, and to assess just how unusual 2013-14 was, we have compiled a new database and described in Scientific Data. Our work provides a systematic UK-wide record of coastal floods over the past hundred years. It currently contains data on 96 major floods, with information for each on the storm that generated it, the high-water level reached, and the severity of coastal flooding.”

USEFUL STUFF

Bookshelves of Doom (great blog name) has a roundup of new book recommendation sites and engines along with a link to a more extensive list that was put up a couple of years ago.

Interesting: rescuing archival manuscripts with dry ice.

Thesis Whisper has a great article on becoming a “literature searching ninja”. How to build different questions and use different language/vocabulary for your search. It seems to me this would be useful for anything, not just scientific literature searching.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Fit has gotten an update. “For starters, Fit can now track distances and calories. Fire up the app to see how far you’ve gone and how much you’ve burned in the process. Google has tweaked the look a bit, and you can now group your fitness history by days, weeks, and months.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The Guggenheim is donating 100 of its artworks’ images to Wikipedia. “On May 19, the Guggenheim will host its second Wikipedia “edit-a-thon” and is donating 100 images of artworks from its collection to Wikipedia. During the event, participants at the museum and online will add information about these artworks and the artists who created them, including Edgar Degas, Paul Klee, and Vincent Van Gogh, to Wikipedia, the world’s largest free source of knowledge.”

From Shanghai Daily: a look at how museums in China are putting their archives online. “The Shaanxi History Museum in the northwestern city of Xi’an has been a pioneer in using a digital platform for exhibiting antiques. So far, 208 public and private museums and memorials in Shaanxi Province have opened online exhibition halls.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, The New York Times looks at a pioneering museum, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. “By 2020, the museum intends to digitize all one million objects in its collection — from masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer to Delft pottery, silk brocade gowns and matchlock muskets. Today, 25 percent of the museum’s collection, including nearly all of its paintings, is freely available for download in high-resolution on rijksmuseum.nl, with new images being added every day.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Everybody run: There are now more ‘bots than humans on the Web. “Bot traffic has surpassed humans this year, now accounting for 59 percent of all site visits, according to a report released today by Distil Networks. By comparison, last year, bots accounted for 45 percent of all traffic to Distil’s customers’ websites.”

Ismeet Kaur Makkar has a fascinating Master’s thesis up: SocioBot: Twitter for Command and Control of a Botnet. “A botnet is a collection of computers controlled by a botmaster, often used for malicious activity. Social network provides an ideal medium for botnets to spread their reach. In this research, we develop and analyze a botnet that uses Twitter for its command and control channel. We use this botnet to perform a distributed denial of service attack on a web server, and we utilize the biological epidemic models to analyze the spread of the botnet using Twitter.” 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!

Twitter, Census Bureau, Flickr, More: Saturday Afternoon Buzz, May 16th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Now available: a database aggregating the deaths of migrants who were attempting to reach southern European borders. “The Deaths at the Borders Database is the first collection of official, state-produced evidence on people who died while attempting to reach southern EU countries from the Balkans, the Middle East, and North & West Africa, and whose bodies were found in or brought to Europe.”

PetGroomer.com, an Web site for professional pet groomers (as you may have guessed) now has an online archive of its radio shows going back to 2005.

USEFUL STUFF

Useful for a given value of Saturday: Want to add animated GIFs to your e-mail? There’s a Chrome extension for that.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

TweetDeck has added a new feature to help prevent Twitter misfires. “It’s a social media pro’s worst nightmare: posting a personal tweet on a brand account. It can be embarrassing and potentially career-threatening. To guard against such errant tweets, TweetDeck added a safety net today, giving users the option to require a confirmation step before sending a tweet.”

TunnelBear’s VPN is now available as a Chrome extension.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The US Census Bureau is participating the National Civic Day of Hacking (PRESS RELEASE). “The U.S. Census Bureau is participating in this year’s National Day of Civic Hacking by launching the “City SDK Open Data Solutions Challenge.” This challenge encourages developers to use the Census Bureau’s new City Software Development Kit (SDK), a new tool that makes the bureau’s API (application programming interface) easier to use. As part of this national event, the Census Bureau will also participate in the 2015 Urban Sustainability Apps Competition, where developers have the opportunity to create apps using the City SDK.”

Guess what? Google Hangouts don’t actually have end-to-end encryption. “Following a Reddit AMA on government surveillance, Google has admitted that while it does encrypt Hangouts conversations, it does not use end-to-end encryption, meaning the company itself can tap into those sessions when it receives a government court order requiring it to do so.”

More critical security fixes from Adobe and Microsoft (what a surprise). “Microsoft today issued 13 patch bundles to fix roughly four dozen security vulnerabilities in Windows and associated software. Separately, Adobe pushed updates to fix a slew of critical flaws in its Flash Player and Adobe Air software, as well as patches to fix holes in Adobe Reader and Acrobat.”

Flickr users are not happy with the auto-tagging feature of the revamped service, and Flickr may let them opt out. “…for many Flickr users, tags are something they still feel strongly about, judging by the forum’s many comments. With over 1,370 replies to the official Flickr post (and growing), these users have been venting their frustration about the addition of auto-tagging. Many of those commenting have actually been fairly conscientious about their tags over the years, and don’t like that Flickr is now adding its own tags to their photos.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

From Harvard Business School: a research paper on humblebragging. Spoiler: it doesn’t work. 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!

Canada, Wright Brothers, Dubai, More: Tuesday Morning Buzz, May 12th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

The country of Canada has launched a huge new online archive of information (PRESS RELEASE). “Canadiana.org, a digital initiative of extraordinary scale, is a joint effort of 25 leading research institutions, libraries and archives working together with the goal of creating Canada’s multi-million page, comprehensive online archive…. Canadiana offers more than 35 million pages of primary-source documents in 21 languages, including languages of our First Nations.”

Wright State University now has a Wright brothers newspaper archive. Yeah, those Wright brothers. “The Wright Brothers operated a printing business from 1889 to 1899, before they started their bicycle business, and before they tackled the challenge of flight. Over the years, they worked on several publications and local newspapers, including: The Midget, a small school newspaper; church pamphlets; the West Side News; The Evening Item; parts catalogs for bicycles; and the Dayton Tattler, published for neighborhood friend and noted poet and novelist, Paul Laurence Dunbar.”

The Chicago Academy of Sciences has been uploading its publications to the Internet Archive. “We already have issues of two Academy publication series uploaded to Internet Archive: Chicago Naturalist, published from 1938 to 1948; and The Bulletin of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, published on and off from 1883 to 1995. Keep checking back though, because we’ve got plenty more to share in the future, including motion film.”

Google has announced a giantic database platform. “As businesses become increasingly data-centric, and with the coming age of the Internet of Things (IoT), enterprises and data-driven organizations must become adept at efficiently deriving insights from their data. In this environment, any time spent building and managing infrastructure rather than working on applications is a lost opportunity. That’s why today we are excited to introduce Google Cloud Bigtable – a fully managed, high-performance, extremely scalable NoSQL database service accessible through the industry-standard, open-source Apache HBase API.”

The Wellcome Library has launched the St. Luke’s Hospital archive. “St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics was founded in 1750 by City of London philanthropists to cure ‘lunacy’, as well as to make treatment accessible to poorer people. The hospital was named Saint Luke’s due to its proximity to Saint Luke’s, Old Street. Previously the only provision for the poor in London was Bethlem Hospital, but waiting lists were long and the private ‘mad houses’ were beyond the means of most people.”

USEFUL STUFF

From Hongkiat: 40 Tools & Apps to Supercharge Your Instagram Account.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Facebook is firing across Google’s bow with a new link-adding feature. “Some mobile users on Facebook’s iPhone app are now being offered an ‘Add a Link’ option when they post status updates. After selecting the button, users can type in keywords and see search results listing articles on a given topic that have already been shared on Facebook.”

Google has put Madagascar on Google Street View.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The Dubai Digital Library will launch by the end of the year. “The first phase will include more than 1,600 books covering subjects including language, medicine, geography, history, religion and sociology.”

Interesting: How a Seoul bureau chief is using Tumblr to complement her reporting. “Elise Hu, NPR’s new Seoul bureau chief, covered the protests for the network, and interviewed one of the grieving mothers. But perhaps the most poignant part of the interview didn’t make it into Hu’s piece that ran on All Things Considered and NPR’s website.”

Bing wants you to check out its summer movie guide.

Meerkat has launched a developer’s platform.

A Twitter bot will tweet your salary and associated information: “A Twitter bot called @talkpayBot is working as a catalyst for discussion on wage inequality by allowing people to anonymously submit any or all of the following criteria to be tweeted out: age, job title, ethnicity, years of professional experience, sexual orientation, and most importantly, rate of pay.” 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!

Nebraska, PACER, Twitter, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, April 23rd, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

GeekWire has a story on a new service for journalists called Sqoop. Sounds tasty. “Bill Hankes and David Kellum are the co-founders of Sqoop, a new online tool that alerts journalists when public documents become available online, based on the companies and topics they choose to follow. After starting with patent filings and SEC documents, Sqoop is expanding its beta this week to include alerts on federal court records.” It’s in what looks like closed beta.

The state of Nebraska now has an online database of farmers markets. (This is a government press release and it’s in PDF, ugh, why do they do that?) “… the database is easily navigated and will allow consumers to quickly locate farmers’ markets in their area, as well as individual farmers. The database includes details such as vendor names, location, contact information, hours of operation and produce options. Consumers can also find vendors who participate in one of NDA’s fresh produce coupon programs for low income individuals.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Twitter has new anti-abuse tools. One of the things has done is made clearer when it will act against users. Also, “In addition, Twitter will begin freezing some abusers’ accounts for set amounts of time, allowing those affected to see the remaining duration via its app. Abusers may also be required to verify their phone number and delete all their previous offending tweets in order to get their account unlocked.”

WordPress has released WordPress 4.1.2, which is a security release so please update. “WordPress versions 4.1.1 and earlier are affected by a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability, which could enable anonymous users to compromise a site.”

Google and Yahoo ad products are going to all-encryption.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

May 1 has been named the national day of PACER protest. “The PACER protest arises out of increasing frustration with the availability of information from the federal courts. Both the U.S. Constitution and federal law require that courts operate publicly, making trials and records of court cases open to the public. While limitations occasionally may be imposed to close court sessions and seal records related to particularly sensitive matters—such as those involving children, abuse victims, domestic situations, and mental health issues—most of the documents filed in court proceedings, as well as other court information, have been considered public records.”

I always wondered how government accounts got verified on Facebook and Twitter. Georgia.gov has a walkthrough.

the National Library of Ireland has begun archiving Web sites related to the upcoming marriage equality referendum. “And now, the process of identifying and selecting websites to be included in the NLI’s Marriage Equality Referendum 2015 collection has gotten underway with the help of a team of researchers. According to the NLI, the collection will include sites documenting both sides of the debate; official sites like that of the Referendum Commission, commentary sites and political party websites.”

Wanna read an extensive, detailed, and depressing story about social media fraud? Here ya go.

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Research: Snapchat elicits more jealousy than Facebook. “This article offers a preliminary comparison of Snapchat and Facebook use and psychological effects on romantic jealousy. General motives for using Snapchat and Facebook are examined, as well as the nature of the content that Snapchat users most frequently share. Further, because of the differences in privacy and persistence of information, potential psychological effects in the domain of romantic jealousy are also examined, which has been widely studied on Facebook in the last few years.”

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!

Lenovo, NOAA, Medium, More: Wednesday Morning Buzz, April 22nd, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

A guy who lost his job because of offensive tweets has created a new app so the same thing doesn’t happen to other people. “The app, releasing publicly Monday, scours a user’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram histories for potentially inflammatory or damaging posts, and makes their removal a breeze. It’s designed for the next generation in the workforce, who grew up sharing vast amounts of information online, some of which may become a liability in their future careers.”

Another historic newspaper, this time from New York, is available online. “Nate Austin, director of the library, said The Allegany Citizen was printed between March 21, 1896, and Dec. 16, 1976, and carried news and articles from the town and village of Allegany. The newspaper was printed in a building across from the library on West Main Street. ”

USEFUL STUFF

Own a Lenovo laptop? The laptop battery recall of a little more than a year ago has Been expanded to over 160,000 units from the original 37,000 units. Check your machine.

Want to watch YouTube videos without related content? You’ve got a few options.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Twitter is expanding who can send and receive DMs.

Google has brought information about Robben Island, a South Africa historical site, online.

Google has introduced a rule that Web sites must be mobile-friendly or suffer in Google’s rankings. Wired has an overview. For the record, ResearchBuzz is, according to Google’s assessment tool, mobile friendly.

The NOAA has expanded its coastal flooding information tool. “A NOAA flood exposure risk mapping tool that was developed in New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania has now been expanded to cover coastal areas along the entire U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.”

Google Takeout is letting you export more stuff. Is this an early attempt to defuse accusations of a monopoly or am I just being cynical?

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Congratulations to TidBITS for 25 wonderful years!

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Dutch organizations are warning that the Internet is not a reliable archive. Yeah. And?

Chris Abraham wants you to try Medium. 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!