Blog Archives

Twitter, Nest, IFTTT, More: Morning Buzz, September 5th, 2014

Twitpic is shutting down. This service, which has been around since 2008, is being forced to shut down because Twitter has suddenly gotten a bee in its bonnet about TwitPic’s trademark application, which has been in process since 2009. Twitpic doesn’t have the resources for a legal fight with Twitter. Barf.

Speaking of barfing, Twitter is apparently going to ram a filtered feed, Facebook style, down the throats of its Twitter users. From the article: “The impetus for Twitter to filter is obvious: the service needs to show growth in both number of users and engagement in order to satisfy investors, and finding relevant content as a new user can be a challenge, which is why the company recently updated its so-called ‘on-boarding’ process.” You know, I get that. I really do – Twitter needs new users. But filtering feeds should be an option, not the only way a user’s Twitter feed is available. Otherwise, Twitter is attracting and integrating new users at the cost of alienating and angering its established user base. And there’s a word for that kind of strategy: stupid.

Apparently Google Glass’ partners aren’t all that thrilled about Google Glass either. Too bad we can’t harness PR spin to engage turbines and power cities.

More Google: Google has revealed The Cartographer, its indoor mapping backpack. “As the backpacker walks through a building, the floor plan is automatically generated in real time, Google says. The wearer also uses a tablet to add points of interest while walking around the building (say room numbers in a hotel or the exhibits in a museum).”

WordPress has released WordPress 4.0, “Benny”.

IFTTT now has a Best Buy channel. “The Best Buy Channel enables you to catch products as they become available in stores, follow when their prices change, and watch what the world is browsing today.” Hmm.. dear IFTTT, I would like a Tiger Direct channel, please.

Nest has released a 2.0 software update to its smoke alarm. “In the first major update to its smoke alarm software since the system was introduced last October, Google-acquired Nest Labs has developed a spate of new features designed to keep homes safe from fires and carbon monoxide, and to keep annoying alarms from going off when they shouldn’t be.” Good morning, Internet…

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WordPress, Bauhaus, Physics, More: Morning Buzz, September 2nd, 2014

Well, there’s a match made in heaven: The Internet Archive has joined Flickr Commons.

Ubuntu 14.10 Beta 1 has been released. (That’s Utopic Unicorn for those of you playing along at home.)

Georgia State University Library has released its WordPress plugin, “Library Instruction Recorder”, as open source.

Infographic: How to get more interaction on Google+. They left off a tip: be way cooler than me.

From Lifehacker: How to turn GMail into your central productivity hub. Well, it’s a nice idea….

Several Bauhaus texts are now available for free.

The Feynman Lectures on Physics are now available in their entirety online and for free. “First presented in the early 1960s at Caltech by the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, the lectures were eventually turned into a book by Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, and Matthew Sands. The text went on to become arguably the most popular physics book ever written, selling more than 1.5 million copies in English, and getting translated into a dozen languages.”

A TweetDeck for Instagram? Hey, I could handle that. Check out this article on Picdeck.

The federal government is creating a database to track hate speech on Twitter. Hey, you know who I’d like to track hate speech on Twitter? TWITTER ITSELF.

In case you’ve been living under a rock: Amazon has acquired Twitch.

Google Search now understands more than one language at a time.

Pointer from the always-awesome Robin Good: send files up to 5GB without using mail – https://ydray.com/ . Now of course I wouldn’t use this to send anything sensitive, but things like innocuous pictures or videos that happened to be very large? There you go.

Wanna feel old? Browse around these images of first-gen Web sites from the mid-90s. Actually some of them don’t look THAT different from today. 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!

Yahoo, Twitter Bots, NASA, More: Morning Buzz, August 16th, 2014

Catching up… Yahoo has a new Finance app.

A small selection of the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine yearbooks are now available online. The yearbooks are from 1952-1967.

When does Amit Agarwal do an article that isn’t handy and useful? How to transfer files between mobile phones and computers.

You know that handle Google Package Tracking tool? You can opt-out if you like.

Sometimes you say “bots on Twitter” and people will reflexively think they’re bad, pointless, etc. But check out this collection of river gauges on Twitter which tweet their levels twice a day but can increase communications in times of flood or emergency. “Users can visit the website to search by geographical location, river name, catchment area or status (normal level, below average or risk of flooding) and are also able to follow on Twitter any gauges that will be of interest to them. The website map features all of the Environment Agency river level and tidal gauges, and a unique Twitter account has been created for each of them. Twice per day, each gauge tweets its current status. For example, Teddington Lock now has its own Twitter account: https://twitter.com/riverlevel_1182.”

Related: Are 8.5% of Twitter’s active users bots?

The US Department of Energy is making its researchers’ papers free. “The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today unveiled its answer to a White House mandate to make the research papers it funds free for anyone to read: a Web portal that will link to full-text papers a year after they’re published. Once researchers are up to speed and submitting their manuscripts, that will mean 20,000 to 30,000 new free papers a year on energy research, physics, and other scientific topics.”

And in the same vein, NASA is giving away free ebooks.

Congratulations to Search Engine Land, which has a new look! 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, Twitter, YouTube, More: Short Saturday Buzz, July 12, 2014

Twitter has released a new set of analytics tools. The article I’m linking to makes them sound kind of like they’re just for advertisers only, but really they’re not. Looking at this and comparing it to Facebook (where the ResearchBuzz fan page has many more “fans” than my Twitter account has “followers” makes Facebook look really, really sad.

From Digital Trends: How to download YouTube videos. (Note that this is not necessarily legal and you should proceed at your own risk.)

Genealogy blogger Myrtle is having a geneasleepover for the FamilySearch worldwide indexing event. It’s a Google Hangout and everybody’s invited.

Google is predicting Germany will win the World Cup.

From Amit: The best services for sharing large files over the Internet.

Saturday fun: a Twitter bot will generate your very own emoji doll. 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!

Facebook, Twitter, Aereo, More: Morning Buzz, June 30, 2014

File hosting site Bayfiles has apparently been completely removed from Google’s search results. And the Bayfiles operators claim they have no idea why. “The most likely explanation is that Google found Bayfiles guilty of some sort of violation for which the site has been removed from Google as a penalty. What type of violation that might be remains a mystery to the site’s operators.”

From How-To Geek: 5 Ways to Access Your PC’s Files Over the Internet.

Because you can, but don’t get ridiculous: how to host a Web site with Raspberry Pi.

Interesting. Researchers have created an algorithm that makes highlight reels from long videos.

Fun with Hongkiat: 15 Tips to Get More Out of Dropbox.

The Next Web has a story on Dave Winer’s Twitter tool, Happy Friends. “Happy Friends is a mailbox-like reader for organizing the feeds of your Twitter friends. You sign into your Twitter account on the Happy Friends site, add your favorite Twitter feeds via the Friends dropdown in the menu bar and those friends will appear in the white box. Double click on a friend’s name and you see their recent tweets.” I adore this idea and wish I had more time to play with it.

Digital Trends has a substantial article on Aereo alternatives. I have read several such articles over the last few days and this is one of the few that a) gives a lot of hardware alternatives and b) mentions Plex, so in it goes.

I think Aaron T told me about this… thanks Aaron! It’s an article about using Google Voice to hear students proofreading their papers. “The intent of this is to have students provide proof that they have read their papers aloud as part of the proofreading process. ” The article also mentions Speak Pipe, another option for hearing students proofreading papers.

Here’s an article on that massive Facebook psychology study from the Atlantic (it was updated last night.) 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!

Greek Manuscripts, Google, Twitter, More: Buzz, June 22, 2014

How-To Geek! 10 of the Most Popular Linux Distributions Compared.

Nest has purchased Dropcam. And of course, Google owns Nest. Why did Google not buy Nest directly? No idea. I have actually used Dropcams at work. They are, as advertised, extremely easy to set up and administer, and the one time I had to use the tech support it was instant and friendly. Here’s hoping the acquistion doesn’t mess that up.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has launched a database of extremist and racist symbols and tattoos. Obviously some of these are contextual.

DigitalTrends: How to use Pinterest Like a Pro. DISCLAIMER: I still don’t get Pinterest.

Twitter is being sued for sending unwanted text messages. “Social media site Twitter has been blasting spam messages to ‘recycled’ phone numbers and ignoring the recipients’ pleas to stop, according to a class action lawsuit filed this week in San Francisco.”

A team in Sweden are working on a Google app that would translate sign language into speech. “The app — called Google Gesture — is paired with a band worn on the forearm that analyzes muscle movements made when signing — a process known as electromyography. These movements are then sent to the app, which translates them into audible words as they are signed.”

More Google: its browser, Chrome, has a new experiment called Kick: “In Kick with Chrome, you can play three different games: Infinite Dribble, Space Kick, and Shootout. In Infinite Dribble, tilt your phone or tablet to dodge defenders and roadblocks. Kick the ball high in the sky in Space Kick. Or kick and block penalty shots in the best-of-three game Shootout.”

Soccer/Football: Larry Ferlazzo continues to update his World Cup resource list.

The British Library has entered phase 3 of its Greek Manuscripts Digitization project. “In the coming months, we will be adding over 300 more Greek manuscripts to Digitised Manuscripts, and there will be many blog posts detailing the process. Among other exciting items, this phase of the project will see the digitisation of the Codex Crippsianus (Burney MS 95), the Howard Greek Lectionary, a Gospel lectionary owned and annoted by John Ruskin, Burney MS 69, containing illustrated Greek treatises on warfare, and a wide variety of other manuscripts, including many of those from the collections of Charles Burney, Robert Curzon, Samuel Dawes, and Sir Ivor Bertie Guest.”

The Digital Library of Georgia has added the Southern School News archive – 1954-1965 – to its holdings. “The monthly paper was the product of the Southern Education Reporting Service, a Ford Foundation-backed group of Southern newspaper editors who sought to report on issues in desegregation in schools of all sizes and levels — from the smallest rural schoolhouses to large state universities — across the American South.”

Google’s “Loon Balloons” are causing a bit of consternation. Good morning, Internet…

Firefox wranglers! Greasemonkey 2.0 has been released.

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, Glass, Photographs, More: Morning Buzz, June 15, 2014

Cornell researchers are “disappointed” with the lack of political voices on Twitter. “Social scientists’ analysis of 290,119,348 tweets from 193,522 ‘politically engaged’ Twitter users during the 2012 presidential campaign conventions and debates found little creative thinking, and a slavish blitz of retweeting ‘elites’ like @billmaher and @seanhannity, according to a new study.”

Speaking of Twitter: an article on how the new government of India will be using Twitter. “Modi, one of the most tech savvy of politicians, made the Bharatiya Janata Party tech savvy much before the party came to power. He is now doing the same with the government, pushing the use of social media for information dissemination.”

The state of Oklahoma is putting its deer record book online. “Oklahoma’s Cy Curtis Awards Program listings are now in a searchable database online at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation web site at wildlifedepartment.com.”

How to use Google Docs to get your students to talk to you. Morning check-in!

Hey, a POSITIVE Google Glass story! How disabled folks are using Google Glass. “People who are losing their hearing can install speech-recognition software that will display subtitles of their conversations. Parents of deaf children can install apps that will help them learn sign-language faster by periodically displaying hand motions throughout the day. And researchers are exploring how people with severe paralysis could use magnetic tongue studs to manipulate the device, allowing them to send messages far more quickly than applications on traditional computers, which force users to spell out messages by pointing to letters with their heads one by one.”

News Photographer magazine is getting an online version as well as two years’ worth of archives available to access for free (press release). “For the launch of the magazine’s new digital version, readers around the globe will be able to view – for free – the May 2014 issue of News Photographer, featuring a cover story about the photographic winners of this year’s prestigious Pulitzer Prizes, Josh Haner and Tyler Hicks of The New York Times In addition, a two-year back catalogue of News Photographer magazine for the years 2012 and 2013 will be available to viewers in the magazine’s online digital archive. And viewers will also be able to access this two-year back collection of News Photographer at no charge.”

Zooniverse has launched a new citizen science site, Sunspotter, at http://www.sunspotter.org/ . 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!

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