Blog Archives

Google, Twitter, Bing, More: Wednesday Morning Buzz, April 23, 2014

An interesting argument for switching back to Firefox. I do like Firefox and NoScript.

Google reportedly wants to go to end-to-end e-mail encryption, but there are some hurdles.

More Google: Google has extended its Glass initiative for nonprofits.

More More Google: Google is testing a favoriting service. “Called Google Stars (although the Google Collections name has also been used in the past), the new option appears to still in very early testing, but it does let users star ‘items’ on the Web as well as add them to folders. “

Breaking News has launched more topic-focused Breaking News Twitter accounts. If you want an easy way to get breaking news on your phone, Breaking News accounts + Twitter text are great. You don’t even have to have a Twitter account. Here’s how to follow Twitter via text without an account.

The New York Times has launched a new site called The Upshot. “One of our highest priorities will be unearthing data sets — and analyzing existing ones — in ways that illuminate and explain the news.”

Bing is starting to offer predictions. “Based on a variety of different signals including search queries and social input from Facebook and Twitter, we are unveiling an experiment we’ve built to give you our prediction of the outcome of a given event. For example, our first iteration, live on today, attempts to predict which contestants are most likely to be eliminated or move on to the next round of voting shows like The Voice, American Idol and Dancing With The Stars.”

Facebook: Some interesting research on Facebook unfriending. “The study found four factors that predicted someone’s emotional response to being unfriended. Two factors predicted that a user would be negatively affected – if the unfriended person was once a close friend to the one who unfriended them and how closely the person monitored their own friend’s list.”

Twitter has started rolling out its new profiles to everybody. I am normally one to complain about changes like this but I gotta tell you: I am loving the new profile. So much better.

Apple’s retail stores are accepting old products for recycling. 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!

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!

Billboard, Breaking, Elsevier, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, March 28, 2014

Billboard and Twitter are teaming up to create the Billboard Twitter Real-Time Chart, “…which will track the real-time U.S. music conversation, using Twitter data.”

Speaking of music, there’s a rumor going around that Amazon is considering a free streaming media service in addition to providing media streaming to Prime subscribers. Amazon is denying it.

Google has released another update to its transparency report. “Government requests for user information in criminal cases have increased by about 120 percent since we first began publishing these numbers in 2009. Though our number of users has grown throughout the time period, we’re also seeing more and more governments start to exercise their authority to make requests.”

More Google: you can now edit images in Google Slides.

Pinterest has apparently gotten hacked and flooded with weight loss spam. Hey, finally a reason to be happy that I don’t get Pinterest!

A little nervous now that people on Twitter can tag you in photos? Here’s how to prevent it.

Interesting from the MIT Technology Review: The Evolution of Automated Breaking News Stories. “A Google engineer has developed an algorithm that spots breaking news stories on the Web and illustrates them with pictures. And it is now filing its first stories on Twitter.”

Elsevier has announced a new open access journal (press release). “As a spin-off from companion journal Schizophrenia Research, which is one of the most recognized journals in the field, Schizophrenia Research: Cognition specializes in providing a forum on all aspects of cognition in schizophrenia, including clinical neuropsychology, neurocognition, social cognition, functional capacity, cognitive and social neuroscience, and aspects of everyday outcome as related to cognition.”

Wikimedia is testing a hovercards feature. 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!

Stamp Collecting, Scotland, Facebook, More: Friday Morning Buzz, March 21, 2014

I came across a paper yesterday that looked really interesting; it’s called “A Tool for Personal Data Extraction” and it will be presented at the 10th International Workshop on Information Integration on the Web (IIWeb 2014). Many thanks to Professor Amélie Marian for answering my questions about the paper; it’s available at .

The American Revenuer – a magazine dedicated to revenue stamp enthusiasts – is in the process of building a digital archive. The most recent five years of the publication will be available only to members of the American Revenue Association, but older issues will be freely available. Considering that the archive starts with 1970, that means that there are plenty of issues freely available.

Now available: a map showing 1200 years of Scotland shipwrecks. There are thousands of listings here.

Is Twitter going to get rid of @ replies?

Facebook has introduced a new programming language called Hack. “Working alongside a handful of others inside the social networking giant, they fashioned a language that lets programmers build complex websites and other software at great speed while still ensuring that their software code is precisely organized and relatively free of flaws — a combination that few of today’s languages even approach. “

Gmail is going HTTPS-only.

More Google: it has started rolling out its new version of Sheets to everybody.

MORE Transparency Reports! This time it’s Comcast. “The report, released on Thursday, revealed that Comcast has received 25,000 requests from the U.S. federal, state and local law enforcement and government agencies in 2013.” 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!

New Zealand, Harvard, Reddit, More: Fat Friday Morning Buzz, March 14, 2014

A new web site will track the well-being of US children across racial and ethnic groups. “The site,, allows users to create customized profiles, rankings and maps that make data visual, accessible and understandable.”

A new online archive of the British Anti-Apartheid movement is now available. “Forward to Freedom: the History of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement 1959-1994, went live this week, featuring archive highlights such as iconic posters from campaigns against the death penalty for the Rivonia accused and the 1970 Springbok cricket tour, footage from the Nelson Mandela tribute concert at Wembley Stadium in 1988, and and letters from Margaret Thatcher arguing against sanctions on South Africa.”

The government of New Zealand has launched a new online database of crime data.

Interesting: the Toronto Star is now sharing vintage photos via new Twitter account.

A new Kickstarter project (already funded) aims to create an online library of small farmer innovation.

Not feeling particularly great about this: Facebook will start including video ads.

Google+ is getting bigger thumbnails and headlines. Still not getting it… though I would like to thank Marsha B. for the G+ hat tips. :->

More Google: street view is getting a little damp, with a Colorado River view.

More more Google: it has lowered its prices on Google Drive storage. “We’ve lowered the price of our monthly storage plans to $1.99 for 100GB (previously $4.99), $9.99 for 1TB (previously $49.99), and $99.99 for 10TB”

Like the Reddit AMAs (Ask Me Anything) but have a hard time reading them? There’s a site for that. “…there’s a new site called Interviewly that puts the most compelling Reddit AMAs into an easy to read interview format. Interviewly was built as a side project by Dan Drabik, a New York City-based software developer who works full-time at Kickstarter.”

Bing is offering a new way to match images.

I love it when Amit Agarwal gets all recursive: How to scrape Google with Google products (specifically Google Docs.)

From Entrepreneur: 7 Steps to Launching a Successful Twitter Chat.

Consdering a career move? Harvard Library is hiring a “Wikipedian-in-Residence”. 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!

Elsevier, Whales, HTML5, More: Wednesday Buzz, March 12, 2014

Elsevier has announced a new open access journal (press release.) “Colloid and Interface Science Communications provides an innovative channel for the rapid publication of short initial reports on new fundamental concepts, research findings and topical applications at the forefront of the increasingly interdisciplinary area of colloid and interface science.”

Now available: Whaleopedia! (Press release.) “Animal Fund, a forty-year old non-profit organization, has launched a unique website called Whaleopedia (, which gives viewers natural history information on every species of whale, dolphin and porpoise for free. What sets this site apart from all others is the massive number of unique photographs, video clips, and audio recordings of these animals, collected from all over the world.”

Katie Couric starts her Yahoo anchor gig Friday, and I’m still uneasy about it.

Fun from Hongkiat: 10 Free HTML5 Video Converters.

Apparently photos and videos get more retweets on Twitter. I’m kind of tempted to do little Vines of my news links. Or not.

More Twitter: if you weren’t able to get on Twitter yesterday you weren’t alone. Apparently it crashed. But hey, they have log cabins!

Snagit for Google Chrome now supports screencasting — even in Chromebooks. This could come in very handy.

The Internet Archive is creating an archive for Ukraine Web information. 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, XP, Comics, More: Tuesday Morning Buzz, March 4, 2014

Twitter buying log cabins? Is it 1999 and y’all didn’t tell me? AM I GOING TO START HAVING GAZOONTITE FLASHBACKS? Is Whoopi Goldberg going to show up and start handing out Flooz?

Speaking of Twitter, it recently had a goofup where password reset notices were sent. No hacking. Just a goofup.

Wow, Kickstarter has received over $1 billion in pledges for its projects.

Are you still using Windows XP? Please start thinking about how you’re going to get off that OS by next month; the last security updates for XP come out on April 8. Considering how many ATMs still use XP and how big a user base it still has, I’m worried it’s going to be a huge target for hackers. (It actually gained usage share in February!) Microsoft is offering a free tool to migrate from Windows XP to Windows 8.1 (or 7, I suppose, if you’re moving to that.) If you’re interested in Linux but want to keep the XP look, you may find Zorin interesting.

I got a lot of retweets about the Marvel comics app, so… you can also download thousands of pre-1959 comics for free.

Heh, this is interesting: Duke University’s Preservation Underground is experimenting with using Instagram for training videos.

Looks like Google Docs is going to get voice dictation.

Genealogy search engine Mocavo will soon be offering online transcription.

From Mashable: 10 free audiobook sites.

Wolfram|Alpha has introduced version 2.0 of its chemical reactions interface. “In addition to narrowing your search using reactants and products, another new feature is the ability to search through chemical reaction classes. As previously mentioned, combustion of ethanol and oxidation of iron search for the reactant ethanol in our combustion reaction database and for the reactant iron in our oxidation reaction database, respectively.” 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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