Sniffle, Wheeze, Cough, Sneeze: Sunday Buzz, March 22, 2015

Thank goodness I can’t give you my cold cooties over the Internet.


Now available: a database of over 80,000 Mennonite photos.

Are you interested in the music that was SXSW? There’s a torrent for that. “Since 2005 the SXSW music festival has published thousands of DRM-free tracks from participating artists….In common with previous years, Ben Stolt has taken the time and effort to upload all of the MP3s onto BitTorrent with proper ID3 tags. The 2015 release is out now and comes in two torrents containing 1,291 tracks… All the tracks released for the previous editions are also still available for those people who want to fill up their MP3 players without having to invest thousands of dollars. The 2005 – 2015 archives now total more than 55 gigabytes.”

Analytics for some US Government Web sites are now available. “The analytics dashboard also offers an up-close look at what devices and operating systems people are using. Smartphones and tablets, for example, make up more than 30% of traffic from the last 90 days. This information, which is standard for web analytics, helps influence where the still-growing Digital Service focuses its attention.”


From Lifehacker: the simplest tools for common photo edits. As usual with Lifehacker, the comments are worth reading.

From Ubergizmo: a rundown of how to protect PDF files.


Fold 3 has some new content. “One new collection on Fold3 is the WWII Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files, which contains membership cards of women who joined the corps. The Cadet Nursing Corps was created in 1943 under the U.S. Public Health Service to help fill a growing need for nurses that had been compounded by World War II. Between 1943 and 1948 (the years the program ran), about 179,000 students between the ages of 17 and 35 joined the corps, with roughly 124,000 of them graduating.”

Rhapsody is letting users make songs available over Twitter for free.

Google Street View is getting views of 31 Indian sites and monuments.

The Wikimedia Foundation has adopted an open-access policy. “The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to making knowledge of all forms freely available to the world. Beginning today, our new Open Access Policy will ensure that all research work produced with support from the Wikimedia Foundation will be openly available to the public and reusable on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites.”


A Senate Bill proposes to create an online database of asbestos products.

Is Mall of America using Facebook to keep tabs on local activists? “It seems that in order to prevent or better prepare for future disruptions if and when they might take place, a report from The Intercept revealed that the mall actually had a fake Facebook profile setup in which they allegedly use it to monitor activists on social network. To be fair the profile was said to have been created back in 2009, but recent activity saw the fake profile like pages like Black Lives Matter and also friended 817 other people, most of whom are reported to have ties to the local Minnesota political activism groups.”

Apparently some states will reject FOIA requests if they’re not from residents of that state, as Deadspin found out when it tried to make an FOIA request in Tennessee. So Deadspin is asking its readers to do it a solid and make the FOIA request on its behalf.

Google is “starting over” in its drone war with Amazon. “The Project Wing delivery drone Google revealed to the world last August is no more. Instead of going head to head with Amazon’s drone initiative, the Google X team behind the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) decided to scrap its plans and pursue a different design.”

Wow: UC Davis live-tweeted lung cancer surgery. “To prepare for the live Twitter event, the public affairs staff prerecorded several short videos with Dr. Cooke and members of his surgical team. The experts covered the procedure itself, as well as surgical preparedness and challenges in recovery. They also discussed the role of pathology and the biospecimen repository for important diagnostic analysis and research. The videos, photographs, graphic illustrations and links to research and other helpful information about lung cancer were included and posted throughout the day of surgery, in addition to the live-action material collected and broadcast in real time.” Good evening, Internet…

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Kolkata, Yahoo, Podcasting, More: Friday Morning Buzz, March 6th, 2015


CrowdFlower has launched an open data project. “Crowdsourcing company CrowdFlower allows businesses to tap into a distributed workforce of 5 million contributors for basic tasks like sentiment analysis. Today it’s releasing some of that data to the public through its new Data for Everyone initiative.”

Kolkata has launched what is described as India’s first municipal archive. “In a bid to preserve and narrate the over four centuries old history and evolution of Kolkata, the city’s civic authorities have launched a comprehensive archive, complete with rare photographs, texts and digital records, an official said here on Wednesday. Said to be India’s first municipal archive, the ‘Amal Home Digital Archive’ has been developed and curated by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).”


From The Internet Patrol: How to Find Somebody’s LinkedIn Wall.


Yahoo has introduced contact cards in its e-mail.


In its continual quest to cut down bad behavior, Twitter may be requiring Tor users to provide a phone number. (According to the article, Twitter denies specifically targeting Tor users, but read the article…)

Is Twitter going to get a Daily Edition? I’ll stick to Nuzzel, thanks.

It looks like Google might be testing search results without descriptions. Ewwww.

Bit weird: Goldman Sachs will debut a new social networking service. “A Goldman Sachs-backed messaging and social networking service is planning to roll out broadly to Wall Street by July, complete with its own app store for add-ons, The Post has learned. The service, called Symphony, will allow workers across Wall Street to communicate with one another, and incorporates instant messaging, chat forums, Twitter and internal feeds.”

Online course builder Versal is teaming up with Wolfram Research.

The next time someone tells you that every search niche on the Internet is filled, point out to them that podcasting now has a hall of fame, but still doesn’t have a search engine worth a darn. 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!

Netherlands, Fonts, Smart Phones, More: Brief Monday Buzz, February 23rd, 2015

Did you miss the Academy Awards? Here’s a quick-n-easy list of winners.

Lenovo has created an automated Superfish removal tool for the horrible adware it installed on some of its laptops.

Fast Company has a writeup on a Web app for designing your own fonts. “Created by Swiss designers Marco Müller and Alexis Reigel, Metaflop isn’t just an easy online tool for creating simple typefaces, it’s also a great tutorial on a lot of the terminology of type design. If you’ve ever read about typeface terms like ascenders, cap heights, overshoot, descenders, and contrasts, there’s no better way to figure out what these terms mean than by using a slider to change their variables and see how it changes a typeface in real time.”

You can now search the full text of PDFs in the Wellcome Library catalog. “You don’t have to do anything special: search as normal and you’ll get more relevant results. But, you can use ‘Search Found In: Full-Text’ from the options in the left hand menu. This narrows your results to searching within the full-text of an item.”

Mashable has a roundup of sites to turn your quotes into interesting visuals. Nice set of resources here but didn’t mention one of my favorites: PixTeller.

Turns out malware might be able to track your phone’s movement by watching power consumption. “The technique is straightforward in theory. The idea is that a smartphone’s power usage depends largely on the distance from the nearest base station. As a user moves, this distance changes, increasing or decreasing the power needed to communicate with a base station. So the power usage profile is strongly correlated with the movement of the phone, or in other words, with the route taken by its owner. Given several different potential routes, the power usage profile should reveal which the user has taken.” On the other hand, there has to be independent knowledge of routes that the user might take or might have taken.

TechCrunch takes a look at Twitter’s future. “The company’s recent earnings beat estimates, proving that the revenue department under Adam Bain continues to provide lift to Twitter’s business. Stock is up several percent. Active user growth, though not exactly world-on-fire material, is measurable at 20% in the past year. The market seems to be responding to the rhyme that Costolo and company are spitting. But what about the product?”

The Netherlands Institute of Military History has joined the Flickr Commons. “The staff of the NIMH administer a unique military history collection containing approximately 2 million images, of which they will be uploading many to the site.” 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!

Short Tuesday Morning Buzz, January 27th, 2015

Do you have a Twitter account? Then you’re a poet and you don’t know it! A new tool makes poetry out of your tweets. I asked it to make me a poem and it took a long time but I got two lovely poems out of it. Hold your mouse over the lines to see where they come from; this is handy as I was racking my brains to figure out when I’d written “Muppet strut.”

The University of Virginia Medical Artifacts Collection is now online with over 350 items.

I have trouble just managing one! From David Lee King: Tools for managing multiple Instagram accounts. This was actually written from the perspective of managing a library Instagram.

Bing is now translating Twitter’s tweets (again).

Recently Google released information on security vulnerabilities in Windows. Now it’s released them about OS X.

FamilySearch has done a really big records add: “Notable collection updates include the 24,405,544 indexed records and 1,244,622 images from the US, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980–2014 collection; the 801,893 images from the Belgium, Limburg, Civil Registration, 1798–1906 collection; and the 38,322 indexed records and 687,456 images from the Italy, Napoli, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1809–1865 collection.”

Now online: an archive of TV broadcast videos from Louisiana. There are about 1500 videos on the site so far. Good morning, Internet…

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Twitter, Troubadour Crusade Poetry, More: Morning Buzz, December 9, 2014

According to an article in PC World (Warning! PC World!) Google Translate is going to get more muscle.

Ready for some navel-gazing? Here’s How to analyze all your 2014 tweets.

More Twitter: 10 Twitter Analytics and Visualization Tools.

Created and still developing: an online archive of troubadour crusade poetry. How cool is that? “Researchers from the University of Warwick are editing and collating the first comprehensive archive of troubadour and trouvere poetry and songs covering the Crusades as part of a new Anglo-Italian research project which will open up the lyric poetry of the medieval troubadours and trouveres to its widest-ever audience. The poetry, some of it long forgotten to modern audiences, will be published on the University of Warwick and University of Naples websites complete with translations, information on manuscripts and earlier editions, and details of the historical circumstances of their original composition and performance.”

Theses of Delhi University scholars will be going online. “Delhi University will develop a digital repository of research conducted by its students. The digital repository will be part of the University Grants Commission’s digital database, called Shodhganga repository, and will include doctoral theses and dissertations.”

GMail has some more categories if you poke around a little.

YouTube can now tell you how copyrighted music will affect your video before you upload it. “Say you want to use Boom Clap from TechCrunch friend Charli XCX. You can now check and see that your video will still be viewable worldwide and that ads can appear on your video — but chances are you won’t be able to monetize your video through ads yourself.”

The publication Literary Review has launched an online archive. Looks like a pay service, though print subscribers will get free access.

Facebook has reportedly added the ability to search for individual posts, but I haven’t seen it yet. Repeated attempts to try it have failed, but it’s still rolling out.

FamilySearch has another big update. Looks like most of it’s FindAGrave. “Notable collection updates include the 124,060,301 indexed records from the Find A Grave Index collection; the 830,416 indexed records and images from the US, Michigan Obituaries, 1820–2006 collection; and the 497,490 images from the US, Washington, County Records, 1803–2010 collection.”

There’s an effort underway to crowdsource a list of old NBA games that are available via YouTube. “Corbin Smith of biscutblog has created a Google document for fans to jump in an add any links to old NBA games they know of, and it’s growing rapidly. The list is arranged in chronological order, and is currently at 50+ full basketball games, ranging from an “aggressively truncated” version of Game 1 of the 1954 (!) NBA Finals to a mid-February 2008 Lakers vs. Magic contest. And in between? Playoffs games, Finals games, All-Star games, Rookie-Sophomore games, Jordan games… you name it.”

More Charles Darwin archives are now available online.

Kenya News Agency’s (KNA) multimedia archives are getting digitzed. “The KNA digitization drive aims to scan all multimedia assets and catalog at least 30 per cent of the collection by December 2015. The scanning process will generate a high resolution digital copy of the asset…. Digitization is expected to begin early 2015. The estimated volume of KNA assets is as follows: 500,000 photos, 6,000 hours videos, 20,000 hours audio, 500,000 articles and 40,000 bounded books.”

Yahoo has released its top searches for 2014.. Ebola was the top search, to no one’s surprise ever.

Hmm! Looks like Google has a mortgage calculator. 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!