Blog Archives

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:”

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”

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 . 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, Tibet, More: Short Tuesday Buzz, June 10, 2104

Interesting: Amazon is going to start offering subscription payment services for businesses and startups ala PayPal.

The Law Library of Congress has a new report about country-specific restrictions on genetically-modified organisms. It’s also available as a PDF.

The Economist has an interesting article on data mining Twitter that mostly looks at Dataminr. “In April Twitter bought Gnip, which may spell trouble for DataSift. But Twitter and Dataminr say this has no implications for their relationship, despite some pundits speculating that Twitter is changing its strategy for working with outsiders. Dataminr’s access to the fire hose is ‘rock solid’, argues Mr Bailey.” Note to self: go back and reread this quote in six months.

Want to follow the World Cup? Mashable has some app suggestions.

Harvard Library will be preserving Tibetan literary works with a vast digital archive. “Beginning in July, Harvard Library will upload onto its digital storage system 10 million pages of Tibetan literature that survived China’s convulsive Cultural Revolution, the movement between 1966 and 1976 that led to the destruction of countless Chinese and Tibetan literary texts.”

A professor at the University of California, Riverside has created two web sites that track/analyze health and social/entertainment sentiments on Twitter. “Health Social Analytics and Social Predictor build upon previous work by Hristidis and other researchers that used data from Twitter to help predict the traded volume and value of a stock. A trading strategy based on a model created by Hristidis and others outperformed other baseline strategies by between 1.4 percent and nearly 11 percent and did better than the Dow Jones Industrial Average during a four-month simulation.”

Speaking of Twitter data, ethical guidelines for use of Twitter data in scientific studies are being proposed. “Researchers interested in user-centric studies look at the Twitter activity of individuals, but doing so raises potential privacy concerns. Twitter data is public information, but many individuals claim a reasonable expectation of privacy. Even if a user’s assumptions on privacy are incorrect, there are presumptions that because something is shared publicly, the user consents to it being used for research.”

George R.R. Martin has finally joined Twitter. I mention this only because of the huge number of fake George R.R. Martin accounts out there. 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, App, Hashtags, More: Sunday Buzz, May 11, 2014

Indiana University researchers have developed a tool to try to tell whether a Twitter user is a bot or not. You have to authorize your Twitter account to use it, but once that’s done it looks like you can check any public account. I checked my Twitter account and it looks like I’m 27% bottish in their estimation. On the other hand, @StealthMountain, which is a one-function bot (and looks like it might have stopped working in January) is only 50% bottish.

Is Google going to enable remote administration tools for Chromebooks?

Lifehacker has a writeup on Background Burner, a Web-based app for removing background from your photos.

The Yahoo 2013 Annual Review is now available on Tumblr.

Genealogy search engine Mocavo has added 1000 Navy Cruise Books.

Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE, has written an open letter to Eric Schmidt — Why We Fear Google. It’s in English.

Heartbleed report: over 300,000 servers are still vulnerable. has laid off its entire staff but continues to function. I have an App account but I’ve never really gotten into it.

FamilySearch has added another complement of genealogy records. “Notable collection updates include the 2,152,718 indexed records from the new England, London Electoral Registers, 1847–1913, collection; the 132,560 images from the Spain, Province of Barcelona, Municipal Records, 1387–1950, collection; and the 693,403 images from U.S., Washington, County Records, 1803–2009, collection.”

Evernote and LinkedIn are teaming up. “LinkedIn members can scan a business card using Evernote’s mobile app and then directly connect with this contact on LinkedIn to maintain the new relationship. Evernote’s card scanning service is fast, reliable, and literally world-class, with support for seven languages.”

The Library of Congress has launched the Civil Rights History Project Portal. “The Civil Rights History Project Collection consists primarily of recent, never-before-seen interviews with people who participated in the civil rights movement. It contains several hundred items consisting of video files, videocassettes, digital photographs and interview transcripts.”

Hongkiat offers a guide to hashtagging on various social networks. I’m still figuring out Instagram (feel free to say hello or recommend a good Instagram account for me to follow) and found this guide very useful. 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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