Blog Archives

Arcade Games, Twitter, Disney, More: Sunday Buzz, November 2nd, 2014

Haven’t started writing today and in a few minutes I need to go to work. Sundays are going to be my tough days, I can see that now… #nanowrimo

Harvard Business Review has an excellent article on Twitter called How the Market Ruined Twitter. It’s an articulate discussion of how Twitter went from welcoming to hostile of third-party developers and what that might mean for the company. “In the early days, Twitter clearly owed much of its growth to its open, ecosystem-like approach. That growth would have slowed eventually in any case, but it’s hard not to think Twitter’s prospects as a network and as a societal force would be much greater if it had remained more like an ecosystem and less like a conventional corporation.”

You can now access Facebook via Tor. For some reason.

Disney has apparently patented a piracy-free search engine. Good luck with that. “It’s unclear whether Disney has any plans to implement the patent in the wild. The company currently has a search engine but this only includes links to its own properties.”

FamilySearch has treated us to some more genealogy data. “Notable collection updates include the 2,623,218 indexed records from the US, New York, State Census, 1865 collection; the 178,692 images from the US, Illinois Probate Records, 1819-1988 collection; and the 163,023 images from theUS, Ohio, Trumbull County Records, 1795-2010 collection.”

Citizens of Missouri how have a new tool to track their representatives. “AccessMissouri.org, an online database that tracks voting records of members of the Missouri General Assembly and contributions to lawmakers, went live this week. The website acts as database, aggregating voting information from the House and Senate journals and financial information from the Missouri Ethics Commission.”

So how did the American Folklife Center’s effort to collect Halloween pictures go? Find out here.

Internet Explorer, the world’s most popular browser?. Wow.

Google Flu Trends has a new engine. Not surprising, since last year it did not do a terrific job of modeling trends; in fact it overguessed.

You didn’t have anything to do today anyway: The Internet Archive has launched 900 classic arcade games you can play on your browser. 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!

Reddit, CERN, Food, More: Morning Buzz, October 31st, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Nordstrom has started its own Reddit community. If Reddit manages to do things like this and maintain its sense of identity, it will be pulling off a balancing act worthy of Cirque du Soleil.

IBM and Twitter are teaming up. “Watson, the artificially intelligent IBM supercomputer, can already beat you at Jeopardy. And soon, it will know more than you do about what’s happening on Twitter, too. It’s part of a deal the two companies announced on Wednesday that’s designed to let IBM’s business clients mine the 500 million daily Twitter messages for competitive intel.”

A new app monitors Twitter feeds for suicide warnings. “The Samaritans charity has launched a new app which will notify Twitter users if people they follow on the site appear to be suicidal. Samaritans Radar uses an algorithm to identify key words and phrases which indicate distress.”

The research center CERN has released a large archive of photographs, but needs your help identifying the people, and in some cases the equipment, in them.

A new database of community food policies is now available. “The Growing Food Connections Policy Database is a searchable collection of local public policies that explicitly support community food systems. This database provides policymakers, government staff, and others interested in food policy with concrete examples of local public policies that have been adopted to address a range of food systems issues…”

Ever wonder How much money Facebook loses during an outage?

The UK has opened access to millions of orphaned works. “These works are covered by copyright, but rights holders cannot be found by those who need to seek permission to reproduce them. Under the new scheme, a licence can be granted by the Intellectual Property Office so that these works can be reproduced on websites, in books and on TV without breaking the law, while protecting the rights of owners so they can be remunerated if they come forward.”

Hey! Sketchfab now allows downloading of 3D objects.

Lifehacker breaks down the secret powers of Chrome’s address bar. I use the math trick several times a day. 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, Idaho, NASA, More: Short Sunday Buzz, October 26th, 2014

Groupon has launched a new Yelp competitor called Pages (PRESS RELEASE). You do not want to hear my Groupon horror story.

Microsoft has opened up The Garage. “Microsoft clicked the Genie on Wednesday and invited the whole neighborhood into its online Garage to try out a handful of consumer apps that are still in the works.”

Twitter has launched Digits, a way to sign into apps using phone numbers instead of passwords.

Don’t want to use GMail or Dropbox? Techspot offers some alternatives.

The state of Idaho has launched an online portal for parcel data about Idaho counties (PRESS RELEASE). “Users can choose from two types of parcel standard downloads: public and comprehensive. Public parcel downloads include seven basic data fields, such as parcel unique identifier, date shared, and date that the polygon geometry was last updated. Comprehensive parcel downloads feature the same information as the public downloads plus 47 more data fields, including property descriptions, total assessed value, and value by category.”

Gombe National Park is now on Google Street View.

Don’t care for Google Analytics? Here are 14 alternatives.

Twitpic’s photo archive has been acquired by Twitter, so it’ll stay online for the time being.

NASA has launched a SoundCloud page of clips from historic missions. 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!

Malta, Penguins, Clinical Research, More: Morning Buzz, September 30th, 2014

The University of Malta will launch an online institutional repository. “This online archive will collect, preserve and disseminate a variety of scholarly material produced under the University’s auspices. National intellectual output and heritage will also be accepted for submission to the archive.”

Many thanks to Saundra F. who gave me a heads-up on the ClinRegs Web site. “Welcome to ClinRegs, an online database of country-specific clinical research regulatory information designed to save time and effort in planning and implementing clinical research. Use the map feature above to obtain a digestible overview of a country’s regulatory requirements, and use the comparison search tool to view two countries’ requirements side-by-side.” ClinRegs is a subset of the NIH.gov site.

Wolfram|Alpha has launched “Tweet a Program”. “Compose a tweet-length Wolfram Language program, and tweet it to @WolframTaP. Our Twitter bot will run your program in the Wolfram Cloud and tweet back the result.”

Google is now 16. You can get nostalgic with all its Google logos.

Yahoo has issued a new transparency report.

New project at Zooniverse! It wants you to spot the penguin.

A digital edition of the entire Warren Commission Report is now available. “The Government Printing Office today released a digital version of the entire Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John. F. Kennedy to commemorate the 50 years since the printed version of the report first rolled off the agency’s presses.”

As spotted by Google Operating System, a new interface for Google Takeout.

It’s often far afield of ResearchBuzz topics, but Smashing Magazine publishes very interesting articles: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a WordPress host. If you’ve ever wondered what the difference between shared hosting, managed hosting, virtual private servers, etc. this article is for you.

Interesting: The Marketer’s Guide to Facebook Graph Search.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau is going to launch a “tech lab” (PRESS RELEASE). “The IAB Tech Lab will spearhead the development of technical standards, create a code library to assist in rapid, cost-effective implementation of IAB standards, and establish a test platform for companies to evaluate the compatibility of their technology solutions with IAB standards, which for 18 years have been the foundation for interoperability and profitable growth in the digital advertising supply chain.”

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!

TwitPic, Google, CIA, More: Brief Afternoon Buzz, September 19th, 2014

(Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day, Mateys!)

Twitter is getting more like Facebook and now apparently Facebook is getting more like Twitter. I’m not too chuffed about either of those things. “Facebook wants to steal discussion of real-time events from Twitter and stop being perceived as a slow social network. So today it announced News Feed changes that will surface posts that mention Trending Topics sooner and higher in the feed.”

Ready to upgrade to iOS 8? It’s a huge download. Here’s how to handle it.

TwitPic has been acquired and will soldier on.

The CIA has posted hundreds of declassified journal articles. “The documents, posted on the agency’s website Thursday, are from ‘Studies in Intelligence,’ the CIA’s in-house professional journal. The publication’s mission is ‘to stimulate within the Intelligence Community the constructive discussion of important issues of the day, to expand knowledge of lessons learned from past experiences, to increase understanding of the history of the profession, and to provide readers with considered reviews of public literature concerning intelligence,’ the agency said.”

The Loeb Classical Library has gone digital (but it’ll cost you.) Hat tip to @LibraryStuff.

Google’s going to be showing you a lot more photos. “Abby from Google quietly announced in the Google Maps Help forum that those who share photos publicly and have location data on the photos within Google+ may find their photos automatically within Google Views and Photo Sphere.”

Yahoo is going on the road. 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!

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…

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!

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!

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