Nebraska, PACER, Twitter, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, April 23rd, 2015


GeekWire has a story on a new service for journalists called Sqoop. Sounds tasty. “Bill Hankes and David Kellum are the co-founders of Sqoop, a new online tool that alerts journalists when public documents become available online, based on the companies and topics they choose to follow. After starting with patent filings and SEC documents, Sqoop is expanding its beta this week to include alerts on federal court records.” It’s in what looks like closed beta.

The state of Nebraska now has an online database of farmers markets. (This is a government press release and it’s in PDF, ugh, why do they do that?) “… the database is easily navigated and will allow consumers to quickly locate farmers’ markets in their area, as well as individual farmers. The database includes details such as vendor names, location, contact information, hours of operation and produce options. Consumers can also find vendors who participate in one of NDA’s fresh produce coupon programs for low income individuals.”


Twitter has new anti-abuse tools. One of the things has done is made clearer when it will act against users. Also, “In addition, Twitter will begin freezing some abusers’ accounts for set amounts of time, allowing those affected to see the remaining duration via its app. Abusers may also be required to verify their phone number and delete all their previous offending tweets in order to get their account unlocked.”

WordPress has released WordPress 4.1.2, which is a security release so please update. “WordPress versions 4.1.1 and earlier are affected by a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability, which could enable anonymous users to compromise a site.”

Google and Yahoo ad products are going to all-encryption.


May 1 has been named the national day of PACER protest. “The PACER protest arises out of increasing frustration with the availability of information from the federal courts. Both the U.S. Constitution and federal law require that courts operate publicly, making trials and records of court cases open to the public. While limitations occasionally may be imposed to close court sessions and seal records related to particularly sensitive matters—such as those involving children, abuse victims, domestic situations, and mental health issues—most of the documents filed in court proceedings, as well as other court information, have been considered public records.”

I always wondered how government accounts got verified on Facebook and Twitter. has a walkthrough.

the National Library of Ireland has begun archiving Web sites related to the upcoming marriage equality referendum. “And now, the process of identifying and selecting websites to be included in the NLI’s Marriage Equality Referendum 2015 collection has gotten underway with the help of a team of researchers. According to the NLI, the collection will include sites documenting both sides of the debate; official sites like that of the Referendum Commission, commentary sites and political party websites.”

Wanna read an extensive, detailed, and depressing story about social media fraud? Here ya go.


Research: Snapchat elicits more jealousy than Facebook. “This article offers a preliminary comparison of Snapchat and Facebook use and psychological effects on romantic jealousy. General motives for using Snapchat and Facebook are examined, as well as the nature of the content that Snapchat users most frequently share. Further, because of the differences in privacy and persistence of information, potential psychological effects in the domain of romantic jealousy are also examined, which has been widely studied on Facebook in the last few years.”

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Lenovo, NOAA, Medium, More: Wednesday Morning Buzz, April 22nd, 2015


A guy who lost his job because of offensive tweets has created a new app so the same thing doesn’t happen to other people. “The app, releasing publicly Monday, scours a user’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram histories for potentially inflammatory or damaging posts, and makes their removal a breeze. It’s designed for the next generation in the workforce, who grew up sharing vast amounts of information online, some of which may become a liability in their future careers.”

Another historic newspaper, this time from New York, is available online. “Nate Austin, director of the library, said The Allegany Citizen was printed between March 21, 1896, and Dec. 16, 1976, and carried news and articles from the town and village of Allegany. The newspaper was printed in a building across from the library on West Main Street. ”


Own a Lenovo laptop? The laptop battery recall of a little more than a year ago has Been expanded to over 160,000 units from the original 37,000 units. Check your machine.

Want to watch YouTube videos without related content? You’ve got a few options.


Twitter is expanding who can send and receive DMs.

Google has brought information about Robben Island, a South Africa historical site, online.

Google has introduced a rule that Web sites must be mobile-friendly or suffer in Google’s rankings. Wired has an overview. For the record, ResearchBuzz is, according to Google’s assessment tool, mobile friendly.

The NOAA has expanded its coastal flooding information tool. “A NOAA flood exposure risk mapping tool that was developed in New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania has now been expanded to cover coastal areas along the entire U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.”

Google Takeout is letting you export more stuff. Is this an early attempt to defuse accusations of a monopoly or am I just being cynical?


Congratulations to TidBITS for 25 wonderful years!


Dutch organizations are warning that the Internet is not a reliable archive. Yeah. And?

Chris Abraham wants you to try Medium. Good morning, Internet…

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Short Friday Morning Buzz, April 3rd, 2015


The USDA has launched a new mobile app for food storage. “The FoodKeeper application offers users valuable storage advice about more than 400 and beverage items, including various types of baby food, dairy products and eggs, meat, poultry, produce, seafood, and more.”

Twitter has launched a new tool for media companies. “Curator was built to allow media publishers to search, filter and curate Twitter content that can then be displayed on web, mobile and TV. Those who have been testing Curator have seen strong increases in audience engagement, participation and attention. With these encouraging results, we’re opening up the product to all media publishers around the world, for free. This includes news organizations, production companies, broadcasters, local governments, and even concert venues.”

USEFUL STUFF is offering free access for Easter Weekend. Details at .

Really great hints here: 15 Tips for Newsgathering Via Twitter.


WordPress 4.2 beta 4 is now available.


Is Microsoft gearing up a sub-$200 notebook to compete with Google? “Although the launches of inexpensive Chromebooks using Rockchip’s solutions were postponed recently, Google is not giving up plans to release such products in 2015, forcing Microsoft, which has been closely monitoring Chromebook development, to release two new inexpensive projects targeting the education and consumer markets. The projects are 11.6-inch clamshell-type notebooks priced at US$149-179 and set for release in mid-2015, at the earliest.”

Interesting: a look at professional sports teams using Tumblr. (HINT: There aren’t many.)

Police departments are opening up “safe lots” for Craigslist transactions. Good morning, Internet…

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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!