Seattle, St. Patrick’s, Social Media, More: Sunday Buzz, March 1st, 2015


Kingtson Penitentiary Inmate Ledgers, 1913-1916, are now available on Flickr. “The ledger includes frontal and profile mug shots, the inmate’s name, alias, age, place of birth, height, weight, complexion, eye colour, hair colour, distinctive physical marks, occupation, sentence, date of sentence, place of sentence, crime committed, and remarks of authorities.”

The Seattle Police Department has a YouTube channel for its (redacted) body camera footage.


They can be very irritating: How to disable annotations in YouTube videos.

Larry Ferlazzo has a big list of resources for St. Patrick’s Day.

TorrentFreak does an extensive breakdown on VPN services. “VPN services have become an important tool to counter the growing threat of Internet surveillance, but unfortunately not all VPNs are as anonymous as one might hope. In fact, some VPN services log users’ IP-addresses and other private info for months. To find out how anonymous VPNs really are, TF asked the leading providers about their logging practices and other privacy sensitive policies.” (VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Lifehacker has a good overview of what they are and why you’d want to use one here.

Social Media Examiner: How to find and remove fake followers on Twitter and Instagram.


Fast Company Design thinks YouTube Kids is actually better than YouTube.

Apparently there’s a net culture out there which likes the way the Web looked in the mid-90s. Fine, just go easy on the blinky text.

Video NBA Pros wearing Google Glass.


“Active” users on Facebook may be changing. “According to our data, over a quarter of Facebook members are now ‘logging in to see what’s happening without posting/commenting on anything.’ Tellingly, these Facebook ‘browsers’ are more likely to be using chat apps, more likely to be on smaller networks such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr, and more likely to be 16-24. All of these individuals will be counted as active by Facebook but, in reality, an active user in 2015 is quite different from an active user earlier in the decade.” Good morning, Internet…

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Just Barely Monday Buzz, February 16th, 2015

Twitter wants 5% of my stream to be ads? Interesting. Not sure how that will work. When I’m reading a tweetstream I’m reading a tweetstream. I really don’t want to go off and look at advertisements.

The Waldorf Astoria is putting its archives online. Of course it has an archive. Every institution with any kind of lifespan has an archive. What varies is the condition it’s in, whether anybody bothers to curate it, and what happens to it after the institution dissolves.

Sometimes bots are not all that: YouTube has apparently flagged a video of a cat purring as copyrighted music. “Last March, YouTube user Digihaven uploaded one hour of video loops featuring his cat Phantom, purring, as cats do. The video didn’t go viral but appealed to a niche public, and more recently also two major music publishers. Nearly a year after the video was posted Digihaven was informed by YouTube that Phantom is ‘pirate’ purring. Apparently, part of the 12 second loop belongs to EMI Music Publishing and PRS.”

NASA has announced its plan for making its research, articles, and data more publicly accessible. “NASA’s plan includes provisions for making both articles and data resulting from its funded research publicly available. Most notably, the Agency commissioned a full independent analysis of implementation options available to provide effective compliance with the article requirements of the White House directive. The analysis compared the merits of the NIH PubMed Central (PMC) database, the DOE’s Public Access Gateway for Energy and Science (PAGES) system, and the Clearinghouse for the Open Research of the United States (CHORUS) platform proposed by the publishing industry. Ultimately, NASA opted to work with NIH’s PMC database.”

Bing is providing more coverage for cricket fans.

Dropbox has a new Chrome extension. “When you install Dropbox for Gmail, you’ll see a new icon at the bottom of the message compose window. Click it to sign in and select files from Dropbox. The extension then adds links to them in your email.”

Apple has added two-factor authentication to iMessage and FaceTime.

More Twittergazing: how online personas change after an engagement announcement. “A researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology has used Twitter as a lens to look into the lives of nearly 1,000 people who used the site to announce their wedding engagement. By comparing tweets before and after, the study was able to determine how people changed their online personas following the proposal. Some differences were split along gender lines. Others identified how people alter the words they use on Twitter after they are engaged.”

Facebook has fixed a ridiculously-easy photo deletion security hole. “This was all able to happen by exploiting Facebook’s Graph API, which is the HTTP-based software that allows the website to function. Graph API requires a token to mess with someone’s data, but Muthiyah tricked Facebook, using his own token, into deleting other people’s pictures.” Good just barely Monday, 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!

National Archives Puts Genealogy Workshops on YouTube

National Archives on YouTube

The National Archives announced yesterday that video of some of its genealogy how-to workshops have now hit YouTube (though looking at the dates on some of these they appear to have been up for a while, BUT ANYWAY.) The URL for the archive’s YouTube channel is Videos available include:

“Genealogy Introduction — Military Research at the National Archives: Regular Service” (available here.)

“Genealogy Introduction — Immigration Records at the National Archives” (available here.)

“Genealogy Introduction: Census Records at the National Archives” (available here.) (This appers to be, by far, the most popular of these three!)

The channel has 878 videos in total, with playlists that include “Inside the Vault,” “Public Programs from the National Archives,” and “ARC Film Clips.” So you’ll be better prepared this spring, there’s also a series of four short films, produced around 1940, about the 1940 Census.

As you might imagine, 878 videos equals a LOT to see here.

YouTube Labs Gets a Topic Search

YouTube announced late last week a new feature over at Test Tube, its lab site. It’s called YouTube Topics and it’s available at
(You will have to opt-in to use the feature, but that does not require you to have a YouTube account or be logged in.)

YouTube Topics lets you explore YouTube by browsing topics generated from an initial search. After the first search, you’ll get topics related to your search across the top of the results page. Next to the result videos themselves, you’ll get topics to which they are related. I did a search for Carol Burnett and clicked on the “Explore” link next to the related topics.

The related topics cover the expected (Tim Conway, Carol Burnett Show), the somewhat-out-there-but-possibly-linked (Golden Girls, Johnny Carson, Joan Crawford) and the Okay-I-don’t-get-that-at-all (mosque, obama, Sarah Palin.) If you click directly on the topic, you’ll be taken to a new search for that topic. If you hold your mouse over the topic and then click on the big blue and white plus sign next to it, the topic will be added to your current search query and the query will be rerun.

If you do a search for Carol Burnett mosque you will get results — but at this writing there are only two, and they appear to both be playlists. Since the playlists mix Carol Burnett videos with videos related to the “Ground Zero Mosque” category, I guess you could say the two topics are related — but it does seem like a stretch.

Topics listed with the video search results work the same way — you can search for them independently or add the topics to your current search. Removing topics from a current search is as easy as mousing over the query in the search result page and clicking on the item you want to remove.

I like this idea in theory, but man did I find some weird related topics.