New York, Open Licensing, Pinterest, More: Friday Buzz, February 27th, 2015


The city of New York now has a database of building problems and complaints. “The site, officially released Thursday by rental listings site Apartable, aggregates data from city agencies detailing years of complaints, violations and building permits, as well as tax histories going back to 2009, for all of New York’s roughly 900,000 buildings. It combines this information with tenant reviews of buildings, landlords and management companies.”

The Department of State has announced the digitization of 20 volumes from the Foreign Relations of the United States series. “These volumes cover events that took place between 1948 and 1951 and were originally published in print between 1973 and 1998…”


The American Alliance of Museums is having a Google Hangout about open licensing on March 5th. “Interested in how you can open up your collections for the public good? In this one-hour roundtable discussion via Google+ Hangout, a panel of experts will explore the variety of ways that cultural institutions such as galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) can apply open licensing to their collections, as well as how this type of licensing benefits both institutions and their audiences.” It’s free for both members and non-members, but you are asked to pre-register.


Facebook is going to let you customize your gender.

Twitter is going to start tracking phone numbers to prevent abuse. “Under the changes, users who receive temporary bans may have to verify an email address or a phone number to resume using Twitter. (Other users can be banned permanently.) Email addresses are relatively easy to obtain, but phone numbers are harder — and by checking phone numbers against a list of banned users, Twitter could be able to keep more abusers and harassers from creating accounts.”

Google is working on a “reading mode” for Chrome. “Reader Mode is designed to make on-screen text easier to absorb, by removing unnecessary pictures, boxes, buttons and ads.”


Is Google going to invest in Jawbone?

Google will start ranking mobile-friendly sites higher in search results.

Rumor has it that Google will launch Android Pay in May. “Android Pay would allow single-tap pay transactions both inside of apps, as well as at physical stores, per the report. It would rely on Google’s Host Card Emulation, which should make it easier for third-party apps to utilize near-field communication (NFC), the technology that powers many mobile payments.”

It’s not just for images! From Mashable: How to share music on Pinterest.


At Ars Technia, Bruce Schneier looks at how Facebook or Google could maniuplate elections. “A truly sinister social networking platform could manipulate public opinion even more effectively. By amplifying the voices of people it agrees with, and dampening those of people it disagrees with, it could profoundly distort public discourse. China does this with its 50 Cent Party: people hired by the government to post comments on social networking sites supporting, and challenge comments opposing, party positions. Samsung has done much the same thing.” I believe when corporations do this it’s called astroturfing; I wonder what it’s called when governments do it?

Some data: When’s the best time to post to Instagram? Good morning, Internet…

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2 replies »

  1. Hullo Ms Research Buzz

    Firstly, I just LOVE you emails. They are great. SO interesting and informative, even though some of the stuff passes me by 🙂

    Secondly, I keep getting a pop up with a message that Research buzz uses an invalid security certificate/

    What is the problem and how can I fix it??

    Thank you

    Jan Newby

    • Hi Jan, can you send me a screen shot? I use to host ResearchBuzz. If you can take a screen shot I’ll get with the WordPress people. Thanks!

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