SpaceX, Qatar, Easter Eggs, More: Monday Morning Buzz, March 23rd, 2015


SpaceX photos are now available under a Creative Commons license. “Wednesday night, the company created an official Flickr account with all of the photos released under what’s known as a Creative Commons license, which gives the public the chance to reuse and share the photos in many cases.”


James Losey is keeping a list of what companies publish transparency reports.

From Free Technology for Teachers: 10 Good Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms Add-ons for Teachers

Want to make your own version of Google Cardboard? You’ve got several options.


YouTube’s autoplay is now enabled by default. Incredibly disconcerting when you’re not expecting that next video.


According to an FTC report, Google purposely demoted competing sites in its search engine listings. There’s a lot of “Yeah but,” and “We were only…” in the updates to this article, but it is very disheartening. There’s another story at Search Engine Land that makes me even sadder. “An ‘inadvertently disclosed’ report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) labels Google a monopoly and appears to directly contradict the decision not to pursue legal action against the company. In early 2013 the FTC formally decided to close its antitrust investigation against Google demanding only modest changes in the company’s business practices. It turns out a vocal contingent inside the FTC wanted stronger action. The existence of the critical 160 page report was discussed in a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article today. The WSJ says the report was mistakenly disclosed in response to a FOIA request.” I want to see the whole report….

More Google: it has created a tablet that can be used by health workers treating ebola patients. “During the testing phase, the server ran off a motorcycle battery, but now it includes its own lithium ion batteries, much like those in your cell phone, which can charge via a portable generator. Then, inside the high-risk zone, [Jay] Archar can not only wirelessly send data over the fence, but also readily access information he didn’t have before, including a patient’s latest blood test results. Plus, after dipping the thing in chlorine for ten minutes, he can take it outside the zone and continue working with it after removing his moon suit.”

Intel, Google, and TAG Heuer have announced a Swiss smart watch.

NPR has a piece on the Qatar Digital Library – with several embedded SoundCloud songs. (The QDL has a lot of material available via SoundCloud.)

Interesting article in The New Yorker (yes, The New Yorker) about the language of Twitter and how it can predict mortality rates in regions, not people. “The psychologist Johannes Eichstaedt and his colleagues analyzed eight hundred and twenty-six million tweets across fourteen hundred American counties. (The counties contained close to ninety per cent of the U.S. population.) Then, using lists of words—some developed by Pennebaker, others by Eichstaedt’s team—that can be reliably associated with anger, anxiety, social engagement, and positive and negative emotions, they gave each county an emotional profile. Finally, they asked a simple question: Could those profiles help determine which counties were likely to have more deaths from heart disease? The answer, it turned out, was yes. Counties where residents’ tweets included words related to hostility, aggression, hate, and, fatigue … had significantly higher rates of death from atherosclerotic heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes. Conversely, where people’s tweets reflected more positive emotions and engagement, heart disease was less common. The tweet-based model even had more predictive power than other models based on traditional demographic, socioeconomic, and health-risk factors.” I removed the example words because one of them would trip an obscenity filter. Fascinating article; there’s a link to a tool to analyze the language of your tweets, as well.

If you’re a big social media users, The White House wants you to come to its Easter egg roll. You have to have a kid aged 5-13, though.

Nifty: Making art using Twitter conversations. Good morning, Internet…

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