UFOs, Apple, Economists, More – Saturday Evening Buzz, April 11, 2015


Every UFO sighting since 1933 has been put on a map. “The intergalactic graphic was created by MBA candidate Christian Pearson using web-based software and data from the National UFO reporting center. It’s a part of QuantBait, a visualization initiative through which Pearson wants to tell stories about economic, political, and social issues.”

Facebook Messenger is now available as a desktop app.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin will have gotten a grant to make a digital archive of the records from the Central Lunatic Asylum for Colored Insane in Petersburg, Virginia. The project will start this month and end in 2018. “The asylum was established in 1868 and was the first of its kind in the United States. It has maintained over 800,000 public records that detail the origins of the hospital and the racially segregated services provided for almost 100 years.”


Finding the most influential people on Twitter — in this case economists.

Larry Ferlazzo has made all the student handouts in his new student motivation book available for free. But wait, there’s more! “And Routledge has been kind of enough to do the same for the zillion student hand-outs in my previous two student motivation books, too, though for those books they’re called ‘Supplemental Downloads.'” Thanks, Larry!


I missed a recent records add by FamilySearch. “Notable collection updates include 771,097 images from the New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Probate Records, 1843–1998 collection; 417,808 indexed records and 417,808 images from the US, BillionGraves Index collection; and 411,325 indexed records from the Mexico, San Luis Potosí, Civil Registration, 1859–2000 collection.”

Apple has iOS 8.3. “The update, which has been in beta for several months, brings over 300 new emojis (including diversity options) as well as a new keyboard for inputting the symbols. The new keyboard features a scrolling UI, rather than the old page metaphor, to better accommodate the wider range of emojis available in the update.”


ScrapeSentry has an article about a Google Chrome extension which had malware in it. The extension is called Webpage Screenshot, and guess who had it installed on her Chromebook. Dammit.

Continuing to show the deep love and respect for third party developers that is one of its hallmarks, Twitter has announced that it is cutting access to Twitter’s “firehose data”. “Instead, it will use its own in-house big data analytics team, which it developed around its acquisition of Gnip in 2014, to seek to build direct relationships with the data companies, brands and others that use Twitter data to measure consumer sentiment, market trends and other moving targets that can be better understood by tracking online conversations — a transition it says it hopes to have completed by mid-August.” This makes perfect sense because Twitter has an excellent track record for developing its own applications, which is why there are absolutely no third party Twitter apps. (I think I just broke the sarcasm meter.)


Research: Google Image search results can shift gender biases. “In a paper to be presented in April at the Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI 2015 conference in South Korea, researchers from the UW and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County found that manipulated image search results could determine, on average, 7 percent of a study participant’s subsequent opinion about how many men and women work in a particular field, compared with earlier estimates.”

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  1. K well it looked like a white ball. And it was circling in the sky then it blinked red blue and green. Then went back to white and as it is still circling it looked like wings appeared you know for like an airplane then it turnd then went back to a white ball. It did that for about 2 mins and then went back to the white ball and then flew off and blinking white blue green and red lights. So at my house in the front I looked to he right alittle bit. And it looked like it went towards downtown I live in Calgary Alberta. This happend around 8pm April 11 2015. Anyone know what it could be

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