Googly Afternoon Buzz, April 21, 2015


The World Health Organization has launched global access to the WHO Global Medicines Safety Database. “VigiAccess is a new web application that will allow anyone to access information on reported cases of adverse events related to over 150 000 medicines and vaccines. More than ten million cases from over 120 countries are held in VigiBaseTM , the WHO database of suspected adverse reaction reports maintained by the Uppsala Monitoring Centre in Sweden.”


Useful for a given value of useful. But cool: Star Wars emoji.


Wha? Scary story about SoundCloud. “Here’s a wakeup call to audio creators everywhere: SoundCloud does not recognize your fair use rights under U.S. copyright law. If your content contains any copyrighted material to which you haven’t secured the rights — even if you have a valid fair use claim — SoundCloud may take it down at any time.”

10 ways to check facts when using search engines and social media. Some of this stuff is blindingly obvious, but not all.

Google’s country search filter apparently has or had a bug. I have a similar problem when trying to search Google news for state-specific sources. In fact, Google News has gotten sadder and sadder in comparison to Bing News.

Is France going to try to force Google to reveal how its algorithm works? “…the upper house of parliament yesterday voted to support an amendment to a draft economy bill that would require search engines to display at least three rivals on their homepage. And also to reveal the workings of their search ranking algorithms to ensure they deliver fair and non-discriminatory results. Given that Google has a circa 90% share of the search market in France these amendments, although not specifically naming any companies, are aimed squarely at Mountain View.”

Speaking of algorithms, check out this timeline of Google algorithm updates. It starts in 2000. Wow I’m old.

Wow. Google’s push notifications for Chrome are getting plenty of early love. “Today, Google has revealed that early adopters have already signed on to leverage the feature in Chrome for desktop and Android. These include Beyond the Rack, eBay, Facebook, Pinterest, Product Hunt,’s Fansided, and Vice News. Furthermore, Roost and Mobify have started letting developers integrate web-based push notifications into their sites.”

From Mashable: Google is having a bad year. A rundown of all Google’s challenges, regulatory and otherwise. There’s an f-bomb.


An interesting blog post from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on the challenges of digitizing video. Good afternoon, Internet…

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