U Texas, Cars, Lycos (!), More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, May 15th, 2015


The University of Texas system has launched a database of UT-related experts. “Influuent is a free online searchable database of researchers and resources that enable potential collaborators to easily identify faculty experts to conduct all levels of research (basic, applied and clinical), develop new technologies and processes and overcome technical challenges….Influuent’s search tool scans and analyzes every publication in Scopus, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed research literature that’s updated weekly. That data is used to produce a fingerprint of each researcher’s expertise.”

Under development: a digital archive of South African oral and performance poetry.


VERY specific: How to hack your smartphone to take good photographs of birds.


Google’s self-driving cars are hitting the road this summer. “…we’re announcing the next step for our project: this summer, a few of the prototype vehicles we’ve created will leave the test track and hit the familiar roads of Mountain View, Calif., with our safety drivers aboard.”

More Google: apparently Google’s App Engine has come security problems. “Posted on Friday by Adam Gowdiak, Security Explorations’ analysis of security issues in the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) product notes that approximately 30 security vulnerabilities were originally discovered by Security Explorations and later resolved by the tech giant. However, at least five vulnerabilities remain, and Google’s radio silence over the past three weeks has led the firm to publicly disclose details of the unpatched issues.”

Remember Lycos? It was one of the early search engines before the first bust around 2000. Now it’s back with A consumer products division (PRESS RELEASE). “Lycos will launch two products in June that will simplify the way people leverage the Internet for their daily use. While Lycos’ past endeavors have helped consumers learn and utilize the Internet, its new suite of hard goods will “learn” the user and allow people to live within the Internet.” Very few details in the press release.

As you’ve probably heard, Google has shut down the Map Maker tool after some embarrassing hacks. Because after being a search engine on the Internet since 1998, Google had no idea there were any such things as vandals. They’re shocked, I tell you, shocked.

The Public Takes a look at how Buffalo, New York has changed through Google Street View. The article compares shots from 2007 and 2015. It helps that the 2007 shots were taken on an overcast day, while the 2015 shots are under a bright blue sky, but even with that in mind the differences are impressive.

Like the Beatles? TidBITS takes you on Google’s Abbey Road tour.

MIT Technology Review does a quick interview with Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter.

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