It’s So Random Today: Saturday Buzz, May 23rd, 2015


I have mixed feelings about this: There’s a tool available that lets you search the salaries of foreign-born tech workers (H1-B workers, specifically). “The tool searches government records for Labor Condition Applications (LCA), a piece of paperwork that prospective employers must file on behalf of workers hoping to get H1-B visas. These applications are publicly available, and include the names of workers’ labor lawyers, as well as their salaries and the companies hoping to hire them.”

USEFUL STUFF is offering free access to military records through Monday.

Free Technology for Teachers had a writeup about Sketch Toy, which I didn’t know about. “What makes Sketch Toy different from other tools is the ability to not only draw, but also automatically convert your drawings into step-by-step animations that can be shared with a link.” That could be useful.

Video: Using Facebook as a Tool for Student Engagement.”In this online Faculty Showcase video, Dr. Lauren B. Allsopp, from the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, explains how she was able to engage students by using Facebook in her course on Historical Preservation, specifically on the topic of architectural nomenclature.” It’s about 18 minutes; use the full screen so you can see her screen shots.


Twitter’s new search interface has rolled out to everybody. “The updated interface is one of the larger updates Twitter’s search engine has seen in recent months, and it’s meant to make the search interface itself easier to use in terms of switching between tweets, accounts, photos and videos.”


A science fiction author’s view: What happens when Google’s in your brain? I don’t want Google in my brain. I’ll keep trying to fix already-correct spelling and I’ll randomly blurt out ads.

From Buffer: should you be on the “fringe” social networks?. I want to do more with Tumblr.

Happy birthday TechCrunch, you young whippersnappers.

Mmmkay. Facebook and FOX News are teaming up to host the first Republican presidential primary debate in August (PRESS RELEASE). “Moderated by Special Report anchor Bret Baier, The Kelly File anchor Megyn Kelly and FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace, the debate will feature Facebook data illustrating how the issues of the day are resonating with people on today’s largest platform for political conversation. FOX News viewers and Facebook users will also be able to share images and video questions via Facebook, some of which will be used to help formulate questions for the candidates and broadcast during the debate.”

Google has obtained a weirdass patent for anthropomorphic devices. “The patent describes how the toys would include microphones, speakers, cameras and motors as well as a wireless connection to the internet It states that a trigger word would cause them to wake up and turn their gaze towards the person addressing them, and would be able to check if the person talking was making eye contact.”

More Google: it apparently likes big phones because they’re good for ad sales. At least they’re honest.

More More Google: What if it offered an “all you can eat” news subscription service? “With a similar Google News All Access service, perhaps subscribers might pay $8-$10 per month. In return, they have access to news content from participating publishers that they discover either in their searches on Google or when browsing headlines through Google News. It might be an unlimited model or perhaps there’s a generous amount of articles that can be read before a cap kicks in.” The only problem with this is that Google News has been degrading steadily for a while. I’m starting to get more and more use out of Bing News.

Ew ew ew ew: Google’s Fiber service is forwarding pirating notices/pay demands. “These include regular takedown notices but also the more controversial settlement demands sent by companies such as Rightscorp and CEG TEK. Instead of merely alerting subscribers that their connections have been used to share copyright infringing material, these notices serve as automated fines, offering subscribers settlements ranging from $20 to $300.” I’m not in favor of piracy, but there are so many stories of false accusations and takedown requests that are just incorrect. Good afternoon, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

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