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SMS, OPM, WWI, More: Short Saturday Buzz, July 11th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

A huge amount of information on World War I Merchant Seamen is now online. “The stories of 750,000 First World War merchant seamen and 39,000 voyages can be read online for the first time following the completion of a four-year-long project. Organised by The National Maritime Museum and The National Archives as part of their First World War commemorations, the 1915 Crew List Project has transcribed the entire crew lists of the Merchant Navy from 1915.”

The North Carolina Archives have put the Charles A. Farrell Photo Collection on Flickr. “The bulk of the photographs in the collection were taken by Charles A. Farrell between 1925 and 1940 in association with his work as a commercial photographer in Greensboro where he owned and operated the Art Shop for many years. Farrell also took a significant number of photographs of coastal North Carolina in the late 1930s.” As a North Carolinian, I am probably slightly biased, but these pictures are beautiful. He
even manages to make group shots look interesting. You know, those class or organization shots where people line up in three rows and stare at the camera.

USEFUL STUFF

Absolutely useful: How to send SMS messages from any PC or Mac. “Why type out text messages at your smartphone when you’re at a laptop or desktop PC with a full-size keyboards? These tricks allow you to send text messages directly from your PC. Even if you don’t have access to cellular service you can use some of these tools to send SMS messages directly to a phone number. You don’t even need a mobile phone on your end.” Read the comments for a few more suggestions past the article.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Facebook, now with “floating” video. “The option is accessible via an icon in the lower-right hand portion of a video (accessible on mouse-over while the video plays). When you click the icon, the video becomes movable — though you can’t pull it out of the browser window. The feature only works on desktop for the time being, not on Facebook’s mobile app; clicking a video in the News Feed on your phone will immediately open it in full-screen mode.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Chrome has started blocking major torrent sites. “Over the past few hours the browser has started to block access to several of the most popular torrent sites including KickassTorrents, Torrentz, ExtraTorrent and RARBG. Instead of a page filled with the latest torrents, visitors are presented with an ominous red warning banner.”

The US Office of Personnel Management is launching an information site after the recent hacking of over 21 million social security numbers and other data. “Today, OPM launched a new, online incident resource center at https://www.opm.gov/cybersecurity to offer information regarding the OPM incidents as well as direct individuals to materials, training, and useful information on best practices to secure data, protect against identity theft, and stay safe online. This resource site will be regularly updated with the most recent information about both the personnel records and background investigation incidents, responses to frequently asked questions, and tools that can help guard against emerging cyber threats, officials said. A call center will follow in the weeks to come, they added.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Is Twitter going to end the tradition of the “spin room”? “…with new capabilities to upload video directly to Twitter and the live-stream app Periscope, the candidates can post their own post-debate analysis instantly. That means that instead of flooding the debate press room with paper statements about the opponents’ flubs or speaking into a bouquet of microphones in the corner of the debate hall, the candidate can just promote their views in a tweet targeted to the audience that is most closely watching the debate.”

Interim CEO of Reddit, Ellen Pao, has resigned. “Pao, 45, announced her decision to step down in a post published to Reddit on Friday afternoon. She blamed her departure on a disagreement with the site’s board of directors, not the mounting criticism she’d faced from users and moderators…. But the ouster was seen as a swift and sweeping victory for the close-knit community of Redditors, who quickly took to the online community to express their glee at forcing such a big decision at the San Francisco company.” So here’s the question: is there every going to be a CEO that those Redditors can agree on? One who will both be able to run Reddit as a sustainable business and align with those editors’ philosophy? My guess would be no.

Is Facebook going to get into music videos? This is a straight shot at YouTube. “YouTube pays the labels for showing getting to show their music videos, which often run after pre-roll ads. Still, some record executives think YouTube should pay them more because not only is it getting to earn money from showing the videos, it’s a free music streaming option that might convince some listeners they don’t need to pay for services like Spotify or Apple Music. So to seduce the labels, The New York Times says Facebook is offering better payouts in exchange for music videos.” Good morning, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

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About ResearchBuzz (3235 Articles)
News and resources covering social media, search engines, databases, archives, and other such online information collections. Since 1998.

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