morningbuzz

WordPress, Oregon, ProQuest, More: Wednesday Buzz, August 12th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

The Georgia State University Library has released a WordPress plugin as open source. “As part of its commitment to the free culture movement, Georgia State University Library is pleased to announce the initial release of the AfterEM plugin. AfterEM extends the Events Manager WordPress plugin to provide follow-up emails after an event has occurred. This additional functionality allows event organizers to gather feedback, request follow-up actions, and encourage participation in future events.”

Been covering a lot of architecture lately: a new database of Oregon historic building photos. “The mobile-friendly, map-based website is one more way that history is coming alive in the burgeoning digital landscape. Users can see historic structures that are still present, such as the 1925 Hayward Field East Grandstand, or those that exist only in photograph and memory, such as the 1938 Civic Stadium.” There are over 22,000 photos in this collection.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Hey! There’s a new Firefox in town. “Most notably, Version 40 adds support for Windows 10 devices. A reduced UI gives more space for viewing Web pages and larger, different color icons keep the browser in line with the new Microsoft design scheme.”

ProQuest scholarly content can now be discovered in Google Scholar (PRESS RELEASE). “The collaboration between Google and ProQuest enables authenticated ProQuest users to be recognized at the ProQuest platform after they search using Google Scholar and connects them to full-text scholarly content in their libraries’ collections. Users who are not recognized are sent to a landing page with the abstract or an image of the first page, protecting all rights holders. To read full text, the users authenticate themselves using their library credentials. There is nothing for libraries to set up – the linking is seamless and automatic.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Is Google Play going to get an affiliate program? How very 2002. “If a new report is to be believed Google is working on an affiliate program for Google Play that’s not unlike the one that Apple has for its online content store, the affiliate program is said to be in early stages of development at this point in time and the possibility exists that it might either be shelved completely or changed significantly between now and the time it goes public.”

Apparently Facebook is working on this breaking news/Twitter-type thing. “Facebook is working on a stand-alone mobile news application that seems to be part of its Facebook for Business initiative. This product, which sounds similar to Twitter, seems to be different from Facebook for Work, an initiative that was announced late last year.” Actually it sounds similar to any mobile news app I can think of. And if it’s going to contain the kind of news that Facebook seems to consider oh-so-important, I’m keeping it far away from my phone. (The David Beckham thing with his daughter and the pacifier was about the limit.)

From The Atlantic: The Covert World of People Trying to Edit Wikipedia—for Pay. “In 2006, Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia’s most public-facing board member, reportedly said that undisclosed paid editing—trying to alter the content of Wikipedia without revealing a financial conflict of interest—is ‘antithetical’ to the site’s aims. The practice continued at a low hum over the rest of the decade, but a few years ago Wikimedia started hearing from its volunteer editorial corps that weeding out undisclosed paid edits was distracting from more substantive work. ‘They were spending a tremendous amount of their time patrolling articles, particularly articles about celebrities or individuals or companies for PR-type editing,’ says Katherine Maher, a spokesperson for Wikimedia. The issue took on a sense of urgency in the fall of 2013, when a firm called Wiki-PR was banned from the site for using hundreds of dummy accounts to fabricate widespread support for pages that flattered its clientele. To combat activity like this, Wikimedia amended its terms of use last summer to ban any undisclosed paid editing that might carry a conflict of interest.”

Twitter and the NFL have teamed up. “The NFL and Twitter have signed a multi-year agreement to provide ‘uniquely packaged NFL video and other types of content to fans daily, year-round,’ according to a press release. ‘NFL and Twitter will offer brands the opportunity to present official NFL content created specifically for the Twitter platform, on PCs, tablets, and mobile devices.’ In other words: lots of brands awkwardly bolting trendy phrases to NFL photos and video.”

MIT Technology Review takes a look at the new Google / Alphabet thing. “Those twin desires—to do new things regardless of how weird and unrelated they seem to Google’s core search and advertising business, and yet still find a way to manage them to fruition—explain Page’s surprise announcement Monday that he was creating a holding company called Alphabet. It will separate Google’s lucrative ad-related businesses, including Android mobile software and the video site YouTube, from the company’s wide-ranging efforts on self-driving cars, human longevity, Internet access balloons, the Nest connected-home devices, and more, each of which will probably become discrete subsidiaries.”

Speaking of Alphabet, some of the other businesses named Alphabet are not thrilled by this name change. “BMW is not the only loser in the Alphabet stakes. Erwin Wagenhofer’s groundbreaking documentary Alphabet, a damning indictment of modern education, has also been vanquished from the front pages of search results.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Twitter is expanding its transparency report. “Since 2012, we’ve published a biannual transparency report covering government requests and copyright notices. Now, for the first time, we’re expanding the scope of the report to include two new sections: trademark notices and email privacy practices. In addition to the two new sections and updated data, we’ve rolled out a site-wide redesign, including an updated homepage, more mobile-friendly layouts, and easier access to individual country reports.”

Oh how shocking: More Flash updates. “Adobe’s latest patch for Flash (it has issued more than a dozen this year alone) fixes at least 34 separate security vulnerabilities in Flash and Adobe AIR. Mercifully, Adobe said this time around it is not aware of malicious hackers actively exploiting any of the flaws addressed in this release.” Good morning, Internet…

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