New Jersey, Music, Wikipedia, More: Wednesday Buzz, September 2nd, 2015


The Digital Public Library of America has a bunch of yummy new online exhibitions. “We are pleased to announce the publication of 10 new exhibitions created by DPLA Hubs and public librarian participants in our Public Library Partnerships Project (PLPP), funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Over the course of the last six months, curators from Digital Commonwealth, Digital Library of Georgia, Minnesota Digital Library, the Montana Memory Project, and Mountain West Digital Library researched and built these exhibitions to showcase content digitized through PLPP. Through this final phase of the project, public librarians had the opportunity to share their new content, learn exhibition curation skills, explore Omeka for future projects, and contribute to an open peer review process for exhibition drafts.”

FamilySearch has put records from the 1915 New Jersey census online (PRESS RELEASE). “FamilySearch International has added more than 2.7 million searchable historical records from the 1915 New Jersey State Census to its free online collections. New Jersey records are highly sought after by family historians because the state was a popular settling point for millions of immigrants during the heyday of US immigration from 1892 to 1924. The 1885 and 1905 New Jersey State Censuses are also available, making these three online collections invaluable for researchers.”


Google has updated its Nest thermostat. “The thermostat’s screen is now 40 percent larger and higher resolution at 229 PPI. Overall, the device has a slightly thinner profile so it doesn’t stick out from the wall. That’s along with an updated interface to make it easier to read the temperature.”


They’re not as cuddly as a puppy, but on the other hand they don’t pee on the carpet. Maybe you’d like to adopt a Department of Education data set. “My partner Kin Lane recently received a Knight Foundation prototype grant for a project he’s calling Adopta.Agency. The idea is to build upon President Obama’s open data initiative so that federal datasets are actually useful – the data is clean and (ideally) machine-readable.”

From How-To Geek: How to Use Google Drive Offline on a Deskop or Mobile Device.

Practical ECommerce has an overview of how to import data to Google Sheets. I love importXML.

If you dig free streaming, you might dig this: Pandora is offering an ad-free day on September 9th. “What started as the human genome project has become something much bigger, connecting artists to listeners 24/7. To give back, Pandora has announced ‘Listener Love Day,’ a day of ad-free streaming for all US users. It starts at midnight ET on Wednesday September 9th and runs for 24 hours.” A comment on the article notes it’s “music genome,” not “human genome,” but a) I’m quoting directly, and b) heaven knows I make enough typos on ResearchBuzz that I should keep my head shut about other people’s.


Dave Winer, who is still interesting after all these years, considers the idea of “Twitter NT”. “On Saturday I wrote a piece about Windows NT, the operating system Microsoft created to run alongside the original Windows, as its eventual successor. # In a similar way, that’s what Twitter needs. New technology, running off on the side, for pioneering users, the kind of people who were attracted to Twitter in the first place, the people who created the culture of Twitter. #”

Apparently Google had a secret project called Google Here which has been shut down. “Google Here worked by sending a notification to a smartphone user’s lock screen within five seconds of their entering a partner’s location. If the user clicked on the notification, a full screen HTLM5 “app” experience would launch. Google Here would know when to send the notification via Google Maps and beacons placed in the stores of participating partners. Google planned to supply the beacons to partners for the launch, according to the document. The experience could also be found by going to the Google Maps app.” Speaking as someone whose Real Job ™ is in retail, I have been interested in beacons for a long time, mostly for signage enhancements, but I’ve been waiting to see the privacy/security considerations.

Wait… there was a crime ring on Wikipedia? “After weeks of investigation, volunteer editors who work on the English edition of Wikipedia blocked 381 user accounts for creating promotional posts, making changes to others and promising to ‘protect’ those articles in exchange for a fee. 210 additional articles related to businesses, notable people and artists were also removed. ”


Several tech heavvies want royalty-free video codecs. “Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Cisco, Intel, Netflix, and Amazon today launched a new consortium, the Alliance for Open Media. The group plans to develop next-generation media formats—including audio and still images, but with video as the top priority—and deliver them as royalty-free open source, suitable for both commercial and noncommercial content.”


A new tool purports to show your personality via your Facebook likes. Among other things, it said I was 26, probably male, and that I was more laid back and relaxed than 62% of the population, so I am not impressed with this test. Good morning, Internet…

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