Tree of Life, 1980s Computing, Lamar, More: Sunday Buzz, September 20th, 2015


Facebook has launched Signal for journalists. “The tool, which pulls from both Facebook and Instagram, allows journalists the opportunity ‘to make Facebook a more vital part of their news gathering with access to relevant trends, photos, videos, and posts on Facebook and Instagram for use in their storytelling and reporting’ according to a company blog post from Andy Mitchell, Director of Media Partnerships at Facebook.”

The Boston Computer Society is putting some of its earliest forums up on YouTube — with the first one being a 1981 forum that features an extremely young Bill Gates. “Thanks to the generous support of the Computer History Museum, the general public will soon be able to experience videos of some of the major BCS General Meetings of the 1980s. Videos from the BCS general meetings will be released in a series of five batches to this playlist on the Museum’s YouTube channel. Viewers will be able to relive the unfolding history and witness the debates and dialog about an exciting new industry with seemingly limitless possibilities.”

An attempt to make a single, all-encompassing “tree of life” has been released. “A collaborative effort among eleven institutions, the tree depicts the relationships among living things as they diverged from one another over time, tracing back to the beginning of life on Earth more than 3.5 billion years ago. Tens of thousands of smaller trees have been published over the years for select branches of the tree of life — some containing upwards of 100,000 species — but this is the first time those results have been combined into a single tree that encompasses all of life. The end result is a digital resource that available free online for anyone to use or edit, much like a ‘Wikipedia’ for evolutionary trees. ”

Lamar University (Texas) has digitized its student newspaper and put it online. “The library staff has also provided the digital files to the Portal to Texas History, a large digital archive that will expose new readers to the LU newspapers and website. The digitized copies can also be found in the library’s Special Collections section of its website where the archives are linked to at Search Digitized Collections. From there, one can browse for different editions and topics.” The collection covers 1933 through today, but the librarians are working to find/add older editions as the newspaper was believed to have started in 1923.


Twitter is going https — but for new links only. “While sites like Reddit and Wikipedia have recently gone HTTPS site-wide, Twitter will only utilizing HTTPS on new outbound links.”

Periscopers now have Web profiles. “Go to to see all the recent broadcasts for any Periscoper. If Sam Sheffer is live, you’ll never again have to scramble to find the link to his broadcast. You can just go to We think it’s really important for broadcasters to have a home on the web, and today’s launch is just the beginning.”


From 3 Tools for Finding Geolocated Posts on Social Media.

Hey! How to use an Amazon Dash button to find your phone. “If you’re like me you constantly lose your phone. And if you’re even more like me you’re constantly asking your friends to call your phone for you. And if you’re my long lost twin then you hacked yourself a solution using a Raspberry Pi and the new Amazon Dash Button. Now there’s a button in my kitchen, and whenever I need to find my phone I just press it and get a call.”


And in our headdesk department, apparently spammers are using Google’s takedown forms to promote their offerings. “While browsing through the Chilling Effects archive of Google’s DMCA notices we spotted some unusual entries. Instead of trying to remove pages from the Internet, spammers are using Google’s takedown forms to promote their counterfeit software, clothing and other merchandise.”

Snapchat and the NFL are teaming up. “Snapchat and the NFL are teaming up so you can be a part of this season right from your phone. The partnership means Snapchat will feature an NFL Live Story each week of the regular season and will continue through the postseason, including Super Bowl 50.”

Pinterest has over 100 million monthly active users. “Reaching the 100 million mark is no small feat. It’s only a fraction of Facebook’s 1.49 billion MAUs, but it took the social networking giant four years to hit 100 million MAUs. And it’s nearly a third of Twitter’s 316 million MAUs (it took five years to hit that milestone).”


Be careful what you RT — the FBI says retweets are endorsements. “22-year-old Queens resident Ali Saleh was arrested this week following an FBI investigation into his attempts to join ISIS. According to the complaint against him, Saleh began tweeting his plans in 2013. Saleh’s retweets came up repeatedly in the complaint as cause for arrest.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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