MLB, Mapping, Mining, More: Monday Buzz, September 28th, 2015


Under development: the oral histories of African-Americans in the first 25 years of integrated Major League Baseball. “The project called for patience, perspective and, perhaps most of all, a deep love of baseball. The last part was what made Neftalie Williams’ presence here, next to a baseball complex in Compton, so peculiar. Williams was there to interview Don Buford, subject No. 5 out of 111 in a quixotic mission: Over the next few years, it’s Williams’ job to interview, record and catalog every living African American player from the turbulent first 25 years of Major League Baseball’s racial integration, from 1947 to 1971.”

Mapzen has launched Mapzen search. “We live in a pretty complex world, and sometimes we need a little help to understand where we are. We’re excited to announce Mapzen Search, our new search engine for places that takes our philosophy of open communities creating data and code to its heart. Mapzen Search will launch in the next week, and in the meantime, we wanted to share some background on why the time is right for a new, open search engine for places.”

In development (and very close to being finished, sounds like): a database of mining laws in Africa. “The primary laws and regulations for mineral resources across all 53 African countries will be freely available via a new African mining law online platform, the African Mining Legislation Atlas (AMLA) from year end.”


Twitter is getting cozier with TV content. “Twitter is starting to make a bigger push for TV fans, networks and advertisers wanting to reach a primetime audience: The company has started to make its TV Timelines feature more widely available, and is adding shortcuts to the TV experience directly to its users’ tweets. TV Timelines is a feature that Twitter has been experimenting with for a few months now: It aggregates TV-related content through a separate interface within the Twitter app, consisting of a dedicated page for each TV show.”


It deals with SEO, but this Moz article is also a great introduction for using IMPORTXML to populate Google Sheets with Web page data.


Google is set to announce the ability for advertisers to upload customer e-mails. “Google is on the cusp of rolling out an anticipated and in-demand product feature in AdWords: the ability to upload and target audiences built from advertiser email lists. The company is announcing the new capability during Advertising Week in New York City on Monday afternoon. Customer Match will let advertisers bid and create ads tailored to customer segments in search as well as with YouTube Trueview ads and Gmail ads.”

More Google: It turned 17 yesterday. Yes, I was writing books on Internet search before Google. Seems impossible but there was a lot going on before they turned up!

More more Google: Google has patented this thing that looks like a partially used bar of soap. It’s suppose to make it easier to hang on to your cell phone. “‘Despite the significant advances in handheld electronic devices, the physical form of these devices has seen little evolution,’ notes Google in its patent filing. ‘Most are shaped like a more or less smooth brick with increasingly smooth front, back, and side surfaces. This configuration can easily slip from the hand of the user, and risk damaging the phone with potential loss of valuable data as well as hardware.'”

In case some of y’all are wondering why I mention Twitch so much and why I think it has a chance to take on YouTube: because it’s big. “The game-broadcasting behemoth is holding its first ever convention this weekend in San Francisco, and it revealed some of the numbers behind its success. This includes a total of 1.7 million individuals who use the Twitch platform to livestream games. Collectively, that group has sent 7.5 billion minutes of content to the Web. These are massive number that put it well ahead of the competition, but perhaps the best example of Twitch’s growth is that it has had a peak concurrent audience of 2.1 million people in 2015. That’s more than twice what that figure was in 2014, and the people who are tuning in for these broadcasts are more engaged than ever before.” Also, it’s owned by Amazon. So: size and dollars.

Yahoo is rolling out new ad offerings. “Over the past year, we’ve made significant investments in product development, and today at Advertising Week New York, I’m excited to share new updates to Yahoo’s advertising technology portfolio that bring together the strengths of Yahoo, BrightRoll and Flurry.”

Looks like Microsoft is getting its own VR kit. “Spotted on a website to promote a hackathon in Russia, Microsoft is trying to attract developers to an upcoming hackathon that will use the company’s VR-Kits. As you can see in the image at the top of this post, the kit works by inserting your Lumia into a cardboard box and then holding it to your face.”


From How-To Geek: 7 Ways to Secure Your Web Browser Against Attacks. Additional suggestions in the comments. Good morning, Internet…

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