Internet, Energy, Coprolites, More: Wednesday Buzz, September 30th, 2015


Harvard University has a new Internet-monitoring tool that should be catnip to you news junkies. “Launching for free on Monday, the Internet Activity Monitor is a real-time dashboard tracking blackouts, news hits, Internet speeds, and outages across the world. The service pulls in public data from services such as data-transfer mega-highway Akamai, and security firm Kaspersky.” Well that sounds cool. “You can sign up for a personal account and organize a series of dashboards that suit your needs, sort of like a Pinterest board documenting Internet speeds in South Korea or outages in Pakistan.” Pardon me, I appear to have drooled all over my shirt. I played with this a little bit and Y’ALL. One suggestion: one of the things I can do is monitor news from a certain country for a certain term. Great. But it would be great if you could specify what language you want it in. If I want to monitor Russian Federation news for the term “Google” (because I’m still very curious about the antitrust penalties) I’m sure there is news available in English. But all I’m getting is Russian.

UCLA researchers have launched the LA Energy Atlas. “UCLA researchers launched their new L.A. Energy Atlas today, a free searchable database that combines never-before-released data from energy utilities with public records to reveal previously undetectable patterns about how people, buildings and cities use energy. Researchers from the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA have assembled information in a database that allows users to sort it by household income; building age, size or use; city or neighborhood; energy use per square foot; energy use per capita; and other metrics.”

New-to-me: today I learned there is an online museum of coprolites. (Coprolite is fossilized excrement, and I remember first learning that word from the Rona Jaffe book Mazes and Monsters, and I just admitted to reading Mazes and Monsters. Anyway.) It’s called the Poozeum. OF COURSE IT’S CALLED THE POOZEUM.

Two companies are teaming up to put a digital archive on the moon. And they want your contributions. “Astrobotic Technology Inc. and Lunar Missions Ltd, the company behind the global, inclusive, not-for-profit crowd-funded Lunar Mission One, have signed a deal to send the first digital storage payload to the Moon. The payload will support Lunar Mission One’s ‘Footsteps on the Moon’ campaign, launched earlier today, which invites millions of people to include their footsteps – in addition to images, video and music – in a digital archive of human life that will be placed on the moon during Astrobotic’s first lunar mission.”

The University of Houston has digitized a number of photos and other items from Duke-Peacock Records. “Almost 100 rare publicity photos and other items that once belonged to Duke-Peacock Records were put online recently by the University of Houston’s digital library, offering an invaluable glimpse into the innermost workings of the most important U.S. record labels of the post-WWII years. Run by the brilliant but tyrannical mastermind Don Robey, Duke-Peacock may not be quite as well-known as Memphis’s Sun Records or Chicago’s Chess Records, but many musicians, historians and record collectors believe it was just as significant.” Musicians represented here include Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Otis Rush, and Johnny Ace.

The Vatican has launched a new digital library. “At a press conference in the Vatican on Wednesday, a new online digital library was launched, offering access to over a thousand papal documents on communications from the first to the twenty-first century. The initiative, known as the Baragli Project, features papal teachings on communication, translated into different languages, and is geared especially to those working in Catholic education and training centres.”


The Library of Congress has launched an upgraded Global Legal Monitor. “The Global Legal Monitor is managed by editors Connie Johnson and Wendy Zeldin. They are also prolific authors who have each published more than 800 GLM articles. They are two of the 40 authors who have contributed almost 4,500 articles to the Global Legal Monitor.”


Ancestry Insider looks at a “bug” in the Internet Archive’s book viewer and shows how to work around it. I quoted “bug” because it’s less a bug and more a sub-optimal user interface.

Aimed at marketers, but good for anybody: 13 Tips for Producing an Incredible Webinar.


Bing is predicting the most popular TV shows this fall. “Using popular search terms from our users and historical data regarding what makes a TV show successful, Bing Predicts these ten shows will lead the season in popularity: The Walking Dead, The Bing Bang Theory, Empire, NCIS, Dancing with the Stars, Grey’s Anatomy, The Flash, Gotham, Supergirl and The Voice.” And I’ve never seen any of those shows so I have no snark to offer.

Zow: Facebook has over 2.5 million advertisers. “In June of 2013, Facebook formally announced that it had 1 million advertisers. Then, in February of this year, the company announced 2 million advertisers. And last night, it said it now had 2.5 million. Advertiser growth is clearly accelerating.”

The Next Web (already) has a review of the new Google Chromecast Audio. Good evening, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

1 reply »

  1. thanks for the Global Legal Monitor! (you continually remind all of us ‘we don’t know “everything”…!

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