afternoonbuzz

Russia, Windows, Chrome, More: Sunday Buzz, October 18th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

In development: an online archive documenting Russian immigration to the US. “A new joint Russian-American project aims to digitize and make universally available archives of Russian immigration to the US with the help of Fort Ross Conservancy…. The organization behind the project, the Stolypin Memorial Center for Government Development and Reform, plans to digitalize collections related to Russians in America within the current Fort Ross Conservancy website and to make this information universally accessible and searchable.”

TWEAKS & UPDATES

Eeek! Apparently the Windows 10 update is installing automatically on some systems – whether you want it or not! “For those not wanting to make the switch to Windows 10 just yet, all is not lost; the installer does require human intervention to actually proceed, so you won’t run the risk of waking up to find your PC running a different operating system. If you’re not paying attention, though, you may find yourself upgrading sooner than you expected.”

MarketingLand has launched a new section on marketing technology. “Earlier this year, Marketing Land gained a martech channel. We’re now expanding that to include daily coverage of the area, especially through the efforts of our new writer who’s watching the space, Barry Levine. With the added coverage comes a new name for the section, MarTech Today.”

Chrome is dropping its notification center. “Google is making a change to how its Chrome browser pushes notifications to users. Chrome started supporting push notifications from web apps to the desktop five years ago, and a few years later, it introduced a consolidated notification center for messages from web apps and extensions. Turns out, very few people actually use the notification center, so Google is dropping it from Chrome in the next release.”

USEFUL STUFF

Hey! Track a quadcopter flight on Google Earth using a solution that costs less than ten bucks. Apparently if your flight machine already has GPS it’s very easy to do this.

Are you a little weirded out now that LogMeIn owns LastPass? Venture Beat’s got seven open source alternatives. I quite like KeePass.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Interesting: How airshow performers use Periscope. “Demonstration teams including the World Famous GEICO Skytyper, Team Oracle and the Patriots Jet Team now allow their fans to tune in live over the Internet as their the teams historic aircraft depart the airfield and begin their performances. The staple of may air shows Jet Car Pilot Bill Braack has also made it into the Periscope aviation community.”

Apparently Wix sites are being dropped from Google search results. “…if you are a Wix user and you saw a drop in index counts in your Google Search Console, a drop in traffic from Google Search and/or your web site no longer coming up for specific queries – you are not alone. Google is working on fixing it and seems like they are already reprocessing the web sites.” I am a longtime Wix customer, though my sites are not indexed by Google. If you want an inexpensive way to do digital signs in a retail store that are easily changeable remotely and locally, Wix is terrific.

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Because of Twitter, scientists can detect earthquakes in 29 seconds. “In 2014, the USGS was alerted to the earthquake in Napa, California in 29 seconds using Twitter data, the company said on its blog post. This data also allows the USGS to improve their own detection system and acts as a secondary check, so if a sensor detects an earthquake in a densely populated area but no-one is tweeting about it, then the USGS knows it’s a false alarm.”

Can people guess your income based on your tweets? “We present the first extensive study where user behaviour on Twitter is used to build a predictive model of income. We apply non-linear methods for regression, i.e. Gaussian Processes, achieving strong correlation between predicted and actual user income. This allows us to shed light on the factors that characterise income on Twitter and analyse their interplay with user emotions and sentiment, perceived psycho-demographics and language use expressed through the topics of their posts.” The link goes to the entire paper; data files are available on Figshare.

Google Glass is alive and well and being used a lot in industry and medicine. It might be able to help kids with autism. “For [Catalin] Voss, [Dennis] Wall, and their colleague Nick Haber, a graduate student in mathematics, the idea is that their Glass software will help autistic children recognize and understand facial expressions and, through them, emotions. It operates like a game or, as Voss calls it, an ‘interactive learning experience.’ Through the Google Glass eyewear, children are asked to, say, find someone who is happy; when they look at someone who is smiling, the app recognizes this and awards ‘points.'” Good afternoon, Internet…

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