Namibia, Colorado, Electrochemical Society, More: Thursday Buzz, October 22nd, 2015


The country of Namibia is getting an digital archive. “The digital archive will be accessible online providing a rich resource reflecting the diversity of the cultural stories of Namibian people. The urgency of the project is driven by the aging of elders who hold the oral traditions of the indigenous peoples and the personal stories of individuals who participated in the former South West Africa’s (Namibia’s former name) struggle for freedom.”

Google has a new tool for online merchants. “On Tuesday, Google gave an early holiday gift to the big box stores. The company announced a new ad product that takes two of its biggest strengths — search data and mapping data — and packages them for retailers, letting them identify shopping trends in individual U.S. markets.”

Colorado State University has created an online oral history archive of Colorado’s 2013 flooding. “September 2015 marked the second anniversary of the floods that ravaged Colorado’s Front Range. In an interview about the devastation, Jamestown Mayor Tara Schoedinger recalled a dramatic moment following days of rain: ‘My husband … ran outside and said, “There goes the gulch.” … He came back in less than a minute later, and he said, “Joey’s house collapsed, and he’s in it. Call 9-1-1.”‘ As part of remembering the floods, the Water Resources Archive at the Colorado State University Libraries has made Schoedinger’s interview and 30 others available through its online repository. Each audio recording is accompanied by a full transcript.”


Twitter is rolling out its new “polls” feature. “Twitter is now implementing official support for polls, giving you a native way to find out whether dogs are better than cats or let the world know that they aren’t. You can create your own poll from a new option that will soon appear in the tweet-composing interface.” I’ll probably play with this a little, but I doubt I have enough followers to make a meaningful poll. (Though I’m grateful for all the ones I do have. You’re absolutely lovely.) This’ll be great for people who have tens of thousands of followers.

After lots of speculation, YouTube has finally launched its subscription service. “YouTube Red is the experience fans have been asking for. For just $9.99 a month, you’ll be able to enjoy videos across all of YouTube without ads, save videos to watch offline on your phone or tablet and play videos in the background. But we’re not stopping there. Starting next year, YouTube Red members will get access to new, original series and movies from some of YouTube’s biggest creators.”


The Electrochemical Society is making its digital content available for free this week in recognition of Open Access Week. That’s over 120,000 articles. “The association is working on a two-phase, long-term plan to eventually open all of its content. Phase one began in February 2014 and allows authors to choose if they would like their manuscripts that are submitted for publication in ECS journals to be accessed openly.”

More free stuff: the Google Docs for the Connected Classroom eCourse is free for this week, this time in honor of Connected Educator Month. You do have to tweet to get access, though.

Ooh, fun. This Twitter bot tweets goodies from the Wayback Machine. “The bot utilizes the Wayback Machine, which began in 1996 as a project of the Internet Archive (a nonprofit digital library which has copies of 439 billion webpages) and Alexa Internet (a search engine precursor to Google which now runs analytics).The Wayback Machine now contains approximately 23 petabytes of data, and is growing at a rate of 50-60 terabytes per week.”


Google is aggressively and unapologetically going after Microsoft customers. “Google is making an aggressive move to grow its Google Apps for Work business with a new plan that will make it easier and cheaper than ever for big companies to switch away from Microsoft Office. If you’re under a Microsoft enterprise agreement, or EA, Google will give you Google Apps for Work — free.”


The Spanish Supreme Court has ruled that digital newspaper archives do not have to be altered with the “right to be forgotten”. “In a decision that was made known on Monday, judges rejected a petition by two individuals to have EL PAÍS eliminate information from its online archive that they viewed as detrimental to them….However, they did have an obligation to ensure that this information cannot be easily accessed through online search engines, the ruling said.”

Google is providing more information on why some sites might get warning/block messages. “we’re launching a Site Status section in the Transparency Report. The next time you come across a Safe Browsing warning, you can search for the blocked website in the Transparency Report to learn why it’s been flagged by our systems.The new Site Status section of the Transparency Report replaces our previous Safe Browsing diagnostic page. It includes a clearer interface and simpler explanations of the issues, such as details for sites that host unwanted software.”


Data wonks, you will love this breakdown of where Google’s searches are coming from. “Amit Singhal, Google’s head of search, let slip a couple of interesting statistics at the Re/Code conference – none more so than that more than half of all searches incoming to Google each month are from mobile. (That excludes tablets.) This averages out to less than one search per smartphone per day. We’ll see why in a bit.”

Mmkay. Apparenly using Snapchat makes you happier than using Facebook. “Snapchat interactions are associated with more positive emotions than Facebook and other social technologies, the researchers say. Simultaneously, Snapchat interactions are viewed as less ‘supportive’ than other types of interaction, including Twitter, texting, email, calling and face-to-face.” Good morning, Internet…

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