Iowa Review, California Plants, Facebook, More: Sunday Buzz, October 25th, 2015


The Iowa Review has launched a free online archive. “We’re delighted to announce the launch of our free digital archive,, which contains the full text of virtually all the writing published in The Iowa Review from its founding in 1970 through 2011. The archive comprises 130 issues of the magazine and 5,752 individual poems, essays, and stories, searchable by volume, author name, and title.”

Californians who like to garden! The California Native Plant Society has a new map of native plants. ” It’s called ‘Calscape,’ and the link to it is on their homepage. All you do is click on your location — say, Sonora — on its map of California and, voilà, you are given all the plants native to your area, with color photos, by category: perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, grasses, succulents, vines, ground covers, plants that prefer sun, shade, are drought-tolerant, attract birds and butterflies, etc.”


This feature has come and gone, but apparently it’s here again: Facebook has opened up searching for all the public posts on its platform. It’s indexed all the posts, but of course you’re not going to find something if someone has shared it privately and you’re not friends with them. So let’s just call this a public post search with the added bonus that it also searches your friends’ posts. And to be honest, it kind of sucks. Facebook sorts posts the way it wants to – you don’t have a choice about surfacing more recent content (my keyword search was finding stuff from 2010), there is no advanced search (I want to find things in a certain time span, I want to find posts from people in this area, I want to find posts which are images or links or which are just text), and there’s no way to automated it – you can’t get alerts that I can see, you can’t get searches as RSS feeds, etc. In other words, you can use your keywords all day but Facebook is going to decide what you see and there is no transparency about that process.

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) now has a couple of new search options — a browser plugin and a DuckDuckGo shortcut.

Our long national nightmare is over; You can now mute tabs in Chrome. “Just right-click a tab that is producing sound and hit ‘Mute tab.’ You no longer have to decide between opening the tab to figure out what’s playing and closing the tab outright.”

Facebook has apparently fixed its app’s battery drain problem. “iOS: If you use Facebook on your iPhone, you’re probably used to terrible battery drains. While we wouldn’t count on this suddenly changing, Facebook is fixing two major problems that were chipping away at your charge.”

The UK’s Ordnance Survey is putting maps into virtual reality. “Not content with turning OS data into a Minecraft world, our OS Labs team have now created a virtual Ben Nevis to explore on Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard. In Oculus Rift, our developers have created a game where players race against the clock to find a hidden trig pillar. For those of us without access to Oculus Rift, our dev team have built a virtual reality tour of Ben Nevis. You can try it out on iOS and Android along with Google Cardboard to experience the virtual reality 3D affect.”


The folks at Buffer have a really thorough overview for how to use Twitter’s new Polls feature. Lots of screen shots, lots of ideas.

If you’re a heavy LinkedIn user, you’ll find this roundup of LinkedIn tools interesting. Very heavy on CRM and networking.


I hope has a plan in place for its spam problem. Yuck.

Jack Dorsey, who is apparently all about putting his money where his mouth is, is giving one third of his Twitter stock to employees. “Twitter’s new chief executive Jack Dorsey says he’s giving about a third of his Twitter stock — or 1% of the company — back to the company for an equity pool for employees.”


Firefox is testing a feature that would mark any page that sends passwords via http as insecure. “When clicked on, Firefox now provides further information about why the site is considered insecure, saying that ‘information sent over the internet without encryption can be seen by other people.'” This seems a natural evolution of trying to encrypt as much Internet traffic as possible. Good morning, Internet…

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