1939 Register, Mexico, Facebook, More: Friday Buzz, October 30th, 2015


FindMyPast has announced the availability of the UK’s 1939 Register. “… it’s the most comprehensive survey ever taken of the civil population of England and Wales. Taken at the outbreak of war in September 1939, it includes the personal details of 41 million people…The 1931 census was destroyed during the Second World War, and the conflict meant the 1941 census could not be taken. The 1939 Register is, therefore, the only surviving record of the people of England and Wales in the 30 year period 1921-1951, and fills the gap left by the missing censuses.” It will cost you to access records. has added over 200 million records from Mexico and made them free for a limited time. “In celebration of Dia de los Muertos, Ancestry will provide FREE access to these new records from October 28th through November 2.”


Yay! Facebook is getting rid of its horrible “Other” messages folder. “The new system will allow users to search anyone by name and send them a message. The receive can then choose to accept and ignore new requests without the requestor knowing if the receiver has read his or her message.”

Snapchat has made a filter upgrade. “Today Snapchat is introducing a new set of filters called ‘Speed Modifiers’ for videos you shoot on iOS or Android. They let you add slow motion, fast-forward, or rewind effects to your video. Just swipe sideways after shooting a video and you’ll eventually see them applied to your snap.” Cue the Benny Hill theme.

WordPress 4.4 Beta 2 is now available.

Google Fiber is expanding. “Today, we’re inviting three more cities—Irvine, CA, Louisville, KY, and San Diego, CA—to work with us to explore bringing Google Fiber to their communities. Our next step is to begin a joint planning process with city leaders, just as we did when we began working with nine metro areas last year.”


New Republic: How Twitter Helps Fight Human Rights Abuse. “Human rights activism is premised on the truth that people behave better when watched. No one wants their reputation tarnished, so people are more likely to avoid misconduct if they think others will notice and highlight it. Some deride social media like Twitter for superficiality, but more is at stake: by democratizing the media, social media enables many more people to spotlight abuse—a key tool for curtailing it.”

Twitter is going to show TV ads during the World Series. This should be interesting…

Facebook has started a 2G Tuesdays program to give its developers a taste of slow Internet. This is a great idea. “…the program allows Facebook staff to slow their mobile internet speed down to 2G for an hour, as Business Insider first reported. It is entirely optional and doesn’t last the full day, but it will let staff who don’t get to travel much to gain a better understanding of the issues that users in far-flung countries face.”

A Wall Street Journal Blog Post ran several US presidential candidates’ Twitter accounts through a bot detector to see how botlike they are. “The software works a little bit like our own brains, collecting thousands of data points. Does the account post messages in bursts like real humans or does it plod along at a regular cadence? Does its network of followers seem suspiciously robotic? Do its messages feel like they were written by humans or not? If you score 80% or higher, the odds are pretty good that you’re a bot; 40% or lower is considered absolutely human.” @ResearchBuzz, put through the same test, scores 35% bot.

AstroLabs and Google have opened a co-working space. “The launch, which took place Monday at the Jumeirah Lakes Towers, is the culmination of the company’s partnership with Google and DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Center), which aims to support startups from all over the world, helping them grow and expand.”

More Google: it wants to improve Internet access in Indonesia – With helium balloons. “Google has unveiled an ambitious project to boost Internet access across much of rural Indonesia using 20,000 helium balloons.”


If you pay any attention to the URLs search engines generate, you probably already know this, but it’s a good reminder, especially when using URL shorteners when you may not easily be reminded of what you’re passing on: Google search URLs can leak information on previous searches. Good morning, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

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