Academic Journals, Legislation, OneDrive, More: Tuesday Buzz, November 3rd, 2015


Oh, this is nice: There’s a new search engine for academic journals that uses artificial intelligence to do very specific types of searches. “a new tool called Semantic Scholar … can search through millions of computer science papers. The tool, launched today, features ways of refining searches based on information extracted from the text of papers. It is, for instance, possible to narrow a search according to the journal in which a paper was published, or the conference at which it was presented, or by the data set used. Semantic scholar will also show key phrases in a paper.”

Two great resources in a row showing up in my traps tonight: Statescoop has the skinny on a new tool called The Legislative Influence Detector. It compares language in legislation against language in “model bills” offered by special interest groups. “Currently, the group is making data from those comparisons available on its website, and the fellows hope to have the program available to the public in an online portal, which will let users search for similarities on bills of their choice, in the coming months.”


Roddy MacLeod has added over 300 journals to JournalTOCs. “JournalTOCs now contains details of the latest Tables of Contents of over 27,000 scholarly journals, including more than 9,400 Open Access journals, and is the largest freely available collection of scholarly journal Tables of Contents.”

Microsoft has backed off on the unlimited storage offer for OneDrive. “Complaining that too many users were taking advantage of the unlimited space to store entire movie collections, hours of recorded video, and entire PC backups, Microsoft has introduced a new limit of 1 TB on OneDrive storage. At the same time, the company has reducing its free OneDrive storage from 15 GB to 5 GB, and removed its 100 GB and 200 GB plans, to be replaced by a new 50 GB plan for $1.99 a month.”


Fold3 is giving free access to its Native American records through November 15th.

Good article in Nature: Eight Ways to Clean a Digital Library. “This article focuses on eight tools — colwiz, EndNote, F1000Workspace, Mendeley, Papers, ReadCube, RefME and Zotero — all competing in the reference-management market (see ‘Reference-management software’ or download this Excel spreadsheet for a fuller comparison of the software ). Some excel at streamlining the process of browsing and building literature libraries, whereas others focus on creating bibliographies, aiding collaboration through the use of shared workspaces or recommending papers. (One, ReadCube, is owned by Digital Science, a firm operated by the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, which also has a share in Nature’s publisher.)”


Snapchat’s new privacy policy has forced it to release a blog post with clarification. “First off, we want to be crystal clear: The Snaps and Chats you send your friends remain as private today as they were before the update. Our Privacy Policy continues to say—as it did before—that those messages ‘are automatically deleted from our servers once we detect that they have been viewed or have expired.’ Of course, a recipient can always screenshot or save your Snaps or Chats. But the important point is that Snapchat is not—and never has been—stockpiling your private Snaps or Chats. And because we continue to delete them from our servers as soon as they’re read, we could not—and do not—share them with advertisers or business partners.”

Apparently Google spent “only” a quarter-billion dollars in acquisitions in the first nine months of 2015. “By comparison, in the first nine months of 2014, Google spent $1.1 billion on non-named acquisitions, plus $2.5 billion on smart-appliance maker Nest, $517 million on Dropcam, and $478 million on satellite company Skybox Imaging.” Saving up for Twitter?

Aw, this is nice. A 97-year-old lady has gotten her wish to visit Google fulfilled. “Horrell wanted to visit Google to find out how all this technology magic happens. From experiencing virtual reality to riding in the company’s self-driving car, Horrell had a VIP tour of Google’s Mountain View, California, campus.”

More Google: The company wants to start drone deliveries by 2017. What could POSSIBLY go wrong? “David Vos, the leader for Alphabet’s Project Wing, said his company is in talks with the Federal Aviation Administration and other stakeholders about setting up an air traffic control system for drones that would use cellular and Internet technology to coordinate unmanned aerial vehicle flights at altitudes under 500 feet (152 meters).”

Comcast, which should really know better, tried throwing some shade at Google Fiber. It didn’t end well. “Comcast’s Xfinity posted a snide comment on Facebook about Google Fiber’s hiccup during a televised pro sports event. Comcast customers used the opportunity to fire back at the much-hated cable provider.” Good morning, Internet…

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