Movie posters, Google, Thunderbird, More: Monday Buzz, December 7th, 2015


New-to-me: a post on Reddit pointed me towards the IMP Awards site, which has a huge collection of movie posters. It doesn’t have everything – I stumped it with a couple of Hong Kong movies and an obscure old Doris Day movie called It Happened to Jane – but it does have a lot of movie posters.

Google has launched a Cloud Vision API. “Google today announced the launch of the Cloud Vision application programming interface, a tool developers can use to add image recognition to their own applications.”


Ugh: apparently Mozilla wants to split off Thunderbird. First Eudora, now this! Will there ever be another decent desktop client for e-mail? Web-based mail has horrible filters and there are a lot of limits to what you can do with it. I can’t even flip my GMail inbox so it shows the oldest messages first! Update: the nicest person in the world tipped me to reversing GMail’s listings: go to the inbox, make sure nothing is chosen, and hover your mouse over the item count on the upper right. You’ll get the option to flip it.

Chrome news: Google has released a new version of Chrome as well as announced an ending of support for Chrome on 32-bit Linux. “[Dirk] Pranke clarified that while Google is doing away with Chrome for 32-bit versions of Linux, it won’t entirely spurn the more avid Linux users who run it through their distribution’s software repositories. Pranke claims that Google still plans on supporting the Chromium source code – upon which Chrome is based – for 32-bit build configurations on Linux. Pranke is encouraging users who run the Precise version of Ubuntu to upgrade to the more up to date Trusty version.”


An incredibly wonderful human being named Michael Morgenstern has created an easy-to-use interface for Facebook’s search. “What’s special here is that you don’t need to know Facebook’s complicated Graph Search terms like ‘Friends of Friends named Sarah who went to Stanford and work at Google’. Search Is Back turns your simple menu selections into the proper URL and sends you to the search results page on Facebook’s official site with no extra login required.”

If you’re interested in the R language, check out this overview from Make Use Of. It has both an introduction to the language and a list of places where you can learn it for free.


Google Street View maps places around the world. And with that much space you’re sure to occasionally have an unfortunate inclusion. Like what? Like a dead body. “The company took action after screenshots emerged showing a police van and three officers standing next to a white object on the footpath — believed to be a body covered by a sheet in Endeavour Hills.”

Meanwhile, a park in the UK keeps vanishing from Google Maps. “The South Downs national park authority has pleaded with Google to reinstate it on the internet giant’s mapping service, after Britain’s newest national park disappeared from Google Maps for the fourth time.”

Half of all classroom computers are now Chromebooks. “CNBC is reporting that Chromebooks make up over half of devices used in U.S. classrooms, beating out Apple’s iPad and a wide range of Windows PCs to utterly dominate the education market. It’s particularly impressive when you consider that, just a couple of years ago, Chromebooks made up less than 1 percent of all such devices.”


An Irish airline is taking Google to court. “Ireland’s Ryanair is taking on Google in court, claiming that the search engine is helping some web sites to mislead air passengers. Legal proceedings are in train against Google and eDreams to try to stop eDreams marketing Ryanair flights via a ‘copycat’ web site.”


Winter is coming. And Twitter might be able to make the commute easier. “Go ahead, rant about the snow on Twitter. It can ease traffic on slippery, congested roads. That’s the crux of a University at Buffalo study which examined how weather-related tweets can be analyzed to bolster computer models that, among other things, recommend safe driving speeds and which roads motorists should avoid during inclement weather.”

The Marissa Mayer pile-on continues, now at the New York Times. “The larger story of Ms. Mayer’s tenure at Yahoo is one of a transformation so modest it borders on stasis. Over all, Yahoo remains much the same business it was three years ago. It is a far-flung collection of news, entertainment and communications destinations supported by ads. Ms. Mayer was hired to build something novel. Instead, at best, she appears to be building a better Yahoo — with debatable results.” Good morning, Internet…

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