Bitcoin, TV Ads, Squirrels, More: Saturday Buzz, January 16, 2015


New-to-Me: Brett Scott has created a massive Google Spreadsheet documenting academic research papers about Bitcoin. There are over 600 papers here, looks like, and he’s started updating it with 2016 papers.

The Internet Archive is launching an archive of political TV ads next week. “The Internet Archive launches the Political TV Ad Archive, an online, free digital library resource where reporters can find federal-level political TV ads in key primary states in the 2016 elections, married with fact-checking and information on the organizations funding the ads, along with downloadable metadata.”

Thanks to everyone who tagged me with this: a map of power outages which were caused by squirrels. “The data populating the map is culled from news reports, so it likely undercounts outages because it only includes individual incidents large enough to draw media attention. Even so, the outages noted so far are the equivalent of taking out the power in all of Phoenix for about a month, the creator of the site said.” The most shocking thing about this is that possums aren’t listed on the scorecard.


You can now give Twitter polls time limits.

More Twitter: You can now watch Periscope streams right from your Twitter feed. “Twitter announced Tuesday that live video from popular livestreaming app Periscope, which Twitter acquired one year ago, will now be viewable directly in the Twitter feed. Periscope lets users broadcast live video anywhere they might have an Internet connection, while viewers can offer instant feedback on what’s being shown or said.”

Russian search engine Yandex has launched an Elvish translator. “The largest Russian search engine Yandex can now translate to and from Sindarin, a fictional language spoken by Elves in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD Widespread Flooding May Threaten Records. “Once again nature is threatening large parts of the country. This time large areas, including the Midwest and California but other areas as well, are experiencing unprecedented flooding. We remind Agency Records Officers that NARA posts records emergency information and other useful guidance in order for them to pass along this information to other agency personnel. For advice and assistance on preparing before a flood happens, and records recovery operations afterward, please refer to the preservation section of our website. Here, you will find a section on preparation and several sections about records recovery processes.”

The latest country to step up social media monitoring is Malaysia. “AMID concern from a number of Malaysian NGOs, Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar announced this week that ‘police have no choice but to beef up efforts to monitor social media as many internet users in the country abuse the platform by issuing insensitive comments’. This comes at a time where reporters and opposition politicians are prosecuted on sedition charges, and arrest warrants sought through Interpol for the editor of the Sarawak Report, Clare Rewcastle-Brown.”

Is more hacked content appearing in Google search? “A WebmasterWorld thread has several webmasters saying that they are seeing more and more hacked content show up in the Google search results, especially when you filter the results to show content in the past 24 hours.” I’m not noticing a lot more in my Google Alerts, but there’s consistent drug spam stuff and has been for ages.

Is Twitter going to embed user tweets alongside ads? Yick. “According to Digiday, Twitter is working on a new form of advertising that would connect tweets from normal users with a company’s own advertising. The new service would be able to collect together related tweets and promote them in tandem with ad campaigns. Ad execs were shown the new system during CES last week in Las Vegas, according to sources. ”


Protip: if someone takes out a restraining order against you, don’t tag them on Facebook. “[Maria] Gonzalez’s attorney, seeking to dismiss the charges, reportedly told the court that the protection order didn’t specifically exclude communication via Facebook. Acting Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci reportedly disagreed. She said that the phrase in the protection order that read ‘by electronic or any other means’ was sufficient to cover any Facebook communication.”

Is your town on this list of the most malware-ridden cities in America? My town is #15. Sigh. “…some U.S. cities do appear to be far more malware-ridden than others in terms of infections per capita, according to Enigma’s analysis of more than 25 million infections across 150 cities.”


What an interesting idea: an online map of old New York City which lets you “scratch off” portions to see the modern city underneath. “[Chris] Whong layered an aerial photograph of New York City from today beneath another one from 1924 (a remarkable find from the New York Public Library), and coded in a ‘scratch-off’ effect. Click and rub your cursor over a section of the old map, and you’ll see modern-day New York revealed underneath. You can search for specific addresses, flip the maps so that new sits on top of old, and opt to simply ‘pan and zoom’ when you’ve done enough scratching.” Good morning, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

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