morningbuzz

New Hampshire, Title IX, Yoga, More: Monday Buzz, January 18, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

Now available: a database of New Hampshire Election Results (PRESS RELEASE). “New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) has just released a new, comprehensive database of New Hampshire election results dating back to 1970. Unveiled on the cusp of the state’s First in the Nation Presidential Primary, it provides a unique data-driven analytic tool to help users understand New Hampshire politics.”

A new database tracks sexual assaults on college campuses. “According to the database, there are 243 open investigations and the federal government has only reached a conclusion in 19 percent of the probes it has launched. The average Title IX investigation lasts more than a year.”

TWEAKS & UPDATES

Google wants to help you find yoga poses. “Yoga has become an outrageously popular activity around the world, especially considering the recent health and fitness craze. A new year brings new health goals and the gyms will undoubtedly be flooded with New Years Resolution-seeking out-of-shapers. The same thing happens in the digital gym otherwise known as Google, so the search giant is making the lives of aspiring Yogis a little bit easier by adding 100+ Yoga poses to the Google Knowledge Graph and Google Now.” The article continues with a look at some examples, and consideration of various poses’ popularity.

More Google: Google has tweaked the Google Cardboard developer tools. “According to the Google Developers Blog, spatial audio is one of the new capabilities in the Cardboard SDK. This feature will allow developers to describe the location of sounds and their environment, so that the audio will ‘fit in’ with the VR scene and users can pinpoint exactly where sounds are coming from, further blending the virtual and real worlds.”

Twitch has a new directory of live games being played on its network. Sadly as I’m writing this there is nothing live so I can’t give you any examples.

Google X is apparently just X, now. “In many ways, X will be Alphabet in miniature — sprouting out startups, only with its particular focus on hardware, something Google proper has not done well. As an incubator and standalone company, X may need to be more judicious and leaner than it once was.”

USEFUL STUFF

From Productivity Bytes: 4 Creative Ways to Use IFTTT.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Is Snapchat having its “mom moment”? “Gary Vaynerchuk only recently got serious about using Snapchat. He started posting daily stories—strings of images and videos—in which he alternates between shouting business advice (Get up earlier!) and being a cool 40-year-old dude who works out (a lot) and goes to basketball games. Though Snapchat has mostly been known as a disappearing message app teens love, the show isn’t for them.” I still don’t get Snapchat. I need to get a guide and walk through it so I can figure out what the fuss is about.

The Portland Press Herald has a wonderful article about the Internet Archive’s collection of seed catalogs. “Among that ephemera is a treasure trove of more than 18,000 seed and nursery catalogs dating back to the 18th century, all digitized and uploaded by the National Agricultural Library over the last two years. Eventually, the entirety of the Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection of more than 200,000 catalogs will be available for the public to browse electronically.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

A German court has ruled that Facebook’s “Find-a-Friend” function is illegal. “The [Federal Court of Justice], which also oversees competition law, said Facebook is obliged to disable the function in Germany. The function is an intrusive form of marketing on behalf of Facebook using data imported by the user, rather than a private message from the user to one of his email contacts, the court said.”

Meanwhile, Yahoo has settled a class action lawsuit about e-mail privacy, but it looks like nobody’s getting money except the lawyers. “Last week, [plaintiff lawyers in the lawsuit asked US District Judge Lucy Koh to accept a proposed settlement (PDF). Under the proposal, the massive class of non-Yahoo users won’t get any payment, but the class lawyers at Girard Gibbs and Kaplan Fox intend to ask for up to $4 million in fees. (The ultimate amount of fees will be up to the judge, but Yahoo has agreed not to oppose any fee request up to $4 million.)”

Twitter is being sued for terrorist groups’ use of the social network. “The family of a Florida defense contractor killed in a November terror attack while training security forces in Jordan is suing Twitter, claiming the company has knowingly allowed terrorist groups such as ISIS to use its social network to spread extremist propaganda.” Good morning, Internet…

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