Hawaiian, Virtual Reality, Chile, More: Sunday Buzz, February 7, 2016


The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is preparing an online database of Ka Leo Hawaiʻi to launch at the end of the month. Please note this announcement is in both Hawaiian and English, alternating paragraphs. So don’t be surprised when you hit the link and the first words are “Ma ke komo pū ʻana i loko o ka Māhina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi ʻo Pepeluali … “Ka Leo Hawaiʻi was a Hawaiian-language radio program that first aired on February 22, 1972 on KCCN on O`ahu and spanned 16 years and 417 programs during its initial run. Conducted in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and hosted by Kauanoe Larry Kimura, the program featured live in-studio interviews with mānaleo, most who were kūpuna and among Hawaiʻi’s last native speakers of Hawaiian….The soft launch will include the first 12 programs and their corresponding transcripts, followed soon by all 417 episodes of Ka Leo Hawaiʻi’s initial run.”

In private beta: a network for VR content. “Transport, which is in private beta, is an online virtual reality content network where creators will be able to publish their work and users will be able to experience them. An assortment of free and paid content will be available through the Transport app, which will be accessible to owners of any headset, including Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Facebook’s Oculus Rift, and Sony’s PlayStation VR.”

The government of Chile will create a database of phones reported stolen. But the database goes way beyond Chile: “Chile’s Superintendency of Telecommunications (Sutel), mobile operators and the GSMA have signed an agreement to provide users with a platform to check if a phone has been reported stolen in more than 200 countries and 800 mobile operators worldwide.”


Chatter everywhere that Twitter will introduce an algorithmic timeline next week. In other words, instead of seeing tweets as people will post them, Twitter will decide on your behalf what posts to see in what order. And if that’s the only option that I’m given, Twitter will lose 99% of its functionality for me. Between this, the “love” button, and the rumored “GIF” button, it looks like Twitter is trying to copy Facebook. Guess what, Twitter, you’re not going to get out of the hole you’re in by becoming a crappy version of Facebook. There’s already a crappy version of Facebook. It’s called FACEBOOK!


FindMyPast is making a collection of US marriage records free until February 15th. “n 2016/17, Findmypast will be releasing the largest online collection of US marriage records, spanning centuries of American history and over 100 million ‘I do’s’. As part of this project, Findmypast has launched the first 33 million records of this collection and is offering them to the public for FREE from now until 15 February.”

Want to know how to search better? Google wants to help. “To help you sharpen those search skills, we’re re-opening the Power Searching with Google online course starting February 8th. Through this free two-week course, we’ll show you new ways to be a great power searcher and share techniques that will sharpen your research skills. We’ll cover a wide variety of topics, from the advanced search operators (such as filetype: and site:), to the proper use of quote marks, to how to assess a web site’s credibility.” The course will be rerun several times, if you’re reading this a bit late.

Interesting. A new Google Cardboard app is designed to help you get over stage fright. “The app features a 360-degree view from the virtual stage. The audience is active throughout your speech and if you put earphones on, sound distractions like ambient noise try to get you as close to the real deal.”


A Twitter employee has apparently learned about the problem of abuse on Twitter firsthand. “Late last night, Brandon Carpenter wrote a number of tweets in response to nasty replies he received demanding that Twitter not make changes to its social network. Carpenter, according to his LinkedIn profile, is a senior software engineer at Twitter — he works on the iOS app. The abuse appeared to come in response to news that the social network will soon show tweets out of order.” One of his tweets was “Wow people on Twitter are mean”. Dude, you just noticed that?

Bing is doing some more predicting: this time it’s the Grammys and BAFTAs.

YouTube has some stats on the commercials for that football game everybody’s talking about today.


Google is taking a stand against deceptive download buttons. “You may have encountered social engineering in a deceptive download button, or an image ad that falsely claims your system is out of date. Today, we’re expanding Safe Browsing protection to protect you from such deceptive embedded content, like social engineering ads.”

Jessica Dolcourt at CNET writes about a recent issue she’s been having with what appears to be “mailbot” attacks. “If you’ve ever sent an automated out-of-office message from your account when you went on vacation, you’ve already encountered a mailbot, so you know that these software agents aren’t necessarily nefarious on their own…. But the same kind of automation that’s used for convenience can also orchestrate a scam that cycles through variations of email permutations until it latches onto a valid address. Then, it signs up that address for newsletters and websites, likely as a way of lifting your account credentials to use in further mailbot attacks.” Good morning, Internet…

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