Alaska, Netherlands, Instagram, More: Tuesday Buzz, February 9, 2016


Alaska residents have a new tool to see if they’re eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits – instead of filling out a 28-page application, they answer questions via text message. “At the end, the free service tells you if you are likely eligible or not and connects you to local resources, like the Department of Public Assistance or local food pantries. You can even request help applying if you qualify.”

The Dutch royal family has started an online archive of historical items. “The site displays more than 300 unusual or remarkable items – including oil paintings, illuminated manuscripts, valuable artworks, old photos and precious objects.”


Instagram’s app now supports account switching. “Up to five accounts can be added and switching between them will not require logout, however you will need to be using version 7.15 of the app (iOS and Android).”


Last year I tried to get into Snapchat and I failed. Couldn’t wrap my head around it. Terry White has done a 30-minute video on YouTube that walks you through it, so I’m going to try again.

From Geektime: 10 languages Google Translate lacks and where to find them. Languages listed here include Cantonese, Pashto, and Mayan. “Traditional Chinese script is still used in Mandarin-speaking Taiwan, so don’t trust the traditional Chinese translation on Google to get you through a conversation in Hong Kong.”


The Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, seems to be embracing Facebook in a big way as a tool for government/citizen communication. “Prime Minister Hun Sen has fast developed a penchant for conducting political business via Facebook since he formally joined the social networking site in September. Now he is making that official, issuing a new directive on Monday in­structing every government minister to form a working group for tracking citizens’ grievances and re­quests that they post to his Facebook page.”

Meanwhile, the government of India has blocked Facebook’s Free Basics program over net neutrality concerns. “To be clear, the announcement and the wider report that lay out the conclusion in greater detail do not single out Facebook or FreeBasics by name, but it was the emergence of this program that caused outcry and prompted the investigation by the regulator.” Not a surprise at all, and in my opinion a good decision by the government of India.

Marketing Land has a roundup of Super Bowl 50 Twitter brand — um, kerfuffles? Arguments? Slams? Playground fights?. If Snickers and Doritos can’t get along, what hope is there for the rest of us in this cruel world?

Twitter is now, according to the stock market, worth a little over $10 billion. Meanwhile Pinterest and Snapchat both have higher private market values.


Google will give you 2GB of free Google Drive space if you complete your account security checkup. Google did this last year for “Internet Safety Day,” but it’s not clear how long the offer will last this time.


From Harvard Business School: The Civic Benefits of Google Street View and Yelp. “In a new working paper, Big Data and Big Cities: The Promises and Limitations of Improved Measures of Urban Life, [Michael] Luca and three collaborators argue that cities have never been better positioned to take advantage of the vast amounts of data being generated in the world. The key is figuring out how to use it. In the paper, Luca, Edward L. Glaeser and Scott Duke Kominers (PhDBE 2011) of Harvard University, and PhD student Nikhil Naik of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, cite three trends that make cities particularly poised to exploit big data.” Read the bit about using Yelp to identify restaurants for inspection. Good morning, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: morningbuzz

Leave a Reply