Teaching Materials, Dog Breeds, Twitter, More: Sunday Buzz, February 14, 2016


According to Education Week, Amazon is going to launch a new Web site for open education materials. “Users of the site will be able to add ratings and reviews, and to receive recommendations based on their previous selections. Educators will be able to curate open resources, self-publish material they have developed, and put a school’s entire digital library that is open and freely available online, [Andrew] Joseph said.” I went to Google News and looked for more information about Amazon Inspire, and found only one article, a February 3rd mention in Missouri’s Liberty Tribune.

Microsoft continues to mess around with image recognition with this new app that tries to guess your dog’s breed from a picture. (And, since everyone gets weird with image recognition, it can also guess what dog breed YOU resemble, based on a picture.)


Yes, Twitter has changed its timelines as I mentioned last week it might. Fast Company has an excellent overview of the whole situation. The best part is that you have to opt-in. I like my timeline the way it is.

Newsweek is dropping its paywall — sort of. “The company isn’t doing away with digital subscriptions, however: Some content on Newsweek’s website will still be subscriber-only. Going forward, digital subscribers will have exclusive access to the magazine’s current issue, excluding its cover story. After a certain amount of time, the full issue will be free to all readers.”

Facebook is apparently testing SMS integration in Facebook messenger, which could make my life easier… “Facebook says it’s testing a way for users to receive, read and respond to their SMS-based conversations in its Messenger application for mobile devices. The feature, which would be optional if broadly rolled out, could help to shift users away from their default texting application and see them increasing their time spent Facebook Messenger instead.”

Instagram has added video view counts.


The Smart Hobby Musician blog took the time to go through YouTube, pull out over 300 drum loop videos, and organize them into a list by musical style. General genres – rock, blues, etc – are sorted by BPM, and then further broken down into subgenres.

Techno Nutty has a big roundup of audio/video transcription software.


The Joe Report has a story about the discovery of a bunch of old GI Joe commercials from the 1960s. “What’s there? Along with photos and clippings about [Herb] Dietz’s work, the core of the archive is twenty-six 16mm film positives of commercials from 1964 through 67, the heyday of the military era. A number of them are out there already, but generally in low quality multi-generation dubs. Having just reviewed the first few frames of each, I can confirm that there are many not yet in circulation, including commercials for the Soldiers of the World, the cadet sets, and many more.” Matt McKeeby is trying to raise funds to digitize the commercials and make them freely available; unfortunately a Kickstarter isn’t a viable option because, GI Joe being Hasbro’s intellectual property, Mr. McKeeby is limited in the kinds of “rewards” he can offer. If you want to donate toward the estimated $1600 in expenses to get the films digitized, please visit his Web site.

YouTube has acquired BandPage. “YouTube just scooped up San Francisco-based startup BandPage, a software tool that helps musicians sell direct to fans through social media sites, streaming services, and ticket vendors. BandPage says it works with more than 500,000 musicians, who each create a account to link up with third-party services like Facebook, Spotify, and StubHub.”


If someone dares you to set your iPhone or iPad’s date to January 1, 1970 — just don’t do it. “Another day, another iPhone bug. This time it’s related to changing the date on iOS after users reported that setting it to 1 January 1970 will render iPhones and iPads completely useless.”


From Pando, which is, regularly, a great read: Twitter needs a silver bullet, but Jack Dorsey only has shotgun pellets — “Dorsey needs a silver bullet to slay whatever invisible demon has been keeping new users from signing up, and sticking with, the service. The impression left yesterday is that all he has is a handful of shotgun pellets, which he is firing scattershot in any direction that seems promising.” Accept the fact that Twitter is a platform (not a destination like Facebook), woo all the developers back, and let a thousand user experiences bloom. Good morning, Internet…

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