Toronto, Minnesota, GMail, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, February 18, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

The Canadian city of Toronto has launched a new Web site with information on cold case murders. The site lists cases dating back to 1959. I don’t have a case count but it looks like every year starting in the late 1970s there’s at least one case, and there are more and the cases get more recent. At least a few hundred??

The state of Minnesota has released a municipal infrastructure map, which sounds like the beginning of a huge project. Currently the map shows things like the age and extent of the sewer system, drinking water production, etc. There is a desire to add other things like road and bridge information and municipality-level data.

Do you like your e-mail host, but wish you had some of Google’s features? Now you can “Gmailify” your mail. “Gmailify links your existing account to Gmail so that you get all the bells and whistles—spam protection, inbox organization and even Google Now cards based on your mail—without having to leave your current address behind.”

TWEAKS & UPDATES

Twitter is adding native GIF support. Doesn’t look like it includes TweetDeck, though. Sigh. “When the feature is enabled, you can press the GIF button located within the compose tweet window to search for the image that best represents your reaction or sentiments. Select the image and it will appear within the tweet — no longer will you be limited to sending a link when using a GIF from Giphy or from Riffsy’s keyboard.”

Want to post Facebook Instant Articles but you’re not a big publisher? Here ya go. “The company said today that beginning April 12th, all publishers will be able to create articles using the format. The move, which coincides with the upcoming F8 developer conference, is likely to increase pressure on publishers to offer their stories in the format lest they lose an advantage over their peers.”

USEFUL STUFF

From First Draft News: WhatsApp at 1 billion: How can journalists use the chat app for newsgathering?

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Hoo boy: it’s getting uglier at Yahoo. “‘On our recent earnings call, Yahoo outlined out a plan to simplify our business and focus our effort on our four most successful content areas – News, Sports, Finance and Lifestyle. To that end, today we will begin phasing out the following Digital Magazines: Yahoo Food, Yahoo Health, Yahoo Parenting, Yahoo Makers, Yahoo Travel, Yahoo Autos and Yahoo Real Estate,’ [Yahoo Global Editor-in-Chief Martha] Nelson wrote in a Tumblr post.” Hit the link for other verticals that are taking it in the neck, including Yahoo Tech (?!) and Yahoo Beauty.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Someone is suing Facebook over its ubiquitous birthday reminders. Dude, I know they’re annoying, but… “Tampa-area resident Colin Brickman sued Facebook after receiving an unsolicited text message from the tech company reminding him of a friend’s birthday.” Good morning, Internet…

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