Taiwan Nonprofits, Iowa Newspapers, IFTTT, More: Sunday Buzz, March 13, 2016


The government of Taiwan has has set up an online database of non-profit organizations (NPOs) — over 70,000 of ’em. “The new Web site allows for searches using a wide variety of parameters including region, organization name and type. Organizations’ addresses and telephone numbers are listed, as well as their publically registered leader or responsible person.” While the site is in Chinese, using Chrome’s translator I was able to browse a little and even successfully search.

The Daily Nonpareil sounds to me like a dessert. Of course, sometimes everything sounds to me like a dessert. Anyway, it’s not; it’s a newspaper in southwest Iowa and a large portion of it has been digitized and put online. “Digital copies of the newspaper from its inception in 1857 through 1964 are available on the library’s website, with the goal of scanning in the remaining years as funding become available.”


MakeUseOf has a great roundup of IFTTT recipes for creatives. “Creatives of all types need strong online portfolios and social media accounts that are updated regularly. But keeping all those sites and accounts up-to-date can be a big hassle—did you remember to post your latest song on Twitter? Have you shared your newest writing on your WordPress site? When did you last update your Tumblr portfolio? These recipes from If This, Then That (IFTTT) will help automate the process and make sure that your latest work is always on display.”


The National Library of Australia’s excellent Trove database is in serious trouble. “Although Trove, which was launched in late 2009, is funded by the library’s budget, without government funding the library will not be able to update the material in the database…. In 2014, the database’s fifth year, an estimated 70,000 people were using the website each day.”

Wondering about the EU’s beef with Google? Bloomberg breaks it down into five paragraphs. Bloomsplains. Heh.

Indonesia is the latest country to lean on Facebook and Google to pay more taxes. “Hoping to boost tax revenue, Indonesia is mulling a new regulation that will require Google, Facebook and Twitter and other foreign online service providers to obtain a ‘permanent establishment’ status in the country.”

Google’s going on a road trip to see how people use its products and services. “Google is using the van to help it break out of its Silicon Valley bubble. The van will make multiday stops in seven states, stopping near colleges, libraries, parks and some of Google’s own regional offices in hopes of finding out how average Americans are using the company’s multitude of digital offerings.” Seven states means they’re not coming anywhere near here, which is good, because I could rant all day, and I’m sure they don’t want that.

Google has joined the Open Compute Project. “Google has joined Facebook’s Open Compute Project and proposed a new design for server racks that could help cloud data centers cut their energy bills. The OCP was started by Facebook six years ago as a way for end-user companies to get together and design their own data center equipment, free of the unneeded features that drive up costs for traditional vendor products.”

Wow! Google’s Go AI has now won three games in a row. “Lee [Se-dol], who has topped the world ranking for much of the past decade and confidently predicted an easy victory when accepting the AlphaGo challenge, now finds himself fighting to avoid a whitewash defeat in the two remaining games on Sunday and Tuesday.”


Not good: a database of the personal information of south Florida law enforcement is floating around online. The personal information of police officers, lawyers and judges in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties was made public through a South Florida website last month, and employees in Miami-Dade were only alerted of the breach this week, according to John Rivera, president of the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association.” There are even federal agents in the database. Not, not good…


Wow! Twitter can predict hurricane damage as well as emergency agencies? “It turns out that Twitter was a remarkably good source of information on hurricane damage. The more damage Sandy actually did to a neighborhood, as measured by the per capita cost of the repairs, the higher the intensity of relevant tweeting from those areas just after the storm. In fact, Twitter was slightly better than FEMA’s own models in predicting the location and severity of damage, the team reports today in Science Advances. ”

In a thoughtful piece, Mark Suster makes the long economic case for Snapchat. “For most who don’t yet use Snapchat frequently I know the economic case feels like a stretch of the imagination because you’re caught up in the original Snapchat and I’m trying to offer a perspective about where the puck may be going. It’s up to Team Snapchat to live up to its financial expectations but I believe it certainly has the potential. I’ve heard the new media doubters before as nobody thought Google, Facebook or Twitter would ever make money.” The difference with Snapchat is that it’s managing to make money without shoving ads up your nose, and is developing strategies that will make it stronger against ad blockers. Its partnerships thus far are brilliant, and it has good ideas. I’m telling you: watch Snapchat.

Thoughts from TNW If (when?) Yahoo goes under, who should buy Flickr and Tumblr?. Twitter might be a good fit for Tumblr – Tumblr has been so messed up by Yahoo and I have a feeling it needs strong management and guidance to get back on track. Twitter might not have that. Snapchat might. Flickr? Facebook could blend Instagram and Facebook together and make something wonderful. I apologize to all the photography purists I have probably upset with the last sentence. Good morning, Internet…

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