Liberian History, New Zealand Law, Facebook, More: Thursday Buzz, March 24, 2016


The country of Liberia now has an online history site. “The site, ‘A Liberian Journey: History, Memory and the Making of a Nation,’ features photographs, short videos, diaries and other documents from a 1926 Harvard University exploration of the West African land. It also includes related oral histories collected in contemporary Liberia.”

New Zealand has put the first phase of an historic bills archive online. “All bills from 1949 to 2008 are available for you in the NZ Historical Bills collection on the New Zealand Legal Information Institute (NZLII) website….The archive is stage one of a digitisation project to get all New Zealand bills online. Bills dating back to 1854 will be added in future stages. Both bills that eventually became Acts and those that were not passed are included in this important collection.”


Facebook is trying to figure out a way for Pages to create and offer temporary profile overlays. That could be useful. “With Facebook users now clamoring for ways to identify with the causes they care about in their profiles, Facebook is now working on a platform that will allow Pages to build temporary profile overlays. The platform, which the social giant says is weeks from rolling out, will give users more options to change their profile pictures to show support for global events.”

Is Google developing a keyboard for iOS? “Should this be surprising? Given that Google has released multiple apps for iOS devices in the past, like its suite of productivity apps, Google Drive, Photos, Maps, and etc., we suppose releasing a keyboard for iOS isn’t really that much of a stretch. The keyboard is said to have been in development for months and is expected to be similar to what Google offers up on Android.”


From Convince and Convert: How to Use Competitive Social Monitoring on Twitter. “The power of competitive social media analysis is not the awareness of every tweet or post. Rather, the true power comes from the trends you find by aggregating data to extract patterns….Here’s how to mine Twitter mentions for marketing opportunities. We’ll learn what works for your target audience and who is realizing results. It’s an easy way to find strategies that have been battle tested by your competitors.” Very detailed, very thoughtful, I feel like I just got educated.


A demolition company apparently relying on Google Maps for directions destroyed the wrong house. “Homeowner Lindsey Diaz told KERA News that she had just applied for a builder’s permit to repair and rebuild, before getting a call from her neighbor about what had happened. An employee for Billy L. Nabors Demolition, the company behind the teardown, apparently sent her a screenshot showing what Google Maps displays, but so far no one from the company has apologized for the mistake.”

Who says blogs are dead? A Kickstarter project wants to launch a new open source blogging platform. “I created Particle because I was disappointed with existing blogging solutions. They’re either too complicated, bloated with features, difficult to install, or simply don’t have an enjoyable writing experience. I wanted a better way to blog, an easier way to design themes, and an elegant way to develop plugins. Over the last year and a half, I’ve worked to achieve these goals by bringing inline editing, Handlebar templates, and a powerful plugin API into a beautiful blogging platform — one that you can easily install on your own server.”

Looks like Google may be wanting in on the Periscope/Facebook Live livestreaming game. “Google has quietly been building a new livestreaming app called YouTube Connect, VentureBeat has learned. This service highlights the company’s efforts to double down on live video while also placing it in a position to compete directly against Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live. YouTube Connect will be available on both iOS and Android devices.” I wonder if this will be incentive Google needs to fix YouTube’s search, which is terrible?

Starboard might be after Yahoo’s board. “Starboard, the activist hedge fund, plans to announce as soon as Thursday that it will put up a slate of nine directors for the Internet company, according to a person briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly. In doing so, Starboard is seeking to oust Yahoo’s entire incumbent board as the company pursues a potential sale of itself.”


Do you still have Java installed? Go patch it now. “Oracle is urging Java users to upgrade, ASAP, to crimp a very nasty bug in the desktop and browser plug-in versions of the software. Labelled CVE-2016-0636, the flaw scored a 9.3 on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System bug severity rating.”

Google has started a new log for untrusted Certificate Authorities (CAs). “The log, dubbed Submariner, is designed to act as a public record of root certificates issued by certificate authorities (CAs) that were once trusted but now withdrawn from root programs. It also includes roots issued by CA’s that are not yet trusted by browsers, Martin Smith, software engineer with Certificate Transparency, wrote in a blog post this week. A CA is a trusted entity that issues digital certificates to verify or authenticate identity on the Internet.”


Wow: Google Maps apparently changes country borders depending on who’s looking at it. “Author Ethan R. Merel points out that ‘if a border is disputed by two or more states, the border as seen on Google’s services will adhere to the beliefs of Country A when accessed from within that country, while simultaneously adhering to the beliefs of Country B when accessed on its local servers.'” Good morning, Internet…

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