Government Data, Google Calendar, Simpler Writing, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, April 4, 2016


The New York Times has a story on a new MIT project called Data USA. “Type ‘New York’ into the Data USA search box, and a drop-down menu presents choices — the city, the metropolitan area, the state and other options. Select the city, and the page displays an aerial shot of Manhattan with three basic statistics: population (8.49 million), median household income ($52,996) and median age (35.8). Lower on the page are six icons for related subject categories, including economy, demographics and education.”


Smart Bitches, Trashy Books keeps it going with part 6 of its series on organizing with Google Calendars.

Apparently this was released last September, but it just hit my radar today. XKCD’s Randall Munroe created a Web app that alerts you if text you’re typing isn’t one of the most 1000 common English words. “To use it, just touch here and start writing. If you use a word that’s not in Thing Explainer’s set of the ten hundred, the word will turn red. (I usually count all forms of a word, like ‘kick’ and ‘kicked,’ together as one word, although there are a few special cases where I don’t.)”

How small businesses can use emoji on Twitter. Because I use TweetDeck, I do not use emoji on Twitter in my Real Job. But on INSTAGRAM!…


Hmm… does Time Inc. want to buy Yahoo?. Good heavens, did we go back to 1999 when I wasn’t looking? “Time Inc is considering partnering with a private equity firm on a bid for Yahoo Inc’s core Internet assets, according to people familiar with the matter, as the U.S. publishing company seeks to boost its digital presence.”

A politician in Israel is using a blimp to express his opinion on Google and taxation. “Emblazoned on the blimp are the words ‘Google Must Pay Taxes,’ a message that speaks to an ongoing debate throughout much of the international community regarding how foreign companies should be taxed by the local governments of their satellite offices. [Yoav] Kisch is one of many activists working to close a loophole (this one specific to in Israel) that allows companies not to register as a business in Israel, which in turn permits them to avoid a value-added tax (VAT).”

Facebook Messenger, now with flight reservation ‘bots. “With this latest update, you can choose to receive details through Messenger each time you book tickets through [KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’] website. Once you enable this feature, the bot can send your itinerary, check-in confirmation, delay notifications and other details that are important to you.”


Instagram has been sued for not removing a copyrighted photo. “After discovering the unauthorized use of her work the photographer sent Instagram dozens of DMCA takedown requests. However, according to the complaint Instagram failed to take action in response.”

Google has removed a Taliban app from its app store. “Alemarah, an app for Android phones created by Islamist fundamentalist group the Taliban, has been removed from Google’s Play Store. The content of the app, in the Pashto language, included official statements and videos from the Afghan movement.” Good afternoon, 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: afternoonbuzz

Leave a Reply