Congressional Research Service, Money, Paul Tsongas, More: Thursday Buzz, April 7, 2016


R Street wants to make Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports easier to access. “Using the Scribd digital library service, we have published 20 years of CRS annual reports online, including lists of the reports published by the agency. The report lists are available for viewing and downloading here.”

The Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI, University of California, Irvine) is putting its Money Archive online. “The archive features objects that range from the esoteric — books about magic tricks with money, board games, piggy banks from several different countries, classic bank notes and coins to the classically anthropological kissi pennies, kina shell necklaces and cowrie shells. We have art, scrip, old credit card readers, alternative currencies and much more!” Plenty of stuff here, not a lot of annotation on the items I looked at.

Now available: a digital archive of the papers of the late Senator Paul Tsongas. “The website has a searchable database of Tsongas’ papers, from letters to policy reports, created during the decade that he served in Congress and the U.S. Senate from 1975 to 1985.”


Reddit is going to start offering a blocking tool. “The idea for the blocking tool is similar to a ‘muting’ function used by Twitter, the 320 million-user social network that also faces criticism for the way it handles online abuse. When you block a user on Reddit, you will no longer see that person’s responses to your posts. That person will not know about the block, a strategy aimed at keeping them from simply creating another user account.”

Facebook has added some new features to Facebook Live. “On Wednesday, the company introduced a host of new features to Facebook Live, including the ability to live-stream to select groups of friends, live reactions with floating emojis and photo filters.” Sounds like Periscope meets Snapchat, depending on how extensive the filters are…

Looks like Medium wants to compete with WordPress. “MEDIUM IS LAUNCHING a set of tools to help publications publish and make money on the web. Dubbed Medium for Publishers, the WordPress competitor will offer publishers a free content management system, a standalone URL, and the ability to participate in two beta experiments—one to host promoted posts, the other to offer paid memberships.”

The South China Morning Post has dropped its paywall. “Nearly four months after Chinese ecommerce titan Alibaba paid out US$266 million to acquire the South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong-based newspaper today announced that its paywall is dismantled.”


I know some fans of the Python language read ResearchBuzz, so this is for you: How to Work With PDF Documents Using Python. one of the things I like about this brief article is that the tutorial kind of shows what’s possible but there’s still a bit of kludgy behavior …

MakeUseOf: 16 Periscope Tricks You Can Try Right Now. “If you’ve ever wondered how the pro users make their supposedly unpolished Periscope streams look effortless and always have lots of viewers, then you need to check out the following tips.”


How big is YouTube? 2000 channels have over a million subscribers. (One of my favorites, Jack Septiceye, has over nine million subscribers.) “The value of a subscriber is a hotly-debated topic within the YouTube community, and many within the industry feel as if other measures — such as watch time — are more important indicators of digital success. Nonetheless, the increasing number of million-subscriber channels is indicative of the exponential growth YouTube has experienced since its 2005 inception. A trip in the WayBack Machine tells us that on February 23, 2010 — YouTube’s 5th birthday — there were only five channels with at least one million subscribers. Two years later, that number was up to 68; two years after that, 594; and now, two years and five weeks later, there are 2,000 ‘YouTube millionaires.’ In the past year alone, more than 850 new channels have claimed that title.”

Re/code has some details about Twitter getting the NFL streaming deal. Here, this’ll make your skull hurt: “Last year, Yahoo paid around $20 million to stream a single regular season game, an event the NFL described as a test.” A test to see how much money it could get out of Yahoo. According to sources, Twitter is paying less than $10 million for a 10-game package..


MMMkay: Google has patented a drone rescue service. “Users would press a button for their specific medical emergency, and it would deploy a drone to the scene. According to the Google patent, this could save precious minutes in emergencies, such as an anaphylactic shock caused by an allergic reaction, or a heart attack. The autonomous drone could head right out to the emergency with a defibrillator or a shot of adrenaline on board.” That’s a nice idea. You know our culture is going to use this to deliver Five Hour Energy and emergency eyeliner. Good morning, Internet…

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