Email, Islam, Coral Reefs, More: Saturday Buzz, April 9, 2016


A new tool from Clearbit helps users find e-mail addresses. “As with Clearbit’s APIs, this system works by scouring the web for public data. For companies, that means crawling websites, SSL certificates, Schedule D filings, government records, social networks, and more. But for people, it’s not only relying on what’s publicly available on the web and in some public data sets Clearbit buys – it’s also relying on Connect’s user base.”

The British Library’s oldest Qur’an manuscript has been put online. “The British Library’s oldest Qur’ān manuscript, Or.2165, dating from the eighth century, has now been fully digitised and is available on the British Library’s Digitised Manuscripts site. Among the most ancient copies of the Qurʼān, it comprises 121 folios containing over two-thirds of the complete text and is one of the largest of known fragments of an early Qurʼān written in the māʼil script.”

Now available: a database of coral and coral reef traits. “The Coral Trait Database houses physiological, morphological, ecological, phylogenetic and biogeographic trait information … with the vision of being an inclusive and accessible data resource to more rapidly advance the science and management of a sensitive ecosystem at a time of unprecedented environmental change. The database is open and accessible to the public.”

Reddit now has an official app for iOS and Android. “Available today for both iOS and Android, the new Reddit app will not only serve as the official means for accessing Reddit on mobile amid a sea of third-party clients, it will also replace Alien Blue, the popular third-party application the company acquired back in fall 2014, as previously announced.”

A new project will attempt to provide an extended structure for describing medieval Christian images. “The French Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA) is launching an ambitious project for scholars and the broader public that proposes an innovative way of accessing medieval Christian images. By building complex and nuanced vocabularies of keywords and terms, the ‘Ontology of Medieval Christianity in Images’ (OMCI) will allow databases to better represent how such images depict philosophical and spiritual themes that have been diminished or even ignored in current approaches.”


Bing is making its search engine better for developers. “Thanks to a collaboration with HackerRank, if you search for something like string concat C#, you’ll get an interactive code editor with a result that can be run directly from that page to see how it works.”

Facebook is going all in on video search. “Facebook is desperate to get you to watch original videos. They’re all over the feed, yesterday it launched a dedicated video browsing hub, and now it’s announcing a video search engine. It’s also baking Live videos into its Trends in search, and will show when there’s a Live video broadcasting related to one of its Trending Topics on the home page.”

An online database of Holocaust victims has reached one million records. “Launched in May 2011, the project hit one million records this month, a major milestone made possible through over 3,500 volunteers from 18 different countries. The contributors spend hundreds of hours indexing archived documents from the Holocaust Museum into an online software provided by Ancestry.”


Simple but clever: you can sync your Facebook friends’ birthdays with your Google Calendar.


Popular Web site Mashable is going through a round of layoffs. “Mashable Inc. is firing an unspecified number of employees as the Internet media company shifts its focus to video entertainment from politics and world news.
Executive Editor Jim Roberts, formerly with the New York Times, and ex-Times advertising executive Seth Rogin, Mashable’s chief revenue officer, are leaving as part of a reorganization, the company said in a statement Thursday. Mashable employs 325 people globally.” I enjoy reading Mashable but it seems like lately it’s been getting more and more random.

Apparently Google and Verizon are both considering bids for Yahoo. I can’t imagine why Google would want to bother with owning Yahoo….unless it’s payback for 1998.

BuzzFeed: How Periscope Won Over Major League Baseball. “Across the league this week, teams are filming and pushing out Periscope broadcasts showing Opening Day from every angle, a practice they’ll continue throughout the season. And not only that, the league actually bolstered stadium wifi connectivity so more fans can easily share Periscopes of their own.” Good morning, Internet…

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