DPLA, Instagram, GMail, More: Saturday Buzz, April 16, 2016


The Digital Public Library of America has announced some new resources at DPLAFest. “Earlier this week DPLA was pleased to announce its newest release of Primary Source Sets for education, bringing its collection to 100 sets total. You can now explore the collection by core subject areas, such as US history, literature, arts, and science and technology, as well as themes like migration and labor history and groups including African Americans and women. DPLA has also developed new features that allow you to more easily discover related resources within the project.”


Instagram now has a personalized video feed. “Instagram wants to show you the best videos without completely destroying the sanctity of your main feed, so today it overhauled the Explore page with a slew of new video channels. Most importantly, there’s a personalized ‘Videos You Might Like’ feed that draws from across the network. There’s also themed, hand-curated channels, like one for Coachella, and feature spotlights on specific creators, like the ones Instagram started showing in January.”


Amit Agarwal is at it again! How to Create Multiple Copies of an Email Draft inside Gmail “There are two easy ways to create duplicate draft emails inside Gmail. You can either use Mail Merge for Gmail or, if you are looking for a more simple one-click option, use my new Duplicate Gmail web app written with Google Scripts.”

BackupReview has a big list of 22 free cloud storage services.


MIT Technology Review takes a look at Google Skunkworks. “Google’s ‘pirate’ research group is now leaderless, and none of the projects it has birthed have caught on at scale.”

Speaking of digital permanence, you would not believe How much money UC-Davis spent to “scrub” the Internet of a boneheaded pepper-spraying incident in 2011. And I’m sorry, I know that sounds like a clickbait headline. “UC Davis contracted with consultants for at least $175,000 to scrub the Internet of negative online postings following the November 2011 pepper-spraying of students and to improve the reputations of both the university and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, newly released documents show.” Read the article to see how much the “strategic communications” budget ballooned.

The Internet of Things-Like-Frozen-Burritos: Tesco’s on IFTTT. “Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, thinks it can use IFTTT to make an online shopper’s order easier to make. It has created its own channel on IFTTT to make grocery shopping more automated. Examples of some of the recipes set up include ‘if a product goes below a certain price then add it to my basket’ or ‘add milk on Thursdays’.”

The CIA is apparently really interested in social media. Really interested. “The CIA’s venture capital firm has reportedly invested in several companies designing technologies that would help the government collect social media information and rapidly process it to spot people viewed as potential threats. Documents obtained by The Intercept say the firm, called In-Q-Tel, funded four companies that specialize in social media mining and surveillance. The news website identified the companies as PATHAR, Geofeedia, TransVoyant and Dataminr.”


Microsoft is suing the US government over what it says are unconstitutional data searches. “Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department, claiming that it’s ‘unconstitutional’ to force the company to remain silent and not inform customers when their cloud data has been searched or inspected by authorities.”

The EU wants more transparency from Google and Bing about advertising in search engine results. “The European Union’s digital chief wants search engines such as Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft’s Bing to be more transparent about advertising in web search results but ruled out a separate law for web platforms.”

Uh-oh: Russia’s mad at Google again. “Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has accused Google of violating the law on advertisement, a TASS correspondent reported from the meeting of the FAS commission.”


Not too many at the moment but there are some: How World Leaders Use Snapchat. “According to Burson-Marsteller’s research, 16 heads of state and international organizations have set up official profiles on Snapchat. Our team identified four presidents, three governments, two foreign ministries and one foreign minister who are active on the platform, as well as six international organizations…”

You think you’re safely anonymous on social media? Maybe not. “Geolocation data was utilized by the team for this study, which refers to the data received when you post an update on Facebook or tag your photo on Instagram. It is evident that previously conducted studies on similar issue revealed that identifying anonymous persons is possible via, for instance, credit cards. But this new report claims that it is possible for location data taken from two social media apps. This can help in figuring out correctly who the user actually is. Good morning, Internet…

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