Genomics Data, Manila Traffic, DC Papers, More: Saturday Buzz, April 30, 2016


Now available: a search engine for genomics data. “GeNemo addresses a pressing challenge: effectively searching functional genomic data from online data repositories. (The name GeNemo is a combination of ‘Ge’ from the word gene and Nemo from the movie ‘Finding Nemo.’)…GeNemo queries user-input data against online functional genomic datasets, including the entire collection of ENCODE and mouse ENCODE datasets. Unlike text-based search engines, GeNemo’s searches are based on pattern matching of functional genomic regions.”

The government of Manila (Philippines) is creating an online database of traffic violators. “The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will launch on Tuesday an online database of traffic violators apprehended in the recently implemented No-Contact Apprehension Policy. Dubbed as ‘Na-HuliCam Ka Ba?’, the database allows motorists to check online whether they have committed a traffic violation.”

Two Washington DC independent newspapers have been digitized. “DC Public Library’s collections of the independent newspapers Unicorn Times and Quicksilver Times have been digitized and are now available in Dig DC. Together, these two publications are a rich resource for researching the political, cultural and musical underground of Washington, D.C. from 1970 to 1985.”


China has almost completed its database of living Buddhas. “The online registration system contains the profiles of 1,311 individuals recognized as reincarnated Buddhas to help the public differentiate between real religious figures and fraudulent ones, the Buddhist Association of China (BAC) said Thursday. The BAC first published details on 870 Living Buddhas in January.” There have been protests against this database.

Twitter has killed off its Magic Recs bot. “As Twitter tries out bigger things to spur growth activity — like changing the order and length of tweets — it is turning away from others. Twitter has quietly retired Magic Recs, a strikingly effective bot account that used to send you DMs recommending viral accounts or Tweets to follow, run by an algorithm that measured how many others you knew were following an account or Tweet in quick succession.” I’m not going to miss it that much — didn’t find it that effective. is turning off on July 5th. “On September 19, 2012 we introduced and mentioned that it ‘marks the first public announcement of the eventual end of THOMAS.’ And from that time on, the focus has been on making into a full-fledged replacement. We continued making significant enhancements approximately each quarter and removed the beta label in September 2014. is the system that we wished THOMAS could be, but could not because of its older, fragile infrastructure.”

Periscope is gonna let you sketch. “The feature, which we first told you about just over two weeks ago, lets you draw over your stream. Anything you do sketch will vanish after a few seconds, so feel free to get weird with it.”


From MakeUseOf: 10 Niche Streaming Services for Those Who Hate Netflix.


TechCrunch has a look at Trips, the new travel app from Google. “News that Google would soon begin testing a new mobile travel application leaked out last week, and now we have more details, including screenshots, of what that app will look like. The app, called Trips, is being trialed with a small group of testers, and will allow users to keep track of past and upcoming trips, while also making recommendations about tourist destinations, restaurants, local transportation options, and more.”

Google has confirmed that it will livestream the Republican convention. “The company told POLITICO Thursday it will serve as the official livestream provider at the July convention in Cleveland, offering election trends, convention videos, virtual reality tools and other data to attendees and viewers. It provided similar services at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 2012 and for both parties’ presidential debates earlier this year.” And Google is getting a lot of pushback for this decision.

Looks like Microsoft is working on an IFTTT competitor. “Microsoft’s Flow is designed to connect services like Twitter, Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Office 365. Microsoft lists a number of example “flows” (recipes), including the ability to generate SMS alerts from emails, pull tweets into Excel, or get Slack notifications when a file is uploaded to a Dropbox folder. You can even create flows to copy files from OneDrive for Business to SharePoint.” Glad to see it, but man, did Yahoo miss an opportunity with Yahoo Pipes.


Interesting: students’ time on Facebook linked to increased career confidence. “College students who spend hours scrolling through Facebook are actually more prepared for the real world than we once thought. That’s according to Wichita State University researcher David (Jingjun) Xu, who found that students who look at friends’ status updates and receive social feedback through likes and comments on Facebook are more confident in their ability to perform job-related tasks when they graduate.” Good morning, Internet…

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