Data Analysis, Bot Directories, Robert Brownjohn, More: Wednesday Buzz, May 4, 2016


Oooh, I got to wipe the drool off the desk. a new tool helps to find duplicate content in spreadsheets and databases. “…we are proud to be launching today. It’s a web interface for quickly and automatically finding similar rows in a spreadsheet or database, using machine learning methods. Powered by our open source dedupe library, is customized for your data by the training you give it. From there, it learns the best way to compare records to identify duplicates in your data. It’s built to be simple. Upload your data, provide some training examples, review some of the matches, and we take it from there.” It’s in private beta.

Microsoft is developing a bot directory. “During Build 2016, Microsoft announced its intent to build a repository for third-party chat bots made using its open source Bot Framework, and now the tech giant is accepting submissions from developers ahead of its launch. While Microsoft is mum on when this ‘Bot Directory’ may go live, developers can now submit their bots for review ahead of launch. In addition, Microsoft says that it has added Facebook Messenger to the list of services that the bots can interact with.”

Graphic designer Robert Brownjohn now has an online archive, administered by his daughter. “The daughter of influential American graphic designer Robert Brownjohn has created an official archive website of his work. Featuring everything from his best-known projects, including album covers for The Rolling Stones and title sequences for Bond films Goldfinger and From Russia With Love, to campaigns with his agency Brownjohn, Chermayeff & Geismar (BCG), the site is the first official online catalogue dedicated to his design.”

Recordings from the Southern Folklife Collection are going online, thanks to a grant. “Two grants totaling $45,000 will help to preserve rare musical recordings in the Southern Folklife Collection (SFC) at UNC’s Wilson Special Collections Library. The recordings include performances by traditional North Carolina musicians Elizabeth ‘Libba’ Cotten and Arthel Lane ‘Doc’ Watson.”


Google has switched Blogspot blogs over to HTTPS. “We’re also adding a new setting called HTTPS Redirect that allows you to opt-in to redirect HTTP requests to HTTPS. While all blogspot blogs will have an HTTPS version enabled, if you turn on this new setting, all visitors will be redirected to the HTTPS version of your blog at even if they go to ”

Twitter is offering a new way to find accounts to follow. “The Connect tab will pull together follow recommendations based on where you’re located, who you already follow, and major events happening on Twitter. The new tab, on iOS and Android, is similar to a previous “Find People” tab that lived in the same space.”


From MakeUseOf: 21 Ways Automating Dropbox Can Save You Time Every Day. “Some of Dropbox’s underused features include commenting on files, bookmark storage, podcast hosting, and creating photo albums. There’s even some pretty impressive team collaboration and PDF annotation tools that many people haven’t tried yet. In other words, if you use Dropbox to its full potential, you could save yourself a lot of headaches.”


Facebook’s war on fake news doesn’t seem to be going that well. “…thanks to new tactics and a healthy interest in the typically sensational stories they publish, fake news sites still enjoy widespread reach on Facebook, according to a BuzzFeed News analysis of post engagement data across nine top fake news sites. In many ways, it is the golden age of fake news. Easy access to publishing tools makes it easier than ever to create news sources meant to mislead. And social distribution channels give the stories published by these outlets a clear path to the masses. Facebook does, however, claim to be making headway overall.”

Twitter’s stock is having a really bad time. “This morning, according to Bloomberg Twitter’s stocks dropped to $13.90, the lowest they’ve been since the company went public in 2013. The current stock price of $13.99 a share leaves Twitter at a market cap of $9.7 billion, compared with its $14 billion value before releasing its quarterly results last week. Such a drop follows a pattern many have been noting for months now.”

Prince’s death caused an astonishing amount of activity on Facebook. “The world lost a legend when Prince passed away unexpectedly at the age of 57 on April 21. As word of his death spread around the globe, millions turned to Facebook to share articles, videos, and moving tributes, while global and local news outlets used Facebook Live. 39 million people had 117 million Facebook interactions related to his passing in the first 24 hours after the news broke.”


Italy has ordered Facebook to turn over account information to a person whom the account appeared to be impersonating. “The Italian data protection authority has ordered Facebook to provide an Italian user with all of their data, including the personal information, photos, and posts of a separate fake account set up in that person’s name by somebody else.”

Snapchat is being sued for the alleged actions of one user. “Even in the age of social media, this particular selfie seemed extreme: a teenager strapped into a gurney, with blood running down her forehead, somehow taking the time to tap out a message to her Snapchat friends: ‘Lucky to be alive.’ The selfie quickly went viral and is a component of a lawsuit filed by a Georgia man accusing the teenager, Christal McGee, of recklessly using Snapchat while driving over 100 miles per hour and slamming into his vehicle last year, leaving him with severe injuries. He is also suing Snapchat, accusing the company of negligence.” Good morning, Internet…

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