Memes, Central College, NASA Patents, More: Friday Buzz, May 6, 2016


Oh boy, this sounds like fun! Researchers at Indiana University have released a new set of tools to analyze online memes and trends. “The Web-based tools, called the Observatory on Social Media, or ‘OSoMe’ (pronounced “awesome”), provide anyone with an Internet connection the power to analyze online trends, memes and other online bursts of viral activity. An academic pre-print paper on the tools is available in the open-access journal PeerJ.”

Iowa’s Central College has created a new digital archive for both its student newspaper and its yearbook. “The publications date back to 1876 (The Ray student newspaper) and 1907 (The Pelican yearbook). Users can search by date, keyword or name …”

NASA has launched a database of public domain patents. “NASA has not only released 56 carefully selected patents to the public domain, but also launched a searchable database containing thousands of expired patents.”

Jazzwise Magazine has launched a new digital archive via Exact Editions. This is a pay-for-use resource. “Since it’s [sic] launch in 1997 Jazzwise has established itself as a leading voice in Jazz culture. With the complete archive, subscribers can now search and share articles from over 200 issues of the prestigious monthly publication.”


Anti-linkrot tool Amber is now available on Drupal. “The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is pleased to announce that Amber, an open-source software tool that preserves content and prevents broken links, has been promoted to full project status on When installed on a blog or website, Amber can take a snapshot of the content of every linked page, ensuring that even if those pages are interfered with or blocked, the original content will be available. ”

Livestream app Periscope will now let you save broadcasts. “Periscope added its biggest missing feature today in a move that could make it more palatable to brands and social stars, and help it compete with Facebook Live. You can now permanently save replays of your broadcasts by including #Save in their title. You still can delete them later if you want. Previously, broadcasts disappeared after 24 hours.”

Bing has updated its political index. “Now you can view the collective sentiment of the population of each state regarding 10 top political issues. You can also compare yourself not just with each candidate, but with each state in the thick of the political fight.”

Wow! General Electric is going all-in on IFTTT. “GE added three more IFTTT channels Thursday, saying it is now the only appliance maker in the world to support the connected-home service across its entire product line, which consists of dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, cooking appliances, and a water heater.”


MakeUseOf: The 15 Best Sites for Free High-Resolution Stock Images.


From Using 3D modeling to map the Atlantic slave trade. “The project’s goal is to create digital models of 10 cultural heritage sites, spread across western Africa and the Americas, using 3D point clouds generated by LiDAR and photogrammetry technology. These models will then be placed into a free online library for public access, much like the Smithsonian’s X 3D program.” This is another project of CyArk, which I mentioned earlier this week.

The VR bandwagon continues apace. Live Nation and NextVR are teaming up to broadcast performances in VR. “Now [NextVR] is partnering with Live Nation to ‘broadcast hundreds of live, cutting-edge performances in virtual reality to music fans worldwide.’ Live Nation Entertainment, parent company to Ticketmaster, generated over $7 billion in revenue in 2015 by promoting performances worldwide, including artists such as U2, Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC, One Direction, Maroon 5 and Luke Bryan, and festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival, Rock Werchter, Austin City Limits, Lollapolooza and Bonnaroo”


Dingding Chen in The Diplomat: It’s time Google came back to China. “There are many hot debates among Chinese netizens today regarding the role of regulators, the dysfunctional medical system in China, the lack of punishment mechanisms, and so on. One huge debate is about the role of Google, the U.S. company that left China in 2010. Many netizens believe that the absence of healthy competition in China after Google left the Chinese market has given Baidu a golden opportunity to abuse its monopoly power. For example, the company has pursued brazen methods charging advertising fees without any scruples. This kind of immoral behavior has even drawn Chinese president Xi Jinping’s attention. In a high-level meeting on Internet security last week, Xi emphasized that an ‘Internet search engine company should not promote a certain client just because they offer the highest price.’ We don’t know if Xi had Baidu in mind, but it’s likely.” Good morning, Internet…

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