Civil War Telegrams, Cochlear Implants, WordPress, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, June 22, 2016


A new crowdsourcing effort is underway to transcribe telegrams from the US Civil War. “The University of Minnesota is part of a national effort led by The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens to gain new insights into the U.S. Civil War with an innovative crowdsourcing project. The project involves help from the general public to transcribe and decipher a collection of nearly 16,000 Civil War telegrams between Abraham Lincoln, his Cabinet, and officers of the Union Army. Roughly one-third of the messages were written in code.”

New-to-me: database of information on cochlear implants. (This is via Press Release Rocket, which has one of the most annoying interstitials of all time. I apologize.) “The non-profit Auditory Implant Initiative (Aii) announced that it has completed development of a new application that is compatible with Noah, the industry standard in integrated hearing care software. Named HERMES (HIPAA-Secure Encrypted Research Management Evaluation Solution), the application greatly enhances the ability to grow Aii’s database of information to help cochlear implant patients and providers.”


A new version of WordPress is now available. And it’s a security update, so… “WordPress 4.5.3 is now available. This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.”

IFTTT: It’s in your car. Or at least in your Tesla. “A groundbreaking vehicle deserves an equally elevated dashboard. EVE for Tesla works with the Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3 — and now, IFTTT! Connect EVE to create a custom experience that complements and enhances the other services you use every day.”


Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Steve Daines are proposing a national database of “abandoned” (probably more like “lost track of”) retirement accounts. “The Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act, introduced by Warren and Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., uses the data employers are already required to report to create the ‘lost and found’ database. With the click of a button, any worker could locate all of their former employer-sponsored retirement accounts, the senators state.”

How is Facebook making its Facebook Live app popular? Dollars. “In sum, the social networking giant has signed 140 contracts with various celebrities and news organizations worth a combined $50 million, The Wall Street Journal disclosed Tuesday. The biggest paydays have gone to BuzzFeed, The New York Times and CNN, which inked annual contracts of $3.05 million, $3.03 million and $2.5 million, respectively.”

Twitter, for some reason, has launched an app for famous people. I guess all us joyless proles are already using it. “First, Engage filters mentions and replies, only showing users who are A. verified (not you), B. followed by a lot of people who follow the famous person (not you), or C. who interact with the famous person often (replying “DADDY” to their every tweet doesn’t count, so, also, not you). The second reason your @s aren’t getting through: Engage doesn’t show a timeline. At all.” “Timelines are for little people!” – not Leona Helmsley.


Dr. Ernesto Priego is doing some analysis of tweeting about the “Brexit” referendum. “As the date to vote in person approaches, I collected and shared a dataset of tweets published by the official Leave campaign Twitter account, @vote_leave, between 12/06/2016 09:06:22 – 21/06/2016 09:29:29 BST. The dataset contains 1,100 tweets. I did a quick text analysis of the Tweets themselves to get a quick insight into the most frequent terms and collocates in the corpus, and also looked at the tweets’ sources (the services used to publish the Tweets, i.e. the Twitter Web Client, Buffer, the Twitter iPhone app).”

From the Atlantic: Slack, the Facebook Slayer. I read the headline and said “Pfft!” but she makes some good points. “Slack isn’t built for social performance in quite the same way that Facebook is, but Slack does seem to be more a reflection of the real-time web than Facebook. Yes, Facebook has Messenger and News Feed, but there’s still something about the interface that feels old-school—at its core, Facebook is more like a bulletin board than a conversation. Perhaps more importantly, for people who are seeking a place to convene with small (ideally private) groups of friends and family online, Slack could be preferable. And there’s evidence that people are increasingly seeking such social environments online. (Again, see Snapchat.)” Good afternoon, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: afternoonbuzz

Leave a Reply