Asteroids, Japan Politics, Minnesota Folk Songs, More: Monday Buzz, September 26, 2016


The Smithsonian has launched a new newsletter about asteroids. “Almost every day, a known asteroid passes within a few million miles of Earth. On those dates, the Daily Minor Planet will list the flyby asteroid along with the time and distance of its closest approach. On days without a cosmic flyby, the report will feature a newly discovered asteroid. It will also highlight an article from the popular press.”

A new Web site will make it easier to track money in Japanese politics. “Starting Oct. 21, the group, which calls itself Japan Center For Money and Politics Foundation in English, will post online the reports of about 2,200 political organizations donating to politicians in both chambers of the Diet. There will also be online explanations of the law regarding political funds, as well as plans to offer training sessions on the most efficient ways of using the site.” The site will be in Japanese only, and unfortunately Google Translate did not have much luck with the site as it currently is.

New-to-me and still under development: an online archive for Minnesota folk songs. “The Minnesota Folksong Collection is an online digital library for audio recordings, song texts and and other materials documenting traditional folksong from Minnesota. The current collection consists of a set of songs recorded by Robert Winslow Gordon in 1924.” Looks like it got rolling at the beginning of the year.


The East Riding archives [Yorkshire, England] have joined the Flickr Commons (which is great to see because I was starting to think Flickr Commons was kaput.) “The Archives collect, preserve, and make accessible the cultural heritage of the East Riding of Yorkshire. Their collections originate from a variety of sources including, local government, courts, hospitals, churches, parish councils, businesses, societies, charities, landed estates, as well as private individuals and families. The Archives formed in 1953 and moved to their current location, called the Treasure House, in 2007.”

Yahoo Messenger now supports video. “Launching today, video in Messenger makes it even easier to show rather than tell when you want to share experiences with the people you care about. Now available on both the iOS and Android app globally, you can send videos in one-on-one and group conversations!”

Yahoo Mail for Android now has fingerprint support. Barn doors, horses… “The fingerprint support is via Google’s Fingerprint API, meaning that as long as your device has a fingerprint scanner it should work.”


Sounds useful! From PC World: How to search the full text of web pages in your Chrome browsing history with Falcon “Falcon describes itself as a ‘full text browsing history search.’ What that means is Falcon indexes the text in the body of nearly every webpage you visit. Then when you need to find something, all you have to do is search for a keyword from any part of the webpage you’re looking for. If you only remember that the page mentions Alabama that’ll be enough.” The article does address privacy and security concerns you’d have with such a tool.

Noupe has a writeup on a free-to-use photo site called Visual Hunt. “The reason why Visual Hunt provides over 350 million high-quality photos is, that the service collects the best images from creative-common, and public-domain websites on the internet. Don’t worry, the service doesn’t accumulate the material from random sources. Instead, it focuses on sources like Flickr, and other services with a good reputation and quality.” Ignore the not-perfect English. This looks like a useful resource.

Thanks to Esther S. for the heads-up: How to Follow Any Twitter User, Search or List via RSS This writeup uses Inoreader.

From Hongkiat, because I know at least a lot of Firehose readers are into travel. Google Trips & 9 Alternative Travel Apps for Avid Travelers. “For those unfamiliar with travel planner apps, you can now easily create your itinerary, book tours, flights, accomodation and car rentals etc. right from your laptop or mobile app. In this list, I have 9 other travel apps apart from Google Trips, each with their own specialty that will probably prove useful for different groups of travelers.”

This is for SQL fans only. My SQL chops are not great, but what I could understand out of this paper I liked: SQL Query Parser: An Automated Tool for Translating the Queries Into Spreadsheets. “Many people find difficulties in working with databases queries so they completely want to migrate from databases to another application. Hence here it is the solution to combine the database concept with another application to make it simple and easy. The concept called spreadsheet is combined with the databases which forms a method which is called as a SQL Query Parser. Spreadsheets are the most popular application for data analysis and manipulations. Thus SQL Query Parser is an automated tool which translates the Database SQL query to Formula based Spreadsheet. Also it parses the statements into the parse tree and generates the syntax tree providing validation to the statements at an early stage.”


Cornell: ‘Likes’ less likely to affect self-esteem of people with purpose “The rush of self-esteem that comes with the ubiquitous thumbs-up of a ‘like’ has more people asking that question, as Facebook and other social media sites offer more ways for friends to endorse photos and posts. But one group seems immune to that rush: people with a sense of purpose. In the first study on the effects of purpose in the online world, Cornell researchers have found that having a sense of purpose limits how reactive people are to positive feedback on social media.” Good morning, Internet…

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