Ireland Property, Clinical Trials, Natural Springs, More: Saturday Buzz, October 15, 2016


The Central Statistics Office in Ireland has launched an online tool for tracking property transactions. “The online facility uses Eircodes to allow users pinpoint all transactions in a particular area for the previous 12 months.”

A new database of clinical trials has launched in beta. “OpenTrials is an open, online database of information about the world’s clinical trials funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation through the Center for Open Science. The project, which is designed to increase transparency and improve access to research, is directed by Dr. Ben Goldacre, an internationally known leader on clinical transparency, and is being built by Open Knowledge International. OpenTrials works like a search engine, with advanced search options for filtering results by criteria such as drug and disease area. All data and documents for each trial included are ‘threaded’ together and presented alongside each other.”

New-to-me: a database of natural springs. From the about page: “ is a community and user created database of natural springs around the world.”

Thanks to Dakota B for pointing out an extensive archive of the OJ Simpson murder trial on YouTube. From the About tab: “The CONUS Archive had unlimited access to the trial of the century, the 1995 OJ Simpson criminal trial. In an effort to aid researchers and productions in need of licensing, we’re now digitizing and uploading our entire collection. While we have pretrial footage, we are starting with opening statements on January 24th, 1995. Once we’ve completed what we have on tape through October 3rd, 1995, we will consider adding the pretrial footage. There will be some trial footage missing due to reasons beyond our control.”


Yahoo’s automatic e-mail forwarding has been turned back on. “Why the pause? Over the past year, Yahoo Mail has been upgrading its platform. This has allowed us to bring a better search experience to Yahoo Mail, add multiple account support, and improve performance as we quickly scale this new system globally. The feature was temporarily disabled as part of this process.” Uh-huh.

Do you, like me, do most of your Google-searching on a desktop? Looks like Google is putting us in economy class. “Google is going to create a separate mobile index within months, one that will be the main or ‘primary’ index that the search engine uses to respond to queries. A separate desktop index will be maintained, one that will not be as up-to-date as the mobile index.”

Periscope is going pro. “Periscope is embracing professional streaming and expanding beyond amateur content shot on phones with its new Periscope Producer feature. It allows creators to generate a special URL that they can then stream to from a wide array of devices, including professional cameras, studio editing rigs, satellite trucks, desktop streaming software like OBS, games, VR headsets, drones and later, potentially 360 cameras.”

Looks likes Salesforce is officially not buying Twitter. “Twitter has long struggled with growth. Despite being publicly traded since 2013, it continues to operate at a loss. While its competitor Facebook has seen soaring user numbers every quarter, with approximately 1.71 billion monthly active users, Twitter has seen meager growth, averaging 313 million monthly active users.”

Facebook is letting you cast video to your TV. “Facebook wants you to lean back and watch its News Feed videos on your television with a new feature that lets you stream clips via Apple TV, AirPlay devices, Google Chromecast, and Google Cast devices.”


Interesting. There’s a Twitter bot that tracks the flights of authoritarian government heads in and out of Geneva, Switzerland. “There’s a large online community of plane spotters who use similar equipment to track planes across the globe — FlightRadar24 is perhaps the most popular resource — so [François] Pilet decided to create a bot that would use this data to automatically flag planes that are publicly registered to authoritarian governments. Working together with his cousin, former Google engineer Julien Pilet, he developed a tool that scans antenna signals around Geneva every hour, and automatically posts to Twitter whenever a marked plane enters the city’s airspace.”

It shouldn’t surprise you or anyone to learn that Google searches for “write-in” have gone bonkers. “Google Trends data indicates that the online searches for ‘write-in’ surged over the last week by more than 2,800%, hitting a record high since 2004. The states with the highest rates of search are not battlegrounds, but Republican and Democratic strongholds.”


The EU has been scrutinizing Google over a number of things, and now that might include scraping. “The EU’s antitrust regulator, who has accused Alphabet unit Google of stifling competition in three separate cases, left open the possibility of further action against the U.S. technology giant. Complaints have been made about Google’s practice of copying content from websites without payment in what is known as scraping. Complainants include News Corp, Getty Images [GETTY.UL] and German publishers.” Good morning, Internet…

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