Japanese Companies, Wayback Machine, Animal Flatulence, More: Monday Buzz, January 16, 2017


The Japanese government is launching a database of information about companies in Japan. “Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Thursday will launch a searchable website of government-held information on some 4 million companies in Japan. The information to become available on Hojin Information … includes records of work outsourced to, permits issued and awards given to companies by ministries and agencies.”

The Internet Archive has launched what looks like a great Chrome extension for its Wayback Machine. “By using the ‘Wayback Machine’ extension for Chrome, users are automatically offered the opportunity to view archived pages whenever any one of several error conditions, including code 404, or “page not found,” are encountered. If those codes are detected, the Wayback Machine extension silently queries the Wayback Machine, in real-time, to see if an archived version is available. If one is available, a notice is displayed via Chrome, offering the user the option to see the archived page.”

In development: Google Spreadsheet of information on animal flatulence. “Do baboons fart? What about salamanders? Millipedes? These questions sound like the sort Bart Simpson might have asked to derail science class. But real-life scientists are now taking to Twitter to provide answers. So far, they’ve created a hashtag — #DoesItFart — and a Google Spreadsheet that details the flatulence habits of more than 60 animals.” At the moment there are 79 animals listed, with the content ranging from scientific (links to journal articles) to ridiculous (one of the animals listed is a unicorn, the flatulence of which is described as “it’s glitter and rainbows soft serve.”)


This was announced in November but I missed it. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has relaunched FAOSTAT. “It now offers a completely new state-of-the-art user interface, accessible by smartphone and tablet as well as by personal computer. Its search options have been enhanced, filters improved and navigation simplified, while the overall system architecture has been made more flexible, allowing quicker publication of new data sets in the future…. The new FAOSTAT also introduces a new feature, presenting a set of ready-to-use key indicators – ranging from land use and food production to food access and government budget allocations for agriculture – by country, region and for the whole world.”

Snapchat has launched a new search tool (and not before time, either.) “Snapchat just made it much easier to navigate the app and find friends, groups, Discover publishers and Our Stories with a universal search bar that’s always accessible at the top of the app. Launching today for some people on Android and rolling out soon to all iOS and Android users, the search bar lets you dig out of Snapchat the best content and conversations.”

Google Operating System: YouTube Desktop Notifications, Now For Everyone. “It looks like YouTube’s notification experiment is now a regular feature and you can no longer disable it by clearing cookies. When sign in to your Google account, YouTube’s desktop site no longer shows Google+ notifications in the navigation bar: it replaces them with YouTube notifications.” Useful comments, at least at this writing.


You may have read recently about new malware being aimed at Macs. My friend Gary Rosenzweig has created a free online course for Mac security. “The Practical Guide to Mac Security is a FREE course with 24 lessons that will enable the typical home and office Mac user to secure their Mac from dangers like malware, online account break-ins, data loss, and online scams.” Disclaimer: Gary is my friend, told me about this resource, and I thought it would benefit you so I’m mentioning it here. I did not receive considerations or compensation for this mention.

MakeUseOf: 10 More Cool Things You Can Do With YouTube Videos. “While the site remains a go-to staple for quickly viewing video clips, there are a number of other things you can do with it. Here are 10 YouTube hacks that will make your viewing experience even more enjoyable…”


GeekWire: Study: Microsoft Teams set to pass Slack, Google Hangouts as second most-used business chat app in next 2 years. “Microsoft Teams isn’t even generally available to the public yet, but one report prognosticates that the new chat app will soon be used by more businesses than both Google Hangouts and Slack.”


National Law Review: Using Hashtag #Disclosures in Social Media Advertising. “… it is a good practice for brands to disclose their relationships with influencers on social media—even if that relationship is not clearly defined. This is especially important when brands rely on these endorsements by re-posting influencer content. For the avoidance of doubt, consumers need to be informed whenever there is a ‘material connection’ between brands and influencers. A common way to make this disclosure in social media posts is by using hashtags.”

Wow, from Kotaku: YouTubers Face Fines, Possible Eviction For Making Videos From Their Home. “YouTuber and Call of Duty team owner Justin ‘KOSDFF’ Chandler recently moved into a home in Cobb County, Georgia with a bunch of fellow YouTubers. Their plan? To play games, vlog, and, you know, exist. But then they got in trouble with the law.”

From The Scotsman:
Scots activist hits out at Google over ‘right to be forgotten’
. “A political campaigner whose picture was published on a notorious far-right website has failed in their bid to have Google remove it from search engine results.” Good morning, Internet…

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