Suretypedia, Package Tracking, Canva, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, December 08, 2019


BusinessWire: Suretypedia Converts to a #Crowdsourced Platform (PRESS RELEASE). “Suretypedia, the free encyclopedia for surety bonds, launches a major upgrade to, which provides a brand new interface and allows surety experts to contribute articles, update information and submit forms on its vast encyclopedia of surety bonds. The new home page provides users a dashboard to easily navigate the thousands of dedicated surety bond pages, browse featured articles, news, upcoming events and legislative updates affecting the surety industry.”

Search Engine Land: Package tracking on Google’s search results page is coming to more carriers. “Shipping companies across the world can now sign up to participate in Google’s package tracking early adopters program, the company announced on Thursday. The program enables more shipping companies to show users the real-time status of their delivery right on the search results page.”

TechCrunch: Canva introduces video editing, has big plans for 2020. “Canva, the design company with nearly $250 million in funding, has today announced a variety of new features, including a video editing tool. The company has also announced Canva Apps, which allows developers and customers alike to build on top of Canva. Thus far, Dropbox, Google Drive, PhotoMosh and Instagram are already in the Canva Apps suite, with a total of 30 apps available at launch.”


MakeUseOf: 6 Free Printables and Ebooks to Track or Change Habits. “As the year draws to a close, we often succumb to the pressure of setting resolutions. But if you’re serious about changing habits, you need the right advice and tools to get you going. You can use habit apps to reach your goals or go old-school with a pen and paper. There is just something more satisfying about the tactile feel of crossing or ticking a box.”

Fast Company: There’s now a chatbot to give refugees instant legal advice. “For a Syrian refugee in Lebanon who is trying to navigate the legal path to resettlement, it can be difficult to find answers—and overstretched humanitarian organizations can take as long as three months to respond to an email when the demand for help is highest. A new chatbot called Mona, designed for Facebook Messenger and Telegram, can help more quickly.”


CNET: Twitter flags Trump, Biden, Warren campaigns, citing ad-policy violations. “Twitter flagged the campaign accounts of presidential candidates, including incumbent Donald Trump and rival Joe Biden, as ‘suspended” in the ads database, saying they’d violated the company’s policies. The accounts remain active on the social network, and it’s unclear whether any violations actually occurred. Twitter, which bans political advertising, changed the wording in the database to “ineligible for Twitter Ads” after CNET inquired about the labels on Thursday.”

Greek Reporter: New Project Will Form Archive of Greek-American Music (video). “The new ‘Greek Music in America Archives Project,’ funded by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2019-2020, will be the first-ever comprehensive and publicly-accessible collection of Greek music recorded in America, or recorded in Greece by American companies, from 1896 to 1985. Comprised of analog discs, audiotapes, piano rolls, cylinders, and associated ephemera such as record catalogs, sheet music, images and other media, this would be the first such time such a resource has ever been compiled.”

Search Engine Journal: 25 Things You Didn’t Know About Baidu. “In the United States, we have Google. In China, they have Baidu. If you’re wondering, ‘what does this have to do with me?’ I get it. What does China’s biggest tech company have to do with you? A lot, if you’re involved with marketing and SEO.”


New York Times: Trump Administration Sued Over Social Media Screening for Visa Applicants. “A pair of documentary film organizations sued the Trump administration on Thursday over its requirement that foreigners disclose their social media accounts — including pseudonymous ones — when they apply for visas.”

New Zealand Herald: Annabel Langbein is considering legal action against Facebook and Google to stop scam ads. “Celebrity chef Annabel Langbein is considering legal action against Facebook and Google for allowing scammers to use her image to lure in victims.”


Greater Good Magazine: What Happens When You Take a Facebook Break. “On Monday, November 18, at 1 p.m., I embarked on my own Facebook and Instagram sabbatical—for research purposes, of course. Admittedly, I was curious how I’d spend the extra time—and whether all the curly hair gurus I follow were giving me an inferiority complex.”


The Verge: This AI text adventure game has pretty much infinite possibilities. “AI Dungeon 2 isn’t exactly a polished game, but more of a passion project from developer Nick Walton. He’s harnessed the power of a state-of-the-art, open-source text generation system built by OpenAI and fed it a bunch of texts in the style of Choose Your Own Adventure books. The result is a text adventure where, to modify a cliché, the only limit is the AI’s imagination.” You can play it in your browser. It’s a bit of a slow load at the moment but I was able to have some fun with it. Good morning, Internet…

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2 replies »

  1. Amazon package tracking is great, but carriers – particularly UPS and USPS – often don’t tell the truth. CAn’t tell you how many times a package shows as “delivered” when it hasn’t been delivered and may not be for another day or so. I’ve called Amazon on this and they won’t do anything until several days have passed. So much for package tracking.

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