Classics Teaching, Presidential Debates, YouTube, More: Thursday Buzz, September 22, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

A new open access journal is available: Journal of Classics Teaching. “Now online and open access the Journal of Classics Teaching (JCT) aims to be the leading journal for teachers of Latin, ancient Greek, Classical Civilisation and Ancient History internationally. JCT covers the primary, secondary and tertiary education sectors and welcomes articles and short book reviews of interest to Classics teachers.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Twitter announced debate livestreaming. Facebook announced debate livestreaming. Then YouTube came in and Godzilla’d all over everybody. “Voting also requires you to get educated with the latest and greatest from the candidates. That’s why we’re also excited to announce that we’re live streaming the presidential debates from more news organizations than ever before including PBS, Fox News, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Telemundo. You can also follow your favorite YouTube creators, including The Young Turks and Complex News, who will be on the ground reporting from the debates using YouTube Live directly from their phones.”

YouTube is asking for help in moderating itself. “The company has announced the launch of a new, crowdsourced moderation program called ‘YouTube Heroes,’ which asks volunteers to perform tasks like flagging inappropriate content, adding captions and subtitles, and responding to questions on the YouTube Help forum, among other things.” I thought Google was making huge strides in AI etc. Why is this necessary? If you need more eyes to review what AI-based tools flag, why not hire them?

Google Allo is a little different than first announced. “When Allo was announced at Google’s I/O conference earlier this year, the messaging app was presented as a step forward for privacy. Alongside the end-to-end-encrypted Incognito Mode, the Allo team talked about bold new message retention practices, storing messages only transiently rather than indefinitely. But with the release of the app today, Google is backing off on some of those features.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Twitter has released a new transparency report. “Along with posting the newest data, we have updated our report site to make all of the various information easier to understand and navigate. Upgrades include bigger, bolder visualizations, clearer explanations about the numbers, and more granular details about many of the requests we receive. Specifically, we’ve added several new sections about global information requests, including: the number of preservation requests received for user data, more insights into requests that we formally or informally challenge, a breakdown between emergency and non-emergency requests, and the percentage of requests where basic account information is provided versus the production of the contents of communications (e.g., Tweets, DMs, media, etc.).”

Danny Sullivan is not impressed with Google Allo. “Hey! Google has a new messaging app out today called Allo. Pity I can’t send you a text message about it. Allo can’t handle that, not from my actual number, which is a core failing out-of-the-box. It’s a failing Google can’t afford with yet another messaging app.”

Gizmodo: The Dark Web Is Mostly Full of Garbage. “The sites which don’t actively work to circumvent laws (oppressive or totally sensible) tend to lack any sort of function at all. A single word on a blank page. A stupid gif with autoplaying sound, an annoying trend that mostly died with Myspace. These sites don’t even serve the purpose of domain squatting, as most onion urls intentionally defy memorability. In some ways, its refreshing to see pages that completely lack both interactivity and agenda—amateurish graffiti scrawled against a digital landscape that’s purpose-built to be undiscoverable by the overwhelming majority of people. But for the relatively small onion community, perhaps they have a message.”

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are pledging $3 billion to fight disease. Well, to fight the lack of funding for basic research. “Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are committing $3 billion over the next 10 years to accelerate basic scientific research, including the creation of research tools—from software to hardware to yet-undiscovered techniques—they hope will ultimately lead to scientific breakthroughs, the way the microscope and DNA sequencing have in generations past.” And, being Mark Zuckerberg, he doesn’t have to worry about anybody spending $1 billion of this money on a video scoreboard.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Chatter going around that Yahoo is about to confirm a big data breach. “Yahoo is poised to confirm a massive data breach of its service, according to several sources close to the situation, hacking that has exposed several hundred million user accounts. While sources were unspecific about the extent of the incursion, since there is the likelihood of government investigations and legal action related to the breach, they noted that it is widespread and serious.”

China will begin treating social media posts as evidence in criminal cases. “The new rule will give the police and other law enforcing agencies extensive powers to scrutinize posts on social media, mobile phone messages and emails as part of their investigation process. It has been formulated by the Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security, is aimed at regulating the collecting and reviewing of digital data in criminal cases, government sources said. It will come into force on October 1.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

MIT Technology Review: The Growing Problem of Bots That Fight Online. “‘An increasing number of decisions, options, choices, and services depend now on bots working properly, efficaciously, and successfully,’ say Taha Yasseri and pals at the University of Oxford in the U.K. ‘Yet, we know very little about the life and evolution of our digital minions.’ This raises an interesting question. How do bots interact with each other? And how do these interactions differ from the way humans interact? Today, Yasseri and pals throw some light on these questions by studying the way bots on Wikipedia interact with each other. And all is not well in the land of cyberspace.”

The most-cited scientist on Google Scholar? Why, it’s et al. “Et al. has 2,415,484 attributed citations in the Google database. Second place? Sigmund Freud, with 451,806 citations, according to Webometrics.” Good morning, Internet…

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United States Treaties, African-American Poetry, Google Drive More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, September 21, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

The Library of Congress has added United States treaties to its law library Web site. “We have added the United States Treaty Series, compiled by Charles I. Bevans, to our online digital collection. This collection includes treaties that the United States signed with other countries from 1776 to 1949. The collection consists of 13 volumes: four volumes of multilateral treaties, eight volumes of bilateral treaties and one volume of an index.”

In development: an online archive of African-American poetry and poets. “Until recently there was no center that had significant institutional support and was specifically dedicated to sharing and studying the legacy of African American poetry.* [This is incorrect and is corrected at the end of the article – RB] Earlier this year, poets Dawn Lundy Martin, Terrance Hayes, and Yona Harvey decided it was high time to start one. The trio launched the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP) as a creative think tank to spark conversation and collaboration among poets and other artists, and to promote and archive the work of African American poets for future generations…. Part of CAAPP’s core mission is to archive and document the work of African American poets, which will be accomplished through both a physical collection of books and an online archive of lectures, readings, and discussions.” The article is well worth reading but I cannot find a link to CAAPP as it currently exists. You can find that here.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Search in Google Drive is getting better. (Unfortunately it looks like the UI is remaining the same.) “The search box in Google Drive is getting an upgrade that will make it function more like Google Search, Google announced this morning. The improvements include a new autocorrect feature which will help by suggesting corrections to misspelled search terms, as well as support for natural language processing. That means you can now search for files on Drive using language that’s more like the way you speak in real life.”

Facebook’s has added new advertising options for local business. “Facebook Tuesday introduced two new advertising options for retailers looking to boost in-store sales: dynamic ads for retail, and store visits optimization.”

Windows 10 nagware is finally going away. “Thankfully, now that Windows 10 is no longer free* the nagware no longer serves any purpose, and so Microsoft has issued a patch to remove it from Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs. Update KB 3184143’s purpose is to ‘Remove software related to the Windows 10 free upgrade offer’ and will uninstall the following updates…”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

ABC News is teaming up with Facebook are teaming up to livestream the presidential debates. And it’s never been harder for me to rein in the snarky comments. “ABC News is turning again to Facebook as an outlet for extended 2016 election coverage — off traditional TV — with the companies unveiling a partnership to deliver live video programming from the four 2016 general-election debates. The network’s Facebook Live broadcasts will cover the three debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the VP face-off between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine.”

If you don’t want to watch the debates on Facebook, you’ve got another option: Twitter. “Twitter will livestream the first general-election debate on Sept. 26 as well as the proceeding ones thanks to a partnership with Bloomberg Media. The news comes just a day after ABC News announced it would stream its coverage on Facebook. Other networks have yet to reveal their digital plans.”

Taiwan (the Republic of China) has asked Google to blur the images of structures on Taiping Island. “The disclosure of the structures, revealed when images were updated in July, comes amid rising tensions over Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, and at a sensitive time for the Spratly Islands, a major archipelago located in strategic shipping lanes.” Taiping Island is a big deal but not something you hear about much in United States news. If you don’t know much about it, here’s a backgrounder.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Pro tip: if you get a USB drive in the mail, don’t put it in your computer. “Police are warning Aussies to stay away and never plug in any of the mysterious flash memory devices that have started showing up in people’s mailboxes. Those that haven’t heeded the warning found their machines infected with malware, and police say the USB sticks are considered to be ‘extremely harmful’.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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Japanese Genetic Research, ODU Neighborhood, Nova Scotia Newspapers, More: Wednesday Buzz, September 21, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

The government of Japan is going to create a database containing genetic research information about Japanese people. “AMED [Agency for Medical Research and Development] aims to establish a single database containing the results of research on the genetic information of Japanese people, and put that database on the internet.”

Old Dominion University has created an online archive about a historically African-American neighborhood in Norfolk, Virginia. “For the last 18 months, a team of 20 worked on a project known as ‘Mapping Lamberts Point,’ in which undergraduate and graduate students interviewed residents who grew up in the 1950s and ‘60s about the neighborhood’s evolution. The team also collected stories from the early 20th century from the Norfolk Journal and Guide, a publication focusing on African-American news and issues.”

The Nova Scotia [Canada] Historical Newspapers Online Database has added two new Gaelic titles and one in what I think is Acadian French. “Old newspapers and magazines provide rich historical records, but when the ink fades and the paper turns to dust, the information is lost. Those records are preserved digitally by the Nova Scotia Historical Newspapers Online Database, in collaboration with local universities and libraries. Now, the list includes Le Courrier de la Nouvelle-Écosse and two Gaelic publications — An Cuairtear Òg Gaelach and Am Bràighe.”

All of Donald Trump’s tweets have been collected and put into an online database. Over 16,000 of them. “Courtesy of a Georgetown grad and former Peace Corps volunteer who now works as a programmer, we now have a searchable archive of 16,000+ tweets from @realDonaldTrump since 2009.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Opera has launched a desktop version of its free VPN. “While most VPNs either require a subscription fee or installing additional software on your PC, Opera’s latest update to its stable desktop browser version adds VPN functionality for free and turning it on is as simple as clicking a button.”

Instagram is adding drafts.

Google Allo has officially launched. “The messaging app, which is available for Android and the iPhone, has similar features to most other messaging clients: stickers, emoji, the ability to draw on images like Snapchat and the choice of group or one-on-one chats. Messages are not encrypted end-to-end by default – unlike on WhatsApp, which it will compete with – but can be switched to an incognito mode to do so and set how long they exist before they’re deleted.”

USEFUL STUFF

Hey, this sounds pretty nifty: a Chrome extension which can identify landmarks in YouTube videos. “It’s easy to use. If you spot a landmark you don’t recognize, pause playback, click the Flico icon, then ‘Scan Landmarks’, and the add-on goes to work. We tried this with an image of Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, and within a few seconds Flico had given us the correct location, and the opening section of its Wikipedia page.”

For you Medium fans, from MakeUseOf: 7 Awesome Tools You Should Definitely Try If You Love Medium. “Some third-party tools are now appearing to make your Medium experience a good one. Here are a few of the best. Some others which looked promising inexplicably refused to work for me, but there were plenty of others ready to step into the void.”

Phone Radar has a pretty extensive overview of Google Trips.

RESEARCH AND OPINION

British Journalism Review: A Giant That May Eat Us. “Facebook would never say it set out to deliberately undermine the media industry. Yet it is, both through increasing domination of internet advertising revenue and control of a significant part of a critical distribution platform. It has created and defined an entirely new industry between media, communications and entertainment that we call “social media”, taking full advantage of the vast opportunity of unregulated business with a global audience. ” Good morning, Internet..

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Tamil Nadu Temples, Indiana Child Care, Displaced College Students, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, September 20, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

The government of Tamil Nadu (India) will create a database of the movable and immovable assets of its temples. “Tamil Nadu government today proposed to create database of movable and immovable assets of the temples in the state as part of its series of initiatives in the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department. The Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said such assets of temples include metal and stone idols besides land and buildings.”

The state of Indiana has launched a new tool to find child care providers. “Child Care Finder allows parents to narrow their search based on the type of provider, hours, licensing status, and whether or not the provider participates in Paths to Quality , Indiana’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system. In addition, families can find inspection reports and any enforcement actions against the provider.”

The US Department of Education has launched a new resource site for students impacted by recent higher education closures. “The U.S. Department of Education today joined Beyond 12 and National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) in announcing the launch of a new online package of supports to aid students affected by college closures…. Next Steps EDU advisors will respond to questions from students, by email, phone and text message, about academic, financial aid, and federal loan discharge options. All advisors are professionals working in the field of education and will be pre-screened and trained before being matched with students.”

Now available: an archive of screen shots showing soda machines in video games. I love the Internet. There are over 400 entries here. The first thing I thought was “Theme Hospital!” and sure enough, it’s there…..

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Ooooo. Twitter is making it easier to find tweets by date in location in TweetDeck. “After tapping the filter icon of any search column in Tweetdeck, users will now find a drop-down menu marked ‘Location’ among the different filters. Hit ‘Location’ and the menu opens to show a map where users can search for specific areas in the world, pinpoint a location and choose a search radius from which to hoover up any geotagged tweets.” Hit the link for skinny on the date search.

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is teaming up with Twitter to provide live stock updates. “As for what you’ll get, Twitter will provide live updates of S&P BSE Sensex levels, stock prices and opening and closing figures of Sensex companies to investors interested in Indian markets, globally.”

Wow: Waze wants to help you find a parking space. “Waze recently introduced a ‘where to park’ feature, which suggests parking lots closest to a destination and allows users to navigate there directly. Additionally, if a user doesn’t select a parking lot prior to arrival, Waze will give the option to select and navigate to one when approaching a final destination. Now that feature will be supercharged thanks to INRIX’s uniquely aggregated parking data.”

Looks like Google will be announcing new hardware on October 4th. “Google late Monday sent out invitations to an October 4 event, hinting that the Internet titan will show off a new smartphone powered by its Android mobile software. Emailed invitations revealed only the time and place for the gathering in San Francisco, the message topped by blue, red, yellow, and green dots of color.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Good stuff from the McGill Daily: Google Mapping the world: Agnostic mapping reveals and affects different perceptions of global boundaries. “While those of us whose knowledge is largely based in a North American context may think of these changes (due to their presentation as historical fact, rather than an ongoing dispute) as cut-and-dried, they often aren’t: many boundaries are still being contested. The way that these boundaries are depicted, both verbally through education and the media, and visually through maps and globes, shows the relations between the countries involved in the dispute, as well as how global communities view the disputed area. One of the most visible ways this manifests is in Google Map depiction of disputed boundaries.”

Popular Science: First Responders Give Google Glass a Second Life. “This fall, UMMS will host an active-shooter drill and outfit dozens of first responders with Google Glass to see if it improves emergency assessment. For extra ground support, UMMS will also deploy a drone equipped with heat sensors to help find patients and determine which ones need the most urgent attention.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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Global Rainfall, Japanese Literature, WWI, More: Tuesday Buzz, September 20, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

A kind reader clued me to this new-to-me data set on global rainfall measurements. “The data set, called CHIRPS (short for ‘Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation With Station data’) blends data from weather stations and weather satellites with extraordinary accuracy, providing a detailed record of global rainfall stretching back more than 30 years. By making it possible to compare current rainfall patterns with historical averages at the neighborhood scale for virtually the entire world, CHIRPS provides an early warning system for drought, making it possible for development agencies, insurance companies and others to more effectively activate adaptive strategies such as food aid and insurance.”

Now available: a database of Japanese literature which has been translated into English. “My site contains a database of Japanese literature that has been translated and published in English (just as the name suggests). This was something that I myself wanted–a resource that was very user-friendly–and so I decided to create it. It’s a bit of a challenge to keep it up to date–I’m afraid I’m behind on adding some important titles–but I welcome suggestions from anyone.”

The National Archives has launched a beta program for its Remembering WWI app. “Today we’re launching the public beta program for the Remembering WWI iPhone app, which puts newly digitized primary source materials into the hands of teachers and museum professionals nationwide. The app is a product of a two-year collaboration among the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the National WWI Museum, and others, all working toward the goal of connecting teachers, students and history enthusiasts to primary sources in interesting new ways.” According to a comment left on the blog post, the app is still waiting on approval to be added to the Apple store.

A new Web site provides information on recipients of the US Medal of Honor. “The new website has dedicated sections on the Medal of Honor and its Recipients including a searchable Living Histories page featuring the video stories of more than 120 Recipients. The Foundation’s Character Development Program also has its own section, where the entire curriculum, which the Foundation has introduced in 40 states, is downloadable free of charge.” Looks like this was a site redesign but it’s not clear if the biographies are new.

Google has launched Google Trips. “Google Trips is a personalized tour guide in your pocket. Each trip contains key categories of information, including day plans, reservations, things to do, food & drink, and more, so you have everything you need at your fingertips. The entire app is available offline — simply tap the ‘Download’ button under each trip to save it to your phone.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Play Books has a new tab. “Discover is essentially a personalized recommendation system built directly into the Google Books app. It takes a look at what you’re reading, what you’ve read, and suggests books for you to read.”

Chatter abounds that Google will release Allo this week. “Text messaging alternative Google Allo finds contacts via their phone numbers and its features include: Smart Reply (machine-learning powered canned responses to texts that are based on your previous texts; Ink for doodling on photos; Whisper Shout for emphasizing points by text size not by ALL CAPS; Google Assistant for getting answers to questions; and Incognito mode for private, end-to-end encrypted chats.”

Facebook has acquired Nascent Objects. “Facebook has acquired Nascent Objects, a small California startup founded in 2014 that focus on creating a modular electronics system that consumers could use to build their gadgets, using reconfigurable components including batteries, camera, sensors and more. The startup worked with design firm Ammunition (also responsible for the design of Beats products pre-Apple acquisition) to create its original products prior to being picked up by Facebook.”

USEFUL STUFF

Sherry Bonelli offers an overview of how to use Google Data Studio. “Google Data Studio is part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite — the high-end (i.e., pricey) Google Analytics Enterprise package. Since most of us can’t afford to spend that much money for an analytics tracking tool, we typically opt for the free version of Google Analytics. But Google has decided to give those of us using the free version of Google Analytics a taste of what’s possible.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Search Engine Journal: Will Facebook be the Next Review Platform? Because all the others have worked so well before? “24 hours after checking into a location, Facebook is feeding you with a new notification. A notification asking you to review and share your experience about the place you visited. I checked in two places on Friday and by Saturday, I had two notifications for reviews. One was for the University of Southern California. The other was for Break Room 86. These are two local businesses in completely different fields around me.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have all agreed to block ads for gender determination of babies in India. “Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have agreed to block ads for Indian services that help determine a baby’s sex before birth, adhering to laws intended to address one of the world’s worst gender imbalances. All three companies pledged to honor bans on the promotion of sexual-determination tests and related products, the health ministry told India’s Supreme Court on Monday. The court was hearing a case that sought the abolition of all content on search engines that promote such services.”

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

Whee! A new Twitter bot will take a picture you send it and replace the faces with emoji. “If you’ve been dying to swap your face out for emoji but Snapchat isn’t your thing, there’s now a Twitter bot that will do it for you – and it’s sort of fun.” It also works on animals, too, as you know if you saw this post on Firehose. Good morning, 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!