Europeana Sounds, Max Planck, Twitter, More: Wednesday Buzz, January 18, 2017

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Europeana Sounds has launched a music player. “Europeana Sounds, a project that connects digital sound archives across Europe, has just launched an interactive radio player. Now you can enjoy listening to 200,000 music tracks, and while listening, add labels to help other listeners to find recordings.”

The Max Planck Digital Library and the Taylor & Francis Group have made an agreement. “The Max Planck Digital Library and Taylor & Francis Group have signed an agreement which enables researchers based in Max Planck institutes to publish open access in 2,390 journals, under a centrally funded arrangement. This applies to peer-reviewed papers in full and hybrid Taylor & Francis Group journals, including Routledge and Cogent OA titles. Max Planck Institutes will also have shared access to a set of Taylor & Francis subscription journals and can swap and add individual titles up to an agreed limit to meet reader demand.”

TechCrunch: Twitter’s latest feature prompts you to tweet your updated profile picture. “Twitter is rolling out a new feature designed to increase the amount of visual content in users’ timelines and encourage more tweets and replies: it’s prompting users who have just updated their profile picture to post a hashtagged tweet about the change. The tweet will be appended with #NewProfilePic, which can then be seen by all the users’ Twitter followers.” I cannot imagine how my Twitter followers could care any less about my Twitter profile picture.

Is Facebook going to stop paying publishers for Live videos? “Facebook spent more than $50 million last year paying publishers and celebrities to create live video on the social network. Now numerous publishers tell Recode that Facebook is de-emphasizing live video when it talks to them. And none of the publishers we’ve spoken with expect Facebook to renew the paid livestreaming deals it signed last spring to get live video off the ground.”

USEFUL STUFF

Social Media Examiner: How to Use Social Media Emoji to Humanize Your Business. “Emojis can feel like an alien language, especially if you’re not in the habit of greeting good news with a cartoon smiley face or celebrating Oktoberfest with a pixelated beer stein. And to the cynic, using small pictures instead of text is a fad that’s doomed to fizzle out. But even if you aren’t using emojis, your customers and your competitors are. Appboy’s latest study found that marketing campaigns with emojis have increased 777% year-over-year and continue to rise by 20% every month.” I wasn’t going to link to this because the headline made me cynical. But it is a good article, and might help if you’re one of those people who’s supposed to be doing social media for your organization but emoji make you feel weird.

MakeUseOf: 5 Ways to Make Facebook Productive and Stop Distractions. I need Ghost for Chat.

Bustle’s got an overview of how to use Snapchat’s new search feature.

TheNextWeb: Milanote is the Evernote for creatives. “Like Google Keep, Milanote lets you arrange your notes in a bulletin board sort of approach. Where it differs, however, is in allowing the user to move notes to any location within the board — including off the screen. Pin an item here, add a text note there, drop in a link, a YouTube video, and connect them in whatever way you see fit using lines, arrows, or whitespace.” This sounds pretty terrific.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Yow, really bad for local businesses. From Stuff.co.nz: Kaikoura open for visitors despite routes being deleted by Google Maps. “Kaikoura may have been accessible since December via the Inland Road but a quick search on Google Maps tells another story. All routes to Kaikoura, as well as between addresses within the district, seem to have fallen off the face of Google Maps and would-be travellers are only given walking times and distances. The glitch is causing concern among accommodation providers and other businesses reliant on visitors who are already worried about the drop in numbers.”

Engadget: Why do Instagram and Twitter want me to buy fake Yeezys? “It’s not rare for me to come across ads for counterfeit goods, particularly as I’m browsing Instagram or Twitter. And although I don’t have a Facebook account, I live with someone who does and know that’s an issue there as well. Targeted advertising, the kind that knows exactly what brand of sneakers and streetwear I’m into, is the least of my worries here. My problem is the fact that Twitter and Facebook (which owns Instagram) are approving sponsored posts from retailers selling counterfeits. I know better, but there are many who may fall victim to these sorts of scams.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Very good stuff from Sean Blanda: Medium, and The Reason You Can’t Stand the News Anymore. “Companies from Medium to The Washington Post to Mashable to Buzzfeed all eventually run into the same unthinkable truth: The methods used to fund modern journalism simultaneously undermine trust in the news outlets. Editors, writers, and executives at today’s news outlets are all in a no-win situation where they are forced to contribute to the causes of their own demise to survive.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Google and the Misinformed Public. “Digital media platforms like Google and Facebook may disavow responsibility for the results of their algorithms, but they can have tremendous — and disturbing — social effects. Racist and sexist bias, misinformation, and profiling are frequently unnoticed byproducts of those algorithms. And unlike public institutions (like the library), Google and Facebook have no transparent curation process by which the public can judge the credibility or legitimacy of the information they propagate.” Good morning, Internet…

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Privacy, Microsoft, Government Documents, More: Tuesday Buzz, January 17, 2017

A genealogy Web site is causing a lot of privacy concerns. “A site advertised as a family history and genealogy site known as FamilyTreeNow.com has been online since 2014, but is suddenly getting a lot of buzz on social media about all the personal information it publishes – but there is good news, you can opt out and have your personal details removed.” I tried the opt-out mechanism and am happy to report that it does work.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Microsoft will end security bulletins next month. “Microsoft next month will stop issuing detailed security bulletins, which for nearly 20 years have provided individual users and IT professionals information about vulnerabilities and their patches. One patching expert crossed his fingers that Microsoft would make good on its pledge to publish the same information when it switches to a new online database.”

I have mentioned Kevin Savetz and his “printable” Web sites in ResearchBuzz from time to time. Now he has a printables site for the US Constitution and other documents. “This site offers free, printable versions of the founding documents of our Republic, including the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and other rights laid out by America’s founders.”

Google Operating System: Google Image Search Starts Playing YouTube Videos. “Google Image Search’s mobile interface tests a new feature that starts playing snippets from a YouTube video at the top of the search results page. It’s not disclosed as an ad, there’s no sound and you can’t stop or hide the video, which continues to play on repeat.”

Apparently Donald Trump will keep using Twitter from his own personal account. “NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell reports that transition officials say that while the administration will take control of the @POTUS account, Trump himself will stick to tweeting from his personal account.”

USEFUL STUFF

Konbini: Harvard Is Putting Its Photography Classes Online For Free. “Following in the footsteps of Stanford University, Harvard has announced that they are going to make their photography classes available for free online. The prestigious university has uploaded the program to their online platform Alison.”

Lifehacker: Roll Your Own, Self-Hosted Image Gallery with Chevereto. “For many people, Google Photos, Flickr, and other cloud-based image hosting services are perfect for backing up photos, sharing them, and organizing them into galleries. If you’d rather use a self-hosted solution you control, or maybe use one in addition to those cloud services, Chevereto is worth a look.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Soldiers in India have been advised not to use social media as an outlet for complaints. “Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday speaking at the Army Day Parade held in the national capital asked soldiers to not to use the social media platform for complaints also warned them of a strict action if proper procedure is not followed in filing complaints.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

From TorrentFreak, which is always worth a read: Porn Pirate Sites Use ‘Backdoor’ to Host Videos on YouTube. “Adult themed streaming sites are using a loophole in Google’s services to store infringing material at no cost. Google’s servers are increasingly being used as a hosting platform, by exploiting YouTube’s private publishing backdoor.”

BetaNews: The list of most common passwords of 2016 includes a few surprises. “Security breaches and data leaks are, obviously, a major concern, but they do have something of a silver lining. Leaks of passwords may open up the risk of individual accounts being targeted, but they also serve as a fascinating insight into the level of security people use for online services.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

ScienceBlog: Teens unlikely to be harmed by moderate digital screen use. “Parents and pediatricians alike may worry about the effects of teens’ screen time, but new findings from over 120,000 adolescents in the UK indicate that the relationship between screen time and well-being is weak at best, even at high levels of digital engagement. The research is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.”

Kalev Leetaru in Forbes: Why Aren’t We Doing More With Our Web Archives? “Since the early days of the web there have been myriad projects launched to archive and preserve the digital world that increasingly powers our global society. Perhaps the best known is the Internet Archive, which has been crawling and preserving the open web for more than two decades. As of last October the Archive had preserved more than 510 billion distinct URLs (images, videos, style sheets, scripts, PDFs, Microsoft Office files, etc) from over 273 billion web pages gathered from 361 million websites and taking up more than 15 petabytes of storage. Much of this collection is available through the Archive’s public-facing Wayback Machine that allows you to plug in any URL and see all of the Archive’s snapshots capturing its evolution over the past 20 years. With such an incredible repository of global society’s web evolution, why don’t we see more applications of this unimaginable resource?” Good morning, Internet…

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

NEW RESOURCES

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.”)

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

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.

USEFUL STUFF

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…”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

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.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

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…

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!

Lab Equipment, SoundCloud, Inauguration, More: Sunday Buzz, January 15, 2017

NEW RESOURCES

Now available: a database of unused lab equipment in Atlantic Canada (that is, the four provinces on the Atlantic coast of Canada, excepting Quebec.) “Science Atlantic, a non-profit organization based in Halifax, has created an online open-access database for research facilities and specialized equipment across the provinces. The Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database (AFRED) wants to connect people in need of equipment with those who have it, said program manager Patty King.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

There’s a bit of shuffling going on at SoundCloud. “Eric Wahlforss, who co-founded the audio streaming startup with Alexander Ljung, is stepping away from the role of CTO and taking a new position as chief product officer. Meanwhile, SoundCloud has hired a new CTO, Artem Fishman, who most recently had been a vice president of engineering at Yahoo, overseeing mobile engineering. Both will be based out of SoundCloud’s offices in Berlin.”

In addition to Twitter, you’ll also be able to watch the Presidential inauguration live on YouTube. “You’ll also be able to feel what it’s like to be in the center of the action – look out for special coverage from some of the channels above in 360 degrees and amazing 4K quality.”

USEFUL STUFF

Looks like a great list. From Museum Hack: Eleven Must-Listen Museum Podcasts. “Podcasts: perfect for a long commute, road trip, or keeping you company while at work. They’re also one of our favorite ways to discover new museum content and ideas. Here are 11 podcasts (or podcast episodes) that we think are must-listens for any museum lover.”

Search Engine Journal: How to Use Pinterest to Supercharge Your Social Media Presence. “Building your brand on social media will also benefit your SEO by driving qualified traffic to your site. Naturally, a lot of content marketers would fixate on big networks like Facebook and Twitter. But even though these social media giants have over 2 billion active users combined, there are smaller networks that can easily outperform them in terms of driving engagement. Cue in Pinterest.”

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) has an interesting Webinar coming up on February 2nd: Beyond Google – Another Look at Finding Government Information. It’s free as far as I can tell.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

TechCrunch: Facebook is censoring posts in Thailand that the government has deemed unsuitable. “For millions of people, Facebook is the internet — but many of those who rely on the social network for news and views may not be aware that Facebook isn’t immune to internet censorship itself. That’s become apparent in Thailand, where Facebook is blocking content from a number of users following an apparent request from the government.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

You have to be careful everywhere online, even on Amazon. From Naked Security: Beware phishing scams in Amazon listings. “Be careful what you click: There’s a new phishing scam hitting Amazon listings that look like legitimate deals, offering great prices on ‘used – like new’ electronics. If you click these links on Amazon, you’ll be redirected to a very convincing Amazon-looking payment site, where the phishy merchant will grab your money and run.”

Government Technology: Should Social Media Be Banned in Prison? “Some think that social media is a luxury that should not be provided to prisoners for fear of organizing more crime, but others argue that social media is necessary for inmates to return to the public after serving their sentence.”

The latest hack incident victim is Cellebrite. “The breach is the latest chapter in a growing trend of hackers taking matters into their own hands, and stealing information from companies that specialize in surveillance or hacking technologies. Cellebrite is an Israeli company whose main product, a typically laptop-sized device called the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED), can rip data from thousands of different models of mobile phones. That data can include SMS messages, emails, call logs, and much more, as long as the UFED user is in physical possession of the phone.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Um, not me! From NBC News: It’s Not Just You: Why So Many People Lose or Break Their Phone Just as a New One Comes Out. “It might seem strange that smartphone owners would get clumsier right as a new model hits the market, but that’s exactly what happens, according to a forthcoming article in the Journal of Marketing Research. Data on lost iPhones shows that owners are less likely to try and track down their missing devices when a newer version is available, the paper found.”

OTHER STUFF I THINK IS COOL

Here’s a little inspiration for you, from Mashable: Single mom uses YouTube tutorials to build a house from scratch. NBD. “Your dream home is apparently only a year’s worth of physical labor, cost of supplies, and a work crew of children away— if you want it badly enough. In 2008, single mother of four Cara Brookins felt trapped: she was simultaneously living with a violent and abusive husband and being stalked by a mentally ill ex. She knew that even if she left, she couldn’t afford to buy a house big enough for her family.” 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!

Phishing Attacks, LGBTQ Posters, Lab Animal Tissue, More: Saturday Buzz, January 14, 2017

Please be aware that there’s a serious GMail/email phishing exploit going around. “A new highly effective phishing technique targeting Gmail and other services has been gaining popularity during the past year among attackers. Over the past few weeks there have been reports of experienced technical users being hit by this. This attack is currently being used to target Gmail customers and is also targeting other services.”

NEW RESOURCES

In development: a collection of LGBTQ posters and protest signs. “ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries — the world’s largest repository of LGBTQ materials — will digitize 4,200 LGBTQ political posters and protest signs from its collection. The materials will be made accessible through the USC Digital Library and the Digital Public Library of America for free public access.”

Now available: a database of leftover lab animal tissue. Yes, it’s gross, but it’s a good thing. “Lab animals’ tissue is often stored away for good after a study is completed. An initiative in the UK is now working with institutions worldwide to make use of it. Instead of running their own animal tests, researchers can look up whether they can work with tissue from a completed study. An estimated 400 mice have been spared so far, but the initiative is still in its early days, says Valerie Speirs, Principle Investigator of Sharing Experimental Animal Recourses, Coordinating Holdings (SEARCH). We spoke with her about her latest article in which she outlines the many benefits of fewer animal tests.”

Now available: a digital archive of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. “… the Digital Archive Project of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) aims to digitize, systematize and describe the core publications of the institute that have been produced over the last 40 years – essentially, since its founding in 1976. All of the digitized materials are part of the open access University of Alberta Library collections and are freely available online. The CIUS Digital Archive Project website has a search system, which operates on basic criteria such as type of document, year of publication, author, subject, scholarly discipline and chronological coverage.”

The University of Michigan has created a digital archive of its student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. And this is how you know I didn’t find this via a library announcement: “Dude. Sweet. The search works great, and you can download and save pages and links as you go along. Well done. The only drawback? Like with any text-based scanning software, sometimes the text search is spotty if the quality of the scanned page is in rough shape, as of course can happen as the pages have aged.”

The Obama Administration has created a VR tour of the White House. “Narrated by the President, “the People’s House” offers an intimate, 360-degree exploration of rooms in the White House residence and the West Wing, as well as a look back at some of the most significant moments that took place there over the past eight years. It’s a first-ever virtual reality experience with the President and First Lady in the White House.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Facebook Pages will be able to use Facebook Live from the desktop. “To be clear, this only applies to Pages, not everyday Facebook users. Still, it should benefit businesses and prominent Facebook users who don’t want to go to the trouble or have the capacity to go live through Facebook’s API on a desktop or laptop.”

App.net is shutting down. “App.net, the social network that promised to beat Twitter at its own game, is shutting down. App.net will cease to exist on March 15th, 2017. However, the code at the heart of the site will be open-sourced, enabling someone else to take on the challenge of battling Twitter. Maybe.”

Google Maps wants to make it easier to get a ride straight from the app. “With this update, Google Maps now feels a bit more like the native apps those services already offer. Instead of showing you a list with only a few ride options, the app now shows a map with the location of nearby cars and a larger list of options for each service (no word on whether the UberChopper will ever make an appearance in this menu, though).”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Funny in a horrible kind of way, from Bloomberg: Some Peso Traders Want Mexico to Buy Twitter and Shut It Down. “There’s a strange idea circulating among Mexican currency traders. Well, more of a joke really. But there’s a certain logic to it. It goes like this: Instead of spending its precious reserves to defend the peso, Mexico should just buy Twitter Inc. — at a cost of about $12 billion — and immediately shut it down.”

NBC News: Twitter Star Jonathan Sun’s New Bot Wants to Make Sure You’re Doing OK. “Jonathan Sun may be better known as Jomny Sun, a Twitter personality with nearly 300,000 followers who tweets from the perspective of an alien trying to learn how to be human. But following the 2016 presidential election, Sun was struck by the anger and sadness he saw online after Donald Trump’s win, pushing him to create something positive.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

An interesting thesis from the University of Central Florida: The Weight of Words: Collecting and Visualizing Data from Twitter. “This thesis includes a discussion regarding design considerations, application architecture, and data mining, as well as an examination of data visualization, social media, and human behavior. Through the construction of these visualizations I aim to provide a unique opportunity to discover patterns and trends from the popular topics of that current day. By providing viewers of this work with a unique perspective, I hope to encourage reflection and discussion of the current state of our culture’s behavior and values.” 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!