LGBT New York, World Anthropology, Limestone Architecture, More: Sunday Buzz, July 24, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

In development: a map of historically-important LGBT sites in New York. “Still in the early stages, the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project will evolve into an online archive and interactive map of around 1,000 places throughout New York, from the residences of notable figures like Walt Whitman and Audre Lorde to cultural nexuses like the Apollo Theater and the West Side Tennis Club to business hubs—and protest sites—like the New York Stock Exchange. Contemporary and archival photos will supplement a searchable bibliography of each site.”

Thanks to Paul P. for the Twitter tip: Archives of the Planet is now available as open data. “This large iconographic collection consists of 72,000 Autochrome plates (color photographs on glass plates) and hundreds of hours worth of black and white films. This is the result of the work of photographers recruited by Albert Kahn and sent all around the world. Between 1909 and 1931, the photographers have been to more than fifty countries to record the everyday lives of the inhabitants of the planet.”

Architecture. Architecture featuring limestone. In the midwest. It’s an archive of photographs from the Indiana Limestone Company. “The 47 file drawers of photos, originally used by the Indiana Limestone Company for marketing purposes, were stored in the living room of a dilapidated house in Bedford, Indiana. They date from the early to mid-1900s and illustrate architectural styles and limestone use in crisp black and white imagery.” Over 1200 photographs are online, and grant support means an additional 4500 images will be digitized. There are over 25,000 photos total.

Now available: a digitized newspaper from the US Virgin Islands when it was the Danish West Indies. “Over 3,000 pages of David Hamilton Jackson’s The Herald, which is the first citizen-owned and -operated newspaper in the Danish West Indies, have been digitized and are freely available online to researchers everywhere … the digitization project includes issues spanning the entire publication run of 1915 to 1925.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

The National Institutes of Health Library is now on Facebook. “Please ‘like’ our Facebook page and you will get instant updates about our products, services, and events.” If you’re one of the lucky 5%.

Google and the United Nations are teaming up against climate change. “New Google-powered software will help the world tackle problems related to climate change, deforestation and food production, a United Nations agency said on Friday, as it presented its revamped online platform. Open Foris, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) software, uses high-resolution satellite images to monitor the environment and changes in land use and forest cover.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Bloomberg: Microsoft’s Bing Isn’t a Joke Anymore When was it a joke? “Bing is on track to generate roughly $5.3 billion in revenue for Microsoft’s fiscal year ended June 30, based on the pace of sales during the previous nine months. Here’s some context: Web search and advertising are among Microsoft’s lowest-priority businesses, yet Bing’s revenue is more than Yahoo’s sales over the last 12 months, and two-and-a-half times Twitter’s advertising revenue. Bing’s yearly revenue may top what Microsoft makes from selling Windows PCs to consumers, based on some rough 2015 disclosures.”

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at how video distribution on Facebook has been better for media companies than YouTube. Writing a thorough article about how much I hate YouTube’s content-discovery systems would take days, so let’s just stick with: I’m not surprised. “In May, the do-it-yourself, home-and-garden site Hometalk made its first big push into video on Facebook. Since then, its Facebook video audience has surged, driven by clips such as an eco-friendly oven cleaning technique that has garnered over 38 million views since July 2, according to Hometalk’s co-founder and chief marketing officer, Miriam Illions. That’s far more attention than Hometalk’s videos have generated on YouTube, where it has had a limited presence for years.”

The Republican National Convention apparently caused a spike in people searching for third party information.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Illinois online voter registration database has been hacked. “McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael tells WMBD the biggest cause for concern lies in which records were compromised. Older records contained voters’ full social security numbers; newer records only contain public information.”

Two paramedics about whom I am way too angry to describe without melting my keyboard apparently had a “selfies war” featuring their patients. Mostly non-consensually. “Investigators initially identified a total of 41 patients. Two of whom have since died. Three of the photos appear consensual. Out of the remaining patients, 19 were female, and 17 were male. One of those victims was an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputy. Five were homeless, the Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Chinese search engine Baidu has created a tool that makes composes music based on images. “In a new exhibit at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, Baidu’s new AI is analysing photos and paintings and creating entirely original musical arrangements based on the imagery it sees.”

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

I love the idea of a “pop-up” newspaper. “Pro-Remain newspaper the New European is thought to have sold more than 40,000 copies of its launch edition, more than the short-lived national the New Day when it was shut by publisher Trinity Mirror.” Conception to newsstands in NINE DAYS. Good morning, Internet…

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Minnesota Radon, Depression, Life Sciences Search, More: Saturday Buzz, July 23, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

The state of Minnesota has launched a new tool to show incidences of radon across the state. “A majority of Minnesota counties have high average levels of radon, according to a new online tool that tracks the prevalence of the odorless gas linked to thousands of lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.”

UW-Madison has released a new resource on depression. “The website is a collection of firsthand accounts of 38 young adults with depression, displaying a total of 350 video, text and audio clips. … Specifically, the patients discuss how depression feels, living with depression, coming to terms with depression and self-care strategies.”

In beta, still developing: a new life sciences search engine called Bioz. “The Bioz platform uses natural language processing and machine learning to extract data from published research articles on which products were used, under what conditions, for what experiments, and with which companion products. A Bioz algorithm ranks products based on how many times it is used in experiments, the impact factor of the journal in which papers are published, and how recently a product has been used. The result is Bioz Star rankings, which are meant to be objective measures of a products usefulness, not user-generated reviews.”

A new search engine faceswaps you into image search results. “The system analyzes the picture of your face and determines how to intelligently crop it to leave nothing but your face. It then searches for images matching your search term — curly hair, for example — and looks for ‘doppelganger sets,’ images where the subject’s face is in a similar position to your own.” Bleh. It’s in closed beta and I can’t play with it.

In development: a guide to every state’s public records law. “With agencies increasingly using an array of exemptions to deny access to information, we want to help requesters fight back. We’re launching a project to track every public records exemption in all 50 states – and provide the information needed to successfully overcome times when information is improperly denied.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

BBC’s iPlayer Radio app is now available in the US. “BBC does radio well, and now Americans can experience the full effect of the UK broadcaster’s audio content expertise with the iPlayer Radio app for iOS and Android. The app contains all of BBC’s radio feeds, including Radio 1 through 6, as well as the World Service. It also has offline support for BBC podcasts, and curated collections of past content.” I am a big fan of BBC radio and so excited about this!

Google has updated its transparency report. “During the period from January 2015 to June 2015, the search giant received 4677 requests for user data from law enforcement agencies worldwide, the largest number of data requests that the company has ever received.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

And in today’s Moment of Facepalm, Twitter will not Periscope its earnings report on Tuesday. “Twitter’s investor-relations account tweeted Friday afternoon that the company won’t use Periscope to broadcast its Q2 earnings, which are set to land next Tuesday. Twitter says that feedback from investors made the company realize that the video feed wasn’t that important.” Because after 20 years of popular culture livestreaming, it’s time to listen to the investors. For crying out loud, you’ve got the tail wagging the dog. Twitter, it’s up to YOU to make Periscope relevant to your investors. And with decisions like this it won’t happen!

Nigerian Olympic hopefuls are using social media to request funding. “Antwon Hick, a Nigerian hurdler, has also set up a GoFundMe campaign as well. He is trying to raise $5000….The current fastest man in Nigeria, Seye Ogunlewe, also took to Twitter and urged corporate organizations to assist them.”

Rumors are flying that Verizon is the front-runner in the bid for Yahoo. “Verizon is discussing a price close to $5 billion for Yahoo’s core internet business, one of the people said and the deal doesn’t include the company’s patents at this stage. While other assets including Yahoo’s real estate were also on the block, it could not immediately be learned if they are part of the deal.” That seems way too high.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Two facepalms in one issue of ResearchBuzz! Apparently the customer database for Asiana Airlines has been unsecured since 2013. “In line with its internal rules, the company had been deleting login records on the server between January 2013 and August 2014, making it impossible to trace server activity during the period…. The unprotected information includes citizen resident numbers, passport information, home addresses, bank account details, phone numbers and family relations records.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

WIRED: Twitter Is Running Out of Time To Get Real About Fighting Abuse. “Yes, Twitter walks a fine line in balancing its identity as an open network for all views while at the same time reserving the right to police content so that a mob can’t overpower and harass a single user. And in a lot of ways, it’s made progress: it explicitly banned revenge porn last year. It routinely works with groups to refine its anti-abuse tools, and it hasn’t shied away from banning other high-profile users in the past, including pop star Azealia Banks and right-wing troll Chuck C. Johnson. But some say Twitter is running out of excuses in its failure to fully address this problem.” Good morning, Internet…

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Natural Language, Houston Herald, Firefox, More: Friday Buzz, July 22, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

Google has launched a new natural languages API. “Google today announced the public beta launch of its Cloud Natural Language API, a new service that gives developers access to Google-powered sentiment analysis, entity recognition, and syntax analysis.”

The Houston Herald has added a big new chunk to its digital archive. “More than 83,000 pages of past issues of the Houston Herald are available on the publication’s website this week, marking the completion of a project that started last fall….About 12 years ago, the Herald rolled out its archives from 1948 to the present. The latest content fills the gap from the 1880s to 1947.” This archive does not appear to be free.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Firefox has jumped on the Flash-blockin’ bandwagon. “Starting in August, Mozilla’s Firefox will block Flash content that ‘is not essential to the user experience,’ the organization announced today. With this move, Mozilla is following Google’s lead, which made a similar decision last year and now plans to almost completely block Flash content in its Chrome browser.”

Twitter is giving Periscope a push. “The social network on Thursday unveiled several new tools for Periscope, including the ability for you to rewind live-streaming highlights. Another new features is designed to make it easier for you to find and watch videos, and a third allows Periscopes to play in embedded tweets.”

Facebook will allow Live broadcasters to filter their audience. Well, not us joyless proles. “The audience restrictions option is only available only to people who post their Live streams to Facebook using the social network’s API (application programming interface), e.g., media companies, professional creators and brands using software to send the stream that’s shot using fancy cameras or game- and screen-casting tools, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed. ”

USEFUL STUFF

Don Schindler: How to host a virtual farm tour on your website or Facebook Page. Yes, this is about farming. But the way he breaks it down you could apply his thoughts to any institution or business. (Well, perhaps you wouldn’t mention cows quite so much.) If you’ve been thinking about virtual tours, this article might help you organize your thoughts.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

If you’re a basketball fan you must be in a happy place right now. First we find out that Twitter signed a deal with the NBA, and now we learn that Facebook will be livestreaming the USA Basketball exhibition games. “A total of nine games played by the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be streamed on both the USA Basketball and NBA Facebook pages.” First game is TONIGHT!

Huh? China is going to ban ad blockers? “China is preparing itself towards banning ad-blocking programs from being installed on its citizens’ machines, as part of a new internet advertising rule which was implemented last week. This was recently discovered by Ben Williams, the head of operations behind the popular ad-blocking program AdBlock Plus.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

If you’re wondering why Apple quickly pushed out iOS an update without signaling it first, here you go. “Android’s Stagefright vulnerability has been one of the biggest security issues discovered in the operating system, with nearly a billion devices potentially at risk when first discovered and able to infect devices with a specially crafted text message. Well, it looks like iPhones had their own Stagefright-like bug and Apple has just issued an update to address it.”

LAME. Someone DDOS’d the Library of Congress. “On Sunday morning, July 17, the Library became the target of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) network attack that resulted in the disruption of Library services and websites, including Congress.gov, the U.S. Copyright Office, the BARD service from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, our many databases, and both incoming and outgoing email.”

Investigating a murder case? Can’t unlock the victim’s phone? Well, hey, maybe you can just 3D print his fingers. “[Anil] Jain and his PhD student Sunpreet Arora couldn’t share details of the case with me, since it’s an ongoing investigation, but the gist is this: a man was murdered, and the police think there might be clues to who murdered him stored in his phone. But they can’t get access to the phone without his fingerprint or passcode. So instead of asking the company that made the phone to grant them access, they’re going another route: having the Jain lab create a 3D printed replica of the victim’s fingers. With them, they hope to unlock the phone.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Now here’s a good smack in the head: Facebook as a painkiller. “Social networking sites (SNSs) are extremely popular for providing users with a convenient platform for acquiring social connections and thereby feeling relatedness. Plenty of literature has shown that mental representations of social support can reduce the perception of physical pain. The current study tested whether thinking about SNS would interfere with users’ perceptions of experimentally induced pain.” Can’t find a copy of the paper itself that isn’t behind a paywall in my quick look; let me know if you can. 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!

Conservation Research, Snapchat, Google Maps, More: Thursday Buzz, July 21, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

A new portal for conservation research data has been launched. “The new SNAPP tool operates as a flexible, graphical data portal for the links between conservation interventions and human well-being outcomes that allows users to download desired information as well as charts and summaries. It collates information from over 1,000 studies in an easy-to-interpret way and visualizes it for quick uptake. Users can filter the information by intervention and outcome type, geographic location, biome and study design – allowing them to hone in on regions and ecosystems of interest and gain quick information on the abundance and general quality of information for specific linkages and areas.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Snapchat will now let you use Bitmoji. “Bitmoji, for the uninitiated, allows users to create their own personal emoji with passing resemblance to their real flesh human face, which they can then use in messaging apps to express person feelings like ‘Surprise!’ and ‘Disappointment.'” And “What the heck is Bitmoji?”

Google Maps is apparently showing fewer business listings in search results. “This includes showing fewer results on the left hand side where it shows local listings as well as it showing less results in the map itself with less pins showing up for local businesses. I personally saw this when I searched for some keywords that I track – although I do not have before and after screen shots.”

What’s with all the speed tests all of a sudden? Now it looks like Google’s getting one.

I really am trying to keep the Pokestuff to a minimum, but I thought it was fascinating that Delaware State Parks was so fast off the mark that it’s already launched a Pokemon Go contest. “On Monday, the Division of Parks and Recreation launched ‘Poké Park Adventure,’ a contest for Pokémon trainers of all ages. To win, players must take a screenshot of their avatar in one of Delaware’s state parks, and then take screenshots of each Poké Stop that they visit. Then, players must upload the screenshot to social media and use the hashtag #pokeparkde.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: 5 Retro Operating Systems You Can Revisit with Ease on Linux.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Uri Shaked: Exploring the Physical Web (Without Buying Beacons) “The Physical Web is still pretty new, but the basic idea is that the Physical Web lets you broadcast any URL to the people around you. Awesome, right? The Physical Web lets you anchor URLs to physical places by way of a BLE beacon, effectively allowing you to ‘park’ a webpage, link to a file, etc., wherever you want.”
I knew about beacons because of their expanding use in retail, but this article showed me how accessible the Physical Web is to anybody.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

The New Jersey Supreme Court will decide if government metadata is public. “The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case brought by an open-government activist who contends that the public should be allowed to view electronic data and metadata kept by local government agencies. In summer 2013, John Paff requested a log of the emails sent by the Galloway Township police chief and the township clerk during a two-week period in June 2013, and then sued in an Ocean County court when his request was denied.”

I have wondered about this a lot: Forensic psychologists reveal why people are posting evidence to their crimes on Facebook and Snapchat. “Across social media, people are using the platforms to showcase their crimes — with heartless selfies and humiliating clips of their victims. For all the crooks posting their own incriminating evidence on social media, forensic psychologists say a common thread ties them all together: an insatiable craving for attention.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

A very long read, and the conclusions are not – uh – conclusive. But what a great project. Are games a viable solution to crowdsourcing improvements to faulty OCR? – The Purposeful Gaming and BHL experience. “The Missouri Botanical Garden and partners from Dartmouth, Harvard, the New York Botanical Garden, and Cornell recently wrapped up a project funded by IMLS called Purposeful Gaming and BHL: engaging the public in improving and enhancing access to digital texts … The goals of the project were to significantly improve access to digital texts through the applicability of purposeful gaming for the completion of data enhancement tasks needed for content found within the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). This article will share our approach in terms of game design choices and the use of algorithms for verifying the quality of inputs from players as well as challenges related to transcriptions and marketing.”

Study: Using Twitter to Share Physician-Generated Medical News. “Over a 1-year period, academic cardiovascular physicians at the Mayo Clinic used a new Twitter account to share medical news and gained more than 1,200 followers, with tweets of original journal content garnering the greatest response, according to an article published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website until August 20, 2016.”

From Think with Google: Why YouTube Stars Are More Influential Than Traditional Celebrities. This is an infographic and at least on my computer took a moment to load, so the page might look blank at first. 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!

B&W Pictures, African-American Art, Movies, More: Wednesday Buzz, July 20, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

Oooh, genealogists, you might love this. A new tool instantly colorizes black and white photos. I played with it for a while and your mileage varies (and if your original image is sepia, forget it) but when it works, it’s really impressive. It’s free, at least the version I was playing with is. I just tried desaturating a sepia tone image to black and white and colorizing that, and my poor Aunt Rhett ended up with a purple chin…

The Hammer Museum has launched a digital archive for the exhibit Now Dig This!. “The exhibition Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980 chronicled the vital legacy of the city’s African American artists. The work of these practitioners was animated to an extent by the civil rights and Black Power movements, reflecting the changing sense of what constituted African American identity and American culture. … The exhibition presented 140 artworks by these artists and the friends who influenced and supported them during this period and explored the significant contributions of African Americans to the canon of Los Angeles–based art.” When scrolling through the exhibit, be sure to click “See All” to get all the artwork. Betye Saar. John T. Riddle Jr. Wow.

A new Web site aggregates movie information from every single corner of the Web. “If you tend to waste hours surfing the Web before you eventually give up and settle for a movie you’ve already seen because there’s nothing better to watch, Cinesift is about to change your life. Built by Redditor yombato, it’s a massive film database that sources information from popular websites like Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb and Metacritic to help you quickly and effortlessly pick a movie to watch.”

World War I historians, you’re going to like this. DigitalNC has added 53 issues of Trench and Camp to its online archives. “The Trench and Camp newspaper was published for soldiers living in the 32 domestic cantonments during World War I…These editions are excellent resources for those interested in communication during war time, as these papers were seen as direct communication between the President and those serving their country.”

WOW! Apparently this has been in the works for a year, but I just read about it yesterday. The University of Minnesota is building a metasearch engine for African-American archives. “It has launched an ambitious project, called Umbra Search, to make it easy to search not only its own collection, but hundreds of African-American archives across the country. All at once. So far, Umbra has made a dramatic, if spotty, start, with links to more than 400,000 pieces of history — photos, videos, letters and manuscripts — from 500 libraries and museums, including the Smithsonian Institution.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Snapchat is making it easier for users to suggest accounts to follow. “If you go into the Stories list, then tap and hold on someone’s name, a new option appears. Tap the blue arrow on the right, and you can send the account to other people. They’ll receive it as a private Chat message. From there, the recipient can see the suggested account’s name, handle, profile GIF, and a button to Add them.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: 13 Best Chrome Extensions and Apps to Work Offline. “No Internet on the go? Don’t worry, you can still have a productive day on your laptop if you do a little prep work. Chromebook user or not, as long as you’re a Chrome user, you can install offline extensions (and apps) for common tasks like note taking and editing PDFs.”

First Draft News: How to get started in online investigations with open-source intelligence. “Myself and others at First Draft frequently receive emails from a whole range of people asking how they can start doing the sort of online open-source investigation and verification that they’ve seen us doing. The skills and methodologies used are all something that can be learnt through a little persistence, but here are a few pieces of advice to get you started.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

It’s 2016, so of course the presidential election includes shade-throwing Snapchat filters. “The Clinton campaign is trolling Hillary Clinton’s likely White House rival during this week’s Republican National Committee convention, buying anti-Trump filters for Snapchat images captured in downtown Cleveland. Geofilters are those tiny pieces of art that Snapchatters can use to overlay images captured in a certain location. During the 2016 race for the White House, politicians have employed these sponsored filters to playfully knock their opponents and attract the attention of college-age voters.” “Playfully”? What planet are you on?

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

A new service will let you know when someone uses your social security number. “Civic, which bills itself as an ‘identity protection network’ and launches in beta today, hinges on a simple enough premise: If your Social Security number is used, you’ll get a push notification. That’s about it. ‘We think the way you secure information is not by keeping information private, it’s about being able to follow its use,’ says Civic co-founder and CEO Vinny Lingham.” Like the idea in theory, worried would would happen if the service itself got hacked…

A court in India is issuing a notice to Google, but this time it’s not about taxes or taxation. “An Allahabad court on Tuesday issued notices to Google, its Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai and India head Rajan Anandan for supposedly listing Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the top 10 criminals in the world.”

The High Court of Paris has ruled that Google and Bing do not have to scrub torrent-related results from their search results. “Google and Bing are not required to automatically filter ‘torrent’ related searches to prevent piracy, the High Court of Paris has decided…. More specifically, the court notes that the word ‘torrent’ has many legitimate uses, as does the BitTorrent protocol, which is a neutral communication technology. This means that blocking everything ‘torrent’ related is likely to censor legal content as well.” Good. Would have been a terrible precedent. 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!