Video Watchdog, Google Sheets, Wikipedia, More: Tuesday Morning Buzz, June 16th, 2015

Question: do any of y’all use Tumblr? I’m thinking of using it for a ResearchBuzz linkblog so that I can put up and tag individual items. I don’t want to do that here since it would lead to 20+ posts a day and probably really, really irritate the people who are getting e-mail update notices! Leo Notenbloom and I are discussing this on Facebook; feel free to join us.


Aviation Week & Space Technology is getting a digital archive. “The digital archive, scheduled for completion in early 2016, will comprise more than 500,000 pages of articles, photographs and advertisements chronicling the first century of the aerospace and defense industry, unlocked and made available for the very first time. The archive will be dynamically updated into the future as new Aviation Week content is developed.”

The publication Video Watchdog is making its entire online archive free until the end of June.


Google is getting rid of Chrome’s horrible new bookmark manager.

More Google: Google Sheets is getting some nice updates. Love the filtering and the warning when users try to change locked content.


In case you’re looking for options: the 6 easiest video editing tools. The only one I’ve had any experience with is Animoto, but I have used that for literally years. If you’re looking for a Web app that will let you turn a bunch of pictures and video snippets into something that looks classy without it taking hours, Animoto is great. It needs more themes though.


Good heavens. Mega has published its first transparency report. “The report, which details activities up until March 2015, focuses on content removal requests and third-party requests for information related to Mega’s users.”

Google is launching an Android Security Rewards program. “Google has assigned a $500 bounty on ‘Moderate’ severity bugs, but will double that to $1,000 for ‘High’ severity and hand over $2,000 for ‘Critical’ bugs.”


Billionaire and Twitter investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal does not support Jack Dorsey as permanent CEO of Twitter. “The Saudi billionaire said Twitter needed a new leader with extensive marketing experience, who would prioritise winning new users.” Far be it from me to disagree with a prince… but I’m disagreeing with a prince. UPDATE: Prince Alwaleed thinks Jack Dorsey is totally awesome and would be super okay with him being Twitter CEO. He might have phrased it slightly differently.

Twitter is increasing its Direct Message limit to 10,000 characters.

Wikipedia is going to start using https connections for all users.

The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry in India is setting up a digital library. “As per the official sources, e-content of every subject will be available to students in English, Hindi as well as other Indian languages. Students can easily access digital content through personal computer, laptop, smart-phone and tablet.” Three phases, first phase not complete until 2017, which is why it’s under this heading instead of “new resources.”

Wired: The Web Will Either Kill Science Journals or Save Them.


How do people even get around to thinking about these things? The most persuasive font. Good morning, Internet…

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!

Idaho, Twitter, Instagram, More: Wednesday Morning Buzz, May 27th, 2015


A Brooklyn cemetery has launched a database of Civil War veterans. “The online biographies are part of a Memorial Day exhibit that opened Saturday at Green-Wood Cemetery. More than half a million people are interred at the landmark cemetery that dates to 1838. Almost 5,000 were in some way involved in the Civil War.”

Georgia State University has launched a new online archive of Works Progress Administration maps of Atlanta, Georgia. “The collection contains over 950 maps from several map series documenting Atlanta in the late 1930s. These include the 1940 Report of the Real Property, Land Use, and Low Income Housing Area Survey of metropolitan Atlanta, a 1936-1938 Atlanta Cadastral Survey, and a partially incomplete series of Fulton County land use maps from 1937-1940.”

The state of Idaho has launched a new tool for employers to keep track of employees’ driving records. “The Driver Record Dashboard allows companies to build and manage an unlimited list of drivers by entering vital information such as the driver’s name, license number or birthdate, in one online location. ITD partnered with Access Idaho to build and maintain the subscription-based service, in which no tax dollars or state funds were used.”


Handy: How to use Google Hangout for screencasting.

Search Engine Journal offers tips to build your Instagram following. Very extensive, with several resources pointed to.


Apparently the Secret Service has already visited someone over a tweet directed at Barack Obama.

The top CEOs in the world are tweeting more and Facebooking less. “The study, which looked at social media use by CEOs running the top 50 companies on Fortune’s 2014 Global 500 rankings list, found that 10 percent of those CEOs are on Twitter, up from just two percent in 2012. LinkedIn was the most popular network, with 22 percent of CEOs on the platform, up from just 6 percent in 2012.”

Twitter’s Periscope app is now available on Android. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it.

Google is trying an experiment to let you share URLs by sound. “Tone, which is now available in the Chrome Web Store, uses sound to transmit the information and uses the speakers and microphones now typically available on any laptop. Because it’s audio-based, it has some interesting limitations: the information doesn’t carry very far, for example, and any wall will block it.”

A Twitter ‘bot monitors for mentions of Lyft and Uber driver experiences. Oddly hilarious.

Uh-oh: looks like the YouTube Kids app might have some problems. “Two consumer groups, the Center for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, are alleging that the app includes a number of videos that are inappropriate for children, including ones that reference sex, alcohol and drug use, child abuse, pedophilia and more.”

Pinterest has started offering “cinematic pins”. “…the new mobile ad product enables brands to create moving Pinterest advertisements. And because the motion is controlled by Pinterest users, the company says, the experience won’t be annoying … like, for instance, autoplay video ads.”


How many people are on the Internet? Check this out. “The number of Internet users has increased from 738 million in 2000 to 3.2 billion in 2015, according to a new report from the International Telecommunication Union. That’s a seven-fold increase that brought Internet penetration up from 7% to 43% of the global population.” Good morning, Internet… all 3.2 billion of you….

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!

Museums, Open Data, Coastal Flooding, More: Monday Morning Buzz, May 18th, 2015


A new version of The Open Data Handbook is now available. “The Open Data Handbook elaborates on the what, why & how of open data. In other words – what data should be open, what are the social and economic benefits of opening that data, and how to make effective use of it once it is opened. The handbook is targeted at a broad audience, including civil servants, journalists, activists, developers, and researchers as well as open data publishers.”

Now available: a database on Canadian-related terrorism events. “Quebec has been at the centre of 42 percent of Canada’s terrorist events over the last 50 years, according to a new Canadian research database on terrorism. The database lists 1,185 terrorist or extremist acts involving Canadians that took place between 1960 and 2014, a list that includes 410 events that took place abroad.”

Now available: a database of coastal flooding events in the UK. “To improve our understanding of coastal flooding, and to assess just how unusual 2013-14 was, we have compiled a new database and described in Scientific Data. Our work provides a systematic UK-wide record of coastal floods over the past hundred years. It currently contains data on 96 major floods, with information for each on the storm that generated it, the high-water level reached, and the severity of coastal flooding.”


Bookshelves of Doom (great blog name) has a roundup of new book recommendation sites and engines along with a link to a more extensive list that was put up a couple of years ago.

Interesting: rescuing archival manuscripts with dry ice.

Thesis Whisper has a great article on becoming a “literature searching ninja”. How to build different questions and use different language/vocabulary for your search. It seems to me this would be useful for anything, not just scientific literature searching.


Google Fit has gotten an update. “For starters, Fit can now track distances and calories. Fire up the app to see how far you’ve gone and how much you’ve burned in the process. Google has tweaked the look a bit, and you can now group your fitness history by days, weeks, and months.”


The Guggenheim is donating 100 of its artworks’ images to Wikipedia. “On May 19, the Guggenheim will host its second Wikipedia “edit-a-thon” and is donating 100 images of artworks from its collection to Wikipedia. During the event, participants at the museum and online will add information about these artworks and the artists who created them, including Edgar Degas, Paul Klee, and Vincent Van Gogh, to Wikipedia, the world’s largest free source of knowledge.”

From Shanghai Daily: a look at how museums in China are putting their archives online. “The Shaanxi History Museum in the northwestern city of Xi’an has been a pioneer in using a digital platform for exhibiting antiques. So far, 208 public and private museums and memorials in Shaanxi Province have opened online exhibition halls.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, The New York Times looks at a pioneering museum, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. “By 2020, the museum intends to digitize all one million objects in its collection — from masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer to Delft pottery, silk brocade gowns and matchlock muskets. Today, 25 percent of the museum’s collection, including nearly all of its paintings, is freely available for download in high-resolution on, with new images being added every day.”


Everybody run: There are now more ‘bots than humans on the Web. “Bot traffic has surpassed humans this year, now accounting for 59 percent of all site visits, according to a report released today by Distil Networks. By comparison, last year, bots accounted for 45 percent of all traffic to Distil’s customers’ websites.”

Ismeet Kaur Makkar has a fascinating Master’s thesis up: SocioBot: Twitter for Command and Control of a Botnet. “A botnet is a collection of computers controlled by a botmaster, often used for malicious activity. Social network provides an ideal medium for botnets to spread their reach. In this research, we develop and analyze a botnet that uses Twitter for its command and control channel. We use this botnet to perform a distributed denial of service attack on a web server, and we utilize the biological epidemic models to analyze the spread of the botnet using Twitter.” Good morning, Internet…

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!

Twitter, Census Bureau, Flickr, More: Saturday Afternoon Buzz, May 16th, 2015


Now available: a database aggregating the deaths of migrants who were attempting to reach southern European borders. “The Deaths at the Borders Database is the first collection of official, state-produced evidence on people who died while attempting to reach southern EU countries from the Balkans, the Middle East, and North & West Africa, and whose bodies were found in or brought to Europe.”, an Web site for professional pet groomers (as you may have guessed) now has an online archive of its radio shows going back to 2005.


Useful for a given value of Saturday: Want to add animated GIFs to your e-mail? There’s a Chrome extension for that.


TweetDeck has added a new feature to help prevent Twitter misfires. “It’s a social media pro’s worst nightmare: posting a personal tweet on a brand account. It can be embarrassing and potentially career-threatening. To guard against such errant tweets, TweetDeck added a safety net today, giving users the option to require a confirmation step before sending a tweet.”

TunnelBear’s VPN is now available as a Chrome extension.


The US Census Bureau is participating the National Civic Day of Hacking (PRESS RELEASE). “The U.S. Census Bureau is participating in this year’s National Day of Civic Hacking by launching the “City SDK Open Data Solutions Challenge.” This challenge encourages developers to use the Census Bureau’s new City Software Development Kit (SDK), a new tool that makes the bureau’s API (application programming interface) easier to use. As part of this national event, the Census Bureau will also participate in the 2015 Urban Sustainability Apps Competition, where developers have the opportunity to create apps using the City SDK.”

Guess what? Google Hangouts don’t actually have end-to-end encryption. “Following a Reddit AMA on government surveillance, Google has admitted that while it does encrypt Hangouts conversations, it does not use end-to-end encryption, meaning the company itself can tap into those sessions when it receives a government court order requiring it to do so.”

More critical security fixes from Adobe and Microsoft (what a surprise). “Microsoft today issued 13 patch bundles to fix roughly four dozen security vulnerabilities in Windows and associated software. Separately, Adobe pushed updates to fix a slew of critical flaws in its Flash Player and Adobe Air software, as well as patches to fix holes in Adobe Reader and Acrobat.”

Flickr users are not happy with the auto-tagging feature of the revamped service, and Flickr may let them opt out. “…for many Flickr users, tags are something they still feel strongly about, judging by the forum’s many comments. With over 1,370 replies to the official Flickr post (and growing), these users have been venting their frustration about the addition of auto-tagging. Many of those commenting have actually been fairly conscientious about their tags over the years, and don’t like that Flickr is now adding its own tags to their photos.”


From Harvard Business School: a research paper on humblebragging. Spoiler: it doesn’t work. Good afternoon, Internet…

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!

Canada, Wright Brothers, Dubai, More: Tuesday Morning Buzz, May 12th, 2015


The country of Canada has launched a huge new online archive of information (PRESS RELEASE). “, a digital initiative of extraordinary scale, is a joint effort of 25 leading research institutions, libraries and archives working together with the goal of creating Canada’s multi-million page, comprehensive online archive…. Canadiana offers more than 35 million pages of primary-source documents in 21 languages, including languages of our First Nations.”

Wright State University now has a Wright brothers newspaper archive. Yeah, those Wright brothers. “The Wright Brothers operated a printing business from 1889 to 1899, before they started their bicycle business, and before they tackled the challenge of flight. Over the years, they worked on several publications and local newspapers, including: The Midget, a small school newspaper; church pamphlets; the West Side News; The Evening Item; parts catalogs for bicycles; and the Dayton Tattler, published for neighborhood friend and noted poet and novelist, Paul Laurence Dunbar.”

The Chicago Academy of Sciences has been uploading its publications to the Internet Archive. “We already have issues of two Academy publication series uploaded to Internet Archive: Chicago Naturalist, published from 1938 to 1948; and The Bulletin of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, published on and off from 1883 to 1995. Keep checking back though, because we’ve got plenty more to share in the future, including motion film.”

Google has announced a giantic database platform. “As businesses become increasingly data-centric, and with the coming age of the Internet of Things (IoT), enterprises and data-driven organizations must become adept at efficiently deriving insights from their data. In this environment, any time spent building and managing infrastructure rather than working on applications is a lost opportunity. That’s why today we are excited to introduce Google Cloud Bigtable – a fully managed, high-performance, extremely scalable NoSQL database service accessible through the industry-standard, open-source Apache HBase API.”

The Wellcome Library has launched the St. Luke’s Hospital archive. “St Luke’s Hospital for Lunatics was founded in 1750 by City of London philanthropists to cure ‘lunacy’, as well as to make treatment accessible to poorer people. The hospital was named Saint Luke’s due to its proximity to Saint Luke’s, Old Street. Previously the only provision for the poor in London was Bethlem Hospital, but waiting lists were long and the private ‘mad houses’ were beyond the means of most people.”


From Hongkiat: 40 Tools & Apps to Supercharge Your Instagram Account.


Facebook is firing across Google’s bow with a new link-adding feature. “Some mobile users on Facebook’s iPhone app are now being offered an ‘Add a Link’ option when they post status updates. After selecting the button, users can type in keywords and see search results listing articles on a given topic that have already been shared on Facebook.”

Google has put Madagascar on Google Street View.


The Dubai Digital Library will launch by the end of the year. “The first phase will include more than 1,600 books covering subjects including language, medicine, geography, history, religion and sociology.”

Interesting: How a Seoul bureau chief is using Tumblr to complement her reporting. “Elise Hu, NPR’s new Seoul bureau chief, covered the protests for the network, and interviewed one of the grieving mothers. But perhaps the most poignant part of the interview didn’t make it into Hu’s piece that ran on All Things Considered and NPR’s website.”

Bing wants you to check out its summer movie guide.

Meerkat has launched a developer’s platform.

A Twitter bot will tweet your salary and associated information: “A Twitter bot called @talkpayBot is working as a catalyst for discussion on wage inequality by allowing people to anonymously submit any or all of the following criteria to be tweeted out: age, job title, ethnicity, years of professional experience, sexual orientation, and most importantly, rate of pay.” Good morning, Internet…

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!