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News and resources covering social media, search engines, databases, archives, and other such information collections. Since 1998.

Last Build Date: Thu, 25 May 2017 18:01:42 +0000


Lichen, Codemade, Endangered Species, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, May 25, 2017researchbuzz

Thu, 25 May 2017 18:01:22 +0000

NEW RESOURCES Mongabay: New lichen database takes big picture approach to forest monitoring. “The United States Forest Service is about to release a huge new database chronicling the abundance and diversity of lichens across the country. Why lichens? Because these amalgamations of fungi and algae or cyanobacteria — often found crusting over rocks and tree trunks or garlanding branches — are super sensitive indicators of air quality and climate change.” New-to-Me and nifty, from Hongkiat: Codemade is a Pinterest-Style Tech Project Sharing Site. “This site feels like an engineering lover’s best friend. If you have a passion for writing code and building physical projects you will love Codemade. You can search projects by name or by feature using the top search bar. You can also search by popularity or organize projects based on technology.” Duke University: New Project Uses Phones And Drones To Monitor Endangered Species. “Conservation researchers have developed an interactive software tool called ConservationFIT that can ‘read’ digital images of animal footprints captured from smartphones, cameras or drones and accurately identify the species, sex and age of the animal that made the tracks, and even match tracks to individual animals. Researchers at Duke University and SAS developed the [...](image)

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Geotagged Social Media, New York Health Care, Boots Pharmacy, More: Thursday Buzz, May 25, 2017researchbuzz

Thu, 25 May 2017 09:17:52 +0000

NEW RESOURCES Forbes: New ‘Geosocial Index’ Ranks Global Locations By Social Media Activity. “A new startup called HYP3R, which connects social activity to real-world locations, is monitoring and measuring tweets, shares, and posts from tens of thousands of locations in the U.S. and around the planet, starting with stadiums, hotels/conference centers, and hospitals.” And that’s it for the moment, but more venues will be added over time. New York: NY State of Health Launches Online Tool Giving Consumers Access to Valuable Health Plan Information. “The New York State Department of Health, in collaboration with NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan Marketplace, today announced the launch of the NYS Provider & Health Plan Look-Up, an online tool that consumers can use to research provider networks and health plans. With this tool, consumers shopping for health insurance can search for their preferred health care providers, including doctors and hospitals, to see which health plans have those providers in their network. … The NYS Provider & Health Plan Look-Up will initially include information on the health care providers that participate with plans offered on the NY State of Health Marketplace, including Qualified Health Plans, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus [...](image)

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Distaff Newspaper, Canadian Film Makers, Burma Manuscripts, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, May 24, 2017researchbuzz

Wed, 24 May 2017 18:49:58 +0000

NEW RESOURCES A 1970s feminist newspaper from New Orleans has been digitized and put online. From the collection’s home page: “Distaff was the first and only feminist newspaper published in New Orleans. Founded in 1972 by Mary Gehman and Donna Swanson, Distaff served as a forum for women’s voices in politics, activism, and the arts. One of the few newspapers published by and for women in the Gulf South, Distaff covered a wide range of topics and issues, including reproductive rights, pay equity and women’s rights in the workplace, lesbian activism, the Equal Rights Amendment, literature and the arts, and women in politics. Issues were edited and produced by a coalition of New Orleans women known for their activism in political spheres. A preview issue was published in 1973 and the newspaper continued to be published until 1982. There was a hiatus in publication from 1976-1978.” Now available: a database of female Canadian filmmakers. “The professional development initiative Women in the Directors Chair (WIDC) launched today (May 23) an online directory of Canadian women directors who have attended WIDC programs since starting in 1997.” The amount of information available varies a lot, from nothing to a picture to a decent [...](image)

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Armenia Photojournalism, Gun Laws, US Court System, More: Wednesday Buzz, May 24, 2017researchbuzz

Wed, 24 May 2017 09:33:01 +0000

NEW RESOURCES Armenia news agency ARMENPRESS is getting a digital archive for its photos. “ARMENPRESS news agency, Beeline Armenia and the Technological Development Center Fund are announcing the launch of the ARMENPRESS: History project. The purpose of the project is to digitize the news agency’s unique photo archive: nearly 10,000 photos from the archive, and create the ARMENPRESS: History website.” The Conversation: New public database reveals striking differences in how guns are regulated from state to state. “We have just released a new public database that tracks a wide range of firearm laws across all 50 states for the past 27 years. For the first time, long-term trends in the enactment of gun safety laws can be compared between states. We found striking disparities between states in both the number of firearm laws and the rate of adoption of these laws over time.” Wired: Zuckerberg-Backed Data Trove Exposes the Injustices of Criminal Justice. “Measures for Justice compiles granular data for 32 different metrics that indicate how equitable a given county’s justice system might be. The portal shows, for instance, how many people within a county plead guilty without a lawyer present, how many non-violent misdemeanor offenders the courts sentence to [...](image)

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Instagram, Genealogy Livestreaming, Machine Learning, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, May 23, 2017researchbuzz

Tue, 23 May 2017 18:19:07 +0000

TWEAKS AND UPDATES TechCrunch: Instagram Location Stories appear in Explore. Is Story Search Coming?. “It’s taking Instagram less and less time to copy Snapchat. Less than two months after Snapchat launched its Stories Search feature for seeing what’s going on at a location or related to a topic, Instagram is rolling out Location Stories to its Explore page.” Recode: Facebook is delaying the launch of its original videos until the end of summer. “Facebook’s big push into original video is taking longer than expected. The social network’s plans to release a slate of made-for-Facebook original video shows has been pushed back and may not arrive until the end of summer, according to multiple sources.” USEFUL STUFF From GeneaPress: SCGS Genealogy Jamboree 2017 Announces Free Live Streaming Sessions. “Thanks to Jamboree 2017 Diamond Sponsor Ancestry, the Southern California Genealogical Society and Genealogy Jamboree are able to offer 14 hours of high-quality family history education to registrants absolutely free. Handouts will be provided with each session.” Hackaday has an explanatory post about machine learning and neural networks. “If you’re familiar with my quantum theory articles, you’ll know that I like to take complicated subjects, strip away the complication the best I can [...](image)

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Syrian Refugees, GitHub, GeneaBloggers, More: Tuesday Buzz, May 23, 2017researchbuzz

Tue, 23 May 2017 09:38:15 +0000

NEW RESOURCES The Verge: Google explains the Syrian refugee crisis with a new interactive website. “The United Nations’ refugee agency has partnered with Google to launch a new website aimed at answering the five most common questions about the Syrian refugee crisis. The ‘Searching for Syria’ site launched on Monday and will be featured on the Google home page ‘in selected countries,’ according to a press release from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).” TWEAKS AND UPDATES CBR News: GitHub makes data access easier with platform updates. “GitHub has revealed several updates to its platform to help developers to create custom software more easily. The code repository site, which is holding its customer and partner conference Satellite, revealed the addition of GitHub Marketplace, Apps, and GraphQL API.” Thomas MacEntee has an update with what’s going on with Geneabloggers. “Here is information on some decisions I’ve made regarding and transitioning the GeneaBloggers concept to a community owned/administered asset . . . meaning run by genealogy bloggers as a community resource.” USEFUL STUFF MakeUseOf: You Can Now Comprehend Any Scientific Paper Using This Site. “The web has brought scientific knowledge at our fingertips. But how do you make sense of [...](image)

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World War I Posters, Rock Magazine, PDF Files, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, May 22, 2017researchbuzz

Mon, 22 May 2017 18:07:23 +0000

NEW RESOURCES New-to-Me: The Pennsylvania State Archives have digitized a collection of World War I posters. From the announcement: “The World War I poster collection is available online and consists of 462 illustrated posters. … An additional 386 digital images from our general poster collection have also been created which include items from 1854 to the present.” An Australian rock music magazine, Roadrunner, has been digitized and put online by University of Wollongong. From the home page: “Roadrunner was a rock magazine published in Adelaide between 1978-83. Its founding editors were Stuart Coupe and Donald Robertson, who worked together on the single-issue Punk zine Street Fever in December 1977. Though primarily focused on Australian and overseas rock music, it also covered areas of the burgeoning counterculture and issues such as punk. The final edition of December 1982 / January 1983 was published in Sydney.” USEFUL STUFF Digital Trends: Need A Word With Your PDF Files? Here’s How To Convert Them To .docx . “There’s a lot to love about PDFs — they’re compatible with almost any system, they don’t take up a lot of space, and they can’t be easily edited or changed. This is great when you’re trying to [...](image)

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Why Aren’t We Talking About Google Maps?researchbuzz2

Mon, 22 May 2017 17:13:14 +0000

There’s been a lot of controversy and discussion – there is still a lot of controversy and discussion – about Google’s search results. Google does not disclose the algorithm that decides its search results (some speculate that Google itself does not perfectly understand it) so whenever something goofy happens with a search result, we get news, speculation, and some opining that Google should be more transparent. And nothing ever changes. However Google has another product which makes a lot of weird mistakes but is not subject to the transparency issues of Google’s Web search. I’m talking about Google Maps. Why aren’t we all talking about Google Maps? First let me make something clear: I am not talking about local businesses ranking or anything like that – that gets back into algorithms which aren’t transparent. I’m talking about Google Maps making ridiculous errors that impact lives. Examples: Techly: Tourists in Norway are being directed disastrously by Google Maps. “Hundreds of tourists in Norway go on the search for the stunning Preikestolen cliff formation, better known as Pulpit Rock. Now unlike their predecessors, they opt for using trusty Google Maps, over an atlas to get them there. This has become a slight issue [...](image)

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Video Game Cutscenes, Ireland Cemeteries, Mongolian Language, More: Monday Buzz, May 22, 2017researchbuzz

Mon, 22 May 2017 09:43:13 +0000

NEW RESOURCES New-to-me: a database of movies made from video game cutscenes. “GMDb (Game Movies Database) is a website featuring free-to-watch game movies (Or all cutscenes movies).” Irish Genealogy News: Buried in Fingal: a new database for North Co Dublin. “The free database includes searchable details of more than 65,000 people interred between 1905 and 2005 in 33 of the burial grounds in the council’s care in North County Dublin. The site is searchable by name and graveyard. Search returns provide date of interment, area of last residence, and precise grave plot identifiers plus, in most cases, a link to a clear image of the register entry. The oldest burial record dates to 1877 and the most recent to 2013.” Xinhuanet: China builds Mongolian language database with cloud computing . “Experts in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region have developed a Mongolian language database containing over 19 million words and phrases in an effort to protect ethnic culture and language.” The state of South Dakota has launched a new jobs site. “The new software searches the internet to ‘scrape’ job listings from other South Dakota employer sites. We are no longer limited to data listed only by employers who use [...](image)

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ResearchBuzz is Being Blocked by Comodo DomeresearchbuzzComodo Dome Block Message

Sun, 21 May 2017 15:02:40 +0000

David Strom dropped me a note to let me know ResearchBuzz was being blocked by a security solution called Comodo Dome. ResearchBuzz is hosted on,partially so I don’t get too worked up over messages like this: while doing ResearchBuzz this way makes WordPress less flexible, it also means that I don’t have to worry as much about security, keeping up with bad plugins, managing patches, and so on. I’m confident that this is not about ResearchBuzz hosting malware or anything like that. I checked the IP address (which is a shared address) for this blog and it’s coming up as red-flagged some places, so my best guess is someone else was doing bad things or somebody reported the ResearchBuzz newsletter as spam. I don’t think there’s much I can do about this but apologize.(image)

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