All right, Americans: IFTTT now has a 4th of July channel. You can wish your friends Happy 4th, change your Hue lights to something more patriotic, have a robot sing you The Star Spangled Banner, and other silly things.
GMail has added literally hundreds of new themes and also emoji. This is apparently going to be rolling out but I checked and it’s on my GMail account now (and also on my Google Apps account.) But it’s annoying to have several tabs of emoji and no way to search them – at least no way I can find. Even Facebook lets you search stickers.
Google Earth is ten years old and has some new features. My favorite is Voyager. “The world is a big place, and it can be hard to know where to begin your virtual journey. Now you can jump straight to the newest and most interesting imagery around the globe with a new layer, Voyager, available in desktop versions of Google Earth.”
The Digital Library of Georgia is teaming up with the Columbia Theological Seminary and launched three new digital collections. “The three new digital collections that have just been made available from Columbia Theological Seminary include: Charles Colcock Jones papers, 1831-1856 This collection includes manuscript sermons, 1831-1856, preached by Charles Colcock Jones, Presbyterian minister and educator at First Presbyterian Church (Savannah, Ga.) and other Georgia locations…James Woodrow papers, 1808, 1836-1916 [bulk 1850-1867] This collection contains correspondence by and to Presbyterian minister, educator, and editor James Woodrow and his family and associates… John Newton papers, 1783-1797 This collection consists primarily of sermon notes and sermons (1783-1797) delivered by John Newton, Presbyterian minister and founder of the Beth-Salem Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Georgia.”
Google will integrate the GIS data of the Federal Railroad Administration into Google Maps. “Google has agreed to integrate FRA’s GIS data, which pinpoints the location of the nation’s approximately 250,000 public and private railroad crossings, into its mapping services.”
Twitter is offering emoji for Wimbledon. “Helped by Serena Williams, Twitter has unveiled four new Wimbledon-related ‘hashflags,’ giving users the opportunity to adorn their tweets with a racket emoji or images relating to #TheQueue, #TheHill (also known as Henman Hill) and #TheWorld.”
The Oxford English Dictionary has gotten a vocabulary update. “Today the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) announces its latest update, ushering in nearly 500 new words and over 900 newly revised and updated words. There are also over 2400 new senses of existing words added. This confirms the OED’s place as one of the largest and longest-running language research projects in the world.” Notable new words include meh, SCOTUS, hot mess, and cisgender.
Yahoo has updated its mobile search. “At Yahoo, we believe deeply in search – an area of growth and continued investment for us. We also believe that the shift to mobile can and will fundamentally change the overall search experience, allowing us to use rich inputs like context and location in order to deliver the most relevant results. Today I’m excited to share that we have a new mobile search experience in the U.S. that connects you immediately to the people, places and things you care about. We know when you’re on the go, you’re often searching for a specific piece of information. So rather than delivering endless links for you to sift through on a small screen, we beautifully assemble the most relevant information in a way that allows you to take action right away.”
You no longer need a Facebook account to use Facebook Messenger. “Previously, Facebook required that users log-in with their Facebook credentials in order to use Messenger. Now, though, you can sign up for Messenger with a name, phone number, and photo.”
GMail now has an official “Unsend” button. Not in Labs, not in an extension – official. It’s under the General tab of your GMail settings and you can set it for up to 30 seconds. This is going to come in handy has long as Google is as wonky autocompleting e-mail addresses as it has been for the last few months.
Instagram has announced a couple of really interesting updates. “Today we’re excited to announce two major updates to Instagram that will help connect our community to the world as it happens: the all-new Explore page, with trending Tags and Places, and more powerful search that makes it easier to find the people, places, and tags you’re looking for.” You know the search part is what I’m interested in. Instagram’s new search allows you to search by place (is it intentional that Yosemite is the example search here right before Google announced the “Street View” of El Capitan? Or just a weird coincidence?) and also offers a “top search” that searches people, places, and tags at the same time. For searching Instagram by place I really like Worldc.am — http://worldc.am/ .
The state of Connecticut has relaunched its Web site (PRESS RELEASE). “The all-new mobile-first, responsive design site allows CT.gov to be accessed across multiple devices providing an optimal user experience for phone, tablet, and desktop users. Along with the new layout and new features, CT.gov aims to make government services more accessible for online visitors to conduct business with the state through increased usability, customer service, transparency, and accessibility….Along with the updated CT.gov Portal, Connecticut launched new websites for the Office of the Governor and Office of the Lieutenant Governor, providing the latest news and information from both offices at your fingertips.”