Google Launches WiFi Router

Google is launching a wireless router. “…the company is launching a new device called the OnHub, in partnership with router-maker TP-Link. There’s another, Asus-made device in the works. For $199, it promises to make your Wi-Fi faster and more reliable, and to give you the ability to update and fix your connection. (You know, for the rare times unplugging it and plugging it back in just won’t do.) Presales start today, and devices will ship in the coming weeks.” It looks like a shorter, beefier Echo.

Kenya Open Data Portal Updated

The Kenya Open Data Portal has been updated. “Today, the website has grown to provide more than 680 datasets from an initial of 200, in 2011 and hosts a variety of government data that include expenditure and resource allocations, education, health, energy, tourism, demographics studies and County Government specific data.”

New Teaching Resources for Illinois

The state of Illinois has a new database of teaching resources. “The Vision 20/20 21st Century Learning Center is a free online database of digital lesson plans and resources aligned to the state’s new set of learning standards. The material will be available for free on the iTunes U app — home to the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content, according to Apple.” Too bad about the iTunes part.

Smithsonian Announces Public Access Plan for Its Research

The Smithsonian has announced a public access plan for its research. “The Smithsonian has released its Plan for Increased Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research, based on the principles outlined by the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Through the new plan, all applicable publications and supporting data resulting from federally funded research will be available through the Smithsonian Research Online (SRO) website or CHORUS, a nonprofit membership organization that helps federal entities increase public access to research. The plan will take effect Oct. 1 and apply to articles submitted to publishers on or after that date.”

Google Hangouts Has a Standalone Site

Google has build a standalone hangouts site. “Google has built Hangouts its own website, but it’s not spinning it out of Gmail completely like the company did with several properties to form its new parent corporation. It’s just one of the (many, many) ways to access the messaging service, in case you’d rather not keep Gmail open or your default browser is Firefox/MS Edge and, hence, can’t install the Chrome extension. The website’s photo background changes every few minutes like Chromecast’s, and it has quick links to video calling, voice calling and messaging.”

University Endowments are Getting Rid of Twitter Stock

University endowments are getting rid of Twitter stock. “Yale University, which has a $23.9bn endowment fund, sold all of its 34,345 shares in Twitter – worth just under $1m at Monday’s stock price – over the last quarter. Harvard University, the world’s wealthiest university with a $36.4bn fund, sold 29,856 Twitter shares between April and June. Stanford, which has an endowment fund worth $21.4bn, sold 18,000 shares.”

YouTube and Livestreaming

WIRED takes a look at YouTube and what it might do for livestreaming. Another good search/data aggregation idea, folks – it’s a royal PAIN to get a calendar of hangouts and other planned live events taking place on YouTube. You can filter for things that are live right now, but a) that doesn’t let you plan, and b) search results like that give minimal amounts of information about the live event. Every time I hear someone say that all search problems online have been resolved, I want to throw things. “YouTube built some of the infrastructure for live video almost by accident, in the course of creating the YouTube we know now. It has a terrific, usable player that is embeddable basically anywhere and accessible all over the world. It supports almost any technical setup you can think of. It has subscriptions, channels and a notification system that can easily […]

Facebook Looking to Do More With Events

Facebook is working on treating public and private events differently. “Public events will now have larger header images, and will present more information about the location and event, such as an artist’s profile or photos of the venue. Meanwhile, wall posts will be less prominent given they will almost certainly be strangers.” It’s also considering having more options than the simple “Yes/no/maybe” of going or not going. Which I think would be great; often I’m interested in the event but can’t attend because everything happens on the west coast; it’d be nice to have a “Keep me posted” button that hips me to tagged multimedia or followup posts.