31st March: World Backup Day 2013

backupday

World Backup Day is a day for people to learn about the increasing role of data in our lives and the importance of regular backups.

This independent initiative to raise awareness about backups and data preservation started out — like most good things on the internet – on reddit by a couple of concerned users. Let’s make this happen!

More info at http://www.worldbackupday.com

ViralSearch: Identifying and Visualizing Viral Content

What does it mean for online content to “go viral”? An analysis of almost a billion information cascades on Twitter news, videos, and photos has produced the first quantitative notion of whether something has indeed gone viral, thereby enabling further research into topic experts, trending topics, and viral-incident metrics.

More info at http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=185452

Scrape and download pdf files from google or bing using PowerShell

Here is a very simple script that you could execute using PowerShell ISE. It could probably be written much better, but it works. The script just uses the power of the google search engine by searching for a specific filetype. This should also work with the Bing search engine.
To make the script work, make sure you have a directory C:\temp\dwnld\ created. Also you could easily change the regular expression pattern and the keywords.

Comments with modifications on the scripts are always welcome ;)

$keywords = @("manual", "microsoft", "powershell")
$pattern = 'http://(.*?)[.]{1}pdf'
$storageDir = "C:\temp\dwnld\"
$filetype = "pdf"
$rand = New-Object System.Random

$keywords | foreach {
    $urlToScrapeWithKeyword = "http://www.google.be/search?hl=nl&tbo=d&biw=1229&bih=677&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q={0}+filetype%3A{1}&btnK=" -f $_, $filetype
    $urlToScrapeWithKeyword | Out-Default
    (Invoke-WebRequest -UseBasicParsing -Uri $urlToScrapeWithKeyword).Links | select -ExpandProperty href | Get-Unique | foreach {
        if ($_ -match $pattern) {
            $Matches[0] | Out-Default
            try {
                Start-BitsTransfer $Matches[0] $storageDir
                "Download ok" | Out-Default
            } catch [exception] {
                "Download failed:" | Out-Default
                $_.Exception.Message | Out-Default
            }
            "Sleeping" | Out-Default
            Start-Sleep -s $rand.Next(20, 43)
        }
    }
}

Enjoy ;-)
Don’t forget, web scraping can be illegal! Use it with care!

Google Transparency Report

This tool provides information about traffic to our services around the world. Each graph shows historic traffic patterns for a given geographical region and service. You may select a region and then choose a service to view each respective graph. Graphs are updated as data is collected, normalised and scaled. By showing outages, this tool visualises disruptions in the free flow of information, whether it’s a government blocking information or a cable being cut.

Check it out on: http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/traffic/

Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures

This is a dictionary of algorithms, algorithmic techniques, data structures, archetypal problems, and related definitions. Algorithms include common functions, such as Ackermann’s function. Problems include traveling salesman and Byzantine generals. Some entries have links to implementations and more information. Index pages list entries by area and by type. The two-level index has a total download 1/20 as big as this page.

Check it out on http://xlinux.nist.gov/dads/ 

Bing Venue Maps Goes International Adding Thousands of Shopping Malls

Whether you live in Poland or Spain, Russia or Belgium, or pretty much anywhere in-between, you will now be able to explore your local shopping mall through Bing maps – helping you locate the stores you are looking for, find the closest services and facilities like restrooms and cash machines, and even browse their directories.

Try it yourself on:

Read more about this update on: http://www.bing.com/community/site_blogs/b/maps/archive/2012/06/28/venue-maps-goes-international-adding-thousands-of-shopping-malls.aspx