afternoonbuzz

Mobile Browsers, Instagram, Learning Arduino, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 27, 2018

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Ubergizmo: Xiaomi Launches Its New Low-Storage ‘Mint’ Browser. “While flagship smartphones are a great way to showcase what a company can do and how far their R&D has come along, low-end and mid-range phones are just as important because while these phones might not necessarily be as flashy, the lower price points also means that they are more appealing to customers who can’t afford the high-end stuff.”

CBS Pittsburgh: Social Media Erupts After ‘Very Small’ Instagram Test Goes Broad By Accident. ” Instagram is apologizing after social media erupted over what was thought to be a new update. On Thursday, many users had to tap or swipe horizontally through their Instagram feed, versus vertically. It was like how users scroll through the Instagram story feature.”

USEFUL STUFF

Interesting Engineering: 13 Essential Resources for Beginners Learning Electronics With Arduino. “Electronics might appear at times like an elite endeavor with a high barrier to entry—both in time, expense, and expertise—but if you’ve wanted to play around with electronics and felt ill-equipped to start, then Arduino is the perfect place to start. These low-cost microcontrollers are easy to learn, highly versatile, and widely popular with extensive DIY communities ready to help newcomers explore the world of electronics.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The Verge: The year of deleted tweets. “In July, Disney fired Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. Cause for termination: a series of offensive tweets, in most cases about a decade old, that were circulated by a right-wing media personality. Gunn’s tweets, many of which were about molestation or pedophilia, were indefensible. But the method in which they were dug up, as well as the people who circulated them — bad-faith conspiracy theorists who used old jokes made in poor taste to brand Gunn as a pedophile — are part of a larger trend in which problematic or out-of-context tweets are being ripped from the past to ruin their author in the present.”

The Atlantic: When a Sponsored Facebook Post Doesn’t Pay Off. “After rising to MySpace fame in the mid-aughts, the singer-songwriter Kaila Yu amassed a following of nearly half a million fans on Facebook and 70,000 on Twitter and Instagram. Like all ‘influencers’—people who leverage a social-media following to influence others—Yu now makes her living monetizing her audience with branded content, promoting products and events through sponsored posts.”

The Next Web: Rise of foreign stars in Chinese social media marks the beginning of a new trend. “China’s internet celebrity economy has expanded exponentially in recent years. According to a report released by iResearch, the number of online celebrities in China with more than 100,000 followers has increased by 57.3 percent since 2016. With a single embedded ad in a WeChat post worth up to $145,000 USD for influencers with dedicated followings, and a total market estimated at $14 billion USD in 2018 by Beijing-based research agency Analysus, it’s a sizeable, attractive market for internet personalities.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

CBC: Art City pleads for return of digital archive stolen in Christmas break-in. “The organization, based in Winnipeg’s West Broadway neighbourhood, is not overly concerned with the pieces of equipment that were taken, as it’s all replaceable, Ruth said. What they are concerned about, however, is a digital backup drive that was taken which contains thousands of photographs and other records of Art City’s 20-year history providing after-school art programs for youth.”

Mashable: Netflix subscribers targeted in (yet another) phishing scam. “Received a strange email, Netflix subscribers? Don’t fall for it, it’s likely a scam. Following similar scams in September and October 2017, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning for a reported email phishing scam targeted at Netflix users.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Arizona State University: A leap of progress for energy-efficient intelligent computing. “The need for sustainable computing platforms has motivated Jae-sun Seo and Shimeng Yu, faculty members at Arizona State University and Georgia Tech, respectively, to explore emerging memory technologies that will enable parallel neural computing for artificial intelligence.”

TechCrunch: Researchers are putting fish into augmented reality tanks. “Researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, while testing the ‘station keeping’ functions of the glass knifefish, have created an augmented reality system that tricks the animal’s electric sensing organs in real time. The fish keeps itself hidden by moving inside of its various holes/homes and the researchers wanted to understand what kind of autonomous sensing functions it used to keep itself safe.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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