afternoonbuzz

Facebook, Snapchat, Web VR, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, May 24, 2019

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TWEAKS AND UPDATES

BBC: Facebook: Another three billion fake profiles culled. “Facebook has published its latest ‘enforcement report’, which details how many posts and accounts it took action on between October 2018 and March 2019. During that six-month period, Facebook removed more than three billion fake accounts – more than ever before.”

Tubefilter: Snapchat Bans Adult Entertainment Company’s X-Rated Lenses. “Despite its long-running reputation as a handy app to send private photos that self-destruct, Snapchat doesn’t want your nudes. Or, at least, it doesn’t want nudes from adult entertainment company Naughty America, which recently rolled out a series of X-rated augmented reality Snapchat lenses to promote its products.”

Engadget: Mozilla is helping to make web-based VR available to everyone . “Even though virtual reality has been in the mainstream for several years now, it’s still not very accessible. It often takes trained engineers to create, release and distribute VR content. That could soon change, however, thanks to a new project called Reach, a VR platform created by Emblematic Group and VR pioneer Nonny de la Peña (whom we’ve featured on the Engadget Experience stage before). Built on top of WebVR and in partnership with Mozilla, the project was initially announced at Sundance 2019 earlier this year in its alpha stage. Starting today, however, it’s finally moving into beta. The end goal: to make web-based VR easier to create and consume.” Who remembers VRML? Good gravy I’m old.

USEFUL STUFF

American Library Association: ALA releases new Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census. “Today the American Library Association released the Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census, a new resource to prepare libraries for the decennial count of every person living in the United States.” The guide is free.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Fstoppers: New Documentary Exposes How People Cheat at Instagram. “A new 49-minute documentary has been released with the aim of exposing the ‘shocking’ goings-on that happen beneath the surface of Instagram. The film promises to delve into the ‘lawless economics’ of the social media site.” The documentary is free and available to watch online.

Slashgear: Redact It has me thinking anti-spoiler social network. “We live in a cruel world, a world where people find joy in spoiling story endings for others on the internet. They see a movie on release day (or worse yet, pirate a movie), turn around and spew the ending of said movie on the web. Today I’ve been shown a tool that could mitigate internet-based spoilers in a big way. Let me turn your attention toward Redact It.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

WBRZ: Louisiana bill would set up veteran-owned business database. “Louisiana is on track to create a new program that would certify veteran-owned businesses and create a database for consumers to search for them.”

Krebs on Security: Legal Threats Make Powerful Phishing Lures. “Some of the most convincing email phishing and malware attacks come disguised as nastygrams from a law firm. Such scams typically notify the recipient that he/she is being sued, and instruct them to review the attached file and respond within a few days — or else. Here’s a look at a recent spam campaign that peppered more than 100,000 business email addresses with fake legal threats harboring malware.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

TechCrunch: Mona Lisa frown: Machine learning brings old paintings and photos to life. “Machine learning researchers have produced a system that can recreate lifelike motion from just a single frame of a person’s face, opening up the possibility of animating not just photos but also paintings. It’s not perfect, but when it works, it is — like much AI work these days — eerie and fascinating.”

BusinessDay: Africa must reap the benefits of its own data. “Today, an AI algorithm is not a competitive advantage but data is. The World Economic Forum calls data the new ‘oxygen’, while Chinese AI specialist Kai-Fu Lee calls it the new ‘oil’. Africa’s population is increasing faster than in any region in the world. The continent has a population of 1.3-billion people and a total nominal GDP of $2.3-trillion. This increase in the population is in effect an increase in data, and if data is the new oil, it is akin to an increase in oil reserve.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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