Google Assignments, YouTube Creators, Blue Ridge Crafts, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 17, 2019


Ubergizmo: Google’s ‘Assignments’ Will Help Students Check For Plagiarism. “….with the announcement of its new education platform ‘Assignments’, Google will be offering students and educators an originality report tool that will help them check their assignments to see if there might be sections that might be plagiarized or not cited properly.”

Variety: Google‘s Area 120 Is Testing Fundo, a Crowdfunding Service for Creators (EXCLUSIVE). “Google’s skunkworks lab Area 120 has been quietly testing an events-centric crowdfunding service for YouTubers, Variety has learned. Called Fundo, the service allows creators to invite their fans to virtual meet & greet sessions and other paid online events.”


WLOS: Blue Ridge National Heritage Area gets grants for craft trails project. “Craft artisans across the mountains are getting a big boost. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is getting $125,000 in grants to launch a system of driveable craft trails in 25 Western North Carolina counties.”

Meduza: How the Russian authorities forced the country’s top news aggregator to purge unwanted stories. “On August 15, 2019, top lawmakers in Russia’s State Duma said they will consider new legislation that would restrict foreign citizens’ right to own major Russian websites. The announcement came after an inaccurate story (about Russia possibly banning the sale of some older cars) reached the top of Yandex’s news aggregator.”

Boing Boing: Announcement of Tumblr’s sale to WordPress classified as pornography by Tumblr’s notorious “adult content” filter. “The filter is a piece of unadulterated, unsalvageable garbage. Its awfulness is hard to overstate, but it can be neatly illustrated by this Bruce Sterling post, which reveals that the Tumblr porn filter blocked Sterling’s post of a screenshot of a news story about the acquisition, which includes the happy coda, ‘This decision cannot be appealed.'”


CNET: Trump administration reportedly wants to extend NSA phone surveillance program. “The Trump administration has reportedly asked Congress to permanently reauthorize all provisions of the USA Freedom Act, including a controversial National Security Agency program that collects and analyzes records on millions of Americans’ calls and texts in an attempt to thwart terrorists.”

Trend Micro Blog: Adware Posing as 85 Photography and Gaming Apps on Google Play Installed Over 8 Million Times. “We found another example of adware’s potential real-life impact on Google Play. Trend Micro detects this as AndroidOS_Hidenad.HRXH. It isn’t your run-of-the-mill adware family: Apart from displaying advertisements that are difficult to close, it employs unique techniques to evade detection through user behavior and time-based triggers.”

Kotaku: Nintendo Is Cracking Down On Popular YouTube Music Channels. “A popular YouTube channel dedicated to sharing video game music was recently hit with over a hundred copyright claims, the latest to fall under intense scrutiny as Nintendo appears to be ramping up efforts to prevent the illicit distribution of its music.”


The Conversation: Too many people think satirical news is real. “Our team of communication researchers has spent years studying misinformation, satire and social media. Over the last several months, we’ve surveyed Americans’ beliefs about dozens of high-profile political issues. We identified news stories – both true and false – that were being shared widely on social media. We discovered that many of the false stories weren’t the kind that were trying to intentionally deceive their readers; they actually came from satirical sites, and many people seemed to believe them.”

Economic Times: No please, no thank you: Are Siri, Alexa making humans less polite?. “For the study, the researchers asked 274 people if the way they talk to digital assistants is making them less polite. After surveying and observing those people, they found that artificially-intelligent digital assistants are not making adult humans ruder to other people.” Let me raise my hand and out myself as one of those people who says “thank you” when using Siri. Good afternoon, Internet…

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