Facebook Messenger, Learning Programming, Viral Food Videos, More: Thursday Evening ResearchBuzz, December 12, 2019


TechCrunch: Facebook’s Messenger adds Star Wars-themed features and AR effects. “Star Wars has come to Facebook’s Messenger app. Facebook today announced a new set of Star Wars-themed features for Messenger users, including a chat theme, reactions, stickers and AR effects. The features were developed in partnership with Disney to help promote the upcoming film, ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,’ which premieres nationwide on December 20.”


Fossbytes: Learn To Code For Free With 8 Best Free Coding Websites In 2020. “You can not only land a job as a fresher with the help of programming skills but also boost your existing career with the technical know-how of coding. But several beginners struggle to find the right place, to begin with. This is why I have compiled this list of best coding websites where you can learn coding for free. These free programming sites aren’t ranked in any particular order. Learners are advised to try these websites and choose according to their requirements.” Nice annotation. I like the bullet points at the end of each listing.


BBC: The secrets of ‘food porn’ viral videos. “I’ve just watched a fresh turkey being covered in fragments of cheese-flavoured crisps and then stuffed with what looks like three kilos of cheddar. The video has more than four million views on YouTube. Call it a stunt, call it a travesty, whatever you make of it this is food – but not as you know it.” Unless you’ve ever been to a State Fair in America. And I have seen the video mentioned in the lede — well, I saw the Kalen Reacts video, and I agree with every exclamation of horror Kalen uttered.

New York Times: Who’s Spreading Disinformation in U.K. Election? You Might Be Surprised. “Foreign meddling was once the most feared source of online deception before critical elections. Now, some candidates themselves are turning to such manipulative tactics.”


CanIndia: SC: Intermediaries like Google can’t claim protection from defamation. “The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that intermediaries like Google cannot claim any protection for publishing defamatory content online prior to the 2009 amendment to Section 79 of the Information Technology (IT) Act. The apex court has asked Google to face trial.” Just to make clear, this is India’s Supreme Court.

Reuters: U.S. Justice Department to review Google’s deal for Fitbit: source. “The U.S. Justice Department will review plans by Alphabet Inc-owned (GOOGL.O) Google to buy fitness tracker maker Fitbit Inc (FIT.N) for possible antitrust issues, a source told Reuters on Tuesday.”


KMSP: St. Thomas students develop scanner to create digital archive of tactile images for the blind. “Engineering students from the University of St. Thomas unveiled a scanner they developed to better preserve tactile images created for the blind. When the Minnesota State Services for the Blind transcribes school textbooks into braille, images in textbooks are turned into tactile diagrams, so that a vision impaired reader can feel the image.”

PRNewswire: IEEE Computer Society’s Top 12 Technology Trends for 2020 (PRESS RELEASE). “IEEE Computer Society (IEEE CS) tech experts unveil their annual predictions for the future of tech, presenting what they believe will be the most widely adopted technology trends in 2020. Six of the top 12 technology predictions have been developed into peer-reviewed articles published in Computer magazine’s December issue, covering topics that include cognitive robotics, practical drone delivery, and digital twins. The tech future forecast by the world’s premier organization of computer professionals consistently ranks as one of its most anticipated announcements.”

EurekAlert: Significant potential demonstrated by digital agricultural advice. “The near ubiquitous penetration of mobile phones among smallholder farmers in developing countries has enabled a powerful new tool for dispensing agricultural advice to farmers. Low acquisition and marginal costs make digital extension scalable at low cost when compared to traditional in person extension practices.” Good evening, Internet…

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