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American Hot Rods, Snap, Mike Bloomberg, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, January 5, 2020

NEW RESOURCES

New-to-me, from PRWeb: American Hot Rod Foundation Announces the Launch of New Website (PRESS RELEASE). “The new website not only has the ability to include more content but is also easier to navigate; for instance, in the Photo Gallery viewers can filter photos by decade, location, style and collection. With this new platform the Foundation will be able to provide new content on a weekly basis. Since the inception of the American Hot Rod Foundation in 2002, its Curator, Jim Miller, has collected and archived more than 150,000 images of vintage hot rods from all over the country.” It looks like the images are currently being restored to the site but there are several hundred available already. EDIT: I apparently mentioned the site’s relaunch in 2017, but it had since leaked out of my brain.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

CNET: Snap reportedly acquires a deepfake startup. “Snap has purchased AI Factory, an image and video recognition startup, according to Variety on Friday. Snapchat reportedly used AI Factory’s technology to launch its new Cameos feature, which allows users to insert selfies into a scene to send as a looping video and raises concerns about the possibility of creating deepfakes.”

The Verge: Mike Bloomberg has spent nearly $15 million to be in your Google search results. “According to Google, Bloomberg’s campaign has spent a staggering $14,849,500 on political ads since the candidate announced his run at the end of November; overall, Bloomberg has spent nearly $200 million on his run for president of the United States.”

Chicago Sun-Times: Piecemeal sell-off of bankrupt Johnson Publishing Co. continues with art auction. “The last major auction of assets belonging to Johnson Publishing Co., which filed for bankruptcy in April, will take place in late January when 100 pieces of art that once decorated the company’s Michigan Avenue headquarters are put on the block.”

Missed this yesterday, from UN News: World Braille Day marks key communication tool for millions. “Being marked for only the second time ever, World Braille Day on Saturday raises awareness of the importance of the tactile global communication system which helps enable blind and visually impaired people, to realize their full human rights.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: The Netflix Secret Codes Cheat Sheet. “As a Netflix user, one of the main dilemmas you probably face is deciding what to watch. Yes, there are apps and websites to help you find interesting content on Netflix. But what if you have niche interests or want to watch content from an ultra-specific genre? How do you narrow down your choices then? Netflix itself can come to your rescue here with its collection of secret categories.”

Search Engine Journal: SEO Best Practices: How to Create Awesome Meta Descriptions. “Since the early days of SEO, meta descriptions have been an important optimization point. Google continues to maintain that meta descriptions don’t help with rankings whatsoever. But, as an indirect signal, there is anecdotal evidence that indirect attributes of better descriptions do help.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

PC World: Five major Google products that might not live to see 2030. “With many of Google’s ancillary apps and services already in the graveyard, it stands to reason that some big-name products will get the ax over the next 10 years, as the landscape shifts away from traditional devices and new trends begin to emerge. Here are five major Google products that might not be around this time next decade.” It’s not major… but I am very worried about FeedBurner.

TechCrunch: India’s ruling party accused of running deceptive Twitter campaign to gain support for a controversial law. “Bharatiya Janata Party, the ruling party in India, has been accused of running a highly deceptive Twitter campaign to trick citizens into supporting a controversial law.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Bleeping Computer: Clop Ransomware Now Kills Windows 10 Apps and 3rd Party Tools. “The Clop Ransomware continues to evolve with a new and integrated process killer that targets some interesting processes belonging to Windows 10 apps, text editors, programming IDEs and languages, and office applications.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

From late December, and I missed it, but I think it’s important. Washington Post: The case for historians being more engaged in public affairs, not less. “History is crucial in our tumultuous moment. But to make a difference and shape our debates, trained historians must contribute a particular kind of historical thinking — one based in fact, evidence and painstaking research. It is not enough merely to call on Americans to study more history. There are plenty of other kinds of history to which Americans can, and often do, turn. But all histories are not created equal, and America’s long culture war over creationism can offer a glimmer of hope for historians trying to make a difference today.”

Boing Boing: AI generates old-fashioned zoological illustrations of beetles. “These beetles do not exist: Confusing Coleopterists is an AI trained on illustrations from zoological textbooks. The extreme formality of this art genre, and its placement within the public domain, makes it uniquely apt to the medium of generative adversarial networks: ‘Results were interesting and mesmerising.'” Good morning, Internet…

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