AppSheet, Google Labs, Photography Hashtags, More: Wednesday Evening ResearchBuzz, January 15, 2020


ARN: Google strengthens no-code app dev tech with AppSheet acquisition. “Google has acquired AppSheet, a no-code application development platform, in a move that will see the company join the Google Cloud team. Outlined in a blog post by Amit Zavery, vice president and head of platform at Google Cloud, the acquisition will allow users to import data from from Android, Maps and Google Analytics in addition to existing functionality with Google Sheets and Forms in order to develop apps.”

Gizmodo: What Is Google Labs And Why Is It Appearing On Some Phones?. “Back in 2011 Google Labs was discontinued on desktops. A home from experimental Google features, it allowed users to test them before being rolled out en masse. We’ve known for awhile that Labs was set to make a comeback on mobile, and it seems to already be appearing for some people.”


Fstoppers: How I Hashtag My Photography for Social Media. “If you’ve found yourself wondering how you can go about using hashtags on Instagram for tagging your work, here’s how I go about it. Spoiler alert: I don’t overthink it, and I keep it as simple as possible. I think that people get too caught up thinking that the hashtags are crazy important and fretting about using the right ones. To me, that kind of stress seems like a waste of energy, and I, for one, am not prepared to lose any sleep over whether or not the tags for a given photo were on point.”


OneZero: A Black Market for Life-Saving Insulin Thrives on Social Media. “Insulin is an essential and life-saving drug used by 7.4 million people in the United States. Over the last few years, it’s become increasingly expensive. Between 2012 and 2016, the price of insulin effectively doubled for people with type one diabetes, with costs jumping from $239 to $475 per month, on average. These controversial and dramatic price hikes, singled out by presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have become symbols of a failing American healthcare system. They have also created a thriving online black market for insulin.”

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: UWM Team Receives Prestigious Mellon Grant for “Archive Mining”. “The ‘LGBTQ+ Audio Archive Mining Project’ will use machine learning tools and data analysis and visualization to build and process text datasets extracted from a variety of AV materials in these collections, including collections of oral histories, local television news and radio broadcasts, and early LGBTQ+ community cable programming.”


ZDNet: Google garners support from tech industry in Supreme Court API copyright fight. “Submitting a joint ‘friend of the court’ brief on Monday — a legal document that offers information that has a bearing on the issues of a court case — Mozilla, Medium, Cloudera, Reddit, along with others, have pleaded for SCOTUS to reverse the Federal Court’s decision and allow for APIs to continue to be free from copyright, or at least be available for fair use.”

NPR: Despite Election Security Fears, Iowa Caucuses Will Use New Smartphone App. “Iowa’s Democratic Party plans to use a new Internet-connected smartphone app to help calculate and transmit results during the state’s caucuses next month, Iowa Public Radio and NPR have confirmed. Party leaders say they decided to opt for that strategy fully aware of three years’ worth of warnings about Russia’s attack on the 2016 presidential election, in which cyberattacks played a central role.”


Innovation Enterprise: The Big Sleep: Big Data Helps Scientists Tackle Lack of Quality Shut Eye. “New tools, such as wearable trackers, allow data to be collected from a large pool of subjects without the expense and resources required to set up sleep studies in clinical environments. For example, Fitbit has nearly 10 million active users and has tracked over 6 billion nights of sleep. Meanwhile, the use of artificial intelligence-driven technologies, such as machine learning, is helping scientists analyze the data to generate meaningful and actionable insights.”

Science: FDA and NIH let clinical trial sponsors keep results secret and break the law. “Science examined more than 4700 trials whose results should have been posted on the NIH website under the 2017 rule. Reporting rates by most large pharmaceutical companies and some universities have improved sharply, but performance by many other trial sponsors—including, ironically, NIH itself—was lackluster. Those sponsors, typically either the institution conducting a trial or its funder, must deposit results and other data within 1 year of completing a trial. But of 184 sponsor organizations with at least five trials due as of 25 September 2019, 30 companies, universities, or medical centers never met a single deadline.”

Berkeley Engineering: UC Berkeley professor influences Facebook’s efforts to combat deepfakes . “Hany Farid, a Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, was one of the researchers Facebook approached last year. The company ultimately invested $7.5 million with Berkeley, Cornell University and the University of Maryland to develop technology to spot the deepfakes. In a brief interview, Farid, who has a joint appointment at the School of Information, said manipulated videos, which often portray politicians and celebrities saying or doing things they didn’t do, pose a serious threat to society.” Good evening, Internet…

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