afternoonbuzz

Australian Associated Press, Pinterest, Face Datasets, More: Wednesday Evening ResearchBuzz, March 4, 2020

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

AFP: Australia’s newswire axed amid pressure from digital giants. “Australia’s only national newswire will be shuttered after 85 years of operation, with around 180 staff told Tuesday their jobs will end in June. Staff gathered on the newsroom floor at Australian Associated Press’ headquarters in Sydney were told a drop-off in subscribers in the face of free online content meant the company was ‘no longer viable.'”

The Verge: Pinterest now showing custom search results for coronavirus to combat misinformation. “Pinterest is introducing a ‘custom search experience’ when you seek out information about the coronavirus on its platform, as a way to ‘connect Pinners with facts and myth-bust what’s not true with authoritative information from the [World Health Organization],’ the company tells The Verge.”

USEFUL STUFF

Analytics India Magazine: 10 Face Datasets To Start Facial Recognition Projects. “One of the major research areas, facial recognition has been adopted by governments and organisations for a few years now. Leading phone makers like Apple, Samsung, among others, have been integrating this technology into their smartphones for providing maximum security to the users. As per research, facial recognition technology is expected to grow and reach $9.6 billion by 2020. In this article, we list down 10 face datasets which can be used to start facial recognition projects.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

ZDNet: What’s the most popular web browser in 2020?. “For ages, it was almost impossible to get hard data on which were the most popular web browsers. Sure, many companies claimed to have good information, such as NetMarketShare and StatCounter, but their numbers were massaged. The US federal government’s Digital Analytics Program (DAP), however, gives us a running count of the last 90 days of US government website visits. While it doesn’t tell us about global web browser use, it’s the best information we have about American web browser users.”

CNET: Facebook pulls down hundreds of fake accounts tied to marketing firms in India and Egypt. “Facebook in February removed hundreds of accounts and pages tied to deceptive campaigns that appear to be from Egyptian and Indian marketing firms, the company said Monday. The takedowns are part of the social media giant’s efforts to crack down on what it calls ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior,’ which involves creating dozens or hundreds of fake accounts and using them to promote ideologies and drive users to deceptive content on other websites.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

CBR: Casinos in Las Vegas Hit by Suspected Ransomware Attack. “Slot machines in two Las Vegas casinos were out of action for almost a week in an incident that bears all the hallmarks of a ransomware attack. Investigations are currently underway by the Nevada State Game Control Board, which told us it is ‘actively monitoring the situation’.”

Engadget: It took Google months to patch a serious Android security flaw. “Google has patched a critical security flaw that affects millions of Android devices with chipsets from MediaTek, XDA Developers revealed today. The vulnerability is a rootkit lodged in the CPU’s firmware. It allows a simple script to root Android devices that use nearly any of MediaTek’s 64-bit chips, so it has compromised hundreds of budget and mid-range smartphone, tablet and set-top box models, XDA says.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Nature: Find a home for every imaging data set. “Services such as [the Electron Microscopy Public Image Archive] give researchers a central location in which to store, share and access a rapidly expanding corpus of biological images. “The data aren’t just one picture any more,” says Joshua Vogelstein, a neurostatistician at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Movies, 3D images and microscope-based screening data can take up gigabytes or terabytes of storage, and can’t be e-mailed back and forth in the same way as individual TIFF or JPEG files. Moreover, grant agencies and journals increasingly require scientists to make their data available to all, but don’t necessarily offer to host them. EMPIAR and its kin fill that gap, and often provide a digital object identifier or other citation so researchers can get credit for their data.”

Phys .org: Brazilian communities fight floods together – with memories and an app. “Brazilian communities that are vulnerable to devastating floods are being united and empowered to defend themselves, using ‘citizen science’ and a specially developed mobile app, thanks to two research projects led by the University of Warwick.”

The Next Web: Google algorithm teaches robot how to walk in mere hours. “Researchers from Google developed algorithms that helped the four-legged bot to learn how to walk across a range of surfaces within just hours of practice, annihilating the record times set by its human overlords.” Good evening, Internet…

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