Twitter, Facebook, Tasker, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, June 14, 2020


TechCrunch: Twitter tests a feature that calls you out for RTing without reading the article. “A new Twitter test feature aiming to ‘promote informed discussion’ will nudge users to read before they retweet. The company describes the test as a step to help people be more aware of what they’re sharing in a broader effort to inspire ‘healthier conversations’ on the platform.”

The Mercury News: Facebook dramatically reshapes plan for village. “Facebook has dramatically revised its sweeping vision to create a new village near its headquarters in Silicon Valley, a plan that will greatly reduce the amount of the project’s office space and regional traffic impacts, the social networking giant said Wednesday.”


Android Police: A beginner’s guide to Tasker: How to automate (almost) anything on your phone. “Tasker is one of the most powerful apps on the Play Store for automating tasks on your smartphone, but it’s far from the easiest to get to grips with, which is where this guide comes in… For the completely uninitiated, Tasker — which does cost $3.49 — lets you add extra customizations and automations to Android phone. It combines triggers (such as reaching a location, or opening up a particular app) with actions (so turning off Wi-Fi, or boosting screen brightness). The possibilities are almost limitless, provided you can get your head around it to begin with.”

CNN: Why conspiracy theorists think 5G is bad for your health and why experts say not to worry. “…concerns about 5G’s effects on health were spreading even before coronavirus. Experts say these fears, too, are unfounded. ‘Is there anything to worry about? The short answer is no,’ said Chris Collins, a professor and research director in the radiology department at the New York University School of Medicine.”


ABC News: Smithsonian museums collecting White House protest signs to preserve slice of history. “Several museums moved to preserve a slice of history in Washington on Wednesday by taking steps to keep some of the signs protesters strung along a fence near the White House after the death of George Floyd.”

9to5 Google: Google explains why Winston Churchill’s Search card currently lacks an image. “Several hours ago, users started noticing that the Google Search Knowledge Graph card for Sir Winston Churchill lacks an accompanying image. The company says this disappearance was accidental and will soon be fixed.”


Bleeping Computer: Extortionists threaten to destroy sites in fake ransom attacks. “Scammers are targeting website owners with blackmail messages asking them to pay ransoms between $1,500 and $3,000 in bitcoins to avoid having their sites’ databases leaked and their reputation destroyed. As the fraudsters falsely claim, they exfiltrate the databases to attacker-controlled servers using credentials harvested after exploiting a vulnerability found within the sites’ software.”

Motherboard: NSO Group Impersonated Facebook to Help Clients Hack Targets. “Infamous Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group created a web domain that looked as if it belonged to Facebook’s security team to entice targets to click on links that would install the company’s powerful cell phone hacking technology, according to data analyzed by Motherboard.”


Berkeley News: Google search data reveal Americans’ concerns about abortion. “Residents of states with limited access to contraceptives and high rates of unplanned pregnancies are more likely to turn to the internet for information about abortion. These are the findings of a new study of Google search data across all 50 states by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.”

EurekAlert: Artificial intelligence can make personality judgments based on our photographs. “Russian researchers from HSE University and Open University for the Humanities and Economics have demonstrated that artificial intelligence is able to infer people’s personality from ‘selfie’ photographs better than human raters do. Conscientiousness emerged to be more easily recognizable than the other four traits. Personality predictions based on female faces appeared to be more reliable than those for male faces. The technology can be used to find the ‘best matches’ in customer service, dating or online tutoring.” Me right now: 😬 Good afternoon, Internet…

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