afternoonbuzz

California Grants, Amazon, Facebook, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, July 20, 2020

NEW RESOURCES

Government Technology: What’s New in Civic Tech: California Creates Grants Portal. “The California State Library has built and launched a new grants portal that gives users a centralized location to find state grant and loan opportunities. Dubbed the California Grants Portal, the platform currently features more than 100 grants that total more than $17 billion in potential funding. The platform for the new portal is also an intuitive one that allows users to search by applicant type, grant category and timeframe for application deadlines.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Ubergizmo: Amazon Launches Livestreaming Platform For Businesses. “Twitch is mostly known for being a livestreaming platform aimed at gamers, although in recent years it has expanded to cover non-gaming activities. Now it looks like Amazon wants to expand Twitch’s streaming technology to cover not just gaming, but also businesses as well in the form of a new platform called Amazon Interactive Video Service.”

Engadget: Disney said to have ‘dramatically’ cut ad spending on Facebook amid boycott. “Disney might be the largest company yet to join a growing ad boycott against Facebook. Wall Street Journal sources say the media and theme park giant has ‘dramatically’ reduced its ad spending on Facebook. It’s not clear just how deep the cut is or how long it will last, but Disney reportedly made the move quietly rather than making a public announcement. It also froze Hulu advertising on Instagram, according to the sources.”

USEFUL STUFF

The Verge: The Verge Guide To Gmail. “In The Verge Guide to Gmail, we look at the wide variety of things you can do to make Gmail fit your particular needs, such as vacation responders, templates, snoozing, signatures, and smart replies. We also help you back up your emails just in case and get those hundreds of promotional emails out of your inbox.”

ReviewGeek: 9 Book Reading Apps Worth Checking Out. “Few pleasures in life are greater than being immersed in a great book. Stay up to date with the latest books or catch up on the classics with these inexpensive and user-friendly book reading apps. What a novel idea!”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

CNN: Twitter’s rigid fact-check rules allow Trump to continue spreading false information about the election. “The world took notice on May 26, when Twitter fact-checked President Donald Trump for the very first time. Trump posted a series of blatant lies about mail-in voting, and declared that ‘this will be a rigged election.’ Twitter responded swiftly, saying that the viral posts contained “potentially misleading” information, and slapped a fact-check label on them. But seven weeks later, and after a dozen similarly untruthful tweets from the President, that extraordinary step by Twitter looks more like a one-time aberration than the new normal.”

Mother Jones: Meet the 21-Year-Old Explaining the Science Behind Your Favorite TikTok Hits. “What is it about ‘Say So’ by Doja Cat that makes you want to dance? Why does “Ribs” by Lorde make me feel nostalgic? What makes ‘Love on Top’ by Beyoncé so good? Music bombards our brains, causing us to feel—shaping our interactions with content, people, and ourselves—and, most of us, don’t know why any of it happens. But Devon Vonder Schmalz does.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

New York Times: F.T.C.’s Facebook Investigation May Stretch Past Election. “Nearly a year ago, Joseph J. Simons, the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, predicted his agency would wrap up an antitrust investigation of Facebook by the presidential election. That goal now seems virtually impossible, according to numerous people with knowledge of the inquiry. Instead, it will probably roll into next year, when there may be a new president choosing its leader. The change could alter the commission’s priorities.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Next Web: A beginner’s guide to the AI apocalypse: Artificial stupidity. “In this edition we’re going to flip the script and talk about something that might just save us from being destroyed by our robot overlords on September 23, 2029 (random date, but if it actually happens your mind is going to be blown), and that is: artificial stupidity. But first, a few words about humans.”

EurekAlert: New learning algorithm should significantly expand the possible applications of AI. “The high energy consumption of artificial neural networks’ learning activities is one of the biggest hurdles for the broad use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially in mobile applications. One approach to solving this problem can be gleaned from knowledge about the human brain. Although it has the computing power of a supercomputer, it only needs 20 watts, which is only a millionth of the energy of a supercomputer. One of the reasons for this is the efficient transfer of information between neurons in the brain. Neurons send short electrical impulses (spikes) to other neurons – but, to save energy, only as often as absolutely necessary.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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