Massachusetts Agriculture, 401(k) Investments, Google Search, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, August 20, 2020


WWLP: Locally sourced foods find platform on state exchange. “Pints of cherry tomatoes grown in Beverly, hundreds of pounds of salmon and haddock from a Boston pier, jars of curries and chutneys prepared by a Newton retailer, and communications support for local farms and fisheries are among the kaleidoscope of options up for sale on a new state-run online marketplace. The new MassGrown Exchange platform publicly launched [August 10] and offers a wide range of options to farmers, fishers, restaurants and anyone else linked to the Massachusetts food production industry, aiming to bring together and support both in-state producers and shoppers.”

Fast Company: Find out if your 401(k) is paying for the prison-industrial complex. “If you have a 401(k), there’s a good chance that it’s invested in private prisons or the companies that support them. A new tool, Prison Free Funds, will help you find out if that’s the case and then switch to a different mutual fund.”


Gizmodo: Google Is Upgrading Search to Make it Easier to Find Live Sports and TV Shows. “With a seemingly ever-increasing number of cable and streaming services, simply figuring out where to watch that one live event or show has become its own challenge. So in an effort to help cut down on the noise, Google is upgrading Google Search with some new features to help you find live sports, shows, and movies.”

Ahval: Google to open Turkey office in compliance with social media regulations. “U.S. technology giant Google is set to open an office in Turkey following Turkish parliament’s approval last month of a bill introducing new powers over social media, T24 new site reported on Wednesday. The move by Google follows a legal amendment requiring social media companies with more than one million daily users to appoint a legal representative in Turkey to address authorities’ concerns over content and requests for removal.”

Lifestyle Asia: Pinterest embraces greater inclusivity with its new beauty search feature. “Users seeking beauty inspiration on the social media platform can now filter search results by skin tone to find content more relevant to them. Social media users often head to Pinterest for beauty ideas and how-tos, but the sheer volume of results on the site can be overwhelming, making it hard to find tutorials, inspiration and pins that work for their skin tone. Pinterest launched a new search-filtering feature in the US in 2018, and it’s now rolling out in the UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.”


Los Angeles Times: A ‘war room’ that arms Black and Latino voters against disinformation. “Posing as activists for Black Lives Matter and affiliated groups, foreign agents sought to exploit anger over police violence and economic inequality. The orchestrated campaign aimed to alienate Black voters from the political system and, thereby, suppress the Black vote. The online suppression efforts have only grown since then, experts say, and they are increasingly aimed also at Latinos, as their power to influence U.S. elections expands. The major social media platforms and scholars who study them, meanwhile, are struggling to get a real-time handle on the ever-more sophisticated tactics of the propagandists, which are constantly shifting, as well as what might work to counteract them.”

Music in Africa: Call for registration: Kenyan creative industry database. “A call for registration has been issued by the Kenyan Film Commission. The initiative seeks to create a database of freelancers, companies and associations working in the Kenyan TV, film and media industries.”

BBC: Mukbang: Why is China clamping down on eating influencers?. “For some, the idea of watching and hearing someone eat piles of food on camera is not appealing. But the trend, started about 10 years ago, has become extremely popular in Asia. Now, though, the Chinese government is cracking down on the videos, which soon may be banned altogether in the country.”


Associated Press: Ransomware feared as possible saboteur for November election. “Ransomware attacks targeting state and local governments have been on the rise, with cyber criminals seeking quick money by seizing data and holding it hostage until they get paid. The fear is that such attacks could affect voting systems directly or even indirectly, by infecting broader government networks that include electoral databases.”


Medical Xpress: New database could help lead to personalized treatments for breast cancer patients. “All current breast cancer drugs were first tested in cell lines. Each cell line began as cancer in a patient. As such, each cell line is a surrogate for that patient’s disease. A new database of 40 breast cancer cell lines, developed by Medical University of South Carolina investigators, will help researchers deepen their understanding of these cell lines and speed the development of new gene-targeted therapies.”

Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): 55% of U.S. social media users say they are ‘worn out’ by political posts and discussions. “Some 55% of adult social media users say they feel ‘worn out’ by how many political posts and discussions they see on social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults conducted July 13-19. This share has risen 18 percentage points since the Center first asked this question in the summer leading up to the 2016 presidential contest and 9 points just in the past year.”

CNET: IBM doubles its quantum computer performance. “IBM has doubled the performance of its quantum computers compared with last year’s model, a key step in delivering on the promise of the revolutionary machines. But it’s only an early step, and rivals are breathing down Big Blue’s neck.” Good morning, Internet…

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1 reply »

  1. Wow — that 401k search tool is an eye-opener… I’d pretty much decided to just leave the “What to invest in?” questions in our financial adviser’s hands, but it may be time to reconsider! Thanks as always.

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