Facebook, Google Docs, GMail, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 5, 2020


Hypebeast: Facebook Launches Public Beta for Social VR Space Horizon. “Facebook has just launched a public beta for Horizon, a VR space for social interaction amid the current COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, Horizon’s beta demo can only be accessed on an invite-only basis.”

Make Tech Easier: Google Docs Update Includes Improved Braille Integration. “If you have never had to use the accessibility features on your computer or your device, you may not know how visually-impaired users read information on their computer or how they navigate around the screen. If you are someone who needs that assistance, Google Docs has just stepped it up with an update that brings improved braille integration.”


Mashable: 8 great ways to organize your Gmail inbox to improve productivity . “For most of us, email is a necessary evil of modern working life. Unfortunately, it can so easily suck time, leaving you stressed and under pressure to get all your other tasks done. We are here to help. We don’t want your email inbox to get you down so we’ve broken down eight great ways to organize your Gmail set-up to improve your productivity.”

Digital Inspiration: How to Highlight Duplicates in Google Sheets and Remove. “The Email Extractor app pulls emails addresses of your contacts from Gmail into a Google Sheet. You can then use Mail Merge or Document Studio to send personalized emails to your contacts from within the sheet itself. That said, the imported mailing list may sometimes have duplicate email addresses and it is thus be a good idea to clean up the data in your Google Sheet by removing duplicates before sending out the emails.”


BuzzFeed News: Facebook Says Trump’s Misleading Post About Mail-In Voting Is OK. Employees Say It’s Not.. “Facebook employees are outraged over the company’s ‘shameful’ and ‘unconscionable’ decision not to remove a post from President Donald Trump spreading voting misinformation that could lead to people voting twice.”

New York Times: Threatened by Facebook Disinformation, a Monk Flees Cambodia. “In just four days, the reputation of a Buddhist monk who had spent decades fighting for the human rights of Cambodians was destroyed. First, grainy videos appeared on a fake Facebook page, claiming that he had slept with three sisters and their mother. Then a government-controlled religious council defrocked the monk for having violated Buddhist precepts of celibacy. Fearing imminent arrest, the monk fled Cambodia, destined for a life in exile, like so many people who have stood up to Asia’s longest-governing leader.”


Reuters: Internet giants could be fined up to $12 million under Austrian hate speech law. “Austria plans to oblige large internet platforms like Facebook and Google to delete illegal content within days and impose fines of up to 10 million euros ($12 million) in case of non-compliance, the government said on Thursday.”

KTAR: Voice phishing scams are on the rise as more people work from home. “The term ‘vishing’ refers to ‘voice phishing’ scams, which have grown in popularity lately, since so many people are working from home during the pandemic.”


Lawfare: Thirty-Six Hours of Cheapfakes . “In the last days of August, with the clock ticking down until Election Day, senior Republican officials pulled off a disinformation hat trick: Over the course of two short days, figures affiliated with the GOP published three different deceptively edited videos on social media.” Not familiar with the term “cheapfakes”? Here’s some background.

ScienceBlog: Your Paper Notebook Could Become Your Next Tablet. “Innovators from Purdue University hope their new technology can help transform paper sheets from a notebook into a music player interface and make food packaging interactive. Purdue engineers developed a simple printing process that renders any paper or cardboard packaging into a keyboard, keypad or other easy-to-use human-machine interfaces. This technology is published in the Aug. 23 edition of Nano Energy.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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