100kPledge, Fisher-Price Toys, Google, More: Thursday Evening ResearchBuzz, October 15, 2020


BNN Bloomberg: New Site Solicits Pledges to Black Causes, Starting at $100,000. “A new online database, called 100kPledge, will track individuals and organizations that commit anywhere from $100,000 to $100 million over 10 years to hire Black people, invest in Black-owned businesses or donate to causes supporting Black communities. An initial group of founding members — more than 130 professionals, including Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code — have pledged $140 million already.”

USA Today: Fisher-Price opens a virtual museum on Instagram to celebrate 90 years of its toys. “Fisher-Price has created a virtual museum on Instagram to celebrate its toy stories. The toymaker, founded in 1930, has created an explorable online archive with more than 90 exhibits organized by decade, including the rolling Snoopy Sniffer from 1938 and wearable Roller Skates, first introduced in 1983.”


Engadget: Google’s ‘Search On’ event will reveal new AI-powered features on Thursday. “Google canceled its 2020 developer event earlier this year, and instead has revealed news and updates through a series of smaller blog posts and presentations. This event appears to follow that pattern, and we’d expect to hear more about not just Google Search, but also tools like Assistant, Google Maps, and other attempts to organize information.”

Bing Blogs: Bing Releases Intelligent Question-Answering Feature to 100+ Languages . “Recently, Bing expanded its intelligent question-answering feature to more than 100 languages, making AI and Bing itself more inclusive and accessible. What is amazing is this is achieved by using a language agnostic approach. In other words, the AI model generating the intelligent question-answering in Urdu is the same one generating the intelligent question-answering in Romanian.”


The Register: LibreOffice rains on OpenOffice’s 20th anniversary parade, tells rival project to ‘do the right thing’ and die . “To mark the 20th anniversary of Apache OpenOffice, the project’s main rival, LibreOffice, published a letter asking OpenOffice to tell its users to switch. Many people, the letter says, are unaware of LibreOffice because the OpenOffice brand is still so strong, despite the lack of significant updates over the past six years. To remedy the situation, LibreOffice is asking its competitor for an endorsement.”

Teen Vogue: QAnon Conspiracy Theories Are Driving Families Apart. “Like many Gen-Z’ers, 18-year-old Emily doesn’t spend much time on Facebook. Recently, though, she started using the social media platform to find a roommate and look for scholarship opportunities. While browsing, she saw her mother’s page, which she said was filled with ‘crackpot theories’ revolving around the popular conspiracy theory QAnon. One of the posts falsely claimed to find a satanic symbol within the Democratic National Committee’s logo. For a moment, Emily was relieved to see that her mother’s friend had pushed back on the idea with a comment — until it became clear that the friend was only commenting to say that all politicians are satanic.”


ZDNet: Barnes & Noble confirms cyberattack, suspected customer data breach. “Barnes & Noble has confirmed a cyberattack impacting Nook services and potentially exposing customer data.”

CNN: Microsoft takes down massive hacking operation that could have affected the election. “Microsoft has disrupted a massive hacking operation that it said could have indirectly affected election infrastructure if allowed to continue. The company said Monday it took down the servers behind Trickbot, an enormous malware network that criminals were using to launch other cyberattacks, including a strain of highly potent ransomware.”


CNET: Your phone may help you fight off deepfakes before they’re even made. “Truepic, a San Diego startup, says it’s found a way to prevent deepfakes and doctored images before they can even show up online: by verifying the authenticity of videos and images at the time they’re captured. Now the company is working to put the technology, which it calls Truepic Foresight, in millions of smartphones around the globe by having it embedded it in the Qualcomm processors that power the majority of the world’s Android phones.”

The Next Web: AI helps produce world’s largest 3D map of the universe. “Scientists at the University of Hawaii’s Mānoa Institute for Astronomy (IfA) have used AI to produce the world’s largest 3D catalog of stars, galaxies, and quasars. The team developed the map using an optical survey of three-quarters of the sky produced by the Pan-STARRS observatory on Haleakalā, Maui.” Good evening, Internet…

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