China’s Global Power Database, Google VPN, Anti-Doomscrolling, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 31, 2020


Boston University: GDP Center Launches New “China’s Global Power Database”. “The Global Development Policy (GDP) Center, an affiliated regional center at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, has launched the ‘China’s Global Power Database’ (CGP), the first database to systematically analyze and compare China’s policy bank finance and foreign direct investment (FDI) in the energy sector.”


Tom’s Guide: Google goes after VPN market with a new built-in feature . “Google has unveiled its own virtual private network in a bid to improve the privacy of Google One users. The feature — called VPN by Google One — will be available for Google One users who have signed up for a 2TB or larger storage plan costing at least $10 per month or $100 per year.”


Good Housekeeping: Can’t Stop Doomscrolling? These Apps Actually Get You to Unplug Before Bedtime. “These free apps can be installed on your phone (and in some cases, as a web extension) to either forcefully block access to social media sites, or provide un-ignorable notifications that it’s time to put the phone down. If you’re finding yourself ‘doomscrolling’ on a frequent basis, these apps can help break the habit before the new year arrives.”

Eyes on the Ties: Five Ways to Research Your University’s Fossil Fuel (and Other) Investments. “For student organizers building fossil fuel divestment campaigns on their campuses, a first step is finding out what exactly your university is invested in. This information is sometimes hard to discover – indeed, many university investments are undisclosed and shrouded in mystery. But the good news is that you can usually dig up findings on university investments – including those made directly by universities and by private university-affiliated organizations that invest endowments – by using just a few research tactics.”


TechCrunch: Beam is building a web browser that gathers knowledge from your web activity. “Beam aims to bring meaning to your web history. Every time you search for something, it creates a new note card. Beam passively follows users as they click on links, open new pages and spend time looking at stuff. When you close the tab, you have a new card — your search query is the title of the card and you can see all links under that note. You can then add text, remove links that weren’t that relevant, etc.”


BNN: Google to Employees: Don’t ‘Get Distracted’ by Antitrust Case. “The Justice Department’s antitrust case against Google bears a striking resemblance to the U.S. government lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. 20 years ago. Google is desperate not to make the same mistakes as its forerunner. The 1998 complaint, and Microsoft’s aggressive and scattered defense, is credited with slowing the software giant down and letting upstarts — including Google — gain a foothold. Even though Microsoft avoided being broken up, the years of public scrutiny and court drama were a debilitating distraction.”

CBC: Homicide victim found in burnt-out SUV ID’d as man behind spam-email empire who dodged $12.8M lawsuit. “More than three years after his death, a man who was shot dead and found in a burnt-out SUV near Squamish, B.C., has been identified as a U.S. citizen known for spreading racist, neo-Nazi ideologies and for a massive spam email campaign that led to a $12.8-million US lawsuit. Police found Davis Wolfgang Hawke dead on the Cheekye Forest Road, off the Sea to Sky Highway east of Paradise Valley, around 9:30 a.m. on June 14, 2017. Officers had been called about a burnt, red 2000 GMC Yukon XL on the side of the road.”


Brookings Institute: Twitter and the Federal Reserve: How the U.S. central bank is (and is not) surviving social media. “This paper seeks to connect these two discussions—about the Fed’s efforts to increase its communications and the president’s use of Twitter to attack the Fed’s monetary policy decisions—by focusing on how the Fed uses Twitter, a relatively new and surprisingly powerful medium on which officials communicate directly with citizens, reporters break news, and ordinary people across the globe engage in direct conversation with each other.”

Bloomberg Opinion via Stars and Stripes: The danger in Twitter, Facebook defining the truth. “It’s true that misinformation is rampant online. One is reminded of what Isaac Asimov called Gennerat’s Law: ‘The falsely dramatic drives out the truly dull.’ There’s a lot of the falsely dramatic floating around out there, and people tend to gravitate toward the bits that make the other side look worse. Nevertheless, the tech giants, by passing judgment on what’s too unreliable to be seen, are taking tentative steps down a road that’s rarely led anywhere good.”


100.3 JACK: ‘Upcoming Oreos’ goes viral displaying some very strange Oreo flavors. “The ‘Upcoming Oreos’ profile has been active on Twitter since the beginning of October, and has quickly gained a following displaying pictures of fake Oreo flavors. Some of the flavors include; ‘Pool Water,’ ‘Library Book Smell’ and ‘Tupperware That You Microwaved Spaghetti In.'” When I saw the “Orthodontist Mold” flavor I fell out. Good afternoon, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: afternoonbuzz

Leave a Reply