Dubsmash, Visio, Media Bias, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, December 20, 2020


CNN: Reddit is buying TikTok rival Dubsmash. “Message board juggernaut Reddit is accelerating its push into video, snapping up a sharing platform that is popular with young people and women. Reddit said in a statement on Sunday that it has acquired TikTok rival Dubsmash. It did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.”


MakeTechEasier: What is Microsoft Visio? An Intro to the Flowchart and Diagramming Tool . “You’re probably used to hearing about Microsoft Word and Excel, but what about Microsoft Visio? While it’s geared more toward enterprise level users, anyone who needs to create flowcharts or detailed diagrams will find this to be one of the best tools to get the job done. Plus, it’s part of Microsoft Office, so getting around will feel familiar if you’re already used to Office.”

Poynter: Is the Thumbs Up Emoji Really a Coded “F*ck You”?. All asterisks by me, and by the way if this is true I’d like to publicly apologize to my mother for all those text conversations. “Let’s set the scene: The ladies of Salt Lake City, the 10th American Housewives franchise, are seated at a dinner. A prosaic fight erupts. Lisa Barlow (who considers herself  ’Mormon 2.0′) says to Heather Gay (a self-proclaimed ‘good Mormon gone bad’), ‘I have never done anything mean to you. And until you figure out what it is that I trigger in you, we can’t have a good solid conversation and move forward. Thumbs up. F*ck you, ‘— a reference to a text exchange between the two that ended with Gay sending a pair of thumbs up emojis, which, according to an insulted Barlow, is ‘universal text code’ for f*ck you.”

Reuters: Google faces $417 million claim from Czech search engine Seznam. “, the Czech Republic’s leading home-grown web search platform, said on Thursday it had claimed 9.072 billion crowns ($417 million) in damages from Google, alleging that the U.S. giant restricted competition.”

Washington Post: Weather Service faces Internet bandwidth shortage, proposes limiting key data. “For the past decade, the National Weather Service has been plagued by failures in disseminating critical forecast and warning information that is aimed at protecting lives and saving property. In some cases, its websites have gone down during severe weather events, unable to handle the demand.”


Courthouse News: Treasure Sold During Holocaust Fought Over at High Court. “The 42 silver religious artifacts are part of what is known as the Welfenschatz or the Guelph Treasure — said by some sources to have been gifted to Adolph Hitler himself by Hermann Goering, the Nazi leader of the state of Prussia. For decades, the treasure has been displayed at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin. The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which owns the collection and runs the museum, denies modern assertions that the artifacts were sold during the Holocaust at below-market value. Today, with the heirs of two Holocaust victims seeking to have U.S. courts declare them as the rightful owners of the collection, the museum is joined by the German and Hungarian governments in seeking to have a pair of cases thrown out.”

CNET: Facial recognition’s fate could be decided in 2021. “The dumpster fire that was 2020 has also set the stage for what could be the biggest development in facial recognition and how it gets regulated. In the past year, lawmakers, privacy advocates, lawsuits and local legislative measures have all rallied against the technology as a tool for surveillance and law enforcement. Several crucial decisions in the next year will steer its future.”

BBC: US cyber-attack: Around 50 firms ‘genuinely impacted’ by massive breach. “The cyber-security firm that identified the large-scale hacking of US government agencies says it ‘genuinely impacted’ around 50 organisations. Kevin Mandia, CEO of FireEye, said that while some 18,000 organisations had the malicious code in their networks, it was the 50 who suffered major breaches.”


CNBC: China’s Huawei tested A.I. software that could identify Uighur Muslims and alert police, report says. “Huawei, together with one of China’s biggest artificial intelligence (AI) firms Megvii, tested a facial recognition system that could be used to detect members of a minority Muslim group and send alerts to authorities, a new report claims.”

MIT Technology Review: Tiny four-bit computers are now all you need to train AI. “Deep learning is an inefficient energy hog. It requires massive amounts of data and abundant computational resources, which explodes its electricity consumption. In the last few years, the overall research trend has made the problem worse. Models of gargantuan proportions—trained on billions of data points for several days—are in vogue, and likely won’t be going away any time soon. Some researchers have rushed to find new directions, like algorithms that can train on less data, or hardware that can run those algorithms faster. Now IBM researchers are proposing a different one. Their idea would reduce the number of bits, or 1s and 0s, needed to represent the data—from 16 bits, the current industry standard, to only four.” Good evening, Internet…

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