Wonders of Vietnam, YouTube, Apple Wearables, More: Monday Evening ResearchBuzz, January 25, 2021


Google Blog: Vietnam awaits you with wonders. “Before the pandemic, Google Arts & Culture partnered with Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the local tourism boards of Da Nang, Quang Nam, Thua Thien Hue and Quang Binh and National Geographic award-winning photographer Tran Tuan Viet to capture the unique corners of Vietnam. The result is a project made more precious in today’s travel-restricted world: Wonders of Vietnam on Google Arts & Culture.”


Screenrant: What Does YouTube’s New ‘Progressive Web App’ Do & Should You Install It?. “YouTube is now available as a Progressive Web App (PWA), combining some of the benefits it offers as a website with those it can do as an application installed on a device. PWAs are meant to be fast, offer functionalities that websites can’t, and feel more like native apps to use. They also work across different platforms.”

CNET: Apple glasses, AR/VR headsets: These are the latest leaks and rumors. “First came VR. Then came a wave of AR headsets that were high-priced and full of promises of wild mixed reality worlds. Apple could be blending AR and VR with two different headsets in the next couple of years, but leading the way with a VR headset more like the Oculus Quest, according to a report Thursday by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.”


Unicorn Riot: Discord At The Capitol. “Much of the internet activity documenting involvement in the far-right D.C. riot has centered on right-wing Twitter clone Parler. A large amount of organizing for the event also took place over Facebook as well as encrypted chat platforms such as Matrix and Telegram. Another chat site, the gaming-oriented platform Discord, is associated with far-right violence after organizers of the 2017 neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville had their planning chats leaked by Unicorn Riot, leading to lawsuits and an FBI probe. While Discord has since cracked down on hate activity on their service, the company relies on user reports to ban users and chat groups, and still hosts many racist and far-right users to this day.”

Fortress of Solitude: Is IMDb Better Than Rotten Tomatoes?. “There’s a great war taking place online. Every time a film is released, it appears as if the audience and critics are on separate pages. In recent times, many have questioned the purpose and relevancy of Rotten Tomatoes, suggesting other sources for people who still want to view reviews. But is something like IMDb better than Rotten Tomatoes?”


BBC: Channel 4 Deepfake Queen complaints dropped by Ofcom. “The ‘alternative Christmas message’ attracted 354 complaints about decency after it aired on Christmas Day. It showed an AI-generated version of the Queen, who made jokes about the Royal Family and the prime minister, and danced on top of a table.”

The MIT Reader: Tech Companies Are Profiling Us From Before Birth. “Children today are the very first generation of citizens to be datafied from before birth. The social and political consequences of this historical transformation have yet to be seen.”


MIT Technology Review: The Biden administration’s AI plans: what we might expect. “At the moment, the most pressing issues on his table are fighting the coronavirus pandemic, providing financial relief for Americans, and reversing a series of Trump-era policies on climate change, international relations, and immigration. Artificial intelligence, as expected, hasn’t yet made it to the top of list. But he has given several signals already about how his administration might think about and treat the technology.”

Phys .org: A quarter of known bee species haven’t appeared in public records since the 1990s. “Researchers at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) in Argentina have found that, since the 1990s, up to 25% of reported bee species are no longer being reported in global records, despite a large increase in the number of records available. While this does not mean that these species are all extinct, it might indicate that these species have become rare enough that no one is observing them in nature.” Good evening, Internet…

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