Black Fashion Designers, Tilt Brush, Google News, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, February 6, 2021


InStyle: Black Designers Are Rarely Featured in Top TV Shows and Movies — But That’s About to Change. “One woman has made it her mission to connect Black-owned brands with today’s top costume designers.”


TechCrunch: Google open sources Tilt Brush VR software as it shuts down internal development . “…the folks at Google announced they had ended active development of Tilt Brush, a VR painting app that was one of virtual reality’s early hit pieces of software. The app allowed users to use virtual reality controllers as brushes to construct digital sculptures and environments. While the company will not be pushing any new updates to the app, they did announce that they will be open sourcing the code on github for developers to build their own experiences and customizations.”

Reuters: Google opens paid-for Australia news platform in drive to undercut Canberra’s content payment law. “Tech giant Google on Friday launched a platform in Australia offering news it has paid for, striking its own content deals with publishers in a drive to show legislation proposed by Canberra to enforce payments, a world first, is unnecessary.”

Neowin: Facebook will now show ‘authoritative’ sources for searches relating to Holocaust. “Facebook updated its hate speech policy last year in an effort to ban posts and content intended to spread false information about the Holocaust. Today, the social media giant announced a new update that aims to help combat anti-Semitism beyond the platform.”


PC World: Best password managers: Reviews of the top products. “…password managers vary widely in their capabilities and cost, so we compared several of the most popular. All support Windows Mac OS, Android, and iOS, as well as the major browsers. And all will let you sync your data across multiple devices, though you may have pay extra for the privilege. Here are our top two picks, followed by tips on what to look for when shopping for a password manager and links to full reviews of all the products.”


ProPublica: The Hate Store: Amazon’s Self-Publishing Arm Is a Haven for White Supremacists. “‘There is a lot of extremist content on Amazon,’ said J. M. Berger, who studies such works as a fellow with the E.U.-funded VOX-Pol research network. ‘The platform has gone largely overlooked because, understandably, we think of books differently than other content. But these products are for sale and they’re being algorithmically pushed.’ We tested the recommendations for many far-right texts and discovered several that could lead users down a hate-filled rabbit hole, where the suggested books reinforce a white nationalist worldview.”

Ars Technica: Google Play bans video app for standard “.ass” subtitle support. “Yes, just listing standard video player features like support for the ‘ASS’ subtitle format was apparently enough to temporarily earn a suspension. The developer says they ‘immediately filed an appeal’ and today, the app is back up with the ASS subtitle listing still in the description.” ASS in this case stands for “Advanced Sub Station Alpha” and I really hope y’all get this newsletter after so many iterations of a Word The Robots Do Not Like.


Associated Press: Cybercops derail malware botnet, FBI makes ransomware arrest. “European and North American cyber cops have joined forces to disrupt what may be the world’s largest network for seeding malware infections. The operation appears to strike a major blow against criminal gangs that have used that network for years to install ransomware for extortion schemes and to steal data and money.”

BetaNews: Update Chrome for Windows, Mac and Linux to protect against a dangerous zero-day vulnerability. “A serious security vulnerability has been discovered in Chrome, forcing Google to push out an emergency update to the browser. Affecting the Windows, Mac and Linux versions of Chrome, the high severity vulnerability is being tracked as CVE-2021-21148.”


EurekAlert: Children can bypass age verification procedures in popular social media apps. “Children of all ages can completely bypass age verification measures to sign-up to the world’s most popular social media apps including Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Skype and Discord by simply lying about their age, researchers at Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software have discovered.”

Chemistry World: Imposters hijack journal’s peer review process to publish substandard papers. “Scammers infiltrated a chemistry journal’s peer-review system in order to accept and publish low quality papers. The sophisticated operation highlights the lengths to which some dishonest parties will go to undermine the review process.”

BBC: Puppy training a robotic dog points to the future. “First the dog is kicked over, then pushed over, then shoved with a stick. Each time it gets back to its feet. But don’t rush to call the animal welfare authorities – it’s a robotic dog undergoing training at Edinburgh University.” Good morning, Internet…

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