Opera Browser, Online Ethics Center, Microsoft Power Automate, More: Monday Evening ResearchBuzz, March 22, 2021


The Register: Opera loses Touch with iOS app: Browser maker locks and loads the rebrandogun . “As with the iOS versions of Microsoft’s Edge, Google’s Chrome, Vivaldi and so on, Opera has attempted to differentiate itself via the bits around the core rendering engine (what the company refers to as ‘the personal browser experience’). As well as the ad and cookie blocking that has become common among browsers, Opera added its Flow technology to the mobile browser at its 2018 launch to facilitate the sharing of files between desktop and device.”

WVIR: Online Center for Ethics now calls UVA home. “The University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is now the new home of the nationally-renowned Online Ethics Center, a digital library of resources focusing on how to use technology for good. The center hosts free information for the public to use, hoping to provide ethical insight to hard topics like how algorithms impact our politics, or the impact of plastic use on our environment.”


MakeUseOf: How to Automate Routine Tasks Using Microsoft Power Automate. “Microsoft Power Automate is a cloud-based service that allows you to automate workflows. Say you have a routine task like checking for an email from your manager every day. It’s easy to forget this simple task. Using Microsoft Power Automate you can schedule a reminder notification to check for your manager’s email at a set time. There are also many more workflows you can automate including complex data collection business processes. In other words, Microsoft Power Automate is more than a simple task scheduler. It is a secure cloud service that can help you streamline your business.”


New York Times: For Political Cartoonists, the Irony Was That Facebook Didn’t Recognize Irony. “In recent years, the company has become more proactive at restricting certain kinds of political speech, clamping down on posts about fringe extremist groups and on calls for violence. In January, Facebook barred Mr. Trump from posting on its site altogether after he incited a crowd that stormed the U.S. Capitol. At the same time, misinformation researchers said, Facebook has had trouble identifying the slipperiest and subtlest of political content: satire. While satire and irony are common in everyday speech, the company’s artificial intelligence systems — and even its human moderators — can have difficulty distinguishing them.”

Mothership: Young female Japanese biker is really 50-year-old man with luscious hair using FaceApp. “The man reportedly said that nobody wants to see an ‘uncle’, and so, he turned himself into a ‘beautiful woman’ so that his photos would be popular.”


TechCrunch: India asks court to block WhatsApp’s policy update, says new change violates laws. “As WhatsApp spends months to address users’ concerns and confusion about its planned policy update, there is evidently one entity it hasn’t had much luck making inroads with: The government of India. The Indian government alleged on Friday that WhatsApp’s planned privacy update, which goes into effect in two months, violates local laws on several counts.”

Bleeping Computer: Computer giant Acer hit by $50 million ransomware attack. “Computer giant Acer has been hit by a REvil ransomware attack where the threat actors are demanding the largest known ransom to date, $50,000,000. Acer is a Taiwanese electronics and computer maker well-known for laptops, desktops, and monitors. Acer employs approximately 7,000 employees and earned $7.8 billion in 2019.”

The Verge: FTC fines Amazon work-from-home scammer $2 million. “Randon Morris and several companies he ran conducted robocalls to promote the fake work-from-home opportunities, the FTC said, and they promised people they contacted that they could earn hundreds of dollars a day. As part of the scheme, the companies falsely claimed to be affiliated with Amazon; one of the limited liability corporations (LLCs) was even named Amazon Affiliate Program, LLC.”


CNET: William Shatner turns 90, AI version of him will live on indefinitely. “Captain James T. Kirk, 90 years old? The flirtatious caption of Star Trek’s Enterprise will always be young on screen, but the actor who played him, William Shatner, turned 90 on Monday. And he announced that he’s creating an interactive AI-powered video ‘so family and friends can interact with him for years to come.'”

Channel News Asia: Commentary: Social media worsens growing anti-China sentiments in Southeast Asia. “It might be easy to dismiss the Milk Tea Alliance as a Gen-Z Internet joke. But the meme is successful in tapping into something deeper in the collective consciousness of a region that is famously diverse and defiant of collective action. It taps into discontent with the regional decline of democracy and fears about the rise of China as a hegemonic power. There is a bigger picture beyond the protests in Myanmar. The country fits a broader pattern of recent years in which disparate protests in Southeast Asia, triggered by different events, exhibit undercurrents of anxiety about the growing influence of China.”

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