Google Chrome, Instagram Filters, Google Street View, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, June 11, 2021


ZDNet: Google ends push for Chrome address bar to only show domain name. “Google has reversed course and ended its experiment to only show Chrome users the domain name of the site they are on. Kicked off in August, the experiment randomly assigned users to test whether it could help users spot phishing sites.” GOOD. I HATED this idea.

Distractify: Instagram Has a New Tattoo Filter, and It’s Pretty Wild How Realistic It Looks. “The latest addition to Instagram’s catalog of impressive camera filters comes in the form of a new tattoo filter. Although this concept has existed in the past, the developers of other filters have never really been able to make the tattoos augmented onto a person’s face look realistic. Well, famous filter creator Jeferson Araujo has managed to solve that problem with his newest feature, and countless fans worldwide are already enjoying the hyper-realism of his work.”


Lad Bible: ‘Heist’ Caught On Google Maps Turns Out To Be Pranksters Holding A Glue Gun. “Darren Honeyman and his colleague of 15 years Dave Hutchinson were at work in Darlington, County Durham, earlier this year when they saw the the Google van coming. So, not wanting to miss the opportunity of a lifetime, the pair decided to create a scene especially for the camera. And they didn’t disappoint.”

CNET: How Gen Z harnessed the internet and destroyed the generation wars. “For most millennials, depending on their age, the social media they had access to during their younger years was MySpace or Facebook in its early days. Profile pages could be public, but those networks felt designed to address friends and family, said Paul Booth, a professor of media at DePaul University in Chicago. No one was finding viral success on MySpace for a hot take on a social issue — or for a biting rebuttal to someone who wrote about terrible teens. But many members of Gen Z have grown up in a time when defining yourself online as part of a group is part of the norm. They’ve witnessed online culture wars, and those I spoke with were aware that millennials have taken a beating in the past.”

CNN: Newsmax portrays Facebook as an enemy of conservatives. Behind the scenes, it’s spending millions on Facebook ads. “In the last 90 days, Newsmax has purchased approximately $1.5 million in ads from Facebook, according to records available publicly on the social media company’s website. And since 2018, the right-wing network has spent a total of $3.7 million with Facebook. The staggering amount in advertising spent over the last 90 days has gone toward more than 2,300 Facebook advertisements — many of which promote the very hosts who describe the platform in diabolical terms.”


New York Times: Lawmakers, Taking Aim at Big Tech, Push Sweeping Overhaul of Antitrust. “House lawmakers on Friday introduced sweeping antitrust legislation aimed at restraining the power of Big Tech and staving off corporate consolidation across the economy, in what would be the most ambitious update to monopoly laws in decades.”

Mashable: Twitch warns creators about a wave of DMCA takedown requests . “Big changes are coming to Twitch. And the Amazon-owned livestreaming platform doesn’t have a choice. According to Twitch, the company recently received a massive batch of DMCA takedown requests ‘with about 1,000 individual claims from music publishers.'”

Reuters: Google pledges to work with UK regulator in plan to remove browser cookies. “Alphabet Inc’s Google would not be able to eliminate user-tracking technology that is important to advertisers from its Chrome browser without sign-off from Britain’s competition regulator under a proposal released on Friday.”


Tom’s Hardware: Google Uses AI to Design Chips, Creating Machine Learning Ouroboros. “Google researchers published a new paper in Nature on Wednesday describing ‘an edge-based graph convolutional neural network architecture’ that learned how to design the physical layout of a semiconductor in a way that allows ‘chip design to be performed by artificial agents with more experience than any human designer.’ Interestingly, Google used AI to design other AI chips that offer more performance.”

California State University Northridge: CSUN Prof Weighs the Power of Social Media to Empower Communities of Color. “Video of the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, taken by witnesses, sparked outrage on social media, fueled by the fact that this was not the only online video of an officer taking the life of a Black American. According to California State University, Northridge criminology and justice studies professor Brianne Posey, young activists using video of encounters between police officers and civilians of color are both helping and not helping shift the power dynamic between the two groups.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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