Michigan Music, Alexa, LinkedIn, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 13, 2021


Fox 17 (Michigan): KDL launches Vibes Collection, a free streaming service feat. local musicians. “Are you a local musician looking for a way to get your music out into the world? Or just want to discover music created by independent Michigan artists? Kent District Library is launching a digital collection of music where artists can upload their original music for others to discover called the KDL Vibes Collection.”


The Verge: How to stop Alexa from ruining holiday surprises. “Avoid making any Grinch-like moves this holiday and manage your Amazon shopping notifications in the Alexa app to help keep the magic alive. Alongside options for tailoring package announcements, the notifications section of the app also has a number of settings you can toggle on or off to help make the voice assistant a little more helpful when it comes to purchases you make on Amazon. Below are a few of the most useful that you might want to tweak this holiday season.”

Fast Company: How to use LinkedIn’s new story feature to stand out to recruiters. “n early 2021, LinkedIn rolled out the ‘cover story’ feature that enables users to embed a 30-second, mini-introduction video into their profiles. Once a cover story is added, an orange ring appears around the user’s static profile photo. When someone visits the profile, a preview of the video auto-plays silently within the photo frame. Clicking on the profile photo plays the full video with audio. If you’re looking for a way to inject some life into your profile that goes beyond text and images, a cover story video is a great way to go.”


New York Times: Now in Your Inbox: Political Misinformation. “A few weeks ago, Representative Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Republican, falsely claimed that the centerpiece of President Biden’s domestic agenda, a $1.75 trillion bill to battle climate change and extend the nation’s social safety net, would include Medicare for all. It doesn’t, and never has. But few noticed Mr. Crenshaw’s lie because he didn’t say it on Facebook, or on Fox News. Instead, he sent the false message directly to the inboxes of his constituents and supporters in a fund-raising email.”

BBC: Nobel Peace Prize: Maria Ressa attacks social media ‘toxic sludge’. “One of the winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize has attacked US internet companies for what she called a ‘flood of toxic sludge’ on social media. During her acceptance speech in Norway, Philippine journalist Maria Ressa said technology giants had ‘allowed a virus of lies to infect each of us’.”


MPR News: Search for Indian boarding school records gets a boost. “The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Minnesota-based Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition have signed an agreement to collaborate in the search for records of Indian boarding schools. The goal is to establish an online archive of the records starting late next year, so families can access them.”

Wired: ‘The Internet Is on Fire’ . “A VULNERABILITY IN a widely used logging library has become a full-blown security meltdown, affecting digital systems across the internet. Hackers are already attempting to exploit it, but even as fixes emerge, researchers warn that the flaw could have serious repercussions worldwide. The problem lies in Log4j, a ubiquitous, open source Apache logging framework that developers use to keep a record of activity within an application.”


University of New South Wales: Lunar architecture: small step for 3D printers, giant leap for humankind. “3D printing has come a long way in very a short time, with products including furniture, food and even bones being manufactured by the technology. But a team from UNSW are planning to push the boundaries of 3D printing even further with a proposal that is out of this world. UNSW Computational Design wants to use a 3D printer to build a house. But not just an ordinary house in the suburbs – one that is 385,000km away from Earth.”

David Strom: An update on deepfake video threats. “What has happened in the world of deepfake videos? Since I wrote about the creation and weaponization of them back in October 2020 for Avast’s blog, there have been a number of virtual conferences and new algorithms that have been developed to create these odd pieces of media. There is surprisingly a very bimodal consensus: either the sky is falling and we are all about to be subjects of revenge porn and various misinformation campaigns; or that things haven’t (yet) gotten out of hand and the tech is still in early stages. I will let you be the judge, but will give you a few places that you can start your own research.”

PNAS: Empathy-based counterspeech can reduce racist hate speech in a social media field experiment. “Our intention-to-treat analysis of 1,350 Twitter users shows that empathy-based counterspeech messages can increase the retrospective deletion of xenophobic hate speech by 0.2 SD and reduce the prospective creation of xenophobic hate speech over a 4-wk follow-up period by 0.1 SD. We find, however, no consistent effects for strategies using humor or warning of consequences. Together, these results advance our understanding of the central role of empathy in reducing exclusionary behavior and inform the design of future counterspeech interventions.” Fuzzy on the idea of counterspeech? Here’s an overview. Good afternoon, Internet…

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