Iowa Flooding, UK Music Venues, Google Cameos, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, January 23, 2022


Radio Iowa: New interactive map details state flooding information. “The Iowa Flood Center is unveiling a new tool to help Iowans living along the Missouri River prepare for flooding. Larry Weber, co-founder of the Iowa Flood Center, says the interactive map will give people who may be impacted by flooding the information they need in times of crisis.”

NME: FAC launches database of venues charging zero commission on merch. “The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) has announced a new directory highlighting music venues that charge zero commission on the sale of merchandise. Supported by Peter Hook, the ‘100% Venues’ database aims to address the ‘outdated and unfair’ practice of performance spaces taking a cut of acts’ merch proceeds at gigs.” This appears to be UK-only; the directory currently lists over 300 venues.


Android Police: The latest Google service to bite the dust is the celebrity-focused Cameos . “If you’ve ever googled some celebrities, like The Rock, you might’ve seen a handful of videos in their Search card under “Top questions answered.” Those come from a service that you’re probably not that familiar with, called Google Cameos. It’s only for celebrities or other high-profile people and gives them a way to record videos answers to popular questions — and have them show up in their search results. But it’s made by Google, so of course it was going to get killed sooner or later.”

CNN: Twitter is rolling out verified NFT profile pictures. “Twitter on Thursday began rolling out a feature that will let some users set NFTs that they own as their profile picture to signal their investment in the emerging digital art space. The move makes Twitter one of the best-known tech platforms so far to launch a feature for the flashy NFT trend.”

Engadget: Twitter’s security leads are leaving the company. “The company confirmed to The New York Times that former head of security Peiter Zatko has departed, while chief information security officer Rinki Sethi will leave Twitter in the coming weeks. Agrawal is said to have told employees this week that the personnel decisions were made after ‘an assessment of how the organization was being led and the impact on top priority work.'”


Wired: China’s ‘People’s Courts’ Resolve Online Disputes at Tech Firms. “A little over a decade ago, as ecommerce took off in China, the country lacked structures like widespread credit scores and effective consumer protection agencies to build trust among online buyers and sellers. Companies responded by creating innovative workarounds. For example, at the time, cash was used for most transactions, so tech giants such as Alibaba and Tencent developed their own systems for digital payments. Ant Group, Alibaba’s financial affiliate, also created Sesame Credit, its own version of a credit score, that could help assess a buyer or seller’s trustworthiness. To deal with disputes between buyers and sellers, companies experimented with crowdsourced forms of justice.”

Michigan Daily: XOXO, The PNM Princess: the rise of anonymous social media during the UMich sorority rush cycle. “Among the numerous sorority recruitment [Yik Yak users] is one recurring name — The PNM Princess. Described by many students as the ‘Gossip Girl’ or ‘Radio Rebel’ of sorority recruitment, The PNM Princess has a Reddit account she has been using to post somewhat confrontational statements about the Michigan sorority recruitment process and her individual desire — or lack thereof — to join each house.”

Associated Press: Fund to preserve, assist Black churches gets $20M donation. “A new effort to preserve historic Black churches in the United States has received a $20 million donation that will go to help congregations including one that was slammed during the tornado that killed more than 20 people in Mayfield, Kentucky, last month. Lilly Endowment Inc., which supports religious, educational and charitable causes, contributed the money to the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund as seed funding for the Preserving Black Churches Project, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which launched the fund.”


CNET: Number and cost of cyberattacks continue to grow, new survey says. “The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped cybercriminals. The number of cyberattacks against companies around the world rose 15% over the past three years, according to a new survey. Additionally, 87% of those surveyed in cybersecurity company Anomali’s poll of cybersecurity decision makers said their company had experienced a cyberattack in the past three years that resulted in damage, disruption or a data breach.”

Reuters: Exclusive-Google aims to improve spotty enforcement of children’s ads policy . “Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc’s Google said this week it would immediately improve enforcement of an age-sensitive ad policy after Reuters found ads for sex toys, liquor and high-risk investments in its search engine that should have been blocked under its efforts to comply with UK regulations.”


NPR: Send in the clones: Using artificial intelligence to digitally replicate human voices. “Talking machines like Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa, or a bank’s automated customer service line, are now sounding quite human. Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, or AI, we’ve reached a point where it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish synthetic voices from real ones. I wanted to find out what’s involved in the process at the customer end. So I approached San Francisco Bay Area-based natural language speech synthesis company Speech Morphing about creating a clone – or ‘digital double’ – of my own voice.”

New York Times: Augmented Reality Theater Takes a Bow. In Your Kitchen.. “The Immersive Storytelling Studio at the National Theater in London is using technology to bring a miniature musical to viewers’ homes. It’s one of several high-tech British projects pushing dramatic boundaries.” Good morning, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: morningbuzz

Leave a Reply