Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, Charlotte Symphony, Android, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 10, 2022


Microsoft Blog: Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub now open to all – no funding needed. “Based on real-world feedback from thousands of entrepreneurs from around the world, across a range of backgrounds, we are excited to unveil, Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub. Open to anyone with an idea, the platform is designed to address the most common challenges startups face.”

Charlotte Observer: Charlotte Symphony excavates its past, and has big plans for 90th anniversary. “For its 90th anniversary, the symphony is releasing four new virtual exhibitions throughout March featuring photos, artifacts, oral histories and highlights of nearly a century of music-making. The online exhibits focus on the following themes: the symphony’s founding; details on its 11 music directors; the history of its education programs and youth orchestras; and its integration in 1963.”


The Verge: Google details its latest big Android feature drop. “Google Photos’ portrait blur feature on Android will soon be able to blur backgrounds in a wider range of photos, including pictures of pets, food, and — my personal favorite — plants. It’s one of a host of updates coming to Google’s apps and services on Android, which also includes tweaks to Google TV, a new screen time widget, and wider deployment of a Gboard feature that helps improve your grammar.”

TechCrunch: Substack introduces a new iOS app for reading, Android launch coming soon. “Online subscription newsletter platform Substack announced today that it’s launching an iOS app for reading. In a blog post about the announcement, the company said the new ‘Substack Reader’ app brings all of your Substack subscriptions into one place where you can read content from writers you follow.”

Fast Company: Google’s Jigsaw launches an open source anti-harassment tool for women. “The new program, called Harassment Manager, is available on Github. The web tool uses machine learning to highlight abusive posts and coordinated harassment campaigns, enabling Twitter users to better document such instances. It also lets users automatically block and mute accounts that appear in the harassment report it generates.”


Dazed: The good, the bad, and the glitchy: rating the galleries of the metaverse. “During the coronavirus pandemic, many world-renowned galleries also scrambled to offer Drake-like virtual tours of their hallowed halls, which had been emptied out due to worldwide lockdowns. Other art enthusiasts, however, took it one step further, building venues from the ground up in the metaverse, where gallery-goers could mingle as 3D avatars, and view art through their computer screens (or, for the full vertigo-inducing experience, a VR headset). But what do the galleries of the metaverse look like now, a period we’ll tentatively call post-pandemic?”

Columbia Journalism Review: Australia pressured Google and Facebook to pay for journalism. Is America next?. “Australia looks like a success story to those who’ve long yearned to force big tech to prop up suffering newsrooms. But it’s a murky deal, with critical details guarded like they’re nuclear launch codes.”


The National Interest: Online Extremists Are Using Old Technologies for New Purposes. “A recent report from Tech Against Terrorism, a research outlet supported by the UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, found that a diverse array of violent extremists, from al-Qaeda and ISIS supporters to white supremacists and conspiracy theorists, have side-stepped regulation on social media by returning to self-operated websites, blogs, and forums. While this repurposing of retrograde digital communications technologies might give some observers a sense of deja vu, it nonetheless has major implications for online counter-extremism policy.”

Courthouse News: Italy fines US facial recognition firm Clearview AI. “Italy’s data privacy watchdog on Wednesday fined U.S.-based firm Clearview AI 20 million euros (almost $22 million) over its controversial facial recognition software. The watchdog ordered the company to delete data relating to people in Italy and banned it from further collection and processing of information there.”


New York Times: How to Avoid Drowning in an Ocean of Information. “We have more information at our fingertips than ever before, and the scale is larger than our individual and collective capacity for sustained attention. How do we manage scale when the information at hand is both so plentiful and urgent? My colleagues often talk about media diets, or the mix of information sources we can reasonably take in. The word ‘diet’ has a lot of negative connotations — deprivation, self-denial, exclusion and penance. But it might be useful to think about variety.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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