Mapping Environmental Dangers, Chrome Macros, Twitter Alt Text, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, April 19, 2022


New-to-me, from Cornell Chronicle: AreaHub website shows local environmental dangers. “A new database allows users to search any U.S. ZIP code, city name or even an address to learn about extreme weather concerns like hurricane or wildfire exposure, and nearby environmental industrial hazards such as Superfund sites, neighborhood brownfields or problematic nuclear reactors.”


MakeUseOf: How to Record Macros in Google Chrome . “A macro is a recorded sequence of mouse and keyboard input actions. The Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, and Access) include built-in macro recording tools. With those tools, users can record repetitive tasks within the Office software and replay them whenever needed. Wouldn’t it be great if Google Chrome included a similar tool for automating repetitive browsing tasks? Then you could record macros that fill out web forms, log in to sites, and open multiple sites among other things. Chrome doesn’t have such a built-in feature, but you can still record browser macros with the iMacros and Wildfire extensions.”

Lifehacker: How to Write Alt Text on Twitter That Doesn’t Suck. “Twitter has had the ability to add alt text to your images for years, but if you don’t use a screen reader, you probably weren’t able to read what anybody else’s alt text says. Recently, though, the ‘ALT’ icon began appearing in the corner of images, and now anyone can tap it to see the alt text for an image. So what is alt text, and what should you put there?”


The Hindu: Rare digital archive of Kerala-related material in doldrums. “Not many would know that Kerala in the 1940s had a literary magazine named after Rabindranath Tagore. Nor would they know about the content of the school textbooks then. Grandhapura, one of the biggest free digital archives in Malayalam, which holds a rare collection of more than 2000 Kerala-related documents, including periodicals and school textbooks from the 1800s, has been making this possible over the past decade, with its ever-expanding archive of rare materials. But, now Grandhapura is facing an uncertain future as archiving scholar Shiju Alex, who founded it and has been maintaining it for 12 years, has decided to discontinue the efforts due to paucity of resources and time, and the failure to scale up.”

Media Matters: Apple Podcasts has allowed multiple QAnon shows on its platform, despite its rules. “Apple Podcasts is allowing multiple shows that have promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory to use its platform, despite rules that would seem to prohibit these shows.”


Euronews: Philippine president vetoes bill seeking to tackle social media abuse. “Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has vetoed a bill that would require social media users to register their legal identities and phone numbers, calling for a more thorough study of the measure, his spokesperson said on Friday.”

Nikkei Asia: Japan asks Google, Meta to register headquarters, toughens oversight. “The Japanese government, in its latest move to strengthen its oversight of big tech companies, has asked Google, Meta and others to register their overseas global headquarters in Japan, in addition to their local units, Nikkei has learned. Japan’s corporate law requires foreign enterprises that operate continuously within the country’s borders to register their overseas headquarters, but many tech companies have registered only their Japanese arms despite this rule.”

The Register: Cybercriminals do their homework for latest banking scam . “A new social engineering scam is making the rounds, and this one is particularly insidious: It tricks users into sending money to what they think is their own account to reverse a fraudulent charge.”


New York Times: A.I. Is Mastering Language. Should We Trust What It Says?. “GPT-3 belongs to a category of deep learning known as a large language model, a complex neural net that has been trained on a titanic data set of text: in GPT-3’s case, roughly 700 gigabytes of data drawn from across the web, including Wikipedia, supplemented with a large collection of text from digitized books. GPT-3 is the most celebrated of the large language models, and the most publicly available, but Google, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) and DeepMind have all developed their own L.L.M.s in recent years.”

CNET: Meet Nikola, the Android Head Learning to Express Emotion. “Emotional expression has long been one of the things that separates man from machine, but a new android head named Nikola aims to change that. Nikola is part of the Guardian Robot Project, which aims to ‘incorporate psychology, brain science, cognitive science and AI research toward a future society where humans, AI and robots can flexibly coexist.’ The research is backed by RIKEN, a Japanese-government funded research institute.” Good afternoon, 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: afternoonbuzz

Leave a Reply