British Coatings Federation, Chromebooks, CodeWhisperer, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, June 26, 2022


Coatings World: British Coatings Federation Launches Online History. “This year marks the 110th year since the inaugural meeting of The National Federation of Associated Paint, Colour and Varnish Manufacturers of the United Kingdom in 1912. As part of the celebrations, the British Coatings Federation (BCF) has created an online resource of the history archives of the many different associations that make up the BCF’s long history.”


Google Blog: Your Chromebook now works better with your other devices. “During CES and I/O this year, we announced a few new Android and Chromebook features designed to help your phone and laptop work better together. Soon you’ll see some of those features roll out to your Chromebooks so you can try them yourself.”

TechCrunch: Amazon launches CodeWhisperer, a GitHub Copilot-like AI pair programming tool. “At its re:Mars conference, Amazon today announced the launch of CodeWhisperer, an AI pair programming tool similar to GitHub’s Copilot that can autocomplete entire functions based on only a comment or a few keystrokes. The company trained the system, which currently supports Java, JavaScript and Python, on billions of lines of publicly available open source code and its own codebase, as well as publicly available documentation and code on public forums.”


The Verge: Khaby Lame is now the most-followed TikToker in the world. “TikTok has a new reigning champion. Khaby Lame, a 22-year-old Senegalese-born creator, became the most-followed person on TikTok last night, surpassing American TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, who formerly had the distinction. Lame now has more than 142.7 million followers compared to D’Amelio’s 142.3 million.”

Gizmodo: Elon Tells Twitter He Needs Moar Data, Twitter Gives It to Him. “Earlier this month, Twitter finally succumbed to Musk’s better-late-than never complaints around bot proliferation on the platform and provided him with a ‘firehose’ of data. Apparently, that wasn’t enough to assuage Musk’s concerns, and now Twitter will reportedly sent the billionaire even more user data.”

BuzzFeed News: WeChat Became The Platform For Shanghai Residents To Speak Out About China’s Zero-COVID Policy. “A six-minute video posted on Chinese social media platform WeChat painted a harrowing timeline of what was happening inside Shanghai during the city’s latest strict COVID lockdown. After the video went viral, it was taken down by government censors. It got reposted, then taken down again. And again, and again.”


WIRED: Google Warns of New Spyware Targeting iOS and Android Users. “IN HEARINGS THIS week, the notorious spyware vendor NSO group told European legislators that at least five EU countries have used its powerful Pegasus surveillance malware. But as ever more comes to light about the reality of how NSO’s products have been abused around the world, researchers are also working to raise awareness that the surveillance-for-hire industry goes far beyond one company.”

Vice: Dad Learns His Photos Are Being Used to Sell ‘Happy Ending’ Massages on Grindr. “Over the past two years, [Dr. Scott] Liptzin has been made aware of seven different accounts of erotic masseurs using his photos. He said some of the Instagram accounts using his pics have more likes and views than his original posts do.”

Bloomberg: Pinterest must face suit by Oakland woman who says she helped create it. “Pinterest Inc. must face a lawsuit from a digital marketing strategist who says she helped conceive the social media platform, but not one of its founders, a California judge ruled. Late on Thursday, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Richard Seabolt denied the company’s motion to dismiss the suit, but he eliminated co-founder Paul Sciarra as a defendant because he left Pinterest a decade ago.”


CNET: Google’s Parti Generator Relies on 20 Billion Inputs to Create Photorealistic Images. “Pathways Autoregressive Text-to-Image, or Parti, studies sets of images, which Google calls ‘image tokens,’ using them to construct new images, the search giant said on a research website. Parti’s images become more realistic when it has more parameters — tokens and other training material — to review. The model studies 20 billion parameters before generating a final image.”

The Atlantic: How to Fix Twitter and Facebook. “Can we govern ourselves? Can we trust strangers? These questions go to the heart of a functioning civic society. No answer is preordained, but getting to a good one requires building distributed architectures, online and off, to foster cooperation among the many and to contend with the few who want to wreck it.”

KnowTechie: IKEA’s app digitally removes your furniture and replaces it with theirs. “IKEA just launched a new design tool meant to help you envision its furniture right in your living room. Ikea Kreativ’s Scene Scanner lets you scan a room with your phone and place furniture how you see fit. You can ‘erase’ your own first, and then start placing Ikea-branded products like you’re arranging a home in Animal Crossing.” Good morning, Internet…

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