Residential Sustainable Products Database, Phone Call Apps, AI-Based Chatbots, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, July 18, 2022


GlobeNewswire: EEBA Launches Residential Sustainable Products Database in Partnership With Ecomedes (PRESS RELEASE). “The EEBA & ecomedes Sustainable Products Database allows builders, architects, engineers, and designers to search and compare products by category, brand, certifications, ecolabels, and performance criteria. Once selected, users can calculate the materials’ environmental impacts to evaluate how they help achieve their projects’ specific green rating systems, including the US Green Building Councils’ LEED programs, the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge, the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Homes program, and more.”


Make Tech Easier: 8 Calling Apps to Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere. “Ditch mobile calling plans and opt for calling apps to make free calls over Wi-Fi. They’ll also work over mobile data, but make sure you’ve got unlimited data so you don’t get hit with overages. While some of these apps give you your own number, others require both parties to have the same app. Either way, they’re free and you can call, text, and even video chat as much as you want.”

MakeUseOf: 8 Virtual AI Companions to Chat and Have Fun With . “Most of us already use AI assistants like Siri or Alexa for carrying out simple tasks. But, in case you don’t know, you can have a virtual AI companion and chat with them as you do with your friends. These AI chatbots can be fun to talk to and help you overcome loneliness. Below, we list the eight AI companion chatbots you should try out.” These chatbots are fun to play with, but please remember you should not assume any kind of privacy to your conversations.


Washington Post: By signing stars, YouTube aims to replicate Twitch’s secret weapon: culture. “Despite stacking its deck with big names, YouTube accounted for just 14 percent of streaming hours watched in the first quarter of this year according to a report published by analytics firms Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet. Twitch, a vastly smaller platform than YouTube overall, nonetheless claimed 76 percent.”

New York Times: In Rome, a New Museum for Recovered Treasures Before They Return Home. “Last month, Italian officials inaugurated a new museum here whose title sets a lofty agenda: the Museo dell’Arte Salvata, or the Museum of Rescued Art. Rescued art is a broad term, it turns out, and the museum will showcase the myriad ways in which artworks can be salvaged — from thieves, from the rubble of earthquakes and other national disasters, from ancient shipwrecks in the Mediterranean or from the ravages of time by Italy’s expert restorers.”


ABC News: California social media addiction bill drops parent lawsuits. “A first-of-its-kind proposal in the California Legislature aimed at holding social media companies responsible for harming children who have become addicted to their products would no longer let parents sue popular platforms like Instagram and TikTok.”

KnowTechie: Ring is giving your camera footage to police without a warrant. “Ring has been giving out its users’ camera footage to law enforcement, even without the owners’ consent or a court-ordered warrant. The Amazon subsidiary is apparently very friendly with law enforcement, giving out unwarranted user footage to cops at least 11 times this year.”

BBC: Firms ‘going to war’ against rivals on social media. “A growing number of unscrupulous companies are using bots or fake accounts to run smear campaigns against their competitors on social media, it is claimed. That’s the warning from Lyric Jain, the chief executive of Logically, a high-tech monitoring firm that uses artificial intelligence (AI) software to trawl the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to find so called ‘fake news’ – disinformation and misinformation.”


NewsWise: Gender Plays Key Role in Influencer Call-Outs. ” Social media influencers stake their claim in the pop culture landscape by crafting aspirational personas and sharing intimate details of their lives with online audiences. … But in addition to their loyal fans, there is a legion of equally passionate ‘anti-fans,’ whose self-appointed mission is to hold these influential people accountable by calling out inauthenticity, unrealistic portrayals of ‘real life,’ and outright deception. Anti-fandom can serve a social function by allowing people to critique norm transgressions, but it can also be a destructive force, a Cornell-led research team proposes.”

The Next Web: Scathing study exposes Google’s harmful approach to AI development. “A study published earlier this week by Surge AI appears to lay bare one of the biggest problems plaguing the AI industry: bullshit, exploitative data-labeling practices.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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