Open Diffusion, Google, Alt Text, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, August 24, 2022


Mixed: Open Source DALL-E “Open Diffusion” is now available via website. “Open Diffusion is now available via a web interface. After logging in, you can generate images via text prompts, similar to DALL-E 2, and have several additional options for fine-tuning. As with DALL-E 2, there are restrictions on prompts, such as sexual or violent images.”


The Verge: Google search updates will prioritize real reviews over clickbait. “Google is making a series of updates to Search that aim to tackle clickbait and improve the relevancy of search results, prioritizing original and authentic reviews over recycled information that passes around aggregator sites. The changes in the form of two updates are being rolled out in the weeks ahead, according to a blog post announcing the ranking updates.”


How-To Geek: What Is Alt Text? Why You Should Use It, and How to Write It. “Have you noticed prompts to write image ‘alt’ text (sometimes stylized as ALT text) when creating blog posts or sharing photos on social media? Here’s why this part of the HTML standard is important and how you can write it well.”


Know Your Meme: Woman Pictured In The Viral ‘Girl Explaining’ Meme Explains The Origins And Her Reaction To Sudden Internet Fame. “Also going by the name of ‘Bro Girl’ and ‘Girlsplaining,’ we dove into researching the format this week in order to get to the bottom of what exactly was being said in the original. Through our search, we managed to find the woman depicted in the photo, whose real name is Denise ‘Denu’ Sanchez, and learned just what was going on that night in 2019.”

CNET: Funny Business: TikTok Is Putting a New Spin on Standup Comedy. “The short-form video app’s fingerprints are all over the Fringe this year, shaking up the 75-year-old arts festival with an injection of new talent and energy. Freshly TikTok-famous comedians have come to the Fringe for the first time, buoyed by their online success, while old hands are using the platform to find new audiences and experiment with material.”

Deadline: Google’s Covid Outbreak Is Currently The Largest Of Any Employer In Los Angeles. “The number of Covid infections among Los Angeles-area Google employees nearly doubled over the weekend, according to the count on the county’s official Covid workplace outbreak site.”


CNN: Ex-Twitter exec blows the whistle, alleging reckless and negligent cybersecurity policies. “Twitter has major security problems that pose a threat to its own users’ personal information, to company shareholders, to national security, and to democracy, according to an explosive whistleblower disclosure obtained exclusively by CNN and The Washington Post. The disclosure, sent last month to Congress and federal agencies, paints a picture of a chaotic and reckless environment at a mismanaged company that allows too many of its staff access to the platform’s central controls and most sensitive information without adequate oversight.”

Reuters: U.S. lawmakers unveil bill to help news media negotiate with Google, Facebook . “A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers on Monday released a revised version of a bill aimed at making it easier for news organizations to negotiate collectively with platforms like Google and Facebook.”

Ars Technica: Old laptop hard drives will allegedly crash when exposed to Janet Jackson music. “It sounds like something out of an urban legend: Some Windows XP-era laptops using 5400 RPM spinning hard drives can allegedly be forced to crash when exposed to Janet Jackson’s 1989 hit ‘Rhythm Nation.’ But Microsoft Software Engineer Raymond Chen stands by the story in a blog post published earlier this week, and the vulnerability has been issued an official CVE ID by The Mitre Corporation, lending it more credibility.”

The Hacker News: Google Uncovers Tool Used by Iranian Hackers to Steal Data from Email Accounts. “The Iranian government-backed actor known as Charming Kitten has added a new tool to its malware arsenal that allows it to retrieve user data from Gmail, Yahoo!, and Microsoft Outlook accounts.”


New York Times: That Painted Greek Maiden at the Met: Just Whose Vision Is She? . “Two German archaeologists use science to recreate the lost colors of antiquity. Historians debate just how authentic their version of the past really is.”

PsyPost: Science opponents believe their knowledge ranks among the highest, but it is actually among the lowest. “People with the greatest opposition to the scientific consensus tend to have the lowest levels of objective science knowledge but the highest levels of self-rated knowledge, according to new research published in Science Advances. The findings are in line with the Dunning-Kruger effect, a well-documented phenomenon in which people who are lacking in skills or knowledge tend to overestimate their abilities.” Good morning, Internet…

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