Velma, Vivaldi, Test-Making Tools, More: Thursday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 6, 2022


The Independent: Google pays tribute after Scooby Doo character Velma ‘comes out’ ahead of new film. “Google has celebrated Scooby Doo character Velma Dinkley officially coming out as lesbian with a joyful animation. On Wednesday (5 October), Prime Video released a clip of Velma’s first encounter with her crush, villain Coco Diablo, in the newest iteration of the beloved franchise titled Trick or Treat Scooby Doo!.”

How-To Geek: Vivaldi Borrows a Feature From Outlook and Thunderbird. “Vivaldi started as a power user alternative to browsers like Chrome and Firefox, but these days, it’s a full-featured suite of productivity tools. Now there’s a new feature that improves upon the existing calendar functionality.”


MakeUseOf: These 4 Sites Make Test-Making Easier. “Being a teacher isn’t easy, and making resources can be some of the most difficult work that you have to do. Printing tests can be time-consuming, difficult, and not to mention has an environmental impact as well. If you want to share tests digitally, however, it can be overwhelming with all the different options available for you to choose from. Fortunately, you don’t have to trawl through all the available options yourself.”


Newsfile: Canadian Federation of Library Associations Calls for the Release of all Outstanding Residential School Records. “The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) has sent an open letter to federal Cabinet Ministers calling on their support for the full public release of outstanding residential school records currently being withheld by the Catholic Church and other orders of government.”

Bloomberg: Green Search Engine Ecosia Invests in Wind Farms Via Ripple. “Ecosia GmbH, a search engine that donates its profits toward planting trees, said it would spend 250,000 euros ($239,110) in renewable infrastructure with Ripple Energy, a UK startup that lets people and companies buy shares in green energy projects like wind-farms.”


Snopes: How Max Polyakov Hides His Financial Interest in an International Web of Online Deception . “Simply put, Polyakov sits atop a massive, internationally significant digital empire that incentivizes overtly deceptive advertising, and that allows him and his associates to profit in multiple ways from the scams pushed by that deception. By uncovering the mechanics of this ecosystem in forensic detail, Snopes hopes to highlight the technical, financial, and legal schemes required both to profit from internet scams and — perhaps — to stop their proliferation.”

Krebs on Security: Glut of Fake LinkedIn Profiles Pits HR Against the Bots. “A recent proliferation of phony executive profiles on LinkedIn is creating something of an identity crisis for the business networking site, and for companies that rely on it to hire and screen prospective employees. The fabricated LinkedIn identities — which pair AI-generated profile photos with text lifted from legitimate accounts — are creating major headaches for corporate HR departments and for those managing invite-only LinkedIn groups.”

TechCrunch: Popular censorship circumvention tools face fresh blockade by China. “Tools helping China’s netizens to bypass the Great Firewall appear to be facing a fresh round of crackdowns in the run-up to the country’s quinquennial party congress that will see a top leadership reshuffle. Greater censorship is not at all uncommon during countries’ politically sensitive periods, but the stress facing censorship circumvention tools in China appears to be on a whole new level.”


PsyPost: Talking with a virtual human might help to reduce negative emotions. “There is a common idea that technology can replace humans in regard to workplace labor, but could they take over the task of emotional support? A study published in Computers in Human Behavior suggests that people felt support and closeness after speaking to a virtual human.”

WIRED: Biden’s AI Bill of Rights Is Toothless Against Big Tech. “The White House’s blueprint for AI rights is primarily aimed at the federal government. It will change how algorithms are used only if it steers how government agencies acquire and deploy AI technology, or helps parents, workers, policymakers, or designers ask tough questions about AI systems. It has no power over the large tech companies that arguably have the most power in shaping the deployment of machine learning and AI technology.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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