RealityScan, Virtual New Year’s Eve, Brave, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 4, 2022


The Verge: Epic’s free app that turns real-life items into 3D models is available now on iOS. “Epic Games’ RealityScan app, which lets you scan real-life objects and turn them into 3D models for video games or other projects, is now officially available on iOS as a free download after an initial limited beta launch in April.”


Smithsonian: National Museum of African American History and Culture Examines the Impact of Race in December Public Programming. “The museum will hold its annual Freedom’s Eve program, providing a look into how enslaved African Americans celebrated New Year’s Eve in the past and how the African American community uses food to help bring good fortune into the new year. The two-part program will include curated in-person activities to help plan goals for the new year and conclude with a virtual concert featuring piano prodigy Matthew Whitaker.”


PC Magazine: Brave’s Search Engine Starts Offering ‘Privacy-Preserving Ads’. “Last year, Brave Software launched its own privacy-focused search engine. But now the same engine is getting a notorious feature known for data-tracking: Online ads. On Thursday, the company began testing ads in Brave Search. However, Brave Software says its own approach will refrain from profiling or tracking user’s activity to power targeted ads.”

Reuters: Exclusive: Twitter exec says moving fast on moderation, as harmful content surges. “Elon Musk’s Twitter is leaning heavily on automation to moderate content, doing away with certain manual reviews and favoring restrictions on distribution rather than removing certain speech outright, its new head of trust and safety told Reuters.”


Robert Riemann: Mastodon Privacy Policy Generator. “Most private-sector instances run the identical code of Mastodon and don’t encourage any specific use beyond the generic user-controlled micro-blogging. In that case, I recommend you to use this Mastodon data protection notice generator to create a first draft and add, if necessary, anything that is missing.”


Financial Times: Crypto fraud jumps by a third in UK. “Financial losses involving crypto reported to Action Fraud from October 2021 to September 2022 were £226mn — a 32 per cent increase on the same period a year earlier. The number of reported incidents rose 16 per cent to 10,030.”

Washington Post: Inside Sam Bankman-Fried’s courtship of a Washington regulator. “Before his undoing this month, crypto magnate Sam Bankman-Fried aggressively pursued powerful allies in Washington. None was more important than Rostin Behnam. The chief of the federal agency that oversees commodities markets, Behnam holds a strategic perch among the nation’s financial regulators. And the 44-year-old Washington bureaucrat was indispensable in the boyish billionaire’s ambitious plans to reshape U.S. crypto regulation.”

TechCrunch: Twitter alternative Hive shuts down its app to fix critical security issues. “The team at the newly popular Twitter alternative Hive is in over its head. The company has now taken the fairly radical step of fully shutting down its servers for a couple of days in response to concerns raised by security researchers who discovered a number of critical vulnerabilities on Hive, several of which they say remain unfixed.”


New York Times: Hate Speech’s Rise on Twitter Is Unprecedented, Researchers Find . “Before Elon Musk bought Twitter, slurs against Black Americans showed up on the social media service an average of 1,282 times a day. After the billionaire became Twitter’s owner, they jumped to 3,876 times a day. Slurs against gay men appeared on Twitter 2,506 times a day on average before Mr. Musk took over. Afterward, their use rose to 3,964 times a day. And antisemitic posts referring to Jews or Judaism soared more than 61 percent in the two weeks after Mr. Musk acquired the site.”

Wall Street Journal: Data Scientists Grapple With How to Ask, ‘What’s Your Gender?’. “Adults under age 30 are especially likely to say they’re transgender—as high as 3-5% in recent surveys from Gallup Inc. and the Pew Research Center. But with many surveys only giving the options of male or female, such individuals might answer incorrectly, or not at all. That means the data might be inaccurate, and those individuals’ needs go underserved.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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