India Medicinal Plants, France Rent Costs, Reporting Fake Accounts, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 28, 2022


The Hindu Business Line: Database on medicinal plants. “A group of scientists from the North East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat, Assam, have created a database of 6,959 medicinal plants found across India. The database sources information under four sections — traditional knowledge, geographical indications, phytochemicals, and chemoinformatics.”

From Le Monde, and Google-Translated from French: Real estate: a new interactive map of rents in France. “A ratio of 1 to 6 between the rents charged in the most upscale neighborhoods of the Ile-de-France region and those of small towns in rural areas. This is revealed by the new rent map just put online on the website of the Ministry of Housing and Ecological Transition. This interactive tool provides the price per square meter, charges included, everywhere in France, for unfurnished houses and apartments in the private rental stock.”


Social Media Examiner: How to Report Fake Accounts on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok. “Are people pretending to be you or your business on popular social platforms? Wondering how to report profiles that steal your content? In this article, you’ll discover how to find and report fake accounts.”


New York Times: Finding Community, and Freedom, on the Virtual Dance Floor. “During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, regular partygoers flocked to virtual clubs hosted on platforms like Zoom, but since physical venues have reopened, the popularity of these digital spaces has waned. Not so with VRChat. When much of the world was locked down, the platform’s daily user numbers steadily increased. That trend has mostly stuck, with numbers continuing to surpass prepandemic levels, according to data cited by the platform.”

TechCrunch: Mastodon creator Eugen Rochko talks funding and how to build the anti-Twitter. “Mastodon’s success has somewhat taken its creator by surprise. Rochko didn’t jump into this project as a power user of social media, nor is he prone to sharing much about himself. When we spoke, he dialed into our video chat from an undisclosed location. He’s never even used Instagram. If growth hackers look at building audience or revenue as an end in itself, Rochko seems to be the opposite when it comes to development. This week we spoke with Rochko about the early days of Mastodon, its recent surge in users and how advertising may or may not factor in its future.”

Ars Technica: Twitter sells blue checks, Tumblr allows nudes: 2022’s biggest Big-Tech U-turns. “During a year that seemingly shook Twitter up for good—adding an edit button and demoting legacy verified users by selling off blue checks—it’s easy to overlook how many other tech companies also threw users for a loop with some unexpected policy changes in 2022.”


Ars Technica: Comcast agents mistakenly reject some poor people who qualify for free Internet. “People with low incomes can get free Internet service through Comcast and a government program, but signing up is sometimes harder than it should be because of confusion within Comcast’s customer service department.”

CNET: TikTok Under Pressure as Biden Administration Scrutinizes Chinese Ownership. “The Chinese owners of TikTok may be facing pressure to divest. The security concerns of the popular social media platform have led some Biden administration officials to ‘push for a sale of the Chinese-owned company’s U.S. operations to ensure Beijing can’t harness the app for espionage and political influence,’ according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal citing unnamed sources.”


Engadget: OpenAI releases Point-E, which is like DALL-E but for 3D modeling. “OpenAI, the Elon Musk-founded artificial intelligence startup behind popular DALL-E text-to-image generator, announced on Tuesday the release of its newest picture-making machine POINT-E, which can produce 3D point clouds directly from text prompts.” I’m putting this under Research & Opinion instead of New Resources because it’s early days for this software. This is maybe an alpha version.

Georgia Tech: Cheerful Chatbots Don’t Necessarily Improve Customer Service. “GT researchers conducted experimental studies to determine if positive emotional displays improved customer service and found that emotive AI is only appreciated if the customer expects it, and it may not be the best avenue for companies to invest in.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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