Twitter, Spotting Photoshopped Images, Gluon, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 1, 2023


Axios: Fidelity slashes Twitter value by 56% . “Fidelity slashed its carrying value of Twitter by 56% during the first month of Elon Musk’s ownership, according to a new disclosure.”


PetaPixel: Photographer Reveals How To Spot Photoshopped Celebrity Images. “A photographer has become a TikTok star educating the internet on how to spot if a celebrity image is Photoshopped. Commercial photographer Caroline Ross is teaching ‘digital media literacy skills’ on TikTok — asking viewers if they can spot what is ‘fake’ in a celebrity’s image and revealing exactly how stars edit their photos.”

Hackaday: Turn A Webpage Into A Desktop App With Gluon. “Electron is software for running web-written apps in the same way as native ones, and has gotten plenty of bad press for its RAM appetite around these parts. But while the execution might leave something to be desired, the concept itself is quite solid — if you’ve already got code written for the web, a quick and easy way to bring it over to the desktop would be very valuable. Which is why [CanadaHonk] is building a framework called Gluon, which aims to turn your web pages into desktop apps with little to no effort.”


Search Engine Roundtable: Despite Criticism, Google Says Search Results Are Better & Are More Relevant. “In November, yes, a month ago, there was a lot of criticism across the web that Google Search and the results were declining. We touched on the topic when I covered a poll about SEOs being split on if Google is getting worse or is the web getting worse. Now that it is a slower week, I am digging through some threads I did not cover when I should have, and I spotted Danny Sullivan of Google defending the quality of Google’s search results on Mastodon.”

The Verge: In 2022, cozy games went from niche to video game fixture. “While open-world games with low stakes and minimal violence have existed for decades, it wasn’t until more recently that they became a genre all of their own, referred to as ‘cozy’ or ‘wholesome’ games. The mechanics and goals in games like Stardew Valley, Ooblets, and Cozy Grove may vary, but they share a common vibe wholly separate from the cis-male, RGB streamer setup that’s become analogous with gaming culture.” Hello from Cozy Rimworld.


New York Times: An Architect of Biden’s Antitrust Push Is Leaving the White House. “Tim Wu, a central architect of President Biden’s push to clip the wings of the nation’s largest companies, is leaving the White House…. Mr. Wu is one-third of a troika — along with Lina Khan at the Federal Trade Commission and Jonathan Kanter at the Justice Department — leading Washington’s attempts to more aggressively check corporate giants, including the largest tech companies.”

The Next Web: EU tech policy predictions: What to expect in 2023. “TNW asked IT experts across the bloc what they predict from the EU’s policies in 2023. All expect significant changes in legislation, with certain technologies particularly prominent in their forecasts.”


Washington Post: Cameras struggle with dark skin. Here’s how new smartphones stack up.. “Today, the phones in our pockets can produce images with the kind of fidelity that can rival — and sometimes beat! — dedicated cameras. But even now, [Erika] Young told me, people of color still struggle to feel fully represented in the photos and selfies they take — and that’s partially because our clever phones don’t always know how to handle Black and Brown faces.”

US Census Bureau: Census Bureau Projects U.S. and World Populations on New Year’s Day. “As the nation prepares to ring in the new year, the U.S. Census Bureau today projected the U.S. population will be 334,233,854 on Jan. 1, 2023. This represents an increase of 1,571,393 (0.47%) from New Year’s Day 2022, and 2,784,573 (0.84%) since Census Day (April 1) 2020.”


TechXplore: Disguising solar panels as ancient Roman tiles in Pompeii. “Technically called ‘traditional PV tiles’, the invisible solar panels used in Pompeii come from Camisano Vicentino, a little Italian town with slightly more than 10 000 inhabitants, halfway between Padua and Vicenza…. The traditional PV tiles are made from a polymer compound, which allows the sun’s rays to filter through. The photovoltaic cells are then integrated into it by hand and covered with a layer of the polymer compound.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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