SketchAI, FTX Victims, Poisonous/Venomous Animals Virginia, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 7, 2023


Mashable: Picsart’s new SketchAI app is transforming images into digital art. “SketchAI provides users with the tools to draw an image or upload an existing image, then apply various aesthetics and styles to digitally transform the original. Some of these presets include artist-based styles like ‘Henri Matisse’, ‘da Vinci’, and ‘Claude Monet’; others fall under broader categories like ‘Anime’, ’60s Vibes’, and ‘Bright Impressionism’.”

Decrypt: Were You Rekt by FTX? This Website Connects You to Law Enforcement. “On Friday, U.S. Federal prosecutors filed documents in Manhattan asking permission to use a website to communicate with people who lost money in FTX’s spectacular collapse. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who’s overseeing the case, approved it the same day.”

University of Virginia: News In Brief: UVA Offers New, Free Book On Poisonous, Venomous Animals In Virginia. “To help Virginians avoid poisonings from encounters with wildlife, a reference guide to 32 poisonous and venomous animals that live in Virginia is now available as a free, downloadable book.” There’s also a free book available about poisonous plants in Virginia.


Engadget: The best of CES 2023. “After canceling our CES plans in 2022 (and not even having the option of attending in person in 2021), the Engadget team sent a dozen staffers to CES 2023 this week, including reporters, editors and videographers. It’s too soon to say how many stories and videos we’ve published — in fact, we have more good stuff coming — but suffice to say, it was a lot. Though our team swears the show still wasn’t as busy as pre-pandemic years, they were kept busy enough that it felt like a true return to form, not just for us, but for the tech industry at large.”


Make Tech Easier: Seven Coding Games to Help You Build Your Programming Chops. “These coding games cover plenty of languages, age ranges, and skill levels, so whether you’re a complete beginner or looking for something on the next level, there’s a game to help you learn coding the best way: by doing it.” I played Code Combat for a couple of weeks as I was starting out with learning JavaScript. It was fun but I got distracted quickly by what I wanted to make and stopped playing.


NBC News: On Musk’s Twitter, users looking to sell and trade child sex abuse material are still easily found. “Twitter accounts that offer to trade or sell child sexual abuse material under thinly veiled terms and hashtags have remained online for months, even after CEO Elon Musk said he would combat child exploitation on the platform.”

Ars Technica: ChatGPT is enabling script kiddies to write functional malware. “Researchers at security firm Check Point Research reported Friday that within a few weeks of ChatGPT going live, participants in cybercrime forums—some with little or no coding experience—were using it to write software and emails that could be used for espionage, ransomware, malicious spam, and other malicious tasks.”


The Next Web: Evernote has been acquired — here’s how its new owner can fix it. “With a new owner, Evernote now has an opportunity for a clean start. Bending Spoons already has a suite of consumer apps that are modern, powerful, and intuitive, and we have to believe the Italian company will use its expertise to shape a new Evernote. The question is what should it do? How can Bending Spoons bring Evernote to its former glory? Well, we have some ideas.”

WIRED: Banning TikTok Hurts Higher Education. “While students can certainly still access TikTok within the privacy of their own homes, professors can no longer put TikToks into PowerPoint slides or show TikTok links via classroom web browser. Brands, companies, and novel forms of storytelling all rely on TikTok, and professors will no longer be able to train their students in best practices for these purposes. Additionally, TikTok makes parts of the world more accessible, as students can see the things they are learning about in real time. The world keeps turning as these states implement their bans, leaving their citizens disadvantaged in a fast-paced media world.”


CNET: Happy 50th Birthday, ‘Schoolhouse Rock’: Gen X Owes You One. “Schoolhouse Rock, that rambunctious, colorful series of educational videos that taught Gen Xers their multiplication tables, how to unpack their adjectives and the preamble to the US Constitution, turns 50 on Friday. On Jan. 6, 1973, the math segments, known as Multiplication Rock, debuted on ABC, so Schoolhouse Rock can now join the rest of us Xers in AARP. And I can’t let its big birthday go unnoticed.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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