Semi-Aquatic Insects, Google Advertising, Zoom, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 29, 2023


Phys .org: Some bugs live in water as larvae: Now there is a database to track these semi-aquatic insects. “… so-called semi-aquatic insects are an important food source for animals in the water and on land and are used as bioindicators to assess water quality and the state of freshwater ecosystems. Thanks to the commitment of nearly 100 researchers, the EPTO-database is the first global data source regarding geo-referenced and freely available data sets on aquatic insect occurrences worldwide. The project was coordinated by IGB.”


Search Engine Roundtable: Google Ads Tests Blue Badges For Verified Advertisers In Search. “Google is testing showing blue badge icons and labels on some search ads for advertisers who are verified by Google Ads. The blue label is a blue circle with ridges and checkmark within it. This is from the ongoing Google advertiser verification program and now we are seeing Google test little blue checkmarks for advertisers who are verified.”

SlashGear: Zoom Just Added New AI-Powered Features, Here’s What They Do . “Starting with chats, users will soon be able to use a generative AI-assisted feature to compose their messages. The composing system will let users specify the tone — from formal to playful — and also pick between three presets for the length of messages they want the AI to generate.”


Washington Post: Another art museum chief quits as Russia pressures cultural institutions. “The director, Marina Loshak, insisted Tuesday that her resignation after a decade in the post was voluntary. But her departure is the latest example of turnover in the leadership of Russian cultural institutions amid wartime demands from the government that art exhibitions reflect patriotic, national values.”

Engadget: Twitter’s secret VIP list is the reason you see Elon Musk’s tweets so often. “We now know why Twitter’s algorithm seems to recommend some users’ tweets so often. Newsletter Platformer reports that the company has a secret VIP list of a few dozen accounts ‘it monitors and offers increased visibility’ in its recommendation algorithm. The accounts include Elon Musk, as well as a handful of other prominent Twitter users.”

The Independent: The Global Music Vault wants to preserve the world’s music in case of disaster – but how will they do it?. “When Luke Jenkinson, an Australian entrepreneur now living in Norway, saw what was being done with the Arctic World Archive and the Global Seed Vault, his mind went to something less tangible than food or even history.”


Bloomberg: Google violated order to save evidence, antitrust judge says. “Alphabet Inc’s Google flouted a court order requiring it to save records of employee chats in antitrust litigation over its Google Play app store policies, a federal judge concluded.”

The Hill: Twitter restricts Greene’s congressional account over ‘vengeance’ post. “Twitter on Tuesday restricted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) congressional account for seven days after she repeatedly posted an image of a poster about a rally called ‘Trans Day of Vengeance.'”


TechCrunch: Twitter is dying . “The value that Twitter’s platform produced, by combining valuable streams of qualification and curiosity, is being beaten and wrung out. What’s left has — for months now — felt like an echo-y shell of its former self. And it’s clear that with every freshly destructive decision — whether it’s unbanning the nazis and letting the toxicity rip, turning verification into a pay-to-play megaphone or literally banning journalists — Musk has applied his vast wealth to destroying as much of the information network’s value as possible in as short a time as possible; each decision triggering another exodus of expertise as more long-time users give up and depart.”

Brigham Young University: Can AI predict how you’ll vote in the next election?. “In one experiment, the researchers created artificial personas by assigning the AI certain characteristics like race, age, ideology, and religiosity; and then tested to see if the artificial personas would vote the same as humans did in 2012, 2016, and 2020 U.S. presidential elections. Using the American National Election Studies (ANES) for their comparative human database, they found a high correspondence between how the AI and humans voted.” Good morning, Internet…

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