Metaverse Fashion Week, Plant Identification Apps, Stable Diffusion, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, April 9, 2023


The Block: Decentraland Metaverse Fashion Week attendance plummets 76% amid ‘worrisome’ trading volume. “While the metaverse platform attracted 108,000 ‘unique attendees’ last year, the company said only 26,000 attended this year, a dramatic decline of 76% for the event that ran from March 28 through March 31. Despite top brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger and Adidas all sponsoring shows, a Decentraland spokesperson said the most people signed in at one time barely eclipsed 1,000 people.”


CNN: Best plant identification apps for mobile in 2023, tested by our editors. “Spring has officially sprung and people will be spending more time in the great outdoors as the season gears up. Whether you’re looking for help in identifying plants along your morning hike or in designing the flower or food garden of your dreams, there is a mobile plant identification app that can help you.”

Make Tech Easier: How to Use Stable Diffusion to Create AI-Generated Images. “Artificial intelligence chatbots, like ChatGPT, have become incredibly powerful recently – they’re all over the news! But don’t forget about AI image generators (like Stable Diffusion, DALL-E, and Midjourney). They can make virtually any image when provided with just a few words. Follow this tutorial to learn how to do this for free with no restrictions by running Stable Diffusion on your computer.” Really in-depth.

MakeUseOf: The 7 Best YouTube Channels About Cybersecurity. “Whether you’re a cybersecurity professional or just a hobbyist, reading through verbose whitepapers and case studies can get a tad overwhelming. That’s where YouTube comes in, with plenty of cybersecurity-related content. But what are the best channels to follow? Here are our top picks, in no particular order.”


Techdirt: Game Jam Winner Spotlight: Tower Tree Stories. “Those of you who have followed the game jams over the years will surely recognize that name, because this is David’s fourth straight win, and the third in this category. In the past his winning games have all shared a common purpose: guiding players in an exploration of one or more paintings that had just entered the public domain that year. But this time we’ve got something very different. Tower Tree Stories isn’t based on a famous painting or an artist, but rather on something a little more low-key: the 1927 yearbook of Greensburg High School in Indiana, a full copy of which is the backbone of the game.”

CNN: The city without TikTok offers a window to America’s potential future. “At the time of its exit [from Hong Kong], TikTok had a relatively modest presence in the city and was not ubiquitous like it is in the US today. But the varied reactions to its departure, and the way users have pivoted to other platforms or even real-life offline communities, offer Americans a glimpse into their potential TikTok-less future.”


Bellingcat: From Discord to 4chan: The Improbable Journey of a US Intelligence Leak. “These documents appeared to be dated to early March, around the time they were first posted online on Discord, a messaging platform popular with gamers. However, Bellingcat has seen evidence that some documents dated to January could have been posted online even earlier, although it is unclear exactly when. Bellingcat also spoke to three members of the Discord community where the images had been posted who claimed that many more documents had been shared across other Discord servers in recent months.”

Wall Street Journal: Facebook, Twitter Rebuffed Sandy Hook Families’ Request for Data in Alex Jones Case . “Twitter and Facebook rebuffed subpoenas from families of the Sandy Hook school massacre victims, who were seeking internal company data to show how conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s false claims about the killings spread on social media, according to court documents and lawyers for the families.”


Wired: Twitter’s Open Source Algorithm Is a Red Herring. “Mozilla, the nonprofit where I am a senior fellow, famously open-sourced the Netscape browser code and invited a community of developers around the world to contribute to it in 1998, and it has continued to push for an open internet since. So why aren’t I impressed or excited by Musk’s decision? If anything, Twitter’s so-called ‘open sourcing’ is a clever red herring to distract from its recent moves away from transparency.”


Hackaday: Tired Of Web Scraping? Make The AI Do It. “[James Turk] has a novel approach to the problem of scraping web content in a structured way without needing to write the kind of page-specific code web scrapers usually have to deal with. How? Just enlist the help of a natural language AI. Scrapeghost relies on OpenAI’s GPT API to parse a web page’s content, pull out and classify any salient bits, and format it in a useful way.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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