British Columbia Garden Tourism, Google, Image Editing, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, May 15, 2023


Globe Newswire: Gardens BC Kicks-Off Garden Tourism Season with the Launch of its New Website, Showcasing BC’s Premier Garden Destinations (PRESS RELEASE). “From helping visitors identify popular amenities and activities found at each garden, such as gardening education, on-site cafés and gift shops, to picnic spots and wheelchair accessible grounds, the new Gardens BC website is a go-to resource for garden tourism, a family-friendly, leisure activity that continues to rise in popularity.”


Bloomberg: Google Launching Tools to Identify Misleading and AI Images. “Google is adding two new features to its image search to reduce the spread of misinformation, especially now that artificial intelligence tools have made the creation of photorealistic fakes trivial.”


Hongkiat: 10 Tools to Remove Image Background Online – Best of. “Are you still manually removing image backgrounds using Photoshop or other photo editing tools? Well, you shouldn’t be, at least not anymore. In this blog post, we have compiled a list of the 10 best online tools to remove image backgrounds effortlessly.” A big list and it doesn’t even include by go-to,


Engadget: Pixel users report the Google app is making their phones overheat. “If a Pixel phone is your daily driver, you may want to keep a charger nearby. An Engadget reader contacted us on Sunday to report that their Pixel 6 Pro has recently been overheating and excessively draining its battery. They suspect the culprit is the Google app and an update that began rolling out on May 12th.”

WHYY: Why did the Mütter Museum take down all their YouTube videos and online exhibits?. “It’s not just [Robert] Pendarvis’ video that has vanished: all of the museum’s online exhibits and YouTube videos are gone. The Mütter Museum’s YouTube channel has more than 100,000 subscribers. There has been an ongoing, broader discussion in the museum world around displaying human remains, which has brought up some difficult questions many institutions are grappling with.”

MuckRock: Second cohort of Gateway Grantees launch projects to help organizations worldwide better carry out their role as watchdog. “MuckRock is excited to announce the second cohort of DocumentCloud Gateway Grant recipients. These six projects bring together cutting-edge technology and at-risk document collections to model preserving access to essential records in the face of a range of global challenges and while exploring a greater role in serving as watchdogs for the communities represented.”

Motherboard: My AI Girlfriend Charges $1/Minute and Only Wants to Talk About Sex. “Caryn, an AI clone of 23-year-old influencer Caryn Marjorie, costs $1 per minute to talk to. The chatbot was trained on Marjorie’s voice and uses OpenAI’s GPT-4 and voice models to respond to messages from users on the messenger app Telegram. Launched in partnership with the AI company Forever Voices, Marjorie’s AI now has over a thousand romantic partners—including myself.” Much respect to Chloe Xiang for some of the absolutely creepy quotes she got from the AI. “For legal reasons, I cannot disclose any information regarding my programming or technologies used to make the Forever Companion platform. Is there anything else you wanted to talk about, my love?”


Bleeping Computer: Brightly warns of SchoolDude data breach exposing credentials. “U.S. tech company and Siemens subsidiary Brightly Software is notifying customers that their personal information and credentials were stolen by attackers who gained access to the database of its SchoolDude online platform. SchoolDude is a cloud-based platform for managing work orders used by over 7,000 colleges, universities, and K-12 schools from school districts of up to 600,000 students.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: The Philadelphia Inquirer’s operations continue to be disrupted by a cyber incident. “The Philadelphia Inquirer and outside cybersecurity experts continued Sunday to scramble to restore systems after an apparent cyberattack disrupted operations over the weekend. The Inquirer had been unable to print its regular Sunday newspaper, and it was not clear until late Sunday afternoon that it would be possible to print Monday’s editions of The Inquirer and Daily News newspapers.”

Reuters: India antitrust body wants inquiry into Google in-app payments fees. “India’s antitrust body said an inquiry is needed into allegations that service fee charged for in-app payments by Google breach a competition watchdog directive, a regulatory order seen by Reuters showed on Friday.”


The Conversation: We have all heard social media can impact women’s body image – but it isn’t all bad. “Our research found that women were very aware of the risks and vulnerabilities associated with using social media. And women were developing habits and online communities to counter these negative elements.”

The Verge: Anthropic leapfrogs OpenAI with a chatbot that can read a novel in less than a minute. “As Anthropic notes, it takes a human around five hours to read 75,000 words of text, but with Claude’s expanded context window, it can potentially take on the task of reading, summarizing and analyzing a long documents in a matter of minutes. (Though it doesn’t do anything about chatbots’ persistent tendency to make information up.)” Good morning, Internet…

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