Google Chrome, Text Extraction, Information Dissemination, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 18, 2023


The Hacker News: Google Chrome’s New Feature Alerts Users About Auto-Removal of Malicious Extensions. “Google has announced plans to add a new feature in the upcoming version of its Chrome web browser to alert users when an extension they have installed has been removed from the Chrome Web Store. The feature, set for release alongside Chrome 117, allows users to be notified when an add-on has been unpublished by a developer, taken down for violating Chrome Web Store policy, or marked as malware.”


MakeUseOf: How to Extract Text From Images and PDFs With Google Drive. “There may have been times when you wished you could easily extract and use the text from images, like when researching a project or making a pitch presentation. Perhaps you’ve wanted to grab some notes from PDF files or a quote from a picture online. Using Google Drive, you can extract text from most images and PDF files. You’ll be glad that it’s easy and takes a few clicks. This feature can save you time and enhance your productivity.”

International Journalists’ Network: How to respond to disinformation spread on social media. “The path that disinformation often follows is like a trumpet: it begins in small circles, such as Telegram and WhatsApp groups, or other smaller social networks. As it gains traction, it moves to more open platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, among others. Identifying the spaces in which disinformation circulates can buy us time to prepare before the harmful narratives hit the big social networks and reach hundreds of thousands more people.”


Stanford Daily: S.B.F. is leaving campus. But Stanford’s ties to his case are deeper than previously known. “Crypto magnate Sam Bankman-Fried was scheduled to speak to a Stanford class this winter, The Daily has learned. The topic of the course? Tech ethics. Bankman-Fried wouldn’t have the opportunity to give that lecture, though — instead, before the winter quarter even began, he was placed under house arrest just a stone’s throw away from the lecture hall, confined to a home on campus owned by his parents, Stanford Law School (SLS) professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried.”

Mashable: ‘Zepotha’: The horror movie going viral on TikTok that doesn’t exist. “What is this Zepotha film people can’t stop talking about? It’s a horror movie from the ’80s with one very important twist: it’s not actually real. It is, in fact, a creation of 18-year-old musician and Tiktokker Emily Jeffri, who shared a post over the weekend suggesting the idea of creating a fake horror movie to try and convince people that it’s real — and all the fan culture that goes with it.”


Chek News: Langford asks Google to stop redirecting traffic down Finlayson Arm Road. “The City of Langford is pleading with Google to stop directing vehicles down the small, winding Finlayson Arm Road when traffic gets busy. The issue seems to arise when traffic backs up along the Trans-Canada Highway heading into Goldstream Park, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays.”

WIRED: A Huge Scam Targeting Kids With Roblox and Fortnite ‘Offers’ Has Been Hiding in Plain Sight . “THOUSANDS OF WEBSITES belonging to US government agencies, leading universities, and professional organizations have been hijacked over the last half decade and used to push scammy offers and promotions, new research has found. Many of these scams are aimed at children and attempt to trick them into downloading apps, malware, or submitting personal details in exchange for nonexistent rewards in Fortnite and Roblox.”


The Conversation: Heritage algorithms combine the rigors of science with the infinite possibilities of art and design. “The model of democracy in the 1920s is sometimes called ‘the melting pot’ – the dissolution of different cultures into an American soup. An update for the 2020s might be “open source,” where cultural mixing, sharing and collaborating can build bridges between people rather than create divides. Our research on heritage algorithms aims to build such a bridge. We develop digital tools to teach students about the complex mathematical sequences and patterns present in different cultures’ artistic, architectural and design practices.”

Tech Xplore: Europeans want decisive action against disinformation on the Internet. “People in the EU want more to be done in the fight against the deliberate spreading of untrue and fake content on the Internet. Overall, 85% of the EU’s citizens feel that policymakers should do more to prevent the spread of disinformation, while 89% say that the operators of social media platforms should take more action as well.”


Newswise: Classic rock music can be recreated from recorded brain activity. “Researchers led by Ludovic Bellier at the University of California, Berkeley, US, demonstrate that recognizable versions of classic Pink Floyd rock music can be reconstructed from brain activity that was recorded while patients listened to the song. Published August 15th in the open access journal PLOS Biology, the study used nonlinear modeling to decode brain activity and reconstruct the song, ‘Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1’. Encoding models revealed a new cortical subregion in the temporal lobe that underlies rhythm perception, which could be exploited by future brain-machine-interfaces.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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