Twitter, Google Keep, Search Scams, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, August 19, 2023


Variety: Elon Musk Says X (aka Twitter) Will No Longer Let You Block Other Users. “Elon Musk’s latest tweak to Twitter, the former name of what he now calls X: Users will no longer be able to block other accounts — as Musk claims the feature ‘makes no sense.’ ‘Block is going to be deleted as a “feature”, except for DMs,’ the tech mogul posted on X Friday. ‘Makes no sense.'”

Engadget: Google Keep is finally adding version history. “Google Keep, the company’s note-taking app, is getting a long-overdue feature that unfortunately doesn’t seem fully baked. Google is adding a version history function, which could save you from having to manually retype a lot of text that you mistakenly deleted.” I like Google Keep but I never started using it seriously because I half-assumed Google would kill it off.


The Verge: How to delete your Twitter history. “…regardless of whether you’ve cut Twitter out of your life, the best protection you can provide yourself is the deletion of your Twitter history. Here’s where to start if you’re interested in nuking your timeline and keeping future tweets from falling into the internet’s vindictive void of posterity.”


CBS News Sacramento: Call Kurtis Investigates: Placer County couple with baby scammed escaping Maui. “Here’s the big takeaway: Never trust the top three to four Google search results. They are usually sponsored; essentially, ads anyone can take out. Scammers take advantage of that, and of you, especially after a disaster. Call the wrong number or click the wrong link, you could end up scammed.”

New York Times: A New Role for Werner Herzog: The Voice of A.I. Poetry. “When asked to narrate an audiobook of machine-generated verse, Mr. Herzog readily agreed. ‘I wasn’t the best choice,’ he said. ‘I was the only choice.'”

Associated Press: Once a target of pro-Trump anger, the U.S. archivist is prepping her agency for a digital flood. “The new National Archives leader whose nomination was swept into the partisan furor over the criminal documents-hoarding case against ex-President Donald Trump says she is now preparing the agency that’s responsible for preserving historical records for an expected flood of digital documents. Colleen Shogan, a political scientist with deep Washington ties, says the spotlight on the Archives during the past year shows that Americans are invested in preserving historical materials.”


TechCrunch: Google required to remove ads that violate trademarks, Indian court rules. “The Delhi High Court has ruled that Google’s Ads program falls under the purview of the country’s Trademarks Act and the company must remove ads that infringe upon trademarks in a major decision that may redefine online advertising’s legal landscape.”

Tech Xplore: Don’t expect quick fixes in ‘red-teaming’ of AI models. Security was an afterthought. “White House officials concerned by AI chatbots’ potential for societal harm and the Silicon Valley powerhouses rushing them to market are heavily invested in a three-day competition ending Sunday at the DefCon hacker convention in Las Vegas. Some 2,200 competitors tapped on laptops seeking to expose flaws in eight leading large-language models representative of technology’s next big thing. But don’t expect quick results from this first-ever independent ‘red-teaming’ of multiple models.”

CNN: ‘Bored Apes’ investors sue Sotheby’s, Paris Hilton and others as NFT prices collapse . “A group of investors is suing Sotheby’s Holdings Inc. and others over a 2021 auction and promotion of Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible tokens (NFTs) following a collapse in prices for the celebrity-endorsed collectibles. The four named plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit allege that the auction house ‘misleadingly promoted’ the NFTs and colluded with creator Yuga Labs to artificially inflate their prices.”


Mongabay: Using social media images to better respond to disasters. “When disasters strike, social media gets flooded with images, warnings and calls for help. Many of the posts are sources for relevant information from disaster sites and the data can help understand the progression and aftermath of a disaster. But manually segregating and analysing the data is a time consuming, costly and often inefficient process. While deriving useful information, a new study by a multi-country research team presents a large-scale dataset and explores how to automate information processing about natural disasters from social media images.”

Foreign Affairs: How to Prevent an AI Catastrophe. “The opportunities AI offers are immense. Built and managed properly, it could do much to improve society, offering every student a personalized tutor, for example, or giving every family high-quality, round-the-clock medical advice. But AI also has enormous dangers. It is already exacerbating the spread of disinformation, furthering discrimination, and making it easier for states and companies to spy. Future AI systems might be able to create pathogens or hack critical infrastructure. In fact, the very scientists responsible for developing AI have begun to warn that their creations are deeply perilous.”

Washington University in St. Louis: Maragh-Lloyd wins grant to study influence campaigns. “Raven Maragh-Lloyd, an assistant professor of African and African American studies in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, will serve as co-principal investigator for a $1.7 million grant investigating how online influence campaigns, both foreign and domestic, manipulate the fundamental structures and relationships upon which social media is built.” Good morning, Internet…

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