Flora of Virginia, Learning WordPress, ChatGPT, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, September 9, 2023


George Mason University: Explore Virginia’s natural communities using the Flora of Virginia app. ” The Foundation of the Flora of Virginia Project (the Flora) has launched a new guide to the Natural Communities of Virginia with the Flora of the Virginia smart-phone app.”


WordPress News: Welcome to Our Brand New Learning Hub. “We’re thrilled to unveil the new and refreshed learning hub! This new resource is easily accessible at Our mission is to create a central place for all your educational needs. In this post we’ll give you a tour of the new digs and explain the behind-the-scenes design work that has made this resource more accessible, more navigable, and more enjoyable to use.”

Reuters: Exclusive: ChatGPT traffic slips again for third month in a row. “Worldwide desktop and mobile website visits to the ChatGPT website decreased by 3.2% to 1.43 billion in August, following approximately 10% drops from each of the previous two months. The amount of time visitors spent on the website has also been declining monthly since March, from an average of 8.7 minutes on site to 7 minutes on site in August. But August worldwide unique visitors ticked up to 180.5 million users from 180 million.”


ZDNet: How to use ChatGPT to make charts and tables. “As it turns out, ChatGPT does a great job making charts and tables. And given that this ubiquitous generative AI chatbot can synthesize a ton of information into something chart-worthy, what ChatGPT gives up in pretty presentation it more than makes up for in informational value. Exactly what sort of chart-making tools are available for ChatGPT? There are three ways you can proceed.”


The Guardian: Fake social media posts on Burning Man festival stir conspiracy theory frenzy. “Rumors of an Ebola outbreak at the Burning Man festival spread like wildfire over the weekend with social media users posting fake health advisories, flight data and conspiracy theories to TikTok and Twitter, Forbes reported. Though the rumors have been debunked, their rapid spread is another example of the dangers of online misinformation, particularly on Twitter.”

VT Digger: Leaf peepers beware: One of Vermont’s most photographed foliage spots closed to tourists. “Amid social media-induced traffic jams, the towns of Pomfret and Woodstock plan to close roads this fall leading to a popular foliage photo op. Pomfret’s picturesque Sleepy Hollow Farm has featured in films and magazines for years…. But town officials say that since the advent of social media, hundreds of cars and thousands of tourists now flock to the dirt road every fall.”

New Zealand Herald: Are social media dance trends the key to keeping the Tongan language alive?. “Tongan culture is inherently tied to its youth, with an average age of 20 years among Tongan people in Aotearoa. They are harnessing the power of social media trends, like Tongan dance, to both preserve their heritage and engage with a global audience. Aisea Latu, from the Black Grace Dance Company, underlines the significance of this exchange: ‘As long as you pass it down properly and you see other cultures getting involved with it too, then it’s just another way of expressing Tongan-ness.'”


Gothamist: Social media companies to take down NYC ‘subway surfing’ videos after rush of teen deaths. “Social media companies have agreed to automatically take down videos that promote subway surfing, officials said. The MTA has for months requested that platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok remove the videos. The content crackdown comes after five teenagers died this year while riding outside subway trains. MTA officials said 2,600 videos and photos of subway surfing have been stripped from the social media platforms in recent months.”

American Songwriter: Kanye West Files Lawsuit Against Social Media Account Leaking His Music. “In the past year alone, Kanye West has been hit with about six lawsuits by paparazzo photographers, Boogie Down Productions, former brand partners at Adidas and Gap, and former employees at his Donda Academy. However, this week, he filed a suit of his own, alleging that a well-known hip-hop blog has been illegally leaking his music.”


Old Gold & Black: Is photoshopping on social media ethical?. “The dissociation of celebrities that have been notorious for photoshopping have made them akin to Barbie dolls. They are not even worth comparison because they are so obviously plastic. The larger ethical dilemma is how real people, or public figures that are perceived as real people, post photoshopped pictures and the effect that has on societal standards.”

Jerusalem Post: AI brings Golda Meir back to life at University of Haifa. “Artificial intelligence was able to recreate a speech made by Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, and experts now wonder how the use of AI will change how we study history.”

Texas Monthly: My Brief Career as a Paid Pro-Paxton Propagandist. “Before the start of his impeachment trial this week, pro-Paxton political forces were paying for influencers to post on social media in support of the state’s top legal authority, who faces sixteen counts ranging from dereliction of official duty to bribery and conspiracy. How do I know this? Because I signed up to be a social media influencer, and to my great surprise, I earned $50 for each of two posts.” Good morning, Internet…

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Categories: morningbuzz

2 replies »

  1. WordPress Learning Hub, heh. Including the all-important Lesson 46: “Forget 1 Through 45: All the Stuff You’ve Already Absorbed Gone, Just Like That!” (Subtitle: “Features Never Go Away — We Just Bury Them!”) . 😉

    • P.S. Thanks for the Old Gold & Black article. One of these days I’ll maybe tell you about my (very brief) career as the OG&B weekly humor columnist.

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