Wood Database, Twitter, ChatGPT Plugins, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 11, 2023

I have gotten several complaints that these emails haven’t been readable. I made a couple of changes and two people have reported that the issue is resolved. I hope it’s fixed.


New-to-me and wow, what a collection of enthusiasm and expertise. It’s the Wood Database! . This is a collection of information about wood — almost 600 species according to the front page, with tons of articles, a wood identification guide, and more. Just wow.


Times of Israel: Netanyahu said set to meet Elon Musk in US amid antisemitism feud with ADL. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will reportedly meet with Elon Musk when he travels to San Francisco next week. The meeting would come despite Musk being accused of amplifying antisemitism on his X social media platform and his embroilment in a feud with the Anti-Defamation League.”


PC Magazine: Do More With AI: The 10 Best ChatGPT Plugins and How to Install Them. “A paid subscription to OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus offers access to hundreds of plugins designed to expand the capabilities of the AI chatbot. You can use these plugins to interact with external apps, services, and companies to make travel arrangements, reserve a table at a restaurant, order food delivery, apply for a job, play a game, track your diet, or learn a new language. But with almost 900 plugins at last count and more popping up each day, which ones are worth using? Here are the best plugins we have found, and how to use them the right way.”

WIRED: How to Escape the YouTube Algorithm. “We’ve all heard about how the YouTube algorithm can go terribly wrong, mostly in the context of radicalization. But even without that extreme result, the algorithm is a huge time sink—a system designed to keep you watching videos for as long as possible. Some people like this, but if you want more control over how you spend your time, I recommend avoiding the algorithm entirely. And Google just made that easier: Now, if you turn off your YouTube watch history, there will be no recommended videos on the homepage. Here’s how to set that up.”

Android Police: How to track stock prices in Google Sheets. “Google Sheets is a web-based tool, and the tricks below should work completely fine on your desktop, Mac, or a top Chromebook. While the Google Workspace Marketplace is packed with several powerful add-ons to manage your finances, nothing beats the seamless experience of a built-in tool in Google Sheets.”


Reuters: UAW union embraces social media as labor talks toughen ahead of deadline. “The United Auto Workers union is leveraging the power of social media to attract public support in demanding substantial wage increases for hourly workers as a deadline looms with the Detroit Three automakers.”

Ubergizmo: Meet Noonoouri, The AI Pop Star That Just Signed With Warner Music. “Warner Music has made headlines by signing an unconventional record deal with Noonoouri, the world’s first AI virtual pop singer and Instagram influencer. Unlike traditional artists, Noonoouri is entirely digital, existing solely on the internet without the limitations of aging, fatigue, or sleep.”


Hacker News: Millions Infected by Spyware Hidden in Fake Telegram Apps on Google Play. “Spyware masquerading as modified versions of Telegram have been spotted in the Google Play Store that’s designed to harvest sensitive information from compromised Android devices. According to Kaspersky security researcher Igor Golovin, the apps come with nefarious features to capture and exfiltrate names, user IDs, contacts, phone numbers, and chat messages to an actor-controlled server.”

The Verge: Your Wyze webcam might have let other owners peek into your house. “Some Wyze security camera owners reported Friday that they were unexpectedly able to see webcam feeds that weren’t theirs, meaning that they were unintentionally able to see inside of other people’s houses. A Wyze spokesperson tells The Verge that this was due to a web caching issue.”


Forward: How I stumbled upon thousands of Holocaust-era letters and traced the stories behind them. “The letter was dated July 17, 1939, and signed by a man named Joseph Gross. He was writing from New York to thank the Forward for helping to find his relatives. Alongside it in the digital archive was a letter written in Yiddish, dated the following week, sent from Brussels and signed by Avrom Gross, Joseph’s cousin. ‘I read the letter with such great astonishment,” Avrom wrote. “I have no way of thanking you.’ I stumbled across these letters online, in the digitized archives of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum in Jerusalem, while searching for references to a column called Seeking Relatives that ran for decades in the Forward.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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