Pakistan Food, Google Photos, Twitter, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, September 12, 2023

Starting Friday and continuing through the weekend, I got several complaints about the formatting of RB — it was being delivered headline-only, with no content. I put in a ticket with WordPress, but in the meantime I turned off AMP in the post editor. (AMP is a feature that’s supposed to speed page loading for mobile internet users.) I haven’t heard back from WordPress but two people have reported that their issue has been resolved. If you were having the same problem I hope it’s okay now. I’ll see if ever hear anything from WordPress.


Evening Standard: Pakistan museum of food: New project to offer ‘most comprehensive’ picture of country’s culinary landscape. “Filmmaker and activist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has collaborated with Google Arts and Culture and the British Council to build the ‘most comprehensive’ picture of Pakistan’s culinary landscape. A new website, launching at Google’s UK offices in King’s Cross, will feature more than 80 videos alongside hundreds of articles and documents with the aim to preserve Pakistani heritage and chart the evolution of the nation’s dishes.”


The Verge: How to use the new web-based editing tools in Google Photos. “Google Photos isn’t just a place for storing and sorting your photos and videos — both the web interface and the mobile apps come with a slew of image editing tools so you can spruce up and enhance your pictures before sharing them with the wider world. Google regularly updates these editing tools, and a significant upgrade just arrived on the web.”

PBS News Hour: Elon Musk’s refusal to provide Starlink support for Ukraine attack in Crimea raises questions for Pentagon. “SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s refusal to allow Ukraine to use Starlink internet services to launch a surprise attack on Russian forces in Crimea last September has raised questions as to whether the U.S. military needs to be more explicit in future contracts that services or products it purchases could be used in war, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said Monday.”


TorrentFreak: Z-Library Opens ‘Z-Points’ Around the World to Share Paper Books. “Z-Library, which is commonly known as a pirate ebook repository, has opened up 11 physical book distribution points around the world. From the United States to South Sudan, there are Z-Points in every inhabited continent. The ultimate goal is to broaden the library’s scope to the physical realm, further promoting book sharing.”

Semafor: Twitter appears to throttle New York Times. “X, Elon Musk’s social media platform formerly known as Twitter, appears to be attempting to limit its users’ access to The New York Times. Since late July, engagement on X posts linking to the New York Times has dropped dramatically. The drop in shares and other engagement on tweets with Times links is abrupt, and is not reflected in links to similar news organizations including CNN, the Washington Post, and the BBC, according to NewsWhip’s data on 300,000 influential users of X.”

Business Insider: Elon Musk poached a Google scientist and justified it by telling Larry Page he shouldn’t have been ‘so cavalier about AI safety’. “In 2015, Elon Musk and Sam Altman convinced one Google scientist to jump ship — with a $1.9 million salary and starting bonus — and join them in cofounding OpenAI. Walter Isaacson’s biography on Musk, written after shadowing the tech billionaire for three years and published on Tuesday, detailed the aftermath of the incident and recounted how Musk justified poaching talent from Google to the company’s then-CEO Larry Page.”


WIRED: Is Google’s Search Engine Smart or Sneaky? A Court Will Decide. “A FAMILY MEMBER’S hurried Google search for a last-second visa to visit New Zealand recently caused a headache—and provided a timely reminder of why Google faces a landmark US antitrust trial next week. Tapping on the first link took us off to a website that after a few swipes charged $118 for the necessary paperwork. Only later did it emerge that we’d paid a so-called ‘internet-based travel technology company’ and not a government agency, and been fleeced for more than double the required cost.”

Europol: New Europol report shines light on multi-billion euro underground criminal economy . “The world is getting smaller, as trade, communication and infrastructure on a global scale brings us closer together. However, there is another, darker, side to the coin: our interconnected world is being abused by criminals who have created an underground economy to sustain their illegal operations.”

Georgia Tech: New Tool Skewers Socially Engineered Attack Ads. ” Georgia Tech researchers are countering deceptive online ads with a pioneering solution designed to challenge the rising threat of online social engineering attacks by cutting them off at the source. Trident, created by Ph.D. student Zheng Yang and his team of researchers, is an add-on compatible with Google Chrome that has proven to block these ads with nearly 100% efficiency.”


The Conversation: Can ❤️s change minds? How social media influences public opinion and news circulation. “Social media use has been shown to decrease mental health and well-being, and to increase levels of political polarization. But social media also provides many benefits, including facilitating access to information, enabling connections with friends, serving as an outlet for expressing opinions and allowing news to be shared freely. To maximize the benefits of social media while minimizing its harms, we need to better understand the different ways in which it affects us. Social science can contribute to this understanding. I recently conducted two studies with colleagues to investigate and disentangle some of the complex effects of social media.”

The Journal (Ireland): Major internet companies not doing enough to combat misinformation, report finds. “MAJOR INTERNET COMPANIES are not doing enough to combat misinformation on their platforms, according the CoP Monitor Report co-authored by the EDMO Ireland hub in DCU’s Institute for Future Media Democracy and Society. The report is an international collaboration of 9 academics who conducted a systematic analysis of all information provided by Google, Meta, Microsoft, TikTok and X (formerly Twitter), in the first self-reports submitted under the Strengthened Code of Practice on Disinformation.”

Dartmouth College: Subscriptions Drive Views of Extremist Videos on YouTube. “According to a new study published in Science Advances, however, exposure to alternative and extremist video channels on YouTube is not driven by recommendations. Instead, most consumption of these channels on the platform can be attributed to a small group of users high in gender and racial resentment and who subscribe to these channels and follow links to their videos. The study authors caution that these findings do not exonerate the platform.” Good morning, Internet…

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3 replies »

  1. Email newsletter formatting is fixed for me, thank you! (And greetings from NZ where I continue to put other information professionals on to RB, it’s amazing what we learn about stuff that is local to us but not picked up by local news sources!)

    • Relieved to hear that things are working again. And I’m glad I can bring local things to your attention — I have definitely learned a lot about all corners of the world doing this for 25+ years… !

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