Google, MS Paint, Endangered Appalachia Archives, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 23, 2023


Google Blog: Get playful with art in four new cultural experiments. “At Google Arts & Culture we have always been committed to creating innovative ways for people to engage with culture and see things from a new perspective, such as finding your Art Selfie, making music with Viola the Bird or playing at the interface of art and AI. In pursuit of this goal, we challenged a group of talented artists and game designers to develop new experiences that allow people to approach and consider art in unique and thought-provoking ways.”


Ars Technica: Hell freezes over, MS Paint adds support for layers and PNG transparency. “The venerable, equally derided and beloved MS Paint app has been on a roll lately, picking up a major redesign, dark-mode support, better zoom controls, and other fit-and-finish updates all within the last couple of years. But today Microsoft announced that it is finally adding two features that could make the app a bit more useful for power users: support for Photoshop-esque image layers and the ability to open and save transparent PNGs.”

WTVQ: Appalshop in Whitesburg receives grant to treat, digitize images damaged in flood. “Appalshop Archive, a media, arts and education center in Whitesburg, recently received a grant to treat and digitize images that were damaged in the July 2022 flood. The Save America’s Treasure Grant provides Appalshop with $750,000 to help cover preservation lab costs to salvage hundreds of hours of moving images that document life in Central Appalachia from the 1930s to the present day.”


404 Media: Why Scalpers Can Get Olivia Rodrigo Tickets and You Can’t. “The ‘verified fan’ concert ticket presale for pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo’s upcoming Guts Tour is today, and, yet again, it’s worth remembering that Ticketmaster stacks the deck heavily in favor of ticket scalpers, regardless of what the company says.”

New York Times: Being 13🔥👍❤️. “As eighth grade began, Anna was worried that she wasn’t very popular because her parents wouldn’t let her on Snapchat. London had a tough couple of days; she had been sent to the principal’s office for lashing out at a girl who had been mean to her by sending a text impersonating a boy that girl liked. And when Addi’s school had a lockdown later in the year, she spent the evening decompressing with her sister, reenacting a TikTok sketch — her mind far from the flashing police lights that had reflected in the windows.”


BBC: Fortnite: Parents in US offered refunds for game purchases. “The US regulator accused the game of tricking players into making unintended purchases and breaching privacy. Fortnite developer Epic Games agreed to pay $245m (£198m) in refunds in 2022. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has now begun the process of contacting 37 million people to alert them to the compensation.”

Engadget: Microsoft AI researchers mistakenly leaked 38TB of company data. “A Microsoft AI research team that uploaded training data on GitHub in an effort to offer other researchers open-source code and AI models for image recognition inadvertently exposed 38TB of personal data. Wiz, a cybersecurity firm, discovered a link included in the files that contained backups of Microsoft employees’ computers. Those backups contained passwords to Microsoft services, secret keys and over 30,000 internal Teams messages from hundreds of the tech giant’s employees, Wiz says.”

TheNextWeb: Poland investigates ChatGPT after alleged data privacy breach. “Poland’s data protection watchdog is investigating OpenAI’s ChatGPT after an unnamed complainant accused the company of GDPR breaches.”


New Jersey Institute of Technology: Data Science Techniques Help Evaluate COVID’s Impact on Mental Health. “In case of another pandemic, authorities might only have a 28-day window to connect vulnerable populations to mental health providers before it’s too late to prevent long-term concerns, according to new research assisted by a data science expert at New Jersey Institute of Technology.”


Hackaday: Whisperframe Depicts The Art Of Conversation. “At this point, you gotta figure that you’re at least being listened to almost everywhere you go, whether it be a home assistant or your very own phone. So why not roll with the punches and turn lemons into something like a still life of lemons that’s a bit wonky? What we mean is, why not take our conversations and use AI to turn them into art? That’s the idea behind this next-generation digital photo frame created by [TheMorehavoc].” Good afternoon, Internet…

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