Rising Food Prices, Google, Social Media Traffic, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 4, 2023


WIRED: This Website Exposes the Truth About Soaring Food Prices. “IT DIDN’T TAKE long for Mario Zechner to prove the government wrong. In May, the independent software developer was listening to a radio interview with Austria’s labor minister, Martin Kocher, who said the government would build a new database that will help people find the cheapest milk, eggs, and other supermarket products to help fight soaring food prices. However, the planned system would take months to build and cover only a handful of food types. Zechner decided to take action. Two hours after hearing the interview, Zechner had built the first prototype of a comparison system, pulling the cost of 22,000 items from the websites of Austria’s biggest two supermarket chains.”


The Verge: Google Pixel event: how to watch and what to expect. “Google is gearing up to launch a new lineup of Pixel products during its upcoming Made by Google event. Even though Google has already said that it will reveal the Pixel 8 alongside the updated Pixel Watch 2, it may have some other surprises in store. If you’re interested in watching the event, here’s when and where you can tune in as well as what exactly you can expect.”


Axios: Social media traffic to top news sites craters. “Regulatory pressure and free speech concerns have pushed tech giants to abandon efforts to elevate quality information, leaving the public more susceptible to misinformation ahead of the 2024 election. Meanwhile, news companies are scrambling to find business solutions while simultaneously fighting to protect their work in the AI era.”

Search Engine Roundtable: Bing DALL-E 3 Went Live Over The Weekend But It Was Painfully Slow. “Microsoft launched DALL-E 3 in Bing Chat late on Friday night and went it went live, it just stalled. It took a really long time for Bing Chat to create images using DALL-E 3 after it went live.”

Bloomberg: Zoom Adds Features Like Document Editing in Bid to Compete With Microsoft. “Zoom Video Communications Inc. is adding word processing to its suite of tools and experimenting with novel features for meetings as it faces steep competition from Microsoft Corp.’s Teams.”


Variety: Paris Hilton Inks Content and Commerce Deal With Elon Musk’s X/Twitter, Will Host Videos Featuring Live Shopping. “Paris Hilton is getting her X on. The influencer and entrepreneur — who has 16.6 million followers on X, formerly known as Twitter — announced a deal with the social platform owned by Elon Musk for an array of content and commerce initiatives.”

Search Engine Journal: Google Sets New Rules For Bulk Email Senders. “Google has announced new requirements for bulk email senders to reduce spam and make inboxes more secure. The new policies will take effect in February 2024 and are aimed at companies and organizations that send large volumes of emails. The new requirements focus on email authentication, easy unsubscription from mailing lists, and limitations on overall spam rates.”


The Conversation: Remote workers are more aware of cybersecurity risks than in-office employees: new study. “Workers who telecommute tend to be more aware of cybersecurity threats than those who spend most of their time in a physical office and are more likely to take action to ward them off, according to our new peer-reviewed study. Our findings are based on Amazon Mechanical Turk survey data collected from 203 participants who recently switched to full-time remote work, as well as from 147 in-office workers, across multiple organizations within the United States. We didn’t collect data on hybrid workers.”


University of Surrey: Study introduces new internet addiction spectrum: where are you on the scale?. “Young people (24 years and younger) spend an average of six hours a day online, primarily using their smartphones, according to research from the University of Surrey. Older people (those 24 years and older) spend 4.6 hours online.”

ScienceDirect: Why do people turn to smartphones during social interactions?. “Contrary to our hypothesis, phones failed to confer any detectable benefits. Instead, participants who had access to their phones reported worse overall subjective experience and socialized significantly less (on both self-report and objective measures) compared to those who did not have access to their phones. The findings from this registered report cast doubt on the possibility that people are making sensible—albeit myopic—choices to use their phones, suggesting that people may be acting against their own best interest when they use phones in social situations.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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