Aging and Climate Change Clearinghouse, Be Real, Google Japan, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, October 7, 2023


Cornell University: Clearinghouse highlights aging, climate as interlinked risks. “[Professor Karl] Pillemer and colleagues have launched the Aging and Climate Change Clearinghouse, an initiative to gather, promote and stimulate research, real-world interventions and policies addressing the intersection of aging and climate change. Funded by CHE, the clearinghouse also aims to encourage older adults and environmental organizations to work together toward solutions.”


TechCrunch: BeReal pushes back at report that it’s losing steam, says it now has 25M daily users. “Just under a year ago, the buzzy new social app BeReal looked to be on the rise, with reportedly 20 million users launching the app every day to snap their candid photos. However, in the months since, BeReal’s traction has declined, according to a new report from Similarweb, despite its rollout of new features like messaging, the ability to post more photos and a ‘Friends of Friends’ discovery feed. BeReal, however, disputes the new published estimates, saying that it’s still growing at a ‘healthy rate.'”


Ars Technica: Google open-sourced a hat shaped like a giant keycap—and it actually types. “… the Gboard CAPS project is another of Google Japan’s joke keyboard ideas, like the 5.25-foot-long, single-row Gboard Stick Version keyboard shown off last year, used to promote Google’s Gboard app. However, Google Japan seemingly prototyped the keyboard in real life.”

Kaumudi Online: Two doctors killed after car driven following Google Map falls into river in Kochi, three rescued . “Two young doctors were killed when the car carrying a five-member group fell into the overflowing river after driving the vehicle following the directions using Google Maps. Three people were rescued by the locals. The dead have been identified as Adwaith and Ajmal, doctors of a private hospital in Kodungallur. Three people, including a medical student and a nurse, were rescued from the car.”


Politico: SEC sues Elon Musk to force him to testify in Twitter probe. “The Securities and Exchange Commission is suing Elon Musk in a bid to compel him to testify in a probe into his 2022 purchase of Twitter, the company now known as X, the agency said Thursday.”

Bloomberg: Apple Considered, Rejected Switch to DuckDuckGo From Google. “Apple Inc. held talks with DuckDuckGo to replace Alphabet Inc.’s Google as the default search engine for the private mode on Apple’s Safari browser, but ultimately rejected the idea.”

Vice News: Elon Musk Accused a Man of Being a ‘Fed’ and Nazi, Now He’s Being Sued. “Earlier this year, college student Ben Brody, 22, had his life turned upside down when he was accused of being a part of a Pacific Northwest neo-Nazi group. The claims occurred after a neo-Nazi had his mask pulled off when his group had a small brawl with local Proud Boys in Oregon City on June 24. The unmasked neo-Nazi bore a passing resemblance to Brody, who once wrote on a website for his Jewish fraternity that he wanted to work for the government. This, seemingly, was enough for some of the worst folks online to go to work, and for Musk to jump into the fray.”

Yonhap News Agency: Google, Apple face 68 bln won of fines in S. Korea over in-app billing irregularities . ” South Korea’s telecommunications regulator said Friday it seeks to slap up to 68 billion won (US$50.42 million) in combined fines against Alphabet Inc’s Google and Apple Inc. for their violation of the country’s in-app payment laws.”


MIT News: New tools are available to help reduce the energy that AI models devour. “The MIT Lincoln Laboratory Supercomputing Center (LLSC) is developing techniques to help data centers reel in energy use. Their techniques range from simple but effective changes, like power-capping hardware, to adopting novel tools that can stop AI training early on. Crucially, they have found that these techniques have a minimal impact on model performance.”

University of Texas at Austin: AI-Driven Earthquake Forecasting Shows Promise in Trials. “A new attempt to predict earthquakes with the aid of artificial intelligence has raised hopes that the technology could one day be used to limit earthquakes’ impact on lives and economies. Developed by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, the AI algorithm correctly predicted 70% of earthquakes a week before they happened during a seven-month trial in China.”

Stanford University: New dog, old tricks: New AI approach yields ‘athletically intelligent’ robotic dog. “With a simplified machine learning technique, AI researchers created a real-world ‘robodog’ able to leap, climb, crawl, and squeeze past physical barriers as never before.”


Cracked: Proto-Monty Python Sketch Show Discovered After Being Lost for 50 Years. “What once appeared to be an ex-sketch comedy show, a sketch show that was no more, was resting in peace, had ceased to be, and was bereft of life may have been simply stunned after all. Most of The Complete and Utter History of the British Isles, a sketch comedy television show created in 1969 by almost-Pythoners Michael Palin and Terry Jones, was once thought to be lost forever. As it turns out, The Complete and Utter History of the British Isles was simply misplaced.” Good morning, Internet…

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