Ireland Outdoor Activities, Pomodoro Apps, Google, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, November 1, 2023


Leave No Trace Ireland: The launch of the National Database of Sport & Recreation Amenities is here!. “Today Sport Ireland are launching the new National Digital Database for sport & recreation amenities across Ireland. This new website… is a single online hub for all outdoor recreation, and is a huge step towards providing accessible information for anyone who wants to experience Ireland’s outdoor spaces.”


How-To Geek: The Best Free Pomodoro Timers and Apps to Boost Productivity. “The Pomodoro Technique can be used to cut down on procrastination by scheduling work and break periods throughout the day. While any old timer will do, dedicated timer apps make it easier to get started and stick with it.”


Boing Boing: Google returning AI nonsense in search highlights. “‘While there are 54 recognized countries in Africa, none of them begin with the letter “K”‘, Google search asserts. ‘The closest is Kenya, which starts with a “K” sound, but is actually spelled with a “K” sound. It’s always interesting to learn new trivia facts like this.’ This drivel was reportedly the top, prominently quoted result for the search term ‘African country that starts with K’ and represents an inhuman centipede: AI-generated SEO-optimized content rising to the top and ending up as the automated answers Google offers to questions.”

The Provincetown Independent: An Online Archive of Provincetown’s Past — and Future. “[Stefan] Anikewich’s posts appear the same way a beachcomber’s artifacts do — gems from nearly every corner and decade of the town’s history surface with a strangely pleasing refusal to submit to an orderly timeline. There’s an 1898 photo of Provincetown taken from the harbor, a 1970s photo of a woman with a soft sculpture of the Pilgrim Monument in her bike basket, 1957 footage of a stroll down Commercial Street, and a 1916 photo of students in Charles Hawthorne’s Cape Cod School of Art painting on the wharf.”

The Verge: The restaurant nearest Google. “Thai Food Near Me, Dentist Near Me, Notary Near Me, Plumber Near Me — businesses across the country picked names meant to outsmart Google Search. Does it actually work?”


Engadget: Sweeping White House AI executive order takes aim at the technology’s toughest challenges. “The Biden Administration unveiled its ambitious next steps in addressing and regulating artificial intelligence development on Monday. Its expansive new executive order seeks to establish further protections for the public as well as improve best practices for federal agencies and their contractors.”

Harvard Gazette: How facial-recognition app poses threat to privacy, civil liberties. “[Kashmir] Hill spoke of the need to come up with regulations to safeguard users’ privacy and rein in social media platforms that are profiting from users’ personal information without their consent. Some states have passed laws to protect people’s right to access personal information shared on social media sites and the right to delete it, but that is not enough, she said.”

Washington University in St. Louis: WashU Expert: Your smart speaker data is used in ways you might not expect. “We’ve all had the uncanny experience of searching for something on the internet and then suddenly ads for that very thing are popping up everywhere we look online. It’s no coincidence, said Umar Iqbal, an assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis.”


University College Cork: First ever study of wartime deepfakes reveals their impact on news media. “Deepfakes are artificially manipulated audio-visual material. Most deepfake videos involve the production of a fake ‘face’ constructed by Artificial Intelligence, that is merged with an authentic video, in order to create a video of an event that never really took place…. Researchers at University College Cork (UCC) examined tweets during the current Russian-Ukrainian war, in what is the first analysis of the use of deepfakes in wartime misinformation and propaganda. The study is published today in PLOS ONE.”

EurekAlert: Right-wing social media benefited from high-profile suspensions on mainstream platforms. “Following the ban of prominent political figures from Twitter, such as former US President Donald Trump, many alt-tech platforms – offering uncensored speech and popular with the far-right – have gained significant influence across the digital media ecosystem.”

NL Times: Teenagers frequently exposed to climate misinformation on TikTok, study finds. “Teenagers searching for information about climate change on TikTok frequently encounter misinformation, according to a study by Pointer and Beeld & Geluid. Out of 240 climate change-related videos analyzed, 73 had misleading content, representing 30 percent of the total. TikTok responded to the findings by taking corrective measures.”


Lunduke: How to play the first text adventure game… in style.. “The very first major text adventure game, Colossal Cave Adventure, is 47 years old this year. And the 3D re-make (by the legendary Ken and Roberta Williams, founders of Sierra) has been released (allowing you to explore the cave in Virtual Reality). So, let’s take a few moments to enjoy the original classic… with a little help. Wether you are new to Colossal Cave Adventure (often simply called ‘adventure’ or ‘ADVENT’), or have simply not played it in some time, below you will find everything you need to experience the game in the most ultimate way possible.” Good morning, Internet…

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