Engadget: Twitter’s security leads are leaving the company

Engadget: Twitter’s security leads are leaving the company. “The company confirmed to The New York Times that former head of security Peiter Zatko has departed, while chief information security officer Rinki Sethi will leave Twitter in the coming weeks. Agrawal is said to have told employees this week that the personnel decisions were made after ‘an assessment of how the organization was being led and the impact on top priority work.’”

Daily Beast: Cannabis CBD Might Be Highly Effective at Preventing COVID

Daily Beast: Cannabis CBD Might Be Highly Effective at Preventing COVID. “New, peer-reviewed research published Thursday in Science Advances suggests the popular non-psychoactive compound in cannabis known as cannabidiol, or CBD, can help prevent the novel coronavirus from replicating in human cells, reducing the chances of a full-blown infection. Another arm of the study also found that real-world patients who were prescribed CBD experienced lower rates of COVID-19.”

Daily Beast: This New Tool Predicts COVID Survival From a Blood Sample

Daily Beast: This New Tool Predicts COVID Survival From a Blood Sample. “As the Omicron variant rages across the U.S. and the rest of the globe, we’re seeing hospitals everywhere maxing out their capacity to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients—not all of whom have an obvious risk factor. In the ICU, it’s often difficult to determine who might survive and beat the infection, and who might end up succumbing to the disease. That could change very soon thanks to a new AI tool that can predict the survival outcome of severe cases of COVID weeks in advance—all from a single blood sample.”

CNET: Number and cost of cyberattacks continue to grow, new survey says

CNET: Number and cost of cyberattacks continue to grow, new survey says. “The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped cybercriminals. The number of cyberattacks against companies around the world rose 15% over the past three years, according to a new survey. Additionally, 87% of those surveyed in cybersecurity company Anomali’s poll of cybersecurity decision makers said their company had experienced a cyberattack in the past three years that resulted in damage, disruption or a data breach.”

CNET: Judge blocks COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal workers

CNET: Judge blocks COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal workers. “A federal judge in Texas has blocked US President Joe Biden’s mandate requiring federal workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The Friday decision is the latest blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to boost vaccination rates. The decision comes after the US Supreme Court last week blocked the administration’s COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses with 100 or more workers, which confined the mandate only to federal workers.”

Send in the clones: Using artificial intelligence to digitally replicate human voices (NPR)

NPR: Send in the clones: Using artificial intelligence to digitally replicate human voices. “Talking machines like Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa, or a bank’s automated customer service line, are now sounding quite human. Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, or AI, we’ve reached a point where it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish synthetic voices from real ones. I wanted to find out what’s involved in the process at the customer end. So I approached San Francisco Bay Area-based natural language speech synthesis company Speech Morphing about creating a clone – or ‘digital double’ – of my own voice.”

XOXO, The PNM Princess: the rise of anonymous social media during the UMich sorority rush cycle (Michigan Daily)

Michigan Daily: XOXO, The PNM Princess: the rise of anonymous social media during the UMich sorority rush cycle. “Among the numerous sorority recruitment [Yik Yak users] is one recurring name — The PNM Princess. Described by many students as the ‘Gossip Girl’ or ‘Radio Rebel’ of sorority recruitment, The PNM Princess has a Reddit account she has been using to post somewhat confrontational statements about the Michigan sorority recruitment process and her individual desire — or lack thereof — to join each house.”

Android Police: The latest Google service to bite the dust is the celebrity-focused Cameos

Android Police: The latest Google service to bite the dust is the celebrity-focused Cameos . “If you’ve ever googled some celebrities, like The Rock, you might’ve seen a handful of videos in their Search card under “Top questions answered.” Those come from a service that you’re probably not that familiar with, called Google Cameos. It’s only for celebrities or other high-profile people and gives them a way to record videos answers to popular questions — and have them show up in their search results. But it’s made by Google, so of course it was going to get killed sooner or later.”

Wired: China’s ‘People’s Courts’ Resolve Online Disputes at Tech Firms

Wired: China’s ‘People’s Courts’ Resolve Online Disputes at Tech Firms. “A little over a decade ago, as ecommerce took off in China, the country lacked structures like widespread credit scores and effective consumer protection agencies to build trust among online buyers and sellers. Companies responded by creating innovative workarounds. For example, at the time, cash was used for most transactions, so tech giants such as Alibaba and Tencent developed their own systems for digital payments. Ant Group, Alibaba’s financial affiliate, also created Sesame Credit, its own version of a credit score, that could help assess a buyer or seller’s trustworthiness. To deal with disputes between buyers and sellers, companies experimented with crowdsourced forms of justice.”

NME: FAC launches database of venues charging zero commission on merch

NME: FAC launches database of venues charging zero commission on merch. “The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) has announced a new directory highlighting music venues that charge zero commission on the sale of merchandise. Supported by Peter Hook, the ‘100% Venues’ database aims to address the ‘outdated and unfair’ practice of performance spaces taking a cut of acts’ merch proceeds at gigs.” This appears to be UK-only; the directory currently lists over 300 venues.

FTC: Cease and Desist Demands show the role social media platforms play in the spread of dubious COVID claims

FTC: Cease and Desist Demands show the role social media platforms play in the spread of dubious COVID claims. “The Omicron variant has consumers saying ‘Omigosh,’ but even before the current surge, advertisers have been using questionable COVID-related claims to promote their products. FTC staff sent 25 more Cease and Desist Demands to businesses, most of whom have made unsubstantiated prevention or treatment representations for tinctures, teas, and sundry services. But there’s a key point that differentiates these Demands from the more than 400 letters that preceded them. Copies of the Cease and Desist Demands were sent to the social media platforms the advertisers used to convey their claims. For a numerical breakdown of those platforms, read on.”