Case Law, EU Fugitives, Sanskrit, More: Saturday Buzz, January 30, 2016


Wow! A huge archive of California case law is now online. “Starting today, as part of the Harvard-Ravel digitization project, the comprehensive, authoritative collection of California case law is available online at Ravel. For the first time, anyone can search and read all California court opinions for free, including landmark rulings on every topic, from same-sex marriage (In re Marriage Cases, 2008) to separation of powers (Houston v. Williams, 1859). Each case is accompanied by a high-quality scan of the original book in which it was published, providing an authentic version that can not be found anywhere else but Ravel.”

A new Web site has been launched to track down the most wanted fugitives in Europe. “The website, which represents the first step in a pan-European solution to present a wanted list on a common platform across 28 EU member states, is currently available in 17 languages.”

The University Grants Commission (UGC) of India is planning a database of Sanskrit teachers and also wants to make texts available online. “The UGC asked varsities to upload their instructional material and literature in Sanskrit on ‘Bharatvani,’ a web-portal launched by the Centre to disseminate knowledge about languages in India.”


Google has released its new Webmaster guidelines. “Google has just replaced the Google Webmaster Guidelines document, known as the holy-grail of SEO guidelines for most in our community. It seems a lot of the content has been revised and updated, which may be part of the new webmaster home from Google.”

Google’s voice recognition is now better at distinguishing Australian accents. “It has also improved its ability to recognise difficult place names such as Tibooburra and Unanderra, and can now recognise the term ‘drop bear’, an Australian slang term used to describe a fictional bear-like animal that drops from trees.”

Looks like Google’s auto autos are spreading to other cities. No word on which cities, though.

If you’re one of those people who wants MOAR POLITICS, I don’t understand you. But you might be happy to hear that Snapchat has bowed a new show about politics. “The first episode, which is still available to watch in the Discover tab, features [Peter] Hamby chatting with Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie and the quirky teenage candidate Deez Nutz.”

USEFUL STUFF tipped me to a great guide at First Draft: How to verify images like a pro with Google Earth. “Google Earth offers much more than just satellite images. Find out how features like historical imagery, 3D buildings and measurement markers can help you confirm the exact location of an eyewitness photo or video.”

Igor Ovsyannykov over at Inspirationfeed has an extensive post on the best use of stock photos. He’s listed sources for stock photos too.


An article in The Guardian outlines how Google has gotten snuggly with the British government. “An analysis of meetings between Google executives and senior politicians, as well as the regular appointments of political figures to major positions within the company’s PR machine, shows how the California-based tech company has become deeply entwined within the British political landscape.” Anybody who follows Google in the US will not be shocked by this, as Google spends huge amounts of money on lobbying in Washington.

Hmm… speaking of Google, is Google Fiber going to expand into phone services? “Google Fiber is sending out invitations to an experimental telephone service for some of its high-speed Internet subscribers, according to two people who have received the invitation. The service, known as Google Fiber Phone, closely resembles another Google product, Google Voice.” This’ll be good news for everybody who has been worrying that Google might axe Google Voice.


Interesting: using social media and remote sensors to detect flooding. “Twitter and Flickr, along with remote sensor data, can be used to identify flooded areas, a team of university researchers say. It’s faster than using publicly available satellite images on their own. That imaging can sometimes take days to become available, the researchers say. It’s also easier to identify the flooded streets.” Good morning, Internet…

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