CNET, Google, Undocumented APIs, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 4, 2023


The Wrap: CNET Lays Off 10% of Staff Just Weeks After Launching Articles Written by AI. “CNET is laying off roughly 10 percent of its editorial staff – around a dozen people, including long-time veterans of the media and reviews website – just weeks after acknowledging it has started using artificial intelligence programs to write certain articles, the Verge reported Thursday.”

Ars Technica: Google adds client-side encryption to Gmail and Calendar. Should you care?. “…Google made client-side encryption available to a limited set of Gmail and Calendar users in a move designed to give them more control over who sees sensitive communications and schedules.”

PC Magazine: Google Search Has a Surprise Easter Egg for ‘Mandalorian’ Fans. “The Mandalorian’s third season wasn’t the only thing that dropped this week: Google on Thursday introduced an Easter egg for fans of the Disney+ series’ most adorable character.”


The Markup: Journalists, You Should Be Looking for Undocumented APIs. Here’s How to Start. “Especially in circumstances when data is not accessible otherwise, finding an undocumented API can be the key to allowing us to do an investigation—by finding public access to the data.” This article links to a tutorial which I want to spend the next six hours splashing around in, but alas, ResearchBuzz calls. GREAT stuff.


Slate: What Happens After You Become a Main Character on Elon Musk’s Twitter. “That Twitter’s changes had produced a new generation of ‘main characters’ became apparent in January with the viral fame of ‘menswear dude,’ aka fashion blogger Derek Guy, whose @DieWorkwear account had been recommended to many tweeters with little interest in fashion.”

The Verge: Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche are getting their own in-car app store — and yes, that includes TikTok. “If you’ve long felt like the one thing missing from your Audi was in-car TikTok, fret no more. Volkswagen Group is the latest to join the in-car app party, and it’s doing it in a big way. And it’s a preview of the conglomerate’s big plans for a unified in-car software platform that will govern how its cars operate for years to come.”


Reuters: Google ‘Incognito’ users lose appeal to sue for damages as class. “Consumers suing Alphabet Inc’s Google LLC over its data collection practices have lost their early appeal to pursue money damages as a class action seeking billions of dollars.”

Bleeping Computer: Russia bans foreign messaging apps in government organizations. “Russia’s internet watchdog agency Roskomnadzor warns that laws banning the use of many foreign private messaging applications in Russian government and state agencies came into force today.”

National Post: Google CEO, U.S. executives disregard summons to appear before House of Commons committee. “Google will send Canadian representatives to a Parliamentary committee looking into the company’s blocking of some Canadians’ access to news on its platforms — despite a summons for its top U.S.-based executives.”


Ironic Sans: The Funny Pages in Modern Times. “What I really wanted was to take all those ComicsRSS feeds, pull the most recent comic from each one, and display them all on a single page. But I’m not a coder and I have no idea how to do that. I know, I know. We’re all sick of talking about ChatGPT. But dammit, that thing is useful.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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