Local Government Public Meetings, Amazon, Microsoft, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 17, 2023


Scientific Data: LocalView, a database of public meetings for the study of local politics and policy-making in the United States . “This article introduces LOCALVIEW, the largest existing dataset of real-time local government public meetings–the central policy-making process in local government. In sum, the dataset currently covers 139,616 videos and their corresponding textual and audio transcripts of local government meetings publicly uploaded to YouTube–the world’s largest public video-sharing website–from 1,012 places and 2,861 distinct governments across the United States between 2006–2022.”


The Verge: Amazon stops selling magazines and newspapers through Kindle Newsstand. “Amazon is no longer selling magazine and newspaper subscriptions through Kindle Newsstand and will stop delivering current Kindle Newsstand subscriptions in September, according to an announcement from last week.”

Reuters: Microsoft unveils AI for its office suite in increased competition with Google. “Microsoft Corp on Thursday trumpeted its latest plans to put artificial intelligence into the hands of more users, answering a spate of unveilings this week by its rival Google with upgrades to its own widely used office software.”


CNBC: Microsoft tries to justify AI’s tendency to give wrong answers by saying they’re ‘usefully wrong’. “In an online presentation about the new Copilot features, Microsoft executives brought up the software’s tendency to produce inaccurate responses, but pitched that as something that could be useful. As long as people realize that Copilot’s responses could be sloppy with the facts, they can edit the inaccuracies and more quickly send their emails or finish their presentation slides.” Okay. Wow.

Global News (Canada): Calgary company accuses Google of driving business away with fake listing. “A longtime family-run Calgary company is accusing Google of driving traffic to another business in a bizarre situation. Ryan Schoel, owner of The Costume Shoppe, came across a Google listing that showed his address as Pirate Fashions Canada, even though the photos and phone number were for his business.”

Moscow Times: Nasdaq to Delist Russia’s Yandex, Other Tech Firms. “Nasdaq has notified Russia’s tech giant Yandex and four other major internet companies that their stocks will be delisted this month unless they appeal the stock market’s decision.”


Economic Times (India Times): Google’s ‘castle and moat’ strategy is data hegemony: CCI tells NCLAT. “Fair trade regulator CCI on Thursday alleged that Google has created a digital data hegemony and called for a market space with ‘free, fair and open competition'”.


University of Kentucky: UK researchers investigate racial bias in recognition of Kentucky’s historic properties. “A team of University of Kentucky researchers is analyzing the list of historic places and properties registered in the Commonwealth to find any gaps in cultural minority representations.”

Financial Times: Why children can be better than adults at spotting misinformation. “It’s never been easier to find fun, clear and deep perspectives on the complex world around us. The chief obstacle is deliberate ignorance: we don’t ask questions because we don’t care to know the answers. That’s why I’ve long argued that curiosity is so important — and why young readers are often better equipped to be truth detectives than their parents.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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