Florida History, Pennsylvania Judges, Google, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, October 14, 2023


That’s So Tampa: Bootleggers, tourism booms and bathing suits: Decade of Change explores Florida in the 1920s. “A new digital collection, Florida Front and Center, also launches this October. Florida Front and Center is putting our state’s story front and center in the grand tapestry of U.S. history. This showcase shines a spotlight on Florida’s colonial roots, tracing back even before the Pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock. And don’t blink, because it also dives into Florida’s colossal post-World War II expansion and political clout.”

Spotlight PA: Pa. election 2023: New interactive tool illustrates why judges matter and how they shape policy. “Elections for seats on Pennsylvania’s highest courts tend to lack the urgency of other races, as those courts seem to operate far from our everyday lives, especially when compared to the work of local and state officials. But judges in these positions hold an immense amount of power… That’s why Spotlight PA is launching a new voter tool ahead of this November’s judicial contests to illustrate how the courts in recent years have affected the policies you care about most.”


Bloomberg: Google Warns the EU That It Will Fight Attempts to Break Up Ad Business. “Alphabet Inc.’s Google has vowed to fight the European Union’s threat to break up its ad business, setting the scene for an antitrust battle that could eventually rival its ongoing clash with the US Justice Department and state attorneys general.”

Reuters: Google to pay German publishers 3.2 million eur per year on interim basis. “Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has agreed to pay German publishers 3.2 million euros ($3.38 million) a year for its publication of news content pending a decision from the German patent office (DPMA) on the issue, the sides said in separate statements on Thursday. The U.S. search engine operator reached the agreement with Corint Media, an umbrella organisation that represents the interests of German and international publishers including Sat.1, ProSieben, RTL, Axel Springer and CNBC.”


ZDNet: This new AI dubbing tool can translate audio while preserving the speaker’s voice. “On Tuesday, ElevenLabs unveiled AI Dubbing, a new feature that can convert spoken content to another language while keeping the voice, speech patterns, emotions, and intonations of the original speaker.”

Capitol Beat: Okefenokee Swamp Park launching historic preservation project. “The Okefenokee Swamp Park has landed $497,000 in federal funding for a research project aimed at telling the story of a group of young Black Americans who worked to develop the park during the Great Depression. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a nationwide New Deal program formed to provide employment and vocational training to young Americans ages 18 through 25. CCC Company 1433, a group of nearly 200 Black Americans from Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, worked on conservation projects in the Okefenokee, building bridges and roads, planting trees and developing recreational facilities.”

New York Times: ‘A.I. Obama’ and Fake Newscasters: How A.I. Audio Is Swarming TikTok. “Disinformation watchdogs have noticed the number of videos containing A.I. voices has increased as content producers and misinformation peddlers adopt the novel tools. Social platforms like TikTok are scrambling to flag and label such content.”


Arkansas Times: State employee’s email says governor’s assistant was told to modify invoice. “Someone in Gov. Sarah Sanders‘ office instructed state employees to write ‘to be reimbursed’ on a months-old invoice for a $19,000 lectern and specifically told them not to date the notation. That’s according to a newly unearthed email published on social media today by Jay Orsi, a citizen journalist who obtained it through a Freedom of Information Act request.”

Business World (Philippines): Malaysia says TikTok fails to fully comply with local laws. “TikTok has not done enough to curb defamatory or misleading content in Malaysia, the communications minister said on Thursday, adding that the short video application had also failed to comply with several, unspecified local laws. In a social media message posted after meeting TikTok representatives, Minister Fahmi Fadzil said TikTok also had to address issues related to content distribution and advertising purchases following complaints.”


Illinois State University: Technology project aims to alleviate cybersickness in VR-based driving simulation. “Thanks to the help of a BirdFEEDER Grant, Dr. Isaac Chang, associate professor in the Department of Technology, with the assistance of his then-graduate assistant, Savanah Kinney ’21, M.S. ’23, have designed a desktop Stewart platform to alleviate the cybersickness problem in VR-based driving simulation.”

Business Insider: Elon Musk’s worst nightmare. “With companies like Cruise and Waymo unleashing fully roboticized taxis on the streets of San Francisco and other cities, the rise of the machines has begun — and [Missy] Cummings is on the front lines of the resistance. In a controversial new paper, she concludes that the new robot taxis are four to eight times as likely as a human-driven car to get into a crash. And that doesn’t count the way self-driving vehicles are causing weird traffic jams, blocking emergency vehicles, and even stopping on top of a person who had already been hit by a human-driven car.”

WIRED: The Chatbots Are Now Talking to Each Other. “The three bots are among scores of AI characters that have been developed by Fantasy, a New York company that helps businesses such as LG, Ford, Spotify, and Google dream up and test new product ideas. Fantasy calls its bots synthetic humans and says they can help clients learn about audiences, think through product concepts, and even generate new ideas, like the soccer app.” Good morning, Internet…

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