National and University Library of Iceland, IRS, Google, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, October 21, 2023


National and University Library of Iceland: Foreign manuscripts from Willard Fiske’s Library. “The books arrived at the library soon after his death, but were not unpacked from boxes until after the library’s move to a new building in 1908. Recently, it was discovered that among the books the library received from Fiske’s collection were four foreign manuscripts, all of which are unique.” All four manuscripts have been digitized and are available online.


Engadget: IRS will start piloting its free TurboTax alternative in 2024. “It looks like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) truly was working on a free TurboTax alternative like earlier reports had claimed. The US tax authority has announced that it will start pilot testing its new Direct File program for the 2024 filing season, though it will initially be available for select taxpayers in 13 states only.”

The Verge: Google is tweaking Chrome’s search bar to make it easier to navigate the web. “Google is making a few changes to the way its search and address bar — known as the omnibox — works in the Chrome browser. The changes are individually pretty small, but there’s an important and somewhat unexpected trend in them all: Google is making it easier for you to move around the web without having to do so many Google searches.”


WIRED: Elon Musk’s Main Tool for Fighting Disinformation on X Is Making the Problem Worse, Insiders Claim. “… a WIRED investigation found that Community Notes appears to be not functioning as designed, may be vulnerable to coordinated manipulation by outside groups, and lacks transparency about how notes are approved. Sources also claim that it is filled with in-fighting and disinformation, and there appears to be no real oversight from the company itself.”

CNBC: Google cuts dozens of jobs in news division. “Google cut dozens of jobs in its news division this week, CNBC has learned, downsizing at a particularly sensitive time for online platforms and publishers. An estimated 40 to 45 workers in Google News have lost their jobs, according to an Alphabet Workers Union spokesperson, who didn’t know the exact number.”


FTC: Influence peddling? Bogus “brand ambassador managers” scam prospective influencers. “We’ve warned professionals about online job scams involving phony ‘recruiters’ who falsely claim to represent big-name businesses. Employment impersonators are still at it, but this time they’re approaching people with bogus offers to be ‘brand ambassadors’ for well-known consumer products companies. The only ‘brand’ these fraudsters represent is their own sleazy financial interest.”

MENAFN: Court Declares Google’s Russian Subsidiary Bankrupt. “The Moscow Arbitration Court on Wednesday declared Google LLC, Google’s Russian subsidiary, bankrupt, Azernews reports, citing Interfax.”


Cornell University: Online learning widens gap for minority students. “After the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as institutions had adapted to online learning, students belonging to underrepresented ethnic minority groups struggled to bounce back academically as compared with their non-minority classmates.”

New York Times: A New Report Documents How Easily Children Can Access Graphic Images of the War. “The Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a research group that studies online platforms, created accounts on Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat under the guise of British 13-year-olds. Within a 48-hour period from Oct. 14 through 16, the researchers said, they found more than 300 problematic posts.”

Washington University in St. Louis: AI for Health launches to promote growing intersection of artificial intelligence, health. “To further integrate the power of AI and Internet of Things (IoT) into health care, the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis has launched the AI for Health Institute to design data-driven tools to characterize complex diseases, support clinical decisions and drive precision health.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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