India Cultural Heritage, FOIAonline, Virtual White House Tours, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, October 30, 2023


New-to-me, from MIT Technology Review: The grassroots push to digitize India’s most precious documents. “The museum building houses the largest reference library for Gandhian philosophy in the state of Karnataka, and over the next year, the large assortment of books—including the collected works of Mahatma Gandhi, a translation of his autobiography, Experiments with Truth, into the Kannada language, and other rare items—will be digitized and their metadata recorded before they join the Servants of Knowledge (SoK) collection on the Internet Archive.”

MuckRock: Here’s why MuckRock and POGO had to archive FOIAonline. “… while the decommissioning of FOIAonline has been in the works for several years, it still remains unclear when the public can expect access to these records to be restored by government agencies, if ever. In the interim, POGO and MuckRock have partnered to host a publicly available archive of nearly 34,000 documents captured before FOIAonline was shuttered.”

ABC News: The White House and Google launch a new virtual tour with audio captions, Spanish translation. “Can’t come to Washington? Couldn’t get a ticket to tour the White House? Don’t worry. The White House, Google Maps and Google Arts & Culture launched a new virtual tour of the famous mansion on Friday, which is also National Civics Day. With a computer or smartphone, users will be able to spend time zooming in on all of the rooms that they would have seen had they been able to go on an in-person tour.”


How-To Geek: Firefox 119 Arrives With Updated Firefox View and PDF Viewer. “Mozilla releases a new major Firefox update every four weeks, giving the open-source web browser a steady stream of improvements. Firefox 119 will start rolling out today, complete with an updated Firefox View, an improved PDF viewer, security fixes, and more.”


Lifehacker: How to Download Videos From X/Twitter. “Although the official X app doesn’t let you download videos, there are some straightforward ways to get the job done, whether you’re on Android, iOS, Mac, or PC.”


Bloomberg: Google Paid $26 Billion to Be Default Search Engine in 2021. “Google paid $26.3 billion to other companies to ensure its search engine was the default on web browsers and mobile phones, a top company executive testified during the Justice Department’s antitrust trial Friday.”

TechCrunch: AI’s proxy war heats up as Google reportedly backs Anthropic with $2B. “With a massive $2 billion reported investment from Google, Anthropic joins OpenAI in reaping the benefits of leadership in the artificial intelligence space, receiving immense sums from the tech giants that couldn’t move fast enough themselves. A byword for the age: Those who can, build; those who can’t, invest.”


New York Times: Inside Google’s Plan to Stop Apple From Getting Serious About Search. “For years, Google watched with increasing concern as Apple improved its search technology, not knowing whether its longtime partner and sometimes competitor would eventually build its own search engine. Those fears ratcheted up in 2021, when Google paid Apple around $18 billion to keep Google’s search engine the default selection on iPhones, according to two people with knowledge of the partnership, who were not authorized to discuss it publicly.”

Reuters: Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify Monday in US Google antitrust trial. “Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Alphabet and its subsidiary Google, will testify on Monday in the once-in-a generation antitrust fight over Google’s dominance of search and some parts of search advertising.”

KNWA: Blogger Matt Campbell suing Gov. Sanders over documents regarding lectern. “Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is being sued for documentation about the purchase of a $19,000 lectern by blogger Matt Campbell. Campbell’s lawsuit against the governor’s office was filed on October 24. The lawsuit states the governor’s office did not turn over documents related to the purchase of a $19,000 lectern, claiming that is a violation of the state’s FOIA law.”


The Verge: The poster’s guide to the internet of the future. “The idea is that you, the poster, should post on a website that you own. Not an app that can go away and take all your posts with it, not a platform with ever-shifting rules and algorithms. Your website. But people who want to read or watch or listen to or look at your posts can do that almost anywhere because your content is syndicated to all those platforms.” If you’ve been on the Internet since the early 1990s, this is going to seem very familiar…

North Carolina State University: Helping Companies Understand – and Respond to – Online Misinformation . “When misinformation spreads on social media, there can be real consequences for both companies and the public. A new study offers insight into how consumers respond to these online hoaxes, which companies can use to better respond to these misinformation campaigns.” Good morning, Internet…

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