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Google launches new journalism tools, including Pinpoint for sifting through documents

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Google today unveiled Journalist Studio, a set of online tools for journalists.

Most of the products included in Journalist Studio, such as Google Trends and the Fact Check Explorer, were already available elsewhere. But in addition to bringing everything together into a new suite of products, Google also announced two new tools: Pinpoint and The Common Knowledge Project.

Megan H. Chan, Google’s news ecosystems lead, demonstrated Pinpoint for me yesterday. Chan previously served as an editor and digital executive at publications like Politico and The Washington Post, and she recalled moments when reporters would get access to a large trove public records — those documents could be crucial, but it was also a huge chore to go through them.

Pinpoint is designed to make the process simpler by identifying the people, organizations and locations that are mentioned most frequently, and to make it easy to jump to each of those references. Chan noted that this should be less tedious than simply hitting CTRL-F over and over again for different terms. And because it uses Google’s Knowledge Graph technology, Pinpoint can also find group related terms, or distinguish between two similar-looking ones, such as “John F. Kennedy” and “John F. Kennedy, Jr.”

Chan added that these tools are “no replacement for a human journalist,” but they can make those journalists more effective. And she suggested that this could be useful during the fact-checking process, allowing journalists to more quickly and reliably back up their assertions with editors, rather than simply relying on their notes.

Google Pinpoint

Image Credits: Google

Also, because of Google’s speech-to-text capabilities, Pinpoint can be used to sift through audio as well.

Although the product is only being released publicly today, some journalists have already been using it in their reporting, for example allowing USA Today to aggregate data on COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes across the United States.

Asked whether users should feel comfortable uploading sensitive documents to the service, Chan said, “Google, we believe, has best-in class privacy and security practices, and Pinpoint is absolutely no exception.”

She acknowledged that journalists sometimes have access to documents that are “extremely sensitive” and they won’t even upload them to their own internal networks. But she argued in that most cases, Google’s security practices should be sufficient.

As part of Pinpoint, Google is also partnering with The Center for Public Integrity, Document Cloud, Stanford University’s Big Local News program and The Washington Post to create shared document collections.

The Common Knowledge Project, meanwhile, allows journalists to explore a variety of public datasets (from Data Commons, which collects data sets from organizations like the U.S. Census and the CDC) and then create their own interactive visualizations, which can then be embedded in their stories.

Simon Rogers, the data editor at the Google News Initiative’s News Lab, told me that one fo the goals of the project is to encourage “data literacy” by creating defaults around how the numbers can be visualized in informative (rather than misleading) ways: “We will try not to show things in a way they shouldn’t be shown.”

All of the tools in Google’s Journalist Studio are either available for free, or journalists can sign up for a complimentary account.

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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