State Government Solar Power, Newspaper Wedding Announcements, City Walkability, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, October 24, 2020


PV Magazine: Politicians talk a green game, but do they have solar on their home rooftops?. “A Google Maps view of [Governor Gavin] Newsom’s panel-less roof can be seen on a new website… which is out to name names on the politicians who are — or aren’t — backing up their public support for solar with rooftop installations at home. The project is the brainchild of solar sales consultant Nick Thorsch, who recently launched the website, looking first at the rooftops of all 50 state governors’ official mansions and their personal homes.”

Ancestry: Ancestry® Debuts World’s Largest, Searchable Digital Archive of Newspaper Published Historical Wedding Announcements . “Today, Ancestry is excited to launch the first phase of the™ Marriage Index collection, powered by cutting-edge technology. We trained machine learning algorithms to comb through more than 600 million pages of digitized newspapers to extract and identify key names, relationships and other facts from marriage and engagement announcements in historical newspapers via text classification.”

Intelligent Transport: ITDP reveals new tools to improve transit inclusivity and city walkability. “The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) has revealed Pedestrians First – a guide and set of online tools to aid urban planners and city officials in assessing inclusivity of their cities’ transit systems as well as the walkability of their neighbourhoods and streets. The guide includes walkability data for nearly 1,000 metropolitan areas around the world, which users can explore in an interactive map. ITDP says this is the first-ever worldwide analysis to measure walkability in cities globally.”

WGRZ: Craving a craft brew? New website will tell you the best places in NYS to find one. “A new virtual passport will showcase and promote 200 craft breweries that closely surround the 750-mile Empire State Trail. The new website is a partnership between the Empire State Trail and the New York State Brewers Association. It encourages New Yorkers to visit breweries within ten miles of the trail which spans the entire state.”


Microsoft: Survey or quiz your friends and family with Microsoft Forms, now available for personal use. “Today, we’re excited to announce the availability of Microsoft Forms for personal use. Forms enables you to create a survey or quiz on any topic and works on any device via the web and the Office mobile app– making it easy to capture the information you need anywhere, anytime.”

Neowin: Snapchat now lets users scan food and wine labels. “Now, Snapchat is adding support for food and wine labels to its visual search lineup, with the app’s in-app camera now being able to scan packaged food and wine labels to surface information regarding the product. The feature should work like other standalone food and wine apps, which display nutritional details when barcodes are scanned via the camera.”


Global News: Canadian publishers call for collective bargaining with Google, Facebook. “News Media Canada — which represents newspaper publishers including the Globe and Mail, National Post publisher Postmedia, Toronto Star publisher Torstar, La Presse and Quebecor — says the two web giants have established an effective duopoly in the digital ads market that’s starving Canada’s media industry of revenue.”

VN Express: Vietnamese food YouTubers keep hungry audiences hooked. “The popularity of Vietnamese food videos on YouTube is gaining global attention, and many foreign YouTubers have begun to post videos of themselves trying Vietnamese dishes and their reactions to them…. YouTube is the second most accessed site in Vietnam with 59 percent of the population using it, according to a 2018 report by U.K. research firm We Are Social. The country is one of the platform’s five biggest global markets.”

BuzzFeed News: Doulas Are Using The Internet To Warn Each Other About People Pretending To Be Pregnant. “Doulas act as nonmedical support during childbirth. This might mean helping make a birth plan, helping labor at home, advising when to head to the hospital, emotional support, and help with baby care and breastfeeding postpartum. The work has a surprising problem: For years, doulas have dealt with fakers who want to roleplay a pregnancy or childbirth fantasy. They can’t stop it, but doulas are organizing using Facebook groups to warn each other.”


Reuters: Google must respond to U.S. antitrust lawsuit by Dec. 19 . “Alphabet Inc’s Google must respond to the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit by Dec. 19, according to a court filing on Friday.”

News18: Report: Ransomware Disables Georgia County Election Database. “A ransomware attack that hobbled a Georgia county government in early October reportedly disabled a database used to verify voter signatures in the authentication of absentee ballots. It is the first reported case of a ransomware attack affecting an election-related system in the 2020 cycle.”


TRAFFIC: TRAFFIC launches Elephant Trade Information System Online. “The new platform allows authorised governmental representatives to access and more easily submit records on elephant specimen seizures in their respective countries. For example, Parties can view and download their data that are used in ETIS analyses, which details the number and weight of seizures made within the country as well as seizures in which their country was implicated by other Parties. ETIS is a database holding almost 30,000 records of seizures or confiscations of elephant ivory and other elephant specimens, which have been reported since 1989 – for a total of over 750 tonnes of raw ivory equivalent to date.” Good morning, Internet…

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