Wholesale Energy Prices, Tennessee Early Readers, Missing Persons Montana, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, May 23, 2021


Berkeley Lab Electricity Markets & Policy: New data tool explores trends in wholesale power prices and renewable energy supply. “Variable renewable generation can have important impacts to pricing patterns at the local level, but those patterns are often obscured when looking at regional average annual pricing trends. The Renewables and Wholesale Electricity Prices (ReWEP) tool allows users to compare pricing trends across locations, regions, and a number of different timeframes, down to the nodal level. These comparisons illustrate the ongoing interactions between wind and solar generation and wholesale energy prices.”

Chattanooga Times Free Press: State education department launches free decodable books program to strengthen K-2 reading skills. “The Tennessee Department of Education has a new tool in its effort to make students proficient readers by the time they enter third grade. Called ‘decodables,’ the free, at-home reading supplement for students in kindergarten through second grade helps parents work with their youngsters to build reading skills and practice phonics.”

KHQ: New database and portal aims to ‘streamline’ reports of missing indigenous people. “The Blackfeet Community College unveiled a new portal that will help people report cases of Montana’s missing and murdered indigenous people…. People can submit a missing persons report, which will get sent to local law enforcement agencies. The coalition will make sure that agencies got it, and will keep in touch with the person who submitted it. They’ll also post the report on social media pages.”


Input: Scan Band turns your lunch into a playable AR musical instrument. “Artiphon, the company behind novel musical instruments the Orba (which we reviewed last year) and Instrument 1, has made an augmented reality (AR) app called Scan Band that lets users turn objects around them into virtual instruments…. Once a user’s opened Scan Band in Snapchat they can point their cameras at quotidien objects (like food, pets, plants) and they’ll be transformed into AR stickers. They can then bang out sounds on the stickers.”

RouteNote: Pinterest launches Idea Pins – TikTok meets Stories. “Even Pinterest has Stories now. The platform’s new Idea Pins let creators add pages of videos to their profile, with voiceovers and music.”

CNET: Twitter’s Ticketed Spaces to launch in coming weeks. “Twitter is preparing to launch its Ticketed Spaces feature in the next couple of weeks, the company announced Friday, enabling people to host live, paid shows on the platform.”


MakeUseOf: How to Use Zoom Video Filters. “Zoom has become a popular pick for video conferencing. It may be for meetings, webinars, classes, or even catching up with friends. However, if we’re honest, facing a screen full of poker-faced people can be pretty boring if not their still photos or their names. In this article, we guide you on how to use built-in and third-party Zoom filters that you can show off at your next Zoom meeting.”


Yahoo: Google CEO: Our ultimate moonshot is still Search. “For Google (GOOG, GOOGL) and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, his ‘ultimate moonshot’ is still Search, the company’s iconic and enormously successful search engine.” I’d comment but I’m afraid I’d melt the keyboard.


United States Department of Justice: Four Individuals Plead Guilty to RICO Conspiracy Involving “Bulletproof Hosting” for Cybercriminals. “Four Eastern European nationals have pleaded guilty to conspiring to engage in a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) arising from their providing ‘bulletproof hosting’ services between 2008 and 2015, which were used by cybercriminals to distribute malware and attack financial institutions and victims throughout the United States.”

ProPublica: Addressing Rape in Four Minutes or Less: Dating App Reps Left Unprepared to Respond to Assault Victims. “The multibillion-dollar online dating industry has no meaningful standards for responding to reports of offline harm and removing those responsible from its platforms, Columbia Journalism Investigations and ProPublica found. Despite pledges to shield users from sexual predators, the companies have done little to abide by them. Most companies have loosely defined procedures that force employees to rely on their own judgment. Dating app users who report an attack, like [Natalie] Dong, often have to badger companies to take action.”


Analytics India: How AI Is Breathing Life Into Animation. “According to Statista, the global animation market is expected to grow from $259 billion in 2018 to 270 billion by 2020. Animation has reached new heights because of the rapid evolution of deep learning and the proliferation of software tools. Here are some examples of how Artificial intelligence and machine learning are bringing animation to life in studios.”

BBC: Could my mum’s toaster help me care for her?. “An emerging technology allows relatives to keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable people living alone by monitoring their electricity usage – but as with all innovations, there is the potential for misuse.” Good morning, Internet…

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