Solar Panel Investments, Eyes on the Solar System, Google Docs, More: Monday ResearchBuzz, September 5, 2022


National Institute of Standards and Technology: Deciding Whether to Install Solar Panels on Your Home? A New NIST Web Tool Can Help. “Whether it’s to live more sustainably, save money or both, many people think about adding solar panels to their homes. Homeowners consider a number of factors, including which type of solar panel might work best for them, when deciding whether the investment is worth it. Now, an online software tool from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) can help answer homeowners’ questions. The software is called [PV]2 — Present Value of PhotoVoltaics — and it analyzes the economic and environmental impacts of rooftop solar technology.”

NASA: Explore the Solar System With NASA’s New-and-Improved 3D ‘Eyes’. “NASA has revamped its ‘Eyes on the Solar System’ 3D visualization tool, making interplanetary travel easier and more interactive than ever. More than two years in the making, the update delivers better controls, improved navigation, and a host of new opportunities to learn about our incredible corner of the cosmos – no spacesuit required. All you need is a device with an internet connection.”


How-To Geek: Google Maps Can Be In Your Google Docs. “Google Docs has been building up its ‘chips’ support over the past few months, which are shortcuts available by typing the @ symbol into a document. Now there’s an updated chip for adding locations from Google Maps.”

Internet Archive Blog: Internet Archive Opposes Publishers in Federal Lawsuit. “On Friday, September 2, we filed a brief in opposition to the four publishers that sued Internet Archive in June 2020: Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House. This is the second of three briefs from us that will help the Court decide the case.”


Lifehacker: Use This Free Tool to Restore Faces in Old Family Photos. “This online tool—called GFPGAN—first made it onto our radar when it was featured in the August 28 edition of the (excellent) Recomendo newsletter, specifically, a post by Kevin Kelly. In it, he says that he uses this free program to restore his own old family photos, noting that it focuses solely on the faces of those pictured, and ‘works pretty well, sometimes perfectly, in color and black and white.'” I tried this tool with a picture of my great-grandfather sitting on the running board of an old Ford with his three kids. It worked okay, but I think it would work better on pictures were the faces where closer-up.

WIRED: Anyone Can Be a VTuber. Here’s How to Get Started . “VTubers is short for Virtual YouTubers, but encompasses Twitch streamers who use a virtual avatar as well. Everybody can be Kizuna AI now, and there’s countless ways of doing so. If you’re looking for where to begin, many existing VTubers recommend starting from a basic and almost-free (or as low-cost as possible) way.”


Variety: Amazon’s Delay for ‘The Rings of Power’ Reviews on Prime Video Part of New Initiative to Filter Out Trolls (EXCLUSIVE). “Starting around the time of the launch of the distaff baseball dramedy ‘A League of Their Own,’ which premiered its full first season on Aug. 12, Amazon Prime Video quietly introduced a new 72-hour delay for all user reviews posted to Prime Video, a representative for the streamer confirmed to Variety. Each critique is then evaluated to determine whether it’s genuine or a forgery created by a bot, troll or other breed of digital goblin.”

Straits Times: From Facebook to TikTok: S’pore politicians’ latest social media battleground. “First, Members of Parliament went on Facebook when many Singaporeans spent more time on the social networking site. In recent years, they took to Instagram. Today, they are also turning to TikTok. The Sunday Times explores the trend and allure of this social media platform.” This is an overview leading to a set of related stories.


New York Times: How Fake GPS Coordinates Are Leading to Lawlessness on the High Seas. “A technology enabling the transmission of fake locations to carry out murky or even illegal business operations could have profound implications for the enforcement of international law.”

Google Blog: Announcing Google’s Open Source Software Vulnerability Rewards Program. “Today, we are launching Google’s Open Source Software Vulnerability Rewards Program (OSS VRP) to reward discoveries of vulnerabilities in Google’s open source projects. As the maintainer of major projects such as Golang, Angular, and Fuchsia, Google is among the largest contributors and users of open source in the world.”

The Verge: How Twitter’s Child Porn Problem Ruined Its Plans For An Onlyfans Competitor . “In the spring of 2022, Twitter considered making a radical change to the platform. After years of quietly allowing adult content on the service, the company would monetize it. The proposal: give adult content creators the ability to begin selling OnlyFans-style paid subscriptions, with Twitter keeping a share of the revenue.”


Florida Atlantic University: Digital Self-Harm Linked To Dramatic Rise In Youth Suicide Attempts . “Digital self-harm is defined as the online posting, sending or sharing of hurtful content about oneself anonymously. Since research is clear that traditional forms of self-harm (cutting, burning, hitting oneself) is linked to suicidal ideation and attempts, it stands to reason that youth who post cruel, embarrassing or threatening content about themselves (while their peers assume a third-party is the culprit) do so for similar dysphoric or abnormal reasons.” Good morning, Internet…

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