1931 Canada Census, US Building Permit Data, ERCOT Grid Notifications, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, June 2, 2023


Government of Canada: The 1931 Census is now online!. “Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is proud and excited to offer access to the digitized 1931 Census of Canada, 92 years after it was conducted. This is the first time that LAC has provided online access to census content on the first day permitted by law.”

US Census Bureau: Census Bureau Unveils Unique, Interactive Building Permit Tool. “For the first time, the U.S. Census Bureau has created an interactive map of national, state and county building permit data. The recently released tool allows quick access and insight into the dynamics of permits issued for new residential construction.”

Electric Reliability Council of Texas: ERCOT Launches Grid Notification Tool. “ERCOT today announced the Texas Advisory and Notification System (TXANS), a new communications tool that will deliver information on grid conditions to the public. As part of ERCOT’s ongoing effort to be more open and transparent, today’s announcement is in addition to the previously announced 6-Day Supply and Demand Forecast and Fuel Mix dashboards available on the ERCOT webpage.”


NBC News: ‘Trump Bucks’ retailers’ websites taken down, days after being exposed for selling bogus currency. “The companies that appear to have swindled supporters of former President Donald Trump out of tens of thousands of dollars by peddling bogus ‘Trump Bucks’ no longer have active websites just days after their businesses were exposed by NBC News.”

Engadget: Android can now ‘remix’ emojis and help with reading practice. “Google has listed a bunch of features rolling out to the Android ecosystem starting today, June 1st, and one of them can help new readers improve their diction and vocabulary.”


The New Times (Rwanda): Zimbabwe summons US diplomat over social media adverts. “The Zimbabwe government said it summoned the acting U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe over an ad urging citizens in the southern African nation to register to vote, VOA reports.”

Guitar: People are using AI to expand iconic album covers and the results are… mixed . “This week, classic album covers are the vehicle for people having fun with AI online, in this case using Photoshop Beta’s new AI-powered ‘Generative Fill’ feature to expand classic album covers and give a hint of what the machine things might have been lurking outside the confines of the original sleeve.”


FTC: Out of the mouths of babes? FTC says Amazon kept kids’ Alexa voice data forever – even after parents ordered deletion. “‘Stop it!’ Moms and Dads may have to repeat that instruction to their kids, but when parents said it to Amazon in an effort to get the company to delete children’s voice data obtained through its Alexa voice assistant, Amazon should have honored those requests immediately. But according to a complaint filed by the Department of Justice on the FTC’s behalf, Amazon responded by deleting files in some databases while maintaining them elsewhere – meaning the information was available for Amazon to use for its own purposes.”

Torrent Freak: Iconic Torrent Site RARBG Shuts Down, All Content Releases Stop. “RARBG, one of the world’s largest torrent sites, has said ‘farewell’ to millions of users. The site, which was a prominent and stable source of new movie and TV show releases, cited a variety of reasons behind its decision to cease operations. The surprise shutdown marks the end of an era.”


iNews: Twitter is making researchers delete data it gave them unless they pay $42,000. “Academic researchers have been set a deadline of the end of the month to delete data they obtained under historic contracts to study Twitter, unless the pay a new $42,000-a-month contract – a demand one called ‘the big data equivalent of book burning’.”

WIRED: The Surgeon General Is Pushing for a Misguided Social Media Policy. “THIS WEEK, SURGEON General Vivek Murthy issued a long-overdue message warning Americans what they already know: Social media is harming kids. But looking through the 19-page advisory, the surgeon general’s solutions appear potentially more dangerous than these pariah platforms themselves.”

Los Angeles Times: Column: I quit Twitter for a week. I didn’t miss it. Be worried, Elon Musk. “At its best, Twitter makes you feel connected to the world in an instantaneous way that rivals like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok can’t match. Those platforms are simply too thought out, too intentional, too much hassle, when all you want to do is fire off a 140-character thought or a goofy GIF. Twitter is all about the ramble, the random, the rants — how you talk with friends in real life. And that was the thing I quickly realized during my break: I could replicate Twitter in real life by, well, living in real life.” Good morning, Internet…

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