How Buildings Use Energy, Louisiana Government Salaries, WordPress ActivityPub, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, September 18, 2023


NREL Researchers Reveal How Buildings Across United States Do—and Could—Use Energy
. “Buildings are responsible for 40% of total energy use in the United States, including 75% of all electricity use and 35% of the nation’s carbon emissions….To facilitate decarbonization of the U.S. building stock, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have created a new, meticulously researched data set that details how buildings do—and could—use energy. This data set, called the End-Use Load Profiles, reveals the massive climate impacts that improvements to the U.S. building stock could have.”

Louisiana Illuminator: Louisiana government salary database is finally live. “The state of Louisiana has made a searchable database of state employee salary information publicly available. The database is available on the state’s financial transparency website… It includes all executive branch salary information but does not yet include salaried higher education employees.”


TechCrunch: WordPress blogs can now be followed in the fediverse, including Mastodon. “In March, owner Automattic made a commitment to the fediverse — the decentralized social networks that include the Twitter rival Mastodon and others — with the acquisition of an ActivityPub plug-in that allows WordPress blogs to reach readers on other federated platforms. Now, the company is announcing ActivityPub 1.0.0 for WordPress has been released allowing WordPress blogs to be followed by others on apps like Mastodon and others in the fediverse and then receive replies back as comments on their own sites.”

Search Engine Land: TikTok quietly adds Wikipedia snippets to its search results. “TikTok now serves Wikipedia snippets in some of its search results. This is the first time that the platform has offered its users results from the wider web as historically, it exclusively featured its own content in SERPs.”


MakeUseOf: 10 Lightweight Linux Distributions to Give Your Old PC New Life. “Old PCs can’t cope with the demands of modern operating systems and software. While upgrading hardware such as memory can help, the better solution is a lightweight operating system. Many Linux distros are designed to be lightweight, with versions of Linux under 500MB and even under 100MB available. If you’re looking for a resource-light operating system for your PC, try these compact, lightweight Linux distros.”


Troy University: Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum receives grant to create new mobile app. “A grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services will enable Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum to create a mobile app that will engage its visitors, especially the large numbers of school children who tour the museum each year on field trips.”

Futurism: Microsoft Publishes Garbled AI Article Calling Tragically Deceased NBA Player “Useless”. “Former NBA player Brandon Hunter passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 42 this week, a tragedy that rattled fans of his 2000s career with the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic. But in an unhinged twist on what was otherwise a somber news story, Microsoft’s MSN news portal published a garbled, seemingly AI-generated article that derided Hunter as ‘useless’ in its headline.”


BBC: Greater Manchester Police officers’ details hacked in cyber attack. “Police officers’ personal details have been hacked after a company was targeted in a cyber attack. The firm in Stockport, which makes ID cards, holds information on various UK organisations including some of the staff employed by Greater Manchester Police (GMP). The force confirmed it was aware of the ransomware attack.”

WIRED: China-Linked Hackers Breached a Power Grid—Again. “Today, researchers on the Threat Hunter Team at Broadcom-owned security firm Symantec revealed that a Chinese hacker group with connections to APT41, which Symantec is calling RedFly, breached the computer network of a national power grid in an Asian country—though Symantec has declined to name which country was targeted. The breach began in February of this year and persisted for at least six months as the hackers expanded their foothold throughout the IT network of the country’s national electric utility, though it’s not clear how close the hackers came to gaining the ability to disrupt power generation or transmission.”


Bill Willingham: Willingham Sends Fables Into the Public Domain. “As of now, 15 September 2023, the comic book property called Fables, including all related Fables spin-offs and characters, is now in the public domain. What was once wholly owned by Bill Willingham is now owned by everyone, for all time. It’s done, and as most experts will tell you, once done it cannot be undone. Take-backs are neither contemplated nor possible.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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