Large-Scale Solar Facilities, Accessibility in Web Design, Indigenous Reads Rising, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, November 10, 2023


US Department of Energy: U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Geological Survey Release Online Public Database of Large-Scale Solar Facilities. “The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) released the largest and most comprehensive database to date on large-scale solar energy projects in the United States. The U.S. Large-Scale Solar Photovoltaic Database (USPVDB) includes the location, size, and other characteristics of large-scale solar projects.”

Design Week: New platform launches to help web designers navigate accessibility guidelines. “Edinburgh-based design consultancy Studio Lutalica and web design studio Lattimore + Friends have developed a free website in a bid to demystify the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and help designers make websites more accessible. Understanding Accessibility was created to be a simple step-by-step guide for web designers that they can use to help them design for disabilities.”

School Library Journal: We Need Diverse Books Launches Indigenous Kid Lit Website . “The site features booklists and articles on Native American literature, land acknowledgment, and tropes and stereotypes, as well as extensive resources for teachers, librarians, and readers. The goal of the resources is to help educators use Native books in the classroom and offer guidance and best practices on how to teach those books.”


Smile FM (South Africa): City in talks with Google to caution visitors on certain areas. “Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis says he has been in discussion with international companies providing GPS services, like Google and Waze, in a bid to caution visitors about certain areas in the Mother City. This after a 55 year old American tourist Walter Fischel was stabbed in the face and robbed in Nyanga on Friday afternoon… In yet another tourist attack, an elderly German couple were attacked along Baden Powell Drive yesterday.”

TechCrunch: LGBTQ suicide prevention org the Trevor Project is leaving Elon Musk’s X for good. “The Trevor Project announced Thursday that it has decided to end its presence on the platform in light of ‘increasing hate and vitriol’ targeting the queer community on X, which Elon Musk purchased one year ago. The organization is focused on suicide prevention and provides 24/7 counseling for young LGBTQ people struggling with mental health challenges.”


The Guardian: Cheese-rolling, straw bears and weird rituals galore: one man’s mission to record all of British folklore. “Fans of British folklore are championing a campaign to safeguard a unique archive cataloguing traditions from Britain and Ireland. The collection – of more than 20,000 books, 4,000 tape cassettes and 3,500 hours of reel-to-reel audio – has been amassed by one man. David ‘Doc’ Rowe is a 79-year-old folklorist who has travelled the UK since the 1960s, visiting calendar customs such as the Straw Bear Festival, the Krampus Run or the Hunting of the Earl of Rone.”

Wall Street Journal: Block’s Stock Price Is Down 80%. Enter CEO Jack Dorsey.. “Jack Dorsey has been notoriously hands-off. Recent events are forcing him to change. For years, his payments company, Block, was perceived as a success, even with him only in the background. Things changed last month when he started running Square, one of Block’s marquee units, after his handpicked deputy abruptly left.”


The Register: Google mulled offering paid-for no-logging private Search subscription . “In 2018, concerned about the public’s perception of its privacy practices, Google leaders proposed a subscription-based private Search service, one that doesn’t log queries and other data. According to testimony in Google’s ongoing antitrust case, Danny Sullivan, public liaison for Google Search, endorsed the subscription idea in an email discussion with Meredith Hoffer, then director of marketing for Google Search, and numerous other Chocolate Factory executives including the then-head of Search Ben Gomes, who forwarded the discussion to a subset of participants.”

Reuters: Exclusive-YouTube, TikTok face EU requests for details on measures protecting minors. “Google’s YouTube and TikTok will be asked by EU industry chief Thierry Breton to explain how they protect children from illegal and harmful content on their platforms in line with new EU rules, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.”

Bloomberg: Google, Meta Win EU Court Fight to Avoid Austrian Content Curbs. “Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Meta Platforms Inc. and ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok won a ruling at the European Union’s top court that limits the scope for EU nations to pepper them with their own local rules.”


Seattle Times: Google owes news outlets at least $10 billion yearly, study estimates. “A revelatory new study estimates that Google and Facebook owe U.S. news outlets at least $12 billion a year for the value news content adds to their platforms. Google owes publishers $10 billion to $12 billion annually and Facebook $1.9 billion, according to the study by professors at Columbia University and the University of Houston, with Boston-based consulting firm The Brattle Group.”

University of Rochester: Audio deepfake detective developing new sleuthing techniques. “With artificial intelligence-powered audio generation making it increasingly hard to distinguish between real and fake audio, an electrical and computer engineering PhD student is working to develop tools to protect against scammers. You ‘Neil’ Zhang of the Audio Information Research (AIR) Lab at the University of Rochester received a competitive National Institute of Justice graduate research fellowship to develop new audio deepfake detection systems.” Good morning, Internet…

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