Russia Churches, Pension Tracker, Snapchat, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 14, 2020


Find Lost Russian & Ukrainian Family: Photo database of more than 20,000 Russian churches brings new life to genealogy. “The tragic history of destroying churches in Russia cannot be forgotten. Thankfully, volunteers in Russia are photographing the churches still standing throughout the massive country. So far, the Temples of Russia project has more than 26,000 photos of Russian Orthodox and Old Believers churches and chapels in its database. The amazing database has churches that are functioning, closed and forgotten. Photos were even added today.”


Bill Lane Center for the American West: The Bill Lane Center is the Proud New Home of Pension Tracker. “The Bill Lane Center will serve as the new home to Pension Tracker, a tool that looks at public sector debt for pension liabilities across the United States, with a particular focus on California. Formerly housed at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), Pension Tracker was launched by Joe Nation, a SIEPR fellow and professor of the practice of public policy. In maintaining Pension Tracker, Nation hopes to provide granular data to Californians and other Westerners so that all are aware of the dire financial conditions of public pensions, and the need for lawmakers and pension managers to take action.”

Mashable: Snapchat now lets you compare in-depth astrology readings with friends. “Snap has just built a full-fledged astrology app within Snapchat itself. Beginning Thursday, users can access their detailed astrological profile — including analyses and personality explanations of their sun, moon, and rising signs, and the positions of the other planets in the solar system — by clicking an icon in their Snapchat profiles.”

The Next Web: Twitter flagged 300,000 tweets for election misinformation. “A little over a week after the US election, Twitter has revealed it has labeled over 300,000 tweets as election misinformation so far.”


The Bejinger: The Expat Influencers Taking Chinese Social Media by Storm. “While the cult of personality surrounding social media influencers is a worldwide phenomenon, in China, devotion to KOLs – or key opinion leaders – stands in a league of its own. Millions of video content producers share their opinions and slices of life on social media platforms, with more and more expats cashing in on the craze…. To help you navigate this evolving world of internet celebrity, we’ve rounded up a few accounts that are quickly becoming the new face of foreign-China, much to the delight of Chinese netizens.”

BBC: British Museum to help dig for Nigerian treasures. “The British Museum has announced plans to help ‘investigate the history of the Kingdom of Benin’, with a grand archaeology mission and new museum. The organisation will work with Nigerian teams on the creation of a new Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA) and accompanying archaeology project.”


ZDNet: Microsoft urges users to stop using phone-based multi-factor authentication. “Microsoft is urging users to abandon telephone-based multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions like one-time codes sent via SMS and voice calls and instead replace them with newer MFA technologies, like app-based authenticators and security keys.”

City A.M.: Google boss apologises to EU chief over plans to dodge antitrust laws. “Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has apologised to EU industry chief Thierry Breton after leaked documents revealed plans to attack the commissioner over new antitrust laws. In a video conference last night, Pichai insisted he had not seen or signed off on the document and apologised for the way it had come out.”


BetaNews: 6 emerging technologies in 2021. “Technology is always changing. Whether it’s delivery apps taking off because of a global pandemic or video games incorporating virtual reality (VR), technology holds an immense amount of power. As 2020 comes to a close, many are wondering what the next year holds. The following six emerging innovations are fields that will develop further throughout 2021.”

CNET: See what lidar can do on the iPhone 12 with this 3D-scanning app. “The iPhone 12 Pro’s depth-scanning lidar sensor looks ready to open up a lot of possibilities for 3D-scanning apps on phones. A new one designed for home scanning, called Canvas, uses lidar for added accuracy and detail. But the app will work with non-pro iPhones going back to the iPhone 8, too.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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