WebXR, Cult Cinema, Twitter Spaces, More: Wednesday Evening ResearchBuzz, April 7, 2021


Google Blog: Experiment with AR and VR made for the web. “Augmented and virtual reality are opening up the possibilities of how we interact with the world and information around us. WebXR brings together AR and VR on the web to make them more convenient and widely accessible. Today on the Experiments with Google platform, we’re launching the new WebXR collection to showcase what is possible with this technology — from helpful utilities to get things done, to playful and immersive experiences.”

The Streamable: New Streaming Service Cultpix Debuts With 400 Classic Cult Films. “The platform will launch with a library of 400 cult classic and vintage films and TV shows. Looking to find an audience that has not been properly served by current providers, the content on Cultpix covers the gamut from Italian swordplay epics and Spanish horror to Swedish erotica and American slashers, seeking to draw from genre films published prior to the ’90s. The selection is expected to double by the end of the year thanks to a number of pending content deals.”


Beebom: How to Create, Join, and Use Twitter Spaces (Guide). “Last December, Twitter released its live audio rooms feature ‘Spaces’ in private beta for iOS users. The company has since expanded the testing to some Android users. If you’re wondering what Twitter Spaces is all about or are curious to know if you should use the feature, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know to use Twitter Spaces, including how to create, join, and use the feature.”

PC World: Turn Google Photos into Windows backgrounds with this awesome app. “Neither Windows nor Mac offer much in the way of dynamic wallpaper options, and they certainly don’t integrate with Google’s photo service. Thankfully, a program called John’s Background Switcher changes all that.”

The Next Web: Holy sheet: How to pull contact details from a website using only Google Sheets. “Are you in a job where you regularly need to collect contact information from companies? And do you find it an annoying and unnecessarily time-consuming task to sort through ever-changing web designs, to find that one button or bit of information you’re actually looking for? Don’t look any further… help is on the way!” Brilliant use of IMPORTXML / XPath.


Getty: New Project Launches to Identify, Protect, and Celebrate L.A.’s Black Heritage. “Despite comprehensive efforts over the years to record Los Angeles’s historic places, the city’s historic designation programs do not yet reflect the depth and breadth of African American history. Just over three percent of the city’s 1,200 designated local landmarks are linked to African American heritage. Over the next three years, the project will work with local communities and cultural institutions to more fully recognize and understand African American experiences in Los Angeles. The work aims to identify and help preserve the places that best represent these stories and work with communities to develop creative approaches that meet their own aims for placemaking, identity, and empowerment.”

AP: France to open archive for period covering Rwandan genocide. “France’s role before and during the 1994 Rwandan genocide was a ‘monumental failure’ that the country must acknowledge, the lead author of a report commissioned by President Emmanuel Macron said, as the country is about to open its archives from this period to the public.”

NBC News: In a Pennsylvania town, a Facebook group fills the local news void. “…the question of just who is accountable for providing information in Beaver County is murky. The area’s once-trusted news source, a newspaper with a 160-year history, was devastated in a few short months after it was swallowed up by giant corporate chains. The vacuum was filled by social media, namely Facebook.”


BNN Bloomberg: Google faces complaint in France over Android advertising tool. “Google’s Android advertising tool is the target of a complaint in France by privacy activist Max Schrems, accusing the tech giant of violating European Union rules by failing to get users’ consent.”

Vice: Facebook Says It’s Your Fault That Hackers Got Half a Billion User Phone Numbers. “Facebook has become accustomed to dealing with multiple massive privacy breaches in recent years, and data belonging to hundreds of millions of its users has been leaked or stolen by hackers. But, instead of owning up to its latest failure to protect user data, Facebook is pulling from a familiar playbook: just like it did during the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, it’s attempting to reframe the security failure as merely a breach of its terms of service.” Good evening, Internet…

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