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Cryptocurrency, Telegram, Optimizing GIFs, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, December 2, 2022

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Yahoo Finance: Kraken laying off 30% of workforce as FTX fallout continues to rock crypto industry. “Crypto exchange Kraken, the second largest in the U.S., is laying off 1,100 employees, or 30 percent of its workforce, its co-founder Jesse Powell said in a statement on Wednesday.”

CoinDesk: Telegram CEO Durov Plans to Build Crypto Wallets, Decentralized Exchange. “Bolstered by Fragment’s strong sales, [Pavel] Durov is setting Telegram on a course for deeper crypto buildouts. He said the company will build a decentralized exchange and non-custodial wallets that could reach millions of users. Telegram is already a go-to messaging app for many crypto traders, giving it a captive audience from the start.”

USEFUL STUFF

Hongkiat: 9 Best Tools to Optimize Animated GIFs. “Animated GIFs are interesting and all, but the time taken to load the are not. Because they consist of frames of animations, they are usually big in terms of file size. This means it is a pain to load web pages, especially if you have many of them. But the good news is, Animated GIFs can be optimized. In other words, their file size can be shrunk without compromising the image quality.”

AROUND THE INTERNET WORLD

Ars Technica: Musk won’t relaunch Twitter Blue until he finds a way to avoid Apple fees. “Twitter CEO Elon Musk was planning to bring back Twitter Blue this week, but then he got frustrated with Apple, and now nobody knows when the subscription service will relaunch. But it seems Musk has decided that when Twitter Blue—initially exclusively offered to iPhone and iPad users—comes back, the service will likely not be available for purchase in the Apple App Store.”

New York Times: A Lasting Legacy of Covid: Far-Right Platforms Spreading Health Myths. “Not long after Randy Watt died of Covid-19, his daughter Danielle sat down at her computer, searching for clues as to why the smart and thoughtful man she knew had refused to get vaccinated. She pulled up Google, typed in a screen name he had used in the past and discovered a secret that stunned her.”

CNET: Interactive Google Doodle Game Celebrates Video Game Pioneer Jerry Lawson . “Known as the ‘father of the video game cartridge,’ Lawson led the team that would create a system that paved the way for several popular video game consoles.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

NPR: Twitter’s chaos could make political violence worse outside of the U.S.. “Under the chaotic changes unleashed by Elon Musk, Twitter users in the U.S. are confronting problems that have long plagued the social network in other parts of the world – and which are at risk of getting even worse under its new billionaire owner, according to human rights and freedom of expression advocates.”

New Yorker: A Hacked Newsroom Brings a Spyware Maker to U.S. Court. “[Roman] Gressier is one of at least thirty-five journalists and civil-society members hacked with Pegasus in El Salvador between July, 2020, and November, 2021, according to the analysis by Citizen Lab, which was verified by Amnesty International. The hacking campaign comprised at least two hundred and sixty Pegasus attacks.”

City A.M.: Google sued by 130,000 firms over ad dominance. “Google has been sued in a claim by 130,000 firms that argue its advertising strategy has cost them billions of pounds in lost revenues. The competition claim valued at up to £13.6bn at the Competition Appeal Tribunal accuses Google and its parent firm Alphabet of abusing its dominant position in online advertising and ‘earning super-profits for itself at the expense of the tens of thousands of publishers of websites and mobiles apps in the UK’.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Gizmodo: Disney Made a Movie Quality AI Tool That Automatically Makes Actors Look Younger (or Older). “Further demonstrating the power of artificial intelligence when it comes to photorealistically altering footage, researchers from Disney have revealed a new aging/de-aging tool that can make an actor look convincingly older or younger, without the need for weeks of complex and expensive visual effects work.”

Harvard Gazette: How demagogues wield social media. “One of the many factors contributing to increased polarization and the global weakening of democracies over the past decade is how effective populist demagogues are at using social media, according to a cognitive scientist who studies online misinformation.”

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

Boing Boing: Import your old Sim Cities into Minecraft. “Got some old Sim City 2000 cities lying around? Import them to Minecraft with Mine City 2000, an astonishingly precise converter made by jgosar.” Good morning, Internet…

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