Tech Beat by Namecheap – 23 December 2022
Social media is coming under fire yet again, this time due to mounting scientific research suggesting a link between algorithms and poor mental health. You’ll want to read our article to find out why researchers are calling for more transparency from social media companies regarding how algorithms work and why users are exposed to certain types of content.
Meanwhile, a burgeoning technology that’s been making the news in recent years, quantum computing offers a new and powerful alternative to the classical computer. This year, quantum physicists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for their contributions to the field. Now that the world is beginning to realize the importance of quantum computing, we decided to take a closer look. So what is quantum tech, and how is it going to change the world? Read more in this week’s lead story.
In other news
- State of the Word 2022 reveals the growth of Gutenberg. Last week, WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg presented the annual State of the Word keynote address. The speech was held in New York City in front of a few attendees, and it was also simultaneously streamed on YouTube and other sites. If you were unable to witness the address or join one of the many local Meetup viewings, here’s a rundown of what’s ahead for WordPress in 2023.
- Microsoft banned crypto mining from online services. Microsoft recently updated its Universal License Terms for Online Services to include a section prohibiting users from mining cryptocurrency “without Microsoft’s prior written approval.” Speaking with The Register, a Microsoft representative said they made the changes to protect customers and prevent disruption of its online services. However, Microsoft may permit crypto mining for “Testing and Research for security detections.” Other companies like Google Cloud and Oracle also forbid users from crypto mining without explicit permission.
- Researchers set new ultra-fast data transfer record. A team of researchers from Sweden and Denmark has managed to transfer 230,000GB of data in a single second. That amounts to twice the total size of global Internet traffic. According to Gizmodo, the team pulled off the feat with a new kind of chip that uses a single laser, transferring 1.84 petabits per second through a fiber optic cable consisting of 37 cores and a 7.9-kilometer distance. The previous record was set by Japanese researchers earlier this year, who managed a transfer rate of 1.02 petabits per second.
- Stability AI will let artists opt out of image software training. According to Ars Technica, the image-generating AI program Stability AI has said that it will allow artists to remove their artwork from use in the new Stable Diffusion 3.0 release. Artists frequently find that their images are used by image generators for inspiration or to create computer-generated art in the same style. In protest of this misappropriation of original artwork, the Have I Been Trained website collected opt-out requests from artists, which Stability AI says they will respect in their upcoming version release.
- Plastic products could be causing weight gain. A new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has found that substances in everyday plastic products could be linked to overweight and obesity, according to EurekAlert. The study looked at 34 items, such as plastic containers, bottles, and sponges, which contained 55,000 chemical components. They identified 629 substances, 11 of which are metabolism-disrupting chemicals. While in the past, experts believed that plastic chemicals remained in the products, the study shows that the chemicals leach in real-world conditions. This can affect development and fertility, as well as contributing towards weight gain.
- Why we get colds and flu in the winter. It’s long been known that bugs and viruses come around more often in the colder months, but finally, we can explain this with biological reasoning. CNN reports on the study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology that shows cold air damages immune responses in the nose. The study found that a temperature reduction of just 9° Fahrenheit (5° Celcius) can kill almost half the cells that fight viruses and bacteria in the nostrils. It also looked at the behavior of extracellular vesicles that replicate by 160% when viruses and bacteria enter the nose.
Tip of the week: Time to try Tumblr again!
If you haven’t checked out Tumblr in a while, now could be a good time to give it another try. The site has been through some changes over the past few years, with enhancements under the supervision of Automattic, the team behind WordPress.
Tumblr has always been excellent for finding inspiration — whether it’s art, photography, music, or just interesting stories — and it’s still one of the best places to get your creative juices flowing. It’s still the same great platform for finding and sharing all kinds of content, but new improvements to rich text formatting have made it a strong option for microbloggers looking to leave Twitter behind.
From changing the colors and fonts to adding widgets, you can make your Tumblr your own, with enhanced formatting options you won’t find on the top social media platforms.
So if you’re looking for a creative outlet, or just somewhere to go that isn’t Facebook or Twitter, give Tumblr another try. You won’t be disappointed!
Happy holidays from all of us at Namecheap!