Facebook is buying Giphy, and that means how you send and receive GIFs on the internet could change forever. The service claims that more than 700 million people see Giphy content every day, and many of those views come from some of the internet’s most popular apps— from Apple’s iMessage to TikTok and Twitter — most of which rely on Giphy’s API and archives to let users share and post GIFs.
It’s likely that at least some of those services won’t want to have a Facebook-owned platform integrated with their products moving forward. Not only do these companies generally prefer not to rely on major competitors, but Facebook’s services have had issues with privacy (like the Cambridge Analytica scandal) and reliability (like when a small Facebook SDK bug took down many major mobile apps earlier this month).
Facebook says developers will be able to rely on Giphy as they had before the acquisition, and as of this writing, it appears you can still use Giphy in most apps just as you could before. “People will still be able to upload GIFs; developers and API partners will continue to have the same access to GIPHY’s APIs; and GIPHY’s creative community will still be able to create great content,” Vishal Shah, Instagram’s vice president of product, said in a blog post on Friday.
It’s also important to note that there are no tracking pixels, cookies, or any other embedded user tracking mechanisms in Giphy’s GIFs or stickers, the company tells The Verge. And the Giphy API can see your search terms, but not any of your data, according to the Twitter account for the messaging service Telegram. Giphy confirmed to The Verge that Telegram’s tweet is accurate. But there’s always the chance Facebook could change the way Giphy works down the line. And apps and services that use Giphy now could drop support for the service at any moment, regardless of what Facebook decides to do with the service.
Here are some apps and services with built-in Giphy integrations that could be affected by the acquisition, and we’ve asked each of them if they plan to change how they work with Giphy. This really just speaks to the start of Giphy’s reach. There are a lot more services that we haven’t listed, like Pinterest and Reddit, that let you share and post files from Giphy, but that don’t have a direct integration with the service as of now.
When you send a GIF in iMessage via the #images app that’s built into iOS, Apple sources some of those GIFs from Giphy. Apple has not responded to a request for comment. This integration seems likely to pose some tension moving forward, given Apple’s pro-privacy stance and Facebook’s tendency to absorb user data from its products.
Mailchimp lets you insert GIFs sourced from Giphy while creating an email campaign via a built-in tool. Mailchimp tells The Verge that it plans to continue offering Giphy integration. Mailchimp also offers an official Facebook integration that lets you add an email signup form to a Facebook page and publish ads for your Mailchimp campaign to Facebook.
Signal lets you search for GIFs that you can include in messages on iOS and Android, and Giphy is one of the services from which Signal sources GIFs. Signal bills itself as an end-to-end encrypted privacy- and security-focused messaging service, and the company did not say whether it plans to remove Giphy as a source of GIFs following this acquisition.
The app already implements its GIF search in a privacy-preserving way, according to Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike. That means Facebook may not be able to get any data from Giphy GIFs shared on Signal.
Now that Giphy has been acquired by FB, many have reached out to ask whether we should be concerned about Giphy search in Signal.
Signal already uses a privacy preserving approach to prevent gif search providers from receiving user data:https://t.co/PhfdHb9aJ0
— Moxie Marlinspike (@moxie) May 15, 2020
Signal also shared this statement with The Verge:
Privacy and security are at the heart of everything that we do at Signal. From the very beginning, Signal has hidden search terms from gif search providers using a privacy-preserving proxy, and the Giphy SDK isn’t included in the app at all.
The Signal service never sees the plaintext contents of what is transmitted or received during gif searches because the TLS connection is negotiated directly with Giphy, and Giphy doesn’t know who issued the request because the TCP connection is proxied through the Signal service.
This privacy-preserving functionality has been built into Signal since November of 2016, and further expanded with additional enhancements in November of 2017. You can read more on our blog here:
“Slack is committed to protecting user and company data,” said Brian Elliott, vice president and general manager of the Slack platform, in a statement to The Verge. “Giphy doesn’t receive any information about users or even companies using the Giphy for Slack integration, and only sees Slack usage of the Giphy API in aggregate.”
Telegram lets you search for GIFs from Giphy to add to your messages.
In a statement, Telegram tells The Verge that Giphy has never received any data about Telegram users. “No IP addresses or IDs, let alone phone numbers or other data, have ever been shared with Giphy,” said a Telegram spokesperson. Telegram is also in the middle of transitioning away from Giphy, the spokesperson said.
TikTok allows you to post GIFs and GIF stickers on your TikToks that are sourced from Giphy. TikTok has not replied to a request for comment. TikTok also offers the option to log in with your Facebook account.
Tinder lets you send GIFs from Giphy to people you match with. Tinder has not replied to a request for comment. Tinder already lets you log into the service with a Facebook account.
Trello offers a Giphy “power-up” so you can add GIFs from Giphy to Trello cards. Trello has not replied to a request for comment.
When you search for GIFs from the compose box on Twitter, they’re sourced in part from Giphy. Twitter also relies on Tenor (formerly known as Riffsy) for GIFs, so perhaps Twitter’s native GIF search will soon rely on that instead of Giphy.
Twitter and Facebook have a long-running spat. After Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012, Twitter cut off Instagram’s access to an API feature that let users find their friends on a new service. Instagram later cut off Twitter’s ability to display its photos inside of tweets, which has held to this day.
Source: – The Verge
Edited By Harry Miller
Linus apologizes to Epic boss over PlayStation 5 SSD remarks – TweakTown
A bit ago Linus from Linus Tech Tips called Tim Sweeney out and criticized the Epic boss’ remarks about the PS5’s SSD. Now Linus has apologized and delves deeper into the PlayStation 5’s storage tech.
Tim Sweeney is a huge fan of the PS5’s SSD, and went so far as to call it ‘god-tier.’ Sony’s next-gen SSD is beyond the highest-level PC SSDs on the market today with best-in-class storage, Sweeney said. Like many PC gamers, Linus Sebastian was skeptical and made some comments about Sweeney shilling for the PS5. But now after actually watching Mark Cerny’s presentation, digging through research, and checking out older Sony SSD patents, Linus is apologizing.
The apology video goes into depth about the PS5’s SSD, but none of the details will be a surprise to anyone that’s read our PlayStation 5 SSD deep dive coverage.
“Bottom line, Mr. Sweeney probably knows thigns we don’t. But even based on what we can see for ourselves, if what Sony is saying is true, he wasn’t shilling for the PS5,” Linus said.
“I set some of you on a wrong path, it was a breach of our trust, and I can do better. And finally, once more, I’m especially sorry to Mr. Sweeney who might not give a hoot about my blunder, or my apology, and I would understand that.”
VIEW GALLERY – 5 IMAGES
The gist of the PS5 SSD’s potential isn’t just the raw 5.5GB/sec speeds of the PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD, but how the console will be able to actually make use of those speeds.
The PS5 has a special 12-channel memory controller that allows for instantaneous data access and streaming right into special dedicated I/O block built right into the SoC, which is then loaded into the 16GB GDDR6 RAM pool and passed to the CPU and GPU for processing. Custom OS software and tools allows Sony to circumvent limitations of environments like Windows 10–instead of being built for a myriad of builds, the PS5’s OS is made specifically to synergize with the hardware itself.
Alongside a decompression block that uses Kraken’s new compression tech, the PS5 can pull compressed assets at 9GB/sec with up to 20GB/sec speeds, and rapidly decompress them for use within the system.
So what does this mean? The following is a brief breakdown of what to expect from the PS5’s SSD, but bear in mind this is just the beginning. We don’t truly know how far devs can push this technology yet.
Decompressed assets will load much faster, leading to instantaneous gaming without loading times.
Since SSDs don’t need to seek for data like an HDD, the elimination of seek times will also supercharge loading and streamline gaming–environments will be accessible right away, no textures will pop in like in No Man’s Sky on PS4, and the system will be able to access and load data within the blink of an eye. Compressed assets can also be made ready faster than ever before.
Sony says the PS5’s SSD is 100x faster than the PS4 and will lead to instantaneous open-world gaming.
Games can be smaller now that there’s no need for asset duplication.
Right now games have to store assets into the RAM memory buffer, which requires lots of data replication. Games like Spider-Man, for instance, have many separate instances of smaller objects like light poles, newspapers, cars, and fire hydrants. With the PS5’s SSD, the game can simply load a single asset as its needed instead of having to load hundreds of them from the RAM pool (the PS5’s memory buffer can also process speeds at up to 448GB/sec).
Streamlined data will make everything more efficient, including graphical effects.
Now that the PS5 can blast data, textures, and assets through the RAM and to the CPU and GPU for processing at such high speeds, it allows an even more efficient delivery pipeline for said data. This is vital for new enhanced graphical upgrades like ray tracing, which depends on complex lighting rendering techniques made possible by data fed to the Navi RDNA 2.0 GPU.
It will also enable the new Lumen features found in Unreal Engine 5, a new kind of photogrammetry lighting system that lets developers bake in next-gen global illumination into environments.
This pipeline will also allow UE5’s new Nanite system, a micro-polygon rendering technique that lets developers render cinematic-quality visuals in real-time with sub-pixel control. Streamlined data pipelines are needed to facilitate this kind of higher-end tech.
The SSD will also be hugely instrumental for other features like 8K visuals, native 4K 60FPS, 1080p 120FPS, etc.
Sony’s PlayStation 5 is slated to release Holiday 2020. No pricing or exact launch has been announced, but Sony will reveal PS5 launch exclusives sometime soon.
PlayStation 5 specs and details:
- Custom SoC with second-gen Navi GPU, Zen 2 CPU
- 8-Core, 16-thread Zen 2 CPU at 3.5GHz
- Navi 2X GPU with 36 CUs on RDNA 2 at 2.23GHz
- Ultra-fast 825GB SSD with up to 9GB/sec speeds
- Support for 4K 120 Hz TVs
- Ray-tracing enabled
- 8K output support (for gaming)
- Plays PS4 games, BC is on a title-to-title basis
- Separate games that ship on BD-XL Blu-ray discs
- New controller with extensive haptic and tactile feedback
Google is facing a class action lawsuit because it's incognito mode still allows websites to track your data – Mashable SE Asia
Using incognito mode might not be the best way to hide yourself on the internet.
Many of us think that it’s a somewhat ‘safer’ way to surf the internet. But in truth, the only thing it does is not save your browsing history.
But the misconception of what it can and can’t do has angered some people who used incognito mode on Chrome.
Because of this, the tech giant was slapped with a US$5 million lawsuit for illegally tracking millions of users.
The class action lawsuit states that Google needs to pay US$5,000 in damages for each violation, which covers wiretapping and privacy laws in California.
It was filed by the San Jose, California federal court on June 2. The court said that Google collects user’s data through its Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, website plug-ins, and mobile apps in incognito mode. Google knows everything users do, including the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search on the internet.
However, if you open the incognito window in Chrome, it clearly states that:
Your activity might still be visible to:
– Websites you visit
– Your employer or school
– Your internet service provider
And it doesn’t save the following information:
– Your browsing history
– Cookies and site data
– Information entered in forms
Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said, “Incognito mode in Chrome gives you the choice to browse the internet without your activity being saved to your browser or device. As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity.”
Castaneda also said that the company plans to defend itself, because Google has clearly stated in its support page that incognito mode doesn’t hide your activity or location from websites you visit.
If you want to hide yourself on the internet, the best way is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). While these kind of services are quite costly, it’s a sure-fire way that your identity and information are kept from prying eyes.
So the next time you browse or search the internet in incognito mode, just remember that you’re still being tracked.
Saint John Kindergartners Head To Super Mario World – country94.ca
Two kindergarten teachers at Hazen White-St. Francis School earned an inclusive education award for turning their classroom into Super Mario World.
Ellen Higgins and Rhonda Magee based their lesson plan on the popular Nintendo video game franchise. They work with students to set individual goals, then the five-year-olds watch as their characters progress along the board as they meet their learning goals.
The pair were among 13 recipients of the National Inclusive Education Award presented by the New Brunswick Association for Community Living.
Higgins says rather than earning a reward for topping the class, the purpose of the game is to encourage students to move forward at their own speed.
“We have five-year-olds running into the class, begging to work on their goal and move up a level, which we’ve never seen before,” she said. “They truly have developed a growth mindset and are in charge of their own learning. It’s really exciting.”
The classroom has done away with prizes and stickers. Instead, the game is built to motivate children to learn, as opposed to providing a reward at the end of the class.
She says by not rewarding students there is no jealousy or hurt feelings. The children are equally excited by their friend’s progress as their own.
“With this system, everybody feels success and pride in themselves, which is paramount to viewing yourself as a lifelong learner,” said Higgins.
“They’re not relying on getting a toy, or extra recess time. They do it because they want to do it. It really creates great habits for them.”
The Saint John region was well represented among the 2020 award winners. Sheryl Titus in Quispamsis, Wanda MacDonald at Champlain Heights School, and the welding faculty at NBCC Saint John were also recognized.
Teaching at a high priority school like Hazen White, Higgins says it’s critical for teachers to ensure their students’ diverse needs are met in the classroom.
“It’s really up to teachers right now to make sure that everyone’s needs are getting met,” she said. “Involving the students in that is the best way to do it.”
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