Byteside Weekly Edition: September 19, 2022

A significant news week in tech that was certainly overshadowed in the mainstream by the passing of the Queen. But a lot of tectonic shifts have been underway out there. Here's the links that help paint the picture.

Tools evolving

The Zoom Evolution: From Video App to Communications Platform
From video meeting app to comprehensive collaboration platform, Zoom is evolving to meet your modern business needs. Read on to learn more.

Zoom has always had features like chat and voice calling alongside the video conferencing that made it a household name. Its latest efforts are trying to emphasise its full suite of tools before video becomes just another feature.

Canva targets business teams, takes a swipe at Google with new visual worksuite tools
Australian graphic design giant Canva launched its new range of tools on Wednesday, as it aims to grow adoption among business users.

Aussie tech darling Canva is also evolving, adding a compelling new document tool that can look pretty with little effort - unlike the drab standards we've put up with from Google Docs and Microsoft Word. Alongside new website and video tools, Canva is offering a lot of value to people who want an easy path to make pretty things online.

Tools selling

A New Collaboration with Adobe
Today, we’re announcing the exciting news that Figma has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Adobe.
Why Figma is Worth $20B And Other Observations From The Adobe Acquisition
Hint: The Answer Doesn’t Involve a Spreadsheet

Designers have been falling in love with Figma over the past few years. So much so that Adobe is paying a massive sum to head it off before it challenges the throne. It's certainly been eating Adobe XD for breakfast. I wonder if this will get any anti-trust scrutiny or if 'creatives' are too small a category for regulators to think about.

Ethereum succeeds in going green

Ether Price Trades Flat After Successful Ethereum Merge
Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake system was successfully completed just after 2:30 a.m. ET, or 5:30 a.m. GMT at block 15537391.
Ethereum activates The Merge as it shifts to proof of stake
The Merge has officially been triggered, marking Ethereum’s transition from proof of work to proof of stake.
‘No One Is Profitable’: GPU Mining Faces Dark Days After Ethereum Merge
Crypto-miners are shutting off their rigs and mulling selling their GPUs since few, if any, cryptocurrencies are currently profitable if you try to mine them, following the Ethereum merge.

The greatest feature of Ethereum's shift away from proof-of-work is the fact that almost nothing changed in the days that followed. Except massively reduced power consumption to operate its platform. The fact that GPU mining faces 'dark days' is a massive win for the environment and finding real potential in blockchains for the long-term.

Meta's privacy shift

Deterring Scraping By Protecting Facebook Identifiers | Meta
We created unique identifiers within URLs on Facebook to prevent the unauthorized scraping of people’s data.

Credit where it's due. This move to use time-rotating identifiers is both an improvement to privacy and a deterent to anyone trying to scrape data for dodgy purposes.

Alleged Quest Pro Unboxing Video Apparently Leaks Meta’s Next VR Headset
As rumored over the past few months, Meta’s upcoming high-end VR headset Project Cambria seems to be named Quest Pro. And an apparent unboxing video has leaked too, which gives us a good look at the company’s next VR headset and controllers. We saw the exterior box of Meta Quest Pro pop up on Reddit…

File this under the leak category of 'forgetful engineers leaving important things behind'.

How wiki works

Wikipedia ‘Deaditors’ Sprang Into Action After Queen Elizabeth’s Death
There was so much to do. Tenses to change, pictures to choose. And what would they call Charles?

If you've ever wondered how the collective wisdom of Wikipedia works, this is a great insight.

Other news

UNSW pushes ahead with new AI research institute
A new artificial intelligence institute at the University of NSW is set to forge interdisciplinary connections between researchers and improve commercialisation opportunities. The UNSW AI Institute launched on Tuesday to bring together the more than 300 academics working in AI across the university’…
IHG hack: ‘Vindictive’ couple deleted hotel chain data for fun
The pair, who say they are from Vietnam, wiped out IHG group data after a foiled ransomware attack.
5th Circuit Rewrites A Century Of 1st Amendment Law To Argue Internet Companies Have No Right To Moderate
As far as I can tell, in the area the 5th Circuit appeals court has jurisdiction, websites no longer have any 1st Amendment editorial rights. That’s the result of what appears to me to be the…

This is a very good write up on a very bad legal decision.

We'll be back on Friday with more weekly edition picks.

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