Twitter power users dilemma, Portable Gaming PC, Stability AI looks to AWS cloud, Apple Blocked Our Ability To Send NFT, and Crypto-to-Fiat Payment Widget...

The Twitter power users who can’t just quit- A huge dilemma

It's a tough time to be a journalist. As Twitter’s new owner and CEO, Elon Musk has been openly hostile toward “mainstream media” journalists. He has said he plans to strip them of their verification check mark badges, mocked major media outlets like the New York Times and CNN, and allowed thousands of formerly suspended accounts back on the platform to spew misinformation and vitriol, sometimes directed at reporters.

But while many prominent journalists have raised concerns about Musk’s actions — and some have shifted to new social media platforms like Mastodon and Post — few have abandoned Twitter altogether.

Since Twitter’s inception, journalists have been some of its biggest power users. They put out a steady stream of reliable information on the platform, for free — particularly around major events, from national elections to sports games — that makes Twitter a lively place for other people finding and discussing the news of the day.

So now that Twitter isn’t exactly courting journalists, why aren’t they leaving?

"I mean, I'm stuck," said freelance tech reporter Jacob Silverman (who is also my brother). His work has been published in outlets like The New Republic and The Washington Post. "For my beat on crypto—a lot of that stuff happens on Twitter. And that’s how people tend to find me.”

Silverman said that, like many journalists he knows, his relationship with Twitter is “sort of tortured” and “self-indulgent.” There’s still an appeal in following whatever public spectacle is unfolding on Twitter at the moment. These days, it’s often the chaos around Musk himself.Read more...

Steam Deck Is A Portable Gaming PC That You Can Use Anywhere

The Steam Deck isn't the first portable gaming PC, but it's the first one that feels like a winner.

If you're a PC gamer, there are two ways to play: on a desk with a laptop or at home with a desktop. Both have their upsides and downsides, but neither option is particularly portable — and that's where the Steam Deck comes in.

For some gamers, PC is the only way to play. Unlike a console, PCs offer much more flexibility when it comes to customizing an individual game to one’s liking. However, PCs can be restrictive, requiring you to be tethered to a desk to use an expensive rig. If you want to take your games on the go, you likely have to invest even more money in a good gaming laptop. In the era of the Nintendo Switch and cloud gaming, that lack of portability left the PC feeling less appealing as a gaming platform.

Valve solved that problem with the Steam Deck. Its own spin on the Switch, the supersized device is essentially a PC in a traditional portable form factor. It lets players access their entire Steam library on the go, and its Linux browser allows it to work as an emulation box too. What’s especially notable though, is that the Steam Deck still offers the customisation that makes playing on PC so appealing. It isn’t a static device like the Nintendo Switch, but rather one that can be tinkered with via a variety of settings.Read more...

Stability AI looks to AWS cloud to power the next generation of generative AI

Generative AI is one of the hottest trends in 2022, as new approaches have come to market that enable users and organizations to generate images and text.

Among the organizations building generative AI technologies is Stability AI, which raised $101 million in funding in October. Stability AI develops open-source foundation models, including the popular Stable Diffusion model. Stable Diffusion enables anyone to generate creative images simply by inputting a text prompt describing the desired image. Building a generative AI model like Stable Diffusion requires a significant amount of computing power both for training and for inference.

At AWS re:Invent this week in Las Vegas, Stability AI formally announced that it had chosen AWS as its preferred cloud platform for building generative AI tools. As it turns out, Stability AI isn’t a stranger to AWS and has already been using the cloud platform. 

“Last week, we released Stable Diffusion 2.0, developed at Stability AI, which is another step forward to clean our dataset with better quality, less bias and faster speeds,” Emad Mostaque, founder and CEO of Stability AI said during a session at the re:Invent conference. “We built this all on AWS."Read more...

Apple Has Blocked Our Ability To Send NonFungible Tokens Through The Coinbase Wallet.

We've had some bad news from Apple.

The company has blocked our latest app update on iOS and is requiring us to disable the feature that lets you send NFTs through Coinbase Wallet. 

Apple claims that the gas fees required to send NFTs need to be paid through their In-App Purchase system, so that they can collect 30% of the gas fee. But anyone who understands how NFTs and blockchains work knows this isn't possible. Apple's proprietary In-App Purchase system does not support crypto, so we couldn't comply even if we tried. This is akin to Apple trying to take a cut of fees for every email that gets sent over open Internet protocols.

The biggest impact from this policy change is on iPhone users that own NFTs—if you hold an NFT in a wallet on an iPhone, Apple just made it a lot harder to transfer that NFT to other wallets or gift it to friends or family.

Simply put: Apple has introduced new policies to protect their profits at the expense of consumer investment in NFTs and developer innovation across the crypto ecosystem. We hope this is an oversight on Apple's behalf and an inflection point for further conversations with the ecosystem.Read more...

Stripe Rolls Out New Crypto-to-Fiat Payment Widget

Stripe is giving a boost to crypto payments.

The payments firm unveiled a new widget that allows customers to more easily use crypto to engage with businesses and content creators around the world.

Payments firm Stripe has debuted a project to facilitate fiat-to-crypto payments for companies in dozens of countries around the world, the company said Thursday.

The offering, a customizable widget that can be embedded directly into a decentralized exchange (DEX), non-fungible token (NFT) platform, wallet or decentralized app (dapp), is designed to allow customers to instantly purchase cryptocurrencies in Web3 apps. Eleven of the company's initial 16 projects are built on Solana. Stripe said it offers customizable on-ramping services and handles know-your-customer (KYC), payments, fraud and compliance issues.

"We built our fiat-to-crypto onramp to remove [logistical] complexity," the company wrote in a blog post. Over the past year, Stripe has expanded its partnerships with crypto companies, offering more support for crypto payouts to 67 countries, enabling companies to send USDC payments to people and businesses across the world."

One of the initial projects to use Stripe’s new on-ramp is Audius, the decentralised music discovery platform, which said it has adopted Stripe's payments offering to enable users to use their credit cards to purchase its native AUDIO token to tip their favourite artists. The platform took a first step in July toward allowing users to tip artists using digital currencies by enabling them to tip content creators with AUDIO.Read more...

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