Cardiff Marketing Blog & News

Twitter Acquires Chat App Sphere to Boost its Communities Push

The acquisition will help Twitter build its new Communities tools with more compelling, engaging chat options.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/twitter-acquires-chat-app-sphere-to-boost-its-communities-push/608628/

Facebook Outlines Coming Ad Measurement and Targeting Changes to Offset ATT Impacts

Facebook continues to add new options to help advertisers maximize ad performance, in-line with Apple's data privacy changes.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-outlines-coming-ad-measurement-and-targeting-changes-to-offset-att/608621/

TikTok Shares New Insights into Why People Use the App, and How it Celebrates Authenticity

What sets TikTok apart from other social apps This new study may provide some insight.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-shares-new-insights-into-why-people-use-the-app-and-how-it-celebrat/608617/

Facebook Will Reportedly Reveal a Metaverse-Inspired Corporate Name Change Next Week

A new name for Facebook? That's what's reportedly on the cards as it looks towards the next big shift. 

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-will-reportedly-reveal-a-metaverse-inspired-corporate-name-change/608609/

Facebook Adds New Penalties for Group Members Who Repeatedly Violate Platform Rules

The updated rules will institute more limits on users who regularly push the limits of platform rules with their posts.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-adds-new-penalties-for-group-members-who-repeatedly-violate-platfo/608552/

YouTube Adds Auto-Chapters as a Search Element, the Next Stage of its Chapters Push

If you haven't checked your YouTube video chapters, it may be time to give them a look.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/youtube-adds-auto-chapters-as-a-search-element-the-next-stage-of-its-chapt/608553/

Facebook planning to rebrand the company with name change

Facebook reportedly planning to rebrand the company with name change | Science & Tech News |

— Read more on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/news.sky.com/story/amp/facebook-reportedly-planning-to-rebrand-the-company-with-name-change-12439054

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Facebook Adds New Features to Messenger for Halloween, New Prompts to Promote Word Effects

The new, interactive options could provide another talking point for your Messenger chats.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-adds-new-features-to-messenger-for-halloween-new-prompts-to-promo/608551/

Facebook reportedly planning to rebrand the company with name change | Science & Tech News |

Facebook reportedly planning to rebrand the company with name change | Science & Tech News |

— Read more on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/news.sky.com/story/amp/facebook-reportedly-planning-to-rebrand-the-company-with-name-change-12439054

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Pinterest Announces New Features at its Creators’ Festival, Including a ‘Watch’ Tab, ‘Takes’ and More

Pinterest has announced a range of new features and updates as part of its annual Creators' Festival event.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/pinterest-announces-new-features-at-its-creators-festival-including-a-wa/608549/

‘Camel-ccinos’ & ‘Camelattes’ Enjoy A Hump In Demand In Kenya



Photo 24626761 © Pixelife | Dreamstime.com

Coffee is having a moment in Kenya, a country known for its tea trade, but it’s not because of the beans. Drinkers are, instead, all about camel milk.

CNN Travel has just profiled CJ Restaurant, a popular café in downtown Nairobi that’s seeing a bump in orders for ‘camel-ccinos’ and ‘camelattes’. Until recently, camel milk was pretty much a known secret between rural Somali people who grew up drinking it, but it now has its fans in a broader community of health nutritionists and gym trainers too.

Is camel milk the new superfood? Have a 'camelccino' and see what you think with me and @nc254 on @CNNAfrica Marketplace Africahttps://t.co/6zhucqNO5B pic.twitter.com/UcGxSGKeE9

— Briana Duggan (@brianaduggan) September 28, 2021

Omar Shariff, the café’s manager, divulges that more and more health-conscious customers are ordering camel-milk cappuccinos and lattes for the dairy’s supposed nutritional benefits. Per the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, camel milk contains thrice the amount of vitamin C in cow’s milk. Research also shows that drinking camel milk promotes production of antioxidant enzymes, and that consuming it every day can lower the insulin requirement in people with Type 1 diabetes, Live Science reveals.

Considering the spike in demand for camel byproducts, the café intends to bring in meal items like camel burgers too.

Notably, the camel population in Kenya has been on the rise, as well. In 1999, there were about a million of the hoofed mammals roaming the country, but the number has since
nearly quadrupled.

Plus, the camel’s ability to withstand extremely dry weather lines up with the Kenyan diet, as it can comfortably produce milk during droughts and provide locals milk when food supplies are low.

CNN Travel says camel milk is consumed in other parts of the world too, including Asia and Australia, and the growing interest for it—which has also driven up its prices internationally—has earned the milk the nickname “white gold.” Whereas cow’s milk can sell for about 50 cents per half-lifer in the US, camel milk can go for US$10 to US$20, David Hewett, a ranch manager at the Mpala Research Center in north-central Kenya, tells the news outlet.

White Gold Camel Milk, a top producer in camel milk in East Africa, is also embracing the boom and has pivoted into various camel-milk products like flavored milk and yogurt. The company produces about 500 liters of camel milk per day.

There are challenges of replicating this formula, though. Delivery and infrastructure limitations, coupled with the need for refrigeration in the heat, make it difficult to expand production on a larger scale.

And, of course, you might be wondering: What does camel milk taste like? It really depends on where the mammal is from. Healthline says that American camel milk is slightly salty, with a sweet and creamy taste; but the camel milk in the Middle East, and presumably in Kenya too, is nuttier and smokier.

The dairy variation is pretty versatile and can replace cow’s milk in almost all applications. Apart from coffee and tea, it’s said to work perfectly well in baked goods, sauces, soups, and even in pancake and waffle batters.

[via CNN Travel and Healthline, cover photo 24626761 © Pixelife | Dreamstime.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416292/Camel-ccinos-Camelattes-Enjoy-A-Hump-In-Demand-In-Kenya/

Xiaomi To Start Mass-Producing Its Own Electric Cars Within A Few Years



Photo 204580898 © Robert309 | Dreamstime.com

Aside from Apple, one other smartphone maker, Xiaomi, is hot on the wheels to deliver its own fleet of car models. Founder Lei Jun announced the news at an investor’s event this week, where he projected mass production for Xiaomi-branded electric vehicles to begin in the first half of 2024.

This isn’t the first time the Chinese tech giant has mentioned its desire to forge into the world of automobiles. Reuters reports that Xiaomi registered the Xiaomi EV, Inc. business just last month, and way back in March, the company outlined that it would commit US$10 billion for EVs over the next decade. Lei will helm the subsidiary.

Following news that drivers would be seeing Xiaomi cars fairly soon, the company’s shares in Hong Kong went up 5.4% to HK$22.50 (US$2.90) on Tuesday, marking the most significant daily percentage rise since May 12.

As it stands, Xiaomi EV has already employed 300 workers, which would speed the process along. However, it’s still unclear if Xiaomi will produce its cars on its own or tap into the resources of a firm with car-building expertise.

[via Reuters, cover photo 204580898 © Robert309 | Dreamstime.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416291/Xiaomi-To-Start-Mass-Producing-Its-Own-Electric-Cars-Within-A-Few-Years/

Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala Photo Helps Solve Case For Egyptian Coffin Theft



Images via Sky Cinema / Shutterstock.com and Metropolitan Museum of Art / Wikimedia Commons (CC0 1.0)

Thanks to Kim Kardashian, investigators were successfully keeping up with the years-long case of a stolen ancient Egyptian coffin.

It all started at the 2018 Met Gala, when the reality star innocently posed next to the first-century BCE golden coffin of Nedjemankh, which coincidentally matched her metallic corseted Atelier Versace gown too.

As you can imagine, the photo got the world talking, eventually reaching the ears of Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos, as an anonymous informant had phoned in complaining that they were never paid for discovering the artifact seven years ago. Things got crazier from there.

As detailed in his Art Bust: Scandalous Stories of the Art World podcast, journalist Ben Lewis described how a group of thieves had excavated the coffin in the al Minya region of Egypt in 2011, and then sold the relic to an antiquities dealer named Hassan Fazeli in Sharjah, an emirate in the United Arab Emirates.



Image via Metropolitan Museum of Art / Wikimedia Commons (CC0 1.0)

To mask the coffin’s dishonest discovery, Fazeli forged the coffin’s export form and falsely identified its origins as Greco-Roman. Later, he sold the coffin to Roben Dib, the manager of the Dionysos gallery in Hamburg, Germany, who also intentionally mocked up an export license claiming that the artifact had been legally transported from Egypt 40 years ago.

The coffin came into the possession of French antiquities scholar Christophe Kunicki and dealer Richard Semper, who sold it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for US$4 million in 2018. It’s unclear if the two knew that the documents were falsified.

As the original looters had carelessly left a finger bone in the coffin, investigators were able to trace Nedjemankh’s roots.

The coffin was then shipped back to Cairo, and German police arrested Dib in Hamburg last year.

[via Architectural Digest and New York Post, images via various sources] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416290/Kim-Kardashian-s-Met-Gala-Photo-Helps-Solve-Case-For-Egyptian-Coffin-Theft/

Global Landmarks Turned Sculptural Chairs That Can Be Traced Via Blockchain

[Click here to view the video in this article]



Image by Savio Firmino and featured with permission

In collaboration with artist Cosimo De Vita, Italian furniture and interior design firm Savio Firmino has created a collection of intricately designed chairs inspired by iconic buildings gracing city skylines worldwide.

Described as “an imaginary journey” that takes place “between West and East” as well as “between tradition and contemporaneity,” the CITYNG collection sees a start in Florence, Italy, the home of both designers, before traveling beyond European borders.

Some of the gorgeous buildings depicted in each piece include the Taj Mahal of Agra, India, and the Pagoda of the Yellow Crane in Wuhan, China.



Image via Savio Firmino and featured with permission

Every chair is handcrafted using solid wood and utilizes a pantograph to create its decorative elements, turning the back of the chair into something you definitely don’t want to lean too hard on.

“The chair not only becomes a symbolic object of the cities but also symbolically represents their values, traditions, and cultural substratum,” the design studio writes in its press release.

Besides being fine works of art while doubling as functional furniture, the chairs also hold a high-tech twist: the materials and processes used to create these chairs can be traced and certified via blockchain.

This, the company claims, is the first instance of blockchain tied into furniture design. It’ll make this a “perfect combination of manual production, craftsmanship… and cutting-edge technologies.”



Image by Savio Firmino and featured with permission

Of course, it almost goes without saying that there is an associated NFT with the collection. This takes shape as a video, which was made when the collection was exhibited at the 2021 Salone del Mobile. Instead of the token representing an item or image, as NFTs usually do, it represents the entire event—which is, in itself, unconventional.

Check out some of the stunning CITYNG chairs below, or head on over to Savio Firmino and Cosimo De Vita’s websites to find out more.



Moscow Chair: St. Basil’s Cathedral. Image by Savio Firmino and featured with permission



Florence Chair: San Lorenzo. Image by Savio Firmino and featured with permission



Florence Chair: Santa Croce. Image by Savio Firmino and featured with permission



Agra Chair: Taj Mahal. Image by Savio Firmino and featured with permission



Florence Chair: Santa Maria Novella. Image by Savio Firmino and featured with permission



Florence Chair: Santa Maria del Fiore. Image by Savio Firmino and featured with permission



Barcelona Chair: Sagrada Familia. Image by Savio Firmino and featured with permission



New York Chair: Chrysler Building. Image by Savio Firmino and featured with permission



Wuhan Chair: Pagoda of the Yellow Crane. Image by Savio Firmino and featured with permission

[via Archinect, images by Savio Firmino and featured with permission] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416289/Global-Landmarks-Turned-Sculptural-Chairs-That-Can-Be-Traced-Via-Blockchain/

UK’s Royal Mint Plans To Extract Gold & Silver From Old Electronic Devices



Image ID 163190530 © via Dimitris Kolyris | Dreamstime.com

The Royal Mint in the UK has announced plans to build a plant in Wales that could help extract tons of gold, silver, and other precious metals from discarded electronic devices.

While most people are familiar with everyday gadgets such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, not everyone knows the circuit boards and hardware within these devices are fitted with small quantities of these precious metals.

Due to the ever-increasing electronic waste, which often ends up in landfills, most of the gold and silver are never recovered. According to Reuters, the mint is teaming up with Canadian firm Excir, which has created a chemical solution to extract the metals, so they can be reused.

“It’s able to selectively pull out precious metals with high degree of purity,” explained the Royal Mint’s Chief Growth Officer, Sean Millard.

While the mint has already started processing the e-waste at a small scale, the new factory would allow it to “process hundreds of tonnes of e-waste per annum, generating hundreds of kilograms of precious metals.”

[via Reuters, cover image via Dimitris Kolyris | Dreamstime.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416287/UK-s-Royal-Mint-Plans-To-Extract-Gold-Silver-From-Old-Electronic-Devices/

Stunning Domes At London’s King’s Cross Are Ghastly On The Inside



Image via King’s Cross

You’ve probably seen these beautiful pods in pictures; in the age of COVID-19, such units have served as dining and gathering options that safely keep users in a bubble while introducing a sense of wonder with their igloo-like appearances. Unfortunately, the five intimate enclosures newly installed at King’s Cross in London aren’t ideal for catching up with loved ones.

And yet, they sum up the everyday experience of some of the world’s population. Guests will, quite literally, get a whiff of it at Granary Square, where the daunting Pollution Pods will stay up through October 24.

Designed by visual artist Michael Pinsky, the installation recreates the climatic conditions—including air quality, temperature, and smell—of five different locations from across the globe, in hopes that art would move people into taking action for the planet. King’s Cross details that the geodesic domes have lured in over 30,000 visitors amid their travels around the world.

Guests are most likely to overstay their welcome in the simulation of Tautra, a lush Norwegian island where the air is “truly clean.” But it gets more uncomfortable from there—‘London’ strikes you with odors of combusted diesel and tar; the stench of burning wood (AKA sulphur) permeates the winter climate of ‘Beijing’; humid ‘São Paulo’ makes your eyes water with its heady, vinegary smell of ethanol; and ‘New Delhi’ drags you into the thick of the “worst air pollution in the world” with its humidity and smog.

The pods are interconnected, inviting visitors to see, feel, smell, and even taste changes in the air, as well as experience a snapshot of what the outdoors are like in certain parts of the world.

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A post shared by King's Cross N1C (@kingscrossn1c)

Thankfully, the trip goes full circle and ends where it started—the ‘Tautra’ pod—where visitors would unanimously agree the air is much better. But here’s a secret: the air is just London air with all the potentially harmful gases extracted, Time Out London reports.

After their stay at King’s Cross, the Pollution Pods will venture out to other cities before taking up residence at the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

[via Time Out London, images via King’s Cross] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416288/Stunning-Domes-At-London-s-King-s-Cross-Are-Ghastly-On-The-Inside/

World’s Oldest Map Of Stars Goes On Public Display At The British Museum



Image via Frank Vincentz / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY SA 4.0)

The world’s oldest map of stars will be going on public display at an upcoming World of Stonehenge exhibition by The British Museum. The map—named Nebra Sky Disc—is believed to be about 3,600 years old, and is one of the oldest representations of the night sky we have left.

The intricate disc of the cosmos was first discovered in Germany in 1999, and has since been dubbed by UNESCO as “one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century.”

The disc itself is rather small, measuring just 12 inches wide. It’s decorated with a turquoise-colored patina, with gold symbols representing what appears to be the sun, moon, and constellations of stars.

This exhibition will mark the first time the map has been taken out of Germany for 15 years, and the first time it will be unveiled to the British public. It will be only the fourth country the artifact has ever been showcased in.

On display alongside the map will be a 3,000-year-old sun pendant found in Britain, which the museum calls “the most significant piece of Bronze Age gold” to be found in the nation.

According to USA Today, the rest of the exhibition will focus on the history behind the Stonehenge. While the map and pendant aren’t directly related to the site itself, they paint a picture of what the world was like during that ancient period in Europe.

“The Nebra Sky Disc and the sun pendant are two of the most remarkable surviving objects from Bronze Age Europe. While both were found hundreds of miles from Stonehenge, we’ll be using them to shine a light on the vast interconnected world that existed around the ancient monument, spanning Britain, Ireland, and mainland Europe,” said curator Neil Wilkin.

The World of Stonehenge exhibition will take place from February 17 to July 17 next year. For more information, click here.

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A post shared by British Museum (@britishmuseum)

[via USA Today, cover image via Frank Vincentz / Wikimedia Commons] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416285/World-s-Oldest-Map-Of-Stars-Goes-On-Public-Display-At-The-British-Museum/

Google AI Wrote An Entire ‘Stargate’ Script For The Cast To Reunite & Perform

[Click here to view the video in this article]



Image via Amrit Birdi for Stargate

When sci-fi franchise Stargate was first brought to the world in 1994, the original movie hit almost US$$16.7 million on opening weekend.

It’s pretty safe to say that, at the time, no one guessed that almost three decades into the future, the cast of 1997 television series Stargate SG-1 would be reuniting to read a script written by Google’s artificial intelligence (AI). This includes character dialogue as well as stage directions.

According to the press release, cited by IGN, while some lines are “surprisingly good,” others are “hilariously bad.”



Image via Amrit Birdi for Stargate

Four prominent members of the cast—Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, David Hewlett and Jewel Staite—will be re-donning their iconic roles of Daniel Jackson, Samantha Carter, Dr Rodney McKay and Jennifer Keller in this one-of-a-kind table read.

This event, comprising the table read and a Q&A session after, will be streamed online on November 6. It will be hosted by Stargate co-creator Brad Wright and Google AI’s Laurence Moroney. Also brought on board for this project is illustrator Amrit Birdi, who has created original artwork bringing suggested scenes from members of the community to life.

More details, as well as registration for the event, can be found here.

[via IGN, images via Amrit Birdi for Stargate] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416283/Google-AI-Wrote-An-Entire-Stargate-Script-For-The-Cast-To-Reunite-Perform/

McDonald’s Drive-Thrus Have Supposedly Been Taking ‘Mugshots’ Of People



Image via 8th.creator / Shutterstock.com

For the customer, the fast-food drive-thru is an almost mysterious alternate universe where you speak into a crackly-voiced machine yet get served piping hot food by a human, all without needing to stand.

Then you drive away, back into the real world, and everything is forgotten. The world fades to just you and that packet of fries sitting in the passenger seat that’s smelling better by the second. After all, there are so many customers in drive-thrus every day, your experience was just one of many transactions. Right?

Well, partially. Except your experience isn’t so intimate between just you and the speaker, and it’s certainly not forgotten.

In September, a TikTok user claiming to be a McDonald’s employee shared a video containing some pretty unsettling nuggets of knowledge.

“The fact that people don’t know we can hear your convos even when we aren’t speaking to you or taking your order,” one text block reads.

This is followed by: “And we have a camera at the speaker that takes a picture of you so we know [whose] order is [whose].”

@user72664929774

Fr #fyp #maccies

♬ Ocean Prime (feat. Coi Leray) – Coi Leray & Bfb Da Packman

The comments are filled with equal parts horror of the customer (“WHAT” is a common response), and equal parts amusement and affirmation of fellow employees. Some fast-food workers say that their particular restaurants rely just on the speakers, while others confirm that a camera is indeed involved.

Another user, who works presumably at the same chain, writes, “When you hear people shouting at their kids, that’s the best.”

“Seeing the mugshots of random people makes my day,” continues the original TikTok video, which looks like it was recorded on shift.

All that doesn’t necessarily end when the customer has secured their food and drives away. At this point, we would presume (and hope) that these photographs are deleted when the restaurant closes for the night, and the audio clips aren’t being recorded. However, there is no definite way to tell.

This isn’t the last of it, though; Mashed notes that a report by Restaurant Business indicates that the fast-food chain is testing an artificial intelligence (AI) drive-thru system. This would, apparently, analyze voice recordings and allow the system to “remember” customers based on their voices and license plates and show them optimized menu options.

Well, all that’s left to say is “cheese.”

[via Mashed, image via 8th.creator / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416286/McDonald-s-Drive-Thrus-Have-Supposedly-Been-Taking-Mugshots-Of-People/

FIFA Ends Exclusive EA Partnership After Nearly 30 Years Of Collaboration



Image via EA

In a shock to the gaming industry, the creators of popular soccer video game FIFA announced it would be ending its long-term contract with Electronic Arts (EA). The pair had first teamed up way back in 1993, and would have collaborated for nearly three decades.

“FIFA is engaging with various industry players, including developers, investors, and analysts, to build out a long-term view of gaming, eSports, and interactive entertainment sector. The outcome will ensure that FIFA has a range of suitable parties with specialist capabilities to actively shape the best possible experiences and offerings for fans and consumers,” it said in a statement.

According to Front Office Sports, it appears the governing body is now seeking US$150 million as the game’s annual licensing fee. While that might seem like a rather hefty sum, the franchise is estimated to be worth more than US$2 billion annually. This year’s edition, FIFA 21, boasts over 31 million active players, while the brand-new FIFA 22 has already racked up 9.1 million participants.

While there currently doesn’t appear to be a frontrunner to take over EA, it’s certainly been disappointing for fans to see the partnership behind the game split up. However, if the new developers can provide more excitement and interaction to the storied title, there’s no doubt fans will get on board for the next release.

[via Front Office Sports, cover image via EA] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416282/FIFA-Ends-Exclusive-EA-Partnership-After-Nearly-30-Years-Of-Collaboration/

Amazon’s Robotaxis Will Head To Seattle To See If They Can Thrive In Its Weather



Image via Zoox

Last year, Amazon acquired Zoox, a robotaxi company for autonomous ride-hailing services. The vehicles have been tested in Las Vegas and the Bay Area over the last few years, but Zoox has now announced that it will be expanding to Seattle.

The location was chosen due to the city’s unique weather and “different driving culture,” which is described by GeekWire as “our unique combination of passive-aggressive politeness and outrage on the road.”

Tackling the challenges of a different environment with a different set of bylaws and unfamiliar infrastructure—such as narrow tunnels—alongside the infamous Seattle rainfall will help the company improve its hardware and software.



Image via Zoox

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor, and it’s the exact same principle for our technology,” states Kai Wang, Director of Prediction at Zoox. “The challenges of Seattle will let us hone our software stack and ultimately improve the behavior of our vehicles.”

In its news release, Zoox confirms that the fleet being deployed onto the city’s streets will be its L3 fleet: all-wheel drive Toyota Highlanders. This isn’t the autonomous robotaxi it unveiled late last year, but it does use the same sensor architecture.

Of course, each vehicle will still be manned; a safety driver will be present to take control of the car should anything go awry. After all, it’s still learning.



Image via Zoox

One new feature undergoing testing will be the “special hardware” built into the vehicles’ sensor architecture to remove water and debris. This aims to replace human drivers’ usual arsenal of windshield wipers and defrosters. So, Seattle’s “frequent rain” gives it the perfect testing ground.

Apart from testing, the company also plans to open its fourth office in the Seattle area. Launch, when it comes, will still be focused on the Las Vegas and San Francisco areas, but testing in other cities will “accelerate our pace of learning and iteration everywhere,” the company explains.

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A post shared by Zoox (@zoox)

[via GeekWire, images via Zoox] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416281/Amazon-s-Robotaxis-Will-Head-To-Seattle-To-See-If-They-Can-Thrive-In-Its-Weather/

Japan Arrests Man For Uncensoring NSFW Adult Footage Using Deepfake AI



Photo 222334588 © Mikhail Rudenko | Dreamstime.com

The ugly side of deepfake technology sees people unwittingly inserted into compromising positions. Shockingly yet unsurprisingly, there are far too many tools that convincingly “make” people say or do things they didn’t say or do, and apps that seemingly undress subjects.

The sad thing is that subjects sometimes struggle to argue that they are victims, seeing as how the doctored parts are “not them.” As a breath of fresh air, a recent news report from Japan presents a win for the good side, as a man has just been arrested for digitally altering pornography using artificial intelligence—marking the first time police have made an arrest on an AI user in the nation.

Masayuki Nakamoto, 43, sold over 10,000 deepfaked adult videos—with genitalia deblurred and replaced with clear versions—as well as posted 10 similarly manipulated photos on his website.

By doing these, he was committing two blatant crimes: he had infringed the copyright of the videos’ owners and was distributing pornography. The latter is illegal in Japan, so the adult entertainment industry would usually pixelate genitals in imagery to avoid getting in trouble with the law.

However, no charges were made for the violation of actors’ privacy.

VICE World News also learned from Daisuke Sueyoshi, a lawyer specialized in cybercrime cases, that this was the “first case in Japan where police have caught an AI user,” although editing images with AI currently isn’t against the law.

Cyber police discovered the work during their rounds, leading to Nakamoto’s arrest on Monday. At that point, he had already reportedly amassed ¥11 million (US$96,000) for selling the AI-assisted footage and raked in about US$200 for selling 10 photos.

[via RT and VICE, cover photo 222334588 © Mikhail Rudenko | Dreamstime.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416284/Japan-Arrests-Man-For-Uncensoring-NSFW-Adult-Footage-Using-Deepfake-AI/

First-Ever Moon Motorcycle Concept Sets To Keep Lunar Exploration Costs Low



Image via Hookie

Motorcycle design company Hookie has come up with the first-ever prototype for a two-wheeler designed to explore the moon.

Named the ‘Tardigrade’, after the animal, this vehicle claims to weigh much lighter than the usual moon buggies astronauts use, with the firm saying it’s a less costly option for travel in space.

According to Interesting Engineering, this invention could prove to be a big deal for the industry. At the moment, transporting a kilogram (2.2 lbs) of goods to space costs US$2,270, making it a priority for missions to lighten their payloads.

NASA’s moon buggy clocks in at 463 lbs, while Hookie’s Tardigrade weighs just 308 lbs, saving a substantial amount of money and space for trips to la luna.



Image via Hookie

Hookie’s co-founders Nico and Sylvia Müller had first been inspired by a digital concept created by artist Andrew Fabishevskiy. After obtaining permission, they set out to make a real-life version of the electric bike.

Nico explained that as the lunar buggy didn’t need to adhere to Germany’s strict technical inspection rules, they were able to break free from the usual constraints and focus on making the bike as lightweight as possible.

“On our Tardigrade, we had the opportunity to work with brands like Dupont Kevlar and Cake together. Authenticity for every detail was the goal in the design process,” Nico said.

Eventually, the duo crafted a moon bike with an invisible frame, boasting incredibly thin aluminum and axels made out of lightweight metal. They then covered the frame in tubing and combined it with a Kevlar cover to protect the vehicle from space radiation, impacts, and the freezing temperatures on the moon. The engine was provided by sustainable Swedish manufacturer Cake.



Image via Hookie

No part of such a grand project could’ve been easy, but according to the firm, creating the bike’s balloon wheels was the hardest part. The pair made the wheels out of light alloy, before creating its own air-less tires via 3D printing.

The entire system is made out of many small parts, which could prove beneficial if something were to get broken, as the astronauts could just replace that component instead of the entire wheel.

As of now, Hookie has yet to secure a deal with any space ventures. Nico said, “NASA knows about our Tardigrade project [and] it would be amazing to talk about future collaborations or ideas. We’re totally up for this.”

The Tardigrade will go on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in the US from mid-October.



Image via Hookie

[via Interesting Engineering, images via Hookie] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416280/First-Ever-Moon-Motorcycle-Concept-Sets-To-Keep-Lunar-Exploration-Costs-Low/

Instagram Now Allows Multiple Users To Co-Create A Post, Shared To Each Account



Image via Vishal Shahis / Instagram

New features including posting on the Instagram website, new video effects, and the ability to collaborate on video creations are arriving on Instagram this week, the social media platform announced on Tuesday. There is now also the option to create a fundraiser for non-profits from the same ‘+’ button used for Posts, Stories, and Reels.

It was reported by TechCrunch that the new Collab feature has already been tested on a small scale as early as July, when some users noticed the option being made available to them. When it was first revealed on Twitter in July, there weren’t any plans in place to roll out the feature more broadly other than the select few users who could test it. However, it will be made live in the latter part of this week.

With this new feature, Instagram users on mobile will be able to invite others to co-author a post or Reel from the tagging screen when creating a new post.



Image via Alexandru Voica / Instagram

If the other user accepts the invitation, both of their contributions to the content will appear in the post, which will then see the content being shared through both accounts.

The double posts will share the same view and like counts, as well as comments thread.

Another addition to video creation on Instagram is the introduction of ‘Superbeat’ and ‘Dynamic Lyrics’, two new editing features for musicians using Reels. ‘Superbeat’ will use AI to add “special effects” to the beat of the user’s song, and ‘Dynamic Lyrics’ will see 3D lyrics flow along to the rhythm of the track.

To make life easier, users can now also post videos from desktop, which has been notoriously more difficult to use than the app. Previously, users could only scroll through feeds and use direct messages. However, for now, it’ll remain limited to posting photos and video less than a minute long.

Instagram recently revealed its plans to pivot towards becoming a video-focused social media app in order to better compete with rivals like TikTok, dropping IGTV and rebranding to Instagram Video.

There is a large chance, therefore, that this won’t be the only enhancement coming to videos and Reels on Instagram in time to come.

I've gotten consistently strong feedback that this is something people are excited about, very happy to announce that the Collabs feature is launching today! https://t.co/mWLeExQLXt

— Vishal Shah (@vishalshahis) October 19, 2021

Collaborating is a huge part of how people connect on Instagram.

To make that easier, we’re testing a new way for people to co-author Feed Posts and Reels, called Collabs.

Here is how it works 🧵👇 pic.twitter.com/OEmSvWQmwk

— Alexandru Voica (alexvoica.eth) 💀 (@alexvoica) October 19, 2021

[via Lifewire, image via Image via Vishal Shahis and Alexandru Voica for Instagram] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416279/Instagram-Now-Allows-Multiple-Users-To-Co-Create-A-Post-Shared-To-Each-Account/

Canon Faces Lawsuit For Disabling Scanners To Apparently Force People To Buy Ink



A photo of the Canon PIXMA MX925 printer. Image ID 141382836 © via Oleksandr Lutsenko | Dreamstime.com

If you’ve purchased a printer, you’ll know that replacing the ink cartridges in the device cost nearly as much as the machine itself. It’s one of the banes of technology, and even with gadgets getting more advanced each year, it seems we’re still stuck with the same printer problems from the 2000s.

Recently, a customer filed a class-action lawsuit against printer manufacturer Canon, alleging that the company had misled consumers by disabling a device’s scanning or faxing capabilities once it was out of printer ink.

While it would make sense to be unable to print if there isn’t any ink left, both scanning and faxing don’t require the use of ink, leading David Leacraft to sue the firm for “deceptive marketing and unjust enrichment.”

“Plaintiff Leacraft would not have purchased the device or would not have paid as much for it had he known that he would have to maintain ink in the device in order to scan documents,” the lawsuit read.

According to Bleeping Computer, other Canon users have made similar complaints before. For example, the company doesn’t allow users to print a black-and-white document if color ink isn’t available, despite there still being adequate black ink left.

“The PIXMA MX710 must have all ink tanks installed and they all must contain ink. If you attempt to print with no ink or an empty ink, you would risk damaging the printer,” a Canon support agent wrote on the forum.

The class-action suit detailed that Canon had advertised its product as a “three-in-one” device, without stipulating that all features required ink to work. Nowhere on the printer’s packaging was it indicated that customers were required to maintain ink levels to access all three functions, and had they known of this sooner, they might’ve been dissuaded from purchasing the printer altogether.

“In truth, the All-in-One Printers do not scan or fax documents when the devices have low or empty ink cartridges (the “Design Issue”), and Canon’s advertising claims are false, misleading, and reasonably likely to deceive the public,” explained the lawsuit.

“There is no reason or technical basis for manufacturing All-in-One Printers with an ink level detection function that causes the scanner to stop functioning when ink is low or empty. Canon designed the All-in-One Printers in such a way to require consumers to maintain ink in their devices regardless of whether they intend to print.”

In total, Leacraft is seeking a minimum of US$5 million in compensation from the firm. Canon has yet to respond to requests for comments, though it’s likely the outcome of the lawsuit could set a precedent for future cases in the same vein.

[via Bleeping Computer, cover image via Oleksandr Lutsenko | Dreamstime.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/416278/Canon-Faces-Lawsuit-For-Disabling-Scanners-To-Apparently-Force-People-To-Buy-Ink/