Hashtag Trending Jan 25 – Bitcoin tanks; Meta and Snap face new lawsuit; Gif turns 35

Bitcoin drops, Meta and Snap face new lawsuits related to the mental health issues they cause, and the first-ever GIF turns 35 this year.

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That’s the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, January 25, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Over the weekend, bitcoin dropped to a six-month low, extending a dramatic decrease as the cryptocurrency market was swept up in a powerful shift by investors. Bitcoin’s market value fell 4.3 per cent Saturday morning, its lowest level since July of last year. The cryptocurrency has now lost almost a quarter of its value in 2022. Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency experiencing challenges. Several others have also come under intense selling pressure, according to an Ars Technica article. The cryptocurrency troubles come as investors have dumped shares in tech companies, expecting that the Federal Reserve will amend the pandemic monetary policy to combat inflation.

A Connecticut woman is suing Meta and Snap alleging that the companies social media products played a role in her daughter’s suicide. The complaint filed in federal court, claims that the woman’s 11-year-old daughter suffered from depression, sleep deprivation, and self-harm tied to her use of Instagram and Snapchat. According to Business Insider, she began using social media two years before her passing. The mother also wrote in the filing that she sought out mental health help for her daughter, with one outpatient therapist saying she has never seen such a strong addiction to social media. Late last year, Facebook faced severe scrutiny after it was revealed how harmful its social platforms are to the mental health of children and teens.

The first GIF ever made is turning 35 this year. In May of 1987, the first GIF was created which involved a moving airplane, or rather moving clouds, over a still image of an airplane, creating the illusion of it moving. Engineer Steve Wilhite, who worked for CompuServe first created one of these files. The acronym, which stands for “Graphics Interchange Format” indicated that they were image files not lost in quality when sharing. Initially, due to their lightweight and quick loading abilities, they were used to add colour images to web pages, which was not possible in the systems of the time.

And now for something a little bit different. Director John Downer, who specializes in creative and immersive approaches to filming creates “spy cameras” hidden in robotic animals. Most recently, a video from his production company showcases a robotic crab making its way across Christmas Island during the annual red crab migration. The robotic animal cameras are created to capture insider footage of animal lives up close. The video of the crab migration was narrated by David Tennant and describes the journey the crabs make across busy roads.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, if you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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