News digest 11.01.2021

Adobe Flash rides off into the sunset

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Adobe scheduled the end of support for its famous Flash software on December 31st, 2020. While Adobe won’t start blocking Flash content until January 12th, major browsers will shut it all down tomorrow and Microsoft will block it in most versions of Windows. It’s over.

Google’s SMITH Algorithm Outperforms BERT

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Google recently published a research paper on a new algorithm called SMITH that it claims outperforms BERT for understanding long queries and long documents.
Google does not generally say what specific algorithms it is using for Google Search.
Until Google formally states that the SMITH algorithm is in use to understand passages within web pages, it is purely speculative to say whether or not it is in use.

Pirate site search traffic tanked following Google updates

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Pirate sites lost quite a bit of traffic in 2020. A detailed analysis of the yearly trend shows that visitors from search engines dropped by roughly a third. Interestingly, it appears that Google's algorithm updates did most of the damage.
From December 2019 to November 2020, search traffic to pirate sites dropped by roughly a third.
The trend down first started mid-January, with a temporary spike when the coronavirus pandemic hit. This is followed up by another freefall at the start of May, which did the most damage.
These dates don’t appear to be coincidental. In fact, they align with the first two major algorithm updates Google announced last year. The first one started on January 13th and the second one on May 4th. .

Trump signs executive order blocking transactions with Alipay, WeChat Pay, and six other Chinese apps

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President Trump has signed a new executive order prohibiting transactions with the companies behind eight Chinese apps, including Ant Group’s Alipay and Tencent’s QQ and WeChat Pay. Transactions will be prohibited in 45 days.
The full list of apps includes: Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office

Bitcoin tops $40,000 for first time

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Bitcoin smashed through $40,000 to hit a new record high on January 7, helping to lift the total value of the entire cryptocurrency market above $1 trillion for the first time.
Bitcoin pared some of its gains after hitting a record, last trading at $38,885, up 9.1% higher from a day earlier. The cryptocurrency is up over 30% since the start of 2021 and in the past 12 months has surged 400%.
The value of the entire cryptocurrency market, which is made up of bitcoin and other digital coins like ether and tether, surpassed $1 trillion for the first time

All the platforms that have banned or restricted Trump so far

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Social platforms are rapidly removing Donald Trump’s account or accounts affiliated with Trump and pro-Trump movements. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are among them, and here is a running list.

Twitter shares drop in first trading day after Trump ban

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Twitter stock slid nearly 9% Monday morning, in the first trading session since the social media company permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s account.
Twitter said late Friday it made the decision to remove the president “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” after the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

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