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Last Week Online #32 – Buzzword bonanza

Anna Loverus
Anna Loverus
2 min read

Bitcoins and AI. We can put a buzzword packed week behind us.

New Zealand first nation to legalise salaries in cryptocurrency

Starting September 1, New Zealand will allow companies to pay wages in cryptocurrency, becoming the first-ever nation to do so. The new ruling will apply for three years.

The country requires the preferred crypto asset to be tied to a standard currency and exchangeable for fiat currency. It also must have the primary purpose of acting as a currency or to be pegged to the price of one or more fiat currencies, the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department states.

This condition allows bitcoin to replace the New Zealand dollar on workers' paychecks. As far as tax goes, salaries paid in crypto assets will be treated as PAYE (pay as you earn) income payments. These are deducted by the employer and passed onto the tax department.

Facebook open-sources algorithms to find better solutions to disturbing photos and videos online

Facebook open-sourced algorithms capable of detecting identical and nearly identical photos and videos, used to fight child exploitation, terrorist propaganda, and graphic violence on its platform. The company have released two technologies (PDQ and TMK+PDQF) that store files as digital hashes and compare them with known examples of harmful content.

The company remarks that it’s the first time it’s shared any media-matching technology, and Facebook hopes that other tech companies, nonprofits, and individual developers will use their technology to identify more harmful content. On a similar note, earlier this year, Google launched Content Safety API, an AI platform created to identify content containing online child sexual abuse and reduce human reviewers’ exposure to the material.

Verizon is selling Tumblr to owners for pocket money

Automattic, the company that owns, is buying is buying the blog platform Tumblr for less than $3 million. This is a remarkable decrease in value from the $1.1 billion Yahoo paid for it in 2013 (Yahoo was then bought by Verizon in 2017).

Tumblr has been going through a lot the last couple of years, but the platform still has a very active and dedicated community – know to be an online haven for those who don't feel at home on other social media platforms. It has also been home for a lot of adult content, something Verizon decided to ban from the platform in December last year.

Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg stated in a Tumblr-post that they will try and "preserve the passion and sense of community that so many people around the world – and all over the web – have come to associate with Tumblr."

Tool of the week: Grammarly

Grammarly is a nifty tool that proofreads your English writing for grammar and spelling mistakes. It checks for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, and improves your vocabulary – making it possible to improve your English over time. There's both a Chrome extension, a web version and a plugin for Microsoft Word.

The tool goes far beyond traditional proofreading, and since a lot of the writing we do these days (Google Docs, Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.) happen directly in your browser, you will have it right where you need it. Your text gets flagged with the issues and errors found, and Grammarly walks you through any possible grammatical problem, one at a time, with explanations of the rules behind its suggestions.

It's, without doubt, the tool I recommend most often to friends and family.

Last Week Online

Anna Loverus Twitter

Thinker and doer. Loves running, wine, and human behaviour.

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