Hashtag Trending Feb. 15 – Ads in Snapchat stories; exploit for unlimited Ethereum; Chinese startup takes on Starlink – IT World Canada

Snapchat testing ads in Stories, computer scientist discovers an exploit to create Ethereum, and a Chinese startup wants to take on Starlink.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Tuesday, February 15, and I’m your host, Tom Li.
Snapchat is testing mid-roll ads for Stories with a small group of creators and is planning the full rollout in the coming months. According to The Verge, the creator gets a cut of the revenue generated from the ads embedded within. The revenue is calculated based on a variety of factors including posting frequency and engagements, and will only be available to Snap Stars with a certain number of followers. This will be the first time creators will receive a portion of the ad revenue on Stories.
Prolific computer scientist Jay Freeman, also known by his alias as Saurik, was awarded handsomely for finding an exploit in the Ethereum scaling solution Optimism. The exploit essentially allowed him to print unlimited Ether. More specifically, the exploit allowed the user to return crypto to the sender but keep their transactional notes, essentially “creating” Ethereum. Freema n explained that the user could then take these notes and purchase vast quantities of other tokens, tanking their value in the process. For his efforts and honesty, Optimism awarded him $2 million as a part of its bug bounty program.
A Chinese startup is looking to challenge Starlink in providing the fastest satellite internet services. The startup called GalaxySpace wants to extend its network capabilities around the world. Additionally, it will do so using 5G technology to achieve high bandwidth and low latency. The company hopes to build its constellation using 42,000 satellites. It promises speeds of up to 500Mbps, similar to the Starlink Premium launched earlier this month. The Chinese government considers Starlink to be a national security threat as it has contracts with the U.S. military.
And now for something a bit different. In yesterday’s episode, we talked about Coinbase’s creative Super Bowl ad that featured a QR code bouncing on the screen for a full minute. Well, it turns out that it was so popular that it crashed the app. Coinbase wasn’t the only crypto company to make an appearance at the Super Bowl; its presence was accompanied by Cypto.com and FTX, which were also there to promote their platforms. Following the hype of Coinbase’s ad, Meta’s Quest tweeted its own QR code that linked to its VR afterparty.
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, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops early every Thursday Morning. 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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