Hashtag Trending Dec 21- Password sharing illegal in U.K., Reverse-engineered Star Wars and No to AI-generated images

The U.K. government makes password sharing of streaming services illegal, a fan reverse-engineered the 1995 Star Wars games, and artists are revolting against AI art.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Wednesday, December 21, and I am your host, Samira Balsara.

Yesterday, the UK government Intellectual Property Office (IPO)  issued a new piracy guidance, suggesting that people who share their Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney Plus passwords are potentially violating copyright law, TorrentFreak reported. In March 2017, Netflix tweeted; “Love is sharing a password”. Clearly this did not age very well, as this year, Netflix reported a significant slump in revenue, and password sharing is particularly to be blamed for limiting the number of new subscribers. Password sharing is almost always illegal in a streaming platform’s terms of service and watchdogs paint it as such. IPO said to TorrentFreak that some provisions in criminal and civil law may be applicable in the case of password sharing where the intent is to allow a user to access copyright protected works without payment. However, the bar for criminality is very low as using the services of a members’ club without paying is cited as an example of fraud in the UK.

Source: TorrentFreak

1995 Star Wars Dark Forces game does not look like much today, given modern standards, but brought significant technical innovations to the first person shooter genre, an Engadget report explained. Revisiting 90s games is challenging and enthusiasts would have to buy a digital copy of the game from Steam or GOG and use DOSBox to run it on a modern computer. LuciusDXL however launched The Force Engine (TFE) to reverse-engineer LucasArts’ proprietary Jedi Engine and make the two games that were built with it–Dark Forces and 1997’s Outlaws–easier to run on modern systems. The Force Engine, version 1.0 is compatible with both the GOG and Steam versions of Dark Forces. Once you’ve installed the software, it will automatically detect the game’s executable, and you can start playing without needing to do things like adjusting cycles in DOSBox. The Force Engine also adds several features to make the games more  attractive, such as widescreen resolutions, mouselook support, save system and more.

Source: Engadget

Artists are revolting against AI-generated art on Artstation. The platform, owned by Epic Games, allows game, film, media and entertainment artists to showcase their portfolio. Artists started protesting by spam posting the same image that reads No to AI Generated Image. Artists pointed out that AI-generated images were being featured on the platform’s main explore page and that the juxtaposition of AI art against theirs is degrading to their skill. ArtStation released a FAQ, in response, regarding AI artwork on its platform where it defended the inclusion of AI-generated works on its platform. The company stated that its “content guidelines do not prohibit the use of AI in the process of artwork being posted.”

Source: Vice News

Scientists in Australia have identified a molecule that activates receptors in similar ways as insulin, thereby opening possibilities towards uncovering oral alternatives for insulin shots for people with diabetes. According to New Atlas, progress was long hindered by the instability of the hormone in the insulin pill and its inability to pass through the digestive tract without being broken down. Scientists have therefore developed biocompatible packaging to protect the pill from digestive enzymes and oral capsules that inject insulin through microneedles. They claim that these findings solve the mystery of whether unrelated molecules can mimic the role of insulin and will help explore ways to control the signaling of insulin receptors.

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 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 Samira Balsara.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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