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Reddit blackout: What is the reason?

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After Reddit announced on May 31 that there would be a certain amount to be paid by the third-party application, the communities of the platform are protesting with a 48-hour blackout from June 12 (today) by going private, citing fears of going out of the business.  

Going private means anyone outside the community will not be able to see their posts.

Responding to the announcement, the community outlined three demands focused on Reddit’s application programming interface (API), accessibility for blind people, and access to content that’s deemed not suitable for work (NSFW).

Reddit is one of the 20 most popular social platforms founded in 2005.

Thousands of subreddits are participating in the blackout protest, according to a Reddit post, ranging by size from 5,000 users to more than 40 million users.

Forums such as r/todayilearned, r/funny and r/gaming, with more than 30 million subscribers apiece, have signed up to join, while others with 1 million plus members, including r/iPhone and r/unexpected, went already private on the strike call.

Cumulatively, it makes more than 2.6 billion subscribers and more than 28,000 moderators.

According to a BBC report, the participating subreddits are going private and won’t be accessible during the blackout.

The changes will introduce huge charges for “premium access”, effectively killing off popular third-party Reddit apps such as Apollo, which lets users browse the site with a customisable interface.

Such apps would need to charge about $5 a user per month simply to pay the new fees to Reddit, Apollo’s sole developer, Christian Selig estimated.

But the Reddit conflict has another cause which is between the social network and AI companies such as ChatGPT creator OpenAI, which have used huge data from the service to train their systems.

“The Reddit corpus of data is really valuable,” Steve Huffman, founder and chief executive of Reddit, told the New York Times in April.

“But we don’t need to give all of that value to some of the largest companies in the world for free.”

In a group statement, the moderators of the thousands of subreddits that were joining the protest said: “On June 12th, many subreddits will be going dark to protest this policy. Some will return after 48 hours: others will go away permanently unless the issue is adequately addressed since many moderators aren’t able to put in the work they do with the poor tools available through the official app.” 

The statement also added: “This isn’t something any of us do lightly: we do what we do because we love Reddit, and we truly believe this change will make it impossible to keep doing what we love.”

By uniting in this way, moderators hope to exert pressure on Reddit’s administration to reconsider the new charges and address their concerns.

The blackout signifies the importance of third-party apps in enhancing the Reddit user experience and providing additional features not found in the official app. 

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Users of WhatsApp will soon be able to lock chats on connected devices.

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Additionally, linked devices will now have access to the conversation lock feature. Users of WhatsApp will also soon have the option to tag their contacts in status updates.

Notably, WhatsApp users can link their devices to log in to the same account on different devices. However, several functions, such as conversation locks and status updates, are not accessible on the secondary devices.

Even if they are locked on the main conversations, anybody can still access your private chats on a connected device. WhatsApp is currently working on adding Chat Lock capability to connected devices in order to address this.

The chat lock feature on WhatsApp will soon be available on connected devices.

Prior to this, it was claimed that WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta, was developing new personalisation options for an iOS beta.

According to WABetaInfo, an update tracker portal for the instant messaging network, WhatsApp for iOS users will soon get the option to modify both the conversation bubble’s colour and the app’s primary colour scheme.

A feature that let beta testers choose the primary colour scheme of the WhatsApp iOS app from a selection of five colours was first tested back in January.

The instant messaging app is testing a feature that lets users change the colour of chat bubbles within conversations, though, in a new beta edition.

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Moon train operations are planned by NASA.

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The goal is to construct the first lunar train system, which will enable safe, independent, and effective cargo transportation on the moon, according to robotics specialist Ethan Schaler of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

He went on, “The day-to-day functioning of a sustainable lunar base in the 2030s will depend heavily on a robust, long-lasting robotic transport system.”

The Flexible Levitation on a Track, or FLOAT, is the name of the proposed lunar rail system. According to NASA, the establishment of a railway system on the moon is “critical to the daily operations.”

According to the space agency, the primary objective of FLOAT is to offer transportation services in regions of the moon where astronauts are engaged in activities. To do this, cargoes of lunar soil and other materials will need to be transported to various regions of the moon.

Each robot will be able to transport cargo of various sizes and shapes at a pace of roughly 1 mph (1.61 km/h), according to Dr. Schaler.

Notably, NASA also declared new initiatives last month to create and test new vehicle models intended for moon exploration.

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Pakistan’s lunar mission ‘ICUBE-Q’ reaches the moon orbit.

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Pakistan’s lunar mission (ICUBE-Q) entered orbit around the moon on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s historic lunar mission (ICUBE-Q) launched from Hainan, China, on Friday aboard China’s Chang’E6 spacecraft.

According to the IST, the satellite ICUBE-Q was planned and developed in partnership with China’s Shanghai University SJTU and Pakistan’s national space agency SUPARCO.

The ICUBE-Q orbiter is equipped with two optical cameras to image the lunar surface. ICUBE-Q has now been integrated into the Chang’e6 mission after successfully qualifying and testing it.

Chang’e6 is the sixth lunar exploration mission launched by China.

The launch event was streamed live on the IST website and social media platforms. Chang’6, China’s Lunar Mission, will land on the Moon’s far side to collect surface samples before returning to Earth for further research.

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