Four key takeaways as lawmakers grill TikTok CEO

Four key takeaways as lawmakers grill TikTok CEO

Lawmakers from both political parties joined forces on Thursday during a committee hearing where TikTok CEO Shou Chew testified on ways his company plans to address recent security concerns raised about the social media app.

Criticisms surrounding TikTok were notably bipartisan as each committee members from both parties expressed various concerns about the app and its Chinese-based owner, including national security threats, data privacy, the spread of misinformation and the safety for minors.

“Mr. Chew, welcome to the most bipartisan committee in Congress,” said Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.).

“We may not always agree on how to get there, but we care about our national security,” he said. “We care about our economy, and we sure as heck care about our children.”

Chew, who was grilled and often interrupted by lawmakers, attempted to convince them that the app was overall safe and that the company was taking proactive steps to address the concerns raised. 

“Our approach has never been to dismiss or trivialize any of these concerns,” Chew said in his opening statement. “We have addressed them with real action.”

Lawmakers skeptical of Project Texas

To address some of the concerns, TikTok designed a plan, known as Project Texas, in which American data would be routed and stored with Oracle, a Texas-based software company. Chew said his company has invested $1.5 billion to build the project.

This was done to address some of the national security concerns surrounding the Chinese government’s ability to request and access American data. U.S. lawmakers have said that since TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese-based company, it could be subject to Chinese laws on handing over U.S. data.

Despite the implementation of Project Texas, lawmakers said they’re not buying it. 

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told Chew he doubts the project will fix the issues raised.

“I still believe that the Beijing communist government will still control and have the ability to influence what you do and so this idea of Project Texas is simply not acceptable,” he said. 

Chew claims China has not requested access to U.S. data

While being questioned by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Chew said he was not aware of a situation where the Chinese government requested his company to obtain U.S. data.

“I have seen no evidence that the Chinese government has access to that data,” Chew said. “They have never asked us and we have not provided it.”

Eshoo found his answer problematic and called it “preposterous,” adding that she doesn’t “believe that there is really a private sector in China.”

Her comments echoed concerns raised by FBI Director Christopher Wray who said earlier this month that the line between the private and the public sector in China is “nonexistent.”

Committee worried about protecting children’s safety

Committee members also pressed Chew on children’s safety on the platform based on concerns that they are being exposed to dangerous “challenges” and posts emphasizing self-harm and suicide. 

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) said TikTok’s algorithms have prioritized recommending “harmful content” directly to children. He noted that Italy has launched an investigation following the spread of the “French scar” challenge in which users intentionally make marks on their faces.

He also mentioned an example of a 16-year-old boy from New York who died last year by suicide through stepping in front of a train. The boy’s “For You” page on the app revealed a wide range of content promoting suicide.

“It is unacceptable, sir, that even after knowing all these dangers, you still claim that TikTok is something grand to behold,” Bilirakis told Chew.

Chew said hearing about the boy’s case is “devastating.” He said the company takes these types of concerns seriously and provides resources to any user who searches for content on topics like suicide.

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) also referred to several “challenges” that some users on TikTok do in which they could potentially harm themselves. One of the challenges is called the “blackout challenge,” in which a user holds their breath as long as they can until they lose consciousness.

“Why is it that TikTok consistently fails to identify and moderate these kinds of harmful videos?” Carter asked.

Chew said preventing the spread of young users doing dangerous challenges is a difficulty facing the entire social media industry.

Chew shies away from picking sides

The CEO refrained from giving his position on whether ByteDance should completely divest from TikTok and sell its stake to an American company, emphasizing that ownership isn’t the issue.

“It is not about ownership,” he said. “It is a lot about making sure we have Project Texas, making sure that we’re protecting and firewalling U.S. user data from unauthorized foreign access, giving third parties [permission] to come in to have a look at this and making sure that everybody is comfortable.”

Chew was also asked whether he agreed with recent statements made by the Chinese government opposing the idea of selling TikTok.

Chew said he couldn’t speak on behalf of the Chinese government and directed him to the work they’re doing in regards to Project Texas. 

Chinese officials on Thursday said that they would “resolutely oppose” the forced sale of the social media platform following requests from the Biden administration to sell its stake to a U.S. based company.

“If the news is true, China will resolutely oppose it,” China’s Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Shu Jueting said in a statement on Thursday.

Shu added that a potential forced sale of TikTok “would seriously damage investors from multiple countries including China” and hurt the country’s “confidence to invest in the United States.” 

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Source link

Coinbase tumbles ahead of the bell after SEC warning

Coinbase tumbles ahead of the bell after SEC warning

Shares of Coinbase tumbled 15% Thursday after the cryptocurrency trading platform received a warning from the Securities and Exchange Commission…

Shares of Coinbase tumbled 15% Thursday after the cryptocurrency trading platform received a warning from the Securities and Exchange Commission that it could face securities charges.

The cryptocurrency trading platform said in an SEC filing late Wednesday that it had received a Wells Notice from the agency, which indicates that regulators believe laws protecting investors were violated.

Among the practices being targeted by the SEC is “staking,” which is “Coinbase Earn” by the company.

Users of trading platforms can stake their cryptocurrency, essentially locking up some of their assets, in exchange for payment later, much like earning interest rates in a savings account. Those assets are used by platforms like Coinbase Global Inc. to guarantee other transactions taking place on the blockchain.

The SEC says Coinbase and other platforms must register as a securities platform to offer such services, and only after it is approved by the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance.

A Wells Notice for Coinbase is another warning shot from SEC Chair Gary Gensler who is attempting to establish the agency’s oversight of crypto firms when they wander into areas typically associated with banking.

Kraken, a rival crypto exchange platform, agreed to settle in February for $30 million and to stop offering staking as a service.

Analysts that follow crypto and Coinbase said there is a significant threat for the company.

“We continue to see regulatory risk as meaningful for Coinbase given substantial (high quality) earnings growth potential from services like staking that are at risk of regulatory elimination,” wrote analysts with JP Morgan on Thursday.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong lashed out at the SEC late Wednesday and the company has been critical of regulations related to staking, calling them vague.

“Going forward the legal process will provide an open and public forum before an unbiased body where we will be able to make clear for all to see that the SEC simply has not been fair, reasonable, or even demonstrated a seriousness of purpose when it comes to its engagement on digital assets,” Armstrong tweeted.

In a blog post, Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal said that the SEC matter was a “disappointing development.”

“Rest assured, Coinbase products and services continue to operate as usual,” Grewal said.

In January New York announced a $100 million settlement with Coinbase over what state officials called significant failures in the cryptocurrency trading platform’s systems for spotting potential criminal activity.

Under the terms of the settlement, the San Francisco company agreed to pay a $50 million penalty to New York state and will invest another $50 million in its compliance program. An independent monitor installed by the state will work with Coinbase for a year to oversee compliance.

That same month, Coinbase announced that it was cutting approximately 20% of its workforce, or about 950 jobs, in a second round of layoffs in less than a year. Coinbase announced the elimination of 1,100 jobs in June, or approximately 18% of its global workforce, in a first round of cuts.

Coinbase was founded in 2012 and has no headquarters. It went public in April 2021 by listing its stock directly and skipping the traditional process of hiring underwriters.

Cryptocurrency has been on a tear this year after plunging severely in 2022. Bitcoin climbed another 3% Thursday to $27,700 and is now up 68% for the year in an era of mass layoffs in the tech sector and widespread anxiety about stability in the U.S. banking sector.

© 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Source link

This dissident uses Chinese-owned TikTok to criticize China’s government

This dissident uses Chinese-owned TikTok to criticize China’s government


Kim Wong, a longtime journalist in Hong Kong who now lives in the Boston area, has attracted a giant online audience with his Mandarin-language videos criticizing the Chinese government — including, he says, a substantial number of people inside China who use software tools to access information the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t want them to see.

And many of those videos can be found in a surprising place: TikTok, the wildly popular short-video app owned by Chinese company ByteDance that the U.S. government has claimed could serve as a megaphone for pro-Communist propaganda.

Wong says he understands and supports the calls to ban TikTok in the United States because of its potential for misuse by the Chinese state. But he also calls TikTok a uniquely powerful tool for reaching young Mandarin-speaking people around the world. Blocking it would close off an influential route for questioning the Chinese government’s authoritarianism — and mean one fewer voice breaking through.

“The basic problem is that young people in China do not have correct information,” said Wong, who in the past year has posted 1,200 videos on Chinese issues to his TikTok account, where he has 70,000 followers. “The CCP is brainwashing them. Since I am on their side, I have started to produce seven or eight short videos a day.”

Wong’s audience highlights the complicated reality of the push to ban one of the country’s most popular apps. Any measure designed to address TikTok’s supposed data-privacy or propaganda risks could end up violating the First Amendment rights of the more than 150 million monthly active users TikTok says the app has in the United States. It could also deprive dissidents around the world, including inside China, of access to news and information they might otherwise not see.

In Washington, in addition to voicing concerns that China’s laws could require ByteDance to turn over sensitive data about Americans to the Chinese government, critics have argued that TikTok’s opaque algorithm could be used to amplify Chinese Communist Party messaging, though they have not provided evidence that this has happened.

TikTok’s supporters say such speculation isn’t enough to merit a nationwide ban that could demolish one of the country’s most popular platforms for creative expression and undermine America’s free-speech ideals.

How TikTok ate the internet

TikTok executives have said the company has not promoted or censored videos to satisfy Chinese government requests. The company’s chief executive, Shou Zi Chew, who is testifying before Congress during a hearing on Thursday, told The Washington Post last month that a ban would unfairly silence Americans’ voices at home and undermine their “cultural leadership” around the world.

In his testimony Thursday, Chew intends to tell lawmakers that “TikTok will remain a platform for free expression and will not be manipulated by any government,” according to an early statement of his remarks.

Ioana Literat, an associate professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College who studies youth political expression on social media, said banning a platform of TikTok’s prominence and cultural significance would instantly eliminate a place where many young people are building relationships and establishing their personal viewpoints.

“Peer groups are so important at this stage in life, and TikTok is their hangout space,” Literat said. “It affords connectivity among users, which is so important from a political stance, an activist stance, an identity-formation stance. They’re really learning how to participate in public life through platforms like TikTok.”

TikTok also has become a source of information and news across many American age groups. One-third of TikTok’s U.S. viewers said they regularly use the app to learn about current events, Pew Research Center said last year.

The possibility of a ban has raised alarms among America’s biggest free-speech and civil liberties groups. In a letter signed by PEN America, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, and sent Wednesday to congressional offices, the groups urged the government to resolve its concerns about TikTok without resorting to “an ill-advised, blanket approach that would impair free speech and set a troubling precedent that could curtail free expression worldwide.”

For “the tens of millions of young Americans who use TikTok,” they wrote, “to witness a popular social media platform summarily shut down by the government will raise serious questions in the minds of a rising generation about the sanctity of free speech in our system of governance.”

It may also not withstand legal scrutiny. When the Trump administration attempted a similar ban in 2020 of WeChat, a Chinese app with one-tenth TikTok’s current U.S. user base, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler blocked the order by saying it would “burden substantially more speech than is necessary” to further the government’s national security interests.

TikTok that year also sued the Trump administration, saying at the time that President Donald Trump’s executive order banning TikTok would “strip the rights of [its] community without any evidence to justify such an extreme action.” The company dropped the lawsuit after the Biden administration reversed Trump’s order in 2021.

On TikTok, many creators have shared videos in recent weeks discussing how a TikTok ban would silence a platform that has shaped their lives. Some have pointed out how other U.S.-owned social networks, including Facebook, have enabled foreign propaganda efforts without facing the same consequences.

TikTok has become a growing source of America’s news, with The Post and other media organizations using it to reach millions of followers. The White House last year invited popular TikTok influencers to a special briefing on its Ukraine policy, saying the app was “a critically important avenue in the way the American public is finding out about the latest” information on the war. And President Biden hosted a group of TikTok influencers last fall as part of a Democratic initiative to introduce viewers to Washington ahead of the midterm elections.

A ban on TikTok also could undermine U.S. lawmakers’ attempts to gain young people’s attention and trust. Freshman Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-N.C.) has gained more than a million TikTok followers with his videos on the strange reality of policymaking: One video discussing Congress’s response to bank runs, which he recorded last week around 2 a.m., has been viewed more than 25 million times. One commenter said, “This is how all elected representatives should be addressing and updating their constituents.”

Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-N.C.) shared his thoughts on the failure of Silicon Valley Bank in video posted to his TikTok account on March 13. (Video: @jeffjacksonnc/TikTok)

Jackson, 40, said he spends a couple of hours each week writing scripts for his two-minute videos, then records the footage from a tripod in his kitchen. For security purposes, the congressman — a former Army reservist and Afghanistan war veteran who now serves on the House Armed Services and Science committees — uses a personal phone on which TikTok is the only installed app.

“Filming in a house with three kids is all about finding 10 minutes of consecutive silence,” said Jackson, who said he edits the videos himself using Adobe Premiere after his children go to bed on Saturday night. “Other people choose to spend their Saturday evenings differently,” he joked.

Jackson said he uses TikTok because it’s the best platform for reaching young people, many of whom are suspicious or dismissive of political leadership. He said he takes a “vegetable-based approach to political communication” that he hopes will win back voters’ trust.

“We are already saturated with people who want to give us the daily talking points for the daily outrage. I don’t need to add to that,” he said. “I just try to be a person who speaks to them directly, and over time hope to earn some respect back.”

He has also been surprised at how many people have responded. In February, he recorded a video explaining the U.S. government’s policy toward Taiwan, expecting the subject matter would make it a “complete dud.” Instead, more than 2 million people have watched.

“As it turns out, just being a halfway-sensible person and speaking directly to people in a normal tone of voice about serving in Congress is compelling for a lot of people,” he said.

It has also had the surprising effect of changing his status in the eyes of his 14-year-old son. “Every once in a while, he’ll offer half a compliment, like, ‘Hey, man, good shares on that video,’” he said. “And I can tell it really pains him. It’s so sweet. I don’t rub it in.”

Facebook paid GOP firm to malign TikTok

Congressional Republicans have argued that TikTok’s value is compromised, given the risk it could be used to spy on Americans, with some, like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), saying it poses a “bigger threat” than the Chinese spy balloon that floated over the United States last month.

That case also revealed TikTok’s increasingly prominent role as an online square for real-time commentary and debate. Many TikTok videos then featured criticism of the Chinese government, as well as factual videos detailing the events and explaining the U.S. government’s response.

Some lawmakers have questioned how authentic TikTok’s popularity really is. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) said he suspected that the more than 360 million views of the app’s #stopwillow hashtag — a reference to environmental activists’ viral campaign to stop a multibillion-dollar drilling project in Alaska that Sullivan has fought to approve — had possibly been boosted by Chinese propagandists.

“Maybe that’s the good work of some of the Lower 48 environmental groups,” he said at a congressional news conference, “or maybe that’s the Chinese Communist Party trying to influence young Americans on an issue” because they are “scared to death of American energy dominance.”

Neither he nor his office could provide any evidence for what he called “a crazy notion.” The Post has interviewed many young activists about the campaign.

Sullivan is a co-sponsor of the RESTRICT Act, a recent White House-backed legislative proposal that would give the government more power to ban or limit foreign-owned apps. In previous statements, Sullivan has said: “The Chinese Communist Party can crush freedom of speech in their own country. They shouldn’t be able to crush it in this country.”

But Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, whose agency would have expanded authority under the act, said in a Bloomberg interview this month that she worried a full-on TikTok ban could infringe on America’s constitutional protections around speech. “However much I hate TikTok — and I do, because I see … [what] it serves kids — you know, this is America,” she said.

Among TikTok users in the United States, a nationwide ban would be extraordinarily unpopular, according to a Post poll released Wednesday. About 20 percent of those who used the app in the past month said they supported a ban, compared with nearly 50 percent who opposed one. (Of those who didn’t use TikTok, more than 50 percent said they supported a ban and 35 percent were unsure.)

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), who has more than 158,000 TikTok followers, said Washington lawmakers should not let “fearmongering” over TikTok’s ownership undermine a platform that Americans are using to learn about the world and share their lives.

“I’ve had supporters in my district tell me things like, ‘You are reaching a new audience: My 11-year-old niece follows your TikTok,’” Bowman said. “Everyone can’t find their voice in those other spaces, and people have found their voices on TikTok. We shouldn’t be banning that.”

Bowman, who hosted a news conference Wednesday on the U.S. Capitol grounds alongside TikTok creators to discuss how a ban would affect free expression, said he wants Congress to push for broader industry rules that would hold all tech platforms to the same rules around privacy and content moderation.

“I support comprehensive regulations of Big Tech overall. That is absolutely needed,” he told The Post. “So let’s have that conversation. Let’s not single out TikTok because they happen to be a Chinese-owned company, and let’s not facilitate another ‘red scare,’” he said, referring to the anti-communist fear campaign in the United States after World War II.

Wong, the Mandarin-language TikToker, said he doesn’t entirely trust the app, given the risk that it could be influenced by the company’s “ultimate boss” in Beijing. He said he had a video — comparing the “white paper” protests that swept through major cities in China last year to the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests crushed by Communist forces in 1989 — temporarily suspended for “abusive behavior” and had his account temporary blocked in December, raising his concerns about political censorship.

A TikTok representative said the video was removed due to an error by the app’s moderation team, which is primarily based in the United States but also includes overnight coverage by moderators in Europe and Singapore, and restored within two minutes of Wong’s appeal. His account, the representative said, was also erroneously suspended and reinstated within a day. Both the video and his account remain online, and many of his TikTok videos have been watched tens of thousands of times.

Even with his doubts, Wong said, TikTok’s undeniable reach among young people all over the world has made it a powerful tool for political advocacy and promoting the truth.

“You don’t know what will happen,” said Wong. “But I am not afraid. I’ve tried my best to put my voice on TikTok to resist.”

Cristiano Lima contributed to this report.

Source link

To Niche or Not To Niche: Guidance from Creators on Picking A Lane

To Niche or Not To Niche: Guidance from Creators on Picking A Lane

What do creators like Mr. Beast and Ali Abdaal have in common? Not much, actually, other than the ‘Creator’ label and being YouTubers. They serve distinctly different audiences and create very different types of content. However, no matter how you look at it, they’re both pretty successful in their own rights.

For content creators , one of the biggest debates is whether or not to “niche down” and focus on a specific topic or audience. Some argue that niching down is necessary for success, while others believe that it’s better to have a broader focus.

In this article, we’ll explore both sides of the argument and provide guidance on (with input from expert creators) how to pick a niche that works for you.

Arguments Against Niching Down

On the other hand, some argue that niching down can limit your audience and opportunities. If you only focus on one topic, you may miss out on potential followers who are interested in other areas you have knowledge about. Additionally, if your niche becomes oversaturated, it can be difficult to stand out.

Not niching down can also allow you to be more creative and versatile with your content. You can explore different topics and experiment with different types of content, which can keep your audience engaged and interested.

Certain creators feel more comfortable without labels – including Toni Bravo, who says, “…I will never have a niche. [T]here’s a million things that I’m always doing at once. So I would post like knitting stuff. And then I post beauty stuff. And then I post up about my dog. And then I just post random trending sounds. So I never put myself in like a box but what I do pay attention to is how things are received.”


yes, i’m a sagittarius

♬ original sound – lucia <3< a> 3<>

Jayde Powell, content marketer and creator, adds to this by saying, “I’ve always been really hesitant to establish a niche because I have a lot of interests. So I’m not going to call myself a vegan influencer or a fashion influencer because maybe I like style and I also like to eat vegan food on occasion. I have a variety of interests and things that I can speak to. So for me, not classifying myself in one way does hinder me from getting opportunities but I’m a big believer that the opportunities that are meant for me will come to me when they’re supposed to.”

Arguments for Niching Down

One of the primary arguments for niching down is that it allows you to become an expert in your field. By focusing on a specific topic, you can provide more value to your audience and establish yourself as a go-to resource. This can lead to more opportunities, such as speaking engagements or consulting work.

Josh Ho, founder of Referral Rock and podcaster, thinks about niching down like this: “I agree with niching down because there are a lot of things I’m interested in that I don’t write about. If I wrote about all my interests, no one would understand who I’m trying to speak to. It’s hard to separate your interests like that, but it’s worth it when there’s a particular message you’re trying to get across.”

Amanda Natividad, VP of Marketing at Sparktoro, also shared her perspective on niching down.

Niching down can also make it easier to create content. When you have a clear focus, you know exactly what topics to cover and what type of content to create. This can save time and reduce the stress of coming up with new ideas. If you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field and provide value to a specific audience, then niching down may be the way to go.

So, how do you decide whether or not to niche down? The answer is that it depends on your goals and preferences. For Lloyd George, content creator and founder of Cre8tor Hub, niching down has helped him find a more valuable audience as an entrepreneur. “As someone that has a niche, having a niche has made it significantly easier to grow and I think I’ve grown faster. Also I will say tangibly speaking, having a niche increases the value of your audience,” he says.


Maybe your company can do the same??

♬ original sound – Lloyd | Podcast tips

If your goal is to build a business from your content creation, then Lloyd’s advice is pertinent. However, if you prefer to have a broader focus and build a platform based on your personality and not any one category, then not niching down may be better for you.

how to pick a niche

How to Pick a Niche

If you do decide to niche down, it’s important to pick a niche that works for you. Here are some tips for choosing a niche:

Consider your passions and expertise

Start by thinking about the topics that you’re passionate about and knowledgeable in. Your clear interest and expertise will help you create better (consistent) content and connect with your audience more effectively.

The key is to “become the niche,” a concept created by Katie Xu, who has a unique perspective on niches. The TikTok creator shares, “You don’t have to eliminate niches or categories – but you shouldn’t hide behind them.


Replying to becoming the niche is a mindset that prioritizes YOU. that’s all #katiexsocials #becometheniche #nichedown #futuremillionairekatie #creatorindustry #socialmillionaire #tiktokmillionaires

♬ original sound – Katie Xu | Future Millionaire

People are trying to learn specific things from you, which is why you might stick to one category. But there are probably thousands of other people in the same category. In order to figure out how you can pick a niche that you’re passionate about, ask yourself:

  • Why should they learn from you instead of someone else?
  • What makes you, your content or your perspective unique?
  • What knowledge or expertise do you have that will make you stand out in that niche?

An example of a creator who has successfully niched down based on their passions and expertise is Pat Flynn, the founder of Smart Passive Income. Focusing on his passion for helping others create passive income streams, Flynn has grown his brand to include a popular blog, podcast, and YouTube channel.

Research creators within your category

Before committing to a niche, it’s important to research your competition and make sure there is an audience for your content. Look for gaps in the market or areas where you can provide a unique perspective.

For example, Tom Frank of College Info Geek started his blog as a response to the lack of personal and relatable content for students. By analyzing the existing content and identifying a gap in the market, he was able to create a successful blog with over 1 million monthly visitors.

Be flexible with your niche

Remember that your niche may evolve over time as you learn more about your audience and your own interests. Don’t be afraid to pivot if you feel like you’re not reaching your goals or if you want to explore new topics.

It took Jason Levin, creator of the newsletter Cyber Patterns, took eight months to figure out what his newsletter would be about. He just wrote what he thought was cool until he landed on content strategy, the main topic of the newsletter.

He says about picking a niche: “Picking a niche, in the beginning [of your creator journey], is very silly because you’ll probably end up switching. You should definitely pick a niche but don’t rush it until you’re ready. Start out following whatever you’re curious about and make cool content.”

This flexibility allows creators to adapt and grow as their interests change, ensuring their content remains engaging and relevant to their audience.

Niching comes down to where you are in your creator journey

Picking a niche means that: you have a lot of expertise or interest in one area and you can identify your ideal audience quicker and find your 1,000 true fans easier.

Ultimately, it is a personal choice that depends on your goals and preferences. Whether you choose to niche down or not, the key is to create high-quality content that provides value to your audience.


Check out this article for ideas to inspire your next piece of high-quality content.

Source link

How to Download Counter-Strike 2 (CS2)

How to Download Counter-Strike 2 (CS2)

The release of Counter-Strike 2, which will be offered as a free upgrade to CS:GO, is scheduled for the summer of 2023.

It’s expected to showcase a significant technological advancement in the game’s history.

Currently, a limited test phase is ongoing where players can try out the game’s new features like the new smoke mechanics.

Smoke is now capable of expanding naturally to fill spaces, like flowing out of doors or broken windows, as well as combining with other smoke.

In addition, the smoke particles have been integrated with a unified lighting system that delivers more authentic light and color representation.

If you’re looking to download CS2 right now, read on to find out the requirements.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to download Counter-Strike 2 (CS 2 or CS:GO 2) limited beta test on Steam.

How to download Counter-Strike 2

How to download Counter-Strike 2

To download Counter-Strike 2, you need to be invited to the limited beta testing.

You can check if you’re invited by updating CS:GO and launching the game.

If you’re invited, you’ll receive a notification in the main menu and you can click on the “Enroll” button to download the game.

Here’s how to play CS2:

  1. Update CS:GO and launch the game on Steam.
  2. If you’re invited, you’ll receive a notification in the main menu saying that you’re invited to the limited test.
  3. Click on the “Enroll” button to download and play Counter-Strike 2.

Source: Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test FAQ.

Players are selected by multiple factors that are important to the development team.

This includes recent playtime on the official Valve servers, overall trust, and Steam account standing.

If you’re not invited, you need to wait as more players will be added to the limited test over time.

Launch CS:GO every day and check if you’re invited to the limited test.

How much disk space does Counter-Strike 2 require?

Counter-Strike 2 requires a minimum disk space of 15 GB.

If you don’t have enough space, you need to delete unwanted files, folders, photos, and videos.

Can I play the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test on Linux or macOS?

No, the Counter-Strike 2 Limited Test is not available on Linux or macOS.

It’s currently only available on the Windows operating system.

Further reading

310+ Best, Cool, and Funny CSGO Names

40+ Free Steam Accounts with Games

Top 10 Most Popular Steam Games

Source link

3D printed rocket blasts off but fails to reach orbit on maiden flight

3D printed rocket blasts off but fails to reach orbit on maiden flight

A new rocket, the world’s first made up of mostly 3D-printed components and fueled by liquid natural gas, blasted off on its maiden flight Wednesday night and climbed out of the lower atmosphere only to suffer a second stage malfunction that prevented it from reaching orbit.

It was a disappointing setback for Relativity Space, a California start-up vying to become a major player in the emerging commercial launch market, but such anomalies are not unusual when flight testing a new rocket, and the company vowed a thorough investigation to find and fix what went wrong.

A time exposure captures the brilliant exhaust plume of the methane-burning Terran 1 rocket as it thundered away from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

William Harwood/CBS News

“No one’s ever attempted to launch a 3D-printed rocket into orbit and while we didn’t make it all the way today, we gathered enough data to show that flying 3D-printed rockets is possible,” one of the company’s launch commentators said.

The 110-foot-tall Terran 1 rocket, powered by nine Relativity-developed Aeon 1 engines generating a combined 207,000 pounds of thrust, blasted off from pad 16 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 11:25 p.m. EDT, climbing straight up and then arcing away to the east over the Atlantic Ocean.

Two earlier launch attempts on March 8 and 11 were scrubbed by a combination of issues, mostly related to flight software, officials said later. The countdown Wednesday was held up by higher-than-allowable winds aloft and by a boat that strayed into the off-shore danger zone.

But the final moments ticked down without a hitch and the rocket put on a dramatic show, its engines generating a brilliant blue-white flame in sharp contrast to the orange hues produced by kerosene-burning engines.

For its initial flight, Terran 1 was not carrying a customer payload and was not equipped with the nose fairing normally used to protect satellites during the climb out of the lower atmosphere.

The test flight was intended to “prove that 3D printed structures can withstand the pressures of flight, which will prove our hypothesis that 3D printing is a viable way to manufacture rockets,” Relativity tweeted before the company’s first launch attempt.

Wednesday night, the rocket’s first stage did just that, burning liquid natural gas — methane — with liquid oxygen, safely accelerating through the region of maximum aerodynamic stress, known as “max Q,” as it powered its way out of the dense lower atmosphere.

The first stage engines shut down as expected about two minutes and 50 seconds after launch and the stage fell away as planned. A camera mounted on the rocket showed the second stage engine beginning to start a few seconds later, but it did not appear to fully ignite.

Moments after that, an anomaly was declared and commentators on the company’s livestream confirmed the vehicle did not achieve orbit.

Terran 1 on the launch pad.

Relativity Space

“Maiden launches are always exciting, and today’s flight was no exception,” one said. “Although we didn’t reach orbit, we significantly exceeded our key objectives for this first launch, and that objective was to gather data at max Q, one of the most demanding phases of flight, and achieve stage separation.”

Relativity Space was founded in 2015 by college classmates Tim Ellis and Jordan Noone, who both gained experience working for Blue Origin and SpaceX. The Long Beach, California-based company has now grown to 1,000 employees and has a market valuation of $4.2 billion. Among its early investors is billionaire Mark Cuban.

The Terran 1 rocket is capable of putting payloads weighing up to 2,755 pounds into low-Earth orbit for an advertised price of $12 million. About 85 percent of the launcher, including its propellant tanks, bulkheads and major engine components, was 3D printed by Relativity.

“No new company has ever had their liquid rocket make it to space on their first attempt,” Josh Brost, a Relativity vice president, told Spaceflight Now before launch. “So if everything goes incredibly well, and we achieve orbit on our first launch … that would be a remarkable milestone for us, which we would be, of course, over the moon excited about.”

But it was not to be.

Terran 1 is the latest in an increasingly crowded field of rockets designed to carry relatively small satellites to orbit that otherwise might have to wait for rides as secondary payloads on larger rockets.

Relativity also is developing a much larger, more powerful and fully reusable rocket known as Terran R that will compete with medium-class rockets like SpaceX’s Falcon 9. Terran R will be capable of boosting up to 44,000 pounds to low-Earth orbit, even more if flying in expendable mode.

Ellis said earlier that Terran 1 served as a “fantastic learning platform for developing technologies directly applicable to Terran R, giving us a lot of confidence we are ahead in the race to become the next great launch company.”

Source link