Techmeme
January 18, 2023, 4:40 PM

Top News

Todd Bishop / GeekWire:
Memo: Microsoft plans to lay off 10,000 employees through March 31, reducing its headcount by less than 5%, and take a $1.2B charge tied to severance and more  —  [Editor's Note: Timing of layoffs corrected since original post.]  —  Citing a need to “align our cost structure with our revenue …
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Apple announces a second-generation HomePod with a similar design to the original from 2018, Matter support, S7 chip, and more, shipping on February 3 for $299  —  It will be sold alongside the HomePod Mini, the smaller version of the speaker introduced in 2020, and features support …
Hartley Charlton / MacRumors:
Apple enables a temperature and humidity sensor in the HomePod mini and second-generation HomePod, helping users create automations to execute household tasks  —  The reintroduced HomePod offers a temperature and humidity sensor, but Apple is also enabling the feature on the existing HomePod mini.
Erin Woo / The Information:
Source: Twitter engineering manager Siddharth Rao told employees that daily revenue was 40% lower YoY and 500+ of the company's top advertisers paused spending  —  A senior Twitter manager told employees that the company's daily revenue on Tuesday was 40% lower than the same day a year ago …
Reuters:
The US Treasury's FinCEN unit labels crypto exchange Bitzlato as a “money laundering concern” related to Russian illicit finance; French police seize Bitzlato  —  The U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network on Wednesday said it has identified virtual …
Billy Perrigo / TIME:
Investigation: starting in November 2021, OpenAI contracted Kenya-based Sama workers to label violent, toxic, and sexual content for ~$2/hour to improve ChatGPT  —  Content warning: this story contains descriptions of sexual abuse  —  ChatGPT was hailed as one 2022's most impressive …
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple indefinitely postpones its lightweight AR glasses due to technical difficulties and is instead planning a lower-cost MR headset for 2024 or 2025  —  Apple Inc. is still planning to unveil its first mixed-reality headset this year, but an even more important follow-up product …
CoinDesk:
Analysis: 196 members of the new Congress accepted donations from Sam Bankman-Fried or other FTX senior executives, including Kevin McCarthy and Chuck Schumer  —  The session began with 196 U.S. lawmakers who took direct contributions from Sam Bankman-Fried and other former FTX executives …
Rohan Goswami / CNBC:
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Samsung Galaxy S23, S23 Plus, and S23 Ultra specs allegedly leak: 6.1-, 6.6-, and 6.8-inch displays, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, a 200MP sensor for the Ultra, and more  —  Spec sheets for all three devices in Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone lineup, the Galaxy S23 series, appear to have leaked online.
The Block:
Sources: Genesis creditors are negotiating a bankruptcy plan with the firm and weighing a one to two-year forbearance period in exchange for cash and DCG equity  —  - Genesis creditors are negotiating the terms of a possible Chapter 11 filing, according to sources close to the matter.
Bloomberg:
Amazon begins laying off 18,000+ employees, impacting ~1% of its total workforce and ~6% of its 350,000 corporate staff, mostly in its retail and HR departments  —  Amazon.com Inc. is set to begin a round of layoffs ultimately affecting more than 18,000 employees in the largest job cull in its history …
Patrick McGee / Financial Times:
As Apple shifts away from China, experts worry India will struggle with iPhone production due to supply chain issues, labor woes, a lack of automation, and more  —  The tech giant increasingly finds itself beholden to America's biggest geopolitical rival.  But is diversification even possible?
Chavi Mehta / Reuters:
Spotify, Deezer, Proton, and others write to Margrethe Vestager, demanding the European Commission take action against Apple's “unfair practices”, like IAP fees  —  Music streaming service Spotify Technology (SPOT.N), along with other media firms such as Deezer …
Richard Lawler / The Verge:
Twitter begins offering an annual Blue subscription for $84 on the web, saving 12.5% compared to a monthly subscription on the web and 36.4% over paying via iOS  —  Ever since Elon Musk took over Twitter, one of his aims has been to build up its subscription business, launching …
Abha Bhattarai / Washington Post:
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Circle, Hedera, and other crypto companies hope to resuscitate the industry's image after FTX and attract new investors  —  The World Economic Forum's annual gathering has become an unlikely destination for the crypto industry as it tries to raise its profile — and new funds

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Jess Weatherbed / The Verge: