Techmeme
January 11, 2024, 5:50 PM

Top News

Louise Matsakis / Semafor:
Google lays off hundreds of staff working on Assistant and says the restructuring would help improve Assistant as the company explores integrating newer AI tech  —  Google is laying off hundreds of people working on its voice-activated Google Assistant software and eliminating a similar number …
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google reorganizes its Devices & Services teams responsible for Pixel, Fitbit, and Nest; Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman are leaving Google  —  Google is reorganizing the Devices & Services teams responsible for Pixel, Nest, and Fitbit hardware.
Nico Grant / New York Times:
Jon Victor / The Information:
Alex Heath / The Verge:
Internal memo: Discord CEO Jason Citron says the company is laying off 17% of its staff, or 170 people, after growing its workforce “by 5x since 2020”  —  Discord is laying off 17 percent of its staff, a move that CEO Jason Citron said is meant to “sharpen our focus and improve …
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google plans to remove 17 “underutilized” Assistant features in February, including controlling audiobooks, media alarms, recipes, messages, events, and more  —  Bard is the future of Assistant.  Ahead of that happening, Google announced today that Assistant features with low usage will be removed in February.
Reuters:
USDC stablecoin issuer Circle confidentially files for a US IPO, without saying the number of shares for sale or a price range; Circle was valued at $9B in 2022  —  Circle Internet Financial, the company behind stablecoin USDC, said on Thursday that it had confidentially filed …
Carly Page / TechCrunch:
Ivanti confirms hackers are exploiting two critical vulnerabilities in its corporate VPN software, but says patches won't be available until the end of January  —  U.S. software giant Ivanti has confirmed that hackers are exploiting two critical-rated vulnerabilities affecting …
Juli Clover / MacRumors:
Jesse Hamilton / CoinDesk:
US SEC Chair Gary Gensler concedes that losing in court after rejecting Grayscale's spot bitcoin ETF left the agency with little choice but to approve such ETFs  —  The SEC chair said a court forced his hand and that the agency's decision to greenlight a spot bitcoin ETF doesn't signal support of that or any other digital asset.
Reuters:
Jordan Novet / CNBC:
Microsoft briefly unseated Apple as the world's most valuable publicly traded company in early trading on Thursday but closed out the day under Apple  —  - Microsoft on Thursday briefly unseated Apple as the world's most valuable publicly traded company in early trading but closed out the day under Apple.
Jason Koebler / 404 Media:
Google formally endorses right to repair and will testify in favor of a law in Oregon, says regulators should ban “parts pairing”, a tactic used by Apple  —  Google says repair should be easy and “parts pairing” should be illegal.  —  Google formally endorsed the concept of right …
Charisma Madarang / Rolling Stone:
Dudesy, an AI-driven podcast curated by humans, releases an hour-long comedy special featuring an AI-generated recreation of George Carlin, who died in 2008  —  The hour-long special arrived from Dudesy, a podcast run by artificial intelligence … Following the special's release …
Alanna Durkin Richer / Associated Press:
eBay will pay $3M to resolve charges over a harassment campaign by staffers who sent spiders and other disturbing items to those behind the EcommerceBytes blog  —  Online retailer eBay Inc. will pay a $3 million fine to resolve criminal charges over a harassment campaign waged by employees …
Bloomberg:
Sources describe how AI replaced the metaverse as Mark Zuckerberg's top priority, leading Meta to ruthlessly cut jobs and focus on quickly releasing AI products  —  Meta's founder has become deeply engaged in his company's AI efforts ahead of its 20th anniversary, but his close attention hasn't always proved to be a recipe for success.
Dina Bass / Bloomberg:
Google Cloud eliminates fees for customers who leave for a rival service, effective immediately, which may put pressure on Amazon and Microsoft to do the same  —  Antirust officials have been looking at cloud data-transfer policies  —  The cost of switching between cloud-computing providers …
Emma Roth / The Verge:
After announcing the $199 R1 “Large Action Model” AI handheld at CES, Rabbit sold 10K units in one day; second batch orders are set to ship in April to May 2024  —  The R1, the pocket-size gadget from Rabbit that's supposed to use your apps for you, has already sold out of its first batch.
Matt Burgess / Wired:
A researcher finds 800GB of data online tied to school software maker Raptor, used by 5,300+ US districts, including evacuation plans and student medical files  —  More than 4 million school records, including safety procedures, student medical files, and court documents, were also publicly accessible online.

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