Techmeme
January 29, 2024, 2:10 PM

Top News

Bloomberg:
Amazon drops its $1.4B acquisition of Roomba maker iRobot after clashing with EU regulators and will pay a $94M fee; iRobot has ~$500M in net losses since 2021  —  - IRobot CEO steps down and company cuts workforce by 31%  — Tech giant to pay $94 million to iRobot over deal termination
Rohan Goswami / CNBC:
After Amazon ended its acquisition, iRobot plans to lay off 31% of its staff, or ~350 people, and says chair and CEO Colin Angle would step down; IRBT drops 5%+  —  - Amazon and iRobot mutually agreed to call off their planned acquisition, writing that there was “no path” to regulatory approval and sending iRobot shares down 15%.
Emanuel Maiberg / 404 Media:
Microsoft adds safeguards to its AI text-to-image tool Designer, after fake AI images of Taylor Swift went viral and a report of 4chan users misusing the tool  —  Following 404 Media's reporting, Microsoft has made changes to a tool people were using to make AI nudes of celebrities.
Suzanne Vranica / Wall Street Journal:
Amazon expects Prime Video's average hourly ad load to be 2 to 3.5 minutes, below traditional TV and most streaming services, and to reach 159M monthly viewers  —  Move prompts longtime subscribers to cancel Prime altogether, forgoing free shipping; ‘There is only one way to show them that this is not OK’
Amanda Silberling / TechCrunch:
Meta partners with the Center for Open Science to share data for researching online well-being, before January 31's Congressional hearing on kids' online safety  —  Ahead of a major Congressional hearing about children's online safety, Meta has announced a collaboration with the Center for Open Science …
Gavin Bonshor / AnandTech:
AMD Ryzen 7 8700G and Ryzen 5 8600G review: both offer solid levels of gaming performance for $329 and $229, respectively, especially with AMD's fastest cores  —  One of the most desired desktop chips designed for low-cost systems has been AMD's APUs, or Accelerated Processing Units.
Oliver Haslam / iMore:
Apple updates Shazam to add support for identifying songs from other apps while listening via wired or Bluetooth headphones and earbuds  —  Apple's Shazam is now better than ever.  —  Shazam has long been the go-to app for people who want to know what song they're listening to but now it's better …
More: MacRumors, MobileSyrup, and BGR
Priya Anand / Bloomberg:
Sema4.ai, a three-month-old startup led by ex-Cloudera CEO Rob Bearden aiming to automate business tasks with AI, raised $30.5M and acquires AI startup Robocorp  —  Investors in Sema4.ai's funding round included Benchmark and Mayfield.  —  Sema4.ai, a startup that makes artificial intelligence tools …
Bloomberg:
The US ODNI appointed cyber expert Jason Barrett in October 2023 to help the intel community harness open-source intel, an area US agencies have struggled with  —  Scouring open-source intelligence may not have the same cachet as undercover work, but it's become a new priority for the US intelligence agencies.

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David Pierce / The Verge:
Jennifer Maas / Variety:
Salvador Rodriguez / Wall Street Journal: