January 29, 2024, 10:30 AM

Top News

Amazon ends 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 will step down; IRBT drops 15%+  —  - 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:
After fake AI images of Taylor Swift went viral, Microsoft adds safeguards to its AI text-to-image tool Designer; Microsoft couldn't verify if Designer was used  —  Following 404 Media's reporting, Microsoft has made changes to a tool people were using to make AI nudes of celebrities.
Salvador Rodriguez / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Meta is optimistic Vision Pro can reinvigorate its $50B metaverse effort, with the Quest ecosystem filling the role played by Android in smartphones  —  Company executives are optimistic about competition as billions spent have yet to translate into wide consumer adoption
Suzanne Vranica / Wall Street Journal:
Presentation: Amazon says Prime Video's ad load per hour will be two to 3.5 minutes, below traditional TV and most streamers, and expects 195M 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’
David Pierce / The Verge:
The Browser Company releases Arc Search, a new iOS app that takes a user's search query, browses the web, and builds a custom webpage to answer the query  —  A few minutes ago, I opened the new Arc Search app and typed, “What happened in the Chiefs game.”  That game, the AFC Championship, had just wrapped up.
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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