Techmeme
February 8, 2024, 2:00 PM

Top News

David Pierce / The Verge:
Google debuts Gemini Ultra 1.0, its largest and most capable LLM, renames Bard as Gemini, debuts a dedicated Android app, and plans to add Gemini to its iOS app  —  Google is famous for having a million similar products with confusingly different names and seemingly nothing in common.
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google adds a $20-per-month AI Premium plan to Google One, offering Gemini Advanced powered by the Ultra 1.0 model, and rebrands Duet AI as Gemini for Workspace  —  Sundar Pichai announced last week that Google One is about to cross 100 million subscribers.  Google One is now getting a new AI Premium plan that costs $19.99.
Ethan Mollick / One Useful Thing:
Google Gemini Advanced hands-on: clearly a GPT-4 class model, but doesn't obviously blow away GPT-4 in benchmarks; Gemini is better than GPT-4 at explanations  —  And then there were two.  —  Right around the time you are getting this email, Google finally released their long-awaited powerful AI …
Lauren Goode / Wired:
David Shepardson / Reuters:
The US says 200+ companies, like OpenAI, Anthropic, Microsoft, Meta, Google, Apple, Amazon, Nvidia, and Palantir, are joining the AI Safety Institute Consortium  —  The Biden administration on Thursday said leading artificial intelligence companies are among more than 200 entities joining …
Josh Boak / Associated Press:
Bill Toulas / BleepingComputer:
LastPass warns users about a fake copy of its app on Apple's App Store, with a similar name and logo, likely used as a phishing app to steal users' credentials  —  LastPass is warning that a fake copy of its app is being distributed on the Apple App Store, likely used as a phishing app to steal users' credentials.
Diane Brady / Fortune:
Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker steps down to focus on AI and internet safety as the chair of the nonprofit; board member Laura Chambers will step in as interim CEO  —  Mozilla has named a new CEO effective immediately.  —  Mozilla Corp., which manages the open-source Firefox browser …
Thomas Claburn / The Register:
In iOS 17.4 Beta 2, Apple demotes PWAs in the EU from standalone apps to shortcuts that open in the default browser, to comply with the DMA  —  PWAs demoted to OWB: Operating Within Browser  —  Apple has argued for years that developers who don't want to abide by its rules for native iOS apps can always write web apps.
Molly White / Citation Needed:
In his new book, a16z GP Chris Dixon fails to identify a single blockchain project that has successfully provided a non-speculative service at any kind of scale  —  Prominent crypto venture capitalist Chris Dixon provides an unconvincing bible for blockchain solutionists.  —  1×
Foo Yun Chee / Reuters:
Leah Nylen / Bloomberg:
Filing: Microsoft says Activision planned layoffs before its merger, responding to FTC's claims that the layoffs contradict Microsoft's representations in court  —  - Xbox maker cutting 1,900 workers, including at Activision  — Tech giant responds to Federal Trade Commission over layoffs
Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority:
A leaked image allegedly shows the Google Pixel Fold 2, including a narrower cover screen, a squarer inner screen aspect ratio, and redesigned camera bump  —  Here's a very early look at what could be Google's second-generation foldable phone.  —  •  —  TL;DR
Bill Toulas / BleepingComputer:
The Danish data protection authority orders schools to stop sending student data to Google via Chromebooks and Workspace, after an over four year investigation  —  The Danish data protection authority (Datatilsynet) has issued an injunction regarding student data being funneled to Google through …
Brian Fung / CNN:
The FCC outlaws scam robocalls featuring fake, AI-created voices, giving state AGs more legal tools to pursue illegal robocallers that use such voices  —  The Federal Communications Commission said Thursday it is immediately outlawing scam robocalls featuring fake, artificial intelligence-created voices …
Martin Young / Cointelegraph:
SEC filing: NYSE-listed Bakkt, a crypto trading platform backed by the Intercontinental Exchange, warns that it might not be able to stay in business in a year  —  The institutional digital asset trading platform unveiled in 2018 amid huge fanfare has just disclosed it “might not be able to continue as a going concern.”
Drew Harwell / Washington Post:
TikTok quietly removed view counts for hashtags in January, after researchers used them to show the disparity in views of pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian videos  —  The change came after researchers cited TikTok's video-view counts to discuss the relative prominence of pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian videos on the app.
Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg:
Battle for the Bird book excerpt: how Jack Dorsey's plan to get Elon Musk to save Twitter failed, as Musk dismantled the company after taking over, and more  —  An excerpt from Battle for the Bird shows how Twitter's two most prominent leaders contributed to its current dilemma.
Bloomberg:
SoftBank reports Q3 net profit of $6.4B, after four quarters of losses, lifted by a T-Mobile US shares windfall; the Vision Fund unit reported a ~$2.85B gain  —  - Investor logs first profit in five quarters on T-Mobile stake  — Vision Funds turn profitable, helped by TikTok owner ByteDance

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