Techmeme
February 8, 2024, 10:30 AM

Top News

David Pierce / The Verge:
Google releases Gemini Ultra 1.0, its largest and most capable LLM, and renames Bard to Gemini, which now has a dedicated Android app and, soon, an 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 with 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:
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:
Meta challenges the EU's DSA supervisory fee of 0.05% of Meta's annual net income that cover regulators' costs, disagreeing with how the fees are calculated  —  Meta Platforms (META.O) has challenged a supervisory fee amounting to .05% of its annual worldwide net income aimed …
David Shepardson / Reuters:
The US says OpenAI, Anthropic, Microsoft, Meta, Google, Apple, Amazon, Nvidia, Palantir, and over 200 others are joining the new 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:
Sarah Whitten / CNBC:
Disney plans to invest $1.5B for a stake in Epic Games and collaborate on a new “universe” connected to Fortnite with content from Disney, Pixar, and more  —  - Disney is investing $1.5 billion for an equity stake in Epic Games in its biggest jump yet into the gaming world.
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.”
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
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.
Sam Sabin / Axios:
US, UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand advisory: China-backed hacking group Volt Typhoon has had access to some major US infrastructure for over five years  —  China-backed hackers have had access to some major U.S. critical infrastructure for “at least five years,” according to an intelligence advisory released Wednesday.
Ivan Mehta / TechCrunch:
Google debuts a pilot program in Singapore to prevent users from sideloading certain apps that abuse Android app permissions to read one-time passwords  —  To reduce financial scams, Google has started a new program to prevent users from sideloading certain apps in Singapore.
Reed Albergotti / Semafor:
Q&A with Medium CEO Tony Stubblebine on Medium expecting to turn a profit in 2024, distribution, training LLMs, AI-generated content, media layoffs, and more  —  The Scene  —  Amid turmoil in the media industry, online publishing platform Medium expects to post its first profit around the middle of this year.
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.
Min Jeong Lee / Bloomberg:
Filings: SoftBank's stake in Paytm was ~5% in January vs. ~18.5% around Paytm's 2021 IPO; SoftBank says it sold most of its stake due to regulatory scrutiny  —  The Tokyo-based tech investor saw uncertainty growing in India's regulatory environment, as well as over Paytm Payments Bank Ltd.'s license …
New York Times:
US House investigation: GGV, GSR, Qualcomm Ventures, Sequoia, and Walden invested $1B+ in China's chip industry across 150+ deals between 2001 and August 2023  —  A Congressional investigation determined that U.S. funding helped fuel the growth of a sector now viewed by Washington as a security threat.
Carl Franzen / VentureBeat:
Microsoft updates Copilot with a redesigned look, a new AI model for Copilot's Balanced mode called Deucalion, and new AI image creation and editing features  —  In a startling move, Microsoft today announced a redesigned look for its Copilot AI search and chatbot experience on the web …

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