Techmeme
February 8, 2024, 8:40 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.
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 …
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Lauren Goode / Wired:
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.
Leah Nylen / Bloomberg:
Filing: Microsoft says Activision had planned layoffs before the merger, responding to the FTC's claims that the layoffs contradict Microsoft's court statements  —  - Xbox maker cutting 1,900 workers, including at Activision  — Tech giant responds to Federal Trade Commission over layoffs
Thomas Claburn / The Register:
PWAs no longer work as standalone apps in iOS 17.4 betas, presumably as part of Apple's preparation for EU DMA which forces it to allow alt browser engines  —  PWAs demoted to OWB: Operating Within Browser  —  Apple has argued for years that developers who don't want to abide by its rules …
Cory Weinberg / The Information:
Source: Disney's $1.5B investment in Epic Games will give Disney a 9% stake in Epic at a valuation of $22.5B, down ~29% from its 2022 valuation of $31.5B  —  Disney's $1.5 billion investment in Epic Games values the Fortnite maker at $22.5 billion, a person familiar with the matter said.
David Shepardson / Reuters:
The US says 200+ entities, 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 …
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 …
Jordan Pearson / VICE:
Chris Dixon's book becomes an NYT Best Seller but with a dagger icon denoting bulk orders; a16z and some startups linked to it gave the book to staff and others  —  Motherboard found that firms linked to a16z and general partner Chris Dixon bought numerous copies of his new book promoting cryptocurrencies …
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  —  As with many other web3 evangelists, Andreessen Horowitz general partner Chris Dixon has identified some problems with the web.
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 …
CNBC:
Arm closed up 47.89% after issuing a strong profit forecast, adding ~$38B to its market cap, with $34B+ of that accruing to SoftBank, which owns 90% of Arm  —  - Shares of chip designer Arm climbed 48% on Thursday.  — The company reported better-than-expected earnings for the third quarter, and issued an optimistic forecast.
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:
Take-Two reports Q3 net bookings down 3% YoY to $1.34B, net revenue down 3% YoY to $1.37B, and plans cost reductions “more robust” than in 2023; TTWO drops 9%+  —  Take-Two Interactive reported results for the third fiscal quarter ended December 31 that fell short of its expectations …
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Xiaolang Zhang, a former Apple engineer who pled guilty in August 2022 to IP theft of Apple's car project, is sentenced to 120 days in prison and a ~$147K fine  —  For the last six years, we've been following the case of Xiaolang Zhang, a former Apple engineer who pled guilty to stealing Project Titan trade secrets.
More: AppleInsider
Jonathan Vanian / CNBC:
Pinterest reports Q4 revenue up 12% YoY to $981.3M, vs. $991M est., MAUs up 11% to 498M, vs. 487M est., and a weaker-than-expected Q1 forecast; PINS drops 5%+  —  - Pinterest missed on sales but beat on earnings in its fourth-quarter earnings report.  — The company also issued a weaker-than-expected forecast.
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 …
Clothilde Goujard / Politico:
TikTok joins Meta in challenging the EU's DSA in the General Court, arguing the levy is unfair as some pay nothing; Meta was told to pay €11M of the ~€45M total  —  Social media giants Meta and TikTok are suing the European Union over a levy that bankrolls the enforcement …

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