February 15, 2024, 4:05 PM

Top News

Tom Warren / The Verge:
Q&A with Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer on bringing Xbox-exclusive games to PS5 and Switch, the future of Xbox, next-gen hardware, regulation, and more  —  Microsoft has been gradually moving Xbox away from the idea of a single piece of hardware in recent years, with ambitions …
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft says its Xbox Game Pass service now has 34M subscribers, up 36% from the 25M subscribers Microsoft reported more than two years ago  —  Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass service now has 34 million subscribers.  That's up 36 percent from the 25 million Microsoft previously reported more than two years ago.
Steven Levy / Wired:
OpenAI unveils Sora, its first text-to-video model, which can create up to a minute of 1080p video, as a research product for some creators and security experts  —  OpenAI's entry into generative AI video is an impressive first step.  —  We already know that OpenAI's chatbots can pass the bar exam without going to law school.
David Pierce / The Verge:
Google launches Gemini 1.5 for developers and enterprise users, with a context window of up to 1M tokens, and says Gemini 1.5 Pro is on par with Gemini Ultra  —  Barely two months after launching Gemini, the large language model Google hopes will bring it to the top of the AI industry, the company is already announcing its successor.
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Google makes Gemini 1.0 Pro and Gemini 1.0 Ultra generally available, adds support for adapter-based tuning in Vertex, and rolls out new developer tools  —  Google is expanding the range of Gemini large language models it is making available to developers on its Vertex AI platform today.
Emma Roth / The Verge:
Meta plans to start charging a 30% fee for boosting Facebook and Instagram posts on iOS later in February, after Apple extended its 30% cut to boosting in 2022  —  Meta said Thursday that it will start charging a 30 percent fee when advertisers pay to boost the visibility of their posts in Facebook's and Instagram's iOS apps.
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Apple confirms that iOS 17.4 removes Home Screen web apps in the EU because of a DMA requirement that forces Apple to allow alternative browser engines  —  iOS 17.4 offers a number of changes for the App Store and iPhone in the European Union.  This includes things like third-party app marketplaces …
Ashley Belanger / Ars Technica:
The European Court of Human Rights rules backdoors that weaken E2EE can undermine human rights, after Russia began forcing Telegram to decrypt messages in 2017  —  Cops have alternative means to access encrypted messages, court says.  —  The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) …
Jon Porter / The Verge:
Michael Nienaber / Bloomberg:
Microsoft President Brad Smith says the company plans to invest €3.2B in German AI infrastructure over the next two years, its biggest investment in Germany yet  —  - President Brad Smith says investments planned over two years  — Microsoft is investing heavily in data centers to fuel AI boom
In 2023, crypto money laundering fell 29.5% YoY to $22.2B, 109 addresses got $10M+ in illicit crypto each, and five off-ramp services got 71.7% of illicit funds  —  Coming soon  —  The goal of money laundering is to obscure the criminal origins of funds so that they can be accessed and spent.
Arsheeya Bajwa / Reuters:
Google plans to let businesses install its auto-updating ChromeOS Flex on Windows 10 devices, to help prevent millions of PCs from hitting landfills in 2025  —  Google will allow businesses to install an auto-updating version of the Chrome operating system to Windows devices …
Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac:
Many Apple Vision Pro users are returning their devices for being too expensive, heavy, or isolating, as the 14-day return window closes for launch day buyers  —  Many early adopters seem set on returning their Apple Vision Pro headsets.  As the 14-day return window approaches for people …
Cristiano Lima-Strong / Washington Post:
Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn announce an updated Kids Online Safety Act and say 60+ US senators support the bill; KOSA faces uncertainty in the House  —  With more than 60 backers, an updated Kids Online Safety Act finally has a path to passage in the Senate but faces uncertainty in the House.
Joanna Stern / Wall Street Journal:
A look at The Shotline, a project that uses ElevenLabs' tech to create audio deepfakes of kids killed in shootings, to place AI-generated calls to US lawmakers  —  Grieving parents made these audio deepfakes to stir the emotions of lawmakers.  But they also mark a new era for artificial intelligence.
Ashley Gold / Axios:
NYC sues ByteDance, Meta, Snap, and Google to hold the companies accountable “for fueling the nationwide youth mental health crisis” by manipulating young users  —  New York City filed a lawsuit against TikTok, Meta, Snap and Google's YouTube to hold the companies accountable …
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
X removes paid checkmarks from some accounts after a watchdog group found 28 verified accounts allegedly tied to Hezbollah and other US-sanctioned entities  —  X (aka Twitter) accused of violating sanctions by taking payment from terrorists.  —  A watchdog group's investigation found …
Oliver Darcy / CNN:
Meta seems unable to define political content, vaguely mentioning laws, elections, and social topics, after saying Threads would not amplify political content  —  What constitutes “political” content?  —  It's an important question that Meta has conspicuously left unanswered …
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Subrat Patnaik / Bloomberg: