Techmeme
February 21, 2024, 9:50 AM

Top News

Matt Burgess / Wired:
Apple announces PQ3, a post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage that uses the Kyber algorithm, launching in iOS 17.4, iPad OS 17.4, and macOS 14.4  —  Useful quantum computers aren't a reality—yet.  But in one of the biggest deployments of post-quantum encryption so far, Apple is bringing the technology to iMessage.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Apple launches Apple Sports, a free app offering scores and stats for the NBA, Premier League, and more, in the US, Canada, and the UK, on iOS 17.2 or later  —  Game on!  Apple launched a free standalone app for sports fans, Apple Sports, which is engineered to fire scores and stats to your iPhone as quickly as possible.
Stephen Totilo / Game File:
An interview with Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer on Xbox growth, job cuts, and why getting rid of physical Xbox discs is “not a strategic thing for us”  —  Microsoft's gaming chief Phil Spencer is upbeat about his vast Xbox team's future.  But he also tells Game File …
Emilia David / The Verge:
Google releases Gemma 2B and 7B, open-source AI models that let developers more freely use the research that went into Gemini, its flagship closed-source model  —  Google has released Gemma 2B and 7B, a pair of open-source AI models that let developers use the research that went into its flagship Gemini more freely.
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Apple says the iPhone 15 lineup can retain up to 80% of its original battery capacity at 1,000 charge cycles, up from its original estimate of 500 charge cycles  —  In addition to changes to the Battery Health settings in iOS 17.4, Apple has more iPhone battery news to share today.
Michael Acton / Financial Times:
Source: Meta and Microsoft lobby EU regulators to reject Apple's iOS and App Store changes to comply with the DMA, saying Apple's plans fail to go far enough  —  Meta and Microsoft want Brussels regulators to extract more concessions that unpick iOS mobile software
Bloomberg:
Cybersecurity experts say that global law enforcement agencies dealt Russia-linked LockBit a major blow, but history shows that ransomware gangs regroup quickly  —  - Disruption of LockBit praised as major blow against gang  — History has shown that hackers regroup quickly, experts say
Tom Wilson / Reuters:
Circle no longer plans to mint USDC tokens on the Tron blockchain, effective immediately, to “ensure that USDC remains trusted, transparent, and safe”  —  Major U.S. crypto firm Circle will end support for its USDC token on the Tron blockchain network, a decision the company said on Wednesday …
Andy Greenberg / Wired:
Messaging app Signal finally rolls out usernames in beta, letting users conceal their phone numbers; Signal still requires inputting a phone number to register  —  We tested the end-to-end encrypted messenger's new feature aimed at addressing critics' most persistent complaint.  Here's how it works.
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
A US jury finds two Chinese nationals guilty of a “sophisticated scheme” to defraud Apple by sending 5,000+ counterfeit iPhones for repair, losing Apple $3M+  —  Two people have been found guilty of a “sophisticated scheme to defraud Apple out of millions of dollars' worth of iPhones …
Counterpoint Research:
In a first, Apple had the top seven best selling smartphones globally in 2023, and Samsung had three; iPhone 14, 14 Pro Max, 14 Pro, and 13 topped the list  —  - The combined market share of the top 10 smartphones in 2023 reached the highest ever at 20%, up from 19% in 2022.
Christian Vasquez / CyberScoop:
Biden signs an EO to increase the cyber defenses of maritime ports via additional Coast Guard powers, invest $20B in infrastructure over five years, and more  —  President Joe Biden plans to issue an executive order Wednesday morning aimed at increasing the defenses of maritime ports through …
Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Gary Geaves, Apple's longtime VP in charge of acoustics, is stepping down, replaced by Ruchir Davé, adding to the hardware engineering group's upheaval  —  - Apple acoustics chief Gary Geaves is stepping down from role  — Executive has been key to development of AirPods and HomePod
Maxwell Zeff / Gizmodo:
Demos from AI chipmaker Groq go viral after the startup's inference engine shows lightning-fast speeds when running LLMs, including for real-time conversations  —  Two AI companies are claiming the science fiction term, “Grok,” as their own, but only one is turbocharging the AI industry.
Cat Zakrzewski / Washington Post:
Letter: an FTC “Twitter Files” investigation finds no evidence that Twitter violated its government data security order, despite Elon Musk's directives to do so  —  After investigating his handling of the ‘Twitter Files’ for more than a year, the agency found no evidence the company violated consent order
Margi Murphy / Bloomberg:
A profile of ElevenLabs, whose AI voice cloning tech is being used to spoof politicians; five of ElevenLabs' 40 employees are dedicated to trust and safety  —  ElevenLabs' technology is already being used to spoof political candidates and promote scammy products.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft Copilot Pro review: the $20/month service is a good start that offers impressive image generation and useful features in Word and other Office apps  —  Microsoft's Copilot Pro launched last month as a $20 monthly subscription that provides access to AI-powered features inside some Office apps …
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
Byju's says the $200M rights issue that cuts its valuation by 99% to $20M-$25M is fully subscribed; source: some of Byju's major investors are yet to take part  —  Byju's says its recently launched $200 million rights issue has been fully-subscribed, but the startup's founder urged …
Paul Sawers / TechCrunch:
Clumio, a data backup and recovery service for companies using the public cloud, raised a $75M Series D, following a $135M Series C in November 2019  —  Clumio, a data backup and recovery provider for companies using the public cloud, has raised $75 million in a Series D round of funding.
Katie Paul / Reuters:
Israel-based BRIA, a Getty-backed AI image generation startup that licenses 1B+ images from 18 stock providers, raised a $24M Series A from Publicis and others  —  A “responsible” AI image generation startup backed by stock photo provider Getty Images (GETY.N) has raised $24 million in a Series …
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