Techmeme
February 22, 2024, 4:15 PM

Top News

Jake Rudnitsky / Bloomberg:
Google plans to “pause the image generation of people” via Gemini and “re-release an improved version soon” while working to fix its race inaccuracy “issues”  —  - Critics on X say model is unable to accurately depict races  — Google said it will re-release an improved version soon
Kate Irwin / PCMag:
Jonathan Vanian / CNBC:
Reddit files for a US IPO, says it had revenue of $804M in 2023, up 20% YoY, and a net loss of $90.8M, compared to a net loss of $158.6M in 2022, and 73M DAUs  —  - Reddit on Thursday filed to go public.  — Its market debut will mark the first major tech initial public offering of the year …
Washington Post:
Leaked files detail Chinese state-linked hacking groups carrying out large-scale, systematic cyber intrusions against governments, companies, and infrastructure  —  A trove of leaked documents from a Chinese state-linked hacking group shows that Beijing's intelligence and military groups …
Reuters:
AT&T restores cellular service after a 10+ hour outage that started at 4:30AM ET across the US; the cause for the outage is still unknown  —  A cellular phone service outage on Thursday hit thousands of AT&T (T.N) users in the United States, disrupting calls and text messages …
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Sony is testing PC support for its PlayStation VR2 headset, which currently works exclusively with the PS5, and hopes “to make this support available in 2024”  —  Sony's PlayStation VR2 headset is designed to work exclusively with a PS5, but the company is now testing out support for PC.
Sean Michael Kerner / VentureBeat:
Stability AI debuts a preview of Stable Diffusion 3.0, its next-gen flagship text-to-image model, aiming to offer improved image quality and better performance  —  Stability AI is out today with an early preview of its Stable Diffusion 3.0 next-generation flagship text-to-image generative AI model.
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Bluesky opens up federation, letting anyone run their own server that connects to Bluesky's network, which uses the AT Protocol; Mastodon uses ActivityPub  —  Social network Bluesky, a competitor to X, Threads, Mastodon, and others, is opening up its doors with today's news that the network …
Ismail Shakil / Reuters:
The US FTC says Avast needs to pay $16.5M and stop selling web browsing data for ads to settle charges that the UK company misrepresented its use of such data  —  Software provider Avast Plc will need to pay $16.5 million and stop selling any web browsing data for advertising purposes …
Jess Weatherbed / The Verge:
Google rolls out its Gemini-powered “Help me write” tool in Chrome for macOS and Windows for English-speaking US users, offering shortform writing suggestions  —  Google has started rolling out “Help me write” — an experimental Gemini-powered generative AI feature for its Chrome browser …
Abner Li / 9to5Google:
Google strikes a deal with Reddit, reportedly for $60M/year, gaining Reddit Data API access to surface more Reddit content in Search and to train its AI models  —  Google today announced an “expanded partnership” with Reddit that sees it get access to the forum website's data for training and other product uses.
Financial Times:
Sources: Nigeria ordered telecoms to restrict access to the websites of some of the world's largest crypto exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken  —  Local consumers given only restricted access to markets like Binance and Coinbase  —  Authorities in Nigeria have blocked access …
Ben Schoon / 9to5Google:
Samsung plans to roll out One UI 6.1 in “late March” for the Galaxy S23 series, Z Fold 5, Z Flip 5, and Tab 9 series, adding the full Galaxy AI suite and more  —  Samsung's next big Android update, One UI 6.1, debuted on the Galaxy S24 series last month, but is getting ready to make its way to more Galaxy devices.
Bloomberg:
EigenLayer, which facilitates crypto “restaking” to build Ethereum projects via a points system, raised $100M from a16z, after raising $50M in March 2023  —  - VC firm was the sole investor in EigenLayer's funding round  — Crypto venture investments declined sharply in the past year
Shivam Patel / Reuters:
X reports taking down accounts and posts following an order by the Indian government, which local media tied to farmers' protests, but disagrees with the action  —  Social media platform X said on Thursday it took down certain accounts and posts following an order by the Indian government …
Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge:
Amazon's $180 Echo Hub review: fast and interactive widgets, supports Zigbee, Thread, and Matter, but a laggy touchscreen and some features need a subscription  —  Amazon's new control panel makes using an Alexa-powered smart home as easy as flipping a light switch (only better, trust me).
Lauly Li / Nikkei Asia:
Sources: Google plans to start assembling the Pixel 8 Pro in southern India in Q2 2024, followed by production of the Pixel 8 in northern India around mid-2024  —  Search engine giant joins Apple, Samsung in tapping big South Asian market  —  Google will prepare a production line …
David Gilbert / Wired:
Gab launched 91 chatbots over the last month, including AI versions of Hitler and Trump, several of which deny the Holocaust, call climate change a scam, more  —  The proliferation of generative AI chatbots on extremist platforms could lead to increased radicalization, experts warn.
Dr Richard Fletcher / Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism:
Analysis: at 2023's end, 48% of the top news websites in the US, the UK, and eight others had blocked OpenAI's crawler and 24% had blocked Google's AI crawler  —  In this factsheet we describe the proportion of top news websites in ten countries that block AI (artificial intelligence) crawlers.
Sheila Dang / Reuters:
Google plans to integrate Gemini into its Performance Max ad placement tool, helping brands generate longer headlines, after adding Gemini into Google Workspace  —  Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google said on Thursday it will integrate its Gemini artificial intelligence models into an existing product …

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