Techmeme
July 9, 2024, 7:50 PM

Top News

Kate Clark / The Information:
Source: a16z has secured thousands of AI chips, including Nvidia H100 GPUs, and is renting them to portfolio companies, with the aim of expanding to 20K+ GPUs  —  Andreessen Horowitz, one of the most active venture capital investors in generative artificial intelligence …
Michael Kan / PCMag:
The US DOJ and its partners seized two domain names and 968 accounts on X used by Russian actors to create an AI-enhanced bot farm that spread disinformation  —  Russian media outlet RT ran the bot farm to pump out disinformation via 968 Twitter accounts, the US Justice Department says.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Microsoft hikes the price of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate by $3 to $20/month for new subscribers and plans a Standard tier for $14.99/month without day-one titles  —  Microsoft is planning to hike its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate pricing again in September, alongside launching a new “standard” …
Rashi Shrivastava / Forbes:
Skild AI, which is developing a foundational model for robotics, raised a $300M Series A at a $1.5B valuation led by Lightspeed, SoftBank, Coatue, Jeff Bezos  —  Skild AI has raised $300 million to continue building its plug-and-play robotic intelligence with the hope of enabling companies to integrate it into robots of all kinds.
Carly Page / TechCrunch:
Filing: Evolve Bank & Trust says that the personal data of at least 7.6M people was accessed during a February 2024 ransomware attack by LockBit  —  U.S.-based banking-as-a-service giant Evolve Bank & Trust said that cybercriminals accessed the personal data of millions of customers during a recent cyberattack.
Jagmeet Singh / TechCrunch:
Google begins rolling out speedometers in Google Maps for iOS and CarPlay globally, more than five years after adding the features to the Android app  —  Google Maps has introduced speedometer and speed limits on iOS and CarPlay — more than five years after their debut on Android …
Grace Kay / Business Insider:
Current and former Tesla staff: self-driving data annotation staff were told to prioritize analyzing car data of VIP drivers, like Elon Musk and YouTube stars  —  An curved arrow pointing right.  — Tesla gives special treatment to data from VIPs, including Elon Musk, when training its self-driving AI.
Jay Peters / The Verge:
Spotify adds the ability for users to leave comments on podcasts, expanding on polls and Q&As; comments will be private by default, and creators can opt out  —  The company already lets Spotify podcasters offer polls and Q&As, so this new feature could give creators new ways to interact with their audiences.
TIME:
Sam Altman and Arianna Huffington announce Thrive AI Health, a new startup backed by OpenAI and Thrive Global to build a “hyper-personalized AI health coach”  —  A staggering 129 million Americans have at least one major chronic disease—and 90% of our $4.1 trillion …
Cristiano Lima-Strong / Washington Post:
The FTC bans teen messaging app NGL from serving users under 18, a first; NGL agreed to pay $5M and stop marketing to kids and teens to settle the FTC's lawsuit  —  The groundbreaking FTC settlement stems from claims popular app NGL overhyped its anti-bullying efforts and engaged in aggressive marketing to kids and teens.
Don Clark / New York Times:
The Biden administration says it will direct up to $1.6B in CHIPS Act funding towards R&D to accelerate domestic capacity for advanced chip packaging  —  The proposed funding, part of the CHIPS Act, is intended to stoke chip packaging, a process that helps drive progress in semiconductors but that takes place mostly in Asia.
Anissa Gardizy / The Information:
Sources: xAI ends talks with Oracle to expand an existing arrangement to rent Nvidia chips; source: Oracle is not part of xAI's supercomputer project in Memphis  —  Larry Ellison may be a friend and backer of Elon Musk, but even the Oracle executive chair isn't immune from Musk's impatience.
Kamila Wojciechowska / Android Authority:
Source: the Google Pixel Watch 3 will come in 41mm and 45mm sizes, have smaller 4.5mm bezels, a brighter 2,000-nit display, and ultra-wideband support  —  The new Pixel Watch will finally fix some of the series' oldest problems.  —  •  —  The Google Pixel Watch 2 was a massive upgrade …

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