Tech News and Analysis from around the web
Kaya Yurieff / The Information:
TikTok unveils a task force to tackle hate speech and plans to open up its research API to civil society groups, after complaints over Israel-Hamas videos — TikTok is preparing a slew of initiatives to defuse growing complaints that antisemitism and other hate speech has proliferated in videos about the Hamas-Israel war.
Chris Dolmetsch / Bloomberg:
A US judge sentences Gene Levoff, the ex-Apple lawyer who pled guilty to insider trading from 2011 to 2016, to four years of probation; Apple fired him in 2018 — - Gene Levoff was sentenced to four years of probation Thursday — Judge said the Stanford Law graduate already lost his career
Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch:
Toronto-based ContactMonkey, which offers an internal communications tool that integrates with Outlook, Gmail, and more, raised a $55M Series A led by Updata — Email is quite profitable, as it turns out. Or rather, email communications software is. — Today, ContactMonkey …
Hayden Field / CNBC:
Q&A with IBM CEO Arvind Krishna on AI's business uses, Biden's EO, rolling out WatsonX in July 2023, growing IBM's AI business, falling behind in AI, and more — - IBM is angling hard for an AI comeback story, and CEO Arvind Krishna is counting on a recent pivot to enterprise AI tools in order to get there.
Maxwell Zeff / Gizmodo:
X rolls out xAI's snarky, anti-woke chatbot Grok to X Premium+ users; X CEO Linda Yaccarino describes Grok as “the ultimate ride or die” — Select users with X Premium Plus received access to the AI starting Thursday. — Elon Musk's snarky, anti-woke chatbot, Grok …
Jay Peters / The Verge:
Meta rolls out tags on Threads, offering support for multiple words and spaces, and no # symbol; posts can only have one tag and the tag view is the search view — Tags — basically hashtags with a twist — are now rolling out globally on Threads, Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced on Thursday.
Taylor Soper / GeekWire:
Seattle-based Rhythms, which plans to use AI to analyze companies' patterns, such as monthly reviews and weekly meetings, comes out of stealth with a $26M seed — Seattle tech veteran Vetri Vellore is launching a new startup with a big vision to help companies improve their productivity …
Annie Palmer / CNBC:
Amazon tests a $9.99/month grocery subscription service for Prime members, offering unlimited Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh grocery delivery on orders over $35 — - Amazon is betting members of its Prime program will want to pay a separate monthly fee for unlimited grocery delivery on some orders.
Sources: Ganesh Venkataramanan, who led Tesla's Dojo supercomputer project for five years, left Tesla in November; Tesla executive Peter Bannon now leads Dojo — Venkataramanan, who has lead the Dojo project for the last five years, left the company last month, the people said …
Wall Street Journal:
Former OpenAI board member Helen Toner says the “goal in firing Sam [Altman] was to strengthen OpenAI”, but declines to say why she and others voted to fire him — In an interview, AI academic Helen Toner explains her posture in OpenAI's power struggle
Annie Palmer / CNBC:
Amazon tells customers that the company plans to stop accepting Venmo as a payment method on January 10, 2024, after rolling out Venmo support in October 2022 — - Amazon will no longer allow users to pay with Venmo beginning Jan. 10, according to a notice sent to users.
Kyle Wiggers / TechCrunch:
Users say Google's Gemini Pro is loath to comment on potentially controversial news topics, fails to get basic facts right, and struggles with some coding tasks — This week, Google took the wraps off of Gemini, its new flagship generative AI model meant to power a range of products …
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Montenegro Justice Minister Andrej Milovic has privately said he plans to extradite Do Kwon to the US rather than South Korea to face criminal charges — Alexander Osipovich and Marko Vešović — Montenegro's top justice official has privately said he plans …
Mackenzie Hawkins / Bloomberg:
TSMC and Arizona labor unions reach a deal covering foreign workers and more, to resolve labor disputes that have dogged TSMC's fab construction site in Phoenix — - Agreement covers workforce training, safety, foreign workers — TSMC widely expected to get federal money for $40 billion site
Duncan Riley / SiliconANGLE:
Microsoft announces a major security leadership reshuffle as part of its Secure Future Initiative, replacing Bret Arsenault with Igor Tsyganskiy as Global CISO — Microsoft Corp. has announced a significant shakeup of its security team, with its long-time leader being put into a new role …
I love Chuck. We've been through a lot together over a long time.
We had a ton of fun in the early days of the web on the Mac. Chuck wrote the HTTP server we all used. And he loved Frontier, so we made our products work incredibly well together.
Those were the days! 😄
Spurlock is a gifted programmer, like Chuck, who thinks creatively and doesn't mind priming the pump of a bootstrap, something Chuck and I have done many times in the past. (Chuck is an largely uncredited contributor to the bootstraps of RSS, XML-RPC, podcasting, object databases, content management systems, hey pretty much everything I've worked on since 1994 or so.)
Okay, now I get to the point.
I want to build with confidence on the feed connection with Bluesky. Today I know the ability to subscribe to a Bluesky RSS 2.0 feed is there, but will it be there in the future? I would feel better if the feed support were built-into Bluesky, part of its basic feature set. Another very simple API that gets ideas out of Bluesky and anywhere feeds go, which is, as you know, everywhere.
Feeds should be the baseline of compatibility between social media platforms.
Working with Spurlock, we have given Bluesky a huge headstart, a lead in what I hope will be a race to feed support in all the social media apps, to hook them up to the worldwide feed bus. It's a way to get interop without having to concede that any comprehensive API is the winner. Think of RSS 2.0 support at the TCP of social networking, offering a LCD compatibility to a world that desperately needs one.
And then after we have that, we can talk about the format of the data we're sending over this network. We have some work to do there too, but luckily the capabilities and limits of RSS 2.0 are a perfect match here.
In summary, the reason we want it is so we can do more with confidence with Bluesky, integrate it into more systems.
The reason the Bluesky people should want it is that it offers a way to interop with all social nets, that will take almost no effort on their part, and there's no guesswork, we already know how to make feeds that will work pretty much everywhere, and it lets them take the lead in what will be an important way to communicate on the net.
And the reason it's good for all of us is we can start viewing the web once again as a fully supported writing environment, and let the writers of the world get to work on solving all our problems (of which we have many) and get the freaking technology out of their way.
Think of it as the feed-iverse, it's easier and more low-level than the fed-iverse, and can be implemented in a weekend. And it's fun!