Thursday, February 22, 2024

Tech News: A Look Back at the Week of June 17-23, 2023

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The tech industry was abuzz last week with news of layoffs, acquisitions, new product launches, a new privacy feature from WhatsApp, YouTube testing online gaming in its platform, Etherscan launching AI-powered code reader, Reddit raising $700 million in funding, Reddit moderators protesting against the company’s new API pricing, Google to launch new AI feature in Workspace, and TikTok entering e-commerce. Here are some of the top stories:

  • Layoffs continue in the tech industry. Tech companies have been laying off employees at an alarming rate in recent months. Last week, we saw more layoffs at companies like Twitter, Meta, and Netflix. The layoffs are being attributed to a number of factors, including the economic slowdown, rising inflation, and the war in Ukraine.
  • Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard. In one of the biggest deals in tech history, Microsoft announced that it would be acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. The acquisition will make Microsoft the third-largest gaming company in the world, behind Tencent and Sony.
  • Apple launches new MacBook Air. Apple launched its latest MacBook Air, which features a new M2 chip, a redesigned chassis, and a MagSafe charging port. The new MacBook Air is a significant upgrade over the previous model, and it is sure to be a popular choice for students and professionals.
  • Google announces new AI research projects. Google announced a number of new AI research projects, including a new AI language model that can generate text, translate languages, and write different kinds of creative content. Google is also working on new AI technologies for self-driving cars, medical diagnosis, and climate change.
  • WhatsApp introduces silence unknown callers feature. WhatsApp announced a new privacy feature called “Silence Unknown Callers” that allows users to automatically silence calls from unknown numbers. The feature is designed to help users avoid spam calls and protect their privacy.
  • YouTube is testing online gaming in its platform. YouTube is reportedly testing a new product called “Playables” that would allow users to play online games directly on the platform. The games would be available on both mobile and desktop devices, and they would be ad-supported. This move is seen as a way for YouTube to compete with other gaming platforms, such as Twitch and Roblox.
  • Etherscan launches AI-powered code reader. Etherscan, the Ethereum block explorer and analytics platform, has launched a new tool called “Code Reader” that utilizes artificial intelligence to retrieve and interpret the source code of a specific contract address. The tool is powered by OpenAI’s large language model, and it can provide insights into the contract’s functions, variables, and security vulnerabilities. This tool is expected to be a valuable resource for developers, researchers, and anyone who wants to better understand Ethereum smart contracts.

  • Reddit raises $700 million in funding. Reddit, the social media platform, has raised $700 million in funding at a valuation of $10 billion. The funding round was led by Fidelity Management & Research Company, and it will be used to accelerate Reddit’s growth and development. This is the largest funding round in Reddit’s history, and it shows the continued investor interest in the company.
  • Reddit moderators protest against the company’s new API pricing. A number of prominent Reddit moderators have protested against the company’s new API pricing, which they say will make it more difficult for them to moderate their communities. The new pricing structure is based on the amount of data that is transferred, and it could mean that moderators will have to pay more to keep their communities up-to-date. The protest has led to calls for Reddit to reconsider the new pricing structure.
  • Google to launch new AI feature in Workspace. Google announced that it will be launching a new AI feature in Workspace called “Duet AI.” The feature will use AI to help users create, organize, and collaborate more effectively. For example, Duet AI will be able to help users generate summaries of documents, find relevant information, and create presentations. The feature is currently in beta testing, but it is expected to be released to all Workspace users later this year.
  • TikTok enters e-commerce. TikTok is reportedly expanding its e-commerce capabilities by allowing users to shop directly from videos. The company is currently testing the feature in a limited number of countries, but it is expected to roll it out more widely in the coming months. TikTok’s e-commerce push is seen as a way to compete with other social media platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, which have also been expanding their e-commerce offerings.
  • Google launches perspective filtersGoogle has announced the launch of a new feature called “Perspective Filters” in its search results. The feature uses artificial intelligence to provide users with different perspectives on a topic. For example, if a user searches for “climate change,” they may see a filter that shows different viewpoints on the issue, such as the scientific consensus, the views of different political parties, and the views of different environmental groups.

    The Perspective Filters feature is still in beta, but it is available to all users in the United States. Google plans to roll out the feature to more countries in the coming months.

These are just a few of the top tech news stories from last week.

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