Tech News

Tech News and Analysis from around the web

Kris Holt / Engadget:
Mojang launches Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on Chromebook after an early access period, available on Chromebooks from the past three years and other models  —  It will run on any Chromebook from the last three years, as well as some other models.  —  Following an early access period …

Morgan Sung / TechCrunch:
Luka, which developed Replika, launches Blush, an AI chatbot service to improve “relationship and intimacy skills” via the characters Klea, Aisha, and Theo  —  The team behind the AI friendship bot Replika is launching another AI companion — one that's made to flirt.

Brendan I. Koerner / Wired:
A profile of Christopher Bouzy, the CEO of Twitter analytics company Bot Sentinel, and his attempts to build Twitter rival Spoutible, starting in November 2022  —  When Elon Musk's reign of toxic chaos began, Christopher Bouzy didn't just go looking for a rival place to post.

Bill Toulas / BleepingComputer:
The US DOJ says Onur Aksoy pleaded guilty to importing and selling counterfeit Cisco equipment to various organizations, making $100M+ between 2014 and 2022  —  A Florida man has pleaded guilty to importing and selling counterfeit Cisco networking equipment to various organizations …

Paige Smith / Bloomberg:
Amazon plans to let eligible US retailers using Amazon Pay offer Affirm's buy now, pay later tool Adaptive Checkout to customers; AFRM jumps 17%+  — Inc. will allow eligible US retailers using the online retail giant's Amazon Pay service to offer Affirm Holdings Inc.'s buy now …

The Athletic:
Sources: MLS and Apple discussed offering Lionel Messi a revenue share generated by new Season Pass subscribers; on June 6, Apple announced a Messi docuseries  —  Major League Soccer and Inter Miami are solidifying details around the potential signing of Argentine superstar Lionel Messi.

Alyssa Mercante / Kotaku:
A look at Twitch's new ad rules covering branded content, a crucial source of income for creators; after an outcry, Twitch says the update was “overly broad”  —  'The top 100 streamers on Twitch just got told they're not allowed to make 80 percent of their revenue the way they're used to making it.'

Rachel Metz / Bloomberg:
Microsoft plans to bring OpenAI's GPT-3 and GPT-4 to Azure Government, including a variety of US agencies; the DOD's DTIC plans to experiment with the LLMs  —  Microsoft Corp. will make it possible for users of its Azure Government cloud computing service, which include a variety of US agencies …

Robert Armstrong / Financial Times:
Crypto is dangerous nonsense and should be regulated like smoking, gambling, or pyramid schemes, not granted the dignity of regulation under US securities law  —  But not for the reasons the exchanges think  —  This article is an on-site version of our Unhedged newsletter.

Textcasting will be what interop means in social media. Help me make it happen. I know it sounds ridiculous to think we could change the net so it's a writer's paradise, but I think the time is right. What makes these things work is when enough people want to see the change that it achieves an aura of inevitability. That was the arc of podcasting. It applies to big companies too, Apple won't get anywhere with their new headset until it achieves that aura. I think the social media of textcasting will be amazing. And it's sooo low tech. There's nothing to it other than demanding that the techies stop imposing stupid rules on what we can write.

Someday a reporter will claim that they gave Textcasting its name.

Cecilia Kang / New York Times:
Sources: OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has met with over 100 members of Congress, alongside VP Harris and cabinet members, to discuss AI regulation in recent months  —  The chief executive of OpenAI, which makes ChatGPT, has met with at least 100 U.S. lawmakers in recent months.  He has also taken his show abroad.

Sequoia's plan for three firms, a major shift, highlights the impact of rising US-China tensions and efforts by Silicon Valley to create distance from China  —  Sequoia Capital's plan to split itself into three separate regional firms represents a major shift at one the world's foremost venture capital firms.

How bad is journalism? Let me tell you.

A journalist claimed to have given podcasting its name.

He didn't. It's a lie.

But he somehow got it on the Wikipedia page for podcasting.

And there it stayed. And every reporter writing a story about podcasting, saw it, and liked it, and copied it.

As a journalist himself he knew how it works. They don't actually check anything, they just copy and paste. And get paid by the word.

So all the bullshit you hear about how ChatGPT has hallucinations, from journalists, covers up the fact that most of what journalists write is complete bullshit. They aren't factual or verified, they just copied something from another journalist, who copied it from a different journalist. They're full of shit, so much so that the journalist knew his lie would never be outed. Even if it were true, it wouldn't be news, but usually what the write contains little or no truth.

These same journalists will never say anything bad about Apple btw, even when they offer up a completely ridiculous product for a market that doesn't exist. Everyone gushes, oh it's so great, when no one even the CEO of the company would be caught with the thing on their head. They do this because they won't get invited back if they don't.

Best advice, if you have a question, ask ChatGPT, far more likely it's correct than some random journalist.

PS: This is how podcasting actually got its name.

PPS: International Podcast Day, which is cited as an authority by Google, says there is a dispute about who did what re podcasting between Adam and myself. We have our differences, that's for sure, but I'm not aware of any dispute about how podcasting was created and productized and promoted to turn the idea into a medium. I've always been clear that Adam came to me with the idea, at first I didn't listen, then I got it, and set about implementing it in software. And then creating podcasts, and promoting. We both did a lot of each of those things, but the software was my job, and the development of the standard format. I've never heard Adam dispute any of that. I think they should take that bit about disputes off their description esp since it's being quoted as an authority. And please take Hammersley off the credits. That makes the whole thing stink.

PPPS: There are journalists I trust. For example Monica McNutt. I'm sure she wants to rise, and she deseves to, but I'm pretty sure she says what she thinks and doesn't worry about access. Donald McNeil is another, which was why I was so disappointed when he was a victim of NYT internal politics. A real journalist should be forgiven for failing to pander adequately, we like our journalists like that, not that the NYT culture cares what their customers want. There are actually many more and everyone has to do a little pandering, and the lines aren't always totally clear. But as the podcast naming fiasco indicates, most journalists don't care about the truth enough to check their "facts."

Ivan Mehta / TechCrunch:
Automattic launches Jetpack AI Assistant for WordPress and Jetpack-powered sites, letting users generate content, translate text into 12 languages, and more  —  Automattic, the company behind and the main contributor to the open-source WordPress project, launched an AI assistant …

Filipe Espósito / 9to5Mac:
Apple releases a Game Porting Toolkit based on open-source platform Wine to translate DirectX 12 into Metal 3, a potentially massive step for Mac gaming  —  One of the new features in macOS Sonoma is Game Mode, which Apple claims improves gaming performance on Apple Silicon Macs.

Wall Street Journal:
Investigations: Instagram helps connect and promote a vast network of accounts openly devoted to underage sex content; Meta plans to increase its controls  —  The Meta unit's systems for fostering communities have guided users to child-sex content; company says it is improving internal controls

Jack Schickler / CoinDesk:
Filings: the SEC started its Binance.US investigation in August 2020; BAM Trading, which runs Binance.US, generated $411M revenue and $225M profit in that time  —  The securities regulator detailed evidence of hundreds of millions of dollars in profiteering by the crypto exchange as it seeks to freeze company assets.

The Supremes.

Another Succession post, maybe the last, for a while. At some point I'm going to re-watch the whole series, and then might have more observations. Anyway -- people who think that Roman and Kendall have no hope, well I think the writers gave them some cause for hope -- because when they controlled the company for a short period, each showed they were competent, not at running the enterprise, but a small part of it. Kendall was able to sell a complicated and kind of ridiculous idea. And Roman, when he had a clear goal, was able to manage it, and pulled it off. Neither were the kind of person who could run a sprawling enterprise like Waystar, for that you probably had to be Logan. If the two guys team up and manage something much smaller and more focused, they could possibly pull it off, once they get over not being their father. They didn't revert to where they were at the beginning of the show, as some people say, when Kendall was a drug addict and Roman was a pure schmuck blowing up a rocket to try to impress the father. They both get a fresh start now that dad is dead. That is a big difference for men, when your father dies you get a chance to come into your own in a new way, I speak from experience.

A friend asked if I was going to get "one of these headsets"? My answer, for the record: "Not even slightly interested, but I suppose that could change." One of the reasons I'm skeptical is that I have imperfect vision. I seriously doubt if a headset would work for me, given that my left eye is pretty bad, and my right eye is normal. Pretty sure they're for people with good balanced vision. I haven't heard that question asked or answered, for any of the headsets. Another concern is how heavy it is. As you get older you learn that stress on your body accumulates over time. For example, I can't use a full-size iPad. I used one for years, but it wore out my left arm so now it's too painful, but I can use an iPad Mini, without problems, so far. If you're putting some kind of new weight on a human head, what will that do to your neck over time? Your back? These kinds of problems tend to cascade. And I can't help but wonder if there isn't another way to achieve what they're doing without putting extra stress on our necks? And honestly I'd prefer to have a new Mac that ran Frontier, that would really excite me. 😄

When I was little, maybe first or second grade, my grandfather bought me a handheld transistor radio. It was the 1960s. I listened to WABC, the Beatles and all the great new rock and roll. My grandpa said I’d see so many amazing things in my life. To him the radio was a futuristic miracle, like AI today. Anyway I just asked Alexa to play You Can’t Hurry Love by the Supremes, one of the songs I listened to on the radio he gave me 60 years ago. I realized just now he was so right, I have indeed seen many amazing things in my life.

This is the device they announced today.

I made fun of the Apple Watch the day it was announced, but got one anyway and I've been wearing it ever since. With that said, do you think the new Apple VR device comes with a neck brace?