Tech News and Analysis from around the web
Foo Yun Chee / Reuters:
EU blocks Booking.com's €1.63B acquisition of Etraveli, saying Booking failed to allay concerns that the deal bolsters its dominance in the hotel OTA market — Booking Holdings' (BKNG.O) proposed 1.63-billion-euro ($1.7 billion) purchase of Swedish peer ETraveli Group was blocked …
Zheping Huang / Bloomberg:
Sources: China told Tencent and Huya to stream only some esports semifinals and finals at the Hangzhou Asian Games, in part due to internet addiction concerns — - Only semifinals and finals will be streamed to local viewers — Esports breaks ground with medal debut at Hangzhou Asian Games
Sidhartha Shukla / Bloomberg:
DeFi project Mixin Network suspends deposits and withdrawals after suffering a hack involving about $200M; SlowMist: Mixin's cloud provider was compromised — - Compromise in cloud service provider's database led to breach — Project expected to give details in a livestream later today
Amazon to invest up to $4B in Anthropic, with an initial investment of $1.25B for a minority stake in the AI startup, and an option to increase the total to $4B — Amazon Web Services lures Claude chatbot maker, which was valued at nearly $5bn earlier this year
Los Angeles Times:
The WGA and AMPTP reach a tentative deal to end the strike; sources: the proposed three-year contract adds new AI rules, increases streaming residuals, and more — The Writers Guild of America and the major Hollywood studios have reached a tentative deal that would end a strike that has lasted …
Jody Serrano / The Messenger:
Q&A with Kevin Systrom about Artifact's Links discovery feature, moderation, the bear case and bull case for Threads, the current state of Instagram, and more — Kevin Systrom hopes a fresh jolt of growth to his Artifact app allows it to compete better with the industry's bigger relics
McKenzie Funk / New York Times:
A profile of Hank Asher, the “father of data fusion” who died in 2013 after initiating a vast shift in privacy norms through his data mining software companies — Hank Asher was a drug smuggler with a head for numbers — until he figured out how to turn Americans' private information into a big business.
If you want to make a difference in tech you have to do things normal people would think are too radical. It might be the biggest hurdle to get over. You think shit, it's probably not going to work either way, so I'll just do it that way that might work.
Note I said "make a difference" not "succeed" because then we have to discuss what success means.
At 68 I'm still getting ideas that require throwing caution to the wind. 🚀
Sources: Apple plans to increase its production in India over 5x to ~$40B in the next four to five years, and start making AirPods, on top of iPhones, in 2024 — iPhone maker Apple has plans to scale up production in India by over five-fold to around $40 billion, or about Rs 3.32 lakh crore …
Chethan Rao / Android Police:
EV maker Nio launches the Nio Phone in China with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and 30+ car-specific features, including automatic parking, starting at ~$890 — - Nio, an electric car manufacturer, has entered the Chinese smartphone market with the Nio Phone, targeting owners of its EVs …
But first a question -- if it's possible to travel back in time, in the future, why haven't we been visited by time travelers already? Of course maybe we have been, but for some reason they're not visible to us, they're in another dimension or something like that.
But assuming we could experience their presence if they were here, maybe it's because in order for a time traveler to land here, we need to have a certain technology that we don't yet have, that acts as a receiver of sorts.
And the day when that receiver is invented, perhaps unknowingly to the inventor, all of a sudden their house or apartment turns into a religious and historic shrine, a Disneyland or Fort Sumter of time travel. The place is instantly transformed into Wailing Wall, Ground Zero, or Mount Rushmore.
I imagine there is already a science fiction book based on this premise.
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Meta plans to release AI chatbots with personalities, internally called Gen AI Personas, across its apps at this week's Connect, to attract young users — Facebook parent is developing bots with personalities, including a ‘sassmaster general’ robot that answers questions
Zheping Huang / Bloomberg:
A look at the role of pro gaming in Tencent's long-term strategy as China hosts the Hangzhou Asian Games, the first event where esports are eligible for medals — - Hundreds of pro players will compete at Hangzhou Asian Games — Tencent places esports at the heart of its online media empire
New York Times:
Some employees reminisce about Netflix's DVD subscription service, which upended the entertainment industry and is shutting down on September 29 after 25 years — The company's DVD subscription service is ending this month, bringing to a close an origin story that ultimately upended the entertainment industry.
Dave Lee / Bloomberg:
Q&A with outgoing Amazon SVP of Devices and Services Dave Limp on using generative AI for Alexa, a possible Alexa subscription, advice for Panos Panay, and more — The departing executive in charge of Amazon's voice assistant has a conversation about its future in the age of AI.
Malathi Nayak / Bloomberg:
In a countersuit, chip startup Rivos and six ex-Apple staff claim Apple intimidates those who “dare to leave”; Apple sued Rivos over trade secrets theft in 2022 — - Rivos contests Apple's tech theft claims with countersuit — Apple accuses the startup of stealing proprietary information
Sean Lyngaas / CNN:
Three major US voting equipment makers let some researchers stress-test their software and hardware, to take on conspiracy theories with greater transparency — Major US voting equipment manufacturers are enlisting cybersecurity experts to provide additional stress-tests of their systems …