Skip to main content

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed

Here come the AI-generated subliminal messages.

Do you see it? Back up from the screen a little and squint. There it is, that’s the future of subliminal messaging enabled by generative AI tools like Stable Diffusion. Here’s how Motherboard describes it:

The technique, called ControlNet, essentially lets users have more control over the generated image by specifying additional inputs—in this case, letting you create images or words within other images. 

Must. Obey.

External Link
Vivaldi’s ultra-customizable web browser is now available on iOS.

Starting today, iPhone and iPad users running iOS 15 / iPadOS 15 or later can now download the Vivaldi web browser and access its built-in notes tool and desktop-style tabs that make it easy to manage and switch between open, private, recently closed, or synced browsing sessions.

Here’s one of the oddest moments of the Linda Yaccarino interview.

Julia Boorstin asked her to confirm that X would start charging users to post, as Musk floated a week ago. Yaccarino was not so sure:

The Verge
That’s it for the Code Conference 2023!

We’ll have a few more videos to share as we wrap things up, so check back in for some of the key moments. And if you want all the details, read back through our StoryStream below.

And we’re wrapped.

There was a recurring theme to Yaccarino’s answers: she keeps defending X from statements and choices by Elon Musk.

Harassment of Yoel Roth? Linked to Musk. Advertisers fleeing the platform because of chaotic moderation decisions before she was hired? Musk. A dispute with a well-regarded nonprofit combatting anti-Semitism? Musk.

She’s surprisingly good at diffusing these questions, but you’d think that X would want to talk about literally anything other problems caused by Musk.

Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses hands-on: in pursuit of content

Unlike the original, I kind of see where Meta’s going with its second-gen smart glasses.

All the news from Meta Connect 2023

Meta Connect, the company’s annual conference, is back for 2023. It’s bringing a lot more details about the Meta Quest 3, the successor to Quest 2.

External Link
Yaccarino disputed a report that X was disassembling its election integrity team.

She didn’t dispute that some members of the team had been fired, but she said X is expanding its work to combat platform manipulation and disinformation overall.

“It’s an issue we take very seriously,” she said. “And contrary to the comments that were made, there is a robust and growing team at X that is wrapping their arms around election integrity.”

Linda Yaccarino says she hasn’t seen Elon Musk’s “demon mode” described in Walter Isaacson’s book.

She mostly talked about the value of spirited debate, but did say this: “All I’m saying is that the the idea of the inability to have a debate or feedback, I haven’t experienced or I’ll say I haven’t experienced it yet.”

“Who wouldn’t want Elon Musk sitting by their side running product?”

An actual question Linda Yaccarino has posed to the audience. Not me!

X now has 200-250 million daily active users. Maybe?

“Something like that,” Yaccarino said on stage. She pulled out her phone like she was going to double check the number, then got sidetracked by a long answer.

Later, she threw out as examples 540 million monthly active users and 225 million daily active users without quite committing to them being real figures.

Linda Yaccarino is not confirming if the company plans to go to an all-subscription model.

She’s completely dodged Julia Boorstin’s question about if everyone will be charged to use X.

We put our blind faith in Mercedes-Benz’s first-of-its-kind autonomous Drive Pilot feature

Drive Pilot is a Level 3 autonomous system, meaning you can take your hands off the wheel and — more notably — your eyes off the road during certain conditions. But are we ready to give up this much control?

Some metrics about X, according to Linda Yaccarino.

From an “operating cash flow perspective,” the company is “just about break even.” In early 2024, “we’ll be turning a profit.”

90 percent of the top 100 advertisers have returned to the platform. In the last 12 weeks, about 1,500 have returned.

Yaccarino was dismissive of Roth’s concerns about death threats, too.

Roth said his advice to her was to think about the risks of working with Musk and “what she might face.”

To Yaccarino, having safety concerns comes with the territory of being a CEO. “I feel great. I’m well protected,” she said. Yaccarino said she appreciated his concerns. “I think that’s just a human emotion when you get thrust into such a public spotlight.”

Yaccarino responds to Yoel Roth: “I work at X, he worked at Twitter.”

The house is packed right now for Yaccarino’s interview, particularly after the surprise of Roth’s appearance. She opens the conversation with a response to Roth, saying that his Twitter was “operating on a different sets of rules ... ideologies that were creeping down the road of censorship.”

She doesn’t exactly engage with Roth’s assertion that X is doing less to stop harassment on the platform.

“It’s a new day at X,” Yaccarino said. “And I’ll leave it at that.”

X CEO Linda Yaccarino is here.

She’s speaking with CNBC senior media and tech correspondent Julia Boorstin.

There’s a lot to discuss — for one, the ongoing chaos of working with Elon Musk and transforming Twitter into X. But also, two events just today.

Twitter’s former trust and safety leader, Yoel Roth, was on stage less than an hour ago discussing how Musk sent harassment his way. Also today, Media Matters came out with a report about X placing NFL ads on accounts of white nationalists. That’s a big ding in Yaccarino’s promise that X is brand safe.

Netflix Drop 01: all the news and trailers from Netflix’s animation event

Stay up to date on everything from Castlevania to Scott Pilgrim.

“I’m rooting for you and I’m rooting for Twitter.”

Yoel Roth said he said that to Elon Musk when he left the company. He’s rooting for CEO Linda Yaccarino, the current CEO of X — who will be speaking at Code in just a bit.


Verge Score

LG Gram Pro 17 review: a Gram with more gusto

LG’s new Gram Pro is a three-pound laptop with an RTX GPU inside — a great achievement for LG and a fairly niche product for the rest of us.

Yoel Roth thinks that something like Twitter needs to exist in the world.

I asked him if there would ever be a platform that’s as culturally relevant as Twitter, now X. “I do hope somebody can capture that,” he said. “I hope they can do it better than Twitter.”

“There was only so much” the safety team could do to push back on Elon at Twitter.

Roth says there was “overwhelming pressure to change” the platform. “Maybe that pressure would prove to be positive in the long run. My experience was that it wasn’t,” Roth said.

He expected there to be constraints on what Twitter could strip away in terms of safety. But the company didn’t “behave rationally.” And so things have gotten worse.

The new WGA contract will change how Hollywood works

Historic raises and guarantees on AI use will have major ramifications in Hollywood, but the new transparency in streaming data means Netflix and Disney Plus will have to change how they work.

A dating app to talk to your partner.

Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd told the audience at Code 2023 that she sees potential for dating apps throughout the various phases of a relationship, not just to meet new people.

Earlier this year, the company acquired Official, an app for couples to track relationships and stay connected.

US v. Google: all the news from the search antitrust showdown

One of the biggest tech antitrust trials since the US took on Microsoft is underway.

AI dating coaches could save a whole lot of swiping, says Bumble’s CEO.

Whitney Wolfe Herd envisions an AI coach — “certainly not launching tomorrow, but very realistic” — that you’d be able to tell everything you want out of a partner. It would then go and sync up with other users’ coaches and try to find a match.

Wolfe Herd:

So now instead of you having to swipe and match and chat with dozens of people, you could only talk to the three people who came back as qualified individuals for what you’re looking for. You could really use AI to supercharge compatibility.

Listen to Casey Bloys avoid responding to my question about the upcoming Harry Potter show on Max.

He said there wasn’t enough time left to answer my question — but he also promised that Warner Bros. Discovery will some day. I’ll be waiting!

External Link
Lactose-intolerant Sims, rejoice!

Are you a lactose-intolerant Sim of the famed The Sims 4 universe? I mean, I’m not either, but I identify strongly with them. Fortunately for all of us, EA has issued a giant kitchen-focused update to its simulator title, and it includes a change to the recipe UI that makes it much easier to find dairy-free and vegetarian foods. Our virtual friends can kiss stomach cramps and diarrhea goodbye!

Also, child Sims can use the ice cream machine now. I’m jealous of them.