We’re kicking this week off with news about OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot, which became available for everyone to demo last week.
While the chatbot produces some pretty convincing answers to complex questions, mods of the popular question-and-answer site for developers, Stack Overflow, are temporarily banning answers generated by the tool, citing “a high rate of being incorrect.” OpenAI CEO Sam Altman says ChatGPT has already surpassed 1 million users.
In other news, we got a boatload of trailers for upcoming shows and movies from Brazil’s CCXP pop culture convention over the weekend. That includes previews for The Boys spinoff Gen V, The Last of Us, The Witcher: Blood Origin, and more.
And now, here’s a silly tweet:
Stay tuned as we continue to update this list with the most important news of today: December 5th, 2022.
Nov 21Microsoft offers to match OpenAI compensation.
Microsoft CTO and EVP of AI Kevin Scott says the software maker will match OpenAI’s compensation to employees that want to join Sam Atlman’s new AI research lab. It comes shortly after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella went on a media tour last night and didn’t seem to know if Sam Altman will actually join Microsoft or not. Competitors like Salesforce have been trying to tempt OpenAI employees to join rival AI projects.
Dec 5, 2022
After shifting iPhone production away from China, it now looks as if Apple’s got its eye on iPad production. According to CNBC, Apple is discussing producing some of its iPads in India to help diversify its supply chain.Read Article >
The news comes almost two years after reports emerged that Apple is considering manufacturing iPads in Vietnam, too. Apple is doing this as the company looks to move up to 30 percent of its manufacturing outside of China.
- Chinese hackers reportedly stole over $20 million in US covid benefits.
According to a report from NBC, the Secret Service pinned the attack on APT41, a hacking group known for its ties to the Chinese government. This is the same group that was blamed for a hack affecting government agencies in over six states in March.
If you’ve been eager to try Clear Calling on the Pixel 7 but unwilling to download beta software to use it, then today’s your day — Google is taking it and a couple of other features promised for the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro public in today’s feature drop.Read Article >
That includes new speaker labels for transcriptions in the Recorder app and access to Google One’s VPN feature at no cost — it’s otherwise reserved for subscribers on Google’s $9.99 / month 2TB plan.
As labor movements in the video game industry build up momentum, over 300 quality assurance workers at ZeniMax Online Studios, former Bethesda parent company and current subsidiary of Microsoft, are in the process of organizing a union. The workers are organizing in collaboration with CODE-CWA, which has assisted in the formation of Activision Blizzard’s two unions.Read Article >
In a statement on Twitter, ZeniMax Workers United posted: “Today we, a majority of QA workers at ZeniMax, are proud to announce the launch of our union with [CODE-CWA]. We are the first group of workers at Microsoft to formally unionize. We are empowered to advocate for ourselves & build a future where we can thrive alongside the company.”
Facebook warns it could ban news in the US if Congress passes a bill that would require the platform to negotiate with and compensate publishers for their content. Andy Stone, Meta’s head of policy communications, said on Twitter that Facebook will “be forced to consider removing news” from Facebook if the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) is passed. Facebook previously threatened to block news in Canada and Australia when similar laws were proposed.Read Article >
Introduced last year with bipartisan support, the JCPA would allow publishers to negotiate with platforms like Facebook and Google over the distribution of their content. It’s supposed to give news publishers leverage against Big Tech and could require Facebook to pay for including news on its platform, something that Facebook has fiercely fought in the past in other countries.
- The St. Louis Apple union election would’ve failed.
Last month, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union announced that it was canceling its union drive at an Apple Store in St. Louis. Now, 66 of the store’s 90 employees have said they wouldn’t want to join the union, and have no interest in doing so in the future, according to Bloomberg.
The employees say their decision wasn’t because of pressure from management, which unions have alleged in the past.
Reliable leaker OnLeaks is offering what’s likely an early look at the upcoming OnePlus 11, with an updated camera bump treatment and the beloved alert slider intact. The image, courtesy of GadgetGang.com, shows a sleek round camera bump, green and black color options, and the alert slider alive and well on the device’s side rail above the power button. It also corroborates an earlier leak. All told, it looks like the 11 will represent a slight cosmetic update to the 10 Pro’s design — a welcome sight to OnePlus fans who feared that the slider was on its way out when it was omitted from the 10T.Read Article >
In addition to a slight design update, the OnePlus 11 is likely to include more of the same under the hood. A previous spec leak points to a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset (that’s a gimme), fast 100W wired charging, and a 6.7-inch screen with up to 120Hz refresh rate. Nothing surprising there. But then there’s the name — earlier reports called the device the 11 Pro, but this latest leak alleges that OnePlus will drop the “Pro” and call it the OnePlus 11. That would be a reversal from this year when the company launched a 10 Pro and 10T but no OnePlus 10.
Shein will spend $15 million on ‘improving standards’ at factories after a report found labor violations
Online shopping behemoth Shein will spend $15 million on upgrades to its suppliers’ factories, the company announced today. The news follows a UK documentary report that found workers were subject to long hours and that wages were withheld, according to The Guardian.Read Article >
Shein says that, through an independent audit, it discovered that workers at two factories in China were working 12.5- and 13.5-hour-long days — more than is legally permitted by local law. While it’s “significantly less than claimed in the documentary,” the e-commerce giant is giving factories until the end of the year to correct the problem, Shein says.
Dec 5, 2022
Starlink’s upcoming daytime data caps will be going into effect in February instead of December, according to revised language on the company’s website (via CNET). When Starlink first announced the caps in November, the company had said they’d kick in sometime this month. Now, they’ll be in place a little bit later than originally planned.Read Article >
The terms of the data caps otherwise seem to be the same. As part of Starlink’s new “Fair Use Policy,” customers will have a dedicated amount of “Priority Access” data every month. Any data used from peak hours, which Starlink defines as 7AM to 11PM, will be pulled from that Priority Access pool. If you go over your Priority Access allocation, you can pay for more data or fall back on “Basic Access” data, which is deprioritized and may be slower, for the rest of your billing cycle.
Microsoft has offered Sony a 10-year contract to make future Call of Duty games available on PlayStation if its proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition goes ahead. Microsoft president Brad Smith confirmed the deal in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal today, noting that “Sony has emerged as the loudest objector” to Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition and that “it’s as excited about this deal as Blockbuster was about the rise of Netflix.”Read Article >
“We’ve offered Sony a 10-year contract to make each new ‘Call of Duty’ release available on PlayStation the same day it comes to Xbox,” says Smith. “We’re open to providing the same commitment to other platforms and making it legally enforceable by regulators in the US, UK, and European Union.”
Ramattra, the sleek and terrifying new tank coming with Overwatch 2’s second season, will be much easier to earn than the previous hero Kiriko. Aaron Keller, Overwatch 2’s game designer, stated in a brief message on Twitter that developer Blizzard is lowering the level at which Ramattra unlocks from 55 to 45.Read Article >
In the past, new Overwatch heroes would be added free of charge. With the move from premium to a free-to-play model, heroes are now earned either via paying for the premium battle pass at $10 / season or by unlocking the hero via progression on the free battle pass.
- PUBG is heading to the Epic Games Store this week.
PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS will be available on the Epic Games Store (EGS) on December 7th at 4PM PT / 7PM ET. The game went free-to-play almost a year ago, and the addition of EGS includes full cross-play with PC players on Steam. There’s even a free PUBG Founder’s Pack with cosmetic items and DLC that you can claim from EGS from today until January 4th.
The government has extended the deadline for when federal agencies like the TSA will start requiring Real ID cards, moving the date from May 3rd, 2023, to May 7th, 2025. This will give people an extra two years to get an updated driver’s license or ID card; after the deadline, they won’t be allowed to fly without them.Read Article >
The extension is meant to “address the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card,” according to a Monday press release from the Department of Homeland Security. The standard was implemented after 9/11 in an attempt to improve security while flying, so getting one of the cards requires providing several pieces of documentation. That includes proof of your legal name, birth date, social security number, home address, and immigration status.
Microsoft is increasing the prices of its upcoming first-party Xbox games next month. From 2023 onward, new full-priced games from Xbox Game Studios like Redfall, Starfield, and Forza Motorsport will be priced at $69.99 instead of the usual $59.99. It’s a price increase that matches the pricing that competitors like Sony, Ubisoft, and Take-Two all offer their own games at.Read Article >
Microsoft issued the following statement about the price increases:
Dec 5, 2022
Lies about climate change on Twitter escalated to unprecedented levels this year, according to new analyses. The unnerving rise of content that rejects widely accepted climate science — sometimes referred to as climate skepticism or climate denial — piles on top of growing concerns about misinformation and hateful content that’s proliferated since Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media platform.Read Article >
There have been more tweets and retweets “using climate-sceptic terminology” in 2022 than in any other year since Twitter’s founding in 2006, according to analysis conducted for The Times by City, University of London researchers. That’s 850,000 climate-skeptic tweets or retweets this year compared to 650,000 in 2021 and 220,000 in 2020.
Dec 5, 2022
After the brouhaha of Spotify Wrapped last week, Apple Podcasts has dropped its own end-of-year charts. Apple Podcasts’ daily charts already show which titles are trending year-round, but its year-end charts are an indicator of which shows are doing best on a consistent basis: and no surprise, true-crime programming reigns supreme.Read Article >
Crime Junkie took the top spot on Apple’s list of biggest shows of 2022, followed by The Daily, Dateline NBC, Morbid, and SmartLess. The last time Apple issued its year-end top podcast chart in 2020, only The Daily and Crime Junkie were in the top five. This year’s top 10 featured a blast from the past with Serial, which came in at No. 8. The 2014 show got a boost from the recent exoneration of subject Adnan Syed.
Slack CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield is leaving Salesforce in January, reports Business Insider. Butterfield helped co-found Slack in 2013 after Glitch — a social MMORPG — was shut down and Butterfield turned his focus to workplace communication tools instead. Butterfield is leaving Salesforce, the company that acquired Slack for $27.7 billion last year, after less than two years at Salesforce.Read Article >
News of Butterfield’s departure, announced in a Slack channel, comes just days after Salesforce CEO Bret Taylor also announced he’s leaving the company. “This has nothing to do with Bret’s departure,” Butterfield wrote in a Slack channel. “Planning has been in the works for several months! Just weird timing.”
Riot Games shared more news on the progress of its free-to-play fighting game codenamed Project L in a brief but dense developer update on Monday. In a previous update last August, the team revealed a new fighter, Illaoi, and this time around, Project L executive producer Tom Cannon shared that she’s gone from “concept to an early playable form.”Read Article >
Though the Kraken Priestess looked pretty sick with her tentacle-based moveset, Cannon said that she’s nowhere close to her final build.
Facebook is testing ways for people to verify their age when using the platform’s dating app, including using an AI face scanning tool.Read Article >
In a blog post today, Meta announced it would start prompting users on Facebook Dating to verify that they’re over 18 if the platform suspects a user is underage (you must be over 18 to use the dating service). Users can then confirm their age either by submitting a copy of their ID or by uploading a selfie video, which Facebook shares a portion of with a third-party company. Meta says the company, Yoti, uses facial features to estimate a user’s age without identifying them.
Dec 5, 2022
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried promised to testify before Congress after he finished “learning and reviewing” the events that caused the popular cryptocurrency exchange to file for bankruptcy last month.Read Article >
Bankman-Fried’s promise was made in response to a tweet from House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) last week calling on him to join the committee’s hearing on FTX’s collapse on December 13th. But Bankman-Fried didn’t commit to testifying at the hearing scheduled for next week.
Dec 5, 2022
When HBO Max and Discovery Plus merge into a single app next spring, the new platform will simply be called “Max.” That’s according to a report from CNBC, which notes that while a final decision hasn’t been made, Max “is the likely choice” and is being vetted by Warner Bros. Discovery’s legal team. The lawyers are also mulling over other potential names, according to the report, and the combined streaming service has been given the codename “BEAM” internally.Read Article >
The reasoning for the “Max” name is simple: Warner Bros. Discovery wants HBO to fit into its huge stable of content without overshadowing programming from Discovery, DC Comics, Warner Bros., CNN, and more. CNBC’s report says the new platform will borrow ideas from Disney Plus and organize Warner Bros. Discovery properties into different “hubs” in the same way that Disney separates Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and so on.
Dec 5, 2022H&R Block customers sue Meta for collecting their financial data.
That didn’t take long! On November 22nd, we co-published an in-depth report from The Markup that revealed multiple tax filing websites had been quietly sending a bunch of sensitive financial info to Meta through the Meta Pixel. While Meta says it doesn’t want to receive that kind of information, the suit alleges that the company did basically nothing to stop it.
Dec 5, 2022Don’t bet on AI replacing Google just yet.
With the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, many are proclaiming the death of Google is nigh. Why search when you can chat with an all-knowing AI?
Well, because, as we wrote last year, those AIs have a tendency to make up their answers. If you need proof of the trouble this can cause: Stack Overflow just banned responses from ChatGPT for being plausibly wrong too often.
Dec 5, 2022
As a bevy of classic Hollywood movies has shown, truck driving is an occupation intertwined with American ideals of freedom and machismo.Read Article >
But technology is threatening the trucker’s traditional independence. Seeking to reduce crashes, the federal government issued a mandate in 2017 that truckers use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to record their driving hours, replacing pencil-and-paper logs that were easily fudged.