My condolences to anyone at Microsoft affected by its large round of layoffs. Announced officially on Wednesday morning, the cuts mean about 10,000 people are losing their jobs. It makes Microsoft the latest tech giant to have cut thousands of jobs in recent months, following layoffs at the likes of Meta and Amazon.
Wednesday’s tech news started, like Tuesday’s, with a new Apple hardware announcement. After discontinuing its HomePod speaker a few years ago, the company s launching a new version, priced at $299, with support for Spatial Audio and the Matter smart home spec.
Apple has also reportedly put its plans to release a pair of lightweight augmented reality glasses on hold due to “technical challenges.” Its mixed reality headset (which would offer both AR and VR) is still believed to be on track for this year, but these sleeker AR-only glasses are now unlikely to meet their 2025 target launch date.
For now, here’s a silly tweet to start your day (don’t worry, it’s not actually “sensitive content” as the disclaimer suggests):
Stay tuned, as we continue to update this list with the most important news of today: Wednesday, January 18th, 2023.
Apple announced that one of its biggest streaming series will return later this year. While we don’t have a specific date just yet, Apple says that season 3 of Ted Lasso will premiere on Apple TV Plus in the spring of 2023.Read Article >
We don’t know much about the new season yet, but Apple did release a new image that shows Jason Sudeikis’ Lasso and Nick Mohammed’s Nate facing off, now as rival coaches. Given the way season 2 ended, that relationship looks to be a big part of the new storyline. Previously, writer, star, and real human being Brett Goldstein suggested that the third season could be the last for the sports sitcom.
Elon Musk tweets, and “regular people” watch their fortunes evaporate.Read Article >
That was the argument put before a jury by lawyers representing a class of Tesla investors in opening arguments in Musk’s securities fraud trial, which kicked off today in a courtroom in San Francisco. The plaintiffs are arguing that Musk’s 2018 tweets about taking Tesla private, in which he said he had “funding secured,” led them to lose millions of dollars.
Apple is working on a brand-new slew of smart home devices, at least according to a report by Bloomberg.Read Article >
In addition to the very similar but Matter-equipped relaunch of the original HomePod, Apple appears to be pushing deeper into the home space with a smaller display akin to a Google Nest Hub or Amazon’s Echo Show. According to sources close to the discussions, the device would be similar to an iPad but less expensive, oriented toward home use, and would include a magnet for mounting. The device would appear to be more limited in scope than an iPad and would mainly be used for FaceTime chats, as well as controlling other smart home devices. Here’s hoping it can solve the multi-user problem that makes current iPads unpleasant for home control use. There have also been talks about larger smart home displays down the line.
Jan 18Finally, a good use of ‘yelling fire in a crowded theater.’
It’s the latest project from Jeff Kosseff, author of The Verge’s favorite Section 230 book, The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet. I truly cannot wait.
Apple has slowly been building an interesting library of sci-fi on its streaming service, from gigantic epics to near-future horror stories. But the upcoming series Hello Tomorrow goes in a different direction. The retrofuturistic vision of the future is about a team of salespeople, led by a character played by Billy Crudup, hocking timeshares on the Moon.Read Article >
Here’s the official logline:
Jan 18We are gathered here today in memory of our dearly departed cloud gaming service, Stadia
Google Stadia is officially closing its cloud doors today, almost four years after an inauspicious debut displaying the console alongside uhhh... notable video game artifacts, ET for the Atari 2600, the Power Glove, and the Dreamcast.
Google has handled its passing with as much grace as can be expected, so let’s (Google) Wave goodbye to a cloud gaming OG.
Jan 18Who’s the biggest name at VidCon?
Last year, TikTok was the event’s main sponsor, highlighting a major shift in the creator video space. This year... YouTube is back. (And surely, it’ll want to remind creators to use YouTube Shorts.)
Of course, buying a sponsorship ≠ maintaining cultural dominance. Shorts has its work cut out. But showing up to VidCon still means something — it tells creators that YouTube cares.
Jan 18They’re surveilling your money without a warrant in Arizona.
The Transaction Record Analysis Center has been used by more than 600 law-enforcement entities to surveil money sent across US borders without a warrant. Among the data? Your name, how much you sent, and who you sent it to.
“One slideshow prepared by a TRAC investigator showed how the program’s data could be used to scan for categories such as ‘Middle Eastern/Arabic names’ in bulk transaction records,” the WSJ reports.
Apple debuted an updated HomePod speaker today, and one of the new features is its ability to track temperature and humidity with a built-in sensor. As it turns out, those are things that the smaller, cheaper HomePod Mini can do, too — even the ones that may already be in your home.Read Article >
The company quietly added a feature overview to its website, indicating that Apple plans to switch on a latent temperature and humidity sensor that has been in the devices since launch but couldn’t previously be used. Having this sensor means you won’t need to buy a separate gadget to measure temperature or humidity and run Apple Home automations to, say, turn on a fan when it gets above 70 degrees Fahrenheit or adjust a compatible smart thermostat.
Shell USA, best known for its gasoline fill-up stations, is acquiring electric vehicle charging network Volta through a full cash purchase of all its common stock. The transaction, worth $169 million, is set to close in the first half of 2023.Read Article >
Volta is the second US EV charging company to come under the Shell brand since Greenlots was acquired by Royal Dutch Shell in 2019. Volta currently operates 3,050 destination chargers across 31 states and Europe. According to the press release, the company is already planning to install another 3,400 stalls over an undisclosed period of time.
Apple recently announced some new additions to its Mac lineup — specifically a new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro as well as a revamped Mac Mini. The new Mac laptops can be configured with either an M2 Pro or M2 Max CPU, which Apple says should provide significant performance gains when stacked against the standard M2 processors employed by the latest 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.Read Article >
Both models are already available for preorder online, with units shipping on January 24th. The latest 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999, with configurations of the 16-inch version capable of reaching up to $3,499. However, this price range is a far cry from the starting price of the M2-equipped MacBook Air ($1,199) as well as that of the most recent 13-inch MacBook Pro ($1,299) and M1 MacBook Air from 2020 ($999).
- It looks like Apple fixed a big HomePod annoyance.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has addressed rumors regarding GPT-4 — the company’s as yet unreleased language model and latest in the GPT-series that forms the foundation of AI chatbot ChatGPT — saying that “people are begging to be disappointed and they will be.”Read Article >
During an interview with StrictlyVC, Altman was asked if GPT-4 will come out in the first quarter or half of the year, as many expect. He responded by offering no certain timeframe. “It’ll come out at some point, when we are confident we can do it safely and responsibly,” he said.
Update January 18th, 9:45AM ET: In a memo issued Wednesday morning, Microsoft confirmed plans to fire over 10,000 employees by the end of March. The original story continues below.Read Article >
Microsoft is preparing to announce job cuts tomorrow. Sky News reports that thousands of roles will be cut, with the software giant said to be looking at cutting around 5 percent of its workforce. With more than 220,000 employees at Microsoft, that could mean more than 10,000 layoffs.
If you’ve been looking to kit out a startup, then here’s a chance to grab some deals — along with some recognizably bird-themed memorabilia. Twitter has placed hundreds of items from its San Francisco headquarters for sale via an online auction, with listings including various artwork of the Twitter bird logo, designer office furniture, and a full range of expensive kitchen equipment.Read Article >
The sale follows Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s attempts to cut back on company expenses amid numerous financial difficulties and after firing nearly two-thirds of the company’s 7,500-person workforce in 2022. In December, The New York Times also reported that Twitter had allegedly stopped paying rent for office spaces used by the company.
Every year, Netflix puts together a slate of new movies meant to get subscribers excited about what’s coming and convince those who aren’t yet signed up for the streamer that they need to be. While this year’s looking like it’ll be an interesting one for Netflix, a new teaser for all the platform’s upcoming features also makes it seem like the platform’s cooling off a bit in 2023. Here are some highlights:Read Article >
When a new string of murders points to there being a serial killer on the loose, the whole of London is set on edge for fear that no one will be able to stop the murderous rampage. But the spate of gruesome killings are exactly the inspiration disgraced detective John Luther (Idris Elba) needs to break out of prison, track down the deranged psychopath stalking him, and capture the person terrorizing his city. The movie also stars Cynthia Erivo, Andy Serkis, and Dermot Crowley and debuts on March 10th.
Microsoft is announcing big job cuts today, affecting 10,000 employees. In a memo, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says the company will be “making changes that will result in the reduction of our overall workforce by 10,000 jobs through the end of FY23 Q3.”Read Article >
More than 800 employees have been notified today, but the entire 10,000 layoffs should be completed by the end of March. While Microsoft is making cuts, Nadella says the company “will continue to hire in key strategic areas.” Affected US employees will receive “above-market severance pay,” healthcare coverage for six months, continued vesting of stocks for six months, career transition services, and 60 days’ notice prior to termination.
Apple has announced a new $299 HomePod smart speaker with a similar form factor to the original HomePod released in 2018. New features available with this second-generation model include support for the wireless protocol Thread and the smart home standard Matter, allowing the speaker to control compatible accessories, and an upgraded S7 chip first seen in the Apple Watch Series 7. It will be sold alongside the HomePod Mini, the smaller version of the speaker introduced in 2020. The new HomePod is available to order starting today and will begin shipping February 3rd.Read Article >
The second-generation HomePod has a single four-inch woofer paired with five tweeters, (down from seven in the original model) and a total of five microphones (down from seven). Apple says the speaker can sense how it’s positioned in a room, adjusting its sound depending on whether it’s placed up against a wall or out in the middle of a space. Like the original HomePod, two speakers can be arranged into a stereo pair or used as speakers for the Apple TV 4K. There’s also support for spatial audio with Dolby Atmos.
I am a big baby when it comes to cold weather. If there’s a blanket, I’m burrito-ing in it. Layers? I’ve got more of ‘em than an onion. I hate the cold so much my winter coat has multiple interior pockets for sticking disposable hand warmers in. So of course I jumped at the chance to try out the $220 Carhartt X-1 Smart Heated Vest.Read Article >
The X-1 is exactly what its name implies — it’s a temperature-regulating Bluetooth vest that you can control with a phone app. Heated outerwear isn’t new. Milwaukee and DeWalt also make heated jackets and vests for outdoor work. What makes Carhartt’s vest “smart” comes from AI developed by Clim8, a smart clothing company that specializes in thermoregulation tech. Depending on the activity or sport you choose, the AI adjusts the heat automatically to keep you at a comfy temperature. It does that by monitoring the current temperature as well as analyzing your environment and the type of layers you’re wearing.
YouTube TV subscribers will notice some refinements and tweaks to the service’s “library” section starting today. The new interface lets viewers see more programming and recommendations at once and includes simplified filters for drilling down into the type of shows you actually want to find. It’s not a wholesale reinvention of the TV guide — but so far, it looks like a quicker way of finding something to watch.Read Article >
“This UI model is almost like the hybrid, I would say, of a grid and a feed. We’re continually thinking about how to reinvent television so that we don’t have to just rely on one model,” Esther Ahn, the head of design for YouTube TV, told me in a call last week.
Jan 18Read Article >
The company first announced the labels in response to the war in Ukraine, saying it was “expediting” the rollout of the program with the pilot in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Several government-controlled Russian outlets like RT, RIA Novosti, and TASS have been labeled under the policy so far.
Spec sheets for all three devices in Samsung’s upcoming flagship smartphone lineup, the Galaxy S23 series, appear to have leaked online. If legitimate (which they appear to be) they give a more or less complete picture of what we should expect from Samsung’s new phones ahead of their February 1st launch; detailing everything from their screen and battery specs through to their cameras.Read Article >
WinFuture has a complete rundown of the specs of the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus, which corroborate those published on Twitter by leaker billbil-kun, who also has official-looking information on Samsung’s high-end Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Logitech is adding a new webcam to its Brio lineup in the form of the Brio 300. At $69.99 (£74.99), it’s at the low end of Logitech’s Brio lineup and only offers up to 1080p / 30fps capture rather than 4K / 30fps or 1080 / 60fps like the $199.99 Brio 4K Pro. It has a single microphone built in and is available in a choice of gray, off-white, or pink. Alongside the Brio 300, Logitech has also announced a business-focused variant, the Brio 305.Read Article >
The Brio 300’s price and specs put it in the same ballpark as Logitech’s ubiquitous C920s Pro HD webcam, which also has an MSRP of $69.99. But the Brio 300 benefits from a sleeker, more modern design and a neatly integrated privacy shutter that can be manually swiveled around to cover its camera when not in use. The C920s Pro HD still has a privacy shutter, but its design is nowhere near as neat.
Another Apple rumor from Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman focuses on the company’s efforts to create game-changing augmented reality glasses that could make picking up your iPhone obsolete — if they’re ever built.Read Article >