Technology

Instagram’s Uneasy Rise as a News Site
Technology

Instagram’s Uneasy Rise as a News Site

On a recent Wednesday in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, Mosheh Oinounou, a former producer for CBS, Bloomberg News and Fox News, swiped through Instagram. He had started his morning reading major newspapers and more than a dozen newsletters. Then he spent much of the day turning many of the articles into posts on his Instagram account, under the handle Mo News.A Wall Street Journal story on aging Americans was relayed through a picture of a cake declaring, “Record Number of Americans Will Turn 65 This Year: Wealthy, Active, And Single.” At times, Mr. Oinounou, an affable 41-year-old, has also appeared on camera with the co-host of his daily news podcast to explain the significance of how Republican presidential candidates were polling and why President Biden was a write-in candidate in New...
Reddit Files to Go Public, in First Social Media I.P.O. in Years
Technology

Reddit Files to Go Public, in First Social Media I.P.O. in Years

Reddit, the community-focused message board site, filed to go public on Thursday, paving the way for it to be the first major social media company to debut on the stock market in years and a test for private companies after a drought in initial public offerings.In an offering prospectus, Reddit disclosed its financial performance in preparation for selling shares to investors. The San Francisco-based company reported that its revenue rose more than 20 percent as its losses narrowed last year. It added that it had 73 million daily users and more than 100,000 active communities.The prospectus kicks off a process to the stock market, with the 18-year-old company set to meet potential investors to whet their appetites for buying its shares. Reddit could go public on the New York Stock Exchange...
Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.
Technology

Volkswagen Sees Electric Vehicles as a Way to Grow in the U.S.

Probably only Americans of a certain age remember when the Volkswagen Beetle was the best-selling imported car in the United States and the hippest ride to a Grateful Dead concert was a Volkswagen Microbus.Volkswagen is trying to tap some of that nostalgia in its latest push to regain the status and sales it enjoyed in the United States during the Beetle’s and Microbus’s heydays in the 1960s. But this time it hopes its top models will be electric.The German carmaker is second only to Toyota globally but is a niche player in the United States. Part of its plan to revive its fortunes here is to lean on a new electric model that resembles the Microbus, the ID.Buzz, and to revive the Scout brand with a line of electric pickups and sport utility vehicles.Last week, as giant earth movers kicked ...
Plans to Expand U.S. Chip Manufacturing Are Running Into Obstacles
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Plans to Expand U.S. Chip Manufacturing Are Running Into Obstacles

In December 2022, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the key maker of the world’s most cutting-edge chips, said it planned to spend $40 billion in Arizona on its first major U.S. hub for semiconductor production.The much ballyhooed project outside Phoenix — with two new factories, including one with more advanced technology — became a symbol of President Biden’s quest to spur more domestic production of chips, the slices of silicon that help all manner of devices make calculations and store data.Then last summer, TSMC pushed back initial manufacturing at its first Arizona factory to 2025 from this year, saying local workers lacked expertise in installing some sophisticated equipment. Last month, the company said the second plant wouldn’t produce chips until 2027 or 2028, rather th...
The Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.
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The Antitrust Enforcers Aimed at Big Tech. Then Came the Backlash.

The South Korean government unleashed a wave of panic across the internet industry: The country’s antitrust regulator said it would enact the toughest competition law outside Europe, curbing the influence of major technology companies.The Korea Fair Trade Commission, with the backing of President Yoon Suk Yeol, said in December that it planned to make a proposal modeled after the 2022 Digital Markets Act, the European Union’s landmark law to rein in American tech giants. This bill also seemed to target South Korea’s own internet conglomerates just as much as the Alphabets, Apples and Metas of the world.The commission said the law would designate certain companies as dominant platforms and limit their ability to use strongholds in one online business to expand into new areas.Then last week,...
The State of A.I., and Will Perplexity Beat Google or Destroy the Web?
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The State of A.I., and Will Perplexity Beat Google or Destroy the Web?

Listen to and follow ‘Hard Fork’Apple | Spotify | Amazon | YouTubeA year ago, a chatbot tried to break up Kevin Roose’s marriage. Ever since, chatbots haven’t been the same. We’ll tell you how. Then, we’ll talk through the latest ways the world is adapting to artificial intelligence. And finally, Aravind Srinivas, the chief executive of Perplexity, will discuss his company’s “answer engine,” a challenger to Google’s search engine that could reshape the web as we know it.Credits“Hard Fork” is hosted by Kevin Roose and Casey Newton, and produced by Davis Land and Rachel Cohn. The show is edited by Jen Poyant. Engineering by Alyssa Moxley and original music by Dan Powell, Marion Lozano, Pat McCusker and Rowan Niemisto. Fact-checking by Caitlin Love.Special thanks to Paula Szuchman, Pui-Wing T...
Terrorists Are Paying for Check Marks on X, Report Says
Technology

Terrorists Are Paying for Check Marks on X, Report Says

X, the social media platform owned by Elon Musk, is potentially violating U.S. sanctions by accepting payments for subscription accounts from terrorist organizations and other groups barred from doing business in the country, according to a new report.The report, by the Tech Transparency Project, a nonprofit focused on accountability for large technology companies, shows that X, formerly known as Twitter, has taken payments from accounts that include Hezbollah leaders, Houthi groups, and state-run media outlets in Iran and Russia. The subscriptions, which cost $8 a month, offer users a blue check mark — once limited to verified users like celebrities — and better promotion by X’s algorithm, among other perks.The U.S. Treasury Department maintains a list of entities that have been placed un...
Apple Vision Pro Review: First Headset Lacks Polish and Purpose
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Apple Vision Pro Review: First Headset Lacks Polish and Purpose

About 17 years ago, Steve Jobs took the stage at a San Francisco convention center and said he was introducing three products: an iPod, a phone and an internet browser.“These are not three separate devices,” he said. “This is one device, and we are calling it iPhone.”At $500, the first iPhone was relatively expensive, but I was eager to dump my mediocre Motorola flip phone and splurge. There were flaws — including sluggish cellular internet speeds. But the iPhone delivered on its promises.Over the last week, I’ve had a very different experience with a new first-generation product from Apple: the Vision Pro, a virtual reality headset that resembles a pair of ski goggles. The $3,500 wearable computer, which was released Friday, uses cameras so you can see the outside world while juggling app...
The Friar Who Became the Vatican’s Go-To Guy on A.I.
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The Friar Who Became the Vatican’s Go-To Guy on A.I.

Before dawn, Paolo Benanti climbed to the bell tower of his 16th-century monastery, admired the sunrise over the ruins of the Roman forum and reflected on a world in flux.“It was a wonderful meditation on what is going on inside,” he said, stepping onto the street in his friar robe. “And outside too.”There is a lot is going on for Father Benanti, who, as both the Vatican’s and the Italian government’s go-to artificial intelligence ethicist, spends his days thinking about the Holy Ghost and the ghosts in the machines.In recent weeks, the ethics professor, ordained priest and self-proclaimed geek has joined Bill Gates at a meeting with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, presided over a commission seeking to save Italian media from ChatGPT bylines and general A.I. oblivion, and met with Vatican o...
Does Technology Rule Our Sex and Dating Lives?
Technology

Does Technology Rule Our Sex and Dating Lives?

While the pitch for products like Lovense and WeVibe, another popular brand of remote controlled vibrators and stimulation rings, might seem self-evident — to create pleasure — much of the latest sex tech often has a loftier goal in mind. Make Love Not Porn, a user-generated social sex platform, aims to eradicate the unrealistic standards created by hard core pornography by showing unrehearsed, consensual, “real world” sex, said Cindy Gallop, the company’s founder and a veteran sex educator.Meanwhile, products like the VDOM, a wearable prosthetic genital device that can go from flaccid to erect with the help of a smartphone app, cater less to fetishists than to L.G.B.T.Q. users and people with disabilities who may wish to forego the process of strapping on a strap-on, according to its foun...