Technology

Forced to Change: Tech Giants Bow to Global Onslaught of Rules
Technology

Forced to Change: Tech Giants Bow to Global Onslaught of Rules

By Thursday, Google will have changed how it displays certain search results. Microsoft will no longer have Windows customers use its Bing internet search tool by default. And Apple will give iPhone and iPad users access to rival app stores and payment systems for the first time.The tech giants have been preparing ahead of a Wednesday deadline to comply with a new European Union law intended to increase competition in the digital economy. The law, called the Digital Markets Act, requires the biggest tech companies to overhaul how some of their products work so smaller rivals can gain more access to their users.Those changes are some of the most visible shifts that Microsoft, Apple, Google, Meta and others are making in response to a wave of new regulations and laws around the world. In the...
The Paradox at the Heart of Elon Musk’s OpenAI Lawsuit
Technology

The Paradox at the Heart of Elon Musk’s OpenAI Lawsuit

It would be easy to dismiss Elon Musk’s lawsuit against OpenAI as a case of sour grapes.Mr. Musk sued OpenAI this week, accusing the company of breaching the terms of its founding agreement and violating its founding principles. In his telling, OpenAI was established as a nonprofit that would build powerful A.I. systems for the good of humanity and give its research away freely to the public. But Mr. Musk argues that OpenAI broke that promise by starting a for-profit subsidiary that took on billions of dollars in investments from Microsoft.An OpenAI spokeswoman declined to comment on the suit. In a memo sent to employees on Friday, Jason Kwon, the company’s chief strategy officer, denied Mr. Musk’s claims and said, “We believe the claims in this suit may stem from Elon’s regrets about not ...
How to Manage Streaming Subscriptions As Service Prices Rise
Technology

How to Manage Streaming Subscriptions As Service Prices Rise

The dream of streaming — watch what you want, whenever you want, for a sliver of the price of cable! — is coming to an end.With all the price increases for video streaming apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu, the average household that subscribes to four streaming apps may now end up paying just as much as a cable subscriber, according to research by Deloitte.To name a few of the price jumps for streaming video (without ads) in just over the past year: Amazon’s ad-free Prime Video is now $12 a month, up from $9; Netflix raised the price of its premium plan for watching content on four devices to $23 a month, from $20; Disney increased the price of its Hulu service to $18 a month, from $15; and HBO’s Max now costs $16 a month, up from $15.If, like many people, you subscribe to al...
Inquiry Into Ouster of OpenAI’s Chief Executive Nears End
Technology

Inquiry Into Ouster of OpenAI’s Chief Executive Nears End

WilmerHale, a prominent U.S. law firm, is close to wrapping up a detailed review of OpenAI’s chief executive, Sam Altman, and his ouster from the artificial intelligence start-up late last year, two people with knowledge of the proceedings said.The investigation, when complete, could give insight into what went on behind the scenes with Mr. Altman and OpenAI’s former board of directors, which fired him on Nov. 17 before reinstating him five days later. OpenAI, which is valued at more than $80 billion, has led a frenzy over A.I. and could help determine the direction of the transformative technology.Mr. Altman, 38, has told people in recent weeks that the investigation was nearing a close, the two people with knowledge of the matter said. The results could be delivered to OpenAI’s board as ...
Supreme Court Seems Wary of State Laws Regulating Social Media Platforms
Technology

Supreme Court Seems Wary of State Laws Regulating Social Media Platforms

The Supreme Court seemed skeptical on Monday of laws in Florida and Texas that bar major social media companies from making editorial judgments about which messages to allow.The laws were enacted in an effort to shield conservative voices on the sites, but a decision by the court, expected by June, will almost certainly be its most important statement on the scope of the First Amendment in the internet era, with broad political and economic implications.A ruling that tech platforms have no editorial discretion to decide which posts to allow would expose users to a greater variety of viewpoints but almost certainly amplify the ugliest aspects of the digital age, including hate speech and disinformation.Though a ruling in favor of big platforms like Facebook and YouTube appeared likely, the ...
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...
A Marketplace of Girl Influencers Managed by Moms and Stalked by Men
Technology

A Marketplace of Girl Influencers Managed by Moms and Stalked by Men

The ominous messages began arriving in Elissa’s inbox early last year.“You sell pics of your underage daughter to pedophiles,” read one. “You’re such a naughty sick mom, you’re just as sick as us pedophiles,” read another. “I will make your life hell for you and your daughter.”Elissa has been running her daughter’s Instagram account since 2020, when the girl was 11 and too young to have her own. Photos show a bright, bubbly girl modeling evening dresses, high-end workout gear and dance leotards. She has more than 100,000 followers, some so enthusiastic about her posts that they pay $9.99 a month for more photos.Over the years, Elissa has fielded all kinds of criticism and knows full well that some people think she is exploiting her daughter. She has even gotten used to receiving creepy mes...
Nvidia Earnings Show Soaring Profit and Revenue Amid AI Boom
Technology

Nvidia Earnings Show Soaring Profit and Revenue Amid AI Boom

Nvidia, the kingpin of chips powering artificial intelligence, on Wednesday released quarterly financial results that reinforced how the company has become one of the biggest winners of the artificial intelligence boom, and it said demand for its products would fuel continued sales growth.The Silicon Valley chip maker has been on an extraordinary rise over the past 18 months, driven by demand for its specialized and costly semiconductors, which are used for training popular A.I. services like OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot. Nvidia has become known as one of the “Magnificent Seven” tech stocks, which along with others like Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have helped power the stock market.Nvidia’s valuation has surged more than 40 percent to $1.7 trillion since the start of the year, turning it into ...
When Eyes in the Sky Start Looking Right at You
Technology

When Eyes in the Sky Start Looking Right at You

For decades, privacy experts have been wary of snooping from space. They feared satellites powerful enough to zoom in on individuals, capturing close-ups that might differentiate adults from children or suited sunbathers from those in a state of nature.Now, quite suddenly, analysts say, a startup is building a new class of satellite whose cameras would, for the first time, do just that.“We’re acutely aware of the privacy implications,” Topher Haddad, head of Albedo Space, the company making the new satellites, said in an interview. His company’s technology will image people but not be able to identify them, he said. Albedo, Mr. Haddad added, was nonetheless taking administrative steps to address a wide range of privacy concerns.Anyone living in the modern world has grown familiar with dimi...
Facial Recognition in Airports: Biometrics Technology Is Expanding
Technology

Facial Recognition in Airports: Biometrics Technology Is Expanding

On a recent Thursday morning in Queens, travelers streamed through the exterior doors of La Guardia Airport’s Terminal C. Some were bleary-eyed — most hefted briefcases — as they checked bags and made their way to the security screening lines.It was business as usual, until some approached a line that was almost empty. One by one, they walked to a kiosk with an iPad affixed to it and had their photos taken, as a security officer stood by. Within seconds, each passenger’s image was matched to a photo from a government database, and the traveler was ushered past security into the deeper maze of the airport. No physical ID or boarding pass required.Some travelers, despite previously opting into the program, still proffered identification, only for the officer to wave it away. This passenger s...