Disney invests $1.5B in Epic Games, plans new “games and entertainment universe” (3 minute read)

Disney has announced plans to invest $1.5 billion into Epic Games for an equity stake. The partnership will see the companies collaborate on an all-new games and entertainment universe. Disney has attempted to enter the gaming industry several times - this is its biggest attempt yet. The announcement video is available in the article.

With Disney’s magic, Fortnite is poised to win the metaverse (9 minute read)

Epic Games and Disney are designing an entertainment universe text full of Disney-flavored games to play and things to buy. The project will use Epic's technology and Fortnite's social gaming ecosystem to bring Disney characters to life. Disney has invested $1.5 billion into Epic as part of the deal. While Meta has been busy trying to make the Oculus a mainstream consumer product, companies like Epic have been building avatar-driven virtual worlds that are widely available and hardware agnostic.

jQuery 4.0.0 BETA! (24 minute read)

The jQuery 4.0.0 beta features bug fixes, performance improvements, and some breaking changes, like the removal of support for IE<11. Other breaking changes include the removal of previously deprecated APIs, internal-only parameters to public functions, and support for some magic behaviors that were overly complicated. A comprehensive upgrade guide will be published before the final release. This article covers some of the highlights of the jQuery 4.0.0 beta.

Morale plummets at Google as workers complain bosses are 'inept' and 'boring' (5 minute read)

Google staff morale is suffering badly and workers are increasingly vocal about the slump. The company and its work culture are being described as overly corporate and generally aimless. There is a growing rift between leadership and employees. While executives seem excited about the company's future, employees are much less enthusiastic as they feel they might get laid off at any time.

Node.js Community Debate Intensifies Over Enabling Corepack by Default and Potentially Unbundling npm (12 minute read)

Enabling Corepack, which allows developers to use Yam, npm, and pnpm without having to install them, could eventually lead to the uncoupling of Node.js releases and npm releases.

LLRT (GitHub Repo)

Low Latency Runtime (LLRT) is a JavaScript runtime designed to address the growing demand for fast and efficient Serverless applications. It offers up to over 10x faster startup and up to 2x overall lower cost compared to other JavaScript runtimes running on AWS Lambda. LLRT only supports a fraction of Node.js APIs and is not a drop-in replacement for Node.js. It conserves both CPU and memory resources by not incorporating a JIT compiler.

How Good Is Google Gemini Advanced? (9 minute read)

Gemini Advanced, recently rebranded from Bard Advanced, is a $19.99/month service (with a two-month free trial) available in 150 countries in English. It is multimodal and has data analysis capabilities and improved reasoning compared to Gemini Pro, the free version of the model. Gemini Advanced is a GPT-4 class model, but it doesn't obviously blow away GPT-4 in the benchmarks. It is better than GPT-4 in some cases, but GPT-4 is still more sophisticated about using code and accomplishes a number of hard verbal tasks better. Both models still fail and hallucinate at times.

OpenAI compatibility (4 minute read)

Ollama now has built-in compatibility with the OpenAI Chat Completion API.

Sam Altman seeking trillions for AI chip fabrication from UAE, others (4 minute read)

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is in talks with investors to raise up to $7 trillion for AI chip manufacturing. The project aims to address GPU scarcity as the chips are crucial for training and running large language models. Potential investors include sovereign wealth funds and government entities, which may raise geopolitical concerns. The US has been cautious about allowing foreign control over the supply of microchips - it recently announced a $5 billion investment in R&D to advance US-made semiconductor technologies.

Conductor (GitHub Repo)

Conductor is a platform for orchestrating microservices and events. It supports a wide range of database persistence layers and queuing services and has been battle-tested in production at Netflix. Conductor provides powerful flow control constructs, client libraries in multiple languages, and a distributed scalable architecture. It features a bundled UI with an integrated interface to create, refine, and validate workflows. It also has a full-featured API for custom automations.

“Accelerationism” is an overdue corrective to years of doom and gloom in Silicon Valley (30 minute read)

E/acc, or effective accelerationism, is a movement that is growing within the tech hivemind. Its founders believe that the tech world has become captive to a monoculture that is preventing it from producing meaningful benefits. E/acc encourages more ideas, growth, competition, and action. It is acting like a counterbalancing force to widespread public concerns about the risks posed by the tech industry at large. This article looks into the origins of e/acc and its impact on the tech industry.

On the Proposed California SB 1047 (20 minute read)

This article looks at the proposed California SB 1047, a bill designed to regulate AI from a state level, examining the impact that it will have on the industry.

OpenAI experiments with giving ChatGPT a long-term conversation memory (3 minute read)

OpenAI is experimenting with adding a form of long-term memory to ChatGPT. Users will be able to ask the chatbot to remember something, see what it remembers, and ask it to forget. The feature is currently available to a small number of users for testing. OpenAI hasn't revealed what technique it is using for the system, but the implementation is similar to that of Custom Instructions, a feature that was introduced in July last year.

Is OpenAI the next challenger trying to take on Google Search? (1 minute read)

OpenAI is working on a web search to compete more directly with Google. It is unclear if the product will be standalone or part of ChatGPT. Competition in the search space is filling up quickly with the addition of Copilot on Bing, newcomers like Perplexity, and Google's Gemini Copilot. A YouTube Short featuring Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talking about competing with Google is available in the article.

The rise of virtual influencers (15 minute read)

Virtual influencers are digital characters used in social media and marketing campaigns to engage with real audiences.