Facebook let Netflix see user DMs, quit streaming to keep Netflix happy (2 minute read)

Facebook Watch, announced in 2017, never really took off. Recently revealed documents show the company's plans for the platform and how it was confident in its ability to compete with Netflix. Mark Zuckerberg abruptly announced a change in strategy in May 2018, suddenly slashing the budget for the platform. He claimed the budget changes were based on his knowledge of the company's strategy and financial outlook. Months later, Facebook and Netflix announced a new data-sharing agreement that involved Netflix reaching $200 million in advertising spend by 2019. The companies also had a data-sharing agreement that may have allowed Netflix to access Facebook users' private messages.

Valkey: The Open Source Alternative to Redis Backed by AWS, Google, Oracle (5 minute read)

Valkey is a high-performance data structure server that primarily serves key/value workloads. It is an open-source fork of the popular Redis data store. The project started as Redis Labs, the company behind the original Redis codebase, changed Redis to more restrictive licensing. The Valkey fork has assembled an impressive roster of maintainers and contributors and has wide-ranging industry support.

Google says Apple is bringing RCS to the iPhone in ‘fall of 2024’ (2 minute read)

The Android website has added a new landing page for Google Messages which notes that RCS is coming to the iPhone in the fall of 2024. It is not clear whether RCS will arrive with the initial release of iOS 18 or in an update in the last few months of the year. The updated landing page also notes that animated emoji reactions are coming soon to RCS. Screenshots of the landing page are available in the article.

Google now indexing Bitcoin’s blockchain to show wallet balances (2 minute read)

Google Search can now display balances for wallets on the Bitcoin, Arbitrum, Avalanche, Fantom, Optimism, and Polygon networks.

Microsoft Reportedly Building ‘Stargate' to Transport OpenAI Into the Future (2 minute read)

Microsoft is planning to build a $100 billion supercomputer called Stargate to power OpenAI's next generation of artificial intelligence systems. Stargate could take up several hundred acres of land and require up to 5 gigawatts of power. The facility could open as soon as 2028. Its creation is largely dependent on whether OpenAI can deliver its next major AI upgrade, which is reportedly due in early 2025.

Linux could have been brought down by backdoor found in widely used utility (4 minute read)

A supply-chain attack involving obfuscated malicious code in the xz package was discovered by a developer at Microsoft who noticed a small 600ms delay with SSH processes when doing some routine micro-benchmarking. The account that made the offending commits seemingly played the long game, slowly gaining the trust of xz's developer before injecting the attack. The attack allows for the interception and modification of data used with the library, allowing malicious actors to break sshd authentication and gain access to affected systems. The situation is developing and more vulnerabilities could be discovered.

xzbot (GitHub Repo)

xzbot is a toolkit for exploring the xz backdoor. It includes a fake vulnerable server to detect exploit attempts, a patch, a format of the backdoor payload, and a tool to trigger the exploit. A list of references for more information on the exploit is available.

How Stability AI’s Founder Tanked His Billion-Dollar Startup (27 minute read)

Stability AI has been running out of money for months and its founder, Emad Mostaque, had been unable to secure enough additional funding. When Mostaque took the stage at the Terranea Resort two weeks ago, the company had defaulted on payments to Amazon and several key staff had resigned or were threatening to resign. Mostaque himself resigned four days later, after fighting to maintain his position and control despite mounting internal and external pressure to step down. This article tells the story in detail, from Stability AI's beginnings to its current problems and what's in store for the company next.

Google agrees to destroy browsing data collected in Incognito mode (2 minute read)

Google has agreed to destroy or de-identify billions of web browsing data records collected from Incognito mode users as part of a proposed class action settlement. The settlement also mandates greater disclosure from the company about how it collects information in Incognito mode and puts limits on future data collection. The proposed settlement has been valued at around $5 billion, with plaintiffs receiving zero in damages unless they individually file claims.

Yahoo is buying Artifact, the AI news app from the Instagram co-founders (4 minute read)

Yahoo is acquiring Artifact’s tech rather than its team - Artifact's co-founders will be 'special advisors' for Yahoo but won't be joining the company and the company's five remaining employees have either gotten other jobs or are planning to take some time off.

DALL-E now lets you edit images in ChatGPT (2 minute read)

OpenAI's DALL-E now offers image editing tools both on the web and on mobile. There are preset style suggestions to help inspire image creation. The image generation platform has been integrated with ChatGPT - users can now edit DALL-E images in ChatGPT across web, iOS, and Android. Videos from OpenAI showing off the new features are available in the article.

The State of Generative AI, 2024 (11 minute read)

The generative AI industry looks like it is facing many issues, but there is still a lot of hype, many people have found a use case for the technology and are using it, and research continues to push the field further at a fast pace.