Top tech news stories today: April 8, 2024

Get ready for today’s tech frenzy. Dive into Hong Kong’s explosive Web3 surge, Apple’s retro gaming revival, Elon Musk’s fiery clash over Brazil’s X accounts, and a whole lot more exciting updates.

Fintech

1. Over 220 Web3 companies settle in Hong Kong, boosting virtual asset development

Hong Kong hosts over 220 Web3 companies from 20 countries, focusing on virtual asset exchanges, blockchain infrastructure, and payment services. The government, led by Deputy Secretary Edmond Huang, is modifying laws for formal oversight of virtual asset trading, aiming to allow intermediary institutions to offer a range of virtual asset services. (Blockchain.News)

2. Political campaigns in South Korea offer crypto perks, target bitcoin ETF access

South Korea’s upcoming parliamentary election sees political campaigns tapping into the country’s thriving crypto market to court voters. The People Power Party vows to delay digital-asset taxes, while the Democratic Party advocates for lifting ETF restrictions, including those on US Bitcoin products, amid regulatory concerns over brokering such products locally. (Cryptonews)

IT infrastructure

3. Noor Al-Sulaiti to lead Google Cloud’s cybersecurity business development in Meta

Google Cloud appoints Noor Al-Sulaiti as head of security business development and government relations for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa. Al-Sulaiti aims to bolster cybersecurity in the region through strategic partnerships with governments. (Capacity)

4. Palantir, Oracle partner for AI and cloud computing services

Palantir Technologies and Oracle join forces to offer AI software on Oracle’s cloud platform. Palantir stock rose briefly but closed down with Nasdaq’s fall. (Investor’s Business Daily)

Social

5. Apple cuts jobs after dropping self-driving car plans

Apple has axed more than 600 jobs after allegedly abandoning its self-driving car ambitions. The majority of layoffs stem from the California site dedicated to the now-defunct project. (BBC)

6. Musk challenges Brazil’s order to block certain X accounts

Elon Musk publicly criticised a decision by a Brazilian Supreme Court justice, Alexandre de Moraes, who ordered Musk’s social media platform X to block certain accounts. Musk called for Moraes’s resignation, accusing him of repeatedly violating the Brazilian constitution. (Reuters)

Apps

7. Musk-led X changes course, gives away blue ticks to popular users for free

Elon Musk, owner of X, offers free premium features, including coveted blue verification checkmarks, to select high-profile users with over 2,500 followers. Users noticed the reemergence of blue checkmarks on their profiles this week. (Business Standard)

8. Apple officially allows retro game emulators on the App Store

Apple’s updated guidelines allow retro gaming console emulator apps on the App Store, permitting downloadable games. Previously banned, this change may reduce the need for jailbreaking or sideloading. Developers must ensure compliance with guidelines and laws to avoid piracy. (Engadget)

9. X challenges Brazil’s ‘forced’ order to block certain accounts

X discloses it is compelled by court rulings to block specific popular accounts in Brazil. Owner Elon Musk voices concern over potential revenue loss and office closures in response. The company faces legal constraints in revealing details of the impacted accounts and risks daily fines for non-compliance. (Reuters)

AI

10. Google using AI to come up with search answers in UK trial

Google is testing AI-generated search answers in the UK following US trials. Initially available to a small subset of logged-in users, the feature aims to provide concise overviews. (BBC)

11. Meta will require labels on more AI-generated content

Meta unveils plans to enhance transparency in AI-generated content by introducing a “Made with AI” label on Instagram, Facebook, and Threads from May onwards. This update stems from feedback from Meta’s oversight board and expands labeling to various media formats. (The Verge)

12. China plans to disrupt US elections using AI-generated content, Microsoft claims

Microsoft’s threat intelligence team anticipates heightened AI-generated disinformation campaigns from Beijing to influence major 2024 elections. Microsoft warns of AI-generated content designed to sway public opinion, signaling a growing threat to global democratic processes. (AI News)

13. OpenAI and Google trained AI models on YouTube videos

OpenAI and Google transcribed YouTube videos to enhance AI training, potentially breaching creators’ copyrights. OpenAI used Whisper to transcribe over a million hours for GPT-4, while Google, YouTube’s owner, also employed video transcriptions. (Mashable)

AR/VR

14. Facebook puts wearers’ actual 3D eyes on VR headset to make talking to people less ‘jarring’ and ‘unnatural’

Facebook’s Reality Labs debuts “reverse passthrough,” allowing users to see the eyes of AR/VR headset wearers. Developed by research scientist Nathan Matsuda, it enhances social interaction in mixed reality environments. (Independent)

IoT

15. Telit Cinterion launches GNSS module with centimetre accuracy

Telit Cinterion unveils the SE868K5-RTK, a GNSS receiver module providing centimetre-level positioning accuracy. It uses advanced RTK technology and support for multiple satellite constellations to meet diverse IoT demands. (IoT news)

Sylvia-Shen

Sylvia Shen

Sylvia Shen, a news reporter at BTW media dedicated in Fintech and Blockchain. She graduated from University of California, Davis. Send tips to s.shen@btw.media.

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