Top tech news stories today: May 15, 2024

From Google’s revolutionary Trillium chip and Meta’s strategic pivot to AI and the metaverse, to Elon Musk’s xAI securing a massive Oracle deal and the transformative Internet of Things Solutions World Congress in Barcelona, stay ahead with today’s top tech stories.

Fintech

1. Exclusive: North Korea laundered $147.5 mln in stolen crypto in March, say UN experts

North Korea laundered $147.5 million through Tornado Cash in March after stealing it from a cryptocurrency exchange last year. U.N. monitors are investigating 97 suspected North Korean cyberattacks on cryptocurrency companies between 2017 and 2024, totaling approximately $3.6 billion in theft. (U.S. News)

IT infrastructure

2. Google launches Trillium chip, improving AI data centre performance fivefold

Google’s parent Alphabet introduced Trillium, a new AI data centre chip nearly five times faster than its predecessor. CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted the exponential growth in machine learning demand. The Trillium chip, more energy-efficient and powerful, will be available to cloud customers in late 2024. (Yahoo!Finance)

3. Amazon’s cloud unit chief to step down after three years

Adam Selipsky, head of Amazon Web Services (AWS), will step down on June 3, 2024, after three years. Matt Garman, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at AWS, will replace him. Under Selipsky, AWS doubled its sales and operating income. He leaves to spend more time with family. (Reuters)

4. US agency settles probes into America Movil undersea cable system

The FCC resolved investigations into unauthorised America Movil Submarine Cable System connections to Colombia and Costa Rica. LATAM Telecommunications and Puerto Rico Telephone Company will each pay $1 million in penalties for bypassing required national security reviews. The FCC highlighted the importance of scrutinising undersea cables for security risks. (Yahoo!Finance)

5. IQ Fiber expands into Florida

IQ Fiber completed Phase 1 network deployment, serving over 60,000 residences in Jacksonville. Expansion continues in Arlington, Ft. Caroline, Ponte Vedra, and Fruit Cove, plus San Pablo and Intracoastal West. It now serves over 100 private communities and launched in Gainesville, marking its first expansion outside Jacksonville. The company has grown to over 140 employees. (Capacity)

6. ITW exclusive: CMC launches marketplace to simplify connectivity pricing

CMC Networks will launch CMC Marketplace at ITW 2024, offering the most extensive service catalogue for African and Middle Eastern carriers. This platform simplifies on-demand connectivity pricing and procurement across 60 countries, providing automated pricing for over 10 million locations. It’s designed to enhance business operations and transparency in these regions. (Capacity)

Tech trends

7. Meta to shut Workplace app to focus on AI, metaverse

Meta announced the shutdown of its Workplace app to focus on AI and the metaverse. Existing users can access Workplace until August 31, 2025, then transition to Zoom’s Workvivo. Meta aims to reshape work through AI and metaverse investments, despite recent AI chatbot mishaps. (CBS News)

8. Small US businesses fear TikTok ban after it turbocharged sales

Paul and Lynda Tran’s skincare brand, @loveandpebble, went viral on TikTok, skyrocketing their business. Now, they’re worried about a new U.S. law banning TikTok if ByteDance doesn’t divest. This law threatens small businesses thriving on TikTok, as American platforms haven’t provided the same opportunities for viral success. (Star Advertiser)

9. Android apps will soon let you use your face to control your cursor

Google has open-sourced Project Gameface, a hands-free gaming mouse controlled by facial gestures, for Android developers. Initially for gamers, it enables cursor control via facial expressions and head movements. Google plans to expand its use beyond gaming, partnering with Incluzza for broader accessibility applications in work, school, and social settings. (The Verge)

AI

10. Elon Musk’s xAI nears $10 bln deal to rent Oracle’s AI servers, the information reports

Elon Musk’s xAI is negotiating a $10 billion cloud server deal with Oracle, aiming to become one of its largest customers. This move supports xAI’s goal to rival OpenAI and Google. Talks are ongoing without a guaranteed deal. xAI plans to launch an enhanced chatbot, Grok, soon. (The Star)

11. OpenAI unveils new AI model as competition heats up

OpenAI announced GPT-4o, a new AI model with advanced voice conversation and text-image interaction capabilities. Users can engage in realistic, real-time voice conversations with ChatGPT, even interrupting it, enhancing the natural interaction experience. This launch aims to keep OpenAI at the forefront of AI technology. (Economic Times)

AR/VR

12. Google & HP partner to productise ‘Starline’ light-field display for videoconferencing

Google is partnering with HP to commercialise Project Starline, a light-field display for immersive, headset-free video conferencing, in 2025. The aim is to enhance workplace connectivity and eventually integrate with Google Meet and Zoom. Initially unveiled in 2021, Starline has evolved from a large booth to a slimmer, more practical unit. (Road Tovr)

IoT

13. NetBurner unveils new flexible SOMRT1061 System-on-Module for industrial IoT applications

NetBurner launches the SOMRT1061 System-on-Module (SOM), a compact, high-performance solution ideal for main system processors, network sub-processors, and encrypted Serial to Ethernet servers. Featuring an NXP i.MX RT1061 ARM Cortex M7 processor, dual Ethernet, USB, and 7 UARTs, it offers exceptional connectivity and security. (Yahoo!Finance)

14. Barcelona offers the latest revolutionary technologies for industrial transformation

The 8th Internet of Things Solutions World Congress (IOTSWC) will be held from May 21-23 in Barcelona, featuring over 300 companies and 250 experts. The event will showcase innovations in IoT, AI, 5G, and more, focusing on transforming the industrial sector. Concurrently, the Barcelona Cybersecurity Conference will address digital security challenges. (Hardwood Paroxysm)

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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