Top tech stories today: December 11, 2023

No need to sift through the web for crucial stories – we’ve got you covered. Here are the key global technology highlights for December 11, 2023.

1. Google’s AI note-taking app is now available to users in the US

Google has unveiled two new hardware products, Notebook LM and Gemini Pro, as reported by The Verge. The Notebook LM is a slim and lightweight laptop featuring Google’s energy-efficient in-house chip, designed to deliver exceptional performance and extended battery life. The Gemini Pro is a tablet running Google’s operating system, equipped with a large touchscreen and stylus support, catering to professional users seeking an efficient work and creative environment.(The Verge)

2. Amazon will no longer accept Venmo as a payment option starting next month

Amazon has stopped accepting Venmo as a payment method, according to a report on Yahoo Finance. This decision marks a shift in the e-commerce giant’s payment acceptance policies. Previously, Venmo, a popular peer-to-peer payment platform, was an option for users making purchases on Amazon. The move has sparked speculation about the potential implications for both Amazon and Venmo users, raising questions about changes in partnerships or strategic directions for these financial services. (Yahoo Finance)

3. Apple has seemingly found a way to block Android’s new iMessage app

Apple has reportedly blocked Beeper Mini, an Android app designed to bring iMessage to non-Apple devices. The app, developed by a former Apple engineer, aimed to bridge the gap between Apple’s iMessage and Android devices. However, Apple’s move to block the app raises questions about the tech giant’s stance on interoperability and competition within the messaging ecosystem. The decision may impact users seeking cross-platform messaging solutions, highlighting the ongoing challenges of integrating Apple services with non-Apple platforms.(The Verge)

4. Spotify slashes staff to move faster into AI – and Wall Street loves it

Spotify is making a significant bet on artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance its podcast platform. The streaming giant plans to leverage AI technology to improve podcast recommendations, catering to individual user preferences. This strategic move by Spotify underscores the growing importance of personalized content delivery in the competitive streaming landscape. The integration of AI into their podcast platform aims to offer users a more tailored and engaging listening experience, showcasing Spotify’s commitment to innovation in the ever-evolving digital audio space.(CNN)

5. Nvidia CEO aims to set up a base in Vietnam

NVIDIA, the global semiconductor and technology company, is reportedly exploring investment opportunities in Vietnam, as per a DealStreetAsia report. The company is said to be in talks with Vietnamese authorities to discuss potential collaborations and investment projects. This move reflects NVIDIA’s interest in tapping into the growing technology market in Vietnam, aligning with the country’s ambitions to boost its tech industry. The discussions suggest a potential expansion of NVIDIA’s presence in the region, marking a strategic move to capitalize on Vietnam’s evolving tech landscape.(Dealstreetasia)

6. Meta identifies Chinese propaganda threat ahead of 2024 election

Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, is facing scrutiny over concerns of its platform being used for spreading Chinese propaganda and misinformation targeting the U.S. democracy, particularly in the context of the upcoming 2024 election. The article discusses how Meta is grappling with the challenge of managing deceptive content originating from Chinese state-run media and other sources. The report highlights the broader issue of tech platforms navigating the fine line between free expression and combating disinformation, raising questions about the potential impact on democratic processes.(CNN)

7. X discusses using Amazon’s ad-buying software

Alphabet’s secretive R&D unit, X, is reportedly in talks to use Amazon’s ad-buying software, signaling an unexpected collaboration between the two tech giants. This suggests a strategic move to explore synergies. The potential adoption of Amazon’s tools by Alphabet raises questions about evolving dynamics and partnerships in the competitive tech landscape(TheStar)

8. Researchers made VR goggles for mice to study how their brains respond to swooping predators

Researchers have developed virtual reality (VR) goggles for mice to study their brain responses to swooping predators, according to a report on Yahoo Finance. The innovative technology allows scientists to observe and analyze how mice process and react to visual stimuli in a controlled VR environment. This advancement in experimental tools provides insights into the neural mechanisms involved in threat perception and could have implications for understanding broader aspects of sensory processing in animals. The study showcases the application of VR technology in probing intricate aspects of brain function and behavior in a controlled laboratory setting.(Yahoo Finance)

9. Snapchat+ keeps growing as net revenue tops $20M for first time

Snapchat demonstrates consistent growth with a notable increase in net revenue, signaling sustained popularity and effective user engagement. This financial success underscores Snapchat’s ability to successfully monetize its user base, positioning the platform as a formidable player in the competitive social media landscape. The positive trajectory reflects both resilience and continued appeal to advertisers.(Yahoo Finance)

10. Merck Navigates Chip Geopolitics With ‘China For China’ Strategy

Merck is strategically managing semiconductor geopolitics in China, adapting to the global chip shortage. The company is reevaluating its supply chain strategy by forming partnerships with local Chinese chipmakers. This approach emphasizes collaboration amidst geopolitical challenges, showcasing a broader trend of companies adapting to ensure a resilient supply chain in the dynamic semiconductor market.(Yahoo Finance)

11. ContactMonkey lands $55M investment to grow its email software for internal comms

ContactMonkey has successfully secured a $55 million investment for expansion, as reported. The funding is earmarked to support the growth plans of ContactMonkey, with a specific focus on advancing its email tracking and analytics services. This substantial investment reflects a strong vote of confidence from investors in ContactMonkey’s capabilities and the growing demand for tools that enhance email communication in professional settings. The significant funding infusion is anticipated to propel the company’s development and strengthen its position in the market, underscoring the importance of email-centric solutions in the continually evolving landscape of professional communication technologies.(Yahoo Finance)

12. Whatsapp adds disappearing voice messages to its roster of privacy features

WhatsApp has incorporated disappearing voice messages into its array of privacy features. Users now have the option to send voice messages that automatically vanish after a single playback. This addition aligns with WhatsApp’s dedication to granting users greater control over their communication, reinforcing the platform’s emphasis on privacy. The introduction of this feature reflects the ongoing trend in messaging apps to provide innovative and privacy-focused options, enhancing the overall user experience in the digital communication landscape.(Yahoo Finance)


Ivy Wu

Ivy Wu was a media reporter at btw media. She graduated from Korea University with a major in media and communication, and has rich experience in reporting and news writing.

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