Top tech stories today: December 29, 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 29, 2023.

1. Microsoft’s next surface laptops to introduce AI capabilities

Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 will debut as Microsoft’s first “AI PCs,” boasting a next-gen neural processing unit. Options include Arm models with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X chips and Intel versions with 14th-gen chips. Expect improved performance, battery life, and security. Release slated for next year, with potential design changes in 2025. (The Verge)

2. Amazon to produce on-site hydrogen fuel

Amazon teams up with Plug Power to install electrolyzers at its Colorado fulfillment center, aiming to manufacture hydrogen for vehicle power. This aligns with Amazon’s eco-friendly goals, utilizing hydrogen’s clean combustion and sidestepping environmental challenges in traditional hydrogen production. (Slashdot)

3. Apple resumes Apple Watch sales amid ban pause

Sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 are back as a federal appeals court temporarily lifts the US ban. The court allows Apple to sell the watches while awaiting decisions on proposed modifications and the patent dispute, with a ruling expected on January 12th. (The Verge)

4. Google settles $5 billion privacy lawsuit

Google agrees to settle a $5 billion consumer-privacy lawsuit alleging secret tracking of users, even in “Incognito” mode. Plaintiffs claim Google’s analytics, cookies, and apps collected data on friends, shopping habits, and potentially embarrassing searches. Settlement terms undisclosed, but formal approval expected by Feb. 24, 2024. (Market Watch)

5. Baidu’s Ernie Bot hits 100 million users

Baidu’s Ernie Bot, similar to ChatGPT, surpasses 100 million users after its public launch in August. Despite an underwhelming partial unveiling in March, it gained a first-mover advantage in a competitive market, with its score of 79.02 leading Chinese chatbots but trailing ChatGPT’s latest version by over 10 points. (The Business Times)

6. Musk’s X loses bid against content moderation law

US judge rejects Alibaba’s dismissal bid in the lawsuit by Kelly Toys over counterfeit Squishmallows sales on Alibaba’s platforms. Allegations include Alibaba’s knowledge and contribution to copyright infringement. The case proceeds with accusations of supporting merchants selling fake products. (Bloomberg)

7. Eagers automotive faces operational setback post cybersecurity incident

Australia’s Eagers Automotive grapples with operational challenges after a cyber incident affects IT systems, hampering the finalization of transactions for certain new vehicles. The impact varies across regions, with deferred transactions expected to influence fiscal 2023 profits but not deemed material. Confidence remains in achieving a record operating profit. (The Star)

8. Israeli Startups Secure $1.5B in Q4, $7B in 2023

Israeli high-tech startups concluded Q4 by raising $1.5 billion, contributing to an impressive annual total of $7 billion in 2023. The nation’s tech ecosystem continues to attract substantial investment, reflecting its innovation-driven landscape and the global interest in Israeli technological advancements. (Telecom)

9. Xiaomi unveils first electric car, aims for automotive dominance

Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has revealed its inaugural electric vehicle (EV), signaling its entry into the automotive industry. With ambitions to become a leading automaker, Xiaomi joins the growing list of technology companies venturing into the EV market, showcasing a sleek vehicle to compete in the ever-evolving electric mobility landscape. (Reuters)

10. Cathie Wood shifts bitcoin holdings, dumps grayscale

Cathie Wood’s ARK Next Generation Internet ETF sells Grayscale Bitcoin Trust shares due to uncertainty over its ETF conversion. ARK buys ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF amid the industry’s anticipation of the first U.S. spot-Bitcoin ETF approval, with regulatory decisions expected in January. (Yahoo)


Elma Yuan

Elma Yuan was a junior reporter at BTW media interested in media and communication.

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