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  • 🚫 Apple Watch Sales Ban Continues Despite Firm's Efforts

🚫 Apple Watch Sales Ban Continues Despite Firm's Efforts

+ Tech Layoff Shifts | Adobe Drops Figma | WhatsApp-Instagram Plans

Greetings Technology Enthusiasts,

Today is December 22, 2023, and here is a sneak-peak of today’s update:

  • Apple Watch Ban - Sales halt continues.

  • Tech Layoff Shifts - Diverse career transitions.

  • Adobe Drops Figma - Acquisition plans scrapped.

  • Local AI Advantages - Why it matters.

  • AI Privacy Concerns - ChatGPT and Google Bard under scrutiny.

  • Google Ad AI Risk - AI's impact on ad sales.

  • 2024 Apple GPT - iPhone experience upgrade.

  • Market Volatility - Treasury rate effects.

  • Beeper vs Apple - iMessage issue resolved.

  • WhatsApp-Instagram Plans - New cross-posting features.

  • and more…

As we approach the festive season, we're adjusting our publishing schedule to embrace the holiday spirit. Please note that our newsletter will have a reduced frequency during the Christmas holiday. Expect the next update to arrive between December 26-28, provided there's enough significant news to share.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 🎄

Spotlight*

*Sponsored

Tech Companies

Apple Watch Sales Ban Continues Despite Firm's Efforts (3-minute read)

Apple has failed in its efforts to prevent a sales ban on its Apple Watch, a significant setback in their latest legal woes. The implications for consumer tech, social media, and the crypto industry remain to be seen.

More

Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 have been discontinued from Apple’s online store due to a patent conflict with medical device firm, Masimo. The blood oxygen feature infringes two of Masimo’s patents, prompting the ITC to enact a ban effective December 25. Apple plans to appeal and is considering a software change to overcome the issue. The ban only affects the US with some quantities available on alternate outlets such as Amazon or Best Buy.

💡 Why this matters: Apple's failed attempt to halt the Apple Watch sales ban may potentially disrupt the wearable tech market dynamics, resulting in increased competition, and catalyze regulatory debates around patent rights and intellectual property in the tech sector.

Massive Tech Layoffs Lead to Diverse Career Shifts: The Hidden Story (10-minute read)

Following mass layoffs at US tech giants such as Google, Microsoft and Meta, over 100,000 employees have been seeking new jobs. While some have found positions in smaller tech firms, a considerable proportion have migrated to other industries like consulting, finance, and healthcare. Others are taking advantage of severance packages and savings to take a career break, reflecting on their self-worth and exploring entrepreneurial avenues.

Unveiled: Adobe's Shocking Reasons for Abandoning Figma Deal (8-minute read)

Adobe has called off its $20 billion acquisition of Figma citing potential competitive issues flagged by European and UK regulators. Adobe General Counsel, Dana Rao, revealed that the inability to assure regulators that the business deal wouldn't harm future competition played a significant role in their decision. The regulators were more concerned about the companies' future competition scenarios, leading Adobe to eventually conclude the deal wasn't worth pursuing.

Startup Scene

ShareChat's $50M Round Slashes Valuation as Investors Flinch (7-minute read)

Indian social network startup ShareChat is in advanced talks for $50 million funding that could reduce its valuation to below $1.5 billion, a sharp fall from its earlier $4.9 billion. Existing investors Temasek and Tencent may partake in this new round.

💡 Why this matters: ShareChat's valuation cut amid new funding signals potential challenges for emerging social networks in India, revealing saturated short-video market and the struggle to convert user base into substantial revenue. Downward pressure in startup valuation adjustments globally may indicate a market recalibration in tech valuations.

AI Corner

Unveiling the Advantages of Running AI Locally on Your Machine (7-minute read)

Generative AI engines like ChatGPT and Google Bard can now be run locally, offering benefits like improved privacy and unhindered availability. To run these engines, a Large Language Model (LLM) and a supporting program like LM Studio are needed. The LLMs, including GPT-4 and Gemini, mimic human language patterns and are publicly accessible, allowing for innovation and increased transparency. Compatibility and system requirements factor into the selection of an LLM. LM Studio's straightforward setup and public accessibility foster an easy start for beginners.

💡 Why this matters: The ability to run generative AI like ChatGPT and Google Bard locally could democratize AI development, potentially fostering innovation and transparency. Companies and individuals without large-scale infrastructure now have access to Large Language Models (LLM) for personalized applications, altering the AI development landscape.

Unmasking Data Privacy Nightmares in ChatGPT and Google Bard (8-minute read)

Language models such as ChatGPT and Google Bard present significant privacy issues, potentially trained on private information found publicly. These models have raised concerns over managed data and its use in AI training. Despite confidentiality breaches, options for users concerned about their data usage are limited. Moreover, confidential data users enter about themselves or their companies are used as training data, exposing sensitive information. Despite opting out of data collection and training, chats are held for 30 days, increasing the risk of data leaks.

AI May Replace Google's Major Ad Sales Positions: Here's Why (8-minute read)

Google is reportedly using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate some Ad sales jobs, resulting in potential staff consolidation and layoffs. The technology giant's AI tools, such as its Performance Max feature, are said to be able to generate relevant content for ads and monitor performance, outweighing the need for human supervision. This shift may affect a portion of Google's 13,500-strong ad sales workforce, although exact details will emerge next month, according to the report.

Revolutionary Apple GPT Poised to Enhance iPhone Experience in 2024 (7-minute read)

Apple is reportedly investing heavily in its language learning model, Apple GPT. The tech giant plans to use this model to improve Siri's capabilities and make shortcuts more accessible. Notably, this tech will feature on-device usage, emphasizing privacy, which distinguishes it from other learning models mainly relying on cloud-based solutions. Apple researchers' innovative methods could increase processing speed, enabling larger AI models to run even on devices with limited memory.

Markets & Money

Rising Volatility Amid Lowered Treasury Rates: Market's Scramble for Stability (15-minute read)

U.S. equity benchmarks recovered from a brief midweek downturn on Thursday, with the Dow Jones nearing a record high amid falling Treasury yields and indications of easing inflation. The market's rally was led by Micron Technology, which reported a robust quarter resulting in a near 9% surge. Despite this, volatility indicators reached the highest levels since mid-November, adding to market uncertainties. Schwab's Director of Trading and Education, Joe Mazzola, suggests the stock market may consolidate in the holiday periods and into 2024, with potential for increased volatility influenced by changes in bond yields and interest rate expectations.

Salesforce Sweeps Up Commission Management Platform Spiff: What You Need to Know (4-minute read)

Salesforce plans to acquire Spiff, a platform that simplifies commission management for sales teams. Once the deal is completed in early 2024, Spiff's automation capabilities will be integrated into Salesforce's Sales Performance Management software. This is part of an ongoing trend for Salesforce, which often brings in-house the ecosystem companies it previously invested in.

Warner Bros. Discovery Shares Dip Amid Paramount Merger Rumors (2-minute read)

Warner Bros. Discovery stocks suffered a decline following rumors of merger discussions with Paramount. The situation is still developing and updates are pending.

Apps & Gadgets

Beeper Ends Battle Against Apple, Reveals Final Fix for iMessage (7-minute read)

Beeper has revealed its final fix to access Apple's iMessage after previous attempts were impeded by the tech giant. The complex solution involves pairing a mobile device with a Mac or older iPhone. Despite the possible end to the Beeper Mini app if Apple counters this latest fix, the company remains positive about its main chat app, pledging to make significant improvements by 2024.

WhatsApp Leans Towards Integrating Instagram Features: New Cross-Post Options on Horizon (7-minute read)

WhatsApp is developing a deeper integration with Instagram, allowing users to cross-post status updates between both platforms. Accessible through linked accounts in WhatsApp settings, the new functionality retains independent privacy controls for each platform. Instagram presently supports cross-posting to Facebook, and a similar WhatsApp integration was under progress earlier this month.

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