Technology

Apple Vision Pro Review: First Headset Lacks Polish and Purpose
Technology

Apple Vision Pro Review: First Headset Lacks Polish and Purpose

About 17 years ago, Steve Jobs took the stage at a San Francisco convention center and said he was introducing three products: an iPod, a phone and an internet browser.“These are not three separate devices,” he said. “This is one device, and we are calling it iPhone.”At $500, the first iPhone was relatively expensive, but I was eager to dump my mediocre Motorola flip phone and splurge. There were flaws — including sluggish cellular internet speeds. But the iPhone delivered on its promises.Over the last week, I’ve had a very different experience with a new first-generation product from Apple: the Vision Pro, a virtual reality headset that resembles a pair of ski goggles. The $3,500 wearable computer, which was released Friday, uses cameras so you can see the outside world while juggling app...
Meta Calls for Industry Effort to Label A.I.-Generated Content
Technology

Meta Calls for Industry Effort to Label A.I.-Generated Content

Last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, called a nascent effort to detect artificially generated content “the most urgent task” facing the tech industry today.On Tuesday, Mr. Clegg proposed a solution. Meta said it would promote technological standards that companies across the industry could use to recognize markers in photo, video and audio material that would signal that the content was generated using artificial intelligence.The standards could allow social media companies to quickly identify content generated with A.I. that has been posted to their platforms and allow them to add a label to that material. If adopted widely, the standards could help identify A.I.-generated content from companies like Google, OpenAI ...
Anxiety, Mood Swings and Sleepless Nights: Life Near a Bitcoin Mine
Technology

Anxiety, Mood Swings and Sleepless Nights: Life Near a Bitcoin Mine

On a sweltering July evening, the din from thousands of computers mining for Bitcoins pierced the night. Nearby, Matt Brown, a member of the Arkansas legislature, monitored the noise alongside a local magistrate.As the two men investigated complaints about the operation, Mr. Brown said, a security guard for the mine loaded rounds into an AR-15-style assault rifle that had been stored in a car.“He wanted to make sure that we knew he had his gun — that we knew it was loaded,” Mr. Brown, a Republican, said in an interview.The Bitcoin outfit here, 45 minutes north of Little Rock, is one of three sites in Arkansas owned by a network of companies embroiled in tense disputes with residents, who say the noise generated by computers performing trillions of calculations per second ruins lives, lower...
He’s Lost His Marriage, His Followers and His Lamborghini
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He’s Lost His Marriage, His Followers and His Lamborghini

With its streamlined curves and glow-in-the-dark sound system, the silver Lamborghini Huracán Performante was the stuff of teenage fantasy: $350,000 of aerodynamic metals and lightweight upholstery, packed into a taut and powerful body. Ben Armstrong loved it dearly.When he started shopping for a Lamborghini, Mr. Armstrong, a cryptocurrency evangelist with more than one million YouTube subscribers, worried that he’d have to spend months searching. “I think I have to go to Italy to get the Lambo I want,” he texted a business partner. “I don’t want to compromise.” But fate smiled on him. In the fall of 2021, a car dealership in Charlotte, N.C., shipped the Huracán to Mr. Armstrong’s production studio in an Atlanta suburb.As the Lamborghini was lowered from a delivery truck, Mr. Armstrong, be...
Elon Musk’s $50 Billion Tesla Pay Was Struck Down. What Happens Next?
Technology

Elon Musk’s $50 Billion Tesla Pay Was Struck Down. What Happens Next?

A Delaware judge’s decision to void the pay package that helped make Elon Musk the world’s richest person leaves Tesla’s board with some difficult decisions to make.Chancellor Kathaleen St. J. McCormick of the Delaware Court of Chancery on Tuesday ordered Tesla to cancel stock options awarded to Mr. Musk, the electric car company’s chief executive, worth about $50 billion. Now the company’s directors must figure out a new compensation plan that can pass legal muster and satisfy Mr. Musk, who recently demanded that the board substantially increase his ownership of Tesla.Tesla and Mr. Musk could appeal the court decision. Mr. Musk on Thursday said he would seek to incorporate the company in Texas, a state that he believes could be more hospitable to businesses. What happens to Mr. Musk’s sto...
Microsoft Reports 33% Rise in Profit
Technology

Microsoft Reports 33% Rise in Profit

Two weeks ago, Microsoft topped Apple as the most valuable public company. Last week, it surpassed $3 trillion in market valuation. Next week, Satya Nadella will hit his 10th anniversary as the company’s chief executive.For Microsoft, the pressure to keep delivering is on.In particular, investors are looking for the company to cash in on what they see as its lead in artificial intelligence. It has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI, the start-up behind the ChatGPT chatbot, and spent last year racing to push its A.I. systems into every product it offers. Microsoft has told investors that A.I. will not start producing meaningful results until this year, but investors have looked for early signs of how much the hype will turn into sales.On Tuesday, Microsoft gave signs that it is finding ...
Ring to Stop Allowing Police to Request Videos From Security Cameras
Technology

Ring to Stop Allowing Police to Request Videos From Security Cameras

Ring, a home security camera company owned by Amazon, said that it would stop letting police departments request users’ footage in its app amid longstanding concerns from privacy advocates about the company’s relationship with law enforcement.Eric Kuhn, the general manager of subscriptions and software for the Ring app Neighbors, announced on Wednesday that the company was shutting down a feature that allowed the police to request and receive videos from users of the app, a social platform similar to Nextdoor and Citizen where people can share alerts about crime near their home.Mr. Kuhn did not say why Ring was eliminating the app feature, which allowed the police to ask the public for help with active investigations under a special category of posts called “Request for Assistance.”People ...
23andMe Breach Targeted Jewish and Chinese Customers, Lawsuit Says
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23andMe Breach Targeted Jewish and Chinese Customers, Lawsuit Says

The genetic testing company 23andMe is being accused in a class-action lawsuit of failing to protect the privacy of customers whose personal information was exposed last year in a data breach that affected nearly seven million profiles.The lawsuit, which was filed on Friday in federal court in San Francisco, also accused the company of failing to notify customers with Chinese and Ashkenazi Jewish heritage that they appeared to have been specifically targeted, or that their personal genetic information had been compiled into “specially curated lists” that were shared and sold on the dark web.The suit was filed after 23andMe submitted a notification to the California Attorney General’s Office that showed the company was hacked over the course of five months, from late April 2023 through Sept...
Elon Musk Spreads Election Misinformation on X Without Fact Checkers
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Elon Musk Spreads Election Misinformation on X Without Fact Checkers

In the spring of 2020, when President Donald J. Trump wrote messages on Twitter warning that increased reliance on mail-in ballots would lead to a “rigged election,” the platform ran a corrective, debunking his claims.“Get the facts about mail-in voting,” a content label read. “Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud,” the hyperlinked article declared.This month, Elon Musk, who has since bought Twitter and rebranded it X, echoed several of Mr. Trump’s claims about the American voting system, putting forth distorted and false notions that American elections were wide open for fraud and illegal voting by noncitizens.This time, there were no fact checks. And the X algorithm — under Mr. Musk’s direct control — helped the posts reach large audiences, in some cases draw...
New Hampshire Officials to Investigate A.I. Robocalls Mimicking Biden
Technology

New Hampshire Officials to Investigate A.I. Robocalls Mimicking Biden

Voters in New Hampshire received robocall messages over the weekend in a voice that was most likely artificially generated to impersonate President Biden’s, urging them not to vote in Tuesday’s primary election, according to the state attorney general’s office.The fake recordings, which told listeners that “your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday,” were manipulated to seem as if they had been sent by an officer of a Democratic committee, the office said.The attorney general’s office stressed that voting in the primary would not rule out voters from also casting ballots in the general election in November.“These messages appear to be an unlawful attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire presidential primary election and to suppress New Hampshire voters,” the office said in a s...