Technology

OpenAI Says New York Times Lawsuit Against It Is ‘Without Merit’
Technology

OpenAI Says New York Times Lawsuit Against It Is ‘Without Merit’

OpenAI said on Monday that a New York Times lawsuit against it was “without merit” and that it supported and created opportunities for news organizations, as it waded further into a debate over the unauthorized use of published work to train artificial intelligence technologies.The Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft on Dec. 27, accusing the companies of infringing on its copyrights by using millions of its articles to train A.I. technologies like the ChatGPT chatbot. Chatbots now compete with The Times as a source of reliable information, the lawsuit said.In a 1,000-word blog post on Monday, OpenAI said it collaborated with news organizations and had struck partnerships with some of them, including The Associated Press. Using copyrighted works to train its technologies is fair use under the l...
Switching to a Flip Phone Helped Me Cut Down on My Smartphone Addiction
Technology

Switching to a Flip Phone Helped Me Cut Down on My Smartphone Addiction

This time of year, everyone asks what you like least about your life, but they phrase it as, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?”My biggest regret of 2023 was my relationship to my smartphone, or my “tech appendage” as I’ve named it in my iPhone settings. My Apple Screen Time reports regularly clocked in at more than five hours a day.That’s only an hour more than the average American, but I still found it staggering to think that I spent the equivalent of January, February and half of March looking at that tiny screen (April too, if we only count waking hours).Sure, some (much?) of that time was gainfully spent on activities that enrich my life or are unavoidable: work, family text threads, reading the news and keeping up with far-flung friends. But I reached for the device more than 100 t...
U.S. Moves Closer to Filing Sweeping Antitrust Case Against Apple
Technology

U.S. Moves Closer to Filing Sweeping Antitrust Case Against Apple

The Justice Department is in the late stages of an investigation into Apple and could file a sweeping antitrust case taking aim at the company’s strategies to protect the dominance of the iPhone as soon as the first half of this year, said three people with knowledge of the matter.The agency is focused on how Apple has used its control over its hardware and software to make it more difficult for consumers to ditch the company’s devices, as well as for rivals to compete, said the people, who spoke anonymously because the investigation was active.Specifically, investigators have examined how the Apple Watch works better with the iPhone than with other brands, as well as how Apple locks competitors out of its iMessage service. They have also scrutinized Apple’s payments system for the iPhone,...
Auto Sales Are Expected to Slow After a Strong 2023
Technology

Auto Sales Are Expected to Slow After a Strong 2023

After enjoying a strong rebound in sales in 2023, the auto industry appears headed for slower growth this year as consumers struggle with elevated interest rates and high prices for new cars and light trucks.Edmunds, a market researcher, expects the industry to sell 15.7 million vehicles this year. That would amount to a modest increase from the 15.5 million sold last year, when sales jumped 12 percent.“There’s definitely pent-up demand out there, because people have been holding off purchases for a while,” said Jessica Caldwell, head of insights at Edmunds. “But given the credit situation, we don’t think the industry will see a ton of growth this year.”Since the coronavirus pandemic, automakers have struggled with shortages of critical parts that have prevented them from producing as many...
A Stunning Eclipse, a Moon Race and Other Space Events in 2024
Technology

A Stunning Eclipse, a Moon Race and Other Space Events in 2024

Crucial Events on the Path Back to the MoonNASA wants to put American astronauts on the moon’s surface in the years ahead with the Artemis III mission. Before that can happen, though, many things have to go right, and two of the most important are scheduled for 2024.The first is the Artemis II mission. NASA introduced the four astronauts of Artemis II last year. As soon as November, the four could travel around the moon and back. They would be the first humans to travel near the moon since 1972, when the Apollo 17 mission concluded. To fly in 2024, NASA will need to resolve issues with a heat shield on the astronauts’ spacecraft, as well as overcome other potential delays.The second hurdle is that the Orion capsule can only orbit the moon — it doesn’t land. Astronauts need another vehicle ...
A 9-Month Cruise Is TikTok’s Favorite New ‘Reality Show’
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A 9-Month Cruise Is TikTok’s Favorite New ‘Reality Show’

In the last few months, Beth Fletcher, a 39-year-old photographer in Derbyshire, England, built a small following on TikTok by recapping and analyzing the British reality show “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!” When the latest season ended in early December, Ms. Fletcher was at a loss for content because, she said, “we don’t have another good reality TV show on until summer.”Then the TikTok algorithm delivered: a video of Brooklyn Schwetje, a graduate student and influencer, sharing a day in her life on the Ultimate World Cruise, a nine-month-long, round-the-world voyage with Royal Caribbean. Ms. Fletcher was instantly rapt. “I’ve never been on a cruise, and the idea of a nine-month cruise blew my mind,” she said. After finding more videos from other passengers on the cruise, somethin...
Need a Home for 80,000 Puzzles? Try an Italian Castle.
Technology

Need a Home for 80,000 Puzzles? Try an Italian Castle.

Meet the Millers, George and Roxanne, proprietors of the world’s largest collection of mechanical puzzles: physical objects that a puzzler holds and manipulates while seeking a solution. In total, the Miller collection — an accumulation of collections, and collections of collections — amounts to more than 80,000 puzzles. It comprises some five thousand Rubik’s Cubes, including a 2-by-2-by-2 rendering of Darth Vader’s head. And there are more than 7,000 wooden burr puzzles, such as the interlocking, polyhedral creations by Stewart Coffin, a Massachusetts puzzle maker; they evoke a hybrid of a pine cone and a snowflake and are Mr. Miller’s favorites. Mrs. Miller is fond of their 140 brass, bronze and gold puzzle sculptures by the Spanish artist Miguel Berrocal; Goliath, a male torso in 79 pi...
ChatGPT Helps, and Worries, Business Consultants, Study Finds
Technology

ChatGPT Helps, and Worries, Business Consultants, Study Finds

Last spring, when Karim Lakhani began testing how ChatGPT affected the work of elite business consultants, he thought they’d be delighted by the tool. In a preliminary study of two dozen workers, the language bot had helped them finish two hours’ worth of tasks in 20 minutes.“I assumed they, like me, would think, ‘Great! I can do so much more!” said Dr. Lakhani, a professor at the Harvard Business School.Instead, the consultants had feelings of unease. They appreciated that they had done better work in less time. But ChatGPT’s quick work threatened their sense of themselves as high-skilled workers, and some feared relying on it too much. “They were really worried and felt like this was going to denigrate them and be sort of empty calories for their brain,” Dr. Lakhani said.After these prel...
Apple’s Newest Headache: An App That Upended Its Control Over Messaging
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Apple’s Newest Headache: An App That Upended Its Control Over Messaging

For years, Ben Black’s phone annoyed his family. It was the only Android device in a family message group with eight iPhones. Because of him, videos and photos would arrive in low resolution and there would be green bubbles of text amid bubbles of blue.But a new app called Beeper Mini gave him the ability to change that.Mr. Black, 25, used the app to create an account for Apple’s messaging service, iMessage, with his Google Pixel phone number. For the first time, every message the family exchanged had a blue bubble and members were able to use perks like emojis and animations.Since it was introduced on Dec. 5, Beeper Mini has quickly become a headache and potential antitrust problem for Apple. It has poked a hole in Apple’s messaging system, while critics say it has demonstrated how Apple ...
Suit Against Twitter Over Unpaid Bonuses Gets Go-Ahead From Judge
Technology

Suit Against Twitter Over Unpaid Bonuses Gets Go-Ahead From Judge

A federal judge on Friday gave the go-ahead to a lawsuit against the social media company X, formerly known as Twitter, in which workers claim that the company promised but never paid millions of dollars in bonuses.In June, Mark Schobinger, a former senior director of compensation for Twitter who lives in Texas, sued the company, claiming breach of contract under California law. The company has its headquarters in San Francisco.Mr. Schobinger said that both before and after the billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter last year, the company had orally promised employees 50 percent of their 2022 targeted bonuses if they stayed with the company in the first quarter of 2023. However, the bonuses were never paid, according to the suit.Mr. Schobinger filed the suit on his own behalf and on behalf o...