Technology

Apple Is Doing Its Part to End Green Bubble Shaming. It’s Our Turn.
Technology

Apple Is Doing Its Part to End Green Bubble Shaming. It’s Our Turn.

For more than a decade, smartphone users everywhere have faced a major problem in how we communicate: the “green versus blue bubble” disparity.When iPhone users send texts to other iPhones, the messages appear blue and can tap into exclusive perks like fun emojis and animations. But if an iPhone user texts an Android user, the bubble turns green, many features break, and photos and videos deteriorate in quality.Over time, the annoyance and frustration that built up between blue and green bubbles evolved into more than a tech problem. It created a deeper sociological divide between people who judged one another by their phones. The color of a bubble became a symbol that some believe reflects status and wealth, given a perception that only wealthy people buy iPhones.Now part of this problem ...
Make Sure Your Google Accounts Are Active, or They Might Be Deleted
Technology

Make Sure Your Google Accounts Are Active, or They Might Be Deleted

If you have not used one of your Google accounts for a long time, you might want to this week. Inactive accounts will start vanishing on Dec. 1.Google announced in May that it would start deleting accounts that had been idle for two years and said the policy would begin in December.That means that anything stored in Gmail or other Google products like Photos, Docs, Drive, Meet and Calendar could be deleted.Accounts are considered active if a user signs in and performs any one of a number of actions, including reading or sending an email, watching a YouTube video or using Google’s search. The user must be logged in to the account for the action to count.The company said when it announced the policy that it was for security reasons: Accounts that have not been used for a long time are more l...
Amazon Introduces Q, an A.I. Chatbot for Companies
Technology

Amazon Introduces Q, an A.I. Chatbot for Companies

OpenAI has ChatGPT. Google has the Bard chatbot. Microsoft has its Copilots. On Tuesday, Amazon joined the chatbot race and announced an artificial intelligence assistant of its own: Amazon Q.The chatbot, developed by Amazon’s cloud computing division, is focused on workplaces and not intended for consumers. Amazon Q aims to help employees with daily tasks, such as summarizing strategy documents, filling out internal support tickets and answering questions about company policy. It will compete with other corporate chatbots, including Copilot, Google’s Duet AI and ChatGPT Enterprise.“We think Q has the potential to become a work companion for millions and millions of people in their work life,” Adam Selipsky, the chief executive of Amazon Web Services, said in an interview.Amazon has been r...
For Sports Illustrated, Report About Fake Authors Is Latest Stumble
Technology

For Sports Illustrated, Report About Fake Authors Is Latest Stumble

Three years ago, journalists at Sports Illustrated were worried that the venerable magazine’s new owners and operators were drastically lowering its standards. They noted reports of plagiarism, and worried about substandard writing and the use of freelance reporters with little due diligence. The journalists also wanted better pay, greater transparency during the hiring process and a guarantee that all work published on the Sports Illustrated website would be edited.It appears that things have not improved since then.On Monday, the science and technology publication Futurism reported that Sports Illustrated had published product reviews under fake author names with fake author biographies. Futurism could find no evidence that the supposed authors were real, and the photographs with the bio...
Elon Musk Meets With Netanyahu in Israel Amid Backlash Against Social Media Post
Technology

Elon Musk Meets With Netanyahu in Israel Amid Backlash Against Social Media Post

Elon Musk traveled to Israel and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, touring the scene of a Hamas attack in a visit that appeared aimed at calming the outcry over his endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory on X, the social media platform he owns.Dozens of major brands suspended their advertising on X after Mr. Musk this month agreed with a post that accused Jewish communities of pushing “hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.” The flight of advertisers threatened to cost X tens of millions of dollars, and the White House denounced Mr. Musk for “abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate.”On Tuesday, after arriving in Israel, Mr. Musk wrote on X that “actions speak louder than words.” Wearing a flak jacket, he tour...
How Your Child’s Online Mistake Can Ruin Your Digital Life
Technology

How Your Child’s Online Mistake Can Ruin Your Digital Life

When Jennifer Watkins got a message from YouTube saying her channel was being shut down, she wasn’t initially worried. She didn’t use YouTube, after all.Her 7-year-old twin sons, though, used a Samsung tablet logged into her Google account to watch content for children and to make YouTube videos of themselves doing silly dances. Few of the videos had more than five views. But the video that got Ms. Watkins in trouble, which one son made, was different.“Apparently it was a video of his bottom,” said Ms. Watkins, who has never seen it. “He’d been dared by a classmate to do a nudie video.”Google-owned YouTube has A.I.-powered systems that review the hundreds of hours of video that are uploaded to the service every minute. The scanning process can sometimes go awry and tar innocent individuals...
‘Lost Time for No Reason’: How Driverless Taxis Are Stressing Cities
Technology

‘Lost Time for No Reason’: How Driverless Taxis Are Stressing Cities

Around 2 a.m. on March 19, Adam Wood, a San Francisco firefighter on duty, received a 911 call and raced to the city’s Mission neighborhood to help a male who was having a medical emergency. After loading the patient into an ambulance, a black-and-white car pulled up and blocked the path.It was a driverless vehicle operated by Waymo, an autonomous car company that Google’s parent, Alphabet, owned. With no human driver to instruct to move out of the way, Mr. Wood spoke through a device in the car to a remote operator, who said someone would come take the vehicle away.Instead, another autonomous Waymo car arrived and blocked the other side of the street, Mr. Wood said. The ambulance was finally able to leave after being forced to back up, and the patient, who was not in critical condition, m...
Microsoft Hires Sam Altman Hours After OpenAI Rejects His Return
Technology

Microsoft Hires Sam Altman Hours After OpenAI Rejects His Return

The board of directors of OpenAI, the high-flying artificial intelligence start-up, said in a note to employees on Sunday night that its former chief, Sam Altman, would not be returning to his job, while naming his second interim replacement in two days.Hours later, in another head-spinning move, Microsoft said it was hiring Mr. Altman and Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s president and a company co-founder who quit in solidarity with Mr. Altman. The two men will lead an advanced research lab at Microsoft.At OpenAI, Emmett Shear, the former chief executive of Twitch, will replace Mira Murati as interim chief, the board said. Ms. Murati, a longtime OpenAI executive, had been appointed to that role after Mr. Altman’s ouster on Friday. The board said Mr. Shear has a “unique mix of skills, expertise and...
At Meta, Millions of Underage Users Were an ‘Open Secret,’ States Say
Technology

At Meta, Millions of Underage Users Were an ‘Open Secret,’ States Say

Meta has received more than 1.1 million reports of users under the age of 13 on its Instagram platform since early 2019 yet it “disabled only a fraction” of those accounts, according to a newly unsealed legal complaint against the company brought by the attorneys general of 33 states.Instead, the social media giant “routinely continued to collect” children’s personal information, like their locations and email addresses, without parental permission, in violation of a federal children’s privacy law, according to the court filing. Meta could face hundreds of millions of dollars, or more, in civil penalties should the states prove the allegations.“Within the company, Meta’s actual knowledge that millions of Instagram users are under the age of 13 is an open secret that is routinely documented...
Explaining the Upheaval at OpenAI
Technology

Explaining the Upheaval at OpenAI

Hello! We’re back with another bonus edition of On Tech: A.I., a pop-up newsletter that teaches you about artificial intelligence, how it works and how to use it.The artificial intelligence landscape will never be the same after the extraordinary upheaval at OpenAI, the start-up that set off a technology arms race by releasing ChatGPT nearly one year ago.The OpenAI board ousted Sam Altman as chief executive on Friday, shocking employees and investors. His exit set off a series of head-spinning developments, as the board briefly considered and then rejected a proposal to bring him back.Microsoft, the company’s biggest investor, announced on Sunday that it would hire Altman and his co-founder, Greg Brockman, to run a new research lab — an apparent rupture in the tight relationship between Op...