Top tech news for Wednesday, January 18, 2023 – The Verge

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By Verge Staff
My condolences to anyone at Microsoft affected by its large round of layoffs. Announced officially on Wednesday morning, the cuts mean about 10,000 people are losing their jobs. It makes Microsoft the latest tech giant to have cut thousands of jobs in recent months, following layoffs at the likes of Meta and Amazon.
Wednesday’s tech news started, like Tuesday’s, with a new Apple hardware announcement. After discontinuing its HomePod speaker a few years ago, the company s launching a new version, priced at $299, with support for Spatial Audio and the Matter smart home spec.
Apple has also reportedly put its plans to release a pair of lightweight augmented reality glasses on hold due to “technical challenges.” Its mixed reality headset (which would offer both AR and VR) is still believed to be on track for this year, but these sleeker AR-only glasses are now unlikely to meet their 2025 target launch date.
For now, here’s a silly tweet to start your day (don’t worry, it’s not actually “sensitive content” as the disclaimer suggests):
Jan 18, 2023, 10:55 PM UTCAndrew Webster
There’s no specific premiere date for the Apple TV Plus series, though.
Jan 18, 2023, 10:54 PM UTCAndrew J. Hawkins
The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that Musk’s ‘funding secured’ tweets were reckless and cost ‘regular people’ millions of dollars, while Musk’s attorneys said they ‘didn’t matter.’
Jan 18, 2023, 10:51 PM UTCChris Person
New inexpensive smart displays, a revamped Apple TV, and that freaky HomePod / Apple TV fusion are in the works.
Jan 18, 2023, 7:43 PM UTCAdi Robertson
It’s the latest project from Jeff Kosseff, author of The Verge’s favorite Section 230 book, The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet. I truly cannot wait.
Jan 18, 2023, 7:40 PM UTCAndrew Webster
The series stars Billy Crudup and starts streaming on February 17th.
Jan 18, 2023, 7:33 PM UTCChristopher Grant
You’ve transferred your saves, converted your controller to Bluetooth, and rescued your toons, so there’s nothing left to do but remember all the times Google told us we wouldn’t be here.
Google Stadia is officially closing its cloud doors today, almost four years after an inauspicious debut displaying the console alongside uhhh… notable video game artifacts, ET for the Atari 2600, the Power Glove, and the Dreamcast.
Google has handled its passing with as much grace as can be expected, so let’s (Google) Wave goodbye to a cloud gaming OG.
Jan 18, 2023, 7:25 PM UTCNilay Patel
Nadella noting that he’s planning for a “platform shift” and cutting the “hardware portfolio” is pretty interesting — but I’m curious for your thoughts in the comments!
Jan 18, 2023, 7:02 PM UTCJacob Kastrenakes
Last year, TikTok was the event’s main sponsor, highlighting a major shift in the creator video space. This year… YouTube is back. (And surely, it’ll want to remind creators to use YouTube Shorts.)
Of course, buying a sponsorship ≠ maintaining cultural dominance. Shorts has its work cut out. But showing up to VidCon still means something — it tells creators that YouTube cares.
[NBC News]
Jan 18, 2023, 6:09 PM UTCElizabeth Lopatto
The Transaction Record Analysis Center has been used by more than 600 law-enforcement entities to surveil money sent across US borders without a warrant. Among the data? Your name, how much you sent, and who you sent it to.
“One slideshow prepared by a TRAC investigator showed how the program’s data could be used to scan for categories such as ‘Middle Eastern/Arabic names’ in bulk transaction records,” the WSJ reports.
[WSJ]
Jan 18, 2023, 5:32 PM UTCCameron Faulkner
Alongside the announcement of Apple’s new HomePod, the company said it would enable a sensor hidden in the HomePod Mini since launch in an upcoming software update.
Jan 18, 2023, 5:12 PM UTCBarbara Krasnoff
A new house led to a total overhaul of the work-from-home environment.
Jan 18, 2023, 4:53 PM UTCUmar Shakir
Shell USA is buying all shares of the destination electric vehicle charging company Volta, which operates over 3,000 stations.
Jan 18, 2023, 3:55 PM UTCAlice Newcome-Beill
The new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros boast Apple’s latest silicon, but are they worth the upgrade?
Jan 18, 2023, 3:23 PM UTCCameron Faulkner
The original HomePod from 2018 had a power cable that shouldn’t be removed, which was a bad design choice.
After looking at the older version’s spec sheet compared to the new model that Apple announced today, Apple seems to have fixed that. Huzzah!
Jan 18, 2023, 2:55 PM UTCJames Vincent
GPT-4 is coming, says Altman, but it won’t be AGI.
Jan 18, 2023, 2:45 PM UTCTom Warren
Microsoft’s latest job cuts are expected to be significantly larger than the 1 percent in 2022.
Jan 18, 2023, 2:42 PM UTCJess Weatherbed
The company is selling espresso machines, designer chairs, and bike-powered recharging stations after falling behind on office rent payments.
Jan 18, 2023, 2:33 PM UTCCharles Pulliam-Moore
A new Netflix sizzle reel features fresh looks at They Cloned Tyrone, Leave the World Behind, and The Mother.
Jan 18, 2023, 2:24 PM UTCTom Warren
Microsoft is cutting thousands of jobs just as CEO Satya Nadella warns of a challenging two years ahead for tech companies.
Jan 18, 2023, 2:05 PM UTCJon Porter
The new speaker will be sold alongside the HomePod Mini introduced in 2020.
Jan 18, 2023, 2:00 PM UTCVictoria Song
The $220 smart heated vest will be available starting February 1st and automatically adjusts the temperature to keep you comfortable in the cold.
Jan 18, 2023, 2:00 PM UTCChris Welch
Subscribers of the live TV service will notice a redesigned, more efficient channel guide. And the library is getting cleaner and more helpful.
Jan 18, 2023, 11:00 AM UTCMia Sato
The platform began piloting state-affiliated media labels last year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Jan 18, 2023, 10:02 AM UTCJon Porter
The leak confirms previously rumored specs including a 200-megapixel camera on the S23 Ultra, as well as the designs of all three devices.
Jan 18, 2023, 8:01 AM UTCJon Porter
The Brio 300 supports up to 1080p at 30fps and has a built-in privacy shutter.
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