Weekly Tech Recap: From OnePlus 12 series launch to Microsoft layoffs


1) OnePlus 12 series launch: 

OnePlus launched its OnePlus 12 series at the ‘Smooth Beyond Belief’ event on January 23. The two smartphones: OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R come with a powerful chipset, vibrant display and a 100W fast charger which is claimed to refill the battery in around 26 minutes.

The OnePlus 12 is powered by the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC while the OnePlus 12R is powered by last year’s premium Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. 

Pricing of the OnePlus 12 starts from 64,999 while the OnePlus 12R starts at a price of 39,999 in India. 

2) Microsoft layoffs: 

Microsoft is laying off around 1,900 employees at Activision Blizzard and Xbox this week, news website The Verge reported on 25 January, citing an internal memo from the head of the company’s gaming division CEO Phil Spencer.

According to the report, though the tech firm is primarily laying off roles at Activision Blizzard, some Xbox and ZeniMax employees will also be impacted by the cuts.

3) Salesforce layoffs: 

US cloud-based software company Salesforce is laying off about 700 employees, or nearly 1% of its global workforce, Reuters news agency reported, citing Wall Street Journal. The job cut at Salesforce follows a wave of layoffs in tech companies in the US including among behemoths such as Amazon and Google. 

Last year, Salesforce trimmed its workforce by cutting 10% of the jobs and shut some of the offices. However, in September 2023, the company said it would hire more than 3,000 people after cutting jobs in January last year to drive up margins.

4) Apple’s new AI features with iOS 17.4 beta:

Apple is reportedly gearing up to boost its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities with the much-anticipated release of iOS 18 in June. A sneak peek into the iOS 17.4 beta has appeared indicating Apple’s plans to enhance Siri’s AI powers, and surprisingly, OpenAI’s ChatGPT API has emerged as a key ally in this technological evolution.

A newly discovered SiriSummarization private framework within the code has been making calls to OpenAI’s ChatGPT API. This integration plays a pivotal role in Apple’s internal testing of evolving AI capabilities, as evident from system prompts like “please summarize,” “please answer this question,” and “please summarize the given text,” as reported by 9to5Mac.

4) Spotify CEO takes on Apple’s proposed App Store changes, ‘takes arrogance to…’:

Swedish music streaming service Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek on 26 January criticised Apple’s proposed App Store changes ahead of the EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) and called changes ‘at best vague and misleading’, a ‘new low for the company’ and ‘extortion’.

The Spotify CEO in a blog post alleged that under the false pretense of compliance and concessions, Apple has put forward a new plan ‘that is a complete and total farce’.

He argued, “Apple is nothing if not consistent. While they have behaved badly for years, this takes the level of arrogance to an entirely new place. Under the false pretense of compliance and concessions, they put forward a new plan that is a complete and total farce. Essentially, the old tax was rendered unacceptable under the DMA, so they created a new one masquerading as compliance with the law.”

5) Micrsofoft working on smaller, cheaper AI technology: 

Microsoft is reportedly working on developing artificial intelligence technology that is smaller and cheaper to run than the current technology it is currently sourcing from OpenAI.

According to a report by The Information, Microsoft has formed a new team to develop conversational AI that requires lower processing power compared to OpenAI’s technology. The report also notes that Microsoft has moved several top developers from its research group to the new-Gen AI team.

Click here to read the full report

6) GTA Vice City Nostalgia:

Excitement is reaching a fever pitch among Grand Theft Auto fans as they eagerly analyze every frame of the GTA 6 trailer for potential clues and ties to the beloved Vice City. The speculation is particularly focused on Tommy Vercetti, the iconic character from GTA: Vice City, voiced by the late Ray Liotta. While Rockstar has not officially confirmed anything, a building spotted in the trailer has sparked a fresh wave of speculation in the GTA community.

Vice City, a virtual representation of Miami in the GTA universe, has been a hot topic amid rumors suggesting GTA 6 may return to this iconic locale. Despite the separation between the HD universe and the earlier PS2 era, fans are intrigued by the possibility of connections between the games. The waterside mansion of Tommy Vercetti, a memorable figure from the 2002 classic, has become a focal point of curiosity.

Click here to read the full report

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Published: 28 Jan 2024, 03:21 PM IST


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