💻 The Weekly Download #33: Google's Blockade + Tesla Troubles, and more

OpenAI, Google, and Meta push legal limits with AI data scraping, Tesla settles a pivotal Autopilot lawsuit, and Google blocks Californian news in legislative protest

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  • 📰 This week’s headlines

  • 📢 Giveaway winners

  • 💰 Deals

  • ⚙️ Tools


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Hi ,

It’s Sunday. Here's your quick dive into this week's biggest tech stories, packing legal battles, dubious practices, and new tech milestones into your weekly roundup.

📹 AI Scraper Alert: OpenAI, Google, and Meta stir the pot with their latest AI-driven data scraping tactics, testing legal and ethical boundaries to boost their tech.

🚘 Tesla's Legal Tie-Up: Tesla settles over a 2018 Autopilot-related fatal crash, spotlighting the ongoing debate around the safety and reliability of automated driving tech.

🚫 Google vs. California: Google blocks some Californians from accessing local news as a protest against a new bill demanding tech giants pay publishers for content.

🔔 Tech Briefs:

  • AI for All: Google opens its AI photo editing tools to all users, ditching its subscription barrier.

  • Spacious SDs: Expect 4TB SD cards by 2025, revolutionizing storage options for techies.

  • Spotify's Smart Playlists: Spotify leverages AI to let users craft playlists with just a prompt—a nifty blend of tech and tunes.

☀️ Solar Surge: U.S. solar power leads new energy capacities, marking a significant shift towards renewable resources.

Buckle up, folks; here's your weekly tech rundown! 🚀

📰 This week in tech 📰

Major tech companies like OpenAI, Google, and Meta are exploring the bounds of legal and ethical standards by potentially scraping large datasets, such as YouTube videos and books, to enhance their AI models' capabilities - New York Times

  1. 📹 OpenAI, Google, and Meta have engaged in or contemplated using unauthorized data scraping to train their AI models.

  2. 🔊 OpenAI utilized its Whisper technology to transcribe over a million hours of YouTube videos to train its GPT-4 AI model.

  3. 🚫 YouTube's CEO Neal Mohan highlighted that their terms of service prohibit downloading transcripts or video bits, labeling such actions as violations.

  4. 🤐 When questioned about OpenAI scraping YouTube data, Neal Mohan was non-committal, acknowledging only reports without confirming facts.

Because large language models require so much training data, AI companies have to think outside of the box, and sometimes, getting that data isn't in everyone's best interest.

Tesla reached an undisclosed settlement in a lawsuit over a fatal 2018 crash involving its Autopilot system, with the victim's family asserting the system's inadequacy and Tesla defending the technology's utility when used correctly - Teslarati

  • 📋 Walter Huang, an engineer at Apple, died when his Tesla Model X collided with a road barrier while traveling at 71 mph on a Mountain View highway.

  • 📱The NTSB suggested that Huang was likely distracted, possibly playing a game on his phone, at the time of the accident.

  • 💼 Tesla claims the accident was caused by Huang's improper use of the Autopilot features, particularly highlighting that his hands were not on the steering wheel 34% of the time during the last 19 minutes leading up to the crash.

  • 🏛️ The settlement and the details surrounding the case could influence public perception and regulatory scrutiny of automated driving systems.

Google is blocking access to California news for some users in protest of proposed legislation requiring tech giants to pay for news content, citing concerns over its impact and practicability - NPR

  • 🚫 Google has begun blocking news articles from some California-based organizations for certain state residents.

  • 🗞️ This action is part of Google's strategy to oppose a California proposal requiring tech companies to pay publishers for news content.

  • 🔗 Google criticizes the proposed California Journalism Preservation Act, arguing it is "unworkable" because it effectively imposes a link tax.

  • 💰 The bill aims to support the struggling news industry in California, which has seen significant job losses and closures over recent years.

  • 🌐 Google and Meta have employed similar tactics internationally, like in Canada and Australia, to challenge laws requiring them to compensate news publishers.

Other headlines you may have missed

Microsoft is testing ads within the Start menu of Windows 11. The ads will appear in the Recommended section of the Start menu, suggesting apps from the Microsoft Store - The Verge

Google opens AI photo editing to all, ends subscriber exclusivity

Google is making its AI-powered photo editing tools available to all Google Photos users, including those who don't pay for the subscription service - Engadget

Solar energy continues to dominate the US electrical generating capacity, outpacing all other energy sources for the sixth consecutive month - RenewablesNow

Weekly Tech Tip

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With GigSky, you can pay a fraction of the cost for a cellular data plan, make a couple of small changes in your Settings, and have instant, high-quality cellular data the moment you land.

🤯 Freebie

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💸 Deals'

Learning a new language is tough, but learning a new language on your own terms makes it a whole lot easier. If you like how that sounds, you might want to check out Rosetta Stone’s lifetime deal, now $151

If you’re looking to buy a new tablet, Samsung has a pretty sweet offer on Amazon right now: Buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, get a free $100 Amazon gift card.

You can honestly never have any of these. Buy one and throw it in your luggage or travel bag. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. Incredible deal: 4K Fire TV Stick HD on sale for $29.99

⚙️ Tools

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Alright folks, this is where I wrap it up. As always, my door is always open. Reply to this email and say hi. Always happy to talk shop.


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