martes, febrero 27

Technology

Technology

Caroline Ellison, Star Witness in Sam Bankman-Fried Trial, Says He Made ‘Terrible Mistakes’

A lawyer for Sam Bankman-Fried on Thursday sought to undermine the testimony of Caroline Ellison, the prosecution’s star witness in his criminal fraud trial, as she continued to insist that the onetime crypto mogul was behind the misuse of billions of dollars in customer money at his FTX exchange.Over about five hours of cross-examination, Mr. Bankman-Fried’s defense lawyer, Mark Cohen, questioned Ms. Ellison about her decision to cooperate with prosecutors in return for leniency. He also asked her about a document she sent to employees at Alameda Research, the crypto trading firm she ran for Mr. Bankman-Fried, which had painted a rosier picture of the firm’s finances than she had described in private.But Mr. Cohen didn’t elicit any major revelations or inconsistencies from Ms. Ellison, 28...
Technology

As Red States Curb Social Media, Did Montana’s TikTok Ban Go Too Far?

Many of the world’s largest consumer technology companies will be closely monitoring a federal court hearing in Montana on Thursday that could decide whether TikTok will have to stop operating in the state next year.The popular video-sharing app is suing Montana to halt a first-of-its-kind state law that would ban TikTok in the state on Jan. 1. The law was drafted by Montana’s Republican attorney general and signed by its governor in May. TikTok is asking the court to block the ban through a preliminary injunction.Montana is at the forefront of a crusade by state Republican officials to rein in Big Tech. Republican governors, attorneys general, lawmakers and conservative policy groups say internet platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Snap are undermining conservative family values and prev...
Vermont Utility Plans to End Outages by Giving Customers Batteries
Technology

Vermont Utility Plans to End Outages by Giving Customers Batteries

Many electric utilities are putting up lots of new power lines as they rely more on renewable energy and try to make grids more resilient in bad weather. But a Vermont utility is proposing a very different approach: It wants to install batteries at most homes to make sure its customers never go without electricity.The company, Green Mountain Power, proposed buying batteries, burying power lines and strengthening overhead cables in a filing with state regulators on Monday. It said its plan would be cheaper than building a lot of new lines and power plants.The plan is a big departure from how U.S. utilities normally do business. Most of them make money by building and operating power lines that deliver electricity from natural gas power plants or wind and solar farms to homes and businesses....
Caroline Ellison Says She and Sam Bankman-Fried Lied for Years
Technology

Caroline Ellison Says She and Sam Bankman-Fried Lied for Years

Caroline Ellison, a top adviser to the cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried, testified on Wednesday that she had lied over and over at his request, misleading the public about his businesses and circulating “dishonest” financial documents to crypto lenders.By the time Mr. Bankman-Fried’s two companies — FTX, a digital currency exchange, and Alameda Research, a hedge fund — collapsed in November, the lies had become too much to bear, Ms. Ellison said, and the implosions were almost cathartic.“Overall it was the worst week of my life,” said Ms. Ellison, 28, fighting back tears as she recounted the frantic week when the companies failed. “I felt this sense of relief that I didn’t have to lie anymore, and that I could start taking responsibility even though I felt indescribably bad.”Ms. Elli...
Smartphone Photos Are Getting Faker. Uh-Oh?
Technology

Smartphone Photos Are Getting Faker. Uh-Oh?

Smartphone cameras became extremely powerful over the last five years. Their leap in quality was largely driven by advancements in computational photography, a technology that uses algorithms, artificial intelligence and sensors to produce sharp, lifelike pictures. Now we all can shoot stunning images that rival the work of professionals.So what’s next? I hate to say it: faker photos.Google, which has long been an industry leader in smartphone photography, will on Thursday start shipping the Pixel 8, a $700 handset with a suite of A.I.-powered photo-editing tools. The phone software does much more than adjust the sharpness and brightness of a photo — it uses A.I. to generate imagery or to remove elements to give you exactly the photo you want.Imagine, for instance, a photo in which a perso...
The Places That Sam Bankman-Fried Left Behind
Technology

The Places That Sam Bankman-Fried Left Behind

Before it all collapsed last fall, the cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried was at the center of a global business empire.The 31-year-old mogul started his first company in the San Francisco Bay Area, before moving to Hong Kong and then to the Bahamas, where his FTX cryptocurrency exchange was based until it filed for bankruptcy in November. Along the way, Mr. Bankman-Fried left his mark on luxury homes in Washington and on the Bahamian island of New Providence, and splashed FTX’s logo on a basketball arena in Miami.Mr. Bankman-Fried is now on trial in federal court in Manhattan, where he faces seven counts of wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.Here are some of the places he left behind.Mr. Bankman-Fried ran his first company, the crypto hedge fund Alameda Research, out of...
Hamas Seeds Violent Videos of Israel Attack on X and Telegram
Technology

Hamas Seeds Violent Videos of Israel Attack on X and Telegram

A video of a Hamas gunman firing his assault rifle at a car full of Israeli civilians was viewed more than one million times on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, since it was uploaded Sunday.A photograph of dead Israeli civilians, strewn across the side of a road in an Israeli kibbutz near the Gaza Strip, has been shared more than 20,000 times on X.And an audio recording of a young Israeli woman’s desperate cries for help as she was being kidnapped from her home has been shared nearly 50,000 times on the platform.Since Hamas launched a deadly cross-border attack into Israel over the weekend, violent videos and graphic images have flooded social media. Many of the posts have been seeded by Hamas to terrorize civilians and take advantage of the lack of content moderation on some soc...
Social Media Changed How Brands Talk to Us, but Are the Jokes Wearing Thin?
Technology

Social Media Changed How Brands Talk to Us, but Are the Jokes Wearing Thin?

In the comments on a recent TikTok post by RyanAir, an exuberant traveler posted about flying the airline for the first time. In the past, the typical corporate response to this might have been something like, “We’re glad to have you!” or “Thanks for joining us!”Ryan Air went with: “Do you want a medal?”It was quirky, except not. Being weird on social media has become standard practice for corporate brands.This has long caused some older people to recoil. And there are signs it is no longer working with millennials or Gen Z customers — people like Priya Saxena, 25, who works in digital marketing in Atlanta.“I roll my eyes,” Ms. Saxena said. “A lot of them are trying too hard. I think sometimes they’re trying to fit in and reach out to my generation. So it’s not very natural.”Ron Cacace, a ...
‘Don’t Do That Again’: Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Under Fire From Judge
Technology

‘Don’t Do That Again’: Sam Bankman-Fried’s Lawyers Under Fire From Judge

Three days into Sam Bankman-Fried’s criminal trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan’s warnings to the defense had become unmistakable.Judge Kaplan, who is presiding over the high-profile white collar fraud case, repeatedly told Mr. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers to stop repeating themselves. Over and over, he directed them to rephrase their questions. And with his frequent interruptions of their cross-examinations, Judge Kaplan kept Mr. Bankman-Fried’s legal team off balance, putting them on the defensive.“I just want to express my growing concern about the extent of the entirely unnecessary repetition, and I’ve given you a lot of latitude,” Judge Kaplan told one of Mr. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, Christian Everdell, during a brief break on Thursday when the jury was not...
Unity Chief Resigns After Pricing Backlash
Technology

Unity Chief Resigns After Pricing Backlash

John Riccitiello, the chief executive of Unity Technologies, abruptly stepped down on Monday, less than a month after a change to the company’s pricing structure infuriated thousands of software developers who rely on the video game company’s tools.Unity, which makes the underlying software that powers video games, has long imposed an annual licensing fee on developers. But in September, the company said it would begin charging developers additional money each time someone downloaded one of their video games. That meant developers would pay more as their games increased in popularity. Mr. Riccitiello was one of the main proponents of the change.“It’s been a privilege to lead Unity for nearly a decade and serve our employees, customers, developers and partners, all of whom have been instrum...