Technology

Microsoft Tops Apple to Become Most Valuable Public Company
Technology

Microsoft Tops Apple to Become Most Valuable Public Company

For more than a decade, Apple was the stock market’s undisputed king. It first overtook Exxon Mobil as the world’s most valuable public company in 2011 and held the title almost without interruption.But a transfer of power has begun.On Friday, Microsoft surpassed Apple, claiming the crown after its market value surged by more than $1 trillion over the past year. Microsoft finished the day at $2.89 trillion, higher than Apple’s $2.87 trillion, according to Bloomberg.The change is part of a reordering of the stock market that was set in motion by the advent of generative artificial intelligence. The technology, which can answer questions, create images and write code, has been heralded for its potential to disrupt businesses and create trillions of dollars in economic value.When Apple replac...
Why Casey Left Substack, Elon Musk and Drugs, and an A.I. Antibiotic Discovery
Technology

Why Casey Left Substack, Elon Musk and Drugs, and an A.I. Antibiotic Discovery

Listen and follow ‘Hard Fork’Apple | Spotify | Amazon | YouTubeCasey is taking his newsletter Platformer off Substack, as criticism over the company’s handling of pro-Nazi content grows. Then, The Wall Street Journal spoke with witnesses who said that Elon Musk had used LSD, cocaine, ecstasy and psychedelic mushrooms, worrying some directors and board members of his companies. And finally, how researchers found a new class of antibiotics with the help of an artificial intelligence algorithm used to win the board game Go.Today’s guests:Kirsten Grind, enterprise reporter for The Wall Street JournalFelix Wong, postdoctoral fellow at M.I.T. and co-founder of Integrated BiosciencesAdditional Reading:Credits“Hard Fork” is hosted by Kevin Roose and Casey Newton and produced by Davis Land and Rach...
Amazon Cuts Hundreds of Jobs at Studios and Twitch
Technology

Amazon Cuts Hundreds of Jobs at Studios and Twitch

Amazon is laying off hundreds of employees at its studio division as well as its subsidiary Twitch to reduce costs, the latest in a wave of new job cuts hitting the tech industry.Twitch, a video streaming platform, will cut just over 500 roles, or 35 percent of its work force, according to a blog post on the company’s website. Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios will eliminate hundreds of jobs, said an email sent to staff on Wednesday.Since late 2022, Amazon has laid off 27,000 workers, as the company has slashed costs in an effort to recover from overexpansion during the pandemic.“It’s important that we prioritize our investments for the long-term success of our business, while relentlessly focusing on what we know matters most to our customers,” Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prim...
Unity Software to Cut 25% of Its Work Force
Technology

Unity Software to Cut 25% of Its Work Force

The videogame software provider Unity Software said on Monday that it would cut its work force by 25 percent, or roughly 1,800 jobs, in one of the first major tech industry layoffs this year.In a securities filing, Unity said the cuts would allow it to restructure and refocus “on its core business, and to position itself for long-term and profitable growth.” The company added in a statement that teams across the company would be affected.Last week, Xerox said it would lay off 15 percent of its 23,000-member global staff in the first quarter of 2024, an effort to further shift its focus to services and away from photocopiers.The cuts signal what could be the start of another tough year for the tech industry, which last year laid off tens of thousands of employees in the wake of challenging ...
Switching to a Flip Phone Helped Me Cut Down on My Smartphone Addiction
Technology

Switching to a Flip Phone Helped Me Cut Down on My Smartphone Addiction

This time of year, everyone asks what you like least about your life, but they phrase it as, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?”My biggest regret of 2023 was my relationship to my smartphone, or my “tech appendage” as I’ve named it in my iPhone settings. My Apple Screen Time reports regularly clocked in at more than five hours a day.That’s only an hour more than the average American, but I still found it staggering to think that I spent the equivalent of January, February and half of March looking at that tiny screen (April too, if we only count waking hours).Sure, some (much?) of that time was gainfully spent on activities that enrich my life or are unavoidable: work, family text threads, reading the news and keeping up with far-flung friends. But I reached for the device more than 100 t...
The Times Sues OpenAI, a Debate Over iMessage and Our New Year’s Tech Resolutions
Technology

The Times Sues OpenAI, a Debate Over iMessage and Our New Year’s Tech Resolutions

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email transcripts@nytimes.com with any questions.kevin rooseThis podcast is supported by Givewell. With over 1.5 million nonprofits in the US, how do you know which ones could make a big impact with your donation? Try Givewell. They’ve spent over 15 years researching charity. They share that research for free and direct funding to the highest impact opportunities they’ve found in global health and poverty alleviation.Make a tax deductible donation at givewell.org. First-time donors can have their donation matched up to $100 as long as matching funds last. Select podcast and Hard Fork a...
Auto Sales Are Expected to Slow After a Strong 2023
Technology

Auto Sales Are Expected to Slow After a Strong 2023

After enjoying a strong rebound in sales in 2023, the auto industry appears headed for slower growth this year as consumers struggle with elevated interest rates and high prices for new cars and light trucks.Edmunds, a market researcher, expects the industry to sell 15.7 million vehicles this year. That would amount to a modest increase from the 15.5 million sold last year, when sales jumped 12 percent.“There’s definitely pent-up demand out there, because people have been holding off purchases for a while,” said Jessica Caldwell, head of insights at Edmunds. “But given the credit situation, we don’t think the industry will see a ton of growth this year.”Since the coronavirus pandemic, automakers have struggled with shortages of critical parts that have prevented them from producing as many...
A Stunning Eclipse, a Moon Race and Other Space Events in 2024
Technology

A Stunning Eclipse, a Moon Race and Other Space Events in 2024

Crucial Events on the Path Back to the MoonNASA wants to put American astronauts on the moon’s surface in the years ahead with the Artemis III mission. Before that can happen, though, many things have to go right, and two of the most important are scheduled for 2024.The first is the Artemis II mission. NASA introduced the four astronauts of Artemis II last year. As soon as November, the four could travel around the moon and back. They would be the first humans to travel near the moon since 1972, when the Apollo 17 mission concluded. To fly in 2024, NASA will need to resolve issues with a heat shield on the astronauts’ spacecraft, as well as overcome other potential delays.The second hurdle is that the Orion capsule can only orbit the moon — it doesn’t land. Astronauts need another vehicle ...
A 9-Month Cruise Is TikTok’s Favorite New ‘Reality Show’
Technology

A 9-Month Cruise Is TikTok’s Favorite New ‘Reality Show’

In the last few months, Beth Fletcher, a 39-year-old photographer in Derbyshire, England, built a small following on TikTok by recapping and analyzing the British reality show “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!” When the latest season ended in early December, Ms. Fletcher was at a loss for content because, she said, “we don’t have another good reality TV show on until summer.”Then the TikTok algorithm delivered: a video of Brooklyn Schwetje, a graduate student and influencer, sharing a day in her life on the Ultimate World Cruise, a nine-month-long, round-the-world voyage with Royal Caribbean. Ms. Fletcher was instantly rapt. “I’ve never been on a cruise, and the idea of a nine-month cruise blew my mind,” she said. After finding more videos from other passengers on the cruise, somethin...
Michael Cohen Used Fake Cases Cited by A.I. to Seek an End to Court Supervision
Technology

Michael Cohen Used Fake Cases Cited by A.I. to Seek an End to Court Supervision

Michael D. Cohen, the onetime fixer for former President Donald J. Trump, mistakenly gave his lawyer bogus legal citations concocted by the artificial intelligence program Google Bard, he said in court papers unsealed on Friday.The fictitious citations were used by the lawyer in a motion submitted to a federal judge, Jesse M. Furman. Mr. Cohen, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to campaign finance violations and served time in prison, had asked the judge for an early end to the court’s supervision of his case now that he is out of prison and has complied with the conditions of his release.The ensuing chain of misunderstandings and mistakes ended with Mr. Cohen asking the judge to exercise “discretion and mercy.”In a sworn declaration made public on Friday, Mr. Cohen explained that he had not kept...