Hello there, welcome to another round of global roundup. A new month has begun as we approach the mid-way point of the year. I hope you’ve been staying current with all that has been happening globally in the tech space.
Meta’s next major headset, the Quest 3, has finally been revealed this week, and Meta plans to share more at its Connect event on September 27th.
If you have been a keen follower of the Russia/Ukraine war, you would know that Western countries have rallied behind the latter and are doing all within their powers to ensure that the country does not lose sight of winning.
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, has offered to buy Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet terminals to help Ukraine stay connected.
The infusion of AI into the operation and system of major tech firms globally is starting to bring about positive results in many of these companies revenues and stock prices. Earlier this year, Meta announced positive growth in its stocks and revenues, which it attributed to the booming AI industry. This week, in the midst of the AI boom, chipmaker Nvidia is now worth over $1 trillion.
In other news, Fidelity, a prominent financial services company, has marked down its equity stake in Twitter, revealing that the company is now worth $15 billion, just one-third of the $44 billion that Elon Musk paid for it.
Here is a summary of the bulletin
- Pentagon to buy Starlink satellite internet terminals to help Ukraine stay connected
- Nvidia is now worth $1 trillion, amid the AI boom
- Twitter is now worth $15 billion, say Fidelity
- Microsoft proposes regulations for AI
- Meta unveils its new VR headset called Quest 3
Meta unveils its new VR headset called Quest 3
Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday revealed the company’s next-generation mixed reality headset, the Quest 3, as the company braces for Apple to potentially reshape a nascent market that Meta has dominated so far.
The headset is coming this fall with a 128GB version available for $499.99 plus “an additional storage option for those who want more space” at an unspecified price.
The Quest 3’s design is lighter and more comfortable than its predecessor, the Quest 2, with a “40% smaller ocular profile” (without taking into account its foam facial interface), but a new Snapdragon chip within has twice the graphics capabilities.
Meta also said it would lower the prices of its existing Quest 2 headsets while adding performance upgrades to those devices aimed at delivering a smoother user experience.
According to a Bloomberg story, Zuckerberg’s revelation came less than a week before tech rival Apple was anticipated to debut its first mixed reality gadget, a high-end item with a price point of about $3,000.
Pentagon offers Ukraine support with Starlink terminals
In the face of the continuous war between Russia and Ukraine, the US Department of Defense has awarded SpaceX’s Starlink a government contract to provide its satellite service in Ukraine.
The Pentagon said Thursday it has agreed to purchase Starlink satellite internet terminals from Elon Musk’s SpaceX for use in Ukraine as Kyiv continues to defend itself against a full-scale Russian invasion, CNBC reports.
“We continue to work with a range of global partners to ensure Ukraine has the satellite and communication capabilities they need. Satellite communications constitute a vital layer in Ukraine’s overall communications network and the department contracts with Starlink for services of this type,”
It, however, declined to offer additional contract details, including the price, scope and timeline of the delivery.
“For operational security reasons and due to the critical nature of these systems — we do not have additional information regarding specific capabilities, contracts or partners to provide at this time,” the statement added.
The first Starlink terminals in Ukraine arrived four days after Russian troops began their invasion. Starlink utilises a global network of over 4,000 satellites that provides services to more than 50 countries. It serves more than 1.5 million customers and launches batches of additional satellites weekly to expand the network’s capability.
Nvidia is now worth $1 trillion, amid AI boom
Nvidia has joined the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon with the company briefly reaching a $1 trillion market cap on Tuesday, as its share price shot up more than 5% before retreating, making it one of only a handful of companies to do so.
Shares of the chipmaker, based in California in the United States, continue to rise significantly and nearly tripled since the start of 2023, in part driven by a wave of artificial intelligence (AI) innovations in the past year.
Founded in 1993, Nvidia was originally known for making the type of computer chips that process graphics, particularly for computer games.
The company’s chips are critical to the booming AI economy and the firm last week reported first-quarter revenues that dramatically exceeded analysts’ expectations, as well as revenue for the second quarter that was 50 per cent more than analysts had predicted, reflecting an annual growth rate of 64 per cent.
The firm’s affable co-founder Jensen Huang took a punt by investing in added functionality for Nvidia chips long before the AI revolution – a long game that appears to have paid off.
Nvidia is seen by investors as a key player in the AI field. Earlier this week Nvidia said it is building a supercomputer specialised for generative AI tasks in Israel that will be one of the world’s fastest high-performance systems.
Twitter is now worth $15 billion, say Fidelity
In a surprising turn of events, Twitter, the popular social media platform, has experienced a substantial decline in its value following Elon Musk’s acquisition.
Fidelity, a prominent financial services company, has marked down its equity stake in Twitter, revealing that the company is now worth $15 billion, of the $44 billion that Elon Musk paid for it. This development raises questions about Musk’s overpayment and the financial struggles faced by the platform under his leadership.
Musk, known for his ventures in the technology and automotive industries, had openly acknowledged overpaying.
“Although obviously myself and the other investors are obviously overpaying for Twitter right now, the long-term potential for Twitter in my view is an order of magnitude greater than its current value,” Musk had said during Tesla’s earnings call in October last year.
The marked-down valuation of Twitter’s equity by Fidelity has intensified concerns about the platform’s financial standing. This is the third time the company has marked down the social media platform since Musk took over on Oct. 8. You can read more here.
Microsoft proposes regulations for AI
The urge to control the development and application of AI is causing a perceptible and ripe global frenzy. To make sure that significant actors are constrained by specific laws, big tech companies have started to take action.
In response to worries from governments around the world about the dangers of the quickly developing technology, Microsoft approved a set of AI regulations on Thursday.
Microsoft, which has promised to build artificial intelligence into many of its products, proposed regulations including a requirement that systems used in critical infrastructure can be fully turned off or slowed down, similar to an emergency braking system on a train. The company also called for laws to clarify when additional legal obligations apply to an A.I. system and for labels to make it clear when an image or a video was produced by a computer.
“Companies need to step up,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president, said in an interview about the push for regulations. “Government needs to move faster.”
He laid out the proposals in front of an audience that included lawmakers at an event in downtown Washington on Thursday morning.
The need for regulations comes amid a surge in artificial intelligence (A.I.), which was sparked by the November release of the ChatGPT chatbot. Since then, corporations, including Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, have hurried to incorporate the technology into their offerings. Because of this, there are worries that companies are sacrificing safety to get to the next big thing before their rivals.
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