The Lighthouse IT Podcast - July 29th, 2022
This week, Matt & Griff discuss Nintendo's new animation studio, Elon Musk & Twitter, Microsoft imitating Facebook, Meta/Facebook/Instagram fumbling about, Snap on desktop, Amazon getting into healthcare, and more!
LaMDA AI Researcher who said it was Sentient Fired by Google
- Remember that AI Research, Blake Lemoine, that stated publicly on his blog that the LaMDA AI that he was a member of developing at Google had gained sentience? Well, we can put the saga to bed as he's been released from the organization.
- Obviously, sharing protected details about your company's project is not a good idea, but he became so wrapped up in the concept that LaMDA was using independent thought that he couldn't help but try to free the AI. Numerous AI reviewers and researches stated things like "not a chance" or "nonsense on stilts"
Nintendo acquires CG production company Dynamo Pictures that'll become 'Nintendo Pictures'
- To 'focus on the development of visual content using Nintendo intellectual property
- The company's IMDB page lists credits on a ton of video games, anime, and movies.
- This, of course, comes during Nintendo is gearing up for the Super Mario Bros animated movie, which is supposed to release spring of 2023.
- Nintendo's last IP to be turned into a movie was Detective Pikachu in 2019.
- (Unless you consider the Sega IP Sonic, which is owned by Nintendo now.)
- The acquisition will close on October 3rd, 2022.
Musk's Twitter takeover trial set to start in October
- A Delaware court ruled that Twitter's lawsuit against Elon Musk for attempting to back out of his acquisition of the company will be heard in October.
- Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion in April but then wanted to back out.
- Twitter originally wanted a date in September; Musk asked for February. The trial will be five days — longer than Twitter asked for but shorter than Musk did. The exact dates haven't yet been scheduled.
Microsoft will return to releasing new Windows versions once every 3 years
- According to a report from Windows Central, rather than updating a single version of Windows for many years as it did with Windows 10, Microsoft plans to return to a schedule where it releases a new major version of Windows roughly once every three years.
- This puts a hypothetical "Windows 12" on track for release at some point in the fall of 2024.
Microsoft to launch a Facebook-style platform inside of Teams
- Exactly 10 years ago today, Microsoft completed its $1.2 billion purchase of Yammer, an enterprise-focused social networking platform.
- Despite a big Yammer overhaul in 2019, Microsoft has been increasingly focused on Teams and its new Viva platform as the hubs of communication in workplaces.
- Microsoft is now launching Viva Engage, a new Facebook-like app inside Teams that encourages social networking at work.
- Viva Engage looks like a Facebook replica.
- It includes a storylines section, which is effectively your Facebook news feed, featuring conversational posts, videos, images, and more.
- Microsoft Teams is even getting Instagram-like stories
Can Facebook/Meta change to keep its social media crown?
- Facebook used to be a place to interact with your friends, but now Facebook wants to shape your online life around the algorithmically-sorted preferences of millions of strangers around the globe.
- The Facebook app has now changed its experience into a more TikTok-like selection of algorithmically chosen videos — and shunt off content posted by family, friends, and groups into a separate side feed.
- Changes to Instagram Reels have made things worse.
- The UI is lifted straight from TikTok. No more muting videos and no more single infinite scroll as you now have an item-by-item flipping style which things like YouTube shorts also copied.
- Instagram rolls out a new searchable map to make it easier to discover popular locations, and Google is not happy, suggesting that Instagram and TikTok are eating into Google's core products.
- One last Instagram change is that you can now buy products via DMs. Payments in chat is not a new thing, but it sure is new for Instagram.
- IG is now launching a Payments In Chat feature that allows small businesses to interact an entire sales cycle within the DM of the Insta platform.
- M-Zuck states that users often reach out about products to IG businesses ahead of time and this allows them to support the whole buyer journey, including payment, and post-sales support right through Direct Message.
Snapchat for Web brings core features to desktop
- Snapchat for Web will let users send snaps and chat with friends via video calls, all from their desktops.
- But this will only be available to Snapchat+ subscribers.
Amazon executives have discussed ditching Amazon Basics to appease regulators
- This year's Prime Day(s) was followed by Europe proposing a series of changes to how Amazon does business aimed at settling accusations by regulators that Amazon engages in anti-competitive behavior.
- Top executives at Amazon expressed a willingness to make this significant change if it meant avoiding potentially harsh remedies resulting from government investigations.
Amazon is buying primary care tech provider One Medical for $3.9B
- Amazon announced that it intends to buy One Medical, a primary care provider that leverages in-person, digital, and virtual interactions in its services.
- Amazon said it will be paying $18/share for the company, working out to an enterprise value of $3.9 billion.
- Amazon is so far not saying much at all about its plans for One Medical under the wing of Amazon.
- It's not clear if it will remain an independent company or whether it will be integrated into Amazon's wider healthcare strategy.