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The microblogging site, which was taken over by Elon Musk last October, said that from Feb. 9 it would "no longer support free access to the Twitter API." Third-party services using the Twitter API will have to use its basic paid tier instead, the company said. APIs are software tools used by third-party developers to access data from applications and use it to make new services. The Twitter API is also used by the newsgathering service Dataminr to alert journalists to information that emerges on Twitter in real time. Under his rein, Twitter laid off roughly half of its global workforce and incorporated the verification badge into its paid Twitter Blue subscription product.
The Galaxy S23 smartphone lineup features three new models: the standard S23, a slightly more expensive S23+ and the top-of-the-line S23 Ultra. Samsung typically releases its flagship Galaxy S models in the first half of the year and its Galaxy Z line of folding phones in the second half. The S23 Ultra houses a huge 5,000 mAh, or milliampere hour, battery. The S23 Plus and S23 come with 4,700 mAh and 3,900 mAh batteries, respectively. Users can also pair the Book3 with Samsung tablets to use the latter as a second screen, Samsung said.
In a widely-anticipated industry consultation launched Tuesday, the government proposed a number of measures aimed at bringing regulation of crypto asset businesses in line with that of traditional financial firms. A big theme that emerged in 2022 was the rise of risky loans made between multiple crypto firms and a lack of due diligence done on the counterparties involved in those transactions. The collapse of FTX has added urgency to global regulators' attempts to govern the regulation-averse crypto space. The regulatory move comes as crypto firms in both the U.K. and beyond are feeling the chill of a deep downturn known as "crypto winter." Global crypto hub ambitionsThe U.K. wants to become a leader in crypto and blockchain technology on the global stage.
Created in 2010 under the premiership of ex-Prime Minister David Cameron, Tech Nation was a hallmark of the U.K.'s bid to create billion-dollar tech companies of global significance and rival the likes of Silicon Valley. It claims to have helped produce household names in the U.K.'s tech scene, with a diverse range of alumni on its projects hailing from the likes of Monzo, Revolut, Deliveroo , Just Eat , Darktrace and Ocado . According to Tech Nation, more than a third of all tech unicorns and decacorns created in the U.K. graduated from a Tech Nation program. Tech Nation graduates have also raised more than £28 billion ($35.4 billion) in funding to date. While 80% of startups fail in their first two to five years, over 95% of startups on Tech Nation's accelerator programs have gone on to scale, the group said.
The Sorare NFT soccer trading card game has partnered with the Premier League on a multi-year licensing agreement. Sorare, the $4.3 billion fantasy soccer game, has signed a multi-year deal with the Premier League that will see the world's top soccer league license official player cards. Players of the game will be able to purchase and use official Premier League-licensed NFTs under the exclusive multi-year agreement. Sorare was first rumored to be in talks with the Premier League — the top tier of England's men's soccer leagues — about a licensing agreement in Oct. 2022. Sorare CEO Nicolas Julia said things took longer to wrap up than anticipated as the Premier League had an existing NFT licensing deal with another firm.
The difference with TikTok is that the app has kept out of the crosshairs of commercial interests in Europe. "The user base of TikTok is a lot bigger than a lot of people in Europe think," he said. More than half of people aged 16 to 24 in France and Germany use TikTok, according to data.ai. He is worried the platform poses "several unacceptable risks for European users," including "data access by Chinese authorities, censorship, [and] tracking of journalists." Why Europe's tone is changingLast month, ByteDance admitted to using two journalists' TikTok data to locate their physical movements, according to a widely-reported internal memo.
Wise has been accused by a rival fintech company of undermining competition in the money transfer market. Atlantic Money, a smaller foreign exchange service, made this allegation in a letter to the U.K. competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority. Atlantic Money said in the letter that it was initially listed by Wise on its website on Oct. 14, 2022. It was later delisted on Jan. 20, 2023, with Wise allegedly telling Atlantic Money it was "no longer deemed a legitimate competitor." We take any complaints very seriously," a Wise spokesperson told CNBC via email, in response to a request for comment on the Atlantic Money letter.
A worsening macroeconomic climate and the collapse of industry giants like FTX and Terra have weighed on bitcoin's price this year. Cryptocurrency exchange Luno is the latest company in the industry to make layoffs, setting out to cut 35% of its global workforce. "2022 has been an incredibly tough year for the broader tech industry and in particular the crypto market," the company said in a statement shared with CNBC Wednesday. "Luno unfortunately hasn't been immune to this turbulence, which has affected our overall growth and revenue numbers." A Luno spokesperson told CNBC the layoff measure would have "minimal or no impact on key operating, and compliance teams."
Amazon workers are going on strike in Britain, in a move that marks the first formal industrial action in the country for the U.S. tech giant. But warehouse workers say it fails to match the rising cost of living. Amazon workers have raised concerns about long working hours, high injury rates, and the unrelenting pace of work, as well as aggressive, tech-enhanced monitoring of employees. A spokesperson for the tech giant told CNBC in a statement that the staff involved represent "only a fraction of 1% of our UK employees." The spokesperson said that pay for Amazon's U.K. warehouse workers has increased 29% since 2018, and pointed to a £500 one-time payment made out to staff to help with the cost-of-living crisis.
Islamic fintech startup Wahed has opened its first physical branch on Baker Street in London. An investing platform backed by the likes of oil giant Saudi Aramco and French soccer player Paul Pogba is launching a novel proposition in the U.K.: a physical branch and bank accounts backed by gold. It is located on Baker Street in central London, just opposite a branch of U.K. banking giant HSBC. "In the United Kingdom, [the Muslim community is] actually one of the lowest socio-economic segments of the country," Wahed's boss said, with "low incomes or financial literacy." "I think it really fits with the Muslim community and what their needs are," Wahedna said.
The SEC on Wednesday rejected Grayscale's application for a spot bitcoin ETF, citing a failure by the investment manager to answer questions about concerns around market manipulation. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has scheduled a date to hear oral arguments in Grayscale's lawsuit contesting the Securities and Exchange Commission's decision to deny the conversion of its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to an exchange-traded fund. Grayscale initiated its lawsuit against the SEC in June 2022 after the agency rejected its application to turn its bitcoin trust, better known by its ticker GBTC, into an ETF. The company decided to pursue the ETF, which would be backed by bitcoin rather than bitcoin derivatives, after the SEC approved ProShares' futures-based bitcoin ETF in October 2021. Still, crypto investors are longing to see the SEC approve a U.S. spot bitcoin ETF – and no longer just as a way to open the crypto market to more institutional investment.
The FBI claims North Korea-linked hackers were behind a $100 million crypto heist on the so-called Horizon bridge last year. North Korean-linked actors were behind the theft of $100 million through the hack of a crypto product last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. The FBI also said that the North Korean cyber actors this month used the Railgun system to launder over $60 million worth of the token ether stolen during the June 2022 heist. A portion of the stolen ether was sent to several virtual asset service providers and converted to bitcoin, the FBI said. Last year, the U.S. Treasury Department blamed Lazarus for a $600 million heist on Ronin Network, a so-called "sidechain" for popular crypto game Axie Infinity.
Spotify cuts 6% of its workforce, content chief departs
  + stars: | 2023-01-23 | by ( Ryan Browne | ) www.cnbc.com   time to read: +2 min
Spotify has a total workforce of around 9,800 people, which means the cuts impact about 600 employees. Dawn Ostroff, Spotify's head of content, is also leaving the firm. Ostroff, a former president of Conde Nast Entertainment, joined Spotify in 2018 to help the company grow its fledgling advertising and podcasting businesses. In her time at Spotify, Ostroff signed Barack and Michelle Obama's production company Higher Ground Productions to have the former U.S. president and first lady work on exclusive podcasts for Spotify. She also led the deal to get exclusive rights to The Joe Rogan show and was responsible for negotiating exclusive podcasting deals with Kim Kardashian, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
1 token briefly topped $23,000 for the first time since Aug. 19, 2022, according to data from CoinGecko. The Fed and other central banks began cutting interest rates in 2022, shocking holders of risky asset classes, like stocks and digital tokens. Economists previously told CNBC they predict a Fed rate cut could happen as soon as this year. The Fed is likely to keep interest rates high for the time being. Bitcoin short sellers have been squeezed by sudden upward moves in prices, according to Ayyar.
Jonathan Raa | Nurphoto | Getty ImagesAttendees of the annual World Economic Forum couldn't get enough of a new development in the realm of artificial intelligence: generative AI. Most machine learning tools rely on existing information and identify patterns in the data to pick out trends or reach a preferred outcome. Generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Dall-E stand out from the crowd through their ability to take data inputs and create new content. This week at the WEF forum in Davos, Switzerland, generative AI virtually replaced crypto and so-called "Web3" as the hyped technology of choice for top business executives and policymakers. "Generative AI has a huge potential," said Hiroaki Kitano, CEO of Sony Computer Science Laboratories, on Tuesday's generative AI panel.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 09: Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at a panel at the CEO Summit of the Americas hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on June 09, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, said in an email sent to the company's staff Friday that the firm will begin making layoffs in the U.S. immediately. The web search and video sharing giant will offer U.S.-based employees 16 weeks of severance pay plus two weeks for each additional year they've worked at Google, Pichai added. Read the full memo Pichai sent out to staff on Friday:Googlers,I have some difficult news to share. While this transition won't be easy, we're going to support employees as they look for their next opportunity.
"FTX in my view now gets painted as a crypto problem. I think if you really peel enough onion layers, it's not really a crypto ... problem to happen here, it's fraud. "We talk about this as a crypto problem. But really, this is just fraud, and I think in some ways, not that dissimilar than Bernie Madoff," said Garlinghouse. "When Bernie Madoff occurred, we didn't totally restructure how we thought about oversight and regulation of hedge funds."
Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir, on day two of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Palantir co-founder and CEO Alex Karp knows many tech workers in Silicon Valley have misgivings about his data mining firm's dealings with intelligence agencies and the military. Tech workers have been more vocal in recent years in opposing their employers' contracts with the military. Two-thirds of people in Silicon Valley don't want to work for companies like Palantir, Karp said in Davos. "We don't like people who are coming in and saying, we want to kill terrorists and just without data protection," Karp said.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, on Oct. 19, 2021. "The SEC and Gary Gensler has very outwardly said he views almost all crypto as a security. At a September event organized by the Practising Law Institute, Gensler said that the "vast majority" of cryptocurrency tokens are securities. watch nowThe XRP case has important implications for both Ripple and the broader crypto market. A judgment pronouncing XRP a security could potentially impose much stricter curbs on Ripple with respect to the token.
The global shortage of semiconductors is "being sorted out" after years of disruptions to supply chains that made them a scarce resource, according to the chairman of Swedish-Swiss tech and engineering giant ABB . I think global growth slowdown has helped on this as well, and now for the future I'm quite optimistic." 2022 was deeply challenging for ABB, Voser said, with the coronavirus in China and its related disruptions to global trade hitting the company hard. "I think with the global CHIPS act in U.S., investments in Europe, we will see more. Most probably, we are going into a capacity overhang pretty soon if the economy grows slower than anticipated," the ABB chairman said.
The CEO of German tech giant SAP said the world is entering the next phase of globalization — and he's largely optimistic on the outlook for technology despite challenges posed by higher interest rates and supply chain disruptions. "We are entering from my perspective the next phase of globalization," SAP chief Christian Klein told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He added that companies are coming together to secure their supply chains and tackle corporate responsibility issues by better using data. Supply chains have been challenged by a confluence of factors, not least the Covid pandemic. That has led to upheavals of supply chains and higher prices for consumers and businesses around the world.
"The most important macro data investors are focussing on is the weak services PMI and the trending down of employment and wage data. 'Whales' buying BTCLarger purchasers of digital coins known as "whales" may be leading the latest rally in bitcoin, according to Kaiko. Several bitcoin miners have been flushed out by the drop in prices. Bitcoin miners, who use power-intensive machines to verify transactions and mint new tokens, have been squeezed by the slump in prices and rising energy costs. That's historically a good sign for bitcoin, according to Ayyar.
Bitcoin on Thursday surged to its highest price in nearly a month, as traders bet on an U.S. inflation cooldown and digest news that lawyers for defunct crypto exchange FTX found billions of dollars' worth of assets, boosting hopes for its users. On Wednesday, attorneys for collapsed crypto exchange FTX said they had found around $5 billion in "liquid" assets, including cash and digital assets. The recovery will be a welcome boon to FTX customers after the crypto exchange imploded in November. FTX lawyers nevertheless warned the $5 billion cache was so high that selling the assets could lead to significant downside pressure on the market, driving down their value. "This could also mean that the market thinks the worst is over for crypto and that most negative news in now priced in."
The stock has since pared losses slightly and was last trading at around 20 euros, down 16% from the Wednesday close. In a trading update on Wednesday, Ubisoft lowered net bookings guidance for the third quarter of 2022 to 725 million euros, down from an earlier target of 830 million euros. The company forecast full-year net bookings would likely fall 10% after an earlier projection called for an increase of 10%. Ubisoft said Wednesday that it would depreciate around 500 million euros of capitalized research and development and narrow its focus to fewer titles. The company hopes to cut costs by about 200 million euros through a mix of targeted restructuring, divestment of "non-core" assets, and employee attrition.
Spending on mobile games declined last year as consumers got more frugal with their purchasing decisions in response to rising inflation, according to a report from app analytics firm Data.ai. Mobile game spending fell 5% globally in 2022, to $110 billion, Data.ai, which was formerly known as App Annie, said in its "State of Mobile" report Wednesday. The report also looks at the broader state of sectors like mobile ads, retail and social media apps. Nevertheless, first-time installs of mobile titles rose 8% to a record 90 billion, with so-called "hypercasual" titles leading the gains. In recent years, growth in mobile gaming has been the dominant story in the games industry, with major publishers making big bets on mobile game developers.
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