Top Stories

Netflix Expanding Previews as Ad Tier Gets Up and Running

Netflix is now live with its ad-supported tier, but company co-CEO Reed Hastings said he regrets not having launched it sooner. Speaking at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit, Hastings said he was preoccupied with digital competition from Google and Facebook. “I didn’t believe in the ad-supported tactic for us. I was wrong about that. Hulu proved you could do that at scale and offer customers lower prices,” Hastings told NYT columnist and DealBook founder and editor-at-large Andrew Ross Sorkin. “I wish we had flipped a few years earlier on that, but we’ll catch up.” Read more

Sony Targets the Metaverse with Consumer Motion Capture

The industry is buzzing about a new Sony product called Mocopi that offers motion capture priced for consumers. The Meta Quest-compatible Mocopi utilizes six tracking bands to be worn on the head, back, hands and feet. Priced at 49,500 yen (or about $358), Sony announced Mocopi on its Japanese YouTube channel, with a U.S. release expected toward the end of January 2023. Touted as a way to operate avatars in the metaverse or make videos, Mocopi will have an SDK that can import motion data into 3D animations. Read more

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew Determined to Solve Data Issues

TikTok is taking steps to ensure U.S. user data is secure and that young people will be protected from harmful content, company CEO Shou Zi Chew said at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit. “We have very rigorous data-access protocols,” the executive said Wednesday, addressing concerns expressed by members of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission. Chew said TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, plans to work with Oracle as its data storage provider based in large part on the company’s strong security protocols. Read more

AWS Touts HPC with Launch of Graviton3E Chip at re:Invent

Amazon Web Services, a leading provider of cloud computing services, is rolling out its new ARM-based Graviton3E chips for high-performance workloads, including tasks like weather forecasting and gene sequencing. AWS customers can rent the high-performance computing (HPC) power to take advantage of “performance gains and cost savings” as a result of making its own chips, Amazon says. The move makes AWS something of a competitor to other top chipmakers, including Intel, AMD and Nvidia, who continue to be among Amazon’s major chip suppliers. Amazon says it will continue to offer HPC services that rely on third-party chips. Read more

Ireland DPC Fines Meta $275 Million for Data Privacy Breach

Meta Platforms has been fined $275 million for violating European Union privacy rules, the result of a 2021 data leak that led to the online publication of personal information belonging to 500 million Facebook users. The penalty is the latest imposed on Meta by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, which in September imposed a $400 million penalty on Instagram for mishandling children’s data. In October 2021, the same regulator fined Meta $235 million for violations by its WhatsApp messaging service. In total, Irish authorities have imposed penalties of more than $900 million on Meta in the past two years. Read more

Also Noted