Top Stories

Alphabet Profit Up 57 Percent, Prompting First-Ever Dividend

Alphabet reported revenue of $80.5 billion for Q1, a 15 percent increase fueled largely by online advertising from Google Search and YouTube. The figure topped analyst estimates of $78.8 billion. Profit soared, rising 57 percent to more than $23.6 billion, wildly overperforming the forecast of $18.9 billion. The strong performance resulted in Alphabet announcing its first ever shareholder dividend, at 20 cents per share, which pays out on June 17. Alphabet’s board approved a $70 billion stock repurchase program, and the news-filled earnings event drove Alphabet shares up 13 percent in after-hours trading. Read more

Micron Awarded CHIPS Funds for Fabs in Idaho and New York

Micron Technology has been selected to receive up to $6.14 billion in CHIPS and Science Act funding from the federal government. The Boise, Idaho-based tech firm says it will use the funds to construct four new fabrication plants — two in its hometown and two in New York State. Micron has committed an investment of up to $125 billion across both states over the next two decades as it endeavors to build a leading-edge memory manufacturing ecosystem. President Biden announced the preliminary funding agreement during a trip to the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology in Syracuse, New York. Read more

Internet Regulation: FCC Votes to Restore Net Neutrality Rules

The Federal Communications Commission voted to reinstate net neutrality rules on Thursday, returning to the Obama-era approach of establishing a level playing field for online platforms, regardless of size. The commissioners voted 3-2 along party lines to reclassify broadband as a Title II telecommunications service, the equivalent of a public utility, which means it can be regulated like power and water. However, the FCC qualified that while it would be treating the Internet as an essential service, it will exercise its authority “in a narrowly tailored fashion.” Read more

Apple Unveils OpenELM Tech Optimized for Local Applications

The trend toward small language models that can efficiently run on a single device instead of requiring cloud connectivity has emerged as a focus for Big Tech companies involved in artificial intelligence. Apple has released the OpenELM family of open-source models as its entry in that field. OpenELM uses “a layer-wise scaling strategy” to efficiently allocate parameters within each layer of the transformer model, resulting in what Apple claims is “enhanced accuracy.” The “ELM” stands for “Efficient Language Models,” and one media outlet couches it as “the future of AI on the iPhone.” Read more

Yaccarino Says X Streaming Video App for TVs ‘Coming Soon’

Elon Musk’s social media platform X (formerly Twitter) is preparing to launch a streaming video app for smart TVs. Though still in development, with no formal launch date announced, X CEO Linda Yaccarino posted a “sneak peek” that indicates the app will have a “trending” algorithm that pushes popular content and will be AI-powered to deliver a “personalized experience.” Yaccarino said the X video app will also have “effortless casting” so content can be easily sent to a larger screen from a mobile device. Availability is billed as “coming soon to most smart TVs.” Read more

Also Noted