Hashtag Trending Aug.25-Nvidia’s jaw-dropping earnings; T-Mobile axes 5000 jobs; Microsoft rumoured to bring AI to Windows 11

Nvidia reports blowout earnings, T-Mobile cuts 5000 jobs, Microsoft continues to infuse AI everywhere, soon possibly on our Windows 11 applications and Walmart to airdrop groceries by drone in Texas later this year.

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These stories and more as we bring you the top tech news stories on today’s Hashtag Trending.  

I’m your host James Roy.

Nvidia shook the tech world on Wednesday as it reported record revenue of $13.5 billion for the second quarter of 2023 – up 88 per cent from the previous quarter and well ahead the $11.2 billion that analysts were expecting. Its sales also doubled from the same quarter a year ago.

Nvidia’s AI chips is the hot commodity and it has left the company with more demand than it can handle. 

From AI startups to Big Tech companies, they’re all looking to get their hands on Nvidia’s chips.

Jensen Huang, Nvidia’s chief executive, said “Companies worldwide are transitioning from general-purpose to accelerated computing and generative AI,”

It’s like the 1995s again, when every corporation realized they had to get onto the internet and there was only one company ready to supply, in bulk, the routers firms needed to connect. That was Cisco and it made a fortune.

Biden administration’s sharp moves to keep advanced AI hardware out of China’s hands has also helped. And this is pushing nations like China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to stockpile in order to hedge against the possibility of further U.S. restrictions.

History, yet, shows that booms like this are short-lived and tech always overshoots, building more than it needs, anticipating crazy demand. Chips are particularly prone to that cycle, with companies doubling chip orders during a shortage and then they’re left with extra inventory when demand weakens.

However, a Nvidia rep told Axios that they’re not seeing double ordering from customers, and analysts believe that demand exceeding supply by at least 50 per cent for Nvidia chips will stay in place for the next several quarters.

Sources: Axios, Reuters

T-Mobile announced it plans to cut 5000 jobs or 7 per cent of its staff over the next five weeks The company said corporate and back office jobs that are “primarily duplicative” to other roles are mainly affected by the reductions. CEO Mike Sievert said that the cuts will also reduce the company’s middle management layers.

The company also plans to reduce its spending on “external workers and resources,” but its retail and “consumer care” staff who work directly with customers will not be affected.

Affected employees will receive “competitive severance packages” based on tenure, as well as accelerated stock vesting, access to career transition services and other benefits.

According to SEC filings, T-Mobile estimates it will incur a pre-tax charge of $450 million in the September quarter related to the reductions.

Source: CNN

A recent report in Windows Central reveals that Microsoft is planning on bringing AI to Windows 11 applications.

Sources say that, firstly, Photos app will have an AI functionality allowing it to identify objects in a photo and copy and paste somewhere else, like drag and drop in iOS 16. Secondly, the Snipping tool reportedly will have optical character recognition, allowing it to identify text in screenshots to facilitate copy and pasting. Finally,  Paint App will have AI art generation incorporated, allowing users to “create a canvas” based on user criteria.

These offerings, like the integration of Python into Excel, announced recently, however stirs some security concerns. And that’s because it entails linking all these applications that were running locally to the cloud.

The bigger question in all of this, however, is whether MineSweeper or Notepad will get an AI upgrade as well. And will that signify a revival of the helpful or…annoying Clippy assistant?

Source: ZDNET, Analytics India Mag

Hugging Face, the AI startup which calls itself the Github for machine learning, raised $235 million in a Series D fundraising round and is now valued at $4.5 billion. Reportedly, it got investments from Google, Amazon, AMD, Intel, IBM, Nvidia, and Salesforce. The company told the Verge that the new round of financing will be used “to grow the team currently at 170 and invest in more open source AI and platform building.

Source: The Verge

HPC software provider, Sylabs is accusing Greg Kurtzer, founder of CIQ, of stealing its trade secrets in order to start its business and filing its own patents based on that technology. 

Kurtzer was formerly CEO at Sylabs, but left in March 2020 to found what would become CIQ, a company which also focuses on HPC technologies and is known as the corporate sponsor of Rocky Linux.

In court documents seen by the Register, Sylabs alleges that Kurtzer and other defendants coordinated a mass resignation and that before leaving, some accessed Sylabs servers and downloaded trade secrets and IP, relating to products and business proposals.

CIQ and Kurtzer deny all wrongdoing. Sylabs is seeking a jury trial with damages to be determined.

Source: The Register

Meta has launched its own AI code-writing tool called Code Llama. It’s built on top of its Llama 2 large language model, to generate new code and debug human-written work.

Code Llama will use the same community license as Llama 2 and is free for research and commercial use.

Meta also released a Python-specialized version called Code Llama-Python and another version called Code Llama-Instrct, which can understand instructions in natural language. Each version of Code Llama is not interchangeable and the company does not recommend the base Code Llama or Code Llama-Python for natural language instructions.

Meta says that Code Llama performed better than publicly available LLMs based on benchmark testing but did not specifically name which models it tested against. 

The company will release three sizes of Code Llama and said its smallest size fits on a single GPU for more low-latency projects. 

Source: The Verge

Texans can have their groceries air dropped within a half hour, beginning later this year.

Wing, the drone delivery company from Google parent company Alphabet, will begin deliveries in coming weeks from a Walmart Supercenter Frisco, Texas, and from a second nearby store later this year.

Customers can just order through the Wing app, type in their home address and see if delivery is possible. The operations will extend about six miles from the Walmart store.

Drone delivery is flushed with challenges, from engineering, regulations, noise, cost, safety and public acceptance. But the technology is spreading to millions as tech giants work out the kinks. Companies like Wing and Zipline have, in fact, made hundreds of thousands of deliveries, in areas where tests are permitted.

Source: CNET

That’s the top tech news stories for today.  Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a special weekend interview show we call “the Weekend Edition.”

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I’m your host, James Roy. Have a Fantastic Friday!

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