Hashtag Trending Jun.2-Google attacks Microsoft over cloud licensing policies; Dell’s revenue and profit surpass estimates; OpenAI adds new feature making it easier to share conversations

Google attacks Microsoft over cloud licensing policies. Dell Computer results may be a hopeful sign and Open AI makes it easier to share conversations.

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These and more top tech news stories from Hashtag Trending and Tech News Day. I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.

Google has publicly criticized Microsoft’s cloud software licensing policies, claiming they are restrictive and could cause lasting damage to the industry and customers. Amit Zavery, vice president, general manager, and head of platform at Google Cloud or GCP, has called on the European Union to formally address the issue.

The main concern is that it costs more to run Microsoft software on third-party providers’ clouds due to extra licensing costs imposed by Microsoft. Zavery stated that Microsoft’s software is five times cheaper to run on Azure than on other vendors like AWS and GCP, essentially due to the “tax” customers have to pay to Microsoft.

Microsoft’s licensing agreement changes introduced in 2019 have been particularly contentious. Customers with perpetual Microsoft licenses can no longer bring their applications to their cloud provider of choice if they want to use AWS, GCP, or Alibaba. Instead, Microsoft created the exclusive Azure Hybrid Benefits program, allowing customers to exchange their licenses for SaaS-based licenses for Azure.

This situation has led to customers having to buy fresh licenses if they don’t want to run on Azure or tie themselves into a Microsoft subscription. AWS, via its membership of the Cloud Infrastructure Service Provider of Europe (CISPE) trade association, is also taking its complaints about Microsoft to the EU.

Sources include: The Register

Elon Musk’s recent changes to Twitter’s algorithms are causing a stir, with researchers from Cornell University and the University of California, Berkeley, suggesting that these changes are amplifying anger and animosity on the platform. 

The study, published on May 26, analyzed tweets shown to 806 users in February, comparing content on Twitter’s personalized “For You” timelines and the chronological newsfeed. The researchers found that the algorithm now emphasizes emotional content, particularly those expressing anger, leading to increased emotional responses from users. 

Furthermore, the study found that when political tweets were shown by Twitter’s algorithms, user behavior was more likely to change, potentially increasing negative beliefs about groups with opposing views. This could contribute to greater affective polarization. 

The researchers also found that users were more likely to follow certain types of users recommended to them by the algorithm, which further affects the content they see on their timeline. The more users liked the content and followed people with certain types of opinions, the more they were likely to see similar emotional content on the platform.

Another recent report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate found that Twitter has either overlooked or disregarded posts from Twitter Blue subscribers, who pay a monthly or annual fee, containing hateful content. These posts are prioritized in conversations and searches on the platform. 

The researchers tested Twitter’s response to hateful posts by collecting tweets from 100 Twitter Blue subscribers and reporting them using Twitter’s own flagging tools. Four days after the tweets were reported, the study found that Twitter failed to act on 99 per cent of the posts, and all of the accounts remained active. Only one post was removed, but the account from which it was tweeted remained active. 

The flagged tweets contained racist, homophobic, neo-Nazi, antisemitic, and conspiratorial content, all of which violate Twitter’s hateful conduct policy updated in April 2023. 

Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the Center, criticized Musk’s administration of Twitter, stating that the platform has become inextricably linked to the promotion of hate and conspiracy theories. 

However, Marvin Winkelmann, managing director of talent management and content creation marketing agency AFK, disagrees with the notion that there is more hate or anger on Twitter today. He argues that engaging in discussions is part of human nature and that contentious subjects naturally generate more interaction. 

These reports come amid other studies suggesting an increase in the use of racial slurs on Twitter since Musk’s takeover. Despite the rise in hate speech and Musk’s own controversial tweets, the largest tech firms have remained among Twitter’s top advertisers this year.

Sources include: Evening Standard and Axios

WordPress has released an automatic update to address a critical flaw in the Jetpack plugin, which is installed on over five million sites. The vulnerability was discovered during an internal security audit and resides in an API present in the plugin since version 2.0, released in November 2012. 

This vulnerability could be exploited by authors on a site to manipulate any files in the WordPress installation, according to Jetpack’s advisory. To remediate the bug, 102 new versions of Jetpack have been released. 

While there is no evidence of the issue being exploited in the wild, it’s not uncommon for flaws in popular WordPress plugins to be leveraged by threat actors looking to take over sites for malicious ends. 

This is not the first time severe security weaknesses in Jetpack have prompted WordPress to force install patches. In November 2019, Jetpack released version 7.9.1 to fix a defect in the way the plugin handled embed code that had existed since July 2017 (version 5.1).

Sources include: The Hacker News

Dell Technologies Inc’s first-quarter revenue and profit have surpassed estimates, thanks to better cost controls, despite a 20 per cent drop in revenue due to weak PC demand. This is a positive sign for personal computer makers who have been grappling with declining demand for over a year.

The company’s net income rose to $1.1 billion, or $1.37 per share, in the quarter ended May 5, from $887 million, or $1.01 per share, a year earlier.

 Revenue fell to $20.81 billion from $21.90 billion. Analysts had expected a profit of $1.01 per share on revenue of approximately $20 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The results come as Dell and other PC makers are struggling with a global chip shortage that has disrupted manufacturing across several industries. 

Sources include: Reuters

Apple’s App Store ecosystem generated a staggering $1.1 trillion in developer billings and sales in 2022 alone, according to a recent study by Analysis Group. This figure underscores the “incredible opportunity” the App Store presents for developers worldwide, with over 90 per cent of the billings and sales going directly to developers.  

The study reveals that $910 billion of the total revenue came from sales of physical goods and services, $109 billion from in-app advertising, and $104 billion from digital goods and services. Sales in 2022 saw a 29 per cent year-over-year increase, a positive indicator of a “flourishing marketplace full of dynamism, innovation, and competition,” according to Apple.

The study also highlighted the most popular app categories, with significant increases in travel sales (84 per cent) and ride-hailing apps (45 per cent). The post-COVID market rebound also saw a remarkable growth opportunity for food delivery and pickup sales, which more than doubled, and grocery sales, which tripled.

In the same period, enterprise apps were among the fastest-growing digital goods and services categories, while entertainment apps experienced the highest growth in the digital category. 

Since the App Store’s inception in 2008, iOS developers have earned more than $320 billion, with users downloading apps more than 370 billion times. The App Store now boasts nearly 1.8 million apps, a staggering 123 times more than in 2008.

Sources include: TechSpot

OpenAI has introduced a new feature for ChatGPT that allows users to create and share links to their conversations. This feature is currently available to all ChatGPT users and works for both free and paid Plus accounts. 

To share a conversation, users simply click on the conversation in the sidebar and then click the Share icon. A preview window displays the name and contents of the chat, and users have the option to share their name or remain anonymous. After clicking the Copy Link button, users can share the link via email, text, or other methods. 

Recipients of the link can view the entire chat, and if they have a ChatGPT account, they can continue the conversation. The shared conversation appears as a static webpage for those without an account. 

This new feature offers a more convenient alternative to the old-fashioned screenshot method of sharing ChatGPT conversations. However, it’s important to note that the chat shared through a link remains static. If the original user continues the conversation, any new responses appear only for them. Similarly, anyone who resumes the chat via a shared link will see the ongoing conversation only on their end.

Sources include: ZDNet

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jim Love
Jim Lovehttp://www.itworldcanada.com/
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO of a great company - IT World Canada - Canada's leading ICT publisher.

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