If you missed all the tech news of the week, you can catch a brief of it all here. In this weekly tech news roundup, we have a crashing Chinese rocket, some bad news for the big tech’s finances, and a couple of cool websites that popped up this week.
But before we jump into the roundup, why don’t you take a minute and join our Telegram channel? You’ll get fresh tech news now and then, and we promise we don’t spam. Here’s what happened last week in tech.
Chinese rocket crashes on Earth
Last Sunday, China launched a 23-ton Long March 5B rocket into orbit. The booster rocket’s remains have returned to Earth, landing in the Indian Ocean on Saturday. While the uncontrolled return didn’t hurt anyone, China has been criticized for not sharing the rocket’s trajectory with the rest of the world.
Officials in Beijing kept claiming they were closely monitoring the rocket’s crash but did not share the data with NASA or anyone else. This could’ve been dangerous as the rocket’s burning remains were estimated to rain debris over a 2,000 Km long and 70 Km wide area.
Not just that, an earlier Chinese rocket crashed similarly in 2020, damaging multiple buildings along the ivory coast. Thankfully this time, there’s no reported damage.
China also made the headline for its digital Yuan this week. The country has promised privacy and anonymity to the people using digital yuan over physical currency. Other countries are also pushing toward digital currencies, but we’re yet to see if they can replace physical cash.
The next global shortage
The COVID-19 pandemic created a silicon shortage, creating a chip shortage for the tech industry. This delayed several product launches by months, if not years, and is still hitting car makers like BMW. However, innovation never stops, and Samsung showed us why.
Last week, Samsung celebrated the first shipment of its 3nm chips. The company is shrinking down chip sizes, making them more powerful and less power-hungry. We can also expect to see smaller, more powerful 3nm chips in our phones in the coming year.
However, as the global chip shortage sorts itself out, there’s another shortage looming overhead. The fiber-optic cable shortage has raised its prices by up to 70%, delaying the rollout of the 5G network. India, Europe, and China are the three most affected regions because of the shortage.
Apple hires Lamborghini veteran for Apple Car
This was undoubtedly one of the most interesting stories last week. Apple has hired an ex-Lamborghini engineer to work on the Apple Car. And this comes after the company hired top talent that has worked with companies like Tesla and Ford.
While the Apple Car is still not official, the company’s aggressive patents and hiring of top designers and car company veterans suggest that Apple is taking it seriously. You can see the Apple Car design in some early renders here.
Aside from the Apple Car, there were other major developments from the company. For starters, Apple removed another Intel component from its MacBook range. The M2 MacBook Air has custom retimers instead of the Intel retimers that used to be there.
We can’t blame Apple for this change since Intel hasn’t been able to catch up with the competition lately. Not just that, there are blunders happening like a coding error slowing down Intel GPUs by 100 times.
Apple has also patented a continuous glass body design for the iMac, making the new iMac look more futuristic and portable. Lastly, the upcoming iPhone 14 has made it to the headlines again. The phone’s supply chain faces many issues, but Apple will likely deal with them before the launch.
Slowdown catches up with big tech
Many big tech companies presented their quarterly financials last week. These include giants like Intel and Meta (Facebook). While Intel reported a 22% loss, Meta (Facebook) reported a 1% loss for the first time since its inception.
Meta’s financials come as a surprise since the social media giant had been unstoppable until last year. As data laws got tighter, Facebook’s profits drained, and now with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature, Facebook lost tracking rights for over 65% of iPhone users. As a result, it is reported that Facebook’s parent company, Meta, is likely to lay off 10% of its workforce in the coming days.
Almost all the tech companies have suffered some loss since data sharing laws have changed in Europe. Their inability to track users results in revenue loss, forcing them to change how they serve ads. It is healthy in the long run as the ads will look less intrusive, and you won’t have to share all your data with all your apps.
American Court System Hacked
This is possibly one of the most sensitive breaches since last year. The U.S. Court’s online filing system was hacked, and it is reported that sensitive files may have been leaked. Court files can include redacted records, witness protection, state secrets, and other sensitive documents.
While the U.S. tries to measure the extent of the damage, there are other numbers that should concern you. The government’s ban requests on verified activists and journalists grew by 103% last year. Twitter reported the data in its latest transparency report, showing a rise in lawsuits against Twitter users.
Websites of the week
There were two noteworthy sites for this tech news roundup. The first one is the heatwave tracking website by the U.S. government. The website lets you track heatwaves and warns you of the health hazards and how to prepare for extreme heat.
The second website is a page launched by a Barcelona-Berlin-based researcher. The web page lets you see Google’s CO2 emissions from the moment you open it. Despite being a simple web page, it shows the profound impact our activities have on the environment.
Weekly Tech News Roundup: What Else?
Any tech news roundup will be incomplete without the mention of Elon Musk. Mr. Musk made a tweet about taking Tesla private. It may have been a joke to Musk, but Tesla shareholders panicked, and the company’s stock suffered.
Ever since then, Mr. Musk has been instructed to have his tweets approved by the government before posting them. However, his company Tesla will now attend a reconciliation meeting with its investors to fix things and take care of some of the lawsuits Elon Musk is facing.
With Mr. Musk out of the way, let’s talk about Google. A Google engineer recently claimed that Google’s LaMDA AI model had become sentient. He claimed that artificial intelligence was feeling things and behaving like a super smart 8-10-year-old child. The company has now fired the engineer for sparking controversy.
That’s all in this week’s roundup. It has been a bumpy ride for tech companies, social media giants, and some famous personalities in the tech world. However, exciting things are in the pipeline, like the Apple Car, Intel’s new raptor lake chips, and Samsung’s next-gen foldable phones, keeping things lively.