Wednesday Newsbytes: 3 Million Toothbrushes Used to Create Botnet; Microsoft Edge Gains on Chrome; AI Will Help Curate the News; Windows 11 Wants You to Use Outlook… and more!
Every day we scan the tech world for interesting news in the world of technology and sometimes from outside the world of technology. Every Wednesday, we feature news articles that grabbed our attention over the past week. We hope you find this week’s ‘Wednesday Newsbytes’ informative and interesting!
3 million smart toothbrushes have reportedly been hijacked by hackers and turned into botnets in a bizarre distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that took down a Swiss company’s website for several hours.
According to a report by the Swiss newspaper Aargauer Zeitung, the attack saw hackers compromise toothbrushes and flooding the company’s website with bogus traffic and overwhelming its capacity.
While no particular brands were mentioned in the report, the compromised toothbrushes were reportedly running Java, a popular language for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Once infected, this global network of malicious toothbrushes launched their attack…
Google Chrome continues to be the king of the browser market, but Microsoft Edge isn’t conceding and has gained a substantial lead in the last two months. Its desktop market share rose to 12.96 percent in January 2024 (11.23 percent in November 2023), as per a recent report by StatCounter.
Two months back, in November 2023, Safari was in second place after Chrome. But its grip over desktop consumers took a deep plunge after that, giving more room for Edge to rise in the desktop market. Some of this growth is attributable to the multiple improvements in Edge and the integration of Copilot.
Microsoft Edge’s desktop share is 12.96% of the market, which is a growth of 1.06 percentage points compared to December. Apple’s Safari maintains the third position with an 8.83% share, experiencing a drop of 0.13. Firefox follows closely in fourth place at 7.57%, down by 0.05 points…
Suddenly, building news products on the web is back in fashion.
As social traffic collapses and Google makes ominous AI-powered sounds about search, publishers across the board have started to reemphasize their websites as destinations, and that means there are a lot of new ideas about what makes websites valuable again.
Interestingly, a lot of those ideas sound a lot like blogging: that’s our redesign, of course, but it’s also Business Insider, which hired Katie Notopoulos and Peter Kafka to blog all day. And now it’s new-look politics site Semafor, which is officially launching a product it calls Signals to curate coverage from around the web on the biggest stories of the day.
The easiest way to understand Signals is to go look at one yourself — it’s fundamentally a collection of links to stories from around the web about a topic, curated and summarized by a Semafor reporter…
Will mark content made by OpenAI and Google’s tech
Meta will begin flagging AI-generated images on Facebook, Instagram, and Threads in an effort to uphold online transparency.
The tech giant already labels content made by its Imagine AI engine with a visible watermark. Moving forward, it’s going to do something similar for pictures coming from third-party sources like OpenAI, Google, and Midjourney just to name a few. It’s unknown exactly what these labels will look like although, looking at the announcement post, it may simply consist of the words “AI Info” next to generated content. Meta states this design is not final, hinting that it could change once the update officially launches.
In addition to visible labels, the company says it’s also working on tools to “identify invisible markers” in images from third-party generators. Imagine AI does this too by embedding watermarks into the metadata of its content. Its purpose is to include a unique tag that cannot be manipulated by editing tools. Meta states other platforms have plans to do the same and want a system in place to detect the tagged metadata.
Audio and video labeling
So far, everything has centered around branding images, but what about AI-generated audio and video? Google’s Lumiere is capable of creating incredibly realistic clips and OpenAI is working on implementing video-creation to ChatGPT…
Microsoft announced its plan to put the Mail and Calendar app to rest in favor of the new Outlook. It started as a simple nudge to promote the new Outlook app and allow users to try it. But all the Windows 11 devices released in 2024 will include the new Outlook app as the default mail app.
You will now see a GIF when using the Mail and Calendar app, prompting you to switch to the new Outlook. Click the Continue button to make the transition, or politely decline the offer by clicking the Not Now button. Even if you automatically migrate to the new Outlook app, you can revert to the old app.
The old Mail and Calendar app will remain on the Microsoft Store until December 31, 2024. After that, you have no choice but to accept the new Outlook app with open arms. If you are adamant, you can download the package installer and keep using the Mail and Calendar app after 2024, but it won’t receive updates or support…
Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope these articles were informative, interesting, fun, and helpful. Darcy & TC