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Recent film and TV projects also under the Boardroom umbrella include the Academy Award-winning Two Distant Strangers (Netflix), the critically acclaimed scripted series SWAGGER (Apple TV+) and Emmy-nominated documentary NYC Point Gods (Showtime).

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By Michelai Graham
Boardroom's Tech Reporter
March 10, 2024
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Tech Talk is a weekly digest by Boardroom’s Michelai Graham that breaks down the latest news from the world’s biggest tech companies and the future of industry-shaping trends like AI.

Let’s take a moment to congratulate Tareasa “Reesa Teesa” Johnson on signing with CAA for representation following her wildly successful 50-part TikTok series, which has attracted more than 400 million impressions in less than a month. There is nothing I love more than seeing women win, especially this month.

A peek into today’s edition: 

  • Social media platforms went down this week, but why?
  • EU fines Apple $2B as the tech giant and Epic Games go at it (again)
  • OpenAI responds to Elon Musk’s lawsuit

Social Media Platforms Went Offline This Week. But Why?

Hmmm, seemingly every social media platform went down this week but X, and that just really doesn’t sit right with me.

It all started on Tuesday morning when Meta‘s family of apps, including Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, experienced a widespread outage that lasted roughly two hours. The platforms glitched for some users and wouldn’t refresh or load, while others were completely logged out of their accounts. Meta acknowledged the issue on its status page, but when the services returned online, the company didn’t say why they were ever down other than that there was a “technical issue,” which we all could have guessed.

YouTube also briefly went down on Tuesday after experiencing a surge in traffic due to outages across Meta’s platforms. The same happened to Discord. Again, the platforms were brought back online without much explanation. LinkedIn also briefly went offline Wednesday evening after nearly 45,000 users reported encountering an error page when accessing the networking site.

We’ll probably never know why all of these social media platforms went down, but on the bright side, Instagram users can now edit DMs up to 15 minutes after sending them and pin chats. Woohoo!

EU Fines Apple $2B as the Tech Giant & Epic Games Go At It Again

The European Union announced on Monday that it’s hitting Apple with a $2 billion fine for breaking antitrust laws in the region following a complaint filed by Spotify in 2019. This is the first time Apple has received a fine from the EU, which pertains to the Big Tech giant’s App Store practices for music streaming platforms. The EU told Apple it can’t stop music services from advertising cheaper subscription deals outside of the App Store. Apple responded to the ruling, saying the EU didn’t “uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm,” so it will appeal the decision. Apple also accused Spotify of trying to rewrite its App Store rules to gain competitive advantages and reap all the benefits.

Amid this, Apple terminated Epic Games‘ developer account this week before reinstating it a few days later. Epic Games intends to use the account to launch its own app store for iPhones in Europe to distribute Fortnite and other games. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said the gaming company’s account was iced as retaliation following Epic’s lawsuit against Apple, other litigation, and some of his social media posts. Apple responded, saying it had the right to terminate Epic’s account for breaching its contractual obligations.

The developer account termination was another red flag for the EU, which announced it will investigate.

Crypto Chronicles: Bitcoin, Ethereum Reach New Milestones

Bitcoin and Ethereum are having a historic week after reaching new heights since Q4 of 2021. First, Bitcoin set a new all-time high of $69,210 on Tuesday before doing it again on Friday by eclipsing $70,000 for the first time ever. The token outpaced its previous highest value of $68,982 on Nov. 10, 2021, and has been trading above $66,000 consistently throughout the week. Soon after, ETH surpassed the $3,800 mark on Wednesday morning for the first time since December 2021, partly due to its upcoming network upgrade. ETH hit its all-time high on Nov. 9, 2021, when it was trading for $4,815, so the crypto has a way to beat that record.

ETH’s value has historically trended along with Bitcoin, so it doesn’t surprise me that the crypto and many others are seeing some success this week. There was even a big NFT sale. CryptoPunk #3100 sold for 4,500 ETH, or $16.03 million, on March 4. This is the second-highest CryptoPunk sale ever, and some NFT enthusiasts are saying this sale is a sign that the bull market is back.

  • The OpenAI leadership team finally responded to Elon Musk’s lawsuit last week in a blog post revealing that the tech tycoon promised to invest as much as $1 billion but only cut a check for $45 million. The AI startup said Musk didn’t significantly impact its development and success, even after he offered to bring OpenAI under Tesla‘s wing in 2018.
  • Anthropic debuted Claude 3 on Monday, a new AI chatbot and suite of AI models that it’s dubbing its most powerful offerings yet. The company said its latest chatbot can summarize up to 150,000 words. For reference, that’s about how long Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is.
  • ByteDance‘s revenue in the third quarter of 2023 rose by an estimated 43% to $30.9 billion, showing that it’s growing at twice the rate of Meta, The Information reported. The news broke as TikTok‘s parent company internally shared plans to buy back stock, indicating that it wants to stay a private company for the foreseeable future.
  • Coachella announced a partnership with NFT marketplace OpenSea to give NFTs a second try for fans seeking access to more VIP areas and exclusive merch at its annual music festival. This new offering comes after Coachella’s failed 2022 partnership with FTX following the crypto exchange’s collapse.
  • Former Google software engineer Linwei Ding was arrested in California and charged with four counts of federal trade secret theft for allegedly stealing and sharing AI trade secrets with two companies based in China.
  • More than 200 AI researchers signed an open letter published by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University urging generative AI companies, including OpenAI, Google, and Meta, to allow investigators to access their systems for examination and safety testing.

I’m going to go long here and bet that Bitcoin will cross the $80,000 threshold before the summer hits since its value has consistently been trending upward in recent weeks.