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The Shark FlexStyle is greater than the Dyson Airwrap

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The Shark FlexStyle is greater than the Dyson Airwrap

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Revlon One-Step, your reign is over. There is a brand new Dyson Airwrap dupe on town, and or not it’s the finest we now occupy ever seen — the Shark FlexStyle.

You occupy doubtless seen the FlexStyle for your For You page, and observed that unlike pretty noteworthy each diversified dupe available, it in truth looks as if the Airwrap. It has a wand homely and numerous alternative interchangeable styling heads, including Coanda tech-powered curling barrels — , those that magically wrap your hair spherical the barrel with out a hitch.

The resemblances don’t appear to be valid in its appearance. I’ve throughly examined each merchandise, and at the cease of the day, the efficiency is virtually indistinguishable. If anything else, the Shark offers just a few new aspects that sort me attain for it more.

Factoring in its $270 tag point, the Shark goes previous being a gold-normal dupe. Or not it’s an exquisite reproduction for only half of the worth and it also outperforms the novel.

What is available in the sphere

The accumulate loves jog down of anything else neatly-liked, so I acquire you would even be potentially itching to peek me abominate on the Airwrap. But sooner than we acquire into any essential comparisons, let’s streak over what you would even be in truth getting with the Shark.

Of course, it’s some distance dependent on what configuration you score. Right here’s what’s on hand:

  • The most price-efficient two alternatives location you abet $269.ninety 9 will occupy to you store at Amazon and Easiest Aquire. The first option entails two 1.25-wander curling attachments, the oval brush, the hump brush, and the styling concentrator. For people with straight or a bit wavy hair, here’s a elephantine opt. While you happen to might perchance occupy wavier or curlier hair, the 2nd option entails all of the above, however swaps the hump brush for a diffuser. (These alternatives are also each on hand on Shark’s web sites, however for $300, so we recommend going for a Third-event retailer.)

  • On Shark’s web sites finest, you would also use $279.ninety 9 to customize your abilities and decide any three attachments out of the six on hand alternatives (the two curling barrels depend as one attachment).

all of the shark attachments plus the wand

I got the wavy hair machine, plus the hump brush to take a look at up on.
Credit score: Bethany Allard / Mashable

Shark despatched me the wavy hair machine to take a look at, however also incorporated the hump brush on the aspect. The finest attachment I did not receive was once the newly-released extensive-teeth comb, however I contain not occupy the hair texture to properly test it anyway. Bought individually, each of the particular individual attachments will bustle you $29.95.

Shark also sends along a minute booklet of tricks on how to make use of every attachment, with ideas for the warmth and air settings.

No longer just like the Airwrap, you would also additionally use the FlexStyle attachment-free, due to homely’s skill to swivel and in most cases replicate the abilities of a standard hair dryer. I packed the homely by itself for a marriage I was once in, and it was once design less tubby in my earn than any jog hair dryer has ever been.

The price of the Shark FlexStyle versus the Dyson Airwrap

Now that the comparisons to the Dyson occupy begun in earnest, let’s acquire the whole design down to what in truth matters — the worth.

As a refresher, the Airwrap will bustle you $600 for six attachments, including two diversified sized curling barrels, a smoothing dryer attachment, two smoothing brushes, and a spherical volumizing brush. Any extra attachments will tag you $40 each, however Dyson does occupy more alternatives total.

Breaking it down completely by the desire of attachments, that is roughly $100 per attachment, and I will’t articulate each one justifies its field (having a seek at you, company smoothing brush and relaxed smoothing brush).

The FlexStyle, on the diversified hand, comes with four attachments, however as I talked about above, can characteristic as a dryer sans attachment. Therefore, that you should occupy 5 styling alternatives for $270, which breaks the whole design down to about $54 per attachment. Even with out the built-in drying, you would even be aloof paying about $67.50 per attachment, placing you design below the Dyson.

all of the shark flexstyle attachments next to the dyson airwrap attachments

Minus just a few differences, the attachments offered are virtually a one-to-one.
Credit score: Bethany Allard / Mashable

The discrepancy in tag would not translate to a discrepancy in quality, either. The attachments conducted practically identically, the whole design down to the curling attachment the utilization of Coanda air tech to score your hair for you. Both stylers occupy three warmth settings, three fan speeds, and a groovy shot button or switch.

The finest diversified edge the Dyson has is its like carrying case, which I carry out opt for storage over the sphere the Shark is available in. I valid don’t opt it for $330 more.

shark flexstyle field next to dismal blue dyson airwrap case

The Dyson case feels more polished, however not $330 more polished.
Credit score: Bethany Allard / Mashable

Attachments breakdown

When I was once in the initiate despatched my pattern of the FlexStyle, I examined it for just a few weeks and feeble each attachment no lower than once, if not just a few cases.

I articulate in the initiate because after I was once accomplished attempting out and in the center of of penning this evaluation, Shark educated me that they wished to send me a more moderen pattern with an updated ALCI jog that was once supposed to lengthen the lifespan and sturdiness of the FlexStyle. The one I had been despatched was once a pre-begin version despatched to a restricted desire of customers, and a Shark spokesperson reassured me that someone with the “extinct” model was once despatched the updated version.

I articulate this for the sake of transparency, not because I observed a difference the least bit in the FlexStyle’s efficiency. I retested each attachment with the brand new pattern, all any other time no lower than once if not multiple cases for the related timespan. No longer one among the attachments or the homely as a standalone dryer conducted in any other case, and all of the attachments clicked in to the homely and stayed locked in with out a hitch.

With all of that acknowledged, here is how I found out the abilities of the utilization of every attachment that was once despatched to me. As I illustrious earlier on this evaluation, I failed to receive the brand new extensive-teeth comb supposed for coily and curly hair, nor might perchance well I in truth occupy accurately examined it.

Auto-wrap curlers

When I reviewed the most contemporary version of the Dyson Airwrap, I went on and on about how grateful I was once to take a look at the curling attachment that failed to require switching barrels and was once pretty dramatic about how detrimental that might perchance well’ve been to my minimal hair-styling endurance.

Then, the FlexStyle arrived and I saw that Shark’s curlers are exactly like of the Airwrap’s first abilities, which require you to replace barrels to replace instructions of the curls. And that? That is a form of moments where I acquire to teach their non-public praises my maturity and admit that I was once faulty. It was once in truth not that massive of a deal to replace out the curling wands mid-styling.

Assemble not acquire me faulty, it supposed that I pretty noteworthy stuck to the watch of curls going one direction — some distance from my face — on either aspect of my head. On the replacement hand, what I observed with these curlers, and with hot air styled curls in normal, is that on my hair, they watch the finest and frustrate me the least after I lean in to a more very loosely curled blown-out watch. The more structured curl watch that I will with out issues manufacture with a curling wand merely would not closing when the utilization of a hot air styler. (Allegedly, there are techniques to acquire hot air styled curls to closing, however they’ve by no approach worked for me, and are frankly some distance too time ingesting to be worth it.)

lady in green robe with curled hair

The curls regarded decent incandescent after styling.
Credit score: Bethany Allard

lady with a bit curled hair

But embracing more blown-out voluminous curls made me noteworthy happier with the implications.
Credit score: Bethany Allard

All this to articulate, I contain not mediate switch the direction of the curls makes that massive a difference whereas you would even be going for the free curl watch with the plan to add valid a bit dimension and quantity. Plus, my free curl design took less time and let me style on dry hair, which made me design more at risk of attain for these attachments.

OK, closing thing on the curlers after which we can circulation on — they accumulate not occupy a longer barrel version supposed for longer hair, like those I examined with the Airwrap. Eager on the ends of my hair are closer to the backside of my abet than my shoulders, I anticipated it will also pose a suppose, however once all any other time, Shark proved me faulty. Sure, the hair wrapped spherical itself more, however I in truth did not obtain myself having to alter allotment sizes. The wand was once valid at winning at grabbing my hair, and the style lasted for the related amount of time.

Styling concentrator

Whereas I will’t articulate the utilization of the concentrator gave a vastly difference abilities from the sans-attachment dry, it did acquire a form of moisture out of my hair in below quarter-hour. I aloof had some frizz, however I tough dried my hair, so as that was once to be anticipated. Whereas or not it’s potentially the most redundant attachment since you do not want it to tough dry your hair, I might perchance well see a more directed air hurry having a time and build, particularly will occupy to you pair it with a brush. It does acquire parts for being immense shrimp and straightforward to retailer or pack.

shark flexstyle twisted with concentrator attachment

It lowkey looks as if a vacuum attachment, however the styling concentrator gets the job accomplished.
Credit score: Bethany Allard / Mashable

Oval brush

My reliable tier rating of hot air oval brushes I’ve tried is as follows: the Revlon One-Step, the 2nd abilities Airwrap, after which the Shark FlexStyle. Or not it’s not that the FlexStyler’s brush was once negative — I in truth in truth loved the design my hair came out, and I’m in most cases not an mountainous fan of my hair with out some defined waves or curls in it. I also loved that the barrel was once greater than that of the Airwrap, as it felt like I might perchance well acquire more quantity and prance in my hair.

lady with long free curl styled hair

My favourite fragment of my job is taking photos of myself (however seriously, my hair looks good).
Credit score: Bethany Allard / Mashable

What got me was once the design it felt the utilization of this attachment with the swivel fragment of the homely. Working with a spherical brush to style your hair requires little bit of stress, and I might perchance well see and feel the homely on the Shark transferring ever so a bit. It was once by no approach ample to trigger ache, on the replacement hand it was once noticeable. Easy, I in truth can’t complain that noteworthy. Working in sections from 80 percent dry hair, it finest took me about 25 minutes to fully style my hair, and I cherished the implications.

Gallop brush

This was once my non-public least favourite attachment, mostly because all any other time, not so noteworthy partial to my hair straight. While you happen to shall be not in truth shopping for a ton of quantity, and opt gentle swish hair better than the relaxation, the hump brush will be your finest pal.

It was once immense easy to make use of, and did not yank or tug, which particularly impressed me because I in truth occupy forever knotty hair. I began from about 80 percent dry hair, though some sections had been more damp than others, and was once in a position to acquire perfectly straight and dry hair in 10 minutes.

Curl defining diffuser

My wavy hair and I had been stoked to be despatched a diffuser, and the Shark one did a elephantine job.

Veritably, I could use a diffuser to give an total dry to my hair, then pixie diffuse — a approach where you let minute sections of hair fall into the bowl of the diffuser, scrunch upward, and preserve it into build for 15 to 30 seconds.

Although Dyson does offer a comb attachment for curly hair, there’s no diffuser for the Airwrap. This gave the Shark an mountainous edge, and was once one among the greatest factors in figuring out that it outperformed the product it was once made to dupe.

I’m not immense valid, and I in most cases finest streak for no subject percent dry hides that reality that I washed my hair valid sooner than I went out in public in the center of the afternoon. Although my course of can lean on the haphazard aspect, I cherished how noteworthy alter this diffuser gave me in styling my hair. I might perchance well alter the prongs to be long (Shark recommends this for roots/longer hair) or quick (for shorter hair or ends). The long prongs sort grabbing sections and of course retaining it for pixie diffusing so easy.

shark flexstyle with diffuser and a blue blow dryer with a dim diffuser

The Shark FlexStyle versus my normal diffusing machine.
Credit score: Bethany Allard / Mashable

Having that alter not finest made the course of of styling more satisfying, however I mediate it in truth gave me greater results. For a fun, very un-scientific experiment, on one test I dried half of my hair with the FlexStyle and the diversified half of with my normal blow dryer and diffuser combo (a BabylissPro Nano Titanium and its matching diffuser). When I feeble the Shark, I had less anxiety retaining sections in the bowl of the diffuser, which led to more defined waves. I observed the longer prongs when entering into my root to dry with some take. Most of all, I loved I might perchance well carry out the total dry in dryer mode after which switch to wand mode for pixie diffusing.

shark flexstyle in wand mode next to a blue babylisspro hair dryer

No wand mode for the BabylissPro.
Credit score: Bethany Allard

The timing was once about the related, and all any other time the implications weren’t that diversified, on the replacement hand it made me, a devout air dryee, in truth are attempting to drag out a blow dryer more. Although Dyson does offer a comb attachment for curly hair, there’s no diffuser for the Airwrap. This gave the Shark an mountainous edge, and was once one among the greatest factors in figuring out that it outperformed the product it was once made to dupe.

lady with wavy long hair

Although I aloof foremost to circulation in with a hair oil to aloof the frizz, the left aspect (styled by the FlexStyle) had noticeably more defined waves than the incandescent (styled by my customary dryer).
Credit score: Bethany Allard / Mashable

More reward for the total compose

The Shark’s homely is a bit bigger than the Dyson’s, however of course each are form of surprisingly vast whereas you first pull them out of the sphere. Eager on you would also twist the Shark, the additional wander and a half of or so made sense.

Weight-wise, the Dyson is ever so a bit lighter, with finest 24 oz on Shark’s 24.64 oz. I might perchance well tell a difference after I held each wands in either hand, however after I was once styling, I did not mediate twice about it.

One smaller replace that Shark made that I particularly preferred was once knocking down the barrel of the homely where the energy switch, air, and temperature buttons had been positioned. It made it immense easy to hit the cool shot button with out having a seek, or replace the air tempo after I was once diffusing my hair.

shark flex style wand

The flat aspect of the wand makes it easy to uncover the buttons with out having a seek.
Credit score: Bethany Allard / Mashable

Is the Shark FlexStyle worth it?

Very just like the Airwrap, the FlexStyle is just not an absolute a must occupy hair styling instrument, particularly will occupy to you already accumulate a blow dryer and a few hot instruments.

On the replacement hand, will occupy to you would even be having a seek to replace to hot air styling to abet your hair out for frequent styling, the FlexStyle is 100% worth it. Admittedly, I am any individual who would noteworthy rather accumulate more effort into their makeup than hair, however I found out myself attempting to style my hair more in most cases with the FlexStyle.

Although it has some minor flaws, at $270, those are noteworthy more uncomplicated to observe previous than those of the Airwrap. Between the FlexStyle and the Airwrap, or not it’s laborious for me to mediate a the explanation why you would opt for the latter unless you would even be into vast purchases for the sake of vast purchases, or will occupy to you would even be particularly true to Dyson. But if neither of those apply to you, then there’s a greater vacuum company making hair tech to throw an awfully much smaller amount of you money unhurried.

You might perchance well know Shark for their vacuums and not their hair merchandise, however clearly it’s some distance rarely very unlikely for a tag to efficiently sort that pivot. If any other tag is going to forge down Dyson’s course, we are going to apply and trace what they’re doing — particularly in the event that they’re offering this form of transparent Airwrap replacement.

I examined the FlexStyle for numerous weeks, so I might perchance well use each attachment no lower than once. After those numerous weeks, Shark requested to send me a brand new pattern, because the test pattern that they had despatched me sooner than begin did not near with an improved ALCI jog that was once supposed to lengthen the lifespan and sturdiness of the FlexStyle.

I retested each attachment on the more moderen pattern, and observed no difference in day-to-day efficiency. I also by no approach skilled any factors with the novel pattern, and a Shark spokesperson reassured me that the restricted desire of customers that did receive the older version of the product had their devices changed.

Finally, a quick profile of my hair, which persevered your whole attempting out: My hair is long, supreme, with waves that take a seat between a 2A and 2B pattern. Or not it’s inclined to dryness at the ends, and in most cases can preserve curled kinds for just a few day and straight kinds for one to two days, equipped that no water or humidity touches my hair.

  • Styling time: It is not crucial if or not it’s a groovy knowing, if curling your hair with hot air in preference to hot wands takes very much longer, we are going to wager it acquired’t take long sooner than you opt for the less healthy and more convenient design. Reckoning on the attachment, the FlexStyle took wherever from 10 to forty five minutes to style hair, retaining it fixed with diversified hot air stylers, timing-wise.

  • Heat settings: Every person’s hair is diversified, meaning they’ll withstand diversified temperatures. With that acknowledged, no one will occupy to aloof be blasting their hair with 400 diploma plus temps on the reg, unless they ask to take on some destroy. The FlexStyle measures and regulates temperature 1,000 cases per 2nd to sort sure the air temp is fixed and not overly negative to the hair. Handiest at its freshest surroundings did it initiate to feel in truth hot, however even then, not virtually as hot as any normal curling wand or straightener. The heart warmth surroundings was once in most cases better than ample to lock in kinds.

  • Range of attachments: A versatile hair instrument is finest beautiful noteworthy as good as its attachments. Although the Coanda air curling barrels are what draw many to this make of hot air styler, Shark in truth has a solid vary of styling instruments, from the conventional spherical brush, concentrated dryer, the diffuser, and the hump brush. It might perchance perchance well even be nice to peek some wider and narrower curling attachments in due course, however for their first iteration, one size is just not a negative build to initiate.

  • Storage: An all-in-one hair instrument loses out on its ease component if it turns precise into a anxiety to retailer. Like the Dyson Airwrap, the Flex Styler is sure to take in amount of plight. No longer just like the Airwrap, it would not near with a dedicated carrying case, which makes your whole storage course of loads less organized.

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Bethany Allard is a having a seek reporter at Mashable covering beauty tech, dating, and sex and relationships. She graduated from Novel York College with a B.A. in Journalism and English Literature. You might perchance also apply her on Twitter @betallard and attain her by electronic mail at [email protected]

Sahil Sachdeva is the CEO of Level Up Holdings, a Personal Branding agency. He creates elite personal brands through social media growth and top tier press features.

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Tech

Landmark Social Media Cases Set for US Supreme Court Hearing

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gettyimages-2003719864

 

This week, the US Supreme Court will consider two issues that have the potential to completely change the way the internet functions, and they will ultimately determine what content citizens can view on social media.

In light of the crucial role that social media platforms currently play in contemporary American life, the court will hear arguments on Monday over whether to grant Texas and Florida noticeably more power over these sites and their contents.

The main question is: Can these platforms determine what can be deleted off their sites and what should remain on them?

The states seek to prevent users’ posts from being removed from Facebook, Tik-Tok, YouTube, and other platforms; these messages may even encourage hate speech or eating disorders, mislead voters about elections, or do other illegal activities. However, the First Amendment is being pressed against by that push.

Even the way that Americans learn about the 2024 elections—from Instagram to X and beyond—may alter if the states win their case.

Officials from Texas and Florida contend that their laws restricting content moderation are lawful because they aim to control the business practices of social media platforms rather than the speech on them. However, opponents, such as the industry organization Net Choice, are trying to invalidate both measures on the grounds that they violate the First Amendment rights of the platforms themselves and that their scope may have far-reaching unforeseen repercussions.

For instance, a group of political scientists informed the court that the laws don’t provide social media platforms enough latitude to moderate threats against election officials and instead force them to consider “dangerous and violent election-related speech” the same as non-violent speech.

Is it constitutional to limit content moderation?

 

The Supreme Court will decide whether states can prevent social media companies from censoring or removing user content that violates platform rules on Monday in the cases of Net Choice v. Paxton and Moody v. Net-Choice.

Individuals may also file lawsuits against tech companies under the relevant state legislation for suspected infractions.

Although the legislation in Texas and Florida are somewhat wide, state representatives claim that the regulations will prevent social media platforms from unjustly suppressing conservatives. Social media companies have maintained for years that right-wing discourse is not subject to discrimination.

Florida’s SB 7072, which was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in 2021, forbids digital platforms from deleting or suspending political candidates’ accounts within the state. Violators risk harsh penalties of up to $250,000 a day. In addition, it gives users of social media the ability to legally sue platforms if they feel that they have been wrongfully restricted or “deplatformed.

Any major social media platform that wishes to “block, ban, remove, deplatform, demonetize, de-boost, restrict, deny equal access or visibility to, or otherwise discriminate against expression” is in violation of a Texas legislation that was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott in 2021. Texas’ HB 20 allows individual internet users to sue social media companies for alleged infractions, much like the Florida legislation does.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, gives his opening remarks flanked by local state delegation members prior to signing legislation that seeks to punish social media platforms that remove conservative ideas from their sites, inside Florida International University’s MARC building in Miami on Monday, May 24, 2021. Carl Juste/Miami Herald/AP

Even though the First Amendment only protects governments and not private companies, the states claim that social media platforms have become so significant as a new public square that new laws are required to force them to abide by the principles of free speech.

The IT sector claims that the restrictions go against the corporations’ First Amendment freedom to select what speech is acceptable on their exclusive platforms.

Regarding the dispute, lower courts are divided.

The US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2022 that social media companies do not possess “a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say” in the Texas law case.

However, the same year, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals declared that Florida’s “restrictions are substantially likely to violate the First Amendment,” reasoning that governments are not allowed to “speak” on social media platforms, even when it is through user-generated content.

The Supreme Court could now definitively end that argument.

Do IT corporations resemble public utilities or publishers more?

 

The Net Choice cases demonstrate the stark differences in how different people view social media. The state regulations’ proponents contend that social media ought to tolerate all speech without censoring its content. The platforms should have the authority to choose what content they show, according to critics.

Roughly twelve states, headed by Republican attorneys general, have petitioned the Supreme Court to support the laws in Texas and Florida, claiming that social media businesses should be subject to the same regulations as utilities like the phone network.

In his own court filing, the former president Donald Trump contended that social media businesses “act like railroads carrying freight, telegraph companies transmitting messages, or airlines carrying passengers.”

However, the Biden administration stated in a brief from last year that social media businesses are more like cable and newspaper corporations in that they are free to select what they show and have the same constitutional safeguards against government speech regulations.

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A pedestrian uses a smartphone in front of a store in Walnut Creek, California, in January 2022. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The state laws, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a consumer advocacy organization, would have “absurd results” if they were implemented because they would provide con artists, trolls, and nasty radicals with a justification to bombard websites with claims of censorship.

“A major setback to efforts to combat spam,” according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, “because every action to limit the spread of spam messages might be considered an impermissible ban’ under the law.”

Internet users ultimately gain by allowing social media services to remain free from government intervention in their content moderation, according to David Greene, senior staff attorney and civil liberties director at EFF, who spoke with CNN. “Platforms can create unique forums that accommodate a range of viewpoints, interests, and beliefs when they are granted the First Amendment right to curate the user-generated content they publish.”

Beyond what is seen on specific websites, the court’s ruling in the NetChoice cases may have far-reaching implications.

If Texas and Florida win, the precedent that forbids governments from “compelling speech”—that is, compelling private citizens to say something against their will—might be altered. For instance, a 1974 judgment found that a Florida statute that mandated the publication of a political candidate’s remarks in newspapers was unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

Critics of the Texas and Florida laws argue that forcing social media companies to post all speech, even if the platforms would prefer to remove it, would amount to coerced speech and would mark a major and dangerous shift in the interpretation of the First Amendment.

According to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, it might result in the exact kind of government meddling that the First Amendment was intended to prevent.

In a brief, that group stated, “The larger the platform the state seeks to control, the greater will be the state’s influence on public and political discourse.”

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For the first time in years, Reddit files for an IPO on social media

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Reddit, a message board website with a community focus, filed to go public on Thursday. This makes it the first significant social media business to go on the stock market in years and a test for private companies following a decline in IPOs.

Reddit revealed its financial results in an offering prospectus before it started selling investors shares. The San Francisco-based business revealed that last year saw a decline in losses despite a more than 20% increase in revenue. It also said that there were over 100,000 active communities and 73 million daily users.

The 18-year-old company is scheduled to meet with possible investors to pique their interest in purchasing its shares, and the prospectus initiates a process to the stock market. In a few weeks, Reddit may list as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker name RDDT. Two people familiar with the subject claim that Reddit’s financiers are attempting to value the company in its initial public offering (IPO) at least $5 billion. That is almost 50% of the $10 billion valuation that the business obtained in a private funding round in 2021. The pricing may possibly change in the coming weeks as the negotiations are still ongoing.

Reddit is the final social media company from a previous age to pursue the stock market, following the successful offerings of Facebook (2012), Twitter (2013), and Snap (2017). Since then, the social media landscape has evolved, coming under fire for spreading false information, inciting hate speech, and other issues. A few of the businesses have changed their names: Elon Musk purchased Twitter, renaming it X after taking it private in 2022, while Facebook changed its name to Meta.

Another highly anticipated move following a slowdown in initial public offerings is Reddit’s plan. Based on data provided by Renaissance Capital, only 108 companies in the US went public last year, or around 25% fewer than that of 2021. The largest tech products available at the end of the previous year included the supermarket delivery service Instacart and the chip designer Arm.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman stated in a founder’s letter that was included with the prospectus, “We are going public to advance our mission and become a stronger company.” We anticipate that our community will gain significantly from going public as well. Our users feel a strong sense of responsibility for the communities they build on Reddit.

“This sense of ownership to be reflected in real ownership — for our users to be our owners,” Mr. Huffman continued, adding that “becoming a public company makes this possible.” Reddit announced that, should they choose to buy them, it will set aside a portion of its shares for 75,000 of its most active users at the I.P.O. price.

Reddit stated in its prospectus that its revenue for 2023 was $804 million, increasing around 21% from $666 million in the previous year. According to the prospectus, the company lost $90 million in 2023 as opposed to $158 million the previous year.

Advance Magazine Publishers, Tencent Cloud Europe, Vy Capital, Fidelity Management, and Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI and a former member of the Reddit board, are a few of its biggest investors.

Reddit has had a difficult and drawn-out journey to the public markets. Established in 2005 by Mr. Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in a University of Virginia dorm room, the website started out as a place where people could gather anonymously to talk about anything from guitars, makeup, and power washers to popular TV shows.

The website was distinctive in that it was primarily centered around close-knit, largely anonymous communities that were all supervised by volunteers who self-managed their forums, or “subreddits,” according to guidelines they had created. It gained notoriety for its “A.M.A.s,” or “ask me anything” sessions, in which popular personalities such as actor Nicolas Cage, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, and former President Barack Obama participated.

Over the years, the company has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in capital, with two financing rounds in 2021 raising over $410 million and $250 million, respectively. Tencent Holdings, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, and Fidelity Investments are among the investors. Reddit initially rejected selling ads and turning a profit, much like other early social networking initiatives. Rather, it concentrated on revenue streams derived from community initiatives, such as an e-commerce system created by users and rewards that users could purchase from one another. Those concepts are still relevant.

Reddit’s topic-focused communities eventually led to the platform accepting advertising. For example, brands such as Laneige focused advertisements to one of the busiest subreddits, Makeup Addiction, where members talk about cosmetics and application techniques.

The website has also developed a growing data licensing business on the back of its massive chat data corpus, which has grown in significance among the AI craze. Massive amounts of this kind of data are used to train A.I. models, making them more sophisticated. Reddit and Google signed a licensing agreement on Thursday. Reddit data has been utilized by Google to train and develop its artificial intelligence systems.

In the letter, Mr. Huffman stated, “We expect our data advantage and intellectual property to continue to be a key element in the training of” future artificial intelligence models. According to the filing, the corporation expects to make upward of $203 million from many undisclosed licensing agreements for the use of its data over the next three years.

The website has experienced some difficulties. Its initial failure to accommodate moderate communities sparked scandal after controversy, including its part in disseminating false information during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and its hosting of racist and misogynistic content in some of its smaller subreddits.When Reddit changed some of its policies and forbade outside developers from using the site’s material without paying for it, users revolted against the platform last year.

In recent years, Reddit has changed its stance on moderation and updated and enforced its standards more tightly, which has made it more appealing for advertisers to insert ads throughout the site.

Before Mr. Huffman rejoined the site’s leadership in 2015, the company had four chief executives over its first ten years of operation.

Reddit warned prospective investors about the difficulties and risks it might face as a publicly traded company. These risks included the emergence of massive language models and the underlying A.I. systems that might be used to synthesize and aggregate content from the site and allow users to view Reddit without ever visiting the website or seeing advertisements.

The market for digital ads, which is dominated by Google and Meta, may also make it tough for the startup to attract brands.

Given the difference between its platform’s capabilities and the best in class, Eric Seufert, an independent mobile analyst who keeps a close eye on social media businesses and advertising, believes Reddit may have a difficult time expanding its advertising business.

Additionally, the corporation issued a warning, stating that future uprisings or exits could negatively impact the platform since it was mostly relied on its community for platform moderation.

“We have a lot to do and a lot of opportunities,” Mr. Huffman stated.

 

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Plans to Increase Chip Manufacturing in the United States Are Facing Challenges

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The primary manufacturer of the most advanced chips in the world, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, announced in December 2022 that it will invest $40 billion in Arizona to establish its first significant U.S. base for semiconductor production.

The much-heralded project in Phoenix, which includes two new plants, one of which has more sophisticated equipment, came to represent President Biden’s efforts to increase domestic chip production. Chips are silicon slices that are used in a wide range of devices to perform computations and store data.

Then, last summer, TSMC announced that local workers lacked the experience to install some advanced equipment, delaying the start of manufacture at its first Arizona factory until 2025 instead of this year.

The business stated last month that it will not be producing chips at the second factory until 2027 or 2028, instead of 2026, due to uncertainty around federal funding and tech choices.

In an investor call, TSMC chairman Mark Liu stated that the Arizona site’s progress is partially dependent on “how much incentives that the U.S. government can provide.”

TSMC is just one of numerous chip manufacturers that are encountering difficulties with their plans to expand into the United States. Due to pressure to control their expenditure on new infrastructure following a decline in sales of many different types of chips, businesses like Intel, Microchip Technology, and others have also modified their manufacturing schedules. The creation of new chip plants is extremely complex, requiring billions of dollars’ worth of machinery, thousands of personnel, and extended construction deadlines.

The delays occur as the Biden administration starts distributing the first significant grants from a $39 billion fund intended to strengthen the American semiconductor sector and lessen the country’s reliance on technology produced in East Asia. The administration announced on Monday that it would give the chipmaker GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion in incentives to modernize and expand its facilities in Vermont and New York, where it produces chips for the defense and automotive industries.

However, the problems that businesses like TSMC are having with their projects may overshadow this publicity and cast doubt on the viability of President Biden’s industrial policy agenda. Over the next months, Mr. Biden’s reelection campaign is anticipated to place a significant emphasis on the investments.

“As of yet, nothing has failed,” stated Emily Kilcrease, senior fellow and head of the energy, economics, and security program at the Washington-based think tank, Center for a New American Security. However, for the program to be deemed successful, some advancement and the actual opening of those plants within the following few years are required.

Federal funds under the 2022 CHIPS Act are to be distributed by the Commerce Department to promote domestic chip manufacturing. Apart from the funding given to GlobalFoundries, the government has already awarded two minor grants for production. In the upcoming weeks and months, chipmakers including TSMC, Intel, Samsung, and Micron are anticipated to get substantially greater awards totaling billions of dollars.

The quantity and timing of the awards are the subject of intricate discussions between the government and these large chipmakers. Businesses are still awaiting word from the Treasury Department over which investments will be eligible for a new advanced manufacturing tax credit, which was supposed to be announced before the end of 2023.

Analysts warned that as the world races to lessen its reliance on semiconductor manufacturing in China, South Korea, and Taiwan, any delays in the process could be detrimental to the United States. Competing nations are providing court chip producers with their own incentives. For instance, TSMC intends to increase production not only in the US but also in Germany and Japan.

According to Jimmy Goodrich, a senior adviser for technology analysis at the RAND Corporation, “the more other geographies are going to snap up these investments, and more leading-edge investments will be made in East Asia,” the longer the U.S. government delays in allocating benefits. Thus, the timer is running out.

Rejecting claims that the Department of Commerce had been tardy to provide incentives was a Commerce Department official. According to him, the department is taking its time to safeguard taxpayer interests and encourage businesses to take further steps to strengthen the local chip supply chain.

According to a White House official, the timetable modifications made by the semiconductor makers were small tweaks that were typical of intricate projects like the new production facilities. 

Forecasts, he continued, indicated that when the plants began producing these chips, there would be an enormous demand for them.

According to a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, officials there have clarified tax incentives for businesses preparing investments and are striving to release more guidelines as soon as feasible.

The CHIPS Act enabled tax credits for investments in factories and manufacturing equipment, along with grants and other incentives to increase U.S. chip production. According to the Commerce Department, over 600 businesses and organizations had expressed interest in receiving grants; thus far, the department has estimated that private investment pledges have totaled $235 billion.

However, the majority of expansion plans were made during a period of chip scarcity a few years ago, following a surge in consumer spending on electronics driven by the pandemic. Chip manufacturers were left with large stocks of unsold components and little urgent need for new factories when that market dried up.According to Thomas Sonderman, CEO of SkyWater Technologies, a Minnesota semiconductor company that has received Defense Department subsidies and is vying for CHIPS Act funds, “companies are rethinking how and what and when investments will occur.”

Microchip, an Arizona-based company, is one chip manufacturer that is struggling. Microchip was inundated with orders two years ago. 

It is eligible to receive $162 million after applying for CHIPS Act money to boost manufacturing. However, it has announced two separate two-week plant shutdowns as sales have declined.

According to its CEO, Ganesh Moorthy, Microchip still intends to modernize the plants in Oregon and Colorado that are going to get grants under the CHIPS Act. However, purchasing machinery to boost output will have to wait until things pick up for the company.

“We’ve put off expanding,” Mr. Moorthy declared.

In addition to increasing output, Intel has modified its procurement of expensive manufacturing equipment. The business recently stated that it had not anticipated beginning production in Ohio in 2025, as it had previously anticipated, despite investing $20 billion in two new factories there. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the adjustment.

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Intel employees inside a “clean room” at a facility in Oregon in 2021.Credit…Philip Cheung for The New York Times

Intel reiterated that construction on the site and expansion plans in the United States and three other countries remained unaffected, despite external factors. Keyvan Esfarjani, the executive vice president overseeing Intel’s manufacturing operations, emphasized that the company’s strategy remained consistent over time.

While some chip manufacturers like Texas Instruments and Micron Technology are forging ahead with expanding chip production to maintain competitiveness, Intel remains committed to its course. Micron, for instance, is proceeding with the construction of a $15 billion factory in Boise, Idaho, and has plans for an even larger manufacturing complex near Syracuse, N.Y., despite market challenges in its memory chip segment.

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Construction in 2021 in Chandler, Ariz., where Intel is building two factories. Credit…Philip Cheung for The New York Times

Scott Gatzemeier, a Micron vice president overseeing expansion efforts, stressed the importance of aligning construction projects with future chip demand rather than current market conditions. He highlighted the significant expenses involved in renting equipment, securing construction workers, and emphasized the need to avoid halting projects once started due to the potential for increased costs.

Some chip manufacturers are hesitant to commence construction without government funding. For instance, Mr. Sonderman of SkyWater mentioned that his company’s plans for a $1.8 billion facility in Indiana are contingent on securing funds through a portion of the CHIPS Act dedicated to research.

At TSMC’s Arizona site, unforeseen challenges have arisen over the past year. Construction unions raised concerns about workplace safety and objected to the employment of workers from Taiwan to install sophisticated equipment in the first factory. Delays in machine installation prompted an announcement in July regarding production delays.

In December, TSMC and the Arizona Building and Construction Trades Council reached agreements on ground rules at the site to address safety, workplace training, staffing, and other issues. Mr. Liu, who recently announced plans to retire, expressed optimism that tensions among workers had eased.

While acknowledging challenges in building the first Phoenix factory, Mr. Liu emphasized that TSMC remains among the fastest in completing such projects compared to its peers. Although the start of production at the second factory may be delayed, Mr. Liu indicated that worker skills are unlikely to be a significant factor, expressing confidence that construction of the second fab will proceed more smoothly, citing the quick learning abilities of workers in Arizona.

 

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Gateway to the Moon: SpaceX’s Historic Commercial Lander Mission

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Early on Thursday, a robotic spacecraft was launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to the moon, preparing it for a landing on February 22. Should the landing be successful, it would be the first commercial vehicle to set foot on the lunar surface and the first soft landing for the United States since the final Apollo missions.

Launchpad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is where the Falcon 9 rocket took off at 1:05 a.m. Eastern time. This is the same pad from which a Saturn V rocket carried the astronauts of Apollo 17 on their mission to the moon in 1972. It carried a spacecraft built by the Houston-based business Intuitive Machines. Nobody was on board.

Under a contract with NASA, which is paying Intuitive Machines $118 million to send many payloads to the moon, the mission is being carried out. NASA views the project as a component of its Artemis campaign, which aims to return astronauts to the moon.

NASA program scientist Debra Needham stated in a pre-launch briefing that the Nova-C lander, named Odysseus, comes with instruments “to demonstrate technologies that will enhance the efficiency, precision and safety of future spacecraft landing as well as investigate the surface of the south polar region of the moon.”

However, NASA is really just a paying customer in a private sector-driven project that consists of a commercial spacecraft being launched by a commercial rocket. This is a model that NASA is depending more and more on for its exploration efforts both inside and outside of Earth orbit.

Joel Kearns, NASA’s deputy assistant administrator for exploration in the scientific mission directorate, stated that six years ago, American industry declared that they were prepared for NASA to hire them to perform robotic lunar landings as a service rather than having us do it ourselves. The initial missions “are an assessment of that.

The landing attempt by Intuitive Machines comes after that of Astrobotic, a private company that was contracted by NASA and launched its spacecraft to the moon last month. However, a propulsion system malfunction kept the spacecraft from reaching the moon, which foiled its effort to land.

NASA has stated that it is possible for some of the missions to fail. However, its founders assert that they plan to learn from even their mistakes and have arranged for businesses to attempt robotic landings, or as they put it, “take shots on goal.” As part of what it refers to as its Commercial Lunar Program, NASA officials have stated that they expect to have at least two robotic flights to the moon every year during the next few years.

Entering this… Since no American company has sent a robotic spacecraft to the moon since 1968 and the last Apollo mission took place in 1972, we didn’t think success was certain for these American firms making their first lunar landing, Kearns added. “I can assure you that with each endeavor, we gain knowledge and insight.

The goal of Intuitive Machines is thus a dangerous one. Furthermore, the launch of its fourteen-foot-tall, six-landing-leg Odysseus spacecraft is only the beginning of a dangerous, long head to the moon surface. If it is successful, it will land near the lunar south pole, an area NASA hopes to investigate with humans due to the potential existence of water in the form of ice in the craters that are continuously shaded there. Since water is necessary for human survival and because its constituent elements, oxygen and hydrogen, can be used as rocket fuel to enable further solar system research, it is essential to any extended lunar expedition.

China is also interested in exploring the area around the moon’s south pole, where NASA, unlike Apollo, hopes to establish a long-term presence.

Kearns stated, “We’re not trying to redo Apollo.” In an effort to address important scientific issues, we are pursuing technological and scientific research that was not even considered during the Apollo era, and we’re going to a section of the moon that neither humans nor robots have ever been, just for this mission with [Intuitive Machines] and Artemis, to really explore for new things, including whether there are actually useable volatiles like water ice on the moon’s south pole.

Furthermore, Odysseus is carrying NASA equipment made to take pictures of the particles the spacecraft’s engines create. The space agency wants to learn more about the impact of landings on the moon’s surface and ecosystem because it eventually hopes to land many spacecraft in close proximity to one another.

According to Susan Lederer, NASA’s project scientist for the Intuitive Machines mission, “it’s going to cause the dust to really churn up and create a big plume of dust.” “Therefore, it will involve utilizing a pair of cameras to observe the rising plume of dust.”

This will enable “future landers to be developed to better protect against the dust that’s being churned up,” according to her statement.

Additionally, the spacecraft is equipped with a camera system that was created by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University instructors and students. This camera system will be released from the spacecraft approximately 100 feet above the moon’s surface in order to capture pictures of the vehicle throughout the landing procedure.

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According to Mark Zuckerberg, Meta will ‘keep things lean,’ investing heavily in AI while holding down on staffing

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Mark Zuckerberg is extending his “year of efficiency” indefinitely because he is so happy with it.

 

After Meta revealed fourth-quarter financials that easily exceeded analysts’ projections, Zuckerberg stated he wanted to “keep things lean” and has no plans to increase hiring on Thursday’s earnings call.

 

The company’s headcount, which peaked well over 86,000 in 2022, decreased 22% to 67,317 last year as a result of massive expense reductions implemented by Meta to pacify investors who had lost faith in the company’s capacity to adapt to shifting market conditions. At the time, Apple’s 2021 iOS upgrade was still having an impact on Meta, and the digital ad industry remained competitive.

 

During an earnings call exactly a year prior, Zuckerberg informed analysts that the management’s focus for 2023 will be the “year of efficiency.”

 

Since then, Wall Street has rewarded him. The stock nearly tripled in value in the previous year, ranking second in the S&P 500 behind only Nvidia. Last month, it broke a record, and the market capitalization of Meta has already surpassed $1 trillion due to the ongoing upswing.

 

Meta revealed on Thursday that its fourth-quarter sales increased by 25% to $40.1 billion, the quickest rate of growth since mid-2021. Operating margin more than doubled to 41%, and net income shot up a massive 201% to $14 billion. Throughout prolonged trading, the stock rose 15%.

 

When all things are considered, Meta is demonstrating that it can develop at a healthy rate and drastically reduce costs—which decreased by 8% from the previous year. The firm is so sure of its financial standing that it approved a $50 billion share purchase and announced it would pay a 50-cent quarterly dividend for the first time.

 

Not that Zuckerberg isn’t prepared to spend cash. All he wants to do is avoid doing it on humans.

 

During the call, Zuckerberg explained that his roadmap calls for creating a “world-class compute infrastructure,” which entails shelling out billions of dollars for the AI chips from Nvidia that Meta needs to train its models.

 

“We intend to win this game, so we’ll keep investing heavily in this space to create the most cutting-edge clusters,” Zuckerberg stated. “We’re also creating our own custom silicon that is tailored for our workloads and designing innovative data centers.”

 

“Even after 2024”

 

According to Meta, annual spending will range from $94 billion to $99 billion, up from $88.15 billion in 2023. Capital expenditures will be between $30 billion and $37 billion, according to finance chief Susan Li, “a $2 billion increase of the high end of our prior range.”

 

However, Zuckerberg stated that the era of rapid expansion is now in the past when it comes to employment. Zuckerberg stated that while Meta still intends to hire this year for high-paying technical positions, the headcount growth will be “relatively minimal compared to what we would have done historically.”

 

“I think it’s the right thing for us to do culturally to keep things lean until we get to a point where we’re just really underwater on our ability to execute,” he continued.

 

If Zuckerberg is to be believed, that’s not just a tale for this year.

 

“I kind of anticipate that for the foreseeable future, even after 2024,” he remarked.

 

In the meantime, Meta’s Reality Labs division, which is in charge of creating technologies for augmented and virtual reality, is still losing money and doesn’t seem to be stopping. The division has lost more than $42 billion since late 2020, with a record operational loss of $4.65 billion in the fourth quarter. Revenue surpassed $1 billion for the first time, primarily due to Quest VR headset sales.

 

The fact that Meta stated that losses at Reality Labs will “increase meaningfully year-over-year” highlights the persistence of Zuckerberg’s conviction that the metaverse will be the computing platform of the future.

 

Zuckerberg said that the significant cost reductions have allowed Meta to make “different investments where that’s necessary,” thus he is no longer worried about turning off potential investors

 

“To strengthen us as a technology company and provide us with the flexibility and stability to achieve the long-term objectives is the theme I outlined at the beginning of the year of efficiency last year,” he stated

 

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SEC Lawsuits on Digital Currencies Reshape the Crypto Landscape

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SEC Lawsuits on Digital Currencies Reshape the Crypto Landscape

In the ever-evolving landscape of the cryptocurrency industry, a pivotal moment is approaching as federal judges deliberate on a series of lawsuits brought forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), targeting some of the largest players in the crypto space. For more than a decade, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether have strived to carve out a niche as an alternative branch of finance, free from the constraints of traditional banking and government oversight. However, the industry is now facing a critical juncture as the SEC invokes the Howey Test, a legal analysis established by a 1946 Supreme Court decision, to classify digital currencies as securities.

Cryptocurrency Regulation: A Clash of Ideals

Cryptocurrency’s origins trace back to 2008, with the creation of Bitcoin’s software by an enigmatic figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Initially envisioned as a decentralized alternative to conventional finance, the crypto industry has undergone a transformation. As companies resembling traditional finance institutions began developing and aggressively marketing cryptocurrencies, the SEC intensified its scrutiny, viewing the emerging sector as an unregulated version of Wall Street.

Last year alone, the SEC filed 46 crypto-related enforcement actions, citing rampant fraud and manipulation. The regulatory approach hinges on a 1946 Supreme Court case that led to the creation of the Howey Test, a legal standard determining when a financial product becomes a security. Under this framework, a financial product is deemed a security if it offers the chance to invest in a “common enterprise” with the expectation of profiting from other people’s efforts.

SEC Lawsuits on Digital Currencies: The Current Legal Landscape

Over the last 18 months, the SEC escalated its enforcement efforts, alleging that crypto companies operated as unregulated securities businesses. The crypto industry pushed back, asserting that the laws governing Wall Street shouldn’t automatically apply to digital currencies. Early court victories on both sides left the matter unsettled until recently when federal judges began hearings in two pivotal cases against major crypto exchanges – Coinbase and Binance.

The SEC’s lawsuits against these prominent players delve into the core issues of the broader legal battle. Legal experts anticipate that the preliminary rulings expected in the coming weeks could set the stage for a legal showdown that might eventually reach the Supreme Court. The outcome of these cases could reshape the trajectory of the multitrillion-dollar crypto industry in the United States.

Also Read: OpenAI App Store Launched to Unlock The Future of Chatbots

SEC Lawsuits on Digital Currencies: Coinbase and Binance in Focus

The recent hearings in the SEC’s lawsuits against Coinbase and Binance have attracted significant attention. The SEC argues that at least 20 cryptocurrencies traded on these platforms qualify as securities, invoking the Howey Test to support its claims. The industry contends that the SEC is stretching the intent of the Howey Test and overreaching its regulatory authority.

In the Coinbase case, lawyers argue that without a clear contractual agreement between the buyer and the issuer of a digital coin, a cryptocurrency is akin to any other “collectible” that may appreciate in value over time, such as baseball cards or Beanie Babies dolls. Judge Katherine Polk Failla expressed concerns about the SEC’s broad approach, stating that the commission may be “sweeping too broadly.”

On the other hand, the Binance case, presided over by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, has seen skepticism regarding the comparison between digital coins and collectible toys. While expressing concern about the SEC’s strategy, Judge Jackson pressed government lawyers to elucidate the boundaries of their argument.

Regulatory Impact on Crypto Industry: A Balancing Act

The court’s rulings in these high-stakes cases could determine whether the crypto industry continues to thrive within the American financial system or faces limitations that might push startups offshore. The SEC contends that robust oversight is necessary to curb rampant fraud, pointing to the billions of dollars investors lost when the crypto market imploded in 2022.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler argues that most digital currencies qualify as securities under the Howey Test, emphasizing that people invest in crypto with the expectation that the issuing companies will drive prices up. However, the industry challenges this approach, insisting on the need for a formal contract between the seller of a digital coin and an investor for a transaction to constitute a securities transaction.

The Road Ahead: Uncertainties and Optimism

As the crypto industry navigates these legal challenges, the recent approval of a new Bitcoin investment product for trading on Wall Street signals a potential shift. This move comes after a court ruled against the SEC, forcing the agency’s hand. Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s chief legal officer, emphasizes the industry’s optimism, stating that the recent developments provide hope and highlight the extraordinary nature of the situation.

In conclusion, the SEC lawsuits on digital currencies are an existential issue for the crypto industry, teetering on the brink of a resolution that could reshape its future in the United States. The next few weeks will be crucial as federal judges deliver preliminary rulings that may pave the way for a legal journey that could ultimately reach the highest court in the land. The clash between regulatory oversight and the decentralized ideals of cryptocurrency is at the forefront, leaving stakeholders eagerly anticipating the unfolding legal drama that will determine the fate of the crypto industry in the United States.

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OpenAI App Store Launched to Unlock The Future of Chatbots

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OpenAI App Store Launched to Unlock The Future of Chatbots

In a groundbreaking move, OpenAI has recently introduced the OpenAI App Store, marking a significant expansion in the realm of artificial intelligence applications. The OpenAI App Store is set to redefine how users engage with OpenAI’s flagship technology, ChatGPT, by providing a space for individuals and businesses to share and explore custom chatbots tailored to various needs and services.

Unlocking Customization with ChatGPT Plus

At the heart of this innovation is the ChatGPT Plus subscription service, priced at $20 a month. Subscribers gain exclusive access to the OpenAI App Store, where they can discover a plethora of custom chatbots offering diverse functionalities. From book recommendations to mathematics tutoring and scientific paper searches, the store aims to cater to a broad spectrum of user interests.

OpenAI’s vision for the GPT Store is clear – it’s a platform designed to connect businesses and customers seamlessly. For users who have long admired ChatGPT’s underlying technology, GPT-4, seasoned developers have utilized it to build applications such as search engines and automated tutors. Now, with the OpenAI App Store, the horizon broadens as individuals and small businesses, even those lacking software development experience, can distribute apps based on this advanced technology.

Strategic Investment and Growth

OpenAI’s move into the for-profit domain has been marked by strategic investments, including a notable $13 billion injection from Microsoft over the past four years. With talks underway for a deal potentially valuing the company at over $80 billion, OpenAI is positioned as a formidable competitor to tech giants like Google.

The Rise of ChatGPT Team

Alongside the OpenAI App Store, OpenAI has introduced ChatGPT Team, a specialized version catering to businesses and groups. Priced at $25 to $30 per user per month, ChatGPT Team ensures data privacy, assuring users that any information shared through the service will not be utilized to train OpenAI’s A.I. technologies. This move caters to the growing demand for secure and private communication channels within corporate environments.

Also Read: Artificial Intelligence in Education: Transformative Visions and Historical Parallels

Diversification and Integration

OpenAI’s recent enhancements to ChatGPT go beyond the App Store. The integration of DALL-E image generator into ChatGPT, along with a version that interacts with users through spoken words, mirrors the evolving landscape of AI technologies. These enhancements position ChatGPT as a versatile tool capable of meeting a myriad of user needs.

Empowering Users: GPTs for All

In November, OpenAI unveiled a service allowing users to build custom chatbots called “GPTs” without the need for additional software or coding skills. Notable examples include AllTrails.com’s hiking trail recommendation chatbot and Khan Academy’s programming tutorial chatbot. In just two months, three million customized chatbots have been created, underscoring the accessibility and popularity of this service.

Revenue Sharing and Collaboration

One of the most appealing aspects of the ChatGPT App Store is OpenAI’s commitment to revenue sharing. The company has pledged to share revenue with those who offer customized versions of ChatGPT, with the distribution based on the frequency of usage for each chatbot. This creates a collaborative ecosystem, encouraging developers and creators to contribute to the expanding library of custom chatbots.

Conclusion: Shaping the Future of AI

OpenAI App Store stands as a testament to the company’s commitment to innovation, accessibility, and collaboration in the field of artificial intelligence. The platform not only opens new avenues for businesses but also empowers individuals to harness the potential of advanced AI technologies. As the GPT Store continues to evolve, it is poised to become a central hub for the exchange of custom chatbots, marking a pivotal moment in the democratization of artificial intelligence. With the OpenAI App Store, OpenAI is not just offering a service; it’s shaping the future of AI interactions and applications for a diverse and dynamic user base.

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Artificial Intelligence in Education: Transformative Visions and Historical Parallels

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Artificial Intelligence in Education Transformative Visions and Historical Parallels

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has emerged as a transformative force in various fields, and the realm of education is no exception. Sal Khan, CEO of Khan Academy, envisioned a groundbreaking shift in education with the integration of A.I. chatbots during a TED Talk. His prediction resonated with tech leaders like Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, who foresees the potential of providing every student with a personalized A.I. tutor. This article explores the future of chatbots in tutoring, delving into the promises, challenges, and the broader impact on the education landscape.

The Promise of Personalized Tutoring with A.I.

Sal Khan’s vision revolves around giving every student worldwide access to an artificially intelligent, personalized tutor. The idea is to leverage A.I. chatbots to revolutionize education by providing tailored lessons to individual students. A.I. tutoring bots, such as those introduced by Khan Academy and Duolingo, based on GPT-4, aim to deliver instant, customized instruction, closing achievement gaps more efficiently than traditional teaching methods.

Tech companies and philanthropists have been advocating for the adoption of A.I. in education, supporting initiatives like providing laptops for students and developing video tutorial platforms. The hope is that A.I. chatbots can bridge the gap in educational outcomes by offering relevant, individualized content to students, thereby enhancing learning experiences.

The Rise of Generative A.I. Tools and ChatGPT

The evolution of generative A.I. tools like ChatGPT adds a new dimension to the potential of A.I. in education. Platforms like Khan Academy and Duolingo have integrated A.I. chatbot tutors based on GPT-4, capable of generating human-like responses to user prompts. The use of such advanced language models raises enthusiasm for automated instruction, even as critics voice concerns about the lack of evidence supporting the transformative impact of tutoring bots on education.

Greg Brockman, President of OpenAI, envisions a future where A.I. tutors can establish a connection with individual students, offering guidance and inspiration similar to human teachers. The White House has also recognized the potential, directing efforts to shape A.I.’s role in transforming education and providing resources to support educators deploying A.I.-enabled educational tools.

Challenges and Criticisms Surrounding A.I.-Assisted Instruction

Despite the optimism surrounding A.I.-assisted instruction, education researchers and critics emphasize the need for caution. A.I. chatbots, they argue, may generate inaccurate information and could potentially elevate unreliable sources as authoritative figures in classrooms. Concerns also extend to biases within A.I. systems and their opacity, hindering teachers and students from understanding how chatbots formulate their responses.

Ben Williamson, a chancellor’s fellow at the Centre for Research in Digital Education, warns about potential harmful effects on student learning, stating that the evidence supporting the positive impact of A.I. chatbots is currently lacking. Additionally, there are worries about privacy, intellectual property, and the potential misuse of materials provided by educators and students for business purposes.

Also Read: Hello IDA, Hello Future: Volkswagen AI Voice Assistant Unleashed

Balancing Enthusiasm with Realism: A.I. in Education

While the enthusiasm for A.I. in education is palpable, educators and policymakers must strike a balance. Some argue that the hype over unproven A.I. chatbot tutors could divert attention and resources from more traditional, human-centered interventions proven to increase student graduation rates and college attendance.

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, emphasizes the importance of regulation to ensure fairness and safety in the deployment of A.I. tools. Collaboration between educators and policymakers is crucial to harness the potential of A.I. while guarding against potential risks.

Historical Context: Lessons from the Past

To comprehend the current wave of enthusiasm for A.I. in education, it’s valuable to explore historical parallels. In the 1960s, the advent of “teaching machines” fueled high expectations for revolutionizing education. These mechanical and electronic devices were programmed to pose questions on subjects like spelling or math, promising a tailored learning experience.

Capturing the zeitgeist of the time, Popular Mechanics ran an article in October 1961 titled “Will Robots Teach Your Children?” detailing the rise of experimental machine teaching across schools in the United States. These teaching machines, however, turned out to be cumbersome and didactic, creating a short-term sensation that ultimately fell short of the initial hype.

ai in education in 1963

Fast-forward to the present, and we witness a similar narrative with A.I. teaching bots. Despite advancements in technology, it’s crucial to learn from history and approach the integration of A.I. in education with a nuanced perspective. While A.I. chatbots hold the promise of personalized, engaging, and effective learning experiences, the historical context underscores the need for a balanced and realistic assessment of their potential impact.

Also Read: Read this New Year Resolutions App Guide to Unlock Your Best Year

A.I. Chatbots as Study Buddies and Beyond

Enthusiasts envision A.I. tutoring bots as more than just educational tools—they could become study buddies that students consult discreetly. Former Big Tech executives, like Jerome Pesenti and Jared Grusd, have ventured into education, developing A.I. chatbots to assist students in solving math and science problems or organizing and structuring essays.

Sal Khan remains one of the most prominent advocates of tutoring bots, with Khan Academy introducing Khanmigo, an A.I. chatbot designed to help students think through problems rather than completing their schoolwork. Pilot programs are underway in several states to test the efficacy of these chatbot tutors in real educational settings.

Looking Ahead: The Road of Artificial Intelligence in Education

As the educational landscape undergoes transformative changes, the integration of A.I. chatbots in tutoring signifies both potential and challenges. Achieving the right equilibrium between harnessing the advantages of Artificial Intelligence and addressing concerns related to reliability, biases, and privacy is imperative. The collaborative efforts of educators, policymakers, and A.I. developers will determine whether the road to Artificial Intelligence in education leads to a genuine revolution in learning or remains an integral part of the ongoing discourse about the future of education.

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Hello IDA, Hello Future: Volkswagen AI Voice Assistant Unleashed

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Hello IDA, Hello Future Volkswagen AI Voice Assistant Unleashed

In a groundbreaking move, Volkswagen has announced its foray into the world of artificial intelligence, unveiling plans to integrate an AI-powered chatbot into all Volkswagen models equipped with its Intelligent Drive Assistant (IDA) voice assistant. This innovative leap was revealed on Monday at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, solidifying Volkswagen’s commitment to redefining the driving experience.

Volkswagen AI Voice Assistant Takes Center Stage

The German automaker is set to roll out this cutting-edge AI-based chatbot, which is built upon software company Cerence’s Chat Pro product, in the second quarter of the year, with the initial launch taking place in Europe. The models earmarked for this transformative technology include Volkswagen’s line of electric vehicles (EVs), such as the ID.7, ID.4, ID.5, and ID.3, along with the new Tiguan, Passat, and Golf vehicles.

While this integration is set to enhance the driving experience for European users, the feature is still under consideration for Volkswagen models in the United States, showcasing the brand’s cautious approach to this revolutionary shift.

Cerence Chat Pro: Powering Conversational AI Integration

At the heart of this technological leap is the integration of Cerence’s Chat Pro into the IDA voice assistant. Much like Mercedes-Benz, which introduced a similar conversational AI-bot to its MBUX infotainment system last June, Volkswagen aims to enrich the in-car experience through ChatGPT’s language generation capabilities.

The IDA voice assistant, already a versatile tool for controlling infotainment, navigation, and air conditioning, as well as answering general knowledge questions, is set to transcend its basic functions. Volkswagen promises a range of capabilities with ChatGPT, including enriching conversations, clearing up queries, interacting in intuitive language, providing vehicle-specific information, and much more—all achieved in a purely hands-free manner.

How ChatGPT Integration Works

Once the feature is launched, drivers will seamlessly interact with the IDA voice assistant using the familiar “Hello IDA” wake word or by pressing the button on the steering wheel. If the voice assistant encounters a request beyond its current capabilities, it will anonymously forward the query to the AI. The response will then be delivered through the IDA voice assistant, ensuring a seamless user experience where drivers may not even be aware of when ChatGPT is actively in use.

This marks a significant step forward in making AI an integral part of the driving experience, with ChatGPT acting as an additional layer of intelligence to handle more complex requests and interactions.

Also Read: Read this New Year Resolutions App Guide to Unlock Your Best Year

Future Prospects: A New Era of In-Car Assistants

Volkswagen sees the integration of ChatGPT as just the beginning of a larger collaboration with Cerence. Stefan Ortmanns, CEO of Cerence, hinted at exploring further collaboration to design a new, large language model (LLM)-based user experience. This collaboration aims to lay the groundwork for Volkswagen’s next-generation in-car assistant, promising even more advanced features and capabilities.

It’s worth noting that this particular rollout is distinct from the efforts of Cariad, the software arm of Volkswagen’s parent company, VW Group. Established in 2020 to address VW’s software challenges, Cariad is on a separate trajectory, with its focus on overcoming software-related obstacles and enhancing the overall digital experience for Volkswagen users.

Conclusion: Redefining the Driving Experience

In conclusion, Volkswagen’s integration of the ChatGPT-based AI chatbot into its vehicles represents a significant step forward in the automotive industry. By leveraging cutting-edge technology like Cerence’s Chat Pro, the German automaker is poised to enhance the in-car experience for European users, with the potential for a broader global rollout in the future.

“Volkswagen AI voice assistant,” “AI-powered chatbot,” and “conversational AI integration” underscore the central theme of this transformative shift. As automotive technology continues to evolve, Volkswagen’s commitment to embracing AI not only demonstrates its dedication to innovation but also sets the stage for a new era of intelligent, interactive, and hands-free driving experiences. With the promise of future collaborations and advancements, the integration of ChatGPT marks the beginning of an exciting chapter in the intersection of artificial intelligence and automotive technology.

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Read this New Year Resolutions App Guide to Unlock Your Best Year

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Read this New Year Resolutions App Guide to Unlock Your Best Year

As we approach the dawn of a new year, reflections on accomplishments and areas for improvement are natural. Whether it’s the pursuit of a promotion, increased productivity, or punctuality, the start of January offers a perfect opportunity to set meaningful resolutions for the year ahead. According to a recent YouGov poll, the top resolutions for 2024 among U.S. adults are centered around saving money, enhancing physical health, and simply fostering happiness. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve curated a list of top-notch New Year Resolutions App designed to transform your resolutions into tangible achievements. From financial goals to fitness aspirations, and even mindful drinking habits, these apps are here to support your journey throughout 2024.

1. Gola: Your Personal New Year Resolutions App

Kickstart your year with Gola, a custom goal tracker app tailored for those eager to turn aspirations into realities. Gola allows users to input their resolutions into a customizable template, visualizing progress through interactive charts. This New Year Resolutions App sends reminders via notifications and even features an AI component offering advice on achieving goals faster. With over 20 templates covering various objectives, Gola is a versatile tool for anyone looking to enhance their well-being in 2024.

gola app

Gola is available for free download on iOS devices, and for those seeking an enhanced experience, an annual subscription of $2.99 unlocks unlimited goals and motivational tips.

2. PocketGuard: A Budgeting App for Financial Freedom

For those aiming to save more money in the coming year, PocketGuard is the go-to budgeting New Year Resolutions App. Managing spending habits across multiple credit cards and bank accounts can be daunting, but PocketGuard simplifies the process. With an automated savings tool, bill payment tracker, and customizable spreadsheets, PocketGuard provides a comprehensive view of your financial landscape. The “In My Pocket” feature informs you of available spendable money, empowering you to make informed financial decisions.

PocketGuard

While PocketGuard is free to use, a $4.99 monthly premium version offers additional features, including unlimited saving goals and budget categories.

Also Read: The NYTimes Lawsuit Against OpenAI and Microsoft Unraveled

3. SmartGym: Achieve Fitness Goals with an AI-Powered Personal Trainer

Fitness resolutions are common, and SmartGym is here to revolutionize your workout routine. This AI-powered personal trainer generates customized workout routines based on your location (home or gym), available equipment, target areas, and weekly time commitment. With features like workout history tracking, average heart rate monitoring, and calorie burn statistics, SmartGym ensures you stay on track toward achieving your fitness goals. The app’s subscription ($59.99/yr) unlocks unlimited routines, providing a wealth of options with over 130 premade workouts and 690 exercises.

smarttrainer

4. AppBlock: Enhance Productivity by Limiting Screen Time

Ironically, one of the best ways to cut back on screen time is by using this New Year Resolutions App. AppBlock empowers users to reduce screen time by blocking distracting apps during scheduled periods. With customizable schedules, you can ensure productivity throughout the day by preventing app usage during specific times. The app also allows blocking specific websites or phrases in Safari, making it a versatile tool for curbing digital distractions. AppBlock’s additional features include parental control settings, a “Strict Mode,” and detailed usage statistics.

AppBlock

Also Read: Exploring ChatGPT Privacy Queries : Understanding Unseen Risks

5. Sunnyside: Mindful Drinking App for a Healthier Lifestyle

For those seeking to cultivate healthier drinking habits in the new year, Sunnyside is the ideal companion. This mindful drinking app provides a judgment-free space to track alcohol consumption, receive SMS reminders, engage in one-on-one coaching, and connect with the Sunnyside community. Priced at $99 per year, Sunnyside is a premium tool designed for individuals dedicated to making positive changes in their alcohol consumption habits. The app also offers a 15-day trial for those curious about its benefits.

sunnyside - New Year Resolutions App

6. Bookly: Achieve Your Reading Goals with a Countdown Feature

Reading more books is a common resolution, and Bookly is the perfect app to help you stay on track. Set yearly reading goals, use the countdown feature, and leverage in-app timers for daily reading sessions. With reading statistics, including total read time, pages read, and reading speed, Bookly transforms your reading habits. The app even provides ambient sounds for a serene reading environment. Bookly’s free version allows up to 10 titles in your collection, while the $4.99 subscription extends your collection without deletions.

bookly - New Year Resolutions App

In conclusion, as we stand on the threshold of a new year, the possibilities for self-improvement and success are endless, thanks to the transformative power of technology. Embrace the journey ahead by integrating these innovative New Year Resolutions Apps into your daily routine. Gola empowers you to visualize and achieve your goals with its customizable templates and AI-driven insights. PocketGuard becomes your financial ally, guiding you toward a path of savings and financial freedom. SmartGym, the AI-powered personal trainer, ensures your fitness goals are not just aspirations but daily achievements.

AppBlock becomes your digital detox companion, helping you regain control of your time and attention. Sunnyside fosters mindful drinking habits, promoting a healthier lifestyle. Finally, Bookly ensures your reading goals become a reality, providing a structured approach to literary pursuits.

As you embark on this journey of self-discovery and growth, these apps stand as reliable companions, supporting your endeavors every step of the way. May the coming year be a chapter filled with accomplishments, joy, and the fulfillment of your most ambitious resolutions. Here’s to a remarkable and successful 2024! Cheers!

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