Ta kontakt med oss

FACEBOOK

Facebook sells off Oculus Medium to Adobe

Publicerad

Facebook is selling Oculus Medium — a 3D virtual reality sculpting tool for creatives — to Adobe. The team was an expensive effort for Oculus and its sale signifies a broader rethinking within Facebook in what virtual reality projects they tackle in-house.

It’s clear that Oculus pumped an awful lot of money into Medium over the years and the sale probably isn’t great for the Oculus Medium team, if only because there is now a proper price tag attached to the effort that will be looming for the fairly niche software. Terms of the deal weren’t shared so who knows what kind of deal Adobe got.

What is nice is that Facebook went to the trouble of properly spinning out Medium. When Facebook shut down Oculus Story Studio, the company quietly laid off its employees. Medium is well-liked by a small community and it makes plenty of sense at Adobe where first-party integration with other products will undoubtedly make it better software. It’s nice to see it live on.

The sale of Medium after the purchase of Beat Saber-maker Beat Games really encapsulates the VR content strategy of Oculus at the moment. Non-gaming creative tools aren’t getting new investment, cinematic VR content isn’t being prioritized, and Facebook is preparing to buy more game studios with the goal of scaling their titles. For a division that has been talking only about the distant future for years, it’s a pragmatic strategy that probably signifies broader contentment with how things are looking on the hardware front.

TechCrunch

FACEBOOK

Layoffs Alone Won’t Solve Tech’s Problems: Parmy Olson

Publicerad

Layoffs Alone Won’t Solve Tech’s Problems: Parmy Olson

The world’s largest tech companies are promising across the board to spend less, new territory for an industry that thrives on perks. Already last year, Facebook parent Meta Platforms shut down its laundry service for staff, and in January of this year, Alphabet’s Google included more than 30 massage therapists in its first big round of layoffs.

Tech giants are tightening up on fringe benefits and showing their talent the door. But there is still more to do.

Hiring freezes and cutting perks are the easy part. Now, having grown fat on old business models and morphed into sprawling bureaucracies, Silicon Valley’s biggest firms must become innovative again. That means spearheading a shift in culture away from protecting mini-fiefdoms and more toward getting ideas in motion and product features out the door. That’s an entirely new challenge for big tech’s stable, mostly technocrat leaders. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google parent Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai have overseen years of continued growth largely by keeping things ticking along.

When the pandemic came, their steady growth went into overdrive. Collective profits at Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft grew by 55 percent in 2021 from an already eye-popping baseline. Their combined $1.4 trillion (roughly Rs. 1,15,83,670 crore) in sales would have made them the world’s 13th largest economy, overtaking Australia.

Now with shares and growth under pressure, Zuckerberg is talking about flattening his leadership structure and trimming middle management. Pichai wants to “re-engineer the company’s cost base in a durable way.” That will mean more layoffs because even the latest, painful cuts haven’t brought staffing levels anywhere close to pre-pandemic levels.

Facebook hired about 30,000 new staffers during the pandemic while Alphabet went on an even bigger hiring spree, swelling its ranks by 68,000 to 187,000. But Meta and Google have announced 11,000 and 12,000 job cuts, respectively, so far. Microsoft, which hired 58,000 people in the two years following the start of the pandemic, said last month that it was cutting 10,000 positions. The painful truth is that for these companies to earn the market’s trust in their pledges for efficiency, cuts will need to continue through 2023.

They also will have to continue to get the most out of their top talent, who might be less inclined to stay loyal to their employers now that they know that their bosses could cut them loose at any time.

An equally difficult task will be changing tech’s management culture. Already last year, months before the layoffs began, Zuckerberg and Pichai were telling staff they needed to work harder, with “greater urgency,” in the words of the Alphabet chief executive, and to come to the office more frequently.

Google especially needs to get better at executing on new product features. For all the attention that the company receives about its exciting moonshot projects, Google is notoriously conservative in its release of new products and services, because it doesn’t want to tinker too much with its $150 billion (roughly Rs. 12,41,000 crore) search business or its lucrative ad-tech operation. But the search business has come under threat from ChatGPT and other AI tools that generate conversational answers to any query.

Under pressure to respond, Google on Monday said it would soon release a ChatGPT competitor called Bard to the public. The service will be powered by LaMDA, Google’s highly sophisticated large language model. Google has rarely moved so quickly to develop a product, marking a risky new era for the company while it’s simultaneously trying to cut back on spending.

Doing more with less is much harder than it sounds for companies in Silicon Valley, who are used to throwing money at problems to make them go away. At least they know that needs to change. Meta Chief Technology Officer Andrew “Boz” Bosworth said in an email to the company’s 18,000 Reality Labs employees, who are driving its metaverse efforts, that “we have solved too many problems by adding headcount.” Now Meta needs to learn to solve problems by innovating and executing.

Zuckerberg used the word “efficient” or “efficiency” approximately 40 times in his earnings call with analysts last week. (By comparison, he mentioned “metaverse” just seven times.) Investors liked that direction of travel so much that they sent Meta’s shares up by more than 20 percent after earnings day, despite a miss on profit estimates.

A looming question is how much all this talk of efficiency from Alphabet, Meta, and Microsoft, the world’s biggest internet and software companies, will lead to real improvements. And if it doesn’t, will investors care? Meta’s rally last week could be a sign that investors are looking for any excuse to resume their love affair with some of the most profitable companies in history. Who wants to agitate for efficiencies from companies (barring Amazon) that have regular quarterly net margins of around 30 percent? Compare that with two other popular stocks, Walmart, and Walt Disney, that have margins of 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively, according to Bloomberg data.

Still, high margins weren’t enough to stop big tech stocks from getting bruised over the last year in the markets. Wall Street wants to see these companies become leaner and meaner. Big Tech’s investor-friendly, technocratic operators will almost certainly comply.

© 2023 Bloomberg LP


Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

Källlänk

Fortsätt läsa

FACEBOOK

Meta, Long an AI Leader, Tries Not to Be Left Out of the Boom

Publicerad

Meta, Long an AI Leader, Tries Not to Be Left Out of the Boom

SAN FRANCISCO — Two weeks before a chatbot called ChatGPT appeared on the internet in November and wowed the world, Meta, the owner of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, unveiled a chatbot of its own. Called Galactica, it was designed for scientific research. It could instantly write its own …

Källlänk

Fortsätt läsa

FACEBOOK

Woman pens love letters to Bryan Kohberger

Publicerad

Woman pens love letters to Bryan Kohberger

(NewsNation) —Bryan Kohberger, the man accused of killing four University of Idaho students, has received a love letter.

A Facebook user named Brittney J. Hislope said she’s been writing and mailing Kohberger about a letter a day since his Dec. 30 arrest.

“There’s something about a dangerous man that can be appealing to some women,” psychotherapist Robi Ludwig said during an appearance Monday night on NewsNation’s “Banfield.”

Hislope calls Kohberger her “perfect man” and regularly discusses her obsession with him on Facebook.

In one recent post, she wrote, “Bryan is being kept isolated from other inmates, and so I know that we do both likely sleep alone. … I don’t mean that I reach out to him to receive anything back at all from him, since I do that from a place of caring about him, sharing my feelings, and know what a serious situation he’s in. But it’s understandable how I wonder how he feels about me.”

She claims she’s a single mom in Kentucky. NewsNation hasn’t been able to independently confirm she is a real person, but the profile has existed since January 2019, meaning the account isn’t from after the Idaho murders.

Another post reads: “I wrote Bryan a letter nights ago that was at least four pages long … I have written him another letter that is three pages front and back and almost another full page, as well as another letter that is two pages front and back. I already mailed out the one that I mentioned nights ago that I wrote, and I wish that I had more peace of mind about him receiving them. It wouldn’t be right or fair if he didn’t receive them because someone interfered even if I stayed within the rules of what’s allowed to be said in letters to an inmate.”

This is not the first time accused killers have obsessed fans. Ted Bundy and Charles Manson also lured in love interests.

Ludwig said there’s a “seductiveness” that comes with a man in prison.

“They can be very charming. The advantage of pursuing somebody who’s behind bars is you don’t have to deal with them in real life. They can’t frustrate you,” Ludwig said.

Källlänk

Fortsätt läsa

Trendigt

sv_SESvenska