Meta announces significant layoffs involving 11,000 workers
The corporation has had a difficult year as a result of TikTok’s growth and the public (and costly) failure of its attempt to enter the metaverse.
Meta has declared that it will let go of 11,000 workers, or roughly 13% of the entire workforce. In a blog post announcing the news, CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted blame for being too bullish about the company‘s prospects for growth in the wake of the epidemic rise.
According to Zuckerberg, “during the beginning of Covid, the world quickly migrated online and the explosion of e-commerce contributed to outsized revenue growth.” “Many individuals believed that this acceleration would be permanent and carry on long after the pandemic was over. I decided to dramatically boost our investments because I felt the same way. Sadly, things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped.
By reducing spending and staff, Zuckerberg said the firm would become “leaner and more efficient” and devote more resources to “a smaller number of high priority growth areas,” including as advertising, artificial intelligence, and the metaverse. According to Zuckerberg, the company’s hiring staff would be “disproportionately harmed” by the reduction. With today’s layoffs being the first significant reductions since the company’s foundation in 2004, Meta reported approximately 87,000 employees in September.
Why has Meta taken such a beating? Well, a predicted slowdown in the US economy has slowed momentum for many tech stocks, but the prospects of the company have also been impacted by fierce rivalry from competitors and poor strategy.
The phenomenally profitable ad business of Meta has been squeezed by TikTok’s growth and changes to Apple’s privacy policies, and the company’s investments in the developing metaverse are beginning to look increasingly misplaced. As of now in 2022, Meta has lost $9.4 billion on its metaverse technology, and it anticipates spending significantly more in the future. In the meantime, Horizon Worlds, the company’s primary metaverse social platform, is so unreliable and unpopular that Meta’s own managers have had to intimidate staff into using it.
Meta’s stock has plummeted as the bad news has mounted. Its market value has decreased by $700 billion over the last few weeks, and its stock price has fallen by more than 70% this year. However, the company’s stock price increased by more than 4% in pre-market trade after Zuckerberg announced the job layoffs.
However, Meta is not the only tech company experiencing significant layoffs. This week, Salesforce reported that it had fired hundreds of people; in August, Snap announced plans to reduce its employment by 20%; and, under the direction of its new owner, Elon Musk, Twitter fired thousands of employees.
Zuckeberg wrote in the blog post announcing Meta’s layoffs that employees in the US will receive 16 weeks of base salary plus an additional two weeks for each year of service, six months of health insurance, and assistance with finding new employment and resolving immigration concerns. Through the first quarter of 2023, the business would implement a hiring freeze, according to Zuckerberg, “with a tiny number of exceptions.”
The CEO of Meta concluded his letter to staff with a statement that seemed to be directed at outside onlookers, particularly those who were dubious of the company’s foray into the metaverse.
I think that as a firm, we are presently greatly underrated,” Zuckerberg stated. “Billions of individuals connect using our services, and our communities are always expanding. One of the most profitable companies ever founded, our main business has enormous future potential. We are also at the forefront of inventing the technologies that will determine how people will connect in the future and the next platform for computers.
The Matter standard is now supported by Google’s smart home appliances
Only if goods truly support it can the Matter standard facilitate the use of smart home appliances from different brands. You don’t even need to download or install any updates because Google has just announced that it has enabled Matter compatibility for its Nest and Android devices. This means that Matter can now be controlled by the Google Home speaker, Google Home Mini, Nest Mini, Nest Audio, Nest Hub (1st and 2nd gen), Nest Hub Max, and the new Nest WiFi Pro.
Additionally, Google has made Matter compatibility available for Fast Pair on Android, which will let you to connect Matter-enabled devices to your home network “as rapidly as you can pair a set of headphones.” This functionality will make it simple to integrate your devices with apps and smart home ecosystems once they are linked. The tech behemoth has also upgraded the Nest Wi Pro, Nest Hub Max, and Nest Hub (2nd gen) to include Thread border router functionality. In this manner, you can utilize them to link items that support Thread, the networking standard for low-power gadgets like smart locks.
Since 2019, the Connectivity Standards Alliance, of which Google is a member, has been working on the Matter standard to address the fragmentation issue in the smart home market and make it simpler to use products from various manufacturers. It had to postpone Matter’s release a few times before it was eventually able to roll out the standard’s version 1.0 definition and product certification program this October. It had originally planned to introduce the standard in 2021. Soon after Matter was released, Samsung said that it is collaborating with Google to make it simple to add devices that are already configured with SmartThings to Google Home and vice versa. One of the other founders of the Alliance, Amazon, also provided a list of the 17 Echo devices that will support the standard as of this month.
The number of products that are Matter-enabled is now somewhat small, but according to Google, this holiday season and early 2023 will witness an increase. With the exception of the aforementioned Google items, all devices that implement the standard will be identified by the Matter badge and will function with all other Matter devices right out of the box.
CES 2023 :Learn the latest information from the greatest technology event of the year
Although the CES doesn’t start until tomorrow, we’re back in Vegas for the event, and several exhibitors have already shown their new items at numerous press conferences and media events. In addition to more news from TV manufacturers, gaming laptop manufacturers, smart home firms, and other companies, we are starting to see some of the early automotive news that typically headlines CES today. Here is a summary of the top news from Day 1 of CES 2023 in case you haven’t caught up yet.
Since last night
But first, even though we covered the most of yesterday’s launches in a different video, more things were announced last night after we had finished filming that. For instance, Withings demonstrated the $500 pee-scanning U-Scan toilet computer.
It’s a 90mm block that you install inside your toilet bowl as a deodorizer and employs a microfluidic device that functions like a litmus test to identify the components in your pee. Although Withings is developing a consumer-focused version that will evaluate your nutrition and hydration levels and forecast your ovulation and period cycles, you will need to decide the precise tests you wish to run in your module. Prior to launching in the US, it is still awaiting regulatory approval from the European Union.
We also witnessed the Fufuly pulsing cushion by Yukai Engineering, which was less… gross news. Although a vibrating cushion may sound like something out of an anime, the concept is that cuddling something that might simulate real-life pulsation may have calming effects. Another thing that could calm anxiety? watching a video of adorable birds! Additionally, Bird Buddy unveiled a brand-new intelligent feeder with a built-in camera so you can watch your feathered friends while they build nests. The most recent version, which is intended for hummingbirds, uses AI to recognize the different breeds that are in the area and, in conjunction with a motion sensor, determines when they are ready for a feast.
Speaking of nibbles, there was a ton of food-related technology news last night, like as the $1,000 stand mixer from GE Profile that has a digital scale and voice controls. We also observed OneThird’s freshness scanners, which determine the freshness of produce using near-infrared lasers and secret algorithms. Even the shelf life of an avocado can be determined instantly, preventing food waste!
We also witnessed the Wisear neural earbuds that let you control playback by clenching your jaw, the blood pressure monitor that hooks onto your finger from Valencell, and Loreal’s robotic lipstick applicator for people with limited hand or arm mobility. Smart speakers, smart pressure cookers, smart VR gloves, smart lights, and more were available.
Let’s move on to the recent news. Prior to the onslaught that is set to happen tomorrow, there was only a little trickle of auto news. Volkswagen debuted the ID.7 EV sedan, tempting us with only the name and a rough body form. BMW, meanwhile, revealed the I Vision Dee, or “Digital Emotional Experience,” to provide additional information about its futuristic I Vision concept vehicle development. It’s a simplified design with a heads-up display that spans the entire front windshield. Many of the Dee’s characteristics are anticipated to be incorporated into production vehicles starting in 2025, notably BMW’s new NEUE KLASSE (new class) EV platform. BMW’s Mixed Reality slider will also be available on the Dee to regulate how much digital stuff is shown on the display.
The premium 2023 TVs from Samsung were also not unveiled until the evening, with this year’s models emphasizing on MiniLED and 8K technologies. Additionally, it added more sizes to its selection and unveiled new soundbars with Dolby Atmos capability at all price points. While this was going on, competitor LG unveiled a 97-inch M3 TV that can wirelessly receive 4K 120Hz content, allowing you to deal with fewer connections in your living room and… more soundbars. Leave it to LG and Samsung to essentially duplicate each other’s actions.
Hisense, a competitor with comparatively smaller TVs, today announced its 85-inch UX Mini LED TV, which has more than 5,000 local dimming zones and a maximum brightness of 2,500 nits. Startup Displace, meanwhile, demonstrated a brand-new 55-inch wireless OLED TV that can be attached to any surface via vacuum suction, doing away entirely with the requirement for a wall mount or stand. You can even live without a power cord thanks to its four inbuilt batteries. Essentially, this is a fully functional, portable TV.
We also noticed more HP, MSI, and ASUS laptops. A laptop with glasses-free 3D, a sizable Zenbook Pro 16X with lots of space for thermal dissipation, and a Zenbook 14X with a ceramic build are all products of ASUS. Both of the latter Zenbooks include OLED displays. In the meantime, HP unveiled a new line of Dragonfly Pro laptops that are designed to simplify the purchasing process for customers by removing the majority of configuration options. The Windows version exclusively uses an AMD CPU and has a column of hotkeys on the right of the keyboard that provide shortcuts to camera settings, a control center, and 24/7 tech support, whilst the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook has an RGB keyboard and Android-like Material You theming capabilities. The last of these buttons can be programmed to open a particular program, file, or website.
The first of some audio news is now being presented to us, starting with JBL. The business presented its array of five soundbar models for 2023, all of which will support Dolby Atmos. New true wireless earbuds with a “smart” casing including a 1.45-inch touchscreen and controls for volume, playback, ANC, and EQ presets were also introduced. Nearly simultaneously, HP unveiled the Poly Voyager earphones, which are comparable to the JBL in terms of controls and have a touchscreen on the carrying case. However, the Voyager also features a Broadcast mode that enables you to connect the case to an older device with a headphone port (like while you’re on an airline) via the provided 3.5mm to USB-C connection, so you can view movies during a flight without having to bring along a second set of headphones.
Not only today but also the remainder of the week will see a ton more CES news. I was unable to tell you about Citizen’s latest wristwatch or Samsung’s new, more affordable Galaxy A14 smartphone. Keep checking back for updates on all CES 2023 news.
Concerns Regarding Free PSVR2 Upgrades Book II of Raised by Moss, Moss
When Sony’s next VR headset launches in February 2023, the PSVR classics Moss and Moss: Book II will have native PSVR2 editions, but the catch for current owners is that they’ll have to pay full price to play them. There isn’t even a paid upgrade route, Polyarc has confirmed to Push Square, and neither title will be eligible for free PSVR to PSVR2 upgrades.
Due to a 10% PS Store discount, Moss will instead be available for $17.99, while its sequel will cost $26.99. This price is expected to expire soon. As an alternative, you can get them both together for $34.99.
Lincoln Davis, director of communications for Polyarc, provided the following explanation as to why the company chose this course of action: “For PSVR2 owners who previously bought the PSVR versions of the games, cross-buying is not configured for those titles. The appropriate implementation of new platforms for works like Moss and Moss: Book II requires a lot of time and money. And in this instance, the majority of that work was devoted to fine-tuning both games to offer gamers improved experiences that take advantage of the new hardware technology.”
According to the creator, the PSVR2 versions are configured to benefit from all the features the Sony headset boasts of, including haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, eye tracking, and a larger field of view. Additionally, it will utilize a 4K resolution at 90 frames per second with enhanced lighting and texture.
Although they claim to utilise the same features and provide a free PSVR to PSVR2 upgrade, games like After the Fall and No Man’s Sky will. It puts PSVR2 buyers in the frustrating position of having to pay for some titles all over again while receiving free access to others that promise the same exact improvements. If you want to purchase the updated version of a game you already own, Polyarc isn’t even going the Sony route and offering a $10 upgrade path. Instead, individuals who purchase the smartphone on launch day must pay full price.
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