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News, Tech Roundup

Tech Beat by Namecheap – 23 June 2023

ChatGPT is the buzzword of 2023, but is it really all that everyone has built it up to be? Before getting too enthusiastic about this new AI tool, let’s take a moment to review the ways it struggles to deliver. There are certain issues that people should stay aware of when they are using ChatGPT. As long as we keep these in mind, then we can put this bot to its best effect. Learn more about the flaws within ChatGPT and similar platforms in this week’s article.

In other news

  • Domain provider shakeups. In a surprising turn of events, Google announced the sale of its domain registrar business, Google Domains, to website building platform Squarespace. The deal, valued at $180 million according to Domain Name Wire, marks a significant shift in the domain registration industry and raises questions about the motivations behind Google’s decision. Google first entered the domain registrar market in 2014, initially positioning Google Domains as an experiment. However, over the years, it became one of the largest domain registrars, managing approximately 10 million domains, with over half being .com domains. Meanwhile, UK domain registrar and hosting company 123 Reg is facing a backlash as it abruptly discontinued free email redirects, requiring users to subscribe to a paid mailbox service or switch to another provider. The Register describes how customers claim they were not adequately warned of the change and expressed frustration with the platform, with some now seeking alternative providers.
  • Europe explores breaking up Google over online ad monopoly. The European Commission (EC) is investigating whether Google has violated antitrust rules by favoring its own ad tools over competitors. As reported by The Register, the EC is considering the possibility of breaking up Google to address this alleged self-preferencing. Google controls both the buying and selling sides of the adtech market, and there are concerns that it has abused its dominance to prioritize its AdX platform. In 2017, the EC fined Google €2.42 billion for favoring its own products in Google Shopping. Three years later, a coalition of 165 internet companies accused Google of continuing to abuse its dominant position. 
  • Apple is trying to trademark images of apples. In some legal developments of head-scratching proportions, tech giant Apple has been attempting to gain intellectual property rights over pictures of apples in dozens of countries worldwide. And these include not just their bitten apple symbol. but apples in general. Wired reports that the strange request has come with varying degrees of success, but countries like Japan, Turkey, Israel, and Armenia have given in. The latest target is Switzerland’s 111-year-old fruit union Suisse, which uses the Swiss flag superimposed over an apple as its logo. The Swiss Institute of Intellectual Property previously rejected Apple’s request, stating that generic images of common goods, including apples, should be in the public domain. Apple appealed the decision earlier this year.
  • Sweaty robots are finally here. While humans have long been concerned with minimizing sweat, apparently, it’s just the thing our robots have been missing. Scientists have invented a heat-sensitive robot called ANDI that can sweat when it’s hot outside to cool itself down, just like humans. According to Futurism, ANDI is a heat-sensitive “thermal manikin” that can also breathe heavily in scorching temperatures. Strange as it might seem, ANDI does serve a serious purpose. Researchers at Arizona State University are utilizing ANDI to determine the impact of extreme temperatures on the human body. Because of global warming, they say, what is considered a peak temperature today could be an average daily temperature in just two decades. 
  • FTC targets Amazon and Microsoft for unfair practices. The US Federal Trade Commission accused Amazon of using deceptive tactics, known as dark patterns, to enroll users into Amazon Prime subscriptions without their knowledge and then making it incredibly difficult for them to cancel. Gizmodo reports that leaked data reveals a deliberate effort by Amazon to complicate the cancelation process, frustrating users and reducing cancellations. Meanwhile, The Register has a similar story, this time about Microsoft. Google filed a complaint with the FTC accusing the computer giant of engaging in anti-competitive practices by using software licensing restrictions to keep customers tied to its Azure cloud computing services. Google’s letter to the FTC claims that Microsoft’s control over its Windows Server and Office products also presents a national security risk.
  • Is Twitter out of tune with the music industry? A group of US music publishers has filed a lawsuit against Twitter, accusing the platform of facilitating copyright violations involving nearly 1,700 songs. As reported by the BBC, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is seeking over $250 million in damages, claiming that Twitter allows and encourages infringement for profit. Despite a change in ownership when Elon Musk acquired the company, the NMPA argues that Twitter’s handling of copyright matters has not improved. The lawsuit highlights Twitter’s refusal to license millions of songs, giving the platform an unfair advantage over competitors who pay for music licenses. 

Previously in Tech Beat: the hidden environmental costs of generative AI

Discussion about generative AI generally focuses on its potential to boost productivity or the drawbacks to human creativity and jobs, while its environmental impact is frequently overlooked. Generative AI platforms need significant computing power, and the energy needed to train AI and then run the platforms now accounts for a significant portion of global electricity demand and greenhouse gas emissions.

As generative AI gains popularity and tech companies integrate it into their services, the strain on computing power and carbon emissions is expected to increase fivefold. To mitigate this impact, tech companies can explore solutions such as utilizing cleaner energy sources for data centers and training models during periods of cleaner energy availability. For more on this topic, check out our article exploring the environmental impact of generative AI. 

Tip of the week:  Consolidate your domains to save time & money

With uncertainty about what will happen to domains previously registered with Google Domains, there are several reasons to go ahead and transfer from Google Domains to Namecheap. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Pricing. Different domain registrars may offer different pricing structures, discounts, or promotional offers. Namecheap offers more competitive pricing or better renewal rates for domain registrations, so by transferring now, you can take advantage of cost savings.
  • Customer support. The quality of customer support can vary among domain registrars, and Google is notoriously hard to reach. If you’ve had a poor experience with the customer support provided by Google Domains, transfer your domain to Namecheap, as we’re known for our responsive and helpful customer support.
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Robert O'Sullivan avatar

Robert O'Sullivan

Robert has lived and worked in distant locations around the globe and is currently based in the Balkans. In addition to travel, he has a passion for language, writing, technology, and making sophisticated concepts more appealing and understandable for readers, which are talents he puts to good use at Namecheap. More articles written by Robert.

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