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Three's a Crowd: Virgin Orbit, Canoo, and 3CX Can't Catch a Break
Monday, April 3rd, 2023
It's a Me, Mario! Italy Bans ChatGPT!
The Italian data-protection authority has banned the use of OpenAI's advanced chatbot ChatGPT due to privacy concerns, making Italy the first Western country to do so. Looks like Italians will have to go back to the good old days of typing out full search queries on Google, just like their ancestors did and most of us currently do. The regulator said it would investigate the start-up and ban its chatbot "with immediate effect". OpenAI has complied with privacy laws and said it worked to reduce sensitive personal data in training AI systems such as ChatGPT. Why sensitive data was included in the first place is beyond us, but we digress. Italy has joined an exclusive club of countries that have blocked ChatGPT: China, North Korea, Iran and Russia. But unlike the others, it can still savor a delicious gelato and participate in a legitimate election.
Only Thing To Count On: Elon Musk's Savage Twitter Insults
Elon Musk, the Twitter CEO and occasional space enthusiast, poked fun at the New York Times after it declined to pay for its blue verification badge on the platform. Musk then dubbed the publication, which has nearly 55 million followers, "unreadable" and ”not even interesting", adding that it had "the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea". The new verification service costs $8 per month and has had a troubled start, with Twitter halting it in November after several accounts impersonated public figures and companies. The 40-year old virgins in their mothers’ basements posting diatribes as Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein became a bit too overwhelming for a platform trying to champion journalistic integrity.
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Canoo Unveils Bold New Business Plan: 'We Promise Not to Lie This Time'
Canoo, the EV startup that's trying to make car ownership as easy as subscribing to Netflix, has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle an SEC investigation. The probe concerned its 2020 merger with Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp to go public, and the SEC’s belief that certain senior executives misled investors over revenue projections. Canoo, which ended Q4 2022 with a net loss of $80.2 million, is now exploring new funding sources for its EV rollout. The company expects operating expenses to be between $55 million to $70 million, with capital expenditures between $30 million to $45 million, in Q1 2023. Let's just hope their new projections are more accurate than their previous ones. Canoo is also preparing to enter the next phase of development, which CEO Tony Aquila said will be “more focused on milestones” and long term success. As opposed to what? When they were focused on not having goals and short-term failure...? I guess we could thank Tony for stating the obvious.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit Confusing “Operational Pause” With “Flat-Out Failure”
Ah, the old saying: “if at first you don't succeed, try, try again... then lay off 85% of your workforce”. After being unable to secure additional funding to keep itself afloat, the company furloughed all employees and entered an “operational pause” to find more cash. Now, with aggressive layoffs, Virgin Orbit will pay a hefty price tag of $8.8 million in severance payments and employee benefits costs, plus a separate $6.5 million related to outplacement services and regulatory compliance. Virgin got a $10.9 million injection from daddy, oops we mean Virgin Group, the umbrella company that oversees billionaire Richard Branson’s various businesses to pay for these immediate expenses.
3CX Wins Coveted Award For Most Disastrous Cyber Attack Of The Year
3CX, a popular voice and video conferencing software company, has confirmed that multiple versions of its desktop app for Windows and macOS have been affected by a cybersecurity attack and subsequent breach of sensitive user data. The full scale of the attack is currently unknown; however, 3CX claims to have more than 600,000 customers and 12 million users in over 190 countries, including big names such as American Express, BMW, Honda, Ikea, Pepsi, and Toyota. It's safe to assume that the ramifications will be more severe than your average teenage Zoom-bomber. Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has attributed the attack with high confidence to Labyrinth Chollima, a North Korea-aligned state-sponsored actor. But let's be honest, with the boredom of most virtual meetings, maybe some spice is exactly what we needed.