TL;DR: The EU's Digital Markets Act enforces messaging interoperability, enhancing user choice. WhatsApp enables cross-platform messaging in Europe, meeting strict guidelines. Google and Apple impose new fees for developers bypassing app store payments. OpenAI discusses its evolution and Elon Musk's departure, reflecting on funding and mission alignment. The British Library's cybersecurity review underscores the need for robust protections. Nikon acquires RED Digital Cinema, aiming to revolutionize the digital cinema camera market.

EU: Digital Markets Act

The Dawn of Interoperability: EU’s DMA Act Spurs Evolution of Messaging Services : The EU Digital Markets Act (DMA), effective from 7 March 2024, mandates major messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to support interoperability with third-party services, encouraging competition and user choice in messaging apps. Despite challenges around privacy and implementation details, Element’s collaboration with Meta for WhatsApp interoperability and end-to-end encryption marks a significant move towards open communication standards, though questions about reachability and privacy implications remain.

WhatsApp Opens Doors to Messaging Interoperability in Europe : WhatsApp is now offering messaging interoperability for European apps, allowing users to communicate across different platforms. To qualify, apps must comply with the terms of the Reference Offer, aligning with DMA requirements, and meet specific technical prerequisites outlined in the WhatsApp Developer Documentation Overview. The process involves a thorough review of WhatsApp’s guidelines, application submission, and agreement to the WhatsApp Interoperability Agreement, followed by the technical development and launch of interoperability, aiming to enhance connectivity and user experience across messaging platforms.

Google and Apple Navigate New EU Developer Fees Amid Big Tech Dynamics : Major platform holders like Google and Apple to introduce additional charges for developers bypassing their app stores, creating potential new revenue streams amidst the evolving regulatory landscape. Google’s recent move mirrors Apple’s approach, requiring developers to pay a share of in-app purchases and subscriptions made outside the Play Store. This development comes as Apple suspends Epic Games’ developer access once more, citing non-compliance with its regulations. The article also touches on broader tech news, including Meta’s push for improved customer support, Rivian’s latest vehicle specs, integrations for Messenger and WhatsApp, Twitch’s app revamp, and the FDA’s approval of the first over-the-counter continuous glucose monitor, highlighting the fast-paced changes in tech regulations, innovations, and health tech advancements.

Artificial Intelligence

Social Learning: Enhancing AI through Collaborative Large Language Models : Google Research introduces a groundbreaking approach for large language models (LLMs) to learn from one another, mimicking human social learning. By sharing knowledge in a privacy-conscious manner, LLMs can teach and learn tasks such as spam detection and math problem-solving without exchanging private data. This method promises to maintain data privacy while still allowing models to improve performance, marking a significant advancement in AI education and privacy preservation.

OpenAI’s Evolution and Elon Musk’s Departure: A Tale of Vision, Disagreement, and Progress : OpenAI reflects on its journey and its evolving relationship with co-founder Elon Musk, emphasizing its commitment to the mission of ensuring AGI benefits all of humanity. Initially fueled by Musk’s challenge to significantly increase funding beyond the early estimates, disagreements on the path forward led to Musk’s departure. As OpenAI transitioned towards a for-profit model to secure the necessary billions in funding, Musk sought control that conflicted with OpenAI’s mission of broad benefit. Despite these challenges, OpenAI continues to advance, focusing on creating accessible and beneficial AI technologies. This includes empowering global communities with AI tools, such as accelerating Albania’s EU accession and aiding farmers in Kenya and India, while navigating the complexities of innovation, funding, and mission integrity.


Learning Lessons from the British Library Cyber-Attack: A Comprehensive Review : The British Library’s thorough examination of the October 2023 cyber-attack unveils substantial operational and infrastructural impacts. It involved ransomware, data theft, and severe service disruptions, highlighting vulnerabilities in legacy systems and underscoring the need for robust cybersecurity measures. Insights include the necessity of network segmentation, multi-factor authentication, and comprehensive risk management. The document details the Library’s strategic response and recovery initiatives, aiming for a secure, resilient, and innovative future.


The Nothing Phone 2A: A Novel Spin on Affordable Mobiles : The Nothing Phone 2A stands out in the budget mobile market with an initial price of £319, boasting features such as a 6.7-inch, 120Hz OLED display, a 5,000mAh battery, and a MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro chipset. It showcases a distinctive design with a transparent back panel and the Glyph Interface for notifications, alongside a formidable camera array uncommon at this price point, including a 50-megapixel main camera with optical stabilisation. Offering NFC and a minimalist user interface devoid of bloatware, its limited network compatibility in the US presents a drawback, supporting T-Mobile’s 5G but only LTE on Verizon and AT&T.


Ubisoft+ Classics Launches as Standalone Subscription for PlayStation Users : Ubisoft+ Classics, a carefully curated collection of over 50 games from Ubisoft’s back catalogue, is now available on PS4 and PS5. For $8 a month, subscribers can enjoy titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Rainbow Six Siege, and Far Cry 6. Although part of PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium, this standalone option caters to Ubisoft enthusiasts not interested in the broader PS Plus offerings. However, it’s noted that multiplayer games require a PS Plus membership for online play, potentially reducing the standalone option’s appeal. Ubisoft+ Premium, offering even more benefits, is available on other platforms but not PlayStation.

Fallout Series Trailer Promises Authentic Apocalypse on Prime Video : Amazon has unveiled a comprehensive trailer for its upcoming live-action adaptation of the Fallout video game series, offering a promising glimpse into the show’s faithful recreation of the game’s unique mix of dark humour and violence. The trailer centres around Lucy, portrayed by Ella Purnell, who ventures from the safety of her fallout shelter into a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, only to find the surface world far more perilous than expected. Featuring Walton Goggins as a charismatic, mutated bounty hunter, the series appears rich in references beloved by fans of the Bethesda game series. Prime Video has announced an earlier release date for Fallout, now set to premiere on April 11, with the entire season available immediately, catering to binge-watchers.


Streamline Your Log Monitoring with LogScreen : LogScreen revolutionizes log monitoring by simplifying the visualization of logs through a web app, showcasing the potential of products developed with GPT collaboration. With easy setup, users can pipe command outputs directly to a browser for a real-time, interactive log viewing experience. It supports a variety of use cases, including Docker logs, Node.js project monitoring, system log tailing, and logs from services like Nginx, Apache, Google Cloud, and AWS. LogScreen offers real-time updates, search, filter, and navigation features in an interactive interface, enhancing the efficiency of log analysis.

Everything Else

EU Fine Sparks $78bn Loss for Apple in Antitrust Clash : In a landmark decision, the European Union fined Apple €1.8 billion for antitrust violations, precipitating a significant impact on its market valuation by over $78 billion. This penalty arises from Apple’s preferential treatment of its music streaming service over rivals like Spotify, a practice deemed illegal under EU competition laws. The investigation, initiated by a complaint from Spotify, revealed that Apple had been abusing its dominant position in the music streaming market for a decade by restricting developers from informing users about cheaper alternatives outside of the Apple ecosystem. Apple’s response highlighted its intention to appeal, arguing that the Commission’s findings disregard the competitive and rapidly growing market dynamics, notably omitting evidence of consumer harm.

Nikon’s Strategic Acquisition of RED to Transform the Digital Cinema Camera Landscape : Nikon is poised to acquire RED Digital Cinema, marking a significant foray into the digital cinema camera sector. The agreement will transform RED, celebrated for its trailblazing digital cinema cameras such as the RED One 4K and V-Raptor X, into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nikon. This endeavour aims to capitalise on RED’s expertise in image compression technology and colour science, thereby bolstering Nikon’s product lineup and market presence. RED’s cameras, which have been pivotal in producing blockbuster films and acclaimed television series, will now complement Nikon’s legacy in imaging. Following a recently dismissed lawsuit between the two entities over patent infringement, this merger signals a promising future for film and video production innovation.

Thank you for joining me in this week’s exploration of the tech universe. Amidst the endless stream of information, I strive to bring you news that is not only relevant but also thought-provoking. Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome. Don’t forget to spread the word about the Friday Tech Focus Newsletter and stay tuned for more curated insights next week!