Silicon Valley Tech News Roundup – July 2nd

Holiday air travel faces disruption due to 5G update and bad weather – 7/1

On Saturday, July 1st, wireless network providers started boosting their 5G signal, which should lead to better coverage in and around airports. However, airline industry experts expressed their concerns the new update may interfere with the planes’ radio altimeters (radio frequency filters used to determine altitude). Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandated airlines have to update their radio altimeters to new technology that tolerates 5G signal.

Federal Aviation Administration says many domestic and international airlines cannot meet the deadline and equip their fleets with the updated technology on time. According to their data, airlines are yet to install the new technology in 15% of domestic and 34% of international planes in US airspace.

Airlines for America (a trade group representing a majority of US airlines) stated the global supply chain interfered with their efforts to comply on time: “Carriers have repeatedly communicated this reality to the government… Nevertheless, thanks to careful planning, A4A member carriers are confident in their ability to maintain the integrity of their schedules, despite the impending deadline.”

July 4th weekend is typically one of the busiest travel weekends in the year. FAA tweeted past Thursday has been the busiest day for air travel since the start of the pandemic, with more than 52,000 flights. According to FlightAware, since Monday, airlines canceled 3000 flights, and delayed over 30,000 flights.

Furthermore, bad weather threatens to disrupt travel even more. The Southern states are experiencing a heat wave, while the east coast expects severe storms. Canadian wildfire smoke is expected over New York’s air space over the next few days.

New class action lawsuit accuses OpenAI of basing its business model on theft – 6/30

This week, Clarkson Law Firm filed a class action lawsuit in a Northern California Court. It accuses OpenAI (the makers of ChatGPT) of criminally scraping the data from the Internet and using it to create its automated products. The lawsuit’s primary claim is that theft is the basis of the OpenAI’s business model.

The class action lawsuit claims OpenAI creates its products by using “stolen private information, including personally identifiable information, from hundreds of millions of internet users, including children of all ages, without their informed consent or knowledge.” According to the lawsuit, OpenAI’s practices are illegal. The lawsuit accuses OpenAI of violating numerous state and federal regulations (including privacy laws) and several platforms’ terms of service agreements. Furthermore, it claims OpenAI scraped and used web content to build commercial products and is now selling them to the public.

OpenAI is facing several legal challenges. A number of authors filed a lawsuit against OpenAI in California this week. It claims the company scraped their copyrighted work.

Twitter limits the number of tweets users can see in a day – 7/1

On Saturday, Elon Musk announced Twitter users will only be able to see a limited number of tweets per day. Musk explained he implemented the new rules because of “extreme levels of data scraping” and “system manipulation.” He described the new restrictions as a “temporary emergency measure” and has not stipulated when the company would lift the restrictions.

Verified accounts can read up to 10,000 tweets per day. Unverified accounts can read up to 1000 tweets per day, while new unverified accounts are limited to 500 tweets daily. He initially set stricter limits but changed them later on. Furthermore, the company also started limiting access to users with no accounts. Previously, people could read tweets by public figures even if they did not have a Twitter account. But now they are prompted to sign in.

According to DownDetector, over 7,000 users reported problems accessing Twitter on Saturday. It is unclear whether there is a connection between the latest outage and new restrictions.

The Netherlands is the latest country to restrict chip exports – 7/1

This week the Dutch government announced it would limit the export of “certain advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment.” These exports would have to be authorized.

Liesje Schreinemacher (Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation) stated the restrictions are due to national security reasons. She said some chips can be used in such a way they “can make a key contribution to certain advanced military applications.” Further, she added: “The uncontrolled export of goods and technologies therefore potentially poses national security risks… The Netherlands bears an extra responsibility in this regard because this country has a unique, leading position in this field. Like the export control policy in general, this additional step is country-neutral.”

Mao Ning (the spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry) reacted to the decision by saying it was “not in the interests of any party” and would impact supply chains and chip production. She added the United States is using “abuse of export controls,” and she condemned its “use of various pretexts to win over and coerce other countries into imposing a technological blockade against China.”


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