It turned into a five-hour showdown between TikTok CEO Shou Chew and US lawmakers, who have found suspicion of TikTok to be a rare source of bipartisan agreement. It comes as US officials told the company they could ban the app if it doesn’t separate itself from ByteDance.
As with previous hearings with social media executives, lawmakers pressed Chew for often impossible yes-no answers to complex questions and grew frustrated when he declined to give one. In one exchange, Representative Tony Cardenas asked Chew whether ByteDance was a Chinese company. He would only admit it was a “global” firm with a Chinese founder. The hearing was also notably different from previous hearings with other social media company CEOs because the vast majority of lawmakers are not active on TikTok. Not all of their questions were nuanced, either: Representative Richard Hudson demanded to know if TikTok can “access the home WiFi network.” TikTok’s future remains uncertain, Chinese officials said Thursday they opposed a sale of the social network.
– Mat Smith.
The Morning After isn’t just a newsletter – it’s also a daily podcast. Get our daily audio briefings, Monday through Friday, by subscribing right here.
The biggest stories you might have missed
How and where to buy refurbished tech online
‘Star Trek: Picard’ thinks the kids aren’t alright
Twitter says it’s killing legacy verified checkmarks starting on April 1st
They didn’t disclose they were being paid to promote certain coins.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has cracked down on the businesses of crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun and has charged him for the unregistered offer and sale of the tokens Tronix and BitTorrent. If those tokens sound familiar even to non-hardcore crypto enthusiasts, it’s because several celebrities had promoted them on social media – and now they’re also being charged by the agency. According to the SEC, eight celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Soulja Boy, Ne-Yo and Akon, illegally promoted the tokens online without disclosing they were paid to do so. All celebrities charged, except for Soulja Boy and musician Austin Mahone, have agreed to pay a collective amount of $400,000 in penalties to settle the charges.
The tech preview requires the latest and most expensive NVIDIA graphics cards.
A new Cyberpunk 2077 technology preview (Overdrive Mode) supports path tracing, the next goalpost to make games look even prettier and keep you buying expensive new GPUs, courtesy of… GPU manufacturer NVIDIA. The two-year-old game joins Minecraft, Portal and Quake II — old… classics? – in supporting the technology. While ray tracing follows a single beam of light across a virtual scene, path tracing follows the light as it bounces around an environment, more realistically mimicking how it works in the physical world. But the heady calculations behind it mean you’ll need the most powerful NVIDIA RTX 40-series GPUs to enjoy Cyberpunk 2077’s path-tracing makeover – and you might still run into performance issues.
The aim is lower-cost spaceflight.
After multiple scrubbed attempts, Relativity Space has finally launched its 3D-printed rocket. But the results were mixed. Its Terran 1 vehicle successfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral late Wednesday but failed to reach orbit after the second-stage engine ignited only momentarily. It’s unclear what led to the failure, but Relativity is promising updates in the “coming days.” Terran 1 endured Max-Q (maximum dynamic pressure), the moment expected to place the most stress on the 3D-printed design, so that’s being seen as an achievement. The 3D-printing process theoretically provides simpler, more reliable rockets that are cheaper to make and could be ready in weeks, lowering the costs of putting satellites into orbit.
It’s a bigger challenge.
The Framework Laptop 16 is the company’s second product after its upgradeable 13-inch notebook, but there’s not much information – or specs – to go on at the moment. Yesterday’s announcements essentially just prepared the ground for a fuller media blitz closer to pre-orders opening later this spring. But according to company founder Nirav Patel, the new laptop has “pretty much complete flexibility to support changes when it comes to GPUs.”
The companies say the trip from downtown will take as little as 10 minutes.
Archer Aviation and United Airlines announced a partnership today to launch a commercial air taxi route between downtown and O’Hare International Airport in 2025. As well as being United’s headquarters and largest hub, Chicago’s airport makes it an ideal testbed for flying taxis. The drive to or from O’Hare, in the western suburb of Rosemont, can take anywhere from 35 minutes to over an hour, depending on traffic. Archer estimates a flight in one of its air taxis will only take 10 minutes to travel from O’Hare to its destination at a downtown helipad.