OceanGate Fires Whistleblower, Hackers Threaten Reddit Leaks, Marvel Embraces AI Art

Hello lovelies, and welcome to the Week in Review (WiR), Root Devices’s regular newsletter that summarizes the week in tech. For many people, this working week was a day shorter thanks to the celebration of June 16 on Monday. But a lot happened.

We report on the OceanGate tragedy and continue to closely monitor the Reddit API controversy – which shows no signs of abating. Elsewhere, TC has a full review of the new Google Pixel tablet (spoiler alert: the included dock is the main focus), plus we’ve got a bit on Microsoft’s Quantum plans and more.

If you haven’t already, sign up here to get WiR delivered to your inbox every Saturday. Then read the weekly summary.

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OceanGate Fired Whistleblower: The director of marine operations at OceanGate, whose submarine disappeared Sunday during the Titanic expedition in the North Atlantic, has been fired after raising concerns about its first carbon fiber hull and other systems ahead of its maiden voyage. , according to a 2018 court filing in the lawsuit.

Hackers threaten to leak Reddit data: Hackers are threatening to release confidential data stolen from Reddit unless the company pays a ransom demand — and reverses its controversial API price hikes. In a dark web leak, the BlackCat group, also known as ALPHV, claims to have stolen 80 gigabytes of compressed data during a February hack of Reddit’s systems.

The Reddit protests continue: In more Reddit news, several subreddits are adopting alternative methods of protesting the API changes mentioned above, such as posting only one type of post, changing the topic in focus, and days when the community goes private. Many of these communities participated in a “blackout” from June 12-14 to protest changes to API rules that could effectively kill a slew of third-party apps.

Google Pixel Tablet Review: Brian reviews the new Pixel tablet, Google’s first attempt at an Android-powered device in tablet form. The verdict? The so-so slate is greater than the sum of its parts with the addition of an included smart home docking station. Read on for the rest of his impressions.

Microsoft is serious about quantum: This week, Microsoft announced its plan to build a quantum supercomputer using topological qubits, which the company’s researchers have been working on for quite some time. There are still many intermediate milestones to be achieved. But the company believes it will take less than 10 years to build a quantum supercomputer with these qubits.

WhatsApp Gets Auto Mute: WhatsApp has introduced a new feature to automatically mute calls from unknown numbers. It comes after several customers in India, the chat app’s biggest market with more than 500 million users, complained about an increase in spam calls over the past year.

Marvel’s AI Art Controversy: Marvel’s latest series, “Secret Invasion,” debuted on Disney+ this week — causing a stir after it was confirmed that the opening sequence was created by AI. Method Studios, the VFX company responsible for the graphics, told The Hollywood Reporter that “the inclusion of these new tools didn’t replace any of the artists’ jobs” — but that didn’t stop many artists from venting their frustrations on Twitter.

Board members left Byju’s: Global giant Deloitte resigned on Thursday as Byju’s auditor and three board members quit India’s most valuable startup, sending shockwaves through the industry a year after the Indian company’s lax financial reporting drew global scrutiny.


Need a podcast to make your commute — or just a lazy Sunday afternoon? Root Devices has you covered. It’s sure to be something that will appeal in TC’s growing stable of audio content.

This week’s episode of Found featured Web Sun, co-founder and president of Komodo Health, a startup that uses data to create a comprehensive map of the US healthcare system. Webb talked about what drove him into entrepreneurship and how mutual friends introduced him to his co-founder, thinking they would hit it off (little did they know!). He also talked about steering fundraising during a bull market and layoffs – which is definitely a real topic.

Root Devices+

TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis, and polls – which you know if you’re already a subscriber. If you haven’t, please consider applying. Here are some highlights from this week:

European and Israeli unicorns: Accel partner Harry Nelis writes about how the past two decades have seen a slew of powerful founders and operators emerge across Europe and Israel, building innovative products and category-defining unicorn companies now competing on the global stage.

Coinbase, the next great app: As crypto markets continue to face uncertainty, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sees greater potential for growth in the digital asset ecosystem. Over the next five to seven years, Armstrong’s vision for Coinbase includes turning it into a “super app,” which refers to apps like WeChat and Alipay that are used for messaging, commerce, banking, loans, payments and even food ordering.

AI Infiltrates Mass Work: A new paper by researchers at Switzerland’s EPFL University suggests that between 33% and 46% of distributed crowdworkers on Amazon Mechanical Turk appear to have “cheated” on a specific task they were assigned using tools such as ChatGPT, to perform some work. If this practice is widespread, it can turn out to be quite a serious problem, writes Haje.

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