The Morning After: Twitter hands over Trump’s DMs

Plus, scientists recreate a song by scanning brain activity.

Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Newly unsealed court filings reveal how much data Xwitter has handed over to the January 6 investigation. This includes all tweets sent, drafted, liked and retweeted – even if they were subsequently deleted – by Donald Trump’s official account. This cache also included DMs sent, received or stored in draft form, as well as linked accounts used on the same device. Even more interesting is the company handed over records of all searches made by the account, too.

We already knew Xwitter had fought the order tooth-and-nail, leading to a court battle and a hefty fine. But the list of what was available should also serve as a warning to everyone else that the platform stores a lot more data on its users than you might expect. The fact it could serve up location history, deleted DMs and a list of searches might make you wonder what else it has on you.

– Dan Cooper

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Scientists recreate an iconic Pink Floyd song by scanning listeners' brains

It could eventually help people with speech challenges.

Researchers claim to have found a way to extract a song from a person’s brain by analyzing their neural activity. A group of test subjects with drug-resistant epilepsy, who already have implants in their brains, were played Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1. Using the implants, the team monitored how the brains responded to the stimulus and used AI to recreate what they heard. The result is a bit like listening to a Pink Floyd cover band playing down the street while you’re swimming, but it’s recognizable enough. It’s hoped the discovery could be used as a jumping-off point to develop tech to help people with atrophied speech communicate.

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Intel walks away from its $5.4 billion takeover of Tower Semiconductor

Rumors suggest Chinese regulators were slow to agree to the deal.

Image from the front of Intel's HQ, the Robert Noyce building.
Intel Corporation

Intel has withdrawn its $5.4 billion offer to buy Israeli chip fabricator Tower Semiconductor after failing to get regulatory approval. Tower is not a bleeding-edge manufacturer; it makes chips for industrial and automotive applications using older processes. Intel wanted it as part of its plan not to just make its own chips but to manufacture third-party designs in its facilities. It’s thought the major roadblock was China, which refused to give its blessing in a “timely manner.” It’s not clear if China’s inaction was part of the current geopolitical brouhaha over the future of chip making, but it probably hasn’t helped.

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GM’s latest investment could speed development of cheaper EV batteries

It is putting $60 million into a US-based battery company.

A person stands with a computer terminal in the middle of a server farm.
Karl Nielsen for General Motors

GM has a vested interest in making batteries both cheaper and more efficient, which is why it just dropped $60 million into Mitra Chem’s pocket. Mitra Chem is working on a US-made battery using cheaper, more common metals than are presently employed. It’s also looking to speed up research into new battery technologies using software that could eliminate much of the early gruntwork.

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Google is working to improve Bard's soulless life advice

But not everyone on the project thinks it’s a good idea.

A Google contractor developing Bard, the search giant’s AI chatbot, has enlisted a score of experts to improve the system’s ability to dole out life advice. It’s in response to users asking the platform for help with intimate issues, like how to back out of a destination wedding. The work has caused alarm in some parts of the company, where workers feel people shouldn’t be asking an AI those sorts of questions.

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Snapchat's My AI chatbot glitched so hard it started posting Stories

It shouldn’t be able to do that.

Snapchat’s in-app digital assistant experienced a malfunction so great it started posting its own stories. My AI is a chatbot you can access if you subscribe to Snapchat Plus for $3.99 a month, but it shouldn’t have access to your stories at all. In a statement, the company explained the system had a “temporary outage” and there’s nothing to worry about. For now, at least.

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