Microsoft overtakes Apple as world’s most valuable company (briefly), Rabbit AI assistant sells out


Two tech giants are battling it out for the title of the world’s most valuable company. Microsoft had overtaken Apple for the first time since 2021 to become the world’s most valuable firm by market capitalisation – which measures the value and number of a company’s shares.  Microsoft surpassed Apple at numerous points throughout Thursday’s trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) when its value reached $2.87trn (£2.25trn) and Apple shares fell by 1%. Sky News 

eBay has agreed to pay a $3m (£2.36m) fine to resolve harassment charges against bloggers critical of the company. Executives at eBay sent live spiders and cockroaches to Ina and David Steiner, according to court papers. The couple were targeted for producing a newsletter the employees disliked, prosecutors said. The filings said the couple had been left “emotionally, psychologically, and physically” terrorised. BBC

AI start-up Rabbit is having startling early success with its new Rabbit R1 AI hardware-based assistant. The device made a splash following its unveiling at CES earlier in the week and the initial batch of 10,000 units sold out on day one. The second batch of 10,000 units sold out almost immediately with the third batch now up for pre-order. The Rabbit R1 is an inexpensive AI digital assistant most similar to the recently launched Humane Ai Pin. However, unlike the Ai Pin, which starts at $699, the Rabbit R1 is much more affordably priced at just $199. NotebookCheck

Tesla has been forced to halt car production at a key factory in Berlin as Houthi rebel attacks in the Red Sea disrupt its supply chain. The electric car company said it would suspend a large part of its car production for almost two weeks, from January 29 to February 11, amid a lack of vehicle parts. Tesla’s factory in Germany relies heavily on parts from Asia, such as battery technology, but cargo ships are taking longer than usual to reach Europe as they avoid key shipping lanes through the Suez Canal. Telegraph 

WhatsApp is rolling out a custom sticker maker for users with iOS 17 or later. While you can already make stickers by dragging and dropping images from your gallery into the app, this takes things a step further by letting you draw on top of them, add text, or slap on another sticker. To create a sticker from an existing image, open the app’s sticker tray, select create sticker, and then choose an image from your gallery. The Verge

Google has laid off hundreds of employees working on its hardware, voice-assistance and engineering teams as part of cost-cutting measures. The cuts come as Google looks towards “responsibly investing in our company’s biggest priorities and the significant opportunities ahead”, the company said in a statement. “Some teams are continuing to make these kinds of organizational changes, which include some role eliminations globally,” it said. The Guardian 

For many, thinking back to a time before Facebook is nigh-on impossible – especially as the social media platform paved the way for the sites and apps that many people now use daily. Well, prepare to take a trip back in time in Sky’s new documentary Zuckerberg: King of the Metaverse, which takes us on Zuckerberg’s early coding journey that not only changed his life, but the world. Zuckerberg: King of the Metaverse is available to watch on Sky Documentaries and NOW. Radio Times 

Chris Price
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