SBF Sentencing, Apple Antitrust, Google AI Woes, & More

SBF Sentencing, Apple Antitrust, Google AI Woes, & More

FTX CEO Eviscerates SBF’s Plea for Reduced Jail Time
In a pleading to the judge before his upcoming sentencing, disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried argued he should serve only five years in prison because “the most reasonable estimate of loss” for the millions of customers he stole from is “zero.” FTX customers are going to get repaid, he claimed, so the 50 year sentence recommended by prosecutors is unreasonable. But the new CEO of FTX, who previously handled the bankruptcies of major firms like Enron, was having none of it and laid out in excruciating detail the billions of dollars of losses FTX customers are certain to suffer.

US Government Sues Apple for Monopolistic Practices
Following similar lawsuits brought by the FTC against tech giants Amazon and Google, the US Department of Justice filed suit against Apple for multiple violations of antitrust law. Consumers are paying higher prices for devices, apps, and related services, according to the lawsuit, because Apple has engaged in a decades-long plan to stifle competition and prevent interoperability of its products with third-party alternatives. The suit is similar to the one brought against Microsoft in 1998, in which Apple founder Steve Jobs was a star witness.

Apple Argues Privacy Features Outweigh Antitrust Concerns
In a response to questions about the DOJ lawsuit by TechCrunch, Apple argued that its commitment to security and private “where hardware, software, and services intersect” sets its products apart in a competitive marketplace. The DOJ addressed this claim in its suit, labeling Apple’s security and privacy argument “an elastic shield that can stretch to serve Apple’s financial interests.” Others suggested that the DOJ’s attack on Apple’s privacy commitments is a backdoor attempt to help law enforcement access the iPhones of suspected criminals.  

Google AI Hallucinates Court Precedents
Former Trump fixer Michael Cohen found himself in yet another legal quandary after arguments he made to the judge overseeing his parole were found to include fake court cases hallcinated by Google’s AI tool Bard (now called Gemini). According to his lawyer, Cohen thought he was using “Google’s new search engine” and didn’t know the legal precedents he referenced didn’t actually exist. Remarkably the judge failed to punish Cohen for the misstep or his lawyer for not double checking his client’s work.

Security Researchers Discover Vulnerability In Hotel Smart Locks
You may have stayed at a hotel that lets you check in digitally and access your room with your phone, a feature that is very popular at larger properties where check-in can take hours during conferences and events. Like all digital systems, they’re vulnerable to hackers. Luckily a group of “white hat” hackers, aka security researchers, were the first to discover a major vulnerability in the smart locks software of Dormakaba, the world’s second largest provider of digital access systems. A majority of the affected locks have not yet been patched against the vulnerability, but guests can check the security of their locks with the NFC Taginfo app available for free on iOS and Android.

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