UK watchdog accepts revised Microsoft offer, Mastadon massively improved

The UK’s competition watchdog has said Microsoft’s revised offer to buy the Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard “opens the door” to the deal being cleared. The Competition Markets Authority (CMA) said the updated deal appeared to address concerns it had raised. Under the new proposals, Microsoft will not buy the cloud gaming rights owned by Activision Blizzard. Its original $69bn (£59bn) deal was blocked by UK regulators. Earlier this year, the CMA prevented Microsoft from taking on the whole of Activision over concerns that the deal would harm competition in cloud gaming in the UK. BBC 

OpenAI has integrated its AI image generator into its hugely popular ChatGPT chatbot. The Microsoft-backed company unveiled its latest version of DALL-E, named DALL-E 3, on Wednesday, allowing users to generate images with “significantly more nuance and detail” compared to previous systems. By converging the capabilities of its two distinct generative AI tools, OpenAI researchers claim that users will now be able to “brainstorm” ideas with the artificial intelligence. Independent

Mastodon, the federated microblogging platform, has been updated to version 4.2, which comes with massive improvements to search and the web interface, particularly for logged-out and first-time users. One of Mastodon’s many charming qualities is that, unlike Twitter X, Bluesky, Instagram, and most other social media platforms, the user base is split across thousands of instances, each of which can decide to federate with or block any of the others. The Verge 

The scientist behind a landmark letter calling for a pause in developing powerful artificial intelligence systems has said tech executives did not halt their work because they are locked in a “race to the bottom”. Max Tegmark, a co-founder of the Future of Life Institute, organised an open letter in March calling for a six-month pause in developing giant AI systems. Despite support from more than 30,000 signatories, including Elon Musk and the Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, the document failed to secure a hiatus in developing the most ambitious systems.  The Guardian

At Microsoft‘s September 21 Surface event, the software giant behind Windows 11 took time to mock long-time rival Apple. It happened during the announcement of the Surface Laptop Studio 2, a new device aimed at creative professionals – a market that usually favors MacBooks. As Microsoft’s reps were extolling the virtues of the Surface Laptop Studio 2, a MacBook Pro was brought on stage. According to Microsoft, it was a model that’s fitted with the high-end M2 Max chip, and by the looks of it we think it was the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023), which Apple launched earlier this year. Tech Radar

The iPhone 15 goes on sale on Friday in the latest instalment of Apple’s annual upgrade cycle. Should you buy it? I’ve been given a phone ahead of the launch to review and trial. The main – and most noticeable – change is a new charging port. But when the most notable change is one that has been enforced by EU regulators, you’d be forgiven for questioning whether it’s worth paying hundreds of pounds for an upgrade. As far as Apple is concerned, it’s a case of not fixing what isn’t broken. The company sold more than 200m iPhones last year. Telegraph 


Chris Price