New Year, New Cuts

Dwaiter Weekly


January 5, 2022


The Wave of Tech Layoffs Continues

Amazon confirmed Wednesday that it will cut about 18,000 jobs, about 5 percent of its workforce, including cuts that started in November, the Washington Post reports. Salesforce, meanwhile, said it will cut 10 percent of its workforce, or roughly 8,000 workers, and scale back its office space to reduce costs. The moves add thousands to the expanding group of tech workers laid off in recent months.


Gadget Startups Face Crunch

It has been a hard few years for smaller gadget startups. And it isn’t likely to get easier soon, the Wall Street Journal reports as the CES 2023 global tech show gets underway in Las Vegas. These startups face rising economic uncertainty and interest rates, Covid-related issues in China that have complicated access to parts and manufacturing, and reduced venture-capital funding.


The D&C’s Story of Decline

Dramatic declines in circulation and newsroom staff, along with financial woes at parent company Gannett, have taken a toll on the Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester’s daily newspaper. Over the last eight years, the D&C’s Monday-Friday circulation dropped 70 percent; Sunday circulation saw a 67 percent decline, the Rochester Beacon reports.


Ransomware Attack Hits British Newspaper 

British newspaper The Guardian has told staff to continue working from home following a suspected ransomware attack before Christmas. A spokesperson told The Register: "We have been able to keep publishing our journalism digitally and in print, but a number of key IT systems have been affected. The work to restore our systems fully is ongoing and will take some weeks. We have asked most staff to work from home for the next three weeks to allow our technical teams to focus on essential technical work."



Hunting for Bugs in Crypto Code 

Programming errors on the blockchain can mean $100 million lost in the blink of an eye. Ronghui Gu and his company CertiK are trying to help, the MIT Technology Review reports. An affable computer science professor at Columbia University, Gu leads a team of more than 250 that pores over crypto code to try to make sure it isn’t filled with bugs. 


Understanding Generative AI

The age of generative AI has arrived, when it’s now possible for anyone to create new, original illustrations and text by simply sending a few instructions to a free or low-cost computer program like ChatGPT or image generator Stable Diffusion. Vox offers an explainer on generative AI systems and how they work. 


The Legal Pitfalls Facing Mastodon

As the niche, decentralized social networking platform Mastodon rises in popularity as users abandon Twitter, it faces rising costs, culture shifts—and potential legal risks, Wired reports. Mastodon is decentralized, relying on volunteer server administrators instead of one central hub to stay online. These admins are responsible for keeping their servers compliant with complex copyright and privacy laws around the world.


The Emergence of ‘Quiet Hiring’

With the new year comes a workplace phenomenon that bosses and employees should prepare for: “quiet hiring.” Quiet hiring, CNBC reports, is when an organization acquires new skills without actually hiring new full-time employees. Sometimes, it means hiring short-term contractors. Other times, it means encouraging current employees to temporarily move into new roles within the organization.


How to Generate Ideas

Some of the best business ideas are unplanned. But it's also possible to engineer such breakthroughs, say the authors of a new book, “Ideaflow: The Only Business Metric That Matters.” The book distills the lessons they’ve learned in the 10 years since starting Stanford's Masters of Creativity speaker series and the's Design Leadership Lab and LaunchPad Accelerator, Jeremy Utley and Perry Klebahn write in Inc. magazine.


Merry Mishap 

Askern Medical Practice, a surgery center in the U.K., has apologized after texting thousands of patients to let them know they had “aggressive lung cancer with metastases” two days before Christmas, Vice reports. “Please accept our sincere apologies for the previous text message sent,” the apology text said. “This has been sent in error. Our message to you should have read We wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” Askern blamed both human error and computer-related issues.

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