New tech extracts water from thin air!

PLUS: Big tech layoffs continue...

Welcome, Tech enthusiasts.

With droughts only worsening across the globe every year, there’s a desperate need for more water.

While many are resorting to wells, an associate professor at Arizona State University may have found a better solution — by extracting water from thin air. Let’s get into it…

In today’s tech rundown:

  • New tech extracts drinking water from thin air

  • Tech layoffs continue, Snap cuts 500 employees

  • 7 new products

  • Police departments are tapping AI

  • US National Ignition Facility made a leap in nuclear fusion

  • Roblox introduces a real-time AI translation

Read time: 3 minutes

TODAY’S HEADLINES

ARIZONA STATE

Source: Jesse Rieser

The Rundown: An associate professor at Arizona State University named Cody Freison has developed a solar-powered system that can extract water from thin air — which could provide significant relief for drought regions.

The details:

  • Devices like hydro panels use materials science to absorb moisture from the air and convert it into clean, usable water.

  • The concept builds on ancient techniques like fog-catching nets used in Peru dating back to the 1500s.

  • The company, called Source Global, already operates in more than 50 countries and has a private valuation of more than $1 Billion.

Why it matters: As the number of droughts continues to expand globally, technology that literally taps into an abundant atmospheric source could be a lifeline. While still overcoming scaling hurdles, air-to-water devices show promise as a supplemental solution for the driest regions.

TOGETHER WITH OCTO AI

The Rundown: Open source LLMs such as Mixtral and Meta’s Code Llama 70B are rapidly catching up to GPT-4. With OctoAI, you can swap the latest open-source models into your app in just three lines of code.

OctoAI lets you:

  • Test Mixtral-8-7B or Code Llama 70B in minutes

  • Find a faster and cheaper LLM

  • Stay ahead as open-source progresses

Don’t get locked into closed AI if there’s a better option.

SNAPCHAT

Image source: Alex Castro / The Verge

The Rundown: The 2024 tech layoffs continue to worsen, with Snap to lay off 10% of its workforce worldwide (around 500 employees) to promote “in-person collaboration“.

The details:

  • The layoffs add to the nearly 24,000 tech worker cuts in January 2024 alone.

  • Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snap, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week alongside the CEO of Meta, X, TikTok, and Discord.

  • The Snapchat maker’s previous round of layoffs was in 2022, with 20% of staff cut from the roster.

Why it matters: With profits and the economy holding strong, one has to wonder where these massive layoffs for tech workers have been coming from. Is it due to companies focusing on building on top of the costly AI? We’ll find out soon.

NEW PRODUCTS

🎥 Typeframes- Create videos for YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok with simple text prompts (link)

🥗 Belly Buddy- Identify food you eat that are linked to digestive issues (link)

📝 Flipner- Create masterful content faster than ever with this AI assist (link)

📸 Product Descriptions GPT- Craft engaging e-commerce product listings (link)

👥 Hearth- An AI agent that manages your contacts and relationships (link)

✈️ Trip Planner GPT- Plan your trips effortlessly with a custom itinerary and expert advice (link)

🤖 AI Form Roast- Grade your online forms with AI (link)

Browse the most popular tools ever featured with our tool database.

SNIPPETS

Police departments are tapping AI to analyze unreviewed body-cam footage, aiming to identify problematic officers and behavior patterns, moving towards greater accountability and transparency in law enforcement.

The US National Ignition Facility has made a leap in nuclear fusion, achieving reactions that release nearly double the input energy.

YouTube revealed plans to develop a Vision Pro app, responding to the device's rising popularity and user demand for enhanced VR video support.

OnlyFake leverages neural networks to produce realistic fake IDs for $15, posing significant threats to cybersecurity by potentially facilitating bank fraud and money laundering.

Roblox introduced a real-time AI translation feature, supporting 16 languages, to enable seamless communication among its global user base, potentially transforming the multiplayer gaming experience.

Reddit's revenue surged over 20% to $800 million in 2023, yet the company remains unprofitable as it eyes an IPO, with a suggested valuation of at least $5 billion.

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THAT’S A WRAP

If you have anything interesting to share, please reach out to us by sending us a DM on Twitter: @rowancheung & @therundowntech

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