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Google's layoffs are the latest in Big Tech's cutbacks


It's been a rough few months for people who work in tech. After a massive hiring spree during the beginning of the pandemic, tech companies have needed to slow -- or even reverse -- hiring. Snapchat, OnlyFans, Lyft, Microsoft, Twitter, Substack, Netflix and more tech companies began laying off workers in 2022. Now just a few weeks into 2023, those layoffs don't seem to be slowing down. "Unfortunately, I don't see the layoffs going away anytime soon," Roger Lee, the creator of in a new window), a website that tracks job cuts at startups and tech companies, told USA Today(Opens in a new window).

Google's Alphabet is cutting 12,000 jobs


Alphabet, Google's parent company, is cutting 12,000 jobs in the company's largest ever layoffs. Affecting more than six percent of its global workforce, the firings are the latest in an unrelenting trend of big tech companies making similar choices. Sundar Pichai, Alphabet's chief executive, wrote to Google employees(Opens in a new window) about the "difficult news" in a note posted to the company's blog on Friday. "This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with. I'm deeply sorry for that," Pichai writes.

Microsoft services, including Xbox Live and Outlook, are down for many users


Numerous Microsoft services are experiencing problems early on Wednesday, with thousands of people complaining about the issues on social media. According to Downdetector(Opens in a new window), Xbox Live, Microsoft Store, in a new window), Microsoft 365, Azure, Teams, and several popular games, including Minecraft and Destiny, have been experiencing outages in the past 24 hours. User reports range from intermittent outages to entire systems being completely unavailable. "The whole xbox live system is down," said one user(Opens in a new window). "Not even the the service status page is working atm."

Score an $89 lifetime subscription to Stone River e-Learning


TL;DR: As of Jan. 29, you can get a lifetime subscription to Stone River eLearning(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab) -- which gives you access to more than 800 online courses -- for just $89. The recent bout of layoffs at tech companies has rattled a lot of us. Even the biggest companies that seem untouchable, like Google, Microsoft, Netflix, and Spotify, have had to cut jobs after their hiring sprees at the beginning of the pandemic. Per in a new window), there were roughly 154,000 layoffs from over 1,000 tech companies last year, and at the start of 2023, more than 55,000 layoffs have been documented. No company is safe, apparently, if even the big guns are doing some shedding on their employees.

Meta Just Made a Lot of People Very Vulnerable


By the time Facebook transformed into Meta in late 2021, it didn't seem like anything could end its global domination--never mind any regulatory fines, document leaks, reports that it helped users incite violence, antitrust probes, and plummeting employee satisfaction. One year on, Meta has lost millions of users, gobs of cash, budgeting for long-term research, the approval of the youths, and the bulk of its market value. CEO Mark Zuckerberg's death-grip metaverse gamble is (so far!) proving a surefire money loser, earning mostly widespread mockery. Sure, the social giant's struggles stem in part from the factors hitting Big Tech writ large--namely, higher interest rates--but the company is uniquely hobbled as it struggles to compete with TikTok and also loses advertising revenue, thanks to Apple's new requirements for apps to seek users' permission for personal targeting. Plus, as Zuckerberg himself admitted, Facebook's pandemic-fueled usership surge led it to hire aggressively, reaching an all-time high of about 89,000 workers by September. The bloated workforce plus reversal in fortune led Zuckerberg to announce this week that Meta would be axing 11,000 positions, about 13 percent of its human labor, across all departments.