It’s that time of the week again, folks: Time for the Weekly Review (WiR). For those new to the scene, WiR is TechCrunch’s regular newsletter that summarizes the biggest tech stories of the past few days. There’s no better summary for the person on the go, we’d argue, but of course we’re a little biased.
Before we get into the meat of the matter, a quick reminder that TC City Spotlight: Atlanta is fast approaching. TechCrunch is heading to Atlanta on June 7, where we’ll be hosting a pitch competition, a talk on the economy of equality, a panel discussion on investing in the Atlanta ecosystem, and more.
Elsewhere, there’s a TechCrunch Live event with Persona and Index Ventures on May 10, which will cover how Persona keeps pace with new threats and how Index made a prescient move to detect and support Persona early on. And we have Disrupt in San Francisco September 19-21 – our annual conference is packed with expert-led sessions and interviews with movers and shakers in the tech space.
Now, with that out of the way, here are the top headlines.
Amazon launches free channels: Amazon is doubling down on free, ad-supported content with this week’s introduction of Fire TV Channels. The new free, ad-supported video experience, which arrived on Fire TV devices this week, will be continuously updated throughout the day and integrated into various areas of the Fire TV interface. sarah reports
Bio update for a check: Briefly, a Twitter bug allowed legacy blue check holders to get their badge back by updating their bio. Readers will recall that blue checks on Twitter once meant a user was “verified,” but now serve as an indication that they are paying for Twitter’s premium subscription service, Twitter Blue. Verified users who decided not to pay recently faced the possibility of having their blue check removed, but not necessarily permanently, judging by the error.
Google removes passwords for passkeys: This week, Google rolled out passkeys to Google Account users worldwide, about a year after the company, along with Apple, Microsoft and the FIDO Alliance, announced a partnership to broadly advance key adoption by the way With Access Keys, user authentication is synchronized across devices via the cloud using cryptographic key pairs, allowing them to sign in to websites and apps with the same biometrics or screen lock PIN as they use to unlock their devices.
Microsoft introduces Pegasus: Microsoft announced this week that it will expand the Startup Founders Hub, its self-service platform that provides founders with free resources, including Azure credits, with a new incubator program called the Pegasus Program. Pegasus will select startups with products that “fill a market need” and give them up to $350,000 in Azure, GitHub and LinkedIn credits plus the support of advisors, as well as “access to the best technology from Microsoft,” Microsoft says .
Blue flags are coming to Gmail: Google will begin displaying a blue check mark next to the names of selected senders in Gmail to verify their identity, the company said Wednesday. Verification marks will automatically appear next to companies that have adopted Gmail’s existing brand indicators for the message identification feature, according to reports. Aisha.
OpenAI rakes in the dough: OpenAI, the startup behind the widely used conversational AI model ChatGPT, has secured new backers. In an exclusive report, Jagmeet i Ingrid reveal that venture capital firms including Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive, K2 Global and Founders Fund have invested just over $300 million in OpenAI, valuing the company at $27 billion to $29 billion.
Apple publishes a security fix: On Monday, Apple released its first batch of publicly available “rapid security” patches, aimed at quickly fixing security vulnerabilities that are in active exploitation or that pose significant risks to its customers. Apple says these patches, which are enabled by default, were intended to allow customers to update their devices faster than a typical software update.
Musk settles for less: A defamation case filed against Tesla CEO Elon Musk by critic Randeep Hothi is coming to an end and will reportedly cost the billionaire ten grand. Attorneys representing Hothi, a vocal member of the TSLAQ short-selling community on Twitter who has come out as a skeptic of Tesla’s gigafactory plans and “fully self-driving” technology, said in a statement that Musk asked to settle the nearly three years. – old case in March.
A new LLM for Alexa: Amazon is building a larger, more “generalized and capable” language model to power Alexa, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call this week. He added that while Amazon has had an LLM that powers Alexa, Amazon is working on one that is more capable than the current one.
TechCrunch’s stable of podcasts is growing by the day, and it’s all quality stuff. This week, the folks at Equity covered First Republic Bank, the Poparazzi shutdown, the Databricks acquisition, which will go head-to-head with Stripe, the rise in down rounds, and why Bluesky made them feel less gray . Meanwhile, Found spoke to Stefan Bauer about how his company, Marker Learning, is reducing the cost of learning disability assessments by conducting them remotely. Chain Reaction interviewed Jake Chervinsky, director of policy at the Blockchain Association, a nonprofit focused on promoting “pro-innovation” policies for the world of digital assets. On The TechCrunch Podcast, which, like WiR, covers the week in tech news, Devin discussed whether Meta’s cavalier approach to compliance could be coming to an end. And last but not least, TechCrunch Live profiled Sam Chaudhary, founder of ClassDojo, and Chris Farmer, founder and CEO of SignalFire, about playing along in the edtech game, investing in companies that don’t rush to monetize and the “outsider”. advantage.”
TC+ subscribers have access to in-depth commentary, analysis and polls, which you already know if you’re already a subscriber. If you’re not, consider signing up. Here are some highlights from this week:
A cloudy future: Lyft’s stock is selling off following the US ride-hailing giant’s first-quarter results and its comments about the current quarter, and how its new strategic stance will affect its growth and economy in the coming quarters. But there’s not necessarily any reason to panic. Alex i Anna He writes about Lyft’s new attitude and the potential benefits, of which there are several.
Down but not out: Over the past year, everyone has been predicting that the muted exit environment and dry funding market would doom many late-stage companies. Down rounds have a negative connotation and are often interpreted as the fault of the company or the founder. But in a market where everything seems to be going down, they shouldn’t imply that a company or its founders were wrong; often you just can’t help it, Rebecca write
ChatGPT, Meet Edtech: Shares of edtech company Chegg fell off a cliff this week, even after the company reported first-quarter results that beat analysts’ expectations. In its earnings call, company executives noted that ChatGPT was slowing its ability to add new subscribers, not only potentially slowing growth, but also creating uncertainty in its ability to predict its future financial results . Alex i Natasha M you deeper
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Today is an exciting day for the tech world, with new developments that promise to improve how we experience the internet. First, Amazon Prime Video announced that it had launched a range of free channels for Prime members. These new channels will offer streaming content from genre-specific sources like India Today, Bloomberg, and People TV.
Gmail users have also been gifted a new, convenient feature – check marks. These colorful icons help you easily identify an email’s status without having to click into it. You can now quickly know if an email has been read or replied to, or is in progress or an attachment has been added.
Finally, OpenAI, an AI research and development company, recently announced that it had raised $1 billion in financing. The funds will be used to develop new algorithms, build out cloud computing services, and open research projects. OpenAI hopes they will be able to create software systems and robots that “encompass all of human knowledge.”
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