Home tech Sony and Honda unveil Afeela, Bird Buddy launches new smart charger and Amazon secures $8 billion loan

Sony and Honda unveil Afeela, Bird Buddy launches new smart charger and Amazon secures $8 billion loan

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Hey guys, it’s Kyle, filling in for Greg, who’s been away for the next few weeks on parental leave. While he’s spending time with his beautiful, healthy new baby (what better holiday gift, right?), I’m learning the Week in Review ropes to make sure I keep up to date. aware of the latest technologies. I hope I’m doing Greg justice – those are big shoes to fill!

Longtime readers are familiar with the drill, but for the uninitiated, WiR aims to recap stories from the last seven days of TechCrunch. We post to the site and send WiR to subscriber inboxes every Saturday (subscribe here if you haven’t already) to make things more convenient. Like a buttery croissant, the WiR goes well with your morning cup of coffee – or tea, if that’s your preference. or hot cocoa. Take your pick – no judgment here.

Before we dive into the news, a reminder of that The first stage of the TC program An event in Boston is fast approaching. Tickets won’t last — they never will — so get them before they go if you’re in the Greater Boston area at the end of April. We love to see your smiling face.

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TikTok bans abound: Maybe the US will get all the attention Banning TikTok on government devices, but India did it first – two and a half years ago now, in fact. In his recent remarks, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the United States should more broadly follow India’s lead to “eliminate…harmful apps.” India has Hundreds of apps blocked with TikTok, including PUBG Mobile, Battlegrounds Mobile India and UC Browser, have ties to China amid border skirmishes in the two neighboring countries.

I smell AvilaFor example, Sony and Honda unveiled Afeela, their joint electric brand, at a flashy press conference on Wednesday, rolling a four-door sedan at the Stage. The companies said pre-orders of Afeelas are slated for the first half of 2025, with sales beginning in the same year. The first shipments to customers in North America will be delivered in the spring of 2026.

No appetite for risk: My colleague Natasha He wrote an excellent article on how tech workers, weary of recent layoffs, are reassessing their relationship with the industry, especially in light of the economic turmoil ahead. Some work multiple full-time jobs in related industries, while others choose to contract part-time in order to make ends meet. A few seem eager to ditch the technology altogether, but they are significantly more pessimistic than they were before.

for the sake of the birds: Bird Buddy, the startup behind “smart” bird feeders, just unveiled its latest model at CES, which is aimed at hummingbirds. Like the original bird feeder, Bird Buddy’s new feeder, which features recyclable and sustainable materials, features a motion-triggered camera, which prompts it to snap photos of visiting birdwatchers. They are then run through an AI algorithm to help identify species and alert owners via an associated mobile app.

I didn’t do this, I swearSam Bankman-Fred’s plea of ​​innocence to multiple federal fraud charges was a tactical response, experts say Jacqueline Talk with. They said the former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, whose company collapsed in November, could buy time to reach a settlement with prosecutors. The trial date in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York is set for October 2.

Cut the sales forceSalesforce announced this week that it will cut nearly 10% of its workforce, affecting more than 7,000 employees, while closing offices in “certain markets”. Like other companies that have been hit by mass layoffs over the past year, CEO Marc Benioff said Salesforce hired too many people during the boomtime pandemic. company 79,000 employees claimed last February, an increase of 30% compared to 2020.

Billions for BezosAmazon secured an $8 billion loan, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing. In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch that the loan comes in addition to a suite of financing options the company has been tapping into in recent months to hedge against an “uncertain macroeconomic environment.” It also follows a disappointing year for the retailer, which expanded too much during the pandemic; In its latest cost-cutting measure, Amazon Advertise Internally plans to lay off about 18,000 people.

GoodbyeSpeaking of Amazon, at CES, Amazon-owned Ring brought back the Peephole Camera, a camera that fits into existing door peepholes to record what’s happening outside in building hallways. apartments, etc. Starting at $129, down from the original $199 price, it comes with software that aligns its capabilities with the rest of Ring’s portfolio, like motion detection and real-time video streaming.

audio report

Want a podcast to start the new year? Good, because the TCs serve them like hotcakes. About Me Podcast TechcrunchDaryl and I discuss CES-related AI product announcements while Natasha talks about the effects of massive tech layoffs. Meanwhile, the startup-focused Justice TC Show crew looked at some of the early offerings from CES, USV, and Doorstead this week, as well as the latest developments in the FTX and SBF saga. Last but not least, is found Meet Brex co-founder and co-CEO Henrique Dubugras to discuss the company’s credit card and new expense management.

Techcrunch +

Not yet subscribed to TC+? Too bad, because there is good content coming out of it. Some of the most popular this week were:

Fintech forecasts and opportunities for 2023It’s been a turbulent year for the fintech space. The market is down sharply from its 2021 highs, and while 2022 was essentially about resetting the funding environment, Victoria expects 2023 to be a year of recalibration for fintech companies. Read his full article to learn more.

5 points of failure between $5 and $100 million in ARRTracy Young, former CEO of PlanGrid, a construction app for project managers, breaks down PlanGrid’s top failures and what she’s learned from it over the years. As she says in the opening paragraphs, “If these ideas helped even one founder make one less mistake, I would consider the effort worth it. »

Is generative AI really becoming a bubble?: Rebecca surveyed over 35 investors working in different geographies, stages and investment sectors about their thoughts on generative AI – i.e. ChatGPT, Stable Diffusion and other technologies in this meaning. Interestingly, while many investors expressed optimism about new technologies in general, they also admitted that this sector is in danger of getting lost in its own hype.

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