Welcome to this Week’s Review
Greetings, readers! Welcome to our weekly newsletter, Week in Review (WiR), where we recap all the top news and events from the world of tech. We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. For those of you who celebrated, we hope you had a restful break. Here at TechCrunch, we are gearing up for an exciting week ahead at CES in Las Vegas, while also keeping a close eye on the ever-changing world of tech.
In this edition of WiR, we will be discussing Brian’s preview of CES 2024, 23andMe’s controversial response to a data breach, the launch of GitHub’s Copilot Chat, Frontdesk’s layoffs, and much more. But before we dive in, don’t forget to sign up here to receive WiR in your inbox every Saturday if you haven’t already.
Here are the most read stories of the week:
CES 2024 Expectations
CES 2024 is just around the corner and Brian has an extensive rundown of all the exciting things to expect from the event. From generative AI to robotics, TVs, cars, smartphones, and health tech, we can’t wait to see what this year’s CES has in store for us. Brian shares his optimism about the show, especially with the shift towards decentralized manufacturing and the quality of startup pitches that have been coming in.
23andMe Points Fingers at Victims
After facing over 30 lawsuits from victims of a major data breach, 23andMe is now attempting to deflect blame, claiming that the breach was due to the negligence of its customers. In a letter, the genetic testing company asserts that users failed to update their passwords after past security incidents, which they claim are unrelated to 23andMe.
GitHub’s Copilot Chat is Here
GitHub has officially launched Copilot Chat, a chatbot for programming-related conversations, powered by GPT-4, OpenAI’s latest generative AI model. The chatbot is now available for all paying Copilot users and is free for verified teachers, students, and maintainers of certain open-source projects. This marks a significant step for GitHub and the development community.
Frontdesk’s Drastic Layoffs
This week, Frontdesk, a startup that managed a vast network of furnished apartments across the U.S., made the sudden decision to lay off all 200 of its employees after failing to secure additional funding. According to sources, CEO Jesse DePinto stated that the company would be filing for state receivership, an alternative to bankruptcy.
Spiders and Body Butter Controversy
Sol de Janeiro’s Delícia Drench Body Butter went viral on social media after users claimed that the product attracted spider bites and even courtship from wolf spiders. The company has denied these rumors, stating that there is no truth to these claims. Independent experts also agree that there is no evidence to support these rumors.
Fidelity’s Valuation Mark-down for X
Fidelity, a mutual fund company, has marked down its investment in X Holdings (formerly Twitter) by 71.5%, from the original share valuation, which was reported at $19.2 million in October 2022. This news comes after Fidelity’s recent investment in X, which has seen a decline in value.
Meta Discounts the Quest 2
In light of the recent launch of the Quest 3, Meta has announced a $50 price decrease for its predecessor, the Quest 2, along with discounts on accessories. The VR headset’s 128GB version is now priced at $249, and the 256GB version is priced at $299. This move is expected to make the Quest 2 more accessible to consumers.
MIT’s Vibrating Obesity Pill
Researchers at MIT have developed a new approach to fighting obesity with a vibrating capsule that sends signals to the brain, simulating the feeling of being full. Early tests have shown promising results, with animals consuming 40% less food after taking the pill. While still in its early stages, this could be a groundbreaking solution for weight loss.
Top Podcasts You Don’t Want to Miss
Are you in need of some new podcasts to add to your playlist? Look no further, we’ve got you covered:
Equity with Special Guest Shruti Dwivedi
Morgan sits down with Shruti Dwivedi, co-founder and CEO of health tech startup Duly, at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023. He discusses with her the stigma surrounding contraception, cultural challenges that Duly faces, and the future of the company.
Found Goes Down Under with Alex Zaccaria
Rebecca interviews Alex Zaccaria, co-founder and CEO of Linktree, an Australian-based startup that has revolutionized social media reference landing pages. The two chat about scaling the freemium model and the growth of the company.
Chain Reaction with Guest Fred Thiel
Jacquelyn discusses the latest developments in spot bitcoin ETF applications in the U.S. and is joined by Fred Thiel, CEO of Marathon Digital Holdings, the largest publicly traded Bitcoin mining firm. The two dive into the world of crypto and its future prospects.
TechCrunch+ Exclusive Content
If you’re a TC+ subscriber, you already know that you have access to exclusive in-depth analysis and surveys. If you’re not, consider signing up to learn more about the latest tech trends. Here are some highlights from this week:
The Search for a Room-Temperature Superconductor
Tim covers the latest team of scientists who claim to have discovered a near-room-temperature superconductor. But can their claims stand up to scientific scrutiny? Only time will tell.
Crypto Breaches on the Decline
While crypto hacks continue to strike the industry, Jacquelyn reports that the monetary damage has decreased by 51% as compared to the previous year.
Copyright Challenges for AI Technology
Alex explores the potential challenges that may arise in the partnership between OpenAI and Axel Springer, two companies working to bridge the gap between writers and tech companies utilizing their content for AI models.
Thank you for reading this week’s edition of Week in Review! We hope you enjoyed our unique spin on the latest tech news. See you next time!