Concerns Arise as Boston Dynamics Reveals Latest Robot, Citing Drama with MKBHD and Restructuring at Tesla

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The weather’s getting hotter — but not quite as hot as the generative AI space, which saw a slew of new models released this week, including Meta’s Llama 3. In other AI news, Hyundai-owned robotics company Boston Dynamics unveiled an electric-powered humanoid follow-up to its long-running Atlas robot, which it recently retired. And Rebecca and Sean report on layoffs at Tesla , which they say hit high performers and gutted some departments. AnalysisGoogle Cloud bets on generative AI: Ron writes about how Google Cloud is investing heavily in generative AI, as evidenced by the string of announcements during Google’s Cloud Next conference earlier in the month. Generative AI in health: Generative AI is coming for healthcare — but not everyone’s thrilled.

Ibotta’s Initial Public Offering Experiences Favourable Reception, Signaling Growing Interest in Technology Stocks from the Public Market

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Shares are not continuing to climb in early trading, but are holding steady above its IPO price, at around $100 at the time of writing. Its successful debut marks the third major tech IPO in the United States this year, and is the third in a row to price well and immediately trade higher. Investor eagerness for Ibotta indicates that “there is an increasing appetite for IPOs again” Smith said, “particularly in the tech space.”Don’t pop the champagne yet for the tech IPO market coming roaring back, however. Classic tech IPOs tend to feature tech companies still in growth mode and deeply in the red. Smith agrees, calling the upcoming Rubrik IPO “an even bigger test” for tech debuts “given its weaker current financial picture.”We’ll find out next week.

Tesla Slashes FSD Price to $99/Month in US

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Tesla has slashed the price of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software subscription to $99 per month, down from $199 per month, as the electric vehicle maker aims to boost adoption of its advanced driver assistance system ahead of first-quarter earnings. The price cut comes a couple of weeks after Tesla launched a free one-month trial of FSD for every customer in the U.S. with a compatible Tesla. The FSD price cut comes the same week that Tesla released more tweaks to its latest V12 version of the software to certain users. More drivers with FSD doesn’t only mean more money for Tesla. Tesla might also be angling for more training data so it can meet CEO Elon Musk’s promise to unveil a Tesla robotaxi in August.

TechCrunch’s Mobility Report: Apple Job Cuts, EV Pricing Analysis, and Tesla’s Continued Promises of Robotaxis

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TechCrunch Mobility: Apple layoffs, an EV price reckoning and another Tesla robotaxi promise Plus, more Fisker problems and a Waymo-Uber Eats tie-upWelcome back to TechCrunch Mobility — your central hub for news and insights on the future of transportation. The average price of an EV in 2023 was $61,702, while all other vehicles stood at $47,450. This downward pressure has forced automakers like Ford to delay future EV launches and put more resources toward hybrids. Even Tesla, a bellwether in the EV world, fell well below analysts’ expectations with deliveries down 20% from Q4 2023. What vehicles — including the two-wheeled variety — are you interested in reading about?

Corporations Strengthen Defenses as Demand for Zero-Day Exploits Surges

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In its previous price list, published in 2019, the highest payouts that Crowdfense was offering were $3 million for Android and iOS zero-days. In a report last month, Google said it saw hackers use 97 zero-day vulnerabilities in the wild in 2023. Spyware vendors, which often work with zero-day brokers, were responsible for 75 percent of zero-days targeting Google products and Android, according to the company. Zero-day brokers, as well as spyware companies like NSO Group and Hacking Team have often been criticized for selling its products to unsavory governments. “All the companies and governments directly sanctioned by the USA are excluded.”At least one company, spyware consortium Intellexa, is on Crowdfense’s particular blocklist.

Tesla’s Model Y Inventory Prices Slashed by up to $7K

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Tesla is dropping prices of unsold Model Y SUVs in the U.S. by thousands of dollars in an attempt to clear out an unprecedented backlog of inventory. The discounts come as Tesla once again made far more vehicles than it sold in the last quarter. The company built 433,371 vehicles in the first quarter but only shipped 386,810, likely adding more than 40,000 EVs to its inventory glut. It announced a $1,000 price hike was coming to the Model Y, its most popular vehicle, on April 1. He has largely blamed the struggle on high interest rates, all while his company dramatically cut prices on the Model Y and Model 3 throughout 2023.

Facebook’s Decade-Long Partnership with Oculus: Reflecting on Ten Years of Growth

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Oculus’ Rift prototype felt like just such a device when it first crossed my radar more than a decade ago. “After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Should anyone doubt the company’s commitment to the concept, it rebranded itself as “Meta”, killing off the Oculus brand the same afternoon. In spite of the $500 billion rebrand, Zuckerberg and co. never did a particularly good job defining the metaverse. That’s roughly 21x the price it paid for Oculus, not adjusting for inflation.

NYSE Halts Fisker Trading

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The New York Stock Exchange said Monday it will immediately suspend trading shares of EV startup Fisker and is moving to take the company off of its stock exchange. The exchange said Monday that Fisker’s stock is “no longer suitable for listing” because of “abnormally low” price levels. The decision comes a month after Fisker was warned by the NYSE that its stock price had spent 30 days trading below $1, putting it out of compliance with the exchange’s rules. The suspension caps a tumultuous day for Fisker, which saw shares fall more than 28% before trading was halted. The suspension comes just hours after Fisker announced it lost a potential deal with a large automaker, reported to be Nissan — a development that has also endangered a recently-announced attempt at securing emergency funding.

Investor Demand for Tech with an AI-Twist Drives Astera Labs’ IPO to 54% Increase

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Astera Labs started its life as a public company trading at $52.56 per share, up 46% when the bell rang. Astera Labs makes connectivity hardware for cloud computing data centers. Astera Labs’ IPO price valued it at around $5.5 billion, a figure that swells to around $8.9 billion at its current trading price. The strong performance of Astera in its first hours as a public company could also ameliorate some investor activity that is holding back, or even preventing some public offerings altogether. If VCs know that the startup could pop on the public market like Astera Labs, maybe they will think about the timeline differently.

Witness the Rise of Memecoins: Solana Leading the Way

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Blockchain is back and Bitcoin is hot, the Ethereum blockchain seeing price gains, lots of folks are stoked about ETFs. But one less-mainstream blockchain is perhaps making the biggest waves in crypto lately: Solana. TechCrunch has reported on Solana’s massive, recent price appreciation, digging into its rapid ascent and the reasons why. The answer is not something new, but instead a return of something that we’ve seen in the past. Not that the Dogwifhat folks are worried — they’re probably too busy having a great time.