Monday, July 24, 2023

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☕️ Elon Musk's brother laid off most of his staff via Zoom

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This is your daily dose of ☕️ Techpresso, where you get the latest tech news of the day effortlessly.

Here's the latest tech news from the last 24 hours:

🚪 Elon Musk's brother laid off most of his staff via Zoom
👁️ Sam Altman's iris-scanning crypto just launched
💥 Elon Musk's former lieutenant says he's destroying his own product
💰 'Jack Dorsey's first tweet' NFT went from $2.9M to $1,871
⚖️ Google's $338.7M fine in Chromecast patent case

🚪 Elon Musk's brother laid off most of his staff via ZoomLINK

  • Kimbal Musk's hydroponic "smart farm" startup, Square Roots, is closing most of its locations and has laid off a majority of its employees unexpectedly via a Zoom call.
  • The company, which previously had locations in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky, and Brooklyn, is shifting its business model to "farming as a service," pausing commercial production to reconfigure its facilities.
  • While the closures and layoffs were presented as a temporary move, former employees express doubts about the likelihood of their jobs being reinstated, describing the layoffs as "devastating."
  • 👁️ Sam Altman's iris-scanning crypto just launchedLINK

  • OpenAI founder Sam Altman has launched Worldcoin, a project offering free cryptocurrency shares in exchange for users' biometric data, specifically iris scans.
  • The startup has attracted more than 1.5 million people who signed up before the official launch, each receiving a share of Worldcoin tokens, currently valued at around $2.59.
  • Despite privacy concerns, Worldcoin defends its technology by asserting that the collected biometric data is used solely to verify each individual's uniqueness, not to identify them personally.
  • 💥 Elon Musk's former lieutenant says he's destroying his own productLINK

  • Esther Crawford, a former manager at Twitter and close associate of Elon Musk, seemed to mock Musk's decision to rename Twitter as "X," comparing the move to "corporate seppuku," a reference to ritualistic suicide in Japanese culture.
  • She indicated that new management's pursuit of cost-savings can lead to a lack of understanding of the core business or disregard for customer experience, possibly hinting at Musk's mass layoffs at Twitter.
  • Crawford's comments come amid Twitter's declining value and advertiser withdrawal since Musk's takeover, as well as her own layoff from the company earlier this year.
  • 💰 'Jack Dorsey's first tweet' NFT went from $2.9M to $1,871LINK

  • The NFT of the first-ever tweet, purchased by Sina Estavi, CEO of Bridge Oracle, for $2.9 million in 2021, is currently being auctioned off, with the highest bid at $1,895.
  • Estavi has previously tried to sell the NFT for $48 million, but the highest offer was significantly lower, demonstrating the declining value of NFTs in the market.
  • The NFT market crash, triggered by the collapse of TerraUSD and Luna, along with other market setbacks, has led many companies, including Ubisoft and Sega, to abandon their NFT plans.
  • ⚖️ Google's $338.7M fine in Chromecast patent caseLINK

  • Google has been ordered by a Texas federal jury to pay $338.7 million in damages for infringing patents owned by Touchstream Technologies with its remote-streaming technology.
  • Touchstream alleges that Google's Chromecast and other devices copied its technology, invented in 2010, which allows videos to be moved from smaller devices to larger ones like televisions.
  • Google plans to appeal the verdict, maintaining that the company develops technology independently and that Touchstream's patents are invalid.
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    TikTok introduces a feature for creating text-based posts, enabling users to share written content and interact with it as dynamically as with video and photo posts. LINK

    FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried's lawyers have rejected witness tampering claims but accepted a gag order in the ongoing criminal fraud case. LINK

    SoftBank's GreenBox Systems, in partnership with Symbotic, offers a Warehouse-as-a-Service solution to counter Amazon's fast delivery advantage, investing around $7.5 billion in warehouse automation technology.LINK

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