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The TechCrunch Top 3
- Bird, bird, bird is the word: Lots of Twitter news today, so sit back and take it all in. First, Elon Musk confirms what we basically all knew — he bought Twitter because he thought he’d be forced to. Darrell has more on that. Also, Ivan writes that the legacy check mark you have is set to expire on 4/20…we think. We’ve heard that before, but now some colleagues are seeing them go. And in case you missed it, Amanda reports that NPR leaves Twitter and that Twitter, Inc., has a new name.
- Who’s there?: Truecaller is bringing live caller ID to iPhone to its premium tier subscribers, but there’s a little bit of work involved on the part of the user. Jagmeet has more.
- Gimme a beat: Music makes everything better, and a new integration with Spotify gives Strava users a soundtrack to their activities, reports Aisha.
Startups and VC
The early days of the pandemic proved to be a massive boon for the home fitness crowd. Gyms closed indefinitely, and even when they began reopening, many members seriously questioned whether the model would continue to suit their life moving forward. One of the companies that saw early gains and then a lot of turbulence was Tonal. Brian reports that the company just picked up $130 million worth of fresh funding and minted a new CEO.
“Upon further review, it has come to our attention that the way the process was described [in the TechCrunch article] could potentially be seen as bank fraud. As a result, our process partner has terminated our relationship,” a spokesperson for Smoakland said in an email to Haje. Whoops.
Moar? U want moar? Cool, we have moar:
- Let’s not make things too exciting: Natasha M reports that Ocho ideally wants to be “a lot more boring” than Robinhood by focusing on buying and holding, rather than stock market speculation.
- Silicon Buffalo: Catherine writes that Edtech MindX wants to build “little Silicon Valleys” across Vietnam.
- Bring us yer crypto: Rita reports that Hong Kong’s ZA Bank wants to be the go-to bank for crypto startups.
- Do not pass go: Elizabeth Holmes is denied request to stay out of prison, Amanda reports.
- Couldn’t risk it: Silicon Valley Bank’s chief risk officer is out, months after taking the job, Natasha M writes.
Ask Sophie: How many employment green cards are available each year?
I’m trying to figure out how long I have to wait for a green card.
I have two questions for you: How many employment green cards in each category are available every year? How do I make sense of the Visa Bulletin?
— Standing By in San Jose
Three more from the TC+ team:
- The Mythical Unicorns: Turns out most unicorns today are more myth than reality, Alex writes.
- Please wait, remapping: The venture market may be correcting more than we think to pre-COVID times, writes Anna.
- Shining a light: Becca writes how secondary market trackers are lighting up a traditionally dark deal environment.
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Big Tech Inc.
Are we alone in assuming all of you have at least two LinkedIn notifications to connect from someone who hasn’t figured out how to add a photo to their profile? Or they could be shielding their identity for other reasons, of course. Either way, you probably want to keep it strictly business on LinkedIn. Well, Aisha writes that LinkedIn rolled out a free feature to verify your identity and employment so that you can tell if it is the actual person. Now, whether or not you want to provide a government ID and phone number to a social media site is your call.
Meanwhile, Kyle tells you all about Databricks’ new open source model that has a super-cute name, but also some flaws.
And we have five more for you:
- Don’t spend it all in one place: Lots more generative AI tools mean higher user spending on mobile apps, so it’s not shocking when that number is high, but we weren’t expecting user spending to go up by more than 4,000%! Ivan has more.
- Time to squash a bug: Microsoft patches Windows zero-day bug used in ransomware attacks, reports Carly.
- And now this: Google’s got a brand-new bag, launching the first public beta of Android 14, Frederic writes.
- So I say I gotta be free: Opera is taking Apple’s and Google’s paid VPN offerings and raising them a free VPN for its iOS, Sarah reports.
- Peacock goes virtual: NBCUniversal and Meta Quest partnered up to put Peacock on Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro devices, reports Lauren.