Hello, everyone! Welcome to Week in Review. TechCrunch’s weekly column that recaps the news of the week. Sign up to receive it in your email every Saturday. here. I hope you were enjoying a warm drink and a comfortable seat on a cold Saturday afternoon. Anticipation for Greg’s lines Not to worry — he’s still on parental leave, as I reported in the Jan. 7 issue. All is well.
Before we get into it, I thought I’d be remiss to not notice this again The early stage of the TC programBoston on the horizon. It’ll be a worthwhile stop on the Eastern Conference Circuit. Tickets start at $99 and include expert-led workshops, case studies and deep dives into tech founders. Some members of the TechCrunch editorial staff will be in attendance — don’t be weird if you spot us on the show floor.
ChatGPT Made Professional: OpenAI stated this week that it will soon be charging chatThe AI-powered viral chatbot ChatGPT Professional can write articles, emails, poetry, and even computer code. ChatGPT Professional is a professional version of the tool that will display no unavailable windows, no throttles and allow for unlimited chats with ChatGPT. It also allows for “at least twice the usual daily limit” Pricing is still unknown.
Microsoft 365 basically does:Microsoft announced Wednesday that Microsoft will offer a low cost tier of Microsoft 365 starting January 30th. This includes a range of productivity software and cloud-based document-editing services. The plan is called Microsoft 365 Basic. It costs $1.99 per month or $19.99 annually and includes 100GB storage, Outlook email, support experts, and access to Microsoft 365 and Windows 11.
Layoffs hit the news aggregator:Smart News, a Tokyo-based news site and app, has laid off 40% of its workforce in China and the US, or approximately 120 people, my colleagues reported. SarahAnd Kirsten Report. Report. Application tracking transparencyor att.
Bots also: BrianAccording to reports, Alphabet joined the growing number of tech giants that are cutting staff in the face of ongoing economic difficulties. The company’s robot software company, Intrinsic, has laid off 40 employees, a move that comes less than a year after Intrinsic acquired both Vicarious and Open Robotics — the latter announced less than a month ago.
Licensed Fun:The livelihoods of Dungeons & dragons content creators are being protected. Amanda He writes in a sober deep dive. Wizards of the Coast (WotC), the Hasbro game publisher, will update the game license. They will launch a new licensing system that will require D&D creators making more than $750,000 to pay 25% for each dollar more. In A sliver of good newsAfter widespread backlash, WotC delayed the rollout the licensing system.
Colors, but e-ink: E Ink color displays are one the most exciting gadgets to emerge at CES 2023. Harry Writes. They can spit out 50,000 colors at 300 dpi—way, way above the last-generation model’s 4,000-color limit. E Ink claims it plans to use it to create a magazine reading experience that is appealing to even the most demanding publishers.
Keys for the days: My boss (and colleague!) FrederickKeychronQ10, a keyboard similar to the one we reviewed last week, was reviewed. Keychron’s other – but smaller – Alice-style board. It has approved silicone gaskets as well as gasket holders. These provide a little bit more flexibility while reducing squishing or other noises. As for Alice’s layout (the keys aren’t in a straight line, but the left and right halves are slightly angled), he said it was easy to get used to—and he appreciated that the five macro buttons below the grip could be mapped to whatever you want. Read the Full reviewFor more information.
Welcome home, welcome to Homes:In a profile Mary AnnWelcome Homes, a proptech startup founded by co-founders at cloud service provider DigitalOcean, is revealed. The New York City-based company — which recently raised $29 million — offers people a way to design and build new homes online, similar to other venture-backed companies (such as Atmos and Homebound) trying to address the housing shortage.
I hear fake voices: Microsoft’s VALLE AI prototype can recreate audio with just three seconds of audio input from the target speaker. But as my colleague Devin has written, this isn’t necessarily a cause for concern—or rather, a cause for concern more than what the audio transcription technology actually warrants. Audio replication has been the focus of intensive research for many years. The results have been good enough to support many startups like Respeecher, Papercup, WellSaid and Papercup. VALL-E is simply the latest example of its potential — and its risks.
Medium joins Mastodon: Medium, an online publishing startup, was originally founded by Evan Williams. It now uses Mastodon, an open-source social platform. SarahReports claim that the broker created its own instance. me. dm– To support authors, their publications, with a reliable infrastructure and moderation.
As always, TechCrunch had a winning batch of audio content this week for your listening pleasure — though I Could be Be a little biased. At the beginning, focus. is foundNisha Tambi, TechCrunch Startup battle editor, spoke with Sheba Dambi, co-founder of Minerva Lithium clean energy technology provider Minerva Lithium about the challenges she faced as a woman from color trying to invent in the metal fabrication sector and what the future holds for the company. TC custom encoder width, chain reactionInterview with Polygon Labs – one of the most important market and layer two blockchain players in the crypto space. It is being built on the Ethereum ecosystem. It ended at justiceMary Ann, Natasha and Becca discussed upcoming deals with Inflo and Dell; layoffs at Karta and lawsuits; Microsoft’s rumored investment into ChatGPT, OpenAI; and the emergence SBF’s Substack.
Here’s a reminder to sign-up for TC+, if you haven’t already. This is where TC provides an exclusive and comprehensive view of emerging industries, trends, and technologies. Here’s a selection of the most popular content from TC+ this week.
Crypto roller coaster:While some crypto-focused venture capitalists see 2023 as a bullish year, others see it more as a dangerous time. Jacqueline reports. According to a source, VCs are a game where they “wait and watch.” Market competition is expected to intensify as investors become more selective and write fewer checks.
ChatGPT, meet VC: As it turns out, some investors are cautiously integrating ChatGPT into the workflow. ChatGPT is a text-based support tool precisely, and the automation can work its way into rejection letters, market maps, or even bits of due diligence, as TC has found — all in order to stay afloat in the changing project landscape. Natasha MAnd ChristineAnd IThere is more.
Pivot when you’re ready:Pivot points don’t necessarily mean bad news. Brian Casey writes about how he steered his deep-tech startup into becoming a SaaS company — though not without major challenges. In his words: “Switching from hardware to SaaS was the right step to start electric drive design, but the process wasn’t completely linear.”
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