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By Kyle Wiggers

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Hey, folks, welcome to Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s regular newsletter that recaps the last few days in tech.

This week, social network Bluesky opened for anyone to join — which feels appropriate here in NYC, given the sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve been enjoying. For those more inclined to while away the days indoors — and contemplating a Vision Pro purchase — Brian published his review. Give it a read; he doesn’t mince words.

Lots else happened, including a Rivian SUV reveal, government hackers targeting iPhone owners and Meta cutting off third-party access to Facebook Groups. We cover it all and more in this edition of WiR.

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Image Credits: Marco Bello and Eva Marie for the Knight Foundation

News

Nothing but Bluesky: After almost a year as an invite-only app, Bluesky, a promising micro-blogging platform backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is now open to the public.

Rivian’s new ride: Rivian will reveal its next-generation vehicle — a smaller, cheaper electric SUV known as R2 — on March 7, the company announced Monday morning.

Governments targeting iPhones: Government hackers last year exploited three unknown vulnerabilities in Apple’s iPhone operating system to target victims with spyware developed by a European startup, according to Google.

Meta severs Group access: Meta recently announced it’ll soon be shutting down its Facebook Groups API. It’s throwing some businesses and social media marketers into disarray, Sarah writes.

A WeWork comeback: Adam Neumann, who co-founded flexible workspace provider WeWork in 2010 and notoriously stepped down nine years later, is attempting to buy the company out of bankruptcy, according to reports.

Chinese hackers lurking inside: China-backed hackers have maintained access to American critical infrastructure for “at least five years” with the long-term goal of launching “destructive” cyberattacks, a coalition of U.S. intelligence agencies warned on Wednesday.

Analysis

Apple Vision Pro review: In his review of the Vision Pro, Brian writes that the $3,500 headset is very much still a work in progress — offering glimpses of a future that’ll live or die by developers.

Joe Rogan, liberated: Amanda writes why it’s good for Spotify that Joe Rogan’s podcast is no longer exclusive.

Podcasts

On Equity, the crew took a deep look at a number of startup fundraisings, including new capital for vertical software-as-a-service, fintech and edtech; how quickly SUMA Wealth is growing; and why Bluesky is flying high.

Meanwhile, Found featured Beatrice Dixon, the co-founder of plant-based vaginal wellness brand The Honey Pot.

And on Chain Reaction, Jacquelyn interviewed Devin Finzer, the CEO of NFT marketplace OpenSea. He co-founded OpenSea in 2017, and it quickly became one of the best-known — and well-funded — NFT marketplaces.

TechCrunch+

AI, ol’ reliable: Alex writes that it appears the market is willing to accept that software imbued with new AI capabilities will cost more — so software companies of all sizes will have something new to upsell existing customers and potentially land new accounts.

Fast fashion breakup: Fast fashion is an industry ensnared in labor issues and copyright problems, and it has an immense environmental impact due to its wastewater and carbon emissions — which is why VCs need to reconsider it, Rebecca writes.

Bonus round

A sidewalk robot success story: Sidewalk delivery robot services appear to be stalling left and right. But a pioneer in the concept, Starship Technologies, says it’s profitable and has now raised a round of funding to scale up to meet market demand.

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