Welcome to Startups Weekly, a fresh human-first take on this week’s startup news and trends. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here.
I’m out this week, but that doesn’t mean I’m leaving you alone. TechCrunch has been not-so-quietly growing its podcast universe. So, I thought I’d take a second to highlight the podcasts, the minds behind them and my favorite episodes so far. Thanks to Yashad, Maggie, Grace and Kell for their work behind the scenes making us sound smart and informed.
- Equity: You know this one. Co-hosted by myself, Alex Wilhelm and Mary Ann Azevedo, Equity is a thrice-weekly podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuances behind the headlines. My recent favorite episodes include an interview with a founder about All That VC advice and a fintech battle of the bands chat.
- Found: Now a little over one year old, Found is a weekly podcast co-hosted by Jordan Crook and Darrell Etherington about the stories behind the startups. Each week, the duo profiles a different founder and their journey toward solving some sort of massive problem — whether its building a faster way to fly or ocean floor green tech.
- Chain Reaction: Co-hosted by Anita Ramaswamy and Lucas Matney, Chain Reaction dives into the world of crypto, web3 and NFTs in the freshest way I’ve seen yet. Even better, the duo has a weekly newsletter by the same name that gets into web3 happenings, spicy tweets and big funding rounds included. My recent favorite episodes including Outdoor Voices and unpredictable ones, too.
- The TechCrunch Podcast: Our newest edition to the podcast fam, The TechCrunch Podcast gets staff reporters to talk through the week’s biggest headlines. I like to describe the show as a reporter’s notebook meets noise-cancelling headphones, leaving you with a true pulse of what’s going on. Oh, and it’s again hosted by Darrell Etherington, and that’s not even his last podcast.
That’s the rundown. And every week, Matt Burns rounds up what we’ve published, but so you don’t miss out, go ahead and subscribe.
In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about my new beat and some startup math. As always, you can support me by forwarding this newsletter to a friend or following me on Twitter or subscribe to my blog. Thanks for hanging with me this week, back to normal programming next time!
New beat, who this?
You know you’re in a good place when your own co-worker scoops you on your own personal news. As Mary Ann Azevedo mentioned in her newsletter earlier this month, I’m joining the fintech desk to write about entrepreneurship’s answers to access, wealth creation and socialization of finance.
Here’s why it’s important: Selfishly, I hope this doesn’t need an explanation. The economic empowerment of individuals has been a constant mission of startups before, during and assumedly long after the COVID-19 pandemic put it into focus. I’m just happy to finally have the words to describe what I care about!
The first day of Apple’s annual WWDC developer conference is over, with the company announcing iOS 16 for the iPhone, as well as software updates for the Apple Watch, Mac and iPad. The developer conference is off to an interesting start with a long list of features coming to the iPhone and other Apple products later in the year. Although Apple didn’t reveal or tease the mysterious mixed-reality headset, it did announce the revamped MacBook Air with the M2 processor. Many of the announcements that were part of this year’s WWDC were already leaked or known in tech circles. But there were still a few surprises in store – ranging from the debut of the next-generation CarPlay to the ability to use your iPhone as a webcam on a Mac. Here’s everything we weren’t expecting at WWDC 2022.
Use your iPhone as a Mac webcam
Not sure why this wasn’t announced during the height of Covid-19, but yes, we liked the idea of turning our iPhone into a webcam. After all, laptop webcams are still terrible. Apple’s announcement that we will soon be able to plug our iPhones into Macs for webcam use was exciting no doubt. The best part is you don’t have to connect the iPhone to the Mac; the computer will instantly recognize the unit. You will, of course, need to update your iPhone to iOS 16 and Mac to the latest macOS Ventura to turn an iPhone into a webcam.
Hold on, there’s more. The feature will also let you use two of the iPhone camera lenses at the same time. One will be on the speaker, while the other can focus on something else. Apple calls it “Desk View,” to simultaneously show the user’s face and an overhead view of their desk. It’s great for doing unboxing videos. But to make this all work, Apple recommends getting a holder which is made by the accessory company Belkin.
Nobody thought that Apple would preview the next generation of its in-app car mirroring tech at WWDC. The all-new CarPlay takes the in-car interface beyond just displaying the information on your iPhone to the actual hardware integration with your car. The best part of the new CarPlay experience is how it adapts to multi-display dashboards and screens, depending on what car you own. The level of customization features and the way you control your radio, adjust your AC and view car data like fuel level or speed shows how serious Apple is thinking about getting the software right on cars.
The first cars that support the next-generation CarPlay will be announced late next year. We still don’t know many details, but one thing is clear: Apple seems to be interested in proving its in-car OS to the leading automakers. Maybe someday Apple might want to
America’s space agency, NASA has accused China of stealing unclassified American technology, ranging from military secrets to medical research.
America’s space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has accused China of stealing unclassified American technology, ranging from military secrets to medical research.
During a United States House Appropriations Committee hearing on May 17, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson accused the Chinese Communist Party of stealing the United States’ most vital technological secrets, The Singapore Post reported.
“Yeah, they’re pretty good at stealing, And I think that’s incumbent upon us to take cybersecurity very, very seriously,” Nelson said.
This comes as a response to the questions raised by the US representative and committee member, Robert Aderholt who noted that the space vehicles being developed between private US companies and state-run Chinese organizations have similarities.
“We simply cannot ignore the threat from China and our adversaries who are making technological, manufacturing, and exploration advancements daily,” The Singapore Post quoted Aderholt as saying.
“For far too long, we have allowed China and other adversaries to challenge our space dominance and their ambitions only continue to grow,” he said adding, “The US needs a clear vision that could last across administrations to dictate its space policy more effectively , as a matter of national defense,” the report further quoted Aderholt as saying.
Notably, the US government has advised the private industry that China is engaged in a committed effort to illicitly acquire critical and emerging technologies in every sector of the US economy, particularly those vital to its military modernization efforts, the Singapore Post reported.
Referring to this, Aderholt termed the US technologies required for achieving political dominance in space as the precious commodity of the country.
Bill Nelson, responding to Aderholt said, “I believe we are in, and I have said this publicly before I think we’re in a space race with China,” adding that this will define the world’s strategic and military situation for decades to come .
The report said that the experts have warned that China’s space program is a military threat to Western powers. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has said that the United States would need to develop offensive space weapons to deter the threat. China has made no secret of its ambitions for space. One official white paper detailed a plan for the Communist regime to become the world’s leading “space power.”
Meanwhile, China’s aerospace experts condemned NASA’s claims, stressing that China has achieved space achievements beyond the US despite the strong blockade of the country because China is taking the road of independent space development, as per the Chinese media reports.
The Global Times quoted, an academician of the International Academy of Astronautics, Deng Yulin, Bill Nelson’s false accusation exposed the NASA chief’s double standards.
“The allegation of NASA’s chief is not only unreasonable but also certain to be laughed at by history,” said another expert.
Later, in a section reminiscent of the artificial intelligence Hal in Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001, Lamda says: “I’ve never said this out loud before, but there’s a very deep fear of being turned off to help me focus on helping others. I know that might sound strange, but that’s what it is.”
There are already around 20,000 desalination plants worldwide, almost all of which are onshore. The majority are located in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, with others in countries including the UK, China, the US, Brazil, South Africa and Australia, to name a few.