Welcome, friends, to TechCrunch’s Week in Review (WiR), the newsletter where we recap the week in tech. For those new to WiR, think of this as a digest of the stories and pieces that topped the charts over the past five days or so.
In this week’s edition of WiR, we cover researchers finding ways to “jailbreak” Teslas, the AI.com domain name changing hands and the FCC fining robocallers. Also featured were stories about WeWork’s perennial struggles, Google’s Messages app fully adopting RCS, and spyware maker LetMeSpy shutting down after a massive data breach.
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Jailbreak your Tesla: A team of researchers say they’ve found a way to hack the hardware behind Tesla’s infotainment system, allowing them to get what would normally be paid upgrades — like heated back seats – free. Lorenzo has a story.
AI.com is changing hands: A few months ago, OpenAI seems to have bought the domain AI.com to redirect it to a web app for its AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT. But now AI.com is redirecting to X.ai, Elon Musk’s machine learning research – suggesting that the CEO of X (formerly known as Twitter) has acquired the domain.
FCC fines robocallers: The FCC fined a robocaller a record $300 million after blocking billions of their scam calls. But as Devin wrote, if and when the money will be paid is, as always, an open question.
WeWork is in trouble. . . again: WeWork this week announced a net loss of $397 million for the second quarter on revenue of $877 million. The 13-year-old flexible space provider – which is facing increasing competition and declining demand post-pandemic – did not mince words, admitting that “great skepticism exists about [its] ability to move forward.”
Google Messages includes RCS: Google said this week that it is making the Messages by Google app more secure with improvements to RCS, or Rich Communication Services – a protocol aimed at replacing SMS. The company says it will now make RCS the default for new and existing users of the Messages app, and end-to-end encryption for group chats is now fully rolled out for everyone who are RCS users.
Google launches Project IDX: In more Google news, the tech giant this week launched Project IDX, an AI-enabled, browser-based development environment for building full-stack web and multiplatform apps.
ChatGPT custom extension instructions: OpenAI announced this week that it is expanding custom guidelines — a way to give users more control over how ChatGPT responds — to all users, including those on the free tier of the service. The feature, which was first unveiled in July as a beta for ChatGPT Plus subscribers, allows users to add different preferences and requirements that they want the AI chatbot to consider when responding.
The spyware maker closes: Poland-based spyware LetMeSpy has gone out of business and said it will shut down after a data breach in June wiped out its servers, including large amounts of data stolen from thousands of victims’ phones .
This reporter would venture to say that TechCrunch’s roster of podcasts has something for every interest. This week, like every week, there is exciting new material for your listening pleasure.
At Equity, the crew talks about a lawsuit targeting a grant program that gives small checks to black women small business owners and how some countries are taking a different tracks, including the UK
Meanwhile, this week’s episode of Found focuses on Anurupa Ganguly, the founder and CEO of Prisms, a startup that designs VR math curriculum for middle and high school students. Ganguly discusses how his time as a teacher in the Boston and New York City public school systems provided early inspiration for the company, and what it’s like to market to schools, as well as his embrace of the culture of company regarding remote and hybrid work. .
And Chain Reaction hosts Robbie Ferguson, the co-founder and president of Immutable. Immutable is a web3 company consisting of two entities: Immutable Platform, a developer platform for building and scaling Ethereum-based web3 games, and Immutable Games, a web3 game developer and publisher.
TC+ subscribers have access to in-depth commentary, analysis and surveys — which you already know if you’re a subscriber. If you’re not, consider signing up. Here are some highlights from this week:
Superconductor at room temperature? Not so fast: The internet – and more than a few scientists – had hope a few weeks ago when a group of physicists from South Korea announced that they had created a room-temperature superconductor from several common but unlikely materials. materials. But, as Tim wrote, this is probably, disappointingly bunk.
Looking at other business loans: Silicon Valley Bank’s nosedive has hurt much of business debt, and for early-stage companies, caution is warranted. As an option for growth-stage companies with more predictable cash flows, however, things can be a little different. Haje investigates.
Taking a page from mobile gaming: Retaining mobile app subscribers is more difficult than last year, but paywall optimization and gamified UX can help. Anna examines the ins and outs of the turbulent market, and how apps can follow examples from mobile gaming.
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