Tesla is taking reservations for its Cybertruck in China
- Tesla has opened up reservations for its all-electric Cybertruck to customers in China, a move that will test the market’s appetite for a massive, futuristic truck.
- Just weeks after the official unveiling, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that there were 250,000 reservations for the vehicle.
- Musk tweeted in March that Tesla was scouting locations for a factory that would be used to produce Model Y crossovers for the East Coast market as well as the Cybertruck.
- The cheapest version, a single motor and rear-wheel drive model, will cost $39,900, have a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds and more than 250 miles of range.
- The third version will have three electric motors and all-wheel drive, a towing capacity of 14,000 pounds and battery range of more than 500 miles.
R&D Roundup: Tech giants unveil breakthroughs at computer vision summit
- Computer vision summit CVPR has just (virtually) taken place, and like other CV-focused conferences, there are quite a few interesting papers.
- Redmond has the most interesting papers this year, in my opinion, because they cover several nonobvious real-life needs.
- One is documenting that shoebox we or perhaps our parents filled with old 3x5s and other film photos.
- Of course there are services that help with this already, but if photos are creased, torn, or otherwise damaged, you generally just get a high-resolution scan of that damage.
- Microsoft has created a system to automatically repair such photos, and the results look mighty good.
- The problem is as much identifying the types of degradation a photo suffers from as it is fixing them.
- The solution is simple, write the authors: “We propose a novel triplet domain translation network by leveraging real photos along with massive synthetic image pairs.” Amazing no one tried it before!
We need a new field of AI to combat racial bias
- Most recently, in a study late last year by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), researchers found evidence of racial bias in nearly 200 facial recognition algorithms.
- Beyond a 12-month hiatus, we must acknowledge that while building AI is a technology challenge, using AI requires non-software development heavy disciplines such as social science, law and politics.
- We require the intentional establishment of a field of AI whose purpose is to understand the development of neural networks and the social contexts into which the technology will be deployed.
- For the population to gain comfort with broad deployment of AI so that tech companies like Amazon and IBM, and countless others, can deploy these innovations, the entire discipline needs to move beyond the CS lab.
- Understanding human behavior patterns, biases in data generation processes are needed.
How Have I Been Pwned became the keeper of the internet's biggest data breaches
- Seven years later, the data-breach notification service processes thousands of requests each day from users who check to see if their data was compromised — or pwned with a hard ‘p’ — by the hundreds of data breaches in its database, including some of the largest breaches in history.
- As Have I Been Pwned grew in size and recognition, Hunt remained its sole proprietor, responsible for everything from organizing and loading the data into the database to deciding how the site should operate, including its ethics.
- Earlier this year Hunt loaded a massive trove of email addresses from a marketing database — dubbed ‘Lead Hunter’ — some 68 million records fed into Have I Been Pwned.
- Like any other breach, he took the data, loaded it in Have I Been Pwned, and sent out email notifications to the millions who have subscribed.
As Q3 kicks off, four more companies join the $100M ARR club
- Welcome back to our $100 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) series, in which we take irregular looks at companies that have reached material scale while still private.
- Before we dive into today’s new companies, keep in mind that we’ve expanded the type of company that can make it into the $100M ARR club to include companies that reach a $100 million annual run rate pace.
- For everyone who’s current, today we are adding Snow Software, A Cloud Guru, Zeta Global and Upgrade to the club.
- Just this week, Snow Software announced that it has crossed the $100 million ARR mark, according to a release shared with TechCrunch.
- The Swedish software asset management company has raised a few private rounds, including a $120 million private equity round in 2017.
- But, unlike many American companies that make this list, we don’t have a historical record of needing extensive private capital to scale.
GGV's Jeff Richards: 'There is a level of resiliency in Silicon Valley that we did not have 10 years ago'
- Earlier this week, GGV Capital’s Jeff Richards and Hans Tung joined TechCrunch for an Extra Crunch Live session.
- During our hour-long chat, we touched on startup profitability, the global venture capital scene, why GGV doesn’t have an office in Europe, how the venture industry is responding to its stark lack of diversity and other issues.
- Both Richards and Tung were positive about their own portfolio companies’ recent performance and financial health (cash position, really).
- But it appears that not only are their portfolios doing well, but other startups are a bit more solid than in previous downturns.
- Reading both points in unison, it appears that the startup market is bifurcating between the companies that will come out of the COVID-19 era unwounded, and those that are suffering.
- Oh, and don’t forget to stay up to date on coming chats.
When life gives you lemons, print money with Lemonade
- Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
- Before we dive in, don’t forget that the show is on Twitter now, so follow us there if you want to see discarded headline ideas, outtakes from the that got cut, and more.
- It’s fun!
- Right, that’s our ep.
- Hugs from the team and have a lovely weekend.
- You are all tremendous and we appreciate you spending part of your day with the four of us.
- Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 AM PT and Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.
Dating app S'More adds blurred video calling and launches in LA
- The pandemic hasn’t slowed down dating app S’More — at least according to CEO Adam Cohen-Aslatei, who said that the app’s daily active user count doubled in March and hasn’t gone down since.
- The app (whose name is short for “something more”) launched last fall and has supposedly attracted nearly 50,000 users.
- The goal is to move beyond the superficiality of most dating apps, where you first learn about another user and then unlock visual elements (like a profile photo) as you interact.
- Cohen-Aslatei said the team has also spent more on marketing to attract a diverse audience, both in terms of racial diversity (something S’more reinforces by not allowing users to filter by race) and sexual orientation, with 15% of users identifying as LGBTQ.
- And it recently started its a video series of its own on Instagram’s IGTV — the S’More Live Happy Hour, where celebrities offer dating advice.
The UK government to acquire satellite company OneWeb in deal funded in part by India's Bharti Global
- The group, which includes funding from India’s Bharti Global – part of business magnate Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Enterprises – plan to pursue OneWeb’s plans of building out a broadband internets satellite network, while the UK would also like to potentially use the constellation for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services in order to replace the EU’s sat-nav resource, which the UK lost access to in January as a result of Brexit.
- Also, while the UK currently lacks its own native launch capabilities, the country is working towards developing a number of spaceports for both vertical and horizontal take-off – which could enable companies like Virgin Orbit, and other newcomers like Skyrora, to establish small-sat launch capabilities from UK soil, which would make maintaining and extending in-space assets like OneWeb’s constellation much more accessible as a domestic resource.
US plans to rollback special status may erode Hong Kong's startup ecosystem
- For two months, the people of Hong Kong waited in suspense after China’s legislature approved a new national security law.
- As many Hong Kong residents feared, the broadly written new law gives Beijing extensive authority over the Special Administrative Region and has the potential to sharply curtail civil liberties.
- In response, the United States began the first measures to end the special status it gives to Hong Kong, with the Commerce and State Departments suspending export license exceptions for sensitive U.S. technology and blocking the export of defense equipment.
- Under special status, Hong Kong had privileges including lower trade tariffs and a separate customs and immigration designation from mainland China, but now the future of those is unclear.
- Equally opaque is how the erosion of special status and the new national security law will impact Hong Kong’s startups in the future.