Threads Surpasses 100M Users, Pedestrians Fight Back Against AVs, and VanMoof Faces Challenges: Weekly Tech News Update

Introduction: Welcome to the Week in Review (WiR), where we bring you the latest tech news highlights. This week’s edition covers a range of topics, including a dropout from MIT revolutionizing the defense industry, the struggles of e-bike startup VanMoof, pedestrians protesting against autonomous vehicles, and Instagram’s Threads app reaching a significant milestone of 100 million downloads. Stay tuned for more top stories and sign up to receive WiR in your inbox every Saturday.

  1. MIT Dropout Revolutionizes Defense Industry with Hydrogen-powered Platforms Ethan Thornton, a 19-year-old MIT dropout, is making waves in the defense industry with his startup, Mach Industries. The company focuses on developing hydrogen-powered platforms, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, munitions, and hydrogen-generation systems for the military. VCs and the Department of Defense are closely watching this groundbreaking innovation.
  2. VanMoof Faces Turbulence as Executives Depart and Sales Halt Dutch e-bike startup VanMoof, once celebrated with over $200 million in venture backing, is now experiencing challenges. The company has temporarily suspended sales and witnessed the departure of senior staff, including the CEO and a co-founder. VanMoof aims to secure a bridge round to avoid bankruptcy and get back on track.
  3. Pedestrians in San Francisco Protest Against Robot axis A decentralized group of safe streets activists in San Francisco has found a unique way to voice their concerns about autonomous vehicles. They have been placing traffic cones on the hoods of Cruise and Waymo robot axis, effectively disabling them. This protest coincides with an upcoming hearing on expanding ribotoxins services in the city.
  4. Instagram’s Threads App Reaches 100 Million Sign-ups Despite lacking certain features like post search, direct messages, and hashtags, Instagram’s text-based app, Threads, has achieved a significant milestone of 100 million sign-ups. Launched as a Twitter competitor, Threads has garnered attention and engagement since its release on June 6, attracting a substantial user base. hydrogen power
  5. Google Calendar Introduces Availability Sharing in Gmail Google has introduced new scheduling-related features for Gmail by integrating Google Calendar. Users now have quick event creation and easy availability sharing options within Gmail. A calendar icon at the bottom of the conversation view provides convenient access to these features, enhancing productivity and scheduling efficiency.
  6. Starlink Satellites Perform Frequent Maneuvers in Crowded Orbit As the low Earth orbit becomes increasingly crowded, SpaceX’s Starlin satellites have been performing thousands of avoidance maneuvers. The satellites made over 25,000 maneuvers between December 2022 and May 2023, twice the number of previous reporting periods. Concerns arise regarding potential collisions and the need for satellite traffic management.
  7. Pulsar Fusion Advances Space Propulsion with Nuclear Fusion Pulsar Fusion, a space propulsion company, has commenced construction of a large nuclear fusion chamber in England. Their goal is to become the first company to utilize a nuclear fusion-powered propulsion system in space. This technology could significantly reduce travel times to destinations like Mars and Titan, offering exciting possibilities for interstellar space travel.
  8. Anthropic Releases Enhanced AI Model, Claude 2 AI startup Anthropic, co-founded by former OpenAI executives, has unveiled its latest text-generating AI model, Claude 2. Claimed to be superior to its predecessor, Claude 2 excels in tasks such as document search, summarization, writing, coding, and answering questions on specific topics. The advancements in AI continue to push the boundaries of natural language processing.

Conclusion: That wraps up this week’s edition of the Week in Review. We’ve covered groundbreaking innovations in the defense industry, challenges faced by e-bike startup VanMoof, pedestrian protests against autonomous vehicles, and the significant milestone achieved by Instagram’s Threads app. Stay tuned for more tech news, and remember to sign up to receive WiR directly to your inbox every Saturday.

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