Sunday, May 26, 2024

Tech layoffs return with a vengeance, Gaza internet collapses and Apple hosts a Halloween event

Hey there! Winter may be approaching, but the tech industry might be experiencing its own chilly season as well. In this Week in Review, we’ll cover the resurgence of tech layoffs, the collapse of internet access in Gaza, and Apple’s Halloween event, where they unveiled some exciting new products. We’ll also dive into the CCleaner data breach, WeWork’s impending bankruptcy filing, and Anthropic’s massive investment from Google. Additionally, we’ll touch on Costco’s controversial sale of surveillance equipment and X’s significant decrease in valuation. So, let’s get started and explore the latest happenings in the tech sphere!

Tech layoffs return with a vengeance, Gaza internet collapses and Apple hosts a Halloween event

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Tech Layoffs

Companies continue to lay off employees

Despite signs of economic recovery and predictions of avoiding a recession, tech companies are still laying off employees. This unfortunate trend indicates that while the macroeconomics are improving, the recovery process remains slow. Many companies are bracing themselves for a long period of sluggishness, leading to the decision to reduce their workforce. It is a challenging time for employees and their families, but hopefully, the tech industry will eventually bounce back stronger than ever.

Slow economic recovery

The slow economic recovery is a contributing factor to the wave of tech layoffs. While there are positive signs that the economy is heading in the right direction, the process is taking longer than expected. This slow recovery has created uncertainty for many businesses, forcing them to make difficult decisions. Companies may be hesitant to invest in new projects or expand their workforce until they are confident in the stability of the economy. Until then, the tech industry may continue to experience layoffs as a precautionary measure.

Signs of a long period of sluggishness

The prevalence of layoffs in the tech industry may be indicative of a long period of sluggishness. As companies assess the economic landscape and prepare for the future, they may choose to streamline their operations and reduce costs. This can result in layoffs as a way to align their workforce with their projected needs. Unfortunately, a prolonged period of sluggishness can have a negative impact on morale and job security, creating a challenging and uncertain environment for employees. However, it is important to remain hopeful and optimistic that this period will eventually come to an end.

Gaza Internet Collapse

Infrastructure crumbling in Gaza

As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, the infrastructure in Gaza is crumbling. This includes essential services such as internet access. The ongoing conflict has led to the destruction of critical infrastructure, leaving many without access to reliable internet connections. The impact of this extends beyond communication, as internet access plays a vital role in education, business, and everyday life.

Total or near-total internet blackout

The infrastructure collapse in Gaza has resulted in a total or near-total internet blackout. Internet monitoring firm NetBlocks reported that the Palestinian internet service providers NetStream and Paltel had collapsed, leading to the loss of internet access for the region. This blackout has significant implications for the people of Gaza, who rely on the internet for various purposes, including staying connected with loved ones, accessing information, and conducting business.

Conflict between Israel and Hamas

The internet blackout in Gaza is a direct result of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The destruction of infrastructure, including communication networks, is a consequence of the violence and tensions between the two sides. Unfortunately, the people of Gaza bear the brunt of these consequences, as they face the loss of essential services, including internet access. The conflict highlights the importance of stable and resilient infrastructure in ensuring the well-being and development of communities.

Tech layoffs return with a vengeance, Gaza internet collapses and Apple hosts a Halloween event

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Apple Halloween Event

Announcement of new products

Apple’s Halloween event was an exciting time for technology enthusiasts, as the company announced a range of new products. These announcements give consumers a glimpse into what Apple has been working on and what they can expect in terms of innovation and improvement.

Updated MacBook Pro and iMac

One of the highlights of the Apple Halloween event was the announcement of the updated MacBook Pro and iMac. These popular devices received significant upgrades, enhancing their performance and user experience. The updates include features such as improved processors and enhanced displays, ensuring that Apple users have access to the latest technology.

Removal of Touch Bar from MacBook Pro

In a surprising move, Apple announced the removal of the Touch Bar from the new 14-inch MacBook Pro. The Touch Bar was initially introduced as a unique feature that provided users with additional functionality. However, Apple has decided to move away from this concept, focusing instead on other aspects of the MacBook Pro’s design and performance.

Upgraded iMac screen with 4.5K retina display and six-speaker system

Apple also unveiled an upgraded iMac with a 4.5K retina display and a six-speaker system. This enhancement aims to provide users with a more immersive and visually stunning experience. The combination of a high-resolution display and advanced audio capabilities ensures that users can enjoy movies, games, and other multimedia content with exceptional quality.

CCleaner Hack

Hackers stole personal information of paying customers

In a concerning turn of events, hackers managed to steal personal information from CCleaner’s paying customers. This security breach resulted in the unauthorized access and theft of sensitive data, including names and contact information. Such incidents highlight the need for companies to prioritize the security of customer data and take preventive measures to safeguard against cyber threats.

Data breach in May

The CCleaner hack occurred in May, raising concerns about the length of time it took for the breach to be discovered and addressed. Data breaches can have severe consequences for individuals and businesses, leading to identity theft, financial loss, and reputational damage. Timely detection and response to such incidents are crucial in mitigating these risks and protecting customer information.

Exploited vulnerability in MOVEit file transfer tool

The hackers exploited a vulnerability in the widely used MOVEit file transfer tool, which enabled them to gain unauthorized access to CCleaner’s system and database. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of regularly updating and patching software to address known vulnerabilities. Companies should also invest in robust cybersecurity measures to prevent and detect unauthorized access attempts.

Tech layoffs return with a vengeance, Gaza internet collapses and Apple hosts a Halloween event

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WeWork Bankruptcy

Preparation for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

WeWork’s preparation for Chapter 11 bankruptcy has sent shockwaves through the business and real estate worlds. The flexible workspace provider, once seen as a revolutionary company, is now facing the prospect of bankruptcy. This move comes as WeWork grapples with ongoing financial challenges and struggles to meet its obligations.

Substantial doubt about company’s ability to continue

WeWork’s second-quarter earnings report painted a bleak picture for the company’s future. In the report, WeWork acknowledged the existence of substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern. This admission has raised concerns among investors and lenders, who are closely monitoring the situation and preparing for potential bankruptcy proceedings.

Second-quarter earnings warning

The warning signs were apparent in WeWork’s second-quarter earnings report. The company reported a significant decrease in revenue and a substantial increase in losses, indicating the challenges it is currently facing. The warning has prompted stakeholders to reassess their investments in WeWork and consider the potential implications of a bankruptcy filing.

Anthropic Funding

$2 billion investment from Google

Anthropic, an AI startup founded by ex-OpenAI execs, recently received a $2 billion investment from Google. This substantial funding marks a significant milestone for the company and showcases the growing interest and investment in the field of artificial intelligence.

AI startup founded by ex-OpenAI execs

Anthropic’s founding team, comprised of former OpenAI executives, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the company. Their background in AI research and development positions Anthropic as a leading player in the industry, attracting the attention of tech giants such as Google and Amazon.

Proxy war between rival tech giants

The investment from Google in Anthropic is just one example of the proxy war between rival tech giants. Companies like Google and Amazon are vying for dominance in the AI space, recognizing the enormous potential and impact of this technology. Investments in startups like Anthropic serve as strategic moves to secure a competitive advantage and tap into the expertise and innovation of emerging companies.

Tech layoffs return with a vengeance, Gaza internet collapses and Apple hosts a Halloween event

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Costco Surveillance Equipment

Continued sale of Lorex products

Despite concerns about cybersecurity risks and human rights abuses, Costco continues to sell surveillance equipment made by Lorex. This decision has drawn attention from U.S. lawmakers, who question the ethical implications of selling these products and why other retailers have discontinued their sale.

Cybersecurity risks and human rights abuses

Lorex surveillance equipment has been linked to cybersecurity risks and potential human rights abuses. The bipartisan letter from U.S. lawmakers raises concerns about the ongoing sale of these products by Costco and urges the company to reconsider its stance. The intersection of technology, privacy, and human rights is a complex issue that requires careful consideration by both companies and regulators.

Inquiry from U.S. lawmakers

The inquiry from U.S. lawmakers puts pressure on Costco to address the concerns surrounding the sale of Lorex surveillance equipment. Lawmakers are seeking clarification on the company’s decision-making process and whether adequate safeguards are in place to protect customers’ privacy and prevent potential human rights violations. This inquiry highlights the need for transparency and accountability in the technology industry.

X’s Valuation Decline

Valuing itself at $19 billion

Internal documents obtained by Fortune reveal that X, formerly known as Twitter, is valuing itself at $19 billion. This valuation represents a significant decrease from its previous valuation of $44 billion when Elon Musk acquired the company. The decline in valuation raises questions about the company’s performance and its ability to maintain its position in the market.

56% decrease in value over the last 12 months

X’s internal valuation indicates a 56% decrease in value over the last 12 months. This decline is a cause for concern and suggests that the company may be facing challenges in terms of revenue growth and user engagement. It is crucial for X to address these issues and implement strategies to regain investor confidence and drive value.

Internal documents obtained by Fortune

The internal documents obtained by Fortune shed light on X’s current financial situation and market perception. These documents provide insights into the company’s performance and offer valuable information for investors and analysts. By analyzing the data presented in these documents, industry experts can better understand the factors contributing to X’s decline in value.

Tech layoffs return with a vengeance, Gaza internet collapses and Apple hosts a Halloween event

Equity Podcast

Interview with Marisa Warren from Aliavia Ventures

In a recent episode of the Equity podcast, Marisa Warren from Aliavia Ventures was interviewed. Aliavia Ventures is an investment firm that focuses on startups with at least one female founder in the U.S. and Australia. The conversation delved into the challenges and opportunities faced by female entrepreneurs and the importance of diversity in the startup ecosystem.

Discussion with Abhi Ramesh from Misfits Market

The podcast also featured a discussion with Abhi Ramesh, the CEO and founder of Misfits Market. Misfits Market is a grocery startup that sells surplus and unwanted produce directly to consumers. Ramesh shared insights into the journey of starting and scaling a company, emphasizing the need for innovative solutions to reduce food waste and promote sustainability.

Recap of Sam Bankman-Fried trial

The Equity podcast provided a recap of the trial for Sam Bankman-Fried, former CEO of FTX. Bankman-Fried faced seven charges related to fraud and money laundering. The discussion explored the implications of the trial for the cryptocurrency industry and the wider financial sector. This recap offers listeners valuable insights into the legal challenges faced by industry leaders and the potential impact on the market.


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