TikTok is banned in the US, Tesla’s profits drop and healthcare data breaches

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Welcome, folks, to Week in Review (WiR), JS’s regular newsletter covering the week’s notable technology events.

TikTok’s fate in the US looks uncertain after President Joe Biden signed a bill that includes a deadline for ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, to divest itself of TikTok within nine months or face a ban on its distribution expected in the US. Ivan writes about how the impact of TikTok TikTok bans in other countries could be a signal of what’s coming in the United States.

Meanwhile, the fallout from the Change Healthcare hack continues. Change, a subsidiary of health insurer UnitedHealth, confirmed this week that the ransomware attack targeting the company earlier this year resulted in a massive theft of U.S. private health information, potentially involving “a substantial portion” of Americans.

And Tesla’s profits fell 55% as the EV company faces increasing pressure from hybrid carmakers. The automaker’s growth plan is centered around mysterious, cheaper electric vehicles set to hit the market next year — and perhaps a robotaxi, too. But a recall on the Cybertruck due to defective accelerator pedals will certainly not help in the meantime.

Much more happened. We’ll recap it all in this edition of WiR – but first a reminder to sign up to receive the WiR newsletter in your inbox every Saturday.

News

Amazon shopping plan: Amazon launched a new subscription plan for unlimited grocery delivery in the US. The subscription, which costs $9.99 per month for Amazon Prime users, comes with free delivery on grocery orders over $35 from Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, and other local grocery stores.

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California drones grounded: In more Amazon news, the tech giant confirmed it is ending Prime Air’s drone delivery business in Lockeford, California. The Central California city of 3,500 was the company’s second U.S. drone delivery location after College Station, Texas; Amazon did not provide details about the setback.

Fisker plans layoffs: Fisker says it is planning more layoffs, less than two months after cutting 15% of its workforce, as the EV startup struggles to raise money to stay alive. Fisker expects to file for bankruptcy protection within the next 30 days if it cannot come up with the money.

Stripe Extension: Among a slew of other announcements at the Sessions conference in San Francisco, Stripe said it will decouple payments from the rest of its financial services suite. Considering that Stripe previously required businesses to be payment customers in order to use any of its other products, that’s a big change.

Analysis

Rabbit hands on: Brian writes about the R1, the first device from AI startup R1. The $199 price, touchscreen and funky aesthetic from legendary design firm Teenage Engineering make the R1 much more accessible than Humane’s Ai Pin, he concludes.

Lab-grown diamonds: Pascal, an Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup, claims it can make high-end jewelry accessible by using lab-grown diamonds that are chemically and physically similar to natural diamonds but cost one-twentieth the price.

AI poetry: An experiment called the Poetry camera – a real, physical camera – combines open source technology with playful design and artistic vision. Instead of just capturing images, the Poetry Camera arranges thought-provoking, AI-generated stanzas based on the images it encounters.

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Rippling deep dive: Connie interviewed Parker Conrad, the CEO of workforce management startup Rippleing, about the company’s new $200 million funding round, its new lease in San Francisco (the second-largest lease signed in the city this year) and more.

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