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Hello again friends, and welcome to Daily Crunch for December 29, 2021.
This is going to be the last Daily Crunch for the year, as the news machine seems to be winding down for its New Year’s nap. It’s been a pleasure putting these together while Alex has been AFK — alas, my little sprint has come to an end. Alex should be back next week, and I’ll be moving on to help wrangle all the news from CES.
Many thanks to the Daily Crunch team, and to all of you, for letting me hang out for a few days. Have a safe and wonderful new year!
The TechCrunch Top 3
- TuSimple’s biggest test yet: Autonomous trucking company TuSimple says it has completed its first driverless test run on public roads, successfully completing an 80-mile trip with no human intervention. Will road-tripping kids of the future know the joy of convincing a truck driver to honk the horn?
- 6 things in cybersecurity we didn’t know last year: Our security editor Zack Whittaker knows his stuff, so when he makes a big list of cybersecurity things that were new to him this year, I listen. Like, for example, that the biggest cost in a ransomware attack often isn’t the ransom itself.
- eVTOLs in 2022: Is 2022 the year in which eVTOLs finally … take off? Calling it a “make it or break it year” for electric aircraft that can hover and take off/land vertically, Aria Alamalhodaei has a great multipart look at the state of the industry and the challenges on the flight path ahead. Linked above is part two, here’s part one from earlier this month.
- GlobalBees joins the unicorn club: GlobalBees, an Indian company that specializes in acquiring/partnering with promising “digitally native brands” to help them grow, has raised $110 million in a round valuing it at $1.1 billion.
- Southeast Asian startups to watch in 2022: “As someone who covers Southeast Asia startups and funding stories, the best word I can think of to describe 2021 is ‘whoa!’” writes Catherine Shu.
Dear Sophie: Will the H-1B lottery be based on the highest wages?
I graduated in December, and I’m currently working on OPT for an early-stage biotech startup. I’m not sure how much my employer knows about the H-1B lottery process or if they are planning to put me in the lottery.
I heard that the next lottery will not select H-1B candidates based on the highest salaries paid. What else should I know?
— Gifted Grad
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Big Tech Inc.
- Samsung’s C-Lab: One of my favorite parts of CES — which we’re regretfully skipping in-person this year — is how a number of huge companies use it as a way to exhibit the otherwise secret projects they’ve been tinkering on in their in-house incubators. Brian Heater has a list of Samsung’s latest side quests, which varies from pet recognition AI to diaper sensors.
- Apple puts Foxconn plant on probation: Apple put operations at a 17,000-person factory in India on pause, following reports that hundreds of employees had to be treated for food poisoning. Apple says it has sent out independent auditors to evaluate the food safety and living conditions, with the local government also demanding action.
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