The SpaceX boss wants to promote Internet freedom with the expansion of the satellite network. Also: Facebook settles Cambridge Analytica litigation and Twitter restores #ThereIsHelp feature.
Good morning! While you slept, work continued elsewhere in the digital scene.
The top topics:
Starlink, the satellite internet service from SpaceX, has unlocked almost 100 Starlink Internet access points in Iran, according to Elon Musk. Just three months ago, Musk activated the service amid protests in the Islamic country “to promote internet freedom and the free flow of information” for Iranians. On Monday, the billionaire tweeted: “We are approaching 100 Starlinks active in Iran.” This year, Musk also activated the service in Ukraine. SpaceX has been building a satellite network in space for some time to provide a global internet.
Elon Musk’s electric car company also made headlines over the weekend: Tesla temporarily suspended production at the Gigafactory in Shanghai on Saturday. According to Reuters, the electric car manufacturer thus preferred a plan to interrupt most of the work at the plant in the last week of December. The decision was made as Tesla is facing a surge in Covid-19 infections among its workers and suppliers. [Mehr bei Reuters, FAZ Reuters und Wall Street Journal]
On the founding scene: What and where should I study? Hundreds of thousands of high school graduates ask themselves this question every year. Marvin Zornig programmed a search engine that should find the right course for you, taking into account the club scene and rental prices. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]
And here are the other headlines of the past few days:
Of the Facebook-parent company Meta has settled the legal dispute over data from the British analysis company Cambridge Analytica with a payment of 725 million US dollars. The settlement ends the company’s biggest privacy scandal to date. The plaintiffs’ lawyers speak of the “largest compensation payment ever in the context of a data protection lawsuit”. It is also the largest sum that Facebook has ever paid. However, the group does not admit any guilt. [Mehr bei Handelsblatt, CNBC und Techcrunch]
Twitter restored a feature that promoted suicide prevention hotlines and other safety resources for users searching for specific content. Known as #ThereIsHelp, the feature placed a banner at the top of search results for specific topics and listed contacts for support organizations. Reuters previously reported the shutdown of the service. Twitter said the deletion was only temporary. [Mehr bei The Guardian und Reuters]
Nio presented two new models at a customer event on Saturday evening. The Chinese electric vehicle maker is trying to grab a bigger market share at a time when demand for cars in China is slowing. The new models are a facelifted ES8 and an electric coupe called the EC7. Deliveries are expected to begin in May or June. In addition, Nio presented its latest generation of battery swapping stations. These allow drivers to quickly swap out their battery for a new one. [Mehr bei Bloomberg]
GoogleCEO Sundar Pichai takes control of Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) strategy, The New York Times reports. Three weeks ago, Google management imposed a “Code Red” on its ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that is supposed to understand human text input and answer it as naturally as possible. The chatbot answers queries in plain text rather than a list of links. This could interfere with the search. [Mehr bei New York Times und Axios]
The Indian fintech Money View raised $75 million. Apis Partners led the Series-E funding round that valued the Bangalore-headquartered startup at $900 million, up from $615 million in a funding round in March. The startup said in a statement it expects to raise even more capital. The eight-year-old startup offers personalized credit products and financial management solutions to clients who otherwise have no credit history. [Mehr bei Techcrunch]
Our reading tip on Gründerszene: The crisis in the start-up scene has led to emergency sales this year, but has also resulted in surprising takeovers. Those were the biggest Exits of the year. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]
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