Hackers gain access to DoorDash data, T-Mobile partners with SpaceX and eBay buys TCGplayer – TechCrunch

Hello Hello! We’re back with another edition of Week in Review, the newsletter where we quickly break down the top stories to hit TC over the past seven days. Want it in your inbox? Register here.

Our most read This week’s story was about Stable Diffusion, a “new open-source AI image generator capable of producing realistic images from any text prompt” that is quickly finding its way into other projects. But, as Kyle Wiggers notes, the “unfiltered nature of the system means that not all usage has been completely above board.”

other things

T-Mobile + Starlink: Can Elon’s Starlink satellites keep your phone connected even when there’s no cell tower around? That’s the idea behind a new alliance between SpaceX and T-Mobile. If it works, T-Mobile phones should be able to send messages (but probably not calls) on the Starlink network in a snap, albeit with a delay of up to 30 minutes.

Google’s Noise Reduction AI: Smartphones have gotten better and better at low-light photos, but at some point the hurdle preventing further improvements is… well, physics. Is an algorithm that uses “AI magic” (as Haje puts it) to eliminate visual noise and “find out what images ‘should’ have looked like” the only possible answer? No idea, but the examples are quite impressive.

DoorDash violated: Do you remember the Twilio hack a few weeks ago? The ripple effects continue. This week, DoorDash revealed that hackers were able to gain access to DoorDash’s internal tools, gaining access to the “names, email addresses, shipping addresses and phone numbers of DoorDash customers”.

New Meta Accounts: If you have a Quest VR headset and don’t want to link it to a Facebook or Instagram account, this will be the route you take. If you’re still using an old pre-Meta Oculus account, be aware that support for those ends on Day 1 of 2023.

eBay buys TCGplayer: If you’re a collector of trading card games – think Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic, etc. — you’ve probably heard of TCGplayer, which eBay is buying “in a deal valued at $295 million. We’ll chat with TC writer Aisha Malik about the deal (and why eBay wants it) in the writer’s spotlight below.

Picture credits: Getty Images

sound stuff

Commute ? Kitchen? Do you just wear headphones to discourage people from talking to you? Come hang out with us in the land of podcasts! This week the Actions team spoke about the ongoing legal battle at the Black Girls Code, Jordan and Darrell spoke with comedian/Super Trooper Jay Chandrasekhar about its application on Foundand the Chain reaction team met with two investors from the relatively new, Web3-focused Haun Ventures.

extra stuff

What’s behind the TC+ paywall? Here are some of the most read articles this week. Want more? Sign up for TC+ here and use code “WIR” for 15% off your annual pass.

Manchin’s Ultimatum: Can the Cut Inflation Act and lucrative tax credits help ‘turn the US into a powerhouse’? Tim De Chant explores the possibilities.

Should this metric be your team’s North Star?: The team at Battery Ventures proposes that ARR per employee (or “APE”, as they’ve dubbed it) be the beacon of your team.

3 views on Flux: Last week we found out that WeWork founder Adam Neumann is back with something new and has already raised over $350 million from a16z. Good idea? Bad idea? Tim De Chant, Dominic-Madori Davis, Amanda Silberling share their takes.

Writer Spotlight: Aisha Malik

Picture credits: Aisha Malik

As reported last week, we’re experimenting with the idea of ​​highlighting a TechCrunch writer per newsletter to learn a bit more about them and what they’ve been thinking lately. This time we catch up with the exceptional Aisha Malik, almost a year to the day since she penned her first TC post.

Who is Aisha Malik? What do you do at TechCrunch?

Hi, I’m a senior consumer news writer and the second Canadian on the TechCrunch team! I write about the latest changes to platforms and apps, and how they affect the average consumer. My team and I are also learning about upcoming app features ahead of their official release. I also get the chance to chat with the founders about their app launches and recent funding rounds.

What’s interesting about your beat right now? Trends we should know about?

One thing we see and will likely continue to see is how often apps copy each other. This week we discovered that Instagram is testing a BeReal clone feature that challenges people to post candid photos in two minutes. Over the past year, we’ve seen Instagram copy many TikTok features, we’ve seen TikTok copy Snapchat with its Stories feature, and we’ve also seen Twitter copy Instagram with its “circle” of close friends feature.

There are countless similar examples. It will be interesting to see how this trend progresses. People are already calling for Instagram to go back to its roots, so what happens when every app tries to look like another? At some point, these apps are going to be overloaded with features, and that might not be something consumers want.

Right?! It’s absurd. And who wants to build the next cool thing when the giants of the app world will simply clone your key features as soon as they start to get popular?

Since you’re part of the consumer/app team: What’s the most used app on your phone that doesn’t come pre-installed? What consumes your battery on a daily basis?

I have no shame in admitting it (okay, maybe just a little) but the answer is TikTok.

I find myself opening the app when I want to take a little break or when I’d rather not commit to watching a movie or an episode of a TV show, but still want some kind of entertainment. I know people who haven’t downloaded the app are claiming that it’s full of dance videos, but the truth is you’ll only end up seeing dance videos if it’s something you’re really interested in . TikTok formulates its “For You” page in a way that’s based on your interests, so I see it as a great way to discover and engage with content that interests you. As someone who loves to cook and read, the majority of the content I see on TikTok revolves around baking recipes and book recommendations.

I also think that TikTok clearly has an impact on culture, whether it’s memes, music or political movements; there is a chance that it will appear on TikTok first. I consider the app to be a simple and fun way to keep up to date with all kinds of trends.

I understand. I had to delete TikTok from my phone – every time I opened it my eyes all went Hypnotoad and I would be gone, only removing it 20 mins/100 videos later. The algorithm is too good. Sounds like the latest internet boss; the algorithm in its most evolved/efficient form. I’m probably a bit too weedy here. Back to questions!

One of the most read stories this week was your article about eBay’s acquisition of TCGplayer. What is TCGplayer and why does eBay want it?

TCGplayer is one of the largest online marketplaces for collectible card games. The acquisition essentially marks eBay’s latest push into the collectible card market, which has seen a huge boom during the pandemic. eBay says trading cards are currently showing substantial growth.

To put things into perspective, eBay says the collectible card category is growing much faster than its total market and the category saw $2 billion in transactions in the first half of 2021. Considering eBay has long been a destination for trading card enthusiasts. and sell, acquiring one of its biggest competitors better cements the company’s place as the go-to market to seek out these collectibles.

It’s kind of crazy how collectibles have seen a massive increase throughout the pandemic – something, perhaps, about a lot of people spending a lot more time at home around their own business. Collectibles-focused companies like Whatnot just exploded in popularity, going from a pre-selection round at a valuation in billions of two years. Are you a collector of anything, trading cards or otherwise?

Do rocks count? [Laughs]

Yes!

I have a small collection of rocks and stones that I have collected from beaches and forests that I have visited in Canada and the United States. I don’t know much about different types of rocks, so the ones in my collection aren’t amazing or anything. I just think collecting them is a great way to feel connected to specific places I enjoyed visiting!

Fantastic. Thanks, Aisha!

Lance B. Holton