Terraform’s Do Kwon pleads not guilty to fake travel documents charges

Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon pleaded not guilty in a Montenegrin court on Thursday to a charge of forging his passport and travel documents.

Kwon’s hearing comes a month after Kwon and Chang-joon Han, Kwon’s former colleague, who also pleaded not guilty, were arrested at the airport in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, while trying to fly to Dubai. Their lawyer requested conditions for bail at €400,000 ($437,000) each and proposed house arrest in Montenegro. The next court hearing is set for June 16.

On May 7, 2022, Terraform Labs’ stablecoin TerraUSD (UST), an algorithmic stablecoin that worked with its sister coin, Luna, lost its $1 peg. The event wiped out approximately $40 billion in market value, collapsing an array of crypto firms

A year after the crash, Kwon is now in jail in Montenegro and being investigated in the U.S. and South Korea. If Kwon is convicted of falsifying his documents, he may have to serve his prison sentence in Montenegro before being extradited to the U.S. or South Korea, the Montenegrin Justice Ministry said in March. 

As a reminder of what happened to Terraform and founder Kwon over the past 12 months, we present the slow-motion disaster as it played out for the now five-year-old company, which launched its TerraUSD stablecoin and Luna in 2019 and then relocated its headquarters to Singapore in 2020:

May 2022 

  • Terraforms Labs’ stablecoin Terra, which was supposed to maintain a 1:1 peg to the U.S. dollar, crashed on May 7, 2022. 
  • A group of crypto investors in South Korea filed a lawsuit against Kwon. (May 19, 2022) 

June 2022 

September 2022 

October 2022

  • The South Korean government ordered to nullify Kwon’s passport, intensifying pressure on the crypto entrepreneur to return to his country. (October 5, 2022) 
  • Kwon said that South Korean prosecutors’ charges against him were not legitimate and were politically motivated. (October 18, 2022) 

December 2022

February 2023

March 2023

April 2023

  • A local media outlet reported on April 13 that Kwon sent approximately 9 billion won (~$7 million) to Kim & Chang, a legal firm in South Korea, before the collapse of Terra and Luna. This suggests that Kwon was aware of the crisis and expected a legal case that might happen. 
  • A judge in the U.S. denied Kwon and Terraform’s call that they had asked the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) to withdraw the request to access documents regarding Terraform and Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.  (April 18, 2023)
  • Terraform’s co-founder Shin was indicted in connection with the crash of TerraUSD and Luna on charges including violations of capital markets law in South Korea, fraud and embezzlement. South Korean prosecutors froze assets tied to the people worth about 246.8 billion won ($184.7 million). A spokesperson of the Korean prosecutors confirmed to TechCrunch that Shin’s first trial will be held on May 26. 

May 2023 

  • South Korean prosecutors’ joint financial crimes team director Sung-han Dan said in an interview with The WSJ: “Investigating the case in South Korea would be the most efficient way of bringing justice,” as most key accomplices and evidence linked to the Terraform incidents are based in South Korea. 
  • This week, South Korea froze about 233.3 billion won ($176 million) of Kwon’s assets and properties, the Seoul prosecutor’s office confirmed to TechCrunch. A South Korean court has banned the sale of Kwon’s house, cars and financial assets such as securities, bank deposits and cryptocurrencies on cryptocurrency exchanges. 


Terraform’s Do Kwon pleads not guilty to fake travel documents charges by Kate Park originally published on TechCrunch


Bird’s weak stock market performance impacts the entire e-scooter industry

Bird’s first-quarter earnings show a company struggling to maintain ridership and revenue — two legs of the profitability stool for the shared micromobility market. Bird did manage to cut costs — that would be the third leg — but it wasn’t enough to convince investors that the scooter company can find its way to profitability.

Bird shares tanked almost 19% following the release of its first-quarter earnings and is now trading at $0.12.

Bird’s earnings can be treated as the canary in the scooter coal mine for the rest of the industry (although it should be noted that each company has its own unique problems and opportunities). And considering Bird was down in almost every metric that matters, that may signal larger problems within the shared micromobility market.

As one of the only publicly traded e-scooter companies, Bird’s performance on the stock market matters to the whole shared micromobility industry. If Bird withers, private players may find it difficult to attract investors — a reality that’s already playing out.

Take Tier Mobility, for example. A year ago, the company had purchased Spin from Ford and was the largest shared micromobility operator in the world. Today, Tier is struggling to raise more funds and is reportedly contemplating a merger or a sale with a rival.

Bird has struggled since going public via special purpose acquisition merger in November 2021 — a trend that is sweeping across mobility SPACs. There are almost no SPACs that are performing well today, largely because many of those companies went public before they had established a sustainable business model — and Bird is no exception.

Bird has its own issues that are unique to the company and not necessarily indicative of the whole market. Bird moved to an asset-light business model that relies on a fleet manager program to bring in revenue. Under the model, contractors lease fleets of Bird vehicles and deploy the vehicles on Bird’s behalf. The consequence has been less control over the placement of vehicles.

Bird has also yet to jump on the removable battery bandwagon that companies like Lime have succeeded at, which has likely driven up cost of operations and driven down asset utilization.

After burning through boatloads of money, Bird has been trying to get its act together. The company’s new CEO Shane Torchiana, who came on in September, has been leading Bird’s strategy of reducing costs, including leaving dozens of unprofitable markets.

Last year, Bird had also laid off 23% of its staff and shut down its retail scooter product. Those savings are being realized in the first quarter of 2023; Bird’s spending is definitely down. But the company doesn’t appear to be generating enough revenue for those cost cutting measures to make a difference.

Bird’s first-quarter 2023 financials

Bird reported revenue of $29.5 million in the first quarter, a decrease from $35.4 million in the same quarter of 2022. On a quarterly basis, that revenue is also down from around $40.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. (Reported revenue in Q4 was actually $69.7 million, but that included a one-time sweetener of $28.8 million. The sweetener was Bird playing catchup on missed revenue from previous years.) The cost of the revenue was $24.5 million, which means that once again, Bird barely broke even on a gross profit basis.

Bird’s rides and deployed vehicles were also down. In the first quarter, Bird reported 5.2 million rides, down 29% on a yearly basis and nearly 37% on a quarterly basis. That means Bird is also seeing fewer rides per deployed vehicle per day. In the first quarter, Bird recorded 0.9 rides per deployed vehicle per day, down from one ride per deployed vehicle per day in the same period last year.

Bird manage to bring down costs. The company reported $40.6 million in total operating expenses, down from $100.2 million in Q1 2022. On an adjusted basis, Bird’s operating expenses were $30.6 million, a 39% decrease from the prior year period.

But even with severe cost cutting measures, which included leaving several markets and laying off staff, Bird closed the first quarter with a net loss of $44.3 million, compared to a net income of $7.7 million in the year prior.

Not only does it look like Bird’s not making enough revenue to cover the cost of operations, the company is still free cash flow negative at -$25.3 million. Granted, that’s better than the negative $106.2 million free cash flow in Q1 2022.

As of March 31, 2023, Bird had $12.8 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents. The going concern warning that Bird initially issued in November is still very much in effect, as that cash is not nearly enough for the company to continue operating. If the company doesn’t raise additional capital or somehow magically generate enough cash flow to even sustain the business it’s currently running, it’ll have to scale back or discontinue some or all of its operations, or even file for bankruptcy.

In a regulatory filing, Bird said it plans to continue to reduce operating expenses and pursue additional sources of outside capital.

One other red flag to noteBird requested an extension from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to file its 10-K, which provides a more comprehensive overview of a company’s finances and operations and often includes details on risks, lawsuits, investigations and acquisitions. Requesting an extension suggests that Bird is having financial difficulties or management issues.

Bird’s outlook for 2023 has not changed since last quarter. The company aims to reach adjusted EBITDA of between $15 million to $20 million and free cash flow positivity of $5 to $10 million. Bird expects its adjusted operating expenses to be about $100 million.

Bird’s weak stock market performance impacts the entire e-scooter industry by Rebecca Bellan originally published on TechCrunch


Meta announces generative AI features for advertisers

Meta today announced an AI Sandbox for advertisers to help them create alternative copies, background generation through text prompts and image cropping for Facebook or Instagram ads.

The first feature lets brands generate different variations of the same copy for different audiences while trying to keep the core message of the ad similar. The background generation feature makes it easier to create different assets for a campaign. Finally, the image cropping feature helps companies create visuals in different aspect ratios for various mediums, such as social posts, stories, or short videos like Reels.

The company said that these features are available to select advertisers at the moment and it will expand access to more advertisers in July.

“Currently, we’re working with a small group of advertisers in order to quickly gather feedback that we can use to make these products even better. In July, we will begin gradually expanding access to more advertisers with plans to add some of these features into our products later this year,” it said in a blog post.

Meta’s announcement comes after the company’s CTO Andrew Bosworth said last month that the company was looking to use generative AI tech for ads.

“[I] expect we’ll start seeing some of them [commercialization of the tech] this year. We just created a new team, the generative AI team, a couple of months ago; they are very busy. It’s probably the area that I’m spending the most time [in], as well as Mark Zuckerberg and [Chief Product Officer] Chris Cox,” Bosworth told Nikkei Asia in an interview at the time.

Meta had positive quarterly results for Q1 2023. The company beat analyst expectations and posted year-on-year revenue growth for the first time in three quarters. Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that, while the tech giant has started working on different AI tools, it remained committed to metaverse development.

While Meta is releasing some lightweight generative AI features for advertisers, some ad tech startups are heavily leaning into it. Omneky, which presented at TechCrunch Disrupt last year, used OpenAI’s DALLE-2 and GPT-3 to create ads. Movio, which counts IDG, Sequoia Capital China, and Baidu Ventures as its backers, is using generative AI to create marketing videos as well.

Meta announces generative AI features for advertisers by Ivan Mehta originally published on TechCrunch


Anthropic’s latest model can take ‘The Great Gatsby’ as input

Historically and even today, poor memory has been an impediment to the usefulness of text-generating AI. As a recent piece in The Atlantic aptly puts it, even sophisticated generative text AI like ChatGPT has the memory of a goldfish. Each time the model generates a response, it takes into account only a very limited amount of text — preventing it from, say, summarizing a book or reviewing a major coding project.

But Anthropic’s trying to change that.

Today, the AI research startup announced that it’s expanded the context window for Claude — its flagship text-generating AI model, still in preview — from 9,000 tokens to 100,000 tokens. Context window refers to the text the model considers before generating additional text, while tokens represent raw text (e.g., the word “fantastic” would be split into the tokens “fan,” “tas” and “tic”).

So what’s the significance, exactly? Well, as alluded to earlier, models with small context windows tend to “forget” the content of even very recent conversations — leading them to veer off topic. After a few thousand words or so, they also forget their initial instructions, instead extrapolating their behavior from the last information within their context window rather than from the original request.

Given the benefits of large context windows, it’s not surprising that figuring out ways to expand them has become a major focus of AI labs like OpenAI, which devoted an entire team to the issue. OpenAI’s GPT-4 held the previous crown in terms of context window sizes, weighing in at 32,000 tokens on the high end — but the improved Claude API blows past that.

With a bigger “memory,” Claude should be able to converse relatively coherently for hours — several days, even — as opposed to minutes. And perhaps more importantly, it should be less likely to go off the rails.

In a blog post, Anthropic touts the other benefits of Claude’s increased context window, including the ability for the model to digest and analyze hundreds of pages of materials. Beyond reading long texts, the upgraded Claude can help retrieve information from multiple documents or even a book, Anthropic says, answering questions that require “synthesis of knowledge” across many parts of the text.

Anthropic lists a few possible use cases:

  • Digesting, summarizing, and explaining documents such as financial statements or research papers
  • Analyzing risks and opportunities for a company based on its annual reports
  • Assessing the pros and cons of a piece of legislation
  • Identifying risks, themes, and different forms of argument across legal documents.
  • Reading through hundreds of pages of developer documentation and surfacing answers to technical questions
  • Rapidly prototyping by dropping an entire codebase into the context and intelligently building on or modifying it

“The average person can read 100,000 tokens of text in around five hours, and then they might need substantially longer to digest, remember, and analyze that information,” Anthropic continues. “Claude can now do this in less than a minute. For example, we loaded the entire text of The Great Gatsby into Claude … and modified one line to say Mr. Carraway was ‘a software engineer that works on machine learning tooling at Anthropic.’ When we asked the model to spot what was different, it responded with the correct answer in 22 seconds.”

Now, longer context windows don’t solve the other memory-related challenges around large language models. Claude, like most models in its class, can’t retain information from one session to the next. And unlike the human brain, it treats every piece of information as equally important, making it a not particularly reliable narrator. Some experts believe that solving these problems will require entirely new model architectures.

For now, though, Anthropic appears to be at the forefront.

Anthropic’s latest model can take ‘The Great Gatsby’ as input by Kyle Wiggers originally published on TechCrunch


TechCrunch is heading to London for London Tech Week

It’s certainly been a minute but we’re bringing some of the TechCrunch crew across the pond during London Tech Week to meet up with U.K.-based investors and rising early-stage founders. We’ll be hosting an intimate invitation-only cocktail hour on Tuesday, June 13, so if you’ll be around, apply now for a chance to join us! We’ll be accepting applications until May 26 and we’ll let you know by June 1 if you’ve snagged one of these exclusive spots to mingle with some of the U.K.’s most prominent influencers in the startup community!

TechCrunch is heading to London for London Tech Week by Emma Comeau originally published on TechCrunch


‘AI-powered’ VC firm Vela emerges from stealth with $25M under management

Six years ago, Yiğit Ihlamur, a former senior program manager at Google, observed that AI was surpassing human capabilities in certain areas — at least by his estimation. Equipped with this perspective, he looked into various sectors with the goal of tackling a problem that he could work on for the rest of his life.

“At an abstract level, I was intrigued by the idea of accelerating innovation, because innovation creates new products, services and experiences that were previously unimaginable,” Ihlamur told TechCrunch in an email interview. “I perceived delivering capital to innovation as a math problem and started coding and hacking my way in.”

Ihlamur decided to focus on the VC space, which he saw as behind in terms of leveraging automation and AI. With the help of several co-founders, he launched Vela Partners, a VC firm that he describes as “AI-powered” and “product-led.”

Vela is an early-stage VC with $25 million under management and 32 portfolio companies, including self-checkout startup Grabango and robotics firm Bear Robotics. Like all VCs, Vela determines — partly using predictive algorithms — new investment areas as it attempts to identify trends, source the right opportunities and suss out threats to its existing investments.

To train its predictive algorithms, Vela draws on websites and social networks for data, also leveraging paid datasets like Crunchbase.

“Vela provides market intelligence and insights of innovative ideas; hence technical decision makers can decide which tools to buy or build to grow their core businesses,” Ihlamur said. “Models must be informative and explanatory. Ultimately our approach marries AI with expert heuristics.”

Inevitably, of course, algorithms amplify the biases in the data on which they’re trained — and this can have major consequences in the VC realm. In an experiment in November 2020, Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that an investment recommendation algorithm tended to pick white entrepreneurs rather than entrepreneurs of color and preferred investing in startups with male founders. Experts uncovered similar issues with CB Insights’ Mosaic tool, which uses proxies for race, socioeconomic status, gender and disability to determine a person’s likelihood of success.

Ihlamur somewhat dodged questions around bias, acknowledging that it comes with the territory — but not necessarily offering a solution.

“A model can learn the biases of other VCs or biases of the past,” he said. “First, one needs to understand the underlying reason why these behaviors occurred in the venture market. Second, every problem is unique, and a generalized approach cannot work for everything.”

Bias issues aside, Bay Area–based Vela isn’t the first to develop algorithmic tools to inform its investment decisions. VC firms, including SignalFire, EQT Ventures and Nauta Capital, are using AI-powered platforms to flag potential top picks.

The differentiator for Vela, according to Ihlamur, is its “game-like” terminal built to assist entrepreneurs, limited partners and other VCs in using its services. Entrepreneurs can analyze tendencies in developer ecosystems like Amazon Web Services and GitHub, while whitelisted VCs can spot (with any luck) promising seed-stage startups and limited partners can ask questions about why Vela invested in a particular startup.

Vela’s GitHub repo, which includes its algorithmic models, is public — both for inspection and reuse.

“While some VCs may be experimenting with AI-based sourcing, we haven’t seen any VC taking a product-led approach,” Ihlamur said. “Anyone can go to Vela’s website and use our product. We’re building relationships with entrepreneurs and limited partners in a programmatic way — our ultimate goal is for AI and automation to touch and manage all aspects of our business.”

It’s an approach that’s worked well for Vela so far. The firm claims to be running at “break-even” level, leading or co-leading $500,000 to $1.5 million check sizes.

In the near term, Vela plans to invest mainly in AI, data and developer-focused startups. Ihlamur expressed enthusiasm for generative AI specifically, a market that could be worth $51.8 billion by 2028 — depending on which sources you believe.

“The pandemic had a positive impact on our business, as was the case for many other venture capital firms,” Ihlamur said. “OpenAI’s ChatGPT’s release provided further tailwinds for us as an AI-powered VC firm … With respect to the broader slowdown in tech, we’re not concerned as we’re break-even as a company and have capital to invest. Despite the slowdown, there are significant opportunities to seize partially thanks to the rapid progress in AI.”

‘AI-powered’ VC firm Vela emerges from stealth with $25M under management by Kyle Wiggers originally published on TechCrunch


NBCUniversal’s Linda Yaccarino Is in Talks to Become Twitter CEO

Yaccarino is chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCU. Twitter owner Elon Musk said earlier he had picked a new chief executive without naming the person.


Intuitive Machines prepares for first lunar mission, faces challenge to NASA contract win

Intuitive Machines is preparing for its first lunar mission to the moon’s south pole in the third quarter of this year, while also facing a protest to a major NASA contract win, executives told investors Thursday.

The company has made “significant progress” on testing for the inaugural IM-1 mission, Intuitive Machines CEO Steve Altemus said during a first-quarter earnings call. He added that he expects the lander to be at the launch pad in “mid-to-late Q3.” During that mission, the company will attempt to land its spacecraft, Nova-C, on the lunar surface — and will be the first totally private company to do so. The company is currently assessing the landing spot on the moon for a follow-up mission.

Intuitive Machines went public via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company in February. The company reported first-quarter revenues of $18.2 million, with a cash balance of $46.8 million as of the end of the quarter. Additionally, Intuitive Machines reported a backlog of $156.1 million, of which $107.7 million is anticipated to turn into revenue before the year’s end.

“We have always been and will continue to be a capital efficient company,” CFO Erik Sallee said. “We will allocate capital to the highest risk-adjusted returns in a disciplined manner. As a private Company, we were mostly self funded, so we know how to live within our means.”

The company also disclosed that it was facing a protest to its win of a $719 million NASA contract, though Altemus told investors that protests are a fairly common occurrence within the procurement process.

“We know from the statistics that less than 10% of those protests are actually overturned, so we have high confidence in our value offerings to the government,” Altemus said. “We’re confident that once we get through this 100-day protest period for the [Government Accountability Office] that the award will stand.”

Science Applications International Corporation filed the protest against the award on May 8. The firm did not make a copy of the protest available to view, nor does the Government Accountability Office — the federal office where companies may protest contract awards — post them on its website.

NASA awarded the $719 million, five-year contract to a joint venture of Intuitive Machines and KBR named Space Networks Solution. The contract, Omnibus Multidiscipline Engineering Services (OMES) III, is meant to broadly fund engineering work related to the Joint Polar Satellite System and other NASA projects. NASA announced the winning bidder on April 19.

Provided that GAO adjudicates the protest in Intuitive Machines’ favor, the company said it will begin work on the contract in the fourth quarter. With it, the lunar company’s full-year revenue could come in between $174 million and $268 million.

The company, which is listed under the ticker symbol $LUNR, was trading at $8.25 by close of markets Thursday.

Intuitive Machines prepares for first lunar mission, faces challenge to NASA contract win by Aria Alamalhodaei originally published on TechCrunch


Polestar and Volvo are the latest automakers caught in software purgatory

Software, it turns out, is hard for automakers. And building a so-called software-defined car — the term du jour in automotive circles — is even harder.

Software development problems have led to executive shakeups at VW Group, bricked vehicles, recalls and generally unpleasant vehicle experiences. Now, Polestar and Volvo Cars have gotten caught up in the endless gyre of software development. Both companies delayed the launch of their next EV because of software development snags. 

Polestar said Thursday as part of its first-quarter earnings report that final software development of its new all-electric platform shared by Volvo Cars is needed and that the start of production of Polestar 3 has been pushed to the first quarter of 2024. Polestar and Volvo Cars are owned by the same parent company Geely Holdings. Polestar went public via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company in June 2022. Volvo Cars remains a majority shareholder of Polestar.

“In light of this and the economic environment affecting the automotive industry, Polestar now expects 2023 global volumes of 60,000 – 70,000 vehicles, representing annual growth of 16% – 36%, following record deliveries of 51,491 last year,” the company said.

Polestar said the Polestar 4 is still expected to make its market debut in China in the fourth quarter of 2023. The Polestar 4 will head to other markets in early 2024.

Meanwhile, over at Volvo Cars, the same story is playing out. The company said Thursday it won’t begin producing the all-electric Volvo EX90 until the first half of 2024 because it needs additional time in software development and testing. Production was supposed to start at the end of 2023.

VW Group also recently delayed its software development plans. Earlier this week, the company ousted top leadership at its software arm Cariad and brought in Bentley executive Peter Bosch to put it back on track.

Software 1.1 version is found in Volkswagen vehicles today. The software 1.2. platform is being developed for Audi and Porsche cars, while the 2.0 version will be an operating system designed for all VW Group brands. But efforts are at least two years behind schedule. The software 1.2 platform was supposed to be completed in 2022. Now Cariad is working to complete it this year to be ready for 2024 VW models.

VW Group pushed back the launch of 2.0 until 2027 or 2028.

Polestar and Volvo are the latest automakers caught in software purgatory by Kirsten Korosec originally published on TechCrunch


Daily Crunch: For second consecutive quarter, millions of subscribers drop Disney+ Hotstar

A merger or acquisition is the start of a new relationship, which is why most people approach exits with optimism.

“But all’s not rosy in the world of M&A,” says SmartBear CEO Frank Roe, who’s completed eight acquisitions in less than five years.

“It is a complex and substantially risky decision, not for the faint-hearted. It is essential to approach the decision and process with diligence and forethought.”

In this TC+ guest post, he shares “five indispensable elements to consider for a successful mergers and acquisitions journey,” reminding readers that “there’s no ‘secret formula.’”

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.

Happy Thursday, Crunchers! It’s an exciting time to be a tech reporter, with a ton of fun stories coming down the pipe. So let’s get to it! Hasta mañana, Christine and Haje

The TechCrunch Top 3

Startups and VC

Most U.S.-based tech investors are likely familiar with smaller-ticket investor marketplaces AngelList and Carta. In Europe, Germany’s Bunch and the U.K.’s Vauban (acquired by by U.S.-based Carta last year) have attempted to do a similar job. But the backstory to this is that although launching many years ago, AngelList struggled with Europe’s regulatory environment. Mike wonders if Odin could be Europe’s answer to AngelList.

It used to be that having a corporate blog and some paid content was the gist of your marketing department’s content efforts, and that was enough. But as larger companies like Salesforce and HubSpot have launched their own full-blown media arms, it may be time to rethink your content strategy. AudiencePlus wants to help every company run its own media platform, and today the company announced a $5.4 million seed investment, Ron reports.

Another smattering of highlights and lowlights:

Unlocking the M&A code: 5 factors that can make (or break) a deal

Image Credits: mjrodafotografia (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

A merger or acquisition is the start of a new relationship, which is why most people approach exits with optimism.

“But all’s not rosy in the world of M&A,” says SmartBear CEO Frank Roe, who’s completed eight acquisitions in less than five years.

“It is a complex and substantially risky decision, not for the faint-hearted. It is essential to approach the decision and process with diligence and forethought.”

In this TC+ guest post, he shares “five indispensable elements to consider for a successful mergers and acquisitions journey,” reminding readers that “there’s no ‘secret formula.’”

Three more from the TC+ team:

TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!

Big Tech Inc.

Natasha L gives you everything you need to know and more about a series of votes in the European Parliament this morning where MEPs have backed a raft of amendments related to transparency and safety rules for generative AI.

Meanwhile, Amanda reports on a movement that started with a tweet and ended with a book in the top 3 on Amazon. No, it’s not another book in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” saga — it’s a recommendation by “Bigolas Dickolas,” and we recommend you stop what you’re doing and read.

And we have five more for you:

Daily Crunch: For second consecutive quarter, millions of subscribers drop Disney+ Hotstar by Christine Hall originally published on TechCrunch