Amazon says it’s ‘disappointed’ after Staten Island fulfillment center workers unite – TechCrunch


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Have a nice day, and welcome to Daily Crunch on Friday, April 1, 2022! It was a slow news day at TC Towers because we double-checked every PR pitch on April 1st folly and every PR firm in the world advised their clients to put embargoes on literally every other day of the year.

Alex and Mary Ann kept the Equity Fort low this week in a particularly enjoyable episode that covered Instacart’s valuation, among other things. Now if you’ll forgive us, we’re just going to listen to Rick Astley over and over again. You have a trick, 900 people trying to fool us into clicking those links. † Christine and hi

PS Before we forget, TechCrunch Disrupt is back with an in-person event in October. Join us! We even have a promo code for two offers for you, so you can bring a friend!

The TechCrunch Top 3

Another Amazon center votes for a union: Today’s big news was no laughing matter for Amazon, but employees at the e-commerce giant’s JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island were happy to head into the weekend. They voted for a union. Brian is keeping a close eye on this for TechCrunch and he reports that Amazon will likely contest the voting results and has seven days from today to do so. This isn’t a drill: In case you missed this one from last night, President Joe Biden plans to pass the Defense Production Act so the US can avoid a potential shortage of minerals and materials needed for batteries it uses. for electric vehicles and energy storage . Sad SaaS?: Speaking of valuations, it’s not just Instacart that may be seeing lower valuations. Alex Wilhelm unpacks a report from Silicon Valley Bank that suggests that late-stage software-as-a-service companies may also be getting lower valuations, and that startups trying to raise some later-stage capital may not be so. have an attractive price.

Startups and VC

A quiet news day today, but a few nice gems still surfaced:

British fashion rental company By Rotation is expanding its community rental platform to the US. I love how pizza has become one of the benchmarks of how nimble robots are, and I’m excited to see, for example, MIT in the phrase “complex dough manipulation.” These robots are gentle on the berry: A propos robots, a team of researchers has found a way in which robots can pick very delicate fruit, such as raspberries. Game over: E3, one of the largest game shows in the world, announced that it is canceling E3 for another year and promised that they would try to continue next year. Loyal Wordle players got the nebulous ending of the lollipop this week when the answer word didn’t match the word their friend came up with. I really wish this was the biggest problem the world is facing right now, but as someone who uses word games as part of my mental health regimen… thanks, Sarahto get to the bottom of this mystery!

As a budding geek with a particular fondness for the art of pitching VCs, I’m excited to hit up Lotti Siniscalco’s Pitch Deck Teardown at TC Early Stage in a few weeks.

The hows and whys of raising OT security capital

hand holding a padlock and in the background the html code on a computer screen

Image Credits: SOPA Images (Opens in a new window)/Getty Images

Operational technology, which allows critical infrastructure to operate 24/7, is an area that faces significant cybersecurity risks, and as the U.S. government takes steps to mitigate the threat, security firms addressing this area will benefit the most, writes Matt Gatto, a director at Insight Partners.

In a guest post for TC+, he explains how recent attacks on critical infrastructure, pending regulations and growing concerns about Russian cyber-attacks are creating new opportunities in OT.

“It’s a good time for OT security providers to seek funding,” said Gatto. “The combination of increasing OT cyber-attacks and the rise of government regulations is fueling a financing frenzy.”

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

It’s Electric!: The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a number of new domestic fuel economy standards for 2024 that will bring the country closer to President Joe Biden’s goal of having half of the vehicles sold in the U.S. powered by batteries by 2030. . This means automakers need to figure out how to go from the industry standard of 37 miles per gallon to 49 mpg. GoPro’s new battery packs a punch: Just when you thought it was safe to go back in your camera bag for a new battery, GoPro unveils a new Volta battery grip that gives you three times the shooting time. It’s great for perfecting your next Michael Bay impersonation.

April fools!

Picture of Formlabs' 2D printer, an April 1 joke

Image Credits: Formlabs

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m on my very last nerve, and between elections, pandemics, invasions and the death of my favorite band’s drummer recently, I’ve lost at least 95% of my sense of humor from the past few years . Still, every year tech startups try to get the ever-loving bejesus out of us. Here are the top five least cringe-inducing April Fools’ Day jokes this year.

3D printing enthusiasts Formlabs has announced that it is launching a 2D printer. Given my extremely mixed results with the early printers I had from Formlabs, I’d be hesitant to order one, but let’s face it; if they launched a 2D printer it would probably be better than a lot of the other crap I’ve had on my desk over the years so who knows. I’m 99% sure this is a joke, unfortch. Twitter trolled its user base and said it is working on an edit button† It’s been the platform’s most requested feature since we all first started tweeting in time, and everyone knows at this point that it probably won’t happen. (Besides, it’s a terrible idea.) But yeah. Way to stir up the crowd! Heardle creators had a subtle April Fools joke this morning that got me 100%. The Wordle knock-off for music fans is super fun; the outrage I had that it was not available to play today really disappointed me, made me cry and hurt me. tvTV has launched a TV made especially for Apple TV. I especially appreciate the effort the company went to making renderings for a product that doesn’t make sense in so many dimensions that I’m afraid it could create a wormhole and suck us all into an alternate universe, where 2D printers exist, there’s a Twitter edit button and Apple TV becomes a toaster cartridge. And finally, a dumb beer subscription site pulled a dumb stunt to sell its dumb products through what can only be described as dumb bait-and-switch stupidity. I hope their stupid marketing team and the stupid executives who gave the green light to the stupid idea get into their stupid heads that you can’t just rip people off and get away with it. They say all attention is good attention, but consider this my stupid hot take: that was stupid. Let’s stop doing stupid things like that and don’t give stupid companies your money.
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