Kuration #227 The best early Cyber Monday deals
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Neuralink, founded by Elon Musk, has raised an additional $43 million in venture capital, increasing its previous funding round to $323 million. The company, valued at about $5 billion, is developing implantable chips that can read brain waves. Neuralink's technology involves a sewing machine-like device for implanting ultra-thin threads in the brain, connected to a chip with electrodes for neuron signal reading. Despite technological advancements, Neuralink faces criticism for a toxic workplace culture and unethical research practices. Allegations include mistreatment of animals in testing and rushed timelines leading to complications. The company, which received FDA approval for human clinical trials, has been under federal investigation for animal welfare violations but was cleared of any breaches other than a self-reported incident from 2019. Recently, U.S. lawmakers requested an SEC investigation into Neuralink for omitting details about animal deaths during surgical implant trials.
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Black Friday 2023 saw a record-breaking $9.8 billion in online sales in the U.S., a 7.5% increase from the previous year, according to Adobe Analytics. Globally, sales reached $70.9 billion. The surge in sales was driven by deep discounts and the growth of flexible payment options like buy now, pay later (BNPL), which saw a 72% increase in orders. Mobile shopping dominated, with 79% of shopping traffic and $5.3 billion in sales on smartphones alone. Despite economic uncertainties, consumers were drawn to significant discounts on presents and home electronics. The trend of opting for standard shipping over expedited options also emerged, likely due to early shopping for holiday gifts.
The article from The Verge discusses the ongoing deals for Cyber Monday 2023. It highlights that many of the deals on phones, smartwatches, headphones, and accessories that were available during Black Friday are continuing through the weekend. The article serves as a collection point for the best deals, and it also links to other coverage for more comprehensive information on various product categories.
Key highlights include deals on:
Second-gen AirPods Pro with improved noise cancellation and sound quality.
Pixel 8 Pro with a 5x telephoto lens and a larger screen.
Sonos’ Era 100 smart speaker with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth audio support.
Various other products like electric screwdrivers, vacuum bots, iPads, Hulu subscriptions, Fitbit Charge 6, gaming monitors, and more.
The article also covers deals on headphones and earbuds from brands like Apple, Bose, Google, Samsung, and Jabra. Additionally, it discusses smartwatch and fitness tracker deals, including the Apple Watch Series 9 and the rugged Apple Watch Ultra 2. Phone and mobile accessory deals are also mentioned, with highlights on Motorola’s Razr Plus, Samsung’s Z Flip 5, and Google’s Pixel 8.
Berkshire Hathaway, led by Warren Buffett, has sold its remaining stake in Paytm's parent company, One97 Communications, at a significant loss. The investment, made in 2018, was approximately $260 million for a 3% stake, valuing Paytm at about $10 billion. However, Berkshire Hathaway's recent sale of its position resulted in a return of less than $160 million, marking a loss of around 40%. Paytm, a financial services startup, experienced a dramatic fall in share value post its 2021 IPO, although it has shown signs of recovery recently with fast revenue growth and improved finances.
Proton, known for its privacy-focused services, has launched its end-to-end encrypted Proton Drive cloud storage service for Mac users. This follows its release on Windows four months earlier. Proton Drive offers full encryption by default for all data, including metadata and file names, distinguishing it from services like Apple's iCloud, which requires manual activation for end-to-end encryption. The service provides 1GB of free storage, with paid plans starting at $4/month for 200GB and additional features.
OpenAI's ChatGPT Voice feature is now available for free to all users, allowing iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max owners to use the Action Button as a trigger for ChatGPT, instead of Siri.
Instagram has updated its features to allow users worldwide to download public Reels directly to their devices. This new functionality was previously limited to saving Reels within the app for later viewing.
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Email Emu is a platform designed for marketers, designers, and entrepreneurs, offering access to a vast collection of emails from leading companies. It eliminates the need to subscribe to multiple email lists by providing a centralized resource for inspiration and learning. Users can track competitors' communication patterns, visualize emails in different formats, and learn best practices from top companies. The platform is convenient for accessing business emails and understanding effective email strategies.
Anthropic introduces Claude 2.1, an advanced AI model available via API, featuring a 200K token context window and significant reductions in model hallucination rates. This model is designed for enterprises, offering improved accuracy in complex tasks like summarizing long documents and answering factual questions. Claude 2.1's tool use feature allows integration with existing processes and APIs, enhancing its utility in various applications. The model's improved developer experience includes a new Workbench product for prompt iteration and optimization.
Walles.AI is an AI assistant tool that enhances web browsing by offering a ChatGPT-like experience on any website, PDF document, or YouTube video. It supports GPT-4 and GPT-3.5, enabling users to chat with images, extract text, and solve math problems. The tool can summarize YouTube videos, translate or paraphrase selected text, and export chat history to Notion. Walles.AI aims to be a versatile AI teammate, making information consumption and interaction more efficient and accessible.
Barter is an innovative platform designed to streamline collaboration between businesses and content creators. It simplifies the process of finding, sourcing, and working with verified and engaged content creators, making it as easy as ordering pizza. The platform offers full access to a network of over 1500 content creators with a combined follower count of more than 20 million.
Noggle is a platform that enables users to transform their Notion documents into fully functional online courses, both free and paid, within minutes. It offers a seamless course creation experience, keeping all content on Notion while providing all necessary tools through Noggle. The platform is packed with essential features, including search engine optimization for course visibility, powerful integrations for enhanced learning experiences, top-notch analytics, and the option for a custom domain.
Collov.ai is revolutionizing interior design by using artificial intelligence to transform your interior aspirations into stunning, visionary design renderings. The platform merges convenience with aesthetics, offering a unique approach to redesigning spaces like bedrooms in a Scandinavian style.
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