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29% of U.S. teens own VR headsets; 4% use them daily

Top stories today: 1) Trump is arraigned, next court date Dec. 4, 2) only 29% of U.S. teens own VR headsets, 4% use them daily, 3) Amazon launches AI accelerator, 4) Biden unsure if AI will kill us all, 5) public x private software valuation gap shrinks from 8x to 4x, and 6) another Forbes 30 under 30 arrested.

Hi, and welcome to today's Bay Area Times daily newsletter. If you haven't yet, follow us on Twitter to receive live updates throughout the day: @bayareatimes.

Top stories today: 1) Trump is arraigned, next court date Dec. 4, 2) only 29% of U.S. teens own VR headsets, 4% use them daily, 3) Amazon launches AI accelerator, 4) Biden unsure if AI will kill us all, 5) public x private software valuation gap shrinks from 8x to 4x, and 6) another Forbes 30 under 30 arrested.

0. Data and calendar

All values as of 3 AM PT / 6 AM ET, other than S&P500 close (1 PM PT / 4 PM ET).

All times are ET.

1. Trump arraigned, next court date Dec. 4

  • 34 counts of falsifying business records, a low-level offense in NY State. - WSJ, Indictment (annotated)

  • Next court date: Dec. 4, a few weeks before the GOP's inaugural Iowa caucus, on February 5.

  • No gag order, but the judge tells both sides: "Please refrain from making statements that are likely to incite violence or civil unrest." - WaPost

This is a weak case that won't get settled before the elections

  • No chance of a verdict before the elections. In fact, we expect the judge to delay the trial so even the initial phases of the trial happen after the elections.

  • "Show me the man, and I'll show you the crime," as the Stalinist quote goes. If Trump had used explicit campaign money to pay off the porn star,Β he could have been charged with illegally using campaign money for private matters. The law is so complicated and contradictory, these days, that most actions can be interpreted as crimes. - Reason

Trump likely committed much greater crimes, for which he is currently being investigated

The 2 worst ones:

  • Inciting the Jan. 6 riots and trying to obstruct the electoral vote count, being investigated by special counsel Jack Smith.

  • Extorting Georgia officials to "find" Trump more votes, as he himself put it. This is still in the special grand jury phase. Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis is expected to take this case to a regular grand jury by May, so we could see another Trump arrest later in the year. - Axios

Trump's campaign is selling commemorative T-shirts

  • $36 each

  • $10M raised by his campaign since the news of the indictment broke. - Axios

2. A minority of U.S. teens own VR headsets; 4% use them daily

AR will be the real game changer, not VR

  • Unfortunately, VR is not yet available. Meta reportedly expects to have their first AR glasses in 2027, and Apple will probably be right behind. Light AR glasses are something we see the whole world using, as potentially an iPhone replacer/augmenter -- but that might take decades, as AR technology is still incipient and very heavy.

The teen survey had many other interesting points

87% of U.S. teens own an iPhone, for example:

3. Amazon launches generative AI accelerator

No equity, $300K AWS in credits

Read more: Techcrunch, Amazon.

Amazon is playing catch-up versus competitors in AI

We see the leaders being:

  1. OpenAI/Microsoft, with ChatGPT, DALL-E, New Bing, etc.

  2. Google

  3. Anthropic

  4. Meta

  5. Potentially newer, smaller startups (e.g. Character AI, Stability, Hugging Face, etc.)

  6. And below all of those is Amazon, which apparently has no model of their own and is lagging behind Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud in AI-related features. Amazon recently partnered up with Hugging Face to offer their models on AWS. - Hugging Face

4. Biden: "It remains to be seen" whether AI is dangerous

  • Middle of the road position. Biden is going for the more mainstream position: that AI is overwhelmingly a force for good, and that concerns that AI will kill humanity are well overblown. We remarkably agree. - Reuters, Remarks

5. P/S multiple difference between public and private software companies drops from 8x to 4x

  • Multiple difference crashed from 8x to 4x: In Q2 2022, public markets (private) software companies traded at an average of 12.7x (100x) its annual revenues, a difference of 8x. In Q1 2023, public valuations moved down slightly to 10.1x, while private valuations crashed to 38.9x, a difference of 4x, as per the graph above.

Private multiples could still halve from 39x to 20x

If they return to their 2019-2020 levels:

We expect the 2021 venture capital vintage to be one of the worst ones yet

  • The valuation crunch affects all major VC sectors: tech, biotech, and crypto.

6. Forbes 30 Under 30 Charlie Javice arrested for alleged $175M fraud sale against JPM

Previous Forbes covers include Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes and FTX's Sam Bankman-Fried

Forbes covers.

  • 4 counts totaling a max of 110 years: "JAVICE, 31, of Miami Beach, Florida, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, one count of wire fraud affecting a financial institution, and one count of bank fraud, each of which carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and one count of securities fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison." - Bloomberg, SDNY.

  • We expect a plea agreement of fewer counts, given the hard evidence of Javice's alleged crimes. If Elizabeth Holmes is a good benchmark, Javice could spend some 11 years in prison.

7. Mega tech stocks have a great Q1, after layoffs

Other than Apple, all other mega tech companies did layoffs

8. Young Americans want to work at Google, the federal government, Apple

9. Other headlines

Tech

  • Former Square CTO stabbed to death on Main Street in San Francisco.

  • YC AI startups: an analysis by Techcrunch.

  • Google claims its TPU v4 was faster than NVIDIA's old GPUs; no information on current offerings.

  • Covariant (AI-powered robotic arms) raises $75M Series C extension.

  • Apple prepares 1st retail store in India, in Mumbai.

  • Brave launches self-serve ads.

  • Microsoft unveils $300 Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock.

  • Google Drive removes 5M file limit, after criticism.

  • Moderate drinking's benefits are very uncertain, new analysis suggests.

  • Mario is moving away from mobile games after flops, says Nintendo.

Business

  • J&J proposes to pay $8.9B to customers who claim their talc caused cancer.

  • Job openings fell to 9.9M in February, from a downwardly revised 10.6M.

  • Louis Vuitton owner surpasses $200B net worth for 1st time, after Elon and Bezos.

  • TikTok is fined $16M by the UK for allowing children under 13, other mistakes.

  • Miami giving interest-free loans for restorations, after 2021 Surfside building collapse.

  • Amsterdam doing online ads to fight back against drug tourism.

Crypto

  • Layer Zero raises $120M at $3B, after a $1B valuation in March 2022.

  • NFT sales steady at $2B for March, with 0-fee Blur dominating market.

  • OpenSea Pro launches, remaining with 0 fees, while regular exchange will return to 2.5% fees.

  • Coinbase insider to settle with SEC, after pleading guilty to criminal charges.

  • OPNX exchange, founded by alleged fraudsters from 3AC fund, launches.

Politics

  • Chicago elects for Mayor candidate seen as weaker on crime.

  • Democrats take back Wisconsin Supreme Court on pro-abortion message.

  • Clinton regrets persuading Ukraine to give up nuclear weapons.

  • Taiwan President quietly meets with U.S. Senators, will meet with McCarthy today.

  • Finland joins NATO; Sweden waits on Turkey and Hungary.

  • Macron to press Xi on Russia support, during China trip this week.

10. Interesting tweets, memes, and images

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