Neuralink implants 1st human patient, says Elon

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Top stories today:

  1. Neuralink implants 1st human patient, says Elon
  2. Amazon abandons iRobot purchase given "no path" to approval
  3. Vision Pro sells 200K units
  4. U.S. VCs have record $311B in unspent cash
  5. ChatGPT remains #1 most used chatbot

0. Data and calendar

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

All times are ET.

2. Amazon abandons iRobot purchase given "no path" to regulatory approval

  • $1.7B: original value of deal.

  • $0.5B: current market cap.

  • iRobot to lay off 31% of employees, terminating 350 people.

  • iRobot stock -9%.

Our view: the current anti-M&A regulatory environment threatens startups and innovation

  • Having IPOs as the only exit option is too limiting for most startups, especially those with <$100M in revenue, for whom being independent may not make sense.

3. Vision Pro sells 200K units, with in-store pickups still available for Fri

Zoom announced its Vision Pro app, supporting Apple's Persona (digital representation) feature

Meanwhile, competitor Xreal just raised $60M at a $1B valuation

  • Xreal's Air 2 Ultra costs $700, vs $3,500 for the Vision Pro.

  • $300M raised in total, since 2017 inception.

  • 100K units sold over the past 3 months.

  • 350K units sold since 2017 inception.

*Sponsored.

5. U.S. VCs have record $311B in unspent cash

6. ChatGPT remains #1 most used chatbot, with Google's Bard growing but far behind

7. Code Llama 70B open-sourced by Meta, as Zuckerberg promises Llama 3

Code Llama still ranks behind GPT-4 (proprietary) and models derived from DeepSeek Coder and Magicoder (open source):

Read more: The Verge.

8. Interesting videos, posts, and memes

9. Other headlines

AI

  • Meta's OK-Robot performs zero-shot pick-and-drop.

  • Nightshade, AI poisoning tool, gets 250K downloads in 5 days.

Tech

*Sponsored.

Tech & law

  • U.S. disabling China's botnets targeting critical infra: sources.

  • X lifts ban on Taylow Swift searches after explicit deepfakes spread.

Biotech

Business

  • Boeing 737 MAX 9 from Alaska left factory without critical bolts: sources.

  • NYT sees 8B puzzles played in 2023, helping bundle sales.

  • Saudi Aramco won't increase production from 12 to 13M barrels/day.

  • Masterworks: invest in world-class art, not stocks and bonds.*

  • Arrived: learn how to invest as little as $100 in fractional real estate, which has outperformed the S&P500 over the past 20 years.*

*Sponsored.

Crypto

  • 25% of $2.6B stolen crypto in 2023 recovered.

  • Coinbase to charge 0.1% fee on USDC to USD conversions over $75M.

  • DOJ charges HyperFund leaders with $1.9B fraud scheme.

U.S. politics

  • Senators move forward with Ukraine, border deal amid criticism from GOP.

  • Biden super Pac plans record $250M ad purchase.

World

  • Iran asks U.S. for diplomacy after attack that killed 3 U.S. soldiers.

  • Pakistan's former PM gets 10-year jail term.

  • 9K Hamas soldiers dead out out ~35K army: IDF.

  • Hamas continues to fire rockets into Tel Aviv.

  • 190 UNRWA staff members part of Oct. 7 attack: Israeli intelligence.

  • Israeli defense minister tells U.S.: no settlements in Gaza.

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