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The most read story this week was about, get this: a DeLorean. As in the Back to the Future car. Yep. The short version: the recently revived brand released images of the Alpha 5, an electric vehicle built in homage to the DeLorean of yesteryear, complete with those signature gull-winged doors. Details like price/availability are still under wraps, but for the curious: the company says it'll do zero to 60 in 2.99 seconds — and, perhaps more importantly, zero to 88 in 4.35 seconds.
What else happened this week? Here's some of the stuff people were reading about most:
WWDC rumbles: Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference kicks off on Monday, June 6, and rumors about what might be announced are already spreading fast. Brian Heater has a roundup covering what he expects to see at the event, and Sarah Perez took a deep dive into what's likely changing in iOS.
Sheryl Sandberg steps down at Meta: After 14 years in the role, Sheryl Sandberg will no longer be the COO of the company formerly known as Facebook. Meta chief growth officer Javier Olivan will shift into the COO role; Sandberg will remain on Meta's board of directors.
Amazon kills the Cloud Cam: Back in 2017, Amazon launched a little smart home camera called the Cloud Cam. Then it pretty much immediately bought two smart camera makers — Blink and Ring. Half a decade later, Amazon is ditching Cloud Cam in favor of the latter two. Cloud Cams will stop working at the end of this year; existing Cloud Cam users will get a free Blink Mini camera as a replacement, along with a free year of the Blink Plus plan. If you're using a Cloud Cam, make sure you back up your saved videos before they disappear in December.
Amazon experiments with "invite-based" ordering to fight scalpers: If you're a normal person just trying to casually buy something like a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X on Amazon, you've probably felt the disappointment of being beat to the punch by a billion bots. Amazon announced this week that it'll roll out "invite-based" orders for select high-demand items; you'll "request an invitation" and then Amazon will check things like purchase history/account creation date to determine who gets first dibs.
And Tesla, too: First came word that Elon Musk will require "everyone at Tesla" to be in the office (rather than remote) for a "minimum of 40 hours" per week. Then came word of a company-wide hiring freeze, and plans to cut up to 10% of Tesla's salaried workforce.
You love TechCrunch for your eyes — how about TechCrunch for your ears? We've got a bunch of super-good podcasts, the latest of which Matt Burns summed up here.
Example A: the TechCrunch Live podcast, where this week Burnsy talked with the CEO and lead investor of Olive — a Columbus, Ohio, company that pivoted 27 times and is now worth billions.
We have a paywalled section of our site called TechCrunch+. It only costs a few bucks a month and it’s full of very good stuff! From this week, for example:
VCs on the state of crypto: Pretty much all of the big cryptocurrencies have spent the last 6 months in a downward spiral. How are investors feeling about the space overall? Jacquelyn Melinek checked in with a handful of VCs for their thoughts.
How the Biden admin could power up solar/wind projects: "There’s an idea floating in the ether (or at least in my ether) that there’s enough sunny federal land in Nevada to power the entire United States with solar," writes Tim De Chant. "So why don’t we have more solar and wind on public lands?"
Even Stripe isn’t immune to a changing market: Fintech companies are getting hit hard by the downturn; Alex Wilhelm takes a look at how/why "even the largest and best-known private fintech companies are suffering from embarrassing revaluations."