10 Things in Tech: Say goodbye to the US car market as we know it, TikTok will pay for AR filters, and YouTubers share how they make money
We made it to the middle of the week. I'm Diamond Naga Siu, and I'm taking a few days off to watch my best friend graduate with their PhD. (Don't worry, my colleagues in London will be bringing you your daily dose of tech news while I'm away.)
During the flight back to New York, I might catch up on some television (or perhaps watch a second movie this year). But getting that ad-free experience on Netflix — or any other streaming service — is becoming pricey.
My colleague Nathan McAlone highlights that ever since Netflix started including ads, many other streaming services like Disney+ have followed suit. And they made the ad-free tier pretty expensive.
Before I see you again next week, let's dive into today's tech.
1. Pharmacy startup TruePill is searching for its panacea. Business skyrocketed during the pandemic. TruePill filled a sudden need for dispensing and shipping medications when many people went remote. But amid a shaky tech landscape now, TruePill is flailing.
- It conducted four rounds of layoffs, shuttered pharmacy locations, and abandoned expansion plans. Mark Cuban is even trying to save the struggling company if it can reduce its monthly expenses from $12 million to $3 million.
- TruePill is still grappling with its identity. For example, multiple former employees told Insider that the sales team asked pharmacists to handle more prescriptions of "controlled substances" than a single pharmacy is legally allowed to process per month.
- My colleagues Rebecca Torrence and Blake Dodge talked with five former and two current employees to take us behind the scenes at TruePill.
In other news:
2. IBM employee on sick leave for 15 years sues company. The IT worker has leukemia and was upset that IBM hadn't raised his $67,000 salary while he was off work. He claimed the stagnant salary was disability discrimination. More on the legal tussle here.
3. Employees told to "drink the Kool-Aid" at Larry Page's startup. Leaked audio and emails revealed the mess at flying-car startup Kittyhawk months before it shut down. The directive was: Do whatever Page asks, no matter how ridiculous it seems. Fly over for the full story here.
4. TikTok will pay you for augmented reality filters. The company has set aside $6 million for this new program. Developers could earn up to $14,000 from just one filter. More on the potentially lucrative program here.
5. Italy's hottest club is Ikea. The Swedish furniture company recently held two raves — one of which got shut down by the police — in Milan. It's part of Ikea's new strategy to attract customers. Check it out here.
6. Oracle's acquisition of Cerner has depleted morale. Oracle has paused promotions and raises, laid off staff, and sidelined the CEO at the health software giant. Current and former employees told Insider about the recent turmoil. Take the internal temperature check here.
7. Dozens of YouTubers shared how they started making money. This includes strategies on how to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program. Get their step-by-step insights here.
8. Say goodbye to the US car market as we know it. Chinese car companies are eyeing the US market — multiple of them even offer EVs under $15,000. Plus, they've mastered quality and affordability. Drive over for the full picture here.
Odds and ends:
9. 'As soon as they're afraid, they just run.' Russian troops are abandoning their military positions, according to a Ukrainian officer. NATO recently predicted that Russia was losing five soldiers for every Ukrainian killed. More on the situation here.
10. Top 12 places to live in the US. Affordable homes. Good weather. Lots of jobs. These high quality-of-life places include Boulder, Colorado, and Portland, Maine. Get the full list here.
What we're watching today:
- Happy World Telecommunication and Information Society Day!
- Netflix is hosting its first-ever upfront presentation to advertisers. It was reportedly switched from in-person to virtual in light of the writers' strike.
- Quarterly earnings for Cisco, Tencent, and other companies. Keep up with earnings here.
Curated by Diamond Naga Siu in San Diego. (Feedback or tips? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @diamondnagasiu) Edited by Alistair Barr (tweet @alistairmbarr) in San Francisco and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.
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