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Emerging Tech Brew // Morning Brew // Update
Tech talent is shifting beyond—and within—the Bay Area.
May 26, 2023

Emerging Tech Brew


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Programming note: We’re off for the three-day weekend, so the next edition of Tech Brew will land in your inbox on Wednesday, May 31. Enjoy the holiday!

In today’s edition:

Maeve Allsup, Patrick Kulp, Annie Saunders


Labor realignment

Car tire running over a broken laptop to represent a shift in tech talent from Big Tech companies to EV makers. Hannah Minn

You’d be forgiven for losing track of which former Big Tech executive has decamped to which electric vehicle maker.

In 2021, Ford tapped Apple's VP of special projects, Doug Field, and in 2022, it hired HP’s Roz Ho to lead vehicle software development and brought on Google’s Jae Park in digital product design. Earlier this month, General Motors hired Mike Abbott, another Apple alum. And the Big Tech to EV pipeline is evident in the LinkedIn pages of lower-level employees at tech companies large and small.

But those workers aren’t necessarily abandoning the Bay Area for traditional automotive hubs. Instead, many are staying in Silicon Valley, contributing to a change in the region’s talent landscape.

Keep reading here.—MA



A thermodynamic duo


Dr. Alec Shkolnik and his father, Dr. Nikolay Shkolnik, founded LiquidPiston to accomplish something extraordinary: reinvent the engine.

To say they’re succeeding is an understatement.

LiquidPiston’s patented thermodynamic cycle—the first major disruption to engine tech in 150 years—helps their X-EngineTM deliver up to 10x more power than traditional engines. That’s all while running on multiple fuel types, including jet fuel and hydrogen.

And that versatility is unlocking the potential for hydrogen-powered cars, drones that can fly 2x farther, and hybrid-electric engines with 80% smaller batteries. The US government even invested over $30m into their technology.

LiquidPiston is already turning a profit. And they’ve just announced the release of their most advanced engine yet: the supercharged, liquid-cooled XTS-210, opening up doors for even more commercial opportunities.

The best part? You can join 10k+ people by investing in LiquidPiston today. But don’t wait—this opportunity won’t last forever. Learn more here.



An image of a landscape before and after a car, cloud and puddle are added with Photoshop's new tool. Adobe

Adobe is set to give new meaning to the act of photoshopping an image.

Starting this week, the company will begin adding features to the popular image-editing program that let users alter images with AI. The new generative fill tool can replace objects or backgrounds with imagery produced from a text prompt in a way that’s meant to blend seamlessly with the rest of the image.

The rollout comes as Adobe has seen an influx of would-be competitors. Startups like Runway, Midjourney, and Stability AI are all geared around turning the latest advances in image-generating AI into creative software.

Adobe’s push is part of a larger generative AI road map called Project Firefly that it unveiled in March. It differentiates itself with an image generator trained only on Adobe Stock or public domain media—avoiding the iffy legal territory of other models trained on copyrighted material—and a focus on augmenting rather than generating content whole cloth, according to Ashley Still, the company’s SVP of digital media.

Keep reading here.—PK



Meta money

Image of a gavel with the EU flag coming down on a Meta logo. Francis Scialabba

Meta now tops the charts for the EU’s highest ever fine for violations of the bloc’s strict personal data privacy laws.

The Facebook parent company pushed Amazon from the top spot and is facing a staggering $1.3 billion fee over transferring data from users in the EU and the European Economic Area to servers in the United States, found to be in violation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

According to the European Data Protection Board, Meta has transferred personal user data in and out of the EU in a manner that’s not in compliance with the GDPR since July 2020.

Keep reading here.—MA



Rocket Software

Growing pains gains. Minimize risks, improve agility, and help your business run more efficiently with Rocket Software’s easy-to-implement, customized IT solutions. By uncovering insights, streamlining your infrastructure, and cutting costs, Rocket Software can help you modernize without disruption. Learn more.


Stat: Four to 25 times. That’s how much worse lab-grown meat could be for the environment than retail beef. A study from UC Davis “found that the global warming potential of lab-based meat using these purified media is four to 25 times greater than the average for retail beef.”

Quote: “I want to build a trillion-dollar business with a billion users. And it is not going to happen by focusing on the next quarter.”—Expensify founder and CEO David Barrett, to The Information

Read: Emails, chat logs, code, and a notebook: The mountain of FTX evidence (the New York Times)


A Netflix logo in chains Francis Scialabba

Usually, we write about the business of tech. Here, we highlight the *tech* of tech.

Cancellation conundrums: Ever try to break free from a subscription service that no longer serves you? And it feels like you need a crowbar to wrest yourself from the jaws of a company that’s been draining your bank account of $14.99 a month for God knows how long? Yeah, us too. The Pudding created a cheerful visual essay to break down a vexing problem: why unsubscribing is so daunting.

Sharing is was caring: Speaking of problems with subscriptions, your free ride on your sister’s Netflix account is about to come to a close. The Verge has all the details, but the TL;DR is that US subscribers will have to cough up an extra eight bucks a month to keep individuals outside their household on their Netflix plan.


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Written by Maeve Allsup, Patrick Kulp, and Annie Saunders

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