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H-1B visa holders and mass layoffs

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Disrupt or get disrupted.

For professional illustrators, AI image generators like DALL·E 2 may look like the enemy but Adobe is embracing the change. Armed with the belief that technology can only enhance creativity, the company’s stock service will now accept AI-generated images, reported Axios.

ICYMI: New deep-sea animals found in the Indian Ocean. Spoiler alert: There are fangs, glowing fins, and more. 

Oh, and you are as old as you feel, says science…adding that there is a link between our “subjective age” or “psychological age” and our health and longevity. The solution is obvious: Make yourself feel young.

But can our ‘psychological age’ fluctuate depending on our moods?

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

H-1B visa holders and mass layoffsMade-in-India electric superbikeFighting fake news with tech

Here’s your trivia for today: When did the first McDonald’s outlet open in India?

Technology 

H-1B visa holders and mass layoffs

With major tech companies including Twitter, Amazon and Meta announcing mass layoffs, how are H-1B visa holders, who have either been laid off or are living in fear of being let go, coping with the uncertainty?

Key takeaways:

The H-1B visa allows US companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in speciality occupations. If their employment is terminated, H-1B visa holders have a grace period of 60 days to find another employer/job. According to layoffs.fyi, a crowdsourced database that tracks job cuts in the tech industry, 1.4 lakh employees have been laid off in 2022, across 916 companies (as of December 6). Sophie Alcorn, Founder & CEO, Alcorn Immigration Law, estimates that about 15% of the people laid off are H-1B visa holders. 

Funding Alert

Startup: RENÉE Cosmetics

Amount: $25M

Round: Series B

Startup: Accacia 

Amount: $2.5M

Round: Seed

Startup: AlgoBulls 

Amount: $2M

Round: pre-Series A

Electric vehicles

The made-in-India electric superbike

While most electric vehicle makers in India focus on e-scooters, Bengaluru-based Ultraviolette Automotive Pvt Ltd chose to build an electric superbike. It took the company almost six years to unveil its much-awaited F77 at a recent event in KTPO Centre, Bengaluru. 

The F77 is available in three variants: Airstrike, Shadow, and Laser. The current iterations come with a top speed of 152 kmph with an acceleration of 0 to 100 kmph in 7.8 seconds, placing the bike in direct competition with Energica EGO+/RS, Harley Davidson LiveWire, and Lightning LS-218. 

Power up:

Over 95% of the components of the F77 are produced in India. Its cells and magnets come from overseas partners.As many as 70,000 pre-registration interests have been received from over 190 countries. While international expansion is planned, the Indian rollout of the F77 will begin in January 2023 in Bengaluru. The bikes are priced from Rs 3.80 lakh to Rs 5.50 lakh (ex-showroom).Ultraviolette F77 blueprint

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Ultraviolette F77 blueprint

Blockchain

Fight fake news with tech

Ever come across an article or a video, which you later realised provided incorrect facts? With social media emerging as the primary source of news, misinformation can spread like wildfire. Blockchain tech startup Fact Protocol has now made it its mission to check fake news and become the “Wikipedia for fact-checking.” 

Under the scanner:

The startup offers the opportunity for any user to become a validator, provided they can perform fact-checking accurately. Fact Protocol’s tech is being built on Ethereum-scaling chain Polygon, and the startup will incentivise and reward its contributors with its native FACT token, which will be launched at a later stage. The FACT token will also act as a governance token to democratise the process of forming new rules and taking certain decisions.

News & updates

DIY repairs: Apple is expanding its Self Service Repair program to Europe. The offering will now allow users in France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Spain, the UK, Italy, and Sweden to buy parts online for the iPhone SE, iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and certain laptops so they can conduct their own repairs.Spark of change: Renewables are on course to overtake coal and become the planet’s biggest source of electricity generation by the middle of this decade. The International Energy Agency’s Renewables 2022 report predicts a major shift within the world’s electricity mix.Buying the dip: Goldman Sachs plans to buy or invest in crypto companies. FTX’s implosion has heightened the need for more trustworthy, regulated cryptocurrency players, and big banks see an opportunity to pick up business, said Mathew McDermott, Goldman’s head of digital assets.

When did the first McDonald’s outlet open in India?

Answer: 1996, at Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. At present, it has more than 300 stores across the country.

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