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Is the future of the microchip industry going to be Made in America?

Welcome to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter. It’s inspired by the daily TechCrunch+ column where it gets its name. Want it in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here . With all eyes on Taiwan and worries mounting around semiconductor supply, the U.S. CHIPS Act is particularly timely. But it is not unique: Other countries similarly aspire to reduce their reliance on imported chips. Let’s explore. — Anna From cheap as chips to billion-dollar incentives U.S. president Joe Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 into law earlier this week after the bill received broad bipartisan support in the House and Senate. The H and I in CHIPS stand for “Helpful Incentives,” hinting at the main component of the initiative: $52.7 billion in public subsidies. The passage of the CHIPS Act could launch another US startup renaissance Biden described the new bill on Twitter as “a once-in-a-generation law that invests in America by supercharging our effor

TechCrunch staff asks: What’s really the best Taylor Swift song?

While TechCrunch is a Very Serious Publication , at times we wind up a little off-topic in our internal conversations. We talk video games. We talk bad reality television. We riff on sports and pets and our families. And we talk about music. Naturally, with as diverse a group as our team, viewpoints vary. But one notable point of commonality is Taylor Swift. Yes, your tech news is frequently prepared by a dyed-in-the-wool Swiftie. Perhaps even more often than not. This raises an important question: Which Taylor tune is really the best? After realizing how many of us scribblers had an opinion on the matter, we decided to make our case in a public manner. What follows is a series of arguments – written in three-views style , albeit with more players – about which Taylor Swift song truly sits above the rest. We welcome your public comment, of course, but note in advance that if you don’t agree with at least one of us, we all think that you are flat-out wrong. Alex Wilhelm : Wildes

Digital pensions platform Penfold raises $8.5M Series A led by Bridford Group

Penfold , a digital pensions platform, has closed a £7m ($8.49m) Series A funding round led by Bridford Group, an investment group. Also participating in the round was Jeremy Coller, Chief Investment Officer and Chairman of Coller Capital. Penfold also raised additional funding via a crowdfund amongst its customer base. The cash will be used to expand Penfold’s workplace pension division. Chris Eastwood, Co-Founder at Penfold, commented (in a statement): “It’s been a big year for Penfold – from launching our workplace pension offering, to reaching £100m AUA.” Bridford Group, lead investor, commented: “The pensions industry represents a huge market – with £8trn in savings in the UK alone. Despite this, many people remain uninterested and unengaged in their pensions. With so many people not saving enough, there’s a real opportunity for a new provider to step in.”  source https://techcrunch.com/2022/08/13/digital-pensions-platform-penfold-raises-8-5m-series-a-led-by-bridford-group/

After the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago, online threats quickly turn into real-world violence

Threats of violence reached a fever pitch — reminiscent of the days leading up to the Capitol attack — following the news that the FBI raided Trump’s Florida beach club to retrieve classified documents the former president may have unlawfully taken there. After Trump himself confirmed Monday’s raid at Mar-a-Lago, pro-Trump pundits and politicians rallied around declarations of “war,” and Trump’s ever-fervent supporters called for everything from dismantling the federal law enforcement agency to committing acts of violence against its agents. The situation escalated from there in record time, with online rhetoric boiling over quickly into real-world violence. By Thursday, an armed man identified as Ricky Shiffer attempted to force his way into an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio, brandishing a rifle before fleeing. Law enforcement pursued Shiffer and he was fatally shot during the ensuing standoff with police. Analysts with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a nonprofit that

Roon wants to educate patients with freshly sourced info on their conditions

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As individuals try to manage medical information and understand their conditions, many typically turn to Google or WebMD — neither of which does much to verify or provide the latest information. But Roon plans to change this with a medical education platform for vetted information, sourced strictly from doctors, patients, and caregivers. By curating the data it makes available around individual conditions, Roon is meant to reassure patients and caregivers that it’s accurate and well sourced. “We do pay lip service to caregivers, but there’s so much more that can and should be done to recognize the important role they play in managing health,” said Roon co-founder Rohan Ramakrishna, who previously worked as a neurosurgeon. “And so when we build this medical canon of information, we take that all into account, so that we can meet the unique needs of both patients and caregivers within any individual condition.” Along with Ramakrishna are Pinterest’s former heads of marketing, Vikram B

It might be time for companies in San Francisco to call employees’ bluff

Spend any amount of time in New York, and you’ll feel it. Manhattan and Brooklyn are teeming with activity. It’s electrifying to be there after years spent relatively locked down. The question, and one asked this week by the San Francisco Chronicle, is why San Francisco isn’t bouncing back in the same way. As reporter Roland Li writes: “There’s always been a disparity — New York has 10 times the population of San Francisco — but the coastal tourism and economic hubs have diverged in striking ways as they recover from the pandemic.” Consider, writes Li, that while the construction of major commercial property projects in Manhattan were completed during the pandemic — and while much of that new office space is almost fully leased — over in San Francisco, projects have stalled and a lot of existing buildings are struggling to find tenants. One possible way to fill those buildings is to convert them into housing. Wall Street, Li observes, has been doing exactly that for decades. But w

Suspected developer of crypto mixer Tornado Cash arrested

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The Dutch government agency responsible for investigating financial crimes said it has arrested an individual suspected of being a developer of the U.S.-sanctioned crypto mixing service Tornado Cash  in a move that has rattled some crypto and privacy advocates. The Fiscal Information and Investigation Service said Friday that the arrested 29-year-old man is suspected to be involved in “concealing criminal financial flows and facilitating money laundering” through the popular crypto mixing service. “Multiple arrests are not ruled out,” it said. The agency added that it arrested the individual in Amsterdam. The move comes days after the U.S. government sanctioned Tornado Cash — a service that allows users to mask their transactions by jumbling funds from different sources before sending them to the ultimate destination — for its role in enabling billions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency to be laundered through its platform. Tornado Cash has been used to launder more than $7 bill

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