Every day Crunch: Citizen Lab claims Apple’s ‘Lockdown Mode’ helped block spyware attack by hacker group NSO


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Completely satisfied Tuesday Crunch, our crunchiest of friends. So blissful to see you again.

Yesterday, Haje wondered if he was an AI, so clearly he needs a vacation. Today, lets bask within the glory of tech news together?

—  Christine and Haje 

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • You bought blocked: Sometimes technology does what it’s imagined to. In Apple’s case, researchers looking into spyware vulnerabilities said its “Lockdown Mode” was in a position to thwart the advances of the infamous mercenary hacking provider NSO Group. Lorenzo has more. Also, Apple opens its first retail store in India, but there are…challenges, Manish writes.
  • Don’t forget your boarding pass: Alaska Airlines is removing check-in kiosks in favor of a more modern look to its gate area. Fliers might want to print boarding passes at home or check in using their smartphones, Frederic reports.
  • Truth seeker: Elon Musk desires to develop his own chatbot called TruthGPT, which he describes as “a maximum truth-seeking AI,” reports Ivan.

Startups and VC

Mansa, a free ad-supported streaming service and content aggregator that provides a curated number of Black cultural content, launched out of stealth today, Lauren reports. Mansa offers a wide range of content, from on-demand titles and digital linear (FAST) channels to short-form videos and user-generated content.

And we’ve got one other loosely assembled melange of tasty morsels for you:


SaaS retention benchmarks: How does your small business stack up?

SaaS firms are like leaky rowboats. If retention rates aren’t strong enough to beat customer churn, they’ll tackle water until they sink to the underside.

Sid Jain, a senior analyst with ChartMogul, researched 2,100 firms and located that “greater than half of SaaS businesses had lower retention in 2022 compared to 2021.”

On this detailed breakdown, he compares net revenue retention rates by ARR range and identifies benchmarks for firms which have yet to achieve product-market fit.

“What is taken into account a great net retention rate differs by the stage of your small business,” advises Jain. “When benchmarking, at all times keep the stage of your small business in mind.”

TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You possibly can join here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!

Three more from the TC+ team:

Big Tech Inc.

You gotta love Darrell’s headline for his article today, “Goodbye to the fat middle,” which at first glance might pay homage to ridding oneself of their fluffy abdominal fat, but really Darrell opines about Adobe’s recent AI-powered features, and what meaning for the human workforce, namely, that “what’s most at risk of future extinction inside these bullet points provided by Adobe is effectively the fat middle of the bell curve of multimedia editing work.”

Some television platforms and shows are quieter than others, but Prime Video customers who need a bit extra sound to listen to dialogue just got boosted. Sarah reports that when you can’t watch television without subtitles, Prime Video has a recent feature that makes dialogue easier to listen to.

And we’ve got five more for you:


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