Musk Takeover of Twitter Makes Waves, DJI Suspends Drone Business in Russia and Ukraine, Apple Starts Self-Service Repair Program

It’s another Thursday! I’m on with  Mark Starling, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: Elon Musk brings more drama to Twitter, DJI suspends drone business in Russia and Ukraine, Apple starts its self-service repair program. You can listen to Mark and I point and laugh while talking about the wild and crazy technology world every Thursday morning, LIVE at 6:43am Eastern by tuning into WWNC on the iHeartRadio app.

I’ll Just Pay Someone


The deal isn’t done yet, and may not be finalized until this fall, but it has been felt through out the technology, social, and political worlds. On Monday, Twitter’s board accepted Elon Musk’s hostile bid for the company at $54 per share. This values Twitter at $44 billion. Musk is putting up $21 billion of his own money with the rest of the financing coming from loans to the tune of Twitter servicing those loans at $1 billion per year.

It’s been a wild and crazy week for sure. Elon Musk claims he wants to take Twitter private because it doesn’t promote free speech. Twitter’s moderation policies have been uneven and clumsily applied, but it’s not really about freedom of speech. Trolls like Musk (I still consider him our generation’s Howard Hughes) want a place with a large audience where they can be mean, spread misinformation, and say anything they want and not be held accountable for their speech by wrapping themselves in First Amendment protections. If online free speech really was in danger and free speech platforms a draw, then 4chan and 8chan would be bursting at the seams with users. If you want platforms where you can say anything unmoderated and be as trollish and hateful as you want, the incels there are ready and waiting.

His Twitter purchase hasn’t ended some of his issues however. He lost his bid to end a 2018 agreement to have his tweets pre-vetted before posting as part of an agreement with the SEC. At the time, he tweeted raising enough funds to take Tesla private which sent the stock sky-high and enriching himself, but not taking the company private.

Overnight, Twitter employees have asked current leadership if they are protected from Elon Musk taking out his frustrations on them. Since Musk’s announcement, Twitter’s chief policy chief has been harassed by Twitter users to settle old scores.

And yesterday, Tesla’s shares fell by the same amount of Elon Musk’s cash he’s putting up for the company. $21 billion of value were wiped out from Tesla as investors there were afraid he’d sell of those shares to fund buying Twitter. I ain’t crying though. The company fell in value from $1 trillion with a ‘T’ to $906 billion.

It remains to be seen, whether or not Musk’s moves will make Twitter freer. I’ve said this before, if you’re looking in the right places you can find full on graphic sex, hateful speech, and borderline death threats on the platform. That doesn’t seem like it’s stifling free speech at all.


Chinese drone manufacturer DJI has suspended its business operations in Russia and Ukraine. The sited the ongoing war between both countries as its reason. Honestly, I would have suspected suspending operations in Ukraine because China is such a close Russian ally, but here we are.


Many, many moons ago, my wife, Sabrina, ordered a screen repair kit to fix her iPhone 6’s broken screen. I held my breath when I was watching her work like a surgeon taking the thing apart. She put it back together, plugged it in, and the screen worked like a charm. Finally catching up to 2022, Apple is selling and renting repair kits to Apple users so they too can void their warranty and fix their phones. Apple will make repair manuals available for all of its devices and list the parts needed for making various fixes. $49 for a repair kit is cheaper than the mall guy’s $120 fee. But…you’re really paying for peace of mind. You want that power button to work when you get it all together.

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Workers at Apple Cube Want Union, NASA Funding Cheap Moon Missions, Best Buy Hauls Away Your Crap

It’s another Thursday! I’m on with  Mark Starling, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: Apple workers try to unionize at The Cube, Best Buy will haul your crap away and recycle it, and NASA is funding cheap Moon missions. Plus…more Musk. You can listen to Mark and I point and laugh while talking about the wild and crazy technology world every Thursday morning, LIVE at 6:43am Eastern by tuning into WWNC on the iHeartRadio app.

If I Got a Chance to Go, I’ll Be There in a Heartbeat


Workers at the Fruit Company’s Cube flagship store in New York has filed an intent to unionize. Staff workers at the store cite extraordinary working conditions due to COVID-19 and unprecedented consumer inflation as terms to demand more money. There are seeking a $30 per hour minimum wage for all workers at the store and more robust health and safety protocols because of COVID. Employees at 3 other Apple stores are attempting to unionize and this follows news of an Atlanta Apple Store trying to organize, successful unionization of Amazon workers, and a Starbucks store gaining union representation. The campaign is connected to Workers United an arm of Service Employees International Union.


Best Buy will come by your house and pick up two big items, and an unlimited number of small items and recycle them for $199. Big items include TVs and washing machines, and small items are small items. TotalTech subscribers who pay the $199 annual fee will receive a 20% discount. Best Buy already offers a trade-in-your-junk-for-new-stuff program when you buy something new. This is actually a needed service. It’s hard to get rid of electronics responsibly and renting a U-Haul can turn into a costly, time sucking experience.


I still don’t know if the book, or the mission inspire the other. NASA is returning humans to the Moon with its $7.5 billion annual spend on Project Artemis. While Artemis is geared towards building habitable conditions for humans on the Moon, they’ve been quietly financing cheaper science missions as part of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. The missions are designed to encourage commercial space flight by sending landers containing science experiments as well as payloads for Artemis up to space. Given that the program costs $250 million annually, NASA is getting this R&D done on the cheap.

Elon Turns Down Board Seat, Ethereum Researcher Jailed for Aiding the Enemy, Tim Cook Claps Back at Data Industrial Complex

Hi, TTN readers! It’s another Thursday! I’m on with  Mark Starling, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: Elon turns down Twitter board seat, Tim Cook goes off on data industrial complex, and Ethereum researcher goes to North Korea; returns to jail. You can listen to Mark and I point and laugh while talking about the wild and crazy technology world every Thursday morning, LIVE at 6:43am Eastern by tuning into WWNC on the iHeartRadio app.

Elon Musk courtesy: Jim Watson, AFP, Getty Images


All proceeds will go to aid the citizens of Ukraine.


It’s been a whirlwind week in the Twitterverse. After announcing a 10% stake in Twitter and getting a board seat to boot, Elon Musk has since turned down the board seat being content with owning 10% of the company. Huh, what? Immediately after last week’s news, Elon Musk…took to Twitter, and proceeded to berate the company. He was in rarer form than usual and suggested removing the ‘W’ from its name and dropping the ‘ER’. Yeah. Furthermore, his fight with the SEC continues as he actually made the 10% purchase in mid-March, only to announce the buy this month. Which means the value of his new shares jumped 30% on the day he announced the buy giving him $156 million in value. He’s being sued by another Twitter shareholder in a class action because he had inside information. You just can’t with this guy.


Virgil Griffith was sentenced to more than 5 years in prison and fined $100,000 for violating US sanctions against North Korea. He was a researcher who worked for Ethereum Foundation, sponsors of the Ethereum cryptocurrency project. He flew to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang to give a talk on cryptocurrency. He violated the US International Emergency Economic Powers Act by traveling to the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference after being denied the trip by the US State Department. Griffith understood he was breaking the law by sharing how North Korea could evade US sanctions through the US of cryptocurrency. A quote from his presentation, “The most important feature of blockchains is that they are open. And the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] can’t be kept out no matter what the USA or the UN says,” Griffith said during the presentation, according to prosecutors.” End quote.


It’s been no secret Apple has been restricting and blocking access to user data. The company has increased its privacy safeguards and have forced app developers to ask users for more detailed permission to use their data. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, took to the stage at the International Association of Privacy Professionals and railed against companies that comprise the “data industrial complex”. His complaint with companies centers around the idea of sideloading. Sideloading happens when a seemingly useful app, like a COVID-19 contact tracer, loads another piece of code that surveils the user’s info. Tim Cook has said that privacy is, “one of the most essential battles of our time.” He’s right.

First News Mints NFT, Apple & Meta Get Phished, Twitter Announces Musky Edit Button, and Artful AI Scares Digital Artists

Hi, TTN readers! It’s another Thursday! I’m on with  Mark Starling, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: First News on 570 mints an NFT, Apple and Meta get phished by social engineers, Musk forces Twitter to release Edit button, and a new AI generates pictures and makes edits. You can listen to Mark and I point and laugh while talking about the wild and crazy technology world every Thursday morning, LIVE at 6:43am Eastern by tuning into WWNC on the iHeartRadio app.

Get the first First News on 570 NFT

Y’all thought we were joking, but now you can purchase First News on 570’s first NFT. Purchasers will get an authentic download of the April 7, 2022 show, and only 5 listeners will be able to listen to the best technology segment on radio. Listeners can purchase the NFT from Rarible and use any of the supported wallets.

For all of my tech heads in the audience, it was minted using Ethereum and signed using my Coinbase wallet.

Have fun and enjoy FFNo570’s first digital product!

Courtesy: WALL-E 2


For the last 16 years, I have been required to take IT Security and Awareness training to protect various government and private health systems. Phishing is a type of social engineering hacking attack used to steal data, credentials, and other information by posing as IT or official people needing information. Last week, Apple and Meta reported being exploited by phishing attacks from hackers pretending to be law enforcement officials. The companies were giving data to hackers as part of false Emergency Information Requests. Technology and data companies often provide information to law enforcement under subpoena, but EIRs are usually life and death situations and don’t require a subpoena. The companies admitted to the exploits in which users’ personally identifiable information had been shared including email and physical addresses.


If there’s been an outspoken Twitter user it has been Elon Musk. Musk, my generation’s Howard Hughes – love him or hate him, has been targeted by the SEC for his use of the platform before major company moves, used the platform to troll tax policies, and frequently polls users on how he thinks the platform should refresh itself. Twitter users have been asking for an edit button for years, but have rebuffed the feature citing users prefer other functions over it. Well, since Elon Musk’s 9.2% stock purchase. The purchase makes Musk Twitter’s largest shareholder. Twitter has announced development of an ‘Edit’ button which will be tested on its subscription service. The Musk poll cited 73% of 4 million users wanted the feature, and it looks like its happening. Tech commentator Stephanie Humphries doesn’t think the stock purchase is the “flex” it seems en pixel, and it does seem as if Elon Musk fancies himself as a new age Carl Icahn. Without the class.


Yesterday, OpenAI, the AI company which has said some of its technologies are too dangerous for human consumption, announced an update to its DALL-E image generation tool. DALL-E is a mashup of Salvadore Dali and WALL-E the lovable robot. DALL-E is able to take text as input and create a new image from the phrasing. According to OpenAI, DALL-E.2 creates realistic images that combine concepts and attributes with style. It uses a new technique called diffusion which takes random dots and gradually makes a pattern with the dots as it “recognizes” specific aspects of an image. DALL-E.2 isn’t commercially available, but researchers can join a waitlist to get access. I’ve already requested access. Why? Because I bend the knee to our robot overlords.

The Latest Companies Quitting Russia

Intel has announced it is suspending operations in Russia.

Twitter is moving to curb the content Russian leaders post on the platform.

Do Virtual Chicken Wings Taste Good, Facebook Pays to Disrupt TikTok, Dyson Announces Air Purifying Headphones

It’s Thursday again, TTN readers! It’s a new week, and I’ll be home alone this weekend! I’m on with  Mark Starling, John, and the First News 570 crew. This week’s top tech stories: WingStop sells NFT chicken wings in metaverse, Facebook paid for hit contracts on TikTok, and Dyson has announced new air purifying headphones. You can listen to Mark and I point and laugh while talking about the wild and crazy technology world every Thursday morning, LIVE at 6:43am Eastern by tuning into WWNC on the iHeartRadio app.

Dope Beats, Cleaner Air


Stop the world, I want to get off. NFTs have jumped the proverbial shark. Earlier this month, WingStop filed a trademark to sell digital chicken wings at their met averse locations. According to WingStop, “the filing signifies an exciting step to serve the world flavor in a virtual space.” That word, flavor. What do virtual chicken wings taste like. The first thing my 11-year old asked was, “are virtual chicken wings, consumable?” It was at that moment I asked my 11 and 14 year old girls to come up with something we can hock in the NFT metaverse. To which they replied, “why? NFTs are stupid?” Where did I go wrong, I thought this whole virtual world was theirs. Well, WingStop isn’t the only company selling NFT products. McDonald’s and Panera are offering NFTs that can be purchased for real world redeemable products. We’ll see what happens next.


Yup. Yesterday, the Washington Post reported Facebook hiring a political firm called Targeted Victory to use traditional political campaign tactics to turn public opinion negatively for TikTok. The firm used editorial comment in media, elevated detractors, and planted false data swaying people to believe the app is improperly abusing information from young Americans (probably true) and that the app is generally a bad option for people. Facebook hired the firm after it was trying to overcome the Cambridge Analytica scandal as well as the ‘Facebook caused mental anguish’ scandal. Meanwhile, Facebook or Meta, has reported that it has lost users for the first time in its 18 year history. TikTok has acquired many more young users on its platform as the Big Blue apps users have grown older. Remember, Facebook was originally only available for college students, and then opened up to other users. Those colleges students are now in their 30s and 40s and have more important things to do.


I had to end this week’s top tech news on a funny note. I love gadgets and gadget makers. Someone is always trying to come up with some creative way to get people to wear tech and Dyson tickled my fancy. The Dyson Zone is the vacuum company’s first foray in wearable technology. The headphones specs don’t matter, what does is that the headphones come with an over-the-mouth air purification system. Dyson says the headphones are great for rising air pollution. Each pair comes with a fan and air filters that suck in air from the ear cups, purifies air, and channels clean air in the nose and mouth. You’ll probably look ridiculous, but will breathing free. The headphones are expected to be expensive and go on sale in the fall.