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.
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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