New Era Begins for Twitter as Elon Musk Acquires Company

Elon Musk took control of Twitter on Thursday, completing the historic $44 billion acquisition of the social micro-blogging platform. After some housekeeping — including carrying a sink into the company’s San Francisco headquarters for a cheeky video-op (“let that sink in!”) and firing top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal — the recalcitrant tech magnate began settling into his new role. Updating his bio to reflect his chosen title of “Chief Twit,” he tweeted off a letter assuring advertisers that Twitter will not “become a free-for-all hellscape” with no content moderation. Continue reading New Era Begins for Twitter as Elon Musk Acquires Company

Aalyria: Google Spinout Plans to Deliver High-Speed Internet

Google’s Project Loon, a plan to use balloons to beam broadband Internet to unserved areas, was shut down in 2021 after eight years, but Loon’s core technologies have propelled a spinout, Aalyria, which is developing advanced networking and laser communications that far exceed anything available today, extending connectivity where there is no infrastructure “at an exponentially greater scale and speed,” according to the company. Aalyria’s first commercial client is the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), a division of the U.S. Department of Defense that awarded an $8 million contract to develop high-speed Internet in space. Continue reading Aalyria: Google Spinout Plans to Deliver High-Speed Internet

Musk Shares Some of His Thoughts with Twitter Employees

Twitter’s 8,000 employees were treated to a question-and-answer session with Elon Musk on Thursday, the first staff meeting the tech entrepreneur has conducted since his bid to purchase the company for $44 billion. The hour-long meeting, which was live-streamed to the Twitter staff, touched on a wide range of topics, including aliens and “the nature of reality” as well as interests closer to home, such as layoffs, growth plans and, of course, TikTok. The move seemed to reinforce Musk’s intent to close the Twitter deal after suggesting in April that it was “on hold.” Continue reading Musk Shares Some of His Thoughts with Twitter Employees

Stock Volatility at Twitter and Tesla Roil Musk’s Buyout Plans

Twitter’s tumbling stock price has spectators second-guessing Elon Musk’s motives in demanding more information for the acquisition deal to proceed. The billionaire’s “best and final” offer of $54.20 per share is now looking like a rich deal for Twitter, which has been hovering at about $38 per share. The Twitter board is understandably intent on keeping the $44 billion offer and $1 billion breakup fee in place, even as Musk tweeted ““this deal cannot move forward” until he sees proof of the company’s claim that spam and bots account for less than 5 percent of users. Continue reading Stock Volatility at Twitter and Tesla Roil Musk’s Buyout Plans

Twitter Accepts Musk’s $44 Billion Offer to Acquire Company

Twitter’s board has accepted billionaire Elon Musk’s offer to purchase the social media company for $44 billion, a financial value that reflects his April 14th offer of $54.20 per share. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” said Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, who earlier revealed a desire to make Twitter a private company. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.” Continue reading Twitter Accepts Musk’s $44 Billion Offer to Acquire Company

Twitter Board Attempts to Block Musk as Equity Firms Circle

Twitter is fending-off Elon Musk’s takeover intentions with a poison-pill strategy that will make it much more costly for him to buy the company once his holdings exceed 15 percent. Although the Twitter board has yet to formally respond to Musk’s $43 billion offer of $54.20 per share, it is expected to reject it based on the defensive posture  adopted Friday. The poison-pill plan would be in effect for nearly a year, giving Twitter time to find another buyer. While Musk has not detailed how he would fund his offer, word surfaced Monday that Apollo Global Management is evaluating participation. Continue reading Twitter Board Attempts to Block Musk as Equity Firms Circle

Elon Musk Makes ‘Best and Final’ $43B Offer to Buy Twitter

Less than two weeks after announcing he had built up a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter (and more recently turning down an offer to join its board of directors), billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors Elon Musk has made a cash offer of $54.20 a share to purchase the popular social networking service, valuing the company at about $43 billion. “Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company,” Musk wrote in a letter to Twitter chairman Bret Taylor disclosed in an SEC filing. “My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder. Twitter has extraordinary potential. I will unlock it.” Continue reading Elon Musk Makes ‘Best and Final’ $43B Offer to Buy Twitter

Twitter Will Begin Testing a Controversial Edit Button Feature

Subscribers to the premium Twitter Blue will soon be able to test an edit feature, according to Twitter, which says a tweet edit button has for years been its most-requested UI update. Speculation that the feature would be added has run rampant since Elon Musk, a vocal proponent, announced his significant investment in the company. Following news that Musk will join its board, Twitter revealed that it has been working on such a feature since last year and testing will begin in the coming months. However, the feature is somewhat controversial. Continue reading Twitter Will Begin Testing a Controversial Edit Button Feature

Amazon Investing Billions in Space Race for Satellite Internet

In its bid to offer Internet connectivity via satellite, Amazon’s Project Kuiper has reserved rocket space from three companies for up to 83 launches to carry roughly 3,000 devices into orbit over five years. The move sees the Seattle-based e-commerce giant stepping-up plans to compete with Starlink, the satellite Internet venture Elon Musk developed with SpaceX. Currently enjoying a first-mover advantage, Starlink has launched more than 1,900 satellites while Amazon plans to put its first two prototypes into orbit by the end of the year. Continue reading Amazon Investing Billions in Space Race for Satellite Internet

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Becomes Biggest Twitter Shareholder

Twitter enthusiast Elon Musk revealed he is also a Twitter investor, surprising Wall Street as well as the communications industry with news that he now owns 9 percent of the company’s stock, making him its largest shareholder. As of March 14, his stake stood at 73.5 million shares, valued at $2.9 billion. The revelation sent Twitter stock up 27 percent on Monday, the company’s largest one-day gain on record. The Tesla chief has more than 80 million Twitter followers. The disclosure indicates Musk owns more Twitter shares than the Vanguard Group and company co-founder Jack Dorsey. Continue reading Tesla CEO Elon Musk Becomes Biggest Twitter Shareholder

CES: VisiSonics Showcases New 3D Spatial Audio Solutions

Maryland-based VisiSonics, a 3D spatial audio company, is revealing its licensable hardware and software audio solutions at CES 2022 in Las Vegas this week, booking appointments for one-on-one product demonstrations at its Venetian Resort suite (#3310). “We’ve developed two lines of technology to capture audio with all the directions preserved,” explains chief technology officer and co-founder Adam O’Donovan. “Our 64-microphone array on a sphere to capture audio led to our RealSpace 3D sound engine that allows 3D spatial audio to be personalized.” Continue reading CES: VisiSonics Showcases New 3D Spatial Audio Solutions

Amazon Will Launch Two Kuiper Internet Satellites Next Year

Amazon has announced the fourth quarter of 2022 as the launch date for the first two prototype satellites in its Project Kuiper Internet-from-space enterprise. The retail giant’s move follows SpaceX, which already has almost 2,000 Internet-beaming satellites orbiting at a cost of about $10 billion on behalf of its competing Starlink venture. Amazon says it plans to spend a like amount. In 2019, Amazon shared its goal of deploying 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit. These prototypes will essentially field-test Kuiper’s technology design before Amazon sends its flock of thousands skyward. Continue reading Amazon Will Launch Two Kuiper Internet Satellites Next Year

Money Management Firms Surpass VCs in Funding Startups

In Q2 of this year, large money-management companies including hedge funds, mutual funds, pensions and sovereign-wealth groups became bigger players in Silicon Valley than venture capitalists with regard to startups. According to PitchBook Data, these nontraditional funders took part in 42 percent of startup financing deals, forming more than 75 percent of the invested capital. PitchBook added that, in the first half of 2021, investment in U.S. startups reached $150 billion, more than funding in every year prior to 2020. Continue reading Money Management Firms Surpass VCs in Funding Startups

SpaceX Starlink Internet Slated to Go Live Globally in August

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) has already launched 1,500+ satellites for Elon Musk’s broadband Internet network Starlink that is currently available in about a dozen countries. According to Musk, who spoke at the Mobile World Congress this week, Starlink will be beaming Internet everywhere in the world except polar regions by August. He added that Starlink should have about 500,000 users within the next 12 months and that SpaceX will have invested between $5 billion and $10 billion before cash flow becomes positive. Continue reading SpaceX Starlink Internet Slated to Go Live Globally in August

Rural Broadband Networks Get a Lift with $9.2B FCC Infusion

The Federal Communications Commission has allocated $9.2 billion to build rural broadband networks, which FCC chair Ajit Pai hailed as the biggest commitment to bring Internet services to these poorly served areas. The funding is the result of an auction in which companies such as Windstream Holdings, Charter Communications and SpaceX bid against each other to build the fastest broadband networks at the lowest costs. The 180 companies that won have 10 years to build the networks with incentives to finish sooner. Continue reading Rural Broadband Networks Get a Lift with $9.2B FCC Infusion