🏠 Elon v. Iceland
Gm. Ok who wants to go to Iceland?
Monday’s poll had some very strong opinions.
“Tech sector has already laid off a ton of people. Banning TikTok would put thousands more out of work when jobs are not available.” True, maybe it’s better the devil we know (TikTok) than the devil we don’t (unknown amount of layoffs).
“It seems that they want to be banned because it takes data from the users and sends it to Chinese servers, but Meta, Twitter, and any social network does the same but instead of sending it to Chinese servers it remains in the US to be used to gain profit from your data. Ironic indeed 🤦🏻♂️”. I did hear Mark Zuckerberg sold Facebook’s “poke” data for billions.
“No, I just started spending money on TikTok to promote my startup.” We feel you. It’s probably time to start promoting on YouTube and Instagram too to avoid platform risk.
Alright onto today’s question.
Will Elon's Twitter become profitable?
Looking at three startups that just raised. Congrats!
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Elon v. Iceland
I’m usually on team Elon, but he got himself into a strange situation this week.
Haraldur Thorleifsson, yes real name, tweeted at Elon that he’s not sure if he’s an employee anymore. His access was cut 9 days ago.
The two of then bickered with Elon asking him what work he was doing and Haraldur repeatedly saying he was locked out of his laptop and can’t provide any screenshots.
It was an entertaining exchange I’m not gonna lie.
The kicker is _____
What’s funny is Haraldur probably wasn’t begging for his job back.
If he was in fact fired from Twitter, he would receive a major payout because he was the founder a company previously acquired by Twitter.
Hence it seems like he was just checking to see where he stands.
But Musk is calling BS.
“He has a prominent, active Twitter account and is wealthy. The reason he confronted me in public was to get a big payout,” Musk declared.
“From what I’ve been told, he’s done almost no work for the past four months, middle-management or otherwise. Despite his claims on Twitter that he did work, it turns out he told HR that he couldn’t work because he couldn’t type, but was, over the same period, typing up a storm on Twitter. Yet there are many people on Twitter defending him. This hurts my faith in humanity.”
Who is this Haraldur guy?
Well, surprisingly he’s not a Viking.
Also surprisingly, he built 1,500 wheelchair ramps in Iceland. The dude has won multiple Person of the Year awards from Icelandic media outlets.
After he sold his company Ueno to Twitter, he chose to be paid the sale price as wages (instead of the typical lump payment which would lower the tax rate). Instead he chose to pay the higher rate because of all the benefits he’s receive from the Icelandic social system.
Yesterday, Haraldur posted a video of a kid beating up a donkey and the donkey taking revenge. I’ll let you figure out the double meaning.
Solar What Now?
It’s now pretty widely accepted that climate change is a big problemo. I’m not going to spend any time here illustrating the consequences of climate failure, but it’s suffice to say it won’t be pretty.
As is usually the case when there is an existential threat, people are turning to technology and science, and climate tech is now one of the hottest fields in all of tech.
You probably know the usual suspects: CO2 capture, renewable energy, nuclear fusion, etc.
Those are all great, but it is actually solar geoengineering that has the most potential to cool the planet in the short term.
Ok, what the heck is solar geoengineering?
So, you know how the Earth gets cooler for a few years after a huge volcano eruption because the smog blocks out sunlight?
Solar geoengineering is that, but man-made. It’s a group of technology that aims to cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back into space.
If you’re thinking “this sounds stupid and very dangerous”, you’re not alone. Nobody knows how the tech would actually work. It could be awesome, or it could turn out like Operation Dark Storm in The Matrix.
Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures
Although we don’t know if this crazy-ass idea would actually work, we do know that, in theory, it’s our best chance to quickly cool the planet.
Blocking out just two percent of sunlight would be enough to make global warming a thing of the past.
Which is why the UN is urging that solar geoengineering be studied ASAP.
Let’s hope that it’s deemed safe, and that I can still catch a tan in a solar-geoengineered world.
Stat: $11 million: How much money was stolen in 2022 via AI imposter voice scams. Some people really just have no shame.
Story we're watching: Twitter was bugging out on Monday, and now we know why. It turns out there’s only a single engineer responsible for keeping the API up and running. We all praised Elon for trimming Twitter’s fat, but whether he’s able to keep Twitter running smoothly with the reduced staff is still up in the air.
Rabbit hole: A Privacy’s Hero Final Wish: An Institute To Redirect AI’s Future (Wired)
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON
Google is getting closer to developing its 1,000-language AI model.
AI is getting very good at detecting breast cancer.
Microsoft released a new AI assistant.
Tesla has cut prices…again.
THREE LIES AND A HEADLINE
News is so weird these days. Three of these headline are fake stories from The Onion while one is actually true. Can you spot the truth amongst the fakes?
A. AI Chatbot Tries To Wind Down Conversation With Boring Human
B. City Finally Safe After Every Resident Hired As Police
C. Doomsday Prepper Hoards Chilli Gift Cards
D. I Am Mourning The Loss Of Something I Loved: McNuggets
Notable layoffs this week
SiriusXM: 475 people (8%)
Atlassian: 500 people
Shopee: 750 people (12.5%)
The best resources we came across this weekend that will help you become a better founder, builder, or investor.
🤝 I read a great piece called How I Network Without Losing My Soul by Valerie Zhang. Recommended for all who don’t want to lose their soul.
🏋️♀️ If you feel bad missing the gym grind because you’re grinding at work too hard, check out this piece by Jared Dillian.
🧬 Want to stay on top of new tech? Check out the MIT Technology Review.
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3 Lies Answer: