Category Archives: Elon Musk

Twitter’s Community Notes Feature Starts Rolling Out



Twitter has begun rolling out Community Notes to all of its users globally, the company announced on Saturday, Engadget reported. Previously known as Birdwatch, the feature first debuted in 2021 under former CEO Jack Dorsey as a means for the social media to combat misinformation.

According to Engadget, Community Notes takes a crowd-sourced approach to debunking misleading tweets. Moderators who are part of the program can append notes to tweets to add “context.” Regular users can then vote on whether they find the context “helpful.” Before today, only individuals in the US could see the notes. Twitter says it will start adding contributors from other regions soon.

Engadget also reported that Elon Musk has positioned Community Notes as a critical element of his “Twitter 2.0 vision, claiming that the feature will be “a game changer for improving accuracy of Twitter.” However, as Engadget reported, as with any crowd-sourced feature, there’s the potential for Community Notes to backfire if groups use the tool to promote partisan views.

iPhone In Canada reported how Twitter described the feature. “Community Notes aims to create a better informed world by empowering people on Twitter to collaboratively add context to potentially misleading Tweets.” Twitter explained this on a Help Center page for the feature.

According to iPhone in Canada, Twitter also stated: “Contributors can leave notes on any Tweet and if enough contributors from different points of view rate that note as helpful, the note will be publicly shown on a Tweet.” The Community Notes Twitter account tweeted: “People everywhere can now see and rate notes, helping to ensure notes are helpful to those from a wide range of views”

Social Media Today reported that the idea for Community Notes is that by leaving it to the Twitter community to provide notes on tweets, that will enable Twitter to take a more hands-off approach to moderation. It won’t be Twitter’s own team that needs to dictate the rules, as such, but ‘the people’ will get to decide on what is and is not acceptable, via crowdsourced notes.

According to Social Media Today, Elon Musk said that Community Notes “will have a powerful impact on falsehoods’ in the app, because it will enable a broad range of inputs to rate the accuracy and truth of statements made within tweets, which will also, at least theoretically, remove political bias, which Musk believes has corrupted Twitter’s moderation efforts in the past. Social Media Today compared Community Notes was similar to Reddit’s up and downvotes.

Personally, I think Community Notes will become nothing more than a battleground between people who hold extremely opposing views about various topics. Each side is going to push their own narrative. I have concerns about how Community Notes will function during election cycles.


Tesla’s ‘Full Self-Driving” Beta Is Now Available



Teslarati reported that an increasing number of Tesla owners who purchased the Full Self-Driving suite for their vehicles have reported receiving access to FSD Beta. This was despite some of the owners claiming that their cars have garnered less than 100 Autopilot miles and that their Safety Score was less than 80.

According to Teslarati, some Tesla owners remarked that even vehicles that are not used much, or cars that have a safety score below 80, have received FSD Beta 10.69.3.1. This included a driver who regularly drives his race-spec Model 3 Performance on the track, and whose safety score is at a modest 62. A number of Tesla owners who bought FSD several years ago also reported receiving the update recently.

The Verge reported. Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” Beta, which as been gradually rolling out over the past couple of years, is now available to anyone who’s paid for the feature in North America, CEO Elon Musk has announced.

Elon Musk tweeted: “Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to anyone in North America who requests it from the car screen, assuming you have bought this option. Congrats to Tesla Autopilot/AI team on achieving a major milestone!”

According to The Verge, the rollout of the beta software kicked off in 2020 with a small number of customers and has since gradually expanded to be available to around 160,000 drivers as of October this year. Getting access to the beta has typically required that drivers hit a minimum safety threshold with Tesla’s built-in Safety Score feature as well as logging 100 miles using the company’s advanced driver-assist feature Autopilot.

The Verge also reported that Tesla’s driver-assist technology, not to mention the company’s marketing of it, are facing heavy scrutiny from regulators. The US’s National Highway Traffic Administration is investigating incidents of Tesla vehicles crashing into stationary emergency vehicles while using Autopilot.

CNBC previously reported that the Department of Justice has launched an undisclosed probe of Tesla last year following more than a dozen crashes, some of them fatal, involving Tesla’s driver assistance system Autopilot, which was activated during the accidents.

The Los Angeles Times previously reported that the California Department of Motor Vehicles has accused Tesla of false advertising in its promotion of the company’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technologies. The agency alleges the electric-car maker misled customers with advertising language on its website describing Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technologies as more capable than they actually are.

Engadget reported that Tesla first promised to launch full self-driving features in 2018, but they only finally appeared in July 2021 to a small number of “expert and careful drivers.” It was released more widely in the version 9.0 beta, but testers were limited to an early access program. On the last FSD release, Tesla dropped the requirement for at least 100 Autopilot miles and an 80 safety score, and now anyone who wants it can have it.

In my opinion, any company facing that many probes by governmental regulators should be extremely wary about what it chooses to do. It appears that Elon Musk is more interested in starting the beta test than he is concerned about consumer safety. That’s unfortunate, and could potentially result in legal problems.


SpaceX And T-Mobile Team Up To “End Mobile Dead Zones”



SpaceX founder Elon Musk and T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said their companies are working to “end mobile dead zones,” and will launch a new mobile service enabled by Starlink second-generation satellites and T-Mobile bandwidth, CNBC reported.

According to CNBC, Starlink is comprised of a network of satellites that SpaceX has launched into low Earth orbit, and designed to deliver high-speed internet in remote locations across the globe. SpaceX has launched more than 2,700 satellites to support this network.

Elon Musk tweeted: “Starlink V2, launching next year, will transmit direct to mobile phones, eliminating dead zones worldwide.”

CNBC reported about what T-Mobile users will be able to do with Starlink:

T-Mobile users will be able to use messaging, MMS and certain messaging apps, from remote places across the lower 48 states, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Hawaii and even some remote points in the water.

Eventually, the service will work with voice, Sievert said. T-Mobile plans to include the service in its most popular mobile plans but did not disclose specific pricing.

Musk said the service will work with Starlink’s second generation satellites, which have very large antennae and will be able to transmit directly to a cell or mobile phone.

The service won’t require mobile users to get a new phone. Musk said in or after a natural disaster, even if all the cell towers are taken out, the planned service should work.

The Wall Street Journal reported that SpaceX and T-Mobile said that the new service will use Starlink satellites that SpaceX plans to launch and provide connections to U.S. consumers using wireless spectrum controlled by T-Mobile. The companies said they plan to start with a test of text-messaging services in select markets before the end of 2023.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the new service will use Starlink satellites as cellular towers and transmit directly back to devices on the ground. T-Mobile will set aside a slice of its midband spectrum for these connections. It will use the airwave frequencies in a way that can also be used on its ground-based network.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that some competing satellite operators have raised concerns about the size of that fleet or have said they oppose it. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a SpaceX customer, has registered worries that the satellites could cause more collisions in orbit.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Federal Communications Commission (FTC) would need to sign off on SpaceX’s use of the T-Mobile spectrum. And would need to also secure additional permission from the agency.

Overall, I think it would be a good idea to find a way to make it easier – and less expensive – for people in rural areas to access the internet and/or use their smartphones more efficiently. I’m not sure that Starlink is the right solution, considering the potential veto from regulators.

ArsTechnica reported that the V2 satellites are too large for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket’s payload fairing, which is 5 meters across. The full-size Starlink V2 satellites will need to wait for the much larger Starship rocket to come online.


Elon Musk Sells $7.92 Million Tesla Shares Worth $6.88 Billion



How are things going with the Twitter – Musk lawsuit, that is scheduled for October of 2022? Signs point to it not going very well for Elon Musk, who wants to terminate his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter.

CNBC reported that Tesla CEO Elon Musk sold 7.92 million shares of Tesla worth around $6.88 billion, according to a series of financial filings published Tuesday night. According to CNBC, Musk’s transactions occurred between Aug. 5 and 9, the SEC filings revealed, following Tesla’s 2022 annual shareholder meeting on August 4 in Austin, Texas.

The centi-billionaire is in the midst of a contentious legal battle with Twitter, the social networking giant he agreed to acquire in April for about $44 billion or $54.20 per share, CNBC reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported the Tesla boss has been on a selling spree over the past year, during which he has cashed out roughly $32 billion worth of shares in the electric-vehicle maker. That includes around $8.5 billion of sales in April, while Mr. Musk was lining up to take over Twitter. At the time, he tweeted: “No further TSLA sales planned after today.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Musk has since tried to walk away from buying Twitter, which is suing him to enforce the takeover. If the judge were to force Mr. Musk to consummate the transaction, he could be on the hook for more than $33 billion in equity financing, according to a regulatory filing. He already owns 9% of Twitter, valued at roughly $3 billion at $54.20 a share, Mr. Musk’s buyout price.

If the Twitter deal doesn’t close, Mr. Musk would buy Tesla stock again, he said. He also suggested he might set up his own social media platform – X.com – if the deal falls through. He said before agreeing to buy Twitter that he was “giving serious thought” to such an endeavor, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In March, Reuters reported that Elon Musk was giving “serious thought” to build new social media platform. This was in response to a Twitter user’s question on whether he would consider building a social media platform consisting of an open source algorithm and one that would prioritize free speech, and where propaganda was minimal.

Reuter’s also reported that none of the other social media companies, including Donald Trump’s Truth Social, Twitter competitors Gettr and Parler and video site Rumble have come close to matching the reach and popularity of the mainstream platforms so far.

If I had to guess, I would say that the judge who is presiding over the Twitter-Musk lawsuit is going to force Elon Musk to consummate the transaction to buy Twitter. If that happens, I expect there will be dramatic changes to how Twitter functions, and who it attracts.

However, if Musk’s lawyers can make a convincing case that causes the judge to allow him to opt-out of the transaction to buy Twitter – I suppose that would leave Mr. Musk open to starting his own social media company.


Elon Musk Wants to Make Twitter Private



Twitter logoElon Musk has offered to take Twitter Inc. private in a deal valued at $43 billion, lambasting company management and saying he’s the person who can unlock the “extraordinary potential” of a communication platform used daily by more than 200 million people, Bloomberg reported.

According to Bloomberg, Elon Musk said he will pay $54.20 per share in cash, 38% above the price on April 1, the last trading day before Musk went public with his stake. Twitter’s company shares were “little changed” at $45.81 on Thursday, “a sign there’s skepticism that one of the platform’s most outspoken users will succeed in his takeover attempt.”

The Guardian reported that the $54.20 offer price includes the number 420, in what appears to be a reference to the number used as code for cannabis. The Guardian also noted that in 2018, when Elon Musk offered to take Tesla private he offered to buy the shares he did not already own for $420 a share.

I’m starting to wonder if Elon Musk sees this as a big joke. It is difficult to take someone seriously after they have used the number 420 in not one, but two, attempts to make a company private.

In a press release on PR Newswire, Twitter Inc. confirmed it has received an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from Elon Musk to acquire all of the Company’s outstanding common stock for $54.20 per share in cash. The press release also states: “The Twitter Board of Directors will carefully review the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of the Company and all Twitter stockholders.”

To me, that sounds like corporate speak for, “We aren’t interested in this offer”.

This explains why I saw the word “Censorship” in the “What’s Happening” section of Twitter earlier today. It included a wide variety of tweets about censorship – from banned books to the idea of Twitter never blocking, labeling, or suspending accounts ever again.

Personally, I don’t think Twitter Inc. is going to accept Elon Musk’s offer. But if it does, and Elon Musk gets to make the changes he wants to make, there are other options for social media. I recommend Mastodon, especially if you take the time to find an instance that fits you.


Did Elon Musk Smoking Weed Cloud his Judgement?



WeedEver since I saw Elon Musk smoking weed on the Joe Rogan show I began to wonder if his judgment was impaired when he made the famous let’s take Tesla Private tweet that has him in hot water with the SEC. While I do not partake in smoking weed, I really do not care who does or does not that is a personal choice. So far as Musk goes no one will likely ever know, but I think if I sat on the board of directors of Tesla I would be asking him if he had partaked behind closed doors.

Let’s Party

I personally like to have an adult beverage from time to time, and I learned a long time ago that after a few beers it’s not a good idea to sit down at the keyboard or start posting anything on social media. I think we have all done a stupid thing or two when we have had a few cocktails. But in the digital world once something is out there it’s out there. For all, I know Elon Musk was sober at the time of his tweet but I really wonder. Pure speculation on my part but in a recent video of him In my opinion, he looked baked.

My Opinion

Again these are my opinions and I have no proof except for observation of what I have seen on the public airwaves. A small word of advice to any of you out there stay off social when you have been drinking, are drinking and finished drinking. Don’t make calls to old flames and for gosh sakes get an Uber or Lyft if you’re away from your home. So what say you? Do you think Elon Musk was baked when he made the famous tweet that could cost him his company and the ability to run a public company ever again?

Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash