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Elon Musk fired half of Twitter employees. And that goes for you too – current events

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Elon Musk has stopped buying Twitter.  The company has already reacted and will sue the mogul if the deal falls through.

What happened?

Twitter announced on Friday that it was laying off “about 50%” of its nearly 7,500 employees worldwide, a week after the platform was acquired by the world’s richest man, Elon Musk.

“About 50% of the workforce will be affected” by layoffs occurring at the California company, according to documents that have reached the press, confirming the intention of the new owner to restructure the company in his image and likeness.

The owner of SpaceX and Tesla, who bought Twitter for $44 billion, has already dissolved the company’s board of directors, fired its CEO and other executives.

Layoffs also began to be reported within a week, but not on this scale. But not only the number of layoffs was surprising, but also how they happened.

Then?

It was a surprise. It all started when thousands of Twitter employees were asked to stay at home after the temporary office closure.

While they were at home, a wave of layoffs followed, and the California company communicated its decision to every employee via email.

“As previously announced, Twitter is cutting its staff to improve the health of the company. These decisions are never easy and we are sorry to write to let you know that your role on Twitter has been affected. Today (Friday) is your last day of work,” reads one message sent to employees.

Before then, however, some workers had already discovered they had been fired, using the platform itself to say goodbye to their co-workers.

“I don’t have a job,” wrote former employee Blake Herzinger, for example, while others reported losing access to company servers and email accounts.

But doesn’t buying mean more money?

Not necessary. It is recalled that Musk refused to buy and was forced to move on by court order, since he already had a preliminary agreement. And to finance the Twitter purchase, Musk heavily borrowed from the company, whose financial health was already fragile, posting significant losses in the first two quarters of the year.

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To complete the purchase, the tycoon took out $13 billion in loans — and here’s the key part — that Twitter would have to pay for, not him.

The billionaire also sold about $15.5 billion worth of Tesla shares and pledged his automaker’s bonds as collateral for other $12.5 billion in loans.

Overall, the layoffs will mean a savings of $400 million a year, the company confirmed today. Therefore, it was also mentioned in the firing letters that Twitter was going through an “incredibly difficult” moment. “We understand that this will affect many of the people who have made valuable contributions to the development of Twitter, but unfortunately this action is necessary to ensure the company’s future success.”

And now?

Times do seem “incredibly challenging” for Twitter, partly because of the current situation, partly because Musk immediately began making changes to the company.

It’s just that even before the purchase, Musk was making promises to make Twitter a social network with more freedom of speech, which, given the current scenario of political polarization, especially in the US, seemed to mean less control over speech, inflammatory or even hateful.

In addition, Musk offered to restore blocked accounts, for example, former US President Donald Trump – we recall that the Republican magnate was ousted shortly after his supporters invaded the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Musk immediately said that he would form a committee to evaluate future Twitter usage policies, especially with respect to content moderation and the aforementioned reinstatement of suspended accounts. Coincidence or not, when making a purchase observed burst of publications using sexist or racist language.

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In addition, the need to quickly obtain funding to close the social network’s financial hole has led Musk to run into proposals that are poorly received by a significant percentage of users. Most controversial is the possible launch of an eight-dollar-a-month subscription for users who want to verify their account, among other perks.

What is the problem?

Twitter’s current identity verification system is free – to get the blue badge next to your name, you need to verify your identity to the social network’s team.

However, this service is only available to public figures whose identity must be protected, from politicians, doctors, researchers and journalists to artists and celebrities. In essence, it is, for example, a way for anyone to create an account while pretending to be the President of the United States.

Where does it affect me?

Musk resorted to the argument that this system, on the one hand, creates an “elite” in the Twitter community, and on the other hand, allows the spread of bots and fake accounts, claiming that he encourages the average user with this subscription. continue checking. But your solution could create even more problems.

As Vox explains in this article, the proposed new verification system only requires payment, not requiring identity verification. So eventually anyone can impersonate someone else if they pay eight dollars a month.

Compounding the problem, this new system also ensures that those who subscribe to a subscription are prioritized in search—that is, their tweets appear before tweets from unverified accounts—and in replies in threads that are typically generated between conversations.

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this is cocktail this could mean, at worst, spreading fake accounts spreading misinformation pretending to be real due to the verification system, or, at best, creating a system just as unequal to the existing one, only promoting unscrupulous users who pay for the privilege.

In any case, even if you don’t have a Twitter account, it can affect your life in more unpredictable ways than you might think, as most political communication is done through this platform these days – and that’s where a lot of the news starts. Suffice it to recall the influence that Donald Trump had during the period when he still had an account on this social network.

And these changes can be counterproductive, even financially.

Because?

Faced with this combination of increased hate speech on the platform, with the possibility that a new verification system could completely change the dynamic on the platform, major companies such as General Motors and Volkswagen have suspended their Twitter ads.

Ads are Twitter’s main source of income, and Musk is trying to reassure people by making sure the platform doesn’t become “everybody’s hell.”

But today, set a new goal, criticizing “activist groups who are putting pressure on advertisers even though nothing has changed regarding content moderation and that we have done our best to appease them,” he tweeted today. “This is really crazy! They are trying to destroy free speech in the United States,” he added.

While chaos promises to continue to rage on Twitter, users are already turning to other social networks: Mastodon, for example, has grown to 655,000 users this week..

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Economy

Apple is preparing a strategy to transfer production from China

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Ilustração Apple na china

Apple is one of the largest companies using factories in China to manufacture its products. However, the American giant is looking to diversify its supply chain even more, given the global situation in China, both in terms of public health and government policy.

The production of the top models of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max has been hit hard by problems at the factories in connection with the measures of the Chinese authorities to combat Covid-19.

Protests are raging in China the likes of which have not been seen in more than 30 years. The zero tolerance policy in the context of the pandemic has caused serious discontent and upheaval in society.

These demonstrations, protests and clashes with the authorities spilled over into factories and the market in general. Beijing, after tightening measures, has already shown that it may have to change its policy regarding the fight against the pandemic.

Apple begins to look to the future outside of China

In recent weeks, Apple has accelerated plans to move some of its production out of China, the dominant country in the supply chain that has created the most valuable company in the world, according to information from people involved in these processes.

The Cupertino-based company has begun asking its suppliers to more actively plan to assemble Apple products in other Asian countries, especially India and Vietnam.

according to InformationApple wants to reduce dependence on Taiwanese factories led by the Foxconn Technology group.

Riots in a place called iPhone City spurred Apple's move. In the giant city of Zhengzhou, China, about 300,000 workers work at Foxconn's iPhone and other Apple products factory.

At one point, the device accounted for 85% of the iPhone Pro lineup, according to analytics firm Counterpoint Research.

The Zhengzhou plant was the scene of violent protests last November. As we can see in the video above, the workers complained about harassment by the authorities to implement a zero tolerance measure to combat the pandemic.

After a year of events that have undermined China's status as a stable manufacturing hub, the unrest means Apple is no longer comfortable with so much of its business tied up in one place, analysts say.

iPhone 14 Pro sales may suffer due to low production

Apple released the iPhone 14 and its sales continued to have a big impact, even breaking records during a volatile time in the smartphone market.

According to Ming-Chi KuoApple's market analyst said fourth-quarter iPhone shipments were about 10 million units below market forecasts made before the Zhengzhou protests.

The high-end iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models were particularly hard hit, according to the analyst.

There were protests in Beijing last week against the strict measures against Covid.

Apple and China have enjoyed a relationship for decades that has so far been mostly mutually beneficial. Change won't happen overnight. Apple continues to release new iPhone models every year and also constantly upgrades its iPads, laptops, and other products.

Basically, Tim Cook will have to keep flying the plane by changing the engine.

So if current events warrant thought, Kuo says the Cupertino-based company's goal would be to move 40% to 45% of its iPhone production from China to India. In addition, Vietnam will be able to increase production of other Apple products such as AirPods, Apple Watch and Macbook.

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Economy

BMW suspension recharges battery in bad ground

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Suspensão da BMW recarrega bateria quando há mau piso

BMW creates something new! It is true that the electric vehicle segment has been innovative, but there is certainly much more to be discovered and improved. In the field of vehicle autonomy, research is still focused on batteries, but there may be mechanisms to recharge the battery while vehicles are in motion.

BMW is developing a suspension that can generate energy in the face of uneven road conditions and thereby recharge the battery.

The BMW suspension is actuated and generates energy that is used to recharge the battery.

Electricity is critical to driving electric vehicles. In addition to the energy stored in batteries, which provide a certain amount of autonomy, it would be interesting if the vehicles themselves generate energy while driving. It is in this sense that BMW is working on a solution in which the suspension is used as energy generating equipment.

In practice, when the suspension works to smooth out uneven floors, energy is generated and stored in the battery.

BMW suspension recharges battery in bad ground

This BMW suspension, as far as we know, will be used exclusively in electric vehicles. There is no word yet on when it will become part of the German brand's electric model.

It should be noted that traditionally, the energy of the vehicle's wheels moving over irregularities is absorbed by the spring suspension elements, and then this energy is dissipated in the form of heat by shock absorbers. The job of shock absorbers, as the name suggests, is to dampen the shock, resulting in a smoother ride.

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Economy

Fuel prices won’t drop next week! I know why…

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Fuel prices won't drop next week!  I know why...

Every week, the Portuguese live in anticipation of whether fuel prices will rise or fall.

Last Friday there was the first information that the cost of fuel will continue to fall … and will! However, there is a variable that will rise and possibly offset lower gasoline and diesel prices. Find out what has changed since then.

Fuel: ISP discount will be reduced...

The price of fuel will not fall at the beginning of the week because the government has decided to cut the discount that applies to the tax on petroleum products (ISP), according to Porto Canal.

Tax on petroleum products (NPT) is one of the excise taxes provided by law. It applies to gasoline and diesel as well as other products, oil and energy, hydrocarbons and electricity.

The tax will be reduced by 3.9 cents per liter of diesel fuel and 2.4 cents per liter of gasoline. The decision should cancel forecasts for falling fuel prices next week, which indicated minus 3 cents for diesel and minus 1 cent for gasoline.

The price of diesel fuel may remain unchanged, but gasoline should rise in price by 1.5 cents from Monday. Diesel falls seven weeks in a row, and gasoline a month.

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