Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 2

All the latest Business, Financial & Legal news as it relates to tech, gaming, and science - Page 2.

20-year Google veteran responds to getting fired unexpectedly over an email

Jak Connor | Jan 24, 2023 3:05 AM CST

A Google engineer that began working at the company in 2003 has described his firing as a "slap in the face" after he discovered an email informing him he was laid off.

The now-former Google engineer is named Jeremy Joslin, who took to Twitter last Friday to announce that he had been informed of his firing via an unexpected email and that it's hard for him to believe that he was laid off via email after spending 20 years at the company. Notably, Joslin says that he isn't sure what kind of criteria Google used to determine who got laid off and who didn't, but before his firing, he said he never had the sense that his job was in jeopardy.

Joslin took to his LinkedIn profile to write, "I never thought it would happen like this". Joslin's firing came after Google announced it was laying off 12,000 employees, or approximately 6% of its global workforce. These layoffs were announced on Friday and covered many areas of Alphabet's empire, Google's parent company. According to Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the layoffs will be "across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions," and that the reason behind them is the company hired too many people far too quickly, leading to it being an "economic reality" that some had to go.

Continue reading: 20-year Google veteran responds to getting fired unexpectedly over an email (full post)

Meta responds to Trump's plea to reinstate his Facebook account

Jak Connor | Jan 20, 2023 5:01 AM CST

Former United States President Donald Trump has asked Meta to reinstate his Facebook account as he prepares to ramp up his 2024 presidential campaign.

Meta responds to Trump's plea to reinstate his Facebook account 26

NBC News has reported it has reviewed a copy of a letter sent to Meta by Trump's campaign that urged Meta to reconsider its decision to ban Trump's account following the January 6 insurrection. Trump's campaign didn't announce a lawsuit against the company but instead explained it believes that the ban on Trump's Facebook account has "dramatically distorted and inhibited the public discourse". Additionally, Trump's team called for a meeting to be organized with meta to "discuss President Trump's prompt reinstatement to the platform."

A Meta spokesperson declined to comment on the matter besides saying the company "will announce a decision in the coming weeks in line with the process we laid out." For those that don't remember, both Facebook and Twitter banned Trump from their platforms the day after the January 6 insurrection, with Facebook banning the former president over inciting violence and breaking the platform's terms of service. Notably, Facebook's ban was only a provisional suspension and would come up for review after two years - starting January 7, 2023, hence the recent letter from Trump's team.

Continue reading: Meta responds to Trump's plea to reinstate his Facebook account (full post)

BBC says its sorry for playing pornographic sounds during live football coverage

Jak Connor | Jan 18, 2023 7:31 AM CST

The BBC has come out and publicly apologized for accidentally playing pornographic sounds while conducting its live coverage of the FA Cup football match. The publication says it was the victim of a prank.

The prank involved a mobile phone playing pornographic sounds loudly over the air while host Gary Lineker was chatting about the game. In the above video, you can see the pranksters communicating with what seems like to be an inside man that stuck the mobile phone to the back of the set. While the host is chatting away, the prankster proceeds to call the phone at the set, engaging its ringtone, which was pornographic sounds. The phone was called multiple times, and each time it was clearly heard over the broadcast.

Notably, the prank occurred just before kick-off in the third-round replay fixture between the Wolves and Liverpool. As the sounds started to be heard, Lineker looked somewhat startled by what he was hearing, resulting in him looking around briefly and continuing with what he was saying. As the sounds continued, the host tried not to laugh at what he was hearing, eventually saying he thinks someone is sending something to someone's phone and that he doesn't know if the sounds were heard by viewers at home.

Continue reading: BBC says its sorry for playing pornographic sounds during live football coverage (full post)

Elon Musk will soon need to pay a $1.5 billion debt as Twitter nose dives

Jak Connor | Jan 18, 2023 6:02 AM CST

Elon Musk acquired Twitter back in late October for a hefty $44 billion, and now the SpaceX and Tesla CEO is facing his first bill that is said to be due at the end of the month.

Elon Musk will soon need to pay a $1.5 billion debt as Twitter nose dives 01

Musk received financing for the $44 billion acquisition of Twitter through several banks such as Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and Mitsubishi. Now, the first installment of interest payments related to the $13 billion of debt Musk used to complete his takeover is about to be due, with reports stating that the Tesla CEO will need to pay $1.5 billion in annual interest payments. Notably, this $13 billion in debt acquired from the aforementioned banks is held by Twitter, not Musk personally.

However, Musk made a personal investment in Twitter, with Musk's equity in the company amounting to $26 billion. In the event of Twitter declaring bankruptcy, Musk's $26 billion position will be completely wiped out. Since the SpaceX CEO took over the company, he has been rushing to stop Twitter from hemorrhaging money, with the new CEO proceeding to cut costs wherever he can. More than half of the staff that was at Twitter prior to Musk's takeover have been fired, and the entire company has experienced a complete reshuffling.

Continue reading: Elon Musk will soon need to pay a $1.5 billion debt as Twitter nose dives (full post)

Twitter wants advertisers back so bad that it's giving away $250,000

Jak Connor | Jan 17, 2023 7:33 AM CST

Since Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter, the world's second-largest social media platform, has taken a hit in terms of advertising spending, with many previously big advertisers cutting their spending or stopping it altogether.

Twitter wants advertisers back so bad that it's giving away $250,000 01

Elon Musk took the reins at Twitter in late October last year, and since then, the Tesla CEO has been moving fast and breaking something along the way. This strategy by Musk has pushed out the release of several new features on Twitter, such as Twitter Blue, but with fast development comes problems that need to be fixed.

One main problem is the loss of major advertisers that Twitter counts on for revenue. Notably, GroupM, the world's largest ad-buying company, has cut its spending on Twitter by anywhere between 40% and 50%, leading Twitter executives to become more and more desperate for fresh advertising revenue.

Continue reading: Twitter wants advertisers back so bad that it's giving away $250,000 (full post)

Elon Musk proposes new feature that'll fix Twitter's political echo chambers

Jak Connor | Jan 17, 2023 6:02 AM CST

Elon Musk has taken to his Twitter account to propose a fix for "left-wing" and "right-wing" echo chambers on Twitter in the form of a new feature.

Elon Musk proposes new feature that'll fix Twitter's political echo chambers 03

The SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter CEO took to his personal Twitter account to reply to an individual that claimed Twitter is showing or more actively promoting more "right-wing" views to timelines. Musk said that people on the "right" of the political sphere should be shown more "left-wing stuff," and the people on the left should see more "right-wing stuff".

Musk goes on and says that users "can just block it" if they want to stay in an "echo chamber", which is when a group of people form and echo the same opinions on topics while also dismissing any new information that goes against their already formed narrative. Notably, these tweets from Musk come after the SpaceX CEO updated his Twitter bio to "state-affiliated media," following his statements that media accounts should have a "state-affiliated media" label like China Global Television Network's account.

Continue reading: Elon Musk proposes new feature that'll fix Twitter's political echo chambers (full post)

Court rules that Elon Musk will stand his ground in California

Jak Connor | Jan 16, 2023 8:31 AM CST

Elon Musk's upcoming civil trial will take place in San Francisco after a judge denied Musk's request to move it to Texas.

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A new report from Bloomberg states that a federal judge has denied the request from Elon Musk's legal team to move the billionaire's upcoming civil trial to Texas on the grounds that a "substantial portion" of the jury pool is likely to hold a bias towards Musk due to the ongoing layoffs at the newly acquired Twitter.

The class action lawsuit accuses Musk of manipulating Tesla stock with his infamous 2018 tweet where he wrote that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private, resulting in Tesla's stock price increasing dramatically and then eventually recorrecting in the same fashion.

Continue reading: Court rules that Elon Musk will stand his ground in California (full post)

AI lawyers are helping defendants fight speeding tickets in court, for real

Kosta Andreadis | Jan 12, 2023 8:58 PM CST

We're one step closer to a Futurama-style world where courtrooms will be populated by humanoid defendants with robot lawyers pleading their case to either a robot or alien judge. Welcome to the age of AI legal assistance.

Legal advice startup DoNotPay is reporting that AI will be helping two defendants dispute speeding tickets. The AI legal assistants will communicate to the defendants via an earpiece to let them know what to say and when. One case will be litigated over zoom with the other in an actual courtroom.

Continue reading: AI lawyers are helping defendants fight speeding tickets in court, for real (full post)

Bill Gates responds to owning the most farmland in the United States

Jak Connor | Jan 12, 2023 8:04 AM CST

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and one of the world's richest individuals, has responded to the skepticism around his motivation to buy up large portions of farmland across the United States.

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Gates, being very well known for his creation of Microsoft, is now earning himself new titles, such as the biggest private landowner in the US, according to the 2022 edition of the Land Report 100. Notably, the report found that Gates owns about 275,000 acres of farmland across the US. Additionally, the US Department of Agriculture found in a 2022 report there were about 895.3 million acres of farmland throughout the US in 2021.

The Microsoft founder was asked in his annual Reddit AMA why he is purchasing so much farmland and if he thinks it's a problem that billionaire wealth enables them to acquire disproportionally. Gates responded to the question and said he owns less than 1/4000 of the total farmland in the US and that his investment in them is founded on the motivation to make them more productive. Gates added that there "isn't a grand scheme involved" and that all of the investments are being handled by a professional investment team.

Continue reading: Bill Gates responds to owning the most farmland in the United States (full post)

Elon Musk enters Guinness World Records for largest loss of fortune in history

Jak Connor | Jan 12, 2023 6:31 AM CST

Elon Musk has broken the world record for the largest loss of personal fortune in history, according to Guinness World Records.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk

The renowned world record authority took to its website to announce Musk has lost approximately $182 billion since November 2021, with the report citing an estimate by Forbes, which seemed to have provided a lower estimate of Musk's total loss as Bloomberg reports it could be as much as $200 billion. From Bloomberg's estimation, it would mean Musk lost 57% between November 2021 and now, which would mean his net worth high dropped from its high of $320 billion in November to $138 billion by this month.

Notably, Guinness states that the exact figure would be impossible to ascertain due to constant market fluctuation. Regardless of specifics, Musk has broken the previous world record for most personal loss, which was set by Korean-Japanese tech investor and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son in 2000 at $58.6 billion. Musk took a major hit to his net worth through 2022 when Tesla stock, what the majority of his wealth is tied up in, dropped by 65%.

Continue reading: Elon Musk enters Guinness World Records for largest loss of fortune in history (full post)

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