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Friday, June 9th, 2023
1. Meta's Response to Twitter is to Build Another App We Shouldn't Use
Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, has revealed its plan to launch a Twitter competitor as a stand-alone app. Clearly, what the world needs right now is more ways to waste time and argue with strangers online. During an all-hands meeting, Chief Product Officer Chris Cox told employees that Meta has heard from creators and public figures who want a "sanely run" platform. No one is in a better position than Meta to build a sane platform given their impeccable track record in managing controversies and privacy issues. The company is in talks to have Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama commit to using the app, and they're hoping to launch it soon. Okay, but Oprah sounds cool, this is very "of the people" of her.
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2. Carvana's 56% One-Day Gain: A Short Squeeze for the Ages
Carvana, the online car retailer, has had a banner day, as its stock surged 56% on Thursday after the company updated its outlook. But don't get too excited, because Carvana is heavily shorted, meaning investors believe the stock will go down. When it rises on the heels of a headline, investors who are shorting the stock, are forced to cover their positions by buying the stock at the higher price. It's like putting $100 on red at a seedy, Vegas roulette table and the ball lands on black; you placed the wrong bet so you have to pay up. This creates what's called a short squeeze, which is basically a fancy finance term for when you know what starts hitting the fan. This buying pressure, combined with the limited supply of available shares, can lead to a sharp upward price movement, causing further panic among short-sellers who need to exit their positions. We all remember the Gamestop and AMC meme stocks, don't we?
3. Mercedes-Benz's Hands-Free, Eyes-Off Driving System: A Game-Changer for the Self-Absorbed
Mercedes-Benz has achieved a remarkable feat. They are the first company to receive a permit from California regulators that lets them sell or lease vehicles equipped with a conditional automated driving system that allows for hands-off, eyes-off driving on certain highways. This groundbreaking technology is a game-changer for all of us who would rather take selfies, facetime our exes, or watch re-runs of Gilmore Girls without having to pay the slightest bit of attention to what we're doing in the driver seat. The system can be used on designated California highways, including Interstate 15; we're sure this will revolutionize the way people drive in California. What would you do with your newfound free time on your morning commute?
4. General Motor's New Strategy: Embrace the Tesla
GM, the titan of the automotive industry, has decided to join forces with Tesla, the electric vehicle leader, to use its charging network and technologies. This deal is a major win for Tesla and its charging technology, which is expected to add pressure on other automakers to adopt it. Wall Street analysts hailed the deal as a "win-win" because it will benefit both GM and Tesla. GM's CEO, Mary Barra, even went so far as to call it an "unified standard" for North America. Just what we were all waiting for! GM's strategy of embracing Tesla's technology is a stark reversal from the days when it was working with SAE International to develop an open connector standard for CCS. We're sure GM's shareholders are thrilled to see the company embrace Tesla's technology and abandon its own efforts.
5. Apollo's Farewell Tour: A Third-Party App's Last Dance
Popular third-party Reddit app Apollo is shutting down on June 30, 2023, as a direct result of Reddit's new API pricing plans. The app's maker, Christian Selig, had been one of the first to call out the impact Reddit's new API pricing would have on third-party Reddit apps, noting that even if Apollo switched to a subscription-only model, it would still be in the red under the new API guidelines. Since then, other app makers have come forward to share their same concerns and community backlash has prompted a site-wide protest with several top communities planning to go dark to send a message to Reddit leadership. Reddit has since said the move was not meant to 'kill' third-party apps. Of course not, it's just a gentle way of putting them on life support and hoping they miraculously recover.