It’s usually not a good sign when everyone on Twitter is talking about the same thing, least of all when that thing is Twitter itself. Today the story on everyone’s
lips tweets is that a lot of Twitter’s remaining employees have left the company after Elon Musk’s Thursday night ultimatum expired, which demanded that employees work “long hours at high intensity” or GTFO.
Well GTFO is exactly what hundreds of Twitter’s remaining employees are doing. Now the question is exactly how small the company’s workforce can get before it’s fundamentally unable to keep the service operational.
Continuing on the theme of tech layoffs, Roku is saying goodbye to 200 US employees (a shame given it should be riding high on the success of its best original film to date), and Amazon expects to lay off more employees next year after reports emerged that it plans to axe as many as 10,000 roles this week.
And pull on your mittens everyone, because everyone’s favorite ice queen is heading back to Overwatch 2. Mei was removed from the game late last month thanks to a glitch with her trademark ice wall ability that was allowing players to access “unintended locations.”
Here’s the most important tech news of today: Friday, November 18th, 2022.
- RIs Taylor Swift the one to take down Ticketmaster?
You probably heard that Taylor Swift’s pre-sales event for her The Eras Tour crashed Ticketmaster, which the operator blamed on “unprecedented demand.”
But now it’s bringing renewed attention to the combined market power of Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation Entertainment. The New York Times reports the DOJ has opened an antitrust investigation.
One way or another, the story isn’t over — you can keep up with the updates as they come in right here.
- NImportant Vergecast correction.
I said Bruno Mars mixes every album in an old Cadillac Escalade; it is actually a 2010 Cadillac CTS. Per Rolling Stone:
There’s a decade-plus-old Cadillac CTS parked in an alley next to the studio. “I got it washed four days ago,” Mars says proudly. In a way, it’s become one of his closest musical confidants — he’s mixed every album he’s put out since 2010’s Doo-Wops & Hooligans by listening to it inside the Caddy, getting a sense for it in the sort of real-world scenario he deems optimal: A pimped-out American luxury sedan so old it has a CD player.
Now, does anyone know what Taylor Swift’s go-to headphones are?
The founder and former CEO of Theranos will be spending time behind bars for defrauding investors.
- RTwitter’s now-former head of Trust and Safety predicts what’s next for its “custodians of the internet.”
In this op-ed, Yoel Roth examines why he left Twitter last week (because all decisions now lie with one person, Elon Musk) and the hellish rules about content moderation Musk will have to navigate, whether made by regulators or the planned moderation council.
But, as Roth explains, the most notable check on Elon’s “unilateral edict” and free speech platitudes may be Apple and Google:
Twitter will have to balance its new owner’s goals against the practical realities of life on Apple and Google’s internet — no easy task for the employees who have chosen to remain. And as I departed the company, the calls from the app review teams had already begun
Elon Musk begins reinstating banned Twitter accounts, starting with Jordan Peterson and the Babylon Bee
The decision comes after widespread resignations among the platform’s critical engineering staff.
The latest LightSail mission gave us a glimpse into the future of solar sailing.
- RIf you (still) work at Twitter and you can code, head to the HQ now.
How many people took their new boss’s offer and quit their jobs at Twitter last night?
We don’t have a number to put on that, but Alex Heath has this email that was just sent from Elon Musk to Twitter’s software engineers.
Anyone who actually writes software, please report to the 10th floor at 2pm today.
Before doing so, please email me a bullet point summary of what your code commits have achieved in the past ~6 months, along with up to 10 screenshots of the most salient lines of code.
The strangest part of all this is that just 18 hours ago, Twitter told employees that all office buildings will be closed until the 21st. But maybe they could really use the help.
- ACarvana to layoff 8 percent of its workforce.
That translates to around 1,500 workers, which is not totally surprising, considering the used car dealer has lost almost 98 percent of its value in recent weeks. Carvana’s rapid growth during the pandemic appears to have run into the same economic headwinds many tech companies are now facing. Not unrelated, you can get a 2012 Honda Fit for about $14,000 delivered on Tuesday.
- NWe updated our redesign a little.
A lot of readers told us they wanted a list of big stories right at the top, so we moved the “Must Reads” box to the top of the page and renamed it “Top Stories” to be clearer. The Storystream feed is now all in one place just below — and we’ll be adding comments to posts like this very soon, which is exciting. More to come!
As OTC hearing aids become more popular, it’s important not to mix up medical gadgets and personal tech.
- AToday on the Vergecast we talked Taylor Swift, Twitter, and the disaster of Meta’s latest headset.
Okay, those weren’t the only topics!
But Adi did join us to talk about her Meta Quest Pro review and just how bad this product and some of the software surrounding it is. Then Nilay relayed his adventures in buying Taylor Swift tickets, Twitter news broke live on the podcast, and we all agreed knobs are good.
- RElon Musk’s long-term plan to make Twitter less dependent on advertising.
For This Week in Elon, Liz Lopatto investigates what Elon Musk might actually envision for Twitter 2.0.
If Musk can figure out a way to make inroads into the creator economy, that could maybe bring people to the platform in a way that’s cheaper than the $10 sign-up bonus he’s proposed.
If there’s a way to keep the most fun, prolific Twitter users on the platform — either by paying them directly or by letting their fans pay them — I can imagine a world in which that creates a revenue stream that makes Twitter less dependent on advertising.
- APokémon meets open-world.
The first truly open-world Pokémon games are here with the release of Violet and Scarlet on the Switch today.
They’re great games, offering more freedom than any Pokémon adventure before — but that comes at a cost, with some frustrating technical issues that hamper the experience. At least the new grass cat starter is plenty adorable.
It’s hard to justify a Fitbit when the Amazfit GTR 4 looks better, lasts longer, and has way more features than you’d expect.
Musk gave Twitter staff a deadline to say if they are staying for his cultural reset of the company. And right on deadline, the farewell emojis started pouring into Twitter’s Slack.
The company hasn’t decided how many more jobs it’ll cut, but workers could be left wondering about their jobs for months.
Entertainment, tech, and advertising companies are cutting back — Roku’s all three in one.
After a brief hiatus from the game, Mei’s back, along with a host of other hero tweaks and bug fixes.
Twitter employees can leave with three months of severance or commit to ‘long hours at high intensity.’ Twitter 2.0 begins at 5pm ET on Thursday.