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Elon Musk

Elon Musk certainly has a lot of ideas. Since making a fortune from PayPal in the original dotcom boom, he's taken over Tesla, pushing forward production of electric cars, and founded SpaceX, the rocket company that now flies plenty of NASA payloads. Two newer companies — the Boring Company, focused on digging holes for transit tunnels, and NeuraLink, which is developing brain-computer interfaces — also occupy his time. Then there's the Hyperloop, the high-speed land travel design he's encouraged others to develop. Somehow, this brash billionaire still has time to get himself into trouble on Twitter. For a weekly digest, subscribe to our This Week in Elon newsletter here.

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SpaceX is trying to get the DOJ’s suit over its hiring policies tossed.

Elon Musk’s company is arguing in a Texas federal court that the Justice Department’s lawsuit alleging that the company is illegally disqualifying asylees and refugees from employment is unconstitutional.

Bloomberg noted in a report last week that the company is engaged in “a handful of lawsuits by former employees” over discrimination.

The company’s Texas filing may be to ensure the case funnels through the Fifth Circuit appellate court on appeal since that court tends to push back on federal regulatory action lately, writes Space News.


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Elon Musk weighs charging everyone to use X... again.

During a livestreamed meeting between Musk and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk hinted at requiring users to pay a “small monthly payment” to use X to combat “vast armies of bots.”

This isn’t the first time Musk has mentioned this — Platformer reported last November that Musk had begun discussing the idea of charging people to use X.


Is X suppressing New York Times links?

Semafor has a story saying that could be the case.

Shares of New York Times stories on X have plummeted since mid-July, while competing outlets haven’t seen the same trajectory.

It’s not confirmed that the dip is X’s doing, but it wouldn’t be out of line: the company throttled links to the Times and a few other websites in August.


A chart from Semafor showing how shares to Times stories fell while competitors were mostly flat.
A chart from Semafor showing how shares to Times stories fell while competitors were mostly flat.
Image: Semafor
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Elon Musk borrowed $1 billion from SpaceX last year around the time he acquired Twitter.

Musk drew on the money last October and paid it back, with interest, in November, according to The Wall Street Journal. It’s not clear why he borrowed the money. It’s an awful lot! SpaceX had $4.7 billion in cash and securities on hand at the end of last year, WSJ reports.


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Walter Isaacson recounts how Elon Musk bought Twitter.

There aren’t a lot of surprises here, but there’s a lot more color on the events we all saw: Musk’s capriciousness about the deal, the attempt to recreate the dot-com boom company X, and Musk’s dialogue with Sam Bankman-Fried.

One new petty detail: Musk was determined to fire then-CEO Parag Agrawal before Agrawal could quit — and so Musk cut Agrawal off from Twitter email, preventing Agrawal from sending his resignation letter.


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Tesla’s use of company funds is now being investigated by the US Southern District of New York.

Apparently there was a “Project 42” — for Douglas Adams fans, this number is significant — at Tesla, “which called for a spacious glass structure to be built in the Austin, Texas, area,” according to The Wall Street Journal. The project was “described internally as a house for Chief Executive Elon Musk.”

Tesla had internally investigated whether there was a misuse of company resources on the project. It’s unclear what the outcome of the Tesla investigation was, what the status of the project is, whether glass was ever delivered for it, and whether the investigations from the feds will result in charges.


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The Verge
Just how many times did Musk tell on himself in one video?

In addition to nearly running a red light, doxxing Zuck, and flouting Tesla’s own driver-assist rules, Elon Musk probably broke the law.

Did you know it’s illegal in California to hold and operate a phone while driving? The fine starts at $20, but if you do it twice in three years, you get a point on your license too. We’ve asked Palo Alto PD what they’ll do with the evidence Musk uploaded.


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Twitter
Elon Musk booed again.

First, it was by the cool kids at a Dave Chapelle show, then Captain Hardcore got booed again over the weekend by a bunch of nerds while attending the world championship final of Valorant in Los Angeles with his son. Welcome to hell.


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Twitter
Elon Musk says news organizations can get a share of X’s advertising revenue, too.

The post seems to be part of Musk’s latest campaign to encourage writers and journalists to post more on the platform. News organizations may not be as interested if X actually goes through with removing headlines from links to news articles, though.


Today on The Vergecast: Computers made of wood, and apps made of other apps.

Can you make a top-notch PC out of a block of wood? Maybe more to the point, would you want to? And can Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or anyone anywhere, build a true super app? Today on the show we accidentally investigate the biggest and smallest visions of computing, all in one place.


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“Elon desperately wants the world to be saved. But only if he can be the one to save it.”

...says OpenAI CEO Sam Altman in Ronan Farrow’s wide-ranging New Yorker story on Elon Musk’s influence.

The story begins with a sharp focus on Musk’s brittle support of Ukraine with his Starlink internet satellites and expands to his business dealings in China, his rise to tech industry prominence, and his descent into conspiratorial thinking.


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Here’s what data analysis says about Elon Musk’s followers on X.

Matt Binder of Mashable offers an analysis of data collected on basic account information from all the X accounts that follow Musk. Here are some stats from the article:

• About 42 percent (65.3 million) have no followers.

• About 41 percent (62.5 million) have no tweets (either because they have never tweeted, or have deleted their tweets).

• Over 25 percent (38.9 million) created their accounts on or after the date of Musk’s Twitter acquisition.

• The median number of followers of all of the accounts is one.


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Shockingly, Musk’s latest tweets about The Fight may not have been totally accurate.

The Italian government posted a statement from Italian culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano about a conversation with Musk, and as explained by Fast Company, it differs a bit with Musk’s version of what to expect.


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Twitter
The Colosseum rumor lives on.

“Everything done will pay respect to the past and present of Italy,” Elon Musk wrote in an X post this morning. Does the Italian government know this? Does Mark Zuckerberg? I know where I’m putting my money.

Meanwhile, Musk also mentioned needing shoulder surgery, which would certainly delay a fight. “Recovery will only take a few months,” Musk wrote.


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Twitter
Australia’s national broadcaster scales back its Twitter presence.

ABC’s managing director David Anderson says the broadcaster will reduce its usage of X (formerly known as Twitter) to just four official accounts to allow its staff to focus on what provides “the most value.” He also cited an increase in “toxic interactions” on the platform.

In response, X owner Elon Musk accused the broadcaster of preferring “censorship-friendly social media.


It’s Tesla versus everyone else in the race for EV dominance

In this episode of Land of the Giants: The Tesla Shock Wave, Tesla’s share of the EV market is dwindling as more automakers pile into the space. How does the competition stack up?