Its Technical

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ZoWie
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ZoWie »

I will admit that in the long run the impact of technology is neutral, tending slightly toward beneficial. Also that the world is better with computer networking than it was without it. I'm sitting at one right now.

I refer mostly to the breathless worship of this week's startup as we see every week day the markets are open, in the CNBC Tech Check. They have all these wall street types on babbling on disruption and making heroes out of some real scumbags.
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ProfX
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ProfX »

As someone who taught a course on Technology & Society, I would argue:

1. society and social conditions/forces determine which technologies are adopted. There are fascinating stories in the history of technological innovation and adoption, and great articles on why certain paths were followed over others. Famous example: VHS vs. Betamax. Technologies often find new and unexpected niches and uses based on social interests that the initial creators or designers never intended or foresaw. The Internet is a great example.

2. technologies affect society. McLuhan argued that the mediums and channels of communication can change the dynamics of society. They even can create some of the dominant metaphors in religion, mythology, and popular culture. As we reached the peak of building mechanical clocks, Deism became a dominant philosophy with its clockwork Maker.

3. this creates a feedback loop. Which can lead to chaos. :D But in general, I reject what I would call naive technological determinism, which seems to believe a technology must drive all societies in one direction (regardless of surrounding culture or context), and of course technology-utopianism, which is that technology keeps making the world better and better. This rhetoric is often deployed by technology corporations (aka "Big Tech") and IMHO is the implicit ideology of Disney's EPCOT. But I believe the impacts of technologies are often mediated through who controls how they are used, how they are deployed, and how they are configured.

AI is an example we often talk about. But it is really wrong to say whether AI is "good" or "bad". It clearly can be both. But in so much of our science fiction I see this debate being echoed. I think we realize that the key to AI being a benevolent force is society being involved in its shaping and utilization... not just letting corporations and governments make these decisions without social input.

The corporations and the people often have different visions on that score.
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ZoWie
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ZoWie »

All good points. That sounds like a good class.

There is indeed an obvious feedback loop between technological and cultural evolution. You can't separate them.

IIRC, a Beta cassette wouldn't hold a whole football game but a VHS would. Or maybe it had to do with Beta being more proprietary to Sony and not as open as VHS.

I'm more up on the evolution of US broadcast radio. The whole thing is a feedback loop between technological evolution and corporate competition. AM vs FM is a compelling story, full of rivalries and some pretty egregious corporate back stabbing. Armstrong invented FM and it became a corporate war between him and Sarnoff, which basically defined the whole radio industry in the US. Sarnoff won through various legal maneuvers, at which point Armstrong jumped out a window. Later on it came down to FM having stereo and AM not having it, so they invented AM stereo and then digital AM (no more static). For political reasons, the FCC decided to let the marketplace decide on a digital AM stereo system, the way it decided between VHS and Beta, but it was too late and absent a huge corporate commitment the marketplace chose FM radio. By then FM was being forced to use a much higher frequency band than it had been designed for (I think that's when Armstrong jumped, but I could be wrong) and that's why it doesn't get out as well.

Something similar happened when satellite radio finally replaced Morse code on ships in the 1990s, even though ships had terrestrial voice radios from the late 1920s on. The change came when seafaring changed, which happened because world trade treaties changed, which was a political decision.

All from the laws of humans, even though radio waves follow the laws of physics.

Technology and society and their interaction is a compelling process to watch.
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Re: Its Technical

Post by carmenjonze »

ZoWie wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 2:31 pm I will admit that in the long run the impact of technology is neutral, tending slightly toward beneficial. Also that the world is better with computer networking than it was without it. I'm sitting at one right now.
It’s also worth noting that a couple Ethernet cables and a couple networked digital boxes can replace dozens of audio cables and still reproduce the audio perfectly.

It gets even cooler in that old 90s computer technology like your old 25-pin printer cable has now been repurposed to also carry 8 channels of audio. Old network topologies like star, ring, daisy chain, etc., are also now commonly used in audio. People have no idea they are experiencing this every time the go to a concert, or public speaking event, or house of worship, or just to their office or educational institution in a building with a bunch of conference or presentation rooms. Audio is half IT, now.
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Re: Its Technical

Post by carmenjonze »

Computers are not just the internet, and the internet is not just us Big Dummies clicking on Koch Brothers ads.

Pseudo-luddites like rainwater depend on these inaccurate, extremely narrow, limited ideas of what both computers and the internet are, in order to put others down. And then she refuses outright to learn how to use either. :?

How rebellious and revolutionary. :roll:

I don’t understand this self-defeating, elitist mentality, and I never will.
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ap215
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ap215 »

:problem:

Twitter's account of deal shows Musk signing without asking for more info

May 17 (Reuters) - Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) published its account on Tuesday of its deal negotiations with Elon Musk, showing he opted out of asking the questions about the social media company's business he has now cited in declaring the $44 billion acquisition is "on hold."

The account, published in Twitter's proxy statement that outlines what shareholders need to know to vote on the deal, paints a picture of Musk in a rush to clinch a deal with his "best and final" offer.

https://www.reuters.com/markets/deals/t ... 022-05-17/
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ZoWie »

Computers started in Babbage's time, though the full size Engine was beyond the means or at least the priorities of the time and was never built. It would have been a steam powered mechanical computer the size of a building. Electronic computers really got their big push from WWII.

Come to think of it, the SAGE system used by the Air Force in the early 1960s was electronic and even had a distant ancestor of the WIMP interface, without windowing, where the operator clicked on radar targets with a device that looked like some kind of space gun to bring up aircraft tracking information. It occupied a building pretty much the size the Babbage Engine would have been, and used as much power as a city. All vacuum tube, I believe. Looked like one of the server farms used for crypto now, big building full of racks of, well, stuff.

The Internet was derivative of ARPANET/DARPANET, which was a military project at Stanford, MIT, and UCLA. Very hush hush when it started. Along with that, the NSA practically ran the UCLA math department, so they always had the biggest computer IBM could make. Even when I was a student, enough of it was left (and declassified) that you could take a walking tour of it. People's parents worked on it and couldn't talk about what they did. The user interface was two holes in the wall. You put your punch card stack in one hole and your printout came out the other. You understand that even then people had terminals, big hulking VT100s and such, on their desks, and the first trash-80s were starting to catch on with the fringe, but the faculty had learned on Hollerith cards and was determined to torture undergrads with them. Completely useless. Good thing I majored in history. Good major for people inclined toward screen writing.

Point is, when it comes to computers I grew up along with the damn things. Everyone's parents were either in that or the movies.

So yes, I'm quite aware that computers are not the Internet and the Internet uses terminal software that used to run on dedicated devices but which now people think that's what computers are for. I know better. I think I'm up on my history of the technology, and can differentiate between it and the monsters that big business made with it when they invented social networking platforms financed by advertising using AI and positive feedback loops to maximize the metrics that would attract ads. They didn't intend to turn our country into a right wing mess, but watch out for unintended consequences. We were too optimistic. Won't get fooled again. Now we must deal with it.
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carmenjonze
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Re: Its Technical

Post by carmenjonze »

ZoWie wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 11:04 am Computers started in Babbage's time,
Yes, the loom and textiles industry/cottage industry.

Couldn't have done it without the cotton, um, "trade," in this country.
though the full size Engine was beyond the means or at least the priorities of the time and was never built. It would have been a steam powered mechanical computer the size of a building. Electronic computers really got their big push from WWII.

Come to think of it, the SAGE system used by the Air Force in the early 1960s was electronic and even had a distant ancestor of the WIMP interface, without windowing, where the operator clicked on radar targets with a device that looked like some kind of space gun to bring up aircraft tracking information. It occupied a building pretty much the size the Babbage Engine would have been, and used as much power as a city. All vacuum tube, I believe. Looked like one of the server farms used for crypto now, big building full of racks of, well, stuff.

The Internet was derivative of ARPANET/DARPANET, which was a military project at Stanford, MIT, and UCLA. Very hush hush when it started. Along with that, the NSA practically ran the UCLA math department, so they always had the biggest computer IBM could make. Even when I was a student, enough of it was left (and declassified) that you could take a walking tour of it. People's parents worked on it and couldn't talk about what they did. The user interface was two holes in the wall. You put your punch card stack in one hole and your printout came out the other. You understand that even then people had terminals, big hulking VT100s and such, on their desks, and the first trash-80s were starting to catch on with the fringe, but the faculty had learned on Hollerith cards
Good old Hollerith.

Hollerith machine - Jewish Virtual Library
and was determined to torture undergrads with them. Completely useless. Good thing I majored in history. Good major for people inclined toward screen writing.

Point is, when it comes to computers I grew up along with the damn things. Everyone's parents were either in that or the movies.

So yes, I'm quite aware that computers are not the Internet and the Internet uses terminal software that used to run on dedicated devices but which now people think that's what computers are for. I know better. I think I'm up on my history of the technology, and can differentiate between it and the monsters that big business made with it when they invented social networking platforms financed by advertising using AI and positive feedback loops to maximize the metrics that would attract ads.
Well YOU can, but that post was not about you. It's for the olds still stuck in their VT-100 high school punchcard years, who never got computers, and still think it's cool and trendy to misunderstand them and put down those of us who do.

They exist on this board. I don't mind pointing them and their anti-tech resentments out.
They didn't intend to turn our country into a right wing mess, but watch out for unintended consequences. We were too optimistic. Won't get fooled again. Now we must deal with it.
Optimistic, and naive. And in our 20s and 30s.

Except, people forget that though internet literacy is dead as a doornail -- if it even ever existed -- the non-AI/algorithmed internet still thrives. Even if it's a money-spender instead of a moneymaker. Not everything in computing and tech is about munny and dystopian control.
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ProfX
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ProfX »

carmenjonze wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 5:02 pm Yes, the loom and textiles industry/cottage industry.
The original Luddites started out as folks smashing those machine looms. Their name actually comes from the fact that when the authorities would capture them and ask for their leader, they said it was a guy they called "King Ned Ludd," who probably never existed.

The word "sabotage," of course, comes from French workers who would throw their sabots, or shoes, into the machine assembly line to slow down production.
Hollerith machine - Jewish Virtual Library
IBM & the Holocaust
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_and_the_Holocaust

The story about the original Apple rainbow logo being chosen because of Alan Turing's decision to commit suicide by eating a poisoned apple is probably apocryphal. Still, I love the Imitation Game as it really reminds me of what Britain put "the father of computing" and the guy who probably helped them win WW II through in the 50s, because he was gay. :|
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ZoWie »

I've been to Bletchley Park, and the museum of computing, which is on the same campus/base/whatever. They have the history of the British cryptographic service in WWII, plus a working Colossus replica (with vacuum tubes), that produced ciphertext decodes straight off RTTY paper tape. Also a working replica Bombe, plus a bunch of ENIGMA machines that the Bombe was designed to decrypt. Oh, and a statue of Turing.

Yeah, I have to be careful to remember that technology evolves, and its not the problem. I'm not a technological determinist per se, but I do recognize that real problems can result when people use it for dishonest, self-serving, or irresponsible ends. We built a great communication system, but like all tools it gave power to some people who we'd have been better off without. Capitalism and international intrigue ran amok more than tech ran amok, but either way we need to get a handle on it.
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Re: Its Technical

Post by Motor City »

https://youtu.be/8mNFUJo54bU?t=912

This movie has a scene set in 1851 where a new technology is being tried out to chemically detect gold and all the fish die and they get chemical burns and 2 of them die another has to have his arm amputated.
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Re: Its Technical

Post by Motor City »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fmac63xaMCQ&t=382s

Why its a bad idea to have all the functioning parts of our democracy, economy, government, authority only use power, make policy in a self serving capacity on behalf of a handful of special interests.


Milley tells West Point cadets technology will transform war

.....The U.S. has already been rushing new, high-tech drones and other weapons to the Ukrainian military — in some cases equipment that was just in the early prototype phases. Weapons such as the shoulder-launched kamikaze Switchblade drones are being used against the Russians, even as they are still evolving.

And as the war in Ukraine has shifted — from Russia's unsuccessful battle to take Kyiv to a gritty urban battle for towns in the eastern Donbas region — so has the need for different types of weapons. Early weeks focused on long-range precision weapons such as Stinger and Javelin missiles, but now the emphasis is on artillery, and increased shipments of howitzers.

And over the next 25 to 30 years, the fundamental character of war and its weapons will continue to change.

The U.S. military, Milley said, can’t cling to concepts and weapons of old, but must urgently modernize and develop the force and equipment that can deter or, if needed, win in a global conflict. And the graduating officers, he said, will have to change the way U.S. forces think, train and fight.......
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ZoWie »

The fundamental character of war is the same. It's about killing people before they kill you. That's still the first thing they teach recruits, and it won't change.

The rest, though, is always continuously evolving. You will notice that war and the preparation for war will start eating much of the economy... again. This is still regarded in some places as the cure for recession. It made a demigod out of a b-movie actor who became president and got a whole generation working on space defense systems that stood next to no chance of ever actually doing what they were supposed to do.

That certainly cured the recession in LA, though when reality set in and everyone was transfered to Mississippi or laid off, it caused a worse one, and more wars.
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ap215 »

Twitter to Pay $150M to Settle Privacy Complaint

Twitter has agreed to pay a $150 million civil penalty to settle allegations it violated the law and a 2011 Federal Trade Commission administrative order by "misrepresenting" how it was using Twitter users' nonpublic data, which included targeting ads to those users.

The FTC and Justice filed the complaint and settlement Wednesday (May 25) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

https://www.nexttv.com/news/twitter-to- ... -complaint
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Re: Its Technical

Post by Motor City »

....I am proud of the fact I never invented weapons to kill.....


...Non violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of evolution. Until we stop harming other living beings, we are still savages.....

...There will one day spring from the brain of science a machine or force so fearful in its potentialities, so absolutely terrifying, that even man, the fighter, who will dare torture and death in order to inflict torture and death, will be appalled, and so abandon war forever......

.....“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left.”......

----Thomas Edison
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ProfX »

Motor City wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 10:59 am ...Non violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of evolution. Until we stop harming other living beings, we are still savages.....
I wasn't sure the last quote on solar power was authentic, but QuoteInvestigator says it is.

As for this one:

Thomas Edison's shocking history of electrocuting dogs, horses and people
https://www.nydailynews.com/news/nation ... -1.2969425

To be fair, he opposed capital punishment and the electric chair. However, he would electrocute animals in demonstrations to prove his claim that AC current was dangerous. He even filmed the electrocution of an elephant.

His favorite film was Birth of a Nation (he told this to many people).

There's also the matter of his anti-Semitism. His wasn't as bad as his friend Henry Ford's, but it does have something to do with the story of Hollywood (the longer look at this is in a book by Neal Gabler). Basically, he felt Jews in the business world could not be trusted (a common stereotype, then and now) which is why he would not let them be investors or partners in his East Coast Motion Picture Trust.

https://jewishcurrents.org/thomas-alva- ... d-the-jews

True fact, and just an interesting curiosity: in 1920, Edison was working on a spirit phone, which he thought could communicate with the dead.
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ZoWie »

Also Edison started the Motion Picture Patents Company, which would go out to locations in New Jersey, and if everything wasn't documented to be paying license fees they'd destroy the equipment. The result was that the companies fled west, where they discovered the climate was better for outdoor location shoots anyway. The rest is history.

Thank you, Thomas Edison, for inadvertently creating the economy of LA before climate, tourism, and real estate did.
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Re: Its Technical

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As I said, there is another part to that story.

Alnighty Moguls
https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct- ... story.html

Edison developed the movie camera, notes Neal Gabler, but Hollywood was a Jewish invention.

''Most of the movie industry`s pioneers started out as penniless immigrants from some Eastern European shtetl,'' Gabler said. ''They arrived in America with one thing only: a dream of making it big.''

[snip]

Adolph Zuckor, who founded Paramount Pictures, used to recall that as a boy in Hungary, ''a new pair of shoes was an event.'' Louis B. Mayer, who established Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, came from a similarly bleak Russian-Jewish background, recalled Gabler, author of the recently published ''An Empire of their Own,'' a collective biography of the film industry`s founding fathers.

[snip]

An outsider, Gabler explained, sees things that escape other eyes, and when the film industry was born, the Jew was still the Odd Man Out of American society. Indeed, eight years of researching ''An Empire of Their Own'' (Crown: $24.95) convinced Gabler that without Hollywood`s Jews there might not have been a film industry, at least as we know it.

To the East Coast financiers who backed Thomas Edison`s experiments, movies were a scientific curiosity. They thought the profits would come from equipping amusement arcades with Edison`s projector and attracting the public with the simple novelty of seeing pictures that moved.

''They were too much part of the establishment to realize the potential of what they had,'' Gabler said. ''That was left to immigrant-entrepreneurs, like Adolph Zuckor, who hungered to be accepted as full-fledged Americans and had the hustler`s sense of how to get what they wanted.''

Zuckor was an early investor in one of Edison`s movie arcades, Gabler noted. From that experience, he made the educated guess that there was an audience for motion pictures that would tell stories, just like stage plays. When others were slow to provide those kinds of films, he stepped in to produce them himself.

[snip][end]

If Edison had maybe been more open to having Jewish partners in his East Coast Trust, we might have never had a Hollywood.

Of course, in the end, I think we were better off for it.
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Re: Its Technical

Post by Bludogdem »

ProfX wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 2:38 pm As I said, there is another part to that story.

Alnighty Moguls
https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct- ... story.html

Edison developed the movie camera, notes Neal Gabler, but Hollywood was a Jewish invention.

''Most of the movie industry`s pioneers started out as penniless immigrants from some Eastern European shtetl,'' Gabler said. ''They arrived in America with one thing only: a dream of making it big.''

[snip]

Adolph Zuckor, who founded Paramount Pictures, used to recall that as a boy in Hungary, ''a new pair of shoes was an event.'' Louis B. Mayer, who established Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, came from a similarly bleak Russian-Jewish background, recalled Gabler, author of the recently published ''An Empire of their Own,'' a collective biography of the film industry`s founding fathers.

[snip]

An outsider, Gabler explained, sees things that escape other eyes, and when the film industry was born, the Jew was still the Odd Man Out of American society. Indeed, eight years of researching ''An Empire of Their Own'' (Crown: $24.95) convinced Gabler that without Hollywood`s Jews there might not have been a film industry, at least as we know it.

To the East Coast financiers who backed Thomas Edison`s experiments, movies were a scientific curiosity. They thought the profits would come from equipping amusement arcades with Edison`s projector and attracting the public with the simple novelty of seeing pictures that moved.

''They were too much part of the establishment to realize the potential of what they had,'' Gabler said. ''That was left to immigrant-entrepreneurs, like Adolph Zuckor, who hungered to be accepted as full-fledged Americans and had the hustler`s sense of how to get what they wanted.''

Zuckor was an early investor in one of Edison`s movie arcades, Gabler noted. From that experience, he made the educated guess that there was an audience for motion pictures that would tell stories, just like stage plays. When others were slow to provide those kinds of films, he stepped in to produce them himself.

[snip][end]

If Edison had maybe been more open to having Jewish partners in his East Coast Trust, we might have never had a Hollywood.

Of course, in the end, I think we were better off for it.
Creators of the “American Dream” and “White Pickett Fence America “.
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Re: Its Technical

Post by carmenjonze »

Bludogdem wrote: Sun May 29, 2022 8:58 pm Creators of the “American Dream” and “White Pickett Fence America “.
Incorrect.

Those ideologies long preceded Hollywood.
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ZoWie »

"White picket fence America" is an eastern cultural construct coming from the mass nesting incident which logically followed WWII. It comes more from TV than movies. By the time it became a dominant image in media, movies were in decline and struggling to adapt to television, which was the chief exporter of the post-WWII dream world.

The Patents Company vs "Hollywood" period I refer to was way back when the big players were people like Biograph Studios, and actors did not speak, at least not audibly, because sound was still being worked on by Vitaphone, DeForest, the Warner Bros, et al.

About the only things in most of LA were lettuce farms, orange groves, oil wells, and, uh, movie studios. Old silent one-reeler comedies are a real yuk. You see the LA foliage go by in the background where strip malls and big-box stores are now. Hey wait, isn't that Ventura Boulevard? Dunno, all looks the same.

In fact, the inspirations for "White picket fence America" were the vast new subdivisions, mostly on Long Island, or in NJ and MD, or in counties south and east of LA and San Francisco. Definitely a post-WWII phenomenon, and in some ways a liberal one, as it temporarily reduced class divisions in the more privileged parts of the postwar culture. For a brief time, white workers and bosses lived in fairly similar circumstances, and the super-rich were in decline. People of color weren't as lucky, but then nobody with much of a media or political presence discussed that in public dialog of the time. That started a few years later.
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ap215 »

Twitter shutting down TweetDeck for Mac on July 1, here are alternatives to the web

In a surprise move, Twitter has announced that it’s canceling TweetDeck for Mac prompting users to use the web version going forward. Details are slim as a banner in the app only shares that June will be the last month for the Mac app. We’ll also cover some alternatives to using the web version going forward.


When launching the TweetDeck for Mac app today, Twitter has started placing a blue banner at the top warning users that it will only be available for one more month.

https://9to5mac.com/2022/06/01/twitter- ... k-for-mac/
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ap215 »

:problem:

Musk deal for Twitter dodges lengthy U.S. antitrust review

June 3 (Reuters) - Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) said on Friday that the U.S. antitrust waiting period for Elon Musk's $44 billion acquisition of the social media giant had expired, indicating it had dodged a lengthy review of the proposed deal.

With the expiration, completion of the deal is now subject to remaining customary closing conditions, including approval by Twitter stockholders and any other regulatory approvals, Twitter said.

https://www.reuters.com/markets/deals/t ... 022-06-03/
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Re: Its Technical

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"Laws are for the little people." -- ghost of Leona Helmsley
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Re: Its Technical

Post by ap215 »

An alternate away from Facebook awesome

https://www.tribel.com/public/trending
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