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Elon Bought Twitter, What’s Next?

In case you missed it, Elon Musk just bought Twitter for $44 billion.

The deal isn’t done, and Elon can walk away from this for a cool $1 billion, but everyone and their mother is speculating what is next for Twitter. The question remains to be: what changes will come once Musk takes the helm?

Depending on which side of the aisle you are on — assuming you care about Twitter — you’re either excited about the return of free speech” to Twitter or you’re worried that Twitter will become a cesspit; that it will be full of trolls, right-wing conspiracists, and fascists.

If there’s one thing that you will see scarce online it’s someone between these two extremes. With that in mind, I present to you my hopes and fears regarding Elon buying Twitter.

My Hopes

  • Twitter continues its work on its decentralized sector of the company, which recently said is unaffected by Elon’s acquisition.
  • Twitter removes all spam bots from the site
  • Moderation is still within the platform where those who continually break Twitter guidelines get banned.
  • Twitter turns away from ad revenue and instead moves to subscription revenue. I will happily pay for Twitter if it’s a subscription service.

My Fears

  • Twitter axes all moderation, which would allow for any and all hate speech on the platform.
  • Twitter’s API is closed off and forces users to migrate to the official Twitter app (I use the official app, but I find many 3rd party Twitter clients both beautiful and necessary).
  • Ads are ramped up within the app and become required in 3rd party apps

I feel that in 8-9 months we will see what happens and whether I was worried for nothing or my fears have come to fruition.

Hey Siri, set a reminder…”

April 26, 2022


The Man Behind iBeer

Steve Sheraton went from making a silly video online where he was drinking a beer with his iPhone into a full-fledged app, which then became a breakout star when the App Store launched.

Quinn Myers writing for MEL Magazine:

Before the App Store was even a concept, Sheraton started selling the beer-drinking video file for $2.99. It was just a little video file that people had to hardwire in and download via iTunes,” he says. But I probably made around $2,000 a day for the longest time from that.”

By the time Apple came knocking, Sheraton knew he was onto something — he just needed to figure out how to code the video to Apple’s new device. I have a lot of experience in film and photography, and I wanted to make the beer look as realistic as possible,” he explains. So rather than doing animation, I chose to make assets from looped videos and image sequences — that’s why the foam looks so real.”

Sheraton then programmed the looped videos and image sequence to interact with the iPhone’s accelerometer. The accelerometer is constantly measuring the phone’s angle versus the horizon, so by tethering the line between the liquid and the foam to the horizon, you can move your phone in any direction and it looks like it’s filled with liquid,” he tells me. From there, the rest is just a series of if statements,’ so if the tilt of the phone goes beyond X,’ then the program should switch to different loops of foam and liquid that make it look like the phone is emptying.”

Sheraton called it iBeer, developed under the name of his company Hottrix, and priced it again at $2.99. We shot to first place [in the App Store] on the very first day and stayed there for about a year,” he says. Apart from its visual humor and sort of appealing to the lowest common denominator, iBeer was a large success because it allowed people to show their friends what the phone was capable of.

Without spoiling it, Myers goes more in-depth about what happens to Sheraton after iBeer’s success.

If you read the MEL article and find that interesting, Sheraton recently did an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit where he talks more about iBeer’s success, what he is doing now, and his feelings on developing apps out today.

April 25, 2022


The Loyola Project

I don’t remember where I found this teaser, but as a basketball fan, this documentary went right to the top of my watch list.

April 18, 2022


Success and Failure at Pebble

Eric Migicovsky, the former CEO of Pebble, wrote a post recently detailing why the smartwatch company failed.

In the days after our Kickstarter campaign, it was easy for me as the CEO to explain what our goal was. Ship the best damn smartwatch that we ourselves wanted to use. Over the years, I tried several times to reposition the product and company onto a variety of new tracks, but none were based on a strong long term vision.

Startup founder lesson learned — never forget to define and talk about your long term vision for the future. When things are going well, it’s easy to get caught up in growth. But you need this to carry your company through hard times.

Looking back with hindsight, I should not have aggressively grown the company without a stronger plan. We should have just stuck to what we knew best and continued to build quirky, fun smartwatches for hackers. Pebble, the product, was and still is awesome.

The whole article is worth the read if you want to dive deep into the details behind Pebble’s start, rise, losses, and eventual acquisition.

My thanks to Matt Birchler for initially linking this article to his blog.

If you want some supplemental reading, there is an article from Wired back in 2016 after the announcement of the Fitbit acquisition.

April 11, 2022


Mike Tyson Can’t Sell His Weed Gummies in Colorado

Mike Tyson, who famously bit Evander Holyfield’s ear, is now selling THC edibles in the shape of the mangled ear. The name of those gummies: Mike Bites.

ItsTyson20/Instagram

The kicker is he can’t sell them in the US weed capital of Colorado due to a 2016 state law that prohibits marijuana edibles from being shaped like humans, animals, fruit or other objects that could attract children.”

It turns out the ear-shaped gummy indeed falls under that description. I don’t know about you, but a disfigured ear isn’t exactly the most attractive-looking gummy to eat. Nonetheless the law is the law, and Tyson can’t sell his gummies in the Centennial state. However, if you do want to give them a go, the edibles are currently sold in California with future plans to be sold in more states across the US.

April 5, 2022