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ElonJet is (sort of) back on Twitter

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The college student who ran the now-banned @ElonJet Twitter account that used public information to track Elon Musk’s private jet has resumed his activities on Twitter under a new username. As noted by Insider, Jack Sweeney, 20, has created a new account called @ElonJetNextDay — which now tracks Musk’s private jet with a 24-hour delay to circumvent Twitter policy restrictions.

Sweeney’s original ElonJet account was suspended from the platform last week following accusations from Musk that it violated Twitter rules by revealing his live location. Twitter updated its policy to forbid publishing a person’s real-time location on the same day it suspended ElonJet. Sweeney said in an interview with Insider that he will be “posting manually” for now while he works on the framework to fully automate the account.

Musk tweeted on December 15th that “Posting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok.” Twitter also explicitly states that “sharing publicly available location information after a reasonable time has elapsed, so that the individual is no longer at risk for physical harm” is not a violation of platform rules. Elsewhere in the policy, it notes that its definition of “live” location data means someone’s real-time or same-day whereabouts.

Most commercial and private aircraft are equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast technology (ADS-B) that transmits a unique code (tied to the airplane’s tail number) containing information such as altitude and GPS location. This information is publicly available and aircraft flying in the USA and Europe are required to broadcast it in order to prevent midair collisions.

In a statement back in November, Musk said he would not ban the original ElonJet account as part of his “commitment to free speech” despite claiming it was a “direct personal safety risk.” The automated ElonJet account posted publicly available information regarding the location of Musk’s 2015 Gulfstream G650ER, and had amassed over 540,000 followers before it was permanently banned on December 14th. Musk previously offered Sweeney $5,000 to have the account taken down.



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She Worked for Twitter. Then She Tweeted at Elon Musk.

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Early in November, Twitter’s roughly 7,500 employees received a terse email from a generic address: “In an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path, we will go through the difficult process of reducing our global work force.” The note was signed “Twitter.” On Nov. 3, some people at the company received emails indicating they would be laid off the next day.

That night, Ms. Solomon, her husband and a few colleagues headed to Dots Cafe Portland, a lounge on Clinton Street. Phones were on the table, face up, she said. As the work friends talked, they tapped away at their phones, taking part in chats on the Signal app with colleagues in London, Seattle and San Francisco. Messages like “I got hit” were flying across screens, Ms. Solomon recalled. “You were seeing your co-workers drop like flies,” she said.

By the next afternoon her team of about 10 engineers was reduced to four. Ms. Solomon and her husband had survived the round of layoffs. The next week, she recalled, she awaited further direction from Mr. Musk or the new executive team. Nothing came, she said, except for an email alerting employees that remote work would no longer be permitted, with few exceptions.

Many employees learned of Mr. Musk’s priorities by watching his Twitter feed, where he posted frequently about company business to his more than 100 million followers. On Nov. 5, he complained about the platform’s search function: “Search within Twitter reminds me of Infoseek in ’98! That will also get a lot better pronto,” he wrote. That same day, he tweeted: “Twitter will soon add ability to attach long-form text to tweets, ending absurdity of notepad screenshots.”

That was more than Ms. Solomon and many of her colleagues had heard internally. “Radio silence,” she said. She began to vent her frustration on Twitter.

One of her first tweets in this vein came on Nov. 6, shortly after Mr. Musk announced a new rule for Twitter users in a tweet: “Any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark,” he wrote. He had posted that message after many people on Twitter had changed their names to variations on Mr. Musk’s name, most of them mocking.



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The new iOS 16.2 Home app architecture upgrade has disappeared

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Apple has removed the option to upgrade to the new HomeKit architecture on devices running iOS 16.2. The change follows multiple reports of issues and problems with the Home app after the upgrade was installed.

Apple spokesperson Emily Ewing confirmed the change in a statement provided to The Verge:

“We are aware of an issue that may impact the ability for users to share the Home within the Home app. A fix will be available soon. In the meantime, we’ve temporarily removed the option to upgrade to the new Home architecture. Users who have already upgraded will not be impacted.“

The new Home app architecture was one of the key features of iOS 16.2, with Apple claiming that the upgrade would be “more reliable and efficient.” MacRumors first discovered this week that the Home app in iOS 16.2 no longer offers the option to upgrade to the new architecture within the Home app settings. Several reporters at The Verge have also confirmed that the upgrade option is unavailable on their devices.

The new architecture was first introduced in the iOS 16.2 beta back in October as an optional upgrade before the iOS 16.2 public release on December 13th. Both the beta and public release required Apple devices logged into iCloud to be running the latest versions of iOS, macOS, and tvOS. The upgrade does not happen automatically when iOS 16.2 is installed on a phone, instead requiring a manual process through the Home app.

The update has caused issues with missing devices and adding multiple users for some

Reddit users who downloaded the optional upgrade prior to its removal have reported issues such as the app booting other members from a Home account and being unable to re-add them. Users on the MacRumors forum have reported being unable to invite users to share the Home, HomeKit‌ devices being stuck displaying an “updating” status, and some accessories vanishing from the Home app entirely. Users who have already upgraded are unable to revert to the previous version of the app.

Update, December 23rd, 2022, 2:15PM ET: Added confirmation and statement from Apple spokesperson. Added links to Apple’s updated support pages.

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Tesla’s $300 Cybertruck-inspired wireless charger can power three devices at once

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Tesla has opened preorders for a wireless charging mat that can accommodate up to three devices placed however you want, and that comes in a form factor “inspired by the angular design and metallic styling of Cybertruck.” The gadget is called the Wireless Charging Platform, and it costs $300. For that hefty price you get the mat, a removable magnetic stand that lets you prop the pad up at an angle or lay it flat, and some tech that we once called “the most promising AirPower alternative.”

Underneath the alcantara fabric cover, Tesla’s charger has a whopping 30 Qi charging coils, which will charge your device no matter what orientation it’s in, or where you put it on the platform. According to Tesla’s site, the device was “engineered with FreePower wireless charging technology.” If that name doesn’t ring a bell to you, it may be because it’s new — the company used to go by Aira, and in 2020 we called its (buggy at the time) system “the closest thing to AirPower” that we could find.

This photo isn’t exactly illustrative of the capabilities Tesla is promising, but it does look nice.
Image: Tesla

Speaking of AirPower… a lot of people have compared the Wireless Charging Platform to Apple’s now-canceled product, and I totally get why. The iPhone-maker also promised an accessory that would charge up to three devices at once, no matter where they were on the pad. But that was really only part of what made AirPower so interesting; during its announcement, Apple said you could also use the mat to charge your Apple Watch, and that it and your devices would “intelligently work together and communicate with each other to manage the charging through one more efficient charging system.”

Meanwhile, Tesla isn’t promising any of those things. That means you won’t be able to use the platform to charge your Apple, Galaxy, or Pixel Watch, since most wearables aren’t compatible with the Qi standard. And Tesla’s page makes no mention of devices being able to communicate to achieve maximum charging efficiency.

It’s debatable whether that last point is that important, though. With a 65W power adapter, and the ability to pump out up to 15W to all three devices, does Tesla need to optimize for efficiency like Apple planned to do in 2018? I don’t think that’d be a make-or-break feature for me, though the smartwatch thing is a big bummer — the whole point of this type of product is to have one place to charge all your devices, and this can’t do that for a lot of people. (I suspect there are more wearable owners than people who have to charge two phones on the regular, but I could be wrong.)

Image of the Tesla charging pad with two iPhones and a set of AirPods on it.

You’d probably be hard-pressed to fit a third phone on here, and those AirPods are not drawing the full 15W.
Image: Tesla

Not that I would’ve considered dropping $300 on a wireless charging pad anyways. I just don’t have enough devices to need something like that, and even if I did I feel like the charger’s dimensions would be limiting. If you want to fit three devices onto it, they’re going to be pretty packed together, making the ability to put those devices anywhere less handy. And if I’m just charging a device or two, this type of charger pretty overkill. Plus, an “integrated” USB-C power cable on such an expensive device is absolutely a dealbreaker for me, considering that I have a cable-munching gremlin living in my house.

The good news is that Tesla’s charger isn’t completely unique — Nomad’s Base Station Pro made pretty similar promises years ago and used Aira’s tech, though it provided significantly slower charging. (The company seems to have moved towards using magnets to align your devices in the latest version of the Base Station.) And if you’re willing to give up the ability to lay your device down anywhere, you can easily get chargers for three or four devices for significantly less than $300. This one from Mophie even gives you little cutouts that should take the guesswork out of where to put your device for optimal charging.

But if you’re the type of person who wants to be able to wirelessly fast charge three devices at once, or hate having to carefully place your phone and earbuds down on a charging pad (and you’re okay with giving money to Elon Musk), it’s cool to see FreePower’s tech showing up in more chargers. And hey, even with its eye-watering price, Tesla’s charger is still way cheaper than this luxury three-device FreePower charger.

Tesla says the Wireless Charging Platform will start shipping in February 2023.



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