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Tech Week: Twitter Buyout, Cities’ Wait-and-See Approach on Metaverse & More

April 29, 2022

Twitter Accepts Buyout Offer from Elon Musk

Twitter announced last week that its board had accepted the offer from Tesla CEO Elon Musk to buy the company for $54.20 per share, or about $44 billion. If the deal receives shareholder and regulatory approval Twitter will become a private company.

Musk has repeatedly said that his main interest in buying the company is protecting free speech. But critics of the billionaire are concerned he’ll actually use the social media platform to silence the voices of those who he disagrees with as he has often done with his personal Twitter account.

In related news, former President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t return to Twitter even if Musk lifted the platform’s ban on him, imposed after the January 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. (CNBC)

Cities Taking Wait-and-See Approach on Metaverse

U.S. cities are leaving the development of the metaverse to the private sector, although some are using the technologies upon which that world is being built, like blockchains, virtual reality and 3D modeling.

Utah Chief Technology Officer Dave Fletcher said state officials would have a hard time making the case to lawmakers right now that the metaverse would generate enough return on investment or resident demand to justify the expense of adoption.

Gartner Technology Innovation Research Director Marty Resnick also pointed out there are currently multiple metaverses and until there’s consolidation in the space governments would risk investing in a metaverse that ends up falling out of public favor.

But Susan Gonzales, CEO of the nonprofit AIandYou, which assists marginalized communities with understanding new technologies, said this early stage of development offers governments an opportunity to help guide what the metaverse ultimately becomes, possibly avoiding some of the bias and inequity that have accompanied technologies like artificial intelligence. (GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY)

No OSHA Penalties for Amazon after Warehouse Collapse

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered Amazon to review its severe weather policies after an investigation into a tornado-related collapse of an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois in December that killed six workers and revealed safety risks. But the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is overseen by the Labor Department, didn’t levy any fines or other penalties on the company because OSHA investigators had concluded that the company’s severe weather emergency procedures “met minimal safety guidelines for storm sheltering (CNBC)

-- Compiled by KOREY CLARK


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