Protocol - Twitter’s shareholders take a vote

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By Sarah Roach and Nat Rubio-Licht
September 13, 2022

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Good morning! Two important Twitter events are happening today that we’re tuning in to: Zatko’s congressional testimony and Twitter’s shareholder vote on Elon Musk’s acquisition offer. And though we have a pretty good idea of how things will shake out, as with most things related to Twitter, anything could happen.

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Twitter’s field day

 

It’s a big day for Twitter and Elon Musk. First, at 10 a.m. ET, Peiter Zatko will testify before Congress about his allegations against Twitter. Then, at 1 p.m. ET, the company’s shareholders will vote on Musk’s acquisition.

Zatko’s testimony could lay the groundwork for further federal probes into Twitter, though by this point his allegations against the company are known.

  • Zatko’s expected to answer questions ranging from the significance of Twitter’s bot issue to whether Twitter misled investors on security and privacy, The Guardian wrote.
  • Many of these problems have already been hashed out in public. Musk even tried to use Zatko’s claims, as well as the severance he received from Twitter, as further evidence to help him back out of the deal, but Twitter rejected it.

The shareholder vote looks to be decided already. While it could have changed the course of the deal, early indications suggest this is going to go the way of Twitter, not Musk.

  • Sources told The Wall Street Journal that shareholders are poised to approve the deal by a wide margin, and Reuters went as far as saying that a majority has already voted in favor. The final votes will be cast during the shareholder meeting later today.
  • If shareholders were to reject the deal, Musk wouldn’t have any contractual obligations to buy Twitter anymore, University of Michigan law professor Adam Pritchard told me.
  • But Pritchard added that “shareholders [would be] crazy to vote no.” Even if no one wants Musk to take over Twitter, it’s in their financial interest to push it forward. And it seems like they already acted on that.
  • If they do vote yes, nothing much changes about the deal. Twitter and Musk will move forward with their scheduled trial next month, and Twitter will try to force the deal to close.

Still, if there’s one thing to remember about Twitter in 2022, it’s that nothing to do with the company seems to be predictable. So while we might think we know what to expect from today, there could still be fireworks.

— Sarah Roach

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A rigged outcome

 

Ethereum’s hefty carbon footprint comes from its mining rigs, which all run simultaneously and make the calculations that keep it secure. Once Ethereum switches from proof of work to proof of stake, only one computer will be needed to do this task instead of thousands, cutting Ethereum’s energy use by 99%. That’s a climate win for sure, but it does have some caveats.

Throwing out now-useless rigs could lead to a massive e-waste problem, Protocol Climate reporter Michelle Ma writes.

  • E-waste poses health concerns to communities near dumping sites, and can cause air and water pollution if not disposed of properly. Though e-waste can be recycled, only 20% of it usually is.

Ethereum rigs can be repurposed, though. Several big mining companies have indicated they plan to use these rigs for cloud computing, AI applications or VFX rendering.

  • But Ethereum is decentralized, which means thousands of people and small-scale operators mine with just a few rigs. They might not switch to using the devices for proof-of-stake calculations at all.
  • And the market for secondhand GPUs is slim, especially considering the amount of strain the components are put under and the fact that global GPU prices are already falling.
  • Some operators may simply toss their Ethereum GPUs and install mining rigs for, say, bitcoin — though they're more likely to do that once (if?) crypto prices rebound.

Mitigating crypto’s impact on climate is vital. But in this case, the Merge may simply shift the source of the environmental damage.

— Nat Rubio-Licht

​What don't people understand about being a CTO?

 

Quite a lot, actually. CTO members of Protocol's Braintrust told us that their role in M&A, their level of overlap with product strategy and their focus on people are all elements of their roles that can often be overlooked. Here are some choice cuts from what they told us:

  • Rathi Murthy, Expedia Group: “Being a CTO today means so much more than just managing a company’s current tech stack or consolidating it to one stack; we are responsible for exploring the potential of all the latest technologies available — their specific use cases and future business impact — or we risk falling behind and building on outdated tech.”
  • Vijay Sankaran, Johnson Controls: “Being a CTO also has a lot of business responsibilities — educating colleagues on the senior leadership team around technology and the value that the technology can bring to their businesses, helping set the vision around compelling solutions that drives business growth, strategically identifying M&A opportunities that are additive to the in-house capabilities.”

Read the full story here.

A MESSAGE FROM PROJECT LIBERTY

Combining the power of cutting-edge tech, effective governance principles and a civic movement, Project Liberty is transforming how the internet works and who it works for. Join us at Unfinished Live, September 21-24, to learn more and to get involved.

Learn more

People are talking

 

Consumer Federation of America manager Rachel Gittleman said fiat cash flows need guardrails for proper credit scoring:

  • “When we’re talking about companies that are not regulated … well, it has red flags all over the place.”

Proofpoint's Selena Larson said Red Canary's Katie Nickels is a mentor to an awful lot of people in cybersecurity:

  • "You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone in cyberthreat intelligence that hasn't learned from Katie Nickels."

Customer experience in the enterprise​

 

Join us at 11 a.m. PT on Sept. 19, where we'll dive into the tech tools, tricks and real-life strategies that companies are using to build a CX tech ecosystem and prepare for an increasingly customer-first future.

RSVP here.

Making moves

 

Google closed its $5.4 billion acquisition of Mandiant. The company will operate under Google Cloud.

Heather MacDougall is expected to leave Amazon next month, according to CNBC. MacDougall oversaw the company's workplace health and safety.

Peloton lost a few top execs, including co-founder and former CEO John Foley; co-founder Hisao Kushi; and chief commercial officer Kevin Cornils. Former Restoration Hardware President Karen Boone will take Foley's place as chair of the board.

Carlos Torres is Mozilla’s new chief legal officer. He previously led legal and strategic initiatives at research and development company Flashbots and spent over a decade at Salesforce.


Loren Padelford is Bill.com’s new chief commercial officer. Padelford is a former VP and GM of revenue at Shopify.

In other news

 

AppLovin doesn't want Unity anymore. Unity shareholders had already turned down the offer, and now AppLovin decided not to submit another bid.

The SEC charged VMware with misleading investors on its financial performance. VMware agreed to pay an $8 million penalty.

Instagram Reels isn’t doing great. Users are spending far less time watching short-form video on Instagram compared to TikTok, according to a document obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

Twitter is digging deeper into audio. The company launched its redesigned Twitter Spaces tab to include podcasts and “themed audio stations.”

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin had to abort its latest uncrewed mission mid-flight. The payload — which included 18 experiments for NASA and thousands of childrens’ postcards — landed safely.

Intel cut expectations for the IPO of self-driving car company Mobileye, reducing its valuation to $30 billion from $50 billion, Bloomberg reported.

San Mateo jails are spying on attorney messages, a new lawsuit says.Three lawyers allege that their privileged communications with their clients were monitored and passed on to prosecutors.

Micron broke ground on its $15 billion U.S. chip plant. The company also announced plans for another plant.


You can now unsend and edit messages on iOS 16. You have to unsend messages within two minutes of sending, and edit them within 15 minutes.

Pumpkin spice blockchain, anyone?

 

Starbucks yesterday introduced Starbucks Odyssey, combining its Starbucks Rewards program with an NFT platform. Starbucks Odyssey will allow customers to earn and buy digital assets to unlock exclusive rewards. The platform is launching by the end of the year, so that sweet cream cold brew that you just can't resit might soon come with a side of blockchain. Delicious. 

A MESSAGE FROM PROJECT LIBERTY

Combining the power of cutting-edge tech, effective governance principles and a civic movement, Project Liberty is transforming how the internet works and who it works for. Join us at Unfinished Live, September 21-24, to learn more and to get involved.

Learn more

 

Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to sourcecode@protocol.com, or our tips line, tips@protocol.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.

 

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