SpaceX Starship launch live updates

Posted By: Vanshika Pathak Posted On: Nov 18, 2023
People watch as SpaceX's next-generation Starship spacecraft atop its powerful Super Heavy rocket lifts off from the company's Boca Chica launchpad near Brownsville, Texas on November 18.(Reuters)

SpaceX Starship launch live updates: SpaceX's spacecraft Starship, which has been developed to carry astronauts to the moon and beyond, reached space for the first time on Saturday, but was presumed to have failed minutes later.

This was the second launch of Elon Musk's Starship rocket after its first flight in April ended up in an explosion. SpaceX had initially scheduled the second launch of the Starship rocket on Friday, but delayed it by a day due to technical issues.

The two-stage rocketship, blasted off from the Elon Musk-owned company's Starbase launch site near Boca Chica in Texas, on a planned 90-minute flight into space, but contact was lost roughly 10 minutes after lift-off, a company broadcaster said.

Follow all the updates here:

SpaceX Starship launch: The lift-off moment!

Liftoff of Starship! pic.twitter.com/qXnGXXZP5k

Before it all went haywire, Elon Musk's Starship rocket lifted-off sucessfully from a company's Starbase launch site near Boca Chica in Texas.

This was Starship's second launch after its first flight in April ended up in an explosion.

SpaceX Starship launch: Self-destruct feature trigged

According to CNN, Elon Musk's SpaceX confirmed on its livestream that it was forced to trigger Starship's “flight termination system” – a self-destruct feature that SpaceX engaged to prevent the Starship from traveling off course.

SpaceX Starship launch: What exactly happened?

-SpaceX's uncrewed spacecraft Starship, which has been developed to carry astronauts to the moon and beyond, blasted off succesfully from the launch site near Boca Chica in Texas for a planned 90-minute flight into space.

-Soon after the lift-off it reached space for the first time but SpaceX subsequently said it has lost contact with the spacecraft.-"We have lost the data from the second stage... we think we may have lost the second stage," SpaceX's livestream host John Insprucker said.

SpaceX Starship launch: Contact lost roughly 10 minutes after lift-off

The two-stage rocketship succesffuly lifted-off from the Elon Musk-owned company's Starbase launch site near Boca Chica in Texas, on a planned 90-minute flight into space, but contact was lost roughly 10 minutes after lift-off, Reuters reported, citing a company broadcaster.

"We have lost the data from the second stage... we think we may have lost the second stage," SpaceX's livestream host John Insprucker said.

SpaceX's Starship launch: Engineer says data lost from second stage of flight

A SpaceX engineer says that in the last few minutes that the team has lost the data from the second stage of this flight, according to the BBC.

The team have also now signed off on their live feed of the launch. More details are awaited.

SpaceX's Starship launch: SpaceX says data lost, failure presumed

SpaceX says tha the data has been lost from Elon Musk's Starship rocket flight, failure presumed.

SpaceX's Starship launch: Visuals of stage separation point

Stage separation! pic.twitter.com/PipaCW1PDT

SpaceX's Starship launch: Cheers at SpaceX centre

The livestream by SpaceX shows cheers at the SpaceX centre in Texas, where its staff has gathered.

SpaceX's Starship launch: Rocket reaches space for first time

SpaceX's Starship rocket has reached space for the first time on second test launch attempt, the company's livestream shows.

Watch: SpaceX's Starship launch in Texas

Liftoff of Starship! pic.twitter.com/qXnGXXZP5k

Here's when the largest rocket ever built was launched on its second test flight.

SpaceX's Starship rocket lifts off from Texas

SpaceX has carried out the second test launch of Starship, the largest rocket ever built, in Texas.

Source: Hindustan Times
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Bob Iger explains why Disney won't advertise on X

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Nov 30, 2023
Oct 29, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger in attendance as the Los Angeles Clippers play against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports (USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con)

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger has explained why his company has stopped advertising on Elon Musk's social media giant X (formerly Twitter). Iger said that Musk's stance in agreeing with an anti-Semitic post meant that Disney's association with X wasn't a positive one for the company.

Also Read: Elon Musk criticises advertisers amidst anti-semitic post row, says ‘go f**k yourself'

Speaking at the New York Times Dealbook Summit, Iger began by praising Musk for his accomplishments and his "larger than life" persona: “I have a lot of respect for Elon and what he has accomplished. We know that Elon is larger than life in many respects, and that his name is very much connected to the companies he founded or owns."

Explaining the decision behind stopping advertisements on X, Iger noted, "By him taking the position that he took in quite a public manner, we just felt that the association with that position and Elon Musk and X was not necessarily a positive one for us, and we decided we would pull our advertising."

Earlier this month, Musk agreed with a post claiming that Jewish people have a "dialectical hatred" of white people. The content of the tweet is believed to be widely used by white supremacist conspiracy theorists. The list of companies that have since stopped advertising on X has grown to include big names such as Disney, IBM, Apple, Comcast, IBM, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Paramount and Warner Bros.

The New York Times, citing internal documents, had noted in an earlier report that X stands to lose advertising from around 200 companies, including units of Airbnb, Amazon, Coca-Cola and Microsoft, among others. The report noted that X could lose around $75 million in advertising revenue by the end of the year as a result of the recent controversy.

Musk responds to Iger's comments on pulling ads from X:

Speaking specifically about the impact of an advertising boycott, Musk said at the same summit, “What it's going to do is it's going to kill the company, and the whole world will know the advertisers killed the company,"

Meanwhile, taking a dig at Bob Iger's comments at the New York Times Summit, Musk said, "If someone is going to try and blackmail me with advertising? blackmail me with money? Go f**k yourself. Hey Bob, if you are in the audience that's how I feel. Don't advertise.

The billionaire also expressed regret over the controversial post nad noted that he had essentially ‘handed a loaded gun' to his haters. He said, “I should in retrospect not have replied to that one person and should have written in greater length what i meant. But those clarifications were ignored by the media and essentially I handed a loaded gun to those who hate me and arguably to those who are antisemitic. And for that I'm quite sorry, that was not my intention."

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Source: Live Mint
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Go f**k yourself

Posted By: Tarun Kumar Posted On: Nov 30, 2023
FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk, Chief Executive Officer of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris, France, June 16, 2023. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo (REUTERS)

Elon Musk, who has had a tense relationship with advertisers since taking over X (formerly Twitter) last year, has told them to "go f**k themselves". Musk's comment comes amid a slew of companies, from Disney to Apple, pulling advertising from X over an alleged anti-Semitic post by Musk.

Also Read: Israeli President urges Elon Musk to combat anti-Semitism on X, says ‘he has huge role to play in…'

In an interaction at the New York Times DealBook Summit, Musk said, "If somebody is going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, Go f**k yourself. Is that clear, I hope it is… Hey Bob (Iger), if you're in the audience. That's how I feel, don't advertise."

“No, totally. Look what this advertising boycott is going to do, it's going to kill the company and the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company" Musk added.

The retort by Musk was aimed at Disney CEO Bob Iger who had earlier in the summit said that the association with X was no longer a positive one for his company.

Iger said, “I have a lot of respect for Elon and what he has accomplished… We know that Elon is larger than life in many respects, and that his name is very much connected to the companies he founded or owns. By him taking the position he took in a public manner, we felt that the association was not necessarily a positive one for us."

Musk's regrets reacting to anti-semitic post:

Earlier this month, Musk agreed with a post claiming that Jewish people have a "dialectical hatred" of white people. The content of the tweet is believed to be widely used by white supremacist conspiracy theorists. Musk's response also drew criticism from the Joe Biden-led White House, which called the billionaire's action a " abhorrent promotion of anti-Semitic and racist hate".

The list of companies that have since stopped advertising on X has grown to include big names such as Disney, IBM, Apple, Comcast, IBM, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Paramount and Warner Bros.

In the interaction with the New York Times, Musk regretted reacting to the controversial post, he said, “I am quite sorry…I should in retrospect not have replied to that particular post". The 52-year-old also went ahead to call his reaction to the anti-semitic post “one of the most foolish if not the most foolish thing I've ever done on the platform"

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Behind the Scenes of Sam Altman’s Wild Ouster From OpenAI

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Nov 22, 2023
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman at the company?s San Francisco office in March. CLARA MOKRI FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Sam Altman was in Las Vegas for the biggest party of the weekend, the Formula One race, when he opened the Google Meet link that would set off a whiplash-inducing corporate power struggle about the future of artificial intelligence.

In the moments before he clicked on the link in his hotel room, the 38-year-old CEO was living a charmed life. Ever since his company, OpenAI, ushered in the AI age a year ago with the release of ChatGPT, Altman had been jet setting around the world meeting with presidents and prime ministers, shaping the global agenda on AI policy. And he was nearing a fundraising that would value OpenAI at nearly $90 billion, almost triple what it had been earlier in the year.

At noon, he logged on to find the company's board—except, ominously, his closest ally and co-founder, Greg Brockman—peering back at him. Ilya Sutskever, the brilliant, eccentric AI researcher whose hiring eight years ago had put OpenAI on the map, informed Altman that he was being fired and that the news would be announced soon. No explanation was given.

And then, shortly after the little boxes blinked closed, Altman was locked out of his computer.

The crisis at OpenAI is personifying a question that has been boiling inside the AI industry and creating angst among technology giants and world leaders: Who can be trusted to open the Pandora's box that artificial intelligence might represent?

One solution that Altman devised was a curious corporate structure that led to his ouster. A nonprofit board governs OpenAI's for-profit business arm with the sole purpose of ensuring the company develops AI for humanity's benefit—even if that means wiping out its investors.

It was this board that abruptly fired Altman, even as OpenAI's business hit its apex. The board has been vague in public about its reasons, saying in a blog post that Altman was out because he “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board." According to people familiar with the board's thinking, members had grown so untrusting of Altman that they felt it necessary to double check nearly everything he told them.

The explanation baffles Altman's defenders, who say they aren't aware of specific episodes that might warrant such an outcome.

Over the weekend, Altman's old executive team pushed the board to reinstate him—telling directors that their actions could trigger the company's collapse.

“That would actually be consistent with the mission," replied board member Helen Toner, a director at a Washington policy research organization who joined the board two years ago.

This article is based on interviews with more than a dozen insiders at OpenAI and people around the company's hectic weekend.

The situation remains fluid, including where Altman will work or how many followers he would take if he left, and discussions are continuing between the camps. The near-$90 billion-valuation investment plan is on hold.

Altman and Elon Musk had set out to create OpenAI in 2015 as a nonprofit aimed at achieving artificial general intelligence, or AGI, a system with reasoning capabilities that match or exceed a human's. They declared they wanted to do this in a way that would benefit humanity, not just to make profit for corporations. But it turned out that the most promising technological path they found required vast stores of computational power, and thus great piles of money, to work.

Despite the “weird," in his own parlance, nonprofit structure, Altman managed to convince much of the biggest money in the Valley to sign on, including Khosla Ventures and Founders Fund. Eventually, he reeled in Microsoft, which invested $13 billion for 49% of the for-profit.

OpenAI's leaders had a long history of bitter feuds. There was the rupture between Altman and Musk, who left in 2018. Then there was another large rift a couple of years later, when a group of key researchers left to found the rival company Anthropic after clashes over safety.

This time around, Altman's grip on the board slipped after some of the more business-minded board members left earlier this year. The maker of the most advanced AI technology that was rapidly weaving itself into every nook and cranny of the American economy came to be controlled by four people who weren't focused on whether the business was economically successful.

In addition to Sutskever, OpenAI's board consists of Adam D'Angelo, a former Facebook executive and a co-founder of the question-and-answer website Quora; Tasha McCauley, an adjunct senior management scientist at the Rand Corp., a policy nonprofit, and Toner, a director at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology, a research organization tied to Georgetown University. The center receives funds from Open Philanthropy, a group identified with effective altruism, a philanthropic movement whose adherents spend money trying to solve potentially catastrophic problems affecting the world.

Friday, at noon, those four people fired Altman. At 12:19 p.m., with Sutskever as their spokesman, they removed Brockman from the board.

Brockman resigned from his employee role in protest.

Inside OpenAI's plant- and fountain-filled offices in San Francisco, the executive leadership team was in shock. The board had named Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati interim CEO and handed the executive team a packet of crisis-communications talking points that offered no more insight into what was going on than the board's vague blog post, according to people familiar with the matter.

Murati and Sutskever led an all-hands meeting at 2 p.m. Employees peppered them with dozens of questions, many of which were some version of: what did Sam do? One employee asked if they would ever find out, to which Sutskever replied, “No."

After that meeting, the executive team regrouped in a conference room. A member of the executive team told Sutskever that the lack of detail was unacceptable and demanded the rest of the board join a video call to explain, according to people familiar with the matter.

On the call, the leadership team pressed the board over the course of about 40 minutes for specific examples of Altman's lack of candor, the people said. The board refused, citing legal reasons, the people said.

Some executives said they were getting questions from regulators and law-enforcement entities such as the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan over the charge of Altman's alleged lack of candor, the people said. The truth was going to come out one way or another, they told the board.

People familiar with the board's thinking said there wasn't one incident that led to their decision to eject Altman, but a consistent, slow erosion of trust over time that made them increasingly uneasy. Also complicating matters were Altman's mounting list of outside AI-related ventures, which raised questions for the board about how OpenAI's technology or intellectual property could be used.

The board agreed to discuss the matter with their counsel. After a few hours, they returned, still unwilling to provide specifics. They said that Altman wasn't candid, and often got his way. The board said that Altman had been so deft they couldn't even give a specific example, according to the people familiar with the executives.

The executives requested written examples of the board's allegations.

Meanwhile, Altman was on the phone with Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, saying he wanted to keep working on the technology. They gamed out ways to undo the day's events, but also began to hash out a backup plan for Altman to bring a bunch of his top researchers and start a new division at the tech giant, according to people familiar with their conversation.

Altman also told friends that he was thinking of starting a new company with Brockman and intended to hire away dozens of OpenAI employees.

Altman blamed himself for not better managing the board, which he felt was taken over by people overly concerned with safety and influenced by effective altruism.

The specter of effective altruism had loomed over the politics of the board and company in recent months, particularly after the movement's most famous adherent, Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, was found guilty of fraud in a highly public trial.

Some of those fears centered on Toner, who previously worked at Open Philanthropy. In October, she published an academic paper touting the safety practices of OpenAI's competitor, Anthropic, which didn't release its own AI tool until ChatGPT's emergence.

“By delaying the release of Claude until another company put out a similarly capable product, Anthropic was showing its willingness to avoid exactly the kind of frantic corner-cutting that the release of ChatGPT appeared to spur," she and her co-authors wrote in the paper.

Altman confronted her, saying she had harmed the company, according to people familiar with the matter. Toner told the board that she wished she had phrased things better in her writing, explaining that she was writing for an academic audience and didn't expect a wider public one. Some OpenAI executives told her that everything relating to their company makes its way into the press.

OpenAI leadership and employees were growing increasingly concerned about being painted in the press as “a bunch of effective altruists," as one of them put it. Two days before Altman's ouster, they were discussing these concerns on a Slack channel, which included Sutskever. One senior executive wrote that the company needed to “uplevel" its “independence"—meaning create more distance between itself and the EA movement.

OpenAI had lost three board members over the past year, most notably Reid Hoffman, the LinkedIn co-founder and OpenAI investor who had sold his company to Microsoft and been a key backer of the plan to create a for-profit subsidiary. Other departures were Shivon Zilis, an executive at Neuralink, and Will Hurd, a former Texas congressman.

The departures left the board tipped toward academics and outsiders less loyal to Altman and his vision.

Friday, after being fired, Altman immediately flew back to San Francisco. On Saturday, his Russian Hill home became a war room filled with OpenAI employees, including Murati, then the interim CEO, and other members of the executive team, plotting his return to the company.

They began to use X in a coordinated fashion for their campaign. That evening, Altman tweeted “i love openai employees so much," and dozens of OpenAI employees quote-tweeted it with heart emojis.

On Sunday morning, Murati sent a note to staff saying that Altman would be returning to the office. Altman arrived, mugging on X with his guest pass, writing “first and the last time I ever wear one of these."

He, Brockman, Murati, strategy chief Jason Kwon, Chief Operating Officer Brad Lightcap and the rest of the leadership team spent the day negotiating with the board, arguing for Altman's reinstatement and tossing out suggestions for new board members. They believed they were getting somewhere. One suggestion, Bret Taylor, the former co-CEO of Salesforce, was approved by both sides.

But the sticking point remained Altman's desire to reclaim his CEO role, people familiar with the matter said. Altman also pushed to fire the current board.

The negotiations stretched late into the night, as multiple rounds of takeout were delivered to the Mission District offices and reporters from multiple news outlets staked out the scene like a papal conclave. Inside, employees gathered, some openly sobbing.

When the white smoke came, it wasn't Altman. Emmett Shear, the co-founder of video-streaming service Twitch and a vocal proponent of a slower approach to developing AI, had been named CEO by the board.

Microsoft was given no heads-up about the decision, but when it dropped Nadella had a plan at the ready: Altman and Brockman would go to Microsoft to start a new AI unit, one person said.

The board then put out a memo to the OpenAI team saying it stood by its decision and thought Altman's “behavior and lack of transparency" had “undermined the board's ability to effectively supervise the company in the manner it was mandated to do."

In an attempt to bat down the theories coursing through social media, it added that “This decision is not about product safety or security, the pace of development or OpenAI's finances."

“Bottom line," the board said, “This was a governance issue that lies at the heart of how the board of this uniquely structured organization executes its responsibilities and advances its mission."

A Slack message went out to employees announcing an all-hands meeting with Shear, but several employees responded with middle finger emojis, according to a person familiar with the matter. Less than a dozen people showed up. The roughly 200 people who had spent their Sunday waiting for a resolution flooded out of the building.

In the lobby, Brockman's wife, Anna Brockman, who had been married in 2019 at OpenAI's offices in a civil ceremony officiated by Sutskever, cried and pleaded with Sutskever to reconsider.

Shortly afterward, he did.

Overnight Sunday night, OpenAI employees penned a blistering open letter threatening to quit and follow Altman and Brockman to Microsoft unless the board resigned and reinstated them, and installed new independent board members like Taylor and Hurd. By the end of the day, more than 700 of the 770 employees had signed it—including Sutskever.

“I deeply regret my participation in the board's actions," he wrote on X. “I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we've built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company." Altman retweeted it with three hearts.

On Monday evening, Nadella went on CNBC and said OpenAI needed a new governance structure, but he left the door open to the possibility that Altman and his team would remain at OpenAI.

Microsoft has set up a floor of the LinkedIn office in San Francisco with laptops and clusters of GPU chips, which provide the computational power behind AI, to house the OpenAI team if the bid to restore Altman to the company he co-founded fails.

But as negotiations drag on between the board and OpenAI leadership, there are no OpenAI employees there yet. A person familiar with Nadella's thinking said Microsoft's first preference is for Altman to return as OpenAI CEO.

Corinne Ramey and Tom Dotan contributed to this article.

Write to Keach Hagey at Keach.Hagey@wsj.com, Deepa Seetharaman at deepa.seetharaman@wsj.com and Berber Jin at berber.jin@wsj.com

Source: Live Mint
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Something Dangerous For Humanity

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Nov 22, 2023

Elon Musk has shed light on the idea that OpenAI might have done “something potentially dangerous” for humanity, and that may have been one of the reasons why ex-CEO Sam Altman was let go.

For those uninitiated, Sam Altman, the former CEO of OpenAI, was fired by the generative artificial intelligence giant last week. OpenAI, which is responsible for creating the popular chatbot ChatGPT and the GPT series of large language models (LLMs), said that they were no longer confident in Sam to lead the company. And this sparked a series of events that is truly bizarre.

Now, Elon Musk was quick to jump into the action after he asked Ilya Sutskever, why he took such a big step to suddenly fire Altman. Sutskever is one of the board members and a scientist at OpenAI, and it is believed that he may have been one of the top reasons why Sam was ousted from the very company he helped build. However, after all the drama unfolded, and when Microsoft's Satya Nadella announced that Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, and some other OpenAI members were going to join Microsoft, with Sam being the CEO of the artificial intelligence project, Sutskever was quick to post an apology on Elon Musk's X (formerly Twitter).

“I deeply regret my participation in the board's actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we've built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company,” Sutskever said on X.

Elon Musk, replying to this post, later said, “Why did you take such a drastic action? If OpenAI is doing something potentially dangerous to humanity, the world needs to know.” Now, this has become a catalyst for a debate about OpenAI's responsible development towards generative AI.

Time and again, industry experts, including Musk himself, have voiced their opinions about how AI could prove to be dangerous for humans in the future, and that development must be done responsibly and should not be rushed.

Many have voiced fears about potential hyper-intelligent AI software that may prove to be a bane for humanity, and that working too quickly towards achieving that may not be the best idea for humanity at large.

Source: News18
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Elon Musk's X sues Media Matters over ad controversy

Posted By: Jaydatt Chaudhary Posted On: Nov 21, 2023
X CEO Elon Musk leaves a US Senate bipartisan Artificial Intelligence (AI) Insight Forum at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on September 13, 2023. The White House on November 17, 2023, condemned the owner of social media platform X and world's richest person Elon Musk for 'abhorrent promotion' of anti-Semitism. Referring to a Musk post on X, formerly called Twitter, in which he endorsed an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said it was 'unacceptable' to repeat such a 'hideous lie.' (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (AFP)

Elon Musk's X Corp is suing liberal media advocacy group Media Matters for allegedly manipulating the social media platform's algorithms and fabricating posts to drive away advertisers.

Responding to a post mentioning the lawsuit against Media Matters, Musk said it was only the first of many to be filed against the advocacy group.

Also Read| Elon Musk mocks Satya Nadella's message on Microsoft - OpenAI partnership, says ‘Now they will have to…'

Source: Live Mint
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Only wish the best for humanity

Posted By: Vishal Maurya Posted On: Nov 20, 2023
Tesla and SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk gestures during an event in London (Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo)

Billionaire Elon Musk denounced what he calls "bogus" media reports accusing him of anti-semitism. This response follows his recent endorsement of content on X that sparked outrage and led major advertisers like Apple Inc. to distance themselves from the platform.

"This past week, there were hundreds of bogus media stories claiming that I am antisemitic. Nothing could be further from the truth. I wish only the best for humanity and a prosperous and exciting future for all," he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, a social media platform he owns.

Source: Live Mint
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How Elon Musk

Posted By: Vanshika Pathak Posted On: Nov 18, 2023
(PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY EMIL LENDOF/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Elon Musk insists he isn’t an antisemite.

But this past week, the billionaire entrepreneur left many wondering. At the very least, a string of inflammatory tweets he sent Wednesday showed how gratuitous Musk can be and how easily tweets on his own social-media platform can be misleading and trigger him.

His tweets called an antisemitic post “the actual truth" and renewed his pointed criticisms against the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy group that he has described as pushing a “woke mind virus" hurting free speech and, in turn, his business, Twitter-turned-X.

It was an unexpected provocation six weeks after Musk and the ADL appeared to reach a detente after an earlier escalation. And once again his self-generated drama is hindering his pursuits.

He has drawn a tidal wave of negative attention at the moment when he was supposed to be a shining example of American excellence at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in San Francisco and overseeing the potentially historic launch of SpaceX's large rocket scheduled for Saturday.

Instead, Drudge Report was running a banner headline naming him the “world's richest bigot." Longtime vocal Tesla investors were expressing dismay in their famous CEO. Apple, Disney and other majors advertisers suspended spending on X, opening a major new risk for the company. And the White House was condemning Musk's “abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate in the strongest terms, which runs against our core values as Americans."

A close study of his tweets Wednesday helps show what prompted him to go nuclear against the ADL. His ugly detour began shortly after the lunch hour in California when Musk came across a tweet from the kind of user he might consider one of the so-called citizen journalists he has become obsessed with on the platform.

“Fake corporate new media is making up stuff again," began a post by an account called Wall Street Silver, run by Jim Lewis and Ivan Bayoukhi and followed by more than one million users, including Musk.

Wall Street Silver, which has its roots in a Reddit forum dealing with metals, included a screenshot of an MSNBC broadcast about the rise of hate speech at Twitter under Musk that cited data from the ADL. “Not exactly legitimate objective sources," it concluded.

Musk responded. “They really should just drop the ‘A' and go with Defamation League," he wrote. “Way more accurate."

In the roughly two hours that followed, the billionaire's rhetoric grew hotter as he continued to name check the ADL. One could almost see anger building in real time as what Musk's biographer has dubbed his Demon Mode exploded online for all to see.

At one point, Musk tweeted support for a random X user's post espousing the same sort of vile conspiracy theory about Jews replacing whites that was spewed by a killer who shot up a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018. That reply by Musk—“You have said the actual truth"—ignited the firestorm against him.

He kept going.

“The ADL unjustly attacks the majority of the West, despite the majority of the West supporting the Jewish people and Israel," Musk tweeted. “This is because they cannot, by their own tenets, criticize the minority groups who are their primary threat. It is not right and needs to stop."

When a user pushed back that it wasn't fair to generalize against the Jewish community at large, Musk mostly agreed: “You right that this does not extend to all Jewish communities, but it is also not just limited to ADL."

He added, “And, at the risk of being repetitive, I am deeply offended by ADL's messaging and any other groups who push de facto anti-white racism or anti-Asian racism or racism of any kind. I'm sick of it. Stop now."

What makes the whole episode even more of an unforced error is that the MSNBC screenshot was from almost a year ago, though the Wall Street Silver tweet doesn't mention that. Lewis and Bayoukhi each responded to requests for comment with a giant poop emoji.

Wall Street Silver's X account is the kind of user Musk has been interacting with more and more as he works to promote so-called citizen journalists, or content creators, that he's betting can create the types of viral posts that make X the place to be for a whole host of topics.

This month, Musk has averaged a daily reply on X to Wall Street Silver, which often covers a wide array of current events through a sensational or conservative lens.

Under X's new revenue share program, certain paying users, such as Wall Street Silver, have new motivations to see their tweets go viral as more engagement can generate larger payouts.

Wednesday's Wall Street Silver post about the ADL was viewed more than 1 million times through Friday, according to X's count.

Musk's citizen journalism effort has been tested since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in October and the subsequent flood of posts involving the conflict—some filled with very real images and others not so much, including old video clips misleadingly repurposed.

The company's ability to handle hate speech and misinformation has been under heightened scrutiny, including from the ADL, since Musk acquired Twitter in late October 2022. The ADL's research, suggesting a spike in antisemitism, helped fuel news stories that fall, including that MSNBC story.

“Today, we are joining dozens of other groups to ask advertisers to pause Twitter spending because we are profoundly concerned about antisemitism and hate on the platform," the ADL tweeted shortly after Musk took over.

In the weeks that followed, Musk dismantled much of the company's infrastructure around content moderation, moves that left some advertisers and others worried X would be left more vulnerable to offensive content than rivals.

The changes were partly framed by Musk as being made to combat an overly liberal mindset that squashed free speech on the platform, especially among more conservative voices.

In September, Musk lashed out at the ADL over its criticism, blaming his company's advertising woes on pressure the group applied to brands—claims it denied.

To Musk, the ADL was a progressive liberal group looking to silence speech and part of the “woke mind virus" he had vowed to push back against.

“Since the acquisition, The @ADL has been trying to kill this platform by falsely accusing it & me of being anti-Semitic," Musk tweeted.

Musk's aggressive rebuttals, including threatening to sue the ADL, came as his newly hired X Chief Executive Linda Yaccarino had been trying to smooth things over with advertisers and the ADL.

By Oct. 4, a detente was reached between Musk and the ADL. The group issued a statement announcing it would resume advertising on the platform. “We appreciate @X's stated intent over the last few weeks to address antisemitism and hate on the platform," the ADL tweeted.

Musk thanked the group in his own tweets. Then came Wednesday.

Write to Tim Higgins at tim.higgins@wsj.com

Source: Live Mint
Related Posts: ELON MUSK,MUSK ANTISEMITIC POST,ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE,X,TWITTER,CITIZEN JOURNALISTS,MUSK?S CITIZEN JOURNALISM,ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR

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SpaceX postpones Starship test flight a day due to hardware swap

Posted By: Preeti Dabar Posted On: Nov 17, 2023
SpaceX is aiming to make a second attempt at launching its 400-foot-tall (122 meters) Starship rocket system into space.

SpaceX has postponed its second attempt to launch the company's Starship rocket system into space by a day to Saturday, Chief Executive Elon Musk said, citing a piece of flight control hardware that needed replacing.

Also Read | Elon Musk denies report of Starlink IPO plans, calls it 'false'

"We need to replace a grid fin actuator, so launch is postponed to Saturday," Musk wrote on social media platform X on Thursday.

The launch is scheduled to take place within a 20-minute window opening at 8 a.m. EST (1300 GMT) at the company's Starbase site on the Gulf of Mexico near Boca Chica, Texas.

Also Read | SpaceX's Starship rocket, designed to carry 100 people to Mars, to launch tomorrow from Texas

SpaceX is aiming to make a second attempt at launching its 400-foot-tall (122 meters) Starship rocket system into space. During its first try in April, the rocket exploded roughly four minutes after lifting off from Texas.

Company officials have said the rocket has been ready to fly for months, pending approval of a license by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which the company obtained on Wednesday.

The scheduled flight is one of many crucial tests in SpaceX's development campaign to build a fully reusable rocket capable of sending some 150 tons of satellites into space, as well as humans to the moon and eventually Mars.

Milestone Alert!Livemint tops charts as the fastest growing news website in the world 🌏 Click here to know more.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

Source: Live Mint
Related Posts: SPACEX,STARSHIP LAUNCH,STARSHIP ROCKET,ELON MUSK

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China’s Xi Draws Standing Ovation From U

Posted By: Vishal Maurya Posted On: Nov 16, 2023
Xi sought to enlist U.S. businesses? help in easing tensions?a theme of his earlier meeting with President Biden. PHOTO: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

SAN FRANCISCO—Foreign capital is fleeing China. Yet on his first trip to the U.S. in six years, Chinese leader Xi Jinping didn’t make a pitch to win back American businesses and investors.

Instead, at a dinner with U.S. corporate chiefs and other guests, Xi sought to enlist corporate America's help in easing bilateral tensions, emphasizing the room for both nations to work together—a theme of his meeting with President Biden earlier Wednesday. Throughout his speech, Xi described himself as a leader of the people and stressed the importance of buttressing bilateral ties with people-to-people exchanges, but didn't specifically highlight trade or investment.

“China is pursuing high-quality development, and the United States is revitalizing its economy," Xi said. “There is plenty of room for our cooperation."

In attendance were CEOs including Apple's Tim Cook and BlackRock's Larry Fink, along with leaders and senior executives from Qualcomm, Boeing, Blackstone, KKR, Pfizer, FedEx and other large U.S. firms, which all invest in China and collectively have trillions of dollars in market value. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff greeted Xi during the predinner reception but didn't stay for the dinner.

One special guest symbolized historic cooperation between the two countries: a former Flying Tiger fighter pilot who helped China fight Japan during World War II.

The audience, which gathered at Hyatt Regency in downtown San Francisco, gave Xi a standing ovation as the Chinese leader went on stage, introduced by insurer Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg. They applauded his speech several times, including when he indicated the possibility of China sending more pandas to the U.S. “We are ready to continue our cooperation with the United States on panda conservation," Xi said.

But there were some notable absences compared with a similar dinner in Seattle in 2015 when Xi brought along high-profile tech CEOs including Alibaba founder Jack Ma. This time, even though the dinner was in the tech hub of San Francisco, there were barely any Chinese entrepreneurs, and fewer U.S. tech leaders, such as Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, despite the dinner's proximity to Silicon Valley.

The event took place on a night when many business leaders were already committed to a separate dinner Biden hosted for leaders from countries along the Pacific rim who were in town for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting.

Harder Times for Businesses Tied to China

But for American CEOs, the optics of being seen wining and dining with the Chinese leader have changed since 2015 amid increased scrutiny from lawmakers in Washington.

Mike Gallagher, chairman of a House select committee on China, is demanding that the two main sponsors of the dinner in Xi's honor—the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the U.S.-China Business Council—disclose the names of those who bought tickets, either the $2,000 per-person general admission ticket or the $40,000 fee to sit at the table with the Chinese leader. He called the spending unconscionable given China's “genocide against millions of innocent men, women, and children in Xinjiang." China denies that allegation.

The risks for businesses operating in China have also increased substantially. Western management consultants, auditors and other firms have been hit with raids, investigations and detentions. Meanwhile, new espionage and data-security laws threaten to criminalize routine business activities.

That makes for a jarring contrast with Xi's “win-win cooperation" message.

“He offered no hints of concessions to business or even interest in more investment in the Chinese economy," said a senior American business executive who attended the dinner. “The speech was propaganda at its finest."

Added another: “How could he not say anything about trade and investment given the audience?"

Xi came to San Francisco this week with the dual mission of stabilizing relations with the U.S. and restoring investor confidence in China's economy. With a debt crisis and a protracted downturn brewing, Xi and his lieutenants want to stem the exodus of foreign capital that for years had helped drive China's growth. In the way of that effort is the leader's own national-security agenda that puts fending off perceived foreign threats ahead of development.

“He made some headway on the first with Biden," said Danny Russel, a former senior official for Asia in the Obama administration, who is now a vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute. “The second will be more challenging."

Foreign firms are more likely to take profits out of China than reinvest these days, yanking more than $160 billion in total earnings from China during six successive quarters through the end of September, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Chinese data.

Wall Street Executives at Top Table With Xi

Some 44 guests sat at the table with Xi at Wednesday's dinner, featuring a three-course meal including steak, vegetable curry and fruit tart. Among them were a who's who on Wall Street, including Fink, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio, Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman and KKR co-CEO Joseph Bae. More than 300 people in total attended the dinner.

Xi started his speech with a walk down memory lane, making note of the Flying Tigers, the start of formal diplomatic ties between China and the U.S., and his first visit to the U.S. nearly four decades ago. “I stayed at the Dvorchaks' in Iowa," the Chinese leader said, referring to the American family he stayed with. “I still remember their address."

That Xi didn't mention trade and investment with the U.S. contrasted with the remarks given by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo before. In a welcoming tone, Raimondo said during the Wednesday dinner honoring Xi that “we want robust trade with China" even as both nations put national security as their priority.

“We will protect as we must and promote as we can," Raimondo said.

Xi attended the dinner with the U.S. business community after a summit with Biden earlier Wednesday. The summit was the leaders' first meeting in a year, and they reached agreements to resume military contacts, restart cooperation on choking off key ingredients for making fentanyl and open a new dialogue on the risks posed by artificial intelligence.

Just a year ago, when the two leaders held talks on the Indonesian island of Bali, Xi brimmed with confidence after political success at home that gave him a norm-breaking third term, according to people briefed on that meeting.

This time, Xi went into the summit with domestic challenges piling up while Biden was bolstered by a humming U.S. economy.

Noting the change of fortune, a senior administration official told reporters on the eve of the leaders' summit that Biden was coming into the meeting “with the wind at his back."

Asked about Xi dining with American CEOs, the official said while most U.S. investment in China isn't controversial, Biden “would prefer that some of that capital come to the United States."

The gathering gloom over China's economy this year helped bring Xi to the table with Biden with a renewed interest in engagement. But fundamentally, countering the U.S. remains at the core of Xi's foreign policy. And Xi still believes that the Chinese system will eventually prevail over the West's—“the East is rising, the West is declining," as he puts it—even though the process might not be a straight line, said people close to Beijing's decision-making.

Write to Lingling Wei at Lingling.Wei@wsj.com and Charles Hutzler at charles.hutzler@wsj.com

Source: Live Mint
Related Posts: CHINA,XI JINPING,PRESIDENT BIDEN,TIM COOK,ELON MUSK,QUALCOMM,BOEING,BLACKSTONE,KKR,PFIZER,FEDEX,JACK MA

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Wikipedia Co-Founder Takes A Dig At Elon Musk's X

Posted By: Jaydatt Chaudhary Posted On: Nov 16, 2023

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has called out Elon Musk's X (formerly known as Twitter), stating that it isn't a reliable source of information. He even took a dig at xAI's new chatbot called Grok.

According to a report by Fortune, Wales, speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon, said that he is glad that Large Language Models (LLMs) are rummaging through Wikipedia's content rather than going through the Elon Musk-owned X to deliver answers to users through chatbots like ChatGPT.

“I'm pretty happy that they're (LLMs) reading Wikipedia and not just Elon Musk's Twitter; It's not really a great source of truth,” Wales was quoted as saying by Fortune. Moreover, when he was asked about Musk's new Grok 1-powered chatbot ‘Grok,' Wales said, “I haven't even heard of it,” taking a dig at the billionaire once more.

Notably, this isn't the first time that the two have bouts of animosity, albeit casual. Last month in October, Musk, known for his quirky demeanor and antics on X, proposed a $1 billion offer to Wikipedia in exchange for a name change. “I will give them a billion dollars if they change their name to Dickipedia,” Elon Musk posted on X. Musk added that this is “in the interests of accuracy.”

Musk also called out Wikipedia for allegedly demanding money from its readers. “Have you ever wondered why the Wikimedia Foundation wants so much money?” Musk said on X. He added, “It certainly isn't needed to operate Wikipedia. You can literally fit a copy of the entire text on your phone! So, what's the money for? Inquiring minds want to know..”

Prior to this incident, Jimmy Wales had also taken a dig at Musk for allegedly censoring people critical of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and not allowing free speech on X.

Source: News18
Related Posts: ELON MUSK,TWITTER,WIKIPEDIA,X

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