Netflix Stock Takes Hit; More Musk & Twitter; Whole Foods Austin Getting Palm Scanning Tech; Google Shows Air Quality Now in US, India, & VictoriaPosted: April 20, 2022
At last check Netflix was down 37%, a big hit. Bloomberg reports that the drop is largely due to a loss in subscribers, the first drop in over 10 years. The platform has lost some 600,000 subscribers in the latest quarter. A couple reasons have been given for this. One, and most obvious, is that Netflix raised prices. Another reason, which has a number of subscribers hopping mad, is that Netflix is looking to introduce a lower price tier that includes ads. The lack of ads has been one thing that set Netflix apart from others like Hulu, Disney, and HBO. Netflix seems to be taking an ‘everybody’s doing it’ attitude. Analysts have noted lately that even Disney has seen big growth then loss of subscribers, and that subscriber ‘churn’ may just be becoming a fact of life of these entertainment platforms.
A number of articles are out, pundits are ‘punditing,’ and everyone is speculating on Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter…which after the board adapted a ‘poison pill,’ is widely expected to be turned down. Yahoo.com talked to Georgetown University Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Urska Velikonja. She pointed out that “It’s not actually a firm commitment to buy all shares of Twitter. It’s just, sort of, a notice that ‘I’m interested in buying all of Twitter.'”
The professor notes that one way Musk could make a deal and buy would involve partnering with financing sources like Apollo Global or Morgan Stanley…but that would delete his own power in running Twitter. He might not be willing to go for that. Another option involves a tender offer, where shareholders would be able to directly sell their stock to Musk at the price he offered. Again, there is a down side. First, Musk is limited by Tesla (as well as probably the SEC) in how much of that stock he could sell to get cash to buy the Twitter shares. Secondly, he could borrow against his Tesla stock, but again pledging stock would dilute his power over Tesla plus put him under the thumb to some degree to the lenders, Then, of course, the poison pill can push the cost up substantially.
In a comment that won’t thrill Musk, the professor said “This is, perhaps, a pastime for Elon Musk. It’s fun. He’s got nothing else to do. He loves Twitter, clearly, and he wishes Twitter were doing something else. So this is perhaps his way of doing so.”
Amazon’s One-Palm scanning tech is coming to Whole Foods Markets in Austin, Texas. Note, that this is NOT the full ‘just walk out’ tech. Cnet.com says it is adding one store now, and will add 6 more in the region in the near future. While it’s not just walk out, you can simply wave your hand over the palm reader, and won’t need to pull out a credit card, debit card, or cash to pay. Amazon One is already available in Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go locations in California, Colorado, New York, Texas and Washington, DC. The rollout in Austin will make it the second region where every store has the option of Amazon One, after the Seattle area.
Google has started showing AQI…air quality index info to Nest Hub and other Smart Display users. Now, you can search ‘air quality’ and check your current or other locations, in the US, India, and Victoria, Australia. According to 9to5google.com, Each entry can be expanded for a text description of what healthy conditions are and to see when it was last updated, as well as the specific provider. Apple’s weather app on the iPhone has shown AQI in the US for a while now, so expect Google to add the feature to its app on Android, and its widgets.