Twitter Will Enforce Musk Merger; Disney+ Pay Tier Coming; Apple Considers External ePaper Display; Ecobee Bows New Smart Thermostats

In a report by CNN on the ongoing Twitter-Elon Musk deal, analyst Dan Ives said there is a “60%+ chance from our view Musk ultimately walks from the deal and pays the breakup fee.” The Twitter board seems pretty intent on holding Musk to the deal. On Tuesday morning, hours after Musk tweeted that “this deal cannot move forward” until his purported spam bot concerns are cleared up, the company filed its proxy statement for Musk’s takeover and said it wants to close the deal “as promptly as practicable.A statement from the board said “The Board and Mr. Musk agreed to a transaction at $54.20 per share. We believe this agreement is in the best interest of all shareholders. We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement.” With the word enforce, it sounds like Twitter may be going to court to make the deal happen, or make Musk pay the billion dollar break up fee. With the damage to Twitter’s stock price, and top execs bailing through this soap opera, how will Twitter continue? It may be needing a ‘white knight,’ to swoop in and take over. Techdirt’s Mike Masonick guesses such a white knight might be Microsoft. Many analysts think Musk is just angling for a lower price, or will walk after coughing up the billion dollar fee.

Everybody’s doing it in streaming it seems, and the House of Mouse is about to join the party. According to theverge.com, when Disney Plus’ ad-supported plan goes live later this year, it will reportedly run ads for four minutes on movies or shows that last an hour or less. Not only that, but Disney will be cutting out ads that may have adult themes, such as anything related to alcohol or politics — AND they won’t accept any ads if they’re from an entertainment competitor either! In line with their family-friendly reputation, Disney plans on removing ads from all shows if it’s used by a kids’ profile as well. So far, there aren’t any details on how much the cheaper option will cost — Disney Plus currently costs $7.99 / month without ads. A best guess is $3.99 or $4.99 a month. Disney says it added 7.9 million new subscribers last quarter, growing its subscriber base to about 44 million people in the US and Canada.

This seems like such an un-Apple -like feature, but it’s being reported by Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the most accurate Apple analysts. Apparently, on the folding device Apple is testing (probably not an iPhone, but more like a folding iPad),  “Apple is testing E Ink’s Electronic Paper Display (EPD) for future foldable device’s cover screen & tablet-like applications,” Kuo reported on Twitter earlier today. “The color EPD has the potential to become a mainstream solution for foldable devices’ must-have cover/second screen thanks to its excellent power-saving.” Techcrunch.com notes that one of E Ink’s most well-know and biggest selling points is power saving. It has really only worked for e-readers up to now, but recent generations of E Ink’s electronic paper have added color and sped up the notoriously slow refresh rate and responsiveness. As with all these sort of rumors involving Apple, we note that they test out plenty of things that never make it into a final device.

Ecobee is launching two new smart thermostats, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Enhanced and Smart Thermostat Premium. According to androidcentral.com,  both have built-in radar for more accurate motion and occupancy detection. Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium also comes with a built-in air quality monitor and a SmartSensor in the box. The radar allows the thermostats to detect people through walls and behind objects, unlike the ones with infrared tech. They also both feature a virtual assistant built right in — either Alexa or Siri — with a speaker and mic. That new sensor can detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs), estimated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, and relative humidity of the room. It also comes with a SmartSensor in the box so you can place it somewhere else in the house to help the thermostat better balance out heat and air conditioning levels for the whole home. The $199 and $250.



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