X remains an influential platform
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X remains an influential platform

X remains an influential platform

How influential is Twitter/X? Some will remember a while back when Elon Musk gave his opinion on Disney. I won't repeat it here but it was very direct. Up until recently, Disney hadn't posted anything on X but about a week before you read this, they were back with a gold checkmark. These cost about US$10,000 (368,000 baht), which while not expensive for Disney, indicates how they see X as a platform for communicating to all those potentially interested in all things Disney. Elon Musk is still supporting people like Gina Carano in suing Disney for what they did to her and others based allegedly on their political and religious views.

- I had an interesting discussion with an IT peer recently about cloud computing. You will hear this term often and while it sometimes means what you think or storing and operating your data somewhere out there in the world, that is often not true. Going back in computer time a few years, a business typically had a bank of servers somewhere, holding all its data and systems. Change the technology layer slightly, call it cloud computing and you have a common setup today. Many organisations don't want their data and intellectual property sitting on a server in a foreign country but they like the technology of the cloud-based approach. Put that on the company servers and you get the best of both worlds. So, when you hear "cloud" there could be one in the server room next to you.

- I was recently watching a video about the new electric vehicle from Xiaomi which is an electronics company that makes smartphones, laptops, smartwatches, battery recharge packs and an electric scooter. Their new SU7 is a top-end vehicle with a reported driving range for the Pro model of 830km. This puts it equal to the Lucid Air G Touring XR AWD and well ahead of the Tesla S with its 650km. There are reports of bigger battery packs to come that will extend this range.

- As I was reading this I recollected the early days of Japanese electronics. They were initially terrible but made it to the top of the market. China looks to be following that path. In many areas they aren't there yet but potentially they soon could be. The problem is the current economic marketplace. Inflation removes spare money for buying electronic goodies and China is suffering from lack of sales. It is estimated that 70% of the Chinese EV market will collapse this year with a price war already in progress. Looking around the world, the EV market is also slowing or stalling in a number of places including the US. Pricing, charging problems, the high cost of electricity, vehicle life and resale value are a few of the issues. There is also the growing shortage of the materials required to make an EV. I doubt it will ever rise above the niche market level no matter how much some special interests want it otherwise. Can't wait to see what Elon Musk comes out with next though.

- Over the years I've reported on Microsoft suddenly raising prices of things when market saturation is sufficient. Anyone using the Dynamics Cloud business application are in for a price rise because, according to Bryan Goode: "Each year, we release hundreds of new features and enhancements." So does everyone else. The price raises will range between 9.3% and 16.6% depending on the product. Some have pointed out that, depending on how you calculate it, this is less than the inflation over the last five years since their last price rise. Typically, software prices should come down over time unless there is a huge increase in value and productivity. I regularly use Word and Excel and for what most use it for there has been no real change. The price rise will arrive in October of this year so if you use any Dynamics 365 products then check the full list to add extra money into your budget.

- If you are still not sure how safe your data is out in the wilds of the internet, consider the latest announcement from Spy.pet who have harvested around 4 billion messages from close to 620 million users of Discord. I use this platform for one game I play. If you are unfamiliar with it, think of the old IRC platform but a lot bigger. Spy.pet sells access to this info for one or more users at around 1 cent per credit. A specific user profile will cost you 10 credits, seven if the data is already cached, payable in cryptocurrency. There is even an enterprise option for greater access. According to the site "Interested in training an AI model with Discord messages? Are you a group of federal agents looking for a new source of intel? Or maybe something else? We've got you covered". I guess Sky.net was already taken.

James Hein is an IT professional with over 30 years' standing. You can contact him at jclhein@gmail.com.

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