Tech: Musk’s money-making plans

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10 THINGS IN TECH

Hello and happy Wednesday, readers. I'm your host, Jordan Parker Erb.

If you're snoopy like me, you probably spend a lot of time looking at homes on Zillow or Google Maps. While I have yet to monetize this pastime, one couple has — and has turned an island they found on Google Maps into a $2,400-a-night getaway.

It's not all Google Maps-based side-hustle stories today; We've got other tech news to get to. 

Let's get started. 


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Elon Musk in front of Twitter Birds.

1. Elon Musk's plans to bring in money are becoming more clear. There's a lot going on in the Musk-Twitter universe this week, and while much remains murky, Musk's plans for generating revenue (and cutting costs) are starting to solidify. A look at what we know:

  • While offering few details, Musk said Twitter's new verification system (including a blue check mark, fewer ads, and priority in tweet replies) would cost $8 per month — because, of course, Twitter needs "to pay the bills somehow!"
  • It's unclear whether monetizing the coveted blue check mark would bring in much cash. Even at the $20 price point Musk reportedly first suggested, The New Statesman found the revenue it'd generate would hardly be a drop in the bucket.
  • Speaking of money — one way Musk appears to be slashing costs is by cutting a number of high-ranking Twitter managers, as employees await word on layoffs. 
  • All of this is unfolding on (where else?) Twitter, where Musk, the world's richest man, is tweeting (what else?) memes and slamming  "Twitter's current lords & peasants system."

In keeping with the Twitter theme today, follow @TechInsider for the latest on all of this.


In other news:

amazon prime music app being used on an iPhone displaying the my discovery mix playlist

2. Amazon Prime members just got a new perk. Per The Verge, Prime subscribers now have access to Amazon Music's full catalog of 100 million songs — but will only be able to listen on shuffle unless they pay extra. Everything you'll want to know.

3. Oracle has laid off as many as 200 employees in its cloud unit. While the company has had layoffs throughout the year, its important Oracle Cloud Infrastructure unit has been largely insulated from cuts. We break down what we know about the layoffs.

4. Disney+ subscribers now have early access to Disney merchandise. As part of a limited-time test, subscribers get access to merch including Marvel and Star Wars products — a move that could be a big step towards Disney's Amazon Prime-like membership program. Get the full rundown here.

5. A leaked email shows how Amazon is cooperating with an FTC investigation. As the FTC investigates whether Amazon intentionally made the Prime sign-up and cancellation process ambiguous, the company is ordering employees to preserve all files that may be relevant. What we learned from the leaked email.

6. Remember the tech guys who've paid $70,000 to have their legs lengthened? Well, we spoke with a doctor who does the leg-lengthening, and he described what it's like to add six inches to a patient's height. Read his story here.

7. As Google ad executives take over, YouTube has developed a new "rigid" culture. At least nine of YouTube's top execs have left the company in the last 18 months, and many of their replacements are coming from one place: Google's ads business. A look at how that's changed YouTube's culture.

8. Amid Walmart's acquisition of fintech One, customers are complaining of disappearing features and even declined payments. Walmart's CEO promised the fintech would stay the same. But 10 current and former One customers expressed frustrations over product changes, some of which they say happened with little to no notice. What's going on inside One.


Odds and ends:

The Jeep CJ Surge electric concept.

9. You may soon be able to electrify a classic Jeep on your own. Jeep's parent company is thinking about selling an EV motor kit that lets enthusiasts "convert classic and current cars and trucks into zero-emission vehicles." More on the DIY electrification kit.

10. A company is creating prefab tiny homes that can be set up in an hour. In an attempt to help solve the homelessness crisis, Pallet is making $7,500 homes designed to shelter people who are unhoused. See inside one of the 64-square-foot units at a Washington village.


What we're watching today:


Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.


Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.

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