Tech this week: Hertz and Facebook’s $ 4 billion Tesla deal in hot water … again

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Hertz said Monday it would buy 100,000 electric vehicles from Tesla, one of the largest battery-powered car purchases in history.

News of the deal sparked a rally in Tesla shares, pushing the automaker’s market value above the $ 1 trillion mark (€ 865.5 billion) for the first time.

The purchase by one of the world’s leading car rental companies reflects its belief that electric vehicles are increasingly accepted by environmentally conscious consumers as an alternative to fossil fuel-powered vehicles.

The You’re here are already arriving at the company’s sites and are expected to be available for rent from November, Mark Fields, Hertz’s interim CEO, told The Associated Press.

Hertz said in its announcement that it will complete its purchases of Tesla Model 3 small cars by the end of 2022.

It also said it will establish its own electric vehicle charging network as it strives to produce the largest electric vehicle rental fleet in North America.

Fields would not say how much Hertz is spending on the order. But he said the company had sufficient capital and a healthy balance sheet after exiting bankruptcy protection in June.

The deal is expected to be worth around $ 4 billion (€ 3.46 billion) as each Model 3 has a base price of around $ 40,000 (€ 34,626) and Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that Hertz does had not benefited from a reduced price.

It also tops the list for single company electric vehicle orders. In 2019, Amazon ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian, a startup manufacturer of electric vans, pickup trucks and SUVs in which it has invested.

The Hertz order sent Tesla shares up nearly 13% to a record closing price of $ 1,024.86 (€ 887.36), and pushed the total market value of the world’s most valuable automaker to just over $ 1,000 billion (€ 865.6 billion).

Facebook toasted by UK lawmakers laying down online safety rules

British lawmakers asked Facebook on Thursday how it is handling online security as European countries move to curb the power of social media companies.

Facebook’s security chief said the tech giant supports regulation and has no business interest in giving people a “dangerous experience.”

Representatives from Google, Twitter and TikTok also responded to questions from a parliamentary committee examining the UK government’s bill to crack down on harmful online content.

It comes days after companies testified before US lawmakers and provided little firm commitment for US law to strengthen protection for children from harm online, ranging from eating disorders, to sexually content. explicit and material promoting addictive drugs.

Governments on both sides of the Atlantic want tougher rules to protect social media users, especially younger ones, but the UK’s efforts are much further ahead than the US’s.

British lawmakers are interviewing researchers, journalists, technical executives and other experts for a report to the government on how to improve the final version of the online safety bill.

The European Union is also working on digital rules.

Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global security chief who spoke to UK lawmakers via video conference, defended the company’s handling of internal research into how its Instagram photo-sharing platform can harm teens, especially by encouraging eating disorders or even suicide.

“Where does the money stop? Asked Damian Collins, the lawmaker who chairs the committee.

“It’s a company filled with experts, and we all work together to make those decisions,” Davis said.

She added that “we have no business interest, no business interest at all, in giving people a negative or dangerous experience.”

Davis said Facebook broadly supports UK security legislation and is interested in regulations that give elected officials the ability to hold the company accountable.

She said she disagreed with criticism that Facebook amplifies hate, largely blaming societal issues and saying the company uses artificial intelligence to remove content that divides or polarizes .

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told the UK committee this week that the company’s systems worsen hatred online and there is little incentive to address the issue. She said time is running out to regulate social media companies that use artificial intelligence systems to determine what content people see.

Haugen was a Facebook data scientist who copied internal research papers and turned them over to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

UK lawmakers continue to grapple with thorny issues such as protecting privacy and freedom of expression and defining legal but harmful content, including online bullying and advocacy. self-harm. They are also trying to curb the disinformation that flourishes on social media.

Cryptocurrency Ether Hits Record High of $ 4,400 (€ 3,809.85)

As cryptocurrency markets have rebounded strongly in recent weeks, ether is up more than 60% since its low at the end of September.

The token, which underpins the ethereum blockchain network, rose 2.6% to $ 4,400 (€ 3,809.85), breaking the previous record of $ 4,380 (€ 3,792.53) set on the 12th. may.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if we dig deep into European and US trading,” Chris Weston, head of research at Melbourne-based brokerage firm Pepperstone, told Reuters.

“He’s a moose right now, and it looks damn strong.”

A recent technical upgrade to the Ethereum network seems to have helped, he added.

“Most of the time, with these tech upgrades and tunes, it’s news that feeds the beast, it’s fodder for people to say, ‘This is what we bought for’, and soon it starts to move, it’s like a red rag to a bull, people will just buy. ”

Bitcoin, which hit its all-time high of $ 67,016 (€ 58,011.40) on October 20, last rose 1.4% to $ 61,457 (€ 53,199.33), an increase of around 50% since the end of September.

Among the biggest recent cryptocurrency players, however, is the cryptocurrency based on shiba inu memes, which has risen in price by around 160% this week, and is the eighth largest token in the world.

Shiba inu is a dogecoin spinoff, itself born as a satire of a cryptocurrency frenzy in 2013, and has virtually no practical use.


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