AriZona stays 99c, Twitter vs Elon, Etsy Sellers Strike, & Malware Art

April 22, 2022 by
AriZona stays 99c, Twitter vs Elon, Etsy Sellers Strike, & Malware Art
Lighthouse IT Solutions, Matthew Almendinger

The Lighthouse IT Podcast - April 22nd, 2022

This week, Matt & Griff discuss Twitter's new feature and continued Elon Musk situation, Meta's new Horizon Worlds and monetization plans, TikTok's new AR development platform, Uber's new offerings, Etsy sellers on strike, a major GitHub hack, DuckDuckGo's new browser, and more.

Listen here!


1992: Milk - $2.78, Gas - $1.13, AriZona Tea - 99ยข 2022: Milk - $4.02, Gas - $4.11, AriZona Tea - still 99

  • Today, Arizona Tea is cheaper than most bottled water that have less oz. But how? Aluminum prices have doubled in the last 18 months and corn syrup has tripled since 2000.
  • The founder and chairman of the company simply took a paycut to keep the price flat and the cans moving.
  • Even though his costs are higher, "I don't want to do what the bread guys and the gas guys and everybody else are doing," Vultaggio said. "Consumers don't need another price increase from a guy like me."
  • Arizona is a rare breed as they are still private and not owned by PepsiCo, Coca-Colo, or Keurig Dr Pepper.
  • The company sells about 1 billion 99-cent cans each year which makes up 25% of their total revenue.


Twitter is testing a feature that lets you 'unmention' yourself in tweets

  • The experimental offering is limited to the web for now, but you just have to choose "leave this conversation" from a tweet's options to avoid constant notifications for a chat you never wanted to join


Elon Vs Twitter

  • Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter in takeover attempt & Twitter adopts 'poison pill' plan to shield itself from Elon Musk takeover


Meta News

  • Meta launches Horizon Worlds on web and mobile while trying to monetize the Metaverse and begins planning the introduction of virtual tokens to its family of apps


WhatsApp plans to launch 'Communities' - a more structured group chat with admin controls

  • On April 14th, Meta introduced its plans for a significant update to its WhatsApp messaging app that will allow users to now not only connect privately with friends and family, as before, but also participate in larger discussion groups,
  • These groups aim to serve as a more feature-rich replacement for people's larger group chats with added support for tools like file sharing, 32-person group calls and emoji reactions, as well as admin tools and moderation controls, among other things.
  • In Communities, users will be able to see the phone numbers of the others who participate in the sub-groups with them, or when they engage with each other one-on-one. This makes the product feel more personal than something like Facebook Groups. This seems to be a draw for users.


TikTok launches Effect House: its own AR dev platform

  • The platform has been operating in a close beta since last fall, where it's so far been adopted by more than 450 creators who have gone on to publish their effects on TikTok, where they've been used in 1.5 billion videos gaining over 600 billion views globally, says TikTok.
  • The launch will put TikTok in closer competition with both Snap and Meta, both of which already offer a range of tools that allow developers to build out AR experiences and effects for their own respective families of applications.
  • TikTok's vast library of effects is a key part of what powers its video service today, and helps inspire creators to make videos. Couple that with their purchase and integration with Giphy and their audio library.


Etsy sellers go on strike

  • More than 17,000 Etsy shops started striking Monday to protest the company's hike in transaction fees from 5% to 6.5%.
  • They have also been placing earnings holds on sellers for seemingly no reason.
  • They also have made a stance to prioritize shops that offer free shipping to give Etsy a better brand. Basically passing shipping fees to the sellers.
  • They also have implemented a Star Seller title that has made it very hard some small shops that do not do this full time. Sellers must have a 95 percent response rate to messages within 24 hours, have 95 percent of their orders shipped "on time," have 95 percent of their sales receive 5-star reviews and meet a minimum of 10 orders and $300 in sales within a three month review period.


Uber looks to add planes, trains, and rental cars

  • The San Francisco-headquartered firm announced Wednesday that it is adding trains, buses, planes and car rentals to its U.K. app this year.
  • Jamie Heywood, Uber's boss in the U.K., said in a statement that Uber hopes to become "a one-stop-shop for all your travel needs."
  • Uber will not provide these travel services itself but it will allow users to book them through its app following software integrations with airlines, bus and rail operators, and car rental companies.


Space balloon company offers first look at luxury cabins that will float 20 miles above the ground

  • Commercial flights ascend to heights of up to 6 miles. Imagine being in a floating cabin that soars 20 miles high. Much lower than rivals Virgin Galactic, which goes just over 50 miles high, or Blue Origin, which breaches the Karman Line, 62 miles above sea level, the internationally-recognized space border.
  • But this "flight" requires no special training, and the balloon only climbs by 12miles per hour.
  • They also are using hydrogen for the balloon, which is way more green than any other method of "Space Flight"
  • Space Perspective revealed last week their illustrations of its floating cabins near space.
  • More than 600 tickets have been sold so far at $125k each with expected launches in late 2024.
  • Wifi connectivity and a drinks bar round out the "Space Lounge" inside the company's Neptune capsule. With five-feet (1.5 meter) high windows, deep seats, dark, purple tones and subdued lighting, the atmosphere contrasts with the white and sanitized capsules of its competitors.


GitHub says hackers breached dozens of organizations using stolen OAuth tokens

  • OAuth access tokens are often used by apps and services to authorize access to specific parts of a user's data and communicate with each other without having to share the actual credentials. It's one of the most common methods used to pass authorization from a single sign-on (SSO) service to another application.


DuckDuckGo browser is here!

  • But only for MacOS right now...


Malware as an artform?

  • A laptop with all sorts of malware on it sold for $1.3m.
  • This includes lovable favorites such as WANNACRY (2017) and the ILOVEYOU (2000) virus.