Happy Thanksgiving Eve, readers! Today is known as one of the biggest party days of the year, with people returning to their hometown bars for pre-Thanksgiving drinking and shenanigans with old friends.
Before the debauchery kicks off tonight, we still have your daily helping of tech news. Today, we’ve got the details on Elon Musk walking back perks at Twitter, and news on a secretive project at Google.
I’m your host, Jordan Parker Erb. Let’s get started.
BTW: 10 Things in Tech will be off tomorrow in observance of Thanksgiving. Eat well and stay safe — we’ll see you on Friday for a special edition.
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1. Google has a secretive new project that teaches code to write itself. The project is part of a broader push by Google into “generative AI” — and it could have profound implications for the company’s future and developers who write code.
- Generative AI, a tech that uses algorithms to create images, videos, and more, has recently become the hottest thing in Silicon Valley. In this case, the goal is to reduce the need for humans to write and update code, while maintaining code quality.
- Doing so could greatly impact the work of human engineers in the future. “The idea was: how do we go from one version to the next without hiring all these software engineers?” said a person familiar with the project when it was at X, the company’s moonshot unit.
- When it was spun up at X, the project was codenamed “Pitchfork.” It later moved into Google Labs — a transition that signaled its increased importance to leaders, with Google Labs pursuing long-term bets.
Inside Google’s secretive new project.
In other news:
2. Elon Musk put an end to some Twitter perks. A leaked email shows that a number of benefits are being “discontinued” at Twitter — including home WiFi, team activities, and all costs associated with “wellness.” See all the perks that are ending at Twitter.
3. Lucid has delivered just 66% of the cars it has built this year. The EV startup delivered a staggeringly small share of its produced cars to customers — and the gap is costing it revenue at a vital moment. A look at what this means for Lucid.
4. Caroline Ellison has emerged as a viral character amid FTX’s implosion. She rose to the top job at Alameda Research, a trading firm that borrowed customer funds from FTX to cover its losses and make risky bets, while leaving behind a trail of online hot takes about crypto, race science, and polyamory. Here are some of her most striking quotes.
5. Wall Street is preparing for a post-FTX world. The crypto exchange’s sudden bankruptcy has sown fresh doubt about the industry, and insiders say traditional firms will now look at crypto partnerships more skeptically. From heightened scrutiny on crypto deals to rethinking hiring plans, here’s what the Street could do.
6. In a 2018 internal Tesla employee survey, employees dug into Elon Musk. In the survey, obtained by Insider, workers called Musk an “unapproachable tyrant” who fires people “because of his ego.” Read everything else employees said about Musk.
7. Investors listed the most promising B2B marketplaces of the year. We asked top venture capitalists to name the consumer-facing marketplaces they think have the most potential. They responded with a list of 23 hot startups, from Worca to Boxhub. See the full list here.
8. A district judge proposed Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes serve her 11-year sentence in a “minimum-security” Texas prison camp, court filings show. The Federal Bureau of Prisons describes prison camps as “work- and program-oriented,” and inmates are housed in dormitories. Find out more here.
Odds and ends:
9. Want to unlock your electric Mercedes’ full power? Fork over $1,200. Mercedes-Benz will offer an “acceleration increase” feature for some EVs, which would boost power output and slightly improve zero-to-60-mph times — but it’ll cost drivers an extra $1,200 per year. Get the full rundown here.
10. What is Hive Social? The Twitter alternative — which is run by its 24-year-old founder — has surged in popularity recently. Like Twitter, Hive Social lets you post messages, videos, polls, and more — but unlike Twitter, has no algorithms. Read our guide to the viral social network.
What we’re watching today:
- Tim Burton’s new comedy horror series about Wednesday Addams premiers on Netflix.
- A four-part documentary series about Shaq begins on HBO.
- The European Space Agency is set to announce its new class of astronauts.
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.