Zuck Bucks the Trend

Here are the top stories for Thursday, April 28, curated by The Hustle.

April 28, 2016

Apparently Facebook didn’t get the “do poorly” memo

While other tech companies like Apple and Twitter are struggling, Facebook is killing it. Yesterday, the company reported sales of $5.4B, which beat Wall Street’s expectations and represents a 52% increase year over year.

Unlike Twitter, FB is having no problem adding new users. During the last quarter, 60 million people signed up. Welcome aboard, guys! Little late but just in time for Facebook Live.

On top of that, we spend more than 50 minutes a day using a combination of Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. It’s up to you if that number sounds high or low.

Mo users means mo money

Ad sales are up, especially for people on the go. Mobile ad revenue accounted for 82% of their total ad sales, which is nuts. But not surprising considering 91% of users access Facebook on mobile.

Mo money means mo power

As this earnings report would suggest, Mark Zuckerberg is doing a pretty good job. So, Facebook is proposing a new class of non-voting stock, called “Class C,” designed to keep him in control.

Basically, Zuckerberg wants people to own billions of dollars worth of stock without having a say in the company’s direction. That way he can continue to make “bold moves” and focus on long-term goals.

The Big Z himself characterized this as part of a larger strategy that will allow him to give away 99% of his Facebook shares sooner, for causes like “helping cure all diseases by the end of the century and protecting our environment from climate change.”

Serious question, was The Social Network just totally made up? Because there’s zero chance this dude was ever remotely close to being the jerk in that movie. There’s no way.


Speaking of rock star founders…

Elon Musk founded SpaceX with the dream of one day colonizing Mars. That’s no secret. And on Wednesday, the company took a big step towards that goal by announcing it’ll send its “Dragon 2” spacecraft to the Red Planet as soon as 2018.

The purpose of the trip is to test out how to land heavy payloads on Mars, since any human missions in the future would require tons of equipment and supplies to be sent over first.

So how close are we to colonization?

Landing the Dragon 2 is just step one. SpaceX still needs to develop life support systems, an interplanetary transport vehicle, and much more before Matt Damon can chill up there growing pootatos.

However, if they pull this off, it suggests the company is closer to putting people on Mars than NASA…which claims it’ll do so by the mid 2030s.


Mr. Google Goes to Washington

A recent report by the nonpartisan watchdog group, Campaign for Accountability, revealed that Google and the Obama administration are pretty much besties.

More specifically, Johanna Shelton, a lobbyist for Google, has visited with White House representatives 128 times since Obama took office, nearly twice as often as any other lobbyist.

Apparently these visits addressed issues like patent reform, self-driving cars, and technical assistance with the Healthcare.gov website…aka that important site that refuses to function properly.

Who else visits a lot?

This information was released as part of the group’s Google Transparency Project, which aims to shed light on how the tech giant influences government officials and public policy.

The rest of the top ten included: Blue Cross/Blue Shield (#2), ExxonMobil (#3), Microsoft (#7), Comcast (#8), and Boeing (#10). Pretty much the usual, big-companies-with-too-much-money suspects…


Speedcastin’

Rightspeed is a new app that allows users to speed-listen their way through podcasts and audiobooks because normal isn’t fast enough.

This is already an option on many audio and podcast apps, but most only go up to around 2x speed. Rightspeed goes to 11.

“My top comfortable speed for audiobooks is currently around 5.3x. For podcasts, it’s around 4.5x,” says the app’s creator, Max Deutsch.

Yeah, so we had to try this…

And I could NOT hang. I got to 3x and my brain immediately shut down, making it quite clear I won’t be a frequent user.

But it’s easy to see the benefits here, just ask Hiten. Learning how to speed-listen will save you a ton of time and potentially make your brain explode with information. Give it a shot, let us know how it goes.


Mind-blowing fact of the day

The total cost of the US military’s F-35 program, $1.45 trillion, could provide free college education to every student in the US for 20 years.

Oh, and by the way…the program has been a total disaster.

Nine years into development, the F-35 fighter jets (the most expensive American weapons ever built) are still not ready for combat, and their software is so flawed that they may never be ready. Great.



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