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Sending severed heads, and even more PR DON’Ts

I wrote a “master list” of PR DON’Ts earlier this week, and now that list has nearly doubled as my fellow TechCrunch writers continued to experience even more bad behavior around pitches. So, here are another 12 things of what not to do when pitching a startup:

DON’T send severed heads of the writer you want to cover your story

Heads up! It’s weird to send someone’s cranium to them.

This is an odd one, but believe it or not, severed heads seem to roll into our office every couple of months thanks to the advent of 3D printing. Several of us in the New York TechCrunch office received these “gifts” in the past few days (see gifts next), and apparently, I now have a severed head resting on my desk that I get to dispose of on Monday.

Let’s think linearly on this one. Most journalists are writers and presumably understand metaphors. Heads were placed on pikes in the Middle Ages (and sadly, sometimes recently) as a warning to other group members about the risk of challenging whoever did the decapitation. Yes, it might get the attention of the person you are sending their head to, in the same way that burning them in effigy right in front of them can attract eyeballs.

Now, I get it — it’s a demo of something, and maybe it might even be funny for some. But, why take the risk that the recipient is going to see the reasonably obvious metaphorical connection? Use your noggin — no severed heads.

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Elon Musk Doubles Down On Twitter Bots, Says ‘Deal Cannot Move Forward’ Without Proof

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The Tesla chief claims that his offer to purchase Twitter was based on the company’s SEC filing, which allegedly mentioned that the percentage of spam accounts is five percent or lower, but the company hasn’t shown tangible proof of that being the case. If Musk’s latest words are to be taken at face value, he might pull out of the deal citing misleading disclosures by Twitter.

Experts claim that this is one of Musk’s tactics to strong-arm his way into lowering the deal’s final value of roughly $44 billion. Musk himself has expressed similar intentions. As per a Bloomberg report, he recently remarked at an event that lowering the price “won’t be out of the question.” “You can’t pay the same price for something that is much worse than they claimed,” Musk was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.

Musk’s latest bombshell comes merely days after he claimed that the Twitter deal was on hold owing to the uncertainty around the spam account disclosure, but he quickly replied that he was still committed to the acquisition. A few days ago, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tried to offer some clarity on the bot situation, and how the company tries to tackle the menace. Musk, on the other hand, replied with a poop emoji on the last tweet of the thread.

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Apple Just Figured Out A Killer Use-Case For AR

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Live Captions were revealed by Apple for iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers. Deaf and hard-of-hearing users can use Live Captions on audio-only phone calls, FaceTime calls, video meetings, social media, and streaming media. The size of the font with Apple’s Live Captions feature will be adjustable for easy reading, and it’ll all also work in reverse — so to speak. Users will also be able to type responses in real-time and have their text spoken aloud to a recipient — that’s effectively text-to-speech (TTS), a feature that’s always been a fan favorite on every platform on which it’s been made available in the past. Apple suggested that the Live Captions feature will always maintain users’ privacy and that when the feature is deployed, no other users will know. Additionally, VoiceOver — Apple´s screen reader — will add 20 new locales and languages.

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The Real Life Inspiration Behind Maserati’s Famous Logo

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Since the company got its start in Bologna, Italy, Mario was inspired by a statue erected in the city’s Piazza Maggiore in the 16th century (via Mermaids of Earth). The Fountain of Neptune (aka “The Giant”) is a looming statue of the Roman god of the sea. He holds a trident in his right hand, while his left extends outward to calm the waters. Below him are four cherubs, each representing the rivers Nile, Amazon, Danube, and the Ganges. The masterpiece was created by Flemish sculptor Jean de Boulogne (aka Giambologna) between 1563 and 1567.

The statue of bronze and stone comes with an intriguing and controversial legend. Commissioned by Pius IV to symbolize his power and reign, the Pope became worried by the size of the statue’s genitals and ordered Giambologna to make them smaller. The sculptor begrudgingly complied, or so everyone thought. If you stand behind and to the statue’s right, Neptune’s thumb protrudes out past his leg in a peculiar way that makes the god’s manliness appear bigger. 

All that aside, Mario saw the Trident as a mythological symbol of strength and vigor. The red and blue colors that adorned the original logo derived from Bologna’s city banner, and the rest, as they say … is history.

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