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Telegram group video chat will soon compete with Zoom

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Telegram is one of the premiere systems with which people securely and privately initiate group chats. Now they’ve revealed they’re about to expand into secure group video calls. After being inundated with requests for the feature over the last few years and especially the last few weeks, Telegram confirmed that they “will focus on bringing you secure group video calls in 2020.”

Over the past year, Telegram added 100 million users for a grand total of 400 million monthly users. That’s the amount of people that use Telegram at least once a month – not just the amount of people that’ve ever downloaded Telegram. They’re doing their job of providing secure and private chat to people, and they’re doing it well.

Now they’re pushing into video calls. Per a release from a Telegram’s own Pavel Durov this morning, “Video calls in 2020 are much like messaging in 2013. There are apps that are either secure or usable, but not both. We’d like to fix that.” The release continued with a bit of a cheeky reponse to requests for release, saying “when will they be ready? You’ll be the first to know when we’re done, promise. So stop asking.”

Meanwhile, Telegram’s initiated an education-focused program through their Telegram Polls “QuizBot.” With this new system, they’re delivering 400K Euro to creators of educational tests. To take part, creators are asked to use @QuizBot to create and publish “an original educational test on any subject at any difficulty level in any language.” Accepted tests will eventually be included in a massive Searchable Directory.

Telegram currently has desktop apps for Mac and Windows as well as mobile apps for Android and iOS. Drop in on the @contest channel in Telegram to see more information on competitions for QuizBot and similar services. Telegram is a free chat app – learn about the brand, the app, the system in our article Reintroducing Telegram: privately funded private chat with open source apps.

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The First Tesla Semi Has Been Delivered After Lengthy Delays

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There had long been suggestion Pepsi would be one of Tesla’s biggest customers — with a subsidiary spotted installing charging stations at one of its plants and test driving the trucks earlier this year. Tesla also placed an order for 100 of the high tech trucks shortly after they were announced in 2017. In October, Musk confirmed the company’s first truck was almost ready for delivery, and it would be going to the soft drink manufacturer.

Today, Tesla finally made it official and delivered its first production semis to Pepsi. Speaking at the handover, which took place at a Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada, Musk described his motivation for designing the truck. The Tesla CEO claims that trucks make up less than 1% of vehicles in the United States, but are responsible for a large chunk of emissions. Musk said it will both help the environment and improve the health of individuals living near highways. At the end of the presentation, Musk thanked Pepsico and described them as a “great partner.” 

The trucks’ keycards were then handed over to Pepsi’s representatives, followed by several high fives. The trucks’ first cargo run involved “an enormous amount of Frito Lays” which were handed out to people in attendance. Pepsi’s Kirk Tanner then took the mic and said: “I want to thank the people who have spent countless hours to make this a reality.” before thanking Elon Musk and the other Tesla representatives. Other companies are also interested in Tesla’s electric semi. Budweiser, Walmart, and UPS are amongst those who have placed pre-orders — with Budweiser ordering at least 40 of the large electric vehicles.

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Kanye West Is No Longer Buying Twitter-Rival Parler

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It’s unclear whether West’s recent controversies have anything to do with the Parler deal falling apart. In a statement shared with CNBC, Parler’s owner notes that the “decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November.” Parler says it will be on the lookout for the growth opportunities, without clarifying if it was looking for investors to scale up, or full-fledged buyers. The latter seems unlikely to happen, given the current state of layoffs in the tech industry and the looming fears of a recession.

Parlement Technologies reportedly had high hopes from its acquisition deal with Kanye West. Soon after the agreement press release went out, Parler sent out an email to its “VIP” users, offering them perks like a gold badge for being valuable personalities on the platform. Politico reports that the email campaign inadvertently revealed the personal contact information of nearly a dozen lawmakers and some well-known conservative personalities.

Citing an insider source, Axios reports that West’s unstable financial situation following the cancellation of lucrative deals with the likes of Adidas played a role in his Parler plans falling apart. In the meanwhile, West has returned to Twitter, after his account was restricted for a few weeks ago over sharing anti-Semitic remarks. West currently has a huge follower base of over 18 million on Twitter, which dwarfs the total number of users on Parler, as of December 2021.

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Elon Musk Says Twitter’s Potential Removal From iOS App Store Was ‘Misunderstanding’

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Barely two days after Elon Musk feuded with Apple publicly, he met with Tim Cook to settle the differences. “We resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store. Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so,” Elon Musk tweeted last evening. This was a few hours after he shared a video of Apple’s HQ to disclose the location of the meeting.

However, Elon Musk didn’t reveal if Apple will continue advertising on Twitter. According to the Washington Post, Apple was the biggest ad spender on Twitter in Q1 2022. It spent an average of $4 million per week to run ads on Twitter between January to March this year — this added up to about 4% of Twitter’s revenue. However, Reuters reports that Apple reduced its weekly ad budget on Twitter to $131,600 a few weeks after Elon Musk bought the social media company. We also haven’t heard from Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, about the agenda of his meeting with Elon Musk. 

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