tnb tech minute: spacex cracks down on starlink access

Plus: Microsoft invests in an Abu Dhabi-based tech company. And Tesla delays shipments of its Cybertruck, according to buyers. Alex Ossola hosts.

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how elon musk’s starlink gets into the hands of u.s. foes

SpaceX’s Starlink provides internet access to thousands of locations around the globe, including battlefields in Ukraine and Sudan. But there’s a black market that’s delivering Starlink devices into the hands of American adversaries. WSJ correspondent Thomas Grove tells host Alex Ossola about how that black market works, and what it means for geopolitics. Plus, many teens are looking to foster a healthier relationship with social media. WSJ reporter Georgia Wells talks about a nonprofit called Half the Story that is teaching teens the tools while also pushing for policy change.

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cpi report, ai chip boom, and starlink’s business

Bloomberg’s Caroline Hyde and Ed Ludlow bring full coverage on inflation as the CPI report comes in hotter than expected. Plus, a look at TSMC sales surging after riding the AI chip boom, and a deep dive into SpaceX’s prized Starlink satellite business and its murky financials. 

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tesla takes the wheel, starlink terminals have a black marke

In a collaboration with the Bloomberg’s Big Take podcast, we present a story on SpaceX’s Starlink satellite program. It touts itself as a source of reliable internet in hard-to-reach places. But there are some countries where Starlink’s services aren’t licensed, or where the company can’t do business because of US sanctions. And a Bloomberg investigation has found that Starlink kits are appearing in many of those markets anyway – with geopolitical consequences.

Before we unpack that reporting, David, Max and Dana discuss new rules for selling Teslas, a tossed lawsuit and a report alleging that X has been profiting from selling data to governments and police departments, via a third-party data broker, even as it fights a lawsuit related to government surveillance.

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criminals busted stealing $400,000 in starlink terminals

A New Jersey resident has been apprehended for the alleged trafficking of a substantial number of SpaceX Starlink terminals, estimated at 675 units, acquired through illicit means involving stolen credit card details and compromised Starlink billing accounts, according to law enforcement authorities.

starlink is incredibly influentialand investors want in

Over the past year or so, Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite system has become increasingly important—and along with that, valuable. It’s been in the news recently because Ukrainian officials said that Russia was using Starlink to help their military operations in occupied parts of Ukraine—something Musk himself has denied. At the same time, though, Musk has been vocal about his opinion that the US should not continue funding Ukraine in their fight against Russia, an opinion shared by many rightwing Republican politicians. Starlink has also been approved to work in another conflict zone, as Israel gave permission for a Starlink terminal to be parked in a field hospital in Gaza. 

With all of the attention on Starlink’s role in conflict comes another, related question: how financially important is the product to Musk’s overall business empire? To talk about these questions, Elon, Inc. welcomed two Bloomberg experts to the panel: Marc Champion, a Bloomberg Opinion writer who has written about Musk’s role for both Ukraine and Russia, and Ed Ludlow, Bloomberg Technology reporter and TV host. 

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