Elon Musk offered Florida student $5K to stop tracking his private jet, student claims

While most students are flat out studying, taking part in college sports, or partying, Jack Sweeney has put his studies to use in an entirely different way – and one which he hopes will bring him great fortune.

The world has become unrecognizable in the last century with the number of technological advances changing the way we lead our everyday lives. It’s been less than two decades since the first smartphones landed in our hands, and now their capabilities are endless. With all of this technology at our fingertips, all it takes is a little dedication and skill, and we can do unimaginable things like tracking Elon Musk’s private jet. Or at least, that’s what Jack Sweeney has been doing.

Sweeney’s Tracking Twitter

Sweeney’s Twitter account Elon Musk’s Jet has been stirring up trouble. The SpaceX and Tesla owner is not happy with Sweeney, who is a student at the University of Central Florida, as this Twitter account uses an algorithm to track Elon Musk’s private jet.

In fact, the billionaire has recently offered the student a measly $5,000 to sell him the app. Unhappy with the offer, 19-year-old Jack countered it by asking for a new Tesla car or $50,000. Another suggestion was an internship under Musk.

Jack Sweeney claims that he obtains the information through the private jet’s transponder. This provides its current location to agencies like airports. The airplane’s tracker will even show when the plane moves, where it’s heading, and its estimated time in the air.

If A Student Can Do It

Musk has complained about Sweeney’s technology as a security risk, yet the $5,000 offered is an insult from someone who makes 75 times that amount every day. Sweeney recently told CNN’s Michael Smerconish that he didn’t want to stop doing this hobby if what was offered in return wouldn’t change his life, which is fair enough.

The student, who is studying IT and hopes to go into aviation software, also tracks the private jets of Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Donald Trump. While students might be trawling for online help and say, “I prefer to pay someone to do my assignment here https://writix.co.uk/write-my-assignment, there’s no doubt that many of them are like Sweeney. He decided to dedicate more time to developing his IT and coding skills to make the bot.

The development of computer science – what else can we expect?

With students creating bots to track private jets, what else can we expect over the coming years regarding computer science developments? Is an application developed by a student’s hands really something to be concerned over?

Where once upon a time, you’d only see a computer in a classroom or an office, now they’re in almost everything we can lay our hands-on. They’re in our pockets, in our cards, in thermostats and refrigerators, and even in our doorbells. So, after all these technological advances, what’s left? With the internet of things (IoT) really taking hold, our homes will likely be one big, interconnected computer with our phones talking to our fridges and our lightbulbs communicating information to us. But, with all these projections and changes, do we need to be concerned – even if we’re not a billionaire with a private jet?  

With advancements happening so quickly, people will need to adapt to changes quicker than they ever have done before. Changes that took a couple of generations to take hold before will occur much more quickly. Even Elon Musk himself has said that we’re very close to the cutting-edge of Artificial Intelligence, and it scares him. Some of the worries include AI automating terrorism, mass-producing propaganda, and streamlining hacking with devasting consequences.

But there could be positives too in the forms of medical advancements, which means not having to rely on organ donations, for example.

There is no crystal ball

So, just like the generations before us, who never really thought a handheld computer with access to the world’s information would be possible, we don’t know what the future holds. Many people are entirely focused on predicting what tomorrow might look like, but the truth is, we just don’t know.

Back in the late 1700s, Thomas Malthus believed that humanity would overpopulate the earth unless there were regulations on family sizes, which would lead to famine. Then more recently, in the late 1990s, there were serious concerns that a computer bug – the Y2K bug – would wipe out technology and networks worldwide. But Malthus didn’t predict how agricultural technologies would develop along with the population. As for the Y2K doomsayers, they were very wrong.

Final Thoughts

Even though Musk offered that student $5k to stop tracking his private jet, he can’t have serious concerns over Sweeney’s bot. Otherwise, he’d certainly be prepared to offer more than $5,000, which leads us to believe that there must be more serious worries with regards to the development of computer science than a plane-tracking algorithm. Whatever they are, there’s probably no use worrying about them.

As history shows, it’s very unlikely we’ll get things right with our predictions! Instead, we should focus on the positives that modern technologies now provide us with. Imagine going through a pandemic like the Spanish flu a century ago and not having the technological advancements we now appreciate and love? It would have certainly been a much more miserable and scary time than we’ve had with Covid-19!