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Technology

Meta Enters a Freeze

Thursday, September 29, 2022
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The context
Meta announced that Meta is entering a hiring freeze and warned employees that the company intends to restructure and cut costs, prompting fears of impending layoffs.
Technology
Thursday, September 29, 2022

Meta Enters a Freeze

The context
Meta announced that Meta is entering a hiring freeze and warned employees that the company intends to restructure and cut costs, prompting fears of impending layoffs.
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Zuckerberg's thoughts

  • Mark Zuckerberg announced the freeze, the beginning of a new era for Meta.
  • Meta intends to slash the budgets of various teams.
  • In July, he cautioned Meta employees that the company was restructuring to cut costs.
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Lean and mean

  • Zuckerberg made the announcement during a weekly all-hands Q&A session.
  • He said the decision was made to keep teams lean in order to make it through the anticipated economic downturn.
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Technology

Stadia to Shut Down

Thursday, September 29, 2022
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The context
Google announced it will shut down its cloud gaming service, Stadia, on January 18th, 2023.
Technology
Thursday, September 29, 2022

Stadia to Shut Down

The context
Google announced it will shut down its cloud gaming service, Stadia, on January 18th, 2023.
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No more Stadia

  • Stadia struggled to take off after it launched only a few years ago.
  • Rumors circulated that Google would be taking the service down after the number of games released on the platform began to slow, and Google shut down the game development studio that fed games to the platform.
  • Google denied the rumors but announced today that they are shutting down the platform.
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Poor takeoff

  • Google will refund users who purchased games or hardware from Stadia through mid-January.
  • The company said it decided to end the service because it failed to take off with users.
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Technology

Lyft Pauses Hiring

Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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The context
Lyft has frozen hiring in the U.S., a surprising move for the company that is expected to last until next year.
Technology
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Lyft Pauses Hiring

The context
Lyft has frozen hiring in the U.S., a surprising move for the company that is expected to last until next year.
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Pause button

  • Lyft is reportedly canceling job interviews scheduled for this week and has frozen hiring across the U.S.
  • Bloomberg broke the report and said that sources within the company said the hiring freeze is a response to ongoing market uncertainty.
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Are layoffs next?

  • Employees at Lyft are worried that the freeze could turn into layoffs in the coming months.
  • The news also comes after a series of difficult setbacks for the company, including a driver shortage and a steep decline in the firm's stock.
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Technology

Fast Company Hack

Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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The context
A hacker accessed the media company, Fast Company and used its access to send a push notification through Apple News to users that contained racist and offensive language.
Technology
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Fast Company Hack

The context
A hacker accessed the media company, Fast Company and used its access to send a push notification through Apple News to users that contained racist and offensive language.
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Pushed to users

  • The push notifications came from Fast Company's Apple News account.
  • The hack is one of the first, and most significant times that Apple's "walled garden" has been breached.
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Not good news

  • Fast company called the messages vile and shut down their website until the situation could be resolved.
  • The company did not share any details, but the hacker said it was easy to access the system using a default password shared across the company.
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Technology

SEC Fines Oracle

Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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The context
The SEC has fined the software giant Oracle $23 million for bribing foreign officials.
Technology
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

SEC Fines Oracle

The context
The SEC has fined the software giant Oracle $23 million for bribing foreign officials.
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Big trouble

  • The SEC charged Oracle for the second time with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act between 2016 and 2019.
  • The charges allege that Oracle subsidiaries in Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and India used funds to bribe foreign officials.
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Pay up

  • Oracle will pay $23 million to settle the case, $15 million in a civil fine, and about $7.9 in disgorgement and interest.
  • Oracles subsidiaries used the slush funds bribes to win business abroad.
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Technology

Cloudflare Sells the Ultimate Incentive

Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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The context
Cloudflare announced the launch of a $1.25 billion "Workers Launchpad" for startups who use the platform. The launchpad will connect the startups with venture firms who have offered to invest in Cloudflare users.
Technology
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Cloudflare Sells the Ultimate Incentive

The context
Cloudflare announced the launch of a $1.25 billion "Workers Launchpad" for startups who use the platform. The launchpad will connect the startups with venture firms who have offered to invest in Cloudflare users.
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Funding for starters

  • The Workers Launchpad Funding Program will provide up to 1.25 billion in financing to startups building on Cloudflare Workers. The computing platform has been used to launch more than 3 million applications since 2017.
  • One of the venture partners said that they have seen an increase in the number of startups building applications on Cloudflare Workers and are excited to support the company's growth.
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Connecting the dots

  • Cloudflare's platform is about five years old, and the promise of access to venture funding will hopefully attract more developers to the platform.
  • The partnering venture firms will invest $1.25 billion from their existing funds into the startups.
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Technology

Red Notice on Kwon

Monday, September 26, 2022
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The context
Interpol has issued a red notice for Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs, who is running from South Korean authorities.
Technology
Monday, September 26, 2022

Red Notice on Kwon

The context
Interpol has issued a red notice for Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs, who is running from South Korean authorities.
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Kwon on the run

  • Do Kwon founded the blockchain startup Terraform Labs, whose two coins, a stablecoin called UST and a cryptocurrency called LUNA, imploded in May. The collapse of the coins lost $40 billion in investor and buyers' money.
  • Kwon is facing charges from South Korean authorities for the company's collapse.
  • South Korea issued an arrest warrant for Kwon but could not find the Terraform Labs founder.
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Raging red

  • Interpol issued the red notice for Kwon, asking other law enforcement agencies worldwide to be on the lookout for Kwon.
  • Red notices are reserved for fugitives that are awaiting prosecution or are meant to serve a sentence but cannot be found.
  • The red notice gives the authority to law enforcement agencies to find and arrest the person, in this case, Kwon.
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Technology

UK Arrests Teen Hacker

Monday, September 26, 2022
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The context
Police in the U.K. have arrested the teenage hacker who allegedly hacked Uber and Rockstar Games. The teen accessed Uber's company channels and systems, where he shared inappropriate and lewd messages. He also released footage from Rockstar Games' upcoming launch of GTA VI and threatened to release more if he was not adequately compensated.
Technology
Monday, September 26, 2022

UK Arrests Teen Hacker

The context
Police in the U.K. have arrested the teenage hacker who allegedly hacked Uber and Rockstar Games. The teen accessed Uber's company channels and systems, where he shared inappropriate and lewd messages. He also released footage from Rockstar Games' upcoming launch of GTA VI and threatened to release more if he was not adequately compensated.
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On the trail

  • Police arrested the hacker after an investigation involving the U.K.'s National Cyber Crime Unit, the FBI, and London Police.
  • The hacker allegedly participated in the hack into Rockstar Games, which leaked information and footage from Grand theft Auto VI.
  • The group that the hacker is a part of, Lapsus$, has targeted other companies like Microsoft and T-Mobile.
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At long last

  • The 17-year-old was charged with multiple counts of computer misuse.
  • London Police have been trying to crack down on the teen hacking group Lapsus$, arresting seven people under the age of 21 in March for connections to the group.
  • The suspect was charged for his hacks into Uber and Rockstar Games.
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Technology

Impact Imminent

Monday, September 26, 2022
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The context
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission culminated tonight, when NASA crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid to try and knock it off course. The DART spacecraft has been headed towards the asteroid, Dimorphos, for ten months and made contact tonight at about 7:15 ET.
Technology
Monday, September 26, 2022

Impact Imminent

The context
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission culminated tonight, when NASA crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid to try and knock it off course. The DART spacecraft has been headed towards the asteroid, Dimorphos, for ten months and made contact tonight at about 7:15 ET.
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Here we go

  • The DART mission is testing the world's first planetary defense system, which aims to prevent a world-ending asteroid collision proactively.
  • DART will fly into the football field-sized asteroid at 15,000 miles per hour in a suicide mission. DART is equipped with cameras that will record the collision.
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Tiny shift

  • The DART mission is testing earth-dwellers' ability to protect the planet from incoming asteroids.
  • Even a tiny shift in the asteroid's position can have enormous implications for its path and eventually knock it far off course.
  • After the DART craft collides with Dimorphos, scientists will track the asteroid's new path.
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The context
Police in San Francisco, CA, can now watch private security camera feeds in real-time after the city board approved the measure, which the ACLU opposed.
The context
Police in San Francisco, CA, can now watch private security camera feeds in real-time after the city board approved the measure, which the ACLU opposed.
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Real time access

  • The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to grant Police access to private surveillance cameras.
  • Police can access the feeds in real-time without the owner's consent.
  • The department won't have constant access but will be able to tap into the feeds.
  • SF Mayor London Breed said the measure is necessary to curb rising crime.
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Privacy concerns

  • The vote was split 7-4 and shocked many residents of the predominately liberal city with the ruling.
  • Advocates for the measure said that it was high time that the relaxed board passed measures to help curb crime.
  • The pilot program will run for 15 months before the supervisors vote again on whether to extend or end the program.
  • Police can access cameras for up to 24 hours if a captain signs off that the surveillance is being used for an investigation or in the case of emergencies where lives are at stake.
  • The ACLU opposed the program because it violates the privacy of private citizens who own security cameras.
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Technology

Tesla Countersues

Friday, September 23, 2022
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The context
After a judge refused to toss out a racial bias suit filed against Tesla, the electric vehicle maker filed a countersuit against the California agency behind the suit.
Technology
Friday, September 23, 2022

Tesla Countersues

The context
After a judge refused to toss out a racial bias suit filed against Tesla, the electric vehicle maker filed a countersuit against the California agency behind the suit.
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Two parties

  • The California Civil Rights Department sued Tesla in February for tolerating widespread race discrimination at its original assembly plant.
  • Now, Tesla claims that the CRD filed a lawsuit before notifying Tesla or giving them the chance to settle.
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Tesla countersues

  • Tesla claims that the CRD used "underground regulations" while investigating the Tesla plant.
  • The suit also alleges that the CRD didn't notify Tesla of the racial discrimination at the plant or give Tesla the chance to settle the case outside of court.
  • Tesla is also seeking to limit the CRD's authority to sue the company, saying they needed to have completed several steps before escalating to suing.
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Technology

Meta Pays Up

Thursday, September 22, 2022
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The context
A judge has ordered Meta to pay the voice-to-text transcription company, Voxer $175 million for patent infringement.
Technology
Thursday, September 22, 2022

Meta Pays Up

The context
A judge has ordered Meta to pay the voice-to-text transcription company, Voxer $175 million for patent infringement.
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Bad news for Meta

  • The judge ordered Meta to pay Voxer $174.5 in damages for infringing on Voxer's patents.
  • Meta incorporated Meta's tech into their Facebook Live and Instagram Live features.
  • Meta responded to the decision saying that the ruling was unfair and that it would appeal the decision.
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Technology

Triumphant Trombone Champ

Thursday, September 22, 2022
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The context
A new game from Holy Wow Studios, Trombone Champion, has gone massively viral after launching last week. The game lets you try to cover classic songs like 'The Star Spangled Banner' by sliding the cursor to hit your trombone-playing-avatar's notes.
Technology
Thursday, September 22, 2022

Triumphant Trombone Champ

The context
A new game from Holy Wow Studios, Trombone Champion, has gone massively viral after launching last week. The game lets you try to cover classic songs like 'The Star Spangled Banner' by sliding the cursor to hit your trombone-playing-avatar's notes.
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Land amongst the stars

  • Videos of users playing the rhythm game Trombone Champ have been taking over Twitter since the game launch.
  • The silly videos of people trying in vain to hit the right notes to cover songs have made the launch of the relatively humble game a success.
  • The developers at Holy Wow Studios did not anticipate that the game would blow up, and on Twitter, they announced that they intend to keep developing the game after taking some time to get their ducks in a row to cope with the smash success.
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Surprise hit

  • Trombone Champ launched last week, but thanks to a writer at PC gamer, the game started to blow up on Twitter.
  • The writer called the game a contender for the title of "game of the year."
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The context
The National Transportation Safety Board called on the federal government to require all new vehicles manufactured in the U.S. to contain technology to evaluate whether the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol after a 2021 crash in California that killed nine people.
Technology
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Cars Need to be Smarter About Driving Under the Influence

The context
The National Transportation Safety Board called on the federal government to require all new vehicles manufactured in the U.S. to contain technology to evaluate whether the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol after a 2021 crash in California that killed nine people.
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Nine killed

  • On New Year's Day 2021, seven children and two adults were killed in a car crash in Avenal, California.
  • The conclusion of the investigation into the crash, which a drunk driver caused, resulted in the recommendation for the implementation of in-vehicle technology that would evaluate drivers for the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • The NTSB wants new vehicles manufactured in the U.S. to contain better driver monitoring systems that can tell if a driver is driving erratically and is under the influence. The system would then be able to prevent or limit the driver operating the vehicle.
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Call for car monitoring

  • The recommendation calls for cards to have passive alcohol detection and/or driver monitoring systems.
  • The board wants to incentivize automakers to include the new safety features soon, as the number of fatal car crashes increased in 2022 from 2021.
  • There are already driver monitoring systems that track drivers' eye and face movements or keep drivers from drifting out of their lanes.
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Technology

Musk's Optimus Stage Fright

Wednesday, September 21, 2022
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The context
Elon Musk is reportedly preparing to reveal the final iteration of the humanoid 'Optimus' robot on September 30th after unveiling a prototype during the company's AI Day in August 2021.
Technology
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Musk's Optimus Stage Fright

The context
Elon Musk is reportedly preparing to reveal the final iteration of the humanoid 'Optimus' robot on September 30th after unveiling a prototype during the company's AI Day in August 2021.
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Change of heart

  • Musk previously blamed an overreliance on robots in Tesla factories for problems with the production of Tesla vehicles four years ago in 2018, when robots failed to perform tasks that human hands could.
  • He is expected to unveil and deploy thousands of Optimus robots in Tesla factories, even after the "Fluff bot" incident in 2018.
  • The humanoid robots will first tackle mundane jobs like moving parts around factories.
  • Investors are wary of the robots because there is a high likelihood that scaling up the use of the robots will cause production woes.
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Ready for the robots

  • The first iteration of the Tesla Bot, a.k.a Optimus, was unveiled in August 2021 during the Tesla AI Day event.
  • In the announcement about the upcoming reveal, Musk also said that the robots could eventually be sold for use in homes to perform tedious, repetitive tasks for buyers.
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Technology

Twitch Updates Revenue Model

Wednesday, September 21, 2022
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The context
Twitch announced a plan to cut subscription revenue from some of the platform's top streamers as part of their push towards implementing ads.
Technology
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Twitch Updates Revenue Model

The context
Twitch announced a plan to cut subscription revenue from some of the platform's top streamers as part of their push towards implementing ads.
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Heavy handed ad push

  • Twitch announced they plan to standardize their revenue sharing agreement with all streamers.
  • In a blog post, the Twitch president explained that top streamers had a premium revenue deal where they earned 70% of revenue from paid subscriptions, unlike most streamers who made 50% of subscription revenue.
  • The new revenue sharing agreement will give premium subscription streamers keep 70% of the first $100,000 in subscription revenue.
  • In June, they started piloting the new revenue model related to ads. Streamers receive 55% of revenue for every ad they include, encouraging streamers to run ads instead of relying on subscription revenue to make money on the platform.
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Paid less to be paid more

  • Twitch justified the pay cuts for top-earning streamers by saying that they could earn more money from ad revenue to offset the pay cut. They also claimed that creators could make more money through ads than subscriptions.
  • Streamers who had the 70/30 split deal are unhappy with the platform and the pay cut.
  • Since Twitch dominates the live-streaming market, it may get away with the changes because streamers don't have many other options.
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Technology

Youtube Adds Shorts

Tuesday, September 20, 2022
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The context
By luring creators onto YouTube's Shorts platform, YouTube is looking to tackle Tik Tok's grip on the short-form content market. Youtube announced they are expanding its Partner Program and adding revenue sharing to Shorts.
Technology
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Youtube Adds Shorts

The context
By luring creators onto YouTube's Shorts platform, YouTube is looking to tackle Tik Tok's grip on the short-form content market. Youtube announced they are expanding its Partner Program and adding revenue sharing to Shorts.
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Not so short

  • Creators who become members of YouTube's Partner Program will be able to earn 45% of ad revenue on Shorts if they get at least 10 million views on their short over 90 days.
  • The update to the Partner Program also makes it easier for creators to use music in Shorts.
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More money for creators

  • By adding ads to Shorts, Creators can earn more money on YouTube than on Tik Tok.
  • The Partner Program will pay creators from a pool of funds, like Tik Tok does, but it will make it easier for creators to access that fund. Only the top 4% of videos on Tik Tok are eligible for monetization.
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Technology

Nvidia Announcements

Tuesday, September 20, 2022
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The context
Nvidia announced the launch of the RTX 4090 and 4080 Desktop GPUs.
Technology
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Nvidia Announcements

The context
Nvidia announced the launch of the RTX 4090 and 4080 Desktop GPUs.
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New direction

  • Nvidia announced a new flagship GPU as part of its new line of graphics cards.
  • The GeForce RTX 4090 will have 24GB of G6X memory and will allegedly be two-four times faster than the previous flagship.
  • The RTX 4090 will go for $1,599 and will be released on October 12th.
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GPU bounce back

  • Both of the new chips are powered by Nvidia's Ada Lovelace architecture.
  • The GPU launch will hopefully help the company recover from the drop in GPU demand after the crypto crash, and Ethereum's merge to proof-of-stake which no longer requires GPU powered computers to mine coins.
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Technology

Ethereum Falls After Merge

Monday, September 19, 2022
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The context
The long-awaited Ethereum merge from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake model was executed last week. The merge is already having surprising consequences, including the price of the Ethereum coin dropping more than 17% and potentially turning the coin into a security, according to the SEC.
Technology
Monday, September 19, 2022

Ethereum Falls After Merge

The context
The long-awaited Ethereum merge from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake model was executed last week. The merge is already having surprising consequences, including the price of the Ethereum coin dropping more than 17% and potentially turning the coin into a security, according to the SEC.
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Coin drop

  • Since the merge four days ago, the value of Ethereum has tumbled over 17%.
  • At the time of the upgrade, one coin was priced at $1,600. Some experts believe that the value of the coin will fall further before it bottoms out.
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Security or not?

  • The chair of the SEC responded to the merge, saying that the proof-of-stake model means that buyers are treating coins as an investment and not as a currency which would classify the coin as a security.
  • Ethereum isn't the only coin that is dropping rapidly; Bitcoin, Cardano, and Solana are also falling in value.
  • Ethereum dropped 11% in the last twenty-four hours, while Bitcoin fell 8%.
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Technology

Interpol on Notice

Monday, September 19, 2022
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The context
South Korean prosecutors have asked Interpol to issue a red notice on crypto fugitive Do Kwon, who is on the run after they issued a warrant for his arrest.
Technology
Monday, September 19, 2022

Interpol on Notice

The context
South Korean prosecutors have asked Interpol to issue a red notice on crypto fugitive Do Kwon, who is on the run after they issued a warrant for his arrest.
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Hello? Interpol?

  • Over the weekend, Do Kwon claimed he was not on the run, but South Korean authorities refuted that claim and asked Interpol to issue a red notice.
  • South Korean authorities said that Kwon has refused to cooperate with their investigation into the collapse of Terraform Labs and attempts to seize assets to pay off creditors and investors in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
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Technology

Biden Aims to Regulate Crypto

Friday, September 16, 2022
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The context
President Biden's administration just released a plan to regulate crypto, announcing their intention to pass regulations for the industry.
Technology
Friday, September 16, 2022

Biden Aims to Regulate Crypto

The context
President Biden's administration just released a plan to regulate crypto, announcing their intention to pass regulations for the industry.
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First of its kind

  • In March, President Biden signed an executive order that requested federal agencies look into the risks and benefits of cryptocurrencies and provide an official report to Biden.
  • Now, President Biden pulled together the findings and has released recommendations to lawmakers to regulate the industry.
  • The recommendations include measures to fight fraud and the use of coins to hide or participate in illegal activity, as well as a tentative plan to create a stablecoin tied to the value of the U.S. dollar.
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Approach to regulation

  • President Biden's guidelines called for passing legislation to prevent the misuse of cryptocurrencies as they become more popular.
  • Biden will also evaluate whether to ask Congress to pass amendments to the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires lenders to report suspicious withdrawals or deposits to the Treasury. The amendments would require crypto-lenders to do the same.
  • The Justice Department will create a new division to investigate digital asset crimes.
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Technology

Uber Hack

Friday, September 16, 2022
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The context
Uber is investigating a successful hack into their company systems after an 18-year-old posted in company channels that he had hacked into the company.
Technology
Friday, September 16, 2022

Uber Hack

The context
Uber is investigating a successful hack into their company systems after an 18-year-old posted in company channels that he had hacked into the company.
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Cybersecurity blunder

  • The hacker used social engineering tactics to gain access to Slack using employee credentials. He convinced an employee to give him a password that would provide him with access to Uber's main systems.
  • After gaining access to Slack, the hacker got into the entirety of the company's main systems.
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Is this a joke?

  • Uber revealed that they are investigating the hack after the hacker got onto company tools like Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services.
  • The hacker posted a message to Slack, revealing they were a hacker and that Uber had suffered a breach.
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The context
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act today, which mandates safeguards for minors using social media platforms. The protections include disclosures from social media companies about their misinformation and violent content policies.
Technology
Thursday, September 15, 2022

California Gets Serious About Social Media and Minors

The context
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act today, which mandates safeguards for minors using social media platforms. The protections include disclosures from social media companies about their misinformation and violent content policies.
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Bill signed

  • The protections take the form of transparency disclosures in which social media companies must publicly declare their policies about disinformation, violence, extremism, and hate speech.
  • The companies must also provide data about enforcing misinformation and extremism policies on their platforms.
  • Minors are especially susceptible to violent messaging online, and the protections are designed to protect them from the types of hate speech and extremism that run rampant on social media platforms.
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Controversial bill

  • The bill passed in the state legislature before Newsom signed it.
  • The law is controversial and likely to face a challenge from NetChoice, an organization that has built a reputation by successfully opposing social media oversight laws.
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Technology

Adobe to Acquire Figma

Thursday, September 15, 2022
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The context
Adobe is acquiring the online design startup Figma for $20 billion.
Technology
Thursday, September 15, 2022

Adobe to Acquire Figma

The context
Adobe is acquiring the online design startup Figma for $20 billion.
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Adobe expands

  • Adobe announced tdoay that they are acquring the collaborative design software.
  • The acquisition comes as investors in Adobe have begun to question the company's dominance in the design market, so Adobe has been looking to expand its offerings to consumers to reassure investors.
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Big bucks

  • Adobe will acquire Figma in a $20 billion deal.
  • Figma is a cloud-based design software that lets teams collaborate on designs at the same time.
  • Figma CEO, Dylan Field, will continue to run the company as Adobe integrates some of their software components like Photoshop onto Figma.
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Technology

Ford Doubles Down on Dealers

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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The context
Ford has given dealers an ultimatum, meet Ford's standards to sell its electric vehicles or stay selling combustion engines.
Technology
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Ford Doubles Down on Dealers

The context
Ford has given dealers an ultimatum, meet Ford's standards to sell its electric vehicles or stay selling combustion engines.
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Get with it

  • Ford has told dealers that if they want to sell electric vehicles, they must meet company selling standards and make changes.
  • Dealers will need to invest their money into readying their dealerships by adding fast charging to sell electric vehicles.
  • Ford has said they will use the dealers' investments, $500,000 per certified dealer and $1.2 million per elite dealer, to help them build charging infrastructure.
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Sky high profit chasing

  • Ford is chasing high profits from electric vehicles, and the ultimatum made to dealers reflects their desire to make electric vehicles the company's focus.
  • Dealers who invest more of their own money into the infrastructure to sell EVs will be rewarded with access to more electric vehicles and will be deemed "elite" dealers.
  • Most of the costs for dealers will come from installing new chargers in order to sell the vehicles.
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Technology

Google's Mysterious Area 120

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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The context
Google has cut funding and staff at its research and development center, known as Area 120. Google has been shifting its strategy and tightening spending to deal with economic downturn and instability.
Technology
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Google's Mysterious Area 120

The context
Google has cut funding and staff at its research and development center, known as Area 120. Google has been shifting its strategy and tightening spending to deal with economic downturn and instability.
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Idea incubator to destroyer

  • Teams at Area 120 were told this week that their projects had either been canceled or reorganized to different groups within Google.
  • The team workers whose projects have been canceled or reorganized will need to secure new roles at Google or risk being fired.
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Efficiency push

  • Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, said that the company is working towards becoming 20% more efficient, which many suggested would take the form of layoffs.
  • Area 120 was the incubator site for fourteen projects, which have now been cut down to seven. Employees working on the seven canceled projects have until January to find new jobs within the company or be let go.
  • The remaining projects will focus only on AI-led projects.
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Technology

Do Kwon On the Run

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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The context
South Korea has issued an arrest warrant for the Terraform Labs co-founder, Do Kwon. The Terraform Labs cryptocurrency ecosystem's unexpected collapse helped set off the crypto winter, and apparently, the South Korean financial crimes unit wants answers.
Technology
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Do Kwon On the Run

The context
South Korea has issued an arrest warrant for the Terraform Labs co-founder, Do Kwon. The Terraform Labs cryptocurrency ecosystem's unexpected collapse helped set off the crypto winter, and apparently, the South Korean financial crimes unit wants answers.
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Arrest him

  • The warrant for Do Kwon's arrest revealed that he is wanted for violating the capital markets laws.
  • Do Kwon co-founded Terraform Labs, which is a crptocurrency platform. The company's $40 billion collapse kicked off the start of the crypto winter.
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Collapse to arrest

  • One of Terraform Lab's cryptocurrency coins was an algorithmic stablecoin. When the value of the coin dropped below the $1 amount it was supposed to stabilize at; it caused the platform to collapse and took the value of its sister coin with it.
  • The collapse triggered the collapse of other high-profile cryptocurrency platforms like Voyager.
  • The warrant comes four months after the collapse and South Korean authorities allege that Do Known violated capital markets laws.
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Technology

Mudge Makes His Case

Tuesday, September 13, 2022
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The context
The Twitter whistleblower, Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, testified in front of Congress about his allegations that Twitter's security protocol contained egregious deficiencies.
Technology
Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Mudge Makes His Case

The context
The Twitter whistleblower, Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, testified in front of Congress about his allegations that Twitter's security protocol contained egregious deficiencies.
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Zatko testifies

  • The hearing was scheduled in response to the whistleblower report filed by Peiter Zatko.
  • He testified that he was ignored when he brought security vulnerabilities to executives or board members. He also testified that Twitter employed two agents of the Indian government and a Chinese spy.
  • The hearing focused on the national security risks posed by Twitter's lack of security defenses associated with user data it collects.
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Vulnerable user data

  • The testimony from Peiter Zatko claimed that Twitter collects data that it doesn't understand or properly store.
  • Zatko also spoke about the potential for foreign actors or governments to gain access to stored data about users, including high-profile users like lawmakers or people of interest to authoritarian regimes.
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The context
The Twitter shareholders voted in favor of Elon Musk's $44 billion buyout, teeing up the highly anticipated court battle in October over whether Musk will be allowed to back out of the deal.
Technology
Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Twitter Shareholders Vote in Favor of Takeover

The context
The Twitter shareholders voted in favor of Elon Musk's $44 billion buyout, teeing up the highly anticipated court battle in October over whether Musk will be allowed to back out of the deal.
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We are in

  • The Twitter shareholders approved Musk's proposed $44 billion buyout today.
  • After the approval, the deal's outcome is in the hands of the Delaware court presiding over the court battle between Twitter and Musk after he filed with the SEC to be released from the deal.
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Deal details

  • The majority of shareholders voted in favor of the buyout's terms which would give the shareholders $54.20-a-share.
  • Twitter's board encouraged investors and shareholders to approve the deal.
  • In July, Elon Musk filed to cancel the buyout deal over accusations that Twitter misled him about the number of bots and spam accounts on the platform.
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Technology

Musk Tries Twitter, Again

Monday, September 12, 2022
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The context
Could the third time be the charm for Elon Musk's legal team? The team filed a third termination notice, calling the company's severance agreement with the former employee-turned whistleblower, Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, a violation of the terms of Musk's agreement to buy Twitter.
Technology
Monday, September 12, 2022

Musk Tries Twitter, Again

The context
Could the third time be the charm for Elon Musk's legal team? The team filed a third termination notice, calling the company's severance agreement with the former employee-turned whistleblower, Peiter 'Mudge' Zatko, a violation of the terms of Musk's agreement to buy Twitter.
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Maybe it's Mudge

  • Elon Musk's legal team filed their third motion with the SEC, alleging that Twitter agreed to severance payments and paid them out to Zatko after he left the company.
  • Zatko filed a whistleblower report about security deficiencies in Twitter's security protocol.
  • The motion claims that Twitter agreed not to enter non-ordinary severance or termination agreements with ex-employees. Musk's team claims that they engaged in non-ordinary severance payments by paying out Zatko.
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Twitter responds

  • Twitter responded to the SEC filing, saying that the payments they made to Zatko did not violate the agreed-upon terms of the acquisition.
  • The exact amount of the alleged payment in question is unknown, but sources claim it is around $7 million.
  • The judge in the upcoming trial about the acquisition will allow Musk to include information from Zatko's whistleblower report.
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Technology

Starbucks Begins a Web3 Journey

Monday, September 12, 2022
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The context
Starbucks released more information about Starbucks Odyssey, their block-chain based loyalty platform where users can buy and earn NFTs.
Technology
Monday, September 12, 2022

Starbucks Begins a Web3 Journey

The context
Starbucks released more information about Starbucks Odyssey, their block-chain based loyalty platform where users can buy and earn NFTs.
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Coming soon

  • The Starbucks Odyssey platform will give employees and loyal customers a way to buy and earn Starbucks-minted NFTs through purchases at Starbucks stores instead of cryptocurrency.
  • The NFTs will take the form of digital collectible stamps, and ownership of the stamps will be secured and logged on the blockchain.
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Let's take a journey

  • Starbucks will launch Starbucks Odyssey later this year.
  • While the platform is built with Web3 and on the blockchain, the experience is designed to be accessible for everyone, not just blockchain enthusiasts.
  • After logging into the web app, users can go on "journeys" by playing interactive games or engaging with challenges to learn more about coffee. They will be rewarded for journeys by earning NFTs and eventually earn benefits and real-world rewards.
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Technology

Blue Origin Flight Launch Aborted

Monday, September 12, 2022
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The context
Blue Origin aborted the launch of the New Shepard, NS-23, successfully ejecting the un-crewed capsule from the rest of the rocket mid-flight. The cause of the anomaly that led to the ejection is not yet known, but it is the first time that Blue Origin has experienced an issue with the New Shepard rocket-system.
Technology
Monday, September 12, 2022

Blue Origin Flight Launch Aborted

The context
Blue Origin aborted the launch of the New Shepard, NS-23, successfully ejecting the un-crewed capsule from the rest of the rocket mid-flight. The cause of the anomaly that led to the ejection is not yet known, but it is the first time that Blue Origin has experienced an issue with the New Shepard rocket-system.
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Mid-flight decision

  • As the rocket crossed 28,000 feet into space, the capsule that would carry space tourists ejected from the rest of the rocket system and released its parachutes.
  • The capsule, named RSS H.G. Wells, was paired with the New Shepard Booster 3 and successfully disengaged before the rocket caught fire after a failure in the engine.
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Early call

  • The mission was aborted during the first ascent stage, and the capsule used parachutes to float back down to earth.
  • Blue Origin has never encountered an issue with the New Shepard spacecraft before during previous launches and testing. The capsule, which sustained no harm from the rocket-engine failure or the abort process, is designed to carry future space tourists.
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Technology

Apple Goes for Satellite Tech

Friday, September 9, 2022
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The context
Apple's new emergency SOS feature reveals that the company is investing more heavily into satellite services than they initially let on.
Technology
Friday, September 9, 2022

Apple Goes for Satellite Tech

The context
Apple's new emergency SOS feature reveals that the company is investing more heavily into satellite services than they initially let on.
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Partners with Globalstar

  • Apple will partner with the satellite company Globalstar to power their new Emergency SOS feature on the iPhone 14.
  • The feature lets users send emergency text messages using satellites from locations where they don't get cell service.
  • The feature will be free for two years on iPhone 14s.
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Battle in the stars

  • Apple's partnership with Globalstar will put the two in competition with companies like SpaceX and land them on a long list of companies that are trying to find ways around dead zones where there is no cell service.
  • The feature will only be available in the U.S. and will eventually roll out to other countries.
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Technology

Ransomware Hack on LA Schools

Friday, September 9, 2022
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The context
The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the U.S., was hacked by the Russian-speaking hacking group Vice Society. Vice Society is known for targeting schools, but the exact intent of the hack is not yet known.
Technology
Friday, September 9, 2022

Ransomware Hack on LA Schools

The context
The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the U.S., was hacked by the Russian-speaking hacking group Vice Society. Vice Society is known for targeting schools, but the exact intent of the hack is not yet known.
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LAUSD targeted

  • The attack occurred this weekend and disrupted schools within the district's access to their IT systems.
  • The hackers are part of the Russian-speaking organization Vice Society, which frequently targets schools through a vulnerability in Windows.
  • The LAUSD confirmed that hack and said that the credentials that the hackers accessed have been deactivated, and they are working on restoring full access to their IT systems.
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Trendy hacking target

  • The school district said that the hack was likely criminal.
  • The hack temporarily cut off access to employees' emails and forums where teachers post lessons. It also took down the district's website.
  • The attack is the 50th cyberattack against the education sector this year, including U.S.-based universities, colleges, and school districts
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Technology

Apple Event Details

Wednesday, September 7, 2022
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The context
At Apple's 'Far Out' event today, the company announced the newest Apple Watches, AirPods and debuted the iPhone 14.
Technology
Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Apple Event Details

The context
At Apple's 'Far Out' event today, the company announced the newest Apple Watches, AirPods and debuted the iPhone 14.
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Apple Watch Updates

  • Apple announced the launch of the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra.
  • Some new features include temperature tracking, which women can use to track their menstrual cycle. The data about women's cycles are stored privately on the device.
  • They also includes a crash detection feature that detects whether the wearer was in a car crash while driving.
  • Other improvements include faster charging, longer battery life, and improved durability.
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New AirPods

  • The AirPods Pro 2 were announced today.
  • They will cancel twice as much noise, feature touch controls, and the charging case will give listeners 30 hours of usage.
  • Apple also announced that each earbud would be able to play a sound when it is lost to help users track down their missing earbuds.
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iPhone14

  • The iPhone 14 and the slightly larger iPhone 14 Plus will have the best battery life yet of any iPhone.
  • It also includes new camera stabilization features and a larger rear camera.
  • The models will also allow users to use satellites to alert people of their whereabouts in emergency and non-emergency situations.
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Technology

Buick's Big Time Electric Gamble

Tuesday, September 6, 2022
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The context
Buick is hoping to switch to selling only electric vehicles by 2030 and to do so, they are offering to buy out Buick dealers who don't want to transition to selling only EVs.
Technology
Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Buick's Big Time Electric Gamble

The context
Buick is hoping to switch to selling only electric vehicles by 2030 and to do so, they are offering to buy out Buick dealers who don't want to transition to selling only EVs.
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Offering an option

  • While Buick wants to transition to selling only EVs, they want to give dealerships the option to opt-out of their only EVs by 2030.
  • Buick has offered the option for dealers where the company will buyout Buick cars from dealerships that don't want to sell electric vehicles.
  • While those dealerships won't be able to sell Buick vehicles anymore, they can still sell other General Motors vehicles.
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Proactive strategy

  • About 2,000 Buick dealers will be offered the buyout deal.
  • GM is looking to rapidly turn towards selling only electric vehicles, and the buy out is a tried and true strategy that has been employed by General Motors before.
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Technology

Binance Dumps USDC

Tuesday, September 6, 2022
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The context
Binance will convert users' holdings in the stablecoins USDC, USDP, and TUSD into its own stablecoin BUSD on September 29th. Binance will no longer support the alternative stablecoins, but users will be able to withdraw their holdings before the automatic transfer on the 29th. Circle's USDC is the second largest stablecoin, while BUSD is the third largest.
Technology
Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Binance Dumps USDC

The context
Binance will convert users' holdings in the stablecoins USDC, USDP, and TUSD into its own stablecoin BUSD on September 29th. Binance will no longer support the alternative stablecoins, but users will be able to withdraw their holdings before the automatic transfer on the 29th. Circle's USDC is the second largest stablecoin, while BUSD is the third largest.
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Big time break up

  • In a somewhat shocking move, Binance will automatically convert users' holdings in rival stablecoins into the stablecoin issued by Binance.
  • Circle is the issuer of USDC, and the coin has a market cap of over $50 billion. BUSD has a market cap of a little less than $20 billion.
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Convert tactics

  • The "BUSD Auto-Conversion" protocol will automatically convert users' existing holdings or any new deposits in USD Coin (USDC), Pax Dollar (USDP), and True USD (TUSD) into BUSD.
  • Users who have saving accounts, DeFi staking subscriptions, or crypto loans tied to alternative stablecoins and hosted on Binance will have their assets closed and liquidated on September 23rd, before the conversion happens.
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Technology

Youtube's Algorithm Under Fire

Friday, September 2, 2022
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The context
New York University researchers found that YouTube users who were skeptical of the results of the 2020 election were more likely to be fed election-fraud content by the YouTube algorithm.
Technology
Friday, September 2, 2022

Youtube's Algorithm Under Fire

The context
New York University researchers found that YouTube users who were skeptical of the results of the 2020 election were more likely to be fed election-fraud content by the YouTube algorithm.
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Premise of the study

  • The study showed that YouTube was much more likely to recommend content about election fraud to users who were skeptical about the election. The recommendation algorithm may perpetuate false beliefs or lead people to believe misinformation if they are constantly shown videos with incorrect information in them.
  • The researchers conducted the study in November and December 2020, following the presidential election.
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Content pushers

  • Users who were skeptical of the election were recommended more content about election fraud than users who were not skeptical.
  • The most skeptical users were recommended three times as many videos as the least skeptical users in the study.
  • The videos that were recommended to skeptics were much more likely to endorse instead of present election fraud claims.
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Technology

Edit Tweet Function Finally Coming

Thursday, September 1, 2022
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The context
Twitter is finally testing a long-awaited Edit feature that lets tweeters edit their tweets after they have been posted.
Technology
Thursday, September 1, 2022

Edit Tweet Function Finally Coming

The context
Twitter is finally testing a long-awaited Edit feature that lets tweeters edit their tweets after they have been posted.
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Edit alert

  • Twitter said that internal teams are testing an "Edit Tweet" feature.
  • After its launch, users will be able to edit tweets within a 30 minute window from when they were posted.
  • If a tweet is edited, it will appear with a timestamp and be labeled to let users know that it was modified.
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Exclusive feature

  • The edit function will be available to users who use the paid Twitter Blue service.
  • The function will be rolled out to paid members in the coming weeks after internal teams complete the beta testing of the function.
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Technology

Cloudflare Catches Flack

Wednesday, August 31, 2022
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The context
Cloudflare is the subject of a campaign by users who want the platform to ban Kiwi Farms, which is a forum that fosters hate and harassment towards trans creators.
Technology
Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Cloudflare Catches Flack

The context
Cloudflare is the subject of a campaign by users who want the platform to ban Kiwi Farms, which is a forum that fosters hate and harassment towards trans creators.
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Cloudflare responds

  • Cloudflare has a complicated history with forums that promote hate. The company responded to the backlash with a blog post detailing its criteria for when it bans a site or customer.
  • The company did not respond to the backlash by saying they would ban the forum.
  • Kiwi Farms was founded with the express purpose of harassing creators that are transgender or female-identifying, and it is one of the biggest messaging boards on Cloudflare.
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Technology

Michael Saylor Gets Sued

Wednesday, August 31, 2022
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The context
The co-founder of MicroStrategy and tech billionaire Michael Saylor has been sued by the Attorney General of Washington D.C. for evading an alleged $25 million in taxes. MicroStrategy has been named as a co-defendant for possibly aiding Saylor in avoiding taxes.
Technology
Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Michael Saylor Gets Sued

The context
The co-founder of MicroStrategy and tech billionaire Michael Saylor has been sued by the Attorney General of Washington D.C. for evading an alleged $25 million in taxes. MicroStrategy has been named as a co-defendant for possibly aiding Saylor in avoiding taxes.
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Racine strikes

  • D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed suit against Saylor for evading $25 million in taxes today.
  • Michael Saylor is the CEO and chairman of MicroStrategy. He entered the Bitcoin arena in 2020 and spent almost $4 billion collecting coins.
  • Saylor claimed that his full-time residence was in Virginia or Florida, but he actually lives in several homes around D.C.
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First of its kind

  • The D.C. AG is looking to recoup a total of $100 million from Michael Saylor and MicroStrategy, which is named as a co-defendant in the suit.
  • A whistleblower revealed that MicroStrategy filed fraudulent W2s for Saylor that put his full-time residence in Florida or Virginia.
  • The tax evasion stretches back all the way to 2014.
  • The case against Saylor is the first to be filed under the newly passed False Claims Act.
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The context
Former President Donald Trump's social media app, Truth Social, was not approved for sale on the Google Play Store over content moderation concerns.
Technology
Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Truth Social Not Approved for Google Play Store

The context
Former President Donald Trump's social media app, Truth Social, was not approved for sale on the Google Play Store over content moderation concerns.
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No-go

  • Truth Social was not approved to be sold on the Google Play Store, which is a significant setback for the app.
  • Trump's social media platform is already available to download on the Apple App Store.
  • The app was denied for insufficient content moderation. Truth Social's parent company, Trump Media & Technology Group, works with a San Francisco-based content moderator called Hive.
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Not on Android

  • Google rejected the app after they expressed concerns that content that portrays violence or contains calls to violence wasn't being removed from the app.
  • Truth Social acknowledged the feedback from Google and said they would work on addressing the issue.
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Technology

Twitter Circle Debuts

Tuesday, August 30, 2022
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The context
Twitter is bringing MySpace back by debuting Twitter Circle, which allows you to restrict who gets to see your tweets by picking150 friends to be a part of your circle.
Technology
Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Twitter Circle Debuts

The context
Twitter is bringing MySpace back by debuting Twitter Circle, which allows you to restrict who gets to see your tweets by picking150 friends to be a part of your circle.
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Going global

  • Twitter users can now add 150 friends to their Circle to see posts on their private timelines.
  • Members of the user's Circle will know they are part of someone's Circle because a tweet from that friend will have a special green badge under it.
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Real ones only

  • The new feature is similar to Instagram's "close friends" feature.
  • Tweets on someone's personal timeline will contain a green banner that reads, "Only people in [usersname] Twitter Circle can see this Tweet."
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The context
The Justice Department is reportedly in the early stages of preparing an antitrust suit against Apple. The DOJ has been investigating the tech giant over allegations that they use their market influence to stifle other smaller tech companies and app developers.
Technology
Monday, August 29, 2022

Impending Antitrust Suit Hangs Over Apple

The context
The Justice Department is reportedly in the early stages of preparing an antitrust suit against Apple. The DOJ has been investigating the tech giant over allegations that they use their market influence to stifle other smaller tech companies and app developers.
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Backbone of the case

  • The DOJ has been investigating whether Apple has abused its dominance in the tech market to choke out smaller hardware and software tech companies.
  • Apple has faced increased scrutiny for how they report earnings from its various Services businesses like the App Store.
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New report

  • According to reporting from Politico, the DOJ is in the early stages of filing the suit against Apple as part of an ongoing effort to reign in the giant tech companies that have historically dominated the market.
  • One of the main areas of focus in the suit is Apple's tight-knuckled control of its devices and Services businesses which impacts app developers and other device competitors.
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Technology

YC Names New CEO

Monday, August 29, 2022
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The context
Garry Tan has been named the next CEO and President of the technology start-up accelerator, Y Combinator.
Technology
Monday, August 29, 2022

YC Names New CEO

The context
Garry Tan has been named the next CEO and President of the technology start-up accelerator, Y Combinator.
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From X to Y

  • Garry Tan will take over from current CEO Geoff Ralston next year.
  • Garry Tan previously worked at Palantir and co-founded the venture capital firm Initialized Capital alongside Alexis Ohanian.
  • The soon-to-be CEO worked at Y Combinator from 2010 to 2015.
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Up next

  • Tan will stay on with Initialized as an advisor after he transitions to the new role at YC as their fourth CEO.
  • Tan got his start at YC and credits the community there for his success. In his annoucement about the transition, he gives kudos to YC and says that he wants to increase opportunities for entrepreneurs.
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Technology

Meta Launches New Headset

Friday, August 26, 2022
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The context
Mark Zuckerberg confirmed rumors that Meta will launch the newest VR headset in October. He told podcaster Joe Rogan that "Project Cambria" will have a host of new features that take the user deeper into virtual reality than ever before.
Technology
Friday, August 26, 2022

Meta Launches New Headset

The context
Mark Zuckerberg confirmed rumors that Meta will launch the newest VR headset in October. He told podcaster Joe Rogan that "Project Cambria" will have a host of new features that take the user deeper into virtual reality than ever before.
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 →

Launch pending

  • The headset, also known as Project Cambria, will launch in October around the time of Meta's annual Connect event.
  • The headset will include a high-resolution screen and sensors for eye tracking, and it will also track the user's expressions, which will project onto their avatar.
  • It is expected to be much more expensive than the current Meta VR headset, Meta Quest.
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Technology

Sony Ups the PlayStation Ante

Thursday, August 25, 2022
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The context
Sony announced that they are immediately raising the price of a PlayStation 5 by up to 20% in most markets outside the U.S., including the U.K., China, Australia, Mexico, and Canada. The price increase will take effect in Japan in September.
Technology
Thursday, August 25, 2022

Sony Ups the PlayStation Ante

The context
Sony announced that they are immediately raising the price of a PlayStation 5 by up to 20% in most markets outside the U.S., including the U.K., China, Australia, Mexico, and Canada. The price increase will take effect in Japan in September.
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 →

Response to conditions

  • The price hike will not affect buyers in the U.S., but the new prices could be increased for buyers outside the country by $30-80.
  • Sony said its top priority is to continue to manufacture and distribute PlayStations and improve the supply chain.
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Technology

Far Out on September 7th

Wednesday, August 24, 2022
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The context
Apple has released the invitation to a press event titled "Far Out," in which they are expected to launch the new iPhone 14 and, maybe if watchers are lucky, new Apple Watches.
Technology
Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Far Out on September 7th

The context
Apple has released the invitation to a press event titled "Far Out," in which they are expected to launch the new iPhone 14 and, maybe if watchers are lucky, new Apple Watches.
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Invites in the mail

  • The September 7th press event will be held on Apple's Cupertino campus in California. It will also stream on Apple's website.
  • Apple is expected to debut the new iPhone 14 and potentially introduce new models of the Apple Watch.
Go deeper →

Potential launches

  • The event will likely feature the new lineup of iPhone 14s. They could potentially introduce four models of the new phone.
  • Apple may also introduce new Apple Watches, AirPods, and iPads or a new Mac Pro, which are all currently in development.
Go deeper →
The context
As part of a bombshell announcement from the PGA Tour about increased payouts and events for PGA golfers, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory announced the creation of a tech-driven golf league that will kick off in 2024.
Technology
Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Golf Gets Wood's Sponsored, Tech-Driven Upgrade

The context
As part of a bombshell announcement from the PGA Tour about increased payouts and events for PGA golfers, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory announced the creation of a tech-driven golf league that will kick off in 2024.
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 →

Loosen those purse strings

  • The top players from the PGA Tour have responded to the efforts by LIV Golf to poach talent by committing to playing in at least 20 events next year.
  • The PGA Tour massively increased the potential earnings for 12 of the elevated tournaments, making it possible for golfers to win between $15 and $20 million.
  • The announcement follows a meeting of top PGA players hosted by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory about what the league can change to fight the LIV Golf tournament and keep its top talent.
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Virtual golf claps

  • The PGA Tour announced the creation of a tech-driven Golf League, TGL Golf, which they will showcase during a primetime TV show established by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory.
  • The new league will stream on Monday nights and feature golfers tackling shots in a custom-built venue aided by advanced tech.
  • The show features six teams of three PGA tour players, and they will compete on a virtual course with a live audience. The tech-driven approach to golf will start streaming in 2024.
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The context
Yelp will begin flagging crisis pregnancy centers to help users seeking reproductive care end up in the right place for their needs. The new listing criteria will alert users that crisis pregnancy centers do not offer abortion services and do not typically offer medical services.
Technology
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Yelp Addresses Crisis Pregnancy Centers

The context
Yelp will begin flagging crisis pregnancy centers to help users seeking reproductive care end up in the right place for their needs. The new listing criteria will alert users that crisis pregnancy centers do not offer abortion services and do not typically offer medical services.
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 →

New flagging system

  • After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, many tech companies have released updated policies to adapt to the post-Roe era.
  • Yelp will add a feature that notifies abortion-seekers that crisis pregnancy centers, which come up when users search for abortion services, do not offer abortions and do not have medical professionals on site who can administer reproductive care.
  • Yelp has been working to recategorize thousands of businesses that moonlight as abortion care providers and mislead abortion-seekers about their services since 2018.
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Alert!

  • Crisis pregnancy centers often present themselves as medical facilities, but they do not provide medical care to patients and instead employ a variety of harmful tactics aimed at encouraging abortion seekers to forgo the procedure.
  • In the app, if a user clicks on a crisis pregnancy center listing, a notice will alert them that they have landed on a crisis pregnancy center and not an abortion clinic.
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Technology

Twitter Whistleblower's Report

Tuesday, August 23, 2022
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The context
The former security chief of Twitter, Peiter Zatko, has accused the platform of having "egregious deficiencies" in its security protocol and pointed out significant flaws in its cyber security systems.
Technology
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Twitter Whistleblower's Report

The context
The former security chief of Twitter, Peiter Zatko, has accused the platform of having "egregious deficiencies" in its security protocol and pointed out significant flaws in its cyber security systems.
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 →

Bombshell report

  • Peiter Zatko is the former head of security at Twitter. In a whistleblower report, Zatko revealed that Twitter has serious gaps in its security, privacy, and content moderation policies.
  • The report accuses CEO Parag Agrawal and others of lying to investors and users about privacy policies that made the platform vulnerable to interference by foreign actors or hackers.
Go deeper →

Thwarted lockdown

  • The report references the January 6th Capitol riot as a particularly mismanaged event.
  • During the riot, Zatko wanted to lock down internal access to the platform in case one of the 5,000 employees at Twitter supported the rioters and decided to sabotage the platform.
  • Zatko was told he was not allowed to seal the production environment for the site to protect it since so many engineers had unfettered access.
  • In the report, Zatko says that the open production environment makes the platform extremely vulnerable to internal threats.
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Technology

Musk Burns the Dorsey Bridge

Monday, August 22, 2022
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The context
Elon Musk, who is embroiled in a legal dispute with Twitter over his attempt to pull out of buying the social media company, has subpoenaed former Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey. Dorsey supported Musk's ambitions to buy the company for $44 billion, but Musk now wants to know how many spam/bot accounts are on the platform.
Technology
Monday, August 22, 2022

Musk Burns the Dorsey Bridge

The context
Elon Musk, who is embroiled in a legal dispute with Twitter over his attempt to pull out of buying the social media company, has subpoenaed former Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey. Dorsey supported Musk's ambitions to buy the company for $44 billion, but Musk now wants to know how many spam/bot accounts are on the platform.
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Heating up

  • Twitter is suing Elon Musk to force him to follow through on the $44 billion buyout he signed on for.
  • Musk claims that Twitter misled him about the number of bots and spam accounts on the platform, which is sufficient grounds for him to walk away from the deal.
  • Jack Dorsey co-founded Twitter and served as its CEO. Dorsey tweeted in April that he supported Musk's buyout.
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Subpoenaed after all

  • On October 17th, the trial between Twitter and Musk will start in Delaware. Musk's team asked for a February start date but was denied by a judge.
  • Musk and his legal team issued a subpoena to Jack Dorsey, asking him to provide information about the impact of spam/bot accounts on the Twitter platform.
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Technology

Layoffs at Ford

Monday, August 22, 2022
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The context
Ford will cut 3,000 jobs as part of an effort to restructure the company to maximize revenue and increase production. While the layoffs were expected in the wake of Ford announcing its restructuring efforts earlier this month.
Technology
Monday, August 22, 2022

Layoffs at Ford

The context
Ford will cut 3,000 jobs as part of an effort to restructure the company to maximize revenue and increase production. While the layoffs were expected in the wake of Ford announcing its restructuring efforts earlier this month.
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Restructuring effort

  • Ford's CEO Jim Farley announced in March that the company would restructure and split its electric vehicle manufacturing and internal combustion vehicle manufacturing into two different units.
  • The layoffs are expected to impact both salaried and contract workers in the U.S., Canada, and India.
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Memo to staffers

  • Ford employees were told of the layoffs via email today from the Chairman of Ford, Bill Ford, and the CEO, Jim Farley. The employees being laid off are expected to be told later this week.
  • In the memo, the chairman and the CEO said the layoffs were necessary to keep reshaping the way that Ford approaches vehicle manufacturing and to redistribute resources across the company to remain competitive with other automakers.
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Technology

Is Tik Tok Watching You Type?

Friday, August 19, 2022
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The context
According to a report by a security researcher, Tik Tok's in-App browser has a code embedded that allows the app to track users' typing and messaging so long as the app browser is open.
Technology
Friday, August 19, 2022

Is Tik Tok Watching You Type?

The context
According to a report by a security researcher, Tik Tok's in-App browser has a code embedded that allows the app to track users' typing and messaging so long as the app browser is open.
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Warning, tracking in progress

  • A new privacy analysis by a security researcher has warned Tik Tok users that the app can watch their keystrokes if they use in-app browsing.
  • In Europe, Tik Tok agreed to pause an app update that would have removed users' ability to refuse to be tracked or receive targeted advertising.
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Watchdog reports

  • Researcher Felix Krause found the buried code Tik Tok uses to track users' keystrokes.
  • He revealed that the app could track what links you click or even messages you send as long as you use in-app browsing.
  • Tik Tok responded by saying that the code is not used to spy on users but instead is used to troubleshoot.
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Technology

DoorDash's Break-up

Friday, August 19, 2022
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The context
DoorDash is ending its delivery partnership with Walmart after several years of partnership, where drivers with DoorDash delivered Walmart's goods to at-home shoppers.
Technology
Friday, August 19, 2022

DoorDash's Break-up

The context
DoorDash is ending its delivery partnership with Walmart after several years of partnership, where drivers with DoorDash delivered Walmart's goods to at-home shoppers.
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End of an era

  • After more than four years of partnership between DoorDash and Walmart, DoorDash will stop delivering groceries and goods from Walmart through their app.
  • DoorDash decided to call off the partnership because Walmart has been focusing on building out its own delivery service, acquiring the company Delivery Drivers, and it intends to focus on long-term relationships with other clients.
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Confirmation comes

  • Walmart confirmed the news of the break-up between the two companies saying that they had agreed to part ways with the delivery service and thanked DoorDash for their years of collaboration.
  • Shares in DoorDash dropped in value after the news was released.
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The context
Members of the Alphabet Workers Union at Google have petitioned the company, asking Google to expand privacy protections for people seeking abortions or gender-affirming surgeries.
Technology
Thursday, August 18, 2022

Alphabet Workers Union Petitions Google

The context
Members of the Alphabet Workers Union at Google have petitioned the company, asking Google to expand privacy protections for people seeking abortions or gender-affirming surgeries.
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Sign here

  • Six hundred fifty employees at Google signed the petition. The petition asks the company to protect data that could be used by law enforcement to prove someone sought or obtained an abortion.
  • The petition also asks Google to cover out-of-state travel costs for contractors with the company seeking reproductive care services.
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Provisions in the petition

  • One of the requests by the petition signers is for Google to divest itself from Political organizations and stop sending money to politicians or political organizations through Google's Political Action Committee, NetPAC.
  • Another request is that Google forms a special task force to enforce and implement the petition's suggestions.
  • They also as that Google does not release users' location data or search history to law enforcement.
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Technology

Bombshell at Crypto.com

Thursday, August 18, 2022
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The context
According to a report from The Verge, Crypto.com has been quietly laying off staff after publicly announcing they would lay off 5% of their team in June. Sources from the company told the publication that employees are disappearing from internal Slack channels or scheduled meetings without warning from the cryptocurrency giant.
Technology
Thursday, August 18, 2022

Bombshell at Crypto.com

The context
According to a report from The Verge, Crypto.com has been quietly laying off staff after publicly announcing they would lay off 5% of their team in June. Sources from the company told the publication that employees are disappearing from internal Slack channels or scheduled meetings without warning from the cryptocurrency giant.
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Crypto.com laid off 260 employees — then quietly let go of hundreds more

  • Crypto.com is a cryptocurrency platform that has been hit hard by the downturn in the crypto market. In June, Crypto.com laid off 260 employees to deal with the market downturn.
  • The company is allegedly quietly laying off hundreds of additional employees without clear communication to the remaining staff or publicly announcing the new round of layoffs.
  • Employees have disappeared from internal slack or scheduled meetings, and others have reported that they have been laid off without any communication from the company.
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Employees speak out

  • The latest round of layoffs has not been announced publicly. The CEO of Crypto.com told employees that the June layoffs were the last they would see, but that was not the case.
  • Employees say that this round of layoffs is much bigger than the round that happened in June.
  • The company is cutting staff to the bare minimum to outlast the worsening crypto winter.
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Technology

Tik Tok Tackles Misinformation

Thursday, August 18, 2022
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The context
Tik Tok announced the creation of an Election Center on the app, where they will post fact-checked information about the midterm elections in November. They will also begin reviewing and removing videos containing election-misinformation.
Technology
Thursday, August 18, 2022

Tik Tok Tackles Misinformation

The context
Tik Tok announced the creation of an Election Center on the app, where they will post fact-checked information about the midterm elections in November. They will also begin reviewing and removing videos containing election-misinformation.
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Batten down the hatches

  • Tik Tok does not allow political advertisements on the platform, but now they will ban influencers from posting content that is paid for by political organizations.
  • The posted content related to the upcoming midterms will link to the newly created Election Center.
  • The Election Center will contain midterm voting information and results reported by the Associated Press.
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Filtering engage

  • The Election Center will contain information about state elections and voting instructions. The information will be provided by the National Association of Secretaries of State, which is partnering with the video-sharing platform for the midterms.
  • Election content will be reviewed if a user flags the video or if Tik Tok and a third-party partner determine the video is posted by bad actors participating in an attempt to confuse or influence voters.
  • Because Tik Tok is a video-sharing app, finding and shutting down videos with misinformations is harder.
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The context
Tesla founder Elon Musk took to Twitter to joke that he intends to buy the football club, Manchester United, sending shares in the incredibly successful club up 17%.
Technology
Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Is Elon Musk Moving From Twitter to Football?

The context
Tesla founder Elon Musk took to Twitter to joke that he intends to buy the football club, Manchester United, sending shares in the incredibly successful club up 17%.
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Sending stocks

  • Shares in Manchester United rose by 17% after Musk tweeted, "Also, I'm buying Manchester Uniter ur welcome."
  • Manchester's current owners, the Glazer family, are unpopular with club fans, so many were excited by the prospect of new ownership.
  • Musk has a long history of making joking offers to buy companies, including an offer to buy Coca-Cola to add cocaine back in. But he followed through after tweeting that he would buy Twitter.
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Fans react

  • The tweet sparked reactions from fans who are frustrated with Manchester United's less-than-stellar start to the season.
  • Fans are unhappy with the Glazer family, who owns the club, for their lack of forward-thinking ownership. The team has had a terrible open to the 2022-23 season and is sitting at the bottom of the English Premier League.
  • Musk's tweet could land him in hot water with U.S. regulators.
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The context
The Biden administration signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law yesterday, and the impacts of the ambitious policies to boost the domestic production and sale of electric vehicles are starting to trickle in. As of the signing, for the purchase of an electric vehicle to qualify for new tax credits, final assembly must occur in the U.S.
Technology
Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Inflation Reduction Act and Electric Vehicles

The context
The Biden administration signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law yesterday, and the impacts of the ambitious policies to boost the domestic production and sale of electric vehicles are starting to trickle in. As of the signing, for the purchase of an electric vehicle to qualify for new tax credits, final assembly must occur in the U.S.
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Some still qualify

  • If automakers want their electric vehicles to be eligible for existing and new tax credits, they must complete the car assembly in the U.S.
  • The new regulation means that of the 72 electric vehicle models previously eligible for tax credits, only 70% are now eligible. The excluded models include cars from Toyota, Porsche, Kia, and Hyundai.
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Made in the USA

  • The bill pushes to incentivize electric vehicle ownership so long as the vehicle is assembled domestically.
  • Most available models of electric vehicles no longer qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit that buyers used to afford electric cars.
  • The tax credit is still available to buyers below a certain income and as long as the car's battery is manufactured in North America. The new battery requirement will hopefully increase the domestic manufacturing of batteries.
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Technology

Driverless in Las Vegas

Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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The context
Lyft and Motional have launched a partnership in Las Vegas that will let riders hop into a fully electric, fully autonomous Hyundai Ioniq 5-based car. The autonomous taxi service will be available to Lyft users and will take them to destinations along the Las Vegas strip.
Technology
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Driverless in Las Vegas

The context
Lyft and Motional have launched a partnership in Las Vegas that will let riders hop into a fully electric, fully autonomous Hyundai Ioniq 5-based car. The autonomous taxi service will be available to Lyft users and will take them to destinations along the Las Vegas strip.
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Give it a try

  • Motional and Lyft have partnered to launch a network of self-driving cars that visitors and residents of Las Vegas can drive around the city for free.
  • The service will let riders hop into an Aptiv-Hyundai, all-electric, newly launched IONIQ 5-based taxi. Riders will be able to take over from the robot taxi in the case of an emergency.
  • The routing will take riders to popular destinations on the Las Vegas strip.
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Viva Las Vegas

  • The car itself was specifically designed with Lyft's ride-hail model in mind.
  • Riders will be able to unlock the car through the Lyft app and will be able to start the ride from the car.
  • The car is the first fully electric and autonomous vehicle that Lyft offers.
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Technology

NASA Ready for Artemis 1

Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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The context
NASA is rolling out the mega moon rocket Space Launch System that will launch in the mission Artemis 1 earlier than expected. The rocket will carry the first deep-space biology experiment when it launches on August 29th.
Technology
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

NASA Ready for Artemis 1

The context
NASA is rolling out the mega moon rocket Space Launch System that will launch in the mission Artemis 1 earlier than expected. The rocket will carry the first deep-space biology experiment when it launches on August 29th.
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Ahead of schedule

  • NASA engineers have given the green light to roll out the Space Launch System containing the Orion spacecraft to the launching pad after completing final tests on the Space Launch System.
  • The rollout was expected to happen on Friday. The first launch attempt is scheduled for August 29th.
  • The mission, Artemis 1, will test NASA's Orion spacecraft to see whether it can safely carry passengers to the moon and back.
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Deep space science

  • The launch includes the Orion spacecraft and ten cubesats. One of the cubesats contains the BioSentinel mission.
  • The BioSentinel mission is the first long-term biology experiment that will be conducted in deep space.
  • The experiment will study the impact of deep-space radiation on yeast cells, which are similar to human cells. The test will help determine the potential effects of radiation on humans in space.
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Technology

Meta Makes a Plan for the Midterms

Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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The context
Meta has pledged to remove misinformation from their platforms and has updated its political ads policy ahead of the midterm elections. The plan laid out by the company via a blog post is similar to their strategy leading up to the 2020 election.
Technology
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Meta Makes a Plan for the Midterms

The context
Meta has pledged to remove misinformation from their platforms and has updated its political ads policy ahead of the midterm elections. The plan laid out by the company via a blog post is similar to their strategy leading up to the 2020 election.
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Ad policy

  • Meta intends to limit and restrict new ads from running on the platform during the week before the midterm elections, but ads that have been previously approved will be permitted to keep running that week without edits.
  • The company plans to implement similar ad policies they employed in 2020 to fight misinformation on their platforms. They will continue to restrict ads containing misinformation and use fact-checkers to ensure the information they post is accurate.
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Voting information

  • Meta will remove posts that contain misleading election information like fake dates, times, or locations designed to prevent people from voting.
  • They will also remove posts that mislead voters about who can vote or posts that call for violent responses to election outcomes.
  • Facebook will also post-election notifications in users' feeds. The posts will be available in languages other than English for non-English speakers.
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The context
Galaxy Digital has called off its $1.2 billion acquisition of BitGo after they allegedly failed to provide a needed document by July 31st. BitGo responded by suing Galaxy Digital for $100 million in damages.
Technology
Monday, August 15, 2022

Crypto's First Billion Dollar Deal is Off

The context
Galaxy Digital has called off its $1.2 billion acquisition of BitGo after they allegedly failed to provide a needed document by July 31st. BitGo responded by suing Galaxy Digital for $100 million in damages.
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Deal is off

  • Galaxy Digital revealed the reason for the termination was BitGo's failure to provide audited financial statements from 2021.
  • BitGo's failure to provide the documents broke the acquisition agreements, which the two companies agreed on in 2021.
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BitGo sues

  • The crypto-custodian BitGo is planning to sue Galaxy Digital for $100 million in damages.
  • Galaxy Digital said in the press release announcing the termination that they would not pay the previously agreed upon $100 million fee for terminating the acquisition.
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The context
Andreessen Horowitz is investing $350 million into the former WeWork founder Adam Neumann's blockchain-based real estate firm. Neumann's spectacular rise and fall with WeWork have been heavily documented in books and movies, and his next venture, Flow, will be sponsored by Andreessen Horowitz's crypto division, a16 crypto.
Technology
Monday, August 15, 2022

Neumann and Horowitz, Sitting in a Tree

The context
Andreessen Horowitz is investing $350 million into the former WeWork founder Adam Neumann's blockchain-based real estate firm. Neumann's spectacular rise and fall with WeWork have been heavily documented in books and movies, and his next venture, Flow, will be sponsored by Andreessen Horowitz's crypto division, a16 crypto.
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Here we go

  • Adam Neumann has bought about 3,000 apartment units across the south in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, and Nashville. Flow will operate those properties.
  • Flow will also offer its management services to new developments the company acquires and third parties who may take Flow on as a property manager.
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Cash Flow

  • According to Andreessen Horowitz, investing in Flow represents an opportunity to transform the approach to residential real estate.
  • Buying a home is becoming more and more expensive, pushing young Americans to rent for longer and increasing the number of people living in urban centers, making rent in cities increasingly expensive.
  • Flow is looking to provide a housing experience that is afforable and community centered and driven by technology.
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Technology

Amazon Rings Viral TV

Friday, August 12, 2022
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The context
MGM, a production company, owned by Amazon, is developing a viral video show featuring footage from Amazon Ring cameras.
Technology
Friday, August 12, 2022

Amazon Rings Viral TV

The context
MGM, a production company, owned by Amazon, is developing a viral video show featuring footage from Amazon Ring cameras.
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Ring ring

  • MGM is developing the show "Ring Nation" hosted by comedian Wanda Sykes. The show will feature videos from the Amazon Ring.
  • The show will reportedly feature videos of people falling, proposals, and other shenanigans.
  • Amazon acquired Ring in 2018 and has caught significant flack over the use of footage in police investigations. Amazon bought MGM, the company making the show, earlier this year.
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Sykes signs in

  • Comedian Wanda Sykes will host the show.
  • The series will feature videos submitted by users of the Ring camera.
  • The show is expected to debut on September 26.
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Technology

Australia Fines Google

Friday, August 12, 2022
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The context
Google has been hit with a $43 million fine by the Australian court for misleading users about the collection and use of their location data on Android phones.
Technology
Friday, August 12, 2022

Australia Fines Google

The context
Google has been hit with a $43 million fine by the Australian court for misleading users about the collection and use of their location data on Android phones.
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Location tracking

  • Google will pay up after they were found to have breached Australian Consumer Law from 2017-2018 by failing to accurately represent which settings allowed Google to compile and use location data from Android phone users.
  • Google tried to fix the settings error by the end of 2018.
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Secretive practices

  • The case began in 2019 when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission began investigating Google's collection of personal location data from Android users without their explicit consent.
  • The setting, "Web & App Activity," which enabled location tracking, did not specify that increased search speed or accuracy would be powered by Google knowing the phone's location. Users could only turn off the location tracking element in a completely different setting.
  • When setting up a google account on Android, the settings failed to mention that they use location tracking data, giving users no option to opt-out.
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Technology

Meta Waves Goodbye to Teens

Thursday, August 11, 2022
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The context
A new study from the Pew Research Center shows that teens are abandoning Facebook and spending most of their time on Youtube, Tik Tok, and Instagram.
Technology
Thursday, August 11, 2022

Meta Waves Goodbye to Teens

The context
A new study from the Pew Research Center shows that teens are abandoning Facebook and spending most of their time on Youtube, Tik Tok, and Instagram.
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Meh attitude

  • While Gen Z's screentime is increasing, their usage of Facebook is declining. The generation seems to have moved on from Facebook. Only 32% of teens use the platform.
  • While Facebook struggles, Tik Tok is thriving. 67% of teens use the video-sharing app.
  • The latest data reflect an attitude of ambivalence amongst teens towards Facebook.
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Over it

  • Teens spend most of their time on Youtube, with Tik Tok, Snapchat, and Instagram as solid contenders for their time.
  • YouTube is used by 95% of teens.
  • In 2013, a Pew Research study of teens' social media use showed that 71% of teens used Facebook.
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Technology

Google Green-lights Campaign Emails

Thursday, August 11, 2022
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The context
The Federal Election Commission will allow Gmail to spam-proof campaign emails from politicians.
Technology
Thursday, August 11, 2022

Google Green-lights Campaign Emails

The context
The Federal Election Commission will allow Gmail to spam-proof campaign emails from politicians.
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Inbound to inbox

  • The FEC voted 4-1 to allow Google to proceed with a pilot program to enable campaign emails to bypass Gmail spam filters, landing them right into users' inboxes instead of the spam folder.
  • Republicans had previously criticized Gmail filters for selectively banning their emails from users' inboxes for their content.
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Spam-proof

  • The approved program allows political committees to apply to bypass Gmail's spam filters and send spam or spam-like emails directly to users' inboxes.
  • The program won't prevent campaigns from using spam-like tactics, like those employed by Trump's campaign, to target users.
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Technology

Major Blow to Starlink Expansion

Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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The context
Starlink applied for $885 million in subsidies from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to provide internet to rural America, which the FCC approved in 2020. But today, the FCC rejected their application because Starlink failed to demonstrate its ability to provide the service.
Technology
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Major Blow to Starlink Expansion

The context
Starlink applied for $885 million in subsidies from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to provide internet to rural America, which the FCC approved in 2020. But today, the FCC rejected their application because Starlink failed to demonstrate its ability to provide the service.
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Changed mind

  • The FCC tentatively approved Starlink's application in 2020 for subsidies to provide internet to rural parts of America at the cost of $885 million over ten years.
  • But, the FCC rejected their application today, saying that the plan was too expensive for consumers and that Starlink had failed to demonstrate that it could follow through on the proposal.
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Try again

  • Under the Starlink proposal, rural customers would need to purchase a $600 dollar satellite dish to get access to broadband satellite internet.
  • Starlink had applied to access subsidies $9.2 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.
  • The head of the FCC said that the cost of the satellite made the plan "risky" and added that there was little proof that the proposal would provide quality internet to users.
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Technology

Disney's Earnings Beat Expectations

Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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The context
Disney announced their Q3 results today, and they blew past experts' predictions with massive subscriber growth and higher-than-expected top and bottom line earnings. They also announced their intention to launch an ad-supported subscription in December.
Technology
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Disney's Earnings Beat Expectations

The context
Disney announced their Q3 results today, and they blew past experts' predictions with massive subscriber growth and higher-than-expected top and bottom line earnings. They also announced their intention to launch an ad-supported subscription in December.
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Pack the parks

  • The number of Disney+ subscribers hit 152.1 million during the third quarter. Experts had initially predicted that the number of subscribers would grow to 147 million.
  • Disney also revealed that they beat bottom and top line earning expectations. The boost in revenue was partially due to increased spending at Disney parks and on experiences.
  • Disney's Q3 revenue was $21.5 billion.
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Ad-supported plan

  • Disney announced they will launch an ad-supported plan on Disney+ for $7.99 a month on December 8th.
  • As of December 8th, Disney will raise the price of their original, ad-free plan to $10.99 a month.
  • Netflix is also launching an ad-supported plan, which isn't expected to launch until 2023.
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Technology

Ford's Newest Truck, at a Cost

Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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The context
Ford is finally taking new orders for its electric F-150 Lightning truck, but with the caveat of a $7,000 price hike.
Technology
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Ford's Newest Truck, at a Cost

The context
Ford is finally taking new orders for its electric F-150 Lightning truck, but with the caveat of a $7,000 price hike.
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Rising prices

  • Ford paused reservations for the F-150 Lightning for nine months, but they reopened reservations today. But, they raised the price of the truck by $7,000.
  • Ford said the reason for the price hike is the rising cost of materials and technological components.
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Long list

  • The cheapest model of the F-150 Lightning will be listed at $46,974 instead of the original price, which was less than $40,000.
  • Ford is betting that demand for electric vehicles will stay high enough to sustain the price hike.
  • The price hike reflects a global shortage of components that go into electric vehicle batteries.
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Technology

Google Goes After Apple

Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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The context
Google launched a new campaign in an attempt to publicly shame Apple into improving texting between Android and iOS users, and it is pretty petty.
Technology
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Google Goes After Apple

The context
Google launched a new campaign in an attempt to publicly shame Apple into improving texting between Android and iOS users, and it is pretty petty.
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Over here!

  • RCS is a cross-platform messaging protocol designed to streamline and improve the messaging experience between iOS and Android users.
  • To pressure Apple publicly into adopting RCS, Google released a new "Get the Message" website that aggregates why the tech giant should hop aboard.
  • They also started a hashtag with the same name as the site.
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Going public

  • In Google's campaign, they claim to be pushing Apple to get with the times and adopt the messaging protocol.
  • Apple uses SMS and MMS for messages outside of iMessage, which Google slammed, calling them outdated. Google wants Apple to adopt RCS instead.
  • Google's push for RCS is unlikely to make Apple change its mind about adopting RCS for non-iMessage texts.
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Technology

Stopping Tornado in its Tracks

Monday, August 8, 2022
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The context
The crypto-mixing service, Tornado, which was allegedly used by North Korean hackers and the hackers who made off with Nomad's digital assets, has been sanctioned and blacklisted by the U.S.
Technology
Monday, August 8, 2022

Stopping Tornado in its Tracks

The context
The crypto-mixing service, Tornado, which was allegedly used by North Korean hackers and the hackers who made off with Nomad's digital assets, has been sanctioned and blacklisted by the U.S.
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No interaction

  • The U.S. Treasury is getting serious about cracking down on crypto's bad actors. The Office of Foreign Asset Control at the Treasury sanctioned Tornado Cash, putting it on the Specially Designated Nationals.
  • Now, all U.S. citizens and businesses are banned from using Tornado or interacting with Ethereum wallet addresses tied to Tornado.
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No more money laundering

  • Tornado Cash is a cryptocurrency mixer that bad actors, like hackers financed by North Korea at Lazarus Group, have used to launder money through. Lazarus allegedly laundered $455 million on the platform.
  • Tornado mixes together transactions on the platform to make it harder for authorities to trace.
  • The Treasury accused Tornado of allowing criminals to launder more than $7 billion in crypto since it launched in 2019.
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Technology

Nvidia Shares Slump

Monday, August 8, 2022
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The context
The graphic processing units and chip designer Nvidia announced they expect their second-quarter earnings to be less than expected by experts. They cited falling demand for video or online gaming as the reason for the anticipated 19% drop from their first-quarter earnings.
Technology
Monday, August 8, 2022

Nvidia Shares Slump

The context
The graphic processing units and chip designer Nvidia announced they expect their second-quarter earnings to be less than expected by experts. They cited falling demand for video or online gaming as the reason for the anticipated 19% drop from their first-quarter earnings.
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Warning signs

  • Nvidia warned investors that its second-quarter revenue is expected to drop 19% from its first quarter. Intel and Sony Group also warned investors that they might not hit their expected earning targets due to lowered demand.
  • The gaming industry is being impacted by inflation. Consumers are starting to limit spending on discretionary items like gaming consoles.
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Left behind

  • Nvidia expects its revenue for Q2 will be $6.70 billion, which is significantly lower than the projected revenue of $8.10 billion.
  • The Senate passed the Chips Act, providing subsidies for semiconductor chip makers like Intel. Nvidia is a chip designer, so they are not eligible for the subsidies. Nvidia's exclusion could be contributing to the pricing of its shares falling.
  • Shares in Nvidia have plummeted since they announced their Q2 earnings.
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Technology

Roomba, by Amazon

Friday, August 5, 2022
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The context
Amazon will acquire iRobot, the makers of the Roomba, for $1.65 billion.
Technology
Friday, August 5, 2022

Roomba, by Amazon

The context
Amazon will acquire iRobot, the makers of the Roomba, for $1.65 billion.
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Ready to Roomba

  • iRobot is a maker of home cleaning solutions robots based in Bedford, Massachusetts.
  • The $1.65 billion deal values iRobot at 22% higher than its last closing price, and Amazon will pay $61 a share to purchase the robot maker.
  • iRobot is a trusted name in the home-robot sector, and Amazon will be able to leverage the robot-makers branding to sell its own home technology.
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Smart purchase

  • iRobot will integrate into Amazon, but Amazon intends to keep the robot maker's CEO, Colin Angle, in his position.
  • Roomba has been selling automatic home vacuums since 2002 and is beloved by customers. Amazon will leverage the robot's software integrations and AI-driven decision-making.
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Technology

Apple Warns Suppliers

Friday, August 5, 2022
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The context
Apple has warned suppliers to cease using labels that read "made in Taiwan" to comply with Chinese labeling rules in the wake of Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island.
Technology
Friday, August 5, 2022

Apple Warns Suppliers

The context
Apple has warned suppliers to cease using labels that read "made in Taiwan" to comply with Chinese labeling rules in the wake of Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island.
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Anything but the R.O.C.

  • Apple reportedly told suppliers today that products from Taiwan must be labeled as made in "Taiwan, China" or "Chinese Taipei."
  • Products made in Taiwan are often labeled as being made in the Republic of China, which China does not support since it implies Taiwanese independence.
  • Taiwan is a leading global supplier of semiconductor chips that companies like Apple use in their products.
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Give and take

  • China is Taiwan's leading trading partner. Exports from Taiwan exceed imports to the island from China, placing them in an economic problem where they need China to continue to buy their products.
  • China could decide to leverage the import to export surplus by sanctioning and restricting exporters from Taiwan.
  • China relies on Taiwan for semiconductor chips and the supplies needed to manufacture the chips domestically.
  • China prodded at Apple's supply chain today as the campus of their supplier Pegatron Corporation was searched by economic authorities to check for labeling violations.
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Technology

Ongoing Fallout from Solana Hack

Thursday, August 4, 2022
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The context
The cryptocurrency exchange platform Solana revealed today that hackers gained access to users' holdings through Slope Finance's mobile wallet, where some Solana users stored their cryptocurrency holdings.
Technology
Thursday, August 4, 2022

Ongoing Fallout from Solana Hack

The context
The cryptocurrency exchange platform Solana revealed today that hackers gained access to users' holdings through Slope Finance's mobile wallet, where some Solana users stored their cryptocurrency holdings.
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Theft linked

  • Solana's entire ecosystem of holdings was drained by hackers who stole the platform's currency and USD coins.
  • After an investigation into the hack, Solana revealed that hackers gained access through the mobile wallet app, Slope.
  • Slope Finance is a mobile wallet that allows users to complete transactions and store cryptocurrency. It is believed that hackers accessed Solana's holdings through users' Slope wallets.
  • Over $4 million in assets were stolen in the attack.
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