August, 15 2022

💻 Neumann and Horowitz, Sitting in a Tree

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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🍿 NexStar Bets Big on the CW

Nexstar Media Group will acquire a 75% stake in the CW Network from Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery, who will both retain a 12.5% stake in the network. The CW hosts characters vital to Warner Bros. TV catalog like \"Superman and Lois\" or \"Arrow\" but has struggled to find sufficient footing.

🍿 Jurassic Wage Gap

In an interview with Insider, Bryce Dallas Howard confirmed reports that she was paid far less than her co-star Chris Pratt for her starring role in three Jurassic Park movies. She also revealed that Pratt helped her negotiate her salary for any promotional or ancillary projects related to the films.

⚖️ Graham and Giuliani Heat Up in Georgia

Rudy Giuliani was informed today that he is under criminal investigation for his attempts to de-certify electoral results in Georgia. A federal judge ruled that Senator Lindsay Graham must testify in the case and face questioning from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Both are heavy blows to Trump's team members, who are being investigated members of Trump's team for election interference in Fulton County, Georgia, during the 2020 presidential election.

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💻 Crypto's First Billion Dollar Deal is Off

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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⚖️ Trump Tells Supporters to Cool it

President Trump told his supporters to settle down after an increased number of threats have been levied at the FBI after raiding Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago during an appearance on Fox News.

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🍿 Layoffs at HBO Max

Seventy employees under the chief content officer at HBO and HBO Max were laid off today by the streaming service's new parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery. People had been speculating about impending layoffs since it was revealed that HBO Max and Discovery+ would merge into one streaming platform and that Warner Bros. had shelved the soon-to-be-released movie \"Batgirl.\"

💻 Snapchat+ Hits a Million

Snapchat launched its subscription-based platform, Snapchat+, in June. Snap announced that the new platform has more than 1 million users. Snapchat has struggled to keep and attract new users, but Snapchat+ allows users to opt-out of ads and access special features like custom emojis and Bitmoji avatars.

💻 Tik Tok Tests Image Generator

Tik Tok added a new feature to its video sharing platform, allowing users to type suggestions into an AI-powered image generator. The new effect is located is called \"AI greenscreen.\" It generates an abstract image from the user's text prompt.

💻 Meta Teams Up With DoorDash

DoorDash and Meta are starting to test a service in a few American cities where DoorDash drivers can pick up and deliver items from Facebook Marketplace. The items must fit into the trunk of a car and be further than 15 miles away from the buyer.

🍿 Remaking The Wiz

Kenya Barris, the creator of \"Blackish\" and writer of \"Girls Trip,\" will direct a remake of \"The Wiz.\" His company, Khalabo Ink Society, will produce the movie. Any details about the film have not yet been released.

⚡️ Kraft Heinz Recalls Capri Suns

Kraft Hines has recalled more than 5,000 cases of Wild Cherry flavored Capri Suns because they may be contaminated with cleaning fluid. The best by date on the contaminated pouches is June 25, 2023.

⚡️ FBI Locates 121 Missing Children

The FBI announced that the agency found 121 missing children and 141 adult victims of trafficking during the first two weeks of August during \"Operation Cross Country.\" As a result, the total of victims found through the operation, which promotes cross-agency collaboration between the FBI and local law enforcement, is now 391.

💻 Android 13 Releases

Today, Google released this year's update for Google Pixel phones, Android 13. With the update, users can integrate messages between google devices, further filter notifications, and limit app access to certain photos or videos.

⚖️ Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng Plead Not Guilty

Two ex-cops involved in the death of George Floyd have pled not guilty to charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Tou Thao held back bystanders as they watched Floyd's death, and J. Alexander Kueng pinned Floyd's back as officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck. By rejecting the state charges, they face much longer sentences if convicted. They are both already serving sentences after being convicted on federal charges.

⚖️ Brittney Griner Appeals

According to her lawyer, WNBA star Brittney Griner will appeal her drug possession conviction in the Russian court. The appeals process could be lengthy, but there is rumored progress between Russia and the US towards a potential prisoner swap to free Griner.

⚖️ One Year Anniversary of U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Today marks the first anniversary of the last American troops leaving Afghanistan. The Taliban-controlled country celebrated and protested today's controversial anniversary in the face of drought, increasing poverty, and relative stability.

⚖️ Feds Oppose Publicizing Mar-a-Lago Affidavit

While the warrant that the FBI obtained to search former president Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago was unsealed, the Department of Justice wants the affidavit which spells out the probable cause for the search to remain sealed. The DOJ filed a motion today to block the release of the affidavit that could include classified information or the identity of the person who identified the location of the missing documents taken in the raid.

⚖️ Weisselberg to Plead Guilty

The former CFO of the Trump Organization, Allen H. Weisselberg, is expected to plead guilty to Manhattan prosecutors for participating in a tax scheme. But, he will not cooperate with the Manhattan DA's investigation into former president Trump as part of the plea deal. Weisselberg will likely receive a five-month sentence for tax fraud, which, if he gets time taken off for good behavior, could be as little as 100 days.

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Technology

Lyft Pauses Hiring

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

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

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

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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The context
The White House convened experts on hunger in the U.S. today for a conference to discuss how to approach the administration's effort to end hunger in the country in the next decade.
Politics
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

White House Aims to End Hunger

The White House convened experts on hunger in the U.S. today for a conference to discuss how to approach the administration's effort to end hunger in the country in the next decade.
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Focused on partnerships

  • The Biden administration has partnered with a variety of members of the private sector to help end hunger in America by 2030.
  • Some of the partners include Novo Nordisk, Publix, Danone, and Meijer. The partners have made multimillion-dollar commitments to expanding food access for Americans through food distribution programs or discounts.
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McGovern's role

  • The Biden administration is leaning heavily on legislation modeled and proposed by Representative Jim McGovern. McGovern lobbied and pushed the administration to host the conference.
  • Some of the policies discussed at the conference will require Congress to pass legislation, which could complicate the administration's goal if the Republicans take the House in the midterms.
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