September, 14 2022

⚖️ Durham Report Winding Down

The Trump administration appointed John Durham to the Justice Department in 2019 to investigate the origin of claims that Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. But, after three years, his investigation hasn't yielded any new information, and according to new reports, his team is working on filing the final report by the end of this year. Any indictments or charges relating to the investigation are unlikely since no high-ranking officials or individuals have been charged thus far.

💻 Do Kwon On the Run

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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⚖️ Lindell's Phone Seized

MyPillow executive and fervent Donald Trump supporter Mike Lindell's phone was seized by FBI agents investigating false claims made by Lindell that Dominion Voting Systems helped to \"steal\" the 2020 presidential election.

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🍿 David Harbour Buckles Up

'Stranger Things' actor David Harbour has signed onto the feature film adaptation of the best-selling video game 'Gran Turismo.' The adaptation will be co-piloted by Sony and Playstation and directed by Neil Blomkamp. The game follows a character who eventually becomes a professional race car driver after winning a series of video-gaming races.

⚖️ Biden Loves Electric Cars

President Biden made an appearance at the Detroit Auto Show today to promote the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides a massive amount of funding in grants to companies building electric vehicles and chargers.

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⚖️ LASD Targets Critics

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department searched the homes of two vocal critics of the department, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Civilian Oversight Commissioner Patti Giggans. The LASD did not reveal the cause of the search but they may be investigating an old contract granting Giggan's nonprofit funding.

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⚖️ The Final Queue

The line to see the Queen Lying in State at Westminster Hall is rapidly growing, stretching for miles down the Thames River all the way to the London Bridge. The doors to Westminster hall opened at 5 pm on Wednesday, giving those waiting in the line, which ranged from 2.5-miles up to four miles, a final chance to pay respects to the late Queen Elizabeth III.

🍿 Adnan Syed May Get a New Trial

Fans of the podcast 'Serial' will rejoice to hear that the subject of the hit series, Adnan Syed may get a new trial after Baltimore prosecutors moved to vacate his sentence for allegedly killing his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.

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⚖️ Patagonia Founder Gives Away Company

The founder, his wife and children, of Patagonia, just gave away the $3 billion company, dedicating the entirety of its profits to fight climate change. Yvon Chouinard founded the outdoor clothing company 50 years ago.

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🍿 New Verdict in R. Kelly Trial

R. Kelly has been found guilty in Chicago for engaging in sex crimes with minors, adding years to the prison sentence he is already serving after being convicted of the same offenses by a jury in New York.

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⚡️ Amtrack Preemptively Suspends Trains

Amtrack announced today that they are suspending long-distance train routes ahead of a possible strike by Amtrack workers, which is anticipated for Friday if Amtrack and workers' unions fail to reach a deal by the strike deadline.

💻 Google's Mysterious Area 120

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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💻 Ford Doubles Down on Dealers

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

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💻 Twilio Layoffs

Twilio announced today that it intends to lay off 11% of its staff, about 800-900 people, as they look to achieve profitability in 2023.

💻 Senate Hearing for Social Media Giants

A Senate hearing asked executives from Meta, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter questions about social media's impact on national security, including domestic extremism, misinformation, and the response to cyber attacks from China. The executives largely dodged the questions and were especially evasive about the number of employees each respective company had that work on trust and safety full time; Twitter said it has 2,200 employees, and Meta claimed 40,000. The representative from Tik Tok claimed in the hearing that it would never give data to the Chinese government.

⚖️ Arrival in Martha's Vineyard from Florida

Today, two privately chartered planes touched down in Martha's Vineyard carrying immigrants from Venezuela. Florida confirmed that Governor Ron DeSantis's office had sent the planes. The passengers are being fed, housed, and cared for on the island. Florida and Texas have been busing immigrants to D.C., and this apparent escalation was entirely unexpected and, as of yet, unexplained.

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The context
Microsoft launched the integration between ChatGPT and its search engine, Bing, today. Users aren’t able to interact with the bot yet but can view a demo on the Bing homepage.
Technology
Tuesday, February 7, 2023

ChatGPT-Enabled Bing Blasts Off

Microsoft launched the integration between ChatGPT and its search engine, Bing, today. Users aren’t able to interact with the bot yet but can view a demo on the Bing homepage.
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ChatGPT goes mainstream

  • Microsoft integrated ChatGPT into Bing and released a demo on the Bing homepage today.
  • The bot aims to provide answers to search queries directly to enhance productivity.
  • Microsoft added a more complex version of GPT, GPT 4, into the search engine, which is able to provide more useful answers, annotate answers and provide up-to-date results with fewer errors.
  • One implication of the integration could be that articles or blogs may get fewer clicks, meaning fewer dollars for publishers from ads.
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Entertainment

Disney's DeSantis-Land

February 7, 2023
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The context
The battle between Ron DeSantis and Disney is heating up. A new bill introduced in Florida would give Ron DeSantis the authority to appoint all five leaders of Disney’s special tax district in Orlando. DeSantis and Disney have been at odds since Disney criticized the Florida governor for his anti-LGBTQ policies.
Entertainment
Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Disney's DeSantis-Land

The battle between Ron DeSantis and Disney is heating up. A new bill introduced in Florida would give Ron DeSantis the authority to appoint all five leaders of Disney’s special tax district in Orlando. DeSantis and Disney have been at odds since Disney criticized the Florida governor for his anti-LGBTQ policies.
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DeSantis takes over

  • Under newly proposed legislation released on Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis would get to appoint all five leaders of Disney’s special tax district in Orlando, FL.
  • DeSantis promised to take over the district last year after Disney criticized his administration’s anti-LGBTQ policies.
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The context
Mercedes Benz is bringing the electric sprinter van to North America in 2023.
Mercedes Benz is bringing the electric sprinter van to North America in 2023.
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Electric sprint begins

  • Mercedes is releasing the largest version of its electric sprinter van in North America in 2023.
  • The Mercedes-Benz eSprinter has excellent mileage both on the highways and in cities.
  • The van can charge with alternating current and direct current.
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