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October 04, 2022 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

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Blendid

Good morning. Ever feel like time is being stolen from you? Well, if you were living on this day in 1582…it was.

On Oct. 4 of that year, Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian calendar to replace the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar had been used since the time of the Roman empire, but it wasn’t a perfect measurement of a year, and the spring equinox had drifted from March 21 to March 11. To get things back on schedule, the Gregorian calendar eliminated 10 days in October, so the people of 1582 went to bed on Oct. 4 and woke up the next day on Oct. 15, probably feeling quite refreshed.

Abby Rubenstein, Matty Merritt, Max Knoblauch, Neal Freyman

MARKETS

Nasdaq

10,815.44

S&P

3,678.43

Dow

29,490.89

10-Year

3.636%

Bitcoin

$19,535.96

Tesla

$242.40

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 4:00am ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Stocks came out of the Q4 gate like Smarty Jones, with the S&P and Nasdaq posting their best first day of a quarter since 2009. Is it just a temporary “relief rally” from the Fed-induced gloom of September? We’ll find out soon. One of the few party poopers at yesterday’s jamboree was Tesla, which got hammered after it revealed it shipped fewer cars than expected last quarter.

TECH

The limits of Big Tech’s legal shield will be tested

The Supreme Court building and the text of Section 230 Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photo: Iantfoto/Getty Images

No matter how rude something someone says about you on the internet is, you can sue them—but not the platform where they said it. That’s thanks to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which broadly protects websites from liability for posts made by third parties. But the Supreme Court yesterday agreed to hear a case that will test just how far that goes.

The case the Supreme Court will take up, which was lodged against Google over YouTube recommending videos made by ISIS, is about what responsibility websites might have for hosting terrorist propaganda (as is a related suit the court also agreed to hear against Twitter).

But Section 230 covers a whole lot more

Dating back to the pre-Google days of 1996, the 26-word law laid the foundation for the internet we have now by establishing that websites can set rules about what they allow users to post while still not being on the hook legally for user-generated content.

With that much power, Section 230’s been controversial for a long time now.

  • Who loves Section 230? Big Tech and anyone else whose business depends on the internet. It’s the law that allows Google, social media companies, video-sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo, review-based sites like Yelp or Airbnb, and even regular ol’ sites that allow user comments the ability to operate without getting sued into oblivion over things like defamation.
  • Who hates it? Politicians on both sides of the aisle. Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden have called for the repeal of Section 230. Republicans tend to ding the law for giving tech companies too much say over what speech people see online (like when Twitter booted Trump), while Democrats complain it gives tech companies a pass for allowing hate speech and disinformation.

Bottom line: The internet landscape won’t change immediately, but when the court does eventually rule, it’s got options: It could narrowly focus on whether exceptions should be made for terrorism (like the ones that already exist for copyright violations)—or it could totally change life on the internet as we know it.—AR

        

TOGETHER WITH BLENDID

Look at allll thooose smooooothies…

Blendid

The $300b quick-service restaurant industry has a big problem: There is growing demand for food on the go, but the clunky brick-and-mortar model simply can’t meet it.

Enter Blendid, the maker of compact, robotic smoothie kiosks that operate 24/7 and allow brands to make more money while scaling to high-traffic locations like malls and airports.

The proof is in the smoothie: Blendid has 500+ contracts with national brands to help them expand their reach while boosting profit margins, including Sodexo, Walmart, and others.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Blendid is seeking investors to help expand the kiosk’s cuisine options, making higher profits possible for more brands in up to 70k+ locations.

Become a Blendid shareholder today. Opportunity ends October 14.

        

WORLD

Tour de headlines

Protests at a women's soccer game Steve Dykes/Getty Images

“Systemic” abuse found in US women’s soccer. A yearlong investigation culminated in a report released yesterday that faults the National Women’s Soccer League coaches and executives, and the US Soccer Federation, for ignoring players’ complaints of sexual, verbal, and emotional misconduct. The report, commissioned by US Soccer, focuses on three high-profile cases, but also notes that abuse was normalized throughout the league and that leaders were more concerned with being sued than righting wrongs. The investigation follows protests by players who felt they weren’t being heard.

North Korean missile flies over Japan. North Korea fired a ballistic missile yesterday that soared over northern Japan before landing in the Pacific Ocean, forcing Japan to warn residents to take cover and causing a temporary suspension of train service in the area. It’s the first time North Korea has sent a missile into Japanese airspace in five years, and it represents a major escalation. Japan’s prime minister strongly condemned the launch, which came after Japan conducted anti-submarine exercises with the US and South Korea last week.

Ukrainians ratio Elon Musk’s tweets. Musk seemed to anger the whole war-torn nation yesterday by tweeting out a poll asking citizens of recently annexed territories and Crimea whether they’d prefer to be Ukrainian or Russian (as well as a tweet floating his own peace process). Even Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky shot back with his own Twitter poll asking whether people preferred a Musk who supports Russia or Ukraine. Fighting a bigger enemy, Ukraine also made major gains yesterday in taking back land from Russia, especially in the south.

FINANCE

More like Credit Sus

Credit Suisse sign on building Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Swiss bank Credit Suisse was no angel thanks to numerous missteps and a high-profile corporate spying scandal, but the internet decided this weekend to brand the firm with a big scarlet D: The bank’s credit default swaps (CDS)—a security that reflects how much default risk the market sees—surged yesterday after rumors spread throughout the trading floor that the bank was short on cash.

Now, social media is ablaze with hot takes that suggest we’re looking at Lehman Brothers 2.0.

Don’t start spiraling tho. Most experts have pointed out that yes, Credit Suisse’s rapid CDS jump does mean investors think the firm has a higher probability of defaulting on its loans. But if you zoom out a little, that probability is still very low.

How did we get here? Record high inflation + the Fed’s rate-hike-a-palooza + Credit Suisse’s less-than-stellar performance this year = investors on edge. So when execs tried to do damage control by asserting that “everything’s all good over here!” it just made everyone freak out more.

Looking ahead…the bank is expected to make a restructuring announcement on October 27 that will address its plans for coming back from epic blunders like the $5.5 billion loss it sustained when client Archegos Capital collapsed last year.—MM

        

CRYPTO

SEC fines Kim K as a warning to all celebs

Kim Kardashian Raymond Hall/GC Images

In a cautionary tale for all influencers, Kim Kardashian will pay $1.26 million to settle an SEC investigation into her allegedly shady promotion of the crypto asset EthereumMax (EMAX). But if we can’t trust a celebrity shilling crypto, who can we trust?

According to the SEC, Kardashian failed to disclose a $250,000 payment she received for a June 2021 Instagram story promoting the crypto asset, thereby violating a US law that requires people promoting securities to disclose if they were paid to do so. In the story (marked #ad), Kardashian asked her then-250 million followers, “ARE YOU GUYS INTO CRYPTO????” and linked out to the EthereumMax website. The story was called “the financial promotion with the single biggest audience reach in history” by a UK financial regulator.

But all that reach didn’t stop then-one-month-old EMAX from plummeting in value shortly after Kardashian’s post. Today, an investment in EMAX made at the time of the post would be worth about 95% less (which is bad).

Kardashian didn’t admit or deny wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

Zoom out: Is Kardashian’s crypto promotion the most egregious in the Wild West of crypto? Probably not. But experts say that by focusing on the ultra-famous superstar, regulators are trying to warn all celebs and influencers that they should think twice before offering financial advice on the blockchain.—MK

        

TOGETHER WITH BAMBOOHR

BambooHR

Supporting the teams that support us. Your HR team is key to supporting organizational wellness, but 87% of HR professionals struggle to balance their work and personal well-being. BambooHR has HR’s back, streamlining day-to-day processes and increasing efficiency—not stress levels. Start your free trial today.

        

GRAB BAG

Key performance indicators

A can of Liquid Death Water with arrows pointing up Illustration: Will Varner / Photo: Liquid Death Water

Stat: From glass bottle Coke to juices in little plastic barrels from the ’90s, it’s just a fact that putting your drink in a cool container is a savvy business play. The latest example of the rule is Liquid Death, the three-year-old beverage startup now valued at $700 million following a $70 million investment round. On track for $130 million in revenue this year, the brand sells water in appealing, ironically hardcore cans that are more environmentally friendly than plastic bottles. Liquid Death’s CEO said the company hopes to pursue an IPO in the next two years.

Quote: “We are very concerned about our scores, and find that they are not an accurate reflection of the time and effort put into this class.”

NYU students managed to get their organic chemistry professor fired for being too hard. The professor, Maitland Jones Jr., wrote an influential textbook on the subject and had a long career at Princeton before landing at NYU, but he was dismissed by the university after 82 of his 350 students signed a petition against him last spring. Fellow chemistry profs and some other students came to his defense, sparking a debate over just who was to blame for struggling students, but Jones has said, “I don’t want my job back.”

Read: Uncovering the AI himbos of Hinge. (Wired)

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • The death toll from Hurricane Ian has reportedly risen to more than 90 as criticism mounts over the timing of evacuation orders.
  • Online retailer Poshmark agreed to be acquired by South Korea’s Naver for $1.2 billion.
  • The founder of the Oath Keepers and four others tied to the extremist group stood trial for seditious conspiracy, the most serious charge brought by the DOJ for the attack on Jan. 6, 2021.
  • The UN warned that interest rate hikes from the Fed and other central banks could lead to significant economic harm for lower-income countries.
  • Bros star Billy Eichner said that “straight people, especially in certain parts of the country” didn’t show up to his LGBTQ romantic comedy, leading to a disappointing opening weekend.

BREW'S BETS

For some #facts: Check out this month’s Harper’s Index.

Logistics! Here’s the simple genius of NYC’s water supply system.

Time to BeReal: SNL delivered a parody of the social media sensation.

GAMES

The puzzle section

Brew Mini: Do you know which Queens, NY, neighborhood is named after a fur tycoon? See if you can get it in today’s Mini.

Peace out

Ahead of the Nobel Peace Prize announcement on Friday, we’re quizzing you on past winners of the award. You’ll get the year they won and the reason why they were chosen, and you have to name the winner.

1964: “For his non-violent struggle for civil rights for the Afro-American population.”

1979: “For her work for bringing help to suffering humanity.”

1986: “For being a messenger to mankind: His message is one of peace, atonement and dignity.”

2009: “For his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

2014 (two people): “For their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.” One was Kailash Satyarthi. Who was the other?

Shortcuts right when you need them

Shortcuts right when you need them

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ANSWER

1964: Martin Luther King Jr.

1979: Mother Teresa

1986: Elie Wiesel

2009: Barack Obama

2014: Malala Yousafzai

         

Written by Abigail Rubenstein, Matty Merritt, Max Knoblauch, and Neal Freyman

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