RocaNews - 🌊 RIP BlackBerry


January 4, 2022

"Why did the cell phone wear glasses?" "He lost his contacts." Okay, that bad joke may have been... uncalled for, but cell phones are on our minds today: Apple hit a $3T market cap, BlackBerry service died, and Verizon and AT&T are pausing the 5G rollout. Next time we'll try to be more... Siri-us.

Speaking of 5G, today's Wrap explores the airlines vs. telecoms fight over 5G's alleged "interference" with landing planes. Keep scrolling for more!

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Key Stories


RIP BlackBerry

  • As of today (Jan 4), the BlackBerry operating system will stop functioning. It's the final nail in the coffin for one of the 2000s' hottest devices
  • All legacy BlackBerry devices that rely on the system will no longer work. Android-powered BlackBerry devices will keep working
  • As recently as 2009, 20%+ of global smart phones used BlackBerry's operating system. The company couldn't keep up with Apple, though, which launched the iPhone in 2007
  • BlackBerry is now an "enterprise software and cybersecurity company" that provides "intelligent security software and services," per its website

BlackBerry released its final operating system in 2013. In 2016, it transitioned to a security software company, and in 2020 it announced its operating system would soon stop working. 

Elizabeth Holmes Found Guilty

  • Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of blood testing startup Theranos, was found guilty on 4 of 11 charges
  • Holmes claimed to have created revolutionary blood testing technology that could test for many conditions with a drop of blood. The company hit a $9B valuation, making it one of the world's most valuable private companies, before collapsing
  • The jury ruled that Holmes intentionally misled investors. It found her not guilty on charges of intentionally defrauding patients
  • It was one of the highest-profile white-collar-crime trials in years. She may face years in prison

Holmes captivated Silicon Valley and much of the business world. Her fall was one of biggest business stories of recent years. She faces up to 20 years per conviction, however people rarely do that much time for white-collar crime.

No Divorce for Cheating


  • A regional court in China stated that an affair is not grounds for divorce
  • The Chinese government is trying to boost marriage and birth rates as the population ages. Decades of the 1-child policy led to far more old than young people and the country is struggling to flip the trend 
  • The court issued an article saying that the law's attitude toward divorce is to "prevent frivolous dissolutions,” such as those over infidelity
  • The Chinese govt. already provides counseling for unhappy couples. It also mandates a 1-month "cooling off" period for couples who want to divorce

In recent years, divorce has soared in China while marriage rates have fallen. Between 2010 and 2019, the number of divorces increased by 75% while marriages fell nearly in half. In 2020, the country reported more divorces than marriages.

Apple Hits $3T

  • Apple became the first company to surpass a $3T market cap (total market value)
  • Shares peaked at $182.88, up 41% from a year ago. The $3T market cap is about triple what it was in March 2020
  • In 2018, Apple became the first company to hit a $1T market cap, 42 years after founding. Today, just 6 companies are worth $1T+. Only Microsoft and Apple are worth $2T+
  • $3T is larger than the economies of all but 4 of the world's countries: The US, China, Japan, and Germany

Here are the 6 $1T+ companies: Apple ($3T), Microsoft ($2.5T), Google ($1.9T), Saudi Aramco ($1.9T), Amazon ($1.7T), and Tesla ($1.2T). Facebook just misses the cut ($941B).

finger What do you think?

Today's Poll:
Would you rather go to space or deep-water diving?
Deep-sea Diving

Today's Question:
What criminal trial have you followed most closely in your life? Why?

Reply to this email with your answers!

See yesterday's answers below the Wrap!

popcorn Popcorn

Culture & Sports 
  • Under Paycheck: David Bowie's estate sold the rights to his music catalog to Warner Music Group for a whopping $250M
  • Keanu Reeves reportedly donated 70% of his salary from The Matrix to cancer research. His sister was battling leukemia at the time
  • Ladies and gentlemen, the weekend: The Weeknd is releasing a new album "Dawn FM" on Friday after months of teases
  • The best-performing automaker stock of 2021 was not Tesla, not General Motors... but Ford! Shares of Ford Motors soared 140%
  • Online sports retailer Fanatics has acquired Topps trading cards for $500M. Topps' candy and gift card lines were not sold
  • The country with 5 of the 10 most expensive Michelin-starred restaurants? Japan, although Spain claims the most expensive one on the list

  • Reported Gambling addictions are on the rise nationwide since the onset of the pandemic. Hotline calls have soared
  • Beer company Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) deleted a bizarre tweet about "Dry January" that read "Not drinking this January? Try eating a**"
  • YouTube removed Joe Rogan's interview with Dr. Robert Malone, an alleged inventor of the mRNA vaccine, who is critical of the Covid vax mandate
  • The president of Mexico said he urged President Trump to pardon Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and offered Assange asylum

Roca Wrap

A Newsletter Exclusive

Last month, US airlines published a letter in which they warned of the severe consequences of 5G implementation: Up to 350,000 flights would be disrupted, they warned, negatively impacting millions of travelers.

Then last week, US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg followed up with a request to Verizon and AT&T, the US’ 2 largest telecommunications companies: Please delay your 5G rollouts, he requested.

On Sunday, the companies responded: No. Then a day later they flipped, and agreed to delay their rollouts for another 2 weeks. It was the second delay, with the companies already having pushed their 5G rollouts from December 5 to January 5. 

What’s going on?

5G service relies on access to a radio spectrum called C-Band. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allots access to US-based radio spectrums, such as C-Band, in auctions. Last year, Verizon and AT&T spent a collective $70B for access; T-Mobile spent another $9B.

Airplanes also rely on C-band for radar and radio altimeters, devices that measure the distance between planes and the Earth by bouncing radio waves off the ground. Pilots use that information to land planes and avoid collisions. Airlines say 5G interference could render those devices unreliable and that more testing is needed to show otherwise. The impact would be most strongly felt in bad weather.

In short, the airlines say 5G signals operate in waves near to those used by radar altimeters, creating a safety hazard. Telecoms companies say the 5G signals are sufficiently distant from altimeters', allowing the altimeters to continue operating safely. 

US airlines are panicking. Their main lobbying group, Airlines for America, has predicted up to 350,000 annual flight disruptions costing the economy up to $2.1B. United Airline’s CEO has said up to 4% of daily flights could be impacted; Southwest’s CEO called 5G his company’s “number one concern.”

Wireless companies say they may be willing to limit 5G power at some airports, however their opinion is represented by a recent Verizon statement: “There is no evidence that 5G operations using C-band spectrum pose any risk to aviation safety, as the real-world experience in dozens of countries already using this spectrum for 5G confirms." A group representing telecoms companies said, “The aviation industry’s fearmongering relies on completely discredited information and deliberate distortions of fact.” 

This fall, the dispute led AT&T and Verizon to delay their 5G rollouts from December 5 to January 5. Then last week, on the eve of the launch, the airlines successfully lobbied the US transportation secretary and FAA to request an up-to-2-week delay. On Sunday, Verizon and AT&T rejected the request, saying the delay would be “irresponsible.” 

Then one day later, last night, they reversed course and agreed to delay their rollouts by another 2 weeks. Will this delay prove the last? Verizon and AT&T certainly hope so.
If you have thoughts, let us know at and don't forget to share this Wrap with family and friends by using this link here!
Future Wrap ideas or requests? Let us know!

think Games

Staying in the Great White North, which one of the below musicians is not from Canada?
  1. Celine Dion
  2. Michael Bublé
  3. Drake
  4. Avril Lavigne
  5. Kurt Cobain
Find out the answer at the bottom of Roca Clubhouse.

wave Roca Clubhouse

Yesterday's Poll:

Is WWE wrestling real or acting? 

Totally Real: 5.8%
Obviously Acting: 94.2%

Yesterday's Question:

What's a book that everyone should read this year? Why?

Jenni from San Francisco: "Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing. A story of adventure, leadership and endurance that should be read by all. While I don’t believe in comparative suffering, this story will leave you feeling grateful for many of the things we take for granted in life."

Clark from Utah: "Definitely The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. It was one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. It's about Don Tillman, a geneticist that has Asperger's Syndrome, who has never been on a second date. He decides it's time to find a wife. Hilarity ensues. You will find yourself actually laughing out loud at times and smiling most of the way through the book. There is a little bit of Don Tillman in all of us. It's a delightful read."

Matt from New Jersey: "The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt...if you ever wanted to know what makes someone a conservative or a liberal, why people can't agree when it comes to politics and religion, and what the origins of morality are, you should read this book...truly eye-opening and life-changing."

General Feedback:

Brigid: "I'd like to see a wrap on Y2K. It was a huge cultural phenomenon that didn't actually take place. Why was it such a big deal & how did it impact us as a society? Is it still part of our culture's collective memory?"

Sarah: "This sort of wealth is so insane to me. $51,000 for trampolines?! $500,000, not for food in general, but JUST for vacation meals. This is sickening to me. Seriously, eat the rich."

20 Questions

Every Friday, we ask the Roca Riders 20 questions and feature a few of our favorite answers. This past week, however, we did not do a 20 Questions.
Games Answer(s):
5. Kurt Cobain (from Washington state)

Final Thoughts 

Here's a quick timeline of Roca's office situation:

July – September 2020: Worked out of Max Frost's Washington, DC apartment.
September 2020 – June 2021: Worked out of Max Towey and Billy Carney's Washington DC apartment. 
June 2021 – January 2, 2022: Worked out of whichever living room we each happened to be in.

January 3, 2022: We picked up the keys to our first office, located in Manhattan, NYC. RocaNews has its first HQ.

Needless to say, yesterday was a big day for our team. Thank you to all who have helped us get this far. We've got some more exciting news coming soon. 

-Max & Max

wave Today's Instagram Wrap is on China's divorce crackdown. What's more romantic than the government telling you and your resentful spouse to stay together? 
Thanks for reading! See you again tomorrow!
As always, send thoughts and feedback to
Written by Max Frost and Max Towey | Graphics by Billy Carney

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