August 24, 2019

News ⚡ — Friday, August 23

First came the burger, up next Impossible Coffee. MasterClass founder launches Outlier to offer credit-earning college courses. 4 future trends in the music industry.

1.☕ Impossible Burger investor bets big on bean-free coffee
Made from Atomo’s own map of coffee’s molecular makeup, it’s got many of the same chemical compounds you enjoy each morning, derived from secret but supposedly more sustainable sources.

2. 🎓 MasterClass founder launches Outlier, offering online courses for college credit
The startup is launching a pilot version of its first two courses, Calculus I and Introduction to Psychology, for the coming fall semester. Each course is available for $400. The course fees also include the cost of textbooks.

3. 🎵 4 trends shaping the future of the music industry for 2019 and beyond
The report by Sound Charts looks at the role of A.I, changes in consumption habits, the convergence of music and gaming and the empowerment of artists.

4. 🍨 The Museum of Ice Cream raises money to the tune of a $200 million valuation
The ice cream-centric experiential activation will look for expansion after a fresh $40 million in funds while aiming to be the next Walt Disney.

5. 🎮 Fortnite’s next tournament will also be its most controversial, thanks to mech suits
They require two-people to pilot them, but they’re devastating in the hands of even a moderately skilled pair of players. The result has been an unprecedented level of community backlash over what’s seen as a game-breaking addition and a serious headache for Epic going into its next big tournament series.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

August 22, 2019

News ⚡ — Thursday, August 22

Nike updates policy for pregnant athletes. Chef Gaggan Anand opens up about the closure of his Asia-best restaurant and future plans. Protein replacement startup Shiru launches from Y Combinator.

1. 🤰 Nike crucially updates policy for pregnant athletes: “our voices have power”
Earlier this year, female Nike runners denounced Nike’s discriminatory practices against pregnant athletes. After Olympic runners Alysia Montaño and Allyson Felix spoke out about being “penalized for having a child,” an internal e-mail earlier this week reveals the brand has changed its contracts for pregnant athletes and is waiving pay reductions.

2. 👨‍🍳 Chef Gaggan Anand opens up about the closure of his Asia-best restaurant and future plans
Anand is hoping to open a new location by October, bringing with him and his 65 team members from Gaggan.

3. ⚗️ Protein replacement startups are coming for food additives as Shiru launches from Y Combinator
The company’s looking at what proteins are best for creating certain kinds of qualities that are used in food additives — things like viscosity building, solubility, foam stability, emulsification, and binding.

4. 📉 The US will hit Chinese art and antiquities with an additional 10 percent tariff next month as the trade war escalates
Trump delayed the deadline for taxing consumer goods to spare holiday shoppers, but not those in the antiquities trade.

5. 💽 How video game music is driving a vinyl record resurgence
iam8bit, the first label dedicated predominantly to vinyl video game soundtracks, says that they’ve sold 200,000 albums to date, a number that includes six Billboard chart-toppers.

6. 💡 Top US CEOs rethink the meaning of shareholder value
It’s an implicit recognition that corporations have a larger responsibility than a return on investment and also that more Americans are living under duress today. Wage gains have been nonexistent to moderate for years. Economic research, as well as government data, point to an era in which Americans must do more for less.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

August 21, 2019

News ⚡ — Wednesday, August 21

Jay-Z’s controversial new NFL partnership explained. Spotify partners with Puma for podcast. Singularity 6 raises $16.5M to create a “virtual society.”

1. 👀 The controversy surrounding Jay-Z’s new partnership with the NFL, explained
Hip-hop’s first billionaire will help with the NFL’s social justice efforts. Critics are angry that the deal excludes Colin Kaepernick.

2. 🔉 Spotify partners with Puma for Who We Be Talks podcast
The current episode tells the real-world rags to riches tale of Mamadou Sakho, a footballer who battled his way up from the backstreets of Paris to claim a place at Premier League side Crystal Palace.

3. 💰 Singularity 6 raises $16.5M from Andreessen Horowitz to create a ‘virtual society’
The startup’s ex-Riot Games co-founders claim their venture is less focused on building a button-mashing competitive shooter than it is a “virtual society” where users can develop relationships with in-game characters powered by “complex AI.”

4. 🐄 Goldsmiths uni’s beef ban is the institutional change our planet needs
A student from the London college writes about what impactful resistance to climate change should look like.

5. 📉 Losing Hong Kong: A catastrophe for luxury retail
Violent clashes between pro-democracy protesters and China’s government spell long-lasting damage to the local retail sector, leaving Richemont, LVMH, Kering and others exposed.

6. 🌶️ Hot Ones and 88rising collaborate on new hot sauce, Dragon in the Clouds
The sauce, which will be available exclusively at the Head in the Clouds Festival, includes Sichuan peppercorn, ghost peppers, vinegar, yuzu, mustard and fresh garlic.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

August 20, 2019

News ⚡ — Tuesday, August 20

Jay-Z’s NFL deal gets a response from Colin Kaepernick. Heat to be the real challenge at Tokyo’s Olympic test events. A$AP Rocky would’ve been owned millions if found not guilty.

1. 🏈 The backlash to Jay-Z’s NFL deal is just beginning
Add to that the rumors that Jay will soon become the owner of an NFL team, and that was more than enough for players—and Kaepernick—to finally chime in.

2. 🌡️ The real hurdle at Tokyo’s Olympic test events: the heat
Officials found the Heat Stress Indicator, which takes temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover into account, would move to a level considered dangerous by the end of the women’s triathlon. So the committee decided to cut the run segment in half, from 10 kilometers to 5 kilometers.

3. 👀 If A$AP Rocky hadn’t been found guilty, Sweden could have owed him millions
Instead, aside from the month he spent in detention in Stockholm, he was given two years’ probation and a fine of 12,500 Swedish kronor (approximately $1,300) to split with the two associates who were also convicted.

4. 🗺️ Google launches ‘Live View’ AR walking directions for Google Maps
Google is launching a beta of its augmented reality walking directions feature for Google Maps, with a broader launch that will be available to all iOS and Android devices that have system-level support for AR.

5. 👵 The elderly are the next big growth market for Chinese tech firms
Tech companies want to lure more of the 18% of the population and earn their share of the $1 trillion dollars Chinese seniors are expected to spend on consumer goods in 2020.

6. 📉 The world’s biggest economies are facing a synchronized global slump
The same signs that are pointing to a coming U.S. recession have preceded each one over the last 70 years.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

August 19, 2019

News ⚡ — Monday, August 19

Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys are opening an art and music center in upstate New York. Influencers will run the future of fashion. Spotify’s podcast dashboard comes out of beta.

1. 🎵 Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys are opening an art and music center in upstate New York to build a ‘global creative community’
The space will showcase the couple’s art collection and teach emerging artists about the business side of the industry.

2. 👀 Farfetch CEO says influencers will run the future of fashion
“The brands of the future will have three core elements,” Farfetch chief executive José Neves said in a statement. “First, a creative tastemaker able to leverage digital channels to engage a global community; second, best-in-class design, planning and manufacturing; and third, direct-to-consumer global online distribution, complemented by a connected wholesale presence in the most prestigious physical boutiques.”

3. 📈 Spotify’s podcast dashboard comes out of beta
With the addition of podcasts, the platform now has access to a tremendous amount of free content created by third-party producers that record it, edit it and host it. All Spotify has to do is index the content.

4. 📱 Instagram now allows users to create their own augmented reality filters
Facebook’s previously closed Spark AR Studios beta has become available to everyone. Available on both Mac and PC, the program allows users to create their own original 3D face filters, including tools to import objects sounds, synch movements, and publish those filters on Instagram.

5. 🌎 ‘I am afraid’: a first-ever poll shows how worried greenlanders are about climate change
A new survey reveals that climate change is putting undue stress on Greenlanders’ lives, livelihoods, and emotions.

6. ⌚ Hodinkee adds a special tool to Victorinox’s iconic Swiss Army Knife
The Watchmaker limited edition has a tool for those who want to give their movements a closer look.

7. 🎮 ‘It’s a continuous investment’: Kellogg’s shifts sports-related ad spending to esports
Advertisers are shifting spending to esports because it offers something that most traditional sports cannot: almost unprecedented access to younger people between the ages of 21 and 34 who have high incomes.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

August 15, 2019

News ⚡ — Thursday, August 15

The NFL and Jay-Z team up on music and social justice. A$AP Rocky charged with assault but safe from prison. Pace Gallery is launching PaceX to unite art and tech.

1. 🏈 NFL and Jay-Z team up on music and social justice campaign
The partnership brings together two of the country’s biggest brands, as well as the league and a vocal critic.

2. 👍 A$AP Rocky guilty of assault in Sweden but won’t face prison time
The ruling — a victory of sorts for the rapper — comes in a case that has gripped the music world, as well as President Trump.

3. 🖼️ Pace Gallery is launching PaceX, an ambitious new initiative to promote projects that unite art and technology
Christy MacLear, who recently served as vice chairman of Sotheby’s advisory arm, will lead the new initiative as a way to support tech-minded artists.

4. 💻 Intel introduces “Engineered for mobile performance” badge to indicate compliance with Project Athena specifications
The label will be used to indicate, starting on Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop, a guaranteed nine hours of battery life, near-instant boot times, and small footprints.

5. 🤝 Automattic’s bargain-bin Tumblr deal plugs right into the WordPress business model
Tumblr, while unprofitable, hosts more than 450 million blogs and was once considered a major player in the social media space. The network was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013, before moving under Verizon’s umbrella through the carrier’s acquisition of Yahoo in 2017.

6. 🚰 Dasani’s new vending machine is BYOB [bring your own bottle]
As part of a plan to reduce its plastic waste footprint, bottled water giant Dasani is rolling out a new way to pay to hydrate yourself: a machine that dispenses water (or seltzer), but only if you already have a bottle. But ultimately, Dasani has no intentions of stopping the sale of water in plastic bottles.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

August 14, 2019

Nike unveils children's sneaker subscription. Steve Madden buys DTC brand Greats. Copa90 fashion lines inspired by English football clubs.

Nike unveils children’s sneaker subscription. Steve Madden buys DTC footwear brand Greats. Copa90 fashion lines inspired by English football clubs.

1. 👟 Nike Adventure Club is a sneaker subscription service for kids.
In addition to shoes, the subscription service comes with exclusive adventure guides, filled with outdoor games and activities that parents can do with their kids. The guides are a collaborative partnership between Nike and KaBoom, a national nonprofit focused on encouraging kids to lead active, healthy lifestyles. The move appears to have spillover into Foot Locker’s investment into children’s play company, Super Heroic (see our story here).

2. 🤝 Steve Madden Completes Acquisition of Greats Brand.
The deal continues the trend of legacy retailers buying up digital upstarts, allowing both companies to grow.

3. ⚽ Copa90 unveils fashion lines inspired by England’s top football clubs.
Moving further into fashion after Pride and Women’s World Cup runs, the football media brand has produced a new line-up of fashion. The designs included adopted illustrations created by YelraDoodles from the Copa90 Creator Network and ideas from fans of each of the 20 clubs.

4. ✊ How Hong Kong’s young protesters learned on the hoof and built a reserve of protective gear, and a network of drivers to transport it to demonstrations.
Protesters have learned from experience, sharing tips and even setting up a buyer’s guide in Telegram groups.

5. 🌎 UN climate change report: we must change how we use land and grow food.
Forestry and farming can both worsen and relieve the climate crisis, a panel of UN scientists says. But time is running out to act.

6. 💯 Simone Biles’s insane floor routine made gymnastics history.
The triple-double is a complicated move in gymnastics, one that requires two flips followed by three complete mid-air twists.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

August 13, 2019

News ⚡ — Tuesday, August 13

Nike addresses Joyride comparisons to Puma’s Jamming tech. Farfetch acquires Off-White parent company. Google to start surfacing podcast episodes in search results.

1. 👟 Nike addresses joyride comparisons to Puma’s Jamming tech
From a glance, both technologies make use of comparable materials—what are essentially hundreds of loose pellets packed within visible windows. But while the two advancements may look alike, Nike says they’re actually quite different, and it’s got the science to back up its claims.

2. 🤝 Farfetch acquires Off-White and Heron Preston’s parent company New Guards Group
For Farfetch, this $675 million acquisition adds a new layer to its business model—dubbed “brand platform” in a press release. Farfetch will have the group’s design, production and brand development capabilities.

3. 📈 Google will start surfacing individual podcast episodes in search results – The Verge
For now, people have to begin their search with the word “podcast,” and this applies to Google Assistant as well. Eventually, Google says it’ll support third-party playback, which is important for podcasts that are exclusive to certain platforms.

4. ✈️ Climate crisis may be increasing jet stream turbulence, study finds
The impact goes beyond passengers having to keep their seatbelts on and forgo a plastic cup of wine. More patches of turbulence are likely to mean more diversions as planes try to avoid them, which will increase journey times, emissions and fuel costs.

5. 📺 Nathan Fielder signs HBO deal, new comedy pilot in the works
Under the deal, Fielder will write and direct an as-yet-untitled comedy pilot, in which he will also star. He will also executive produce the upcoming docu-series “How To…With John Wilson.”

6. 👕 Versace courts controversy in China with Hong Kong and Macau t-shirt design
Versace is the latest western designer facing a backlash in China after producing a t-shirt which appeared to refer to special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau as independent countries.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

August 13, 2019

News ⚡ — Monday, August 12

Nike buys AI startup Celect. MIT researchers design a bridge made of autonomous boats. Luxury brands use video games to Chinese millennials.

1. 🤖 Nike buys an AI startup that predicts what consumers want.
The company announced that it has acquired the Boston-area startup Celect to help Nike beef up its predictive analytics strengths.

2. 🌉 MIT researchers design roundAround: a bridge made of autonomous boats.
Dubbed ’roundAround,’ the project uses “roboat” units to connect one of the main waterways in Amsterdam, transporting hundreds of people per hour across the water and reducing journey times between the city center and Marineterrein from 10 minutes to two.

3. 🎮 Luxury brands use video games to speak to China’s millennials.
Creating collections that target younger demographics is not something entirely new but entering the gaming world and selecting a digital avatar to deliver a testimonial is groundbreaking.

4. ☀️ Studio Gang’s Solar Carve tower opens on NYC’s High Line to balance light and tall skyscrapers.
As cities get denser, designers are getting more creative about preserving precious access to sun and air.

5. 🕺 One bedroom Trunk[House] offers classic Japanese living with a disco twist in Tokyo.
Occupying a 70-year-old former training house for geisha, and comprising just one bedroom, the property is inspired by the concept of an exclusive ‘salon’ for modern creatives.

6. ⚡ This Mophie wireless charger is probably the closest thing to AirPower that Apple will ever sell.
The 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad goes for broke with dedicated charging spaces for AirPods and the Apple Watch. Plus, there’s one spot for an iPhone or some other wirelessly charging gadget that’ll fit.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

Update Log
v8 (current): Added an intro paragraph, not that it needed it but it makes it easier for us to share quickly to social media (which we were slacking on). Added an OptaJoe-inspired one-word conclusion. Inspired.
v7: <h2> gone, that was real quick (one flash). We’re testing <strong> instead for headlines
v6: Highlighted the titles as <h2> headers. Not sure we like it…
v5: Changed the order of the update entries (recent to oldest). A photo now accompanies the News ⚡ as prior there were issues with not having an image preview on social media.
v4: Went from 5 links to somewhere under 10.
v3: changed the URL slug from the emoji to flash.
v2: added a short one-liner to add a bit more context.
v1: numbered list, with emojis and a headline. Decided on five links for brevity and focus.

 

August 10, 2019

News ⚡ — Friday, August 9

Zlatan doesn’t to dream, he *is* the dream. Quavo is working on a kids’ animated series about Atlanta. Uber burns through $5.2 billion.

1. ⚽ Zlatan has something to tell you: ‘I don’t need to dream. I am the dream.’
Aging but by no means ineffective football star Zlatan Ibrahimović is among the most entertaining players of his generation. He possesses an inventiveness, a gleeful and childlike (haters would say childish) willingness to envision superheroic possibilities for himself that is unique in this era, and maybe in the history of the game. Love him or hate him ESPN gets to the bottom of his genius and confidence.

2. 📺 Quavo of Migos is working on a new animated series for kids
The show will focus on hip-hop and culture in Atlanta. Further details are scant, but the program will be targeted toward 8- to 12-year-olds, and will feature original music.

3. 📉 Uber sets $5.2 billion on fire in biggest loss ever
Uber’s reported revenue came in at $3.17 billion, with adjusted losses of $5.24 billion. Still, Uber seems to be taking a glass-half-full approach to this whole losing money in perpetuity thing.

4. 📱 Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10+ has a huge 6.8-inch screen, optional 5G
For the first time ever, Samsung is launching two new Note phones at once: the 6.3-inch Note 10, which is actually smaller than last year’s model, and the new creme de la creme, the Note 10+.

5. 🍽️ W Hotels launches a $285 mukbang room service with Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski
The service, which requires a one-hour minimum order time, comes with a microphone and phone stand. Any way you look at it, the glorification of extreme amounts of food is in bad taste in 2019.

6. 🍔 Best Burger Ranks by Nathan Yau
The ranks are based on surveys that asked participants to rate fast food burgers by value, speed, healthiness, quality, atmosphere, friendliness, cleanliness and curb appeal.

7. ✊ Hong Kong airport occupied by hundreds of protesters amid tightened security
ID checks will increase as thousands more are expected to join the peaceful sit-in that is expected to last until Sunday.

8. 💯 Grades are capitalism in action—let’s get them out of our schools.
Grading is time-consuming for teachers and has little educational payoff for students. It disrespects them as thinking people. And finally, it chiefly serves employers — but often in ways that are not much good for them either.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

 

Update Log
v8 (current): Added an intro paragraph, not that it needed it but it makes it easier for us to share quickly to social media (which we were slacking on). Added an OptaJoe-inspired one-word conclusion. Inspired.
v7: <h2> gone, that was real quick (one flash). We’re testing <strong> instead for headlines
v6: Highlighted the titles as <h2> headers. Not sure we like it…
v5: Changed the order of the update entries (recent to oldest). A photo now accompanies the News ⚡ as prior there were issues with not having an image preview on social media.
v4: Went from 5 links to somewhere under 10.
v3: changed the URL slug from the emoji to flash.
v2: added a short one-liner to add a bit more context.
v1: numbered list, with emojis and a headline. Decided on five links for brevity and focus.

 

 

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