Big Tech &
Amazon Investigates Employees Leaking Data for Bribes (3 minute read)
TLDR: Amazon employees in China are offering internal sales metrics and reviewers' email addresses, as well as a service to delete negative reviews and restore banned Amazon accounts. The going rate for deleting a negative review is $300, while you can download the email addresses of customers who write reviews for a lower price. Amazon says that it is investigating the issue.
3 Reasons AMC Is Beating MoviePass at Its Own Game (3 minute read)
TLDR: Following the popularity of MoviePass, which peaked at 3.2 million subscribers earlier this summer, AMC rolled out its own subscription service, a $19.95 pass to watch up to 3 movies per week called AMC Stubs A-List. AMC's offering has grown to 260,000 members in just a matter of weeks, and it has become a better deal on a per movie basis than MoviePass, as MoviePass has begun limiting its users to 3 movies per month. The problem with MoviePass is that it doesn't control the cost of its inputs, while AMC does, making the latter's offering much more sustainable.
First Private Passenger on Lunar BFR Mission (Live Stream)
TLDR: SpaceX has signed the world's first private passenger to fly around the Moon. The identity of the passenger and announcement about the flight will be live streamed on Youtube (link to the live stream above) at 9pm EST, 15 hours after you receive this email.
Time Magazine Sold to Salesforce Founder Marc Benioff for $190 Million (3 minute read)
TLDR: Salesforce Founder (and cousin of Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff!) Marc Benioff bought Time Magazine for $190 miillion. It will not be part of Salesforce, it is a private acquisition by Marc and his wife Lynne Benioff. The Benioffs said they won't have a role in day-to-day operations of the magazine or journalistic decisions. In a note to staffers, Time's editor in chief said the Benioffs have already challenged the publication to think big and long term. "What will Time look like in 2040? What will it mean to people decades from now?"
BMW's Vision iNext concept car is the ultimate self-driving machine (3 minute read)
TLDR: BMW's Vision iNext is an autonomous electric SUV concept car. BMW has completely rethought the inside of the car, drawing inspiration from boutique hotels. The dashboard has been replaced by 2 widescreen LCD televisions. The seating has touch-sensitive areas that recognize gestures such as swipes. The arm rests have been replaced by a wooden surface that acts as a coffee table of sorts. The front seats are bendable so passengers can easily converse with people sitting in the back. The steering wheel and pedals are still there in case you feel like driving, but they retract when not in use. There's a sketch of the interior design inside.
Why NASA wants to build a nuclear reactor on the Moon (5 minute read)
TLDR: Kilopower is a lightweight, mobile nuclear fission reactor developed by NASA, it can pump out 10 kilowatts of electrical power continuously for at least 10 years, more than twice as much as NASA thinks will be needed to run an outpost on the Moon or Mars. Lead engineer Marc Gibson says "Kilopower gives us the ability to do much higher-power missions, and to explore the shadowed craters of the Moon. When we start sending astronauts for long stays on the Moon and to other planets, that's going to require a new class of power that we've never needed before." Kilopower has already passed rigorous testing that included simulated power reduction, failed engines, failed heat pipes, and a 28-hour, full-power test that simulated a mission. It will first be used on a spaceflight mission in 2020.
This is how the world ends: will we soon see category 6 hurricanes? (3 minute read)
TLDR: Up until now, there hasn't been a need for more than 5 categories on the hurricane scale. However, due to climate change there is anywhere from 5% to 8% more water vapor in the atmosphere than there was a generation ago, and scientists are beginning to think there is a need for a 6th category, for storms with winds that exceed 200 miles per hour on a sustained basis. Jeff Masters, one of the most respected meteorologists in America, says "A 'black swan' hurricane – a storm so extreme and wholly unprecedented that no one could have expected it – hit the Lesser Antilles Islands in October 1780. Deservedly called The Great Hurricane of 1780, no Atlantic hurricane in history has matched its death toll of 22,000." He believes that another "black swan" hurricane is not only possible, but almost certain to occur more than once. Researchers believe that the Persian Gulf region has a particularly high risk for such a superstorm, while Cairns, Australia, and Tampa, Florida are also likely landing spots.