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Anasticia Sholik

Good morning.

One small step

The future of gaming

Call of Duty turns down the loot. Players of the latest edition of the military-themed first-person shooter will no longer be able to pay for a chance of getting better at the game. Ridding loot boxes is a big step for the company, which generated $4.2 billion in revenue last year.

Call of Duty won’t be the last high-profile game to get rid of loot boxes

As an avid gamer I am extremely happy about this! This returns the game to a more skill-based system rather than a “pay to win” model. If you want pay to win, play mobile games or Fortnight and try not to get eliminated by some 8 year old who stole his moms credit card to buy better weapons.

This is great, loot boxes are kind of like gambling with the RNG (random number generator) element. Yes it makes money but nowhere near Season Battle Passes that Fortnite uses (Epic made ~$3B in profit in 2018 from it just one company not the while industry).

So good riddance to loot boxes, Battle Passes

This is great, loot boxes are kind of like gambling with the RNG (random number generator) element. Yes it makes money but nowhere near Season Battle Passes that Fortnite uses (Epic made ~$3B in profit in 2018 from it just one company not the while industry).

So good riddance to loot boxes, Battle Passes are more aligned with player engagement b/c you buy the pass and in order to maximize all its benefits you have to play more, play with friends, complete challenges, etc. to unlock things. Brilliant from a user engagement standpoint vs dumb chance loot boxes.

Top dollar TV

Can you hear me now?

Brave towns are putting a stop to the tyranny of leaf blowers. The loudest models may have noise levels of up to 112 decibels—louder than a plane taking off, a freight train, or a live rock concert.

More and more brave towns are putting a stop to the tyranny of leaf blowers

Noise pollution is one of the next major challenges to overcome, and the solutions cannot only come from technology advances. Machines, even the quietest, generate their own low-level noise that contributes to both overall pollution and the insistent, steady thrum.

Talkin' Texas

The Lone Star State, but make it fashion. The world’s biggest luxury brand, Louis Vuitton, is investing $50 million into a bag production factory on a Texas ranch south of Fort Worth. They have good reasons why.

Why Louis Vuitton opened a factory on a ranch in Texas

I never thought I'd see the day where Bernard Arnault would be in a photo with Trump. But this is a great set of news for the US manufacturing sector, and hopefully this can create a bigger trend towards fashion brands setting up more US plants.

That said, "Made in the USA" is a tag that brands can

I never thought I'd see the day where Bernard Arnault would be in a photo with Trump. But this is a great set of news for the US manufacturing sector, and hopefully this can create a bigger trend towards fashion brands setting up more US plants.

That said, "Made in the USA" is a tag that brands can only use if 100% of their products are sourced there. The leather isn't entirely from Texas (which is a bit odd) but this issue has also hindered the watch world.

There so much more under this hood, but kudos to LVMH for this news.

The next big thing in banking is small

What is better than neobanks? Neobank killers. Venture capitalists have poured billions of dollars into digital bank startups like Revolut, but some investors think they’ve found an even better bet in the fintech sector.

As neobank valuations bubble up, some investors think there’s an even better bet in fintech

Doubt is growing about the sky-high valuations for tech unicorns, including the much hyped fintechs. I've been speaking with investors who are wary that these companies will ever truly be worth these lofty price tags. At this point, they are looking for less sexy alternatives.

In the meantime, judgement

Doubt is growing about the sky-high valuations for tech unicorns, including the much hyped fintechs. I've been speaking with investors who are wary that these companies will ever truly be worth these lofty price tags. At this point, they are looking for less sexy alternatives.

In the meantime, judgement day will come for the neobanks, if they survive long enough to try to go public.

What comes after the iPhone?

The messy NBA-China breakup

More details on the row. China had reportedly asked the NBA to sack Morey for his tweet. The league—which is trying to protect a reputation for standing up for human rights—hasn’t caved.

The backlash over China’s NBA bullying is only going to get worse

There's so many good takes about this thriller. Who would've thought Morey's tweet could cost the NBA a substantial amount? To quote a smug tweet I read this morning, "that's talent." But there's something deeper at play. I'm going to spitball (another term I learned on sports twitter) that the CCP -

There's so many good takes about this thriller. Who would've thought Morey's tweet could cost the NBA a substantial amount? To quote a smug tweet I read this morning, "that's talent." But there's something deeper at play. I'm going to spitball (another term I learned on sports twitter) that the CCP -- I make an effort to separate the Chinese government from the Chinese people -- woefully miscalculated. My take is that they've become increasingly confident with expanding censorship beyond their borders but missed a couple of factors in their current impasse with the NBA:

1. NBA is wokest professional league in the United States. We're not dealing with the NFL if you catch my drift.

2. In the US (ironically) private corporations call the shots not the gov't. However CCP has witnessed the demagogic rule of President Trump who has succeeded in extinguishing careers (remember Kathy Griffin. Hollywood blackballed her.)

3. Daryl Morey is one of the most powerful GMs and innovators in the NBA off the court. He's a strong proponent of analytics-driven basketball dubbed "Moreyball" that transformed basketball from a mid jumper shot game to the land of triples that suits the likes of the Warriors and Rockets. He also cofounded the very popular MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

4. NBA's decision would set a precedent for future interactions with China and uncharacteristically of an American firm the NBA chose values over money.

5. Morey didn't do anything egregiously wrong. The CCP has adopted an increasingly subjective and capricious "prone to be offended" disposition that makes it difficult to understand what actually IS offensive. I mean this is the same government that banned Winnie the Pooh.

Let's see how this story develops.

The world in 50 years

What will we wear? Executive producer of “The Bold Type”, Joanna Coles, envisions a better marriage between tech and clothing. “I think we’ll wear much more intelligent, sustainable fabrics that work with our bodies.”

The World in 50 Years: What will we wear?

I think the future of fashion is uniforms. Maybe it's not wearing the exact same thing every single day but I do foresee a drastic reduction in the quantity of clothes we buy and wear. Capsule closets have gained momentum in recent years as consumers Marie Kondo their wardrobes. Companies such as Rent

I think the future of fashion is uniforms. Maybe it's not wearing the exact same thing every single day but I do foresee a drastic reduction in the quantity of clothes we buy and wear. Capsule closets have gained momentum in recent years as consumers Marie Kondo their wardrobes. Companies such as Rent the Runway have successfully capitalized on a clothing rent and return model. While a focus on utilizing sustainable garment materials is equally important, I think in the next 5 (or 50 years) fashion will continue to embrace the "less is more" mindset. 

So Brex-citing!

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