Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
The 2018 Winter Olympics begin in South Korea. The opening ceremony will take place in Pyeongchang, where North Korea and South Korea will march under one flag. Meanwhile, a nasty virus is spreading through the Olympic village (paywall).
A small asteroid flies by Earth. The NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey spotted Asteroid 2018 CB four days ago. The asteroid, between 50 and 130 feet wide, will miss the Earth by a mere 39,000 miles (64,000 km), bringing it five times closer to us than the Moon.
It may rain in Cape Town. An approaching cold front is bringing a forecast of showers, which may hit dam catchment areas in the parched city. Cape Town is at risk of running out of water by April.
While you were sleeping
The Wall Street plunge deepened. Financial markets slumped for yet another day, driven by increased volatility and fear of future interest rate hikes. The benchmark S&P 500 index fell by 3.75%.
Twitter finally turned a profit. The social network posted a profit for the first time ever, making $91 million in the last quarter of 2017. Investors were overjoyed, sending Twitter’s stock up some 20%. This change in fortune also makes Twitter the best-performing US social media stock over the last 12 months, outstripping larger rivals like Facebook and Google.
The Bank of England said it plans to raise interest rates. The UK central bank left interest rates unchanged, but indicated that it will likely raise rates further and faster (paywall) than anticipated.
Tesla delayed Model 3 deliveries for its biggest fans. The electric car company sent a notice to people who reserved the mid-priced car saying that delivery was not expected until late 2018. Elon Musk boasted only yesterday: “If we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we can probably solve Model 3 production.”
Hackers leaked crucial iPhone source code. The top secret Apple software that was briefly posted to GitHub is known as “iBoot.” While the code is incomplete and only applies to the outdated iOS 9, it could shed light on critical vulnerabilities.
Quartz obsession interlude
Marc Bain on the ever-evolving fashion of figure skating. “Unlike other sports, where the clothes are designed for utility more than appearance, in figure skating the costumes are a crucial component of a skater’s whole creative presentation, alongside the music and the routine itself.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Beating yourself up is not as helpful as you think. Taming your inner critic is a better way to keep your professional edge.
Donald Trump’s America looks a lot like an earlier gilded age. The post-Civil War era was marked by economic inequality, political corruption, and a divisive president.
Mankind fears AI over aliens. Malevolent computers have replaced little green men as the most terrifying threat to life as we know it.
Pyeongchang might be the last Olympics without AI judges. Fujitsu is developing software that analyzes gymnastics events for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Sleep deprivation may help treat depression. “Wake therapy” seems to work by kick-starting patients’ sluggish biological clocks.
The 2018 emoji list includes pirate flags, cupcakes, and toilet paper. The Unicode Consortium has finalized the Emoji 11.0 set, but software makers like Apple and Google still need to design their own artwork.
North Korean Olympic cheerleaders outnumber athletes by more than 10-to-1. The squad (paywall) has been described as “part Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, part Red Army. (paywall)”
Chinese police are wearing augmented reality glasses. They’re linked with the country’s massive facial recognition database to spot criminals.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Olympic robots, and emoji nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Preeti Varathan and McKinley Noble, and edited by Adam Pasick.