737 Max fix, Qualcomm patent win, super-hefty T. Rex

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Boeing convenes pilots and regulators for its 737 Max fix. An information session in Renton, Washington will brief stakeholders on a software patch and pilot training program to address issues with the 737 Max, a best-selling jet that has been involved in two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. (A Southwest 737 Max 8 plane without passengers was forced to make an emergency landing in Orlando on Tuesday.)

China’s electric auto giant posts its annual results. BYD grew from a mobile battery maker into the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer. The company is heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, and its profits may suffer as the company shifts to a quota and credit system in 2020.

UK lawmakers vote on Brexit alternatives. As MPs attempt to wrest control of the Brexit process from prime minister Theresa May, they will vote on a range of options to replace her proposed deal outlining the UK’s exit from the EU. The votes carry political weight but are not legally binding.

While you were sleeping

A US judge ruled for Qualcomm in its patent battle with Apple. Trade judge MaryJoan McNamara said a power-saving feature in an Intel chip used by Apple infringed on a Qualcomm patent, and recommended limiting US imports of certain older iPhone models. Her decision is subject to review by the US International Trade Commission.

Spotify bought a true-crime podcasting studio. Parcast produces titles like “Serial Killers,” “Unsolved Murders,” and “Cults and Conspiracy Theories,” and is working on TV adaptations for some of its series. Spotify has committed to invest $500 million in its new podcasting business.

A New York suburb declared a state of emergency for a measles outbreak. Rockland County banned all unvaccinated children from public spaces for 30 days as the number of confirmed cases hit 153. Measles was eradicated in the US in 2000, but has made a comeback as anti-vax parents refuse to have their children inoculated.

Purdue Pharma will pay $270 million to settle an Oxycontin lawsuit. The suit, brought by the state of Oklahoma against Purdue, Johnson & Johnson, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, accuses the corporations of fueling the US opioid epidemic. Teva and J&J have not settled; their cases will go to trial in two months.

Venezuela faced its second major power outage in a month. Government officials suggested the blackout was the result of an attack by “Venezuela’s far right” as schools and business were closed across the country. Electricity experts cited poor maintenance and management of the power grid as the likely cause.

Quartz Obsession

We’ve all gotta go sometime. People used to end their lives at home. (In fact, the “living room” used to be called the “death room.”) But modern medicine and the rise of the funeral parlor have pushed death out of sight and out of mind—until the resurgence of the “death cafe.” Reconnect with your mortality in today’s Quartz Obsession.


How to get an airline upgrade without relying on luck: Air travel may be dominated by  algorithms, surcharges, and a de-bundling of even the most basic of services, but there are still ways to claw your way out of steerage. The first step: Start plotting your strategy before you buy your ticket. Read more in our member exclusive.

Matters of debate

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Whether they’re pro-Trump or not, Americans should worry about the trade deficit. The decline of high-tech manufacturing spells trouble for the US economy.

The benefit workers want most is less work. They value unlimited paid time off far more than trendy perks.

NASA should return to the moon ASAP. Accelerating the next moon mission would yield untold scientific, economic, and geopolitical benefits.

Surprising discoveries

Canadian scientists dug up a super-hefty T. rex. The hulking predator nicknamed “Scotty” weighed in at a record 19,500 pounds.

The UK punished a soldier for shooting comrades in a computer simulation. He is the first service member to be disciplined for offenses committed in virtual reality.

Procrastination is about managing negative emotions. When a looming task makes us feel bored, stressed, or insecure, we find ways to distract ourselves.

McDonald wants AI to personalize your drive-thru experience. The fast food giant is developing menus that up-sell customers based on weather, traffic, and trending orders.

UK mobsters are using dead rats to smuggle contraband into prison. Guards found several rodents that had been tossed over prison walls with cell phones and drugs stitched into their bellies.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, airline upgrades, and contraband-filled rats to hi@qz.com. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written and edited by Nicolás Rivero and Adam Pasick.