Good morning, Quartz readers!
Bank of America’s rare downgrade took a $120 billion bite out of Apple’s market cap. The Cupertino giant’s fall dragged down Big Tech stocks.
Elon Musk’s texts about the Twitter deal were disclosed to the public. The messages unveil private conversations between the Tesla CEO, venture capitalists, and Twitter executives.
Six US states sued to block a federal student debt relief program. The Republican-led lawsuit prompted a scale back of the scheme.
New York seeks to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. The state is adding $10 million to its Drive Clean Rebate scheme to support drivers in switching to electric vehicles.
Lumber prices in the US cooled down to around pre-pandemic levels. The lull in demand is expected to last into 2023, but will pick up again due to pent-up demand for affordable housing.
NATO called the Nord Stream pipeline leaks an act of sabotage. The military alliance stated, in a first, that it would “deter and defend” against attacks on “critical infrastructure.”
Brazilian presidential hopefuls held a final debate ahead of Sunday’s election. Polls give left-wing candidate and former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva a 14-point lead.
There’s a chance we’ll officially meet Optimus today, the Tesla humanoid robot that CEO Elon Musk debuted at his company’s AI day last year (though there wasn’t a whole lot to see for a robot that is supposed to one day drive cars). This year is shaping up to be different, as Tesla’s second AI event was pushed to Sept. 30 in the hopes that the Optimus prototype would be ready to wave hello.
The timing is, one could say, optimal—in the first half of this year, North American companies bought a record number of robots to run their factories amid shortages and supply chain hiccups. But repetitive and even dangerous factory work is just one of the jobs Tesla hopes Optimus can take on. Ideally, Opti’s to-do list will look something like this:
🍳 Cook breakfast
🚙 Drive the kids to school
🚜 Mow the lawn
🧓🏽 Take care of grandpa
🧺 Carry 45 lbs
👭 Be a friend?
This Saturday, as caffeine enthusiasts snag a deal on International Coffee Day, there’s a good chance they’ll put their order on ice. Cold beverages now make up about three-quarters of total beverage sales at Starbucks company-owned stores in the US. Even Nestlé, the maker of Nespresso machines, has started catering to the cold coffee crowd.
The convenience of bottled coffee has helped facilitate cold coffee’s growth in the past five years. Like their warmer counterparts, iced coffee drinks also are highly customizable—see the TikTok trend of sharing iced coffee preferences at Starbucks—and more easily noticed when served in a clear cup.
Surprisingly, winter hasn’t cooled iced coffee sales as it has in the past. In December 2021, ready-to-drink coffee unit sales rose 18.8% compared to the same month a year before. Starbucks has even rolled out new cold brew flavors in the winter.
Are you a die-hard hot coffee drinker, or do you change with the weather? Let us know!
Until there’s an Optimus in every home, each year, women and girls will contribute a whopping $10.8 trillion to the global economy in unpaid labor. Everyone benefits from this unpaid work, so wouldn’t it make sense for people to get compensated for it?
Quartz asked economists to weigh in, and their answers are more complicated than you’d think.
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Google Maps will give your neighborhood a “vibe” check. The feature relies on AI and internet users’ reviews.
Lindt’s gold-wrapped Easter bunnies won legal protection. A judge ruled copycat products must be destroyed (or, rather, melted and repurposed).
A 200-year-old crystal flute finally got some stage time. Performer Lizzo played the rare instrument, which belonged to US president James Madison, at her Washington, DC concert.
Aquatic creatures evolved a bite earlier than previously thought. The world’s oldest teeth ever recovered date to the Silurian period, between 443 and 419 million years ago.
Dogs can sniff out your stress. Our canine companions smell it on the breath and sweat.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, vibe checks, and gold-wrapped chocolate to email@example.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Michelle Cheng, Sofia Lotto Persio, Julia Malleck, and Morgan Haefner.