🌍 Microsoft and Alphabet’s strong quarterly results

🌍 Microsoft and Alphabet’s strong quarterly results

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Here’s what you need to know

Microsoft earnings and revenue beat expectations. Compared to the same time last year, the company’s total revenue grew 22% to $45.3 billion.

Alphabet’s ad business is doing just fine. On top of stellar quarterly results, Google’s parent company reported increases in search and YouTube advertising revenue.

The US could sanction India over a military deal with Russia. However, two US senators have told president Joe Biden not to impose any punishment for the 2018 purchase of a Russian defense system.

The UK government sets out its annual spending plans. Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivers the Budget this afternoon, although plenty of it has already been leaked to the media.

China Telecom lost its ability to operate in the US. The Federal Communications Commission voted to revoke licenses held by the company’s Americas unit, over security concerns.

Investigators in the Alec Baldwin shooting present early findings. Later today, authorities are expected to explain what’s known so far about the circumstances surrounding the death of Halyna Hutchins.

What to watch for

Rent the Runway, the rental clothing e-commerce company, is planning to start trading on Nasdaq today. The pandemic brought wardrobe refreshes to a screeching halt, but growing online shopping interest and a college-educated female workforce—the majority of the company’s subscribers—point to trends in the company’s favor.

The company has also expanded from special occasion garb to a range of clothes including athleisure, making it a lot more appealing for teens and college students.

$1.5 billion: The valuation the company is hoping for in its IPO

126,841: Total subscribers in the six-month period ending July 31, up from 108,752 a year ago, but still below 2019 numbers

$157.5 million: Revenue in 2020, down from $256.9 million in 2019

$171.1 million: Net loss in 2020, up from $153.9 million in 2019

$395 billion: Expected value of the US apparel market in 2025, up from $286 billion in 2020, of which 49% is expected to be online

VCs are throwing cash at climate tech

In the past five years, venture capital investment in global climate tech has grown more than five-fold. Investment hit $6.6 billion in 2016, but has since climbed to $32.3 billion in the first 10 months of 2021, according to not-for-profit London & Partners and Dealroom.co, a data provider on startups.

The amount of VC funds varies significantly by country. In a list of the top 10 countries with the highest investments, there’s a clear front-runner: the US.

A bar chart showing the top 10 countries for climate tech VC investment from 2016 to September 2021. The US far outpaces the other countries with $48 billion in VC funds.

Despite fresh cleantech cash, most countries aren’t making good on their Paris Agreement promises. In fact, The Gambia, though it has one of the world’s smallest carbon footprints, is the only country pulling its weight.

This Sunday, world leaders will meet at COP26, the biggest climate summit since the Paris Agreement. Get on-the-ground insight throughout the conference from Quartz’s Need to Know: COP26 email.

The SPUR-5, special purpose unmanned rifle, is built by Sword Defense and mounted on a robot built by Ghost Robotics.
Image: Sword Defense

Killer robots vs. AI supremacy

Gone are the days of Sega’s iDog. Robots have come a long way, especially those of the canine variety. An era of music accompanied by LED lights seems far from our new reality of Ghost Robotics and Sword Defense’s machine-gun-laden hound.

Pooches aside, the US military sees autonomous weapons, so-called “killer robots,” as the next evolution of warfare, with China and Russia unlikely to sit idle. But US tech workers are objecting to companies that may use artificial intelligence to kill or surveil, and some fear an arms race could be afoot.

But in a killer robot arms race, the key to AI supremacy may be a ban, as discussed in the latest Forecast email. ✦ Quartz members get access to this weekly email, which looks at emerging trends in the global economy. Sign up today and take 40% off with code QZEMAIL40.

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Surprising discoveries

Saturn may have a sister. Astronomers have spotted what’s possibly the first exoplanet in the distant Whirlpool Galaxy that shares a size with our sixth planet.

Researchers believe they found the world’s oldest modern-looking crab. The 100 million-year-old, amber-preserved specimen may also be the oldest evidence of the crustacean’s journey on land.

Tokyo says goodbye to the floppy disk. Yes, the central government was still using the technology (it “almost never broke and lost data“), but reluctantly bid adieu because of costs and inefficiencies.

Speaking of wildly outdated tech… The screenplay for the 2021 movie Dune was written in MS-DOS.

Spend less than $200 on meals for a year. You just need to live near a theme park with a membership plan—you should also plan to live near a decent doctor’s office.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, creative meal solutions, and spice to hi@qz.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah, Tim Fernholz, Ananya Bhattacharya, Michelle Cheng, Liz Webber, Susan Howson, and Morgan Haefner.