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🌍 Too much Twitter data

Elon Musk got a firehose of Twitter data after saying he didn’t have enough information to buy the company

Elon Musk looking unhappy
Reuters/Brendan McDermid
Elon Musk is in a bind.
This story was published on our Quartz Daily Brief newsletter, the concise, conversational rundown you need to start your day
  • Morgan Haefner
By Morgan Haefner

Deputy email editor


Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Tesla’s still hiring in China. Despite Elon Musk’s warnings of impending cuts, new jobs were posted and a hiring event appears to be going ahead. Meanwhile, some of Tesla’s vehicles are closer to being recalled in the US.

Three men captured while fighting in Ukraine’s army were sentenced to death by Russia. The trial, called a sham by British officials, said the two Britons and one Moroccan national were mercenaries.

South Korea’s trucker strike is endangering supply chains. Yesterday was day three of protests against rising fuel costs.

Investors aren’t quite sure who to believe about Ant’s IPO. Reports that Chinese regulators were working on reviving Ant Group’s market debut briefly saw Alibaba shares jump, but the company’s statement that no such revival was planned sent them down again.

The WHO’s covid origin investigation stalled. The World Health Organization said it probably got to humans from bats, but missing Chinese data is making it impossible to determine how the virus jumped to humans.

Volkswagen has EV plans for India. The automaker says it will import electric cars by next year and start assembling them in the country by 2027.

It’s now legal to grow and consume marijuana in Thailand. The first Asian nation to delist the substance is distributing seedlings.

What to watch for

As the Russia-Ukraine war drags on, the global food crisis threatens to get worse. Russia and Ukraine together export more than a quarter of the world’s wheat. The global food system had already been weakened by covid-19 and the climate crisis, but now there’s more to keep an eye on.

Ukrainian farmers’ next harvest starts in late June. Ukraine shipped much of last summer’s crops before the war, and the silos that are undamaged are full of corn and barley. So farmers have nowhere to store their next harvest, which could rot.

Russia is still managing to sell grain. The country has stolen up to 500,000 tons of grain from Ukraine, and is trying to sell it to drought-stricken African countries.

Globally, food prices remain high. With wheat prices continuing to rise, countries like Spain are using feed grain to fill the gaps in its flour production.

Food’s friend gets a buzz

Another threat to global food production is a declining bee population. Bees, which contribute an estimated $217 billion to the global economy and are awfully cute, have increasingly needed protection to keep food systems secure.

This week, California gave four species of bumblebees endangered species status. The newly expanded law means bees are more likely to be kept in their native habitats, giving them a better chance for their populations to rise again.

Check out the newly protected bees, as visualized by Quartz reporter Clarisa Diaz. ✦ Love stories like these? Support our journalism by becoming a Quartz member today and get 40% off.

An image showing four different type of bee species.

Be careful what you ask for, Musk

Elon Musk’s latest objection to his bid to buy Twitter is that the company hasn’t provided enough information, specifically related to bot activity. But that legal argument got hosed down after Twitter threw Musk much, much more information than he asked for.

The amount of data Twitter sent Musk will be nearly impossible to parse without a team of data scientists to decipher what is bot activity and what isn’t, determine what users are “monetizable” and when they logged in, and then surmise how many bots were counted as monetizable users.

500 million: Tweets per day comprised by the data in the firehose

2019: The year Twitter came up with its own stat (monetizable daily active users) for how many people it can serve ads to

$44 billion: Cost of the deal that’s giving Musk buyer’s remorse

$1 billon: Musk’s breakup fee, but it’s not like he can just pay it and walk

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Surprising discoveries

Bring back Baywatch! There’s a lifeguard shortage in the US forcing pools to stay shut and leaving beaches unguarded.

Straw dolls resembling Vladimir Putin are popping up at Japanese shrines. The figurines are often used to put a curse on people.

Apple’s iconic “Think Different” slogan is up for grabs in the EU. The bloc’s highest court ruled the trademark was past its sell-by date.

A Galapagos giant tortoise species thought extinct a century ago is confirmed alive. She’s called Fernandina, and she may not be alone.

Half of the ads on podcasts are still read by hosts. But advertisers that want more data are testing out some other ideas. Learn what’s next in the podcast advertising space in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.

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