🐤 It's a wild ride

Hailing a robotaxi might sound fun, but there are a few things you should know.

Friday | April 28th, 2023
Early Chirp
Together With WHOOP fitness journey tracking data body performance

Happy Friday, chirpers! The weekend’s coming up … and if you don’t want to waste it sitting on the couch, you might want to consider taking up a new hobby.

Even if it seems inconsequential or mundane, any activity that brings you some sense of joy and fulfillment is worth pursuing in your spare time. And it might even pay off like it did for one young girl in Denmark.

Reports indicate she was exploring with her metal detector and discovered a trove of nearly 300 silver coins dating back more than 1,000 years!

-Chris Agee

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*Market data for this issue is from April 27th, 2023 at 6:49pm EST

🏦 Markets: Wall Street is opening the week’s last trading day on the heels of Thursday’s big gains. All three major indexes finished up by well over 1%, led by Nasdaq Composite’s 2.43% increase. The S&P 500 wasn’t far behind, adding just under 2% for its best day since January.

Tech stocks were a major factor as Facebook’s parent company Meta recorded a strong first-quarter revenue report that sent its stock price soaring nearly 14%.

Looking ahead, though, surveys show that investor sentiment is becoming a bit more pessimistic.


The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown Photo by Jens Schlueter - Pool/Getty Images

🚅 Bite the bullet: Public transportation has a reputation for being slow and inefficient, but a group of lawmakers wants to do something about that. A total of 10 bipartisan legislators representing California and Nevada sent a letter to the Department of Transportation this week seeking a federal investment in a project that would result in a high-speed bullet train route between Las Vegas to Los Angeles.

🎤 One of a kind: Jerry Springer started out his public career as the mayor of Cincinnati, but he’ll forever be known as an entertainment pioneer. His long-running daytime talk show introduced chaos and confrontation to the medium — and TV was never the same. Springer died this week at the age of 79 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

🪙 Debt deal debate: As the nation faces a debt crisis that could end in default, Republicans and Democrats in D.C. are divided about how to address the situation. The GOP majority in the House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that would increase the debt limit by $1.5 trillion, but it would require significant spending cuts. President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats, on the other hand, want the debt ceiling raised without any conditions.

🏈 Take your pick: The 2023 NFL Draft kicked off on Thursday, led by the Carolina Panthers' choice of Alabama QB Bryce Young. Up next were the Houston Texans, also with a QB pick, adding Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud to the roster. The Texans received back-to-back picks after the Cardinals traded their third-round pick, and the Houston team picked up edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. of Alabama. The three-day draft will conclude on Saturday.

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*Prizes are sent out via email the next day by 11am EST.


Exploring The Brave New World Of Driverless Taxis

Is the novelty of traveling in an automated cab worth the potential hassle?

Exploring The Brave New World Of Driverless Taxis Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

When it comes to fully self-driving vehicles, it’s easy to think of the benefits and risks. But what is it really like to jump into a car and take off without anyone in the driver’s seat?

A growing number of taxi passengers are finding out as autonomous cabs are lining the streets of San Francisco.

One reporter’s experience

Tech writer Michael Liedtke recently penned an article detailing his first trip in a self-driving cab — a Chevy Bolt identified by the name “Peaches” and operated by the Cruise ride-hailing company.

He left a bar and was initially impressed by the amount of high-tech gadgetry on display … but after a while, his take on the situation began to sour.

As Liedtke arrived at his destination, the car told him to get his belongings together and prepare to exit the vehicle. When Peaches approached the curb, however, it sped off in the wrong direction.

The onboard display screen told Liedtke that he was about 20 minutes away from his destination and he tried to get a response from Peaches. But the car was silent, and he contacted a human via the Cruise call center.

In the end, Peaches stopped in the middle of the street and, despite being a few blocks from where he was going, Liedtke used the opportunity to escape the vehicle.

Are things getting better?

If robotaxis are here to stay, it’s important to address their shortcomings as quickly as possible. Cruise has recalled the software in many of its units and rival Waymo similarly fixing glitches.

Here are some of the issues reported so far:

  • Blocking traffic
  • Driving on sidewalks
  • Speeding away from cops

It’s worth noting that injuries are uncommon and most people eventually end up at their destination — even if it’s not always how they expected.

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work life

Move Over John And James — Women CEOs Are Finally Taking The Lead

The glass ceiling might not be completely shattered, but there are some big cracks in it.

Move Over John And James — Women CEOs Are Finally Taking The Lead Giphy

It might not come as a surprise to learn that men outnumber women in corporate executive suites, but the disparity even in 2023 might come as a bit of a shock.

Until quite recently, the number of female CEOs among companies in the S&P 500 was lower than just the number of male CEOs named John (or Jon)!

Things are slowly changing

It was in 2018 that women CEOs officially outnumbered Johns holding the same position. But since people named John account for just over 3% of the population and women make up roughly half, it’s clear that there was still some work to do to achieve equality.

Also, there was another common man’s name that was disproportionately represented among chief executives. In 2019, the number of CEOs named James was equal to all of the female CEOs combined.

As it now stands, women account for more CEO positions held by women than those held by either Johns or Jameses.

Not only are there currently 41 women at the helm of S&P 500 corporations, but 10 of them were added in the past year alone.

Another popular CEO name

Along with the shift toward more female CEOs comes the rise of a new name that is becoming repetitive in executive suites. There are currently three top executives named Jennifer at S&P 500 firms.

Of course, the recent progress is just the beginning for those fighting for equal representation between the sexes. And if you add in one other common CEO name, women still lag behind.

There are a total of 60 CEOs on the list who are named either John, James, or Robert, which is 19 more than all of the women put together.

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Together With WHOOP

Access Your New Fitness Coach Anytime, Anywhere

WHOOP combines the latest in wearable tech with easy-to-understand, personalized feedback.

Access Your New Fitness Coach Anytime, Anywhere

Even if you're not an avid gym goer or cardio fanatic, you've probably heard of WHOOP. It's a wristband that has really accurate tracking on body performance, mostly with recovery. With some research you'll find it might lack some data a few of it's competing wristbands have.. but what it lacks in, it makes up for by doing what it does offer very well.

Here are a few major features

  • Track heart rate variability, sleep quality, daily strain, and more.
  • Receive personalized feedback about your nutrition, hydration, and stress level.
  • Lebron James wears one

The hard sell for WHOOP is that the monthly service cost $30. You may say to yourself, "Ok that might be worth it for Lebron James, but do I really need to ever keep track of this myself?" The answer many would argue is yes, tracking and regulating these body performance needs can help improve anyone's daily life. Making sure you're getting enough REM sleep and keeping low stress throughout the day can help mood, thought process, and many other things we deal with as humans every day.

If you're interested to see what else WHOOP offers check them out here. You'll be able to see example charts for all sorts of data like REM sleep, stress levels and more!

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Colorado Farmers Now Have The Right To Work On Their Own Tractors

The right-to-repair movement just scored a big win.

Colorado Farmers Now Have The Right To Work On Their Own Tractors Photo by Mark Hirsch/Getty Images

As a whole, farmers have rightfully earned a reputation as self-sufficient folks who don’t rely on others to get things done. But with the proliferation of high-tech machinery on farms around the world, it has become difficult — if not impossible — for many individuals to access or repair malfunctioning parts.

Understanding the problem

Many manufacturers have implemented policies in recent years that essentially preclude customers from working on their own tractors and other equipment. John Deere has been at the forefront of this movement and, despite making some promises that it would offer more accessibility to software and other tools, many farmers and politicians say they haven’t done enough.

This week, Colorado took a stand on behalf of the so-called right-to-repair movement when Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill into law that requires manufacturers to provide all of the software and hardware necessary for independent repairs.

Polis called it “a common-sense bipartisan bill to help people avoid unnecessary delays from equipment repairs,” noting that farmers can “lose precious weeks and months” while waiting for a manufacturer to provide such services.

The movement is spreading

Although farmers are getting much of the attention these days, the right-to-repair movement is also flourishing in other industries — from passenger vehicles to smartphones.

Now that Colorado has taken decisive action on behalf of farmers, a number of other states currently considering such action are likely to pursue similar strategies. A total of at least 10 other states are already advancing bills similar to the one Polis signed into law.

In a statement following the latest action, National Farmers Union President Rob Larew issued a statement calling it “a huge win for farmers and ranchers in Colorado and across the country.”

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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

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