🐤 Work it out

A once-coveted occupation is no longer the surefire moneymaker it used to be.

Monday | May 8th, 2023
Early Chirp

Happy Monday, chirpers! Wherever you call home is probably special to you, but there might be some local claim to fame that you haven’t yet discovered. That’s what happened in the Italian town of Laterina recently.

Aided by drones and modern technology, historians have determined that the Tuscan community is featured in the background of one of the most famous works of art ever: The Mona Lisa.

Maybe you should spend some time this week learning some interesting history and fun facts about your hometown!

-Chris Agee

$269.01 (2.25%)
Dow Jones
$546.64 (1.65%)
S&P 500
$75.03 (1.85%)
$0.00 (0.04%)
-$119.58 (-0.41%)
$9.02 (18.33%)
*Market data for this issue is from May 7th, 2023 at 7:33pm EST

🏦 Markets: Last week saw some late recovery after several days of losses on Wall Street.

Looking ahead, stock futures are mostly flat ahead of today’s opening bell.

Some signs over the weekend have offered a glimpse of the ongoing banking crisis, including comments by investor Warren Buffett during Berkshire Hatahway’s annual meeting.

First-quarter earnings were up for the major financial institution and Buffett used the forum to reassure Americans that they should not be concerned about whether their deposits in traditional banks will be safe.


Solve today's crossword and win a prize!

Highest score wins an Amazon gift card!


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


The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown Giphy

⛽ Fueling up: Just weeks after petroleum exporters around the world decided to slash oil production, it seemed clear that demand (and prices) would shoot up in response to the limited supply. While that was initially the case, factors such as reduced consumption in China have led to a reversal of those early expectations. That might be good for prices at the pump, but experts also warn that softening demand for oil might be a sign of a looming recession.

👂 Sounds good: Research shows that more than 1.5 billion people around the world are living with some level of hearing loss — and that number is expected to increase by about 1 billion by 2050. The recent advancements in AI and other technologies, however, could provide novel and personalized solutions. Google is teaming up with a wide array of medical experts to provide new implants and other types of assistance that can be customized to meet individual needs.

🎬 Strike one: Hollywood writers are on strike, and it’s affecting more than just the production of TV shows and movies. According to reports, the MTV Movie & TV Awards has been forced to nix its plans for a live broadcast in favor of a pre-taped ceremony. Drew Barrymore had been slated to host, but she’s since pulled out as a show of support for the striking writers. An MTV statement promises to still provide “a memorable night” of awards and entertainment.

🧑‍💻 Outnumbered: Fans of Discord — specifically its approach to usernames — are voicing their disapproval of a new rule set to take effect soon. Instead of allowing users to add numbers to the end of their usernames in order to copy a name that already exists, the platform will now require all usernames to be unique, much like many other social media sites already require. Many folks are now worried that their beloved handles will be taken by someone else.

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Chirpy's Choices

Straight from the nest to you

Mother’s Day: Mothers are the backbone of our families and society, and their unconditional love, sacrifice, and hard work are deeply appreciated and admired. Here are some gift recommendations from your friends at Early Chirp to acknowledge everything moms do.

Miami Max: Max Verstappen won the Miami Grand Prix, starting in ninth place and achieving a dominant performance.

Modern Crowning: Take That, Katy Perry, Nicole Scherzinger and performed at King Charles III Coronation concert.

work life

Tech Used To Be The Holy Grail Of High-Paying Jobs … But Not Anymore

Layoffs and stock slumps are taking their toll on Silicon Valley.

Tech Used To Be The Holy Grail Of High-Paying Jobs … But Not Anymore Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In recent decades, a job in the tech industry has been appealing to Americans of all types — most notably due to the comparatively high salary that individuals in this sector could expect to bring home.

Even though tech hubs generally have a higher-than-average cost of living, it wasn’t hard for most employees to make ends meet and even enjoy some of the finer things in life.

Layoffs and an economic downturn might be changing the status quo.

The big picture

There are a few overarching factors that have combined to make a job at a Big Tech firm significantly less attractive than it would have been just a few short years ago.

Among the most obvious are:

  • Layoffs mean employees are willing to work for less just to keep their jobs.
  • Stock options that were once huge perks are now worth considerably less.
  • Inflation has made everything from real estate to groceries more expensive.

To be sure, there are still some people working for companies like Google, Amazon, or Meta that are earning a comfortable living. But the general atmosphere among folks in this industry has become far more pessimistic lately.

First-hand accounts

The Wall Street Journal recently reached out to a few tech workers who once thought their experiences would be more lucrative than they turned out to be.

Tommy York, for example, accepted a position at Google’s parent company Alphabet in late 2021 just after its stock price hit an all-time high. A year later, however, the seemingly generous stock grant offered as part of his benefits package had lost nearly 40% of its value.

Software engineer Samantha Voigt explained her predicament succinctly: “I used to be able to kind of spend whatever, and it would be fine. Now I’m having to think about it a lot more.”

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Why 5G Critics Say It’s Not Living Up To The Hype

If your download speed isn't what you expected, join the crowd.

Why 5G Critics Say It’s Not Living Up To The Hype Giphy

For years, cellphone users awaited the arrival of 5G network capability, which was heralded as a huge leap forward in connection quality and download speeds.

A few years after the first 5G devices went on the market, however, some skeptics are wondering why it doesn’t seem to have made good on all those promises.

It’s getting slower

If you’ve been wondering why you don’t seem to be able to download apps and other content quite as quickly as you once did, you’re not alone. Independent studies show that leading 5G networks are posting download speeds of around 1 gigabit per second.

For the sake of comparison, the International Telecommunication Union has cited 20 gigabits per second as its optimal goal.

This is nothing new

As frustrating as it might be to realize that 5G is no longer providing the blazing-fast connections that it once did, it’s important to understand that previous technologies have gone through similar periods.

Analyst Mark Giles explained that the rollout and first few years of 4G networks saw a similar trajectory.

“There was a lot of capacity to soak up those early users,” he said. “And then as more and more users come on that capacity gets used up, and you need to look at densification.”

Where things went wrong

Although the larger trend isn’t specific to 5G, certain issues have made the current situation unique.

In order to save money, most network operators chose to build the infrastructure on top of 4G networks instead of a so-called “standalone” model. This approach means that the number of new networks is limited by the supply of existing towers.

Furthermore, 5G bandwidth is only powerful along short distances, which means those living in rural communities experience bigger lags than users in densely populated cities.

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Doctors Say Risky Surgery On Unborn Baby’s Brain Was A Success

The breakthrough could have life-saving implications in the future.

Doctors Say Risky Surgery On Unborn Baby’s Brain Was A Success Giphy

So many things can go wrong during a pregnancy and there are only so many ways modern medicine can address serious problems related to a developing fetus.

A team of experts in Boston, however, appears to have given doctors hope that a new life-saving procedure can be used to save unborn lives.

A miracle baby

Reports indicate that a girl was born about two months ago despite developing a condition that could have easily proven fatal. During a routine check-up, her mother was informed that there was evidence of Galen malformation, which resulted in a pool of blood forming within the fetus’s brain.

But one doctor had been working on groundbreaking trials related to surgery on fetuses and believed such a procedure could help.

All about timing

Galen malformation is generally thought to be a minor issue in utero since the placenta seems to protect the developing embryo. But once a baby is born and separated from his or her mother, the problems are usually swift and severe.

“All of a sudden there’s this enormous burden placed right on the newborn heart,” said Darren Orbach, the radiologist who helped develop the procedure. “Most babies with this condition will become very sick, very quickly.”

That’s why this surgery was apparently worth the risk.

What it means

The procedure lasted about two hours and took place about 34 weeks into the gestational period. According to reports, the mother was anesthetized but awake throughout the surgery.

A team of experts monitored the fetus’s vital signs as a needle carefully completed the procedure — and a healthy baby girl was born just a few days later.

Since then, Orbach has written a report about the case and hopes his team’s success will help other families dealing with this serious issue in the future.

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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

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Grand Cayman KY1, 9006, Cayman Islands

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