Feds look to space to fight wildfires

This year’s historically bad wildfire season has the federal government searching for new ways to battle future blazes.

Driving the news: Three government agencies, including the Canadian Space Agency, are working together on a plan to use a series of satellites to monitor and track wildfires around the country.  

Remote work dries up

Still working from home in your sweats? Better hang on to that gig if you want to keep the lifestyle because few new jobs will afford you the same luxury.

Driving the news: Only 9% of new job postings on LinkedIn were fully remote in August, according to a report from the company. 

What to do this weekend

Our picks for what to eat, read, watch, and listen to this weekend.

Reece Martin on Canadian transit

The rise of the four-day school week

Today in ‘news that our child-selves would have celebrated but makes our grown-up selves feel a little uneasy’: Four-day school weeks are on the rise.

Driving the news: Four-day school weeks have become increasingly popular in the US, with 850 school districts adopting a shortened week for this academic year, 200 more than in 2021. It started as a trend in small, rural districts but is now spreading to larger communities

Athletes are turning to venture capital

If it seems like everyone you know (and know of) is becoming a venture capitalist these days… yes, yes they are.

What happened: Six-time Olympic medallist Andre de Grasse is joining a small group of elite athletes, including Serena Williams and Steph Curry, in the world of venture capital. Per The Globe and Mail, the sprinter has launched ADG Ignite Venture, a Canadian fund. 

Canada is all in on EV battery production

Some folks collect baseball cards or stamps. Canada is collecting EV battery plants.

What happened: Swedish electric vehicle (EV) battery maker Northvolt — which has supply deals with BMW and Volkswagen — has secured the largest private investment in Quebec history to build a $7 billion factory near Montréal. 

The hottest tech launch of the fall

Apple’s iPhone 15 is officially the hottest release of the fall. And no, we’re not talking about its lightweight frame, USB 3.2 port, and exciting new button… 

What happened: One week after the release of the latest iPhone models, thousands of customers are reporting their phones are literally too hot to handle. The overheating issues seemingly affect Apple’s premium iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models, not the base model.

Why is Costco selling gold bars?

A 10-kg bucket of peanut butter. A box of 204 frozen croissants. A 24-karat gold bar. What do all of these items have in common? You can buy them all at Costco. 

Driving the news: Costco is now selling one-ounce gold bars online, and they’re getting picked up at a speed usually reserved for Taylor Swift tickets and new Air Jordans. On a recent earnings call, Costco CFO Richard Galanti said new bars typically sell out in hours.

The best travel hack is to plan ahead

If you’re looking to escape the frozen tundra that is winter in Canada (at a reasonable price), there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Driving the news: With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up in November, travel deals will be among the many savings on full display. But outside of those big flash sales, saving money on your travel always comes down to a couple of key factors, per The Globe and Mail.

Buy a beer from Amazon in seconds

Amazon’s new check-out concept means Canadian sports fans will still pay $13 for a beer, but at least they won’t have to wait in line for it. 

Driving the news: Just Walk Out, Amazon's checkout-free shopping system, is coming to Canada later this fall, with the technology rolling out at stadiums in Toronto and Calgary.

Hollywood writers go back to work

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of keyboards clacking, pens scribbling, and overpriced latte orders echoing across the Sunset Strip... which can only mean Hollywood writers are back. 

What happened: After 148 days on the picket line, Hollywood writers are returning to the word factory today after board members of the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement with studios and streamers.

Canadian tech agrees to AI code of conduct

While not quite as star-studded at the White House’s AI summit, the who’s who of Canadian tech companies have agreed to new rules concerning AI. 

What happened: A handful of Canada’s biggest tech companies, including Blackberry, OpenText, and Cohere, agreed to sign on to new voluntary government guidelines for the development of AI technologies and a “robust, responsible AI ecosystem in Canada.”

The FTC challenges Amazon

The FTC surely must be inspired by the story of David and Goliath, because the US regulatory body won’t stop picking fights with tech giants. 

What happened: The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), alongside 17 states, has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, claiming the company is a monopoly that illegally crushes its competition, keeps prices inflated for consumers, and traps third-party sellers.  

Canada courts digital nomads

Picture the life of a digital nomad: You’re probably thinking of oceanfront workplaces, rainforest yoga, and drinking out of coconuts. But what about just heading to Toronto?

Driving the news: Per Bloomberg, the list of picturesque destinations cutting the red tape and offering remote work visa schemes is growing, including places like Barbados, Portugal, and Germany. Some are even extending visas in hopes of boosting business and innovation. 

The supershoe footrace heats up

The saddest six-word story ever written: For sale, $500 shoes, worn once.

What happened: The Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1s are now on sale. They’re Adidas’ newest running shoes, which runner Tigist Assefa wore when she shattered the women’s world marathon record last weekend. The price tag for these record-setting sneaks? US$500.

Are more strikes on the horizon?

As the calendar turns and labour unrest in Canada continues, the Summer of Strikes is evolving into the Autumn of Arbitration (which is way less catchy, but just as important). 

Driving the news: Per a new RBC report, amidst a surge of high-profile strikes, first-year raises for union workers are up 7.1% as of July — the highest rate since the early 1990s.

No recycled Lego bricks

The world’s largest toymaker is having a hard time making its little bricks eco-friendly. 

What happened: Danish Toymaker Lego has abandoned a high-profile effort to ditch oil-based plastics from its bricks after finding that its new material — made from recycled plastic bottles — would lead to higher carbon emissions, per the Financial Times.

ChatGPT finds its voice

OpenAI's latest ChatGPT update bestows the AI chatbot with the gifts of speech and sight.

What happened: ChatGPT can now converse with users — across five chipper voice options — and process images to help answer questions. The features will be available to paid users within two weeks and to those of us who are AI freeloaders in the near future.

New space rocks just dropped

Unlike many of us coming home from holiday, NASA remembered to bring back souvenirs from its latest trip.

Driving the news: The largest asteroid sample ever brought back to Earth touched down Sunday morning when NASA’s OSIRIS-REx capsule returned from a 7-year trip—a mission Canada played a crucial role in.