Quantum bits that correct their own errors

Quantum computers run a lot of calculations simultaneously, which results in a lot of errors. One way to correct errors is to add more qubits — the quantum version of a bit — that essentially check each other’s work. But the most advanced quantum computers have roughly 1,000 qubits, a fraction of what’s needed to reduce errors enough for quantum computers to be effective.

Is the World Cup good for Canada’s economy?

Like us after putting down a non-refundable deposit to book the perfect venue for a birthday party, Vancouver and Toronto are hoping that playing host will be worth it.  

Driving the news: In 2026, Vancouver and Toronto will host seven and six FIFA World Cup matches, respectively. Neither city has given an updated cost estimate since 2022, so now attention has turned to figuring out how much hosting will cost, and whether it’s worth it.

Feds ordered to address Canada’s judge shortage

Housing isn’t the only shortage facing the federal government these days: It turns out there are about as many judges in Canada as there are apartments for under $1,500. 

What happened: Ottawa has been ordered to start appointing judges across the country more quickly, according to the Toronto Star. The ruling found that vacant judicial slots have backlogged the legal system, in some cases leading to criminal cases being tossed out. 

To cut, or not to cut? That is the question.

Welcome back to The Peak’s Inflation Drinking Game. The first rule, take a sip (of your coffee, of course) every time you read any variation of the phrase “rate cuts.”  

What happened: U.S. inflation growth cooled once again in January, falling to 3.1% from 3.4% in December. That sounds peachy keen, but analysts expected growth to drop below 3%.

Temu really wants you to shop like a billionaire

If you tuned into the Super Bowl on Sunday, you were bombarded with no fewer than three ads (plus more before and after the game) urging you to “shop like a billionaire.” That was part of a hyper-aggressive marketing campaign by Chinese e-commerce retailer Temu to conquer the North American market.

Why it matters: Temu’s big spending marketing blitz — one 30-second Super Bowl ad spot was selling for US$7 million, and Temu had six — is unprecedented, and its sheer scale is disrupting both retail and ad markets in North America.

Sony buys MJ rights as music catalogues become chart-topping investments

The competition might’ve been tough for the King of Pop’s music library, but Sony and its big chequebook told the other investors to beat it

What happened: Sony is acquiring half of Michael Jackson’s music catalogue for around US$600 million, a deal that will make it the most valuable catalogue ever sold, per Axios.

TikTok gets a brand new power user: the president

It wasn’t too long ago we were writing regularly about plans by U.S. lawmakers to ban TikTok. It now seems like those plans have taken a backseat to politics.

Driving the news: U.S. President Joe Biden joined TikTok on Sunday during the Super Bowl, part of his re-election campaign’s strategy to win over important Gen Z voters ahead of November’s election. 

Psychedelic drugs take a step toward the mainstream

As they did with shirtless hippies in the ’60s, psychedelic drugs are having a moment—but this time around, it’s investors (with their shirts very much on) swooning over ‘shrooms.

Driving the news: Start-ups developing psychedelic drug treatments had a milestone January, bringing in US$163 million in investments, marking the second-biggest month of fundraising ever recorded for the sector, per the Financial Times

AI may be spying on your work chats

Think twice before sending that disparaging Slack message about your manager. Someone—or rather, something—could be watching. 

What happened: A growing number of large employers are using AI tools to monitor the messages employees send on company systems.

Polly Mitchell-Guthrie on how supply chains work

 On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, we sat down with Polly Mitchell-Guthrie, VP of Industry Outreach at Kinaxis, a Canada-based supply-chain management platform. 

Russia’s Google leaves Russia

The firm behind the company that’s most commonly known as “Russia’s Google” is looking to get out of the whole ‘Russian’ aspect of its business.

Catch-up: Like several non-Western nations, Russia has its own websites that mirror more globally popular ones like Yandex (Russian Google) or VK (Russian Facebook).

Paris goes to war against bulky vehicles

In news that will surely upset French soccer parents (or parents de football), it will soon be a lot pricier to drive an SUV in Paris. 

Driving the news: Paris has declared war against SUVs after the city voted to triple parking charges in the city centre on out-of-town gas-powered and hybrid vehicles weighing over 1.6 tonnes. The move aims to cut pollution, free up space, and make life safer for pedestrians.

Gemini is a sign of new times at Google

The Gemini AI model-slash-chatbot isn’t just Google’s effort to catch up with OpenAI — it's an experiment that could totally change the company’s future.

Explain It Like I'm Five: C2PA

C2PA is a group started by Adobe and Microsoft to find ways to certify online media’s provenance: where it comes from and how it was created. This information includes if an AI platform was used to create a piece of media, helping companies curb deepfakes and disinformation. The C2PA acronym also sometimes refers to the metadata standard the coalition created.

How Canada could improve its AI sovereignty

The government might need to step up its game if Canadian startups are going to keep up in the AI race.

What happened: Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne signed a letter of intent with Nvidia. Details have not been released, but Champagne said in an X post that the government and chip maker would “explore opportunities” to create AI computing power in Canada.

Bud Light goes back to its sporty roots

Months after a consumer boycott that lost Bud Light the status as America’s top-selling beer to Modelo, the beer brand has chosen the Super Bowl as the next stop of its comeback tour

Driving the news: Per The Wall Street Journal, Bud Light is banking on a 60-second Super Bowl ad slot to get back in with the guys. The brand is attempting to recover from backlash for its campaign with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, which led to a slump in sales. 

Google drops a new chatbot

Now that Google and the federal government have squashed their beef over paying news publishers, the search giant is giving Canadians access to its shiny new chatbot. 

What happened: After snubbing Canada on the initial rollout of its first chatbot, Bard, Google will offer its improved and renamed AI chatbot, Gemini, to Canada.

Bowling is on a Canadian roll

At the height of the pandemic, nothing could be more frightening than repeatedly touching a germ-infested item hundreds of other strangers had handled. Now, we can’t get enough of it! 

In case you couldn’t tell, we’re talking about bowling.  

Driving the news: U.K.-based bowling operator Hollywood Bowl Group (HBG) is pursuing an aggressive expansion in Canada — with plans to open up to 10 new alleys within the next five years — as it posts yearly revenue gains better than a game-winning strike. 

Canadian miners look to Ottawa for help

Like anyone under the age of 40 trying to buy a house, Canadian miners will need a little bit of financial help if they want to set themselves up for the future.

What happened: As prices for critical minerals like lithium and nickel plummet, miners are warning that if the federal government doesn’t step up to help fund new projects, Canada could fall behind in production to rivals like China for good, per The Globe and Mail.