A truce between Israel-Hamas starts today

A hostage deal is expected to bring the first break in the fight between Israel and Hamas.

What happened: As of writing, a four-day truce between Israel and Hamas is set to begin this morning after both sides reached a deal to free hostages taken by Hamas on October 7th in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Canada’s momentous spy trial comes to a close

Canada’s historic spy trial wasn’t quite as exciting as a James Bond movie — it featured zero cool cars or giant lasers — but it was an important test for the judicial system. 

What happened: Cameron Ortis, the former director general of the RCMP’s intelligence unit, was found guilty on all six charges related to leaking state secrets brought against him. 

OpenAI and the Case of the Mystery Letter

The fallout at OpenAI escalated from “spicy corporate drama” to “arbiter of humanity’s fate” real quick. 

Driving the news: Several OpenAI staffers allegedly sent a letter to the board of directors days before Sam Altman’s abrupt dismissal, warning about a new development with the potential to threaten human existence, per reporting by Reuters and The Information.

Ski resorts turn to subscriptions

Hanging out with a fancy group of friends and don’t know what to talk about? As if they prefer Epic or Ikon, and watch the ensuing debate light up the room. 

Driving the news: Ski resort conglomerates across Canada and the U.S. are turning to a subscription model (tell us if you’ve heard this before) to lock skiers and snowboarders into their networks — which means selling as many season passes as possible, per The WSJ. 

Wild pigs are taking over

If you’re worried about Canada’s housing market, just wait until we tell you about the country’s wild pig problem. 

Driving the news: A domestic swine and wild boar crossbreed known as ‘super pigs’ are wreaking havoc across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — and are spreading at an alarming rate, ruining farmers' crops, killing wildlife, and contaminating water and livestock.

Sam Altman is once again CEO of OpenAI

After a whirlwind five days that included teary breakdowns, a pizza party, and even the launch of a new product, Sam Altman is once again CEO of OpenAI. 

What happened: Sam Altman returned to lead OpenAI, the ChatGPT creator that has become the buzziest name in AI, after being unceremoniously dumped last week. The move came after Microsoft offered Altman a job, and nearly every employee threatened to quit

After 50 years, someone figured out how to make a thinner fridge

Even with all the screens and smart features, the basic form of a refrigerator hasn’t seen much innovation since the 1960s: A big box with thick foam that uses a lot of power. But Whirlpool might have changed that.

The Q&A: Jenny Lemieux, co-founder and CEO, Vivid Machines

Jenny Lemieux is the co-founder and CEO of Vivid Machines, which uses computer vision and machine learning to give growers data and intelligence to better manage the entire food supply chain.

Cleantech, open banking get help from the feds

Housing and the cost-of-living crisis got the most attention in the government’s fall economic statement yesterday, but it also had some (eagerly awaited) support for parts of the tech sector.

What happened: The government is putting big bucks into making carbon capture and other environmental tech more economically viable. 

Sam Altman is CEO of OpenAI again

It looks like Sam Altman is going to end a whirlwind five days at the same place he started it: as CEO of OpenAI.

What happened: After reopening negotiations amid intense pressure from investors and staff, OpenAI’s board stepped down and paved the way for Altman to be reinstated.

C ya, CZ

It feels like Earth-shattering developments upending the entire crypto industry are becoming a November tradition! Last year, it was FTX’s collapse. This year, it’s Binance paying billions.   

What happened: The world’s largest crypto exchange, will pay US$4.3 billion after pleading guilty to charges of money laundering, unlicensed money transmitting, and sanctions violations. As part of the deal, founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao will step down as CEO.

Northvolt makes EV battery breakthrough

As if giving the world IKEA, ABBA, and Spotify wasn’t already enough, Sweden is also solving a major hurdle for EV battery production.

What happened: Swedish startup Northvolt has developed a sodium-ion battery free of the critical (and pricey) metals that lithium-ion batteries require, a breakthrough which could make EV batteries cheaper and cut manufacturers’ current reliance on Chinese metals.

Québec just bowled a turkey, ‘cause it’s got three straight strikes

A coalition of ~420,000 Québec public sector employees from four different unions, dubbed the Front Commun, are on the second leg of a three-day strike.

What happened: The strikers are a ragtag assemblage of fed-up public workers, including orderlies, hospital technicians, and the majority of high school and elementary teachers.  This strike is the first of three public worker strikes set to hit Québec this week alone. 

OpenAI future in jeopardy

A complete meltdown at the world’s leading AI company continues to provide a steady stream of watercooler talking points and cast doubt on the future of the company

Driving the news: By late last night, around 700 of OpenAI's 770 employees had signed a letter calling for Sam Altman's reinstatement as CEO — including board member Ilya Sutskever, one of the board members who initially voted to fire Altman, according to people who have seen the letter.

An update on the fall economic update

Are you self-conscious about your spending? Luckily, you don’t have to broadcast it to the entire nation like the federal government will later today in its fall economic update

Driving the news: The update — which we must note is merely a statement on the budget and not a new budget — will focus on two top-of-mind matters: Housing and affordability. 

Amazon wants you to go back to (AI) school

Like us, you may have thought your school days were behind you… but since this AI thing seems to be sticking around, we might all be hitting the books again soon. 

What happened: Amazon is launching an AI skills program that will offer free training for up to two million people by 2025, including non-employees. The goal is to address the shortage of AI-trained talent that many companies are struggling with, per The Wall Street Journal. 

Starship reaches space for first time

SpaceX made progress in the second test flight of its Starship rocket, but the program’s success is still far from certain. 

What happened: The 400-foot tall rocket rose more than 100 kilometres, leaving Earth’s atmosphere and entering space before its booster exploded.

500+ OpenAI staff threaten resignation

We’ve been glued to our phones following the drama unfolding at the world’s (arguably) most important AI company so that you don’t have to

What happened: OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT and widely regarded as one of the organizations at the forefront of AI research, is embroiled in a dramatic internal power struggle.

What to do this weekend

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

Jennifer Quaid on Canada’s competition laws

On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, we sat down with Jennifer Quaid to talk about Canada’s competition laws and how they have shaped the country’s economy.