BlackBerry cuts itself in half

BlackBerry just booted up the ol’ Bold 9700 and sent a heartfelt break-up text… to itself.  

What happened: BlackBerry announced its splitting into two separate public companies next March as it looks to stoke new investor interest and chart a clearer path forward. 

Inflation's toll on Canadian Thanksgiving

Ham, yams, the fam, and the inflation slam – yes, it’s Thanksgiving this weekend.

Or, in other words, while turkeys are getting stuffed, your wallets are not. 

Driving the news: Grocery bills had increased by an average of 6.8% at the end of summer compared to August 2022, so go easy on the gravy train this weekend. One Toronto Redditor recently reported finding an oven-roasted turkey for $119.99 and other birds for $59.99.

Meta’s news block is hurting small outlets

Two months into Meta’s Canadian news block, small-time publishers are feeling the pinch.

Driving the news: Meta’s decision to block news content for Canadian users across its platforms has disproportionately affected small online publishers, per The Wall Street Journal, as they depend more on social media traffic than larger legacy outlets.

AI-generated ads are coming

If there’s ever a modern-day Mad Men reboot, it’ll likely feature less cigarette smoking and whiskey drinking, and more inputting prompts into chatbots.

What happened: Meta has begun rolling out AI ad-generation tools to advertisers across its platforms, allowing ad creators to generate backgrounds, automatically adjust creative assets to fit different types of posts, and create and edit multiple versions of ad copy.  

AI wearables are so hot right now

The tech industry hopes you’ll consider making AI gadgets a regular wardrobe fixture. 

Driving the news: Tech firms, startups, and entrepreneurs are launching a slew of wearable AI-powered devices, racing to be the first to bring AI to the consumer hardware market, per Axios.

The Canada-India spat isn’t getting any better

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the spat between Canada and India isn’t the kind that’s easily resolved over a few texts and a round of beers. 

What happened: India is reportedly demanding that Canada remove 41 of its 62 diplomats in the country by next week to match the number of diplomats the country has in Canada.

Canada’s unprecedented spy trial

In a story ripped from the works of John le Carré (or perhaps John le Carr-eh), a landmark Canadian espionage case just hit the courts. 

What happened: The eight-week trial of Cameron Ortis is now underway, with the former director general of the RCMP’s intelligence unit pleading not guilty to six espionage-related charges. In his role, Ortis had access to troves of information about Canada and its allies. 

Silicon Valley loves longevity

Yachts and mansions are nice, but these days, Silicon Valley executives are chasing something money can’t buy: Time.  

Driving the news: The who’s who of Big Tech, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are leading a Silicon Valley effort to crack the code to longevity, per The Economist

Laurentian CEO heads for the exits

Over the summer, analysts were pretty confident that major banks would be interested in buying Laurentian. But now, even the CEO doesn’t want to work there.

What happened: Laurentian Bank is bidding adieu to CEO Rania Llewellyn, the first woman to head a major Canadian bank, after just three years in the role. Eric Provost, who was formerly in charge of personal and commercial banking, will take her place, per Bloomberg.

Businesses are betting big on hard drugs

Bad business idea: Opening a meth and crack store that immediately gets shut down. 

Maybe a good business idea? Early investing in the potential decriminalization of hard drugs.

Driving the news: Safe Supply Streaming is on track to list on the Canadian Securities Exchange. But it’s not like other investment firms: It claims to be the first company designed to invest in the “third wave” of drug reform, or policies relaxing laws around hard drugs

The battle for EV truck supremacy

What do four-year-old boys and the electric vehicle (EV) market have in common? Both are obsessed with trucks.  

Driving the news: Tesla missed its delivery target last quarter, shipping out 7% fewer vehicles than it did in the preceding quarter. One thing that may have contributed to this miss: The fact that its long-awaited Cybertruck has yet to be sent out to buyers. 

GICs Are Back in Style

The last time GIC rates were this high, flip-phones were cool and frosted tips were…tolerated.

 Driving the news: With Canada's interest rates sitting at the highest level seen since the early 2000s, the returns on guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) have also been soaring.  

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.