Cars are less private than a nude beach

Cars are packed to the gills with technology these days, leading to various problems like production shortages, rampant theft, and now, major privacy concerns

Driving the news: A new study by the Mozilla Foundation deemed modern cars the “worst category of products for privacy” that it had ever reviewed. Out of the 25 car brands Mozilla looked at, every single one was judged to disclose more personal info than necessary.

India opens its arms at this year’s G20

A who’s who of global leaders are landing in New Delhi as the annual G20 Summit starts tomorrow… or later today if you factor in the time difference.

Driving the news: Host country India (which might be trying to soft launch a new name for itself) has chosen “One Earth. One Family. One Future.” as the theme of the conference and hopes to focus discussions on sustainable development and spreading economic growth. 

Streaming may get more lucrative for musicians

For artists who don’t change the economic outlook of a city with a couple of concerts, some extra money from a new royalty deal could go a long way. 

Driving the news: Universal Music—the world’s largest record company—has cut a deal with French streaming service Deezer to change the way royalties are paid to artists, a move that could be the first domino to fall in the reshaping of music streaming’s business model. 

Return to office… now

As Labour Day fades from sight in the rearview mirror, more Canadian employers are telling, not asking, employees to return to the office for at least a few days of the week. 

Driving the news: Among Canadians with hybrid work setups, about 60% are fully remote, down from 75% earlier this year, per a report from Indeed. With the summer holiday season over and businesses looking to start fresh for the fall, that number is poised to fall even further.

Tiff holds rates but leaves the door open for hikes

The Bank of Canada held its policy interest rate steady at 5% yesterday, but don’t call it a pivot—they’re ready to hike again if that’s what it takes to whip inflation, and they want to make sure everyone knows it.

Driving the news: The BoC said, “evidence that excess demand in the economy is easing” justified holding interest rates steady, but emphasized that it was “prepared to increase the policy rate further if needed.”

China’s got chips, too

As the US-China chip war continues to run hot, a new smartphone has entered the chat. 

Driving the news: A Bloomberg report revealed that the Mate 60 Pro, a new phone from Chinese multinational Huawei, is powered by an advanced chip made by SMIC (China’s top chip maker), a sign that the country's chip development has taken a big step forward. 

Canada makes friends in the Indo-Pacific

At an international summit of Asian countries, the Prime Minister of Indonesia got a custom Team Canada basketball jersey, and Canada got a shiny new foreign partnership. 

What happened: Canada and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)—an economic bloc of ten Indo-Pacific countries, including Indonesia and Singapore—signed a Strategic Partnership, a mostly symbolic gesture that recognizes increased cooperation. 

The rise of the athlete influencer

Athletes: They’re just like you and me. They eat, sleep, and are painfully aware of how many views their latest Instagram story is getting. 

Driving the news: As the US Open continues, Genie Bouchard will be on the sidelines after failing to qualify. Despite this, and the fact she also failed to qualify for Wimbledon this summer, a recent study ranked her as the fifth-most valuable Canadian athlete influencer

Feds urged to create disaster response force

While Canadian troops have been used to fight unprecedented wildfires this summer, some say there’s a better solution. 

Driving the news: Canada’s former army commander, Lt. Gen. Andrew Leslie, is urging Ottawa to create a national response team dedicated to fighting natural disasters, per the CBC.

ChatGPT enters its freshman year

It’s back to school for students across Canada, and teachers are preparing to contend with a new presence in the classroom that’s shaping up to be more disruptive than the class clown: Artificial intelligence.

What to do this weekend

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

Ricard Gil on Meta’s news block

Yesterday, the federal government tried to smooth things over with tech giants by offering them an exemption from the Online News Act, a contentious new law that requires Google and Meta to pay up for carrying links to news articles. For a price tag of $234 million, that is. 

In light of the continued showdown between tech giants and the feds, Ricard Gil, a professor at the Smith School of Business, joined us on Free Lunch by The Peak to explain how a similar scenario played out in Spain over a decade ago (hint: it did not end well). 

India and China clash on borders

Whom amongst us has not rehashed a long-running dispute mere days after committing to de-escalating tensions?

What happened: Per the BBC, India is taking issue with a newly released Chinese map that lays claim to what India considers its territory. The map in dispute shows the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, and the disputed Aksai Chin plateau, as belonging to China. 

As rents heat up, Germany wants a freeze

As renters around the world echo the concerns of Jimmy McMillan (read: the rent is too damn high), some countries are taking drastic measures to cool off hot rental prices. 

Driving the news: Germany has proposed a plan to cap rent increases at 6% in cities with high demand and freeze rent hikes entirely in the rest of the country for three years, as it looks to curb record-high rental prices amid a housing shortage, per the Financial Times

Shopify finds a new friend in Amazon

Like two mismatched cops assigned to work the same case in a cheesy action movie, Shopify and Amazon have set aside their differences and become frenemies.  

What happened: Shopify and Amazon have struck a deal to let US-based Shopify merchants use Amazon’s “Buy with Prime” feature—offering Prime perks like free shipping and next-day delivery—on their own websites, via an app in Shopify’s app marketplace. 

Companies go after robot web crawlers

Canadians are loaded with debt

Canadian mortgage balances are getting swole-r than a gym bro getting ready for spring break.

Driving the news: TD, BMO, and CIBC disclosed that rising interest rates have caused 20% of their residential mortgage borrowers to see their balances grow so monthly payments no longer cover their interest owed, per The Globe and Mail.  

One million residents short of estimates

If your top skills include “counting, like, really high” then boy, does the government have a job for you. 

What happened: A report published yesterday by CIBC economist Benjamin Tal found that there are around one million more non-permanent residents (NPRs) in Canada—including international students—than government estimates would lead home builders to believe.

Prepare for pasta sticker shock

It might be time to cut back on the spaghetti carbonara… not because you need to watch the carbs, but to save on your grocery bill.

What happened: Stats Canada lowered its estimates for Canadian wheat production this year to 29.5 million tonnes, which would be the second-lowest total in eight years. It could present a 14% drop from last year’s bumper wheat crop due to droughts across the Prairies.

Indigo asks, “Would you like some books with your wine?”

The newest location of Canada’s largest bookstore is set to offer a lot more than books. 

Driving the news: Indigo’s new 16,000-square-foot store, opening in downtown Toronto this fall, aims to be “a cultural emporium” inspired by the hip shops you’ll find lining Tokyo streets, featuring more products, immersive displays, events, and booze (nice). Picture this: