Smart glasses just got smarter

It’s a glorious day for tech dads everywhere: Meta and Ray-Ban smart glasses are officially for sale in Canada.  

Driving the news: Meta has become the latest billion-dollar company to officially enter the smart glasses market with the second iteration of its design with Ray-Bans, now including a built-in Meta AI assistant, hands-free live streaming features, and a personal audio system. 
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Five years of legal weed

Light up a dutchie and pass it ‘pon the left-hand side (or do so when the workday is over) because today marks the fifth anniversary of weed legalization in Canada. 

Driving the news: Per newly released Stats Canada data, Canada’s cannabis sector is valued at $10.8 billion, an increase from the $6.4 billion valuation it held when legalization occurred but a far cry from the lofty $22.6 billion potential that Deloitte predicted in 2018. 
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It’s east vs. west for in-demand workers

NHL rivalries are no longer the only thing stoking competition between provinces. They’re now also fighting for Canada’s scarce supply of workers.

Driving the news: Provinces are piloting new strategies to lure skilled workers in high-demand sectors like healthcare, green energy, and construction.
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Diplomats push to avert regional war in Middle East

Top US diplomats spent the weekend shuttling between Middle Eastern capitals in a bid to stop the war between Israel and Hamas from escalating into a broader regional conflict. 

What happened: President Joe Biden’s top security advisor Jake Sullivan said the US had privately warned Iran to stay out of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
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What to do this weekend

Our picks for what to eat, read, watch, and listen to this weekend.
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Jim Stanford on the wave of autoworker strikes

On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, we sat down with Jim Stanford to talk about the wave of autoworker strikes in the US and Canada and what it means for the sector. 
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Microsoft wins its Activision Blizzard battle

Microsoft had to go through a blizzard of regulation, but it is now the proud owner of a world leader in video games. 

What happened: After nearly two years and multiple regulatory challenges, Microsoft closed its US$75 billion acquisition of gaming company Activision Blizzard — maker of hit games like Call of Duty and Candy Crush — after British regulators gave the deal a final go-ahead. 
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Gaza is under an evacuation order

Overnight, Israel’s deadline to evacuate Gaza City passed. What comes next is unclear.  

Driving the news: Just before midnight on October 12, the Israel Defense Forces called for the evacuation of northern Gaza within 24 hours, an area home to roughly 1.1 million people. 
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Exxon deal is music to Canada’s ears

Like a dinner guest who doesn't quite know when to leave, oil and gas might be sticking around a little longer than expected.

Driving the news: Exxon Mobil’s move to acquire Pioneer Natural Resources for US$59.5 billion is welcome news for the Canadian oil industry, according to experts. Per The Globe and Mail, it's a sign the company is confident that the global demand for oil will stay strong.
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Ikea cuts prices

In the market for a new place? The bad news is that rent will be terrifying. The good news is, furnishing it just got cheaper! 

What happened: Ikea is slashing prices on a range of its furniture worldwide, as easing supply chain costs have made things cheaper to produce. In a world where food and gas prices remain sky-high, at least the famous Billy bookcase just saw a 20% discount.
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Quebéc’s big fight against English

Quebéc is demanding that out-of-town university students parle Français, lest they pay the price. 

What happened: Quebéc’s government plans to propose a measure that would raise tuition fees for out-of-province and international students at the province’s three English-language universities (McGill, Concordia, and Bishop’s) as a way to beat back Anglo incursions. 
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Amazon wants you to become a regular

Just in time for the holidays, Amazon is rolling out tools designed to get you to spend more. 

Driving the news: Amazon is testing a new ‘Buy Again’ feature aiming to persuade customers to make repeat purchases based on their order history, part of the company’s latest effort to drive up sales amid a post-pandemic slump, per the Wall Street Journal.
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Social media is awash in Israel-Palestine disinformation

Consider this a gentle reminder to not trust everything you see online.  

Driving the news: Social media is now flooded with news about the Israel-Hamas war, as happens when any major world event unfurls these days. However, experts warn that the speed and scale at which disinformation is being spread is unprecedented, per WIRED
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PAW Patrol is a Canadian success story

If you’ve had a passing interaction with a small child recently, chances are you’re aware of PAW Patrol, the animated series about heroic dogs. In fact, the show’s second movie hit theatres this month and had the largest box office opening for a Canadian film in a decade.

And now, the company behind it just made a move to get even bigger. 

What happened: Toronto-based toy giant Spin Master agreed to buy US toymaker Melissa & Doug for a cool US$950 million. Melissa & Doug specializes in toys for preschoolers and wooden jigsaw puzzles, diversifying Spin Master’s already vast portfolio of toys and games. 
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The world is addicted to bad food

People worldwide are falling into bad eating habits (though we blame the food).

Driving the news: One in seven adults globally could be addicted to ultra-processed foods, according to an analysis of 281 studies across 36 countries that was released yesterday. The analysis shows that ultra-processed foods like ice cream, fast food and ready-made meals now make up more than half of the average diet for people in the UK and US.
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23andMe user data leaked

Your new 23andMe results just came in! 80% Scotch-Irish. 20% Greek. 100% hacked.

What happened: Popular genetic testing website 23andMe is requiring users to reset their passwords after the personal information and details around the genetic ancestry of up to 7 million people leaked last week. Hackers are now trying to sell the data on the dark web.

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Putting the stocks in Birkenstocks

A 249-year-old orthopedic sandal maker is now one of the year’s top IPOs amongst a crowd of buzzy tech companies. How did that happen? 

Driving the news: Birkenstock is hitting the public market today, with the German shoemaker aiming to sell ~32 million shares for US$46 a pop, giving the company a ~$9.2 billion valuation. 
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Starbucks wants to weatherproof its coffee supply

Poor weather conditions are threatening to make your morning coffee even more expensive. 

What happened: Starbucks has developed new varieties of arabica coffee trees tailored to withstand the effects of climate change, the result of a decade-long effort to weather-proof their supply.
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Businesses are getting worried about weight loss drugs

Diabetes-turned-weight-loss medications like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro—collectively known as GLP-1 drugs—may be shrinking more than just celebs’ waistlines. 

Driving the news: A growing number of companies are worried that mass adoption of the drugs, which work by suppressing people’s desire to eat and drink, will be bad for their bottom line and could lead to a general drop in consumption. 
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Canada could crack down on Airbnb

A new crop of rental units complete with “Live, Laugh, Love” signs, hotel lobby artwork, and a baffling array of cutlery could soon be making their way to a city near you.

Driving the news: The federal government is considering measures to encourage cities to limit the supply of Airbnbs as part of its effort to increase the availability of long-term rentals across the country, per The Globe and Mail.
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