Welcome to Bespoke Brunch Reads — a linkfest of the favorite things we read over the past week. The links are mostly economy/market related, but there are some other interesting subjects covered as well. We hope you enjoy the food for thought as a supplement to the research we provide you during the week.

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Big Tech Is Really Bad at Firing People by Chris Stokel-Walker (Wired)
Thousands of tech workers have been laid off over the last few weeks, and they aren’t happy with the way their firings have been handled. [Link]

Corporate Layoffs Spread Beyond High-Growth Tech Giants by Chip Cutter and Theo Francis
It’s not just high-growth tech companies laying off workers, companies like IBM and Dow have also started to announce layoffs.  There’s always dog walking. [Link]

How These Dog Walkers Make Over $100,000 a Year by Alyson Krueger (NYT)
Charging upwards of $35 per walk (more than the hourly rate for babysitters), some dog walkers in New York are making six-figure salaries. [Link]

You Quit Your Job, but You’re Still Miserable. Now What? By Eilene Zimmerman (NYT)
Overworked Americans who have quit their jobs have found that the absence of work and structure leaves them unmotivated and unable to move forward. [Link]

CVS, Walmart to Cut Pharmacy Hours as Staffing Squeeze Continues by Sharon Terlep and Sarah Nassauer (WSJ)
Both chains will curtail the operating hours of their pharmacies citing a lack of available pharmacists. Pharmacists were already in short supply before the pandemic, and consumer demand for Covid-19 shots and tests put additional strains on pharmacy operations. [Link]

Chase Locking Up Some ATMs at 5 P.M. Due to NYC Crime by Luke Funk (Fox5NY)
Citing higher crime risk at night and increased vagrancy, the bank will curtail the availability of 24-hour ATMs. [Link]

Smartphone Shipments Suffer the Largest-Ever Decline with 18.3% Drop in the Holiday Quarter by IDC
The drop marks the largest-ever decline in a single quarter and contributed to a steep 11.3% decline for the year. [Link]

Americans Fall Behind on Car Payments at Higher Rate Than in 2009 by Claire Ballentine (Bloomberg)
Higher interest rates and depleted savings have resulted in car repossessions surging to the highest rate since 2009. [Link]


Earth’s Inner Core May Be Reversing Its Rotation, Study Finds by Eric Niier (WSJ)
Researchers believe the Earth’s inner core has reversed its rotation after they analyzed earthquake-driven seismic waves as they pass through the Earth. The result is that the length of a day has been shaved by fractions of a millisecond [Link]

The Food Expiration Dates You Should Actually Follow by J. Kenji López-Alt (NYT)
Believe it or not, most of those expiration dates are meaningless.  “Vinegars, honey, vanilla or other extracts, sugar, salt, corn syrup, and molasses will last virtually forever,” and even eggs last much longer than their sell-by dates.  [Link]

Humanity May Reach Singularity Within Just 7 Years, Trend Shows by Darren Orf (Popular Mechanics)
“On average, it takes a human translator roughly one second to edit each word of another human translator, according to Translated. In 2015, it took professional editors approximately 3.5 seconds per word to check a machine-translated (MT) suggestion — today that number is just 2 seconds. If the trend continues, Translated’s AI will be as good as a human-produced translation by the end of the decade (or even sooner).” [Link]

ChatGPT Is Coming for Classrooms. Don’t Panic by Pia Ceres (Wired)
ChatGPT has caused fears of rampant cheating in American education, but many educators say that the potential disruption is just what the US educational system needs. [Link]

Google, Not OpenAI, Has the Most to Gain From Generative AI by Mark Sullivan (Fast Company)
Alphabet has been criticized for ‘missing the boat’ on AI, but this article reminds readers that the company has been calling itself “AI-First” since 2017 and has invested heavily in the space. [Link]

Meta Embraces AI as Facebook, Instagram Help Drive a Rebound by Jeff Horwitz and Salvador Rodriguez (WSJ)
Fueled by heavy investment in AI, Meta is starting to see a path to recovery after the toughest year in the company’s history [Link]


MSG Owner James Dolan Threatens Alcohol Ban at MSG Over Facial Recognition Controversy by Fox 5 Staff (Fox5NY)
Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan has banned lawyers who are suing any of his companies from entering the Garden. The New York State Alcohol board has threatened to pull the Garden’s liquor license, so Dolan has suggested he may stop serving beer at one Rangers game and tell anyone who is upset about it to call the head of the state authority. [Link]

Quality Control Fiasco: George Brett Autograph Ends up on a Babe Ruth Baseball Card by Tyson Shushkevich (Just Baseball)
Can you imagine pulling an autographed Babe Ruth but then realizing that the actual signature was George Brett? You’d be mad. Think George Brett pine tar too high mad. [Link]

Ranking the top five Royal Rumble winners in WWE history: Is Steve Austin or Ric Flair No. 1? By Daniel Yanofsky (Sporting News)
With this weekend’s Royal Rumble, check out this list of the top five Royal Rumble Winners.  Who will win the right to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39?  Will The Rock make a comeback? [Link]

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