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🔑 Passwords are disappearing
May 9, 2022
PLUS: The cost of leaving Russia, and TikTok’s endless meetings.
You never know what treasures are hiding in plain sight at your local Goodwill. In Texas, one store unknowingly sold an ancient Roman bust for $34.99. For now, it’s on display at the San Antonio Museum of Art, but it will ultimately return to Germany, where it was once part of a 19th-century Bavarian king’s art collection until looted during WWII.
In today’s email:
Forgot password: Is the age of passwords over?
Chart: How leaving Russia is costing energy companies.
Digits: Meetings, trademarks, babies, and more.
Around the web: An ESG glossary, a map of famous (or infamous) residents, kittens meeting puppies, and more cool internet finds.
🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s quick podcast to hear Jacob dive into the lucrative market for oddly shaped snacks and discuss why some people will spend $100k on a single Dorito chip.
The big idea
Are passwords over?
Passwords suck. They’re the root cause of 81% of data breaches, but due to the dizzying number of online accounts people have, 65% of us still reuse them.
But guess what? Apple, Google, and Microsoft will roll out no-password login options over the coming year, per the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance, which sets standards for passwordless authentication.
Instead of using a password, you’ll sign in with your smartphone or other devices — similar to 2-factor authentication. But this method is called “public key cryptography.”
How it works
Let’s say you decide to create an account with your favorite online retailer, CuteKittySocks.com.
When you register, a key pair is made: a public key shared with CuteKittySocks.com, and a private key that stays on your phone.
Keys are just big-ass connected numbers. For example, a private key could be 2 long prime numbers, and a public key would be what you’d get if you multiplied them.
But you won’t see these digits. You log in the same way you unlock your phone (e.g., entering a PIN or scanning your fingerprint). Your phone verifies with CuteKittySocks.com that you have the right key and, meow, you’re in!
Okay, but what if…
… someone steals your phone? They’d still need to complete the challenge, meaning they’d need to know your PIN or have possession of your finger.
Meanwhile, your keys are backed up on the cloud, so you can store them on multiple devices in the event one is lost or damaged, or transfer them to new ones. Other benefits:
FIDO protects against phishing attempts, per Apple.
You won’t even have to use a password during initial sign-up, perThe Verge.
However, there are still hurdles. Not everyone has a smartphone or device new enough to adopt passwordless logins.
And one survey found that while 85% of respondents wanted to use fewer passwords, 72% believed others would stick with passwords because it’s familiar.
Fun fact: A recent survey by digital safety platform Aura found 39% of US pet owners have used their pet’s name in a password — 48% of whom have also posted their pet’s name online.
Elon Musk presented a pitch deck with his plans for Twitter. Goals include: 5x’ing revenue by 2028, cutting the company’s reliance on ads by 50%, and generating $15m from a payments business.
New crypto unit: Google’s cloud team formed a new Web3 group offering services to developers building on the blockchain.
Gaming partnership: Microsoft partnered with Epic Games to offer Fortnite for free through Xbox Cloud Gaming, its gaming streaming service.
Buyer wanted: Peloton is seeking a buyer for a 20% stake amid recent struggles. The connected fitness pioneer, whose co-founder John Foley stepped down as CEO in February, has seen its stock drop ~55% in 2022.
Crypto is for the girls: The crypto industry’s gender gap is troubling, but innovation to fix the problem is underway. The Hustle rounded up the crypto orgs diversifying the space, and spoke with female founders blazing the trail.
Shopify bought Deliverr, an ecommerce fulfillment and storage company, for ~$2.1B to complement its warehouse hubs and expand next-day and 2-day delivery for its merchants. #ecommerce-retail
General Motors CEO Mary Barrasaid GM will sell more EVs than any other manufacturer in the US by mid-decade, focusing on affordable models. #clean-energy
The US Forest Service will use drones to combat wildfires. One type spots new fires, while another starts fires near existing wildfires to deprive them of fuel. #emerging-tech
The SEC accused Nvidia of failing to disclose to investors how crypto mining increased demand for its graphics cards, typically used for gaming. Now, Nvidia will pay a $5.5m settlement. #fintech-crypto
Spotify is ditching Stations, an app it began piloting in 2018 that allows users to listen to personalized playlists but not pick specific tracks… Kind of like the radio. #big-tech
Backing out of Russia is costing oil companies billions
For some corporations, leaving Russia isn’t easy — take McDonald’s, which is losing $50m/mo. by shutting down its Russian restaurants.
But oil companies are making Mickey D’s losses look like child’s play: 4 of petroleum’s biggest players have lost a collective~$38B by shutting down Russian operations, per WSJ.
Among the group…
… BP was hit the hardest, taking a $25.5B accounting charge in Q1. Shell, TotalEnergies, and Exxon have each taken multi-billion dollar charges of their own.
But it’s not all doom and gloom in the world of petrol.
With the US national average for a gallon of regular gas up ~46% YoY, those same oil companies are swimming in cash.
Case in point: BP’s stock is up 5% since taking the loss.
The 3-decade evolution of web design
Everyone’s mouthing about Web3, but don’t forget to look back every so often to remember exemplary sh*t of the past.
85-hours of meetings? Yup. (Source: Tim Garcha / Getty)
Digits: TikTok meetings, babies, and more
1) The Wall Street Journal detailed the work experiences of some former US TikTok employees who claim to have averaged 85 hours of meetings per week. The Chinese company has 1.5k US employees and plans to hire ~8.5k more.
2) A new study tracking 305,422 trademarksfrom 1976-2014 found companies that filed with a higher “trademark intensity” — the trademark count as a percentage of total assets — performed 5.2% better on the stock market than those with low scores.
3) The US unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year-old workers was 10.2% in April. That’s way down from the sky-high 31.9% rate in April 2020, and not far off from the 68-year low of 9.6% in May 2021.
4) Q1 2022 saw more money spent on lobbying than ever — $1B+, up from <$929m last year. Meta and Amazon were the 7th and 8th highest spenders at $5.4m and $5.3m+, respectively.
5) Googoogaga. In the week ending April 24, a study across 11k+ US stores found 40% of baby formula products were out of stock, up from 31% on April 3 and way up from 11% in November.
AROUND THE WEB
🤱 On this day: In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson announced the 1st national Mother’s Day as the 2nd Sunday of May, though other states had already been celebrating it.
🌳 Useful: A glossary of common terms in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) space, including ESG investing, which “seeks positive returns and long-term positive impacts on society, the environment, and the performance of the business.”
🐆 That’s interesting: Miguel Ordeñana discovered P-22, a mountain lion famous for crossing LA’s freeways. Now, he advocates for connecting habitats to save wildlife.
⭐ That’s cool:This map replaces the name of each city with the resident people search for on Wikipedia the most. Results may include people who were born in, lived in, or are otherwise connected to a place.
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