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The Hustle

Surgeons in Sri Lanka removed a record 5.26-inch-long, 1.76-pound kidney stone. Or, in our preferred terms, one-tenth as tall as Danny DeVito and one-third as heavy as the average Chihuahua. The patient is fine — physically, at least.

In today’s email:

  • PC games on Mac: Are we any closer to ending Apple’s gaming nightmare?
  • Pixar: The box office struggles continue.
  • We’ve got a hunch: One harsh vision of remote work’s future.
  • Around the Web: Space yeast, Jaws makes history, goats get some air, and more.

👇 Listen: Pixar hasn’t been Incredible at filling theaters for a while now.

podcast media player
The Big Idea
gaming on a Mac

Mac made a big change for gamers

Whoopi Goldberg was ready to level up in “Diablo IV,” only to learn that, unlike previous “Diablo” releases, it wasn’t playable on a Mac.

“Diablo” maker Blizzard Entertainment merged with Activision in 2008. Now, Microsoft is trying to acquire Activision Blizzard — so perhaps it makes sense that it’d cut off a rival operating system.

But Mac users know that numerous video games are simply incompatible.

The problem…

… is market share. Though modern Macs can handle games, Macs weren’t designed for gaming.

So, studios didn’t often develop for them, and avid computer gamers chose Windows thanks to its wider library of compatible titles.

  • In January 2023, Statista found that ~96% of Steam players gaming on desktops and laptops use Windows.

So, studios aren’t incentivized to spend time and money developing for macOS. The inverse is true for mobile games, where iOS reigns supreme.

There have been some workarounds…

… such as cloud gaming services like Amazon Luna, which require fast internet, and compatibility layers — software interfaces that allow programs designed for one environment to run on another, such as a Windows game on macOS or Linux.

Wine is one such compatibility layer for gaming, but it’s hit or miss.

Until now?

At this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, when not talking about Apple Vision Pro, Apple announced a new operating system — macOS Sonoma.

It comes with the new Game Porting Toolkit: a patch to Wine that supports DirectX 12, the graphics API Windows 11 uses, per Inverse.

The TL;DR is that this has allowed some users (you need an Apple developer account to access it now) to play massive newer games, like — yes, Whoopi — “Diablo IV,” with relative, though not perfect, smoothness.


… studios could use the toolkit to make macOS versions of existing games.

But that could mean selling them via Apple’s store, where it takes a big ol’ commission — Epic Games vs. Apple, anyone?

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eyeball wearing a hat

Okay, then: Reddit CEO Steve Huffman suggested mods’ protests over its API changes went against users’ wishes, so three large subredddits held a user poll… which is why r/pics, r/gifs, and r/aww are back online — with only posts featuring “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver.


More Reddit drama: Reddit messaged mods of the 4k+ still-closed subreddits suggesting it could replace them with new mods.

Meanwhile, hackers are threatening to leak 80 gigabytes of stolen data unless Reddit stops its API changes and gives them $4.5m.

Today in AI: The Recording Academy ruled that Grammy Awards can only go to human songwriters — though they may use AI voices or instrumentation.

That’s a lot: Canadian Twitch streamer Félix Lengyel, AKA xQc, signed a two-year deal worth ~$100m with rival platform Kick — an amount that rivals LeBron James’ deal with the LA Lakers.

Interesting choice: Toyota is developing a manual transmission EV. It wouldn’t actually do anything, but people who are adamant about driving a stick might have fun?

Internet for all: The Biden admin announced $930m in grants to improve rural internet access, including the deployment of 12k+ miles of fiber-optic cable in 35 states and Puerto Rico.

Big moves: Intel is planning to invest $33B on two semiconductor facilities in Germany; $4.6B on a plant in Poland; and $25B on a factory in Israel.

AI for content creation: Here are the best ways to integrate AI into your workflow and save time on chore-like tasks. Automate abundantly.


Employees are more effective when they feel safe and supported in the office — but that’s not always the case. Here’s how to create psychological safety in the workplace.

Pixar box office earnings
Olivia Heller

Pixar’s box office mojo is out of its element

The stakes were high for Elemental, Pixar’s 27th feature film, made on a $200m+ budget.

But if you’d taken a look at the TikTok consumer sentiment index — known more widely as the comments section — the outcome here might’ve seemed pretty obvious.

Top comments on Elemental’s recent TikTok ads, viewed by millions, include negative reactions like:

  • “The Disney magic is fading away.”
  • “Can’t wait to not watch this.”
  • “It’ll probably make, like, $20 at the box office. $21, if they’re lucky.”

By that measure, Pixar won the lottery this weekend — but by other measures, Elemental failed to build chemistry with audiences, opening to $29.5m at the box office, below analysts’ modest expectations.

Fizzling out

While other recent animated films, like Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Minions: The Rise of Gru, have posted record results — $1.33B and $939.6m worldwide, respectively — Pixar has struggled to heat up.

Elemental’s opening was Pixar’s second-lowest ever, after Toy Story’s $29.1m in 1995… until you adjust for inflation. Today, Toy Story’s opening would be worth ~$57.6m, 98% more than Elemental’s.

The studio hoped Elemental would be a rebound after Lightyear’s box office disappointment, and a momentary high note after Pixar laid off 75 people in May amid Disney’s wider cuts.

The good news: Across the industry, things are looking up for theaters. Per CNBC, this past weekend, movies grossed more at the domestic box office than during the same weekend in 2019, pre-pandemic.

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Free Resource

Decoding color theory for better branding

This is for you. We don’t need it, since we have Malary, one of the greatest graphic designing minds in the game.

In this 10-minute tutorial, Tory explains:

For the record, the web doesn’t need any more comfort-blue, kumbaya buzzkills — unless you’re, like, a marine mammal conservation group.

Be like Malary. Beam up something vibrant.

Charm with color →
A Rough Rough Draft
Anna remote worker

Is Anna actually what the future of remote work looks like?

Bet you didn’t expect a field trip to 2100 today, but that’s where we’ve gotta travel to meet Anna — who, by the way, you probably don’t want to meet.

The “future of remote working,” Anna is a new 3D model from the turn of the next century, designed to show the health impacts of working at home. She’s something of a tragic figure:

  • Anna’s super hunchbacked: Her poor working posture threw her spine off balance. Her physique’s also strained by weight gain, wrecked skin, and swollen limbs.
  • She’s got clawed hands: Too much device time has permanently curled her fingers. Look grotesque? Just imagine how it feels — cramping and muscle aches galore.
  • Anna’s basically a racoon in the eye region: Her eyes are dark, red, and swollen from too much time spent squinting at devices.
  • Her insides also hurt: Anna’s isolated lifestyle fuels poor mental health; she’s rife with anxiety and depression.

Damn, Anna. If only you gave up the remote dream and found a suitable office job.

Ah, but here’s the thing…

This whole thing was produced by Furniture At Work, a UK furniture supplier with a significant stake in people returning to the office; they outfit businesses, government offices, health care facilities, and schools.

Sure, Anna isn’t without some basis — Furniture At Work did pool scientific research and consult with health experts. And there are surely legitimate health concerns about the long-term impacts of our modern way of life.

But we’re dubious about putting too much stock into this cautionary tale. And we much prefer to put all of our chips into Furniture At Work’s other pioneering research — into the UK’s most “pawfessional” employee.

P.S. Want to know more about Anna? Tough. Furniture At Work’s blog post about her is no longer available, perhaps due to online ridicule that piled up over the weekend.

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🦈 On this day: In 1975, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws debuted in theaters, becoming the top-grossing film in history, until being unseated by Star Wars in 1977.

⚒️ That’s cool: A short documentary about Blair Somerville, an artist who makes automata from found objects.

🍞 That’s interesting: You can make yeast in space with a few ingredients, including… astronaut breath?

👀 Video: My First Million’s Sam and Shaan on why 8k+ subreddits went offline. Plus: Discover the Turpentine network of business and technology podcasts, and how Shaan invested his post-acquisition cash.

🐐 Aww: And now, a goat tree.


If you don’t see anything at all, well, that’s between you and your optometrist. (Link)


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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett Rylah.
Editing by: Ben “Oy story” Berkley.

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