The Hustle

🫘 Beans should be jumping

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Dreading mosquito season? Researchers in Virginia suggest paying extra attention to your soap: Some brands seemingly make humans even more bite-worthy, while others — coconut-scented ones, in particular — act as repellents. We just hope their poor, itchy test subjects were paid well.

In today’s email:

  • Drones: Up, up, and away with your odd jobs
  • Love don’t cost a thing? Not so, says our survey
  • Beans: Why Americans eat less of the magical fruit
  • Around the Web: An odd disappearance, the “mother of franchising,” a new way to Minesweep, and more internet finds
THE BIG IDEA

Wanna be a scarecrow when you grow up? Sorry, drones are taking that job

As AI draws more headlines, drones remain a hotbed of automation innovation.
2023-05-18T00:00:00Z
Ben Berkley

AI may occupy a lot of space in our heads these days, but it can’t occupy our airspace — yet.

That domain belongs to another job-yoinking form of automation: drones.

Coming for scarecrows’ jobs…

… are drones that look like big birds, designed to scare off smaller birds.

The Drone Bird Company built a fleet of drones resembling birds of prey, hoping their lifelike robo-hawks can help bird-tormented professionals — like farmers and airport managers — keep avian pests away from crops and airplane engines.

  • A German blueberry farmer who tested the drone birds saw crop loss decrease from ~50% to 5%.

These “birds” may soon become hawkish in yet another way; the Dutch startup suggests military espionage as a possible application.

It’s not just scarecrows losing opportunities to drones

Ad-towing pilots could soon be unemployed if Sustainable Skylines’ drones take over the sky-advertising business as planned.

There’s an environmental bent here — the Miami-based startup says its drones would reduce the banner-tugging industry’s carbon footprint by 90% — but this isn’t simply a feel-good story about the ozone; it’s a big business play in an aerial ad market estimated to be worth $8.5B by 2027.

Sustainable Skylines will analyze its drones’ routes alongside cellphone data, solving a current pain point for sky-marketers — clarity on how many eyes might’ve seen their banners.

Pilots, naturally, aren’t thrilled about losing a reliable way to accrue flight hours and score ~$50/hour.

Hey, drones replacing jobs isn’t all bad

The Indian government is testing drones for blood bag delivery, trying to improve timely delivery of lifesaving blood cells, plasma, and platelets to remote areas.

TRENDING

Lost in the sauce: Kraft Heinz’s new Heinz Remix condiment dispenser features 200+ custom combos a la Coke’s Freestyle. Those lucky enough to visit a restaurant with one can mix base sauces like ketchup, ranch, 57 sauce, or BBQ with “enhancers” like smoky chipotle or mango.

SNIPPETS

TodAI in AI: Cybersecurity experts are raising alarms about “fleeceware,” apps that start ChatGPT-curious users off with free trials, then stick them with recurring charges. One such app generated $700k+ in revenue last month.

Elizabeth Holmes will finally test a cell after losing her bid to avoid prison time. The disgraced Theranos boss will soon start her 11-year sentence, during which she can figure out how to pay fraud victims $452m in court-ordered restitution.

Uber announced several features first rolling out in select cities. They include reserving rides with a car seat, adding teens to family accounts, and booking with a phone call, sans app.

NYC’s guaranteed income pilot, The Bridge Project, will become permanent. Mothers in parts of the city and Rochester are eligible for $1k/month for 18 months, then $500/month for 18 months.

At tech site CNET, ~100 workers are unionizing amid layoffs and increased AI use among management.

Meanwhile, dancers at LA’s Star Garden Topless Dive Bar are set to become the first and only unionized strippers in the US after a 15-month battle with ownership over better pay and security.

Wow: “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” sold a staggering 10m copies in three days, now Nintendo of America’s fastest-selling game. Its predecessor, 2017’s “Breath of the Wild,” has sold 30m.

Sony’s PlayStation Showcase on May 24 will highlight new PS5 and PS VR2 games. Expected announcements include “Spider-Man 2” and a forthcoming The Last of Us multiplayer game.

Jeepers creepers: Chrysler’s recall of 132k+ vehicles feels extra ominous — owners are warned to park Jeep Cherokees “outside and away from structures and other vehicles” due to fire risk.

FROM THE BLOG

AI is about to change everything. Don’t get left behind: We put together an exhaustive list of AI thought leadership, tools, and content you can use to stay ahead of the curve.

VIDEO

From the pod: In our groundbreaking survey of, uh, well, you, we laid bare the economics of dating during high inflation.

Turns out, finding love has become an extravagant affair, with broad pricing trends that’ll make your heart skip a beat.

How much are people spending on dates? Where do they go? And how has inflation impacted their dating lives? Check out this brief YouTube clip of Mark and Zack discussing their findings.

Swipe right on watching the video →
Free Resource

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Graphics can’t fall flat — that’s a yellow flag for anyone with awareness.

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A pack of pretty YouTube assets:

  • 5 customizable banner templates
  • 5 customizable thumbnail templates
  • 7 video description templates
  • 1 road map and strategy template

Things you need to leave a lasting first impression.

Spruce up your YouTube →
God Save the Beans

Cool beans? Not in America

The world loves beans — but not Americans, despite the fact that they’re cheap and nutritious.
2023-05-18T00:00:00Z
Sara Friedman

Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you… likely don’t live in the US?

That rhyme isn’t as catchy as the original, but the facts check out: Per Vox, Americans are majorly slacking in their bean consumption compared to other parts of the world.

Annually, the average person eats:

  • 110-130 pounds of beans in countries like Rwanda and Burundi
  • 12 pounds of beans in the UK
  • 7.5 pounds of beans in the US

America’s lackluster legume consumption is confusing given the many benefits of beans: They’re protein-rich, cheaper than plant-based meat, and efficient to grow. Plus, they pack a punch:

  • Raising livestock (like cattle, pigs, and chickens) uses 77% of the world’s agricultural land but provides only 37% of the global protein supply.
  • Growing plants, like beans, uses only 23% of the world’s land but produces 63% of its protein supply.

So what’s the problem?

Beans might need to fire their PR person. While they were cleared off the shelves by terrified pandemic shoppers in 2020, in calm times beans are often forgotten in the depths of American pantries.

And growing them got complicated: In the 1980s, changes to intellectual property laws meant large companies like Bayer and Monsanto could patent seeds — and sue farmers who plant them (even by accident).

The good news: Groups like Beans is How and the Bean Deal are making sure beans get the recognition they deserve.

AROUND THE WEB

🕵️ On this day: In 1926, a wild scandal kicked off when popular evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappeared from LA’s Venice Beach — then turned up in Mexico with a dubious kidnapping tale.

😋 That’s cool: An online archive of condiment packets throughout history.

💡 That’s interesting: A thread about Martha Matilda Harper, the “mother of franchising.”

👻 Cure boredom: This fun take on “Minesweeper” pits you against monsters of different levels, versus explosives.

🐈‍⬛ Aww: And now, expert navigation.

Meme

“Sorry for the delayed response, I was busy pulling every last hair out of my head.” (Link)

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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen and Juliet Bennett RylahSara Friedman, .
Editing by: Ben “Bean counter” Berkley.

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