Digits: Boomers, Mario, Lemon8, and more news numbers

Plus: New York’s unpaid fines and the IRS’s improved wait times.

1) Tech ain’t just for kids. Americans aged 50+ are spending more on tech than ever before — an average of $912 last year, compared to $394 in 2019. A WSJ reporter embedded in a Pennsylvania retirement community found ample chatter about health wearables (owned by only 28% of older Americans, per AARP), home assistants (used by ~60% of AARP members), and password protection (only 37% of people 55+ use a password manager, per an Age of Majority poll).

Digits: Boomers, Mario, Lemon8, and more news numbers

2) ByteDance is doing the thing again. The controversial TikTok maker has another hit with Lemon8, now up to 16m global downloads. The lifestyle app, described as a Pinterest/TikTok hybrid, had a quiet US launch in February, but picked up speed in March with a reported ~4.25m US users. You may point to TikTok’s #lemon8 hashtag accruing 2.4B views as one reason for the growth and… yeah, we would, too.

3) New York City’s budget office found the total amount of unpaid fines for parking violations, speeding, running red lights, and unauthorized use of bus lanes there totaled $1.02B between 2017 and 2022. Normally, a chunk o’ change like that would raise our eyebrows, but this is New York drivers we’re talking about.

4) The IRS recently unveiled a game plan for its $80B in long-term funding, which includes improvements in tech, auditing, and making people who attempt to reach the agency on the phone a lot less pissed off. After a recent hiring push, the IRS is now answering 80%-90% of calls, up from 17% in 2022, and wait times are down to four minutes on average, down from 27 last year.

5) Illumination and Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie goomba-stomped multiple records over the weekend, scoring the biggest opening ever for an animated film — $377m worldwide — plus the biggest debut ever for a video game adaptation and the top opening of 2023. Mamma mia, that’s a lot of gold coins.

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Topics: Digits

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