1) In July, the federal government is switching National Suicide Prevention Lifeline from a 10-digit number to a 3-digit one, 988. Calls are expected to increase as a result, so $282m will be spent to bolster network infrastructure, centralize text chats, improve Spanish-speaking capacity, and increase staffing.
2) The 7-ton, $10B James Webb Space Telescope, which successfully launched this past weekend, now faces “29 days of terror” where its scientists will nerve-wracklingly watch its instruments unfold and deploy.
3) WTF? One study found that from 2019 through November 2021, usage of swearwords like f—, sh*t, a-hole, and similar terms rose 41% on Facebook and 27% on Twitter. Along these lines, in the past 18 months, profanity-filtering software company CleanSpeak tripled its filter volume.
4) Retail back? Holiday sales jumped 11% vs. the pre-pandemic 2019 season (Nov. 1 through Dec. 24). These figures are particularly bullish considering Omicron fears and supply chain issues.
5) Amazon estimates 25% of US homes have at least one Alexa device. At the same time, internal data shows 15%-25% of new Alexa users are inactive by their 2nd week of owning a device.
Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox
Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less