Weird week: Bing’s big bungle, a cringey celebration, and a historic rat problem

If you ever need an excuse to brush up on Annie Lennox facts, here you go.

We learned that Apple rejected Bing in part because it whiffed on an Annie Lennox factoid. Buried in newly released court documents from the blockbuster Google v. USA antitrust case was this gem: In 2018, Apple was weighing a deal with Microsoft that’d make Bing the default search engine on Safari. But during an evaluation of Bing’s search quality, Apple exec John Giannandrea typed in “Annie Lennox first band” and Bing brought up Eurythmics —while the actual, correct answer is The Tourists. It wasn’t the only reason Apple passed, but Giannandrea documented the Lennox flub at a key point in the deliberations: “This worries me a lot.”

A collage against a pink background: a human hand and a robot hand appear to be arm wrestling, singer Annie Lennox, and two rats are depicted atop a Family Dollar retail location.

Klarna taught everyone a valuable lesson about inside thoughts. The Swedish buy-now, pay-later company is understandably proud of its AI assistant, which handled 2.3m customer service interactions over its first month, and scored high customer satisfaction marks in the process. That’s great. But Klarna’s press release proudly hailing that “it is doing the equivalent work of 700 full-time agents” was viewed by many as tacky, especially considering the firm laid off ~700 people in an unrelated 2022 reorg. We all know AI is replacing gobs of human jobs, but that’s a fact that maybe doesn’t need to be celebrated out loud, you know?

Family Dollar made history in the worst possible way. Look, this is a gross story about a rodent infestation of a stunning scale, so let’s focus on the nicest part we can find: employees at the American discount chain and federal employees are going to spend a lot of quality time together. Family Dollar will pay $42m, the largest-ever penalty in a US food safety case, and be subject to three years of government monitoring at its Arkansas warehouse, which… uh, let’s put it this way: its inspection report included the line “~1.1k rodent carcasses were removed from your facility” — and there were still another ~10k words worth of violations beyond that.

Get the 5-minute news brief keeping 2.5M+ innovators in the loop. Always free. 100% fresh. No bullsh*t.