Shipping shifts, Google’s Gemini AI


The shift of manufacturing out of China is shaking up shipping

Ho Chi Minh City and other Vietnamese ports are becoming increasingly vital to global shipping.
Photo: Kham (Reuters)

The global shipping industry is in a decidedly gloomy mood.

Shipping container rates have collapsed. Logistics executives foresee a freight recession dragging into 2024. Industry giant Maersk plans to cut at least 10,000 jobs as it struggles with falling profits and revenue amid overcapacity, rising costs, and lower prices. – Mary Hui Read More

Everything you need to know about Gemini, Google’s new generative AI model

Photo: Shannon Stapleton (Reuters)

Google just released Gemini, its new generative AI model. The tech giant, which calls Gemini the most capable and general-purpose AI it’s developed so far, said it plans to expand the advanced version of this large language model (LLM) next year. The LLM is multimodal, meaning it can understand different types of information, including text, audio, images, and video. – Michelle Cheng Read More

Disney is not responding well to its first Marvel Studios bomb in 15 years

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel in The Marvels
Image: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios is not reacting well, at all, to having its first real box office bomb in 15 years. After years of unprecedented success, including four of the 10 highest-grossing films of all time, the studio’s latest release, The Marvels, is on the opposite end of the spectrum. After about a month in release, the film has begun to taper off its box office run and will be, by far, the lowest-grossing movie in the entire franchise, failing to crack $100 million domestically and only flirting with $200 million worldwide. – Germain Lussier Read More

Even with Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines is no match for the big four US carriers

Alaska Airlines is flying a little higher than before.
Photo: Lindsey Wasson (Reuters)

Alaska Airlines, the fifth-largest carrier in the US, is buying Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion. The deal, which includes $900 million of the Hawaiian Airlines’ debt, “will unlock more destinations for consumers and expand choice of critical air service options and access throughout the Pacific region, Continental United States and globally,” the two 90-plus-year-old companies announced yesterday (Dec. 3). – Ananya Bhattacharya Read More

A disinformation scholar claims Meta is the reason her time at Harvard was cut short

Meta faces accusations of pulling the strings at Harvard Kennedy School.
Photo: Francis Mascarenhas (Reuters)

Harvard University’s Kennedy School stands accused of muzzling a researcher and then muddling the facts around her dismissal in a bid to appease Meta. – Ananya Bhattacharya Read More

McDonald’s plans to add 10,000 new locations by 2027

McDonald’s drive-thru in Beijing, China.
Image: Guang Niu (Getty Images)

McDonald’s plans to open nearly 10,000 more restaurants by 2027—the fastest expansion in the company’s history, the company announced Wednesday. Of its new restaurants, more than one third will be located in China. – Laura Bratton Read More

Spotify is ending 2023 with its third and biggest layoffs of the year

Spotify is seeking more productivity and efficiency with a leaner company.
Photo: Shannon Stapleton (Reuters)

Spotify will close 2023 with 2,300 fewer employees that it had at the start of the year.

The Swedish music streamer is letting go of 17% of its workforce, nixing just over 1,500 roles. CEO Daniel Ek gave staff the news today (Dec. 4), in a note that Spotify later shared on its blog. – Ananya Bhattacharya Read More

Banking adversaries Elizabeth Warren and Jamie Dimon have found common ground on crypto

Reprimanding crypto.
Photo: Evelyn Hockstein (Getty Images)

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and US senator Elizabeth Warren have sparred over financial regulation for more than a decade. But in a rare occurrence during a Senate Banking Committee hearing yesterday (Dec. 6), they adopted the same stance. Both want to see the US government get a lot tougher on crypto. – Ananya Bhattacharya Read More

Modi’s Hindu nationalist politics is working its charm with his target audience

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s BJP just stole two states from the opposition Congress party.
Photo: Adnan Abidi (Reuters)

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, who’s seeking a third term in the April-May 2024 national election, is gaining a stronger grip on the country each day. – Ananya Bhattacharya Read More

OpenAI has delayed its chatbot store to next year, following the Sam Altman drama

OpenAI, which now lets people build customized chatbots, is launching a store for them too.
Photo: Dado Ruvic (Reuters)

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks for OpenAI. Shaking off the recent uproar surrounding CEO Sam Altman, the ChatGPT maker has announced that its Apple-like store for customized AI bots, which it planned to launch in December, will be postponed until next year. – Michelle Cheng Read More


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