Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Recession Worries, Robocalls Tool & Explaining Esports

All the news you need in less than 10 min:

Today's episode is brought to you by Blinkist.

Story Summaries

All the news stories mentioned in today's episode are listed with links below, so you can spend as much -- or as little -- time as you want perusing the latest happenings...

Recession Worries: The Dow fell around 800 points Wednesday, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq also slipped. It likely has to do with the government bond market. Returns on short-term U.S. bonds were actually better than long-term ones (usually it's the other way around). This kind of flip-flop has happened before every recession in the last 50 years, including the 2008 financial crisis. But some believe this warning might not be as reliable as it was before, while others hope the Federal Reserve cuts the short-term interest rates.
Read more: WSJ, Washington Post, CNN, AP

Philadelphia Shoot-Out: At least six police officers were shot during an hours long stand-off in Philadelphia last night. Police showed up to a call because of drug activity of some sort. At least one person began shooting, firing what sounded like 100 shots with an assault-style weapon. The SWAT team eventually rescued two police officers and three others from inside the house and took the suspect in custody. The injured officers have reportedly been released from the hospital and should be okay.
Read more: FOX News, CNN

Epstein Investigation: The investigation into accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide indicates the two guards who were supposed to be keeping an eye on Epstein the night he died fell asleep and didn’t check on him for three hours. They're accused of lying about it in a report to cover it up. Both guards are now suspended, and the warden of the prison has been reassigned. Epstein’s victims were worried they wouldn’t get justice, so one is now suing Epstein’s estate, friend and three others, saying they helped run and keep the sex trafficking ring quiet.
Read more: NYT, NPR, CNN

TB Treatment Approved: The FDA just approved a new treatment for extreme cases of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis. It’s the third new TB drug to be approved in nearly 50 years. For-profit drug companies have mostly stopped making these types of new medicines, since the process is costly and the drugs won’t make much money for the company. So, this new treatment was created by a non-profit and should be available by the end of the year.
Read more: Reuters, Washington Post

Black Hole Lights Up: The black hole at the center of our galaxy lit up twice as bright as ever before, and scientists don’t know why. Sagittarius A is the closest black hole to Earth and is about four million times bigger than the sun. Scientists were using a very large telescope to observe the black hole earlier this year when they saw the “unprecedented” flash of light. It could have been caused by another star or gas cloud passing by. Scientists don’t think it’s anything to worry about, but they’re keeping an eye on it in the hopes of figuring out what happened.
Read more: CBS News, USA Today

Amazon Facial Recognition: Amazon’s facial recognition software just got an upgrade. It can now identify more emotions when it scans your face and may be able to tell if someone is scared, happy, sad, angry or confused. It’s also supposed to be able to better identify gender and age. Facial recognition tech has faced a lot of criticism, especially because some police departments use Amazon’s software. Civil rights groups say it’s used without people’s permission and can further gender and racial biases. Amazon says the update is improving those problems.
Read more: Engadget, CNET, NBC News

WeWork IPO: WeWork is going public. The shared workspace company plans to raise at least $1 billion. This could be the second-largest offering of the year behind Uber, but it’s not all good news for the company. WeWork has dealt with some big losses. Still, the company plans to open co-working spaces in an additional 169 locations to reach more than 250 million people across hundreds of cities.
Read more: TechCrunch

Robocalls Tool: AT&T and T-Mobile want to work together to fight robocalls. The two companies are rolling out a system that works across both networks in an effort to fight fraud. So, if you're a T-Mobile customer and get a call from an AT&T number, it'll tell you if it's real or fake. It won’t actually block calls, but it'll help you avoid scams. It’s available now on some T-Mobile and AT&T phones.
Read more: CNET, Engagdet

Jay-Z and NFL: The National Football League signed a multiyear deal with Roc Nation, which is rapper Jay-Z’s entertainment company. His company will be the NFL’s live music entertainment strategist and will help with picking artists for major NFL performances, like the Super Bowl. He’ll work with the league’s Inspire Change initiative, which helps create positive change by donating to criminal justice reform, employment and educational opportunities. Jay-Z previously turned down performing at the Super Bowl, and other stars followed suit because they weren’t happy with how the NFL treated players over protests before games.
Read more: NYT, WSJ, NFL

Thing To Know Thursday

The State of Esports

Read more: The Washington Post

Today’s guest: Joey Gawrysiak

Dr. Joey Gawrysiak (Dr. Joey G) is the Director of Esports and an Associate professor of Esports and Sport Management at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. He earned his Ph.D. in Sport Management and Policy from the University of Georgia in 2012. Dr. Joey G has been a co-host for the Press Start radio show for the past 5 years. He has made the international esports rounds, with appearances on podcasts, radio shows, and has presented at several gaming and sport management events. Gawrysiak has written several articles on esports and is in the process of creating a chapter for the first dedicated esports textbook. He founded the esports competitive program at Shenandoah University and wrote the curriculum for one of the first esports majors in the country.