Tech elites are making moves out of San Francisco as they rethink the area’s costs, political climate, and safety

Hello everyone! Welcome to this weekly roundup of Business Insider stories from co-Editor in Chief Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.

Read on for more on the future of Silicon Valley, a private-equity titan’s relationship with a Texas investor embroiled in a political scandal, and the rise and fall of the world’s oldest advertising agency.

map: Samantha Lee/Business Insider

© Samantha Lee/Business Insider
Samantha Lee/Business Insider



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Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of shoes and clothes retailer Zappos, has died at age 46 following injuries sustained in a fire. 

Hsieh (pronounced shay) retired from Zappos in August after 20 years with the company, staying on long after he sold the company to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009. He was widely known for his efforts to regenerate the downtown Las Vegas area, and for his commitment to holacracy, a manager-free operating structure. 

Zappos’ current CEO,

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The Latest: Biden Urges Americans to Forgo Big Thanksgiving | Political News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):

A big Biden family Thanksgiving is off the table for President-elect Joe Biden because of the pandemic.

In remarks billed as a Thanksgiving address to the nation, the Democrat urged Americans to “hang on” and not “surrender to the fatigue” after months of coping with the virus.

He noted that public health officials have asked Americans to give up many of the traditions that make Thanksgiving special, like big indoor family get-togethers.

Biden said he knows how hard it is to give up family traditions but that it’s very important this year given the spike in virus cases, averaging about 160,000 a day.

He urged everyone to wear masks, practice social distancing and limit the size of groups, calling it a “patriotic duty” until a vaccine is approved.

President Donald Trump uttered one falsehood after another as he

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The Technology 202: Snap’s response to TikTok could create familiar political headaches

“Snapchatters are some of the most expressive and creative mobile storytellers in the world and Spotlight gives them an opportunity to share their creations broadly,” the company said in a news release yesterday. “With over 4 billion Snaps created each day, Spotlight empowers the Snapchat community to express themselves and reach a large audience in a new way.”

Snap intends to seed its new feature by essentially launching a virtual talent search; it will offer a daily pool of more than $1 million to be paid out to makers of the most popular submissions until at least the end of the year. That could give it a competitive edge over TikTok, which has surged in popularity during the pandemic, and Instagram, which also recently launched a similar in-app feature called Reels. 

Yet expanding the ability of user-generated content to go viral could open up Snap to familiar political headaches. 


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EU leaders fail to solve political fight blocking big budget

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders made no progress Thursday toward resolving a dispute to unlock a 1.8 trillion-euro ($2.1 trillion) budget and pandemic recovery package which is held up by Poland’s and Hungary’s rejection of a linkage between rule of law standards and budget disbursements.

Instead, they were happy to hand the work over to veteran powerbroker Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and likely push it toward another summit next month, only weeks before the new 7-year budget is to come into force on Jan. 1.

Merkel said plenty of work was left to reconcile the veto-wielding recalcitrant couple with the rest of the bloc which is eager to start spending its way out of the worst economic downturn in the bloc’s history.

“We have a duty to try and find a way,” Merkel said, but added that even though time was pressing, “we are still very much at

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Political battles persist as tech industry ponders what’s coming in the Biden administration

With the presidential election of 2020 presumably decided in favor of President-elect Joe Biden, what does the political future hold for the tech industry?

That was the focus of Lincoln Reboot 2020, a three-day virtual event ending today that was organized by the Lincoln Network, a right-leaning political organization that brings together technologists, government officials and policy organizations in an open forum.

Issues such as content moderation by social media firms, cybersecurity, 5G deployment and defense funding occupied much of the conference discussion, but there was also an underlying question about how much influence the technology industry will actually wield.

That question was openly raised on Monday as speculation grew over a traditional meeting between technology leaders and the president-elect, such as the gathering that occurred in a small New York conference room during December of 2016 with a newly elected Donald J. Trump. In attendance four years ago were

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Online daters are getting more political, OkCupid report finds


Daters are increasingly concerned with politics.


An increasing number of online daters say they can’t put politics aside when it comes to looking for love. 

New data out Monday from OkCupid shows that 69% of respondents in the US said they’d prefer their date to share their political beliefs. That’s up from 61% last year.

“We’ve always been told never talk politics on a first date, never talk religion, never talk money, and that’s just not the case anymore,” said Michael Kaye, global communications and public relations manager at OkCupid, noting that politics and voting questions have become the most popular category of questions on the platform, having been answered more than 105 million times, far outpacing other categories from astrology to travel.

To get all

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Game ‘pre-bunks’ political misinformation by letting players undermine democracy — ScienceDaily

A short online game in which players are recruited as a “Chief Disinformation Officer,” using tactics such as trolling to sabotage elections in a peaceful town, has been shown to reduce susceptibility to political misinformation in its users.

The free-to-play Harmony Square is released to the public today, along with a study on its effectiveness published in the Harvard Misinformation Review.

It has been created by University of Cambridge psychologists with support from the US Department of State’s Global Engagement Center and Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

The gameplay is based on “inoculation theory”: that exposing people to a weak “dose” of common techniques used to spread fake news allows them to better identify and disregard misinformation when they encounter it in future.

In this case, by understanding how to incite political division in the game using everything from bots and conspiracies to fake

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VWO: Strong Outlook For Emerging Markets Due To Low Valuations And Political Risk. (NYSEARCA:VWO)


Emerging Markets have been subpar investments since the early 2000s. Year after year, their currencies have declined against the U.S. dollar due to high external borrowing, difficulties competing with China for exports, and generally high inflation with low economic growth. As you can see below, the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO) has underperformed the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA) by about 30% over the past decade:

ChartData by YCharts

Looking at the lower chart, we can see that the bulk of this underperformance occurred during the 2012-2016 timeframe. During this time, Europe saw a considerable recovery while the price of commodities collapsed. This harmed many EM countries since most depend on commodity exports.

However, there is a sign of hope. This year, emerging markets have actually outperformed developed markets (excluding the U.S.) by about 10%. Of course, both are down on the year, but this is a

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Decades Ago, One Political Scientist Rejected Political Polling as Faulty and Futile. Maybe the World Should Have Listened.

Every era enshrines its prophets. Politics today has whiz kids like Nate Silver, Nate Cohn, Harry Enten and Dave Wasserman, who have achieved varying degrees of cultural celebrity by telling us what to expect come Election Day—even when, as happened once again this week, their vision proves cloudy (or worse). In 1948 there was no greater prophet than George Gallup, whose face graced the cover of Time magazine in May of that year. The accompanying profile called him “the Babe Ruth of the polling profession.”

a man sitting on a table

© Byron Rollins/AP Photo

Gallup’s name had by then become synonymous with a wide-ranging new effort by survey-takers and statisticians who were striving to know, with scientific precision, the very nature of American mind, including which presidents the public meant to elect. Gallup had rocketed to fame in 1936 by confidently declaring that the Literary Digest—at the time the gold standard of polls, which

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R.I. political status quo upended as House Speaker trails at the polls

“That is a game changer,” Providence College political science Professor Adam Myers said. “We are in a new era of Rhode Island state government.”

While progressives have been making inroads in recent elections, the House and Senate have been led by Mattiello and Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio, both Democrats with “A” ratings from the NRA who voted against abortion rights legislation last year.

“It’s most likely going to lead to an increase in progressive social legislation coming out of the State House,” Myers aid. “And I think, increasingly, the House will start to resemble a legislative chamber like we see in a lot of blue states.”

Amid the pandemic, the state is facing enormous budget deficits, hoping for further federal aid while bracing for potential spending cuts, job reductions, or tax increases.

So a loss by Mattiello would have major implications for looming state budget and taxation decisions, Myers

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