⏱A new epidemic in America
Record setting satellites, and Uber job loss
After SpaceX’s launch of its Transporter-1 flight yesterday, it officially set the record for the most satellites launched in a single mission. This trip also marked the first time SpaceX has employed a rideshare launch model in which they split up the payload of the rocket between a wide variety of customers. On Sunday’s mission specifically, they had 143 satellites, and 133 of those were from paying customers, allowing them to make a sustainable amount of profit on the launch.
With the tech industry facing extreme scrutiny in 2020, the companies turned to a tried and true method of avoiding problems — spending money on lobbying. This past year for only the second time, Amazon and Facebook topped the list of total lobbying expenses, spending a combined $38M and beating out the likes of Comcast, and Lockheed Martin. Facebook explained the bump in spending from last year by simply saying that they are “...voicing our support for new rules that address today’s realities online.”
Despite meal delivery being one of the strongest sectors for Uber during the pandemic, they announced yesterday that they had laid off 185 Postmate employees in an effort to streamline their operations. The 185 impacted employees include the CEO, Bastian Lehmann, along with most of the executive team. This move is inline with Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s goal to become profitable during 2021 by reducing extraneous costs.
US homeowners have slowed down the rate at which they’re resuming mortgage payments, a bad look for a metric that’s commonly cited as one of the best indicators of the economy returning to pre-pandemic levels. In June the rate was around 8.55%, and it was steadily decreasing until November, at which point the rate paused. Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at the home-finance startup Haus, indicated that this rate could actually go back up before it goes lower again, saying, “With the waning recovery, and more applications for unemployment claims, we’re likely going to see increased demand for forbearance.”
Ikea announced this past weekend that they had bought more than 11k acres of US forest to prevent it from being cut down. This move is an effort to stay true to their net zero carbon promise, and this area of forest will join the 616k acres they currently own as well.
Have a great rest of your day, and we’ll see you tomorrow bright and early!
-The 90 Second News Team
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