1. Jack Ma Supports Overtime Work
Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, posted a lengthy rant in support of China’s culture of extreme overtime work. Chinese tech companies are famous for a “996” culture, where sleep-deprived employees slave away from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., 6 days a week. “I personally think that 996 is a huge blessing,” Ma said. He added that the real 996 is not overtime work. He believes everyone has the right to choose, but those who don’t conform “won’t taste the happiness and rewards of hard work.” Overworked Chinese employees finally put their foot down in March by launching 996.ICU, a Github campaign to raise awareness about unhealthy working conditions and to call out companies that are imposing them. Is 966 effective? Research shows that never-ending workweeks aren’t the most productive. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, worker output begins to drop once workers clock more than 48 hours per week.
2. Pepsi’s Billboard in Space
In partnership with space-advertising startup StartRocket, PepsiCo briefly transformed the starry night sky into a bright billboard for its new energy drink, Adrenaline Rush, using a network of tiny satellites. Russian startup StartRocket has designed a system that will use tiny, reflective satellites as space-pixels to project images in the night sky for 8 hours at a time for $20K. As popup artist Andy Warhol once said: “The most beautiful thing in Tokyo is McDonald’s.” “Space has to be beautiful,” reads StartRocket’s website. “With the best brands, our sky will amaze us every night.” Lots of people, including scientists, disagree. They warn that adding satellites into low orbit increases the risk of dangerous collisions with the growing amount of space junk floating around overhead. Will Pepsi’s plan take off? The event was only an exploratory test, and Pepsi claims it will be the last. “This was a one-time event; we have no further plans to test or commercially use this technology at this time,” a Pepsi spokesperson told Gizmodo. Looks like space will stay spacious… for now.
3. Game of Thrones Glitches
The eighth and final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” debuted Sunday night (no plot spoilers here, don’t worry) and there were hiccups. As CNET reports, DirecTV Now accidentally gave people access to the episode a few hours early. Other fans had the opposite problem. Reuters, citing Downdetector.com, writes that some HBO GO users had issues watching the show. Which viewers were affected? The problems reportedly affected some viewers in the U.S. and Latin America as fans swarmed the service to watch. “HBO GO YOU HAVE HAD TWO SOLID YEARS TO FIGURE THIS OUT,” one fan tweeted.