Numlock News: April 12, 2023 • Logjams, F1, TripAdvisor
By Walt Hickey
EVE Online is an MMORPG video game set in an interstellar future with an intricate economy fueling massive fleets of warships in a constant ebb and flow of battle on behalf of factions and corporations and more. It’s also connected to real-life finances, as players use personal funds to juice up their ships and fleets, which in turn means that massive digital battles can have high, high costs in the real world. A player has claimed to pull off what, if it bears out, is one of the largest in-game heists ever, in which a player seized control of a 299-member corporation called the Event Horizon Expeditionaries of the Pandemic Horde alliance. The individual was transferred a significant sum of shares in the company, called a vote for a new CEO when nobody was paying attention, and 72 hours later with just two votes made out with the title and control of the board. They then transferred 130 billion ISK out and took control of 2.23 trillion ISK ($22,300) worth of assets.
The Federal Trade Commission has hit The Bountiful Company with its first-ever fine against a company for review hijacking on Amazon, which is where a company manipulates a product listing to make it seem like reviews of one of its products are in fact reviews of a different product. According to the FTC, Bountiful added fundamentally different products as merely different variations of top-selling established brands. Usually this is just used to list different sizes or colors of the same product, but according to the FTC the company took it much further. For instance, it added Immune 24 Hour + Softgels as a mere variation on its existing popular Vitamin C tablets, when in fact those are completely different substances, in addition to many other examples cited by the FTC. The company was fined $600,000.
Hawaii imports 85 percent of its food, but a recent agricultural push has stocked Hawaii’s markets with locally-grown mushrooms. In 2000, a local retiree started growing trumpet mushrooms in a warehouse on the Big Island, and the subsequent gastronomic success spawned not just imitators but a full-on scene. The number of local farms specializing in growing mushrooms grew from three in 2012 to nine in 2017, and as of 2021 there were 290,000 pounds of locally-grown mushrooms that were sold in Hawaii. That’s a $2.6 million crop for local farmers, which is particularly good for a state that sends most of its food money back to the mainland.
Tupperware stock crashed 50 percent on Monday, bringing the company’s stock performance down 94 percent compared to where it was this time last year. The company, which sells name-brand versions of the plastic food storage boxes that are now ubiquitous under who knows how many names, has indicated it may no longer be able to remain a going concern. Revenue for the company peaked in 2013 at north of $2.5 billion, but has since fallen substantially.
An analysis conducted by TripAdvisor on reviews submitted on their own platform found that 4.4 percent of the 1.3 million reviews were fake. The service managed to catch 72 percent of those fakes from actually making it onto the platform. Additionally, it caught another 24,521 bullshit reviews — just under 2 percent of submitted reviews — that were associated with paid review companies. This really explains some complicated stays I recently took with otherwise stellar reviews, including vacations at Amity Island, the Overlook Hotel, the Hotel California, downtown Gotham City, the Bates Motel, and Isla Nublar.
A new study tried to figure out just how much wood is locked up in logjams up in Canada. Fallen trees make their way into oceans by way of rivers and regularly stack up and get stuck, which incidentally makes for long-term carbon sequestration. One study looked at a large logjam that covers 51 square miles of the Mackenzie River Delta in Nunavut and estimated that the 13,000 square kilometers of logs studied store 3.4 million tons of carbon, or like the emissions of 2.5 million cars a year. The Mackenzie River Delta is the third-largest in the world and drains 20 percent of Canada’s water, and total sequestration in the delta is estimated to be 3 quadrillion grams of carbon.
Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive has been a smashing hit not just for Netflix — its most recent two seasons saw 28 million and 25.8 million hours watched in the first two weeks, respectively, and made the top 10 in over 40 countries — but also for the sport, which has seen viewership increase in the United States following the growth of interest in the series. Other sports followed suit, though it’s hardly a guarantee of success: Season one of Full Swing, a show based on golf, got just 17.1 million hours of viewership in its first week and made the top 10 shows in just 12 countries, while Break Point, about tennis, did not chart at all at the level.
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