☕️ Pwned

What is vrimp?
October 07, 2021 View Online | Sign Up

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Jamie Wilde, Matty Merritt, Neal Freyman














*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 6:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: After a steep drop in the morning, stocks staged a halftime comeback, mostly thanks to...
  • Economy: A resolution to the debt ceiling standoff? Democrats look like they're going to accept an offer from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that will allow them to suspend the debt limit until December, avoiding what would have been an economic crisis.
  • Nation: A federal judge temporarily blocked a Texas law that banned virtually all abortions in the state, granting an emergency request from Biden's DOJ. Texas will likely challenge the ruling.

Markets Sponsored by Fidelity Investments
Discover what you need to know about SPACs today in the latest episode of Fresh Invest, our podcast with Fidelity. Listen now.


Twitch Gets Pwned by Anonymous Hacker

The Twitch logo as a broken lock leaking purple fluid

Francis Scialabba

A hacker poured out a Big Gulp of Twitch's data yesterday, uploading 125 GB of stolen secrets from the streaming platform to the anonymous imageboard site 4chan. The leaked data includes...

1) All of the platform's source code, including the changes made to the code dating back to Twitch's 2011 launch.

2) The deets on a rumored competitor to Steam, a popular online game store. Apple, Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft all run lucrative gaming stores, and apparently, Amazon (which owns Twitch) is feeling FOMO. It's been flailing around the gaming space for about a decade, but launched its first hit video game, New World, last week.

3) Records of how much creators have been paid for streaming on Twitch since August 2019...and it's a fair amount:

  • 81 streamers have earned $1+ million since August 2019.
  • Critical Role, a group of voice actors who stream themselves playing Dungeons & Dragons, was the top earner at nearly $10 million.

Why go after Twitch?

The hacker wrote that they want to "foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space" because Twitch's community "is a disgusting toxic cesspool." Notably, they included #DoBetterTwitch in their post on 4chan, a hashtag that was popularized earlier this year by gamers boycotting Twitch over "hate raids"—when users band together to barrage a channel with insults.

Zoom out: The video game industry has been put on blast this year for fostering toxic behavior and hate speech. Gaming giant Activision Blizzard was sued in July for its "pervasive 'frat boy' culture" and mistreatment of female employees.

Looking ahead...the hacker ominously labeled this "part one" of "an extremely poggers leak."—JW



One Full Gas Tank or a New House: You Decide

A gallon of gas in the US cost $3.22 on average yesterday, according to the AAA—that's the most expensive price since at least October 2014.

  • Pour one out for Mono County, CA, where motorists are paying more than $5 a gallon.

Big picture: Gas prices are rising in lockstep with oil. US crude oil prices hit their highest level in seven years after OPEC+, a powerful group of oil producing nations, decided not to drastically increase production despite calls from the US to ramp it up.

Sticker shock at the pump is getting so...shocking that the US is considering the nuclear option: releasing oil from the strategic petroleum reserve to add new supply to the market. Located near the Gulf of Mexico, this reserve is the world's largest emergency stockpile of crude oil, storing 617.8 million barrels last week, per the FT.

Bottom line: Energy markets everywhere are going haywire. Gas prices in Europe skyrocketed nearly 40% earlier in the day, but closed lower after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia could provide more gas to Europe to avert a crisis.—NF



Great (Non-Covid) Vaccine News

Spikevax isn't the only vaccine name you need to learn. Mosquirix, the first vaccine to prevent malaria, was endorsed by the WHO yesterday. The four-dose vaccine, combined with other preventative methods like bed nets, could save as many as 23,000 children from dying every year. And as the NYT pointed out, it's also the first vaccine to ever be developed against a parasitic disease, period.

Pedro Alonso, the director of the WHO's global malaria program, said that the vaccine is a historic breakthrough in the fight against an infectious disease that kills 400,000+ people every year, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. More than half of those are children under the age of five.

  • The malaria parasite is especially dangerous because even if it doesn't kill its host, it can weaken the host's immune system, creating even more health problems down the line.

Looking ahead...the vaccine has to be approved by Gavi, the global vaccine alliance. And, with Covid still at the forefront of health officials' minds, it could take years to become widely available.—MM



No Tricks, More Treats


Trick-or-treaters don't have to be the only ones getting free goodies. When you browse life insurance policies with Policygenius, you can compare quotes from over a dozen top insurers, for free.

If the idea of shopping for life insurance just gave you your first jumpscare of spooky season, know Policygenius makes comparing quotes simple and fast. You could save $1,300 or more per year on life insurance by using Policygenius to compare policies.

To properly provide for their families, most people need 10x the life insurance coverage they get through an employer. Don't be spooked by that stat, though. With Policygenius, you could save 50% or more on life insurance simply by comparing quotes to find the best rate for you.

PS: Eligible applicants could get covered in as little as a week. Get your free quotes from Policygenius here.


Key Performance Indicators

Squid Game still

Squid Game, Netflix

Stat: 26 words of Korean origin were added to the Oxford English Dictionary in September, including bulgogi, K-drama, and banchan. It shows that "we are all riding the crest of the Korean wave," per the OED.

Quote: "I do worry that as companies get to be more successful, the number of attacks from press, politicians, and trolls on CEOs (and rounds of congressional testimony) makes the job not fun, and they leave from burn out."

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, who has been in his fair share of tussles with regulators, wrote in a Twitter thread that overbearing scrutiny could lead to a brain drain of executive talent.

Read: Art often draws inspiration from life—but what happens when it's your life? (NYT Magazine)



Vrimp Cocktail, Anyone?

Scene from Forrest Gump

Rohan Iruthayaraj

Nestlé, hungry for a taste of the fast-growing vegan market, is launching plant-based substitutes for eggs and shrimp. The shrimp substitute, called "vrimp," is made from a combo of seaweed, peas, and elephant yam roots to give it a shrimp-like flavor and texture.

  • Vrimp and the soy-based egg alternative, known as vEGGie (come on, just call it seggs you cowards), will be introduced in select European markets.

Alt-foods aren't new. With almost one-in-four people worldwide trying to limit their consumption of animal products, there are a bajillion startups trying to build vrimp empires.

Nestlé is reportedly eyeing some acquisition targets, but it's spending most of its resources trying to conquer the plant-based space on its own. And it has a lot of resources—Nestlé is the largest food company in the world.

Bottom line: Don't be in the prawn place at the wrong time.—MM



  • GM plans to double its revenue to $280 billion/year by 2030 as it pivots to electric vehicles and new software products. It's coming for you, Elon.
  • Los Angeles approved one of the country's strictest vaccine mandates for indoor areas.
  • Morning Brew original: The spicy water wars being fought in California's Cuyama Valley.
  • 480 Otis, a 25-year-old grizzly bear, secured his fourth Fat Bear Week title.



Cozy, from top to bottom. For socks, shirts, underwear, and slippers designed with comfort in mind, Bombas has you covered. And just in time for fall, they've got clothes made from Merino Wool—which is as breathable as it is ultra-soft. Don't forget: For every purchase made, Bombas donates a similar item of the same kind to a homeless shelter in the US. Check out their colorful selection here.


So dull: Round up your coworkers and see who can watch the most boring video ever made for the longest period of time without collapsing out of sheer ennui.

A newsletter for people people: HR Brew is off and running with a successful first week. If you work in the people profession and want to boost your understanding of this fast-changing industry, sign up here to start getting newsletters next week.


The Puzzle Section

Brew Mini: As our puzzle creator Mary Tobler says, there are no small crosswords, only small grids. Play the puzzle here.

Three Headlines and a Lie

Three of these news headlines are real and one is faker than a Bachelor in Paradise relationship. Can you guess the odd one out?

  1. Lord of the Rings orc was modeled after Harvey Weinstein, Elijah Wood reveals
  2. Clint Eastwood wins $6.1M CBD lawsuit, calls losers 'scammers'
  3. Pop star Olivia Rodrigo's arm has actually been broken for the last two years. Here's why she refuses to get it fixed.
  4. Photographer, social media star Matt Mathews: Opossum taken by the state was his 'baby'


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Olivia Rodrigo's arm is in great condition as far as we know.



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Written by Neal Freyman, Matty Merritt, and Jamie Wilde

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