🗞️Zoom’s new rival: Apple

Major news site were all down...

Hello! The popular Walt Disney character Donald Duck made his debut in a cartoon short 87 years ago today. Do you know that it actually has a middle name? 😮 His full name is Donald Fauntleroy Duck. 

Morning Wrap your day:

  1. Behind the 40% jump: new hope for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
  2. Apple will become Zoom’s new rival.
  3. Major news sites were all down.
  4. What you need to know about covid: a dangerous variant; shorter quarantine?


Wall Street: US job openings rose in April to a fresh record high. S&P 500 ended little changed near record. Biotech stocks slid after Monday’s rally. Investors' focus remains on Thursday’s report on US consumer prices.

European stocks hit new highs boosted by travel and real estate shares. But German stocks fell as its industrial output fell unexpectedly in April. Doubts over Britain lifting restrictions later this month also capped gains.

Asia: China stocks fell on Tuesday, as consumer and liquor firms dropped sharply on concerns of lofty valuation. Analysts said liquor stocks would face a big correction going forward. Hong Kong ended flat as energy losses offset property gains.


Behind the 40% jump

Source: iStock, Morning Wrap

On Monday, Biogen’s new drug won approval from the US drug regulator, pushing its stock 40% higher, Nasdaq 0.5% higher… and bringing new hope to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

In simple words, what happened?

Alzheimer's is a neurological disease (usually in the elderly) that could gradually erode patients’ memory, thinking, and speaking ability. As of today, scientists are still unsure about the cause of this disease… so Alzheimer’s is incurable. 😥

  • Aducanumab - Biogen’s new drug - is the first medication approved in the past 20 years. 

But the approval is controversial as the drug only has incomplete evidence to show its efficacy. It was still approved for use because the regulator thinks “benefits > risks”.

  • As an approval condition, the drug needs to conduct further human-body trials to prove its effectiveness... or the regulator has the right to revoke its approval.

This could be something big 🤔

Reuters described Monday as a “big day” for Alzheimer’s patients. Look at the two numbers and we can know why. 

  • 30 mln people globally are suffering from Alzheimer's, and the number is expected to double by 2050.
  • USD 56,000 per year - this is how much the drug is priced. Do a simple calculation… that’s a multi-bln market.

+ In addition to Biogen: its Japanese partner Eisai also jumped 20% - its one-day limit on Tuesday following the approval.


News sites were down

Source: PCMag Australia, Morning Wrap

When we opened news websites 14 hours ago, we found something horrible - major news sites were all down...from Bloomberg, FT to NYT. Websites of Reddit and even UK government were also inaccessible. 😱

I also noticed! Another cyberattack?

Arrr...not really. It’s because the services from the content-delivery network Fastly went down.

  • Fastly? What’s that? In short, it’s a big tech firm that helps major websites to distribute content and host users. It placed its cloud infrastructure - sets of servers - in dozens of locations, and users can download from the closest server.
  • That’s why when its service went down, a lot of popular websites were also down. 

Though Fastly fixed the problem in around 1 hour and those popular websites also came back online, will this incident highlight the danger of high reliance? 🤔

+ Funny things happened in this incident

Major news sites were all down, so some managed to find an alternative - Google Docs. The tech site The Verge used Google Docs to publish its news, but it forgot to turn off editing = everyone can be an editor @verge. 

See people’s amusing edits and replies here if you’re also interested. 🤣


Apple to go Zoom

Source: Macworld UK

It’s Apple time! The tech giant concluded its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on Monday, with a series of exciting updates. 🍎

If you’re expecting a new phone/laptop, this may disappoint you as the WWDC primarily focuses on software updates

Here’s a wrap on the new functions

#1 Go Zoom: Facetime will be equipped with Zoom-like functions, including meeting links, screen sharing, better call quality to compete against Zoom in the video software market.

  • No longer Apple-exclusive: In a larger scale, Facetime will be compatible with Android and Windows devices.

#2 Beef up privacy protection: Apple will soon block pixel tracking and hide users’ IP addresses while browsing in Safari. It will also add a VPN-like feature for iCloud subscribers. Privacy is the key 🧐

#3 Seamless collaboration: Mouses and keyboards could be shared between iPad and Mac, and even between two Macs. No switch is needed… and the mouse can move from one to another. 🤩

Wow…when will these come to us? 

The Beta version will be pushed to developers for testing as soon as this month, while the official version will be made to us in the coming fall together with new devices.

  • Investors think? Share price barely moved on Monday, but some Apple bull projects that Apple could turn into a USD 3 tln giant next year.

+ Do you know where is Monterey? It’s a city on California’s central coast. The new Mac system will be named macOS Monterey.


A dangerous variant

Here’s a few updates that you need to know about covid. 

#1 A dangerous variant

Delta variant, the one that drives India’s devastating Covid-19 second wave, is the most infectious to emerge so far. What’s worse, hearing loss, severe gastric upsets, and blood clots leading to gangrene show the variant may also be more severe.

It's not just India…😨

  • The strain is also now dominant in England and Scotland. Early evidence shows it has higher risks of hospitalization.
  • It’s also emerging as Singapore’s major local virus strain. The city got 449 cases from variants of concern; 428 are delta.

But there isn’t just bad news.

#2 Shorter quarantine? I’m so jealous

Canada plans to ease the quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers. Travelers entering Canada would need to be tested + quarantined for a shorter period. 😍

We should see its detailed plan within days.


What’s Moving in the Business World?

📉 It isn’t beyond government control. Bitcoin slid 11% to below USD 32,000 on security concerns - US seized and recovered most of bitcoin ransom paid to hacker group DarkSide that targeted Colonial Pipeline. (more)

🚗 Tesla’s back on track? Tesla’s China shipments jumped 29% in May after April’s slump, when the company was troubled by quality complaints, bad publicity, and a production halt. (more)

☁️ Rushing for data centers? Amazon looks to pour USD 3 bln into new data centers in Spain (more); Alibaba also announced similar plans across Asia, including the Philippines and Indonesia (more). 

💸 Wolf of Wall Street also involved. Its producer was named in the 1MDB suit over his alleged misuse of public assets. Yes, the scandal that involves Goldman Sachs, JPM, DB etc. (more

👨‍⚖️ EU threatens UK: EU warned to intensify the retaliation against UK if it continues to postpone the bilateral trade deal on Northern Ireland. (more)


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