I want a free vacation, buds. I’m Diamond Naga Siu, and I’m excited about a bunch of compensated travel opportunities coming up. Taiwan is paying tourists’ expenses. A northern region of Italy is paying people to visit.
And now, Finland — recently named the world’s happiest country — is covering all travel and accommodation expenses for ten lucky visitors. The all-expenses-paid trip comes with a “Masterclass of Happiness,” which will take place over four days at a luxury retreat in the country’s Lake District.
Before I prepare a TikTok proving that I “may secretly be a Finn” — per their application guidelines — let’s dive into today’s tech.
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1. The US is losing tech workers to other countries. Its immigration system could be a ticking time bomb for tech, considered by some to be nightmarish and outdated. And the layoffs sweeping the industry demonstrated how vulnerable visa-holding workers are. Many needed to find a new job in 60 days or risk deportation.
- Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Singapore — the list of countries making moves to win over immigrants is pretty long. And so, many tech workers are opting to move and work there instead of the US.
- America’s loss, however, is other countries’ gain. Jobs are moving away already. Plus, many of these countries are making their immigration systems easier for tech workers. So the US needs to move fast or it risks falling behind.
- My teammates Emilia David and Paayal Zaveri break down how the US is on the brink of losing an entire generation of tech workers.
Dive into America’s loss — and other countries’ gain — here.
In other news:
2. YouTube subscriber counts are just vanity metrics now. The metric was previously a strong success indicator. But YouTube Shorts — the Google-owned platform’s answer to TikTok — seems to have watered down the stat’s importance. More on the transformation here.
3. Bill Gates publishes an AI manifesto: “The Age of AI has Begun.” The Microsoft founder has a lot of thoughts about the buzzy tech. He thinks it’ll act like a “digital personal assistant” and will enhance employee productivity. Check out his other predictions here.
4. The 26 startups transforming real estate. The industry is floundering as the housing market cools. Investors told Insider the startups to keep an eye on, including ones capturing wind energy, selling home building kits, and offering tool rentals. Get the full list of companies to watch here.
5. Google’s leaked engineering plan. Urs Hölzle, the company’s engineering head, is focusing the department on efficiency, per a leaked email. Multiple Googlers are interpreting it as a warning signal for more layoffs. See the full five-point plan here and what it means.
6. Microsoft should throw billions at Apple, says former Google exec. He said Microsoft should do as much as it can to get its search engine Bing as the default for iPhones and iPads. Google currently pays $15 billion for that privilege. More on the search gauntlet here.
7. Gen Z and Boomers love the same cars. Vehicle registration data revealed the most popular cars among each age group. And it showed that Boomers and Gen Z both love many of the same cars, including the Toyota RAV4. Check out every generation’s favorite car here.
8. The SEC sued Tron founder Justin Sun in a lawsuit involving Tronix and BitTorrent crypto tokens. It also charged eight celebrities with promoting the tokens without disclosing they were paid, including the actress Lindsay Lohan, YouTuber Jake Paul, and singer Akon. Read more.
Odds and ends:
9. Solar winds will hit Earth by the end of this week. The sun has a massive hole in it, which is blasting rapid solar winds toward the planet. The winds will cause stunning auroras on Earth. More on the high-speed situation here.
10. Scoring $50 off the AirPods Pro 2 is a no-brainer. Insider’s senior commerce director Brendan Griffiths refuses to buy an iPhone. But if Apple’s top tier earbuds are $50 off, he won’t resist the “unstoppable” deal. Check out his argument for the best earbuds he’s ever owned.
What we’re watching today:
- TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew is speaking in Congress today. The topic is “TikTok: How Congress Can Safeguard American Data Privacy and Protect Children from Online Harms.”
- The Start Summit in St. Gallen, Switzerland begins today. It’s a student-run startup conference with leaders from SpaceX, Blackrock, Duolingo, and other major companies speaking.
Curated by Diamond Naga Siu in Los Angeles. (Feedback or tips? Email [email protected] or tweet @diamondnagasiu) Edited by Matt Weinberger (tweet @gamoid) in San Francisco and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.