The Daily Valet. - 3/13/24, Wednesday

Wednesday, March 13th Edition
Cory Ohlendorf  
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
Are you more of a hotel person? Or an Airbnb person?

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Today’s Big Story

Dallas Seavey Wins 6th Iditarod Championship


But his victory was mired with controversy and calls for a shutdown after several dog deaths


I’ll be honest, I don’t think I knew that the Iditarod was still something that was going on. I think of the annual long-distance sled dog race—which is 938 miles long, from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska—as something from a different era. Like Jack London’s era. But it actually originated in 1973 and has been going on every March since.

On Tuesday, Dallas Seavey won the race. And his victory was a record—his sixth one—despite an eventful race that included a penalty for failing to properly gut a moose. Yeah, you read that correctly. Seavey was cruising in the race last week near Skwentna, Alaska, when his dog team became entangled with a moose. Sledders are permitted to carry firearms and Seavey used his to kill the moose. The ethics of the Iditarod require that when a large animal is killed during the competition, its meat must be taken and distributed. So the sledder involved in the accident must stop and gut the animal.

Unfortunately for him, Seavey was judged not to have done so adequately. As a result, he was assessed a two-hour penalty. Nonetheless, he overcame that setback to win the race. As he neared the finish line, he jumped off his sled and ran with his dogs, pumping his fists. After he reached the finish line, he hugged each dog on the team.

One of his dogs, Faloo, was critically injured in the moose encounter, but underwent two successful surgeries and was expected to survive. However, three other dogs from other mushers collapsed on the trail and eventually died. Both mushers withdrew from the race after the deaths, as required by race rules. The first canine casualties in the grueling sled dog race in five years quickly prompted several animal rights groups, including PETA, to call for an end to the endurance race altogether.

Traditionally, “mush” was a phrase used to order a team of dogs to start moving. It originated in France from the word “marche” which means to walk or move.

The Biden/Trump Rematch Is Confirmed


Both candidates officially lock down their party’s 2024 presidential nominations

It was inevitable. Expected. And here we are. The rematch between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden is now official. Both men have now secured the required delegates to be their respective party’s nominee in the 2024 presidential election.

According to the New York Times, Tuesday’s results cleared the way for a 2024 general election campaign that, at just under eight months, is set to be one of the longest in modern American history and will be the country’s first presidential rematch in nearly 70 years. Already, the candidates have shifted their focus away from the primaries. With the president facing no significant challengers, Biden’s campaign speeches emphasized not just his record but the danger he believes is posed by Trump’s return.

The nominations will be made official at party conventions this summer, but news traveled around the world late Tuesday. The Telegraph reports that while Biden is facing poor ratings in national opinion polls, with voters reporting that they think he is too old to serve again in the White House, Trump will have to rehabilitate his image with independents and “first navigate a series of criminal trials—some of which are scheduled to begin before polling day on November 5.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s short list of running mates include New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Minnesota governor and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura.

Reddit Is Ready to Go Public


Experts say the IPO’s success may hinge on the AI boom

The long-running dearth of IPOs could be coming to a close, partly due to Reddit’s upcoming public debut. Expected to list this month, Reddit saw its valuation soar during the pandemic. Now, the company is fighting to retain as much of its final private-market price in its public offering.

After a year of upheaval that gave it more control over what CEO Steve Huffman has called a “vast corpus” of valuable data that can be used to train AI, Reddit plans to list 22 million shares at a price between $31 and $34. According to the latest version of the IPO prospectus it filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company stands to take in between $473.6 million and $519.4 million from the sale of roughly 15.3 million shares.

Reuters is calling it one of the most anticipated stock market debuts of the last few years. But TechCrunch says that much of its success will hinge on the AI boom. “It turns out that the endless reams of text and memes that Reddit’s myriad users generate every day is digital gold for the forum giant—as long as AI companies need data to train their models, that is.” So far it’s working. Google recently cut a deal with Reddit worth a reported $60 million per year for real-time access to that data.

Want In?
The offering is only available to users who had established accounts as of January 1, 2024.

Airbnb Bans All Indoor Cameras


Outdoor security cameras will still be allowed in some cases

There are plenty of reasons to book an Airbnb. Of course, I can give you a few reasons why I don’t use them, but one isn’t fears of being filmed. But maybe it should be? Concerns over hosts using surveillance cameras to spy on their guests have cropped up in the news in recent years, to the point where a recent SNL sketch addressed the matter.

It’s eminently understandable—the idea of someone watching you when you think you have privacy ranges from annoying to chilling. This might explain why Airbnb just announced it’s bringing an end to indoor cameras, full stop. Apparently, before this change, the platform allowed owners to have cameras in common areas, such as living rooms, kitchens and hallways, as long as they were disclosed on the listing. Security cameras were not allowed in areas such as bedrooms or bathrooms.

It was not immediately clear why the company made the change, but headlines and internet forums have long been rife with reports of dirty vacation rental hosts accused of spying on guests with secret cameras hidden inside everything from clocks and smoke detectors to outlets. I’m not sure those will necessarily go away just because the official rules have been updated.

Airbnb can be found in every single country on Earth except for Iran, Sudan, Syria and North Korea.


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Morning Motto

Celebrate the little victories.


You are alive. Please enjoy!




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