The Daily Valet. - 3/14/24, Thursday

Thursday, March 14th Edition
Cory Ohlendorf  
By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor
How do you know if you just want to be rich or if you really have "money dysmorphia"?

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Today’s Big Story

What Happens Next With TikTok?


The bill to ban it passed in the House, but its fate in the Senate is uncertain. Meanwhile, creators are pissed.


The drama continues. The House on Wednesday passed the much-discussed bill that would lead to a nationwide ban of TikTok if its China-based owner doesn’t sell its stake. The Associated Press reports that lawmakers said they were acting on concerns that the company’s current ownership structure is a national security threat. The bill, passed by a vote of 352-65, now goes to the Senate, where its prospects are unclear.

Sen. John Cornyn, of Texas, told NBC News he was calling for an open amendment process in the Senate to make changes to the House legislation. “I think it’s more than likely that we will take up their bill and amend it and say we’ve come up with some areas where we think it needs improvement.” He added that the Senate won't act as quickly as the House did.

And now, small-business owners, educators, activists and young people who use TikTok were scrambling to get their voices heard, with many arguing that it plays an increasingly crucial role in the national economy and American public life. And you can’t argue with that, when more than 170 million Americans now have the app on their phones. Dozens of TikTok supporters gathered outside the Capitol on Wednesday to oppose the measure with signs and chants.

A Pew Research survey released last month found that 52% of U.S. adults ages 18 to 34 reported using TikTok regularly. And in an apparent acknowledgement of the app's power with young people, the Biden campaign created a TikTok account last month. Axios reports that some Democrats are warning that legislation leading to a ban risks intensifying their party's problems with young voters heading into the 2024 election.

But Biden did say last week he would sign the bill if Congress passed it. But even if he does, it would not result in an immediate ban. TikTok’s owner ByteDance will have six months to find someone to buy the app. If they find a buyer that satisfies the U.S government within that time period, the ban will never take effect. And if they don’t find an acceptable buyer and a ban was imminent, TikTok could pursue the ultimate American recourse: a lawsuit to challenge the ban.

The Washington Post reports on how other countries around the world have also taken steps to ban or restrict TikTok.

Do You Have ‘Money Dysmorphia’?


Nearly half of young adults have it, which makes it tough to know where you stand financially

The comparison game is especially difficult to avoid playing these days. We’ve never had more insights into what other people are doing—and more importantly, buying. Does it seem like everyone can afford an Insta-worthy Joshua Tree A-frame cabin weekend escape or cross-country flight to see Taylor Swift in concert? Kinda.

And it’s taking its toll, even for successful, established adults: Per a recent Intuit Credit Karma survey, nearly half (45%) of Gen Zers and millennials are obsessed with the idea of being rich. Worse yet, that idea feels perennially out of reach. Forty-eight percent of Gen Zers told Intuit Credit Karma they feel behind financially; and 59% of millennials said the same. Say hello to “money dysmorphia”: a phenomenon that occurs when someone has a distorted or insecure view of their financial standing no matter what it truly is, leading them to make poor monetary decisions.

Experts tell CNBC that people want to feel wealthy, but that feeling of being well off is increasingly elusive—almost regardless of how much money you have. In a recent study, Bloomberg asked more than 1,000 people making at least $175,000 a year about their finances and 25% described themself as “very poor”, “poor“ or “getting by but things are tight”. But beyond concerns about never being rich, 95% of Americans with money dysmorphia say it negatively impacts their finances. Of those, 40% say money dysmorphia has held them back from building savings or led them to overspend (38%) and take on more debt (32%). Another third say it’s held them back from saving for a home and paying down debt.

The idea of "keeping up with the Joneses" isn't new and has been around since the Great Depression.


Vanish Online and Protect Yourself

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Coming Soon: OpenAI’s Sora


The buzzed-about AI video generator will be publicly available later this year

OpenAI’s Sora, the startup’s hyperrealistic AI video generator, is “definitely” going to be released in 2024, according to Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati in an interview with the Wall Street Journal Wednesday. In fact, she said that it could just “be a few months.”

OpenAI first showed off Sora, which is capable of generating hyperrealistic scenes based on a text prompt, in February. The company only made the tool available for visual artists, designers and filmmakers to start, but that didn’t stop some Sora-generated videos from making their way onto platforms like X. Of course, this makes a lot of people rightfully nervous. But the new public version will have some built-in protections so that audiences know it’s not real video footage. Sora will follow the same prompt policies as Dall-E, meaning it’ll refuse to create “images of public figures” such as the President of the United States. Watermarks are going to be added too.

But nude videos are not off the table, according to Murati, who says OpenAI is working with “creators” to determine the next steps. According to Gizmodo, AI-generated videos as realistic as Sora could revolutionize the adult video business (which is currently a $97 billion industry).

Dig Deeper:
Forbes reports on Hollywood's Sora freakout and why it won't be as bad as they think.

Dyson Introduces a Powerful Robovac


Apparently, it has twice the suction of the competition, but that power will cost you

You might’ve noticed one brand glaringly absent from the current crop of robotic vacuums, Dyson. The company has dabbled in them, but most models weren’t available in the U.S. and none really took off. But now they’re ready to make a push and clean your house while you’re off doing other things.

The new model, dubbed the Dyson 360 Vis Nav, has just landed in the States and will officially go on sale next week on the 19th. But reviews are already posting online and most testers are very pleased. And the tech is pretty impressive. Developed by an engineering team that is based across all of Dyson’s campuses, the 360 Vis Nav features a unique “Simultaneous Localization and Mapping technology” that utilizes a 360-degree fish-eye lens vision system to see where to clean and create dust maps off your home.

Unlike most robovacs, the Vis Nav has a D-shape, with a square head that holds “the biggest, fluffiest, plushest robot vacuum brush I’ve ever touched,” writes Jennifer Touhy of The Verge. “A side-actuator brush uses the bot’s suction to drink up the dirt from baseboards instead of relying on a sweeper brush, like most bots.” Two things reviewers didn’t like? First, there’s no self-emptying dock. But the company says this is more of a sustainability push. A Dyson design manager told Consumer Reports self-emptying stations require bags that need to be kept in stock at home. “These can be bad for the environment and add maintenance costs.” And then the price: It costs a whopping $1,199. Considering there are plenty of other robotic vacuums on the market that come equipped with additional features—mopping features—for comparable prices, it’s a bit steep (even for a Dyson).

The first vacuum cleaner sold under the Dyson name was the DA001, launched in May 1993.


Robocalls & Scams Got You Down?


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What We’re Buying


An affordable suit


J.Crew is hosting a suiting sale, offering up to 30% off their popular and well-made jackets, trousers and accessories. Buy now and be ready for the coming wedding season.

Get It:
Crosby Italian wool suit, $498 / $349.50 by J.Crew

Morning Motto

Give it a try.


Thinking > Talking > Doing.




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