💦😎  The Water Coolest: Home is where the Pod is
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Stripe will no longer accept bitcoin payments
Your (fake) money's no good here

Payment processor, Stripe has decided it will no longer accept bitcoin payments. The company hopped on the bitcoin train 4 years ago and has been struggling to integrate the currency into its payment platform ever since. But with more turmoil than an episode of 16 and Pregnant, bitcoin has become a little too risky for Stripe's appetite.
Transactions can take some time to process, and purchasing goods at fixed prices with a currency that can be worth +/-10% in 3 to 5 business days just doesn’t make sense. This coupled with exorbitant transaction fees has turned vendors off to the once novel idea.

You don't know Jack

This announcement has to sting a little bit for one of Stripe's biggest competitors, Square. Jack Dorsey's company announced in late 2017 that they would begin testing the option to buy and sell bitcoin on their platform.
Ian's Water Cooler Talking Point"Talk about purchase price parity! Seriously talk about it, I know it’s an Econ 101 term but class was on Friday mornings at 9 AM …"

Apple announces launch date for HomePod smart speaker
Home is where the Pod is 

After announcing their creation in a way that only Apple can (i.e. a self-promotional TED Talk held in a massive Silicon Valley theater), there’s finally a release date for the HomePod smart speaker originally unveiled in September. Preorders for the device will begin on January 26th, and the speakers will ship on February 9th. The speakers will run you $349, so start saving those bitcoins.

The high price of the speaker is proof that Apple wants no part of the Google/Amazon controlled “cheap speaker” market. HomePods are being presented as comparable to Sonos' products, thus taking Siri out of direct competition with Alexa and whatever the Google guy/gal’s name is.

HomePods were initially supposed to launch in December, but Apple offered no explanation for the delay. Industry sources believe it had to do with a tweak to how the software/hardware interact with one another. 
AJ's Water Cooler Talking Point"I think the only way to solve this battle for virtual assistant supremacy is to put Alexa, Siri, Google, and IBM’s Watson in a cage and let them duke it out. Now that’s something I’d buy a ticket for."

Elon Musk gets a pay cut
C.R.E.A.M (Cash Rules Everything Around Musk)

Elon Musk is reinventing what it means to live "paycheck to paycheck." The prudish billionaire won't collect a dime from Tesla until the company reaches lofty milestones. Should the $60B car company reach a $650B market cap in the next 10 years, Musk could be eyeing a $55.8B payout. His incentives will trigger at different levels starting at $100B in market cap and increasing in $50B intervals.

As part of the deal Elon will need to stay on as CEO or head of product. This should help the attention deficient founder keep his eye on the prize of reaching the likes of Toyota ($208B market cap) while juggling SpaceX, The Boring Company, OpenAI and Tesla-owned Solar City. And you thought your calendar was booked.

Tyler's Water Cooler Talking Point"So what could go wrong? Quite frankly, A LOT. A plan only tied to outlandish stock growth metrics can incentivize less than-desirable growth mechanisms (at best) and some shady sh*t *cough* Wells Fargo *cough* (at worst). Plus I can't help but feel that this comes across as a pretty big bet on one, fallible human being. Two words: Travis Kalanick."

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Siri recites the news now
Are you Siri-ous?

As is tradition, Apple product launches are typically accompanied by a dreaded iOS update. You know, that push notification you ignore until your phone literally starts to smoke. And the release of the HomePod is no different.

The launch of the Alexa competitor means Apple is stealing some (read: all) pages out of Google and Amazon's playbooks. Most notably (for this business news publication, at least), the addition of sports, business and music news briefings to Siri's repertoire. That's right, the HomePod is giving Siri new life. She can recite the latest headlines directly from NPR, CNN, Fox News and more ... and she won't even shamelessly request your email address.

With the update your Siri enabled phone will essentially become a HomePod Mini, thus saving you $349 and the embarrassment of standing in line at the Apple store to overpay for an Amazon Echo knockoff. You're welcome. 

Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse grammatical and spelling errors.

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