Surging #bitcoin, new #Nokia phones, #Uniqlo effect

Good morning, Quartz readers!


A Snap IPO test run. Traders will send sample orders to the New York Stock Exchange Saturday in an effort to test the system for bugs and glitches. The NYSE is hoping to avoid another WTF moment like Facebook’s chaotic IPO in 2012.

Indonesia’s president visits Sydney. Joko Widodo will meet with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday, Widodo’s first visit since being elected in 2014. US president Donald Trump’s criticism of Australia may help ease some longstanding tensions between the two countries as they seek to strengthen regional ties.

Nokia shows off new phones. The Finnish company will livestreamthe unveiling of new Android smartphones from the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona on Sunday. Consumers are alsoanticipating a revamp of the iconic and “indestructible” Nokia 3310.


Rex Tillerson had a tense time in Mexico. The visit by US secretary of state and Homeland Security chief John Kelly was meant to smooth relations between the two countries. Instead, it highlighted the tension (paywall) between them.

Bitcoin hit an all-time high. It rose 3.1% to $1,164.10 as investors speculated the Trump administration would relax rules governing digital currencies, and reacted to the general uncertainty created by new US president. Another factor: an upcoming decision on the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust. If approved, the exchange-traded fund could lure more investors to bitcoin.

Alphabet sued Uber and its autonomous-trucking subsidiary Otto. Google’s parent said over 14,000 confidential files, including key Lidar designs, were stolen from its self-driving car unit, Waymo, and used to fast-track Uber’s self-driving technology. Lidar uses light pulses reflected off objects to gauge their position on the road.

Malaysian police said Kim Jong-nam was killed by VX nerve agent. The widely banned substance is classified as a chemical weapon, with a fraction of a drop being enough to fatally disrupt the nervous system. The estranged brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was killed on Feb. 13 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.


Akshat Rathi imagines life on seven newly discovered exoplanets. “We don’t know if any of Trappist-1’s planets have moons, but they likely don’t need them for the view. On the third rock from the dim star, the second rock would look twice the size our moon looks to Earthlings and the remaining planets could line up to create a view that even science-fiction authors haven’t imagined.”Read more here.


Trump’s war on the press is strategic. Branding critics as dishonest is the same technique that won him the election.

Being shy is actually an advantage. Shyness allows for the kind of inventive thinking and creativity that eludes extroverts.

Uniqlo killed Japanese street style. Tokyo’s famous Harajuku fashion has been co-opted and commercialized by corporations, celebrities, and attention-seekers.


Snail venom is an opioid alternative. One compound in crown snails’ poisonous venom can block nerve pain for patients undergoing cancer treatment.

The US deports so many people it has its own airline service.ICE Air Operations has flown hundreds of thousands of immigrantssince 2006.

Lucille Ball’s mom is featured on the laugh track for Frasier.Her signature chuckle can also be heard on The Beverly Hillbillies.

There’s a code of ethics for photo retouchers. The five-part oathencourages the promotion of healthy body image.

New Jersey replaced its bail system with an algorithm. It mathematically assesses the risks of defendants fleeing or committing violent crimes before trial.

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