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The latest news from Business Insider

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    park ranger shutdown

    • As the government shutdown goes on, some national park rangers are left wondering when they'll be able to return to work — and if they have the funds to support themselves in the interim.
    • Some rangers have taken on second jobs, while others are considering filing for unemployment.
    • Rangers say they love what they do, but the financial realities of being furloughed could force them to leave their careers behind.
    • We spoke to three rangers about how the shutdown is affecting them and the parks where they work.

    As the United States endures the third week of a government shutdown, some federal employees are left wondering whether the time has come to seek a new job. 

    In recent days, President Donald Trump has showed no sign of budging on his demands for a $5.7 billion border wall between the US and Mexico, which Democrats are determined to deny. At the end of last week, Trump suggested that the shutdown could last "months or even years."

    Read more: Disturbing photos show national parks and monuments overflowing with garbage as the US government shutdown continues

    If that happens, employees at national parks could be forced to leave their posts at a time when parks have been thrown into disarray. Days after the shutdown was announced, visitors uncovered bathrooms overflowing with human feces and trash spilling out of bins. 

    "There are piles of human sh-t everywhere," a Yosemite National Park ranger said in a Facebook post, according to Outside Magazine. "Gross, but so seriously true. Every roadside turnout has toilet paper and trash."

    Administrations during prior shutdowns have suspended all operations, including visitor access, at national parks. The Trump administration has opted to leave gates open to the public, with only certain federal employees around to provide emergency services.

    "It has kind of become a free-for-all," said John Tillison, a retired park ranger with two decades of experience in the state of Washington.

    The decision has led to a cascade of both partial and complete closures at some of the biggest parks across the country, including Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California.

    'I did not plan for this'

    Many park rangers are unsure when to expect their next paycheck, or whether they'll receive back pay for their time off. For those without savings, that could pose serious financial difficulties.

    Gary Stellpflug has been working as a park ranger at Acadia National Park since the 1970s. He's now deciding whether to file for unemployment. 

    Though he's been around for more than one government shutdown, Stellpflug was caught off guard by the latest news.

    "For the most part, I think folks were surprised," he said, speaking as a private citizen. "I did not plan for this."

    national parks shutdown

    Another National Park Service employee at a park in the Southwest, who wished to remain anonymous so she could speak frankly, said she'd "learned to be pretty detached" after witnessing multiple shutdowns.

    "I've been working for federal service for almost five years and I have an emergency savings account," she said. "One of those emergencies is a shutdown."

    The employee recalled the 2013 shutdown over the Affordable Care Act, which drove volunteers and interns at her park to leave after a week. When the park reopened after 17 days, many staffers were gone, she said. 

    The impact of the current shutdown is different since employees are allowed to stay in their onsite housing, but Tillison said minimum-wage and seasonal employees may have a tough time holding on.

    Stellpflug said he knows a few colleagues who have resorted to taking second jobs. While he has enough savings for now, those living paycheck to paycheck "are probably worried," he said. 

    "We were always told that we got paid in sunrises and sunsets,"said Tillison, who described a park ranger's salary as "modest at best."  

    Rangers are eager to return to work

    If there's one thing that furloughed park rangers tend to agreed on, it's their desire to get back to work. 

    "None of us took our jobs to get rich,"Sharon Stiteler, a park ranger at the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, wrote in an editorial for the Chicago Tribune. "We are public servants who love what we do. We are incredibly frustrated that we can't do a fair day's work for a fair day's pay."

    The park employee in the Southwest echoed this sentiment.

    "I really love my job and I would do everything I could to come back to it...but I've got to eat," she told Business Insider.

    If the latest shutdown lasts for several months, the employee said she would have to consider other ways of earning income. If she went looking for a job now, she said, she might not be able to accept it while on furlough. 

    "Everybody's really tired of riding the roller coaster," said Tillison. "There's a lot of frustration, and rightfully so."

    Rangers want the shutdown to end or the parks to close

    Over the weekend, Trump said he could "relate" to the plight of furloughed workers. 

    "I'm sure the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments," Trump told reporters as he left the White House. "Many of those people that won't be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100% with what I'm doing."

    joshua tree closed

    But the decision to leave national parks open has bewildered visitors and park rangers across the country. 

    "My whole community is affected by this," said the park employee in the Southwest. "It creates a lot of stressful decision-making and visitor confusion."

    She added: "I think everyone is in agreement it would be a lot better if we just closed the park during the shutdown."

    Stellpflug, on the other hand, suggested that politics shouldn't interfere with whether the parks stay open.

    "I would hope there would be a way to get parks open that's not related to [border] wall issues," he said. 

    On Sunday, the National Park Service announced that it would use entrance fees to help staff the parks as the shutdown continues. The staffers would help clean restrooms, patrol the parks, and pick up trash.

    Some Democrats and conservationists have opposed the decision, arguing that it is misguided — and potentially illegal — to divert funds. The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act states that entrance fees should be used for visitor services as opposed to operations.

    "Diverting this money will dig our parks into an even bigger financial hole," said Theresa Pierno, president of the National Parks Conservation Association, in a statement on the group's website. "This will hurt rangers, parks, visitors and the tourism economy long after the shutdown is over."

    For Tillison, it's sad to see the damage to a tradition that first started in America.

    "Yellowstone [National Park in Wyoming] was the first national park in the world," he said. "It kind of feels like [the parks] are being held hostage for political gain."

    "When this is all said and done," he said, "the rangers are going to come back and have messes to clean up and resources to protect."

    Do you have a national parks shutdown story? Email the author at abendix@businessinsider.com.

    Ariel Schwartz contributed reporting to this story.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Mistletoe is actually a tree-killing parasite — here's how it became a Christmas icon


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    kliff kingsbury

    • The Arizona Cardinals have hired Kliff Kingsbury as their new head coach.
    • Kingsbury became a surprisingly hot coaching candidate in recent weeks, despite having joined USC as an offensive coordinator in December.
    • Kingsbury spent six years as head coach at Texas Tech, developing a reputation for running efficient offenses that benefitted quarterbacks, despite also posting a losing record while there.

    The Arizona Cardinals are finalizing a contract to hire Kliff Kingsbury as their next head coach, as first reported by NFL Network's Peter Schrager.

    Kingsbury has had a whirlwind few months, first being fired by Texas Tech in November, getting hired by USC as an offensive coordinator in December, then becoming one of the hottest coaching prospects seemingly out of nowhere.

    Kingsbury went 35-40 in six seasons with Texas Tech but made a name for himself by working with several big-name quarterbacks, including Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield (who later transferred to Oklahoma after being surpassed as the starter), and Davis Webb. His teams were efficient on offense, and his quarterbacks were known to put up big numbers.

    It's unclear, however, how exactly Kingsbury became one of the biggest coaching candidates — he also interviewed with the New York Jets. According to the Cardinals' official press release announcing the hire, the New England Patriots would have considered Kingsbury for offensive coordinator if current OC Josh McDaniels got a head-coaching job.

    Kingsbury was announced as the offensive coordinator of USC on December 5. When teams reached out to USC to interview Kingsbury, they were reportedly blocked. The NFL mandates that teams respect candidates being blocked for interviews.

    However, Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported that multiple sources believed Kingsbury would just buy out his contract with USC to enter the coaching pool. Kingsbury's buyout number was not believed to be high, according to Florio.

    Kingsbury spent just over one month with the school.

    Kingsbury was believed to be a coveted candidate because of his work with quarterbacks and ability to coach a spread offense. The Cardinals' press release announcing the hire included that Kingsbury is friends with Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, considered the NFL's best offensive mind, and was offered a job with the Rams for their stretch run, but ultimately chose USC.

    Read more: Here's when the Super Bowl starts where you live — and how you can watch it live online

    Kingsbury will now work with second-year quarterback Josh Rosen, who has shown promise but struggled in his rookie year. The Cardinals also have the top pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: China made an artificial star that's 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy


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    Edward Lampert

    • Eddie Lampert, the chairman and former CEO of Sears, has an estimated net worth of $1 billion.
    • Lampert owns three homes, including one on the wealthy "Billionaire Bunker" island in Florida, and also owns a $130 million yacht.
    • Lampert is a member of the ultra-exclusive Skull and Bones society at Yale University.
    • In 2003, he was kidnapped and held at gunpoint — only to negotiate his way free.

    Eddie Lampert, the chairman and former CEO of Sears, has had an eventful career.

    With an estimated net worth of $1 billion, Lampert was once hailed as a genius hedge-fund manager and the next Warren Buffett. He's a member of Yale's ultra-exclusive Skull and Bones secret society, along with three former presidents, and his college roommate was eventual US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

    He also managed to save Kmart from bankruptcy in the early 2000s, but not before he was kidnapped and held at gunpoint for 30 hours in a Connecticut hotel. He reportedly talked his captors into releasing him, then capped off the Kmart deal a week later.

    Now, after Lampert merged Kmart with Sears, the department store is now on the brink of liquidation.

    Lampert has garnered criticism for his management of Sears, which he reportedly runs from his sprawling, $38 million estate in a wealthy Florida community known as "billionaire bunker." The wealthy executive also owns houses in Connecticut and Colorado, not to mention a $130 million yacht.

    Read on to see how Sears' embattled chairman made — and spends — his $1 billion fortune.

    SEE ALSO: Sears is getting one last chance to save itself from oblivion

    DON'T MISS: Inside Sears' death spiral: How an iconic American brand has been driven to the edge of bankruptcy

    Eddie Lampert, 56, is the chairman of Sears Holdings, the company that owns Sears and Kmart.

    Source: Forbes



    Lampert's net worth is an estimated $1 billion, and he hasn't been shy about spending: He owns three sprawling homes and a $130 million yacht.

    Source: Business Insider



    But Lampert wasn't always this wealthy. Although he grew up in an affluent family in Roslyn, New York, life changed at age 14 when his father, a successful attorney, died of a heart attack. Lampert helped his family make ends meet by taking jobs at warehouses stocking shelves and packing boxes.

    Source:CNN



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Growth Regtech Firms

    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    Regtech solutions seemed to offer the solution to financial institutions' (FIs) compliance woes when they first came to prominence around 24 months ago, gaining support from regulators and investors alike. 

    However, many of the companies offering these solutions haven't scaled as might have been expected from the initial hype, and have failed to follow the trajectory of firms in other segments of fintech.

    This unexpected inertia in the regtech industry is likely to resolve over the next 12-18 months as other factors come into play that shift FIs' approach to regtech solutions, and as the companies offering them evolve. External factors driving this change include regulatory support of regtech solutions, and consultancies offering more help to FIs wanting to sift through solutions. Startups offering regtech solutions will also play a part by partnering with each other, forming industry organizations, and taking advantage of new opportunities.

    This report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, provides a brief overview of the current global financial regulatory compliance landscape, and the regtech industry's position within it. It then details the major drivers that will shift the dial on FIs' adoption of regtech over the next 12-18 months, as well as those that will propel startups offering regtech solutions to new heights. Finally, it outlines what impact these drivers will have, and gives insight into what the global regtech industry will look like by 2020.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Regulatory compliance is still a significant issue faced by global FIs. In 2018 alone, EU regulations MiFID II and PSD2 have come into effect, bringing with them huge handbooks and gigantic reporting requirements. 
    • Regtech startups boast solutions that can ease FIs' compliance burden — but they are struggling to scale. 
    • Some changes expected to drive greater adoption of these solutions in the next 12 to 18 months are: the ongoing evolution of startups' business models, increasing numbers of partnerships, regulators' promotion of regtech, changing attitudes to the segment among FIs, and consultancies helping to facilitate adoption.
    • FIs will actively be using solutions from regtech startups by 2020, and startups will be collaborating in an organized fashion with each other and with FIs. Global regulators will have adopted regtech themselves, while continuing to act as advocates for the industry.

    In full, the report:

    • Reviews the major changes expected to hit the regtech segment in the next 12 to 18 months.
    • Examines the drivers behind these changes, and how the proliferation of regtech will improve compliance for FIs.
    • Provides our view on what the future of the regtech industry looks like through 2020.

       

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Former Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg

    • Verizon is blasting AT&T for displaying a 5GE logo on its phones.
    • 5GE stands for 5G Evolution and is not equivalent to the 5G standard.
    • The strategy could unseat Verizon’s network dominance this year, according to analyst Walter Piecyk.

    Verizon is blasting AT&T for marketing its LTE Advanced network by displaying '5GE' logos on its devices.

    5GE stands for 5G Evolution and AT&T says this service will offer faster speeds, with actual speeds of 40 megabits per second that could peak at 400 mbps. That's double the speed of its LTE network. Still, it's not the peak of 1.2 gigabits per second that AT&T has said its 5G network will be able to access.

    In a note posted online Monday titled "When we say '5G,' we mean 5G," Verizon chief technology officer Kyle Malady urged the industry to avoid such behavior. Verizon also made the same point with full-page ads in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today on Tuesday. AT&T isn't mentioned by name, but the Verizon ads are a clear shot at their wireless competitor.

    "If network providers, equipment manufacturers, handset makers, app developers and others in the wireless ecosystem engage in behavior designed to purposefully confuse consumers, public officials and the investment community about what 5G really is, we risk alienating the very people we want most to join in developing and harnessing this exciting new technology," Malady wrote in the note.

    The indicator on 5GE-capable smart phones lets customers know when they are receiving that enhanced wireless experience, a spokesperson for AT&T told Business Insider.

    It's more than just industry altruism that's behind Verizon's call for precision in branding 5G products.

    AT&T's marking strategy could unseat Verizon’s network dominance this year, BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk wrote on Monday.The media and telco giant is adding 60 MHz of new spectrum to its network this year that could result in noticeable speed and performance improvements for customers, according to Piecyk.

    "The broad availability of real 5G' could be years away, providing AT&T with a window of opportunity to surpass Verizon’s historical dominance as the wireless network leader in the United States," he wrote.

    Read more: The CEO of Charter is on the lookout for cable deals, and he just took a swing at Verizon's plan to disrupt his business

    There seems to be no shortage of mobile competitors in 2019.

    Along with AT&T, T-Mobile is also making improvements to its network, and Piecyk predicts it could take share from Verizon in the coming year. Cable is also a relatively new entrant in the space. Both Charter and Comcast have mobile offering for consumers.

    "If AT&T can outperform in its wireless business ... we believe this could drive a tightening of AT&T’s dividend yield relative to Verizon, particularly if AT&T’s success was a result of taking Verizon wireless subscribers," Piecyk wrote.

    So far, that share stealing doesn't appear to have occurred.

    At an investor conference on Tuesday, Ronan Dunne, head of Verizon Wireless, shared early fourth quarter figures for postpaid additions. Dunne said Verizon added 1.2 million retail postpaid net additions, of which about 650,000 were phone net additions.

    SEE ALSO: Channel blackouts have exploded over the last decade — and Verizon could be the big winner as pay TV customers look for other options

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We tried the Costco food court and it totally blew us away


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    former hacienda healthcare caregiver

    • On Monday, a person spoke to ABC 15, claiming to be the former caregiver of a woman who gave birth at an Arizona nursing home late last month.
    • The former caregiver described the patient's condition in detail and said that she could not possibly have given consent to sexual intercourse, because she has been in a vegetative state for more than a decade.
    • CBS affiliate Arizona's Family also spoke to a former Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility manager on Tuesday, who claimed that the company's former CEO covered up another sexually inappropriate incident.
    • Former CEO Bill Timmons resigned on Monday. He did not respond to INSIDER's request for comment.

    Two people claiming to be former employees of Hacienda Healthcare have spoken out to detail what the nursing home and its parent company are like after a patient's surprise pregnancy and birth sparked a sexual assault investigation.

    Phoenix, Arizona police have launched an investigation after the unnamed patient, described by Arizona's Family as a 29-year-old Native American woman, gave birth to a baby boy on December 29. The birth was a shock since the patient has been in a vegetative state for more than a decade due to a near-drowning incident.

    On Monday, a person claiming to have been one of the patient's primary caregivers for many years sat down for an interview with ABC 15, saying there's no way the woman could have given consent. INSIDER was not able to independently verify the person's employment at Hacienda.

    hacienda healthcare

    The former caregiver, who asked to remain anonymous, said the patient couldn't walk or communicate in any way. Her life is split between her bedroom and another room where she's taken by wheelchair to spend her days, the woman told ABC 15.

    The caregiver told the outlet that the staff at the facility are pretty much the only human contact the patient has, as her family only visits once every few months.

    When she heard that the woman had given birth, the caregiver said she cried because she knew that the woman could not defend herself or identify her assailant. The caregiver was also incensed at the facility's staff, who she says should have noticed her gaining weight or missing periods.

    "I can't believe it at all. I can't believe someone would bathe her daily for nine months, never know she wasn't having her period, she wasn't growing in her mid-section. That nurses weren't keeping track of her weight, those things are just shocking to me," the caregiver told ABC 15.

    When the caregiver worked at the facility, she alleges lax security left the patients vulnerable.

    "Too many entrances, too many opportunities. I myself have come in a back way many times with no one noticing me," the caregiver said.

    Read more:An Arizona nursing home CEO resigned after a woman in a vegetative state for 14 years gave birth

    Multiple reports emerge of other inappropriate incidents at the facility

    Meanwhile, on Tuesday, a woman claiming to have worked in a management position at Hacienda for more than a decade spoke to CBS affiliate Arizona's Family, and claimed the company's recently resigned president covered up another sexually inappropriate incident in 1998.

    The woman, who also asked to remain anonymous, says she was shocked when she learned of the pregnancy last week.

    "My heart stopped when I heard the news from my daughter. I was just horrified. I was going, 'No! Not Hacienda,'" the woman told reporter Briana Whitney.

    former hacienda healthcare manager

    But during her time working at Hacienda, she says she witnessed one particularly troubling incident.

    In 1998, the woman says she was pulled into a closed-door managers' meeting with then-CEO Bill Timmons. In the meeting, she says she was briefed on an incident that happened, in which female nurses had gathered around a non-verbal male patient's bed and made inappropriate comments about his genitalia.

    "The poor guy was just laying (sic) there. He couldn't say anything. He couldn't communicate, he couldn't defend himself," she recalled to CBS 5. "We were talking about reporting it to CPS (now known as Department of Child Safety) and Bill Timmons slammed his fist on the table and said, 'No! No one is going to report this.'"

    The woman says the incident was never reported to the proper authorities, and she was left "horrified."

    Timmons was Hacienda Healthcare's CEO for 28 years, according to The New York Times. He only became the facility's president on January 1, the Arizona Republic reported.

    He resigned on Monday, in response to the scandal.

    After Timmons resigned, Hacienda released the following statement:

    "As an organization, Hacienda HealthCare stands fully committed to getting to the truth of what, for us, represents an unprecedented matter. We are already conducting a comprehensive internal review of our processes, protocols, and people to ensure that every single Hacienda resident is as safe and well cared for as possible. Anything less than that is unacceptable to our team, our company's leaders and the communities we serve."

    INSIDER also uncovered state records of two other disturbing reports at the facility.

    In one case, the Arizona Department of Health Services cited the company in 2017 for an incident in which a certified nursing assistant walked in on a male patient while he was showering. And in another case Arizona DHS investigated in 2013, a staffer was fired for making inappropriate sexual comments about multiple patients.

    Hacienda and Timmons didn't immediately respond to INSIDER's requests for comment on Tuesday.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un is 35 — here's how he became one of the world's scariest dictators


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    donald trump

    • The Trump administration has sparked backlash in recent days over several false or misleading statements connecting migrants at the US-Mexico border with terrorism.
    • Trump said Friday that terrorists are "coming through the southern border because they find that's probably the easiest place to come through."
    • But government data shows that just six "known or suspected terrorists" entered the US that way — it's far more common that they arrive in airports, or even through the Canadian border.
    • President Donald Trump's senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway, even conceded that Trump administration officials had erred in their statistics. "Everybody makes mistakes — all of us," she said.

    The Trump administration has come under fire in recent days for falsely claiming that 4,000 "known or suspected terrorists" were arrested crossing the US-Mexico border last year. In reality, just six were stopped in the first half of 2018.

    The exaggeration didn't end there — President Donald Trump himself appeared in the White House's Rose Garden on Friday to talk up his proposed border wall and tell reporters that terrorists are streaming through the US-Mexico border.

    "I talk about human traffickers, I talk about drugs and gangs, but a lot of people don't say we have terrorists coming through the southern border because they find that's probably the easiest place to come through," he said.

    Readmore: Trump goes off the rails in freewheeling news conference raging about the shutdown, the border wall, DACA, and Democrats

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen backed him up, saying 3,000 "special interest aliens" with potential terror links were arrested at the southern border.

    But reporters quickly pushed back, noting that "special interest aliens" aren't terrorists, and they're not even on the terror watchlist. In many cases, they're travelers coming into the US from countries with a history of terror attacks, or people whose travel patterns are deemed "suspicious," according to the Department of Homeland Security's own definition.

    But the incident sparked something of a trend, with Trump administration officials repeatedly making outlandish or hyperbolic statements about terrorism at the southern border that haven't held up to scrutiny.

    A 'sensitive' number of terror-watchlisted migrants

    kirstjen nielsen donald trump

    Nielsen was met with mockery and skepticism on Monday after tweeting that a growing number of known and suspected terrorists are reaching the southern border, but refusing to say how many.

    "The threat is real. The number of terror-watchlisted encountered at our Southern Border has increased over the last two years," she said. "The exact number is sensitive and details about these cases are extremely sensitive."

    Critics derided the tweets, noting that US Customs and Border Protection has already provided that data to Congress, and the numbers were small.

    NBC News reported Monday that the data provided to Congress revealed that just 132 known or suspected terrorists were intercepted at American borders in the first half of fiscal year 2018. Of those, 91 were stopped at the US-Canada border, and just 41 were stopped at the US-Mexico border.

    Of those 41 at the southern border, 35 were already US citizens. Just six immigrants identified as known or suspected terrorists were blocked from crossing the US-Mexico border in the first half of 2018.

    Nielsen argued that even a small number of suspected terrorists was significant.

    "I am sure all Americans would agree that one terrorist reaching our borders is one too many,"she tweeted. "These are just the terror suspects we know about who reach our border."

    Where the 4,000 'known or suspected terrorists' figure came from

    sarah huckabee sanders

    Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was also challenged on Sunday by Fox News host Chris Wallace, after she said nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists enter the US illegally, and "our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border."

    Wallace cut her off, correcting that the vast majority of those individuals never came near the southern border.

    "Do you know where those 4,000 people come from? Where they are captured?" Wallace said. "Airports."

    The Trump administration has sought to walk back some of its claims in the wake of the backlash. Kellyanne Conway, Trump's senior adviser, conceded Monday evening to Fox News host Laura Ingraham that the 4,000 figure hadn't referred to migrants at the southern border.

    "Doesn't that hurt the credibility of the White House when they don't get the facts right, and someone's not doing their homework in the way they describe it?" Ingraham asked Conway.

    "It got unfortunately confused by my colleague," Conway said. "Everybody makes mistakes — all of us. The fact is, it's corrected here. And anybody who turns a blind eye to the actual numbers of the human trafficking, the increase in the drugs — we are concerned about your children here in the United States being subjected to all these drugs, and we're concerned about their children not making these perilous journeys.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump's stance on China is 'not at all crazy'


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    axios

    • Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg says the telecom company's media unit will have to make money without leveraging data from the company's wireless and wireline subscribers.
    • Vestberg says the former AOL and Yahoo businesses "need to survive on their merits."

    Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg isn't ready to ditch the telecom company's media unit, but he tells Axios it will have to make money without leveraging data from the company's wireless and wireline subscribers.

    Why it matters: This is a sharp departure from the company's original premise for buying Yahoo and AOL: that Verizon could use its detailed data on subscribers to take on Google and Facebook, which together dominate digital advertising.

    In an interview with Axios, Vestberg says the former AOL and Yahoo businesses "need to survive on their merits."

    • Though he's mostly focused on 5G and the company's massive wireless and wireline businesses, Vestberg says he sees potential in the content operation.
    • Content is particularly strong in parts of Yahoo's operations in sports, finance and entertainment, which lend themselves to video programming, he says.
    • But he adds the company will prioritize the responsibilities it has to those paying it for network services.

    "We're not trying to mimic a Facebook or Google. We don’t think that's the right way to do that."

    — Hans Vestberg

    By the numbers: Verizon doesn't break out the profitability of its media business, but it said in November that the unit wouldn't meet its goal of becoming a $10 billion-a-year business by 2021.

    • Vestberg, who has been Verizon CEO for less than a year after 28 at Ericsson, says it's too soon to determine if there may be divestitures within the media business.

    He has already started making other changes. Late last year, Vestberg implemented a strategy he calls "Verizon 2.0." The effort includes:

    • Shaking up the company's leadership ranks.
    • Reorganizing into 3 businesses: consumer, business and Verizon Media Group.
    • Outsourcing a chunk of the company's IT operations to Infosys.
    • Accepting voluntary buyouts from more than 10,000 workers.

    Why? The changes are designed to help the company fully take advantage of the next generation of cellular technology. 5G is just starting to reach consumers, but over time has the potential to create whole new lines of business.

    • One of the earliest opportunities is to take the kind of network that Verizon is building for itself and sell a version to large businesses looking to speed up and automate their own corporate campuses, according to Vestberg.
    • Additional opportunities range from health care to smart cities, as 5G networks become more advanced and ubiquitous. Those areas require lots of wireless spectrum, dense networks and fiber — all of which Verizon has, he says.

    One area where Verizon still has room to improve, Vestberg notes, is to take a more active role in the businesses that are built using its high-speed connections.

    • "Much of the innovation came on top of the network in 4G," he says. Customers still benefitted, but he would like to see Verizon get more involved this time around.
    • That doesn't necessarily mean the company needs to build every product, but "we need to be part of that innovation."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Japanese lifestyle guru Marie Kondo explains how to organize your home once and never again


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    tessa thompson chris hemsworth men in black

    Disney may have a big year at theaters this year with four sequels, but there are a lot of other movies we're looking forward to in 2019.

    INSIDER went through more than 100 movies that are coming out this year and rounded up the top 30 you should keep an eye on. Get ready for a lot of sequels and reboots, including a fourth "Men in Black," more Stephen King-inspired thrillers, a "Fast & Furious" spin-off featuring the Rock, and a sci-fi thriller from James Gunn ("Guardians of the Galaxy") and two of his brothers. 

    Keep reading to see the movies we can't wait to see in 2019.

    1. "Glass"

    Release date: Friday, January 18, 2019

    What it's about: The sequel to M. Night Shyamalan's breakout "Split" is also a direct sequel to "Unbreakable.""Glass" introduces a mysterious psychiatrist, Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), who tries to convince Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), David Dunn (Bruce Willis), and Elijah/Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) that they do not have superpowers, and boy is that mistake.

    Why to see it: "Glass" is the only January release we're really excited about, because we'll get to see Willis and Jackson reunited. We're ready to see both of them interact with McAvoy who carried "Split" for his standout performance playing over a dozen different personalities.

    Watch the trailer here



    2. "The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part"

    Release date: Friday, February 8, 2019

    What it's about: Five years after the first film, invaders from outer space capture Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) and it's up to Emmet to leave Bricksburg and save her.

    Why we're excited: Both "The LEGO Movie" and its spin-off, "The LEGO Batman Movie," were fantastic. Original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller wrote and produced the sequel. Part of their charm is that the duo don't follow conventional movie-making rules. Look at the title of this movie. Chris Pratt is voicing a character which is a spoof of both his "Jurassic World" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" characters in addition to his main character, Emmet. That's part of what makes most of their movies so fun to watch. (Have you seen "Spider-Verse"? Enough said.)

    We're ready to see more of Will Arnett's tiny, egotistical Batman and the return of Jonah Hill's Green Lantern. Jason Momoa is supposed to reprise his role as Aquaman in Lego form, too. We're slightly concerned since the movie was pushed back from a 2018 release, but here's to hoping everything in the sequel is even more awesome. 

    Watch a trailer here



    3. "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World"

    Release date: February 22, 2019

    What's it's about: The conclusion to the franchise sees Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon pal Toothless discover a vibrant, hidden dragon world and a group of very bad men try to steal the dragons.

    Why it's a must-see: There are two big films for kids coming out in February and fans have been waiting four years for the next adventure of Hiccup and Toothless. The franchise notably champions those with prosthetics, inspiring that no limitation should prevent any one person from accomplishing great things, even ruling a group of Vikings.

    Early buzz around the third film is that it's just as good, if not better than, the others. If you can't wait to see Kit Harington on the final season of "Game of Thrones," he reprises his character, Eret, here. You may want to bring some tissues along.

    Watch a trailer here.

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    This is a preview of The Digital Media Forecast Book from Business Insider Intelligence. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    Media consumption has changed rapidly over the past decade, with digital increasingly claiming a larger share of the daily time spent with media. Increased mobile usage is driving much of the growth in digital time spent, as smartphones become more powerful and capable of handling tasks otherwise completed on desktop.

    Digital Media Forecast Book 2018

    Meanwhile, cord-cutting and cord-shaving will continue as consumers seek more affordable alternatives to traditional pay-TV. Marketers need to understand the underlying consumer trends that are driving billions of dollars in global advertising, and how those behaviors are likely to play out in the near term.

    In this three-part forecast book, Business Insider Intelligence forecasts how much time users spend consuming each format as we approach peak media, and how those changes reflect how advertising dollars are spent globally and in the US.

     

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    Lindsey Graham

    • Senators are concerned about statements made by William Barr, President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next attorney general.
    • Republicans have expressed fears that it could divulge into a "character assassination" if they do not like the nominee.
    • Democrats are not ready to call for Barr's recusal from the special counsel investigation headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, but want assurances from him that he will not intervene.

    WASHINGTON — Despite the federal government continuing under a partial government shutdown, the Senate Judiciary Committee is moving forward with the confirmation hearing for William Barr to serve as attorney general.

    Democrats on the committee have deep concerns about his views on presidential authority and the way he would run the Justice Department, while Republicans are bracing for tense, partisan hearings like they saw during the confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

    Read more: Meet William Barr: What you need to know about the possible once and future attorney general

    Barr, who served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, has drawn outrage and concern from Democrats looking to protect the special counsel investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential campaign. Barr sent an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department calling the special counsel probe "legally unsupportable" and "potentially disastrous."

    "As I understand it, his theory is premised on a novel and legally insupportable reading of the law," Barr wrote. "Mueller should not be permitted to demand that the President submit to interrogation about alleged obstruction."

    Democrats on the committee told INSIDER that Barr's attitudes toward the special counsel, which is being led by the former FBI Director Robert Mueller, is of the utmost priority.

    "I would be very interested in his views on the independence of the Mueller investigation, whether or not he will protect it," Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said. "He has made some statements in the past that give me some concern."

    Coons, who is one of the coauthors of a bill that would put barriers in place to prevent the White House from dismantling the special counsel, added that he plans to discuss Mueller's investigation with Barr in private and again in the public confirmation hearing.

    Whether Barr should recuse himself from oversight of the Mueller probe, Coons said he was not yet sure that would be necessary, but would have to receive commitments before making a decision.

    "I mean I think were he to announce that he intended to leave it in its current structure where it is being supervised very ably by Rod Rosenstein, that would be met with fairly broad enthusiasm," Coons said.

    Colleagues of Coons, including Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Richard Blumenthal, also listed Barr's position on the special counsel as a top priority, as well his views on executive power as a whole.

    "High on the list [of concerns] is an absolute ironclad assurance and commitment that there will be no interference in the special counsel investigation, including prompt and complete approval of subpoenas, other investigative tools, and any indictments that are returned by the grand jury," Blumenthal told INSIDER.

    Republicans want the confirmation hearing to remain civil

    Senate Republicans are clearly scarred from what became one of the most tense processes in years during the Kavanaugh confirmation.

    "I guess the question we all have is this going to be Kavanaugh 2.0 where it’s really not about searching for the truth — it’s more about character assassination," Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told reporters on Tuesday. "I’m an optimist by nature, so I can hope for the best but we’ll have to wait and see."

    Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he is doing what he can "to make sure that our Democratic friends have information relevant to voting for or against Mr. Barr," but cautioned against things getting out of hand.

    Graham, who himself launched a fierce tirade during the Kavanaugh hearing to excoriate Democrats he saw as politicizing the process, now will have to walk a more fine line. In the 116th Congress, he is taking over the gavel as the new chairman of the Judiciary Committee and maintain order in tense hearings.

    "I expect him to be challenged and appropriately challenge him about his memo and other things," Graham said. "I just hope it’s done respectfully. I’m trying to set a tone where we can have our differences and move forward."

    SEE ALSO: Why Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination are turning to Instagram Live to connect with voters

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump's stance on China is 'not at all crazy'


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    Tim Cook on CNBC

    • Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared on "Mad Money" with Jim Cramer to talk about the future of the company amid the company's big stock slump. 
    • Twice, Cook repeated the phrase "it just works"— one of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs' favorite sayings. The "it just works" mantra has fallen out of fashion under Cook, though. 
    • Cook could have used it as a deliberate callback to the Jobs era — a reminder that Apple's biggest advantage is that it makes high-end products that all work closely together.
    • In that sense, it could be a subtle call to investors to renew their confidence in the company. 

    Apple stock has been on a massive slide— first, it told investors that it wouldn't disclose how many iPhones it sold, then a few months revised its own sales target down by at least $5 billion, citing issues with China and a slower iPhone upgrade cycle. All told, Apple is down over 30% since its peak in October. 

    That's why Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared on Jim Cramer's show "Mad Money" on CNBC on Tuesday: to ease investor fears and perhaps ease the slump. 

    In the interview, Cook repeated a phrase that longtime Apple fans haven't heard in a while: "It just works."

    Late Apple CEO Steve Jobs used to use that phrase a lot to explain why consumers seemed to prefer Apple products. However, since Cook took the reins at Apple, the phrase has fallen out of fashion with company officials. 

    Cook repeated it twice in his interview with Cramer. 

    "This team is unbelievable in creating hardware and software and services and getting them all to work together," Cook told Cramer. "It just works."

    Then, when discussing AirPods, Apple's popular wireless earbuds, he repeated it again. 

    "AirPods are becoming ubiquitous out there. People love them. I get notes every day. They’re chock full of technology. But they just work," Cook said. 

    Cook also addressed Apple's struggles in China, the reported slow sales of the new iPhone XR model, and Apple's efforts to sell online services to its users. 

    "Bologna. I call bologna on that," Cook said in response to a question over whether the iPhone XR is a flop. "Let me tell you how I view this. Here’s the truth, what the facts are. Since we began shipping the iPhone XR, it has been the most-popular iPhone every day, every single day, from when we started shipping, until now," Cook said. 

    "When I look at the long-term health of the company, it has never been better. The product pipeline has never been better. The ecosystem has never been stronger. The services are on a tear," Cook continued. 

    But for all of Cook's defenses of Apple's current business strategy during the 20-minute interview, his callback to an important phrase in Apple history may speak the loudest.

    After all, it was during the Jobs era that Apple gained its reputation for making premium products, and it highlighted Cook's main point during the interview — that Apple is continuing to make great products, and that the stock price and other issues facing the company are short-term problems. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: China made an artificial star that's 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy


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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence,  Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    mobile banking features

    In recent years, we've seen a ballooning of activity in fintech — an expansive term applied to technology-driven disruptions in financial services. And 2018 has been no different, with fintechs' staggering influence on the market evidenced by record funding levels for the industry — by Q3 2018, overall funding was already up 82% from 2017’s total figure, according to CB Insights.

    Additionally, this year marked a watershed moment for the industry, with the once clear distinction between fintechs and financial services proper now blurred significantly. Virtually every incumbent financial institution (FI) is now looking inward and engaging in an innovation drive, spurred on by competition from fintechs. As such, incumbents are now actively investing in, acquiring, and collaborating with their fintech rivals.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence details recent developments in fintech funding and regulation that are defining the environment these startups operate in. We also examine the business model changes being employed among different categories of fintechs as they strive to embed themselves further in mainstream finance and prove sustainability. Finally, we consider which elements of the fintech industry are rapidly rubbing off on incumbent financial services providers, and what the future of fintech will look like.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Funding Circle, GreenSky, Transferwise, Ant Financial, Nubank, Cellulant, Oscar Health, Stripe, One97, UiPath, LianLian Pay, Wacai.com, Gusto, Toast, PingPong, Flywire, Deposit Solutions, Root, Robinhood, Atom, N26, Revolut, OneConnect, PolicyBazaar, WeCash, Zurich, OneDegree, Dinghy, Vouch Insurance, Laka, Cleo, Ernit, Monzo, Moneybox, Bud, Tandem, Starling, Varo Money, Square, ING, Chase, AmEx, Amazon, Monese, Betterment, Tiller Investments, West Hill Capital, Square, Ameritrade, JPMorgan, eToro, Lendy, OnDeck, Ripple, Quorom, Chain, Coinbase, Fidelity, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Bank of America, TransferGo, Klarna, Western Union, Veriff, Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Canada, Facebook, ThreatMetrix, Relx, Entersekt, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Gemalto, Lloyd's of London, Kingdom Trust, Aviva, Symbility LINK, eTrade, Allianz, AXA, Broadridge, TD Bank, First Republic Bank, BBVA Compass, Capital One, Silicon Valley Bank, Credit Suisse, Ally, Goldman Sachs.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Fintech funding has already reached new highs globally in 2018, with overall funding hitting $32.6 billion at the end of Q3.
    • Some new regions, including South America and Africa, are emerging on the fintech scene.
    • We've seen considerable scaling in older corners of the fintech ecosystem, including among neobanks and alt lenders.
    • Some fintechs, including a number of insurtechs, have dipped into new markets to escape heightened competition.
    • Emergent areas like blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), as well as digital identity, are gaining traction.
    • Many incumbents are undertaking business transformations that aim to reimagine everything from products and services to front-end systems and back-end processes.

     In full, the report:

    • Details the funding and regulatory landscape in the US, Europe, and Asia.
    • Gives an overview into a number of fintech segments and how they've changed over the past year.
    • Discusses how incumbents are reacting to fintechs in order to stay relevant in the changing financial services sector.
    • Evaluates what the future of fintech will look like and what trends to look out for in the coming year.

    Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

     

    SEE ALSO: How the largest US financial institutions rank on offering the mobile banking features customers value most

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    tesla fremont factory

    • A senior director of engineering at Tesla's Fremont, California, factory has left the company after six years.
    • His exit is the latest in a string of high-level departures from the company over the last year.

    Another senior director has left Tesla.

    Charles Mwangi, a senior director of engineering at Tesla's Fremont, California, factory, is leaving the company for a stealth startup. He announced his departure over LinkedIn and called his experience at Tesla "one of the most enriching and fulfilling experiences" of his life.

    "To my Tesla colleagues. It is amazing how much progress we’ve made. It has been a grueling journey, but definitely one worth making. I will continue cheering you on from the sidelines. Your success is truly the World’s success," he wrote.

    Mwangi worked at both Nissan and Toyota before joining Tesla in 2012. He earned the title of senior director of engineering in August 2018, and he was responsible for body manufacturing engineering, body equipment controls and maintenance engineering, stamping manufacturing and engineering, and Tesla Tool and Die.

    Mwangi's exit is latest in a string of high-level departures from the company since September. In December, Aaron Chew, Tesla's investor-relations director, left the company, following Dan Kim, senior director of global sales, marketing, and delivery; Jeff Jones, head of global security; Antoin Abou-Haydar, senior director of production and quality; Gabrielle Toledano, head of human resources; Dave Morton, chief accountant; Sarah O'Brien, head of communications (her departure was announced in August, but her final day at the company was September 7, according to Bloomberg); Liam O'Connor, vice president of global supply management; Justin McAnear, vice president of worldwide finance and operations; and Phil Rothenberg, legal vice president.

    (You can check out a comprehensive list of Tesla departures here.)

    Tesla had not yet responded to Business Insider's request for comment at the time of this post's publication.

    Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at llopez@businessinsider.com.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's what it's like to drive trains on London's Tube — one of the most complicated subway systems in the world


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    ebt snap food stamps

    • The government shutdown is in its 18th day and there is no end in sight.
    • The US Department of Agriculture will still send out Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, benefits for January and February despite the shutdown.
    • The USDA's Child Nutrition Programs will also be funded into February, but it is unclear what will happen if the shutdown continues after that.
    • Other food programs such as Commodity Supplemental Food Program and WIC will not receive federal funding during the shutdown, but may continue using state and local funds.

    With no sign of ending anytime soon, the government shutdown is starting to take its toll on federal services and workers. But for recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, also known as food stamps, there is some good news — for now.

    According to a plan released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), SNAP benefits will be available during the start of the shutdown as previously appropriated funding is carried over to meet the needs of the program.

    In the initial USDA release about the shutdown, the department said SNAP benefits for January would be available but there was no commitment for February. In a call with reporters on Tuesday, the USDA announced that the department will send money for February's benefits to states that administer the program.

    USDA officials could not commit to providing SNAP benefits in March.

    But, given the fact that President Donald Trump threatened to shut the government down for "months or even years" during a meeting with congressional leaders on Friday, the uncertainty of SNAP benefits beyond February could become a problem if the shutdown continues for a historic amount of time.

    Funding for the USDA's Child Nutrition Programs including "School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Feeding, Summer Food Service and Special Milk" will also continue into February, according to the USDA's plan.

    Read more:Here's what happens to Social Security and disability benefits during a government shutdown»

    But while SNAP and the Child Nutrition Program are safe for now, other food programs under the USDA's purview are not as lucky.

    Also, other non-SNAP domestic food programs are no longer receiving federal funding, but may be sustained through state and local funding. The programs that are no longer receiving USDA funds include the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, a program focusing on low income seniors; The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.

    95% the staff at the office of Food and Nutrition Services— which oversees SNAP benefits and other food programs — is now on furlough and no longer receiving pay.

    In addition to the food programs, other essential USDA duties including the inspection of eggs, dairy, and other food products will continue. Those services deemed non-essential, such as research or the staffing of some national forests, are discontinued.

    The shutdown is now in its 18th day and there is no clear end in sight. Trump administration officials and congressional leaders met over the weekend, but it's unclear if any real progress has been made.

    SEE ALSO: Most Americans would rather spend the $5 billion Trump is demanding for the border wall on infrastructure, education, or healthcare

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump's stance on China is 'not at all crazy'


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    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. That’s the strategy e-tailers will have to adopt if they want to compete with Amazon. To fight back against the e-commerce giant’s expanding dominance, other online retailers must understand exactly why and how customers are buying on Amazon — and which aspects of the Amazon shopping experience they can incorporate into their own strategic frameworks to win back customers.

    Why Amazon First

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has obtained exclusive survey data to give e-tailers the tools to figure out how to do just that with its latest Enterprise Edge Report: The Amazon Commerce Competitive Edge Report.

    Enterprise Edge Reports are the very best research Business Insider Intelligence has to offer in terms of actionable recommendations and proprietary data, and they are only available to Enterprise clients.

    Business Insider Intelligence fielded the Amazon study to members of its proprietary panel in March 2018, reaching over 1,000 US consumers – primarily hand-picked digital professionals and early-adopters – to gather their insights on Amazon’s role in the online shopping experience.

    In full, the study:

    • Uses exclusive survey data to analyze the factors behind Amazon’s success with consumers.
    • Segments three types of Amazon customers that e-tailers should be targeting.
    • Shares strategies on how e-tailers can attract shoppers at key moments.

    First, why is Amazon so popular?

    Amazon is ubiquitous. In fact, a whopping 94% of those surveyed said they’d made a purchase on the site in the last twelve months. And of those who did, the vast majority believed Amazon’s customer experience was simply better than its leading competitors’ — specifically eBay, Walmart, Best Buy, and Target.

    The biggest contributor to Amazon’s superior experience? Free shipping, of course. According to Amazon’s 2017 annual report, the company actually spent $21.7 billion last year covering customers’ shipping costs, a number that’s been compounding over the past few years.

    Not only is free shipping included for all Prime members as part of their subscriptions but, of all e-tailers listed in the survey, Amazon also offers the lowest minimum order value for non-subscription members to qualify for the perk (just $25). The pervasiveness of free (and fast) shipping is steadily heightening customer expectations for the online shopping experience — and forcing competitors to offer similar programs and benefits.

    Who exactly is shopping on Amazon?

    The survey results showed that across generations for a large minority of respondents, Amazon is a standard part of their typical shopping process. Nearly a third (32%) of respondents said they begin their online shopping process on Amazon. Of those who do start their journeys elsewhere, 100% ended up purchasing something from Amazon at some point over the last 12 months.

    Based on the trends in responses, Business Insider Intelligence segmented out three different types of Amazon shoppers, each with unique implications for how competitors could evolve their strategies:

    • Amazon loyalists: This group of consumers is most committed to shopping on Amazon. E-tailers must understand what has made Amazon their default experience — and how they could be pried away.
    • Comparison shoppers: This consumer segment looks at other sites before ultimately completing a purchase with Amazon, which could allow e-tailers to find success at the bottom of the purchase funnel. E-tailers should focus on what they can do more of to steal sales away at the end of the purchasing process.
    • Open-search shoppers: These consumers start their online product search away from Amazon, often with specific reasons including what they’re looking for and why they’re not looking on Amazon. Other e-tailers have the opportunity to attract these shoppers from the beginning of the purchase funnel — keeping them from ever venturing to Amazon.

    Want to learn more?

    Business Insider Intelligence has compiled the complete survey findings into the four-part Amazon Commerce Competitive Edge Report, which dives deeper into each of these consumer segments to give e-tailers an intricate understanding of Amazon’s role in their purchasing processes.

    The report presents actionable strategies for retail strategists and executives to zero in on three individual consumer segments at critical shopping moments, and empower them to win sales in an Amazon-dominated world.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Nissan LEAF e+ 2019

    • The 2019 Nissan Leaf e+ EV made its world debut at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. 
    • The Leaf e+ can go 226 miles on a single thanks to a larger 62 kWh battery pack.
    • This puts its performance on par with rivals such as the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3.
    • The 2019 Nissan Leaf e+ arrives in US showrooms this spring. 

    Nissan introduced the new Leaf e+ electric vehicle at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, in Las Vegas. 

    The new Leaf e+ is an update of the second-generation Leaf that debuted in 2017 and remedies the EV's biggest flaw: its lack of range. 

    In Business Insider's 2018 review of the Leaf, we noted:

    "The new Leaf is a solid second effort from Nissan. However, there remains one glaring fault with the Leaf, and it's the range. At 151 miles, it's certainly a major improvement over the outgoing model. But range anxiety is still a problem, and anything less than 200 miles on a single charge is no longer competitive." 

    The original Nissan Leaf launched back in 2010, and in the years since, it has become one of the most popular EVs in history, with more than 380,000 cars sold. 

    Nissan Leaf e+But with long-range EVs such as the 238-mile Chevrolet Bolt and the 310-mile Tesla Model 3, the 151-mile second-generation Leaf is no longer at the forefront of the industry.

    Enter the Leaf e+ and its 226 miles of range.

    Read more: Mercedes-Benz just unveiled the stylish new CLA coupe to take on BMW and Audi.

    To achieve this, Nissan replaced the current 40 kWh battery with a much larger 62 kWh pack. In addition, the existing 147 horsepower, 110 kW electric motor has been swapped out for a 160 kW unit that produces 215 horsepower and 250 pounds-feet of torque. According to Nissan, this results in a 13% improvement in the Leaf's 50 mph to 75 mph acceleration time. 

    Nissan Leaf e+ 2019In addition to a new drivetrain, the Leaf e+ will get the latest in Nissan's ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous assistance technology. 

    The 2019 Nissan Leaf e+ will go on sale in Japan this month, but it won't arrive in the US until this spring, and in Europe a couple of months after that. 

    Nissan has not yet announced pricing for the Leaf e+. The current 151-mile Nissan Leaf starts at $29,990. 

    SEE ALSO: 40 hot cars we can't wait to see in 2019

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

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    NOW WATCH: Here's what it's like to drive trains on London's Tube — one of the most complicated subway systems in the world


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    Los Angeles Valiant Fans Overwatch League

    • "Overwatch" is one of the most successful esports titles in the world, with the Overwatch League and other events supporting more than 200 professional players 
    • At the start of the year, a player using the name "Ellie" was added to the roster of a semi-professional team but quickly raised the suspicion and ire of male players. 
    • Skeptical "Overwatch" fans questioned whether Ellie was given preferential treatment for being a woman; some demanded that her identity be made public and threatened to find and release her personal information.
    • It turns out, Ellie wasn't a woman. And the incident underscores a disturbing problem within esports. 

    The rise of esports has given video game players a chance to turn their passion into a profession, but every once in a while there's an incident that shows just how immature the industry can be.

    For fans of the game"Overwatch," a recent controversy over a gamer posing as a woman has exposed an undercurrent of sexism that pervades the culture even as splashy corporate sponsorships and multi-million dollar prize purses have become the norm

    "Overwatch" is one of the world's most successful esports titles, and the Overwatch League is dominated by men. 

    That's why a player named Ellie attracted a lot of attention when she was added to the roster of a semi-professional "Overwatch" team called Second Wind a couple of weeks ago. Unlike the other players, Ellie's full name was not listed on Second Wind's website but her "Overwatch" account was known to be among the top ranked online. 

    Some gamers demanded to know Ellie's personal information

    Ellie's spot on the team seems to have been enough to raise the suspicion of her male rivals, who accused the Overwatch League of giving preferential treatment to a woman and questioned whether Ellie was in fact a woman. As time went on the tone of the demands grew more toxic, with some players threatening to find and release Ellie's personal information on their own.

     

    Some players and fans defended Ellie's right to privacy and accused the skeptics of targeting Ellie based on gender. But Ellie told Second Wind she would withdraw from the team due to the public reaction.

    This being esports however, that's not where the story ends. 

    It turns out that Ellie was not a woman after all.

    An investigation by Second Wind and several esports journalists determined that Ellie was a persona created by a male player using the tag "Punisher" online. "Punisher" was already known to be a top online "Overwatch" player and told friends that he convinced women to help him impersonate a female player as a "social experiment." Esports journalist Rod "Slasher" Breslau spoke to three women who said Punisher clued them into the scheme privately.

    Did the social experiment prove a point or make a bad situation worse?

    The goal of Ellie/Punisher's impersonation experiment is not entirely clear, and some worry that it may have actually provided more ammunition to skeptics who doubt the potential of female players.

    As a male-dominated industry, esports regularly faces an undercurrent of misogyny when men and women are competing with each other. Only a select few women are willing to compete within a culture that many would call toxic, and the climate surrounding Ellie and Geguri suggests that women will only face additional skepticism as they reach the top level of play.

    There is only one woman currently playing in the Overwatch League, the game's highest level of competition. Kim "Geguri" Se-yeon of the Shanghai Dragons was accused of cheating by multiple professional male players prior to her Overwatch League debut. She ultimately proved them wrong though, and three of her accusers retired.

    With only a few professional opportunities available for thousands of players, jealousy among the top ranks isn't too surprising, but the goal of esports should be to create a healthy, professional environment while preserving the spirit of competition. To avoid skepticism and toxicity, professional organizations need to practice proper due diligence and present their players in the best possible light.

    For women interested in esports, the scandal is another reminder that a portion of the community still refuses to believe that women can compete as professionals, and , they will always be playing to prove the doubters wrong.

    SEE ALSO: Eight teams paid more than $30 million each to join the Overwatch League – here's everything you need to know before the new season starts

    SEE ALSO: A 'Overwatch' hero was just revealed to be gay, and fans are freaking out

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: British Airways has a $13 million flight simulator that taught us how to take off, fly, and land an airplane


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    microsoft demolition building 2

    • Microsoft began a planned demolition of some of the oldest buildings on its corporate campus in Redmond, Washington. 
    • The demolition is part of Microsoft's project to renovate its decades-old corporate campus.
    • 10 sledgehammer wielding Microsoft employees won the right to take the first swings at tearing down one of the old buildings.

    While Amazon and Apple ramp up to open major new campuses, Microsoft has opted instead to massively renovate and expand its 500-acre headquarters in Redmond, Washington to make room for 8,000 more employees.

    But to bring in the new, sometimes you have to wipe away a little of the old. That's why, on Tuesday, Microsoft took the first step towards demolishing some of the oldest office buildings on campus— starting with Building 1, first constructed in 1985, the same year that Microsoft moved in. Bill Gates even had an office in Building 1, for a time. 

    And it was a Microsoft employee who got to begin the demolition, too. Matthew Whilden— a senior software engineer who's been with Microsoft for 11 years, according to GeekWire— won an employee charity auction for the right to operate the crane that took the first swing at taking Building 1 down.

    Whilden and nine of his teammates, who also contributed to the auction, were then allowed to take to the nearby Building 2 with sledgehammers, tearing down walls as part of the demolition crew. Ultimately, a dozen of these older Microsoft buildings are slated for demolition in this project, including Building 4, where Gates kept a corner office for many years. The project will operate in waves over the next four to six years.

    matthew wilden microsoft building 1

    On the subject of Building 4, Gates' office overlooked a small, man-made pond that was affectionately dubbed Lake Bill by Microsofties. Lake Bill plays an important role in Microsoft lore— once, it was filled with blue ping pong balls to celebrate a new release of Windows; another time, a Microsoft exec took a swim in Lake Bill after Windows 95 hit key sales goals. I've been told by Microsoft previously that this renovation project will leave Lake Bill intact.

    Ultimately, Microsoft's renovation initiative will see 18 new buildings constructed, even as it tears down the old ones. It'll come with new open spaces, sports facilities, and walking trails. In fact, a set of treehouses for employee use have already opened as part of the initiative

    Microsoft Redmond campus renovation

    Even the buildings that survive the culling will see tremendous change: Microsoft is renovating its Redmond office spaces to have more common areas for employees to work, even as it continues rolling out a tweak to the open office formula that it calls "Neighborhoods." Buildings 16 and 17 on the Microsoft campus were the first to get the facelift.

    The new campus will have more materialistic benefits too, including expanded on-campus shopping, and, eventually, a rail link from Redmond to the heart of Seattle. 

    SEE ALSO: I visited the treehouses that Microsoft built for its employees to meet, work, and soak in the sun — take a look inside

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This tiny building in Wilmington, Delaware is home to 300,000 businesses


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    Kellyanne Conway

    • White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta got into a heated exchange, hours before President Donald Trump was expected to deliver his first prime-time address.
    • Acosta asked Conway if she believed Trump "will tell the truth" during his Tuesday night address to the nation.
    • Conway accused Acosta of seeking attention and described him as a "smart-ass."

    White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta got into a heated exchange at the White House on Tuesday, hours before President Donald Trump was scheduled to deliver his first prime-time address to the nation.

    "Can you promise that the president will tell the truth tonight? Will he tell the truth?" Acosta asked Conway, outside the White House grounds with a group of other reporters.

    "Yes Jim, and can you promise that you will?" Conway asked.

    Conway then interrupted Acosta's rebuttal.

    "And let me get back in your face because you're such a smart-ass most of the time," Conway said. "And I know you want this to go viral, a lot of these people don't like you."

    Read more: 'PRESIDENTIAL FAKE NEWS': CNN's Jim Acosta rails against Trump's hostility toward the press

    Acosta shares a well-documented history of incendiary interactions with Trump's various advisers, press secretaries, and counselors. The CNN correspondent routinely challenges the administration, and he has attracted both praise and condemnation in the process.

    Acosta's relationship with the White House hit a low point in November when it suspended his press pass after a particularly heated one-on-one exchange with Trump during a press conference.

    CNN filed a lawsuit in response, alleging its First Amendment rights were violated, and the White House reinstated Acosta's hard pass.

    Trump is scheduled to deliver his first prime-time address at 9:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, amid the ongoing partial government shutdown that is now on its 18th day. The president is expected to discuss the developments on the US-Mexico border, which he described as a "crisis."

    SEE ALSO: 'PRESIDENTIAL FAKE NEWS': CNN's Jim Acosta rails against Trump's hostility toward the press

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump's stance on China is 'not at all crazy'


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