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All About That Base, No Trouble

All About That Base, No Trouble By Peter Tchir of Academy Securities Last weekend we published Positioning & Key Drivers. Much of the work on interest rates followed up on the previous week’s Rates, Risk & Taylor Swift, but we really wanted to highlight “positioning”, aka “the base”. Positioning has been forming the “base” for market moves in both directions. The market’s response to Fed Chair Powell finally agreeing with us (they have to be much more cautious on rate hikes going forward) exposed the broader positioning in bonds and possibly equities. The rallies were strong, though I’d argue that the equities rally was less about positioning and more about people finally having to accept that the Fed has little interest in driving the economy into the ground. Powell’s message was not contradicted by other Fed speakers and was actually reinforced by them (all good for stocks). There is some furious debate over Friday’s market behavior. What Did Friday’s Price Action Tell Us? Price action early in the week was quite obvious. We saw weak data come in, which was coupled with the Fed pulling back on their tightening narrative (terminal rate is probably still too high). Friday saw stocks and bonds collapse after the Non-Farm Payroll data was released. The strong headline data wasn’t the key driver (though it had some impact). What drove the initial sell-off in stocks and bonds was the high and unexpected jump in average wages. That part is clear. What is less clear is why stocks and bonds reversed course (the 10-year came back from 3.63% to 3.48% and the S&P 500 e-mini futures rebounded from 4,007 back to 4,075 at the 4pm close). There are two competing theories: It’s all about the base. Positioning was so bearish that the market had to rally on news that just a couple of weeks ago would have sent it spiraling down. There is some logic to this, but there is little evidence that the market is so bearishly positioned. We can concede that the market isn’t overly bullish, but this “short covering panic theory” leaves a lot to be desired, at least for me. People questioned the data. For those of you who are sick and tired of reading T-Reports highlighting inconsistencies in the data (big focus on jobs and owners equivalent rent), you may have received many such notes from others this past week. My inbox and social media channels were filled with people questioning the jobs report. There was the now “obvious” discrepancy between the Establishment and the Household Surveys (the Household showed job losses). The data from 2 months ago got revised down (again). There were questions about the birth/death adjustment (was high in a period where other evidence showed that existing small businesses struggled, which isn’t typically a sign that new small businesses were being created rapidly). There were also questions about the historically low response rate (possibly due to timing of the survey and Thanksgiving). Finally, many people started to question if the new and improved ADP data isn’t the better data to watch. Maybe neither explanation is correct? No Trouble? Maybe there are two other big factors influencing markets: The potential for some form of armistice, truce, détente, or something between Russia and Ukraine. While many members of our Geopolitical Intelligence Group see the slog grinding through the winter, there are three things that I think have changed, making some sort of peace more likely. The U.S. election is over. Whether we like it or not, support of Ukraine was an election issue. This support had already started to break down along party lines. Why? I don’t know, but that is certainly my perception. So, with the election over, the ongoing cost of supporting Ukraine with weapons and aid will come to the forefront. The tricky question of “how does this end?” will rise to the top. Can we give Ukraine enough support to push Russia completely out? Possibly, but at what expense and where does that leave Putin and Russia? Energy. It is the winter and energy needs are spiking. The West is set to impose more sanctions and there is something about price caps (which I admit I haven’t read, because they are so unlikely to work and far more likely to backfire). Russia, by all accounts, has done a much better job than the West in securing transport for their fuel (not shocking as we pat ourselves on the back about sanctions while they are busy working around the issues). The logistics of these new sanctions will cause the amount of transportation needed to skyrocket. Quite simply, energy markets used to be somewhat efficient. A delivered to B and C delivered to D because they were closer. If A has to ship to D and B has to ship to C, the distances are longer. Ships would be at sea for longer, reducing the number of shipments. For a lot of reasons, addressing global energy concerns may take precedence over what Ukraine wants (and possibly even deserves). Winter. Winter was already mentioned in the energy discussion, but it plays several other roles. Academy’s GIG expects Russia to try to take advantage of frozen rivers to renew their attack on Ukraine. Russia needs to push west and all the rivers run north/south. At the moment, this forces the Russians to cross over bridges in very specific areas which are easily defended by Ukrainians with their highly capable weapons systems. Frozen rivers could help the Russians, but increasingly the efficiency of Ukrainian soldiers will make any Russian advance more difficult. That has led to targeting more and more infrastructure in Ukraine. Ukrainian winters are bleak at the best of times, let alone without the energy and raw resources needed to survive. The human toll will be bad for Ukraine even if they are technically “winning.” Finally, the forced migration of Ukrainians into Europe is placing unexpected burdens on the countries receiving those refugees. The longer the war and destruction lasts, the less likely people are willing or able to go “home” when it is all said and done. Winter will crystalize many risks. China. China seems to be nudging Putin along. You could almost argue that Xi, when he met with Putin, gave him a “win it, or get out ultimatum.” Let’s not fool ourselves, China would be okay with a Russian victory, but they are tired of the daily headlines. Since Russia hasn’t achieved this victory there could be pressure on Putin (whose health is being questioned again in some circles) to find some “graceful” way out. Putin is a bully, but even bullies recognize bigger bullies and try to appease them. The end of China’s zero-COVID policy. This attracts a lot of attention and seems logical (at least from our perspective). It seems realistic that China will set in motion steps to have fewer and less severe restrictions after the winter (there is that word again). That should be good for global supply chains, but with inventory levels already too high, I’m not sure how much of a bounce can be expected from China shifting their policy. Of all these narratives, I like the “peace” one the best (as you can tell by the time spent on that subject relative to others). If we get another big rally in stocks, it could be linked to developments on this front. Mo Trouble? We’ve examined no trouble, so what could cause more trouble? We covered this in more detail in Doesn’t Goldilocks Get Eaten in the End?, so we will just highlight the key issues. The Fed has already set the dominos in motion. The wealth effect and higher rates are bringing the economy to a screeching halt in some areas that will in turn impact others. The recession is coming sooner and will be deeper than expected (we will ultimately recover, but first we need to get through the recession fears). Quantitative tightening is like a nagging cough. It doesn’t seem too bad, but it certainly isn’t good, and you have to be worried about whether it will develop into something more severe. Without a doubt the Fed is committed to balance sheet reduction (because they now believe what I’ve believed all along – that QE affects asset prices directly and that is a big issue and one they want to resolve). When does bad news become bad? My guess is soon, even after Friday’s reversal (remember, Friday’s NFP data wasn’t really “bad” in any traditional sense, so it’s difficult to garner much information on how the market will respond to truly bad economic news, especially on the jobs front). The Pseudo-Random Wildcard! I like using the term pseudo-random as opposed to random because it sounds “smart,” but is actually appropriate as I’m going to apply it to the trading of daily and weekly expiration options. The prominence of these very short-dated options should not be understated. Report after report comes in showing that volumes in these options are increasing and are a large part of all options trading. This includes not just open interest, but also the back-and-forth trading of these contracts. This literally sets us up for large gamma moves each and every day. Any significant move has a greater likelihood of triggering additional buying or more selling, rather than encouraging profit taking or dip buying. It’s a minefield out there wondering what price point triggers buying from those who sold options, which in turn risks pushing levels to the next option point. It is a massive wildcard in trading these days. But it is not random. There are clearly strategies involved in trading these and just because I don’t understand them (yet) doesn’t mean we should ignore them. I’m reasonably certain of two things about these short expiration options: They mostly amplify already large moves. They allow markets to shift from seemingly being overbought to oversold in record time (and vice versa). In terms of learning more, this is an area that requires more study and better understanding. Bottom Line If it weren’t for my “hopes” that we will see some progress with Russia and Ukraine, I’d be in full anti-Goldilocks mode. Barring any positive news out of this war, I’d like to be in a “risk-off” position. Long/overweight bonds (especially in the 2-to-7-year part of the curve) and short/underweight credit spreads and equities. Since this is what I believe most strongly, it is what I should do. But, if you can’t beat them, join them, so I’d also buy some daily or weekly calls to benefit from any headline risk. Maybe the “everyone is short thesis” is correct, but I’m still not there and don’t believe that last week really supported this theory. The moves were rational given the data (and guesstimating the impact of the short-dated expiration options). On the Fed, I don’t expect them to backtrack, and I am looking for the data to drive the terminal rate lower. It isn’t often that you can be in bearish mode with world peace as the risk against you, so hopefully we get that peace dividend and the daily call options pay off! Tyler Durden Mon, 12/05/2022 - 10:50.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT2 hr. 12 min. ago Related News

Big Tech CEOs are asking employees to step up — or step aside

Tech CEOs from Meta to Amazon have a message for their employees: step up, or run the risk of being fired. Welcome to another week, readers. Writing to you from New York, I'm your host, Jordan Parker Erb.Over the past few weeks, we've watched as Elon Musk has shifted Twitter's culture. One of the biggest transitions was his decision that employees will be fired unless they work at an "extremely hardcore" rate to build "Twitter 2.0."But Musk isn't the only one upping the expectations for workers. Across the industry, tech CEOs are asking their employees to step up — or step aside.Let's get started.If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.Elon Musk looks down during a speech.Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images1. It's not just Elon Musk: Major tech CEOs are asking employees to step up or risk getting fired. After taking over at Twitter, Musk notoriously asked staffers to work "long hours at high intensity" or quit. But other tech CEOs from firms like Meta and Amazon have also been turning up the heat on employees. At Facebook, for example, CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told staff in early July that he would be "raising expectations and having more aggressive goals."Alphabet, too, has outlined plans to "make the company 20% more productive" when CEO Sundar Pichai sounded the alarm that employee productivity needed to improve. Already famously frugal, Amazon urged the company during an all-hands meeting in early October to "double down on frugality" and told employees to "accomplish more with less," according to leaked slides from the meeting.Though their language was more diplomatic than Elon's, the message was still similar: Employees will be expected to step up or find somewhere else to work.Here's what more tech CEOs are expecting.In other news:The Washington Post/Getty, Murat Taner/Getty, Tyler Le/Insider2. How did crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried conquer Washington? More than a dozen Washington insiders, FTX employees, and crypto industry observers said that by using lavish parties and huge campaign contributions, SBF was able to turn the government's watchdogs into lapdogs. Take an inside look at how he pulled it off.3. Microsoft's former VP of HR shares one interview question that makes or breaks job candidates. The question — "tell me something you've learned in the last couple of days" — helped him learn everything he needed to know about the applicant. He explains why, and what he would look for in an answer.4. A laid-off DoorDash employee said they were depending on it for their H1B visa. The employee was one of 1,250 workers who were laid off last week. Now, without DoorDash's visa sponsorship, the worker is no longer eligible for permanent residency in the United States. Read their story here.5. These top investors are searching for the next fintech darling. While fintech investing has seen a slump in the past few months, we spoke with 11 VCs who are bullish around payments and think the sector is going to gain traction soon. Meet the 11 VCs here.6. Twitter is now relying more on AI to identify harmful content. That's according to the company's new trust and safety chief, who also said Twitter now favors restricting distribution rather than deleting certain content. Here's what else the chief said.7. Buzzy startups failed to fix mental-health care. In the past two years, startups looking to fix mental health care got a record $7.8 billion in investment from venture firms like SoftBank. But many of them spent too much cash competing for patients, wreaking havoc on their finances, and now their mistakes are fueling the space's next generation. 8. As Meta pulls back on offices to cut costs, TikTok looks to expand. TikTok is searching for a new 150,000-square-foot office in Los Angeles just as the company's rival Meta has backed away from its own office expansion in the city. Here, a tale of two tech giants.Odds and ends:Sadie Sink in "Stranger Things" season four part one.Netflix9. Can you guess Spotify's most-streamed "throwback" song of 2022? Here's a hint: The pop song — which was first released in 1985 — saw a chart resurgence back in June thanks to the latest season of Netflix's "Stranger Things." See if you guessed correctly.10. The electric Hummer isn't as great for the environment as you might think. In a way, the new Hummer simply repackages many of the same flaws of hulking SUVs and trucks of years past (and uses significantly more electricity than other EVs) — proving not all EVs are created equal.What we're watching today:The Fortune Brainstorm A.I. event takes place today and tomorrow.Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year will be announced.The Brookings Institute is hosting a discussion on an AI Bill of Rights at 2 p.m. ET.Curated by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Feedback or tips? Email jerb@insider.com or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT6 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

I turned myself into a masterpiece using Lensa, the chart-topping app that can make anyone a digital work of art — here"s how it works

After submitting photos and paying a small fee, 15 minutes later I received avatars of my likeness as digital art in categories like anime and pop. I transformed myself into AI-generated digital art.Lensa After seeing all my friends transformed into works of art, I finally decided to download the Lensa app.  Lensa uses AI technology to turn 10-20 images into artwork across categories like anime, fairy princess, and pop.  The service costs $3.99 for 50 images, and is a fun and interesting way to see AI technology at work.  While scrolling through Instagram this weekend, I couldn't help but notice that suddenly all of my friends had been transformed into works of art.Wedged between photos of babies and brunches, my feed was filled with digital images of friends' likenesses turned into anime characters, fairy princesses, and art pop figures. The longer I swiped, the more I wanted to become a masterpiece, too.So I downloaded Lensa, the wildly popular app behind the digital self-portraits, made with AI technology that renders selfies into artwork. Lensa first launched in 2018 as a photo editing tool, though it wasn't until the company debuted its "Magic Avatars" tool last month that the app exploded in popularity. It's currently the top downloaded app in the Apple Store's Photo & Video category, a particularly impressive feat given it's not free.While Lensa offers a seven-day free-trial to use the app before charging $29.99 for a monthly subscription, access to the avatar tool costs a separate $3.99 for 50 images. According to Lensa, the additional payment is to offset the cost of the "tremendous computation power" needed to create the avatars.So I decided to swallow my pride and pay up because I simply had to see how it worked. Upon downloading the app and opening the Magic Avatars feature, Lensa walks you through the process, explaining that the technology, which operates using the open source Stable Diffusion model, is not perfect and "may generate artifacts, inaccuracies, and defects in output images."Thankfully, I had already been warned by a friend who received a distorted image of himself with two heads, so I was primed for some odd results (which I did indeed receive, but more on that later).Lensa walks you through the process.LensaThe next step is to upload 10-20 photos. Lensa recommends close-up selfies with a variety of backgrounds, facial expressions, and angles to get the best results. After submitting 10 photos, I was asked to indicate my gender as female, male, or other. I was then directed to a checkout page, where users are given the option to select from 50, 100, or 200 "unique avatars." I opted for 50 for $3.99, which is half the regular cost as part of my free trial membership. A selection of selfies I submitted to Lensa.Bethany Biron/InsiderOnce I made a payment, I was informed the process would take about 20 minutes, and I was given the option to receive a notification when the avatars were complete. I selected yes.About 15 minutes later I received a push notification that my avatars were ready. My 50 avatars were delivered in 10 categories of 5 images including Iridescent, Light, Stylish, Anime, Cosmic, Fantasy, Kawaii, Pop, Focus, and Fairy Princess. Some of Lensa's avatar categories.LensaAs expected, some of the results were very bizarre, while others made me feel quite beautiful. Many looked absolutely nothing like me, and in one I look vaguely like disgraced Theranos founder, Elizabeth Holmes, black turtleneck and all. As my friend warned, I did receive a handful of distorted renderings with multiple limbs or heads, which was ... the stuff of nightmares. Stuff of nightmaresLensaBut for a robot creating art in 15 minutes, it did a decent job. Ultimately, it was fun, though maybe not worth $3.99. Still, there have been concerns about Lensa. In addition to some users scoffing at the price, others worry about how the images are used, raising privacy questions similar to those surrounding the 2020 launch of FaceApp, a Russian app that also uses AI technology. Though the app says photos are "immediately deleted" from its servers after the avatars are complete, some are questioning whether they may be used or stored.Meanwhile, others are speaking out against Lensa and AI-generated art for detracting from the work of human artists, with some accusing the company of stealing artwork from digital creators.—meg rae (@megraeart) December 2, 2022Lensa did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. And despite its detractors, the app is showing no sign of slowing down: According to SensorTower data cited by TechCrunch, in November the app was downloaded 1.6 million times, up 631% from 219,000 downloads the month prior. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT6 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman is walking back on comments seemingly defending SBF — says "nothing could be further from the truth"

Ackman tweeted he thought Sam Bankman-Fried was "telling the truth," in response to SBF's media interview with the NYT where he admitted to making mistakes but said he "did not ever try to commit fraud on anyone." Billionaire investor Bill Ackman said his comments on FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried were misinterpreted.Richard Brian/Reuters Bankman-Fried said at NYT's DealBook Summit he had "made a lot of mistakes." But he denied committing fraud. Bill Ackman said his tweet about FTX founder Bankman-Fried being "believable" was misinterpreted. Ackman later walked back on his tweet saying FTX's blow-up was "the most egregious, large-scale case of business gross negligence."  Billionaire investor Bill Ackman said his comments on disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried were misinterpreted.Ackman was seen to be defending Bankman-Fried after the former FTX CEO denied committing fraud at the New York Times DealBook Summit last Wednesday. "Clearly I made a lot of mistakes. There are things I would give anything to be able to do over again. I did not ever try to commit fraud on anyone," Bankman-Fried told Andrew Ross Sorkin. He also said he didn't "knowingly commingle" funds between the FTX exchange and Alameda, its affiliated trading firm."Call me crazy, but I think @sbf is telling the truth," Ackman, the founder and CEO of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, tweeted Wednesday. But Ackman — whose net worth is around $3.5 billion, per Forbes — walked back on his comments on Saturday, saying he wasn't defending or "somehow supporting" Bankman-Fried. "Nothing could be further from the truth," tweeted Ackman.—Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) December 3, 2022FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11 and Bankman-Fried resigned as CEO on the same day after it was caught in an intense liquidity crunch for a week. The stunning collapse caught investors by surprise and Bankman-Fried has been on a media apology tour since. The US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are investigating FTX's collapse. Bankman-Fried was also reportedly interviewed by the Bahamian police on November 12. "The @FTX_Official fiasco is, at a minimum, the most egregious, large-scale case of business gross negligence that I have observed in my career, and that conclusion is reinforced by SBF's recent public statements," Ackman added in the thread.—Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) December 3, 2022But "if indeed he is telling the truth, it may make it more likely that he has civil rather than criminal liability," tweeted Ackman on Saturday.—Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) December 3, 2022Ackman did not immediately respond to a request from Insider for further comment that was sent to Pershing Square outside regular business hours.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT9 hr. 56 min. ago Related News

China"s COVID policy is top of mind for investors as unrest rattled markets last week. Here are 5 things they"re watching as Beijing signals willingness to loosen some restrictions.

From eyeing energy stocks to preparing for Xi Jinping dig in on his COVID policy, here's what some market experts are monitoring. Protesters march in Beijing.Photo by NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images Chinese cities have loosened COVID restrictions in the wake of mass protests, lifting Chinese stocks.  But market watchers are still preparing to see if China is ready to announce a full reopening of its economy.  Here are five things experts say they're watching in China after protests shook the market.  Chinese equities finished higher last week after cities throughout the country relaxed some strict COVID-19 restrictions, but questions remain whether the government will fully scrap the zero-COVID policy it put in place after the outbreak began in 2019.  Protests in at least 17 cities erupted last week after 10 people died in an apartment fire in the city of Urumqi, with local residents angered by the building being blocked off by lockdown measures. Protestors, in a rare display of dissent against China's authoritarian government, called for President Xi Jinping to resign.  China's top pandemic official last week appeared to signal a softening in the zero-COVID policy but the government has yet to pledge a comprehensive step-down. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 6.3% and the Shanghai Composite gained 1.8% last week but each remained sharply lower for 2022, down 20% and 13%, respectively."Hopefully ... the Chinese government will start to unlock a little bit more. But knowing China, they have a habit of keeping a tight fist, "Darrell Martin, founder and CEO of Apex Trader Funding, a proprietary trading platform, told Insider. Retail investors should be prepared to move defensively should Beijing's decisions on zero-COVID policy go against their respective positions, Martin said. "I think you definitely need to learn how to trade short in this market. That's something that many retail traders are foreign to – where they can sell first and buy second," he said. "There are short ETFs … and for more active investors, they can short the market in  a regular trading account or investing account."  Here's what some market experts are looking at as global investors watch for developments surrounding the Chinese government's zero-COVID stance. More crackdowns, more market losses. Emerging markets investing legend Mark Mobius said last week that Chinese stocks may come under further pressure in the face of the government's response to dissent. "It's clear to me that Xi cannot tolerate any protests, so there will be a very tough crackdown on any protesters," Mobius told Bloomberg TV. "More people will be arrested and they will probably go further in terms of population control in many areas.""So if you have that kind of scenario, then you've got to consider that the market will probably not do that well in the short term," he added.FOMO is back in China The "recent pickup in China equity inflows … suggests the fear of missing out is back," Emmanuel Cau, European equity analyst at Barclays, wrote this week. "China mobility in 2022 is now lower than it was in 2020, when the pandemic started, while it is the opposite for Europe and US," he wrote. "So while reopening may not be a smooth process, all else equal, it seems reasonable to expect a positive growth impulse, or less growth drag, from zero-Covid next year in China compared to this year, in our view." Metals prices to get a lift A China reopening would contribute upside potential for certain metals, Bank of America said, noting China accounts for 50% of global metals demand. "A second leg higher in the Fed's tightening cycle in 2H23 remains a key downside risk to commodity prices, particularly gold. Yet we expect Chinese economic activity to pick up firmly as Zero Covid policies are gradually eased lending support to the commodity complex," wrote Francisco Blanch, head of global commodities at BofA. The bank said it's increasingly constructive on transition metals like copper as Chinese spending on infrastructure and its electrical grid should combine with rising sales of electric vehicles. Copper could rise to $12,000 a ton next yea and aluminum may reach $2,738 a tonne.  Position for China's re-opening Being bullish on energy stocks in the way to be positioned if China were to "truly" reopen its economy in the second quarter of 2023, Anastasia Amoroso, chief investment strategist at iCapital, wrote in a note. The "country's traffic congestion, airline bookings and flights, and overall mobility should [recover] meaningfully, supporting more demand for oil in an otherwise constrained supply environment," she said. Brent crude oil traded above $85 a barrel on Friday and has lost about 13% over the past month. The S&P 500 energy sector has risen modestly over the past month but it's zoomed up 64% during 2022. China policy, after all, is "impossible to predict" Activist short-seller Carson Block said this week on CNBC that China has not been outlining its economic policy goals and investors need to price in such risk. The founder of Muddy Waters Research said projections from Wall Street investment banks about China's next COVID policy moves are viewed from the "prior lens" of a government that was open to foreign investment and raising its citizens' standards of living. "You have to understand that nobody has an edge as to predicting China policy anymore. The guy you know who's got lots of 'guanxi' or relationships in China? No, that doesn't matter anymore," Block said. "So you have to price in to what you're willing to pay the understanding that you wake up one morning and [say], 'It's down 90%.' Because that's what China is now. It is impossible to predict on a macro level."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT9 hr. 56 min. ago Related News

The TSA"s facial recognition technology, which is currently being used at 16 major domestic airports, may go nationwide next year

The TSA has used various biometric technologies since the 9/11 terror attacks but its facial identification system is still a pilot program. A TSA agent at LAX.Brady MacDonald/Insider The TSA may expand its facial recognition identification system nationwide next year, WaPo reported. Facial recognition is currently used in 16 domestic airports for identifying passengers. The TSA has used various biometric technologies since the 9/11 terror attacks. The TSA may expand the pilot program of its facial recognition identification system — currently being used in 16 domestic airports across the United States — to include airports nationwide as early as next year.The Washington Post reported the TSA's use of the controversial technology, which relies on "live photos" cross-referenced to your driver's license photo, was originally rolled out at DC's Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport due to coronavirus concerns and has since grown to include major airports such as Los Angeles International Airport, Orlando International Airport, and Dallas-Forth Worth Airport. The tech is currently opt-in, with passengers stepping up to a kiosk, inserting their ID, and having their faces scanned. Currently, passengers can choose a standard TSA screening process instead. "What we often see with these biometric programs is they are only optional in the introductory phases — and over time we see them becoming standardized and nationalized and eventually compulsory," Albert Fox Cahn, the founder of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, or STOP, told The Post. "There is no place more coercive to ask people for their consent than an airport."In addition to the TSA, facial recognition technology is currently utilized by other agencies under the Department of Homeland Security, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which uses the tech to track migrants. Law enforcement agencies have also adopted the tech, though its use has been heavily criticized due to widespread reports of racial bias.Its use by law enforcement is even illegal in some cities, including San Francisco as, in some cases, racially-biased facial recognition scans have led to false arrests and even jail time for a Black man who was misidentified.TSA's Jason Lim, who helps run the program, called Credential Authentication Technology with Camera (CAT-2), told The Washington Post passengers should not worry about being misidentified — but critics aren't eager to take his word for it."I am worried that the TSA will give a green light to technology that is more likely to falsely accuse Black and Brown and nonbinary travelers and other groups that have historically faced more facial recognition errors," Cahn told The Post, adding that he doesn't "trust the TSA to evaluate the efficacy of its own facial recognition systems."Representatives for the TSA did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT14 hr. 12 min. ago Related News

You may think Twitter was wrong to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story but it wasn"t a violation of the First Amendment

Twitter's handling of the Hunter Biden story and other content moderation sparked outcry about the First Amendment, but Twitter is not the government. In this photo illustration, the image of Elon Musk is displayed on a computer screen and the logo of twitter is reflected in Ankara, Turkiye on October 06, 2022.Muhammed Selim Korkutata / Anadolu Agency via Getty Journalist Matt Taibbi on Friday published new details about Twitter's content moderation decisions. Fox News pundits and Elon Musk described the decisions as violations of the First Amendment. Twitter, as a private company and not the government, can choose what it does and does not publish. Twitter's suppression of a story about Hunter Biden's laptop has come under increased scrutiny in the two years since it was published, especially as additional news outlets have verified some of the laptop's contents. But whether or not the decision was wrong, it wasn't a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.On October 14, 2020, one month before the election, the New York Post published a story that claimed to include materials taken from a laptop that belonged to Joe Biden's son Hunter. Twitter quickly suppressed the distribution of the story, initially blocking users from sharing the link, citing concerns it could be the result of hacking or a foreign disinformation campaign.Twitter backtracked on its initial response within days after receiving heavy backlash, and former CEO Jack Dorsey and others from the company have said the initial decision to block the story from being shared was wrong. Since the story's publication, outlets including The New York Times and The Washington Post have confirmed the authenticity of some of the laptop's contents.After taking over Twitter in October, Elon Musk promised to release details about the company's handling of the story. On Friday, Matt Taibbi, an independent journalist, published a lengthy Twitter thread that included internal communications about the decision-making process.Taibbi also reported that Twitter received and granted requests from both the Trump White House and the Biden campaign to remove content. At least some of the posts the Biden campaign requested be removed included nude photos that would have violated Twitter's terms of service under its non-consensual nudity policy.Musk, who said this year he voted Republican for the first time, quickly criticized the Biden team."Twitter acting by itself to suppress free speech is not a 1st amendment violation, but acting under orders from the government to suppress free speech, with no judicial review, is," Musk wrote, despite the fact that the Biden campaign was a private entity, and therefore not the government.But regardless of what Musk or pundits on Fox News assert — or whether or not the decision to suppress the story was right or ethical — Twitter's actions were not a violation of the First Amendment.Congress shall make no law..."The clear answer, the 100 percent clear answer, is no," Doron Kalir, a professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, told Insider. "Twitter is not a state actor and the First Amendment applies only to state actors."The actual text of the amendment states it plainly: "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."Congress. Which courts have established extends to the government at all federal, state, and local levels. So whether or not Twitter could violate the First Amendment, depends on whether or not it can be considered the government. But courts across the US have ruled that sites like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook are not state entities. They are independent companies."Federal courts in the United State have ruled time and again, and as recently as 2020, that those digital platforms are not state actors, therefore they are not the government, and the government cannot restrict them in any way," Kalir said, referencing the 2020 case Prager University v. Google LLC, in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled YouTube was not a state actor.Which means rather than Twitter violating the First Amendment, the private platform was actually expressing its First Amendment rights by making its own decisions about what to publish.Media outlets have discretion to grant or refuse requests from the governmentAs for the requests to remove specific content, as far as we know, they were exactly that: requests."Both the state, the Trump White House, and the Biden team were asking Twitter, and Twitter was under no obligation to either oblige or refuse those requests," Kalir said.Unlike the Biden team, the White House was a state actor. But Kalir noted that cooperation between media and government is about as old as government itself. Journalists and news outlets often rely on the government, sometimes through leaks or anonymous sources.That cooperation may also include requests from a state actor to postpone publishing a story or even to withhold names or other information for national security concerns or other reasons. And again, outlets have the discretion to agree or not agree to such requests."At some point, when the news outlet sheds its independent features and becomes a funnel for government information or disinformation, then it's no longer a private publication and you could claim that the First Amendment should be implicated," Kalir explained, but added that the Twitter case "does not even come close to the line."He said he knew of no precedent in the US in which a court ruled a newspaper or media outlet was acting as an arm of the government.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Migration to other social media platforms shows no signs of slowing following Elon Musk"s chaotic takeover at Twitter, report says

Since Elon Musk's takeover, Mastodon account names have been added to the Twitter bios of more than 90,000 users, according to a report. Twitter; Mastodon; Vicky Leta/Insider A new report published on Friday found that the #TwitterMigration shows no signs of slowing. In the midst of Elon Musk's Twitter takeover, users are joining other social networks like Mastodon. Mastodon is growing by approximately 1.5 million new users per month, as per Dewey Digital. A new report is helping visualize the changes many Twitter users face as both new and old social media platforms vie for their attention. The movement has been dubbed the #TwitterMigration, a hashtag referring to users relocating to other online communities.Twitter has always been chaotic but it has been even more so in the midst of Elon Musk's turbulent takeover. Since Musk closed the $44 billion deal to purchase the bird app, he's shared conspiracy theories, antisemitic rhetoric has spread rapidly, and users will soon have to pay $8 to be verified on the platform. In response to his antics, users are either maintaining their accounts and starting new profiles elsewhere or moving to other social networks entirely to share their thoughts. The movement shows no signs of slowing, according to a report published on Friday by Dewey Square Group, a political consulting firm.'If people are leaving, where are they going?'Tim Chambers, a principal and project lead at Dewey Digital, the media arm of Dewey Square Group, told Insider that his team wanted to understand what's exactly driving the exodus. "When I saw the recent events occurring with Elon Musk's purchase and the sort of chaos ensuing on Twitter, it was really important for us to be able to see if people are leaving, where are they going?" Chambers said. Chambers' team used data from Twitter and made their conclusions based on users who added alternative social media accounts to their Twitter bios, public tweets from users asking people to follow them on different social media platforms, and app downloads over the same time period from October 24 to November 22.The group found that Mastodon — an app described as "social networking that's not for sale" by its website — is steadily growing by approximately 1.5 million new users per month. Since Musk's takeover, Mastodon account names have been added to the Twitter bios of more than 90,000 users and mentioned by users nearly 200,000 times in the last 30 days, as per Dewey Digital."This is by far the most of any of the emerging social platforms," the report said.The flow of Twitter users stating their new accounts for each platform over this time period, referring to emerging social networks.Tim Chambers/Dewey Square GroupMastodon was created in 2016 by Eugen Rochko, a German software developer. In an interview with Time Magazine, the 29-year-old said he began coding Mastodon after becoming irritated with Twitter. "I was thinking that being able to express myself online to my friends through short messages was very important to me, important also to the world, and that maybe it should not be in the hands of a single corporation," Rochko said.The platform is an open-source, free social network that's decentralized, which means there is not one individual server, company, or person running it. "It was generally related to a feeling of distrust of the top-down control that Twitter exercised," Rochko said.On November 6, Rochko tooted — Mastodon's version of tweeting — that the network had hit 1,028,362 monthly active users. "That's pretty cool," the founder said.  Twitter has about 237 million total users.'It just shows how easy it is for everyone to just migrate to another platform'Molly Jong-Fast, a special correspondent at Vanity Fair and podcast host, recently made the switch to the app in November. When asked how it compares to Twitter, she told Insider, it's "not quite as light and easy to use, but it's 44 billion dollars cheaper." "It just shows how easy it is for everyone to just migrate to another platform. I feel like that's the lesson of Mastodon," Jong-Fast said.Jong-Fast has one million followers on Twitter and said while she doesn't have plans to leave the app, she will if Musk continues down the path he's going. In the days after Musk's official takeover, online trolls flooded Twitter with more than 50,000 tweets containing the "N-word" and other forms of hate speech."I would rather not support nefarious causes so as soon as there's a good alternative, I'll go there," Jong-Fast said.Adam Davidson, a writer and journalist, has had Mastodon for four years but began actively using it in the last few weeks. He told Insider that Twitter was bringing out the worst in him and he wanted to explore other social networks. "Twitter fundamentally monetizes engagement," he said. "And I feel like this [Mastodon] is really focused on conversation."—Adam Davidson @adamdavidson@journa.host (@adamdavidson) November 7, 2022  Davidson created a server on Mastodon solely for journalists. The server has already surpassed 1,000 users but Davidson has run into some complications. He told Insider, upon making the server, 184 trolls signed up and began spewing vile, hate-filled messages toward those in the group. As an admin, he was able to moderate the hate speech and blocked these users from posting. Another challenge that's come up is some server admins approaching him with concerns about not wanting reporters to mine the social network for stories or sources — something that frequently happens on Twitter. "Mastodon historically has been a lot of academics, a lot of activists, and not a lot of journalists," Davidson said. While there have been a few hiccups, Davidson said overall, Mastodon provides a number of benefits Twitter doesn't, such as access to people having expert conversations without the hostility that's become normalized on the bird app.Dewey Digital will conduct another report in the near future. Chambers told Insider that Twitter executives should be monitoring the migration trends. "I'm watching very, very closely, and I imagine teams inside Twitter are as well," Chambers said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYT16 hr. 28 min. ago Related News

Tulsi Gabbard"s one-time Democratic colleagues are both perplexed and unsurprised by her far-right pivot: "An Elise Stefanik kind of turn"

Asked what happened to his one-time supporter, Sen. Bernie Sanders dramatically threw his hands up. Others say she's showing her true colors. Tulsi Gabbard speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, FL on February 25, 2022.Octavio Jones/Reuters Former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard left the Democratic Party before campaign with far-right Republicans. Insider asked some of Gabbard's former colleagues what they made of her political pivot. One said it was "disturbing," while others shrugged it off, suggesting it's who she always was. As Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont strode through the Capitol basement, on his way to the last vote of the evening on the Tuesday following the midterm elections, he quickly recoiled when asked about a one-time political ally."Nope," Sanders said when Insider asked if he'd like to talk about former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, an early supporter of his 2016 presidential campaign. "Thank you."Asked what he thought had happened to Gabbard, who resigned a position at the Democratic National Committee that year in order to back the independent senator's upstart campaign, he dramatically threw his hands up as he boarded an escalator en route to the Senate chamber."Don't know," he said, adding that the last time that he spoke with her was a "long time ago."In the course of the last two years, Gabbard has pivoted from being a somewhat unconventional Democrat — whose greatest controversy may have been her decision to travel to Syria to meet with dictator Bashar al-Assad — to a Republican in all but name, embracing right-wing positions on abortion and transgender rights and accusing Democrats of "stoking anti-white racism.""To be honest, I find it disturbing," Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who served with Gabbard on the House Committee on Armed Services, told Insider at the Capitol.A spokesperson for Gabbard did not respond to Insider's request for comment.'I think it was who she was all the time'In October, after competing in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary and endorsing Joe Biden, she announced that she was leaving the party. Recently, she has become a Fox News contributor and has guest-hosted Tucker Carlson's show.She went on to campaign in the final months of this year's midterm elections with some of the GOP's most extreme candidates, including Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, New Hampshire Senate candidate Don Bolduc, and GOP House candidate Joe Kent, who attended a rally in support of January 6 rioters.Moulton noted his own history of criticizing the Democratic Party, and his prior disagreements with Gabbard on policy, but said her support for extreme Republicans went too far. "Outright supporting election deniers and people who are dangerous for our national security — something that should be important to a veteran like Tulsi — is very difficult to understand.""It's sort of like an Elise Stefanik kind of turn," he continued, referring to the New York GOP congresswoman who transformed over the course of a few years from a prominent skeptic of former President Donald Trump to one of his most dogged supporters in Congress. "This is bigger than national security, this is about morality in the Constitution of the United States, and supporting people who don't support our democratic principles."Moulton described his relationship with Gabbard as "friendly and cordial," but said he hadn't spoken to her since her latest pivot. "If I thought I could change her mind, I would reach out to her at this minute."But others expressed a mixture of disdain, dismissiveness, and outright mockery of the former Democratic congresswoman."There's nothing that she does that ceases to amaze me," said Democratic Rep. Kai Kahele of Hawaii, who launched a primary bid against Gabbard in 2020 before she announced her retirement from Congress. "I think it was who she was all the time.""I'm not surprised," said Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, another former Armed Services Committee colleague of Gabbard's. "She's always shown the knack for opportunism for herself.""I mean, that's her personal right to do," he said of her apparent party switch. "She does have some people who listen to her, and those Fox viewers will continue to listen to her, and life will go on."Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, who Gabbard counted as a friend during her congressional tenure, contested the idea that she had changed at all."I don't really view it as much of a pivot," said Gaetz. "I view her current work as kind of a continuation of her bulldog attitude in Congress.""There is a feature of this place that does silo people as Republicans or Democrats," he continued. "I think she's able to be herself maybe a little bit more."Gaetz added that he was "more an admirer than a confidante," saying he hadn't spoken with Gabbard in a while.Hawaii's two Democratic senators — Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz — both declined to speculate about what may be driving Gabbard's political movement, despite serving with her in the Hawaii delegation."I think she's home," Hirono said repeatedly when asked what she thought had happened, referring to Gabbard's political home. "Why do I want to even talk about her? No, thank you.""She's a private citizen, and I don't comment on private citizens," said Schatz, adding he had "no takes" on the former congresswoman.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTDec 4th, 2022Related News

I visited the flagship stores of Nike and Adidas in NYC to compare the shopping experiences and it was clear which store was more popular

The Nike and Adidas flagship stores stand like sportswear palaces on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. See what it's like to shop at these massive stores. Sarah Belle Lin/Insider I visited the flagship stores of two of the world's largest athletic brands, Nike and Adidas, to see which shopping experience was better.  Adidas' flagship store was soccer heaven and paid homage to the FIFA World Cup.  Nike's store took me to an otherworldly space and wowed me with its Sneakerlab collection. You don't need to be a sneakerhead to own at least one pair of Adidas or Nike shoes — or maybe one of each — as well as a cache of athletic apparel from both brands. The two multibillion-dollar, multinational corporations have continuously blazed trails and faced challenges as they continue building their respective empires.Nike remains the industry powerhouse, with $46.7 billion in sales in its most recent fiscal year. Adidas reported $21.2 billion in 2021 sales.The companies' Manhattan stores are at the leading edges of their bricks-and-mortar retail strategies and often preview technologies and features that will roll out to other locations.With that in mind I felt it was worth visiting both flagship locations to compare the shopping experience. Follow my trek through these retail palaces. I first stopped by the Adidas flagship store.Adidas flagship store on 565 Fifth Avenue in New York City.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe store is equidistant from Times Square and Grand Central Station. It's on the corner of 46th Street and Fifth Avenue in a bustling neighborhood that drives much of the city's tourism. The store opened in December 2016 and spans 45,000 square feet. The entrance tunnel might bring some visitors back to their high school football days.An Adidas store associate greets customers at the end of a short, glowing tunnel.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe store's design is based on Adidas' "stadium retail concept," which takes inspiration from US high school sports stadiums, Insider previously reported. The Adidas store's tunnel, albeit a little underwhelming, did make me feel like I was about to enter a stadium. The first floor was covered with soccer jerseys for fans planning on cheering on their team at the World Cup.'World Cup Couture' on display.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI visited in late October and again in early November, and upon exiting the tunnel, I saw the theme was not football, but soccer, in anticipation of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off Nov. 20 in Qatar.  Adidas, which is an official FIFA World Cup supplier, had outfitted its first-floor displays and mannequins with soccer jerseys of all stripes and colors. I'd safely assume every team playing for the cup was well-represented inside the Adidas flagship store during my visits.The first floor is where you'll find the most personalized Adidas shopping experience.There are four levels inside the Adidas flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe Adidas flagship store offers real-time fitness consultations from EXOS trainers, healthy juices and snacks co-created with Brooklyn-based Grass Roots Juicery, a concierge desk, a same-day hotel delivery service, personalized shopping experiences such as the Run Genie gait analysis tool, and more. The customization lab allows walk-ins. Prices range from $10 to $35 depending on the service.There is an area on the first floor for customers to customize their own Adidas apparel.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderCustomers could customize World Cup national team jerseys or shorts by adding names or numbers for $35.The Adidas customization area is modest in size and approachable.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderAs someone who enjoys table sports, I loved seeing a foosball table on the first floor.A foosball table awaits players at the flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderAn employee told me the foosball table was there for the World Cup.Adidas was having a sale on women's pants at the moment and there were a lot of good deals: $40 tights for $16, and $75 track pants for $53.These mannequins were wearing apparel representing Mexico's national soccer team.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderIt's fall in New York City and I'm sporting black joggers and sweats everywhere I go. I've always been a fan of the Adidas tracksuit look, and how it's evolved within popular culture in the US: from Run-DMC to the deep-teal tracksuits on Netflix's "Squid Game."  Some of Adidas' shoe collections: NMD_V3, Stan Smith, Superstar, Nizza, and Y-3.Adidas' popular shoe collections on display.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderIn my opinion, both the Superstar and Stan Smith are classics that will live on.The Adidas Superstar shoe in a display case.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderIn 2016, the Superstar was the top-selling sneaker in the US in terms of dollar sales, according to The NPD Group. But its popularity diminished. Sales of the Superstars fell by $565 million from 2017 to 2018, Insider reported.Still, I say nothing beats timeless style.I'm not really on board with this whole purposely dirtied look.Forum 84 Low AEC shoesSarah Belle Lin/InsiderAdidas has given its Forum 84 Low AEC shoes a "well-loved look" to reflect a bygone era. I noticed this Adidas shopper wearing Yeezys.Adidas shopper wearing Yeezys.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderAdidas reportedly is expected to lose $246 million in profit this year after terminating its Yeezy partnership, Insider reported. It's estimated that Yeezy generated $1.7 billion in annual revenues for Adidas — 8% of Adidas' total sales in 2021.  The soccer section was the busiest area on both days that I visited.The soccer section with its jerseys took the most real estate at the flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI saw several people carrying Argentina national team jerseys. The men's section had far more variety, tracksuits, and foot traffic compared with the other floors. I'd almost describe the environment as lively.The women's section had various interpretations of the traditional sweatpants.Purple was a dominant color in some of the displays.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThere were birds of paradise designs, pants with crisscross seams on the sides, yoga tracksuit pants, and sky-blue pants with three orange stripes.I saw these Adidas-branded wireless bluetooth earbuds that piqued my interest, but not enough for me to convince me to drop my over-the-ear, noise-canceling headphones.Adidas earbuds.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThere were a few clothing options for youth. Many items were marked with the brand's signature three stripes.The youth section at the flagship store.Sarah Belle LinThe youth section carried several different soccer cleats and running-shoe options.Shoes for youth, including options for soccer players and runners.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThese were the most fashion-forward shoes I saw at the Adidas store.The Adidas x Ivy Park mule shoes go for $150.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderGrowing up I didn't associate Adidas with high fashion, but seeing these shoes showed me that the brand is evolving, for better or worse.I thought these "Rick and Morty" soccer cleats had the coolest colors out of all the cleats I saw in the soccer section.The X Speedportal soccer cleats, in partnership with "Rick and Morty."Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderKnowing that "Rick and Morty" is such a popular show across the world, I think these collaborations are a smart idea for Adidas.The bleachers, with a statue of Adidas founder Adolf Dassler, were cool and unexpected.The interior design was built to match a high school stadium.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThere are also elevators on each floor for customers who have mobility challenges or prefer to skip the extra steps.The all-black ensemble has grown on me, so I liked the vision of Adidas' newest clothing release.Adidas Y-3 is the company's latest collection.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI thought this was the most innovative pair of shoes I saw at Adidas. Would I wear it? Probably not.The Human Made x NMD cheetah-print shoes from the Pharrell Williams x Adidas collection.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI thought that the golf section was hidden towards the back of the third floor and harder to spot from the main walking area. It could have been better lit, as well.The golf section was small and towards the store's corner.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe checkout section had grab-and-go items including sliders and socks.The checkout area.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI think it's great that Adidas invites customers to round up their total costs to support charities like the Boys & Girls Clubs.Customers can round up their total to donate to the Boys & Girls Club.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderAfter my Adidas visit, I walked up five blocks to 650 Fifth, where Nike's flagship House of Innovation occupies most of the block.The Nike flagship store at 650 Fifth Avenue in New York City.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderNike's flagship store has two more floors than the Adidas store. It occupies 68,000 square feet of prime real estate on Manhattan's famed Fifth Avenue.I visited the Nike flagship store twice: once in the morning and again in the late afternoon.A very busy Nike flagship store entrance.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderAt 4:30 p.m. the store was almost overflowing with people going in and out.Nike also had an archway. This one transported shoppers to an out-of-this-world dimension.Nike entrance archway leading to the first floor.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderWhile Adidas had a founder's statue to commemorate its history, Nike placed tons of mementos within the entranceway.Nike history was captured in memorabilia items within the archway walls.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe display features Nike cofounders Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, and honors the legacies of female athletes like world-famous runners Jacqueline Hansen and Joan Benoit. I liked seeing the mishmash of Nike artifacts, but think they could have been strategically placed elsewhere in the store. Because they're located at the entrance, you can't really stop for too long without potentially disrupting traffic flow.Staff were more approachable and greeted people. Music was a big part of the experience, playing at a much louder volume than in Adidas.Nike associates and shoe displays greet customers at the store's entrance.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderOnce I made it into the first floor of the Nike flagship, I realized that space was a huge theme.Seeing this Nike display, I felt transported to the inside of a spaceship.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderShoe models were incorporated into futuristic displays that looked like they could belong on the surface of Mars. I felt like this theme could be enjoyed by all athletes, as opposed to Adidas' soccer setup.There was a small booth on the first floor to make purchases, and two employees checking customers out.The checkout area on the first floor was small relative to the size of the store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderIt seemed like a small area relative to the rest of the store, and I wondered if bottleneck situations are common at this checkout point.There are free Essex Squeeze drinks for Nike members.Nike's House of Innovation for performance running shoes.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderIt seems like Adidas and Nike are going head to head with their apparel, with Nike also offering New York City-branded clothing, but with what I felt like are bolder designs.The flagship store has six levels for customers to explore, and on both visits, sometimes it felt like I was competing for roaming space with throngs of visitors.There are six levels in the Nike flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderMany of the visitors were international tourists. I most often heard French and Spanish being spoken at the store.I found out that there were self-checkout kiosks located on each floor, which I guess helps ease the flow of traffic. However, these kiosks are only for people who have the Nike app.There is a self-checkout kiosk for Nike app users on the second floor.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderNike has far more sports bra selections and they are displayed in a more spread-out fashion, really utilizing the space.Sports bras are arranged by size and support level.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe sports bras seemed to be made with better materials, and were pricier than the Adidas sports bras.Nike had its own tech display, featuring the Apple Watch Nike.Nike flexes its partnership with Apple Watch in the women's section.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThese watches are aesthetically different from other Apple Watches, with unique bands and watch faces. I thought it was interesting that the watches were placed on the second floor in the women's section and wondered if they were trying to target women.Similar to the Nike-wearing customer at the Adidas flagship, I saw a Nike shopper wearing Adidas apparel, reaffirming my belief that both brands are held up almost equally in public perception.A shopper wears an Adidas backpack in the Nike flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe men's apparel section on the third floor wasn't heavily frequented, so I continued to follow the crowds as they meandered up the stairs.The men's section is on the third floor of the flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI did notice that black and neon green were common color schemes for men's apparel.I knew I'd reached the hot spot once I hit the fourth floor and Nike's Sneakerlab, holding the largest assortment of Nike shoes in the world.Nike's Sneakerlab is on the fourth floor of the flagship store.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe music seemed more deafening here, and the chatter was at its loudest in the store on my visit so far.The Sneakerlab was the busiest part of the flagship store.One of the pickup areas at the Nike Sneakerlab.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe bright-white light really brought out the displays and kept my energy level up. There were shoppers waiting around for their shoes, while others were checking out the displayed models. It looked like a museum.I spent the most time examining the Nike Air Maxes and VaporMaxes, which I felt like were the boldest and most inventive.There was a dizzying array of Nike Air shoes – from the VaporMax Plus to the Air Max 1.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI found the Nike Air Force 1 section, which was almost blindingly white, the signature color for Air Force 1s. Each shoe boasted ample display space and each Sneakerlab area felt like an exhibit.The Nike Air Force 1 shoe section.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI passed through a section with mirrored walls and an animated display featuring sneakers that were soon to be released.This Nike mirror offers a sneak peek of sneakers coming down the line.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderIt was one of my favorite parts of the Sneakerlab because of its ingenuity and innovation. I thought it was a great way to engage with customers.I made an effort to glance down at customers' shoes while walking around and wasn't surprised to see many people wearing Nikes. But I also saw Adidas, Reebok, Vans, and Pumas.Nike-wearing customers don't seem to get enough of Nike.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderWhile Adidas had its slips hung up next to the checkout counter, Nike's slips had their own displays just like the sneakers.Nike's sliders and slip-ons had their own spot in the Sneakerlab.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderNike's customization lab has its own floor and is only available for NikePlus members.The top floor is the spot to get your Nike products customized.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe lab takes same-day appointments for 30-minute time slots, but you have to schedule in-person on the 5th floor. The costs run from $3 for small graphics, to $7 for medium, and $8 for large. On both of my visits, the fifth floor had only a few people mingling about the customization lab. I wonder if it's by virtue of the appointment system the store has set up.The top floor was less frequented and swathed with Nike basic essentials.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI still enjoyed checking out what amenities were offered for NikePlus members.I passed by these fitting rooms, which I thought elevated the shopping experience. The fitting rooms on this floor look like futuristic space yurts.Fitting rooms on the fifth floor of the flagship.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe Nike By You bar came with different designs people could use to customize outfits.Nike customers looking to get a little creative with their clothes.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderBoth times I visited, there were people in the middle of their projects and designing sweatshirts with small graphics. In a city like New York, customized items are all the buzz. I saw a sweater for $130 and a t-shirt for $61.Examples of customized sweatshirts and Air Force 1s.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe stairs to the kids section were tucked at the back of the first floor, which took me some time to find. It actually felt out of the way.The kids section is on the basement level.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderYouth had an entire floor to explore – plenty of clothing and shoes to mix and match. There were many more options for children than what Adidas offered at its flagship store.There were several racks of clothing on the kids floor.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderI got a real kick out of seeing this wall of preschool and toddler shoes.Teeny-tiny 1s and Js for preschoolers and toddlers.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe integrity of the AF1s, Js, and Dunks were preserved in these teeny-size versions.After my visits, I could easily see how distinct the store experiences were between Adidas and Nike.Customers can do returns and exchanges on the kids floor.Sarah Belle Lin/InsiderThe interior designs, for one, were vastly different: Adidas went for stadium appeal — clearly catering to its soccer fans — while Nike went for multidimensional outer-space vibes.As for retail offerings, I felt like I could go to Adidas for fitness wear and Nike for their street style and shoes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTDec 4th, 2022Related News

Take a look inside Elvis Presley"s 1962 Lockheed 1329 JetStar private jet that"s up for auction

Elvis Presley bought the plane in 1976, a year before the King of Rock and Roll died. It was last sold at an auction for $430,000 in 2017. Elvis Presley purchased the jet in 1976.Mecum Auctions Elvis Presley's 1962 Lockheed 1329 Jetstar private jet is being auctioned in January. It has red velvet seats, a TV, cassette and VCR player, but needs repairs – and an engine. The King of Rock and Roll paid $840,000 in 1976 and the jet last sold at an auction for $430,000.  A private plane once owned by Elvis Presley is set to go on auction in January. The 1962 Lockheed 1329 Jetstar, which comes with red velvet seats, a TV, cassette player, and microwave, was bought for $840,000 by the King of Rock and Roll in 1976. The jet was sold in 1977 after Presley died. It's been stored at an aircraft graveyard in Roswell, New Mexico, for decades. It was last sold for around $430,000 in an auction in 2017. "With a busy touring schedule, these crafts were needed to transport the singer, his TCB band, backup groups, Col. Tom Parker, and the ever-present Memphis Mafia to venues, concerts, and appearances all around the country. Elvis kept several pilots on retainer that were ready to fly him to adoring fans at a moment's notice," Mecum Auctions' listing says. The private jet has a red interior with silver accents but needs repairs.Mecum AuctionsThe Jetstar comes with its original six red velvet seats that can swivel and recline, as well as a couch.Mecum AuctionsThe jet is in need of restoration. It currently does not have an engine and a lot of cockpit components are missing.Mecum AuctionsThe jet’s original wood cabin paneling has been kept since the 1970s.Mecum Auctions"It serves as an incredible restoration opportunity and a chance to create a unique Elvis exhibit for all the world to enjoy," Mecum Auctions says in the listing.Mecum AuctionsThe new owner will also get a copy of the Aircraft Security Agreement documents, which are signed by Presley.Mecum AuctionsThere's a microwave and drink dispenser on board.Mecum AuctionsThe onboard toilet and vanity have also been preserved.Mecum Auctions"Elvis and his effect on the music industry are known the world-over, and this opportunity for a new owner to acquire an extravagant piece of his aviation past is a momentous occasion with untold room for flights of rock 'n' roll fancy," the listing says.Mecum AuctionsIt also has an entertainment system inside a cabinet with a TV, VCR player, audio cassette player, and headphone ports.Mecum AuctionsAccording to the listing, Presley owned a fleet of private jets including a custom Convair 880 called "Lisa Marie" and a second Jetstar. The planes went by the call signs Hound Dog 1 and 2 respectively.Mecum Auctions“Elvis kept several pilots on retainer that were ready to fly him to adoring fans at a moment’s notice,” the Mecum Auction ad reads.Mecum AuctionsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTDec 4th, 2022Related News

Avoid the dust-collectors! Expert tips for finding hidden treasures at yard and estate sales

Experts' key advice: Arrive early at sales and bring tools of the trade, like a black light, which can help determine authenticity of items. Interior garage sale, housewares, clothing, sporting goods and toys.Trekandshoot/Shutterstock It's possible to discover valuable items at local yard sales, but having a strategy and tools is important. One expert advised arriving early, and using a black light and loupe to examine potential finds. Developing expertise in a specific area and sticking to a budget is also recommended. As you're doing your holiday shopping this season, you may stumble upon a local yard or estate sale that piques your interest — and spot something more valuable than you realize. There are many stories about bargain items bought at garage sales that turn out to be valuable. Differentiating between trash and treasure isn't easy, but experts say there are tricks to navigating sales to help you strike gold.Bring the essentials Vincent Zurzolo, COO of Metropolis Collectibles and the auction house ComicConnect, advised arriving at local sales as early as possible as the best items go fast."Get there an hour before the sale says it's starting, or go the day before and knock on the person's door and ask if you can look through everything to prepare for the sale or to buy early," Zurzolo said. He added that shoppers should come prepared with cash, since most sales require cash payments rather than credit cards.Reyne Hirsch, a former appraiser for "Antiques Roadshow" and the owner of an art gallery, recommends bringing two items: a black light and a loupe."Black lights can be used for spotting fake artwork," Hirsch said. She recommended taking paintings into a dark room and hovering the black light over the signature. If the signature appears to pop off the canvas, it was added at a later time and the painting is not an original piece of art. Signatures and markings on fine silver or jewelry can be very small and hard to read, so a loupe magnifying device can help, said Hirsch."If you can see that an item was manufactured in a certain location or country, marked as silver, has a maker's mark, or indicates the quality of gold, the item might be worth more," Hirsch said. "These are things you can't always see with the naked eye."Making sure it's the real deal Hirsch said there are a couple of things to look for when identifying fakes.For clothing, furniture, or handbags, check labels to ensure that an item is not only from the apparent designer, but that the label is consistent with a company's brand during a specified period.She also said shoppers should buy pricey items from a seller with a good reputation or know the return policy, especially at resale or antique stores. Another trick is to see if something is handmade rather than made by a machine, Hirsch said, or if something is in its original condition vs. restored. She recommended using a black light again, to see if furniture has been repainted or touched up, which can diminish value. Using a smartphone or collector's book can help determine the price and value of items you find, she added. Turning to Google, or resale sites like eBay, can also assist with pricing.When browsing handbags, if an item has a high price tag, Hirsch advised searching for stains, repairs, and fabric damage. Any of those can lower resale value and the item should only be purchased if it's something you want to use yourself. Look closely at vintage Christmas ornaments Hirsch said vintage Christmas ornaments are commonly found at local sales and are potentially valuable collector items. To buy these and flip them for money, she said, condition is important."Make sure the hooks at the top aren't missing and the silver caps are still attached to the ornament," said Hirsch. "Also, look inside to see the coating to make sure the silver hasn't faded over the years, since those are less valuable."Vintage Christmas ornaments in the original packaging have added value of 10-20%, she said.Figure out an approach and stick to a budget If you're completely new to hunting for treasures, Zurzolo advised having a set strategy.He recommended developing expertise in one type of item or category, like comic books, stamps, or baseball cards. Spend time learning the market to determine what's valuable and pricing, he said.Learn via Google about key time periods in certain categories and pick a specialty site, like 1stdibs or Artsy, where dealers from all over the world sell merchandise, advised Hirsch.Another important factor is budget. Zurzolo said it's key to know how much you want to spend to avoid piling up items and overspending. He also suggested having a plan and deadlines for determining which items to keep and which to resell.Zurzolo recommended selling finds on platforms like eBay, Craigslist, or even Etsy. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTDec 4th, 2022Related News

A luxury three-bedroom 3D-printed home project in Tampa has been listed at nearly $600,000 — see what it"ll be like to live in

The future project — Tampa, Florida's first — is already seeing "tremendous" interest, its listing agent and the founder of CPH-3D told Insider. CPH-3D Alquist is partnering with 3D printing construction startup CPH-3D to build a printed home in Tampa, Florida. The 1,521-square-foot pre-construction project has been listed at $599,300. The luxury three-bedroom, two-bathroom home can come with additional printed furniture.  Alquist, a 3D printing construction tech company, has partnered with Tampa, Florida startup CPH-3D (Click, Print, Home) to build the city's first luxury 3D printed concrete home.CPH-3DBut this isn't just a test run to prove the tech: The 1,521-square-foot pre-construction project has already been listed on Compass at $599,300.CPH-3DSource: CompassAnd so far, the future home has seen "tremendous" interest, Matt Gibson, the listing agent and the founder of CPH-3D told Insider in an email.CPH-3DAlquist has been a budding player in the growing construction tech industry.AlquistThe startup has built several units throughout Virginia, including a $235,000 three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.Virginia HousingSource: InsiderAnd it now has plans to construct an additional 200 concrete homes in the state within the next five years.AlquistSource: InsiderTo build this Tampa home, CPH-3D will use Alquist's COBOD BOD2 3D printer …The printer.Alquist and Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg… the same model that has been used to build units like Alquist's three-bedroom Virginia home and a 400-square-foot tiny home in Denmark, shown below.3DCP GroupSource: InsiderBy using this printer — which precisely excretes the concrete walls of the home — CPH-3D says it can cut the construction project's waste by up to 95% …CPH-3DSource: CPH-3D… while saving time, money, and labor compared to traditional construction methods, according to proponents of the tech.CPH-3DWith all these benefits, it's no surprise Zack Mannheimer, Alquist's CEO, believes more homes will be printed than built traditionally by 2027, he told Insider earlier this year.3DCP GroupSource: Insider"The Florida market has proven itself resilient and there's a need for cost effective technology — along with natural disaster resistant construction — like never before," Mannheimer said in a press release.CPH-3DSource: InsiderLike other 3D printed homes, this build will have curved walls made possible by the printer.CPH-3DAnd it's not just for aesthetic purposes: The concrete curves and the lack of wood will help make the home hurricane wind, fire, and flood resistant, according to its listing on Compass.CPH-3DSource: CompassInside, the three-bedroom home will have two decks, an open-concept kitchen, living, and dining room …CPH-3D… as well as a laundry room, walk-in closets, and two bathrooms.CPH-3DOne bathroom will also be in a uniquely curved room to serve as a "safe room" amid severe weather conditions, which Tampa, Florida is no stranger to.CPH-3DSource: CompassDesign features like 10-foot-tall ceilings, quartz countertops, and a walk-in pantry and closets will add a luxurious flair to the home.CPH-3DAnd because it hasn't been built yet, there are still plenty of opportunities for its future owners to customize the build.CPH-3DThe home's renderings depict walls with a layered concrete, a byproduct of the printing process. Future owner can opt to finish these walls instead.CPH-3DAnd according to the listing, additional features like a garage and furniture can be printed as well.CPH-3DOverall, the home has already caught the attention of several buyers who have expressed interest in the construction project, which Gibson says could end up costing under $599,300 to build.CPH-3DAnd those who aren't interested in this exact home and lot have already asked CPH-3D about other build opportunities on their own lots.CPH-3D"More and more requests come through every day," Gibson said, adding that it's proving local demand for printed homes.CPH-3D"Buyers are embracing this new approach to home building and loving the design freedom, strength and efficiency," he said.CPH-3DRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTDec 4th, 2022Related News

I visited the American Girl Doll Cafe in NYC and ate lunch with a few of the iconic toys. The experience was unforgettable — if a bit overpriced.

The American Girl Place flagship location in New York City has a salon, doll hospital, and in-store cafe for dolls and their owners to enjoy. Ann Matica/Insider The American Girl Place store in New York City launched in 2017, complete with an in-store cafe.  We decided to grab lunch at the cafe and see what the dining experience was like.  While the prix fixe meal didn't feel worth the $27 each, the overall experience was a blast. Since its inception in 1986, American Girl Doll has established itself as an iconic toy brand. The company has racked up millions in sales and has been at the forefront of creating retail experiences to draw customers to its American Girl Place locations.Ann Matica/InsiderThe company was originally founded by retired teacher and writer Pleasant Rowland who invested $1.2 million into starting her company and grew American Girl to be worth $300 million before selling it to the toy manufacturer Mattel for $700 million in 1998.Ann Matica/InsiderSource: ForbesIt was also in 1998 that Rowland first had the idea to open a store called the American Girl Place in Chicago. The store — which combined shopping, dining, and entertainment — was by all measures ahead of its time.Ann Matica/InsiderSource: Chicago TribuneToday, there are a total of 18 stores located across the US and Canada. Every American Girl Place features curated displays, games, and even a doll hospital and salon. Larger locations, like the two flagship stores in Chicago and New York, also offer dining experiences.Ann Matica/InsiderSource: InsiderAs a former American Girl Doll owner, I decided to visit the American Girl Doll cafe at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City to live out my childhood dreams.Ann Matica/InsiderI went to the store's website to try to make a reservation and was surprised to find that the cafe was almost completely booked up until January. I managed to find a slot open on a Monday at 2:30 p.m. and snatched it up before it was too late.Ann Matica/InsiderWhen we arrived for my reservation, the American Girl Place store windows already had elaborate displays set up for the holidays.Ann Matica/InsiderI had never been inside an American Girl Place location, and peeking in through the window made me feel a childlike giddiness toward the dolls that I so tenderly loved as a girl.Ann Matica/InsiderAs my boyfriend and I entered through the front doors, I rambled on to him about my own 18-inch-tall custom American Girl Doll named Elizabeth that I had received for Christmas one year.Ann Matica/InsiderThe New York City flagship was launched in November 2017 and spans 40,000 square feet across two stories. I didn't see any signs pointing to the cafe, so I asked an employee, who directed me toward the lower level.Ann Matica/InsiderUnderneath a large American Girl sign were the escalators leading downstairs.Ann Matica/InsiderThe entrance to the cafe was at the back of the store, among displays of historic American Girl dolls.Ann Matica/InsiderThere were festive garlands and silver baubles lining the cafe entrance.Ann Matica/InsiderAfter I checked in for my reservation at the front desk, the hostess said I could choose an American Girl doll to join us for lunch. We opted for a blue-haired doll and a Bitty Baby doll, which was originally introduced in the 1990s as a toy for smaller children.Ann Matica/InsiderSource: Insider We were led by the hostess through the spacious dining area to our table. The interior of the cafe was painted a pastel purple and was brightly lit with ornamental chandeliers.Ann Matica/InsiderOnly a few tables were occupied, which seemed expected for a Monday afternoon. Most of the diners were parents with their children, and I felt a little out of place being there as a 22-year-old, even though the American Girl Cafes have reportedly started to become a popular spot for influencers to visit.Ann Matica/InsiderSource: The New York TimesA door led off to a private room for larger groups or birthday parties. The cafe offers birthday party packages for up to 10 guests that vary in price from $25 per child to $40 per child.Ann Matica/InsiderFor our dolls to sit in, the host provided us with doll-sized chairs that clipped onto the side of the table.Ann Matica/InsiderMiniature cups and saucers that customers can take home with them were also set up.Ann Matica/InsiderA minimum charge of $27 per person (tax and tip not included) is required to dine at the cafe. For that price, customers enjoy a three-course pre-fixe meal that includes a drink of choice, three appetizers, a selection of main dishes to choose from, and a chocolate mousse dessert.Ann Matica/InsiderThe menu offered just enough variety between kid-friendly and more adult dishes so that both children and their parents could be happy. There were also alcoholic beverages ranging from cocktails to sparkling wine that adults can order while their children enjoy milkshakes, juice, or soft drinks.Ann Matica/InsiderI decided to order a cocktail and went with the Aperol Spritz, which was $14, and was taken off guard by how strong it was.Ann Matica/InsiderMy boyfriend decided to go for the house-made margarita and the old-fashioned cherry soda named after the American Girl doll Kit Kittredge. The margarita was $12, while the soda was an additional $1 from the prefixed meal.Ann Matica/InsiderOur server also brought over cinnamon buns for us and our dolls to enjoy as part of the "warm welcome" portion of the dining experience.Ann Matica/InsiderWhile my boyfriend and I waited for our appetizers, we played the little game on the table. There were strips of paper with "would you rather" questions and American Girl fun facts for us to discuss.Ann Matica/InsiderA three-tiered tray with our pre-set first course was brought to our table. The setup made me feel like I was attending a fancy garden party with finger foods.Ann Matica/InsiderThe first layer was pita bread with artichoke dip.Ann Matica/InsiderThe second layer had soft pretzels and mustard.Ann Matica/InsiderLastly, there was strawberry yogurt with berries.Ann Matica/InsiderOur server also brought over fruit and vegetables as an alternative for me since I'm lactose intolerant. I appreciated the gesture as I watched while my boyfriend sampled all the dishes.Ann Matica/InsiderFor the main meal, diners can choose from nine different options, including chicken tenders, bow-tie pasta, and fish and tomato ragu.Ann Matica/InsiderI chose the classic club sandwich with avocado and a side of French fries. The sandwiches came with little American Girl-branded flags, plus an array of dips.Ann Matica/InsiderMy boyfriend ordered the macaroni and cheese, which came with a toasted heart and a serving of fruit and vegetables.Ann Matica/InsiderWhile the food was mediocre at best it's clear that the cafe is more about the dining experience than the food itself.Ann Matica/InsiderOn the menu for dessert was a chocolate mousse with cookie crumble on top.Ann Matica/InsiderThe server kindly brought me a lemon sorbet as a dairy-free alternative. It was delicious and my favorite thing I had eaten during the meal.Ann Matica/InsiderAfter the meal, our total came out to $87.10 before tip. It was more expensive than the $53 for two pre-fixed meals due to the added drinks.Ann Matica/InsiderI made sure to grab my doll's cups and saucers on the way out as a keepsake and returned my doll and her seat to their rightful place on the shelf.Ann Matica/InsiderBefore heading back upstairs, we browsed the bottom level of the American Girl Place, which had a Girl of the Year display.Ann Matica/InsiderThere was also a wall of historic dolls from different eras that I geeked out over. Currently, there are 13 historical American Girl dolls that retail for $115 each with their accompanying books included.Ann Matica/InsiderAfter reminiscing about my favorite American Girl dolls and accessories, we made our way to the exit.Ann Matica/InsiderWhile the dining experience felt overpriced for the quality of the food and available menu options, the added-on details such as being able to choose an American Girl doll to sit with, the table games, and the kind servers made the experience fun and unforgettable.Ann Matica/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTDec 4th, 2022Related News

10 years ago they were fast food workers making roughly $8 an hour. "Fight for 15" changed their lives.

Ten years ago, calls for a $15 minimum wage were met with skepticism. Today, 30 states have minimums above the federal wage. Terrence Wise at a Fight for 15 action.Fight for $15 and a Union Ten years ago, fast food workers took to the streets of New York to strike for a $15 minimum wage. Since then, 30 states have raised their wages above the federal rate. Workers involved in Fight for 15 for years have seen their wages grow, and organizing continue. A decade ago, Greg Reynoso had a revelation in midtown Manhattan.Reynoso, 36, was working as a delivery driver for Domino's in 2012. He was making $7.25, the minimum wage at the time. But on November 29, 2012, he became something else: A worker on strike. Months before, Reynoso and his coworkers had been approached by organizers with the nascent Fight for 15 movement. "I didn't know much about what they were talking about. I just knew that my job was horrible. We were getting paid really bad and we needed a change," he told Insider. That led to him joining the now-historic strike on November 29, alongside around 200 other fast food workers.Today, it's not unheard of to see workers walking out for better pay and working conditions. But in 2012, low-wage service workers going on strike was a new development in labor organizing. The movement was met with skepticism; many thought workers were being unrealistic or overly optimistic."Ten years ago, it was definitely impossible for some people. It was just like, oh no, raising the minimum wage, especially for fast workers, are you crazy? Get out of here," Reynoso said.Marching through Manhattan to the McDonald's on 42nd street was "amazing," Reynoso said."We're chanting, we're demanding more money. We are humans. We are men and women who just want better working conditions and a better living wage," Reynoso said.The first Fight for $15 strike in 2012 in Manhattan.Fight for $15 and a UnionToday, Reynoso is a full-time organizer for the New York State Nurses Association, working on political and community organizing. In New York City, where Reynoso first took to the streets, the minimum wage is $15 an hour.Since the launch of Fight for 15 ten years ago, the federal minimum wage hasn't budged. But states have taken matters into their own hands, with ballot initiatives propelled by worker groups. Thirty states have a minimum above the federal wage of $7.25, and those higher minimums have led to an estimated $87.6 billion in additional economic output since 2012 — and support 452,000 jobs annually. The economic and cultural tides have changed since workers first took to the streets in 2012. Over the last two years, wages have skyrocketed nationwide, especially for low wage workers. Unions are sweeping service jobs like Starbucks and Chipotle.Bart Perez has worked as a cook at McDonald's for 31 years in California. During the Great Recession, he noticed management was cutting his shifts. That's why he's been organizing with Fight for 15 since 2011."I wasn't able to take care of the necessities I had due to not having enough days and hours of work," he told Insider through a translator. At the time, workers' demands included getting back some of their hours, and a pay bump to $15 an hour from $8. The process of organizing hasn't always been easy for Perez, but he didn't want to "throw away" his longevity at the company. Most importantly, he didn't want anyone else to come into a similar job — including his children one day — and deal with the same issues."This was my opportunity to make a difference," he said. In California, where Perez works, the minimum wage is now $15 an hour for employers with 26 or more employees. Workers there also lobbied for a law passed in September that will give fast food workers a say in their pay, working conditions, and hours.But workers say the battle — while obviously focused on wages — is also about respect. That's something that's been thrown into relief when minimum wage jobs suddenly became "essential" during the pandemic. Part of the rethinking of work has been a concerted push to make sure blue-collar jobs receive traditionally white-collar benefits — and are treated with the same respect. "The movement has given so many people the ability to fight for something just. To fight for dignity," Perez said. "That has been one of the most important things — the respect that every person and that every worker deserves." Terrence Wise, a Taco Bell worker and a leader in the Missouri Workers Center, has worked with Fight for 15 for 10 years. He brought his then-seven-year-old daughter to his first strike in 2013, where he kept ducking behind his sign, which he described as "hiding." That prompted his daughter to ask: "Daddy, are you scared?""In that moment I looked at my daughter and I was like, am I more afraid of being homeless and not being able to take care of my daughter, or of my employer?" he said. "And at that moment it kind of clicked for me — I'm gonna fight for my child, I'm gonna do whatever it takes for my child."The next day, after years of asking, he finally got a raise at his job. When he first began organizing, he said, he made $7.47 an hour. Today, he earns $16. For all of the Fight for 15 movement's successes over the last decade, there's still a long way to go. Nearly a third of American workers still make below $15 an hour, and workers of color in the South particularly face low wages."Victory looks different in different parts of the country and organizing efforts will look different as well," Wise said. "There's a lot of work still left to do, and a lot that still hasn't changed, but we're hopeful because of what we've been able to achieve as well."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTDec 4th, 2022Related News

The Supreme Court will hear Biden"s student-loan forgiveness case in February. Here"s what that means for millions of borrowers waiting for relief.

Student-debt cancellation remains blocked, but the Supreme Court agreed to take up the case early next year. Here's what that means for borrowers. The Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky The Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments on Biden's student-debt relief in February. Still, student-loan forgiveness will stay blocked as the legal battles play out. Borrowers remain in limbo on relief, but did receive another extension of the payment pause. There's good news and bad news up ahead for student-loan borrowers.The good news is that President Joe Biden's debt relief isn't dead in the water — the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments to the case early next year. In the meantime, payments won't resume on January 1 as previously planned.The bad news is that until then, loan forgiveness will remain blocked.In November, two conservative-backed lawsuits succeeded in halting the implementation of Biden's plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt for federal borrowers making under $125,000 a year. On November 14, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the temporary pause it placed on the debt relief would remain in place indefinitely, favoring the six Republican-led states who filed a lawsuit that argued relief would hurt their states' tax revenues.A separate decision from a federal court in Texas also blocked Biden's debt relief on November 10, and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected the Biden administration's request to pause that ruling and allow the relief to move forward.However, following the 8th Circuit's ruling, Biden's administration took matters to the Supreme Court and asked it to revive student-loan forgiveness as the legal proceedings play out. On Thursday, the nation's highest court responded: It will not allow the relief to progress right now, but it will hear oral arguments to the case in February."We welcome the Supreme Court's decision to hear the case on our student debt relief plan for middle and working class borrowers this February," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a Thursday statement."This program is necessary to help over 40 million eligible Americans struggling under the burden of student loan debt recover from the pandemic and move forward with their lives," she continued. "The program is also legal, supported by careful analysis from administration lawyers.  President Biden will keep fighting against efforts to rob middle class families of the relief they need and deserve."What comes next for student-loan borrowersSince October, student-loan forgiveness has been on pause. While the Education Department has recently started notifying some of the 26 million borrowers who already applied for relief that they had been approved, student-loan servicers have been blocked from actually discharging any student loans. Borrowers who have not yet submitted applications currently do not have the option to apply.In response to the legal challenges, Biden extended the pause on student-loan payments until June 30, 2023, or until the lawsuits are resolved, whichever comes first. This means federal borrowers do not have to worry about restarting payments after December 31, when they were previously scheduled to resume.In the meantime, all eyes are on the Supreme Court. According to its decision, it will hear oral arguments in February and will address two questions to the case: Whether the Republican-led states that filed the lawsuit have standing, and whether Biden's plan to cancel student debt exceeds the Education Secretary's authority or is "arbitrary and capricious."While the Supreme Court has just responded to the 8th Circuit decision, Biden's administration also asked the Court to intervene in the 5th Circuit decision that blocked the relief on Friday evening, so it's possible both cases will be combined.The issue of standing has long been the focus of not only this specific lawsuit, but the other conservative lawsuits that have sought to block debt relief. But as Politico noted, this would be the first time a court is examining whether Biden's debt relief is arbitrary, in which the loan forgiveness would be found to not be in accordance with the law and demonstrates an "abuse of discretion," per the Administrative Procedures Act.Republican lawmakers have continued to argue that Biden is overstepping authority granted under the HEROES Act of 2003, which is the law the Education Secretary is using to cancel student debt. But some advocates and experts have recently expressed support of that authority through a series of amicus curiae briefs, and the administration has not publicly suggested concerns with the legal route it chose to take."Our student debt relief program is necessary to help 40M eligible Americans struggling under the burden of student loan debt recover from the pandemic," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona wrote on Twitter. "That's 40M borrowers who chased the American dream through higher education. I look forward to SCOTUS hearing our case."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTDec 4th, 2022Related News

How to attend 7 weddings across the country in a year and not break your budget, from a 27-year-old who did it on a $50,000 salary

Deona Perlas, 27, has attended 15 weddings, showers, and bachelorette parties over the past year. Here's how she did it on a $50K salary. Deona Perlas has attended 15 weddings, bachelorette parties, and bridal showers over the past year.Deona Perlas Deona Perlas, 27, has attended 15 wedding events over the past year. She's learned how to afford this lifestyle on a salary of $50,000 per year. She says there are plenty of ways to save money on hotels, gifts, dresses, and makeup. Deona Perlas loves weddings. It's why she's attended 15 wedding events across the country over roughly the past year, including seven weddings, four bachelorette parties, and four bridal showers.She has even more on the books for 2023.But the 27-year-old is faced with a significant financial challenge: Affording all the associated travel, accommodations, clothes, and gifts on a salary of $50,000.Earlier this year, she says she realized she was "financially and physically burnt out.""I just kept spending money on the same things over and over again," she told Insider. Perlas is one of many Americans with refrigerators covered in wedding invitations. After the pandemic forced many couples to forego tying the knot, there's been a wedding boom in 2022 as pandemic restrictions have eased. A record-high 2.6 million weddings will take place in the US this year, wedding planning platform The Knot estimated back in January.While many attendants have been happy to celebrate, the deluge of weddings can take its toll on Americans' finances. A 2019 The Knot study found that guests spend an average of $776 per wedding on travel, accommodations, gifts, and attire, a number that has likely risen due to inflation. Members of the wedding party typically spend even more, however, and the figure doesn't include expenses for bachelor or bachelorette parties, as well as wedding showers. As the year comes to a close, Perlas says she's not only learned plenty about save money throughout the wedding process, but even how to say "no," on occasion. Deona Perlas after catching a bouquet toss at a wedding.Deona PerlasIt's possible to save on hotels, gifts, dresses, and makeupPerlas says roughly "90 percent" of her wedding events have required travel, but she has a "saving grace" that gives her a major leg up when budgeting. She lives in Phoenix but works as a flight attendant, which allows her to "fly for free" on standby. But this perk could actually be costing her more in the long run, she says. She sometimes feels she has "no excuse" not to attend every wedding, bachelorette party, and shower she's invited to. The more of these events she attends, the more the non-flight expenses add up, which has forced her to figure out ways to cut costs.Many couples provide a main hotel or two for guests, but Perlas says she doesn't hesitate to "get crafty" and look elsewhere for the cheapest option, whether it be an AirBnB, staying at a friends' place in the area, or worst case, paying for a hotel room with two or three other people.  She's also taken on a few side hustles — consulting and selling her crafts — which she says have brought in an extra $10,000 in income this year and been a big help as she navigates her expenses. She also uses two "COVID hobbies" she picked up — hand embroidery and photography — to save money on wedding gifts and add a personal touch at the same time. She's gifted sweaters she stitched with "fun designs," as well as books with photos from the wedding weekend.When she does buy a gift off the registry, she says she tries to do so early, when items within her budget are still available. If all the items are picked over, or nothing fits her budget, she says she's grown more comfortable just giving cash. And if money is especially tight, she'll send a gift weeks to months after the wedding, or whenever she's "saved up again."  Perlas says she often re-wears dresses to weddings, but she's typically been "at the mercy of what the bride chooses" when she's in the wedding party. Recently, she was about to purchase a $200 bridesmaid's dress when a friend told her to look for it on Poshmark, where some bridesmaids resell their dresses. Perlas says she found the same dress for only $70. Perlas says bridesmaids are often presented the option to pay roughly "$80 to $90" to have their hair and makeup done the day of the wedding, but she says she "never signs up for it.""I had to learn how to do my own makeup on YouTube and just do it myself," she said. When she's involved in planning bachelorette parties, she said she plans months ahead of time to get the best deals on the tinsel backdrop, the matching cowboy hats, the disco ball cups and all the other details that "really add up." Deona Perlas's refrigerator, which is covered with wedding invitations.Deona Perlas"I don't need to go to the shower, bachelorette, and your wedding"For the first half of 2022, Perlas says her mindset was, "I'm going to go to every single one of these." But halfway through this year, she says she realized she was beginning to feel burnt out. She was set to attend weddings in New York and Oregon over back-to-back weekends when she decided she needed a break and decided to skip both of them — the only two weddings she's missed this year. She says both couples were understanding, but that declining invitations can still be very uncomfortable for her. On the one hand, she says, the 2022 wedding boom has created packed calendars and financial hurdles for people like herself. On the other hand, however, she says couples seem to be aware that "everyone has a lot of commitments," making them perhaps more understanding than they otherwise would be. When she does decline an invitation, Perlas says she makes a point of attending at least one wedding event."I don't need to go to the shower, bachelorette, and your wedding," she said. "I just don't, especially if we don't live in the same state."When declining a wedding invitation, she recommends reaching out directly to the couple and letting them know well in advance if possible. Looking ahead, Perlas says she will probably look back at 2022 as her most jam-packed wedding year, but 2023 is looking to be quite busy as well. But she says she's learned how to budget, save money, and when it gets to be overwhelming, prioritize which weddings she will attend over others.   "I love weddings, and I've wanted to go to every single one," she said. "But it's a commitment, and I know I have to plan accordingly if I'm going to go to all of them."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTDec 4th, 2022Related News

Elon Musk went to war — then made up — with Apple. Here"s what happened.

Musk, the world's richest man and new Twitter owner, declared "war" with the world's biggest tech company: Apple. Hi, I'm Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. Welcome back to Insider Weekly, a roundup of some of our top stories. On the agenda today:Employees are using a controversial tactic to force their bosses to give them a raise.Streetlights are turning purple — and it could be a sign of the chaos to come. Meet 30 real-estate professionals who are shaping the industry's future.Former Noom employees say they were unprepared to handle users' depression, disordered eating, and trauma.But first: Jordan Parker Erb, the author of Insider's 10 Things in Tech newsletter, is taking us behind the scenes of Elon Musk's feud with Apple.P.S. 10 Things in Tech is a fun and engrossing read, bringing you the most fascinating stories about Big Tech and innovations each weekday. Sign up here to get the newsletter.If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.  Download Insider's app here.Elon Musk goes to war — then makes up — with AppleTim Cook and Elon MuskJustin Sullivan/Getty Images and Philip Pacheco/AFP via Getty ImagesThis week, Elon Musk, the world's richest man and new Twitter owner, declared "war" with the world's biggest tech company: Apple.At the heart of the issue was Apple's 30% App Store fee, our associate editor Jordan Parker Erb writes.  Musk isn't the first to enter this fight — developers, tech CEOs, and regulatory bodies have long decried Apple's "monopolistic" grip — but he may be the most mainstream figure to do so. Even so, history says he'll probably lose.Here's what went down:The declaration of war was made in true Musk fashion — by tweeting a since deleted meme. Musk also tweeted that Apple was threatening to remove Twitter from its App Store — but things changed quickly. Two days later, Musk said the "misunderstanding" about Apple pulling Twitter had been resolved, ostensibly after the two took a walk through Apple's headquarters together.It's not the first time Musk has beefed with Apple CEO Tim Cook. Here's a timeline of their feuds.Sign up for 10 Things in Tech to get stories like these right in your inbox.Now, on to this week's top reads.'Everybody's a free agent'Tyler Le/InsiderMore and more job candidates are applying for new roles with no intention of jumping ship, according to recruiters. They're just looking to land an offer that they can use to force their employer to give them a raise.Employers hate that people are using job offers as bargaining chips. If you weren't serious, hiring managers are complaining, you shouldn't have wasted their time. And the bosses scrambling to put together counteroffers are grumbling, "Where's the loyalty?" But employees are responding: "Loyalty isn't free."How employees are winning big raises.Why are the streetlights turning purple?Anna Kim/InsiderYou may have seen it for yourself. From California to Wisconsin to Florida, there have been reports of hundreds of thousands of streetlights spontaneously turning purple. There has been no shortage of wild theories for why. But no, it isn't ghost- or football-related. Nor is it some grand conspiracy. Instead, the mystery of the purple lights is more mundane and worrisome than anyone has ever realized. Read more on 'The Great Purpling.' See Insider's list of real-estate rising starsRedfin; Era Ventures; Darwin Homes; David Marlow; AirDNA; Alyssa Powell/InsiderInsider's third-annual slate of emerging talent in commercial and residential real estate is in.Amid Zoomtown booms and the warehouse-construction frenzy, we sorted through more than 100 nominations to identify the top 30 professionals in real estate who are 35 and under.  See the full list here.Inside Noom's promise of psychology-driven weight lossTara Anand for InsiderThe promise of the popular app Noom for psychology-driven weight loss attracted users who appeared to be suffering from depression, eating disorders, and other acute mental-health conditions, according to interviews with more than 30 people, including former coaches and former employees. Some users understood Noom's "psychology-based" offerings to be something like therapy.But Noom's coaches lacked the qualifications, preparation, and training to be psychological counselors and often found themselves working with clients who exhibited complex and sometimes frightening behaviors.Read the full story.Also read: Buzzy startups failed to fix mental-health care. Now their mistakes are fueling the space's next generation.Medly set out to disrupt the pharmacy industry. Instead, it burned through money and laid off more than half its staff as its business crumbled, leaving patients in the dark.This week's quote:"I wrote a memoir for one executive two months ago. He served in the French military and it was like writing an adventure story."Billy McIntyre, a ghostwriter who makes about $14,000 a month on Fiverr and works just five hours a day. Read how he does it.More of this week's top reads:As Disney insiders fret over Bob Iger's impending changes, these are the six execs he'll trust to drive his new strategy.China's Xi Jinping is facing the biggest crisis of his time in power.Who earns more per hour: a Goldman junior banker or a Starbucks manager?Secret memo reveals Bush rewriting the history of the 9/11 attacks.NBCUniversal layoffs are coming in January. Here's what to know.Andreessen Horowitz's buzzy tech publication, Future, is shutting down."I worked from the beach in Mexico for a week without telling my boss."Some Amazon advertisers are fuming after a Black Friday glitch cost them up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.Another newsletter for you: 10 Things on Wall Street is our weekday look at the biggest stories in finance and beyond. Sign up here to keep up with all the happenings on Wall Street.Curated by Matt Turner. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb, Hallam Bullock, and Lisa Ryan. Sign up for more Insider newsletters here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTDec 4th, 2022Related News

Netjets will be the first customer for Bombardier"s new $78 million private jet, the world"s fastest passenger plane since the Concorde — meet the Global 8000

The Global 8000, which comes complete with an entertainment room and a bedroom, will reach near supersonic speeds and fly up to 9,206 miles. Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.Bombardier Private charter operator NetJets will be the fleet launch customer of Bombardier's new flagship Global 8000. The private jet will become the new world's fastest purpose-built business aircraft. NetJets' Global 8000 cabin will mirror its Global 7500 predecessor with a bedroom and dining room. Canadian planemaker Bombardier is one step closer to bringing its new flagship private jet to market.BombardierSource: BombardierOn Tuesday, the company revealed private aircraft operator NetJets will be the fleet launch customer of the Global 8000, which will be the world's new fastest business plane.BombardierSource: BombardierExpected to enter service in 2025, the jet will steal the speed crown from the 12-seater Cessna Citation X+, which can fly up to Mach 0.935.Textron Aviation ended production of the Citation X+ in 2018 to avoid overlap with its super mid-sized Citation Longitude.Textron AviationSource: Textron Aviation, AIN OnlineThe jet builds on the success of its predecessor, the Global 7500, which currently holds the title of the world's largest and longest-ranged purpose-built private aircraft, reaching Mach 0.925 and flying up to 7,700 nautical miles (8,861 miles).NetJets' Global 7500.NetJetsSource: Bombardier, I flew on a $75 million Bombardier Global 7500 private jet from Miami to New Jersey and saw why the ultra-wealthy love the planeNetJets has placed a firm order for four Global 8000 aircraft, valued at $312 million. According to Bombardier, each jet is priced at $78 million — $3 million more than the Global 7500.BombardierSource: Bombardier, ReutersPatrick Gallagher, NetJets' president of sales, marketing, and service, told Insider that demand is up 35-40% and inventory for fractional ownership of its aircraft, which allows several people to share the cost of owning and chartering a NetJets plane, is sold out through 2023.Bombardier CEO Éric Marte and NetJets president of sales, marketing, and services at the delivery ceremony of the company's first Global 7500 in December 2021 in Montreal, Canada.BombardierSource: NetJets"There's a huge amount of people who weren't flying private before, but have the means to," he said. "But the pandemic unlocked a large portion of that demand and we've seen a record number of people inquiring to become a NetJets customer."Atlantic Aviation is one of NetJets preferred fixed-based operators, where it receives services like fueling, in many cities.NetJetsThe charter company plans to eventually have 24 Global 8000s, which includes converting its eight future Global 7500 deliveries to the new flagship plane and retrofitting its in-service 7500s to 8000s, Gallagher told Insider.NetJets Global 7500.NetJetsSource: BombardierAccording to its website, the operator also has the Global 5500 and the Global 6000 in addition to the Global 7500.NetJets Global 6000.Business WireSource: NetJetsIn total, NetJets operates over 850 aircraft worldwide, including the Embraer Phenom, as well as Cessna Citation and Bombardier Challenger variants.A NetJets' Embraer Phenom 300E.Embraer Executive JetsSource: BombardierBut, the new Global 8000 will be its crown jewel — take a look at the luxurious jet.BombardierSource: BombardierReaching near supersonic speeds, the new flagship plane can cruise up to Mach 0.94…BombardierSource: Bombardier…and fly up to 8,000 nautical miles (9,206 miles), which could connect cities like New York and Hong Kong and Los Angeles and Singapore.BombardierSource: BombardierAccording to Boeing specs, the jet will fly further than the planemaker's 787 Dreamliner family.Boeing 787 Dreamliner.APSource: BoeingThe Global 8000 has already begun flight testing with one Global 7500 testbed breaking the sound barrier during a flight in May 2021, repeatedly reaching Mach 1.015.Bombardier Global 7500 demonstration aircraft.BombardierSource: BombardierThe new plane will compete with the Gulfstream G800, which will match Bombardier's flagship jet in terms of range but still lag behind in terms of speed at Mach 0.925.The G800 can fly up to 8,000 nm at 0.85, and up to 7,000 nm at 0.90.GulfstreamSource: Gulfstream, Aerotime HubThe rival jet is expected to enter service in 2023, which is two years before the Global 8000 is set to hit the market.The Gulfstream G800 test plane at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2022.Taylor Rains/InsiderSource: Aerotime HubIn addition to record-breaking performance, the Global 8000 will also boast the lowest cabin altitude in its class at 2,900 feet, which Bombardier equates to walking through Yosemite National Park.BombardierSource: BombardierMoreover, the jet's innovative Soleil lighting system helps battle jet lag after long-haul flights.BombardierSource: BombardierGallagher told Insider that the interior of the company's future Global 8000 will mirror NetJets' current Global 7500 configuration to maintain consistency across the fleet.Inside NetJets' Global 7500.NetJetsSource: BombardierSpecifically, there are four distinct living spaces, including a meeting room with two sets of loungers…Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: NetJets…a six-person dining area…Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: NetJets…an entertainment suite with a couch and large flatscreen TV…Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: NetJets…and a bedroom with a double bed and lounger in the back of the jet.Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: NetJetsAn ensuite bathroom with a sink and toilet connects to the bedroom. An optional shower can be added to the space, though NetJets does not have one.Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: BombardierAccording to Bombardier, the plane features the industry's largest kitchen, complete with convection ovens, a sink, and a refrigerator.Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: BombardierThe front of the plane also has a small lavatory and a dedicated crew rest area. In total, the jet can carry up to 19 people.The crew rest area.Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: BombardierFor the pilots, the plane sports a next-generation cockpit with fly-by-wire technology...Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: Bombardier...and advanced avionics with four large flight displays.Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: BombardierThroughout the cabin, customers will find power outlets and plenty of storage…Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: Bombardier…retractable tables in front of each lounger…Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: Bombardier…and huge windows with adjustable shades.Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: BombardierThe Global 8000 also hosts an exclusive "nice touch" cabin management system that allows customers to adjust the settings throughout the jet, like lighting and temperature.Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 cabin.BombardierSource: BombardierBombardier has also launched its "executive cabin" option exclusively for its Global 7500 and Global 8000 planes, which will feature three workspaces and is intended to be a corporate office in the sky.Bombardier's rendering of its Global 8000 executive cabin.BombardierAlthough many private charter companies may not adopt the configuration, it may prove to be a good option for corporations buying private jets for company travel.The Nuage Cube is a multi-purpose piece of furniture that can be used as a footrest, stool, or small table, and has been introduced as part of the executive cabin.BombardierAs far as the cost per hour to charter a Global 8000, NetJets declined to share pricing.Inside NetJets' Global 7500.NetJetsSource: Liberty JetHowever, according to private charter company Liberty Jet, which was founded on cost transparency, the price to operate a Global 8000 is about $9000 per hour.BombardierRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTDec 4th, 2022Related News

Gen Zers are taking on more debt, roommates, and jobs as their economy gets worse and worse

If you're racking up credit-card debt and missing payments right now, you're not alone. It all falls against the backdrop of a looming recession. Anthony Strain.Anthony Strain Gen Zers are taking on credit-card debt — and missing their payments — at a rising rate. We spoke with three of them about the financial challenges they're facing. Student debt, inflation, and housing costs continue to be obstacles as a recession looms. Anthony Strain was desperate for another roommate. The 26-year-old from Pittsburgh is currently unemployed, $50,000 in debt, and falling behind on his gas and electricity payments. To provide "financial breathing room" and help shoulder their $800 monthly rent, Strain said he and his partner found another person to move in with them and help split the bills. "We wanted this system to minimize the average cost per person of living here," he said, adding that the trio splits the costs of rent, utilities, and subscriptions to streaming platforms.Strain isn't the only young American experiencing financial challenges right now. Amounts of credit-card debt and delinquency rates are on the rise, especially among 18- to 29-year-olds. It comes as most economists predict a recession in 2023, as inflation is up 7.7% versus this time in 2021, and as rents — while beginning to fall in some cities — remain elevated. It's caused young Americans to take out more debt, bring on more roommates, and pick up more work.To be sure, not all Gen Zers are struggling. Americans aged 16 to 24 have seen a wage growth of 13% over the last year — well above the 7.7% inflation over the same period — as companies have raised pay to attract workers. But if a recession comes, Gen Zers could be among the hardest hit due to mounting debt, few savings, and vulnerability to layoffs.The ones Insider spoke with don't have a lot of hope for the near future."We try to endure, but I don't know if we will last the winter unscathed," Strain said.'My generation and I will not have the same opportunities to build our futures as our parents and grandparents did'Strain said that the over two-year student-loan-payment pause has helped, but that he's continued to struggle with private loans and credit-card debt."It's gotten to a point where my payments cover the interest and not much else," he said. "Both of my credit cards are maxed, with one actually surpassing the credit limit thanks to interest."US credit-card debt overall rose $38 billion between July and September of this year, per the New York Fed. The 15% year-over-year increase was the largest in over two decades. While overall delinquencies remain below pre-pandemic levels, all age groups saw upticks in missed payments over the past quarter. For older Gen Zers, the delinquency rate rose to over 6%, though still below the roughly 9% pre-pandemic rate. "Is this simply a reversion to earlier levels with forbearances ending and stimulus savings drying up, or is this a sign of trouble ahead?" New York Fed researchers wrote of the overall rise in missed payments.One 24-year-old Californian who asked to remain anonymous told Insider she's had to "deplete her savings" to financially support herself while pursuing a master's in finance program in Paris.She said she works as an intern but makes roughly $1,250 per month. She's taken on babysitting jobs to bring in extra income, but even so, she said her bank account "goes to zero or below every month."She hopes that taking on student loans for her master's will ultimately pay off financially, but she's not overly optimistic."Honestly, I don't think that any amount of education can save me or others from what is happening," she said. "My generation and I will not have the same opportunities to build our futures as our parents and grandparents did."Among 2019 and 2020 graduates, the average borrower had a student-loan-debt total of over $28,000. While the Biden administration's student-loan-forgiveness plan could reduce balances for some borrowers by up to $20,000, the plan is currently on pause after opponents have challenged it in court. As a finance student, she knows she's supposed to start saving for retirement as soon as possible, but said this is challenging with expenses and student-loan payments weighing her down."I don't know when I will even have the ability to begin saving for retirement if I can barely feed myself now."Laurence Kotlikoff, an economist at Boston University, previously told Insider that due to savings challenges and rising costs, over half of Gen Z could enter retirement without sufficient savings.'At this point, I can barely scrape together enough to stay afloat'Another Gen Zer who asked to remain anonymous told Insider they were making over $50,000 a few years ago through education and freelance-programming gigs. The 23-year-old said they've since been laid off from the position that provided the bulk of their income, however, and have seen their financial situation slowly crumble as a result over the past few years. They're now over $20,000 in debt, and between all their expenses, they said they're lucky to have $5 in their "checking account at the end of the month.""At this point, I can barely scrape together enough to stay afloat," they said.Per the NY Fed's report, the average credit-card balance of 18- to 29-year-olds rose to roughly $2,000 in the third quarter, up from roughly $1,500 the year prior, and rising prices are among the reasons why. Inflation cooled slightly in October but remains well above the Federal Reserve's 2% target. "I am someone who got lucky, who got a great job, followed sound financial advice, and was doing well," the Gen Zer said. "And I still got stung."While unemployment rates remain low relative to historic levels, employers laid off nearly 1.4 million Americans in October, and the 26-year-old Strain is currently among the unemployed.He works in the film-and-television industry, which he said is in a "slow season" until spring. He's applied for unemployment benefits in the past, but said the last time he did so he didn't receive his first check for six months, which has discouraged him from trying again. He's explored working for Amazon, but said the company is cutting back hiring and that he's found it hard to find another job. His partner is employed, which has helped them meet expenses in the short term. "The pressure is on," he said. "I'm hopeful that I can secure work soon and stay buoyant. It'll be tough, but I have no other choice than to stay determined. A lot of peers my age are in the same boat." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: NYTDec 4th, 2022Related News