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- 01/13/19--08:26: _AI 101: How learnin...
- 01/13/19--08:29: _Here's how Julián C...
- 01/13/19--08:44: _Tom Brady sacrifice...
- 01/13/19--08:49: _The woman who gave ...
- 01/13/19--09:08: _The three types of ...
- 01/13/19--09:14: _Republican lawmaker...
- 01/13/19--09:30: _After 12 years of r...
- 01/13/19--09:31: _These are the top f...
- 01/13/19--09:39: _NASA's deep-space n...
- 01/13/19--09:41: _MacKenzie Bezos des...
- 01/13/19--09:41: _Baby boomers share ...
- 01/13/19--09:41: _Amazon is holding i...
- 01/13/19--09:41: _Elon Musk got some ...
- 01/13/19--09:41: _Apple is reportedly...
- 01/13/19--09:41: _Larry Ellison's sta...
- 01/13/19--09:42: _Jeff Bezos' divorce...
- 01/13/19--09:42: _Facebook's job eval...
- 01/13/19--10:09: _Three ways brands c...
- 01/13/19--10:09: _Saints coach Sean P...
- 01/13/19--14:33: _The Influencer Mark...
- 01/13/19--08:26: AI 101: How learning computers are becoming smarter
- Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama, has announced his bid for the presidency.
- Castro has a track record that includes revolutionary early childhood education programs while mayor, and controversy around handling of mortgage sales during his tenure at HUD.
- Based on his announcement, Castro plans to use his experience in local government to tout community-minded policies.
- Tom Brady has made $197 million over the course of his career, but he could have made more.
- Brady has frequently taken contract extensions and restructured his deals to help the New England Patriots address other spots on the roster, giving up at least $60 million over the course of his career.
- We conservatively calculated what Brady might have earned in his career if he had signed a new deal equal to the going rate for top quarterback contracts throughout his career.
- The conservative estimate put his contract discounts at $60 million, but could have been closer to $100 million.
- 2005: Peyton Manning — 7 years, $99.2 million
- 2009: Eli Manning — 6 years, $99.8 million
- 2013: Drew Brees — 5 years, $100 million
- 2017: Ben Roethlisberger — 4 years, $87.4 million
- The sexual assault investigation into a woman who gave birth in a vegetative state in Arizona is highlighting a bigger issue of institutional abuse.
- Experts say such sexual abuse of the disabled is shockingly common, and that more needs to be done to ensure America's most vulnerable do not continue to become victims.
- Meanwhile, medical studies show that the woman may have been more aware than her vegetative state suggests — meaning it's possible she could have felt the assault but was physically unable to stop it.
- Uses exclusive survey data to analyze the factors behind Amazon’s success with consumers.
- Segments three types of Amazon customers that e-tailers should be targeting.
- Shares strategies on how e-tailers can attract shoppers at key moments.
- Amazon loyalists: This group of consumers is most committed to shopping on Amazon. E-tailers must understand what has made Amazon their default experience — and how they could be pried away.
- Comparison shoppers: This consumer segment looks at other sites before ultimately completing a purchase with Amazon, which could allow e-tailers to find success at the bottom of the purchase funnel. E-tailers should focus on what they can do more of to steal sales away at the end of the purchasing process.
- Open-search shoppers: These consumers start their online product search away from Amazon, often with specific reasons including what they’re looking for and why they’re not looking on Amazon. Other e-tailers have the opportunity to attract these shoppers from the beginning of the purchase funnel — keeping them from ever venturing to Amazon.
- Top Republican lawmakers created an image of an unwavering Trump in comments over multiple television appearances Sunday morning amid a record-breaking government shutdown.
- Sen. Lindsey Graham lead the charge, saying previously proposed deals to fund the wall were unacceptable, and Trump was "not going to give in."
- House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise criticized Democratic leadership, saying he hadn't seen any recent counter-offers to Trump's plans that would re-open the government.
- The comments come as Trump has issued near-daily calls for further negotiations with Democratic leadership, despite multiple meetings throughout the shutdown.
- Small cars have advantages in cities, but in the suburbs, I've found that they aren't quite as common or useful as larger vehicles — SUVs, in particular.
- An ugly-colored SUV is now my suburban camouflage, allowing me to see eye-to-eye with other drivers while disappearing into the background.
- Here's why I finally decided to buy an SUV after 12 years of resisting it.
- 01/13/19--09:31: These are the top five trends shaping the future of digital health
- NASA relies on plutonium-238 (Pu-238), a human-made radioactive element, to power its longest-operating and farthest-flying spacecraft.
- Nearly all Pu-238 was made during the Cold War, and supplies are running low. The shortage threatens to limit deep-space exploration.
- The Department of Energy is now making new Pu-238 and recently achieved an eight-fold increase in production with a new robot.
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory says its robot is "the next key step" in making enough plutonium to perpetually meet the needs of NASA.
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos created the world's most valuable company during the 25 years he was married to MacKenzie Bezos.
- The couple, who announced plans for divorce on Wednesday, apparently have no prenuptial agreement and live in a state where assets are split 50-50.
- MacKenzie was part of Amazon's early team, helping to come up with the name and serving as its first accountant. But there's another reason she deserves half of the $137 billion Amazon fortune.
- A new study by researchers at Princeton and New York University found that people over 65 years old were far more likely to share intentionally false or misleading information on Facebook than all other adults.
- Researchers looked at Facebook posts leading up to the 2016 presidential election and after, checking them for popular news domains known for spreading disinformation.
- The study did find, however, that the practice of sharing so-called fake news was fairly rare in general.
- In room called One Amazon at the Venetian in Las Vegas, Amazon is holding invitational meetings.
- The meetings are designed to convince companies who sell their products on Amazon to join a new coaching program called Amazon Growth.
- The program costs $2,500 - $5,000 a month, and promises to help sellers with things like creating a business plan, or figuring out advertising keywords.
- Some sellers have chatted on forums that they are baffled by the program and what they would actually receive for the money.
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.
- Li said he hoped Tesla could be "a promoter of the stability of Chinese-US relations" in a sign that the two countries' trade war may be thawing.
- Tesla kicked off the construction of its new $2 billion Gigafactory in China this week.
- Apple is cutting iPhone production by 10% between January and March, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
- It is believed to be the second time in two months when Apple has trimmed production plans.
- The revelation comes just a week after Apple shook global markets with its first sales warning in nearly 17 years.
- Tesla and Larry Ellison have confirmed via a new SEC filing that Ellison owns 3 million shares, which are worth about $1 billion.
- The filing was necessary because Ellison agreed last week to join Tesla's board.
- Tesla did not say when Ellison bought the shares, except that it was earlier this year.
- However Ellison disclosed he had made a sizable investment back in October, the month when Tesla dropped near 52-week lows.
- Amazon could soon have a large new individual shareholder in MacKenzie Bezos as a result of her divorce from her husband, Jeff Bezos, the company's CEO.
- On Thursday TMZ reported that the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement, citing "sources with direct knowledge" of the situation.
- Jeff Bezos owns 16% of the e-commerce giant, and MacKenzie Bezos could be entitled to up to half of those shares, which would give her one of the two largest stakes in the company.
- Though Jeff Bezos is worth $137 billion on paper, nearly all of the Bezoses' assets are in the form of Amazon stock.
- They live in, and are likely to file for divorce in, Washington, a community-property state, which could give her a claim to a sizable portion of their wealth. But it's unclear exactly how much Amazon stock she'll end up with.
- Former Facebook employees reportedly blamed the company's stack rank review process for creating a "cult-like" culture where they felt the need to appear happy in an attempt to win favor with colleagues.
- On Wednesday, former Facebook employees provided more detail about the review process to Business Insider.
- They said that receiving two consecutive reviews of "meets most" expectations — which is equivalent to a "B" grade — would ultimately result in an employee being fired.
- "A lot of people I know got canned. You got to understand the game of it," one former employee told us.
- Voice assistants like Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Cortana, are pegged to trigger a widespread transformation across the retail industry in the years to come.
- The current interest in, and adoption of, voice assistants for commerce is being driven by recent technological breakthroughs, advantages of the tech over existing channels, and the development of voice apps.
- As consumer demand for voice technology mounts, brands offering this functionality throughout the entire customer journey stand to gain in three key ways.
- Driving product purchases: Voice assistants make spending faster and easier when consumers are unable to use their hands. The ability to make a purchase on any channel and the addition of personalized, intelligent elements to the shopping experience are simplifying the transition from product discovery to product purchase.
- Heightening customer loyalty: Brands can leverage voice assistants in the post-purchase phase to track delivery status, automate part of the return process, interact with customer service, offer feedback, and collect consumer behavioral and transactional data.
- Shifting consumers’ spending behaviors: Smart device ownership has a snowball effect, so as the smart device ecosystem reaches the mainstream, consumers will flock to connected cars, smart home devices and appliances, and connected virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) headsets.
- New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton had the Lombardi trophy, a Super Bowl ring, and over $200,000 in cash wheeled into the Saints locker room before the NFL playoffs began.
- The cash represented the bonus players make for winning the Super Bowl.
- Payton reportedly told his players to win three games and the prizes would be theirs to which the locker room erupted.
- Influencer marketing ad spend is poised to reach between $5 billion and $10 billion in 2022. Taking the midpoint of $7.5 billion as a base case, this represents a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38%.
- Brands need to fine-balance providing influencers with enough creative freedom, while also ensuring the messaging positively reflects the brand. Nearly 40% of influencers believe that overly restrictive content guidelines are one of the biggest mistakes brands and agencies make when working with them.
- Influencers tend to have higher user engagement than content generated by brands. The average influencer engagement rate across industry verticals is 5.7%. As a comparison, the average engagement rate for brands on Instagram has fluctuated between 2-3% in the past year.
- Authenticity is key for influencer marketing messaging. Brands should give influencers sufficient creative freedom to keep posts authentic, as it makes posts less likely to be dismissed by users. Other best practices include repurposing influencer content for multiple platforms, evaluating the audience and following of an influencer, and leveraging data to optimize future campaigns.
- Outlines recent steps the top social platforms are taking for influencer posts.
- Details the best practices brands should adopt when starting out with influencer marketing.
- Discusses the top verticals that are poised to benefit the most from influencer marketing, and which ones are growing.
- Highlights the factors that will be critical for compliance with social platforms and the FTC.
Many companies use the term artificial intelligence, or AI, as a way to generate excitement for their products and to present themselves as on the cutting edge of tech development.
But what exactly is artificial intelligence? What does it involve? And how will it help the development of future generations?
Find out the answers to these questions and more in AI 101, a brand new FREE report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, that describes how AI works and looks at its present and potential future applications.
To get your copy of the FREE slide deck, simply click here.
Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary, has joined the race for the 2020 Election.
Speaking to a crowd in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, Castro touted his commitment to policies that included early childhood education, accessible college alternatives, universal healthcare, and criminal-justice reform.
See the policies with roots in Castro's personal and professional past that he's cast as key to his campaign:
Castro and his twin brother, Joaquín, who is a US representative that heads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, were raised in San Antonio, Texas by their activist mother, Rosie.
Source: Business Insider
Both brothers went to Stanford University, where Julián credited affirmative action for his acceptance, before attending Harvard Law. After finishing his degree at Harvard, Julián ran for San Antonio City Council, which he won in 2001.
Source: The New York Times
Castro has been a longtime support of LGBTQ rights. He became the first San Antonio mayor to serve as the grand marshal of the city's Pride Parade in 2009 and signed the "Mayors for the Freedom to Marry" petition for same-sex marriage equality in 2012.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The New England Patriots have ruled the NFL for two decades in a way no other team in league history ever has.
A big part of that has been finding a legendary quarterback in Tom Brady, who not only has dominated on the field but has sacrificed to put his team in a good position.
Brady has made plenty of money in his NFL career — about $197 million — but what if he had not taken less or restructured contracts over the course of his career to help the Patriots out? Brady would be a richer man, and perhaps the highest-paid player in NFL history.
If Brady consistently signed deals equal to those of the biggest quarterback contracts, we found he could have made $257.9 million to this date. That is about $60 million more than his actual earnings, and approximately $9 million more than Peyton Manning made in his career, the most in NFL history (you can see how we reached this number below).
Measuring such a thing is not an exact science. In the NFL, even the best and highest-paid players rarely see the end of a contract. In Brady and the Patriots' case, they have frequently adjusted his deals to lower his base salary and cap hits to address roster needs while giving him a bigger signing bonus and money upfront.
To project Brady's non-discounted career earnings, we kept his rookie deal and first extension the same. In 2002, Brady signed a four-year, $28 million contract. His next extension came in 2005. By this point, he had won three Super Bowls and was a 2-time Super Bowl MVP. It is safe to assume that by 2005, he could have started commanding top contracts.
We imagined a scenario where Brady signed new deals in 2005, 2009, 2013, and 2017 that were the equivalent of the going rate for the top quarterback at the time. In each of those four years, we gave Brady a new contract equal to that of the biggest contracts for veteran quarterbacks that had been signed before that season or the previous season. We also imagined that Brady only played four seasons under each contract and then signed a new deal.
Here are the contracts we used:
An important note: In 2017, Matthew Stafford signed the largest quarterback deal at five years, $135 million. However, with Brady turning 40 that season, we hedged, imagining the Patriots exercising caution and not committing such a number to a player entering his 40s.
Again, that's a conservative estimate. If we were to use Stafford's $135 million contract in 2017, Brady would have given up something closer to $76 million to this point in his career.
One could also argue that Brady could demand better than the top quarterback deals in any given year. A more aggressive estimate would suggest that Brady has sacrificed something closer to $100 million.
Of course, it's possible that if Brady took a max contract every chance he could, his legacy and the Patriots' might be different. In 2007, Brady restructured his deal to make room for Randy Moss. In recent years, he has taken money upfront so the Patriots could re-sign key free agents. Perhaps if Brady had not restructured or agreed to new deals, the Patriots would not have been as good, taking some of the luster away from both parties.
Brady has said he wants to play until he's 45, meaning he has a few more opportunities to still cash in. But at the moment, the best quarterback in NFL history won't go down as the highest-paid.
Jenny Cheng contributed to this report.
The story of a 29-year-old woman who gave birth at a care facility in Arizona last month, despite having been in a vegetative state for more than a decade, has shocked the nation and prompted a sexual assault investigation.
And experts say such abuse is not rare and is an oft-ignored example of the disturbingly high rates of abuse among America's most vulnerable.
Medical studies add another layer of terror to the case, suggesting that the victim may have been more aware than her vegetative state suggests — meaning she may have felt the assault and could even know the identity of her attacker.
The woman is recovering in a local hospital, and the baby boy is healthy.
Phoenix Police are now investigating the incident as a possible rape, and have obtained search warrants to collect DNA from all of the male staffers to see if any of them are the father.
This isn't the first case like this
Experts say the vegetative patient's pregnancy is not a surprise for people who study these institutions.
Several similar cases have been documented in the past 25 years. Take the Rochester, New York woman who gave birth to a baby boy in 1996, despite having been in a coma-like state since a 1985 car crash. Two years later, a woman in Massachusetts, who had been in a coma for five years, gave birth to a baby girl. One of the most recent cases happened in 2015, in Argentina, where a woman who had been in a coma for a year became pregnant.
Statistics back up the fact that institutional abuse is a systemic problem at care facilities.
Several studies have shown that women with disabilities in particular are at an increased risk of being the victims of sexual assault. One 2006 study found that women with disabilities are four times more likely to be sexual assaulted as abled women are.
"There are statistics that even suggest that if a woman has a disability ... she will be abused in some form or fashion,"Sara Plummer, an assistant professor at the Rutgers University School of Social Work, told INSIDER. "So that's 100% — whether that be sexual abuse or physical abuse or emotional abuse or financial abuse."
She says what's disturbing about the case is that the abuse likely wouldn't have been discovered if the woman didn't get pregnant.
It should also be mentioned that the victim in this case was Native American, another population that reports extremely high rates of sexual assault. According to a 2016 report from the National Institute of Justice, more than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime — including 56% who have specifically reported being sexual assaulted.
Despite abuse of people with disabilities being such a widespread problem, Plummer said there isn't much research into the issue.
"No one really wants to talk about it, because it's really awful. And I've been talking about it for 20 years," she said.
Who could have done it?
Investigators in Arizona appear to be zeroing in on the possibility that someone who works at the facility got the patient pregnant.
When it comes to sexual abuse, Plummer says that it is often the people who work with the disabled who commit these types of crimes. Family members, on the other hand, are much more likely to abuse a disabled relative financially, physically, or emotionally, she said.
But Pamela Teaster, director of Virginia Tech University's Center of Gerontology, who has also studied institutional abuse, said investigators shouldn't rule out the possibility that it wasn't a staff member.
Teaster says she once conducted a study that looked into the abuse of elderly people in nursing homes and it found that the staff "were actually less likely to do the abusing."
"It was the [other] residents — it was the van driver, it was when ... somebody went home on a weekend with a family member. It happened then," she said.
The birth raises questions about care levels in these facilities
Both Teaster and Plummer were suspicious of reports that say the staff had no idea the patient was pregnant until she went into labor. Teaster said "it doesn't pass the sniff test."
"I'm confident that people didn't know, but somebody knew. Something is amiss there," she said.
If no one truly did know that the woman was pregnant, Plummer said it's indicative of the kind of care she was receiving.
"It seems off that all of a sudden they are surprised that she is giving birth, which says that the level of care that this patient was receiving was really the bare minimum," Plummer said.
INSIDER uncovered at least two other disturbing incidents from the facility's past. In 2017, Hacienda was cited when a female nurse walked in on a male patient bathing, and in 2013, a staffer was fired for making inappropriate sexual comments about several patients.
Teaster and Plummer say these kind of incidents are common at such facilities because the jobs are hard to fill. Teaster said several states have also tried to make it legal to hire ex-felons for these jobs.
And like other kinds of abuse, some people out there specifically work at these facilities to target vulnerable people.
Plummer said these predators look for places where they know "individuals are going to be vulnerable."
The issue with these care facilities, Plummer said, is that administrators rarely report such abusers to the police because they're worried about the negative attention the business will get.
"The problem is that they don't want to highlight it because then nobody else would put their family there and they won't make money. So they quietly dismiss the person and then that person goes on to abuse other individuals at a new setting," Plummer said. "The patient is not the priority, unfortunately."
But predators aren't the only issue. Overworked and under-trained staff can also hurt patients, Plummer said.
"If you let somebody sit in their diaper for five hours, is that abuse? I would say it is because it’s neglect," Plummer said. "But these individuals aren't taught well enough to understand what these kinds of things are that they should avoid. They're not trained."
Another issue that Teaster pointed out is that some of these workers don't see the patients as equals.
"There is a population of people who don't respect the dignity of people for whom they see as less than human," she said.
Teaster said these kind of abuses can happen "at any kind of facility," no matter how well-funded they are.
"Having affluence will not protect a person with disabilities, especially if they are particularly vulnerable," she said.
This means that people who have a disabled loved one should be careful if they are looking to place them in an institution, Plummer warned.
"I would be very hesitant to put somebody into an institution unless I was very close to that institution and I visited on a regular basis, because there are so many people coming in and out of the room and taking care of my loved one," she said. "I want to know that they're safe and I cannot assume and I cannot rely on the fact that the people that work there have my loved one's best interest at heart."
Preventing future abuse
A first step for making these facilities safer for patients is to focus on the staff, adding training and increasing pay so "that there's incentive to do your job and to do it well," Plummer said.
She also recommended a database be started to track employees who have been fired for mistreating patients, so they can't simply move to a new facility to start abusing all over again.
She said that if the person who assaulted the Arizona patient isn't caught, it's likely that they're a worker who's already moved on to another facility.
Teaster mentions increasing the ratio of staff to residents and starting at a young age to teach kids that people with disabilities should be respected.
Both Teaster and Plummer say there needs to be more oversight at these centers.
"People need advocacy if they are going to be in a facility," Teaster said. "They need advocates, they need people who come and go, who watch for them, because the majority, many of them, are understaffed and overburdened. And when you're understaffed and overburdened, care and monitoring are not optimal."
What is a vegetative state?
Since the story broke, many have confused a vegetative state with being in a coma. They are not the same thing, University of Washington neurologist Dr. Claire Creutzfeldt told INSIDER.
A coma is a period of unconsciousness and unresponsiveness that a person enters into immediately after sustaining a serious brain injury. Eventually, this person will either die, gain consciousness again, or transition into a persistent vegetative state (PVS). Some people may eventually regain consciousness, but that chance deteriorates over time, according to the Brain Foundation.
PVS is different from being in a coma in that a person may open their eyes or respond to some triggers. But there is still no thought going on in their head and they should not feel pain, Creutzfeldt says.
Creutzfeldt said someone in a vegetative state can improve and enter into a "minimally conscious state." The issue here is that it's sometimes hard to figure out whether someone is in a PVS or has regained some consciousness, especially if they still have no control over their movement.
In August, the American Academy of Neurology released a new set of guidelines for how to treat people in a PVS, after multiple studies found that about 40% of patients are misdiagnosed as vegetative when they actually have some cognitive function.
One of recent study from 2014 had 13 patients diagnosed as vegetative take a special MRI that created an image of their brain function when responding to questions. These scans were compared with the brain images of healthy individuals. When the vegetative patients were asked to visualize playing tennis, four of the patients' brains lit up in a way that was similar to the healthy individuals.
That adds another layer to the case. If true for this patient, it means that she may have felt the assault and even know who her attacker is.
But there's almost no chance that she will one day regain consciousness and be able to identify her attacker. Creutzfeldt says the chances of regaining consciousness after being in a vegetative or minimally-conscious state for more than a decade are very slim.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. That’s the strategy e-tailers will have to adopt if they want to compete with Amazon. To fight back against the e-commerce giant’s expanding dominance, other online retailers must understand exactly why and how customers are buying on Amazon — and which aspects of the Amazon shopping experience they can incorporate into their own strategic frameworks to win back customers.
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has obtained exclusive survey data to give e-tailers the tools to figure out how to do just that with its latest Enterprise Edge Report: The Amazon Commerce Competitive Edge Report.
Enterprise Edge Reports are the very best research Business Insider Intelligence has to offer in terms of actionable recommendations and proprietary data, and they are only available to Enterprise clients.
Business Insider Intelligence fielded the Amazon study to members of its proprietary panel in March 2018, reaching over 1,000 US consumers – primarily hand-picked digital professionals and early-adopters – to gather their insights on Amazon’s role in the online shopping experience.
In full, the study:
First, why is Amazon so popular?
Amazon is ubiquitous. In fact, a whopping 94% of those surveyed said they’d made a purchase on the site in the last twelve months. And of those who did, the vast majority believed Amazon’s customer experience was simply better than its leading competitors’ — specifically eBay, Walmart, Best Buy, and Target.
The biggest contributor to Amazon’s superior experience? Free shipping, of course. According to Amazon’s 2017 annual report, the company actually spent $21.7 billion last year covering customers’ shipping costs, a number that’s been compounding over the past few years.
Not only is free shipping included for all Prime members as part of their subscriptions but, of all e-tailers listed in the survey, Amazon also offers the lowest minimum order value for non-subscription members to qualify for the perk (just $25). The pervasiveness of free (and fast) shipping is steadily heightening customer expectations for the online shopping experience — and forcing competitors to offer similar programs and benefits.
Who exactly is shopping on Amazon?
The survey results showed that across generations for a large minority of respondents, Amazon is a standard part of their typical shopping process. Nearly a third (32%) of respondents said they begin their online shopping process on Amazon. Of those who do start their journeys elsewhere, 100% ended up purchasing something from Amazon at some point over the last 12 months.
Based on the trends in responses, Business Insider Intelligence segmented out three different types of Amazon shoppers, each with unique implications for how competitors could evolve their strategies:
Want to learn more?
Business Insider Intelligence has compiled the complete survey findings into the four-part Amazon Commerce Competitive Edge Report, which dives deeper into each of these consumer segments to give e-tailers an intricate understanding of Amazon’s role in their purchasing processes.
The report presents actionable strategies for retail strategists and executives to zero in on three individual consumer segments at critical shopping moments, and empower them to win sales in an Amazon-dominated world.
Top Republican lawmakers have doubled down on President Donald Trump's demands for a border wall and decision to enact a partial government shutdown until a deal is reached.
The central issue in the record-breaking shutdown is Trump's demands for $5 billion for the construction of a wall along the southern border. The demand has caused congressional gridlock, which gave way to the longest shutdown in American history.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said on "Fox News Sunday" that Trump is "not going to give in," because Democrats had not proposed any appropriate alternative deals.
Graham, who has said he would support Trump declaring a national emergency to help fund the wall, criticized Democrats who have condemned Trump's proposed wall but previously voted in favor of constructing barriers along the southern border.
"It really does perplex me how you expect this to end when you tell the president of the United States, 'you get $1 for a wall when in the past Democrats have appropriated billions for the wall,'" Graham said.
Democrats have agreed to a budget bill that would secure funds for border security. They rejected the notion of providing $5.7 billion to fund Trump's proposed wall.
According to Govtrack, 59% of Senate Democrats (including Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer) voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which allowed fencing to be built along much of the US-Mexico border. In the House, however, only 31% of Democrats voted for the bill. Rep. Nancy Pelosi voted against it.
Graham's statement harkens back to joking comments from Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this month, when she said Democrats would not agree to a border wall but that she would agree to allow $1 for it.
"A dollar?" Pelosi said when asked if it was possible she would accept $1 as the wall's funding. "A dollar. One dollar, yeah, one dollar."
"What’s he supposed to do, just give in?" Graham added. "He’s not going to give in."
House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise said he knew of "many times" where Trump was "willing to negotiate" on not only the "definition of a wall" but also "how much it would cost." However, Durbin said, neither Pelosi nor Sen. Chuck Schumer have "put a counter offer on the table"
House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise: "Many times I've seen the president willing to negotiate on the definition of a wall" and "how much it would cost" but "not one single time" have Pelosi or Schumer "put a counter offer on the table"https://t.co/K8cZRdIFIG#ThisWeekpic.twitter.com/J3Eud9aYpo— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 13, 2019
Scalise added that Trump wants congressional lawmakers to resolve the gridlock, though he has floated the idea of declaring a national emergency to force a solution.
"Clearly the president’s got authority under law but he's said he doesn't want it to come to that," Scalise said. "He wants Congress to solve this problem. Congress needs to solve this problem."
Scalise's comments came just before Trump tweeted he was "in the White House, waiting" as Democrats "are having fun and not even talking!"
Schumer said last week his meeting with Pelosi and Trump ended abruptly when they said they wouldn't support the wall and Trump "just got up and walked out."Schumer and Pelosi have reportedly taken the position that no funding can be allocated for the wall.
Sen. Ron Johnson said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the next steps to any possible negotiation were not easily predicted, because Trump is "not a traditional president," and his "unorthodox" negotiations with other lawmakers haven't gone as planned.
“This is not a traditional president. He has unorthodox means but he is President of the United States. It’s pretty much up to him in terms of who he wants to read into his conversations with world leaders,” GOP @SenRonJohnson says. #CNNSOTUhttps://t.co/apNFwVdKQZpic.twitter.com/93OYgFCgl5— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) January 13, 2019
Though Johnson said he was pushing for the wall to be built, he hopes Trump will refrain from declaring a national emergency, which would likely set off a tangle of legal challenges.
"If we do that, it's going to go to court and the wall won't get built," Johnson said. "I want to see this wall get built. I want to keep pressure on Democrats to come to the negotiating table in good faith and fund what they have supported in the past."
Sen. Dick Durbin, a high-ranking Democrat from Illinois, pointed to Republican lawmakers as the most probable solution to gridlock. Durbin said on ABC's "This Week" that "one phone call" to Trump from Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell could set off discussions to re-open the government.
The shutdown over a project that originated in Trump's 2016 campaign has forced 800,000 federal workers and millions of federal contract employees to go without pay for three weeks, and disrupted government services across the country.
I like small cars. There's a huge advantage to a small car in a city with tight parking. After living in San Francisco for years, and then in Brooklyn, I could squeeze my little hatchback into the tiniest of spaces.
I was used to driving a car with a short nose and a compact derrière, and I hated it when I rented a car and got a big sedan or SUV. I was always afraid of hitting things because I wasn't used to the length and width of the vehicle. I was a small-car gal.
But after moving to suburban New Jersey and spending years navigating the area with smaller cars, I decided I needed to move up to an SUV— the Honda CR-V XE — and I'm glad that I did. Here's why.
Driving small cars in the suburbs presented a host of issues.
I moved to the suburbs of Princeton, New Jersey, 14 years ago with my little hatchback. I got no respect on the roads as zippy sports cars zoomed past me and ladies in SUVs seemed to want to drive right over me. The worst was in the Whole Foods parking lot.
For some reason, this lot seems to be completely populated with the largest SUVs. Skinny moms in the latest workout gear would zoom in and park all while talking on the phone and handing a cookie to the toddler in the backseat.
They had no time to notice anyone beneath them in a small car. I can't count the number of times I was nearly run over by one of these SUVs speeding into a three-point turn to grab that good parking spot.
I moved on to two cars that weren't quite big enough.
About three years into my suburban existence, I graduated to a mini station wagon — a Volvo V50 — which seemed more like a family car, though it still had my small-car aesthetic.
Somehow, I thought, a wagon would help me blend in with the strip-mall, soccer mom crowd. Nope. I was still completely invisible, like a bug to be squashed on the roadway by the monster machines of everyday life.
A couple years later, an upgrade to a sizeable Volkswagen Passat sedan helped a little, but I was still the odd-mom out.
Finally, I settled on a reliable SUV.
When I set out to buy a new car two years ago, I settled on a Honda CR-V as my model of choice. It had good ratings, it was reliable, and it was reasonably priced. It had plenty of legroom in the backseat, and it was big but not huge.
The gas mileage was as good as my smaller cars, but the pickup is sluggish. Don't get me wrong; it wasn't minivan sluggish. But suburban driving involves lots of stop lights and turns, so you can't go that fast anyway.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The healthcare industry is in a state of disruption. Digital solutions are becoming a necessary part of the new global standard of care for patients and regulation is being fast-tracked to catch up to digital health innovation.
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Based on our ongoing analysis, understanding of industry trends, and conversations with industry executives, Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together The Top Five Trends Shaping The Future of Digital Health.
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The US government says a new robot is poised to help it create a reliable, long-term supply chain of plutonium-238 (Pu-238): a radioactive material NASA requires to explore deep space.
As Pu-238 radioactively decays and generates heat, devices called radioisotope power sources convert some of that energy into electricity. Because Pu-238 takes centuries to cool down, the contraptions can keep a robot humming for decades.
But Pu-238 is human-made and one of the rarest and most valuable materials on Earth. In fact, the last time anyone manufactured it in earnest was during Cold War-era nuclear weapons production. Today, NASA has perhaps three missions' worth of the stuff left before the supply runs out.
NASA tried to address the shrinking of its supply in the 1990s, but the agency and its partners didn't secure funding to create a new pipeline for Pu-238 until 2012.
That work, which gets about $20 million in funding per year, is finally starting to move from the research phase toward full-scale production. By 2025, the Department of Energy hopes to meet the NASA-mandated need of 3.3 pounds (1,500 grams) per year.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is located in Tennessee and leading the work, says it recently proved there is a way to produce eight times as much Pu-238 as it made just a couple of years ago, thanks to a new automated robot.
"You can't go to Wal-Mart and buy something that will do this," Bob Wham, the Pu-238 supply program manager at Oak Ridge, told Business Insider.
A new recipe for Pu-238 is reborn
Oak Ridge made the first plutonium for NASA in decades in December 2015. It was a small amount — just 1.8 ounces (50 grams)— but it was tangible proof the lab had created a recipe and the tools to get the job done.
"That was huge accomplishment, but just a first big step," Jason Ellis, a spokesperson at Oak Ridge, told Business Insider.
This week, the lab said in a press release that it's ready to push annual production to more than 14 ounces (400 grams) per year, an eight-fold increase.
"This is another big accomplishment and a huge step because we're going to a production scale," Ellis said. "It's a more efficient process."
The old recipe for plutonium-238 doesn't work anymore, says Wham, because "nobody has the huge production reactors that were in use during the Cold War." So he and his colleagues had to come up with a modern and safer recipe.
He said a batch of plutonium-238 takes about 28 to 36 months to make from start to finish, and the process requires a starting material called neptunium-237.
The neptunium-237 is pressed into small pellets, slipped inside an aluminum sleeve, and inserted into a special nuclear reactor at Oak Ridge called the High Flux Isotope Reactor. After a few months of bathing in a stream of neutrons from the reactor's core, some of the neptunium-237 is transmuted into plutonium-238. (Plutonium-238 is not used in nuclear weapons cores, though its sister radioisotope plutonium-239 is.)
After the targets cool off in a pool of water for many months, workers dissolve them in acid, chemically separate the plutonium and neptunium, and refine both materials. The purified plutonium is set aside for NASA and the purified neptunium is put back into more targets.
However, the neptunium poses a risk to human workers: A mall fraction decays into a very radioactive substance called protactinium-233. Half of this radioisotope decays every 27 days, releasing powerful gamma rays in the process.
"A tiny bit of that protactinium can go a long way to delivering a lot of dose to workers," Wham said.
This radioactive exposure limits the amount of time a trained worker can make the neptunium-237 targets for reactors, and Wham only has a few workers to use.
What's more, and full-scale production of plutonium-238 for NASA will require making perhaps 20,000 to 25,000 pellets per year. Wham also said the tedious and repetitive process must be done through a protective working unit called a hot cell.
"It would drive me nuts to have to press 20,000 pellets in a year," he said. "It'd drive me cross-eyed crazy."
Heating up production for NASA
To create more than a couple of ounces per year, Wham and his team worked with others within the Energy Department to create an automated machine that fits inside a hot cell.
They made two just in case.
"We don't necessarily need it, but it's a good idea for redundancy," Wham said. "If we have a problem or something fails with the mainline machine, it won't take forever to catch back up."
The robot has a multi-purpose arm that can do repetitive work more quickly and safely than human workers. It picks up a funnel, carries it to a die, pours in a pre-measured amount of neptunium-237 and aluminum, presses the pellet, and loads it into a tray. Workers then pack the pellets into tubes that are inserted into the reactor.
Wham's team will have to kick up production about another four-fold to meet its NASA-mandated goal. But he said he's confident the project is on the right path, adding that the pipeline is not working at its fastest — he wants to ensure every step of the process is well-understood before scaling it up.
"There are a lot of requirements to manage a radioactive material and do so in a safe manner," Wham said.
Once Oak Ridge is ready to scale up production, it will have help from Idaho National Laboratory across the country. There, the lab has a facility called the Advanced Test Reactor that is also capable of forging neptunium-237 into plutonium-238.
If push came to shove, Wham thinks the Department of Energy could crank out about 11 pounds (5,000 grams) of plutonium-238 per year — more than three times the amount it's been asked to make.
"I think we could go larger to meet a higher demand for NASA, if they asked for it," Wham added. "Right now we’re fitting in to what they believe their cadence is for nuclear-enabled missions."
Apparently, there was no prenup. And in Washington, where the couple lives, assets acquired during a prenup-less marriage are split 50-50.
If you're married to the world's richest person (Bezos' net worth is $137 billion!) who is entirely self-made, do you deserve to get half?
For MacKenzie Bezos, absolutely. For one simple reason: There would be no Amazon without her.
MacKenzie Tuttle and Jeff Bezos met in 1992 when they both worked for hedge fund D.E. Shaw. MacKenzie graduated from Princeton and became a research associate at the firm where Bezos was a vice president. Her office was next door to his, and three months after they began dating, in 1993, they were married.
While at D.E. Shaw, Bezos came up with the idea for Amazon. MacKenzie was supportive from the beginning, despite the high probability that his venture would fail (after all, almost all startups do).
Brad Stone writes in The Everything Store: "At the time, Bezos was newly married, with a comfortable apartment on the Upper West Side and a well-paying job. While MacKenzie said she would be supportive if he decided to strike out on his own, the decision was not an easy one."
MacKenzie later told CBS: "I'm not a businessperson. So to me, what I'm hearing when he tells me that idea is the passion and the excitement... And to me, you know, watching your spouse, somebody that you love, have an adventure — what is better than that, and being part of that?"
In 1994, at ages 30 and 24, respectively, Jeff and MacKenzie decided to blow up their cushy lives.
They road-tripped across the US in search of a new home and headquarters for Amazon. MacKenzie drove while Bezos punched out a business plan and revenue projections in the passenger seat. After starting in Texas and buying a beat-up car, they wound up in Seattle.
The pair brainstormed the name "Amazon" together after almost choosing a different name: Relentless.com. MacKenzie became Amazon's first accountant, despite being an aspiring novelist.
She did a lot of other grunt work, like most early startup employees do, from driving book orders to the post office to handling the company's bank account and line of credit. She met early Amazon investor John Doerr and partied with the team in Mexico after Amazon's IPO.
But beyond her early role in the company is the significant role any spouse plays in a partner's career.
Both Warren Buffett and Sheryl Sandberg say that the most important career decision you can make is who you marry.
Sure, there's the sacrifice one partner might make to allow the other to pursue a demanding career. But that's not what Buffett was getting at.
"Marry the right person," he said at the 2009 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. "I'm serious about that. It will make more difference in your life. It will change your aspirations, all kinds of things."
Would the notion of opening an online bookstore have taken hold of Bezos as forcibly if he hadn't met MacKenzie? Would he have executed on that vision in the same way, hired the same people and taken the same kinds of risks with a different partner?
These are impossible questions to answer. But it's not outrageous to suggest that a person's motivations, attitudes, and goals are influenced by the most important person in their life.
Regardless of whether a spouse is listed as a partner on a business masthead, many couples operate as a team focused on a grand, overarching enterprise and work in tandem to achieve common goals. That's part of the reason many state laws recognize the concept of community property.
Buffett has said that without his first wife, Susie, who died in 2004, he would not have built his fortune.
"What happened with me would not have happened without her," he said in a 2017 HBO documentary.
What happened to Bezos would not have happened without MacKenzie.
A recently published study found that Facebook users over 65 years old were far more likely than other adults to share disinformation on social media.
Researchers at both Princeton and New York University concluded that though the practice of spreading so-called fake news was rare overall, a person's likelihood of sharing it correlated more strongly with age than it did education, sex, or political views.
"No other demographic characteristic seems to have a consistent effect on sharing fake news, making our age finding that much more notable," wrote the authors of the study, which was published in Science Advances on Thursday.
Researchers commissioned an online sample of 3,500 people — not all of them Facebook users — with the goal of seeing which characteristics were associated with sharing disinformation on Facebook around the November 2016 US elections.
The researchers defined fake news as "knowingly false or misleading content created largely for the purpose of generating ad revenue." While that aligns with the original meaning of the phrase that sprang up ahead of the 2016 elections, President Donald Trump has more often used it to refer to reputable news organizations he doesn't like.
Of those who said they used Facebook, only 49% agreed to share any profile data. Of those users, people older than 65 captured the researchers' attention.
Eleven percent of users older than 65 shared an article consistent with the study's definition of fake news. Just 3% of users ages 18 to 29 did the same. The study drew its list of "fake news domains" from a list assembled by the journalist Craig Silverman of BuzzFeed News.
Andrew Guess, a coauthor of the study and a political scientist at Princeton University, told The Verge that the findings were not as obvious as some people might think.
"For me, what is pretty striking is that the relationship holds even when you control for party affiliation or ideology," he said. "The fact that it's independent of these other traits is pretty surprising to me. It's not just being driven by older people being more conservative."
The study did also find that, of those participating in the study, Republicans shared more links to sites peddling disinformation than Democrats, but "self-described independents" shared roughly the same number of those sites as Republicans.
The study's conclusion, that people 65 years and older share most of the intentionally false or misleading news we see on social media, could be helpful for social networks in deciphering how to tackle the spread of disinformation.
The study's authors also said more context was needed, since the oldest generation may not have a "level of digital media literacy necessary to reliably determine the trustworthiness of news encountered online."
Amazon is holding invitation-only meetings at CES in a room called One Amazon at the Venetian, reports CNBC's Eugene Kim. The topic: convincing people who sell their wares on Amazon's Marketplace to pay up to $5,000 a month to join a support program that would get them an Amazon account representative.
Amazon Marketplace allows any small or mid-sized business to sell their wares through Amazon, giving them access to Amazon's hundreds of millions of customers, its warehouses, shipping/fulfillment services, even wrapping paper services. Marketplace accounts for about half of the company's total unit sales, the company says.
The CES meetings involved explaining a new program launched last year called Marketplace Growth. Growth assigns the seller an account representative. The rep can help them do things like create a business plan and offer them advice on keyword advertising, Amazon says. But it's pricey. For companies who sell less than $1 million in gross sales a year, Amazon requires the seller to commit to $2,500/month to join the program. For those who sell $1 million to $10 million, it charges $3,500/month and at over $10 million, it charges $5,000/month.
This is on top of the fees sellers already pay Amazon, including a roughly $40 monthly fee to have a pro seller account. Sellers also pay Amazon a percentage of each sale ranging from 8% to 45% depending on the type of item being sold, with 15% being typical. Additional services, such as for warehouse space, also require an extra fee.
Some sellers are skeptical
Many Amazon sellers would welcome a premium level of customer service, with a rep on speed dial to quickly deal with fake reviews, counterfeit versions of their products and to help in instances when their own products have been unfairly targeted for removal.
But CNBC's Kim points out that some sellers on Amazon's forums are skeptical and, even baffled, by what benefits the new service will actually provide.
Although the program gives these sellers a person to contact to ask about support issues, Amazon's marketing materials don't promise speedier support than what's available through existing support channels. Amazon vaguely promises that it will give customers a support "consultation." Its marketing materials say "dedicated support and performance consultation can help you troubleshoot and resolve issues."
We asked Amazon for comment on the meetings at CES and about the types of things the $5,000/month account rep does, specifically if the rep helps sellers address fake reviews, counterfeits and other such support issues.
Sellers in the program don't get access to fast-tracked support service, Amazon said, but they might have their support issues addressed by a more seasoned support person.
A spokesperson told us via an emailed statement that "Account managers can provide insights on everything from advertising to financial planning to inventory or even choosing the next product to sell."
Elon Musk is on a charm offensive in China — and his latest meeting may be a sign that trade hostilities between the US and China are thawing.
After beginning construction on Tesla's new $2 billion Gigafactory in China this week, Musk met with Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday in Beijing at the Great Hall of the People.
The pair posed for photographs and made short press statements as part of the meeting. It came against the backdrop of three days of talks about a trade deal between Washington and Beijing.
There are signs are that negotiators may have reached a preliminary agreement, and Li bolstered this theory by saying he hoped Tesla could become an "a promoter of the stability of Chinese-US relations."
"We're incredibly excited to break ground on the Shanghai Gigafactory," Musk added.
Some White House advisers have been pressing for a speedy end to the trade war to help soothe recent volatility that has gripped markets, Bloomberg reported. US President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that "talks with China are going very well!"
But if hostilities continue, Tesla's new Gigafactory could help the carmaker sidestep retaliatory tariffs.
Tesla announced in October that it was accelerating construction on the Chinese factory as tariffs of up to 40% were making it uncompetitive in China. In November, it cut the price of its cars in China to balance costs to customers.
Apple is cutting its production plan for new iPhones by about 10% between January and March, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on Wednesday.
The company late last month asked its suppliers to produce fewer of its new iPhones than planned in the first quarter of 2019, Nikkei said, citing sources with knowledge of the request.
It said the planned production volume for new and old iPhones, including the XS Max, the XS, and the XR, would fall to between 40 million and 43 million units. This is down from the previous projection of 47 million to 48 million units.
It is the second time in two months when Apple has trimmed production plans, Nikkei said.
The revelation comes just a week after Apple shook global markets with its first sales warning in nearly 17 years, in which it said revenue in the holiday quarter would be more than 7% lower than it expected.
Among a shopping list of reasons for the revised projection, Apple blamed weakness in the Chinese economy and US President Donald Trump's trade war.
The warning led the Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives to say it was "Apple's darkest day in the iPhone era." He added that the magnitude of the revenue miss "was jaw-dropping in our opinion."
Business Insider has contacted Apple for comment. The company did not respond to Nikkei's request for comment.
On Monday, Tesla and Larry Ellison officially reported and confirmed Ellison's precise stake in the company via an SEC filing: 3 million shares.
When Tesla announced last week that it had landed Larry Ellison as one of two new board members, the company said that he had been a believer in the company who had purchased the 3 million shares sometime earlier this year.
The filing didn't say when Ellison had bought in but at Tesla's current share price, of about $334, that stake is worth about $1 billion. And back in October, months before the board position was announced, Ellison revealed his stake. At that time, he said Tesla was his second-largest investment.
October was when Tesla was trading near its 52-week low, at around $250 share. That was shortly after CEO Elon Musk was slapped by the SEC over his infamous "funding secured" tweet and when investors were biting their nails over Tesla's looming need for $1 billion in cash to make a debt payment.
An outpouring of good news from the company since late October, including a profitable quarter, has since eased investors concerns and sent the stock soaring.
We don't know how much Ellison paid for his stake, but if he bought in at that low point at about $250 a share, he would have already made around $250,000. While that's pocket change for Ellison, the seventh richest man in the world worth an estimated $51 billion, it probably didn't hurt when convincing Ellison to join Tesla's board.
It will be interesting to watch how the relationship between the two men develop. Both of them are strong willed and used to being the boss. Most of Ellison's other board positions have been on companies where he was a founding investor. Some of them didn't go well. For instance, Ellison's protege, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, famously kicked Ellison off Salesforce's board after Ellison's company, Oracle, began to compete with Salesforce. On the other hand, Ellison was also close friends with the famously strong-willed Steve Jobs and served on Apple's board. The two never competed in business and their friendship stayed intact.
Ellison is known to respect and befriend other tough and like-minded entrepreneurs. He revealed his stake in October while he was publicly defending Musk after Musk came under fire for some controversial tweets.
And Ellison has a personal interest in sustainable energy and sustainable business, which coincides with Tesla's mission. When Ellison bought the Hawaiian island of Lanai in 2012, he said his goal was to turn the island into a "model for sustainable enterprise," using all the latest,eco-friendly technology for power and organic farming. Lanai has a large solar farm and last year, Ellison opened a high-tech indoor hydroponic organic farm.
Jeff Bezos may soon have someone familiar looking over his shoulder when it comes to running Amazon and having a substantial say about it: his soon-to-be ex-wife.
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced Wednesday that they planned to divorce after more than 25 years of marriage.
Because nearly all of his $137 billion net worth is in the form of his stock in Amazon, it's highly likely she will end up with a substantial stake in the company as part of any separation agreement.
On Thursday, TMZ reported that the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement, citing "sources with direct knowledge" of the situation.
If that's the case, there's a good chance that MacKenzie Bezos could end up having the biggest stake in the company other than Jeff Bezos.
"One would think so," said Ira Garr, a family-law attorney in New York who represented Rupert Murdoch and Ivana Trump in their respective divorce cases. "I can't see anywhere else the settlement could come from."
Jeff Bezos owns about 79 million shares of Amazon's stock, worth about $130 billion. The shares give him a 16% stake in the company, making him by far its largest shareholder. The second largest is Vanguard, which had about 6% of Amazon's shares as of last February.
Should Jeff Bezos have to give half of his shares to MacKenzie Bezos — a not unthinkable outcome, especially if they didn't have a prenup — her 39 million or so shares would give her an 8% stake in the company and vault her over Vanguard.
Though she could opt for cash instead — which would force Jeff Bezos to sell off tens of millions of shares — or immediately turn around and sell the shares herself, it's likely she'll choose to hold on to her shares instead, legal experts said.
If MacKenzie Bezos chose to sell — or forced Jeff Bezos to — "the stock would go way down," Garr said.
MacKenzie Bezos is likely to benefit from Washington state law
The reasons MacKenzie Bezos could end up with such a huge stake in Amazon have a lot do with where the Bezoses' divorce proceedings are likely to occur.
Though the Bezoses have dwellings in different areas of the country, they're likely to file for divorce in Washington state, legal experts said. They have a home in the Seattle area, where Amazon has its headquarters, and have lived there for most of their marriage, said Deirdre Bowen, an associate professor of law at Seattle University's School of Law.
"Washington seems to be the most logical place" for the divorce proceedings, Bowen said.
That's important, because it would mean that Washington law would govern the dissolution of the Bezoses' marriage.
Washington is a community-property state; generally, assets acquired during a marriage are considered jointly held by the two parties. In the case of a divorce, those community assets have to be divvied up between the spouses.
Community-property law works a little bit differently in Washington than in other parts of the country. Unlike states such as California, Washington doesn't require community assets to be divided evenly between the parties, legal experts noted.
But in the Bezoses' case, where the two have been married for a long time and the founding of Amazon took place after they got married, it's likely that's where a court would end up, said James Spencer, an adjunct professor at Seattle University's law school and an attorney with Brothers & Henderson.
"Considering the totality of the circumstances (as are publicly known), I think it more likely than not that a court would divide the stock roughly in half," Spencer said.
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos will most likely settle out of court
Legal experts such as Spencer, though, don't expect the Bezoses' case to end up being decided by a judge. Instead, they expect the two to reach a settlement out of court, whether through negotiations between themselves or among their lawyers, or through arbitration proceedings. So Washington's community-property law may not have a direct effect on the divorce's outcome.
But it's likely that MacKenzie Bezos will use it — and the assumption that she should get half of the couple's community assets — as a starting point for negotiations, Bowen said.
"She can go in and tell her attorney ... to work with the assumption that it's going to be 50-50," she said.
To be sure, MacKenzie Bezos could end up with a far smaller stake in Amazon than half of Jeff Bezos' current holdings. If they signed a prenup or a postnuptial agreement, for example, such a contract could severely limit her claims on his shares of the company.
Amazon representatives did not respond to an email inquiry about whether the Bezoses had such an agreement, but TMZ reported on Thursday that the couple had not.
They could fight over what she's entitled to
Another complicating factor is how negotiators for the two parties — and potentially an arbiter or a judge — classify Jeff Bezos' stock holdings. Though assets acquired in marriage or the amount by which they appreciate are generally considered community property, courts can make a distinction between passive and active appreciation of assets, Bowen said.
Jeff Bezos could argue that the massive increase in the value of his Amazon stock was largely due to his personal active management of the company and had nothing to do with MacKenzie Bezos. Should he take that stance and have it affirmed by a judge or an arbiter, MacKenzie Bezos could end up with a much smaller stake in Amazon than she might otherwise.
He could argue his Amazon stake "should remain mine," Bowen said.
The outcome of the case also will hinge in large part on Jeff's and MacKenzie's mental and emotional states going into it. In their joint statement announcing the divorce, the two portrayed their parting as amicable. But late Wednesday, reports in the New York Post and the National Enquirer charged that Jeff Bezos had been having an affair with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV anchor, which could indicate their separation wasn't all that friendly.
If there's rancor involved, it could have a major effect on what each party will demand and settle for, Bowen said.
"The wild card here is I don't know the psychology each party has going into this divorce," Bowen said.
MacKenzie Bezos could end up demanding a large cash payout, she said.
"I don't think she's an unreasonable person, so I don't see that happening," Bowen said. But, she added, MacKenzie Bezos could say in the proceedings something like: "Why would I want Amazon stock when you're controlling it? I want you removed from my life."
And there's another potential wrinkle. Amazon's board and Jeff Bezos may be uncomfortable and unwilling to hand over that much of the company's stock to MacKenzie Bezos, particularly if the two are at odds. He or the board may push to limit her ownership, either by having Jeff Bezos sell shares and give her stake in cash or by giving her other assets, such as his ownership of The Washington Post or his rocket company, Blue Origin, instead.
"With someone who is as closely associated to his brand as Jeff Bezos, it may be that he will refuse a settlement that gives his ex-wife that much Amazon corporate power," said Terry Price, a family law professor at the University of Washington's School of Law.
Getting a "B" on a report was a respectable grade to bring home for a lot of kids growing up.
But apparently, the above average mark is not good enough at Facebook, where the company stack ranks employees and terminates those not among the top performers.
Former Facebook employees told Business Insider on Wednesday that receiving two consecutive reviews of "meets most" expectations — which they say is equivalent to a "B" grade — would ultimately result in an employee being fired.
“Everything is quantified, and you’re measured against everyone to a number," one former Facebook employee told Business Insider. "If you get 'meets most' expectations two times, then you’re going to be canned in a couple of months. A lot of people I know got canned. You got to understand the game of it, but for me, the culture was unsustainable.”
The former employees clarified that receiving the "meets most" mark was not grounds for firing alone, rather it put employees on a performance improvement plan (PIP) that ultimately lead to one's termination.
"I’ve never met anyone that's received two ['meets most' reviews] in a row that has continued on at Facebook," another former employee told us.
Facebook disputes the characterization of its process as stack ranking, a spokesperson told Business Insider. The spokesperson also denied that two consecutive “meets most” reviews result in a performance improvement plan for employees.
'Meets most' means underperformance
On Tuesday, CNBC reported that former Facebook employees blamed the company's stack rank review process for creating a "cult-like" atmosphere where workers felt the need to appear happy in order to win favor with colleagues. The perception and feedback of colleagues is an important piece of Facebook's twice-yearly peer reviews.
"It's a little bit of a popularity contest," one former employee told CNBC. "You can cherry-pick the people who like you — maybe throw in one bad apple to equalize it."
During the review process, once peer feedback is collected employees are ranked and assigned a grade by management. Only a certain percentage of employees can receive each grade, so managers must advocate for their direct reports to receive the highest marks.
According to the CNBC report, grades at Facebook range from "meets some" expectations (which are rare because most people are fired before receiving this grade) to "redefine" (which is the top mark, given to only 5% of employees). The "meets most" mark is considered a lower grade at Facebook and puts future employment at risk, according to the report.
Management guru and former General Electric CEO Jack introduced the stack rank system in the 1980s. Since then, the system has found favor amongst the tech companies — like IBM, Yahoo, and Amazon — but not without its share of controversy.
Microsoft, for instance, used stack-ranking until 2013, when it found the system to hurt innovation and was detrimental to employee morale.
Not too long ago, if your friend had a smart speaker like Amazon’s Alexa or Google's Assistant in their living room, it seemed like a rare novelty. Within a matter of months, however, smart speakers have started becominghousehold staples — and they’re still only at a fraction of their growth potential.
One of the biggest drivers of adoption has been increased functionality. Smart speakers aren’t just changing the music and turning on the lights; they’re helping consumers find new products and make purchases — and they’re quickly becoming a preferred method of shopping.
In fact, nearly a quarter of consumers globally already prefer using a voice assistant over going to a company website or mobile app to shop. This share will jump to 40% by 2021, according to Capgemini.
Consumers are on board with the prompt, convenient nature of shopping with smart speakers — and brands who join them stand to reap massive rewards. The Voice in Retail Report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, highlights the value voice brings to the shopping funnel and how retailers can implement it throughout the customer journey.
Here are three ways brands can capture consumers with voice technology:
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Shoppers are interested in using voice assistants for every stage of the customer journey, from initial product search and discovery to post-purchase customer service and delivery status. And retailers that take advantage of consumers’ desire to leverage voice will be in a stronger position to heighten customer engagement, increase conversion times, drive sales, and boost operational efficiency.
The Voice in Retail Report from Business Insider Intelligence examines the trends driving the adoption of voice commerce, details the role of voice throughout the customer shopping journey, outlines how brands can benefit from implementing voice in their strategies, and explores what's ahead for the technology in retail.
New Orleans Saints head coach gave his players a look at what they could win as motivation before their playoff run began.
According to reports, Payton had the Lombardi trophy, given to the Super Bowl winner, a Super Bowl ring, and over $200,000 in cash wheeled into the Saints locker room with armed guards. The cash represented the players' bonuses for winning the Super Bowl.
The story was first broken by Jon DeTrinis, a New Orleans-based lawyer. According to DeTrinis, Payton asked if players wanted the cash, trophy, and ring, then told them to win three games, to which the locker room erupted.
ESPN's Mike Triplett also reported on the motivational tactic, speaking to Saints running back Mark Ingram, who said the the tactics worked.
"Guys make good money here," Ingram told Triplett. "But not too often you see $250,000 cash right there. So that was very appealing. The Lombardi sitting right there in front of it, the ring sitting right in front of it, the armed guards. It was pretty dope.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirmed the report and tweeted a picture of what the display looked like.
You heard the story from @JonDeTrinis of #Saints coach Sean Payton coming into his locker room with armed guards, cash and a Super Bowl trophy as motivation? For the first time, here is what it looked like: pic.twitter.com/DVij0t77z9— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 13, 2019
The Saints play the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. If they win, they'll be just two wins away from the trophy, ring, and of course, the cash.
This is a preview of the Influencer Marketing (2018) research report from Business Insider Intelligence. To learn more about the top platforms, as well as strategies for social media influencer marketing, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.
The concept of a brand hiring a popular personality to promote a product or service isn't new, and brands know that celebrity endorsements can sell products. In the age of social media, however, brands are finding new ways to leverage popular figures as brand ambassadors, and these people aren't necessarily famous actors, singers, or athletes.
How brands are leveraging social media influencer marketing
While brands certainly continue to tap celebrities for endorsement deals, they’re also starting to enlist social media personalities, broadly known as “influencers,” for advertising campaigns. Social influencers generally focus on specific content areas — like fashion, beauty, parenting, or gaming — and cater their content to a specific vertical.
A new report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, identifies the ways brands can find and manage relationships with social media influencers. It notes the most engaging industry verticals, the pitfalls to avoid, and the opportunities to cash-in on. Finally, it explores how major social platforms are increasingly building out tools that enable their most popular users to build their personal brands.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report: