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Pentagon Chief: If Ukraine Is Defeated, NATO Will Be At War With Russia

Pentagon Chief: If Ukraine Is Defeated, NATO Will Be At War With Russia This is the single most important, dangerous and highly revealing statement from a top defense official in the West in a long time... It also demonstrates the precarious urgency of the moment and the huge stakes going into the November US election. The world truly stands on the precipice of a nuclear nightmare with the following fresh assertion of Biden's Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who said before Congress on Thursday:  "If Ukraine falls, I really believe that NATO will be in a fight with Russia," Austin stated. What's more is that this came the very day that Russian President Vladimir Putin warned things could easily spiral toward nuclear war in the scenario that NATO sends troops to Ukraine. Watch: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says if Ukraine falls he really believes NATO will be in a fight with Russia pic.twitter.com/lmOimGsSAH — Sputnik (@SputnikInt) February 29, 2024 According to the fuller context of the Pentagon chief's statements, he emphasized that more Washington funding is crucial for Ukraine in order to prevent a situation where "one country can redraw its neighbors’ boundaries and illegitimately take over its sovereign territory." "We know that if Putin is successful here, he will not stop. He will continue to take more aggressive actions in the region. And other leaders around the world, other autocrats around the world will look at this and will be encouraged by the fact that this happened and we failed to support a democracy," he added. "If you are a Baltic state, you are really worried about whether you are next. They know Putin. They know what he is capable of. And, frankly, if Ukraine falls, I really believe that NATO will be in a fight with Russia," Austin said. What is even more alarming about this statement is that everyone now knows that Ukraine forces are in retreat at this very moment, especially after the Russian capture of the city of Avdiivka, and surrounding villages. Bloomberg on Thursday issued a report predicting total collapse of the Ukrainian front lines by summer, as the headline suggests (Ukraine Sees Risk of Russia Breaking Through Defenses by Summer): "Ukrainian officials are concerned that Russian advances could gain significant momentum by the summer unless their allies can increase the supply of ammunition, according to a person familiar with their analysis," the report says. According to more from Bloomberg: Internal assessments of the situation on the battlefield from Kyiv are growing increasingly bleak as Ukrainian forces struggle to hold off Russian attacks while rationing the number of shells they can fire. Commander-in-Chief Oleksandr Syrskyi said Thursday that mistakes by frontline commanders had compounded the problems facing Ukraine’s defenses around Avdiivka, which was captured by Russian forces this month. Syrskyi said he’d sent in more troops and ammunition to bolster Ukrainian positions. US DoD/Flickr So the consensus narrative and belated mainstream media admission is that Ukraine's military is a mere months away from clear defeat, and the top US defense chief just said NATO will go to war with Russia "if Ukraine falls". The conflict has reached a dire and perilously unpredictable moment indeed, and clearly the already slim chances of jump-starting serious peace negotiations to end the war are slipping away fast.  Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 22:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT2 hr. 47 min. ago Related News

"We Can"t Wait": Speaker Johnson Demands Action On Border During "Intense" Meeting

"We Can't Wait": Speaker Johnson Demands Action On Border During 'Intense' Meeting Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has described reports that he was confronted by congressional leaders during an “intense” meeting over government funding and aid to Ukraine at the White House on Feb. 27 as “pretty accurate.” Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) makes a statement to the press as he hosts Israeli Speaker of the Knesset Amir Ohana at the U.S. Capitol, on Feb. 6, 2024. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Speaking to Fox News on Feb. 28, Mr. Johnson was asked by anchor Sean Hannity if there was any truth to the reports. The Republican lawmaker explained that he was definitely at odds with congressional leaders over the crisis at the southern border, among other issues, during the meeting. “Well, their reports are pretty accurate. They said that I was on an island by myself, and it was me versus everyone else in the room,” Mr. Johnson said. “What the liberal media doesn’t understand Sean, is that if you’re here in Washington and you’re described as a leader that’s on an island by themselves, it probably means you’re standing with the American people,” he continued. “And that’s what I did yesterday, I reminded the president, and all involved, that the number one issue in America is that open border. The catastrophe that we have, that President Biden himself designed, that he caused and created and I told him, just as I have many times before, he must address it with executive authority. We can’t wait any longer,” Mr. Johnson added. Mr. Johnson was joined by congressional leaders including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) during the Feb. 27 meeting with President Biden and Vice President Harris at the White House, ahead of a looming government shut down. Officials also discussed potential funding for Ukraine during the meeting, with the White House having repeatedly urged Congress in recent weeks to pass a $95 billion foreign aid package, which includes $60 billion for Ukraine, $14.1 billion for Israel, and around $9.2 billion for humanitarian assistance in Gaza. While the package was approved by the Senate earlier this month, it has been stalled in the House by Republicans who are at odds over its lack of U.S. border security provisions and the additional funding for Ukraine. Lawmakers who attended the White House meeting, including Mr. Jeffries, later described it as “intense” while Mr. Schumer told reporters that he and all other attendees, had repeatedly pressed Mr. Johnson on Ukraine aid. “The meeting on Ukraine was one of the most intense I’ve ever encountered in my many meetings in the Oval Office,” Mr. Schumer told reporters. Ultimately, lawmakers were able to strike a deal in principle and avert a partial government shutdown set to take place at the end of this week, although another continuing resolution to fund the government at current levels will need to be passed under the deal announced on Feb. 28. Parts of the government would be funded through March 8 while the remaining would be funded through March 22, according to congressional leaders. A final text is widely expected to be available by the weekend. Congress Must ‘Break the Cycle’ Meanwhile, a deal on extra aid to Ukraine and other nations remains at a stalemate. Mr. Johnson told Fox News it is essential that Congress “breaks the cycle” in the way Washington works and “reform budgeting and spending” going forward. U.S. border patrol agents process people entering the United States from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on March 29, 2023. (Guillermo Arias/AFP via Getty Images) The House Speaker also stressed that Republicans will not give up the fight to ensure President Biden secures America’s borders. “The president has the executive authority to fix it right now, I told him at the White House yesterday one-on-one and in the group, I told him ‘Mr President, if you just issue an executive order that reinstates the Remain in Mexico [policy] ... the agents, your own border patrol agents, told us it would reduce the flow by 70 percent, almost overnight,’” Mr. Johnson said. The House Speaker stressed the border crisis is a key issue for lawmakers, citing a rise in violent crime and murders, including the recent killing of university nursing student Laken Riley, allegedly at the hands of illegal immigrant Jose Antonio Ibarra. “There’s no question about it, this is a very dangerous time ... America can’t stand for this any longer,” Mr. Johnson said. Jackson Richman contributed to this report. Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 23:05.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT2 hr. 47 min. ago Related News

US Deploys "Project Maven" In Middle East As AI Warfare Underway

US Deploys "Project Maven" In Middle East As AI Warfare Underway Remember in 2018 when thousands of Google employees protested its Pentagon contract called "Project Maven" that used article intelligence technology to analyze drone surveillance footage? Well, six years after Google did not renew its Pentagon contract for AI work to head off an internal rebellion, that very same technology was used by the US military to identify targets across the Middle East in bombing raids by fighter jets earlier this month, according to Schuyler Moore, chief technology officer for US Central Command, which runs US military operations in the Middle East, who spoke with Bloomberg.  "We've been using computer vision to identify where there might be threats," Moore said in an interview.  Source: Bloomberg She continued: "We've certainly had more opportunities to target in the last 60 to 90 days," adding the US is currently looking for "an awful lot" of rocket launchers in the region.  Moore's comments provide some of the strongest evidence to date that the US military is using AI targeting systems to identify potential strike areas. She noted that even after Google walked away from the project, experimenting has continued with drone or satellite imagery.  Based at Central Command, or Centcom headquarters in Tampa, Florida, Moore revealed that US forces in the Middle East have been testing AI targeting systems using a combination of satellites and other data sources and conducted exercises over the past year with the technology.  "October 7th, everything changed," she said, adding, "We immediately shifted into high gear and a much higher operational tempo than we had previously." She noted the shift from exercises to real-life missions was "a pretty seamless shift" with Project Maven.  However, Moore emphasized that Project Maven's AI capabilities only identify potential targets instead of automatically confirming and killing the target.  A separate Bloomberg report noted: "A growing number of US military officers predict that AI will transform the way America and its enemies make war, ranking it alongside the radio and machine gun in its potential to revolutionize combat."  Insiders told Bloomberg that Project Maven's core data-fusion platform is developed by Palantir Technologies, and involves critical contributions from Amazon Web Services, ECS Federal, L3Harris Technologies, Maxar Technologies, Microsoft, and Sierra Nevada. According to Colonel Joseph O'Callaghan, the fire support coordinator for the 18th Airborne Corps and its AI targeting efforts leader, Project Maven, "is not Terminator. The machines aren't making the decisions, they're not going to arise and take over the world." America's use of AI in warfare for targeting assistance is no longer theoretical. This could be the beginning innings of Skynet.  Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 22:05.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT4 hr. 30 min. ago Related News

An ex-flight attendant shares his top pet peeves when it comes to passengers — and it includes swapping seats

Travel expert Bobby Laurie said passengers shouldn't swap seats without telling their cabin crew first. Bobby Laurie shared his top pet peeves when it comes to passengers (not pictured).Anchiy/Getty ImagesAn ex-flight attendant who flew with two US airlines shared three annoying things passengers do.Bobby Laurie said passengers shouldn't swap seats without telling their cabin crew first.Laurie said passengers also shouldn't ask for food items that aren't on the menu.Passenger disputes with flight attendants keep making headlines. In July, American offloaded a passenger after he got into an argument with a flight attendant. In August, United temporarily banned a woman from flying after she refused to follow a flight attendant's instruction to return to her seat.So, what do you do to get on a flight attendant's good side? Avoid their pet peeves, of course.While annoying a flight attendant is unlikely to get you kicked off a flight, getting on their good side might get you better service, travel expert Bobby Laurie told Business Insider in an email. Laurie, the cohost of "The Jet Set," a travel talk show that airs weekly on national television, worked as a flight attendant with US Airways and Virgin America."Kindness and politeness were always rewarded when I could. Whether it be a free drink, snack, or a better seat, the people who made an impression and were kind got those benefits first," Laurie said.Here are three of Laurie's pet peeves as a flight attendant and how to avoid them.A plane's overhead compartment stuffed with bags.Techa Tungateja/Getty Images1. Refusing to listen to instructions on how to stow bagsLaurie said passengers should avoid placing bulky items like outerwear in the overhead compartments."This is especially true in the winter when everyone has a heavy jacket with them. Jackets shouldn't take up the space of a bag," Laurie said.Laurie said passengers seated near the plane's bulk-head are not allowed to keep any of their bags or belongings at their feet.Air India's economy cabin.Taylor Rains/Business Insider2. Swapping seats with other passengers.Laurie said passengers should pay for their seats in advance rather than trying to move to other passengers' seats once on board — especially without telling the cabin crew."Don't 'steal' the seat and think the flight attendant won't notice. Don't ask if you can get a free upgrade," Laurie said.Airlines often charge more to sit in the window and aisle seats toward the front of the plane, Laurie said. This means many airlines will refuse to allow passengers to switch seats, especially if the swapped seat comes with services such as better food or free drinks, Laurie added.An in-flight meal on low-cost airline AirAsia.Marielle Descalsota/Insider3. Asking for items that are not on the plane's in-flight menuLaurie said passengers should not assume there are off-menu items. The reality, he said, is that the plane is likely to be stocked with limited food. On shorter flights, where there are only three or four flight attendants working on board, Laurie said passengers should select from whatever the crew offers in order to avoid wasting time."Every airline has some sort of a seatback menu for offerings on the plane," Laurie said. "Airlines in the US don't have strawberry juice, watermelon juice, or any other juice other than orange, apple, and cran-apple."Laurie added that planes don't have a microwave for people to heat up food they brought on board with them, or a refrigerator to store their meals.That said, Laurie noted that if passengers are considerate of cabin crew, they're likely to get better service."As a crewmember, I always tried to have fun and relate to my passengers," Laurie said."To get on the cabin crew's good side, simply acknowledge them! Say hello. Smile. Especially around the holidays, just say thank you. So many people walk right past crew members like they're the help," he added.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT5 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

What is FaceTime and how do you use it on your mobile device or computer?

FaceTime revolutionized how we meet and greet. Here's what the iconic video-calling application provides for its millions of active users every day. FaceTime lets you make video or audio calls for free using your Apple devices.Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesFaceTime is a popular video-calling app used by millions of Apple users since 2010.FaceTime is free, and you can make calls using Wi-Fi or cellular data.Only Apple users can download the FaceTime app, but Android and Windows users can join calls.FaceTime is Apple's platform for video and audio calls. The iconic app that made mobile video-calling ubiquitous was first launched in 2010, and has since allowed millions of Apple users to spend time face-to-face with their loved ones, even while apart.Recent versions of FaceTime also include a host of popular videoconferencing features, including screen sharing, Portrait Mode to blur your background, and SharePlay to watch videos or listen to music in sync during a FaceTime call.Here's everything you need to know about using FaceTime:What you need to use FaceTimeTo start a FaceTime call, you simply need an iOS device that supports FaceTime. This includes:iPhone 4s and later versionsiPad 2s and later versionsAll versions of the iPad Pro and iPad miniMac computers that run Mac OS X Mavericks or laterFaceTime comes pre-installed on Apple devices including iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, and Mac computers. But if you can't find it, FaceTime is also available on the App Store for iPhones and iPads.To start a FaceTime call, you'll also need the phone number or email address of the person you're trying to call.While Android and Windows users are unable to start FaceTime calls or download the FaceTime app, they can join existing FaceTime calls if they're invited via a link from an Apple device.How to FaceTime someoneThere are several ways to start a FaceTime call. One way is by launching the FaceTime app on your mobile device or Mac computer, signing in with your Apple ID, and tapping New FaceTime. From there, you can select one or more of your existing contacts, or type out one or more phone numbers or email addresses. Then, you can opt for an audio or video FaceTime call.When you open the FaceTime app, you can select a contact and choose a video or audio-only FaceTime call.Michelle Mark/Business InsiderYou can also start a FaceTime call with an Android or Windows user by opening the FaceTime app, tapping Create Link, and sending it to a recipient through an app like Messages or Mail. The recipient can then open the link in any up-to-date browser and join the FaceTime call.By hitting "Create Link" in the FaceTime app, you can invite an Android or Windows device to join your call.Michelle Mark/Business InsiderAnother way to start a FaceTime call is through your contacts list. Launch the Contacts app on your device, and select the person you want to call. You can make an audio or video FaceTime call through the contact card.Start the FaceTime call by opening a contact card and tapping the videocamera icon for a video call, or the telephone icon for an audio-only FaceTime call.Michelle Mark/Business InsiderIs FaceTime free to use?FaceTime is free to use, even when calling internationally. FaceTime simply requires an internet connection to work, and can make calls using Wi-Fi if you're connected to a Wi-Fi network, or using data if you're connected to cellular internet. FaceTime can potentially use a lot of data — particularly if your calls are long, involve multiple people, and use video instead of audio only. But users can avoid hefty data usage by connecting to a Wi-Fi network before making calls.You can also prevent your device from using cellular data for FaceTime calls by opening Settings, tapping Cellular, and scrolling to FaceTime and toggling the green switch to the off position. This will ensure you can only make FaceTime calls if your device is connected to Wi-Fi.How to use FaceTime gesturesSome newer Apple devices allow gesture-based video reactions as part of FaceTime's videoconferencing features. You can trigger 3D animations like hearts, thumbs up, and thumbs down effects by using the corresponding hand gestures on your call.FaceTime gestures are only available on iPhone 12s or later, or on Macs with Apple silicon running macOS Sonoma. To use FaceTime gestures on an iPhone, open Settings, and click on Control Center. Hit Video Effects and make sure Reactions is turned on. You can then start using gestures during FaceTime calls — just make sure to keep your hands away from your face and hold the gesture long enough to trigger the 3D effects.To use FaceTime gestures on a Mac, ensure the Reactions feature is on by clicking the green icon on your Mac's menu bar while the FaceTime app is open. You can then turn the Reactions feature on or off.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT5 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

Biden is worried China will use its cars to spy on Americans

President Joe Biden is worried China will use its cars to spy on Americans — and that the country could even remotely disable the cars' functions. The BYD Seal.BYDThe Biden administration is initiating an investigation into foreign technology risks in American cars.The investigation is primarily focused on automakers from "countries of concern" like China.Chinese automaker BYD has denied plans for US expansion, but its global dominance is hard to ignore.President Joe Biden is worried that China will use its cars to spy on Americans — and that the country could even remotely disable the cars' functions.Biden announced in a statement Thursday his administration is launching an investigation into automakers from "countries of concern," naming China exclusively. The Secretary of Commerce will lead the charge to determine the risks of foreign technology in everyday Americans' cars, and to take action, if necessary, to protect national security, the statement said."These cars are connected to our phones, to navigation systems, to critical infrastructure, and to the companies that made them," Biden said in his statement. "Connected vehicles from China could collect sensitive data about our citizens and our infrastructure and send this data back to the People's Republic of China."He added that China places guidelines on American cars operating in the country, so why would America not do the same?One Chinese automaker emerging as a dominant force in the global car market is BYD, which unseated Tesla as the world's largest EV seller last year. China's success in the EV world comes as US sales of the cars slip. But, BYD has said that it has no plans to come to the US, despite its international expansion into other countries, like Mexico, according to Yahoo! Finance."We're not planning to come to the US," Stella Li, executive vice president of BYD and CEO of BYD Americas, told Yahoo Finance Live. "It's an interesting market, but it is very complicated."Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters Wednesday that the investigation was designed to get ahead of the market — "before Chinese-manufactured vehicles become widespread" in the US. "Imagine if there were thousands of Chinese vehicles on American roads that could be immediately disabled by somebody in Beijing," Raimondo said, per the Associated Press."It doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out how a foreign adversary like China with access to this sort of information at scale could pose a serious risk for national security and the privacy of US citizens," Raimondo added.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT5 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

16 female celebrities who proposed to their male partners

Some female celebrities including Rita Ora, Jenna Bush Hager, and Sarah Snook have flipped the script and chosen to propose to their male partners. Kat Dennings and her fiancé, Andrew W.K., proposed at the same time.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The People's Choice Awards Some female celebrities have flipped the script and chosen to propose to their male partners. "Succession" star Sarah Snook proposed to comedian Dave Lawson during lockdown. Actress Kat Dennings and musician Andrew W.K. proposed to each other at the same time. According to Irish lore, February 29 is a particularly auspicious time for women to flip the traditional script and propose to their male partners, IrishCentral reports.While more women have chosen to propose marriage outside of Leap Day in recent years, it still remains a relatively uncommon phenomenon.Here are 16 famous women who asked their male partners to marry them instead of the other way around.Out of Elizabeth Taylor's eight marriages, she proposed once, to Michael Wilding.Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding in 1952.WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty ImagesTaylor proposed to Wilding, a British actor, while working on a film in England in 1952, The Guardian reported. They had two children together before divorcing in 1957.Judy Sheindlin, better known as the no-nonsense Judge Judy, proposed to her husband Jerry Sheindlin.The Honorable Judy Sheindlin and her husband, Jerry Sheindlin, in 2015.Amanda Edwards/WireImageSheindlin had been married once for 12 years before she met her now-husband in a bar. When he continued to express ambivalence about the importance of getting married, she asked him to marry her herself."I did propose to him," Sheindlin told DuJour in 2013. "I said to him, 'Where is this relationship going?' And he tried to weasel out of it, with his, 'Well, you know, why do we have to get married?' Whatever. He finally capitulated. I told him to pick a date. He picked Flag Day."Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg proposed to Barry Diller, and they've been married since 2001.Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg in 2016.Jim Spellman/WireImageVon Furstenberg turned Diller's proposals down several times before she took matters into her own hands."One year I didn't know what to give him for his birthday, and I called him and said, 'You know, if you want, for your birthday I'll marry you,' she told O Magazine in 2014. He replied with, "Let me see if I can arrange it."Britney Spears proposed to Kevin Federline in 2004.Kevin Federline and Britney Spears attend a party together in 2006.Getty ImagesThe couple was on a flight from Ireland to New York when Spears proposed, she told People magazine in 2004."All of a sudden I said, 'What if you want to get married?' And I kind of went from there to asking him if he would marry me," she said.Spears and Federline divorced three years later, in 2007.Pink asked motocross racer Carey Hart to marry her in 2005 while he was racing in the Pro 250 class finals.Pink and Carey Hart.Rich Fury/Invision/APAs Hart began his third lap around the track, Pink held up a pit board that read, "Will You Marry Me?" When he didn't pull over, she added "Serious!"Cary accepted the singer's proposal, and they married in Costa Rica in 2006, PopSugar reported. They have two children.Jennifer Hudson proposed to David Otunga in 2009, five months after he proposed to her.Jennifer Hudson and David Otunga in 2014.Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The People's Choice AwardsOtunga had proposed to Hudson on her birthday, so she returned the favor on his birthday with a five-carat ring, People magazine reported.They announced their separation after 10 years together in 2017.Jenna Bush Hager proposed to husband Henry Hager after three months of dating — years before they actually got engaged in 2007.Jenna Bush Hager and Henry Hager.Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty ImagesOn an episode of "Today with Hoda & Jenna" in August 2023, Bush Hager said that she proposed to Hager, a former White House staff assistant during her father's administration, "after several cocktails" in 2003, when she was 22 years old."We'd only been dating three months," she said. "He told me he loved me and I'm like, 'Me too! Let's get married!'"Hager said no at the time, as Bush Hager said in the episode, according to People, adding that he eventually proposed in 2007. They got married in 2008 and have three children.Gretchen Rossi asked Slade Smiley to marry her on an episode of "The Real Housewives of Orange County" in 2013.Gretchen Rossi and Slade Smiley on vacation in 2015.Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images for Sandals ResortsRossi got down on one knee to ask Smiley to marry her. He got down on one knee to say yes."With this ring, I hope you'll say yes, and I hope you'll marry me, and I hope we'll have a wonderful, fabulous, maybe not perfect, but happy life together," she said.The couple still has not gotten married — although they wear wedding rings and call each other husband and wife, Us magazine reported. They welcomed a daughter, Skylar, in July 2019, People magazine reported.Kristen Bell proposed to Dax Shepard on Twitter after marriage equality became legal in California in 2013.Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard.Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesBell and Shepard didn't want to tie the knot until every couple had the right to marry. When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, legalizing same-sex marriage in California, Bell popped the question on X, formerly known as Twitter.".@daxshepard1 will you marry me? Xo #marriageequality #loveislove," she wrote.His reply? "F*** yes!!!!!!!!!!!"Actress Haley Lu Richardson and Brett Dier were together for seven years before Richardson popped the question.Brett Dier and Haley Lu Richardson in 2017.C Flanigan/Getty ImagesWhile chatting with Busy Philipps on "Busy Tonight" in 2019, Richardson said that she had asked Dier to marry her. "I just asked," she said. "Neither of us are, like, crazy romantic people, so nothing was planned. He was sitting there eating a pizza and he was telling me a joke that Shia LaBeouf had said in an interview, and he was, like, pretending to be Shia LaBeouf explaining this joke and for some reason I just cut him off and was like, 'Wanna marry me?'"Richardson revealed in an Instagram story in November 2022 that she and Dier had broken up two years before, People magazine reported.Retired Olympic alpine skier Lindsey Vonn proposed to New Jersey Devils defenseman PK Subban on Christmas in 2019.P. K. Subban and Lindsey Vonn at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards.Kevin Mazur/WireImage via Getty ImagesThe couple had already announced their engagement in August 2019 when Subban proposed to Vonn. But Vonn said that she wanted Subban to have a ring too."Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!!" Vonn wrote on X.. "On our 2 year anniversary, in a 'non-traditional' move, I asked PK to marry me and he said, Yes ! Women aren't the only ones who should get engagement rings! #MerryChristmas #equality"The couple announced their split in December 2020 after postponing their wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic, Us magazine reported.In an appearance on "The Tonight Show," Joshua Jackson revealed his then-wife, model and actress Jodie Turner-Smith, proposed to him in Nicaragua.Jodie Turner-Smith and Joshua Jackson in 2019.Emma McIntyre/Getty ImagesThe "Dawson's Creek" actor appeared on "The Tonight Show" in July 2021 and told host Jimmy Fallon about "the best choice [he] ever made.""She asked me, yeah, on New Year's Eve," Jackson said of Turner-Smith's proposal. "We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic. We were walking down the beach, and she asked me to marry her. There was, like, a preamble. There was a lead-up to it … I did not know, but she was quite adamant, and she was right."Turner-Smith gave birth to the couple's daughter in April 2020, People magazine reported. Turner-Smith filed for divorce in 2023."Succession" star Sarah Snook proposed to and quietly wed comedian Dave Lawson, a longtime friend, while they lived together in lockdown during the pandemic.Dave Lawson and Sarah Snook at the Critics Choice Awards in 2024.Monica Schipper/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images"At the beginning of the pandemic last year, I got locked down in Melbourne with one of my best mates and we fell in love," Snook told Vogue Australia in October 2021. "We've been friends since 2014, lived together, travelled together, always excited to see each other, but totally platonic. We've just never been single at the same time. I proposed and we got married in February in my backyard."The couple wed with "Succession" costar Ashley Zukerman in attendance as a witness."It's been a ride," Snook said. "There's so much heartache and sadness in the world, but on a micro personal level, I've been very fortunate. There's a really lovely grace in that without the pandemic, we might not have ended up together so quickly."In an appearance on "The Drew Barrymore Show," Kat Dennings said that she and her fiancé, musician Andrew W.K., proposed at the same time.Kat Dennings and Andrew W.K. attend the premiere of "Thor: Love and Thunder" in 2022.Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for DisneyDennings announced her engagement to W.K. (whose legal name is Andrew Wilkes-Krier) on Instagram in May 2021."Don't mind if I do," she captioned a photo of her engagement ring.Dennings told Barrymore in a February 2022 appearance on "The Drew Barrymore Show" that their mutual proposal was "a special moment that makes me believe in magic.""We were doing kissing, and we had, like, a shared feeling," she said. "I felt this intense … thing, like, 'This is my person. This is it. I can't live without him. This is the man I'm supposed to be with.' And we looked at each other, and we both proposed at the same time."Becca Kufrin proposed to fellow "Bachelor In Paradise" star Thomas Jacobs in May 2022.Becca Kufrin and Thomas Jacobs.Dara-Michelle Farr via Getty ImagesKufrin and Jacobs, who met on season seven of "Bachelor In Paradise," both announced their engagement on Instagram."In the ultimate plot twist…HE SAID YES!" Kufrin captioned photos of them popping champagne. "The ultimate UNO reverse card / power move," Jacobs wrote in his own post. "You keeping me on my toes for a lifetime has a great ring to it. Cheers to forever Boops."They married in October 2023.Rita Ora proposed to Taika Waititi in 2022, who told Vogue he "said yes instantly."Rita Ora and Taika Waititi.Samir Hussein/WireImageOra proposed to Waititi while the two were on vacation in Palm Springs, he told Vogue in an interview in August on their first wedding anniversary.They held a small, private wedding ceremony at their Los Angeles home in August 2022, a few weeks after Ora proposed, and only publicly revealed that they were married in their Vogue interview.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT14 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

Russia is building momentum off its Avdiivka win and pushing deeper before Ukraine can get new defenses up

Western intelligence and war experts say Russia is trying to take advantage of the battlefield situation and make territorial gains. Ukrainian soldiers get out of a military vehicle in a location given as Avdiivka, Donetsk Region, Ukraine, in this screen grab taken from a video released Feb. 17, 2024.3rd Assault Brigade/Handout via REUTERSRussia has been pushing west past Avdiivka, which it captured nearly two weeks ago.Its forces have now captured several small villages a few miles from the city's center. Western intel and war experts say Moscow wants to make gains before Ukraine can build new defenses.Russian forces are slowly advancing deeper into parts of eastern Ukraine, building off their momentum after capturing the war-torn city of Avdiivka nearly two weeks ago.Moscow is moving to take advantage of the current battlefield situation and make territorial gains before Ukraine can put up new defenses in the area, Western intelligence and war experts say.Ukrainian forces withdrew from Avdiivka on Feb. 17 following months of brutal fighting as Kyiv defended the small city against a Russian onslaught that came at a tremendous cost in both human lives and military equipment.Since then, Russia has advanced a just under four miles from the center of Avdiivka as territory west of the city remains the focus of its offensive in eastern Ukraine, Britain's defense ministry said in a Thursday intelligence update. Moscow, the ministry said, has now "almost certainly taken control" of the villages of Lastochkyne, Stepove, and Sieverne.Ukrainian soldiers of 47th Mechanized Brigade drives on M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle on Avdiivka direction on Feb. 23, 2024 in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine.Photo by Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images"These tactical gains serve primarily to consolidate Russian positions around Avdiivka," the latest update said. "Russia is also likely seeking to build momentum on the axis to take advantage of the fact that there are fewer fixed, well-defended positions, and urban areas from which Ukrainian forces can defend."Recent mapping by the Institute for the Study of War appeared to confirm these advances. Analysts at the think tank offered a similar assessment to the UK's intelligence this week, suggesting that Russia's moves represent an attempt to exploit the situation around Avdiivka before Ukraine is able to fortify its defenses in the area."Russian forces are likely continuing attempts to advance in order to deprive Ukrainian forces of the respite that would allow Ukraine to establish a more cohesive and harder-to-penetrate defensive line in the immediate vicinity of Avdiivka," ISW analysts wrote in a Tuesday assessment.Ukrainian soldiers of Brigade 71 fire an artillery in the direction of Avdiivka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on Feb. 18, 2024.Photo by Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu via Getty ImagesThe capture of Avdiivka, they added, "has allowed Russian forces to press on positions that Ukrainian forces have manned for a shorter period than Ukrainian positions in Avdiivka or further west, and Russian forces are likely sustaining a high operational tempo to try to exploit this tactical opportunity."The analysts said that while Russia may be able to capture territory immediately west of Avdiivka in the near future, the geographical terrain beyond this area will likely slow Moscow's troops and complicate their efforts to advance farther. It will also allow Ukraine time to strengthen its defensive positions, they added.The capture of Avdiivka, which was the result of an extremely bloody campaign, has been hailed as Russian President Vladimir Putin's biggest victory since the fall of Bakhmut last May. The battles have often been compared with each other due to the high cost of victory for Moscow in both situations.Ukrainian soldiers in Avdiivka.The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of UkraineAfter Avdiivka fell, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that Russia wanted the city because it sought a logistics and operational maneuver hub in eastern Ukraine's Donbas area. From there, Moscow would have a stepping-off point to conduct further action around Donetsk.The Biden administration has pegged the city's capture on the chokehold that Republican lawmakers currently have on additional security assistance to Ukraine. The White House has said that Kyiv's troops were forced to withdraw from the city due to a shortage of ammunition and supplies — a direct result of "congressional inaction."Kirby said earlier this month that it remains to be seen whether the Russians are going to be able to achieve their overarching strategic goal of taking Avdiivka."What we can say for sure," he said, "is that if the Ukrainians aren't better supplied, if they don't get a relief from the shortage of ammunition that they're suffering right now, this move on Avdiivka could actually have a larger effect on the fighting in the east and the amount of territory that the Russians might be able to get over time."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT14 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

Cybertruck reviews are in, and the complaints are just as unique as Tesla"s truck itself

Cybertruck's pesky smudges and unwanted attention are among one reporter's complaints. The Cybertruck launched last year and is currently only available in North America. A few journalists have found ways to get behind the wheel. Anadolu/Getty ImagesReviews for the Tesla Cybertruck are positive — so far.Drive and performance seem to be great, but fingerprints quickly degrade the look.Reactions to the Cybertruck in person are polarizing.Official reviews for Tesla's Cybertruck are rolling in, and so far, the hulking stainless steel truck is largely living up to the hype.Recent reviews in Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal praise the Cybertruck for a smooth ride, tight handling at low speeds, and achievements in design and engineering.The complaints, much like the truck itself, are rather unique compared to a typical pickup-truck review. Among Bloomberg's hangups were the truck's smudge-prone exterior and its propensity to attract unwanted attention.Keeping up with smudges and fingerprints on the Cybertruck's exterior is "like trying to remove dog hair from your coat. It's a tedious task and there's always one more that you missed," reporter Hannah Elliot writes. Much has been made of Tesla's choice to use stainless steel, with industry experts predicting ahead of the truck's launch that it would probably get dirty pretty quickly. But WSJ's Dan Neil thinks these anxieties are antithetical to the rugged reputation Cybertruck is trying to cultivate."Brah, do you even hear yourself?" Neil wrote. "Most bully 4x4s you see on the road never leave asphalt for fear of scratching their glossy, fingerprint-resistant surface."Among Neil's takeaways: The Cybertruck is an on-road performance vehicle, not an off-road one.Elliot muses in her review that driving the Cybertruck around Hollywood is akin to wandering the streets as a celebrity. iPhone lenses followed her at every turn, and men longing to see the inside the truck in a Home Depot parking lot forced Elliot to rush to the truck and make a quick exit.Even before its launch, the Cybertruck was a magnet for internet attention, with each new photo garnering thousands of opinions online from eager posters. Reactions to the truck were polarizing in Elliot's experience, with just as many detractors as there were fans of the hulking electric truck."You'll need thick skin if you own one, especially if you post photos of it online where the trolls are especially toxic," Elliot wrote. "The Cybertruck makes as many people cringe as clap."Have you driven the Tesla Cybertruck yet? Reach out to this reporter with your reactions at nnaughton@insider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT14 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

The FDA reportedly identified quality-control issues at a Neuralink animal lab shortly after Elon Musk said the startup was cleared to start human tests

The FDA found issues with Neuralink's "record keeping and quality controls" at its animal testing site, Reuters reported. Thousands of people have expressed interest in participating in the FDA trial for Neuralink, Bloomberg reported.NurPhotoThe FDA found some "record keeping and quality controls" issues at a Neuralink animal-testing site, Reuters reported.The issues, reportedly discovered at a California facility, were not significant enough to prompt action.Elon Musk's startup said it had successfully implanted its first brain chip in a human in January.Elon Musk's Neuralink faced scrutiny from the US Food and Drug Administration shortly after the billionaire said the regulator had approved the startup for human trials of its brain chips, according to a recent report from Reuters.The publication, citing FDA records, reported that the agency discovered issues with "record keeping and quality controls for animal experiments" at Neuralink's facility in California, including a lack of records regarding how some tools were properly "calibrated" and individuals involved in ensuring quality control had failed to provide some documentation. The issues were identified between June 12 and June 22, 2023, Reuters reported. Neuralink had said in May 2023 that it had been cleared by the FDA to begin human trials of its technology, which has since implanted its first brain chip in a person.The company's site in Texas did not have the same issues, Reuters reported, citing FDA records.Despite some of the issues the agency identified at the California site, which handles animal research, Reuters said the FDA has not designated the issues as significant enough to prompt action by the regulator. An FDA spokesperson told Reuters that Neuralink "provided sufficient information to support the approval" of its human testing, but the agency will "continue to monitor the safety of those enrolled in the study for Neuralink's implant device through required, regular reports." An FDA spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider ahead of publication.A spokesperson for Neuralink did not respond to a request for comment from BI or Reuters. The startup was cofounded in 2016 by Elon Musk and aims to surgically implant chips in human skulls that could help people interact with computers using only their mind.Neuralink also envisions its chips as helping people with paralysis. Musk said the company kicked off human trials earlier this year and successfully implanted its first chip in a patient."Progress is good, and the patient seems to have made a full recovery, with neural effects that we are aware of," Musk said in a X Spaces earlier this month. "Patient is able to move a mouse around the screen by just thinking."The startup has faced regulatory scrutiny in the past. In 2022, Reuters reported that the US Department of Agriculture was looking into reports of mistreatment of the animals used in testing the device. Last summer, the agency said it only found one violation and Neuralink had already reported the issue.Musk's other companies — driven by the billionaire's "maniacal sense of urgency" — have also caught the eye of US regulators in recent years. Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had looked into reports that some workers at The Boring Company had faced chemical burns and accidents amid the company's push to expand its tunnels in Las Vegas. Last year, a Reuters investigation reported that SpaceX workers were putting in over 80-hour workweeks and facing high injury rates.Do you work for one of Musk's companies or have insight to share? Reach out to the reporter from a non-work email and device at gkay@businessinsider.comRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT14 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

I worked in a call center for Walmart Spark workers. I got reprimanded for giving drivers tips they had earned, and most calls were frustrating and scripted

A support agent for Walmart Spark said she handled complaints about missing tips, canceled orders, and drivers using multiple accounts. Dominique Anderson, a support agent for Walmart's Spark delivery service, said drivers often complained about missing tips.Scott Olson/Getty ImagesDrivers for Walmart's Spark delivery service call its support line when they have problems.One person who fielded those calls said missing tips were among the biggest reasons drivers called in.Seeing how little Spark drivers made, plus having to use scripted answers, made the job hard, the employee said.This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Dominique Anderson, a former resolution coordinator in North Carolina who fielded support calls from Walmart Spark drivers. She left the job in January after just over a year of working for Walmart. Business Insider has verified her identity and past employment. The story has been edited for length and clarity.As soon as I started, we did training for a week via Zoom, and then I started taking those calls. It's a work-at-home job, but my first week, I was working seven days, 16 hours a day because they needed someone to work overtime.I remember one call. It was a shooting incident in Virginia. I got a call from a driver that was actually in the store shopping a pretty big order as the shooting happened. He had to cancel the order. As soon as a driver cancels an order, they get paid just $2.50. I think about that guy — about him going home, how he had a traumatic experience, and he didn't even get paid. Another time, a shopper was being held at gunpoint by a customer. It was just a lot.I worked at what they call "Tier 2" for Spark support. Tier 1 is usually for people who are bilingual. They're the first people that Spark drivers get when they call support. They're outsourced and a lot of them have broken English, or they just don't want to deal with the call, so they'll switch them to us.Eventually, I moved up to Tier 3, which means you can also deal with fraud causes. You get paid a couple more dollars an hour, and you can train someone.There were a few reasons why Spark drivers would call our support line. One was that they didn't get paid what they were supposed to, especially when it came to the tip.Spark customers often tell the drivers that they tipped. Still, I would get calls from drivers — and customers, although we weren't supposed to get customers on that line — saying that they were standing right there with the customer but they didn't get the tip that the customer had left in the app.If I logged into Walmart's payment system, I could see how much money Walmart gets and how much the driver gets. Sometimes, the tips would go to Walmart instead of the driver.When that happened, we were supposed to tell the driver to call back in 48 hours to see if it had been resolved. But sometimes, I would have the same people calling back a week later, and nothing had changed.Sometimes, I would go ahead and add a tip in for the driver. We are not supposed to do that all the time, but there is a way that we can go and add the tip in to somebody's account through a "missed payment" spreadsheet. I got written up two times after doing that. After you get a third, that's it, so I just went ahead and left on my own.In this economy, every penny matters to everybody. I don't care if it's $8.50, I'm going to put that $8.50 on their account.Another reason drivers would call: They had shopped a big order for two hours, and after they loaded their cart, the order was automatically canceled. There was one lady I'll never forget. She had her five kids with her. She was doing her last delivery of the day. It's already at 8 or 8:30 at night. She had a huge order, and when she got to the customer's house, it got canceled.I've had a lot of people call me late night like that, and they're like, "Well, what am I supposed to do?" Sometimes the stores would not take the groceries back. A lot of times, I've been able to just send people home with bags of groceries. What was I supposed to tell that lady? "Hey, you got to drive all the way back across town?" It's been that way with electronics, too, because some stores will not take anything back.Some people would also call in about the Spark drivers using multiple accounts. We were trained to say something like: "Well, Mr. Such-and-such, one driver's experience is not a good way to gauge another's." They would complain about seeing people claim two or three orders at once while they got nothing.Technically, drivers aren't supposed to do that. But there's nothing I can do for that. I can deactivate someone's account or reactivate it, but nobody knows who these people are.You can't not be empathetic in some of these situations. I couldn't believe how hard they rode over a few dollars when people are calling in complaining about how they can't pay their bills or how they can't afford gas. I was just over it, so I left.A Walmart spokesperson told BI: "Our driver support agents are invaluable, and they provide tremendous support to drivers on the Spark Driver platform. We have detailed processes and materials in place that outline how support agents should respond to and assist drivers with questions and concerns, which are standardized for all agents."Do you work for Walmart or Spark and have a story idea to share? Reach out to this reporter at abitter@businessinsider.comRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT14 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

Where to watch The Voice free from anywhere: Season 25 is here

Season 25 of The Voice is finally here. We'll show you how to watch it live on NBC, catch it next day on Peacock, or try a free streaming option. When you buy through our links, Business Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn moreChance the Rapper, Dan+Shay, Reba McEntire, and John Legend.Art Streiber/NBC via Getty ImagesThe Voice, NBC's hit singing competition, is officially back for its 25th season. The series kicks off each week with new episodes on Monday and Tuesday nights. Whether you're looking to tune in or catch up, we've got you covered on all the ways to view the show, including where to watch The Voice free from anywhere. The series first premiered in 2011 and puts a twist on the traditional singing competition formula by having judges only be able to listen to contestants during their audition. If they like what they hear, they hit a button and turn their chair around. From there, they coach each of their respective mentees to a hopeful victory. Over the years, the series has added in several additional challenges and rules to spice up the competition. Plus, the superstar coaches often do live performances throughout the season.See also: How to watch The Bachelor | Where to watch Vanderpump Rules | How to watch Love Island All StarsIn Season 25, coaches Reba McEntire, John Legend, and Chance the Rapper welcome newcomer coaching duo Dan + Shay, the show's first-ever pair of judges. Niall Horan and longtime judge Gwen Stefani departed the show after last season, so it's a year of many shake-ups.If you missed the first episodes of the season or you're looking for a live-streaming option, we'll show you all the ways you can watch the show and recommend a VPN for free streaming below.Where to watch The Voice quick linksAccess FREE internationally via ExpressVPNCanada: CTV (free)USA: Sling TV (first month half-off), Fubo (free trial), Hulu + Live TV ($76.99), Peacock ($5.99)Next episodes:Monday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 5 at 9 p.m. ETHow to watch The Voice in the USAThe Voice airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC in the US. NBC's streaming counterpart, Peacock, offers new episodes the next day. A Peacock subscription also means you'll have access to other NBC-affiliated reality shows, like America's Got Talent and the Bravo catalog.If you're looking to watch new episodes live and don't have cable, you can check out some of the live TV streaming packages. Sling TV, Fubo, and Hulu + Live TV all offer packages with NBC. For Sling, you'll want to sign up for the Blue option (or the more expensive Blue and Orange combo). Sling subscriptions start at $40 per month, but they're currently offering a first month at half off (making it only $20). Fubo's monthly rates start at $79.99, but there is a $20 off offer right now for the first month (making it $59.99), as well as a one-week free trial. Hulu + Live TV subscriptions start at $76.99 per month.How to watch The Voice in CanadaThe Voice airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV in Canada. You can access episodes for free through the CTV website. If you want to watch the episodes live, you'll need to create a free account with your email and phone number. Or watch them the day after with no need to create an account - this is a great option for international VPN users. How to watch The Voice free from anywhereIf you're not in Canada right now, a VPN (virtual private network) will be the best option for accessing the free episodes. A VPN changes the location of your device so that you can access certain websites and apps that might otherwise be geo-restricted, so traveling Canadians will be able to keep up with The Voice. A VPN is also a solid way to increase your digital privacy and security.Not sure where to start when it comes to VPNs? We recommend ExpressVPN, a tried and true option with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Take a look at our ExpressVPN review to see more, and keep reading to learn how to use a VPN below.How to watch The Voice with a VPNSign up for a VPN if you don't have one.Install it on the device you're using to watch The Voice.Turn it on and set it to Canada.Go to CTV.Enjoy new episodes of The Voice.Note: The use of VPNs is illegal in certain countries, and using VPNs to access region-locked streaming content might constitute a breach of the terms of use for certain services. Insider does not endorse or condone the illegal use of VPNs.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT14 hr. 14 min. ago Related News

Core PCE Preview: Hot Print Incoming But Will It Be Too Hot

Core PCE Preview: Hot Print Incoming But Will It Be Too Hot Core PCE lor January, the Fed s preferred gauge of inflation, will be released on Thursday, 29th February at 8:30am ET. As Newsquawk reports, the report will be key as it will be used to confirm the hot inflationary narrative seen from the other January inflation data. Following the hot CPI, PPI and US import prices, many analysts ramped up their PCE forecasts. The street expects Core PCE to rise 0.4% M/M (range of 0.1-0.4%) accelerating from December's 0.2%, and the highest monthly reading in 12 months; The Y/Y Core PCE print is seen easing to 2.8% (range of 2 6-2.9%) from 2.9%. Meanwhile headline PCE is seen at 0.3% M/M (prev. 0 2%: range 0.2-0 4%) and 2.4% Y/Y (prev. 2.6%: c range of 2.2-2 7%). The super core metrics which are considered to be levered to wage pressures, will also be closely watched. According to Nomura, "we forecast an even larger increase in US supercore PCE inflation to 0.569% m-o-m, the fastest pace since December 2021" In the January CPI release, services ex-housing saw a notable rise, and further pressure in the January PCE figures will add to the rise already seen in December, where Core PCE services prices ex-housing M/M rose to 0.3% from 0.1%. Also within the report Personal Income is expected to rise by 0.4% in January from 0.3% in December with consumption seen easing to 0.2% from 0.7%: real consumption is expected to decline by 0.1%. The downbeat consumption metrics would be in fitting with the soft January' Retail Sales report. Meanwhile, major retail earnings have seen both Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW) note that the extreme weather in January saw an unfavorable impact. In its preview of the core PCE report, Goldman economists said that "based on details in the PPI, CPI, and import price reports, we estimate that the core PCE price index rose 0.43% in January (vs. 0.35% previously)." Meanwhile, as reported earlier, the market is now too dealing with a bunch of confusion around the recent BLS email communication with their “super user” market participants regarding OER inflation methodology adjustments, which then could create UPSIDE RISK to our inflation forecast…more from Nomura: “Without any official announcement, the BLS made changes to their OER calculation methodology in January 2024 (assigning more weight to detached single-family homes) although the BLS website states that the weight for single-family homes has increased in January 2023 (as opposed to January 2024), Rent inflation is higher for single-family homes than for apartments and other structures.(This is a bit surprising because CoreLogic, a private research firm, estimates that rent inflation for both single-family homes and other types of structures has moderated for a while.) That's how we reacted when we got the original email from the BLS. Then we sent a follow-up email to the BLS asking if our above interpretation was correct. We have not heard back from them but some of our clients seem to have received a response from the BLS saying that the original email should be ignored and they were looking into this. Despite some uncertainty, there is the possibility that the recent resilience of OER inflation might not be a fluke if single-family rent is structurally higher and the BLS allocates a higher weight to single-family units in OER calculation. At this moment, we are waiting for an official statement from the BLS, but there is some upside risk to our inflation forecast.” * * * Fed Views: The Fed will no doubt be watching this data closely for confirmation on the expected pick up in the M/M figures, with Fed's Waller noting that although the data is not out yet, "an estimate factoring in producer prices is that core PCE inflation rose to a 12-month rate of 2 8 percent and three- and six- month rates rose to 2 4 percent and 2.5 percent respectively." Waller stated that while this is not a welcome development the Fed has made a lot of progress and the latest CPI revisions show the progress was not a mirage. Nonetheless he wants to see a couple more months of inflation data to be sure that January was a one-off and the Fed is still on the right track. The Fed Governor also warned "I see predominately upside risks to my general expectation that inflation will continue to move toward the FOMC's 2 percent goal ." Therefore Waller supports being patient on Fed policy, concluding his latest speech with the quip. "What's the rush?" Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 08:28.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT17 hr. 31 min. ago Related News

SuperCore Inflation Soars In January, Services Costs Re-Accelerate

SuperCore Inflation Soars In January, Services Costs Re-Accelerate GOOD NEWS... One of The Fed's favorite inflation indicators - Core PCE Deflator - dropped to +2.8% YoY in January (as expected) - the lowest since March 2021. Headline PCE Deflator rose 0.3% MoM as expected, down at +2.4% YoY in January ... Source: Bloomberg BUT... Services soared on a MoM basis... However, shorter-term signals are less encouraging: Core PCE 3M annualized rate 2.8% from 2.0% Core PCE 6M annualized rate 2.6% from 2.2% On a core basis, services costs jumped even more and Durable Goods costs flipped from deflation... BAD NEWS... Even more focused, from The Fed's perspective, is Services inflation ex-Shelter, and the PCE-equivalent actually ticked up on a YoY basis to 3.45%, thanks to a large 0.6% MoM jump, considerably bigger than the last few months increases... Source: Bloomberg Under the hood, the SuperCore, every sub-element rose MoM... Source: Bloomberg Income and Spending both increased with the former soaring 1.0% MoM (+0.4% exp) but the latter up only 0.2% (in line)... Source: Bloomberg Most notably, spending is now rising at a slower pace than incomes on a YoY basis (spending growth at the lowest since Feb 2021)... Source: Bloomberg On the income side, Govt wage growth slumped from a record 8.8% in Dec to 7.8% in January Of course, private wages also dropped to 5.4% in Jan from 5.6% in Dec January savings rate rose to 3.8% (from 3.7%)... Finally, while the markets are exuberant at the headline disinflation, we do note that it's not all sunshine and unicorns. The vast majority of the reduction in inflation has been 'cyclical'... Source: Bloomberg Acyclical Core PCE inflation remains extremely high, although it has fallen from its highs. Is The (apolitical) Fed really going to cut rates 4 times this year with a background of strong growth (GDP) and still high Acyclical inflation? Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 08:45.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT17 hr. 31 min. ago Related News

WeightWatchers Shares Take A Dump After Oprah Winfrey"s Exit

WeightWatchers Shares Take A Dump After Oprah Winfrey's Exit WW International, previously known as "Weight Watchers," crashed in premarket trading after the company revealed late Wednesday that media icon Oprah Winfrey will exit its board later this year.  Winfrey's exit from the WW board, which she joined in 2015, occurred about three months after an interview with People Magazine, in which she disclosed her use of a weight-loss medication as a "maintenance tool."  "The fact that there's a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift." As of 0700 ET, shares in premarket trading in New York were down 24.5% to $2.88 a share. The stock will open at a record low if the trading holds into the cash session.  It's important to note that 18% of the float is short.  In an earnings release Wednesday, WW revealed that fourth quarter subscribers were 3.8 million, down from 4 million in the prior quarter and 4.1 million as of July 1. The loss of subscribers comes as a seismic shift has hit the weight-loss industry following the release of anti-obesity drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy.  Presumably Oprah is on Semaglutide, Tirzepatide, or Retatrutide and couldn't live the lie of 'counting calories' anymore. Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 08:55.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT17 hr. 31 min. ago Related News

WTF Is Going On With The Jobless Claims Data...

WTF Is Going On With The Jobless Claims Data... In the real world labor market, 2024 has been a shitshow of layoffs... 1. Twitch: 35% of workforce 2. Roomba: 31% of workforce 3. Hasbro: 20% of workforce 4. LA Times: 20% of workforce 5. Spotify: 17% of workforce 6. Levi's: 15% of workforce 7. Xerox: 15% of workforce 8. Qualtrics: 14% of workforce 9. Wayfair: 13% of workforce 10. Duolingo: 10% of workforce 11. Washington Post: 10% of workforce 12: Snap: 10% of workforce 13. eBay: 9% of workforce 14. Business Insider: 8% of workforce 15. Paypal: 7% of workforce 16. Okta: 7% of workforce 17. Charles Schwab: 6% of workforce 18. Docusign: 6% of workforce 19: CISCO: 5% of workforce 20. UPS: 2% of workforce 21. Nike: 2% of workforce 22. Blackrock: 3% of workforce 23. Paramount: 3% of workforce 24. Citigroup: 20,000 employees 25. Pixar: 1,300 employees But, according to the government-supplied data... The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits for the first time last week rose from 202k to 215k (SA) while claims declined on an NSA basis to four month lows... Source: Bloomberg Massachussetts and Rhode Island saw the biggest increases in claims (NSA) last week, while Oklahoma and Oregon saw the biggest declines... Continuing Claims ticked back above 1.9mm for the first time since November... Source: Bloomberg And WARNs have surged recently as claims haven't... As a reminder, if you doubt the accuracy of the Biden admin's data, here's what the most recent FOMC Minutes said: "While the recent trends prior to the meeting had been remarkably positive, Fed officials judged that some of the recent improvement “reflected idiosyncratic movements in a few series.” Even they aren't buying it. But, Pantheon Macro expects that to change soon... "Claims are still very low by historical standards. We expect that to change soon. The WARN numbers, capturing advance notice of plant closures and mass layoffs, have jumped recently and point to initial claims rising significantly over the next few months" Of course, we know the solution... Dear BLS: you're going to have to rig state level WARN data next cause it's, well, diverging pic.twitter.com/YWvyULOqNQ — zerohedge (@zerohedge) February 23, 2024 Ah, Bidenomics!! Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 09:10.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT17 hr. 31 min. ago Related News

Who Error-Corrects AI?

Who Error-Corrects AI? Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, Part of why AI chatbots are so dreadful is we know the corporation / agency doesn't care whether our problem gets resolved or not. Click-bait-scary forecasts of hundreds of millions of jobs lost to AI are as ubiquitous as incompetent AI chatbots. Richard Bonugli and I recently took a more nuanced look at AI Job Challenges and Trends, with the goal not of throwing the baby out with the bathwater (i.e. concluding all AI is junk science) but of focusing on AI's limits in real-world problem-solving. We can summarize these limits in one question: who error-corrects AI? the intrinsic problem here is data harvesting machine learning--the essence of Large Language Model (LLM) AI and other machine learning approaches--is the illusion of precision: the model selects the correct diagnosis 95% of the time, but who's going to error-correct the vital 5%? Consider being a patient with cancer that receives an all-clear/no-cancer diagnosis from an AI processed scan. In other words, consider the consequences of the AI tool being wrong 5% of the time. In the case of cancer diagnoses, a wrong diagnosis can be a death sentence, or it can open a pathway to unnecessary treatments and surgeries. The illusion of precision leads to fatal assumptions: if the AI error rate is "only" 5%, but the majority of the 5% errors are the most consequential, then the entire idea of basing accuracy on the percentage of correct / incorrect hits is grievously flawed. In effect, AI might be accurate on the 95% of cases with limited consequences and mostly inaccurate on the cases that really matter, but this reality is lost in the claim that it's 95% accurate. Data harvesting machine learning is useless when problem-solving boils down to individual cases. Consider a modern vehicle, which is essentially a rolling platform of software. Each vehicle has a diagnostic port that the mechanic uses to detect what system / component has failed, but this doesn't automatically solve 100% of the problems that crop up in complex machines. Having a model that predicts the likelihood of the source of unidentified mechanical problems is useful in the sense that the model predicts where to start the investigation, but it doesn't actually identify the problem with this vehicle. That requires a physical presence and experience beyond any model's guesstimate. Someone has to actually drop the engine to reach the failed control board. That someone performs both the essential tasks in actually repairing the vehicle: error-correction and the physical work of doing the repair. The physician who reviews the AI scan results brings real-world experience that cannot be codified in data harvesting. AI is being touted in cases that largely fall into the service sector such as customer service. (As I've outlined recently, the real-world results have been abysmal, simply reinforcing the trend of making customers do all the work, i.e. shadow work.) Digital Service Dumpster Fires and Shadow Work. In the real world of work, AI can't actually repair the rotted handrailing or install the piping. AI tools may well offer potentially useful guidelines or help get the needed materials onsite logistically, the but actual work in the field is most cost-effectively performed by humans with long experience. Another intrinsic limit in AI is the high-touch, low-touch divide. A physician with 40 years of experience recently told me that patients report feeling better after being seen by a nurse or doctor, and we can intuit why: they feel better because someone cares about them and their health enough to actually be physically present. Another experienced physician once told me that he'd concluded many of his patients sought an appointment with him just to have someone listen to them. These are examples of high-touch experiences that cannot be replaced with low-touch robotic voices and printouts. There are many others. Do you want your hair cut by your barber, who has become a friend of sorts, or a robot? Do you recall with fondness a particular dinner because the wait staff was charming and attentive without being overbearing? Part of why AI chatbots are so dreadful is we know the corporation / agency doesn't care whether our problem gets resolved or not. Simply put, replacing human interactions with sterile AI interactions fails at the human level. If we grasp this reality, we realize humans cannot be replaced by AI except at the most superficial low-touch level. In real world situations, AI can't be said to "understand" problems. It's good at statistically identifying the most likely subsets of solutions and presenting those possibilities in a form that can be compared to actual results, and assigning a confidence level to each of its predictions. But this doesn't mean it's diagnoses or solutions are accurate or that it's right in the most critical, consequential situations. What's interesting is the really hard problem AI is incapable of solving is how to manage the unintended consequences of its runaway expansion in our global socio-economic system. There is more on this in my book Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power and A.I. in a Traumatized World. Vision Series: AI Job Challenges and Trends (34:54 min) *  *  * Become a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. Subscribe to my Substack for free Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 09:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT17 hr. 31 min. ago Related News

Russia"s LNG Cargoes Bound For China Avoid The Red Sea

Russia's LNG Cargoes Bound For China Avoid The Red Sea By Charles Kennedy of OilPrice.com Russia has started diverting its LNG cargoes away from the Suez Canal and is using the longer route to China via the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, amid a higher risk of Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, according to LSEG data cited by Reuters on Wednesday.   The longer route from Russia’s Yamal LNG project to China via Africa instead of the Suez Canal adds around 10 days to the travel time for LNG cargoes to reach their destinations in China and return to Russia, tying up more LNG tankers for longer periods at sea.   This adds to recent struggles of Russia’s top LNG exporter, Novatek, which has yet to begin shipments from its new export project, Arctic 2 LNG, due to a lack of ships amid tightened U.S. sanctions on the project.  Two of the world’s biggest LNG exporters, the United States and Qatar halted shipments via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal earlier this year. Qatar paused LNG cargo journeys through the Suez Canal in the middle of January, but it assured customers and the market that its LNG output is uninterrupted and Europe should expect longer delivery times. “While the ongoing developments in the Red Sea area may impact the scheduling of some deliveries as they take alternative routes, LNG shipments from Qatar are being managed with our valued buyers,” QatarEnergysaid in January. Now Russia is also avoiding the Red Sea, per LSEG data quoted by Reuters. Several tankers have already used the longer route to China, while vessels that delivered in December LNG to China from Yamal via the Suez Canal are now heading back to Russia via the Cape of Good Hope, according to the data. Last month, some tankers transporting Russian fuels started to avoid the Suez Canal route to Asia as ship-tracking data showed operators of vessels carrying Russian oil products may have reached the risk tolerance for passing close to Houthi missiles in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Tyler Durden Thu, 02/29/2024 - 05:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYT21 hr. 47 min. ago Related News

Scientists are building tunnels under South Dakota for a $3 billion experiment that could solve some of the universe"s grandest mysteries

To study tiny "ghost particles" known as neutrinos, scientists with Fermilab's DUNE project will beam them from Illinois to caverns in South Dakota. DUNE's neutrino detectors will be located a mile underground in South Dakota.Matthew Kapust, Sanford Underground Research FacilityNeutrinos are tiny particles that could hold secrets to some of the universe's biggest mysteries.The DUNE project hopes to learn more about these "ghost particles," which are difficult to study.To do so, the project will beam neutrinos about 800 miles between Illinois and South Dakota.Nearly seven years ago, crews started hauling 800,000 tons of rock out of a former gold mine near Lead, South Dakota.The three resulting, underground caverns are 500 feet long and almost tall enough to hold a seven-story building.Estimated to cost at least $3 billion, the project DUNE (Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment), is led by scientists at the US Department of Energy's Fermilab. Eventually, each cavern will hold 17,500 tons of liquid argon to help Fermilab physicists detect elusive particles known as neutrinos, aka "ghost particles."Cavern excavation at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota began in 2017.Sanford Underground Research FacilityNeutrinos are subatomic particles all around you, passing straight through you, unnoticed. The sun creates them; supernovae make them; even bananas produce neutrinos."If you hold your hand up, there are 10 billion neutrinos from the sun going through your hand," every second, physicist Mary Bishai and spokesperson for DUNE, told Business Insider.Neutrinos are nicknamed ghost particles because they lack an electric charge and therefore rarely interact with anything they come into contact with.This also makes them extremely difficult to study, yet scientists persist nonetheless because neutrinos may hold the key to unveiling the secrets of the universe, from what happened just after the Big Bang to observing the birth of a black hole.A neutrino beam between Illinois and South DakotaResearchers at Fermilab ICEBERG testbed examine cold electronics that will be used in the DUNE project.Reidar Hahn/FermilabStudying a particle that doesn't emit radiation and is lighter than an electron is difficult. "Neutrino interactions are almost needles in a haystack," Bishai said.And Fermilab scientists want to study neutrinos in unprecedented detail, like never before, with DUNE.That's why DUNE will have the largest neutrino detectors of their type ever built.Once complete, the experiment is designed to start with a series of particle accelerators at Fermilab outside Chicago, Illinois.One of the caverns that will hold the detectors for the DUNE project.Matthew Kapust, Sanford Underground Research FacilityThe accelerators will fire an extremely powerful beam of neutrinos first through a detector at Fermilab. The beam will then travel underground for 800 miles to the detectors at the South Dakota Sanford Underground Research Facility.Along the way, the neutrinos will do something somewhat strange. There are three types of neutrinos, and the particles can switch back and forth between them, a phenomenon known as oscillation. One Fermilab scientist compared it to a house cat transforming into a jaguar and then a tiger before returning to its original shape.Tracking how the neutrinos change over such long distances between Illinois and South Dakota will help scientists understand these oscillations better by giving them a more complete view than Fermilab's current 500-mile NOvA experiment between Illinois and Minnesota.DUNE's neutrino beam will travel from Fermilab through 800 miles of earth to the far detectors at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.Fermilab DUNEDoing all of this a mile underground protects the delicate, oscillating particles from energetic cosmic rays that shower Earth's surface every second and could interfere with the data.Solving the mysteries of the universeScientists hope to answer three main questions with DUNE: why the universe is made up of matter instead of antimatter, what happens when a star collapses, and do protons decay?"Right after the Big Bang, matter and antimatter were created almost an equal amount," Bishai said. But today, from what scientists can tell, the universe is made almost entirely of matter."Why did we end up with a matter universe, not an antimatter universe?" she added.DUNE's beam is designed to create both neutrinos and antineutrinos — the antimatter version. Looking at the oscillations in each type may help scientists figure out what happened to all the antimatter.The project is also set up for supernova physics, Bishai said.The Sanford Underground Research Facility is located at a former gold mine.Stephen Kenny, Sanford Underground Research FacilityIn 1987, astronomers witnessed a bright supernova exploding closer than any had in about 400 years. With the detectors in place at the time, they were only able to detect around a couple dozen neutrinos.There's a 40% chance of another nearby star exploding in the next decade, Bishai said, and Fermilab hopes at least one of its South Dakota detectors will be up and running in time.A prototype detector, part of the protoDUNE experiment, at CERN.Maximilien Brice/CERNSuch a large detector could capture thousands of neutrinos and give insights into how both black holes and neutron stars form.Finally, scientists haven't yet seen protons decay, but theory predicts that they should. Protons are tiny, positively charged particles that are part of the nucleus of an atom.Observing proton decay would have implications for Albert Einstein's belief that a single theory could unify all forces in nature.If protons do decay, it would take roughly 10 billion, trillion, trillion years. But neutrino detectors can look for different signatures of proton decay, Bishai said. "We would have a chance of seeing them, if these grand unified theories are correct."An ambitious projectThere are currently several neutrino projects around the world, including at the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).What makes DUNE unique is its use of argon and the lengthy distance between its near and far detectors.A test neutrino detector, ProtoDUNE, was created at CERN. Four similar devices will eventually be located underground as part of the DUNE project.Jim Shultz/Fermilab DUNEThe project has had some budget and timeline setbacks, Scientific American reported in 2022. It's supposed to have four argon detectors but will start with two.The first could be up and running by the end of 2028, Bishai said, with the second detector following the next year. Those will be in place in case a supernova explodes, but the beam portion won't be ready until 2031.That said, Bishai thinks the project has already achieved one of its biggest accomplishments, a collaboration of about 1,400 people from 36 countries. "It's big science," she said. "It's also big international science."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYTFeb 28th, 2024Related News

Salesforce"s new data and AI hires are coming from areas of the country with "high talent pools, low cost of living"

Salesforce is ramping up hiring in areas with "high talent pools" and "low cost of living." Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.Jemal Countess / StringerSalesforce headcount increased to 72,682 workers in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2024. The company laid off 10% of its workforce, which had reached nearly 80,000 employees, last year. CEO Marc Benioff has said he intends to hire 3,000 people as it increases focus on AI. Just a year after Salesforce laid off nearly 10% of its workforce, the company's head count is beginning to creep back up.The enterprise software company reported it had 72,682 employees as of January 31, up from 70,843 at the end of the prior quarter, according to its form 8-K filed this week with the SEC.Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has previously said he plans to hire more people as the company shifts its focus to generative artificial intelligence. He has even encouraged former employees — "boomerangs," as he calls them — to come back."We're investing into our most productive areas — AI and data," CFO Amy Weaver said this week on the company's fourth-quarter earnings call with investors.Salesforce laid off roughly 8,000 people in 2023 as part of a broader restructuring effort to increase profit margins. The company reported a non-GAAP operating margin of 30.5% for the fiscal year, above the 30% threshold that activist investors had pushed for.New hires, Weaver said, are being added to Salesforce in "cost-effective ways," such as hiring people from areas that have "high talent pools and low cost of living."If that sounds familiar, that's because it might be.In late 2022, Business Insider reported that Oracle — the software company where Benioff started his sales career, still helmed by his mentor Larry Ellison — had started to avoid hiring in cities known for high salaries, such as New York and San Francisco.Do you work at Salesforce and want to share a tip with this reporter? Contact Ellen Thomas on the encrypted messaging app Signal at +1-929-524-6964 or ethomas@insider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: NYTFeb 28th, 2024Related News