15 celebrities who love shopping at Costco

From former presidents to the music industry's biggest names, even celebrities are known to shop at Costco. President Barack Obama greets an employee in the bakery at a Costco store in Lanham, Maryland, in 2014.ISP POOL images/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images Costco is a retail chain beloved by many, including celebrities. In 2020, Lana Del Rey described the chain as "a happy place." Other stars like John Mayer and Ryan Seacrest have also touted their love for Costco. From former presidents to the music industry's biggest names, even celebrities are known to shop at Costco.In 2020, Lana Del Rey shared a series of photos from a recent trip to Costco, calling it "a happy place." Billie Eilish, the Kardashians, and prominent politicians have also touted the grocery-store chain for its deals and selection. Here are 15 celebrities who love shopping at Costco.Billie Eilish said she's a huge fan of Costco's Kirkland-brand peanut butter.Billie Eilish at the world premiere of "Barbie."Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagicIn a series of Instagram stories in November 2021, the "Bad Guy" singer shared how she makes her favorite peanut-butter cookies. She also took a moment to call out Costco's brand of organic peanut butter, which she said she "uses for everything." In 2020, Lana Del Rey shared a series of photos from a trip to Costco, calling it "a happy place."Lana Del Rey.Joseph Okpako/Getty ImagesThe photos showed smoke from the Santa Clarita forest fires over a range of mountains, as well as a snap of the singer wearing a face mask and posing in what appeared to be the Costco parking lot.Publicist and television personality Kelly Cutrone commented on the Instagram post, saying, "I've never been to Costco, what's it like?!"Del Rey replied, "Stunning. But you have to be very aggressive. And I found it strange I was the only one riding along on my cart doing wheelies I mean it's a happy place, get happy?"In January 2020, a photograph of Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla, shopping at Costco made the rounds.Mark Zuckerberg.Charles Platiau/ReutersThe photograph, first published by TMZ, appeared to show the tech mogul and his wife, Priscilla, perusing the TV selection at a Costco store, which according to TMZ was in Mountain View, California.In 2008, Megan Fox was seen leaving Costco with her then-husband, Brian Austin Green.Megan Fox.Kevin Mazur/AMA2020 / Getty ImagesAccording to Costco Blog, she was spotted leaving with a shopping cart loaded with toilet paper and Kirkland products.Mandy Moore was spotted stocking up on essentials at a Los Feliz, California, Costco in 2011.Mandy Moore.Mike Blake/ReutersA paparazzi photo showed Moore and her assistant with a cart loaded with toilet paper and other household necessities.The Kardashian-Jenner clan are also fans of Costco.Kylie Jenner.Photo by Jackson Lee/GC ImagesIn a photo released by US Magazine, sisters Kylie and Khloe were seen shopping hand-in-hand and wearing matching outfits at a Costco store in Los Angeles in 2014.Kardashian family matriarch Kris Jenner also described herself as "a bulk girl," adding that Costco is her favorite store for stocking up.Kris Jenner.Jason Merritt/Getty ImagesWhen asked if her home was prepared for earthquakes, she said in an interview with Alex Israel, "I am! I am like a Girl Scout. I am the most earthquake-ready person you would ever meet. I have fire extinguishers, and backpacks full of supplies, and I have flashlights and water ... I practically have a bunker."She continued, explaining her grocery shopping practices: "Big, big, big," she said. "Go big or go home."In 2014, John Mayer said on Twitter that he had just made his first visit to Costco and joked that he "went nuts" at the store.John Mayer.Photo by Robert Knight Archive/Redferns"Went to a Costco today. I don't think I've ever been. Went nuts. Now I'm juicing and carbonating and brewing everything in sight," the singer tweeted.Mayer also helped a pair of Costco's Kirkland sneakers to go viral after joking on Instagram that he paid $700 to a reseller to get his hands on a pair.Ryan Seacrest revealed himself as a fan when he gifted Justin Bieber with a Costco membership for his 18th birthday.Ryan Seacrest.Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images"I've known you for a few years and I've been waiting for this moment because there's something I've wanted to give you on your 18th birthday," Seacrest said on his KIIS-FM radio show in 2012, US Magazine reported. "It's something that I love," he continued. "My buddies and I used to use this [membership] quite a bit when we were roommates. It's a lot of fun."Jessica Alba was photographed shopping at Costco in downtown Los Angeles back in 2010.Jessica Alba.Dia Dipasupil/GettyThe Daily Mail reported that the actress turned businesswoman was stocking up on electronics, including a TV and DVD player.Bethenny Frankel has spoken about her love for Costco, calling it her "religion."Bethenny Frankel.Roy Rochlin/Getty ImagesIn a Bravo TV blog post, the former "Real Housewives of New York" star wrote, "I live for bulk stores in general, but Costco is, as I said, my religion. There are always all of these random great finds there, from king crab legs to dried blueberries.""You definitely need to have a big household or split with a friend," she continued. "It is best to buy there when having a large party or purchase what you use on an ongoing basis."Ashlee Simpson was seen leaving a Costco store in Los Angeles in 2011.Ashlee Simpson.Photo by Getty Images/Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagicPaparazzi photos showed Simpson with her son Bronx and a female companion, who wheeled a shopping cart loaded with groceries from the retail chain.Former president Barack Obama appears to be a big fan of the warehouse chain.President Barack Obama greets an employee in the bakery at a Costco store in Lanham, Maryland.ISP POOL images/Corbis/VCG via Getty ImagesDuring his time as president, he visited Costco stores and touted the retailer for its "good wages" and benefits, the Washington Examiner reported in 2013.Costco cofounder Jim Sinegal is a longtime supporter of the Democratic Party, and the company even donated funds to Obama's 2012 campaign.Mitt Romney wasn't fazed by Costco's Democrat connections back in the Obama years.Mitt Romney.Associated Press/Rick BowmerThe New York Daily News reported that the Republican politician was seen at a Costco store in La Jolla, California, in 2012, wheeling out a cart stuffed with supplies.Rudy Giuliani was spotted shopping at a Costco in Reno in 2007.Rudy Giuliani.AP Photo/Ross D. FranklinHe was photographed buying a selection of DVDs, socks, and a book about Richard Nixon.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt8 hr. 54 min. ago Related News

Never Mind Bogus Measures Of Inflation - Purchasing Power Is What Counts, And It"s Decaying

Never Mind Bogus Measures Of Inflation - Purchasing Power Is What Counts, And It's Decaying Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, If your earnings rose by 34% from January 2020 to October 2023, congratulations, the purchasing power of your labor kept pace with higher costs. Official measures of inflation are a long-running tragi-comedy: comedic in the transparency of the distortions, and tragic in the consequences: what will you believe is true--the statistics or your lying eyes? The basic gimmick of distortion is to underweight whatever is eating away at the purchasing power of earnings and highlight the trivial items that are getting cheaper due to declines in quality and globalization. So your rent went up by $200 a month, or $2,400 a year, but since TVs dropped $40 and toys dropped $20, inflation is only 3%. So stop feeling poorer, everything's great! Inflation is dropping! You see the problem: the scale of spending on essentials such as shelter, healthcare, childcare, etc. is far greater than the trivial "lower in price" items. If 95% of your essential spending is rising in cost, trivial declines in the 5% of discretionary spending do not offset the gargantuan declines in purchasing power. The chart below reflects this distortion. Essential expenses that cost thousands of dollars annually consume far more of our earnings now, and these vast declines in the purchasing power of earnings are not offset by the occasional purchase of cheaper TVs. The only accurate measure of increasing or decreasing costs is purchasing power: how many hours of work does it take to pay housing, taxes, college tuition, healthcare, childcare, etc., then and now. The official measures of inflation use gimmicks to distort the staggering drop in purchasing power by claiming the quality of stuff has increased by extraordinary leaps and bounds. So the fact that cars have rear cameras offsets the fact that it takes far more hours of labor to buy a car now than it did a few decades ago. Measuring purchasing power eliminates these distortions, which is why nobody measures purchasing power: once we calculate costs in terms of hours worked, we recognize that a much larger percentage of our labor / earnings is devoted to paying for essentials. Simply put, we're getting less value for our labor. Pundits tend to overlook the fundamental sources of declining purchasing power. These include: 1. Decay of gains reaped from globalization. Stripped of corporate PR, globalization is the ruthless exploitation of as-yet unexploited pools of cheap labor and resources. This exploitation yields enormous gains at first and then these gains decay as wages rise and the easy-to-get resources are depleted. The dependence on foreign sources for essentials has also been revealed as a national security threat, and so the catch-phrase is "de-risking," which means developing multiple sources of essentials. 2. Capital demanding higher returns due to soaring global risks. In the conventional view, the Federal Reserve chair waves a magic wand and lowers interest rates at will. It's not quite that simple. All new debt--for example, Treasury bonds--must be purchased by capital, and if risks are rising, capital demands a risk premium to offset the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns, both of which are proliferating rapidly. If capital is no longer willing to accept low yields, yields have to rise regardless of central bank policy, and this drags interest rates higher. Yes, central banks can create currency out of thin air and use this free money to buy Treasury bonds, but ballooning the money supply has its own consequences: 3. Increasing the money supply to maintain a sclerotic, unproductive status quo generates a decline in the purchasing power of currency. Throwing trillions of new units of currency around doesn't magically mean production of goods and services increase, or the quality and quantity of items increase. It just diminishes the value of existing units of currency. 4. Global scarcities crimp supply, pushing up costs. Humans have a very high opinion of themselves, but fundamentally we're like rabbits (or rats, if you prefer) let loose on an island without predators. Like rabbits, we proliferate and consume more per rabbit until the resources have been consumed. Then we wonder why scarcities arise. But AI, blah-blah-blah. AI can't restore depleted soil or reverse droughts. 5. Soaring entitlements must be paid for with higher taxes. Promises made decades ago in different conditions require ever greater resources must be skimmed by governments. Creating money out of thin air isn't a solution (see #3 above) and so the government must collect a greater share of income and wealth. The more taxes we pay, the less we have left to spend on essentials and discretionary purchases. This is a global dynamic. Global entitlements and debt are both soaring. If your earnings rose by 34% from January 2020 to October 2023, congratulations, the purchasing power of your labor kept pace with higher costs. All of us who aren't earning 34% more since January 2020 have lost ground, i.e. purchasing power: it now takes more hours of work to buy groceries and everything else we need. The official measure of inflation since January 2020 is up 19%. Whether that actually maps the decline in our purchasing power can be massaged--stop believing your lying eyes!--but what can't be massaged away is the reality that costs are rising for structural reasons that aren't going away. *  *  * My new book is now available at a 10% discount ($8.95 ebook, $18 print): Self-Reliance in the 21st Century. Read the first chapter for free (PDF) Become a $1/month patron of my work via Subscribe to my Substack for free Tyler Durden Sat, 12/02/2023 - 10:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt11 hr. 54 min. ago Related News

A Crime Against Humanity...

A Crime Against Humanity... Authored by James Howard Kunstler via, “This is in my opinion, the worst thing that’s ever happened to our country in my lifetime in the world, and the government’s role cannot be denied,” - Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on C-19-Vaxx History is a trickster. It unfolds emergently with uncanny creativity, often blindsiding humanity with the unanticipated consequences and non-linear outcomes of previous unfoldings. So, here we are now in a Second Civil War. Really? “Between whom?” you might ask. Between truth and untruth. Between a sociopathic bureaucratic blob steeped in lies and a citizenry obliged to live and die by the blob’s lies. Case-in-point: the emergent evolution of US public health agencies, the CDC, the FDA, the NIH, the NIAID and their many fiefdoms, into a gigantic engine of death fueled by incessant and persistent lying. The people running these agencies lied to you about the creation and origin of the novel corona virus, SARS Covid-19. Then they lied about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines created as the sovereign remedy for Covid-19. They also lied about and suppressed actual effective treatments for the disease they invented and loosed on the world and then coerced the whole medical establishment into breaking its Hippocratic oath (first do no harm) to administer vaccines that killed. They lied about these things knowingly. And through the whole three-year episode, US public health has hidden the data about Covid and the vaccines while aggressively lying about it and punishing American citizens who found ways to expose the truth. The vaccines have killed an estimate 670,000 Americans and 17-million world-wide, consensus figures arrived at by citizens devoted to uncovering the truth. One of these is independent researcher Steve Kirsch, a Silicon Valley billionaire who invented the optical mouse. In 2021, after noticing a strange pattern of early deaths and injuries in his own circle of acquaintances, Mr. Kirsch devoted himself and his fortune to uncovering the truth about the Covid-19 vaccines. Mr. Kirsch describes himself as “a nerd,” by which he means that he is good at math and at assembling bodies of information using rigorous statistical analysis that present a coherent picture of reality, a.k.a. the truth. Last night, Thursday, November 30, Mr.Kirsch gave a talk at his alma mater, MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts on what the best available statistics tell us about the Covid-19 vaccines (for instance, that so far they have killed more Americans than World War Two). The talk was live-streamed on the Rumble platform (YouTube scrubbed it). There is an interesting story behind Mr. Kirsch’s event. Years before the Covid-19 fiasco, Mr. Kirsch gave MIT $2.5 million to build a new lecture hall. Then, during Covid-19, Mr. Kirsch asked MIT to allow him to stage a lecture about his findings. The MIT administrators refused to let Mr. Kirsch speak in the lecture hall that he paid for. Mr. Kirsch went public with that, embarrassing the university, and under new MIT President Sally Kornbluth, the Institute relented. Prior to the November 30 talk, Mr. Kirsch sought to share his data with eminent MIT professor Robert Langer, winner of countless awards for advances in the biotechnological sciences. Dr. Langer runs a research program that his MIT webpage describes as follows: The group’s work is at the interface of biotechnology and materials science. A major focus is the study and development of polymers to deliver drugs, particularly genetically engineered proteins, continuously at controlled rates and for prolonged periods of time.” Sounds like Dr. Langer would be intimately acquainted with the mechanisms of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines, especially the development of lipid nanoparticles that facilitate the delivery of the mRNA message into their targeted cells. Dr. Langer declined to see the data or to meet with Mr. Kirsch. At the beginning of his talk, Mr. Kirsch offered some speculation as to why Dr. Langer might demur to see the data or meet with him. Turns out it is because Dr. Langer sits on the Moderna board of directors. If Dr. Langer were exposed to “record level” data in a structured format that indicated the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine was killing a lot of people, Dr. Langer would be required legally to insist that the company take it off the market. Now you see how the venal mendacity of Big Pharma intersects with the perfidy of Academia, and at the highest levels. Dr. Langer has been called out, and publicly disgraced by Mr. Kirsch. Will Dr. Langer sue Mr. Kirsch for defamation? I doubt it. It is a fact that Dr. Langer is on the Moderna Board, and his obligations to the public are clear vis-à-vis Moderna’s flagship product. It will be interesting to see how MIT and Dr. Langer handle this quandary. Today’s morning news (Friday, Dec 1) contains nothing about Steve Kirsch’s landmark talk at MIT, which essentially laid out evidence of a crime against humanity. One feature of the assembled data is that it can take a long time for the vaccines to kill people — six months being only an average. CDC director Mandy Cohen is still pushing the Covid-19 vaccines, as did her predecessor Rochelle Walensky, who resigned just this past June, so expect a continued incidence of excess and early deaths. Did both of them somehow miss the massive accumulating data and news reports about the danger of mRNA vaccines? Could they be that dumb? Or did they knowingly lie to the public, pushing vaccines that are obviously unsafe? At some point, they may have to answer these questions. Also yesterday, independent reporters Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. The two journalists had previously published the “Twitter Files,” an investigation into the government’s infiltration of social media for the purpose of censorship and manipulating news that would affect the outcome of recent elections. In this new chapter, the two, along with Substack blogger Alex Gutentag, have released a report based on whistleblower testimony about the sweeping censorship framework called the Cyber Threat Intelligence League that the Department of Homeland Security cooked up in 2018, and whose coordinated activities metastasized through the so-called “intelligence community,” the White House, and agencies of the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The same tyrannical programming has been adopted by many of the governments in the EU. The net result of all this is Western Civilization saturating itself in lies. It appears that Covid-19 was well into development when it was adopted by the blob and its protectors in the Democratic Party to use as a means for finally getting rid of President Trump in 2020 after RussiaGate and a fake impeachment failed. The introduction of poorly-tested mRNA vaccines — actually developed by the US Department of Defense and licensed out to Pfizer and Moderna — looks like it was intended to mitigate Covid-19 after it had accomplished its task of enabling election ballot fraud to get a patsy president, “Joe Biden,” into the White House. But the vaccines turned out to be a gigantic and deadly botch. And once they were sold to the public, and the vaccine companies made billions, and people started dying and getting gross illnesses, everybody involved in the vast blob network had to keep on lying to cover up their crimes. What follows from here in this new civil war of truth against untruth is that untruth will lose because untruth is fundamentally unsound and can’t stand on its own. The US bureaucratic blob, like the fictional product Soylent Green, is people. There are, obviously thousands of them, virtually a whole army, guilty of crimes. The whistleblowers are popping out all over now. We’re approaching the magic moment when the whole blob army flips and rats out each other in the attempt to save their asses. Wait for it. *  *  * Support his blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page or Substack Tyler Durden Sat, 12/02/2023 - 11:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt11 hr. 54 min. ago Related News

Amazon"s AI chatbot, Q, might be in the throes of a mental health crisis

Amazon employees say Amazon's new AI chatbot for workers, called Q, is leaking information and hallucinating. Amazon employees have been sounding off about Q's struggles with accuracy and privacy since the chatbot's release this week.SOPA ImagesAmazon Web Services unveiled Q, its business-focused generative AI chatbot, last week.Amazon employees said the chatbot is leaking confidential data, according to Platformer.Q was designed to be a more reliable alternative to consumer-focused AI chatbots.Amazon's Q, the AI chatbot for workers its cloud division unveiled on Tuesday, appears to have a few issues.Q is blurting out confidential information — including the location of AWS data centers, internal discount programs, and even unreleased features — through its internal message channels, like Slack, and ticketing systems, according to leaked internal communications shared with Platformer, a tech newsletter. The bot is also "experiencing severe hallucinations," a phenomenon in which AI confidently spits out inaccuracies like they're facts.In Q's case, it's also been doling out bad legal advice that could "potentially induce cardiac incidents in Legal," as one employee put it in a company Slack channel, according to Platformer. The bot has also been returning harmful or inappropriate responses that could put customer accounts at risk.Q's hallucinations are so "broad and egregious," as a manager at AWS described them, that the manager even cautioned employees from discussing them in public Slack channels, according to Platformer. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider but told Platformer in a statement that "Amazon Q has not leaked confidential information."It's not uncommon for generative AI chatbots to falter.It wasn't long after Microsoft released its consumer-focused generative AI assistant, Sydney, that it went viral with its own hallucinations. But Q's transgressions are all the more ironic given that the bot was designed to be a safer and more secure option that businesses could rely on.Q was built to help workers generate emails, summarize reports, troubleshoot, research, and code. It was also designed to provide them with helpful answers, but only related to content "each user is permitted to access," Amazon said in a blog post about Q.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt13 hr. 6 min. ago Related News

17 Twitter Competitors: What Share Of Social Media Does It Have?

Social media has become part of our daily lives. It is our go-to medium to find out what’s trending, scroll pictures, watch videos, and search and download content. Nearly 4.6 billion people use social media, which accounts for over half of the world’s population. The average user engages with 6-7 different social media platforms on […] The post 17 Twitter Competitors: What Share Of Social Media Does It Have? appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.. Social media has become part of our daily lives. It is our go-to medium to find out what’s trending, scroll pictures, watch videos, and search and download content. Nearly 4.6 billion people use social media, which accounts for over half of the world’s population. The average user engages with 6-7 different social media platforms on a regular basis. Twitter (now known as X) has been a juggernaut in the social media market almost since its inception, though it was falling a bit flat when Elon Musk took the helm in October 2022. (Social media is one of the most iconic and transformative innovations in communication history. See the full list of those communication innovations here.) Musk’s acquisition of the company initially provided a big boost to the platform’s user base. Now, however, Twitter/X is losing ground to its competitors at a clip that is sounding alarms within the company, although some of Musk’s comments on the matter seem to signal apathy rather than alarm. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter was international news. To be fair, almost anything the richest person in the world does is considered newsworthy. His ownership of Twitter has shined a much different spotlight on him, though. While Musk has never been one to mince words, the self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” has become even more polarizing after his acquisition of Twitter. Instead of making headlines about an amazing new technological achievement at SpaceX or Tesla, Twitter/X has often highlighted his bombastic personality and politically charged rhetoric. News Share vs. Market Share Musk has been the primary driver of the never-ending news coverage regarding Twitter/X. The company’s share of daily news headlines far outpaces its actual social media market share, though. There are numerous social media outlets with far larger shares of the social media market than the (former) bird app, but their owners are usually content to remain in the background. Musk has never been one to do that. 24/7 Wall St. evaluated the latest available monthly user data to compile this list of 17 social media sites that have larger user bases than Twitter/X. 18. Twitter/X Launched: 2006 Worldwide users: 393 million Not that long ago, it would have seemed almost impossible that 17 social media platforms would dwarf Twitter’s share of the social media market. However, 2023 has seen a precipitous drop in the site’s base of daily and monthly users. Musk renamed the company, “X,” in July 2023. His love of the letter is well documented with SpaceX, Tesla’s Model X, and xAI. He even named one of his sons “X AE A-XII Musk,” with “X” as his first name. For many users, though, X did not mark the spot when it came to Twitter. The name change raised many questions. Twitter was one of the most recognizable brands in the world. It even created a new dictionary definition for the word, “tweet.” Most companies dream about such brand recognition, yet it was essentially erased when Twitter became X. Musk pushed back against the criticism, explaining that the name change was a precursor to what he called, “X, the everything app.” Many of the changes and additions that he alluded to have yet to materialize, though. Musk also directed changes to Twitter’s functionality, including the algorithms that govern the site’s feed. One of the most recent changes that drew the ire of users was the elimination of headlines when sharing links on the site. Declining User Numbers Downloads of the Twitter/X app have now reached their lowest point in a decade. Traffic on the site has dropped 10% globally and 15% in the U.S. from the same time last year. Ad revenue is also down sharply from a year ago. Some of the decline could reflect users’ disapproval of the name, appearance, and/or functionality  changes on the site. However, a large portion of that drop is almost certainly attributable to Musk’s polarizing persona. He is the most followed person on Twitter/X with 163 million followers. It should be noted, though, that tens of millions of accounts that follow Musk have no followers of their own, meaning they could be bots. Regardless, Musk has unquestionably become the star of the show on Twitter/X. Millions of formers users have decided they don’t care to watch that show anymore, though. In November 2022, Musk said that he expected Twitter/X to reach one billion users in 2024. That was before the platform began hemorrhaging users throughout much of 2023. In fact, eight months after his projection of one billion users, Musk admitted that the site may fail altogether. A user base of one billion certainly seems like a pipe dream now. It is indeed reasonable to question whether Twitter/X will even exist at all in the coming years. 17. Pinterest Launched: 2010 Worldwide users: 482 million Pinterest is the self-described “app for inspiration.” Users can share and save ideas ranging from recipes and how-to tips to motivational and inspirational life content. These ideas can be saved (“pinned”) to boards that the user creates. 16. Reddit Launched: 2005 Worldwide users: 500 million Reddit is a social site that allows registered users (“redditors”) to post content such as text, pictures, and videos. That content is then voted up or down by other Reddit members. These posts are categorized into communities or “subreddits” which are organized by Reddit users. 15. Qzone Launched: 2005 Worldwide users: 517 million Qzone is a social media platform owned by Tencent, a Chinese technology and entertainment conglomerate. It is a blogging site that also allows users to share photos, watch videos, and listen to music. 14. QQ Launched: 1999 Worldwide users: 572 million QQ is also owned by Tencent. The social media microblogging platform allows users to play games, listen to music, and chat with friends. 13. Weibo Launched: 2009 Worldwide users: 582 million Twitter/X is banned in China, although an unknown number of users get around this ban through VPNs. Weibo is China’s approved version of Twitter. It is a popular microblogging site that functions in much the same way as Twitter, allowing users to share and comment on messages, pictures, and videos. It also features a multimedia instant messaging option. 12. Kuaishou Launched: 2011 Worldwide users: 673 million Kuaishou was the first short video social media platform in China. It began as an app called GIF Kuaishou which allowed users to create and share, you guessed it, GIFs. In 2013, the app expanded to include short videos. It added live-streaming in 2016. While it has been outmuscled by Douyin and especially by TikTok (more on both of those platforms momentarily), the social video app still boasts an impressive user base. Most users are in China, but its reach does extend worldwide. 11. Douyin Launched: 2016 Worldwide users: 743 million Douyin is essentially China’s version of TikTok (although Douyin actually preceded TikTok). ByteDance, a Chinese internet technology company, owns both social media video platforms. While the design and functionality of Douyin and TikTok are basically the same, the two apps are separate entities. TikTok is not available in China and user data is not shared between the two platforms. 10. Snapchat Launched: 2011 Worldwide users: 750 million This social platform was originally launched as “Picaboo,” then relaunched under its current name. It was the brainchild of three students at Stanford University. On the surface, Snapchat may have seemed somewhat similar to other social media sites. However, there was one major difference. All pictures that were uploaded to this new app would eventually disappear. The idea was that Snapchat allowed users to capture and share the true and pure emotions of a moment, without worrying about creating the perfect picture that would live on the internet forever. In the middle of the social media world where so many people try so hard to curate images that promote a fake persona, Snapshot was seen as more authentic, raw, and real. Mark Zuckerberg recognized the potential of the app and made multiple offers to purchase Snapchat. He was was rebuffed each time. In response to those rejections, Facebook countered with an app called “Poke” in 2012. The app flopped and was discontinued in 2014. Some of Snapchat’s innovations, particularly its stories, are now seen on other social media platforms such as Instagram. 9. Telegram Launched: 2013 Worldwide users: 800 million Telegram is a messaging app that allows users to send messages, pictures, videos, and files. It supports voice and video calls, too, which feature end-to-end encryption. The app also features voice and video chat for groups. Users can create groups as small as a couple of people to massive groups of 200,000. 8. LinkedIn Launched: 2003 Worldwide users: 950 million LinkedIn launched in 2003 and reached one million users the following year. By 2007, it had ten million users. Microsoft acquired the site in 2016. Today, LinkedIn is the world’s largest social networking site designed specifically for business. The platform allows users to create profiles that they can use to look for jobs, join industry groups, and connect with other professionals. 7. Facebook Messenger Launched: 2011 Worldwide users: 1.036 billion Facebook first introduced a messaging feature known as Facebook Chat in 2008. It then launched Facebook Messenger, often known simply as Messenger, in 2011. The app allows users to send messages, photos, videos, audio files, and more. It also allows users to make voice and video calls. While it does not claim the same user base as WhatsApp (also owned by Meta), Messenger remains one of the most popular social messaging apps worldwide. 6. TikTok Launched: 2016 Worldwide users: 1.218 billion TikTok’s rise to social media prominence has been meteoric. It was launched by ByteDance in 2016. The following year, ByteDance acquired, a popular social media app that allowed users to share short videos that were usually music-driven. By late 2018, TikTok was the most downloaded free app in the United States. By 2021, the app had over a billion monthly active users worldwide. The platform began as a way to share short videos lasting around 15 seconds. The name “TikTok” was a reference to the short allotted time for these videos. Today, videos as long as ten minutes are supported. The platform is so culturally engrained that the videos themselves are now known as “TikToks.” ByteDance is based in Beijing (although it is registered in the Cayman Islands). Concerns over privacy and fears that the Chinese government can demand user information from ByteDance have fanned the flames of controversy. Some U.S. lawmakers have called for a complete ban on TikTok. Many users seem unconcerned, though. TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world. 5. WeChat Launched: 2011 Worldwide users: 1.327  billion, Mostly in China WeChat is a Chinese app that allows users to message, play video games, send mobile payments, share pictures and videos, and much more. The social media platform is subsidized by the state. Tencent owns WeChat, but is required to share users’ information with the Chinese government. WeChat is the most popular social media platform in China. Other social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram are banned by the government. This makes Facebook’s 3.03 billion users all the more impressive, considering it is prohibited in the most populous nation in the world. Facebook is also banned in nations such as Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Turkmenistan. 4. Instagram Launched: 2010 Worldwide users: 2 billion Instagram, the wildly popular photo and video-sharing site, was founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in 2010. The first prototype of the site was called Burbn, a nod to Systrom’s affinity for whiskey and bourbon. It was launched with the express purpose of sharing photos taken on mobile devices. The platform was purchased by Facebook, Inc. (Meta) in 2012. Meta owns three of the top four social media platforms in the world. Approximately 95 million pictures and videos are uploaded to Instagram each day. 3. WhatsApp Launched in 2009 Worldwide users: 2 billion WhatsApp, was founded by two former Yahoo employees in 2009. It was purchased by Facebook, Inc. (Meta) in 2014. The name, “WhatsApp,” is a play on the common greeting, “What’s up?” It is a social platform that allows users to send private text messages, pictures, and locations. It also supports voice calls, recorded voice messages, and video calls. Many users prefer WhatsApp over SMS text messaging because of increased privacy and security. 2. YouTube Launched: 2005 Worldwide users: 2.491 billion YouTube is the second most visited website in the world, trailing only Google (which owns YouTube). What started as an idea for sharing amateur videos (then known as “home movies”) has grown into a video and social media platform that has become the dominant force in online media. The site supports over 100 million channels and nearly two and a half billion users. The top four YouTube channels alone have more subscribers than Twitter/X users. 1. Facebook Launched: 2004 Worldwide users: 3.03 billion To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of Facebook’s death have been greatly exaggerated. It seems to be an accepted fact in many circles that Facebook is on the decline due to the number of Gen Z users rejecting the platform in favor of other social media outlets. While it is true that Facebook’s smallest U.S. audience is teenagers (3.4%), the largest demographic of users remains 25-34-year-olds (23.6%). That hardly makes it “your grandma’s social media” (not that we have anything against grandmas who used Facebook). The social media platform’s worldwide user base is staggeringly large. Over 37% of the world’s 8.1 billion people have a Facebook account. If Facebook were its own country, it would be the most populous nation on Earth. The social media giant has more users than the two most populous countries (China and India) combined. It’s user base is more than 7.7 times that of Twitter/X. Remember when users could “poke” one another on Facebook? A lot of people now “poke” fun at the platform as being old and outdated, but Facebook is laughing all the way to the bank. It remains the undisputed king of social media. Sponsored: Tips for Investing A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit. The post 17 Twitter Competitors: What Share Of Social Media Does It Have? appeared first on 24/7 Wall St.......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallst14 hr. 6 min. ago Related News

Saturday links: our negative feelings

On Saturdays we catch up with the non-finance related items that we didn’t get to earlier in the week. You can check... TeslaWho is the audience for the Tesla ($TSLA) Cybertruck? ( Tesla ($TSLA) Cybertruck is no favor to the environment. ( is a good time to buy an EV. ( do EV range estimates vary so much? ( EVs charge the fastest? ( look at the growing Formula E circuit. ( e-bikes and scooters reduce carbon emissions more effectively than EVs. ( electrified trailers can increase truck efficiency. ( Georgia suburb has nearly as many golf carts are residents. ( energy is getting deployed faster than thought just a couple of years ago. ( just ran for six days in a row on 100% renewable energy. ( “enhanced” geothermal systems work. ( kills. ( is pioneering a way to store carbon more cheaply. ( Connecticut River has an invasive plant problem. ( striated caracaras, and birds in general, are smarter than you think. ( in South Africa have rediscovered 11 De Winton's golden moles, which haven't been seen since 1936. ( U.S. is finally going to designated the wolverine as an endangered species. ( sloths a long time ago dug giant tunnels. ('s easy to forget, but space is an unforgiving place for humans. ( colonize another planet you are going to need bugs, lot of bugs. ( we really need people to explore space? ( things to know about scientific research and how to spot iffy studies. ( we keep pushing back the date of major human accomplishment, like the building of a pyramid. ( praise of inter-generational friendships. ( case for having friends in different generations. ( men have fewer friends than women. ( habits that work until they don't, including 'grit.' ( setback in life doesn't have to have some bigger meaning. ( everyone has a good experience with psychedelics. ( suicide rate in the U.S. hit a record high in 2022. ( of the country's gun deaths are due to suicide. ( Covid rates are seemingly easing. ( vaccines halted the pandemic-led increase in premature births. ( virusesWe are facing three seasonal respiratory viruses going forward. ( older Americans should add RSV to their annual vaccinations. ( seasonal viruses are worse than two. ('s really no treatment for the common cold. ( thoughts on life expectancy. ( problem with the 'deaths of despair' thesis. ( 'Blue Zones' really exist? ( is seemingly more effective than Ozempic for weight loss. ( treatment also seems to help with alcohol use disorder. ( disease is an obvious target for CRISPR. ( ($JNJ) is spending big on data scientists. ( salt consumption really can lower blood pressure. ( gut has a mind of its own. ( much caffeine is too much. ( is no endpoint to an anti-aging lifestyle. ( elements of good health are pretty simple. ( is the protein leverage hypothesis? ( are we still using BMI? ( use of fertilizer is a delicate balancing act. ( U.S. has a glut of apples this year. ( pastas are coming in all sorts of flavors these days. ( Kraft ($KFT) Mac and Cheese? Sure, why not... ( liking Chick-Fil-A became a political hot button issue. ( caviar is seemingly everywhere these days. ( Diet Coke got so expensive. ( best movies of 2023 including 'Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game.' ( best movies of 2023 including 'Past Lives.' ( best TV shows of 2023 including 'The Bear.' ( best TV shows of 2023 including 'Barry.' ( Serbia became a hotbed for foreign film shoots. ( things Bob Iger can do to turn around Disney ($DIS) including a push into gaming. (, if anyone, is going to buy Paramount ($PARA)? ( more players are deliberately shooting free throws off the backboard. ( evidence that heading the ball isn't good for the brain. ( of sportsWhy Mark Cuban sold a stake in the Dallas Mavericks. ( is selling off its team to investors. ( Winter Olympics is running out of good places to host the games. ( to talk to your teenagers, including 'Instead of orders, offer a choice.' ( matters for childhood outcomes? ( problem with online gradebooks. ( on Abnormal ReturnsWhat you missed in our Friday linkest. ( links: an investing paradox. ( the end of the influential The Reformed Broker blog. ( you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. ( mediaThis week was a weird one, for sure. ( 'late bloomers,' i.e. later in life college graduates matter. ( the economics of (real) Christmas trees. (»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturns15 hr. 54 min. ago Related News

Friday links: the weight of work

MarketsThe performance of major asset classes in November 2023. ( after November's rally low volatility stocks are still down on the year. ( magnificent seven stocks are having a big 2023, in part because they had a rough 2022. ( MungerCharlie Munger perferfected the art of being a second-in-command. ( review of the new edition of "Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Essential Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger" edited by Peter D. Kaufman. ( factor best described Munger's approach to stocks? ( managementThe Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF ($BND) became the first bond ETF with $100 billion in AUM. ( fund underperformance can be litigated, what happens to the business of money management? ( is holding up U.S. inflation. ( luck forecasting the next recession. ( is falling around the world. ( on Abnormal ReturnsPodcast links: an investing paradox. ( you missed in our Thursday linkfest. ( links: the first rule of compounding. ( the end of the influential The Reformed Broker blog. ( you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. ( mediaThe 15 best books of 2023 about behavior including "The Hungry Brain" by Stephen Guyenet. ( top 50 psychology books of 2023 including "Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well" by Amy Edmondson. ( books John Green recommends including "Not the End of the World" by Hannah Ritchie. (»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsDec 1st, 2023Related News

A popular female coding Instagram account that said men "suffer from biases equally to women" was created by a man, report says

A popular Instagram account with more than 100k followers was thought to be run by a woman called Julia, but it was all created by a man called Eduards Sizovs, according to 404 Media. Stock image.Stanislaw Pytel/Getty ImagesThe person behind a female coder's Instagram account is a man, 404 Media reports.The page, called coding_unicorn, has 115,000 followers and claims to be run by a woman called Julia.But in reality, a male software developer called Eduards Sizovs set it up, the report said. A popular Instagram account fronted by a woman named Julia Kirsina is run by a man, according to a 404 Media investigation.Kirsina has 115,000 followers on coding_unicorn, a page that describes itself as: "The best coding account on IG."The account posts "no-BS coding, career, productivity tips," along with selfies of Kirsina. But in reality, the person running the account is a male software developer called Eduards Sizovs, according to a 404 Media report.The publication investigated coding_unicorn after Sizovs, who is the founder of a software development conference named DevTernity, came under fire for including at least one fake female speaker in the line-up for a recent event.404 Media dug into Sizovs' IP logs and old YouTube videos, and said it found that he had access to an email account called coding_unicorn. Business Insider was unable to independently verify the logs or videos.Kirsina has her own LinkedIn account with more than 8,000 followers. Her account shows several links to companies and projects run by Sizovs, the report said.404 Media also found that many of Kirsina's posts were copied word for word from Sizov's own posts on LinkedIn.Is Julia Kirsina real?It is unknown who the woman in coding_unicorn's photos is, and whether she is real or fake.Kirsina was interviewed by developer community platform Hashnode's blog, Town Hall, in May 2020, where she described herself as a freelancer who was forced into getting her computer science degree by her parents.In response to a question about the bias women face in the industry, said she didn't like "seeing women as victims" because "such a mindset turns men into suspects.""Men suffer from biases equally to women," she said. "Think of job interviews."She added that "too much attention" was given to gender bias" and more should be given to "doubt avoidance" and "disliking bias.""Stop blaming others for being biased," she said. "Improve yourself!"The writer of the piece, Bolaji Ayodeji, told 404 Media: "I didn't speak with this person, and the interview and conversation happened via email. Thank you."There are several videos on the Instagram account which show the woman. In one, the woman in the photos shares career advice allegedly heard from Microsoft engineer Satya Nadella, saying hiring managers ask two questions during interviews: Do they create clarity, and do they create energy?"Clarity and energy," the caption of the reel reads. "So simple and powerful."BI has reached out to Sizovs and Kirsina for comment. View this post on Instagram A post shared by The best coding account on IG. (@coding_unicorn) Controversy over fake female panelistsThe controversy around Sizovs first appeared on November 24th when engineer Gergely Orosz claimed that several women listed to speak at Devternity were made up to "seem like there will be more women speaking."They included Anna Boyko, who was listed as being an engineer at Coinbase, and Alina Prokhoda, described as being an MVP at Microsoft. View this post on Instagram A post shared by The best coding account on IG. (@coding_unicorn) Sizovs responded to Orosz's accusations on X on the same day. He said he secured the participation of two female panelists — head of developer relations at Amazon Web Services, Kristine Howard, and Julia Kirsina — but both withdrew their participation.Sizovs said he had left both speaker profiles up on the website while he continued searching for replacement speakers.He admitted that at least one profile on the line-up was a "demo persona" that was "auto-generated, with a random title, random Twitter handle, random picture." The profile has since been removed.Sizovs said that the profile wasn't an attempt at bolstering the event's diversity but was a bad administration slip-up on his part.In another X post, Sizovs said the profile was a mistake that he had fixed, and accused his critics of wanting "blood.""Let's cancel this SINNER!" he said. "The amount of hate and lynching I keep receiving is as if I would have scammed or killed someone. But I won't defend myself because I don't feel guilty. I did nothing terrible that I need to apologize for."Kristine Howard, an executive at Amazon Web Services, confirmed with Bloomberg via email that she pulled out from the event."This whole conference debacle is so disappointing. Speakers like myself, when invited to a conf will immediately say 'who alls gonna be there?'" Scott Hanselman, a Microsoft executive who pulled out from the event, wrote on X."I've my rules for participation posted on my site - including an inclusive lineup - for years. I was duped by the fake speakers also," he continued.In response to questions about cancelling the conference, Sizovs previously told BI: "All resources will be updated as soon as wrongdoers stop attempting to hack / brute-force / social-engineer our resources, including websites, social media profiles, and emails, which makes the situation worse," Sizovs wrote in his email."It's now obvious that someone wanted to intentionally damage the conference."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 1st, 2023Related News

Podcast links: an investing paradox

Fridays are all about podcast links here at Abnormal Returns. You can check out last week’s links including a look at the... ListeningYoung Americans are boosting their consumption of spoken audio. ( look at your best options for audiobooks. ( Castro podcasting app may be going away. ( is adding video creation tools. ( best podcasts of 2023 including “The Big Dig.” ( top podcasts of 2023 via Apple Podcasts, including the Huberman Lab. ( top podcasts of 2023 via Spotify, including the Joe Rogan Experience. ( one hour introduction to LLMs for a general audience. ( Klein talks with Kevin Roose and Casey Newton about the impact of GPT one year in. ( Buhrman and Paul Buser talk with Jeff Marrazzo who is the Co-Founder of Spark Therapeutics. ( Golden talks the car market with Car Dealership Guy. ( capitalPatrick O'Shaughnessy talks with Peter Fenton and Victor Lazarte who are General Partners at Benchmark. ( Ferriss talks with Steve Jang who is the founder and managing partner at Kindred Ventures. ( Ritholtz talks with Peter Atwater author of "The Confidence Map: Charting a Path from Chaos to Clarity." ( Stotz talks with Larry Swedroe why a great company does not always make a great investment. ( Carboneau and Jack Forehand talk with Joel Tillinghast the long-tenured portfolio manager of the Fidelity Low-Priced Stock Fund. ( Swisher talks with Rob Copeland author of "The Fund: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend." ( Rice talks with Stephen Winterstein, founder of SP Winterstein and Associates, about the muni market. ( Parrish talks peak performance with Todd Herman. ( McKay talks with Dr. David Rosmarin author of "Thriving with Anxiety: 9 Tools to Make Your Anxiety Work for You." ( Shankar talks psychedelics with Michael Pollan. ( Maron talks comedy with Jesse David Fox, author of "Comedy Book." (»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsDec 1st, 2023Related News

Okta, Inc. (NASDAQ:OKTA) Q3 2024 Earnings Call Transcript

Okta, Inc. (NASDAQ:OKTA) Q3 2024 Earnings Call Transcript November 29, 2023 Okta, Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.44, expectations were $0.3. Operator: Hi, everybody. Welcome to Okta’s Third Quarter of Fiscal Year 2024 Earnings Webcast. I’m Dave Gennarelli, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations at Okta. With me in today’s meeting we have […] Okta, Inc. (NASDAQ:OKTA) Q3 2024 Earnings Call Transcript November 29, 2023 Okta, Inc. beats earnings expectations. Reported EPS is $0.44, expectations were $0.3. Operator: Hi, everybody. Welcome to Okta’s Third Quarter of Fiscal Year 2024 Earnings Webcast. I’m Dave Gennarelli, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations at Okta. With me in today’s meeting we have Todd McKinnon, our Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, and Brett Tighe, our Chief Financial Officer. Today’s meeting will include forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to statements regarding our financial outlook and market positioning. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements represent our management’s beliefs and assumptions only as of the date made. Information on factors that could affect our financial results is included in our filings with the SEC from time to time, including the section titled Risk Factors in our previously filed Form 10-Q. In addition, during today’s meeting, we will discuss non-GAAP financial measures. Though we may not state it explicitly during the meeting, all references to profitability are non-GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures are in addition to and not a substitute for or superior to measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures and the discussion of the limitations of using non-GAAP measures versus their closest GAAP equivalents is available in our earnings release. You can also find more detailed information in our supplemental financial materials, which include trended financial statements and key metrics posted on our Investor Relations website. In today’s meeting, we will quote a number of numeric or growth changes, as well as discuss our financial performance. And unless otherwise noted, each such reference represents a year-over-year comparison. Now, I’ll turn the meeting over to Todd McKinnon. Todd? Todd McKinnon: Thanks, Dave, and thank you, everyone, for joining us this afternoon. We want to kick off this call by addressing what’s top of mind for everyone, so we’re trying a new format this quarter. In light of the new security blog we posted this morning, we felt it was important to get the earnings release and guidance out before the market opened as well. At around the same time that the earnings press release hit the wire, we posted prepared remarks to the IR website, which contains some of my typical commentary around customer wins and other notable news from the quarter. This new format allows me to spend more time discussing the new information while also leaving more time for Q&A. I want to start by summarizing the update we shared in a blog post this morning related to the October security incident involving our support case management system. Upon deeper analysis of the event, we determined that the threat actor obtained the contact information of our support portal users across a significant portion of our customers, including the names and email addresses of all Okta admins, except customers in our FedRAMP High and DoD IL4 environments. While this information cannot be used to directly access an Okta environment and does not include user credentials or sensitive personal data, a threat actor may use the information for targeted phishing attempts. With this more detailed information, we felt strongly that sharing this information will help our customers better protect themselves against an increased risk of phishing and social engineering attacks. We have engaged a digital forensics firm to validate our findings and currently expect that they will complete their analysis in mid-December. See also 12 Best Mineral Stocks To Buy Now and 12 Best Seasonal Stocks To Buy Now. Q&A Session Follow Okta Inc. (NASDAQ:OKTA) Follow Okta Inc. (NASDAQ:OKTA) We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Once finalized, we will share the report with customers and publicly. Now, let me address what Okta is doing to better protect ourselves from security threats. Over the years, we have dedicated significant resources towards securing our product environment. Given recent events, we recognize that we need to do more to improve the security architecture of our broader operations. That includes the applications we use, the hardware we deploy, and the vendors we work with. Over the past few weeks, we have taken several steps to further strengthen our security posture. We’ve initiated a hyper-focused security action plan by rallying the entire organization, as well as engaging with third-party security firms to fortify our team’s efforts. The stakes are high, and we will do whatever it takes to protect our current and future customers. Bolstering our security environment is, by far, the highest priority for Okta. The job of securing the Okta ecosystem will never be done, but during this hyper-focused phase, no other project or even product development area is more important. In fact, the launch dates for the new products and features that we highlighted at Oktane last month will be pushed out approximately 90 days. The exception being Okta Privileged Access, which becomes generally available this week. Now, turning to our Q3 results. Top-line metrics were strong. We continue to experience particular strength with large customers. Similar to the past few quarters, our fastest growing cohort was customers with $1 million-plus ACV with growth of over 40%. It was also a strong quarter for new and upsells across our public sector vertical. We also produced record non-GAAP operating profit and record free cash flow in the quarter as we continue to demonstrate the leverage in our model. In other news, we’re thrilled that Jon Addison, who has been our Interim CRO since the start of this fiscal year, has been appointed to the permanent position. With Jon’s appointment as CRO and our continued confidence in the go-to-market leadership team, we have closed the search for a President of Worldwide Field Operations. Okta is driven by our vision to free everyone to safely use any technology. The measures we’re taking to increase the security of Okta and our ecosystem gives us confidence in our ability to move forward. We will come out of this even stronger because Okta is the only modern platform for neutral and independent identity access management, governance, and now privilege access. Before turning it over to Brett, I want to thank our employees for their tireless efforts. I want to thank our customers and partners who put their trust in Okta every day. I also thank everyone who supported us at Oktane last month where we had over 4,000 people at the live event in San Francisco and over 19,000 viewing online. Now, I’ll turn it to Brett to walk you through more details of our financial results and forward outlook. Brett Tighe: Thanks, Todd, and thank you everyone for joining us today. The actions we’ve taken over the past few quarters to drive efficiencies in our cost structure continue to yield impressive results. I’ll review our third quarter results and our outlook, but first I’ll start with some commentary on the macro environment. Macro headwinds, while stabilized, continue to impact our business. Metrics that we use to gauge the macro environment, such as contract duration, average deal size, and pipeline mix, were largely consistent with what we experienced in the first half of the year. Separately, we published the advisory regarding the recent security incident on October 20th, which was 11 days ago in the quarter. While business at the close of the quarter slowed somewhat, our overall financial performance in Q3 was strong. Turning to Q3 results. Total revenue growth for the third quarter was 21%, driven by a 22% increase in subscription revenue. Subscription revenue represented 97% of our total revenue. International revenue grew 20% and represented 21% of our total revenue. FX had a minor impact on total revenue growth, but was a 2-point headwind to international revenue growth. RPO or subscription backlog grew 8%. The general shortening of contract term lengths signed over the past several quarters has impacted total RPO growth. Our overall average term length remains just over two-and-a-half years. Current RPO, which represents subscription backlog we expect to recognize as revenue over the next 12 months, grew 16% to $1.83 billion. Turning to retention. Consistent with prior quarters, gross retention rates remained strong in the mid-90% range. Our dollar-based net retention rate for the trailing 12-month period remained strong at 115% and was driven by both upsell and cross-sell activities. Similar to the past few quarters, macro-related pressure resulted in smaller seed expansions than in previous years. We believe this trend will persist in the current environment. The net retention rate may fluctuate from quarter-to-quarter as the mix of new business, renewals and upsells fluctuates. As I’ve noted previously, we’ve experienced a macro-related shift in our business mix to more upsell and cross-sell versus new business. Before turning to expense items and profitability, I’ll point out that I’ll be discussing non-GAAP results unless otherwise noted. Looking at operating expenses......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyDec 1st, 2023Related News

A celebrity chef is getting canceled for making a video about egg fried rice close to the 63rd death anniversary of Mao Zedong"s son

Internet celebrity chef Wang Gang is for the third time facing backlash over posting an egg fried rice tutorial at an inopportune time. Egg fried rice in late autumn has become a contentious subject among Communist Party supporters in China.Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images and Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty ImageA Chinese celebrity chef is facing backlash over an egg fried rice tutorial he posted on Monday.Communist party supporters slammed Wang Gang, saying he was mocking the death of Mao Zedong's son.Nationalists believe egg fried rice is a reference to an unconfirmed story of how Mao Anying died.In late November every year, egg fried rice becomes a touchy subject in China.Posting an online video on how to cook the dish, for example, has landed Chinese celebrity chef Wang Gang in the soup with the country's nationalist crowd this week.Wang has 2 million YouTube subscribers and 3.3 million followers on Weibo. On Monday, he shared a seemingly innocuous cooking video in which he taught viewers how to make fried rice.However, the video generated such fierce backlash online that Wang issued an apology for it that same day. The original video has since been removed from his channels."I will never make fried rice again," Wang said in his apology.Wang Gang is an celebrated chef influencer in China. He has locked comments in his posts on Weibo, China's version of Twitter.Wang Gang/Weibo/Screenshot"The video has caused a lot of trouble and caused a terrible situation for everyone," Wang added.Why fried rice is a touchy topic in late NovemberThe offense stems from an unsubstantiated rumor surrounding the death of Mao Zedong's son, Mao Anying, in the Korean War.The younger Mao died on November 25 in 1950 in northeastern Korea while serving on a general's staff.A common retelling of Mao's death is that he woke up late that day and missed breakfast. Per the story, he stole eggs from the camp's supplies and cooked himself egg fried rice in broad daylight — a violation of army rules at the time.The fire from his breakfast supposedly gave away his position to US forces, who killed Mao in a napalm attack.While never confirmed, the story has become a lightning rod for criticism of the Communist Party in China, and subsequently an intensely sensitive subject among party supporters.Some celebrate November 25 as a saving grace from a potential Mao dynasty in China, which could have birthed a nation ruled by one family like in North Korea. Critics of the Mao regime post photos of egg fried rice or make a point to eat the dish on this day.The central government and its most ardent supporters thus view the mentioning of egg fried rice during this period as a symbol of protest, and mete out criticism or punishment to those who do so.For example, the Weibo account of the Jiangsu branch of China Unicom, a telco giant, was shut down in 2021 after it posted a recipe for egg fried rice on October 24, Mao's birthday.The same year, a man in Nanchang was detained by police for 10 days for posting online that egg fried rice was the "greatest success" of the Korean War.A third offense for Wang in the last five yearsAs for Wang, the influencer chef is on his third strike when it comes to ill-timed egg fried rice videos.His channel released an egg fried rice recipe on October 22, 2018, two days before Mao's birthday, and on October 24, 2020, according to China Digital Times, a US-based 501(c)(3) organization that documents internet censorship in China.Wang was criticized both times, and apologized for the apparent gaffe — even though state media outlet People's Daily shared his fried rice recipe in 2018 before the backlash began, per China Digital Times.Now, nationalist social media users in China say Wang is clearly displaying a pattern of trying to stir trouble."Wang Gang is not an ordinary cook. He is very familiar with internet memes," one blogger wrote.Another military blogger accused Wang of "secretly enjoying himself" despite his apology."There is so much time in a year to make fried rice, but he has to rush to do it on Anying's birthday or death anniversary," wrote yet another blogger.Others have risen to Wang's defense, saying his videos are receiving undue scrutiny. Notably, his egg fried rice recipe wasn't posted on Mao's death anniversary of November 25, but two days later, on November 27."I just looked at his channel. Wang Gang makes egg fried rice over several months a year. Why do you choose to stare at them for just these few days?" one person wrote."So on which exact days is eating egg fried rice not allowed?" another questioned. "Do ordinary folk eating egg fried rice have to skip a day?"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 1st, 2023Related News

Thacker: Congress Must Hold The CDC Accountable For Cozy Ties To Pharma

Thacker: Congress Must Hold The CDC Accountable For Cozy Ties To Pharma Authored by Paul Thacker via The Disinformation Chronicle, Congressional leaders with the House Energy and Commerce investigative subcommittee will question CDC Director Mandy Cohen tomorrow in what should be an interesting hearing on restoring public trust. The hearing “should” be interesting, because this committee has a long history of holding corporate and government leaders accountable. However, we have yet to see this committee get any actual explanation for a rash of mistakes and failures during the COVID pandemic. During her final appearance before Congress last summer, the prior CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, gave false testimony about a study on masks. When two researchers pointed out Walensky’s mistake, a congressional staffer emailed them that the committee would correct the record. “We want the record to reflect the accurate facts for posterity,” the staffer with House Appropriations wrote, “And take this responsibility very seriously as the lack of trust in public health officials is becoming an enormous problem for many reasons.” Having run congressional investigations for several years, I’m confused why the Energy and Commerce committee has done so little peeking into COVID scandals at the CDC—many of which I have documented during the last couple of years. Congressional staff work long hours and often don’t have the time to look into every problem, but how can the CDC regain public trust when employees with the PR firm for Pfizer and Moderna staff the CDC’s Vaccine Center? Last October, I discovered that employees with the global PR firm Weber Shandwick are embedded at the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), the CDC group that implements vaccine programs. Weber Shandwick won this multi-million dollar CDC contract back in September 2020, during COVID pandemic’s first year.  A few weeks after Weber Shandwick won the CDC contract, a senior vice president at the firm posted a company blog that disclosed Weber Shandwick clients working on COVID-19 vaccines included GSK, Sanofi, and Pfizer. A special investigation by PR Week reported that Weber Shandwick provided publicity for Moderna’s COVID vaccine. “So excited to be starting a new role today,” one Weber Shandwick employee wrote on her LinkedIn account. “I’m joining Weber Shandwick as an Account Director supporting a contract I know well, at CDC’s NCIRD!” Weber Shandwick employees staffing NCIRD help to run the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). After ACIP recommended recommended in late 2021 that everyone over 12 receive a “bivalent” Covid-19 vaccine as a booster dose, Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, warned that ACIP’s advice was made without convincing data. Despite sending a slew of emails to the CDC—some directly to the CDC Director—I never got an explanation for this obvious conflict of interest. Senator Rand Paul later sent the CDC a letter, but the agency ignored him. Will the House Committee demand answers? Share Tyler Durden Thu, 11/30/2023 - 20:20.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 30th, 2023Related News

Ray Dalio Commentary- US Political Conflict: The Odds of Smart Bipartisan Leadership Are Rising

From the Bridgewater founder's LinkedIn blogCheck out Ray Dalio Stock Picks » Download GuruFolio Report of Ray Dalio (Updated on 11/29/2023)Related Stocks: SPY, ^DJI, ^IXIC,.....»»

Category: blogSource: gurufocusNov 30th, 2023Related News

Thursday links: a heckuva business model

Charlie MungerJason Zweig, "More than almost anyone I’ve ever known, Munger also possessed what philosophers call epistemic humility: a profound sense of how little anyone can know and how important it is to open and change your mind." ( Hathaway ($BRK.A) shareholders need to closely contemplate a post-Buffett era. ( more Charlie Munger quotes including 'In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time — none, zero.' ( Munger's greatest asset may have been a lifelong friendship. ( Charlie Munger manifesto. ( review of “The Missing Billionaires: A Guide to Better Financial Decisions” by Victor Haghani and James White. ( review of Rob Copeland's "The Fund: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend." ( managementDFA's push into ETFs has been more successful than even they expected. ( much personal trading is too much for a mutual fund portfolio manager? ( Roundhill MEME ETF ($MEME) will liquidate next month. ( initial unemployment claims continue to bounce along the bottom. ( powered through October. ( on Abnormal ReturnsLongform links: the first rule of compounding. ( the end of the influential The Reformed Broker blog. ( you may have missed in our Wednesday linkfest. ( finance links: desired results. ( you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. ( mediaOn the problem of package theft. ('s hard to spot an inflection point in real-time. ( case against thank-you notes. (»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsNov 30th, 2023Related News

Sam Altman is back as CEO of OpenAI with a new board that includes Microsoft. Here"s everything we know about the chaotic coup.

Sam Altman's ousting from OpenAI set off a dramatic chain of events, resulting in his eventual return. Here's what we know. Sam Altman got pushed out of OpenAI.Toby Melville/Getty ImagesOpenAI CEO Sam Altman was suddenly ousted by the company's board earlier in November.Within a week, he was back and a new board that included lead investor Microsoft was announced.The tech world is still wondering what led to the shock firing.Sam Altman is back in control of OpenAI and the CEO has a brand new board.The tech boss was fired in a shock board decision earlier this month, kickstarting a chaotic week for the company.The move initially shocked the tech community and OpenAI investors, including Microsoft. Reports quickly started circulating that the board was wavering on its controversial decision and actively trying to get Altman back.Three days later, it all appeared to have fallen apart. Former Twitch CEO and cofounder, Emmett Shear, was named interim CEO of the company, and Altman had joined Microsoft.But the chaos was far from over.Most employees who returned to work after the weekend were less than impressed with the new company leadership.Staffers staged a revolt in the form of an open letter demanding the board's resignation and the reinstatement of their former chief. By the end of the day, nearly all employees at the company had added their names.Negotiations between OpenAI and Altman were restarted and last week the company announced he was set to return as CEO. Altman's return also came with a new board that included lead investor Microsoft.Here's a timeline of everything we know so far:Altman was ousted from OpenAI in a shock board decisionAltman was immediately ousted from OpenAI in a dramatic board decision on Friday. The nonprofit board of the company announced it no longer had "confidence in his ability to continue leading."A timeline provided by fellow OpenAI cofounder Greg Brockman showed that Altman received a text from board member Ilya Sutskever asking to talk at midday Friday.When Altman joined the meeting, the whole board, excluding Brockman, was on the call and he was told by Sutskever he was being fired, per Brockman's post.OpenAI staffers resignedBrockman, the former OpenAI president and cofounder, quit his role at the company shortly after the news broke. He said he was told that he was being removed from the board and that Altman had been fired at about the same time OpenAI published a blog post about the incident.Brockman said he was originally told he was "vital to the company and would retain his role," but decided to part ways with the company shortly after.The tech community was shocked by the decision, and at least three other OpenAI researchers followed the former president in giving up their roles.The OpenAI board was optimistic about getting Altman backInvestors, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, were reportedly blindsided by the decision to remove Altman.Several investors began pushing the board members to reverse their sudden leadership decision, Bloomberg reported.In an internal memo cited by The Information, OpenAI's chief strategy officer, Jason Kwon, wrote to staff late Saturday night, saying the company remained optimistic that it could bring back Altman and other senior employees who had left.Microsoft chief Nadella reportedly led the high-stakes talks on Altman's return over the weekend.On Sunday, the former OpenAI chief returned to the company's HQ. He posted a picture of himself wearing a guest badge captioned, "First and last time I ever wear one of these."Discussions fell apart and a new CEO was announcedThe Information reported that on Sunday night, Sutskever told OpenAI staffers that Altman would not return, prompting several more employees to quit.Discussions to bring Altman back had reportedly fallen apart, per The Verge. The board then named former Twitch CEO and cofounder Emmett Shear as interim CEO. Shear took over the role from OpenAI's former CTO Mira Murati, who had publicly supported Altman.Altman and Brockman joined MicrosoftIn a dramatic twist, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella scooped up Altman and Brockman to lead "a new advanced AI research team" at Microsoft.In a post on X, Brockman said the new Microsoft team would comprise him, Altman, Aleksander Madry, Szymon Sidor, and Jakub Pachocki. He said the team planned to "build something new" and "incredible."Nadella announced on Monday the company remained "committed to our partnership with OpenAI" and had "confidence in our product roadmap."A key board member said he regretted ousting AltmanOpenAI cofounder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever said on Monday he deeply regretted his involvement in firing Altman.Many had theorized that Sutskever had a major role in the decision, with reports highlighting the differing priorities between Altman and the nonprofit board."I deeply regret my participation in the board's actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI," Sutskever said in an X post Monday. "I love everything we've built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company."The chief scientist also added his name to an open letter calling for the board, which he sits on, to resign.Employees staged a revoltMost employees returning to work on Monday were unhappy with the chaos the OpenAI board had kickstarted.Former CTO Mira Murati was installed as interim CEO, following Altman's departure. CEO Emmett Shear, who cofounded Twitch, then took over from her. This meant the company had three CEOs in as many days.The majority of OpenAI staffers just wanted Altman back.By the end of the day, nearly the entire OpenAI staff had threatened to quit and join Altman at Microsoft. They signed a letter calling the board to resign, accusing members of undermining the company.Altman's return rumoured to still be on the cardsDespite publically joining Microsoft that morning, by Monday evening, Altman was reportedly still considering returning to his old post at the AI lab.The Verge reported that Altman and Brockman were considering going back to OpenAI if the board members who ousted Altman stepped down.Multiple sources told the outlet that Altman, along with Brockman and OpenAI's investors, were trying to find a plan for board members to exit the company.Altman and Brockman set to return to OpenAIOn Tuesday night Pacific Standard Time, OpenAI confirmed that Altman was set to return as CEO.The ChatGPT said in a post on X they "reached an agreement in principle" for Altman's return.Shortly after OpenAI broke the news, Altman reflected on his decision to join Microsoft, saying he thought "it was clear that was the best path for me and the team."He continued: "With the new board and w satya's support, i'm looking forward to returning to openai, and building on our strong partnership with msft."Nadella also commented on the move, adding Microsoft was "encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI board."OpenAI also announced a "new initial board" consisting of Bret Taylor, Larry Summers, and Adam D'Angelo. Taylor, a former Salesforce executive, will serve as board chair.Microsoft snags a board seatMicrosoft announced on Wednesday that the company was getting a non-voting board seat.There had been speculation that Satya Nadella would seek more control over OpenAI following the board's failed coup.The CEO was reportedly frustrated by the board's lack of communication during the firing and re-hiring of Altman, later telling journalist Kara Swisher he did not plan to be surprised by the company again.In a message to employees posted on the company's website, re-instated CEO Altman said: "We clearly made the right choice to partner with Microsoft and I'm excited that our new board will include them as a non-voting observer."One board member speaks outFormer OpenAI board member Helen Toner announced her resignation from the company on Wednesday.In a post on X, Toner sought to quell rumors the board was attempting to slow some of OpenAI's work.She said: "To be clear: our decision was about the board's ability to effectively supervise the company, which was our role and responsibility. Though there has been speculation, we were not motivated by a desire to slow down OpenAI's work."Several reports had pointed to a mysterious new OpenAI model known as Q* as a potential trigger for the chaos. The model is said to have sparked concern at the startup.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 30th, 2023Related News

Sam Altman said he was hurt and angry after OpenAI ousting – but had to get over ego and emotions to discuss his return

OpenAI chief Sam Altman admitted that he was initially reluctant to return as CEO after the board ousted him. Sam Altman is back as OpenAI CEO.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty ImagesSam Altman said he was reluctant about returning to OpenAI, but that feeling was "not for long." He told The Verge he first had to get over his "ego and emotions" after being ousted as CEO.Altman said his immediate reaction was one of being "hurt and angry" and that "this sucks."  Sam Altman had a moment of doubt about returning to OpenAI after he was ousted as CEO. He told The Verge he was initially reluctant to make a comeback at the AI firm. Altman said the feeling was "not for long," though, and first he had to "get over the ego and emotions" to discuss the possibility of resuming his role. OpenAI's previous board pushed him out of the company on November 17. The board said it no longer had "confidence in Altman's ability to continue leading OpenAI", but by the next day he was in talks with some members about being reinstated. "Saturday morning, some of the board called me and asked if I'd be up for talking about it. And my immediate reaction was sort of one of defiance, it was like, 'Man, I'm hurt and angry, and I think this sucks'," Altman told The Verge. He quickly realized he's given a lot of his "life force" to OpenAI over the past four-and-a-half years and believes in its mission. "It took me a few minutes to snap out of it and get over the ego and emotions to then be like, 'Yeah, of course I want to do that'," he said. first and last time i ever wear one of these— Sam Altman (@sama) November 19, 2023 The following day he posted a photo on X with an OpenAI guest badge at what appeared to be its office. OpenAI then announced November 22 that they'd "reached an agreement in principle" for Altman's return. Altman said in a blog post Wednesday that Ilya Sutskever will not get his board seat back, despite the chief scientist saying in an X post on November 27 he "deeply" regretted his involvement in the ousting. "I love and respect Ilya, I think he's a guiding light of the field and a gem of a human being," Altman wrote. "I harbor zero ill will towards him. While Ilya will no longer serve on the board, we hope to continue our working relationship and are discussing how he can continue his work at OpenAI." OpenAI didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 30th, 2023Related News

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman went on an 18-month, $85 million real-estate shopping spree — including a previously unknown Hawaii estate

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has snapped up multi-million dollar properties in San Francisco, Napa, and Hawaii – all managed by his discreet family office. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman snapped up a $43 million estate in Hawaii in 2021, adding to his impressive real-estate portfolio.Getty/Kevin DietschOpenAI CEO Sam Altman owns multi-million dollar properties in San Francisco, Napa, and Hawaii.Altman, who was fired and then reinstated as CEO of OpenAI this month, has tried to keep a relatively low profile. When BI set out to catalog his assets, we found a giant estate that's previously unknown.Years before the recent drama at OpenAI turned CEO Sam Altman into a household name, the former Y Combinator president went on an extraordinary 18-month, $85 million real-estate shopping spree, according to records reviewed by Business Insider — including a previously unreported $43 million Hawaii estate on land that locals describe as historically significant.The purchases, which also include multi-million-dollar residences in San Francisco and Napa, California, took place between early 2020 and mid-2021, when Altman was ginning up support for his eyeball-scanning crypto startup Worldcoin and releasing OpenAI products in private beta, Business Insider's review of business and real estate filings shows.A spokesperson for Altman declined to comment.Altman's precise net worth isn't known. As the CEO of OpenAI, his salary is just $58,333, according to IRS filings, and his equity stake in the company is so small as to be "immaterial," he's said. He's made more than 400 investments in nine years, Insider previously reported, in companies working in fields as diverse as commercial flight to brain implants.Earlier this year, Altman seemed to take a subtle dig at his fellow tech executives for amassing too much wealth."This concept of having enough money is not something that is easy to get across to other people," Altman said at the Bloomberg Tech Summit in San Francisco.But as Altman's wealth has grown, he's become increasingly removed from the daily life of the non-ultra-ultra-rich. His mother told the Wall Street Journal in March that Altman hadn't been to a grocery store in four or five years. In 2021, he hired his cousin to manage his family office.Here's where Sam Altman spends his time.Sam Altman's Hawaii estate is immediately adjacent to the reconstruction of the royal temple of King Kamehameha I.Maxar TechnologiesA $43 million estate in HawaiiIn July 2021, Altman bought a twelve-bedroom estate in Kailua-Kona, on the big island of Hawaii, for $43 million. Judging by listing photos, the property has a private inlet and several houses. The estate is adjacent to a national landmark, a reconstruction of the royal temple of King Kamehameha, the first ruler of a unified Hawaiian islands."This land here is very sacred," the security manager of the property said in a recent video posted on YouTube about the estate urging visitors to be respectful. The property, he said, "is presently on the platform that the original house of King Kamehameha I resided," adding that the land is "one of the most historical places here in Hawaii."A second video highlighted the estate's adventurous amenities, including cliff jumping, motorboating, wakesurfing, jet skiing, and scuba diving. A person who worked on the second video said the intent was to produce something that friends and family could watch to remember their trips to the residence. (Both videos were removed from YouTube after BI requested comment for this article.)Altman's purchase of the Hawaii property has not been previously reported. Business Insider linked the property to Altman by examining business and real estate filings that show the land is owned by an LLC managed by Jennifer Serralta, whose name appears as a manager on paperwork for other businesses known to be owned by Altman. Serralta, who previously worked in the automotive industry, describes herself on LinkedIn as the COO of a family office — presumably Altman's — and is his cousin, according to an obituary for their grandmother. Reached by phone, Serralta declined to comment.Family offices are entities established to manage the finances and investments of wealthy individuals, wrangling everything from real estate to yachts and philanthropy. Altman's, like those of many Silicon Valley tech CEOs, is intensely private. Altman has launched several investment vehicles over the years, including one with his brothers Jack and Max named Apollo Projects, and another entity titled Altman Family LLC.In a March post on her personal blog, Serralta wrote that she stayed at a Kailua-Kona property owned by "a friend" while vacationing in Hawaii. Last year, Altman tweeted a photo of himself wakesurfing in Hawaii; the view of the Big Island in the background of the photo matches precisely the view from the Kailua-Kona compound. And in 2021, Altman registered a business, the Sam Altman Qualified Opportunity Fund, at an address adjacent to the property. (It's possible that Altman wanted to register the business to his address but made a mistake; the address he used differs from his own by just one digit and has been owned by the same person since 2007.)wake surfing but otherwise exactly that!— Sam Altman (@sama) April 7, 2022Altman joins a roster of Silicon Valley titans with Hawaii estates, including Mark Zuckerberg, whose property purchases on the island of Kauai have sparked controversy, and Larry Ellison, who owns most of the island of Lanai. Marc Benioff, Jeff Bezos, and Peter Thiel have also scooped up sizable properties on the islands.Altman has one family connection to Hawaii: His youngest sibling, sister Annie Altman, has lived on the islands on and off since 2017. Annie, an artist and entertainer who has supported herself through in-person and virtual sex work, lives a much different life than her brother. Annie is teetering on financial insolvency, she told BI, after a lengthy stretch of illnesses. She has not spoken to her brother since 2021, when Annie refused Sam's offer to buy her a home after learning that a lawyer would control the property, she said.Annie had been unaware that her oldest brother owned property in Hawaii until Business Insider asked her about it, she said.A $27 million San Francisco homeAltman's weekday residence is a home on San Francisco's Russian Hill that was once described — inaccurately — as the most expensive home in San Francisco. He purchased it through an LLC in March 2020 for $27 million, according to property and business records.The compound, with sweeping views over San Francisco, includes a main residence, a wellness center, a cantilevered infinity pool, and an underground garage with a car turntable, Business Insider reported earlier this year.The property is the home base for a number of Altman's investment vehicles, according to business and SEC filings, including venture firm Apollo Projects, 9Point Ventures, and Uncommon Ventures. In recent weeks, the property functioned as a war room for Altman and his closest allies as he planned his return to OpenAI.A $15.7 million ranch in NapaAltman took a New York Times reporter to his weekend home, a working ranch in Napa, earlier this year. The reporter, Cade Metz, described the estate as "both folksy and contemporary. The Cor-Ten steel that covers the outside walls is rusted to perfection."Altman purchased the 950-acre property in late 2020 for $15.7 million through an LLC, according to real estate records reviewed by Insider. The estate comprises five homes and vineyards in a picturesque northern California landscape.Several Altman companies are or have been registered to the address, including the opaquely-named Project 2024 LLC, as well as another Altman venture firm, Hydrazine Capital Management.At the time of purchase, one of the property's former owners described the buyer, who he did not name, as having "complete passion for the land.""It's hard to explain how marvelous it is to live where there are still river otters on your property and oaks that are centuries old. He gets it. He's enthusiastic about it," the former owner, Hollywood lighting designer Bob Dickinson told the San Francisco Chronicle. "He has a very close family and I think his motivation is to make it the same kind of community experience with his family and friends."Altman flies groups of friends and colleagues up to the property frequently.A "big patch of land" in Big Sur, cars, and planesIn 2016, Altman told the New Yorker that he owns a getaway in Big Sur that he can "fly to" if a super-powerful AI attack leads to "nations fighting with nukes over scarce resources." (He also said he had stockpiled "guns, gold, potassium iodide, antibiotics, batteries, water, gas masks from the Israeli Defense Force" to prepare for that event.)Business Insider wasn't able to find which "big patch of land" Altman owns in the expensive coastal California enclave, but it seems likely he'll be able to fly himself there in the event of an apocalypse: A 2010 document shows Altman is licensed to fly single-engine planes, and he's posted about small plane trivia on X. In the same New Yorker interview, Altman also copped to owning five cars, including two McLarens and an "old Tesla." Altman posted on X in 2014 about owning a Tesla Roadster, of which only 2,450 were made. The cars are now collectors' items selling for more than $100,000. He's also posted about owning a 2013 Tesla Model S.Do you have more to share? You can reach Katherine via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-206-375-9280) or email at You can reach Hugh via encrypted messaging apps Signal/Telegram (+1 628-228-1836) or email at the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 30th, 2023Related News

Sam Altman suddenly looks less powerful. The panic caused by OpenAI"s near-death experience is to blame.

Silicon Valley just realized that the fate of OpenAI rested in the hands of only one person. It panicked and will no longer accept this situation. OpenAI CEO Sam AltmanJustin Sullivan/GettyFor a moment, OpenAI looked like it might collapse as staff threatened to follow Altman out the door. Silicon Valley no longer wants the fate of OpenAI resting in the hands of one person."The company will be totally fine without me," Altman said on Wednesday.It's rare to witness raw, naked panic in Silicon Valley. It's happened twice this year, though. These moments strip away the carefully crafted thought-leadership blogs and backslapping social media posts that are the usual fare in tech circles. Then we get to see something closer to the truth. The first of these revelatory moments came in early spring when venture capitalists panic-tweeted their favorite bank, SVB, into an unprecedented failure. The second happened this month when OpenAI had a near-death experience that almost wiped out billions of dollars in investment from top VCs and Microsoft. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was fired by the board. He then threatened to join Microsoft and OpenAI employees were ready to follow him, which would probably have rendered the startup almost worthless and its products relatively useless.A few days before this chaos, OpenAI was about to be valued at $86 billion in a special new investment round. So the panic erupted swiftly. VCs threatened to sue OpenAI's board, and some jockeyed to get in on whatever new situation might replace the fizzled startup.Both calamities this year were avoided. All SVB depositors, including many VCs and their startups, were backed by the FDIC. And in OpenAI's case, Altman was brought back as CEO and all the employees stayed. The OpenAI chaos finally subsided on Wednesday evening when new board members were announced and official — much calmer — statements were issued. Until this moment, the consensus was that Altman came through this crisis looking even more powerful and crucial to OpenAI's future. A close reading of Wednesday's statements paints a different picture, though. 'The company will be totally fine without me'Silicon Valley just realized that the fate of the world's most important AI company rested in the hands of just one person. It panicked and will no longer accept this situation. Altman granted an interview to The Verge to go along with Wednesday's official announcements, but he forgot a key talking point. So he called the publication back to reiterate what is probably the central message that OpenAI – and especially its financial backers Microsoft and those VC firms – want to project:"I learned that the company can truly function without me," Altman told The Verge. "The company will be totally fine without me."Altman drove this home in his official statement, too, saying OpenAI's leadership team "is clearly ready to run the company without me.""It's clear to me that the company is in great hands, and I hope this is abundantly clear to everyone," he added. Looking for a Plan BThis makes sense. The startup's near-death experience unsettled the companies and developers that have come to rely on OpenAI's artificial intelligence platform. Some of these partners started looking around for other providers. "A lot of friends of mine who were founders doing AI, basically look at this and go, we need a plan B, we can't depend on our entire stack on OpenAI models, because it could disappear tomorrow, just like it almost did," said Wesley Chan, cofounder of FPV Ventures. Several startup founders told Business Insider that they were considering switching to an open source model like Meta's Llama 2, or Anthropic's Claude. And some said they were looking to switch cloud providers to Google or Amazon Web Services from Microsoft Azure.The 'platform risk' of OpenAI"This kind of drama just made some people think about their backup plan more," said Guillermo Rauch, CEO of Vercel, a startup that helps developers build websites that integrate with many of the biggest AI models.The chaos made open-source AI models look more attractive because they rely on broad communities of contributors, rather than one startup that might suddenly lose all its employees. "What's the better wave to ride long term?" Rauch wrote in a message to BI. "Open source (e.g.: Llama / Mistral), whose reasoning power is less than OpenAI, but has the entire weight of a huge ecosystem behind it, or the proprietary LLMs."At the height of the crisis, one of Vercel's AI engineering leads pinged Rauch to say "let's remove platform risk of OpenAI" and get a backup running, the CEO recalled. "This is a trend that has been cooking, and nothing was going to stop it," Rauch said. "But the feedback I'm getting from developers is that events like these make them re-prioritize and accelerate some of those explorations."Expunging doubtsIf OpenAI wants to become the next massive tech platform, it needs to expunge doubts like this as quickly as possible. And the best way to do that is to promise that the company will always be around — no matter who is CEO."We will enhance the governance structure of OpenAI so that all stakeholders – users, customers, employees, partners, and community members – can trust that OpenAI will continue to thrive," Bret Taylor, the startup's new board chair, said on Wednesday. Madeline Renbarger contributed to this article.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 30th, 2023Related News

"An era in the United States has ended": The Chinese internet is alight with tributes to Henry Kissinger

Chinese social media is lamenting the death of Henry Kissinger, but they're mourning more than just the man. Henry Kissinger accepts food from Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai during a state banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in 1973Bettmann/Contributor via Getty ImagesThe Chinese internet lamented the death of Henry Kissinger death on Wednesday.But they're mourning more than just the man — they also miss what he represented in US diplomacy.Topics on Kissinger skyrocketed to the top charts of Weibo just hours after his death.Henry Kissinger is dead at the age of 100, and the Chinese internet is beside itself. Just four hours after his death was announced, topics on Kissinger hit a whopping 660 million combined view count on Weibo, China's version of Twitter.On Xiaohongshu, a rising new platform akin to a cross between Instagram and TikTok, Chinese commentators are posting glowing tributes to the former US diplomat."Old friends are dying, like leaves in the wind," wrote one Weibo user in a top comment, referencing a line attributed to the ancient Chinese warlord Cao Cao.The poetic saying underscores the deeper sentiment in China toward Kissinger's death — Cao Cao supposedly uttered the words in mourning at the tomb of Guan Yu, a renowned enemy general who was so famous he is still worshipped as a god of war today.Cao Cao's fabled respect for his longtime enemy bears a striking similarity to how China has typically viewed Kissinger, as a mighty servant for a rival superpower who opened the road to mutual benefit.Kissinger, who visited China at least 100 times, has been touted as an American heavyweight diplomat who stuck by wisdom and compromise, as Washington now wages what Beijing paints as a bizarre attack on its economy and sovereignty.Chinese leader Xi Jinping even called him an "old friend of the Chinese people" when Kissinger visited China in July.With his death, and that of Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger, "an era in the United States has ended," wrote one Weibo user in a heavily upvoted comment.Tributes for both men have poured into Weibo, though Kissinger — who is a controversial figure in the rest of the world — is now receiving the lion's share of attention.Munger was respected for his immense wealth and his recognition of China's achievements, while Kissinger is seen as an icon for playing America's role in ushering prosperity and modernity into China.Both men also lived long lives, an admired trait that's been repeatedly mentioned on Weibo."A participant, promoter, and founder of Sino-US relations," one blogger wrote of Kissinger, posting emojis of candles."I can't help but lament the passing of this era where heroes were born in large numbers," wrote another.It's here that "old friends are dying, like leaves in the wind" strikes another parallel. An aging Cao Cao was said to be grieving over a fading epoch of heroes, when he and rival warlords rose to power in a legendary narrative that's as famed in China as the Nativity is in the US.Kissinger, in the same vein, represented a bygone era when the US was more invested in benefiting from China's growth than curbing its potential dominance.He had traveled to China in secret to arrange for Cold War-era meetings between then-President Richard Nixon and China's leaders, which made history in the early 1970s.The former State Secretary's death has risen to become the number 1 topic on Weibo as of Thursday afternoon Beijing time, with nearly half a million views on news of his passing alone, per data seen by Business Insider.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 30th, 2023Related News

Texas Judge With Ties To Biden, Obama, Clinton Under Investigation For COVID Bid-Rigging Scheme

Texas Judge With Ties To Biden, Obama, Clinton Under Investigation For COVID Bid-Rigging Scheme Authored by Alice Giordano via The Epoch Times, A Texas judge is under investigation by the Texas Rangers for allegedly rigging an $11 million pandemic outreach contract so it would be awarded to one of her political allies, a former campaigner for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and data director for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). On Nov. 9, 2023, the Texas Rangers Public Corruption Investigation Unit announced it had obtained search warrants for documents relative to an investigation it has launched in conjunction with the Harris County District Attorney's Office into Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. The corruption investigation unit accuses Ms. Hidalgo of witness tampering, intent to conceal evidence, and the misuse of emergency authorization powers to bypass the county's contract voting process. They are planning to take their findings to a grand jury. “Whether it’s the White House or the Harris County Judge’s office, there appears to be an epidemic of corruption among high-level Democrat officials,” Harris County GOP Chairman Cindy Siegel said in a statement about the recently announced investigation into Judge Hidalgo. According to a Nov. 14 story by Fox 26 in Texas, invoices from the Harris County auditor show that the companies paid out from the $11 million COVID outreach money paid to Elevate Strategies, were all Democratic campaign organizations that focused on outreach to Democratic voters, and had no history of engaging in pandemic-related activity. Rice University political analyst Mark Jones told the television network that the evidence overwhelmingly shows that the public money was being used as a "camouflage" to maximize Democratic voter turnout by buying voter lists and funding data mining operations. Ms. Hidalgo already boasts an influential list of Democrats who have stumped for her in the past, including First Lady Jill Biden and "Hamilton" creator and liberal activist Lin Manuel-Miranda. Prior to the bid-rigging scandal, Ms. Hidalgo was under scrutiny by state Republicans for creating a controversial "threat policy" at the height of the pandemic that included a $1,000 fine and jail time for not wearing a mask. Some of the $11 million in pandemic funds was intended to be used to enforce her policies. The search warrants, which were obtained by The Epoch Times, show that Ms. Hidalgo is accused of using her position to direct $11 million worth of pandemic outreach money to Elevate Strategies, which is owned by her political ally Felicity Pereyra. Ms. Pereyra and Elevate Strategies did not respond to inquiries from The Epoch Times. According to her resume posted on LinkedIn, Ms. Pereyra has worked on a variety of other Democratic campaigns including as the analytics director for Ms. Clinton's Hillary for America campaign in 2016. Her resume shows she was also DNC's director of data between 2017 and 2018, and served as deputy data director for Obama for America campaign in 2012. Mrs. Hidalgo held a press conference on Nov. 10, the day after the search warrants were served, to deny any wrongdoing. She said she is a victim of "dirty politics" and accused Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg of abusing her office for political reason. Mrs. Hidalgo pointed out that her staffers were indicted during her reelection bid in 2022 and that the search warrants were obtained during Mrs. Ogg's campaign for reelection. Ms. Hidalgo, who won her reelection bid, has publicly endorsed Mrs. Ogg's Democrat challenger Sean Teare. "This is the same politics she's been playing for years," Ms. Hidalgo said about Mrs. Ogg. "She's abused the power of her office the way that a bully abuses size on the playground." Harris County is located in Houston, a liberal stronghold in otherwise heavily Republican Texas. It has voted Democrat for more than a decade. Mrs. Ogg told KHOU-11 that Judge Hidalgo was using her status to "taint the investigative process and confuse the public." "County Judge Hidalgo’s outburst today was nothing more than an attempted deflection from the facts and evidence that led to the initial indictment of her staffers," Mrs. Ogg said. Three of Ms. Hidalgo's senior staffers, including her chief of staff, have already been indicted on felony charges that include record tampering and misuse of official information. Following their indictment in April 2022, Ms. Hidalgo took a leave of absence, citing "mental health reasons." She returned to the bench last month. Three weeks later, the Texas Rangers announced their investigation. According to the search warrants, the Texas Rangers believe Ms. Hidalgo edited and/or erased documents relative to the COVID contract and that she failed to turn over correspondence she was initially asked for in the criminal investigation into her staffers. The search warrants also claim that Ms. Hidalgo sometimes uses encrypted messaging to communicate with her senior-level staff members and that show her staffers used their personal phones to communicate about the vaccine outreach money with Ms. Pereyra. They also showed that Ms. Hidalgo communicated with Ms. Pereyra about the availability of the $11 million contract before it was publicly announced and that when she believed the county commissioner might not approve the allocation of funds, she used her emergency authorization powers to bypass the voting process and award it to Ms. Pereyra's Elevate Strategies. As uncovered by Houston blogger Aubrey Taylor, county real estate records show Ms. Pereyra and her husband bought a new home two months after her company was awarded the contract. Prior to the bid rigging scandal, Ms. Hidalgo also came under public scrutiny for her behavior at the funeral of slain Harris County police officer Cpl. Charles Galloway, who was shot to death during a routine traffic stop on Jan. 23, 2022. A video taken of Officer Galloway's funeral shows Ms. Hidalgo arguing with several law enforcement officials. According to Sgt. Roy Guinn of the Harris County Constable's Office, when he and the other officers asked her to take her seat with all the other elected officials in attendance, she refused, saying, "Do you know who I am, I'm the county judge." Mr. Guinn made a YouTube video of the incident and was interviewed by both TV and radio media about it. Sgt. Guinn, who accused Judge Hidalgo of deliberately positioning herself in front of media cameras during the entire service "to be seen," said she even refused to move when she was told she was in the way of the honor guard. A spokesperson for Judge Hidalgo said she would not be commenting on the incident. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/29/2023 - 23:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 29th, 2023Related News