SNAP, Microsoft Advertising to Power Sponsored Links in My AI

SNAP partners with Microsoft Advertising to power Sponsored Links within My AI, which is the platform's AI-powered chatbot. Snap Inc. SNAP has announced a partnership with Microsoft MSFT Advertising to power Sponsored Links within the artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot, My AI, which was rolled out by Snap to its vast global community of more than 750 million monthly Snapchatters.This partnership leverages Microsoft Advertising's Ads for Chat API to enable the seamless delivery of relevant links during conversations. This collaboration is expected to help partners reach Snapchatters when they have expressed potential interest in their offerings.My AI has quickly become one of the most popular consumer chatbots available, with millions of users turning to it for real-world recommendations and information about their interests. It covers a wide range of topics, including food & dining, beauty & fitness, shopping & gadgets and more.Snap recently started testing Sponsored Links within My AI. This feature aims to surface relevant content and experiences to Snapchatters from selected partners. It represents a new way for brands to connect with Snapchatters and provide tailored content during conversations.Microsoft Advertising's clients in the United States and selected markets can now engage with Snapchatters through My AI, delivering links that are contextually relevant to ongoing conversations.This partnership and the continued development of My AI demonstrate Snap's dedication to enhancing user experiences, offering personalized content and creating advertising opportunities for brands within its platform. It will be interesting to see how this collaboration evolves and what other features and enhancements are in store for My AI in the future.Snap Inc. Price and Consensus  Snap Inc. price-consensus-chart | Snap Inc. QuoteSnap’s AI Initiatives to Aid Declining Ad RevenuesSnap and other competitors, including Alphabet GOOGL, have been facing challenges in its advertising revenues due to fierce competition from platforms like TikTok and Meta Platforms’ META Instagram, as well as changes in Apple's app privacy policies.META is pumping resources into developing generative AI on its platform. Last month, the company announced that it is making its AI large language model, Llama 2, which will be available for commercial use through partnerships with major cloud providers, including Microsoft.With this expanded partnership, MSFT and Meta are supporting an open approach to provide increased access to foundational AI technologies to benefit businesses globally. Investments in AI are also expected to draw higher revenues from Meta’s ad business.In its race to target TV ad dollars, Alphabet allowed third-party (Nielsen and comScore) tagging of YouTube videos to determine the effectiveness of ads on YouTube versus ads shown on TV.Snap is suffering from declining ad revenues as advertising partners across many industries are decreasing their marketing budgets, especially in the face of operating environment headwinds, inflation-driven cost pressure and the rising costs of capital. In many high-growth sectors, businesses are reassessing investment levels amid the rising cost of capital, which led to cutbacks in spending on advertising. The persistent decline in the price-per-ad impression is likely to dent advertising revenues for the company in the near term.To address this and maintain user engagement, Snapchat introduced new AI features, some of which are exclusive to its paid subscribers. One of these features is My AI, which was launched in April. My AI has garnered significant user engagement, with over 150 million people sending more than 10 billion messages to My AI.Snap's premium service, Snapchat+, costing users $3.99 per month, serves as a platform for offering exclusive, experimental and pre-release features, and it has amassed more than 4 million paid subscribers.Last quarter, the company introduced several features, including First Story, Ads in Spotlight and Snap Star Collab Studio among others, making it easier for advertisers to get in front of Snapchat’s unique audience, work with creators and activate with content partners.First Story enables advertisers to reserve the first video ad between Friend Stories that a Snapchatter sees, and in the United States, it offers a potential daily reach of nearly 50 million. The Collab Studio will accelerate partnerships between brands and Snap Stars through managed service production, which is supported by four initial partners, including Studio71, Beeline by Brat TV, Influential and Whalar. Experienced teams will help brands create and execute sponsored Stories and bespoke ad creative with Snap Stars.Snapchat is also creating a feature called Dreams with Friends, allowing users to grant their friends the ability to create AI dream images that include both individuals. This new feature is expected to boost the Daily Active Users (DAUs) in the upcoming quarter.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for SNAP’s 2023 DAUs globally is pegged at 412.85 million, indicating year-over-year growth of 121.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $4.5 billion, indicating a year-over-year decline of 2.16%.Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have declined 3.6% in the year-to-date period against the Zacks Computer and Technology sector’s rise of 34.7%. SNAP’s recent AI efforts are expected to boost its top line in the upcoming quarters. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report Snap Inc. (SNAP): Free Stock Analysis Report Meta Platforms, Inc. (META): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks15 hr. 3 min. ago Related News

America Has Fallen, And It Can"t Get Up

America Has Fallen, And It Can't Get Up Authored by Michael Shellenberger via Public, The Border Has Fallen During the Trump years, Democrats attacked Trump as cruel for separating migrant parents and children. “A policy that separates young children from their parents isn’t a ‘deterrent.’ It’s unconscionable,”  said Biden in 2018. “A policy that traumatizes children isn’t a bargaining chip. It’s abhorrent.” Two migrants drag another through barbed wire on the border (Getty Images) But Dr. Paul Wise, a pediatrician in charge of monitoring the treatment of migrant children in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, reports that the Biden administration’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been separating children as young as eight from their parents. “Interviews with parents and children found that there were minimal or no opportunities for phone contact or direct interaction between parent and child,” Wise said in the court filing. “The separation of families and the lack of interaction while in custody do significant, and potentially lasting, harm to children, particularly younger children.” There’s no denying the crisis. In some areas, the border between Texas and Mexico looks like a refugee camp in sub-Saharan Africa. There are thousands of African and Latin American migrants coming through daily. More than two million came last year, over 5,000 per day, and nearly as many will come this year. The Biden administration rightly points out that it tried telling migrants not to come. “Do not come,” said Vice President Kamala Harris in Guatemala in 2021. But Biden had made clear from 2018 to 2020 that he would reverse President Trump’s immigration policies. And so, many more migrants are coming. They also do so because they know we won’t turn them away. Doing so would be cruel. Children, babies, and mothers would die. And the photographs and videos of the horror would travel the world in minutes or seconds. If you doubt that this is true, watch the videos of parents sending their children through barbed wire fences and crossing the dangerous Rio Grande River. That hardly means we’re helpless to stop the flow. This year, for the first time, US Border Control is encountering more migrants from outside Latin America than from within it. That means people are flying from Africa to Latin America and entering through Mexico. Is this part of a plan by Democratic leaders to expand the voting rolls? Some Republicans say so. And in California, some progressive politicians want to give undocumented immigrants the right to vote. They already provide official California state driver’s licenses and IDs. But if that was the plan, it’s turning the nation against them The migrants are overwhelming not just the state of Texas but also New York, whose Democratic leaders, both Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul, say bluntly that the city is filled up. “The national government has turned its back on New York City,” said Adams in April. “This is impacting our schools, public safety, our ability to take care of those who were already in shelters. This is impacting the entire city.” Hochul is now proposing eliminating New York’s “right to shelter” law. Maybe the progressive Democrats who run Chicago, Illinois, have more room — or compassion? Not quite. “Let me state this clearly,” said Chicago’s progressive new Mayor. “The city of Chicago cannot go on welcoming new arrivals safely and capably without significant support and immigration policy changes.” What, then, is to be done? The Biden administration doesn’t even bother offering an answer. Democrats can only say what must not be done. We must not build a wall. We must not deport. Anyone. We must instead find jobs for the millions of mostly unskilled and uneducated immigrants to the US who, critics say, will drive down working-class wages and tax already over-stressed housing, educational, and health systems. As a result, we’re seeing a return of child labor to the United States, as slaughterhouses illegally hire teenage migrants on the night shift, who are scalded by caustic chemicals and maimed in industrial accidents. Just a few weeks ago, New York’s Governor Hochul tried to stay above the battle between New York City Mayor Adams and the Biden White House. That all changed late last month when Hochul took off the kid gloves. “We’ve managed thus far without substantive support from Washington,” she said in what her aides billed as a major speech. In the end, nobody will be able to measure how much of the crisis is driven by Biden and how much of it is from the collapse of civilization within the African and Latin American nations themselves. What’s clear is that if we don’t fix this, it won’t be just the border that’s fallen. Tyler Durden Fri, 09/22/2023 - 13:45.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt17 hr. 47 min. ago Related News

Russia"s battered Black Sea Fleet is having another bad day after a Ukrainian missile struck its headquarters in Crimea

A missile strike on Friday afternoon is the latest high-profile attack on Russia's forces at a key base in occupied Crimea. Photos and videos showed the Black Sea Fleet's headquarters up in flames after a devastating missile strike.Emergency Sevastopol/Telegram Russia said its Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Crimea was hit by a Ukrainian missile on Friday. It's the latest in a series of attacks that have damaged the fleet's ships and facilities. Intelligence and experts have said it's part of Ukraine's counteroffensive, and the goal is to make Crimea "untenable" for Russia. Things have just kind of been going from bad to worse for the Russian Black Sea Fleet lately, as its warships and submarines and facilities have taken hits, some devastating.On Friday, Russia's Ministry of Defense said on the social media platform Telegram the fleet's headquarters in Sevastopol was damaged by a Ukrainian missile. Videos shared online by Russian state media and multiple OSINT platforms showed heavy smoke and flames coming from the building.  —NEXTA (@nexta_tv) September 22, 2023 The Ministry of Defense said via Telegram that it shot down five missiles with air-defense systems, but the headquarters nonetheless sustained damage. It also confirmed that one soldier was killed in the attack. Photos circulating Friday afternoon showed the impact from the purported missile strike, indicating major structural damage. —Jimmy Rushton (@JimmySecUK) September 22, 2023 The hit is the latest in a recent series of blows to Russia's Black Sea Fleet.Last week, the force's strategic naval base and shipyard — also in Sevastopol along the coast of the occupied Crimean peninsula — was bombarded with cruise missiles, damaging two warships and surrounding facilities. One vessel was a landing ship, and the other was the attack submarine Rostov-on-Don, both of which were undergoing repairs and maintenance at the time. Photos obtained by the Conflict Intelligence Team — an open-source intelligence operation — and shared by OSINT platforms like Oryx, showed the Kilo-class sub, a formidable element of the Black Sea Fleet, with a large hole in along the waterline. An expert told Insider the photos appeared to show substantial damage to the Rostov that was "bad enough to make the submarine a total loss."  —Oryx (@oryxspioenkop) September 18, 2023 According to Oryx's website, which keeps tally of Russian ships taken out by Ukraine in the war, it's Moscow's first recorded submarine loss since its full-scale invasion in February 2022. Another ship, the landing vessel Minsk, was also hit in the missile strike. Although unconfirmed, observers and reports speculate that Ukraine has been using Western-made Storm Shadow/SCALP-EG long-range cruise missiles to hit targets in Sevastopol. Beyond these attacks — which experts previously told Insider were "potentially a major strategic blow" to Russia and "all orchestrated as part of a sophisticated, multi-domain counteroffensive" that also would make Crimea "untenable" for their forces — Ukraine's fleet of unmanned surface vessels (UAVs) have been terrorizing Russian naval ships across the Black Sea. Recent drone boat attacks include major damage to a warship that Russia apparently didn't see coming, engagements with other vessels, and a hit on a key bridge connecting Russian mainland to Crimea, providing logistic and travel support.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider18 hr. 16 min. ago Related News

Turtles purr like cats, croak like frogs, and even breathe like Darth Vader. No one really understands why.

Turtles have a slow, quiet reputation. But researchers put a microphone in the water with 50 turtle species, and they all made suprising noises. A painted wood turtle (Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima) from the recent research.Gabriel Jorgewich-Cohen Turtles make a wide variety of sounds, a new study reveals. Researcher Gabriel Jorgewich-Cohen recorded surprising vocalizations from 50 turtle species. Listen to 13 of these seldom-heard turtle sounds, from croaking and squealing to cooing and purring. Turtles have a reputation for being slow, steady, and quiet. If you listen closely, though, they're surprisingly noisy.Gabriel Jorgewich-Cohen first realized this in the Brazilian Amazon, where he was conducting field work, when he watched a batch of baby turtles wriggle out of their nests. They were squeaking."That reminded me of tortoise sounds I heard while watching funny videos online and made me question how many turtle species out there are also making sounds," Jorgewich-Cohen, a researcher at the University of Zurich, told Insider via email.So he rushed home to his 10 pet turtles and set them up with recording equipment he borrowed from another researcher. They were making sounds, too — like the creaking clicks in the clip below. Turn your volume up to hear it:"My first reaction was to think it was a mistake, but the more I recorded the more I found. When I realized that these were actually turtle sounds I couldn't stop smiling," Jorgewich-Cohen said.Soon he was recording turtle squeaks, croaks, and clicks in the lab, and trying to figure out when the reptiles were sounding off deliberately to communicate with each other.There was an astonishing variety of noises. This one sounds like a record scratch:Another turtle emitted a deep purr:Even within the same species, the sounds varied. This clip from a snapping turtle sounds like a Darth Vader-style inhale:While this snapping turtle sounds almost like a frog croaking:Turtle sounds have been documented in writing as early as the 1970s, but Jorgewich-Cohen wanted to capture the range of these reptiles' vocalizations in audio recordings.Gabriel Jorgewich-Cohen poses with a tortoise.Rafael C.B. ParederoHe also wanted to parse out involuntary noises, like burps, from sounds meant to communicate something to other turtles.Jorgewich-Cohen recorded 50 different turtle species. To his surprise, each one was making sounds. He thinks vocal communication is widespread across turtles.These findings were published in the journal Nature Communications in October 2022.The sounds of not-so-silent creaturesJorgewich-Cohen suspects that people don't notice turtle sounds very often because it's hard to hear them through water.So he and his colleagues used underwater cameras to observe the turtles and see if their behaviors correlated to particular sounds.The researchers' setup for recording turtles underwater.Gabriel Jorgewich-Cohen"We also recorded them in different groupings whenever animals were available: females only, males only, juveniles only, and then combinations of those groups. This enabled us to check if there were sounds produced only in specific situations by different animals," he said.In one example, a male spot-legged wood turtle made the creaking sound below while displaying courtship behavior, Jorgewich-Cohen said.Two of Jorgewich-Cohen's red-footed tortoises, Arnaldo and Jojo, made this grunting sound while mating:"Homer, Hulk, Carmelo and Clayton produced many different sounds," he said, including the click below. "In some cases they were fighting," he added.For some of the turtle species, the researchers identified as many as 30 distinct sounds.This one sounds a bit robotic:This Malayan softshell turtle sounds like it's cooing:While this one sounds like a radar blip in a movie:The researchers even went back to sea turtles and captured their cries:So next time you see a turtle, listen closely. It may be trying to tell you something.This post has been updated. It was originally published on December 29, 2022.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider18 hr. 16 min. ago Related News

How an OnlyFans creator has earned $450K using cosplay and personal connections with fans

Susann Alicia posts cosplay content on OnlyFans. Here's how she built a loyal fanbase. Liensue cosplaying the manga character Himiko Toga.LiensueLiensue is a German OnlyFans creator known for her cosplay content.Her content doesn't feature any explicit nudity.Here's how she built a fanbase, and how much she makes.Liensue has been a cosplayer nearly all her life.Since childhood, the 26-year-old German creator has been recreating costumes of her favorite TV-show and manga characters, and attending conventions for fans of comics and video games.When she got into university, she realized all her money was going into paying for her studies and bills, and she was lacking the financial means to DIY her costumes, she told Insider."Cosplay is one of the most expensive hobbies you can have if you want to do it right," said Liensue, who keeps her real name private for safety reasons. "I always wanted to do some more daring outfits and more daring pictures. I was already dressing revealingly, so I thought, why not just put it on the internet, so more people can see it and maybe they'll support me."She made an Instagram page and opened a Patreon account. Then, when the pandemic started, she heard about OnlyFans. She decided to try it, and made over $1,000 in her first month.Between January 2022 and September 2023, she made about $450,000 in net revenue on the platform after OnlyFans' 20% cut.OnlyFans is only one of the platforms where Liensue earns income. She also has an e-commerce shop on Gumroad, where she sells bundles of pictures and videos. There, she's made some $130,000. And because many of her fans are German, Liensue also started accounts on different subscription platforms that are popular locally, like 4based and Best Fans. Her most lucrative of those is 4based, where she's made $155,000. Insider verified all income information with documentation Susann provided.On OnlyFans, her revenue comes primarily from subscriptions and private messaging. Messaging fans is a key component of Liensue's presence on the platform.She has two accounts on the platform: one of them is free, and includes sneak peeks of her content and life. The other one is $10 for 30 days, then the price goes up to $20. On this page, there's more content and more personal interaction with her. The paid page has about 600 fans, while the free one has over 36,000.Liensue cosplaying the character Shenhe from the videogame Genshin Impact.LiensueWhy avoiding nudity works for LiensueLiensue has found that there is an appetite for risqué content without the need for nudity. For her, its success comes from leaving something to the imagination."I love the teasing aspect of it. It's a bit mysterious, it just leaves more to the fantasy," she said. That doesn't mean her content isn't sexual at all — there is a strong erotic element to it, just not the nudity.Liensue also has a sizable following of 50,000 on Instagram, as well as over 20,000 on TikTok, which helps drive fans to her subscription-only content.She puts a lot of time and money into her content, and she thinks of herself as an artist, more than a content creator. When she creates a new costume, she can spend over $1,000 on it. She also arranges a shoot with a professional photographer, and spends days editing the pictures herself. She posts some of them to Instagram, and keeps the most revealing ones for OnlyFans.In the past couple of years, she's been able to create about six DIY cosplay costumes per year, she said.Liensue also said a key aspect of her success is that she strives to be personable. On her OnlyFans, she combines her artsy content with a behind-the-scenes look at her everyday life, for fans to get to know her better. She regularly makes long-form videos that she sends to fans privately, which can cost between $50 to $200 to view, she said.A big chunk of Liensue's time is spent chatting with fans one-on-one — she tries to do that for two to four hours a day. But even in her private conversations, she doesn't include explicit content. She does provide a personalized experience, with roleplays of manga or video-game characters. She charges an extra fee for this type of content, but without any flat rates. Sometimes she just lets the fan tip as much as they want, she said.Some of her fans have become everyday connections for her. One of them even built her a desk and delivered it to her personally."Building a personal connection I think is the most important thing," she said. "People may like your art, but you have to get the close connection with them, so they really want to support you for the long term."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2023Related News

Airstream unveiled a new off-road Mercedes-Benz Sprinter camper van for nearly $200,000 as RV shipments continue to slump

Thor Industries has seen a 37.1% dip in sales compared to the same time in 2022. Maybe Airstream's new camper van can help soften the blow. Airstream's newest almost $200,000 camper van is rugged and ready for off-roading.Airstream Airstream unveiled its newest camper van: the Interstate 19X starting at $199,940. Camper van shipments have not dipped as dramatically as travel trailers. See inside the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-based camper van with a bathroom, kitchen, living room, and bed. Airstream's newest camper van wasn't designed to be a cute little Instagram-perfect RV. Instead, it's rugged, well-equipped, and a whopping $200,000 at a time when RV interest has dwindled fast.Anybody in the RV industry will tell you sales have looked better. From 2020 up until recently, RV makers were seeing interest at record levels, leading to multi-billion-dollar backlogs, packed RV parks, and younger buyers.But these days, this frenzy is harder to find. RV sales dropped dramatically over the last year, leading to a wholesale shipment decline by 47.7% from 2023 compared to the same time in 2022, according to July data from the RV Industry Association.However, the dip in camper van shipments wasn't as dramatic as the drop for travel trailers in July.AirstreamWhile shipments for all towables plummeted 50.8% from July 2022 to 2023, camper vans only slipped 29.8%. These Class B RVs have become a trendy must-have for younger road trip fanatics.A Cabana camper van.CabanaTikToks about camper vans have been viewed about 173.5 million times with several videos showing the inside of trendy conversions amassing millions of views individually.It's great news for legacy RV maker Airstream, which just unveiled its newest Interstate 19X camper.AirstreamAirstream already has a handful of vans in its lineup including the $147,570 Rangeline on a Ram Promaster chassis and the $310,400 Atlas on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The latter has the most expensive MSRP of all of its "touring coaches." With how sales have been looking for Airstream's parent company Thor Industries, the RV maker could use a boost in sales with the help of this new model.AirstreamIn June, Thor Industries announced its consolidated net sales for the third quarter of 2023 was $2.93 billion, a steep drop from $4.66 billion at the same time in 2022 and $3.46 billion in 2021.Besides Airstream, Thor also oversees brands like Jayco, Keystone, and Dutchmen.Airstream"Market conditions continue to be challenging as dealers and consumers face increasing pressures from the macro environment," Bob Martin, president and CEO of Thor Industries, said in the earnings report. "While we are encouraged by our fiscal third-quarter results, we anticipate certain macroeconomic challenges to persist in the near term."Luckily, it seems the "Interstate" line has become a hit for Airstream.AirstreamThe RV maker has six models under the Interstate umbrella ranging from $178,640 to $246,35. However, the company declined to comment when asked how the new camper van could impact Thor's decreasing RV sales.With a price of $199,940, the newest Interstate 19X falls on the less expensive end of this range.AirstreamThe four-by-four van — built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 chassis — capitalizes on quickly two growing segments of RVing: boondocking and off-roading. To make the van more off-grid capable, buyers can also upgrade it to an all-wheel drive Sprinter chassis.This van was not built to be frilly and cute.AirstreamThere's no all-white aesthetic or marble countertops that have made some camper vans go viral. Instead, it's tough and ready to run off-road.The new 19-foot-long Interstate 19X has several exterior features to protect it from the rugged terrain.AirstreamThis includes a protective coat on the van's hood and lower body and a brush guard with lights.Inside, storage like drawers and cabinets line the van.AirstreamThe floor and aluminum walls and ceiling have an L-track system to keep big-ticket items like bikes and kayaks strapped in during a bumpy off-road ride.A galley and a bathroom with a shower, sink, and toilet provide travelers with the comforts of a traditional home.AirstreamThe kitchen has a sink across from the counter with a refrigerator-freezer and movable induction cooktop. And like most space-efficient camper vans, the rear living area can convert into a queen or twin beds.AirstreamThe van can sleep two people but has the capacity to seat four. Sorry to the two other people who'll just have to pitch a tent outside.Energy systems like two 100-amp-hour lithium batteries, shore power connection, and 250-watts of solar help power amenities like the air conditioning unit.AirstreamFor water supplying and dumping, the van has a 20-gallon fresh, 16-gallon gray, and 9-gallon waste tanks.The Interstate 19X can now be purchased at Airstream's dealerships.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2023Related News

How to unblock someone on Facebook from any device to see their posts again

Learn how to unblock someone on Facebook using the desktop website or the mobile app so you can see each other's posts again. Unblocking someone on Facebook lets you see their posts again.PK Studio/Shutterstock You can unblock someone on Facebook using the desktop website or the mobile app. Once you unblock someone, you'll be able to see their Facebook posts again and send them direct messages. Here's how to unblock someone from any device. Maybe you were tired of your uncle's constant political posts. Maybe you saw enough videos of your high school classmate's cat. Whatever the reason, you blocked someone on Facebook.But what if you want to unblock them? Facebook lets you unblock anyone quickly without alerting them. Unblocking someone will even re-add them to your Friends list if you were friends before the block.Here's how to unblock someone on Facebook desktop or mobile.Quick note: If you just wanted to stop seeing someone's posts on your timeline, but still want to interact with them, consider unfollowing. Unfollowing someone simply hides their posts on your timeline without alerting them.How to unblock someone on Facebook via the Facebook website1. From anywhere on Facebook, find and click your profile photo in the top-right corner of the page.2. In the resulting drop-down menu, click Settings & privacy and then click Settings.Insider3. In the column on the left side of the screen, click Privacy then click Blocking.Insider4. Go to the Blocked Users section and click Edit. Click See your blocked list.Insider5. Click Unblock next to the person's name who you wish to unblock.Insider6. Click Confirm in the pop-up window that appears.How to unblock someone on Facebook via the Facebook mobile app1. Open the Facebook app and tap Menu in the bottom-right corner (iPhone) or top-right corner (Android).Insider2. In the Menu page that appears, scroll down to tap Settings & Privacy, then Settings.3. On the Settings page, scroll down and tap Blocking.Insider4. You'll be shown a full list of everyone you have blocked. Tap Unblock next to anyone's name, and then confirm by tapping Unblock again.InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2023Related News

Javier"s Milei"s Populist Strategy In Argentina Is Working

Javier's Milei's Populist Strategy In Argentina Is Working Authored by Philipp Bagus via The Mises Institute, The Austro-libertarian movement has the better ideas. They continue to be discussed, elaborated, and intellectually defended. But how can the right ideas be implemented? What good is it to be right if the reality is left-wing? In fact, most of the population, or at least public opinion, seems to be drifting further and further to the left, with cancel culture, climate hysteria, a sprawling welfare state and ever higher taxes and levies. The right ideas and theories are there, but they have not yet been put successful in practice. How can this be changed? Of course, ideas are important, they must also be disseminated, from below, from the grassroots up. It's an arduous process. And there has been undeniable progress in recent years. Nevertheless, the left-wing zeitgeist is rolling over the freedoms of citizens almost unhindered; most shockingly during the Covid crisis. The left tries to paint anyone who stands in the zeitgeist´s way as an extremist or even a Nazi. Against this background, what can a successful strategy look like? Murray Rothbard addressed this question in an article in the Rothbard-Rockwell Report entitled Right-Wing Populism: A Strategy for the Paleo Movement. His contribution is groundbreaking and forward-looking. He anticipates the successes of Donald Trump in the United States and, more recently, of Javier Milei in Argentina. Javier Milei is making a splash on all sides, because on August 13, 2023, he won the primaries for the presidency in Argentina. In the German media, he is described as ultra-right and ultra-libertarian. Recently, the Financial Times dealt with the self-confessed anarcho-capitalist in a column, in which the author insinuated that the libertarian Milei would follow the strategy of right-wing populism designed by Murray Rothbard in 1992. This gives rise to the question if that claim is true and what exactly is this right-wing populism? According to the paleo-libertarian Rothbard, the program of right-wing populism includes 8 main points: Radical tax cuts Radical reduction of the welfare state Abolition of privileges for "protected" minorities Crushing criminals Getting rid of bums Abolition of the Federal Reserve A program of America First (anti-globalist and isolationist) Defending traditional family values Indeed, Milei's election manifesto is very much in line with Rothbard's right-wing populism and paleo-libertarianism. Milei wants to radically reduce taxes. He never tires of calling taxes what they are, theft. He also wants to radically grind down the welfare state and likes to illustrate the reduction in government spending and his proposal of reducing Argentinian ministries from 18 to 8 with a chainsaw. His "Chainsaw Plan" is intended to radically trim the state. Milei repeatedly speaks of equality before the law as a fundamental liberal principle and wants to abolish privileges for minorities. As a result, he repeatedly clashes with radical feminists who defend legal privileges for women. The imprisonment of criminals is also on Milei's agenda. Gun freedom is in his program so that victims can defend themselves against criminals. Those who refuse to work are no longer supported by the state in his Argentina. Milei also has the 6th of Rothbard's points in his agenda: Milei wants to abolish the central bank of Argentina. Using right-wing populist rhetoric he aims to physically blow up the central bank. In doing so, he would wipe out the power of one of the most inflationary central banks, which willingly financed all Peronist and Kirchnerist spending programs. He wants to dollarize the country and open it up to currency competition. Milei also puts his own country first: Argentina first. Right-wing populism opposes the globalist agenda. It cuts development aid, climate programs and military adventures. Milei likes to point out that Argentina was one of the richest countries in the world at the beginning of the 20th century thanks to classical liberal policies and was destroyed by socialism in the 20th century. In 35 years, Milei promises, Argentina can be a superpower again. The prerequisite for this to happen is a return to libertarianism. Finally, Milei also defends traditional family values and opposes the state takeover of family responsibilities. The vehement opponent of abortion has defended the right to life several times in debates with radical feminists. Milei used to be chief economist at various institutions and a professor of economics. He is a follower of the Austrian School of Economics. One of his dogs is named Murray. He contributor a chapter two-volume Festschrift in honor of Jesús Huerta de Soto edited by David Howden and myself. A couple of years ago he was guest via zoom in my seminar in our Master's degree in Austrian Economics that we offer in Madrid, and spoke about his strategy. In short, Milei is one of us. And he can win the election. He can become president of Argentina. An Austrian. An anarcho-capitalist. With an openly radical libertarian election program. In a country that has paid homage to socialism for decades. Amazing. Milei has been very present in the public debate in Argentina for years. He gained fame as a polarizing and fiercely arguing talk show guest. Later, he decided to create his own party to lead the culture war against socialism and statism more effectively and to bring the right ideas to more people. His rhetorical strategy in debates is vociferous, belligerent, and is sometimes perceived as offensive (if the truth can be offensive at all). He does not allow himself to be intimidated or belittled by left-wing opinion-makers. In a debate, he simply shouts louder than the leftists, whom he calls "Zurdos", and interrupts them to tell them to their faces that they are saying an absolute stupidity and have no idea what they are talking about. You should read Hayek, Mises and Rothbard first, Milei recommends to them. He also calls leftists and politicians parasites and thieves, in a debate. For taxes are theft.  In keeping with Rothbard's strategy of right-wing populism, he clearly names the profiteers of the state apparatus. He rails again and again against the caste of politicians and bureaucrats. He calls them parasites that live at the expense of the hard-working and decent citizens. Politicians are completely useless and could not live without the productive Argentinians. Politics is not the solution, but the problem. And politicians form part of the problem. In this way, Milei wins over those decent Argentinians who suffer most from the yoke of the state. Equally clear are his remarks on the concept of social justice. So-called social justice is a monstrous injustice because it means unequal treatment of people before the law. It is a fig leaf for envy and resentment. Milei's emotional and polemical nature resonates with many, especially among young people. After winning the primaries in mid-August, he has legitimate hopes for the Argentine presidency. Milei's successes have become a topic of everyday conversation, especially in the Hispanic world. One speaks of Milei with astonishment and appreciation. Acquaintances and friends send short videos of his rhetorical gems. Libertarian ideas are back in vogue. People are venturing forward with libertarian opinions, everywhere and unexpectedly. The window of public and permissible opinions is shifting in the direction of freedom. Thanks to Milei. Regardless of whether the charismatic Milei ultimately wins the election, his campaign has sparked a young and powerful libertarian movement. His triumph in the primaries may be more significant than the Ron Paul Revolution of 2008 and 2012. The incredible fact is that he is successful. With a right-wing populism that Rothbard recommended, in a run-down country, with his charismatic personality, with aggressive rhetoric. Nothing is impossible. Even a libertarian can win a democratic election. It's the strategy that counts. ¡Vamos Javier! ¡Viva la libertad, carajo! Tyler Durden Wed, 09/20/2023 - 21:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 20th, 2023Related News

How to download videos on Facebook and save to your phone or computer

Download videos from Facebook and save them to your phone or computer to watch later at any time. Here are step-by-step instructions to do both. There are a number of ways to save or download videos on Facebook.Reuters You can save any video on Facebook to play it again later. To download a video from Facebook to your phone, use a third-party app like Friendly Social Browser. You can also download a video from Facebook to your computer by changing its URL and then saving it. Facebook doesn't make it easy to save videos to your phone or computer — the social media service would rather you simply return to Facebook to watch them again.But just because Facebook would prefer that you don't download video, that doesn't mean you can't do it.Here's how to download a video from Facebook, whether you're using your computer, iPhone, or Android phone.How to save a video on Facebook to watch later Before we get to permanently downloading videos from Facebook, though, there may be times when you simply want to save a video within Facebook so you can more easily watch it later. Think of it like "bookmarking" a video.1. Find a video that you want to save for later.2. Click or tap the more icon – the three horizontal dots – in the top right corner of the video post.3. Click or tap Save video.Click or tap "Save video."Stefan IonescuLater, when you want to return to the video, all of your saved videos will be stored in one place. On a computer, click Watch – the icon that looks like a computer monitor with a play button in the middle – in the top menu. Then, select Saved Videos.Click "Watch" and then "Saved Videos."Stefan IonescuOn a phone, tap the three horizontal lines (known as a "hamburger menu") and then tap Saved.You can also find your saved videos in the Facebook mobile app.Stefan IonescuHow to download a Facebook video to your iPhone or Android deviceYou can't download a video to your phone using the ordinary Facebook app, but there are a number of third-party apps that make it possible to save the video directly to your phone's Camera Roll. One app that works particularly well for both Android and iPhone users is Friendly Social Browser.1. Install Friendly Social Browser.2. Tap Facebook – this will also make Facebook the default profile for the app moving forward.Choose Facebook from the list of social media sites.Stefan Ionescu3. Log into Facebook using your usual Facebook credentials.4. Once you're logged in, you can use Friendly Social Browser instead of the official Facebook app — for the most part, it will look and act the same as the app you are used to.5. If you're using an iPhone, tap the cloud-shaped download button in the bottom right corner of the video post. On an Android device, tap the download icon in the video itself. Tap the button that allows you to download the video on your device.Stefan IonescuNote: For some videos, you may need to start playing the video to see the download button.6. On Android, the video will start downloading immediately, but on iPhone, you'll see a pop-up with more options. If you're an iPhone user, tap the download icon next to the Video option.On iPhone, you'll need to tap this download icon.Stefan Ionescu7. Choose either Save to Photos or Save to Files.Note: On both iPhone and Android, you might need to give the app permission to access your photos gallery and storage media.How to save and download a video from Facebook to your computerWe don't recommend using any third-party programs or websites to try to download videos on your computer. Many of these are not trustworthy and can contain malware or attempt to lure you into paying for additional services.Instead, there's a trick you can use to download video directly from Facebook.1. Find a video that you want to save.2. Click the more icon – the three horizontal dots – in the top right corner of the video post3.Select Copy link.Click "Copy Link."Stefan Ionescu4. In a new browser window, paste the URL you just copied in the address bar, and hit the Enter key on your keyboard to expand the URL.Quick tip: You can quickly paste text by pressing Ctrl + V on a PC and Command + V on a Mac.5. When the page loads, replace the www with mbasic. If there is no www because the link was automatically shortened to, place your cursor at the end of the URL and press enter. This should populate a www.Replace "www" with "mbasic" in the URL.Stefan Ionescu6. Press Enter so the new URL loads in the browser. You'll see the video appear in a format that's optimized for a mobile device.7. Start playing the video, right-click on the video, and then choose Save Video As.Right-click the video and select "Save Video As."Stefan Ionescu8. Give the video a name and click Save.The video will now be saved to your computer.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 20th, 2023Related News

Videos show a massive fuel tank explosion after a suspected drone strike in Putin"s prized resort town

People living nearby said they heard sounds resembling a "moped" before a loud explosion, according to Telegram channel SHOT. Firefighters work to extinguish the blaze at Adler airport/Russian President Vladimir Putin skiis at Laura ski resort in Sochi, Russia.Aleksei Kopaigorodskii and Mikhail Svetlov/Getty ImagesA major fire erupted at an airport in the Russian resort town of Sochi on Wednesday.Telegram channels published footage of the fiery explosion, saying it was the result of a drone strike.Local officials said there were no casualties and that the fire was later extinguished.New footage of an explosion in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi shows the moment the inferno erupted at an airport in the Russian city.The fire broke out at a fuel and lubricants warehouse at the Adler airport in the early hours of Wednesday, according to Aleksei Kopaigorodskii, the mayor of Sochi.There were no casualties and the airport has resumed operating "as normal," Kopaigorodskii wrote in a Telegram post on Wednesday.Officials have not confirmed the cause of the fire, but Russian Telegram channels Baza and SHOT reported that it was the result of a drone strike. The channels did not say in their reports how they obtained this information.People living nearby said they heard sounds resembling a "moped" shortly before a loud explosion, according to SHOT, which wrote that the fire was burning on a tank with 1,200 tons of fuel.The channel published footage of what appears to be an object falling onto a fuel tank before light engulfs the camera.Around 60 firefighters and emergency services personnel worked to contain the fire, which grew no further than around 1,000 square feet, according to Kopaigorodskii.The Moscow Times reported that the fire occurred at a Rosneft oil depot, and published footage of firefighters battling the flames.Telegram channels Mash and Caution, News also published several videos shot by nearby residents.As of Wednesday, no party has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the suspected drone attack, though Russia has been on high alert for what it says are repeated Ukrainian drone strikes.Kyiv has not said if it's behind the attacks plaguing Russia's airports and facilities, but Ukrainian officials often speak approvingly of the strikes.It's currently unclear what strategic value the oil depot in Sochi holds. But the resort town, which sits on Russia's border with Georgia and was the host city for the 2014 Winter Olympics, is frequented by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who often hosts foreign dignitaries there.Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko met with Putin in Sochi, where they spoke on Wednesday about Russia's warming ties with North Korea.Russia's Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside regular business hours.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 20th, 2023Related News

How child-free "Disney adults" are transforming the company"s theme parks as Disney pours $60 billion into the division

"Disney adults" used to be the butt of the joke. Now millennials and Gen Z-ers without kids are flocking to Disney Parks and spending big on meals, merch, and experiences. Insider spoke to more than 20 people from parks visitors to employees and travel agents to understand why Disney parks have become the hottest destination for monied millennials without kids.Arantza Pena Popo/Insider Child-free millennials and Gen Z-ers are now as commonplace at Disney Parks as families with kids. Disney plans to invest $60 billion in the parks over the next decade, the Wall Street Journal report. We spoke to over 20 people, including company insiders, about the impact of 'Disney adults' on the parks. Since the start of 2023, Sarah Rachul, a public-relations professional who lives in Ohio, has logged more than half a dozen trips to Disney parks, including Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California.Her target? Ten Disney trips by the year's end."It just melts away some of the stress. I'm not looking around my house going, 'Oh, I have to clean that,' or 'I have to sort that.' I'm not thinking about my job. I'm just in this cool, fake, around-the-world walk," 29-year-old Rachul said of her impromptu visits to Epcot, usually with a cocktail in hand as she strolls through the world showcase with its pavilions modeled after countries from Italy to China. Rachul's parents, members of the Disney Vacation Club, a timeshare program, accompany her on some visits, helping make the trips more affordable than, say, a vacation to Tuscany. When she turns 30 next year, Rachul and her boyfriend are already set to ring in her third decade aboard a Disney cruise. Rachul is one of a growing share of 20- and 30-somethings without kids who are packing into Disney parks, particularly Walt Disney World in Orlando — frequently making these often-lavish trips as couples or in groups of friends. That's according to interviews Insider conducted with more than 20 people, ranging from annual pass holders to current and former Disney employees (most of whom requested anonymity to speak freely about company business and policies) to travel agents and others familiar with foot traffic at the parks.Collectively, they painted a picture of an undeniable demographic shift that could have big implications for Disney's parks' business, from an influx of consumer dollars — childless earners tend to have more disposable income than parents — to an impact on in-park rides and experiences. It comes as Disney is investing in parks in a major way over the next 10 years, with the Wall Street Journal reporting Tuesday — citing a regulatory filing — that the entertainment giant will pour some $60 billion into the parks division, which also encompasses cruises and merchandise. Disney also posted a blog about the plan.The phenomenon is also eroding the stigma surrounding the "Disney adult," a term that in recent years has been used to poke fun at grown-ups with a tendency to display their die-hard devotion to the Mouse House. One Urban Dictionary entry defined a "Disney adult" as a millennial who "can't stop talking about Disney" and is "one of the most terrifyingly intense people you'll ever encounter." But the idea of donning a pair of Mickey ears or "DisneyBounding" — dressing for park visits in outfits inspired by famous Disney characters — is becoming more mainstream, and perhaps even cool, for more and more kidless millennials and Gen Zers. Disney's not just for hot, tired parents chaperoning their kids from character breakfasts to rides on Aladdin's magic carpets anymore."It's two hours away, but it's an escape," said Molly May, a 38-year-old mental-health counselor based in Florida, who, along with her husband, has held an annual Disney World pass for several years. The couple got engaged there, celebrated their five-year anniversary at Disneyland, and visited Disneyland Paris earlier this year. They're planning to commemorate 10 years with a visit to Tokyo Disneyland."The responsibility I have as an adult," May added, "disappears as soon as I walk through the gate."Francis Dominic, a social-media creator, previously worked for both Disney World and Disneyland in various roles, including as a tour guide, for four years beginning in 2014. Now he creates Disney-themed content, much of which is focused on park tips and experiences, for his audience of more than 108,000 followers on TikTok. "I hear from every single age group, from 80s all the way to teens, of just people ready to have so much fun in these parks and being so unapologetic about it," Dominic, 30, said."As millennials growing up, we were teased about loving certain princesses or certain things," he added. "Now it's more of like an 'I don't give a fuck' moment."Francis Dominic is a former Disney Parks employee who's built a robust following on TikTok creating Disney-themed content about attractions and films.Taylor Jaxson PhotographyOn a given day, 40% to 50% of parkgoers at Disney World could be child-free adults, a former parks executive saysThe trend has emerged at a time of manifold pressures for The Walt Disney Company, from a share price that's fallen more than 25% over the past year to a recent Wall Street Journal report suggesting that traffic to the Florida parks dwindled this summer. Meanwhile, rising ticket prices, coupled with soaring inflation, could be deterring some parks visitors. In the last year, 93% of respondents in a consumer survey agreed that the cost of a Disney World vacation had become untenable for "average families," and a popular Disney travel blog estimated that a "baseline" five-night trip for family of four to the Orlando parks could exceed $6,300.On top of that, throw in a monthslong political battle with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — which led Disney to scrap plans for a new $1 billion campus near Orlando that would have created roughly 2,000 jobs — as well as a looming threat from its crosstown rival Universal, which will open its fourth Orlando theme park in 2025, and it's clear there are challenges ahead for Disney Parks.But in the face of all this, Disney World appears to be accelerating efforts to lure adult visitors, including pricey experiences that seem less likely to appeal to families.In recent months, its Epcot theme park has introduced $250-a-person omakase dinners at the Japan pavilion's Takumi-Tei restaurant, for instance, burnishing the rite of passage known as "Drinking Around the World." It's a favorite pastime for Epcot visitors over the age of 21 who get tipsy shuffling from one country pavilion to the next, ordering internationally inspired cocktails or sipping flights of spirits at venues like the Mexico pavilion's La Cava del Tequila bar. Along with that dining glow-up, multiple high-tech rides have debuted since last year, as well as a fresh slate of holiday experiences lined up for this winter. "You can see Disney is pushing to be competitive for that adult, thrill-seeking group," Jonathan de Araujo, the founder of the Disney-authorized travel-planning service The Vacationeer, told Insider. A Disney spokesperson declined to comment for this story, and company insiders say obtaining data about any aspect of the business — such as foot traffic — can be opaque (the Journal's reporting, for example, was based on stats from the third-party company Touring Plans, which tracks wait times for rides). But, according to a former Disney executive with close knowledge of Disney World, between 40% to 50% of typical crowds at the Orlando parks are composed of adults visiting without children — people the executive categorized as "nonfamily."That number is "astonishing when you think about it," the executive, who worked in travel marketing, said, "because it's not the perception that people have." And that stat has been on a gradual uptick for several years, this person and others familiar with Disney World's foot traffic said.Tara Goldstein and Ann van Oostendorp, independent travel planners who specialize in Disney trips and call themselves the "Magic Planning Sisters," told Insider that between mid-2020 and 2023, 53% of the Disney vacations they planned were for adults only. They attributed much of the shift to the advent of hot rides — like a cutting-edge roller coaster themed after the tentpole "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise, for example — that appeal to an older audience. "Disney knows the kids want to go," van Oostendorp said. "Now it's time to bring in the adult population."From weddings to special meals, millennials without kids are bringing disposable income to the parksTwenty-three-year-old Natalie Schwartz remembers all the visits she and her boyfriend, Brett, made to Disney World as students at the University of Tampa. "I just always have had this little-girl dream of getting married there," Schwartz told Insider several weeks after her June wedding, a nearly 120-person affair at Disney World's Grand Floridian resort. Among the perks were discounted park tickets the couple could share with more than a dozen friends, and together they spent two days venturing through the parks ahead of the ceremony. Schwartz also took her grandmother on the It's a Small World ride.This summer, Schwartz returned to Disney World to celebrate her friend Sierra Keller's 24th birthday. "Disney kind of just transports us somewhere else," said Keller, who now lives about 10 minutes from the parks in a home her family built specifically to be close to Disney. "You're not worried about elections. You're not worried about laws passing or what tomorrow's going to look like, or how many bills do I need to pay or anything. You're just in that moment and you get to kind of be carefree."Newlyweds Natalie and Brett Schwartz exchanged vows at Walt Disney World in Orlando this summer.Disney Fine Art PhotographyThe growing share of visitors like Schwartz and Keller has "slowly influenced the product choices" within the parks, the former Disney travel marketing executive said. Ultimately, the groups bringing new spending are "going to drive those decisions," this executive added. "If you look at it and you say, 'Hey, we're going to continue to do baby rides,' it's like, 'Well, wait a minute — do we really need those? Don't we have that?'"In 2021, Epcot added Space 220, an upscale restaurant designed for the Instagram age. The decor could only be described as interstellar chic — think big bay windows overlooking a simulated image of the Earth. Jason Petrina, the restaurant's general manager, told Insider he's seen more adults without kids — couples, friend groups — coming in lately, noting that many are local annual pass holders or members of Disney's timeshare program. He's gotten to know some regulars by name."They're not really concerned about spending money as long as they get a great experience," Petrina said. And that could mean springing for premium wines or lavish dishes like rib-eye steaks or lobster. He estimated that 15% to 20% of the restaurant's income stems from this group — "a huge piece of our business," he said. "If you're down 15 to 20% in sales, you might close."Drinking with mates or boozing with Mickey? How Disney's parks and retail experience is evolving.Inside the parks, signs of Disney's efforts to satisfy an older crowd — the same group it has lured to cineplexes with its investments in the Star Wars and Marvel franchises — seem ubiquitous. One of the most obvious examples is the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster, which opened in May 2022 and features preshow content starring actors like Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldaña. The coaster — which launches riders backward before hurtling them into a dark, cavernous space meant to emulate the universe at the beginning of time — features songs like "September" and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," hits likelier to perk up older ears than younger ones. This year, the Magic Kingdom added Tron: Lightcycle Run, an indoor-outdoor coaster with motorcycle-like seating. Both rides offer a far more thrill-seeking edge than stalwarts like It's a Small World.Meanwhile, Disney has said it will sunset DinoLand USA, an older corner of Animal Kingdom that featured several kid-friendly dinosaur-themed rides. Beyond that, reports in September indicated that the Magic Kingdom will debut a new tavern serving alcohol in close proximity to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and inspired by the Disney film franchise, but the precise timeline for the project is uncertain.The parks have also extended hours through their "After Dark" events, giving late-night visitors protracted access to rides. At Disneyland in California, the Anaheim parks introduced their inaugural Pride Nites this June. And this month, three Disneyland restaurants — the Carnation Cafe, River Belle Terrace, and Cafe Orleans — began serving alcohol.Plus, the company has announced new holiday offerings at Disney World's Hollywood Studios, including a series of "Jollywood Nights" throughout November and December. The events — with ticket prices ranging from $159 to $179 per person — will feature a DJ, special cocktails, "glitz and glamor galore" at a jazz lounge, and a "soiree" at the Hollywood Tower Hotel Courtyard, the site of the Tower of Terror ride.These unique experiences are casting a spell on millennial and Gen Z wallets. "When you're here, everything feels like it's laced with magic and truly pixie dust. Sure, we'll buy $20 drinks — but if we do that at a regular bar, I'm like, 'That would be crazy.' But if it's at Disney, it's fine," said Dominic, the TikTok influencer. Beyond food and beverage offerings, high-end merch throughout the parks seems to speak to Disney's desire to capture these consumer dollars. At Hollywood Studios, sleek lightsabers like the blades wielded by iconic "Star Wars" characters such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Emperor Palpatine retail for upward of $200. One Disney World worker said she'd witnessed tears welling up in many adults' eyes the first time they activated their laser swords.Also on the merchandise front, Disney has launched multiple capsule collections in partnership with glossy brands like Gucci, Dooney & Bourke, and Coach, emblazoning Disney iconography on everything from jeans to accessories, including a Coach backpack for nearly $600. Last year, in connection with the celebration of Disney World's 50th anniversary, merch designers from across the company worked on developing styles that would appeal to older shoppers, the former Disney travel marketing executive recalled. Many items intentionally emphasized fresh color schemes or iridescence to appeal to a customer with "more sophisticated" tastes, this former exec said.'Hey, there's a lot of adults in the parks. We haven't met a single kid today,' cast members sayDisney has had its eye on this demographic and its spending power for several years.In 2018, the company piloted a campaign called #HappyPlace, which mainly consisted of a series of videos incubated by teams at Yellow Shoes, Disney's internal advertising agency devoted to parks, experiences, and products. #HappyPlace content was geared toward child-free adults who were "definitely above the drinking age," said Neph Trejo, a creative director who worked for Disney until earlier this summer and was integral to the campaign's development.The videos showcased what a trip to Disney World without children could look like for adult friend groups — including sipping on sake and feasting on fresh gyros. One video posted to Trejo's website, called "Swag Safari," is set to a moody soundtrack and portrays a fictionalized trip to Animal Kingdom in which a handful of millennials embark on the Kilimanjaro Safari and, from a high-end hotel terrace, watch giraffes wake up."Our approach was to shine a light on the beautiful tapestry of people that come to Walt Disney World," Trejo said. "It's not just about rides. It's not just about churros. It's not just about Dole Whip," he added, referring to the parks' famous frozen-pineapple treat.Halle Bailey performs at Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary celebration in 2021.Kent Phillips/ABC via Getty ImagesEven Disney characters are fielding hugs and selfies with grown-up customers these days. One Disney World employee said lines to meet iconic characters can sometimes be made up of half or more adults without children. "We're like, 'Hey, there's a lot of adults in the parks. We haven't met a single kid today,'" this person said. "Or, 'I was just out there for an hour and I saw three kids the entire time of the two to three hundred people I met.'"But there's a darker side of this demo that's created pain points for some Disney workers. Some visitors get a thrill from performing stunts seemingly conjured to go viral on social media. On TikTok, examples are plentiful of teenagers and 20-somethings physically touching or recording cast members, asking personal questions to try to break their unflappable depictions of figures like Cinderella. One video shows a woman laying her hands on the chest of an actor playing Gaston from "Beauty and the Beast." The Disney World employee recalled a guest who broke park rules by lapping water from decorative fountains. Management has addressed the situation in private conversations with parks talent, according to the employee, who said Disney World has adopted a strict policy that its actors refrain from participating in social-media trends. "You can absolutely step away or you can ask for a leadership position to come over and chat with them if it's something that's uncomfortable," the person said, describing the company's guidance. "With the internet these days, everything you do is probably going to be put online at some point, so be aware of that. So it's definitely something they touch on in our training."Ultimately, though, the parks worker says the uptick in adult attendees is "an open road for new growth.""It's a lot easier to cater to an older crowd because you can better know their wants and needs, whereas with kids, kids don't even know what they want," this employee explained, pointing to the customer-experience surveys Disney sends visitors. "It's really the adults' opinions who they care about and who they're trying to cater to."'There is a tug of war from adult to family at times,' said a former Disney ImagineerJeremy Singh loved classic Disney movies growing up and still recalls the first time he set foot in the parks at age 12. He felt an instant connection."I knew from that first trip that I'd found my thing," he said. "I wanted to know more about it, how it came to be, how everything worked."But even Singh couldn't have predicted that a decade later, he'd have relocated to Orlando, where his fascination with theme parks would blossom into a career. Now, as a content creator focused on Disney World, Singh, 23, has amassed a million followers on his JeremyTheTea TikTok page, and has been hired by Disney in what he said is a bid to reach this prized young-adult demographic."I know that when I'm called to do these things, they're probably trying to get to that audience," said Singh, noting that his primary following ranges between 21 and 28 years old.Prior to the actors' strike, which has paralyzed the promotion of most new films by movie stars and online content creators alike, Singh helped support marketing efforts surrounding Disney's live-action "Little Mermaid" film earlier this year and attended a Disneyland performance by the movie's lead actor Halle Bailey that was broadcast on "American Idol." He's also been tapped to promote Disney's Halloween festivities, which he said would tie into the company's "Haunted Mansion" film premiere, inspired by the eponymous ride.Singh has become a leading voice within a burgeoning community of Disney-focused influencers that emerged during the pandemic years and, according to experts, has helped fuel adults' interest in the parks. A search for the term #DisneyWorld on TikTok reveals that the hashtag has been associated with content viewed some 20 billion times, while Disney Parks' own TikTok page has surpassed 5.7 million followers.Francis Dominic, the former parks worker turned influencer, has also been tapped to promote Disney parks and films. He cohosted an advanced screening of Disney and Pixar's "Elemental" this year alongside Patrick Dougall, another Disney creator who's built up a TikTok following of 380,000. Attendees — the vast majority of whom were millennials — were asked to dress as their favorite element inspired by the film.But even as Disney makes a concerted push to keep this all-important audience coming back, some warn that the parks can't afford to alienate their other vital fandom: kids."There is a tug of war from adult to family at times," said Mark Eades, a former Disney Imagineer in the 1980s and early '90s who's watched the brand evolve over the decades. Unless Disney can find an equilibrium that keeps both groups happy, Eades cautioned, "I think they'll realize, 'Uh-oh, we've left the kids at the door.'"It's a difficult tightrope to navigate, but it could define the future of Disney parks. Eades — a pass holder at Disneyland in Anaheim who sits on the board of the Disneyland Alumni Club, a group of roughly 400 former parks employees — likened the situation to the retro cartoons he loved watching growing up. He enjoyed them as a kid, and he still enjoys them now."If they can succeed in doing attractions and entertainment like that," Eades concluded, "that's when you hit it out of the park."Amanda Krause contributed reporting.Are you a Disney parks or Walt Disney Co. insider? Contact this reporter. Reed Alexander can be reached via email at, or SMS/the encrypted app Signal at (561) 247-5758.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 19th, 2023Related News

How to use Instagram, the wildly popular photo-sharing app with more than a billion users

Instagram is the top photo-sharing app with over a billion users. Learn how to sign up for the free social media platform, post pictures, and more. The Instagram app on an Apple iPhone.Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images Instagram is a free social media platform for sharing photos and videos with your followers. It's become an especially popular way to connect with brands, celebrities, and friends. Instagram has an array of features, from short-form videos to live streaming and private messaging. One could argue that Instagram is a social media network like no other. The popular user base platform is built almost entirely around sharing images and videos. This visual twist is why Instagram is the cultural powerhouse it is today.With over a billion registered accounts, from small businesses to large institutions, news organizations to cultural hubs, celebrities, photographers, musicians, and not to mention the cottage industry of influencers — it's hard to remember a time when Instagram didn't exist.So, if you've found yourself out of the Instagram loop, then read on. We'll give you a crash course on how the app works, how to get started, and eventually, how to get 'gramming like a pro. How to sign up for InstagramTo help you get started, let's walk through some of the basics: How to download InstagramFirst things first: You'll need to download Instagram to use the app. It's available for free on iOS, Android, and Windows devices. While there isn't an app fully optimized for iPads, you can still enjoy the full IG experience on your iPad by changing your App Store settings to find the app.How to create an Instagram accountUpon opening the app for the first time, you'll be prompted to create a new account, or log in with your Facebook account. If you choose to make a new account, the process is straightforward: you'll be asked for your phone number or email address, full name, desired username, and password.Once you create an account, it's worth noting that you can create — and switch between — multiple Instagram accounts without logging out, a very useful feature if you wish to run separate accounts for personal and professional use.Even though Instagram is designed primarily for smartphones, the desktop experience — once very limited — has steadily improved over the years. Today, you can get on Instagram from your computer and use a web browser to edit your profile, view your feed, like and comment on posts, and send and receive direct messages. You can even post on Instagram from the desktop app.Setting up your profileAfter you create your Instagram account, you're going to want to set up your profile. Your profile page is a hub for all your photos and videos where you can keep track of who you're following and who's following you. It's also where you can access your settings. InsiderProfile pages are often the first thing people visit, so it's best to keep your username, profile picture, and bio up to date. Your profile picture is the icon that appears with your username all over the platform, while your bio is a space to offer a brief description of yourself or your brand. You can also add a link in your bio, which can go to your personal website, if applicable. By clicking Edit Profile, you can make changes to your profile page at any time:How to change your Instagram profile pictureHow to change your Instagram bioHow to change your Instagram usernameIf you're running an Instagram account for your business, you can also add your location.Customizing notificationsKeeping up with your friends and followers on Instagram means making sure you're getting the right notifications, at the right time. The platform gives you the power to choose what push notifications it sends to your device.For example, perhaps you want to receive a notification when you get a new follower, or when someone comments on your post. Or maybe you're feeling inundated with pings and you would like to turn your notifications off completely. You can adjust your notifications by going into your profile, tapping the three lines in the top-right corner of the screen and selecting the three lines icon in the same location, and then tap Settings followed by Notifications.InsiderNow that you have the app downloaded, and your profile set up, it's time to start sharing.How to use InstagramAt its core, Instagram is a social media platform, and a highly visual one at that. Every time you open the app, you'll be met with a main feed of recent posts from the accounts you follow. At the bottom is a menu bar, which is accessible anywhere you are in the app.Here's what each button does, from left to right:Use these buttons to navigate between your feed, search and Explore, new post, Reels, and your profile.InsiderHome: Your main feed where you can scroll through photos and videos posted by your friends.Search and explore: The magnifying glass icon takes you to the Explore page, where you can search and browse content from accounts you don't follow but may be interested in.New post: The "plus" icon allows you to create a new story, post, Reel, or Instagram Live.Reels: This tab includes short videos (up to 90 seconds long) from users you may or may not be following. You can scroll to the next video by swiping your finger from the bottom of the screen to the top.Profile: This icon navigates to your profile page that shows your bio and posts. It's also where you can access your settings.Like other social media networks, Instagram is what you make it. For most people, checking Instagram is equal parts voyeurism and self-expression. For the entrepreneurial set, like business owners, brands, and influencers, Instagram is an indispensable marketing tool with unmatched reach.But going back to basics, Instagram works off a simple premise: You follow accounts that interest you. In turn, people follow you. Much like on Instagram's Meta app sibling Facebook, people can "like" and comment on your posts, and you can do the same to their posts. Whether you maintain a low profile or amass a following, how active you are is entirely up to you.Uploading, editing, and posting photosTo share a photo or video on Instagram, tap the plus button (located at the bottom of the screen). From there, you can select photos or videos from your phone's camera roll to post. For every post, you can choose to apply a filter, which, depending on who you ask, is either essential to the Instagram experience or unnecessary, given that many other photo editing apps come with their own filters. Filters make it easy to edit shots with different visual pre-set overlays. For example, some filters, like Mayfair, give everything a pink hue; others, like Willow, turn everything black-and-white.You can adjust how intense (or not) the filter is as well using a slider when you select the filter and then tap it one more time.There are a lot of options in Instagram's posting screen.InsiderOnce your post is to your liking and ready to go, there are a few more options you can do before you hit the share button:Add a caption: Captions are always a good idea. You can use words, emojis, or hashtags. Just like in comments, you can also mention friends by typing @ in front of their username. Keep in mind you can edit Instagram post captions at any time — or delete posts. Tag people: Instagram allows you to "tag" someone in your photos. When you tag someone, they'll get a notification in their activity feed. (This is separate from mentioning them in your caption.)Add location: Location tags lets others know where your photo was taken. Clicking on a location tag brings you to its corresponding location feed, where you can peruse other public posts.Also post to other social accounts: Instagram also gives you the ability to publish a post to other social accounts at the same time. By linking accounts, you can cross-post to Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter), and Tumblr. Exploring and finding people to followThe best way to find people to follow is by tapping the magnifying glass icon at the bottom of the app. This will open the Explore page, where you'll find a feed of suggested posts based on what Instagram thinks you're interested in.You can scroll down for more posts, or use the search function at the top to find specific accounts or posts.InsiderWhen it comes to interacting with others, Instagram works less like Facebook and more like Twitter. In most cases, you don't have to send a friend request or wait for the other person to accept it.When you follow other people, Instagram will make sure you see their posts in your feed. For the most part, people can see who you're following and who's following you, at all times.However, if you have a private account your followers are restricted and unable to view who currently follows you. Sending and receiving direct messagesInstagram's direct messaging system lets you chat privately with anyone who follows you. If you send a message to someone who doesn't follow you, that message will be sorted into its own "message requests" folder. To start the conversation, the person on the receiving end must accept the message.Direct messages are also available in the app and on the desktop website.InsiderTo access your message menu, tap the paper airplane icon in your home feed. From there, you'll be shown all the people you've had conversations with in the past. You can also tap the pen and paper icon in the top right-hand corner to start a new conversation, or the camera icon to start a video chat.Once you're in a conversation, you can send all sorts of messages. These include basic text messages, animated GIFs, and more. You can also share Instagram posts. And you can "like" messages, or delete messages if you no longer wish to see them.The only users that you'll have to ask to follow are those who have made their account private. When you tap Follow on a private profile, you'll have to wait for that user to accept you before you can officially follow them and send them a message.You can also connect your phone contacts to Instagram, which can be another great way to find friends on the app.Instagram featuresAs you might expect, Instagram rolls out new features regularly. From new content to an ever-expanding set of creative tools, Instagram offers plenty of opportunities for self-expression and creativity.Here are the latest and greatest Instagram features worth knowing:Instagram StoriesMany people use Instagram exclusively for creating and viewing Stories, which are customizable posts that only last 24 hours. These posts, which could be a mix of photos and short-form videos, are presented in a slideshow format and accessible through the top of the home feed. And when we say customizable, we mean customizable. Unlike regular posts, which include only simple filters, Stories boast all kinds of creative elements, including:Animated stickers and cartoonsPolls and quizzesDynamic song lyricsLinks to donation funds and charitiesThere are several ways to add to your Story, but the easiest is to tap your profile icon at the top-left hand corner of your home feed. From there, you can either take a photo or video live, or choose one from your phone's gallery. You'll then have the opportunity to draw, add text or any of those other creative elements we mentioned above. While Stories are designed to disappear after one day, they're automatically saved to your private Archive (which we'll explain in just a bit) after expiring. You can also create a Highlight, which will publish Stories permanently on your profile for visitors to watch at any time.Instagram LiveInstagram Live is a feature that lets you livestream, or broadcast live video, from your device to anyone who wants to watch. Viewers can send you messages and hearts while you stream, making this a great way to talk to all your followers at once, or broadcast an event.To go live on Instagram, you'll need to open Instagram and, from your feed, swipe right and select Live from the options at the bottom of the screen. You can go live for up to four hours at a time — after that, the livestream will end and you'll need to start again.ReelsBuilt as a rival to TikTok, Reels is Instagram's dedicated video platform, letting users upload videos up to 90 seconds long.Once you record a video, you can edit it and add music, text, and special effects. Other users can like or comment on your Reels videos, so they can be a fun way to attract new followers.To watch someones else's Reels, you need to tap the icon, located in the center of the bottom menu on the app. (It looks like a mashup of a play button and a clapperboard.) Here, you can watch videos that others have uploaded and make Reels of your own.Instagram ShoppingGiven Instagram's popularity, it's no surprise that brands are doing everything they can to turn Instagram users into customers. According to Instagram, nearly half of people shop on Instagram weekly. Instagram Shopping is one way to use Instagram for your business by connecting potential customers to your products.Instagram tips and tricksInstagram is simple to use, but can take a while to master. Here are some of our favorite tricks that aren't so obvious to beginners.Schedule posts in advanceInstagram has become a massive part of nearly every company's online presence, and if there's one thing that social media brand managers love, it's scheduling a post in advance.Instagram does have a native post scheduler — but that's reserved for those with professional accounts. Still, there are dozens of third-party programs, like Buffer, that can handle the scheduling for you.Save Instagram videos to your phoneIf you've found an amazing video on Instagram that you just need to save, you're in luck — there are several ways to save Instagram videos.If you're trying to save one of your own videos, it'll just take a few taps to save the video directly to your camera roll. If you're trying to save someone else's video, however, you'll need to record your screen or use a third-party app.Post different photo formatsWhen Instagram first launched in 2010, the edits were limited. You could only post square photos — anything else either wasn't allowed, or would be cut off.Nowadays, the rules are a bit more lax. But if you want to post two common photo types — panorama shots and Live Photos — you may have to make some edits beforehand.To post a panorama photo, you can either zoom out so it fits in a single photo, otherwise you'll need to split up your shots beforehand using a third-party app. If you have an iPhone and want to post a live photo, you'll need to convert it into a video first.Archive posts instead of deleting themIf you're unsure about deleting your post, Instagram offers an archive feature instead. This is great if you only want to hide a post temporarily.To archive a post, open it, tap the three dots in the top-right, and then select Archive. The post will be hidden immediately. Once you've archived a post, you can navigate to your private Archive with just a few taps.Note: Every Story you post will be saved to your Archive automatically once they expire.Privacy and securityIt's also important to manage your privacy and security settings to your liking. Manage who can see your postsLike Facebook, Instagram allows you control who can see your posts. The easiest thing to do is make your Instagram Private.When you set your account as Private, the only people who will be able to see your posts and other activity are your followers. And before people can follow you, you'll have to approve them. Another way you can do this is by setting up a Close Friends list. The Close Friends feature allows you to create Instagram Stories that can only be viewed by specific people. If you want to use Stories to send quick updates to your friends, this is the way to go.Finally, if you run a Business account and you don't want users under a certain age following, you can set an age limit on your account — the minimum age you can set depends on where you live.Change your personal account informationWe've already mentioned that you can change your username whenever you like. But if you're unhappy with how you set up your account, you can edit other pieces of information too.With just a few taps, you can change the email connected to your account. If you want to make sure your account is secure, you can change your Instagram password at any time.Download and back up your data Like most social networks, Instagram has an obscure menu that lets you download every bit of content you've ever posted on the app. This includes your photos, videos, comments, messages, profile information, and more.The only content you can't download are Stories you've posted and let expire without saving.To download your Instagram data, head to the Settings menu in your app and then select Your activity followed by Download Data. Once there, fill out the form, and your data will be emailed to you within a few days.If you don't want to download all your data, you can also simply view it in the app.Protect yourself and others from harassmentInstagram has a long set of rules to ensure that all users have a safe and fun time in the app. But like all sites, it's not hard to find people who break those rules. Other users can comment on pictures and videos that you post to a public profile - but if you want to post something without leaving it open to comments, you can disable the comments on specific posts.If you ever find a user harassing you or someone else, you can report them to Instagram. There's no guarantee that Instagram will act on the report, but alerting them to it is better than doing nothing.The bottom lineWhether you're an aspiring influencer, photography lover, or an everyday social media user, Instagram is a great place to be. It's easy to get started, so if this guide has piqued your interest, give it a try.If for whatever reason you later decide it's not for you, you can delete your Instagram account at any time. No commitment needed.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 19th, 2023Related News

Video of a cheap drone destroying an exposed T-72 hints Russian crews are still working out how to hide their tanks from a growing threat, former US general says

A former US Army general said he's shocked by Russia's poor efforts to camouflage their tanks, and it hints at larger problems in Moscow's military. A Russian Army T-72B3 main battle tank during military exercises in the Astrakhan region of Southern Russia on September 25, 2020.DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images A video surfaced online showing a seemingly exposed Russian T-72 tank struck by an FPV drone. Top US military officers took note of the lack of basic concealment or camouflage.  One former US Army general told Insider it may speak to larger issues within the Russian military. A video of what looks like a cheap drone destroying a Russian T-72 tank seems to speak to Ukraine's skillful use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in combat and shed light on potential problems within the Russian military with regard to basic training and communication of key lessons in an evolving fight, according to a former top US Army general. The video was shared online by Ukraine war monitors on Monday, although it's unclear exactly when and where it was recorded, and appears to show a T-72 tank relatively exposed amid some shrubbery near dirt roads without obvious camouflage, making it a prime target for a first-person view (FPV) drone rigged with an explosive.The UAV seems to identify the tank before diving and slamming into it, causing a massive explosion. In the aftermath, the T-72 is completely ruined, with flaming pieces of the wreckage spread around the area. The tank's turret is one of the pieces that goes flying, a long-standing issue with the old Soviet-era tanks. —Saint Javelin (@saintjavelin) September 18, 2023 It's far from a novel occurrence. Throughout the war, a variety of videos have been shared on Telegram and by open-source intelligence accounts documenting FPV kamikaze drones destroying Russian tanks. It's an asymmetrical loss for Moscow, as expensive, valuable assets and crews are struck and eliminated by comparatively cheap UAVs, which Ukraine has been employing in large numbers and with great skill. But this specific video sparked reactions from former top US military officers, with James Stavridis, a retired US Navy admiral and a former top NATO commander, posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, that "it appears this Russian tank is going to need more than a little time in the shop" and Mark Hertling, a retired US Army general and a former head of US Army Europe saying "this one won't be back in the motor pool by Friday."Ben Hodges, a retired lieutenant general and former commander of US Army Europe, posted more pointed criticism. "I continue to be surprised by the poor camouflage and ineffective efforts at concealment by Russian forces," he wrote. "Basic field craft. But it requires experienced demanding Sergeants." Hodges told Insider the Russian tank looked to be "easily identifiable from the air," and considering that both sides of the war have been building seemingly endless stockpiles of drones to launch at one another, the Russian crew needed to be conscious of being spotted.He added that efforts to conceal the tank and make it harder to target could have included net and foliage that breaks up the hard outlines of the vehicle. Or Russian forces could've taken a more modern approach — flying their own drones above their position to scout, protect, and counter-attack.The lack of such efforts and the certainly fatal results may reflect deeper, underlying issues for the Russian military. A single incident alone might not, but failures in basic tactics appear frequently in videos of Russian troops in action.Eighteen months into this war, training and the communication of lessons from the battlefield across the force appear to be a significant problems for Russian forces. And one of the most glaring aspects of these issues seems to be a lack of experienced troops training fresher, younger recruits on "things like tactical concealment," Hodges said. A Russian army T-72-B3 tank fires during military exercises at the Raevsky range in Southern Russia on September 23, 2020 during the "Caucasus-2020" military drills gathering China, Iran, Pakistan and Myanmar troops, along with ex-Soviet Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty ImagesDrone warfare has taken the center stage in Ukraine, painting a clear picture of what future conflicts involving UAVs could look like. Russian and Ukrainian FPV drones are pummeling tanks while other drones drop bombs on soldiers.Meanwhile, Ukraine has demonstrated a special talent for driving unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) like exploding drone boats into Russian ships and bridges, making the Black Sea a nightmare to navigate. Russian, on the other hand, has used loitering munitions like the Shahed-136 to ruthlessly attack civilian targets. Both the Ukrainians and Russians are having to adapt to the growing threat of drones on the battlefield, and it's something that both sides struggle with. Some crews react better than others, but one thing Ukraine has that Russia does not is a strong noncommissioned officer (NCO) corps able to instill critical lessons across the armed forces. And casualties are only making the problem worse for Russia."This has never been a strong suit in the Russian Army, but they've lost so many of their experienced soldiers by now that the problem is even worse," he added. Ukraine spent years building a Western-style military structure, giving them a stronger support network across ranks. But Russia lacks a similar corps of noncommissioned officers, and many of their more experienced units have been decimated by high casualties and filled with lackluster replacements. That's left the Russian military weak in leadership and experience at the tactical level, resulting in a regular stream of videos of Russian armor driving into a well-executed ambush, attack helicopters flying into air defenses, and exposed infantry clustering within range of rocket artillery. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 19th, 2023Related News

The tumultuous life of Alexei Navalny, Russia"s outspoken dissident who has been sentenced to 19 years in prison

Alexei Navalny has been a thorn in Putin's side for 15 years as an anti-corruption blogger, and later as an independent politician. Alexei Navalny attends a rally in support of political prisoners in Moscow, Russia.Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Alexei Navalny, Russia's most famous living dissident, made a name for himself as an anti-corruption blogger. His videos linked bureaucrats to palaces and yachts, gained millions of views, and sparked protests. In 2013, Navalny ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Moscow and — despite a conviction that barred him from running — also attempted to run for president in the 2018 election. Last month, Alexei Navalny — a famously outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin — had 19 years added to his prison sentence. Navalny, 47, has been a thorn in Putin's side for 15 years — first as an anti-corruption blogger, and later as an independent politician running and campaigning in local and national elections. Navalny has often used humor to take on Putin. He dubbed Putin's political party United Russia "the party of Crooks and Thieves," and called Putin "a thieving little man in a bunker."In 2020, he almost died after he was poisoned with a nerve agent, allegedly by Russian agents.He was flown to Germany for treatment.Once he recovered, he returned to Russia knowing he would be imprisoned. He's now locked in a remote penal colony that's typically reserved for those accused of violent crimes and incarcerated people serving life terms.Alexei Navalny was born on June 4, 1976, in Butyn, a town west of Moscow.Alexei Navalny speaks during a rally against parliament elections in Moscow, Russia.Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty ImagesHis father was a Red Army soldier, and his mother was an economist.Until he was 10, he spent his summers with his grandfather, who lived in the countryside near Chernobyl. But that came to an end in 1986 after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. As he grew up, his family moved between military towns in the Moscow area.After failing to get into Moscow State University, Navalny went to Peoples' Friendship University of Russia where he studied law. He graduated in 1998.He wasn't particularly fond of his university education and found it uninspiring, recalling he once put $50 in the exam book to get a passing grade.Alexei Navalny poses in his office in Moscow, Russia.Alexander Zemlianichenko/APHe later earned a degree in economics, graduating in 2001.Navalny got his first taste of corruption working as a real estate lawyer.Alexei Navalny attends a meeting of the organizers in Moscow, Russia.Yevgeny Feldman/AP"Working there taught me how things are done on the inside, how intermediary companies are built, how money is shuttled around," he told the New Yorker.During this period of his life, his friends described him as a right-wing "punk."In 1999, Navalny joined the Yabloko party, a liberal group his mother supported that formed after the Soviet Union collapsed.Alexei Navalny speaks in his office in Moscow.Oxana Onipko/AFP via Getty ImagesThe following year, Vladimir Putin was elected president. Soon after, debates and elections became infrequent and Yabloko became less relevant.Regardless, Navalny wasn't impressed with Yabloko's internal politics. He later told the New Yorker the party struggled to reconcile "normal people" and a radical group who had been political in the 1980s before the Soviet Union collapsed.Navalny clashed with the party when he posted several controversial videos, including a 2007 pro-gun rights video where he suggested that Muslim militants are "cockroaches" that need to be exterminated.Alexei Navalny speaks at a meeting in Moscow, Russia.Mikhail Metzel/APIn the video, he pretends to shoot an actor wearing a kaffiyeh who runs up to attack him.In 2007, Navalny was kicked out of Yabloko. Party members said it was because of his "nationalistic activities." He had also gone to nationalist marches that were attended by uninvited neo-Nazis. He argued it was worse to ignore the movement and that these events had regular people, too. His reasoning was later summed up by Daniel Roher, who directed the documentary, "Navalny."Roher told NPR Navalny had said, "How can I afford to alienate these crazy guys? Their goal is to get Putin out of power. And my goal is to get Putin out of power. Fine. We might as well join forces." In 2008, Navalny began to make a name for himself as an anti-corruption blogger.Alexei Navalny speaks to his supporters and media after his release from a detention center in Moscow, Russia.Mikhail Metzel/APHe used data and "relentless, paint-stripping contempt" to attack the government, as described by the New York Times. It helped that Russia was experiencing an internet boom at the time. By 2011, a quarter of Russian families had broadband internet. Navalny's videos were popular with a younger audience, attracted not by his ideology "but the confident challenge he mounts to the system," the New York Times published in a 2011 profile.He started buying stocks in state-owned companies, including oil and gas monopolies, so he could ask questions as a shareholder and see how the companies worked from within.Alexei Navalny takes part in a march at Strastnoy Boulevard in Moscow, Russia.Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesHe soon found discrepancies. One company barely provided dividends but had donated $300 million to "charities" that no one could see. In another state-owned oil company, he discovered a $4 billion government corruption scheme.His report received 1 million views on the day it was published.When other companies refused to provide shareholder information, he sued them, then republished the information on his blogs.Navalny was aware of how dangerous his work was.Alexei Navalny attends a rally in support of political prisoners in Prospekt Sakharova Street in Moscow, Russia.Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesIn 2011, Nikolai Tokarev, the chief executive of the state-controlled petroleum company, Transneft, accused Navalny of being a Western agent working for the CIA.Navalny had just spent a year in the US studying at Yale University in 2010.In response to Tokarev's claim, Navalny provided his wife with a list of names to contact if he suddenly vanished."They could arrest me at any moment," Navalny told The Times.That same year, he founded the Anti-Corruption Foundation, or FBK for short.Alexei Navalny speaks during an opposition rally in central Moscow, Russia.Alexey Sazonov/AFP/Getty ImagesThrough the foundation, he hired several activists who continued exposing corruption. The foundation's investigations took aim at the authority and reputations of officials across Russia. One of its most famous investigations was a short documentary on then-President Dmitry Medvedev's hidden wealth. The documentary played clips of his duck pond and huge shoe collection, according to the Conversation.In response to the foundation's work, the Kremlin later labeled it a "foreign agent" and "undesirable."During 2011 and 2012, Navalny's popularity grew as he campaigned to get people to vote for politicians running against Putin's party, United Russia.Alexei Navalny was detained by Russian police officers during a protest in Moscow.Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty ImagesNavalny famously called United Russia the "Party of Crooks and Thieves."There were widespread protests across Russia after United Russia still won the most seats.In 2013, Navalny ran for mayor of Moscow.Alexei Navalny takes part in a televised debate with former Kremlin adviser Andrei Illarionov in Moscow.Misha Japaridze/APNavalny ran a grassroots campaign meeting with voters outside metro stations and passing out posters. He didn't win, but he came second out of six candidates after winning 27% of the vote.It was the first time there had been an election for the city in nearly 10 years after mayoral elections were banned in Moscow in 2004.He told Foreign Affairs he hadn't wanted to run for office but was left with little choice. "When this system controls the courts, the prosecutor's office, and everything else on earth, you have to change the system itself, that's all," he said.During his mayoral run, he was also on trial for embezzlement.Alexei Navalny seen behind the bars in the police van after he was detained during protests in Moscow, Russia.Sergey Ponomarev/APHe was accused of stealing about $500,000 from a timber company, despite the accusation being dismissed earlier after a European human rights court found procedural violations in the first trial.The case was reopened, and Navalny was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison in 2013.Within hours, thousands of unsanctioned protesters — meaning they faced the risk of being arrested — gathered in Moscow. His sentence was suspended and he was released the next day. Despite the conviction and loss of the election, all of the publicity transitioned Navalny from "a widely followed blogger and activist into a respected orator and politician," Joshua Yaffa wrote for Foreign Affairs.The following year though, Navalny was accused of fraud alongside his younger brother, Oleg.Police officers detain Alexei Navalny after his visit to the city's election commission office to submit documents to get registered as a mayoral election candidate in Moscow, Russia.Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty ImagesNavalny and his brother were accused of defrauding clients of a shipping company that they had started in 2008. Navalny was placed under house arrest — meaning no access to phones, internet, or other people.During his house arrest, he kept busy by studying the internet — in particular, memes and viral hits. Later in 2014, Navalny was convicted and given a suspended sentence of 3.5 years. He was released in 2015 on the same day Time magazine released its list of the internet's most influential people.Navalny was on the list next to Justin Bieber and former President Barack Obama.Navalny's brother, Oleg, was convicted and given a 3.5-year prison sentence.Alexei Navalny and his brother, Oleg Navalny.Dmitry Serebryakov/AFP/Getty ImagesIt was seen as a tactic by the Russian government to keep Navalny under control. By 2020, Navalny himself had been to jail 13 times. The government didn't stop there. It froze his bank accounts and imposed hefty fines for hundreds of thousands of dollars, which he struggled to pay off.His critics also pointed to the fact he didn't have a clear idea of what he wanted Russia's future to look like. In general, Navalny said he hoped Russia would "resemble a huge, irrational, metaphysical Canada," but his main focus was on loosening Putin's grip on the country.In late 2016, Navalny announced his run for president for the 2018 election.Alexei Navalny is seen before his visit to the Russian Central Election Commission in Moscow, Russia.Evgeny Feldman for Alexei Navalny's campaign/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesNavalny was implicitly barred from running because he was a convicted felon, but that didn't stop him. He opened more than 80 political campaign offices across Russia and called for a nationwide boycott of the election.Putin was re-elected with 76.7% of the vote, according to Central Election Commission data.In August 2020, Navalny was on a flight back from Siberia where he had been campaigning when he suddenly collapsed.An empty stretcher was believed to have carried Alexei Navalny into the German hospital.Markus Schreiber/APNavalny said Russian agents had applied a nerve agent called novichok to his underpants. This was later confirmed by the German government, although Putin denied the accusation. After international pressure, he was allowed to be flown to Germany for treatment. He was in a coma for a fortnight. Even after he woke up, he had back pain and lost control of his legs.Navalny claimed he later managed to trick a Russian agent into confessing by calling and pretending to be an official demanding to know why the assassination had failed.In 2021, after he had recovered, Navalny decided to return to Russia.Alexei Navalny, who was arrested during an anti-corruption rally, gestures during an appeal hearing at a court in Moscow, Russia.Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty ImagesHe was arrested as soon as he got off the plane. When news of his arrest got out, protests occurred across 180 different cities and towns. The foundation then released a video tying Putin to a 190,000-square-foot billion-dollar palace he secretly owned, which was built with taxpayer funds. In May, Insider published annotated versions of diagrams of the palace.  In June, the Russian government reacted by banning the foundation and closing down 40 of its regional offices.Navalny's days of freedom also appear to be over.Alexei Navalny is seen on a screen via a video link from his penal colony during court hearings t the Russia's Supreme Court in Moscow, Russia.Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty ImagesIn 2021, he was sentenced to almost three years in a penal colony. Another nine years were added in 2022 for additional charges, and he was regularly locked in solitary confinement. In 2022, Navalny was on the cover of Time magazine, described as "The Man Putin Fears," and a CNN documentary about his life called "Navalny" won an Oscar for best documentary. Navalny's colleague, Maria Pevchikh, who is exiled from Russia, spoke about why the documentary was significant, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Putin wants Navalny to be irrelevant. We were aware that this film was life insurance," she said.Despite international support, Navalny was moved to IK-6 prison, a remote penal colony that's typically reserved for those accused of violent crimes and incarcerated people serving life terms.A screen shows Alexei Navalny as he listens to his verdict over a series of extremism charges at the IK-6 penal colony.Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty ImagesIn August, 19 more years were added to his sentence based on charges of extremism. Navalny said Putin's main "gripe" with him was that he would be remembered for poisoning Navalny."We had Alexander the Liberator, Yaroslav the Wise, and we will have Vladimir the Underpants Poisoner," he said.Navalny hasn't given up hope and told his allies "not to lose the will to resist."Activists of the Russian community in Italy demonstrate for the freedom of Alexei Navalny and all Russian political prisoners.Simona Granati/Corbis/Getty Images"I understand perfectly that, as many political prisoners, I'm serving a life sentence, which is measured by the length of my life or the length of life of this regime," he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 19th, 2023Related News

Russell Brand Demonetized After Sexual Assault Claims

Russell Brand Demonetized After Sexual Assault Claims YouTube has demonetized Russell Brand's channel following allegations that the British comedian raped one woman and sexually assaulted three others between 2006 and 2013 - allegations which remained un-alleged for a decade, until Brand appeared on Tucker Carlson's show six weeks ago. In a video released before the Sunday Times published the allegations, Brand, 48, denied "serious criminal allegations" and said that while he has a history of promiscuity, all of his relationships "were absolutely, always consensual." According to YouTube, it stopped monetizing Brand's channel because he violated their "creator responsibility policy." "If a creator’s off-platform behaviour harms our users, employees or ecosystem, we take action to protect the community," a YouTube spokesperson told Deadline. His content will remain on YouTube, but he will no longer be able to make money from the videos, which lean heavily into internet conspiracies about politics, Covid, and UFOs. Sara McCorquodale, chief executive of social media analysis agency CORQ, told The Guardian that Brand makes an estimated £2,000 ($2,500) to £4,000 per video, which would equate to up to £1M a year if he published five a week. -Deadline Brand's channel has 6.6M subscribers. According to tech journalist Chris Stokel-Walker, Brand could make up to $1M per year from his YouTube videos. The Metropolitan Police said on Monday that they had received a "report of sexual assault" in 2003 against Brand. His accuser alleges she was assaulted in Soho, London.  Meanwhile, the BBC has announced it's launched an investigation into Brand. "We've reviewed that content and made a considered decision to remove some of it, having assessed that it now falls below public expectations," a spokesperson said. Brand rose to fame in the early 2000s as a stand-up comedian and a host of shows, before moving on to Hollywood. The curious timing of Brand's #MeToo claims as his star rises on the right has led to a robust defense of the Brit. Name any topic in the news that got more investigative energy from the press than Russell Brand's sex life. Meanwhile, here are a few things they missed. — Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) September 19, 2023 Russell Brand, a person I consider a friend, has been accused of rape, sexual assault, and abuse between 2006 to 2013 in a supposed "exposé" from the Sunday Times in the U.K.. I didn't know Russell during that time, but the media did. They knew that Russell Brand was not only… — Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 18, 2023 If Russell Brand had just made the requisite celebrity pilgrimage to Zelensky and kept his mouth shut about the Covidians he would have dodged this bullet. Whatever the merits of the allegations might be, this much is obvious. — Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) September 18, 2023 Russell Brand dropped some facts on Bill Maher’s show about big pharma, the military industrial complex, and the banking industry. Was this when they decided he needed to be taken down? — Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 17, 2023 Many may not remember this. Julian Assange was suddenly accused of rape after he began exposing government abuse of power, fraud and corruption via Wikileaks. One woman said she was 'half asleep.' Just like Russell Brand, the corrupt media convicted him before any court hearing.… — Simon Ateba (@simonateba) September 18, 2023   Tyler Durden Tue, 09/19/2023 - 11:05.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 19th, 2023Related News

A Cuban teenager was offered a job doing "construction work" in Russia. Instead he was sent to fight on the front lines in Ukraine.

A 19-year-old Cuban accepted a job offer he received on WhatsApp to do construction work but ended up in the trenches in Ukraine, per Time. The gutted remains of a destroyed Russian tank lies at the front line in Ukraine.Alex Babenko/AP Photo A Cuban teenager accepted a job offer to do construction work for the Russian military. Instead, he was sent to fight on the front lines of the war in Ukraine, Time reported. The US State Department said it is "deeply concerned" that young Cubans are being deceived. A Cuban teenager unwittingly found himself on the front lines of the war in Ukraine after accepting a job offer he received on WhatsApp to do "construction work" for the Russian military, according to Time magazine.Alex Vegas Díaz, 19, and a friend were taken to a military base, outfitted with weapons, and then sent to fight, according to Time, which reviewed social media footage posted by Vegas Díaz.In one of the videos, dated August 31, which went viral, Vegas Díaz can be seen in a Russian hospital recovering from an unspecified illness. According to Time, he said he was due to be sent back to the front upon recovery.From his hospital bed, he pleaded to "help get us out of here," adding: "What is happening in Ukraine is ugly—to see people with their heads open before you, to see how people are killed, feel the bombs falling next to you."According to Time, Vegas Díaz said in one video: "There are dead Cubans, there are missing Cubans, and this is not going to end until the war is over."He added: "We know that Cuba is aware and our advice to Cubans is not to come here. This is the craziest thing. Crazy. Don't do it."Time reported that Vegas Díaz became part of a large operation that openly recruited hundreds of Cubans to join the Russian army to fight in Ukraine.According to the magazine, the recruitment effort involved adverts for job contracts with the Ministry of Defence in Russia that began to appear on Cuban Facebook groups in June.It said that recruits were offered 204,000 rubles, or $2,120 US dollars, to sign up.Average monthly salaries in Cuba are dramatically lower, making it an enticing prospect.Time reviewed the job contracts, which it said required a one-year commitment, but came with an enlistment fee and a payout for the families of recruits if they are killed in action.The exact number of Cubans recruited through this initiative remains uncertain, with estimates provided to Time ranging from hundreds to more than a thousand.Though Cuba's foreign ministry described the recruitment effort as a "human trafficking network," four Cuba experts and former US officials expressed skepticism to TimeThey said that the Cuban government, a long-standing ally of Russia, may be using such language to maintain the appearance of a neutral stance in the Ukraine conflict, Time reported.Regardless of the nature or provenance of the recruitment drive, there is concern in the US that recruits such as Vegas Díaz may have been deceived into accepting job offers.The State Department said in a statement provided to Time that "we are deeply concerned that young Cubans may have been deceived and recruited to fight for Russia in its brutal full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and we continue to monitor this situation closely."The US State Department did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 19th, 2023Related News

10 Best Ad-tech Stocks To Buy Now

In this piece, we will take a look at the ten best advertisement technology stocks to buy now. If you want to skip our introduction to the advertisement industry, then take a look at 5 Best Ad-tech Stocks To Buy Now. Money makes the world go around, and most firms earn money by running advertisements. […] In this piece, we will take a look at the ten best advertisement technology stocks to buy now. If you want to skip our introduction to the advertisement industry, then take a look at 5 Best Ad-tech Stocks To Buy Now. Money makes the world go around, and most firms earn money by running advertisements. Advertisements inform consumers about a product, its features, and whether it can meet an existing need or requirement. Marketing campaigns are an integral part of new product launches, whether they are from the corporate titan Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) or relatively smaller companies such as Nike, Inc. (NYSE:NKE). For consumer facing firms at least, making sure that customers have brand recognition and loyalty leads to steady revenue flow over the years. However, the era of the Internet spurred by the growth in consumer technology has changed the landscape for advertisers. Running ads is quite an old industry that has grown in tune with information media. While campaigns of the late 1900s had to focus on newspapers and magazines, the Internet has changed the way in which firms attract consumers to their products. The technical nature of connectivity requires sifting through hundreds and thousands of people to pick out those that might be suitable for a campaign. These campaigns are typically run by advertising companies, and the ecosystem for firms that play a role from the creation of an ad to its delivery to the end consumer is called advertising technology. Revenue from ads has helped one of the biggest search engines in the world, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). Alphabet derives more than half of its revenue from the business division termed ‘Google Search’, and this business generates money by providing placement for advertisements.  According to Alphabet, Google Search generates revenue through performance and brand advertising. In its 10-K, the firm outlines: Performance advertising creates and delivers relevant ads that users will click on, leading to direct engagement with advertisers. Most of our performance advertisers pay us when a user engages in their ads. Performance advertising lets our advertisers connect with users while driving measurable results. Our ads tools allow performance advertisers to create simple text-based ads that appear on Google Search & other properties, YouTube and the properties of Google Network Members. In addition, Google Network Members use our platforms to display relevant ads on their properties, generating revenues when site visitors view or click on the ads. We continue to invest in our advertising programs and make significant upgrades. Brand advertising helps enhance users’ awareness of and affinity with advertisers’ products and services, through videos, text, images, and other interactive ads that run across various devices. We help brand advertisers deliver digital videos and other types of ads to specific audiences for their brand-building marketing campaigns. However, Alphabet’s multi billion dollar business is just one part of the advertising technology ecosystem. To run ads, creators must make them and tailor them according to the needs of the customers. Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META) is another mega cap technology giant that plays a crucial role in this ecosystem. Its primary social media platform Facebook has a repository of the trends and preferences of millions of users, and Facebook can use it to inform advertisers about the right set of customers for their campaigns. Along this food chain are several other large players, such as Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) and Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) that enable marketing teams to run targeted campaigns and create new content. Safe to say, the ad tech market is quite sizeable and also one that is taking full advantage of recent trends in artificial intelligence. Shifting back to Alphabet, it has also started to integrate AI into Search, and a big reason behind the surge in the share price of Meta this year has been spurred by the potential of the firm to utilize its user data to run AI driven targeted campaigns. Like any industry though, the ad tech industry is also vulnerable to economic uncertainty. The demand for ads reduced during the coronavirus pandemic as firms delayed their campaigns to resume activities when lockdowns were over and foot traffic and global air travel resumed. However, Google Search has been thriving for years now, since it has grown its revenue each calendar year since 2019. Alphabet’s Google Search revenue has grown by roughly 60% since 2019, at a time when other firms often saw their net sales drop. As to the future of Search, here’s what Alphabet executives had to say during the firm’s latest earnings call: It’s worth reiterating that while generative AI is now supercharging new and existing ads products with tons of potential ahead, AI has been at the core of our ads business for years. In fact, today, nearly 80% of advertisers already use at least one AI-powered search ads product. Our approach to AI and ads remains grounded in understanding what drives real value for businesses right now and what’s most helpful for users. Advertisers tell us they’re looking for more assistive experience to get set up with us faster. So at GML, we launched a new conversational experience in Google Ads powered by a LLM tuned specifically from ads data to make campaign construction easier than ever. Advertisers also tell us they want help creating high-quality ads that work in an instant. So, we’re rolling out a revamped asset creation flow in Performance Max that helps customers adapt and scale their most successful creative concepts in a few clicks. And there’s even more with PMax. We launched a new asset insights and new search term insights that improve campaign performance understanding and new customer life cycle goals that led advertisers optimize for new and existing customers while maximizing sales. With these details in mind, let’s take a look at some top ad tech stocks, out of which the notable ones are Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Pixabay/ Public Domain Our Methodology To compile our list of the best ad tech stocks, we used our previous coverage and the holdings of the SmartETFs Advertising & Marketing Technology ETF to compile a list of 30 advertising technology companies. Then, the number of hedge funds that had invested in them as of Q2 2023 end was determined through Insider Monkey’s database of 910 hedge funds and the top ten ad tech stocks are as follows. 10 Best Ad-tech Stocks To Buy Now 10. Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) Q2 2023 Hedge Fund Holdings: 36 Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) is a Chinese technology company that runs a search engine and other applications that allow people to connect online. The firm’s second quarter results were a breath of fresh air for the Chinese technology industry as Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) managed to beat analyst estimates by a wide margin. During Q2 2023, 36 out of the 910 hedge funds part of Insider Monkey’s database had held a stake in Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU). Out of these, the firm’s largest shareholder is John W. Rogers’ Ariel Investments since it owns 2.7 million shares that are worth $377 million. Along with Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) is a top ad tech stock that hedge funds are buying. 9. The Trade Desk, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTD) Q2 2023 Hedge Fund Holdings: 37 The Trade Desk, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTD) is a pureplay ad tech firm that allows customers to run and manage their advertising campaigns. Its shares are rated Buy on average and the firm has beaten analyst EPS estimates in all four of its latest quarters. As of June 2023, 37 out of the 910 hedge funds polled by Insider Monkey had bought the firm’s shares.  is The Trade Desk, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTD)’s biggest hedge fund investor through its $ stake. 8. Atlassian Corporation (NASDAQ:TEAM) Q2 2023 Hedge Fund Holdings: 39 Atlassian Corporation (NASDAQ:TEAM) is a software company that develops products to enable teams to work with each other. Its revenue and business performance are tied to corporate budgets. Its CEO Scott Farqhuar is currently going against the tide when it comes to technology firms seeking reversal of work of home trends, as he recently shared that he has seen no effects on productivity from remote work. By the end of this year’s second quarter, 39 out of the 910 hedge funds profiled by Insider Monkey had invested in Atlassian Corporation (NASDAQ:TEAM). 7. ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ZI) Q2 2023 Hedge Fund Holdings: 42 ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ZI) provides a search platform that enables businesses to search for customers to target through advertisements. The firm’s stock is down 41% year to date, as the shares tumbled by a whopping 27% at July end after its latest earnings report disappointed investors. During 2023’s June quarter, 42 out of the 910 hedge funds polled by Insider Monkey were ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ZI)’s investors. The firm’s biggest hedge fund investor is Mick Hellman’s HMI Capital due to a $274 million stake. 6. HubSpot, Inc. (NYSE:HUBS) Q2 2023 Hedge Fund Holdings: 57 HubSpot, Inc. (NYSE:HUBS) is a pureplay advertising technology firm that provides software for marketing and customer relationship management. The firm had a strong start to September as it introduced AI based upgrades to its platform which seek to enable customers to predict the outcomes of their strategic plans before putting them into action. After digging through 910 hedge fund portfolios for their Q2 2023 shareholdings, Insider Monkey discovered that 57 had held a stake in the company. HubSpot, Inc. (NYSE:HUBS)’s largest shareholder out of these is Colin Moran’s Abdiel Capital Advisors since it owns 1.1 million shares that are worth $604 million. Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), HubSpot, Inc. (NYSE:HUBS), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL), and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) are some best ad tech stocks. Click to continue reading and see 5 Best Ad-tech Stocks To Buy Now. Suggested articles: 10 Best ESG ETFs 12 Best Small-Cap Value ETFs 12 Best Large-Cap Value ETFs Disclosure: None. 10 Best Ad-tech Stocks To Buy Now is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeySep 19th, 2023Related News

25 Passive Income Ideas to Make Money & Build Wealth in 2023

In this article, we discuss 25 passive income ideas to make money & build wealth in 2023. You can skip our detailed analysis of passive income and its benefits in today’s world, and go directly to read 5 Passive Income Ideas to Make Money & Build Wealth in 2023.  The concept of passive income is […] In this article, we discuss 25 passive income ideas to make money & build wealth in 2023. You can skip our detailed analysis of passive income and its benefits in today’s world, and go directly to read 5 Passive Income Ideas to Make Money & Build Wealth in 2023.  The concept of passive income is becoming increasingly popular as more people are leaning towards side jobs. A survey by Zapier from May 2022 found that 36% of Gen Xers have a side job, while 59% of Gen Zers and 61% of millennials have one. Gen Zers, in particular, make around $9,537 annually from their side gigs. These side hustles can be a very good way to supplement income, though they are not typically considered passive income sources. However, some side hustles may become more passive over time as people streamline operations, delegate tasks, or automate processes. Earlier this year, CNBC did a report on Jasmine McCall, a 31-year-old entrepreneur who makes $105,000 a month in passive income from her side hustle. Passive income typically comes from investments, assets, or activities that require minimal ongoing effort once set up. Last year’s inflation increased the appeal of passive investing in stocks, particularly dividend-paying stocks. Passive equity funds, which are primarily designed for long-term capital appreciation and wealth accumulation, are about to achieve a significant milestone. Their total assets worldwide are soon going to surpass the assets of actively managed funds, a trend that has been developing for over a decade, as reported by Societe Generale. According to James Seyffart of Bloomberg Intelligence, passive investing has been growing consistently in the US. Currently, passive mutual funds or passive ETFs own about 19% of the shares of the typical publicly traded U.S. stock. This ownership has tripled since 2013. AI and Passive Income  In a recent survey conducted by GOBankingRates, people were asked about their thoughts on using artificial intelligence (AI) to generate passive income. The results were positive, with 45% of respondents expressing their interest in using AI for passive income, and an extra 8% mentioned they had already done so. AI-focused companies like Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META) can potentially help people earn passive income. The company with its expansive digital ecosystem, offers opportunities for passive income through advertising revenue for content creators on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Similarly,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) utilizes AI in various aspects of its business, including its e-commerce and cloud services. Earning passive income through the company can be achieved through various avenues, primarily by participating in its affiliate program, publishing ebooks on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), or utilizing Amazon’s print-on-demand services. All these strategies mentioned above can help generate passive income, but investing in dividend-paying stocks is also a dependable way to make money passively. Companies like The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), and PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) are some well-known companies that have raised their dividends for decades, providing a regular stream of income to investors. Earning passive income can be a good idea when it aligns with one’s financial goals, risk tolerance, and available resources. Diversifying income sources and planning for the long term can enhance financial well-being. In this article, we will discuss 25 best passive income ideas to build wealth in 2023. Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash Our Methodology: For this list, we scoured through several credible and expert sources, including Forbes, Reddit, CNBC, Barron’s, and Business Insider, renowned for their insights and expertise in the field of finance and passive income. By aggregating information from these reputable outlets, we aimed to identify common threads and consensus recommendations regarding strategies for generating passive income. Our goal was to offer a curated selection of passive income ideas that have garnered recognition and success among individuals pursuing passive income. 25. Music and Photo Licensing A music license is permission granted to use copyrighted music. It’s commonly used in movies, TV shows, commercials, online videos, and any visual content that wants to use a song legally. It is one of the best passive income ideas as the process involves creating high-quality content, registering copyrights, and uploading work to licensing platforms like Shutterstock, Inc. (NYSE:SSTK), Adobe Stock, or music libraries. Shutterstock remained popular among elite funds in Insider Monkey’s database, as 31 hedge funds owned stakes in the company at the end of Q2 2023, up from 25 in the previous quarter. 24. Rent out Your Spare Room Earning passive income by renting out a spare room in your home can be a lucrative way to make extra money. However, it is always advised to check local laws and regulations regarding room rentals. Some areas may have specific rules, permits, or taxes related to short-term rentals. Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABNB) is one of the most well-known platforms for renting out spare rooms and entire homes to travelers. ABNB has delivered a 68.14% return to shareholders since the start of 2023, as of September 16. 23. Record Audiobooks Recording audiobooks is next on our list of the best passive income ideas. It is important to choose a niche or genre of audiobooks and invest in good recording equipment to create professional-quality audiobooks. Distribution platforms like Audible allow the publishing of these audiobooks and make them available for sale on major audiobooks retailers such as iTunes and, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). 22. Buy and Sell Websites Buying and selling websites for passive income can be a profitable online business model. It involves acquiring existing websites, improving them, and then selling them for a profit. It is also important to continuously monitor the website’s performance, make necessary adjustments, and track key metrics like traffic, revenue, and profitability. 21. Develop a Niche Job Board Developing a niche job board refers to creating an online platform or website that specializes in listing job opportunities within a specific industry, profession, or category. Unlike general job search websites like Indeed or LinkedIn, which cover a wide range of job types and industries, a niche job board focuses on a particular niche or sector. After setting up the job board, making money by charging companies for posting job listings is a good way to earn passive income. Indeed, SimplyHired, and CareerBuilder are some of the most prominent websites that operate niche job boards. 20. Sell Your Notes Selling notes typically involves creating and selling study or course materials, lecture notes, or educational content to students or learners. Well-researched, organized, and easy-to-understand notes provide real value to the target audience and are and are priced competitively. Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) is one of the largest online marketplaces for educational resources. It allows teachers and educators to sell their lesson plans, worksheets, and other educational materials. 19. Run an Affiliate Marketing Business Running an affiliate marketing business is next on our list of the best passive income ideas. It involves promoting other companies’ products or services and earning commissions for driving sales or leads to those businesses. Consistent, quality content and effective SEO can help maintain a steady flow of commissions, making it a potentially lucrative source of passive income over the long term., Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s affiliates program is one of the largest and most popular. Users can promote a wide range of products on the Amazon platform and earn commissions on sales generated through your affiliate links. 18. Create a Mobile App Creating a mobile app can be a potential source of passive income. People should either create the app themselves if they have the skills or hire a developer. It is important to make sure that the app is user-friendly, well-designed, and functions smoothly. The monetization strategy works best when earning passive income. 17. Purchase ATMs Purchasing ATMs involves a specific business model and understanding of the ATM industry but it can be a very reliable way to earn passive income. When someone uses the ATM to withdraw cash, they are charged a fee for convenience, a part of which goes to the ATM owner. 16. Start an E-Commerce Store Starting an e-commerce store is one of the most popular passive income ideas today. The pandemic of 2020 has boosted online shopping and income seekers are trying to make the most of this trend. According to a report on digital shopping, more than 265 million consumers in the US are expected to be shopping online in 2023. People can earn passive income by setting up an online retail business that operates with minimal day-to-day involvement once it’s established. E-commerce platforms like Shopify Inc. (NYSE:SHOP) can help build and host an online store. In the second quarter of 2023, Shopify generated nearly $1.7 billion in revenues, which showed a 31% growth from the same period last year. 15. Peer-to-Peer Car Rentals Peer-to-peer car rental is a practice where individuals rent their private vehicles to others on a short-term basis, usually through an online platform or app. It is a profitable venture, especially if the vehicles are underutilized. However, it’s crucial to provide excellent customer service, maintain your vehicles, and understand the terms and conditions of the platform you choose. Getaround, Inc. (NYSE:GETR) offers peer-to-peer car sharing in various cities in the US. Car owners can list their vehicles for rent, and renters can book them for short-term use. The company was a part of 15 hedge fund portfolios in our database at the end of Q2 2023. 14. Invest in Vending Machines Vending machines are popular among people because of their convenience and ability to provide a wide range of products and services to consumers without the need for human intervention. According to a market report, the worldwide retail vending machine market was worth about $51.91 billion in 2021 and is projected to keep growing at an annual rate of about 10.7% from 2022 to 2030. Income seekers can earn passive income through vending machines by purchasing and strategically placing these machines in high-traffic areas. After initial setup, the machines can generate income with minimal ongoing effort. It is one of the best passive income ideas on our list as effective management and product selection are key to maximizing returns. 13. Royalties from Intellectual Properties This idea refers to payments or fees earned by the owner or creator of intellectual property (IP) for allowing others to use, license, or distribute their intellectual assets. Income seekers should ensure that their intellectual property is legally protected through copyrights, patents, trademarks, or other applicable forms of intellectual property rights. 12. Sell Designs Online Earning passive income by selling designs online is a creative venture. Many online marketplaces allow users to develop unique and high-quality designs that cater to a specific niche or market. This can include graphic designs, illustrations, digital art, t-shirt designs, printables, or any other creative works. Some of the most prominent platforms include Etsy, Inc. (NYSE:ETSY) and Shutterstock, Inc. (NYSE:SSTK). 11. Investing in Bonds Earning passive income by investing in bonds can be a relatively low-risk way to generate regular income. To invest in bonds, income seekers can buy them directly from the issuer or in the secondary market through a brokerage account. The secondary market allows you to buy and sell bonds from other investors. Holding bonds until they mature ensures that investors receive the full face value of the bond, provided the issuer remains solvent. This approach minimizes interest rate risk. Investors will receive regular interest payments until maturity. They can also choose to reinvest the interest income they receive, compounding the returns over time. Alternatively, investors can use the interest payments as a source of passive income. 10. Offer Software as a Service (SaaS) Business SaaS business is a model where software applications are delivered over the internet on a subscription basis. Instead of purchasing and installing software on individual computers or servers, users can access and use SaaS applications through web browsers. Income seekers can earn passively after developing a valuable software product, setting up a subscription-based pricing model, and continuously attracting and retaining customers. Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) is one of the top SaaS companies. The company’s revenue for Q2 2023 came in at $8.6 billion, which showed an 11.4% growth from the same period last year. 9. High-Yield Savings Accounts A high-yield savings account is a type of savings account offered by banks and financial institutions that typically provides a higher interest rate compared to traditional savings accounts. The account with competitive interest rates allows the power of compound interest to work for income seekers. With compounding, the interest gets added to the principal balance, allowing the savings to grow over time. 8. Start a Blog or YouTube Channel Starting a blog or YouTube channel is next on our list of the best passive income ideas. Income seekers can create content according to their own interests or expertise and monetize it through methods like display ads, affiliate marketing, and selling digital products or courses. The passive aspect comes into play once the created content gains traction by attracting viewers and readers over time. 7. Create a Subscription Box Service This strategy involves curating and delivering a selection of products or experiences to subscribers on a recurring basis, typically monthly. Profit seekers should select a niche or theme that resonates with their target audience and establish relationships with suppliers to create high-quality themed boxes. Effective marketing strategies are key to attracting subscribers, and once a substantial customer base comes into play, the income becomes passive as subscribers renew their subscriptions automatically. 6. Automated Dropshipping Automated dropshipping is a business model in e-commerce where an online retailer (the dropshipper) sells products to customers without physically handling the inventory. Instead, the drop shipper partners with a supplier or manufacturer who handles the storage, packaging, and shipping of products directly to the customers. The primary role of income seekers revolves around marketing, customer service, and optimizing their e-commerce store. As the store gains traction, it can generate passive income through product sales and repeat customers.   Click to continue reading and see 5 Passive Income Ideas to Make Money & Build Wealth in 2023.   Suggested articles: 10 Best Materials ETFs 20 Best Citizenship by Investment Programs in 2023 12 Stocks That Will Double In 2023 Disclosure. None. 25 Passive Income Ideas to Make Money & Build Wealth in 2023 is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeySep 19th, 2023Related News

Flamethrowing Missouri Republicans have wildly different responses to accusations that they were book-burning on a Friday night

Viral videos of Missouri Republicans using flamethrowers didn't actually show them burning books, they say. But State Senator Bill Eigel said he would burn books if he had the opportunity. nullBrandon Woyshnis/Getty ImagesTwo Missouri Republicans were accused of burning books at a fundraising event Friday night. Both denied that was the case and revealed that they were burning a pile of cardboard. The pair had different responses to the false accusations. Videos showing two Missouri State Senators incinerating a pile of cardboard went viral after people online accused the pair of burning books — but their responses to the accusations were markedly different.State Senators Nick Schroer and Bill Eigel attended a fundraising event Friday night where flamethrowers were being auctioned, resulting in videos and photos being posted of the pair online."Burning down the swamp!" Schroer wrote alongside a photo of him using the flamethrower.Neither candidate specified that they were burning books during the event. However, the story caught fire, and multiple X posts went viral condemning the state Senators for torching the supposed books."Missouri Republicans at a literal book burning," one post said. "They think flamethrowers should be legal but history books should be destroyed."Schroer denied that they were burning books, writing on X that the "fake news" was spreading "division and hate."James Murphy, Schroer's chief of staff, also clarified to Insider the accusations that Schroer is "a modern-day book-burner are false." Murphy also railed against those he described as "the left" and "liberal trolls" for starting the rumor online."Senator Schroer participated in a St. Charles County Central Committee Fundraiser, FreedomFest," Murphy said. "There, he was invited to engage in a unique and memorable act of lighting a bonfire of empty boxes with a flamethrower. This caused no harm to any books or literature."Eigel, on the other hand, is OK with people thinking he was book-burning. He said he would do it if given the opportunity in a statement sent to Insider."In the video, I am taking a flame thrower to cardboard boxes representing what I am going to do to the leftist policies and RINO corruption of the Jeff City swamp," Eigel wrote, referring to the capital city of Missouri. "But let's be clear, you bring those woke pornographic books to Missouri schools to try to brainwash our kids, and I'll burn those too — on the front lawn of the governor's mansion."Eigel also posted the statement on X, but his account was later suspended. It is unclear what policy prompted the suspension, but Eigel said in a statement to Insider that it was because he wanted to "protect our kids from the vulgar, pornographic material that woke bureaucrats have brought into our schools and libraries."Murphy did not respond to a request for comment from Insider regarding his colleague's statement.Eigel, who is running for governor, did not immediately respond to questions about what books he would burn should he have the opportunity to do so.Crystal Quade, Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade and the sole Democratic gubernatorial candidate for the state, condemned Eigel on X."Watching lawmakers use flamethrowers to intimidate folks they disagree with is a jarring reminder of how they view their jobs as a joke, while real people suffer from their cruelty," Quade wrote on Monday.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 18th, 2023Related News

Lauren Boebert"s ex comes to her defense after theater groping video, saying his unfaithfulness "broke her down"

In the post, Lauren Boebert's ex claimed that his unfaithful behavior was partially to blame, and asked the public to forgive her. Rep. Lauren Boebert vaping, left, and a Broadway performance of "Beetlejuice," right, in a composite image.9NEWS via Denvers Arts and Venues, Getty Images Lauren Boebert's ex defended her after videos showed her being fondled at a play. Jayson Boebert said in a Facebook post his unfaithfulness during their marriage "broke her down." In May, Lauren Boebert filed for divorce from her now ex-husband.  Lauren Boebert's ex leapt to her defense on Monday, after a video surfaced last week that appeared to show the Colorado Representative groping her date and being groped at a musical theater performance of "Beetlejuice."Jayson Boebert issued a long apology on Facebook, addressing his ex-wife being kicked out of the family-friendly play, recommended for kids 10 and up, which took place on September 10. He took partial blame for her conduct, captured on video, and said his unfaithfulness during their 20-year marriage "broke her down.""Much of this is on me because the problem starts at the root. I am the root," Jayson Boebert wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. He did not respond to Insider's request for comment.In the post, he claimed that his unfaithful behavior has had long-lasting effects on the politician, and asked the public to forgive her, days after the groping videos had come to light. "She deserves a chance to earn your forgiveness and regain trust," Jayson Boebert wrote. "I have broke her down in so many ways, but she will come out stronger as she always does, and so will I."Lauren Boebert was kicked out of the play for disruptive behavior, which included vaping. Videos surfaced last Friday showing Boebert and her date intensely groping each other during the performance.Lauren and Jayson Boebert got married in 2005, and she filed for divorce in May of this year after 18 years of marriage. In 2004, Jayson Boebert pleaded guilty to exposing himself to a 17-year-old in a bowling alley.The former couple share four sons together.In response to the incident and groping videos, Boebert first claimed she was ejected for singing, but then apologized once more videos of her at the play surfaced."While none of my actions or words as a private citizen that night were intended to be malicious or meant to cause harm, the reality is they did and I regret that," Boebert said in a statement emailed to Insider last week, where she said she didn't remember vaping. "I simply fell short of my values on Sunday."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 18th, 2023Related News