When Reddit Is Your AI Language Instructor

Money is pouring into artificial intelligence. Not so much into ethics. That’ll be a problem down the line......»»

Category: topSource: washpostNov 25th, 2021

How to write an MLA format paper in Google Docs using a template or other built-in features

Google Docs has all the features you need to write a paper in MLA format, as well as a template to set one up automatically. Google Docs is a great tool for writing MLA formatted papers. Cavan Images/Getty Images Google Docs has all the features you need to write a paper in MLA format. The basics of MLA format include double-spaced lines, one-inch margins, headers on all pages, and more. Google Docs also offers an automatic MLA format template, if you don't want to set it up manually. Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. Anyone who has had to write an English paper has heard of MLA format. MLA - short for Modern Library Association - is a standardized method for writing academic papers. It lays down specific rules for what the page should look like, which font you use, how you cite your sources, and more.If you're writing a paper in MLA format, consider using Google Docs. It lets you customize your documents in dozens of ways, making it a great choice for MLA writing.Here's how to set up MLA format in Google Docs, either manually or with a template.Quick tip: This guide focuses on the Google Docs website, not the app. While you can format an MLA paper in the app, it's much easier to do using the website.How to set up MLA format in Google DocsMLA format has a variety of different rules and guidelines. Here are the most important ones, along with tips on how to follow those rules in Google Docs.Important: These are the standard MLA rules, but you should always follow your instructor's specific guidelines, even if they differ from the standards.The font needs to be size 12, and written in a "readable" font.Contrary to popular belief, MLA doesn't require you to use Times New Roman, just a "readable" or "legible" font. That said, Times New Roman is a great choice for this, and comes installed in Google Docs by default. You can find it in the font menu at the top of the screen, and you can change the font size with the menu next to it. There are nearly two dozen pre-installed fonts. Google; William Antonelli/Insider Every page needs to have one-inch margins on all sides.You probably don't need to worry about this one - new Google Docs documents have one-inch margins by default. But if you want to double-check, or if you've been told to not use one-inch margins, you can change the margins using the Page Setup menu or ruler feature.All body text needs to be double-spaced.There's a Line & paragraph spacing menu in the toolbar above your document. Select Double in this menu to turn on double-spacing. If you've already written some text without double-spacing, highlight it before you turn on double-spacing.Every page needs a header in the top-right corner with your last name and the current page number.Google Docs lets you place both headers and footers on any page. You can add automatic page numbers through the Insert menu, and then double-click the headers to type your last name next to them.Remember that they need to be in the same font and font size as the rest of your paper.(And if you ever need to remove the header, you can do that quickly too.) Your page numbers need to be in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.). Google; William Antonelli/Insider The paper's title should be centered one line above your first paragraph.Google Docs has four alignment options, which you can find in the toolbar above your document. Click the second option - Center align - to move your cursor to the center of the screen.Your full name, your instructor's name, the name of the class, and the current date should be written in the top-left corner of the first page, each on a separate line.Left align is the default alignment setting, so you shouldn't have to do anything special to write in the top-left. But if you've changed the alignment, you can change it back using the alignment options in the toolbar. Your header and title need different alignments. Google; William Antonelli/Insider Body paragraphs all begin with a half-inch indent.Google Docs has a feature that lets you automatically indent paragraphs - but it's probably easier to just hit the Tab key on your keyboard at the start of every paragraph.Your paper should end with a Works Cited page, and each entry should be written with a hanging indent.Once you've finished writing your paper and want to move onto the Works Cited, make sure to create a new page. The Works Cited needs to be on its own page (or pages, depending on the length).The words Works Cited should be centered on the very first line of the page. You can center the words using the alignment options mentioned above.Finally, list your citations in alphabetical order, and use the ruler to give each one a hanging indent - in other words, every line after the first needs to be indented. Your citations should have hanging indents. Google; William Antonelli/Insider Quick tip: MLA requires a different style for every citation, depending on what you're actually citing. For a full guide on how to cite your paper's sources, check out the Purdue OWL's guide on how to write a Works Cited page.How to use Google Docs' MLA format templateWhile you can format your paper manually, Google does offer an MLA template. This will let you meet most of the formatting requirements automatically, although you'll likely need to change some of it.To use this template:1. Head to the Google Docs homepage and click Template gallery in the top-right.2. Scroll down the templates page until you reach the Education section. In this section, click MLA [Add-on]. Although it's marked "Add-on," you don't need to do anything to enable it. Google; William Antonelli/Insider 3. A page will open with a two-page paper already written in fake Lorem Ipsum language. Most of the formatting is there, so you just need to replace the pre-written words with your own.You can find this template in the mobile app by tapping the plus sign icon in the bottom-right, and then selecting Choose template.How to use the Google Docs résumé template to create and edit a professional document for job applicationsHow to save a Google Doc as a PDF and share it on any deviceHow to track changes and add comments in Google Docs using Suggesting modeHow to print directly from Google Docs on any deviceRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

15 great ways to learn Korean online, from free apps like Duolingo to Rosetta Stone"s immersive courses

Learn to read, write, and speak Korean from language-learning platforms, online courses, and a wealth of free videos, books, and resources. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. There are plenty of affordable or free classes, apps, books, videos, and resources to learn Korean online. Alyssa Powell/Business Insider Learning Korean has nearly doubled in popularity among US college students between 2006- 2016. According to Preply, interest in Korean has grown by 27.7% since the release of "Squid Game." Below are 15 affordable or free classes, apps, books, videos, and resources to learn Korean online. If you're looking to learn a new language this year, there are plenty of reasons to choose Korean. With Korean pop culture soaring to new heights lately (BTS, anyone?), numerous people have taken to the internet to dive headfirst into the culture where it all came from.Just as increased interest in manga and anime drove an uptick in Japanese language studies, it's safe to say that K-pop is doing the same for the Korean language - with the amount of US Korean learners having nearly doubled between 2006 and 2016. According to a recent survey from the language tutoring platform Preply, interest in learning Korean skyrocketed by 27.7% (almost a third) of its users since the release of Netflix's "Squid Game." The release of Netflix's "Squid Game" boosted interest in Korean language classes, according to a Preply survey. Netflix While the Foreign Service Institute classifies Korean as a Level IV language (taking about 88 weeks to attain proficiency), the characters, although intimidating at first glance, are phonetic in nature. And the alphabet, which learners are strongly advised to learn first, is pretty straightforward, too: 14 consonants and 10 vowels with symbols that combine into syllable blocks. If you're looking to learn Korean (or improve upon what you already know), there is a wealth of resources available to the casual as well as an avid learner. 15 affordable or free resources to learn Korean online: For beginner language learning Johannes Spahn / EyeEm First Step Korean (Coursera)If you're looking for a more formal online course to get the ball rolling, First Step Korean is the highest-rated Korean course on Coursera. The curriculum is also created by Yonsei University, one of the top-rated universities in South Korea. The five-week program covers all the bases: reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and each unit comes with readings and quizzes to give you a basic, conversational understanding of the language.First Step Korean (button)Talk to Me in KoreanFounded in 2009, Talk to Me in Korean is one of the most popular and widely recommended resources for learning the language. From breaking down common colloquialisms, the honorific system, and even how phonetics work in Korean, TTMIK is a trove of learning resources. Most of its material exists in the form of textbooks, podcasts, and Youtube videos, and it's a good option if you like learning to be more fun, laid-back and conversation-based. The free Essential Korean courses on the website are a good place to start, but if you're looking to graduate from the free content, premium membership is $12.99 a month.Essential Korean courses (button)Sejong HakdangNamed after the creator of Hangul (the Korean alphabet) himself, the King Sejong Institute is dedicated to making the Korean language accessible to everyone around the world. The website provides integrated information and language lessons that are free for learners as well as teachers. There are online lectures available to explore, and eight of the e-textbooks are free to anyone who registers on the site.Online Lectures (button)Korean From Zero!The nice thing about the KFZ curriculum is that you have the option to choose between a physical textbook or eBook—both work in tandem with audio clips from the website. This is also self-paced, so you can steamroll your way through chapters at a time. The material is comprehensive, straightforward, and includes plenty of examples for you to flex your newfound knowledge.Master the Korean Language and Hangul Writing System with Integrated Workbook and Online Course (Volume 1) (button)Korean Class 101If you're the type who learns best under the guidance of a personalized tutor, Korean Class 101 might be up your alley. The entire basis of this curriculum is "just press play," with thousands of video and audio lessons to choose from. The basic plan, which is $4 a month, gives you access to lessons teaching vocabulary and grammar, while premium, at $23 a month, provides you with a one-on-one teacher, personalized curriculum, assignments, and ongoing assessments. You can try a subscription for free, or sample some of the material on YouTube.Lessons (button) For easy vocab building Shutterstock DuolingoDuolingo lets you reclaim your social media screen time to be a little more productive—Duolingo even claims that 34 hours on the app is equal to one university semester of language courses. By gamifying the process with bite-sized questions, virtual rewards, and levels to unlock, Duolingo makes learning engaging and fun. While light on the actual language comprehension, it's a good on-the-go resource for practicing vocabulary—perfect to fill in the gaps or supplement a more intense learning program.(Korean) (button)DropsKorean is the most popular language to learn on Drops, which uses word puzzles and mnemonic association to make learning appealing as well as effective. The app is built on the premise that learning a new language is all about building a new habit — and then strives to make that process as simple and as visually pleasing as possible. The app even teamed up with Amber Liu, a former K-pop girl group member, for a special learning series that covers topics such as Korean food, music, traveling, K-dramas, and more. Don't expect to be fluent if you're just using this app, but it's a great way to brush up on vocab daily.(Korean) (button) For grammar correction Prasit photo/Getty Images How to Study KoreanIf you're the type of person who needs to know how exactly something works before understanding it, How to Study Korean is perfect for guiding you along through the nitty-gritty of the Korean language. The site features an extremely comprehensive (and free) collection of Korean lessons — with equal focus on vocab and grammar demonstrated through diagrams, charts, audio clips, and even a supplementary Youtube channel.Units 0-7 (button)GO! Billy Korean If you want to hear the language explained by a native English speaker, Billy's video lessons breaking down the nuances of Korean grammar are both simple and easy to understand. Billy has been teaching for over eight years and, having learned the language himself, excels at clarifying concepts that are often considered confusing by Korean learners. He also has an entire beginners series available on his website, as well as a three-book series, "Korean Made Simple," designed for self-learners in mind.Online Lessons (button)LingodeerThis app was built to tackle the biggest roadblock when it comes to learning a new language: motivation. Designed on a grammar-based curriculum, Lingodeer also offers a number of features to make learning fun and effective, from built-in flashcards to lessons voiced by native speakers (instead of robots). You can also add and challenge your friends in the app as well! A regular version is available for free, while the premium is $11.99 monthly or $99.99 for a lifetime purchase.Korean (button)Korean Grammar in UseFor those who want to replicate the back-to-school experience without the pressure of a professor, this is a popular textbook to learn Korean grammar in a systematic way. Online reviewers suggest that you already have a basic understanding of Hangul before starting this book — and to also have a Korean-English dictionary like Naver or Daum handy, as the book is pretty light on vocabulary.Korean Grammar in Use (button) For pronunciation practice Pone Pluck/Getty Images Core Korean Course (Udemy)You won't get very far studying a new language if you don't know how it's supposed to sound! Udemy's bestselling and highly rated Korean language course focuses on pronunciation and practice to take you from casual learner to actual "I-can-string-a-sentence-together" territory. The course highlights a systematic approach to quickly familiarize students with Korean verb and sentence structure and runs for 11 hours over 14 sections for $199.99. Part two is also available for $159.99.CORE KOREAN 1 (button)HinativeHinative is a Q&A forum for users to ask — and answer! — questions about languages they're interested in. After all, there's only so much you can do to learn a language from simply reading a book or watching a video. The app allows users to check pronunciations via audio recordings, find translations, ask for phrasing — and it all comes from real-life people. And at the end of the day, if you really want to excel at a language, it can't hurt to talk to actual native speakers.App (button) For full immersion Rosetta Stone Rosetta Stone Learning with the Rosetta Stone will train you to speak like a native — in other words, to understand and be understood when speaking with locals. To that end, the app (which also works on your browser!) focuses on learning through context and conversations as opposed to rote memorization. Their learning method also places a lot of emphasis on pronunciation—easily one of the biggest stumbling blocks for non-native speakers, since Korean is heavily intonational—through patented speech recognition technology.(Korean) (button)Quick Korean (YouTube)These video lessons come from the Cyber University of Korea, making them as close to studying in a classroom as you can get from the internet. The first level features an English instructor, while levels 2-4 are taught by a Korean instructor with English subtitles. Speed through the playlists on Youtube or get the full experience on the university's website when you register for free.Quick Korean (button)Oh My Korean If you're looking for something a little more challenging, the Oh My Korean blog has study materials geared towards helping you prepare for the Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK). In fact, there's no English on the site at all. Instead, you'll find plenty of worksheets and useful information, from grammar and vocab to reading and writing practice. You can even buy the workbooks that said worksheets come from if you want to go through it all in one place.Blog of Study Materials (button) Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 6th, 2021

How the co-CEO of a nonprofit is helping to close Boston"s digital divide by giving thousands of low-income residents access to the internet

Dan Noyes' Tech Goes Home partners with community programs serving hard-to-reach residents and trains staff to host 15-hour digital-literacy courses. Kazi Awal/Insider Dan Noyes. Courtesy of Dan Noyes Dan Noyes is co-CEO of Tech Goes Home, a nonprofit that addresses digital inequities in Boston. He says he has a personal dedication to digital equity from his time working with middle schoolers. Since 2010, about 40,000 low-income residents have benefitted from TGH's programs. This article is part of a series focused on American cities building a better tomorrow called "Advancing Cities." Dan Noyes, 45, has been working to close the digital divide in Boston for two decades. His digital-equity work began when he was the director of technology for a Boston Public Schools high school. In 2006, he joined the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in Dorchester to lead their one-on-one laptop initiative, where each student received a computer. But initially, the kids weren't allowed to take the devices home. "What that meant was that this idea of trying to create lifelong learning, both in school and at home, was incredibly difficult because you've got this great tool in school, and then you go home and you didn't have anything," Noyes told Insider. "So we decided we needed to fix that." The school invited parents and caregivers in for digital-literacy training on what their kids were learning, then the families received a computer. Noyes said the program then expanded to other schools. In 2010, Noyes, who now lives just west of the city in Auburn, joined Tech Goes Home (TGH), a nonprofit founded in 2000 that addresses digital inequities across Boston through adult and family education, as co-CEO. He said his dedication to digital equity is personal, stemming from his middle-school students. "I knew those kids and I knew those families," he said. "It was just so depressing to think that you had all these amazing students who had such incredible potential but one of the only things holding them back was resources at home. It's so unfair." The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the digital divide, as it forced students to learn from home and adults to work remotely. Noyes appreciates that the problem has received more awareness but said Boston (and the country as a whole) still has a lot of work to do.Digital-literacy education should be tailored to individual needs An instructor and learner work together as part of the Tech Goes Home program hosted by BEST Hospitality. Tech Goes Home Quantifying the problem of digital inequity in Boston is difficult. According to the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey, about 15% of Boston households don't have internet access - but, the number is most likely much higher, Noyes said, since the data is derived from surveys, which often leave out marginalized communities.The biggest issue, besides many people not having access to tech or internet, is that many others often lack the skills to use technology. Tech Goes Home partners with community programs, like libraries, schools, churches, and homeless shelters that serve hard-to-reach communities, and trains their staff to host 15-hour digital-literacy courses.Each course is tailored to the needs and interests of the attendees. For example, classes for people who are unemployed focus on finding a job, and those for older people focus on health or communication tools. Everyone who takes a class receives a free laptop and a year of free internet service. The program targets low-income residents. Noyes said about 90% of the people TGH serves are considered "very low income" by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, 85% are people of color, 50% are English-language learners, and about 60% are women. Since 2010, about 40,000 people have gone through TGH's programs.Taking digital-literacy learning online amid the pandemic TGH instructors connect virtually with parents through the Boston Public School Parent University Technology Center. Tech Goes Home TGH's programming had always been in person - until the pandemic hit. By summer 2020, Noyes said his team had created a distance-learning program, but setting up an online program for people who lack digital-literacy skills and internet connectivity was a challenge. Pre-pandemic, attendees received their computers after completing the course. In shifting to online classes, Noyes said they decided to send a laptop and a WiFi hotspot to people's homes so they could get online. At first, he said they worried people might just take the computer and not complete the course, but that didn't happen. "Our graduation rate was 92%, pre-pandemic," he said. "During the pandemic, our graduation rate was 92%. People stayed involved." The courses were held via Zoom, and while many people experienced Zoom fatigue over the past 18 months, Noyes said for the people TGH serves, it was a lifeline. Many had lost their jobs during the pandemic and weren't going to the places they normally would."This was an opportunity for them to see members of their community that they wouldn't be able to see," he said, adding that he enjoyed popping into the classes. "People were so happy to see each other. It was something special beyond learning."Keeping the momentum up in BostonThis month, Mayor Kim Janey and the city's Department of Innovation and Technology commissioned a study on the availability, cost, and equity of broadband in Boston to identify service opportunities and disparities by neighborhood. "We're showing that everything we do is impacted by digital equity," Noyes said. "If you go to find a place to live, you go online. To find a job, you go online. You want to get vaccinated, you go online. If you don't have access to that world, think of how many opportunities you're denied."Internet access for low-income communities is just the first step in closing the digital divide, Noyes said, and he believes the city will eventually be able to offer that. Now more organizations are taking a look at the problem of digital equity. Noyes just hopes the momentum continues.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 29th, 2021

How more than $402 million in taxpayer money got locked away in a forgotten government fund — and lawmakers won"t spend it or return it

Republicans, Democrats, charities, and special-interest groups all have different designs for the languishing money. A pool of more than $402 million contributed by taxpayers is waiting for Congress to decide how best to use it.DigitalStorm via Getty Images The money is supposed to publicly fund presidential campaigns. But it doesn't. Republicans and Democrats in Congress can't agree on what to do with the ever-growing pot. Charities told Insider the money could do great good for suffering Americans. See more stories on Insider's business page. Holed away in a government account is a massive cash stash most anyone — from depleted federal programs to coronavirus-throttled charitable causes — would love to tap.But it sits idle and untouched.The intended beneficiaries of the taxpayer-fueled Presidential Election Campaign Fund — presidential candidates — don't want it, as they're soured by its restrictions on their election fundraising and spending.Other prospective recipients, meanwhile, can't have it.Congress is what's preventing this. Conservatives would prefer to disband the fund and repurpose its money. Many Democrats want the money to seed a reimagined public campaign-finance program contained within a broader "democracy-reform" agenda that's hamstrung on Capitol Hill. Neither side will budge.Meanwhile, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund's pot had topped more than $402.5 million as of October 31 — a record amount during the fund's nearly 50-year history, according to US Treasury records reviewed by Insider. The fund grew by about 1.14 million in October alone, according to federal records.If current trends continue, the fund will continue to grow each month by six- or seven-figures thanks to the financial heft generated by American taxpayers who check that little box on their annual tax return that directs $3 to the fund.'Help people and communities recover'In a year when lawmakers are measuring economic relief and infrastructure bills in the trillions of dollars, a few hundred million deserted federal greenbacks may seem comparatively paltry.But some charitable organizations that serve people often possess next to nothing. Several nonprofit leaders told Insider that Congress could use the Presidential Election Campaign Fund money to immediately ease suffering."The best possible use of $400 million would be to provide funds for charities to help people and communities recover," Steve Taylor, United Way Worldwide's senior vice president and counsel for public policy, said, citing a looming eviction crisis, a burdened childcare system, education challenges, and mental-health needs among urgent pandemic-era problems. "Charities are leading the way in addressing these problems, and $400 million in new funding would be a game changer."While the federal government has directed significant funding toward its COVID-19 response, the pandemic is far from over, and people around the world will endure its aftereffects for a long while, said Judy Monroe, the president and CEO of the CDC Foundation, an independent nonprofit that supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's health-protection work."Additional federal funds that are not actively being utilized could, as deemed appropriate by Congress, be repurposed and brought to bear to address critical needs from COVID-19 to health inequities to strengthening the nation's public-health system to be prepared for the next, inevitable outbreak," Monroe told Insider.Erika Cotton Boyce, a Habitat for Humanity spokesperson, declined to speak specifically about the Presidential Election Campaign Fund but broadly said Congress should "find resources to fund critical programs that will address housing supply and housing affordability, especially homeownership programs for low-income families."Congress has various mechanisms for directing public funding to nonprofit entities. A bill introduced this year by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, hopes to further help charitable nonprofits "provide services to meet the increasing demand in community needs caused by the coronavirus pandemic, preserve and create jobs in the nonprofit sector, reduce unemployment, and promote economic recovery."Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican of Iowa, wants the money sent to the US Treasury's general fund and used to help reduce the federal budget deficit.Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty ImagesDebt reduction, pediatric care, Alzheimer's researchSome lawmakers and special-interest advocates have other designs on the $400 million.During the 2019-20 congressional session, two Republican lawmakers sponsored similar bills that attempted to kill the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma sought to transfer the campaign fund's cash balance to a pediatric-research initiative administered by the National Institutes of Health.Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa, meanwhile, wanted the money sent to the US Treasury's general fund and used to help reduce the federal budget deficit.Neither bill received a hearing, let alone a vote.In September, Ernst tried again with a similar bill that so far has garnered little support.That's a shame, said Joshua Sewell, a senior policy analyst at the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense who deemed the campaign fund "a vestige of a bygone era." He recommended its money be used to help pay down the country's national debt, which stood at more than $28.5 trillion as of June, according to the Treasury Department. Bradley Smith, a former Federal Election Commission chairman who now leads the nonprofit Institute for Free Speech, said Congress should repeal the law establishing the fund and direct its money to the Treasury's general fund.  Cole plans to reintroduce a new bill targeting the presidential fund, he told Insider. And he's open to broadening where the $400 million might go."If the money were to be redirected somewhere other than pediatric-disease research, Alzheimer's research would certainly be a worthy cause," Cole said.Resist and reformCongressional Democrats this year made voting, ethics, and campaign-finance reform a chief priority, which is enshrined in bills known as HR 1 and S 1 — colloquially, the "For the People Act of 2021."A historically robust public financing system for federal elections is part of the For the People Act.But Senate Republicans filibustered the For the People Act, effectively killing it. Democrats then floated a similar, but slimmed-down bill called the "Freedom to Vote Act," which does not include strong public financing language.Supporters of publicly funded campaigns say this is no time to give up — or to give away $400 million that's already earmarked and available for the public financing of elections.The For the People Act "represents the boldest democracy reform since Watergate, and any funds currently available for the old system should be used for the new system of federal citizen-funded elections, which must pass so we can get big money out of politics," Beth Rotman, the director of money in politics and ethics for Common Cause, said prior to the bill's stall-out."Getting rid of the money at this point would send the wrong signal," said Meredith McGehee, the former executive director of the nonprofit group Issue One, a self-described "crosspartisan movement for political reform."The pro-Democrat organization End Citizens United, which takes its name from the Supreme Court's 2010 decision that unleashed gushers of new political money into elections, also backed keeping the cash in place."The existing presidential system was designed following Watergate for anti-corruption purposes," the group's spokesperson Bawadden Sayed said, "and we would be supportive of potentially using it for future anti-corruption purposes."Former President Barack Obama campaigns for Joe Biden in Atlanta on November 2.Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty ImagesThanks, Obama?Public presidential-campaign funding wasn't always so derelict.From the late 1970s to the late '90s, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund enjoyed a heyday, distributing eight or nine figures of public money to candidates each election cycle.Supporters lauded the program as an elixir to big-money politics and a defense against corruption. Candidates from both parties routinely opted to use it. Doing so allowed them to spend less time fundraising and more time campaigning.And since both sides participated, neither side engaged in the kind of political money arms races emblematic of contemporary presidential elections.But the détente wouldn't last. Citing financial advantages, George W. Bush rejected public matching funds during the 2000 Republican presidential primary. Both Bush and eventual Democratic nominee John Kerry declined public funding in their 2004 presidential primaries. Come 2008, Democrat Barack Obama rendered the Presidential Election Campaign Fund functionally obsolete by becoming the first major-party presidential candidate in post-Watergate politics to reject public funding during a general presidential election. Obama even broke a campaign promise to do so — he previously said he'd use public funding. The future president knew he could privately raise and spend hundreds of millions of dollars more than the public program would afford him. Republican presidential nominee John McCain accepted public money — and lost.No Democratic or Republican presidential nominee has since used public funding. Only a smattering of minor-party and longshot Democratic-primary candidates have patronized the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, who drew about $3 million combined since the 2012 race.The fund didn't distribute a single dollar to any presidential candidate during the 2020 presidential election.It last provided funding to presidential nominating conventions in 2012, as Congress two years later passed, and Obama signed, a law that axed public funding of conventions.Congress siphoned tens of millions of dollars from the presidential fund that otherwise would have gone to party conventions to a pediatric-research fund — the same one that Cole, the Oklahoma congressman, wants to fill with the account's full balance.Until that or any other repurposing decision comes down, the FEC continues to spend taxpayer resources keeping the Presidential Election Campaign Fund alive.The agency's audit division has administrative, oversight, and enforcement responsibilities over the program, Judith Ingram, an FEC spokesperson, said. The independent, bipartisan FEC, which regulates and enforces the nation's campaign-finance laws, employs about 300 people. Its projected 2022 budget is about $76.5 million, meaning the balance of the Presidential Election Campaign Fund could theoretically fund the agency for a full five years.This article was originally published on July 13, 2021, and has since been updated to include new financial data and legislative developments.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider13 hr. 37 min. ago

Labor Shortages And Inflation Are Affecting Everyone – But In Different Ways Than You May Think

It’s no secret that jobs have been hard to fill and that an employee shortage is having a significant impact on the economy. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted public health and created economic disorder on a global scale. Because of this, businesses worldwide are experiencing supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, while consumers are […] It’s no secret that jobs have been hard to fill and that an employee shortage is having a significant impact on the economy. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted public health and created economic disorder on a global scale. Because of this, businesses worldwide are experiencing supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, while consumers are dealing with the aftermath of inflation. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more There are 8.6 million potential employable workers and 10 million job openings in the U.S. today, reflecting the strong decrease in workforce participation that contributes to the ongoing supply chain disruptions impacting many industries, including suppliers, distributors, and consumers, with the most significant impact on consumers and the economic growth. For example, American Airlines canceled more than 460 flights earlier in November due to staffing shortages that led to travel disruptions for tens of thousands of people. Unfortunately, the labor shortages and supply chain issues also impact inflation and will only worsen before it gets better. These labor shortages and supply chain disruptions have created a destructive cyclical effect. Fewer employees result in fewer goods produced. As fewer goods are available with higher demand, prices rise, which has caused inflation to hit a 31-year high with no signs of abating anytime soon. While it's easy to think that these realities impact everyone similarly, some companies persevere through these times, and consumers notice. At the same time, many other companies struggle to adapt, and the volume of social and media activity around these issues demonstrates consumer frustrations. So, which companies are performing well, and which aren't? And how can you quantify the difference? Using AI And NLP To Analyze Data And Calculate Sentiment Using artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP), financial services firms can quickly pull data from several sources, like news, social media reports, financial reports, and third-party data providers. AI and NLP can analyze the information gathered from these sources and rank the sentiment of the data with either a negative, neutral or positive sentiment score. At Accern, we’ve created a no-code AI platform that allows financial organizations to extract sentiment and insights from textual data for better risk and investment decisions. We recently analyzed the impact of labor shortages and inflation on companies and consumers. After gathering data on the companies most impacted, we analyzed the human emotion behind the news and issued a sentiment score for each piece of information pulled. Insights On Labor Shortages There are a few companies experiencing outsized negative sentiment among consumers, including Yum! Brands, Spirit Airlines, American Airlines, Ulta Beauty, Foot Locker, and Delta Airlines, to name a few. The most significant issues impacting these companies include airline labor shortages, food shortages, truck driver shortages, and supply chain disruptions. Additionally, restaurant employees and drivers are speaking out against low wages and harsh working conditions. To put things in perspective, roughly half of the news activity around these companies embodies a negative sentiment. Considering the lack of truck drivers, more drivers are voicing negative points of view around uncomfortable working conditions and resigning as shown in the snippets pulled from the dashboard above. The shortage of drivers has created a rift within the global economy and exacerbated the supply chain crisis as stores do not receive their goods in time to fill the empty shelves and meet shoppers' demands. Especially with holiday shopping, panicked consumers are experiencing the impact of the supply chain disruption and labor shortages. Stores like Ulta and Foot Locker, which have not fully adapted to the supply chain problems, are not only reporting lower earnings but are dealing with negative sentiment from the media, investors, and consumers. Although Ulta and Foot Locker expected higher growth once physical stores reopened, investors were disappointed to see the earnings for each store drop. As consumers have stuck to the pandemic habits of online shopping, they now look for convenience and digital experiences more than ever. Although Ulta and Foot Locker are doing their best to ensure that these digital experiences are available to consumers as fast as possible, there is still a long way to go. Conversely, companies like Anheuser Busch, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and JetBlue are seeing outsized positive attention despite the same labor shortages and supply chain disruption trends. The difference lies in increasing employee benefits and providing better digital experiences to consumers, leading to higher earnings reports. For example, PepsiCo’s response to the supply chain crisis was to digitize the supply chain and invest in technological innovation at scale to ensure that consumers all across the globe receive their products. Pepsi's response has generated positive sentiment from the news and consumers around the world. Consumers are happiest when brands meet their demands, act ethically, and innovate their services and products. Innovation is critical in keeping consumers interested in products as it shows that companies are adapting to new technologies to meet their consumers' needs. Insights On Inflation The supply chain and labor shortage crises are driving inflation. In the most recent CPI report, inflation came in at 6.2 percent, marking the highest increase in over 30 years. But companies that have navigated well around supply chain disruptions and labor shortages have also proven their ability to minimize the impact of inflation. Our recent analysis shows that companies like Discover, Peloton, Nike, and Capital One are receiving negative sentiment from consumers, while JB Hunt, American Express, Starbucks, and Costco are not drawing the ire of their customers. Nike is one company that has used digital acceleration to adapt during the pandemic and saw consumer demand rise as profits rose 16 percent in the last year. Despite its revenue growth, supply chain issues also inflate cotton prices and disrupt the flow of products to stores. As a result, Nike announced that it anticipates increasing prices in the second half of 2022 to offset supply chain-related costs. Contrarily, Costco is navigating higher labor and freight costs, transportation demand, and container shortages. Still, they manage to keep their prices low and membership fees the same while meeting the needs of consumers. Additionally, Costco acquired a logistic network to enable the company to deliver large items within days instead of weeks and has gone digital with e-commerce platforms like Instacart. These AI-generated insights demonstrate how certain companies are effectively navigating the most prominent issues affecting our economy today. Accern's AI and NLP analysis reveals that companies proactively innovating their products and services can meet consumers' demands without significantly cutting employee salaries or raising costs. These companies are the ones that are also driving positive sentiment from the media and consumers. With the amount of structured and unstructured data available today, AI and NLP are crucial in understanding the relative health of companies and how different players in the economy are handling challenges – and staying afloat. Article By Kumesh Aroomoogan, co-founder and CEO, Accern About Kumesh Aroomoogan Kumesh Aroomoogan is the co-founder and CEO of Accern, a New York-based, venture-backed AI startup. Founded in 2014, Accern accelerates AI workflows for financial enterprises with a no-code development platform and has raised $16m to date. In 2018 Kumesh was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Enterprise Technology list. Previously, he was the co-founder and CEO of BrandingScholars, an advertising agency, a General Accountant at the Ford Foundation, an Executive Board Member, Chairman of Public Relations at ALPFA, Equity Researcher at Citigroup, and a Financial Analyst at SIFMA. Updated on Dec 3, 2021, 3:34 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalk17 hr. 36 min. ago

Trump lawyers argue US government should take his place in a defamation lawsuit filed by rape accuser E Jean Carroll, reports say

Trump attorneys told a federal appeals court that he was acting in his official capacity as president when he made the remarks about E. Jean Carroll. Trump rape accuser E. Jean Carroll (L), Former President Donald Trump (R).Eva Deitch/Getty Images (L), Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images (R). Trump attorneys argued that the US government should replace him as defendant in a defamation case. The lawsuit was filed by rape accuser E Jean Carroll after Trump said that she was lying and "not my type." Attorneys said he was not dodging personal liability, but wanted to defend future presidents from legal claims. Lawyers of former President Donald Trump argued on Friday that the US government should take his place as the defendant in a defamation lawsuit filed by rape accuser E Jean Carroll, reports say. The argument, made before a federal appeals court, hinges upon the claim that Trump was acting in his official capacity as president when he made remarks about Carroll to the media, the Associated Press reported.In 2019, columnist E Jean Carroll published an account accusing Trump of raping her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the mid-1990s.Carroll said she met Trump in the luxury Manhattan department store, and agreed to help him select a present for a girl after he asked her for advice. She wrote that Trump assaulted her after entering a dressing room with him inside the store. "The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips," she wrote. "The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I'm not certain — inside me. It turns into a colossal struggle."She sued him for defamation in federal court in November 2019 after he denied the allegations and said Carroll was "not my type" and accused her of fabricating the story to sell more books. The former president's attorneys told judges that he was not trying to dodge personal liability but that he wants to keep future presidents from being burdened by legal claims, The Guardian reported."This is not about being a Democrat or a Republican. It is solely to protect the presidency as an institution," Trump attorney Alina Habba said, according to the outlet.Federal law makes it difficult to sue US government employees for actions relating to their jobs.If the court accepts the argument that Trump was acting as a government worker when he made the comments about Carroll, it could lead to the dismissal of the case.According to AP, judges posed multiple questions on Friday about the private and public conduct of the commander-in-chief. They also questioned whether presidents should constantly mind their language for fear of legal responsibility.Habba claimed that Trump was "on the defensive" because Carroll's accusations essentially questioned his fitness for office, the outlet said.Carroll's lawyers argued that Trump's response went beyond any job obligation. "A White House job is not a promise of an unlimited prerogative to brutalize someone who was a victim of a prior attack," attorney Joshua Matz said, according to AP.Justice Department lawyer Mark Freeman told the court on Friday that he wasn't out to "defend or justify" Trump's "crude and offensive" comments."I'm here because any president facing a public accusation of this kind, with the media very interested, would feel obliged to answer questions from the public, answer questions from the media," Freeman said, according to the outlet.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider17 hr. 37 min. ago

The 5 most anticipated Netflix TV shows returning in December, including "The Witcher"

Netflix's hit fantasy series "The Witcher" returns this month for its second season after a two-year hiatus. "The Witcher" season two.Netflix Every month, Insider looks at the most anticipated returning TV shows using data from the app TV Time. It's derived from its US users who use the app to track and react to what they're watching. Every show on this month's list is from Netflix, including "The Witcher" and "Cobra Kai." 5. "Lost in Space" season three — Netflix, December 1NetflixDescription: "In an epic final season, the Robinsons' survival instincts kick into hyperdrive as they race to reunite and protect Alpha Centauri from a robot invasion."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 76%What critics said: "You won't get lost in Lost In Space, but the family-friendly adventures of the Robinsons will still make for solid viewing over the holiday break." — AV Club (season two)4. "Crime Scene" season two — Netflix, December 29NetflixDescription: "The team behind Crime Scene: The Vanishing at The Cecil Hotel is back. They'll next explore the danger and depravity of NYC's Times Square in the 70s & 80s — a place that made it possible for one man to commit unthinkable acts."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 54%What critics said: "'The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel' fails to illuminate much about the circumstances around Lam's death, even if the story itself may be unfamiliar to many outside Southern California." — Log Angeles Times (season one)3. "Cobra Kai" season four — Netflix, December 31NetflixDescription: "Decades after the tournament that changed their lives, the rivalry between Johnny and Daniel reignites in this sequel to the 'Karate Kid' films."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%What critics said: "Even with its flaws in season three, Cobra Kai hasn't just honored the Karate Kid way of storytelling, but mastered it." — (season three)2. "Emily in Paris" season two — Netflix, December 22Lily Collins as Emily Cooper in "Emily in Paris."NetflixDescription: "More fun. More fashion. More faux pas. As Emily finds her footing in Paris, the fallout from a night of passion could send her stumbling into trouble."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 63%What critics said: "Emily in Paris does not speak the language of the place it has chosen to call home. It compensates for its ignorance by shouting, ever louder, in English." — The Atlantic (season one)1. "The Witcher" season two — Netflix, December 17NetflixDescription: "Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster-hunter for hire, journeys toward his destiny in a turbulent world where people often prove more wicked than beasts."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 68%What critics said: "Each episode gets stronger as the season progresses, and ultimately satisfies the fantasy itch." — Time Magazine (season one)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider17 hr. 37 min. ago

See the bizarre list of banned words and phrases in Jeffrey Epstein"s "household manual"

Workers in the Palm Beach home were told what they said to Epstein and then-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell was just "as important as what you do." Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend Batman Forever/R. McDonald Event on June 13, 1995 in New York City.Patrick McMullan via Getty Images Workers at Jeffrey Epstein's home were told how to speak, according to a  household manual. The manual was recently submitted as evidence in the ongoing trial of Epstein's longtime girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. Workers in the house were forbidden from saying words and phrases like "yeah" and "no problem." Smile at all times, no direct eye contact, never say "yeah." Workers at Jeffrey Epstein's Florida home were informed on how to respond and act around Epstein and longtime girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell with a household manual.The manual, which includes directions like "do not address Mr Epstein, Ms Maxwell and their guests with your hands in your pockets," was handed out to all staff members of Epstein's Palm Beach, Florida, home.The manual was recently submitted as evidence in the ongoing trial of Maxwell. Federal prosecutors accused Maxwell of sex-trafficking girls with Epstein, sexually abusing them herself, and lying about her actions in a deposition. Her trial started on Monday. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty. Epstein, who was arrested in 2019 on charges of trafficking dozens of girls, killed himself in jail while awaiting trial.Epstein's longtime housekeeper, Juan Alessi, interpreted the strict household guidelines as "a kind of warning that I was supposed to be blind, deaf, and dumb," according to his testimony at Maxwell's trial on Thursday, Insider reported."Remember that you see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing, except to answer any question directed toward you," Alessi read from the manual during his testimony.Banned words and phrases in the 58-page manual that workers in the house were forbidden from using include:"Yeah""Sure""No problem""You bet""Gotcha""Right""I dunno"Instead, workers were encouraged to say things like "my pleasure," "I would be very pleased to," and "You are quite right.""What you say is as important as what you do," the manual reads. "Your language must include good diction and exclude swear words and slang. Pay attention to how you speak to Mr Epstein, Ms Maxwell and their guests."Other directions in the manual include what to say when entering a room, how to respond to a compliment or criticism, and how to answer the telephone. Workers were not allowed to eat or drink in front of Epstein and Maxwell and were reminded to smile at all times, and avoid direct eye contact, according to the manual. Maxwell's attorneys and family members have argued that her decades-long relationship with Epstein has been overstated. The indictment against Maxwell alleges she and Epstein ran the child sex-trafficking operation together. Maxwell's trial is expected to last up to six weeks. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

The 4 best resistance bands for building strength and muscle rehabilitation

Whether you're building muscle or rehabbing an injury, these are our top tested picks for resistance bands with handles, resistance loop bands & more. Prices are accurate at the time of publication. Resistance bands are as effective as free weights at building muscle and strength. The best resistance bands won't snap, roll, or irritate your skin, and come as a set for more choices. Our top pick, TheraBands, are latex-free, highly versatile, and won't snap over time. Resistance bands are an incredibly diverse and affordable addition to your home gym set-up. They can be used therapeutically for muscle rehab and stability training, or in lieu of dumbbells for serious strength building."There are literally thousands of exercises you can do with a resistance band, with the band placed in numerous patterns around the body," Keaton Ray, PT, DPT, CSCS, physical therapist and co-founder of MovementX, Inc in Portland, OR tells Insider. As a certified barre and mat pilates instructor myself, I've tested a lot of resistance bands to help challenge and build muscle. And studies show they really do work for building strength and mass (more in that in our FAQ section, below). Different types play toward specific goals and movements — looped bands and fabric bands provide resistance for more restrictive movements (clam shells, glute bridges), while the more versatile resistance bands with handles rival the work dumbbells do for compound movements (bicep curls, rows, lunges). We also prefer a resistance band set for more versatility.At the end of this guide, I lay out what types of resistance bands there are, how to use resistance bands, and everything you should consider when buying one. Until then, here are our top picks among the many resistance bands I've tested.The best resistance bands:Best resistance bands overall: TheraBandBest resistance loop bands: Fluidity Best fabric resistance band: Sweat The TechniqueBest resistance bands with handles: SPRI Total Body Resistance KitBest resistance bands overallTheraBand resistance band set is ideal for both rehabilitation and strength building.KBYC photography/ShutterstockTheraBand Non-Latex Resistance Bands are super versatile for both therapeutic use as well as strength training, and they're thin and lightweight enough to take anywhere.Pros: Latex-free, lightweight, extremely versatile in function, inexpensive, resistance band setCons: Not super heavy resistanceTheraBands were my first experience with resistance bands and I've never looked back. Incredibly thin and lightweight while somehow maintaining their strength and durability, this resistance band set does an excellent job helping you develop muscle strength.I've used them around my thighs during squats and between my arms while working my triceps, but the possibilities (and potential muscle groups) are virtually endless.Rather than being permanently looped, TheraBands are one straight piece of latex-free rubber, which makes them highly versatile. You can still tie the band together to make it a looped band, or grip it or wrap it around your hands to use it like a resistance band with handles. There are also eight levels of resistance to choose from, and this set comes with the three mid-level weights, which offers you a range of lighter therapeutic work to strength building. Whether you're making your barre workout just a bit harder or using them for some quick HIIT moves, TheraBands do the trick. That said, if you're looking for serious resistance, you may need something a bit heftier.They're also highly durable — while they look as though they'll snap at any moment, I've had mine for years and they're only just starting to show small tears. My old gym also used these, and despite constant usage by hundreds of clients, the TheraBands withstood the test. They're also latex-free, which is great for folks with allergies or sensitivities. They're highly portable and fit in a small, included carrying case, making them great for travel. --Lulu Chang$17.39 FROM AMAZON$17.39 FROM WALMARTBest resistance loop bandsFluidity resistance loop bands are ideal for short ranges of motion.FluidityFluidity bands are durably looped for building strength on small range-of-motion movements, and made with natural latex, which is gentle on the skin and eco-friendly.Pros: Eco-friendly, non-toxic, durableCons: Individually sold, only three levels of resistance available, no travel bagResistance loop bands are ideal to provide strength-building or rehabilitation-level resistance on smaller ranges of motion, like looping them around your quads to build strength during clamshells or during squats to keep your knees tracking outward. They're also a great addition to your warm-up routine as they help provide low-weight activation to your muscles during moves like with lat pulls and crab walks.Fluidity resistance loop bands are one of the most durable resistance bands I've found. They're made of 100% natural rubber latex, which is a non-toxic and eco-friendly material. As a certified Barre instructor, I have encountered several scenarios where students reacted to the synthetic latex in most bands, but natural latex is much more sensitive on the skin. The bands are also 60 inches by 6 inches, which makes it a great option for any rehab or stretching exercises you may want to perform. These resistance loop bands are sold individually and you have three resistance levels to choose from. This is nice if you have a separate pack you're looking for a single addition to, but I do wish Fluidity sold a pack of all three for more versatile use. That being said, the resistance levels are well-balanced; when I tested this out on the lightest Fluidity flat band, I estimated the resistance to be anywhere between 8-10lbs. $12.00 FROM FLUIDITYBest fabric resistance bandsSweat The Technique makes durable, reliable fabric resistance bands great for glute exercises.Sweat The TechniqueThe Sweat The Technique Ultimate Booty Band Set is made of fabric so they won't stretch over time and fit a wide range of body sizes, and I loved the strength of these bands and the fun colors.Pros: Washable, durable, fit a range of bodies, resistance band setCons: Limited range of motion making them not ideal for all workouts, contain latex, no washing/care instructionsFabric resistance bands are great as they take much longer to stretch out over time compared to rubber bands, and they won't snap in half. Fabric resistance bands are also washable so they're easy to clean, they don't curl up like rubber resistance bands, and they fit a wide range of body types comfortably.Since fabric bands are stronger than latex bands, they also offer more resistance. That means they're less ideal for warm-ups or therapeutic use, but they're an excellent option for shorter ranges of movement like squats or hydrants. I like Sweat The Technique's fabric bands in particular because, for starters, they're a female- and Black-owned company. What's more, when I tested these over bare legs and over workout pants, I was pleasantly surprised the bands didn't move at all during the workout. Unlike with other bands, I didn't have to fidget with or adjust them. But made from a spandex, polyester and latex blend, they still have enough give to make them easy to get on and off.You can buy just a single band or a full resistance band set. I like the Ultimate Booty Band Set, which comes with a medium and heavy option in a sleek travel bag; however, I do wish this set came with a light and an extra heavy option to better accommodate progression over time. The brand does offer the Long Power Band Set, which has more resistance options. However, these are longer and more ideal for stretching, powerlifting, or pull-ups, and less ideal for glute work, which is what most people want a highly-resistant fabric band for.  Best resistance bands with handlesSPRI Total Body is one of our favorite resistance band sets and the best resistance bands with handles we’ve found.SPRIThe SPRI Total Body Resistance Kit comes with five levels of resistance up to ultra heavy, and includes accessories like ankle straps and door attachments, making it an incredible value for about the price of a single dumbbell.Pros: Super versatile, comes with multiple attachments, durable productCons: Handled resistance bands can be a bit confusing if you are a beginner Working out with resistance bands can build similar strength gains to resistance training with free weights, reports a 2019 study in SAGE Open Medicine The SPRI Total Resistance Band Kit includes five bands that range from very light to ultra heavy. I found this spectrum to be incredibly diverse and helpful when I used them to workout, and a great deal for the price. The set also comes with two handles, one ankle strap, and one door attachment, adding to the diversity of what moves you can do with this equipment.Obviously, it can be a little annoying to stop the flow of your workout to swap the handles onto a new resistance band, so you do have to be a little more strategic about pairing exercises that require similar weights. But considering all this kit comes with, it has great value. That's especially true if you want to add some strength training to your current workout regime but don't want to invest in a pricey set of dumbbells.$29.98 FROM SPRI$29.98 FROM AMAZONWhat else we consideredAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderWhat else we recommendPure Energy Fitness Kit ($68): Although I did like this kit, it was too expensive for me to recommend to the average reader. However, it does come with ankle weights (which probably contributes to the higher price), and it's made with natural latex and free of other problematic materials like PVC, BPA, and lead phthalates. What we don't recommendGymbandit ($14): I love the colors of these bands and the variety of resistance strengths, but they curled up during my workouts and the lighter resistance bands started to tear after a few sessions with clients.How I testedAs a certified barre and mat pilates instructor, I tested out several resistance bands during my weekly barre and workout sessions with clients. I also incorporated these bands into my own at home workouts. Specifically, I looked at: Durability of the band: The best resistance band won't snap or tear with time and will offer the same amount of resistance, use after use. Scalability with your training: A resistance band set should progress with you and your workouts, so it's smart to look for bands that offer a variety of resistance levels. Comfort during a workout: A lot of flimsy resistance bands will curl around your legs or ankles during a workout, which can be annoying. I prioritize bands that stayed flat and in place, and those that didn't irritate my skin or rubbed against it too much with movement.Affordability: At the end of the day, we're looking to make an investment and to avoid having to replace bands several times during the year.What to look for in a resistance band setWhen shopping for bands you are going to have a couple of options depending on the style of workout you are looking to perform. You will first need to consider if you want a latex or fabric band, these options typically come as a loop band. Latex bands can be beneficial if you are looking to perform a variety of moves because they are less restrictive. You can get a wider range of motion with these bands. For example tricep extensions should be performed with a latex band instead of a fabric band. If you are looking to do shorter ranges of motion like squats or squat tap outs a loop band is more ideal. Another thing to consider is if you prefer bands with interchangeable handles or fixed handles. Interchangeable handles allow you to change the resistance so you can tack on additional weight either by adding more resistance or switching your handles to a band that offers more resistance. Bands with interchangeable handles can become complicated especially when you are crunched for time and looking to squeeze a quick workout. If more time permits this is an excellent option for adding to your cardio routine or working out at home. Bands with handles also allow you to mimic some moves that are performed on weight machines at the gym like a lat pull down.Take into consideration the level of resistance for either rehabilitation, muscle activation, or strength building. Rehabilitation centers around stability training. For this, you want bands that are light enough, don't cause any pain, and let you control your movement, Dr. Ray explains. If a band provides too much resistance, you won't be able to achieve a full range of motion in the exercise you are performing, she adds.If you're looking to build mass or strength though, you'll want heavier resistance and a few different options so you can progress resistance levels. While going too heavy too soon can cause injuries and muscle imbalances, not using enough resistance also won't build muscle effectively. For weightlifters, Dr. Ray suggests incorporating light-to-medium bands into your warm up and cool down. This will help to activate stabilizing muscles which in return will provide a safer and more productive weightlifting session. The thickness of a band is also an important consideration especially if you are looking to build strength in your workout routine. I have noticed the thicker the band, the higher the resistance. I have also discovered that many bands that are marketed as heavy or extra heavy are actually not very thick, and that nearly always translates to poorer resistance. Lastly, is the price point. If you are looking to stay within a specific price range, opting for a single durable band with more versatility (like a band with handles or a flat band) might be a better choice in comparison to one single loop band. FAQsDo resistance bands really work?Yes, resistance bands work to both build strength back slowly after an injury, and, for weight lifters, to build strength as effectively as dumbbells. Dr. Ray adds resistance bands help add load to movements (aka, weight beyond just body weight), which research shows helps build muscle. "For example, a squat with a theraband around your knees is much more effective at building muscle and stability than a side-lying clamshell or leg lift," she explains.Dr. Ray also points out that because resistance bands are so low impact, they're a great way to start strength training for the first time. This is also what makes them ideal for rehabilitating from an injury or specifically targeting deep stabilizing muscles on a recovery day. Of course, for the most well-rounded functional fitness, you want to challenge your muscles in different ways, so you should also use dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, to build strength in addition to band exercises. What types of resistance bands are there?There are several types of resistance bands that include:Figure 8 bands: Ideal for strengthening your arms, chest, shoulders, and back with either single arm and double arm workouts. It can also be used for a total body workout as well as focusing on your lower body with leg and glute exercises. Loop bands: These bands are great for activating muscle groups which help to improve muscle balance, control, and stability by simply waking up under-active muscles. Therapy bands: Therapy bands are good for rehabilitating muscles and offering a lighter resistance when dealing with an injury. Mini Resistance bands: These are smaller loop bands ideal for traveling, keeping in your gym or a set at the office. Also a great option for those that like to workout when far away from home. Ring bands: Can be used for stretching and/or intensifying a workout by utilizing the rings in the band. Lateral bands: Padded ankle cuffs connected to a resistance tube provides additional resistance when doing lateral conditioning exercises. Fabric bands: These bands are made from fabric and often include a strip of non-slip material which helps keep them in place. Excellent for short ranges of movement.Pull up bands: This type of band can help you achieve a pull-up. How do beginners use resistance bands?Resistance bands are ideal for building strength in beginners to resistance training since they tend to be much safer than free weights. Start by using a lighter band and work your way up to heavier resistances over time. If the resistance starts to get too comfortable, it's time to increase the resistance. Aim to switch your bands every month or sooner. As your strength increases, opt for a heavier band or add more repetitions to an exercise. Dr. Ray suggests starting with 3 sets of 10 repetitions of any exercise. If these are too hard, you need a lighter resistance band. If they're easy, grab a heavier one.A few moves you can try to get you started include a high plank with leg lift (modification come down to your knees and perform the leg lift one side at a time), modified side plank with leg lifts and fire hydrants. Where should resistance bands be placed? This depends on what muscle groups you are working. If you want to target your glutes, for example, place the band around your legs just above your knees; then, perform squats or lateral tap outs. This helps provide control and resistance when you lower into the squat. You can also loop the bands around your forearms or above your elbows to provide resistance to your upper body, or around your ankles for lower body exercises."You can get creative with where you place the band on your body, or you can anchor it to the wall," Dr. Ray adds. Looping a band around an anchored bar or handle, like a door handle at home or a squat rig at the gym, is another way to provide resistance.Are resistance bands good for therapy?One of the most common use for resistance bands is for rehabilitation or muscle therapy. During rehab, you need to start contracting muscle tissue and moving your joints through gentle ranges of motion. This helps to lower inflammation, increase blood flow, and stimulate healing, Dr. Ray explains.Light resistance bands are very helpful here, since they're very gentle on your body but allow your muscle fubers to work against gentle force and begin the slow process of regrowing muscle fibers.By the end stage of tissue recovery, you'll start to progress away from resistance bands and begin loading tissues with heavier weights that more closely mimic activities such as carrying heavy groceries or lifting your children. This should always be done under the direction of a physical therapist so you don't damage your tissue, muscles, and joints further.How often should you use resistance bands? Use resistance bands at the same frequency you would dumbbells or any other form of weight. Like with any workout, it's a good idea to allow your body to rest in between each session if you are working the entire body.Another option is alternating between the upper and lower body a few times a week. This allows the muscle fibers to rebuild and become stronger without causing harm. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

How millions of hearing aids are made inside one of the world"s largest manufacturers

Hearing aids are becoming more customized and advanced. We visited one of the world's largest manufacturers to see how the industry is transforming. Hearing aids can be customized, connect to phones, and translate foreign languages in real time. Starkey is one of the largest hearing-aid manufacturers in the world developing these technologies. We went inside the company's headquarters in Minnesota to see how the industry is transforming. Hearing aids can be customized, connect to phones, and translate foreign languages in real time. We went inside one of the largest hearing-aid manufacturers in the world to see how the industry is transforming.The following is a transcript of the video.Narrator: A squirt of silicone is the start of a hearing aid. The device is designed by machine and finalized by hand. But it's no longer just used for basic hearing. This customized aid can connect to your phone, isolate voices, and even translate another language in real time.Paul Neu: Did we take out the garbage tonight?Employee: Si, claro, Paulo.Narrator: We visited one of the world's largest hearing-aid manufacturers to learn more. 38 to 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. That's about the population of Canada or Spain. Right now, only about 20% of adults in the US who need a hearing aid actually have one. And believe it or not, there's only one traditional hearing-aid manufacturer that's US-owned and operated. Starkey was founded in 1967. Since then, it's produced tens of millions of these devices.Brandon Sawalich: Starkey has over 5,000 employees. We do business in over 100 countries, and we change people's lives through better hearing.Narrator: It's a big business that begins with the tiniest of measurements. Inside Starkey's headquarters, a silicone impression of the ear goes through a 3D scanner that captures all of its unique dimensions. The machine prints out an acrylic shell, which holds all of the electronic components. And a special software helps the technician determine how to create the smallest, most comfortable hearing aid for that patient's ear and prescription. Since the final customized product is assembled by hand, the whole process can take up to four days. For Chef Paul Neu, some of the features of his Starkey hearing aid have been essential for his work in the kitchen.Paul: I can answer my phone while I'm cutting fish. I don't have to touch anything. I don't have to stop what I'm doing to actually talk to people.Narrator: Chef Paul got his first hearing aids 14 years ago.Paul: It almost was like you were in a Chuck E. Cheese, where there's so many lights, bells, whistles going on.Narrator: But high costs are part of the reason why many adults haven't gotten them. Right now, a set of hearing aids in the US could cost anywhere from $700 to $10,000.Barbara Kelley: So, the device is about one-third of the cost, but then you have the services, which you really need.Narrator: There are also limited options.Nicholas Reed: There really only are five major hearing-aid companies in the world, and they're very highly integrated, in that you might hear many different brand names of hearing aids, but it's really five companies controlling the whole thing.Narrator: During the pandemic, the hearing-aid industry saw an unexpected surge.Nicholas: I think when you have something like universal masking, so many more people realize how much they rely actually on subconscious lip reading.Narrator: And the industry is also going through another big change. Legislation for over-the-counter hearing aids passed in 2017. Tech companies like Bose and Apple are entering the market. But Starkey points out that these over-the-counter devices will only be for those with mild to moderate hearing loss and that most Americans will still need personalized fittings and expert care. The number of people with hearing loss in the US is expected to nearly double by 2060 as the population of elderly people grows. And studies have shown that when left untreated, it has much more dire consequences on overall health.Paul: You strain so much in hearing that actually I was physically shaking, and I couldn't figure out why. And then I got the hearing aids, and then everything just stopped. The stress level to hear was just gone.Narrator: As the industry opens up, the hope is that any barriers to addressing hearing loss will fall and that these devices will become more accessible for everyone. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 3rd, 2021

It"s The Taper, Stupid!

It's The Taper, Stupid! Submitted by QTR's Fringe Finance It is astounding to me how much market commentary I have seen over the last 48 hours placing blame for the market “volatility” (read: 2% off all time highs) on the Omicron variant. The extent of our recent “volatility”.While there are definitely still some uncertainties about the new variant, early indications make it look as though it is not going to be meaningfully deadlier than other variants and that, one way or the other, we will be able to deal with Omicron and see our way through it - just as we did with the Delta variant. That is, unless the government implements more of what one trader calls a “criminal” response to Covid and issues more lockdowns and mandates. While Omicron uncertainty has likely contributed slightly to market volatility, I don’t think it is the driving force behind it. Rather, I believe that current volatility is a result of Jerome Powell’s surprising, and so far unrelenting, hawkish stance that a taper and rate hikes look to be necessary. In fact, several Fed governors have commented over the last 48 hours about potentially accelerating both rate hikes and tapering. This language, as I noted days ago, is an admission that the Fed has lost control of inflation. In fact, it looks as though inflation has gotten so bad that the Fed is going to have to try and attempt to “stick the landing” of presenting hurried tapering and rate hike plans to the market. Of course, the Fed won’t really be able to stick the landing on either because politicians on the left and castrated on-air finance personalities will cry foul as soon as the market has a 10% pullback as a result of higher rates (just as they did on the Covid crash). But for now, the company line is that we are going ahead with rate hikes and looking to accelerate the taper. This - not the Omicron variant - is what is moving markets. I said just days ago that Powell doesn’t even need to say anything for the market to continue to stay volatile at this point because his standing position on the matter is very hawkish. Yet, instead of saying nothing, he went as far as to reaffirm his hawkish stance on Wednesday of this week. From my piece earlier this week: If the Fed does look to accelerate the taper and toss around the idea of rate hikes in order to try and rope inflation in, as indicated, I think we can expect further downside in equity markets in December, as I predicted about a week ago. In fact, Powell doesn’t even have to re-acknowledge what he said yesterday, he simply has to say nothing until the Fed’s next official nod to the markets. As I said during my interview yesterday with Jack Boroudjian, tapers cause markets to crash: it is that simple. Just take a look at what happened in December 2018. This time is not going to be different. If the Fed goes ahead and decides to taper, you can expect risk assets to get smacked. Small caps and technology have gotten the “worst of it” during this volatility and I continue to believe that that will be the trend. The Russell 2000 and NASDAQ are just so chock-full of overvalued, cash burning companies that the world would actually be better without – malinvestment that should’ve been corrected years ago - that I believe those indexes will move disproportionately lower. I also continue to be profoundly negative on ARKK, an actively managed fund whose flagship component and largest weighting is up 90.6% in the last twelve months, yet has still somehow managed to plunge -11.9% over the same time period. That takes some very special “active management”. Source: YchartsIn fact, just yesterday after hours, another Cathie Wood holding, Docusign, took a 25% haircut. Wood contends that the growth from her companies will eventually make up for this volatility in the very long term, but I think her portfolio of egregiously overvalued names represents the first head on the chopping block if market volatility continues. And, as I noted days ago, if Tesla ever starts to sell off, ARKK holders should look out below. As I’ve said before, I also think there will be somewhat of a rotation trade back into cash generating blue chip names, consumer staples and the few companies that still pay a dividend and have modest price to earnings ratios - one of which I profiled as my favorite just weeks ago. Some of my other favorite names that I am looking to buy if they continue to sell off are well-known blue chip staples that have seen their stocks trade sideways or disproportionately lower over the last couple of months, despite growth-style P/E’s for some. I’d argue names like Disney (DIS) and Walmart (WMT) offer GARP (“growth at a reasonable price”) should they keep selling off. I also love Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)(my largest holding in my all-dividend portfolio which I add to almost daily) and Intel (INTC), which I believe will undergo a renaissance and eventually retake its throne as king of chips - if it isn’t bought out first at these levels. Gold has continued to selloff on the expectation that a taper is actually coming. Source: YchartsThe selloff could easily continue for the short- to mid-term, at least until we get to the point that gold needs to be bought as a volatility hedge due to a taper, or the point where the Fed finally caves and stops its plans for tapering or raising rates. It will be interesting to see how inflation may drive the Fed’s decision making going forward. Heading into the weekend and into the back end of this month, traders would do well to focus their energies more on Fed commentary than on developments with the Omicron variant, barring any massive change with what we know regarding the new strain. Obviously, if Omicron turns out to be a flesh eating variant of the virus that kills people instantly, that is going to have a profound effect on equity markets (Neel Kashkari heard shouting it the background: “Not if I can help it!”). But for the time being, thank God that doesn’t seem to be the case. Heading into 2022, I still think the markets could be in for a collapse, as I wrote here, as it appears that this is the only man that can move markets in this day and age: Readers of this free preview of paid content can subscribe to my blog and get 20% off normal pricing using this link: Get 20% off forever DISCLAIMER:  I own JNJ, WMT, DIS and INTC. I own ARKK, IWM, SPY puts. I own puts and calls in GLD and own a host of gold-related and precious metals related names. None of this is a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Positions can always change immediately as soon as I publish this, with or without notice. You are on your own. Do not make decisions based on my blog. I exist on the fringe. The publisher does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in this page. These are not the opinions of any of my employers, partners, or associates. I get shit wrong a lot.  Tyler Durden Fri, 12/03/2021 - 10:25.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 3rd, 2021

Financial Crime: Two men charged with collecting $20M in royalties from YouTube, using forged letters to falsely claim they represented artists

Prosecutors say the men claimed rights to 50,000 Spanish-language songs they didn’t own, using the royalty money to buy mansions, fancy cars and jewelry......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchDec 3rd, 2021

Financial Crime: Two charged with stealing $20M in elaborate YouTube music royalty scam

Prosecutors say the men claimed rights to 50,000 Spanish-language songs they didn’t own, using the royalty money to buy mansions, fancy cars and jewelry......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchDec 2nd, 2021

The Fed Admits It Has Lost Control

The Fed Admits It Has Lost Control Submitted by QTR's Fringe Finance Like any junkie with an addiction, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. It was no sooner than Paul Krugman came out less than two months ago declaring a win for what he called “Team Transitory” that Jerome Powell sat in front of a Senate panel and was forced to admit he had a problem. Powell seemed to come to terms yesterday that he was stuck between a rock (brutal, unrelenting consumer inflation) and a hard place (the inability to raise rates or taper without fuck-tangling the entire economy and capital markets). The Fed Chair admitted in front of a Senate panel yesterday that “it’s probably a good time to retire” the word “transitory” to describe inflation. He continued: “At this point, the economy is very strong and inflationary pressures are higher, and it is therefore appropriate in my view to consider wrapping up the taper of our asset purchases, which we actually announced at the November meeting, perhaps a few months sooner,” according to CNBC. Of course, to those of us without our heads up our asses over the last 18 months, like Jerome Powell, this admission doesn’t come as that much of a surprise. I have been covering, writing and ranting [here, here, here and here] about why I believed it was obvious that the inflation we’re experiencing is not transitory, for months now. In fact, I would argue that the extent of the coming inflation problem has been pretty obvious to just about anybody. This makes it extra hilarious that the Fed has been hiding behind this vaudeville act of pretending they just noticed that inflation has barely nudged above their 2% target. The reality is that price hikes for the everyday American are 10%, 20%, sometimes up to 50% on products and services they need for their day-to-day lives. In addition to what we can experience with our very own eyes and wallets, every single major consumer products manufacturer and industrial company has commented that their cost of raw materials has gone up. The American public has been so aware of inflation, it has even become a part of the mainstream media narrative on both the left and the right. Photo: The Counter SignalInflation has been out of control for years now: you know it, and now nobody can say that the Fed doesn’t know it. In addition to relinquishing the “transitory” term yesterday, Powell even indicated to the Senate panel that accelerating their taper and considering rate hikes were on the table. This is especially bold language in the face of the newly-discovered omicron variant, which I predicted days ago would give the Fed a perfect excuse if they wanted to to continue quantitative easing. While I happen to think this will be the Delta variant part 2 (in that it drums up a lot of hysteria and then everyone eventually ignores it), that doesn’t mean the government and markets won’t overreact to the news. Remember, scary sounding words like “mutation”, “spike protein” and “variant” are a prompt to act like hysterical hyenas and usurp power unilaterally for those on the left side of the aisle (read: our entire government right now). But based on Powell’s testimony yesterday, it looks like the problem of high prices is going to take precedence over using omicron as another crutch to push a socialist modern monetary theory agenda - at least for the time being. And while uncertainty surrounding omicron is part of the discussion, markets plunged on Tuesday of this week mainly because of the verbiage Powell used when describing the taper and potential rate hikes, in my opinion. The only question now is whether Powell has the stones to stand by his hawkishness. If the Fed does look to accelerate the taper and toss around the idea of rate hikes in order to try and rope inflation in, as indicated, I think we can expect further downside in equity markets in December, as I predicted about a week ago. In fact, Powell doesn’t even have to re-acknowledge what he said yesterday, he simply has to say nothing until the Fed’s next official nod to the markets. That isn’t to say that his taper/rate hike plan is or isn’t going to work. It’s only to say that it will introduce a significant amount of volatility to markets that hasn’t been there over the last year and a half. In other words, if your strategy is like that Target manager that made a million dollars shorting the VIX 2018, it might be a great time to take a month off. In a volatile situation, I would expect small caps and technology to get hit the hardest, with some rotation into blue chips, staples and Dow Industrials, although these three areas of respite may eventually wind up lower as well. From there, it’s going to be a question of how inflation responds and how much leeway the market gives the Fed before fear of an impending credit catastrophe starts to spread. Photo: NY TimesOf course, the newfound hawkishness also leaves Powell room to backtrack - something that the Fed loves to do and are experts in - by slowing the taper or pushing rate hikes back further. At least for now, however, the market appears to have started to take its medicine due to Powell’s change of stance. As of today, the omicron variant doesn’t look like it’s going to have a material effect on the Covid universe. That is, except for the effect our overreaching government wants to cause themselves. While most indications over the last 72 hours have been that omicron isn’t more deadly than other variants, the government doesn’t seem to care and has already sought out new restrictions that will once again throw a wrench in the gears of business, industry and people’s daily lives. Creating a problem where there isn’t one: it’s the Keynesian Government’s way. Precious metals were higher on the day yesterday before Powell’s testimony, when they shifted drastically lower on expectations of hawkish policy. An interesting setup for gold here is that it may actually transition from being an inflationary hedge to just a hedge for market volatility and systemic risk. If we start to try and redline a taper or rate hikes and the economy or credit markets start to get really volatile, gold may be still seen as a safe haven, despite the fact that the clear and present worry wouldn’t necessarily be inflation at the time. I think this is why my friend Rosemont Seneca wants to own it heading into 2022. But of course there’s also many of the school that believe inflation is coming no matter what the outcome over the next several months is. Many believe that the Fed won’t be able to raise rates because they won’t be able to service the national debt or do so without creating a credit crisis. Ergo, the only option is then to try to print their way out of the corner they have painted themselves in. I think both of these scenarios act as a tailwind for gold. I also think commodities may still be in play as demand fears from omicron will eventually fade away, in my opinion. Omicron will, in my opinion, go the way of the Delta variant, in that it’ll be a great new scary sounding headline for people in the liberal media to push, but the everyday person isn’t going to give a shit about it. What is important here is that it truly looks like the Fed is trying to shift gears. It looks like we’re heading into a new era as we move into December and into 2022. I had a feeling this type of volatility would be on its way heading into the end of the year because the Fed has painted itself into a very difficult corner to get out of. While I don’t think they have done anything productive in terms of bringing new solutions to the inflation problem to the table, they have at least acknowledged the fact that they have lost control. Yesterday may only be the beginning of the every day investor realizing not just that there’s an inflation problem, but more importantly that we may not have the solution for it. *  *  * Zerohedge readers always get 10% off a subscription to my blog for life by using this link. DISCLAIMER:  It should be assumed I have positions in any security or commodity mentioned in this article and could benefit from my analysis proving correct. None of this is a solicitation to buy or sell securities. None of this is financial advice. Positions can always change immediately as soon as I publish, with or without notice. You are on your own. Do not make decisions based on my blog. I exist on the fringe. The publisher does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in this page. These are not the opinions of any of my employers, partners, or associates. I get shit wrong a lot.  Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 11:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

"Hellbound" is Netflix"s latest Korean-language hit after the success of "Squid Game"

"Hellbound" premiered on the heels of Netflix's biggest show of all time, the South Korean series "Squid Game." "Hellbound."Netflix The Korean-language Netflix series "Hellbound" was watched for 111 million hours last month. It was one of Netflix's most popular shows in November. Its comes on the heels of the South Korean series "Squid Game," Netflix's biggest show ever. Netflix has another Korean-language hit. "Hellbound," a new South Korean fantasy series that debuted November 19, was one of Netflix's most popular shows last month. Insider calculated, based on Netflix's weekly lists of its top titles, that it was the streamer's No. 5 show of the month and was watched for at least 111 million hours globally.The show comes on the heels of the Korean series "Squid Game," Netflix's biggest show of all time, which is still attracting viewers more than two months after its release. It was Netflix's most popular show of November with 163 million hours watched."Hellbound" was created by Yeon Sang-ho, who directed the hit Korean zombie movie "Train to Busan."Netflix describes "Hellbound" like this: "Unearthly beings deliver bloody condemnations, sending individuals to hell and giving rise to a religious group founded on the idea of divine justice."Netflix is investing heavily in Korean-language content and committed to spending $500 million in South Korea this year. According to the data firm Ampere Analysis, 63% of Netflix's upcoming live-action, sci-fi, and fantasy slate is being produced outside of the US, and the biggest source of that is in South Korea.Experts say that the surge in popularity of Korean content didn't happen overnight. Robert Ji-Song Ku, an associate professor of Asian and Asian-American studies at the State University of New York at Binghamton, told Insider recently that it's been "30 years in the making.""The Korean wave begins in the '90s in places like China and Japan," he said. "From 2000 onward, there was a steady but increased consumption of Korean pop culture, starting in neighboring Asian nations and branching out."He thinks that the Korean content surge won't slow down any time soon. "The wave is always evolving ... this is just the beginning of a tsunami," he said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2021

Roe v. Wade "will never be the same": How the Supreme Court could decide a major abortion rights challenge

The Supreme Court seems open to undermine abortion rights that were guaranteed nearly 50 years ago under the landmark ruling, Roe v. Wade. Seated from left: Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, Standing from left: Brett Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett.Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for a major case about abortion rights on Wednesday. The challenge, brought by Mississippi, could impact the landmark case Roe v. Wade. Experts say that if the court sides with Mississippi, it will undermine the core holdings of Roe. The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed willing to erode abortion rights in the United States that were guaranteed nearly 50 years ago under the landmark ruling, Roe v. Wade. The nine justices heard two hours of oral arguments for a major case about a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, challenging what's commonly referred to as the viability standard set in Roe, which is that states cannot prohibit the procedure before roughly 24 weeks.Through their questioning, the court's six conservative justices appeared open to upholding the Mississippi law. Justice Samuel Alito said "the fetus has an interest in having a life," Justice Brett Kavanaugh mentioned whether the court should have a neutral position on the issue and Chief Justice John Roberts questioned the viability mark. Mississippi has directly asked the court to overrule Roe and another major 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which established that states cannot impose an "undue burden" on abortion rights. The court's three liberals raised concerns about reversing decades-old precedent."Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?" Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. "I don't see how it is possible."Whether the court will uphold Mississippi's law and gut Roe remains uncertain. A decision will be handed down by next June. Before Wednesday's arguments, Insider spoke with legal scholars to discuss the ways in which the court could decide. The bottom line is, they said, that if the court sides with Mississippi, it will undermine the heart of Roe.Here's what each expert said, edited for length and clarity.Mary Ziegler, professor at Florida State University College of LawIf the Supreme Court doesn't say they're overruling Roe, they will have rewritten Roe and telegraphed that they're going to overrule Roe. So whether the court admits that that's what it's doing or not, it's going to be on the road to doing that. And it's going to have made it a lot easier for states to pass, not just modest restrictions on abortion, but pretty sweeping ones.Obviously the biggest thing to take away is just that whatever the court does, Roe will never be the same and it's worth noting that. There's no real middle ground outcome if the court upholds the Mississippi law. At the same time, if something of Roe is left, that may still matter. So I think threading that needle and making sure people understand that is what's important.Josh Blackman, professor at South Texas College of LawAnything is possible. The court could overrule Roe and Casey. The court could stop short of those decisions. The court could simply say the 15-week abortion ban is fine, we don't have to decide anything else. It can write an incoherent opinion that doesn't even address Roe and Casey. There are a million possibilities.Even if the court says, 'We're not overruling Roe,' they still might be doing it anyway. The court might just lie about it and say, 'Well, we're not overruling Roe. We hold that a 15-week abortion ban is fine.' That's not true. Under Roe and Casey, 15 weeks should not be fine to support the point of viability. So the court can just lie about what it's doing.I. Glenn Cohen, professor at Harvard Law SchoolSome people have described that the court under [Chief Justice] Roberts has a tendency to do what they call faux judicial minimalism or death by a thousand cuts. That's the idea to often not overrule the central precedent, but cut it back to such an extent that essentially withers on the vine. This is really what the Roberts court has done with voting rights, for example, and other areas. That they begin slowly, and then they add, they add, they add, and they add, such that they never really overrule something facially. Instead they whittled it down to being not really a very strong right. Mark Kende, professor at Drake University Law SchoolA lot of scholars such as myself think that this particular court will eventually want to get rid of Roe and Casey, but that they may try to proceed gradually. Although some might say this isn't that gradual, but they may not try to do it the first time out. They may try to come up with some way to basically uphold this law or at least do something that undermines Casey and Roe, but doesn't quite get rid of those cases.If the court does uphold [the Mississippi law], there may still be some cautionary language saying, we're not completely getting rid of the idea that a woman must have a fundamental right to abortion.Sherry Colb, professor at Cornell Law SchoolThe [Mississippi] law is completely inconsistent with Roe. So in that sense, they're overturning Roe, but I don't think they're going to characterize it that way because they don't want to create a backlash. Getting rid of viability is overruling Roe and Casey. If they suggest, as they will almost certainly do, that it isn't, then they're lying about what they're doing. And I worry that the public will just hear the soundbite and think, oh, they haven't overruled Roe yet.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2021

The top 9 shows on Netflix last month, including "Squid Game" and "You"

Netflix's biggest TV shows in November included two Korean-language series, "Squid Game" and "Hellbound." "Squid Game."Netflix Every Tuesday, Netflix updates the website with its most popular titles of the previous week. The lists are based on the number of hours viewed that week. Insider calculated the most watched TV shows during November based on their total hours watched during the month, according to Netflix's data. Two Korean-language series, "Squid Game" and "Hellbound," were popular in November. The former is Netflix's biggest show of all time. The only non-Netflix original on the list is The CW's "Dynasty." 9. "Locke and Key" season two — 63.36 million hoursNetflixDescription: "After their dad's murder, three siblings move with their mom to his ancestral estate, where they discover magical keys that unlock powers — and secrets."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 80%What critics said: "Thanks to this pair of treasonous teenagers, Locke & Key deftly avoids the sophomore season slump, and actually builds on the suspense attached to the potential and menace in Keyhouse." — AV Club8. "Dynasty" season four — 78.69 million hoursThe CWDescription: "The Carringtons and the Colbys feud for control over their fortune — and their children — in this updated reboot of the classic prime-time soap."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/AWhat critics said: "Having to cut down on the theatrics and focus on the characters has really made for interesting content, character exploration, and some of the series' best stories." — Collider7. "Arcane: League of Legends" season one — 102.25 million hours"Arcane."NetflixDescription: "Amid the stark discord of twin cities Piltover and Zaun, two sisters fight on rival sides of a war between magic technologies and clashing convictions."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 100%What critics said: "What really elevates the show's solid storytelling is its transcendent animation." — Time Magazine6. "The Queen of Flow" season two — 107.67 million hoursNetflixDescription: "Seventeen years after being wrongly imprisoned, a talented songwriter seeks justice against the men who caused her downfall and killed her family."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/AWhat critics said: N/A5. "Hellbound" season one — 111.0 million hoursNetflixDescription: "Unearthly beings deliver bloody condemnations, sending individuals to hell and giving rise to a religious group founded on the idea of divine justice."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 100%What critics said: "A fascinating entry into stories about faith, while not having a self-seriousness to its ideas. The wrath monster trio might be absurd, but the madness within Hellbound is extremely believable." — RogerEbert.com4. "Maid" (limited series) — 115.18 million hoursNetflixDescription: "After fleeing an abusive relationship, a young mother finds a job cleaning houses as she fights to provide for her child and build them a better future."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%What critics said: "The Netflix miniseries illustrates the endless Catch-22 poor people in America face." — The Ringer3. "Narcos: Mexico" season three — 123.41 million hoursNetflixDescription: "Witness the birth of the Mexican drug war in the 1980s as a gritty new 'Narcos' saga chronicles the true story of the Guadalajara cartel's ascent."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 100%What critics said: "The third and final season of the Netflix series comes equipped with a new showrunner in Carlo Bernard and plenty of chaotic shootouts, double crosses, and narrative twists." — The Daily Beast2. "You" season three — 126.84 million hoursNetflixDescription: "A dangerously charming, intensely obsessive young man goes to extreme measures to insert himself into the lives of those he is transfixed by."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%What critics said: "You is a sly guilty pleasure as such things go. Joe's prolific and wry inner dialogue narrates and critiques the action, ensuring that we see him as weird, funny, appealing, carnal, sexy and menacing." — Salon1. "Squid Game" season one — 163.93 million hoursYoungkyu ParkDescription: "Hundreds of cash-strapped players accept a strange invitation to compete in children's games. Inside, a tempting prize awaits — with deadly high stakes."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%What critics said: "For the most part, writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk's mix of high and low elements like that works incredibly well." — Rolling StoneRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021

What leaders can learn from Shopify founder Tobias Lütke, who turned his side hustle into a platform powering more than 1 million businesses

Tobias Lütke formed Shopify after people reached out about the infrastructure of his snowboard website. He's now a formidable leader and innovator. Tobias Lütke thinks of trust like a battery. It starts at 50% when he meets someone, and then every interaction charges or depletes the battery a little bit.Lucas Jackson/Reuters; Marianne Ayala/Insider Tobi Lütke created Shopify after businesses became interested in the infrastructure of his site.  He uses a "fly on the wall" technique to learn, piecing bits of information together like a puzzle.  He deconstructs his decisions to see the assumptions he made to better understand his choice.  You may be surprised to learn that e-commerce platform Shopify would never exist if founder Tobias Lütke didn't have an obsession with snowboarding.In 2004, he was working as a programmer, but he wanted to make some extra cash. He decided to team up with a friend and start his own business: an online snowboard store called Snowdevil. They thought the process would be simple: create an online store and start selling snowboards.But it was way harder than they imagined."I tried to find the right software to use for this business, and I was stunned that I couldn't find anything," Lütke said. "It's not that there wasn't e-commerce software, but it was just all basically user-hostile database editors, at best. It was so clear that no one who's ever run a retail business had had any part in building these pieces of software."As a programmer, the natural solution to this problem was to build his own software from scratch. He used a programming language called Ruby on Rails and successfully launched his store. He was working out of a coffee shop in Canada called Bridgehead when he received an email with his first order."I came in, I got my coffee, I sat down, and I was scanning through my emails," he said. "While I was doing that, another email came in. It said, 'new order.' It was an insane moment."Lütke said this was one of the most important moments in his life because it made him realize something: He suddenly went from programmer to entrepreneur."I remember it, I remember exactly where I was sitting, what I was eating that day," he said. "It was something that I just fell in love with, and I wanted to share that."Snowdevil took off, but then something unexpected happened: People were less interested in buying snowboarding gear and more interested in the backend infrastructure for their own online stores.Lütke listened to the feedback — he decided to pivot Snowdevil into the company that would ultimately become Shopify. He became obsessed with the idea that his company would empower small business owners to have the same experience he had in that coffee shop that day when he made his first sale."There's a huge global demand for people reaching for their own independence," he said.Today, Shopify powers more than a million online shops, and Lütke is obsessed with using systems to automate repetitive tasks and incrementally improve the customer experience."I'm always trying to think of ways to make something more efficient," he said. "If I have to do something once, that's fine. If I have to do it twice, I'm kind of annoyed. And if I have to do it three times, I'm going to try to automate it."Here's what we can learn from Lütke about efficiency, optimization, and leadership.ReadOn becoming an original thinker: Lütke has a fascinating mind. He's developed mental models around creativity, product creation, and learning. "I find that going wide and learning the best lessons from the people who have dedicated their entire lives to a certain pursuit gets you really, really close to mastery," he said. (I happen to believe the same!) This is a fascinating deep dive into Lütke's approach to leadership.On his hiring strategy: When Lütke hires an employee on his team, he doesn't ask traditional interview questions. Instead, he prefers to hear the candidate's life story in their own words to better understand how they think. He listens for the moments where they had to make important decisions, and he goes deep on those by asking more probing questions. "I find the strongest predictor of people who do well at Shopify is whether they see opportunity as something to compete for, or do they see opportunity as essentially everywhere and unlimited," he said.ListenOn staying disciplined in business: Lütke has built Shopify into a behemoth powering so much of the internet's digital commerce. In this conversation, Lütke discusses business focus, why video games can help you learn the power of attention, what design means for products and organizations, and how he uses mental models to stay disciplined. (Check out this Twitter thread on the mental models Lütke uses.)On scaling Shopify into a global business: Putting small things together to act big is at the heart of platform thinking. In this episode, Lütke explains that the secret to gaining massive scale is to be a platform. It goes like this: Build a virtuous cycle where everyone wins, and you'll emerge the biggest winner of all. Here's how Lütke built Shopify and why he decided to open it up to the world.On building trust: Lütke believes that trust is actually a much more complicated concept than people think. It's not black-and-white, he said, it's more of a gradient. For instance, he said, the so-called "trust battery" is charged at 50% when you are first hired with a fellow coworker. And then every time you work with that person, the battery that exists between the both of you gains or loses charge based on whether each of you delivers on your promises. This one is filled with interesting thought experiments you can implement in your everyday life.On transforming into a CEO: Lütke could have been pigeonholed as an introverted computer programmer, not a public-facing CEO. But he was eager to learn, and that became his superpower. In this podcast, Lütke discusses his learning style, how he's cultivated a culture of curiosity, and why he's obsessed with the book "The Courage to Be Disliked."WatchOn how he solves problems: Lütke said the biggest advantage he had as an entrepreneur is starting out as a programmer. "You think in systems," he said. "By default, most people think about cause and effect, but the world doesn't work like that. The world actually works in systems — it is loopy, not linear." This is a fascinating interview that gives us a peek into Lütke's systems-based mind.On the power of starting small: During the pandemic, Lütke noticed that shops centered around decorative tapestries and wall art were doing very well. Why? Because in an era of endless Zoom calls, people wanted better backgrounds when they appeared on video. So if you're about start a company or a product, Lütke recommends asking yourself: "How does this product I'm creating fit into the story of the times?"On lessons from the pandemic: Lütke isn't afraid to admit when he's wrong. Before the pandemic, he believed that there is nothing more powerful for productivity than physical proximity. But then he changed his mind. "If you can actually get a small team together where everyone has the right kind of setup and the software is there to support it, then you can put some really high-fidelity team together that works really, really well," he said. Here's how he's constantly updating his beliefs.Polina's takeawaysUse a color-coding system to gain control of your schedule: Lütke uses a color-coding technique to manage his calendar. He labels anything product-related as red, investor and board of director-related business as teal, and so on. The thing he's looking for is a balanced week — "a week where, ideally, I manage to devote about 30% of the time — at least — to the product and then as much as possible to things like recruiting, bigger picture projects, and one-on-ones." Color-coding your calendar is a great way to do an audit and see exactly where you're spending most of your time.Improve decision-making by poking holes: How do you know if you're about to make the right decision? Deconstruct it, poke holes in it, and look at the elements that went into making it. "When you're discussing an idea or a decision, I want to know what has been considered," Lütke said. "I find myself more interested in the inputs of an idea than the actual decision." Here's how he does it: Look at the possible outcome of a decision, and ask yourself, What assumptions have I made? What inputs did I use to come to this conclusion? Are my fundamentals shaky? "The decision being discussed could be the perfect decision according to the various assumptions that everyone came into the room with," Lütke said. "But if those assumptions are faulty, the seemingly perfect decision is faulty, too." Whenever he makes a decision, he keeps a small log file with one paragraph explaining what information he used to make that decision and then reviews it every six months.Gain knowledge quickly by using Lütke's "fly on the wall" technique: Before podcasts were big, it wasn't easy to listen in on a conversation between two experts. But Lütke found a way. He enjoyed situations in which he played the role of "a fly on the wall." Here's how he did it: Let's say he wanted to learn about some esoteric 3D-rendering algorithm. He would join a chat room where people talked about this topic, but he didn't understand anything because it would be so specific and technical. "But then, I chip away at it, and I would come into the knowledge," he said. Because he had no background in business, he replicated this exact process when he was meeting with investors. They would ask him about things like "attrition rates," "conversion rates," and "funnels," and Lütke would write down the terms, look up their definitions, and find the answers. In other words, he starts with the details and then pieces together the puzzle of the foundation. (This is the opposite of Elon Musk's approach.)Reframe failure to promote experimentation: At Shopify, the word "failure" doesn't exist. That's because Lütke believes that "almost every good decision starts as a bad one first." It was important to him that he build a culture unafraid of experimentation at his company. So failure was reframed as "the successful discovery of something that did not work." But he discovered that this approach only works if everyone is on the same page about giving and receiving direct feedback about their work. "Feedback is a gift because it is. It clearly is," he said. "It's not meant to hurt. It's meant to move things forward, to demystify something for you."Build systems that help in times of uncertainty: Lütke has a great piece of advice: "Always understand the system of how you got to where you are." Entrepreneurship, he said, is about the ability to step back and look at the whole picture. "It's a beautiful thing as an early company — if you have 10 people and one product and one potential market, you can actually draw the entire systems diagram on one blackboard," he said. "Once you have that modeled out, try to reason about the whole situation and pick out how you got to the point. That's what the trick is." Systems act like a map that can you guide you out of moments of adversity.Remember that trust starts at 50%: Lütke said it's not useful to think that trust is mostly binary — you either trust someone or you don't. It's much more complex than that, and he uses the metaphor of a "trust battery" to explain it. When you enter into a personal or professional relationship with someone, your trust battery starts at roughly 50% and every interaction you have with the person either charges or discharges the battery a little bit. "Just like with your phone, if the battery is low, you think all the time about the battery," he said. "It's the same with people. Those who are low on trust, you think of all the time. The people who are high on trust, you don't worry about as much." Aim to be a person whose trust battery stays consistently charged at over 80%.Quotes to remember"Amazon is trying to build an empire, and Shopify is trying to arm the rebels.""I believe the secret to massive scale is compressed in three words: Be a platform.""I have an unbroken track record of underestimating the potential of my own company, which I hope will continue.""Just give me the raw feedback without all the shit sandwich around it.""Entrepreneurship is precious and needs to be celebrated."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021

How ‘Subscribe to Me’ Became the Future of Work

Creators are bumping up against the limits of the platforms they use In August, Savannah’s entire monthly income was at stake. OnlyFans, the social media platform where she built her career, making an average of $2,000 a month from subscribers, had just announced it would be removing content like hers from the site. But there was little she could do about it. She remembers thinking: “OK, well, this is another Thursday, I might as well finish my Chick-Fil-A, and I’m just gonna chill here and wait for us to get some sort of response.” Savannah, 24, is part of a vibrant, supportive community of online sex workers that underwrite OnlyFans’s considerable financial success; it’s now valued at over $1 billion. But in a move that may foreshadow changes to come, that community was shaken when OnlyFans announced it would be banning explicit content on the site. “The sky falls on OnlyFans, like, every three or four months,” Savannah says, wryly. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] She could’ve gotten a more standard job when she graduated from college in 2020 with a business degree—maybe at a bank, as a mortgage loan officer. But while career-hunting, she was working three part-time jobs and her boyfriend at the time suggested trying out OnlyFans. She opened an account in January 2020, posting sassy videos and photos that showed off her passion for Star Wars cosplay and her cheeky sense of humor to attract subscribers. “It was nerve-wracking,” Savannah admits. At first, the subscribers just trickled in; she made $80 that month. Then the pandemic lockdowns started, and Savannah’s online star began to rise. “It was an extreme case of right place, right time,” she says. “Everyone was suddenly locked inside. And they were horny. And it just all came together.” By September 2020, she had earned enough money to buy her own house—a goal that had always seemed elusive with a traditional career path. “I never, ever thought that I would be stable enough to buy a house, period, in my lifetime,” she says. That sense of stability was put to the test by the new August policy—briefly. OnlyFans backtracked just days later. For many, online sex work is easy to ignore or view as the internet’s titillating sideshow. Historically, though, the conditions of sex work serve as an indicator of the health of a society, and the inconclusive OnlyFans incident could predict the future of the growing digital creator economy and its workers. Annie Flanagan for TIME“Not only has it absolutely changed the trajectory of my life forever, but I have fun, I’m my own boss,” says Savannah. Savannah considers herself half sex worker and half “online creator,” a burgeoning and nebulous category of workers who have turned to online platforms to profit off their talents and speak to niche audiences. But the creator economy that took off around 2011 with YouTube has evolved as creators seek autonomy over their intellectual property and freedom from brand sponsorships and social media restrictions. Writers, gamers, academics, sex workers, chefs, athletes, artists: anyone with a point of view, or a video to share, has flocked to sites like Twitch, OnlyFans, Patreon and Substack in hopes of selling their skills directly to their fans. A September study from the Influencer Marketing Factory estimates some 50 million people around the world participate in this economy, broadly—that’s a third the size of the entire U.S. workforce. The study valued the creator market north of $100 billion in 2021. Direct subscription creators are a fraction of that, but a rapidly growing one. There are over a million creators on OnlyFans; streaming platform Twitch boasts over 8 million active streamers; Patreon, which hosts pay-to-view visual and written content, says it has over 200,000 active accounts. And the money generated by this new class keep going up, with OnlyFans announcing it has facilitated over $3 billion in payouts to accounts since their founding five years ago. Patreon says its creator accounts have racked up over $2 billion. Twitch’s in-app purchases neared $200 million in the first half of 2021 alone. Creators skew Millennial and Gen Z; digital natives are, after all, more prepared to capitalize on and take risks online. One study from research firm PSFK suggested that over 50% of Gen Z Americans are interested in becoming an “influencer” as a career. But some of the most successful subscription creators—historian Heather Cox Richardson, musician Amanda Palmer, photographer Brandon Stanton, and model Blac Chyna—are in their 30s or older, and were well established in their careers before selling their skills online, a fact that lends the subscription creator economy more credence. These days, Savannah—who goes by Savannah Solo on her Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and OnlyFans pages—counts hundreds of thousands of subscribers to her public profiles, and 6,500 paying subscribers to her more risqué content on OnlyFans. She doesn’t want to stop. “Not only has it absolutely changed the trajectory of my life forever, but I have fun, I’m my own boss, I wake up and I put on makeup and I wear a stupid costume and make fun content. You can decide if you want to be a persona—or if you just want to be yourself,” she says. But, as she has learned in August, the reality of a creator career is more complicated. Annie Flanagan for TIMESavannah looks through OnlyFans messages while laying at home on Oct. 18. The problem with platforms The job title “creator” is a new invention, born in the past decade thanks to the rise of self-publishing opportunities. First there was YouTube, the ür-influencer platform. Then came Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These web2 behemoths offered anyone the ability to build a fanbase with little more than an internet connection (and, for the most successful, access to a way to photograph or video themselves). At first, little money was transferred into the hands of the creators; success in the form of wide viewership was a badge of honor, not a moneymaking scheme. That changed with the rise of models in which creators received a cut of advertising associated with their content (like pre-roll video ads on YouTube) and sponsored content and ambassadorship programs (like many of Instagram’s influencer programs). This kept content free for fans while still paying the creators—and it’s the model that still dominates the market. But positioning image-conscious brands in between fans and creators who value authenticity is not always a natural fit. Brands drop creators when they post something the brand doesn’t like. Creators lose autonomy when they spend all their time crafting sponsored content. Enter the paid social media model, in which audiences can contribute directly to their favorite creators. “From the creators’ point of view, it gives them more control and empowerment,” says OnlyFans CEO and founder Tim Stokely, about the potential for direct-to-creator paid social media to be the economic engine of the online future. The company is famous for featuring sex worker creators like Savannah, but Stokely is pushing the platform’s PG accounts, where users can subscribe to a chef’s cooking videos or a trainer’s workouts. Read More: Why OnlyFans Suddenly Reversed its Decision to Ban Sexual Content Twitch was early to this game, launching in 2011. “The digital patronage model we see popping up today in other iterations exists because of Twitch’s early entry in and focus on the creator economy,” says Mike Minton, Vice President of Monetization at Twitch. Twitch prefers to consider itself a “service” rather than a platform: it serves creators with access to audiences and monetizes their viewership, and serves fans by making it easy to watch and contribute. But it’s not all profit for creators. Hidden in the slick appeal of be-your-own-boss social media entrepreneurialism is the role of the platforms themselves, and sticky questions of ownership. Twitch, for instance, provides the necessary infrastructure for popular gamers to stream hours of high-resolution content to mass audiences of live viewers. But it also takes a 50% cut of any subscriptions. OnlyFans says the 30% it takes helps offset the costs of the security and privacy features that adult content in particular requires. Patreon takes from 5 to 12%, depending on your plan; Substack takes 10%, minus processing fees. Consummate middlemen, these companies have created low barriers to entry while still gatekeeping, at least financially. “There’s a history of artists being taken advantage of, and artists have to keep criticizing and keep skepticism at a high level,” says Jack Conte, CEO of Patreon. “I think that’s mission critical. Artists have to be educated, and choose wisely and watch platforms carefully.” Patreon, for its part, offers its users full access to their email lists in an attempt to offer greater control over their audience relationships. Patreon has had its share of controversy: a 2018 kerfuffle surrounded their choice to ban certain politically-extreme voices from the platform; payment snafus and hikes in processing fees have ruffled feathers; and their current content policies exclude sexually explicit work, to the frustration of some. The company is eager to try to keep up with creator-favored trends, however, announcing plans to integrate crypto payments and considering developing “creator coins,” and developing a native video player to more directly compete with YouTube. Stokely doesn’t try to promise financial stability or freedom to OnlyFans’ million-plus creators, especially given the complications of banking regulations (on which the company blamed the brief August ban of sexual content). He knows that change is inevitable, but he does promise one thing: OnlyFans will not become “littered with paid posts and adverts” like the free platforms. Annie Flanagan for TIME“I wake up and I put on makeup and I wear a stupid costume and make fun content. You can decide if you want to be a persona—or if you just want to be yourself,” Savannah says. Navigating an unsteady landscape Writer and musician Amanda Palmer, 45, is intimately acquainted with the challenges of creative autonomy. Palmer, the frontwoman of indie rock duo the Dresden Dolls, extricated herself from an album deal a decade ago, choosing to embrace independence—with all its financial risks—and gather income from her fans directly. “There’s been a general shift in consciousness, that people are no longer scratching their heads when an artist or a creator comes to you directly and says, Hey, I need 10 bucks,” she says. “You’re seeing it in right wing podcasting. And you’re seeing it in feminist journalism on Substack. And you’re seeing it with musicians and gamers on Patreon, and you’re seeing it with porn stars on OnlyFans.” Palmer started a Patreon in 2015, where she now posts bits of music, videos and blog posts to 12,000 paying subscribers. The direct, monetized line of communication with her fans has meant she could weather the pandemic storm—when she couldn’t play live concerts—using honesty and openness in the content she shares as bartering coin for their cash. She says she has made over $5 million in subscriptions to support her creative endeavors, although her net profit mostly just pays rent and living expenses. Still, it has been an effective solution to the conundrum of monetizing fame and artwork for a niche audience. Read More: The Livestream Show Will Go On. How COVID Has Changed Live Music—Forever Palmer’s experience with Patreon is a prime use-case for the company: a non-major artist finds financial freedom through direct-to-consumer content sharing. “Because of what’s happened over the last 10 years, there’s now hundreds of millions of creative people who identify as creators, putting their work online and already making a lot of money and want to be paid and want to build businesses,” Conte says. “Patreon is tiny; compared to the amount of creators in the world, we’re a speck.” But with $2 billion in payouts over the years, it’s proved to be a meaningful speck for a collection of creators. Conte says that about half the money that Patreon processes goes to creators who are making between $1,000 and $10,000 per month. “It’s not Taylor Swift rich, it’s not Rihanna rich. It’s a middle class of creativity: a whole new world of creators that are being enabled by this,” he says. It’s a group like Palmer: people who have a specific viewpoint, a built-in audience and an effective grasp on how to optimize their dynamic with fans. Still, even Palmer, who has “very warm feelings” about Patreon, recognizes that it can’t be trusted forever. “I’ve been ringing the warning bells for years about how dangerous it is to get into bed with a for profit company, and use them as the only avenue to reach your audience, right? Because it is dangerous, because at any moment, Facebook can take that away from you, at any moment, Patreon could sell up to Facebook and decide to change all of the rules of engagement. I really hope that doesn’t happen. But there are no guarantees in this dog eat dog tech world,” she says. “In order to protect myself, I always keep a lot of phone lines open with my community.” Annie Flanagan for TIMESavannah looks through photos with her assistant Cay. Healthy skepticism, and solidarity In her Instagram photos, Jahara Jayde doesn’t look real: technicolor eyes, luminous, airbrushed skin, ears elongated into elven tips. In her five-plus-hour Twitch streams every evening, though, she’s a bit more human, video chatting in real time with her thousand-plus viewers and slurping noodles from an unseen bowl as she plays Final Fantasy XIV through her dinnertime. When she streams, it’s just her and her subscribers. But she has discovered how vital it is to have a community of creators in this business, too. Twitch averages nearly 3 million concurrent viewers; in 2020, people watched nearly 20 billion hours of content on the site. By nature of its freewheeling live video DNA, it’s a place that is hard to regulate and populated by a wide array of characters. “I deal with racism on all of the platforms,” says Jahara, a 30-year-old BIPOC woman, citing in particular a recent influx of “hate raids” targeting BIPOC and LGBTQ+ creators on Twitch. Some creators even led a day-long streaming boycott to draw attention to the issue. Twitch has had to regulate the use of certain words and emotes (their version of custom emojis) in user chats in order to limit problematic language and content. Because of—and despite—that, Jahara has built a keenly supportive, tight-knit community that is expanding the definition of what it means to be a gamer or a creator, and who gets rewarded for the work. She’s a member of The Noir Network, a collective of Black femmes who work in content creation and help each other navigate the often-confusing Wild West of digital work, one that she is committed to continuing with. She loves the work, she just wants to make it better. Read More: The Metaverse Has Already Arrived. Here’s What That Actually Means Jahara didn’t mean to become a full-time gaming streamer when she first tried out Twitch in August 2020; she was already a business analyst with a side gig as a Japanese tutor, making use of her college degree. But soon she was gaining steam with eager subscribers: she got 300 in a month, more than enough to start monetizing her streams. “I was like, Oh, maybe I could be good at this,” she says over the phone from her home in Arizona. After just four months on Twitch, Jahara quit her day job. These days, thanks to Twitch’s subscription system, she brings in about $2,000 a month. With her tutoring clients, who she picked up because of her Twitch, she’s now matching her prior income. “And it’s awesome, because it’s doing the two things that I absolutely adore,” she says. “Ever since I was a little kid, my dad used to bring me into his room and talk to me about how I should work for myself, and the entrepreneurial spirit,” she says. She surprised herself by being able to take his advice. She has the freedom to be herself professionally, the flexibility to take care of her four-year-old daughter in the mornings before preschool, and the hope that her fiancé will eventually be able to leave his job as a manual laborer to support her online presence full time. (He already takes and edits all her photos, and does her marketing.) To her, it feels good to be a part of something. “I get a lot of messages, parents and teens and kids that tell me, like, ‘My daughter saw your photos, and her friends told her that she couldn’t copy that character because it’s not the same color as her, but now she’s excited to do it,” Jahara says. “People tell me that they feel more comfortable, they feel represented and they feel seen just by being able to see my face in the space. It wasn’t something that I expected when I set out for it. But it’s something that definitely keeps me going every day.” It’s networks like that one that have helped organize and provide a modicum of power to creators who are learning as they go. Longtime adult performer Alana Evans, 45, has an inside view of how this works; as president of the Adult Performance Artists Guild, she has helped hundreds of performers navigate issues with tech platforms including Instagram, Tiktok, and, of course, OnlyFans. “I was seeing hundreds of performers lose their pages, for very obscure reasons; you would be given an email that had vague reasons as to why maybe you were deleted, and they were absorbing all of their money,” she says. She and her organization have been able to help many rehabilitate their accounts. But these days she preaches the gospel of diversification, and of making sure that performers do their due diligence about who owns and profits from the platforms they share on. Beyond that, Evans has her sights set on the big picture: working through legal avenues to classify anti-sex-work restrictions, like those set by payment companies, as “occupational discrimination.” It’s only once they deal with the banking side of things, Evans explains, that online sex workers will be able to participate in the creator economy fully and safely. Read More: U.S. Workers Are Realizing It’s the Perfect Time to Go on Strike Creators in the music industry are trying to find power by banding together, too. By day, David Turner, 29, is a program manager at the music streaming service SoundCloud. By night, he publishes a weekly newsletter, called Penny Fractions, that goes into the nitty-gritty of the streaming industry; it’s been his pet project for over four years now. After publishing with Patreon for a few years, Turner realized only a small segment of the most popular creators were truly generating the income the platform touted. “They don’t care about me,” he says over the phone from Brooklyn. Now, Turner hosts his newsletter on an independent service and serves on the board of Ampled, a music services co-op whose tagline is “Own Your Creative Freedom.” Collectivization, as Turner sees it, is the safest way for this next generation to protect themselves from the predations of the market. Other decentralized social platforms like Mastodon and Diaspora, music streaming services like Corite and Resonate and sex-worker-backed sites like PocketStars have popped up to provide alternatives to the more mainstream options. Their selling point: bigger payouts to creators, and opportunities for creators to invest in the platforms themselves. But mass adoption has been slow. If the calling card of the independent platform is their bottom-up approach, that is also their limiting factor. By nature, they are scrappier, less funded and less likely to be able to reach the wide audiences that the top user-friendly sites have already monopolized. Annie Flanagan for TIMESavannah dresses up in Star Wars cosplay as Padmé. The future for creators When OnlyFans made its policy change in August, collectivization is what got sex workers through. Alana Evans helped lead the charge. To Evans, who has been in the industry for decades, it was just the latest iteration of exploitation from more powerful overlords. She saw her community speaking up against the change—particularly on Twitter, where sex workers and performers quickly renounced the policy and began proactively publicizing their accounts on other, friendlier platforms. To her surprise, their vocal opposition worked and OnlyFans moved quickly to find a solution. But Evans knows that this latest golden era of online work is already ending. “The writing is on the wall,” she says. Even successful creators like Savannah have begun actively promoting accounts on alternate platforms like PocketStars and Fansly. They know no solution, and no single site, will be forever. “The advice I’ve been given is to expect it all to crumble, and to have to rebuild again,” Savannah says. That advice isn’t specific to OnlyFans; it’s echoed by Amanda Palmer about Patreon, and Jahara about Twitch. As platforms inevitably seek a better bottom line, the creator workforce has no choice but to trust the tech companies will do right by them. In the meantime, they’re taking a note from the labor movement that has risen up in other industries this year: solidarity works......»»

Category: topSource: timeDec 1st, 2021

Here are the winner and the 5 finalists for the 2021 Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious book awards

Need more books to add to your reading list? The 2021 Booker Prize winner — and shortlist finalists — are great additions. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.2021's Booker Prize recipient is "The Promise" by Damon Galgut. Keep reading below to see all of this year's finalists.Amazon; Rachel Mendelson/Insider This year's Booker Prize recipient is "The Promise" by Damon Galgut. Below, you'll find the 6 books on the Booker shortlist, and the original Booker Prize longlist here. Need more book recommendations? Find the National Book Award shortlist here. After months of reading and rereading submissions, the Booker Prize Foundation awarded Damon Galgut's "The Promise" — which dissects the downfall of a white South African family — the prestigious 2021 Booker Prize. The Booker Prize's six 2021 finalists (listed below) included poet Patricia Lockwood, whose fragmentary debut novel, "No One Is Talking About This," is partially written in internet lingo (we're fans); Nadifa Mohamed, whose book "The Fortune Men" follows a man in danger of being wrongfully convicted of murder in Wales; and Anuk Arudpragasam, whose novel "A Passage North" examines human longing against the backdrop of Sri Lanka's 30-year civil war.  Some of the buzziest titles of the year made the longlist and not the shortlist, such as "Klara and the Sun" by Kazuo Ishiguro, a former recipient of both the Booker and Nobel Prize.The winner and shortlist finalists of the 2021 Booker Prize:Descriptions provided by Amazon and edited for length and clarity. Winner: "The Promise" by Damon GalgutAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $23"The Promise" charts the crash and burn of a white South African family living on a farm outside Pretoria. The Swarts are gathering for Ma's funeral. The younger generation, Anton and Amor, detest everything the family stands for — not least the failed promise to the Black woman who has worked for them her whole life. After years of service, Salome was promised her own house, her own land... yet somehow, as each decade passes, that promise remains unfulfilled.The narrator's eye shifts and blinks — moving fluidly between characters, flying into their dreams — deliciously lethal in its observation. And as the country moves from old deep divisions to its new so-called fairer society, the lost promise of more than just one family hovers behind the novel's title."A Passage North" by Anuk ArudpragasamAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $23.99"A Passage North" begins with a message from out of the blue: a telephone call informing Krishan that his grandmother's caretaker, Rani, has died under unexpected circumstances — found at the bottom of a well in her village in the north, her neck broken by the fall. The news arrives on the heels of an email from Anjum, an impassioned yet aloof activist Krishnan fell in love with years before while living in Delhi, stirring old memories and desires from a world he left behind. As Krishan makes the long journey by train from Colombo into the war-torn Northern Province for Rani's funeral, so begins an astonishing passage into the innermost reaches of a country. At once a powerful meditation on absence and longing, as well as an unsparing account of the legacy of Sri Lanka's 30-year civil war, this procession to a pyre "at the end of the earth" lays bare the imprints of an island's past, the unattainable distances between who we are and what we seek.Written with precision and grace, Arudpragasam's masterful novel is an attempt to come to terms with life in the wake of devastation, and a poignant memorial for those lost and those still alive."No One Is Talking About This" by Patricia LockwoodAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.89As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms "the portal," where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts. When existential threats — from climate change and economic precariousness to the rise of an unnamed dictator and an epidemic of loneliness — begin to loom, she posts her way deeper into the portal's void. Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: "Something has gone wrong," and "How soon can you get here?" As real life and its stakes collide with the increasingly absurd antics of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy, and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.Fragmentary and omniscient, incisive and sincere, "No One Is Talking About This" is at once a love letter to the endless scroll and a profound, modern meditation on love, language, and human connection from a singular voice in American literature."The Fortune Men" by Nadifa MohamedAmazonAvailable on Amazon from $14.99Mahmood Mattan is a fixture in Cardiff's Tiger Bay, 1952, which bustles with Somali and West Indian sailors, Maltese businessmen, and Jewish families. He is a father, chancer, some-time petty thief. He is many things, in fact, but he is not a murderer. So when a shopkeeper is brutally killed, and all eyes fall on him, Mahmood isn't too worried. It is true that he has been getting into trouble more often since his Welsh wife Laura left him. But Mahmood is secure in his innocence in a country where, he thinks, justice is served.It is only in the run-up to the trial, as the prospect of freedom dwindles, that it will dawn on Mahmood that he is in a terrifying fight for his life — against conspiracy, prejudice, and the inhumanity of the state. And, under the shadow of the hangman's noose, he begins to realize that the truth may not be enough to save him."Bewilderment" by Richard PowersAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $22.49The astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life throughout the cosmos while single-handedly raising his unusual nine-year-old, Robin, following the death of his wife. Robin is a warm, kind boy who spends hours painting elaborate pictures of endangered animals. He's also about to be expelled from third grade for smashing his friend in the face. As his son grows more troubled, Theo hopes to keep him off psychoactive drugs. He learns of an experimental neurofeedback treatment to bolster Robin's emotional control, one that involves training the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother's brain.With its soaring descriptions of the natural world, its tantalizing vision of life beyond, and its account of a father and son's ferocious love, "Bewilderment" marks Richard Powers' most intimate and moving novel. At its heart lies the question: How can we tell our children the truth about this beautiful, imperiled planet?"Great Circle" by Maggie ShipsteadAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There — after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in biplanes — Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At 14, she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles.A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian's disappearance in Antarctica. Vibrant, canny, disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to redefine herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian's own story, as the two women's fates — and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times — collide. Epic and emotional, meticulously researched and gloriously told, "Great Circle" is a monumental work of art and a tremendous leap forward for the prodigiously gifted Maggie Shipstead.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021