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Stormy Daniels looked into hiring a lawyer currently representing Trump in hush money case. The Manhattan DA now has their communications.

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 10:34pm  |  Clusterstock
Stormy Daniels.
  • A lawyer for Stormy Daniels said he gave the Manhattan DA communications between her and Trump's attorney.
  • The revelation comes amid a probe into allegations that Trump was involved in a hush money scheme.
  • The exchanges could limit the role Trump's current attorney could play in a future possible trial.

An attorney for adult film actress Stormy Daniels gave the Manhattan DA communications between his client and former President Donald Trump's current attorney dating back to 2018, CNN reported Tuesday, possibly spelling trouble for the Trump legal team ahead of a possible indictment for the 2024 candidate.

Daniels' attorney Clark Brewster told the outlet the email exchanges come from when Daniels was looking for a lawyer five years ago.

The communications reportedly include information about Daniels' then situation, which Brewster said contains confidential information she disclosed to Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina.

In an interview with Insider Tuesday, Tacopina denied ever speaking with Daniels. He said Daniels reached out to his office, saying she was looking for representation for "some nondisclosure agreement regarding Trump and a settlement and whatnot." When a paralegal in his office brought it up with him, he declined to take the case, he told Insider.

"It's a joke," Tacopina said. "I have no attorney-client privilege with her. I didn't represent her. I never met her, never spoke to her."

Even if Tacopina didn't take on Daniels as a client at the time, New York Bar rules outline certain obligations that attorneys have for prospective clients. A judge may disqualify Tacopina from the case if they find that Daniels shared confidential information with him, according to Stephen Gillers, a professor of legal ethics at New York University law school.

"If Daniels shared confidential information with Tacopina, he may be personally disqualified," Gillers told Insider. "The scope of the disqualification can be from the entire case or from cross-examining her."

Tacopina told Insider that the communication from Daniels didn't rise to a level that would raise a conflict.

"Had I met with her, sat down with her, taken the case, or even just learned things that I could subsequently use against her — that's one thing," Tacopina said. "That wasn't the case here. Because I'd never met with her. I never spoke to her. I never reviewed any documents she had."

Tacopina is defending Trump in an ongoing case stemming from accusations that the former president was involved in a hush money payout to Daniels during his first campaign. Trump has denied all wrongdoing and his attorneys maintain that he was the victim of extortion.

A Manhattan grand jury may decide to bring an indictment as soon as Wednesday. It's reportedly scheduled to hear from another witness on Wednesday before receiving instructions on bringing charges.

Brewster didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. He told CNN that he handed over the communications between Daniels and Tacopina following what he said were contradicting comments from the Trump lawyer about his firm's emails with Daniels. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Russian recruits are making videos directly addressed to Putin begging for more support amid 'meat assaults'

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 9:39pm  |  Clusterstock
A new army conscript waves goodbye as he sets off with a train to the military site in St. Petersburg, Russia, Oct. 27, 2021.
  • Russian conscripts are increasingly appealing directly to Putin for more support amid the war.
  • Videos in recent weeks have featured troops asking for additional aid or to be recalled altogether.
  • The trend comes amid the ongoing bloody and brutal battle of Bakhmut in the east. 

Russian conscripts on the frontlines of the war in Ukraine are appealing directly to the big man in charge, begging President Vladimir Putin for further support, aid, and reprieve amid a wave of attrition assaults. 

In recent months, an increasing number of Russian soldiers and military units have filmed chilling videos of themselves asking Putin to bolster their supplies or recall them from their postings entirely as they struggle with inadequate training, weaponry, and ammunition.

The Washington Post on Sunday reported on the growing trend, citing Russian media outlet Vyorstka, which reported that in just one month, recruits from at least 16 regions in Russia made video appearances asking for Putin's help. 

In a video from earlier this month, a Russian soldier admonished "the incompetence of our superiors," saying his unit had been replenished with newly-mobilized soldiers six times already.

"Please help. There is nowhere else to turn," the soldier said, according to a translation by CNN

In a separate video obtained by CNN, a different Russian soldier in eastern Ukraine filmed a smoking Russian tank, explaining that he was offering "firsthand evidence" of the "clusterfuck."

"Glory to Russia," he added.

Recruits in the videos resist criticizing the war effort outright while also stressing their ongoing commitment to the fight, even as they beg for respite. Most cover their faces or alter their voices, indicating an ongoing fear among the soldiers of retaliation from The Motherland. Putin signed a new law shortly after the war began last year punishing outspoken opponents of the war with up to 15 years in prison.

The slew of recent videos seemingly support reports suggesting that Russia is sending scores of so-called "shock troops," to their deaths to absorb Ukraine's better-trained, more valuable soldiers in the east.

US intelligence from earlier this year indicated that Russia was sticking to its strategy of throwing poorly trained soldiers at the front lines to quickly replenish their manpower following casualties. 

The tactic has been on display in Bakhmut, where both sides have suffered staggering losses amid the bloodiest and longest battle of the war thus far. Members of the Wagner Group, the powerful Russian paramilitary organization that sparked global outrage by offering convicted prisoners a chance at freedom in exchange for their fighting in Ukraine, have been particularly susceptible to casualties.

The White House said last month that at least 30,000 Wagner Group soldiers had been killed since the war began in February 2022. Many of the casualties were former prisoners.

In a more recent appeal video, soldiers who said they were members of the 580th Separate howitzer Artillery Division from Serpukhov, Russia, read aloud a letter to Putin asking that they be recalled from the fight due to a lack of necessary training and experience, according to a translation from The Post. 

—Dmitri (@wartranslated) March 12, 2023


"Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, we are asking you to sort out this situation," the reader said, invoking the leader's rarely-used middle name. 

Even pro-Russia war bloggers have compared the flurry of soldier deaths to "meat assaults," according to the Post. 

Earlier this year, the British Defense Ministry said intelligence indicated Russia's death toll could be as high as 60,000, with an additional 140,000 injuries on the battlefield.

Putin has yet to publicly respond to the flood of videos.

Read the original article on Business Insider

DeSantis implies Trump is a loser by suggesting the former president give him a new nickname: 'Winner'

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 8:22pm  |  Clusterstock
In this November 3, 2018, file photo President Donald Trump stands behind then-gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis at a rally in Pensacola, Florida.
  • DeSantis hit back at Trump in the New York Post after he made salacious insinuations on Truth Social.
  • He contrasted his winning record with that of the ex-president and accused him of boosting Fauci.
  • A rivalry between the two is heating up ahead of a potential 2024 GOP primary contest. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis meant every word. 

If there was any doubt that the Republican governor misspoke or might walk back his Monday attacks on Donald Trump's character — just as the former president was staring down a looming indictment — the governor shattered them all in a follow-up interview with Piers Morgan of the New York Post.

DeSantis doubled down on his attacks against Trump in an interview published Tuesday, raising questions about Trump's alleged affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels and calling his administration full of "daily drama." 

He also reminded readers that Trump was a loser, indirectly referring to the 2020 election and the 2022 midterms when Democrats held onto more seats than expected. When Morgan asked him what he thought of "DeSantimonious," the nickname Trump gave him, the governor brushed it off and insisted he could defeat President Joe Biden. 

"I don't really know what it means, but I kinda like it, it's long, it's got a lot of vowels," DeSantis told the New York Post of the nickname Trump gave him shortly before Election Day. "We'll go with that, that's fine. I mean you can call me whatever you want, just as long as you also call me a winner because that's what we've been able to do in Florida, is put a lot of points on the board and really take this state to the next level."

DeSantis' comments to the Post mark an escalation against Trump, who the Florida governor could challenge for the GOP nomination for president. Doing an interview with the New York Post was a particularly sardonic move given that the publication snubbed Trump after he announced he was running for president in 2024 and anointed DeSantis "DeFuture." 

—Raheem J. Kassam (@RaheemKassam) March 21, 2023


DeSantis has been in politics since his 30s and hasn't lost a race since first running for the US House in 2012. He narrowly became governor of Florida in 2018 largely thanks to a Trump endorsement against a far better-known challenger. By 2022, DeSantis was running for reelection without Trump's help and won by a record 19 points. 

His latest attacks drew the immediate attention of Trump allies, who decried the governor for insulting Trump at a time when the Manhattan DA prepared to levy charges. 

—Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 21, 2023

All weekend, DeSantis had stayed silent on Trump, only to dig at him Monday over his alleged affair. 

Though DeSantis called the investigation politically motivated and said he wouldn't help with an extradition, he also dismissed the investigation as less important than his agenda in Florida, drawing the ire of MAGA-world and Trump himself. 

Speaking through a Truth Social post on Monday, Trump insinuated DeSantis might someday face his own "false" allegations from another woman, an "underage" classmate, or "possibly a man."

DeSantis hasn't faced such allegations, but Trump was hitting back at the governor for trying to paint a certain picture of himself as a devoted father and husband. 

The contrast was no accident, DeSantis suggested in his New York Post interview, once again pointing to the allegations against Trump, saying, "There's a lot of speculation about what the underlying conduct is." 

"You really want to look to people like our Founding Fathers, like what type of character, it's not saying that you don't ever make a mistake in your personal life, but I think what type of character are you bringing?" DeSantis asked. "So, somebody who really set the standard is George Washington because he always put the Republic over his own personal interest." 

Underscoring the differences even further, DeSantis, 44, said one reason he might not run for president in 2024 is that he has three young children with his wife, Casey DeSantis

"I've got different obligations and it's not the easiest thing in the world to go through and I also want to make sure that I have a very clear rationale for doing what I'm doing," he said.  

Until now, DeSantis has generally avoided hitting Trump directly. Instead, his messages tend to be more subliminal. For instance, he held a press conference last year about Covid vaccine skepticism in West Palm Beach, which is close to Trump's permanent home. Trump was president when the federal government fast-tracked the vaccine and conservative voters have been more likely to reject boosters. 

DeSantis made it clear during the New York Post interview — which will fully air on Fox Nation's "Piers Morgan Uncensored" on Thursday — that he would run to the right of Trump on Covid. He again attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former top infectious disease official in the federal government who became the face of the US response, which included lockdowns DeSantis rejected for Florida. 

Trump often butted heads with Fauci, though he kept him in his role. 

"The approach to Covid was different," DeSantis told the New York Post. "I would have fired somebody like Fauci. I think he got way too big for his britches, and I think he did a lot of damage."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Is this the sneaker Gen Z has been asking for? Nike seems to think so.

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 7:00pm  |  Clusterstock
Nike's sneaker for Gen Z
  • Nike is set to release the Air Max Pulse next week, a brand new addition to the Air Max franchise.
  • CEO John Donahoe said the sneaker is for younger consumers in search of their own classic Air Max shoe.
  • The new Air Max Pulse will release on Air Max day March 26.

Nike is releasing the Air Max Pulse next week, a brand new sneaker silhouette joining the Air Max franchise.

On an earnings call with analysts Tuesday, CEO John Donahoe said the sneaker is for younger generations, especially Gen Z, that wanted a classic Air Max shoe to call their own. 

"We heard from younger age groups that they want their own version, a more street-engineered durable shoe, one with a new lifestyle identity," Donahoe said. "This vision of building a future franchise for the next generation led us to create the Air Max Pulse with the broader goal of creating an entire portfolio of Classics for this generation."  

A closer look at the Nike Air Max Pulse

The Air Max Pulse has large air bubbles on the midsole of the shoe, similar to the Air Max 270, and draws from London's music scene, according to Nike. The shoes also features new "Air Max" branding on the heel and a new upper.

The new Air Max Pulse will release on Air Max day March 26, alongside the much-anticipated return of the Air Max 1 '86 "Big Bubble."

Air Max day marks the anniversary of the first Air Max release in 1987. Sneaker collectors celebrate the day by wearing their favorite Air Max sneakers. Since 2014, Nike has released sneakers from its Air Max vault to mark the occasion.

Nike has a large catalog of classic Air Max sneakers released over the years, including the Air Max 97s, Air Max 95s, and Air Max 90s. In addition to popular colorways, such as the Air Max 90 "Bacon" and Air Max 95 "Neon," Nike has collaborated with a number of designers and boutiques on new colorways. Sean Wotherspoon's take on the Air Max 97 released in 2018 resells on StockX for over $900 in all sizes. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nike has slowed hiring, and expects the slowdown to continue into June

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 6:33pm  |  Clusterstock
Nike has slowed down hiring.
  • On a call Tuesday with stock analysts, Nike CFO Matt Friend said Nike recently slowed hiring.
  • Friend said the effort started two quarters ago and Nike expects it to continue into the summer. 
  • Friend said the hiring slowdown is part of an effort to manage expenses given an uncertain economy. 

Nike Chief Financial Officer Matt Friend on Tuesday said the company slowed its hiring efforts two quarters ago, and the company expects the slowdown to continue into the summer.

Friend made the comments on a call with analysts after the company reported sales and earnings well ahead of forecasts. He characterized the hiring slowdown as a way to manage expenses against an uncertain economic backdrop.

"(We) feel very good about the momentum that we've been making with regards to ensuring that our resources are flowing towards the priorities that we have," Friend said.

"And that focus and attention on expense growth, or managing expense growth, and headcount growth, we definitely intend to carry into our next fiscal year," he added.

Nike's next fiscal year starts June 1. 

While layoffs have roiled other sectors of the economy of late, including technology, Nike hasn't had large-scale layoffs since 2020.

In February, Nike laid off a handful of employees, including in recruiting, seemingly reflective of reduced demand to hire more workers. 

Nike employs 79,100, according to its most recent annual report. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nearly 70% of people using ChatGPT at work haven't told their bosses about it, survey finds

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 6:18pm  |  Clusterstock
Some working professionals are using ChatGPT to make their jobs easier — without telling their bosses.
  • OpenAI rolled out its latest version of ChatGPT this month, with more capabilities.
  • Since the AI chatbot launched in November, people have experimented with it to ease their workloads.
  • More than 40% of professionals have used it at work, and 70% did so without telling their bosses, a recent survey found.

Can ChatGPT change the way you work?

Some people are convinced it can; others are trying to find out, without their bosses knowing.

A recent survey from professional networking app Fishbowl found that 43% of working professionals have used AI tools, such as OpenAI's ChatGPT, to accomplish tasks at work. Of these people, 68% hadn't told their bosses they were using these tools for work.

The survey was conducted from January 26 to 30 and included responses from more than 11,700 workers on the Fishbowl app, from companies like Amazon, Google, IBM, JPMorgan, Meta, and Twitter.

ChatGPT can help with work tasks like writing emails, scheduling meetings, and analyzing data, though there are concerns that it can spread misinformation or facilitate plagiarism in some cases. Working professionals including a realtor, a lawyer, and a teacher previously told Insider they'd discovered ways to make their jobs easier by using ChatGPT.

Besides ChatGPT, other AI tools have burst onto the scene recently, from Microsoft's revamped Bing search engine, to Google's chatbot Bard, which started rolling out in the US and UK this week.

Do you use ChatGPT or other AI tools at work? We'd love to hear from you. Contact this reporter at

Read the original article on Business Insider

Candida auris is just one infection fueled by rising temperatures. See how extreme climate helps spread disease, in 3 simple charts.

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 6:16pm  |  Clusterstock
A strain of Candida auris cultured in a petri dish at a CDC laboratory.

Candida auris is a yeast that kills, and in recent years it's spread to more than half of US states.

The fungus is not likely to infect healthy people, but it can be deadly for the immunocompromised, and it's adept at jumping patient-to-patient in nursing homes and hospitals.

Candida auris infections have spread through healthcare facilities at "an alarming rate," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday. A growing number of cases are resistant to antifungal medicine.

A petri dish holding the yeast Candida auris in a laboratory in Wuerzburg, Germany, in 2018.

A leading theory on this fungus's sudden emergence and wide spread is that it's fueled by climate change. As global temperatures rise, that selects for fungi like Candida auris which can survive higher temperatures, including human body temperatures.

In fact, at least 218 infectious diseases have spread more widely among humans because of climate extremes — floods, drought, heat waves, hurricanes, ocean chemistry, sea-level rise, or other environmental conditions that are sensitive to climate change — according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change last year.

A worker sprays insecticide for mosquitoes at a village in Bangkok, Thailand.

Another example is Nipah virus, a deadly disease carried by bats which were likely driven into human settlements when wildfires burned their Malaysian forest habitats in the 1990s.

"I can tell you that story with bats, I can tell you that story with birds, I can tell you that story with rats, mice, deer. And I can tell it to you with viruses and with bacteria. And I can tell it to you via heat waves, floods, wildfires, even hurricanes, things that actually force those species to move," Camilo Mora, a data scientist at the University of Hawaiʻi Manoa who led the study, told Insider.

Grey-headed flying foxes hang in an animal trainer's house in the outskirts of Bangkok.

By assessing historical records of infectious diseases dating back to the Roman Empire, Mora's team catalogued cases of climate extremes facilitating the spread of 58% of known human pathogens.

"I was not expecting that high of a number," Mora said.

It's likely an undercount, he added, since it only includes instances that were documented in published papers. While not all of those cases can be attributed to the current human-caused climate change, 80% of the papers are relatively recent, published in the last 20 years. They build upon a mountain of evidence that the extreme changes brought on by rising global temperatures help spread infectious diseases through three major pathways.

Pathway 1: Extreme weather and land disruption spread disease by pushing animals and people closer togetherResidents walk through flood waters left in the wake of Hurricane Irma in a suburb of Orlando, Florida.

In Siberia in 2016, an outbreak of anthrax was traced to a decades-old reindeer carcass unearthed by melting permafrost. That's an extreme case of climate change creating new contact between humans and infectious diseases, but the phenomenon is widespread.

Extreme weather events, which are becoming more frequent and severe with climate change, can displace animal and bird populations, driving them closer to humans. The Nature study found that vector-borne illnesses — the ones carried by animals and insects — were the most aggravated by climate extremes.

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Changes in land use — like deforestation — can drive animal populations into places people live, or bring humans into animal territory. In the eastern US, studies suggest carving up forest territories for development led to increased overlap between humans and ticks, facilitating the spread of Lyme disease.

Patients rest on stretchers in the Cholera Treatment Center of Diquini in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Extreme weather can put humans in close quarters with each other, as well. Hurricanes and cyclones often lead to outbreaks of cholera, norovirus, and other deadly illnesses. Such outbreaks were well-documented in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Flooding can expose people to water-borne diseases like vibriosis. A 1995 analysis even found that the spread of leprosy in Malawi was associated not with population density, but with rainfall.

Pathway 2: Extreme heat and rain can supercharge pathogensAn Anopheles stephensi mosquito — a known vector of malaria — obtains blood from a human host through its pointed proboscis.

Mosquitoes thrive in high temperatures and heavy rainfall, which creates stagnant water where they can lay their eggs. The diseases they spread, like malaria, West Nile virus, and chikungunya, thrive as climate change increases temperatures and heavy-rainfall events across many parts of the globe.

The pathogens themselves can grow stronger in extreme conditions, too. Warming oceans are creating fertile breeding waters for vibrio bacteria, which show signs of increased virulence in heat, allowing them to cause more severe illness.

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Extreme heat waves, for example, can kill off many infectious viruses, bacteria, fungi, and the creatures that spread them. Whatever survives, however, is adapted to extreme heat — including the fever our bodies produce to kill off pathogens.

"The ones that survive are going to survive 42 degrees Celsius, meaning that when they come and infect us, one of the main mechanisms for us to fight off these diseases and these pathogens is not effective at all," Mora said.

Pathway 3: Extreme weather weakens infrastructure and makes humans prone to diseaseA paramedic checks a man's blood pressure at a tent encampment during a heat wave in Shoreline, Washington.

Humans and their infrastructure are more vulnerable to the devastating impacts of disease when they're compromised by extreme weather. Wildfire smoke, for instance, can irritate the lining of the lungs, cause inflammation, inhibit the immune system, and leave people more vulnerable to respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.

Extreme weather events like heat waves can affect access to healthcare, by making it difficult or dangerous for people to leave their homes, or by destroying necessary infrastructure. Just this summer, heat melted roads and airport tarmacs, buckled railways, and caused power outages.

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People affected by rapid weather variability or extreme events like hurricanes or fires might be stressed out, leading to heightened cortisol levels that weaken their immune systems. Malnutrition, expected to become more widespread as the changing climate affects the world's bread baskets, has a severe negative impact on the immune system. 

Adapting infrastructure, emergency plans, and healthcare to these new extremes can reduce the spread of diseases. But the Nature study concludes that the pathogens boosted by climate threats "are too numerous for comprehensive societal adaptations." Instead, the authors write, their findings highlight "the urgent need to work at the source of the problem: reducing [greenhouse gas] emissions."

"Keep in mind that this is not some weird alien that is causing climate change," Mora said, adding, "It's the contribution of small things that you and I do, multiplied by almost 8 billion people."

This post has been updated. It was originally published on September 1, 2022.

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Ukrainians are riding tanks captured from an elite Russian unit into battle in Bakhmut, but their new gear may not last long

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 6:07pm  |  Clusterstock
Ukrainian troops fire a captured Russian T-80 tank at Russian positions in the Donetsk region on November 22.
  • Ukrainian troops have repurposed an array of gear that Russian forces have left on the battlefield.
  • That includes T-80 tanks captured the 1st Guards Tank Army, an elite Russian armored unit.
  • But Russian tanks are designed for Russian forces, and Ukraine might get limited use out of them.

There is poetic justice in the idea of a country under attack using its adversary's weapons against it.

No wonder Western observers have been thrilled by reports of Ukraine capturing hundreds of Russian tanks and turning them against the invaders. No doubt Western governments were happy, too: The more weapons Ukraine gets itself, the fewer that Western countries will have to give Kyiv from their own stocks.

According to Michael Kofman, director of the Russia Studies Program at CNA, the gear that Ukraine is repurposing includes tanks captured from Russia's elite 1st Guards Tank Army and sent back into battle at Bakhmut, the site of Ukraine and Russia's deadliest fighting.

While detailing a recent trip to Bakhmut during a March 13 event hosted by the Carnegie Endowment, Kofman described going past "a reinforcing tank platoon coming in from the Ukrainian side which was entirely made up of Russian T-80s that they had captured from 1st Guards Tank Army at Izyum."

Russian soldiers on a T-80 tank heading toward the Azovstal plant in Mariupol on April 16, 2022.

"They were very easily identifiable," Kofman added. "You can see an entire unit composed of nothing but captured Russian tanks."

That the tanks were trophies from a 1st Guards Tank Army defeat must be particularly galling to Moscow. The unit earned fame as a Red Army formation from World War II. It was deactivated in 1998 but reactivated with great fanfare in 2014 as an elite, well-equipped force that became the Russian army's prime ground maneuver unit.

Deployed to Ukraine, 1st Guard Tank Army took heavy losses in several battles around Kyiv and Kharkiv and had to be withdrawn for refitting.

Russian troops in Ukraine have been quite generous with their equipment, leaving an array of hardware, some of it undamaged, for Ukrainians to capture.

Living off captured hardware may work for insurgents, but it doesn't work for armies that need advanced weapons for protracted operations, and Ukraine now faces the question of how long these vehicles will be in good enough condition to fight.

Workers upgrade a T-80 tank at the Malyshev Tank Factory in Kharkiv in July 2015.

While Ukrainian mechanics have worked wonders to restore captured Russian equipment — aided by the fact that most of Ukraine's pre-war arsenal was based on Soviet-era designs — the fact is sustained operations with Russian tanks requires a stream of parts from Russian factories.

"They don't have the parts that keep a lot of these running," Kofman said. "So on paper you may capture a lot of vehicles, but you don't have the engines, you don't have the transmissions, you don't have the parts to keep them going."

While Ukraine needs tanks and will get use out of them, Kofman emphasized that ammunition and other spare parts are higher priorities: "First and foremost, it's artillery ammunition and replacement of artillery barrels. Alongside air-defense ammunition — that's missiles and what have you, and air-defense systems."

Interestingly, Kofman believes Ukraine doesn't need tanks as much as it needs armored vehicles to carry infantry into battle.

"Ukraine has very large brigades of mechanized infantry, but to be mechanized, they actually need to be riding on something. Otherwise Ukraine has a lot of manpower, not a lot of mobility," Kofman said at the Carnegie event.

Ukrainian soldiers with a damaged tank after the Russian withdrawal from Izyum in September.

A similar situation applied in World War II. One reason German panzer divisions were so formidable early in the conflict was that they were the first to carry infantry in armored half-tracks — rather than in soft-skinned trucks — so that infantry could safely keep up with the tanks.

Large numbers of immobile Ukrainian infantry "might work for a defense-in-depth strategy and that might work for holding Bakhmut," Kofman said, "but it's not going to work if you want to go on the offensive."

Ukraine does need Western tanks, for which a reliable supply of spare parts and ammunition will be available, though tanks that need to be refurbished, including the older Abrams tanks the US has opted to send, will take months to arrive.

Political and public attention are focused on tanks, as well as jet fighters, for reasons that are as much symbolic as military, but discussions that are "overly centered" on tanks risks neglecting other crucial factors, Kofman said.

Such discussions often don't touch on "important things like force quality and training, expanding that, scaling it up, and dealing with the real challenges in the Ukraine force — things like communication systems, distribution of intelligence, surveillance assets, and intelligence," Kofman said. "A lot of other things have been very significant in this war but are less spoken of."

Michael Peck is a defense writer whose work has appeared in Forbes, Defense News, Foreign Policy magazine, and other publications. He holds a master's in political science. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Bill Gates just published a 7-page letter about AI and his predictions for its future

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 5:59pm  |  Clusterstock
Bill Gates penned a 7-page letter on the future of AI.
  • Bill Gates published a 7-page letter on the future of artificial intelligence.
  • Gates focused on three sectors AI could transform: the workforce, healthcare, and education.
  • The letter adds to the conversation and debate around AI chatbots, which have become popular.

Bill Gates has been thinking a lot about AI, and now he's put those thoughts to paper.

The Microsoft cofounder published a seven-page letter on Tuesday, titled "The Age of AI has Begun," outlining his views on the future of artificial intelligence. He wrote that developing AI is "as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the internet, and the mobile phone."

The letter arrived the same day Google released its AI chatbot, Bard, which joins Microsoft's Bing in the AI arms race, and a week after ChatGPT creator OpenAI announced the much-anticipated evolution of its AI model, GPT-4.

Gates has previously spoken about his excitement for the future of AI, namely how it could be used as a tutor in education or to provide medical advice to people where doctors aren't easily accessible.

The billionaire also acknowledged in the letter concerns around artificial intelligence, including the risk that humans will misuse it, as well as the possibility of superintelligent, or "strong," AI that could "establish their own goals" as AI technology improves over time.

In the letter, Gates elaborated on these ideas by discussing his thoughts on how AI can be used both as a tool to improve people's productivity, but also how it can help improve global inequities — in the workplace, healthcare, and education.

'A white-collar worker available to help you with various tasks'

In the workforce, Gates writes about how AI could be used as a "digital personal assistant" to enhance employee productivity — an idea he previously spoke about in February. AI, integrated into digital work tools like Microsoft Office, could help with managing and writing emails, Gate wrote. He wrote that these AI-generated "personal agents," equipped with vast knowledge and data on its company and industry, could also pose as resources for employees to communicate with. 

"As computing power gets cheaper, GPT's ability to express ideas will increasingly be like having a white-collar worker available to help you with various tasks," he wrote.

A digital helper to take on grunt work for healthcare workers

In the healthcare industry, Gates wrote AI could free-up healthcare workers from certain tasks, such as filing insurance claims, completing paperwork, and drafting doctor's visit notes.

Gates wrote that for impoverished countries, where "many people in those countries never get to see a doctor," AI could enable healthcare workers to be more productive with the patients they do see. It's possible that AI could also aid in the treatment of patients who don't live nearby health facilities, Gates wrote. 

AI is already used in healthcare to analyze medical data and design drugs, Gates wrote, but the next wave of AI tools could assist with predicting medication side effects and calculating dosage levels.

For crops and livestock in poor countries, Gates wrote that AI could help design seeds tailored to local climates and develop vaccines for livestock — developments that could be especially important "as extreme weather and climate change put even more pressure on subsistence farmers in low-income countries."

Teachers aren't going away — but they'll need to adapt

Gates predicted AI could transform education in the next five to 10 years by delivering content tailored to student's learning styles, and also learning what motivates individual students and causes them to lose interest in subjects.

AI could also assist teachers by helping plan course instruction and assessing students' comprehension of classroom topics.

"Even once the technology is perfected, learning will still depend on great relationships between students and teachers," the letter reads. "It will enhance — but never replace — the work that students and teachers do together in the classroom."

Gates wrote that AI would also need to be made equally accessible to low-income schools in the US and across the globe "so that students in low-income households do not get left behind."

Teachers will also have to adapt to students using new technologies in the classroom, like GPT. Gates listed an example of teachers enabling students to use GPT to write a first draft of an essay they would then have to personalize in later drafts.

"To make the most of this remarkable new technology, we'll need to both guard against the risks and spread the benefits to as many people as possible," Gates wrote.

Read through Bill Gates' full letter here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The housing market is cooling — but tell that to the 300 people who lined up to see a one-bedroom house for sale in the middle of nowhere

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 5:47pm  |  Clusterstock
This one-bedroom house in Durham, Connecticut, welcomed hundreds of prospective buyers during an open house.
  • More than 300 people lined up to take a peek inside a 1,168-square-foot home in Durham, Connecticut.
  • Listing agent Claudia O'Connell expected competition, but said she's never seen anything like this.
  • This home is a rare find, as supply in this area is tight and it was somewhat recently renovated.

A quaint home in Durham, Connecticut, that hit the market for $299,000 in early March was visited by over 300 people during a one-day open house, harkening back to the feverish housing market of only a couple of years ago.

"I've never seen anything like this in Connecticut," the listing agent for the home at 51 Birch Mill Road, Claudia O'Connell, told Insider.

O'Connell, who works on The Huscher Team of William Raveis, said she had to establish a queue and let only eight people into the 1,168-square-foot home at a time. A photo on Reddit from the open house shows a long line of prospective buyers waiting their turn.

Durham is in central Connecticut, 30 minutes from New Haven. It's also about a two-hour drive to both Boston and New York City, making commuting to either feasible — a theory as to why so many found the property appealing, O'Connell said.

Another theory: its size.

The house comes with a 520-square-foot garage that has been converted into a studio or workspace. Also, the home sits on 3.45 acres with a septic tank that has the ability to accommodate a three-bedroom house, giving buyers with imagination flexibility.

The 520-square-foot barn has been turned into a studio space.

"A lot of people want to expand the property," O'Connell said.

Homes in this price range are hard to come by in the area

A diverse group of prospective buyers, some who traveled from as far as the Midwest and Florida, came to view the property, according to O'Connell. They included first-time homebuyers, retirees, real-estate agents, and even those hoping to turn it into a short-term rental — although O'Connell said most people there were planning on living in the home themselves.

The property, which was originally built in the 1940s and was remodeled in 2015, is unique in many ways. According to, it's the only one-bedroom home currently for sale in Durham. Two miles away, a two-bedroom fixer-upper is listed for $225,900, but it has been on and off the market for over a decade.

Both are being offered well below Durham's median home listing price of $389,500.

Seventy-five private showings were also requested, and O'Connell has received so many offers on the house that she had to cap the number by setting a hard deadline of Wednesday, March 22 at 9 a.m. — only three days after the open house.

The property totals 3.45 acres in size.

There have not been any dizzyingly high offers well over the asking price, but O'Connell believes they're in great shape to move forward.

"I felt really good between $300,000 and $400,000," O'Connell said. "I thought we'd get just north of $350,000."

This open house harkens back to the feverish housing market of 2021 and 2022

The open house's attendance is reminiscent of the housing market early on in the pandemic, when mortgage rates fell giving prospective homebuyers an opportunity to enter markets they normally couldn't.

Home seekers dove into the market in droves — that is, where they could find homes to purchase — leading prices in some markets to rise.

In some instances, homes that were fairly priced received swarms of visitors and closed at figures much higher than they were listed for. A three-bedroom home in Raleigh, North Carolina, that was listed in February 2022 attracted dozens of prospective buyers. It was listed for $260,000 and, according to Zillow, sold for $330,000 a month later.

Read the original article on Business Insider

TikTok commands the attention of 150 million American users. That's its best defense yet against Biden's threat of a ban.

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 5:46pm  |  Clusterstock
TikTok reports that it's up to 150 million monthly active users in the US. That means effort to ban the app could meet stiff resistance.
  • TikTok officially has 150 million monthly active users in the US, the company says.
  • The app's popularity with younger voters makes a ban politically sensitive, experts say.
  • TikTok's user numbers could ultimately be its best defense. It's now a routine for 45% of the US.

TikTok officially has 150 million monthly active users in the US, the company confirmed this week. That means any effort to ban it could face stiff resistance after the app has become part of the routine of 45% of the country.

The user figures come as TikTok CEO Shou Chew is set to testify in front of Congress on Thursday. They also come as the Biden Administration has demanded TikTok's Chinese owners divest their US business or risk getting banned entirely from the US. 

TikTok's user numbers show just how much the social media app has taken hold. It's still not to the threshold of Facebook, which logs 266 million monthly active users in the US, but it's not far behind. (Facebook parent Meta doesn't break out Instagram's monthly active users in the US.)

As TikTok's CEO Chew put it: "That's almost half the US coming to TikTok to connect, to create, to share, to learn, or just to have some fun." That number also includes about 5 million businesses that use TikTok as a way to reach customers, he said in a TikTok video on Tuesday.

TikTok's popularity is likely why the Biden administration is pushing for a sale, instead of an outright ban, industry watchers previously told Insider

TikTok is particularly popular with younger generations in the US, said Mark Shmulik, an analyst with Bernstein. "And you can hypothesize that they may skew and vote Democrat a little bit more," he said, which explains the hesitation on a ban from Biden's camp.

As a result, TikTok has become a tool politicians are turning to to reach younger voters, said Darrell West, a senior fellow for the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings. That means any action the government takes on it has ramifications for the next election in 2024. 

"If Biden ends up banning TikTok, he's kind of shooting himself in the foot in the sense that Democrats really need a big turnout from young people," West said. "And if there's no TikTok it actually becomes harder for the party to reach that audience."

Ultimately, TikTok has amassed a huge user base in the US, and the more users it continues to add, the higher the stakes are for what the government decides to do. 

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at or Signal at ‪415-322-3101‬. (PR pitches by email only, please.) 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Rep. Jamaal Bowman says the push to ban TikTok is 'xenophobic' and 'part of another Red Scare'

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 5:36pm  |  Clusterstock
Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York holds up a phone at the Capitol in May 2022.
  • Both Congress and the Biden administration are increasingly sounding the alarm about TikTok.
  • But Rep. Jamaal Bowman — among the most prolific TikTokers in Congress — is pushing back.
  • Bowman says that banning the Chinese-owned app would be "xenophobic."

Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman is among the most TikTok-savvy members of Congress. And amid growing bipartisan calls in Washington for a nationwide ban on the popular video-sharing app, he's decided to speak up.

"This is xenophobic," Bowman told Insider on Tuesday. "And it's part of another Red Scare."

The New York congressman and progressive "Squad" member is hosting a press conference on Wednesday outside the Capitol with a slew of TikTok creators — the company has reportedly paid for their travel costs — to forcefully make the case against an all-out ban amid concerns about the app's Chinese parent company, ByteDance.

Bowman, who himself maintains both an official and campaign account on the platform, says his advocacy against a ban is a matter of free speech, highlighting the role that content creators play in disseminating information on the platform and the livelihoods they're able to make by doing so.

"I mean, the content creators on TikTok are truth-tellers, they are journalists, and they're sharing information with the general public — particularly younger people — that they really can't get anywhere else in a similar format," said Bowman. 

And Bowman said that TikTok is being unfairly singled out, pointing to Facebook's role as a vector for Russian disinformation during the 2016 presidential election, an amplifier of hateful rhetoric ahead of the 2017 Rohingya genocide in Myanmar, and as a platform for rioters to coordinate ahead of the January 6 assault on the Capitol.

Boasting an audience of over 150,000 followers on the app, Bowman posts breezy day-in-the-life videos from the Capitol, his own spins on the latest TikTok trend, and reactions to the latest political news of the day — all in the meme-heavy format to which the platform predominantly-young users are accustomed. 

"Bye Felicia," the congressman declared in one video after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona left the Democratic Party.

@repbowman bye felicia

A 'hole' 30 times Earth's size has spread across the sun, blasting solar winds that'll hit our planet by end of this week

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 5:25pm  |  Clusterstock
A video from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the massive hole in the sun's atmosphere.
  • The sun is sporting a giant coronal hole that could fit 20-30 Earths across, back-to-back.
  • Coronal holes blast rapid solar winds into space that travel 500-800 kilometers per second. 
  • The relatively-harmless winds should reach Earth by Friday for a more stunning aurora.

A giant black region on the sun, called a coronal hole, was spotted on Monday by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory

Despite the name, however, this isn't a physical hole in the solar surface. Coronal holes are cooler in temperature, so they don't glow as bright and therefore look black against the rest of the sun.

"The current coronal hole, the big one right now, is about 300,000 to 400,000 kilometers across," Alex Young, associate director for science at NASA Goddard's Heliophysics Science Division, told Insider over email. "That is about 20-30 Earths lined up back-to-back."

One Earth compared to the size of the sun.

Coronal holes like these are common. There is "nothing unusual here," Scott McIntosh, a solar physicist and deputy director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, told Insider in an email. 

Holes like this are part of the sun's normal activity. However, they're "not well understood. Their origins are unclear," McIntosh added, calling these events "the 'dark side' of solar activity."

It's worth noting that these coronal holes are the source of rapid solar winds — reaching speeds of about 500-800 km per second, Young wrote to Insider. In this case, the solar winds from this coronal hole are scheduled to reach Earth by the end of this week.

An animation of the solar wind shows particles streaming from the sun towards Earth.

"We will probably start seeing the effects of the high-speed wind on March 24," Young added. "When the high-speed wind reaches Earth, the particles and the magnetic field it carries will interact with Earth's magnetic field, effectively rattling it or like ringing a bell."

More powerful magnetic fields, like from a coronal mass ejection, could cause electrical blackouts or disrupt communication technology. But coronal holes — even large ones like this — are far less violent. So the main effect to look forward to this Friday is more vibrant aurora borealis, aka northern lights

The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) is seen over the sky near Rovaniemi in Lapland, Finland, October 7, 2018.

However, we are entering a new phase of increasing solar activity where coronal holes will be less the norm and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and powerful solar flares will become more common, Young said. 

That can be a concern since the powerful magnetic fields from CMEs and solar flares have been known to surge power grids and fry satellites. However, these events are few and far between.

In reality, Young said that for him and other solar scientists, as solar activity increases, "it's gonna get more and more exciting and interesting."

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to start Windows 10 or 11 in Safe Mode to fix computer issues, and then exit later

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 5:14pm  |  Clusterstock
There are several ways to enable Safe Mode in Windows 10.
  • Safe Mode starts your Windows 10 or 11 computer with most features disabled.
  • Boot in Safe Mode when you're troubleshooting an issue, or if Windows won't start normally.
  • To exit Safe Mode, ensure it's disabled in the Boot Options, or just restart your computer.

Nearly every version of Windows has a Safe Mode feature. This lets you start your computer with just the basic files and drivers it needs to run. Most extra features will be disabled, and programs will run more slowly. By default, you won't even have internet access. But this mode lets you update your drivers safely and efficiently without encountering conflicts with third-party apps. 

Safe Mode isn't meant to be used every day. You'll use Safe Mode when your computer isn't working correctly — for example, when your Windows update is stuck — or when Windows won't start up at all. By only loading the essentials, it'll help you narrow down what's causing the problem, which can include the system itself or something you installed.

Here's how to boot in Safe Mode whether you have Windows 10 or Windows 11, and how to exit it when you're done.

Quick tip: If you're an Apple user, you can follow our other guide on how to start Mac in Safe Mode.

How to boot in Safe Mode in Windows 11

There are a couple of easy ways to start Safe Mode in Windows 11. Here are the best and most common ones:

Using the Settings app

This method requires you to be able to get to the Windows 11 desktop and start the Settings app. If you can't get to the Settings app, see the next section instead. 

1. Click the Start icon and then click Settings

2. In the pane on the left, click System

3. On the System page, click Recovery

Open the Settings app and then go to Recovery in the System tab.

4. In the Recovery options section, to the right of Advanced startup, click Restart now

5. When your computer restarts to the blue Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot, then Advanced options, and then Startup Settings

To get to Safe Mode, you’ll need to work your way through a variety of startup options.

6. On the Startup Settings page, click Restart

7. After the computer restarts again, you'll see some options. Choose Safe Mode or, if you will need access to the internet, choose Safe Mode with Networking.

Using the Power icon

If you can't log into the desktop to start the Settings app, you can still launch Safe Mode using the Power icon on the sign-in screen. 

1. On the sign-in screen, press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard while you click the Power button and then Restart

2. When your computer restarts to the blue Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot, then Advanced options, and then Startup Settings

3. On the Startup Settings page, click Restart

4. After the computer restarts again, you'll see some options. Choose Safe Mode or, if you will need access to the internet, choose Safe Mode with Networking.

How to exit Safe Mode in Windows 11

There are two ways you can exit Safe Mode when you are done troubleshooting your computer.

The easiest method is simply to restart your computer. To do that, click Start, then Power, then Restart. Or press and hold the Power button on your PC. 

Most of the time, you can simply exit Safe Mode by restarting your computer normally.

If you've restarted your computer but it remains in Safe Mode, do this:

1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run window.

2. In the text box, type msconfig and press Enter.

3. At the top of the System Configuration window, click the Boot tab.

4. Underneath Boot options, make sure that Safe boot is unchecked. Then click OK and restart your computer again.

Make sure that Safe boot isn’t checked and then restart your computer again.How to boot in Safe Mode in Windows 10

There are many ways to enter Safe Mode in Windows 10 as well. Here are the three easiest:

Using the Power icon

If you're signed in:

1. Click the Windows icon in the bottom-left corner.

2. Hold down the Shift key, click the Power icon and then Restart.

Hold down the Shift button as you click "Restart."

3. Your computer will restart and open to a blue screen titled Choose an option. Select Troubleshoot, and then Advanced options.

Choose "Troubleshoot" on the Choose an option screen.

4. Click Startup Settings, and then Restart. Your computer will turn off and on again.

Choose "Startup Settings" and then click Restart to get to the final selection menu for Safe Mode.

5. Once the screen comes back, you'll be given a few options. Press 4 to start your computer in Safe Mode, or 5 to start Safe Mode with internet access.

Enable Safe Mode with or without internet access.

Quick tip: If you're not signed in, do the same thing, but click the Power icon on the sign-in page.

Using the Settings app

1. Open the Settings app by pressing the Windows key + I.

2. Click Update & Security, and then Recovery.

3. On this page, underneath Advanced startup, click Restart now.

Click "Restart now" to get to Safe Mode.

4. Your computer will restart on the Choose an option screen. Here, click Troubleshoot, and then Advanced options.

5. Select Startup Settings and then Restart.

6. When your computer boots back up, you'll be given some startup options. Press 4 to start your computer in Safe Mode, or 5 to start Safe Mode with internet access.

Holding down the power button

This is the method to use if you can't boot into Windows normally.

1. Press your PC's power button to turn it on.

2. As soon as you see something appear on the screen — probably the manufacturer's logo — hold down the power button until the PC turns off again.

3. Do this two more times, and then turn your PC on. As it's starting, the words Preparing Automatic Repair will appear at the bottom of the screen. Let your PC go through this process — it should eventually boot into the Choose an option screen.

Force-restarting your computer three times will put you into automatic repair mode.

4. On this screen, select Troubleshoot, Advanced options, and then Startup Settings. When prompted, click Restart.

5. When the computer turns back on, press 4 to start your computer in Safe Mode, or 5 to start Safe Mode with internet access.

How to exit Safe Mode in Windows 10

As with Windows 11, the easiest way to get out of Safe Mode on Windows 10 is to just restart your computer. You can do this by holding down the power button, or by going through the Start menu.

If you've restarted your computer but it's still in Safe Mode, you should:

1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run menu.

2. In the text box, type msconfig and press Enter.

Run should still be a usable tool in Safe Mode.

3. At the top of the System Configuration menu, click Boot.

4. Underneath Boot options, make sure that Safe boot is unchecked. Once it is, click OK and restart your computer again.

The menu you're looking for should look like this. The button you're looking to uncheck is in the bottom left.Advanced Safe Mode options for troubleshooting

There are two advanced versions of Safe Mode: 

1. Safe Mode with Networking. The networking option allows you to access the internet and other computers on your network while in Safe Mode.

2. Safe Mode with Command Prompt. The Command Prompt option will, after login, bring you to a command prompt window where you can conduct advanced troubleshooting.

Accessing either of these modes is accomplished by following one of the methods described above and then pressing 5 or 6 in the last step instead of 4.

Read the original article on Business Insider

4 small business owners say a low-cost advertising strategy called 'comarketing' has helped them save time and money, and build more authentic campaigns

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 5:04pm  |  Clusterstock
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Emily Merrell (right) and Lexie Smith cofounded Ready Set Coach after a comarketing campaign.
  • Four small business owners say "comarketing" has helped them grow new audiences and boost sales. 
  • Comarketing — where multiple companies market their products together — is a low-cost strategy that can be even more effective than traditional marketing.
  • For both companies to benefit equally, the campaign should be authentic and not appear too promotional.
  • This article is part of "Marketing for Small Business," a series exploring the basics of marketing strategy for SBOs to earn new customers and grow their business.

When Talia Boone launched her fresh-flower delivery service, Postal Petals, in 2020, she didn't have a marketing budget. So to spread the word about her company, she partnered with other small businesses to "comarket." 

"Just the nature of being small, we have to be creative about the ways we introduce our products and services to new audiences," Boone told Insider. By comarketing, she's also able to support other small businesses. "We start to grow natively by collaborating and working together."

Comarketing refers to two or more businesses "collaborating on a joint promotional campaign," according to the US Chamber of Commerce. This might include cobranded content marketing campaigns, collaborative social media posts, event or content sponsorships, or affiliate marketing.

Boone, who's based in Los Angeles, works with "up-and-coming small minority- and women-centered businesses" on cobranded events and social media giveaways, such as a recent wellness workshop with the nursery The Plant Chica and the Black Women's Yoga Collective

"It's thinking about ways that we can collaborate with other small business owners who have similar offerings and figuring out ways to package our services or products to amplify our collective and respective messages," she said, adding that comarketing had helped her increase her social media following and engagement.

Comarketing offers many benefits to small businesses 

Comarketing can help small businesses save money, stretch their marketing budgets, build a stronger brand identity, and grow customer awareness. 

"We've found it to be valuable to us, to our retailers, and to our customers," Charles Negaro Jr., the CEO of Chabaso Bakery, a wholesale bakery in New Haven, Connecticut, told Insider. "It's a smart use of our time, and it works with our budget."

Chabaso has partnered with cheese companies and olive-oil brands on in-store displays and Instagram recipe campaigns.

Employees contribute to the comarketing campaign with recipe development and social media posts. Then the company hires a photographer, Negaro said. "Our marketing dollars are human-labor dollars, so we try to find creative ways to collaborate with people," he said.

Emily Merrell, founder of Six Degrees Society

Comarketing also enables businesses to help each other. Emily Merrell, the founder of the networking company Six Degrees Society, and Lexie Smith, the founder of the public-relations agency ThePRBar, met at a conference in 2020 and decided to collaborate on training programs for coaching businesses, which they cross-promoted on their own social media channels. 

This eventually led the pair to start a company, Ready Set Coach, focused on coaching people with coaching businesses. Now the three organizations market collaboratively by amplifying one another's messaging and hosting social media events. 

Comarketing is "one of the most important things that small businesses should be doing," Merrell said, adding: "You grow so much faster. Rising tides raise all ships." 

4 ways to make comarketing work for your small business1. Set goals for your comarketing effort

Successful comarketing depends on businesses knowing what they want to get out of the partnership, Boone said. For instance, businesses might center their efforts on increasing social media followers, driving sales, or reaching new customers. 

"It's important to be really thoughtful, intentional, in identifying what our ROI is, and then essentially crafting the campaign around that so that we're able to realize those goals," she said, referring to a return on investment. "It's effective from a financial standpoint." 

From hosting cobranded giveaways, Postal Petals has increased newsletter sign-ups and gained customers. Besides the time and effort it takes to create campaigns, Boone said, the only costs she incurs are the items she gives away.

2. Connect with like-minded small businesses

Alignment is crucial when choosing other small businesses to partner with, Smith said. Businesses should comarket when they have similar audiences, coordinating products, or comparable missions. 

Lexie Smith, founder of ThePRBar

Since their audiences overlap, Smith said working with Merrell has helped them expand their "top funnel." 

"There are now three entry points and three different categories that can funnel people into our brands," she said, referring to their individual businesses and Ready Set Coach, the one they started together. 

Small businesses should start with their existing networks and ask for recommendations, Boone said. She's also reached out directly to brands that she wants to work with and had companies reach out to her with partnership proposals. 

"You're really coming to them and saying, 'Hey, how can we explore opportunities to support each other?'" she said. Postal Petals often themes their social media collaborations and has worked with skincare and candle companies for self-care giveaways, for instance. 

Boone declines comarketing requests from other small businesses when they don't make sense, like when a company's products or mission don't align with hers. 

3. Make sure everyone is on board with the campaign

Small businesses should work together on creating comarketing campaigns. Smith said it's a good idea to put responsibilities, duties, and deliverables in writing "so there are clear expectations." 

When working with other businesses on social media marketing, Boone said everyone agrees on a timeframe. They contribute photos and product information, and then create posts that align the companies' assets and messaging. 

"We typically work together to build it out," she said. Then, the organizations approve posts before they go live. Each company posts the content on its channels. 

Chabaso handles many aspects of comarketing in-house. Negaro said his company comes up with recipes using other brands' items, photographs them, and creates recipe cards with QR codes to place on supermarket shelves. The recipes and photos are also posted on social media. 

4. Create campaigns that resonate with audiences 

Smith said small businesses should focus on being authentic, offering value to audiences, and not appearing too promotional in comarketing campaigns. 

She and Merrell do this by sharing similar topics across their brands' social media channels, but slightly tweaking the messaging to appeal to each audience. 

"We've just learned to be flexible," Boone said. "It can't be all the things that work best for us. It has to be what's best for all the brands involved." 

Successful comarketing sometimes takes experimentation and trial and error. Still, Boone said it's an effective way for small businesses to expand their marketing reach, even when they don't have a big budget.  

"Most small businesses just can't afford traditional marketing," she said. "So, we have to be very creative about growing our audiences and our networks. Collaborating with other brands is a really efficient and effective way to do it." 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nike CEO highlights direct-to-consumer strategy the day after the company's big Foot Locker announcement

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 5:02pm  |  Clusterstock
Nike CEO John Donahoe touted the company's direct-to-consumer efforts ahead of its earnings call.
  • Nike on Tuesday reported quarterly sales and earnings above Wall Street expectations.
  • The report came a day after Foot Locker announced a "revitalized" wholesale partnership with Nike.
  • Despite Foot Locker's announcement, Nike CEO John Donahoe touted the success of Nike's DTC approach.

Foot Locker announced a "revitalized" partnership with Nike to much fanfare on Monday. On Tuesday, Nike CEO John Donahoe moved to turn the attention of investors back to Nike's direct-to-consumer approach.

"Nike's strong results in the third quarter offer continued proof of the success of our Consumer Direct Acceleration strategy," Donahoe said, in the lead sentence of an earnings press release. 

In 2020, Nike announced Consumer Direct Acceleration, a business plan focused on direct, digital sales. 

In recent months, speculation built that Nike would tweak the direct-to-consumer focus, but Donahoe's statement signals the company isn't changing course. 

Nike handily topped analyst forecasts for the quarter, reporting $12.4 billion in sales and $0.79 in earnings-per-share, both above expectations of $11.48 billion and $0.56.

In the earnings release, Donahoe said the company's strong quarter, which ended February 28, resulted from "product innovation, deep relationships with consumers and a digital advantage."

On Monday, Foot Locker CEO Mary Dillon noted the sneaker chain had renewed its relationship with Nike. That followed a December earnings report in which Nike's wholesale business grew faster than its direct business. 

Adidas and Allbirds are among other brands that have recently announced changes to how they think about wholesale.

But there have been recent signs that Nike's focus on DTC is working, including increased foot traffic at Nike stores

In the quarter that ended February 28, direct and digital sales increased 22% and 24% respectively, not including currency charges, faster than the 18% increase in wholesale revenue. 

Although Nike topped analyst expectations for sales and earnings, it came up short on gross margin, reporting 43.3%, below the 43.7% expected by analysts, according to FactSet. 

Nike will host a call with stock analysts at 5 p.m. ET.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Why are my iPhone messages green? What SMS green texts mean and how to get blue iMessages

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 4:54pm  |  Clusterstock
The color of your messages on iPhone can let you know if and how others are receiving them.
  • If your iPhone messages are green, it means they're being sent as SMS texts rather than iMessages.
  • You'll always see green when texting Android users, or when you're not connected to the internet.
  • If all of your iPhone messages are green, you should make sure iMessage is turned on in Settings.

You may have noticed that the text messages in your iPhone's Messages app can appear as either green or blue. 

The difference? Green messages are ordinary SMS text messages, while blue messages are using Apple's proprietary iMessage format. If you're used to seeing blue iMessage text bubbles but they are suddenly green, it can be an indication you've been blocked – but that's just one possibility, and isn't necessarily the most likely.  

Here's everything you need to know about why your iPhone is sending green messages, and how to fix it if you think it's a mistake.

The difference between SMS and iMessage, explained

Ordinary SMS text messages are sent using your cellular voice service, and don't use the internet or your data plan. All mobile phones — Android, iPhone, and otherwise — can use SMS. 

iPhones have an additional option, though. By default, iPhones send and receive iMessages between other Apple devices. iMessage was built to send messages over the internet, using Wi-Fi or your cellular data plan. 

Messages in green are SMS, while messages in blue are iMessages.

When sending messages to another Apple device, your iPhone will use iMessages. But if you're texting an Android phone, or you're not connected to the internet, your iPhone will use SMS. As a general rule, you can't send an iMessage to an Android phone.

But while iMessages are limited to Apple devices, they have a number of advantages over SMS. 

  • iMessages don't count against your texting plan — instead, they use Wi-Fi or your data plan, depending upon whatever's available when you send or receive the message. 
  • The Messages app shows pulsing dots when someone is writing an iMessage to you
  • iMessages can contain information that SMS does not, such as your location. 
  • You can enable notifications for iMessages, showing what has been delivered and read.

Quick tip: It's possible to send and receive iMessages on your Mac or Android, though you will need to follow the appropriate steps to configure the service properly for each device.

How to enable iMessage on your iPhone if it's turned off

The bottom line is that iMessage is generally better than SMS, and your iPhone will use it whenever possible — you don't have to do anything special to send an iMessage to another Apple device, aside from having iMessage turned on. 

Here's how to make sure iMessage is turned on:

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Tap Messages.

3. Make sure iMessage is turned on by swiping the button to the right.

You can check to see if iMessages are enabled in your message settings.How to enable SMS only on iPhone

It's possible to disable iMessage entirely, which ensures that all your messages are sent as SMS using your cellular service's voice network instead of Wi-Fi or your data service. You may want to switch to SMS if there are issues with Apple's messaging system, or if you have an urgent message to send, but you can't find a stable internet connection.

If you do this, all texts – sent to both iPhone and Android devices alike – will appear in green text bubbles.

Here's how to switch to SMS only:

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Tap Messages.

3. Make sure iMessage is turned off by swiping the button to the left.

Switching to SMS-only is as simple as changing one setting.Read the original article on Business Insider

The world's top metals trader is stuck in another nickel-shipment snafu after getting bags of stones from a Dutch warehouse

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 4:54pm  |  Clusterstock
A cargo ship berths at a container dock of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in Antwerp, Belgium, Oct. 27, 2022
  • Trafigura discovered that it received bag of stones from a warehouse in Rotterdam instead of nickel.
  • It is joined by others who made a similar discovery at the warehouse.
  • Last month, Trafigura disclosed an unrelated fraud on nickel shipments and faces a $577 million loss.

The global metals trader Trafigura is among the companies that received bags of stone instead of nickel under London Metal Exchange contracts, Bloomberg reported.

The bags came from a warehouse in Rotterdam run by Access World and were shipped to New Orleans, where they were found to have the wrong weight, sources told Bloomberg. 

Earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported that JPMorgan Chase was the owner of bags of stones at the warehouse. Had they contained nickel, the bags would have been worth $1.3 million at current prices. Stratton Metals, a metal trader in Europe, also reportedly got bags of stones instead of nickel.

The LME first announced the mix-up last Friday but didn't disclose the owner of the bags or the warehouse where they were kept.

LME inspected all of its metal holdings at the warehouse and found that nine contracts contained material other than nickel.

Meanwhile, Trafigura has said there's no connection between the bags of stones and a separate snafu related to nickel cargoes.

Last month, the commodity giant acknowledged that some of its nickel cargoes had been substituted for carbon steel, a cheaper metal, leaving Trafigura potentially facing a $577 million loss. The final cost could be lower if it is able to recover some of the funds. 

"Since late December 2022, a small proportion of the containers purchased from these companies have been inspected as they reached their destination, and were found not to contain nickel," Trafigura said in a statement last month, according to Bloomberg.

The incident led Trafigura to sue the Indian businessman Prateek Gupta in February, as well as TMT Metals and UIL Malaysia — companies associated with him. 

A London court has since ordered a $625 million freeze on Gupta following Trafigura's legal action. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Expectations for the Fed's next rate hike this month have posted the biggest swings since the start of the pandemic

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 4:39pm  |  Clusterstock
Silicon Valley Bank, Fed Chair Jerome Powell
  • Pricing in Fed fund futures was "on a wild ride" this month before the FOMC meeting.
  • Bespoke Investment Group says the spread in Fed funds futures in March was the widest since the pandemic started. 
  • A banking crisis sparked by SVB's failure was a major factor in moving expectations for the Fed's next move. 

It's been a case of March Madness for financial markets. 

Near-term expectations among traders for the Federal Reserve's key interest rate "have been all over the place recently," Bespoke Investment Group wrote Tuesday, just before the Federal Reserve's March rate decision was due Wednesday. 

Pricing in Fed fund futures went "on a wild ride" this month before the FOMC meeting, logging a spread of 77.5 basis points between the between the implied high and low rate, the firm said. 

That marked the widest monthly spread since March 2020 when the Fed unexpectedly delivered large interest rate cuts outside of its regular meetings as it rushed to respond to the onset of the COVID pandemic. 

Since 1994, when the Fed started announcing policy decisions on the day of its meetings, the only other months that produced such a wide range in Fed funds futures were January and September 2001 and January and October 2008. 

"Contrary to the current situation, each of those prior periods saw the Fed cutting rather than potentially raising rates, and we were right in the middle of nasty bear markets," Bespoke wrote. 

Traders have spent an eventful month trying to gauge the next rate moves by the Federal Open Market Committee. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell in early March opened the door to a larger-than-anticipated rate increase of 50 basis points at the March meeting as policymakers continue to work on cooling inflation. He later told lawmakers that "no decision" had been made.

Then came the collapse and seizure of Silicon Valley Bank, which spurred questions about the role the Fed's aggressive rate hikes over the past year played in bank's eventual failure. 

Odds that the FOMC on Wednesday will deliver a rate hike of 25 basis points were around 83% late Tuesday. That suggests traders heavily anticipate the Fed delivering its ninth straight rate increase at the same pace in February. A month ago, traders were looking at a 76% probability.  Since then, investors have witnessed bank runs, the first seizures of lenders since 2008, and a $30 billion rescue package for one regional lender, First Republic Bank. 

"[Even] though we've seen huge swings in Fed Fund expectations this month, the S&P is basically flat month-to-date," Bespoke also said. 

A chart shows monthly volatility in Fed funds futures between 1994 through March 2023.





Read the original article on Business Insider

Nouriel Roubini and Jeremy Grantham sound the alarm for stocks in a new documentary. Here are the bearish market pros' best quotes.

Tue, 03/21/2023 - 4:06pm  |  Clusterstock
  • Jeremy Grantham and Nouriel Roubini are well known for their bearish views on the market and economy.
  • In a new PBS documentary about the Fed's decade of cheap money, Grantham and Roubini ring the alarm for stocks.
  • These are Grantham's and Roubini's top quotes from the Age of Easy Money.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO and economist Nouriel Roubini are well known for their ultra-bearish views on the stock market and the economy.

A new PBS Frontline documentary, Age of Easy Money, chronicles the Federal Reserve's monetary policy decisions over the past decade and explores the potential financial consequences going forward.

Starting in 2009, the Fed embarked on a decade-long policy of providing cheap money to the economy by buying trillions of dollars of debt securities and keeping interest rates near zero. But last year, the Fed aggressively reversed its monetary policy by hiking interest rates and reducing the size of its massive bond portfolio.

Both Grantham and Roubini offered their views on what the Fed did to markets in the documentary, and what could happen next.

Here are their top quotes:

1. Roubini on the $1,400 fiscal stimulus paychecks in 2021

"People like myself, like Larry Summers and others, saw that that massive stimulus — it was unprecedented, an order of magnitude greater than the one we had after the [2008] global financial crisis — would lead to excessive demand, overheating and inflation," Roubini said.

"We had bailout checks sent to everybody — every household, every firm, every financial institution. It was too much and should have been more selective."

2. Roubini on central banks driving bubbles

"We have had literally a few decades of ever-increasing bubbles that have been fed and supported by central banks. And not only have we had bubbles, but we've had bubbles that have been fed by excessive leverage, excessive private and public borrowing and excessive risk-taking," Roubini said. 

3. Roubini on central banks popping bubbles

"The party is over. Inflation is high and rising. Central banks have to increase rates. That is bursting the asset bubbles. It's increasing the amount of the debt servicing of everybody who over-borrowed like crazy. So we lived in a bubble, in a dream, and this dream in a bubble is bursting and is turning into an economic and a financial nightmare," Roubini said. 

4. Grantham on the Federal Reserve bailing out investors

"Over the years, we've been trained to believe that the Fed is on our side. What the Fed has trained us to believe is that if we make a bet in the market and we win, we're on our own. We get to keep the profits. If we lose, they will bend every effort and every dollar they can get their hands on, one way or another, to bail us out. This is asymmetry of the most splendid kind," Grantham said. 

5. Grantham on speculation and euphoria marking the top of bubbles

"It's the burst of euphoria that typically brings these things to an end... The housing market, the stock market and the bond market, all overpriced at the same time. If the Fed knew what it was doing it would not allow bubbles of this magnitude to take place," Grantham said. 

6. Grantham on the financialization of the economy

"In my career in America, the percentage of GDP that goes to finance has gone from 3.5% to 8.5%. In a way, we're like a giant bloodsucker, and we have more than doubled in size and sucking more than twice the blood out of the rest of the economy. And we do not generate any widgets. We do not generate any real increase in income. We are just a cost," Grantham said.

Interviewer James Jacoby: "When you say 'we,' you mean you and other members of the financial community have been this kind of bloodsucker on the economy? Is that what you're saying?"

"Yes. Collectively we fulfill a completely necessary service, but what we have done is created layers upon layers of more and more convoluted, expensive financial instruments. And that's what makes all the profits for the financial industry. It's taken a lot of ingenuity and salesmanship to make this happen, and a lot of lobbying in Congress, and we have imposed on the rest of the economy the idea that banking and finance are utterly important at all times. If you do anything wrong to us, the entire economy will collapse in ragged disarray," Grantham responded.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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