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Shaq — who starred in an FTX commercial in June — says he 'was just a paid spokesperson' for the exchange and doesn't believe in crypto

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 11:27pm
Shaquille O'Neal gives a speech during an event at Doolittle Complex basketball courts in Las Vegas, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021.
  • Shaquille O'Neal said he was paid to appear in an FTX ad and was never involved in the firm.
  • In the ad, he said he was "making crypto accessible to everyone" and that he was "all in."
  • O'Neal was recently named in a lawsuit accusing FTX of using celebrities to trick investors.

NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal said he doesn't believe in cryptocurrencies and was merely paid to endorse the now-imploded exchange FTX, per a Thursday report by CNBC's Make It.

"A lot of people think I'm involved, but I was just a paid spokesperson for a commercial," O'Neal told the outlet.

The former basketball star, who's now an angel investor and businessman, starred in an FTX commercial released on June 2. In the ad, O'Neal said he was excited to partner with the exchange to "make crypto accessible to everyone."

"I'm all in. Are you?" O'Neal says in the ad.

—FTX (@FTX_Official) June 1, 2022

O'Neal told CNBC that his friendship with fellow NBA great Stephen Curry was one of the reasons he agreed to appear in the FTX ad. Representatives for Curry did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

"People know I'm very, very honest. I have nothing to hide," O'Neal said, per CNBC. "If I was heavily involved, I would be at the forefront, saying, 'Hey.' But I was just a paid spokesperson."

When asked by the outlet if he was bullish on crypto, O'Neal said: "No."

O'Neal is one of several celebrities named in a class-action lawsuit that was filed on November 15 against FTX, its big-name endorsers, and its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried.

The complaint, filed by investor Edwin Garrison, alleges that FTX used celebrities such as O'Neal, Curry, and fashion model Gisele Bündchen to attract investors to a Ponzi scheme, per court documents seen by Insider.

The crypto world was shaken when FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11, and as its new CEO John Ray reported a litany of gross mismanagement practices at the firm.

The SEC has charged Bankman-Fried with fraud and accused him of funneling billions of dollars of customer funds into his own crypto hedge fund.

O'Neal warmed this year to the idea of endorsing crypto

Before appearing in the FTX commercial in June, O'Neal had publicly expressed skepticism toward cryptocurrencies. He told CNBC in September 2021 that he didn't understand crypto.

"So I will probably stay away from it until I get a full understanding of what it is," he said, per the outlet.

He also told Front Office Sports in June 2021 that he was wary of crypto endorsement offers.

"I always get these companies that say: 'Hey, we'll give you $900,000 in crypto to send out a tweet.' So I have to say: 'OK, if you're going to give me a million dollars worth of crypto, then why do you need me?'" O'Neal told the outlet. "A couple of my friends got caught up in a little scam like that one time."

However, he started teasing the idea of getting involved in crypto-related content in February, musing on Twitter that he could change his handle to SHAQ.SOL — a reference to a cryptocurrency run by blockchain platform Solana.

The NBA hall of fame member did not disclose how much money he received for appearing in the June FTX commercial.

Representatives for O'Neal did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The college student tracking Elon Musk's private plane says he'll continue monitoring Musk on different platforms: 'If I give up now, it's kind of like letting the big guy win'

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 11:07pm
Jack Sweeney and Elon Musk
  • Jack Sweeney, the teen who tracked Elon Musk's private jet, says he will keep tracking the plane.
  • Sweeney wrote in a Newsweek op-ed that he plans to track the jet on "different platforms."
  • "If I give up now, it's kind of like letting the big guy win," Sweeney wrote.

Jack Sweeney, the college student known for "Elonjet," a private plane-tracking Twitter account, says he doesn't plan to stop monitoring Musk's jet. 

Sweeney wrote in a Newsweek op-ed published on Thursday that he wants to keep tracking the plane on different social media platforms. 

"If I give up now, it's kind of like letting the big guy win," Sweeney wrote. 

Sweeney added in his op-ed that he does not care that "Elonjet" was suspended from Musk's Twitter, saying that he already has a presence on Mastodon, Facebook, Truth Social, Instagram, and Telegram.

"I don't have to follow Musk's rules on other platforms, and I don't have to worry about him watching my account," Sweeney wrote. 

Twitter on Wednesday updated its "Private Information policy," which now prohibits "sharing someone else's live location in most cases." But before that announcement, over 30 of Sweeney's accounts were banned on Wednesday under Musk's updated privacy policy. This suspension included accounts that tracked other private planes, like those owned by Jeff Bezos and former President Donald Trump. 

"Twitter was my core platform, as I had 500,000 followers, but my accounts are gaining speed on other platforms," he added.

Sweeney said in his op-ed that he is "still a fan of Musk's ventures," despite being banned from Twitter.

Musk on Wednesday also threatened legal action against Sweeney, alleging that the publication of real-time location information led to a "crazy stalker" approaching a car that was carrying his son, X, in Los Angeles.

That's a U-turn on his previous stance — Musk had tweeted in November that his "commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk."

Sweeney referenced Musk's recent tweets in the op-ed, saying "I don't think my Elonjet account could have led a 'crazy stalker' to his car."

"I'm tracking his plane, not the car, so I don't see how it could be connected," he added. 

Regarding the threat of legal action from Musk, Sweeney says he feels "slightly" intimidated, but gathers that there "doesn't seem to be any legal ground for a lawsuit."

"I'm just posting information that's already out there," Sweeney wrote. 

Musk did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Twitter is now blocking tweets that include links to Mastodon, its competitor

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 11:04pm
Elon Musk.
  • Twitter appears to be banning the posting of links to its competitor, Mastodon.
  • Insider's attempt to publish tweets containing Mastodon links were met with an error message.
  • The error message identified the tweet's content as "potentially harmful." 

Twitter appears to be blocking tweets that contain links to Mastodon, a competing social-media platform. 

On Thursday evening, Insider attempted to publish ten tweets from three separate Twitter accounts, all containing links to various Mastodon user profiles. Each attempt was met with an error message that read: "Your Tweet couldn't be sent because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful. Visit our Help Center to learn more." 

Other Twitter users also noticed on Thursday evening that they were unable to post links to Mastodon, a platform often touted as an alternative to Twitter

—Christopher Hooks (@cd_hooks) December 16, 2022

Among them was NBC journalist Ben Collins, who found a workaround to post his Mastodon link by breaking up the URL with a set of brackets. 

—Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) December 16, 2022

 

Also on Thursday, Twitter suspended the official Mastodon Twitter account. The move appeared to be a part of a raft of account suspensions that included the accounts of CNN journalist Donie O'Sullivan, The Washington Post's Drew Harwell, The New York Times' Ryan Mac, as well as independent journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann, and Tony Webster.

Musk and representatives for Mastodon did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump fans who buy a $99 NFT of him as a superhero will be entered to win a 'priceless' meeting at Mar-a-Lago — but they'll have to cover their own travel and lodging expenses

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 9:21pm
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during a campaign rally on October 17, 2020 in Muskegon, Michigan.
  • Former President Donald Trump on Thursday announced digital trading card NFTs featuring him.
  • Buyers will also be entered in a sweepstakes to meet him, with winners covering their own expenses.
  • Money from sales of the NFTs will not go to the Trump campaign, according to the website.

Buyers of newly released NFTs featuring former President Donald Trump will be entered to win a 20-minute meeting with him at Mar-a-Lago, but winners will have to cover their own travel and lodging expenses, according to the project's website.

Trump announced the digital trading cards — which feature images of the former president as a superhero, an astronaut, and a Top Gun-style pilot, among others — on Thursday after hyping up a "major announcement" the day before. The trading cards are being sold as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, for $99 each.

Although Trump in November announced his plans to run for president in 2024, money from the sale of the cards will not go to Trump's campaign, according to the website. The company behind the cards is not owned by Trump but uses his likeness and image under a paid license.

Purchasers of the card will also automatically be entered into a sweepstakes for a "chance to win 1000's of incredible prizes and meet the one and only #45!" though a purchase of a card is not required to enter the contest. According to the fine print, the prizes include 2,533 NFTs, totaling an approximate value of $54,695.

The website also approximated the cash value of the prizes that include meeting Trump as "$0/priceless."

The fine print also says that anyone who wins an in-person event, such as a meeting with the former president, would be responsible for covering any fees related to travel, lodging, meals, and other expenses related to the trip.

Trump hyped up the release of the NFTs on his Truth Social account, writing: "These limited edition cards feature amazing ART of my Life & Career! Collect all of your favorite Trump Digital Trading Cards, very much like a baseball card, but hopefully much more exciting."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Twitter suspends multiple journalists who have been covering, criticizing Elon Musk

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 9:11pm
Elon Musk acquired Twitter on October 27.
  • Twitter suspended several journalists' accounts on Thursday.
  • Many of the affected writers had been covering or criticizing Elon Musk in the preceding days.
  • But in a Thursday tweet, Musk suggested the suspensions were related to the tracking of his private jet.

Twitter on Thursday suspended several accounts belonging to prominent journalists who have been covering Elon Musk and his tenure at the social media website.

Among the affected accounts were Donie O'Sullivan with CNN, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, independent journalists Aaron Rupar, Keith Olbermann, and Tony Webster, The New York Times' Ryan Mac, and other writers on the tech and Twitter beat.

Rupar told Insider that he was still in the dark as to why his account was suddenly suspended. A notice at the top of his account as of Thursday said he had been "permanently suspended" and restricted to read-only mode, leaving him unable to DM or tweet, he said. 

"That's the only information from Twitter, no email, no info about what rule I might have broken," he said.

Neither Musk, nor a representative for Twitter immediately responded to Insider's request for comment. 

The deluge of suspensions comes one day after Twitter suspended the account of 20-year-old student Jack Sweeney, who created a tool that automatically posted updates about Musk's private jet's location, and threatened legal action against him. The company soon after changed its rules to forbid posting a person's "live location." 

Later Thursday evening, Musk seemed to suggest the reporter suspensions were also related to the private jet suspension. The billionaire CEO responded to a user's tweet saying they had confirmed "about half" of the suspended accounts had posted links to the jet tracker.

"Same doxxing rules apply to 'journalists' as to everyone else," Musk wrote. 

—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 16, 2022

Some of the suspended journalists had previously tweeted about @ElonJet and its ongoing presence on Mastodon, a social media platform that has marketed itself as an alternative to Twitter. Twitter also suspended the account for Mastodon on Thursday.

But Rupar told Insider that he didn't believe he had tweeted or even retweeted anything about the ongoing private jet saga. Nor did he think he had posted any material that would have violated copyright law — another cause for suspension. Rupar did, however, tweet critically about Musk the night before his account was suspended, he said.

"That leaves me inferring I guess it was something critical I posted of Elon," he said of the reason behind his suspension. "Maybe that's why I received no information from Twitter; they're probably not going to come out and say that."

Micah Lee, a journalist covering tech at The Intercept, told Insider that he believes he was suspended because he posted about Twitter suspending its competitor, Mastodon. Lee said he has yet to receive any notice from the company explaining its decision. 

NBC News reporter Ben Collins compiled an ongoing list of at least eight accounts that were suspended as of Thursday evening. Nearly all of them had been reporting on Twitter, covering Musk, or writing critically about the billionaire in the days leading up to their suspension. 

The suspensions are the latest development in Musk's ongoing backtracking on his promise to be a "free speech absolutist." But in another Thursday night tweet reply, Musk insisted that the suspensions were not prompted by critical coverage. 

"Criticizing me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not," he wrote.

The flight data Musk is trying to keep off Twitter is available online to anyone and relatively easy to track. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Japan may build 2 huge warships to counter the growing missile threat from North Korea

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 6:27pm
People in Seoul watch a report on a North Korean ICBM test-launch in November 2017.
  • North Korea has launched a record-setting number of missiles this year.
  • That has led Japan to examine its missile defense, which relies on specially designed warships.
  • Japan's leaders are now considering adding two new ships to their ballistic-missile defense fleet.

On November 21, Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force announced that its two newest destroyers, JS Maya and JS Haguro, had successfully conducted anti-ballistic missiles tests off the coast of Hawaii.

The announcement means Japan now has eight mission-capable ballistic-missile defense destroyers, and comes amid a record-setting series of missile tests by North Korea, with over 50 missiles launched in the past two months and eight ICBMs since January.

At least one of those missiles, launched on October 3, flew directly over the Japanese mainland — the first to do so in five years.

The launches have forced Japan to examine its unique ballistic-missile defense system, which relies heavily on specially equipped warships to intercept incoming missiles.

Ballistic-missile defenseJS Haguro fires an SM-3 Block IB missile during a live-fire exercise off the coast of Hawaii on November 18.

Japan began developing its current BMD system in 2004. Since then, it has evolved into a multi-tier BMD system involving all three branches of Japan's Self-Defense Forces.

The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force's Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System-equipped destroyers are tasked with intercepting ballistic missiles in their mid-course stage, when they're still outside the earth's atmosphere.

Japan's Air Self-Defense Force commands Patriot missile-defense batteries with Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles that are designed to intercept ballistic missiles in their terminal stage, after they reenter the atmosphere.

Finally, Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force commands Type 03 medium-range surface-to-air missile systems meant to intercept any missiles in the medium range of airspace.

The interceptors are linked into a massive network of satellites, radars, ships, and aircraft that monitor the area around Japan for any incoming threats. The data they collect is uploaded to the Japan Aerospace Defense Ground Environment, Japan's warning and control system.

Within minutes of a threat being detected, JADGE calculates a possible point of impact and orders relevant defense systems to prepare for intercept. JADGE also issues an evacuation order, if needed.

BMD destroyersJapanese guided-missile destroyer JS Maya in the Philippine Sea in May 2021.

The Aegis-equipped BMD ships are the most important part of Japan's BMD system. Eight are in service: four Kongō-class destroyers (Kongō, Kirishima, Myōkō, and Chokai), two Atago-class destroyers (Atago and Ashigara), and two Maya-class destroyers (Maya and Haguro).

The Maya-class vessels are the newest, commissioned in 2020 and 2021. They are also the first BMD destroyers designed specifically for the BMD role. The others were retrofitted after entering service.

The Mayas have 96 vertical-launch tubes capable of firing a mix of Type 07 anti-submarine rockets, Type 90 or Type 17 anti-ship missiles, and RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles. The most important armament, though, is the interceptors — the SM-3 and SM-6 missiles.

The recent tests involving Maya and Haguro in Hawaii saw Maya successfully intercept a ballistic missile outside the atmosphere with an SM-3 Block IIA missile and Haguro intercept another missile outside the atmosphere with an SM-3 Block IB.

In a third shoot-down, Haguro intercepted a missile that was being tracked by Maya, demonstrating integrated missile-defense capabilities that the JSDF has long sought.

Japanese guided-missile destroyer JS Kongō in the Sea of Japan on April 12.

There are advantages to relying on maritime-based platforms for missile defense. Their mobility allows them to cover a larger area and get closer to enemy launch points. It also makes it harder for enemies to target and destroy them.

By launching from open ocean, BMD ships also ensure that no booster debris from SM-3 and SM-6 missiles land in populated areas — a major reason Japan canceled the acquisition of the Aegis Ashore system in 2020.

In September, Japan's Ministry of Defense announced that Japan would build two new BMD destroyers.

The proposed ships would be 690 feet long, 130 feet wide, and displace some 20,000 tons, making them among the largest ships in the Japanese fleet since World War II. They would be larger than the US's Zumwalt-class destroyers and slightly smaller than Japan's Izumo-class carriers, which are being converted to operate F-35B jets.

The new ships' bigger size would allow the JMSDF to send them on longer deployments, operate them in foul weather, arm them with more missiles, and equip them with the massive SPY-7 radar.

The first ship is planned to be commissioned in 2028 and the second in 2029.

An urgent needA North Korean Hwasong ICBM, seen in March.

Relying on warships for ballistic-missile defense also has disadvantages, chiefly the cost. The ships need to be large, mobile, loaded with extremely sophisticated software, and have specially trained crews.

They wouldn't usually venture far from their patrol areas around Japan, but each would need to spend considerable time in port for maintenance or crew training, meaning Japan would need a fairly large number of them to ensure enough were deployed at any given time.

"The issue with sea-based missile-defense systems is if you're building really big expensive ships that are going to stay in one place, then you might as well save the money and build these really big systems on shore," Zack Cooper, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told Insider.

Soldiers with Patriot missiles at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo in April 2012.

"You might have to have six ships to keep two on site at any one time, and building six expensive missile-defense ships is probably really not the best way to take up pretty valuable shipyard time," Cooper added.

The proposed 20,000-ton BMD destroyers are estimated to cost as much as $7.1 billion, a massive price given recent economic woes and fears of an impending global recession.

That may be why the Japanese government has reportedly scaled back the size of the two new planned ships to about that of the Maya-class ships. The decision regarding the ships is likely to be made clear in Japan's new National Defense Program Guidelines, which are set to be released in mid-December.

Japan's need for ballistic-missile defense is only growing more urgent, however. So far this year, North Korea has conducted a record number of missile launches, firing IRBMs, ICBMs, SLBMs, and, most worrying for Japan, hypersonic missiles.

People in Tokyo walk past a screen detailing a North Korean missile launch in September 2021.

If Japan sticks with sea-based missile defense, it may acquire two more BMD destroyers of an entirely new design or build more Maya-class vessels to save money and time.

Tokyo could also change its mind and adopt Aegis Ashore. Maintenance and training on the land-based system would be less of an issue, and it may end up being cheaper: When Japan canceled the program in 2020, it was expected to cost $4.2 billion over 30 years.

"In the North Korea context, where you basically know exactly where the missiles are being shot from and where they would be aimed toward, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to build a whole bunch of missile-defense destroyers just to keep two on station at any one time," Cooper said.

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Far-right troll and Capitol rioter 'Baked Alaska' tweets that he can't believe he's 'going to jail for an nft salesman' after Trump announces digital trading card series

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 6:20pm
Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Dayton International Airport on November 7, 2022 in Vandalia, Ohio.
  • The far-right personality known as "Baked Alaska" tweeted that he can't believe he's "going to jail for an nft salesman."
  • "Baked Alaska," whose real name is Anthime Gionet, participated in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot.
  • He pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge that carries a sentence of up to 6 months. His sentencing hearing is in January.

The far-right internet personality known as "Baked Alaska" was less than pleased with former President Donald Trump's announcement Thursday that he's launching a series of digital trading card NFTs.

"i can't believe i'm going to jail for an nft salesman," Baked Alaska, whose real name is Anthime Gionet, tweeted Thursday afternoon.

Gionet participated in the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol and later pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. The charge carries a sentence of up to six months, and Gionet's sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 12.

Trump, who launched his 2024 presidential campaign last month, first teased his NFT collection in a Truth Social post on Wednesday.

"AMERICA NEEDS A SUPERHERO! I will be making a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT tomorrow. THANK YOU!" he wrote. The statement was accompanied by a video depicting Trump as a Superman-style superhero, complete with laser beams shooting out of his eyes.

He followed up on Thursday morning, writing on his Twitter-esque social media site that the "official Donald Trump Digital Trading Card collection is here! These limited edition cards feature amazing ART of my Life & Career!"

He added that the cards, which are going for $99 apiece, are "like a baseball card, but hopefully much more exciting."

Gionet, who livestreamed himself storming the Capitol on January 6, didn't mince words when reacting to Trump's announcement.

"i wanted to make america great again but all i got was this shitty nft," he tweeted.

—Baked Alaska™️ (@bakedalaska) December 15, 2022

"America doesn't need a super hero it needs Jesus," he wrote in another tweet.

Gionet rose to prominence as a far-right internet troll and Trump supporter during the 2016 election. He participated in the neo-Nazi "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 and has a long history of sharing antisemitic and white nationalist propaganda.

He was permanently banned from Twitter in 2017 for violating the platform's hateful conduct policy, which prohibits "repeated and/or or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone."

But Twitter, which is now owned by the self-described free speech absolutist Elon Musk, reinstated Gionet's account earlier this week.

Gionet was arrested shortly after the Capitol riot. "Occupy the Capitol, let's go!" he shouted at one point while storming the building, according to his livestream. "We ain't leaving this bitch!"

He'll also start serving out a 30-day prison sentence beginning January 2 for an unrelated charge of macing a security guard in late 2020, The Daily Beast reported.

He was convicted of that charge in January of this year and appealed the verdict but was denied.

Gionet told his followers about the denial last month and expressed frustration about his upcoming sentencing hearing for the Capitol riot charge.

"And then, that's not even the January 6 thing!" Gionet said of the 30-day sentence for the mace charge. "Then I have to serve the January 6 time. So ah, it sucks! It sucks."

Read the original article on Business Insider

The family of the college student who tracks Elon Musk's jet said they 'can't really believe it won't just go away'

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 5:43pm
Jack Sweeney and Elon Musk.
  • Elon Musk threatened legal action against the college student who tracks his private jet on Twitter.
  • Jack Sweeney told Insider his family is "amazed" that Musk is so bothered by his tracking account.
  • His account, @ElonJet, was suspended on Wednesday, before being brought back then suspended again.

The college student who tracks Elon Musk's private jet on Twitter said his family "can't really believe it won't just go away," after his account was suspended and Musk threatened legal action against him.

Jack Sweeney told Insider that he was home with his mom when he saw Musk's tweet about suing him and others "who supported harm to my family." 

"I think they were just amazed at how this keeps on going on and how Elon is so bothered by it," Sweeney said about his family. "They can't really believe it won't just go away."

Twitter suspended Sweeney's account tracking Musk's jet, @ElonJet, on Wednesday, along with over 30 other jet-tracking accounts Sweeney runs for celebrity jets, like those used by Taylor Swift and Mark Zuckerberg.

Sweeney's personal Twitter account was also suspended. 

Musk tweeted, "Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info." He said sharing locations "on a slightly delayed basis" "is ok."

He replied to his tweet by saying a car carrying his son, X, in Los Angeles "was followed by crazy stalker (thinking it was me), who later blocked car from moving & climbed onto hood."

"Legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family," Musk tweeted.

—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 15, 2022

Sweeney told Insider he doesn't know what the relevance of the incident is to him since he only tracks Musk's private jet, and Musk isn't always a passenger on it.

When he first saw Musk's tweet about suing him, Sweeney told Insider he "was really surprised, maybe for a couple of seconds," before his rational thoughts set in. 

"It seems like he's just trying to scare me and it's not going to work," he said.

Sweeney just finished finals at the University of Central Florida, and is starting winter break.

"I wanted to come home and have a break because I wanted to catch up on stuff and now everything is just nuts," Sweeney said.

On CNN, Sweeney's grandmother said it's "kind of scary" to see her grandson go up against one of the world's richest men.

When asked what her message to Musk is, his grandmother said, "Oh, he better not forget that I'm his grandma, that's all I gotta say."

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Silicon Valley biotech just showed a simple blood test can detect a hidden and deadly type of cancer. But the results fell short of investors' hopes.

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 5:42pm
A standard blood draw.
  • Guardant Health said that its blood test to screen for cancer caught 83% of colorectal cancer cases.
  • Guardant says this could unlock an $20 billion market for colorectal cancer screenings.
  • But some investors were disappointed with the test's low ability to detect precancerous tumors. 

A new era in cancer screening could be starting soon. 

Instead of having to undergo uncomfortable procedures like colonoscopies, it might be possible to detect cancer from a simple blood draw — also known as a liquid biopsy. On Thursday, Silicon Valley-based biotech Guardant Health announced that its blood-based cancer screening test correctly caught colorectal cancer cases in 83% of people who had the disease. It also correctly predicted that people did not have colorectal cancer 90% of the time. 

In a press release, the company said that it would use these study findings to submit the test for FDA approval in the first quarter of 2023.

"We've been working steadily for many years to reach this milestone," Guardant Health co-CEO AmirAli Talasaz said in an investor call on Thursday evening. "As of today, blood-based CRC screening is a reality." 

Not everyone was excited about the trial's results. On the investor call, SVB Securities analyst Puneet Souda pointed out that the 83% sensitivity figure was significantly lower than the company had announced this past May

And although the test seems to work well to detect colorectal cancer that is already present, the test was only able to correctly detect advanced adenomas, or noncancerous tumors that indicate a risk for colorectal cancer, 13% of the time. 

Guardant's stock tumbled after the results were announced 

The results sent Guardant's stock plummeting 40% in after-hours trading. The stock of Exact Sciences, which makes a competing product called Cologuard that is more effective at detecting similar types of precancerous lesions, rose more than 25% on Thursday evening. 

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the US, according to the American Cancer Society, with almost 45,000 new cases diagnosed each year. It's also deadly — it's the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women, and is expected to cause more than 52,000 deaths in 2022. In 2020, it was the cause of death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman.

But colorectal cancer is also preventable, and the death rate has been steadily dropping thanks to increased screenings in the past several decades. Currently the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that adults in the US start getting screened for colorectal cancer at age 45 using a variety of screening tests, such as stool tests, sigmoidoscopies and colonoscopies. People who aren't at high risk for colon cancer need a colonoscopy once every 10 years.

The study results could still unlock a multi-billion dollar marketGuardant Health co-CEO Helmy EltoukhyThe late-stage clinical trial, called the ECLIPSE trial, is the most robust study to date showing the effectiveness of a blood-based screening test for cancer. The test works by detecting tiny particles called circulating tumor DNA, or ctDNA, that are shed by cancerous tumors into the bloodstream. 

The ECLIPSE trial tested the company's blood test, called Shield, on more than 20,000 patients.

In the Thursday investor call, Guardant estimated that the total market for the colorectal cancer screening alone could be $20 billion. 

The company already has several products on the market, including Guardant360CDx, an FDA-approved blood test to test cancer genomic markers that could help show what treatments the cancers are susceptible to. Additionally, Shield is already available in a limited number of doctors offices. 

In a November 4 analyst note, Souda wrote that Guardant foresees $5 billion in revenue from the Shield test once it's been FDA approved, which Guardant expects will happen next year. The company also expects that the test will be included in national colorectal cancer screening guidelines by 2026. 

According to the research firm Sentieo, Talasaz has said at multiple conferences that the cash price of the test will be $895. 

It remains to be seen who will be on the hook for paying for these tests. Guardant does not yet know whether the blood test will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance companies, though the test is accurate enough that coverage seems likely according to guidelines for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Five years from today, Talasaz told Insider in October, "We could have a blood-based screening test for colon cancer using blood for over 130 million people in the United States with no out of pocket cost."

Are colonoscopies a thing of the past?

Unfortunately, a blood-based test won't be completely replacing colonoscopies any time soon.

Colonoscopies are still the gold standard of colorectal cancer screening, despite involving sedation and hours of unpleasant physical preparation. That's because, Souda told Insider in a May interview, colonoscopies are an interventional procedure as well as a diagnostic procedure. In other words, not only are they a screening tool, but they can also be used to snip off precancerous polyps if they are found.

But liquid biopsies are a more comfortable test. Talasaz said that in doctors offices that are already using the blood test, more than 90% of patients are willing to take the test — compared to about 70% of eligible patients that get current forms of screening. And more patients screened means more chances for early cancer to be detected, and lives to be saved.

Guardant is the first in a series of companies working on similar testsKevin Conroy, CEO of Exact Sciences Corp.Guardant is the first company to cross the finish line with a late-stage clinical trial to validate its liquid biopsy test. Other biotech companies including Freenome, GRAIL, and Exact Sciences are also developing their own liquid biopsy tests to detect early-stage colorectal cancer. 

And while colorectal cancer is the first cancer that is being studied for a blood-based screening, it certainly won't be the last. In January, Guardant enrolled its first patient into a clinical trial to determine whether it could use its blood test to detect lung cancer in high-risk adults. 

Not all cancers will be able to be detected via blood though, because not all tumors shed DNA into the bloodstream. "There are certain cancers that are just not going to be amenable to liquid biopsy," Souda said. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

10 ways to fix your iPhone alarm when it's not going off properly

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 5:28pm
You may need to try a few different troubleshooting steps to resolve issues with your iPhone alarm.
  • Start by checking the alarm's configuration in the Clock app, such as AM/PM and recurring settings.
  • Double check your Apple Watch, if you have one, to make sure it's not in Mute or Theater mode. 
  • Here are ten ways to troubleshoot an iPhone alarm that isn't waking you.

While the old-fashioned alarm clock isn't extinct, it's certainly on the endangered species list. For many people, it's simply easier to rely on their iPhone to wake up in the morning — not only is it probably on the bed stand charging overnight, but it's the first thing many of us look at after waking.

But if your iPhone alarm doesn't go off, that can be a serious problem. Here are 10 ways to troubleshoot your iPhone alarm so you don't oversleep in the morning. 

Double-check the alarm settings

Unfortunately, most of the time when an iPhone alarm doesn't go off when you expect, the root cause is user error — you probably simply set the alarm incorrectly. The most common errors? Choosing PM instead of AM (or the other way around) or believing the alarm was set to recurring when in fact it was a one-time alarm.To check, start the Clock app, tap the Alarm tab at the bottom of the page, and find the alarm that didn't work the way you expected. Check for the proper time, AM/PM setting, and see if it's set to recur on the days of the week you want. If not, tap it and make the necessary changes.

Check your alarm to make sure it's set to the correct time, AM or PM, and recurring, if necessary.Use an Apple Watch? Check your settings there

If you use an Apple Watch in conjunction with your phone's Clock app, certain settings on your watch can interfere with the watch's ability to gently wake you in the morning when the alarm is scheduled to go off. 

First, make sure your Apple Watch isn't locked. If necessary, enter your passcode on the watch so you can gain access to your watch apps. Then swipe up from the bottom to see the Settings screen and make sure that it is not set to Mute, Theater mode, or Airplane mode. If any of those three icons are selected, tap them to turn them off.

Make sure that the Theater Mode and Mute settings are not turned on.Check your alarm volume

By default, alarm sounds are controlled in the Settings app, not with the volume buttons on the side of the iPhone. Make sure it's set high enough to wake you — otherwise, the alarm could go off and you simply won't even know. 

Start the Settings app and tap Sounds & Haptics. In the Ringtone and Alert section, adjust the slider so it's loud enough to get your attention in the morning. It's also a good idea to make sure Change with Buttons is off, with the button swiped to the left, or else you can easily lower the volume of the alarm by accident using the volume buttons.  

Set the Ringtone and Alert volume high enough to wake you.

If you have trouble waking to your alarm sound, try a different sound — they're not all the same volume, and you might find others do a better job of getting your attention.

Make sure your phone isn't connected to a Bluetooth device

Another way your alarm might sound but still not get your attention: The audio might be playing through a connected audio device, like headphones, earbuds, or a portable speaker that's in another room. You can ensure there are no connected Bluetooth devices, or simply toggle Bluetooth off and then turn it back on again. Any devices will disconnect and the alarm should play through the iPhone's speaker. 

To do that, swipe down from the top right of the screen to see the Control Center. Tap the Bluetooth icon in the top left, then wait about five seconds. Then you can turn Bluetooth back on again (or, if you prefer, simply leave it off). 

Turn Bluetooth off then back on again to make sure there are no Bluetooth speakers or headphones connected.Restart your iPhone

There might be some sort of software glitch that's preventing your alarm from working properly. 

You can clear out this kind of temporary glitch by turning your iPhone off and then back on again. 

If you need a refresher, here is how to restart your iPhone — do that and then try to run the alarm again.

Update your Clock app

It's also possible — though not very likely — that some sort of bug or software incompatibility is preventing the Clock app from working correctly. The remedy? Update your iPhone apps

Your iPhone should update apps automatically, but in case that hasn't happened, update the Clock app (and any other apps waiting to be updated) and try the alarm again.

Use a different alarm app

If you have tried everything in this list and your alarms are still not working, it might be time to move on from the Clock app. There are a lot of third party alarm apps for the iPhone, and you can probably find alternatives that you like as well (or better) than the Clock app. 

Quick tip: Some of the best alternative alarm apps include Loud Alarm Clock, Alarmy, and Alarm Clock for Me.

Check your iPhone sleep settings

Your iPhone's sleep schedule settings can interfere with alarm sounds. You can modify or delete the sleep settings in the Health app.

1. Open the Health app, tap Browse, and select Sleep.

2. Tap Full Schedule & Options and tap Edit.

3. Either move the wakeup icon to adjust the sleep schedule or select Delete Schedule.

Update iOS

iOS updates routinely contain fixes to iPhone bugs and glitches. Try updating your iPhone to the latest version of iOS.

Contact Apple support

If you are unable to resolve the issue, you can contact Apple Support for assistance.

Read the original article on Business Insider

17 tips to speed up Windows 10 and 11, from disabling special effects to managing bloated apps

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 5:28pm
  • The single most effective way to speed up Windows 10 or 11 is to use a solid state drive.
  • You should also uninstall useless programs, disable effects, and change startup settings.
  • Make sure Windows is fully updated and that your computer is running at full power.

People sometimes wonder how it was possible for the computer inside of Apollo 11 — a computer with less memory than the cheapest Windows PC in use today — to reach the moon. The answer: It didn't waste any processing power on a fancy interface or unnecessary apps. 

You can eke some extra performance out of your own Windows computer by following NASA's lead. Even the oldest PC can probably benefit from removing bloated programs, clearing out the hard drive, and removing viruses. 

But of course, the best way to speed up any Windows computer is by upgrading the hardware. Here are 17 ways to speed up Windows 10 and Windows 11. 

Install a solid state driveSSDs like this one are often much smaller than hard drives.

The single best way to speed up any older Windows computer — and any device that still uses a traditional hard disk drive — is to install a solid state drive, or SSD for short.

An SSD will allow Windows to boot several times faster, and programs to start in a fraction of the time. And since it has no moving parts, it usually lasts for longer than your average hard disk drive. Adding an SSD can even make a bigger difference than upgrading to a computer with a faster processor.

Depending on what kind of computer you have, and whether it's a desktop or laptop, you might be able to install the SSD yourself. Otherwise, a computer repair shop can almost certainly do it for you.

Disable apps that run at startup

If your computer takes ages to turn on, chances are that you have too many apps set to open at startup. All these apps compete with each other and your PC's essential features for processing power, which can slow things to a crawl or even make the computer crash.

To configure which apps get to open at startup, right-click the Windows icon in your taskbar and select Task Manager, then click Startup at the top of the window. You'll get a list of every app that has permission to start alongside your computer, and a rating of how much power they take up.

When you find a program that you don't want to open at startup, just right-click it and select Disable.

Quick tip: If you open Task Manager but don't see the Startup option, click the More details option in the bottom-left corner first.

Uninstall bloatware and other useless programs

When you buy a computer from the store, either online or in-person, it usually comes with a suite of third-party apps already installed. Most of these apps are what's known as "bloatware" — useless programs that run in the background, hogging your computer's power.

And as you use your computer over the years, chances are that you'll install one or two programs that you don't end up needing in the long run.

In both cases, you should occasionally take a few minutes to go through your PC's apps and uninstall the ones you don't want or need anymore.

To do this, open the Settings app on your computer and click Apps, and then Apps & features. You'll get a list of all your apps.

In Windows 10, click an app's name and then Uninstall. In Windows 11, click the three dots to the right of the app's name, and then Uninstall. If the Uninstall button is grayed out, it usually means the program is built into Windows and can't be removed.

Select an app you don't want and click "Uninstall." You might need to confirm your choice.

Quick tip: For more details, check out our article on how to properly uninstall programs in Windows.

Close apps that you're not using

Multitasking is great, and most modern computers can run multiple apps at once without any issues. But if you're running several high-impact apps at the same time — maybe Google Chrome, Zoom, and Adobe Photoshop — it can put a strain on the processor.

If you're looking to make your PC as fast as it can be, close apps when you're not using them, and avoid running too many big apps at once. This might mean you can't multitask as effectively as you like, but it'll help you avoid freezes and crashes.

Most apps will close when you click the X button in the top-right. But some apps, like Spotify and Discord, stay open even when all their windows are closed. In these cases, you can close them by clicking the upwards-pointing arrow at the end of your taskbar, or by opening the Task Manager.

Disable special effects

Windows is a prettier operating system than its predecessors, largely due to its special effects. These include small animations when you minimize or maximize a window, keeping the taskbar transparent, and more. They're subtle, but make the OS look much smoother.

Unfortunately, they can also take up more power than they're worth. Luckily, both Windows 10 and Windows 11 let you disable them.

Open the Settings app and click System, then scroll down to select About. Click the Advanced system settings option. In the new window that appears, find the Performance box and click Settings…

A menu will open that lets you pick which special effects and animations you want, and which ones should be turned off. You can also use the preset buttons at the top to quickly adjust for the best performance.

You can pick and choose effects, or just disable them all.Turn off window transparency

On a similar note, you might have noticed that some menus in Windows are transparent. Open the Start menu, for example, and you should see a faint, blurred impression of whatever lies behind it. 

If you don't want to sacrifice speed for such a small effect, you can turn it off entirely and probably not notice the difference. 

Open Settings and click Personalization, and then Colors. You'll find a small switch titled Transparency effects that you can use to turn the feature on or off.

Turn off Game Mode

If you play games on your computer, Game Mode can be both a blessing and a curse. This setting detects when you have a game open, and will reroute processing power to help the game run as smoothly as possible.

When you're only focusing on the game, this isn't bad. But if you're trying to run another app alongside the game, or if you're playing a game that runs in the background (like an idle clicker), Game Mode can cost you speed for no reason.

You can turn Game Mode on or off by opening the Settings app, clicking Gaming, and then Game Mode.

Keep Windows updated

Updates can be annoying, we know. If you're working on an important project, racing against a deadline, you don't want to be told to restart your computer.

But keeping your PC up-to-date is incredibly important. These patches include fixes and updates for your computer's security and performance, which will help your PC stay speedy.

You can check to see if there are any updates waiting for you by opening the Settings app and clicking Update & Security (Windows 10) or Windows Update (11). The menu will check for any pending updates, and download them if they're available.

The page will check for updates and let you install them.Check your internet connection

As time goes on, more apps and more parts of your PC depend on the internet to work. This means that if you have a shoddy internet connection, these apps and features will run slower. In some cases, they might not work at all.

Check your internet speed and see if it matches what you're paying for. If it's not, it means that either there's an issue with your internet router or your ISP is cheating you. Reset the router and contact your ISP for help.

And if it's possible, connect your computer to the internet using an ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi. Ethernet connections are far faster and more stable, meaning that you shouldn't have to worry about drops in internet speed.

Delete any viruses

You don't hear about computer viruses as often as you used to these days. But malware, spyware, and other kinds of malicious software are still lurking out there, waiting for a computer to land on. And while we usually associate viruses with catastrophic computer failures, some viruses are more subtle.

Instead of deleting your data, these viruses will just sit on your device and steal processing power (often to mine for bitcoin). This means that even a couple of infected files can lead to a much slower computer.

Modern Windows users are lucky, because both Windows 10 and Windows 11 come pre-installed with Windows Defender. Defender is one of the best anti-virus programs on the market, and should catch the overwhelming majority of viruses before they ever have a chance to reach you. This is in addition to the anti-virus features built into apps like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

Still, it never hurts to check. You can actively scan for viruses by opening the Windows Security app on your PC, clicking Virus & threat protection, and selecting Quick scan. And while Windows Defender is very good, there's never any harm in double-checking your system using a third-party app like Malwarebytes.

Turn off Windows tips and tricks

Windows keeps track of what you're doing in order to give you context-appropriate tips and tricks while using your computer. This can, however, slow down your system. Here's how to turn off these suggestions.

1. Click on Start and open Settings.

2. Click on System and select Notifications & actions.

3. Uncheck Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows.

Run your computer at full power

If you're on a laptop, your computer might not be running at full speed. Nearly every Windows laptop offers "power plans" that make your computer run slower in exchange for longer battery life. 

To check your power plan, right-click the battery icon in your taskbar and select Power Options (Windows 10) or Power and sleep settings (Windows 11). On the page that opens, you'll find settings to change how much power your laptop uses.

You'll want to pick the option that gives you the best performance.Clean up your disk

Both versions of Windows come with a program called Disk Cleanup. This app isn't very pretty, but it's a fantastic — and quick way — to get rid of junk files that your computer doesn't need. This includes temporary internet files, old error reports, and more. Unless you're really hurting for space, this probably won't make too much of a difference, but it's worth trying.

To find this feature, just search your computer for Disk Cleanup and open it when it appears in the results. Check off all the types of data that you want to delete, then click OK.

Quick tip: You can also set Windows to run this process automatically when you're low on space. Open the Settings app and click System, then Storage, and turn on the Storage Sense feature.

Defrag the hard disk

Similarly, if you use your computer a lot, you should occasionally defragment your hard drive. This process organizes your hard disk, storing files closer together so it doesn't take as long to fetch them.

Just note that this will only work if you have a hard disk drive (HDD). If you're using a solid state drive, there's no point in defragmenting it, since it can't be fragmented in the first place.

To defragment your hard drive, search your computer for "defrag" and open the Defragment and Optimize Drives app when it appears. Select the hard drive that you want to fix, and then click Optimize.

Update device drivers

Keeping your drivers up to date is a good idea and can often resolve issues.

Clean your computerIf your fans get too dusty, the entire computer can suffer.

We mean "clean" in the literal sense this time. Like any object that sits in one place for a long time, your computer gathers loads of dust and dirt. This is especially true if you have a desktop, and keep the computer tower against a wall or under your desk.

When too much dirt builds up inside the computer, it becomes harder for Windows to run. This isn't only because the parts can get damaged, but also because it can block up the fans and cause the system to overheat.

Occasionally — at least once a year — you should take time to clean your computer. This might mean opening up the case and blowing out the dust with a can of compressed air. If you don't feel confident opening the computer on your own, take it to a computer repair shop. They'll clean your PC safely, and can even repair any broken parts they find inside.

Restart your computer

This might sound ridiculous after all the technical advice we gave above, but trust us: Turning your computer off and then back on again can fix a lot of issues.

Modern PCs are designed to stay on 24/7, but you should still consider restarting your computer occasionally. You'd be surprised at how fast a PC can get when it's just given a moment to refresh.

And if restarting doesn't do anything, and none of the other options we suggested have worked, you can go a step further by restoring or resetting Windows. Fully resetting the PC will reinstall Windows and totally clear out any damaged files.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to make your Facebook profile as private as possible

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 5:27pm
It only takes a few moments to edit your Facebook privacy settings.
  • You can use Facebook's Privacy menu to limit who can see your posts, profile, and more.
  • Setting every option to "Only Me" will make your Facebook profile as private as possible.
  • You can also set up reminders to update your privacy settings using the Privacy Checkup tool.

Facebook is still the biggest social media platform in the world. But while it's convenient for connecting up with friends or colleagues, it also holds more of your personal data than you realize. If you don't have the right privacy settings, a lot of that personal data might be on public display.

While you can't control the advertisers and other outside companies that Facebook chooses to sell your information to, there are ways to ensure that other Facebook users can't see your information unless you want them too.

Here's how to make yourself private on Facebook.

Quick tip: If you don't want anyone to see your profile ever again, consider deactivating or deleting your Facebook account instead. It's a more extreme measure, but still the best way to pull your data off the site.

How to make your Facebook private

Facebook generally has four levels of privacy that you can set your account and posts to.

  • Public means that anyone with a link can see it, even if they don't have a Facebook account.
  • Friends means that only people on your friends list can see it. You can even exclude certain friends from seeing a post, too.
  • Friends of friends means that anyone who you share a mutual friend with can see it.
  • Only me means that it's totally private, and you're the only one who can see it.

If you want to make your Facebook as private as possible, you'll want to choose Only me whenever you can.

While some of Facebook's privacy tools are available in the mobile app, you'll need to open the Facebook website on a computer to find all of them.

To get to Facebook's Privacy menu:

1. Open the Facebook website and log into your account.

2. Click your profile picture in the top-right corner, and then select Settings & privacy in the menu that appears. 

Head to your Privacy menu.

3. In the submenu, click Settings.

Go to your Facebook profile’s Settings page.

4. On the Settings page that opens, click Privacy in the left sidebar.

This will open the Privacy Settings and Tools page with more options: 

Make your posts private

First, head to Your Activity section to change who's allowed to see your posts, posts you've been tagged in, and pages that you follow.

  • Click Who can see your future posts? to change the privacy settings for everything you post from now on.
  • Click Who can see the people, Pages and lists you follow? to change who's allowed to see what you're following.
  • Clicking either Review all your posts and things you're tagged in or Limit the audience for posts you've shared with friends of friends or Public? will take you to a new page where you can edit the privacy settings on changes you've already uploaded.
You’ll find all these options on the Privacy page.Hide your profile so people can't find you

If you're concerned about people finding your profile and posts, the How People Find and Contact You tools can help keep you hidden.

  • Click Who can send you friend requests to limit the amount of people allowed to friend you. Just note that you can't turn friend requests off completely — the best you can do is limit them to mutual friends.
  • The Who can see your friends list? option can hide your friends list, so people can't see who's in your network.
  • Both Who can look you up using the email address you provided? and Who can look you up using the phone number you provided? options can make it so even if someone already has your contact information, they won't be able to find you on Facebook.
  • Clicking Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile? lets you hide your profile from Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines. This is useful if you're worried about people finding you by googling your name — just note that it can take a few days to process.
Stop people from messaging you

Using the How You Get Message Requests section, you can limit who's allowed to message you. You can also choose to receive certain messages but filter them into their own folder, away from your inbox.

  • Under Potential Connections, choose where messages from people who have your phone number and/or mutual friends go. You can choose Chats (your regular inbox), Message requests (a separate folder), or Don't receive requests (deletes them).
  • Under Other people, make the same choice for people you're not connected to and Instagram users. Here, you can't choose to receive their messages in your regular inbox — you have to choose either Message requests or Don't receive requests.
How to make specific Facebook posts private

The options we talked about above control your entire Facebook account. But whenever you post something, you can give it its own privacy settings. This means you can keep your profile private but make a single post public, and vice versa.

1. When you're creating a Facebook post, click the dropdown button under your name.

Tap this button to choose how private you want the post to be.

2. In the menu that opens, select how private or public you want the post to be.

Once you post, only the audience that you choose will be able to see it.

How to set up privacy check reminders on Facebook

It's easy to forget to update the Facebook settings mentioned above as your privacy needs change. Luckily, through Privacy Checkup, you can set reminders that periodically alert you to review them.

1. Open the Facebook website and log into your account.

2. Click your profile picture in the top-right corner of the screen, and then select Settings & Privacy in the menu that appears.

3. In the submenu, click Privacy Checkup.

Click “Privacy Checkup.”

4. On the next screen, click the three horizontal dots and select Set up reminders.

5. In the pop-up, select when you want Facebook to remind you to do a privacy check, and then click Save.

Jennifer Still contributed to a previous version of this article.

Read the original article on Business Insider

8 ways to fix a call failed message on your iPhone

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 5:27pm
It's common for iPhone calls to fail from time to time.
  • A call failed message could be a problem with your cellular provider or your iPhone.
  • You should toggle Airplane mode, restart your phone, and reset your SIM card.
  • You can also reset your iPhone's network settings, but that will erase passwords.

There was a time when it was relatively common for calls to fail on your iPhone, but the "Call Failed" message is a somewhat more rare sight these days. Even so, calls still fail, and it isn't always obvious why.

The fault can lie with your cellular network or the iPhone itself. If you're trying unsuccessfully to place a call, here are the most common ways to fix a call failed message if, in fact, the problem lies with your iPhone.

Try your call again

Of course, the first thing you should do is to try making the call again. Often, a call will fail thanks to an intermittent network glitch, and the call will work just fine a minute later. Before you do anything else, tap the dial button to redial your last number.

Toggle Airplane mode

One of the most common reasons a call fails is because of a glitch with your cellular connection. You can generally fix this by toggling it off and then back on again. To do this, enable Airplane Mode.

1. Swipe down from the top right of the screen to see the Control Center.

2. Tap the Airplane mode icon at the top left, and then wait about 30 seconds.

3. Tap the Airplane mode icon again to re-enable your cellular network.

Try resetting your cellular connection by turning Airplane mode on and off again.

After it reconnects, try your call again.

Try moving your location

It's possible that you're in a location that has poor service — good enough that your phone thinks it has cellular service, and you'll see a bar or two of signal strength at the top of your phone — but bad enough that it can't actually complete a connection. If you're indoors, go outside, or otherwise try to change your location and dial again.

Make sure the number isn't blocked

Make sure that the number you're calling isn't blocked. If it is, you will need to unblock it in order to make the call from this phone.

Restart your iPhone

Sometimes, the problem is related to a software problem on your iPhone, but toggling Airplane mode didn't do the trick. 

In a situation like this, try turning your iPhone off, wait a minute, and then turn it back on again. Restarting the phone can flush out any misbehaving software or corrupted data and restore it to full operation. As a reminder, here is how to restart any iPhone.

Restart your iPhone to see if that solves your cellular connection problem.Reset your SIM card

It's possible that there's a problem with the way your iPhone's SIM card is seated in its tray, and the phone can have trouble reading all the contacts on the card. 

As long as you are careful, it's not hard to remove the SIM card from your iPhone — pop it out, gently dust it off, and then place it back on its tray and re-insert it in your iPhone.

Reset your network settings

If you've tried everything else and you can't complete any phone calls due to the Call Failed error, you might need to reset your iPhone's network settings

Save this as a last resort, because this troubleshooting step will erase all your network settings, including saved Wi-Fi network passwords and paired Bluetooth devices, so in some ways it'll be like you have a new iPhone again. 

1. Start the Settings app and tap General.

2. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

3. Tap Reset.

4. In the pop-up menu, tap Reset Network Settings and then confirm this is what you want to do.

As a last resort, you can reset your network connections, but that entails losing all your Wi-Fi passwords and paired Bluetooth devices.Contact your carrier

You might need to contact your service provider for assistance; this can typically be done by calling 611 or *611 on your iPhone. In the event that you are unable to call them using your iPhone, you might need to visit the provider's store.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Rep. Adam Kinzinger in final House floor speech says 'limited government' for GOP now means 'inciting violence against government officials'

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 4:51pm
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois at a January 6 committee meeting on December 1, 2021.
  • GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger spoke on the House floor for the last time, having declined re-election.
  • He condemned his own party on Thursday, saying it has "embraced lies and deceit."
  • He also criticized Democrats for boosting election-denying candidates in GOP primaries this year.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois spoke on the House floor for the final time on Thursday after declining to seek re-election.

Kinzinger, a member of the January 6 committee and one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for incitement of insurrection following the Capitol riot, has emerged as a key critic of the GOP from within the party.

In his farewell speech, Kinzinger declared that "our democracy is not functioning" and said Republicans have "embraced lies and deceit." Despite not mentioning Trump by name, he made numerous references to the assault on the Capitol.

"Republicans once believed that limited government meant lower taxes and more autonomy," he said. "Today, limited government means inciting violence against government officials."

He also criticized the leadership of the Republican National Committee, which used the phrase "legitimate political discourse" as it moved to censure him and Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming for their participation in the January 6 committee.

"Our leaders today belittle, and in some cases justify attacks on the US Capitol as 'legitimate political discourse,'" Kinzinger added. "We shelter the ignorant, the racist, who only stoke anger and hatred to those who are different than us."

—The Recount (@therecount) December 15, 2022

Kinzinger also criticized Democrats for helping to boost election-denying candidates in Republican primaries this year in order to produce weaker general-election nominees, a controversial tactic that some top Democrats publicly defended.

"To my Democratic colleagues, you must too bear the burden of our failures. Many of you have asked me: where are all the good Republicans? " he said. "Over the past two years, Democratic leadership had the opportunity to stand above the fray."

"Instead, they poured millions of dollars into the campaigns of MAGA Republicans, the same candidates Biden called a national security threat, to ensure these good Republicans did not make it out of their respective primaries," Kinzinger continued. "This is no longer politics as usual. This is not a game."

Read the original article on Business Insider

VIDEO: Washington Post staffers shouted at the CEO after he announced layoffs but refused to say who will get the boot

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 4:41pm
  • A video shows Washington Post staffers shouting at the company's CEO at a town hall meeting.
  • Fred Ryan said more layoffs would happen early next year and left without answering questions.
  • Last month, 11 staffers were laid off, including 10 from the magazine and a dance critic.

A video posted on Twitter shows Washington Post staffers shouting at CEO Fred Ryan after he announced impending layoffs at the company's all-employee town hall on Wednesday.

Annie Gowen, a national correspondent at The Washington Post, shared the video showing Ryan walking away as staffers asked questions after Ryan announced layoffs would come in the first quarter of next year. Gowen said the video is from a colleague, and she took it from the Washington Post Guild's chat.

—Annie Gowen (@anniegowen) December 14, 2022

"We're not going to turn the town hall into a grievance session for The Guild," Ryan can be heard saying. 

Another staffer asks Ryan what he will do "to protect people's jobs," and if laid-off employees "are going to be treated like the magazine staffers were."

Ryan replied that the company will have more information as it moves forward, then left amid other staffers' questions.

Last month, 10 staffers from the Post's Sunday Magazine were laid off after the company decided to stop publishing it. The paper also laid off Pulitzer Prize-winning dance critic Sarah Kaufman. The staffers were not offered other roles at the Post.

At the town hall, Ryan said job cuts will probably be in the "single-digit percentage." He also said The Post would add new jobs to replace the eliminated positions that were "no longer serving readers."

Ryan did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

In an email to staff after the meeting, Ryan said the layoffs "in no way signals that we are scaling back our ambitions," but that "The Post cannot keep investing resources in initiatives that do not meet our customers' needs."

Dylan Byers wrote in his In The Room newsletter for Puck, that he was told The Post's union is drafting a letter of no confidence in Ryan, and hundreds of employees are expected to sign it. Byers also wrote that rhe Post has been losing subscribers and ad revenue since President Trump lost a second term and executive editor Marty Baron retired. 

Ryan's comments in the town hall could have been restricted by typical protocols regarding communications outside of a formal meeting with union representatives. 

"Members of the Washington Post Guild are outraged at the unceremonious announcement of layoffs at today's so-called town hall led by our publisher, Fred Ryan," The Washington Post Guild leadership said in a statement on Wedneday.

Guild leadership said Ryan's "behavior is unacceptable from any leader, but especially the leader of a news organization whose core values include transparency and accountability."

"The Washington Post is evolving and transforming to put our business in the best position for future growth," Kathy Baird, chief communications officer at The Washington Post, said in a statement on Tuesday. "We are planning to direct our resources and invest in coverage, products, and people in service of providing high value to our subscribers and new audiences. As a result, a number of positions will be eliminated. We anticipate it will be a single digit percentage of our employee base, and we will finalize those plans over the coming weeks. This will not be a net reduction in Post headcount." 

Baird added that the company will continue investing in 2023. 

This story has been updated to include the statement from The Washington Post Guild leadership.

Read the original article on Business Insider

MacKenzie Scott unveils website detailing her $14 billion in donations – search to see where she's given in your neighborhood

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 4:20pm
  • Billionaire MacKenzie Scott's Yield Giving website is now live.
  • The site details Scott's $14 billion philanthropic efforts dating back to 2019.
  • Yield Giving says it plans to offer an online application for organizations to apply for a donation.

Details of MacKenzie Scott's extensive philanthropic endeavors are now compiled on a new, searchable website Scott launched Wednesday. 

Yield Giving includes specifics on her $14 billion in donations to more than 1,600 organizations going back to 2019. The "gifts" section of the site allows users to search Scott's donations by location, focus area, and key words.

On its homepage is an explanation of the name Yield Giving.

"Established by MacKenzie Scott to share a financial fortune created through the effort of countless people, Yield is named after a belief in adding value by giving up control," the statement reads.

Scott's process for finding recipients has consisted of "quiet research," and evaluation of organizations before offering a gift "for use however they choose," according to Yield Giving.

But, an open-call process is in the works. According to the site, an online application and details about eligibility are on Scott's agenda for Yield Giving, and any future open calls will be focused on a few specific areas at a time. It's unclear when these new features will be available.

Another aspect of the new website is a collection of Scott's essays, previously published to Medium, which are mainly about her recent philanthropy. Some of Scott's recipients include the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Trevor Project, and several Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Although she's considered one of the richest women in the world with a net worth over $20 billion, Scott has pledged to give away the majority of her fortune. She signed the Giving Pledge in 2019.

Scott divorced billionaire Jeff Bezos in 2019 after 25 years of marriage and the creation of retail giant Amazon. She  received 4% of the company's shares as part of their divorce, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Could ChatGPT challenge Google? Morgan Stanley says the search giant has nothing to worry about.

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 4:19pm
ChatGPT, a AI chat bot, has gone viral in the past two weeks.
  • When ChatGPT went viral, people began using it as an alternative to Google Searches.
  • Investors started seeing a world where generative AI would disrupt Google by taking some search traffic away.
  • But Google has a first mover advantage and also heavily invests in AI — challenging it will be difficult.

ChatGPT, the viral internet AI chatbot, has brought the world of artificial intelligence closer to more than a million people since it launched.

As ChatGPT's potential became clear, some began thinking of what legacy technology companies it could disrupt. One possibility being floated: Google's search engine. 

People have been using ChatGPT not just to cheat on homework or figure out the best burger recipe, but also to ask questions they'd usually ask Google. ChatGPT still has a long way to go — it does not have direct access to search engines, it confidently gives incorrect information, and it struggles with math. But its ability to understand questions and follow-ups makes it like a version of Ask Jeeves that never stopped improving.

In a recent analyst note, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak pointed out that while Google will face threats from new emerging services like ChatGPT, Google still has a stronghold in the space as it has billions of users. 

Morgan Stanley says the pessimistic case for Google is natural language search models like ChatGPT could swipe users that would otherwise use Google to find information. "We are not dismissive of threats from new, unique consumer offerings," wrote Nowak, but says Google is still essentially the entry point for most internet users.

ChatGPT has a lot of catching up to meet the same number of users Google gets in a day. Google sees an estimated 4 billion daily users and answers billions more search queries. ChatGPT operator OpenAI said it got 1 million users in one week since launching. Morgan Stanley said disruptors have to offer solutions ten times better than even the second-best tool in order to get users to abandon something like Google. Right now, ChatGPT isn't there.

There are some areas where ChatGPT could challenge Google's dominance. Providing travel recommendations, which isn't a simple search query and involves a little bit more creativity on the part of the software, is one example. 

But Google invests heavily in AI and machine learning. Morgan Stanley said the company is considered the leading tech giant in research and investment into the space, which will not change. It may even challenge a lot of what ChatGPT can do. 

Google spent $100 billion in the past three years on AI and machine learning research and development. The company's R&D spending is expected to grow 13% annually until 2025. It's building natural language models like LaMDA and invested in a machine learning program called BERT that helps machines better understand the context of conversations. It also launched a project that teaches computer code to write, fix and update itself, which could reduce the number of engineers Google will hire. 

It's even developing projects that are a lot like ChatGPT. For example, DeepMind, a Google-owned AI research lab, announced a new app called Dramatron that generates film scripts. 

What is becoming clear, Morgan Stanley said, is that the interest in ChatGPT will attract more money into AI. Companies that have been working with the technology for years, and have the capital to continue putting money into it, like Google, have an advantage as AI continues to evolve. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

It's the most wonderful time of the year: PE giants Blackstone and Apollo just dropped their holiday videos with starring roles for their billionaire CEOs

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 4:18pm
Schwarzman wishes you a happy holiday season.
  • Private-equity giants Blackstone and Apollo released their holiday-themed videos on Thursday. 
  • Blackstone's video features top executives dancing and CEO Steve Schwarzman in a Santa hat.
  • In Apollo's, employees are chefs and cook up a holiday meal for the firm at the CEO's request.

Junior staffers sleep in designated analyst quarters, where they're woken up by a drill sergeant.

"It's Sunday, so we like to let them start a little later," a smiling employee explains as the clock turns to 6:05 a.m. A row of suited-up analysts stand in a row as the employee adds: "Oh, and we're business casual now!"

Elsewhere, an economist offers a vague view of the situation as he looks at his colleagues scrambling to cook a meal in a kitchen: "It's very difficult to see what's going to happen." 

So it goes in the world of private-equity firms' holiday videos, where straight-laced investors and billionaire chief executives get very into their starring roles and the jokes are a little on the nose. 

On Thursday the private-equity giants Apollo and Blackstone each released their holiday-themed videos within a few hours of each other — fictional, promotional mini-films trying to show viewers that even buyout firms want to spread some holiday cheer. 

In Apollo's video, CEO Marc Rowan comes up with the idea that employees should cook the company a holiday meal, so he sends co-presidents Jim Zelter and Scott Kleinman an email with the subject line: "GUYS. I HAVE A GREAT IDEA :). Let's chat!!" 

Employees get cooking. "Not everyone has the same needs. This meal needs to be designed accordingly," Apollo's chief client and product development officer, Stephanie Drescher, said in the kitchen wearing a chef's hat. Her colleague chimes in: "Let's just syndicate it."  

"Well first, we need a model. We need to predict what we think will happen, and that requires that all the ingredients need to be lined up," Apollo's chief economist, Torsten Slok, explains as people slice and sauté.

Blackstone's video focuses on answering the question: "What is Blackstone's secret?" 

Jon Gray, the firm's president, becomes obsessed with finding what the company's secret sauce is. He rushes to a colleague's office, where she's meditating using Headspace (yes, a Blackstone portfolio company), and urges her and others to join him in the conference room. "Does anyone know how we got here?" he asks once they gather. 

"The 6 train?" says Joan Solotar, global head of private wealth solutions. 

"No. The secret thing that makes Blackstone, Blackstone," he responds. Executives spend the next few scenes making suggestions about what makes the company unique. Is it the alphabet soup of acronyms the company uses? Is it the company's TikTok channel? Portfolio companies Spanx, Crown Resorts, and Supergoop make cameos. 

Finally, as he puts on a Santa hat, Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman says the secret is the great people they hire.

It's that, he says, and what's hidden in the basement. Byron Wien, the longtime investor and vice chairman of the firm's private wealth solutions group, sits wearing a cloak in a mysterious room. He looks up and hands two employees a mysterious scroll and says: "Invest wisely." 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Happy hours, holiday parties, and office gossip are back. For remote workers, the FOMO is real.

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 4:07pm
Fun is not superfluous — even at work.
  • Much is written about the professional opportunities remote employees miss by not working in person.
  • But less is said about how they lose out on fun and social ties and connections.
  • As more people go back to work in person, some remote workers feel they're missing out.

"@here Announcement coming at 4pm," the Slack message read. 

I felt a sudden frisson. What could it be? A new hire, maybe? A team reorg, perhaps? 

The minutes ticked by until finally I heard that pleasant knocking sound of a notification; excitedly, I switched screens. "Official New York Happy Hour Poll! Which December evening works best?" 

Oh. Just another office holiday party I won't be attending.

Allow me to explain: I work from home full-time — quite happily, I might add — from my apartment in Boston. My colleagues are largely based at my company's headquarters in New York, and during the workday, dispatches from the office group chat are my primary lifeline to humanity. 

This particular 4 p.m. missive was an all-too-painful reminder.

On an intellectual level, I realize it's silly to experience pangs of FOMO for work get-togethers that I can't possibly go to. But on a middle-school level, I can't help but feel a stab of sadness about not being included in office social life, especially during this most social time of year. Work isn't exactly fun, but my colleagues are — and I want to hang out with them.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when so many people were trapped at home, remote-work FOMO was nonexistent. You did your job, chatted with folks on Google Meet, and maybe attended a Zoom happy hour every so often. It wasn't great, but it was a novelty. And besides, everyone was doing it. 

But now that more employees are back to in-person work, there are good times to be had — and remote employees are taking notice. About 20% of work-from-homers expressed worries that they'll miss out on fun at the office with their colleagues, according to data provided to Insider from a LinkedIn survey conducted last year.

Count Erin Dixon, a PR account manager, among them. Dixon lives in suburban Boston and last year took a job at an agency outside of Washington, DC. Most days, Dixon enjoys working from home. But she also describes herself as a "super extrovert," and she's sometimes wistful about her lack of social connections with colleagues, most of whom work together in an office two days a week. 

Last autumn, her company hosted an Oktoberfest event for employees. "I was the eager beaver joining the Zoom call ready with the pretzel-making kit they sent me, but no one showed up," she said. "Everyone else was in the office was having fun and drinking beers."

Dixon tried to look on the bright side. "I don't think I'd feel this way if I didn't really like my colleagues and think we would genuinely get along well in person," she said.

At work, fun is not frivolous 

Much has been written about what remote employees potentially miss by not working in person, including opportunities to network, develop mentors, and pick up new ideas through serendipitous meetings.

Less is said, though, about lost fun and social connections: the catharsis of a good lunchtime kvetch session; the conversations about kids, partners, and life stuff; and the boozy banter at the occasional after-work drinks. 

On their face, those interactions have little to do with work. And yet, they're the very stuff of social cohesion that makes people's jobs easier and more enjoyable.

For full-time work-from-homers. FOMO is inevitable every once in a while.

It's no small thing: Research shows that having strong ties at work makes us more productive, engaged, and happier. Your coworkers might not be the people you'd pick to spend time with, but they do come to play an important role in your overall quality of life.

"Fun is not superfluous," the behavioral scientist and author Mike Rucker said. "We spend a lot of our waking hours at work. And over time, if you're not enjoying yourself or feeling a connection with coworkers, you might ask yourself, 'Why am I doing this?' And you might decide to leave."

It's becoming increasingly clear, though, that full-time remote workers inhabit an altogether different realm than their office-going peers. According to a survey of 1,000 remote workers, 41% of work-from-homers interact with only a handful coworkers each day and tend to have fewer non-work-related conversations with coworkers. 

Datis Mohsenipour, a marketing executive based in Vancouver, British Columbia, is a prime example.

Last year, he worked remotely for an organization on the other side of the country, in Newfoundland. While his colleagues weren't reporting to the office because of the pandemic, they had monthly in-person meetups and quarterly celebrations, which Mohsenipour would tune in for virtually.

He recalled trying — unsuccessfully — to participate in conversations; he'd see and hear colleagues laughing on his screen, but he was rarely in on the joke.

"People were super welcoming," he said, "but I always felt like an outsider."

Mohsenipour left the company after nine months and returned to his former employer. The lack of social connections wasn't the only reason for his departure, he said, but it was a "contributor."

No mo' FOMO

To be sure, not every remote worker experiences FOMO. Frankly, I don't feel it most days. Remote work works for my life, my family, and my job, and despite the drawbacks, I'd rather be WFH than any other setup.

And yet, as I'm a full-time work-from-homer, FOMO is inevitable every once in a while. Thankfully, there are ways to overcome it, said Suzanne Wylde, a leadership coach based in London. 

First, Wylde advises to isolate the emotion. Are you missing socializing with colleagues or socializing in general? If it's the former, try reaching out to people you work with for regular one-on-one phone calls or virtual events like trivia, and, if it's in your company's travel budget, make plans for regular visits. 

But if it's a lack of social interaction in general, Wylde recommends leaning in to the benefits and flexibility of your WFH lifestyle. Relish extra time with your friends, children, and pets; take a yoga class in the middle of the day; or sign up for a volunteer gig in your community. (And while you're at it, start a running list of all the things you hate about working in person — the smell of the office fridge, for starters, or your hellish commute.)

Finally, whenever FOMO creeps in, remind yourself you can make a change if you want it. "What's right for you now doesn't have to be forever," Wylde said. "You can go back to in-person work someday."

I intend to follow all this advice. In the meantime, I'm checking the Amtrak schedule to New York. I have a few openings.

This story orginally published on November 22, 2021.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dow plummets 763 points as investors grow concerned about an overly aggressive Fed

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 4:05pm
Wall Street has been hit by a brutal market sell-off this year.
  • US stocks fell sharply Thursday, with the Dow closing more than 700 points lower.  
  • Investors weighed more rate hikes from the Fed and more hawkishness than they hoped for in 2023. 
  • The European Central Bank followed the Fed with its own hike on Thursday.  

US stocks saw steep losses on Thursday, with investors weighing rate hikes from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. 

Wednesday's 50 basis-point rate increase and the realization that the US central bank would maintain a hawkish stance well into 2023 appeared to flow through the market during Thursday's session. After a muted response to the Fed decision a day earlier, investors sold stocks as they prepared for the possibility that higher rates may spark a recession. 

Meanwhile, both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England both raised interest rates by 50 basis points, with ECB chair Christine Lagarde cautioning that rates may be staying higher for longer. 

Here's where US indexes stood shortly after the 4:30 p.m. closing bell on Thursday: 

Here's what else is going on today: 

  • Binance chief executive Changpeng Zhao says all customer assets are backed one-to-one and slammed fractional reserves. 
  • Tesla's third-largest individual shareholder thinks the electric car company needs a new CEO as Elon Musk focuses on Twitter. 
  • Jeremy Siegel says he believes the Fed has been hypocritical on inflation and foresees interest rate cuts next year. 

In commodities, bonds, and crypto: 

Read the original article on Business Insider


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