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Wendy's is testing underground tunnels to deliver pickup orders, so you can skip the drive-thru

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 10:05am
Wendy's is planning to add kiosks connected to underground tunnels at one of its restaurants later this year as part of a pick-up partnership with startup Pipedream.
  • Wendy's is adding robots that deliver food in underground tunnels to one of its restaurants.
  • The system will bring pick-up orders to diners who pull up to kiosks outside the location.
  • Restaurants are adding technology, from AI to server robots, as they look for efficiency.

Underground tunnels are key to Wendy's latest experiment for pick-up orders.

The fast-food chain said Wednesday that it's partnering with Pipedream, a startup that builds robot-powered underground delivery systems, to use robots and tunnels to move Frostys and burgers from the kitchen to customers' cars. It will be the first time that a fast-food restaurant has used such a technique, according to Wendy's.

"Pipedream's Instant Pickup system has the potential to unlock greater mobile order speed of service and accuracy, enabling us to consistently deliver hot and fresh Wendy's products to our fans," said Deepak Ajmani, Wendy's US chief operations officer. 

Wendy's plans to unveil Pipedream's technology at a store in the second half of 2023, a company spokesperson told Insider. "Wendy's is finalizing the site location to launch the technology integration after evaluating company-operated restaurants along the East Coast with high digital order volume," the spokesperson said.

Pipedream's technology relies on robots that move through underground tunnels to deliver goods. A user places items in a container on one end before it moves along tracks to its destination. The company markets its tech to retail stores, offices, and housing developments, according to its website.

"Someday we'll use teleportation, until then we'll use Pipedream," the startup's homepage reads.

At Wendy's, the tunnels will run from inside the restaurant to kiosks next to parking spaces, where customers will be able to retrieve orders that they've placed online, Wendy's said. 

Pipedream's system includes temperature-controlled spaces for cold items like lemonade, the company spokesperson said. And fountain drinks spilling en route to customers shouldn't be a concern, either: "Wendy's product packaging will not change as all items remain upright and secured while traveling from the restaurant to the Instant Pickup portal," the spokesperson said.

Restaurants have been adding technology to their restaurants for years. Some chains have added server robots to their dining rooms, where they show patrons to their tables and deliver food. Chili's, for example, has rolled out Rita the Robot to about 60 of its roughly 1,200 locations in the US.

Wendy's is also experimenting with an AI chatbot that the company has trained to take orders at drive-thrus. McDonald's has experimented with its own voice-ordering automated system at a handful of stores with plans to roll it out broadly, though some research indicates that the technology isn't accurate enough for wide use.

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The S&P 500 has rallied thanks to the AI boom, but parts of the index may be signaling a recession. Here's what 7 experts have said.

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 10:03am
New York Stock Exchange.
  • The S&P 500 has come under scrutiny, given its gains haven't been broad-based and were fueled by a handful of tech stocks.
  • Many experts have pointed to the elevated concentration risk, while others have warned of an impending market sell-off.  
  • Here's what 7 top voices have said about the benchmark index – and what's in store for the S&P 500. 

The US stocks are at something of a crossroads, with Wall Street experts divided on whether the market can sustain this year's rally in the face of recession risks.

A number of top analysts have warned of a potential selloff in the coming months, pointing to the fact that the year-to-date advance in the S&P 500 index hasn't been broad-based - and was largely due to sizable gains in a handful of Big Tech stocks fueled by the hype over artificial intelligence.

Veteran economist David Rosenberg has warned the benchmark US share index is already flashing signs of a recession as stocks from key sectors tied to the real economy - such as consumer discretionary, transportation and banking - have plunged. 

Here are the latest comments on the S&P 500 from 7 top voices. 

Mohamed El-Erian, top economist and Allianz advisor 

"Today's US price action is another reminder that this year's favorable equity market performance is still about a handful of tech stocks. Not only is the Nasdaq outperforming again but, also, the S&P 500 would be in negative territory were it not for #Nvidia," El-Erian said in a tweet on Thursday. 

David Rosenberg, veteran economist and Rosenberg Research founder

"The question always comes – why isn't the S&P 500 signalling a recession? Answer: it is. The most economic sensitive areas are down -33%: transports, consumer discretionary and banks. Behaving as they did heading into the 1990-91, 2001 and 2007-09 downturns," Rosenberg said in a tweet on Thursday.

Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab

"As S&P 500 (blue) has moved higher over past handful of months, there hasn't been as much of a lift in ratio of Consumer Discretionary to Consumer Staples sectors (orange)." (In a tweet, Sonders was echoing Rosenberg's point, wherein key stocks tied to the economy have plunged despite the overall index rising so far this year, and referring to a chart with blue and orange lines). 

Larry McDonald, founder of 'The Bear Traps Report'

McDonald warned the S&P 500 could crash nearly 30% by December as declining corporate profits, less government spending, and banking turmoil pose a risk to stocks. 

"Internally we have crashed," he told Insider's Theron Mohamed last week. "What hasn't crashed - where I'm wrong - is the capital moved out of these crash spots and into hiding spots," he added. 

Manish Jabra, head of US equity strategy at Societe Generale

"The AI boom and hype is strong," Kabra said in a note, according to Bloomberg. "So strong that without the AI-popular stocks, S&P 500 would be down 2% this year."

Jurrien Timmer, director of global macro at Fidelity Investments

"Why, in this probable twilight of the long secular bull market that began in 2009, is the gap widening between the S&P 500's top 50 stocks and the other 450?" Timmer said in a recent tweet

"The leadership of the past decade was entirely driven by relative earnings, so the gap in valuation did not happen at the peak (as it did at the top of the tech bubble in 2000), but during the subsequent decline. As was the case during the 1973-75 period, investors are looking for a place to hide, and that place is the tried-and-true 'one decision' stocks," he added. 

John Hussman, American economist 

"Our primary gauge of market internals remains unfavorable, based on uniformity and divergence of market action across thousands of individual stocks, industries, sectors, and security-types, including debt securities of varying creditworthiness," he said. "A market collapse, at its core, is really nothing but risk-aversion meeting a market that is not priced for risk," Hussman said

"Those conditions may change, but for now we continue to estimate the likelihood of negative 10-12 year S&P 500 total returns, with the prospect of interim losses on the order of -60%," he added.

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Why a millennial with $134,000 in student debt hasn't made payments while living abroad for nearly a decade

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 9:48am
  • Todd Squitieri, 37, has $134,000 in student debt he's placed in forbearance for nearly a decade.
  • During that time, he wasn't making payments, but interest on the loans surged.
  • He moved abroad and says he's much happier, but he couldn't leave the student debt behind.

Todd Squitieri has lived abroad for nearly a decade, and he's happier than he ever was in the US.

Even with $134,000 in student debt hanging over his head.

When Squitieri, now 37, graduated in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in criminology and later a master's degree in forensic psychology, he had every intention of using his degrees in a career.

"I originally had gone to school with the utopian vision for my life: that I would go to school and become not only just well rounded at different issues but be job-ready, and that I would have friends and a network, and I'd have opportunities the more degrees I had, and I would be able to work, and I'd be more involved in my community, and my life would just be growing," Squitieri told Insider. "The exact opposite happened."

Unable to land a job and gain a steady stream of income, Squitieri placed his student loans in forbearance, meaning that while he didn't have to make monthly payments, the interest grew. He said he exhausted avenues of finding work — he looked to the schools he'd attended, he applied for the Peace Corps — and he didn't want to take on additional debt to pursue a Ph.D.

Todd Squitieri has $134,000 in student debt.

"None of the goals I set out for college materialized," Squitieri said. "So that left me very estranged to my own country, and it left me depressed and in a miserable spot."

That changed when Squitieri saw a job posting for a program to teach English in Guadalajara, Mexico — and he jumped at the opportunity. He moved there and completed the program. Then he taught English at a public school in South Korea and, later, in Thailand.

But as Squitieri was traveling and not making payments on his student loans, the balance was growing, and leaving the country doesn't mean he can leave his student debt behind. He now lives in Mérida, Mexico, and is looking for permanent employment.

He said that while he's happy he no longer lives in the US, he wishes that the US's education system was more affordable and that kids in generations to come won't go through the challenges he's had.

"You know, learning is curiosity, and we really prey on that," Squitieri said.

"These are predatory institutions that prey on kids to give money to these big corporations for their small number of shareholders at the expense of so many people," he continued. "And I don't want to support a country like that. I feel I would rather stand by my values and live overseas and not support this."

'I won't be able to afford it in my lifetime'

It's common for borrowers like Squitieri to opt for forbearance if they can't pay off their student loans. The Federal Student Aid website says borrowers can submit a request to their student-loan servicer to enter forbearance if, for example, they're experiencing financial difficulties, dealing with medical expenses, or changing employment.

The website says that a forbearance period can last no longer than a year and that a borrower would need to submit an additional request to extend it. But it cautions borrowers that they're "still responsible for paying the interest that accrues during the forbearance period."

"During a forbearance, you can either pay the interest as it accrues, or you can allow it to accrue and be capitalized (added to your loan principal balance) at the end of the forbearance period," it says. "If you don't pay the interest on your loan and allow it to be capitalized, the total amount you repay over the life of your loan may be higher."

The growing interest is a primary reason many borrowers like Squitieri find themselves with a balance that's much larger than the amount they originally borrowed — so when they're ready to restart payments, it's a much bigger burden.

"I've never been able to afford it," Squitieri said, "and I won't be able to afford it in my lifetime at the rate that I'm going."

Biden's student-loan forgiveness is 'token service'

There could be relief on the horizon for millions of borrowers with federal student debt. In August, President Joe Biden announced a plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for borrowers making under $125,000 a year, but the plan's implementation was halted in November because of two conservative-backed lawsuits.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the cases in February and is expected to issue a decision in June. Until then, borrowers are waiting to see whether they'll restart payments this year with lower balances.

Squitieri said he's not spending his time thinking about Biden's relief.

"I don't feel any sort of way about it. It's just like token service," Squitieri said. "It doesn't do anything for me. I have $134,000, and now critics are having disputes about whether $10,000 is even morally just, which is ridiculous because for so many people it doesn't help."

The White House has said Biden's debt relief is expected to wipe out the balances of about 20 million borrowers, but some people with six-figure debt loads have told Insider they wished the president had considered more relief to make a bigger impact.

Squitieri said he wished for that as well — along with an overhaul of the way education is handled in America.

"Education in the US is so important — it's like the main center of life. If you get educated, then you will have the tools and the access you need to be able to function in the US," Squitieri said, adding that he feels that there are a lot of "artificial boundaries," like the costs of getting a degree, "that don't necessarily need to be that way."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Read ChatGPT's 'insulting' and 'garbage' 'Succession' finale script

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 9:48am
We asked ChatGPT to write the finale of HBO's "Succession." It shouldn't quit its day job.
  • As AI tools have advanced, some have wondered if the technology will one day replace screenwriters.
  • AI is one of the unresolved issues that has led the WGA to strike, but ChatGPT isn't ready for prime time.
  • Here's an AI-generated script of the 'Succession' finale — and what experts thought of it.

Screenwriters are furious about AI potentially having a writing credit on your favorite show — but the technology isn't ready for prime time just yet, if our latest "Succession"-related experiment is any proof of its capabilities.

Earlier this month, more than 11,000 film and TV screenwriters went on strike after the Writers Guild of America was unable to agree on a labor contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Writers who are part of the guild walked out mainly to fight for better wages and fair practices amid the rise of streaming giants. However, they are also demanding guardrails around the use of AI, as they worry the tech may suppress their wages and potentially take their jobs in future.

To see if AI could actually do the job of a screenwriter, Insider asked OpenAI's ChatGPT Plus to write a hypothetical scene from the series finale of HBO series "Succession."

Since ChatGPT isn't trained on public data after 2021, Insider prompted the AI chatbot to predict what happens in the finale after feeding it summaries of season four's first six episodes.

The bot predicted that by the end of the season, the Roy children would have control of the fictional media conglomerate Way star Royco. Next, Insider asked ChatGPT to write a scene from the finale based on that prediction.

The result? A straight-forward, happy ending with overly earnest dialogue — a total departure with the rest of the show. The full script is available below.

Screenwriters say the AI-script is 'pure drivel': 'They're all too nice'

To see what experts thought, we sent the scene over to screenwriters and screenwriting professors. They were dumbfounded by the AI-generated script. 

Neil Landau, a screenwriting professor at the University of Georgia who wrote the book "The TV Showrunner's Roadmap: Creating Great Television in an On Demand World" and is a WGA member, told Insider that the script is "pure drivel" and "just god awful."

Landau, who called show "one of the best TV series on the air," said the quality of the script's writing is "terrible." He said it lacks "humor, irony, clever word play" and the show's signature "dysfunctional toxic, twisted transactional family power dynamics."

The most striking difference, he said, is how the AI-generated script contains "zero subtext," which he said "Succession" excels at.

"None of the character's voices rings true," Landau said. "Frankly, they're all too nice and straightforward." 

If the "completely ridiculous" script were how the show actually ended, there would be "massive fan backlash," he said.

Oliver Thornton, an Emmy-winning screenwriter who is not part of the WGA, agreed with Landau.

"One of the most glaring mistakes is that many of these characters are saying exactly what they are feeling, which results in dialogue that is extremely clunky and 'on the nose,'" the writer-turned-screenwriting professor at the University of Michigan told Insider.

Thorton also said that the script doesn't "play against audience expectations for what is going to happen," which he said is "what makes a show like 'Succession' so compelling." Generating a scene solely based on what's available on the internet, he said, "strips" the characters "of their complexity." 

"To me, this is indicative of everything wrong with the idea of AI-generated screenwriting and the pitfalls that come with it," Thornton said. 

Jim Burnstein, another screenwriting professor at the University of Michigan and a WGA member, told Insider the script is "really insulting" and "should be off the table right away." 

"A bunch of monkeys" can write "Hamlet" better than ChatGPT can write "Succession," he added.

"This scene is one for the garbage can," Landau said. "Burn it."

Read ChatGPT's script here:


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Elizabeth Holmes faces 6 a.m. wake-up calls and making her own bed at federal prison camp

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 9:30am
Elizabeth Holmes is due to report to prison on May 30.
  • Elizabeth Holmes is due to start serving her 11-year sentence Tuesday.
  • The Theranos founder is expected to do so at the Federal Prison Camp, Bryan, in Texas.
  • Bryan's rules include 6 a.m. wake-up calls and working for as little as 12 cents an hour.

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos who was convicted of four counts of fraud-related charges, is expected to start serving her 11-year sentence at a federal prison camp in Texas Tuesday.

If Holmes is sent to Bryan, about 100 miles from Houston, as a judge recommended, she can expect to wake at 6 a.m. daily and to make her own bed, according to an inmate handbook.

She will be responsible for keeping her cell clean by mopping the floors and taking out the trash — or risk discipline.

Rooms at Bryan do not have doors, according to a drawing published by The Wall Street Journal, and contain two sets of double bunks, a table, folding chairs, and lockers. 

The facility offers inmates business classes and all inmates are required to hold jobs, which pay between 12 and 40 cents an hour, for a minimum of 90 days, according to the handbook.

The Stanford dropout was found guilty in January 2022 on four of the 11 fraud and conspiracy counts she was charged with.

Holmes has made several attempts to avoid going to prison, but on May 16 a judge denied her request to remain free while appealing her conviction.

She gave a series of often-bizarre pre-prison interviews to The New York Times in an attempt to rehabilitate her image. Holmes admitted to building a persona that wasn't "authentic" — lowering her voice and wearing black turtlenecks, red lipstick, and messy blonde hair.

At the prison camp, the 39-year-old mother of two will have no choice but to don khaki prison garb. 

Some inmates and guards at the camp are looking forward to Holmes arriving, The Journal reported. One inmate told the newspaper that a corrections officer had joked about getting Holmes to scrub pans.

A copy of "Bad Blood," John Carreyrou's book about the rise and fall of Holmes and Theranos, is in the prison camp's library, The Journal reported.

The prison camp holds about 650 women convicted of white-collar crimes, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It's the same facility where Jen Shah, one of the women featured on "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City," is serving a six-and-½-year sentence for conspiracy to commit wire fraud

Representatives for Holmes didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider made outside normal working hours.

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I sold my pricier home in Arizona and bought a $70,000 house in Kansas for peace of mind in my twilight years

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 9:10am
Marcia Flanagan (inset) sold her condo in Arizona and moved to a two-bedroom home in Kansas, pictured here.
  • Marcia Flanagan, 72, lived in Arizona for 25 years but left after growing worried about droughts.
  • She decided to move to Kansas because of its abundant water resources and her Midwest roots.
  • Flanagan paid $70,000 all-cash for a Junction City home to avoid taking out a mortgage.

I'd lived in Arizona since 1996. I started being concerned about the environment there in 2020 when the news reported that the water levels were dropping in the reservoirs. The more I heard about the drought and the dropping water levels, the more I felt like I really needed to leave.

Even though they've got water now, there's no guarantee that they're not going to run out.

Some places already have. There are places where people's wells have run dry. There was a settlement outside of Scottsdale, Arizona, that's been in the news. They had been getting their water from Scottsdale, and Scottsdale doesn't want to give them water anymore. So that's a pretty miserable situation.

I was really worried that, at some point, I may not be able to live the lifestyle that I was accustomed to. My neighbors in Sun City, Arizona, were also aware of the situation but for whatever reason, they weren't as alarmed by it as I was.

I was able to take advantage of a hot real-estate market in 2021

For many years, I realized that the market in Arizona was pretty hot. I figured the best thing I could do would be to wait until the property that I owned appreciated in value and then go look for something somewhere that's not as desirable.

I listed my two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in August 2021. It was a pretty crazy market then. I got an offer within five days. That deal fell through, and when it went back on the market, somebody else grabbed it up immediately. Originally it was listed for $185,000. It was purchased for $184,500.

Sun City, Arizona, where Flanagan sold a two-bedroom condo before moving to Kansas.

After I put my condo on the market, I took a trip to Ohio. I observed what portion of the country was most appealing to me and that happened to be eastern Kansas. There was a lot of greenery there.

Initially I was considering just about everything including Canada, New Zealand, or Europe.

Before I left Arizona I checked out in a number of different towns to look at the crime rate, geography and so forth. I really had nowhere specific to go.

I looked at the map and saw the town of Riley, Kansas. My best friend's last name is Riley and my sister-in-law's dog's name is Riley so I said, "Okay, I'll start there."

It was important to me to not have a mortgage

I'm 72 years old and I've either rented or have had a mortgage all my life.

I'm a medical transcriptionist. I thought it would be a lifelong career. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of tumult in the industry. They've started shipping work out overseas. There's no guarantee that I'd be able to continue doing that kind of work.

I really want security and I wanted to know that my home would be mine and I wouldn't have to worry about income.

Junction City, Kansas.

The realtor met me there, but it turned out to be in not very good condition. The realtor told me about another home in Junction City, which is just south of Riley.

I was very fortunate that the second home I looked at was the one that I knew was right for me and that it was a home I could pay cash for — $70,000 for a two-bedroom, one-bathroom. It's only 720 square feet.

It was livable, but I replaced the flooring in the two bedrooms and I remodeled the kitchen and I'm on the verge of remodeling the bathroom. So far, I've spent $12,000 fixing things up.

Turns out that the house I bought is four miles from a reservoir to the east and 20 miles from a reservoir to the west. So when I saw that they were going to provide me with an unlimited supply of water, I was very happy.

The best part is how wonderful the people are. The other day I was trying to get some firewood from a grocery store. They had it piled up front and I paid for it and I picked up the first bundle and immediately somebody going into the stores asked me if I needed some help. And that's that's the way it's been the whole time.

This is the place I need to be for the rest of my life.

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How to get started on OnlyFans without followers, according to creators

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 9:09am
OnlyFans creator Chloe Sasha earned almost $200,000 in 11 months on the platform.
  • OnlyFans has boomed in recent years and some creators are making real money from the platform.
  • But it's not easy to secure five- or six-figure paydays when starting from scratch.
  • Here's how to start building, promoting, and monetizing OnlyFans content, according to creators.

OnlyFans has boomed in recent years — and some influencers, particularly those who create adult content, are making real money on the subscription-based social platform.

Several creators Insider spoke with have earned from five to six figures per month on the platform. One OnlyFans star, Amouranth, has earned as much as $1.5 million a month. (Insider verified the creators' earnings with documentation they provided.)

Some beginners have quickly built followings and started to get paid.

Creator Chloe Sasha began posting actively on OnlyFans in June 2022. By April 2023, she had earned around $196,000 in net income on the platform. She created a cooking series and a format where she teaches a "spicy" Spanish language word of the day to help distinguish herself on the platform. She also used her followings on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter to promote her OnlyFans pages, where she directs people for more explicit content.

Read more about how the OnlyFans creator and single mother of 4 grew her earnings in 11 months on the platform — and how she uses cooking and Spanish lessons to promote her account

But it's not always easy to secure such paydays on OnlyFans when starting from scratch. 

When stay-at-home mom Anne joined OnlyFans in 2021, she made just $82 in her first month on the platform, and her earnings deteriorated from there, she said. She soon stopped posting altogether.

It wasn't until she returned to OnlyFans in 2022 and used Reddit to promote her new accounts that she was able to generate significant revenue.

Read more about how the OnlyFans creator and stay-at-home mom grew her earnings during her first 9 months on the platform

How to start an OnlyFans with no followers

Several OnlyFans creators told Insider they got started on the platform by simply experimenting with posting a few adult photos, and committed to the platform once they saw the money roll in. 

In January 2021, Bryce Adams — who uses an alias for safety reasons — spontaneously decided to sell some adult pictures of herself on OnlyFans. She made $62 within an hour. Together with her partner, Jay, she now runs three accounts, which brought in a combined $5.4 million in revenue in a year period.

Check out how Bryce Adams built a seven-figure business on OnlyFans

The wife and husband duo behind the @haute_for_teacher account, which has about 1,600 subscribers, also started their OnlyFans journey by anonymously posting a few photos of "Mrs. Robinson," a pseudonym inspired by the film "The Graduate" — with her back to the camera to see if they could make any money.

They made around $150 after a few weeks, and continued to post and evolve the page — uploading videos, occasionally as a couple, and later collaborating with other creators on the platform.

Robinson still doesn't show her face in most of her content, relying on the "hot teacher" persona they've cultivated to build a fanbase and charging extra to reveal her face to subscribers in pay-per-view messages.

Read more about how the couple earned $827,000 in revenue by using a 'hot teacher' person and heavy Reddit promotion

How to promote your OnlyFans account and get discovered

For creators new to OnlyFans and trying to build a following, it can help to promote your content on other social platforms. But doing so can be tricky because each platform has its own rules around adult content.

Creators Insider spoke with said they'd found success cross-promoting their OnlyFans content on Twitter, Reddit, and TikTok, among other platforms.

Three of them said Reddit was their largest source of OnlyFans subscribers. They recommended posting early and identifying sex-worker-friendly subreddits.

"I always heard that Reddit was very sex-worker friendly, and that you could post whatever you wanted on there without getting banned," said Anne, the stay-at-home mom who asked to be identified by her middle name for privacy reasons. "That's where 100% of my followers came from."

Read more about how 4 OnlyFans creators mastered using Reddit to promote

Farrah, who has 3,500 subscribers and made over $1 million in revenue since joining OnlyFans two years ago, said she posts on eight to 10 subreddits most mornings.

"I find unless you're at the top of a subreddit in the morning, you don't really get a ton of traffic," Farrah said.

Read a detailed breakdown of how Farrah, a former healthcare worker who quit her job to focus on OnlyFans, built her business on the platform

How to start making money on OnlyFans

There are several ways beginners can start making money from OnlyFans, including through subscriptions, pay-per-view messaging, and tips.

Creators take home 80% of the revenue they generate through the platform, while the company gets the other 20%.

Subscriptions are the most basic option for creators looking to monetize their OnlyFans content. While some offer free pages, creators can also charge users a monthly or annual fee to access their accounts.

How much to charge for subscriptions is up to the creator and can be a challenging number to determine.

Morgan Edwards, an OnlyFans star known as "Kitty K," said she was "in the dark" when deciding how to price subscriptions to her content. Devising a strategy takes some knowledge of the industry.

Check out how 7 OnlyFans stars have set their prices

Once she gained some experience, Edwards built a successful OnlyFans career, charging nearly $70 for three months of access.

Read more about how Edwards built her presence on OnlyFans and made $1.2 million from the platform in two years

Another way to make money on the platform — for many the most profitable way — is direct messaging with fans who pay a per-message fee or flat fee, and creating custom content.

The @haute_for_teacher OnlyFans account charges $15 to $25 per month for pay-per-view messages in which Mrs. Robinson the creator, will show her face. This drives 60% of their OnlyFans income, the couple behind the account said. That's on top of a standard subscription to their account, which costs $6 per month and makes up about 30% of their income.

The remaining 10% of the accounts earnings comes from tips, which are another revenue stream for OnlyFans creators. 

Some create "tip menus" to advertise what fans can tip them for — from custom content or private messages to paying for a creator's bills or student loans.

Alanah Cole, an OnlyFans creator who posts advice on YouTube for how to navigate OnlyFans, said adult-content creators can use also tipping menus to get the most out of the content they film — whether that's by cutting shorter videos from longer ones or repurposing custom content to sell at another time.

She said many creators who are starting out don't think they have large enough followings to charge what they should be.

"They're making these long 10-minute videos and they're charging like 10 bucks," Cole said. "Cut that video into a million pieces and each one is 50 bucks."

See 3 examples of 'tip menus' from OnlyFans creators who shared their strategies for using them

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Man accused of stealing a backhoe to make a 10-mile drive to an airport to catch his flight

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 9:02am
A man stole backhoe for 10-mile drive to Illinois airport to catch his flight, police say.
  • Police believe a man stole a backhoe and drove it to an airport in Illinois to catch a flight.
  • Footage appears to show the man arriving with the equipment and leaving it outside the airport.
  • Timothy J. Baggott was later charged with theft, authorities said.

A man from southern Illinois has been charged with theft accused of stealing a backhoe and driving it 10 miles to an airport to catch a flight to the West Coast, authorities said earlier this week. 

Security camera footage posted on the Williamson County Sheriff's Office Facebook page appears to show a man arriving at the Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois in the digging equipment.

He then parks the backhoe and jumps down holding a guitar case, leaving it and calmly walking into the airport, police said. 

"Deputies were informed that a backhoe was parked in the airport parking lot, which was suspicious in nature," authorities said in a statement. 

The owner of the vehicle later arrived at the scene and identified it as belonging to his company. It had been parked at a job site nearby.

"You hear of people either getting rides from other people, borrowing cars, stealing cars, but a backhoe being stolen from a job site, driven 10 miles to an airport for an individual to catch a flight all the way to the West Coast carrying a guitar, that is unique," Sheriff Jeff Diederich said, according to local news outlet KFVS12.


The man who is alleged to have stolen the backhoe, a piece of machinery weighing many tons that is used to move heavy debris, was identified as Timothy J. Baggott of Carbondale. Baggott flew to the West Coast and was later arrested in Nevada.

Baggott was charged with theft in excess of $10,000, police said. The charge is a felony, and he is currently being held in the Elko County Jail in Nevada on a $40,000 bond, KFVS12 reports.

Facebook users seemed to support the backhoe driver, however. One user joked, "The guy just was trying to make it on time for his flight. What's the big deal?"

"Well, at least he didn't do anything stupid other than borrowing the backhoe to go to the airport, and for safety, he did put the bucket down," another user wrote.

It wasn't as if he took the equipment to "keep it or be destructive, come on, give the man a break." 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Bitcoin is on a tear in 2023. Here's where 4 crypto pros see the coin headed by the end of the year.

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 8:30am
One exec told Insider that bitcoin can't hit a record high until US inflation is under control.
  • Bitcoin has jumped over 60% year-to-date, paring losses from a brutal 2022. 
  • Insider spoke to four crypto experts on what's next for bitcoin in 2023. 
  • One blockchain exec said bitcoin can't hit a record high until US inflation is under control.

After a tumultuous 2022, bitcoin has increased more than 60% year-to-date and the cryptocurrency market's total value sits well above the $1 trillion mark. 

The industry has seemingly gotten back on its feet since the downfall of Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX in November, along with a slew of other industry bankruptcies including centralized lender Celsius, brokerage Voyager Digital, and hedge fund Three Arrows Capital earlier in the year. 

While it can be hard to predict bitcoin's moves, experts told Insider there are a few things to watch for this year to get a sense of where the world's largest cryptocurrency is headed. 

First, bitcoin can't claim another all-time until the macroeconomic environment clears up, Charmyn Ho, head of crypto insights at digital asset exchange Bybit, told Insider. The crypto traded at a record of $67,566 in November of 2021, per Messari.

"However, a possible headwind is the potential recession forecast to hit the US, Europe, and other major economies due to a stubbornly inverted yield curve," Ho told Insider. "Couple this with a bunch of other unsavory macro factors — such as inflation — many investors would rather remain on the sidelines."

 "This is contributing to the mostly sideways price action we've been experiencing," Ho added. 

A key technical event for Bitcoin's network, the halving, could push the token's price up significantly though. Although the halving is estimated to occur in April of 2024, Ho says bitcoin may go on a tear leading up to the event.

"Bitcoin halvings are significant because they slash the production of new bitcoins on the network by half," Ho said. "This curtails the supply of freshly minted coins, thus leading to a price increase if the demand persists."

"Litecoin, which is due for its halving this year, is up around 90% since its lows in Q3, 2022," Ho said. "Therefore, if we take that as a guide, it is possible that we could see a similar 90% move from Bitcoin's Q3, 2023 price, which would give a rough target of about $60,000."

Jagdeep Sidhu, president of Syscoin Foundation, expressed similar optimism around the halving.

"While we've weathered some storms recently, the resilience of the crypto ecosystem remains evident. From the ashes of FTX, the market has rebounded, demonstrating its inherent capacity to absorb shocks and evolve," Sidhu told Insider.

"As we approach the next Bitcoin halving and crypto dominance looks set to peak, we're on the cusp of exciting developments in the crypto world."

If inflation cools in the US and there's regulatory clarity around digital assets, another crypto exec told Insider that bitcoin could hit $38,000 by year-end, a 41% increase from its current trading level.

"My base case is bitcoin will trade in a range to a range between $25,000 and $32,000 for the remainder of 2023," Tim Shan, COO at decentralized crypto exchange Dexalot, said. "But if we see inflation remain high, I think bitcoin could trade back down to lows of the year."

"The short to medium term driver is still inflation, and specifically US inflation. I think core inflation has been pretty sticky but will continue to decline in the US, leading the Fed to pause for the rest of the year," Shan added. 

David Uhryniak, who works on ecosystem development at blockchain infrastructure provider TRON, is confident that bitcoin will finish the year "significantly higher" and could close out 2023 at over $35,000.

"Right now, smart traders are waiting for greater validation as to which way bitcoin and the rest of the market will move next before committing serious money," Uhryniak told Insider. "By Q4, much of the uncertainty that's clouded the market all year should have abated. Things like concerns over the Mt. Gox coins being liquidated or the US government selling its stockpile of BTC confiscated from black markets."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Scientists were delighted to discover that parrots willingly made video calls to bird friends and were less lonely as a result

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 8:25am
A Goffin’s cockatoo, one of the birds included in the study, making a call to a bird friend.
  • Researchers trained parrots to call certain birds. Later the parrots chose who they wanted to call.
  • The researchers were delighted when the parrots interacted with each other over the screen.
  • Scientists had to extensively train bird parents for this exercise. Not just anyone should try it.

Researchers have discovered that parrots are pretty much just like us when it comes to video chatting with friends. 

The authors of a new study found that virtual quality time with bird friends seemed to reduce signs of loneliness in parrots and improve their lives overall.

The researchers also told Insider that they were delighted when the parrots on either end of the call interacted with each other by tapping the screen and doing activities together like preening — which means the birds were bonding.

The study's results are important for the many pet parrots who live alone with their humans and thus may not get their high social needs met.

That's because a lack of socialization for birds in the parrot family — which includes cockatoos, cockatiels, macaws, African Greys, lovebirds, budgies, and more —  can lead to harmful behaviors like picking or destroying their feathers, pacing and rocking, aggression, or excessive sleeping.

Why parrots need so much socialization

"I think birds in captivity have been misunderstood and mischaracterized for years," said Jennifer Cunha, parrot behavior expert, researcher at Northeastern University, and one of the study's authors.

Cunha added that while people often consider them ornamental, parrots are also incredibly social and intelligent animals.

For example, in the wild, parrots generally live in complex social environments, said Rébecca Kleinberger, assistant professor at Northeastern University in computer sciences and music, and another author of the study.

They tend to pair off within a larger flock of parrots and do most things, like feeding, preening, sleeping, traveling, and raising their young within this social group, Kleinberger and Cunha said.

So, when these birds live alone as pets with minimal social interaction, they have little outlet for many of their cognitive abilities.

A macaw from the study greets a friend.

Under-stimulated parrots may quickly become bored, frustrated, and lonely. In fact, Cunha said, some countries have made it illegal to keep only one parrot, due to their complex social needs.

The ability to make video calls to other parrots, then, may give birds the chance to access the socialization and species identity they have in the wild, Cunha said.

How the study worked

First, researchers recruited 18 parrots and their caregivers via Parrot Kindergarten — a coaching program for parrots and their caretakers that Cunha operates.

They then had a training phase where parrots learned to select another bird's photo on a tablet to start a call on Facebook Messenger — which the parrots did successfully in just a couple of weeks.

A black-headed caique ringing the bell to make a call.

After that, parrots would ring a bell when they wanted to make a call. When their caregiver offered the tablet, they'd touch the picture of the bird they wanted to chat with.

Initially, the birds were given treats for ringing the bell and selecting a bird "friend," but after the training period, they stopped getting treats. The researchers were happily surprised by how quickly the birds picked up the method for calling one another voluntarily.

Researchers were also delighted to see the parrots engaging with the video calls by following the birds on the other side of the screen, both visually and by directly touching the tablet.

Many birds mirrored behaviors they saw their friends do, like foraging, preening, and flying.

"Throughout the study we observed a diversity of social behaviors, from preening together and sleeping together on-screen to vocalizing," Kleinberger said.

A Quaker parrot choosing a friend to call.

What's more, the more calls a parrot received, the more they wanted to call others, said Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, computer science lecturer at the University of Glasgow and study co-author.

"They developed favorite parrots to call, and most parrots would engage with the system for the maximum amount of time," Hirskyj-Douglas said.

Parrots could make two calls a day, with each call lasting no more than five minutes. The researchers set this time limit for safety and ethical reasons and to minimize the time commitment for caregivers.

Kleinberger added that the sheer number of calls made by the parrots — 147 in all — seemed to support their interest and engagement with the bird on the other side of the screen.

Video chats had a lot of benefits for parrots

All of the parrot caretakers involved said their bird had a positive experience with video calling, the study said.

Some caretakers said their birds reacted to their video friends the same way they'd react to real people or birds. One caretaker said their bird even called "Come back!" when the other bird walked off-screen.

Birds preening at the same time while on a video call.

All but one of the caretakers said they believed their parrot got more out of the video chat than simple enjoyment. For instance, one parrot seemed to gain confidence and began flying more. Others seemed calmer in general, the study said.

Video calling won't work for every parrot

The researchers extensively trained the parrot caretakers who participated in the study, Cunha said.

Video calling itself has to be conducted in a sensitive, ethical manner, to slowly introduce the technology and make sure there are no fear reactions, Hirskyj-Douglas added.

Parrot caregivers learned, for instance, to recognize signs of stress during the video calls and offer encouragement to help reduce any fear associated with the new experience.

Caregivers would also end the call if their bird seemed uncomfortable or walked away from the calling zone, Hirskyj-Douglas said. That way, the parrots learned they could simply walk away if they didn't want to interact.

Forced socialization isn't in any parrot's best interest. The researchers released three parrots from the study in its early stages, as these birds didn't seem to like the calls at all.

But most of the parrots apparently enjoyed the experience and chose to make plenty of calls to other birds.

The study authors acknowledge the need for additional research, as this study is the first exploring video calling for parrots. That said, they believe video calling could become an important way to help isolated parrots build and maintain important connections with other members of their species — just as it does for people.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Workers value paid time off more than health insurance, survey suggests

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 8:15am
Paid time off is important to many workers.
  • More workers said paid leave was extremely important to them than those valuing health insurance.
  • That was one finding of a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. 
  • Almost half of workers who get paid time off don't usually use up all their allocation, it found.

Workers appear to value paid time off even more than having employer-funded health insurance, a recent study found.

The Pew Research Center report called "How Americans view their jobs" found 62% of the 5,900 people surveyed felt it's "extremely" important to have paid time off for vacations or minor illness, with a further 27% saying it's "very" important.

That's higher than the 51% who said employer-funded health insurance was extremely important, with 28% saying it's very important. 

The study also found that almost half of workers who get paid time off don't usually use up all their allocation.

Reasons include not wanting to burden colleagues with additional tasks, or potentially falling behind.

Just over 90% of upper-income workers surveyed by Pew had employer-funded health insurance, dipping to 82% for middle-income workers and just 60% for those on lower incomes. 

Only about half of the workers surveyed said they were extremely or very satisfied with their job, with just 34% happy with how much they're paid.

However, two-thirds (67%) said they're either extremely or very satisfied with their relationship with colleagues, with 65% saying they have at least one close friend at work.

Almost 80% say they're treated with respect at work, while 65% their contributions were valued a great deal or a fair amount.

Workers above aged 65 and above were the most likely to be extremely or very satisfied with their job (67%), with those under 30 the least likely (44%).

The nationally representative survey of 5,902 workers, including 5,188 not self-employed, was conducted between February 6 and 12 using Pew's American Trends Panel

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nestron's wildly popular futuristic 275-square-foot prefab tiny home has arrived in North America — see inside the $96,000 unit

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 8:15am
  • Singapore-based Nestron's tiny home has arrived in Surrey, Canada, its first North American shipment.
  • Prospective buyers can now tour the 275-square-foot, $96,000 home.
  • Nestron says it wants to establish 10 dealerships across the US this year.

If you've been following the tiny home space amid its rise in popularity over the last few years, you might be familiar with Singapore-headquartered Nestron.

It's hard to miss the renderings of Nestron's futuristic prefabricated tiny homes, which the company has promised will be equipped with an artificial intelligence system, built-in furniture, and more for generally under $100,000. But for most North American customers, these homes have been nothing more than a rendering. Until now.

In April, Nestron and its Surrey, Canada dealer opened the doors to the company's first shipment to North America: the Legend Two. And soon, Americans could find a Nestron dealership in their home state.

The new Nestron owner and dealer, Jim Mickey, had an interest in prefab construction but no background in real estate or tiny homes, he told Insider.Instead, says he's honed a "variety of business interests," which now includes serving as Nestron's first authorized dealer in the North American market.Mickey first reached out to Nestron in 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic after hearing about the "tiny home phenomenon.""I wanted to get one here and see it," Mickey told Insider. "At the time I couldn't take a plane and go to China to see it in the factory so the easiest solution was to make the commitment and say, 'build it and send it.'"After what he says was an "easy" decision to purchase, Nestron began construction on his unit in China in 2021.Upon completion, delivery had to be delayed amid the then-ongoing global supply-chain jam.

Source: Insider 

But finally, in late 2022, the unit and its appliances were shipped in one piece overseas from the manufacturing facility to Vancouver, Canada with the help of a cargo ship, flatbed truck, and crane.Now, the home is now set up and on display in Surrey, Canada just outside of Vancouver.But being a dealer, Mickey's intention was never to use it as a backyard tiny home.Instead, it will serve as a semi-permanent display unit for prospective nearby buyers to tour, saving them a trip to China.And so far, interested potential customers have already stopped by from eastern Canada and California, the latter a "successful" visit, Mickey said.Many backyard tiny homes, especially ones built in the US, can run buyers well over $100,000.

Source: Insider 

In comparison, Nestron's units are just a bit cheaper: Mickey paid a little over $96,000 for the unit including tax.The furnished model, including shipping, was $73,000. But add-ons like solar, air conditioning, and storage were an additional nearly $16,700.But unsurprisingly, moving a tiny home overseas from China to Canada incurs more than tiny shipping costs.This cost didn't include what Mickey paid to transport the tiny home from the Port of Vancouver to its current location, which was less than $2,000, he said.But even with these additional costs, Mickey says it's still a "stunning" value for the product."With any product, North American manufacturers have a struggle to compete with the Chinese manufacturers by nature of cost and business," he said.Nestron has several designs that look straight out of "Tron."The Cube Two.But the Legend Two takes a more conservative approach to design that could appeal to more consumers.On the outside, the Legend Two has a modern look, blending a matte black frame with wood-like panels. Inside, it's a feast of orange walls and accents.The nearly 28-foot-long and 10-foot-wide tiny home has a living room with a dining table and sofa …… a bedroom with a built-in bed frame, a kitchen, and a bathroom.

Source: Insider

It's these designs that have made Nestron's models a hit: The company's website once crashed for a while likely because of an influx in visits and "extremely overwhelming" popularity, Choco Toh of Nestron's marketing team told Insider in 2021.A rendering of the Cube Two X.

Source: Insider

The prefab home builder is currently headquartered in Singapore, according to its website. But there's a separate office in Malaysia while manufacturing for Mickey's unit took place in China.Paneling the Cube One.

Source: Nestron

This year, Toh said Nestron's goal is to set up 10 dealerships in states like Nevada, Texas, and Florida and an office in Long Beach, California …… selected for its proximity to the Port of Long Beach, a hub for importing from Asia.

Source: Insider

As for shipments, the company wants to continue delivering its units to customers in states like Maryland and Hawaii this year. And in the future, it'll explore bringing manufacturing stateside.The majority of interest has come from North American customers in states like California, Alaska, and Texas.There are still six tiny homes — to be delivered this summer — sitting in Nestron's warehouse with another 13 in the works.Now's a hard time to buy a home.

Source: Insider

But Toh said the company has seen an increased number of inquiries from potential customers interested in using these units as backyard accessory dwelling units (ADUs) …… which can expand the main property's square footage by becoming a separate dwelling to be used as guest homes, offices, or even rentals.So if flying overseas to see a Nestron unit was once out of reach, maybe a quick journey across the Canadian border might be easier.Read the original article on Business Insider

A judge ruled that a school district could bar a student from wearing a Mexican and American flag sash at graduation — but she did it anyway

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 8:12am
Naomi Peña Villasano.
  • A judge ruled that a school district could ban a student from wearing a flag sash at graduation.
  • Naomi Peña Villasano attempted to sue Garfield County School District 16, citing free speech. 
  • Despite the ban, the 18-year-old high school student still wore the sash at the event. 

 A Colorado high school student has defied a court ruling on wearing a Mexican and American flag sash at graduation.

A federal judge had ruled that a local school district could bar a student from wearing the flag sash at her high school graduation, the Associated Press reported.

Naomi Peña Villasano had tried to sue Garfield County School District 16, with her attorneys saying their ban on her sash violated free speech and unfairly prevented her from representing her culture.

But Nina Y. Wang, the judge presiding over the case, argued that the act of wearing a sash during a graduation event was school-sponsored speech, not private speech.

"The School District is permitted to restrict that speech as it sees fit in the interest of the kind of graduation it would like to hold," Wang wrote, per AP.

In a petition, Peña Villasano wrote that "my high school administration and superintendent have said "no" twice. However, there are NO WRITTEN policies that state otherwise. I will not allow my culture, heritage, and nationality to be shut down from being represented."

"I'm a 200 percenter — 100% American and 100% Mexican," she told a recent school board meeting in Colorado's rural Western Slope, per AP.

According to The Colorado Sun, Peña Villasano graduated on Saturday, wearing her sash despite the ruling.

With the sash initially covered by her graduation gown, Peña Villasano climbed the stage to collect her diploma. The 18-year-old student proudly unveiled her controversial sash just before it was her turn.

"I was nervous. I'm not going to lie. I was super nervous about what everyone's reaction would be, but just like my senior quote, 'Always stand up for what you believe in,' I feel like that just overpowers everything," Peña Villasano said after her graduation, per Colorado Public Radio.

Peña Villasano acknowledged that her free-speech fight took away from her graduation but said, "I had to focus on standing up for my rights for the past month instead of celebrating my upcoming graduation," per The Colorado Sun.


Read the original article on Business Insider

Cuban immigrants are joining the Russian army to fight in Ukraine in exchange for citizenship, a report says

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 8:10am
Russian servicemen take part in military exercises at the Uspenovskyi training ground outside the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia, on September 4, 2022.
  • Cuban immigrants in Russia are reportedly joining the army to fight in Ukraine.
  • In exchange, the immigrants will be given Russian citizenship.
  • The Russian military has been recruiting immigrants, hoping to avoid another mandatory mobilization.

Cuban immigrants in Russia are joining the army to fight in Ukraine in exchange for citizenship, a report says.

Several Cubans have signed year-long contracts and were sent to the war zone on Wednesday, local news outlet the Ryazan Gazette reported.

Those who signed contracts to fight will receive a one-time payment from Russia's federal government equivalent to $2,433 and another $2,500 from the region of Ryazan, along with a monthly salary of $2,545, The New York Post reported.

The Russian military has been offering enhanced pay to potential recruits many times the average Russian monthly wage of 63,060 rubles ($810), to reinforce its depleted ranks, according to a recent report.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that foreigners who enlisted in the Russian army to fight in the war would be entitled to get Russian citizenship along with their families.

Thousands of Cubans have settled in Russia in recent years because it is one of the few countries that does not require visas for Cuban nationals, according to Cuban outlet Directorio Cubano.

It has previously been reported that Russian authorities were also trying to recruit Central Asian migrant workers to fight in Ukraine to avoid another mandatory mobilization.

The drafting of 300,000 reservists in September sparked protests and caused thousands of fighting-age men to flee the country.

While Russia has not confirmed its number of casualties in Ukraine, the US recently estimated that 100,000 Russian fighters have been killed or wounded in the conflict since December 2022 alone.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I'm a VP at the company behind Advil and Tums. My day starts with double-screening YouTube and Netflix and ends with surfing Amazon ratings.

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 8:00am
Beth Gaeta
  • Beth Gaeta is the head of US innovation at Haleon — the company behind Advil, Tums, and Sensodyne. 
  • She is up at 5:30 a.m. and spends time exercising before getting her daughters ready for school.
  • Gaeta often ends her day reading through Haleon product reviews on Amazon.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Beth Gaeta, the head of US innovation at Haleon based in Warren, New Jersey about her daily routine. It has been edited for length and clarity.

As the head of U.S. innovation at Haleon, I spend my days thinking about, listening to, and learning from colleagues, retailers, suppliers, and consumers.

It's work that demands curiosity, collaboration, and problem solving. I find continuous improvement motivating, and I love this role's focus on optimizing and advancing day after

I wake up at 5:30 a.m.Courtesy of Beth Gaeta

I'm an early bird. I wake up and log on to my favorite YouTube coach Sydney Cummings for a workout (while also watching Netflix — I like the political thriller "House of Cards"-like shows).

I finish with a short meditation to help me get my head in the game for the day. 

I then get my two daughters ready for school and send them off to junior highCourtesy of Beth GaetaThe first thing I do when I get to the office around 8 a.m. is have coffeeCourtesy of Beth Gaeta

I'll also do informal chats with colleagues around our desks or we'll have a "walking coffee chat."

I then have meetings with my teamCourtesy of Beth Gaeta

Later in the morning, I attend a meeting where I help make decisions on which new innovation projects we will initiate or advance. This month, one idea was implementing changes to make our packaging more sustainable.

Next, I touch base with my colleagueCourtesy of Beth Gaeta

We go over P&L assumptions for new product proposals or budgets to support the high volume of consumer research we do.

Before lunch, I go shopping at our Haleon employee storeCourtesy of Beth Gaeta

This is where I buy all of my family's everyday health and wellness needs.

I take my lunch break outside 

Courtesy of Beth Gaeta

Unless my days are very packed and I need to eat lunch at my desk, I'll use my lunch break to go outside and clear my head.

If I'm walking, I may turn on a podcast from NPR or the New York Times. Otherwise, I'll get my steps in by walking around the office.

I have afternoon meetings with my full team

Courtesy of Beth Gaeta

With the leadership team, we start with a "Best of Me" exercise, which helps us understand how we can best support one another.

Everyone buddies up and we have quick "speed dating" conversations where each person shares with their partner what they need from the other person to be "at their best." 

I may spend part of the afternoon in Haleon's Shopper Science LabCourtesy of Beth Gaeta

This lab allows Haleon to take consumer research and model retail scenarios virtually and physically to better understand and enhance the consumer shopping experience. 

A small team called our Innovation Incubator helps us learn our way into spaces that are new to us such as diagnostics, devices, or digital complements for our physical products. We meet regularly to discuss "aha moments" and learnings from our latest experiments. 

Courtesy of Beth GaetaI get home at around 6:30 p.m.Courtesy of Beth Gaeta

When I get home from work, I often get pulled outside to watch my younger daughter practice gymnastics on our trampoline.

We also try to take a walk together whenever we canCourtesy of Beth Gaeta

With the extra hours of sunlight, we have more opportunities to go on walks after work.

Then I'll make dinner for my family and help my girls with their homework. 

I spend some time reading

Courtesy of Beth Gaeta

If I have additional time to myself in the evening, I like to invest in my career development by reading business books or articles on innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship, and branding.

Two of my favorites include Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull (founder of Pixar) and Obsessed: Building a Brand People Love from Day One by Emily Heyward. 

I end my day reading Amazon reviewsCourtesy of Beth Gaeta

I squeeze in a few minutes of surfing Amazon reviews of our products or those made by Haleon's competitors. Then I'm early to bed at 9:30 p.m. so I can be early to rise all over again!

Read the original article on Business Insider

Passengers on a P&O cruise ship were evacuated from their cabins at 3.30 a.m. after a fire broke out, reports say

Sun, 05/28/2023 - 8:00am
The P&O ship was off the Australian coast.
  • Passengers on a P&O cruise ship were evacuated from their cabins after a fire broke out on board.
  • They were awoken by an emergency alarm at 3.30 a.m. and told to get their life jackets.
  • There were no reported injuries and the ship is due to arrive back in Sydney on Tuesday.

Passengers on board a P&O cruise ship were evacuated from their cabins after a fire was detected on a balcony at 3.30 a.m., reported.

A P&O representative told the outlet that the blaze was quickly dealt with. There were no injuries and damage appeared to be limited to one cabin.

According to 9News, the Pacific Adventure was carrying 3,017 passengers and 1,080 crew when the fire broke out off the coast of New South Wales, Australia.

A video showed part of the fire and footage of passengers, with one saying it was their first night on the ship. 

Emma Llewllyn told 9News: "It certainly goes through your mind: 'Are we going to be getting on lifeboats? Are we evacuating the ship?'" 

Llewllyn, who was traveling with her 13-year-old daughter on their first cruise, said the fire was on the deck below them and they could smell smoke in the hallways.

Passengers were awoken by an alarm and told to get their life jackets and evacuate their cabins while firefighters tackled the flames, 9News reported. They were eventually allowed back into their rooms at 5 a.m., and the ship is due to arrive in Sydney on Tuesday.

"This fire activated our emergency response procedures including a full muster of guests and crew and we thank everyone on board for their co-operation," a P&O spokesperson told Insider. They added: "The extent of the damage and the cause of the fire are yet to be fully determined and remain under investigation."



Read the original article on Business Insider

A 'Slavery Simulator' game on Google Play Brazil that allowed players to sell, torture, or sexualize enslaved people was downloaded more than 1,000 times before it was removed: report

Sat, 05/27/2023 - 11:42pm
Google Play Store logo
  • An app that simulated colonial Brazil in the 17th century allowed users to be slave masters.
  • The game was called "Slavery Simulator" and was available in Brazil for about a month.
  • A Brazilian lawmaker filed a complaint against Google and alleged that some users praised the app.

A game available on Google Play that allowed users to act as slave masters in 17th-century colonial Brazil has sparked outrage with some Brazilian lawmakers, The Washington Post reported.

The game — called "Simulador de Escravidão" or "Slavery Simulator" — was available to Google Play users in Brazil starting April 20 before it was taken down on Wednesday, according to The Post.

A Google spokesperson confirmed to Insider that the app was removed and that the game's developer, Magnus Games, has been banned from the app store platform.

Based on the game's description, users could "become a wealthy slave owner or achieve the abolition of slavery." As a slave owner, players could amass wealth and buy, sell, punish, or sexualize enslaved people, The Post reported.

Orlando Silva de Jesus Junior, a federal lawmaker in the Chamber of Deputies, raised concerns about the app on Twitter and joined Unegro, a racial justice advocacy nonprofit, to file a complaint against Google with Brazil's Public Prosecutor's Office.

The complaint accuses Google of violating an anti-discrimination law in Brazil.

—Orlando Silva (@orlandosilva) May 24, 2023


"It's something unbelievable that in a country where racism is a crime, a country that lived through the wounds of slavery, a digital platform makes a macabre and barbaric game like this one," Silva said during a congressional debate, according to The Post.

The complaint reviewed by The Post said some people praised the app. One user, the complaint alleged, wrote that the app was a "great game to pass the time, but it lacks more torture options."

Another user said the game portrayed "well what I would like to do in real life," according to the complaint.

A Google spokesperson told Insider that Google Play has a "robust set of polices aimed at keeping users safe and which all developers must follow."

"We don't allow apps that promote violence or incite hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, or that depict or promote gratuitous violence or other dangerous activities," the spokesperson said. "Anyone who believes they have found an app that violates our rules can report it to Google Play. When violations are found, we take appropriate action. And in egregious cases we may take stricter action, including banning the developer from publishing any app on Google Play."

The game was downloaded more than 1,000 times before it was removed from the digital store, the Post reported.

A few other lawmakers, including Ivan Valente, another member of the Chamber of Deputies, filed their own complaints.

Developer Magnus Games has other simulation-style games such as "Mafia Offline Killer Simulator," CNN reported.

A spokesperson for the game studio did not respond to a request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Biologists found 3 adorable female mountain lion kittens. Now the trio will have to survive the harsh urban landscape of Los Angeles.

Sat, 05/27/2023 - 10:40pm
  • Biologists discovered three mountain lion kittens in a patch of poison oak outside of Los Angeles. 
  • They were only 24 days old when they were found on May 18. 
  • Now, they must survive in an increasingly urbanized area of Southern California.

Biologists with the National Park Service discovered a litter of recently birthed mountain lion kittens in the Simi Hills, west of Los Angeles. 

The kittens, now identified as P-113, P-114, and P-115, were discovered on May 18 in a "dense patch of poison oak" between large boulders near a den site, according to a press release from the NPS.

To find the kittens, the biologists had to wait until the mother, P-77, left the site unattended to hunt for food or rest. 

Biologists determined that when the kittens were discovered, they were only 24 days old. 

"It will be interesting to learn how these kittens will use the landscape once they get older and disperse, particularly if they decide to stay in the Simi Hills or cross freeways to enter larger natural areas." Jeff Sikich, the lead field biologist of the NPS mountain lion study, said in the release. 

The kittens are the third litter marked in the Simi Hills as a part of a study of mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains, which began in 2002. The NPS tracks the cats to determine how urbanization and habitat fragmentation affect these animals' lives. 

According to the main findings of the NPS observations, mountain lions in Los Angeles County are significantly threatened by the development of roads and cities. A leading cause of mountain lion deaths are vehicle strikes, which often occur when they cross major freeways like the 101, 405, and 118.

In December, Los Angeles lost one of its most iconic mountain lions, P-22, after he had been struck by a vehicle.

Sikich told the Los Angeles Times that since March 2022, 15 mountain lions have died, many after being struck by vehicles. However, Sikich said the new kittens are an "encouraging" sign.

"It's encouraging to see reproduction in our small population of mountain lions, especially after all the mortalities we have documented in the last year," Sikich said in the release. 

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Ukraine's 'Iron General' signals an impending counteroffensive: 'It's time to get back what's ours'

Sat, 05/27/2023 - 9:30pm
Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valerii Zaluzhnyi attends a session of the Ukrainian Parliament in Kyiv, on December 28, 2022.
  • Ukraine has been talking about launching a counteroffensive against Russia.
  • On Saturday, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Ukraien's top military commander, hinted at an imminent attack.
  • Another official said that Ukrainian forces are "ready" for a counteroffensive.

Ukraine's military commander-in-chief signaled on Saturday that the long-anticipated counterattack against Russia is approaching.

In a short message posted on Telegram, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, dubbed Ukraine's 'iron general,' wrote: "It's time to get back what's ours."

The message accompanied a minute-long cinematic video of Ukranian soldiers repeating a chant and handling various weapons.

Ukrainian officials have been boasting about a counterattack against Russia for weeks as the war passes its 15-month mark.

"As soon as there is God's will, the weather, and a decision by commanders, we will do it," Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in April.

The latest message from Zaluzhnyi comes after Ukraine faced a setback in Bakhmut, with Russia reporting that it has taken control over the eastern Ukrainian city. Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskiy, Ukraine's eastern military commander, said Ukraine only holds a "small part" of the city, The Washington Post reported.

Ukraine's top National Security and Defense Council official, Oleksiy Danilov, also told BBC in an article published Saturday that Ukrainian forces are "ready" for a counteroffensive and that the attack could begin "tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, or in a week."

Ukraine has been tight-lipped about where it will launch its anticipated assault but military experts told Insider that the counteroffensive could occur somewhere in the southeast, particularly in the Zaporizhzhia region.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has kept busy on the diplomatic front, making the rounds with world leaders at the recent G7 summit and other face-to-face visits to gather unified support for Ukraine during the war.

In a significant victory for Ukraine, President Joe Biden confirmed at the G7 summit that the US would send fighter jets and train Ukrainian pilots to use the aircraft.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Former Lululemon employees say they were fired for breaking store policy after calling police to report a robbery

Sat, 05/27/2023 - 4:19pm
Two former employees claim they were fired for breaking policy by calling police about a robbery at a Georgia Lululemon store.
  • Two former employees say they were fired for allegedly breaking store policy at a Lululemon store in Georgia.
  • The women told local outlets they were fired two weeks after reporting a robbery to police.
  • Three people were caught on video by one of the women robbing the store, and have been arrested.

Two former employees say they were fired from a Georgia Lululemon store for allegedly breaking company policy when they called the police to report a robbery at their store.

Jennifer Ferguson and Rachel Rogers told local outlets they reached out to authorities after a group of robbers came to their store in Peachtree Corners, despite company policy that says employees should not intervene in robberies. 

"We didn't really feel very protected or know what else to do," Rogers told local TV station 11Alive.

"We are not supposed to get in the way," Ferguson told the outlet. "You kind of clear path for whatever they're going to do. And then, after it's over, you scan a QR code. And that's that. We've been told not to put it in any notes, because that might scare other people. We're not supposed to call the police, not really supposed to talk about it." 

Both women said they were fired over a Zoom call with regional Lululemon officials who said the company had a "zero tolerance policy" regarding the incident, 11Alive reported. The former employees said they are working through how to deal with the sudden firing financially, and hope Lululemon considers changing the policy.

A Lululemon spokesperson told Insider in a statement that the safety and security of its staffers and shoppers is a "top priority" and the company has "policies and protocols in place to uphold a safe environment."

"We take thefts and vandalism very seriously and our focus right now is supporting our educators, as well as continuing to collaborate with local partners and law enforcement," the spokesperson said.

Company policy shared with Insider further indicates the women were likely fired for recording and interacting with the robbers, rather than for calling the police.

In video shared with the local media outlets and on social media, Ferguson and Rogers can be heard yelling at the robbers to stop and leave the store. Local police confirmed to NBC News that the three robbers seen in the video were arrested and charged with felonies after bystanders reported a robbery in an Atlanta suburb the next day.

Rogers told WSB-TV she believes the string of robberies are part of a larger scheme involving returning stolen merchandise for cash.

A lawyer representing a group of retailers in Massachusetts told NBC News that many companies have non-interference policies when it comes to robberies for employee safety, and may discourage reporting incidents to the police for a variety of reasons.

"They don't want to waste their time on what may be an entry-level shoplifting issue when they could be doing something else because then they're not necessarily going to be as quick to respond next time when they do need someone there," Ryan Kearney told NBC News.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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