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Agregátor zdrojů | FLOPS

Agregátor zdrojů

Mark Zuckerberg has reached out to Microsoft president Brad Smith which is bad for Sandberg because... that's basically her job (FB, MSFT)

Business Insider SAI - 2 hodiny 32 min zpět

  • Mark Zuckerberg has spoken to Microsoft president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith, about the possibility of joining Facebook, according to a report by The Information on Monday.
  • Smith reportedly told Zuckerberg he was happy at Microsoft and had no intention of leaving. 
  • The move to bring in the Microsoft president should be cause for concern for Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who holds a similar role to Smith at the social networking giant. 
  • If Smith were brought on, Sandberg would likely have to go. 
  • Earlier this year, Sandberg reportedly said she felt her job was in question and after a series of scandals in 2018, the COO's future at Facebook isn't looking any brighter. 

Mark Zuckerberg has spoken to Microsoft president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith, about the possibility of joining Facebook, according to a report by The Information on Monday. 

Though a formal job offer was not discussed, according to a person from the report familiar with the talk, Smith did tell Zuckerberg he was happy at Microsoft and had no intention of leaving. 

The desire to bring the Microsoft bigwig into Facebook's executive circle may make sense for Zuckerberg, who reportedly turns to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates for business advice. But it would not bode well for the company's current chief operating officer — Sheryl Sandberg. 

As The Washington Post's Elizabeth Dwoskin pointed out on Twitter Monday, Smith and Sandberg perform somewhat similar roles at their respective companies. Meaning, if Smith were brought on, Sandberg would likely have to go. 

Zuck reaching out to Microsoft’s Brad Smith seems like a real threat to Sheryl. That’s basically her current role. https://t.co/8jYMkdc216

— Elizabeth Dwoskin (@lizzadwoskin) December 10, 2018

Six years ago, Sandberg played the role of experienced exec coming into Facebook to clean things up. After nearly seven years at Google — leaving as VP of global online sales and operations — Sandberg joined Facebook as COO, where she coached a young, inexperience Zuckerberg and helped the company grow into the $400 billion market cap that it enjoys today. The success of her 2013 career advice book for women, "Lean In," further burnished her credentials as a business superstar.

But 2018 has been a difficult year for the chief operating exec and author, as the scandals and revelations have piled up. Just last month, The New York Times reported that Sandberg tried to downplay Russia's involvement in misinformation campaigns on Facebook during the 2016 US election. Facebook's controversial decision to hire a Republican-affiliated opposition research firm to hit back at Facebook critics, including financier George Soros, also occurred on her watch. 

Read more: Michelle Obama on Sheryl Sandberg's 'lean in' strategy: 'That s--- doesn't work all the time'

Sandberg herself was said to have felt that her job security was in question earlier this year. 

At Business Insider's IGNITION conference last week, marketing expert and NYU professor Scott Galloway said someone should be held accountable for Facebook's missteps and that Sandberg would be his choice. 

"What do we do about Sheryl Sandberg?" he said. "Fire her."

With Microsoft's Smith declaring himself happy on his current employer's payroll, Sandberg's job may be safe from one immediate threat. But the fact that Zuckerberg reached out to Smith in the first place is a clear sign that the partnership that's defined Facebook for the past decade may be coming to an end.

Facebook did not immediately reply to Business Insider's request for comment. 

SEE ALSO: Google+ will shut down 4 months early after Google discovered a 2nd bug affecting user data for more than 52 million

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VMware's newest Amazon partnership proves that the $65 billion company can thrive in the cloud wars after all, says Wall Street (AMZN, VMW)

Business Insider SAI - 2 hodiny 44 min zpět

  • VMware is showing steady growth with a 14% year-over-year revenue growth this past quarter, driven by its revitalized cloud strategy — an area in which it had historically been seen to be weak.
  • Analysts laud a recent partnership with Amazon Web Services, the leader in cloud computing, as being a sure sign that VMware is on the right track. 
  • The concern was that the cloud would hurt VMware's traditional business, which has always been in the data center. But the trend towards so-called hybrid cloud has benefitted VMware, analysts now say.
  • VMware is a subsidiary of Dell.

When the cloud first started to loom over Silicon Valley, some Wall Streeters were concerned VMware — a publicly-traded, $65 billion subsidiary of Dell that helps companies manage their server infrastructure — couldn't weather the storm.

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud overshadow the cloud landscape, as more companies move their computing and data storage systems off their servers and onto these major platforms. More recently, Kubernetes, a popular cloud computing technology started by Google engineers, was thought to make VMware's flagship technology obsolete by helping developers manage their infrastructure more directly.

Now, things are turning around, as Wall Street analysts say that VMware's cloud strategy is gaining momentum, as proven by its newest partnership with Amazon's market-leading cloud business. With AWS Outposts, companies can bring hardware into their data center, powered by VMware software, that integrates with the Amazon cloud.

Indeed, this past quarter, VMware reported 14% year-over-year revenue growth, beating analysts expectations, driven in large part by its revitalized cloud strategy. VMware isn't necessarily growing like crazy, but it's still making steady gains.

"There is fear on Wall Street that the cloud is probably bad for VMware's business. I think that view is premature and and misses what VMware is doing," Edward Parker, Director and Data and Cloud Infrastructure Analyst at BTIG, told Business Insider. "The fact that AWS announcement uses VMware software on premise is a validation they're making real progress."

The hubbub around AWS Outposts has underlined VMware's hybrid cloud strategy. While in the past, VMware has focused on traditional on-premise data center infrastructure, it has evolved its strategy to take public cloud into account, as well, in what the industry calls hybrid. Beyond AWS Outposts, VMware also announced it would acquire two hybrid cloud-adjacent startups, CloudHealth and Heptio.

"What's interesting about the [Outposts] announcement is VMware in some regards has been considered a legacy enterprise software provider," Parker said. "They are very clever in terms of pivoting the business in this hybrid cloud challenge."

Sanjay Poonen, COO of VMware, calls the partnership, with on-premises, private cloud and public cloud services coming together, a "Berlin Wall movement." VMware has been touting hybrid cloud all along, and its goal, Poonen says, is to be the leader in that space. Its biggest competitor in hybrid cloud, analysts say, is Microsoft.

"We've been proving that hybrid cloud is the best option," Poonen told Business Insider. "The reality is customers want the best of both worlds. It was our recognition that [Amazon is] the leader in the public cloud, and that brings us to them. It was their recognition that we're the leaders in private cloud, and that brings them to us."

Read more: Wall Street says Amazon and VMware are teaming up to take down Microsoft in the cloud wars

Parker says that he's heard from cynics that this is merely delaying the inevitable, and the Amazon style of public cloud will eventually swallow everything, hybrid or no. While he shares some of those concerns, he says the market is heading towards hybrid cloud.

"Cloud is the defining trend, but it's becoming more and more evident that it can't solve all problems for all company," Parker said. "I still think cloud will grow and proprietary on-premise will slowly decline, but it's going to be a long process, but for the most part, companies will have to deploy on both in the near future. That's what VMware is trying very hard to solve."

Also, VMware and Amazon's partnership is mutually beneficial, say boosters. Take AWS Outposts: Companies can use VMware Cloud to run their infrastructure, or run AWS cloud on-premises, marking a first for Amazon in running its cloud services in the data center. 

"I think that is a partnership that is going to be more and more front and center," Daniel Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, told Business Insider. "It was significant for the industry as a catalyst for the hybrid cloud evolution to hit its next phase of growth."

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NOW WATCH: The reason some men can't grow full beards, according to a dermatologist

The top 5 startups paving the way for transportation and logistics within digital freight services, warehouse robotics, AI, last-mile delivery robotics, and self-driving cars

Business Insider SAI - 3 hodiny 23 min zpět
  • Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and self-driving technology are helping the transportation and logistics industry finally transform by cutting costs, optimizing delivery routes, and automating mundane tasks.
  • Startups will be the lynchpin of this transformation because they specifically target areas of need  with cutting-edge solutions.
  • Business Insider Intelligence examined the top 5 startups within five key areas: digital freight services, warehouse robotics, AI for supply chain management, last-mile delivery robotics, and self-driving car software.

Transportation and logistics industries have operated largely the same way for decades. But the surge in e-commerce in the last several years, combined with consumers’ appetite for same-day delivery, has brought us to a tipping point.

Delivery companies are doing all they can to get orders to customers’ doors as quickly as possible, which has facilitated wholesale changes in how they operate.

Cutting-edge digital solutions (including digital freight services, warehouse robotics, AI for supply chain management, delivery robotics, and autonomous driving software) are forcing traditional delivery companies to either evolve or see their core businesses erode.

Transportation & Logistics Startups to Watch, a new report from Business Insider Intelligence, monitors the biggest change agents in the industry to offer unique insight into the development of the transportation and logistics space at large, and shows how traditional companies are adapting to their new environment.

Want to Learn More?

Business Insider Intelligence's Startups to Watch reports give a high-level overview of the funding trends for startups in a particular coverage area, as well as a list of key startups (by function, what they do, key news, and statistics). Businesses need to understand new competitive threats, technologies, and acquisition opportunities in order to thrive. These reports provide that contextual information in an easy-to-digest manner.

In full, the Transportation & Logistics Startups to Watch report dives into the top 25 companies - five startups across five key disruption areas - that are easing shipping burdens, improving order fulfillment efficiency, optimizing delivery, and automating processes.

Get The Transportation & Logistics Startups to Watch Report

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After losing 99% of its value, MoviePass' parent company is getting ready to ask shareholders to support its CEO and approve his pay (HMNY)

Business Insider SAI - 3 hodiny 25 min zpět

  • Helios and Matheson, the parent company of MoviePass, has scheduled another shareholder meeting.
  • Unlike a meeting it canceled last month, this is its standard annual gathering of shareholders, where investors will get to vote on its director nominees and what it pays executives.
  • Even those proposals could prove controversial, considering how much the company's stock has declined this year — as much as 99% from the start of the year.

MoviePass' parent company has once again scheduled a shareholder meeting. 

But this time it won't be asking for investors to give it permission to reverse split its stock. 

Helios and Matheson Analytics, which bought MoviePass in mid-2017, on Monday notified shareholders that it will be holding its annual meeting on December 27. The company is asking investors to vote on its directors, approve its chosen auditor, and weigh in on its executives' compensation. 

"Your vote is important. Whether or not you plan to attend the annual meeting, please cast your vote as promptly as possible," Stuart Benson, Helios and Matheson's chief financial officer, said in a letter to shareholders. 

The meeting announcement follows a tumultuous year for the company and an abortive attempt by it to hold a separate meeting this fall to approve what would have been its second reverse stock split this year. The company originally scheduled that meeting to be held in mid-October before delaying it twice and ultimately canceling it in the face of widespread shareholder opposition to the plan. 

Read more: Investors seem to be balking at MoviePass' parents' plans to reverse split its stock again — and for good reason

It had hoped to use the reverse split to boost its share price, which has been mired at about $0.02 for months now. The company faces imminent delisting from the Nasdaq for failing to meet its listing standards. That could make it harder for investors to buy and sell shares and for the company to raise more funds.

It will be a standard meeting, but it still could draw sparks

The upcoming meeting, by contrast, has a much more standard agenda, although it could prove every bit as controversial, given the company's stock performance over the last year. Helios and Matheson's stock price has fallen more than 99% this year. 

The first thing shareholders will vote on is Helios and Matheson's five director candidates. Four of those candidates — company CEO Ted Farnsworth; Muralikrishna Gadiyaram, who founded the company's former Indian parent entity, Helios and Matheson Information Technology; management consultant Prathap Singh; and Gavriel Ralbag, the managing director of Gold Edge Capital — have served on its board since 2016. Joseph J. Fried, an attorney who runs his own law firm, is the only new director nominee. 

Farnsworth and Gadiyaram in particular could draw opposition. Farnsworth has served as Helios and Matheson's CEO since January 2017 and spearheaded both its acquisition of MoviePass and its decision to slash the price of MoviePass' subscription service to $10 a month. That moved caused Helios and Matheson to burn through $321 million in just the first nine months of this year, an amount it replenished largely through issuing and selling billions of new shares of its stock

The company has revised its offering multiple times this year to try to reduce its cash burn.

Gadiyaram, meanwhile, was arrested in India on suspicion of stiffing a creditor and has been accused of fraud there, as Business Insider reported

Helios and Matheson encouraged shareholders to vote for all five of its nominees.

"Mr. Farnsworth’s extensive business experience ... led us to conclude that he should serve as a director," it said in a regulatory filing detailing the upcoming meeting and proposals on which investors will vote.

"Mr. Gadiyaram's deep experience in the information technology and data analytics sector," it continued, "gives him an exceptional understanding of our businesses and led us to believe that he should serve as a director.

The company nominally paid its CEO $8.9 million last year

Shareholders will also get their "say on pay" — an advisory up-or-down vote on executives' compensation. There too, they could express their ire, particularly in regard to Farnsworth's pay.

Helios and Matheson gave its CEO a total pay package of $8.9 million last year. That included $225,000 in salary, $1.35 million in cash bonuses, stock awards worth $7.25 million at the time they were granted, and $76,050 in housing expenses.

The company hasn't yet awarded the shares underlying the stock award to Farnsworth, because they have to be approved by shareholders first. But those shares are now worth just $49.50, thanks to the dramatic decline in the company's stock price. 

Helios and Matheson paid Benson, its CFO, $235,500, including $200,000 in base salary and a $35,500 bonus. It gave Parthasarathy Krishnan, its former chief innovation officer, $2.9 million in total pay last year, $2.7 million of which came in the form of a share award.

The date of the company's annual meeting is unusually late. Public companies typically hold them soon after releasing their annual reports, which Helios and Matheson published in April. And last year, the company held its annual meeting on October 27.

However, the company has held a series of special shareholder meetings this year to authorize the issuance of new shares and to reverse split its stock. 

SEE ALSO: MoviePass' parent company has boosted its share count by an unbelievable 80,000% since July — but it's run out of room to issue new stock

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Salesforce is hiring its first Chief Ethical and Humane Use officer to make sure its artificial intelligence isn't used for evil (CRM)

Business Insider SAI - 5 hodin 3 min zpět

  • Salesforce will hire Paula Goldman as its first Chief Ethical and Humane Use officer.
  • Goldman will spearhead a new Office of Ethical and Humane Use, which focuses on developing strategies to use technology in an ethical and humane way at the company.
  • This announcement comes during a year of protests in Silicon Valley over how companies — including Salesforce — put its technology to use, as tech workers protest deals with the U.S. military and immigration authorities. 

In the midst of the ongoing controversies over how tech companies can use artificial intelligence for no good, Salesforce is about to hire its first Chief Ethical and Humane Use officer.

On Monday, Salesforce announced it would hire Paula Goldman to lead its new Office of Ethical and Humane Use, and she will officially start on Jan. 7. This office will focus on developing strategies to use technology in an ethical and humane way at Salesforce. 

"For years, I've admired Salesforce as a leader in ethical business,” Goldman said in a statement. “We're at an important inflection point as an industry, and I'm excited to work with this team to chart a path forward."

With the development of the new Office of Ethical and Humane Use, Salesforce plans to merge law, policy and ethics to develop products in an ethical manner. That's especially notable, as Salesforce itself has come under fire from its own employees for a contract it holds with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"We understand that we have a broader responsibility to society, and aspire to create technology that not only drives the success of our customers, but also drives positive social change and benefits humanity," Salesforce's Office of Ethical and Humane Use says.

Read more: Military work is a lightning rod in Silicon Valley, but Microsoft will sell the Pentagon all the AI it needs

Goldman will report to chief equality officer Tony Prophet. Before Salesforce, Goldman served as Vice President, Global Lead, Tech and Society Solutions Lab at Omidyar Network, a social impact investment firm started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

She has also served on Salesforce's Advisory Council for the Office of Ethical and Humane Use, which includes industry experts and academics. This council focuses on how to build technology in an ethical fashion.

“Working with Paula as a member of the Advisory Council, I was immediately impressed by her exceptional leadership and thoughtful approach to truly complex issues,” Tony Prophet, Salesforce Chief Equality Officer, sad in a statement. “I'm confident Paula is the right person to lead us into this next chapter at Salesforce."

Goldman is also the founder and director of Imagining Ourselves, a project of the International Museum of Women. She has received the Social Impact Award from the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, and a Muse Award from the American Association of Museums.

However, she'll have a tough challenge ahead, as she navigates the increasingly murky world of Silicon Valley ethics, as Salesforce itself gets drawn into the debate around right and wrong ways to use technology. 

Salesforce has come under fire

In Silicon Valley, employees and activists continue to protest tech giants' use of artificial intelligence and other technologies that could potentially be used for unethical ends.

For example, at Google, thousands of employees signed a petition — and some even resigned — over Project Maven, a contract with the Department of Defense that would see the company's AI used to analyze drone footage.

Following the internal backlash, Google CEO Sundar Pichai published a set of ethical principles on how it will use AI. Google also decided not to renew its contract with the Department of Defense, and later, decided to drop out of a bid for a $10 billion cloud contract with the Pentagon. Still, there is ongoing controversy internally and externally at Google over Project Dragonfly, a project to build a censored search engine for China.

This controversy has touched Salesforce, too. More than 650 Salesforce employees wrote a letter to CEO Marc Benioff to protest the company's work with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in light of President Donald Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policies. 

Weeks later, tech workers and activists demonstrated in front of Salesforce Tower, the company's San Francisco headquarters. Also, a non-profit group that provides legal services to immigrants rejected a $250,000 donation from Salesforce, saying that it couldn't accept the money unless the company canceled the contract.

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Here’s why it’s so hard to buy Huawei devices in the US

Business Insider SAI - 5 hodin 8 min zpět

  • Huawei is one of the top electronics makers in the world.
  • Huawei is the largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in the world, and is the second-largest maker of smartphones in the world, behind Samsung.
  • Despite Huawei's international success, the company's devices are extremely difficult to buy in some markets, like the United States.
  • Some government agencies believe Huawei equipment contains backdoors that allow the Chinese government to snoop on customers. Huawei vehemently disputes these accusations.

Huawei is back in the news again as the company's chief financial officer — who also happens to be the daughter of the company's founder — was arrested in Canada on suspicion of violating US trade sanctions on Iran.

While the incident may have major repercussions on the relationships between China, Canada, and the United States, people might be wondering why they have never heard of Huawei, which is a massive and influential tech company in most parts of the world.

Here's why Huawei's products are extremely hard to find in certain markets like the United States: 

SEE ALSO: I've used the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR — here's which one I'd recommend buying

Huawei is a massive tech company. It's the largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in the world, and the second-largest maker of smartphones in the world, only behind Samsung.

Huawei had almost $93 billion in sales last year — about as much as Microsoft over the same period.

Over the years, though, Huawei has faced numerous accusations relating to espionage and surveillance, from countries around the world.

Here are some articles about the snooping allegations:



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We tested out $30 tiny spy cameras from Amazon by spying on our co-workers

Business Insider SAI - Út, 2018-12-11 00:46
  • Despite Airbnb's rules prohibiting any surveillance devices, some Airbnb guests have found hidden cameras in their rentals. 
  • These cameras can be found in everyday household items like clocks, USB chargers, and light bulbs.
  • In the video above, Business Insider's Michelle Yan tests out a couple of spy cameras from Amazon in the office. 

Michelle Yan: What are you doing?

Emma Fierberg: I'm looking for the camera. Is it on the doorknob?

Michelle Yan: It's not on the doorknob.

Michelle Yan: So, we got our hands on some spy gear from Amazon. (These are so tiny). There's supposed to be some cameras hidden inside these normal-looking objects. Let's start with the clock.

SILLEYE WiFi Hidden Clock Camera

  • Price: $36.99
  • Live video on phone
  • Records up to 60 mins

The camera's right here. Like now I can't see the camera at all.

And then, the smart charger.

YSD Spy Camera Smart Charger

  • Price: $28.99
  • Video and audio recording
  • Can charge your phone
  • Offers loop recording

Wow. It looks like a normal USB charger. The only thing, the camera's right here.

And then the last one is a dice.

Crazepony Mini Hidden Spy Camera

  • Price: $20.69
  • 60 mins on 2-hour charge
  • Offers loop recording

So we just chose these three items, but there are plenty of other kinds of spy cams out there. We saw some coat racks, some light bulbs, pens, and even a screw. Some Airbnb hosts have been putting cameras in their homes to spy on their guests, despite the Airbnb rules.

These spy cams are pretty easy to hide because they look like everyday objects that you would put on a desk, or use normally. I'm gonna set these up tomorrow morning before my coworkers get in, and see if they notice.

Today, I'm gonna be setting up this alarm clock right over there. And it should pull up the view. And there it is. We're gonna use this USB charger as our next spy cam. So we're gonna insert our little memory card in here. Looks like a normal person just charging their phones. I'm gonna put this dice and record her. There it is.

We've hid these spy cameras around the office for a couple of hours already, and nobody has noticed. And that's honestly really shocking and really surprising. There was one that was like literally right in front of my coworkers, and they just didn't notice. I'm gonna show them clips of themselves, and see how they react.

Alex Appolonia: I feel like we're being interrogated.

AJ Caldwell: Alright, what's this?

Michelle Yan: Alright.

Alex Appolonia: You're up to no good, Michelle.

Michelle Yan: Here it is.

Emma Fierberg: Is this secret footage of me?

Rob Ludacer: Yeah. That was us.

Alana Yzola: What recorded me? I'm scared.

Jack Houston: Wait, what?

Alex Appolonia: Are you spying on us?

Michelle Yan: What are you doing?

Emma Fierberg: I'm looking for the camera.

Rob Ludacer: If I turned to look, will it still be there in a way I can determine?

Michelle Yan: Yes.

Emma Fierberg: Is it on the doorknob?

Rob Ludacer: Ah, the charger.

Kevin Priolo: Is it looking at us right now?

Michelle Yan: Mmm-hmm.

Kevin Priolo: That's so spooky.

AJ Caldwell: It's the clock then. That's a camera?

Alana Yzola: That is wild, and dangerous.

Kevin Priolo: I'm terrified by it, but I want one.

Emma Fierberg: Oh, this is bigger than I thought.

Jack Houston: We were having like a private moment talking about the package over there.

AJ Caldwell: Ingenious. Not cool.

Jack Houston: I hope I'm not like picking my nose at my desk, or something.

Kevin Priolo: This is like "Spy Kids."

Alana Yzola: Is there any, like, given way to tell?

Michelle Yan: Unfortunately, the best way is just, like, examine it. If you look really closely, you could kinda see the camera.

Alex Appolonia: Just watch your back now, 'cause we're gonna get you back.

Michelle Yan: Oh no!

Alana Yzola: In today's society, nothing is secret, nothing is apparently sacred, so thank you for opening my eyes to the dangers of technology. I feel like I'm in an episode of "Black Mirror" right now.

Michelle Yan: These cameras are a big privacy issue. It was all fun and games because we're in an office setting, and all of these are my coworkers, and I would tell them that I filmed them, but if it were coming from someone you didn't know, and in a place where you thought was a private place, then it's a different story.

Next time you go into an Airbnb, or even anywhere private, always just double check things that you see around you because there may be a camera hidden inside. And if you do end up finding a hidden camera, you should contact the local police. 

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Share your opinion — become a BI Insider!

Business Insider SAI - Út, 2018-12-11 00:46

As a dedicated Business Insider reader, we’d like to invite you to join our BI Insiders Panel, an exclusive online community of Business Insider readers! Your opinion is important to us!

Here are some of the TOP benefits of being a BI Insider!

  • Earn points towards cutting-edge research reports (a $495 value) from the Business Insider Intelligence report store.
  • Special reports and content from Business Insider Intelligence, like The Next Smartphone and The Internet of Everything.
  • Results from the surveys that you helped create paired with expert analysis from Business Insider Intelligence.
  • The satisfaction that your input will help guide decision-making at the most influential companies around the world.

As a BI Insider, you'll be invited to take online surveys via email a few times a month to provide opinions and insights on a variety of topics and emerging trends, based on your personal and professional experiences.

To become a BI Insider, you'll be asked to complete a short survey, after which you'll receive a notification within 24 hours to let you know if you've qualified.

 

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And today we're giving you one more reason to join:

You’ll receive an exclusive slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research subscription service.

Currently sold for $495, "The Future of Fintech Slide Deck" can be yours today FREE.

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Read Google CEO Sundar Pichai's prepared remarks to Congress (GOOG, GOOGL)

Business Insider SAI - Út, 2018-12-11 00:28

  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai will testify before Congress on Tuesday.
  • The tech exec plans to paint a positive picture of technology's potential and push back against allegations of bias.
  • But the tech giant is facing increasing public and political scrutiny.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai plans to push back against allegations of bias and affirm his company's support for America when he testifies before Congress on Tuesday.

Ahead of the 46-year-old tech exec's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on accountability and transparency at Google, his prepared remarks have been released. 

As Google has come under the spotlight for its reported plans to re-enter China with a censored search engine, and as employees push back against the company's work with the military, Pichai's testimony highlights the search advertising giant's American roots. 

"I believe in people and their ability to use technology to improve their lives. I’m incredibly proud of what Google does to empower people around the world, especially here in the US," he plans to say.

Pichai's testimony  — at a hearing about "Transparency and Accountability" at the Silicon Valley-based search engine — is optimistic about the potential of technology. But it comes as Google, and the broader tech industry, faces growing political scrutiny. 

Google has struggled with growing employee revolts in recent months over its work with the military and its handling of executive misconduct claims, even as it faces allegations of anti-conservative bias by right-wing activists. 

"We work hard to ensure the integrity of our products, and we’ve put a number of checks and balances in place to ensure they continue to live up to our standards. I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way. To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests," Pichai will say.

"We are a company that provides platforms for diverse perspectives and opinions — and we have no shortage of them among our own employees. Some of our Googlers are former servicemen and women who have risked much in defense of our country. Some are civil libertarians who fiercely defend freedom of expression. Some are parents who worry about the role technology plays in our households. Some—like me—are immigrants to this country, profoundly grateful for the freedoms and opportunities it offers. Some of us are many of these things."

His testimony is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT on Tuesday.

Here are Pichai's full prepared remarks:

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How self-driving technology is disrupting the way goods are delivered and creating opportunities for retailers and shipping firms

Business Insider SAI - Po, 2018-12-10 23:32

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

Trucking is set to transform radically in the coming years, with innovative technologies enabling trucks to take over more and more driving responsibilities, saving time and money for operators and businesses that rely on shipping.

Autonomous trucks are being tested on roads around the world, and systems from startups like Peloton and Embark could make their way into commercial trucks as soon as next year. Fleets will be able to leverage autonomous technologies to cut costs and gain a critical edge over competitors.

But to start planning for, and to eventually implement, those technologies, companies need to know what sorts of systems will be ready and when, and what regulatory hurdles will need to be overcome to get autonomous trucks on the road. 

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we provide an early glimpse into the emerging autonomous trucking market. First, we look at the trucking market as it stands today, offering a basic profile of the industry and highlighting a number of the challenges and issues it faces. Then, we go through the three waves of autonomous technology that are set to upend the industry — platooning, semi-autonomous systems, and fully autonomous trucks — looking at who is making strides in each of these areas, when the technology can be expected to start making an impact, and what companies can do to get ahead of the curve.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Advanced and autonomous technology will enable operators and shipping firms to eradicate some of the challenges that have long plagued them. Trucks will take over more and more driving responsibilities, saving time and money for operators and businesses that rely on shipping.
  • The impact of autonomous technologies on the trucking industry will come in three major waves: platooning or fuel-saving vehicle convoys, semi-autonomous highway control systems, and fully autonomous trucks.
  • Change to the trucking industry will be gradual but inexorable. Companies with foresight can start to make long-term plans to account for the ways that autonomous technologies will change how goods and products move from place to place.

In full, the report:

  • Analyzes the development of autonomous trucking technology.
  • Explains the waves in which advanced and autonomous technologies will start to impact the trucking industry, providing detailed explanations of how a company can take advantage of the disruptive technology transforming logistics at each stage.
  • Profiles the efforts of the companies that are at the forefront of new technology in trucking, looking at what they're working on and when their efforts could start to impact the market.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
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Why Huawei smartphones are so popular all over the world — except in the US, where stores don't sell them

Business Insider SAI - Po, 2018-12-10 23:19

  • Huawei is the second-largest smartphone maker in the world, selling more smartphones than Apple and beaten by only Samsung. 
  • Despite such a massive global presence and its success, Huawei devices aren't often sold in the US. 
  • More importantly, they're not sold in carrier stores, where the majority of Americans buy their smartphones.
  • Without a carrier partnership, smartphone makers find it nearly impossible to crack into the US smartphone market. 
  • Huawei devices aren't banned for commercial use, but the company isn't focusing on providing US customers with its latest smartphones. Huawei phones are banned for US government employees.

Despite an extremely limited presence in the US, Chinese telecommunications company Huawei is the second-biggest smartphone maker in the world, after Samsung, as of August 2018. 

For anyone who thinks that Apple's smartphones are the most popular devices, you'll be surprised to know there are more Huawei smartphones in people's hands than iPhones.

Indeed, that stat comes with merit. Huawei smartphones are excellent devices.

Huawei smartphones are just as good as anything you'd find in the US 

In most respects, Huawei devices aren't dissimilar from smartphones you can find in the US, at least when it comes to the Android ecosystem

On the high-end, Huawei smartphones come with beautiful designs and high-end specs and features that easily rival the top smartphones in the US, like Samsung's Galaxy S9 and LG's G7 and V40 smartphones.

One recent Huawei model, the P20 Pro, was touted as having one of the best cameras on any smartphone, with some saying it even bested the iPhone X and Google's Pixel smartphones. Google's Pixel devices are known to have the best smartphone cameras, so it's a feat for Huawei to rival Google with smartphone cameras. 

Like Samsung, the top smartphone maker in the world, Huawei also offers several midrange and budget devices that are more accessible to a wider range of people around the world. And those are excellent devices, as well. 

Why you're unlikely to see a Huawei smartphone in the US

I've been told by several smartphone makers that the US smartphone market is one of the toughest to crack. It largely has to do with the fact that the vast majority of Americans still buy their smartphones from network carriers, like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, among several other carriers in the US. 

If a smartphone maker strikes a deal with a US carrier to feature their smartphones at carrier stores, the chance of success is significantly greater. 

That consumer behavior is different in most other countries around the world, where smartphone users don't always buy their smartphones from their carriers. Rather, they're often bought directly from a company, tech stores, and even dedicated smartphone stores, like the Carphone Warehouse in the UK. As a result, global smartphone users are exposed to a wider variety of brands, including Huawei and Xiaomi, for example. 

For Huawei, the all-important carrier partnership never came. The company was on the brink of announcing a partnership with AT&T in January 2018, but the deal fell through amid US government pressure for AT&T to drop the partnership. Supposedly, US politicians saw Huawei devices as a threat to US national security because of Huawei's business ties to the Chinese government. 

When you visit Huawei USA's website today, you won't find the latest devices the company has to offer, like the Mate 20 Pro. Huawei devices can still operate on US carrier networks, but the majority of Americans won't see a Huawei device on carrier store shelves. As a result, most Americans may not even know about Huawei, the second biggest smartphone maker in the world. 

SEE ALSO: What you need to know about Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of a Chinese tech founder whose arrest could set fire to US-China relations

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The rise of robots might make coffee obsolete, according to RBC analysts

Business Insider SAI - Po, 2018-12-10 23:10

  • $2 trillion in annual US wages could be affected by automation, RBC says in a new report. 
  • RBC analysts argue that the loss of "grunt work" means that people will no longer need caffeine in 2025 in the same way they do in 2018. 
  • Instead of sipping coffee, people will turn to CBD to ease the anxiety of 2025's tech overload, RBC analysts theorize. 

The rise of robots could lead to an unexpected consequence, according to a new RBC Capital Markets report.

The consumer edition of RBC's "Imagine 2025" report, released Monday, estimates that $2 trillion in annual US wages could be affected by automation. The report delves into many consequences of the rise of automation and artificial intelligence, including robots taking over a vast number of jobs from everyone from warehouse workers to waiters.

The report also includes a less obvious outcome of the robot takeover: coffee and other caffeinated drinks becoming obsolete. 

"AI will minimize the amount of grunt work from manufacturing, driving trucks or cars anywhere, back office, really most jobs that may require a caffeine boost," the report states. "These caffeine-related jobs will either evolve or go away." 

Instead, RBC analysts theorize that people will seek beverages that keep them awake to "think and become more creative." 

"CBD may become the ultimate complement for caffeine, helping consumers relax," the report reads. "In fact, we could foresee a scenario where CBD and other relaxing agents become MORE popular than caffeine/stimulants as consumers continue to feel the stress/anxiety of technology-related stimuli (work, social media, etc)." 

CBD is one of the non-psychoactive compounds found in cannabis. The ingredient is used in salves, oils, balms, and beverages, creating a $1 billion business despite ongoing legal questions. 

Read more: Coca-Cola's CEO shoots down rumors that the beverage giant is eyeing the legal cannabis market 'at this stage' — and it could mean missing out on a bigger market than soda

RBC analysts predict that every industry will be impacted by the rise of AI and automation. On the positive side of the equation, AI can be used to reduce costs and personalize products. On the negative side, AI might help make privacy obsolete and hasten the loss of middle-class jobs, which can in turn feed into the rise of authoritarianism. 

In one eerie aside, RBC analysts ask: 

"What if AI and machine-learning techniques become so advanced that data and logic drive every human decision over emotions? Could devices help humans decide what they want to do, eat, watch, buy, wear, and even feel? Will this decrease humans' ability to think independently? Will humans become machine-dependent for life?"

In other words, if RBC is right, AI might not only kill coffee, but also free will. 

SEE ALSO: Walmart is reportedly testing a burger-flipping robot as the company doubles down on automation

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A top marijuana-focused fund is raising $75 million to make venture investments in pot companies

Business Insider SAI - Po, 2018-12-10 23:08

  • Poseidon Asset Management, a marijuana-focused fund, is raising $75 million to go after Series A or later investments in marijuana companies, said Morgan Paxhia, a managing partner.
  • The fund will be divided across four verticals in the marijuana industry, though Paxhia said he's particularly bullish on ancillary tech.
  • Poseidon has a solid track record: The fund got into buzzy vape startups Pax and Juul early on, and sold off their position in Aphria, a Canadian cannabis producer, before it was targeted by short-sellers. 

A leading marijuana-focused firm run by a brother-and-sister team is raising a new fund.

San Francisco-based Poseidon Asset Management is looking to raise a total of $75 million for its venture-focused Fund II, said Morgan Paxhia, Poseidon's managing partner. Already the fund has raised $15 million in its first close, he said. 

Paxhia said Poseidon's new fund will focus on Series A stage or later investments in marijuana companies.

"In the grand scheme of things in the venture world, $75 million is still small," Paxhia said. "But we think it's the right size for staying nimble and being able to capitalize on good deals."

Paxhia said the new fund will focus across four different verticals in the cannabis industry, including industrial hemp, branding and retail, cultivation and processing logistics, and ancillary software-and-data startups.

Bullish on marijuana tech 

Paxhia said he's particularly bullish on marijuana tech companies.

"We've been investing in ancillary technology since the beginning," Paxhia said. "It's generally seemed to receive the least amount of capital, the least amount of interest."

The fund has already made two investments in marijuana tech startups that will close before the end of the year, though Paxhia declined to name them. 

"We think the marketplace is very much misunderstanding how scalable, and how large the addressable market is for that segment," Paxhia said.

A lot of funds see the vertical as "too competitive and too hard to understand," Paxhia said. "So for us, that was a good time to lean in." 

Read more: A marijuana-focused investment firm started by a pair of Wall Street veterans just closed a $55 million fund

While Pahxhia said that his firm has received a lot of interest from big funds, the fund will "touch the plant" — that is, invest directly in companies that sell marijuana to consumers — so no large institutional investors will come onboard yet.

"It's just a question of getting them over the starting line in terms of compliance," Paxhia said. Because marijuana is considered an illegal, Schedule I drug by the US federal government, most institutions shy away from investing in the industry.

But, "they're doing their homework," Paxhia said. "As soon as they're greenlighted, they're going to be coming in."

That greenlight could take the form of the States Act, bipartisan legislation that would block the federal government from going after state-legal cannabis businesses.

Ancillary tech companies are seen as safer places to put money by most investors, as they don't deal with marijuana directly. Mainstream venture funds, including Lerer Hippeau, have invested in startups like the New York City-based Leaflink, an online platform for marijuana dispensaries.

A solid track record of exits 

Poseidon has a solid track record of exits.

The firm got into buzzy vape startups Pax and Juul ahead of the curve and sold off their position in Aphria — the publicly-traded marijuana producer in Canada that has been targeted by short-sellers in recent weeks — earlier this year.

Read more: A top cannabis CEO talks about what's next following a $300 million merger, saying he's playing 'Risk' while his competitors are playing 'Monopoly'

Poseidon also invested in Green Thumb Industries, an Illinois-based marijuana producer that went public on the Canadian Securities Exchange earlier this year, and in PharmaCann, which was acquired by the marijuana retailer MedMen in October, among other exits. 

"We're in all the largest deals in the cannabis industry to-date," Paxhia said. "That's why we're up over 100% this year."

SEE ALSO: The top 12 venture-capital firms making deals in the booming cannabis industry that's set to skyrocket to $75 billion

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Organizers of the successful Google employee walkout are now calling on the rest of the tech industry to take up their cause (GOOG, GOOGL)

Business Insider SAI - Po, 2018-12-10 23:03

  • On Monday, some of the original organizers for Google's November walkout demanded an end to forced arbitration.
  • Forced arbitration is a corporate practice whereby upon their hiring, employees waive their right to take any kinds of labor disputes to court, and instead must settle the matters privately. 
  • Organizers say Google's initial response to their demands of ending forced arbitration fell short, as it did not include discrimination cases or cases involving contract workers. 
  • The group of more than 20 Google employees is also calling on workers from the broader tech community to join their coalition against forded arbitration. 

This November, thousands of Google employees and contractors around the world walked out in protest of how the company has handled matters of discrimination and sexual misconduct. 

On Monday, some of the original organizers of that Google walkout came out to demand an end to forced arbitration in the tech industry, a common practice whereby employees are required to settle any kind of labor disputes privately, by way a company-appointed third party, and not in a court of law. 

The employees are demanding that Google end its arbitration policy for all work-related cases, including cases of discrimination, and for the new policy to extend to TVCs — Google's term for long- and short-term contract workers. 

Organizers say ending forced arbitration for all employees was the first demand of the original walkout, though they contend that Google's response was insufficient. Google said it would begin allowing arbitration for sexual harassment and assault cases for full-time employees only. 

The group — which consists of more than 20 current Google employees — is also calling on employees from the broader tech community to join their coalition. 

"20,000 Googlers walking out of work was the first moment in an escalating movement," the letter read. "Since then, we’ve heard from tech workers at 15+ other major tech companies about their experiences. We vow to fight together in 2019 until forced arbitration is abolished for all our FTE and TVC colleagues." 

The demands on Monday call for an end to arbitration for all employees and for all forms of labor disputes, including discrimination cases. 

A Google spokesperson declined to comment to Business Insider. 

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5G Mobile Hotspots: Netgear for AT&T and inseego for Verizon

AnandTech - Po, 2018-12-10 23:00

Most of the 5G deployments to date are using mobile hotspots – devices that convert a 5G signal into another form of data transfer, usually some form of ubiquitous Wi-Fi. So while there are no direct 5G devices right now, the initial business deployments are going to center around the mobile hotspot concept, allowing other devices to take advantage of the new technology, albeit indirectly. At the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit, both Netgear and inseego had their mobile hotspots on display.

The Verizon and AT&T 5G Setups at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit

AnandTech - Po, 2018-12-10 22:00

My inbox has been awash with emails regarding 5G ‘firsts’ this past year. Every time a company seems to demonstrate the smallest new ‘first’, such as mmWave through an x-inch wall or sub-6 GHz from base station to small cell, it seems to be something to shout about. A cynical journalist might think that these emails are to eradicate the lack of 5G hype in the air! However despite this, both Verizon and AT&T did set up small 5G transmitters for the demos at Qualcomm’s Tech Summit.

What you need to know about Meng Wanzhou, a Chinese tech founder's daughter whose arrest could set fire to US-China relations

Business Insider SAI - Po, 2018-12-10 21:44

  • Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was recently detained on suspicion of violating US trade sanctions, for which the company has long been under federal investigation.
  • Meng serves as the chief financial officer and deputy chairwoman of the board at the Chinese tech company and is also the daughter of Huawei's founder.
  • Her arrest has sparked outrage from Chinese officials, who have demanded that the US release Meng or face "grave consequences."
  • Here's a helpful primer on the Huawei executive and her career.

Chinese officials have threatened the US with "grave consequences" if the "extremely egregious" arrest of Meng Wanzhou, an executive at one of its biggest tech companies, isn't reversed. Meng was detained, at the request of the US, on suspicion of violating Iran trade sanctions.

The potential implications of this arrest, which took place on December 1 in Canada, on the tense trade war between the US and China has thrust the popular Chinese smartphone company Huawei into the spotlight. But Meng, the Huawei executive at the center of the controversy, is still very much an unknown for most people.

Not only does Meng occupy a top position at a multibillion-dollar company, but she is also the daughter of Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei. The 46-year-old chief financial officer and deputy chairwoman of the board has risen through the ranks of the company since she joined Huawei in 1993, even as her father has reportedly denied rumors that Meng would eventually take over as CEO of Huawei.

Here's what you need to know about Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou:

Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, and his first wife, Meng Jun. She is one of Ren's two daughters — the second, Annabel Yao, came from Ren's second of three marriages.

Source: South China Morning Post



Meng was born in 1972 in Chengdu, China. Her family moved south in the 1980s to Shenzhen, a city that is now home to Huawei's headquarters.

Source: New York Times



Meng also goes by Cathy or Sabrina, and she took on her mother's maiden name (Meng) at a young age. The 46-year-old, who holds a master's degree in accounting from China's Huazhong University, joined Huawei not long after graduating college.

Source: Bloomberg



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Porsche makes incredible cars — but some of its cupholders are almost useless

Business Insider SAI - Po, 2018-12-10 21:41

  • Porsche's sports cars are known for speed and handling; they aren't known for cupholders.
  • I already knew this, having sampled a 911. Then I borrowed a Boxster.


A few years back, I borrowed a Porsche 911 Targa 4S, and I greatly enjoyed spending a weekend in what I consider to be the perfect car driving from the New Jersey suburbs to Lime Rock Park to watch the IMSA WeatherTech Northeast Grand Prix, in which Porsches were racing.

The 911 is a masterpiece of German automotive engineering. Introduced in 1963, it's been steadily improved for over 50 years. If you want a great sports car, you really need to look no further.

This simple truth is brought home whenever I spend any time with a 911. I like to call it my "drive for your life" car — if I had to drive to stay alive, not knowing what the threats would be, I'd take the 911 without hesitation.

But there's a place where five decades of German know-how really comes into play: the 911's cupholders.

Before you read on, I should inform you that, more recently, I enjoyed a 911 sibling, the Boxster GTS. And again I witnessed the kind of cupholders Porsche puts in sports cars. You can probably tell where I'm heading with this. Who cares about the cupholders? It's a Porsche, for Pete's sake!

Well, somebody with a beverage cares. Read on to find out why.

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SEE ALSO: The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is one of the oddest and most memorable cars we've ever driven

Who wants cupholders in the usual spot, like between the seats?

On the 911, It's much better to have them stowed in a slot above the glove compartment!

They swing out and can be adjusted to hold cans, bottles, cups of assorted sizes.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How Doug Engelbart pulled off the Mother of all Demos

OS News - Po, 2018-12-10 21:17
Doug Engelbart was the first to actually build a computer that might seem familiar to us, today. He came to Silicon Valley after a stint in the Navy as a radar technician during World War II. Engelbart was, in his own estimation, a "naive drifter", but something about the Valley inspired him to think big. Engelbart's idea was that computers of the future should be optimized for human needs - communication and collaboration. Computers, he reasoned, should have keyboards and screens instead of punch cards and printouts. They should augment rather than replace the human intellect. And so he pulled a team together and built a working prototype: the oN‑Line System. Unlike earlier efforts, the NLS wasn't a military supercalculator. It was a general‑purpose tool designed to help knowledge workers perform better and faster, and that was a controversial idea. Letting non-engineers interact directly with a computer was seen as harebrained, utopian - subversive, even. And then people saw the demo.

Engelbart is one of the greatest visionaries of this industry.