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Late Oracle CEO Mark Hurd once told us the challenges he faced turning around the company and how he dealt with the pushback

Business Insider SAI - 3 hodiny 10 min zpět

  • Oracle CEO Mark Hurd died on October 18, 2019, at the age of 62.
  • Earlier this year, he spoke about his leadership style and strategy at the tech company in an episode of Business Insider's podcast "This Is Success."
  • Hurd joined as president in 2010 and soon began an overhaul of the company's sales team to prepare for an industrywide shift to cloud software. He said he faced a lot of pushback after making that call.
  • The experience taught him that the most difficult leadership challenge is getting people to change for future trends and long-term value when they're already comfortable and things are going well.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd died on October 18, 2019, after taking a leave of absence for health reasons in September. Earlier this year, Business Insider had a chance to sit down with him for an episode of our podcast, "This Is Success." We used the opportunity to discuss his career, with a focus on how his time at Oracle was marked by transformation during a time of upheaval in the IT industry. He explained how he knew it was the right decision to stick to his plan, even in the face of pushback. The following is our story, originally published on April 5.

When Mark Hurd started at Oracle in 2010, he turned the place upside down. Hurd was anticipating a big shift in the industry, and he wanted to change how Oracle built and sold its software.

The changes he made were dramatic. Hundreds of Oracle sales staff members left the company in his first few years on the job, and Hurd was criticized by industry analysts.

But he stuck to his plan. After about six years, the public's perception of that plan started to shift, as hiring and sales ramped up. The company still has a ways to go, as it struggles to catch up to rivals in the cloud software business. But Hurd saw that Oracle, an established company, had to reinvent itself to stay competitive, even when this seemed like a terrible idea.

We spoke with Hurd earlier this year for an episode of Business Insider's podcast "This Is Success" and took a closer look at his first years at Oracle. Hurd explained what it was like initiating a massive culture shift at the company and how his plan continues to unfurl.

In the episode, you'll hear from Hurd about how he's approaching the challenges of developing his cloud business and onboarding waves of new talent — and how his success at Oracle started with a career comeback.

The podcast and a lightly edited transcript are below.

Listen to the full episode, which was produced by Sarah Wyman and Jennifer Sigl, here: 

Subscribe to "This is Success" on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or your favorite podcast app. Check out previous episodes with:

Hurd got the job at Oracle weeks after leaving Hewlett-Packard, where he'd been CEO for five years. The 2010 departure was difficult for him. Even today, it's not something he feels comfortable talking about. Hurd was forced to resign after a public dispute with HP's board over his expense account and a personal relationship. He stepped down that August.

Richard Feloni: How did you feel at the time, given the circumstances, of the departure at HP? Were you angry at all with the situation?

Mark Hurd: No. I liked HP. I liked the company, I liked the people of the company, etc. I had a disagreement with a couple of board members, but that's not HP. If you looked at our financial performance at the time, it was quite positive.

Larry Ellison, who built Oracle and had led it since 1977, came to Hurd's defense. He and Hurd had worked closely while Hurd led HP, and Ellison thought the company made a huge mistake in letting him go. Ellison didn't wait for the situation to blow over, hiring Hurd as Oracle's president a month after Hurd was ousted from HP.

Feloni: So when did he approach you for the Oracle job?

Hurd: We had several meetings about it face-to-face and talked about the industry, the role that Oracle could play within it, the role that I could do in helping Oracle from a strategic perspective. And so we had all of those dialogues as we talked about it.

Oracle makes software that companies around the world use for everyday operations. When Hurd joined the company, the industry was in the early days of shifting to "the cloud." All that means is that the software your head of human resources would use, for example, could be accessed online, from anywhere, rather than installed on a single computer. It's simple in practice but requires major shifts in operations.

Hurd: Well, of course, at the time it was really just the beginnings of all this movement to the cloud, and the implication on Oracle was that we had to change many of the things we were doing, both in R&D and in the go-to-market part of our business. Part of the attraction, of course, is the complexity of all that.

It's one thing when you go to a company that's struggling, and you say, "We've got to change." Most everybody acknowledges that and says, "Gee, I see the results, I see the performance. We have to do something different." It's a very other thing when you go to a company that's winning. And here's a company in Oracle that's winning, that's got tremendous market presence, tremendous brand, and then you say, in the middle of all that, "We've got to change."

The first question that comes up from a lot of people is, well, why would that be? And so then when you have to describe that there's a coming change in the industry it's probably — not probably: I think it's the most difficult leadership challenge that you have is to take a group of people winning and then convince them it's necessary to change. Because there's resistance more than you're typically used to.

Feloni: So this idea of "let's transform even though we're winning and people are comfortable doing things these ways," did that stem from Larry, or was that how you read the situation?

Hurd: We spent a lot of time talking about the industry, because this change was coming, but it was at its very infancy at the time. I think one of the blessings you have with somebody like Larry — and when I say "somebody like," there's not many to compare, frankly, if any, certainly in the enterprise space — is that you have somebody who is a big owner in the company, the biggest owner of the company, that thinks a bit more generationally, certainly than quarterly.

I think if we didn't mutually agree on the need for change, it would never work. It's not like we agree on everything, but the great thing about Larry, amongst many, is that you have a lot of debate. I can't tell you how many times he said, "Yeah, you're right, let's do what you said." And, by the way, the same way for me. We compare notes a lot, talk about a lot, and agree on certainly materially more than we don't. But if it wasn't mutual, it wouldn't work.

Feloni: Your first day as president, your first several days, what did you see at the company that made you think, OK, we're going to have to completely transform the way sales are done here?

Hurd: I think Oracle historically has been thought of as perhaps the greatest sales force in the IT industry, and I wouldn't try to persuade you differently.

Now, all that said, our industry, holistically, had matured into a bad space, in my opinion.

Thirty years ago, when Hurd was starting out in the IT industry, companies would hire entry-level employees and groom them to succeed at the company.

Hurd: You would come out of college, and you would go to work at a company, and you would actually get trained by the company. You'd have trainers, enablers, people that would help you, teach you about how to sell, how to listen, how to communicate — all sorts of great skills that frankly I still use today. Training was looked at as an investment, not as an expense, and what happened over the years is that training again became viewed as an expense as opposed to an investment.

And what began happening was all of this mercenary hiring. You'd go to work for this company, and then you'd go to another company, another company, another company, and it was a bit like all the companies putting their bad salespeople in the middle of the table and we'd just swap bad salespeople, with a strategy that your bad salesperson would be great once they came to our place.

Feloni: So you wanted to kind of bring it back to the world that you had started up in?

Hurd: Yeah, and maybe hopefully a little better than that. Because of the nature of the cloud, what now was a technology that could only be bought by the biggest companies would now be available to every company, no matter what scale. You didn't need to have an IT staff. You didn't need to have a data center. You could just now get all of this great intellectual property basically over the internet.

As a result of that, the need to grow our sales force became very important.

Feloni: Was this essentially for Oracle to survive in this new setting?

Hurd: I'd actually say to thrive. And so it wasn't like we had a problem, you know, if we dial all the way back to 2010, that we had a cash flow problem or we weren't about to make payroll or anything. Again, we were a very successful company saying, in the middle of that success, let's change —

Feloni: You were looking ahead of it.

Hurd: Yeah. So how's this market going to work five years from now?

The cloud was about to revolutionize how the IT industry did business. The product was changing. The customers were changing. And that meant the salespeople had to change too.

Hurd: I would say my view's always been that the more focused you can make a salesperson — meaning the more I can get them to do the same thing every day — the better chance they have of winning. My view has always been to focus them on knowing their product, knowing their buyer, knowing their industry, and, frankly, knowing their competitor.

So the fact that we can bring people to market that are expert at all of these issues raises their chance of success. Now, if you believe that, and I do, then how you then build a sales force becomes important based on those building blocks.

So for us, for example, if we're selling an application like HR, it would become important, if you were a salesperson, that you knew how to communicate to a head of HR. It would be important that you would know your competitor. It would be important that you could describe that discussion in terms of HR in the context of retail or financial services or one of those industries. So that's how we built our sales force, building block by building block, and then we build them appropriately for the markets, all the way from the biggest customer to the smallest customer. That's how we built it.

While Hurd was starting to roll out cloud software, he was still pushing Oracle's core business technology — the stuff the company had been selling for years. And his goals for those sales were ambitious. To encourage his sales force to meet them, he made their paychecks more dependent on their performance. Skeptical employees complained that it created a more complex and stressful work environment.

Hurd: Building incentives are always important, but frankly, if you're building an org, running a company as a CEO, you work on three core things: strategy, operations, and then people. The incentives piece aligned to the operations piece, and the key to operations is to execute the strategy. So in our case, our strategy was to really move the market to this next generation of applications. And then we wanted to incent our sales force properly to move to these next sets of modern applications, which is what we did.

Feloni: You were saying that you have a team that's winning and you want them to change the way they're doing things, you're going to face some resistance.

Hurd: "Some" might be an understatement.

Hundreds of salespeople left the company during Hurd's first few years, including some of the team's top performers. Hurd insists this did not upset his plan.

Hurd: You know, when you have 35,000 or 40,000 people in your sales org, you will have people that move. But I do think we moved from really a products-offered strategy — which is basically we would sell you a product, you would then implement it, sometimes by yourself or with a systems integrator or something like that — we moved to selling a service. So we're really selling a different thing than we had before.

Now we basically said, "No, you're going to have to sell to the functional buyer. You're going to have to sell to that head of HR or to that CFO." Now you're saying to people, "We're going to change what you sell, and we're going to change who you sell it to." And so a lot of people said, "I just don't want to do that." My view is that that's OK. We need to have people that are excited and passionate. I don't want to make it sound like I was for a lot of dynamism in the sales force, but I wasn't against it either.

Feloni: Do you think that you would have felt as confident making huge changes at the company had you not had that specific relationship with Larry?

Hurd: Oh, assuredly not. Assuredly not. I would have had the same belief structure, but when you have the ability to talk through issues with a) people that are extremely smart, b) people that really care, c) people that have a breadth of experience — this is what most CEOs don't have.

Hurd started hiring new people to help carry out his business plan. He didn't want to poach salespeople from his competitors, as was standard in the industry. Instead, he wanted to hire people new to IT — recent college grads — and get them on board with his new vision for the business.

Hurd: We really moved into this very aggressive college hiring program, because what I really thought made sense was us to hire our own. We went back and, of course, we found there were very few IT companies recruiting on campus, believe it or not. Over 85% of the people we offer a job accept that job. The problem we had back then, though, was that we had no machinery.

Feloni: There's no process for it.

Hurd: Yeah. It's like, well, OK, who's going to do that? OK, well, let's get some people that can go do that.

And we figured out where the schools were. We figured out how to recruit. We figured out how to cut an offer letter. But then when we brought them on board, we had to actually train them. So we had to build a strategy to go get, in the US, the best young people in this country, frankly, to put them in the best facilities, which we didn't have, give them the best tools, which we didn't have, give them the best management, which was new because a lot of this was new management mentoring some of these great young people, and give them the best training.

So when you start saying "best, best, best, best, best," and you start with "I've got nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing," the whole process over the last few years has been get each one of those pillars I described to being the best at what we do and build our sales force from the ground up.

But some Oracle veterans weren't on board with the new training program. Not only did they essentially have to learn how to do a new job, but they had to mentor some kids straight out of college. A former Oracle employee told Business Insider in 2013 that the company was getting a bad reputation among experienced salespeople in the industry. Hurd says it was just a painful but necessary byproduct of change.

Hurd: At the end of the day, I take complete accountability for the strategy that I described. I believe that it was best for our customers and best for Oracle, for us, to make this change. And no question it was dynamic. No question that when you're part of a dynamic change, anytime you make decisions, you get opinions. There are going to be people that say, "I really liked it the way it was," and, listen, I wish that history was a perfect predictor of the future, but it's not. The world we're in, IT, is dynamic, and it changes. It changes every day. And for us, we needed to stay ahead of this, and there's no question the implication of "staying ahead of this" has some element of pain to it.

Feloni: Did you ever question your strategy?

Hurd: No.

Feloni: No.

Hurd: No.

Feloni: What were conversations with Larry like at this point when there was some turmoil?

Hurd: Probably his biggest quotes would be things like "Can you go faster?"

Feloni: So as a leader, how do you know when to take resistance and be like "OK, let me reconsider," or to think that "OK, this is just the pain of change. I don't have to really dwell on this." How do you differentiate that?

Hurd: I think it's hard. I think nobody likes criticism, resistance, no matter what anybody tells you.

That said, I think you have to rely on your experience, your instincts as to where you think the market's headed and what changes are necessary. I've always believed it was the company first.

I believe to the core that a) we had to expand our salesforce, and b) we couldn't do it through the traditional mechanisms in our industry. We simultaneously moved to the mid-market, we moved to college hiring, we built an in-house training program — we did all of these things simultaneously.

And to add to it, when you ask managers who have historically managed very experienced people, and you say, "Hey, I have an idea. We're going to bring some kids right off the college campus. I'd really appreciate if you'd spent some time mentoring them and developing them," it's amazing that they'd say, "I'd rather not do that." It's counter-instinctive to you, but if you had a sales manager and two people working for you — let's pretend your objectives for the year were $10 million, and you had one salesperson who had a $10 million quota and a second salesperson who had just come out of college — who do you think the sales manager spends all their time with? The person with a $10 million quota.

So we had the issues also from a mores perspective, of just mores of the company, of was it important to really develop and mentor these people —

Feloni: Mentorship would be as important.

Hurd: The company I grew up in, it was just an unspoken value in the company that if you could sit around and brag about all the great people you developed in the company who are now in senior positions, this was a merit badge. This was something you wore on your sleeve. There was no stock option for it — it was just a source of pride and a belief this was the way things were to get done. We needed that inside of our company as well. And we still work on it today.

In 2014, Ellison stepped down as head of Oracle and appointed Hurd and Safra Catz as co-CEOs. As far as Hurd was concerned, the new title didn't change anything. His plan was the same.

Feloni: Did that put a new pressure on you, being given this new title?

Hurd: I don't think I would say it changed. I think we felt the pressure to move the company along, to accelerate the company, to add velocity to the execution of the company, and do that in a way where we can deliver today and build for tomorrow. Because remember, that's our challenge, is that we have a very large customer base that expects us to deliver on products in some cases that we built years and years and years ago. And we have to do that. That's our commitment to them.

Hurd spent years defending his plan to his employees, investors, and industry analysts. And by 2017, the skeptics were coming around to his way of thinking. Even veteran salespeople who had been critical of the big changes Hurd was making at Oracle could see that his plan was paying off. One told The Wall Street Journal that his initial response to Hurd's plan had been "What the hell is this?" but that when he saw how much money the new hires made the company, he changed his mind.

When I read Hurd this quote, he brushed it off, just like the criticisms I'd run past him earlier. Of course his plan worked. That … was the plan.

Hurd: I wouldn't give too much credence to the early anecdote you brought up or to any other anecdote, because I think you can find a lot of these as you dig through a large organization. I think the key is that strategically this was right for us. I believe you will see more people actually imitate that strategy. Because it just makes sense.

Feloni: It sounds like you're not concerned about the media coverage picking different anecdotes for what your plan would say, but would it be different if one of your colleagues approached you, or one of your shareholders approached you, whether it was either skepticism in the first place years ago or saying, like, "I'm really happy with how this is playing out"? Would you consider that differently?

Hurd: Well let me be clear: Of course I'd consider it. I remember one investor saying, "You know, I had bought the stock thinking that you were smart," meaning me, the implication being that they'd flipped their point of view based on the rise in our expense structure. The point that I would make is that in this case we had to invest in order to gain productivity.

Feloni: There's something that I think was interesting. A moment at an Oracle convention in 2016, you had polled the audience about three big industry predictions, which would happen fastest. Forty-two percent said that none of these will ever happen. You joked about it, but is that, like, a recurring thing — where, like, you're met maybe with some skepticism from employees at first and then you have to convince them along the way?

Hurd: What I do frequently at our user conference is I make predictions about the industry. I do them for a couple purposes. One, they're funny, and people have various reactions to them. Second, I try to explain to customers why we're investing the way we are — in particular, products and R&D — because of the secular trends that we see occurring in the industry. For example, we see data centers, corporate data centers, really going away. We see applications that are traditionally on-premise all moving to the cloud.

So we typically make these predictions, and then also we use them internally to show why we're making the adjustments we're making in the various things we do, strategically and operationally. So yeah, I would usually test my predictions on our own workforce, and then you get various reactions like "This is crazy," or "Really, is this going to happen?" It opens up debate, and it's fun.

Feloni: We've been talking about an example where you took something that was really ambitious and it met with some resistance, people even leaving the company — would this be something that you would be willing to do all over again with a new plan?

Hurd: If necessary, yeah. I think that we feel good about strategically where Oracle sits today. We feel good about the changes we've made. I'm not here to tell you that everything we've done we've done perfectly, but I am here to tell you that we feel very good about the decisions we've made, the investments we've made. We've continued to make changes where necessary, maybe at a lesser scale, within the context of a product or a solution or various other parts of the company. We would always be dynamic in that nature.

Feloni: And looking at it, do you think that maybe there could have been a different way to communicate that to staff to maybe keep some of those veteran hires from leaving?

Hurd: I'm not sure that's the approach you would want to take. I think that a leader's job is to describe: "This is where we're headed. This is where we are. This is the journey to get from here to there. These are now the resources we're going to apply to get from here to there."

I tried to do some explaining of things like training and changes in our compensation, our incentives, our management, etc. There are people who say, "Listen, I'm just not up for that." You're talking about things that are going to require work and change. Some people are up for it, and some people are not. I think if you don't have passion and you're not excited about the task at hand, the likelihood that you'd have as much success as you're having is very unlikely.

You know, I think we want people that are excited about the mission, and I don't really enjoy saying this, but some of that is necessary to get from here to there.

Feloni: So if you have an ambitious plan and some people aren't signed on to it, that's OK?

Hurd: You know, you hate to say it that way, because it feels like it's a non-empathetic answer, but the answer is yes. When you say, "Listen, we're going move from here to there," not everybody is going to like it, and as a result, if somebody wants to opt out because they don't like it, in the end, I do think that's OK.

Feloni: Looking at the last eight years or so at Oracle, how would you say that your leadership style has changed over that time, if it has?

Hurd: I don't change my view. You need to lead from in front. And to me, for us, that's with our customers and with our people. And so that's still my primary view, that communicating to our customers, communicating to our people, is important.

I still believe the role of leading these companies is about strategy. It is about aligning the operations to the execution of the strategy and then really surrounding the company with the best possible people.

You know, we're all faced with, in any of these jobs, making hundreds and thousands of decisions every day — doesn't mean that you're going to get them all right. I have confidence enough though in the process that if I make a decision, I'm willing to listen if I've made a bad decision. Let's review it and do it again.

You asked a simple question to begin with: Do I feel confident in the strategy of Oracle? I do.

Feloni: Well, thank you, Mark.

Hurd: Thank you.

SEE ALSO: The US CEO of Siemens got told all the time that she wasn’t 'executive material,' and it taught her the most important leadership lesson of her career

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I always compare the Tesla Model 3 to the Toyota Corolla. This is how they actually stack up. (TSLA)

Business Insider SAI - 3 hodiny 29 min zpět

  • I often compare the Tesla Model 3 to the Toyota Corolla in terms of basics: both vehicles are compact sedans.
  • I've driven several Model 3s. Recently, after reviewing a new Toyota Corolla, I decided to put my comparison to the test.
  • The Model 3 is a more compelling and important car — full of ideas, with a revolutionary attitude.
  • But after decades in the US market, the Corolla is still always just there for you. That counts for a lot in my book.
  • Also, Tesla never stops talking about how hard it is to make the Model 3. Toyota, meanwhile, has been quietly cranking out Corollas since the late 1960s.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Whenever I generalize about Tesla and the Model 3, I often point out that although the vehicle is in many ways revolutionary, if you boil it down to its automotive essence — and take out the battery pack and electric drivetrain! — it's a Toyota Corolla.

In other words, a compact family sedan. The Model 3 and the Corolla are almost exactly the same size, while the Model 3 is significantly heavier thanks to its fairly large battery. They each have four doors, six windows, and four wheels (the Model 3, of course, has a panoramic glass roof. 

The fastback Model 3 and the more traditional deck-lidded Corolla are also kin when it comes to the trunk: because the aforementioned panoramic glass roof can't move, the Model 3 isn't a true hatchback.

Obviously, we have gas versus electrons here. But the cheapest Corolla comes in at under $20,ooo. The least expensive Model 3, as listed on Tesla's configurator at the time of this writing, is just under $40,000.

I've driven several different Model 3 variants, but the one I officially reviewed was the rear-wheel-drive, single motor, Long Range Premium example, then priced at $57,500.

More recently, I reviewed a 2020 $29,189 Toyota Corolla XSE. And an opportunity knocked: Why don't I test out my compulsive comparison of Corolla and Model 3, to determine if I actually have a point?

A quick note before we get started: YES, I KNOW THESE ARE VERY DIFFERENT CARS CONCEPTUALLY. But formally they aren't so divergent. You could electrify the Corolla or gasify the Model 3 and have something of an interchangeable experience.

Read on to see how it went down.

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Tesla doesn't do model years, but the $57,500 Long Range Premium I tested was more or less a 2019. It had a 75-kilowatt-hour battery pack and could travel 310 miles on a single charge.

Read the review.

The 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE, arrived in "Celestite Gray Metallic" livery. "Celestite," for the record, is a mineral that's admired for its delicate blue color

Read the review.

Let's start with the Model 3, which had a cool red multicoat paint job. My tester was fully loaded with options, including about $5,000 worth of Premium upgrades, plus another $5,000 for Enhanced Autopilot semi-self-driving systems.

The Model 3 is a sharp-looking set of wheels, but it's hardly anything radical. This is by design: Tesla has never sought to make its vehicles come off as too space-age. The Model 3 is sleek, not overly curvaceous, and something of a hybrid of midsize and compact sedan. No grille because ... there's no gas engine to feed air!

The Model 3 in this configuration can dash from zero to 60 mph in about five seconds. That's speedy enough for anybody, and the quality of that speed is very Tesla and very electric-car. EVs have 100% of their available torque at 1 rpm, which means potentially neck-snapping velocity.

A Model S P100D with Ludicrous Mode engaged can do zero to 60 mph in under 2.3 seconds. That's jarring acceleration. The Model 3 is calmer. But not too calm. You are rewarded when you punch it.

The Model 3 also has regenerative braking, which can be customized to be heavy or light. Heavy acts almost like an engine brake and permits the driver to actively brake much less frequently than with a gas vehicle, while recharging the battery. Light mitigates the sense that the Model 3 is tugging when coasting.

For what it's worth, the Model 3 I tested lacked a Ludicrous or Insane mode — the default is quick acceleration. But you can switch that to Chill Mode, which dials it back. And I did. Chill is considerably easier to live with.

So the biggest obvious difference between the Model 3 and the Corolla is that the Model 3 has to be recharged.

Free supercharging for life used to be a great perk of Tesla ownership. But as ownership has grown, Tesla has adjusted the deal.

The company also discourages owners from using Superchargers for casual daily fill-ups, preferring they plug into slower charging options at home and save supercharging for longer trips.

A Supercharger will recharge a Model 3 Long Range from zero to full in about an hour. Using 240-volt power will get the job done overnight, and a basic wall outlet will get you a mile an hour in a pinch.

The 15-cubic-foot trunk can easily swallow a week's worth of groceries ...

... while the smaller front trunk or "frunk" adds enough extra space to give the Model 3 crossover SUV-like cargo capacity.

The Model 3's interior is a study in minimalism. The steering wheel has a just a pair of thumbwheels to control various functions.

The black-upholstered cabin featured brushed-metal trim and a single piece of open-grain wood for a dashboard. Tesla makes its own seats, by the way, and they're rather comfy.

In the rear, pretty terrific legroom!

The panoramic glass roof is a wonderful feature. Sadly, while I had the Model to test, the weather was uncooperative.

The Model 3's attention-getting center touchscreen controls almost all vehicle functions — everything from navigation to Autopilot settings to climate to unlocking Easter eggs — and the important instrument-cluster display take up the left third of the panel.

The audio system is Tesla's creation — and it sounds fantastic! Some reviewers have complained about the lack of physical controls for the AC and heat, but I got used to the touchscreen pretty fast.

The navigation system can guide you to charging stations, track charge levels to plot a course and organizing recharging sessions, and integrate with Autopilot for the Navigate on Autopilot feature, which I reviewed on another Model 3.

I've tested Autopilot in several Tesla vehicles, including the Model 3, and while it has performed as advertised for me (Don't ever take your hands off the wheel!), I liked driving the Model 3 so much that I barely used it.

The Corolla isn't a cool-looking as the Model 3, but the 12th-generation design is perhaps my favorite in decades.

Alongside the Camry, Toyota's stalwart midsize sedan, the Corolla has been jazzed-up, design-wise. The 12th generation car debuted for the 2018 model year and brought much more slashing, aggressive lines to styling that to many eyes had grown staid.

Toyota has been selling the Corolla in the US since 1968. It's been around almost as long as the Ford Mustang (1965)! The Corolla's most recent US sales peak was 2007, when over 370,000 units were sold. Last year, that number was a still-impressive 280,000.

The base Corolla starts at just under $20,000. Our tester was the top-level XSE trim, priced at $25,450 before the addition of a few thousand dollars in extras took the sticker to $29,189.

A rock-solid, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine — with no turbocharger! It makes a 169 horsepower with 151 pound-feet of torque. The fuel economy is fabulous! A whopping 31 mpg city/38 highway/34 combined. I drove the car a lot and barely dented the fuel supply.

The power it piped to the front wheels through a CVT transmission, which helps with the sterling MPGs.

For the record, the Model 3 bests the Corolla's 0-to-60 by a wide margin: the Toyota makes the dash in a leisurely 7.8 seconds.

The Corolla's trunk has 13 cubic feet of cargo space. That's average for the segment, but the Model 3 can haul more stuff.

Toyotas aren't noted for premium interiors — that's more Lexus, Toyota's luxury brand. However, the Corolla XSE was, I thought, rather nice. The seats were predictably comfy, yet not too soft, with good bolstering. And the plastics weren't too plastick-y.

Rear-seat legroom was segment-typical, and my tester had a moonroof to brighten things up.

The leather-wrapped steering wheel was adorned with the usual bevy of buttons, to control numerous vehicle and infotainment functions. The gauges were old-school analog. This trim level has paddle shifters, but they were sort of useless, given the CVT transmission.

The infotainment system runs off an eight-inch central touchscreen. I'm not a huge fan of the setup, and I say this as the owner of two Toyota vehicles. It does, however, get the job done.

Bluetooth device pairing is easy and there are USB ports for your devices. Navigation worked as advertised, and the nine-speaker JBL audio system sounded quite good.

The system also has Apple CarPlay available, so you can override the Toyota setup and use your iPhone.

My tester also had wireless charging, a feature that I've come to appreciate as it's shown up on more and more new vehicles.

My verdict on the Toyota Corolla?

The bottom line here is that the Corolla is a terrific choice — and a classic no-brainer if you don't want to think about your set of wheels. Legendary Toyota reliability means that a Corolla is unlikely to give you many problems, if any. The latest generation is also premium enough in the upmarket (yet still sub-$30,000) trim to make a strong case for buyers who aren't in their twenties and who don't feel the need to look at Audis and BMWs.

That's what the Corolla has going for it: credibility. This car has a splendid reputation. And that's always worth investing in.

And what about the Model 3?

What's really so hypnotically and addictively compelling about the Model 3 is how many great ideas have been crammed into one automobile. This is a car that's absolutely bursting with thought, about the present and the future — and the distant future. Those ideas are overwhelmingly optimistic. Clearly, because it creates no tailpipe emissions, you can buy a Model 3 to feel better about yourself and your life on the environmentally embattled Earth.

The Model 3 is one of the greatest cars I've ever driven. Period.

Expecting me to pick a winner? Well then ...

In the interest of full disclosure, I own two Toyotas and had a Corolla for a while back in the 1990s. That means I'm a tad biased, although I've always been pretty clear on how generally brilliant I think Teslas are.

I mean, I'd get the Corolla and use the extra $20-30,000 to do something else. I'd also be able to gas up in five minutes once a week instead of waiting around for hours to recharge the Model 3 (most owners do it overnight at their home setups, by the way).

But what about my original question: Is it fair to keep comparing the Model 3 with the Corolla?

It sure is! In terms of driving and daily usage, these vehicles are the same. Yeah, yeah, the Model 3 can sort of drive itself and has a lot more in terms of technological bells and whistles. But at the end of the day, it's a four-door with four wheels. 

This is where the distinction comes in. Toyota sells its four-door with four wheels for much less than Tesla sells its four-door with four wheels. Toyota has never, in my experience, made any noise about how difficult it is to manufacture its inexpensive and staggeringly reliably four-door with four wheels. The car just happens. It's been here and on sale since Nixon was president. 

The part of me that adores the Corolla is the part of me that wants to have a life and not think about my car (that part of me isn't the professional auto journalist part of me). The Model 3 demands mindshare, bandwidth. It's pleasurable to think about the car. But pleasure can get old. 

The Corolla doesn't ask this of you. And you can bet on one thing: it won't have any trouble getting old while you ignore it.

Brands are stuck paying for declining audiences for sports. They need to figure out a way into games like Fortnite.

Business Insider SAI - 3 hodiny 35 min zpět

  • Recently, Fortnite shut down completely for a day and a half, only to return with a much awaited reboot — or "Chapter 2."
  • Mike Shields, the former advertising editor for Business Insider who is now CEO of Shields Strategic Consulting, argues that this kind of publicity is perfect for brands and advertisers.
  • That said, he also suggests that breaking into gaming is a tricky business — and experts say it has to be done with caution.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

There were two momentous events recently in my household.

The Yankees have been knocking on the door of their first World Series in a decade, holding my wife hostage from her usual TV binging. 

Also, Fortnite shut down completely for a day, only to return with a much awaited reboot — or "Chapter 2."

You can guess which event my three sons were buzzing about at school and talking about incessantly at home. Which got me thinking: You have the Major League Baseball playoffs, supposedly featuring one of its marquee teams, pulling in about five million live viewers a night on the obscure FS1 — and most of those viewers are not young.

And then you had Fortnite Chapter 2, a veritable Super Bowl of gaming, being served up to potentially 250 million players across the globe. The incredibly popular game, which lets players try and survive a "Hunger Games"-esque battle on a storm ridden island, literally shut down last Monday for a day and a half. After staring at a black hole on screen for hours, players were suddenly invited to Fortnite Chapter 2, essentially a whole new version of the game.

It's hard to ignore Fortnite's potential audience of 250 million

Did all 250 million registered Fortnite players jump in on day one? Surely not. But the audience for the rollout this week has undoubtedly been enormous.

Of course, these two "events" are incredibly different in myriad ways. A big one stands out: The MLB games were loaded with ads. Fortnite 2: none.

It's fair to ask, so? Gaming and live televised sports are completely different animals. In this case, it's not apples and oranges, it's apple pie and virtual hand grenades.

And of course, as big at Fortnite is, live sports still generate outrageous rights fees from media companies, along with a still incredibly healthy ad business. You might even say that sports — particularly the NFL — are propping up the network TV model. All is true.

Yet in watching these MLB games religiously, I thought about how I'd be worried if I was a big ad executive. I can barely beg my three sons to watch five minutes of these Yankees-Astros games. All they want to do is steal my phone and start shooting and flossing.

Fortnite is well suited to young people's short attention spans. Baseball, not so much.

To be fair, my kids are fairly young, and may very well grow into Yankee obsessives. But I'm less certain than ever. The games are typified by dozens of pitching changes and strikeouts and mound visits and endless ad breaks. Game two of the Yankees-Astros was super dramatic — and also ended at 1 a.m. on a weekday.

"There is a reason that sports leagues are embracing gambling and fantasy," said Rich Greenfield, partner at LightShed Partners. "It's hard to ask a young person to sit for three or four hours and just watch."

I get it. Baseball is something you grow into. My kids are young. No gambling just yet. 

And other sports are doing fine on TV. Still, if I'm a marketer relying on this audience, I'm seeing younger people only get more distracted.

Which brings me back to Fortnite. Fans of the game are not the least bit distracted when they play. They're fixated. It's that kind of concentrated obsession brands will kill 99 people on an island to obtain.

And remember, unlike, say, a new Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty release, Fortnite is free to play. You can buy loads of stuff — the company reportedly pulled in $2.5 billion last year in virtual goods and currency. But millions just play for hours and spend no money.

What kind of cash could maker Epic Games have pulled in if it had run just one or two pre-roll ads prior to the Fortnite Chapter 2 release? What kind of "rating" would that have translated to? It's hard to gauge how big the Day 1 audience was since it's non-linear and non-Nielsen rated (though the Twitch traffic alone is eye-opening).

Trying just a few ads would be a unique opportunity to help train these freeloading gamers that a few video ads are now part of the deal.

For brands, they'd be building a new high-reach vehicle overnight.

To be sure, there's real risk in any ad overture to gamers who are a vocal bunch, known for their love of ad blockers. A bunch of in-game ad companies came and went roughly a decade ago, in part because they couldn't get their models right.

Media veteran Patrick Keane, CEO of the Action Network, said that in-game advertising "feels untapped" but requires caution for gaming companies.

"The battle for consumer attention at any age is getting unrelenting," he said. "Advertisers must determine how to creatively message users in video games, full stop. But they have to ask, 'How can it be non-interruptive and add value to the games?'" 

It would be interesting to find out just how interruptive a brand could be. Or could Coke or Pepsi or McDonald's just give every Fortnite player a new outfit or weapon just for watching a 15-second ad?

Given what is happening with formerly old reliables like broadcast networks and traditional sports, marketers need some way to generate big reach.

"It's not just about sports," said Greenfield.  "Every brand is having this existential crisis: 'How do I reach my consumers?' The most compelling content is increasingly cut off."

SEE ALSO: The digital ad business can't police itself. It's time to let the feds do it.

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NOW WATCH: The top CMOs in the world share the campaigns they wish they had thought of

Motorola is hinting that it will reveal a foldable smartphone version of the iconic Razr in less than a month

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 50 sek zpět

Motorola is sending out invitations to a November 13 event where the company will reveal a "reinvented icon."

There's no absolute confirmation, but there's also little doubt — it's going to be the revamped foldable smartphone version of the iconic Motorola Razr, the ultra-thin flip phone that turned heads in the mid-'00s. 

A GIF sent by Motorola even shows the original Razr's hinge being peeled away to reveal what appears to be the hinge of the new upcoming device. 

Motorola had already confirmed earlier this year that it was making a foldable smartphone, and patents and rumors all pointed to an iconic Razr-like design.

The original Razr phone was already foldable, but rumors are suggesting that nearly the whole interior of the phone will be a display with this modern refresh.

Leaked specs from XDA-Developers and a Wall Street Journal report suggest that the revamped Motorola Razr will have a $1,500 price tag, but it'll come with mid-range specs, such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 chip.

Either way, it's less than a month until Motorola makes the announcement, where we'll get all the details and photos we can possibly gather and share. 

SEE ALSO: The Pixel's camera is already the best in the business, but Google added 6 new features and improvements to the Pixel 4 to make it even better

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NOW WATCH: Amazon is reportedly seeking a new space in New York City. Here's why the giant canceled its HQ2 plans 5 months ago.

Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren slammed Mark Zuckerberg for his remarks on free speech and said Facebook is spreading lies that could impact the 2020 election (FB)

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 1 min zpět

  • Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden are sounding off on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg following Zuckerberg's speech on freedom of expression at Georgetown University on Thursday.
  • During the 35-minute address, Zuckerberg described Facebook's approach to protecting free speech on the social media platform, which includes allowing paid political advertisements with misinformation. 
  • Biden's campaign accused Zuckerberg of "feigned concern" for free speech and said Facebook is attempting to use the US Constitution as a shield to protect the company's revenue.
  • Warren said Facebook is accepting millions of dollars for ads with misinformation, which could have an impact on the 2020 presidential election.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's comments on freedom of expression and Facebook's approach to protecting free speech have sparked an intense response from two of the front-running Democratic presidential candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Speaking to a live audience at Georgetown University on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended Facebook's role in providing a voice to more than 2 billion people of around the world. While he admitted that some types of misinformation can do harm, Zuckerberg said that Facebook and other tech companies shouldn't be the ones to decide what information is true.

"While I worry about an erosion of truth, I don't think most people want to live in a world where you can only post things that tech companies judge to be 100% true," Zuckerberg said.

Read more: Facebook's billionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed threats to free speech in a rare public address on Thursday

Warren has been one of Facebook's most frequent critics, and has repeatedly called for the tech company to be dismantled. Following Zuckerberg's comments at Georgetown, Warren said the speech showed how little Facebook's CEO had learned in the years since the 2016 election, when Russian agents intentionally used the social media platform to influence American voters with fake accounts and misinformation.

Facebook is actively helping Trump spread lies and misinformation. Facebook already helped elect Donald Trump once. They might do it again—and profit off of it.

— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 18, 2019

Warren said that Facebook's decision to allow paid advertisements with misleading and false information could ultimately influence the 2020 presidential election as well.

Earlier this month Facebook confirmed that paid political ads are ineligible for third-party fact-checking. Other types of ads that include misinformation are not allowed on the social media platform.

Facebook reports that President Donald Trump's re-election campaign spent more than $1.6 million on Facebook ads from September 25 to October 1, according to Facebook's ads library (comparatively, Elizabeth Warren spent $285,000 and Biden spent $122,000 in the same period).

In an email sent to Business Insider minutes after Zuckerberg's speech concluded, a Biden campaign spokesperson said Zuckerberg had "feigned concern for free expression" in an attempt to protect Facebook's business interests.

"Facebook has chosen to sell Americans' personal data to politicians looking to target them with disproven lies and conspiracy theories, crowding out the voices of working Americans," Bill Russo, the Biden campaign's deputy communications director, said in the statement. "Zuckerberg attempted to use the Constitution as a shield for his company's bottom line, and his choice to cloak Facebook's policy in a feigned concern for free expression demonstrates how unprepared his company is for this unique moment in our history and how little it has learned over the past few years."

Facebook did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on Warren's and Biden's remarks. 

The role of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms in American politics has been a core issue of the Democratic primary campaigns. While Warren and Biden remain critical of Facebook, there's no questioning the platform's ability to reach and influence tens of millions of Americans.

SEE ALSO: Facebook confirms Donald Trump can lie in ads, but he can't curse

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NOW WATCH: Amazon is reportedly seeking a new space in New York City. Here's why the giant canceled its HQ2 plans 5 months ago.

How to appear offline on an Xbox One, and adjust who can see your online status

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 2 min zpět

Social interaction has always been a part of gaming, and it's arguably the biggest appeal of online gaming. 

But sometimes, whether you're invested in a single-player game or just aren't in the mood for multiplayer, you might not want others to know that you're online. 

Fortunately, the Xbox One's privacy settings allow you to control who can see when you're online. Here's what you need to know to do it. 

Check out the products mentioned in this article: Xbox One S (From $249.99 at Best Buy) How to appear offline on an Xbox One

If you want to make your profile appear offline to everyone, the process is quick and easy.

1. From your Xbox One's Home screen, press the Xbox button on your controller. This will open a menu.

2. Navigate to the far left of the menu to the "Sign in" tab. Select your profile and press the A button.

3. At the bottom of the next menu, there is a dropdown menu under "Appear online." Navigate to the dropdown menu and press A.

4. On the dropdown menu, select "Appear offline" and press A. Your profile should now appear offline to both friends and strangers.

How to appear offline on an Xbox One for everyone except your friends 

If you'd like to hide your online status from people you don't know, but still let your friends know when you're online, you'll need to adjust your security and privacy settings.

1. From your Xbox One's Home screen, press the Xbox button on your controller, and navigate to the "System" tab on the far right of the menu. Select "Settings" and press the A button.

2. On the next menu, in the "Account" tab, there is a button labeled "Privacy & online safety." Navigate to this button and press A. 

3. Select "Xbox Live privacy" and press A.

4. On the next menu, navigate to "View details & customize" and press A.

5. Select "Online status & history" and press A.

6. The next menu has a series of categories and corresponding dropdown menus, with options for "Everybody," "Friends," and "Block." To make your profile's online status visible to your friends, but not others, select "Friends" in the first drop-down menu and press A. 

The rest of the options in the menu allow you to adjust other privacy settings in a similar fashion.


Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

SEE ALSO: 8 affordable Xbox One accessories that'll help you make the most of your console

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NOW WATCH: Steve Jobs left Apple to start a new computer company. His $12-million failure saved Apple.

Logan Paul reveals his plans to become a professional boxer, release a music album, and try out TikTok in the future

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 2 min zpět

  • Logan Paul, one of the most controversial and popular personalities on YouTube, is set to face off in a boxing match next month against KSI, another YouTuber with a massive following.
  • The 24-year-old recently told Business Insider about his training regimen ahead of the fight, and even his aspirations to become a professional boxer.
  • Beyond boxing, Paul shared that he plans to soon release an album of pop music, hasn't ruled out joining TikTok, and is "obsessed with doing as much as I possibly can before I die."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Logan Paul has never shied away from making risky and questionable career moves in the past, so it should come as no surprise the 24-year-old isn't ruling out anything now.

The YouTuber recently told Business Insider about his plans for the future, and not once did he mention the platform where he has over 25 million subscribers. His widespread ambitions seem to stem from a proverbial bucket list item: an obsession "with doing as much as I possibly can before I die," Paul said.

First up is becoming a professional boxer, a feat he says he's already achieved ahead of his boxing match next month against fellow YouTuber KSI. The bout is the second time the two YouTubers will face off, following their match last year, which generated an estimated $11 million in revenue but ended in a draw. Paul says that while he only trained for a few short months before the fight last year, he's wholly more prepared this time.

"They're making a machine out of me," Paul told Business Insider, referencing his trainers. "I'm eating 80 pounds a day. I'm drinking the blood of cows, and I'm pushing a lot of weights in the air and putting them down."

Read more:How Logan Paul went from making videos in his backyard to becoming a 24-year-old millionaire and one of the most controversial stars on YouTube

If there's one thing we can be sure Paul doesn't lack ahead of his fight, it's confidence. Paul has challenged Conor McGregor to a fight on at least two separate occasions, and said in a pre-fight press conference that he would kill KSI (along with some poorly placed disses about abortion).

It's the same amount of confidence that Paul brought to a charity track-and-field tournament he hosted earlier this summer, ahead of which he repeatedly claimed that not only was he the fastest YouTuber, but the fastest person in the entire world. Paul put $100,000 on the line behind his claim — which is, admittedly, a drop in the bucket for a guy who brought in an estimated $14.5 million in a single year. However, Paul didn't live up to his claim: He had to be helped off the track after pulling his hamstring halfway through the 100-meter dash.

However, professional athletics isn't the only direction that Paul sees himself taking in the future. And maybe it's for the best he's looking beyond YouTube: The platform is where Paul has found himself embroiled in controversy the most frequently. It's where he's shared videos of himself Tasering dead rats, and filming a dead body in Japan's "suicide forest." Although he hasn't been kicked off of YouTube, he's had his ad revenue suspended there, and hasn't been allowed at VidCon — the biggest convention for online video and online creators — since he incited a mob at the event in 2017.

But YouTube wasn't the first platform that Paul found success on, and it may not be the last. Paul was a star on Vine back when he was a Midwestern high-school student, and he had 9.4 million followers on it before the video-looping app shut down in 2017. His early success led him to drop out of college — where he studied industrial engineering — to pursue his career in entertainment.

Just as the entertainment world has shifted from Vine to YouTube, it's now shifting again. 2019 has been the year of TikTok, and Paul told Business Insider he hasn't ruled out exploring the Generation Z-loved platform. (Paul does have a TikTok account, but he hasn't posted to it since before the app merged with Musical.ly in August 2018.)

"I'll make some TikToks, who knows?" Paul said.

Aside from his upcoming boxing match, Paul told Business Insider he's planning to release an album of pop music "soon."

But his time as a self-proclaimed "weird internet star" isn't likely to sunset anytime soon as he continues to vlog his crazy antics and host episodes of his podcast "Impaulsive." Paul and his younger brother, Jake, are two of the most well-known, headline-grabbing online stars: Jake's recent wedding to YouTuber Tana Mongeau was essentially the YouTube world's version of a royal wedding, and questions over the relationship's legitimacy has only added fuel to the drama surrounding it.

Of course, Logan Paul has been a part of the story, and chimed in with comments to add even more questions about whether the marriage is all just a "publicity stunt." But Paul told Business Insider this week that Mongeau is essentially now a part of the Paul family.

"Tana's incredible. She's like a brother to me, but with boobs," Paul said. "She's adjusting like a finely tuned guitar."

Logan Paul will fight head-to-head with KSI on November 9  at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The boxing match will also be livestreamed exclusively on the app DAZN.

SEE ALSO: Jennifer Aniston joined Instagram, broke it, and set a Guinness World Record — all in less than 6 hours

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NOW WATCH: Robots make burgers at this San Francisco start-up backed by Alphabet Inc.

Oracle employees and tech workers mourn CEO Mark Hurd, who died at the age of 62 (ORCL)

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 9 min zpět

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd died on Friday at the age of 62, just over a month after he took a leave of absence from the company to focus on his health.

 Oracle founder and CTO Larry Ellison announced the news in a post on Hurd's personal website.

"Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague. Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle," Ellison wrote. "I know that many of us are inconsolable right now, but we are left with memories and a sense of gratitude…that we had the opportunity to get know Mark, the opportunity to work with him…and become his friend."

Read more: Oracle CEO Mark Hurd has died at the age of 62

Hurd joined Oracle in 2010, and was named co-CEO with Safra Catz after Elison stepped down from the position in 2014. Previously, Hurd served as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, where his tenure ended amid allegations of sexual harassment (though the company found no evidence of wrongdoing, apart from irregularities in his expense reports.)

After news of Hurd's passing broke, Oracle employees immediately took to social media to mourn.

"Saddened at the loss of our leader, Mark Hurd," Ann Rombach, Oracle's principal talent advisor, wrote on Twitter. "He was blissfully unapologetic about his fierce competitive nature, and drive to win."

Saddened at the loss of our leader, Mark Hurd. I'll never forget gathering in the atrium of the Oracle campus and hearing him talk to the Responsys team about coming over to Oracle. He was blissfully unapologetic about his fierce competitive nature, and drive to win. RIP.

— Ann Rombach (@annrombach1) October 18, 2019

Other Oracle employees recounted stories of their experiences interacting with and working alongside him.

Just got word our CEO and leader Mark Hurd passed away, sad day @Oracle, glad I had an opportunity to interact with him during my time here. My thoughts are with his family and extended Oracle family during this time

— bkuhlsf (@bkuhlsf) October 18, 2019

My heart and condolences go out to Mark Hurd and his family. As a member of the @Oracle family, words simply cannot express the sadness that his family, the Oracle family and many around the world are feeling about his loss. #RIPMarkHurd #MarkHurd pic.twitter.com/7CR6fq4zI5

— Greg Jensen (@GregJensen10) October 18, 2019

@MarkHurd He was an amazing leader and a true mentor for my entire first year at Oracle. I will miss him dearly. https://t.co/4VMyfGI03L

— Rob Tarkoff (@rtarkoff) October 18, 2019

Others in the tech industry also took to Twitter to share stories and talk about his legacy in the tech world.

Saddened by the loss of Mark Hurd. He was a self-made success in the industry & presided over mega accomplishments. While we competed vigorously in the market, we enjoyed professional respect. My heartfelt prayers are with Mark’s family on this solemn day.

— Bill McDermott (@BillRMcDermott) October 18, 2019

Incredibly sad news today. Mark Hurd has passed at the age or 62. Mark was always a professional, willing to take on any challenge, and was a real asset to both @Oracle and the tech industry. I always enjoyed our conversations, & he will be missed. R.I.P. https://t.co/KJOFJTeOyA

— Brendan Witcher (@BrendanWitcher) October 18, 2019

What a loss, Mark Hurd of Oracle and Hewlett-Packard has passed. I had the chance to meet and chat with him a bit during my stint at HP. Love to his family and friends. He mattered; I know you know that but it felt right for me to say it ❤️ https://t.co/cg3P3Nk5pM

— Paul O'Brien (@seobrien) October 18, 2019


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Apple surpasses Microsoft as the world's most valuable company (AAPL, MSFT)

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 20 min zpět

  • Apple passed Microsoft on a market-capitalization basis on Friday to take back the crown as the world's most valuable company.
  • The iPhone maker was valued at roughly $1.065 trillion as of 11:20 a.m. ET, edging past Microsoft's $1.063 trillion valuation.
  • Apple's stock has surged in recent weeks as numerous analysts anticipate that iPhone 11 sales will surpass initial estimates.
  • Meanwhile, Microsoft was among those hardest hit by a broad tech-sector sell-off.
  • Watch Apple trade live here.

Apple surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization on Friday morning to retake the throne as the world's most valuable company.

The iPhone maker was valued at about $1.065 trillion as of 11:20 a.m. ET, edging past Microsoft's $1.063 trillion market cap.

Microsoft has held the market-value crown since April 25, when it beat estimates for quarterly earnings and breached the $1 trillion threshold for the first time.

Apple's stock has surged in recent weeks as numerous analysts have predicted better-than-expected iPhone 11 sales. Many firms had anticipated that people would skip out on Apple's latest phone lineup to wait for iPhones released in 2020, rumored to have 5G connectivity.

Further, Microsoft was caught in broad stock sell-off, falling as much as 2.2% on Friday. Apple was largely spared, declining by just 0.4% at its intraday low.

Read more: A self-taught hedge-fund manager who's returned 19%-plus annually to investors since 2012 shares the 3 books that 'put it all together' for him

Interbrand on Friday ranked Apple as the world's most valuable brand name, putting Microsoft in fourth place; Google and Amazon took second and third place. The brand-consultancy firm based its rankings on brand strength, value added to the company by the brand, and plans for the brand.

The report marked Apple's seventh consecutive year in Interbrand's top spot.

Apple became the first US company to break a $1 trillion valuation in August 2018.

Apple traded at $235.37 per share as of 11:55 a.m. ET, up roughly 50% year-to-date.

The tech giant has 25 "buy" ratings, 17 "hold" ratings, and six "sell" ratings from analysts, with a consensus price target of $225.01, according to Bloomberg data.

Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:

Can't afford a $1,780 share of Amazon? Charles Schwab will offer fractional share trading in an effort to attract younger investors

We asked every 2020 Democrat how they would approach a trade war that has shaken the global economy. Only a handful of them had a plan.

Morgan Stanley's big bet on winning over startup unicorn employees is starting to pay off

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How to turn off AMBER alerts on your Samsung Galaxy S10, along with other public safety alerts (though you should keep them on)

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 26 min zpět

  • If you don't want to be disrupted, you can turn off AMBER alerts on a Samsung Galaxy S10 through the Messages app.
  • AMBER alerts are an emergency response system that announces details about child abductions, so citizens can aid in recovery or rescue.
  • By default, when you receive an AMBER alert, your Galaxy S10 will make a loud alarm sound — you can turn this off, alongside a number of other emergency alerts.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

An AMBER alert is a federal emergency response system, which disseminates announcements about child abductions to the general public, so they can potentially aid in recovery or rescue. The alert system, which started in 1996, is named after Amber Hagerman, a nine-year-old child who was abducted in 1996. 

AMBER alerts are traditionally broadcast on TV and radio. Many modern smartphones, however, also have AMBER alert capabilities built in — when an alert is sent out, your phone will ring and give you information about the child and suspected kidnapper. This alert will ring no matter what time of day it is, and sometimes even if your phone is silenced.

AMBER alerts, along with emergency weather and safety alerts, are important, and can contain vital information. But if you don't want to receive these alerts on your Galaxy S10, you can easily disable them.

Check out the products mentioned in this article: Samsung Galaxy S10 (From $899.99 at Best Buy) How to turn off AMBER alerts on the Samsung Galaxy S10

1. Start the Messages app.

2. Tap the three dots to the right of the search button above your messages, and in the dropdown, tap "Settings."

3. Tap "Emergency alert settings."

4. Tap "Emergency alerts."

5. Turn off AMBER alerts by swiping the button to the left. 

While you're here, you can turn off other alerts if you like, such as "Extreme alerts" and "Severe alerts" (both from the National Weather Service), as well as "Public safety" and "Local alerts," which can be about a wide range of emergency and disaster warnings. 

Presidential alerts issued by FEMA are rare, but can't be disabled.  


Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

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NOW WATCH: Steve Jobs left Apple to start a new computer company. His $12-million failure saved Apple.

Read Larry Ellison's email to employees honoring the memory of 'brilliant and beloved' Oracle CEO Mark Hurd

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 27 min zpět

  • Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison honored the memory of the late Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, whose death was announced Friday morning. Hurd was 62.
  • Ellison described Hurd as "a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us."
  • In 2010, Ellison appointed Hurd co-president of Oracle, the company Ellison founded in 1977. When Ellison stepped down as CEO in 2014, he appointed Hurd and Safra Catz as CEOs of Oracle.
  • Hurd had stepped away from his role as CEO last month due to health concerns that were not specified.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison published a statement honoring the memory of Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, whose death was announced Friday morning. Hurd was 62.

The public statement was the same as the email he had sent to the troops Friday morning. 

Ellison, who co-founded Oracle in 1977 and hired Hurd as co-president in 2010, wrote that Hurd was "a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle."

"All of us will miss Mark's keen mind and rare ability to analyze, simplify and solve problems quickly. Some of us will miss his friendship and mentorship. I will miss his kindness and sense of humor," Ellison wrote.

Ellison, who stepped down as CEO of Oracle in 2014, appointed Hurd and Safra Catz as Oracle's CEOs in September 2014. Ellison is currently executive chairman and CTO of Oracle.

Hurd had stepped away from his role as CEO last month due to health concerns that weren't specified. He died early Friday morning.

"Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague," Ellison wrote. "Many of us are inconsolable right now, but we are left with memories and a sense of gratitude…that we had the opportunity to get know Mark, the opportunity to work with him…and become his friend."

Oracle insiders say that the company held an all hands meeting on Friday morning but shared very little information about Hurd's illness, or the company's direction, that wasn't already known. Oracle did not announce any new organizational changes, for instance, since Hurd had already stepped away.

The company did not disclose, for instance, the nature of Hurd's illness. Employees had noticed that he began looking increasingly ill over for many months. He also began uncharacteristically canceling travel and speaking engagements in 2019.

Read Ellison's full statement here.

Are you an Oracle insider with insight to share? Contact Julie Bort on Signal at (970) 430-6112 using a non-work phone, or email at jbort@businessinsider.com. Open DMs on Twitter @Julie188.  You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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iOS 13 lets you share your ETA in Apple Maps with your iPhone contacts — here's how to do it

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 40 min zpět

The ETA feature in Apple Maps for iPhone, a new feature in iOS 13, lets you give your friends a real-time window into your route and location — that way, they don't have to wonder when you will arrive. 

Note that this feature is not available in the Maps app on an iPhone running iOS 12 or earlier. 

Check out the products mentioned in this article: iPhone 11 (From $699.99 at Best Buy) How to share your ETA in Apple Maps on an iPhone

1. Open Maps and find your destination. 

2. If you haven't already started directions to a location, tap the blue "Directions" button. Type in the location address, choose your preferred driving route and tap the green "GO" button to start navigation.

3. While navigating, tap the gray line at the bottom of your screen to reveal menu options, including Share ETA. 

4. Tap the "Share ETA" button. 

5. When you tap the "Share ETA" icon, Maps pulls up your five most recent contacts. Tap any one of those to share your ETA with that person. You can share your ETA with more than one person at a time.

6. If you want to share your ETA with someone who isn't in your five most recent contacts, tap the "Contacts" icon to search for that person. Tap the contact on the list to start sharing.

7. While you have sharing on, you'll see a notice at the bottom of your screen that reminds you that you have sharing on and how many people you have shared with.

8. The icon of each person you're sharing with will have a blue ring around it in the Share ETA screen. To stop sharing with someone, simply tap their icon to end sharing.

There are some limitations on sharing your ETA in Apple's Maps app. You need to be actively using the app for navigation. It also only works for driving directions — walking and transit don't have the ETA option, and Apple doesn't include biking directions. 

Most importantly, you can only share your ETA with people in your contacts list, so be sure to add people to your contacts before you try to share ETA.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

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American Express is following in the footsteps of Brex and Stripe with plans for a corporate card for startups

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 43 min zpět

  • American Express is targeting startups as part of a revamp of its corporate card structure. 
  • Servicing the startup community has become a popular business plan for many companies, several of which are startups in their own right.
  • Brex once identified Amex as one of its key competitors, but Amex doesn't necessarily agree, saying they've been serving startups for years.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

One of the largest issuers of corporate credit cards wants in on a growing industry trend: Servicing startups. 

American Express announced a new corporate card offering specifically for early-stage companies on Thursday. 

The Corporate Program for Startups will offer a line of credit that links dynamically with a startup's business bank account. Amex won't require a personal guarantee from the founder, and there won't be any impact to their personal credit score. Instead, data from the startup's linked business bank account will be used to determine spending power.

The card is currently invite-only, but startups are able to request more information from Amex's website.

"Typically, these are startups that are in or around Series A or B funding and are looking to grow and scale quickly," said Courtney Kelso, senior vice president for commercial card products and consulting at American Express, in emailed comments to Business Insider. "We know from talking to prospects and customers that this product is of interest."

The rise of the startup's startup

The business of catering specifically to startups has grown in recent years. 

From banking services, to work spaces and corporate cards, companies, many of them startups in their own right, are recognizing the opportunity in offering services to new businesses on the rise. 

Many of these fintechs aimed at startup clients are addressing a particular pain point startup founders face: Access to capital. Traditional card issuers are typically reluctant to offer startups a corporate line of credit, and if they do, founders may have to personally guarantee payments or provide security deposits.

Most notably there is Brex, one of Silicon Valley's hottest fintechs. The fintech offers corporate cards to startups without requiring a founder's personal guarantee. Reaching unicorn status in just two years, Brex is valued at $2.6 billion as of its latest funding in June.

Read more: Brex, the $2.6 billion credit card company for startups, explains why it's getting closer to traditional finance with its new Brex Cash bank account product

This month, Brex announced the launch of Brex Cash, an SIPC insured account, marking the fintech's push into traditional banking products.

Last year, Brex told Business Insider that along with Chase, Amex was one of its top competitors. "I'm not sure if they're aware of us. I'm not sure if they're threatened," cofounder Henrique Dubugras said.

Brex' risk model is similar to that of the new Amex product. Brex looks at the cash and equity raised by a startup, as well as the company's spending patterns to determine credit limits. Amex's dynamic spending limits adjust with "business bank account activity, spending and other factors," Kelso said.

Read more: Rho, a digital bank aimed at startups, is launching this month. Its cofounders told us why 'move fast, break things' doesn't work in fintech.

Brex isn't the only startup looking to service its peers. Rho, for one, is a digital bank specifically for startups, which offers a cash-back corporate card in addition to checking accounts with 1% APY.

Stripe, which started as a payments processing startup, recently announced plans to offer loans to its customers. The fintech is valued at $35 billion as of September, provides physical points-of-sale, credit card payments processing, and working capital to startups.

However, Kelso stands by the fact that while a specific product did not exist, early-stage companies were already part of their customer base.

"While we haven't always offered a corporate solution to startups, startups have been using our business and consumer products for years," she said.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Secret passages and skipped meals: Oracle's CEO Mark Hurd gave us a rare peek at what it really takes to run one of the world's most important tech companies

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 48 min zpět

On Friday, October 18, 2016, Oracle founder and chairman Larry Ellison announced that Mark Hurd had passed away at age 62. He had been ill and was forced take a leave of absence from his job as CEO of Oracle last month, a role he shared with CEO Safra Catz.

"Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague," Ellison wrote to the announcement posted on Hurd's personal website. "Mark leaves his beloved wife Paula, two wonderful daughters who were the joy of his life, and his much larger extended family here at Oracle who came to love him."

In 2016, Hurd invited Business Insider's chief tech correspondent, Julie Bort, to spend a day with him watching him work. Bort ran after him during one of his biggest days of the year, when he met with customers, analysts and gave keynote speeches at Oracle's annual, massive tech conference. We are republishing that article, unedited, in its entirety. 

Oracle had $37 billion in revenue that year. It has since grown its top line to $39 billion. 

With $37 billion in annual revenue, Oracle is one of the world's biggest tech companies. And every year, tens of thousands of customers, partners, industry analysts, and journalists descend upon San Francisco for the company's OpenWorld tech conference.

It is a pinnacle week for the company's top execs — its two famous CEOs, Safra Catz and Mark Hurd, and its even more famous founder, Larry Ellison, who stepped down from the CEO role in 2014 to become executive chairman and CTO, though he's still very much the leader of the executive triad.

Oracle invited me to spend a full day shadowing Hurd last week at OpenWorld as he met with customers, analysts, and others on the biggest day of the conference.

During the week, Hurd met with nearly 500 people either in one-on-one meetings or in small groups, answering their questions, solving problems, issuing reassurances, and explaining the company's plans and strategy — all at a surprisingly exhausting pace.

It was a rare close-up look at the hard work a CEO does to run global tech company., "

SEE ALSO: The fabulous life of billionaire Michael Dell, who just completed a $67 billion mega-deal to cement his empire

Our day together started at 8 a.m. at a local Starbucks. Hurd had been up for hours already (since about 4:30 a.m.), working. He always wakes up that early. He warned me to wear comfortable shoes.

See: The truth behind Oracle CEO Mark Hurd's Starbucks addiction

Hurd surprisingly does not travel with an entourage of assistants. He's famous for his memory, and doesn't need a lot of hand-holding on his schedule. This day, it looked as though he had an entourage, but the crowd was mostly a PR representative and me. We were sometimes joined by the top Oracle exec responsible for the whole event and an Oracle exec responsible for a particular roundtable or meeting.

Meeting with customers is clearly one of Hurd's favorite things to do. He was in high spirits, happy and joking with me and others all day. He was funny. He's also a singularly focused guy: sales and operations. He's so oriented toward that, that at one point, I mentioned the singer Adele, and he quipped, "Now that's productivity! She had one bad breakup and she turned it into a dozen songs."

Our first stop was the opening keynote for a special program called Leaders Circle. This is an invitational program for a few hundred Oracle customers, and it's for business people rather than technical folks. Hurd's keynote and Q&A session was the kickoff. The group also heard from Safra Catz and Larry Ellison, and has its own special track of sessions and meet-ups.

Before the Leaders Circle keynote, Hurd spotted his friend Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics, who was also speaking at the show and at the Leaders Circle conference. They chatted before the event kicked off.

One of the funniest moments of the day came early. The room filled with about 150 Leaders Circle participants, and Hurd, ever punctual, started his keynote right on time. He noticed a row of empty seats reserved for Oracle employees and commented on the missing employees. In his best CEO voice, he said: "Don't worry, we'll find them." The room of managers laughed. Shortly after, those seats were dutifully filled. It was actually a packed room.

Hurd gave the crowd a mini version of his major public keynote and then did a Q&A. The keynote included predictions of how cloud computing would eat the world within 10 years. This belief is why Oracle is hurling itself into cloud computing as fast as it can, spending billions to build new data centers, launching new cloud services, converting all of its software into cloud offerings, and pitching it all heavily to its customers.

In all of his keynotes, Hurd gleefully reported that Oracle was the "fastest growing" big cloud player, referring to its revenue growth (not the total dollars of new revenue). It's on track to be a $2 billion business, and most of this is from companies that have never used Oracle's business applications before, Hurd says. Two billion isn't nothing, although it's still a small fraction of the company's $37 billion in revenue.

Hurd has spent the past four years revamping the sales force to sell cloud computing. His big bet: hiring thousands of recent college grads and creating a new training system for them (a program called Class Of). It was a controversial decision at the time and angered some, who worried that he was trying to replace experienced sales pros with lower-paid kids. Today, the Class Of program is working extremely well in bringing entry-level salespeople to Oracle, Hurd tells us. And he's proud of the whole sales team for embracing the program.

However, Oracle's customers, and the tech community at large, are not ready to crown Oracle the cloud leader. During Hurd's main conference keynote, after telling attendees many times that Oracle was the fastest-growing cloud, Hurd did a live poll with the audience. At least one-third of them said they thought Amazon Web Services was the fastest growing. The numbers were still coming in, with AWS hitting 30%, when Oracle pulled this poll off the screen.

Other than that polling question, Hurd was happy with that keynote and somewhat relieved it was over, he told people the next day. It was a complicated thing — live polling combined with videos and on-stage appearances from customers, including a few friendly jokes about Larry Ellison. Executives worry about Murphy's law during their big live presentations.

After the Leaders Circle keynote, we literally ran to the next event: an invitational roundtable breakfast for human-resources execs. Someone has mapped out the shortest routes between each room where Hurd is scheduled to talk, which almost always involves cutting through a back kitchen ...

... or dashing through some secret-passage-like back hallway. (These pictures are blurry because I'm running to catch up. Hurd moves fast, and no one was waiting for me.)

At one point, we were whisked to an event at another venue by hired chauffeured cars. I didn't ride with Hurd; the PR rep and I rode in a second car.

The second roundtable of the day is clearly one of Hurd's favorites: a Q&A with HR execs. Oracle sells a lot of HR software, but this talk — led by Oracle's head of HR, Joyce Westerdahl — was about how Oracle hires, manages, and trains its employees. Hurd lights up when he talks about managing and motivating people. The audience asked a lot of questions, everything from how Oracle handles international hiring to how to keep good people, and he openly answered everything.

Hurd's big advice: Focus on training direct supervisors, especially providing incentives that reward them to nurture all their employees, not just their stars. If employees have a good supervisor, they love their jobs. If they don't, they leave, he says. Oracle's Gretchen Alarcon, who heads Oracle's HR product team, also told the room how Oracle uses its own HR software to track employee satisfaction.

As much as his schedule allowed, Hurd stopped and talked to employees as he saw them, whether they were attending a roundtable talk or manning the booths in the hallways. If you were an Oracle employee in the room with him, he seemed to know about it.

Before each roundtable or keynote, the executive in charge of that meeting would brief Hurd. Just before a Q&A with market research analysts, he talked to the VP of analyst relations, Ricarda Rodatus. She joined Oracle from SAP a couple of years ago. She told him which analysts will be in the room and the questions they are likely to ask. Instead of detailed product questions, this group has become interested in the culture change needed for Oracle to sell and support the cloud, she told him.

Hurd doesn't do much of an introductory spiel for this group. He just takes questions. He's a bit wary of this crowd and tells them so, joking to them that analysts are always a "tough crowd" and that a 50-minute grilling "is exhausting," which gets a big laugh.

In truth, he's feeling good about Oracle's cloud strategy and its growth, and can easily answer their questions about its products, plans, and culture change.

One big surprise for me: CEOs aren't given any time to eat or take bio breaks. At nearly 1 o'clock, with no real breakfast (I grabbed a small muffin at the HR panel), I'm hungry so I sneak a piece of chicken from the analysts' buffet. But that means I'm eating when he finishes his talk ...

... and they all run out of the room immediately to get to the next thing. I was left scrambling to grab my stuff and running to catch up. Hurd has not eaten anything all day. I'm lucky I haven't been drinking too much coffee, so I don't need my own bio break.

The big event on this day is Larry Ellison's keynote. About an hour before it begins, we head backstage where an army of Oracle people are working behind the scenes, such as these people handling the online streaming of the conference. Backstage security is tight. At one point, I fall just a few steps behind Hurd, and two security people stop me. My badge doesn't give me access to backstage. My PR companion has to fetch someone with authority to let me through.

Loads of people are working back here. There's a crew that works on graphics and crews that monitor all the tech ...

... and there's an IT team. Streaming a live keynote to millions of people around the world is no small feat.

There's also a backstage office for executives, their support staff, the marketing team, and a few VIPs.

Food and snacks for the execs are in this room, but Hurd doesn't get a chance to eat right away. People need to talk to him before he heads on stage to introduce the pre-keynote speaker, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka.

All the top Oracle execs have a dedicated space in this room where they can plug in and work if they need to.

Ellison has his own private dressing room next door. It is set up with everything he needs to practice his keynote and his live demos. I never saw him backstage, although I caught a quick glance of Hurd's co-CEO, Safra Catz, as she dashed in and out of the executive offices.

We ran into Sikka backstage before his keynote. Some people are still shocked about how close a partner he is with Oracle these days. He led the development of the HANA database at Oracle's arch competitor, SAP, before taking this CEO job a few years ago. He's known industrywide as a nice guy, and he's friendly with the folks at Oracle, including CMO Judy Sim, who's posing with him here.

I get a sneak peek of the main stage. Here's the view from the stage as people start to filter in. Thousands of people will soon fill this room for Ellison's keynote.

However, some of them prefer to watch it on giant screens set up outside and start to line up out there.

Behind me on stage is the world's largest LCD screen. It's so big and impressive that when Ellison turned around and saw it during his keynote, he said, "Cool! I've got to get one of these for my house." The crowd laughed.

Because I'm with the CEO entourage today, I'm in the reserved seating in the front rows. They even printed a sign with my name.

Backstage, I also have my "own" office where I can plug in and work quietly. I try that for a few minutes ...

... but it's way more fun in the main backstage office, where I can watch the live keynote ...

... and where I run into Oracle luminaries like longtime board member Ray Bingham and Chief Corporate Architect Edward Screven, who reports to Ellison. If Ellison didn't have the title of CTO, Screven probably would. Both of them are very nice and chat with me.

Bingham tells me the story of how Ellison got him to join the board in 2002. In the early 1990s, Bingham worked for Cadence Design Systems. Ellison was on Cadence's board, and the Cadence CEO was on Oracle's board. But after two exhaustive reviews by consultants, Bingham's IT team recommended that Cadence buy SAP's financial ERP software, not Oracle's. Each CEO quit the other's board over it. But Ellison apparently held no grudge — a few years later, he reached out to Bingham to join Oracle's board. Bingham was so impressed by the olive branch that he accepted.

Bingham also tells me this little-known fact about Ellison: Despite his industrywide reputation for being hard-nosed, he never loses his cool, never yells — even during sensitive conversations like executive compensation — and is always calm and respectful.

Screven tells me another little-known fact about Ellison: He's a great listener, even when someone disagrees. As long as the other person's viewpoint is backed up with facts, research and data, Ellison will hear it out. Screven also mentions that Hurd is known around the office for his legendary memory for figures. In meetings, Hurd will rattle off all kinds of relevant stats from months or years ago.

When Ellison's keynote is about to begin, the members of everyone's entourages find seats. Hurd and Catz are in the front row, and they share a quick moment before Ellison comes on stage. Catz once said that the three of them have "so much fun" working together.

Ellison delivers a keynote that is mostly about why Oracle thinks its cloud is better than Amazon's. Amazon has been trying to get Oracle's database customers to dump Oracle and move to Amazon's own database. Ellison's keynote is one big "game on" to Amazon.

See: Larry Ellison says Oracle's new cloud will crush Amazon — but the rest of the world isn't so sure

When the keynote is over, Hurd has more customer meetings. This small roundtable is a group of customers from Latin America, where Oracle's cloud sales are going well. They ask him about Oracle's products and the company's commitment to the region given Brazil's weak economy and the political meltdown in Venezuela. Hurd visits various Latin American countries every few months and assures them of the region's importance to Oracle.

Hurd also tells customers little tidbits of what it's like to run the company. For instance, he and the marketing team were panicked two weeks before the conference when the party headliner, Billy Joel, canceled. Oracle would've had more than 10,000 people at a party with no music. But because Oracle books these stars for multiple shows, they consider Oracle a great customer, and Joel helped Oracle land Sting and Gwen Stefani to replace him. They even agreed to sing a duet.

The afternoon schedule included about 20 minutes of downtime, when Hurd answered my questions. We mostly talked about how he revamped the sales force with the Class Of program.

Stay tuned for more on Hurd's Class Of program, publishing soon.

Then we dash off to a roundtable with Oracle's Global Business Unit customers. These are US customers in various vertical industries like retail and banking. It's after 5 o'clock, and this is a wine-and-cheese thing, but Hurd is talking and neither eats nor drinks.

Robert Weiler, the vice president of GBU, joins Hurd at this meeting. Customers ask them for product roadmaps for specific apps and about options for financing cloud purchases. And — like all the other customers all day — they want assurances that Oracle is really committed to the cloud and wouldn't shut it down if they moved their apps there. Hurd insists that this isn't a "head fake" from Oracle — that Oracle has already spent billions on data centers and on revamping its applications, with more R&D to come.

This roundtable ended at nearly 7 p.m. Hurd went on to more meetings that night, mostly to prep for his next day's schedule. Finally, he had time to eat — a steak dinner with an employee. My day with Hurd ended here. I was plenty tired and hungry myself. Hurd met a total of 496 people in these small, private meetings this week, Oracle tells me. While OpenWorld is the biggest annual Oracle conference, this was a typical day for him. Hurd tells me he does special events like this every few weeks all over the world.

The UK government is considering using facial recognition tech to age-block porn viewers

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 48 min zpět

  • A junior minister in the UK government has said it is considering using facial recognition to verify porn watchers, even though plans for a so-called "porn block" were ostensibly scrapped on Wednesday.
  • Speaking in a Parliamentary session on Thursday, Matt Warman said Boris Johnson's government could could use facial recognition to verify age "so long as there is an appropriate concern for privacy."
  •  The "porn-block" was ostensibly scrapped on Wednesday by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, but the status of that decision now seems uncertain.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A junior minister in the UK government has said it is considering using facial recognition to verify porn watchers' identities, despite the government stating on Wednesday that it had scrapped the plans intended to stop under-eighteens watching adult material.

Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Matt Warman — the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport — responded to a question from Margot James, Conservative MP for Stourbridge about the future of age verification for online pornography in the UK.

Warman said the British government could use facial recognition to verify age "so long as there is an appropriate concern for privacy." He added that "all of these are things I hope we will be able to wrap up in the new approach, because they will deliver better results for consumers — child or adult alike."

Read more: The UK porn block has been scrapped by Boris Johnson's government

James' question to Warman was prompted by the UK's government's ostensible decision, announced on Wednesday, to scrap its so-called "porn block."

The porn block constitutes part three of the Digital Economy Act, first proposed in 2017, and was originally supposed to be rolled out in April 2018. It was subsequently delayed until July 15, 2019, and then Wednesday's announcement appeared to nix it altogether.

Should the porn block ever come into force, websites sharing adult content will be required to implement an age verification mechanism or risk being blocked in the UK. Consequently, anyone attempting to view porn would be required prove their age.

As it stands, the legislation would leave it up to the porn sites themselves to decide how to implement such age-verification, with facial recognition technology among raft of implementation methods mooted by MPs.

In the same Parliamentary session on Thursday, Tom Watson MP, deputy leader of the Labour Party, also criticized the government's handling of the proposed porn block. He asked Warman to "tell us how much public money has been spent on this failed policy."

In response, Warman said it was "silly to suggest that that is money wasted. It is money invested in protecting our children, and we will continue to do that."

SEE ALSO: Porn is being age-blocked across all of the UK in July. Here's why people think it's a terrible idea.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Nearly one-third of all Amtrak trains are late — and it could be costing the railroad $42 million every year

Business Insider SAI - 4 hodiny 55 min zpět

  • Amtrak's inspector general estimates that the railroad could save more than $40 million annually by increasing on-time performance. 
  • Many of those rampant delays, however, are caused by the freight railroads responsible for most of Amtrak's service. 
  • Still, Amtrak expects to be profitable by 2021, its CEO has said. There's plenty of work to be done. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Chronic Amtrak delays are hampering the railroad's efforts to break even by 2021, and are costing an estimated $41.9 million per year over the long term.

Of the 43 routes examned by the railroad's inspector general in a report published this week, 31 failed to meet Amtrak's on-time standards (70% for long-distance routes, and 80% for state-supported ones). 

Even if Amtrak is able to increase timely trains by just five percentage points, the inspector general said,  the immediate impacts could see $8.2 million in reduced costs and $3.9 million in increased revenues.

"We identified a range of other financial benefits that could accrue if the company was able to improve OTP to a minimum level of 75 percent on long distance trains and sustain those improvements for at least a year," the report said, using the OTP acronym to describe on-time performance.

A bulk of those delays — with which many Amtrak passengers are all too familiar — happen because the trains rely on "host railroads" to operate when Amtrak doesn't own the trackage outright. Only 3% of Amtrak's 21,400 route-miles are owned by Amtrak itself.

"Although federal law requires host railroads to give passenger trains preference over freight trains," the inspector general wrote, "company executives have stated publicly that host railroads routinely disregard these laws, resulting in delays."

Read more: It took me 96 hours to ride an Amtrak train from coast to coast. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Those host railroads scored an average of a C grade for 2018, Amtrak reported earlier this year, meaning "many passengers are very late."

Business Insider reached out to the six host railroads that support Amtrak service. Canadian National, which scored second to last in Amtrak's latest report card, with a D-, blamed the delays on speed restrictions that are currently in place on certain routes CN operates for Amtrak.

"Once an effective solution has been validated and implemented, the speed restrictions should be lifted," a representative said. "There are still a number of steps to take in the testing process, but CN is dedicated to work as fast as possible with Amtrak on a solution that allows Amtrak's trains to run safely without a speed restriction."

Union Pacific declined to comment. 

On the road to profitability

The costs outlined by the inspector general are especially pertinent as Amtrak targets breaking even for the first time in its 48-year history by 2021.

It's "something people never thought could be done," CEO Richard Anderson said to a round of applause at an event in New York City in September.

But there's still plenty of work to do. In 2018, the railroad lost $817 million on total revenues of $3.39 billion. It's expected to report 2019 financials next month.

"The findings from these two important reports illustrate the real financial impacts of late trains," Dennis Newman, Amtrak's executive VP of strategy and planning, said. "Beyond that, they confirm late trains impact every aspect of our operations, from equipment usage and staffing, to trip-time competitiveness and reliability for our customers."

Do you work for Amtrak?  Have a news tip? Get in touch with this reporter at grapier@businessinsider.com. Secure contact methods are available here. 

SEE ALSO: I tried Amtrak's new 'contemporary' dining car and it was immediately clear why so many people want to save the old one

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How to wipe a Mac computer, and reset it to its factory settings

Business Insider SAI - 5 hodin 25 sek zpět

  • You can wipe your Mac computer — or, in other words, factory reset it — through the macOS Utilities menu. This is a good plan if your Mac is malfunctioning, or you're looking to sell it.
  • Doing this will wipe all of your personal data and applications. It'll be like you just turned on your Mac for the first time.
  • The process to wipe your Mac doesn't take long, but the exact steps may vary depending on what model Mac you have.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Everyone's heard the old troubleshooting tip, "Just turn it off and back on again." It's a tip that works surprisingly often — but if you're stuck in a situation where your Mac is malfunctioning and nothing is fixing it, it might be time to try a more extreme solution: wiping your Mac.

A factory reset will wipe your Mac computer, restoring its software to the state it was in when you first turned it on. That means that all your personal files and data will disappear. This is a good idea if all other troubleshooting has failed for your Mac, you're trying to wipe out your private data, or if you're selling or giving away your Mac to someone else.

Here's how to factory reset your Mac, which will erase all your personal data, including a few tips in case it doesn't work.

Check out the products mentioned in this article: MacBook Pro (From $1,299.99 at Best Buy) How to wipe a Mac computer with a factory reset

Before anything, if you don't want to lose the files you have saved on your computer, you should back them up. You can do this through Time Machine, Apple's official backup application, which will copy all your files onto an external drive. You can also backup onto iCloud, or manually move the files you want to save onto an external drive.

If you're giving your computer away, also make sure that you've signed out of iTunes, iCloud, and iMessage — there's a chance your Apple ID data will remain on the drive after you reset it, and you don't want anyone gaining access to your account.

Once you're ready to wipe your Mac, do the following:

1. Turn your Mac computer off.

2. Press the power button to turn it on, then immediately press and hold Command (⌘) + R. Keep holding it until you see either the Apple logo, or an animation of a spinning globe.

3. After a few moments, the macOS Utilities window should appear — this is known as Recovery Mode.

4. Select "Disk Utility" and click "Continue."

5. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, select View > Show All Devices.

6. In Disk Utility's sidebar, which displays all the currently installed disks and volumes, select the drive you want to erase. Although you can erase whatever you like, in most cases, it's best to erase the whole disk — the tab highest up in the tree.

7. Click the "Erase" button at the top of the screen, and fill out the fields it opens:

  • Fill in a name for the disk. It's a good idea to just copy the name that already exists, for clarity's sake.
  • Choose the format. Disk Utility will choose a compatible format by default. If you're erasing your disk before installing macOS High Sierra or later for the first time, will be using the disk with a Mac that isn't using High Sierra or later, or are going to use the disk as a Time Machine backup, choose "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)."
  • If shown, choose the scheme. In almost all cases, you should choose GUID Partition Map.

8. Click "Erase."

9. It will take a few moments for the disk to erase. Once it's done, click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen, and click "Quit Disk Utility."

At this point, if you're just trying to erase your disk, you're done. If you want to set things back up, however, you can navigate back to the macOS Utilities menu and select either:

  • "Restore From Time Machine Backup," which will restore your files if you used Time Machine to back them up.
  • "Reinstall macOS," which will install a new copy of macOS onto your system.

What if my computer won't boot into Recovery Mode?

There's a chance that when you start your computer holding down Command (⌘) + R, it will simply boot up normally and proceed right to your login screen, or just a blank screen. If this is the case, there's a chance that you may not have a Recovery Partition — the part of your disk that allows you to factory reset. Here's how to check if you have one:

  1. Open Terminal by searching for it in Spotlight or Finder.
  2. Type "diskutil list" and press Return.
  3. Terminal will show you all the volumes and partitions on your disk. The first section (called "/dev/disk0") should have a partition called "Apple_Boot Recovery HD."

If it doesn't have that partition, chances are that you don't have a Recovery Partition.

At this point, there's a few different steps you can take. You can try resetting your Mac through Internet Recovery — press and hold Command (⌘) + Option + R — which will connect to the internet to create a Recovery Partition and activate Recovery Mode. Not having a Recovery Partition isn't a good sign for your system, so it's worth trying to reinstall your macOS, even if you weren't originally planning on it.

If this doesn't work either, you should contact Apple directly, or consider using third-party applications designed to create Recovery Partitions.


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Oracle CEO Mark Hurd has died at age 62

Business Insider SAI - 5 hodin 2 min zpět

  • Mark Hurd, the CEO of Oracle, has died at age 62.
  • Hurd recently went on medical leave, saying he needed "time focused on my health."
  • "Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague. Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle," Larry Ellison wrote in an email to employees on Friday.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Mark Hurd, the CEO of Oracle, has died at age 62.

The news was first emailed to Oracle employees on Friday and then shared in an announcement on Hurd's personal website written by Larry Ellison, Oracle's cofounder and chief technology officer. The email to Oracle employees was identical to the message Ellison wrote on Hurd's website.

Hurd recently went on medical leave, saying he needed "time focused on my health."

"It is with a profound sense of sadness and loss that I tell everyone here at Oracle that Mark Hurd passed away early this morning," Ellison wrote. "Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague. Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle."

Hurd, who had also served as the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, joined Oracle in 2010, when he became a co-president with Safra Catz. They were promoted to co-CEOs in 2014, when Ellison stepped down as chief executive and instead took the title of chief technology officer.

Hurd played a critical role in Oracle's growth over the past 10 years. He was also instrumental in Oracle's bid to establish a stronger presence in the cloud, where it is battling it out with rivals led by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.

Hurd became a prominent figure in Silicon Valley when he was tapped by Hewlett-Packard to be its CEO after the departure of Carly Fiorina. But his tenure ended amid allegations of sexual harassment. The HP board subsequently concluded that Hurd did not violate its sexual-harassment policy, though it did find irregularities in his expense-account reporting.

"All of us will miss Mark's keen mind and rare ability to analyze, simplify and solve problems quickly," Ellison wrote. "Some of us will miss his friendship and mentorship. I will miss his kindness and sense of humor."

He added: "I know that many of us are inconsolable right now, but we are left with memories and a sense of gratitude...that we had the opportunity to get know Mark, the opportunity to work with him...and become his friend."

Hurd is survived by his wife, Paula, and two daughters.

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Arctic’s Freezer 50 TR Air Cooler w/ RGB for AMD’s Threadripper Launched

AnandTech - 5 hodin 8 min zpět

Arctic has formally introduced its Freezer 50 TR cooler for AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper processors, which promises to remain quiet even when the CPU gets hot. The socket TR4-only cooler comes with two fans, has multiple heat pipes, and weighs more than 1.2 kilograms. And, for the multi-colored lighting enthusiasts among us, it's equipped with 13 addressable RGB LEDs.

The Arctic Freezer 50 TR borrows its design from other so-called ‘mega coolers’: it has a massive dual-tower heatsink featuring 104 aluminum fins, while eight U-shaped 6-mm heat pipes that form the base cover the part of the IHS of the Ryzen Threadripper CPU ‘right where the processor’s die is’. Moving air from the massive heatsink is a 120-mm plus 140-mm fan set, with Arctic's fans using fluid dynamic bearings. While the mismatched fans are unusual, Arctic says that using two fans of different sizes increases airflow and therefore improves performance. Depending on the load, the fans will rotate at 200 ~ 1800/1700 RPMs, so it should be very quiet under light loads.

It is noteworthy that when the Freezer 50 TR cooler was originally showcased early this year, it actually advertised as being able to go passive under low loads. However this feature is absent from the final version, and while Arcitc hasn't specifically said why, it's not hard to imagine thermal stability proving to be a greater concern than expected from such a large (and power hungry) chip like Threadripper.

When it comes to dimensions, the whole construction of Arctic’s Freezer 50 TR measures 147.8×149.5×165 mm and leaves a RAM clearance of 37.5 mm. While the cooler certainly cannot be called compact, it should fit into most enthusiast-grade PC chassis.

The manufacturer does not disclose the cooler’s rated TDP, but says that it can cool down Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX as well as CPUs ‘of 32 cores and beyond’. So as we've seen with some other air coolers of this size (which can handle upwards of 340W) it's a reasonable bet that the 50 TR can dissipate at least 250 W of heat, leaving some additional headroom for overclocking and/or future processors with a higher TDP.

Finally, as is increasingly customary for enthusiast-grade cooling systems these days, the Arctic Freezer 50 TR comes with 13 addressable RGB LEDs. These can be controlled using software from leading motherboard makers as well as a standalone controller (to get it, one will have to buy an appropriate version of the cooler).

The Arctic Freezer TR50   General Specifications CPU Socket AMD: sTR4 Heat Sink Material Dual tower heatsink, 2×52 aluminum fins, 8 heatpipes Dimensions w/ Fan Length: 147.8 mm
Width: 149.5 mm
Height: 165 mm Fan Speed 120-mm fan: 200 ~ 1,800 RPM
140-mm fan: 200 ~ 1,700 RPM Fan Air Flow ? CFM Fan Air Pressure ? Fan MTTF ? Fan Connector 3×4-pin Fan Power Consumption ? Weight 1,242 grams MSRP $69.99

The Arctic Freezer 50 TR is available now from Amazon and will shortly hit other channels, where it's currently selling for $69.99.

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Source: Arctic (via TechPowerUp)