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    quarterly global fintech fundingThis is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    Fintech hubs — cities where startups, talent, and funding congregate — are proliferating globally in tandem with ongoing disruption in financial services. 

    These hubs are all vying to become established fintech centers in their own right, and want to contribute to the broader financial services ecosystem of the future. Their success depends on a variety of factors, including access to funding and talent, as well as the approach of relevant regulators.

    This report compiles various fintech snapshots, which together highlight the global spread of fintech, and show where governments and regulatory bodies are shaping the development of national fintech industries. Each provides an overview of the fintech industry in a particular country or state in Asia or Europe, and details what is contributing to, or hindering its further development. We also include notable fintechs in each geography, and discuss what the opportunities or challenges are for that particular domestic industry.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Most countries in Europe have made some formal attempt to foster the development of domestic fintech industries, with Germany and Ireland seeing the best results so far. France, meanwhile, got off to a slow start, but that's starting to change. 
    • The Asian fintech scene took off later than in the US or Europe, but it's seen rapid growth lately, particularly in India, China, and Singapore.
    • The increasing importance of technology-enabled products and services within the financial services ecosystem means the global fintech industry isn't going anywhere. 
    • Fintech hubs will continue to proliferate, with leaders emerging in each region.
    • The future fintech landscape will be molded by regulatory bodies — national and international — as they seek to mitigate the risks, and leverage the opportunities, presented by fintech. 

     In full, the report:

    • Explores the fintech industry in six countries or states, and identifies individual fintech hubs.
    • Highlights successful fintechs in each region.
    • Outlines the challenges and opportunities each country or state faces. 
    • Gives insight into the future of the global fintech industry. 

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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

    Emerging markets are going to be essential for e-commerce growth, as retailers in developed markets may soon reach saturation in terms of consumer growth.

    APAC CAGR

    For example, almost half of US households now have a Prime membership, diminishing Amazon's growth potential in the country. Meanwhile, in China, the world's largest e-commerce market, nearly half of the population is actively making online purchases, leaving little room for growth. 

    However, India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America are worth keeping an eye on. E-commerce penetration rates in these areas hover between 2-6%, presenting a huge opportunity for future growth as online sales gain traction. Moreover, these regions are expected to grow at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 31%, 32%, and 16%, respectively, through 2021.

    This report compiles several e-commerce snapshots, which together highlight the most notable emerging markets in various regions. Each provides an overview of the e-commerce industry in a particular country, discusses influential retailers, and provides insights into the opportunities and challenges for that specific domestic industry.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Emerging markets are going to be essential for e-commerce growth, as retailers in developed markets may soon reach saturation in terms of consumer growth.
    • India is the clear overall leader in e-commerce potential, but countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America are also worth keeping an eye on. Within Southeast Asia, Indonesia shows the most promise for retailers, as the government is loosening restrictions on foreign investments, and its massive population is gaining spending power and more access to internet. Meanwhile, Mexico is a retailer's best bet for expansion in Latin America, due to its stable economy and rising middle class, but Brazil may be gearing up to steal the top spot.
    • However, doing business in these regions can be difficult. In most of these emerging markets, infrastructure is underdeveloped and the population is largely unbanked, making digital payments a challenge.
    • If retailers can build a brand presence in these markets while online shopping is still in its nascent stages, they may become market leaders as e-commerce takes off in the regions. Moreover, these markets could provide new sources of growth for companies that would otherwise stagnate in more mature e-commerce markets.

     In full, the report:

    • Explores the e-commerce industry in India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
    • Highlights the leading country in each region, as well as key e-commerce players there. 
    • Outlines the challenges and opportunities each region faces.
    • Gives insight into how these emerging markets may shape the future of e-commerce.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Mark Zuckerberg

    • Mark Zuckerberg told Facebook executives at a meeting in June that he was going to be a more aggressive CEO in light of criticism over the company's handling of Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night. 
    • The new approach is causing "unprecedented turmoil" in Facebook's most senior ranks, according to the report. 
    • According to the article, Zuckerberg also told employees at a recent Q&A that recent negative media stories were  "bulls---." 

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told a meeting of top executives in June that he would become a more aggressive CEO because the company was at "war," according to the Wall Street Journal.

    The meeting came at a time when users, lawmakers, and investors were angry over the company's handling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The 34-year-old CEO reportedly expressed frustrations that executives weren't moving quick enough at times this year and said it was time for executives to "make progress faster." 

    The report added that the new approach had caused "unprecedented turmoil"in Facebook's most senior ranks, and had led to the departures of a number of top executives, including the cofounders of Instagram and WhatsApp. 

    Read more: Facebook employees react to the latest scandals: 'Why does our company suck at having a moral compass'

    Facebook came under fire again last week after a New York Times report detailed how COO Sheryl Sandberg oversaw an "aggressive lobbying campaign" to hurt its critics, including liberal billionaire George Soros. 

    The New York Times report found that Facebook employed a "Republican opposition-research firm to discredit activist protestors, in part by linking them" to Soros.

    "It also tapped its business relationships, persuading a Jewish civil rights group to cast some criticism of the company as anti-Semitic," the report stated.  

    At a Q&A with Facebook employees at the company's headquarters in Palo Alto, California two days after the report was published, Zuckerberg called recent negative coverage in the media as "bulls---," according to the report. 

    Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal»

    SEE ALSO: The 'secret sister' gift exchange on Facebook is actually an illegal pyramid scheme

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why you shouldn't be afraid to fly, according to a pilot with over 20 years of experience


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    brenda snipes

    • Broward County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes has reportedly resigned. 
    • Sources told the Sun-Sentinel that Snipes sent in her letter of resignation on Sunday, hours after a recount was finished. 
    • Snipes was criticized for incompetence by Gov. Rick Scott, who will now become one of the state's senators. 

    The head of Broward County, Florida's elections has reportedly resigned, according to a report from the Sun-Sentinel.

    Representatives for Snipes also confirmed the report NBC 6 on Sunday.

    Sources told the newspaper that Brenda Snipes sent in her letter of recommendation within hours of a recount concluding on Sunday. 

    Evelyn Perez-Verdia, a former spokeswoman who left the office several years ago, said she saw an early draft of the resignation, which cited 75-year-old Snipes' need to spend more time with her family. 

    Those familiar with Snipes' resignation said that she is aiming to end her job in January, meaning that Governor-elect Ron DeSantis will likely have the responsibility of filling the position. 

    Outgoing Gov. Rick Scott had accused Snipes of being slow and trying to "steal" the election for the Democrats, though no evidence has been provided. 

    Scott was elected to a seat in the US Senate in the November 6 election, in a tough battle with Democrat Bill Nelson, who conceded defeat on Sunday. 

    During the recount, Snipes was criticized when she acknowledged on Saturday that her office couldn't find 2,040 ballots that had been included in the first count but not in the machine recount. She said they were probably in her office somewhere. 

    SEE ALSO: Rick Scott defeats Bill Nelson for Florida Senate seat after tense recount

    DON'T MISS: One of the most hotly contested Senate races looks like it could be headed for a recount

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Trump once won a lawsuit against the NFL — but the result was an embarrassment


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    pjimage

    • Mark Zuckerberg allegedly met with his COO, Sheryl Sandberg, in the spring and said he blamed her for the fallout over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to a new Wall Street Journal report
    • The reports says that Sandberg told friends after the meeting that she wondered if she should be worried about her job.

    Sheryl Sandberg wondered whether she should fear for her job after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to a new Wall Street Journal report. 

    Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told Sandberg this spring that he blamed her and her teams for the fallout from a scandal involving a research firm that improperly accessed Facebook users' data for political purposes ahead of the 2016 presidential election. 

    Zuckerberg is said to have told Sandberg that she should have been more aggressive in tackling the troublesome content. 

    Read more:Facebook's latest scandal is the last straw pushing some users to delete their accounts — here's how to do it

    Following her meeting with Zuckerberg, Sandberg allegedly told friends that she wondered whether she should be worried about her job.

    New York Times report last week detailed how Sandberg oversaw an "aggressive lobbying campaign" in the aftermath of the scandal. In a Facebook post after the story was published, Sandberg said she had been unaware of Facebook's involvement with a public-relations firm called Definers Public Affairs, which The Times said disseminated research to journalists linking the billionaire George Soros to anti-Facebook movements.

    Zuckerberg later supported Sandberg, telling reporters last week that Sandberg is a "very important partner to me, and continues to be, and will continue to be." 

    Sandberg has been COO of Facebook since 2008, and is author of the bestselling women's empowerment book "Lean In."

    Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal»

    SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told Facebook execs the company's at 'war,' and called recent media coverage 'bulls---'

    DON'T MISS: The 'secret sister' gift exchange on Facebook is actually an illegal pyramid scheme

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    twd 907 daryl carol

    Warning: There are spoilers ahead for season nine, episode seven of "The Walking Dead,""Stradivarius."

    Michonne "murdered" a violin, Enid and Tara are alive and well at the Hilltop, and Eugene's stuck in a barn somewhere, hopefully.

    Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead" may not have had as much action as previous weeks, but AMC's zombie drama set up a lot for next week's mid-season finale and gave us a much-needed heart-to-heart between Daryl and Carol.

    This week's breakdown doesn't focus so much on callbacks to previous episodes and the comics. Instead, INSIDER spoke with episode director Michael Cudlitz, who played Abraham on the show, to get some inside knowledge on Sunday's episode. Keep reading to see what you may have missed on "Stradivarius."

    The opening sequence with Rosita running through the woods was partially inspired by "The Blair Witch Project."

    Cudlitz said his idea for the opening sequence was to make a mini movie.  

    "We shot a ton of footage," Cudlitz told INSIDER. "But the idea behind it was I didn't want the audience to know what was happening at all. I want them to be discovering it as she was discovering it."

    The final opening sequence we see is under a minute. Cudlitz says what he put together was maybe a full two minutes.

    "One of the things that popped into my mind was 'The Blair Witch Project,'" said Cudlitz. "I wanted a 'Blair Witch Project' feel to that opening sequence, where you really felt like you were there with her, not watching it happen to her, but also having it happen to you. So we shot a bunch of stuff, where we were running with her, and following her, and tracking her in the woods."

    Cudlitz said Christian Serratos, who plays Rosita, ran with a small camera attached to her, and that he wanted it to look and feel very personal to her as her character was on the verge of passing out. 

     



    If you were wondering about this week's episode title, "Stradivarius," it's tied to a very particular violin, but has a much larger statement for society.

    "Stradivarius, [are] probably the most beautiful violins ever made, certainly the most expensive," said Cudlitz. "The juxtaposition of that fact in this world, always struck me. It's something that in our world right now has a tremendous amount of value, but in that world [of 'The Walking Dead'] would have zero, except for the fact that it's connected to music, which has a tremendous amount of value."

    On Sunday's episode, Michonne destroys one of these violins that Luke (Dan Fogler), a former music teacher, is holding.

    "You can look at it and go, 'Well who the hell cares? It's Stradivarius, but who cares in this world?' And I think that Dan's character gives us that talk about what music, and art, and poetry mean," Cudlitz continued. "It's so significant to society. It is one of the first things that we lose when things get tight, either financially, or there's not enough time to do something. The first thing that goes is what we consider these things that are extra, which is music, art, and poetry. But it's one of the defining things that makes us who we are, makes it so we can survive as a people and come together as a group and strive and, as he puts it, thrive as humanity."

    "That is what separates us from other creatures, is our ability to build things, to talk about things, to share stories, to make music," he added. "And our ability to do those things is only intensified by our ability to work with each other in doing those things, because we do make each other better."



    Jesus is listening to records from Georgie, the mysterious woman who was introduced briefly last season.

    When the Hilltop is introduced we can hear the song "April Skies" by The Jesus and Mary Chain. It turns out that's one of Georgie's records Jesus has borrowed. 

    Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) is the woman Maggie came across on season eight, episode 12, "The Key." She wanted to trade plans for the new world in exchange for some food and records. 

    Earlier this season, Jesus hinted Maggie may go and join Georgie's group. Georgie had been writing letters to Maggie to persuade her to join along on her adventure. It looks like something pretty significant happened to make her change her mind. 

    Atkinson told INSIDER earlier this year that Georgie, who she believes to be a historian and professor, has a good reason to want to preserve music.

    "Maybe she's communicating that creativity and artistry is so important to a surviving and thriving world. As you know, when things start to get very difficult and try to skew towards the more conservative, there is sometimes a desire to shut down the arts and not fund the arts and not fund creativity, because that's where consciousness lies," Atkinson said. "That's where evolution and change lie, in our imagination. We have the best gift on the planet at the imagination. And you can't buy it, you can try to co-opt it. But you can't shut it down. You can't ever shut it down. But there is always a movement to do that. So maybe that's the message."

    It's very similar to what Cudlitz had to say about music.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    the walking dead abraham season 5 gallery

    Warning: There are some spoilers ahead for "The Walking Dead" universe.

    Former "Walking Dead" showrunner Scott M. Gimple recently announced Rick Grimes' story will continue in a series of AMC original movies, and there's at least one other fan favorite who is down to return in his own project.

    Michael Cudlitz, who directed Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead" told INSIDER he's interested in doing a future "Walking Dead" movie or short with his character Abraham. 

    "Yep. Yep, absolutely," said Cudlitz, who even has an idea of how he could appear even though his character was brutally killed off the show on the season seven premiere. 

    "I think they've hinted in that direction when they showed last year, on 'Fear the Walking Dead,' the tapes that were made by the reporter that were inside the truck. One of the tapes, when they did a close-up insert on it said Abe/Doctor," said Cudlitz referencing Maggie Grace's journalist character, Althea.

    abe doctor tape fear the walking dead

    "That would be Abraham and Doctor Eugene Porter. So there's an interview somewhere. There's a story somewhere floating around out in that universe about us," he continued. "So I would certainly be open to that. I had a great time with the people in the show. It by no means defines my career, so I'm not in any rush to run away from it, so I would be fine with any of that."

    abraham eugene twd 614

    The tape Cudlitz mentions was seen on the season four mid-season finale of "Fear The Walking Dead." It's known that Abraham and Eugene started their journey on "The Walking Dead" from Texas before they wound up heading to Washington, D.C. There's definitely some backstory waiting to be filled in there with how the two met up with Rosita.

    For now, Cudlitz said he hasn't been approached about any sort of movie or short.

    "No," he said. "And if I was, I couldn't tell you."

    twd 608 michael cudlitz.JPG

    Fair enough.

    And if we don't see Cudlitz return as Abraham, he said he'd love to return and direct more episodes of "The Walking Dead."

    "Yes, I would love to," Cudlitz said. "If they'll have me, I would certainly come back. Everyone seemed happy. That doesn't always define what happens on the business side of things, and the creative side of things. All those choices are made, decisions are made by other people. But I've let them know that I'd be more than happy to come back if they wanted me to. So, we'll see what happens."

    You can currently see Cudlitz on ABC's "The Kids are Alright," which was recently picked up for an entire season. He's also hoping to direct an episode on that show in the future.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    twd 907 michonne

    Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead," season nine, episode seven, "Stradivarius."

    The six-year time jump on "The Walking Dead" has given us new looks for some of our characters, but it has also introduced a new, darker mystery involving the letter "X" carved into the backs of some fan favorites. 

    We first saw Michonne with the "X" on the lower left side of her back on season nine, episode six. On Sunday's episode, it was revealed Daryl has a matching mark on the same area of his back. His back was also covered in a number of scars. 

    michonne daryl x scars

    "Where we're dealing with Michonne, where she has separated herself from the Hilltop group, and sort of isolated herself with just Alexandria, we're not exactly sure why. We will find out later," Michael Cudlitz, who directed Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead" and formerly starred on the show as fan-favorite Abraham, told INSIDER. "A lot of it's tied to the 'X' that we see on her back, that we just revealed on Michonne's back. Now we see it on Daryl's back."

    "The audience is going to want to know what that's about," said Cudlitz, hinting that we may see the mark show up on others. "They're going to find out what that's about, but that is something that connects them all, even though they're all separated right now, we're going to find out why."

    Some fans thought the "X"may have had to do with the remaining Saviors or another group trying to take over Alexandria.

    On Sunday's episode, we see Michonne grapple with a hesitation to head to the Hilltop. Cudlitz said the "X" on her back has something to do with it, and we most likely won't have to wait too long to find out how she and Daryl both received their scars.

    "We're going to find out why Michonne had distance with Maggie when last we saw [her], she didn't. I mean, they had conflict over the Negan thing, but that was resolved. She stepped aside. She let Maggie tell that story, and carry that story off the way that she had to, because she knew she had to," said Cudlitz of some change that occurred in Michonne and Maggie's relationship. "So there's no conflict left there, really. They actually agreed."

    twd 905 michonne maggie

    "So what's different now? We're gonna find out. But right now we know, in episode seven, that they're separated, and it's a wonderful reflective moment for Michonne to hear a small group sort of like holding a mirror up to what they used to be," Cudlitz said, comparing Magna's group to Michonne's original group with Rick. "This small group that not only needs each other, but is there for each other. And one of the people in that group is telling the story of, basically civilization, and what civilization needs to thrive, and one of the main things it needs to survive and thrive is to share."

    michonne walking dead 907

    "That's a really tremendous moment for Michonne, because she's hearing something that's going directly against how she's approaching life right now," added Cudlitz of the effect Magna's group is having and will continue to have on Michonne moving forward. "This is going to be really exciting to see what impact this new group has on them long term. We start the episode with... There's no way in hell she's going to Hilltop, we know that. And then by the end, the ultimate kicker that tilts it in the other favor is the Rosita thing, but would one person really pull her there?"

    "Or is it a combination of what she's seeing with this group, that she's just thinking about going, and that was the defining moment that made her go to the Hilltop? Even though she didn't know until Siddiq tells her that Maggie's no longer there. So it's interesting. It's fun to watch the journey, it's fun to be part of it. And I think Angela [Kang]'s telling great stories," said Cudlitz.

    You can follow along with our "Walking Dead" coverage here.

    Like what you read? Sign up for our "Walking Dead" newsletter here to be among the first to get new analysis, interviews, and more in your inbox Monday mornings during the season.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    sheryl sandberg

    Employees at Facebook are fuming at COO Sheryl Sandberg for after they were thrown under the bus over a smear campaign targeting the company's critics, including the billionaire George Soros, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    Last week, a bombshell New York Times report exposed the company's chaotic leadership, and detailed Facebook’s involvement with a public-relations firm called Definers Public Affairs, which it said disseminated research to journalists linking the billionaire George Soros to anti-Facebook movements in the wake of fallout over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

    Though Sandberg, 49, has long had broad control over the Facebook teams that control communications and policy, both she and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have denied knowledge of the company's involvement with Definers. Zuckerberg directly blamed Facebook’s communications team, and Sandberg admitted that she "should have" known that the firm was hired and the nature of the work they were conducting. 

    Sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that many people on teams under Sandberg's watch were angry over Sandberg's comments, given how closely Sandberg managed Facebook's media strategy, even involving herself in wording changes.

    Read more: Facebook employees react to the latest scandals: 'Why does our company suck at having a moral compass'

    On Friday, Sandberg said during an internal Q&A session that she took full responsibility for the communications team and their actions, the Journal added. 

    Facebook cut ties with Definers less than 24 hours after The Times’ story broke. 

    Zuckerberg blamed Sandberg for public outcry over the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year, sources told the Journal, contributing to confrontations with Sandberg and other top Facebook executives.

    Isobel Asher Hamilton contributed to this report. 

    Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal»

    SEE ALSO: Sheryl Sandberg says she also didn't know about a Facebook smear campaign, as Mark Zuckerberg throws the firm's comms team under a bus

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    twd 609 walking dead abraham

    Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead,""Stradivarius."

    Michael Cudlitz returned to "The Walking Dead" Sunday to direct his first episode of AMC's zombie drama. 

    Cudlitz played fan favorite, Abraham Ford, for several seasons before he was killed off the show's season seven premiere by Negan.

    INSIDER spoke with Cudlitz at length about what it was like to be back on set, how he first mentioned directing an episode of "The Walking Dead" before he even joined the show on season four, how he'd be down for a "Walking Dead" movie or short, and much more. 

    It took Michael Cudlitz years to direct an episode of "The Walking Dead" and almost cost him his friendship with former showrunner Scott M. Gimple.

    michael cudlitz walking dead 907 directing

    Kirsten Acuna: What was it like being back on the show, but as a director this time?

    Michael Cudlitz:
    It was great. It's something I've been wanting to do for about seven years now. Direct.

    Acuna:
    Oh, wow. That's a long time.

    Cudlitz:
    Yeah. So I was supposed to, had "Southland" gone another year, I would have directed on "Southland." So they knew that when I came in, and then Scott Gimple knew I was interested in doing it and he sort of made that happen. I'm very grateful and thankful for everyone over at AMC, and [current showrunner] Angela Kang, and everyone who trusted me with my first directing assignment on something so important as, not just the show, but this season in particular. With Andrew [Lincoln] leaving there's a lot of concern about the show itself, so for them to trust me during this time was a huge vote of confidence.

    Acuna: You mentioned Scott [Gimple] had helped you get on board with directing. Is this something that you talked to him about for a few seasons? Was it something that you maybe had considered a season earlier? Or was this always something in talk for this season?

    scott gimple michael cudlitz

    Cudlitz: I talked to him in the very, very beginning, right before I came on board, just to see where my career was headed, what I was doing. And he was aware that I was getting ready to do it [direct] on "Southland." And I said to him at that initial meeting, "Somewhere in the future, I would love to talk to you about that.' And he was like, 'That sounds great." And then, a couple seasons in, we passively talked about it. He said, "I would not be opposed to looking at that." He says, we had the same sensibility for storytelling. He said, I can trust your instincts. Whenever you come to me with notes or questions, they're always very well thought out and they help the story and character, so I wouldn't be opposed to that.

    And then when I left the show and had my exit meeting, I said to him, "Hey, this might the perfect time for us to do this, but I would love to, at some point, come back and direct the show." And I specifically chose to not put it as part of my contract negotiation, set to renegotiate my last year. My agent/manager at the time said, "Maybe we want to put this in and make it part of...," and I said, 'I don't wanna be in a place where I'm being forced on somebody." I said, "I would hate that." I said, "The directing thing, as much as I want it to happen, has to happen on its own." Everyone agreed to that.

    We never brought it up until I spoke to Scott when I was leaving, and I said, "You know, I would love to explore this if it makes sense." And once again, he said, "That sounds great, actually. Maybe in the next year or two, we can do that."

    michael cudlitz direct twd

    And things with the show got so sort of hectic that it kept coming up and kept going away. So much to the point where I told Scott, "You know what? This is actually affecting our friendship, with you trying to make it happen, and we're having all these conversations about it not happening, or when it could, or this." And then I went, "I'd rather have a friendship with you that was just based on what it had been in the past, which was just us liking each other, and enjoying talking about story." I said, "Every time we talk, it's about this, and you telling me the actual reasons why it's not able to happen now." I said, "So let's put that aside, and just not worry about it. You're off the hook. Don't worry about it."

    And then, about a year later, he called me when I was in New York, put Angela [Kang] on the phone, and they had arranged apparently that I was going to direct if I was available, and they were waiting for Angela's deal to close over at AMC, so she had known for months. Once everything was closed up, and they knew that she was the new showrunner, they called me and offered me the position. It was pretty amazing.

    What the show is like without Andrew Lincoln

    abraham rick talk michonne walking dead 615

    Acuna: Was it a little weird for Andrew Lincoln to not be there while you were on set?

    Cudlitz:
    For me? No. I had been around the show and the people on the show for such a long time, I knew it was happening. Ultimately, when it happened, with everyone that they had lost up until then, I still think it's a very smart move for the show. It re-energizes the show in not just a new season, or a new character way. The complete fandom was focused on everything that AMC was saying about the show, what was going to happen, and where it was going to head, so everyone is sort of on board in this episode, ready to experience what this is. I'm not saying that they like it, but everybody knows what's going on, and I think it's a really great reset for the show — to see characters that we love leave, how the characters that we know that are staying are processing this, and then to see all the new characters coming in.

    We're so far from the comic book now that people can't say what they used to say. Sort of the battle cry of the die-hard comic fans was, "This isn't how it was in the comics." Well, guess what? We're so f---ing far from the comic, you can't even say that anymore. It's like, no kidding. If that's your argument at this point, you should go watch something else. But we don't want them to do that. We want them to stay with it. And hopefully this world that Robert Kirkman has created, which all those rules still are in effect, and the world still exists, we get to see similar stories through different eyes. 

    Thoughts on Angela Kang running the show and the direction it's heading in without Lincoln

    twd 907 michonne

    Acuna: What are your thoughts on Angela Kang running the show now, season nine, and how it's different or similar to when you were there?

    Cudlitz: I think it's great. I don't know how far you've seen, you've probably seen up to [episode] seven.

    Acuna: Yeah, that's correct. I've seen what the Whisperers look like, but yes.

    Cudlitz: There's a difference in the storytelling this year, so far as that there's a lot more movement of the camera. That's by design, and by choice. And the previous way the stories were told was by design and choice as well. There's a lot more movement in the cameras. I think she's put a lot of focus on the... We've always had really, really, really strong women. I think the focus has shifted more on the women. Partially from choice, and partially from circumstance. We've lost a lot of men on the show.

    The wonderful thing is we have really strong women coming in, and the great thing is now, we actually see conflict between strong women, which is something that has not necessarily been dealt with on the show. And I think that with the times they were in, not hitting any nail directly on the head, I think that it's a long time coming. The stories are told in a thoughtful, intelligent way. And we have thoughtful, strong, intelligent women who are coming in making some different points of view, and we get to see those conflicts play out on screen, which is kind of new, I think, for what you see on television. There's not just one set of women. Especially coming in the future we're in, we see many, many strong women who have tremendous amounts of conflict with each other, so I'm excited to see where that goes.

    twd 906 magna group

    And also ... Again, this is not even an Angela thing, this is something that the show has always been very responsible about representing every lifestyle, and every walk of ethnic background on the show. And I think we do a great job with that too, representing people, and not making the storyline about their ethnicity or their sexuality. It's about how they have moved through life. And when that comes up, it's dealt with, but that is not a driving force. It is as it should be, these are all elements and pieces of things that make us who we are. They don't define us, necessarily.

    How "The Blair Witch Project" inspired the opening sequence for season nine, episode seven.

    Acuna: I want talk to you about the opening scene of the episode. I think it's the quickest opening that we get this season, so far at least. I love the little flashes of black in between Rosita running, to feel that panic and uncertainty. What was going through your mind to bring that moment to life, while she's running away from these walkers that she hears that are whispering?

    rosita walking dead

    Cudlitz: When I first read that, I thought "Okay, well this is too short." We're setting this up for the whole episode and for everything that's coming, and leading out of what we just saw with Rosita and Eugene. And so we basically ... I went in wanting to make a little mini movie with that. We shot a ton of footage. But the idea behind it was I didn't want the audience to know what was happening at all. I want them to be discovering it as she was discovering it.

    Read more: 'The Walking Dead' just teased talking zombies on the show — here's what's really going on

    And one of the things that popped into my mind was "The Blair Witch Project," and I wanted a "Blair Witch Project" feel to that opening sequence. Where you really felt like you were there with her, not watching it happen to her, but also having it happen to you. So we shot a bunch of stuff, where we were running with her, and following her, and tracking her in the woods. We had this rig that she ran with, that she was carrying a camera on her. Mostly because it was sort of all happening, but it was all happening in her mind, I wanted it to be very personal as well.

    blair witch project

    So we shot a bunch of footage, and I gave it to our editor and said, "I want you to basically make a little mini movie. Don't worry about time. Put this together, and just tell the story of her being chased and passing out, and use everything we have. I want it to use certain traditional scares from horror movies, and I want us to be terrified for her." And then once we did, I said, "Don't worry about it, we'll cut it out later. And we did. We boiled it down to it's most terrifying moments for her. And it came out great. I think it really sets the tone and adds a complete WTF moment at the beginning of the episode, so you're reminded that there's this terror going on, within the midst of my episode, which is actually pretty calm, all things considered. It's very much a character-driven episode. And that's a reminder that the world is sort of insane outside of our immediate remit.

    Acuna: Right. Well, I was glad that we saw that scene with Rosita running, and that we didn't have to wait until the mid-season finale to catch up and see what was happening with her and Eugene. So I think that the fans will appreciate seeing that scene right in the opening. You said you shot a lot more footage for that opening scene, I think it's 50 seconds.

    Cudlitz: I think the one I put together was maybe two minutes. But again, this is the nature of a 42-minute [episode] format to fit everything. You take the air out of everything. You put things together, and you look at them, and then you go, "Yeah, that will make it better. How can we take time out that shows not only the story, but the audience and what's happening." I didn't feel [like] we lost anything. I feel like it was a natural producing process that we go through.

    Why the title of the episode is "Stradivarius" and the reasoning behind that

    Acuna: You mention that this is more of a character-driven episode. It is, so that we can learn more about Magna's group. I want to talk about the title of the episode, Stradivarius. It's probably one of the most eloquent, interesting episode titles the show has had. We see a violin in the episode get "murdered" by Michonne. What can you tell us about why that is the title of Sunday's episode?

    violin dan fogler twd 907

    Cudlitz: Obviously I thought Stradivarius, probably the most beautiful violins ever made, certainly the most expensive. The juxtaposition of that fact in this world, always struck me. It's something that in our world right now has a tremendous amount of value, but in that world [of "The Walking Dead"] would have zero value. Except for the fact that it's connected to music, which has a tremendous amount of value.

    So you have these things fighting each other. You can look at it and go, "Well who the hell cares? It's Stradivarius, but who cares in this world?" And I think that Dan's character [Luke] gives us that talk about music, what music, and art, and poetry mean. And it's so significant to society. It is one of the first things that we lose when things get tight, either financially, or there's not enough time to do something. The first thing that goes is what we consider these things that are extra, which is music, art, and poetry. But it's one of the defining things that makes us who we are, makes it so we can survive as a people and come together as a group. And strive and, as he puts it, thrive as humanity.

    Read more:Michael Cudlitz on the mystery "X" seen on Michonne and Daryl's backs

    That is what separates us from other creatures, is our ability to build things, to talk about things, to share stories, to make music. And our ability to do those things is only intensified by our ability to work with each other in doing those things, because we do make each other better. But for that part of the story, where we're dealing with Michonne, where she has separated herself from the Hilltop group, and isolated herself with just Alexandria ... We're not exactly sure why, we will find out later. A lot of it's tied to the 'X' that we see on her back, that we just revealed on Michonne's back, that you saw on this episode. Now we see it on Daryl's back. The audience will want to know what that's about. They're gonna find out what that's about, but that is something that connects them all, even though they're all separated right now, we're gonna find out why.

    On Daryl spending a lot of the past few years searching for his "brother" Rick

    Acuna: What do you make of Daryl still looking for Rick after all this time? Is that healthy, or at some point, does he need to give up and move on?

    Cudlitz: Well, I think it's pretty clear that he did stop looking. He said that he's not. It's pretty clear to me when I watched the episode, that he stopped looking. It's at that whole scene when he talks with Carol about it, that he's not looking. He looked initially, and he's telling her that he's not looking anymore, and hasn't been. Because he thinks she thinks that's why he's still out there, and he's telling her no, it's not.

    carol daryl 907 twd

    During the haircut, he tells her, "I'm not." Because he realizes that that's what she thinks is going on with him, and he lets her know it's not what's going on. He's just out there because it's easier to be out there. But then he realizes it's not, because he realizes as much as the Daryl character has through the years been a loner, that he now has people that he not only cares about, but he needs to be with. Henry helps point that out by basically saying, "Dude, what are you, a f---ing moron? My mom cares so much about you, and she didn't have to go searching throughout when she needs you. That's not what family does. That's not what friends do to each other. That's not what people who love each other do to each other." And he hears him. So there's some serious truth being laid down by young Henry. And to Daryl's credit, he hears him.

    Acuna: I think that the one line that threw me off was just when Daryl had said that there was no body ever found. So I guess that that gave me the sense that maybe he, in the back of his mind, that he was still holding on to some sort of hope about Rick.

    rick daryl 904 twd

    Cudlitz: Well, he still might be holding on to hope, but he's certainly done looking. It's like a parent, if you lost your child, they told you that there was an accident and they're gone, but they never found the body. There's always that sense of you want the body. The body is complete closure. 

    Cudlitz knew Lauren Cohan was leaving the show as Maggie, at least for now.

    Acuna: Lauren Cohan is away from the show right now. Her exit was left open-ended. She's going off to her ABC show. Was it a bit sad to not be directing her at the Hilltop?

    lauren cohan the walking dead 901

    Cudlitz: I knew. I've been along with her for her ride of leaving. We're both at ABC now. I've seen her at many events and we've spoken. Obviously, I left the show. So I know what leaving the show is like. I don't mourn the loss of anyone in that way, because it's so connected to other things, and it's such a natural part of the show. I was glad I was able to direct the ones that were still there. That was exciting, and then to direct people who were new.

    Read more:Rick Grimes isn’t the only beloved character who departed 'The Walking Dead' and fans are not happy with how it was handled

    Cudlitz: Certainly, working with Norman [Reedus] and Melissa [McBride], and working with them together was great. You just watch those two go. You just stay out of the way. That's the best way to direct those two. When they're working with each other, they're just wonderful together. Certainly, I would want to direct my friends, and work with my friends, because it's just a fun thing to do, I think. It would have been fun to direct Josh [McDermitt, who plays Eugene]. But as I know by being on the show, we're not in every episode even when they're there, so the idea of knowing that I wasn't gonna be directing all of them, that was always part of the deal.

    abraham eugene twd 614twd 614 abraham eugene

    Abraham on Negan being alive and talking about "what ifs" in "The Walking Dead" universe.

    Acuna: Something fans wanted to know was what Abraham would say if he knew that Negan was still alive, and would he be happy with that decision that Rick had made?

    701 twd michael cudlitz abraham

    Cudlitz: Those are tricky questions, because the "what if" game ... If you're like well if Abraham was still there, then Abraham would not have been killed by Negan, then who would Negan have killed, if anybody? So I try not to go into the "what ifs," because it's silly. It's like, "Well what if Abraham would have gotten up and beat the sh-- out of Negan? That's not the story we're telling, so I can't even think of "Who would win between a fight with you and Negan?" Well Negan killed me, so we know the answer to that. But had it been more fair, had it been me and him in the octagon? It's a different question.

    Acuna: Definitely. I think that Abraham would have beat the sh-- out of Negan, and would have tossed his bat aside.

    Cudlitz: Exactly. Exactly.

    Acuna: Negan even said, I think it was last season to Rick, if it wasn't earlier this season, "You know that it wasn't a random killing, and that I picked Abraham because I knew that he was the strongest, toughest looking guy."

    Cudlitz: Yeah. The guy [Negan] takes out the strongest guy [Abraham]. Then you know everybody else below doesn't have a chance. It puts everybody in line. That's a tactical choice.

    What Abraham thinks of Rosita's relationship with Father Gabriel

    twd 906 gabriel rosita

    Acuna: If we're not gonna play the "What If" game then what did you make of Rosita being in a relationship with Gabriel? I was very shocked by that, because I thought we were going to go the Rosita/Eugene route.

    Cudlitz: Yeah, Father Gabriel's getting all the action this season.

    Acuna: Yeah.

    anne gabriel twd 903

    Cudlitz: I think it's great. I want to see where they're going to go with it. And this, we can do a little "what if." I think Abraham would be happy if she [Rosita] was happy. I don't know if she's necessarily the strongest. It's interesting that she didn't choose someone who was... He [Gabriel] certainly has evolved into a strong fighter, but I don't know. I think he [Abraham] would be ultimately happy as long as she was happy.

    Acuna: Okay. Well I mean, Eugene is certainly trying to change her mind, but he's also hiding off in a barn or something now.

    Cudlitz: Yeah, we'll see where that is.

    Would Cudlitz return for a "Walking Dead" movie or short? 

    Cudlitz: Yep. Yep, absolutely. I think they've hinted in that direction when they showed last year, on "Fear the Walking Dead," the tapes that were made by the reporter that were inside the truck. One of the tapes, when they did a close-up insert on it said Abe/Doctor. That would be Abraham and Doctor Eugene Porter. So there's an interview somewhere. There's a story somewhere floating around out in that universe about us. So I would certainly be open to that. I had a great time with the people in the show. It by no means defines my career, so I'm not in any rush to run away from it. I would be fine with any of that.

    abe doctor tape fear the walking dead

    Acuna: Have you been approached about any of that at all yet, or no?

    Cudlitz: No. And if I was, I couldn't tell you.

    Would he return to direct another episode of "The Walking Dead"?

    twd 608 michael cudlitz.JPG

    Cudlitz: Yes, I would love to. If they'll have me, I would certainly come back. Everyone seemed happy. That doesn't always define what happens on the business side of things, and the creative side of things. All those choices are made, decisions are made by other people. But I've let them know that I'd be more than happy to come back if they wanted me to. So we'll see what happens.

    You can currently watch Cudlitz on ABC's "The Kids are Alright," which was picked up for a full season.

    This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

    You can follow along with our "Walking Dead" coverage here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    camp fire searching the rubble

    • Authorities are still searching for any signs of the 993 people now listed as missing after the Camp Fire tore through the mountain town of Paradise.
    • By Sunday, the remains of 77 people had been recovered.
    • The fire which ignited on November 8 was 65 percent contained by Sunday evening.

    PARADISE, Calif. (Reuters) - Authorities on Sunday sifted through the charred wreckage of California’s deadliest ever wildfire, searching for any signs of the 993 people now listed as missing after the Camp Fire tore through the mountain town of Paradise.

    The number of believed missing fell 283 late on Sunday, down from 1,276 people, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, but gave no other details.

    The remains of 77 people have been recovered, officials said late on Sunday. The blaze ignited on Nov. 8 was 65 percent contained, up from 60 percent earlier in the day.

    Rain is forecast for the area this week, potentially helping douse the flames, but raising the risk of floods and mudslides that will swell the misery of 46,000 people under evacuation orders.

    Many refugees from the fire have taken up temporary residence with friends and relatives, while others have pitched tents or were camping out of their vehicles.

    The death toll far surpasses the previous fatality record from a single California wildfire - 29 in the Griffith Park fire of 1933 in Los Angeles - and already ranks among the deadliest U.S. wildfires since the turn of the last century.

    Eighty-seven people perished in the Big Burn firestorm that swept the Northern Rockies in August 1910. Minnesota’s Cloquet Fire in October 1918 killed 450 people.

    In Paradise, the flames moved so fast that some victims died in their cars in a chaotic evacuation as gridlock formed on the two exit routes out of town.

    The Butte County Sheriff’s Office said the list of the missing is compiled using information received from a special hotline, as well as emails and emergency-911 calls that came in during the first chaotic hours of the blaze.

    Authorities said some of those listed likely survived but have not yet notified family or officials, either because they lack phone service or were unaware anyone was looking for them.

    In Paradise, home to nearly 27,000 people before the Camp Fire struck, two forensic anthropologists for the University of Nevada, Reno, were helping firefighters on Saturday sort through the wreckage at a mobile home park for senior citizens.

    Firefighters peeled back the metal sheet of a collapsed roof as the anthropologists picked up charred bone fragments, sorting them into paper bags.

    Roger Fielding, chief deputy coroner with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, said each site was treated as a crime scene, with every step of recovery documented with photographs.

    “Our job is to pick up any items that might reflect who this person might be,” he said.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    APEC 2018

    • After an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Papua New Guinea failed to deliver a final joint statement of agreement, Australia says China and the United States must resolve their differences.
    • Australian PM Scott Morrison says Pacific leaders also delivered the warring Chinese and US factions a “very clear” message to get on with business.
    • The summit deteriorated - despite the signing of many deals - following a pointed speech from US Vice President Mike Pence that accused China of 'predatory' economic behaviour in the region.

    Following an historically ill-tempered APEC meeting in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Australia says the Pacific can still get along even if China and the United States can't.

    Despite the 21 Nation bloc failing to produce a joint communique for the first time in its 25 year history, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Pacific leaders also delivered the warring Chinese and US factions a “very clear” message to get on with business, according to The Guardian.

    Following a pointed speech from US Vice President Mike Pence that accused China of "predatory" economic  behaviour in the region, an irate Chinese delegation stonewalled the US push to add passages to the communique on trade reforms that clearly targeted China.

    Rather than dwelling on the fact that, for the first time in APEC history, leaders failed to put pen to paper on a communique, the Australian prime minister said the APEC community was still a "family" and progress had been made.

    “(These differences) we are dealing with are difficult,” Morrison said from the deck of one of the Australian Navy destroyers sent to dock in Port Moresby for the duration of the summit.

    "We've got to stop kidding ourselves everyone is going to agree all the time. I mean what family does that happen in?"

    Decked out in naval attire on HMAS Adelaide, Morrison acknowledged the bitter dispute between China and the US, but insisted that the APEC summit had been a success.

    "We're all still committed to stronger trading outcomes because we understand that here in the APEC family we've been able to reduce tariffs, we've been able to increase the level and the size of our economies and that's all welcome," he said.

    The reference to tariffs - imposed on some key imports into the US upon many countries by the current US administration - will not have been missed by both China and its antagonist as Canberra continues to navigate the treacherous waters between its key military ally and biggest trading partner, as many APEC nations must do.

    But the blemish on the summit's reputation as a friendly meeting of like-minded leaders was clear for all to see and Morrison acknowledged that the region needed, and expected, resolution through further dialogue.

    “I can say very clearly that the other economies around the table here, and nations’s that sat around the East Asia Summit, it has been made very clear to both the United States and China that we want to see these issues resolved," he said. 

    One winner from the weekend was PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who not only drew rich new deals - 14 alone from China - but also praise from Morrison for his handling of the summit and in particular the “testing” closing hours.

    Instead of the traditional communique, Morrison said that O'Neill would draw up the final statement as host.

    “The chair will issue a statement,” Morrison said, lauding O'Neill's decision as courageous.

    “I thought that took a lot of courage."

    "If the major powers here are not going to agree, we shouldn’t be pretending that they do, and we shouldn’t be trying to smooth that over for the sake of a communique, and we should call it out.”

    Morrison told reporters that the meeting was "a very successful APEC," concluding a myriad of agreements.

    For its part, Australia is focusing anew on the Pacific after once again being caught between its strongest ally and its biggest trading partner.

    The Australian decision to develop the Lombrum naval base at Manus Island, was backed late last week by Pence, amid a push by the traditional allies to secure access to key infrastructure and block China from a strategic toehold.

    The prime minister tried to play down growing concerns that the US and China are in fact drifting further away from any kind of economic rapprochement to put an end to a trade war costing hundreds of billions of dollars.

    Morrison said the issues would be raised again by both leaders at the G20 meeting in Argentina scheduled for the ned opf November. 

    "People have got to understand when there is not an agreement, that just means the dialogue has got to continue," he said. 

    US President Donald Trump had recently been talking up his personal admiration for Xi and tweeted of his optimism of an outcome heading into Buenos Aires.

    But while Trump and his Chinese counterpart are destined to finally discuss their war face to face at the G-20 in Argentina, hopes are a little dimmer that the two might be able to seek some way out of their confrontation.

    It is a trade war in which Xi has warned their will "be no winners."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Mark Zuckerberg

    Hello! Here's what you need to know for Monday.

    1. US President Donald Trump said there is no reason to listen to audio of the murder of Jamal KhashoggiA question is still hanging over Trump now that the CIA reportedly believes Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince personally ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month.

    2. British Prime Minister Theresa May said a conservative contest now would derail Brexit. May delivered a hard message to the rebels in her party: A leadership change could end Brexit itself.

    3. An under-pressure Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told Facebook execs that the company he built is "at war."  The company CEO promised to be more "hands on," after what he called recent "bull---" media coverage.

    4. China approved a $6 billion airport expansion in its autonomous Xinjiang territory. The area is considered by China to be a key node for the country's massive Belt and Road initiative, though the region has been wrought with controversy over its detention of Uighur Muslims. 

    5. After a tense recount, the contentious race for a Florida senate seat has been settled by around 10,000 votes. Florida Gov. Rick Scott defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in an extremely tight race.

    6. Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $1.8 billion of his massive fortune to his alma mater Johns Hopkins.  This is the largest donation to any US educational institution in history.

    7. Officials are still searching for almost 1,000 people missing in the wake of California's most destructive wildfiresBy Sunday, the remains of 77 people had been recovered.

    8.Mark Zuckerberg reportedly tried to pin the blame for the Cambridge Analytica scandal on his COO Sheryl Sandberg. Following the incident, Sandberg reportedly told friends that she wondered if she should be worried about her job.

    9. Yemen's Houthis stopped firing missiles at the Saudi Coalition. The group is even ready to consider a ceasefire following UN demands for to halt the nearly 4-year civil war. 

    10. Business Insider is set to announce the winner of our 2018 Car of the Year awardClick here to view the runner-ups.

    And finally ...

    One ticket, two days, 50+ insightful speakers, and 600+ executives. Business Insider's flagship IGNITION conference headliners include Mark Cuban, Janice Min, Sir Martin Sorrell and Barbara Corcoran. Join us for IGNITION, December 3-4, New York City.

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    Mark Zuckerberg

    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.

    1. Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told Facebook execs that the company is at "war," and called recent media coverage "bulls---". Zuckerberg told Facebook executives at a meeting in June that he was going to be a more aggressive CEO in light of a sequence of scandals, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night.
    2. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview "we have to admit when the free market is not working" on the issue of privacy. In an interview with Axios, Cook added that regulation was "inevitable."
    3. Facebook's comms team is reportedly fuming at COO Sheryl Sandberg after they were thrown under the bus over a smear campaign. Sandberg's response to the bombshell New York Times report last week angered many communications and policy team members, according to The Wall Street Journal.
    4. Mark Zuckerberg reportedly blamed Sheryl Sandberg for the Cambridge Analytica fallout, making her worry for her job. Zuckerberg met with Sandberg in the spring and said he blamed her for the furore over the giant data breach, the Journal reports.
    5. Former Facebook head of security Alex Stamos published an op-ed in The Washington Post confirming that Sheryl Sandberg yelled at him and felt "blindsided" when he briefed the board on Russian interference. Stamos was at the center of the New York Times exposé published last week on how Facebook's leadership dealt with Russian election interference.
    6. NASA will retire its new mega-rocket if SpaceX or Blue Origin can safely launch their own powerful rockets. NASA is building a super-heavy-lift rocket called the Space Launch System to send astronauts back to the moon.
    7. A security bug on Instagram accidentally revealed some people's passwords. The bug was connected to a feature that allows users to download all their data.
    8. The "secret sister" gift exchange on Facebook is actually an illegal pyramid scheme. An illegal chain mail post circulating on Facebook promises that participants will receive up to 36 gifts while only giving one of their own.
    9. A group of European lawmakers wrote to Jeff Bezos to ask that Amazon stop selling Soviet-themed merchandise. In an open letter, 27 MEPs said that the sale of items emblazoned with the hammer and sickle offends victims of the regime.
    10. Swedish scooter company VOI Technology raised $50 million in series A funding. The funding was led by Balderton Capital, along with a handful of angel investors.

    Have an Amazon Alexa device? Now you can hear 10 Things in Tech each morning. Just search for "Business Insider" in your Alexa's flash briefing settings.

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    mark zuckerberg sheryl sandberg

    • Facebook's latest scandals will hurt hiring efforts and damage employee morale, insiders say.
    • A recent New York Times report exposed how senior leadership tried to downplay the company's problems and smear its critics.
    • Current and former Facebook employees warn the revelations will further damage already-eroding morale at the company.
    • That, in turn, may make it harder for the company to retain and hire good talent — right as it's trying to solve some of its most difficult problems.

    Facebook is in crisis, yet again.

    This time, the issue how the company attempted to attack its critics with smears that have been accused of fueling anti-Semitism, while pushing to downplay the extent of public disclosures about Russian election meddling in 2016 — revelations exposed by a bombshell New York Times investigation.

    The company went into panic mode, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg defending his position on a conference call with reporters as further leaks spilled out about his working relationship with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO. So what happens now?

    Business Insider spoke to 3 former Facebook employees, and one current worker at the company, to get a feel for what people in the know are expecting Facebook to do next. These insiders warn that employee morale could take a hit — making it harder for Facebook to hire and retain the vital talent it needs to navigate this crisis. 

    Representatives for Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Facebook's scandals are more personal than ever before

    Facebook's current woes aren't like past crises the company has weathered, said some insiders.

    "If you look back at the history of the company, there are many times when its been attacked from the outside ... but it's often felt like, internally, the leadership is on top of it," one former employee said. This person cited the company's rocky post-IPO period, and the questions over whether Facebook could effectively transition its business to capitalize on the smartphone boom, as examples of problems that Facebook leadership effectively hurdled.

    "This time around ... it's actually a criticism of the leadership. This is a new kind of threat that Facebook has not experienced before ... it is the leadership somehow failing ... [a] crisis of confidence in the leadership," said this former employee.

    Another former employee blamed some of Facebook's recent crises on the corporate culture built by Zuckerberg and Sandberg, where good news rose to the top and bad news never made it to the CEO's desk. 

    "I believe they would definitely have been kept in the dark on these issues as long as possible," this person said. "They built an executive culture that incentivized bringing only good news and deflecting bad."

    "They will change something as a result. The external message will be something about some people already being gone from [Facebook], others being redeployed, and a new task force or something about doing this better," the person predicted.


    Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at rprice@businessinsider.com, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.


    The relentless drumbeat of crises can hurt employee morale at a critical moment

    As the scandals have mounted, the change in attitudes towards Facebook over the last year has been dramatic.

    "All of a sudden [it] went from a little bit of a darling to there was no safe haven," another former employee said.

    "Government hated us, friends started not liking you, press started talking about the constant corrosive effect ... all the hard things that are going on give new people a lot of pause ... 'does this leadership know how to save the company?'"

    Part of the problem is Facebook's rapid pace of growth. At the end of 2017, the company had around 25,000 staff, up from 17,000 at the end of 2016. A year prior to that, it was roughly 12,700, and in 2014 it was just over 9,000.

    In other words, most employees simply haven't been at the company very long — and this means they may be less incentivized to stick around to clean up the mess and tackle some of the hardest problems that Facebook has yet had to face.

    "Most of the company has not been there more than two years, so they have not been ... through a crisis like this, and they might not be emotionally invested in the company like the first thousand might be," an ex-employee said. They summarised employee perceptions of executive attitudes as "hey, we made a bunch of mistakes, and now it's your job to clean it up."

    According to a recent leak, Facebook employee morale has already plummeted, with the proportion of employees who are "optimistic about the company's future" dropping from 84% to 52% over the last year.

    Where will the buck stop?

    It's not yet clear whether we'll see any major departures as a result of the most recent revelations.

    One of the former employees suggested it was unlikely, pointing out that top communications exec Rachel Whetstone left back in August, and Elliot Schrage — head of comms and policy — has already announced his intentions to leave. 

    "Mark and Sheryl aren't going anywhere, no-one else is really worth getting rid of, so I don't really expect to see heads roll," the former employee said.

    A current employee, meanwhile, suggested that Joel Kaplan, Facebook's policy boss in DC, might ultimately exit.

    Kaplan is Facebook's policy boss in DC, and is a rare conservative at the famously liberal company, having previously served in the Bush White House. Kaplan drew flack from employees earlier this year after publicly appearing in support of his longtime friend Brett Kavanaugh as the then-Supreme Court nominee testified to Congress regarding allegations of sexual misconduct. According to the Times, Kaplan played a key role in the social network's attempts to downplay to the public the spread of misinformation on its platform.

    A former employee said that some of Sandberg’s lieutenants and other mid-level executives could leave (or be forced out) amid the turmoil.

    Meanwhile, it's almost guaranteed that there will be some kind of discipline for those leakers who spoke to the New York Times. 

    "There will be firings from that. That team is very good at what they do," the former employee added. "Ironically, if those resources had been looking at external manipulation via Facebook, we may not be where we are today."

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Jet.com black friday deals 2018

    Black Friday is still a few days away on the calendar, but in reality, Black Friday is officially here.

    At least, that's the case if you head on over to Jet.com. The online retailer has a veritable plethora of deals on everything from kitchen appliances to TVs to video games to drones, and that's ahead of the official Black Friday sale that begins the evening of Wednesday, November 21.

    In order to make it as easy as possible for you to spend your hard-earned money (which is to say, reward yourself and your friends and family for a year well done), Jet has launched a Black Friday-specific website, because nothing is quite as annoying as scouring a site to find the sales. So if you're looking for a way to begin the buying and gift-giving process early, this is definitely the place to start.

    As of today, you can find the Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker by Breville in white for just $162.47, down from $249.95. The Samsung 75" Class 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV has been discounted by $300, and is now $1,297.99. Similarly, the Samsung 55"Class 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV is now under $400, or $80 less than list price. In fact, the entire Samsung catalogue is now on sale at Jet, where you can buy discounted tablets, smartwatches, sound systems, and of course, television sets. Some discounts are as steep as 50%, but we don't expect these prices to last long.

    You can also find great deals on electronics and video games, like the Sony PlayStation VR Creed Bundle, which is down nearly $100 to $250. Also, the Microsoft Xbox One X 1TB Fallout 76 Bundle, which was once $499, is now $429.

    For the audiophiles in your life, you can check out Jet's selection of headphones and speakers on sale. Already, you can get the Bose SoundLink AE 2 Black for $199, down from $229. The Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Headphones have been discounted around 15% for just $169, while the Bose Companion 2 Computer Speakers have seen a 10% discount, and are now $224.

    If you're looking for a gift that's a bit off the beaten path, you may check out Jet.com's selection of on-sale drones. The DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter Drone Fly More Combo is 10% off at $878.95, while the DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter Drone is now $699, down from $799.

    While all the above deals can already be had on Jet.com, for those willing to wait, there's a wider selection still from which to choose.

    For example, the 32GB Apple iPad will be $249, which is $55 off its original price. A special-edition Fitbit Versa, on the other hand, is $49 off, and now just under $180. And if you're looking to upgrade the Wi-Fi in your house, one of the better deals on the list is the Linksys Velop Mesh WiFi System, which has been discounted by nearly 50% to just $199.

    Then, there are the gifts for the commuters in your life, like the Voyager Electric Scooter in Ion Black, which is 50% off for just $149. 

    On the smart home front, Jet is offering deals on smart home hubs like the Google Home Hub, which is $50 off its list price for $99. There's also the Dyson V6 Origin Cord-Free Vacuum, which is $40 off its normal price and available for $159. Alternatively, if you'd rather have a robot do all the heavy lifting, you'll find the iRobot Roomba 670 for $100 off its normal price, and less than $200.

    All this to say, regardless of what sort of shopping you hope to accomplish over this busy Black Friday season, it seems that Jet.com could be your one-stop shop. And with the added convenience of shopping from your couch, you may just want to keep an eye on your credit card — it could develop a mind of its own.

    Available now:

    Available starting Wednesday, November 21 at 10 p.m. EST:

    Looking for more deals? We've rounded up the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the internet.

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    Growth Regtech Firms

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

    Regtech solutions seemed to offer the solution to financial institutions' (FIs) compliance woes when they first came to prominence around 24 months ago, gaining support from regulators and investors alike. 

    However, many of the companies offering these solutions haven't scaled as might have been expected from the initial hype, and have failed to follow the trajectory of firms in other segments of fintech.

    This unexpected inertia in the regtech industry is likely to resolve over the next 12-18 months as other factors come into play that shift FIs' approach to regtech solutions, and as the companies offering them evolve. External factors driving this change include regulatory support of regtech solutions, and consultancies offering more help to FIs wanting to sift through solutions. Startups offering regtech solutions will also play a part by partnering with each other, forming industry organizations, and taking advantage of new opportunities.

    This report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, provides a brief overview of the current global financial regulatory compliance landscape, and the regtech industry's position within it. It then details the major drivers that will shift the dial on FIs' adoption of regtech over the next 12-18 months, as well as those that will propel startups offering regtech solutions to new heights. Finally, it outlines what impact these drivers will have, and gives insight into what the global regtech industry will look like by 2020.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Regulatory compliance is still a significant issue faced by global FIs. In 2018 alone, EU regulations MiFID II and PSD2 have come into effect, bringing with them huge handbooks and gigantic reporting requirements. 
    • Regtech startups boast solutions that can ease FIs' compliance burden — but they are struggling to scale. 
    • Some changes expected to drive greater adoption of these solutions in the next 12 to 18 months are: the ongoing evolution of startups' business models, increasing numbers of partnerships, regulators' promotion of regtech, changing attitudes to the segment among FIs, and consultancies helping to facilitate adoption.
    • FIs will actively be using solutions from regtech startups by 2020, and startups will be collaborating in an organized fashion with each other and with FIs. Global regulators will have adopted regtech themselves, while continuing to act as advocates for the industry.

    In full, the report:

    • Reviews the major changes expected to hit the regtech segment in the next 12 to 18 months.
    • Examines the drivers behind these changes, and how the proliferation of regtech will improve compliance for FIs.
    • Provides our view on what the future of the regtech industry looks like through 2020.

       

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    iPhone XS Max

    Every fall, Apple introduces new iPhones. And every fall, many iPhone users wonder: should I upgrade? 

    This year was, in Apple parlance, an "S year," which means that one of the new iPhones, the iPhone XS, was an iterative upgrade rather than a total overhaul. Which begs the question: if you have an iPhone X, which is only a year old, do you need to upgrade? 

    Or, if you're looking for a new device, should you go for the cheaper option and buy last year's phone over the new iPhone XS?

    This year, the differences between the two phones are minor, but there are still a few things that set the new phone apart. Here's how the iPhone X compares to the iPhone XS. 

    SEE ALSO: There's only one color you should consider if you're thinking about buying the iPhone XS

    The iPhone XS comes in more colors.

    The iPhone X came in just two colors: silver (essentially white) and space gray (essentially black).

    The iPhone XS retained those two shades, but added a third color option: gold.



    The iPhone XS has a brand-new, super-fast chip.

    The iPhone XS has Apple's new A12 Bionic chip, which Apple says includes a "next-generation neural engine." Regardless, it should improve the phone's speed and performance compared with the iPhone X. 

    That being said, the iPhone X is still a high-performance phone, despite having a year-old chip. 



    The iPhone XS is slightly more water-resistant.

    The iPhone XS is water-resistant to a depth of two meters for up to 30 minutes — that's one more meter than the iPhone X, which is only water resistant in about one meter of water. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jeff bezos

    • The cloud computing market should continue to grow at a rapid pace in coming years, Goldman Sachs said in a new report.
    • But the market is already dominated by four big firms — Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba.
    • The opportunity for other players is rapidly closing, Goldman Sachs said.

    It's still early days in cloud computing, the hottest sector in the gigantic business technology market. But the window of opportunity for companies to grab a piece of it is closing fast.

    That's the word from Goldman Sachs, which just released its latest quarterly report on the cloud market. The good news, according to analysts Heather Bellini, Heath Terry, Piyush Mubayi, Caroline Liu, Mark Grant, and Ted Lin is that the market for cloud services will continue to grow by at least 20% a year through 2021.

    The bad news? A growing percentage of that spending will go to just four players — Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba.

    "We continue to expect that the public cloud landscape will consolidate into an oligopolistic market structure," the Goldman Sachs analysts said in the report.

    Amazon pioneered the cloud computing market when it launched Amazon Web Services more than a decade ago. Although AWS has grown since then into a multi-billion-dollar behemoth, the overall cloud computing market is still a nascent one, Goldman Sachs said in the report. Many companies still haven't shifted over to the cloud, and the vast majority of enterprise spending is still on traditional services. 

    The core cloud computing market is expanding rapidly

    The analysts focused on the core cloud services — infrastructure as a service (IaaS), where companies such as Amazon offer computing processing power; and platform as a service (PaaS), where Microsoft and other companies offer a kind of cloud-based operating system on which people can build and run applications — and the non-cloud enterprise tech services with which they directly compete. The combined amount companies spend on cloud services and the non-cloud ones that are direct competitors represents the total potential market for cloud services.

    As cloud spending expands, it will be doing so in part by eating into money companies used to spend on such things as maintaining and running applications on their own servers.

    Last year, spending on cloud services accounted for about 8% of the total potential market. That should jump to about 15% by 2021, Goldman Sachs estimated. In other words, a growing portion of corporate IT budgets will be going to the cloud.

    "Our checks continue to suggest that we remain in the early innings of public cloud," the analysts said in their report.

    cloud as portion of total potential market chart -based on Goldman Sachs data

    That trend will represent a big move in real dollars as well as percentages. Enterprise companies spent about $47 billion last year on the core cloud services, according to Goldman Sachs. The firm expects that amount to grow to $62 billion this year, and $116 billion by 2021.

    But the top four firms are leaving little room for other players

    Frequently, with a rapidly expanding market there's room for plenty of competitors to flourish. But that's not what Goldman Sachs expects. The cloud market has already started to consolidate, and that trend is only going to become more pronounced in coming years, the analyst predicted. Basically, only the biggest players — Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Chinese giant Alibaba Cloud — have the resources to offer differentiated services and to continue to build out the data server infrastructure needed to compete, they said.

    Read this:Google just named a former Oracle exec as the head of its giant cloud business

    Last year, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba accounted for about 56% of the core cloud computing market. By next year, their combined share should hit 84%, according to Goldman Sachs' forecast. The three American giants alone will account for 77% of the total market, the analysts said.

    "The largest three players (AWS, Azure, Google), will continue to dominate share of the market," the analysts said.

    While the biggest players will see their revenue go up, the amount of revenue going to the rest of the players in the cloud market will actually decrease, despite the market's overall expansion. While companies other than the big four pulled in about $21 billion by offering core cloud services last year, that amount will decline to $20 billion this year and just $12 million next year, Goldman Sachs projected.

    That could be ominous IBM, Oracle, and other companies that have been trying to edge into the cloud-computing market. If Goldman Sachs is right, they're going to be left fighting for fewer and fewer table scraps left by the cloud giants.

    Now read:

    SEE ALSO: Microsoft has all the right ingredients to top Amazon in the cloud, says the company's former Silicon Valley chief

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    US Border troops razor wire

    Weeks after President Donald Trump ordered nearly 6,000 troops to the US-Mexico border, the largest active-duty mobilization to the border during his presidency, some of those troops will start heading home.

    The expected end date for the operation is December 15, but some troops that are either not needed or have completed their mission could leave before that date, according to Politico. All troops should be back to their home stations well before Christmas, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan told Politico.

    "We will continue to support [US Customs and Border Protection's] request for support up until December 15 unless we are directed otherwise," Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said. "At some point in time, when the work is done, we'll start downsizing some capability or shifting capability to elsewhere on the border. Our numbers will be commensurate with the capacities that DHS and CBP have requested."

    For those not heading home, Thanksgiving dinner will be shipped to troops at the border.

    A CNN report published late Monday seemed to contradict the assertion that the border operation was beginning to wind down. The news outlet said Trump is expected to grant some troops the authority to "protect" CBP personnel from migrants "if they engage in violence." The report, which cited administration officials familiar with the matter, said the troops would also be granted permission to protect federal property.

    In late October — days before the November 6, 2018, midterm elections — Trump ordered troops to the US-Mexico border to aid CBP and other law enforcement in anticipation of a caravan of migrants traveling north from Central America. Some 2,800 soldiers were sent to Texas, 1,500 to Arizona, and 1,500 to California — in addition to roughly 2,100 members of the National Guard already deployed.

    Usually, when military personnel are sent to the border to back up law enforcement and CPB, it's part-time National Guard troops (under the command of state's governors), as was previously authorized. However, the troops sent ahead of the midterm elections included active-duty troops: "three combat engineer battalions, members of the US Army Corps of Engineers and troops who specialize in aviation, medical treatment and logistics," according to The Washington Post. 

    Critics called the mobilization of troops to the border a political stunt pulled before the midterm elections to rally the president's base.

    The troops were mainly responsible for building barriers along the border including shipping containers and barbed wire. Thus far, roughly seven miles of wire have been placed at the border, according to Military.com. And the concertina wire mission has been completed in Texas, Stars and Stripes reported. The Pentagon said it does not have any clarity on the next step now that barrier emplacement has been completed.

    Migrants have begun to arrive in Tijuana, Mexico, and roughly 7,000 could end up there, according to KPBS. Earlier on Monday, CBP closed some northbound traffic and pedestrian lanes at the border crossing.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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