Archive for Hannah Towey

California is suing Kanye West’s Yeezy brand for allegedly violating a rule that requires notice or a refund when products don’t ship within 30 days of ordering

Kanye West wears sunglasses and a gold necklace at an event.
Kanye West's clothing brand Yeezy has filed to dismiss a trademark dispute by Walmart.
  • Kanye West's apparel brand is heading back to court, this time over shipping delays.
  • Yeezy failed to ship products within 30 days, violating California's business code, the state says.
  • Meanwhile, the supply-chain crisis at LA ports continues to cause shipping delays across the US.

Kanye West's apparel brand Yeezy was hit by a lawsuit from the State of California on Friday, alleging illegal shipping delays.

California says Yeezy "repeatedly violated" the state's business code "by failing to ship items within thirty days and failing to provide adequate delay notices to California consumers, or provide an offer of a refund," according to the lawsuit.

California's business code states that if a company does not ship products ordered online within a 30-day timeframe, it must provide a refund, send "equivalent or superior replacement goods," and send the customer a written delay notice.

Regardless of whether Yeezy shipped items on time, fans of West's popular and pricey sneakers may be disappointed by lengthy shipment times referenced throughout the suit. The supply-chain crisis concentrated in California's ports continues to cause disruptions across the country.

The musician has not commented on whether or not Yeezy is experiencing shipment delays, and did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Yeezysupply.com, the domain listed in the suit, says customers should "allow 2-3 business days for your order to process and 3-5 days to ship."

While West collaborated with Adidas to sell Yeezy apparel, Adidas was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

However, the Adidas website does include a disclaimer on shipment times: "Due to the coronavirus's impact and the mandates in place, your order may experience a shipping delay. This delay is due to several factors, including travel restrictions, available staffing, and/or federal/state/local mandates."

In August, Adidas' Chief Financial Officer Harm Ohlmeyer told journalists that supply chain constraints could cost the sportswear brand as much as $580 million in sales by the end of the year, according to a Financial Times report.

This isn't the first time West's brand has been taken to court. In April, retail giant Walmart filed a complaint to the US Patent and Trademark Office, arguing that Yeezy's logo design looks too much like the retail giant's logo.

Early this summer, the musician's legal team candidly argued that Walmart "certainly knows, as does the consuming public, that the last thing [Yeezy] wants to do is associate itself with [Walmart]."

A few months after the feud, West sued Walmart over 'virtually indistinguishable' knockoffs of his foam Yeezy shoes, Insider's Grace Kay previously reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I tried Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s work hack and meditated twice a day. I felt noticeably less stressed after just 15 minutes.

Jack Dorsey wearing tie-dye shirt onstage
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey tries to meditate for two hours each day and has attended several meditation retreats.
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's daily wellness habits include fasting, five-mile walks, and two hours of meditation.
  • He said the strict routine helps him manage the stress of running both Twitter and Square.
  • I tried meditating in 15-minute blocks for one week and felt noticeably less stressed at work.

Apart from his beard and two simultaneous CEO gigs, Jack Dorsey has distinguished himself from fellow tech billionaires through a strict wellness schedule that includes walking five miles to work, meditating for two hours, and eating one meal a day.

He said the lifestyle choices allow him to "stay above water" while serving as the CEO of both Twitter and Square. I couldn't realistically dedicate myself to following his entire routine, so I tried meditating for 15 minutes twice a day to see how it might impact my work-life.

Dorsey has specifically practiced Vipassana meditation, an ancient Buddhist meditation technique that frequently involves 10 days of silence. Also known as "insight meditation," its guiding principle is non-judgment.

Unlike other meditative practices that focus on a specific mantra or visualization, you're not supposed to consciously control your thoughts during Vipassana. Instead, you acknowledge any wandering thoughts and immediately return to your breath, ultimately seeking a calmer and more focused mind.

Dorsey isn't the only tech CEO to swear by the technique as a secret to professional success. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff became so convinced of its benefits that the software giant added a meditation room on every floor of its San Francisco office.

Here's how meditation impacted my performance at work after setting aside 15 minutes twice a day over the span of one week.

I found the best times to meditate were immediately after waking up and between switching tasks

I had read online that Vipassana meditation works best first thing in the morning but was nervous the calming ritual would put me right back to sleep. I have never been a morning person and rely heavily on coffee to jumpstart my day.

So I was genuinely surprised that meditating immediately after I woke up made me feel highly alert, no caffeine necessary. Despite having my eyes closed for 15 minutes longer than I usually would, the focused breathing helped clear away any brain fog that normally lingers for the first hour at my desk.

I experienced similar effects when I meditated in between switching tasks, which usually fell around lunchtime. The moments when I feel the least focused at work are when I have to shift gears from one article to the next, or from writing to interviewing. Meditating in between created a buffer and allowed my mindset to refocus on my next task.

I felt noticeably less stressed, but not necessarily more productive

While I noticed that meditating helped lower my anxiety levels, I found it was more beneficial in regards to high-level problem solving than completing short-term assignments.

Usually, a healthy dose of stress and adrenaline is what gets me through breaking news and daily deadlines. Vipassana meditation doesn't allow you to react to the checklist in your head and forces you to see things from a birds-eye view, something I found helpful in creative idea generation and goal setting.

Sitting still without distractions for 15 minutes was much harder than I thought

On the first day of this experiment, I didn't think I could make it through the week. Part of Vipassana is observing - but not reacting to - sensations such as the urge to fidget, stretch, or even itch. Fifteen minutes of sitting up straight and engaging my core forced me to become highly aware of any physical aches or pains.

But after the first five minutes, focusing on my breath felt much more natural and intuitive. The hardest part was putting away my phone, closing my laptop, and convincing myself that I could spare 15 minutes in the middle of the day.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Elon Musk wants to sell Tesla ‘Giga Beer’ in a Cybertruck-inspired bottle

Tesla CEO Elon Musk reveals "Giga Beer" in a cyber-truck inspired bottle at the Giga Fest in Germany.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reveals "Giga Beer" in a cyber-truck inspired bottle at the Giga Fest in Germany.
  • Elon Musk announced Tesla's plan to sell beer in a Cybertruck-inspired bottle last week.
  • His previous booze venture was $250 tequila in a lightning-bolt bottle that sold out in hours.
  • Tesla officially owns the trademarks for both "Giga Beer" and "Giga Bier," the German translation.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to expand his booze business from tequila to beer following the immense popularity of the now sold-out $250 Tesla Tequila.

Musk revealed Tesla's "Giga Beer" during an event held at the Berlin gigafactory construction site last week. The beer bottle's futuristic design appears to mimic the style of Musk's beloved Cybertruck, with a Tesla logo imprinted on one of its angular panels.

Tesla officially owns the trademarks for both Giga Beer and Giga Bier, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The trademark request was filed on October 11, two days after the beer was revealed in Berlin.

Last year, the automaker launched the $250 limited-edition Tesla Tequila, sold in a gold lightning-bolt bottle. A second batch was released this March and quickly sold out in hours, Insider's Tim Levin reported. Now, resellers have listed the empty bottles online for thousands of dollars, even without the tequila inside.

tesla tequila hero
Resellers are betting that Tesla fans will pay top dollar, even if it's just for an empty bottle.

Despite its popularity, Musk's alcohol endeavors have been categorized alongside his other "gag products" such as red satin short shorts and a fire-spewing device called the "Not-a-Flamethrower."

Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider's request for additional details about Giga Beer, such as its pricing and flavor.

Read the original article on Business Insider

This retired FBI agent became a school bus driver after watching the labor shortage crush his community

School Bus
  • The bus driver shortage has interrupted schools across the nation, prompting wage hikes.
  • After watching the shortage impact his own community, a former FBI agent decided to apply for the job.
  • He said bus drivers are "transporting the future of America," and deserve more credit for their work.

Michael Mason was number four on the FBI's food chain, overseeing the agency's criminal branch as the executive assistant director. To this day, he remains one of the most highly ranked Black special agents in the history of the FBI.

Now, he's a school bus driver for special education students - a job he says he is not "overqualified" for, as some have claimed.

"I am somebody in the community who cares about the future of this country, who cares about the future of our children," Mason told Insider. "And that's why I wanted to do this job ... we're transporting the future of America."

Mason decided to apply to become a school bus driver after seeing the national driver shortage impact his own community in Chesterfield, Virginia.

The district's "huge deficit" of school bus drivers led to delays and long pick-up and drop-off lines, burdening parents, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

In August, the shortage prompted a $3 wage hike, increasing drivers' hourly pay to $20.21, according to the report. The salary increase, along with the potential for a $3,000 bonus, has helped Chesterfield public schools receive 600 new driver applicants as of Tuesday.

As a recent retiree, Mason said he didn't become a bus driver for the money - but he said the stress of the job does not align with the salary.

"This job has truly expanded my capacity for empathy and understanding," he told Insider. "I have kids who sometimes are as placid as a beautiful lake, and sometimes are as chaotic as a storm."

He said that despite stress caused by traffic and student safety, the vast majority of bus drivers he's met reference the children they drive as their own students and are incredibly "dedicated to their craft."

"They take the job very seriously," he said. "But you know in America, we poo poo some jobs and we elevate others."

Mason added that he hopes the shortage has demonstrated how important the job of a bus driver really is.

"With some jobs, you only notice the importance of it when something fails," he told Insider. "I think the manner in which we characterize this job will help drive some people to consider it. I'm hoping maybe some retirees like me, say, 'I got more to offer.'"

Expanded Coverage Module: what-is-the-labor-shortage-and-how-long-will-it-last
Read the original article on Business Insider

Muslim women were held in a cell for months by Chinese police for cyber ‘pre-crimes’ such as accessing WhatsApp and a school Gmail account, book says

People are detained by the police after a rally in Hong Kong on December 22, 2019 to show support for the Uighur minority in China
People are detained by the police after a rally in Hong Kong on December 22, 2019 to show support for the Uighur minority in China.
  • Muslim women were sent to Chinese re-education camps for cyber "pre-crimes," a book out Tuesday reveals.
  • One student said she was detained for using a VPN to open her school Gmail account and submit homework.
  • She shared a cell with a woman arrested for using WhatsApp to contact coworkers, the book says.

Women belonging to China's Muslim ethnic groups were detained in a cell for months by Chinese police after being accused of various cyber "pre-crimes," an excerpt from the book "In The Camps: China's High-Tech Penal Colony" revealed.

Vera Zhou, a US permanent resident and student at the University of Washington, said she was detained for downloading a VPN in order to access her school homework and email accounts while visiting her father and boyfriend in Xinjiang, China.

"They informed me that I will be sent to a 're-education class,'" Zhou wrote in remarks to the US Department of Education. "I was required to change into their uniform which has neon green stripes on the sleeves and pants. The door was locked from the outside."

"I was there from October 2017 to March 2018," she added. "I spent my Thanksgiving, Christmas, and 2018 New Year in that cell."

The Uighurs and Hui are the two major Muslim ethnic groups in China, living under intense surveillance from the Chinese government. More than one million Uighurs are believed to have been sent to "re-education" camps and prisons like Zhou's, where former detainees detail horrific experiences with torture and medical experiments.

Zhou was held along with 11 other Muslim women identified by police as extremist "pre-criminals" through China's internet security law, the book out Tuesday says. The law, implemented in 2017, requires internet network operators to share personal data with Chinese authorities.

One woman said she was arrested for downloading WhatsApp in order to talk to coworkers in Kazakhstan. Another woman who sold smartphones said she allowed multiple customers to use her ID to set up their SIM cards.

All three were victims of China's high-tech surveillance system that targets Muslim minorities, according to "In the Camps" author Darren Byler.

After spending six months at the camp, Zhou was released under a set of conditions requiring her to stay within her local neighborhood and report frequently to a "social stability worker."

One day, while going to a movie theatre with friends, Zhou said her ID and face were scanned at a checkpoint, prompting an alarm to go off. Another day, she accidentally walked beyond her neighborhood's border, as her face quickly became highlighted by a yellow square on a nearby monitor that identified her as a Muslim pre-criminal.

Zhou soon realized that while her physical confinement had ended, she was still stuck in a digital prison.

But when she was finally able to return to Seattle in 2019, the surveillance technology that made her confinement possible had also reached the US.

Amazon, with headquarters in Seattle, reportedly purchased 1,500 thermal imaging cameras from a Chinese company that the US has blacklisted due to allegations it helped the Chinese government "detain and monitor the Uighurs and other Muslim minorities," Insider's Ben Gilbert reported last April.

The technology is intended to remotely monitor employee temperature as a means of preventing coronavirus from spreading. Despite Dahua 's status with the US government, private businesses are legally allowed to purchase goods from blacklisted companies.

In an earlier email exchange with Business Insider, Amazon spokesperson Rena Lunak confirmed that Amazon is implementing "the use of thermal imagers from multiple manufacturers for temperature screening to create a more streamlined experience for our employees."

However, she added, "none of this equipment has network connectivity, and no personal identifiable information will be visible, collected, or stored."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Instagram boss says it feels like a ‘snow day’ as the Facebook outage reportedly brings work to a grinding halt

facebook messenger instagram
Several Facebook apps appeared to suffer an outage on Monday.
  • Every Facebook-owned app appears to be down in a widespread outage, including Instagram and WhatsApp.
  • Facebook employees and social media managers have taken to Twitter to declare Monday a "snow day."
  • Instagram's boss replied "it does feel like a snow day" to a tweet that said, "Instagram should stay offline forever."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Instagram boss Adam Mosseri has likened a widespread outage affecting all Facebook-owned apps to a "snow day" in a recent tweet, as many on the internet flooded to Twitter.

The tweet was written in response to one user's post saying "Instagram should stay offline forever," to which Mosseri replied, "them fighting words… but it does feel like a snow day."

Sources told The New York Times technology reporter Ryan Mac that "no one can do any work" at Facebook, causing internal declarations of a "snow day."

Mac jokingly tweeted "or maybe it's hydrofoil day" in response, referencing a viral video showing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg riding a hydrofoil surfboard on the Fourth of July.

Social-media managers outside of Facebook have also called Monday a social media "snow day" on Twitter while apologizing for not being able to reach clients and customers.

Workplace, a communications tool owned by Facebook and used by 7 million paid subscribers, is also down. During a similar Facebook outage two years ago, small businesses lost thousands of dollars in revenue, according to a report by The Verge.

DownDetector has received more than 86,000 user reports of Facebook outages since 11:25 a.m. ET on Monday, according to its website. Of these issues, 79% were related to Facebook's website, 12% were related to server connections, and 9% were related to the app.

Facebook said, "We're aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience" in a tweet addressing the outage.

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘Squid Game’ is driving so much internet traffic in South Korea that a broadband provider is suing Netflix over usage costs

Squid Game

SK Broadband, an internet service provider in South Korea, has sued Netflix, Reuters reported Friday.

The company alleges that Netflix's hit series "Squid Game" is causing explosive traffic and argues that the streaming platform should pay usage fees as a result. A Netflix spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said during the annual Code Conference on Monday that the Korean-language survival show will "definitely" be the company's biggest non-English series of all time, Insider's Travis Clark reported.

Sarandos added that there's "a very good chance it's going to be our biggest show ever," a title currently held by "Bridgerton," viewed by a record of 82 million households.

SK Broadband alleges that traffic from Netflix on its network has increased by 1,150 Gigabits per second (Gbps) over the past three years, peaking this September. "Squid Game" was released on September 17.

The lawsuit is part of an ongoing legal debate in South Korea about whether or not content providers like Netflix should be required to pay usage fees for local internet services.

In a former lawsuit, Netflix said its responsibility is to create and provide content - not to provide internet to viewers, Reuters said.

Amazon, Apple, and Facebook are paying usage fees while Netflix and YouTube are not, an SK spokesperson told Reuters.

Kang Dong-han, Netflix's VP of content for Korea, said Netflix's investment in South Korea's entertainment industry has resulted in an "economic effect" of $4.7 billion, Yonhap News Agency reported Wednesday.

"The investment has generated 5.6 trillion won in cumulative economic effect and created 16,000 jobs in various industries related to entertainment and content creation," Dong-han said at "Netflix Partner Day," an online event.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tesla’s new software update can grade your driving skills – see the formula used to calculate the daily safety scores

Tesla Model S interior
Tesla Model S interior.

Elon Musk announced a highly anticipated software update for Tesla vehicles on Saturday that allows drivers to view daily "safety scores."

If drivers earn a favorable safety score for one week, they can then request access to Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software.

The score, ranging from zero to 100, assesses driving behavior based on five safety factors: forward-collision warnings per 1,000 miles, hard braking, aggressive turning, unsafe following, and forced autopilot disengagement.

As detailed in a safety guide published by Tesla, the daily score is calculated through a Predicted Collision Frequency (PCF) formula. The final calculation is an estimate of how many collisions may occur per 1 million miles of driving.

Tesla drivers who earn a "safe" driving record for an entire week can then access the FSD Beta software, Insider's Shalini Nagarajan reported Sunday.

Tesla's Safety Score Beta
Tesla's Safety Score Beta

Some Tesla drivers have documented their experience with the new scoring system on social media. One user posted incremental changes in his score, claiming that "running yellow lights" and "rolling through stop signs" helped increase his rating, though Insider has not confirmed these claims.

Later, the user posted a screenshot of an almost-perfect score of 99, with the caption "After driving like grandma all weekend."

On Reddit, users said hard acceleration such as "gunning it at green lights" did not appear to affect their safety score.

"Have gunned it at all green lights. Can confirm safety score is still 92," one user wrote on the Tesla Investors Club Reddit page.

Tesla said it expects the formula to change in the future as it gains more customer and data insights. According to Tesla's safety guide, details about drivers' daily safety scores can be viewed by selecting "Daily Details" at the bottom of the screen.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Facebook made money from dangerous ‘abortion reversal’ ads that targeted teens and were seen 18.4 million times

Mark
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Big Tech companies Facebook and Google profited from "abortion reversal" advertisements seen by millions, according to a new report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate.

So-called abortion reversal pills, which are sold as an unverified method to reverse the effects of drugs taken to begin a medical abortion, are deemed unsafe and unscientific by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The only credible study on the medication was ended after participants experienced potentially fatal bleeding.

Abortion reversal ads on Facebook were seen 18.4 million times since January 2020, according to the report. Due in part to a Facebook feature that allows advertisers to target minors age 13 to 17, the ads were viewed by teen users 700,000 times.

This is despite Facebook's policy banning ads that promote "inappropriate, illegal, or unsafe" products and services to minors. In total, the platform has accepted up to $140,667 from abortion reversal ads since the start of 2020, the report says.

A Facebook spokesperson told Insider that it removed many of the ads identified in the report, some of which were "inactive and months or years old," for "violating our policies around offering adult products and services."

The findings of the Center for Countering Digital Hate's new report was based on a sample of 140 Google searches carried out across 14 US cities.
The findings of the Center for Countering Digital Hate's new report was based on a sample of 140 Google searches carried out across 14 US cities.

Eighty-three percent of Google searches using keywords like "find abortion clinic near me," "planned parenthood," and "unwanted pregnancy," resulted in abortion reversal advertisements, the report says.

Almost all of the ads said the "reversal" pill was effective, and 98% were placed by Ohio-based group Heartbeat International.

A Google spokesperson told Insider that the company removed "any ads promoting abortion reversal pills" adding that "we do not allow ads with unproven medical claims."

Google said it requires groups running ads "using keywords related to getting an abortion" to complete a certification verifying whether they do or do not provide abortions.

The search platform then automatically generates in-ad disclosures showing whether or not the advertiser "provides abortions" or "does not provide abortions."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Google underpaid thousands of international ‘shadow workers,’ violating labor laws around the world, reports reveal

Google New York Office
Google in Manhattan.
  • Google underpaid thousands of temporary workers around the world, The Guardian and NYT report.
  • Countries with "pay-parity" laws require equitable wages for full-time and temporary workers.
  • One manager worried a pay bump would allow staff to "connect the dots" and cause an uproar, emails reviewed by NYT showed.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Google underpaid thousands of international contract workers, violating pay-parity laws in several countries, The New York Times and The Guardian reported Friday.

The tech giant's compliance department discovered the mistake but chose not to immediately compensate the underpaid temporary staff, according to the reports, and instead only corrected rates for new employees in the hopes of avoiding legal, financial, and reputational damage.

Alan Barry, a Google manager based in Ireland, feared that the dramatic pay increase would cause employees to "connect the dots" and "give rise to a flurry of noise/frustration," according to internal emails reviewed by the Times.

"I'm also not keen to invite the charge that we've allowed this situation to persist for so long that the correction required is significant," Barry wrote in an email, per NYT.

Pay-parity labor laws in Europe and Asia require companies to pay equitable wages to full-time and temporary workers who perform similar workplace duties, a protocol that does not exist in the US.

According to The Guardian, Google employs over 900 temporary workers throughout the UK, Ireland, India, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Poland - all of which enforce local pay-parity laws.

"While the team hasn't increased the comparator rate benchmarks for some years, actual pay rates for temporary staff have increased numerous times in that period," Spyro Karetsos, Google's chief compliance officer, said in a statement to Insider. "Most temporary staff are paid significantly more than the comparator rates."

"Nevertheless, it's clear that this process has not been handled consistently with the high standards to which we hold ourselves as a company," he added. "We're doing a thorough review, and we're committed to identifying and addressing any pay discrepancies that the team has not already addressed. And we'll be conducting a review of our compliance practices in this area. In short, we're going to figure out what went wrong here, why it happened, and we're going to make it right."

Google's temporary and contract workers reportedly outnumber its force of full-time employees, creating a "shadow workforce" that has attempted unionizing in recent years to fight for fair wages and benefits, Insider's Katie Canales reported.

In some cases, Google barred contractors from communicating with full-time Googlers and made temps wear red badges that one employee said led to a "sense of shame" among the company's temporary workforce, Insider's Nick Bastone reported in 2019.

The New York Times and The Guardian both reported that the issue has been flagged to the SEC, as even though the same pay-parity laws do not exist in America, the lack of public disclosure of the issue could be viewed as a material impact to Google's business, and one that should have been mentioned in company filings.

Read the original article on Business Insider