Business

People with dyslexia have the skills to future-proof the workforce, research claims

October 15, 2019

Companies can future-proof their workforces by employing people with dyslexia, new research has claimed, according to a report by CNBC.

In a report published Monday, the British consultancy division of Ernst & Young, EY, used data from the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Made By Dyslexia—the latter, a global charity led by successful dyslexics—to outline how such people’s skills aligned with the competencies that would be required in the workplaces of the future.

What exactly is dyslexia? The Mayo Clinic describes it as “a learning disorder that involves difficult reading due to problems identify speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding).” Most dyslexics have above-average intelligence and social aptitude—and, therefore, are able to hide their reading and pronunciation problems without detection in many cases.

Referencing the WEF’s prediction of which skills would be the most in-demand by 2022, EY’s report highlighted how certain capabilities were becoming more and less useful to employers amid the rise of automation.

The need for processing and manual capabilities like time management, reading, mathematical calculations, and active listening were on the decline, according to the report, CNBC notes.

Meanwhile, creative and social skills such as leadership, analytical thinking and technology design—all of which are common in dyslexics—were increasingly in demand.

The report’s authors also highlighted a slew of capabilities and skills typically seen in people with dyslexia that would be vital to all industries by the year 2022.

“Overall, our analysis shows that competencies for a significant number of jobs in the workplace that dyslexic individuals may typically find challenging will largely be impacted by forms of automation,” the report’s authors said.

“In their place, enhanced tasks and new jobs will be created that match closely to the strengths of dyslexic thinking. Dyslexia could provide an opportunity for organizations to bridge the skills gap of the future.”

Earlier this month, CNBC reports, billionaire Sir Richard Branson credited dyslexia for some of his success as an entrepreneur, noting that people with the condition possessed the “skills of the future.”

“My dyslexia has shaped Virgin right from the very beginning and imagination has been the key to many of our successes,” he said in a blog post. “It helped me think big but keep our messages simple. The business world often gets caught up in facts and figures—and while the details and data are important, the ability to dream, conceptualize and innovate is what sets the successful and the unsuccessful apart.”

Research contact: @CNBC

Adidas by Stella McCartney now sells a post-mastectomy sports bra

October 11, 2019

For the hundreds of thousands of U.S. women who have gone through single or double mastectomies, finding sports bras that are comfortable and look appropriate for a gym can turn into an epic and less-than-fruitful search.

The good news for them is that Adidas by Stella McCartney unveiled on Monday its first ever Post-Mastectomy, Yahoo News reports.

The post-operative bra has been designed by Stella in collaboration with bra consultant Monica Harrington, who has worked closely with breast cancer patients and has an extensive knowledge of their needs post-surgery.

The result of this partnership is a bra that prioritizes comfort and support, while also offering Stella’s signature sleek style and Adidas technology.

To tailor the bra to women who have undergone breast cancer surgery, Stella has added four unique design features, including:

  • An easy-to-use front fastening closure for women with restricted movement post-mastectomy,
  • Front pockets with removable pads to keep prosthetics in place during workouts,
  • Adjustable straps and a wide underband for high support and improved fit, and
  • Strategically placed seams around the arms to reduce any irritation to the skin, which can become sensitive due to surgical scarring.

British professional boxer Michele Aboro –who herself is a breast cancer survivor, as well as a mother and a mentor— is featured in the new campaign, says Yahoo. 

“After my surgery I felt lost. As a professional athlete, I was used to relying on my body but after my mastectomy, I started to lose belief in myself and how my body would react. When I was ready to get back into fitness, I couldn’t find a sports bra that didn’t require being pulled over my head or lacked in support. Now I wear the Post-Mastectomy Sports Bra every time I train — it is comfortable and supportive and has helped me build back my confidence to get back into the game,” Michele explains.

With the cause one which is close to Stella’s heart, following the loss of her mother, Linda McCartney to the disease, the designer hopes that the new post-operative bra will help give women the confidence to get back into sport following surgery, and help boost their physical and mental well-being.

“With the Post-Mastectomy Sports Bra, I really wanted to encourage women to take care of their health through wellness and self-care,” commented Stella. “This bra allows us to support recovering patients through the next phase of their journey; and hopefully, give them the confidence to get back into training. It has a cool and modern look that will help motivate the wearer, as well as assuring them, they are not odd one out in the gym.”

Research contact: @YahooNews

Cult skincare brand Drunk Elephant acquired by Shiseido for $845 million

October 10, 2019

Tokyo-based multinational personal care company Shiseido announced on October 8 that it will spend $845 million to acquire Drunk Elephant, the female-founded clean beauty brand that has become one of the fastest-growing prestige skincare companies in history, Forbes reported.

The business news outlet estimates that founder Tiffany Masterson, who will stay on with the brand under Shiseido as chief creative officer and president, will pocket roughly $120 million when the sale closes at the end of the year.

Drunk Elephant had net sales of close to $100 million last year. It’s been backed by San Francisco based private equity firm VMG since 2017. The brand first signaled it was open to an acquisition earlier this year, Forbes says.

Masterson founded Drunk Elephant in Houston in 2012 while she was a stay-at-home mom of four. With the help of a contract chemist, Masterson developed serums and creams formulated without what she deemed as the “suspicious six” ingredients: essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances, and sodium lauryl sulfate.

Drunk Elephant is now one of the top-selling brands at Sephora, its exclusive brick-and-mortar retailer.

“I don’t look at other brands. I don’t go into Sephora anymore,” Masterson told Forbes in 2017. “I don’t follow trends. I stay close to home and stay in my lane. I do what I need. I’m a consumer first.”

Research contact: @Forbes

NBA Commish defends ‘freedom of expression’ after Rockets GM backs Hong Kong protests

October 9, 2019

Commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Adam Silver literally is putting the league’s money where its mouth is. During a press conference prior to the preseason game between the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors at Saitama Super Arena on October 8 in Saitama, Japan. Silver sought to quell the boiling emotions sparked by Rockets GM Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of the Hong Kong protests, the Houston Chronicle reported..

The long-held values of the NBA are to support freedom of expression, and certainly freedom of expression by members of the NBA community. And in this case Daryl Morey, as the general manager of the Houston Rockets, enjoys that right as one of our employees,” Silver said in a press conference before the Rockets faced the o Raptors.

 “I understand that there are consequences from that exercise of, in essence, his freedom of speech. We will have to live with those consequences. That’s where we find ourselves, but that as a league, we are not willing to compromise those values. Again, I’m sympathetic to our interests here and to our partners who are upset. I don’t think it’s inconsistent on one hand to be sympathetic to them and at the same time stand by our principles.”

The consequences of Morey’s quickly-deleted tweet continued to mount on Tuesday when CCTV announced that in response to Silver’s support of freedom of speech it would not televise this week’s NBA preseason games in Shanghai and Shenzhen between the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers.

“We’re strongly dissatisfied and oppose Adam Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right to freedom of expression,” CCTV said in a statement translated by the Associated Press. “We believe that any remarks that challenge national sovereignty and social stability are not within the scope of freedom of speech.”

The network added that it will “immediately investigate all cooperation and exchanges involving the NBA,” the Chronicle reported.

Silver said he intends to go to Shanghai on Wednesday and hopes to meet with officials and business partners there to try to repair the damage in the NBA’s relationship with China. He did not expect a quick resolution, according to the Houston-based news outlet.

“It’s my hope that when I’m in Shanghai, I can meet with the appropriate officials and discuss where we stand, and again, put those remarks from Daryl Morey and my remarks in an appropriate context of a many-decades-long relationship and see if we can find mutual respect for each other’s political systems and beliefs,” Silver said. “But I’m a realist as well, and I recognize that this issue may not die down so quickly.”

If that were not already clear, He added that Rockets icon Yao Ming, the head of the China Basketball Association, is “extremely upset.”

Research contact: @HoustonChron

New ‘Kids Edition’ of Kindle offers child-friendly ebooks, reading badges, vocabulary builder

October 8, 2019

Amazon has long offered Kids Edition variants of its popular Fire HD tablets — including the new Fire HD 10 — and now it’s doing the same for its most basic ebook reader with the new Kindle Kids Edition, Digital Trends reported on October 7.

Hardware-wise, it’s exactly the same as the basic Kindle that Amazon launched earlier this year, except it’s a little pricier ($110), as it comes with a case, along with software-specific features designed to encourage children to read–among them:

  • Achievement badges:Children get a badge after hitting predefined reading goals.
  • Easy discovery:If a child spells the name of a book incorrectly, the Kindle will attempt to offer up the intended results.
  • Word wise:This is an existing feature on Kindles, but now it’s enabled by default and will provide definitions for tough words above them on the page—so kids don’t have to leave the book or interrupt their reading flow to understand them. You can customize the level of Word Wise to have it show fewer or more definitions.
  • Dictionary:Long-press any word to see a pop-up with the dictionary defining the word. This is also an existing feature on Kindle devices.
  • Vocabulary builder:Words that are looked up with the dictionary feature are added to Vocabulary Builder and are turned into flashcards, so kids can practice learning them; and can mark them as learned to remove them once they have a grasp on spelling and meaning.

According to Digital Trends, many of these features will come to older Kindle devices starting in January 2020, although Amazon made no promises when it comes to significantly older Kindle models. That means if you already have a Kindle from the past few years, you won’t need to shell out for the Kids Edition if you want these features.

The Kindle Kids Edition offers a six-inch E Ink screen, an adjustable front light, several weeks of battery life, and a Micro USB charging port—all in a lightweight package that’s easy to use one-handed.

Kids get to choose among four colorful cases to protect the device;  and buyers receive Amazon’s two-year, worry-free guarantee, so if something happens to the Kindle, Amazon will replace it for free.

The Kindle Kids Edition also comes with one year of FreeTime Unlimited included, which is Amazon’s kid-friendly content service that delivers access to more than 1,000 ad-free books and access to Audible. You can set age limits, so the Kindle will only show books relevant to a specific age group. The service costs $3 per month if you’re a Prime subscriber and $5 per month if you’re not.

The Kindle Kids Edition is  available for pre-order now from Amazon and it ships on October 30. Amazon is offering a 25% off deal if you order two Kindle Kids Edition devices at the same time.

Research contact: @DigitalTrends

Over 2,000 people have petitioned Costco to add a vegan hot dog to its food court menu

October 7, 2019

It may not be in the Zagat guide, but a visit to Costco’s food court menu-which serves a menu of pizza, hot dogs and ice cream—is a on the must-do list of most shoppers when they visit the big-box store.

Now, according to Business Insider, nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition for the warehouse retailer to introduce a vegan hot dog to its food court menu. The Change.org petition was started by Scott Hildebrand, who wrote on the website that he has been vegan for eight years and has eaten a meat-free diet for over a decade.

“We need to work with companies to make plant-based options more accessible,” Hildebrand, who lives near Costco’s headquarters in Washington State, said in a statement. “Our family, like countless others, are regulars at Costco. I’d love to see them extend plant-based options to the food court, so we can enjoy veggie hot dogs after a Sunday shopping trip.”

Costco already is on the same page. The company has announced that some stores will start selling a plant-based burger within in the next few weeks, Business Insider reports.

Indeed, the stores actually went too far and  sparked a backlash in July 2018, the new outlet says, when it cut its Polish hot dog from its menu in favor of vegan and healthier options like açai bowls and organic burgers.

“Sorry, but when I feel like a hot dog or pizza, a salad is the last thing on my mind,” the petition reads.

The petition also notes the growing availability of vegan and plant-based options nationwide, including Burger King’s Impossible WhopperKFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken, and Ikea’s rollout of a vegan hot dog.

The petition is directed toward Costco CEO Craig Jelinek.

A Costco representative did not return a request from Business Insider for comment.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Chevy designs 2020 Corvette Stingray Convertible with hard, retractable roof

October 4, 2019

When Prince released his chart-topping song, Little Red Corvette, in 1983, Chevrolet already was gearing up for its 1984 C4 model—which would sell more units (51, 547) than in any year since 1979 (53,807); and would not be topped again.

In fact, just 18,789 Corvette C7 units sold in 2018; and fewer than 10,000 have left dealerships this year so far, according to the website CorvSport.

Now, the automaker intends to revive and expand the cult audience for its sports car with some unique tweaks to its design, Bloomberg reports. The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible, which the company launched on October 2 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is the first Vette in history to have a hard, retractable roof, rather than one made of canvas. Chevy is hoping that younger drivers will find the design appealing—creating a whole new generation of loyal buyers.

The hardtop on the new mid-engine Corvette Stingray Convertible folds “seamlessly” into the body, as Bloomberg describes it—maintaining the fighter jet-inspired lines of the coupe version, providing a quieter cabin; and offering the same storage space as the coupe, even with the top down.

That’s 12.6 cubic feet, or enough to stow two sets of golf clubs in the trunk during open-air driving. An additional storage compartment in the front of the car, like those found in Lamborghinis, fits a single, carry-on roller bag and laptop case.

“Our goal from the beginning was to make sure customers didn’t have to sacrifice any functionality, performance, or comfort when choosing the hardtop convertible,” Josh Holder, Corvette program engineering manager, said in a written statement to the business news outlet about the new car.

Indeed, Bloomberg says, by transplanting the engine to the middle of the car, evening out its center of balance, General Motors is positioning it to handle better on the track and take on the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini.

Pricing on the entry-level 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe starts at $59,995. The starting price on the entry-level convertible is $67,495. Whether car collectors and new fans will be willing to shell out that money for a Chevy rather than a luxury brand is yet to be seen.

Research contact @business

Everything old is new again: Microsoft returns to smartphones with the Surface Duo

October 3, 2019

It now appears that pigs do fly— because on October 2, Microsoft officially announced the launch date for its new smartphone, the Surface Duo, according to a report by Business Insider.

Although the company sunsetted the Windows 10 Mobile operating system in 2018, techies have been hoping that the decision wasn’t etched in stone. .

The new market entry is a dual-screen, foldable phone running the Android operating system that Microsoft says is designed for productivity and made to integrate with Windows, Business Insider noted after the Redmond, Washington-based company hosted a reveal event for the media on Wednesday..

“Make no mistake, this product is a Surface,” Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay said at the briefing.

The bad news is that it’s not coming out until the 2020 holiday season, so we’ll all have o wait just a little bit longer.

The reason for the delay, Panay indicated on stage, is to help developers optimize their apps for the new two-screen interface. Notably, it’s a little different from existing foldable smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold—there’s a clear seam between the two screens, making it more about multi-tasking than having a single, large display.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Not your mother’s denim: Levi’s and Google offer ‘smart jackets’ that answer phones, control music

October 2, 2019

Time was when all a denim jacket had to do was look reasonably “hip” and keep you warm. Now Levi’s is revamping two of its most iconic jackets to make them “smart, “ Business Insider reports.

The San Francisco-based denim brand has teamed up with Google’s Jacquard platform to create a tech-enabled jacket. Levi’s will integrate Google’s technology into its classic trucker jacket and its Sherpa trucker jacket, which are two of the brand’s more recognizable styles.

Jacquard, which is part of Mountain View. California-based Google’s experimental Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, works with designers to create connected apparel and products. Most recently, Jacquard teamed up with couture house Saint Laurent to make a connected backpack.

What exactly does Jacquard do? It is a little electronic tab, called the Jacquard Tag, which slips into the cuff of the jacket and pairs with your phone. The tag is smaller than a stick of gum, but it allows you to use the cuff of the jacket almost like a touchpad.

The point of the Jacquard jacket, Business Insider reports, is to leave your phone in your pocket, but remain connected. Different hand gestures, like tapping on your sleeve or covering it fully with your hand, will allow you to control different mechanisms. You’ll be able to get directions or your ETA while commuting somewhere—or to hear a traffic report, control your music, or answer phone calls.

This isn’t the first time Levi’s and Google’s Jacquard platform have worked together—

the duo created its first denim jacket together in 2017. What’s different now is that the technology is significantly slimmer and smaller, making it almost impossible to tell that the jacket is “smart.”

The jackets, which come in men’s and women’s sizes, will cost $198 for the regular trucker jacket and $248 for the Sherpa version.

Research contact: @businessinsider

WebMD announces acquisition of Aptus Health

October 1, 2019

New York City-based WebMD, an online leader in health information services, announced on September 30, that it had entered into an agreement to acquire Reading, Massachusetts-based Aptus Health.

The acquisition includes Aptus Health’s core brand Univadis, a global information and education platform delivering medical news, conference and research updates and thought-leader education to 4 million healthcare practitioners in 91 countries.

In addition, the transaction includes Aptus Health’s EngagedMedia, which supports patient engagement and adherence via an integrated mobile messaging platform; and Tomorrow Networks, which offers data-driven, location-based mobile advertising and marketing solutions driven by consumer behavior.

The acquisition will combine the core competencies and scale of Aptus Health with that of WebMD and Medscape, the flagship consumer and health care professional brands in the WebMD network.

“Aptus Health is highly complementary to WebMD’s existing professional and consumer brands, making them an excellent addition to our platforms,” said Bob Brisco, WebMD CEO. “Together, we can leverage our combined strengths to extend our reach and engagement to health care professionals, patients and consumers.”

The addition of Aptus Health’s flagship brand Univadis to the Medscape franchise will build on Medscape’s unrivaled reach as the leading global source of clinical news, health information, education and point-of-care tools for health care professionals worldwide.

“Univadis strengthens our commitment to deliver best-in-class content and tools to millions of physicians worldwide,” said Jeremy Schneider, group general manager, WebMD Global. “With Univadis, we deepen our connection to local markets, extend our reach to healthcare practitioner audiences, and increase our value to customers.”

Aptus Health is wholly owned by the pharmaceutical firm, Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Aptus Health will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary of WebMD, as the companies build on and integrate products, platforms, and services.

The acquisition is expected to be complete in October and is subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Research contact: @WebMD