Posts tagged with "Business Insider"

Sanitation insanity? Chipotle has nurses check if workers are sick

December 6, 2019

Chipotle has found a new way to protect the health of its customers and of its bottom line. The Mexican grill—which was responsible for a well-publicized juggernaut of norovirus among customers in Virginia in 2017—has instituted a regimen of strict food safety practices in order to prevent future outbreaks and reassure patrons at all of its 2,500 U.S. locations.

But has the chain of fast casual restaurants gone overboard to ensure employee health? An investigation at the time of the outbreak revealed that it was caused by store managers who failed to follow safety procedures and by an employee who worked while sick.  The company revealed this week that it has hired nurses to check whether employees who call in sick are genuinely unwell or just hungover, Business Insider reports.

“We have nurses on call, so that if you say, ‘Hey, I’ve been sick,’ you get the call into the nurse,” CEO Brian Niccol said at a Barclays conference on Wednesday, December 4. “The nurse validates that it’s not a hangover—you’re really sick—and then we pay for the day off to get healthy again.”

He added, “We have a very different food-safety culture than we did two years ago, OK?” Nobody gets to the back of the restaurant without going through a wellness check.”

However, a healthy workforce isn’t always enough to prevent customers from succumbing to germs in the environment. “There’s probably people in here that might have the common cold,” Niccol said at the conference, according to the news outlet. “Even if we clean up after you, and we don’t use a cleaner that kills that germ, it hangs around for the next customer.

“Even though our team member did nothing wrong—there was nothing wrong with our food—we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard to make sure that the dining room gets sanitized in a way that it hasn’t been in the past,” he said.

Chipotle has a solution: “We’ve got cleaner that actually kills norovirus when you clean the tables in the dining room,” Niccol said.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Elon Musk claims Tesla has 200,000 orders for its Cybertruck—despite botched debut

November 26, 2019

There’s an old saying that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. But Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, found that out the hard way: At the debut of his much-vaunted electric Cybertruck on November 21, he asked the company’s Chief of Design Franz von Holzhausen to hurl a metal ball at one of the pickup truck’s armored glass windows—supposedly strong enough to withstand bullets.

The window cracked. Then von Holzhausen lobbed a ball at another side window—hoping for better results—and it shattered, too.

“Oh my f****** god,” Musk said after the windows smashed. “Well, maybe that was a little too hard.”

According to a report by Yahoo Finance, the Tesla boss later blamed the order in which the demo took place for the mishap. Before tossing the metal balls, von Halzhauzen used a sledgehammer on the side doors of the truck—and didn’t leave a dent.

“Sledgehammer impact on door cracked base of glass, which is why steel ball didn’t bounce off,” Musk tweeted. “Should have done steel ball on window, *then* sledgehammer the door. Next time.”

Musk also explained the reason for the unusual angular design of the Cybertruck— claiming that current auto manufacturing technology is not capable of bending the ultra-hard material. The vehicle looks like a big metallic trapezoid and has a starting price of $39,900.

“New manufacturing methods are certainly needed, but then I’m confident it will actually cost less, because of its simplicity and lower part count,” he tweeted.

The space-age design has proved divisive —but received praise from Blade Runner Artistic Director Syd Mead, Business Insider reported. The cinema great described it as “stylistically breathtaking”.

During the truck’s unveiling, Musk said: “Trucks have been the same for like 100 years. We need something different.”

And buyers seem to agree. Since the embarrassing rollout, Tesla has received nearly 200,000 “orders” for its Cybertruck, Musk claims.

However, that might be optimistic: According to a story on CNBC, A prospective Cybertruck owner must pay Tesla a refundable, $100 “preorder fee.” In his boastful tweet on Saturday, Musk conflated orders with preorders, which are distinct from a final commitments to purchase the Cybertruck.

On Saturday, November 23, the CEO tweeted: “146k Cybertruck orders so far, with 42% choosing dual, 41% tri & 17% single motor.”

No matter the take rate, preorders for the Cybertruck, CNBC notes, are one indication that Tesla’s marketing game remains strong as ever.

“We threw wrenches, we threw everything even literally the kitchen sink at the glass and it didn’t break. For some weird reason, it broke now,” a humorous Musk said at the event. “I don’t know why. We will fix it in post.”

The stunt helped make the Cybertruck the subject of memes and media coverage around the world.

Research contact: @YahooFinance

Facebook gets grief for including Breitbart in News tab

October 29, 2019

Can Facebook do anything that doesn’t draw fire from users, regulators, legislators, and the media? After years of complaints from American news outlets that the social media site has The Washington Post reports that Facebook has agreed to compensate at least some news organizations as part of a specialized “News” tab meant to steer users toward curated national and local news stories.

But the project immediately raised new controversy when it became known that Breitbart News—a Web outlet linked to right-wing causes that was once run by former Trump adviser Steve Bannonhad been included among the 200 media outlets participating in the program.

“Given that Facebook is putting actual news outlets in the same category as Breitbart, actual news outlets should consider quickly withdrawing from the program,” Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters for America, a liberal nonprofit media watchdog, told the Post.

At an event in New York to launch the project, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended Breitbart’s inclusion. “You want to include a breadth of content to make sure all different topics can be covered,” Zuckerberg said.

Other outlets participating include The Washington Post, The New York Times, News Corp., BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, Bloomberg News, Fox News, NBCUniversal, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times.

The News tab marks the latest iteration of Facebook’s approach to online news, the Post reports. Before January 2018, the company had been a leading distributor of news, but that role was dogged by the presence in its feed of false and misleading information, as well as by allegations that its news feed and other features tilted toward liberal viewpoints

Zuckerberg did not go into specifics about how different publishers would be compensated, and media analysts expressed skepticism that the arrangement will help the small and medium local outlets that have been most seriously undercut by the rise of online news distribution.

“The vast majority of local news outlets are not included, and that is part of the news ecosystem that’s most at risk,” David Chavern, the president and chief executive of the News Media Alliance, a trade association of news publishers, told The Washington Post.

Chavern called Facebook’s agreement to pay at least some news outlets for their content a step in the right direction, noting that tech platforms have been “uniquely unwilling to pay for news and quality journalism.”

The News tab already is available to more than 200,000 Facebook users in the United States, with a broader rollout planned for early next year. The new service, Facebook executives say, should make it easier for users to locate the day’s major headlines, as well as stories geared toward particular topics or locales.

The initiative could reach 20 million to 30 million people over a few years, Zuckerberg said.

 Research contact: @washingtonpost

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

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

Talking trash: Hefty launches limited-edition bags displaying cheeky phrases like ‘I’m so trashy’

September 25, 2019

If you like your trash along with some sass, Hefty has a new limited-edition line of garbage bags that you’ll fancy. Featuring 20 unique sayings and aimed at a Millennial demographic, the trash bags communicate  everything from a “Mean Girls” allusion “I’m not a regular bag, I’m a cool bag;” to, well, sexual innuendos like “Tie me up.”

The scent-free, 13-gallon bags retail for $5.49, the same cost as regular Hefty Ultra Strong, and are currently available on a first-come, first-served basis. Business Insider reports. The bags can be purchased online on the not-so-subtly titled website, HeftyCostsLessThanGlad.com.

“At Hefty, we’re always looking to be an affordable option for all your trash needs,” Jen Varela, senior brand manager at Reynolds Consumer Products, said in a statement.”The Hefty brand enjoys bringing both strength and humor to our consumers, so we wanted to create a product that showed off our personality and gave consumers something to smile about while taking out the trash.”

Among the phrases on the bags are the following:

  1. Who you callin’ trash?
  2. I’m so trashy
  3. You want a piece of me?
  4. Bag full of ca$h
  5. Feed me tacos & tell me I’m pretty
  6. Full of hopes & dreams
  7. Burnt dinners & takeout containers
  8. Hefty! Hefty! Hefty!
  9. Feeling like garbage today
  10. Cherish your dreams, trash the rest
  11. I’ve got 99 problems but trash ain’t one
  12. It’s what’s on the inside that counts
  13. I’m not a regular bag, I’m a cool bag
  14. Swiped left
  15. In time-out
  16. Same time next week?
  17. Oh, this old thing?
  18. #goals
  19. Heavyweight champ
  20. Tie me up

Research contact: @Hefty

Just you wait: Women who give birth in their 30s may stay healthier, live longer

July 17, 2019

Thirty is fast becoming the new 20 for American moms. In fact, more U.S. women than ever before are having children in their 30s, according to a report by Business Insider. And somewhat counter-intuitively they are, overall, healthier later in life than those who had babies in their 20s; and they may live longer and earn a higher income. They also are more likely to have twins.

The tables turned in 2016, Business Insider says, when more American women had babies in their early 30s than in their 20s.  Whether because of career or other life goals, women are now 25% older when they give birth compared to 50 years ago.

But the news outlet reports, they are taking chances with their fertility: Between the ages of 20 and 24, women have an 86% chance of conceiving after trying for a year. But that chance falls to around 50% when women reach their late 30s.

What’s more, women in their 20s have a much higher chance of getting pregnant without miscarrying—and a lower risk of conditions such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and high blood pressure.

But when it comes to health later in life, waiting until your 30s to give birth is better. Research shows that moms who first gave birth in their early 30s report higher energy, better fitness, and fewer aches and pains compared to moms who first gave birth in their early 20s.

And that might help explain another scientific finding. Women who have kids in their 30s might also live longer. According to a paper published in 2015, women who had their last child after age 33 were twice as likely to live past 95, compared to women who had their last child before their 30th birthday.

But what about the kids? If their moms gave birth in their 30s instead of their 20s, those kids might be safer, smarter, or even taller.

On top of that, there might be more of them. That’s right, because if you wait until your 30s, you’re more likely to have twins. Older women have higher levels of a hormone called FSH, which stimulates the ovaries. Normally, women release just enough FSH to ovulate or release one egg, but near menopause, they produce a ton of it, which can cause two eggs to ovulate and ultimately result in twins.

So if you want to have a large, healthy family, the good news is, the cutoff date is getting later all the time.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Girlboss launches a LinkedIn-type platform for ‘Girl-branding’

July 4, 2019

Sophia Amoruso is perhaps most notable for founding Nasty Gal, an online clothing store that she started at the age of 22 in 2006—and that quickly peaked at $100 million in profits in 2012 before it tanked in a 2016 bankruptcy.

But she also is the no-holds-barred, candid CEO of Girlboss—a digital community for ambitious women that she founded in April 2017. And now she is launching a spinoff that she describes as “a LinkedIn-style social platform that is designed to get women connecting and collaborating,” according to a report by Business Insider.

“It’s a place for someone who does or doesn’t have a traditional career, who may not have this C-level title but may be on her way up,” Amoruso told Business Insider in a recent call. “There are very few places for her to go to represent her resume or life today.”

But Amoruso doesn’t want this to just be professionally focused; she wants to give women (and men if they wish to join) the chance to bring more of their personality to their page.

“We are expected to be who we are Monday through Friday on LinkedIn; and who we are on Saturday and Sunday on Instagram—that’s not really how the world works anymore,” she said.

What she really is talking about is “Girl-branding.”

“We’re now trading on our personalities, who we are as a people, and our taste level. It’s so much more than the antiquated résumé.”

Users join free and have the chance to ask questions on forums about anything broadly related to work, productivity, or wellness, for example. These are questions that you couldn’t ask Google but that other users may have the expertise to answer. She used “when to ask for a pay rise” as an example of this.

Similarly to LinkedIn, you can connect with other users and message on the platform. You are restricted to making one connection request a day, however, which must include a detailed message of why you want to connect with that person. You are able to chat with this person only once they accept the request.

This prevents “willy-nilly” messages, she said. Plus, it means users are more deliberate with their messaging.

While users have the chance to share their job experiences, in the same way you would a résumé, they can also share what she described as “Girlboss moments.”

These are achievements that wouldn’t necessarily belong in a résumé — finishing a marathon or buying a house, for example.

“Those are things that are really important to us but that we are not able to share alongside our accomplishments,” she said. “This is the place where you can have a beautiful profile that shares not just what you do but who you are.”

Research contact: @girlboss

Apple snags asthma tracker Tueo for its third healthcare acquisition since 2016

May 30, 2019

In its latest move to edge deeper into the healthcare sector , Apple has snagged Redwood City, California-based digital startup Tueo Health, which helps parents track their children’s asthma symptoms when they are in bed at night using an under-the-mattress sensor that signals a mobile app to report problems, Business Insider reports.

According to the news outlet,  Apple likely was eyeing the digital asthma management company because its product had a good chance of taking off: The global intelligent asthma monitoring market is expected to hit $655 million by 2025—a huge leap from its $20 million valuation in 2017, according to Allied Market Research.

This represents Apple’s third healthcare acquisition since 2016—including Beddit and Gliimpse.

Acquired by Apple in May 2017 and founded in October 2006, Beddit is a Finnish-based technology company that has  developed a device that keeps tabs of users’ movement while they’re asleep. Apple likely tapped sleep tracking a growth pillar given that 45% of US adults in 2017 “could imagine” using a sleep tracker, Business Insider said.

Founded in 2013 and purchased by Apple in August 2016, Gliimpse—which targets patients with chronic conditions—offers a consumer-facing platform to combine a user’s personal health data from labs, hospitals, and pharmacies into one shareable report. Apple bought Gliimpse to help turn the iPhone into a repository for consumers’ medical records, helping Apple move into the health records market, per CNBC.

Apple could use all three of these acquisitions to forge new ties with health organizations that want access to valuable sleep data. For example, If Apple can integrate Tueo Health’s solution into its smartphone-based personal medical records hub Health Records, pediatric-focused firms might want to join the horde of hospitals that’ve been flocking to implement it. The tech could provide a fuller picture of how patients are faring at night, which could steer doctors toward the most effective treatment options, Business Insider reports.

This could be a balm to hospitals that are likely racing to get a handle on asthma, which costs the nation $56 billion annually: Over 8% of children—or 6 million total in the United States suffer from asthma, and that number will likely climb, per the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

Research contact: @businessinsider