Posts tagged with "New York Post"

Forever young? Jeff Bezos is backing anti-aging startup Altos Labs

September 8, 2021

Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos is pushing the envelope—on marketing, on suborbital space travel, and now on longevity. He is among a group of investors backing a new anti-aging company, according to a new report obtained by Fox News.

The company, Silicon Valley-based Altos Labs, is working on biological reprogramming technology that is targeted at essentially prolong human life, according to MIT Tech Review.

A Russian-born billionaire tech investor, Yuri Milner, and his wife, Julia, also have invested in the company, according to the report. Milner—who is known for investing in companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Airbnb—is worth about $4.8 billion, according to Forbes’ estimates.

Altos was incorporated earlier this year in the United States and the United Kingdom; and has plans to create institutes in California, Cambridge, and Japan, according to the report obtained by Fox News.  

It’s also reportedly seeking university scientists with deep pockets dedicated to researching how to reverse the process of aging cells.

Bezos’ investment office, Bezos Expeditions, did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

However, this isn’t the first time the world’s richest man has invested in this kind of research.  The 57-year-old Bezos has also invested in the startup company Unity Biotechnology, the New York Post reported.

Unity, according to its website, is working to develop a “new class of therapeutics to slow, halt, or reverse diseases of aging.”

Representatives for Unity did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Research contact: @FoxNews

‘Cold case’: FTC said to be investigating McDonald’s broken McFlurry machines

September 6, 2021

The feds have had it with McDonald’s broken McFlurry machines, reports the New York Post.

The Federal Trade Commission is said to be investigating why the burger chain’s ice cream machines break down so often—a matter that’s become the butt of late-night TV jokes and viral social media posts.

The FTC contacted McDonald’s franchise owners this summer seeking information on what the problem is with the chain’s ice cream machines, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, September 1—citing a letter from the FTC and sources familiar with the matter.

When reached for comment by The Post, representatives for the FTC declined to comment.

The broken machines have drawn the ire of franchisees, who say it leaves them unable to serve milkshakes, soft cones; and the preeminent McFlurry, a cup of ice cream blended with candy and cookies.

The machines require a nightly automated heat-cleaning cycle that can take up to four hours, the Journal reported; and the cleaning cycle can fail, which makes the machines unusable until a repair technician can fix them.

The dysfunctional machines make treats that account for about 60% of the chain’s dessert sales in the United States, the Journal reported, citing a consumer survey by research firm Technomic.

And the repeated breakdowns rub customers the wrong way, spurring some to even pen petitions calling for action.

We are tired of being the butt of late night jokes. So are our customers and crews,” The National Owners Association, a group of franchisees, said in a May message to owners, according to the Journal.

Some franchise owners aren’t waiting for the corporate bosses to do something. Instead, they’re reportedly paying on their own to train staff on how to fix the machines.

Others have reached out to the machine’s manufacturer, Taylor Commercial Foodservice, which says the machines, themselves, are fine.

“A lot of what’s been broadcasted can be attributed to the lack of knowledge about the equipment and how they operate in the restaurants,” a Taylor representative told the Journal.

When working with dairy products, “you have to make sure the machine is cleaned properly. The machines are built up with a lot of interconnecting parts that have to operate in a complex environment and manner,” the representative added.

“There is no reason for us to purposely design our equipment to be confusing or hard to repair or hurt our operators.”

One startup, called Kytch, has tried to help franchisees address the problem by building a device that mounts on the ice cream machines and alerts owners about a breakdown through real-time text and email alerts.

The company told the Journal that its devices can prevent damage to the machines and help franchisees keep them running.

At one point, McDonald’s franchisees in 30 states used Kytch’s devices, the company told the Journal, but then McDonald’s told franchisees that the devices aren’t sanctioned and that they could pose a safety hazard, which Kytch denies.

“Nothing is more important to us than delivering on our high standards for food quality and safety,” the corporate parent reportedly said to franchisees, “which is why we work with fully vetted partners that can reliably provide safe solutions at scale.”

Kytch responded in May with a lawsuit that accused Taylor, a separate repair company authorized to work on the ice cream machines and a McDonald’s franchisee of conspiring to steal Kytch’s technology and replicate its device.

This is a case about corporate espionage and the extreme steps one manufacturer has taken to conceal and protect a multimillion-dollar repair racket,” attorneys for Kytch wrote in the complaint in California Superior Court in Alameda County. The case is pending.

But Taylor denied it had a copy of Kytch’s device or that it wanted to steal the startup’s technology.

“This is a case of a hacker—Kytch—incredibly accusing the hacked—Taylor—of theft,” lawyers for Taylor said in a court filing.

The Tennessee-based franchisee who was named in the suit also denied the allegations.

In an interview with the Journal, Kytch co-founder Jeremy O’Sullivan then accused Taylor of infringing on McDonald’s franchisees’ rights to alter and repair their ice cream machines.

Taylor responded by saying that owners are allowed to repair equipment as they see fit, but that the warranty on the machines isn’t valid if they fix them on their own, according to the Journal.

According to the Post, the FTC’s interest in the matter may stem from the Biden administration’s previously announced efforts to crack down on various manufacturers of products ranging from phones to farming equipment. Critics have alleged that major manufacturers of such products restrict customers from fixing the products themselves.

In July, Biden signed an executive order directing agencies to take the matter on, saying at the time in a fact sheet that Americans should be able to repair good they purchased on their own.

At the root of the FTC’s inquiry is how McDonald’s reviews suppliers and equipment, including the ice cream machines, and how often restaurant owners are allowed to work on their machines. The FTC inquiry is preliminary, and “the existence of a preliminary investigation does not indicate the FTC or its staff have found any wrongdoing,” the agency’s letter reportedly said.

In a statement, McDonald’s said it “has no reason to believe we are the focus of an FTC investigation.”

Research contact: @nypost

AOC not ruling out Senate challenge against Chuck Schumer in 2022

August 18, 2021

Representative. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-14th District, New York) is not ruling out challenging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York)— a 22-year Senate vet and stalwart member of the “moderate” wing of the Democratic Party — in a primary next year, reports the New York Post.

When the progressive “Democratic socialist,” who represents the Bronx and Queens, was asked by CNN’s Dana Bash if she is considering a campaign against her fellow New Yorker, AOC said she had not seriously considered it but also left the door open for a challenge.

“I know it drives everybody nuts. But the way that I really feel about this; and the way that I really approach my politics and my political career is that I do not look at things, and I do not set my course positionally,” she said in the late June interview that is set to air in full Monday night as part of CNN’s new series “Being …”

“And I know there’s a lot of people who do not believe that. But I really — I can’t operate the way that I operate and do the things that I do in politics while trying to be aspiring to other things or calculating to other things,” the 31-year-old progressive added.

Schumer, 70, who has represented New York state in the Senate since 1999, is up for re-election in 2022.

AOC defeated 10-term Democratic incumbent Representative Joe Crowley in a primary race in 2018 and went on to win the general election to represent the Empire State’s 14th Congressional District.

“For what it’s worth, Senator Schumer and I have been working very closely on a lot of legislation and that, to me, is important,” she told Bash. “And so, we shall see.”

In addition, the Post said, AOC has been asked before about a potential challenge to Schumer.

In January, she told Punchbowl News that she was “very much in a place where I’m trying to decide what is the most effective thing I can do to help our Congress, our [political] process, and our country actually address the issues of climate change, health care, wage inequality, etc.”

“I’m not playing coy or anything like that,” she added.

In her CNN interview, AOC also was asked about ambitions that go beyond the Senate, including a run for the White House. She said that looking that far into the future, at least for now, would compromise her ability to do her current job.

“I struggle with this because I don’t want little girls watching or anything like that to lower their sights or anything in that direction. But for me, I feel that if that was in the scope of my ambition, it would chip away at my courage today,” she said.

Research contact: @nypost

Andy Cohen seeks help in search for missing childhood friend who disappeared two weeks ago

June 7, 2021

Andy Cohen is asking for help finding a childhood friend who has been missing for two weeks, People magazine reports.

The Bravo star, 53, posted a missing person’s flier on Facebook after actor and playwright Andy Neiman disappeared from the MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, on May 21.

The poster says that Neiman, 48, is “a missing vulnerable adult” who has schizophrenia. He was last seen wearing green hospital scrubs and glasses. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 165 pounds.

Cohen and Neiman went to the same camp, as well as the same high school, he told The New York Post’s Page Six.

“I’m praying for his safe return, along with a lot of folks in St Louis,” Cohen said.

GoFundMe campaign to spread awareness about Neiman’s disappearance, describes him as a “brother, son, friend, and father.”

Loved ones write that Neiman “has a history of mental illness and may be suffering from psychosis.”

“While we believe Andy is still in the local area, family, friends, search parties and police have been looking for four days and have not yet located him,” his loved ones wrote, adding that they are raising funds to hire a private investigator for the case.

Neiman has a nine-year-old daughter. In addition to being a loving dad, he is a “wonderful, spiritual guy” his sister, Emily Abramson, told Page Six.

“He is incredibly quirky with deep passions for a variety of things, especially the performing arts and Shakespeare,” she said. “His mind is greatly analytical.”

She added, “One of his talents is transmuting his understanding of Shakespeare to people of every age.”

People magazine urges anyone with information on Neiman’s disappearance to call the New York Missing Persons Clearinghouse at 1-800-346-3543.

Research contact: @people

Tech bros move to create offshore ‘private cities,’ without U.S. government control

May 17, 2021

After dominating Silicon Valley for the past two decades—hiking up rent prices in the area and filling the streets with fleece vests and wool sneakers—techies now are spreading into other regions, such as Austin and North Carolina, reports The New York Post.

But merely setting up shop in a hot new spot just isn’t enough for some of the tech elite, who are formulating a plan to build their very own dream city—away from mainland America entirely and governed by themselves.

Twenty-five-year-olds Dryden Brown of New York University, and Charlie Callinan of Boston College, co-founded Bluebook Cities in 2019—described as a “society of pioneers settling the city of the future.”

Their goal: To be a“full-stack city builder,” which “partners with communities to develop beautiful, energetic, resident-owned cities,” the website states.  

So far, their community remains online, in “the cloud.” But they expect to enlist around 2,000 willing participants (about the size of a small college town) to pack up and move to their yet-to-be-built city. No word yet on where the concept will touch down, the Post says—but the two hope to land somewhere in the Mediterranean. 

Currently, Brown and Callinan are looking to partner with a country in the region that wants to attract a slice of Silicon Valley and is “down to forge a partnership with them,” Brown told YouTuber Justin Murphy in an interview.

They plan to negotiate a deal, “whereby they contribute land, perhaps for equity in the project and the terms will obviously be negotiated,” Brown explained. “We are not trying to be a total sovereign nation or something like that. We want to partner with a government and build something really cool that works with us and works for them and is mutually beneficial,” he said, adding that they want a government that will stop blocking people with “dumb regulations.”  

With the backing of angel investor Peter Thiel, who already has invested nearly $9 million in Pronomos Capital—a venture capital firm that focuses solely on startups like Bluebook Cities—the company is expected to soon morph the online community into a private city reality.

But membership is set to be even more limited than the already cost prohibitive Silicon Valley real-estate scene, the Post intimates: “Praxis applicants are carefully vetted with a written application and numerous phone calls with current members. New members are rare because membership is sacred,” the application states.

Their move follows the crippling pandemic, racial tensions and a controversial election — all of which have mounted talk of secession in what was once the tech capital of the world. The Silicon Valley techies are looking to take matters into their own hands by exploring ways to build an apolitical private city run by private residents without US government control.

“When COVID happened, the labor market migrated to the cloud. Now you can move sort of wherever you want and your job will follow—if you are a knowledge worker in many cases,” Brown told YouTuber Murphy via a video conference. “And I think this is going to create a shift in urban dynamics that’s greater than we have seen in 300 years, where people are no longer moving into cities for the labor market.” 

Brown and Callinan currently are building their online community via Praxis, which describes itself as “the society of pioneers founding the city of the future.” –The website conveys a sense of urgency, noting that Praxis is “racing to settle the first resident-owned Affinity City, developed by Bluebook Cities on the Mediterranean,” and explaining how the global reach of the Internet helps to build a community of “new cities organized around shared values and glorious visions for the future.”

One way to join the Praxis community is through the digital distribution platform Discord which is designed specifically to create a community among people with shared ideas and thoughts. “We want young and ambitious people who want to go out in the frontier and build the future.”

But the plan isn’t without its catches.

“If San Francisco gets radically better, or New York, and none of these people no longer want to leave,” Brown mused. “I think that is fairly unlikely but who knows? So there could be a demand problem.”

He also cited finance sourcing as a potential issue, describing how it would take at least $500 million for Phase 1 of building a city to come into fruition.

“You’re joining a startup city and you’re owning equity in the startup city by living there,” Brown concluded. “We intend for it to go to the moon. but we will see.”

Research contact: @nypost

BuzzFeed cuts loose 47 on HuffPost team

March 11, 2021

Just three weeks after finalizing a deal to buy HuffPost, Jonah Peretti’s BuzzFeed is taking a buzzsaw to the left-leaning news and culture site, the New York Post reports.

HuffPost reported that Peretti—who is chief executive, now that BuzzFeed has sealed the deal to buy the site co-founded  by Arianna Huffington is 2005— told staffers that the layoffs decision was made to “fast-track the path to profitability” for the money-losing website. The site’s losses totaled around $20 million in 2020, he said.

BuzzFeed on Tuesday said it made a series of cuts in HuffPost that will result in 47 U.S. jobs lost, including Executive Editor Hillary Frey and Executive Editor International Louise Roug.

The Canadian version of the website also will be shuttered.

The HuffPost union, organized as part of the Writers Guild of America-East, blasted the layoffs on Tuesday, March 9.

“Today, we learned that 33 of our colleagues—nearly 30% of our unit—will be laid off. We are devastated and infuriated, particularly after an exhausting year of covering a pandemic and working from home,” said the union. “This is also happening less than a month after HuffPost was acquired by BuzzFeed. We never got a fair shot to prove our worth.”

Former HuffPost owner Verizon recognized the union in 2016 and agreed to a new three-year contract in 2019, which remains in effect and will result in severance for the laid-off staffers, the union said.

BuzzFeed agreed in November to buy the site founded by Aianna Huffington, Peretti, Andrew Breitbart, and venture capitalist Kenneth Lerer.

Terms of the all-stock transaction between Verizon and BuzzFeed were not revealed, but Verizon maintained a minority stake in the site and has also pledged an investment into BuzzFeed as part of the deal.

Peretti will be CEO of the combined operations—but says he will run them as “separate distinct news organizations.”

“We want to ensure the homepage remains a top destination on the internet,” Peretti reportedly told staffers. “We also want to maintain high traffic, preserve your most powerful journalism, lean more deeply into politics and breaking news, and build a stronger business for affiliate revenue and shopping content.”

BuzzFeed made deep staff cuts at the start of the pandemic, but he said it had returned to profitability.

According to the Post, Mark Schoofs, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, is seeking a new-editor-in chief at HuffPost, who will report to him. The post has been vacant for a year since Lydia Polgreen jumped to Spotify’s podcasting unit Gimlet Media in March 2020. Frey had been overseeing it since then.

Research contact: @nypost

News Corp and Google form multi-year partnership to provide ‘trusted journalism’ globally

Febraury 18, 2021

There will be no “fake news” on the Google News Showcase, News Corp announced on February 17—now that Rupert Murdoch’s media and information empire has agreed to a profitable, historic multi-year partnership with Google to provide trusted journalism from its news sites around the world.

As part of the deal, News Corp will receive significant payments from Google. Among the News Corp publications joining Google News Showcase will be The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, and the New York Post; in the UK: The Times and The Sunday Times, and The Sun; and in Australia a range of news platforms, including The Australian, news.com.au, Sky News, and multiple metropolitan and local titles.

The landmark three-year agreement also includes the development of a subscription platform, the sharing of ad revenue via Google’s ad technology services, the cultivation of audio journalism, and meaningful investments in innovative video journalism by YouTube.

News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson stated in the announcement that the deal would have “a positive impact on journalism around the globe as we have firmly established that there should be a premium for premium journalism.

“I would like to thank Sundar Pichai and his team at Google, who have shown a thoughtful commitment to journalism that will resonate in every country. This has been a passionate cause for our company for well over a decade and I am gratified that the terms of trade are changing, not just for News Corp, but for every publisher.

“The deal simply would not have been possible without the fervent, unstinting support of Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, and the News Corp Board. For many years, we were accused of tilting at tech windmills, but what was a solitary campaign, a quixotic quest, has become a movement, and both journalism and society will be enhanced.

“Particular thanks are certainly due to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Rod Sims and his able team, along with the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who have stood firm for their country and for journalism.”

Research contact: @newscorp

Supreme Court spurns bid to overturn Biden’s win in Pennsylvania

December 10, 2020

The Supreme Court has declined a bid by a Republican member of Congress and other GOP activists to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win in Pennsylvania, Politico reports.

In a one-sentence order on Tuesday afternoon, December 8, the justices rebuffed the emergency request from Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pennyslvania) and two other House candidates to decertify the results of last month’s election in the Keystone State.

According to the New York Post, the suit argued that a 2019 Pennsylvania state law authorizing mail-in ballots was unconstitutional—meaning that Pennsylvania’s 2.5 million postal votes should be tossed.

In a one-sentence order, the High Court responded: “The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied.”

Critics said the request for the Supreme Court to take up the case was ill-founded because the justices do not typically step in to enforce state law provisions. They also faulted Kelly for waiting more than a year—and until after the hard-fought election was complete—to raise the legal challenge.

“Granting an injunction would sow chaos and confusion across the Nation while inflaming baseless concerns about electoral impropriety and ensnaring the Judiciary in partisan strife,” lawyers representing Pennsylvania wrote in a brief early Tuesday opposing Kelly’s request. “This case reaches the Court against the backdrop of unfounded claims—which have been repeatedly rejected by state and federal courts—that wrongly impugn the integrity of the democratic process and aim to cast doubt on the legitimacy of its outcome.”

Kelly’s last-ditch maneuver at the high court drew little attention until Sunday, when Justice Samuel Alito unexpectedly accelerated the state’s deadline to respond to the emergency application from Wednesday to 9 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday. That prompted speculation among some conservatives that Alito or other Republican-appointed justices were planning to grant Kelly relief before Tuesday’s milestone Safe Harbor day to name presidential electors.

Not so. However, media attention to the Safe-Harbor milestone prompted the Trump campaign to issue a public statement earlier Tuesday arguing that the date is of little consequence.

“The ‘Safe Harbor Deadline’ is a statutory timeline that generally denotes the last day for states to certify election results,” Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said. “However, it is not unprecedented for election contests to last well beyond December 8.”

Research contact: @politico

People are getting fillers and Botox to fix ‘resting bitch face’

October 1, 2019

A surgeon from New York has revealed that many of his patients ask him to make them look more approachable

Most social media fans are familiar with the dear, departed Grumpy Cat—a feline whose unintentionally crabby and contemptuous photos went viral wherever they were posted.

But there’s another, similar term that has been applied to humans since about 2013, when the group, Broken People, uploaded a spoof video entitled “Bitchy Resting Face” (BRF) on the Funny or Die website that depicts male and female “sufferers” of an annoyed-looking blank expression ask for understanding from non-sufferers.

It has since gone on to become a popular Internet meme—and to become more commonly known as Resting Bitch Face (RBF), which describes a person’s relaxed facial expression or angry or disdainful.

Among those celebrities who have been identified as poster boys and girls for Resting Bitch Fitch are Kanye West, Anna Kendrick, and Lisa Marie Presley.

According to a recent report by the UK’s Daily Mirror, some of those accused of having RBF actually embrace the designation (as well as the situation on their faces), because, they say, it wards off unwanted advances from strangers—but others see it as a negative and want to be more approachable.

However, a plastic surgeon recently told the news outlet that many people out there are desperately trying to rid themselves of their RBF by paying for procedures.

Dr, David Shafer, a certified plastic surgeon who practices at Shafer Plastic Surgery & Laser Center in New York  City, claims that this is a “common request” from his patients. Speaking to the New York Post, he said: “This is actually a frequent request from patients. I get several each week. “They may not always use the words ‘resting bitch face’ but if I mention RBF, they say ‘exactly.’

He went on to explain how he would help people achieve a “pleasant resting look”. To “cure” the angry expression, doctors would inject fillers and sometimes Botox in certain areas in order to make the face appear look fuller, softer and happier.

Areas that are focused on include the sides of the mouth, the skin between the eyebrows and underneath the lips. The procedure takes around 10 to 20 minutes and can cost between hundreds and thousands of dollars, depending on the specialist performing the work and the number of injections used.

The more contented look typically lasts for up to two years; then, it’s back to the old condescending countenance.

Research contact: @DailyMirror