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This startup wants to help you prepare for America’s next disaster

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There are few experiences more harrowing than an earthquake. Ask Dan Kessler. He obsesses about them.

Kessler is the chief executive of Harbor, a startup that aims to help Americans prepare—at least semi-calmly—for the next disaster, from how to pack a “go bag,” to how much water you should stockpile.

To be sure, there will be another disaster. That might not be good for your nerves, but makes for ideal timing for a disaster prep app. America is grappling with a pandemic, a financial crisis, a potentially contested presidential election, another historic hurricane season, and superpowered wildfires on the West Coast.

Harbor tackles two out of these—natural disasters and COVID-19—plus the usual ailments of modern life: car crashes and house fires. (Next on Kessler’s wish … Read the rest

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Big Oil Loses Refining Crutch With Margins Crushed Last Quarter

(Bloomberg) — Six months on from crude’s era-defining price crash and Big Oil is suffering from whiplash.Prices may have stabilized around $40 a barrel as OPEC+ curbed supply, but as the coronavirus surges through Europe once again, the twin safety nets for majors in previous downturns — refining and trading — have come under severe pressure as consumers stay home.“Refining margins are absolutely terrible,” Patrick Pouyanne, Total SE’s Chief Executive Officer, said earlier this month. The French major, along with a raft of other oil companies and refiners, have warned investors that slumping margins will be a drag on profits. For some like Exxon Mobil Corp., it might even push them into the red.The third quarter will provide little respite to the supermajors with three out of the five expected to post losses. Trading, which brought the European firms a torrent of cash last quarter, is unlikely to save the … Read the rest

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Taxes Are Good, Actually

by Eric Yaverbaum, CEO of Ericho Communications and author of “Leadership Secrets of the World’s Most Successful CEOS“.

Taxes aren’t fun to pay. There, I said it.

Tens of thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money, the end result of your work, your strife, your sleepless nights and stress headaches and endless meetings that take longer than they should, don’t make it to your pocket by a matter of law, a debt we owe before we earn a dime. Taxes suck, but they aren’t bad, any more than chemotherapy is bad because it sucks. They are how our community takes care of itself.

Taxes pay for road construction and repair, and by extension all interstate commerce. Taxes pay for firefighters. Taxes fund our public schools, which were once the envy of the world. Taxes pay health inspectors to make sure meat-packing plants and your local McDonald’s provide food … Read the rest

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How to hold the corporate world accountable

On Tuesday, the Justice Department and 11 U.S. states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging, “For the sake of American consumers, advertisers, and all companies…the time has come to stop Google’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition.” 

Yet, despite widespread, bipartisan censure, Google has been celebrated as a leader in “stakeholder capitalism”; its parent company, Alphabet, ranks fifth out of over 900 companies in JUST Capital’s recently released list of businesses that excel in addressing the needs of workers, consumers, communities, and the environment. Why the reputational disconnect?

The answer is the key challenge of the stakeholder capitalism movement: All too often, corporate goodness cannot be adequately measured and assessed. 

But fortunately, that is starting to change.

There is increasing recognition that we need to depart from the past 50 years of “shareholder capitalism,” but less consensus on what that actually means. Influential actors such as the … Read the rest

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Bitcoin Resurgence Leaves Institutional Acceptance Unanswered

(Bloomberg) — The Bitcoin hype machine is back in overdrive.The digital token spiked above $13,000 this week for the first time in over a year, touching off Twitter dance parties, new sky-high predictions and even some tattoo flashing. Back are proclamations that crypto is the currency of the future, that the dollar’s days are numbered and blockchain will reorder the financial universe.A mid-week announcement that PayPal Holdings Inc. will allow transactions in crypto set off the craze, adding about $19 billion to Bitcoin’s value over the following two days. It was the latest in a series of mainstream acknowledgments that digital tokens exist and clients want to trade in them. Wall Street stalwarts like Fidelity Investments have crypto investment products and two public companies — Square Inc. and MicroStrategy Inc. — recently said they bought Bitcoin.But for all the hype, there’s little evidence that Bitcoin and its digital brethren are … Read the rest

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What To Look For In A Good Password Manager

So, you’re looking for a new password manager for your business or personal use? You’re in luck—we know exactly what features a good password manager should have. You don’t want to settle for just any password manager, otherwise, you might as well just use the built-in manager in your browser (please don’t). Browser password managers are notoriously lacking in the security department, and you don’t want to leave your passwords to chance.

Today’s password management software is secure, easy to use, and flexible enough to work for both business and personal use. Let’s jump into some of the features you should be looking for in a password management service!

End-To-End Encryption.

First and foremost, your passwords need to be secure. Otherwise, what’s the point of using a password manager to begin with? End-to-end encryption is a standard feature with password apps like Keeper, but not every password manager … Read the rest

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Last night’s debate didn’t change a thing: Biden is still a 2-1 favorite to win, betting market says

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Last night’s debate in Nashville didn’t change the odds of Joe Biden beating Donald Trump to win the presidency on November 3rd.

That’s the verdict from one of the most closely watched political betting markets. Smarkets, a U.K.-based gambling company that allows wagers on political contests as well as sporting events, says Biden’s chances of winning remain unchanged at 67%, while Trump has a 33% chance of retaining the presidency.

The Electoral College forecast also wasn’t shifted by the final presidential debate of the 2020 campaign, with state-by-state wagers implying a 317-221 Electoral College victory for Biden, according to Smarkets.

There was a slight move in Biden’s favor in some key battleground states, according to Smarkets’ betting. The Democrat’s odds of winning Florida ticked up slightly … Read the rest

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Mattel Soars After Toy Demand Helps Earnings Smash Estimates

(Bloomberg) — Mattel Inc. rose as much as 11% in early trading Friday after third-quarter results shattered expectations, lifted by consumers snapping up Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels toys during the pandemic.Revenue rose 10% to $1.63 billion in the period, Mattel said on Thursday, topping analysts’ predictions of $1.46 billion. Adjusted profit was 95 cents a share, beating estimates of 39 cents, as the company continued to work on cutting costs.Mattel has addressed inventory problems posed by the coronavirus and expects a stronger-than-normal holiday buying season, Chief Executive Officer Ynon Kreiz said in an interview. The company said that inventories at retail outlets were lower than at the same time last year, and they’re working together to avoid product shortages.The lack of new movie franchises tied to competing toy brands may provide a boost to Mattel, which relies on well-known products such as Barbie, Uno and Pictionary. The company’s doll … Read the rest

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Is Artificial Intelligence Fusing With The Virtual Call Center?

The current business situation has brought new techniques for improving the global market – the fusing of AI with the call center directed to improve a business’s customer interactions.

Today virtual call centers are the top users of AI technology from reliable poll ratings.

Most businesses in the UK are adopting AI tech to increase the reliability of their call centers. However, AI investment sets to attract more call centers for automation. The emergence of AI technology has led to virtual call center expansion as they absorb more customers. The adoption of AI technology will also involve upcoming businesses to withstand the competitive market.

How will the digital [AI] call center automation change call centers?

The emergence of AI technology is big news for call center services. Incorporating AI means improving customer service and increasing business revenues. The virtual call center will schedule and deliver emails and messages and … Read the rest

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Is it time for a regulatory revamp in Congress?

Two government officials yesterday admitted what many Big Tech critics have argued for years: Lawmakers and regulators have done a bad job of managing monopolies.

Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust committee David Cicilline and Federal Trade Commissioner Rohit Chopra spoke at a virtual event hosted by the American Economic Liberties Project, a lobbying group focused on battling monopoly power. They suggested that the U.S. needs new laws to prevent companies from engaging in anticompetitive behavior as well as improved regulatory enforcement to crack down on companies that break the rules. 

“We need to end the era of weak enforcement,” Chopra said on the Zoom call. 

Both Congress and regulators have become increasingly concerned with Big Tech’s growing power and their history of squashing and scooping up rivals. And the battle against Big Tech has bipartisan interest, though in some cases for different reasons.

Already, the antitrust committee had … Read the rest