Monthly Archives: November 2016

$3.8 billion Slack just poached a high-ranking Dropbox exec as it faces a new threat from Microsoft

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Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield
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Flickr/kk

Slack has hired Dropbox’s Kevin Egan as its new head of North America sales, bringing in a seasoned veteran with over 10 years of enterprise sales experience, a source with knowledge of the matter told Business Insider.

Egan, who served as Dropbox’s head of North America sales for the last four years, is the second high-profile sales hire this year for Slack, the $3.8 billion startup best known for its viral messaging app.

Earlier this year, it hired away Robert Frati from Salesforce as its first sales chief, after relying mostly on word-of-mouth without a big sales team to achieve its rocketship growth during its early years.

Prior to Dropbox, Egan worked at Salesforce for over 10 years in various sales positions. He will be reporting to Frati at Slack once he joins the company in January.

Both Slack and Dropbox declined to comment on this story.

Stiff competition

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Kevin Egan
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LinkedIn

The move comes just as Slack faces stiffer competition from the likes of Microsoft, Facebook, and Atlassian.

Microsoft just launched a Slack-like messaging app called Teams last month, while Facebook came out with its own workplace service in October. Atlassian, the maker of another business messaging app HipChat, went public last year.

Egan’s hiring should help Slack better-position itself in selling to the bigger enterprise companies. Although Slack likes to brag about its growth without a dedicated sales team, it’s nearly impossible to sign big contracts unless you have direct salespeople on your team.

It’s also a signal that Slack’s long-awaited enterprise product may be getting closer to launching. The enterprise version of the service has been in development for two years, and is being tested among some large customers. But there have some question marks around its status and Slack’s homepage still says its enterprise product is “coming soon.”

Slack has over a million paid users and over four million daily active users. It said it’s on track to generate $100 million in annual recurring revenue this year.

It’s unclear what exactly made Egan want to leave Dropbox. But according to an article by The Information last year, Egan was demoted to a smaller role after the hirings of COO Dennis Woodside and global VP of revenue Thomas Hansen, as the company shied away from traditional enterprise sales tactics for a more reseller-focused approach.

Magnus Carlsen wins the 2016 World Chess Championship

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Carlsen wins!
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Maria Emelianova

NEW YORK – Magnus Carlsen defeated Sergey Karjakin on Wednesday to retain his World Chess Championship title.

Carlsen, from Norway, turned 26 on Wednesday, making the victory a great birthday present. This is the third time he has claimed the biggest trophy in chess.

His 25-year-old Russian challenger was a worthy foe. Through 12 classical games, he held tough, scoring a win and briefly putting Carlsen on the ropes.

But Carlsen stormed back and evened the match with a win of his own. Draws then sent the match to tiebreaks.

In those four 25-minute games, Carlsen’s edge became apparent. Karjakin consistently got into time trouble, not something that you want to happen in “rapid” chess.

After a draw in the first game and a miraculous escape by Karjakin, playing black, when Carlsen was on the verge of checkmate in the second game, Karjakin ran out of time in the third, and Carlsen had the decisive point he needed.

With the black pieces in the fourth, Karjakin tried the fighting Sicilian Defense for the first time in the match. It’s an opening he’s played many times, but it’s risky in rapid because although it gives black good winning chances, it demands quite a bit of calculation to establish an edge.

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Karjakin tries the Sicilian.
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Agon

The edge didn’t materialize and Karjakin again ran low on time, amid several flurries of moves with less than minute on his clock. With a checkmate in eight moves on the board, according the computer analysis, and a potentially brilliant queen sacrifice in the works from Carlsen, Karjakin resigned.

Carlsen retained his title, and Karjakin proved himself to have been a hard-fighting, tenacious opponent.

The final position:

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Checkmate in eight moves.
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Agon

Cruz blasts ‘young socialists’ Trudeau and Obama for ‘praising’ Castro: ‘We’re not mourning the death of some revolutionary romantic’

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Ted Cruz.
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Gary Cameron/Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas eviscerated President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday for their statements following the death of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Speaking from the Senate floor, Cruz said “we are thankful” for “this brutal dictator’s” death. He said Trudeau and Obama “should know better” than to offer up the statements they did.

“Let me be absolutely clear: We’re not mourning the death of some revolutionary romantic or a distinguished statesman,” said Cruz, who is of Cuban descent. “We’re not grieving for the protector of peace or a judicious steward of his people. Today we are thankful, we are thankful that a man who has imprisoned and tortured and degraded the lives of so many is no longer with us.”

The Texas Republican said he wanted to pay tribute to the “millions” who “suffered at the hands of the Castro regime.”

“We remember them and we honor the brave souls who fought the lonely fight against the totalitarian communist dictatorship imposed on Cuba,” he said. “And yet at the same time, it seems that the race is on to see which world leader can most fulsomely praise Fidel Castro’s legacy while delicately averting his eyes from his less than savory characteristics.

“Two duly elected leaders of democracies who should know better: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and American President Barack Obama have been leading the way.”

Cruz said Trudeau “praised” Castro in calling him a “larger-than-life leader who served his people for almost half a century” and “a legendary revolutionary orator who made significant improvements in the education and healthcare on his island nation.” Trudeau was roundly criticized for his laudatory statement Saturday.

“Tell that to the people in the prisons,” Cruz said. “Tell that to the people who have been tortured and murdered by Fidel Castro.”

The 2016 Republican presidential candidate also criticized Obama for offering “condolences to the Cuban people” and suggesting that “history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure.”

“What is it about young leftists, what is it about young socialists, that they idolize communist dictators who torture and murder people?” he said. “Fidel Castro and Che Guevara and all of their goons are not these sexy unshaven revolutionaries in college dorm rooms on posters that make leftists get all tingly inside. They were brutal monsters.”

He reiterated that he called for no US government officials to attend Castro’s funeral until his brother Raul released political prisoners. Cruz then condemned Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, and US diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis, who will attend the Cuban leader’s memorial service.

Watch Cruz’s speech below:

The manufacturer that gave Trump his biggest win since the election just raised a major issue with the deal

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Carrier, the manufacturer that said it would keep more than 1,000 jobs in the US after negotiations with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, took a subtle jab at the Trump administration in a follow-up statement about the deal Wednesday afternoon.

Carrier, which is owned by United Technologies Corp., applauded the Trump administration’s support for the business community, stating that it would preserve some jobs by continuing to manufacture gas furnaces in Indianapolis. But it ended the statement with a cautionary message about the future of manufacturing jobs in the US.

“This agreement in no way diminishes our belief in the benefits of free trade and that the forces of globalization will continue to require solutions for the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. and of American workers moving forward,” the statement said.

Trump may have found a solution to save 1,000 Carrier jobs, but he still needs to solve the underlying issues that would have allowed United Technologies to save $65 million by moving manufacturing jobs to Mexico.

Carrier became a poster child throughout Trump’s campaign for problems facing American workers as manufacturing jobs leave the US.

“If I was in office, Carrier wouldn’t be leaving,” Trump said in a speech at the Indiana Fairgrounds in April. He said he would impose an aggressive tax on Carrier and other companies moving manufacturing jobs outside the US.

Reports indicate that Trump was able to fulfill his promise by offering Carrier financial incentives to keep jobs in Indiana, as well as leveraging government contracts, since military sales make up 10% of United Technologies’ business.

While Carrier’s factories carried major symbolic weight for the president-elect, negotiating on a case-by-case basis with each company that threatens to outsource jobs would require a lot of time and effort – especially if each company expects Trump to sweeten the deal.

Check out all the different ways you can recharge a Tesla

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Let’s get charging!
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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

This past summer, I drove my kids to camp in the Catskills. Our chariot for the journey was a Tesla.

And not just any Model S, but a P90D with Ludicrous Mode: the baddest, fastest, coolest Tesla in all the land.

The idea was to see if this four-door luxury “family car” with supercar-beating acceleration – 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, claimed – could handle a journey of decent length (about 240 miles round trip) involving two adults, three kids, and the gear of a pair of campers for two weeks.

Quite a test, eh? And we decided to put the Model S through its charging paces. All of them – including some we didn’t expect!

Read on to learn about all the different ways you can rejuice this most famous of electric cars.


The pearl white Tesla, equipped with everything, landed in the driveway of our suburban New Jersey test car HQ.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

It was a Model S, in P90D trim. The “P” for “performance,” the “90” for the 90 kWh battery pack, and the “D” for a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive setup.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

The trip would cover 117 miles, one-way.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

The Model S when fully charged has 270 miles of range, enough to comfortably make the journey up and back. But we wanted to investigate the charging options along the way, so we didn’t top off before departing. Still, almost 200 miles of range! Plenty, right? My plan was to get to camp, then head over to a Tesla destination partner charging site, get enough juice to make a Supercharger station on the return route, and be home by early evening.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

And away we go!

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

We arrive! But there’s just one issue …

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

I’ve screwed up my range calculations. We don’t have enough to make the closest partner charging station. The car was warning us of this, but we needed to get the boys dropped off on time. So we took a chance and ended up ALMOST RUNNING OUT OF GAS, er … ELECTRICITY!

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

There’s a cable in the trunk of every Tesla that enables you to charge on the fly. But there are no high-speed charging options up here in the middle of nowhere in the Catskills. So we had to resort to the slowest option, good old 120-volt, wall-socket-level re-juicing.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

You plug into this small charging port at the left rear of the Model S.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Not exactly the most scenic location. We had to ask the camp maintenance staff to find us an outlet that we could use.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

This one was down by a maintenance shed.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

We are charging away …

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

… but we’ll be getting only 1 mile per hour of charging! That’s mega-slow.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

A few hours, a few more miles in the battery, and we have enough to head back through the lovely scenery to find lodging — and charging — for the night.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

The Blue Hill Lodge was nearby.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

We retired to our quaint, blue-doored room.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

And once again plugged into a basic outlet.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

By the next morning, at a charging rate of 3 miles per hour, we have enough juice to make the closest charging location — a partner charging site.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Off we go!

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

The charger was located at the charming Inn at Lake Joseph.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Bingo!

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

We’re plugged in …

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

… and drawing power again.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

But this time, we’re charging much faster. In a few hours, we’ll have enough power to get to the closest Supercharger location.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Tesla has set up these partner charging sites to provide relatively fast charging in more places and to fill in some of the Supercharger gaps. A Tesla vehicle can find them all using GPS and can calculate the state of its charge at all times so you never end up like unlucky, stupid me. Trust the car!

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

With 76 miles in the battery, we can comfortably get to the nearest Supercharger.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

It’s about 50 miles away, in Newburgh, NY.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Finally! Superchargers!

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

This is gonna be MUCH FASTER CHARGING.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

One hour on a Supercharger will get us a whopping 206 miles of range.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Bzzzzz … electrons in, at high velocity! Go Supercharger, go!

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Cosimo’s restaurant is right there, and it’s time for lunch.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Delicious!

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

When we’ve finished eating, we have almost a full charge for what’s left of the drive.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Tesla makes it abundantly clear how charging its vehicles works. You can look it up … in the car! We explored three choices: 120V slow charging, destination partner charging at a faster rate, and Supercharging. And sure you can guess which is best.

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Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

San Francisco schools sent more than 50,000 parents an alert promising safe space for immigrants

The San Francisco Unified School District sent an automated phone message to thousands of parents Wednesday informing them that the district will continue to provide a “safe space” for recent immigrants “regardless of immigration status” and affirming the city’s status as a so-called sanctuary city for non-citizen immigrants.

The message seems to be a response to the election of Donald Trump, who promised during his campaign to crack down on illegal immigration, including building a border wall between the US and Mexico.

Earlier this month, Trump pledged to deport 2 to 3 million immigrants living in the country illegally as soon as he takes office in January.

A district spokesperson told Business Insider that several officials in schools reported children being worried after Trump was elected, and that the notification was part of a broader initiative with the mayor’s office. About 56,000 children are enrolled in schools in the district, and every listed parent or guardian received the alert. Usually, alerts are sent for emergencies, like school closures or imminent threats.

San Francisco has pledged not to cooperate with federal officials in finding and deporting immigrants living in the country illegally, although there are exceptions for immigrants with serious and violent felony convictions. A city supervisor, David Campos, is set to introduce legislation setting aside $5 million to help pay for lawyers to represent people in deportation proceedings.

Here’s the message in its entirety:

“This is a message from the San Francisco Unified School District to let you know we are committed to providing a safe space for learning for each and every one of our students, including recent immigrants, regardless of immigration status. We will continue to uphold San Francisco sanctuary city for all immigrants. This week, your child’s school will be distributing information with resources for immigrant families. We also invite you to visit our web site at www.sfusd.edu to find more information.”

This is why I don’t worry about warming up my car when it’s cold

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It’s easier to scrape the windshield if you WARM UP YOUR CAR.
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Reuters

There’s a “you’re doing it wrong” meme that’s showing some strong staying power these days: You don’t need to warm up your car when it’s cold – in fact, if you do, you could harm your engine.

The engineering behind this revision of what many folks have been told their whole lives is solid, and you can watch this Business Insider video to get the lowdown.

Modern cars don’t use carburetors to blend the fuel-air mixture. They use electronic fuel injection, so a warm-up in cold weather isn’t mechanically necessary.

But here’s the thing: If you can’t run your modern car for 10 minutes or so when it’s cold, you should be asking some serious questions about the supposed advanced state of automaking in the 21st century. It’s possible that the old-school warm-up would marginally degrade your engine oil, but in 35 years of driving I’ve never heard of or experienced this.

Bottom line: Your car should be able to handle some serious extremes of temperature, as long as you aren’t spending a lot of time in Death Valley or the Arctic Circle.

Here’s why I often warm my car up when it’s cold – in fact, why I have been avidly warming up my car since it began to get a bit frosty in the Northeast:

    I want a nice warm car to drive in. I want the seat heaters to be good and hot. I want the steering-wheel heater to be all fired up. I want any snow or ice that’s accumulated on the windows to be easy to remove.

The first three are about comfort; the last one is about safety. Plus, I think a warm and comfortable driver is a much safer driver than one who is hunched and shivering and has to wear gloves.

Additionally, you won’t waste all that much gas with a warm-up at idle. You’d have to run the engine for an hour to burn a gallon.

So go ahead, warm up your car! It’s getting colder in much of the US. Warm away!

Kellogg’s, Warby Parker, and a number of other companies are refusing to run ads on Breitbart News

A growing number of companies are pulling their ads off of Breitbart News, the far-right website that until recently was run by President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon.

On Tuesday, Kellogg’s announced that it would no longer advertise on the website in an effort to “ensure our ads do not appear on sites that aren’t aligned with our values as a company,” the company said in a statement published in USA Today.

Breitbart News is a controversial website that Bannon began running 2012. The site is known for its aggressive pro-Trump coverage and has come under fire for publishing articles that appear sympathetic to white nationalists, a charge that Breitbart has denied.

Headlines on Breitbart News include “Hoist It High and Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims a Glorious Heritage” and “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled the site a “white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill.”

In pulling its ads, Kellogg’s became the largest in a growing list of companies that are cutting ties with Breitbart News. Warby Parker, Allstate, Nest and SoFi have already pulled ads from the site. AppNexus, a service that runs digital ads, has also barred Breitbart News, according to Bloomberg.

Breitbart News has been the target of a social media movement aiming to cut off its ad dollars. In November, the Twitter account Sleeping Giants began encouraging followers to put pressure on companies whose ads appear on the site.

As a result, Twitter users have called out ads for a number of different companies and institutions, including Yale University, Microsoft, and American Express.

Because of the ad software Breitbart uses, many companies were apparently unaware that their ads had been running on the website. If brands using this software want to avoid running ads on certain websites, such as Brietbart, they need to specifically blacklist these sites.

On Wednesday, the website launched a campaign encouraging readers to not purchase Kellogg’s products.

Leah Remini’s new Scientology expose TV show has giant ratings

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“Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath”/A&E; YouTube

This may not be good news for the Church of Scientology, but its outspoken former member Leah Remini has reason to celebrate. The premiere of her new A&E show bagged big ratings.

Tuesday’s series debut of “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” was viewed by 2.1 million viewers, according to A&E. Of that, 1.1 million viewers were in the cable network’s target audience, viewers between the ages of 25 and 54.

That makes the series A&E’s best new series launch since the premiere of “Big Smo” more than two years ago on June 11, 2014.

With the series, Remini set out to document the stories of alleged abuse from former Scientologists, including her own experiences from 30 years of belonging to the organization.

Scientology allegedly tried to get the show pulled from airing, which led to Remini demanding the church pay her $1.5 million in damages. The church called her request “extortion” and maintains that the stories of its alleged abuses in the series are false.

The eight-episode series airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on A&E.

A pattern is emerging with Trump’s deals to save US manufacturing jobs

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He’s a deals guy.
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Reuters/Mike Segar

President-elect Donald Trump said during his campaign that he would, if elected, persuade the air-conditioner manufacturer Carrier not to shutter a plant in Indiana and move more than 2,000 jobs to Mexico.

Trump was elected, and he has evidently made good on that pledge. Or at least some of the pledge.

Carrier said late Tuesday that it would keep more than 1,000 jobs across two locations in Indiana. (Besides the Carrier plant, a facility operated by its parent United Technologies was also facing cuts.)

This Trump deal follows a negotiation he reportedly had with Ford about what the president-elect erroneously thought was a plant relocation to Mexico. It was really just an altered plan by Ford to keep manufacturing a Lincoln vehicle at a Louisville, Kentucky, plant where the automaker wanted to increase production of a similar SUV badged as a Ford.

Ford wasn’t considering the production move until 2019, when the existing United Auto Workers contract is up. And no jobs would have been lost as a result of the move, Ford said.

These are wins of a sort for Trump, but a pattern is emerging.

The art of the deal

Some of the Carrier and United Technologies jobs are being saved. Some of the Lincoln production – about 2,000 vehicles a month – is staying put in Kentucky.

It should be fairly clear what’s going on here. United Technologies said it could save $65 million a year by moving, but it has $56 billion in annual revenue, according to The New York Times. Indiana will provide $700,000 in tax incentives, but adding the whole thing up is a rounding error in terms of United Technologies’ overall business.

Trump wants to make a deal because that’s what he does – he’s a deals guy. His incoming vice president is Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana. United Technologies keeps some workers in Indiana. Everybody gets to look good.

But, of course, a whole bunch of jobs are still going to Mexico: 1,300, Fortune reported. The outsourcing trend remains intact.

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The Ford plant in Louisville.
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Bryan Woolston/Reuters

Ford didn’t even have to worry about juggling jobs. All it had to do was not move production of a vehicle it wasn’t planning to move for three years anyway. The Lincoln production could also be discontinued at the Louisville plant, replaced with production of the vehicle that Ford had wanted to build, the Ford Escape. It’s basically the same car.

There isn’t much that changes in terms of Ford’s long-term thinking about sending unprofitable vehicle production to Mexico. Ford has, after all, been operating plants in Mexico since the 1960s.

We’re talking about only two announcements here, so it may be a stretch to call it a pattern. But if this is the way things are going to go, Trump will be spending a decent amount of time and energy negotiating deals that tweet well but that aren’t really what you’d call needle-moving in the grand scheme of things.

Maybe as president he’ll up the stakes. Then again, companies that have planned to use NAFTA to their financial advantages will learn what works with Trump – give away something, but keep the master plan intact.