Monthly Archives: July 2018

Some Uber passengers are reportedly getting hit with $150 fines after drivers allegedly commit ‘vomit fraud’

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Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock

  • Some Uber drivers are reportedly falsely reporting riders for vomiting inside their vehicles, the Miami Herald reports. The scam has been dubbed “vomit fraud.”
  • Some drivers are reportedly sending false pictures to Uber’s management, prompting fines as high as $150 for some customers.
  • Uber told Business Insider they are “evaluating” the processes and technology of cleaning-fee claims.

Some Uber drivers are reportedly charging customers $80 to $150 after falsely reporting that riders vomited inside their vehicles, according to a Miami Herald report.

The scam originates out of a mandatory “cleaning fee” that Uber charges customers if they throw-up inside a driver’s vehicle.

The sham seems simple enough. As detailed by the Miami Herald, the Uber driver sends false photos of the incident to Uber management, who then initiates the fee. Uber’s fees vary, as a spilled drink by passengers is $20, while vomiting in or on the car is between $40 and $80. If a passenger causes “significant amounts” of blood, urine, or vomit to affect the interior, a $150 fine is assessed.

In a statement sent to Business Insider, an Uber spokesperson said, “Participating in fraudulent activity of any kind is a clear violation of our Community Guidelines. We are constantly evaluating our processes and technology related to these claims and will take appropriate action whenever fraud may be detected.”

The ride-hailing company could not give Business Insider an exact number of fraud claims, but said that most cleaning fee reports are legitimate and that when Uber does find a confirmed case of fraud, appropriate action is taken which includes the removal of the driver. Uber encourages riders to report any suspected cases of fraud immediately.

In a statement sent to el Nuevo Herald, Uber added, “With 15 million trips a day, Uber is unfortunately not immune to these types of incidents.”

As noted by Uber’s guidelines section of their website, vomiting can also lead to a loss of ridership and use of the ap. Uber’s help-website says, “Riders are responsible for damage to the interior or exterior of a vehicle caused by incidents such as vomiting or food spills.”

The Miami Herald reports of incidents where drivers work together to bring fees on a single customer to as high as $300. The report includes incidents of passengers being wrongfully kicked off the app following a false vomit submission sent by the driver.

On Twitter, some users expressed frustration with how the company’s customer service department is handling complaints of vomit fraud.

Read the Miami Herald’s full report.

Trump is ‘exploring’ revoking the security clearances of 6 top former intelligence officials who are critical of Trump

President Donald Trump is considering revoking the security clearances of former top officials such as James Comey and John Brennan, the White House said Monday.

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President Donald Trump is considering revoking the security clearances of former top officials such as James Comey and John Brennan, the White House said Monday.
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Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

  • White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday said President Donald Trump is considering revoking the security clearances of six former top officials over “baseless allegations” they’ve made about the president.
  • Trump seems to take particular issue with former CIA Director John Brennan, who recently described Trump’s behavior during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as “treasonous.”
  • Former top officials typically retain security clearances in the event they need to be consulted on various matters and look back at old files or information.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday said President Donald Trump is considering revoking the security clearances of six former top officials over “baseless allegations” they’ve made about the president.

The officials are former CIA and NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden, former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Former top officials typically retain security clearances in the event they need to be consulted on various matters and look back at old files or information.

The White House said Trump is concerned with the way in which these people are allegedly “politicizing” various government agencies, while rejecting the notion the president has done the same with tweets attacking the FBI, among other statements and actions.

Particularly, the president seems perturbed by recent comments from Brennan regarding Trump’s recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

After Trump appeared to side with Putin over the US intelligence community during a joint press conference with the Russian leader last Monday, the former CIA director tweeted that the president’s actions were “treasonous.”

Since returning to the US, Trump has walked back what he said during the press conference, claiming he misspoke and that he agrees with the US intelligence community’s assessment regarding Russian election interference.

On Sunday, however, Trump suggested that Russian election interference is “all a big hoax.” Sanders on Monday claimed Trump was referring to the allegations that his campaign colluded with the Kremlin.

Trump’s tweet said, “So President Obama knew about Russia before the Election. Why didn’t he do something about it? Why didn’t he tell our campaign? Because it is all a big hoax, that’s why, and he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win!!!”

There are at least 12 audio tapes the government seized from Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen.

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Michael Cohen.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

  • There are at least 12 audio tapes the government seized from Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer, according to a Monday court filing.
  • The tapes were turned over to the government after Cohen, Trump, or the Trump Organization withdrew privilege claims, the filing says.

There are at least 12 audio tapes the government seized from Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer, a Monday court filing revealed.

The special master Barbara Jones wrote in a court filing to US District Judge Kimba Wood on Monday that privilege claims were withdrawn over 12 audio tapes in review – an action that could’ve been taken by Cohen, Trump, or the Trump Organization.

Jones is tasked with overseeing the document review for privilege designations in the ongoing criminal investigation in the Southern District of New York into whether Cohen violated campaign-finance laws, committed bank fraud or wire fraud, engaged in illegal lobbying, or participated in other crimes.

Because the parties released their privilege claims over the tapes, they’ve been turned over to federal investigators, she wrote. It is unclear who appears on the tapes.

The existence of one of those 12 tapes was revealed on Friday when The New York Times reported that Cohen recorded a conversation with Trump two months before the 2016 election in which they discussed payments to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who says she had an affair with Trump years ago. That recording was among the more than 4 million documents the FBI seized in April when it raided Cohen’s properties. Reporting of the tape’s contents seemed to contradict the Trump campaign’s past denial of any knowledge of such payments to McDougal.

American Media Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer, purchased the rights to McDougal’s story for $150,000 in August 2016. But the outlet never published the piece. That practice is known as “catch and kill,” and it effectively silenced McDougal’s allegations. Federal investigators had sought documents in the Cohen raids related to that payment and similar payments to other women.

Donald Trump.

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Donald Trump.
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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

David Pecker, the head of AMI, is a longtime friend of both Trump’s and Cohen’s. Citing a person familiar with the recording, The Washington Post reported Friday that in it Cohen and Trump discussed a plan to purchase the rights to McDougal’s story from Pecker’s company for about $150,000.

Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani confirmed to The Times that Trump discussed payments to McDougal with Cohen, but he said that ultimately no payment was made. Giuliani said that the recording was less than two minutes long and that there was no indication based on it that Trump knew of the payment to AMI beforehand.

Giuliani said that Trump told Cohen that if he did pay McDougal, it should be in the form of a check instead of cash so that it could be properly recorded, The Times reported.

“In the big scheme of things, it’s powerful exculpatory evidence,” Giuliani said.

Other reports have differed from Giuliani’s description. Citing a source familiar with the recording, CNN reported that when Trump was informed about the tape he said he couldn’t “believe Michael would do this to me.”

Trump’s legal team decided to revoke the privilege designation on that tape, multiple publications reported over the weekend and a source with knowledge of the withdrawal confirmed to Business Insider.

Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted about the tape, saying it was “inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of.”

The government – acting on a search warrant – did not break into Cohen’s office.

“Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal,” Trump added. “The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!”

New York, where the taping reportedly took place, legally requires only one person’s consent for such a recording, suggesting it would not be illegal. The New York State Bar Association, however, considers the practice unethical.

Nike is about to give 7,000 employees a raise

7,000 Nike employees are about to get a raise.

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7,000 Nike employees are about to get a raise.
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Getty/Natalie Behring

  • Nike announced to employees on Monday that 7,000 workers would be getting a pay bump after the conclusion of an internal review, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • It will also change how it awards bonuses to employees.
  • Nike said the changes are to “support a culture in which employees feel included and empowered.”
  • They come amid the company’s drive to change its workplace culture in the wake of several executive departures.

Thousands of Nike employees will get a pay bump in August.

The sportswear maker and retailer announced to employees on Monday that 7,000 workers will get an increase in salary as the company concludes an internal pay review, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The company will also make changes to how it awards bonuses at the company.

A Nike spokeswoman confirmed the announcement.

“This month, we will make updates to employee pay and awards,” she told Business Insider. “Through Nike’s Total Rewards program, we strive to meet the diverse needs of our employees, deliver differentiated, competitive pay and benefits, and support a culture in which employees feel included and empowered.”

The compensation changes come after a number of executives left the company earlier this year, some due to alleged improper behavior. The company, led by CEO Mark Parker, took swift action to correct the “boys-club” culture employees told the Wall Street Journal they saw at the company.

“When we discover issues, we take action. We are laser-focused on making Nike a more inclusive culture and accelerating diverse representation within our leadership teams,” Parker said in a statement to the Journal.

The raises will be given to both men and women, and they aren’t limited by factor like geography or which department they work in at Nike. The salary adjustments will go into effect August 1.

The CEO of a $28 million fashion business says selling through ‘influencers’ is nothing new

Katherine Power, CEO of Clique Brands Inc.

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Katherine Power, CEO of Clique Brands Inc.
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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • Fashion houses cycle through influencers, celebrities, magazine covers, and Instagram and YouTube stars to sell products.
  • Selling a brand through an influencer is nothing new, says Katherine Power, CEO of Clique Brands.
  • Clique uses private Facebook groups and Instagram chats to guide brand and clothing line decisions.

The fashion cycle always has fresh and trendy faces advertising beauty and style. They’re deemed “influencers.”

The medium has changed in the age of Instagram and YouTube, but the concept remains the same: a celebrity or otherwise well-known person who promotes a brand or product.

“The idea of influencer has changed quite a bit since we started our business, but it still comes down to somebody influencing another to make a purchase,” Katherine Power, CEO of Clique Brands said on an episode of Business Insider’s podcast “This Is Success” (formerly “Success! How I Did It“). Clique launched in 2006 and has an audience of 25 million people.

“It used to be the fashion houses influencing what we’d buy, or then it was celebrities, and who was on a magazine cover, and then it was a blogger, and then it was an Instagram star and a YouTuber,” Power said.

Nowadays, Power – who co-created the fashion blog Who What Wear in 2005, which eventually led to a clothing line at Target – is harnessing the influence of her customers instead.

“Now we’re seeing a lot of conversion around peer-to-peer recommendations,” she said. “So really the girl who’s most influential in her friend group, the one you always go to, to ask, ‘You know, what lipstick are you wearing? Or where did you get that bag?’ So we really focus on that consumer because we believe that’s the best way to reach critical mass.”

Clique has a private, invite-only beauty Facebook group with over 20,000 members where company leaders talk with users “all day long,” Power said. Clique also has a message bot with 140,000 followers on Facebook so the company can chat one-on-one with users. The company also uses Instagram direct message groups to talk to customers about prints, patterns, and developments on upcoming clothing lines.

“So we’ll be in a design meeting and we’ll go on to Instagram stories and we’ll show three or four different prints or patterns, and then before we even leave the meeting we have a few thousand responses that’ll tell us which direction to go in,” Power said.

She continued: “Not only does that give us really accurate data and allow us to make better bets, but it also really allows the consumer to become invested in the whole process, so that when that line comes out they’re able to see what they help create.”

Russia is testing a new drone similar to the CIA’s stealthy RQ-170, and wants to turn it into a sixth-generation fighter

Possible picture of the Okhotnik drone.

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Possible picture of the Okhotnik drone.
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Screenshot/paralay.iboards.ru

  • Russia says that it will turn its new Okhotnik drone, which is about to make its maiden flight, into a sixth-generation aircraft.
  • Popular Mechanics also published a supposed picture above of the Okhotnik, which was posted on a Russian aviation forum called paralay.iboards.ru.
  • Still, it’s unclear exactly what the Okhotnik’s capabilities are now, and what they would be if turned into a sixth-generation fighter – a concept that is still not fully realized.

Russia says that it will turn its new drone, which is about to make its maiden flight, into a sixth-generation aircraft, according to TASS, a Russian state-owned media outlet.

“Okhotnik will become a prototype of the sixth generation fighter jet,” a Russian defense industry official told TASS, adding that the sixth generation fighter “has not yet taken full shape, [but] it’s main features are known.”

The single-engine Okhotnik (“Hunter” in Russian) drone has a top speed of 621 mph, and might make its maiden flight in 2018, according to Popular Mechanics, citing TASS.

Popular Mechanics also published a supposed picture above of the Okhotnik, which was posted on a Russian aviation forum called paralay.iboards.ru.

Russia “may use [the Okhotnik] as a platform to develop technologies for an ‘autonomous’ or more likely pilotless drone,” Michael Kofman, a research scientist at CNA, told Business Insider.

But Kofman added that the claims are rather questionable since TASS sourced a Russian defense industry official.

“Any technological advances from the Okhotnik development could be carried into future aircraft or drone design,” Sim Tack, the chief military analyst at Force Analysis and a global fellow at Stratfor, told Business Insider, “and this [TASS] source may be a proponent of that route.”

“As far as I see it, this is a large drone similar to X-47B, with sizable payload,” Kofman said. Popular Mechanic’s Kyle Mizokami likened the Okhotnik to the American RQ-170 Sentinel drone.

Still, it’s unclear exactly what the Okhotnik’s capabilities are now, and what they would be if turned into a sixth-generation fighter – a concept that is still not fully realized.

The Okhotnik drone in its current capacity has an anti-radar coating, and will store missiles and precision-guided bombs internally to avoid radar detection, Popular Mechanics reported.

In any event, Russia appears to be aiming for some sort of sixth-generation aircraft, recently testing sixth-generation onboard systems on the Su-57 and even researching a radio-photonic radar for the potential aircraft.

unmanned and capable of performing any combat task in an autonomousregime. More: http://tass.com/defense/1014154
Okhotnik will become the prototype of the sixth generation fighterjet More: http://tass.com/defense/1014154

Okhotnik will become the prototype of the sixth generation fighter jet More: http://tass.com/defense/1014154

Okhotnik will become the prototype of the sixth generation fighter jet,’ More: http://tass.com/defense/1014154

Okhotnik will become the prototype of the sixth generation fighterjet,’ More: http://tass.com/defense/1014154

Okhotnik will become the prototype of the sixth generation fighter jet,’ More: http://tass.com/defense/1014154

Inside one of New York City’s oldest and most famous bars, which serves only 2 beers and didn’t allow women in until 1970

Gregory de la Haba is a bartender at McSorley's Old Ale House, one of the oldest bars in New York.

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Gregory de la Haba is a bartender at McSorley’s Old Ale House, one of the oldest bars in New York.
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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

  • Established in 1854, McSorley’s Old Ale House is one of New York City’s oldest bars.
  • The bar is still open in its original location.
  • Hundreds of items hang on its walls, some of which have been there since the day it opened.

McSorley’s Old Ale House is one of the oldest bars in New York City. Established in 1854, the bar still serves its signature ale and sits in the same location as it did from the beginning.

Plenty of famous people have walked through its doors, like Teddy Roosevelt, Woody Guthrie, John Lennon, Babe Ruth, Hunter S. Thompson, and Harry Houdini. President Abraham Lincoln is rumored to have paid McSorley’s a visit, and E.E. Cummings even wrote a poem about the bar.

Entering McSorley’s feels like a trip back in time, and there are signs of its history all around. Ahead, take a look inside the famous ale house.


McSorley’s Old Ale House is located in the East Village, on 7th Street near 3rd Avenue in the St. Mark’s Historic District.

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Established in 1854, the pub boasts the slogan “We were here before you were born.”

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Only two types of beer are served at McSorley’s: a light and dark ale. Ordering is easy — you simply say “light” or “dark.”

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Within seconds, your drinks are slammed down on the table.

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

You may be sitting with strangers, since the tables are communal.

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

The ale house was founded by John McSorley, an immigrant from Ireland who landed in New York in 1851. The location (where it still stands today) was prime — nearby was a transportation hub for horse carriages, and a busy market was across the street.

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McSorley’s in 1937
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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection/The New York Public Library

During the era of Prohibition, McSorley’s ale was made in washtubs in the cellar. The owner at that time would refer to it as “near beer.”

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Source: The New Yorker


Remarkably, the same art and tchotchkes still hang on the bar’s walls, gathering dust and grime from the bar’s many years in business. The collection has only grown.

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

They serve as a reminder of the history the bar has lived through. The last time something was removed from the walls was back in 1910.

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Source: Atlas Obsurca


You’ll see portraits of past presidents, firefighters’ hard caps, patches, and pins. According to the official historian of McSorley’s, Bill Wander, there are even shackles that were worn by a prisoner of war during the time of the Civil War.

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Source: 6sqft.com


Sports memorabilia is also prevalent throughout the bar.

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Wishbones hanging from a light fixture are also among the bar’s best-known mementos.

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

During World War I, McSorley’s began a tradition of giving troops heading off to war a turkey dinner and, of course, pints of ale. The turkey wishbones were left as a good-luck charm, and those who returned would bring their wishbone back down.

The bones left still hanging represent the troops who did not return. In 2011, the two dozen wish bones were finally dusted off and cleaned in response to health inspectors’ orders.

Source: Atlas Obsurca, The New York Times


Women were not allowed into McSorley’s until 1970, when a city ordinance banned discrimination against women in public places. The ladies’ bathroom, however, wasn’t added until 1985.

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Another tradition McSorley’s has kept is its sawdust-covered floor. Back in the days when its patrons were chewing tobacco, spit would go flying, and the sawdust would absorb it along with any beer spills. The sawdust also makes sliding a large box of beer across the floor much easier.

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Source: 6sqft.com


McSorley’s also has a food menu.

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

In 1966, The New York Times published an article titled “McSorley’s Saloon: A Gentleman’s Preserve,” which featured the bar’s chili recipe. Even then, the writer noted, “All the tables at McSorley’s have a rather distressed appearance.”

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

Source: The New York Times


Not much has changed — except for the price. In 1940, The New Yorker reported that beer cost only a dime per mug, and in 1966, two of the half-pints cost a mere 35 cents. Today, the beer costs $5.50.

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Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

8 lessons I’ve learned from moving 14 times in 12 years

Moving brings new opportunities to meet people and explore different cultures.

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Moving brings new opportunities to meet people and explore different cultures.
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Katia_L/Shutterstock

  • Moving can be overwhelming, both financially and emotionally.
  • On the other hand,movingto a new place brings the opportunity to meet new people, explore a different area, and have meaningful experiences.
  • Author Yan Mei moved 14 times in 12 years, including international and cross-country relocations – here’s what she learned.

I’ve been living contentedly in the same neighborhood for almost four years, yet my friends and family still ask, “Will you move again soon?”

I don’t blame them: I have a bit of a nomadic history. I moved 14 times in 12 years, including three international moves (from China to Great Britain, from Great Britain to Switzerland, and then Switzerland to the United States) and one cross-country move from the San Francisco Bay Area to New York City.

I consider myself fortunate, because my moves have gone hand in hand with positive steps in life – a graduate degree in London, career growth for my husband, a bigger apartment before I gave birth.

Moving so many times commanded a great deal of planning and effort, not to mention stress. However, the excitement of reorganizing my life and being part of a new place has always given me an adrenaline rush.

Here are the lessons I’ve learned as a serial mover:


Always research the cost of living, job prospects, and healthcare details prior to moving to a new country

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Research before moving to a new place.
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YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock

I didn’t know that London would be so expensive until I moved there from China for grad school.

The city really honed my math skills: The number on every price tag, times 15, would yield how much it would cost in Chinese yuan. At least the UK’s public health insurance, National Health Service (NHS), is free.

For every subsequent relocation, I made a list of pros and cons of the cost of living, job prospects, and health care in my new prospective home prior to moving.


A short trip to the country you’re moving to before the move can leave a misleading impression

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San Francisco.
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canadastock/Shutterstock

Moving to London taught me that cities vary widely neighborhood by neighborhood, and one sightseeing trip might leave a skewed impression.

My husband’s company offered us visits to Switzerland and San Francisco before our moves, but we turned them down. We decided to leave neighborhood navigation until after we landed.

Once we arrived, with a clearer big picture, we had no qualms making the final decision about where we wanted to live, even though we hadn’t set foot in the cities before we moved.


Find your bearings through research before moving

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Understand every detail about your new neighborhood.
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Mostovyi Sergii Igorevich/Shutterstock

While calculating the financials and having a big picture of relocation is crucial for people like me, who either can’t or choose not to visit a new city or country before moving, visiting and investigating different neighborhoods is equally important after you land.

A neighborhood’s public transportation, commute, schools, neighborhood safety, grocery shops, and entertainment options will all affect your daily life, so you want to get to know them as well as possible before making a decision.

During our last move, daycare hunting was the last thing on my mind. I naïvely thought that there would be abundant choices in a cosmopolitan city like New York. This was a big mistake. In reality, it took me three months to find suitable daycare for our son.


Downsize your belongings

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Freeing yourself of excess belongings will make your life easier.
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Patty Chan/Shutterstock

I’ve learned to dedicate a few nights before each move to getting rid of things that I haven’t used for a year or more before professional movers come to pack.

It was psychologically liberating and saved me time unpacking when I moved to a new place.

For instance, I donated half of my book collection to a local library before moving from London to Switzerland and purged a few pieces of old furniture prior to the cross-country move.


Organize your possessions strategically before packing them

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Pack by category and label boxes.
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Solis Images/Shutterstock

After my husband and I moved from London to Switzerland, we found a ballpoint pen wrapped in three layers of thick paper in a box labeled “Kitchen.” Professional movers will wrap and pack anything, but only the owner knows where everything belongs. I learned to pre-pack similar items in the same cupboard or area, which made unpacking in my new home much easier.

Many moving companies pack and label boxes by room, but I’ve found that the most efficient way to pack is by category, as organizing expertMarie Kondosuggests: clothes, books, tools, games and toys, etc.

Another reason to organize things by category is that it helped me remember to back up important documents digitally and keep the original ones with me when I moved. These are items that I never want to get damaged or misplaced.

A word of advice: If finances permit, hire a moving company. I used professional movers for every move that required furniture moving. The way they protected and ensured the safety of furnishings, and reassembled them efficiently, was a life-saver.


Declutter your mind, too

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I took a leap of faith and moved to Switzerland.
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Mariia Golovianko/Shutterstock

It took a big leap of faith for me to decide to move from Great Britain to Switzerland, because I had a job that I enjoyed, and everything in my life had fallen into place in London.

We moved for my husband’s job. However, since I’m not an EU national, I had great difficulty obtaining a working visa in Switzerland.

First of all, not speaking a local language fluently was a substantial hindrance. Additionally,employers in Switzerlandmust give priority to Swiss people, EU citizens, and foreign nationals with Swiss work permits when looking to fill a job, according to the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. They even need to be able to prove that they couldn’t find anyone suitable for the role who met those requirements before hiring a foreign national from outside of the EU.

Since it was a joint decision to relocate for the overall benefit of the family, I knew dwelling on my negative experience wouldn’t make things any better.

Psychologist Barry Schwartz, in a TED talk, said, “Whenever you’re choosing one thing, you’re choosing not to do other things, and those other things may have lots of attractive features, and it’s going to make what you’re doing less attractive.”

I’ve learned that moving is really about what I am willing to give up and letting go of regrets and doubts.


Be open-minded about others’ opinions of my country and culture

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Moving has opened my eyes to other cultural habits and behaviors.
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Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

“Does everyone in China eat dog meat?” When a local girl posed the question soon after I moved to Switzerland, every part of me wanted to scream, “Of course not!”

As Carl Jung has said: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Moving around has encouraged me to see my country’s history, cultural behaviors, and habits through other people’s eyes.


Observe and adjust to different cultural preferences

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Personal space is constantly invaded in China, for example.
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Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The nature of politeness changes from place to place. Each culture has unwritten rules of how much distance people give each other in a line and how loudly people speak in public spaces.

China is the world’s most populous country, so it’s inevitable that personal space is constantly invaded and it’s always touchy-feely in lines or on public transportation.

In the UK and USA, people are more conscious of personal space and stick to themselves. I had to reconsider what I considered polite and work out the norms of each culture with each move.


Keep close friends closer

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After so many moves, I have a small circle of close friends.
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mimagephotography/Shutterstock

Moving frequently has enabled me to build a large social network, with one caveat: Each move tests my ability to maintain relationships with close friends.

A paperby two scholars from the universities of Kansas and Dayton shows that people’s tendencies to dispose of possessions and social ties are related. Frequent movers may feel compelled to choose which relationships to invest in and to keep, and which to let go.

After so many moves, I’ve realized that a small circle of close friends is all I can manage.


Home is where I make it

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We now will factor in my son’s well-being before making a decision to move.
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Grekov’s/Shutterstock

I’ve been away from my hometown of Shanghai for 16 years. Before we moved across the US, my husband gave me a piece of wooden wall art for my birthday, painted with “Home is wherever I’m with you.”

I carry the memories of each place I’ve lived in, both sweet and bitter, with me every day. Each move has bonded my family closer as we share new experiences and explore new cities. It doesn’t matter where I live, home is where I make it.

The only move we’ve done with our son was the relocation from San Francisco to New York, when he was 20 months old. Since he was so young, the experience didn’t take a toll on him. Butmoving’s social and emotional effects on my childas he grows are now factored into when I need to make a moving decision in the future. For now at least, we are staying put.

MoviePass shareholders approve 2 measures meant to keep the company from being kicked off its stock exchange

MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe and Helios and Matheson CEO Ted Farnsworth.

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MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe and Helios and Matheson CEO Ted Farnsworth.
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MoviePass/Reuters

  • Investors in Helios and Matheson – which own 92% of MoviePass – approved two measures on Monday designed to help the company avoid delisting.
  • Shareholders approved the possibilities of issuing 4.5 billion new shares or of carrying out a reverse stock split, which can be exercised independently at management’s discretion.
  • The stock has fallen dramatically in the past year, now trading 99% off its record high near $40.
  • Follow HMNY’s stock price in real-time here.

Shareholders of Helios and Matheson – the parent company of MoviePass – on Monday approved two measures aimed at helping the company avoid being delisted by the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The vote came at a special meeting of shareholders designed to deal with Helios and Matheson’s sinking share prince. The stock has witnessed a dramatic decline from its high of $38.52 less than a year ago to a record low of $0.09 on Monday morning.

The first approval was an authorization to increase the number of outstanding shares by a magnitude of 10, to 5 billion from 500 million, which would allow the company to sell more shares to the public or institutional investors.

The second – which Helios and Matheson CEO Ted Farnsworth described as an “insurance policy” if the first were not passed – was the approval of a reverse stock split that could reduce the number of shares by 2 to 1, 250 to 1, or somewhere in between at management’s discretion. Both measures, the company said, could help shore up the company’s stock price.

Official results are expected to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within four days, as required by the agency’s regulations.

When asked by a disgruntled investor for more clarity on the measures, executives present at the meeting Monday provided no details on timing of the reverse split or by what ratio shares may be consolidated.

Helios and Matheson first received notice that it could be delisted from the Nasdaq in June, after failing to maintain a share price above the minimum $1.

HMNY MoviePass stock price

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Markets Insider

The 3 smartest things I did when looking for a new job

Finding a new job can be stressful.

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Finding a new job can be stressful.
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stockfour/Shutterstock

  • Looking for a job can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when you have to apply while working full time at your current gig.
  • There are some things you can do, like asking for what you want directly, that can help you land the perfect job.
  • Here are the three smartest things I did when looking for a new job.

In early 2015, I hit a low point. My freelance writing wasn’t bringing in enough to pay the bills, and I was running low on funds. I imagined the resumes I had sent in response to ads on Craigslist and Indeed were disappearing into overfull inboxes, never to be seen again.

I was desperate to find work – any kind of work.

When my situation felt hopeless, I got willing to do things that seemed crazy, like replacing my safe, formal cover letters with wildly honest (and sometimes borderline goofy) notes and going on interviews for jobs I was sure I would never accept. And those crazy things were the secret sauce that got me job interviews and, in the end, a position at a nonprofit I had admired for years.

One disclaimer: I’m not going to tell you to network. I’m terrible at small talk, and I hate networking. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach out to your network when you’re looking for work – I’m just not the right person to tell you how to do it.

Here are the three smartest things I did when looking for a job:


1. Say yes to everything

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Say yes to all job interviews.
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Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

Before I reached my point of despair, I had a list of reasons why I shouldn’t bother submitting job applications: I didn’t have the required experience, it might not pay enough, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do the work, and so on. I would convince myself that I couldn’t get the job before I even applied.

I stopped listening to the hecklers inside my head and decided to commit to the job search process. I applied for anything and everything that related to writing and publishing and I even applied for jobs in my former field, paralegal work.

When I started to search for work in earnest, I gave myself a few rules:

  • Don’t talk yourself out of applying for a job
  • Apply for any job that meets your (very broad) criteria
  • Say yes to all job interviews
  • Keep saying yes up until a job offer; then it’s OK to turn job a position that’s not a good fit

I applied for anything and everything that related to writing and publishing, and I even applied for jobs in my former field of paralegal work.

On my way to an interview with an environmental nonprofit whose work I loved, I tried to figure out how to tell them, gently, that I didn’t want the job. I went to the interview because I was following the rules, and also because I wanted to meet them. To my surprise, I left that interview very much wanting the position.

If I hadn’t gone on multiple interviews for jobs that I didn’t want, I never would have found a job I was jazzed about.


2. Let it all hang out in your application letters

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Be honest in your cover letters.
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GaudiLab/Shutterstock

For most of my working life, I wrote very formal, old-school application letters with scintillating opening lines like, “I saw your ad on Craigslist. I think I would be a great fit for this position.”

A job coach told me I needed to let my personality and sense of humor shine through in my cover letters, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. My terrific resume should speak for itself, right? Wrong.

When I got desperate, I decided to write cover letters with the filter off. It didn’t seem like anyone read them anyway, so why not? I let myself have fun and wrote letters that were honest, personal, and informal.

I said insanely blunt things, such as:

“I’m interested in writing for [press], frankly, because I have read some of your books and, while I found them very helpful, I think I can do better.” (I didn’t get that interview, but I stand by my self-assessment.)

And:

“Where were you when I was growing up? I babysat one family just because of all the cool Lego sets I got to build with at their house. [Business] is a brilliant concept and I’m jealous of the lucky kids who get to enjoy it!” (This innovative toy company contacted me right away.)

Sometimes, I felt I’d gone too far after I hit send on an application, but I discovered that the letters that seemed the wildest were also the most likely to get a response. Honesty and humor, with a positive spin, were the magic ingredients for my job search.


3. Ask for what you want

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Negotiate for what you deserve.
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Mangostar/Shutterstock

When an awesome nonprofit called to offer me a job, I was delighted. Unfortunately, the salary they first offered me was lower than I had expected. Rather than take a salary that would have pinched my budget, I asked for more – and was immediately offered a higher starting pay.

Remember that the salary you start with will be the salary on which they’ll base your raises and bonuses. If you hope to stay with the organization, your starting salary could make a big difference in your earnings over time.

I also asked for a four-day work week, to give me time for my creative work. This was another yes. You might be surprised how many employers are willing to offer flexible schedules to keep a valuable employee – like you – happy.