Microsoft leaders warned Bill Gates over ‘inappropriate’ emails.

Microsoft leaders warned Bill Gates over ‘inappropriate’ emails.

Microsoft leaders warned Bill Gates over ‘inappropriate’ emails. However, the Microsoft founder says he doesn’t remember sending them.

ImageMicrosoft-leaders-warned-Bill-Gates-over-%E2%80%98inappropriate-emails

Bill Gates in the year 2019. After discovering improper communications he had sent to a female coworker, Microsoft management told him that his conduct was wrong. Credit… The New York Times/Calla Kessler

According to a Microsoft spokeswoman, Bill Gates was cautioned by Microsoft management in 2008 about improper emails he had written to a female colleague.

Mr. Gates, who was a full-time employee and the company’s chairman at the time, sent a message in which he invited an employee out on a date. According to Frank Shaw, a Microsoft spokesperson, senior Microsoft officials learnt about the emails in 2008.

Mr. Shaw said, “These emails recommended meeting outside of work and off campus.” “They were flirty but not obviously sexual, and they were ruled unacceptable.”

Mr. Shaw said that when executives found the communications, they cautioned Mr. Gates that his conduct was wrong and informed a limited number of board members about the situation. Mr. Gates informed the board members that he agreed that what he had done was wrong, and the board decided not to take any further action.

Mr. Gates departed the firm soon after in a long-planned exit, though he remained on the board of directors until last year. The Wall Street Journal had previously reported on the executives’ warnings to Mr. Gates.

“These assertions are untrue, rehashed rumors from people who have no direct information, and in some instances have substantial conflicts of interest,” Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gates, told The Journal. When contacted by The New York Times, she had no more comment.

After The New York Times reported on Mr. Gates’ long-term association with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Microsoft’s board of directors started investigating into a rumor that Mr. Gates had a sexual contact with a Microsoft subordinate years before.

This year, Mr. Gates and his wife, Melinda French Gates, announced the end of their 27-year marriage.

Mr. Gates had earned a reputation for dubious behavior in work-related contexts, according to The New York Times in May. After witnessing a presentation by her when he was the company’s chairman, he made an advance to a female Microsoft employee, according to the report. According to The New York Times, Mr. Gates left the meeting and immediately contacted the lady to invite her out to dinner.

According to a person who read it to The New York Times, Mr. Gates responded in an email, “If this makes you uncomfortable, pretend it never occurred.”

Mr. Shaw said on Monday that Mr. Gates’ communications to the female employee in 2008 prompted officials to issue warnings to Mr. Gates.

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Julian Reichelt, the newsroom chief of the German newspaper Bild and Bild TV, has been fired after an inquiry into his workplace behavior. Credit… Getty Images/Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance

After months of defending his sexual connections with women at work, Germany’s most prominent newspaper fired its top editor on Monday, as the crisis engulfed the paper’s internationally ambitious parent firm, Axel Springer.

After The New York Times reported on details of Mr. Reichelt’s relationship with a trainee, who testified during an independent legal investigation that he had summoned her to a hotel near the office for sex and asked her to keep a payment secret, Bild, a center-right tabloid that has fueled popular anger at Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Covid-19 restrictions, dismissed the editor in chief, Julian Reichelt. The newsmagazine Der Spiegel revealed charges that Mr. Reichelt had exploited his position to seek relationships with many women on his staff only hours after he was fired.

The expulsion highlighted the late arrival of the worldwide #MeToo movement at Axel Springer, which is making big investments in the American market, including the $1 billion purchase of Politico this summer. In the United States and Germany, Axel Springer was pressed to explain two recent revelations: what the inquiry into Mr. Reichelt’s behavior discovered, and how the chief executive, Mathias Döpfner, reacted to the probe. Mr. Döpfner sought to connect the examination of Mr. Reichelt’s conduct to the editor’s contentious views in a text message acquired by The Times, depicting him as a bulwark against a resurgence of Communist-style coercion under the guise of Covid restrictions.

Mr. Reichelt had “not properly separated private and professional affairs,” according to the corporation, and had deceived the board. Mr. Reichelt’s journalistic leadership and the introduction of Bild-Tv, a new television channel in the confrontational manner of American cable news, were both commended in a statement by Mr. Döpfner. Mr. Reichelt’s successor, Johannes Boie, he added, would combine “journalistic brilliance with contemporary leadership.” Mr. Reichelt has denied misusing his position and has not responded to a request for comment through email.

Axel Springer is a German media conglomerate that rose to prominence during the Cold War as an anti-Communist bulwark. KKR, an American private equity firm, is the company’s biggest stakeholder today. It has been attempting to channel populism at home amid a spike in right-wing European media while catching a new global internet generation in order to continue creating a 21st-century audience. Its purchase of newspapers like as Politico and Business Insider for $442 million in 2015 was a key element of that approach.

Mr. Reichelt’s dismissal was a major U-turn for a corporation that prides itself on defying Germany’s more liberal media elite. Axel Springer had expected a reaction from its new American workers in response to the accusations about Mr. Reichelt’s behavior, but two individuals familiar with the company’s decision Monday said that a raging tempest in German media contributed to Mr. Döpfner’s pressure to act. German opponents chastised the corporation for stifling a story by rival publication Ippen, whose writers claimed in a letter that they were about to divulge details of Mr. Reichelt’s alleged power abuse.

Moritz Tschermak, co-author of a recent book about Bild, stated, “That made the entire narrative greater than it was before.” “Somehow, it became into a narrative about journalistic freedom rather than Reichelt and Springer.”

The business claimed it had cleared Mr. Reichelt in a spring investigation, and he apologized for vague “mistakes” but kept his job. Axel Springer attempted to blame the reversal in part on the opaque German legal procedure, publishing a statement claiming that the media had revealed certain facts of its own attorneys’ probe. The firm also claimed that it had discovered undisclosed new information concerning Mr. Reichelt’s behavior and that the editor had deceived the board of directors.

In its statement, Axel Springer also said that it will pursue legal action against third parties who it alleged attempted to improperly influence the company’s compliance investigation, “presumably with the goal of removing Julian Reichelt from office and hurting Bild and Axel Springer.”

Despite the warning, a corporate spokesperson, Deirdre Latour, said that “they would not go after whistle-blowers or anybody who puts up concerns.”

Mr. Reichelt took a leave of absence in March after the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel revealed that Axel Springer was looking into charges of power abuse and reports that he had connections with female colleagues.

He returned 12 days later, after an inquiry undertaken with the assistance of the Freshfields legal firm determined that Mr. Reichelt had blended his personal and professional life but had not breached any laws. Axel Springer declared at the time that the inquiry found no evidence of sexual harassment or coercion.

Mr. Reichelt “made errors,” according to Mr. Döpfner, the company’s CEO, in a statement released in March. “However, after reviewing all that was uncovered throughout the inquiry, we believe that a parting of the ways is improper.”

Mr. Reichelt was restored alongside a co-editor in chief, Alexandra Würzbach, the Sunday edition editor of Bild, who had taken up his responsibilities while he was away.

The publisher highlighted “revelations” regarding Mr. Reichelt’s conduct that had “came to light in recent days, after media stories” in explaining its decision to dismiss him as editor on Monday.

Ippen Media, which runs a series of websites as well as a print rival to Bild in Munich, decided on Friday to launch its own in-depth probe into Mr. Reichelt, adding to the pressure in Germany. That revelation, first in The New York Times and then in a letter from Ippen’s own investigative team, outraged Berlin reporters, prompting one to ask Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman at a press conference on Monday whether the decision had raised concerns in the German government about press freedom. Steffen Seibert, Ms. Merkel’s spokesman, refused to comment.

However, Juliane Löffler, the reporter who wrote that inquiry, got the main byline on a piece published Monday in the magazine Der Spiegel, which first broke the news of Mr. Reichelt’s probe this spring. Mr. Reichelt was characterized as a guy “obsessed with power” who had a “habit” of both advancing and wooing young women at Bild, according to the story.

Der Spiegel alleged that his sexual ties with women on his staff were well-known in Bild’s headquarters.

The publication also prompted new concerns about Axel Springer’s internal inquiry, which offered women who testified anonymity. Nonetheless, according to Der Spiegel, one of the women got a message from a “confidant” of Mr. Reichelt asking her not to talk to authorities.

Large corporations, mostly headed by males, dominate Germany’s publishing sector, where there is a strong aversion to being perceived as criticizing one another. Ippen stated this as the reason for the report’s withholding at the last minute.

The Frankfurter Rundschau, situated in Frankfurt am Main, and one of the regional newspapers owned by the Ippen Media firm that had intended to publish the inquiry, published an editorial on Monday criticizing the move as harmful to their readership.

Ippen’s decision not to publish the inquiry was challenged by the German Journalists’ Association. However, journalists analyzing the story prompted concerns about why the German publishing sector has failed to have its own MeToo reckoning, and why it needed American media attention to drive this action.

The workforce of Politico, whose takeover by Springer is anticipated to finalize as soon as this week, was primarily focused elsewhere while the German media industry concentrated on the instability at Axel Springer. Journalists in the city are contemplating creating a union, with a deadline of this month set for gathering support.

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For $179, Apple announced a third version of AirPods with improved audio quality and a longer battery life. Apple

Apple announced new MacBook laptops with Apple-made CPUs and an upgraded iteration of its famous AirPods during an hour-long virtual event on Monday.

Last year, Apple released a new line of laptops that included CPUs designed by Apple with the help of a manufacturing partner, removing the company’s dependence on Intel. Apple said at the time that the new M1 processor would make its devices speedier and more energy efficient.

The two processors, the M1 Pro and M1 Max, power a new MacBook Pro that starts at $2,000 for the 14-inch model and $2,500 for the 16-inch variant. According to the business, the enhanced laptops will feature quicker processing speeds, sharper graphics, higher audio quality, and a better camera.

Apple also reversed some of the modifications it had made to its laptops over the years, removing the divisive Touch Bar, a touch screen strip above the keyboard, and re-adding connectors for an HDMI cable and an SD memory card in response to user demand.

The new M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs in the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro. Shutterstock/EPA/EPA/EPA/EPA/EPA/EPA/EPA/EPA/EPA/EPA/EPA

Apple also announced a third version of AirPods with improved audio quality and longer battery life, priced at $179 (up $20 from the previous model), as well as a new Apple Music subscription.

Apple’s computers helped establish the business as a household name, but the Mac series — high-end laptops that cost upwards of $900 — has always been a minor player in the PC industry. According to IDC, Apple PCs accounted for 7.4% of the worldwide PC market last quarter, well behind Lenovo, HP, and Dell, which combined for more than 60% of sales.

Since its release in 2016, Apple’s AirPods have been a huge hit. The wireless earbuds are among the best-selling “hearables,” which are wireless earphones with sensors that communicate with smartphones. According to a research by Counterpoint Research, AirPods accounted for 57 percent of the market for high-end hearables this year, well ahead of Samsung’s 17 percent.

On Monday, Apple announced a new line of iPhones, the iPhone 13 series, an enhanced Apple Watch, and a new iPad, little over a month after the tech giant debuted a new line of iPhones, the iPhone 13 series, an upgraded Apple Watch, and a new iPad.

Aside from the hardware releases, the corporation has been in a state of flux in recent months, with increasingly regular regulatory calls. Apple recently challenged a court judgment in its monopolistic conduct case against Epic Games, and dismissed a leader of the #AppleToo campaign, a group of staff activists, last week.

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ chief executive, Dawn Hudson, spoke during the opening of the new Academy Museum in Los Angeles last month. Credit… Getty Images/Jc Olivera

Dawn Hudson, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ top executive, is starting a lengthy farewell to the post she’s held since 2011.

Ms. Hudson, 65, will leave the school at the end of her current tenure, the institution said Monday. It will run out at the end of 2023.

The Academy has been actively expanding and diversifying its membership in recent years under Ms. Hudson, in response to the #OscarSoWhite scandal that occurred in 2015 when the organisation nominated exclusively white performers for the Oscars. Since then, the Academy has grown to 9,362 voting members, up from 6,446, with 33% of women and 19% of members from underrepresented populations. (At the time Ms. Hudson joined the team, Oscar voters were 94% white and 77% male.)

Ms. Hudson was also instrumental in the opening of the Academy Museum, which opened last month after a nearly decade-long wait and about $100 million in budget overruns.

In a statement, the academy’s president, David Rubin, stated, “Dawn has been, and continues to be, a pioneering leader for the academy.” “The increasing worldwide prominence of the Academy, as well as the successful launch of a world-class Academy Museum — a project she revitalized, managed, and championed — are already part of her legacy.”

The successor to Ms. Hudson will confront significant obstacles. The academy’s annual program, which produces the bulk of the organization’s operational income via its licensing arrangement with ABC, has seen its viewership drop rapidly over the years, as is the case with all award ceremonies. This year’s nadir was just 10.4 million viewers, a 56 percent decrease from 2020. In the first year of Ms. Hudson’s employment, 43 million people tuned in to see the program, which was hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

Ms. Hudson’s successor will be found soon, according to the academy, and “she will play a critical role in the changeover.”

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Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, in 2012. Amazon officials, including Mr. Bezos, told legislators that while developing its own products, Amazon did not look at data from single merchants. Credit… The New York Times’ Matthew Ryan Williams

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, a bipartisan group of legislators pressured Amazon’s CEO to react to charges that Amazon officials gave fraudulent answers to congressional queries regarding its house-brand merchandise.

Amazon officials, including its founder, Jeff Bezos, told legislators that as the business planned and developed its own products, it did not look at data from single merchants on the site. They also told the House Judiciary Committee that the business did not give its own-brand items a competitive advantage in search results on purpose.

According to Reuters, Amazon systematically stole items from third-party sellers in order to expand its business in India. A day later, The Markup revealed that the company’s house-brand items outperformed rivals offered via merchants, even though the third-party products had higher ratings.

The group of five congressmen said, “At best, this information indicates that Amazon’s officials deceived the committee.” “At worst, it shows that they may have lied before Congress, perhaps in violation of federal law.”

The congressmen said in the letter that they were contemplating sending the case to the Justice Department for a possible criminal investigation. Their conversations with Amazon were part of a larger inquiry of the nation’s major internet corporations’ market dominance.

“Amazon and its officials did not mislead the committee, and we have refuted and attempted to correct the record on the false media items in issue,” said Amazon spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter.

She said that Amazon has a policy prohibiting the use of data from individual merchants in the development of house-brand goods, and that Amazon’s search results include “the things people will want to buy, regardless of whether they are supplied by Amazon or one of our selling partners.”

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To explain the increase in inflation, economists are looking at a labor market metric called the ratio of job opportunities to unemployment. Credit… Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

According to new Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco analysis published on Monday, the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package brought in by the Biden administration earlier this year is expected to provide inflation a brief boost.

The study might add gasoline to a raging argument in Washington over whether the administration’s policies are to blame for the price increase. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, among other critics of the government spending package put into law in March, argued it was poorly targeted and risked overheating the economy. Supporters of the relief effort claim it gave essential assistance to employees and companies still dealing with the effects of the epidemic.

The latest study comes down somewhere in the middle, finding that expenditure did have an impact on inflation, but that it was most likely just transitory. Economists predicted that it will raise the core Personal Consumption Expenditures inflation index by 0.3 percentage points in 2021 and “a little more” than 0.2 percentage points in 2022. Food and gasoline are volatile goods, thus core inflation excludes them.

While such figures are important, most people would not consider them “overheating” – the Fed strives for 2% inflation on average over time, and a few tenths of a percent here and there aren’t cause for concern.

However, the finding is simply a tentative estimate devised by the experts to aid in the ongoing political and economic discussion.

Both the Trump and Biden administrations passed legislation appropriating billions of dollars for viral relief. In 2020, the packages featured two bipartisan legislation totaling more than $3 trillion in economic stimulus, including direct payments to people and significant unemployment compensation. After Democrats won control of both Congress and the White House this year, they approved another $1.9 trillion bill known as the American Rescue Plan.

“The A.R.P.’s later date and big magnitude sparked discussion over whether it is producing an economic overheating and supporting a prolonged spike in inflation,” the San Francisco Fed analysts said.

Economists attempted to address this issue by examining how much spare capacity exists in the economy using a labor market metric called the ratio of job opportunities to unemployment. The theory is that when there is minimal labor market slack, inflation will rise because firms would boost pay to recruit employees and then raise prices to meet their rising labor expenses.

Government stimulus may increase the number of job opportunities in the economy by fueling demand while limiting the number of available workers since it provides a financial cushion to would-be employees, enabling them to take their time looking for a new job.

The researchers calculated that the American Rescue Plan would raise the vacancy-to-unemployment ratio close to its historical peak in 1968, causing some inflation, but that the price impact would be small and short-lived, based on the package’s size and historical evidence on how fiscal spending affects the labor market.

“The minimal influence of slack on inflation and the robust historical stability of longer-run inflation expectations account for this little impact,” the analysts said.

While the job market is now tight, the analysts believe that this will not remain. They also thought that as a consequence of the short-term inflation spike, companies and consumers would not learn to expect significantly higher costs.

The new study isn’t likely to be the last word on the subject. Inflation has accelerated this year, with the core P.C.E. gauge rising 3.6 percent in the year to August and other inflation measures rising even faster. Many analysts are afraid that the price increase would lead inflation expectations to change, particularly because certain indicators have already begun to rise.

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Bitcoin has been on a run in recent weeks, nearing record highs of more than $60,000, as crypto aficionados expect a momentous event.

ProShares will launch a long-awaited exchange-traded fund tied to Bitcoin futures on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, according to the DealBook newsletter. The ETF will provide investors with exposure to Bitcoin without requiring them to hold the cryptocurrency in a traditional brokerage account.

“This milestone will be remembered in 2021,” said Michael Sapir, ProShares’ chief executive. “Convenient access to Bitcoin in a wrapper that has market integrity,” he added, for investors who are interested in cryptocurrencies but are apprehensive to interact with uncontrolled crypto exchanges.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has been delaying or rejecting petitions from crypto entrepreneurs and conventional financial businesses to sell a Bitcoin E.T.F. in the United States for almost a decade. Many of them are still pending.

A Bitcoin futures ETF falls short of what some purists desire: a vehicle that directly owns cryptocurrency. The S.E.C. chief, Gary Gensler, has hinted that the agency would allow crypto E.T.F.s based on futures — wagers on Bitcoin’s price swings rather than the underlying crypto itself — that trade on a well-regulated exchange.

The S.E.C. will not declare approval for the ProShares E.T.F., which is based on Bitcoin futures traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, but the firm’s final prospectus received no objections ahead of its effective deadline, and the New York Stock Exchange is preparing for its debut on Tuesday.

Mr. Sapir said that determining the real price of bitcoin is difficult. There is no one, accurate market reference, and prices might differ by up to 5% amongst crypto exchanges. Many observers feel that the Chicago exchange’s futures pricing are the most accurate indicator of Bitcoin market sentiment. Even though it is not related to spot markets, the futures-linked fund is functionally a Bitcoin E.T.F. in Mr. Sapir’s opinion. (It also avoids difficulties like cryptocurrency custody.)

“This is an amazing milestone, but it is not the end,” Douglas Yones, the head of exchange traded products at the New York Stock Exchange, told DealBook. He believes that a variety of crypto-linked E.T.Fs will finally be approved.

The ProShares E.T.F. is another another indicator of crypto’s mainstream acceptability in a year that has seen several industry milestones, including the IPO of crypto exchange Coinbase. Critics and authorities are still skeptical of cryptocurrencies, but the digital asset boom of 2021 shows no signs of slowing down.

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On Monday, Foxconn unveiled its Model E electric car, a premium sedan, in Taipei, Taiwan. Fisker and Lordstown Motors are among the start-ups with which the corporation is collaborating to develop and mass-produce their automobiles. Credit… Shutterstock/Ritchie B Tongo/EPA

Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics conglomerate that makes Apple’s iPhones, unveiled the first tangible results of its quest to become a big participant in the electric vehicle market on Monday: a luxury sedan, a sport utility vehicle, and a bus.

The prototypes were revealed in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, less than a year after Foxconn officials announced their great goals in battery-powered cars, an area in which the business had no expertise.

Since then, Foxconn has began providing hardware and software for automakers to utilize in the development of electric vehicles. It has also entered into deals with start-ups like as Fisker and Lordstown Motors to assist in the development and mass production of their cars.

The Models C, E, and T prototypes that Foxconn unveiled on Monday are templates that customers may use to construct their own automobiles. The prototypes were developed in collaboration with Yulon Motor of Taiwan, and Yulon will be the first client to bring the two firms’ efforts to market.

Young Liu, the chairman of Foxconn, expressed optimism that a business renowned for making smartphones and laptops could play a role in the automobile market.

On Monday, Mr. Liu told reporters, “Our greatest difficulty is that we don’t know how to produce automobiles.”

Legacy manufacturers, on the other hand, have an even greater difficulty, according to him: they lack competence in software and computer chips, both of which are critical as automobiles become more digitally intelligent. Mr. Liu believes that Foxconn’s consumer electronics experience is an advantage.

He went on to say that the fact that Foxconn named their electric bus after what is perhaps the most iconic automobile ever produced, the Ford Model T, should not be seen as a sign of collaboration with the American carmaker.

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The Manhattan headquarters of Goldman Sachs. Credit… Getty Images/Spencer Platt

Goldman Sachs has been granted permission to assume full control of a joint venture in China, allowing the Wall Street bank to extend its activities in the nation at a time when Beijing is opening up its financial industry.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission has given Goldman Sachs permission to buy out its local partner, Beijing Gao Hua Securities, as Beijing seeks to follow through on a promise it made in 2017 to enable international investment banks to wholly control their China businesses.

“After a successful 17-year joint venture, this represents the beginning of a new chapter for our China business,” Goldman Sachs said in a letter on Sunday, adding that the permission will enable the investment bank to “position our company for long-term development and success in this market.”

In December, Goldman Sachs and its Chinese partner agreed to purchase the remaining 49 percent of Goldman Sachs Gao Hua. The cost was not revealed. Goldman Sachs China Securities Firm will be the new name of the company.

While cracking down on the operations and fund-raising efforts of some of China’s most well-known enterprises, the Chinese authorities courted foreign investment banks and promised financial reforms.

This summer, Beijing granted a request by BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset management, to offer mutual funds in China, only months after officials prevented private tutoring organizations from earning a profit and wiped billions of dollars from the stock market overnight. The action was seen as an effort to assuage investor fears and demonstrate that China was still open for business.

Goldman Sachs has a lengthy history in China, having opened one of the country’s earliest international investment banks in 1994. In 2004, it partnered with Beijing Gao Hua Securities to provide investment banking services, including as assisting local firms in raising capital on financial markets.

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WeWork is planned to combine with a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Credit… The New York Times’ Philip Cheung

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • Tesla earnings: In the three months ended in September, the electric manufacturer delivered 241,300 cars, its largest quarterly total to date. However, investors will be looking for advice on deliveries for the remainder of the year, as well as how the business expects to deal with the worldwide semiconductor shortage that is impeding vehicle production.

Thursday

  • After withdrawing its intentions for an initial public offering in 2019, WeWork is anticipated to combine with a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company. WeWork claims the SPAC transaction is worth $7.9 billion, although membership dropped during the epidemic, and it’s unclear what the long-term effect of the shift in office work will be for the firm.

  • Earnings of Southwest Airlines: Over the summer and in recent weeks, the company’s operating issues resulted in a large number of cancellations. What effect has this had on bookings?

  • Earnings at American Airlines: While business travel is still down, foreign travel and the holidays might help make up for it. The company’s quarterly results conference call will provide an opportunity for management to spell out their expectations for the future months.

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At a corporate presentation on Thursday, Dave Baszucki, the CEO of the game firm Roblox. For the first time, Roblox has more than half of its users above the age of 13. Credit… The New York Times’ Jason Henry

Roblox was founded in 2004 on the assumption that the majority of its players were under the age of 18, thus it included measures to protect kids from online abuse and predators. It has long been a hit with kids, especially those between the ages of 9 and 12.

Roblox said last month that for the first time, more than half of its users were above the age of 13. It is attempting to maintain a safe atmosphere as its users get older, writes Kellen Browning for The New York Times. Its efforts serve as both a roadmap and a warning note for other online firms attempting to engage with a younger audience.

It recently revealed additional features aimed at attracting older users to the platform, including more realistic avatars, the opportunity for developers to limit certain games to players aged 13 and up, or perhaps 17 and up, and a voice chatting function for those aged 13 and above. Users may submit government-issued documentation and a selfie to prove their age.

However, combining older users with Roblox’s core audience creates safety concerns, such as the potential of young children being exposed to predators or being recruited by extremist organizations. Roblox’s chief executive, Dave Baszucki, acknowledged that integrating people of all ages on his platform was “a difficulty.” But he stated that part of his goal for the so-called metaverse, which is the concept that individuals may share an immense online cosmos together, was to create a secure and open online environment.

Roblox’s community guidelines were revised earlier this month to exclude any portrayals of romance or mention of political parties. It also clearly prohibited terrorist or extremist organizations from recruiting or collecting funds on the site, a problem that has plagued social media platforms like Twitter for years.

Integrating older users while upholding the platform’s norms of politeness and good conduct, according to Mr. Baszucki, is a “big responsibility.” However, he remained hopeful about the company’s potential, citing Roblox’s history of youngsters behaving better than adults on other social media sites.

Although bad behavior could occasionally slip through the cracks at Roblox, Titania Jordan, the chief parent officer at Bark, a tech company that uses artificial intelligence to monitor children’s devices, said the company was still “commendable” in its approach to child safety, especially when compared to sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

Despite Roblox’s best attempts, sexual content finds its way into the game. And the fact that it continues to be criticized might serve as a cautionary tale for firms like Facebook. READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

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Instagram described the loss of adolescent users to other social media platforms as a “existential danger” in a 2018 marketing presentation. Credit: The New York Times/Dmitry Kostyukov

When Instagram surpassed one billion users in 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg termed it a “great achievement.” The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app was generally acclaimed as a success with millennials and touted as a growth engine for the social network.

According to a 2018 marketing presentation, Instagram was privately mourning the loss of adolescent members to other social media platforms as a “existential danger.”

According to internal Instagram records acquired by The New York Times, the matter had gotten increasingly acute by last year. “If we lose the adolescent footing in the United States, we lose the pipeline,” said a strategy letter from last October, which outlined a marketing strategy for the next year.

The New York Times’ Sheera Frenkel, Ryan Mac, and Mike Isaac say that in the face of this danger, Instagram left nothing to chance.

  • According to planning papers and those intimately engaged in the process, it devoted almost its entire worldwide yearly marketing budget — $390 million this year — to targeting minors, mostly via digital advertisements, beginning in 2018.

  • Marketers said it was rare to focus so narrowly on a single age group, however the ultimate expenditure included both teens and their parents and young adults.

The papers, which have never been publicly released, illustrate the company’s stress and fear as it struggles behind the scenes to keep, engage, and recruit young people. Despite the fact that Instagram was hailed as one of Facebook’s crown jewels, it had to resort to extravagant expenditure to attract the attention of youngsters.

“The newest, greatest item finds the biggest adoption among younger generations in any media business,” said Brooke Duffy, an associate professor of media, culture, and technology at Cornell University. “We’re in a cultural moment where people just seem to be getting weary of the ambitious, performative culture of Instagram,” she said, adding, “We’re in a cultural moment where people just seem to be getting tired of the aspirational, performative culture of Instagram.”

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  • According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s GDP increased 4.9 percent in the third quarter compared to the same time previous year. The growth was much slower than the country’s 7.9% increase in the previous quarter. The cornerstone of China’s development, industrial production, slowed dramatically in September, delivering its lowest result since the outbreak began.

    The economy was saved from faltering by two bright spots. As China successfully quells tiny outbreaks of the coronavirus once again in September, exports remained robust, and families, especially wealthy ones, resumed spending money on restaurant meals and other services. In September, retail sales increased by 4.4 percent over the previous year.

  • According to officials from both sides, a union representing Hollywood’s version of blue-collar workers — camera operators, makeup artists, prop makers, set dressers, lighting technicians, editors, script coordinators, hairstylists, cinematographers, and writers’ assistants — reached a tentative agreement with film and television studios on Saturday for a new three-year contract.

    The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees had announced that its members will go on strike on Monday, resulting in a production halt at a particularly inconvenient moment for the entertainment business. Negotiators for the IATSE reached an agreement after gaining concessions on multiple fronts.

  • After a week of high gains, US equities climbed marginally on Monday, with the S&P 500 moving up 0.3 percent. The Nasdaq composite index was up 0.8 percent.

  • Monday’s trade comes ahead of a week that will be dominated by third-quarter financial results from Netflix, United Airlines, Tesla, and American Airlines, among others.

  • The National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday that China’s GDP expanded by 4.9 percent in the third quarter compared to the same time last year, a decrease from the 7.9 percent gain in the previous quarter.

  • According to CoinDesk, bitcoin increased on Tuesday, hovering at $61,400. On Tuesday, ProShares will launch a long-awaited exchange-traded fund tied to Bitcoin futures on the New York Stock Exchange. The E.T.F. will provide investors with access to Bitcoin without requiring them to own the asset directly.

  • Stocks in Europe dipped, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index finishing 0.5 percent down. Airlines were among the worst-performing sectors, with International Airlines Group down 4% and Ryanair down 3.9 percent.

  • Oil prices increased slightly on Monday, with the U.S. oil benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, up 0.2 percent to $82.44 a barrel. Occidental Petroleum Corporation’s stock increased by 4%.

  • Albertsons’ stock increased by nearly 3.3 percent after the supermarket retailer upgraded its full-year projection in its second-quarter results release. Sales and other revenues were also up more than 4% in the third quarter of this year compared to the same time last year, according to the business.

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