Battle of the metaverses and a billion-dollar hack — 13 expert predictions for what’s next for crypto in 2022

Traffic lights with green light replaced by bitcoin sign, clouds and light blue sky in the background
Experts share their predictions for crypto in 2022.

  • After an eventful 2021 in crypto, experts shared their predictions for the sector next year with Insider.
  • Among them: Expect a battle for the metaverse, the first billion-dollar hack, and the use of bots to buy NFTs.
  • The crypto economy will top $7.5 trillion in 2022, and most jobs will partly be in the metaverse, were others.

Events in the crypto space are moving a mile a minute — and expect next year to keep up the pace as big business stakes out its turf, blockchains refine their tech, and easier points of entry let newcomers in.

Consider what happened in 2021: El Salvador adopted the top cryptocurrency bitcoin as legal tender. Retail investors dived in. China cracked down on crypto mining. Facebook went all-in on the metaverse, which has Wall Street seeing dollar signs.

Digital currencies are now well on their way to becoming part of mainstream finance. The US approved the first bitcoin futures ETF, while crypto leaders urged regulators to provide clearer rules for the $3 trillion industry.

That flurry of developments, which came as the pandemic played out, generated a whirlwind of excitement among investors. To learn what drivers might lie ahead, Insider asked industry experts to predict what’s next for crypto.

These are the top 13 predictions for the crypto sector in 2022:

1. Ethereum’s price will rise at a much faster rate than bitcoin, due to the move to proof of stake. Tom Higgins, CEO at asset management platform Gold-i.

2. Bitcoin may gain the upper hand versus stocks in 2022. Mike McGlone, head crypto analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

3. A Fortune 500 crypto company that has gone remote-first will declare their official headquarters to be on one of the competing metaverses. — Brandon Arvanaghi, CEO of crypto startup Meow.

4. The metaverse will become the new interface for people to engage with the web and each other. — Justin Banon, co-founder of decentralized network Boson Protocol.

5. Expect a battle between crypto-native metaverse and ones launched by gaming and corporate entities like Meta. — Brock Pierce, chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation.

6. The crypto-economy market capitalization will rise from a peak of $3 trillion in 2021 to over $7.5 trillion at some point in 2022. — Rohit Talwar, CEO at insight and research business Fast Future.

7. Next year will see the world’s first billion-dollar hack as DeFi activity continues to increase. — Benjamin Whitby, who oversees regulatory affairs at cross-chain protocol Qredo, on decentralized finance.

8. At least 25 countries will be using a central bank digital currency by the end of 2022. Either their own, or one issued by another country, such as China’s digital yuan. — Fast Future’s Talwar.

9. Investors will use bots to make purchases during NFT minting events, which could potentially shut out less sophisticated users. — Ethan McMahon, economist at blockchain data platform Chainalysis, on non-fungible tokens.

10. Most people will operate day-to-day jobs partially in the metaverse. — Shane Molidor, chief revenue officer at digital asset financial platform AscendEx.

11. Banks will look to crypto for fraud trends. — Chris Stephens, head of fraud and security analytics at identification platform Callsign.

12. Initial Game Offerings will become popular. Expect the larger organizations like GameStop and Epic to begin making plays at some point in 2022. — Nick Saponaro, co-founder and CEO of decentralized payment ecosystem Divi Project.

13. If countries take a hostile stance, adoption will be much slower. — Witek Radomski, co-founder and CTO at blockchain platform Enjin.

Read More: If you’re a millennial or Gen Z crypto investor, it’s time to diversify, according to the investment chief for a firm managing $260 billion. He breaks down 6 ‘less fashionable’ assets offering uncorrelated returns.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Gordon Ramsay moves restaurant HQ to Texas from California as his huge brand expansion plans start to take shape

Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay.

  • Gordon Ramsay has moved his restaurant headquarters to Texas, Dallas Morning News reported
  • The expansion is part of Ramsay’s plan to open dozens more restaurants across North America. 
  • A dedicated team of chefs and businessmen will be based in Las Colinas, Dallas, the outlet added. 

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has relocated his restaurant headquarters from California to Texas, Dallas Morning News reported.

Ramsay has hired a team of businessmen and chefs to expand his restaurant brand across North America, the outlet reported. It added that the team, which will be based in Las Colinas, plans to launch 18 restaurants in cities including Boston, Miami, and Chicago. 

The CEO of Gordon Ramsay North America, Norman Abdallah, will oversee the opening of 75 company-owned restaurants across the country in the next five years, according to Dallas Morning News. 

The availability of chefs and restaurant support staff, as well as the favourable tax policies, are what attracted them to Dallas, Abdallah told the outlet. “The cost of living adjustment [from California to Texas] is pretty substantial,” he added.

Gordon Ramsay North America did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

Insider’s Kate Duffy reported in February that Ramsay took a massive hit to his business during the pandemic, losing $80 million worth of turnover.

The impact of the pandemic has been “incredibly costly,” he told The Sun at the time. “I get criticised for being wealthy, but the responsibility on my shoulders — the livelihoods at stake — is huge.”

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Carnival cruise passenger fell overboard near the Mexican coast and has still not been found, the US Coast Guard says

The Carnival Vista cruise ship.
The Carnival Vista cruise ship. The missing woman was traveling on a different Carnival vessel.

  • A woman fell off a Carnival Cruise ship from her room’s balcony, according to the US Coast Guard
  • The incident has prompted an international search for the passenger who has still not been found. 
  • According to officials, the woman fell overboard near the coast of Mexico early Saturday morning. 

A woman fell from a Carnival Cruise Line ship balcony early Saturday morning and has still not been found, according to the US Coast Guard

The woman was traveling on the Carnival Miracle ship and went overboard near the coast of Ensenada, Mexico, shortly after 3 a.m., multiple outlets reported.

Josh Zufelt, a passenger aboard the ship told NBC News that passengers were notified of the situation shortly afterwards. By 3.30 a.m., the ship was almost at a standstill and a lifeboat was launched by crew members, Zufelt said. 

US Coast Guard crews and the Mexican Navy are trying to locate the woman, officials said in a tweet

Carnival Cruise Line did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

The ship set sail from Long Beach Cruise Terminal on Thursday for a routine trip to Ensenada. It was scheduled to return on Saturday, but was delayed to return early Sunday morning, according to CBS Los Angeles

In a statement to the outlet, Carnival Cruise Line said: We advised Carnival Miracle guests this morning of an overboard incident involving one of our guests from the balcony of her statesroom. Our thoughts are with the guest and her family, and our care team is providing support.”

In July, Carnival launched its first cruise from the US since the pandemic halted operations, as the industry raced to catch up with soaring demand. In a second-quarter business update, the company said that 2022 bookings were already higher than in 2019, as previously reported by Insider’s Grace Dean

 

 

 

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

After launching a successful VC fund, I joined an exclusive networking club that helps multimillionaires build a meaningful legacy

Sanket Parekh
Sanket Parekh.

  • Sanket Parekh is the founder and managing partner of venture capital fund, Secocha Capital. 
  • He’s also a member of R360, an invite-only club for those with a net worth of at least $100 million.
  • He told Insider what it’s like to be part of the exclusive club that puts family first. 

This as-told-to article is based on a conversation with Sanket Parekh, the founder of a Miami-based venture capital fund who joined R360, a networking club for people with a net worth of at least $100 million. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I have two professional roles. One is with a family enterprise and the second is a business I started to create a legacy of my own. 

I run a venture capital fund based in Miami but I’m also part of the second generation of a family business that began in the late ’50s in India. It’s a fairly large conglomerate that specializes in manufacturing adhesives and sealants. 

I’ve come across other member-only clubs and none of them has appealed to me the way R360 did. 

I’m a member of other professional networks like the Young Presidents’ Organisation, but in most of those clubs, you see a tremendous focus around personal growth as a professional. Not a lot of them focus on family as an enterprise.

This is what attracted me to R360. 

A key factor I appreciated is its ability to help families flourish, and drive activities and interests to help grow the human and intellectual capital.

Something R360 emphasises is how members can engage with a set of like-minded folks who potentially have similar challenges, and use their collective wisdom to help me be a better steward of the next generation. This is different to other exclusive clubs. 

The process to become an R360 member was intensive — it was not to be taken lightly. They’re really looking for people who are genuine and joining for the right reasons. And when you start having those conversations, you start appreciating the group a lot more. If it’s a flippant process just for the sake of it, you start questioning whether it’s going to be worth your time. 

Part of benefitting from R360 is about what you put in. You can’t sit back and expect things to happen to you. You’ve got to take the initiative to allow for serendipity to take place. 

Sanket Parekh
R360 member Sanket Parekh on Necker Island during a trip with R360 in July 2021. Pictured with Parekh is one of the ring tail lemurs, originally from Madagascar, which Richard Branson brought to the island as a way to conserve the species.

One recent example is a R360 gathering that took place at Richard Branson’s private Necker Island. I got an opportunity to sit and have a 1:1 conversation with Branson about family and succession and how to build a legacy that is beyond just you. 

It was just fascinating to have that level of a conversation with someone as magnanimous as him and to learn from him. The beauty was that someone like him spent 15 minutes out of the 30 minutes that we were chatting asking me questions. 

Richard branson
Virgin Group and Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson.

It’s about the serendipitous opportunity that you get when you are among folks who have truly experienced life, which gives you the chance to leverage collective wisdom very efficiently. 

The range of members in the club is a beautiful mix which is what I also appreciate. It’s not concentrated in one industry. For example, I have sat down with folks from advertising to real estate to geology. They’re also from various age groups and had very different upbringings. 

I hark back to my college life where I learned as much from my classmates as I did from my professors. In that sense, the people you surround yourself with will either enrich you or drag you down — and that’s why R360 is picky about who can join the club.  

While a $100 million net worth affords you an R360 membership, it’s really more about what the club brings to the table — which is people who have a similar expectation of life. 

 

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Starbucks’ app has allowed customers to order illogical drinks like iceless Frappuccinos and waterless Americanos, baristas say

starbucks drink cup barista
One Americano, hold the water.

  • Starbucks baristas say they were puzzled by orders for iceless Frappuccinos and waterless Americanos.
  • They said customers could order them on the Starbucks mobile app, until it was updated recently.
  • Customers could sometimes get mad if their drinks didn’t turn out as expected, some baristas said.

Starbucks baristas have expressed puzzlement at receiving orders for iceless Frappuccinos and waterless Americanos via the coffee-chain’s app.

Current and former baristas told Insider that unusual mobile orders — the beverage equivalent to ordering a cheeseburger with no burger — could cause headaches and lead to customers getting angry.

The baristas said weird mobile orders posed problems because they couldn’t ask customers questions about what they actually wanted before they arrived at the store to collect their drinks. In some cases they had to offer customers refunds or alternative drinks, said the baristas, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their employment.

A Starbucks barista in Minneapolis said some mobile orders couldn’t be made until the customer got to the store “because we have no idea what they’re asking for.”

The latest version of Starbucks’ US iPhone app, which is updated frequently, didn’t as of Friday include some of the customization options that baristas described.

A Starbucks spokesperson said: “Customizing beverages at Starbucks and our baristas’ expertise in helping customers find and craft the right beverage has and always will be at the heart of the Starbucks experience.”

They added: “There are many ways for customers to modify their favorite beverage and most customizations are reasonable requests from customers; 75% of customized beverages at Starbucks have fewer than three unique modifications.”

One Frappuccino, hold the ice

Starbucks staff said customers had ordered iceless Frappuccinos on the Starbucks app.

“That always makes me chuckle,” a shift supervisor in Tennessee said, noting that ice is an “integral” part of the drink. “The Starbucks app shouldn’t let you do that.”

Baristas said that the “no ice” option was once available on the company’s US app. This wasn’t an option as of Friday. Customers could still order iceless Frappuccinos on the UK app, however, Insider found.

Starbucks app screenshot
The Starbucks UK app lets customers order iceless Frappuccinos and waterless Americanos.

A former barista in British Columbia, Canada, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she may return to work at Starbucks, said her store used to get at least three orders a day for iceless Frappuccinos.

Opinions were divided among baristas as to why customers were opting for Frappuccinos without ice.

“They just didn’t know what they were ordering,” Kelly Preston, a former barista in Georgia, said.

Starbucks app glitches waterless Americano iceless Frappuccino
The UK app lets customers select how much ice they want in their Frappuccino. “No ice” is an option.

Gary Ladewig, a former shift supervisor in Illinois, said he thought some customers had selected the no-ice option by accident. Madeline Babin, a former barista in Louisiana, said she thought they were accidentally ordered by children.

Ladewig and the former British Columbia barista said some customers told them they bought iceless Frappuccinos to drink at home, where they added ice themselves.

One Americano, hold the water

Six former Starbucks employees in the US said they’d received mobile orders for Americanos with no water. A former barista in Canada and a former shift supervisor in the UK also said they’d been asked to make waterless Americanos.

The baristas said the “no water” option was once available on the company’s US app but isn’t any longer. Customers can still order waterless Americanos on the UK app, Insider found, as well as iced teas with no ice and no water.

Starbucks app glitches waterless Americano iceless Frappuccino
The UK app lets customers choose how much water they want in their Americano. “No water” is an option.

Preston said she thought customers who ordered waterless Americanos wanted lattes but didn’t want to pay full price, and would add milk themselves from the self-serve station.

Starbucks app glitches waterless Americano iceless Frappuccino
The Starbucks UK app lets customers order waterless Americanos.

“Customers often don’t actually understand what a drink is made out of and so they might select ‘Americano with no water’ and then get angry when you hand them a cup of just espresso,” Nicholas Anderson, a former barista in Atlanta, said. “So it’s always better to err on the side of not making the drink.”

Starbucks app glitches waterless Americano iceless Frappuccino
The Starbucks UK app also lets customers order iced tea without ice or water.

Excessive modifications and cup sizes that don’t match the drinks

Some baristas said customers had placed mobile orders for hot drinks with cold foam.

“That’s just funny,” the Tennessee shift supervisor said.

Starbucks uses cold foam for cold brew coffee. When cold foam is used on hot drinks it melts quickly, and customers “get in a little fit with me about it,” the Tennessee shift supervisor said.

The Starbucks US app still allows customers to order drinks with cup sizes that don’t reflect the size of their drink.

Babin said a lot of customers ordered drinks in bigger cups, which she thought was so they could add extra milk or whipped cream, but some ordered drinks in smaller cups, which she didn’t understand. In these cases, she would serve the drink in a cup that matched the size of the drink, but would also give the customer a cup in the size they requested, she said. 

Some baristas said that customers had asked for so many modifications, they struggled to fit the drinks into one cup. One barista called drinks like these “kitchen soup Frappuccinos.”

The Tennessee shift supervisor said one customer ordered a Frappuccino with around 10 shots of espresso, which just melted the ice.

A shift supervisor in Maryland said some customers added modifications “just because they’re there.”

“People can make drink combinations that not only aren’t intuitive but also just don’t make sense,” they added.

Baristas said that some in-store customers had weird requests, too, like asking for cake pops, brownies, and even egg bites to be blended into drinks.

Do you work at Starbucks? Got a story to share? Email this reporter at gdean@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider

Battle of the metaverses and a billion-dollar hack — 13 expert predictions of what’s next for crypto in 2022

Traffic lights with green light replaced by bitcoin sign, clouds and light blue sky in the background
Experts share their predictions for crypto in 2022.

  • After an eventful 2021 in crypto, experts shared their predictions for the sector next year with Insider.
  • Among them: Expect a battle for the metaverse, the first billion-dollar hack, and the use of bots to buy NFTs.
  • The crypto economy will top $7.5 trillion in 2022, and most jobs will partly be in the metaverse, were others.

Events in the crypto space are moving a mile a minute — and expect next year to keep up the pace as big business stakes out its turf, blockchains refine their tech, and easier points of entry let newcomers in.

Consider what happened in 2021: El Salvador adopted the top cryptocurrency bitcoin as legal tender. Retail investors dived in. China cracked down on crypto mining. Facebook went all-in on the metaverse, which has Wall Street seeing dollar signs.

Digital currencies are now well on their way to becoming part of mainstream finance. The US approved the first bitcoin futures ETF, while crypto leaders urged regulators to provide clearer rules for the $3 trillion industry.

That flurry of developments, which came as the pandemic played out, generated a whirlwind of excitement among investors. To learn what drivers might lie ahead, Insider asked industry experts to predict what’s next for crypto.

These are the top 13 predictions for the crypto sector in 2022:

1. Ethereum’s price will rise at a much faster rate than bitcoin, due to the move to proof of stake. Tom Higgins, CEO at asset management platform Gold-i.

2. Bitcoin may gain the upper hand versus stocks in 2022. Mike McGlone, head crypto analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.

3. A Fortune 500 crypto company that has gone remote-first will declare their official headquarters to be on one of the competing metaverses. — Brandon Arvanaghi, CEO of crypto startup Meow.

4. The metaverse will become the new interface for people to engage with the web and each other. — Justin Banon, co-founder of decentralized network Boson Protocol.

5. Expect a battle between crypto-native metaverse and ones launched by gaming and corporate entities like Meta. — Brock Pierce, chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation.

6. The crypto-economy market capitalization will rise from a peak of $3 trillion in 2021 to over $7.5 trillion at some point in 2022. — Rohit Talwar, CEO at insight and research business Fast Future.

7. Next year will see the world’s first billion-dollar hack as DeFi activity continues to increase. — Benjamin Whitby, who oversees regulatory affairs at cross-chain protocol Qredo, on decentralized finance.

8. At least 25 countries will be using a central bank digital currency by the end of 2022. Either their own, or one issued by another country, such as China’s digital yuan. — Fast Future’s Talwar.

9. Investors will use bots to make purchases during NFT minting events, which could potentially shut out less sophisticated users. — Ethan McMahon, economist at blockchain data platform Chainalysis, on non-fungible tokens.

10. Most people will operate day-to-day jobs partially in the metaverse. — Shane Molidor, chief revenue officer at digital asset financial platform AscendEx.

11. Banks will look to crypto for fraud trends. — Chris Stephens, head of fraud and security analytics at identification platform Callsign.

12. Initial Game Offerings will become popular. Expect the larger organizations like GameStop and Epic to begin making plays at some point in 2022. — Nick Saponaro, co-founder and CEO of decentralized payment ecosystem Divi Project.

13. If countries take a hostile stance, adoption will be much slower. — Witek Radomski, co-founder and CTO at blockchain platform Enjin.

Read More: If you’re a millennial or Gen Z crypto investor, it’s time to diversify, according to the investment chief for a firm managing $260 billion. He breaks down 6 ‘less fashionable’ assets offering uncorrelated returns.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Jeff Bezos criticized for celebrating Blue Origin launch before addressing Amazon warehouse collapse

Jeff Bezos wearing cowboy hat and space suit at Blue Origin rocket launch
Jeff Bezos.

  • Jeff Bezos faced criticism over his response to the deadly Amazon warehouse collapse. 
  • He posted a photo on Instagram of Blue Origin space passengers in the aftermath of the incident.
  • Several hours later, he acknowledged the disaster, which he described as “tragic.”

Jeff Bezos has come under fire for a late response to the deadly Amazon warehouse collapse that occurred on Friday night in severe weather conditions.

Insider’s Bethany Dawson and Kelsey Vlamis reported that at least six workers died and an unknown number are missing after the incident in Edwardsville, Illinois.

As the situation unfolded, Bezos was celebrating the third launch of Blue Origin’s human spaceflight, which successfully flew six passengers to the edge of space and back.

He posted a photo on Instagram of the six-member crew smiling before they flew to space. “Happy crew this morning in the training center…” Bezos captioned the post.

Several hours later, the Amazon founder then tweeted: “The news from Edwardsville is tragic. We’re heartbroken over the loss of our teammates there, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones.”

He added: “All of Edwardsville should know that the Amazon team is committed to supporting them and will be by their side through this crisis.” 

Amazon and Jeff Bezos did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

But some commentators voiced anger over his response.

“SHAME ON JEFF BEZOS!!! He was in West TEXAS today! His employees lives were lost!” one person tweeted

Another Twitter user said: “Really struggling with my rage since Jeff Bezos blasted his major carbon polluting rocket this morning after Amazon workers died in a rare December tornado last night.”

At least 70 people are feared dead in Kentucky, following the overnight tornado. The death toll from the extreme weather could ultimately exceed 100 people, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said during a press conference Saturday morning.

 

 

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MGM Resorts is letting job seekers try out roles using virtual reality as it looks to reduce employee churn

Strivr MGM Resorts VR
Job seekers will be able to put a headset on and see whether the role at MGM Resorts is what they expect.

  • MGM Resorts is letting applicants try a job in VR before they accept the role.
  • The casino and hotel company hopes it will reduce employee attrition.
  • MGM Resorts is rolling out headsets from VR-company Strivr at employment centers from January.

MGM Resorts is giving job applicants the chance to try out roles using virtual reality in the hope it will reduce employee attrition.

By using a VR headset, the company — whose portfolio includes world-famous casinos such as the Bellagio and MGM Grand in Las Vegas — hopes that job seekers will be able to see whether the role is what they expected.

“It can be very difficult just to verbally explain the types of positions or show a video,” Laura Lee, MGM Resorts’ chief HR officer, told Insider. With the VR experience, applicants can “throw a headset on and really experience the job,” she added.

Amid a nationwide labor shortage, employers are having to work harder to attract and retain new hires. Many companies have recruited staff only to see them hand in their notice a short while later, after the job didn’t match their expectations. In the hospitality industry, record numbers of workers have quit their jobs.

Lee said that the company is using the immersive technology to help reduce turnover. She said it would be rolling out the headsets for customer-service roles at its employment centers, and potentially at career fairs, from January, as well as using them for training.

Lee said that, in the past, MGM Resorts had used day-in-the-life videos and chats with current employees to give applicants an insight into roles, but nothing like this.

Some hospitality staff have complained that customers have gotten ruder during the pandemic. To prepare potential joiners for such scenarios, Lee said MGM Resorts’ VR module would include “difficult guest interactions.” 

Lee said she “absolutely” expected that some candidates, after trying out a role using VR, would decide it wasn’t right for them.

Sometimes candidates accept jobs without realizing how difficult they may be, she said. She added that, had MGM Resorts used the technology at recent casino openings, it “might’ve resolved some turnover we experienced when people accepted positions and then realized it wasn’t quite what they thought it would be.”

Strivr MGM Resorts VR
Laura Lee said MGM Resorts would be implementing the headsets at its employment centers.

Lee said the VR would be especially useful with MGM Resorts’ upcoming expansion into Japan. The country currently doesn’t have any casinos – MGM Resorts’ $9 billion casino in Osaka is due to be the first — meaning potential employees may be unfamiliar with what those types of jobs entail.

The VR would be optional for job seekers to try out, Lee added, and wouldn’t be used for office-based roles. The company would use the technology for front-of-house roles, like operating casino games and checking guests into hotels.

MGM Resorts developed the package with VR-firm Strivr, which also works with Walmart, Bank of America, Verizon, and FedEx.

As well as providing job previews and training, some companies are using Strivr to assess workers’ abilities. Walmart, for example, used Strivr VR headsets to see whether employees should be promoted to middle-management positions.

Strivr CEO Derek Belch said the data gathered from using VR “can be very powerful for both the employee, as part of their candidacy for a role, as well as for the employer to make better data-driven decisions.”

MGM’s staffing levels are recovering

MGM Resorts said in its 2020 annual report that it had frozen hiring, furloughed staff, cancelled merit pay increases, and undertaken “headcount reductions” to minimize cash outflows during the first wave of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Lee said that MGM Resorts was experiencing understaffing in some areas, but that the majority of employees it had laid off during the pandemic had returned. At its third-quarter earnings call, the company’s CFO said labor availability had been improving each month.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Some gig-economy drivers won’t return to work amid a spike in carjackings, which is exacerbating the labor shortage: report

Uber driver pandemic
Some drivers say they are concerned about safety while on the job.

  • Some gig-economy drivers are quitting amid a spike in violent incidents, The WSJ reported.
  • The spike may be exacerbating the worker shortage that some ride-sharing apps are dealing with.
  • One driver told The WSJ and a local news outlet that he had a gun pointed at his head.

As COVID-19 lockdowns eased in the US, some gig-economy drivers refused to return to work amid fears for their safety, The Wall Street Journal reported

The situation exacerbated an already short supply of drivers amid the wider nationwide labor shortage.

In Chicago, for example, a police spokesman told The Journal that carjackings through November 10 were up 36%, compared with the same period last year.

One of the drivers who won’t return to his former job is Lamont Liner, a 63-year-old carjacking victim from Chicago, the Journal reported.

Shortly after the incident in November 2020, Liner told local news outlet WGN9 that he was thankful to be alive.

Liner continued: “Two people walked up on my passenger side and asked if I was Lyft and I asked them for the name on the account and they gave me the name on the account.”

He added: “No sooner than they shut the door then I turned around right at my driver’s door and within a few feet there was a guy with a gun pointed at my head.”

They ordered Liner to get out of his car and hand over his phone and wallet, he said.

Speaking to The Journal this week, Liner said that even though “the money is so good right now,” it’s “not worth it to have somebody put a gun to your head.” He hasn’t returned to drive for the app. 

Lyft spokeswoman Ashley Adams told The Journal: “We’re committed to doing everything we can to help keep drivers safe. Violent crime, including carjacking, has been on the rise across the United States.”

Uber and Lyft did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

Ride-sharing companies were already struggling with a significant shortage of drivers despite offering lucrative incentives to tempt workers back, Insider previously reported

It follows research that found 35% of gig workers said they had felt unsafe while on the job. This is according to a study from Pew Research Center, which was reported on by Insider’s Grace Kay.

The study of more than 10,000 US adults found that 37% said they have been treated rudely at least sometimes while on the job, with 13% saying it happened often.

Meanwhile, ride-sharing apps have pledged to improve safety. “You’ll constantly see us doing more and more,” Sachin Kansal, Uber’s vice president of product management, who also oversees safety, told The Journal. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blue Origin launches 6 passengers to the edge of outer space, including ‘Good Morning America’ anchor Michael Strahan and the daughter of the first American to fly to space

Michael Strahan next to image of Blue Origin rocket launching into the sky
Co-anchor Michael Strahan and five other passengers to the edge of outer space on Saturday in its third successful human flight.

  • Blue Origin launched 6 passengers to the edge of space on the company’s New Shepard rocket.
  • TV celebrity Michael Strahan and the eldest daughter of the first American to fly to space were among the passengers. 
  • The New Shepard rocket took off from Launch Site One, situated on a parcel of land in West Texas owned by Bezos.

Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin, launched ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-anchor Michael Strahan and five other passengers to the edge of outer space on Saturday in its third successful human flight.

Among the passengers making the suborbital flight was Laura Shepard Churchley, the eldest daughter of the US astronaut Alan Shepard. The company’s New Shepard rocket is named after Shepard, the first American to fly to space and the fifth person to walk on the moon.

The four other passengers were paying customers: the space-industry executive and philanthropist Dylan Taylor, the investor Evan Dick, Bess Ventures founder Lane Bess, and the content creator Cameron Bess.

Lane and Cameron Bess were the first parent-child duo to fly in space, Blue Origin said.

The New Shepard rocket took off from Launch Site One, situated on a parcel of land in West Texas owned by Bezos. The six space tourists experienced a few minutes of weightlessness 62 miles above Earth, widely considered the edge of space, before floating back to Earth in a pressurized capsule that detaches from the rocket.

“And, capsule touchdown! Welcome back to Earth, crew of #NS19. Laura, Michael, Evan, Dylan, Cameron, and Lane,” Blue Origin tweeted as the passengers made their safe return. 

“What an amazing mission from Launch Site One. Congrats to all of Team Blue on executing and supporting today’s flight,” the company also tweeted. 

Blue Origin has not commented on the price of tickets for its latest launch. A seat on New Shepard for the company’s first human flight brought in $28 million in an auction in June.

When the latest passenger roster was announced, Shepard Churchley quipped in a Blue Origin Twitter video that “an original Shepard will fly on the New Shepard.”

Strahan, who was also a former NFL football star, said in a “GMA” clip posted on Twitter that he said yes “without hesitation” when Blue Origin approached him.

A previous flight carried the “Star Trek” actor William Shatner and three other passengers. The passengers on the company’s first human spaceflight consisted of Bezos, his brother, the 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk, and Oliver Daemen, a Dutch teen.

Read the original article on Business Insider