The a la carte TV dream has given way to a consumer nightmare

Image: Mashable Composite / Apple

The cord-cutting dream has given way to a stark reality: Streaming TV is a mess. And on Tuesday, it only got messier, as DirecTV rolled out their entry into the category, DirecTV Now, launching Wednesday:

Also: It’s not even available on Roku until 2017.

Again and again, we hear that the goal of tech companies is to create a product that “just works,” as Apple’s Steve Jobs might say.

And even though it’s a bit pricy, cable TV still offers that experience over streaming: You turn it on. You flip the channel. You DVR a show, or you don’t. At its most recent product launch, Apple looked to apply that thinking to its new TV app.

“The TV app shows you what to watch next and easily discover TV shows and movies from many apps in a single place,” Apple’s Eddy Cue said in a press release accompanying the launch.

“Many apps” being the key phrase there. Apple’s new TV app, which is supposed to roll all of your streaming options into one place, is somehow missing both Netflix and Amazon, two of the biggest streaming services on the planet.

Consumers right now face an inscrutable, almost Kafka-esque web of hardware, apps and service decisions that each offer slightly different packages of content at different prices, which may or may not be available on whatever device you’ve got plugged into your TV. God help you if you want to watch local broadcast channels or particular sports teams.

That is not something that “just works.”

With so many imperfect options, cable TV is somehow beginning to look like the very thing Apple’s always classically offered: A pricey, but ultimately superior product.

Streaming, on the other hand, isn’t that. It might get there eventually, and there’s good reason to expect more services, which will force companies to compete more for your money.

More services, however, won’t necessarily fix the streaming problem. If anything, the number of companies with various conflicting interests hereGoogle, Amazon, Apple, Time Warner, AT&T, Comcast/NBCUniversal, Fox, CBS, Netflix, Viacom and moreis a massive, unremovable part of the problem. Take, for example, the twisted relationship between Netflix and Apple:

Apple’s new TV app is an effort to own the entire interface used by anyone with an Apple TV streaming box. If everyone begins using that app, it starts to represent power Apple can wield against companies like Netflix. Apple could start pushing Netflix to share revenue with them, or be left out of the app, conceivably leaving Netflix out in the cold.

Which, of course, resembles the current cable situation. The vast majority of homes have a single cable provider, which owns that connection with the customer. This gives cable companies a huge amount of leverage when negotiating carrier costs with cable channels.

That kind of bottleneck doesn’t exist on the internet. As a consumer, you get to go grab whatever content you want, without your internet provider having much of a say about it (at least, for now).

Yet, despite the mess that is streaming media right now, the near future looks good for consumers. As more people cut the cord and subscribe to these services, winners and losers will emerge. The winners will have more power to negotiate with hold-outs, and simpler, more complete options will emerge, competing for consumer dollars.

The downside is it could be years before that happens. These companies are deadlocked in competition, and with streaming still in its infancy, they’re fighting hard to put themselves in advantageous positions. Amazon wants you to stream through their hardware. Apple wants you to stream through theirs. Netflix wants to be anywhere and everywhere, as long as it’s still controlling its own interface. And DirecTV wants to be… something like everything (and ended up, somehow, mostly like nothing).

For now, there are some tools out there to help you sort out the mess of streaming options into something a little more clean. JustWatch provides a much-needed cross-service interface with up-to-date listings of what is available. Reelgood is the app that Apple arguably wanted to make.

And maybe one day they’ll make it. In the meantime, streaming TV, at its best, still needs a fix. It needs viewers to do a little legwork and can be rewarding when they do. It doesn’t “just work,” unless its as a work-in-progress.

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Anatomy of a brand meltdown: How much did the recall mess hurt Samsung’s brand?

Visitors pass by a billboard of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy smartphone in Seoul, South Korea.
Image: Associated press/lee jin-man

Now that the figurative smoke has cleared from the dozens of literal fires caused by faulty Samsung smartphones, the Korean electronics giant has entered into that most craven of corporate actions: Brand-repair mode.

Its advertising which went completely dark for much of October is back to pre-recall levels, a date has been set for the release of a full-scale autopsy on the problem and the company is even exploring splitting into two in response to investor backlash.

The immediate financial damage has been rough: The Galaxy Note 7 recall could cost the company as much as one billion dollars, and all the flux left a big opening for competitors like the iPhone and the newly released Google Pixel to carve into its market.

But such bottom-line ballast could be just the beginning, depending on how Samsung’s image fares among the phone-buying public. Randomly exploding products are the sort of thing that tend to stick in people’s minds (not to mention every flight in the U.S. starting off with a warning not to bring the product on board), and that association could cause lasting damage to Samsung’s reputation.

That potential harm is something Samsung will have to size up and reckon with as it attempts to move on from the scandal.

The public apology playbook

Samsung is at least in good company; the road to redemption for scandal-slogged brands is almost as routine as that of disgraced celebrities.

Whether your “fresh ingredients” happened to get some people sick (Chipotle), your flubbed mileage numbers incensed your customers (Volkswagen) or your longtime spokesperson turned out to be a pedophile (Subway), there is a well-worn playbook with which publicly shamed brands can stage a comeback. Hell, Samsung wasn’t even the first company this year to market a blast-prone gadget.

“We tend to think of brands more and more as people,” says Paul Parkin, a founding partner and executive creative director at branding firm Salt. “And when people go through a scandal or incident, there’s a sort of prescribed behavior: Public apology; atonement; ‘I checked in to rehab.’

“There’s almost a need for people to be seen to have seen the error of their ways.”

‘Piss-poor performance’

But Samsung made some missteps on this path. Whether because of its corporate culture, its general unpreparedness or any number of other reasons, the company at least partially botched its moment to repent.

Whereas many of these comeback efforts feel like well-oiled operations orchestrated by slick crisis communications firms, Samsung spent too much time in denial, then failed to be forthright about what happened or offer an apology that felt like it had much heart. It turned to skeevy-seeming tactics like a mid-debate news dump and let the extent of the bad news play out in a slow trickle that dashed any hopes of getting ahead of the media cycle as well as the pretense of transparency.

“It was like the classic stages of grief: Denial, avoidance, coming to terms,” Parkin said.

Dean Crutchfield, an independent branding consultant, is particularly outspoken in his criticism of the company’s response.

“It was like the antithesis of crisis management 101,” Crutchfield said. “They were slow, they were lackadaisical, they were arrogant; It was basically a piss-poor performance.”

Samsung’s ads went dark in October, according to data from


But one aspect that Samsung did handle well, says Parkin, was containing the fallout to its Galaxy Note 7 product line rather than the brand at large, which includes such diverse gadgetry as televisions and washing machines (which had their own problems). Most of the news coverage tended to focus on the device itself, raising more questions about the future of that particular product than the company as a whole.

Unfortunately for Samsung, the product line happens to be its flagship smartphone model and the source of much of the brand’s prestige.

How much does the public actually care?

A brand really only exists in the minds of its customers. The logos, the ads, the flashy designs, they’re really only there to conjure up the collection of emotions, perceptions and impulses that make up the actual brand.

So how much of that mental image is now tainted by the stench of fried batteries?

Opinions seem to differ wildly with respect to the overall conviction and tenacity of your average consumer.

“The public has the memory of a flea,” says independent branding consultant Rob Frankel. “I’m telling you they just don’t remember.”

Not true, says Crutchfield.

“Stocks don’t have a memory recall button, but the public does,” he said. “And it can be a long memory.”

Recent customer polls seem to support the former view or at least the notion that loyal customers aren’t deterred by any number of combustive electronics.

A survey of 6,000 Americans from Reuters and market research firm Ipsos last week found that some nine in ten Samsung customers would likely buy another smartphone from the company, explosions be damned. Another from the survey platform Qriously showed little difference in brand sentiment between people who’d heard about the recall and those who hadn’t.

That latter study did find, however, that two in five viewed the brand more negatively after hearing about the recall one in five significantly so which may speak more to the wording of the questions.

Granted, we’re all too familiar with just how accurate public opinion polls can be, but even Samsung’s stock has proven resilient in the long run despite some major turbulence.

Samsung’s stock price over the past year.

Image: Google, screenshot

What’s next

It’s difficult to parse just how much lingering bad feelings will actually weigh on the company, especially in today’s short-fuse media environment.

“There’s a lot more stuff to distract you, and it’s all sensationalized,” Frankel said. “So it takes your mind off of things. The average person can’t keep track of more than seven things at a time.”

But even amongst a changing media landscape, brands truisms still hold water. Public trust takes a long time to earn, but it can disappear in an instant.

“The trust is broken,” says Min Lew, a partner at branding firm Base Design. “It’s very human this idea of trust it won’t happen through a quick marketing fix or letters to apology. That’s just a portion of it. It takes time.”

BONUS: 5 awesome Android phones to replace your Galaxy Note7

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Twitter is hosting a Star Wars ‘Rogue One’ event

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Felicity Jones) Ph: Film Frame Lucasfilm LFL

May the force be with Twitter.

The microblogging site that has turned into a hub of live video content is hosting a live event for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The event, hosted by People, takes place on Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. EST and will include exclusive behind-the-scenes clips and a live discussion with the director and cast members.

Twitter users will have the opportunity to ask questions to the cast with the hashtag #AskRogueOne. Live discussion participants include director Gareth Edwards, Lucasfilm President and Producer Kathleen Kennedy, and cast members Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk and Riz Ahmed.

“People come to Twitter to see what’s happening in the entertainment world, and the conversation about movies, especially Star Wars, is constant on Twitter,” Twitter’s Chief Operating Officer Anthony Noto said in a statement. “Our collaboration with Disney and People will give fans fresh and exciting live Star Wars content that they can view and Tweet about all on the same platform.”

Twitter teased that the stream is coming from a “surprise location.” Regardless of where the action comes from, the stream will be available to Twitter users and logged-out users on Twitter and connected devices, including on Apple TV.

Also as part of the partnership, a Star Wars Twitter emoji will appear after the hashtags #RogueOne, #DeathStar, #StarWars and #StarWarsRogueOne.

BONUS: ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ exclusive featurette

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After 80 Years Of Hard Labor, Elephants Finally Get To Play Freely In The Mud

Elephants are creatures that are loved around the world for many different reasons.

Sadly, some of those reasons are not good in nature. People can make a lot of money by using elephants, either in a work camp or by forcing them into the tourism business.

While many people make a living off of elephants, it is a practice that needs to be stopped. Many rescue organizations work tirelessly to save elephants, either by making deals with those who own them, or helping them find a solution that benefits everyone involved.

For 80 years Boonme had been working in the logging industry. Of those last 50 years, Buabaan had been there too, working hard and not knowing what it is like to be free.

They were forced to work and, often, they were bound with chains. But now, after decades of abuse, these two elephants are free!

Working with Elephant Nature Park, vlogger Christian Leblanc got involved in their rescue and saw the release of these two beautiful elephants. They are now free to play in the mud and snack on fresh fruit!

If you love hearing stories about animals being free after years of hard work, you will love this story about a mother elephant walking 80 miles to her freedom after nearly 30 years in the elephant trekking business.

Don’t forget to SHARE the rescue of these elephants with all of your friends and family!

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10 Unthinkable Things Moms Of The Past Were Told To Do With Their Babies

Baby advice seems to change by the minute. New studies, new essays, and new superstitions make their way into our culture all the time.

It can sometimes be hard to decipher what is good advice and what is not-so-great advice. Who do you trust? Do you trust Mom? Do you trust your pediatrician? Do you trust that medical essay you read online last week?

Sometimes, it might be best to follow your instinct and go with a mix of facts provided to you. Other times, your doctor’s advice is the best. It’s confusing for sure, but having and raising a baby is one of the most difficult things anyone can ever do.

These 10 pieces of advice for new mothers from way, way back may downright shock you. I think it’s safe to assumethat mothers today from all different types of parenting styles would say that these “rules”are absolutely out of this world.

Please SHARE this incredibly surprising list with your family and friends on Facebook!

1. Potty Train At 2 Months


The late 19th and early 20th centuries were full of theories and ideas about the bowels and how they affected health. It was thought that attempting to control the bowels of an infant would help stave off diarrhea-causing infections. New mothers were instructed to hold their babies over their chamber pots at appointed times of the day in the hopes of potty training them.

2. Oil Up The Newborn


Instead of using soap and water for the first week, mothers were instructed to use lard, olive oil, or fresh butter to “clean” their babies.

3. Give The Baby Beer


To be totally fair, the water in the Middle Ages was riddled with dangerous diseases and bacteria, and absolutely no one drank water. The ale that they drank was low in alcohol, but the thought of giving an infant beer is very, very foreign and highly discouraged today for obvious reasons.

4. Give The Baby Gin, Too


Water and milk were contaminated in 18th-century England, so the poorer classes drank gin. A lot of gin. It was cheap, it was clean, and it helped them cope with their objectively miserable lives. Babies were not excluded from the gin craze during this time.

5. Avoid Kissing, Hugging, Or Playing With The Baby


In 1916, a psychologist named John Watson said that showing affection for the baby or child would wreck their nerves, whatever that means.

6. Avoid Breastfeeding While Angry


It was believed that thinking mean or angry thoughts toward anyone or anything while breastfeeding would give the baby colic. No nagging, either!

7. Cut Off Breastfeeding At 9 Months


Doctors also thought that breastfeeding after 9 months would give the baby brain disease, while also making the mother go blind.

8. Put Them In A Cage Suspended High Above A City Street


The 1930s brought about a terrifying trend: the baby cage. These contraptions would be fixed to an apartment window and protrude outwards. The baby could sit or crawl in it to get fresh air while the parents were able to stay in the house. Terrifying.

9. Promise The Baby As A Spouse


In many points throughout history, royal families would form alliances and make deals by promising their newborn baby as a husband or wife to another royal family’s child. It was all about the business.

10. Avoid Going Anywhere Near Them


A short-lived trend in the 18th century dictated that only men had the reasoning power and logic to raise a baby. Mothers were to stay out of it because of their “small brains” and inability to think with their minds. We all know why that phase ended quickly.

Please SHARE these crazy tips with yourfellow mothers on Facebook!

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UK nuclear fusion lab faces uncertain future – BBC News

Image copyright CCFE
Image caption JET holds the record for the longest sustained nuclear fusion reaction

A question mark hangs over a world-leading laboratory that has pioneered research into fusion for nearly 40 years.

The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy near Oxford is largely funded by the EU and dozens of its scientists come from outside the UK.

Since the vote for Brexit, many at the centre have become “extremely nervous” amid uncertainty about future financing and freedom of movement.

Five researchers have already returned to continental Europe with others said to be considering their positions.

Fusion is the process that powers the Sun and a decades-long quest has attempted to replicate it here on Earth to provide a clean source of energy.

Since the 1970s, the Culham centre has hosted an experimental reactor known as the Joint European Torus (JET) that holds the global record for sustaining the longest burst of fusion.

It is the largest single research centre funded by the European Union in Britain.

Reactor dismantled?

Among many scenarios being discussed, the most extreme would see the reactor closed down and dismantled with its key components shared out among remaining members of the EU.

This comes just as preparations are under way for an important new run of fusion tests next year.

The JET facility works by creating a powerful magnetic field to contain the extremely high temperatures needed to force hydrogen atoms to fuse together and release energy.

The aim is to harness a potentially limitless source of power that would leave far less waste than the current generation of fission reactors and would at the same time generate electricity without carbon emissions.

Around 100 EU scientists from outside Britain are currently at the site and, according to Prof Steve Cowley, who was director of the facility until recently, many are “extremely nervous”.

He told the BBC: “We’ve certainly lost a few people already – these are highly talented people at the very forefront of scientific discovery and we can’t afford to lose them.

“This is the world’s greatest fusion lab and if we don’t find a way to make an agreement with Europe, this will all go – and our lead in this area will have been dissipated and I think that’s an enormous shame.”

“We’d be bonkers to close it down, and Europe would be bonkers to close it down, but these are uncertain times.”

Image copyright KATE STEPHENS
Image caption Brexit has cast a shadow of uncertainty over the JET facility

European funding runs at about 60m euros a year and the big unknown is whether that will continue – or at what level – once the UK leaves the EU.

Under the current arrangement, the UK contributes about 45m euros a year to Europe’s fusion programme – and gets more money back with 45m a year to run the JET facility plus another 7m a year to support research.

A five-year contract is in place but it only runs until 2018 so concerns are focused on what happens after then.

Over the decades, hundreds of European scientists and engineers have spent time at Culham to work at JET and for many years there was even a European school for their children.

At lunchtime in the canteen recently, I met European members of staff who all said they were uncertain about their futures.

Stanislav Pamela, a theorectical physicist from France, told me: “I think it’s quite worrying to know what’s going to happen after the current contract has expired.

“It’s a concern not only for the European people here but also for the English people because it puts the whole institute at risk.”

Lidia Peron, an Italian physicist, said: “I’m a little bit worried about my family – what’s going to happen to my children, if the work is going to continue.”

Damien Karkinsky, a software engineer with dual UK-Bulgarian nationality, summed up the uncertainty view by saying “nobody knows what will happen”.

“We don’t want to move our jobs but if the EU decides to close the programme, we may have to find different places of employment.”

Image caption Plans are being developed for the first fusion power station – but where will it be based?

The belief at the Culham centre is that having proved the basic science of fusion, the project is moving into a phase of engineering in which designs for an affordable commercial reactor are explored.

At the site, a smaller research reactor known as MAST is going through a 50m upgrade and, together with JET, it is meant to provide invaluable data on different designs and materials for a future reactor.

The information gained from this research is seen as crucial for shaping a massive international fusion effort, an experimental fusion reactor known as ITER, being built at Cadarache in southern France – many of whose design features are derived from work at Culham..

And, beyond ITER, plans are already being developed for the first fusion power station, a project called DEMO – British officials had high hopes that Culham would land the prestigious task of designing it. Now they are much less confident.

In the meantime, any future arrangements for Culham will depend on settling several fundamental questions.

Swiss option?

First, as a member of the EU, the UK is also a member of a related body called Euratom which co-ordinates nuclear research across the EU – will the UK automatically leave that too in March 2019?

Second, Europe’s fusion funds are channelled via a collaborative organisation called EUROfusion. That also includes Switzerland – which is outside the EU – so would Britain try to negotiate a similar kind of membership and how long would that take?

Third, EUROfusion comes under the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme which non-EU countries can be part of, provided they contribute funds to it.

So will the UK government be willing to continue writing the cheques? And, if it is, will it run into similar problems to Switzerland which is a participant but may be denied funds because of its restrictions on freedom of movement?

Staff at Culham are running through a range of possible scenarios for their future from the worst-case of closure to one in which work continues.

Their hope is that the UK will agree to contribute to the Horizon 2020 programme post-Brexit and so enable funds to continue flowing to fusion research, and that work permits will be easily available for European scientists and engineers.

But clarity on the likely outcome is not easy to come by. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy declined requests for an interview with science minister Jo Johnson.

A spokesperson said: “There has been no change in our participation in the EU’s nuclear fusion research programme.

“The UK is a key contributor to joint EU research projects and we will be working closely with our EU partners to ensure international collaboration in this field continues.”

The spokesperson referred me to earlier statements that the UK would underwrite any commitments under Horizon 2020 made before the UK leaves the EU.

EUROfusion declined to comment beyond guiding me to a statement posted the day after the referendum which said: “We will be working hard to continue the collaboration after 2018. If and how this is possible is impossible to say today.”

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Sleep deprivation ‘costs UK 40bn a year’ – BBC News

Image copyright Thinkstock

Sleep-deprived workers are costing the UK economy 40bn a year and face a higher risk of death, says a new study.

The calculation is based on tired employees being less productive or absent from work altogether.

Research firm Rand Europe, which used data from 62,000 people, said the loss equated to 1.86% of economic growth.

The biggest impact was on health, with those sleeping less than six hours a night 13% more likely to die than those sleeping between seven and nine hours.

The study evaluated the economic cost of insufficient sleep in the UK, US, Canada, Germany and Japan.

Is more sleep better for your career?

The company that pays its staff to sleep

And while the impact of tired workers in the UK may sound bad, it still ranked better than both the US and Japan which lost the most working days due to lack of sleep.

The cost of sleep deprivation by country:

  • US loses 1.2 million working days a year, costing $411bn (328bn) or 2.28% of GDP
  • Japan loses 600,000 working days a year, costing $138bn or 2.92% of GDP
  • UK loses 200,00 working days a year, costing 40bn, or 1.86% of GDP
  • Germany loses 200,000 working days a year, costing $60bn, or 1.56% of GDP
  • Canada loses 80,000 working days a year, costing $21.4bn or 1.35% of GDP
  • According to the study, the “healthy daily sleep range” is between seven and nine hours per night.

The report called on employers to recognise and promote the importance of sleep, urging them to build nap rooms.

It said they should also discourage staff from “extended use” of electronic devices after working hours.

Individuals were advised to wake up at the same time each day and exercise during the day to improve their sleep.

“The effects from a lack of sleep are massive. Sleep deprivation not only influences an individual’s health and wellbeing but has a significant impact on a nation’s economy,” said Marco Hafner, a research leader at Rand Europe and the report’s main author.

Mr Hafner said small changes could make a big difference, saying if those in the UK currently sleeping under six hours a night increased this to between six and seven hours it would add 24bn to the UK’s economy.

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Trump reaches deal to keep 1,000 jobs at Indiana plant from moving to Mexico

Workers were waiting to hear details about how many jobs would remain in the US and how the president-elect had persuaded Carrier to keep jobs in the state

Nine months after announcing plans to move more than 2,000 jobs from Indiana to Mexico, the Carrier Corporation said Tuesday evening that it had reached a deal with President-elect Donald Trump to keep nearly 1,000 of those jobs in Indiana.

Carrier said via Twitter that it would announce more details soon. The New York Times reported that, according to transition team officials, Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is Indianas governor, would appear at Carriers Indiana factory on Thursday to announce a deal.

During the presidential campaign, Trump had repeatedly attacked Carriers plant-closing plans after a video went viral last February showing a Carrier official telling hundreds of shocked employees of the companys plans to close its Indianapolis plant. Trump has threatened to impose a 35% tariff when American companies seek to import goods they once made in the US but now produce in Mexico.

Most people feel pretty happy about the news, said TJ Bray, an assembly line worker for 14 years at Carriers factory in Indianapolis. It looks like theyre staying.

Bray said he and other workers were waiting to hear details about how many jobs would remain in Indiana, which jobs would remain, and what the president-elect had done to persuade Carrier to keep 1,000 jobs in the state.

In Indianapolis, Carrier workers were debating whether Trump had persuaded the company to alter its plans by offering tax breaks and reduced regulations or by threatening Carrier with various punishments if it went through with its plans.

In February, Carriers parent company, United Technologies, said it would move two Indiana operations to Mexico: a Carrier furnace and fan coil plant in Indianapolis with 1,400 employees, and a United Technologies factory in Huntington, Indiana, about 100 miles north-east of Indianapolis with 700 employees.

These moves are part of a large-scale exodus of factories from the midwest in recent decades to Mexico and other lower-wage countries. Candidates including Trump and Bernie Saunders railed against Carrier as an unpatriotic company, selfishly throwing close to 2,000 Americans out of work. Both Trump and Sanders said Nafta was partly to blame for Carriers decision.

The Indiana workers average between $15 and $26 an hour. Carrier pays its workers in Monterrey, Mexico where it was planning to move its Indianapolis plant about $2 or $3 an hour.

During the campaign, Trump mistakenly said the Indianapolis plant produced air conditioners. They manufacture furnaces and fan coils. Bray and other Carrier workers said that their union, the United Steelworkers, had repeatedly reached out to Pence in the weeks after the closings were announced and that he hadnt responded to the union and had not helped at all.

David Parliament, a precision inspector who has worked at the Carrier plant for 35 years, said, Of course Im happy about the news. He said the companys decision to keep 1,000 jobs in Indiana should enable him to remain at the plant until he is old enough for social security and Medicare.

We dont know any details about why Carrier decided to stay, Parliament said. Mr Trump is a businessman, and he has proven to Carrier that if he has the authority to hit them heavily with tariffs, theyll make a lot less money if they go to Mexico.

Carrier also had to consider that it made a well-known consumer product air conditioners and that if Trump were to step up his attacks against the company if it moved its Indianapolis factory, that could badly hurt the companys image and cause angry consumers to turn to other manufacturers for their air conditioners.

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They Called Grandma Crazy For Refusing $9,000,000. But 30 Years Later, Shes On TV

Imagine turning down $9,000,000 because you wanted to do the right thing. For one amazing woman back during The Great Depression she made that choice without a second thought.

Laura Scudder’s story is one of those amazing tales of a true American achieving their dreams. Back when she was younger, potato chips were either in cans or bags, and those chips on the bottom would always end up being stale and chewy. She had been making some great potato chips, but she herself suffered from this problem as well.

So one day, she told her employees to get some wax paper and make bags out of them. Soon enough she essentially invented a “bag of chips” and keptallof them fresh and crunchy!

Her company quickly became known for their high quality chips, and soon enough she was making money even though, as a woman working during the Depression, she had a whole bunch of other hurdles too leap over just to get her business up and running.

Soon enough, she got an offer for $9,000,000; which, dueto inflation, would be worth about $90,000,000 today. But instead of accepting that huge amount, she refused. Simply because the company who wanted to buy couldn’t make any promises about keeping the old employees. She wanted to make sure that everyone who worked for her remained working with decent pay.

A few years later she ended up selling the company for a lot cheaper than the initial offer,butwith the promise that her employees would all keep their jobs. It really shows how amazing this woman was, refusing so much money simply because she wanted to make sure her employees, whom she admitted she owed everything to, continued being able to have decent work! You don’t hear many stories like that in this day and age!

Watch this vintage commercial featuring Laura. The commercial tells an actual story while being entertaining. Don’t you wish they still had commercials like that?

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13 Baby Names That Rose To Popularity In The 1950s

I have always had a weird obsession with people’s names. It probably has something to do with having such a popular first name. Perhaps I became fixated on the more unique names my parents could have chosen to help me stand out.

My mom swears she didn’t hear of anyone else with myname or planning to give it to their daughters around the time I was born, which is why I love seeing how the popularity of certain monikersrises and falls over the years.Sometimes you can spot a trend stemming from pop culture, while other times the surgeseems completely out of the blue.

For instance, each of the names below wasamong the top picks for parents welcoming little boys and girlsinto the world in the 1950s. Take a look to see if your name made the list (andthe famous face you might share it with)!

Let us know in the comments if you spot yourself or even if you have a more distinctname. And don’t forget to SHARE with your friends!

Thumbnail sources: Pinterest, Wikimedia Commons, Flickr

1. Thomas


Though there were plenty of other Toms born with the eighth-most popular boy’s name of the decade around the same time as Hanks, who was born July 9, 1956, he’s the only one who can claim winning two consecutive Academy Awards for Best Actor.

2. James


Born June 15, 1954, Jim Belushi was among the many youngsters named James,the most popular boy’s name of the decade. He later followed in his late brother’s comedic footsteps when he became a writer inSaturday Night Livejust a couple years after John’s tragic death.

3. Mary


Academy Award-winning actress Mary Steenburgen was born in a small town in Arkansas onFebruary 8, 1953, and given the most popular girl’s name of the 1950s.

4. Patricia


Patricia Heaton, bornMarch 4, 1958, in Ohio, has taken the third-most popular name for girls from the decade and moved on from her role as Debra Barone onEverybody Loves Raymond to currently star as the matriarch of another fictional family on ABC’sThe Middle.

5. John


Writer and director John Hughes was born with the fourth-most popular name of the decade just as it was getting started on February 18, 1950, and went on to dominate the 1980s with his teen flicks likeThe Breakfast Cluband Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

6. Michael


The King of Pop was welcomed into his famous family onAugust 29, 1958, and though he was among several Michaels with the second-most popular male name of the decade,he is still celebrated as one of the music industry’s most iconic performers.

7. Susan


Illinois native Susan Dey was joined by plenty of other young girls sporting the fourth-most popular girl’s name. She was born on December 10, 1952, and later joined the musical seriesThe Partridge Family at just 17 years old.

8. David


Dey’s dreamy co-starDavid Cassidy, bornApril 12, 1950, was given the fifth-most popular boys name early on in the decade.

9. Robert


Born May 17, 1956, likely surrounded by several other Roberts (the third-most popular male name of the decade), Bob Saget’s iconic role as Danny Tanner onFull House was his debut in the acting world.

10. Richard


Sir Richard Branson was born in London onJuly 18, 1950, and though it was down the rung as the seventh-most popular boy’s name of the era, he made thename synonymous with ultimate business success withhis Virgin Megastores chain and airline.

11. Nancy


The lawyer and passionate TV commentator Nancy Grace was bornOctober 23, 1959, and just made it inside the decade with the ninth-most popular girl’s name of the 1950s.

12. Donna


Rounding out the tenth-most popular girl’s name, you might recognize former beauty queen Donna Dixon, born July 20, 1957, from her brief roleinWayne’s World, but these days she’s retired to a life as Mrs. Dan Aykroyd.

13. William


Funnyman Bill Murray probably kept his family laughing since his birth onSeptember 21, 1950, when his parents gave him the sixth-most popular boy’s name.

Was your name among those popular throughout the 1950s? Let us know below and be sure toSHAREwith your friends!

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