TIME technology

Watch This Guy Spray-Paint His Apple Watch to Make It Gold

Casey Neistat's latest video on the latest trend

The gold Apple Watch, like the one Beyoncé was recently seen wearing, probably costs more than you’re willing to spend. Casey Neistat, a filmmaker and YouTube star, had the same thought. So instead of buying one that way, he got a little creative.

Neistat found some gold spray paint, took the straps off the watch then taped off its face and back. Then, he carefully sprayed on both sides. Afterward, when he took the tape off and put the straps back on, the difference didn’t seem too noticeable from the real thing. But perhaps he shouldn’t show it off to jewelry experts; they’re likely to see something’s not quite right.

TIME Aviation

New Airline Provides Only Nonstop Service

So far, just between two cities

A new airline featuring nonstop flights—and free Evian water—has taken to the skies.

OneJet’s nonstop flight service began April 6, flying from Indianapolis to Milwaukee, and the airline will add service to Pittsburgh to its list in early May. Its flights are all direct, and plus, there’s complimentary Evian and newspapers.

The company uses three seven-seat Hawker 400 aircraft to service the three airports, USA Today reports, and only schedules a flight if passengers book tickets.

The highest fare prices will be “two to three times the lowest coach fares” for connecting flights on other airlines, said OneJet CEO Matthew Maguire.

[USA Today]

 

TIME Autos

Ford Recalls Nearly 400,000 Cars With Doors That Can Fly Open

Ford traced the problem traces back to a Mexico plant

Ford is recalling 389,585 late-model Ford Fiesta, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans after discovering a defect that can cause the doors to fly open while the car is being driven.

More than 200 complaints have been lodged just about faulty latches on Ford Fiesta subcompacts to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, USA Today reports.

Ford has traced the problem to models at its plant in Mexico. If a part called the pawl spring tab breaks, doors can’t be latched shut and can swing open without warning.

Ford says it knows of two injuries that occurred when doors ricocheted back against people, and another in which a door flew open and hit another car.

[USA Today]

TIME Food & Drink

Starbucks Is Open Again After Computer Glitch Shutters Stores

Earns Starbucks
Mark Lennihan—AP Customers line up at a Starbucks, April 2, 2015 in New York.

Starbucks is open for business

A computer outage that affected thousands of Starbucks stores across North America has been resolved, and stores will be open for business Saturday morning.

Cash registers at 7,000 stores in the United States and 1,000 in Canada were rendered inoperable Friday evening, prompting some baristas to give away a flurry of free frappuccinos and coffees, USA Today reports.

Many of the affected stores closed early. “We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience or confusion,” a statement on Starbucks’ website said. Starbucks did not give an explanation for the outage.

The company on Thursday reported record quarterly earnings, with net revenues of $4.6 billion.

[USA Today]

 

TIME technology

Cable’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

At this time last year, the powerful cable industry seemed to be at the top of its game.

An appeals court, in January 2014, had chucked out the Federal Communications Commission’s latest attempt to establish net neutrality rules, and a month later, in February, the two biggest cable companies in the country, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, announced a massive, $45.2 billion merger.

Meanwhile, the industry’s powerful influence machine, led in part by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, was working overtime in the nation’s capital. In 2013-2014, the industry spent $33 million on lobbying alone—more than it spent in the entire previous decade—and divvied out millions more in campaign contributions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2013, Comcast alone spent more on lobbying than any other company in the U.S. except Northrop Grumman, the defense contractor that makes the B-2 bomber.

And it wasn’t just money. The cable industry also enjoyed a Rolodex of almost comically well-connected friends: the president of the NCTA was a former FCC chairman, and the current FCC chairman was a former president of the NCTA—and President Obama’s golfing buddy, to boot.

With those sorts of connections—judicial, monetary, and personal—what could go wrong?

A lot, it turns out. And almost anything that could, did.

Things started getting bad for the industry in late summer, when an unprecedented 4 million people wrote into the FCC to comment on the agency’s proposed net neutrality rules. The vast majority opposed what they saw as an anemic attempt to protect the Internet from manipulation by large cable and telecom companies. Much of the public debate centered on whether a large Internet service provider, like Comcast, should be allowed to collect fees from web companies, such as Netflix, to deliver its content, like “House of Cards,” more quickly and in higher quality to customers.

Obama, who had campaigned 2008 against so-called fast lanes on the Internet, had only hinted that he would prefer to see stronger net neutrality provisions. But by mid-fall, the White House was ready to go to the mat. When Comcast heard rumors that Obama was considering calling for stronger rules, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts pulled out all the stops, calling up Obama’s senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, and making it clear that Comcast opposed the move, according to the Wall Street Journal. It was no use. A few days later, Obama all but demanded that the FCC propose the strongest possible rules on net neutrality, and three months later, it was done.

Consumer and public interest organizations, and Internet advocates celebrated the FCC’s decision, calling it not only a blow to the cable lobby, but a staggering success for grassroots organizing power.

And the cable industry’s bad year wasn’t over yet. Last week, FCC and Justice Department officials began whispering about major objections to the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, which would tie the two largest cable company in the country and give one company control over roughly 60% of all broadband Internet connections nationwide. On Wednesday this week, officials held a private meeting with Comcast and Time Warner Cable executives to express doubt that the deal was “in the public interest,” according to sources briefed about the meeting, and this morning, the companies formally announced that the deal is off.

Again, consumer and public interest organizations, and Internet advocates celebrated the decision as victory for grassroots organizing power. “Big Cable learned the hard way that their lobbyists can’t silence the voice of the people,” crowed Todd O’Boyle, a program director at Common Cause. “Once again this year, grassroots activists spoke out and Washington regulators listened. Comcast’s insider politics can’t beat us when we stand together.”

David Segal of Demand Progress said the strong net neutrality rules, combined with collapse of the merger, “underscores the importance of an engaged public.”

“We like to identify with the underdog,” he added, cheekily, in a statement, “and Comcast’s recent losing streak almost has us feeling sorry for them.”

TIME Careers & Workplace

11 Ways to Maximize Your Creative Brainstorming Time

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Creative brainstorming can lead to success — if you make time for it

startupcollective

Question: How can leaders carve out time/space for creative thinking each week?

Walk Away

“Get out of the office and into nature, engage in a hobby or just go to the grocery store. Raise your head up to experience the world while you’re in it. The world has so much to offer you creatively — if you’re open to it. But it won’t present your best ideas to you while you’re on the computer or at your desk. It will present them while you are away from the grind. So, give yourself space.” — Corey Blake, Round Table Companies

Wake Up Early

“At the beginning of a day, all the responsibilities of work can have a very strong gravitational pull. It’s usually hard to break away once you engage. Waking up early and taking time to meditate, write and think of creative ideas is a great way to avoid the inertia of your work because, chances are, no one is trying to contact you at that time.” — Mark Krassner, Knee Walker Central

Put an ‘Hour of Power’ in Your Calendar

“One of the secrets to carving out time for creative thinking and goal setting is by physically scheduling it as a reoccurring weekly event on your calendar. I call it my “Hour of Power,” which takes place on Sunday evening, and I haven’t missed it in four years.” — Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com

Timebox It Every Week

“The only way that’s worked for me is putting a three-hour time block on my calendar every week and sticking to it. That’s easier said than done, but a way to make it even more real is to communicate it openly to your team and encourage them to do the same!” — Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

Meet With Thought Leaders

“It’s important to meet with a wide variety of thought leaders. Ask people you find interesting to meet for coffee before work. It’ll give you a different vantage point and will get your wheels turning. Being internal and insular within your industry or company creates tunnel vision and acts as a barrier to great ideas.” — Luke Skurman, Niche.com

Draw It Out

“Take out a big sheet of paper and simply draw out all your ideas for an hour per day or week. Don’t use a computer. Feel free to draw pictures of words or branch out tree limbs filled with every problem — business or personal — you have. By drawing out your ideas, you can find hidden solutions from your subconscious. Collect these papers, and review them regularly.” — Robert De Los Santos, Sky High Party Rentals

Take ‘Walkies’

“Me and my creative team go on walks for 10 to 15 minutes every day. We like to refer to these as “walkies,” and everyone in the office knows that it’s time to drop everything and go for a walk. Around half the time we are just talking about our lives and getting to know one another better. The other half of the time, we have the best creative thoughts. Our best ideas have come out of these walks.” — John Rampton, Due

Adjust Your Sleep Schedule

“Start going to bed and waking up an hour earlier. Don’t check your phone when you first get up. Use the extra time to work out for 20 to 30 minutes, have a healthy breakfast and then do some active thinking about your day/week. I like to take a walk or just pace inside if the weather’s bad. Make this a non-negotiable item on your schedule. Afterward, begin your normal morning routine.” — Nick Lavezzo, FoundationDB

Have ‘Think Tanks’

“One thing we do at GothamCulture is something we call “Think Tanks.” It’s not something that’s reserved for leaders. Anyone can call a Think Tank. If employees have an unusual situation they’re grappling with, they invite the entire team to an optional meeting where they provide the context and the need, and the participants collaborate to come up with creative solutions.” — Chris Cancialosi, GothamCulture

Make It a Priority

“Schedule weekly recurring blocks in your calendar to keep creative thinking a high priority by either working alone or with others. Working alone can be very productive, and collaborating with colleagues or professionals from different industries is a great way to absorb new perspectives. I schedule these sessions three mornings a week and consider it a win when one or more yield results.” — Lauren Perkins, Perks Consulting

Know Yourself

“First, everyone has different times and circumstances when their creativity is at its peak. Chart a week, and you’ll learn your peak times for strategic and creative thinking and your less-than-peak times for emails and administrative tasks. You will also learn what distracts you, so you can determine the best approach to staying in the creative zone.” — Suzanne Smith, Social Impact Architects

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

This article was originally published on StartupCollective.

TIME Careers & Workplace

4 Strategies for Keeping Your Inbox Empty

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Getty Images

Choose the strategy that works best for your work style

The Muse logo

No matter how much time we spend trying to optimize our inbox—from batch checking messages to adding bells and whistles—email takes over our lives. Looking at my stats from last month, I received and processed over 10,000 emails (eek!), so finding the right way to manage all this online correspondence has been critical for my day-to-day sanity.

Turns out, though, the “right way” to manage email depends a lot on your own personal style. I’ve rounded up some of the most popular and successful strategies so that you can decide which one is best for you:

1. LIFO: Last In First Out

This technique is predicated on letting the old stuff deal with itself. It’s the most common way that people deal with their inbox, reading through email top-down (a.k.a., starting with the most recent email received).

This is highly convenient and intuitive, but there are two primary risks of this strategy. The first risk is that you’ll likely end up with inconsistent responsiveness. On days that you have a lot of time to spend on email, you’ll reply to contacts lightning-fast. On days that you’re busy and in meetings, you’ll have messages pile up and get buried under newer emails.

The second risk is that you may miss out on good opportunities because you didn’t follow up in time. If you choose to use this strategy, but want to mitigate these risks, I would recommend blocking an hour or two once a week during which you switch to the reverse chronological approach (conveniently outlined below). This way, you’ll clear out anything old that might be important.

2. Reverse Chronological

The opposite of LIFO, taking a reverse chronological approach means dealing with the oldest emails first. If you use Gmail, you can switch the sorting of your inbox, by just clicking the email counter in the top right corner.

With this strategy, you’ll often be confronted with harder emails you’ve been putting off, which is great for any chronic procrastinators. However, there is one downside to this strategy. If you work someplace where you constantly receive urgent emails that really do need to be answered right away, it might be risky to take a reverse chronological approach. With that said, you can definitely combine this strategy with LIFO during the actual workday if that’s the case.

3. Yesterbox

Famously used by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, the Yesterbox technique focuses on dealing today with all of the email you received yesterday. Hsieh explains:

“Your ‘to do’ list each day is simply yesterday’s email inbox (hence, ‘Yesterbox’). The great thing about this is when you get up in the morning, you know exactly how many emails you have to get through, there’s a sense of progress as you process each email from yesterday and remove it from your inbox, and there’s actually a point when you have zero emails left to process from yesterday. There is actually a sense of completion when you’re done, which is amazing.”

This is a great strategy for anyone who feels like they’re constantly drowning in email. While I recommend reading his entire how to, the best part is definitely the amount of control you’ll regain over your inbox. Unlike other methods, your target remains the same as the day goes on, and you’ll find over time that you get a better handle of how long email will take you to get through. Did you receive 25 emails yesterday? OK, that might take you a little over an hour. Have a big day with 70 emails coming in? You can plan ahead and block additional time to manage the volume.

4. Inbox Zero

A term coined by Merlin Mann, Inbox Zero is an email strategy by which the goal is to always keep your inbox 100% empty. There are some big benefits to this: Everything is always handled, and you don’t waste time re-reading an email for the third time before actually taking action. This strategy is good for Type-A list-makers (like me!) who like to have complete control on their inboxes. But from my experience, it’s easy to let your inbox dictate your life if you take this too far. Pro tip: Couple Inbox Zero with Boomerang for Gmail, an app that lets you file messages out of your inbox until the date and time of your choosing, so you can decide between actually answering and delaying for later, as need be.

If you’re trying it for the first time, I recommend checking out Lily Herman’s week-long challenge to stay at Inbox Zero before you start.

After trying each method, I can say with certainty that choosing a strategy is all about matching your personal preferences with any habits you’d like to encourage (or discourage). You may find that mixing and matching works best for you. I went a long while at Inbox Zero and have decided that the stress of getting those last few done wasn’t worth it. But I do keep my inbox under 20 emails by the time I go to bed each night—just short enough that I can see all of them on my screen for a quick check that nothing fell through the cracks. As long as you’re not a slave to your inbox and anyone who needs to hear from you is getting an answer in a timely manner, who’s to judge?

This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article above was originally published on The Muse.

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TIME Advertising

The New Apple Watch Ad Will Break Your Heart into a Million Tiny Pieces

It's about love—and a smartwatch

The Apple Watch launches today. And the company is ramping up its marketing campaign with three new ads. Titled ‘Rise’, ‘Up’ and ‘Us,’ the spots highlight everyday activities enhanced by the Watch. The ads are distinctly more style-focused than the firm’s other product-focused marketing.

‘Us’ (above) is about couples, love, and what’s likely a first, the soupçon of sex. It highlights the Watch’s communication features such as Digital Touch sketch, tap and heartbeat sharing features, and animated emoji.

The other two spots, ‘Rise’ and ‘Up’ (both below), focus on daily routines and working out.

TIME

Comcast – Time Warner Cable Deal Officially Terminated

Reports that the deal would be dropped were leaked to the media Thursday

Comcast officially announced Friday that it has abandoned a $45 billion takeover bid for Time Warner Cable, after significant opposition from U.S. regulators. The deal, first reported last February, would have combined America’s two largest cable companies.

Brian L. Roberts, Comcast Chairman and CEO said in a statement: “Today, we move on. Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn’t agree, we could walk away.”

He thanked his employees and said “I couldn’t be more proud of this company and I am truly excited for what’s next.”

TIME Careers & Workplace

Why You Need to Stop Saying ‘Awesome’

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Getty Images

When something describes everything, it describes nothing

Inc. logo

Awesome. I would advise any entrepreneur who aspires to be taken more seriously to eliminate this ubiquitous word from his or her vocabulary.

Urbandictionary.com describes awesome as “something Americans use to describe everything.” When something describes everything, it describes nothing.

I just got back from Inc.‘s GrowCo convention in Nashville. Lots of useful, enjoyable, wonderful stuff there, as always, but I was stunned by how almost every speech by every presenter and almost every overheard or casual conversation was peppered with the word awesome. It was inescapable, like verbal kudzu choking out the variegated richness of the English language–so omnipresent it seemed like an acceptable substitute for just about any word. “Awesome.” “Awesome.” “Awesome.” “Yeah, really awesome, man.” It was like a lingua franca of evanescent mush, a meme of meaninglessness masquerading as communication and cool.

Fact: People in Shakespeare’s time had working vocabularies of around 54,000 words. They actually talked like characters in Shakespeare’s plays. The working vocabulary of the average American is 3,000 words and, I suspect, declining.

So, is “awesomeness” the beginning of the end for nuanced, accurate business communication? Does it render exact words irrelevant, mute, and dead? Does the practicing and practical entrepreneur even need words and vocabulary to be awesome?

Well, yes. For innovation and thinking, we absolutely need words. As German philosopher Martin Heidegger put it, “Language is the house of being.” There is no being outside of language. Without words, we are grunting our way to Gomorrah. The more impoverished our language, the less our ability to be innovative, growing, effective human beings. As Steve Jobs memorably put it about his own entrepreneurial company, “It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.”

Perhaps one of the reasons businesspersons default to the use of awesome for their writing and conversations may be that they have not been trained in language as an essential business skill. Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Bloomberg commentator, has been on a jihad about business language and communication. He calls much of business speech and business writing “incomprehensible.” He states, “[Business communication] lacks color and nuance, and it’s not terribly interesting to read.”

I believe it is utterly tragic that STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) curriculum seems to be routing the liberal arts–English, history, philosophy, psychology, et al. I understand that students want to have a good immediate job when they graduate, but that is short-term thinking. Especially for incipient entrepreneurs and business leaders. Even engineers, coders, and quants need words for genuine thinking. Without the right word and the right use of words, there can be no right thinking; there can be no accurate perception; there can be no exactitude. Words give a context, a reality, a structure for logic, innovation, and our eureka moments. Language creates a long-term ability to understand and cope with a brave new world moving and changing at the speed of light. It gives us a context to see the forest as well as the trees.

So, the use of awesome as a default word for just about everything is a killer of business accuracy and clarity. It bespeaks imprecision, inaccuracy, comfort with noncommunication, and impoverishment of imagination. “Awesome” is not cool. It is not outré. It is not out-of-the-box. It is mindless, shallow, slothful, ersatz, and, ultimately, disrespectful of anyone you are speaking to. I would suggest it is a good word for any entrepreneur to shake from his or her sandals.

Words are not irrelevant in a post-Jetsons world. They are ever illuminating. They are necessary. They are the house of the truth of being. They are grandiloquent, magnificent, magical, stupendous, fabulous, unbelievable, and extraordinary. These words have meaning. Awesome does not.

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article above was originally published at Inc.com.

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