TIME apps

Hinge Secures $12 Million of Funding to Help Steal Tinder’s Crown

Hinge

Wants to be the Facebook to Tinder's MySpace

In the world of dating apps, Tinder has long ruled the scene. But its smaller competitor, Hinge, has been working hard in the last year to steal Tinder’s “cool kid” stature.

In fact, the company — which just announced a $12 million investment round with Shasta Ventures Thursday — thinks that it has the power to be seen as the equivalent of Facebook to Tinder’s MySpace.

“Hinge’s trust and transparency are changing the landscape of the dating industry in much the same way Facebook did to social networking in the age of MySpace,” Shasta partner Tod Francis said in a statement. Shasta’s contribution adds to $8.6 million that has been raised previously.

But how do Hinge and Tinder differ?

Rather than showing users virtually any unscreened member of the opposite sex within a five mile radius, Hinge shows users a smaller selection of potential suitors every day at noon that is curated from friends of friends (and friends of friends of friends). Hinge users also get to see matches’ full name, college, and other information culled from Facebook.

When being interviewed about the weird world of app dating last year, McLeod told TIME, “We are trying to harness this feeling of a house party — you go, you see people in your world, friends of friends, that’s the dynamic we’re trying to create.”

Tinder, in comparison, is more of a 10-story club that’s at capacity.

Hinge told TIME that when it polled 500 people who actively use both apps, 59% think Hinge is “a tool to meet people” vs. 16% on Tinder. Furthermore, 64% think Tinder is “a game to play with” vs. 14% on Hinge.

In the last year, Hinge’s undisclosed user base has grown five-fold, and the app has launched in 24 new markets. Although it still has a ways to go before it competes with Tinder’s 600% growth in 2014.

TIME Autos

Ciao Ragazze! Ferrari Considers Leaving Italy

Ferrari SpA Chairman Montezemolo Interview And Auto Plant Tour
Alessia Pierdomenico—Bloomberg/Getty Images An employee works inside a red Ferrari F12 Berlinetta automobile on production line at Ferrari SpA's plant in Maranello, Italy on May 8, 2013.

The iconic Italian brand could look to set up a tax headquarters elsewhere in Europe, a report says

For some, Ferrari leaving Italy would be like the Pope leaving Rome — but it could very well happen soon, according to a Bloomberg News report.

The report says that the storied Italian automaker — which recently announced a spin-off from Fiat-Chrysler — could follow its parent company in registering in a country such as the Netherlands, listing in New York and being based in London.

While it might make sense from a financial standpoint, it’s hard to imagine Ferrari being based anywhere other than Italy. The car has come to be associated with Italian luxury — the automotive equivalent of an Armani suit. The colors of the Italian flag are even featured prominently in the company’s logo.

The manufacturing of the cars would still take place in Italy. Fiat Chrysler representatives declined to comment to Bloomberg, which noted that maintaining full Italian residency was still an option.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Security

Here’s How Sony Is Hacking Back to Defend Itself

Sony Hack
Bloomberg/Getty The Sony Corp. logo is displayed outside the company's showroom in Tokyo on Oct. 30, 2013

Denial of service attacks allow Sony to slow the leak of its data

Sony is reportedly turning to defensive hacking to prevent its breached files from spreading after it was hit by hackers who leaked unreleased movies and employee data last month.

First, the company is flooding websites hosting stolen files with dummy content, unnamed sources told Re/code. That move makes it harder for users to know if they’re downloading real leaked Sony files. But that technique is nothing new — media companies often used it in the early days of file sharing to dissuade piracy in the dial-up era, when illegally downloading a movie was an hours-long affair.

The more interesting claim in re/code’s report is that Sony is using Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against websites hosting stolen Sony files. Those attacks send bogus Internet traffic to a target server in hopes of slowing other users’ connections to a standstill.

DDoS attacks are easy from a technological standpoint. A hacker who wants to conduct one only needs control over a large number of computers, which they typically get from sneaking malware onto unsuspecting users’ machines. Still, that Sony could be attacking servers hosting its stolen stuff is significant in terms of understanding the company’s damage control strategy.

A recondite group of hackers that some have linked to North Korea have already published Sony Pictures Entertainment financial information, salaries, internal emails and feature films on file-sharing websites.

[Re/code]

TIME Companies

Uber Running ‘Full Audit’ of Driver Screenings After Rape Accusation

Uber will also partner with women's safety groups in India

Uber is rethinking “all driver screening processes” in India after a female passenger in New Delhi accused her Uber driver of rape last week, prompting intense scrutiny of the company’s vetting process.

“First, let us acknowledge that we must do better; and we are conducting a full audit of our verification, rider feedback and support processes,” the Uber India team wrote Thursday on the company’s blog. “Second, we are assessing all driver screening processes. We are evaluating additional screening options to include background checks on all our driver partners in India above and beyond what is currently required.”

The rideshare company added that it will also partner with women’s safety groups in New Delhi and around India, whose history of sexual violence, particularly in public transportation, has ignited protests demanding police to better address crimes against women.

Uber’ CEO Travis Kalanick said in a statement Sunday that clear background checks were absent in India’s commercial transportation licensing programs. One day later, New Delhi placed a ban on Uber, with a ban in Hyderabad following shortly thereafter.

Uber’s driver screening policies have also come under fire in the U.S. Los Angeles and San Francisco sued Uber on Tuesday for “untrue and misleading” statements about its driver background checks.

TIME Retail

RadioShack Unveils a Cost-Cutting Plan As Its Losses Deepen

Net sales tumbled 16% due to fall in store traffic

Beleaguered electronics retailer RadioShack reported a wider third-quarter loss as net sales tumbled 16% due to store traffic declines and weakness in the mobility business. Here’s what else you need to know about the company’s earnings report.

What you need to know: RadioShack, which is in the midst of a high-profile tussle with loan providers, reported a 13% slump in same-store sales for the latest quarter, a decline that was mostly due to weakness in the postpaid mobility business. RadioShack attempted to strike a bullish tone by pointing out that the “retail segment,” the half of its business that isn’t mobility, has performed better in the third quarter and during the key Thanksgiving holiday weekend. But it is still troubling that RadioShack posted a double-digit drop in overall same-store sales, especially after larger rival Best Buy recently reported a surprise 2.2% increase in U.S. same-store sales for its latest quarter.

The big number: RadioShack’s quarterly loss swelled to $161.1 million from a loss of $135.9 million a year ago. The company’s total liabilities are at $1.39 billion with total assets of just $1.2 billion (as of February of this year, the retailer had slightly more assets than liabilities). Fitch Ratings on Thursday said that RadioShack’s five-year credit-default swaps have reached their widest levels ever, and said “mounting market concern for RadioShack comes amid speculation over whether a failure to pay credit event has occurred.”

What you might have missed: RadioShack has been in trouble for quite some time, as it is on pace to report its third consecutive annual loss as the seller of mobile devices, accessories and other consumer electronics faces steep competition from larger rivals that sell the same products but typically with a wider selection. RadioShack CEO Joseph Magnacca on Thursday promised cost-cutting efforts that would boost earnings “by over $400 million annually,” including efforts to trim expenses at the company’s headquarters as well as close some locations. While cost-cutting is important, it is also interesting to note that RadioShack’s net loss for the first nine months of the current fiscal year already totaled nearly $400 million, and Wall Street analysts expect the company to lose more than $100 million in the key fourth quarter.

RadioShack is also finding itself distracted by an argument about the terms of a $250 million loan that was provided by Cerberus Capital Management and Harbinger Group. Magnacca earlier this month said that the lenders “have repeatedly blocked our efforts to accelerate and intensify our turnaround and make smart decisions for our business.” One area of contention: RadioShack has repeatedly requested that the lenders sign off on the closure of up to 1,100 stores, but hasn’t yet won approval for that move.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Careers & Workplace

4 Resume ‘Tricks’ That Are Sure to Backfire Spectacularly

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Getty Images

Avoid these at all costs

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

Bad job search advice. It’s everywhere.

Don’t shoot the messenger (even though she’s also a purveyor of job search advice).

It’s everywhere for a number of reasons, including:

  1. Those delivering it often have a bias that affects the nature of the counsel (e.g., husbands, parents, BFFs).
  2. There are no licenses or certifications that career coaches are required to carry (which results in a mixed bag of talent in the world of “experts”).
  3. Textbook advice—the kind that many of us have the most ready access to during our formative years—can be severely old school (or worse).

Unfortunately, if you don’t use care in choosing trusted sources for job search advice, you may run into resume advice that teaches you how to “trick” the applicant tracking system (ATS) or hiring managers. I’m not here to say that there are no effective “resume tricks,” but there are a few that could very well backfire on you.

Here are four of them.

1. “Borrowing” Entire Phrases Right out of the Job Description

Yes, yes, yes: You absolutely should study the job description for each job you plan to pursue, and you should mirror some of the keywords that describe the skills and qualifications on your resume. You should not, however, lift entire sentences or text blocks from that job description. This will put you on the express train from solid on-paper match to shyster who’s trying too hard.

2. Thinking a Functional Resume Will Serve as the Perfect Disguise

It’s so common for job seekers with career gaps to use the old “hide the gaps with a functional resume” trick that, every time I see one, I just assume there’s going to be a gap. And then I set out to find it. Functional resumes are almost never the right solution. Not only can it be difficult for an ATS to read and parse a functional resume into the electronic database, it also screams “I am hiding something!” Better to use a hybrid resume with a strong summary at the top of the page followed by career history (with details) in reverse chronological order.

3. Listing Completed College Coursework as a Degree

Oh, have I seen heartbreaks with this one. Among them, a job seeker who was about to be hired by one of my recruiting clients—a global manufacturing firm—for a field engineering role. He actually didn’t need the degree as a requirement for this job, but he still felt it necessary to list a bachelor’s degree on his resume. Unfortunately (for him, me, and the hiring manager, who loved the guy), he was a few credits short of having that degree. This little nugget of information came out when the firm’s HR department did a standard degree verification. He did not get the job.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or two credits away from earning the degree. If you didn’t finish it, you need to state “Coursework completed toward…,” not “Have degree.”

4. Fudging Dates (and Then Having Different Dates on Your Application)

Let’s face it. Sometimes it’s just easier to say that the job you stormed out on last July actually ended in November. Smooth over that gap, right?

Wrong. Fudging dates is not only called lying, it’s an easy way to land yourself in hot water with decision makers, especially if you accidentally list out different dates on the official job application. You can certainly strategize if you need to de-emphasize time gaps (for instance, use years instead of months and years), but fudging dates can be a true recipe for disaster.

Without a doubt, it can be confusing, overwhelming, and downright mind-numbing trying to figure out how to set up a resume that snags attention and positions you to sail through the hiring process. As you consider the “tricks,” always keep in mind that some are clearly better than others.

(Avoid these.)

More from The Muse:

TIME Careers & Workplace

31 Job Search Ideas That Won’t Make You Miserable

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These tips will help you find a job without stressing you out

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

We know: It’s December. And even though you’re dying for a new gig, going to holiday parties, shopping for gifts, and drinking gallons of hot cocoa just seems like much more of a priority than writing cover letters and going to networking events.

Well, truth be told, tons of companies are hiring like crazy, so if you are on the hunt for your dream job, it doesn’t hurt to get started on a serious search now. But if you want to wait until January, we get it—so we’ve come up with 31 easy (and fun) little things you can do now so that you can hit the ground running in the new year.

Do one or do them all (one for each day of the month!), and you’ll be far more prepared than the rest of the bunch who are just getting started come 2015.

1. Mix and Mingle

Take advantage of all the mingling opportunities that December offers to freshen up your interviewing and networking skills. For example, your relatives who haven’t seen you in a year are probably going to ask, “What kind of job are you looking for?” But instead of brushing Grandma’s questions off, use this time to get comfortable talking about your goals, skills, and ideal jobs. Those same answers will come in handy when an interviewer asks you why you’re interested in a particular role or what your strengths are.

2. Boost Your Persuasion Skills

Got two minutes between meetings or while waiting for a train? Watch this two-minute video on how to be more persuasive—you’ll be totally prepared when you’re selling your skills to a hiring manager come January.

3. Create a List of Dream Companies

Browsing job openings (and thinking about all of those cover letters you’ll have to write) is bound to make your eyes glaze over. Instead, focus on putting together a list of dream companies. Look up one of your favorite companies on LinkedIn, then check out the “people also viewed” section to find more great workplaces. Then, get an inside view into 250 awesome companies in the profiles section of The Muse and save your favorites. When you do start job hunting, this will help keep you laser focused and actually get you excited (yes, it’s possible!) about landing a gig at one of your dream companies.

4. Set Career Resolutions

Making resolutions seems natural at the turn of the year, but let’s face it: Writing down “get a new job” isn’t the most helpful goal. So before January rolls around, write down a few more actionable (and less intimidating) benchmark goals, like “apply for three jobs per week” and “attend five networking events during the month and meet five new people at each.” By fulfilling these smaller goals, you’ll have a lot easier time accomplishing that overarching “new job” resolution, too.

5. Take Long Lunches

No one wants to be in the office this month (including, most likely, your boss), so taking a few coffee meetings or a long lunch here and there probably won’t hurt. Use this month to set up a couple of informational interviews with people who work in jobs or for companies you’re interested in. (And here’s how to turn those meetings into potential job opportunities.)

6. Join a Club

If you haven’t joined a professional organization or gotten involved with your alumni association yet, there’s no time like the present: Most groups have holiday parties in December, which is a great time to show up and get to know people.

7. Send Holiday Greetings

December is pretty much the only time of year you can reach out to people you haven’t talked to in forever and not have it feel random. So take advantage of that and reach out to your network. Send a holiday card to your email list on Paperless Post, create a brief “here’s what I’ve been up to this year” newsletter, or reach out directly with a personalized note to people you definitely want to reconnect with in the new year. It’s merry, it’s festive, and it gives you a head start on your 2015 networking!

8. Say Thanks

Another great way to reach out to your network? Send a thank you note to someone who has impacted your career, given you an opportunity, or introduced you to someone interesting this year. (Here’s how to write one that will really make an impact.)

9. Prep Your References

It’s not the most effective strategy to call up your references in the middle of the interview process to explain, “By the way, I listed you as a reference. They may be calling you, well, today.” To give your references enough notice—and to make sure they know what to say about you to tip the chances of getting the job in your favor—start reaching out to them now. A quick email with an updated copy of your resume and a few sentences about the type of role you’re looking for is perfect!

10. Update Your Resume (on the Couch, While Watching TV)

I know—updating your resume doesn’t sound very fun or easy. But while you’re cozy on the couch watching Home Alone, consider pulling out your laptop and making a change or two. This article has tons of ideas for tiny changes that’ll freshen up your resume in 15 minutes or less.

11. See What Message You’re Sending

Want a quick, fun way to see what hiring managers see when they read your cover letter or resume? Drop those documents into a word cloud generator and see which keywords are popping out. If the most prominent ones aren’t what you want to be remembered by, or if there are important words that aren’t present, think about how you can tweak your materials to make that more clear.

12. Do a Photo Shoot

Is your LinkedIn photo working for you? Find out at PhotoFeeler, which analyzes your photo based on how likeable, competent, and influential you seem. Not happy with the results? Have a friend or family member take a shot of you when you’re wearing your holiday best and pop your new photo up there ASAP. (Then make sure to update it on Twitter or any other sites you use professionally.)

13. Craft a New LinkedIn Headline

A super-simple—but super-effective—change you can make to your LinkedIn profile? Updating your headline. (No, the default of your current position at your current company isn’t always the way to go.) Watch this quick video to see what distinguishes an awesome headline from a mediocre one, then spend a few minutes crafting something compelling and new.

14. Get Started on Your Cover Letters

Writing a cover letter always seems like a simple task. It’s just a couple paragraphs, so shouldn’t take long, right? Four hours and a blank Word doc later, we all know how that story ends. To avoid the inevitable writer’s block, create some sample cover letter templates for yourself. Write a couple killer intros (here are a few examples), then create a list of standout projects and accomplishments that you could elaborate on. Next month, when you find a job that you want to apply for ASAP, all you’ll have to do is string together a pre-written intro, a few accomplishments, and a little research about the specific company and position, and you’ll be set—much easier than starting from scratch each time.

15. Read

Busy as they are, the holidays often come with lots of down time while you’re traveling (or trying to avoid helping your mom cook). Pick one or two books to read in December—here’s a great list of reads that will help point you in the direction of your dream job.

16. Order New Business Cards

To prepare for all of that networking you’ll be doing in the new year! Request a new set from your boss or company, or order some that fit your personal brand from a site like moo.com.

17. Shop for a New Suit

Yep, here’s your permission to online-shop the day away. A job search means interviewing, and interviewing means you’ll need a great new outfit, right? Head on over to the J.Crew sale (or your clothier of choice) and pick yourself out some new duds.

18. Tweet it Up

Every day, recruiters are tweeting jobs they need to interview candidates for—making Twitter a seriously untapped resource for job seekers. To make sure you’re in the know about these leads, create a Twitter job search list that includes recruiters, hiring managers, company hiring handles, and job search websites. Then, review their tweets daily for potential opportunities.

19. Play on Pinterest

Puppies and mason jar projects aside, Pinterest can actually be an invaluable tool for your career. Whether you’re looking for a new job, dreaming about your future company, or just looking for something to wear, try putting together one of these actually helpful Pinterest boards.

20. Plan a Party

We bet you’re not the only one who wants a new job come January. So start planning a “January Job Search” event now—like a networking party, resume workshop, or career-related book club—with some friends or professional contacts.

21. Get Started on a Personal Website

A personal website can be a great tool to show hiring managers who you are and what you’ve done. But putting one together isn’t a quick-and-easy process. So, get started now by browsing around and making a list of ones that inspire you. (Here are 35 amazing ones to get you started.) And when you’re ready to start building it? Here’s a seven-day plan for creating one from scratch.

22. Make a “To-Write” List

Being published in any capacity can be a great way to show off your writing in a job application and get your name out there to people who might be interested in hiring you. To get your creative juices flowing in January, brainstorm now and make a list of article or blog topics you could write.

23. Share Something

An even easier way to share great content with your network and show people what you’re passionate about? Share great things you’ve read on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Start making a running list of awesome articles, quotes, and blogs that you could get out there over the next few weeks and months.

24. Volunteer

’Tis the season for giving back, and volunteer opportunities in your community abound! So take a day (or even a couple of hours) and lend a hand to a cause you care about. You’ll have something new for your resume, meet some new contacts, and feel merry in the meantime!

25. Brush Up on Body Language

Whether you’re meeting with potential clients for the first time or negotiating an important business deal, small changes in body language can completely change the dynamic of the conversation. Watch this quick video to see how this plays out in conversations, and learn the other undercover nonverbal cues that can take your communication skills to a hiring manager or networking connection to the next level.

26. Sign Up for a Free Class

Browse our free, email-based classes at Muse University, like Management 101 or The Leadership Skills Every Professional Needs. Pop in your email address, and you’ll be signed up and good to go in less than five seconds.

27. Swipe Right

Looking for a super easy (almost mindless) way to browse open positions while you’re on the go and traveling for the holidays? Try the new app Switch, which is being described as “the Tinder for jobs” because it allows you to quickly sift through jobs listings—and allows hiring managers to quickly sift through candidate profiles—and then will connect you if there’s a match. It’ll make your job search feel almost like a game.

28. See How Your Family or Friends Can Help Your Job Search

Just because you’re not connected on LinkedIn doesn’t mean your close friends or family aren’t part of a network that can help you find opportunities. So while you’re catching up with family and old friends, tap into that! Let people know what you’re looking for and what you’ve done, and then ask if they have any connections who may be able to help you out. Remember, opportunities can be found in the unlikeliest of places—think your dad’s old college buddy who’s now pretty high up at a company you’d love to work for.

29. Try Out Some New Conversation Starters

Having to suffer through awkward conversations with your second cousin who you haven’t seen may seem like the worst, but think of it as stellar practice for your next kind of awkward networking event. Come up with a list of stellar conversation starters to try out when the dinner conversation starts to lull.

30. Look Through Your Old Facebook Posts

No, not to reminisce (though you can do that along the way): You want to sift through your social media to make sure there’s nothing that might be incriminating to a hiring manager. SimpleWash can help you catch any text that you wouldn’t want public any longer, but you’ll have to manually go through your old photos to remove anything embarrassing.

31. Dream Big

Here’s the easiest, most fun one of all: Treat yourself to a couple hours in a cozy cafe (or, hey, your couch). Get comfortable, relax, and then allow yourself to just daydream about where your career might take you—two, five, even 10 years from now. Don’t focus on what’s possible or what you might have to do to get there—just allow your mind to wander and dream about the stuff that you probably don’t get to in your day-to-day life. Do you want to be in a more creative role? Head up a new product or your department? Have a job that lets you travel? Start your own business? If you’d rather, you can jot down your thoughts in a notebook or share them with a friend.

Have something awesome in mind? Great. Now, think of just one thing you can do that’ll help you get there.

More from The Muse:

TIME Careers & Workplace

4 Super Simple Ways to Save Huge Amounts of Time

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You don’t need additional hours in a day to get more done

startupcollective

This story was originally published on StartupCollective.

How do some entrepreneurial leaders get more done in a day than the rest of us?

Here are four simple strategies, used by the world’s most successful people, that will increase your productivity and save you an hour — or more — each day:

1. Reduce Decision Fatigue

Decisions are costly.

Making an unnecessary decision not only wastes time while you’re doing it, it also saps mental energy for later, which means the next decision you have to make will take even longer.

Save your decision-making power for things that actually matter by reducing the need to make decisions on mundane tasks you repeat everyday. The more things you can put on autopilot, the more efficient you will be throughout the day.

President Obama wears the same color suit all the time because he doesn’t want to waste a decision on thinking about what he should put on each day. Steve Jobs was another famous example of a leader who wore the same thing everyday, as is Mark Zuckerberg.

But wearing a uniform is not the only way to reduce decision fatigue.

For those who prefer a bit of wardrobe variety, try finding other parts of your daily routine that could benefit from some decision-trimming, like what you eat for breakfast and lunch.

Find a routine that works for you, and save your mental energy for the stuff that counts.

2. Go on an Internet Diet

Focus, focus, focus. You probably know you should be focusing on just one thing at a time because you’re unlikely to be one of the lucky 2 percent who can actually multitask effectively. But odds are that you’re multitasking more often than you should be, and that it’s killing your productivity.

There is one very simple way to get yourself to focus on the task at hand: unplug.

You may be wondering how that’s even possible in this day and age, but the truth is that many of the world’s most successful people are able to achieve so much precisely because they’re better at unplugging than the rest of us.

Some people go to great lengths to avoid wasting time browsing the Internet. George R. R. Martin, for example, writes on a DOS computer that has no Internet access at all.

Unplugging entirely may not be practical if your work requires you to use the Internet, like it does for many of us. But that doesn’t mean you have to be constantly checking email, Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, all at the same time, and all while trying to get some real work done.

Try scheduling designated times during which you allow yourself to read email or social media, and be disciplined about keeping your browser tabs closed otherwise.

3. Just Say No

Most of us are bombarded with requests for our time. It can be tempting to say ‘yes’ to every interesting opportunity that comes your way, and tell yourself you’ll just buckle down and work harder to fit it all in. But overcommitment is the enemy of productivity.

You can’t do it all.

Instead of letting yourself be pressured into overcommitting, have the courage to say no more often than you say yes.

Sheryl Sandberg ruthlessly prioritizes in her own life by being proactive about deciding what matters most to her, at the beginning of every month, and saying no to anything that does not fit within that.

4. Get a Hammock

When was the last time you let yourself swing aimlessly in a hammock, and just do nothing for a while?

Most of us only allow ourselves that sort of luxury when we’re on vacation, because swinging in a hammock seems like an utter waste of time. But giving your mind time to wander aimlessly can actually be great for productivity.

We often think that high-powered CEOs are going nonstop from morning to night, but many of them are careful to fit ‘lazy time’ into their crazy schedules.

Arianna Huffington is a big believer in the power of breaks to improve productivity, so much so that she’s had nap rooms built at the Huffington Post office.

So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break — go for a walk, swing in a hammock, listen to music, take a nap, have a beer. Do something that will allow you to truly relax.

You might be surprised by how much more you’re able to accomplish with a fresh mind.

TIME

The Most Completely Depressing Stat About Americans’ Debt

knife cutting dollar bill
David Franklin Hedge fund managers take a big cut of returns

Oof, it's a rough one

Consumer confidence may be up, but the picture changes when Americans think about their debt load and the likelihood they’ll ever dig out from it.

In a new CreditCards.com survey, 18% of Americans with debt say they won’t eliminate those debts in their lifetime, double the number who said the same in a 2013 survey.

There are a few reasons behind this rapid increase, says the site’s senior analyst, Matt Schulz. Our ballooning student loan debt and increasing willingness to carry balances on credit cards play a role, but they’re not the only factors.

“Underemployment is still a problem as is wage growth, even though unemployment is lower,” he says. This malaise stretches across the economic spectrum. The survey found that higher incomes don’t translate to optimism. Households who earn more than $75,000 aren’t much more confident about their ability to shed their debt than less well-off families.

The average age when borrowers expect to be completely debt-free, owing nothing on credit cards, car loans, student loans, mortgages and loans, is 53, but a significant number of people think it will take longer. More than 40% of people who carry debt think they’ll be over the age of 60 before they pay everything off, and almost a third of debtors 65 and older say they’ll never get out of debt.

If these debtors are correct in their hunch, there could be some significant macroeconomic fallout, Schulz says.

“Continuous debt can mean indefinitely postponing retirement and that can cause a host of issues,” he says. “It can also cause great economic stress on those people’s children.” This “sandwich generation” are often caught in the middle trying to support both their grown children and their parents.

Those grown children — millennials — are considerably more optimistic than their parents and grandparents when it comes to their debts, but their optimism may be misplaced. Only 6% of millennials surveyed think they’ll die with debts, but the reality could give them a rude shock. Unlike even their struggling grandparents, young adults have fewer options for getting rid of their debt other than buckling down and paying it down, since much more of what they owe is in the form of student loans, which can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, rather than the credit card debt or even mortgages that weighed down older generations.

“Someone who sees themselves as trapped forever by debt might stop working to get themselves out of it,” Schulz says, and that inaction brought on by hopelessness could contribute to their balances ballooning if they stop trying to pay them down.

TIME Companies

Why Uber’s Rape Scandal Is More Than a ‘Growing Pain’

Uber Growing Pains
Pablo Blazquez Dominguez — Getty Images

The problem goes beyond Uber's breakneck growth

When Uber CEO Travis Kalanick categorized the rideshare company’s recent privacy controversy as “growing pains” last week, the term seemed to be a fitting description. Uber has moved with lightning speed in five years, going from a small startup to a company investors have valued at $40 billion — and any company with that kind of meteoric growth is bound to make missteps.

But Uber’s latest debacle — accusations that a driver in India raped a female passenger — is far too serious to brush aside simply as “growing pains.” Still, Kalanick’s response to the alleged assault, as apologetic and deadly serious as it begins, soon drifts into the “growing pains” argument.

“We will work with the government to establish clear background checks currently absent,” he wrote. That’s an admission that Uber, hungry to tap a new and potentially lucrative market, overlooked India’s low bar for driver checks.

If Uber had properly done its homework before barging into India, it would know that Indian transportation systems have long been dangerous places for women. As Facebook’s Sriram Kirshnan argued in a Medium post this week, India’s preexisting sexual violence problems — which spurred global outrage after a 2012 fatal bus gang rape — require not only tighter driver laws, but also an unspooling of history, culture and politics.

Those are problems that can’t be “outgrown” as simply as Uber can learn to avoid playing fast-and-loose with users’ privacy. But they’re also problems that should have slowed Uber from moving into India unless it was better prepared to keep its passengers safe.

Transportation violence isn’t solely an Indian problem by any means. Uber has had its passenger safety practices come under fire here in the states several times: when a Washington, D.C. driver allegedly raped a female passenger last year, for example, and when a San Francisco Uber passenger accused his driver of attacking him with a hammer in September. Those and other episodes have been enough to prompt lawsuits against the company regarding its background check process.

But while the American taxi industry employs strict background checks, it doesn’t have a perfect safety record either. In the last few months, cabbies have gotten slapped with multi-decade sentences, not to mention horror stories from victimized passengers. The background check lawsuits facing Uber, then — while beneficial for improving safety — reinforce a misleading notion: that if Uber just gets on par with the taxi industry’s safety standards, somehow nothing bad will ever happen on an Uber ride.

From the start, Uber had set out to define itself against the taxi industry’s historical image — overpriced fares, beaten cars, a unionized immigrant workforce — and to re-imagine the sector as offering cheap rides, hip vehicles and attractive side jobs for recession-hit Americans. That contrast led some to believe Uber has operated on a different playing field, unregulated by law. But as safety concerns —and lawsuits — have emerged, Uber now faces a choice: On one hand, it can simply meet pre-existing taxi regulations, skirting by with minimum effort. On the other, it can go one better and do to taxi safety what it’s done to taxi convenience, making rides simpler and safer.

Read next: How Uber Breaks the Rules (And Why You Should Care)

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