TIME Careers & Workplace

How Setting an Earlier Alarm Could Change Your Life

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An alarm clock is not slavery, but freedom

I wake up when I hear a dog barking and the sun shining too bright into my bedroom windows.

I’m so angry at this dog. Why won’t someone shut this dog up?

Oh, it’s my dog.

Ugh, I feel so tired still. I’m going back to sleep.

Twenty minutes later …

Would someone please shut that dog up?

Where’s my phone? I need to check my Facebook. Oh look, there’s what mom is having for breakfast. Looks good. Here’s a news story I care nothing about. I’ll read it.

I’m so tired.

Twenty minutes later …

I’m so tired. I probably should get up. But I wonder what is new on Twitter? I’ll just check.

Ugh, I’m so tired. I’ll drag myself out of bed now.

Related: 5 Things You’re Doing Wrong Every Morning

Twenty minutes later …

Alright, I’m up. But not really awake.

The myth of the morning person

I told everyone for years, “I’m not a morning person,” and I believe my hatred of the alarm clock was one of the primary reasons I became an entrepreneur.

I just wanted to sleep in.

My theory was simple: buy enough rental properties to produce more income than I needed to live, and I wouldn’t need to wake up early. I could sleep in and wake up on my own, every day, refreshed.

Does this sound familiar?

However, there is a lie embedded in that belief system. Waking up without an alarm does not equal “refreshed.”

Instead, the story usually looks more like the one at the beginning of this post. For years, I refused to use an alarm clock and valued the “freedom” I had to wake up whenever I wished. I was an entrepreneur and I could do what I wanted!

This all changed when I read The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod. As you might expect from the title, the book focuses on the power that waking up early can have on your life.

This simple book challenged how I thought about mornings and after reading it, I thought, “What the heck, I’ll give it a try.”

I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. and went to bed.

My first early morning

My eyes snapped open with the sound of the alarm and before I knew it, I was standing up. But something even more incredible was taking place: I was smiling.

Sure, I was tired, I’m not going to lie. My body had not quite adjusted to the time change, but within minutes (as compared to an hour or more in the past), I was wide awake and starting my “miracle morning” routine, which involved reading, prayer/meditation, and light exercise with a healthy dose of good, old fashioned peace and quiet.

Related: 12 Things Successful People Do Before Breakfast

After this, I got to work on one of my many online entrepreneurial business ideas that I’ve been thinking about for years but never taken action on. I spent the next two hours coding and was completely “in the zone.”

The project was finally taking shape!

By 8:30 a.m. (the time I usually ended up rolling out of bed), I had read several chapters of a good business book, listened to part of a podcast, spent time in prayer, done some P90X Yoga, and worked on a side-project that I’d been “too busy” to work on for years.

I knew after the first day my life would never be the same.

Even my work with BiggerPockets during the rest of the day went more smoothly than normal and I accomplished significantly more than other days.

In the three weeks since I started my early morning routine, I haven’t missed a day yet. I’ve read more in this time than at almost any other time of my life. I’ve consistently worked out, something I’ve struggled with for years. I’m moving my side-projects forward at a considerable pace, and I’ve grown in almost every aspect of my life — personally, professionally, entrepreneurially.

And I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.

Most mornings I wake up with the same energy as the mornings I wake up before a big vacation: excited, hopeful and rested.

For me, the key to waking up this way has been this: Mindset is everything. When I assumed I would wake up tired, I would. When I changed how I thought about waking up, it all changed for me.

Freedom through the alarm clock

You may be an entrepreneur and feel entitled to sleep in. And I’m sure you have that right.

However, I hope you’ll come to understand what I’ve discovered: An alarm clock is not slavery, but freedom. It will set you free to take your business, your mind and your life to places you never dreamed, faster than you ever thought possible.

So stop looking at your alarm clock as the enemy and start looking at it as your closest ally.

Related: 6 Ways to Make Getting Up Early Work for You

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.

TIME Video Games

8 More Fascinating Things Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata Told TIME

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata And DeNA President Isao Moriyasu Joint News Conference As The Companies Form Capital Alliance
Akio Kon—Bloomberg/Getty Images Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata, left, speaks while DeNA Co. President and CEO Isao Moriyasu listens during a joint news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on March 17, 2015.

Why he hates the term "free-to-play" and why the New 3DS almost didn't make it to market on time

Last week, Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata spoke exclusively to TIME about the company’s plans to develop games for smart devices, sluggish Wii U sales, rumors of a live action Netflix Zelda series and why a last-minute feature for the company’s New 3DS games handheld nearly sabotaged its debut.

Here’s the rest of that interview’s takeaways in Iwata’s own words.

Nintendo’s plans to develop games for smart devices is still about bringing different generations of players together

“One thing that we have found over the years is that video games themselves have a tendency to be difficult to break out of a particular segment,” says Iwata. “But what we have found with some of our most successful products, is that they tend to be ones where people are playing them together and the communication is spreading much more broadly and easily than standard word of mouth communication. And what you start to see is people of different generations playing together and talking with each other, and sometimes you even see grandchildren talking with their grandparents about a video game.”

“So with the plans for our smart device efforts, that will also take on this theme of giving people opportunities to learn from one another about games, and giving games an opportunity to spread across different generations of people, and give people more opportunity to communicate with one another about games,” explains Iwata. “And I want to say that we’re going to be putting forth some effort to be able to provide some factual data that supports these viewpoints.”

Iwata thinks Nintendo can overcome free-to-play’s stigmas

“I do not like to use the term ‘Free-to-play,'” says Iwata. “I have come to realize that there is a degree of insincerity to consumers with this terminology, since so-called ‘Free-to-play’ should be referred to more accurately as ‘Free-to-start.'”

“The thing that concerns me most is that, in the digital age, if we fail to make efforts to maintain the value of our content, there is the high possibility for the value to be greatly reduced as the history of the music industry has shown,” he continues. “On the other hand, I have no intention to deny the Free-to-start model. In fact, depending on how we approach this model, we may be able to overcome these problems.”

But Iwata doesn’t view free-to-play as a progressive development

“I do not believe it is an either-or situation between Free-to-start and packaged game retail business models,” argues Iwata. “There are games which are more suited for the Free-to-start model. We can flexibly choose between both revenue systems depending on the software content.”

“However, because there are games or types of games which are suited for the existing package model, and because there are consumers who appreciate and support them, I have to say that it is a one-sided claim to suggest that a complete transition to a Free-to-start model should be made because the existing retail model is outdated.”

Nintendo was “forced” to sell the Wii U at a higher cost than it might have otherwise

“I think, to be honest, we were in a difficult situation,” says Iwata. “Because for the home console our biggest market opportunity was in the overseas markets in the U.S. and Europe, but because of the valuation of the yen and the exchange rates into dollars and euro, it made it a difficult proposition for us to capitalize on that, because of the cost that we were forced to sell the system at.”

The New 3DS’ “Super-Stable 3D” feature nearly torpedoed Nintendo’s latest games handheld

Nintendo’s New 3DS (reviewed here) employs a special eye-tracking sensor that improves the way the handheld conveys its eponymous 3D trick. But according to Iwata, the feature emerged as the device was about to head into production, prompting an eleventh hour scramble.

“I think you’re probably familiar with the tales of how, in the late stages of development, Mr. Miyamoto always upends the tea table,” said Iwata. “So a similar thing happened this time. The hardware developers had designed a piece of hardware that they felt was at the final stage of prototyping, and they were bringing it to us for approval to begin moving forward with plans for manufacturing. But Mr. Miyamoto had seen that super-stable 3D just one week before, and he asked “Why aren’t we putting that in this system? If we don’t put this in it, there’s no point in making the system.”

Iwata says he was personally asked many times by his internal engineers, “Are we really going to do this?”

“But Nintendo is a company of Kyoto craftsman, and what we don’t want to do, is if we know we can make something better, we don’t want to leave that behind,” he explains. “So we were able to bring the super-stable 3D to reality by looking technically at what we can do to solve those challenges and finding those steps along the way to make it happen. This is where my background in technology is quite helpful, because it means that the engineers can’t trick me.”

Iwata doesn’t see Amiibo as a Skylanders or Disney Infinity clone

“At first glance it may look like we’re a trend follower with amiibo,” says Iwata. “But really what we’re doing is, we have introduced amiibo in a way that is new and where amiibo do things in our games that they can’t do anywhere else. From that perspective, we feel that we are a trendsetter.”

“It’s true that if you go into a retail store, and you see the retail shelves, that from a retail perspective, we’re leveraging the structure that’s in place for how the toys to life category is being sold. That’s a hurdle that’s hard to overcome in terms of differentiation. But in terms of how the amiibo are used in games, we do feel that we are taking the lead in terms of broadening what toys to life can be.”

And the Smash Bros. characters have been toys all along

“What’s interesting about the Smash Bros. games, is that the Smash Bros. games do not represent the Nintendo characters fighting against one another, they actually represent toys of Nintendo characters getting into an imaginary battle amongst themselves,” explains Iwata. “And frankly that has to do with a very serious debate that we had within the company back then, which was, ‘Is it really okay for Nintendo characters to be hitting other Nintendo characters? Is it okay for Mario to be hitting Pikachu?'”

That story about a new live action series Zelda series coming to Netflix in Japan may not be accurate

In early February, the Wall Street Journal reported that Netflix was developing a live-action series based on Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda franchise. But Mr. Iwata says those rumors are inaccurate.

“As of now, I have nothing new to share with you in regard to the use of our IPs for any TV shows or films, but I can at least confirm that the article in question is not based on correct information,” says Iwata.

Read next: Exclusive: Nintendo CEO Reveals Plans for Smartphones

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME

Yes, You Can Be Too Happy

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The surprising downside of cheerfulness

Every workplace has one: That super-cheerful, bubbly co-worker who — if we’re going to be really honest here — probably drives you up the wall a little bit.

Don’t feel bad. As it turns out, you’re probably a better worker than they are. A new study finds that happiness makes people productive in the workplace, but only up to a point. After a certain threshold, being too happy contributes to a lack of motivation — probably not exactly what the boss wants.

Researchers surveyed hundreds of workers about how happy they were as well as how often they perceived themselves practicing “proactive behaviors” like speaking up about issues and problem-solving.

“Positive affect can reach a level such that employees perceive that they are doing well and it is not necessary for them to take initiatives, thereby reducing their proactive behaviors,” lead author Chak Fu Lam of Suffolk University writes. In other words, if you already think everything is terrific, you won’t be motivated to make improvements, which is something every workplace — no matter how good an environment or how successful a company — still needs.

As surprising as this might sound, this isn’t the first data point that suggests the perennially perky might also be lackadaisical when it comes to, well, actually getting stuff done. A 2013 survey conducted by consulting firm Leadership IQ found that at more than 40% of companies, low performers said they were the happiest and most engaged at work. (Of course, this might be because they treat their workplace like a place to hang out for eight hours and socialize over free coffee rather than a place to do their jobs.)

“Low performers often end up with the easiest jobs because managers don’t ask much of them,” Leadership IQ CEO Mark Murphy told the Wall Street Journal. What’s more, this survey showed that these workers were utterly clueless about how bad they were at their jobs. They were more likely to tell surveyors that all employees lived up to the same standards.

But this doesn’t mean you’re resigned to scowling and picking up their slack. Instead of focusing on at-work happiness, it’s more useful to set a goal of thriving at work, says Gretchen Spreitzer, professor of management and organizations at the University of Michigan and another one of the study’s authors. “When one is thriving they have the joint experience of feeling energized and alive at work at the same time that they are growing, getting better at their work, and learning,” she says.

Thriving also gives you better focus than happiness, Spreitzer points out, which has a positive effect on performance. “High-focus work probably needs less activated positive energy,” she says. “If we are all hyped up, it may be harder to focus and get difficult or tedious work done.” Rather than being complacent, people who thrive at work are motivated, she says. “It is a more engaged positive emotional state than happiness and, I think, is more appropriate to think about in a workplace context.”

TIME Books

Becoming Steve Jobs Shares Jobs’ Human Side

Steve Jobs during a keynote address to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on June 6, 2011.
Paul Sakuma—AP Steve Jobs during a keynote address to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on June 6, 2011.

A new book out this week gives a fresh look at the controversial leader

Every new book about Steve Jobs will forever be measured against Walter Isaacson’s biography, which defined, for millions of readers, the man who built (and rebuilt) Apple.

But the people closest to Jobs — the people who knew him best — say Isaacson missed the mark. “I thought the Isaacson book did him a tremendous disservice,” says Tim Cook, speaking out three years later. “It was just a rehash of a bunch of stuff that had already been written, and focused on small parts of his personality.”

Isaacson’s not really to blame. He’s a skilled journalist, and he mastered an enormous amount of material in a very short time. But he didn’t get to spend much quality time with his subject until the last year and a half of Jobs’ life. Besides, he was hired to tell the story of what Steve Jobs did, not who Steve Jobs was.

There are only a handful of journalists who knew Jobs well enough to tell that story. There’s Steve Levy, formerly of Newsweek. There’s John Markoff of the New York Times. And there’s Brent Schlender of the Wall Street Journal and Fortune, who may have known Jobs best of all.

Becoming Steve Jobs was co-written with Rick Tetzeli, a long-time Fortune colleague, but it is told in the first person — Schlender’s first person — because it is, at heart, Schlender’s story, the story of a journalist’s 25-year relationship with a source.

The book comes richly pre-publicized. Fast Company, where Tetzeli is executive editor, has been dishing out the newsiest chunks like ice cream, one scoop at a time.

But it’s through Schlender’s stories, freshly told, often from taped interviews, that we get to know Steve Jobs as Schlender knew him. And it’s through these stories that each reader will assemble his or her own answer to the book’s central question:

How did a young man so reckless and arrogant become the most effective visionary business leader of our time?”

Jobs cultivated Schlender, gave him long interviews, called him to gossip and complain. Schlender visited Jobs at home; Jobs visited Schlender in the hospital, where they ended up together more often than either would have wished.

Their first meeting — in 1986, when Jobs was drumming up publicity for NeXT — didn’t yield the Wall Street Journal feature story Jobs was hoping for, but it did convince him that Schlender was okay, not a bozo.

“Not writing a feature was the first salvo in the twenty-five-year-long negotiation that marked our relationship,” writes Schlender in the prologue that kickstarts the book. “There was never a minute where the basic terms of our relationship weren’t clear: I was the reporter, he was the source and subject.”

And yet Schlender leaves Jobs’ invitation-only memorial service in October 2011 overcome with emotion for having lit into his source in their last phone call. Jobs had invited Schlender to pay a visit. But Schlender was in a dark mood. Not realizing how close Jobs was to death, he used the opportunity to air his grievances about their relationship. “After a few minutes, once I’d had my say, there was a silence on the line. And then he said he was really sorry.”

Schlender made a halfhearted attempt to schedule a visit but quickly gave up, to his everlasting regret.

Highly recommended.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Food & Drink

You Won’t Believe Where the World’s Best Whiskey Comes From

Taiwan Whisky Winner
Wally Santana—AP A visitor walks past casks at the Kavalan whiskey distillery in Yilan County, Taiwan

Sorry, Scotland. Nice try, Japan

Taiwan’s Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique is now officially the best single malt whiskey on earth, according to the World Whiskies Awards.

The contest’s judges described the malt as “surprisingly smooth on the palate” and added: “it’s like Bourbon infused milk chocolate.”

The spirit is produced at the King Car distillery in northeastern Taiwan’s Yilan County, where the whiskey is aged in American oak barrels that once stored white and red wines.

The distillery, which went operational just a decade ago, has been racking up a plethora of awards in recent years and getting nods from some of the world’s top single-malt connoisseurs. In 2012, the acclaimed guide Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible named Kavalan’s Solist Fino Sherry Cask malt the “new whisky of the year.”

Read next: Calorie Count Coming Soon to a Can of Guinness Near You

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Autos

Almost 1 Million Nissan Air-Bag Recalls Probed by U.S. Safety Officials

Colored marks indicate where a crash test dummy's face struck an airbag in a Nissan Tiida sedan following a collision test at the Nissan Advanced Crash Laboratory in Yokosuka City, Japan Wednesday, August 31, 2005.
Michael Caronna—Bloomberg/Getty Images Colored marks indicate where a crash-test dummy's face struck an airbag in a Nissan Tiida sedan following a collision test at the Nissan Advanced Crash Laboratory in Yokosuka City, Japan, on Aug. 31, 2005

Japanese car giant says they fixed the problem during updates

An investigation into 990,000 Nissan vehicles recalled in 2013 and 2014 is trying to determine whether the company adequately fixed a sensor malfunction that can inhibit the inflation of the front-seat air bags during a collision.

U.S. safety regulators are looking into complaints that the cars use ineffective computer software to distinguish whether an adult is sitting in the passenger seat vs. a child, according to the Associated Press. When a child is in the passenger seat, the software is designed to disable the air bag because the powerful inflation can prove dangerous.

Nissan Motor Co. said in a statement that it believes the problem was fixed during the recalls, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 124 people have complained about the issue persisting even after fixes were made.

The recalls affected the 2013 and 2014 models of the Altima, Leaf electric car, Pathfinder SUV and Sentra, as well as the 2013 NV200 Taxi and the Infiniti JX35. The 2014 Infiniti QX60 and Q50 SUVs also required updates.

In one complaint reported by the AP, a customer said the indicator light notifying drivers that the air bag has been turned off does not dim when an adult is in the seat.

[AP]

TIME Food & Drink

Starbucks Baristas Will Stop Writing ‘Race Together’ on Your Cups

Starbucks Race Together Cups
Stephen Brashear—Getty Images Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz addresses the "Race Together" program during the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting on March 18, 2015 in Seattle, Wash.

But the controversial diversity and inequality campaign will continue

Starbucks baristas will stop writing “Race Together” on customers’ cups, according to a company memo, ending one of the key components of the coffee chain’s much-criticized campaign to spark discussions about racial inequality.

CEO Howard Schultz said in the memo that the cups were “just the catalyst” for “Race Together,” which launched Wednesday and invited baristas to write the phrase on the cups, the Associated Press reports. Schultz added that the campaign will still continue as planned, with discussion forums and store expansion into minority communities.

The initiative has attracted controversy as a well-intentioned yet ineffective method to generate more conversations about the topic in a bid to influence change in the wake of racially charged events, like the nationwide protests over police brutality and several officer-involved killings of unarmed black Americans.

Schultz defended the campaign last week in light of the criticism, telling shareholders on Wednesday, “All I am asking of you is to understand what we’re trying to do, to understand our intentions. We strongly believe that our best days are ahead of us.”

Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson says the change is not related to the pushback: “Nothing is changing. It’s all part of the cadence of the timeline we originally planned.”

[AP]

MONEY Airlines

$15 Flights to Europe—and 7 More Ways the Least Trustworthy Airline Has Misled Travelers

Ryanair plane taking off
Ryanair

Ryanair's turnabout this week on cheap transatlantic flights is hardly the only reason travelers might not trust Europe's most infamous high-fee, low-cost airline.

Airlines aren’t exactly renowned as the most honest, upfront, and trustworthy of businesses. Years ago, the industry told travelers that fees for checked baggage were necessary to cover the cost of higher fuel prices. Fuel surcharges were added as well, supposedly for the same reason. Yet even as fuel prices have plummeted, fuel surcharges remain commonplace and baggage fees are pricier and more widespread than ever.

For that matter, travelers have constantly been told that the “debundling” of the airline ticket, in which passengers pay fees a la carte for only the services they want, results in lower prices for strictly the flights themselves. How that concept jibes with the fact that average airfares have soared to all-time highs (over $500) for domestic round trips is rather puzzling.

Among this untrustworthy bunch, European low-fare carrier Ryanair is routinely considered the worst of the pack. Led by brash, headline-grabbing CEO Michael O’Leary—known for calling customers “idiots” for thinking they won’t be hit with fees at the airport, among other things—Ryanair has a long, storied history of bad, misleading behavior.

In the latest incident that turned out to be completely untrue, it was widely reported this week that Ryanair’s board had approved the launch of a series of transatlantic flight routes, with promotional fares from Europe to the U.S. starting for as little as £10 ($15) one way. Within days of the report, however, Ryanair released a statement that completely negated the earlier stories, clarifying that the board “has not considered or approved any transatlantic project and does not intend to do so.”

It’s hardly the first time that Ryanair appears to have blatantly misled travelers around the world, likely for purposes including but not limited to generating huge amounts of cheap publicity. Here’s a look at some other sketchy or downright untrue things that Ryanair has claimed over the years.

It’ll sell standing-room-only tickets. In 2012, O’Leary claimed that the airline was close to introducing a standing-room-only section on short-haul flights within Europe. Fares would supposedly start as cheap as £1 ($1.50) for passengers who would stand up rather than require a seat during their travels. The airline later stated that it had no plans for an SRO section on planes.

Seatbelts don’t matter. To make the argument that passengers can fly safely while standing, O’Leary was widely quoted saying, “Seatbelts don’t matter,” and compared the issue to other forms of travel: “You don’t need a seatbelt on the London Underground. You don’t need a seatbelt on trains which are travelling at 120 mph and if they crash you’re all dead.” Also, he noted, “If there ever was a crash on an aircraft, God forbid, a seatbelt won’t save you.” If nothing else, however, pilots and air safety regulators point out that in the event of turbulence passengers are more likely to be injured when not wearing a seatbelt.

It actually flies to Paris. More than a decade ago, a German court ruled that Ryanair must stop claiming that it flies to Dusseldorf when, in fact, the true airport destination is an old military airfield in Weeze, 42 miles away from Dusseldorf. It’s common for low-cost carriers to use secondary airports rather than those nearest to city centers in order to keep costs down, but Ryanair has been dubbed the “ultimate bait-and-switch airline” because its gateway listings are so often misleading. A SkyScanner report about the world’s Most Misleadingly Named Airports focused in particular on popular gateways used by Ryanair including Paris-Vatry (Disney) and Paris (Beauvais), which are, respectively, 93 miles and 55 miles outside of Paris. Despite its billing, the former is also 70 miles from Disneyland Paris.

It’ll charge for in-flight bathrooms. With the hopes of encouraging passengers to use the restroom before boarding planes, Ryanair previously announced plans to charge fees for bathroom breaks on its aircraft, and has also floated the possibility of removing toilets in order to make room for more revenue-generating seats. Understandably, such measures drew an outcry among travelers and regulators, and in retrospect seem like ploys to generate attention.

And in-flight porn. Talk about a marketing stunt to generate attention! Yes, a few years ago O’Leary made headlines by announcing that his latest moneymaking idea would be an app that would charge passengers to watch erotic movies on tablets and smartphones. Gambling and games would be available too, for a charge. “I’m not talking about having it on screens on the back of seats for everyone to see. It would be on handheld devices,” O’Leary said. “Hotels around the world have it, so why wouldn’t we?”

It considered a “fat tax” too. In 2009, Ryanair surveyed 100,000 passengers on the topic of how to save the airline money, and the top vote getter, receiving the support of 30% of those polled, was an extra fee for overweight passengers. Granted, this wasn’t the most serious or scientific survey: Participants weighed in because by doing so they had a chance to win free flights, and the second most popular money-saving scheme among voters was charging money for toilet paper with Michael O’Leary’s face on it. Remarkably, the South Pacific’s Samoa Air beat Ryanair to the punch by becoming the first airline to charge passengers by the pound in 2013.

It actually changed the way it does business. A year ago, not long after the airline was named as the worst customer service brand in all of Europe and described in the report as “aggressive and hostile towards customers,” Ryanair declared that it was instituting a wide range of service improvements and more customer-friendly policies to overhaul its image.

How is that working out? A (UK) Telegraph report in the fall noted that Ryanair has indeed followed through on several customer-friendly changes, including “a new allowance for a second, small carry-on bag, a reduction of the number of clicks required to book on its new website, allocated seating, several family-friendly innovations and more discreet selling of its food and other ancillary services on board.” Still, Ryanair continues to receive around 80,000 complaints per year, and as one Telegraph reporter put it, even after the “changes” have been made, “The in-flight experience was the same and the inflight food is still a rip off.”

TIME Technology & Media

Tinder Hooks Up With New CEO After Roller-Coaster Year

Tinder App
Franziska Kraufmann—AP Tinder App

Four months after CEO and co-founder Sean Rad said he would step down

After more than four months on the prowl for a new CEO, Tinder has finally found a match in former eBay executive Chris Payne.

Payne, who most recently lead eBay’s North America operations, is set to take over as CEO of the popular side-swiping dating app, Tinder confirmed Friday.

Payne joined eBay in 2009 when the online marketplace bought software startup Positronic, which he co-founded two years earlier. Prior to that, Payne had executive stints with Amazon and Microsoft. According to Payne’s LinkedIn account, he left eBay in December and currently sits on the board of in-flight broadband service Gogo.

The hire follows Tinder’s November announcement that CEO and co-founder Sean Rad would step down. Rad, who helped found the company three years ago, will remain with Tinder as a president and a member of the board of directors at the company, which is majority-owned by Barry Diller’s IAC. With Payne’s arrival, Rad will reportedly continue to take charge on product and marketing aspects while the new CEO will run all other operations.

In November, Rad told Forbes that Tinder would look for “an Eric Schmidt-like person” to replace him as CEO, referring to Google’s executive chairman. “Christopher brings invaluable experience running consumer technology businesses that operate at massive scale,” Rad said in a statement Friday.

Rad’s move into a less prominent role came after an up-and-down year for Tinder that saw rapid growth for the dating app along with controversy, including a sexual harassment lawsuit that paved the way for chief marketing officer Justin Mateen’s departure. Rad was also named in the lawsuit filed by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe, which accused both Rad and Mateen of sexual harassment. The suit was settled last fall.

Payne joins Tinder as the company moves into a new phase of monetization, highlighted by its new premium service: Tinder Plus. Revealed earlier this month, the new service charges users anywhere from about $10 to nearly $20 per month (depending on their age) while offering premium features that include the ability to undo a swipe and to find potential matches in different parts of the world.

“Tinder’s incredible momentum and unique proposition leave it well positioned to be an increasingly ubiquitous part of the social fiber around the globe. I think this can be a very big business,” Payne said in a statement.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

TIME Microsoft

Here’s Why Microsoft Is Giving Pirates the Next Windows for Free

Satya Nadella Delivers Opening Keynote At Microsoft Build Conference
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivers a keynote address during the 2014 Microsoft Build developer conference on April 2, 2014 in San Francisco, California.

It's all about getting a bunch of users hooked on Windows

Bill Gates was famously sanguine about the rampant theft of Microsoft’s intellectual property in China. “As long as they’re going to steal” software, he said during a 1998 town hall at the University of Washington, “we want them to steal ours.” He predicted that Microsoft would convert the free riders into paying customers within a decade.

Not quite. By 2011, Chinese software piracy had so thoroughly undermined Microsoft’s sales that former chief executive Steve Ballmer revealed that the Netherlands, population 17 million, was a greater source of revenue than China, population 1.3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

Ballmer has since stepped aside, and now it’s CEO Satya Nadella’s turn to take a whack at the piracy problem. His strategy is an offer bootleggers can’t refuse: The chance to upgrade from an unlicensed, outdated version of Windows to the latest version for free.

“We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10,” Microsoft executive vice president Terry Myerson said in an interview with Reuters Wednesday. Windows 10 should be out this summer as a free download for anyone with Windows 7 or newer already installed on their computer.

Why the sudden freebie? In part, it’s because Microsoft is making a strategic play to get as many users hooked on the Windows 10 platform as possible. Once on board, users can be lured into paying for premium services, such as apps at the Windows Store or a subscription to Office 365, Microsoft’s productivity suite. The more users Microsoft gets now, the more services it can sell downstream — and it’s hoping even pirates can be flipped into paying customers.

It’s a gutsy play for a company that has historically relied on Windows licensing fees for roughly a quarter of its revenue, totaling $18 billion in 2014. Shareholders tend to get antsy at any sign that historic cash cow might be faltering. A 13% drop in Windows licensing sales last quarter prompted a panicked sell-off of Microsoft stocks. It’s hard to predict how patiently investors will wait for Microsoft to accumulate new users without collecting payment up front.

In any case, Microsoft will only gamble on this experiment in the short-run. The Windows 10 giveaway ends within one year of its release, and Microsoft has made clear that pirates who have upgraded to the new operating system will not be considered legitimate customers.

“If a device was considered non-genuine or mislicensed prior to the upgrade, that device will continue to be considered non-genuine or mislicensed after the upgrade,” a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in a statement to TIME.

In other words, pirates can take advantage of a temporary amnesty from licensing fees — but Microsoft will extract payment eventually.

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