Pineapple Studio/iStock(NEW YORK) — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has reclaimed the title of richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gates had been the second wealthiest individual in the world for more than two years, trailing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. As of Friday, Bloomberg’s data shows Gates is worth $110 billion, while Bezos is just behind at $109 billion. Bloomberg updates its rankings each day after the U.S. markets close. Gates’ worth has climbed in recent weeks, following the Pentagon’s decision to award a cloud-computing contract to Microsoft over Amazon. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Nod Hill Brewery(Ridgefield, Conn.) — Nod Hill Brewery in Ridgefield, Connecticut is the state’s first and only 100 percent solar powered brewery. Started in 2017 by Rob and David Kaye, a father-son team, Nod Hill Brewery powers their equipment with a 287 kilowatt, 700 panel photovoltaic array on the roof of their building. The array went online on April 4th and off-sets 100 percent of the brewery’s electrical usage, along with the usage of two other businesses in the building. “One of the reasons that we wanted to do it from the beginning is because we actually brew on an electric system, which is somewhat unusual. It’s fully electric. We don’t use natural gas, steam power, propane or anything,” says co-founder David Kaye. “Usually electric brewing systems, they’re a little bit more uncommon. You find them in smaller breweries. We’re a ten barrel brewery, which is not enormous, but it’s on the larger side for an electric set up. That’s part of the reason that kind of got us thinking about that.” When setting up the system Eversource, Connecticut’s energy
RomanOkopny/iStock(NEW YORK) — Twitter unveiled its new wide-reaching policy regarding political ads ahead of 2020, after co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey announced the platform would ban political advertising as social media giants grapple with the veracity and influence of online ads. The policy outlines how the changes will apply to the political sphere and defines political content as content that references candidates, political parties, elected or appointed government officials, elections, referendums, ballot measures, legislation, regulation, directive, judicial outcome or fundraising. The ban also explicitly blocks super PACs and 501(c)(4)s. Twitter announced will no longer allow political ad on the platform last month. “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” Dorsey tweeted, along with a number of additional tweets explaining the reasons why. “While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions,” Dorsey wrote. “Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information,
Robert Michaud/iStock(NEW YORK) — United is joining American and Southwest Airlines in extending cancellations tied to the Boeing 737 Max into March. The Federal Aviation Administration grounded the aircraft after it was involved in two crashes in Indonesia and in Ethiopia that killed a total of 346 people. Although the timing ultimately will be up to regulators, including the FAA in the U.S., should the airlines stick to these plans, the Boeing 737 Max could resume commercial service just a few days shy of the one-year anniversary of the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10, 2019. The FAA grounded the jets March 13. United announced its decision Friday to pull the Max out of its schedule until March 4. United previously extended cancellations related to its fleet of 14 737 Max jets planes through Jan. 5. United said it expects to cancel 5,600 flights from December through February, and 168 flights in early March. “We won’t put our customers and employees on that plane until regulators make their own independent assessment that it is safe to do so,” United said
iStock/Kiyoshi Tanno(WASHINGTON) — Amazon is not backing down after the Pentagon awarded Microsoft a lucrative cloud contract deal worth up to $10 billion, saying there was “unmistakable bias” in the government’s decision-making process. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, however, defended the Pentagon’s decision in a news conference Friday with South Korea’s Defense Minister, saying that the awarding of the contract was “conducted fairly.” “I’m confident it was conducted freely and fairly without any type of outside influence,” he told reporters. “I will leave it at that.” Amazon has submitted a notice to the Court of Federal Claims indicating it will protest the Pentagon’s decision. Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing offshoot of the online retail company, was long thought by many to be the top choice for a lucrative Department of Defense cloud computing deal. AWS is one of the largest cloud computing platforms in the nation and currently works with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The Department of Defense, however, announced in late October it was awarding the major cloud contract — dubbed the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) —
alexsl/iStock(NEW YORK) — In less than a year, Americans will head to the polls in the 2020 presidential election. Last time around, the FBI says, Russian trolls, in coordination with the Russian government, engaged in a sophisticated attempt to influence the American electorate to vote for Donald Trump. While the effectiveness of the campaign is unknown, three years later, there’s no indication that Russia has relented. Former FBI director and special counsel Robert Mueller, during a hearing before Congress last July, testified to the stark reality: “They’re doing it as we sit here,” he said. “And they expect to do it during the next campaign.” And other countries were following suit, he added. While the inaction of the U.S. government in 2016 has drawn considerable scrutiny, part of what facilitated this was social media platforms’ lack of ability and willingness to confront the issue in real time. So what are some of the biggest social media platforms doing to help protect the U.S. in the 2020 election? Social media platforms — one of the main vehicles of overt Russian influence
Curlanista(NEW YORK) — Lexi P., 14, knew she wasn’t the only one in need of help taming her tresses. So the 14-year-old did something about it. The teen launched her line of Curlanistas products in 2018 after realizing the important need to empower other young girls who had curly hair like her own. “I was bullied as well as teased about my hair, and I just hated it,” she told ABC News’ Good Morning America. Lexi, who is from Washington, D.C., recalls damaging her natural hair by sneaking to straighten it with hot tools. “I thought if I had straight hair the bullies would leave me alone,” she said. Through these unfortunate experiences, Lexi was inspired to create her line in hopes of helping other girls who had gone through similar situations. Lexi’s curly girl-friendly stylers include a Magic Curl Cream, Frizz-Fighting Detangler and Curl Defining Custard. Since launching, Curlanistas has quickly grown in popularity and landed in Sally Beauty stores across America after being accepted to the retailer’s Cultivate program, which aims to invest, mentor and support innovative emerging
ColourPop(NEW YORK) — Right in time for the release of Frozen 2, there’s a new makeup collection underway. On Nov. 15, ColourPop and Disney are releasing a full cosmetics line inspired by Anna and Elsa’s princess powers. The latest launch includes eye shadow palettes, lip gloss, lipstick and glitter. “Fit for a an ice queen!,” ColorPop captioned a video on Instagram announcing the new collection. Prices range from $8 to $70, and each piece has a unique name such as Elsa Little Snow Luxe Matte Lipstick or Anna Waterfall Glitterally Obsessed. There is also a rich variety of cool blues, browns and sparkling golds that echo the mood of the upcoming movie. Items from the new collection can be purchased together or sold separately. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Nike(NEW YORK) — Nike’s latest sneaker drop pays homage to hardworking medical workers who deserve it. Officially releasing on Dec. 7, the new Nike Air Zoom Pulse shoe gives nurses, doctors and home health providers a way to trade in their rubber clogs for something that can really trek through long 12-hour shifts, the company said in a press release. These sneakers are laceless and easy to slip on. They also have an elastic strap for flexibility and comfort, a rubber outsole for easy cleaning and Nike’s Asterix logo that’s symbolic of the company’s belief that “If you have a body, you are an athlete.” Nike’s Air Zoom Pulse sneakers were carefully crafted through insights taken from medical workers at Portland-based OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, the company said. Through product testing and research sessions, the brand found that nurses walk approximately four to five miles and sit for less than an hour during their long shifts. There are seven styles available, and six were designed by patients. One hundred percent of proceeds from each of those six versions will be
Motorola(NEW YORK) — Motorola is bringing back its iconic Razr flip phone in 2020, but with a price tag of $1,500. The phone that was the envy of every teen in the early 2000s will still possess the satisfying flip feature, but this time with a 6.2” touch screen that can close itself in half. The revamped phone will also feature two displays: meaning you can view and respond to notifications, take pictures and more while the phone is folded closed. You can also flip it open to access the full display for reading articles or watching movies. The Android phone boasts a 16-megapixel camera with “built-in artificial intelligence” and includes a portrait mode feature to help you take better photos. The Razr will only be available on Verizon to start and pre-orders begin Dec. 26. The phones will hit stores nationwide on Jan. 9, 2020. It’s priced at $1,499.99. While the Razr’s shape and design may be nostalgic, foldable and touch-screen smartphones have popped up recently such as Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Huawei’s Mate X. Copyright © 2019, ABC