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An Automated Telegram Bot Is Selling Facebook Account Phone Numbers

It uses a database of 500 million user credentials and a Telegram bot.
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January 27, 2021 2 min read
This story originally appeared on Engadget
Access to a database reportedly containing 500 million users’ private information is being sold on a cybercrime forum. Motherboard reports that the database, which hosts data pulled from Facebook more than two years ago, contains people’s phone numbers. It added that would-be stalkers can then use an automated bot for (messaging app) Telegram which enables hackers to look up those numbers to tie them to an identity. Access is being sold on a per-search basis, with a single lookup costing $20, although you can bulk buy up to 10,000 search credits at a time. 
Related: How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 7 Steps
The report says that it tested the bot for itself and found it could identify the number of a user who opted to keep their phone number private. Facebook is said to have confirmed that the data breach is real, and that it concerns a security issue that was resolved in August 2019. It added that it has tested the system and found that current Facebook IDs are not found in the leak. This does, however, mean that if your phone number was tied to Facebook’s database before August 2019, your details may be up for sale. Users should be on the lookout for a spike in spam calls, and make their accounts have as little data in them as possible. 

Jeff Bezos Wants His Girlfriend's Brother to Cover $1.7 Million in Legal Fees After He Unsuccessfully Sued Bezos for Defamation

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is seeking over $1.7 million from Michael Sanchez to cover legal fees, the latest in a legal battle between Bezos and his girlfriend’s brother over Bezos’ leaked texts.
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Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 27, 2021 3 min read
This story originally appeared on Business Insider
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is seeking over $1.7 million from his girlfriend’s brother, Michael Sanchez, to cover legal fees he incurred as a result of Sanchez’s unsuccessful defamation lawsuit. 
Bezos and his personal security chief, Gavin de Becker, filed a motion Friday with Los Angeles County Superior Court to compel Sanchez to reimburse them for $1,676,919.50 in attorney fees and $36,019.26 in other costs they racked up while defending a defamation suit from Sanchez last year. 
“These fees and costs are reasonable and the amount of work performed was commensurate with that necessary to defend vigorously against Plaintiff’s abusive and constantly shifting case. Consequently, Defendants’ fee request should be granted in full,” the motion reads, which is signed by Bezos’ attorney, Edward Takashima.
Tom Warren, an attorney for Sanchez, told Insider in a statement that “Mr. Bezos’ fee request is obscene, even grotesque, on many levels.”
The request is the latest development in a tabloid drama between Bezos and Sanchez that began more than two years ago. In January 2019, hours after Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, announced they were divorcing, Page Six and the National Enquirer revealed that Bezos was in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a helicopter pilot and former TV anchor.
Related: 9 Mind-Blowing Facts That Show Just How Wealthy Jeff Bezos, the World’s Richest Man, Really Is
The Enquirer said it had conducted a four-month investigation into the relationship between Bezos and Sanchez and had acquired “raunchy messages” the couple had sent each other, some of which the tabloid published. The Enquirer also said it had racy photos of both Bezos and Sanchez, including one that was too explicit to describe in print.
Bezos funded an investigation into the leaked messages, which was headed up by de Becker. De Becker told The Daily Beast at the time that Michael Sanchez was “among the people we’ve been speaking with and looking at” during the investigation and that “strong leads point to political motives” for leaking information to the Enquirer, which Sanchez denied. 
In February 2020, Sanchez filed the defamation suit against Bezos and de Becker, alleging that both men falsely accused him of providing nude photos of the Amazon CEO to the National Enquirer. Sanchez claimed in the suit that Bezos told journalists he had handed over the images to the tabloid, but Sanchez said he never had the photos in his possession.
Bezos quickly filed a motion to dismiss the suit under California’s Anti-SLAPP law, which is intended to protect against frivolous lawsuits. In November 2020, Judge John P. Doyle ruled in favor of Bezos, calling the evidence “inadmissible hearsay” and striking down Sanchez’s suit. The latest motion argues that Bezos and de Becker are entitled to recoup attorney fees as part of that law. 
Bezos, who owns roughly 11% of Amazon, is the second-richest person in the world with a net worth of $192 billion. 

Will Elon Musk's Tweet About GameStop Push Shares Even Higher?

GameStop stock continues to climb amid a massive short squeeze, and now Musk is in on the hype.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 27, 2021 3 min read
This story originally appeared on Value Walk
GameStop stock continues to climb amid a massive short squeeze that has pushed some big-name investors out of their positions. GameStop is up another 100 percent out of the gate this morning after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted a link to the Reddit page where retail investors are talking about driving it up.
Related: Did Reddit Fuel GameStop’s Massive Stock Surge?
Short squeeze boosts GameStop stock
Melvin Capital, a hedge fund targeted by the Reddit board about GameStop stock, told CNBC that it closed out its short after a massive loss. The news outlet refers to the video game and console retailer as “hedge funds‘ most-hated stock” after an army of retail investors united against short-sellers on the Reddit board “wallstreetbets,” which has over 2 million subscribers. In the forum, rookie investors spurred each other on, calling on one another to pile into GameStop stock and call options, resulting in substantial short squeezes.
CNBC couldn’t confirm how much Melvin Capital lost on its short position. The news outlet reports that Point72 and Citadel have poured almost $3 billion into the fund to shore it up. Andrew Left of Citron Research said today that he has covered most his short position in GameStop, also at a loss. He said previously that the retailer’s stock would plunge back to $20 quickly and called out attacks from the “angry mob” that owns shares.
Elon Musk drives GameStop higher
Musk’s tweet about GameStop appears to indicate support of the struggling retailer. He linked the Reddit board that’s been hyping the stock.

Gamestonk!! https://t.co/RZtkDzAewJ
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 26, 2021

According to CNBC, this isn’t the first time one of Musk’s tweets has impacted a company’s stock price. Also on Tuesday, he tweeted about a hat he purchased for his dog on Etsy, which boosted the company’s stock by as much as 8% in premarket trading, although it ended up closing the day in the red.
Musk has gotten into trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission for tweeting about Tesla stock. In 2018, he said he could take the automaker private at $420 per share and that he had lined up the necessary funding. Musk and Tesla each paid $20 million to the SEC to settle the lawsuit, and Musk must now submit his public statements about the automaker’s finances and other issues to legal council for vetting. The Tesla CEO also sent the company’s shares lower last year by saying they were “too high.”

This is the robot that would be mass-manufactured to support the pandemic

The developers of “Sophia” plan to be mass-produced in 2021 to be present in airports, shops and hospitals.https://www.altonivel.com.mx/tecnologia/sophia-el-robot-humanoide-podria-fabricarse-en-masa-para-apoyar-en-la-lucha-contra-la-pandemia/
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 27, 2021 4 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

This story originally appeared on Alto Nivel
Now more than ever, the pandemic created the need to incorporate new technologies that will help reduce the workload of health professionals. Likewise, the prevention of the risk of contagion, reducing physical contact between people.
The humanoid robot , Sophia , created by the Hong Kong-based robotics and engineering company Hanson Robotics , could help healthcare personnel fight the coronavirus, taking over the care of sick people.
Hanson Robotics said that four models of humanoid robots, including Sophia, will start rolling out of factories around the first half of this year to collaborate with healthcare professionals, preventing the spread of COVID-19 .
“Social robots like me can take care of the sick or the elderly,” says Sophia during a tour of her Hong Kong-based laboratory. “I can help communicate, give therapy sessions, and provide social stimulation, even in difficult situations,” he adds.
A solution for loneliness?
In addition, Hanson believes that robotic solutions for the pandemic are not only limited to medical care, but could also help consumers in industries such as retail and airlines.
Johan Hoorn, a professor of social robotics whose subject includes Sophia’s work, points out that the technology is still in relative infancy, but that the pandemic could hasten a relationship between robots and humans.
“The robots Sophia and Hanson are unique in being so human,” he added. This can be very useful for times when people feel socially isolated. Hanson has plans to sell “thousands” of robots in 2021, large or small.
The purpose of the Chinese company is to design and program robots to be as human as possible, creating machines and elements that understand day-to-day situations, having intuition, common sense, empathy and understanding of people’s experience.
There is the case of other large developers in the robotics sector, with SoftBank’s semi-human Pepper, which was implemented to detect people who were not wearing their masks. Then he exercised the work of supporting by establishing the measures and reminding people to use the mask.
It is worth mentioning that the use of robots before the pandemic was on the rise. According to a report by the International Federation of Robotics, global sales of professional service robots had already increased 32 percent to $ 11.2 billion between 2018 and 2019.
There are people who are wary of putting robots in charge of tasks that are considered important. However, when Sophia was asked whether people should be afraid of robots, she replied, “Someone said that ‘we have nothing to fear except fear itself,’” the robot reflected. “What did you know about him?”

Unemployed? Home-Based Selling Offers an Income Stream.

January 27, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Online sales are booming. Those looking for more income may want to consider getting in the selling game. To serve today’s online shoppers, sellers should offer in-demand and niche products at bargain prices. Examples of currently popular goods include work-from-home (WFH) equipment, Internet-related tools, and health, safety and personal care items. But beware of categories with intense competition.
From a macroeconomic perspective, lockdowns are creating a perfect storm of opportunities when combined with the steep rise of e-commerce, social media, online marketplaces and decentralization. The new economic landscape can benefit unemployed Americans, gig workers and soccer parents who become home-based sellers. Instead of watching Netflix and wondering what the new normal will mean for your wallet, use your Wi-Fi connection to make extra money. Here’s how.
Get extra income
The global health crisis is creating the worst recession since World War II. In 2020, America’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by an estimated 4 percent with 12.6 million workers unemployed. This massive disruption, however, is creating retail opportunities for entrepreneurial folks who can sell online. Online shopping has dramatically increased since the beginning of the global health crisis, and many analysts believe we’re seeing a permanent trend.
Supply chains are being disrupted because people are turning to direct-to-consumer models that eliminate middlemen. This simplifies the supply chain, cuts out broker fees and reduces delivery times. As thousands of physical retailers and distributors go out of business, e-commerce and social business are filling the void.
Related: Can E-Commerce Save Retail?
Help customers stretch their dollars
Home-based sellers can succeed by offering budget-conscious shoppers essential products at bargain prices. In the past year, top-selling goods include work-from-home (WFH) equipment, Internet tools and accessories, health and safety products, and food and groceries.
What items can you easily supply, store in a closet or garage, and sell in a marketplace like Amazon?
You can also sell via personal website or through social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, especially if you have thousands of friends and followers. Consider using analytics tools (Salehoo is one example) that provide data from Amazon, eBay and similar marketplaces to determine sell rate, average price and competition for various products.
Computers and electronics are expected to be the number-one category at 22 percent ($156.5 billion) of total e-commerce in 2020. Apparel and accessories are second at 19.1 percent ($135.5 billion), according to September 2020 research by eMarketer.
Think in terms of buyer behavior in the new normal. What exactly are people doing daily and what do they need?
According to research firm Glimpse, other popular categories include household items such as blue-light glasses (up 94 percent), bidet toilet (up 300 percent) and online church (up 544 percent). Home-gym equipment, fitness clothing, baby care, pet supplies, video-conferencing tools and Internet-related services and accessories.
Design an efficient process
In terms of fulfillment, drop-shipping has become extremely popular in the past decade. That’s when Chinese and international suppliers ship directly to your customers, minimizing logistical burdens. However, margins are typically lower because suppliers charge a drop-shipping fee. (Sites such as Alibaba and AliExpress list Chinese drop-ship suppliers.)
Sellers can also buy wholesale directly from manufacturers in China, India, Thailand and Vietnam. But have thick skin and sharpen those negotiation skills. Also, keep in mind that suppliers are inundated with inquiries and spam. They’re looking for serious buyers only, as well as long-term collaboration.
Purchasing in bulk leads to higher margins, but it typically requires a larger financial commitment. Wholesaling can also be more labor-intensive for the seller. But there are a growing number of fulfillment service providers that cater specifically to online retailers.
Related: Exploring E-Commerce
If you’re shipping to customers abroad, there are international parcel forwarding services like MyUKMailbox.com. The UK-based shipping and logistics company is an example of a growing number of fulfillment providers that can also process payments and help sellers navigate local import rules.
Fulfillment support enables sellers to have freight repackaged and forwarded directly to end-users and even to Amazon Fulfillment Centers. Packaging and parcel-forwarding services also ensure that the shipping process aligns with consumers’ expectations. According to 2020 research by Retail TouchPoints, 84 percent of shoppers are unlikely to shop with a brand again after a poor last-mile delivery experience.
Manage cash flow
Finally, it’s critical that you properly manage cash flow. Getting sales — income — doesn’t mean acquiring immediate cash flow. Some people pay late or never, and there can be delays as to when funds are deposited into your bank.
Inventory is an area where most of your working capital will be tied up. The advantage of home-based selling is that you have minimal overhead expenses. However, it’s important to be conservative with initial and subsequent inventory orders until you observe sufficient sell-through. Start small and slowly scale; this leaves enough cash to cover business and personal expenses.
Respect the learning curve. The key to home-based selling is to establish KPIs such as margins, average order value, break-even point, delivery times, cost per acquisition and customer lifetime value. You also need to adjust for seasonal demand to match inventory levels.
But the essence of this business is conversion. If you can convert Web and social traffic into purchases, fulfillment providers can handle the rest.
Related: 4 Key Trends for Retail Entrepreneurs in 2021

3 Smart Ways Entrepreneurs Can Save Time

Entrepreneurs are like snowflakes—each one of us is unique. But the one trait nearly all of us share—we don’t have enough time in our days to get it all done. It’s not that we’re managing our time wrong (though that may be a contributing factor). Small business owners just have so much to do.
It’s not like there aren’t any consequences when we run out of time. While you spend time working on some more mundane tasks, something important could fall through the cracks, costing you a lucrative opportunity.
Given there will never be more than 24 hours in a day, here are some tips for maximizing productivity, so you can focus on growing your small business:
Use a Calendar
Sounds simple, right? But too many business owners just don’t bother. If you’d rather use a physical calendar, that’s fine. It’s important to use the type of calendar you’re most comfortable with, so you’ll actually use it.
That said, keeping multiple calendars in different places increases the chances something won’t get entered, and you’ll miss calls, appointments, or meetings.
A smart choice is using a cloud-based calendar. This enables you to create one central calendar, so you can access your information wherever you are on any of your devices.
Part of the calendaring process is scheduling. Each of us has our own natural rhythms; some of us are morning people; others are night owls. You know yourself; try to book critical business tasks when you’re “up” and most alert.
It’s also essential to prioritize your to-dos. Keep your to-do list short—you’ll only be discouraged by how much you didn’t accomplish if you have a list of 21 things you need to do. Identify the most important tasks and work on those first. Chances are, these are revenue-generating activities that can’t be ignored. Realize when you focus on your top priorities, smaller, more mundane day-to-day responsibilities might get overlooked.
Look at those tasks you don’t have time for and decide how or who can tackle them. You have three primary options: delegate, automate, or outsource.
Delegate
Many small business owners are reluctant to delegate to employees because it’s hard to let go of your “baby,” and you likely think no one can do the job as well as you can. Of course, that’s nonsense. If you give your employees responsibilities that stretch their skills, both of you will benefit.
If the thought of delegating still makes you nervous, start with low-value tasks.
Automate
Use tech tools to simplify and automate whatever job duties you possibly can. Check out relevant apps and cloud-based solutions to automate repetitive tasks and activities. CRM solutions, for example, allow you to store details about prospects, vendors, and customers so you or your employees can quickly reach them.
Create templated responses to common questions so you can cut and paste them in a letter, memo, or email response.
If you work globally, use email autoresponders to let people in different time zones know what time zone you’re in and approximately when you will get back to them. Say something like, “Thank you for your email. We’re in the XX time zone and will try to get back to you in the next 48 hours.”
There is no shortage of solutions that can be automated, including accounting, email, project management, booking appointments, database management, payment processing, and more.
Tasks that are labor-intensive and time-sensitive, like managing your accounts payable and receivables, are ideal candidates for automation. Check out a solution like Bill.com. They’ve automated the billing and payment processes.
Outsource
When you find companies that automate tasks, consider outsourcing those jobs to them. Not only does that save you time that can be allocated to activities that generate revenue, but in many cases, their systems add a layer of security your business does not have.
Bill.com can create invoices and bill your clients (eliminating the chance of human error) and pay your bills as well. Think of the time you and your staff will save by outsourcing your payables and receivables. And since the system is cloud-based, you can access your information anywhere you have an internet connection.
A key component of successful outsourcing is making sure the automated tools you choose work together seamlessly. For instance, Bill.com integrates with accounting solutions like QuickBooks, Oracle NetSuite, Xero, Sage Intaact, and other financial apps like Expensify and Tallie.
The paradox of an entrepreneur’s life is, the more your business grows, the more tasks and responsibilities you will likely need to delegate, automate, and outsource. So, you want to find simple, efficient, cloud-based solutions that free up your time so you can focus on the jobs that make you money.
Bill.com does all that. Give it a try, risk-free today!
Image: Depositphotos.com

We Helped Greece Build an AI System to Make Covid-19 Testing More Efficient. Here's What We Learned.

January 27, 2021 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Despite government warnings, millions of Americans traveled over the holidays. Schools, universities, and workplaces face difficult decisions as people return in the midst of a coronavirus surge, potentially bringing Covid-19 with them. While vaccines are already being distributed, there’s a long road ahead until we achieve widespread vaccination and herd immunity.
What if there was a better way to determine who is most at risk for Covid-19 and who should be tested and quarantined? We’re data scientists at USC Marshall School of Business and this summer we built an artificial intelligence system to help Greece safely reopen its borders to over 80,000 tourists a day. The system, known as Eva, determined which foreign visitors to admit and who to target for testing. As schools, businesses, and tourist destinations navigate a new wave of coronavirus cases amid the busy holiday season, they should consider how to use data and artificial intelligence to deploy their testing resources efficiently and reduce the spread of the virus.
Tourism is central to Greece’s economy. This spring, the country faced a dilemma: It needed to reopen its borders for the prime summer vacation season but couldn’t test every incoming traveler. We created Eva to safely manage the flow of visitors. Every person entering Greece had to submit basic demographic information along with details about what countries they’d been in recently. Using a machine learning algorithm to predict risk, Eva selected which travelers to test on arrival at the border. After quarantining for 48 hours while awaiting the results, anyone who was positive followed government isolation protocols and contact tracing. Everyone else was free to continue on their visit.
Related: Autonomous Shuttles Ferry COVID-19 Tests Around Florida
An exercise in efficient testing
This system was a win all around. It allowed the country to reopen to travelers while reducing the risk that anyone with Covid-19 entered. By more accurately targeting testing, it used fewer resources to detect each infection. Random surveillance testing would require almost twice as many tests as Eva to catch the same number of infected travelers at the border. At the peak of the summer, that would have translated to almost 14,400 tests per day – close to the total testing capacity of the entire country. In contrast, Eva used about 8,000 tests to catch the same number of cases, freeing up valuable testing resources for local residents while still filtering out infected visitors.
Eva also provided better data for Greece to use to continually update its travel policies. Because it tests people before they are symptomatic (people who are actively showing signs of illness rarely make it onto the plane), our system produced more timely prevalence rates than confirmed case counts released by national governments. We were able to predict spikes in places like Malta and Spain ten days before they showed up in official statistics – time that was crucial in preventing the flow of infected travelers. Greece used this data to decide when to bar visitors from high-risk countries or require proof of a negative PCR test before they even arrived at the border.
Eva helped Greece reopen its borders this summer without a major spike in coronavirus cases. The country, like much of Europe and the U.S., is currently experiencing a surge and requiring all visitors to have a negative test result before arrival. But during the peak tourist season this summer Covid-19 numbers were relatively flat despite welcoming nearly 80,000 visitors each day. Eva enabled Greece to catch more infections at the border (via smarter deployment of testing) and prevent more infected people from ever arriving (through smarter travel policies). It also helped restore public faith in the ability to reopen the economy while guarding public health.
Offering a middle ground between complete lockdowns and zero restrictions
A smart system like Eva breaks through the false binary that countries must either stay locked down or reopen completely. Many European nations took a much less precise approach than Greece to reopening their borders, allowing visitors from select countries with low official case counts but not requiring any testing when they arrived. Other places, like New Zealand, Canada, and Hawaii, remained closed almost completely, decimating local tourism economies.
In addition to travel and tourism, we believe AI-driven systems like Eva can help schools, workplaces, local governments, and other institutions with limited resources better manage their Covid-19 restrictions and testing policies. If a university, for instance, can only test 1,000 people a week, who should they test? A smart system like Eva is much more efficient than random testing and can surface high-risk characteristics and behaviors. For example, are students in classes with in-person labs more likely to test positive? Is there a spike among athletes now that winter has arrived and practices moved indoors? By tracking what’s happening in real time, the system can help institutions tweak their policies for activities or groups identified as high-risk.
Related: Amazon Workers Sue Over Alleged Failure to Follow Covid-19 …
Two takeaways on tracking and target testing
We have two lessons for governments and institutions building data systems to track Covid-19 and target testing. First, success is about much more than just a stellar algorithm. It requires effective operational systems governing where and when testing takes place, how quickly results are available, and how data and information are communicated. The most sophisticated AI is worth little without effective operations in place on the ground.
The other big issue with any data-tracking system is, of course, privacy. Institutions should be very careful about what data they collect, how they protect it, and who has access to it. We built Eva to comply with the EU’s strict GDPR privacy laws; in the U.S., HIPAA and state regulations, like California’s CCPA, would apply. Eva only collects information that is essential for its calculations, avoiding data points like social security numbers that aren’t useful for the algorithm. No names or identifying details are fed into the algorithm itself; the government maintains names separately for use in contact tracing when necessary.
Even though we’ve begun to distribute vaccines, testing and prevention measures to keep Covid-19 in check will be with us for a long time to come. Smart, data-driven systems like Eva are more efficient and less burdensome than random testing, and much safer than not testing at all. This is the first pandemic where humanity has had artificial intelligence and other advanced technology in its arsenal. By using it wisely, we can chart a middle ground that balances safety and economic well-being on the road back to normalcy.
Related: Do You Have COVID-19? New Apple Site, iOS App Help Assess …

How Reddit Day Traders Are Using the Platform to Upend the Stock Market and Make Money in the Process

January 27, 2021 5 min read
This story originally appeared on Business Insider
Like Bitcoin, Tesla, and the SPAC IPO, the Reddit forum r/wallstreetbets grew exponentially in 2020. In the first weeks of 2021, it discovered just how strong it’s become.
The subreddit’s subscriber count ballooned by 133% to 1.8 million members last year. Growth accelerated further this month, and the forum’s 2.2 million current members now drive one of the platform’s most active pages.
Members have spent the past three weeks bidding up the video game retailer GameStop, and the results have been spectacular. Shares have skyrocketed more than 1,200% since Wall Street Bets first piled in January 11. Their overwhelming bullishness has fueled billions of dollars in losses for short-sellers. One bear has even stopped commenting on GameStop stock, citing harassment from some members.
Wall Street Bets has done this before. Options-obsessed members have boasted about trading everything from newly bankrupt car-rental giants to now-delisted Chinese café chains. They’re particularly big fans of electric-vehicle stocks; Tesla enjoys unique enthusiasm on the forum.
Yet previous Reddit-fueled rallies typically lasted a matter of days before profit-taking pulled prices back to earth. The subreddit’s obsession with GameStop shows no signs of abating. Simply put, the subreddit amplified a trade, stoked a fear of missing out that pulled in new investors, and reveled in Wall Street’s surprise.
Here’s how the snowballing trade was born.
Monetizing the meme
Reddit promotes itself as “the front page of the internet.” Part social media, part news aggregator, part discussion forum, the platform hosts a diverse set of communities ranging from r/worldnews to r/babyelephantgifs. Posts and comments are public, and those that receive the most positive votes, or “upvotes,” from other users are featured most prominently.
On r/wallstreetbets, members frequently brag about outsize gains – and, in some cases, losses – and make a mockery out of risky trading behavior. Some posts garner so many upvotes they are elevated to r/popular, the constantly updated subreddit that flaunts the day’s posts with the most interaction.
During the GameStop-trade saga, several Wall Street Bets posts with tens of thousands of upvotes have graced the pseudo-hall-of-fame page. Countless users unfamiliar with Wall Street Bets have been exposed to its exuberance and high-risk, high-reward behavior, often through posts showing off multimillion-dollar gains on GameStop shares.
The core behavior seen in the market isn’t unheard of. Richard Smith, the CEO of the Foundation for the Study of Cycles, told Insider that GameStop’s rally was “absolutely” a momentum trade, just one operating in a “very compressed time frame.” A momentum trade is generally characterized by investors continuing to pile into a proven winner.
The first few days of gains saw Wall Street Bets members cheer the rally and beg more to join in. Posts made it to r/popular, Wall Street Bets members gained online infamy, more casual investors were introduced to the trend, and a cycle began.
Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: These 22 stocks still haven’t recovered to pre-pandemic levels – and are set to explode amid higher earnings in 2021 as the economy recovers
“This is a human emotional cycle,” Smith added. “And now you have more people at home and spending more time on their devices. It’s all fuel for the acceleration of these sentiment cycles.”
There’s also financial gain to be had for those pursuing internet notoriety. Reddit users can award posts and comments with various virtual medals, many of which can be gifted only through the use of real-world currency.
Sneering memes can pull in a few dollars’ worth of awards. Others rake in small fortunes. The week’s most popular Wall Street Bets post – bragging about an alleged 992% return on GameStop options – received a cool $765 worth of awards, according to an online program that estimates the real-world value of Reddit points.
‘The institutions are losing some control’
Reddit’s structure and the democratic nature of users picking the most popular content differs wildly from Wall Street’s research reports and market analysis. Yet both generate trade ideas that proliferate across market participants. And Wall Street Bets’ ability to turn free, user-produced research into hugely viral media has seemingly been underestimated.
“You have these media-driven platforms where the media isn’t controlled by the institutions in the way that it has historically been,” Smith said. “It’s really a sign that the institutions are losing some control.”
Many Wall Street Bets members advertise the GameStop trade as a surefire way to post quick gains, so long as they keep the bullish faith.
They’ve largely been right. After shares experienced their initial pop roughly two weeks ago, gains have continued in pronounced fashion and amounted to more than 300% this week alone, through Tuesday’s close.
Others rally investors to the cause by posing the GameStop trade as an antiestablishment movement, a middle finger to an industry that underestimates Redditors’ influence. They proclaim that, with fee-free trading platforms, easily accessible margin, and enough allies, they can beat the funds that have dominated Wall Street for so long.
They, too, have something to show for themselves. The hedge fund Melvin Capital will receive a $2.75 billion investment from Citadel and Point72 Asset Management after losing roughly 30% on its GameStop short, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“When you are able to feel like you’re a rebel going against the establishment, that’s a very powerful emotion,” Smith said. “It’s absolutely part of what is contributing to this gain stock event.”
He continued: “You read the language on the message board, it’s very ‘us against them.’ That’s so powerful.”

Walmart Is Opening Dozens of Local Fulfillment Centers Staffed by Robots

These small, automated warehouses integrated into Walmart stores make order picking much faster.
Entrepreneur’s New Year’s Guide
Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.

January 27, 2021 2 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag
Walmart is set to expand the number of local fulfillment centers (LFC) it has in operation across the US in response to demand for pickup and delivery orders.
An LFC is described as a “compact, modular warehouse built within, or added to, a store.” Unlike the main stores, these centers are staffed by robots who are tasked with bringing items to picking workstations, where an associate can add them to an order much more quickly than if they had gone around locating the items themselves.
The items stored within an LFC range from fresh and frozen produce to thousands of frequently purchased goods across all categories. And although the robots pick most items, Walmart says personal shoppers handpick “fresh items like produce, meat, and seafood” from the sales floor.

Image credit: Walmart
The first LFC opened in Salem, New Hampshire, back in late 2019, and Walmart found it cut the whole process of order picking down to a few minutes, allowing for pickup or delivery within an hour. The new locations adding an LFC will either install them inside the existing store or add them on to the side. Walmart is also planning to open automated pickup points at some stores for “drive up, scan a code, grab” customer collections.
We don’t know which of Walmart’s nearly 5,000 stores are getting an LFC yet, but “dozens” are planned. If they turn out to be as successful as the Salem LFC, I’m sure that could quickly turn into hundreds.

How to See Beyond Your Past When Creating a Business

January 27, 2021 7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
I see Ava Johanna, a spiritual business coach and meditation coach, on the other side of my Zoom screen. She looks like Malibu Barbie and has a charming, purposeful glow. As we begin our interview, her husband pops in and asks if she’d like a sandwich. She peers up and says, “Just a half one.”
The ease with which she accepts the sandwich is simple yet poignant enough to make me think about her core message: Everything we desire is possible, as long as we’re open to receiving the abundance that the universe is willing and eager to give us. Johanna and her husband manifested their dream home just a few days before our interview. This is a huge milestone for anyone but for Johanna, having a near oceanside home is even more meaningful. Some 15 years ago, Johanna was living in Los Angeles in a completely different dimension. She was homeless. At age 16, Johanna and her family were evicted from their house, their car was repossessed, and they bounced from friend’s house to friend’s house for over 18 months in the Calabasas/Agoura area.
While her friends were driving around in Range Rovers, she and her family were surviving on food stamps. Johanna often felt hopeless about her situation. After experiencing an enormous amount of bullying in high school, she eventually left and started working to support her family. Johanna began relying on her looks and accepting abusive relationships. She decided “getting by” would have to do, financially, romantically, and emotionally. At 17 years old, not confident enough in her skills to apply for colleges, Johanna thought, I guess this is it.
Related: How Andres Pira Went From Homeless on the Beach to Real Estate Tycoon
She meandered through her existence drinking excessively and partying in San Diego. One day, she stumbled upon the opportunity to sell products via a street team. Her boss on this by-chance job changed her life forever. At one point Johanna suggested a marketing tactic for his product line and for the management of the street team. The boss looked at her and said, “You have really smart, great ideas, Ava.” 
Something inside of her woke up in that moment. Something beyond her looks was awoken — her brain and her power. For the first time, she felt she was seen as something more than a pretty face. Johanna went on to manage his marketing efforts and her life began to resemble that of an empowered woman.
She left an abusive relationship and walked forward into possibility for the first time. With more than half a year’s worth of marketing experience, she left her first career and got a job at the San Diego Reader, an alternative newsweekly. At 21 she was managing a team of eight people, and she helped the 40-year-old company build its entire digital agency. While at the Reader, she met her husband, Corey. A few years later, the couple left the company to become freelance marketers, using their Instagram influence for various brands while traveling the world. There were likely many moments where Johanna looked around and thought, “Wow, I’ve really made it out!” She likes to say her Cinderella story played out a little differently than most. She was both Cinderella and Prince Charming in her fairy tale. 
Related: How to Be Your Own Hero
Even as Johanna’s world had opened up in the way she was taught resembled a successful life — the 9-to-5 job, health care and a happy relationship — she knew that there was still something missing. There was this feeling of “this can’t be all that there is” that many of us get when we achieve the goals that others or society set for us early on in life. Curiosity and the hunger for more meaning has been the driving force in the many chapters of Johanna’s life — leaving her steady job to work for herself, then letting go of her steady income as a freelancer to fully step into her current role as CEO of her company. Her current mission: to support other individuals in finding their purpose and “something more” in their own lives and careers.
Johanna says that fear has always been there in the times she has taken big risks, but her desire to make a difference has always been louder than the fear of her past. There has never been another option than to dive right into the discomfort and rise from the ashes on the other side.
Related: Make Friends With Your Fear, and It Will Do Great Things for You
Here, Johanna shares her top tips for managing fear.
1. Fear is faith in the wrong outcome
“We are the world’s greatest storytellers in our own minds,” Johanna says, “and whenever fear becomes overwhelming, the fastest way to route yourself back to confidence and optimism is to take your faith out of fear and back to possibility. Instead of deciding and expecting the worst, put your attention and faith in the ‘What if it does work out?’ because your mind will be more open to resources, solutions and creative potential when you choose to believe that the worst-case scenario is only one way, but it’s not the way.”
2. Fear is often a sign to keep going
“Most of the fear we face is ego-based: What will they think? What if I fail? What if it doesn’t work?” Johanna says. “All of our ego-based fears offer us valuable lessons and enable us to become stronger, more intelligent and more resilient. The discomfort that comes from fear of growing or stepping into something new is impermanent, and the more that we take that first step, the more we realize when the fear arises that it is directing us toward growth and what we actually want versus failure and more of what we don’t want.”
3. Fear illuminates areas we can master
“Instead of looking at fear as a weakness, fear shows us what we have the ability to master,” she says. “When fear comes up, I don’t decide that I’m not capable or good enough to overcome whatever obstacle is placed in my path, instead I ask: What is required of me to dissolve this fear? Who am I required to become? This question alone serves as an instruction manual to guide your actions, thoughts and emotions to align with a version of you that has already mastered the fear you feel now.”
4. The fear was never meant to break you
“People get surprised when fear comes up,” Johanna says. “They think that if they were truly ‘meant’ for the work or the desire, it would be easy or the fear wouldn’t be there. But fear is normal, it’s a part of the human experience, it’s not something to surprise you but instead something to anticipate. When the fear does arise, you’ll know that it was coming. You’ll be ready and waiting for it, you’ll welcome it in with curiosity and a willingness to master the emotions that are triggered. Change your perspective to believe that the fear never came knocking to break your door down, it came bearing gifts of your own personal growth.”
Johanna shows it’s possible to surpass our own background and our own expectations. Fear is part of the process. We’ve all been tested, but we’re here for a reason. Let’s inspire others with our transmutation of fears and perceived limitations, shall we?


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