Dead Inside (and Not Having Much Sex Either)
- Bezos Phone Hacked by Saudi Crown Prince
- Uber Gives Employees Enough Rope to Hang Themselves, Stock Surges 7%
- Netflix Hands Investors a Mixed Bag for Q4
- Dead Inside (and Not Having Much Sex Either)
Bezos Phone Hacked by Saudi Crown Prince
Jeff Bezos’s phone was hacked the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, says a cybersecurity firm hired by Amazon to investigate who leaked Jeff’s weird horny texts to the press.
A forensic audit by FTI Consulting found that Jeff’s phone started “leaking data” shortly after receiving a video message from the Crown Prince on WhatsApp. (And by “data” I mean serial killer-esque sext messages to his mistress.)
Out of respect for Jeff’s privacy, I have only posted one of his creepy text messages here. (Please place the awards for responsible journalism by the Gritty Mug on your way out.)
Why can’t those boys just get along?
In October of 2018, the Crown Prince ordered the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was subsequently hacked to pieces by a Saudi death squad in Instanbul.
Bezos owns the Washington Post, where Khashoggi penned most of his articles criticizing the Crown Prince’s tendency to chop people he doesn’t like up.
(It was definitely an awkward WhatsApp chat group.)
If you were the head of one of the biggest tech companies in the world, you’d probably think twice about opening a funny meme from the guy who just ax-murdered one of your employees. But, hey, pobody’s nerfect.
Amazon handed over its evidence of the hack to the UN, who called for an immediate investigation into the “possible involvement” of the Crown Prince in the cyberattack. (Because hacking a journalist to death with an ax is fine, but god forbid someone hack a billionaire’s juicy text messages.)
“The information we have received suggests the possible involvement of the Crown Prince in surveillance of Mr. Bezos, in an effort to influence, if not silence, The Washington Post’s reporting on Saudi Arabia,” the statement said.
“The alleged hacking of Mr. Bezos’s phone, and those of others, demands immediate investigation by US and other relevant authorities, including investigation of the continuous, multi-year, direct and personal involvement of the Crown Prince in efforts to target perceived opponents.”
Because its 2020 and we live in a social-media hellscape of our own creating, the Saudi Embassy took to Twitter to dispute the report and call for an investigation into Amazon’s “absurd” claims.
This was shortly followed by every single person on Twitter dunking on the entire country of Saudi Arabia (because that’s how our primary method for political discourse in 2020 works).
Uber Gives Employees Enough Rope to Hang Themselves, Stock Surges 7%
Uber is experimenting with a new feature that allows California drivers to set their own fares. (And if that just so happens to allow Uber to sidestep a couple of labor laws in the process, well, oops.)
As part of this pilot program, drivers working the Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, and Sacramento airports can charge up to five times the Uber fare (and potentially enjoy up to five times fewer customers in the process).
The grand experiment, which will also eventually allow California drivers to lower their fees to almost nothing, is Uber’s attempt to worm its way out of recognizing its workers as employees.
By allowing drivers to set their own rates, the take-me-home-I’m-drunk app can argue that its drivers are, in fact, independent contractors who just happen to be using the app to connect with riders.
It may seem like a big risk to allow drivers to control their own fares and potentially price themselves out of the market. But Uber is counting on the invisible hand of the free market to keep their prices low and competitive.
After drivers set their prices, they will be entered into a bidding system, where Uber will match riders with the drivers with the lowest bids first. So unless you stumble across a loan Japanese tourist stranded in Palm Springs at 4 am, there’s little incentive to raise your prices beyond Uber’s recommended pricing.
However, some critics suggest that this facsimile of a free market will just be giving the invisible finger to Uber’s drivers.
“Drivers want to make more money, but now they’re competing with another driver for that money, so it’s a lot more work and a lot more confusing,” said Harry Campbell, a former Uber and Lyft driver who runs the Rideshare Guy blog for drivers, told the WSJ.
“What happens if drivers start setting fares lower and lower just so they can get rides?”
Our old pal Harry also points out that the test program doesn’t give drivers with better ratings the ability to charge the higher price, as would typically be the case in a free marketplace — thus breaking the delicate balance of supply, demand, and cars that smell like old meat.
In any case, investors practically wet themselves at the idea of finding a loophole to sidestep the onslaught of regulation coming down the pipe, driving Uber’s stock (UBER) up 7.03%.
Netflix Hands Investors a Mixed Bag for Q4
Netflix fell short of its forecast for U.S. subscribers for the third quarter in a row, as the OG cable killer starts to feel the pull of everybody and their dog starting their own streaming service.
(Incidentally, if you sign up for One Last Thingflix today, I’ll throw in a subscription for my dog’s streaming service for free. She doesn’t have a lot of capital right now but at least she’s not greenlighting more Adam Sandler projects.)
Netflix posted just 423,000 domestic subscribers in Q4, well short of its projections of 600,000 folks who pay for the full service but only watch that one show over and over again.
That said, it wasn’t all bad news for the home of 16 separate comedy shows called TRIGGERED.
The company absolutely blorsted its projections for overseas expansion last quarter (which probably explains why my entire recommendations list is now Spanish-language Sci-Fi’s and Korean soap operas).
The purveyors of the most pretentious, slow-motioniest food pornography overshot overseas projections by more than 1.3 million subscribers, clocking in at a total of 8.3 million people who keep saying they should definitely check out that documentary about the nun who got murdered but never will.
With big names like Disney and Apple throwing their enormous ugly hats in the streaming ring, investors are worried about Netflix’s ability to maintain growth. But the company that will literally green light any old crap has proven it’s still got steam in the old engine when it comes to overseas markets.
Shares in Netflix (NFLX) were up 2.3% in after-hours trading last night, but tumbled 2.54% once the markets opened this morning.
In Other News
ONE LAST THING
“I Was Dying a Slow Death on the Inside”
Just to be clear before we start today’s One Last Thing, I’m not dying a slow death on the inside.
I feel great. And if I was dying slowly, I’d wear my slow death on my sleeves, like a proud dying American.
Today’s One Last Thing is the latest in our exceptional investors series. This week we’re looking at Carl Allen and the strange way he makes his money.
Carl is the author of Zero-Down Business Buying Secrets: How to Buy an Established Profitable Business Using None of Your Own Money.
He’s bought (and sold) more than 300 businesses, both for himself and multi-billion-dollar companies on Wall Street.
In total, he’s closed more than $47 billion worth of deals.
Despite all his success, Carl says he was “dying a slow death on the inside.” And he wasn’t able to turn his life around until he discovered this money making strategy.
Read on to discover how a simple idea changed everything for Carl or click here to discover how to use Carl’s strategy for yourself.
Dead Inside (and Not Having Much Sex Either)
By Carl Allen
Ten years ago, I was dying a slow death on the inside.
From the moment I opened my eyes in the morning, I felt pressure, stress, and anxiety all day long.
And no matter how much money I made, what awards I won for my performance at work, or how “cool” people thought I was because of the jet-setting corporate lifestyle I had… none of it fixed the unbearable pain I felt.
The only thing that gave me any sort of temporary relief was alcohol, cigarettes and gambling. At my worst, I was drinking more than 10 drinks per day, smoking 40 cigarettes per day, and gambled away an amount of money that still makes me sick.
I was fat, unhappy and smelled terrible from the poison I was feeding my body. My body was breaking down from junk food, lack of sleep and zero exercise.
But the biggest thing breaking down was my marriage. I worked so much I barely saw my wife. And she was, after all, the entire reason I was working so hard — so I could provide a better life for the two of us.
But instead, she started resenting me because I was never home. And when I was, I was so stressed out from work… we couldn’t even enjoy each other’s company. Oh, and in case it’s not obvious, I wasn’t exactly having much sex, either.
It was pretty clear we were headed straight for divorce. But then something happened that changed my life forever…
I almost missed the birth of my son.
You see, I was in Moscow closing a huge deal for Hewlett-Packard when my wife called from England. She was going to give birth sometime in the next five hours… and I panicked!
Luckily my boss had his private jet on standby. And thanks to that, I made it to the delivery room literally five minutes before my son was born.
As I stood there, cradling my newborn son in my arms, I decided at that moment I was done. It didn’t matter how much money I was making if I didn’t have time to enjoy it with the people I care about most: my wife and newborn son. So a few hours later — with no real plan on how I was going to replace my income — I called my boss and quit.
Luckily for me, I happened to have a particular skill set I knew I could fall back on. Over the past 16 years, I’d closed billions of dollars’ worth of deals for my clients on Wall Street… both buying and selling businesses.
But that didn’t make it any less terrifying to go out on my own and “hunt for myself,” so to speak.
So after a few weeks of spending time with my wife and newborn son and rekindling my marriage, I decided to roll up my sleeves, hunt for some deals and make some money.
Within a few weeks, I found a great business for sale and convinced the owner to hire me to broker the deal.
Long story short… I thought I was going to help them sell the business to someone else… but instead, I wound up buying it myself without using a penny of my own money.
But there was one problem: I didn’t want to RUN the business day to day. I just wanted to kick back, spend time with my family and pocket some extra cash each month.
So I gave three of the employees equity in the business and they ran it for me.
That was the moment I went from a miserable, overworked employee… to a wealthy business owner and investor…
And it all happened in just a few short months.
It took me ALMOST missing the birth of my son to make these powerful shifts in my life. But thank goodness I did, because thanks to my new life path…
I made my first million dollars in just 18 months after quitting my full time job.
Now, I’ll admit I had an unfair advantage most people don’t start out with: more than a decade of experience as a corporate deal maker. But over the past three years alone, I’ve shared my proprietary step business buying system with more than 1,500 people.
I’ll go into in more detail in my book, but in a nutshell…
My business buying system is specifically designed to help everyday people buy a profitable small business without using any of their personal savings, and without taking out any personal loans.
[Carl will be hanging around the OLT offices this week to tell us more about his signature money-making strategy. But if you want to know more right now, I highly recommend you check out his book Zero-Down Business Buying Secrets: How to Buy an Established Profitable Business Using None of Your Own Money.]
Closing Data for 1/21/20
|S&P Index 500||$3,290.84||↓ 0.22%|
- The CDC confirmed the first case of the coronavirus in the U.S. yesterday, a man from Washington state who returned home from Wuhan, China.
- Trump called Boeing a “big disappointment” as the company pushed back the 737 Max’s return to service. BA shares fell on the news.
- Terry Jones, Monty Python founder and star, died at 77 yesterday.
Editor, One Last Thing
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