蒂芙尼携手最新“蒂芙尼T代言人”易烊千玺 共同开创全新蒂芙尼T世代

2020年6月3日,世界著名珠宝品牌Tiffany & Co. 蒂芙尼正式宣布易烊千玺成为“蒂芙尼T代言人”。T,不仅是蒂芙尼品牌名称的缩写,更诠释当下的蒂芙尼精神——彰显坚韧内在的独立主张和自信态度。蒂芙尼一直崇尚个体的自我表达,正如易烊千玺所代表的年轻一代,追随内心感受,追求独特个性,展现无可替代的自己。2020年,蒂芙尼将携手易烊千玺共同开创全新蒂芙尼T世代。

自1837年诞生以来,蒂芙尼始终致力于打造彰显时代风格与个性风采的珠宝作品。一如诞生地纽约的活力与独特,蒂芙尼怀揣着对珠宝艺术的无限热爱,敏锐捕捉时代精神,缔造先锋前卫的风格之作。而摩登风格之下,蕴含的是蒂芙尼对自我的演绎,蒂芙尼相信,唯有深刻诠释当下精神,表达内心自我,才是真正的独一无二,无可T代。

我们每一个人都是独一无二的,

有表达自我的方式,有坚持自我的态度

成为无可T代的自己,不断自我突破,开创属于自己的T世代。”

——“蒂芙尼T代言人”烊千玺

「自信坚定,是他无可T代的态度」 

外在风格彰显内在气质。易烊千玺远超同龄人的成熟稳重,来自他坚韧强大的内在。易烊千玺保持赤忱初心,不断突破自我,凭借着无限的专注与坚持,他成长为一名优秀的演员、歌手与舞者,在舞台上散发自信坚毅的光芒,以专业打破外界对他的质疑。

年少成名,易烊千玺亦勇于主动将自己与躁动的世界隔离,并向着内心笃信的方向默默努力。他远离外界喧嚣,不断探寻内心声音;他沉稳自持,在自我沉淀中,积蓄内在力量。始终以自信坚定的态度,迎接未知的挑战,打破成见与束缚,这是易烊千玺,亦是蒂芙尼。

「个性自我,是他独一无二的主张」

“想成为一个自由的人,无论是生活、工作还是精神上”这是易烊千玺的人生目标之一。成年后的他,愈发清晰自己未来想要走的路,无论是舞蹈、音乐,还是影视作品,易烊千玺都希望能更多地表达自己的态度与观点,因为他说,“希望用作品说话”。

从暖心负责的易燃装置队长,到内敛沉稳的李必,再到痞气中不失赤诚的小北,易烊千玺用行动释放内心焰火,展示那个丰富而又不一样的自我。“你是独一无二的自己”,这是易烊千玺对自己、对喜爱他的人说的话。I am the one,亦是蒂芙尼勇于打破桎梏,探寻人生更多可能的信条。

蒂芙尼携手“蒂芙尼T代言人”易烊千玺,呈现Tiffany T1系列全新广告大片,以鼓舞人心的力量,见证每一个人内心的成长与蜕变。Tiffany T1系列,以彰显内心之力的独特风格,诠释无可T代的自我风采。

「Tiffany T1系列,摩登之作彰显非凡风采」

蒂芙尼T1系列18K玫瑰金镶钻宽式手镯

全新Tiffany T1系列,以诞生于20世纪80年代的蒂芙尼经典元素“T”形图案为设计灵感,“T”字独有的简洁线条与鲜明棱角中,蕴含的是品牌无限的能量与态度;而与数字“1”的巧妙结合,则是Tiffany T1系列对自我的崭新诠释,它不仅代表着每个人独一无二的自我风采,更象征着个体与内在的强大连结。

蒂芙尼T1系列 18K玫瑰金宽式手镯

Tiffany T1系列珠宝,以创新立体斜边设计,融合棱角鲜明的斜面及多角度抛光细节,打造出独具流畅美感的造型,熠熠美钻与富有力量感的“T”字相融,呈现大胆前卫的现代格调,为这一系列注入至臻闪耀的迷人风范。

蒂芙尼T1系列18K玫瑰金戒指

以个性风采彰显强大内在,以自信之姿走出自我道路,这是敢于突破自我的风格写照,更是蒂芙尼全新的态度与主张,而摩登璀璨的Tiffany T1系列,是献给同样非凡的你的理想佳作。

 

Retailers are bracing themselves for a ‘huge surge’ of returns that could make their massive piles of unsold inventory even bigger

American Eagle Outfitters created a touchless returns process. 

Retailers are bracing themselves for a flood of returns as they reopen stores.

Now that stay-at-home orders have been loosened — to varying degrees — in all 50 states, some shoppers may be ready to part with items they purchased online while at home, or even in stores before restrictions began.

Optoro, a Washington, DC-based startup that helps retailers including Target, Best Buy, and Ikea manage their returns processes, recently conducted a survey of 2,000 US consumers about their return habits while staying at home. More than 60% said they were holding on to at least one return while stores were closed.

Since, according to Optoro, shoppers tend to prefer making returns and exchanges in stores over mailing items back, stores that are reopening appear poised to be inundated with returns. Meanwhile, some stores, including Target, that remained open as “essential” retailers, barred shoppers from making returns for a period of time.

“There is going to be a huge surge,” CEO Tobin Moore told Business Insider. “I would liken this to the holidays, when you see a return surge all at once after a big event, although this will be even more condensed.”

For many stores that were closed for weeks in response to the pandemic, a surge in returned merchandise could end up exacerbating a problem they have been trying to abate — that is, unsold inventory piling up in stores.

“They’re going to have to deal with a lot of excess they’re trying to get out, and with getting new goods for the next season, and with a surge of returns coming in,” Moore said.

Lots of retailers have decided to extend their returns period to give shoppers more time to bring items back.

Shoppers walks past a Nordstrom window display at The Grove shopping center Wednesday, May 27, in Los Angeles.

Far from an ordinary returns process

But then another question arises: How do you process clothing and other items that may have been in people’s homes for an extended period of time during a pandemic?

Nordstrom is putting shoes in “quarantine.” American Eagle Outfitters erected bins for a “touchless” return process in stores, Chief Commercial Officer Andrew McLean told Business Insider.

“As part of our comprehensive reopening plan, we worked with medical experts to create a seamless and efficient process which helps to ensure the health and well-being of both our store associates and customers,” McLean said.

He added that clothes “remain out of circulation for 72 hours before being steamed and returned to the floor.”

Gap Inc. stores are also holding merchandise for a period of time before putting it back out for sale.

Moore said that he had heard of a retailer discussing processing returns outside during the summer, hoping that warm temperatures and sunlight could slow the spread of any bits of virus living on packages.

But despite the extra safety measures retailers might have to implement during the pandemic, having customers make returns and exchanges in-store is still largely the preferred method. Shoppers who visit stores to make a return might spot something else they want to buy, plus it helps businesses to cut down on the waste that results from packaging items up and shipping them back.

Shoppers can also get refunds and make exchanges more quickly when the process is done in stores.

Overall, Moore said retailers’ getting their whole returns process on the same system will be key in making sure they keep the whole process as efficient as possible.

“The name of the game, especially now, is minimize the amount of touches in between getting that return back and getting it back to market,” Moore said.

Fifty Years of Friendship with Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer was a pain in the ass as a matter of policy. He was also our beloved family friend.

In 1997, my younger daughter, Sarah, and I were both invited to contribute essays to an anthology called “We Must Love One Another or Die: The Life and Legacies of Larry Kramer.” Mine began like this: “When I was asked if I could write about some aspect of Larry Kramer’s life for this book, I said, ‘I might be able to write a piece about Kramer as a pain in the ass, but I suppose you have too many of those as it is.’ ” In Sarah’s essay, titled “Christmas Dinner with Uncle Larry,” she said that the angry person she saw on television—someone who had been called “the most belligerent man in America”—was nothing like the sweet Larry Kramer she knew.

In nearly fifty years of friendship, our family saw a lot of both Kramers. (I tended to call him Kramer, or Nedster, after Ned Weeks, the pain-in-the-ass character in “The Normal Heart” that he based on himself.) We had been classmates at Yale, but we didn’t get to know each other until our fifteenth college reunion, in 1972. Kramer was a regular at reunions, even those like the fifteenth, which were relatively lightly attended. I still have a picture in my mind of him chatting with a few of our more conservative classmates at what must have been our thirty-fifth, in 1992: everyone in the conversation is in official reunion gear except for Kramer, who is wearing his act up baseball cap. At the time of the fifteenth, he had just moved back to New York after doing some screenwriting in California, and had taken an apartment not far from where we lived, in the Village. That must have been the first year he came to Christmas dinner.

His attendance record for the next forty-six years was not quite perfect. One March, I received a copy of a long letter he’d sent to the president of Yale, complaining about how the university had handled the discipline of students who had disrupted a speech by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. (I was a trustee of Yale at the time.) Deep in the letter, he said he’d been so discouraged about how little his straight friends had done for the cause that he hadn’t been able to face going to the Trillins’ for Christmas dinner. I was under the impression that he’d been out of the country. When I showed my wife, Alice, the letter, she said, “Odd sort of R.S.V.P.” Then she arranged a dinner to patch things up with Kramer.

Kramer always wanted to be known as a writer rather than as an activist. He would have been pleased that the headline on his obituary in the Times this week identified him as an author and aids activist, in that order. When he gave the manuscript of “Faggots,” his first novel, to Alice to critique, it was, as I remember, sixteen hundred pages long. She suggested some cuts—apparently, according to many of the reviews, not enough of them. “Faggots” was read as a condemnation of the promiscuous, drug-fuelled bathhouse culture—the culture some gay men thought they’d fought for the right to embrace—and, in parts of the gay community, it made Kramer a pariah. It was sort of a dress rehearsal for being the lone voice in the wilderness.

As the aids crisis grew, we watched Kramer get comfortable in the role of the most belligerent man in America. He compared what was happening to the Holocaust. He called Anthony Fauci “an incompetent idiot,” and even managed to insult Fauci’s wife, a nurse who was treating aids patients and developing protocols to alleviate their suffering. He disrupted church services and funerals. He once took it upon himself to write the C.E.O. of a company with policies he considered detrimental to the cause and state that, if it didn’t change its ways, his older brother’s law firm would quit representing it. (I thought of Arthur Kramer as the best big brother in the world—and the most tested.)

In 2002, while talking to Joe Lelyveld, whose position as executive editor of the Times made him a natural Kramer target, I mentioned that I was driving Kramer up to our forty-fifth reunion. Joe said, “I’ve been a bit cool on Larry since he accused me of murdering my friend.”

“He probably wasn’t even mad,” I said. “He was just clearing his throat.”

Was this the same man who was beloved by my daughters? There are a lot of ways of explaining Kramer’s behavior. He himself, for instance, wrote about storing up anger during a troubled childhood with a father he hated. The explanation I favor is that he was a pain in the ass as a matter of policy. He was saying that people are dying and that polite conversations in well-modulated voices are not going to save them. It would take some shouting. And—this is the most important part—he was right.

How Baseball Players Became Celebrities

Gehrig’s name will forever be linked with Ruth’s. They were the best hitters in baseball, but they were polar opposites.

Photograph of Lou Gehrig from Everett

Professional sports right now is a covid-19 ghost town. The games have vanished. There are few events to cover and almost nothing to broadcast. Yet, eerily, the industry lives on. Reporters file stories and analysts hold forth even though the stadiums are empty. Athletes are paid even though they are sitting around the house. A chunk of your cable bill is going to Major League Baseball even though there are no major-league baseball games to watch. M.L.B. is selling Mookie Betts Dodgers jerseys and the N.F.L. is selling Tom Brady Buccaneers jerseys even though no one knows when they will ever play for those teams. In Las Vegas, you can get 3–1 odds on the Yankees to win the World Series.

It’s a reminder that the industry is much bigger than the games and, in a sense, only minimally needs them. Sports sells newspapers, television shows, Web sites, as-told-to books, and exercise regimens. Professional athletes make endorsements, get paid for appearances, take parts in movies, license their names to video games, and have their own product lines. The stars at the very top of their sports make more money from these things than they do from competing. And, of course, there’s the gambling. The idea of games in empty arenas is not as far-fetched as it sounds. As long as you have stars and scores, you have an industry. Hot-dog venders and parking-lot attendants will be out of work, but most of the business can go on.

The rise of sports as big business and the handling of athletes as human capital are often dated to 1960, the year Mark McCormack founded the International Management Group, with Arnold Palmer as his first client. McCormack saw that in sports, as in Hollywood, it’s the stars that sell the product, and he turned athletic success and good publicity into dollars. Thanks to television, the number of available dollars for the clients of sports agents mushroomed.

But the possibilities had been glimpsed and the opportunities realized almost forty years earlier, by a man named Christy Walsh. Walsh was born in St. Louis in 1891, and went to college in Los Angeles. He bounced around a little—worked as a sports cartoonist and a ghostwriter—but it was his background in advertising and publicity for automobile companies that prepared him to become the first sports agent in the modern mold. He wasn’t just a promoter or a handler but someone who took charge of an athlete’s complete on-field and off-field package, who controlled the publicity as well as the contracts. He signed his first client in 1921. And that client turned out to be the greatest sports figure of his day, or possibly, with the exception of Muhammad Ali, of any day: Babe Ruth. Ruth didn’t just do what every ballplayer did but better. On the field and off, he was in a class by himself.

Walsh began working for Ruth just as advertising was joining forces with the new “science” of public relations, a union that produced the entertainment-media-merchandising combine that supplies much of the content for contemporary American culture. Walsh understood how that synergy worked, how the entertainment feeds the media and the media feeds the sales. Stories in the papers about Babe Ruth visiting an orphanage, say, are good for the Babe Ruth brand. They raise the value of Ruth’s next endorsement deal. But stories about Babe Ruth also sell newspapers, which then can sell more advertising space. It’s in everyone’s interest (including the orphanages’) to make Ruth a magnet for public eyeballs. All Ruth has to do is to keep hitting home runs and winning championships. The agent takes care of the rest.

This multiplier effect is why the stars’ incomes keep rising exponentially—why Tiger Woods, who has made about a hundred and twenty million dollars in prize money, is said to be worth close to a billion. Everyone in the combine wants Tiger to continue to make money so they can continue to make money off Tiger.

As several writers, including Jane Leavy, in “The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created” (2018), and Thomas Barthel, in “Babe Ruth and the Creation of the Celebrity Athlete” (2018), have explained, Ruth seems to have been the first athlete to leverage his success in this way, to make more money off the field than on it. By 1926, his twelfth year in the major leagues, Ruth’s salary was fifty-two thousand dollars, far more than any other ballplayer’s, but he made at least twice that much in outside income. Shortly after ending the World Series that year by being tagged out trying to steal second base, he went on a twelve-week vaudeville tour for which he was paid a hundred thousand dollars.

It’s no coincidence that the decade in which this entertainment-media-merchandising combine developed is known as the Golden Age of American sports. When writers use that term, they are not talking only about the games. They are talking about the stars, people like Ruth, Red Grange, Bobby Jones, Johnny Weissmuller, Jack Dempsey, Bill Tilden, Helen Wills, Gertrude Ederle. They dominated their sports. They set records. And the combine loves records.

Christy Walsh did not invent celebrity product endorsements and appearance fees. Before Ruth met Walsh, he had already endorsed a brand of baseball bat and of cigars, and a children’s book, “The ‘Home-Run King’; or, How Pep Pindar Won His Title,” had been published under his name. Walsh simply widened the stream. He arranged for Ruth to act in vaudeville and movies. He put Ruth and some of his teammates on barnstorming tours, playing exhibition games around the country. (Each year, Ruth was paid to play from fifty to a hundred off-season games.) Ruth’s endorsement appeared on more than a hundred products, including Quaker Oats and All-America underwear. (The Baby Ruth candy bar was marketed without Ruth’s consent. Ruth sued, but the courts backed the candy-maker.) His face was on the cover of magazines from Time and Vanity Fair to Hardware Age and Popular Science. In 1934, when the Associated Press ranked the most photographed people in the world, Ruth was No. 1, ahead of F.D.R., the Prince of Wales, and Adolf Hitler.

Walsh’s first deal for Ruth was a newspaper column, though the star never wrote—or likely even read—a word of it. Ruth’s ghostwriters were usually reporters who travelled with the team, hung out with Ruth, and picked up enough odds and ends—Ruth telling the story of his most recent home run, for instance—to turn out a weekly column. And the money was good. In the first year, after Walsh and the writers had taken their cuts, Ruth made fifteen thousand dollars. Walsh went on to create a stable of more than thirty ghostwriters who produced columns under the bylines of athletes such as Ty Cobb, Dizzy Dean, Walter Johnson, and Rogers Hornsby. Among them was a twenty-four-year-old first baseman named Lou Gehrig.

Gehrig’s name will forever be linked with Ruth’s. They were the best hitters on the best team in baseball, the New York Yankees. Between 1920, the year Ruth started playing for the Yankees after being sold to the team by the owner of the Boston Red Sox, and 1938, Gehrig’s last full season, the Yankees won ten American League pennants and seven World Series. (Ruth also won two championships as a pitcher for the Red Sox, setting a Series record of twenty-nine and two-thirds consecutive scoreless innings, which would not be broken until 1961.)

The 1927 Yankees have been called the greatest team in baseball history. With Ruth hitting third and Gehrig cleanup, the Yankees won a hundred and ten games, and lost only forty-four. Ruth batted .356 and hit sixty home runs, a single-season record that lasted for thirty-four years and has been surpassed by only four men, three of whom are widely believed to have been jacked up on steroids. Gehrig hit .373, with forty-seven homers and a hundred and seventy-three runs batted in—a record for R.B.I.s at the time and not an easy thing to do when the man ahead of you hits sixty home runs. In the World Series, the Yankees beat the Pirates in four straight.

Gehrig idolized Ruth as a ballplayer, and Ruth was easy to get along with. They travelled together, played bridge together, and barnstormed together. They had both started out as pitchers—Gehrig pitched in college, but Ruth won ninety-four games in his big-league career and had a lifetime E.R.A. of 2.28, seventeenth on the all-time list—and they sometimes pitched to each other in exhibition games. Ruth was often a guest for dinner at Gehrig’s house.

But they were polar opposites. Ruth was all flamboyance and swagger. He bought expensive cars and wrecked them. He wore raccoon coats and smoked big cigars. He gambled and caroused. His annual contract negotiations were big news. He was famous to the public for his appetite for food and drink; he was famous to his teammates for his appetite for sex. He made no secret of it. Fred Lieb, who covered the Yankees, wrote, “His phallus and home-run bat were his prize possessions, in that order.”

On road trips, Ruth would be out all night partying, getting back to the hotel at dawn. “I don’t room with Babe Ruth,” his assigned roommate on one trip, Ping Bodie, is supposed to have said. “I room with his suitcase.” The team, in exasperation, once hired a detective to follow him around one night when the Yankees were in Chicago. The detective reported back that Ruth had been with six women.

It had no effect on his play. “The Babe was always doing something,” Marshall Hunt, a reporter who covered Ruth year-round for the Daily News, recalled. “Perpetual motion. . . . I don’t think I ever saw him sitting around.” The key to Babe Ruth, though, was this: everybody loved him. “God, we liked that big son of a bitch,” Waite Hoyt, the ace of the 1927 Yankees team, said. “He was a constant source of joy.”

Everybody respected Lou Gehrig. They did not love him. He was good-natured but distant. He had a distinctly un-Jazz Age persona. “This sturdy and serious lad takes copybook maxims as his guides in life and lives up to them,” a Times columnist wrote after the Yankees won the Series in 1927. “ ‘Strive and succeed.’ ‘Early to bed, and early to rise.’ ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.’ ‘Labor conquers everything.’ And all the rest of them.”

Ruth had a gift for baseball. He was not only the best power hitter on the Yankees; he was also the best bunter. When he played the outfield, he never threw to the wrong base. Those were things Gehrig had to work at. Fielding was a challenge. Just figuring out which foot to put on the bag (he played first base, the traditional position for oversized sluggers with limited defensive skills) was a challenge. “He was one of the dumbest players I’ve ever seen,” Miller Huggins, Gehrig’s first Yankee manager, said. “But he’s got one great virtue that will make him: he never makes the same mistake twice.”

“Ruth has the mind of a fifteen-year-old,” the president of the American League once said in frustration during some Ruthian commotion. Gehrig was a case of arrested development, too, but in a different way. Until 1933, when he turned thirty, he lived with his parents. He brought his mother to spring training. When the team was on the road, he would leave the hotel after dark and walk the streets by himself so his teammates would think he had plans. He usually signed whatever contract the Yankees sent him. In 1927, the year he was the American League M.V.P., his salary was eight thousand dollars. The following year, it was raised to twenty-five thousand. Ruth was making seventy.

In short, Gehrig was a Golden Age anomaly. In 1929, The New Yorker ran a profile of him, with the interesting title “The Little Heinie.” “Lou Gehrig,” it began, “has accidentally got himself into a class with Babe Ruth and Dempsey and other beetle-browed, self-conscious sluggers who are the heroes of our nation. This is ridiculous—he is not fitted in any way to have a public.” The reporter asked Gehrig if he planned to get married. “My mother makes a home comfortable enough for me,” he said. Unlike Ruth and Dempsey and the rest of the Golden Age stars, Gehrig did not want attention, and this was because, unlike the others, he did not need attention. He stayed in his lane. He liked being boring.

Part of the mythology of American sports in that era was that it was a means of social mobility, a way for the children of farmhands and factory workers to make their way into the middle class, and even, for special talents, to acquire wealth and celebrity. In the case of baseball, at least, the myth was mostly a myth. Ballplayers in Gehrig and Ruth’s time came from families that were relatively well off. Steven Riess, in “Touching Base,” a study of the sport in the early years of the twentieth century, reported that, of players active between 1900 and 1919, only eleven per cent had fathers who were unskilled or semi-skilled laborers, even though forty-five per cent of workers nationwide were semi-skilled or unskilled. Ten per cent had fathers who were professionals, against three per cent in the population as a whole.

But the myth was true for some of the Golden Age stars, Ruth and Gehrig among them. When Ruth was seven years old, his parents sent him to St. Mary’s Industrial School for Orphans, Delinquent, Incorrigible, and Wayward Boys, in Baltimore, basically a reform school run by brothers of the Order of St. Francis Xavier, and he spent most of the next dozen years there. It’s where he learned to play baseball. “I didn’t have a thing till I was eighteen years old, not a bite,” he said years later, when he was living the high life. “Now it’s bustin’ out all over.”

Gehrig’s parents were German immigrants. His father was a metalworker who was often unemployed. The family was held together by Gehrig’s mother, Christina, a dynamo who cooked, cleaned, and did laundry to support the family, and who took over the life of Lou, her only surviving child. They lived in Yorkville, in upper Manhattan, and were poor even by the standards of the neighborhood. They later moved to Washington Heights. Lou’s nickname at school was Fat.

The Gehrigs spoke German at home; Lou did not learn English until he was five. (German was also the language in Ruth’s house, and he spoke some German when he came over for dinner.) Gehrig got the attention of the sports world when he was in high school, after hitting a tape-measure home run at Cubs Park, in Chicago, where Gehrig’s team, New York City’s best, had gone to play Chicago’s best. That was in 1920, the year Ruth came to the Yankees.

Gehrig enrolled at Columbia (his mother had worked in a Columbia frat house), starting, painfully, in the extension school. He found schoolwork a struggle, but he was essentially a recruited athlete, playing football and baseball and clouting mammoth home runs.

Before Ruth came along, most major-league baseball was “small ball.” Hitters choked up on the bat and tried to advance the runner. It was a game of bunts and stolen bases. Ruth was a free swinger. He struck out a lot, as home-run hitters do, but when he connected he hit circus shots that flew over the fences and often landed on a street outside the park. It turned out that people found the monster homer more exciting than the hit-and-run. Ruth transformed the sport.

Scouts now found themselves tasked with discovering “the next Babe Ruth,” and Gehrig qualified. He signed with the Yankees in 1923, and on June 1, 1925, he took over at first base. He would play there for 2,130 consecutive games, a month shy of fourteen years. This was an era in which ballplayers had nicknames: Pepper Martin, Mule Watson, Muddy Ruel, Rabbit Maranville, Dazzy Vance, Pie Traynor. For years, sportswriters tried to come up with a nickname for Gehrig, but nothing seemed to stick. Then, in 1931, midway through the consecutive-game streak, a reporter for the New York Sun named Will Wedge called him the Iron Horse. It stuck.

A minor irony of the Ruth-Gehrig dichotomy is that Ruth didn’t look like an athlete. He had a big upper body but slender wrists and ankles and skinny legs—“toothpicks attached to a piano,” as someone described them. Gehrig was built like a power hitter. He was muscles from top to bottom—his heinie was not little—and, while Ruth’s homers were usually towering fly balls, Gehrig’s were line drives. Also unlike Ruth, Gehrig was extremely good-looking. He was designed for the combine.

That is what Christy Walsh must have felt when he signed Gehrig up, in the summer of 1927, the Yankees’ annus mirabilis. It was not the pennant race that was attracting the fans then. It was the so-called Home Run Derby between Gehrig and Ruth. (The press would reprise the derby in 1998 as a race between a pumped-up Mark McGwire and a pumped-up Sammy Sosa. The second time as farce.)

Ruth had set the single-season home-run record, fifty-nine, in 1921, and he boasted of his determination to break it. Gehrig was keeping pace, and the home-run lead seesawed between them through the summer. Walsh realized this was a good time to syndicate a column for Gehrig. “There was a ready market at boom prices, for the autobiography of this clean-living, level-headed son of a poor New York family,” as he put it in his memoir, “Adios to Ghosts” (1937).

There were twenty-nine first-person Lou Gehrig columns, run under the headline “Following the Babe.” “Gehrig tells his story of dreams come true—high school victories, college glory, and big league fame—in a manner that will inspire every boy and parent in the land,” an accompanying description proclaimed. The columns appeared in the Oakland Tribune, the Pittsburgh Press, and the Ottawa Daily Citizen—three outlets obscure enough that they remained undiscovered for decades.

They were finally exhumed by Alan Gaff, who has brought them out as “Lou Gehrig: The Lost Memoir” (Simon & Schuster). “No matter who wrote down the words, there is no doubt that Lou’s memoir came directly from the heart,” he writes. Well, some doubt is possible. Like most sports autobiographies before Jim Bouton’s “Ball Four,” in 1970, Gehrig’s “memoir” adheres to the code of the professional athlete, which is never to speak ill of another professional athlete or of one’s sport. So Gehrig (or his ghost) writes of Ty Cobb, “Ty has been panned a lot. But he’s a great fellow. . . . I consider Ty Cobb one of my best friends in baseball.” A recent biography, “Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty,” by Charles Leerhsen, suggests that Cobb’s reputation as an especially vicious racist is undeserved. (Gehrig, for his part, was in favor of integrating the sport, and said so.) But it is undisputed that Cobb was a mean competitor who got into fights with opposing players and fans. Gehrig supposedly once tried to get into the Tigers’ locker room after a game to beat him up. The incident is explained away in one column as a performance for the fans.

And it’s like that in all the columns. Everyone is a great fellow; baseball is a noble sport—“I don’t believe I would have met a finer group of men anywhere than I have met in baseball. Nor a squarer, fairer lot of men, either.” Are these Gehrig’s own words and voice? The information about his life clearly came from him, and one imagines the ghostwriter also asked him for his opinions of other famous players, like Cobb and Ruth, and then transformed whatever he said into anodyne language.

But reproducing the ghosted subject’s actual voice was never the ghostwriter’s job. Walsh would have stopped him if he tried. A ghostwriter was not supposed to write the way his celebrity talked, Walsh thought. He was supposed to write the way the public thought his celebrity talked. It’s not about expression. It’s about promotion. Still, Gehrig was a good guy, and he thought in clichés. If he had written the columns himself, they probably would not have sounded much different.

Unless you lived in or near a major-league city and could get to the stadium, newspaper accounts and box scores were almost the only way you could follow a team. That’s why Walsh could make good money with his ghostwriting syndicate—the national appetite for baseball news and gossip was much greater than the supply. And one reason for this had to do with the way the league did business when Gehrig and Ruth played.

The owners of the Yankees, gentlemen known as “the two Colonels,” Jacob Ruppert, Jr., and Tillinghast Huston, knew what they were doing when they paid a hundred and ten thousand dollars, plus a loan of three hundred thousand, to get Ruth from the Red Sox. Ticket sales were the main source of revenue, and Ruth started paying dividends right away. In his first year, 1920, he hit fifty-four home runs, and home attendance was more than a million, the first time any club had attracted that many fans. The Yankees were then sharing the Polo Grounds with the Giants, but in 1923 they moved into a new stadium in the Bronx, with seating for fifty-eight thousand fans. They made a lot of money.

They could have made more. In “Creating the National Pastime,” the historian G. Edward White points out that, even as it was becoming the American sport, baseball was a business run in a strangely backward way. Basically, it seems not to have understood who its consumers were, or, even stranger, how many of them there were.

Team owners and league officials resisted several changes that would have helped the product and enhanced revenue. A glaring failure was the refusal to integrate the sport. Everyone knew there were great ballplayers in the Negro Leagues; Gehrig and Ruth sometimes played exhibition games against them. But baseball remained a Jim Crow sport until 1947.

There was also fierce resistance to night games. The technology needed to play night baseball was in place by 1909, when a minor-league game was held under the lights in Cincinnati. Everyone agreed that the conditions were fine. But the first night game in the majors, between the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies, was not played until 1935. The first night game at Yankee Stadium was not played until 1946.

The Reds played seven night games in 1935; attendance was 130,337. Attendance for the team’s sixty-nine home day games was 324,256. The lesson was obvious. But it should have been obvious all along, or at least since the introduction of Sunday games, sixteen years earlier, which had had a similar effect. Many sports fans are working-class people. They can’t go to a weekday game during work hours. Whether it was baseball traditionalism or some hope to cast the sport as a professional-class diversion, or some combination, Major League Baseball was slow to adapt its product to the lives of its fan base. Teams in the Negro Leagues were playing at night long before, because that was the only time their fans could see them.

From the perspective of today’s sports business model, nothing is more peculiar than prewar baseball’s inability to grasp the financial potential of broadcasting. Some teams broadcast home games on local radio stations, but the stations did not pay a fee. In most cases, anyone with a radio license could sit in the stands and broadcast a game. It was not until 1936, a year after Ruth retired, that there was an American League policy of charging for broadcasting rights.

Radio turned out to increase attendance, too, especially in places where fans living in rural areas followed the games on the radio, and were sometimes motivated to drive two hundred miles to a city to watch a game. Still, none of the New York teams, the Yankees, the Giants, or the Dodgers, broadcast home games until 1939. That was the year Gehrig retired. In a way, it was his retirement, not his play and not even his streak, that made him an icon.

“I have one true friend,” Gehrig says in one of the ghostwritten columns, “my mother. . . . She is now, and will always be, the greatest pal I ever had.” She certainly made every effort. Jonathan Eig, in his biography of Gehrig, “Luckiest Man” (2005), says that Christina Gehrig systematically wrecked all of Gehrig’s nascent romances, once going to a woman’s home town to dig up dirt on her. In 1932, when the Yankees were playing World Series games in Chicago, Lou became interested in Eleanor Twitchell, a socially active twenty-eight-year-old with a sense of fashion, not Mrs. Gehrig’s type. They began dating the following spring and were married in September.

Eleanor Gehrig changed her husband’s life. She freed him from his mother’s house; she took him to the ballet and the opera. (A favorite was “Tristan und Isolde,” at which, she says, he wept, because, of course, he understood the words.) And she called on Christy Walsh to do promotional work. Walsh got Gehrig to do ads for Camel cigarettes and Aqua Velva. Gehrig was the first athlete to have his face on a Wheaties box.

A frank woman, Eleanor Gehrig left a memoir, “My Luke and I,” which includes, along with other uncensored remembrances, a portrait of Christina Gehrig and what it was like to live in her house. It tells us a lot more about Lou Gehrig than his own memoir does:

Built something like a lady wrestler, with yellowish gray hair snatched back in a bun. No hairdresser for her, certainly no makeup. Not that it would have mattered anyway, since she was in a state of steaming perpetual motion, no idle hands, chores around the clock. A huge breakfast prepared for her husband and son, then an attack on the sinkful of dishes, then an almost compulsive session with the vegetables and meat for the night’s dinner.

Finally, she would jam a hat on her head and leave for Yankee Stadium with Lou, in time for batting practice. Afterwards, back in the kitchen while Pop walked the dogs again and the parrot kept shouting baseball lingo until he was covered for the night. And at last the evening meal, starting with caviar on toast, thick soup, a Caesar salad, meat, potatoes, the vegetables, oversized dessert, the whole works. In the backwash of this way of life, several maids came and went as members of the cast; they simply got in the way of the steamroller.

After dinner and the dishes, we would settle in the living room. Mom would grab either the crochet or knitting bag and get her fingers flying, uttering sage little philosophies like “what goes up must come down,” and Pop would invariably nod in agreement.

Eleanor saw Ruth with unsentimental eyes, too. “As for the mighty Bambino,” she tells us, “he seemed to me to be a pot-bellied, spindly-legged, good-natured buffoon. But he was clearly the big man when it came to baseball, or to anything else, for that matter. . . . You had to look at him and feel that you were watching one of the wonders of the world.”

The marriage was happy but short. Gehrig’s body began to fail him in 1938. He played in all one hundred and fifty-seven games that season, keeping his consecutive-game streak alive, and the Yankees won the World Series. But his hitting dropped off. By the following spring, it was clear that he could no longer play, and on May 2, 1939, the streak ended. He flew to Minnesota and entered the Mayo Clinic, where he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—soon known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

It seems, in Eig’s account, that the doctors never told Gehrig outright that A.L.S. is incurable. But athletes know their bodies, and he must have understood fairly soon that this was the end. He died, “like a great clock winding down,” Eleanor said, in 1941. He was thirty-seven. When his body was displayed at the Church of the Divine Paternity, on Central Park West and Seventy-sixth Street, thousands of people stood in line to view it. Babe Ruth cut ahead of everyone. As he stood in front of the casket, he wept. Seven years later, Ruth would be dead, of throat cancer. In 1995, Gehrig’s consecutive-game record was broken by Cal Ripken, Jr. The combine was all over it.

But before he died Gehrig had, at last, his Ruthian moment. This was the speech he gave at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day, his farewell to baseball. By then, everyone had heard the news. Tributes were spoken; gifts were presented. Ruth was there, said some words, put his arm around Gehrig for the cameras. Gehrig desperately wanted not to have to speak. This was exactly the kind of attention he had spent his life trying to avoid.

The announcer told the crowd that Gehrig was too moved to say anything, but a chant went up, and so he walked to the microphone. Eleanor later said that he had written an outline just in case; he clearly had some sentences memorized. Amazingly, only four of those sentences have been recorded and survive. Versions of the whole speech that you read have been pieced together from newspaper stories.

But we do have Gehrig’s voice at the start. “For the past two weeks, you’ve been reading about a bad break,” he says. “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” And at the end: “I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for.” There is nothing self-pitying in the speech, no self-denial, no defiance. He is helping other people get through his pain. This was not colorless or boring. This was a man looking at death. In an age of showmen, in the very House That Ruth Built, it was a transcendent moment of selflessness. ♦

Source:The New Yorker

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/06/01/how-baseball-players-became-celebrities

 

HBO Max Wants to ‘Crush’ Netflix. Is It Too Late?

AT&T’s streaming platform goes live on Wednesday. At $15 a month, it’s more expensive than its rivals and comes at a time when household income is dropping.

HBO has been an innovator for much of its nearly 50-year run. Now, with the unveiling of HBO Max, it’s playing catch-up.

In the 1970s, when people still referred to it as Home Box Office, HBO was a pioneer in bringing recent movies to the American living room in all their uncut glory. Another innovation came in the late 1990s, when HBO ushered in the era of prestige TV with original programs built around protagonists like Larry Sanders, Tony Soprano and Carrie Bradshaw who could not exist comfortably within the limits of the broadcast networks.

But with the launch of the ambitious HBO Max streaming platform on Wednesday, the cable channel is a late entrant to the streaming wars.

AT&T, the parent company of HBO since 2018, plans to spend more than $4.5 billion on the project over the next few years. The company hopes to have 50 million HBO Max subscribers by 2025 and envisions that the service will eventually generate billions in annual profits as it takes on Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Apple TV Plus and Peacock, among others, in the increasingly crowded field of online entertainment.

The idea of creating a major streaming platform drove AT&T’s decision to buy Time Warner, the media empire that housed HBO, TBS, TNT, CNN and the Warner Bros. film and television studios.

When it is fully up and running, HBO Max, available at $15 a month, will offer 10,000 hours of programming with a wide range of content meant to appeal to every kind of audience, not just the HBO crowd.

The platform will include HBO series like “Game of Thrones” and “Succession”; sturdy sitcoms from the Warner Bros. television archive like “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory”; some 2,000 Warner Bros. movies, including the eight Harry Potter films and blockbusters featuring DC Comics superheroes like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman; and original fare like “Love Life,” a series starring Anna Kendrick, and “Let Them All Talk,” a film directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Meryl Streep.

The executive John Stankey led AT&T’s charge into streaming media.

Soon after AT&T completed its $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner, John Stankey, a veteran AT&T executive with limited experience in entertainment, broke down the divisions across the newly acquired properties to create WarnerMedia. Shortly after that, at a town-hall-style meeting in Manhattan before an audience of HBO employees, he let them know their territory was under a new boss.

“As I step back and think about what’s unique about the brand and where it needs to go, there’s got to be a little more depth to it,” Mr. Stankey said. “There’s got to be more frequent engagement.” To achieve that, he added, HBO had to become “broad enough” to attract a larger audience.

A leadership shake-up followed, one that included the departure of HBO’s chief executive, Richard Plepler, who had led the network to more than 160 Emmys.

Mr. Stankey was promoted this year to one of the biggest jobs in corporate America: chief executive of AT&T. He will take the reins from Randall L. Stephenson, the leader of AT&T since 2007, on July 1.

The future of the revamped AT&T largely depends on HBO Max.

The choice of Jason Kilar as WarnerMedia’s new chief executive was another sign of the company’s emphasis on streaming media. A onetime head of Hulu, Mr. Kilar is a veteran of the earliest days of on-demand video.

Since starting the job this month, he has been working closely with the WarnerMedia leadership team, including Robert Greenblatt, the chairman of the entertainment group, and Kevin Reilly, the head of content.

Jason Kilar, a onetime head of Hulu, oversees Warner Media, the home of HBO.

Mr. Kilar has charged ahead with putting together a future iteration of HBO Max that will allow for commercials. When it is ready, the company will be able to offer a cheaper version of HBO Max, in addition to the $15-a-month, ad-free version, that will be a direct competitor to advertising-supported streaming services like Hulu and NBCUniversal’s Peacock.

HBO itself is not going away. The premium cable network, whose latest shows include “The Plot Against America” and “Run,” will continue under its president of programming, Casey Bloys. But AT&T will focus on redirecting viewers’ attention to the new streaming platform. The phone giant hopes that HBO’s 35 million subscribers, each of whom pays $15 a month, will shift their loyalty to HBO Max, which costs the same.

To Mr. Stankey, it’ll be a gauge of brain power. “I look at it as a degree of an I.Q. test, which is: Why wouldn’t you want twice the content for the same price?” he said at an event for investors in October.

The HBO network can currently be bought in two ways: online through HBO Now, or through a cable provider, which offers digital access through HBO Go. HBO Max is an altogether new, much larger product that includes HBO proper.

A potential stumbling block for it is the cost. Netflix’s no-frills plan costs $9 a month. Disney Plus charges $7 a month. But HBO Max is asking people to spend $15 a month, at a time when household budgets are constrained by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Even before the outbreak, industry analysts called the pricing “unreasonable.” Now many customers are looking to cancel their HBO accounts, largely because of the cost, according to a study prepared for The New York Times by the global research consultancy Kantar.

The analysis found that one in five people who subscribed to HBO Now said they planned to cancel their subscription in the coming months; a similar proportion said they planned to drop their subscriptions to the HBO channel through their cable providers.

That’s a high opt-out rate. A little more than 7.4 percent of Netflix customers said they planned to dump their accounts, according to Kantar, and about 8.6 percent of Disney Plus customers said the same. Amazon Prime Video appears more durable, with 1.2 percent saying they would cancel.

AT&T cannot convert all HBO subscribers with the push of a button. Customers of the phone giant who already have HBO, as well as those who buy it directly from the network, won’t be much of a problem. But the company has a challenge in bringing aboard those who get HBO through Comcast, Amazon and Roku — three of HBO’s biggest vendors. WarnerMedia is in negotiations with those companies.

Longtime HBO subscribers will also have to get used to a revised brand identity. The HBO name will no longer stand for Tony Soprano or Jon Snow, but will serve as the marquee name of a mass-appeal platform meant to rival Netflix, which has 183 million subscribers, 63 million of them in the United States.

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow in a scene from the signature HBO series “Game of Thrones.”

Matthew Ball, a venture investor and the former head of strategy for Amazon Studios, said major streaming platforms needed more than shows beloved by critics to succeed. “If Netflix only offered HBO-style content, it would be smaller,” he said.

HBO Max is a different animal than the boutique network that gave it its name, he added.

“It’s an attempt to go after every customer,” Mr. Ball said. “There is no reason to believe the Max-related expansion can’t appeal to every customer Netflix currently has that HBO does not.”

Some people in the industry say that the rival streaming services may eventually reach agreements that will allow them to share their customers in some way.

“They will have to start to combine into more user-friendly aggregations,” said Craig Moffett, a co-founder of the Wall Street research firm MoffettNathanson. “It’s not necessarily the case that some won’t make it — but it is almost certainly the case that some won’t make it on their own.”

That type of cooperation has precedent in the cable TV business: HBO was often sold to subscribers in a bundle with similar channels like Showtime and Starz. But that approach may not fit Mr. Stankey’s mind-set.

In the summer of 2018, Mr. Stankey met with leaders of the former Time Warner properties. In a meeting with the HBO team, several executives raised the possibility of bundling HBO Now with Netflix, according to several people who were present. Proponents of an alliance noted surveys that showed an overlap between the two platforms’ customers, the people said.

Mr. Stankey, who stands six-feet-two and speaks in a deep bass that can ripple across a room, said, “No! They are the enemy. We’re going to crush them,” according to the people. (WarnerMedia did not respond to requests for comment on the meeting.)

Several of those present saw it as a knee-jerk response from a longtime AT&T hand used to battling rivals Verizon and T-Mobile. Indeed, the wireless industry has been plagued by price wars (and declining profits) as the companies fight it out for customers who are constantly switching to a better offer.

But the telecommunications industry has zero-sum rules. While the average streaming subscriber pays for three platforms, according to Kantar, almost no one buys more than one mobile service at a time.

AT&T’s $85 billion gamble on Warner Media was partly a way for the company to make its phone service more attractive. It plans to offer HBO Max discounts to phone-plan subscribers and hopes to hang on to them by providing content that will keep them glued to their screens.

In an interview last month, Mr. Stankey said the “winner in all this” — meaning the streaming landscape — will be the company that does the best job of “innovating,” and that includes both content and technology.

“The customer is driving different forms of entertainment, and it’s changing by the day,” Mr. Stankey said. “But we have a tremendous base of assets, and we’ve wrapped it in a compelling product with innovation. That’s what HBO Max is. That’s why I like our chances.”

Source:The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/26/business/media/hbo-max-netflix-streaming.html

悲痛! 广西援鄂护士梁小霞治疗近三个月不幸逝世

广西第七批援湖北省抗疫医疗队员、南宁市第六人民医院护士梁小霞同志,因病情危重,经全力抢救无效,于2020年5月26日12点27分在南宁不幸逝世。

广西壮族自治区卫生健康委员会对梁小霞同志的不幸逝世表示沉痛哀悼,对梁小霞同志的家人和亲属表示诚挚慰问。

新冠肺炎疫情发生后,梁小霞同志积极响应党中央号召,奋不顾身奔赴湖北抗疫最前线,用实际行动展示了广西医务工作者的精神风貌和时代风采,为打赢疫情防控阻击战作出了突出贡献。

2月28日上午,梁小霞在武汉协和医院西院区隔离病区工作时突然晕倒在抗疫一线,中央指导组立即组织国家医疗救治专家和武汉协和医院医疗团队进行救治。经全力抢救和充分评估后,3月30日,国家派医疗专机由国家医疗专家和广西医护团队护送回南宁继续治疗。广西组织区内外专家和多学科医疗救治专家组进行全力救治。5月25日凌晨,梁小霞同志病情恶化。5月26日,虽经全力救治,梁小霞同志永远离开了她所热爱的岗位、亲人和战友!

我们将以梁小霞同志奋不顾身、勇于奉献的精神,激励全区医务工作者为健康广西作出更大贡献!

广西壮族自治区卫生健康委员会

2020年5月26日

来源:网易新闻

https://c.m.163.com/news/a/FDIK5KO00001899O.html?spss=newsapp&spssid=666bf72cefe184c5625079c2f3295eba&spsw=1&isFromH5Share=article&from=singlemessage&isappinstalled=0

港媒:港澳知名爱国企业家何鸿燊逝世,享年98岁

据香港“东网”报道,当地时间5月26日,港澳知名爱国企业家、第9届至第11届全国政协常委何鸿燊逝世,享年98岁。

何鸿燊于1921年11月25日在香港出生,祖籍广东。他家庭背景显赫,是香港商人何东爵士的侄孙。其旗下的主要企业包括:澳门博彩控股有限公司、香港新濠国际集团、香港信德集团有限公司、澳门国际机场专营公司、澳门诚兴银行等。

何鸿燊是澳门举足轻重的人物,曾任第9至11届全国政协常委,多次受到中国国家领导人接见,曾参与见证中英、中葡谈判及香港、澳门回归祖国。他生前积极参与对祖国内地的经济建设,文化慈善等事业,为澳门的发展做出了突出贡献。

作为一名爱国的港澳同胞,他对国家建设的支持也体现在实际行动上。2001年,当时身为奥申委顾问的何鸿燊在得知北京申办2008年奥运会成功后,随即捐资用于兴建奥运场馆——国家游泳中心。

2003年9月,何鸿燊先生把价值600多万元的圆明园猪首铜像捐赠给保利艺术博物馆。2007年9月,何鸿燊再次以6910万港币购得圆明园马首铜像,并在港澳地区公开展示,希望借此带动更多人参与保护中国文物的工作,共同宣扬爱国爱民族意识。

2007年9月,何鸿燊将5件纪念香港回归的珍贵艺术品捐赠给国家博物馆,包括油画《南京条约》《世纪大典》《毛泽东会见希思》,青铜雕塑《毛泽东》《邓小平像》。他在捐赠仪式上表示,作为港澳同胞,他亲眼目睹了“一国两制”、“港人治港”、“澳人治澳”、高度自治方针在港澳的成功实践。作为中国人,他期盼祖国尽快实现和平统一。

2019年11月,为庆祝中华人民共和国成立70周年和澳门回归20周年,何鸿燊决定将圆明园马首铜像捐赠给国家文物局,为其百年回归之路画上圆满句号。

何鸿燊曾表示,自己大半生在澳门度过,从事博彩业近50年,见证博彩业由专营走到开放,最值得欣慰的是他一直坚持自己的信念,通过发展博彩业,积极参与建设澳门,相信施比受更为有福。

2018年6月12日,何鸿燊卸任公司主席、执行董事等职务,全面退出董事会。近年来,年过九旬的何鸿燊一直健康情况欠佳,长期住院休养,由家人每日轮流前往医院照顾。2019年2月,曾一度传出其病情加重,随后转入重症监护病房(ICU)。

据香港“东网”5月25日报道,最近再有消息称何鸿燊病危,情况不甚乐观,医院已陆续通知家人到医院留守。

来源:澎湃新闻

https://m.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_7563383?from=groupmessage&isappinstalled=0

Facebook Starts Planning for Permanent Remote Workers

The move is a stark change from an office-centric culture. But there’s a catch: Salaries are likely to change to match local costs of living.

OAKLAND, Calif. — Facebook said on Thursday that it would allow many employees to work from home permanently. But there’s a catch: They may not be able to keep their big Silicon Valley salaries in more affordable parts of the country.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, told workers during a staff meeting that was livestreamed on his Facebook page that within a decade as many as half of the company’s more than 48,000 employees would work from home.

“It’s clear that Covid has changed a lot about our lives, and that certainly includes the way that most of us work,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “Coming out of this period, I expect that remote work is going to be a growing trend as well.”

Facebook’s decision, the first among tech’s biggest companies, is a stark change for a business culture built around getting workers into giant offices and keeping them there. Using free shuttle buses, free cafeterias and personal services like dry cleaning, tech companies have done as much as possible over the years to give employees little reason to go home, let alone avoid the office.

If other giant companies follow suit, tech employment could start to shift away from expensive hubs like Silicon Valley, Seattle and New York. The option to work from home could also provide more reason for tech workers who complain that their enviable salaries still aren’t enough to buy a home in San Francisco or San Jose to consider settling in other parts of the country.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s announcement followed similar decisions at Twitter and the payments company Square, both led by Jack Dorsey. Mr. Dorsey said last week that employees at his companies would be allowed to work from home indefinitely. At Google, employees have been told they can work from home through the end of the year, but the company has not made any indications about permanent plans.

There are signs that remote work is popular among technologists. After Mr. Dorsey’s announcement, Google searches for “Twitter jobs” spiked, according to Google Trends.

Aaron Levie, the chief executive of the business technology company Box, wrote on Twitter that “the push happening around remote work is as game-changing for the future of tech as the launch of the iPhone” more than a decade ago.

Tech executives have long believed that person-to-person communication was a big part of the creativity that went into generating popular products. They built giant campuses that reflected that belief, from the ornate offices of Apple, Google and Facebook in Silicon Valley to the new Amazon headquarters in Seattle.

Still, the biggest tech companies were trying to expand beyond their main offices before the pandemic, as an older generation of companies like Intel had done. Amazon, for example, intends to open a second headquarters in Virginia. The coronavirus pandemic could accelerate those plans.

“Before the virus happened, a lot of the discussion about the tech sector was about how to bring people to work sites and create affordable housing,” said Robert Silverman, a professor of urban and regional planning at the State University of New York at Buffalo. “This is kind of a natural progression.”

An employee exodus from the biggest urban tech hubs, combined with layoffs, could have dramatic local impacts. Housing costs in the Bay Area, for example, have fallen since the pandemic began, according to the rental firm Zumper. Rents in San Francisco fell 7 percent in April, and were down 15 percent in Menlo Park, Facebook’s home.

Mr. Zuckerberg long worried that employees who worked remotely would lose productivity. Facebook once provided cash bonuses to employees who lived within 10 miles of its headquarters. In 2018, Facebook expanded its main campus with elaborate new offices designed by the star architect Frank Gehry, including a 3.6-acre roof garden with more than 200 trees.

Just last year, Facebook started moving into a 43-story office tower that it had leased in San Francisco, and the company is still reportedly in talks for a significant office expansion in New York, as well.

In March, the coronavirus lockdown forced companies to send employees home. Many tech companies, including Facebook, emptied their offices before local shelter-in-place orders.

Now, more than two months later, executives are discovering that their remote workers performed better than expected. Mr. Zuckerberg said employees remained focused even though they were working from home.

Facebook will begin by allowing new hires who are senior engineers to work remotely, and then allow current employees to apply for permission to work from home if they have positive performance reviews.

Starting in January, Facebook’s employee compensation will be adjusted based on the cost of living in the locations where workers choose to live. Facebook will make sure employees are honest about their location by checking where they log in to internal systems from, he said.

Mr. Zuckerberg said the shift could offer more benefits than inconveniences for the company. Allowing remote work will allow Facebook to broaden its recruitment, retain valuable employees, reduce the climate impact caused by commutes and expand the diversity of its work force, Mr. Zuckerberg said.

So far, Facebook, Square and Twitter are being far more aggressive than their counterparts in the industry. Their work is mostly done in software code, which can be handled remotely.

At Apple, on the other hand, many employees are hardware engineers who need to be in the company’s lab, particularly because of the company’s secrecy around its products. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said in April that the company’s main office in Silicon Valley would be closed until at least June and has not updated that timeline.

Start-ups could also find it difficult to manage a remote work force. Allowing workers to live in the Midwest could keep costs down, but Silicon Valley has a giant talent pool from which start-ups draw their workers. Also, many venture capitalists, mostly based in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, expect the companies they invest in to be based nearby.

At Los Angeles-based Snap, the maker of Snapchat, employees are allowed to work at home through September. Evan Spiegel, Snap’s chief executive, said in an interview that he was reassessing the situation regularly and considering guidance from health authorities about when to reopen.

“People want certainty, and there’s a huge amount of pressure as a leader to make definitive statements,” Mr. Spiegel said on Wednesday. “I think it’s important that we remain flexible in a situation that is changing rapidly.”

Source:The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/21/technology/facebook-remote-work-coronavirus.html

麒麟820配90Hz屏,荣耀最新5G手机X10发布,1899元起

5月20日,荣耀X系列首款5G机型荣耀X10正式发布,搭载麒麟820 5G SoC,拥有业界目前已上市手机中最多的9大5G频段、超级上行技术的同时,还采用了RYYB高感光摄影、鹰眼级AI抓拍、90Hz/180Hz全速屏等领先技术,在5G、游戏和影像等方面带来全方位的旗舰级体验。业界普遍认为,这款产品以其强大的产品力和跨级进化将会加速5G手机普及。近期,中国登山队纪念首登珠峰60周年活动选择荣耀手机为唯一指定5G手机,更是认可了荣耀X10在5G行业的重要地位和可靠品质。

荣耀X10首发价格为6GB+64GB版本1899元,6GB+128GB版本2199元,8GB+128GB版本2399元,并有竞速蓝、探速黑、光速银、燃力橙四种配色供选。目前已经启动预约,5月26日将在华为商城、各大授权电商平台、荣耀线下各大门店正式开售。

2020年5G风暴定局之作

2020年中已至,在5G新基建的快速推动下,5G行业进入到全面开打的全新竞争阶段。根据中国信通院数据,今年1月和2月5G手机出货量占比已达26.26%和37.28%,而全年预计5G手机规模将逼近2亿台。这说明5G手机不再是少数机型标榜高端的噱头,而是即将全面普及成为主流。新形势下,产品力和产品策略也应顺势而变。然而纵观市场,多数品牌还沿用着3G、4G时代亦步亦趋的产品思维,例如虽支持5G却缺乏重要的5G频段、整机性能偏弱难以支撑5G场景应用等等,无法满足5G消费者日益增长的需求。

荣耀总裁赵明在发布会上重点强调,荣耀X10所带来的是全方位旗舰级5G体验,一步到位直接将旗舰级5G体验提供给主流用户。可以预见,荣耀X10的面世必将给行业带来巨大震动,并且以风暴式的速度推动5G的全面普及,荣耀X10的命名就包含了这种10倍加速的含义。而另一方面,荣耀X10改变了X系列的命名方式,不仅宣告全面拥抱5G时代,也标志着X系列战略地位的提升,产品谱系将持续扩大,未来会推出不同的产品满足消费者多元化的需求。由此可见,无论是面对行业还是在荣耀内部,荣耀X10都是一款2020年的定局之作。

全方位5G旗舰体验实现跨级进化

具体而言,荣耀X10提供了远超同价位水平的旗舰级5G体验,带来5G十项“全能”:超快5G上行速率、超快5G下载速率、超强5G双卡体验、超强5G天线布局、目前已上市机型中最全频段双模5G、5G双模SA/NSA、智慧5G、超强5G能效比、5G低时延、超强5G信号干扰能力。例如支持了多达9个5G频段,远超同价位基本要求的2-3个频段,保证用户能顺利连接5G,从而避免了有5G信号却无法使用5G的尴尬。同时,荣耀X10还是同价位为数不多支持超级上行技术的机型,实验室实测能够将边缘上行速率体验提升412%甚至更高。5G环绕分布式天线和AI 5G信号疾速恢复不仅让5G信号更加稳定,而且从地库、地铁、地下商场之类5G覆盖不佳的场景返回5G时的速度更快,提供不打折的旗舰级5G体验。

为了支撑对性能要求更高的5G全场景应用,荣耀X10搭载了麒麟820 5G SoC芯片。该芯片在CPU性能上升级了全新三档能效架构,性能更强而能效比更佳,旗舰级的6核Mali-G57架构大幅提升游戏性能,自研达芬奇架构NPU则升级为大核+微核的创新设计,在权威机构ETH AI Benchmark的AI性能排行榜上位居全球前列。屏幕方面则是在荣耀X系列首次采用90Hz高刷新率屏幕,配合180Hz触控采样率,游戏画面更流畅丝滑,操作手感更加“跟手”,势必将受到5G时代游戏玩家的追捧。

拍照方面的进化同样有惊喜,荣耀X10同样开启了荣耀X系列的新时代。首次搭载华为独家的RYYB高感光夜拍三摄,进光量提升40%,全新的ISP 5.0、华为手机端BM3D单反级图像降噪技术、荣耀猫头鹰算法2.0、AI追焦技术……让荣耀X10不仅成为新一代的夜拍神器,还拥有了鹰眼级AI抓拍能力。

而此前荣耀X系列广受好评的传统也得到了传承和进化。3D幻变玻璃机身工艺升级至21层玻璃工艺,在视觉上带来一种独特的速度感;屏占比高达92%的升降式全面屏,提供沉浸式的观看体验和更精准的控制,双轨道结构同时也更坚固耐用。

荣耀X系列一向以硬核品质著称,5G时代依旧如此。据荣耀锐科技5G实验室负责人透露,在荣耀X10的研发过程中,前期的测试成本就超过了3亿元,5G上网测试超过50万小时,拨打电话次数超过25万次。而在5月7日,中国登山队纪念首登珠峰60周年活动宣布荣耀手机为唯一指定5G手机,就是认可了荣耀X10的可靠品质。在珠峰海拔5800-6500米高度处,荣耀X10实测5G最高下载速度达到1617Mbps,显示出强大稳定的5G性能,以及在恶劣环境下依旧正常运行的硬核品质。

荣耀5G正式发动全线饱和攻击

荣耀目前已经拥有麒麟990 5G、麒麟985、麒麟820三大5G SoC芯片,超强阵容。进入2020年上半年,荣耀在5G领域接连扔下重磅炸弹。科技标杆荣耀V30、潮美科技荣耀30系列,荣耀X10的加入,正标志着荣耀旗下的5G大军已经组成了全行业较为齐全的5G产品线。

从时间脉络上来看,荣耀不是最早推出5G手机的,但对5G节奏和产品的把握是极其精准的,自首款5G产品开始,便一路引领行业潮流。荣耀V30系列作为行业首个全系5G双模手机系列,为5G的体验树立了行业标杆。之后的荣耀30系列,更是首次将潮美与5G结合,让行业感叹原来领先科技也可以是时尚夺目的。

而从战斗力而言,代代销量破千万的荣耀X系列一向被认为是荣耀家族最能打的选手,发布会上,荣耀总裁赵明也宣布荣耀X系列全球累计发货超8000万,并从千万好评中挑选出部分组成海报拼图,成功挑战吉尼斯最大海报拼图世界记录。而荣耀X系列最新升级进化成员荣耀X10,同样拥有销量破千万的实力和潜力,一出手便将旗舰级5G体验普及到千万用户,对未来5G行业的走向和生态结构将产生深远的影响。

可以认为,在荣耀X10投入5G大战之后,荣耀5G大军就已组建完成,随时可以发动5G全线饱和攻击;在2020年5G风暴全面普及的过程中,荣耀X10必将再次席卷全行业,获得骄人战绩。