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This is a sponsored article and was made possible by TREBLAB. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
I use Bluetooth headphones almost every day lately. From a simple jog to a shopping trip, I like to have some music or a podcast going to make things a little more interesting. As such, when I was given the chance to review the TREBLAB xFIT, I jumped at the chance to give them a shot. Thankfully, I was not disappointed by these amazing earbuds.The Headphones and Case
The headphones are small true wireless buds that fit inside the ear. There are no charging ports on the buds themselves; they’re too small to accommodate one. Instead, you charge the headphones via the case that comes with them.
It’s easy to assume the case is just for holding the headphones. However, the case is equipped with a battery inside of it that charges the headphones when they’re inside. You can see the status of the case’s battery via four LEDs on the front. Charge the case via a USB cable, then unplug it once it’s done. The case’s battery can now do five full headphone charges before it needs a top-up.
The case is also magnetized to keep everything together. When you place the headphones in, a magnetic charge holds them in place. Then, when you close the lid, another magnet keeps the lid down. The magnetic strength was surprising, to the point where I could turn the box upside down and shake it vigorously without it opening.Connecting and Disconnecting to a Bluetooth Device
One pet peeve I have with my old, wired headphones is that they need to be turned on and off manually. Several times I’ve come home from a walk and forgotten to turn them off, which drained the battery. As such, I was interested to see if the headphones responded to being taken out and placed into the case by turning themselves on and off.
When you take the headphones out of the case, they immediately turn on and announce it in the earpieces. They then connect to a paired device and announce “connected” once completed. You can then use them as earpieces for your paired Bluetooth device without needing to press a button.
Interestingly, you can also just wear one earpiece. This is great if you like to listen to music while you’re out, but don’t want to block out the world around you. It only works if you remove the right earpiece, as it’s the “master” headphone that handles all communications. However, due to the earpiece’s design, you could easily slip it into your left ear instead.
Best of all, once you’re done with them, you don’t need to turn them off. As soon as they’re put back in their case, they disengage and resume charging. Due to the small size of the headphones, it becomes second nature to want to put them back into the case, so they’re always at 100% charge when you pick them back up.On the Go
Listening to music and podcasts while walking sounded good. It wasn’t amazing, but it definitely wasn’t tinny, either. The connection also held up fine in my trouser pocket while I walked, with very little skips or dead zones.
Each earpiece has a large button that is easy to press while moving. This pauses your media so you can hear your surroundings better. You can also double-tap the buttons to go back or forward a track. Unfortunately, there is no volume control on the headphones themselves!Final Verdict
Overall, I was very impressed with the Treblab xFIT headphones. The charging case was convenient, the magnetic holds were strong, the headphones were comfy, and the sound quality was great.
The best part is, all of these premium features come at a price that doesn’t break the bank. With the code xFITNEW10, you can buy them for 10 percent off on Amazon, which I believe is a great price for this robust piece of kit.
While its 5-hour battery life is nothing to shout from the rooftops about, the portable charging case means you can keep the headphones going for 25 hours without a charging cable!
As such, I do highly recommend these headphones for anyone interested in listening to music as they jog or travel. The charging case is well-made, the product works well, and I’m already replacing my old pair of headphones with these!
Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.
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You're reading Treblab Xfit: Convenience And Comfort At A Great Price
Buckle up. It’s going to be an interesting ride.Meet AMD’s Radeon RX 470
Glance at the RX 470’s stats and you’re sure to raise an eyebrow.
The RX 470’s clock speeds top out at 1,206MHz, with 4GB of onboard GDDR5 memory traveling over a 256-bit bus. That’s pretty darn close to the RX 480’s 1,266MHz max clock speed, and the same amount of base RAM. Under the hood, the RX 470 has only four fewer compute units than the RX 480; 256 fewer stream processors; 16 fewer texture units; and the same amount of ROPs.
That said, there are definitely some key additional tweaks. The RX 470’s base clock speed of 926MHz is far below the RX 480’s 1,120MHz; its memory is slightly slower at 6.6Gbps effective versus 7.0Gbps on the RX 480; and the RX 470 has a 120 watt TDP, 30W less than the RX 480’s. There’s also surprisingly no reference 8GB memory option for the Radeon RX 470, though AMD says it “encourages [hardware partners] to differentiate” if they see a market for 8GB versions. But for the most part, AMD’s new card sticks pretty close to the RX 480’s central design. Maybe that’s why the card’s priced just $20 lower than a 4GB RX 480.
One key difference between the RX 480 and RX 470: While we’re still mostly waiting for custom Radeon RX 480 cards to hit the streets—Sapphire’s Nitro+ model ($220 for 4GB on Amazon) being a notable exception—there will be no reference models of the RX 470 available at launch. All of the RX 470s on release will be custom models from AMD hardware partners. It’s the mirror opposite of the RX 480 situation—and it adds a whiff of “apples-to-oranges” in comparisons between the two cards. The clock speeds and cooling solutions in custom models can vary wildly.
XFX’s Radeon RX 470.
The extra cash gets you some attractive niceties though. XFX’s card adds a 50MHz overclock to the RX 470 boost speed, topping out at 1,256MHz. (XFX says another model with a slower overclock will retail for $210.) It’s a true on-the-card overclock, too, with no need to download additional software to enable it. The company’s also lifted the card’s memory speeds up to 7.0Gbps effective, bringing it in line with the RX 480.
The XFX Radeon RX 470’s fans are held in by brackets. You can pop them out without tools. It’s pretty cool!
Ooooh, purdy. Ignore the dust.
As a Polaris-based card, you’ll also get features like Frame Rate Target Control, H.265 encoding and decoding, the in-driver Radeon WattMan overclocking tool, CrossFire support, and dedicated asynchronous shader hardware that can improve performance in next-gen, “close to the metal” DirectX 12 and Vulkan gaming APIs.
Got it? Good. On to the fun stuff.Test 2: Hitman
Hitman’s Glacier engine heavily favors AMD hardware. It’s no surprise; Hitman’s a flagship AMD Gaming Evolved title, complete with a DirectX 12 mode that was patched in after the game’s launch.
Important note: Hitman automatically caps the game’s Texture Quality, Shadow Maps, and Shadow Resolution at medium on cards with 2GB of onboard memory, meaning the EVGA GTX 950 and 960 as well as the VisionTek R9 380 were tested at lower graphical settings. I’ve still included them in the graphs below for two reasons: 1) Because they’re the sort of cards the Radeon RX 470 is directly replacing, and 2) so you can see the comparative DX11 vs. DX12 performance on those cards.
The overclocked XFX Radeon RX 470 clears 60fps easily in Hitman, and comes damn close at 1440p, essentially tying the results of Nvidia’s $250 GTX 1060. The Radeon RX 480 pulls ahead by 7 to 10 percent—not a huge difference, but a considerable one, and the gap is large enough to allow the pricier card to hit 60fps average at 1440p. Once again, the RX 480’s little extra oomph helps it hit new tiers of experience that aren’t quite possible with the XFX Radeon RX 470. That matters—though the RX 470 comes damned close.
Last-gen’s $150 to $250 cards don’t. They can’t even run the game at its highest graphical settings. All cards with 2GB of memory suffer from severe performance dips the second DirectX 12 is activated. As I said, the RX 470 and RX 480 are a huge leap over what came before.
Next page: Rise of the Tomb RaiderTest 3: Rise of the Tomb Raider
We only tested the game’s DirectX 11 mode, as we haven’t had a chance to reevaluate the game’s DirectX 12 enhancements now that several patches have been released to fix its once-wonky implementation.
The RX 470 easily clears 60fps at 1080p, though it still lags by a significant 11 percent behind the stock RX 480. The performance gap makes a bigger difference at 1440p, where slipping to 44fps with Ultra settings enabled can affect gameplay smoothness. The gulf is even wider between the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 and the XFX Radeon RX 470, which carry the exact same MSRP.
The $250 GTX 1060 blows away all comparable Radeon cards in this GeForce-leaning game, though.Test 4: Far Cry Primal
Far Cry Primal is yet another Ubisoft game, but it’s powered by a different engine than The Division—the latest version of the long-running and well-respected Dunia engine. We benchmark the game with the free 4K HD Texture Pack installed—not that it matters at the resolutions being tested here.
Once again, the XFX Radeon RX 470 offers tremendous performance. Once again, a roughly 10 percent performance difference draws the RX 470 further away from the uncompromising 1080p performance that the RX 480 offers. Once again, the Sapphire Nitro+ 480 widens the gap that much further despite costing the same price as the XFX Radeon RX 470.
Next page: Ashes of the SingularityTest 4: Ashes of the Singularity
We omitted the EVGA GTX 950 and 960 from the 1440p results because they run below 30 frames per second across the board at that resolution.
As ever with AMD cards, the Radeon RX 470 sees a nice frame rate boost by flipping the DX12 switch, especially at High settings. That won’t matter if you’re running Windows 7 or 8, but it’s a tremendous benefit for Radeon owners on Windows 10, allowing AMD’s cards to pull even with the GTX 1060’s superb DX11 performance.
Next page: Steam VR and synthetic benchmarksTest 5: SteamVR
What black magic is this?! The XFX Radeon RX 470 actually just squeaks into the SteamVR performance test’s “VR capable” range with a 6.0 average fidelity score. XFX’s overclocks are enough to get the card over the hump. We still wouldn’t recommend using an RX 470 for virtual reality, but it’s nice to know you can in a pinch.Test 6: 3DMark
We also tested the RX 470 and its rivals using 3DMark’s highly respected DX11 Fire Strike synthetic benchmark, which runs at 1080p, as well as its brand-new Time Spy benchmark, which tests DirectX 12 performance at 2560×1440 resolution.
Yeah, the 470 falls exactly where you’d expect it to based on the prior resultsTest 7: Power use
We test power under load by plugging the entire system into a Watts Up meter, running the intensive Division benchmark at 4K resolution, and noting the peak power draw. Idle power is measured after sitting on the Windows desktop for three minutes with no extra programs or processes running.
The Radeon RX 470’s lower clock speeds and TDP pay off here. Polaris becomes much more power hungry the more you push it. While the RX 470 tends to offer just 7 to 11 percent less performance than the RX 480, it uses nearly 40 watts less power overall at peak draw—a 14.5 percent reduction.
It’s still not as efficient as the Pascal GPU inside Nvidia’s GTX 1060, but it’s a major leap forward for Radeon cards. With the Radeon R300-series, we could only hit this level of performance with cards that pushed our system power usage in excess of 400W.Test 8: Heat
The tested cards represent a mix of reference and custom coolers, making this somewhat of an apple-to-oranges comparison. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see how the custom-cooled XFX Radeon RX 470 and Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 stand up to the reference RX 480 and GTX 1060.
The XFX Radeon RX 470 tops out at 75 degrees Celsius, staying relatively quiet all the while. That’s a big improvement over the RX 480’s reference blower, and comparable to cooling solutions slapped onto other graphics cards in this price range.
Next page: Bottom lineBottom line
There’s no question the Radeon 470 is a great graphics card—at least in a vacuum. While it doesn’t quite hit a locked 60fps average at 1080p with all the bells and whistles cranked to 11, it comes damned close, and dropping the settings to High easily allows you to clear that gold-standard frame rate. Likewise, the RX 470 can generally hit 40-plus frames per second at 1440p at High or Ultra settings, making it a decent 1440p gaming option (especially if you have a FreeSync monitor to smooth out framerate hitches). It’s only a few frames behind a GTX 970 in most games. Heck, it even squeaks into the VR-capable category, albeit only by the thinnest of margins, thanks to the solid-for-Polaris out-of-the-box overclocks of this XFX model. That utterly blows away what the last-gen crop of $150 to $200 graphics cards were capable of!
But the world doesn’t exist in a vacuum. And in the real world, the 4GB RX 480 is a major spoiler for the RX 470 given the price of both cards and just how damned good the RX 480 truly is.
The elephant in the room: The $200, 4GB Radeon RX 480.
The 8GB Radeon RX 480, which again offers performance darn near identical to the $200 4GB version except in specific circumstances, offers 8 to 12 percent more performance than the RX 470. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s good for at least an extra 5 frames per second in most scenarios, and occasionally far more. It’s enough to push you right up or past the 60fps gold standard in today’s games at Ultra settings—something that the RX 470 can’t consistently do. It’s a crucial “smoothness of experience” threshold.
Why would you spend the same amount of money on an inferior-performing card that can’t quite deliver the same uncompromising 1080p experience? And a reference-clocked version of the RX 470 wouldn’t even hit the same heights as this amped-up XFX card.
The XFX Radeon RX 470 is a gorgeous, well-built card.
There could be a potential twist in the future, though.
Okay, I’m taking off my tinfoil hat now.
In a vacuum, the Radeon RX 470 delivers a damned fine 1080p gaming experience that’s a huge leap forward from the previous crop of similarly priced cards. You’ll be able to hit 60fps at high or ultra graphics settings even in cutting-edge games. XFX’s custom variant is superbly designed, runs cool and quiet, and offers a longer warranty than before. If one winds up in your stocking this Christmas, you’ll be happy!
Now when it comes to Chinese tablets you will find a lot of cheap stuff on the market right now. Sadly, it is a matter of fact that most of these tabs claim to be the Holy Grail while in fact they are nothing more than half assed devices, with more bugs than you can shake a stick at. Unfortunately this is probably the reason why most gadgets lovers aren’t so in love with the whole Chinese tablet market.
Once in a while, there will be a manufacturer who does manage to create a little gem, which works as promised and is well worth the investment.
Again we turn to Cube, who have been doing a lot this year to prove that they are one of the top Chinese Android tablet contenders out their. But is their $192 Cube Talk 9X up to the same standards as their other devices, and more importantly is this a tablet we would recommend?Cube Talk 9X Review: iPad
for the cheap
Cube made huge promises for the Talk 9X, claiming it to be just 7.5mm thin. We have seen before that Chinese manufactures like to fib a little when it comes to dimensions, but in this case Cube hold true to their word. Holding the 9.7-inch tablet in your hands proves that it does feel thin, exactly 7.5mm with the rear camera, and even tapers off to only 6.5mm. Although thin it is hardly light at 560g, but this is partly due to the large display and party through the use of alloy rather than plastic for the body.Cube Talk 9X Review: For indoor use only
Boasting a 9.7-inch IPS OGS panel with a whopping resolution of 2.048 x 1.536, the Cube Talk 9X is really shows what Chinese manufacturers can do on a budget. So on paper we do have a great panel, and for indoor use colors are vivid and the overall image quality is very crisp, but it certainly does lack a little contrast and – more important – brightness. Trying to use this tablet under direct sunlight will seriously impact the readability. Another downside is the digitizer used in here, which isn’t as sensitive as we would’ve liked it to be. Typing on-screen can be a real pain if you as you need to remember to put enough pressure for each tap to properly register.Cube Talk 9X Review: Performance monster
The Cube Talk 9X comes equipped with a Mediatek MT8392 chipset. This octa-core SoC feature 8 ARM Cortex A7 cores clocked at 1.7GHz and a Mali 450MP GPU. Seems familiar? Yes, this SoC is the tablet-optimized version of the MT6592 phone SoC.
To beginning with, we were a little worried, as it seemed unlikely this chipset could handle a 2k screen very well. Luckily we’ve been proven wrong with the tablet working remarkably well throughout the test. The Cube Talk 9X really is a potent tablet and proof that Mediatek know how to make a tablet SoC.
Comparing the performance of the Cube Talk 9X to a similar device running the popular Rockchips RK3188, and well there isn’t much of a comparisons! The Mediatek chip offers a smoother overall experience. It even beats the Onda V989 with Allwinner’s new ARM Cortex A80T!
2GB of RAM means there is no way a bottleneck and offers sufficient memory for pretty much every task you expect of the tablet. This is yet another proof for the fact that software optimization is far more important than an impressive spec-sheet.
Talking about optimization: While Cube did a good job with this in terms of performance, they somehow didn’t in terms of compatibility. The tablet is incompatible with quite a few apps, which is extremely annoying. While some apps that aren’t displayed in the Play Store can indeed be installed and ran through a third party service, the tablet really fails with some important apps like Chrome and Opera, which crash upon loading a website. We hope that Cube is going to fix that with a future software update.
The software part still features some more positive parts though. The most important one probably being the fact that Cube left Android 4.4.2 mostly untouched. They only went for their own launcher, while the remaining items is pure stock. Another nice feature is that there is almost no pre-installed bloatware, leaving you with plenty of free memory thanks to the 16GB of ROM. Not enough? Plug in your micro SD card and you are good to go for more content.Cube Talk 9X Review: The wireless Allrounder
To find an octacore tablet with 2K at this price is pretty impressive, to find that it packs built-in 3G and a GPS is just plain amazing! With 3G access you can load up Google Maps and use the Cube Talk 9X as a large navigation system, or even a travel companion finding new places of interest. 3G, and full service support means you can even leave your phone at home and use the Cube as a huge phablet making phone calls!
For home and coffee shop use, fast Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, is included which is quite the improvement compared to previous Cube tablets we tested previously which suffered from poor WIFI. And yes, Bluetooth is supported and working fine too and allows you to connect a keyboard for better productivity or headphones for relaxing.Cube Talk 9X Review: Are you an entertainer?
Having such a huge tablet with a high-res screen, you of course want to use it for some decent video and audio fun within the comfort of your home. As long as you keep this down to 1080p videos and audio enjoyment through headphones, you won’t be disappointed. But please do not expect 4k video playback. The SoC just can’t cater this demand.
Internal speakers are a huge let down, providing lots of distortion and no bass. The only workaround for this are good headphones, or connection to a sound bar, amp etc.Cube Talk 9X Review: Did we talk about the cam yet?
So far the Cube Talk 9X has delivered a lot for the money and overall has done a good job, so how do the cameras perform? Cube says the Talk 9X comes with an 8 mega pixel rear camera along with an LED flash and a 2 mega pixel shooter on the front. In fact the rear camera only has a real resolution of 5 mega pixels and while the LED flash is nice to have, it isn’t quite bright enough to be of much use. Overall the camera quality on both the front and the rear is acceptable, but nothing more. Don’t expect to take your next vacation pictures with this one. Well, you probably wouldn’t anyway considering the sheer size of this tablet. Overall the camera quality is very similar to the one we’ve seen on the iPad 2.Cube Talk 9X: A battery to die for
Best of all you can squeeze out even more depending on the usage and how you try to save energy. The maximum we managed to squeeze out of this cell is 11 hours of battery life. Playing games non-stop will result in 5 hours of battery life. Still quite incredible, isn’t it?
Of course you pay a high price for such a high-capacity battery: Charging does take an age. 5 to 6 hours depending on if you use the tablet to charge or if you continue to use it while plugged in.Cube Talk 9X: Conclusion
If you are looking for a cheap Android tablet which offers some high-end level specs, this one probably is one of the best choices next to the affordable Intel-based Ramos i-series tablets. The Cube Talk 9X offers unbeivable build quality and performance for only $192, which easily makes it one of the best tablet deals from the far-east. It has some bugs for sure, which probably prevent it from being the ultimate solution for everyone, but for us and most likely for a lot of you as well, it still remains a very good large screen tablet with great mobile connectivity..
Amazingly thin design
Good screen for indoor use
Surprisingly good performance
3G and GPS support
Phone calls support
Large internal memory which is expandable using a micro SD card
OTG and MHL support
Very long battery life
Bad screen for outdoor use
Long charging time
Bad screen sensitivity
No dedicated HDMI port
Bad audio quality (internal speakers)
Thanks to eFox-Shop for providing us with this interesting review device.
A Summer Interning at a Two-Michelin-Star Restaurant in New York City
Jami Sachs (SHA’25) wraps up her 10-week internship at celebrated restaurants inside the Museum of Modern Art this week. Photo courtesy of Union Square Hospitality Group
Food & DiningA Summer Interning at a Two-Michelin-Star Restaurant in New York City Jami Sachs (SHA’25) gained invaluable experience working at the Museum of Modern Art’s famed eateries
Before this summer, Jami Sachs had never worked in a professional kitchen. But her current internship at celebrated restaurants inside the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) found her creating gourmet grilled cheeses stuffed with mozzarella, fontina, and taleggio and arranging brightly colored salumi boards with prosciutto, crescenza-stracchino cheese, and salume toscano for patrons.
During the 10-week full-time internship, Sachs spent five weeks at The Modern working front-of-house roles like hosting, food running, and shadowing servers before transitioning to the Cafés at MoMA, where she’s learning back-of-house roles like manning a grilled cheese station and working in the prep kitchen, among many other tasks.
For Sachs, working at the Cafés at MoMA after The Modern was a big change. There was less emphasis on precision and nuance, she says, since guests spend much less time eating there.
“At the MoMA Cafés, it’s definitely more fast-paced. Service has to be quick,” Sachs says. “It’s a completely different world. At The Modern, it was more refined, it was a little bit slower and more personalized.”
One of Sachs’ duties at The Modern was to set up the dining room every morning, arranging napkins, glasses, and plates valued at over $200 each. The process became somewhat of a ritual, lasting about an hour and a half.
Sachs worked alongside Jenna Lee Rios, a captain (head server) at The Modern. “It’s not just bringing out plates,” says Rios, who emphasizes the delicate quality of the plateware. She missed Sachs once the five weeks at The Modern were over, she says, but she still sees her at the “family meals” held each morning for the Cafés and The Modern teams.
MoMA’s Café 2 serves a pizza bianca—proscuitto cotto, arugula, and ricotta salata. Courtesy of Union Square Hospitality Group
“Working with Jami has been such a delight,” Rios says. “She is probably the most mature, refined 19-year-old I’ve ever met. One of our managers said, ‘She’ll be running the place some day.’”
As a rising sophomore, Sachs has taken only a few School of Hospitality Administration classes. She did take the school’s Principles of Food Production Management in spring 2023, however, and credits it with teaching her to cook quickly under pressure. The MoMA internship also counts towards SHA’s two 400-hour internship requirements.
Shivon Shah, a service manager at The Modern and the Cafés at MoMA, met Sachs on the first day of her internship and worked closely with her during her five weeks at The Modern. “Jami is a driven, warm, and thoughtful person,” says Shah. “She has spent time in just about every role on this team and has excelled. It is important to understand the daily workings of each role, from support to sommelier.”
Sachs agrees on the importance of understanding every position in the service industry and says her biggest accomplishment was learning quickly and adapting to every situation, like moving between the different food stations, for instance. She also learned to apply feedback from coworkers who were often older than her and did not speak English. “I had a bit of experience in the restaurant industry, but not too much, and I was a little bit hesitant,” she says, when she started the job.
When Sachs is not at work, she likes scrolling through the New York Times food section and trying to cook her own elaborate meals a few times a week. Some of her recent dishes include chicken and zucchini potstickers, shrimp scampi, and pasta alla norma. In her free time, she also enjoys being with friends and reading.
The internship taught Sachs a few lessons, among them that she prefers front-of-house positions and the fine dining aspect of hospitality. In the future, she says, she would love to open her own restaurant or help other people open a restaurant. She’s also interested in becoming a sommelier, since it combines food science, history, and geography. She ponders whether her next internship might be in a vineyard.
“She’s got a great head on her shoulders,” Rios says. “Once you have an internship at The Modern on your résumé at 19, it’s only up from there. I’m really excited to see what she does.”
Sachs feels confident in her operational abilities and says that the internship proved to her that she could successfully work in the industry. She says she felt most inspired being around people who share her passion for cooking and that everyone at The Modern and Cafés at MoMA has been kind and welcoming.
“This experience has been incredible,” she says. “I’ve gotten such a different perspective on the restaurant industry. Whenever I go into a restaurant now, it will never be the same.”
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Shiba Inu (SHIB) investors are starting to lose confidence in the project after several setbacks in 2023. These setbacks have caused Shiba Inu’s value to fall to its lowest value since 2023, with thousands of investors selling their holdings.
Meanwhile, Ethereum (ETH) and Collateral Network (COLT) are quickly becoming fan favorites, with many choosing a dollar cost averaging (DCA) strategy to build their portfolios.Ethereum’s Shanghai Success Halted By The SEC Announcement
Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade was a huge success. It pushed Ethereum’s value to over $2000 and triggered a huge influx in the number of investors staking their Ethereum holdings.
Its most notable feature was the new ability for stakers to withdraw assets from the Ethereum Beacon Chain. This new option has resulted in an additional 2.96 million ETH being staked in May, a sign of how popular Ethereum has become.
However, Ethereum’s (ETH) price has declined by 7.59% in the past ten days following the SEC lawsuits against Binance and Coinbase. At the time of writing, Ethereum was down to $1,672.89.
Nonetheless, investors remain bullish about Ethereum. Ethereum’s daily trading volume is consistently hitting over $7 billion, and the amount of Ethereum being staked is the highest it’s been in 2023.Shiba Inu Hits A Two Year Low
Shiba Inu’s price fell to its lowest level since 2023 this week, declining to $0.00000543 following new SEC lawsuits. This marks a monthly decline of 23.00%, with Shiba Inu trading at $0.00000675 at the time of writing.
Given that Shiba Inu has failed to give back to its audience several times in 2023, price predictions are now turning bearish. Just one month before its crash, Shibarium, Shiba Inu’s new layer 2 scalability platform, was delayed once again, causing frustration throughout the community.
Although holders are looking to salvage Shiba Inu by burning tokens, its value continues to decline. Consequently, Shiba Inu’s daily trading volume has dropped below $65 million and many holders are choosing to sell.Collateral Network Presale Is Expected To Rise By 3500%
The Collateral Network presale is one of the fastest growing in the market. Having already increased in value by 68%, momentum is continuing to build with hundreds of new investors buying into the project daily.
Collateral Network is a DeFi asset-backed lending marketplace designed for assets such as supercars, real estate, and other premium assets. The project has been doxxed and KYC audited, and Collateral Network tokens also have locked liquidity for 33 years.
The aim of Collateral Network is to replace many of the outdated systems in the crowdlending market. To begin, Collateral Network values assets using AI and mints them as fractionalized NFTs. NFT fractions are then sold to investors who loan cryptocurrency to fund the loan and are rewarded with a fixed interest rate.
Before the end of its presale, Collateral Network’s native token is expected to increase 35x, the current price of the token is a bargain $0.0241 and represents a 141% increase for early buyers.
Holders will be granted a number of bonuses and enjoy several additional price increases once COLT tokens are listed on major exchanges, making COLT one of the most in-demand presale tokens in the market.Find out more about the Collateral Network presale here:
We co-worked in WeWork Bangkok and accidentally broke part of a glass whiteboard. When we reported it and got a bill, we requested itemized billing and found something interesting. It’s clear that WeWork’s culture is broken from the boardroom all the way down to the boards in the room.
So a couple of disclaimers are necessary at the outset. First of all, I have no particular ax to grind with WeWork. On the contrary, I’ve been with them for 18 months (and recently renewed for an additional 12), had a two-seat dedicated room at WeWork Shenzhen for a year, and have also worked in different WeWork locations in Singapore and London. As a small influencer, I even hosted two networking events and promoted WeWork with no compensation. They didn’t need to pay me. As an early WeWork customer, I was happy and loved my coworking space.
It’s also important to note that I believe that, in general, we should pay for breaking things that don’t belong to us. While breaking a glass in a restaurant versus breaking a vase in an antique shop are two totally different things, it goes without saying that personal responsibility is important. But in a business environment, whether in a traditional office or coworking space, it’s particularly important for both sides to be fully transparent and honest when a repair needs to occur. Only then can there be a satisfactory and professional outcome.
Those disclaimers aside, let’s get to the story.
We Worked Together at WeWork
I was in Bangkok recently for the annual DCBKK conference for members of a location-independent community that I am part of, the Dynamite Circle. Yes, there were talks and meals like at many conferences, but this featured conversation and camaraderie with business owners at the top of their game in many different sectors.
Understandably, I wanted to gather a few of my friends to brainstorm as well as share ideas in growing our online businesses. So, being a WeWorker, I booked a meeting room at a WeWork space in Bangkok. The mastermind session went very well and we managed to share some great business ideas.
We Broke the Glass Whiteboard
The space was extremely confined. We booked a 6-person room, and it turned out only four of us were are able to fit in. The gap between someone’s back and the glass whiteboard was less than 30 cm (about a foot) as you can see in the picture below. And so what happened is that my friend Bowen casually tilted his chair backward and leaned up against the whiteboard behind him (he thought it was just a wall) and he heard a crack. Oh no, it wasn’t a wall, it was a whiteboard that’s made of glass!!
There aren’t any warning or reminder signs saying the whiteboard is fragile or do not chúng tôi my home WeWork office, the whiteboard is also made of glass but there’s no extra space between the wall and the glass whiteboard. However, this one does!
We Reported to the WeWork Community Team
After realizing the glass whiteboard was broken, we immediately headed down to the ground floor and informed the community team about it. We were upfront about the incident as we understood we had a personal responsibility to contribute to the repair or replacement of the whiteboard. Hence, we did everything we could to cooperate with WeWork Thailand in resolving the issue without any hesitation. I was told I would be kept updated about the evaluation of the damage and compensation.
This was the initial email they sent to me on October 15, 2023.
And one month later…
We Got a $1,219 USD Bill
On November 18, 2023, I received another email from WeWork.
Note that between October 15 and November 18, I didn’t receive any of their updates on the incident, not to mention how their decision was made. It’s just a notice first, and then a bill like this:
A whopping 36,861.50 THB (Thai currency)!!
For those unfamiliar with the value of Thai Baht, the amount was equivalent to $1,219.37 in USD, give or take the ever-changing exchange rate.
Another thing that’s worth mentioning here is that there was no itemization and no explanation of the damage in relation to terms and conditions, just a “nice” invoice. I was in a bit of a shock as I shared the bill with my friend Bowen, who was having none of it. He took over from there.
We Called the Glass Whiteboard Provider
The first thing Bowen did was make a visit to that WeWork space and spoke to the community manager in person. Bowen was allowed to visit the room for inspection and he took a few pictures of the damaged whiteboard. Fortunately, he found out that the manufacturer ThaiWhiteboard and its contact numbers were stamped on the whiteboard, and he contacted them to check the price.
Long story short, it turns out that the total cost of the whiteboard, including tax and installation was 15,000 Baht, well less than half of the 36,000 we were billed by WeWork Thailand.
We Requested a Bill Breakdown
The community manager then suggested that my friend speak to the operation team as they were in charge of the overall facility and the invoice. When the operation manager arrived, my friend shared his findings and requested for the itemized bill.
Instead of helping my friend, the operation manager rudely dismissed it as a question of confidentiality and claimed that the invoice amount of 36,000 Thai Baht was correct and that the high price was due to the product being imported from overseas. She also insisted that their glass whiteboards were made of ultra high-quality glass, which was different from the typical glass whiteboards used in most offices. Unbelievably, the manager even went on to accuse my friend of deliberately misleading the glass whiteboard manufacturer in order to obtain a lower quote.
Up to this point, the operation manager had refused to make any effort to verify facts or check with their team. She just continued to refuse and dismiss whatever findings my friend shared with her, even to the extent of raising her voice and making aggressive hand gestures, in an open area in front of other witnesses.
Knowing that the discussion would go nowhere, my friend called the vendor directly on speakerphone and confirmed the aforementioned price of 15,000 Baht. The operations manager, thus unexpectedly chastened and exposed, quietly agreed to speak with their construction team to get us an itemized bill.
Coincidentally, my friend is a finance geek. (He was one of the early members at a well-known finance company in Singapore.) So he really dug into the bill breakdown.
We Found Something Very Interesting
The itemized bill was absolutely… interesting!
First, they charged 10,000 Baht (about $330 USD) for removal and transportation fees in contrast to the actual rate quoted from the vendor, 2,000 Baht, which is an 8,000 Baht difference from what WeWork billed us. What was WeWork playing at?
Then a follow-up invoice indicated a “management fee” of 8,500 Baht (about $280 USD), which filled in the gap between the bill above and the original 36,861. But I thought my friend Bowen, who had done all the legwork anyway, should probably pay himself that management fee! Jokes aside, this was a bit absurd.
As for the actual glass whiteboard, the figure is much closer to what we had researched, at 16,500 Baht, but this amount was still inexplicably higher than what the vendor had quoted by 1,500 Baht. But hey, let’s celebrate a small win!
My friend is continuing to correspond by email in what I consider a futile attempt to make WeWork Thailand see reason, and have them answer questions such as:
Why is WeWork charging five times the market rate for the removal and transporting of a whiteboard?
Why is WeWork charging nearly 50% of the cost of the replacement item for “management fees”?
Why aren’t these expensive glass whiteboards insured?
As of the writing of this article, the issue hasn’t been resolved. But it’s a perfect example of why WeWork is broken at the most basic level, and why the “We” so touted by the now-disgraced Adam Neumann is nothing but an empty promise. Indeed, perhaps an instructive lesson can be taken from the $6M that Neumann was recently forced to return after secretly trademarking the “We” brand and then selling it to his own company. It seems that other companies have picked up on the creative accounting that Enron pioneered a generation ago and Goldman Sachs turned into an art form leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.
As we wait for the final resolution of this incident, I have a few thoughts:
2. Why, given all the negative press currently surrounding WeWork, is there such tone-deafness in what must be a routine matter? Is this the sort of story WeWork is looking to cultivate? Is this what they want people to hear about? “Lean against one of our whiteboards in a meeting and you might get a high bill with no explanation!” When you have “We” in your company name you’ve placed a special spotlight on yourself to try to work together, not against, your clients.
3. Why was there such a lack of basic professionalism on the part of WeWork Thailand? Rather than calling to ascertain the facts of the case, or presenting a copy of the terms and conditions of the room rental in conjunction with an itemized bill, WeWork chose to send a single line item bill with no further explanation. There’s an arrogance and lack of empathy that runs through this action that speaks to the larger company culture.
4. Why did the operation manager insist on being publicly rude to my friend, including raising her voice and using threatening hand gestures? Is there no irony in calling oneself a “WeWork manager” while failing to understand that “community” isn’t built on escalating an interaction simply because someone who received a bill asked for an itemization?
However the matter is resolved, it’s clear that WeWork’s culture is broken from the boardroom all the way down to the boards in the room.
As an aside, I want to thank my friend Bowen for putting his time and effort into this WeWork incident and never giving up until we get the truth. It’s his attitude that encouraged me to write this article. Thanks mate!
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