The other star of Apple’s event; Good news for the middle class


    There’s a lot of pressure on Apple’s iPhone X, unveiled at yesterday’s event after months of speculation (and leaks). The company calls it “the future of the smartphone” — and with facial recognition, an OLED display, no home button, and other new features, the pricey device certainly feels like a departure from previous versions. Apple’s hottest product has the potential to juice iPhone sales, which account for two-thirds of the company’s revenue and dropped for the first time last year. But the iPhone X isn’t the only trick up Apple’s sleeve: Its latest Watch, now with cellular, may be just what the company needs to complement a saturated smartphone industry. “The Apple Watch could yet become the iPhone successor that the company has long sought,” says Slate; one analyst told Reuters the Series 3 could more than double watch sales. • Share your thoughts: #AppleWatch

    Hurricane Irma destroyed a quarter of homes in the Florida Keys and left 65% with major damage, according to FEMA administrator Brock Long. “Basically, every house in the Keys was impacted,” he said. 5.8 million homes in Florida and other southeastern states were still without power late Tuesday. Before reaching Florida the storm devastated the Caribbean, killing 43 and leaving islands in an “apocalyptic” state; the death toll across the Caribbean and US have passed five dozen. And in Florida, where damages are expected to run into the tens of billions of dollars, the human toll just got much worse: six nursing home residents reportedly died when Irma knocked out power, and their air conditioning. • Share your thoughts: #IrmaDamage

    The middle class gets richer. The US Census Bureau reported gains across the economic spectrum in 2016, but the middle class showed particular progress: Median household income reached a new high of $59,039, up an inflation-adjusted 3.2% from the previous year. The prior peak was $58,665 in 1999, although officials say methodology changes in 2013 make comparisons somewhat murky. Still, the rise in median household income over the past two years — 2015 jumped a whopping 5% from the previous year — is evidence that Americans are finally feeling the effects of economic growth after a rough recession and slow recovery. • Share your thoughts:#AmericanHouseholdIncome

    The US Supreme Court sided with the Trump administration to keep a restrictive ban on refugees. The decision reverses parts of last week’s lower court ruling that added grandparents, uncles, aunts, and others with a “bona fide relationship” to US citizens to the list of ban exemptions. It’s a “partial victory” for Trump ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on October 10, which will determine the constitutionality of the travel ban that bars people from six Muslim nations and refugees from entering the US. The administration has also been considering capping refugee entrance into the US to below 50,000, the lowest number since 1980. • Share your thoughts: #TrumpTravelBan

    Are free food, fitness plans and mental health support becoming the way of the future at work? Office wellness programs have burgeoned into a $6.8 billion industry over the past few years, largely based on the promise of reduced employer healthcare costs. As of 2016, 76% of employers had a wellness program. But multiple studies by nonprofit think tank RAND Corp. show that employers typically end up spending more on these programs than they do on health care. So why do employers continue to buy in? Beyond the perceived dollars saved, wellness programs are thought to boost employee productivity and attract new talent. • Share your thoughts: #WorkplaceWellness

    Idea of the Day: That Silicon Valley mantra about failing fast is true: It can take over 3,000 ideas before producing one that will be a commercial success, says innovation expert Daniel Burrus, who says his mantra is “fail fast to learn faster.”

    “Failing fast allows you to move on from that missed shot or lost match that much sooner. You can then get to the next effort, which, hopefully, will yield better results.”

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