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Meta To Lay Off Another 10,000 Employees And A Further Hiring Freeze

Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta is laying off another 10,000 people and instituting a further hiring freeze as part of the company’s “Year of Efficiency”, the chief executive announced in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

The restructuring, which also sees a further 5,000 unfilled job adverts closed without hiring, comes less than six months after the company announced another wave of 11,000 redundancies. At its peak in 2022, Meta had grown to 87,000 employees globally, with a substantial portion of that hiring occurring since the onset of the Covid pandemic.

“This will be tough and there’s no way around that,” Zuckerberg wrote in a blogpost. “Over the next couple of months, org leaders will announce restructuring plans focused on flattening our orgs, canceling lower priority projects, and reducing our hiring rates.”

Restructuring and layoffs in Meta’s tech groups are expected in late April and in business groups in late May.

The end goal of the restructure is “to improve organizational efficiency, dramatically increase developer productivity and tooling, optimize distributed work, garbage collect unnecessary processes, and more”, Zuckerberg said. He highlighted issues including managers with very few staff to oversee and projects he said do not justify the organizational overhead to support them.

“A leaner org will execute its highest priorities faster,” he added. “People will be more productive, and their work will be more fun and fulfilling. We will become an even greater magnet for the most talented people. That’s why in our Year of Efficiency, we are focused on canceling projects that are duplicative or lower priority and making every organization as lean as possible.”

‌Zuckerberg’s note also hinted at a reversal of the company’s moves to promote engineers working from anywhere they want. “Our early analysis of performance data suggests that engineers who either joined Meta in-person and then transferred to remote or remained in-person performed better on average than people who joined remotely,” he said. “Engineers earlier in their career perform better on average when they work in-person with teammates at least three days a week. I encourage all of you to find more opportunities to work with your colleagues in person.”

Meta’s stock rose sharply on the news of layoffs, up 5.82% from its open despite turbulence related to the collapse of three tech-focused banks in the last week. In a research note from analysts Jeffries earlier this month, more layoffs had been recommended. “We believe more headcount reductions are needed to offset the last two years of excess hiring,” it said.

More than 100,000 tech workers have been laid off in the first three months of 2023, according a tally kept by TechCrunch, including 12,000 across Alphabet, the parent company of Google, 2,000 at PayPal, 18,000 at Amazon and 10,000 at Microsoft. Twitter has also let go of thousands of staff, in a series of rolling layoffs sparked by Elon Musk’s October acquisition of the company.

But there was no sign of Zuckerberg changing course on one of his most controversial decisions in recent years: plowing billions of dollars annually into the “metaverse”, a vaguely defined virtual world that is so central to his vision of the future that he renamed the company after it.

“Our leading work building the metaverse and shaping the next generation of computing platforms … remains central to defining the future of social connection,” Zuckerberg said in the blogpost announcing the layoffs. Shortly before the company’s November layoffs, some of Meta’s biggest shareholders had called for Zuckerberg to bail on the project, given the fact that even optimistic projections would not see any investment pay off for more than a decade. Instead, he insisted last year that “our long-term vision for the metaverse” was an example of a “high-priority growth area”.

With this round of layoffs, however, the founder and chief executive has bowed to pressure slightly, repositioning the metaverse as just one of a number of investments and instead focusing on the current trend in the tech sector: artificial intelligence. “Our single largest investment is in advancing AI and building it into every one of our products. We have the infrastructure to do this at unprecedented scale and I think the experiences it enables will be amazing,” he said.


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Fowlmere cottage in Cambridgeshire has a secret Henry VIII tunnel

Dig deep! Four-bed period Cambridgeshire cottage for sale has a secret tunnel dating back to Henry VIII’s era

  • Semi-detached Cambridgeshire cottage has an unusual underground feature
  • It has a historic tunnel linking it to the other properties in the village of Fowlmere
  • Hill View Cottage has four bedrooms and is up for grabs for £425,000

From the outside, it looks like a pretty period cottage with some serious kerb appeal.

But dig deeper and this village property listed for £425,000 with four bedrooms has an usual feature.

On closer inspection, you’ll find a historic underground tunnel that links the semi-detached house in the Cambridgeshire village of Fowlmere to several other nearby properties.

It is called Hill View cottage and the tunnel links it to the other properties with a small central meeting room.

This semi-detached cottage in the Cambridgeshire village of Fowlmere has an unusual underground feature

This semi-detached cottage in the Cambridgeshire village of Fowlmere has an unusual underground feature

It is understood the tunnel was built when Henry VIII created the church of England in the 16th century.

Historians believe it is likely to have been used by catholics and protestants as an escape route to avoid persecution when the authorities approached.

It is believed this is the last remaining access to the tunnel, with the others having been sealed off.

In the main living room, there are no clues to the hidden feature - just plenty of period details

In the main living room, there are no clues to the hidden feature – just plenty of period details

It is believed that this could be the last remaining access to the tunnel, which links to other properties in the village

 It is believed that this could be the last remaining access to the tunnel, which links to other properties in the village

The historic Grade II listed cottage has bay windows, exposed beams and brick fireplaces.

The tunnel is accessed via the cottage’s basement, which in turn is accessed from a door in the kitchen.

There are two double bedrooms on the first floor as well as a family bathroom, and two further bedrooms on the second floor with period features.

Outside, there is a garden enclosed by fencing and brick walls, with a lawn and a patio area.

The property is called Hill View cottage and the tunnel links it to the other properties with a small central meeting room

The property is called Hill View cottage and the tunnel links it to the other properties with a small central meeting room

The garden is enclosed by fencing and brick walls, and boasts a large a lawn with a boarder

The garden is enclosed by fencing and brick walls, and boasts a large a lawn with a boarder

The Grade II listed cottage has bay windows, as well as some exposed wooden beams

The Grade II listed cottage has bay windows, as well as some exposed wooden beams 

The Cambridgeshire property is on the market for £425,000 via Ensum Brown estate agents

The Cambridgeshire property is on the market for £425,000 via Ensum Brown estate agents

The tunnel is accessed via the cottage¿s basement, which in turn is accessed from a door in the kitchen

The tunnel is accessed via the cottage’s basement, which in turn is accessed from a door in the kitchen

The Cambridgeshire property is for sale for £425,000 via Ensum Brown estate agents.

The average price of a property sold in Cambridgeshire during the past 12 months is £431,181.

It compares to an average of £355,356 for the country as a whole, according to Zoopla.



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How to keep your home safe from burglars when heading on holiday

As the summer holiday season approaches, a checklist of jobs you need to undertake to protect your home as much as possible from burglars while away has been revealed.

It includes making sure that your home continues to look lived in, with no big giveaway that nobody is at home including an accumulation of post, packages and bottles of milk at the front door.

There is also the issue of social media and making sure that you don’t advertise that your home is empty by posting beach photos while you are away.

Top ten tips for protecting your home while you're away on a summer holiday are revealed

Top ten tips for protecting your home while you’re away on a summer holiday are revealed 

It is all about trying to ensure that a thief cannot work out if you are at home or away on holiday.

Darren Black, of Nationwide Building Society, said: ‘The vast majority of burglaries are opportunistic, targeting normal people living in everyday homes. 

‘To reduce the likelihood of your home becoming a target, you need to make the task for the burglar just that little bit less appealing by making it harder to break in or making it look more likely that they will be caught. 

‘The good news for homeowners is that many measures can be put in place at minimal cost.’ 

Tips include using anti-climb paint as many burglars obtain access to your home using drain pipes, low fences, or walls that are easy to climb

Tips include using anti-climb paint as many burglars obtain access to your home using drain pipes, low fences, or walls that are easy to climb

Michele Bennett, of ADT, agreed, saying: ‘Unfortunately, thieves are smart and opportunistic, so while it can seem there are an endless number of things to do to prepare for a holiday, ensuring you spend enough time securing your property is essential.

‘Locking your doors and windows may seem an obvious step, but the stress of preparing for a holiday can leave you forgetting to do the most simple tasks.

‘Be sure to remove any keys from doors, that all windows are fully closed and not left on the latch, and do a final check before leaving your home.’

Mrs Bennett added: ‘Getaways are exciting, and it can be tempting to tell everyone all about your holiday. 

‘However, burglars use Facebook and Twitter to target potential properties. Sharing updates on social media while you’re away may seem harmless, but ultimately leaves your property at risk, so be sure to wait until you are back home to post about your time away.

‘Making your house look lived in is essential while you’re away. 

‘There’s no bigger giveaway that nobody is home than the accumulation of post, packagers, or bottles of milk at the front door and this is exactly what opportunistic burglars look out for.

‘Pausing these services is an easy way of deterring any thieves from identifying your property as a target.

‘Additionally, you need to be clever with your lights, don’t just program them to turn on at the same time every day. 

‘Have them switch on at random times throughout the day to really offset burglars – if a thief can’t figure out whether or not you’re home, they’re unlikely to risk trying to break in.’

ADT has revealed a list of the top ten ways to protect your home while you’re away on holiday. 

Thieves look for escape routes and hiding spots when deciding which homes to break into, meaning gardens with high, overgrown hedges are more likely to be targeted

Thieves look for escape routes and hiding spots when deciding which homes to break into, meaning gardens with high, overgrown hedges are more likely to be targeted

Top ten tips to protect your home… 

1. Don’t leave empty milk bottles with a note

If you regularly receive a milk delivery, pause your order before departing for your holiday.

The best way to do this is by contacting your milk delivery service directly, rather than leaving empty milk bottles with a note attached.

This is a common mistake that potential thieves may pick up on.

2. Postpone your mail service

The accumulation of post in your mailbox is clear evidence of inactivity in your home.

To prevent this, contact your local post office or apply online to request the postponement of your mail service for the time you are away.

Once you’ve returned from your trip your post will be delivered to you, meaning you won’t miss any important mail.

3. Pause or reschedule any deliveries

Expecting packages while you’re away? Delivery drivers may leave your parcels in what they consider a ‘safe place’, assuming you’ll be home shortly to pick it up.

However, a pile of parcels is a clear indication to burglars that you’re on holiday. To avoid being targeted, ask a neighbour to collect any parcels for you or re-schedule any deliveries.

4. Secure your windows and doors

Make sure to secure all windows and doors, remove any keys from locks or where intruders can see them and bring in your spare key from its hiding spot.

Before you leave, spare a few minutes to walk around your home to double-check everything is secure – worth it for the safety of your property and for your peace of mind.

5. Make slippery slopes

Many burglars obtain access to your home using drain pipes, low fences, or walls that are easy to climb.

Investing in anti-climb paint will leave a sleek, more slippery surface that will make surfaces difficult for thieves to scale.

6. Clean up your garden

Thieves look for escape routes and hiding spots when deciding which homes to break into, meaning gardens with high, overgrown hedges are more likely to be targeted.

Before you leave, give your garden a thorough tidy-up to make your property less likely to be targeted while you’re away.

7. Ensure your house looks lived in

You may be tempted to leave your lights on for the whole time you are away, but thieves will spot this.

Using automatic timer switches for turning on a few well-appointed lights and a radio or TV will ensure your house does not seem empty.

Be sure to have lights come on at different times throughout your time away to really deter any thieves.

Smart plugs allow you to remotely turn off and on devices plugged into these devices and you can also have them turn lamps on when motion is detected by camera devices outside your property.

And some outdoor cameras also have two-way audio so you can warn off anyone on your property and emit a high pitch siren to deter any further encroachment.

8. Keep your holiday off social media

Social media is used by burglars to find empty houses, with thieves watching Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts to work out when residents are away.

Avoid posting about your break on any social media platforms while you’re away and instead wait until you are back home to update your friends and family about your trip.

9. Get a trusted companion to help you out

Asking a family member, friend or neighbour to come over every day will create the illusion that someone is living in your house.

Ask them to move any post, open and close blinds and curtains, and park a car in your driveway, to put off any potential burglars who could be monitoring your home.

10. Take control of your home security

From automating your home to making it look like you’re in when you’re not, there is a wide range of home security products available that are designed to protect your home while you’re away.

Products range from having a visible security alarm on the exterior of your property to deter burglars to smart plugs that allow you to remotely turn off and on devices such as TVs and a radio. 

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The Resilient Journey of Arnold Schwarzenegger, From Abused Child to Triumphs in Film, Politics & Television

Australian writer Clive James once described the then 30-year-old bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, as having a body like “a condom full of walnuts.” It is more than likely that Schwarzenegger read the phrase: according to one of his biographers, Michael Blitz, author of the hilarious chronicle Why Arnold Matters: The Rise of a Cultural Icon. The actor, politician and former Austrian athlete is an incorrigible narcissist who tries to “read every last line that is published about him.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger, like many other prominent figures in pop culture, experiences a conflicting dynamic with his own persona. While he appreciates the level of notoriety his fame brings, he is frustrated by being reduced to what he perceives as a crude caricature. Of particular concern to him is the potential dismissal of the immense dedication and disciplined efforts he invested in sculpting his body during his formative years, from ages 15 to 25.

Schwarzenegger vehemently rejects the idea that his personal accomplishments should be treated as laughable or subjected to cruel jokes. He views his finely chiseled physique as a testament to his determination, discipline, and artistic vision, rather than mere fodder for mockery. While he has demonstrated the ability to laugh at himself and engage in self-deprecating humor, he upholds a strong sense of dignity and does not tolerate those who attempt to undermine his legacy.

Always in the spotlight

This Friday marks the Netflix premiere of FUBAR, a series in which Schwarzenegger plays a fictional veteran CIA agent, and on June 7 Arnold will also appear in a three-episode documentary series with which Netflix has set out to show “the man behind the muscles.” And this is not just any man. As much as his triceps might make one think of a prophylactic crammed with nuts, Schwarzenegger is a complex individual with a particularly rich biography.

A family portrait of Schwarzenegger’s older brother Meinhard, mother Aurelia, and father Gustav Schwarzenegger in 1965.
A family portrait of Schwarzenegger’s older brother Meinhard, mother Aurelia, and father Gustav Schwarzenegger in 1965.Michael Ochs Archives (Getty Images)
An 18-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger lifts a friend in Austria in 1965.
An 18-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger lifts a friend in Austria in 1965.Michael Ochs Archives (Getty Images)

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s journey is marked by several significant chapters, starting with his tumultuous childhood. As a young boy, he faced the emotional struggle of vying for his father’s affection against his older brother. Schwarzenegger’s father, a supporter of the Nazi regime, exhibited abusive behavior towards his family, often likening himself to a lesser version of Adolf Hitler. The painful memories include instances of physical abuse, as his father wrongly believed that Schwarzenegger was gay.

Despite these challenging circumstances, Schwarzenegger’s resilience and determination drove him forward. At the age of 21, he made the courageous decision to emigrate to the United States, armed with only a small sum of Austrian schillings and a limited English vocabulary of approximately 20 words. Undeterred by the hurdles he faced, Schwarzenegger embarked on a remarkable journey of self-transformation.

His exceptional talent in bodybuilding became a defining aspect of his life. As a gifted athlete, he achieved great success, securing the prestigious title of Mr. Olympia seven times and being crowned Mr. Universe in 1968. Notably, he achieved these milestones while simultaneously working as a construction worker in Los Angeles, demonstrating his unwavering work ethic and dedication.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s illustrious career encompasses various facets that have contributed to his enduring legacy. Firstly, he ventured into the world of acting in 1970, making his big-screen debut as Hercules in the film Hercules in New York. Despite facing scathing reviews, Schwarzenegger persevered and eventually garnered recognition for his performance in Stay Hungry (1976), earning him a coveted Golden Globe, as encouraged by acclaimed filmmaker Bob Rafelson, an influential figure in New Hollywood.

Throughout the 1980s, Schwarzenegger established himself as an iconic figure in action cinema. His repertoire boasts an impressive lineup of blockbuster films, ranging from Conan the Barbarian (1982) to Last Action Hero (1993), including the legendary Terminator franchise. Notable entries in his filmography include Predator (1987), Red Heat (1988), and Total Recall (1990), solidifying his status as a prominent action movie star.

In addition to his on-screen persona, Schwarzenegger frequently found himself in the media spotlight. He made headlines by marrying journalist Maria Shriver, a member of the Kennedy family, while simultaneously expressing his political alignment with Republicans Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Despite advocating for the restoration of traditional family values, Schwarzenegger faced public scrutiny when news emerged of his extramarital affair and a secret child with his Guatemalan-born maid, Mildred Baena.

Schwarzenegger’s journey took a further twist when he entered the realm of politics. Initially positioning himself as a supporter of fiscal austerity and espousing firm masculinity, he ran for elected office in California. However, his political career witnessed significant transformations. Schwarzenegger evolved into a champion of sexual minority rights and became a prominent advocate for neoliberal environmentalism, a concept that was not widely recognized before his foray into politics. These shifts in his political stance redefined his public image and created a complex narrative surrounding his political ideology.

A traumatic childhood

For Michael Blitz, Schwarzenegger has retained coherence and sanity amidst so much existential and physical turmoil because he has never lost sight of “the child he was and the character he built to rescue himself from a mediocre life.” If one of his qualities were to stand out, it would be, in The Guardian journalist Rory Carroll’s opinion, “his unbridled ambition coupled with an oceanic self-confidence.” Schwarzenegger is “a pathological enthusiast.” He never gives up, never gives in, always demands “that extra stroke that takes you to a new shore” and manages to keep smiling.

Field, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joanna Cassidy in 1976.
Field, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Joanna Cassidy in 1976.FilmPublicityArchive (FilmPublicityArchive/United Arch)
Donna Summer in the arms of Arnold Schwarzenegger at a party at his Los Angeles home in April 1977.
Donna Summer in the arms of Arnold Schwarzenegger at a party at his Los Angeles home in April 1977.Michael Ochs Archives

Some of the anecdotes about his life are full of his stubborn personality and his mercurial but playful endurance. The most touching Schwarzenegger anecdote is perhaps the one about the boy who tried to play soccer because his father showed an interest in the sport that his older brother, Meinhard (a superb boxer and mountaineer) was not so good at. The lanky pre-teen that was Arnold stubbornly kicked the ball around until his father lost interest after watching him lose an unimportant game. From there he went on to lift weights, tired of being a disappointment to his brother and his father, the Nazi Gustav, who was a police officer, war veteran and chronic abuser, and who even wondered if that mushy little wimp was really his biological son.

One of the most endearing aspects of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life is perhaps his youthful escapade as an 18-year-old. In the midst of his military service in the Austrian army in the summer of 1965, he went absent without leave (AWOL) to participate in a bodybuilding competition in Germany. Despite facing consequences, including time in the stockade and a reprimand from his superiors, Schwarzenegger claims in his memoir, Total Defiance: My Incredible Story (published in 2012), that this act of rebellion was a rare and worthwhile experience.

Another memorable anecdote from his military days involves his training in driving tanks. During his service year, he had the opportunity to operate an antique tank through the Austrian countryside. In later years, Schwarzenegger tracked down the tank and eventually purchased it when it was bound for the scrapyard. He transported it to the United States, where he exhibited it to his friends. Subsequently, he donated it to the Motts Military Museum in Ohio in 2000.

However, upon visiting the museum at a later date, Schwarzenegger was disappointed by the condition in which his cherished tank was displayed. Consequently, he requested its return and currently utilizes it as an integral component of an educational program for youths from disadvantaged neighborhoods in Los Angeles. As part of this program, if the participating children exhibit good behavior, Schwarzenegger rewards them with a field trip and the opportunity to drive his tank.

These intriguing episodes highlight the unique experiences and interests of Arnold Schwarzenegger, demonstrating his willingness to seize unconventional opportunities and create impactful initiatives that combine his personal passions with a desire to inspire and educate others.

Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing

Other fascinating aspects of Schwarzenegger’s personality have to do with his use of tactics in his younger years to psychologically destabilize his opponents, something like the trash talking common in boxing or basketball, but little less than unheard of in the much more genteel world of European bodybuilding. Arnold says he developed very sophisticated strategies to “torpedo the self-esteem” of candidates with better bodies than his. In his opinion, rather than foul play, the use of this type of trickery was a symptom of “superior intelligence” to that of his rivals, not to mention the blind determination and competitive instinct that have always guided him.

Also noteworthy is the trick he played on his on-screen muscle rival, Sylvester Stallone, which only came to light years later. In 1990 he received a script that he considered one of the worst he had ever read and, aware of how things worked in Hollywood, he leaked to the press his enormous interest in starring in it. As he anticipated, this raised his rival Stallone’s suspicion, and he fought to get his hands on the project. Arnold’s dastardly trick worked. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot became a critical and public flop and, by Stallone’s own admission years later, “one of the worst movies in the solar system.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger at a party at the Four Seasons in New York in 1976.
Arnold Schwarzenegger at a party at the Four Seasons in New York in 1976.Fairchild Archive (Penske Media via Getty Images)
Young Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Young Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger.Ron Galella (Ron Galella Collection via Getty)

A unique accent

Already in the United States, the young adult proved his mettle by resisting any attempt to interfere with his career. Mark Hamill, the future Luke Skywalker, with whom he struck up a friendship when they were both starting to frequent casting calls, advised him to “choose a stage name that people would be able to remember” and to get rid of the dreadful accent that made him sound like “an operetta Nazi” as soon as possible. Since it’s hard to say no to a man possessed by the Force, Schwarzenegger took his advice on only one occasion: in his first high-profile role in Hercules in New York, he appeared as Arnold Strong in the credits and struggled to impose an accent more from the suburbs of Omaha than the outskirts of Graz.

The experiment left a bad taste in his mouth: it made no sense to give up what made him different and to replace it with a dull name and a fake accent. So he returned to the not so unpronounceable Schwarzenegger and that Teutonic touch that he has never really wanted to get rid of, even though he has demonstrated on multiple occasions that his Yankee accent is now much better than it was in 1970.

The same with politics. Arnold first won election as governor of California in 2003, at a time when he was considered a disciple of Nixon’s fiscal austerity and Reagan’s cultural conservatism. During the campaign, he insisted on presenting himself as the Terminator who was going to wipe the irresponsible frivolity and affectations of the Democrats off the map, even though his advisors thought it smarter to avoid the negative connotations of the character and present himself as a much nicer kindergarten cop.

Mick Jagger and Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Hôtel du Cap in Antibes (France).
Mick Jagger and Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Hôtel du Cap in Antibes (France).Jean Pigozzi

Arnold Schwarzenegger had a keen understanding that his fellow citizens in the Golden State would embrace a tough stance with greater fervor than misguided paternalism. His foresight proved accurate, as his success marked the beginning of a fast-paced trajectory—from being an immensely popular pop icon to attaining political power—a path subsequently traversed by Donald Trump. However, when Schwarzenegger sought re-election in 2007, he astutely recognized the shifting political climate and swiftly embarked on a sharp course correction. This transformation led him to adopt centrist and even progressive positions on certain issues, ultimately securing another triumph. Throughout this journey, Schwarzenegger’s guiding principle has always been to trust his own instincts.

Schwarzenegger is an individual who may appear unconventional, with a physical appearance likened to a “condom stuffed with walnuts,” yet his resilience and consistency amidst striking contradictions make him an unyielding force. His unwavering self-image remains impervious, much like a nuclear bomb-proof shelter. Undeniably, Schwarzenegger’s captivating persona warrants the production of numerous documentaries to illuminate the multifaceted aspects of his life and career.

Schwarzenegger’s story is a testament to his adaptability, astuteness, and unwavering confidence in navigating the realms of both entertainment and politics. His remarkable journey serves as a compelling case study, showcasing the dynamic nature of leadership and the significance of trusting one’s own instincts in the face of evolving circumstances.


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