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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Erwin Claire Danes 2 (1)

    • Celebrity makeup artist Erwin Gomez has worked with the likes of Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria, Rachel McAdams, and Paris Hilton.
    • He told INSIDER that if he could only buy one product, it would be a mascara.
    • His favourite happens to be from the high street — and it costs just $5.55 on Amazon.

    With over 30 years of experience, Philippines-born, New York and LA-trained, and Washington DC-based makeup artist Erwin Gomez is regularly tasked with making the faces of Hollywood's elite look "on point."

    He told INSIDER that, based out of his studio KARMA by Erwin Gomez, he's become a go-to for the likes of Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria, Rachel McAdams, and Paris Hilton — celebrities who "love to look flawless."

    While he's been called an eyebrow guru — and has plenty of advice on how to get them right— if he had to chose only one product, it wouldn't be an eyebrow tool.

    Instead, he told INSIDER that it would be a mascara.

    "I love my mascara," he said — so much so that he said should he get stranded on a desert island, he'd pack "mascara and sun protection."

    While he has his own cosmetics line, his favourite mascara brand actually comes from the high street — and costs just $5.55 on Amazon.

    l'oreal voluminous mascara

    "I like the L’Oreal Voluminous," he said. "It's one of my favourites. The cobalt black is really amazing."

    The mascara has 3.9/5 stars and over 3,900 customer reviews on Amazon — so it's probably worth a shot.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This company spent 10 years developing a product that allows humans to scale walls like a gecko

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    Britain's Prince Harry is embraced by Luke Vincent, 5, on his arrival in Dubbo, Australia, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific. (Phil Noble/Pool via AP)

    • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met a very special fan on Wednesday.
    • While visiting Dubbo in New South Wales as part of their royal tour of Australia, the royal couple were greeted by five-year-old Luke Vincent.
    • Vincent threw caution to the wind when he dived in for a hug with the prince.
    • Touching members of the royal family is generally prohibited, but Harry didn't seem to mind one bit as the young fan rubbed his beard.
    • "Luke's favourite person in the world is Santa Claus, who has a beard. So he rubbed Harry's beard," school principal Anne Van Darrel told 7 News Sydney.
    • The Duke and Duchess are in Australia for the rest of the week before jetting off to Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand to round off their first royal tour since marrying in May.
    • The couple announced on Monday that they're expecting a child of their own in the spring.

    Royal protocol went out the window on Tuesday as Prince Harry allowed an adorable young fan to rub his beard during the last leg of his and Meghan Markle's tour of Australia.

    The royal couple were visiting Dubbo in New South Wales just days after announcing that they're expecting a child of their own— an they were greeted by more than 30,000 fans, according to The Guardian.

    Onlookers were treated to a tear-jerkingly adorable moment when Meghan and Harry met five-year-old Luke Vincent who dived straight in for a hug with the Prince.

    Luke's teacher said he "didn't give [Harry] any choice" in the matter, according to the BBC.

    You can watch the cute moment in the tweet below:

    Traditional etiquette suggests you shouldn't touch a member of the royal family, and you should even wait for a royal to offer you their hand before engaging in a handshake.

    It's "best not to initiate personal physical contact with a member of the royal family," Lucy Hume, associate director of British etiquette bible Debrett's, told Reuters in May.

    But that didn't stop young Vincent from going a step further to rub Harry's beard, which he seemed entranced by.

    "Luke's favourite person in the world is Santa Claus, who has a beard. So he rubbed Harry's beard," school principal Anne Van Darrel told 7 News Sydney.

    "[We were told] no touching. Definitely, I was very concerned once he started rubbing Prince Harry's face and his hair but Prince Harry was completely gracious and so polite and realised what was happening with his infatuation with his beard.

    "We can only thank him so much for treating Luke with such respect."

    Vincent also treated the Duchess of Sussex to a warm hug after handing her a bunch of flowers.

    Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are embraced by Luke Vincent, 5, on their arrival in Dubbo, Australia, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

    "I know that the school was watching it back here and there wasn't a dry eye back in the school," Van Darrel added.

    Ironically, the royal couple were in Dubbo to discuss the droughts that had plagued that region — but the heavens opened and they were soaked by torrential rain.

    Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a community picnic at Victoria Park in Dubbo, Australia, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific. (Ian Vogler/Pool via AP)

    "We know that suicide rates in rural and remote areas are greater than in urban populations and this may be especially true among young men in remote regions," Harry said according to the Guardian.

    "But, outside all of that, here's what I also know. You are one huge community and with that comes an unparalleled level of internal support and understanding."

    The Duke and Duchess are in Australia for the rest of the week before jetting off to Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand to round off their first royal tour since marrying in May.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Never eat the 'clean' part of moldy bread

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    • Google was fined €4.3 billion ($5 billion) in July by the EU over its Android monopoly.
    • The EU gave Google 90 days to get its house in order, saying if it didn't, it could be fined up to 5% of its daily revenue for each day it fails to comply with EU laws.
    • That means it could have been fined as much as $15.2 million a day, on top of the $5 billion penalty.
    • Google filed an appeal against the ruling, but in the meantime, it will implement changes to comply with the EU's decision.

    Google was fined a record €4.3 billion ($5 billion/£3.8 billion) by the EU in July, and although it's appealing the ruling, the tech giant has announced it's complying with the EU's decision.

    The European Commission antitrust watchdog, led by Margrethe Vestager, identified three key transgressions, which prompted the $5 billion fine:

    • Requiring mobile device manufacturers to preinstall Google's browser and search apps for access to the Play store.
    • Paying manufacturers to exclusively preinstall Google Search.
    • Preventing manufacturers from selling devices running alternative versions of Android.

    The Commission said if these issues were not put right within 90 days, Google would be fined up to 5% of the global daily revenue of its parent company Alphabet.

    Alphabet's total annual revenue stood at $110.9 billion last year, which evens out at a daily average of approximately $304 million. That means Google could have been stung with penalties of as much as $15.2 million a day, on top of its existing $5 billion fine.

    But on Tuesday, Google published a blog post announcing that it would be complying with the EU's Android demands while it is in the process of appealing.

    It said it would no longer require European phone manufacturers who use its Android operating system to pre-install Google apps. The downside for manufacturers is that they will now have to pay to pre-install apps such as Gmail or the Google Play Store.

    The EU originally gave Google a deadline of October 28, and the company said the changes will come into effect on October 29. The move seems designed to avoid incurring further fines should Google lose its appeal against the EU.

    Google is not entirely off the hook, however. A Commission spokeswoman told Business Insider: "It is Google's responsibility to comply with its obligations under the decision. The Commission will closely monitor Google's compliance to ensure that the remedy is effective and respects the Decision."

    The EU was also keen to emphasise that its decision did not stipulate that Google charge manufacturers to install its apps. "It is for Google to decide exactly how to comply with the Commission's decision. The decision does not require Google to charge for any of its apps or for the Play Store," the spokeswoman added.

    Business Insider contacted Google for comment.

    SEE ALSO: Here are the 3 reasons Google was slapped with an enormous $5 billion fine by the EU

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch Apple unveil a new, bigger watch

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    • Canada became the first G7 country to legalize marijuana sales nationwide on Wednesday.
    • Marijuana will be available to purchase either online or in retail stores depending on the province. 
    • The global financial community is eagerly watching.

    Marijuana sales officially began in Canada on Wednesday, making it the first G7 country — and the second country in the world after Uruguay — to legalize the drug for all adults.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on a promise to legalize marijuana, and his Liberal government delivered in the form of Bill C-45, otherwise known as the Cannabis Act.

    While Trudeau cast the bill in a public health lens, in order to make marijuana more difficult for teenagers to access and erode black market profits, the global financial community is eagerly looking at Canada to see how legalization plays out. 

    The bill legalizes marijuana but leaves it up to each province to set age limits and decide how to sell it. Some provinces, like Ontario — Canada's most populous province and financial center — won't have open storefronts on Wednesday. 

    Until Ontario's Conservative government works out the kinks in its plan to open up the market to private retailers, Ontarians will be able to purchase cannabis online.

    Other provinces, like Alberta, will have cannabis available in provincially-run stores on Wednesday for all adults over the age of 18. Quebec, on the other hand, is planning to raise the age limit to 21. And, all provinces will only have marijuana flower available.

    Vaporizers, edibles, and marijuana-infused beverages are expected to be made legal sometime next year.

    canada marijuana

    'A bold and principled step'

    Legalization advocates around the world cheered Canada's move.

    "Canada’s move to legalize marijuana is a historic rebuke to the disastrous global war on drugs, which has ruined millions of lives," Hannah Hetzer, a Senior International Policy Manager at the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance, said. "Many countries are searching for innovative approaches to drug policy that emphasize health and rights, rather than repression. By taking this bold and principled step, Canada will likely become an inspiration for many other countries."

    Financial markets and investors are looking to Canada as a bellwether to see how other countries will legalize the drug — and where lucrative opportunities may lie.

    "We believe that the legalization in Canada offers a roadmap to invest in the companies that will form the basis of the legal cannabis industry in the coming years," Jon Trauben, a managing partner at the cannabis-focused Altitude Investment Management, said.

    Canada's federally coherent regulations will give investors and businesses in the cannabis industry access to banking, public markets, and the ability to sponsor pharmaceutical research and publish papers — just like in any other industry.

    Canada's cannabis stocks have been frothy in the run-up to legalization

    In the US, it's a different ballgame. The patchwork approach to legalization means many cannabis businesses, which are legal in the states they operate, are denied access to the banking system, aren't able to get loans, and can't list on US stock exchanges like the NASDAQ or NYSE.

    Researchers in the US also aren't easily able to study cannabis for medical purposes because the plant is federally illegal.


    Canada's biggest cannabis companies are scaling up and signing deals in preparation

    For now, Canada's biggest cannabis producers are rapidly scaling up and signing deals to capitalize on the fervor around legalization.

    Constellation, the third-largest beer company in the US, paid $4 billion in August for a 38% stake of Canopy Growth, the largest publicly traded marijuana grower, to develop marijuana-infused beverages and other products. It's the largest corporate investment in a marijuana cultivator to date.

    Molson Coors recently entered a joint venture with Hexo, a publicly-traded cultivator, to produce marijuana-infused beer for the Canadian market, among other deals.

    Other big retail companies, like Walmart, have signaled they are exploring the market for CBD (cannabidiol) products. CBD is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that's linked to a range of health benefits but can't get you high.

    While Canada's marijuana legalization is a massive opportunity for investors and cannabis companies, the true value, according to some, is in the pressure it puts on the US to reform marijuana laws.

    "Canada has this big finger that is wagging, that is pointing down to us in the US saying, 'How come you can't get your stuff together?" Adam Bierman, the CEO MedMen, the largest US cannabis retailer, told Business Insider in an interview. 

    And while Canada may ultimately be a smaller marijuana market than California — the bank CIBC predicts it will become a $5 billion industry in the country by 2020 — the symbolism of being the first G7 country to legalize the plant means the whole world is watching.

    "Canada has been so much more visionary, so much more progressive, and so much more reflective of the public sentiment in 2018 than the US has," Bierman said. 

    Read more of Business Insider's cannabis industry coverage:

    SEE ALSO: The top 12 venture-capital firms making deals in the booming cannabis industry that's set to skyrocket to $75 billion

    AND MORE: The CEO of the biggest cannabis company in the US reveals his strategy for defending against huge private equity funds

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Medical breakthroughs we will see in the next 50 years

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    Wall Street trader

    • Traders refuse to throw in the towel on the controversial short-volatility trade that's come under pressure multiple times this year.
    • Morgan Stanley lays out why the trade is so ill-advised, especially amid current conditions, and offers alternative solutions.

    Sometimes old habits die hard.

    That's definitely the case when it comes to one hot-button trade, which still has legions of participants despite an ugly blow-up earlier this year.

    We're referring, of course, to volatility short selling. After a market shock in early February caught traders off-guard and forced them to cover positions, billions of dollars were erased from popular investment products. Some even dissolved entirely.

    That carnage, in turn, worsened widespread selling pressure as those investors covered shorts in droves. And all of a sudden, the market had a new black sheep.

    Those traders don't appear to have learned their lesson. As the chart below shows, they've rebuilt a net short volatility position to rival the one seen before the February meltdown.

    In fact, they went as far as to add to it during last week's market mayhem. The most recent weekly period in the chart ended on Oct. 11, the day the VIX reached a multi-month high.VIX net futures positions

    Their hubris wound up costing them dearly last week, when the S&P 500 capped off a sharp six-day drop, pushing the Cboe Volatility Index — or VIX— to 24.98, the highest since the mess eight months ago.

    That cost volatility short sellers roughly $420 million, one expert told Bloomberg. It wasn't as bad as the February incident, which saw the VIX exceed 37, but it was still a tough pill to swallow for volatility bears.

    Morgan Stanley is hardly a fan of the short-volatility trade. Strategists at the firm spoke out against it after last week's pan-market sell-off and accompanying volatility spike.

    The firm argued that it can take five to six months to "build up cushions" against a reversion to the mean whenever there's a surge in price swings. Because of that, an increasingly volatile market can quickly undo progress.

    Morgan Stanley is also cautiously watching the sudden re-rating of so-called growth stocks — or companies seeing torrid earnings expansion. They say this is driving the ongoing uptick in volatility, which is hardly a fleeting trend, as traders increasingly pile into inexpensive value names instead.

    These investors should instead be throwing in the towel on their beloved trade and going long volatility, says Morgan Stanley. The firm offers the following specifics:

    "Like in January, the equity market has been the most responsive to a sector rotation-driven drop," Andrew Sheets, Morgan Stanley's chief cross-asset strategist, wrote in a client note. "We have liked owning hedges on Russell 2000, which tends to underperform S&P 500 in drawdowns. Credit vols have also risen but are still below average levels, again suitable for a long vol bias."

    That being said, common sense and expert advice hasn't stopped short-volatility enthusiasts yet, and it probably won't in the future. It's likely that they used the recent VIX spike to replenish their short positions — an inverse buy-the-dip strategy of sorts. 

    However, their luck may soon run out, at least if a recent forecast from Bernstein comes true. Inigo Fraser-Jenkins, the firm's head of global and quantitative European equity strategy, thinks volatility is going to shift higher on a long-term basis.

    It seems like a sound thesis based on how the last couple years have played out. During 2017, the VIX averaged a record low of 11.10, implying that it had nowhere to go but up. Sure, it's still below its long-term average of 19.33, but any reversion to the mean would translate to more volatile conditions.

    But if short-volatility traders have shown one quality over time, it's that they're a stubborn bunch. They're likely to go down swinging, no matter how dire the situation becomes.

    SEE ALSO: Here's why the recent chaos in markets is the new normal

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales: There's going to be an 'enormous backlash' against Donald Trump's lies

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    massimo the conduit

    • I met Massimo Bottura, the best chef in the world, in London during his residency at private members' club The Conduit.
    • He told me the stories behind his most iconic dishes — and they're surprisingly relatable.
    • With names like "Oops! I dropped the lemon tart," and "The Crunchy Part of the Lasagna," his plates are tied to emotion and nostalgia.
    • It's perhaps this focus on emotion that led him to become much more than a chef.
    • He's also combatting food waste and homelessness through his non-profit Food For Soul.

    Massimo Bottura isn't shy about being the best chef in the world.

    When I met him in September at new London private members club The Conduit, where he was holding a residency for the week, he referred to himself by that name a number of times.

    It's not surprising, given his countless successes to date.

    His three Michelin-starred restaurant Osteria Francescana, based in the small town of Modena, Italy, was named the best in the world at the World's 50 Best Restaurants 2018 awards in June, having previously topped the list in 2016.

    You may also have seen Bottura — and Francescana — on the first ever episode of the Netflix original series Chef's Table, which followed Bottura from his childhood of stealing pieces of his grandmother's tortellino from under the kitchen table to working in New York City, training with renowned chef Alain Ducasse in Paris, and eventually opening Francescana, where he finds innovative ways of turning traditional Italian dishes into something entirely modern yet nostalgic.

    Despite the prestige behind Francescana and Bottura, the stories behind his dishes are surprisingly relatable — none more so than his most iconic one, fittingly titled "Oops! I dropped the lemon tart."

    Dropping the lemon tart

    Oops! I dropped the lemon tart_credits Paolo Terzi

    The menu Bottura created for his residency at The Conduit, the new sustainability-focused members' club which officially opens on September 24, was made up of Bottura's most iconic dishes, and "really deeply Osteria in every single preparation," he told me.

    Every ingredient was sourced from Modena — using the likes of Bottura's farmers, fishermen, and cheesemakers — then shipped to London. "We finished everything with all the fresh herbs and foraged around the markets here in London," he said. "It was a very long process."

    The result was a seven-course menu which finished with "Oops! I dropped the lemon tart."

    The dish involves the idea of "rebuilding in a perfect way the imperfections," Bottura said.

    It came about when Francescana sous chef Taka Kondo accidentally dropped a lemon tart before serving it.

    "He was ready to kill himself because he's Japanese and Japanese [people] doesn't make mistakes, or they make mistakes but they're not allowed to," Bottura said. "So I saved Taka's life saying 'Taka, it's amazing. It's the metaphor for south of Italy.'

    "'You're breaking the border between sweet and savoury, and it doesn't matter if it's perfect.'"

    He calls the dish "the palate of the people," using bergamot from Calabria, lemon from Sorrento, and almonds and capers from other parts of the country.

    "We don't care [about] the aesthetic part of the dish, we care about the ethic part of the dish," he said. "If you go to south of Italy, you never know if the museum is open or closed, or when you'll arrive in Capri — but when you're there, you swim in Capri and you forget about everything, or you walk into the Temple Valley and it's done, it's magic.

    "So that's what the meaning of 'Oops! I dropped the lemon tart' is. Keep space open for poetry in your everyday life, with which you can jump and imagine everything."

    He added that in a place like Osteria Francescana — and in Modena — serving a dish like this is "really pushing it, provocative."

    It was this type of creation — too innovative for the conservative and traditional Modena locals — that nearly caused the restaurant to close in its early days.

    "It's also the way to make everyone feel comfortable, even if you're not used to eating in the best restaurant in the world," he said. "'Who cares? Look at that. He made a mistake.'"

    After recently giving a speech at the Sydney Opera House, Bottura said: "At the end of the speech, an elementary class arrived with all these young kids, and they gave me a book they did for me, in Australia, saying amazing, very simple messages, cartoons, drawings, writings, which were saying [things] like 'Chef, you are the best chef in the world and you are making mistake[s].'

    "'You [broke the] lemon tart. If you make mistake[s], we are allowed to make mistake[s] too. So please, keep making mistakes.'"

    Serving up emotion

    The Crunchy part of the lasagna_credits Paolo Terzi

    It's certainly not the only one of Bottura's dishes that, despite appearing to be quite obscure, is rooted in nostalgia.

    Perhaps my second favourite is "The Crunchy Part of the Lasagna," the pasta course he served at The Conduit.

    "The pasta course is very abstract, but is the most emotional plate of the day," he said, explaining that it's about sharing "the idea of the grandmother who brings the big pan of lasagna in the middle of the table at Sunday lunch."

    "The kids, they're stealing the crunchy part," he said. "I just rebuilt and shared the idea of serving the crunchy part of the lasagna, because it's the way you approach the food as a kid. Everybody knows, even people from Lima in Peru, they know that the best part of the big pan of lasagna is the crunchy part."

    He added that while in fine dining "it's not about serving a big piece of lasagna or pasta in your dinner or lunch," he instead is "serving emotions."

    "I'm serving the emotion of the kid who steals the crunchy part of the lasagna," he said. "That's the experience."

    'We have a big responsibility to change the world'

    the conduit

    It is perhaps this connection to emotions that make Bottura much more than just the best chef in the world.

    Gary Robinson, Executive Chef at The Conduit and former Head Chef to the Prince of Wales, told me that while Bottura's food is "utterly incredible — you don't get three Michelin stars by not being utterly incredible," his "ethos and values" were a match with the members' club.

    The food program at The Conduit is focused on local sourcing — like Massimo in Modena — and sustainability, but the team particularly identified with Bottura's work with food waste and feeding the homeless.

    The Conduit has teamed up with the Beyond Food Foundation, a charity that "helps homeless people get into meaningful employment."

    Meanwhile, Bottura is attempting to combat homelessness and the food waste crisis in one with his nonprofit Food for Soul.

    It began at Expo 2015 in Milan, where the team behind "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" asked Bottura to be involved.

    In "the most neglected neighbourhood in Milan," Bottura worked with a team of architects, designers, and artists to turn a 1930s abandoned theatre "full of rats and dust" into a pavilion where he could cook "beautiful meals" for those in need.

    "We produce food for 12 billion people, we are seven billion on earth, and almost one billion are in need, so we waste 33% of the food we produce," he said. "This is insane, so I said, 'We need to do something as chefs, we have a big responsibility to change the world.'"

    Massimo Bottura Amex Event

    After Milan, Bottura said he had the idea of "serving people in need in amazing places full of art and design," not just for the sake of the food, but "also to rebuild the dignity of people and serve them at the table.

    "It was not a normal soup kitchen which you're waiting in line," he said. "It's a three-course meal cooked by the best chef in the world, served by the volunteers."

    Now, the foundation uses Bottura's image to raise money and build these "refettorios"— or community kitchens — across the world, so far in Milan, Rio de Janeiro, London, and Paris.

    "To volunteer in London or Paris, there's a waiting list," he said. "This is crazy."

    He added that he's trying to communicate to the world that "what people think is food waste — brown bananas, overripe tomatoes, bread crumbs — for us are just opportunities to create something beautiful."

    "In my life, I [have received] every single prize, recognition, money, whatever, [and] at one point of your life, you should ask yourself...what [should I] do to give back something," he said.

    "The people that choose to do the job I do are usually people that are open to give, not to receive. We give happiness, we transfer that kind of feeling through our food."

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best restaurants in the world in 2018

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What happens when you sleep in your contacts

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    Bill Gates Condoms

    • Scientists have invented a new self-lubricating condom that becomes slippery on contact and could make using the contraceptive more pleasurable.
    • Their work, backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has resulted in a condom that stays slippery for more than 1,000 thrusts.
    • The scientists say that this could increase condom usage and cut down on sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancies.
    • 43% of those who took part in the study said such a condom would increase their condom usage.

    Scientists have invented a new self-lubricating condom with money from Bill Gates, and it could cut down on sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancies by making condoms more appealing to use.

    The study, published in the Royal Society Open journal, describes how the rubber latex is coated with a thin layer of hydrophilic polymers that, upon contact with moisture, become slippery to the touch, making the lubricant last longer and removing the need to add more lubricant during sex.

    It could last at least 1,000 thrusts without losing slipperiness and should be more comfortable than regular condoms.

    The scientists, backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, tested regular condoms with a shop-bought, water-based lubricant and found that they were initially slippery but became less so after around 600 thrusts.

    Intercourse typically lasts for between 100 and 500 thrusts, the study said.

    Researcher Prof Mark Grinstaff, from Boston University, told the BBC:"It feels a bit slimy when you handle it dry, but in the presence of water or natural fluids it becomes really slick. You only need a little bit of fluid to activate it."

    Thirty-three men and women tested both types of condoms. Seventy-three percent rated the self-lubricating one more highly. 

    Of those that said they "never" use condoms, 86% said they would prefer an inherently slippery condom and 43% said that an inherently slippery condom would increase their condom usage.

    Clinical trials with couples to see how the condoms compare in real-life settings could begin early next year, Grindstaff said.

    A spin-off company from the university is now looking to develop a product for sale.

    SEE ALSO: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says there's opportunity in these 13 areas to make the world better

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How whales became the largest animals ever

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    This is what traders are talking about.

    Trump says the Federal Reserve is the 'biggest threat' to the economy. "My biggest threat is the Fed, because the Fed is raising rates too fast," President Donald Trump told the Fox Business host Trish Regan. "And it's independent, so I don't speak to them, but I'm not happy with what he's doing because it's going too fast. Because you looked at the last inflation numbers — they are very low."

    S&P sounds the alarm on Chinese local governments' off-balance-sheet debt. The credit-rating agency Standard & Poor's says that the off balance of local governments in China has ballooned to as much as 40 trillion yuan ($6 trillion) in recent years and that it represents a "debt iceberg with titanic credit risks."

    Theresa May heads to Brussels with a no-deal Brexit looking more likely than ever before. "Unfortunately the report on the state of the negotiations that I got from Michel Barnier today, as well as yesterday's debate in the House of Commons, gives me no grounds for optimism before tomorrow's European Council on Brexit," the European Council's president, Donald Tusk, said on Tuesday.

    Canada has officially legalized marijuana for all adults. Canada on Wednesday became the second country in the world — after Uruguay — to legalize the drug.

    Investors are doubling down on a trade that blew up in their faces earlier this year. Traders are refusing to throw in the towel on the short-volatility trade, and Morgan Stanley explains why they should be going long volatility instead.

    Netflix soars after crushing subscriber numbers. Shares gained as much as 15% in after-hours trading Thursday after the streaming giant said it added 6.96 million new subscribers in the third quarter, easily beating the roughly 5 million that analysts were expecting.

    IBM misses on revenue. IBM's third-quarter revenue fell 2% versus a year ago to $18.8 billion, missing the $19.1 billion that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting.

    Stock markets around the world are mostly higher. Australia's ASX (+1.45%) led the overnight gains, and Britain's FTSE (+0.22%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,807.

    Earnings season rolls on. Abbott Industries and United Continental report ahead of the opening bell, while Alcoa, United Rentals, and Steel Dynamics release their quarterly results after markets close.

    US economic data keeps coming. Housing starts and building permits will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, and September's Federal Open Market Committee minutes will cross the wires at 2 p.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 3.17%.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    mbs khashoggi erdogan

    • Saudi critic and journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been missing for 15 days, but Saudi Arabia is yet to offer a credible explanation.
    • Saudi Arabia initially denied knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts but now reportedly plans to admit to his murder.
    • Riyadh plans to scapegoat a two-star general and say that he botched a plan to interrogate Khashoggi, accidentally killing him, The Daily Beast reported.
    • The narrative falls in line with Donald Trump's suggestion earlier this week that "rogue killers," not the Saudi leadership, are to blame Khashoggi's disappearance.
    • Foreign-policy experts have called the story "ludicrous in the extreme."

    Saudi Arabia reportedly plans to admit that missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents, but will instead put the blame on a rogue general acting beyond his authority.

    The Daily Beast reported that Saudi officials plan to pin Khashoggi's death on an unnamed Saudi two-star general citing two anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

    The report said that the general is "new to intelligence work," seemingly setting up his inexperience as part of the reason for killing Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who often criticized the Saudi government.

    It comes as Turkish officials reportedly offered gruesome details to support their conclusion that Khashoggi was killed minutes after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

    saudi consulate istanbul

    According to Turkey's pro-government Daily Sabah newspaper, Al Jazeera Arabic — a TV channel funded by Saudi rival Qatar — reported on Tuesday that Khashoggi was beaten, drugged, and eventually killed in the Saudi consul general's office, citing unnamed Turkish investigators.

    A Saudi autopsy expert, Salah Mohammed al-Tubaigy, also advised other Saudis to listen to music while he dismembered Khashoggi's body in the consulate, Al Jazeera reported, according to Sabah.

    jamal khashoggi enter saudi embassy

    Riyadh's reported blame game

    According to The Daily Beast, Riyadh plans to say that the unnamed general secured approval from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to interrogate Khashoggi.

    It says he was given authority to extract information about Khashoggi's alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist political faction, and financial ties to Saudi rival Qatar.

    According to Riyadh's potential narrative, the general improvised a plan to send Khashoggi from Turkey to Saudi Arabia, but botched it and killed him instead, The Daily Beast reported.

    The Daily Beast's report says Saudi officials will claim he then lied to his superiors about what happened.

    This explanation could allow Saudi officials — including Crown Prince Mohammed — to stick to their initial position of denying any knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts shortly after he was reported missing.

    Jamal Khashoggi

    The narrative falls in line with recent reports

    The narrative about the two-star general was published after CNN reported earlier this week that Saudi Arabia was preparing a report on Khashoggi's disappearance, in which the kingdom will claim that Khashoggi was killed as a result of a botched interrogation that was conducted without clearance or transparency.

    That report has not yet been released.

    The story outlined by The Daily Beast also falls in line with US intelligence intercepts, reported by The Washington Post, that Crown Prince Mohammed had wanted to lure Khashoggi from his home in Virginia to Saudi Arabia.

    US President Donald Trump on Monday also appeared to exonerate the Saudi leadership from responsibility for Khashoggi's whereabouts, suggesting that "rogue killers" could be responsible for the journalist's disappearance instead.

    jamal khashoggi

    "Ludicrous in the extreme"

    Foreign-policy experts, however, have poured cold water on the narrative.

    Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official now at the Brookings Institution, told The Daily Beast: "It's ludicrous in the extreme. Saudi Arabia doesn't work that way. They don't freelance operations."

    Barbara Rodine, a retired US ambassador to Yemen, also told the news site: "If this is a rogue operation, the rogue is MBS," using Crown Prince Mohammed's initials.

    trump saudi arabia

    The Khashoggi crisis is dividing Trump and Congress

    Trump has seemed hesitant to blame the Saudi leadership for Khashoggi's disappearance and said last week that halting billions of dollars' worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi would "be punishing ourselves."

    Trump also emphasized that Khashoggi was "not a US citizen." (Khashoggi held a green card.)

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting Saudi Arabia and Turkey this week to hear the two countries' sides of the story.

    Trump on Tuesday tweeted that Crown Prince Mohammed, with Pompeo by his side, "totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate."

    Lawmakers in Congress, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, are taking a firmer line against Saudi Arabia.

    Many foreign-policy experts told Business Insider last week that the Khashoggi case could create tension between Trump and the GOP foreign-policy establishment in Congress.

    SEE ALSO: From selling a Saudi billionaire his 282-foot yacht to sword-dancing on his first international trip as president, Trump's ties with Saudi Arabia run deep

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    pompeo erdogan us turkey

    • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Turkey on Wednesday after visiting Saudi Arabia in response to the disappearance of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi.
    • He and President Trump have put a lot of stock in the Saudis to investigate themselves over Khashoggi's alleged murder, and appear to be on the same page.
    • But Turkish officials continue to leak gruesome details about the alleged murder on a daily basis.
    • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cracked down on the press to gain near-complete control of Turkish media. 
    • US Senators and UN human rights officials aren't buying Saudi Arabia's story on Khashoggi, and Turkey continues to blow apart Trump and Saudi Arabia's understanding. 

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Turkey on Wednesday after visiting Saudi Arabia in response to the disappearance of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi, but repeated, gruesome reports of Khashoggi's suspected murder have kept the crisis boiling.

    Pompeo and President Donald Trump appear to have given Saudi Arabia the benefit of the doubt on Khashoggi so far, while every new day seems to bring forth new evidence against the Saudis, longtime allies of the US. 

    Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and concluded that they have a "serious commitment to determine all the facts and ensure accountability."

    Trump, for his part, stressed that the investigation into Khashoggi hadn't yet concluded, and floated the possibility that another group of people, not the Saudis, had murdered or abducted Khashoggi from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. 

    "I think we have to find out what happened first. You know, here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent. I don't like that,"Trump told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday

    While Pompeo and the Saudis appeared all smiles in the pictures from the meetings to discuss Khashoggi, the trip to Turkey promises a different perspective.

    Turkish officials keep the wound open

    saudi consulate istanbul

    Rather than looking to conduct a quiet investigation to find facts and draw conclusions, Turkish investigators and media have regularly leaked gruesome details from what they describe as a brutal, sadistic murder in the Saudi consulate. 

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the consulate, which Turkish investigators finally got a look at two weeks after Khashoggi's initial disappearance, had been freshly painted — implying that evidence could have been covered up.

    A pro-government Turkish newspaper on Wednesday ran a gut-wrenching account of Khashoggi's alleged murder, saying an audio tapes captured his dismemberment and torture.

    The widespread reports all cite Turkish officials as the sources, and not only allege a murder, but a murder at the hands of top Saudi officials.

    Salah Al Tabiqi, the head of Forensic Evidence at the Saudi General Security Department and Saudi Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi, were both implicated by Turkish officials speaking to the Wall Street Journal.

    Implicating high-level Saudi officials may represent an attempt by Turkey to dent the credibility of the "rogue killers" hypothesis first publicly floated by Trump.

    Pressure piles on

    Jamal Khashoggi

    "Given there seems to be clear evidence that Mr. Khashoggi entered the consulate and has never been seen since, the onus is on the Saudi authorities to reveal what happened to him," UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday.

    Bachelet also called for waiving diplomatic immunity for the Saudis and their right to treat their consulate as sovereign soil. 

    "This guy has got to go," usually hawkish Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News of Crown Prince Mohammed. "Saudi Arabia, if you're listening, there are a lot of good people you can choose, but MBS has tainted your country and tainted himself."

    Graham, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has strong sway over whether or not the US can sell weapons to Saudi Arabia. He joins a raft of bipartisan Senators calling for sanctions against the kingdom.

    Increasingly, individuals and businesses have cut ties with Saudi Arabia over the burgeoning public relations nightmare that refuses to dies, while Turkish officials continue to share details of the ongoing investigation. 


    Mike Pompeo Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Saudi Arabia

    Pompeo left Riyadh on Wednesday telling reporters that Saudi leaders, including King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed, "made no exceptions on who they would hold accountable."

    "They made a commitment to hold anyone connected to any wrongdoing that may be found accountable for that, whether they are a senior officer or official," Pompeo said.

    But Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. Only the kingdom's ultra-conservative royal family can make decisions.

    Without a free press or independent branches of government to check the monarchy, the kingdom can draw whatever conclusion it likes from the investigation. 

    Basically, if the House of Saud did have Khashoggi killed, it would be on them to disclose that and punish themselves.

    Trump and Pompeo have made it clear they're putting stock in Saudi's investigation, but Turkey has struck a different note.

    Erdogan has steadily chipped away at the independence of his own country's investigators, judges, and press through mass imprisonment and purges of anyone deemed an enemy of the president. The media largely dances to his tune.

    The steady drip of sickening details from Khashoggi's alleged murder indicate that — while Trump and Saudi Arabia may have their stories straight — Erdogan seeks to provide evidence that Khashoggi was brutally tortured and murdered, that the killers hid their tracks, and that they were acting on the orders of the royals. 

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    Donald Trump Theresa May

    • Donald Trump announces his plan to negotiate a free trade deal with the UK after Brexit.
    • Talks can begin in 2021, once the Brexit transition period is over, a letter to US Congress states.
    • However, Trump's administration says the UK must abandon "unjustified" food standards before a wide-ranging deal between the two economies can be agreed. 
    • MPs, charities and health campaigners are worried that the US will demand UK market access for food products of a lower standard than what the UK currently accepts.
    • Chlorine-washed chicken, hormone-injected beef and food containing maggots, rat-hair and mould are just some of the imports post-Brexit Britain could receive from the US.


    LONDON — Donald Trump's administration has said the UK must scrap "unjustified" food and agricultural standards before it can sign a free trade deal with the US after Brexit.

    The US Trade Representative sent a to letter to US Congress on Tuesday, formally announcing President Trump's intention to negotiate a free trade deal with the UK once its transitional relationship with the EU is over.

    The letter states that any UK-EU trade deal must respect the US' Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, which requires the "reducing or eliminating [of] unjustified sanitary or phytosanitary restrictions" and "other unjustified technical barriers to trade."

    BI highlighted last month that under US food regulation, producers are allowed certain amounts of foreign bodies like maggots, rat-hair and mould in a range of food products sold to consumers.

    The letter will alarm MPs, health campaigners, and animal welfare charities who have expressed concern that the US will demand the UK accepts food products of a lower standard than it does now as an EU member state.

    Jo Stevens, Labour MP and supporter of the People's Vote campaign, told BI: “Section 102 of the US Trade Priorities and Accountability Act could not be clearer – the aim of US negotiators is to reduce food protection standards to the US level and to abolish geographical indicators.

    She added: "This is what the US means when it says it wants to remove non-tariff barriers and Liam Fox never denies it. Instead, he issues a standard ‘non-denial denial’ that fails to address any of the key issues.

    "British consumers do not want this, did not vote for it and will not stand for it. It is disgraceful that Brexit is being used as a cover to reduce food standards and consumer protection."

    Numerous US officials including Trump himself have criticised EU rules when it comes to food hygiene.

    Wilbur Ross, Trump's Secretary of Commerce, said last October that scrapping strict EU standards in areas like food hygiene and agriculture would be a "critical component" to any post-Brexit UK-US free trade deal.

    Liam Fox

    UK Trade Secretary Fox has repeatedly denied suggestions that he is prepared to "lower" or "compromise" UK food standards but has not ruled out accepting US food standards in a post-Brexit trade agreement.

    However, he said in November he had "no objection" to UK consumers eating food products which are currently banned by the EU, like chlorine-washed chicken, after Britain leaves the EU.

    SEE ALSO: Insect-filled chocolates, rat hair noodles, and maggoty orange juice: The reality of a Brexit trade deal with Trump

    DON'T MISS: Theresa May heads to Brussels with a no-deal Brexit looking more likely than ever before

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    marijuana store 2 dispensary

    • Canada on Wednesday became the second country to officially legalize marijuana.
    • Marijuana stocks were trading down by 2% to 7% ahead of the opening bell.
    • Watch Canopy Growth, Tilray, and Cronos trade in real time.

    Weed stocks were set to slide at Wednesday's opening bell after Canada become the second country to officially legalize marijuana. Three of the largest marijuana producers by market cap — Canopy Growth, Tilray, and Cronos— were trading down by 2% to 7%.

    Here's the scoreboard:

    On Wednesday, Canada became the first G7 country — and second country in the world after Uruguay — to legalize marijuana for all adults. Each Canadian province has set its own age limit and rules on how to sell the drug — with some opting for storefronts and others pushing business online.

    And while many Canadians may be celebrating their ability to freely use the drug, the coming legalization had been a boon for producers operating in the country as their market values exploded amid increasing interest from investors.

    Canopy Growth, for example, has seen its market capitalization grow 128% to $12.2 billion after Constellation Brands — the beverage giant behind Corona beer and Svedka vodka — announced a $4 billion investment. Its rival Tilray has seen its market value explode by 555% over that time after making various supply deals.

    On Tuesday, analysts at Benchmark said Canada's recreational cannabis market could reach 10.5 billion Canadian dollars by 2023 and suggested that Tilray would continue to lead the pack.

    "We expect Tilray to acquire a meaningful share of the Canadian cannabis market based on initial supply agreements and through its first mover advantage in building production scale and strengthening national brands and products across a broad and expanding category," the analyst Mike Hickey said. He has a $200 price target for the stock — 26% above where shares settled Tuesday.


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    Miley Cyrus Liam

    Celebrities may live glamorous lives, but no amount of fame or wealth can protect anyone from the pain of a relationship that has soured. Heartbreak is universal and there's nothing more relatable than stars who have opened up about love and loss. No matter who you are, breaking up is hard to do.

    But that also means they have some wisdom to impart. Read on to see which celebrities have gotten real about heartbreak, relationships, and breakups:

    Miley Cyrus admitted she worried about being alone when she broke off her engagement to Liam Hemsworth.

    "I was so scared of ever being alone, and I think, conquering that fear, this year, was actually bigger than any other transition that I had, this entire year," Cyrus told Barbara Walters in 2013. "I don't ever want to have to need someone again, where you feel like, without them, you can't be yourself."

    Jennifer Lawrence said she struggled to find herself when she finished filming "The Hunger Games" franchise and also broke up with Nicholas Hoult.

    "I was also in a relationship with somebody for five years and that was my life. So my life was this person and these movies, and we broke up around the same time that I wrapped those movies," Lawrence told Diane Sawyer in 2015. "Being 24 [years old] was this whole year of, 'Who am I without these movies? Who am I without this man?'"

    Rihanna told a fan that sometimes you just need to cry it out.

    "Just believe that the heartbreak was a gift in itself. Cry if you have to, but it won't be forever! You will find love again, and it will be even more beautiful! In the meantime enjoy all that YOU are!" Rihanna told a lovelorn fan on Twitter in 2017.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    JetBlue Airbus A320

    • JetBlue is offering free flights for select passengers this November, but it comes with the slight catch that those selected must be service-oriented and interested in volunteering while on the trip. 
    • Titled "JetBlue for Good Month" on the airline's webpage, JetBlue is promoting a travel initiative centered around volunteer work.
    • The trip will take place from November 27 to November 30 of this year. 
    • JetBlue spokesperson Amy Wang told Business Insider, "We chose a destination that we feel we can have a really big impact on, and a place where our volunteers could see a visible difference at the conclusion of the trip."
    • Those interested can register on a JetBlue website that asks them to answer questions in a short quiz and provide a 150-word statement about why volunteering is important in their lives. 

    JetBlue is offering free flights to select passengers for a trip this November, but it comes with the slight catch that those selected must be service-oriented and interested in volunteering while on the vacation. 

    Titled "JetBlue for Good Month" on the airline's webpage, JetBlue is promoting a travel initiative centered around volunteer work.

    According to Thrillist, the airline's promotion will take 100 people—50 passengers and a guest of their choice—on an all-expense paid volunteer trip to a still-undetermined location. 

    While the destination is still under-wraps, JetBlue spokesperson Amy Wang told Business Insider, "We chose a destination that we feel we can have a really big impact on, and a place where our volunteers could see a visible difference at the conclusion of the trip."

    The trip will take place from November 27 to November 30. 

    While the trip is all-expenses paid, it will only be leaving from New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport, and guests will need to find their way to and from New York on their own dime in order to take part in the promotion, according to Thrillist. 

    Those interested can register for a chance to be selected on this website, where they will be asked to answer a series of philanthropic-related questions as well as write a 150-word statement outlining why volunteering is important to them. 

    Screen Shot of JetBlue

    JetBlue spokesperson Amy Wang told Business Insider the promotion will focus mainly on three pillars of service: youth and education, community, and environment; with crew members and those selected rotating to projects that focus on those specific areas. The airline will be working with existing charities and non-profits that they are already partnered with for the promotion, and the airline is seeking people who are passionate about wanting "to do good."  

    On Wednesday afternoon, JetBlue posted a short video about the promotion on social media. 


    SEE ALSO: JetBlue will sell you $31 one-way tickets on select routes for one day only

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    iron fist

    As the year flies by, the list of canceled TV shows piles up.

    While there's been somewhat of a quiet period since May, some networks have cut shows throughout the summer and fall.

    The most recent cancelations come from Comedy Central and Netflix. Comedy Central announced that "Nathan for You" is ending after four seasons. And Netflix recently canceled "Iron Fist" after two seasons, and announced that "Orange is the New Black" will end with its upcoming seventh season. 

    ABC canceled the previously renewed "Roseanne" revival in late May, after Roseanne Barr posted a racist tweet about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. However, ABC debuted a spin-off called "The Conners" without Barr.

    In other notable cancellations, USA's critically acclaimed "Mr. Robot" will end with its upcoming fourth season, and CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" is ending after 12 seasons. 

    We'll update this list as more are announced.

    Here are all the shows that have been canceled this year, including those from networks and Netflix:

    SEE ALSO: The worst TV show of every year since 2000, according to critics


    "Jean-Claude Van Johnson"— Amazon, one season

    "I Love Dick"— Amazon, one season

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused competitor to Google Search that doesn’t collect or share your search history or clicks. 
    • I switched to DuckDuckGo for one week, and learned to appreciate some aspects like fewer advertisements, comparable search results, and an easy-to-navigate settings page. 
    • I did miss Google's layout — especially the "Top Stories" thumbnails that appear at the top of the search results page— and I often wondered if I was actually getting the best possible results with DuckDuckGo. 
    • Ultimately, I didn't find the privacy features of DuckDuckGo compelling enough to permanently make the switch from Google.

    Back in the day, there were options when it came to search.

    Choosing between AOL, Yahoo, or Alta Vista kind of just depended on your mood that day. And then came Google, and a clear search engine king was crowned. 

    The ubiquity of Google search today is astounding. In September, Google powered over 86% of desktop searches worldwide, according to Statista. 

    However, with personal privacy becoming more of a concern — especially the Google+ fiasco that led the company to shut down its less-than-beloved social network — perhaps search is headed for a shakeup. 

    If any privacy-focused search engine is going to rival Google Search, it might be DuckDuckGo. With 800 million daily direct queries as of this September (up 33% from last year), the search engine named after the children's game appears to be gaining some real traction. In fact, it's a profitable business.

    Beyond not tracking my every move (DuckDuckGo doesn’t collect or share your search history or clicks), there were some other aspects I learned to appreciate like less advertisements, comparable search results and an easy-to-navigate settings page that allowed me to freely switch between themes.

    I tested DuckDuckGo for one week, completely locking myself out of Google search to see if I could survive on this more privacy-focused alternative.

    Here's what I found. 




    Privacy is the main selling point for DuckDuckGo. The Google search alternative doesn’t track your search history, the time or location of your search, or your Internet address — a stark contrast

    However, I didn’t feel the privacy features at work a ton in my day-to-day usage of the product. Typically, privacy isn’t an issue until it’s an issue; it's not something you care about when you're just trying to find information and get stuff done.

    One cool privacy feature was the ability to see the number of ad trackers blocked on each website I visited. On the, for instance, DuckDuckGo was able to block 13 trackers for me.

    After checking out this feature a couple of times, though, I forgot it was there and wasn't thinking about how many trackers were being blocked for every website I visited. 

    There were fewer ads on DuckDuckGo, providing a cleaner (and less creepy) experience. Fewer ads also made the platform feel more secure. Although when searching for ad-bait terms like “cheap flights,” DuckDuckGo still returns a number of ads as top search results. Hey, they have to make money somehow.

    As TechJunkie reports, though, having “true” privacy online is almost impossible. Even though search engines like DuckDuckGo help keep things private on your computer, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can still access your search history.

    If complete privacy is of utmost importance to your browsing on the web, TechJunkie suggests the Tor browser.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Chris Murphy

    • Sen. Chris Murphy, a top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said President Donald Trump has made the US look "weak" in his response to the alleged killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
    • Trump has repeatedly defended the Saudi government as it faces allegations of brutally killing Khashoggi
    • "I don't know that our country has looked weaker than in the last week," Murphy told Business Insider.
    • Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate on October 2 but never came out, and the Saudis have provided no proof he's alive. 

    Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy on Wednesday told Business Insider that President Donald Trump's overall response to the alleged killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and subservient behavior toward Saudi Arabia has made the US look "weaker" than ever. 

    "The United States is supplicant to the Saudi royal family right now. They reportedly killed a US resident, and they didn't come to us, we went to them," Murphy, a key Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Business Insider.

    The Connecticut senator said it was "extraordinary" that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Saudi Arabia this week to discuss the Khashoggi investigation, rather than summoning Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to come to the US and clear the air.

    Critics feel Pompeo was far too easy on the Saudis during the trip and didn't press them hard enough for answers 

    "It seems like the Saudis are the dominant partner in this relationship, which is absolutely ridiculous," Murphy said. "I don't know that our country has looked weaker than in the last week."

    Mike Pompeo Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Saudi Arabia

    'It's hard to understand why the president has put us in such a weak position'

    Murphy said Trump's approach to the situation is reminiscent of his "bizarre" behavior toward Russia. 

    "It's hard to understand why the president has put us in such a weak position with Saudi Arabia and Russia," Murphy said. "It looks today as if they can get whatever they want from the US and this administration, and it raises lots of questions as to why that is."

    The senator questioned why Trump is seemingly willing to "sacrifice US national security priorities" to countries with dubious human rights records like Saudi Arabia and Russia. He's not sure the currently Republican-controlled Congress will ever "get to the bottom of that."

    "I think it may take Democratic control of at least one chamber to start asking serious questions about why this administration is taking such bizarre positions with both US-Russia policy and US-Saudi policy," Murphy said.

    Khashoggi, who was often critical of Saudi leadership in his reporting, went missing on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

    Turkish officials have accused the Saudi government of torturing and brutally killing Khashoggi in the consulate. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is believed to have ordered a 15-man team to carry out the hit on Khashoggi. 

    The Saudis have vehemently denied playing any role in Khashoggi's mysterious disappearance, but after over two weeks have provided no proof he safely departed the consulate.

    Despite the damning evidence against the Saudis, Trump has repeatedly touted denials related to the Khashoggi case from the crown prince and his father, King Salman. 

    The president on Tuesday also decried the criticism of Saudi Arabia in relation to Khashoggi, claiming it's another case of "guilty until proven innocent." He also suggested Khashoggi's disappearance could be the work of "rogue killers."

    Trump has been decidedly reluctant to commit to repercussions against Saudi Arabia, even as a bipartisan group of senators, including Murphy, have called for economic sanctions as well as a cessation of arms sales to the kingdom.

    But Trump last week said it would be a "tough pill to swallow" to stop arms sales to the Saudis, and on Wednesday boasted about the billions of dollars of munitions they buy from the US. 

    'I think the Saudis believe they have a blank check from this presidency'

    Murphy has long expressed concern over the US-Saudi relationship, repeatedly urging the US to stop providing Saudi Arabia with arms as it continues to wreak havoc fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

    He's been one of the most vocal and consistent critics of US policy toward Saudi Arabia and said he's concerned Trump is particularly "soft" on the kingdom due to his business ties there

    Donald Trump

    "I think the Saudis believe they have a blank check from this presidency," Murphy told Business Insider. "I don't understand why there's such a close relationship between the Saudi royal family and the Trump family. There may be some business interests that explain the close connect."

    Murphy added: "I'm very concerned that US national security policy is for sale and that the business connection between the Saudi royal family and the Trump family may explain why this administration has been so soft on the Saudis throughout the past to years but especially the past week."

    'It's a deliberate poke in the eye to their Western allies like the US'

    Despite being disconcerted by the Trump administration's approach to the Khashoggi disappearance, Murphy said he remained encouraged by recent condemnation of Saudi Arabia by his colleagues in the Senate, including Republicans

    Murphy said he's hopeful the Khashoggi case will lead more members of Congress "to take stock of a relationship that I think has had much more mixed results for US national security than is the conventional wisdom."

    Murphy has zeroed in on the Saudi-led conflict in Yemen, which has led to the deaths of at least 6,500 civilians, including roughly 1,625 children, according to data collected by the UN human rights office. Bombs made and sold by the US have contributed to the slaughter. 

    "To me what's so indefensible about what's happening in Yemen is that not only are thousands of people dying but the US is participating in the campaign that's killing those people, " Murphy said. "Isn't that much worse than the reported assassination of one journalist?"

    'Their record on human rights is getting worse not better'

    The Saudis are an important counterterrorism partner, Murphy said, and he's not advocating for the US to completely cut ties. But he thinks the US government needs to hit the reset button on the relationship. 

    Murphy said the Saudis have become "very militaristic" in terms of their activities in the Middle East in recent years, and that's a particularly point of concern. 

    "They have continued to export a brand of Islam that often forms the building blocks for groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS," Murphy said. "And their record on human rights is getting worse not better, despite pronouncements from the crown prince that he's committed to modernization."

    Murphy thinks the US needs a much more "balanced" relationship with the Saudis in which there isn't such a kneejerk reaction to support "every single one of their plays in the region."

    SEE ALSO: Trump is placing his trust in someone who is either being intentionally deceptive, or can't stop his henchmen from brutally killing journalists

    DON'T MISS: Here's everything we know about the troubling disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

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    Mark Zuckerberg

    • A group of small advertisers dubbed LLE One have filed a complaint against Facebook alleging that the company knew about a video measurement mistake a year before reporting it to advertisers.
    • The lawsuit claims that Facebook inflated a metric measuring time spent by 150% to 900% in 2016, up from the 60% to 80% it publicly apologized for.
    • Advertisers say the lawsuit is another blow to their trust in Facebook, following on from the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the recent hack that affected 50 million users.
    • One measurement firm expects that the lawsuit will be reflected in lower Q4 numbers for Facebook.

    Facebook is on the back foot. Again. 

    On Tuesday, a group of small advertisers added a complaint to a two-year lawsuit accusing Facebook of not reporting measurement problems for more than a year. The group claims that Facebook misreported an error in counting time spent watching videos.

    While Facebook apologized in 2016 for measuring a metric measuring time spent with video incorrectly by 60% to 80%, the lawsuit claims the metric was inflated by 150% to 900% and that Facebook knew of the discrepancy for a little over a year.

    Since then, Facebook has taken a number of steps to clean up its metrics, including putting together a measurement council and undergoing an audit from the Media Ratings Council to vet its metrics for third-party reporting. But it hasn't helped that on top of the metrics crisis, Facebook's also had to weather the Cambridge Analytica scandal and its recent hack of 50 million users.

    These issues are collectively causing some marketers to lose faith in Facebook.

    Facebook's string of problems is denting advertiser trust

    While the lawsuit is two years old, marketers say the combination of problems is causing trust issues for advertisers.

    "From an overall trust standpoint, this is another untimely black eye and there aren't enough black eyes for this to happen," said Mike Mother, founder and CEO of WPromote, an ad agency that primarily works with direct-response advertisers. "If you're thinking about 2019 planning, yes, overall it's driven by what's working — so I don't think there's a lot of boycotting — but the trust does have a material effect."

    WPromote's clients primarily use third parties and conversion metrics to gauge the success of ads instead of video views that are often used by big brands to measure ads. That means that Facebook's string of measurement problems has not hit budgets.

    "We haven't gotten a lot of calls saying 'What happened? Does this mean my spend for the last three years was bad?'" Mother said.

    But it may be a different story for advertisers that aren't performance-based.

    "For the other type of advertiser — the branding advertiser — this might be problematic. If they were comparing views and times to other things that are not performance-based, it suddenly may feel like things are over-reported," Mother said.

    Marketers continue to have a rocky relationship with Facebook

    After Facebook reported the video miscalculation in 2016, it reported a number of other incorrect metrics, including bugs within brands' Pages and analytics for Instant Articles.

    In the case of the miscalculated video metric, "we always knew that the numbers didn't seem right," said David Herrmann, director of advertising at Social Outlier. "From my perspective, Facebook is saying 'go to video' and I never listened to them, and it's been proven true."

    But he said that he doesn't expect advertisers to pull their budgets because Facebook ads still convert better than other platforms.

    "It wouldn't shock me if people are saying that they're going to pull from Facebook but let's be honest, there aren't many other places for them to go — you're making a statement more than anything because it's going to hurt your business."

    But Facebook's big Q4 earnings could take a hit

    Some marketers think that the lawsuit will affect Facebook's financials.

    According to Mark Hughes, CEO of C3 Metrics, a measurement firm that helps marketers analyze their campaigns, the lawsuit could hit Facebook's fourth-quarter results much in the same way that its revenue faltered in the second-quarter of this year.

    Hughes said that advertisers pulled back spend during the second quarter of this year when CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified to Congress about Cambridge Analytica. Spend since then has increased but could dip again during the last few months of the year, which is when advertisers up their spend.

    facebook logo

    "Budgets have been set already for October [but] I would not be surprised if in November and December, we see a pullback similar to earlier in the year in March and April," Hughes said. "I wouldn't be surprised if Q4 this year would be equal to Q2 for this year in term of revenue."

    On top of those issues, engagement and ROI on Facebook has shrunk significantly, according to C3 Metrics' findings.

    "It's confirmation of what we've been seeing, which is Facebook may not be the best playground to have your ad dollars in — the ROI is just not what it used to be," Hughes said. "I think they're going to try and settle this [lawsuit] and get it out of the news cycle very, very quickly."

    Meanwhile, publishers are blaming Facebook for forcing them to pivot to video

    A number of media executives pointed out that the timing of the discrepancy is suspect. It happened around the same time that publishers started pumping out video for the platform a few years ago, at its behest.

    Former Teen Vogue exec and Out magazine's current editor-in-chief and Phillip Picardi said in a tweet that there is a correlation between the measurement discrepancy outlined in the lawsuit, and publishers' 'pivoting to video,' because of Facebook's ambition to push more video onto the platform.

    "This is especially maddening because the 'pivot to video' is not, as this proves, necessarily a consumer-led initiative," he tweeted. "This is more likely behavior being forced on us by pressure from advertisers who prefer video ads to avoid ad-blockers and guarantee viewability."

    Other media execs tweeted that they either weren't surprised by news of the lawsuit, or blamed Facebook and its measurement snafus for reorganizing publishers' newsrooms and teams, resulting in layoffs across the industry.



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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    Edge computing solutions are key tools that help companies grapple with rising data volumes across industries. These types of solutions are critical in allowing companies to gain more control over the data their IoT devices create and in reducing their reliance on (and the costs of) cloud computing.

    edge popularity

    These systems are becoming more sought-after — 40% of companies that provide IoT solutions reported that edge computing came up more in discussion with customers in 2017 than the year before, according to Business Insider Intelligence’s 2017 Global IoT Executive Survey. But companies need to know whether they should look into edge computing solutions, and what in particular they can hope to gain from shifting data processing and analysis from the cloud to the edge.

    There are three particular types of problems that edge computing solutions are helping to combat across industries:

    • Security issues. Edge computing can limit the exposure of critical data by minimizing how often it’s transmitted. Further, they pre-process data, so there’s less data to secure overall.
    • Access issues. These systems help to provide live insights regardless of whether there’s a network connection available, greatly expanding where companies and organizations can use connected devices and the data they generate.
    • Transmission efficiency. Edge computing solutions process data where it’s created so less needs to be sent to the cloud, leading to lower cloud storage requirements and reduced transmission cost.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence examines how edge computing is reducing companies' reliance on cloud computing in three key industries: healthcare, telecommunications, and the automotive space. We explore how these systems mitigate issues in each sector by helping to efficiently process growing troves of data, expanding the potential realms of IoT solutions a company can offer, and bringing enhanced computing capability to remote and mobile platforms.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • In healthcare, companies and organizations are using edge computing to improve telemedicine and remote monitoring capabilities.
    • For telecommunications companies, edge computing is helping to reduce network congestion and enabling a shift toward the IoT platform market.
    • And in the automotive space, edge computing systems are enabling companies to increase the capabilities of connected cars and trucks and approach autonomy.

    In full, the report:

    • Explores the key advantages edge computing solutions can provide.
    • Highlights the circumstances when companies should look into edge systems.
    • Identifies key vendors and partners in specific industries while showcasing case studies of successful edge computing programs.

      Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

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    zac efron teen choice awards 2018

    Zac Efron won over millions of young fans after starring as Troy Bolton in Disney's hit franchise "High School Musical." Since then, he's taken on other roles that show off his musicality (like "Hairspray" and "The Greatest Showman"). The actor has also starred in R-rated comedies like "Neighbors,""Baywatch," and "That Awkward Moment." 

    Efron gives fans a glimpse of his life through his Instagram and Twitter accounts (which have a combined total of more than 51 million followers), but there are still some things about him that fans might not be aware of. 

    In honor of his 31st birthday, here are 10 facts you probably didn't know about Efron. 

    He had a crush on Tyra Banks as a child, and put a photo of her on his bedroom wall.

    "I stole my mom's Victoria’s Secret [magazine], cut a page out, and had it on the wall,"Efron told Ellen DeGeneres on her show. "That's embarrassing."

    Taylor Swift taught Efron how to play the guitar.

    The "Lorax" co-stars showed off their skills on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in 2012 with an improvised version of Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" that included lyrics about the talk show host. 

    "I got my first guitar lesson from Taylor," Efron explained.

    "He's really good at it, for like, one lesson," the singer added. "It's really great."


    He’s a big fan of "Stranger Things" and wants to guest-star on the show.

    Efron has gushed over the Netflix show in interviews, and he's especially a fan of Millie Bobby Brown's work as Eleven. After meeting the young star at the 2017 MTV Movie and TV Awards and presenting her with the trophy for best actor in a show, Efron admitted that he "fanboyed" over the experience.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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