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The latest news from Business Insider

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    pittsburgh synagogue shooting

    At least 11 people have died after a gunman opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue during prayer services on Saturday morning.

    Authorities have identified the suspect as 46-year-old Robert Bowers in the shooting, which took place at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

    Family members have been notified of the deaths, Allegheny County medical examiner Dr. Karl Williams said Sunday.

    Here's what we know so far about the victims of the attack.

    SEE ALSO: A GoFundMe for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting has raised over $140,000 in just 9 hours. Here's how you can help.

    DON'T MISS: Here's what we know about Robert Bowers, the suspected Pittsburgh synagogue shooter

    11 people have been confirmed dead by the Allegheny County chief medical examiner on Sunday morning. They were between the ages of 54 and 97.

    Joyce Fienberg, 75

    Fienberg was a resident of the Oakland neighborhood in Pittsburgh. She was the wife of Stephen E. Fienberg, a professor of statistics and social science at Carnegie Mellon University, who died in 2016 at the age of 74

    Richard Gottfried, 65

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Zara factory

    • Zara and its parent company, Inditex, have their global headquarters in Arteixo, a small town on the northwest coast of Spain. Inditex is considered the largest fashion retailer on the planet, turning out more than $30 billion in sales in 2017.
    • More than 5,000 employees across various departments work here. The site is also home to 10 of Zara's factories and its largest distribution center, which is responsible for shipping the retailer's clothing to 96 different countries around the world.
    • Here's what it is like to visit the factories and distribution centers that allow Zara to compete in the fast-fashion race. 
    • READ MORE: About what it's like in the area of Spain that revolves around Zara. 

    There are 2,238 Zara stores in 96 different countries around the world, each receiving shipments of new items twice a week. Every single piece of clothing passes through one of Zara's four distribution centers across Spain. 

    We visited the largest of all, located in Zara's main headquarters in the small town of Arteixo, in the north of Spain.

    This area of the country is home to its founder, Amancio Ortega, and the first Zara store. Today, over 5,000 people work at this sprawling headquarters across different realms of the business, from design, photography, and modeling, to its factories and logistics platforms, which manufacture and distribute Zara clothing around the world. 

    Take a look inside:

    SEE ALSO: 'Half of the city lives thanks to him': Here's what it's like to visit the small Spanish city that has been completely transformed by Zara and its billionaire founder

    The story begins in the heart of Zara's headquarters, where its 300-person design team is leafing through trend-forecasting books and putting together mood boards for the store's next collection.

    Once a design is created, it is taken to a team of pattern cutters just meters away, who put together the first prototypes.

    Once the prototype has been created, it is tested on models who are also full-time Inditex employees working in other areas of the fashion department.

    These are almost 10 models there to test the various collections of men's and women's clothing, a spokesperson for Inditex told Business Insider. 

    Once the prototype has been signed off on, a digitalized pattern is sent to one of its factories.

    Its sprawling, 860,000-square-foot campus is home to 10 different factories, which manufacture Zara's most fashion-forward items of clothing — basically, the products that need more attention, a spokesperson said. These factories are connected to the distribution center through a network of secret underground tunnels that transport clothing on electric hanging rails.

    Other items are sent to external factories around the world. 

    However, all the manufactured items will return to one of its distribution centers to be sent out to stores. 


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    victor vescovo five deeps

    • A submarine mission called "Five Deeps" is going to explore the bottom of each of the world's oceans.
    • First up: the depths of the Atlantic. The mission will launch from the coast of Puerto Rico in December.
    • We may not know where the deepest point in the ocean really is. This team wants to find out.

    Imagine exploring a place so far from humanity that any message you send takes seven seconds to be heard.

    That's arguably more remote than the moon — radio waves sent back-and-forth during the Apollo missions took just 2.5 to 2.7 seconds to transmit.

    But this location isn't in space; it's at the bottom of the sea. 

    In December, explorer and investor Victor Vescovo, along with scientist Alan Jamieson from Newcastle University, are embarking on a groundbreaking mission more than 6.5 miles under the waves. The two are heading out in a new $48 million dollar submarine to better map the bottom the world's five oceans.

    They're calling the mission, which will be the first time people travel to the bottom of each of the world's seas, "Five Deeps."

    "Our depth of ignorance about the oceans is quite dramatic," Vescovo said as he introduced the mission to an audience in New York. "Four of the oceans have never even had a human being go to their bottom. In fact, we don't even know with great certainty where the bottom of the four are." 

    First up on the five-dive trip will be the Puerto Rican trench, the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean. It's a spot no human has ever explored, and it's so deep that any communications from the submarine will take seven seconds to travel back up.

    The Triton 36000 deep-sea submarine

    deep ocean triton submarine

    Jamieson's research often sends cameras and sample boxes to the sea floor, but that's not the same as going there. 

    "The geomorphology of these trenches is really like nothing you can see on land," he said. "This is where the planet is pushing the sea floor back into the Earth's mantle."

    In the Puerto Rican Trench, more than 5 miles under the surface of the water, the pressure is immense: over 800 times what it is at sea level.

    To better handle that high-pressure environment, the hull of the Triton 36000 submarine that Vescovo and Jamieson will travel in will morph and change shape on their three-hour journey to the Atlantic Ocean's floor.

    "The acrylic moves a quarter of an inch deeper towards Victor, as he gets down to those depths," Triton engineer John Ramsey explained. "The whole thing is shifting and changing shape."

    The submarine will probably scare off most of the animals that live in the pitch-black part of the ocean more than 3,280 feet below the surface. But the vessel should be much better at mapping the ocean floor than satellites, thanks to its 3-D sonar system. The sub might collect some critters that don't scare easily in biological sample boxes and sediment cores that the team will pick up.

    "Then we can start to look at what it is that's driving these ecosystems," Jamieson said. "By looking at a warm trench versus a cold trench, shallow trenches versus big ones, you start to knock out the variables and see the commonalities."

    After the Puerto Rican dive, the vessel will spend the next seven months, until August 2019, zig-zagging its way to the four other deepest places in the planet's oceans, including one spot that we think is the deepest of them all.

    five deeps expedition

    The deepest 45% of the ocean has gone 'largely ignored,' and we don't know where the bottom of the ocean really is

    While hundreds of people have ventured into space, and a dozen have landed on the moon, only three have touched down on the deepest known place on the sea floor, the Challenger Deep.

    That's a spot at the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, almost 7 miles underwater — a location farther down from sea level than Mount Everest is up. 

    Film director James Cameron went there in 2012, and explorers Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh did it more than 50 years earlier in 1960. But that's it.

    Jamieson said the deepest 45% of the ocean has been essentially ignored by explorers. The South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean hasn't even been named yet, so the Five Deeps crew is looking forward to claiming naming rights there. 

    It's possible, however, that the Challenger Deep isn't really the deepest place in the ocean after all. 

    Jamieson said much of today's sea floor mapping is based off of very "dodgy" information. And a lot of data is inferred from satellite pictures.

    "The deeper you go, the more your error is," he said. "I've certainly been to places in the Indian Ocean, just the last year, the depth was over 1,000 meters shallower than it was supposed to be."

    Jamieson and Vescovo think it's possible that they'll discover a place deeper than the Challenger Deep. 

    "The Tonga Trench, off the Island of Tonga, is less than 100 meters shallower," Vescovo said. "If we go to the Tonga Trench, and we find a canyon, rest assured I'm going to be diving to that canyon to get that depth... to hopefully find a new discovery of the deepest ocean in the world."

    ocean deep mission

    There's no rescue crew

    The trickiest dives on the mission will also be the coldest.

    The team plans to travel to the 18,600-foot-deep Molloy Deep in the Arctic for its final mission in August. The area is not nearly as deep as the other trenches they'll explore, but it's another place where no human's ever been.

    With climate change warming up the ice that normally sits atop the water, the seas are a bit rougher too, so the crew expects that Arctic dive to be their toughest challenge of all.

    When you're 5 to 7 miles underwater, anything that goes wrong could prove deadly. The engineers who've designed this submarine admit that it's going to a lung-crushing depth.

    "There's very little chance of getting rescued when you're down 11 kilometers (6.8 miles)," Ramsey said, quickly adding, "well, there's no chance." 

    For that reason, the vessel doesn't move very fast on these missions, typically no quicker than about 3.5 mph. And it's got some other safety features designed to keep it from getting stuck below.

    "We've made anything that the sub could potentially get entangled in ejectable," Ramsey said, explaining that the thrusters, batteries, and manipulator arm of the submarine can all be released and fall off the machine. "What you're left with, once everything's been ejected, is quite a different-looking vehicle."

    Vescovo, who's a pilot and former Navy reserve intelligence officer, says safety is also the reason he asked that the submarine be made of titanium, even though it means he only has three palm-sized porthole-style windows to peek through. 

    "I trust titanium, not glass," he said. 

    Vescovo added that he's relieved to know the oxygen tanks inside will still be accessible, even if the electronics fail. "We have multiple avenues of getting that oxygen out of the bottles to keep us alive," he said.

    The team's first dive, which should last less than six hours, will take place during the first week in December.

    SEE ALSO: A French swimmer is racing to become the first person to swim across the Pacific. Here's what his days in the water are like.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This incredible animation shows how deep the ocean really is

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    BlackDiamond 09 17

    • Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi has been photographing major mining sites all over the world for the last decade, having visited mines in China, Russia, Kazakhstan and India. 
    • In India, Sardi was introduced to Dhanbad, a city known as the "capital of coal" due to the vast number of coal fields and strip-mines. The mining has turned the landscape into a post-apocalyptic moonscape.
    • Sardi has collected his years of work photographing Dhanbad into "Black Diamond," to be published in December. People can pre-order the book here.

    With a population exceeding 1.3 billion and a quickly developing economy, India has become the world's third-largest greenhouse gas emitter. 

    Coal is a big reason why. In recent years, India has experienced a "coal rush" as the country attempts to satisfy its ever-expanding energy needs.

    At the center of the rush is Dhanbad, a city known as the "capital of coal," and the nearby Jharia mines. There, mostly state-run coal companies operate massive open coal mines that wreak havoc on the villages that have long populated the area. The smoke-choked landscape is marked by burning cracks in the ground that have been on fire for over 100 years.

    Swedish photographer Sebastian Sardi  became fascinated by Dhanbad nearly a decade ago while traveling to mining sites all over the world.

    Sardi told Business Insider that what struck him about the Jharia mines is the way villagers live amongst the mines, depending on them for their livelihood while also suffering terribly from the environment they create.

    "It's a vastly changing environment in nature and, for the inhabitants, it's a disaster," said Sardi.

    A book of Sardi's multi-year exploration of Dhanbad, titled "Black Diamond," will be published by German publisher Kehrer Verlag in December. Sardi is currently taking pre-orders of the book, which you can check out here »

    SEE ALSO: A photographer spent 17 years exploring the barren expanse of Mongolia and returned with unreal photos

    DON'T MISS: A caravan of 7,000 migrants is heading towards the US border — haunting images show the deadly route most take to get there

    Over 65% of India's power comes from locally mined coal. The Jharia fields are the country's biggest reserve, with approximately 11 billion tons of coal.

    Source: Caravan Magazine

    Most of the mining done at Jharia is in open pits or strip mines, because it is faster and more profitable. But doing so exposes coal to oxygen and is highly destructive to the environment.

    Source: Al Jazeera

    Coal fires have been burning in Jharia for over 100 years. Large-scale open pit mining was ramped up in the 1970s when coal companies were nationalized by the government. It has made the fires far worse.

    Source: Al Jazeera

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    simone biles kidney stone

    • Simone Biles went to the emergency room for a kidney stone the day before competing in the gymnastics world championships in Qatar. 
    • But Biles still got the top score in a qualifying round of the competition.
    • "This kidney stone can wait," she wrote on Twitter. 


    Simone Biles didn't let a kidney stone stop her from dominating at the gymnastics world championships in Doha, Qatar on Saturday. 

    Biles earned the top all-around score of 60.965 points during the qualifying round of the championships, "all but guaranteeing" that she'll have a spot in the finals next week, NBC Sports reported. 

    Less than 24 hours earlier, however, Biles had visited the emergency room to address mysterious, lingering pain.

    "I've been having back pains for like two weeks, and then I had  stomachaches," Biles said in an interview with the Olympic Channel. "Yesterday my mom came ... and I was like, 'I think I need to go to the hospital.' So we went as a precaution to get some tests done."

    That's when a doctor told her she had a kidney stone.

    "Nothing like a late night ER visit less than 24 hrs before world championships," Biles wrote on Twitter Friday night, sharing a selfie from her hospital bed. "This kidney stone can wait....doing it for my team! I'll be gucci girls!"

    Biles explained that she was determined to  compete — even after a member of the hospital staff told her she might have to spend the night.

    "I was like, 'Sorry, I have to compete so I'm leaving, but thanks for letting me know I have a kidney stone and I'll deal with the pain later!'" Biles told the Olympic channel.

    Kidney stones are pebble-like pieces of material that can form in the kidneys when the urine has high concentrations of calcium or certain other minerals. They can be as small as a grain of sand, as big as a pea, and in rare cases the size of a golf ball, according to the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

    Sometimes kidney stones move through the urinary tract and out of the body without causing pain, but stones that block the flow or urine can cause severe pain, the NIDDK adds. It's often described as being worse than childbirth.

    In a later tweet, Biles clarified that she didn't actually pass the kidney stone or have it removed while she was at the hospital. 

    "I actually have not had it removed yet, just got the diagnosis and information about it. We will deal with it after world championships!" she wrote on Twitter. "Fingers crossed it stays okay!!!"

    Biles tild USA Gymnastics that she was in "a bit of pain" even when stretching and walking, but it didn't seem to impact her performance. With half the gymnasts still to compete in the qualifying round, Biles' all-around score puts her a solid 4.5 points ahead of her teammate Morgan Hurd, who won the world championships last year, according to NBC Sports.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The secret to Simone Biles' dominance might not be what you'd expect

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    peduto cnn

    • Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto hit back at President Donald Trump's comments that officials should increase armed security in the wake of mass attacks.
    • Speaking a day after a gunman killed 11 at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Peduto said officials should "not try to create laws around irrational behavior," but take guns "out of the hands of those looking to express hatred through murder."
    • Trump said Saturday afternoon that he thought if the synagogue had "protection inside, the results would have been far better."

    Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto hit back at President Donald Trump's comments that officials should look to increase armed security in public places in the wake of mass attacks.

    After a gunman killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning, Peduto told host Chuck Todd on Sunday's "Meet the Press" that officials should confront "irrational" individuals in creating proactive policy.

    Speaking after the attack, Trump said if the Tree of Life synagogue had "protection inside, the results would have been far better."

    A reporter later asked if Trump meant that all places of worship should have armed guards. Trump replied that it was "certainly an option" to what he said was "a world with many problems."

    Peduto rejected Trump's prescription of ramping up armed security, saying sacred public places deserved more proactive measures of protection that would confront "irrational behavior."

    "We're dealing with an irrational person who acted irrationally — trying to create laws around that is not the way that we should govern," Peduto said. "We should try to stop irrational behavior from happening at the forefront. And not try to create laws around irrational behavior to continue."

    Officials confirmed the shooting suspect was 46-year-old Robert Bowers, who shouted "all Jews must die" while opening fire Saturday morning, according to Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA.

    When Trump responded to questions from reporters Saturday afternoon about the attack's potential effects on gun policy, he said gun control laws had "little to do with"the shooting.

    During a Sunday morning press conference, Peduto doubled down on his comments about gun policy when asked, saying officials should look to make plans to directly control access to guns.

    "We should take the guns, which are the common denominator of every mass shooting in America, out of the hands of those looking to express hatred through murder," Peduto said.

    Peduto has tangled with Trump before, shooting back on Twitter when Trump said he was "elected by voters of Pittsburgh" in a statement that declared his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.

    Peduto concluded his remarks at the press conference in saying, "Let this horrific episode be another mark in the march of humanity towards recognizing that we are all one."

    SEE ALSO: What we know about the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

    DON'T MISS: Here's what we know about Robert Bowers, the suspected Pittsburgh synagogue shooter

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What activated charcoal actually does to your body

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    voting vote election day

    • With the 2018 midterm elections just two weeks away, now is the perfect time to make a plan to vote to make sure your Election Day goes off without a hitch.
    • Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018, but you can vote early or absentee in most states.
    • Experimental research studies show that people who make a plan in advance are much more likely to vote.
    • Here's everything you need to know about your state's voter registration deadlines, when your ballot is due if you'll be voting absentee, and when the polls open and close in your state.

    With the 2018 midterm elections just 2 weeks away, now is the perfect time to start planning when and how you'll vote, whether you plan to head to the polls in person on November 6 or send in an absentee ballot before then.

    A 2010 experimental study found that voter turnout was up to 9% higher among people who made a plan to vote before Election Day compared to those who did not.

    Since every state has different requirements and deadlines, informing yourself about voting in your state to make sure you won't be blindsided by unexpected poll closing hours or registration deadlines will pay off when Election Day comes around.

    Here's everything you need to know about your state's voter registration deadlines, when your ballot is due if you'll be voting absentee, and when the polls open and close in your state, if you plan to vote in person.

    Registration deadlines by state:

    While voter registration deadlines have passed in most states, there's still time to register if you live in Washington, North Carolina, or one of the 16 states, plus the District of Columbia, that allows voters to register on Election Day.

    Since North Dakota has no voter registration, you don't need to do anything advance besides bring an ID to the polls.

    Deadlines to apply for an absentee ballot by state:

    If you're registered to vote but will be away from your polling place on Election Day, there's still time to request and send in an absentee ballot.

    While states all have different requirements for receiving a ballot, most military service members, US citizens living abroad, college students, or people who will otherwise be away from their polling place for another reason, including a disability or religious conflict, are eligible to vote absentee in the November 6 election.

    All states allow voters to request ballots by mail, but only some permit in-person requests. Virginia is the only state where voters can apply for an absentee ballot online.

    Deadlines to send in your absentee ballot by state:

    While most states require that your absentee ballot be postmarked or received by your election official by Election Day, some will count your ballot as long as it arrives within up to 10 days of Election Day.

    If you request a ballot but don't receive it in time to mail in back by your state's deadline, you can fill out the Federal Absentee Write-in Ballot as a backup.

    In the meantime, you can use Ballotpedia's sample ballot lookup tool for information on all the federal, state, and local elections and/or ballot initiatives that you can vote on this fall.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Amazon Alexa

    • Alexa can now respond to your whispered voice commands by whispering back to you, which is cool, but takes some getting used to.
    • The "whisper mode,"announced back in September, was rolled out as part of a series of features aiming to make Alexa's speech more intuitive and natural.
    • "Whisper mode" is turned off by default, so you have to manually enable the feature.

    It's not hard to tell the difference between Alexa's automated voice and human speech, but a new feature that lets her speak to you in a whisper makes her eerily more life-like.

    This "whisper mode" means your Amazon smart speaker can detect when you talk to it in a whisper, and will trigger Alexa to whisper back to you. The feature was announced back in September, but it was made available for English speaking Alexa-enabled devices on October 18.

    On the surface, the whispered voice is smart for situations where a loud noise could cause a disruption, like in a room where people are sleeping. Amazon says the feature is only one of many it's working on in an effort to make its AI-powered Alexa speak more naturally and respond to your conversation cues more intuitively.

    But if you just listen to Alexa's whisper mode in action, it's pretty eerie:

    How to turn on Alexa's 'whisper mode'

    The new feature is by default not activated, so you have to enable it yourself. Whether your reasoning for switching on the feature is for practical reasons or for a good laugh, the easiest way to enable the mode is to just ask Alexa herself.

    Say, "Alexa, turn on whisper mode," and the feature will be enabled.

    Otherwise, if you're not near your Amazon smart speaker, you can easily toggle on the feature through the Alexa app. By clicking on the menu button (three horizontal lines) in the top left corner of the app, the rest is easy. Just hit Settings > Alexa Account > Alexa Voice Responses > Whispered Responses.

    Amazon Alexa whisper mode

    SEE ALSO: Amazon is growing a massive, foul-smelling 'corpse flower' at its indoor rainforest — and it just bloomed for the first time ever

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A cybersecurity expert showed us how hackers can tap into an office phone and listen to everything you're saying

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    Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix

    • The workplace culture of "radical transparency" at Netflix can be perturbing for some employees, as The Wall Street Journal published in a lengthy report on October 25.
    • One workplace practice at Netflix is to conduct "postmortem" meetings and emails, which explain why an employee was fired.
    • "Being part of Netflix is like being part of an Olympic team. Getting cut, when it happens, is very disappointing but there is no shame at all," the company told the Journal in a statement. 


    After Sean Carey got fired from his role as a vice president at Netflix, he attended his own postmortem.

    That's Netflix slang for a meeting or email that details why you were fired, as The Wall Street Journal published in a lengthy report on October 25. WSJ reporters Shalini Ramachandran and Joe Flint interviewed more than 70 current and former employees for the piece on Netflix's culture of "radical transparency," and how it's fared as the company has expanded.

    At Carey's postmortem, Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos explained to 40 to 50 people on the content team why he was fired. Sarandos said Carey, while he played an important role in building the website's streaming library, lacked the creativity needed at Netflix as the content behemoth transitioned to original content. 

    Attending one's own postmortem isn't typical. 

    Postmortems can also take the form of an email that may be viewed by dozens or hundreds of employees, the Journal reported. Some employees said they found the practice "awkward and theatrical." However, Jibran Kutik, a former Netflix product designer, told the Journal that the postmortems were "generally useful." 

    Carey agreed. "It was certainly awkward for some, but was also consistent with the culture — there is sometimes a cost to transparency," Carey told the Journal. "In the end, I felt it was beneficial."

    Several other highly-successful companies have come under fire for similarly public termination practices. At Nike, an entire division was laid off via PowerPoint, as some former employees alleged to The New York Times in April

    Others have taken a similar approach to Netflix when it comes to being transparent about an employee's flaws and failures. Some Amazon employees can appeal their firings to keep their jobs or get a new one with a different manager, Bloomberg Businessweek reported in June. Around 30% actually succeed. 

    As for Netflix, the Journal reported that the entertainment juggernaut prides itself on its unique corporate culture, which rewards blunt feedback, and links that to its global dominance of 137 million subscribers. 

    And if you're fired, that's nothing to be ashamed of, Netflix said. Perhaps you just didn't cut it.

    “Being part of Netflix is like being part of an Olympic team,” the company said in a written statement. “Getting cut, when it happens, is very disappointing but there is no shame at all. Our former employees get a generous severance and they generally get snapped up by another company."

    Read the entire article from The Wall Street Journal here.

    SEE ALSO: Employees at Nike were reportedly fired with a PowerPoint presentation

    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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    • Burger Chef once had almost as many stores as McDonald's.
    • Its founders manufactured automatic shake machines, soft-serve ice cream machin, and flame broilers for fast-food chains, patenting the flame broiler in 1954.
    • Burger Chef was also the first to serve kids' meals that bundled a burger, dessert, and toy. 
    • But the chain expanded very quickly, and hundreds of stores closed throughout the 1970s and 1980s. It was purchased by Hardee's in 1982, with the last location closing in 1996.

    McDonald's is well known for its Happy Meal, but it wasn't the first to serve a bundled kids' meal. 

    In the 1960s and early 1970s, McDonald's had a major competitor: Burger Chef, a hamburger chain that started in 1958.

    The chain was originally created by Donald and Frank Thomas, whose father started the General Equipment Company in the 1930s to manufacture machinery for fast-food restaurants. Some of the products General Equipment made included soft-serve ice cream machines and flame-broiling equipment, which it patented in 1954, according to Eater.  

    In 1957, the Thomas brothers decided to open a demonstration store to show how to best use the products. It became so successful that the brothers opened a number of others throughout the state. Using McDonald's as its inspiration, Burger Chef officially opened up as a restaurant in Indianapolis in 1958.

    One Reddit user described Burger Chef as "a Dairy Queen burger with a salad bar you could pick from to load on top of it. Imagine a fast food restaurant with the appeal of a bowling alley without lanes and the taste of high school cafeteria and you get a clearer idea." Another wrote, "the burger was similar to a McDonald's hamburger, really nothing fancy or special, but recalling the experience I can actually taste the hamburger which I thoroughly enjoyed."

    Burger Chef was also the first restaurant chain to serve a burger-fries-drink combo, called the "Triple Threat", which cost just 45 cents, according to Time. It also pioneered "The Works Bar," where customers could dress their own burgers with toppings and condiments. 

    In 1967, Burger Chef was purchased by General Foods for $16 million. By 1969, it had 1,000 restaurants. 

    While Burger Chef was at its peak, it introduced a concept most people associate with McDonald's: the kids' meal. In 1973, the "Fun Meal" was the first fast-food meal to bundle burgers with a dessert and a toy. It also had a mascot and cartoon characters, including a magician named Burgerini and a vampire named Count Fangburger. In 1978, the chain partnered with "Star Wars" to create seven different kids' meals.

    When McDonald's introduced its Happy Meal in 1979, Burger Chef sued on claims the rival chain had appropriated the idea of the Fun Meal. Shortly after, in 1981, Burger Chef sued Burger King over its "Fun School Meal," but settled out of court when Burger King acknowledged Burger's Chef's trademark, according to the Indianapolis Star

    Burger Chef was struggling by this point. General Foods had expanded the chain very quickly, and hundreds of stores had closed throughout the 1970s. 

    In 1982, Hardee's bought the remaining 260 stores for $44 million, and almost all of Burger Chef's restaurants were closed or turned into Hardee's.  

    The final Burger Chef franchise, located in Cookeville, Tennessee, closed in 1996.

    SEE ALSO: We visited ShopRite and Stop & Shop to see which was a better grocery store, and the winner was clear

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why silk is so expensive

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    halloween universal

    • "Halloween" won the box office for a second consecutive weekend, earning $32 million.
    • That puts the movie's domestic total to an incredible $126.7 million (it was made for only $10 million).
    • This marks the first time a "Halloween" movie has hit the $100 million milestone.

    "Halloween" looks like it's going to have major staying power as we get closer to its namesake holiday.

    In its second weekend in theaters, the new direct sequel to the 1978 original won the box office with an estimated $32.05 million.

    The Universal/Miramax/Blumhouse production took home the box office crown for a second-straight weekend and now has a domestic cume of an eye-popping $126.7 million (the movie was only made for $10 million).

    This marks the first time a movie in the "Halloween" franchise has hit the $100 million milestone.

    Most of the competition stayed away this weekend, leaving the few new releases like the Gerard Butler submarine thriller "Hunter Killer" ($6.6 million) and the latest title from Rowan Atkinson's tired spy spoof franchise "Johnny English Strikes Again" ($1.6 million, though it's earned over $100 million overseas) having no chance up against Michael Myers.

    Though on the specialty release side, Amazon Studios' "Suspiria," the remake of the horror classic by Dario Argento, took in the top per-screen average of the year with $89,903 on two screens.

    "Halloween" will have its first major test this coming weekend as titles like like Fox's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Disney's "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms" hit the multiplexes.

    SEE ALSO: 'Bourne' franchise producer Frank Marshall told us the chances Matt Damon and Jeremy Renner will team up in a movie

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    • A third of all S&P 500 companies are set to report third-quarter earnings during the weeks of Oct. 22 and Oct. 29.
    • These two busy weeks are the most important for stock pickers looking for opportunities to beat their benchmarks, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. 
    • The firm's analysts compiled a list of buy-rated stocks reporting during these two crucial weeks, which they expect to outperform the market's expectations. 

    We're officially in the most important two weeks of earnings season, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. 

    They're the two busiest periods during which S&P 500 companies will update investors on their third-quarter performance, and when many will provide guidance for the months ahead. 

     By BofAML's calculation, 33% of earnings are on tap this week and next.

    The firm's analysts went a step further to identify the stocks that are poised to deliver the biggest earnings surprises. For stock pickers, these post-earnings rallies could mean returns bigger than what the broader market is offering. 

    "Alpha opportunity should be high: our work suggests that stock differentiation is heightened during earnings season, particularly the busiest reporting days, which fall this week on Oct. 23-25 and next week on Oct 30-Nov 1," a team led by Savita Subramanian said in a note on Monday.

    The list below showcases stocks that BofAML has handpicked as most likely to beat earnings expectations. They are all buy-rated, and are scheduled to report third-quarter results during the earnings-season peak that Subramanian specified.

    They are ranked in ascending order of the number of standard deviations between BofAML's earnings-per-share estimates and the consensus. A higher Z-score implies that the firm's analysts are more bullish than their peers. 

    SEE ALSO: The world's most accurate economic forecaster pinpoints the biggest risks investors will face in 2019 — and explains how they can prepare

    16. Torchmark

    Ticker: TMK

    Sector: Financials 

    Expected report date: Oct. 24

    BofAML vs. consensus EPS (Z-Score): 0.1

    BofAML vs. consensus sales (Z-Score): 151.6

    Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

    15. Zimmer Biomet Holdings

    Ticker: ZBH

    Sector: Healthcare 

    Expected report date: Oct. 26

    BofAML vs. consensus EPS (Z-Score): 0.1

    BofAML vs. consensus sales (Z-Score): 1.5

    Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

    14. Illumina

    Ticker: ILMN

    Sector: Healthcare 

    Expected report date: Oct. 30

    BofAML vs. consensus EPS (Z-Score): 0.1

    BofAML vs. consensus sales (Z-Score): 0.3

    Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    A man watches a data server at the booth of IBM during preparations for the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover, March 9, 2014.

    • Companies that are rushing to embrace artificial intelligence technologies are running into big problems with their data.
    • Some companies don't have enough data, others have it in disparate places, and still others don't have it in a usable format.
    • Because of such challenges, some early adopters have abandoned AI projects.

    If there's one big thing that might thwart companies' headlong rush to adopt artificial intelligence for their businesses, it's data.

    AI generally requires lots of data. But it needs to be the right kind of data, in very particular kinds of formats. And it often needs it to be "clean," including only the kind of information it needs and none of what it doesn't.

    Paul Daugherty, chief technology and innovation officer of Accenture, as seen at Business Insider's offices in San Francisco on October 15, 2018.All of that adds up to a big problem for many businesses.

    "The biggest challenge most organizations face when they start thinking about AI is their data," said Paul Daugherty, the chief technology and innovation officer of consulting firm Accenture, in an interview earlier this month. He continued: "Often we're seeing that that's the big area that companies need to invest in."

    Corporations large and small and across multiple industries are enthusiastic about AI and related technologies such as machine learning. Many are already adopting it to do things such as improving their customer service, flagging suspect transactions, and monitoring employees' performance. Accenture considers AI the "alpha trend"— the most important trend in technology not only today, but for the next 10 to 20 years.

    But for companies to really reap the benefits — to be able to detect trends, identify anomalies, and make predictions about future behavior — they're going to have to come to terms with their data.

    And unfortunately, many companies aren't in good shape when it comes to data. In a recent survey by consulting firm Deloitte, a plurality of executives at companies that are early adopters of AI ranked "data issues" as the biggest challenge they faced in rolling out the technology. Some 16% said it was the toughest problem they confronted with AI, and 39% said it ranked in the top three.

    Companies are facing multiple problems when it comes to data

    Some companies don't have the data they need. Others have databases or data stores that aren't in good shape to be tapped by AI. Still others are dealing with issues related to trying to keep their data secure or maintain users' privacy as they prepare for it to be used by AI systems.

    "Getting the data required for an AI project, preparing it for analysis, protecting privacy, and ensuring security can be time-consuming and costly for companies," Deloitte analysts Jeff Loucks, Tom Davenport, and David Schatsky said in the report. "Adding to the challenge is that data — at least some of it — is often needed before it is even possible to conduct a proof of concept."

    Deloitte report on AI early adopters — chart on struggles faced in adopting artificial intelligence

    One particular problem companies are facing on the data front is that it's often housed in different departments and disparate databases, noted the Deloitte analysts. Customer service data may be in one place, for example, while financial records may be elsewhere. The trouble for companies is that their AI systems will often need to tap into multiple data stores.

    "AI creates a need for data integration that a company may have managed to avoid until now," Loucks, Davenport, and Schatsky said in their report. "This can be especially challenging in a company that has grown by acquisition and maintains multiple, unintegrated systems of diverse vintages."

    Indeed some companies have run into such big problems in trying to get the data they needed for an AI effort that they've ended up abandoning or postponing the project, the Deloitte analysts said.

    That's why it's crucial that companies assess the state of their data before embarking on AI projects, said Daugherty. It helps them set realistic expectations, he said.

    "The big expectations factor for companies is really understanding the data — what shape the data's in to drive the right AI results," he said.

    Now read:

    SEE ALSO: The best way to avoid killer robots and other dystopian uses for AI is to focus on all the good it can do for us, says tech guru Phil Libin

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    • Synthego, a Silicon Valley genome-engineering startup founded by former SpaceX engineers, sells ready-to-use kits that let people experiment with the cutting-edge gene-editing tool Crispr.
    • On Tuesday, Synthego received $110 million from Peter Thiel's Founders Fund and two other Silicon Valley venture firms, bringing the company's total funding to $160 million.
    • Crispr holds massive promise for a field known as gene therapy, which involves modifying someone's DNA to treat a genetic disease.
    • Synthego sells its Crispr kits primarily to researchers in roughly 50 countries. In the US, clients include the Mayo Clinic and two high-profile labs at Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley.

    On Tuesday, a little-known startup founded by two former SpaceX engineers became one of the best-funded life-science startups using the blockbuster gene-editing tool Crispr for genome engineering.

    Called Synthego, the company sells easy-to-use Crispr kits to scientists, who use the tool to perform tasks as varied as creating designer crops and finding new cures for rare diseases.

    Recently, the company has been focusing on diseases, with an emphasis on how Synthego could help make its tools more useful and accessible to researchers aiming to create a revolutionary new class of treatments known as gene therapy.

    Despite decades of being touted as having the potential to cure dozens of diseases, gene therapies remain difficult to access. Few have been approved by federal regulators; those that have can cost roughly $1 million to receive and even more to develop. Synthego aims to help reduce that cost and speed up the development process. While a handful of startups are doing gene-editing work with Crispr, Synthego is the only one selling ready-to-use kits.

    Its kits "open up a whole new world" to researchers, Synthego cofounder and CEO Paul Dabrowski told Business Insider.

    And the new funds — a combined $110 million from the tech mogul Peter Thiel's Founders Fund as well as 8VC and Menlo Ventures — will help expand the company's reach even further, Dabrowski said. For the first time, the company is beginning to make kits intended for use in the clinic, a goal he said the company aimed to achieve by next year.

    In a statement, Thiel said Synthego's platform would "ultimately unlock the full potential of genome engineering."

    'A future where cell and gene therapies are as accessible as vaccines'

    sgRNA Kit largeFew patients have had the chance to get a revolutionary type of treatment long touted as having the potential to cure dozens of diseases.

    Called gene therapy, the approach involves modifying a person's DNA to address the underlying cause of an inherited disease. Doctors take a sample of someone's diseased cells, correct the errors in the code, and return the corrected cells to the person's body. Over time, the healthy cells outnumber the diseased ones, and the illness disappears for good, the thinking goes.

    The Western world's first gene therapy, a drug called Glybera that was designed to treat a rare disease in which patients can't properly process fat, was used only a single time after being approved in the European Union in 2012. After lackluster demand, the manufacturer uniQure pulled it from the market in 2017. The first gene therapy to be approved in the US, Luxturna, promises to cure a rare inherited form of blindness. Its price tag is $850,000.

    Crispr is a gene-editing tool that makes it easier and cheaper to modify genomes and could help usher in new gene therapies. But few researchers have fully embraced Crispr; the technique is new and can take months of practice to feel comfortable using. That's where Synthego wants to help. Synthego's core product helps scientists study potential cures by packaging Crispr in an easy-to-use format. As part of its latest funding round, the company is — for the first time — starting to make products that are ready to use in a clinical setting.

    "One of the things we're doing with our Crispr platform is making it clinical-grade ready," Dabrowski said.

    Dabrowski says his company's Crispr editing kits significantly shrink the time and the cost of research and development. If the company can make products that are ready to use in the clinic, "there's an ability"— eventually — "to actually make the medicines for our customers," Dabrowski said.

    "We believe it's going to be possible to make cell and gene therapies that are as accessible as vaccines," Dabrowski said.

    A star-studded advisory board

    Jennifer Doudna CRISPRSynthego sells two types of Crispr kits in roughly 50 countries. In the US, clients include the Mayo Clinic and two high-profile labs at Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley, where scientists use the kits to carry out research and development on potential new treatments.

    Jennifer Doudna, one of the inventors of Crispr and a UC Berkeley geneticist, uses Synthego's products in her lab, Dabrowski said. Doudna also joined Synthego as an adviser in March and invested in the company during its second-stage, or series B, round last year.

    As part of the latest funding round, another high-profile researcher, the Stanford professor and physician Matthew Porteus, joined Synthego's advisory board. Porteus has been working on gene and cell therapies for half a decade and cofounded Crispr Therapeutics, one of several public companies working on developing gene-editing-based treatments. Sir Andrew Witty, the CEO of the technology and services division of UnitedHealth Group who once served as CEO of the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, is also on Synthego's advisory board.

    Both of Synthego's kits are designed to make working with Crispr easier. The first, called Crisprevolution, is designed for researchers who already have experience working with the tool and costs as little as $225. As part of the latest funding round, Synthego will be expanding that product line so that by next year it could offer clinical-grade materials with the potential to help make therapeutics for patients. Synthego's other product, called Engineered Cells, was designed for non-Crispr experts in mind and costs nonacademics $3,500, or $2,500 for researchers.

    "You come to the website, tell us what you want modified, swipe your credit card, and a few weeks later you end up with an edited cell line," Dabrowski said.

    That significantly shortens a process that normally takes months — and could help researchers turn big ideas into real, accessible treatments within a few years, Dabrowski hopes.

    "You get rid of a huge road block," Dabrowski said.

    SEE ALSO: 40 AND UNDER: The Silicon Valley biotech stars who are backing startups aiming to cure disease, prolong life, and fix the food system

    DON'T MISS: A new biotech company has raised $25 million to help unleash a 'virgin market' of psychedelic research

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    Friday the 13th

    It's the season for scares and no horror movie can match the feeling of dread that comes from immersing yourself in the right horror game.

    Those who find themselves screaming at the survivors during scary movies should find themselves at home with the interactive experience games provide. Whether it's the slow-paced survival of "Resident Evil" or the constant waves of monsters in "Doom," horror games place the player at the center of the story and force them to find their own keys to survival.

    Here are some of the best horror video games to test your mettle this Halloween:

    SEE ALSO: The creators of 'Fortnite' just landed $1.25 billion in new investments, the largest ever financing round for a video game company

    "Alien: Isolation" (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

    Much like the movie it's based on, "Alien: Isolation" thrives on a game of cat and mouse between the player and the xenomorph monster. The alien cannot be killed during the course of the game, forcing the player to constantly find new ways to escape the prowling creature on a deserted space station.

    Even when the monster is a safe distance away, the station's empty corridors are haunting; diaries and messages left by the former residents weave a larger horror story about colony's demise.

    "Resident Evil HD Remaster" (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

    The original "Resident Evil" is a staple of survival horror with an influence that continues to resonate in modern games. The HD remaster fully retains the structure of the original, complete with its fixed camera angles and tank-like controls. "Resident Evil" forces players navigate a sprawling mansion with limited resources and complex puzzles while dodging mutated zombies, sharks, and worse.

    "Until Dawn" (PlayStation 4)

    Until Dawn" is a horror game that plays like a movie. As the story rolls along, players make decisions with different characters in the game as they're pursued by a monster. Each choice can mean life or death for the specific cast members, and the number of characters who survive is entirely dependent on how the game is played.

    Despite the movie-style narrative, "Until Dawn" has a healthy amount of gameplay, taking about eight hours to complete on average.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Fashion Nova

    • Fashion Nova is quickly becoming one of the most talked-about brands on the internet.
    • Thanks to endorsements from celebrities including Cardi B and Kylie Jenner, the brand has shot to fame and now has 13.5 million followers on Instagram. In Piper Jaffray's recent survey of teen spending habits, it was voted the No. 6 preferred website, beating out Adidas and Forever 21
    • Find out more about the brand below. 

    Fashion Nova is quickly becoming one of the most talked-about brands on the internet.

    The company has shot to fame in a relatively short period of time thanks to a host of endorsements on Instagram from influencers and celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Cardi B.

    In 2017, it was one of the most-searched brands on Google, beating out well-known luxury brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Earlier this week, it ranked as the No. 6 preferred website for young people in Piper Jaffray's semi-annual survey of teen spending habits.

    Find out how this brand grew to have 13.5 million followers on Instagram in just five years: 

    SEE ALSO: These are the 10 clothing brands teens are obsessed with right now

    Fashion Nova is known for its Kardashian-esque aesthetic, selling affordable bodycon dresses and tight, high-waisted pants.

    The majority of its clothing costs between $20 and $50. However, there are some more pricey pieces.

    Dresses cost between $9.99 and $299.99.

    While the brand is best known online, it actually started off in the mall. Its founder, Richard Saghian, opened the first store in 2006, in Panorama Mall in Panorama City, California.

    Source: Paper

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    boise idaho

    • Californians priced out of Pacific border states are heading to Idaho, Arizona, and Nevada.
    • A recent Bloomberg story described the trend as an "echo boom" ignited by California's record housing prices, volatile politics, high taxes, and "constant threat of natural disaster."
    • It's driving up prices in places like Idaho's capital, Boise — the county it's in experienced an 18% jump in the median home price over last year, according to Bloomberg.

    Idaho may be the new frontier for Californians.

    In a new Bloomberg story, the reporters Prashant Gopal and Noah Buhayar describe an "echo boom" in which Californians are invading cities in landlocked states out west, like Boise, Idaho; Phoenix, Arizona; and Reno, Nevada.

    The article said the move was ignited by California's record housing prices, volatile politics, high taxes, and "constant threat of natural disaster," like the recent wildfires in the state.

    It wasn't long ago that people priced out of California were fleeing to Seattle and Portland, but prices — along with traffic and other frustrations— are rising there too. Earlier this year, Forbes named the roughly 700,000-person Boise metro area the fasting-growing US city, followed by Seattle.

    "Eventually the laws of supply and demand are going to drive people to other parts of the country," Glenn Kelman, CEO of the real-estate firm Redfin, told Bloomberg. "Boise isn't five times worse than California as a place to live. But places in California are five times more expensive."

    The median home price in California hit a record $600,000 in June, more than twice the national median. Bloomberg described Kelman as saying it was easy for homeowners relocating to places like Boise to feel as if they're spending "Monopoly money."

    But frustrated locals feel that the Californians are driving up prices. The cost of a typical home in Ada County, which includes Boise, hit nearly $300,000 in September, an 18% jump from the previous year, Gopal and Buhayar reported. One new gated community sells homes with huge windows and "wine walls" to mostly out-of-state buyers, a sales agent told the news outlet.

    Rent in these areas is also much cheaper. According to Zillow, the median rent in the Boise metro area is $1,400, compared with $2,300 in the Seattle metro area and $3,324 in the San Francisco metro area.

    But the economic relief of moving to a down-home city is just one reason Idaho experienced a rise in popularity among Californians, who made up 85% of the state's total domestic immigration in 2016, Bloomberg reported, citing an analysis of US census data.

    Boise has for years appeared on rankings of the best places to live by outlets like US News & World Report, Niche, and SmartAsset, touting spectacular outdoor attractions, a high quality of life, and safety, in addition to low taxes, affordable housing, and a strong job market.

    Read the full article on Bloomberg »

    SEE ALSO: San Francisco residents battle high housing costs, but they're still the only Californians who wouldn't tell young people to move

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    Costco shopper

    • Some customers like to take advantage of stores' return policies by making rather unusual returns.
    • Business Insider spoke to employees at Costco, Walmart, Target, and Home Depot about the oddest returns they've ever witnessed.
    • Employees described encountering shoppers who returned things like dirty toilets and mostly consumed pies.

    Some shoppers like to take advantage of major retailers' return policies.

    But then there are customers who take that impulse to a whole new level. The rise of "serial returners" is costing the industry a fortune and causing major logistical headaches.

    To get a sense of what this looks like at the store level, Business Insider spoke to employees at Walmart, Target, Costco, and Home Depot about the strangest, grossest, and most surprising returns they've seen on the job.

    Some of their responses were out there.

    "We can't say no to any members, so don't bring anything back that's 10 years old, such as a fake Christmas tree we got back that was sold in 2007," a California-based Costco employee previously told Business Insider. "We want to help, but that sets a bad example for everyone to bring anything back."

    Meanwhile, a Target team member based in California told Business Insider that they admired their colleagues working in returns, describing it as "a very tough position."

    Here are some of the most ridiculous returns that retail workers said they'd seen.

    SEE ALSO: 'Serial returners' are on the rise — and it's causing headaches for retailers like Walmart and Target

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    Shoppers sometimes opt to return huge or costly purchases.

    Buyer's remorse has been known to strike people who've just purchased high-ticket items.

    "Someone ordered an entire lawn set online and brought it in on a U-Haul to return it," a Target team member told Business Insider. "We had to use around 10 carts to bring it in."

    Two other Target employees said they had suspicions about the timing of certain shoppers' expensive returns.

    One Target team member of five years told Business Insider about a guest who took advantage of the store's 90-day return policy by "returning roughly $400 worth of Christmas decorations in late February."

    And a different Target team member said they had seen "multiple returns of thousands of dollars' worth of home merchandise made after the guests have staged their homes," adding, "It is so unethical."

    Other customers attempt to bamboozle workers with downright fraudulent returns.

    Not all returns are made in good faith.

    The National Retail Federation estimated that Americans returned $351 billion worth of goods last year, or 10% of all sales. Of those returns, it estimated that $22.8 billion worth qualified as fraudulent, equal to about 6.5% of total returns.

    A Home Depot employee told Business Insider about one customer who attempted to return a power tool in its case.

    "They re-taped the box, kept the tool, and returned the tool case filled with cans of spaghetti and ravioli to weigh it down," the employee said. "It was neatly packed and re-zipped to make us think it was the original purchase."

    A Target team member told Business Insider that stores have a $200 limit on returns made without a receipt and that customers who return items without a receipt receive store credit in lieu of money.

    The team member described witnessing a shopper attempt to exchange a razor without a receipt.

    "She had hit her $200 limit, meaning that she couldn't return it," the team member said. "She left 20 minutes later. A different woman came in with the exact same razor — in the same Walmart bag even — to return it with her license. Not surprisingly, she had also hit her limit."

    But other shoppers successfully exploit return policies.

    A different Target team member told Business Insider that one man returned several sets of bedsheets, claiming that his wife had bought too many.

    "They were $150 apiece," the Target team member said. "He had a limit on his ID. He didn't have the receipt. We exchanged it for a $450 camera. He bought those sheets from a secondhand store."

    Mostly devoured food isn't an unheard-of return in the retail business ...

    Costco is known for its generous return policy. According to employees, members can even get away with returning mostly eaten food.

    A Costco employee of 12 years told Business Insider that they wanted customers to "stop bringing half-eaten food and saying it was bad."

    They added that they'd seen shoppers return bones picked clean and explain that the "meat was no good" but that "they had to feed their family something."

    And a different employee of the warehouse chain described seeing members bring back "all-eaten pies or baked goods" and claim that they hadn't liked the food.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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