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The latest news from Business Insider

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    target shoppers 3

    • A secret scoring system that is used by retailers to track how valuable customers are could mean you're missing out on deals and discounts, the Wall Street Journal reported. 
    • Known as the customer lifetime value number, or CLV, the score is determined by looking at various parts of a customer's lifestyle including their spending habits, how often they call customer service, where they live, and even how many bedrooms they have in their house. 
    • Customers could get preferential treatment for having a higher CLV number, according to the Journal. 

    Retailers are spying on us, and according to a new investigation by the Wall Street Journal, it could be costing shoppers time and money.

    The Journal sheds light on a secretive scoring system that's reportedly being used by retailers to track the potential value of a consumer and determine what kind of treatment, deals, and discounts they should be given.

    Known as the customer lifetime value number, or CLV, this score is determined by looking at various parts of a customer's lifestyle including their spending habits, how often they call customer service, where they live, and even how many bedrooms they have in their house. 

    Customers who call customer service or visit banks frequently, for example, are considered to be more costly to the business and could have points cut for this. Others who only shop at stores when items are discounted also risk losing points because they are not seen as very valuable customers. 

    The resulting number then determines the prices you pay, the products and ads you see, and the perks you receive, Journal reporter Khadeeja Safdar wrote.

    Safdar outlined various examples of this across the retail sector. Higher-scoring customers might be given priority on calls to customer service and won't have to wait on hold for so long, they could get better deals if they threaten to leave their cellphone carrier, or they even get preferential treatment when their car breaks down and they need a replacement. 

    Other companies are using the data to target their marketing. 

    It "allows us to see beyond the day-to-day to ensure we're focused on the quality of the new customers we're acquiring, not just the quantity," Ed Boyle, senior director of performance marketing at Bonobos, told the Journal.

    Online clothing store ASOS, which offers free delivery and returns, uses the CLV number to track customers who are making frequent returns and are ultimately costly to the business.

    "Free shipping is vital in online clothing retail because customers need to try on items without being charged. Since ASOS do not recoup delivery costs for returned items, customers can easily have a negative lifetime value," the company wrote in a research note published in 2017.

    By tracking these customers, it is able to "rapidly identify and nurture high-value customers, who will go on to have high frequency, high-order size," it said. 

    Read more: Amazon isn't alone in punishing shoppers for too many returns — these are all the companies that track your returns

    The scoring works both ways, however. At some retailers, the higher the number, the less likely you are to receive bigger discounts. 

    According to Jerry Jao, chief executive of Retention Science, which works with companies such as Target and Proctor & Gamble, some stores hold back discounts from higher-value customers until they are at risk of losing them.

    "Why waste a 25% offer when the person is going to buy anyway?" he told the Journal.

    This isn't the only underground customer-tracking system that takes place in retail. Many stores such as Victoria's Secret, Best Buy, and Home Depot are also using third-party companies to track how many returns people make and, in some cases, punishing those who are suspected of abusing store return policies.

    SEE ALSO: Best Buy is punishing customers who return too many items — and it's a disturbing trend sweeping across the retail industry

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why vanilla is so expensive

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    NATO Finland Sweden Trident Juncture

    NATO member and partner forces are in Norway for a sprawling military exercise called Trident Juncture — the largest since the Cold War, officials have said.

    Russia is not happy with NATO's robust presence next to its territory and has decided to put on its own show of force.

    From November 1 to November 3, Russian ships will carry out rocket drills in the Norwegian Sea, west of activities related to Trident Juncture, which runs from October 25 to November 7.

    The exercises come at a time of heightened tension in Europe, home to some of the world's most capable armed forces, based on the 2018 military strength ranking compiled by Global Firepower.

    The ranking aims to level the playing between smaller countries with technical advantages and larger, less-sophisticated countries.

    Additional factors — geography, logistical capabilities, natural resources, and industrial capacity — are taken into account, as are things like diversity of weapons and assets, national development, and manpower.

    NATO members, 27 of which are European, also get a boost, as the alliance is designed to share resources and military support. The US military has a massive presence in Europe — including its largest base outside the US— but isn't included here as the US isn't part of Europe.

    Below, you can see the 25 most powerful militaries in Europe.

    SEE ALSO: These are all the fighter jets in the US Air Force

    25. Belgium (Overall ranking: 68)

    Power Index rating: 1.0885

    Total population: 11,491,346

    Total military personnel: 38,800

    Total aircraft strength: 164

    Fighter aircraft: 45

    Combat tanks: 0

    Total naval assets: 17 

    Defense budget: $5.085 billion

    24. Portugal (Overall ranking: 63)

    Power Index rating: 1.0035

    Total population: 10,839,514

    Total military personnel: 268,500

    Total aircraft strength: 93

    Fighter aircraft: 24

    Combat tanks: 133

    Total naval assets: 41

    Defense budget: $3.8 billion

    23. Slovakia (Overall ranking: 62)

    Power Index rating: 0.9998

    Total population: 5,445,829

    Total military personnel: 14,675

    Total aircraft strength: 49

    Fighter aircraft: 18

    Combat tanks: 22

    Total naval assets: 0 

    Defense budget: $1.025 billion

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Kim Kardashian

    • In a new clip from Sunday's episode of "Keeping Up With The Kardashians", the family finds out about the video that outlets claimed show Tristan Thompson cheating on Khloe Kardashian.  
    • Kim, Kourtney, Kendall, Kylie, and Scott's reactions are all included, plus a phone call from Khloe's best friend, Malika Haqq.
    • Kylie ended up sending Khloe the video, and Khloe stopped responding to text messages.
    • Everyone in the family was shocked, but Khloe's reaction was not shown.

    Earlier this year, Tristan Thompson's alleged cheating scandal rocked Kardashian fans' worlds, but that's nothing compared to how the actual family was feeling. In a new clip from Sunday's episode of "Keeping Up With The Kardashians," everyone found out about the video of Tristan making out with a woman right before Khloe Kardashian's due date, and of course, the family was practically speechless.

    The news seemed to reach Kim first, while she was in the middle of filming talking heads for the show. She stopped her interview to watch the video — and then passed it on to her sisters and Scott, who happened to be in the car with Kendall at the time.

    "There's video of Tristan making out with a girl last night," Kim tells the producers filming her segment. "Khloe's gonna die."

    Kendall Jenner

    "I mean, I can't even imagine being in Khloe's shoes. Just like, how reckless it all seems. This is really shocking and obviously heartbreaking," Kourtney says. "The whole thing makes me disgusted."

    The day the video surfaced was April 10 — just days before Khloe was due to give birth to daughter True Thompson, so of course, her family was worried that the stress of the situation was going to send her into labor.

    Ultimately, it was Kylie who decided to pass the video on to Khloe and said it was a difficult decision for her to make.

    Kylie Jenner

    "No one had the courage to tell Khloe because we knew she was days away from giving birth," Kylie said. "We didn't want to stress her out, but we knew that it was the right thing to do. So I'm the one that told Khloe. I didn't want to hurt her feelings, but I felt like she should hear from one of us, versus on the internet."

    Right now, where Khloe and Tristan's relationship stands is unclear, although E! News reported that Khloe was seen cheering Tristan on at one of his basketball games with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on E!.

    You can watch the entire clip below: 

    For more great stories, head to INSIDER's homepage.

    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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    Springfield police

    • Two teens — referred to as E.P. and D.R — allegedly stole an unmarked police vehicle that was left running outside a pizza shop in February 2016.
    • Officer Gregg Bigda and former detective Steven Vigneault are accused of using excessive force against the two Latino teenagers.
    • According to the lawsuit filed by one of the teens, Bigda "kicked juvenile suspect E.P. in the head, spat on him and said, 'Welcome to the white man’s world'" during the arrest.
    • Vigneault resigned from his post and Bigda was suspended without pay.


    "Welcome to the white man’s world," a Springfield, Massachusetts, police officer allegedly said while beating a Latino teenager.

    Officer Gregg Bigda and former detective Steven Vigneault are accused of using excessive force against two Latino teenagers during a February 2016 arrest.

    It started when Steven Vigneault made a late night pizza run to grab dinner for the narcotics squad. He left his car running, which is when two teens — called called E.P. and D.R — took the unmarked police vehicle on a joyride, according to

    After four hours, the teens were stopped by a strip of spikes laid out by police. According to the lawsuit filed by one of the teens, Bigda "kicked juvenile suspect E.P. in the head, spat on him and said, 'Welcome to the white man’s world'" during the arrest.

    Read more: Police pinned a 14-year-old girl to the ground and punched her because she was acting 'aggressive'

    On Wednesday, Bigda pleaded not guilty to five counts of using excessive force, conducting an abusive interrogation, and filing a false report in federal court.

    The indictment also accused him of conducting an interrogation "so abusive that it shocks the conscience."

    The Palmer Police Department released surveillance video of the interrogation where Bigda is heard saying he would "crush D.R.’s skull and f------ get away with it." He also threatened to plant drugs on the 15 and 16-year-olds.

    This isn’t the first time Bigda has been involved in controversy, reports. He's been accused of misconduct 24 times since 2000.

    Charges against the teens were dismissed. Vigneault resigned from his post and Bigda was suspended without pay.

    See the 30 minute interrogation video below.



    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why babies can't drink water

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    true detective season 3

    Usually, the end of the year is a wasteland for TV filled with reruns, pointless holiday specials, and movies that don't satisfy our need for new content.

    But this year, things are different. Thanks to peak TV and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, the final months of 2018 and early 2019 are filled with some exciting new shows, returning shows, and original movies.  There's even a holiday special coming in December from one of the best shows on TV right now, "Schitt's Creek."

    We put together a list of all the notable new and returning shows (and original movies) coming this winter, and let you know whether you should watch them — or skip them. We also let you know when they premiere, and included times for broadcast shows and movies that have a confirmed slot. 

    The lineup for winter isn't super daunting, but there are a few shows and movies we're excited about, including season two of Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," the second season of Hulu's "Marvel's Runaways," and Netflix's original holiday movie, "A Christmas Prince 2: Royal Wedding."

    Here are all of the notable TV shows and TV movies coming this winter, and whether or not you should watch them:


    Some of the notable new series include HBO's limited series "My Brilliant Friend," AMC's spy thriller "The Little Drummer Girl," and Netflix's original film, "Roma."

    “The Holiday Calendar” — Netflix film

    Premiere date: Friday, November 2

    Should you watch it? It’s a little soon for a holiday movie, but this one looks so dumb that it might be the best thing ever. We think you should watch it.

    “Outlaw King” — Netflix film

    Series premiere date: Friday, November 9

    Should you watch it? It’s not a great movie, but Chris Pine does go full-frontal in it.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    elon musk

    • Tesla said in a regulatory filing released on Friday that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has subpoenaed the automaker about comments it made in 2017 about the production of the Model 3 sedan.
    • "The SEC has issued subpoenas to Tesla in connection with (a) Mr. Musk’s prior statement that he was considering taking Tesla private and (b) certain projections that we made for Model 3 production rates during 2017 and other public statements relating to Model 3 production," Tesla said in the filing. 
    • "Aside from the settlement with the SEC relating to Mr. Musk’s statement that he was considering taking Tesla private, there have not been any developments in these matters that we deem to be material, and to our knowledge no government agency in any ongoing investigation has concluded that any wrongdoing occurred," the automaker added.


    Tesla said in a regulatory filing released on Friday that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has subpoenaed the automaker about comments it made in 2017 about the production of the Model 3 sedan.

    "The SEC has issued subpoenas to Tesla in connection with (a) Mr. Musk’s prior statement that he was considering taking Tesla private and (b) certain projections that we made for Model 3 production rates during 2017 and other public statements relating to Model 3 production," Tesla said in the filing. 

    "Aside from the settlement with the SEC relating to Mr. Musk’s statement that he was considering taking Tesla private, there have not been any developments in these matters that we deem to be material, and to our knowledge no government agency in any ongoing investigation has concluded that any wrongdoing occurred," the automaker added.

    The Wall Street Journal reported in August that the SEC was investigating Tesla's 2017 predictions about Model 3 production. The publication reported on October 26 that the Department of Justice (DOJ) was also investigating the matter.

    Read more: Elon Musk said he 'probably' wouldn't take money from Saudi Arabia after Jamal Khashoggi's death

    According to The Journal, the DOJ is trying to determine if the automaker made projections in 2017 about Model 3 production that it knew it would not be able to achieve. While Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in July 2017 that it appeared Tesla could make 20,000 Model 3s per month starting in December 2017, Tesla made just 2,685 Model 3 vehicles in 2017.

    According to The Journal, the DOJ's investigation has "intensified" in recent weeks, as FBI agents have reportedly reached out to former Tesla employees, who previously received subpoenas, and asked them for testimony.

    A Tesla representative told Business Insider last week that it has complied with a "voluntary request" for documents from the DOJ, but had not been subpoenaed by the government agency.

    "When we started the Model 3 production ramp, we were transparent about how difficult it would be," the representative added. "Ultimately, given difficulties that we did not foresee in this first-of-its-kind production ramp, it took us six months longer than we expected to meet our 5,000 unit per week guidance."

    The DOJ did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

    The Journal reported in October 2017 that when Model 3 production began in July 2017, the body shop at Tesla's Fremont, California, factory wasn't completely functional. It reportedly was not fully installed until September 2017.

    Tesla hit a long-delayed goal of making 5,000 Model 3s in one week at the end of June 2018, and, in October, Tesla said it produced 53,239 Model 3s during the third quarter after projecting it would make between 50,000 and 55,000. The automaker made 5,300 Model 3s during the final week of the third quarter, less than the weekly goal of 6,000 it had set for the end of August.

    Musk acknowledged in April that Tesla had attempted to automate too many production tasks at the Fremont factory and would use more human workers in the assembly process.

    The DOJ was previously reported to be investigating comments Musk made on Twitter in August about potentially taking Tesla private. Those comments led to a lawsuit from the SEC that was settled in September. Under the terms of the settlement, Musk must step down as the chairman of Tesla's board of directors for three years and pay a $20 million fine.

    SEE ALSO: Elon Musk said he 'probably' wouldn't take money from Saudi Arabia after Jamal Khashoggi's death

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The science behind the viral videos of mounting tires with a controlled explosion

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    queen letizia of spain

    In a true Cinderella story, Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano of Spain was born into a working middle-class family before marrying royalty in the early 2000s. Now, after having taken the country's throne in 2014Queen Letizia is one of the most talked about royals of today, whether for her style or past as a successful journalist.

    But how did Queen Letizia get to where she is now? Here's the fabulous life of Queen Letizia. 

    She was born on September 15, 1972 to Jesús José Ortiz Álvarez and María de la Paloma Rocasolano Rodríguez.

    She is the daughter of a journalist and a nurse, and the granddaughter of a taxi driver, according to New York Daily News.

    She has two sisters: Telma and Erika.

    She has two sisters — Telma and Érika — though Érika died in 2007 at the age of 31.

    After finishing high school, she attended the Complutense University of Madrid and got her Bachelor’s Degree in journalism.

    She later received her Master’s Degree in Audiovisual Journalism at the Institute for Studies in Audiovisual Journalism, according to Fox News. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mark twain

    First we scoured coast to coast to find the most famous book set in every state. Now we're hitting the books to discover the most famous author from every state.

    Not all the choices were cut and dried. To qualify for this list, the esteemed wordsmiths had to be born in their respective states but not necessarily live out their years there.

    We considered the authors' fame in terms of ubiquity, literal acclaim, and financial success — and awarded bonus points if the authors showed state pride by setting their works there.

    Click here to go straight to the list »

    Click the map below to learn more about each author.

    Most Famous Authors From Every State graphic

    ALABAMA: Harper Lee

    Known for: "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    Lee was born and raised in Monroeville, the inspiration for her classic novel's fictional town of Maycomb. The Monroe County Courthouse, where Lee watched her father practice law as a child, operates as a museum.

    The University of Alabama alumna continued to live there until her death, in 2016. It's a short drive from the Mockingbird Grill and Radley's Fountain Grille.

    Click to buy her book»

    ALASKA: Marty Beckerman

    Known for: "The Heming Way"

    Beckerman got his start in humor writing as a freshman at the Anchorage Daily News, which published his weekly column about trying to pick up girls.

    In his 20s, he self-published "The Heming Way," a cheeky guide to masculinity based on the life and works of Ernest Hemingway, and it hit No. 1 on for parody.

    Click to buy his book »

    ARIZONA: Jeannette Walls

    Known for: "The Glass Castle"

    Walls' memoir examines her struggle as a child and young adult to overcome poverty and become self-sufficient. Her dysfunctional family were nomads of the Southwest, but the first place she remembers living is a small trailer park in Arizona.

    A veteran of "writing what she knows," Walls more recently published a biography of her grandmother, an iron-willed Arizona cattle rancher, titled "Half Broke Horses."

    Click to buy her book »

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    elon musk donald trump

    • Tesla CEO Elon Musk agrees that Trump "screwed" him after the Tesla CEO joined the White House economic advisory council. Musk left the council in 2017 after Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord.
    • "I did my absolute best," Musk said in a new interview for the Recode Decode podcast. 
    • While he was on the council, Musk defended his decision to join, arguing that he attempted to lobby in favor of immigrants and climate change policy.

    Elon Musk once again defended his choice to join Trump's economic advisory council in an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher for the Recode Decode podcast. The Tesla CEO said it was "still worth trying" to argue in favor of climate change policy, adding that "I did my absolute best." 

    Musk has defended this choice in the past — however, this time he admitted that he might have gotten a raw deal. 

    "I said you shouldn’t go ’cause he was gonna screw you, remember?" Swisher asked. 

    "Well, you were right," Musk responded. 

    Musk joined the council shortly after Trump's inauguration, but left in mid-2017 after Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord. During his time on the council, Musk defended his position, arguing that he attempted to lobby in favor of immigrants and climate change policy. 

    Read more: Elon Musk defends his position on President Trump's advisory council

    In the Recode interview, Musk admitted that it was "unlikely" that his efforts on the council would be effective, but it was "worth a shot." 

    "If I stayed on the councils it would be saying (the Paris Climate Accord)  wasn't important, but I think it's super important," Musk said in a 2017, speaking to US governors. "The country needs to keep its word. There's just no way I could stay on after that."

    When Swisher asked Musk if he would join the council again, he was unsure.

    "I don’t know," Musk said. "Are there councils?"

    Click here to listen to Musk's whole interview with Recode's Kara Swisher. Click here to read the full interview transcript. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This smartphone has 5 cameras — here's what it's like

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    traders nyse

    • Stocks fell Friday on signs of a tightening labor market and disappointing Apple earnings.
    • The US added more jobs than expected in October, and wages rose at the fastest pace in nearly a decade.
    • Follow the US indexes in real time here.

    Stocks stumbled Friday as the latest signs of a tightening labor market fanned concerns about rising rates, and as disappointing Apple earnings dragged down technology companies.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average wiped out gains and fell 0.5%, or more than 100 points. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.1%, and the S&P 500 also turned 0.7% negative.

    Apple put a damper on earnings season, with shares plummeting nearly 7% after the world’s largest technology company posted weaker than expected guidance for the holiday season. Starbucks posted its strongest sales in more than a year and topped revenue and profit estimates.  

    All eyes were on the US jobs report before the open, which showed hiring picked up more than expected in October. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added 250,000 jobs last month, compared with forecasts of 200,000, and unemployment remained at a decades-low rate of 3.7%. Wages rose at their fastest pace in nearly a decade, up 3.1% from a year ago.

    Ian Sheperdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said it's clear the labor market is strong enough to anticipate another rate increase by the Federal Reserve this year. But he added the overshoot could have been partly related to workers returning following Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.

    “In one line: Solid across the board, though hard to read the trends behind the weather noise,” he said. “Nothing in this report will make the Fed think that skipping the Dec hike is a good idea.”

    The dollar pared Thursday's losses against a basket of currencies following the jobs report, heading back toward its highest level in more than a year. Investors ditched US government bonds, with yields on the 10-year Treasury note rising 3.4 basis points to 3.178%. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

    Wall Street followed equity rallies around the world, with the Shanghai Composite jumping 2.7% to its highest level in three weeks. The pan-European Stoxx 600 rose 0.9%, putting it on track for its best week since 2016.

    SEE ALSO: Jobs report beats big as wages grow at their fastest pace since 2009

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 4 lottery winners who lost it all

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    Washington State

    What a week!

    After an up-and-down season with our college football picks, we hit gold last weekend with an undefeated day of bets, winning six and pushing one to get us back in the black.

    While it would be nice to bask in the glory of last week a bit longer, there's no time — another week of college football is already upon us, with the stakes being raised once again as we inch closer to the playoff.

    Take a look below for our seven best bets of the Week 10 college football slate (* indicates home team).

    LAST WEEK: 6-0-1
    OVERALL: 33-29-1

    Michigan State (-2.5) over Maryland*

    Michigan State has found some stability after a fairly unpredictable season, while the Maryland Terrapins are still dealing with a chaotic off-the-field situation surrounding the controversial non-firing and subsequent firing of head coach DJ Durkin. Spartans roll.

    Penn State (+10.5) over Michigan*

    Michigan is the Big Ten's best hope at getting a representative into the college football playoff, meaning they're absolutely due to stumble in the near future. It's the curse of all Big Ten front-runners, and this year, the Nittany Lions get to play spoiler. Even if the Wolverines find a way to win, 10 points feel like too big of a number.

    LSU* (+15) over Alabama

    Alabama's run of covers has been a gamblers dream, as those who have bet the Crimson Tide first half lines this season have been raking in free cash week after week after week.

    Honestly, this is a play on what my wish for reality. College football is at its best when chaos reigns and the most chaotic outcome possible is that Alabama loses and upsets the entire playoff picture. I want to believe in LSU and Death Valley and Ed Orgeron.

    That said, Nick Saban and his insane attention to detail have a way of bursting my bubble every time I bet against the Tide.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    A chocolate and coffee sip and taste set

    Whether you're looking to rag on dad or show him all the love and kindness in the world (which are really one in the same, right?), we've got gift ideas for every kind of dad, from the hapless car-key-losing fool to the history buff and the masterful (and not-so-masterful) home chef.

    Whatever it is that dad's into, something below is bound to make him smile, laugh, cry, or, hopefully, all of the above. You've been a pain and a nuisance all along; why change now?

    Still shopping for more gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    A classy lunchbox with a cutting board top

    Lunch Box with Cutting Board Lid, available at Uncommon Goods, $30

    Don't send dad off to work (or school, as the case may be) with a brown bag. If you think it's embarrassing for you, it's definitely embarrassing for him.

    A fish-shaped waiter's key

    Deep Sea Bottle Opener, available at Uncommon Goods, $41

    A nice piece for the bar to replace that ratty old plastic thing he stole from Holiday Inn before you were born and life was good.

    A 3-month Amazon Prime Subscription

    An Amazon Prime membership, available at Amazon, three months for $39

    He'll pick up on it. Just get him started.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mike Cannon-Brookes (C), co-founder and CEO of Atlassian Software Systems, and Scott Farquhar (3rd L), co-founder and CEO of Atlassian Software Systems, smile during it's opening PO at the Nasdaq at a MarketSite in New York, December 10, 2015. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

    • $18 billion Australian software company Atlassian announced Friday it would add a free plan and cut product prices for Opsgenie, an IT automation service that it acquired for $295 million in October.
    • Beyond the price cuts, Atlassian is also giving Opsgenie a rebranding, as part of a marketing push.
    • Atlassian isn't worried about the drastic price cut hurting its profits — the company believes that Opsgenie will reach new customers who otherwise would never have purchased IT management services because it was too expensive. 

    $18 billion Aussie software giant Atlassian wants to get IT management services into the hands of more customers, so now it’s slashing the software prices from its newest acquisition.

    On Friday, Atlassian announced it would add a free tier and reduce prices for its OpsGenie service by 35%, in the hopes that it will attract a broader range of customers who otherwise might not have paid for IT management services because they were too expensive.

    Opsgenie, an acquisition that Atlassian closed on Oct. 2 for $295 million, helps businesses manage alerts from monitoring tools, schedule on-call employees, and coordinate a way for people to respond to incidents in a timely manner. Those are all useful tools for companies that try to streamline their operations and make sure that their apps, software, and services, stay up and available 24/7. 

    Along with these changes comes a rebranding for Opsgenie to better match with the aesthetic of its new corporate parent, including a brand new logo and a refreshed color scheme that's heavy on blues. And the company, previously known as OpsGenie, is swapping the capital “G” for a lowercase one.

    Opsgenie ad Caltrain

    “We were pretty frequently running into situations where the price was an obstacle for the customer to adopt it,” Berkay Mollamustafaoglu, co-founder and head of Opsgenie at Atlassian, told Business Insider.

    Mollamustafaoglu estimates that the new pricing is a third of the prices from competing vendors on the market, including PagerDuty and AlertOps. The free plan will also allow new customers to get their feet wet when trying out Opsgenie’s services before they decide to upgrade to more expensive plans. And like all Atlassian software, Opsgenie isn't sold through a traditional enterprise software sales force; you get it directly from Atlassian's website. 

    “Enterprise software doesn’t have to be extremely expensive,” Jay Simons, president of Atlassian, told Business Insider. “Most enterprise software has a reputation for being extremely expensive. Also it doesn’t have to be a pain to buy.”

    And downtime costs companies money — some estimate that businesses lose $700 billion a year from network, server, and application outages.

    “The market for Opsgenie is every big company on the planet,” Simons said. “In the digital economy we’re in, more and more companies become providers of a service. That requires people to be on call.”

    Read more: $20 billion Atlassian explains why it's blowing up its oldest product to evolve with today’s software teams

    An advantage that comes with Atlassian's direct-to-customer model, says Simons, is that it simply gives bulk discounting for large orders. 

    “The frustrating part for most customers is they don’t know if they get a good or bad deal,” Simons said. “Atlassian really pioneered an approach to say, let’s just set a discounting model.”

    Prices will also decrease for existing Opsgenie customers starting Friday, and Atlassian expects that its existing customers will start adopting Opsgenie’s services.

    With  this significant price decrease, Simons says he isn’t worried about losing revenue because Opsgenie will be tapping into completely new customers who previously weren’t willing or able to pay for incident management services before.

    He’s even seen businesses that still respond to outages and incidents by looking up employee’s names and numbers on a spreadsheet to see who's responsible for what, rather than having a more sophisticated and modern way to address issues as they arise. 

    “The way you make that up is in reaching more and more customers that may not have considered technology like this or heard about it,” Simons said.  “Opsgenie is a young business with a lot of growth prospects. We take a long term perspective on the market we’re growing.”

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    amazon books nyc 34th st

    • Amazon is growing at an incredible rate, while Barnes & Noble has been struggling for years.
    • While Barnes & Noble's stores are more inviting than Amazon Books', the latter's minimalist philosophy is probably closer to the future of chain retail.
    • That model isn't ideal for bookstores, which are best when they can offer specialized curation and enough inventory to encourage random discoveries.

    It's hard to think of two businesses with more different trajectories than Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The former is one of the most valuable companies in the world, while the latter has struggled for years.

    It's also strange to imagine the two as direct competitors. Before opening its first Amazon Books store in 2015, Amazon didn't have a physical retail footprint. Now, it has over a dozen bookstores that represent yet another obstacle to Barnes & Noble's attempts to turn around its fortunes.

    I visited one of each brand's stores in New York City and discovered a depressing truth about the future of retail.

    Here's what I saw:

    SEE ALSO: We visited the flagship stores of Nike and Adidas in New York City to see which does it better — and the winner was obvious

    I started at Amazon Books on 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan. It's the larger of Amazon's two bookstores in NYC, covering a total of 5,200 square feet.

    It resembles a cross between an Apple store and a traditional, local bookstore.

    The store's shelves and displays are more compact than a traditional bookstore's, and the space is easier to navigate. But, like other bookstores, it displays far more inventory than many modern retail spaces.

    The store is hyper-organized, but that isn't always a good thing.

    Amazon wants to make the book-shopping process more efficient, but in doing so, it overwhelms shoppers with visual information. The cards beneath each book make the store look like a warehouse, and there's a reason most bookstores don't display every book with its cover facing shoppers: The variety of designs and color schemes makes it difficult to decide where to look.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Trump Game of Thrones poster

    • The US will reimpose all sanctions on Iran on November 5 as part of its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.
    • Donald Trump welcomed it with a replica "Game of Thrones" poster that says: "Sanctions are Coming."

    President Donald Trump heralded new sanctions the US is imposing on Iran with a knock-off poster parodying HBO's "Game of Thrones."

    It shows a photo of Trump with the words "Sanctions are Coming, November 5," written in the font used in the show.

    It plays on "Winter is coming," a warning repeated in and popularized by the TV series.

    The White House will reimpose all the US sanctions on Iran that had been removed under the Iran nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015.

    They take effect on November 5, and will cover Iran's shipping, financial, and energy sectors.

    Read more: US reimposes all Iran sanctions lifted under nuclear deal

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined 12 demands that Iran must meet if it wants the sanctions lifted, which include ending military engagement in Syria, and completely halting its nuclear and ballistic missile development.

    Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal deal — also known as the Joint Comprehension Plan of Action (JCPOA) — in May, calling it "defective at its core." 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Clouds partly cover the volcano Tyatya on the Southern Kurile Island of Kunashir.JPG

    • A small Japanese island called Esanbe Hanakita Kojima has disappeared beneath waves. 
    • The uninhabited island was near Japan's maritime border with Russia and its disappearance apparently went unnoticed by residents of the country's main island of Hokkaido.
    • The Japanese Coast Guard is investigating the island’s disappearance.

    • Local media suggested that the island could have disappeared as a result of natural erosion and drift ice.

    A small Japanese island has disappeared beneath waves, which could lead to a change in national borders.

    The uninhabited tiny island, called Esanbe Hanakita Kojima, was near the maritime border with Russia and its disappearance apparently went largely unnoticed by residents of Sarufutsu, a village on Japan's main island of Hokkaido, 546 yards (500 meters) away from the inlet in the Sea of Okhotsk, according to The Guardian.

    The Japanese Coast Guard is investigating the island's disappearance, NHK reported, though local media suggested that the island could have disappeared as a result of natural erosion and drift ice in the waters in the Sea of Okhotsk.

    The disappearance of the island has Japanese officials worried that the country's territorial waters may have shrunk.

    Read more: A Japanese bullet train company has agreed to stop forcing staff to squat between the tracks as part of a safety drill

    The inlet was one of 158 uninhabited islands that Japan gave names to in 2014 to clarify they belong in the country and expand its territory.

    With the island under water, the country's borders could shrink slightly.

    Just to east of Esanbe Hanakita Kojima, is a chain of islands owned by Russia that Japan refers to as the Northern territories and Russia refers to as the Kurils.

    The islands were occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II, and have remained in Russia's possession, despite Japan asking for their ownership to be restored, according to Newsweek.

    When Esanbe Hanakita Kojima was last surveyed by Japan's Coast Guard in 1987, the island protruded just 1.4 meters above the surface.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    IP gift guide banner

    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    phone stand

    It seems that each year, the holiday season starts earlier and earlier. Whether you'd take every excuse to start decorating early or you'd prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving to start the celebrations, there's no denying that getting a head start on figuring out the right gifts for her (no matter if it's your mom, partner, sister, daughter, or otherwise) will take at least some of the stress out of the preparation process.  

    We like to think of ourselves as professional gift givers, so you can bet we've been bookmarking all the best holiday gift ideas we've come across over the past year. We put together a list of over 50 clever gifts that we think she'll absolutely love.

    Still shopping for more gifts? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    SEE ALSO: 51 hilarious White Elephant gifts under $50 that are guaranteed to get a good laugh

    DON'T MISS: 30 clever gifts for coworkers that they'll actually be happy to receive

    A massager to melt away tension

    Zyllion Shiatsu Massager, available on Amazon, $39.95

    This shiatsu massager is, to date, one of the best things I’ve ever bought. It kneads away tension and stress in the back and shoulders, and can even be used on sore leg muscles after a workout. She’ll be thanking you for years to come.

    An all-purpose tote with a detachable wristlet

    Street Level Reversible Faux Leather Tote and Wristlet, available at Nordstrom, $49

    Your first thought may be that a plain tote is sort of a boring gift — but hear us out! This one is reversible and features a detachable wristlet, which basically means you’re getting three different bags for under $50. It’s a utilitarian gift with a fashion-friendly twist.

    An adjustable rolling pin

    Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin, available on Amazon, $19.55

    Anyone who loves to bake will appreciate this adjustable rolling pin that allows for more precision in the thickness of dough. All she’ll have to do is remove or add the different sized rings and let them guide her.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    crocs post malone

    • Crocs and rapper Post Malone teamed up to create a new limited-edition shoe. 
    • The Croc, which launched on Thursday, sold out in less than a day. 
    • Crocs' popularity with teen shoppers has skyrocketed over the last year

    Rapper Post Malone's Crocs collaboration has sold out less than a day after it launched. 

    On Thursday, Crocs announced a collaboration with Post Malone and debuted the new Dimitri Clog, along with six custom-designed Jibbitz charms. The limited-edition clog cost $59.99 on 

    "Amidst his record-setting year, when Post tweeted 'U can tell a lot about a man by the Jibbitz in his Crocs', that really got our attention," Crocs Chief Marketing Officer Terence Reilly said in a statement. 

    Before the day was over, the new Croc has completely sold out. 

    my first collab with @crocs is SOLD OUT already! go to link in my bio to get updates on future releases. 📷 by @adamdegross

    A post shared by Posty (@postmalone) on Nov 1, 2018 at 7:08am PDT on

    The rapper wrote on Instagram: "my first collab with @crocs is SOLD OUT already! go to link in my bio to get updates on future releases."

    Crocs' popularity with younger shoppers has skyrocketed recently. According to Piper Jaffray's biannual survey of teen preferences, Crocs now rank 13th out of all footwear brands in teen popularity.

    Read more:Crocs' popularity is skyrocketing among teens as ugly fashion takes over

    Coming in at No. 13 is a massive jump forward. Last year, Crocs ranked No. 27. In Spring 2017, they languished at No. 38. According to Piper Jaffray, Crocs' mindshare is triple the brand's historical average among teens.

    "The most notable brand gainers have been Vans, Adidas, Lululemon and, surprisingly, Crocs," the analysts wrote in the report.

    Crocs' dominance is less surprising when situated in the current era of ugly fashion.

    "Ugly products have become so ironic that they're now trendy, thanks to designer brands launching their own ugly clothing items," Business Insider's Mary Hanbury reported. "It's an excellent marketing ploy — these unappealing products with large price tags create a backlash and subsequent buzz on social media."

    Few brands are as well known for their straightforward, ugly aesthetic as Crocs.

    As a result, high-fashion designers have been eager to repurpose the brand as an ironic high-fashion item. Balenciaga's $850 platform Crocs sold out almost instantly. A follow-up Balenciaga Crocs stiletto quickly went viral.

    SEE ALSO: People are slamming these high-heeled Crocs online, but they're actually a bright spot in the modern ugly-fashion apocalypse

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    • Venice was hit by a series of devastating storms this week, causing three-quarters of the city to be submerged in water. 
    • Officials suspect that the city could have been protected by a massive flood barrier, which is not yet complete.
    • The $6.5 billion infrastructure project has been pummeled by criticism and political scandal, including the arrest of a former mayor in 2014.

    Italy was overtaken this week by a series of storms that toppled trees, flooded streets, and resulted in at least 11 deaths. In the "floating city" of Venice, famous tourist attractions like St. Mark's Basilica and the Piazza San Marco were partially submerged in water, with tourists being evacuated from the city's hotspots. 

    Though the flooding is the worst the city has seen in a decade, it isn't entirely unexpected: Autumn to spring marks flooding season in Venice, or "acqua alta"— a period of exceptionally high tides in the Adriatic Sea. 

    In 2003, Italy began building a massive flood barrier designed to isolate the Venetian Lagoon, the enclosed bay where Venice is located. The project, known as Mose, is one of the largest civil engineering endeavors in the world.

    venice underwater

    The design consists of 78 mobile gates stationed at three different inlets. When the tide reaches 43 inches (which happens around four times a year), the gates will rise above the water's surface and protect the lagoon from flooding. When the tide dips, the gates fill with water and lower back in place. 

    The total barrier spans one mile and weighs around 300 tons. Though many see it as necessary to the city's immediate safety, the project has been shrouded in controversy and criticism. 

    While citizens have long worried about the high cost of construction, which recently climbed to around $6.3 billion, the municipality of Venice has questioned the barrier's stability in the face of rising sea levels. Both environmental groups and the EU Commission have also expressed concern that construction would pollute the local habitat.

    mose venice

    The biggest obstacle arrived in 2014, when then-mayor Giorgio Orsoni was arrested alongside 35 other people on corruption charges related to the project. Orsoni was accused of accepting bribes in exchange for awarding contracts, but absolved three years later.

    Now, Mose is being held up in its final leg of construction. The flood gates were originally set to open around 2011, but some officials don't expect them to be ready until 2022. As the project continues to stall, many have warned that mold and marine life are eroding the underwater structure

    Earlier this week, Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the destruction in Venice could have been prevented if Mose had been completed on time. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Mark Zuckerberg

    Facebook on Tuesday reported revenue that missed Wall Street estimates and stalling user trends during the third quarter. Shares were up in premarket trading Wednesday, however, as investors had apparently prepared for the worst.

    The social-media giant earned $1.76 a share, beating the $1.47 that was expected by analysts. Its revenue grew 33% year-on-year to $13.73 billion but missed the $13.8 billion that was anticipated.

    Facebook said it had 2.27 billion worldwide monthly active users in the third quarter, including 1.49 billion daily active users, up from 2.23 billion and 1.47 billion in the previous quarter. Its average daily users in the US and Canada, however, have flatlined since the the first quarter at 185 million.

    The company also said it would invest more aggressively and called for operating-expense growth of 40% to 50% in its 2019 guidance.

    Analysts across Wall Street were relieved that users didn't flee the social network in droves after a string of scandals. But they have mixed opinions about Facebook's long-term outlook.

    Here's what Wall Street is saying about the quarter:

    Goldman Sachs — 'Better than feared'

    Price target: $195 (from $205)

    Rating: Buy

    Facebook's results "were better than feared both in terms of 4Q18 guidance commentary as well as their outlook on expense growth in 2019 and beyond," Heather Bellini at Goldman Sachs said.

    "Management guided revenue growth to sequentially decline by mid to high single digit percentages, compared to last quarter when they guided revenue growth to decline by high-single digit percentages in both 3Q and 4Q."

    She continued: "Importantly, the company updated its calculation methodology for MAUs and DAUs in the quarter 'to exclude certain data signals that were previously misclassified as user account activity'. Excluding the impact of this adjustment, DAUs would have been 15 million higher, MAUs would have been 9 million higher." 

    RBC Capital Markets — 'Facebook still has many growth levers left to pull'

    Price target: $190 (from $225) 

    Rating: Outperform

    Facebook is "one of the most 'underlevered' internet companies," the RBC analyst Mark Mahaney said. "Facebook still has many growth levers left to pull, not least of which is video advertising."

    He added: "Facebook has, so far, effectively addressed one of the most significant overhangs from its IPO days, the lack of Mobile monetization. Mobile Ad Revenue is a material part of the overall Ad Revenue mix (92%)."

    "Facebook currently drives EBITDA margins in the mid-40%s. An outlook for increased operating expense investment should drive these down, but we think that increased investment is actually a positive at this point in the company's growth."

    Jefferies — 'Not as spooky as feared, but ghosts remain'

    Price target: $200 

    Rating: Buy

    "Not as spooky as feared, but ghosts remain," the Jefferies analyst Brent Thill said.

    "Growth is decelerating, yet 2019 seems to be a pivot point with investment stabilizing," Thill added. "However, the bulk of the investment and deceleration will be accounted for and we view the investments as prudent for long term sustainability."

    He continued: "Facebook connects more than 2 billion people from around the world to nearly 6 million advertisers with best in class data and targeting capabilities delivering high quality and relevant advertising to its loyal userbase."


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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