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The latest news from Business Insider

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    GettyImages 507919566

    At the Wall Street Journal's D.Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, Michael J. Wolf — founder and CEO of the technology and strategy consulting company, Activate— spoke about important tech and media trends to watch out for in 2019. 

    From eCommerce to cameras to sports betting, Wolf's presentation covers some familiar industries that may soon transform in some not-so-familiar ways. 

    Check out Wolf's 2019 tech and media outlook presentation below: 

     

     

    SEE ALSO: The 20 best smartphones in the world

    Each January our team at Activate gets together to decide on the topics that we’ll spend the next 10 months researching and analyzing... all leading to today’s presentation.

    Our scoring criteria: 1. Consumer behavior change, 2. Technology shift, 3. Impact next year



    We reviewed about 30 topics - everything from digital assistants to scooters to weed tech to tech unicorns.

    Let’s start with eCommerce because it’s on everyone’s minds after yesterday’s Amazon announcement — which the Journal scooped.



    We believe the growth in eCommerce is just actually beginning — people say the battle for eCommerce is already over but it’s not even close.

    eCommerce today is a $3T global business.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Tesla Model 3

    • Chinese customers are now able to order Tesla's Model 3 sedan, according to the automaker's Chinese website

    • A translated version of the website says Model 3 deliveries will begin for Chinese customers in 2019.
    • Tesla CEO Elon Musksaid on Thursday via Twitter that deliveries to China will start in March or April.

     

    Chinese customers are now able to order Tesla's Model 3 sedan, according to the automaker's Chinese website

    A translated version of the website says Model 3 deliveries will begin for Chinese customers in 2019. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Thursday via Twitter that deliveries to China will start in March or April.

    Musk also said Thursday on Twitter that Tesla will use "dedicated roll-on, roll-off fast ships" to transport vehicles to Europe and Asia during the first quarter of 2019. 

    "Major focus on minimizing time from factory to new owner," Musk added. "Did not fully appreciate the working capital impact until recently."

    Read more: I drove the $58,000 Tesla Model 3 to see if it lives up to the hype — here's the verdict

    The European and Chinese markets are expected to be important sources of growth for Model 3 sales. Musk said during the automaker's third-quarter earnings call in October that he expected the global demand for the Model 3 to reach 500,000 to one million vehicles per year in the long term. Tesla had delivered 82,687 Model 3s this year through September.

    Tesla plans to build factories in China and Europe to increase its production capacity and ease delivery logistics for foreign customers as it plans to introduce a crossover SUV, semi truck, pickup truck, and a new version of its Roadster sports car in the coming years. The automaker has said it plans to begin parts of Model 3 production at its upcoming Shanghai factory in 2019.

    While Tesla has not announced the site of its European factory, Musk said in June that Germany is one of the automaker's preferred locations.

    Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

    SEE ALSO: Elon Musk told Tesla employees they should be making 7,000 Model 3s per week by November 28: Report

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This LEGO Bugatti Chiron is drivable — here's what it can do


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    dan brown

    • Dan Brown's career took off in 2003 when his novel, "The Da Vinci Code," became an international phenomenon.
    • He's written seven books and sold 250 million in total, making him one of the world's bestselling authors.
    • He attributes his success to trusting himself, through both ups and downs. He decided if his best work wasn't received well, he would find another career path.  

    Dan Brown is one of the most successful fiction writers in the world, with 250 million books sold. His career took off in 2003 when his novel, "The Da Vinci Code," became an international phenomenon, and each of his subsequent books have also been hits.

    Before reaching that level, however, he endured both a failed stint as a musician and years of writing flops. He has a new MasterClass video series out that explains his favorite writing insights, but in addition to technical lessons, Brown told Business Insider for an episode of our podcast "This Is Success" that he's been guided by overcoming self-doubt. 

    Listen to the full episode here:

    Subscribe to "This is Success" on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or your favorite podcast app. Check out previous episodes with:

    Transcript edited for clarity.

    Dan Brown: When I was in university, I studied a lot of music and a lot of creative writing. When I graduated ... I know I want to be creative in my life. Do I want to write music or do I want to write books? At that point, at 22, I thought, well, music's going to be much more fun. I moved out to Los Angeles, and it's generous to say I was a songwriter. I was a starving songwriter. I was there for a couple of years, signed a record deal, and had a record come out that sold about a dozen copies, most of them to my mom.

    I simultaneously wrote an article for an alumni magazine about what it was like to be sort of a preppy geeky kid from Phillips Exeter Academy living in Hollywood among punk-rock musicians. A literary agent saw the article and called and said, "I love the way you write. I think you're a writer." I said, "No, no. Actually, I'm a musician." A couple of years later I actually had lunch with him. He said, "When you're ready to write, let me know."

    About a year later, I woke up and decided I was ready to write. Wrote a novel called "Digital Fortress." Sent it to him. Now, I had failed endlessly in the music industry. This novel was picked up by the first New York editor who read it, Tom Dunne over at St. Martin's Press. I thought, "Wow, writing books is easy." Of course the book came out and did nothing. It was an instant failure.

    My first three books were, in fact, commercial failures, I guess you would call them. I really didn't sell many copies. It was not until "The Da Vinci Code" came out that I had really any success at all. Of course, the previous three novels, which had not sold, went on to sell, went on to No. 1 on the best-seller list. I had not changed a word. That's an important message to everybody: that some of these products and ideas that you have early in your career that may flop actually may be assets later in your life. They may end up having an audience.

    If 'The Da Vinci Code' didn't land, he was going to switch careers

    Graham Flanagan: You said you struggled at first, and your first few things you wrote did not do well. Was there ever a point when you were writing early on that you thought, "Maybe I tried it, maybe I should pivot to something else?"

    Brown: Yes, there was actually. I had written "The Da Vinci Code." I had finished it. It had not been published yet. The galley came out, the advanced reading copy. I took it out to a park and sat down with it, and read it in a whole day. Read the whole thing from cover to cover. And thought, if this book doesn't work, then I shouldn't be a writer. Because to my taste, this is a terrific book. This is a book I would want to read. When you're a creative person, all you have to guide you is your own taste. I don't care whether you're a painter, a musician, or a writer. You have to create the piece of art, the piece of music, the literature that you like. Then hope other people share your taste. So when I read "The Da Vinci Code" and thought, "I think this is exactly what I set out to do," if it had failed, I would have to assume nobody shares my taste, so therefore it's impossible for me to be a writer. I'll go do something else.

    Flanagan: So what happened? When did you realize "The Da Vinci Code" was a success?

    Brown: It was about six months before it came out. The preorders were so high from Barnes and Noble. This was back in the days of Borders and Barnes & Noble and all the independent booksellers. It was a much different market. There was enormous buzz among booksellers saying, "We, as booksellers, love this novel. We know we can hand-sell it to everybody that walks in the door."

    So Random House kept calling, saying, "Wow, they just doubled their order, they tripled their order, they quadrupled their order." And they actually put me on book tour four months before the book came out. They said, "We want you to go meet all the booksellers." I said, "I don't understand." They said: "They love your book; they just want to know you're not a jerk. Just go have dinner with them." I met all the CEOs and all the independent booksellers. It was a lot of fun. That was in the days when we hand-sold books to readers.

    dan brown

    Flanagan: So how did you process the success in the first week of that book going on sale? It was like an instant phenomenon. Just you as person, who'd been starting out as a musician, struggling as a writer before this piece, then this happens. How do you even process that?

    Brown: It was difficult. I was very, very grateful, of course. You kind of think every day you're going to wake up and find out it was all a dream. You pinch yourself saying: "OK, this is actually happening. Yes, this is what's happening. This is how many books we sold today. I guess I'm going to go be on the following TV shows. The book has sold around the world."

    At some level, you just sort of laugh and say, "Wow, how lucky am I!" It applies pressure, of course, because you have such a big readership. You want to make sure that what you create is worthy of their time, and makes them happy, and nobody ever feels, like, "You know what, he had some success, and now he's not even trying." I actually end up trying harder now that I have had some success.

    Flanagan: Why did "The Da Vinci Code" do so well? What was it that connected with so many people?

    Brown: Some of it was luck. It was timing. It was unplanned timing. When I started that book, I wanted to write a book about religion. I grew up in a very religious household. I'd always struggled with the battle between science and religion. I'd had some experiences that had led me away from the church. And I wanted to write an alternative story of Jesus. What would it mean for Christianity if Jesus were not literally the Son of God? If he were a mortal prophet? I sort of felt, like, "Well, that's an OK question to ask." Of course the book comes not — not everybody thought it was a great question to ask. It became very controversial. But it came out, just by luck, at a point when a lot of people were questioning the church. There'd been a lot of scandal. People were looking for a different voice. They were saying: "Wait a minute. If the church isn't telling us the truth about this, maybe they're not telling us the truth about the story of Jesus either."

    Now, I didn't set out to convert anyone to my way of thinking. This is a story that I told that made sense to me. But it's a thriller. I happen to believe it, but that's sort of irrelevant with my readers. If you want to believe it, great; if you don't, it's a fun story. So, it was timing, and I had an absolutely amazing publisher. I changed publishers. I came here to Random House. And they read the first 100 pages of this novel, and before I had even finished it, they said: "We love this. We're going to do everything we can to make this a popular book." It just sort of took off. It was a real thrill.

    Flanagan: When it did generate controversy, how did you react?

    Brown: You know what? This will sound naive, but I didn't anticipate any controversy. I grew up in a household that ... encouraged questioning, and, you know, I'll never forget. I grew up sort of believing in Adam and Eve, and then went to the Boston Museum of Science and saw this exhibit on evolution, and went to my priest and said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Like, which story is true?" This priest said, "Nice boys don't ask that question," and I immediately sort of went off into the world of science.

    Flanagan: That really —

    Brown: That was a moment for me.

    Flanagan: Lit a fire under you.

    Brown: Yeah, it did, because I thought, wait, I was taught nice boys ask questions. Smart boys ask questions. You ask every question you have, and so when I wrote "The Da Vinci Code," which literally asked a pretty simple question, not all that aggressively. It just said, "Hey, what if this happened?" And people were so angry. I was stunned. It took me ... I like to say it took me a long time to get used to it. I didn't have a long time. I was on talk shows with people outside boycotting, you know, burning me in effigy. It was, like, "Whoa — OK!" so, I had to basically address the concerns the way I've tried to do everything, with some integrity, and with some honesty, and essentially say: "Look, I didn't set out to offend anyone. I set out to tell a story that made sense to me, and I have no vested interest in whether you believe the narrative of 'The Da Vinci Code' or not, any more than you believed the narrative of '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.'"

    I mean, it's a story. To me, it makes more sense than what I learned in Sunday school. I think the reason there was so much controversy is it made sense to a lot of people, and because it was so popular. If that book had sold a thousand copies, nobody would have boycotted it. The problem was, you know everybody in every church was reading it, and going into their church saying: "Hey, wait a minute! I didn't know that the Council of Nicea did this. Is that true?" It was really upsetting to the church.

    Learning how to ignore the noise

    Flanagan: What was the first professional decision you made after the success of "The Da Vinci Code," where you decided, "This is going to be my next step"?

    Brown: In a word, trust. You have to trust yourself, meaning that you have a lot of people whispering in your ear, telling you which way to go, telling you you're good, telling you you're bad. You've got reviewers saying, "This is the best book ever"; you've got reviewers saying, "This is the worst book ever." You've just got a lot of noise. This idea of sitting down to write your next book, I struggled for a couple weeks. I would write a paragraph and say, "Well, now millions of people are going to read this. Is it good enough?" I would delete it. You become self-aware. You become the batter standing in the batter's box who's thinking of the mechanics of his or her swing. You become the singer who can't make the right noise because you're imagining how to move your vocal chords. Self-awareness for any creative person, or I'm imagining any CEO who's working on gut, self-awareness is not helpful. So for me, it was trusting my gut, saying: "Wait a minute: Just write the book you want to read. That's all you've ever been doing. These first four books, you've sat down, and if you read the paragraph and you liked it, you said, 'OK, I'm done.' So get back to that mindset where you say, 'Just write for you.' Because other people share your taste." That was the first thing I did.

    Flanagan: So you figured out a way to alleviate the pressure.

    Brown: You compartmentalize and realize that whatever you're doing, you're doing for yourself. You are writing the book that you would want to read, then hoping other people share your taste. In my case, I knew at that point people shared my taste. The worst thing I could do for my brand was to chase what I thought they wanted. I know what they want. It's what I want. So just do what you, as a leader, or an artist, or whatever it is, want to do.

    Flanagan: The self-awareness of artists and writers in particular can create a lot of anxiety. You've seen a lot of authors who had these blockbusters, like Harper Lee and J.D. Salinger. Did you ever think, "OK, why do I need to try and top this? Why not just sit back and let the success of this book give me the life that I want to have? Not try to wade in those waters anymore?"

    Brown: Well, the life that I want to have is a creative life, so rather than saying: "I guess I'm done. Now I can just sort of sip gin gimlets and look at the ocean." I thought, "Wow, now I have the means to travel the world, and write about different places. I can meet fascinating people."

    Yes, there was a lot of pressure, and there was some self-awareness along the way that became a muddled process. I navigated that and feel very, very fortunate that I'm able to continue to be creative. For most creative people, the process has to be enough. You look at someone like John Grisham, one of the most successful authors in history. He writes a book a year. He doesn't need the money; he doesn't need the accolades. He just loves to tell a story. Those are the people that are successful, the people that love what they do.

    Flanagan: When you sit down to decide what your next project is going to be, what drives the decision to continue with the ["Da Vinci Code" hero Robert] Langdon saga versus doing something completely different?

    Brown: Really, it has to do with whether or not Langdon, the character Langdon, can bring a fresh look to a world or to a topic. With the novel origin, I really felt like Langdon needs to be thrown into the world of modern art. He knows nothing about it. This will be amusing to watch him walk into the Guggenheim and see a wheelbarrow full of Jell-O under a spotlight, and say, "I don't get it." As an academic. From that standpoint, I felt like Langdon is the character. As I go forward, I'm looking at new projects. It's very possible my next book will be a stand-alone thriller in a totally different genre.

    Passing on his best career lessons

    Flanagan: What is the biggest challenge you've had to overcome in your career?

    Brown:Wow— there are so many. But I think just a level of calmness about what you do, about just trusting your process, saying, "You got this far." Putting one foot in front of the other every morning. Focusing and just doing what you do. And you need to put on the blinders and just keep doing that. Because the success that people have is often — those seeds are built 20 years before their success. And when I see creative people who go off the rails a little bit and try to say, "Oh, now I'm successful; I need to do something else." The answer is "No, you don't. What you did to get here is what you need to keep doing." And that, for me, has been sort of the challenge to say, like, "All these people are saying this and that. And there are all these distractions." The reality is, if you want to stay successful, you need to realize that it's about hard work. It's not about necessarily positioning your brand and doing this and doing that. It's about actually creating the product that people read, and immediately call a friend and say: "Have you read? You're going to love this." That's the challenge, to say in that mind-set.

    dan brown masterclass

    Flanagan: So, you got a lot of wisdom and experience that people, obviously, they're paying for through this MasterClass product. Why did you decide to do this class?

    Brown: You know, my dad's a teacher, my mom's a teacher. I think teaching is the noblest of all professions. I've been a teacher. I love teaching. And I wanted to create a class that was full of specifics. Now, a lot of writing students hear ethereal advice: "Write what you know,""Be passionate,""Show, don't tell." It's all true, but it's not all that helpful. And I wanted to really get down to the nuts and bolts of what it is to tell a story. And this is a class that will help people write in their own voice. It will help them write the story they want to write. Or write a story that's their own. This isn't about how to write like me. Some people love the way I write; some people hate the way I write. It's about storytelling. And the amazing thing about story, when you step back from it is, you realize that every great story, whether it is an ancient myth or literary fiction or a modern thriller or a TV series that you're addicted to on Netflix. Whatever it is, these stories all have the same exact elements. It's like a car. There's all these different kinds of cars, but when you open the hood, you see the same stuff. Put together differently, modeled a little bit differently, but you don't have a car without a gas tank — at least until Tesla came along. But I'm just saying, they all have the same elements. And that's what this MasterClass is about. What are the elements of storytelling? Whether you're writing scripts for TV, writing thrillers, writing literary fiction, it's all there. It's all the same thing. And if I'd had this MasterClass, I'd be a better writer today because I would have had a head start a long time ago, to learn all these things that I've learned through trial and error, through the process of just creating.

    Flanagan: Was it always all there for you? Did you always just have that, the foundation and fundamentals of storytelling in your bones that allowed you to create?

    Brown: No. I had an appreciation of storytelling in my bones, but certainly not the knowledge of how to put them together. A lot of that is trial and error. And a lot of that is reading, critical reading. A lot of that was early on ... All the writings of Joseph Campbell, this idea of the hero myth, and the hero of a thousand faces. This idea that, there really is just one story. And we tell it over and over and over. And it's not about what happens; it's about how it happens. And, we always joke: You look at how Ian Fleming wrote James Bond, this amazingly successful series. And at the beginning of every James Bond, you say, "Well, there's a ticking clock, a bomb's going to go off, and is he going to get the girl." Well, of course, he's going to save the world, he's going to get the girl. The question is, how? So, that really is what this class talks about. How do you give the reader what it is they want in a way they don't see coming?

    Flanagan: What piece of advice would you give to the young Brown that had yet to really figure it out, figure out the correct path to be on, that probably would have gotten you to where you were faster?

    Brown: I think it's about trust. I think that the creative process is filled with hesitation. It's filled with self-doubt for all artistic people. And it's one thing when you're successful to say, "Well, this person says that I don't know what I'm doing." But those 37 million people say, "Yes, you do." OK, you have to that fall back on. You say, "Well, I'm pretty successful." Early on in your career, no matter what your business is, you don't have that. You can't, if you've got a business idea that a lot of people say, "I don't get it.""But you really get it," I think I would have told Dan Brown, "You get it. Just trust your gut. It's going to take some time to build this business, to build an audience, to build a craft. Don't worry quite so much. Just get back to work."

    Flanagan: This is something that people can find out about in detail if they take the MasterClass, but I just want to know about your process. Can you give me a bird's-eye view of the order of operations from conception to research?

    Brown: Sure.

    Flanagan: And your writing process?

    Brown: Yeah. When I sort of get to the point, after a book has come out, there's usually a year when I don't write, when I'm just reading a lot, promoting. I'm just sort of not in the writing process, but I am always casting around for ideas. I'm traveling the world as I promote and sort of saying, "Well, that's a pretty interesting thing," you know, this underground whatever it is in Iceland. It's kind of a double-edged sword, because I like to keep my topics secret. So when I research, it used to be that I could go to a museum and talk to a curator and nobody would care. Now, if I go to the Uffizi and want to talk to the curator about a specific painting, I need to know that there may be an article in the paper tomorrow saying, "Brown was here looking at the following Botticelli." So it becomes a little bit of a cat-and-mouse game. It's a lot of fun.

    So there will come a point when I sort of decide, "OK, Dan, it's time to write another book." By that point, I usually have enough choices of what I call "worlds," where is this going to be set, and I don't necessarily mean Paris. I might mean, you know, brain surgery, or finance, you know, whatever it is, and I'll say, "Well, I want to write a thriller set in the world of finance." OK, well, I don't know a lot about finance, and I'm going to need to learn a lot, so I'm going to reach out to contacts and find somebody who can bring me down to New York and show me how it all works, and give a sense of some of the moral gray areas. Then I will immediately set out to find character — you have to find somebody who's an expert in finance. Maybe you take a page from John Grisham's book, and it's like "The Firm." It's a young broker who gets in with the wrong people. Whatever it is.

    You immediately need to find the antagonist. The villain is even more important than the hero, because the villain defines the action. If it weren't for the villain there would be no conflict. As you start to populate this world with characters, you start to create a plot. I usually create a finale first, which is almost invariably the hero conquering the villain, good conquering evil, morality over immorality, those sorts of things. I will write an enormous structure, usually about a hundred pages long for this novel. Once all of that is done, you know, then just comes ... I hate to think of it as a grind, but it is. It's two or three years of getting up at 4 a.m., walking to the other end of the house where there's no internet, no phone, no nothing, sitting down at my desk, and starting to put words on the page. One of every 10 words works and stays and, you know, for every one page you read in the novel, I threw 10 out. I get it wrong, get it wrong, get it wrong, and finally get it right.

    Flanagan: Since your books have been adapted into films that have been widely successful, how does that influence your writing process and your conception of plot and everything? Are you thinking, "Oh, this could be cinematic"?

    Brown: You know, I'm not really. I wrote books a long time before Tom Hanks was Robert Langdon. I've been very, very lucky to have Tom Hanks play Robert Langdon. He does an amazing job.

    Flanagan: Is he who you envisioned?

    Brown: No.

    Flanagan: Was there an actor you sort of envisioned?

    Brown: There wasn't an actor. He's sort of a conglomerate of many, many, different people. I think in "Da Vinci Code" he's referred to as Harrison Ford in Harris Tweed, sort of, you know he's professorial, but handsome, and he's sort of the guy you wish you could be if you're in the world of academia. You've got to put a little of yourself in every hero. It's vicarious living through a much better version of yourself, somebody who's more daring, somebody who's smarter. I've had funny moments. I had a woman once say, "Are you Robert Langdon," and I gave my usual answer, "No, he's the guy I wish I could be. He's smarter. He's all this stuff." She said, "Well, how can he be smarter, because everything he says you had to think of?" I had to point out that when Robert Langdon walks by a painting and just glances over and gives a perfect 30-second soliloquy, that took me three days to write and research, so trust me, he's a lot smarter than I am.

    Flanagan: How do you measure success for yourself?

    Brown: In the simplest of terms, do I enjoy what I do when I get up every morning? Do I wake up, excited to get to my desk, or whatever it is I'm doing that day? If the answer's yes, I feel successful.

    Flanagan: What about once you've delivered a book, a product — at this point do you even care if it's successful?

    Brown: Oh, yes, you do. You pretend you don't, but you care a lot, of course. I'm very fortunate. I've got a lot fans who've really enabled me to do what I love for a living. I'm able to afford to write. So there's a feeling of obligation to make sure that what I write, they enjoy. If they do, it makes me happy, and if they don't, I'm concerned about that. I've been fortunate so far that the books have been well received.

    Flanagan: Finally, what is one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to have a career like yours?

    Brown: To be patient. To continually work. There is no substitute for hard work, and the thing that people forget is when they get insecure, and when they get frustrated, that they stop working, and you have to work through those moments. You just say, "Well, this novel didn't work. Let's try the next one. Let's try the next one." Whatever business you're in, to be patient, and to not let your impatience interfere with your process.

    Flanagan: Well, we will patiently await your next project. Thank you so much for your time.

    Brown: My pleasure.

    SEE ALSO: The fast-food CEO who took over Burger King when he was 32 explains how to find and develop young talent, and how to rise in your own career

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a former GE and NBC exec learned to be an extrovert


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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.

    eBay Toytopia

    While tech items like video game consoles and tablets are always safe bets for kids' gifts, there's nothing like unwrapping a new toy during the holiday season.

    The problem with shopping for toys at traditional big-box retailers, whether in-store or online, is that it can be hard to find a good one. Their selections are all pretty much the same, lacking true variety and often selling out before you can get the ones you want. Luckily, eBay, a marketplace for literally anything you can think of, has a wide range of toys for the holidays.

    EBay recently created a new shopping experience called Toytopia. Comprised of millions of items, it's filled with everything from the hottest toys on every kid's wish list this season to vintage and collectible toys from decades past.

    Whether you're searching for the newest Hatchimals for young kids or a rare and collectible G.I. Joe action figure or Barbie doll from years ago for someone who may have owned it as a child, you can find it on eBay.

    We rounded up some of the coolest toys to buy, but since the sale is so massive, these product categories can help you find exactly what you need. 

    Shop the eBay Toytopia section now, or keep scrolling for some inspiration.

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle — A Cooperative Deck Building Game

    Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle — A Cooperative Deck Building Game, 40.49 (Originally $59.99) [You save $19.50]



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    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Bill Gates poo

    • Bad sanitation kills 525,000 children under five every year and contributes to malnutrition and the spread of disease.
    • Bill Gates thinks it's not practical for the entire world to adopt flush toilets, so he's spending $400 million to fund research into toilets that don't require a sewer system. 
    • After seven years of investment, some of the first products are available.

    Bill Gates isn't afraid of potty talk.

    Earlier this month, he got onstage in front of business leaders, investors, and government officials from around the world and unveiled what he politely referred to as a "little exhibit." It was a glass jar filled with human feces.

    "It’s good to be reminded, in there could be over 200 trillion rotavirus particles, 20 billion Shigella bacteria, and 100,000 parasitic worm eggs," Gates told the crowd, which had gathered in Beijing, China, for an event called the Reinvented Toilet Expo.

    The jar of poo was used to make a point: Around the world, in places without proper sanitation or sewage systems, there's much more than a jar's worth of unsanitary human waste sitting around. 

    "That's what kids, when they're out playing, they are being exposed to all the time," Gates said, noting the link between bad sanitation and disease, death, and malnutrition.

    To address that problem, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation started its Reinvent the Toilet Challenge in 2011. The initiative funded $200 million in grants for universities around the world to develop a next-generation toilet. The goal: develop a waste-processing system that doesn't need to be hooked up to a typical sanitation and sewer grid.

    New systems that have been created with those grants turn what we put into the toilet into fertilizer, energy, or recycled water — some of which is good enough to drink.

    The Gates Foundation now intends to invest an additional $200 million into research that can yield additional ways to deal with human waste at the source. 

    The problem with the toilets we have now

    Malickane Gueye stands with his children in front of a newly constructed toilet at his home in Guinaw Rail Sud, Dakar, Senegal on September 25, 2018.

    In 2015, the World Health Organization estimated that just 39% of the world's people were using a "safely managed" lavatory, whether it be a toilet or a decently clean latrine. 

    Living without a good toilet can be unsafe. People who come in contact with fecal matter face a risk of deadly infections and chronic health problems, since human feces carry pathogens like E. coli, Streptococcus, hepatitis A and E, and more. Those can cause pneumonia and diarrhea — the top two killers of kids around the world.

    Plus, if people don't have a place to go at home, they have to travel alone into woods or a field to relieve themselves, which can be risky for women and children living in conflict zones.

    "When you think about things that are basic, right up there with health and enough to eat, I think having a reasonable toilet certainly belongs on that list," Gates said.

    Read More: Do you really have to wash your hands every time you use the bathroom? The definitive answer, according to science

    He estimates that illness from poor sanitation costs the world over $223 billion per year in lost wages and extra healthcare.

    With stratospheric rates of population growth in cities across Africa and Asia, the problem is only set to get worse. 

    "Unless we do something, the cycle of disease will actually be accelerated," Gates said. 

    Gates doesn't think it's practical to expect the entire world to connect their homes to yet-to-be-built sewer systems and wastewater-treatment plants. That's why he has been on a quest to do for toilets what he argues Microsoft did for computing: get the business off a centralized, "mainframe" system.

    Gates started by asking engineers at universities around the world a simple but unanswered question: "Could you leapfrog the long-accepted 'gold standard' of sanitation?" 

    "A decade ago, I didn’t think I would be able to tell you so much about poop," Gates said.

    The first generation of sewer-free toilets is here, but they aren't cheap yet

    After seven years and $200 million of investment, the first batch of products from the "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" is being tested in locations around India, Africa, and China. 

    One of the first new toilets is the solar-powered Eco-san system, pictured below. Based on technology developed at Cal Tech, the Eco-san extracts clean water from human waste and reuses it for future flushing.

    Eco San Toilet at Yixing Huankeyuan Elementary School. Yixing City, Jiangsu Province

    Other models are also in the works from companies and universities around the world. 

    The University of South Florida's NEWgenerator treatment system also runs on solar energy and can be hooked up to any existing toilet. It uses a nano-membrane filter (kind of like a coffee filter) with feces-digesting anaerobic bacteria inside to filter clean water out of the waste.

    Another toilet from Cranfield University in the UK comes equipped with a little trap-door odor barrier and scraper so that it requires no water for flushing. Clean water is filtered out of waste via a large, orange screw in the tank, and solid waste is burned inside the toilet's combustor, which converts the waste into ash and energy. (Thankfully, this all happens out of sight of the people who are using the toilet.)

    "Heat from the burning is used to help dry the next batch of solids," Gates explained in a video. He added, "it’s a very clever toilet." 

    Yet another model, from Swiss engineering firm Helbling, is called the HTClean Toilet, and it functions like a pressure cooker for poo. The immense pressure and heat help the waste separate into water and solids that aren't toxic.

    Duke University has also started testing its Gates-funded toilet this year at a textile mill in Coimbatore, India. The system, shown below, separates solid and liquid waste and makes it possible to safely reuse the water for flushing. 

    The system dries out faecal matter and seperates Helminth eggs from faeces, allowing for the recycling of water in the toilet system.

    None of these sewer-free toilets are currently at a price that's feasible for individual homes. For now, the new toilets are going to be used at schools, apartment complexes, and community bathroom areas, Gates said.

    But his eventual goal is for off-grid toilets to be used in homes around the world. He told the crowd in Beijing that he's ready to spend an additional $200 million developing the technology for those next-generation toilets. But Gates hopes someday the private sector will start developing sewer-free home toilets and compete to provide those toilets to the 4.5 billion people around the world who don't have them now. 

    "We estimate that by 2030, the opportunity here is over $6 billion a year," he said. 

    Children at the Gugulethu Primary School in KwaMashu just outside of Durban in KwaZulu Natal on 19 September 2018.  The Gugulethu School is a recipient of a new EcoSan toilet system care of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge and funding from the BMGF.

    Gates is also investing in self-powered sewage systems 

    Gates is also obsessed with something called an Omni Processor, which is essentially a much smaller version of a waste-treatment plant. 

    The small plants, one of which is already on the ground in Dakar, Senegal, can serve between 5,000 and 100,000 customers and are completely self-powered. They take in toilet waste, kill pathogens in the sewage, and convert it into "products with commercial value – like clean water, electricity, and fertilizer," Gates said. It's a lot like what astronauts do on the International Space Station — turning their pee into clean, drinkable H2O.

    Human waste is transported to the Omni Processor in Dakar for treatment. The Omni Processor takes human waste and turns it into drinking water, electricity, and ash.

    Gates is so enthused about the Omni Processor's clean, recycled water that he once drank it himself.

    "It tasted great," he told the Beijing crowd. "I’d be glad to do it again any time." 

    Waste collector Assane Cissé (left) and Mariama Seck vacuum human waste from a reservoir inside a courtyard at a home in the neighborhood of Gúediaye, Dakar, Senegal on September 25, 2018

    Gates never thought that he'd turn from a computer whiz into a toilet geek.

    "I definitely didn’t think that my wife would have to tell me that in some cases I’m talking too much about toilets and how this science of combusting the feces works," he said.

    But he's committed to the task, since better toilets could help save millions of lives and open up an entirely new market. 

    "A whole new product category is being introduced here," Gates said. 

    This story was originally published on November 6, 2018.

    SEE ALSO: Bill and Melinda Gates are giving $4 million to help scientists engineer a malaria-killing mosquito — here’s how it could work

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    NOW WATCH: Bill Gates is backing the waterless toilet of the future — here's how it works


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    Peter Horvath

    • Executives from big retail brands and consumer-packaged-goods companies are pouring into the rapidly maturing cannabis industry.
    • The financial opportunity is massive — analysts say the cannabis industry could skyrocket to $194 billion if other countries follow Canada's lead and legalize the drug.
    • Expect to see more high-profile executives taking positions in cannabis companies as more markets open up.

    When Ed Schmults, a veteran retail executive, received an out-of-the-blue phone call from a headhunter in July, he had no idea that in just a few short months he'd end up as the CEO of a cannabis company.

    "She was working hard to put the hook in — about the size of the opportunity and the 'clean slate,' if you will," Schmults told Business Insider. She didn't initially tell Schmults that she was recruiting for a cannabis company.

    "I was like, 'Huh, cannabis? I'll have to think about that,'" he said. "At the end of the day, I really liked the investors."

    Schmults, now the new CEO of Calyx Peak Capital, a firm based in Massachusetts that invests in cannabis retail licenses in several states, is just one of numerous consumer veterans who have moved into the nascent industry.

    Executives like Schmults see an opportunity to use their experience to help build brands, cut deals, and create the complex distribution and supply-chain networks the cannabis industry needs in order to mature.

    Getting in early may also be a windfall. According to the Bank of Montreal, the cannabis industry could become a $194 billion global market if more countries follow Canada's lead and legalize the drug.

    From a 'radical notion' to 'how can I get in on the action?'

    To Schmults, cannabis is a "rare opportunity" to take part in creating an industry from the ground up.

    After a stint at Goldman Sachs, Schmults was the chief operating officer of Patagonia and the CEO of the storied toy retailer FAO Schwarz.

    While some of his former colleagues ribbed him over his "sharp career turn," Schmults said that when he described the size of the opportunity, their jokes turned to questions of how and when they could invest.

    Other executives came into the cannabis industry through different paths.

    Chris Burggraeve, the former chief marketing officer of Budweiser's parent company, AB InBev, found his way into the cannabis industry after MBA students at a class he was teaching at New York University submitted proposals for cannabis startups as their final projects.

    Read more: A cannabis CEO who led turnarounds at FAO Schwarz and Patagonia explains why he's looking to poach 'nimble' people from small companies — rather than big-name execs

    "It piqued my interest," Burggraeve said in a recent interview with Business Insider. In 2016, Burggraeve took the plunge and founded Toast, a cannabis brand geared toward upscale consumers.

    When Burggraeve launched Toast, he said that leaving the traditional consumer-packaged-goods world (he held positions at Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola before AB InBev) for cannabis was a "radical notion."

    Now Burggraeve says nearly all former colleagues he speaks with have one question: How do I get in on the action?

    Peter Horvath, who led the shoe retailer DSW's initial public offering in 2005 as the company's president — along with serving in C-suite positions at American Eagle and Victoria's Secret — said that jumping into the cannabis industry was a matter of "skating to where the puck is going."

    Horvath said he expected cannabis products to pop up on the radars of boardrooms everywhere, from beauty startups like Glossier to retail behemoths like Amazon.

    cannabis

    He's now the CEO of Green Growth Brands, an Ohio-based cannabis retailer backed by the billionaire Schottenstein family. The company went public on Tuesday via a reverse merger with Xanthic Biopharma on the Canadian Securities Exchange and plans to use its stock to buy dispensary licenses in new state markets like Massachusetts.

    "We're going to apply what we know to a brand-new business, and the upside is tremendous," Horvath said.

    Read more: Coca-Cola is eyeing a deal in the marijuana industry, and insiders say it's a sign that other beverage giants may soon dive in

    There are other high-profile execs in cannabis as well.

    Beau Wrigley Jr., the heir to the Wrigley fortune and former CEO of the eponymous gum company, was just named the CEO of Surterra Wellness, a medical cannabis company based in Florida.

    And the publicly traded cannabis company Green Thumb Industries — whose CEO, Ben Kovler, is an heir to the Jim Beam whiskey fortune — on Wednesday closed a $290 million acquisition of three new dispensary licenses in Las Vegas; the firm is also backed by the hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman.

    MedMen, a chain of retail cannabis dispensaries, hired Ben Cook, a former vice president at Sam's Club, as its new COO in October.

    And Jakob Ripshtein, who spent 10 years at the alcohol giant Diageo, is now the president of Aphria, a publicly traded Canadian cannabis cultivator.

    In August, reports surfaced that Diageo was looking at pursuing a deal with a Canadian cannabis company — and Aphria was at top of the list.

    "We are seeing high-profile companies, in addition to institutional investors, waking up to opportunities in the space," Kovler said.

    Read more:

    SEE ALSO: 'The new avocado toast': A former Coca-Cola and AB InBev executive reveals why every food and beverage boardroom needs to be talking about cannabis

    AND MORE: A cannabis CEO who led turnarounds at FAO Schwarz and Patagonia explains why he's looking to poach 'nimble' people from small companies — rather than big-name execs

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Jim Boeheim Syracuse Orange

    • After starting the season with massive expectations, the No. 15 Syracuse Orange dropped their first contest of the season to the unranked UConn Huskies in the 2K Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden Thursday night.
    • Losing to their former Big East rivals wasn't even the most embarrassing aspect of the Orange's evening.
    • Syracuse freshman Buddy Boeheim — the son of Syracuse's Hall of Fame head coach, Jim Boeheim — wore a jersey with his name misspelled on the back.


    The Syracuse Orange haven't had the most pleasant trip to the Big Apple this year.

    Head coach Jim Boeheim and 15th-ranked Syracuse dropped their first contest of the 2K Empire Classic at Madison Square Garden to the unranked UConn Huskies, but getting upset by their former Big East rival on basketball's biggest stage wasn't even the most embarrassing part of the night for the Orange.

    As the team was gearing up for what was easily their biggest contest of the season thus far, Boeheim's youngest son, Buddy, slipped on his jersey and ran out onto the court to take in the "Mecca of Basketball" for the first time as a Syracuse player. He didn't realize until after the game that his last name, made famous by his Naismith Hall of Fame father, was misspelled on the back.

    "It's kind of ironic," the freshman told ESPN's Myron Medcalf.

    According to Medcalf, university officials were not sure how the misprint occurred, especially given that the school supplied its own jerseys for the team.

    "Not a rational [explanation]," Syracuse spokesman Pete Moore told ESPN. "The event did not supply it."

    Perhaps that's why Boeheim failed to live up to his namesake Thursday night. The walk-on guard and former three-star prospect provided just one point and one assist in the 76-83 loss, but fellow freshman Jalen Carey poured in 26 points and seven rebounds to lead all scorers.

    Even with two other Orange players reaching double digits, Syracuse could not hold off UConn's evenly-distributed scoring effort after falling behind in the first half. Star guard Tyus Battle converted on a contested layup to cut the Huskies' lead to five with just 21 seconds remaining in the contest, but UConn sank all of its subsequent free-throw attempts to seal the win.

    First-year Huskies head coach Dan Hurley was understandably excited about the win:

    "I thought they played harder than us," Coach Boeheim said after the game, per the New York Post's Howie Kussoy. "We got out-toughed. That's something we're gonna have to look in the mirror about and figure out."

    The Orange will have less than 24 hours to reevaluate as they gear up to face the No. 13 Oregon Ducks — who also lost to an unranked opponent in their opening game of the tournament — Friday afternoon.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside an intense training session where aspiring WWE wrestlers learn how to fight


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    diane green fortune brainstorm 2016 2

    Diane Greene is stepping down as head of Google's cloud business.

    Former Oracle executive Thomas Kurian will replace Greene as CEO of Google Cloud, she announced in a blog post Friday. Kurian will join the company on November 26 and will assume the leadership role in January, Greene said. Greene will continue to serve as CEO until then.

    Greene, who has served as CEO of Google Cloud since December 2015, said she hadn't originally planned to stay in the position this long. After stepping down from the role, she plans to focus on mentoring and backing female entreprenuers and on education technology projects.

    "After an unbelievably stimulating and productive three years, it’s time to turn to the passions I’ve long had around mentoring and education," she said in the post.

    Even after stepping down as Google Cloud's CEO, Greene will remain on the board of Google parent company Alphabet, she said in the post. She's served as a director of the company since 2012.

    CNBC first reported the news.

    Greene is the former founder and CEO of VMware. She's been under fire of late because Google Cloud has become a distant also-ran to Amzon Web Services and Microsoft's Azure in the cloud-computing market.

    This is a breaking news post. More details to come — refresh for the latest.

    SEE ALSO: Google cloud boss Diane Greene won't attend Saudi investment event, throwing a wrench into Google's plans to tap new revenue in the country

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The NFL is using this football helmet that morphs on impact to reduce head injuries


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    harry potter hermione nagini credence

    Warning: There are minor spoilers ahead for "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald."

    The "Harry Potter" fandom is famously devoted. It only makes sense that J.K. Rowling, ever a loyal servant to the readers who "have stuck with Harry until the very end," would team up with the "Fantastic Beasts" crew to saturate the new series with callbacks to the original.

    On top of some cornerstone characters making a return — one in a younger body, one in an entirely different form altogether— "Crimes of Grindelwald" has multiple sneaky references to Harry's adventures. Here are 11 you may have missed.

    The Circus Arcanus has a Kappa in captivity; Remus Lupin teaches his students about that very creature.

    The Kappa, which Newt Scamander describes as Japanese water demon, first appears in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." Professor Lupin teaches his third-year students about the magical creature in Defense Against the Dark Arts.

    "From Red Caps they moved on to Kappas, creepy water-dwellers that looked like scaly monkeys, with webbed hands itching to strangle unwitting waders in their ponds," the book reads.



    Lupin and Albus Dumbledore had one identical lesson plan.

    Dumbledore was a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher before becoming Headmaster of Hogwarts. In a flashback, we see him teaching a class of young students — including Newt and Leta Lestrange — how to fend off a Boggart.

    Lupin recreates this lesson decades later in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." Even the wardrobes containing the Boggarts bear strikingly similarities.



    As an adult, Leta revisits a desk that she carved hers and Newt's initials into. The desk also bears the name "Nigellus."

    Phineas Nigellus Black was Sirus Black's great-great-grandfather — and, according to Sirius, the "least popular Headmaster Hogwarts ever had."

    A portrait of Phineas Nigellus hangs in the headmaster's office at Hogwarts, while a second hangs in a bedroom at the Black family home. Phineas Nigellus was able to assist residents of 12 Grimmauld Place, including Harry, by passing messages to Dumbledore.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    creed ii 2 mgm

    • "Creed II" is a worthy companion to the 2015 original movie thanks to its focus on fathers and sons.
    • Newcomer Steven Capel, Jr. takes over as director and does an impressive job continuing the franchise that Ryan Coogler started with the first movie.

     

    When director Ryan Coogler gave us “Creed” in 2015, it was a perfect continuation to the “Rocky” franchise and most of us couldn’t wait for him to continue the story of Adonis Creed (played by Michael B. Jordan) as he rises up the boxing ranks with Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) by his side to try and be as great as his father, Apollo Creed.

    But Coogler threw a major curveball when he decided to make “Black Panther,” leaving a question mark for a “Creed” sequel.

    Fast forward three years and here we are with “Creed II” (opening in theaters November 21), and a new director at the helm, Steven Capel, Jr. (“The Land”). And I’m happy to say that Capel pulled it off.

    Essentially hand-picked by Coogler to take on the sequel, Capel orchestrates a worthy sequel that still has those needed references to the “Rocky” franchise the fans crave, but makes a point to build up Adonis’ own story.

    From a screenplay by Stallone and Joel Taylor, “Creed II” picks up six fights after Creed lost to “Pretty” Ricky Conlan in the first movie. Having won them all, he’s now up against the champion Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler (Andrew Ward) for the title. Creed takes the belt (and the keys back to his car Wheeler took from the brief fight they had in the first movie) and closes the night by proposing to his girlfriend Bianca (Tessa Thompson). All seems to be going right for Creed.

    Creed II MGM

    But in the Ukraine, Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) has dreams of a hero’s return to Russia by shaping his son, Viktor Drago (Florian Muteanu), into an even more powerful boxer than he was. In exile since losing to Balboa in “Rocky IV,” the Dragos wake every morning with a singular goal: beat Creed like Ivan did his father. This leads father and son to Philadelphia to challenge Creed and Balboa to a title fight. With footage from “Rocky IV” used in ESPN highlights, Creed can't look away from footage of his father dying in the ring at the hands of Drago over 30 years ago. Of course, the two sons are going to fight.

    The movie then turns to the deep-rooted drama that happens in all the “Rocky” movies: why fight? With the guilt of not calling off the Apollo Creed/Ivan Drago fight still hanging over him, Balboa doesn’t want any part of it. But of course, Adonis wants to avenge his father. This leads to an impasse between the two that causes some soul searching for both men.

    Read more: Emma Stone told us "The Favourite" was her first movie in 4 years she wasn't constantly "fixing'

    “Creed II” gives us the intense training montages and incredible fights that are a trademark in the “Rocky” franchise, but what really stands out are the things that happen outside of the ropes. What starts out as a revenge tale slowly evolves into a story of fathers and sons and the building of new legacies. At its core is the work of Jordan, who again as Creed delivers a performance that shows why he’s a movie star. His charisma matched with his talent is a total package that any franchise dreams of. Then there’s the chemistry between Jordan and Thompson that adds another powerful layer. Stallone, who earned an Oscar nomination for playing Balboa in “Creed,” once more delivers in the role that has defined his career — especially in the movie’s powerful ending.

    What Coogler did with “Creed” was special: taking a beloved franchise like “Rocky” and reshaping it for a new generation. But Capel took on an even riskier assignment by doing the sequel. Thankfully he succeeded and did it by focusing on the characters and not the legend of the IP.

    SEE ALSO: The "Jack Reacher" franchise is being shopped as a TV series, and the author says Tom Cruise is too short to continue as the star

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    long island city

    • About a fifth of households are in poverty in Queens, the New York City borough where Amazon will place a large corporate campus.
    • Many New York residents are worried about how the HQ2 will affect their city, particularly the quality of life for low- and middle-income people.
    • Politico Pro reported on Thursday that two planned public housing sites have been subsumed by the proposed HQ2 site in Long Island City.

     

    Since Amazon announced this week that they will locate one of their HQ2 offices in Long Island City, many New Yorkers have fretted about how an influx of 25,000 highly compensated Amazon employees will change their city.

    The influx of six-figure labor will likely boost rents in Queens, where about a fifth of households are in poverty and affordable housing is already a struggle.

    Already, the HQ2 is displacing plans to house low-income people in New York City. Politico Pro reported on Thursday that Amazon's eight million-square-foot headquarters will likely squash previous plans to build affordable housing on that site.

    Plaxall, a plastics company, owns much of the land that Amazon plans to build on. As Politico Pro detailed, Plaxall was readying a proposal to build 4,995 new homes on that site. A quarter of those homes — 1,250 residences — would qualify as affordable housing, meaning it's fit for individuals earning as little as $18,000 annually

    However, most of that 14.7-acre site will become part of Amazon's office campus. Two acres will still be available for housing, but Politico Pro reported that Plaxall is unsure if that will still be a housing site.

    Read more:Nashville will become a critical hub for Amazon's logistics business — but it doesn't mean there will also be a boom in warehouse jobs

    "The fact that massive public subsidies are helping eliminate affordable housing units is just the latest reason this bad deal needs to be torn up and thrown away," state Sen. Michael Gianaris, who represents Long Island City, told Politico Pro.

    Developer TF Cornerstone also planned to build on what's now part of Amazon's HQ2 site. That negates at least 250 affordable housing units in Long Island City in an apartment building that would have had 1,000 residences.

    These moves echo concerns that low-income Long Island City residents have already voiced. Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing project in the country, is next to Amazon's planned campus. The 6,000 residents of Queensbridge Houses have a median household income of $15,843, as The New York Times reported.

    "What are they going to do for the community? Are they going to guarantee us employment opportunities?" April Simpson, the president of Queensbridge Tenants Association, told the Times. "I’m worried about, when they come, they're not going to have opportunities for people. Not just people from Queensbridge — but other lower- and middle-income people in this area."

    Read the entire Politico Pro article here.

    SEE ALSO: Amazon is going to hire 50,000 people across its HQ2 cities — but it has at least 10 years to do it, so don't expect your neighborhood to change overnight

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    • Jami Rubin, a former Goldman Sachs star pharma analyst, just landed a new gig as a banker at PJT Partners.
    • Rubin left Goldman Sachs in early November, Business Insider reported, saying that she planned to become a banker and strategic adviser.

    Jami Rubin has landed. 

    Formerly Goldman Sachs's top pharma analyst, she left the bank in early November, Business Insider reported. At the time, she said that she planned to become a banker and strategic adviser.

    Now, she's taking on that role at PJT Partners, a boutique investment bank in New York, according to sources familiar with the matter. 

    PJT did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

    Rubin was an analyst starting in the early 1990s and has famously pressed major pharmaceutical companies on their plans for mergers and acquisitions. She joined Goldman Sachs in 2008 after working at Morgan Stanley, and became a partner in 2012.

    At Goldman Sachs, she covered companies including Pfizer, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, and Allergan. For years, she repeatedly asked Pfizer about its plan to break up and spin off some of its businesses, a refrain that has carried over into other massive pharmaceutical companies.

    In 2016, Fortune called Rubin the "Conglomerate Killer."

    PJT was founded after former Morgan Stanley banker Paul Taubman left the bank in 2012. In 2015, it merged with assets from Blackstone's financial and strategic advisory services, and now operates as a publicly-traded company.

    Boutique firms like PJT, which are usually founded by senior dealmakers from large investment banks, have grabbed market share from big banks over the last several years.

    Healthcare M&A activity has soared this year to $391 billion, up 75% from the year-ago period, according to data provider Refinitiv. 

    Join the conversation about this story »


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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.

    Since you don't have all day to scour the web for noteworthy sales and discounts, we rounded up the best bargains for you to shop in one convenient place.

    kitchenaid

    1. Save up to 50% on a KitchenAid Stand Mixer at Williams Sonoma

    With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you'll probably be doing some overtime in the kitchen. Whether it's your first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner, or you're well-seasoned holiday host, everyone could use an extra hand in the kitchen. This mixer is all the help you need — it can beat, mix, knead, and more, all with serious speed. With so many capabilities, you'll use this powerful kitchen device all year round. Usually these mixers are very expensive, some ranging as high as $700, but right now you can find them for up to 50% off at Williams Sonoma.

    Buy a KitchenAid Stand Mixer for 50% off at Williams Sonoma.

    Club Monaco

    2. Take an extra 30% off sale items at Club Monaco

    If you're looking to complete your winter wardrobe, or get a gift for that stylish someone in your life, head over to Club Monaco. They have a great selection of stylish pieces for men and women. Plus, now through November 20, you can save an extra 30% off sale items, for a total of up to 60% in savings. They even have a "steals of the season" section, where you can find plenty of great cold-weather picks on sale.

    Shop sale at Club Monaco and take an extra 30% off your purchase.

    alexa

    3. Save $50 on an Echo Dot and Sengled Smart Lighting Kit at Amazon

    One of the debatably coolest features of Alexa technology is that you can control lights with just your voice. To do this though, you need smart lights. Right now, you can get a set with an Amazon Echo Dot and a two-pack of Sengled smart color light bulbs for just $79.98. It's a great price, and a great way to get into the world of smart home technology.

    Buy an Echo Dot and Sengled Smart Lighting Kit for $79.98 (usually $129.48) [you save $50].

    Cole Haan

    4. Save 30% sitewide at Cole Haan

    If you're looking for a pair of well-made, comfortable shoes, that also look really good, you need to check out Cole Haan. They have great shoe options for men and women that blend superior comfort with style. Yesterday, it kicked off its Grand Giving Event, where the company is offering 30% off sitewide until November 18. We already checked out the sale and found lots of great options, and we think you will, too.

    Shop shoes and more at Cole Haan and save 30% on your purchase.

    mvmt

    5. Save up to 25% on everything at MVMT

    MVMT is one of our team's favorite watch startups for their range of timeless and innovative styles — as well as affordability. If you've been wanting a nice watch or pair of sunglasses, but thought waiting until Black Friday was the right move, lucky for you MVMT is helping you get your shopping done now. Through November 29, everything its site for 25% off. 

    Shop watches and sunglasses at MVMT for 25% off.

    butcherbox thumb 2

    6. Get free bacon for the lifetime of your membership when you sign up for ButcherBox

    ButcherBox is the easy way to get high-quality meats delivered right to your door. The monthly subscription service starts at $129 for a month's supply of cuts curated by ButcherBox's staff. You can also opt to personalize your order by selecting the cuts you'd like on your own. ButcherBox emphasizes quality, and is serious about sourcing the best meats — you'll taste the difference. If you're on the fence, when you sign up for ButcherBox right now you'll get a free pack of bacon in every future ButcherBox you receive. That's a lot of free bacon. 

    Sign up for ButcherBox and get free bacon for as long as you're subscribed.

    bloomies

    7. Take $25 off every $200 spent, plus save 50% on select items at Bloomingdale’s

    With deals rolling out in preparation of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's a great time to get your holiday gifting done — and Bloomingdale's is a great place to start. With fashion and accessories for men, women, and kids, as well as beauty and home goods, you can find something for everyone on your list. They also have a great selection of luxury items (think handbags, jewelry, home goods) if you're looking for a really special gift. Now through November 21, you can save big at Bloomingdale's Big Brown Bag sale. You'll get to take off $25 for every $200 spent, as well as save 50% and get free shipping on a selection of items.

    Shop at Bloomingdale's and save more when you spend more.

    Leesa

    8. Save up to $235 on a mattress, plus get a free pillow at Leesa

    You spend almost a third of your life asleep, so when it comes to your mattress you deserve a really good one. Leesa offers two super comfortable mattresses. The Leesa is a classic all-foam mattress that sleeps cool and relieves pressure, while the Sapira is a hybrid of foam and spring that contours to your body as you move throughout the night. Both are great options and right now you can get both on sale, plus get a free cooling pillow when you buy a Leesa mattress. With the code "BUSINESSINSIDER" you can save $160 on a Leesa or $235 on a Sapira mattress, plus get a free pillow (a $75 value.)

    Buy a Leesa Mattress, Queen, for $835 (usually $995) [You save $160] plus get a $75 pillow for free.

    Buy a Sapira Mattress, Queen, for $1,360 (usually $1,595) [You save $235] plus get a $75 pillow for free.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Thanksgiving Dinner

    • It can take multiple days to thaw a whole turkey.
    • If you leave the turkey in a refrigerator that's opened regularly, you need one day of thawing for every four pounds of turkey.
    • Thawing will take longer if you keep the turkey in a fridge that's never opened.
    • If you're pressed for time, you can cold water thaw your turkey, which involves thawing it in a bath of cold water in a sink.
    • This method reduces thawing time to 30 minutes per pound.

    Planning for Thanksgiving dinner can be tough.

    There's a lot to think about — like how much turkey to buy and when to start cooking each dish.

    But what sometimes slips people's minds is that your turkey needs some prep even before you can start seasoning or cooking it. It needs to thaw.

    Depending on how big a turkey you buy, your turkey might need multiple days to defrost. According to the experts who run Butterball's Turkey Talk Line, you need one day of thawing for every four pounds of turkey.

    And that's if you thaw the turkey in a refrigerator that's opened regularly. If you have it in a fridge that no one ever opens, it's going to take a little bit longer.

    Cold Water Thawing Turkey.JPG

    If you don't have days to spare, the experts recommend cold water thawing.

    This method drastically reduces the thaw time to just 30 minutes per pound, and it's really easy to do.

    Just put your whole turkey — in its packaging — in a sink filled with cold water. The water doesn't have to be any specific temperature; just turn your tap to cold. You should, however, change the water every 30 minutes, the experts say.

    If you're only slightly pressed for time, you can use a combination of both methods. 

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This sandwich is stuffed with an entire Thanksgiving meal


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    Big family house suburbs

    • Home prices in the United States are still rising, pushing more and more cities into $1 million territory.
    • Nearly 200 cities had a median home value of at least $1 million as of June 2018, and another 23 cities are projected to join the seven-figure club by summer 2019.
    • California is home to the most million-dollar real estate markets; it has 111 currently, and is expected to add 14 more cities over the next year.

    Nearly two dozen real estate markets are fast-approaching million-dollar territory, according to an August report from Zillow.

    Zillow's data reveals that by June 2019, 23 cities will have median home values of at least $1 million, joining the 197 US cities where the typical home is already valued at seven-figures. (In these cities, half the homes are valued below $1 million and half are valued above.)

    California and New York are currently home to the most million-dollar real estate markets. The Golden State has a significant edge, with 111 cities that have a median home value of $1 million or more as of June 2018. The San Francisco metro area has 46 $1 million cities — the most of any metro in the country. New York state has 30 cities.

    Of the 23 new cities to join the million-dollar club by next summer, 14 are in California —  all in the San Francisco and Los Angeles metro areas — and three are in New York. And three cities that had a $1 million median home value before the housing bust in 2006 are set to regain their status by 2019.

    Keep reading to find out which cities will soon cross the $1 million mark.

    SEE ALSO: Homes have become so expensive in the Bay Area that renting is now a better deal than buying

    DON'T MISS: California's housing market has reached a boiling point, and a typical home costs $600,000

    Biltmore Forest, North Carolina

    Metro: Asheville

    Median home value, June 2018: $978,900

    Projected median home value, June 2019: $1,005,018

     



    Newark, California

    Metro: San Francisco

    Median home value, June 2018: $919,200

    Projected median home value, June 2019: $1,005,404



    Sammamish, Washington

    Metro: Seattle

    Median home value, June 2018: $945,000

    Projected median home value, June 2019: $1,006,068



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    illustration human embryo not fetus week six 6 pregnant pregnancy gestational development shutterstock_1202620612

    • A Republican-controlled Ohio House revived a vetoed "heartbeat bill" to ban abortions in the state.
    • The legislation would prevent abortions— including in cases of rape and incest — after an embryo's heartbeat is detected, typically around week six of pregnancy.
    • Most women don't know they're pregnant until seven weeks or later in the process.
    • About one-fourth of all clinically recognized pregnancies spontaneously or naturally abort.
    • Providing access to both birth control and elective abortions may reduce a typical woman's lifetime abortion rate six-fold.

    On Thursday, the Ohio House revived a controversial and vetoed bill that could dramatically limit women's reproductive rights if it becomes law.

    The "heartbeat bill," as the legislation is known, is anti-abortion measure to ban doctors from performing legal abortions on women with "a detectable fetal heartbeat," typically around six weeks into a pregnancy— and even in cases of rape or incest.

    Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican, vetoed the legislation 2016 and instead signed alternative anti-abortion legislation that limits women's' rights to the procedure after week 20 of a pregnancy.

    The resurrected bill will now move on to the state's Republican-controlled Senate for consideration, where "its fate is unclear," according to the Dayton Daily News.

    Below are the key biological stages of pregnancy as they relate to a developing baby, including when its heartbeat is first detectable.

    ohio heartbeat bill pregnancy zygote embryo fetal baby development weeks progress milestones timeline chart sky gould business insider

    Across all age groups of women, as many as 25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage, which means they spontaneously or naturally abort and fail to lead to a full-term baby.

    Birth control, which prevents pregnancies yet the administration of President Donald Trump has moved to restrict and which many religious groups oppose, leads to a six-fold reduction in abortions over a woman's lifetime, according to a study published in July to the pre-print server bioRxiv.

    The study is awaiting peer review by other scientists, but it is based on the records of 1.2 million pregnancies in Denmark, as well as records of Mormon frontier women. The six-fold reduction statistic includes both unintended spontaneous abortions as well as elective procedures, and it comes from comparing women who had access to contraceptive drugs and elective abortions to those who did not.

    "Modern birth control with access to elective abortions markedly reduces — rather than increases — the lifetime number of abortions a woman produces," the study concludes.

    The study does not distinguish how having access to birth control but not elective abortions, as may soon be the case in Ohio, might affect rates of abortions generally.

    This story has been updated. It was originally published on December 9, 2016.

    SEE ALSO: Babies cry in the womb — and 18 other surprising facts I learned when I became a dad

    DON'T MISS: Here's why '9 months of pregnancy' is a vexing myth

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'You can take that baby at 9 months': Trump keeps repeating a grossly inaccurate claim about late-term abortions


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    target beauty calendar

    • Target is selling a 12 Days of Beauty advent calendar for $20. 
    • The calendar features 12 makeup and skin-care items from a variety of brands like Bliss and Maybelline.
    • Target is also selling a $12 Lip Smacker advent calendar with 12 different lip products inside.

    December is fast approaching, which means it's crunch time to find the perfect advent calendar. So far we've seen calendars with Disney socks, Reese's peanut butter cups, and even mini wheels of cheese.

    For all the makeup and skin-care lovers out there, Target has also released a beauty advent calendar. The $20 calendar is filled with 12 different items from a variety of popular brands like Bliss and Maybelline.

    target beauty calendar

    Here's a full breakdown of the products included: 

    target beauty advent calendar

    For those looking for something less expensive and more nostalgic, Target is also selling a Lip Smackers advent calendar for $12

    It includes five full-size lip balms in flavors like bubblegum and cotton candy, as well as seven sample lip pots.

    Read more:A lot of people think they're addicted to their lip balm, but they're wrong

    lip smackers adventIt looks like beauty lovers have a variety of options to choose from to when it comes to counting down the days until Christmas.

    Find out more about the Target Beauty Advent Calendar here and the Lip Smackers Advent Calendar here.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This calendar is full of lipsticks


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    TY Hilton

    We're officially heading into the second half of the 2018 NFL season, and some traditional fantasy players may already be out of the running in their leagues.

    Thankfully, with daily fantasy games, every week, there is a new chance to find value and make some money.

    Last week, our daily fantasy value picks had a monster week — Mitch Trubisky was one of the best quarterbacks in all of fantasy, and Aaron Jones and Austin Hooper both finishing the top five of their respective positions. This week, we're back at it trying to provide you with value plays to build out your daily fantasy lineups.

    Take a look below for our picks at every position that looks set to outplay their pricing this week in DraftKings. They'll come in handy for when you've constructed the perfect lineup only to find that you don't have quite as much money left for your flex as you expected.

    QB: Dak Prescott, $5,200

    Dak Prescott has been a solid fantasy quarterback for three of his past four games and faces a great matchup this week against the Atlanta Falcons.

    Every game in Atlanta seems to end up in a shootout, so Prescott should be well-positioned to build up some cheap yards and touchdowns.



    RB: Dion Lewis, $4,800

    Derrick Henry was the star of the day last weekend for the Titans, but his value is shaky week-to-week, and his big day on Sunday likely only drove down the price of Dion Lewis, all to your benefit.

    According to ESPN, the Colts have allowed 26 points per game to opposing backfields, so there should be plenty of points to go around to allow Lewis to outplay his value.



    RB: Doug Martin, $4,500

    Doug Martin hasn't lit up the scoreboard since stepping into the starting role for the Oakland Raiders, but he has been playable, reaching double-digit fantasy points last weekend against the Chargers.

    This Sunday, Martin will have his best opportunity yet to take advantage of his carries, going up against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league in the Arizona Cardinals. At $4,500, he feels like a steal for his potential production.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    donald trump

    • The criminal-justice reform bill that President Donald Trump backed on Wednesday has already hit a few snags among conservatives.
    • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly warned Trump the bill likely won't be brought forward this year, as was intended.
    • Trump's new acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, has also voiced his concerns about the bill directly to Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham told The Washington Post.

    President Donald Trump celebrated a rare moment of bipartisan unity this week when he announced his backing for a major criminal-justice reform bill — but a number of conservatives, including in Trump's own cabinet, have reportedly expressed reservations with the bill.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell privately told Trump on Thursday it was unlikely the bill would be brought to the floor this year as its proponents intended, The New York Times reported Friday.

    Congress is currently in a lame-duck session before the recently elected and re-elected lawmakers take over in January. Supporters of the reforms had hoped to drum up enough support to pass the bill before the incoming Congress takes over.

    But McConnell has appeared reluctant to bring the bill forward for a vote, telling its supporters they should first secure 60 votes, but adding that he would have to "see how it stacks up against our other priorities going into the end of our session."

    The First Step Act would overhaul certain federal sentencing laws, including reducing mandatory minimum sentences for drug felonies and offering judges more room for discretion. It also emphasizes more rehabilitative services and job training opportunities, and mandates that federal prisoners must be placed in facilities within 500 miles from their families.

    Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker, who recently replaced Jeff Sessions, has already told Trump about his concerns with the legislation, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told The Washington Post.

    Whitaker was particularly troubled by the "drug part of the bill" and how sentencing guidelines would change, Graham said.

    "He said he doesn't want to kill it," Graham told The Post. "He just wanted to express his concerns."

    Read more: Trump's support of a major sentencing reform bill sparks rare moment of bipartisan hope — but advocates warn the bill has a long way to go

    matthew whitaker

    A schism within the Republican majority in the Senate also poses a threat to the bill — hardline conservatives such as Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Ted Cruz of Texas have long been some of the loudest voices opposed to the reforms, and have spoken out against the legislation for months.

    In a USA Today op-ed published Thursday, Cotton called the bill "a misguided effort to let serious felons out of prison," and said Congress should instead strengthen sentences for "dangerous drug crimes."

    Shortly before Trump announced his backing of the bill, Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana also told Politico he was "doubtful" of the bill's prospects.

    Though the support of law-enforcement unions like the Fraternal Order of Police went a long way toward gaining Trump's support for the bill, not every association signed on.

    The National Sheriffs' Association has long expressed doubts over the reforms, and published an open letter to Senate leaders on Thursday saying they couldn't support the legislation without multiple revisions to the way the bill treats fentanyl and heroin dealers, as well as sex offenders and offenders with major criminal histories.

    "We feel unless the changes recommended below are enacted, this legislation creates a high-risk path for dangerous criminals with gun crime histories to [receive] early release from prison," the letter said. "This amounts to a social experiment with the safety of our communities and the lives of Sheriffs, deputies and police officers in the balance."

    SEE ALSO: A federal judge sided with CNN and ordered the White House to restore Jim Acosta's press pass

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Lindsey Graham once warned there would be 'holy hell to pay' if Trump fired Jeff Sessions


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    Plush Bears Shelter

    Animals do so much for us, it's only fair we do what we can to help them in return.

    Countless GoFundMe campaigns have been started to raise money for various causes concerning animals in need, from stray cats to Sumatran elephants. INSIDER gathered data for the most successful GoFundMe campaigns for animals of all time, excluding one campaign that has since been deleted.

    Read on to hear about the various animals that have been saved with the help of these GoFundMe campaigns.

    19. Elephant Conservation: AUD $99,641 ($73,076)

    The Elephant Conservation campaign seeks to create an Elephant Patrols Unit for the protection of Sumatran Elephants. In Indonesia, there are fewer than 1,000 elephants left as a result of rampant poaching. The campaign is still taking donations.



    18. Homeless People & Animals Together: $83,890

    Journalist Glenn Greenwald and his husband, David Miranda, oversee this project based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The couple cares for 23 dogs in their home, all of which were found on the streets of Rio. They are working to create a new form of animal shelter, run entirely by homeless people.

    The shelter aims to "create a top-flight animal shelter devoted to finding homes for abandoned and homeless animals in need, while providing homeless people a purposeful job based on their passion for animals, along with a wide array of support to help them exit life on the street and find permanent employment." The project is still taking donations.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

     

     



    17. SAVING THE ANIMALS: $86,347

    The Pickens County Humane Society in Pickens County, South Carolina, has been working to rescue animals and prevent animal cruelty for over 47 years. Its GoFundMe campaign raised money for a mobile vet unit so that the society can expand its work to more communities.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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