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    • Fifteen of the 20 most popular cities in the world for tourists are in Asia.
    • That's according to Euromonitor International's annual list of the biggest cities for international tourism released last week.
    • The cities were spread out over several countries, including China, India, Thailand, Japan, and Turkey.

    Asian cities are dominating the global tourism scene.

    Euromonitor International released its annual list of the most popular cities for international tourists last week, and Asian cities took an impressive 15 of the top 20 spots.

    The market-research firm looked at 600 total cities and ranked them based on the number of foreign tourists they saw, using travel data from 2017 and partial-year data for 2018.

    Topping the list for the eighth consecutive year was Hong Kong, which received nearly 30 million tourists this year. The top Asian cities were spread out over several countries, including China, India, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, and Turkey. 

    Read more: The 31 most popular cities in the world for travelers

    The only non-Asian cities to make the top 20 were London, Paris, New York City, Rome, and Prague.

    Read on to see the Asian cities that proved to be the biggest tourism hotspots of the year. You can also check out the list of the 31 best cities for tourism worldwide and the top tourism draws in North America.

    Here are the cities that made the cut:

    SEE ALSO: The 31 most popular cities in the world for travelers

    DON'T MISS: France has been the most-visited country in the world for more than 20 years in a row — but experts think it's about to lose its crown

    15. Mumbai, India

    Overall rank: 19

    Projected arrivals in 2018: 10,670,100

    14. Guangzhou, China

    Overall rank: 18

    Projected arrivals in 2018: 9,392,000

    13. Taipei, Taiwan

    Overall rank: 17

    Projected arrivals in 2018: 9,783,300

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    good job definition 4x3

    • Business Insider spoke to more than a dozen people at different stages of their lives and careers, and surveyed 1,000 more, about what a "good job" means to them.
    • We found good jobs in the US today are characterized by things as basic as health insurance and a retirement account — and as complex as personal fulfillment.
    • Sometimes a good job can simply be one that pays enough to afford you the freedom not to think about money in your next job.
    • As people age, they typically realize that prestige is less important — and company culture is more important — than they realized.
    • But almost any job can be a good job if you put in the effort to mold it to your particular wants and needs.

    Annafi Wahed left her job at a consulting firm in 2016, to work on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

    When she approached her boss to give her two weeks' notice, he thought she was joking.

    "I was up for manager that year; I was making six figures," Wahed, now 28 years old, told me. Her boss "couldn't fathom" that she was giving it up to go "knock on doors," and was suspicious that she was instead switching to another job in finance.

    But as soon as she announced her departure, Wahed said, she knew she'd made the right decision. "It felt like the weight had been lifted off my shoulders."

    Wahed went on to discover that she had more than just a passing interest in politics. Even after the campaign was over, it excited her in a way that the financial world never really had. Today, Wahed is the founder of The Flip Side, a daily news digest that summarizes political analysis from conservative and liberal media. On the side, she works as a data analyst for a nonprofit organization.

    Wahed and I scheduled a phone call for 9 a.m., and when she answered, she said she'd just woken up, having stayed up late working on a project for The Flip Side. But she wouldn't trade her current lifestyle for something more traditional or less stressful, she said — this is her passion.

    I spoke to Wahed (who went to my high school and was two years behind me), and more than a dozen other people at different stages of their lives and careers, as part of an investigation: What is a "good" job today? And while I didn't come up with a definitive answer — that depends heavily on factors such as a person's age and skill level, and whether they have kids — I did begin to see some unifying themes.

    The definition of a good job has changed over time

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, this exploration of what a good job means might have looked very different 50 years ago.

    Rebecca Fraser-Thill, the director of faculty engagement in the Bates Center for Purposeful Work at Bates College and a career coach with the Pivot program (I was one of her coaching clients in 2017), said previous generations of workers wanted security and stability from their employers. Today's workers don't necessarily expect that — instead, they want a sense of personal fulfillment, whether that comes from one job, two jobs, or a job and a side hustle.

    Read more: From harvesting honey to cleaning animal skulls — here are 7 of the most unique side hustles

    The declining prevalence of pensions has played a big role in shaping employees' expectations from work: According to a 2014 report from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the number of American workers with a defined benefit plan (i.e. a pension, which provides a specific amount of money in retirement) decreased from 62% in 1983 to 17% in 2013.

    Results from a Business Insider survey of 1,000 in early December suggest that today's young workers aren't operating under any delusions about how much security their employers can provide them. Respondents ages 18 to 29 were 19 percentage points less likely than the average respondent to say a pension is essential to a good job. Respondents over 60, on the other hand, were 13 percentage points more likely.

    And while it's been a long time since pensions were standard practice, even a decade ago, this article might have turned out differently.

    Brie Reynolds, a career coach and the career specialist at FlexJobs, told me that after the 2008 economic downturn, people realized their jobs might not last forever. As a result, Reynolds said, they started to think about how they wanted work to fit into their overall life. That is to say, work was no longer the biggest focus. Indeed, in the Business Insider survey, the third most popular choice for essential aspects of a a good job was work/life balance (74%).

    Read more: Top execs in banking, retail, and tech are saying they don't practice work-life balance — because they found something better

    annafi wahed

    Money and benefits are still a priority for many

    The same Business Insider survey, which asked people for the factors they consider essential to a good job, highlighted three popular aspects: health insurance (87%), paid vacation (75%), and a 401(k) or other retirement account (73%).

    Salary is especially important for today's recent college grads, who are often saddled with massive student debt. The average student loan debt for Class of 2017 graduates who borrowed money was $39,400, according to a report from Student Loan Hero.

    Wahed readily admitted that her work at the consulting firm was "not what got me up in the morning. What really only got me up was paying off my student loans and making good money." At the time, not having a full-time job and continuing to wallow in debt just didn't seem like options.

    A bonus just for you: Click here to claim 30 days of access to Business Insider PRIME

    "I'm a first-generation immigrant," she told me. She remembered moving to the US with her mother at eight years old, struggling through ESL classes in elementary school. "Part of me was definitely like, 'I need a steady job. I can't just go around bumming through life after college.'"

    Wahed said she "absolutely would not have taken this step [joining the Clinton campaign] at 22," when she'd just graduated from Bryn Mawr. "I had student loans to pay off; I had very little professional experience," she said, outside of an internship she'd done at FDIC.

    Yael Rosenstock was similarly motivated to pay off her student loans before she explored her passions and interests. After she graduated college, Rosenstock, also 28, took a job teaching in Argentina; she was offered a full-time teaching position there, but declined and returned to New York City instead.

    "My student loans were really high and [New York] was the only place I could think of where I could make enough money to actually pay them," she told me. Rosenstock moved in with her parents and started taking odd gigs — babysitting, organizing homes — before she landed a job in programming at a university center (she's since been promoted to associate director). Within two years, she had paid off her student loans in full.

    Read more: A 10-step plan to paying off student loan debt, from someone who repaid over $40,000

    Rosenstock is heading to a PhD program in health behavior, with a specialty in sex education, next year, and she said she's somewhat worried about giving up the comfortable salary and benefits she received at the university. But she's committed to pursuing her own business; on the side, she's been running Kaleidoscope Vibrations, LLC, which focuses on adult sex education and body positivity. And now that she's in a more financially stable place, Rosenstock feels ready to take the leap into academia. Her ultimate goal is to run her own business and teach on the side.

    yael rosenstock

    Sometimes a good job is one that pays enough so money isn't your top priority in the next job

    But two-thirds of Americans aren't college graduates, and only a sliver are working for global consulting firms.

    I spoke with Fred Goff, the CEO of Jobcase, or "LinkedIn for blue collar workers," and he told me that many people in the US just need a job and a paycheck. It's not that they don't want the same things out of work as their better-educated or higher-skilled peers, like prestige and personal fulfillment. It's more that they don't necessarily have the luxury to wait for those things to materialize.

    Read more: The founder of 'blue collar LinkedIn' shares his best advice for succeeding without a bachelor’s degree

    Still, over the course of my reporting, I noticed some important similarities among people at all income, education, and skill levels. Namely, sometimes a good job is one that pays enough now for you to prioritize something other than a paycheck in your next job.

    Wahed and Rosenstock felt they had to pay off their student loans — and get some experience on their resume — before they could realize their dreams. Meanwhile, many Jobcase members see a good job as one that pays enough so they can start thinking about factors such as company culture and the ability to make an impact on society.

    Goff summarized it this way: If your current job isn't ideal, you can use it as a launching point for getting one that is, for example by getting a reference from your manager or gaining in-demand skills. "Even if this is just, 'I need a paycheck right now,'" Goff said, "you also should just pause and say, 'But is this also something I can leverage into something better?"

    Since speaking with Goff, I've been thinking a lot about whether this mindset might contribute to some amount of unhappiness: You're always looking toward the next best thing, the job that's "great" as opposed to just "good." Or might this mindset instead make a certain type of lifestyle more palatable, because you know there's a light at the end of the tunnel? Or both?

    Sometimes, the "leveraging" Goff cited only happens in hindsight. A few people I spoke with said they wouldn't be on the career path they're on now if not for a less favorable job in their past.

    Less than a year ago, Alysa Ain, in her early 30s, was working at a New York City law firm, feeling unfulfilled and unable to keep up with the extreme demands on her time and energy. Ain recently applied to graduate programs in clinical social work: Her goal is to help professionals who are stressed and unhappy. Thinking about this future career helps her "not regret" her time in corporate law, she said.

    Similarly, Bernadette Bielitz, a volunteer with AARP, said that in her next role, she wants to do something around community engagement, helping employees address caregiving issues. This desire stems directly from her own difficult experience taking care of her elderly parents while working full-time.

    Company culture is typically more important than people realize at first

    Over the summer, Dane Holmes, Goldman Sachs' HR head, told a group of Goldman interns that the people you work with matter even more than the specific job you're doing. It's something to keep in mind, Holmes said, when you're choosing your next job.

    Goff, for his part, places the people you work with at the top of the "hierarchy" of professional needs. That is to say, it matters most to your satisfaction, but you need to have the luxury to choose a job where you like your coworkers.

    Sometimes, a positive company culture can simply mean honest management, which Goff labeled the No. 1 thing everyone, regardless of skill level, wants out of work. In other words, managers should state upfront what the job, compensation, and upward mobility look like. If it's a minimum wage job for 20 hours a week, fine — but your employer shouldn't change that on you a few months down the line.

    And more than half of respondents in the Business Insider survey said flexibility is essential to a good job, with women 13 percentage points more likely to do so.

    In some cases, flexibility is offered to an almost comical extent: Earlier this year, I profiled Hubspot, which is one of the best tech companies to work for, according to Glassdoor. One woman I spoke to got permission from her manager to work "remotely," while she followed Justin Timberlake around on his US tour.

    And while work/life balance is traditionally seen as an issue relevant to parents of young kids (or to mothers, as the case may be), in reality it affects a broader swath of the working population. Before Bielitz's parents passed away a few years ago, she was caring for them while holding down a full-time job. Bielitz told me she was reluctant to talk to her managers about the tumult in her personal life, out of fear that she would lose her job.

    "I remember taking calls from my bosses in hospital rooms. I look back and my mother's dying," Bielitz said. "I shouldn't have been taking any calls."

    rebecca frasier thill

    Prestige may become less appealing as you get older

    A common theme I noticed among the people I interviewed was that prestige can become less attractive over the course of a career. That might be simply because you can always say, "I worked at Google," or "I worked at Goldman," and benefit from the company's reputation, even if you're no longer employed there. But it might also be the case that people quickly become disillusioned about how glamorous big-name companies really are.

    Read more: Everyone wants to work at Google — but we found out how 15 ex-Googlers knew it was time to quit

    Ain, the lawyer transitioning to social work, told me that she initially applied to law school because she felt like her parents expected her to have a professional career. And when she got into Harvard, she was excited by the idea of doing something prestigious.

    Once she'd graduated and joined a top law firm, Ain was disheartened by the lack of fulfillment she felt and by the all-consuming nature of work. She signed up for career coaching with Fraser-Thill and realized that the "relationship aspect" of work — i.e. having meaningful interactions with other people — was important to her. Not long after, she decided to pursue a degree in social work.

    "Prestige is definitely not important to me anymore," Ain told me. 'I've just seen how empty it is." When she was younger, Ain said, she was interested in proving to other people that she was smart and capable. Now, however, "prestige is last on the list of things that are important about a job."

    Even salary has taken on less importance in her mind. Ain said she's mostly concerned with living comfortably and not feeling anxious about money, as opposed to living extravagantly.

    Josh Druce, 35 years old, had a similar experience. Druce worked for a series of big banks before realizing the role wasn't for him. Today he's the sole employee for private credit fund Loan Ranger LP. It's the "least glamorous organization" he's ever worked for, but also the "happiest I've ever been," Druce said.

    He admitted that working for a small business seemed risky at first — so risky that he's pretty sure he wouldn't have done it if he'd had kids. But having made the change, Druce said, "I now have so much more control over my fate, my compensation, and what impact I have on the world."

    Prestige might be something different for individual positions, too. The Business Insider survey found that 65% of respondents see "opportunity for advancement" as essential to a good job. But that doesn't necessarily mean climbing the corporate ladder, advancing from individual contributor to people manager to top executive. If you've read any books or articles on management lately, you're likely familiar with the idea that the traditional career path is all but dead.

    Libby Leffler, for example, a former Googler and Facebook executive, previously told me that a linear career trajectory doesn't really exist anymore. Instead, she and other Facebook employees talk about the idea of a "jungle gym," where you hop from one role or industry to the next instead of climbing the corporate career ladder. Leffler said that, in her own career, she's always taken roles where she can learn something new — even if that meant making a lateral move.

    Almost any job can be a good job if you 'craft' it to be

    Career experts like to talk about the importance of "job crafting," a term coined by Amy Wrzesniewski, a Yale professor who has spent years studying how people make meaning out of their work. One of Wrzesniewski's early papers on the topic described some members of a cleaning crew at a hospital who crafted their job to be more meaningful by doing things that weren't listed in their job descriptions, like spending time with patients who seemed upset.

    Fraser-Thill mentioned it during our interview, and said that most people who are fulfilled by their work have stayed in a particular role or field for a while and "melded it to fit the various elements of what they need."

    Still, she said, job crafting is harder — and less common — than it sounds. "It's easier in some ways to be like, 'I'm just going to leave this job and go find another one' than it is to sit down with your supervisor and say, 'Hey, I really need or want these particular elements. Is there anything we can do about that?'"

    To be sure, Fraser-Thill added, your boss won't be inclined to help meet your needs unless you're a high-performing employee and an asset to the organization. That is to say, a good job doesn't always come easy. It often takes a lot of, well, work. But that effort can pay off big, not solely by making your job more personally fulfilling. It can also empower you to feel like you — not your manager, not your bank account, not The Man — are in control of your career.

    SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,037 respondents, margin of error plus or minus 3.11 percentage points with 95% confidence level.

    SEE ALSO: People say if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life — but CEOs and experts caution that could be dangerous advice

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Drinking too much water could be surprisingly hazardous to your health

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    water tower bar

    • I visited The Water Tower in Brooklyn, New York, a brand-new rooftop lounge and nightclub designed to look like a water tower.
    • Cocktails start at $20 — and one special white truffle-infused beverage costs $150, while a grilled-cheese sandwich will run you $70.
    • Although the views were stunning, and the space was beautiful, I don't see myself ever going there again because of the high prices.

    One of New York City's newest bars is perched on top of a Brooklyn hotel and designed to look like one of the many industrial-looking water towers that dot the borough's rooftops.

    The Water Tower, which opened in November 2018, is super-exclusive: It's reservation-only and seats only 45 people. Cocktails at the club, which is open from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and features a rotating set of international DJs, start at $20 — and one specialty drink, infused with white truffles, will cost you $150. 

    The food menu includes items such as a $70 white-truffle grilled cheese, an $80 seafood platter, and caviar service ranging from $95 to $525. 

    Berton Rodov, the club's creative director, said they aim to cultivate a specific vibe at The Water Tower.

    "We have a fun, diverse crowd," he told me when I went to check out the club one afternoon. "Honestly, we try to curate the experience here, being that it's a small space, and it's the most luxurious extension of this brand."

    But, he added, that's "not saying you have to be rich to come in." He said the crowd tends to be, "cool kids, models, people just here to have fun," and they "try to look out for locals, too."

    After visiting the club one early December afternoon, I can't say I was entirely convinced that their target audience isn't just rich people.

    Here's what The Water Tower looks like inside.

    SEE ALSO: I visited New York's new Playboy Club, where Playboy Bunnies serve drinks in their iconic costumes and members pay up to $100,000 a year — and it wasn't at all what I expected

    DON'T MISS: 5 restaurants in NYC earned the highest Michelin rating for 2019 — and 2 of them have topped the list every year since the ranking started

    The Water Tower is perched on the rooftop of Brooklyn's Williamsburg Hotel, which already includes an outdoor bar and a pool.

    It was built as an "homage" to the iconic water towers that dot many Brooklyn rooftops.

    Rooms at the Williamsburg Hotel start at around $200 per night, according to its website.

    Source: The Williamsburg Hotel

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Aleph Farms steak 1

    • The Israeli company Aleph Farms aims to make cuts of environmentally friendly meat that resemble the real thing using animal cells, also called "lab-grown" or "clean" meat.
    • Aleph has now created a prototype steak, the first produced publicly in the world, the company said on Wednesday.
    • While several companies have made prototypes of lab-grown meats, none are available in restaurants or grocery stores.
    • Aleph got its start with help from an Israeli research institute and an incubator that is part of the food giant that owns Sabra — the most popular hummus in America.

    For the first time in its roughly two-year history, an Israeli startup claims to have achieved a key step toward the holy grail of the lab-grown-meat industry: turning animal cells into the delicate and sinewy tissue of steak.

    Aleph Farms, which got its start with help from an Israeli research institute and an incubator that's part of the food giant that owns Sabra — the most popular hummus in America — said on Wednesday that it had produced the world's first lab-grown steak.

    Based on photographs and video, the thin but clearly steak-like cut of beef appears to be a big milestone toward eventually making meat without slaughter that is ready for people to eat.

    "The smell was great when we cooked it, exactly the same characteristic flavor as a conventional meat cut," Aleph's CEO and founder, Didier Toubia, told Business Insider.

    But the true contribution to the lab-grown meat field, he said, was the steak's texture.

    "It was a little bit chewy, same as meat. We saw and felt the fibers when we cut it with a knife."

    A holy grail in the lab-grown-meat world

    Aleph Farms steak 2If there were a holy grail in the world of real meat made without farm animals, it would be steak.

    While many companies make plant-based burgers, a handful of startups are trying to make real, environmentally friendly beef and chicken from animal cells — bypassing the farm animals. None, however, have released a product consumers can buy in stores or restaurants.

    The Silicon Valley-based startup New Age Meats let Business Insider taste its lab-grown-sausage prototype in September; the vegan egg and mayo company Just (formerly Hampton Creek) claims to have made prototype chicken nuggets; and the Bill Gates-backed startup Memphis Meats said it produced the world's first chicken strips from animal cells last March.

    Read more:We tasted the first lab-grown sausage made without slaughtering any animals — here's what it was like

    But none has publicly achieved the goal of replicating the texture, shape, and mouthfeel of savory, chewy sirloin.

    That's because crafting a burger, meatball, or any other product that combines several ingredients with ground meat or seafood is much easier than mimicking the complex texture and flavor of a steak or a chicken breast.

    "Making a patty or a sausage from cells cultured outside the animal is challenging enough — imagine how difficult it is to create a whole-muscle steak," Toubia said in a statement.

    The challenge of going from cell to steak

    aleph steak 3 cookingExperts and venture capitalists are convinced that meat made in labs is coming, and it's poised to disrupt a $200 billion industry. But they acknowledge that getting the products out of the lab and into restaurants will take time.

    Read more:Silicon Valley VCs are betting lab-grown meat could be just as big a deal as Uber was for taxis and have 'huge disruptive abilities' to a $200 billion industry

    Rather than spending time trying to create meatballs or nuggets, Aleph headed straight for the goal of a steak. That's a goal the company has had since the outset and one it may be uniquely poised to tackle thanks to its foundations in regenerative medicine.

    Shulamit Levenberg, the dean of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology's biomedical engineering faculty, serves as Aleph's chief scientific officer, and Neta Lavon, an experienced stem-cell researcher who developed cell-therapy products from stem cells for diabetes and the neurodegenerative disease ALS, serves as Aleph's vice president of research and development.

    Instead of growing only one or two types of animal cells on a flat surface, Aleph grows four types of animal cells in three dimensions. The company also claims to be growing them in a medium that is free of fetal bovine serum, the rich cow-based liquid that's currently the lab standard for nourishing cells. 

    Toubia said each of the thinly-sliced steaks they made as part of this prototype took 2-3 weeks to produce and cost $50.

    "We're the only company that has the capacity to make fully-textured meat that includes muscle fibers and blood vessels — all the components that provide the necessary structure and connections for the tissue," Toubia told Business Insider in May.

    Aleph is calling its prototype steak a "minute steak," because it takes just a couple of minutes to cook, Amir Ilan, the chef of the Israeli restaurant Paris Texas and the person who prepared the steak on video, said in a statement.

    Aleph was cofounded by the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and an incubator called The Kitchen, which is part of Strauss Group. Strauss owns Sabra hummus and distributes Cheetos and Doritos in Israel as part of an agreement with Pepsi.

    Watch a chef prepare Aleph's first steak prototype:

    SEE ALSO: The company behind America's favorite hummus has funded an under-the-radar effort to make lab-grown steak

    DON'T MISS: We tasted the first lab-grown sausage made without slaughtering any animals — here's what it was like

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A Harvard psychologist reveals the secret to curbing your appetite

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    spring discovery team photo

    • Ben Kamens, the first hire and lead engineer of Silicon Valley education platform Khan Academy, founded a new startup called Spring Discovery, which is dedicated to defeating aging and to extending life.
    • Spring told Business Insider it raised $18 million from venture firms including First Round Capital (backers of Square and Flatiron Health) and General Catalyst (backers of Snap and e-commerce site Jet).
    • The new funding puts the startup on the map within the $850 million antiaging field for the first time.
    • Spring aims to hasten the scientific-discovery process for therapies designed to reverse aging using machine learning and hands-on research at an expanding lab in San Carlos, California.

    For a 35-year-old, Silicon Valley startup founder and ex-Khan Academy engineer Ben Kamens has a rather intimate relationship to disease.

    Since he was a teenager, Kamens has been taking insulin to stay alive. Kamens, who has Type 1 diabetes, relies on the drug to do the work traditionally accomplished by a healthy pancreas. Each injection helps ferry the sugar from food into his body's various cells, steadying his energy levels and preventing him from falling into a coma or dying.

    Living with the condition also gave him an appreciation for what it means to be healthy. And that awareness spurred him to create a startup called Spring Discovery, which is dedicated to finding therapies designed to beat diseases like his own.

    "Aging is the single greatest risk factor for some of the worst diseases on Earth," Kamens told Business Insider.

    Indeed, as we get older, the risk of many diseases — from cancer to heart disease to Alzheimer's — skyrockets. Age is also a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, which most often develops after age 45. Kamens sees his company as an engine whose job is to shed light on what changes in our cells and tissues as we age so we can discover new therapies that reverse those changes.

    By combining a team of engineers trained in machine learning and artificial intelligence with scientists whose backgrounds include stem-cell biology, regenerative medicine, genetics, neuroscience, and dermatology, Kamens believes they'll make discoveries more quickly.

    Read more:The best ways to counter the negative effects of aging and live a long time — starting right now

    Until recently, Kamens' antiaging startup remained fairly quiet. With only $4 million in funding, it paled in comparison to BioAge Labs, which has raised $11 million, and Google spin-off Calico. But the most recent round brings Spring to $22 million in total funding.

    The fresh $18 million comes chiefly from First Round Capital, the venture firm behind startups like Square and Flatiron Health, and General Catalyst, which backed Snap and e-commerce site Jet. Other new funders include Beijing-based ZhenFund, which joins existing big-name backers like Laura Deming's Longevity Fund and boutique Silicon Valley venture firm Felicis.

    The quest to live longer and better has given us a handful of tools

    Rhesus MacaqueIn Silicon Valley, aging is considered a collective battle. Dozens of startup founders with diverse backgrounds have told Business Insider that they believe defeating aging is our generation's prime directive.

    Funding in the field is at an all-time high: So far this year, investors have poured $850 million into the antiaging field, according to a recent CB Insights report. Before 2016, almost no one was investing in antiaging research, the authors of the report said.

    Studying what causes aging and then designing therapies that could stop it is incredibly tough. Humans take a long time to grow frail, and that's a reality that includes the researchers who are trying to beat it.

    Read more:Tech elites are paying $7,000 to freeze stem cells from liposuctioned fat as a 'back up' for a longer life

    So instead of studying only people, researchers also analyze human cells, along with a host of animals ranging from insects to mice to monkeys. In those creatures, scientists have been able to successfully slow the aging process using a handful of rough techniques.

    That's helped generate what Kamens likes to call "an unignorable amount of evidence" that we can slow the biological processes of aging in animals using those techniques, which include the following:

    Read more: A controversial startup that charges $8,000 to fill your veins with young blood is opening its first clinic

    The problem is that these tools don't illuminate the true causes of aging or show us much about how to beat it.

    "All of these interventions are pretty raw — they're crude — and oftentimes no one knows why they're getting the results they're getting," Kamens said.

    What Spring Discovery brings to the table

    happy coupleKamens' leadership and advisory teams include top-flight scientists from universities like Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of California at Berkeley, as well as researchers from Google and pharmaceutical giants like Amgen.

    With the new money, Spring is expanding its laboratory in San Carlos, California, Kamens told Business Insider. The space is currently equipped to run full experiments on biological materials including human cells and mice. Kamens is also planning to hire roughly 20 new team members over the next two years, roughly tripling their current staff.

    Kamen's advisers include Elad Gil, the serial entrepreneur behind genetics startup Color Genomics, along with Sasha Kamb, the head of neuroscience discovery at Amgen, and Y Combinator partner Sam Altman. His leadership team includes biologists from Berkeley and senior engineers from Google and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

    In addition, Silicon Valley startup prodigy Deming of Longevity Fund, the only venture fund in the Valley that's entirely devoted to antiaging, helped train Kamens and some of his team by way of her own longevity-accelerator program.

    "Laura was a huge source of inspiration," Kamens said. "She changed my life."

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

    Despite their star-studded credentials, Kamens acknowledged that aging research happens slowly and that his team has a lot of work to do. He views their efforts in aging as akin to the early work done to illuminate the causes of diabetes.

    At first, when scientists had no idea what caused the disease, a team of researchers simply took out an animal's pancreas. Then they added it — piece by piece — back to its body until they realized that it was the organ's inability to make insulin that was causing problems.

    Studying aging is a bit like studying diabetes back then, he said.

    "We all see the potential to make real progress," Kamens said, "and we're speeding towards it as fast as we can."

    SEE ALSO: The best ways to counter the negative effects of aging and live a long time — starting right now

    DON'T MISS: Tech elites are paying $7,000 to freeze stem cells from liposuctioned fat as a 'back up' for a longer life

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    Tech v Trump (Jake Kanter's thumb — please do not use)

    • More than 90% of the political donations made by Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google staff went to the Democrats, figures dating from 2004 show.
    • Staff at Google's parent company Alphabet were the biggest benefactors to Democratic candidates and causes, according to the data from GovPredict.
    • The findings come as Google CEO Sundar Pichai will appear before Congress for the first time on Tuesday.
    • US President Donald Trump and other prominent Republicans have criticized what they see as bias at powerful tech firms and are threatening anti-trust probes.

    The political donations made by staff at the world's biggest tech firms have been revealed in data seen by Business Insider.

    BI worked with GovPredict, the political data firm backed by prestigious Silicon Valley tech incubator Y Combinator, to uncover donations made by employees at the FAANG firms: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. 

    The data is drawn from campaign filings and covers a 14-year period. It only measures political contributions made by employees and doesn't reflect company-level donations to candidates. Facebook, for example, donates to candidates at a company level through its own Political Action Committee (PAC.)

    GovPredict found that workers at these tech giants have backed the Democrats to the tune of millions of dollars, while donations to the Republicans have been paltry in comparison.

    In fact, more than 90% of the $40 million donated by big tech employees to political causes since 2004 has gone to the Democrats.

    Staff at Google's parent company Alphabet were collectively the biggest funders of Democratic candidates and causes. Employees donated $16.3 million to the party, which was nearly $10 million more than employees from the next biggest funder, Amazon.

    Democrats had a near-monopoly on donations from staff at Netflix, accounting for 98% of worker contributions to political parties.

    Tech political donations 04–08

    The findings come at a delicate time for Silicon Valley. US President Donald Trump and other prominent Republicans have criticized what they see as bias at powerful tech firms. Trump is also looking at anti-trust proceedings against Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

    The president said in August that Google search results were "RIGGED" against him, while last month, he asked his Twitter followers to "check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats."

    Google, in particular, has been a lightning rod for anger. Trump has repeatedly targeted the company, as have Republicans, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

    Read more: A report on Alphabet employee political donations could light a fire under Trump's war on Google

    Google CEO Sundar Pichai will appear before Congress for the first time on Tuesday, when he gives evidence to the House Judiciary Committee. He is expected to face tough questions about search results, potential antitrust issues, and Google's plans to launch a censored search engine in China.

    The biggest year of donations from Alphabet staffers to the Democrats came in 2016, when staff spent $6 million trying to keep Trump out of office. In fact, all of the tech firm employee donations hit a high in 2016, except Amazon, GovPredict found. Workers at Jeff Bezos' company donated their peak of $3 million to liberal causes in 2012 when Barack Obama secured a second term.

    Tech political donations 16

    Ari Ezra Waldman, director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at the New York Law School, said there is "zero" evidence to support the theory that Google is fixing search results against the Republicans — and donation patterns do not change that.

    "What comes up on search results on Google, for example, is the product of Google's highly complex and proprietary algorithm, which is sensitive to what other people click on, share, and so forth," he said. "So, if critical articles about Donald Trump are coming up first, that just means that critical articles about Donald Trump are being shared more, clicked on more, and searched for more."

    Google, Apple, Facebook, and Netflix declined to comment. Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

    GovPredict analyzed Federal Election Commission filings, state and city campaign finance portals, and the Internal Revenue Service. It examined election contributions made by tech staff by tracking the various subsidiary names of their companies used in the filings. 

    GovPredict then categorized, as Democrat or Republican, the unique committees to which employees made donations. Most were labelled by the Federal Election Commission, while on others GovPredict had to make its own call.

    Former Harvard graduate Emil Pitkin launched GovPredict at the Y Combinator demo day in 2015. The company is also said to have $120,000 in seed funding from Y Combinator, which has backed startups such as Airbnb, Reddit, and Stripe.

    SEE ALSO: Bernie Sanders has received donations from more Amazon workers than Barack Obama over the past 14 years

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Growth in Share of Retail Site Visits

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

    Social media is becoming increasingly influential in shoppers' purchasing decisions. In fact, the top 500 retailers earned an estimated $6.5 billion from social shopping in 2017, up 24% from 2016, according to BI Intelligence estimates.

    In addition to influencing purchase decisions, social media is a large part of the product discovery and research phase of the shopping journey. And with more and more retailers offering quick access to their sites via social media pages, and shoppable content becoming more popular, it's likely that social media will play an even larger role in e-commerce. 

    In this report, BI Intelligence examines the advantages and disadvantages of each platform, and reviews case studies of successful campaigns that helped boost conversion and increase brand awareness. Additionally, we explore how retailers can bring social aspects into their own sites and apps to capitalize on consumers' desire for social shopping experiences.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • Social media is becoming more influential in all aspects of the purchasing journey.
    • Facebook is the clear winner in social commerce, with its huge user base and wide-ranging demographics.
    • However, retailers should have a presence on every platform their target market is on. Each platform will require a different strategy for retailers to resonate with its users.
    • Retailers can also benefit from bringing social aspects in-house. They can do this by building their own in-house social networks, or by embedding social media posts into their sites.

    In full, the report: 

    • Provides an overview of the top social media platforms — Facebook, YouTube, Instagram — that retailers should be using, the demographics of each platform, as well as their individual advantages and disadvantages. 
    • Reviews tools recently developed by these platforms that help retailers create engaging content.
    • Outlines case studies and specific strategies to use on each platform.
    • Examines how retailers like Sephora, Amazon, and Poshmark are capitalizing on consumers' affinity for social shopping by creating their own in-house social networks.

    Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

    1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >>Learn More Now
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    Ryan Zinke

    • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is set to leave the Trump administration at the end of 2018.
    • David Bernhardt, who currently serves as Zinke's deputy, is reportedly expected to take over as acting head of the department in the new year. 
    • But there's a long list of potential replacements for Zinke beyond Bernhardt. 
    • Whoever takes over for Zinke will be in charge of an agency with 70,000 employees that oversees the federal lands that make up roughly 20% of the US and manages the country's natural resources. 

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is set to leave the Trump administration at the end of 2018, marking yet another departure from a tumultuous White House that seemingly has a revolving door. 

    Zinke is leaving amid mounting pressure from ethics inquiries into his dubious spending habits and political activities. 

    President Donald Trump has at times struggled to find replacements for top administration officials who've resigned, been fired, or reassigned. This has been evident recently in the administration's embarrassing struggle to attract a new chief of staff to fill John Kelly's shoes

    But the president appears to have a longer list of potential replacements for Zinke. 

    Read more: Embattled Interior Department secretary Ryan Zinke is stepping down

    David Bernhardt, who currently serves as Zinke's deputy, is reportedly expected to take over as acting head of the department in the new year. 

    According to Bloomberg, which broke the news of Zinke's impending departure, other possible replacements include: former Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming; Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes; Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt; Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter; former Nevada Sen. Dean Heller; Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state; and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. 

    Trump on Saturday morning tweeted the White House would announce Zinke's replacement in the coming week. 

    Read more: How the Trump administration looked at the end of 2017 and how it looks at the end of 2018

    "Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years,"Trump said. "Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation."

    Whoever takes over for Zinke will be in charge of an agency with 70,000 employees that oversees the federal lands that make up roughly 20% of the US and manages the country's natural resources. 

    SEE ALSO: Trump looking at several candidates for chief of staff

    David Bernhardt

    David Bernhardt is Zinke's deputy. He's expected to take over as acting head of the Department of the Interior this year.

    Bernhardt served as solicitor of the department under George W. Bush. 

    At private law firm  Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck he represented numerous energy companies, including Halliburton and Samson Resources.

    Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes

    Utah attorney general Sean Reyes was the first ethnic minority to hold statewide office in Utah.

    He's known for leading the charge to defend the state's same-sex marriage ban in 2013 despite a federal ruling that deemed it unconstitutional. 

    Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt

    Republican and former Navy lieutenant Adam Laxalt is currently serving as attorney general of Nevada. He unsuccessfully ran for governor of the state in 2018.

    Laxalt's campaign was mired in drama surrounding his interactions with police. The Reno Gazette Journal reported that Laxalt was previously arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer. 

    It was also reported that Laxalt was arrested for driving under the influence in 1997, and racked up eight traffic tickets while living in Virginia and Maryland.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • McKinsey & Company held a lavish corporate retreat in Kashgar, about four miles from where thousands of Muslim Chinese are locked up in an internment camp, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
    • The retreat highlighted McKinsey's work with China, as consultants enjoyed bonfires, camel rides, and red carpets. 
    • This anecdote speaks to a troubling trend at McKinsey — engaging in work with authoritarian leaders around the globe, even as the consulting firm professes to "make a positive difference."

    Up to one million Chinese citizens have been allegedly locked up in the western region of Xinjiang — a remote, Muslim-majority Chinese province populated by the Uighur ethnic minority.

    Reports of a massive police state that China has launched in Xinjiang has horrified people around the world, who have demanded China cease its surveillance, imprisonment, and forced re-education of Chinese Muslims. The United Nations has demanded that China release the imprisoned citizens.

    But the people at McKinsey & Company's recent retreat in Kashgar, a Xinjiang city, didn't seem to mind. A report from The New York Times revealed on Saturday that McKinsey held a corporate retreat in Kashgar about four miles from an internment camp that holds thousands of Uighurs.

    xinjiang uighur man police

    The anecdote speaks to a larger trend at McKinsey, wrote New York Times reporters Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe:

    At a time when democracies and their basic values are increasingly under attack, the iconic American company has helped raise the stature of authoritarian and corrupt governments across the globe, sometimes in ways that counter American interests.

    Indeed, at the Kashgar retreat, McKinsey consultants spent their time discussing their work with state-owned Chinese firms, as well as riding camels and going to lavish bonfires, the Times reported. They spent their time in tents in the Kashgar desert that were linked by red carpets. And the consultants documented the "Disney-like" experience on Instagram, according to The New York Times.

    The decision to do business with state-owned firms and hold a sumptuous retreat four miles from an internment camp enforcing Islamophobic policies by the Chinese government stands in contrast with what McKinsey alleges to be its mission and purpose in the world. The second "value" listed on its website is "observe high ethical standards."

    The Times report also detailed McKinsey's business deals with authoritarian figures in the Ukraine, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia. 

    "Since 1926, McKinsey has sought to make a positive difference to the businesses and communities in which our people live and work," the company said in a statement to the Times.

    "Like many other major corporations including our competitors, we seek to navigate a changing geopolitical environment, but we do not support or engage in political activities," the company added.

    Read the entire New York Times report on McKinsey here

    SEE ALSO: Jailing Muslims, burning Bibles, and forcing monks to wave the national flag: How Xi Jinping is attacking religion in China

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    NOW WATCH: 6 airline industry secrets that will help you fly like a pro this holiday season

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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.

    driftaway coffee gifts mother's dayTeachers form the backbone of our educational system. They teach us everything we need to know in and beyond the classroom, and with endless enthusiasm, patience, and compassion along the way.

    As the year winds down, it's only proper to show them some love and appreciation. Teaching any age group — kids, teens, adults — is a difficult job that most of us can only attempt to understand. So, as you say goodbye before winter break, make sure to give your teacher the thanks they deserve. 

    They have more than enough mugs in their cabinet by now that you probably shouldn't default to giving them one, no matter how witty the slogan on it is. Instead, give them one of these 25 thoughtful and useful gifts. If you're not already one of their favorite students, you surely will be after they receive something from this list.

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

    A fragrant candle

    Gift an Otherland Candle, $36

    These sophisticated coconut and soy wax candles come in scents ranging from refreshing Canopy (fig, ivy greens, mint) to rich Chandelier (champagne, saffron, leather). The beautiful look, delightful scents, and personalized matchbox make this candle gifting experience special


    A detailed poster of the opening lines from famous novels

    Gift the Pop Chart Lab 'Diagrammatical Dissertation on Opening Lines of Notable Novels', $30

    English and grammar teachers will appreciate this chart diagramming the opening lines from 25 famous works of fiction. After admiring the partitioned, color-coded picto-grammatical representations, they'll want to read the books all over again. 


    A portable tea set

    Gift the Zens Mobile Moon Portable Tea Set, $49.99

    Don't just give them the tea infuser. Give them the cups and a handy carrying case, too, so they can enjoy a hot cup at work or at home. The glass teapot has an integrated infuser plus two indentations for easy holding, and the tea cups are double-walled and resistant to high temperatures. All the pieces fit snugly in the eye-catching hardshell case so they can take their favorite tea from home to school and beyond. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Global VR Headset

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

    The virtual reality (VR) market is expected to rally in 2018 after seeing slow growth from 2016 to 2017. The uptick will be largely catalyzed by the emergence of the newest headset form factor, stand-alone VR headsets, which address some of the biggest pain points that have prohibited mainstream consumers from adopting VR.

    This new form factor is more affordable than cost-prohibitive high-end headsets and more capable than its smartphone-powered counterparts. Additionally, it features in-unit processing that frees the VR headset from wires. The first major stand-alone headset, the Vive Focus from HTC, was launched in January of this year, and more from other major companies like Oculus and Google are expected to follow over the next six months. 

    In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence lays out where the VR market is and forecasts how it will grow over the next five years. We dissect the various hardware categories and the unique strengths and opportunities of each, and identify how they will gain traction at different points of the market’s evolution. Finally, we examine various components impacting consumer adoption.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Business Insider Intelligence forecasts shipments of all VR headsets to grow 69% year-over-year (YoY) to reach 13.5 million in 2018. Powering that growth is the stand-alone VR headset category, which is expected to account for 30% of total headsets shipped in the year ahead. 
    • The VR hardware market is volatile because getting a device right is a balancing act. On one hand, the price point needs to be affordable for most consumers, and on the other, the experience has to be distinctive and immersive enough to convince a consumer to strap a visor to their face on a regular basis. 
    • While only a handful of stand-alone VR headsets will hit the market in 2018, they mark the biggest step toward mainstream adoption of consumer-oriented VR headsets by making the technology more accessible for the average consumer. 
    • Declining price points, coupled with high-quality headsets and the introduction of a game-changing app, are crucial for the VR industry to achieve before VR can really gain traction on a global scale.

    In full, the report:

    • Forecasts the growth projections and shipment expectations of the global VR headset market, and breaks it up by the major headset categories.
    • Explores the four major segments in the current VR hardware market, defined by the hardware needed to power the experience — stand-alone, smartphone-powered, PC-powered, and game console-powered VR.
    • Identifies the key players shaping the burgeoning stand-alone VR headset segment.
    • Discusses the biggest challenges to VR development and adoption.

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

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    The healthcare industry is in a state of disruption. Digital solutions are becoming a necessary part of the new global standard of care for patients and regulation is being fast-tracked to catch up to digital health innovation.

    Digital Health

    These rapid changes will have ripple effects across the entire healthcare system, impacting incumbents and new entrants alike.

    Based on our ongoing analysis, understanding of industry trends, and conversations with industry executives, Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together The Top Five Trends Shaping The Future of Digital Health.

    To get your copy of this free report, click here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    philips hue

    • For a long time, the idea of smart lighting — that is, light bulbs and other fixtures you can control from your phone — seemed silly to me. 
    • Once I tried smart bulbs, though, I immediately understood their benefits.
    • After setting up smart bulbs from Philips Hue in my own apartment, I could never go back to a home without smart lights.
    • Smart lights might seem costly, but they're a worthy investment that actually makes home living significantly easier and better.

    I'll just come right out and say it: Everyone should have smart lights — light bulbs and other fixtures that you can control from your phone. 

    Whether you're actually trying to build a "smart home," or you just want to make a simple upgrade to your living space, smart lights are a worthy investment. And having tried the popular smart lights from Philips Hue, I can easily recommend them for just about anyone.

    Here's what it's like to set up and use Philips Hue's smart light bulbs.

    Most Philips Hue smart systems require three components: a Philips Hue bulb ...

    ... a Philips Hue Bridge, which hooks directly into your wireless router ...

    ... and the Philips Hue app, for either iOS or Android.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    hospital bills visit

    • Medicaid is a state and federal health insurance program offered to some low-income Americans.
    • Eight months after she was dropped from her parents' health insurance, author Olivia Young had her first medical emergency.
    • She was eligible for Medicaid, which has helped her through $50,000 in medical bills.

    I got through 26 years of life without ever having a medical emergency much worse than the flu. I never had a surgery, save the standard wisdom-teeth removal that nearly everyone underwent during high school.

    That is, until almost immediately after I was removed from my parents' health insurance policy.

    It was like the lyrics of that Cinderella song, "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)." Growing up, I was always covered as a dependent by my parents' healthcare plan, which allowed me to get annual physicals and anything else I needed (which truly wasn't much).

    Then, eight months after I turned 26 — the age when I, by healthcare standards, became an "independent"— I found myself in the emergency room with kidney stones.

    At the time, I didn't know what was causing me to thrash, scream, and vomit (no, really) from pain. I just woke up one morning in agony and assumed my appendix was bursting, which does require medical attention, I confirmed with a quick Google search. And, to make the situation even worse, I no longer had insurance.

    A year before this incident, I had quit my full-time public-relations job to travel around the world. I was a healthy — or so I thought — vegan marathoner who didn't have a steady income, so when my parents' insurance dropped me, I wasn't exactly rushing to purchase a plan of my own.

    Read more: I'm a burned-out millennial who quit a high-paying 9-to-5 job to travel full time

    A visit to the emergency room

    In fall 2017, I was visiting my hometown in Ohio for a few months before continuing my travels in Australia. While I was there, I started to feel a dull-but-intense internal aching that quickly developed into a sharp, blinding pain. By the time my father rolled me into the emergency room in a wheelchair, I was almost blacked out. I couldn't sit still or speak in complete sentences. The nurses even administered a blood test to make sure I wasn't an addict before they would give me any pain relief.

    Olivia YoungWhat came next was a five-day stint in the hospital packed with an array of CT scans, two cystourethroscopies, and a steady flow of medicine that I knew I would never be able to afford. I begged the doctors and nurses to let me leave, knowing the bills were mounting by the minute. But instead of discharging me, they sent a patients' rights representative to my room to explain Medicaid.

    Medicaid is a health-insurance program offered to low-income Americans and funded by both the federal and state governments. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also called Obamacare, gave states funding to offer Medicaid to many more of their low-income residents, though some states decided not to take it.

    Ohio was one of the states that expanded its Medicaid program under the ACA. In Ohio, you can qualify for Medicaid if your annual income is less than roughly $16,800 for a single person, a requirement I had no problem fulfilling with my minuscule freelancer's salary (and to answer the question you're probably asking: Yes, I do live on $1,000 per month).

    The representative walked me through the application process, and I was approved for full coverage almost immediately. But I wasn't quite in the clear just yet.

    It was surprising (or, rather, horrifying) to receive about a dozen bills totaling $50,407 in my mailbox weeks after I was released: $27,158 for the hospital stay itself, $1,874 for a few hours in the emergency room, $801 for anesthesia, and the list went on. The bills, I learned, were being sent to my previous insurance provider, which, of course, refused to pay them because I was no longer a member.

    Spared a lifetime of debt

    So, I boarded my flight to Australia, as planned, with $50,000 in medical bills on the brain. It took me three months (and countless international calling minutes) to get my former insurance company taken off of my digital health file before Medicaid would pay so much as a dime. Then, I was tasked with having each service provider rebill Medicaid individually.

    Some were harder to get in touch with than others. About $3,000 worth of bills ended up in the hands of collections agents before I could square them away. Now, one year after my kidney-stones emergency, I'm still struggling to get the last few bills paid.

    Nonetheless, four-digit figures are much easier to live with than five-digit figures. Today, my kidneys seem to be stone-free, and I've been spared a lifetime of debt thanks to Medicaid, of which I'm still a member today. Slowly, I am easing out of the poverty bracket and lining up healthcare plans for the future because I certainly won't be wandering the streets without health insurance anymore.

    Want to tell us your healthcare story? Email Zach Tracer at

    SEE ALSO: I spent college studying and interning, but I didn't realize I'd missed a huge opportunity until it was too late

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What happens to your brain and body when you procrastinate too much

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    Youtube rewind 2018

    • YouTube last week released its annual "Rewind" video, which features more than 130 YouTube stars and celebrities.
    • Appearances included Will Smith, Marques Brownlee, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, John Oliver, and many more.
    • In the course of a week, YouTube Rewind 2018 has become the most disliked video in YouTube history. As of Thursday morning, it had over 120 million total views but over 10 million dislikes.
    • People are criticizing the video for not including many of YouTube's biggest and most influential stars, likely because many of them experienced some form of controversy in 2018.

    Last Thursday, YouTube released its annual "Rewind" video, which featured more than 100 YouTube stars and celebrities.

    But in the course of just one week, "YouTube Rewind 2018" has become the most disliked video in YouTube history.

    It's the fastest video to climb the list of "most dislikes on YouTube." And in the last 24 hours, it passed the previous record-holder of most YouTube dislikes: Justin Bieber's "Baby," a video that had eight years to accrue dislikes.

    YouTube issued a statement to The Verge on Thursday:

    “Honest feedback can suck, but we are listening and we appreciate how much people care. Trying to capture the magic of YouTube in one single video is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. We also learned that creating content can be really hard and this underscores our respect and admiration for YouTube creators doing it every day. Keep the feedback coming and maybe we’ll release a top 10 list of ‘Rewind dislike’ reaction videos.”

    So, why are people so upset about Rewind 2018?

    It all boils down to the video's intended audience.

    People expect YouTube's Rewind videos to be an homage to creators, but given the absence of so many YouTube stars that had "controversial" moments this year, the video appears to be focused on keeping advertisers happy.

    That's the only possible explanation for the absence of YouTube's most popular creators, like Felix "Pewdiepie" Kjellberg, Shane Dawson, David Dobrik, and so many others.

    When you search for "YouTube Rewind 2018," two of the top three results are negative responses to YouTube's actual video, made by popular YouTube creators.

    youtube rewind 2018

    The Paul brothers, in particular, were notable absentees from "Rewind 2018."

    Logan Paul is one of YouTube's most popular faces, but he got himself in hot water for filming a suicide victim in Japan earlier this year. Logan's little brother Jake is even more popular, but the live boxing match between Jake Paul and his YouTube rival KSI wasn't exactly a shining moment for the site's reputation — even if it brought in nearly 1 million live viewers to YouTube at the time.

    As The Verge's Julia Alexander put so well, "[YouTube Rewind 2018] feels disingenuous, like YouTube is hiding its uglier side under a carpet while showing guests around."

    "YouTube Rewind 2018" shows there is a clear schism between the expectations and reality of YouTube. Viewers and the community at large expected to see all of the people who made their names on YouTube this year, for better or worse. But YouTube only wants to share the people and parts of the site it feels comfortable sharing. That's why Will Smith kicks off the video, even though The Fresh Prince has a fraction of the subscribers that Pewdiepie has.

    All that said, not everyone hates YouTube Rewind 2018. The video still has over 2 million likes, and features hundreds of YouTube stars and celebrities from around the world who were filmed in four different locales: Los Angeles, London, Seoul, and Rio De Janeiro. If you're interested in seeing all of the people who did make the video, we spotted every single person so you don't have to.

    SEE ALSO: These were the top YouTube videos of 2018, according to Google

    1. Will Smith — actor and rapper

    2. Marques Brownlee — tech reviewer

    3. ItsFunneh — gaming videos

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    pokemon go trainer battles

    • After two and a half years, Pokémon Go players finally have the ability to battle each other, thanks to a long-awaited new update.
    • The update literally changes the game: It introduces a revamped battle system that lets Pokémon learn a third attack, introducing a whole new layer of strategy. 
    • The fights themselves let trainers take a team of three Pokémon into battle, with otherwise hard-to-find items as a possible prize for the victor.
    • To start a battle, you'll generally need to be close enough to your would-be opponent to scan a QR code on their phone — a mechanic designed to encourage real-world interaction.
    • Here's how it all works.

    Developer Niantic has finally given Pokémon Go players the ability to battle their fellow Pokémon trainers — a feature that's been in hot demand since the game first launched in the summer of 2016. 

    Starting late Wednesday evening, the update started going out to Pokémon Go players. As is usually Niantic's way, it started going out to high-level players first, but it's spreading fast. So if you don't see the option right away, just give it a little bit and try again to see if it's reached you. 

    It's already clear that the addition of player-versus-player (PvP) battles is slated to completely change the game. And I mean that literally: Among many other things, the trainer battle update adds the ability for your Pokémon to learn a third attack, beyond the two that they already know. The game's battle system itself is getting tweaked slightly, such that you're rewarded for tapping rhythmically to charge up certain attacks in combat.

    Much of it builds on the game's new social features, which were introduced a few months ago alongside the also-much-requested Pokémon trading feature. While you can battle strangers, there are a few advantages to fighting your friends. 

    Here's how Pokémon Go trainer battles will work:

    SEE ALSO: This is how Pokémon trading works in Pokémon Go

    The first thing you gotta know is that Pokémon Go battling is sorted into leagues. When you challenge another trainer, you decide ahead of time which league's rules you'll fight under.

    Different leagues have different caps on the strength of the Pokémon you can use to battle. The highest-level league, the Master League, takes off (almost) all the limits: You can use any Pokémon, at any level, including so-called Legendaries.

    The one caveat are that you can't use Ditto or Shedinja, two weird cases in the larger Pokémon canon, in any kind of player-versus-player battles, including Master League. 

    If you want to battle another trainer, you'll use your phone's camera to scan their unique QR code. You'll only be able to battle remotely with your Ultra Friends and Best Friends, as a perk for IRL besties.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • At Amazon's annual cloud conference, AWS re:Invent, Business Insider sat down with Ed Sim, founder and managing partner of Boldstart Ventures, to talk about the hottest trends in enterprise startups.
    • Boldstart Ventures often writes the first check to early enterprise startups, and it was the first to invest in Greenplum, which became part of Pivotal Software.
    • Sim says that there's massive opportunity in "low code, no code," security and serverless applications.

    The next big trend in startups is … no code.

    That's what Ed Sim, founder and managing partner of Boldstart Ventures, says. Boldstart often writes the first check to seed enterprise startups. In fact, Boldstart was the first investor to invest in Greenplum, which became part of Pivotal Software.

    The job gives Sim a window into the latest industry trends, and he pointed to a recent "low code, no code" theme in which startups build programs and apps with little to no code. 

    There's also massive potential in cloud and security, Sim says. Enterprises are still in the early stages of moving their workloads to clouds, which means that there are tons of opportunities for cloud startups to dive into. And with constant attacks and vulnerabilities in software, security startups can help strike the balance between security and how fast developers can build a product.

    Here are three early trends that Sim is seeing.

    Low code, no code

    Startups in this space make developing easier for users.. For example, Manifold ties together the best cloud services into one space for users to easily search, and RapidAPI also organizes API's on one site.

    "At the end of the day, it's all about the developer," Sim told Business Insider. "You're going to win opportunities in the enterprise. Any startup leveraging that developer first trend is exciting."

    What's more, these startups make it easier for people to build applications, often without writing code. Twilio, which had a $1.2 billion IPO in 2016, was one of the seminal companies in the sector. And a growing number of startups are making waves in the space, including Airtable, which allows users to build databases by entering data onto a spreadsheet-like interface and using drag and drop.

    Another such company is Dark, currently a five person startup co-founded by Paul Biggar, one of the co-founders of the developer tool CircleCI. Dark promises that it can help people build applications in just an afternoon.

    "It's getting easier and easier for regular people to code," Sim said.

    "Security is going to get absolutely hot."

    "Security is going to get absolutely hot," Sim said. "Every time you think about security, you think about tradeoff in speed versus security."

    Observability startups are increasingly becoming key, Sim says. Observability is similar to monitoring, but they also help with alerting and analytics on how well a system works. Essentially, these startups monitor a system's performance to make sure everything is working.

    For example, a startup called Snyk, which Boldstart seeded, automates the process of finding and fixing vulnerabilities in open source software.

    Google engineer, servers

    "Not only are [developers] writing code and assembling code, but they're also putting it into production," Sim said. "Now there's all these vulnerabilities built in. Why not make developers security aware? That's going to become a really big thing next year."

    Another security trend Sim sees is chaos engineering, which means that engineers purposely break things in order to test for vulnerabilities and outages, before they happen. This was spearheaded by Netflix developers in 2010 when they created Chaos Monkey, but more startups like Gremlin have joined the space.

    Chaos engineering is similar to vaccinations, instead of injecting a virus or bacteria into your body to prevent diseases, engineers inject attacks into a system.

    "Companies like Gremlin are out there talking about how you pull the plug on the database or server," Sim said. "Is the system going to bounce back? Is it resilient? It's like injecting problems before it breaks."

    Going serverless

    Serverless is starting to become the norm for enterprises, with Amazon Web Services developing serverless databases like Timestream and Aurora.  Applications are run on the cloud instead, and companies can focus on building their application, rather than managing infrastructure.

    Read more:Wall Street says Amazon and VMware are teaming up to take down Microsoft in the cloud wars

    "All you have to worry about is building your application or back end service," Sim said. "It automatically scales. It gives you even more agility. That's the promise of serverless technology."

    As a result, there are now rising opportunities for startups to build tools to help enterprises support serverless applications, or applications built without servers and on the cloud instead.  One startup that Boldstart seeded, IOpipe, which does monitoring for serverless applications.

    SEE ALSO: Wall Street says Amazon and VMware are teaming up to take down Microsoft in the cloud wars

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    Mark Zuckerberg protest

    • Facebook has lost its crown as the best place to work in America, falling seven places down Glassdoor's 100 Best Places to Work list.
    • It is Facebook's lowest ranking in the survey since 2015, when it finished in 15th position.
    • A string of scandals has dented company morale, according to an internal survey obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
    • Despite the negative reviews, feedback on Glassdoor remains largely positive.

    Facebook has tumbled seven places on Glassdoor's list of the best places to work after a year of scandals, data breaches, and employee discontent.

    Glassdoor published its list of the 100 Best Places to Work in 2019 on Tuesday, which is based on ratings and reviews left by employees.

    Last year, Facebook topped the bill as the number one place to work, but now it has fallen to number seven, just behind LinkedIn. It is Facebook's lowest ranking in the survey since 2015, when it finished in 15th position.

    A series of scandals this year have impacted morale, according to the results of an internal company survey obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

    Back in 2017, 84% of the workforce "said they were optimistic about the company's future," a figure that has since dropped to just 52%. And 72% of employees previously said "Facebook was making the world better"— now it's 53%.

    Read more:Facebook employees react to the latest scandals: "Why does our company suck at having a moral compass"

    Glassdoor identified frequent complaints from employees, which included "poor work-life balance" and "long hours."

    One review from November, titled "Six months of strange tech cult," said the company displays a "complete lack of moral responsibility for the world." Another, also from November, lamented "the product is not technology, its [sic] the users."

    Under "advice to managers," one employee wrote: "Please get the company out of bad reputation slump... align business objectives with long-term strategy of connecting people and communities."

    But Facebook's overall ratings remain positive, with 96% of reviews saying they approve of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at time of writing. One reviewer described it as "Disneyland" for software engineers, and another wrote: "Don't believe all the negative press."

    SEE ALSO: The 29 best tech companies to work for in 2019, according to employees

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    Mandy Ginsberg

    • When Mandy Ginsberg took over as CEO of Match Group she vowed to make sure the company was welcoming to women.
    • She knew she had to audit the company's payrolls to make sure that women were paid equally to men.
    • She hired an outside auditor and was so shocked when they told her that Match was paying women 100% equally that she made the auditor double check the results.
    • She now credits one of her long-held leadership practices on how to deal with employee pay.

    When Mandy Ginsberg took over as CEO of online dating juggernaut Match Group in mid-2017, she was determined to alter the perception of the industry as a "bro culture" world.

    And one step she made was to audit the salaries of her own workforce, which is now 1,500 people, to see if she was paying women and men equally for equal work.

    She was shocked to discover that at her company — the largest operator of dating apps with brands like Tinder, Match, Plenty of Fish and dozens of others — her female employees were 100% equally paid, according to the findings by a third-party auditor.

    Paying people equally for the work that they do, regardless of their gender, has been required by law since the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963. And yet women still earn 80 cents for every $1 that men earn, and are often underpaid even for equal work.

    Ginsberg didn't just want to give lip service to her internal audit. She hired outside auditor, Syndio, to examine the pay rates of her workforce which is 36% female. The firm didn't just look at job title but grouped employees by what their jobs entailed. If it found a difference in pay between genders, it looked at other non-gender factors such as tenure, education, years of experience to determine if that explained the gap.

    And often, it doesn't. Salesforce famously audited its workforce, not just once but twice over the past couple of years and issued $6 million in raises to women and agreed to publicly discuss its process, becoming the poster child for equal pay. The second audit and adjustment was done after Salesforce grew its employee base substantially through acquisitions, CEO Marc Benioff previously told Business Insider. 

    Match has also grown dramatically through acquisitions. So, when the consultants told Ginsberg that their analysis had found no discrepancy, Ginsberg was so surprised she demanded the third-party auditor go back and check the data again. They did and the results stood.

    It was a light-bulb moment for Ginsberg. Although she's only been in the top CEO role for a year and a half, she spent the last half dozen years as the executive in charge of a number of Match's biggest businesses, including, Match Affinity, Plenty of Fish, OKCupid. 

    And one of her "guiding principals" has been to offer pay and raises based on people's value to their company "whether they ask for it or not," she said in the press release.

    In other words, she hasn't turned compensation into a negotiating game, granting raises only when someone asks. She has simply paid people what the company was willing to pay them and rewarded them without asking for a job well done. And now, she's not only published the results but is speaking out and advocating for this method.

    "So often and in so many businesses, women don’t make compensation demands. And until we raise our daughters to make those demands, we, as leaders, need to be proactive and methodical about how we think about
    compensation," she said.

    SEE ALSO: 8 key takeaways from Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget's opening IGNITION keynote on 'Better Capitalism'

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