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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Derek Carr and Jon Gruden Oakland Raiders

    We just passed the mid-point of the NFL schedule, but for some teams, the season is already over and it is time to start looking towards the 2019 NFL Draft.

    Whether it is a lack of talent, some key injuries, or just plain ol' bad luck, there are already eight teams that have been effectively eliminated from playoff contention. That means a full one-fourth of the league has no realistic shot at postseason glory.

    Here are the 11 teams that won't make the playoffs, ranked by the chances to receive the first pick in the 2019 draft. 

    1. Oakland Raiders

    Record: 1-8

    538's chance to make the playoffs: <1%

    DVOA's chance to get first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft:  54.5%

    One thing to know: Jon Gruden says other players are contacting him and saying they are "dying" to play for the Raiders

    2. Arizona Cardinals

    Record: 2-7

    538's chance to make the playoffs:  <1%

    DVOA's chance to get first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft:   12.9%

    One thing to know: Both of the Cardinals' wins came against the 49ers. 

    3. New York Giants

    Record: 2-7

    538's chance to make the playoffs: <1%

    DVOA's chance to get first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft:  12.1%

    One thing to know: Eli Manning may have bought himself some time by reconnecting with Odell Beckham Jr. for a pair of TDs in the Giants' win over the 49ers.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Woman paying bills

    Managing money isn’t taught in school. It’s just assumed that everyone will figure out the best way to save, spend, and invest once they start earning a real income. But it’s not easy, especially as bills and obligations pile up.

    The good news is there are plenty of ways to make your finances less complicated. By taking advantage of some basic money tools and tactics, you can ease the burden.

    So if you find that managing your income and expenses takes up too much time, here are five quick and easy steps to simplify your financial life today.

    Cut up that phone contract

    One of the longest financial commitments that young adults make is a wireless-phone contract. The trouble is, when job circumstances change or you lose your phone, you get stuck in an expensive contract when you can least afford it.

    A smarter way to manage communication costs is to opt for a no-contract wireless plan. For example, SIMPLE Mobile offers 30-day service plans with no contracts starting at $25 a month, plus taxes and fees.

    That means more speed, more data, and more flexibility for less money.

    Automate your budget

    Technology can be a huge help when it comes to managing your finances, and one of the most popular things to do is to automate your bill payments and budgeting.

    For recurring bills, such as rent, gas, and electricity, arrange for providers to charge a credit card or deduct the money from a bank account. This will help avoid any late-payment charges and save time logging in to settle accounts each month.

    Then, use a budgeting app like Mint or Wally to automatically download those bill payments and other transactions from your bank accounts. These apps make it easy to access to your budget on the go and ensure it’s always up to date.

    Simplify your money goals

    Whether you want to pay off your student loans, buy a sports car, or travel the world, focusing on one single goal can help you get there faster.

    Having a firm target will help you feel more in control of your money and resist the temptation to overindulge when the opportunity arises. Plus, you’ll already be doing better than most people — just 34% of Americans set specific financial goals in 2017.

    So instead of spreading your money thin chasing several financial goals this year, consider setting one goal to focus your efforts.

    Cut back to one credit card

    One of the fastest ways to simplify your finances is getting your wallet down to just one credit card.

    This makes it much easier to review each statement. If you have two or three cards, you’re much less likely to go through each and every charge to check for errors. One statement makes that an easier process, saving time and money.

    A single credit card also means a single debt balance, which can help focus repayment efforts and get you back in the black sooner.

    Start a rainy-day fund

    Financial experts recommend that everyone have a rainy-day fund for when life throws a financial curveball. But so few people actually do it.

    A simple way to start saving some money to cover unexpected expenses is to automate your savings. Open a savings account separate from your everyday account, and arrange for a fixed amount to be automatically transferred into it each month.

    This will help ensure that you have something to fall back on if you ever need it.

    Find out more about how SIMPLE Mobile can help you make the right financial decisions.

    Disclaimer: Please always refer to the latest Terms and Conditions of Service at A month equals 30 days. Please note, if you switch to SIMPLE MOBILE, you may be subject to fees from your current provider.

    This post is sponsored by SIMPLE Mobile.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Michelle Obama

    • Michelle Obama writes in her new memoir, "Becoming," that one of the most pivotal moments in her life was when a college counselor told her she wasn't "Princeton material."
    • The future first lady decided to disregard the counselor's opinion and apply anyway. And she got in.
    • When she started at Princeton, she says she learned that she was just as smart as everyone else, despite what she had been led to believe.

    When Michelle Obama was in high school, a college counselor said she didn't think the promising teen had what it took to get into Princeton University.

    The former first lady details this pivotal experience in her new memoir, "Becoming."

    Obama says that at the beginning of her senior year at Whitney M. Young High School, a Chicago magnet school, she was required to meet with a college counselor.

    At the time, she had her sights set on the New Jersey Ivy League school because her older brother Craig was there.

    But she got a blow when the counselor said it didn't appear she was good enough to get in.

    "'I'm not sure,' she said, giving me a perfunctory, patronizing smile, "that you're Princeton material,'" Obama recalled the woman saying.

    michelle obama 1

    Obama said she can't remember details about the woman — her race or her age— because she "deliberately and almost instantly blotted this experience out."

    She decided to disregard the advice and apply to Princeton anyway.

    "I wasn't going to let one person's opinion dislodge everything I thought I knew about myself," she said.

    Instead, she "settled down and got back to work."

    Read more: 25 things we learned from Michelle Obama's new memoir, 'Becoming'

    Six or seven months later she got her acceptance letter in the mail.

    "I never did stop in on the college counselor to tell her she'd been wrong—that I was Princeton material after all. It would have done nothing for either of us," Michelle writes in the book.

    She added: "And in the end, I hadn't needed to show her anything. I was only showing myself."

    While Princeton initially intimidated her, by her sophomore year she learned that she was just as smart as everyone else there.

    "I tried not to feel intimidated when classroom conversation was dominated by male students, which it often was," she wrote. "Hearing them, I realized that they weren't at all smarter than the rest of us. They were simply emboldened, floating on an ancient tide of superiority, buoyed by the fact that history had never told them anything different."

    SEE ALSO: When Michelle Obama told her mother she hated being a lawyer, her mom told her to 'make the money, worry about being happy later'

    DON'T MISS: Michelle Obama shares what the 'darkest day' was like in the White House: the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The Obamas are worth $40 million — here's how they make and spend their money

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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.

    smartnews main

    • SmartNews is a free news app that delivers stories from hundreds of trusted publishers, makes it easy to discover new topics and media sites, and lets you access content with or without an Internet connection. 
    • The app features a simple, intuitive design. Swipe through different channels that host different topics (Top News, Politics, Sports, Tech, Entertainment, etc.) or publishers (Business Insider, Bleacher Report, National Geographic), click on stories to read them, and set news report notifications. 
    • Each story is available in the original Web version or a pared-down Smart version that's accessible offline. The Smart option ensures you'll always be up-to-date on the latest news, wherever you are. 

    Most of us receive our news and learn about what we need to know every day through a variety of mediums, including print, TV, radio, and the internet. Online, we regularly encounter a variety of sources, but juggling the content of all the sites you read can be disorganized and overwhelming to navigate. 

    That's why free news apps like SmartNews are popular. They find and organize the stories for you, so you can easily read about the topics you care about without manually visiting each of your favorite publishers' sites. SmartNews is a top-rated app that was founded in Japan in 2012 and expanded to the US in 2014. It now keeps 10 million monthly active users in Japan and the US up-to-date on important stories. 

    SmartNews offers dedicated channels for more than 300 US publishers, including news sites like Business Insider, CBS News, and MSNBC; entertainment sites like Entertainment Weekly, Variety and Pitchfork; and sports sites like SB Nation and 

    Available for iOS and Android devices, the app has a friendly and intuitive interface. At the top are various channels you can swipe through and browse. The channels are content categories like Top News, Politics, Sports, and Tech, or publisher hubs like Vox and National Geographic. There's also a Social channel that lets you connect your Twitter account to see popular stories in your timeline. You can add, remove, and rearrange these channels into an order that makes the most sense for you. 

    SmartNews aggregates stories from its publishers in each of its category channels, presenting a diverse array of sources and voices. When you click on a story, two versions are available, 'Web' and 'Smart.' In Smart mode, articles load instantly and are presented in a simple, readable format. The advantage of this mode is that you can read any article offline — no need to frantically save links before you board a flight or lose service. 

    smartnews article versions

    Through the app, you can receive scheduled news report notifications during the day so you never miss out on an important story. The default settings are Morning (7 a.m.), Midday (12 p.m.), Evening (6 p.m.), and Night (10 p.m.) but you can change them to times you're comfortable with, or turn them off. 

    SmartNews won Apple's Best of 2013 award and Google's Best App of the Year 2013 award, and it's easy to see why. It allows enough customizability to make it feel like a personal news assistant, while delivering and exposing you to a variety of top online publishers. If you've tried other news apps but have yet to find one that suits your needs, SmartNews is one to try. 

    Download the free SmartNews app for iOS and Android here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    channing tatum and jessie j

    • Channing Tatum attended British singer Jessie J's concert in England on Tuesday.
    • The actor praised her performance online writing: "This woman just poured her heart out on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. Whoever was there got to witness something special. Wow."
    • Fans think Tatum made their reported relationship official by publicly gushing over her. 


    Channing Tatum gushed over Jessie J's recent performance, and fans think he's confirming their relationship.

    On Tuesday night, Jessie J sang in England as part of her "R.O.S.E" tour. Tatum, who was in the audience and seated not too far from the singer's mother, took to social media to share kind words about Jessie J.

    He wrote: "This woman just poured her heart out on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. Whoever was there got to witness something special. Wow."

    The "22 Jump Street" star also shared an additional post from the concert on his Instagram story with the caption: "She went off tonight!"

    channing tatum jessie j concert instagram

    Read more: It appears that Channing Tatum and Jessie J are dating — here's everything we know

    After seeing the posts, fans became convinced that Tatum was making their relationship official.

    Many were quick to tell Tatum that he was "in love," while others agreed with him and said that Jessie J is a talented singer. 

    Since the two stars' reported relationship was revealed in early October, Tatum and Jessie J have been spotted supporting each other at several events. 

    Jessie J was recently photographed leaving the opening night of "Magic Mike Live," a show that was directed by Tatum.  The "Logan Lucky" star also reportedly attended previous Jessie J concerts. 

    "Channing is her biggest fan,"a source told People. "He flies all over the US to attend her concerts."

    It's unclear how or when Tatum and the "Domino" singer met, but the two shared the stage at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards. During the show, Jessie J and Mark Wahlberg presented the 38-year-old with the award for best comedic performance.

    In September, "E! News" also reported that Tatum and ex-wife Dewan were both "casually dating" other people since revealing their decision to "lovingly" separate in early April.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.   

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 4 lottery winners who lost it all

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    Israel-Palestine Hamas rockets in Gaza

    • A brief but intense escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ended in a quick cease-fire agreement on Tuesday.
    • Experts warn that despite Netanyahu's attempts to prevent all-out war — and perhaps because of them — the situation can quickly unravel.
    • Wednesday morning, the Israeli Defense Minister resigned, calling the agreement a "capitulation to terror."

    The dust is far from settled in what experts say is the most intense escalation of Israeli-Palestinian tensions since 2014, despite both sides agreeing to a cease-fire Tuesday. 

    At least seven Palestinians and one Israeli died as a result of the fighting, which began Sunday after an Israeli special forces operation went awry. Hamas responded with a barrage of about 400 rockets, which in turn prompted Israeli airstrikes that hit a reported 100 militant positions in Gaza.

    Both sides agreed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire, ending the barrage in less than 24 hours. 

    While every life lost is tragic, experts recognize that the conflict could have been much worse, and that both sides showed a great deal of restraint in order to prevent all-out war. 

    "Every tactical incident has the potential to escalate into a strategic event," said Neri Zilber, adjunct fellow for The Washington Institute, in a Tuesday call with reporters. "There are incentives on both sides to keep the situation quiet."

    This calibrated restraint, said Zilber, may be evidenced by a video of an anti-tank missile striking an Israeli military bus near the Gaza border. Dozens of Israeli soldiers had reportedly offloaded just before the missile strike. Zilber emphasized it is difficult to prove whether the missile team watched the bus offload, but this could be an attempt to limit casualties. 

    Zilber said with these types of strikes, Hamas is playing a "clever game." 

    "Hamas has learned that Israel and [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu don't really want a war," he said.

    The attacks were preceded by a positive week for Gazans, who received the first installation of Qatari financial aid. What will eventually amount to $90 million is meant to improve Gazan infrastructure, and indicates Netanyahu's determination to stem economic collapse in the region, Zilber said.

    For Netanyahu's part, Zilber also said the prime minister knows escalation will harm those efforts, and believes that the only way forward is to ensure that Gazans have something to lose. He says that's why the Israeli leader would so quickly agree to cease fire.

    What remains unclear is whether — and for how long — the Israeli public will "appreciate that nuance," according to Zilber. He suggests pressure may start to build against Netanyahu from the ground up, noting that residents in the Israeli south are already angry with the government for not being more forceful against Hamas after rocket attacks.

    On Wednesday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman resigned, calling the cease-fire a "capitulation to terror" and calling for immediate elections to replace the existing government, according to the Times of Israel.

    In a press conference in Paris on Sunday, Netanyahu explained his decision to operate with restraint, saying he is doing "everything I can to prevent an unnecessary war."

    According to Zilber, whether the most recent cease-fire will last hinges on whether Netanyahu can convince Israelis that reaching an agreement with Hamas is the only way to prevent such a war.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Navy SEALs explain the dangers of overplanning in both the military and business

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    leon black leonard

    • Private equity is seeing the most active hiring market ever, as demand increases from new managers and existing firms, according to a new report. 
    • Vice president-level candidates are receiving one to four new opportunities weekly.
    • Compensation across levels is increasing, with managing partners seeing the biggest jump in base salary to $786,000.

    It's never been a better job market for private equity professionals, with the sector seeing the most active hiring market ever, according to a new report. 

    In a survey of 630 North American investment professionals released Tuesday, recruiting firm Heidrick & Struggles found that more than half of respondents saw an increase in base salary this year compared with 2017. More than three-quarters of that group saw their base salary increase up to 20%. Managing partners saw the biggest increase, with base compensation up 13.6%, to $768,000. 

    Bonuses are rising, too: 77% of those surveyed said their bonus increased from 2016 to 2017, with 90% reporting an increase of up to 50%. 

    As compensation ticks up, so are opportunities to move elsewhere. Vice presidents reported receiving one to four new opportunities weekly and said they're becoming more selective about taking a new job. 

    Increasing compensation and opportunities come as US private equity fundraising hits record highs. In 2017, the industry raised $243 billion, up 5% over the prior year, according to data provider Pitchbook. Dealflow is also at near-record levels, with $594 billion of transactions in 2017, down just slightly from 2016's record.

    More institutional investors are adding private equity capabilities, too. Foreign pensions and sovereign wealth funds, including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek, are hiring large numbers of direct equity professionals. 

    See also:

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The economist that predicted the housing crisis warns the Fed is engaging in behavior that's almost always caused a recession

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    Camp Fire 42 dead Monday 11:12 18

    • The death toll from the California wildfires had risen to 50. On Tuesday, six more bodies were recovered.
    • The Camp Fire in northern California destroyed an entire town in less than a day and has killed at least 48 people, making it the deadliest fire in the state's history. Authorities said it was 35% contained on Wednesday morning.
    • The Woolsey Fire on the outskirts of LA has burned more than 150 square miles, and is just shy of 50% contained. 
    • The flames are being fueled by dry, hot conditions and strong winds.
    • California wildfires are becoming so frequent and pervasive that officials there say there's almost no need for the term "wildfire season" anymore.

    California's Camp Fire is now the deadliest wildfire the state has ever seen.

    On Tuesday evening, the Butte County Sheriff's office announced that six more bodies had been found, bringing the fire's death toll to 48. Hundreds of people are still missing; the sheriff's office has released a partial list of 100 names, but there are certainly more.

    The fire, which continues to rage across Butte County, less than 100 miles north of Sacramento, is now roughly one-third contained. So far, it has scorched 210 square miles of land, an area nearly the size of Chicago. 

    Coroner search teams are going house to house (or rather, from plot to plot) in the burned-down town of Paradise to search for victims. Abandoned cars in driveways can be a tell-tale sign that residents might not have escaped in time. Sifting through the ashes, the teams sometimes only recover a few remains of a fire victim to put in a body bag.

    "The long bag looks almost empty as it's carefully carried out of the ruins and placed in a black hearse," Gillian Flaccus with the Associated Press reported from Paradise on Monday night. 

    The other dangerous wildfire raging in California, the Woolsey Fire, has burned 150 square miles in the hills around Los Angeles. Two people were killed in the Woolsey fire on Friday, bringing the statewide death total to 50.

    The Woolsey Fire has been fueled by fierce Santa Ana winds and has destroyed an estimated 483 structures, mostly homes. Over the last couple of days, firefighters have strengthened their hold on the flames — the fire is nearly 50% contained and growing at a slower pace than it did over the weekend.

    Still, red-flag warnings are in effect for southern California through Wednesday evening. The warning means conditions are dry and windy enough to create what the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) calls "extreme fire behavior." That makes the Woolsey blaze tougher to fight.

    Already this year, 7,578 fires have burned across California, fueled by hot, dry conditions and aggressive winds. The causes of both the Woolsey and the Camp Fires are still under investigation, but sparking power lines may have played a role in Camp. 

    The Camp Fire is most deadly and destructive in California history

    camp fire san francisco sacramento 1

    The Camp Fire has moved at a breakneck pace since it broke out on Thursday morning. The blaze charred the entire town of Paradise, home to 27,000 people, in a day. More than 7,600 homes and 260 businesses have been destroyed so far, making the Camp Fire the most destructive wildfire in California history in terms of structures lost.

    The flames spread so fast — at a pace of 80 football fields per minute— that at least six people burned to death in their cars as they tried to escape, the Butte County Sheriff's Department said. Five of those bodies were found near Edgewood Lane in Paradise, in or near "vehicles that were overcome by the Camp Fire," the sheriff's office said. Officials were not immediately able to identify those victims because of their burn injuries.

    Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the county is working with anthropologists from California State University at Chico to help identify bone fragments among ash in the area.

    camp fire burns down paradise, CA nov 8 18

    "The fire was so close I could feel it in my car through rolled up windows," Rita Miller, who fled Paradise with her disabled mother told the Associated Press.

    Other residents ran from the fire on foot, the Sacramento Bee reported.

    Fortunately, winds are settling, humidity is rising, and there's a potential for rain in the forecast next week. Those factors may give firefighters a boost, but Cal Fire doesn't expect the Camp Fire to be fully extinguished until the end of November. 

    camp fire california satellite image nasa 8nov2018

    California Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Butte County on Thursday and sent a letter to President Donald Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) asking for federal assistance.

    President Trump approved some federal assistance for the California fires on Friday, but then threatened via Twitter over the weekend that there may be "no more Fed payments!" unless California forests are better managed. (The federal government oversees 40% of California land.)

    Trump later said he approved an "expedited request" for a Major Disaster Declaration, which would provide federal assistance for people affected. That means people whose homes or places of work were hit by the Woolsey or Camp Fire will be able to apply for federal assistance.

    "Wanted to respond quickly in order to alleviate some of the incredible suffering going on," Trump said in a tweet on Monday. "I am with you all the way. God Bless all of the victims and families affected."

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a release that "assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster." 

    san francisco smoke butte camp fire california 2018

    Smoke from the Camp Fire has blanketed wide swaths of Northern California in a gray haze. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the air throughout much of the San Francisco Bay Area is "unhealthy" to breathe.

    Federal air monitors have suggested that older adults, children, teens, and people with heart and lung conditions should limit their time outside because of the high number of dangerously small pollutants in the air. Some people have donned masks to protect their lungs.

    The Hill and Woolsey fires have burned over 100,000 acres in Ventura and LA counties

    LA Wildfires 11:12 18

    The Woolsey Fire claimed two victims on Friday. The burned bodies were found in a "long, narrow" Malibu driveway near Mulholland Highway, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

    At its peak, the fire forced over 275,000 people from their homes. It has burned at least 97,600 acres of land and threatened mobile homes and celebrity mansions alike. Celebrities like Gerard Butler, Miley Cyrus, and Neil Young all lost their houses.

    The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the country's largest urban national park, was also hit: 83% of that land has burned, according to the Los Angeles Times. Flames and smoke sent bobcats and mountain lions in the area scampering. The blaze also destroyed the storied filming location of Western Town, where the shows "Westworld" and "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" were shot. 

    Cal Fire expects the Woolsey Fire to be fully extinguished by the end of this coming weekend.

    woolsey fire los angeles

    Carol Napoli, who lives at the Vallecito mobile home park for seniors in Newbury Park, said the flames approached the park so fast that an elderly friend in her 90s didn't have time to grab her oxygen tank before they bolted in a car. 

    "We drove through flames to get out," Napoli told the Associated Press. "My girlfriend was driving. She said, 'I don't know if I can do this ...' Her son said, 'Mom you have to, you have to drive through the flames.'"

    Residents are starting to stream back into some sections of southern Malibu, Thousand Oaks, and northern Topanga. You can view current fire perimeters, evacuation updates, as well as shelter and donation information on the Ventura County Emergency Information site, the Ventura County Recovers site, and the LA County Woolsey Fire site. 

    woolsey fire nov 9

    Another smaller fire in southern California, the Hill Fire, charred over 4,500 acres but was nearly out (94% contained) by Wednesday. The Woolsey and Hill Fires both threatened the town of Thousand Oaks, where residents were already reeling from a deadly mass shooting in which 12 people were murdered. Three-quarters of Thousand Oaks residents were under mandatory evacuation orders over the weekend, according to the Associated Press.

    Resident Cynthia Ball told the AP it was "like 'welcome to hell.'"

    "If you were affected by the Woolsey or Hill fires, the Thousand Oaks mass shooting, or both, you can call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text 'TalkWithUs' to 66746 for emotional support and resources," the LA County website reads.

    malibu woolsey fire nov 9 18

    Wildfires are no longer limited to one season

    The flames in southern California have been fueled by hot, dry conditions and spread by Santa Ana winds, which tend to blow in from the desert in the fall months.

    Read More: Why wildfire season is getting longer and stronger

    Firefighters are still racing to keep flames from charring people's homes, but as the LA Fire Department's Eric Scott pointed out on Twitter, some houses are better protected than others, since green vegetation can help keep flames back.

    woolsey fire boats in malibu nov 9

    Wildfire season in California used to run from late summer through the fall. But as the planet heats up, higher-than-average temperatures and drought conditions are becoming more common. Meanwhile, developers continue to race to build homes in places that are naturally prone to wildland fires. 

    "Whether it is to allow a rock star to build on a ridgeline in Malibu or a manufactured-home community that nestles into the foothills, the decision is the same and the consequences are the same," Char Miller, director of environmental analysis at Pomona College, told the LA Times. 

    Fire officials in the state are now succumbing to the idea that wildfires may not be limited to a specific season anymore.

    Michelle Mark, Bryan Logan, and David Choi contributed reporting.

    This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

    SEE ALSO: A California wildfire just demolished an entire town and forced the Kardashians to evacuate. Here’s why wildfire season is getting longer and stronger.

    DON'T MISS: Here's what the wildfires look like on the ground

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A 'firenado' is a real thing — here’s how the dangerous phenomenon forms

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    Jared Smith

    • Jared Smith is one of the most famous names in the tech industry you've never heard of.
    • Today he's the cofounder of Qualtrics, working with his younger brother Ryan Smith, who is founder and CEO. The company was also founded with their father Dr. Scott Smith, a professor at Brigham Young University. 
    • Over the weekend, the Smith family sold their company to SAP for $8 billion.
    • It's impossible to know exactly what the Smith family's take is from this $8 billion sale, but our back-of-envelope math, based on some assumptions about the terms of the deal, would put the Smith family's take at over $3.6 billion.
    • The following is a profile of Jared Smith, the older brother of CEO Ryan, which we originally published in 2016, with some language updated to reflect that timeframe. 

    While younger brother Ryan has always been the flashy, stylish frontman of Qualtrics, Jared was the behind-the-scenes product  genius that built the first version of the product (as well as subsequent versions) that brought the company initial success. He had been working as a successful exec at Google before his brother prodded into joining Qualtrics instead.

    Despite a career full of success, Smith told Business Insider back in 2016 that he doesn't like to work, “as a matter of principle.." He likes to travel.

    Still, he's so good at what he does — building tech products and managing people — that companies from startups to Google have begged him to work for them, turning him first into a millionaire and, as of Sunday, a billionaire, almost in spite of himself.

    Teen tech star

    His phenomenal career story began when he was in high school in Utah.

    He got an internship at word-processing-software maker WordPerfect, which was bought by Novell. He worked his way up to product manager by age 18.

    But Microsoft was killing Novell, so Novell hired Eric Schmidt as CEO. That's when the teenage Smith first met him.

    Although Schmidt didn't end up saving Novell, he did give it a few years of breathing room. Then Novell began tanking again, and Smith quit his high-paying job to go to college in London, studying economics.

    Qualtrics Jared SmithWhile in London he learned he was a "horrible" driver. So after he graduated, he took a job in a startup called Juice Software in New York, just to live in a city where he wouldn't have to drive.

    Juice was started by Kim Scott (who would later lure him to Google). The company designed software for the financial-services industry.

    It launched on September 10, 2001.

    The next day was 9/11. New York was in tatters, as was Smith's apartment, which was near the World Trade Center towers.

    Ultimately, the company bounced back and was sold to Microsoft. But as soon as he could — and before it was sold — Smith left New York to decompress. He spent a year hitchhiking around South America.

    Having hitchhiked around Africa in college, he was an "incredibly seasoned traveler" who wasn't afraid of dangerous situations, he said. Still, his trip ended in Caracas, Venezuela, when he got caught in the "oil riots and coup against [then President] Chavez. It was really tense," he said. "Tear gas in the plazas and everything else."

    It was time to go home to Utah.

    A new product and a fistfight

    Back home, his dad, BYU professor Dr. Scott Smith, had been diagnosed with cancer. The prognosis wasn't good. His younger brother, Ryan, had moved home to be with his dad. They were working in the basement "twiddling around on a survey product," and they asked Smith to help them sell it.

    He looked at the product, declared it "worthless" and built them a new version, which would ultimately become the product used by millions of people and lead the company to big profits and a big valuation.

    Qualrics Ryan Smith and Jared SmithHe also convinced Ryan to change the name of the company to Qualtrics, from a variety of product names it was using. "Ryan and I got in a fistfight at a restaurant over that," he laughed.

    The brothers and cofounders are opposites in every way; they disagree often, but they rarely come to blows.

    They usually fight, dig in, and then compromise, he said. "Normally, in every argument we’re both right."

    Meanwhile, his dad made a miraculous recovery thanks to the doctors at the Huntsman Cancer Center. (Qualtrics just donated a $1 million to Huntsman and launched the Five for the Fight campaign.)

    With the product built and his dad on the mend, Smith hired the company's first engineer and told his brother he was leaving again.

    He didn't want to work on Qualtrics. That was "always Ryan's dream," he said.

    He wanted to travel. He bought a ticket to New Zealand intending to hitchhike through Asia.

    Right before he left, Kim Scott called. She was working for Google and was offering him a job that would change his life, and Qualtrics, forever.

    Dragged to Google

    Smith didn't want to work there. "I was opposed to work on principal. I was going to go traveling. This tells you how stupid I was," he said.

    Kim ScottThis was the end of 2004, right after the IPO when the stock was trading at under $200 and employees' stock options sold for far less than that.

    Scott wouldn't give up. She flew him out to Mountain View at Google's expense, where he reluctantly interviewed.

    "I think the only reason I got the job is that I didn’t really want the job and they thought I was so humble," he says. 'It was like, 'How are you at this?' I was like, 'I suck at this.'"

    For instance, he says of his programming skills, "I’m a hacker at best. I have good design skills, but I would not consider myself an engineer. I’m not a computer scientist. I’m an economist. Compared to Google engineers, I would never make it in the engineering department.”

    Scott disagrees, calling him a great coder. He saw Google's daunting hiring process as a challenge, and did well, she remembers. And after he was hired, he earned the respect of the Google engineers, who even let him code a few things himself, the first non-engineer at Google given that honor, Scott said.

    But, according to Kim Scott, Smith's real gift is guiding engineers to build products that wowed the business side:

    I could go to him with an acorn idea and he would go away for a weekend and come back with the whole oak tree, taking conceptually what I meant, making it look beautiful and actually building it. He gets more work done in a 24-hour period than any other human being I’ve ever encountered.

    From Google, to quagmire, to Qualtrics

    He took the job at Google and discovered he didn't fit in, he recalled, thanks to his time at Novell.

    deep nishar igintion"I ruffled some feathers," he said. "Google was straightforward and you had to play no games. You just had to use data and be honest. Novell was much more political and all about fiefdoms."

    With Scott's help, he learned the Google way and did well. He worked on ad products, then on internal tools for the sales team. He learned how to hire and manage.

    He got stock options, which a New York financial-industry friend advised him not to sell off every month like the other employees did. So he held onto them all.

    One day, he went to lunch with his friend, Deep Nishar, another well-respected product manager. At the end of lunch, Deep asked him to lead Google’s products in China.

    "It didn’t make sense. How do you lead products if you don’t speak the language? So I turned him down. Similarly stupid to turning Kim down," Smith said.

    Deep was also persistent, and eventually Smith was talked into the China job, working under "Kai-Fu Lee, the guy we stole from Microsoft," he said. (Lee's resignation caused Steve Ballmer to throw a chair at Lee, and declare war on Google and Eric Schmidt, court documents later revealed.)

    Once again, he was scaling an operation from a few people to hundreds, this time in a foreign country.

    Google ChinaUnder Lee, Google China grew from 9% market share to 30% share — and to about 900 people, Smith said.

    Then Google discovered that hackers, presumably from the government, were attacking Google to help track down dissidents. Google went public about it all, but the PR was terrible all the same.

    Unhappy with the situation, Google yanked its operations out of China, moving them to Hong Kong.

    "I had a front-row seat through all of that," he remembered. The situation put him, a product manager, in constant contact with some of Google's most senior executives, including Schmidt.

    Meanwhile, Qualtrics was taking off, too. It had customers. It was profitable. Ryan now had 40 employees and he was calling Smith regularly for advice, hounding him to quit Google and come back to help at Qualtrics.

    Ryan pressed: How high did Google's shares have to go before he was willing to sell them all and become wealthy enough to quit Google and come work for his startup? Google had been flirting around the $600 mark.

    "And in a moment of weakness, I gave him the price," he says. It was a price that would make Smith financially well off for life.

    The day the shares hit that price, Ryan called Smith. "I sold all my shares the same day," he says. Then Ryan flew out, helped him pack and escorted Smith back to Utah.

    'Rude' to VCs

    The truth was the whole China thing had also worn him out. But when he got to the startup, he said, "I was bored. A 40-person operation, it took me about 20 minutes a day to manage."

    But the company "was a sales machine" and growing. Soon he was back to hiring and scaling.

    VCs had also found Qualtrics and were calling. Ryan was "rude" to them, Smith said, and Ryan confirmed. He saw investors like predatory lenders. "Why would I want to take on a mortgage?" Ryan Smith remembers telling them. Ryan also turned down a $500 million acquisition offer.

    But eventually Ryan decided that he wanted a board of people who had grown huge tech companies. That meant VCs, and they would want a stake in the company.

    Smith hated the idea. "I thought it was silly to sell any part of the company because it was doing so well, profitably, growing 100% year on year," he recalled.

    Qualtrics, Ryan Smith, Jared SmithSo the brothers fought. They dug in. They compromised. "The detente was if he could raise $100 million, for a small percentage of the company, then we would fund raise," Smith said.

    Ryan got the terms that Smith demanded.

    And, looking back, Smith said, "Ryan was incredibly right." The cash and the board pushed Qualtrics to grow in new ways. Without it they would have gotten "fat and lazy," satisfied with the old product and the profits it generated, Smith admitted.

    As for the investors, "They’ve all done phenomenally well. A dream investment," he says.

    While Qualtrics, a private company, doesn't release revenue, and is officially valued at a billion as of its last raise — $150 million in 2014, $220 million total raised— at one point, Smith told attendees at its annual customer conference last month that it was a "multibillion" company. It claims over 8,000 customers. In any case, it's still highly profitable.

    As Qualtrics grew, Smith implemented all of the employee-management tools he learned at Google, plus he wrote a few new ones.

    "I really love building systems that transform organizations," he said. And since Qualtrics is his company, he's been known to take liberties. "Imagine Ryan’s surprise when one day he walks in and I’ve coded something that puts all the salespeople on a curve and made it public. That's radical transparency."

    The company now has closer to 1,000 employees, including seasoned leaders. It just launched a second generation of survey products and a new set of data-analysis products, retiring the original product Smith built in the basement 12 years ago.

    And Smith is once again talking about not working.

    "I put all the processes, machinery, and management stuff in place to scale the organization. Ryan is the CEO. I’ve started to slow down and spend more time at my beach house to give execs more space to work. When I left Google, I thought I was retiring, and I’d like to end up there again," he said.

    Then again, if Ryan were to call him and insist he take on something new, he could be dragged in, again. "Everyone knows that eventually I’ll get bored."

    SEE ALSO: The incredible rise of Box CEO Aaron Levie, who stared down the naysayers to prove them wrong

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    the crown

    Blockbuster films regularly have seven-figure budgets, but TV shows have recently begun to rival Hollywood in terms of high production costs. Elaborate sets, A-list cast members, and exotic filming locations have turned some series into cinematic masterpieces with jaw-dropping price tags to match.

    Here are 14 television shows that have delivered some of the most expensive episodes of all time.

    Making "Camelot" cost around $7 million per episode.

    Despite being canceled by Starz after just 10 episodes, this historical fantasy series had a huge budget. The Wall Street Journal reported that the network reportedly spent approximately$7 million per episode to keep fans immersed in the mythical land of King Arthur.

    "Marco Polo" received a mixed critical reception despite its $9 million per episode price tag.

    When it debuted back in 2014, Business Insider reported that the 10-episode series was the most expensive Netflix production to date. During its run, "Marco Polo" cost about$9 million per episode to produce. That expenditure didn't seem to translate to rave reviews and the historical epic was canceled after just two seasons.

    Each episode of "The Alienist" took about $9 million to bring to life.

    In an interview with Variety, TBS and TNT president Kevin Reilly revealed that each episode of the network's moody historical crime series "The Alienist" cost$9 million to produce. It's the most expensive show the channel has ever produced and is based on Caleb Carr's 1994 bestselling novel about hunting a serial killer in 1890s New York.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    woman vaping vape e-cig

    Silicon Valley's favorite e-cigarette startup is getting off social media.

    In an attempt to address what government regulators are calling an "epidemic" of teen vaping, the e-cig startup Juul will delete its Facebook, and Instagram accounts. The move is part of a series of actions the company said it was taking on Tuesday to make its sleek, flash-drive-like products less appealing to young people ahead of an expected regulatory crackdown on e-cigs. Right now, Juul is the top e-cig brand in the US, making up nearly 80% of the e-cig market.

    Juul will also temporarily stop selling some of its flavored varieties in stores, with the exception of mint — a flavor that remains available as menthol in traditional cigarettes.

    Juul has done a significant amount of marketing on social media. According to one recent study, its advertisements on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram — platforms known to be popular among young people — were a smash hit. Juul said on Tuesday that it will not delete its Twitter or YouTube accounts but will confine the content posted on both of those channels to materials about quitting smoking and customer support.

    But Juul's social media presence began years ago, and the results of that campaign, which flourished, may now be difficult to reign in.

    juul girl 2016

    According to researchers, Juul stood out from other e-cigarette brands by advertising predominantly on social media as opposed to places like billboards or magazines. Those campaigns took off, scientists said in a study published this summer in the journal Tobacco Control. Sales of Juul devices were "highly correlated" with the company's social-media posts, the researchers concluded.

    Read more:$15 billion startup Juul used 'relaxation, freedom, and sex appeal' to market its creme-brulee-flavored e-cigs on Twitter and Instagram — but its success has come at a big cost

    Now, though, the advertising has a life of its own: Juul said in a statement on Tuesday that 99% of social media posts related to its devices are generated by people with no link to the company.

    juul launch party tweet 2015

    "There is no question that this user-generated social media content is linked to the appeal of vaping to underage users," Juul CEO Kevin Burns said in the statement issued yesterday.

    The impact of deleting its social media accounts remains to be seen. The Juul is already popular among young people, according to a study published in October which suggested a "rapid uptake" of the Juul among youth, including minors.

    Juul said it will also work with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat to "polic[e] unauthorized, youth-oriented content on their platforms."

    SEE ALSO: $15 billion startup Juul used 'relaxation, freedom, and sex appeal' to market its creme-brulee-flavored e-cigs on Twitter and Instagram — but its success has come at a big cost

    DON'T MISS: Silicon Valley e-cig startup Juul 'threw a really great party' to launch its devices, which experts say deliberately targeted youth

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    dyed hair

    You treat your skin like royalty with lengthy routines and high-quality products, but what about your hair? It's true that strands are made of dead skin cells, but if you want the same kind of luscious locks models swish around in shampoo commercials, you have to take care of your freshly colored tresses like you would a freshly spa-treated complexion. The only catch is, well, it isn't easy.

    "Environmental stressors like the sun, beach, pools, well water, hair dryers, hot tools, wind, humidity, dry heat, medications, skin products, and more all attack the hair color by making it flat, dull, dirty, and they all help remove color molecules," senior colorist at Oscar Blandi Salon, Miguel Angarita told INSIDER.

    So basically everything you'll ever come in contact with has the potential to damage your new ‘do.

    Going off Angarita's warning alone, it sounds like your dyed hair is basically doomed from the start, right? But don't let this deter you from experimenting with color. Just be aware of the mistakes everyone with dyed hair makes, and correct them. Otherwise, you'll be making an appointment for a touch up much sooner than you expected.

    Tight ponytail elastics are breaking your strands.

    Those black bands around your wrists do more than keep your hair out of your face. They prevent tresses from growing long and strong.

    "Using harsh elastic hair ties," explained Gary Baker, the creative director of UNITE Hair. "breaks the hair cuticle in some degree which leads the colour to fade or distort from the original result."

    Teasing raises volume, but lowers shine.

    Teasing all, or part of, your tresses seems to always be in style, but Baker warns combing in reverse can cause a lot of breakage.

    "When you back-brush, you are creating a different texture to the hair shaft which absorbs light, instead of reflects it, leaving your hair less shiny."

    Overlapping colors is a major offense.

    Dye isn't so great for your hair's health to begin with, but adding highlights on top of artificial hues, or layering on another color too soon can cause some serious damage.

    Baker explained that over-lightening, in general, leads to porous strands that eventually struggle to hold color, but on dark hair especially, light dyes create oxidation which, he said, causes the hair to actually get darker than is required.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    truck driver

    • Truck driver pay has increased this year by record jumps.
    • But new bonuses and pay raises still don't seem to be enough to lure folks into a job where they're away from home for weeks at a time.
    • According to data from the National Transportation Institute, 85% of 519 surveyed trucking companies said that increasing their wages hasn't helped attract new drivers.


    As the rest of the workforce deals with wage stagflation, trucking companies are offering five-digit bonuses and record-high pay jumps to entice new drivers to the field. 

    Yet few trucking companies have reported that their problems have lessened. According to data from the National Transportation Institute reported first on Tuesday by the Commercial Carrier Journal, 85% of 519 trucking companies said that increasing their wages hasn't helped attract new drivers.

    Smokey Point Distributing CEO Dan Wirkkala said at the CCJ Solutions Summit that he agreed with the survey results. At Smokey Point, based in Arlington, Washington, many drivers will receive bonuses of $20,000-plus this year.

    While that's helped keep good employees, Wirkkala said the bonus hasn't done much to lure in new hires. 

    Companies large and small are upping their pay to find new truckers. In September, Walmart announced they would offer referral bonuses up to $1,500 and shorten the hiring process for its company truckers. Atlas Van Lines, based in Evansville, Indiana, announced its "largest and most extensive" pay increase in August

    Pay jumps have become an industry norm. Nearly half of all truckers said their pay went up in 2018, compared to 11% in 2017. Sign-on bonuses for flatbed drivers have jumped from $1,500 in 2017 Q2 to $6,000 in 2018 Q2, as Business Insider previously reported.

    Pay jumps should alleviate the truck driver shortage — but they haven't

    America will be short 175,000 truckers by 2026, according to the American Trucking Association. Industry leaders have proposed ideas like lowering the minimum truck driving age to 18 to alleviate the shortage.

    But if you ask most drivers about the "truck driver shortage," they're not likely to agree that there's a dearth of people who want to be truckers. Rather, the problem is that the median pay is too low. 

    "The driver shortage has nothing to do with the idea that people don't want to do this job,"Will Kling, a truck driver based in Reno, Nevada, told Business Insider. "Little boys still pump their arms for trucks. People want this job, but they can't do it and support their family."

    Read more:An Arkansas court quietly ruled that truck drivers need to be paid minimum wage even when they're not driving on the job — here's what it means for drivers around the US

    The inflation-adjusted pay for truck drivers has dropped 21% since 1980, according to a Business Insider analysis.  Many say the only way to address the truck driver shortage is by upping pay.

    "Driver pay has not gone up at the same rate as trucking prices have gone up,"Andrew Lynch, the cofounder and president of Columbus, Ohio, supply-chain company Zipline Logistics, previously told Business Insider. "That's a big part of why we're in such a crisis right now."

    Still, trucking company owners say it's not just a problem that one can throw money at. Vonda Cooper, the operations director at Peoria, Arizona-based Roadmaster Group, said no level of pay raises and bonuses can eliminate some people's hesitations about getting into trucking — a job where you're required to be away from home for weeks at a time.

    "The first thing I hear is that it doesn't pay enough, but there's so much else behind the scenes," Cooper told Business Insider. "There are family obligations. There's a call to be at home." 

    SEE ALSO: Truck drivers' salaries are experiencing an 'unprecedented' jump, but it's not enough to end the driver shortage that's making everything more expensive

    DON'T MISS: Truck drivers fear for their safety on the road — but the vast majority of them face a much bigger threat

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Valedictorians rarely become rich and famous — here's why the average millionaire's college GPA is 2.9

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    hulu handmaid's tale

    • Marketers have a whole new avenue to worry about when it comes to battling ad fraud.
    • The accelerated growth of connected TV and over-the-top streaming has made the space a hotbed for ad fraud.
    • Verification company DoubleVerify recently uncovered a new fraud scheme, where a bot network specifically targeted connected TV (CTV) devices.

    Marketers and publishers have been battling ad fraud on the web and mobile for years. Now, they may need to start worrying about getting ripped off by scammers on over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV devices too.

    The accelerated growth of connected TV and over-the-top streaming has made the space a hotbed for ad fraud, according to verification company DoubleVerify, which just uncovered a new bot network specifically targeting connected TV (CTV) devices.

    The fraud scheme was discovered after DoubleVerify saw a 40% spike in traffic from connected TV devices, all driven by a new bot network. Bot networks are created when fraudsters essentially infect armies of devices with sophisticated malware to impersonate internet users that marketers pay their ad dollars to reach with online ads.

    The CTV botnet specifically unmasked by DoubleVerify generated fraudulent ad impressions by spoofing real publisher URLs, sending false signals to ad servers that it is a CTV device — thereby making the impressions land up on fraudulent sites instead of legitimate ones and fooling advertisers into believing that their ad is served on a CTV device. 

    According to the company, approximately one-third of the fraud signals originated from gaming consoles, and the remaining two-thirds originated from smart TVs, as they are the most generic and thus easy to pretend to be.

    "Networks of ad servers have ben acting like legitimate sources of advertising but diverting revenues over from content publishers for a while," said Wayne Gattinella, CEO of DoubleVerify. "The news here is not the method, but the channel —  which is connected TV devices."

    Ad fraud has started creeping into the connected TV and OTT space

    This CTV botnet marks the first direct, scaled botnet attack that the company has identified in the environment, according to Roy Rosenfeld, head of DoubleVerify’s Fraud Lab, who called it "the first concentrated attack of this kind that specifically targets the CTV ecosystem." DoubleVerify's Fraud Lab is dedicated to continually analyzing ad fraud trends across devices.

    But the discovery of intensifying fraud activity in the CTV space isn’t surprising, said Gattinella, given the explosive growth of video at large and OTT streaming and the connected TV space in specific.

    50% of all internet users access an online video subscription service at least once a week, and almost as many (49%) access a network TV app at least once a week, according to the Video Advertising Bureau. Plus, streaming accounts for 11% of all TV viewing hours for people aged 18 to 49 — more than doubling since 2015.

    "Fraud tends to follow the money, and money tends to follow the eyeballs," said Gattinella. "CTV ad volumes and the opportunity for CTV ad fraud have grown with user adoption."

    Ad fraud remains a perennial problem in digital advertising

    To be sure, ad fraud has been perennial problem in digital advertising, with advertisers expected to lose $51 million per day and a whopping $19 billion through the year on ad fraud in 2018, according to Juniper Research. But the connected TV space that includes outfits such as Hulu, Dish and other premier players, marks a whole new front where advertisers and publishers now must look to combat ad fraud.

    DoubleVerify is not the only fraud prevention company at the frontlines either. Others, including Adobe, White Ops, and Pixalate have warned against increasing fraud in the connected TV environment, with more than 20% of programmatically-sold connected TV video ads being measured as invalid by Pixalate during October 2017.

    Once the scheme was identified, DoubleVerify immediately extended coverage to its clients, including various demand-side platforms (DSPs) and supply-side platforms (SSPs), shielding them from the attack. 

    "OTT environments pose some challenges that don't exist in other environments today," said Nick Frizzell, senior director of brand safety and inventory operations at SpotX, an SSP and a DoubleVerify partner that remained unaffected by the attack. "Due to the 'Wild West' nature of the space, the doors are open for bad actors to capitalize if purchasing isn’t done with some due diligence."

    While several initiatives to clean up digital advertising — such as the industry and Google-backed ads.txt— have cropped up in recent year, the industry still has its work cut out for it. 

    Read more: Google says its ads.txt initiative to clean up digital advertising is seeing strong adoption, but new data suggests otherwise

    Ads.txt, for instance, doesn't work for streaming apps and smart TVs. That's where individual players like DoubleVerify and Adobe are stepping in. 

    SEE ALSO: Facebook reportedly had its Republican-linked PR firm try to blame George Soros for the anti-Facebook movement

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    NOW WATCH: The science of why human breasts are so big

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    • Millennials apparently want smaller turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner, and it's driving down demand for larger birds, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. 
    • Industry experts say this is because millennials want to cut down on waste and be more socially responsible.
    • The average US household has shrunk in the past few decades, which makes smaller birds a more suitable choice. 

    Millennials are apparently bringing more modesty to the dinner table this Thanksgiving.

    According to a report from Bloomberg, this generation, which has been deemed more environmentally conscious and socially responsible than its predecessors, is growing tired of massive, 30-pound turkey dinners and is opting for smaller birds at Thanksgiving, in an effort to cut down on waste and avoid animal cruelty. 

    Inventories of whole hens, which are smaller than males, are down 8.3% from a year ago, Bloomberg reported, citing data from the US Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, inventory of males, the larger bird, are up 6.9%.

    "People are starting to understand it's not natural to grow turkeys up to 30 pounds," Ariane Daguin, co-founder and owner of D'Artagnan LLC, a wholesale and e-commerce food company in Union, New Jersey, told Bloomberg. "In general, that means they were penned up with no room to move around, and that's why they're fat like that."

    As a result, food sellers are starting to advertise smaller turkeys for this year's Thanksgiving feasts. 

    HelloFresh, for example, is selling a Thanksgiving meal kit for eight to 10 guests, which contains either a 12- or 14-pound turkey.

    According to Bloomberg, this trend is also being driven by there being fewer mouths to feed as the size of US households shrinks. 

    In 2017, 62% of American households had just one or two people, compared with 41% in 1960, according to data from the US Census Bureau. Moreover, as millennials are waiting longer to get married, the number of single-person homes is also on the rise. 

    But those that are feeding a family or a group likely want to avoid waste. Around 200 million pounds of turkey are thrown away during Thanksgiving week each year, Bloomberg wrote, citing data from the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

    This plays into a general trend of millennials wanting to be more socially conscious consumers, swapping fast-fashion shopping for thrift stores and donating more clothing to be resold

    SEE ALSO: Goodwill has a new store just for bargain-hungry millennials, and it's like nothing else we've seen from the company

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to journalists before heading into a Democratic caucus meeting in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center November 14, 2018 in Washington, DC. Democrats gained 33 seats in the House of Representatives in the midterm elections so far and appear on track to gain between 35 and 40 once all the counting is complete, putting them in control of the chamber in 2019. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    • A small group of Democrats are circulating a letter to oppose Nancy Pelosi's campaign to be the next speaker of the House when the new Congress forms in January.
    • Pelosi has remained confident in public, telling reporters she has enough votes to be elected speaker.
    • Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, who is opposed to Pelosi, is considering a bid to challenge for the speaker's gavel.

    WASHINGTON — Nancy Pelosi's unopposed bid to serve as the next speaker of the House might not be totally assured after all, despite the longtime Democratic leader reiterating her confidence she will win back the coveted gavel.

    A small but powerful contingent of Democratic members — partnering with a sizable chunk of incoming freshmen who unseated Republican incumbents — could upend the process by remaining opposed to Pelosi becoming speaker of the House.

    The group, which contains longtime anti-Pelosi members like Reps. Seth Moulton, is circulating a letter opposing Pelosi. Comprised of a handful of current members and incoming freshmen who pledged not to support Pelosi, the letter currently has 17 signatures, according a Democratic source. But the group is looking to beef up the list of signatures to at least 20.

    Read more: House Democratic leadership is dominated by coastal states, has a 'geographic diversity" problem

    The group's main problem is that they still do not have anyone willing to actually challenge Pelosi. While Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge is mulling a run at speaker, no one has officially jumped in, leaving Pelosi unopposed.

    Fudge acknowledged on Wednesday that her colleagues have encouraged her to run, but discussions are still ongoing.

    "We're not going to allow the Republicans to have a speaker, so certainly there will be someone that will step up," she said. "And those discussions are going on now."

    Fudge, who is one of the members who signed the letter opposing Pelosi, described her frustrations with Pelosi and the current leadership in a HuffPost interview.

    "I don’t have a pitch because at this point I’ve not decided I’m going to run," she said. "But I would say this: My concern about the caucus is the same concern I have about the country. Just as there is this undertone of racism in the country, there’s also that in our caucus."

    Fudge added that "to some degree," Pelosi is an elitist, which is why she is so often the target of Republicans — which until 2018 had served the GOP well in the elections over the past eight years. 

    "If we’re going to give her credit for the wins, why is she not responsible for all the losses?" Fudge said.

    Pelosi was defiant in addressing the movement to challenge her 

    A defiant Pelosi addressed the difficult path forward during a press conference on Thursday, telling reporters that she would handily win the speaker's gavel if the vote were held immediately, despite the math saying otherwise.

    "I have overwhelming support in my caucus to be speaker of the House," Pelosi said. "And certainly we have many many people in our caucus who could serve in this capacity. I happen to think at this point, I am the best person for that." 

    About rumors she could potentially rely upon Republicans to vote "present" instead of against, Pelosi laughed off the prospect and that she intends to "win the speakership with Democratic votes."

    And she welcomed a challenge from Fudge or anyone else who thinks they are up to the task, saying, "Come on in. The water's warm."

    And Pelosi has more to contend with than just the individuals who signed the letter. There is a fair amount of frustration from members who are not from the coastal states, which are primarily represented throughout the leadership team.

    "I think it's critical that we send a message to Democrats all over this country that we're not leaving behind any group, any region, that rural America can be represented in our leadership," Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos told INSIDER.

    "I think the leadership team matters," Bustos added. "I know the focus is everybody gets asked about the speaker's race, but the leadership team matters in all sorts of ways. And one of those is geographic diversity."

    SEE ALSO: Mark Meadows doesn't 'anticipate' running for another term as chairman of powerful conservative Freedom Caucus

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    Subaru Ascent 0386

    Editorial note: Business Insider will name its 2018 Car of the Year on Monday, November 19. Each day this week, we're taking another look at the five vehicles that were runners-up that were selected from a pool of 15 finalists. Earlier this week, we featured the 2018 Lincoln Navigator, the 2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast, and the Jaguar I-PACE. Today, our featured runner-up is the 2019 Subaru Ascent. 

    • The Subaru Ascent midsize crossover SUV is all new for 2019.
    • The Ascent is Subaru's first attempt at a midsize SUV since the disappointing Tribeca was discontinued in 2014.
    • Subaru's new SUV will take on industry leaders like the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer. 
    • The base 2019 Subaru Ascent starts at $31,995, while our top-of-the-line Ascent Touring starts at $44,695. With fees, our car carried an as-test price of $45,670.
    • We were impressed by the Ascent's comfortable cabin, bountiful safety features, solid driving dynamics, and powerful turbocharged engine.
    • The Ascent's somewhat anonymous styling, spongy brakes, and lethargic transmission, however, were a bit disappointing. 

    Subaru has been on a roll in the US. The longtime purveyor of Japanese all-wheel-drive motors has reported nearly seven years' worth of consecutive month-over-month sales growth.

    Its Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek crossovers have become a popular alternative to the more mainstream offerings from Toyota, Ford, Honda, and Nissan. 

    Success in the midsize SUV segment, however, has eluded Subaru over the years. It tried in 2005 with the B9 Tribeca. Unfortunately, the Tribeca's odd styling, diminutive size, and tepid performance prevented it from gaining traction in the market. Even a 2008 facelift and the addition of a more powerful engine couldn't save the Tribeca, which soldiered on for nearly a decade before Subaru pulled the plug on the SUV in 2014.

    Read More: One of these 15 finalists will become Business Insider's 2018 Car of the Year.

    For 2019, Subaru is back with an all-new midsize SUV: the Ascent. The Ascent is larger than the Tribeca, with room for up to eight passengers, and is packed with a bevy of state-of-the-art tech features. 

    The Ascent is meant to slot in above the Outback wagon in Subaru's lineup and will be its most expensive offering. 

    Recently, Business Insider had the chance to spend a week with a new Magnetite Gray Metallic Subaru Ascent Touring.

    The base 2019 Subaru Ascent starts at $31,995, while our top-of-the-line Ascent Touring starts at $44,695. With fees, our test car carried an as-test price of $45,670.

    SEE ALSO: These are the 10 coolest new cars for under $20,000

    FOLLOW US: on Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    The Ascent is Subaru's first attempt to crack the midsize SUV market since the failed ...

    ... B9 Tribeca, which sold from 2005 to 2014.

    At 196.8 inches long, the Ascent is nearly half a foot longer than the Tribeca.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    elf on a shelf

    An elf on the shelf watching you might be the least of your concerns this holiday season. 

    With the increasing prevalence of smart-home tech, it's easy to get caught up in the novelty of it all. You can start your coffee maker from your phone! You can ask your speaker to order groceries! You can build a do-it-yourself surveillance state in your own home and record every corner of your house with wall-mounted cameras — and watch them on your phone!

    You might be rushing to the shelves to get your loved ones one of these futuristic gadgets, but not surprisingly, it turns out internet-based tech isn't always so safe. In fact, it's often quite the opposite — internet-of-things gadgets leave you vulnerable to digital attacks. 

    Mozilla, the creator of the popular web browser Firefox, created a 2018 holiday tech gift guide ranked solely by how creepy certain items are. Mozilla's team broke down each gadget's level of security — including whether it uses encryption, if it shares information with third parties, whether it can spy on you, and if its privacy policy is easily-understandable. 

    Then, Mozilla asked users to rank each item on a scale of "not creepy" to "super creepy," and asked whether they were likely to buy the product. The results range from gadgets like game consoles, which users didn't think were very creepy and felt likely to buy, to a shady baby monitor with a default password of "123" that users thought was "super creepy" and weren't likely to buy. 

    mozilla gifts

    In no particular order, here are the top-10 creepiest internet-based gadgets on sale for the holiday season that you might want to avoid: 

    10. Petzi Treat Cam

    This camera lets users talk to their pets and give them treats when they aren't home. Mozilla said the device is pretty solid when it comes to basic security features like encryption and third-party sharing, but 36% of users felt it was "super creepy," and 74% said they were unlikely to buy it. 

    9. Furbo Dog Camera

    It seems like people really don't like cameras that constantly stream video of their pets. Mozilla's only knock on this product was the fact that it shares information with third parties for unexpected reasons.

    Regardless, 44% of users found the device "super creepy' and 81% said they probably wouldn't buy it. 

    8. DJI Spark Selfie Drone

    At first, it might not seem like a drone could be that big of a security risk. However, DJI drones are so prone to attack that the US military banned them for military use. 

    Mozilla says DJI's Spark Selfie Drone doesn't use encryption, has a privacy policy written at a grade 17 level, shares your information with third parties for unexpected reasons, doesn't require users to change the default password, and doesn't have parental controls. 

    37% of users found this drone to be "super creepy," while 66% said they weren't likely to buy it. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    wide leg pant thumbnail

    • Designer Jesse Kamm says that Madewell has ripped off her brand's signature wide-leg sailor pants.
    • Kamm claims that the brand is not only copying her "trademark," but also using her name to market the pants via search engine optimization (SEO).
    • People are not buying it.
    • The pants likely showed up due to Google algorithms, not a use of Kamm's name as a marketing device.
    • Kamm has since walked back her claims.

    Trends come and go, but in the fashion industry, drama is truly evergreen.

    Denim aficionados were in the thick of it earlier this week when Jesse Kamm, a Los Angeles-based designer, accused Madewell of ripping off her namesake brand's signature wide-leg pants.

    Although wide-leg "sailor pants" have been around for some time, Kamm has been known for her take on the look since 2005.

    In an open-ended Instagram post addressed to Madewell, Kamm accused the brand of ripping her off — and using her name to leverage sales.

    "I am not sure why else you would need to use my name and my trademark. It feels very inauthentic. Please take my name out of your ads. I would appreciate it so very much," Kamm wrote alongside a screenshot of a Google search for "JESSE KAMM PANTS."

    The search results showed items at Madewell and her own pants. Based on this, Kamm claimed that the brand was using her name to market the pants via "advertising."

    "I see that you are using my name in your advertising. Not only is this weird, but I feel it is very confusing to the customer," Kamm wrote. "Friends: I have never contributed to, nor collaborated on any design with Madewell."

    But that's not quite the case.

    As many commenters pointed out, Madewell isn't using Kamm's name for advertising, marketing, SEO, or anything else. The reason similar pants showed up when Kamm, or any commenters, Googled "Jesse Kamm Pants" is because of Google shopping ad algorithms. The bar the Kamm had shared a screenshot of was sponsored shopping ads that retailers have paid for, as The Cut reported. What you see in that bar is based on search history, not marketing or SEO. 

    In the comments section, people were quick to set the record straight.

    "Wait up. You're getting mad at Google results?!" one person asked.

    "Sweetie, they’re wide-leg, high-rise pants and the Google results are based on an algorithm. It’s time to grow up and get a publicist and a PR team OK," someone else said.

    "Just Googled those same search words and Anthro’s wide-leg pants popped up along with reformation. It seems like everyone is getting different search results…. I think it’s most likely based on search history, *not* a SEO tactic," another person said

    "I’m not quite understanding where Madewell is using your name... Google search is one thing — and its a wildly cryptic, massive thing. Another brand falsely advertising or leaching your product is entirely different," someone else wrote.

    Others wanted to talk about Kamm's limited size range and high price point. For reference, Kamm's pants retail for $395 and comparable styles at Madewell go for $88 and $60 at American Eagle. Kamm's pants also come in a limited size range: 0-12, and tend to run small. Madewell, on the other hand, ranges in sizes from 23-37 with petite, regular, and tall inseams.

    "What in the mayonnaise is going on here? Everyone and their mother is making this. The only difference? Your exclusive sizing and astronomical pricing," one commenter remarked.

    "Out here selling $400 pants made famous by Popeye that only fit an Olive Oil a-- okay," someone else said.

    "Your pants are too tiny and expensive for most people," one person succinctly summed it up.

    Kamm has since walked back her comments. 

    Later on Wednesday, Kamm walked back her initial claims in a second Instagram post. Along with a picture of a sunset, Kamm addressed eight points.

    In her post, Kamm said she never claimed Madewell was unjustly using her designs, just her "trademark," which is her name.

    "I do understand that Google allows keywords of any sort, and I still say boo when it is an individual’s name being used without express permission, even when it's behind the scenes in their marketing strategy," she wrote.

    Holy moly ladies!!! I don’t know about you, but after yesterday, I needed a long walk, some deep breathing, and small glass of vodka! Wow. That was really something. I came for coffee, and you guys stayed for a ten course meal. Incredible. Here is what I came away with. 1. Madewell appears to have changed their ad words campaign, so if you did @madewell, thank you for understanding where I was coming from. 2. I do understand that Google allows keywords of any sort, and I still say boo when it is an individual’s name being used without express permission, even when it's behind the scenes in their marketing strategy. (This was yesterday's trademark reference…my name, not the pants) 3. I did not invent the sailor pant, and have never claimed to have done so. 4. Five years ago I did make a pair of sailor pants with a super tailored waist in an amazing fabric which has become a favorite among many women. 5. This accidental miracle was never intended to hurt or exclude anyone. The shape does have a tiny waist, which turns out to be the glory for some (and the great downfall of this style for others… and for this I am sorry). 6. Ladies, I have never suggested that you should not wear a high-waisted, wide-legged trouser from any other brand. You should shop wherever you feel so inclined. My only issue is with corporations using my name to increase their own profits. 7. We are a tiny company, perhaps to your surprise. Our team consists of one husband, one wife (me), and two part-time employees. I have posted an explanation of the limitations of our sizing on my Journal at WWW.JESSEKAMM.WORLD. Sizing has been an ongoing conversation at the studio, and in the last few months we have graded up to a size 14, and will be delivering this size in a few colors in the spring. (This happened before our exciting debate yesterday). 8. Even with that addition to our size run, we will still never be able to meet everyone’s needs in terms of sizing. I will never be able to make everyone happy, but I certainly do not aim to make anyone feel hurt. Sending love. With Sincerity, JK

    A post shared by Jesse Kamm (@jessekamm) on Nov 14, 2018 at 10:52am PST on

    In her post, she also said that soon the sailor pants will be available in size 14, a plan that had been in motion for some time. Although she acknowledged the addition is not a cure-all.

    "Even with that addition to our size run, we will still never be able to meet everyone’s needs in terms of sizing," she said. "I will never be able to make everyone happy, but I certainly do not aim to make anyone feel hurt."

    In a statement to INSIDER, a representative for the brand said that "JESSE KAMM is not an expert in SEO issues, nor in the inner workings of Google’s search algorithms."

    Also in the statement, the brand apologized to Madewell.

    "The intention of Jesse’s comment to 'Please take my name out of your ads,' was for Madewell to stop using the words, JESSE KAMM (our legal trademark), as a keyword in their online marketing strategy," the statement said. "This could have initially been stated more clearly, and for that, we issue an apology."

    Although it wasn't Kamm's intent to "police the entire internet," she felt compelled to speak out because she felt the trend fit into a larger pattern within the fashion industry, per the statement.

    "The habit in fast fashion is for these large companies to watch what is working well for the independent designers, and then to make a version of that style for their own collection," she said. "There is no law against this." 

    As Kamm noted, fast fashion retailers are notorious for being accused of copying little-known designers. In the summer of 2017, indie designer Hanifa accused ASOS of copying the design of one of its dresses. Forever 21 was also accused of ripping off one of Wild Fang's T-shirt designs.  

    Kamm said she and other indie designers are fed up with the practice. "The problem we, as independent designers, have is when the large company uses the independent designers’ name as a keyword to drive customers to view their 'similar' product.  To us, this feels unethical."

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

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