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The latest news from Business Insider

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    trader upset frown scowl

    • US stocks have been whipsawed in recent months, and internal trends aren't looking very encouraging for a full recovery.
    • Warning signs are continuing to pile up amid the chaos, and we may have just gotten the most jarring indication yet that a market collapse is coming.

    It's no secret that the US stock market has been taken for a wild ride over the past few months.

    Sharp sell-offs have occurred with frightening regularity, and investors haven't seemed particularly inclined to buy the dip. Yes, there have been relief rallies after large pullbacks, but equities haven't been recovering as quickly as they once did. And they certainly aren't bouncing back to record highs.

    The reluctance of investors to scoop up shares at discounted prices shows just how nervous they are about the future of the market. And this past week we got the latest sign that they're bracing for an imminent stock meltdown.

    Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that traders pulled a whopping $27.6 billion out of US equities in the week ended Dec. 12, the second-biggest outflow of all time. And the trend was no rosier on a global basis, as a record $39 billion was yanked from stocks worldwide, the data show.

    While the numbers themselves are eye-popping, it's the fact that they're so historically dire that should have people very concerned. Overall, it indicates extreme trepidation amongst investors. And, given the confluence of negative factors weighing on the market right now, you can hardly blame investors.

    They're still worried about the fallout from President Donald Trump's trade war, a potential global growth slowdown, the pace of Federal Reserve tightening, and new vulnerabilities in tech stocks. And those are just the headliners. Many more minor headwinds lurk under the surface.

    If, for some reason, BAML's outflow data hasn't convinced you of the nervousness pervading the market, consider that bearish bets against the S&P 500 are at their second-highest levels all year. This is reflected in the level of short interest for an exchange-traded fund tracking the US equity benchmark.

    SPY SI

    Adding to confusion is the fact that experts are sending mixed messages. On one side, you have someone like Leuthold Group chief investment officer Jim Paulsen. He's largely bearish and recently argued that a crash may be the only thing that can completely hit the reset button on the market's biggest problems.

    Then you have the collection of Wall Street equity strategists, who aren't necessarily ready to bail on the US stock market quite yet. Sure, most of them think 2019 will be the bull market's last hurrah, but even the most bearish one — Mike Wilson of Morgan Stanley— forecasts that equities will rise next year.

    Ultimately, if one thing is clear right now in the US stock market, it's that investors are seeking shelter now and asking questions later. It's a prudent approach, considering the nearly 10-year bull market will have to meet its demise at some point, and we're currently getting some of the strongest signals yet that a collapse is near.

    SEE ALSO: We interviewed Wall Street's 8 top-performing investors to get their secrets for success — and their best ideas for 2019

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's how easy it is for the US president to launch a nuclear weapon


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    In the last few years, there’s been a major shift as to how consumers interact with social media.

    Rather than posting content that lives on the platform in perpetuity, users are now posting and viewing more “Stories,” video or images that live for only 24 hours.The Stories Slide Deck

    Many platforms have introduced some form of Stories format — whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or WhatsApp. Snapchat was the company to introduce it to the world, but Instagram has surpassed it in terms of volume and perhaps usability.

    Business Insider Intelligence has compiled a slide deck that looks into how Stories work on Instagram and Snapchat, and how brands and publishers should be using the Stories feature to reach their audiences.

    This exclusive deck can be yours for FREE today. As an added bonus, you will gain immediate access to our exclusive BI Intelligence Daily newsletter.

    To get your copy of the FREE slide deck, simply click here.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    iPhone bed

    • I read on my iPhone at night all the time.
    • Sometimes, though, the iPhone's lowest brightness setting isn't dim enough for the environment, or my eyes.
    • There's a trick that can make your screen even dimmer than the brightness settings Apple provides, and it's perfect for nighttime.

    If you're like me, you spend your last waking minutes reading on your iPhone in bed until you're tired enough to fall asleep.

    But sometimes, your iPhone's screen can be too bright for you and your partner — even if it's on the lowest brightness setting.

    Thankfully, hidden away in your iPhone's settings is a way to make the screen super-dim. It's easy to set up and works really well — I use it all the time.

    SEE ALSO: Apple's new iPhone software is better than ever: Here are the 12 most useful features in iOS 12

    DON'T MISS: I've used the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR — here's which one I'd recommend buying

    First, go to your Settings app.



    Click General.



    Scroll down and click Accessibility.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    maturity of AI solutions

    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

    Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most commonly referenced terms by financial institutions (FIs) and payments firms when describing their vision for the future of financial services. 

    AI can be applied in almost every area of financial services, but the combination of its potential and complexity has made AI a buzzword, and led to its inclusion in many descriptions of new software, solutions, and systems.

    This report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, cuts through the hype to offer an overview of different types of AI, and where they have potential applications within banking and payments. It also emphasizes which applications are most mature, provides recommendations of how FIs should approach using the technology, and offers examples of where FIs and payments firms are already leveraging AI. The report draws on executive interviews Business Insider Intelligence conducted with leading financial services providers, such as Bank of America, Capital One, and Mastercard, as well as top AI vendors like Feedzai, Expert System, and Kasisto.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • AI, or technologies that simulate human intelligence, is a trending topic in banking and payments circles. It comes in many different forms, and is lauded by many CEOs, CTOs, and strategy teams as their saving grace in a rapidly changing financial ecosystem.
    • Banks are using AI on the front end to secure customer identities, mimic bank employees, deepen digital interactions, and engage customers across channels.
    • Banks are also using AI on the back end to aid employees, automate processes, and preempt problems.
    • In payments, AI is being used in fraud prevention and detection, anti-money laundering (AML), and to grow conversational payments volume.

     In full, the report:

    • Offers an overview of different types of AI and their applications in payments and banking. 
    • Highlights which of these applications are most mature.
    • Offers examples where FIs and payments firms are already using the technology. 
    • Provides descriptions of vendors of different AI-based solutions that FIs may want to consider using.
    • Gives recommendations of how FIs and payments firms should approach using the technology.

    Subscribe to an All-Access membership 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

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Best tech CEOs 2018

    • This week, Comparably— a website that rates companies across a number of different areas — released its list of Best CEOs of 2018.
    • Of the 50 chief executives on that list, 29 were from tech companies.
    • Below, we've compiled the list of best tech CEOs of the year. 

    For tech, 2018 was a year full of scandal

    From Facebook's dealings with Cambridge Analytica, to Elon Musk smoking weed on-air, the tech industry had its share of controversy in 2018. 

    When tech executives weren't being questioned on Capitol Hill, however, some were being praised by employees for their leadership and the companies they've helped create. 

    This week, Comparablya website that rates companies across a number of different areas — released its 2018 list of Best CEOs. Of the 50 chief execs on that list, 29 were from tech companies.

    Here are the 29 best large tech company CEOs of the year: 

    SEE ALSO: The 29 tech companies with the best company culture in 2018

    29. Bill McDermott, SAP

    Headquarters: Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

    Year they became CEO: 2002

    What their company does: Enterprise software for business operations and customer management



    28. Scott Wagner, GoDaddy

    Headquarters: Scottsdale, Arizona

    Year they became CEO: 2018

    What their company does: Internet domain registry and website hosting 



    27. Daniel Schulman, PayPal

    Headquarters: San Jose, California

    Year they became CEO: 2014

    What their company does: Online payments 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    kiwibot

    • A Kiwi delivery robot burst into flames while wheeling through campus at the University of California, Berkeley.
    • The blaze was extinguished by a local, while the fire department made sure there was no risk of re-ignition.
    • Startup Kiwi said the fire was caused by a faulty battery and it pulled all of its robots from service to investigate.
    • Students were said to be saddened by the robot's demise and held a candlelit vigil.

    A delivery robot burst into flames at the University of California, Berkeley, and students were said to be so devastated, they held a candlelit vigil to mark its demise.

    The incident took place on Friday, when a Kiwi delivery robot caught fire after its battery malfunctioned, the company said in a Medium blog on Sunday.

    Pictures and video posted online showed the diminutive robot engulfed in flames, before a local rushed to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher.

    Read more: People kicking these food delivery robots is an early insight into how cruel humans could be to robots

    A reporter at The Daily Californian caught the moment the fire was contained. The Berkeley Fire Department arrived shortly after and doused the robot with foam to ensure there was no risk of re-ignition.

    Here's a video of the Kiwibot on fire:

    A student posted this image after the fire was dealt with:

    Kiwi said it took the matter "very seriously." The company, which is housed at Berkeley's startup incubator SkyDeck, said it pulled all of its robots out of service to investigate.

    "Customers that had orders in progress had their food delivered by hand, minimizing the impact on the service. At no time were customers or members of the public at risk," the firm added.

    Kiwi has a fleet of more than 100 robots and cofounder and CEO Felipe Chavez Cortes told TechCrunch this year that the company has fulfilled more than 10,000 orders.

    The Daily Californian said the robot was not delivering a meal when it caught fire, meaning no one missed out on their food order. Students, however, reacted with sadness to the robot's demise.

    Citing comments on the Overheard at UC Berkeley Facebook page, The Daily Californian said students described the robot as a "hero" and a "legend." Berkley alum James Wenzel tweeted that some even held a candlelit vigil.

    SEE ALSO: Robot delivery company Starship Technologies raised $17.2 million in a round led by Daimler

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What it takes to drive a 42-foot-long fire truck


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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.

    best chew toys for heavy chewers

    • The best chew toy for heavy chewers should be made from durable materials with no filling or small parts that could become a choking hazard.
    • Made from ultra-strong rubber and available in five different sizes, the KONG Extreme Dog Toy is our top pick for the best chew toy for heavy chewers.

    Sharp teeth are no match for flimsy dog toys, but even the toughest toys can be torn to shreds by an aggressive chewer. Providing your dog with plenty of chew toys is important because it helps keep his teeth clean, provides him with mental stimulation, and it satisfies his natural desire to chew. Plus, it keeps him away from your shoes.

    When it comes to dog toys for a tough chewer, there are certain things to look for. Durable materials like rubber and rope are the most likely to stand the tough-chewer test.

    Avoid things like squeakers, latex, and plush toys because not only will your dog tear through them in no time at all, but the materials pose a choking hazard. It’s also important to choose toys that are appropriate for your dog’s size.  

    While no dog toy is indestructible or completely chew-proof, we’ve assembled a collection of some of the toughest toys on the market for your heavy chewer. In addition to reading reviews from other pet parents, we’ve tested these toys ourselves  — well, our test dog has — so you can be confident in our choices.

    Here are the best chew toys you can buy:

    Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

    The best chew toy overall

    Why you'll love it: Available in five different sizes and made from ultra-durable rubber, the KONG Extreme Dog Toy is perfect for heavy chewers of all breeds and sizes.

    From Chihuahuas to Great Danes, heavy chewers come in all breeds and sizes, so the best chew toy overall is one that comes in plenty of sizes to match. It should also be made from tough materials and designed for long-lasting durability. The KONG Extreme Dog Toy is our top pick for the best chew toy for heavy chewers because it is virtually indestructible, comes in five different sizes, and can be filled with treats for added mental stimulation.

    KONG is one of the top dog toy brands on the market, known just as much for the versatility of its products as for their durability. We’ve tested several KONG toys, and they are all extremely durable and well-made. Our test puppy couldn’t get enough of the toy’s erratic bouncing action, and it stood up well to his sharp puppy teeth.

    The KONG Extreme Dog Toy takes the popular shape of the KONG Classic, but it is made from the brand’s most durable rubber materials. In addition to satisfying your dog’s need to chew, this toy also provides enrichment, exercise, and dental benefits.

    In its review, Rover names the KONG Extreme Dog Toy one of the most durable dog toys, and we have to agree. Though the classic shape was featured in the review, Rover comments that the KONG Extreme Collection includes a tire, a ball, and an assortment of other shapes. Woof Whiskers likes that it can be filled with treats or used to play fetch. 

    With more than 6,000 reviews on Amazon, the KONG Extreme Dog Toy is easily one of the most popular chew toys on the market. Dog owners love the durability and simple design, though there are some comments that the ball has a chemical smell at first and may leave black marks.

    Pros: Extremely durable materials, five different sizes, can be filled with treats, non-toxic materials, helps clean teeth

    Cons: May have a chemical smell at first, may leave black marks

    Buy the KONG Extreme Dog Toy on Amazon for $11.99 to $39.99



    The best dental chew toy

    Why you'll love it: The Nylabone Dental Dinosaur Chew is made from ultra-tough materials and covered with gently rounded nubs and bristles to scrape plaque and tartar off your dog’s teeth.

    According to VCA Animal Hospitals, roughly 80% of dogs over the age of three already have some degree of dental disease. Brushing your dog’s teeth on a regular basis is the best way to keep his teeth clean and healthy, but dental chew toys can help as well. The Nylabone Dental Dinosaur Chew is our top pick for the best dental chew toy.

    The Nylabone Dental Dinosaur Chew is designed to satisfy a dog’s natural desire to chew while also providing dental benefits. Available in three different dinosaur shapes and two different sizes, these chews stand the test of time. Covered with gently rounded nubs and bristles, this toy helps scrape plaque and tartar off the surface of your dog’s teeth as he chews, reducing his risk for periodontal disease.

    K9 of Mine names the Nylabone Dental Dinosaur Chew one of its top picks for the best “indestructible” dog toys for aggressive chewers, and we agree with that assessment. The reviewers do comment, however, that it is best for dogs up to 50 pounds. Canine Journal also reviews this toy favorably, noting that it comes in several naturally flavored options. Our test puppy enjoyed the toy for a while, and there were no problems with breakage.   

    The Nylabone Dental Dinosaur Chew comes in several different shapes, including a smaller puppy-friendly version of the T-rex shape. Some shapes have more than 2,000 reviews on Amazon with dog owners commenting on the durability of the toy, though some reviews mention that the materials are very hard without much give.

    Pros: Helps remove plaque and tartar from teeth, comes in several shapes, made in the USA, available in flavors

    Cons: Broken pieces may be sharp, materials don’t have much give, may not be a good fit for dogs over 50 pounds

    Buy the Nylabone Dental Dinosaur Chew on Amazon for $9



    The best ball chew toy

    Why you'll love it: Made from ultra-durable, non-toxic materials and designed to bounce and float, the Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Diamond Plate Dog Ball is our top pick for the best ball toy for heavy chewers.

    Some dogs live to chase down a tennis ball, but, once they get it, it doesn’t take long for the ball to be torn to shreds. If you have a super chewer in your life who also loves a good game of fetch, you’ll need a durable dog ball toy. Our top pick for the best ball toy for heavy chewers is the Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Diamond Plate Dog Ball.

    The Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Diamond Plate Dog Ball comes in an assortment of bright colors and is made from ultra-tough materials. These materials are non-toxic, BPA-free, and phthalate-free, plus the toy is made in the US. Our test puppy absolutely loves to play fetch, so this was one of his favorite toys in the lineup. The size was appropriate for a puppy, and he didn’t seem to mind the mint flavor.

    This ball is firm on the outside to withstand heavy chewing, but hollow inside so it still bounces and floats. It is infused with mint oil that will leave your dog’s breath smelling fresh, and it has just enough give to ensure that it isn’t too hard on your dog’s teeth and gums.

    Bustle includes the Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Diamond Plate Dog Ball in its list of the best dog toys for heavy chewers, commenting that the ball is great for playing fetch, even on the water. Terribly Terrier calls it the “toughest dog ball on the market.” 

    In addition to having more than 200 reviews on Amazon, the Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Diamond Plate Dog Ball also carries an Amazon’s Choice award. Dog owners love the safety and durability of the materials, though there are some comments that the ball may be too large for toy breeds.

    Pros: Durable non-toxic materials, dishwasher safe, floats on water, bounces, infused with mint oil, made in the USA, 100% guaranteed

    Cons: May be too large for toy breeds, some dogs dislike the mint flavor

    Buy the Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Diamond Plate Dog Ball on Amazon for $15.95



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    google walkout

    • Vint Cerf, an internet pioneer who works at Google, said he supports employees who staged a walkout last month. 
    • The walkout, which was to protest Google's handing of sexual misconduct allegations, sent the right message, Cerf said told Business Insider.

    The Google workers who took part in a walkout last month to protest the company's handling of sexual harassment claims have a high-profile supporter in its executive ranks.

    The demonstrations delivered the "right message" to Google managers, said Vint Cerf, a vice president at the company and its chief internet evangelist.

    "The people who said the company should feel accountable for the misbehavior of employees at all levels in the organization — that's the basic message that that walkout delivered — I think that is the right message for those of us in management at Google to hear," he said.

    Read this: Google's famous Googleplex headquarters was the epicenter for its worldwide walkout over gender discrimination — here's what it was like on the scene

    Cerf is perhaps best known for being one of the "fathers of the internet" for helping developing the technology underlying how data is transferred on the global network. He spoke to Business Insider this week during the "Our People-Centered Digital Future" conference in San Jose. 

    Although Cerf supported the sexual harassment-related walkout, he was more critical of the protests inside the company over its work to develop artificial intelligence technology for the military as part of the latter's Project Maven. The objections raised about that effort were due to misunderstandings by employees of the work Google was doing and the benefits of working with the military, he said. 

    SEE ALSO: Donald Trump is right about Google — but for the wrong reason

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How an automatic floodgate is helping communities against natural disasters


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    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. Current subscribers can read the report here

    If we're living through a “retail apocalypse” that spells doom for brick-and-mortar retail, as many have suggested, why are e-commerce leaders like Amazon, Alibaba, and JD.com so focused on building their own brick-and-mortar networks?

    US Consumers Who Made an Impulse Buy Due to Personalization in the Past 90 Days

    It's because they want to revitalize physical stores by introducing features associated with online shopping like personalization — and a whopping 65% of consumers said personalization and promotions are most important to their shopping experiences, according to a report from Oracle cited by Chain Store Age.

    Brick-and-mortar retailers have the opportunity to reap the same benefits of personalization that e-tailers do, like repeat visits and impulse purchases, but they need to invest in the right technologies and techniques to do so because they currently don’t meet shoppers’ expectations. For example, 41% of consumers expect sales associates to know about their previous purchases, but just 19% have experienced this, according to a report from Segment.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence analyzes how physical retail’s personalization is being outperformed by e-commerce’s, and examines the value personalization holds for brick-and-mortar in particular. We also look at what techniques and technologies are available to help retailers identify and track consumers in-store, and how they can be used to bolster their personalization capabilities. Finally, we examine the different channels through which retailers can reach consumers with their personalized offerings in-store.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Amazon, Alibaba, JD.com, Intel, Mastercard, Target, Velocity Worldwide, RetailMeNot, b8ta, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sitecore, Oak Labs, Calabrio, and Alegion.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Consumers say that a personalized shopping experience can inspire loyalty and increases in spending.
    • But brick-and-mortar retailers aren't meeting consumers’ in-store personalization expectations.
    • The nature of online shopping gives e-commerce the upper hand when it comes to personalization.
    • Physical retailers can close the gap in personalization by identifying consumers when they enter, tracking them throughout their journey, and then using that information to inform individualized offerings.
    • To make the most of personalized offerings, retailers must consider how content is being presented to consumers in-store, and what the strengths of each channel are.
    • If physical retailers fail to improve their in-store personalization, they risk losing sales and market share to e-commerce companies, both online and in-store.

    In full, the report:

    • Identifies the values of personalization to physical retailers.
    • Details the reasons e-tailers currently offer better personalization than brick-and-mortar stores.
    • Outlines the technologies and processes that can bolster in-store personalization.
    • Discusses how retailers can best present personalized offerings in-store.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Ed Yardeni

    • Veteran economist and president of Yardeni Research, Ed Yardeni, addressed President Donald Trump's economic advisers at a White House lunch this week. He told Business Insider what he said.
    • Yardeni said Trump did not attend the meeting, which was arranged by Larry Kudlow, director of the White House's National Economic Council.
    • Among the main themes the economist addressed were US-China trade tensions and volatility in the stock market.

    Veteran economist and strategist Ed Yardeni shared his perspective on the economy and the market with President Donald Trump's top economic advisers at the White House this week, and his biggest talking points included the US-China trade war and stock-market volatility.

    Trade uncertainty has rocked the stock market in recent months, with many economists citing the trade war as the biggest threat to the US economy next year. Stocks saw a boost this week on hopes of a resolution.

    Yardeni, who discussed the presentation in a phone interview with Business Insider on Thursday, said he was invited by Larry Kudlow, director of the president's National Economic Council. However, Kudlow was not in attendance for the lunch on Wednesday, Yardeni said, and neither was President Trump.

    He said that he and Jason Trennert, CEO and chief investment strategist of Strategas Research Partners, presented to a group of 10 people, among them "several of the president's top economic advisers." Yardeni went into the lunch with four key themes: trade between the US and China, monetary and fiscal policies, productivity and the supply side, and the stock market.

    He would not elaborate further on the attendees or on the advisers' reactions to his presentation, but said the group was a "bunch of Cool Hand Lukes" who "kept their cards close to the vest" and revealed little by way of reaction to Yardeni's points.

    "I don't have a clue whether it just simply corroborated things they're thinking, or I gave them new insights," he said.

    Yardeni is no stranger to the intersection of markets and policy. He spent decades on Wall Street in a variety of top positions like chief investment strategist of Deutsche Bank and chief economist of Prudential, and worked at the US Treasury and at the Federal Reserve in both Washington, DC, and New York.

    Here are the eight charts he ran through:

    Manufacturing production and capacity

    "President Trump won because he promised to bring good jobs back to the US," Yardeni wrote on his presentation.

    "Rapid technological change is both disrupting and energizing our economy. The first effect tends to dampen productivity, while the second tends to boost it."



    Real retail sales growth in China

    "China's one-child policy has created a demographic nightmare for the country," Yardeni wrote in his presentation, pointing to slowing retail sales growth as an indicator for the country's economic health.

    "Hiding in plain sight is that China is seeking to become a super-power before it turns into the world’s largest nursing home," he wrote, adding that the country is still heavily dependent on trading with the rest of the world.



    Price inflation vs. unemployment rate

    "There's no trade-off between price inflation and unemployment," Yardeni wrote, attempting to show that while unemployment in the US has fallen below 4%, inflation remains historically low.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Butterfingers

    • Butterfinger has a new recipe rolling out in 2019. 
    • The new recipe uses a different type of peanut and more cocoa, and certain ingredients will be cut. 
    • We compared the new and old Butterfinger bars and found the revamped candy far exceeds its predecessor. 

    There's a new Butterfinger in town. 

    On Thursday, Butterfinger announced a radical revamp for the 95-year-old brand. Starting in 2019, the candy will have a new recipe and wrapper; the bars will use a different type of peanut and more cocoa, and certain ingredients will be cut. 

    "The priority is really bringing Butterfinger back into the spotlight as a modern-day icon, because it hadn't gotten the attention it warrants in recent years," Kristen Mandel, who oversees the brand's marketing, told Business Insider. "We're excited to have all the resources and investment to put behind it." 

    Business Insider had the chance to get our hands on the new Butterfinger bar early. We decided to try Butterfinger 2.0 alongside the candy as it is currently sold. 

     Here's how the old and the new compare: 

    SEE ALSO: Burger King is forcing customers to go to McDonald's for one-cent Whoppers. Here are 7 of the weirdest deals and ads in recent fast-food history.

    The difference between the two bars is clear from the packaging alone. While Butterfinger's wrapper has been getting more yellow, the new bar (on top) is a nearly neon shade, with a promise of an "improved recipe" in the corner.



    Upon unwrapping, the difference is more nuanced, but still apparent. The new bar is slightly shorter but wider.



    But, the revelation of the new Butterfinger — on the right — only becomes clear when you take a bite. Butterfinger's "crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery" core has always been key to the candy's charm, despite its saccharine taste and tendency to cement teeth together.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    laptop couch

    • Zillow is part of a growing group of real-estate companies in the United States that buy homes directly from homeowners.
    • Through Zillow's service, which will be available in eight US markets by the end of 2019, homeowners receive a preliminary offer within two days and close the sale in as little as seven days from signing.
    • But these companies charge a higher fee than a real estate agent, typically ranging from 6% to 13% of the purchase price.
    • One research analyst told the LA Times that by 2021, i-buyers could account for 10% of the existing home sale market.

    Everything is easier online — even selling your house.

    More Americans are turning to online real-estate companies like San Francisco-based startup Opendoor and Zillow to quickly sell their homes; no open houses, considering multiple bids, or waiting on a buyer to work out financing, the Los Angeles Times' Andrew Khouri reports

    Zillow Offers is already available in four US markets — Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Denver — and will soon be launching in Riverside, California, Zillow announced on Tuesday.

    The service radically simplifies the selling process for homeowners: They enter their address online, answer questions about the home, send in photos, and wait for Zillow to consult a local real estate agent and come up with a home value estimate. It takes only about two business days, Khouri wrote.

    Then Zillow sets up an in-person walkthrough before handing over a confirmed offer. If the homeowner accepts the offer, they choose a closing date between seven and 90 days from signing. Real estate agents are still a part of the process, but they're handled and paid by Zillow, not the homeowner.

    "We have closed on a house in as little as five days because we wanted to help the seller who was in a time crunch," Zillow spokeswoman Jordyn Lee told the LA Times. In Riverside, the company's newest market, Zillow says it's focusing on homes in the $200,000 to $600,000 price range, which it aims to resell within three months.

    Read more: We did the math to calculate how much money you need to save monthly to buy a home by 35

    But there's a catch for homeowners. A typical real estate agent may charge a commission fee of 5% to 6% of the purchase price, whereas Zillow commands 6% to 9%, Khouri wrote. Fortunately, that fee includes the cost of any repairs or necessary adjustments made to the home after closing.

    Likewise, Opendoor, which launched its direct-to-buyer service in 2014 and now operates in over a dozen markets, charges a fee between 6.7% to 13% of the purchase price, according to Reuters. The closing period for sales on Opendoor can range from 10 to 60 days, according to the website. Reuters reported in June 2018 that the company was valued at more than $2 billion and buys homes with an average price of $250,000.

    Read more: What a $250,000 home looks like in the biggest city in every state

    Brad Berning, a senior research analyst with Craig-Hallum Capital Group told the LA Times that i-buyers are here to stay. Berning estimates that by 2021, virtual buyers could account for 10% of the existing home-sale market.

    Chase Marsh, cofounder of Prevu, a New York-based real-estate startup, said in a contributor article in Forbes in June that the convenience of selling online to a company rather than dealing with people is a huge draw, but the high fees aren't worth it — at least not yet.

    "While iBuyers provide the convenience of selling quickly, matching expert investors against consumers isn't always the best thing for the consumer," Marsh wrote. "Choice is good, but a home is generally your largest asset, so you may want to consult an expert before 'iSelling.'"

    SEE ALSO: I'm a financial planner — here's why I won't buy a home

    DON'T MISS: How Trump's new tax law affects homeowners at every income level from $83,000 to $336,000 a year

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Truck Driver 1

    • The truck-driver shortage in America has dominated headlines in the logistics space this year.
    • While trucking companies are offering five-digit bonuses and record-high pay raises, the problem has not dissipated.
    • Roadmaster Group CEO John Wilbur said the real reason behind the shortage is not how much drivers are paid but how they are paid. 
    • Truck drivers are generally paid by how many miles they drive, which means they must carry the burden of many external factors such as weather and traffic, Wilbur said.

    It's no secret that America has a massive shortage of truck drivers. 

    More than 50,000 more truckers are needed to support the shipping demand from US companies, like retail giants such as Amazon and Walmart, and that deficit could grow to 175,000 by 2026, according to the American Trucking Associations

    While trucking companies are offering five-digit bonuses and record-high pay raises, many are still complaining their wage hike hasn't helped attract new drivers. 

    "It's not so much how much the drivers are paid, but how they are paid," John Wilbur, CEO of Roadmaster Group, an Arizona-based specialized transportation company, told Business Insider.

    According to Wilbur, truck drivers are generally paid by how many miles they drive, which means they must carry the burden of many external factors such as weather and traffic. This pay model adds many volatilities to drivers' compensation.

    "That is the single biggest systemic flaw in the industry," Wilbur added. "It creates issues in this industry about finding and keeping drivers in the system."

    Generally, being a truck driver is a difficult job, with drivers away from home for weeks at a time while living in a truck on the road. Wilbur says drivers usually hop from one company to another because they feel they are neither respected nor compensated appropriately.

    According to data from the American Trucking Associations, the annualized turnover rate, which measures how often a driver leaves a large truckload carrier, or fleet with more than $30 million in annual revenue, was 96% in the first half of the year, putting 2018 on pace to have the highest annual rate since 2013.

    To attract more drivers, Wilbur's Roadmaster Group has been using a salary-like pay structure since 2012, guaranteeing the minimum wage a driver will make in a day or a week. 

    But the mile-based pay model is not the only hindrance that pulls drivers out of the trucking industry. Since December 2017, the trucking industry has implemented an electronic-logging-device mandate that requires drivers to use a self-certified electronic logging system (in the past they used paper logs) and limits them to 11 hours of driving in a 14-hour window.

    Many truck drivers told Business Insider they hate the ELD mandate because their salaries are taking a hit, their independence is being curtailed, and they can't find places to park and sleep.

     

    Are you a truck driver with a story about the industry? Email the author at ejiang@businessinsider.com

    Now read:

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    NOW WATCH: 7 things you shouldn't buy on Black Friday


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    american eagle 3385

    • American Eagle'sAerie brand has achieved explosive success in recent years.
    • On Tuesday, American Eagle reported a 32% increase in same-store sales at Aerie during the third quarter of 2018. This marked its 16th consecutive quarter of double-digit positive growth.
    • Here's why the brand has been so successful. 

    Aerie is on fire. 

    On Tuesday, American Eagle reported a 32% increase in same-store sales for its underwear-turned-lifestyle brand, Aerie. This marked its 16th consecutive quarter of double-digit positive growth. Group CEO Jay Schottenstein described this as one of the company's best results ever in a call with investors after the earnings release.

    The company now plans to open between 60 and 70 new Aerie locations next year. 

    Meanwhile, its main competitor, Victoria's Secret, continues to come under pressure. Critics have said that the retailer's push-up bras and racy runway shows no longer resonate with the modern customer in the era of #MeToo. The brand came under fire last month after an executive from its parent company, L Brands, made controversial comments about transgender and plus-size models during an interview with Vogue.

    Same-store sales were down 6% at Victoria's Secret stores in the most recent quarter. They were down 2% when including online sales.

    Read more:These photos reveal why women are abandoning Victoria's Secret for American Eagle's Aerie underwear brand

    We visited an Aerie store in Midtown Manhattan and saw why it has been so successful while Victoria's Secret has floundered:

    SEE ALSO: These up-and-coming underwear labels are threatening to upend Victoria's Secret

    DON'T MISS: We shopped at American Eagle and saw why it's so popular with teens right now

    Aerie has been praised for being a more relatable brand. In 2014, it swapped its airbrushed ads for unretouched photos and launched a body-positive campaign known as #AerieReal.



    It is known for its ad campaigns using "real" women ...



    ... and it famously doesn't Photoshop any of the images in its ads.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Walmart art.com

    • Walmart has been on an online brands binge for several years now.
    • Bonobos, ModCloth, and Art.com are just a few of the brands the retail giant has snapped up since 2010.
    • Walmart's pivot toward digital-native companies likely indicates its outlook on the future of retail.

    Walmart has been devouring online retailer after online retailer for the past few years.

    So what's behind this banquet of brands? The fact that many of the acquired companies belong to the realm of e-commerce indicates that this is all part of Walmart's ongoing battle with Amazon.

    But it's also about appealing to the younger, more affluent generation of consumers that flocks to brands like Bonobos and ModCloth.

    Read more: Walmart wants to win over millennials, but it might have to acquire '40 to 50' brands to do so

    A Walmart spokesperson previously told Business Insider that "one of the drivers for customers to continue coming back to your brand is going to be finding products and experiences that they just can't get anywhere else."

    So the future isn't just about being online — it's also about having products that exude exclusivity and set you apart from the competition.

    Business Insider previously reported on a note from financial services firm Cowen and Company that said Walmart's e-commerce president and CEO Marc Lore believes the retail giant needs to acquire 40 to 50 "successful digitally native retailers" in order to "resonate with millennials."

    So despite the spate of acquisitions, Walmart still has a long way to go, at least by Cowen and Company's estimate.

    Here's a look at the slew of digitally oriented brands that Walmart has scooped up in recent years:

    SEE ALSO: After wrangling with Amazon, Bernie Sanders has set his sights on Walmart

    DON'T MISS: Walmart CEO reveals why Trump's trade war with China still has him worried over rising prices

    SEE ALSO: Furious Walmart shoppers are complaining that hot video game deals sold out seconds into Cyber Monday

    Vudu

    Walmart acquired streaming and media company Vudu back in 2010, most likely in a move to compete with Amazon.

    This fall, Walmart entered into a partnership with MGM Holdings and interactive video startup Eko, in the hopes of creating more original content for the site.



    Kosmix

    Kosmix — the original name of what has since become Walmart Labs — is another one of Walmart's early digital acquisitions.

    The retailer scooped up the social media startup for a cool $300 million in 2011.



    Jet.com

    The $3.3 billion acquisition of Jet.com in August 2016 further propelled Walmart to a larger claim within the realm of online commerce. The purchase was largely seen as Walmart's bid to compete with Amazon in the e-commerce space.

    As an added bonus, Walmart acquired Omaha-based online retailer Hayneedle through its purchase of Jet.com. The Omaha World-Herald speculated that Hayneedle would help Walmart play "online catch-up" with Amazon.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    private ski resort

    • A new private club in Colorado may be one of the most exclusive ski resorts in the world.
    • Cimarron Mountain Club is only open to 13 members who pay at least $2.65 million plus annual fees of $62,000 for private access to the 1,750-acre wilderness area.
    • Members also get a 35-acre piece of land on which they can build a chalet — but no "mega-mansions" are allowed.
    • The membership will also include access to a lodge with dining areas, a bar, an outdoor spa, a fire pit, and a warming hut.

     

    At one of the world's most exclusive ski resorts, a lucky 13 members pay an initial fee of at least $2.65 million for private access to the 1,750-acre wilderness area — plus a spot to build a personal chalet.

    Cimarron Mountain Club in Colorado was founded by Jim Aronstein, a retired natural resources lawyer, and his wife, Patsy, with the goal of creating "a sanctuary for 13 families who want to ski untracked powder and preserve a beautiful wilderness setting for future generations to enjoy," a representative for the Club told Business Insider.

    Read more: It looks like the place everyone wants to go skiing this winter is in the middle of the desert

    "I was simply tired of the ski resort experience and dreamed for decades about creating the world's only, intimate and private wilderness club with skiable terrain to rival the best," Aronstein told Business Insider. "My wife and I identified more than a dozen potential sites, located in six Rocky Mountain states and provinces, and visited every one. In the end, just one met all the criteria."

    The Aronsteins bought the property in 2004 and the Club officially launched in July 2018, with six member families already signed up and seven remaining spots.

    "What has and continues to make CMC so special is our commitment to preserving the powder, protecting the wilderness, and sharing it all with just 13 member families and their friends," Aronstein added.

    Here's a look at the super-exclusive resort.

    SEE ALSO: This luxury resort on Maine's largest island costs up to $2,000 per night and is a gateway to one of the country's most stunning national parks

    DON'T MISS: Are 'luxpeditions' the new glamping?

    Cimarron Mountain Club sits in the San Juan Mountains, a rugged mountain range in southwestern Colorado that makes up part of the Rocky Mountains. It's about a 4.5-hour drive from the winter resort town of Aspen.

    Source: Cimarron Mountain Club, Colorado Encyclopedia, Google Maps



    So far, six families have paid $2.65 million for their memberships and cabin sites, leaving seven memberships up for grabs at $2.8 million each. The annual fees are between $62,000 and $67,000 and include 115 days of skiing per member family, Club labor, operations, and other fixed expenses.

    Source: Cimarron Mountain Club



    The current members are all "powder hounds," according to a resort representative. "Highly successful entrepreneurs or titans of industry. They all have kids and they all want CMC to be a place to impart lasting memories and values. Skiing has been a part of their families' lives for some time."

    Source: Cimarron Mountain Club



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    brussels.JPG

    • Protesters have clashed with police in Brussels while demonstrating against a UN migration pact.
    • The United Nations signed the first ever international deal on the migration crisis, despite opposition from the US.
    • The "March against Marrakech" pledged to turn a "political crisis into the awakening of our people."

    Police in the Belgium capital were forced to use water cannons and tear gas on activists protesting against a UN migration pact signed on Monday.

    Reuters said the protesters were far-right sympathizers who had descended on the European Commission headquarters in Brussels as part of the "March against Marrakech" demonstration.

    The United Nations signed the first ever international deal on the migration crisis in the Moroccan city earlier this week. It promised a global approach to better managing migration, despite vociferous opposition from the US, which said last year that it interferes with American sovereignty.

    March against Marrakech's Facebook page said 12,000 planned to attend the demonstration. "We can’t just stand by and watch, we need to show the will of the majority," it said. "Let’s turn this political crisis into the awakening of our people."

    But the protests appeared to spill over into violence as demonstrators clashed with police. Scroll on for some of the most dramatic photos from the protest in Brussels:

    SEE ALSO: Photos show Paris streets erupting in protest and 'extreme and unprecedented violence'

    Thousands of protesters gathered in Brussels, including Filip Dewinter (center), a leading figure in Vlaams Belang, a right-wing Flemish nationalist party.



    But the protests soon began to turn ugly. Here demonstrators are trying to topple an EU flag outside the European Commission headquarters.



    Mounted police attempted to control the crowds.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    matt damon brett kavanaugh saturday night live

    • Matt Damonreprised his role as Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the latest episode of NBC's "Saturday Night Live." 
    • The actor, who was hosting the episode, appeared as Kavanaugh for an "It's A Wonderful Life" spoof imagining what the world would be like if Donald Trump, played by Alec Baldwin, wasn't president. 
    • When Trump asked Kavanaugh how the Supreme Court was, Kavanaugh responded, "Me on the Supreme Court? With my temperament? Are you insane? Nah, nah. They went with that nerd, Merrick Garland. But on the plus side, when I tell people I like beer, they find it charming and not like I'm threatening violence." 
    • He also presented Trump with a calendar where each day was a different beer. 
    • Other stars made cameos during the cold open sketch, including Ben Stiller as former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Robert De Niro as special counsel Robert Mueller. 
    • Watch the sketch below.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

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    NOW WATCH: The true story behind the name 'Black Friday' is much darker than you may have thought


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    SnapLogic CEO Gaurav Dhillon. SnapLogic

    • SnapLogic won't stage an IPO anytime soon because CEO Gaurav Dhillon wants to take his time and get it right, he tells Business Insider.
    • "You can't do it wrong," he says. Many tech companies have gone public only to see their share prices collapse.
    • The secondary market for privately traded equity is now so well-developed that investors can still sell their stock, reducing the pressure to go public, he says.

    The last time we talked to SnapLogic CEO Gaurav Dhillon, in November 2017, he was bullishly talking up his company as an imminent candidate for an IPO.

    Backed by $136 million in investment from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Vitruvian Partners and Capital One, the enterprise cloud-software-integration platform is likely worth more than $1 billion.

    This year, however, Dhillon has changed his mind. There will be no IPO anytime soon. "Like a lot of other SAAS [software as a service] companies, we're just staying private longer," Dhillon says.

    Broadly, there are two reasons why SnapLogic won't debut on the New York Stock Exchange anytime soon:

    • "You can't do it wrong," he says. That's a reference to a series of tech companies that have gone public only to run into trouble and see their share prices collapse. His priority is building the business. 
    • There are now efficient secondary markets for privately traded equity, so investors and employees can still sell their stock for cash if need be, reducing the pressure to go public.

    "I've seen horrible things happen to companies that went out too quickly"

    "The thing is, you can't do it wrong. You really don't want to do a poor job of that. It would be memorable. I'd rather be reminded that our IPO is conspicuous by its absence than do it wrong. You don't get to do it twice," he says.

    "It's like landing a fighter on an aircraft carrier — if you snag one of those wires, you ditch. And I've seen horrible things happen to companies that went out too quickly. I think maybe because of all the money being raised now people are more nervous about doing it right."

    Snaplogic LogoThere is no shortage of tech companies who have gone public only without huge success. Mobile ad company Millennial Media was worth nearly $2 billion when it went public, and its stock to rose to $25. A few years later, it was acquired by AOL for a 90% discount, saving it from the indignity of becoming a penny stock.

    Rocket Fuel, another adtech company, suffered a similar fate. Twitter struggled for years to not look like a public stock basket case. And Snap, the social media parent of Snapchat, is now worth roughly only one-fifth of its IPO price.

    In the meantime, Dhillon is building his 300-employee business, based in San Mateo, California.

    "Building up a subscription trajectory takes longer, to be an IPO-sized company. You're building subscriptions, you're building very sticky customers who stay with you for a very long time. Building up subscription revenue takes longer, and costs more money, than selling perpetual software does. That's the short, short version of it," he says. (He declines to describe the company's revenues.)

    How are investors supposed to get their money back if SnapLogic doesn't go public?

    The obvious question is, how are investors supposed to get their money back if SnapLogic doesn't go public?

    "There are efficient secondary markets now that didn't used to exist," Dhillon says, referring to the ability of equity owners to sell their stocks privately in the "secondary" market without filing with the SEC or the London Stock Exchange. It's a process that is little discussed outside of Silicon Valley. But three sources told Business Insider recently that the volume of stock traded privately is increasing all the time.

    The trend means that some "new" investments in tech companies aren't actually adding new money to companies' coffers. They're simply buying existing shares for a new price. "Private equity firms are dealing — or late-stage growth firms — will sometimes consolidate their portfolio in subsequent rounds where some of the new round coming in is taking away secondary shares, and that's happening a lot more than people let on," Dhillon says.

    It's "just because of this exhaustion problem. You raise money out of a fund, and the fund is seven, eight years into it, the capital is a bit tired, so when the subsequent rounds of capital come in they're larger because in some cases they take over some of the primary shares," he says. He was not referring specifically to SnapLogic.

    "I feel like I have some room to manoeuvre"

    This type of investment "didn't used to exist" a few years ago, he says. But it is growing, he believes. Dhillon says he has seen secondary market valuations of 10 or 15 times revenue, and multiples on the face value of the shares of six or seven times.

    So, Dhillon isn't too bothered about not going public yet. "I was on a panel [at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon] with SurveyMonkey, a 19-year-old company that just went public. I haven’t even been here 10 years. I feel like I have some room to manoeuvre."

    SEE ALSO: The CEO of SnapLogic tells us why he's so enthusiastic about staging an IPO

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    NASA beautiful earth Apollo 8

    Nearly 50 years have passed since NASA's Apollo 8 mission orbited the moon for the first time in history.

    On December 21, 1968, astronauts Frank Borman, William Anders, and James Lovell left the Kennedy Space Center  to fly around the moon. They spent 20 hours in lunar orbit, then returned home after more than six days in space.

    The Apollo 8 mission was a critical step toward achieving President John F. Kennedy's goal of landing a man on the moon.

    Nine other lunar missions followed Apollo 8, bringing a dozen men to the moon and gathering hundreds of pounds of rock and soil samples for analysis.

    In almost five decades since then, however, no US spacecraft has landed on the lunar surface. 

    That may change in the next few years. In November, NASA announced that it was offering up to $2.6 billion in contracts to nine American companies that could land probes on the moon by 2022. NASA does not want to buy the lunar landers or take responsibility for launching, landing, or controlling them. Instead, the space agency wants the private sector to deal with those challenges and bid on the opportunity to take NASA's experiments to the moon.

    In the meantime, take a look back at all of NASA's Apollo missions, which flew between 1968 and 1972 and succeeded in putting the first human on the moon.

    SEE ALSO: Astronauts explain why nobody has visited the moon in more than 45 years — and the reasons are depressing

    The Apollo 1 mission was designed to launch a spacecraft into low-Earth orbit. But it ended in tragedy when a fire killed three astronauts in their spaceship during a routine pre-launch test.

    Thick smoke filled the crew module of the Apollo 1 capsule on January 27, 1967. Three NASA astronauts — Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Roger Chaffee, and Edward White — were inside performing a routine test, but they were unable to open a hatch in time to escape the explosion. 

    Emergency rescue teams rushed to the launchpad (located where the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is today), but they were too late. 

    An investigation revealed several issues with the capsule's design, including an electrical wiring problem and flammable materials inside the crew cabin.

    On the 50th anniversary of Apollo 1's fatal fire, NASA displayed the hatch at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. 



    The deadly fire led NASA to postpone other planned crewed launches, and no flights or missions were labeled Apollo 2 or 3.

    In the spring of 1967, NASA announced it would keep the designation of Apollo 1 for the mission that never occurred.

    The rocket meant for Apollo 1 was later reassembled and used to launch Apollo 5. 



    The Apollo 4, 5, and 6 missions were unmanned. They occurred between November 1967 and April 1968.

    Apollo 4, which launched on November 9, 1967, was the first unmanned test flight of NASA's Saturn V rocket, which was developed to bring astronauts to the moon. 

    The mission was the first-ever launch from the Kennedy Space Center. It was a success for NASA, as it proved that Saturn V worked. At the time, the 363-foot-tall vehicle was the largest spacecraft to ever attempt flight. 

    Apollo 5 launched a few months later, on January 22, 1968. The mission successfully tested the ability of the Apollo Lunar Module — the spacecraft designed to land on the moon's surface — to ascend and descend.

    The Apollo 6 launch followed on April 4, 1968. The mission aimed to show that the Saturn V rocket was capable of trans-lunar injection, which puts a spacecraft on its path to the moon. But the system quickly ran into problems: Two of the five engines shut down unexpectedly, and the spacecraft could not be propelled into orbit.

    Despite the issues with Apollo 6, NASA pushed ahead with plans for its first manned launch.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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