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The latest news from Business Insider

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    iphone xs xr

    • Apple's 2018 iPhone lineup includes the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max.
    • The iPhone XR is more affordable than the iPhone XS, but there are several good reasons to consider the more expensive phone.

    The striking design of the iPhone X changed the smartphone landscape in 2018. It's tough to find a new Android phone that doesn't have a "notch," for example.

    To follow up the iPhone X, Apple announced not one, but two new smartphone designs: The iPhone XS and XS Max continued the tradition of the iPhone X, while a new model, the iPhone XR, shared similar qualities as the iPhone X, but featured an LCD screen. The LCD would be less costly for Apple to build, and less expensive for customers to buy. Win-win, right?

    While the iPhone XR is an appealing option for anyone looking to have an iPhone X-esque experience for less than $1,000, there are several reasons to consider the more expensive iPhone XS, if you're on the fence.

    SEE ALSO: Here's how to decide between the red, blue, yellow, white, black, and 'coral' versions of the iPhone XR

    SEE ALSO: The iPhone XR is coming soon: Here are 9 reasons you should buy it instead of an iPhone XS or XS Max

    1. The iPhone XR is only available in one size. The iPhone XS is available in two sizes.

    If you like the look and feel of the iPhone XR, you can only get it in one size, with its 6.1-inch display.

    If you like the iPhone XS, however, you have two size options to choose from: You can get the 5.8-inch model, or the 6.5-inch "Max" size, which costs $100 more than the standard iPhone XS.



    2. The screen on the iPhone XS looks significantly better than the iPhone XR.

    Your phone screen is important. It's the main window for all of your content: your files, documents, photos, videos, and more.

    The iPhone XS features a "Super Retina" OLED display, while the iPhone XR features a "Liquid Crystal" LCD display.

    OLED displays, in general, are brighter, show more accurate colors, and can achieve far better contrast than LCD displays. The iPhone XR has one of the best LCD displays in a smartphone, but it still doesn't come close to the iPhone XS display, which, thanks to HDR support, is the better way to view high-definition photos and videos. OLED displays can actually turn their pixels off, instead of just dim them like LCD displays, so black actually looks like black on the iPhone XS, and images look much more vivid.

    The iPhone XR screen is also a little less great since the bezel, or border around the edge of the display, is thicker than it is on the iPhone XS.



    3. The iPhone XR is available in six beautiful colors, but if you want silver or gold, those are only options with the iPhone XS.

    The iPhone XR is available in red, blue, yellow, black, white, and coral, which is kind of like orange-meets-pink.

    The iPhone XS is also available in black, along with "silver" instead of white, and a gold option.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    bii voice app skills growth over time

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

    The voice app ecosystem is booming. In the US, the number of Alexa skills alone surpassed 25,000 in January 2018, up from just 7,000 the previous January, in categories ranging from music streaming services, to games, to connected home tools.

    As voice platforms continue to gain footing in homes via smart speakers — connected devices powered primarily by artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled voice assistants — the opportunity for voice apps is becoming more profound. However, as observed with the rise of mobile apps in the late 2000s, any new digital ecosystem will face significant growing pains, and voice apps are no exception. Thanks to the visual-free format of voice apps, discoverability, monetization, and retention are proving particularly problematic in this nascent space. This is creating a problem in the voice assistant market that could hinder greater uptake if not addressed.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, explores the two major viable voice app stores. It identifies the three big issues voice apps are facing — discoverability, monetization, and retention — and presents possible short-term solutions ahead of industry-wide fixes.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • The market for smart speakers and voice platforms is expanding rapidly. The installed base of smart speakers and the volume of voice apps that can be accessed on them each saw significant gains in 2017. But the new format and the emerging voice ecosystems that are making their way into smart speaker-equipped homes is so far failing to align with consumer needs. 
    • Voice app development is a virtuous cycle with several broken components. The addressable consumer market is expanding, which is prompting more brands and developers to developer voice apps, but the ability to monetize and iterate those voice apps is limited, which could inhibit voice app growth. 
    • Monetization is only one broken component of the voice app ecosystem. Discoverability and user retention are equally problematic for voice app development. 
    • While the two major voice app ecosystems — Amazon's and Google's — have some Band-Aid solutions and workarounds, their options for improving monetization, discoverability, and retention for voice apps are currently limited.
    • There are some strategies that developers and brands can employ in the near term ahead of more robust tools and solutions.

    In full, the report:

    • Sizes the current voice app ecosystem. 
    • Outlines the most pressing problems in voice app development and evolution in the space by examining the three most damning shortcoming: monetization, discoverability, and retention. 
    • Discusses the solutions being offered up by today's biggest voice platforms. 
    • Presents workaround solutions and alternative approaches that could catalyze development and evolution ahead of wider industry-wide fixes from the platforms.

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

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

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    bii top 5 startups to watch in digital health

    The healthcare industry is facing disruption due to accelerating technological innovation and growing demand for improved delivery of healthcare and lower costs. Tech startups are leading the way by seizing opportunities in the areas of the industry that are most vulnerable to disruption, including genomics, pharmaceuticals, administration, clinical operations, and insurance.

    Venture funds and businesses are taking notice of these startups' potential. In the US, digital health funding reached $1.6 billion in Q1 2018, according to Rock Health — the largest first quarter on record, surpassing the $1.4 billion in venture funding seen in Q1 2016. These high-potential startups provide a glimpse into the future of the healthcare space and demonstrate how we’ll get there.

    In this report, a compilation of various notes, Business Insider Intelligence will look at the top startups disrupting US healthcare in four key areas: artificial intelligence (AI), digital therapeutics, health insurance, and genomics. Startups in this report were selected based on the funding they've received over the past year, notable investors, the products they offer, and leadership in their functional area.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Tech startups are entering the market by applying the “Silicon Valley” approach. They're targeting shortcomings and legacy systems that are no longer efficient.
    • AI is being applied across five areas of healthcare to improve clinical operation workflows, cut costs, and foster preventative medicine. These areas include administration, big data analysis, clinical decision support, remote patient monitoring, and care provision.
    • Health tech startups, insurers, and drug makers are rapidly exploring new ways to apply digital therapeutics to the broader healthcare market that replace or complement the existing treatment of a disease.
    • Health insurance startups are taking advantage of the consumerization of healthcare to threaten the status quo of legacy players. 
    • Genomics is becoming an increasingly common tool within the healthcare system as health organizations better understand how to extract the value from patients’ genetic data. 

     In full, the report:

    • Details the areas of the US health industry that show the greatest potential for disruption.
    • Forecasts the industry adoption of bleeding edge technology and how it will transform how healthcare organizations operate.
    • Unveils the top five startups in AI, digital therapeutics, health insurance, and genomics, and how they're positioned to solve big issues that key players in healthcare face. 
    • Explores what's next for the leading startups, providing a glimpse into the future of the healthcare space and demonstrating how we’ll get there.

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

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

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Colin Kroll

    • HQ trivia and Vine founder Colin Kroll was found dead in his Manhattan apartment early Sunday.
    • The tech community is paying its respects online and saying goodbye.
    • "I will forever remember him for his kind soul and big heart," Rus Yusupov, who co-founded both HQ and Vine with Kroll, tweeted. "He made the world and internet a better place. Rest in peace, brother."

    Colin Kroll was found dead this weekend.

    He was known principally for cofounding both HQ Trivia and Vine. Kroll worked across the tech sector, including Twitter and Yahoo, and tech industry professionals he worked with and influenced remembered him on Sunday through tweets and statements.

    First, there's the company he cofounded, which he just recently became CEO of in September. A statement on HQ's Twitter read:

    "We learned today of the passing of our friend and founder, Colin Kroll, and it's with deep sadness that we say goodbye. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time."

    Read more: The cofounder of HQ Trivia and Vine has died at the age of 34

    Rus Yusupov, who co-founded both HQ Trivia and Vine, also put out a statement on Twitter saying Kroll "made the world and internet a better place."

    "So sad to hear about the passing of my friend and co-founder Colin Kroll," Yusupov said. "My thoughts & prayers go out to his loved ones. I will forever remember him for his kind soul and big heart."

     Some who were attached to HQ Trivia also put their sorrow into words of condolence.

    "Colin was extremely talented, a warm and caring person and I will miss him,” Cyan Banister, who serves on the board of HQ Trivia and invested in it through the Founders Fund, told Recode. "It’s too painful and too soon to discuss anything else, but my thoughts are with his family and the rest of the team."

    Others in the tech community that weren't directly tied also lamented publicly. 

    "Drugs kill people. Everyday," angel investor and tech CEO Florian Seroussi said on Twitter. "I sound like an old fart but f***, another beautiful person died. RIP Colin Kroll."

    Even entertainment professionals who got their start on Vinelike Nicholas Megalis tweeted how sorry they were to hear of the news of his death.

    "Colin my heart hurts. I’m so sorry, man. God bless you," he said.

    SEE ALSO: The career of Colin Kroll, cofounder of Vine and HQ Trivia who has died at age 34

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch BMW's self-driving motorcycle accelerate, turn, and brake to a stop


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    charles barkley

    • Journalist Shirley Wang shared a heartwarming story about her dad's friendship with Charles Barkley on an episode of NPR's "Only A Game." 
    • Lin Wang and Barkley met at a hotel bar about four years ago.
    • The two maintained a friendship for years until Lin died from cancer in 2018. 

    The unlikely friendship between former basketball star Charles Barkley and cat litter scientist Lin Wang is melting hearts across the internet. 

    Journalist Shirley Wang shared the heartwarming story on Friday's episode of NPR's "Only a Game" and detailed how her father and the basketball player met in a hotel bar about four years ago.

    Her dad was a fan of Barkley's and approached him for a photo. Their conversation turned into dinner and then an even longer conversation and evolved into a friendship over three days.

    "Certainly, I told him I had a good time talking with him, hanging out with him," Lin once told his daughter. "He said the same thing to me, and he left the phone number. He said, 'Whenever you're in Atlanta, New York City or Phoenix, check out with me. If I’m in town, we'll hang out and have a good time.'"

    Over the years, Barkley and Lin would hang out at dinners and on the set of Barkley's TNT show "Inside the NBA."

    "Your dad is one of the happiest people I've ever met in my life," Barkley told Shirley. "I'm not just saying that — I mean, think about it: It's fun to be with your friends, you know? 'Cause, I don't have that many friends that I want to be around, to be honest with you. I mean, you know a lot of people. But when you go spend time with your friends, it's a whole different animal."

    When Barkley's mom died in June 2015, Lin hopped on a plane and went to the funeral. Lin was later diagnosed with cancer in May 2016 but didn't tell Barkley about his illness. 

    "I called him and got mad at him when I found out," Barkley said. "I was, like, 'Dude, we're friends. You can tell me. You're not bothering me."

    After Lin died in June 2018, Barkley attended the funeral and gave a eulogy for his friend. 

    "It gives me great memories and great joy to know that I was a friend of his," Barkley told Shirley. "Just hearing about him at the funeral — what he had accomplished and what he was trying to help other people accomplish, just made me even — I wished he bragged more about himself."

    Read the full transcript here.  

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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


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    Lionel Messi, 3 goals in 17 minutes

    Lionel Messi scored three goals in 17 minutes, provided two assists, and played a key role in every goal FC Barcelona scored as his team put Levante to the sword on Sunday.

    Since getting ranked the 5th best player in world soccer at the annual Ballon d'Or, Messi has been a marksman on a mission. He has shown telepathic passing and scored gorgeous goals in recent games, but his most recent outing is the best of the lot as he treated the Levante crowd at the Ciutat de Valancia to a 90-minute period of pure artistry.

    Messi's night began in the 35th minute when he duped three Levante players into tracking him aimlessly across the penalty box, before lazering a pass over their heads for teammate Luis Suarez. From there, Suarez scored — 1-0.

    Eight minutes later Messi went from goal creator to goalscorer when he ran from the halfway line, into a through ball, and beat the goalkeeper one-on-one to double Barça's lead.

    It did not take long after half-time for Barcelona to restore their dominance as Messi pumped a low left-footed shot into the bottom right of the net — a sublime finish to make it 3-0.

    Barcelona's next goal was the best of the lot as Suarez nutmegged the Levante defender Erick Cabaco, dribbled into the box, and gracefully sent a trivela pass across goal to Arturo Vidal. Messi timed his own run into the middle of the goal to perfection, as Vidal fed him with a one-touch pass on the six-yard line. Though Messi's finish was straight-forward, it capped an incredible team move.

    But the night was not finished yet.

    Three minutes before full-time, Messi — with his hat-trick complete — provided the game's final goal when he supplied Gerard Pique with Barcelona's fifth.

    He was the best player on the pitch according to soccer statistics website Whoscored.com but on nights like this he proves he is more, he proves he is the best in the world.

    SEE ALSO: Lionel Messi is renting a $15 million customized 16-seat private jet — take a look inside

    DON'T MISS: 2 gorgeous goals, 1 telepathic assist, and another La Liga record: Lionel Messi toyed with Espanyol in thumping 4-0 win

    UP NEXT: Cristiano Ronaldo just challenged Lionel Messi to leave FC Barcelona and join him in Italy

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The legendary economist who predicted the housing crisis says the US will win the trade war


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    Drones — also commonly referred to as unmanned aircraft — are no longer a cool, new novelty that companies in only a handful of industries are testing.

    Businesses across various industries and levels of government in the US are utilizing at least a handful of drones. But more importantly, drone users are now realizing a deep return on their investments from the aircraft's ability to help save hours of time and labor.

    Farmers' Plans for Drones in 2018

    However, to successfully get a drone program up and running, businesses need to have an idea of what they want the aircraft to do, and the value they hope to create. To that end, companies need to know what their competitors are doing with the aircraft so they can plan their own projects accordingly.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence details how unmanned aircraft are disrupting a slew of different industries, including agriculture, construction and mining, insurance, media and telecommunications, and the public sector. We also size the market for global enterprise drone shipments, and pinpoint the features that make drones useful tools within different industries. Lastly, we make predictions for how drone use in these industries will evolve over the next five to 10 years and to what extent their impact will be magnified over this period.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implemented its Part 107 regulations for unmanned aircraft in August 2016, the commercial drone industry in the US has taken off. 
    • Companies across the US have rushed to deploy drones to cut costs, boost operational efficiency, and open up new streams of revenue. Meanwhile, firms elsewhere in the world have taken notice and ramped up their own drone projects.
    • Unmanned aircraft have the potential to create the greatest business value in the construction, mining, and agriculture industries. The agriculture industry was a relatively early adopter of drones, and today one-third of farmers in the US plan to use at least one drone this year. Meanwhile, drones will have a less significant, yet noticeable, impact on media, telecommunications, and insurance businesses.
    • Drones will lead these industries to become highly data-driven in the coming years, making the aircraft a must-have for companies to keep pace with their competitors. They will allow businesses to synthesize and analyze trends in their workflows to bolster their operational efficiency and predict problems before they happen.

    In full, the report:

    • Analyzes the development of drone use across five different industries.
    • Offers a look at how drone use in these industries will evolve over the coming years.
    • Sizes the market for enterprise drone shipments over a seven-year period, both in the US and abroad.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    This is a preview of the Influencer Marketing (2018) research report from Business Insider Intelligence. To learn more about the top platforms, as well as strategies for social media influencer marketing, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    Social Media Influencer Marketing Success Metrics

    The concept of a brand hiring a popular personality to promote a product or service isn't new, and brands know that celebrity endorsements can sell products. In the age of social media, however, brands are finding new ways to leverage popular figures as brand ambassadors, and these people aren't necessarily famous actors, singers, or athletes.

    How brands are leveraging social media influencer marketing

    While brands certainly continue to tap celebrities for endorsement deals, they’re also starting to enlist social media personalities, broadly known as “influencers,” for advertising campaigns. Social influencers generally focus on specific content areas — like fashion, beauty, parenting, or gaming — and cater their content to a specific vertical.

    A new report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, identifies the ways brands can find and manage relationships with social media influencers. It notes the most engaging industry verticals, the pitfalls to avoid, and the opportunities to cash-in on. Finally, it explores how major social platforms are increasingly building out tools that enable their most popular users to build their personal brands.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Influencer marketing ad spend is poised to reach between $5 billion and $10 billion in 2022. Taking the midpoint of $7.5 billion as a base case, this represents a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38%.
    • Brands need to fine-balance providing influencers with enough creative freedom, while also ensuring the messaging positively reflects the brand. Nearly 40% of influencers believe that overly restrictive content guidelines are one of the biggest mistakes brands and agencies make when working with them. 
    • Influencers tend to have higher user engagement than content generated by brands. The average influencer engagement rate across industry verticals is 5.7%. As a comparison, the average engagement rate for brands on Instagram has fluctuated between 2-3% in the past year. 
    • Authenticity is key for influencer marketing messaging. Brands should give influencers sufficient creative freedom to keep posts authentic, as it makes posts less likely to be dismissed by users. Other best practices include repurposing influencer content for multiple platforms, evaluating the audience and following of an influencer, and leveraging data to optimize future campaigns. 

     In full, the report:

    • Outlines recent steps the top social platforms are taking for influencer posts.
    • Details the best practices brands should adopt when starting out with influencer marketing. 
    • Discusses the top verticals that are poised to benefit the most from influencer marketing, and which ones are growing. 
    • Highlights the factors that will be critical for compliance with social platforms and the FTC.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke steps from Air Force One as U.S. President Donald Trump arrives in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

    • Secretary of the Department of the Interior Ryan Zinke will resign following a series of ethics investigations.
    • Pete Davidson made a disturbing Instagram post that worried friends and fans.
    • HQ Trivia founder Colin Kroll was found dead at age 34.

    It's the end of the year, and the days are getting shorter and darker, but that doesn't mean there's less news.

    This weekend, it was announced that another top Trump official will make his departure ahead of this week's funding showdown, "SNL" star Pete Davidson shocked fans with a disturbing Instagram post, and the tech world was rocked by the death of HQ Trivia cofounder Colin Kroll. 

    SEE ALSO: The hardest job on a cruise ship

    Trump announced the departure of a second high-profile administration official

    • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is stepping down at the end of the year, Trump announced in a Saturday tweet. 
    • Zinke's tenure has been plagued by more than a dozen ethics inquiries into his time as the head of the department. Here are the closed, ongoing, and cleared probes
    • In his resignation letter, Zinke said "vicious and politically motivated attacks" against him had "created an unfortunate distraction" in fulfilling the agency's mission.
    • Trump said in his announcement he would announce Zinke's replacement next week. Here are the top contenders


    Sunday show appearances addressed Obamacare ruling and Trump's legal troubles

    • Democratic lawmakers hit back against a federal judge's ruling in favor of 19 states that argued several key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," are unconstitutional.
    • Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer condemned the "awful" ruling and vowed congressional action as soon as possible for an "intervention."
    • Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, may have pursued discussions about a possible Trump Tower Moscow development up to November 2016, six months later than Cohen previously testified.
    • Giuliani also said that hush-money payments meant to silence two women who said they had affairs with Trump during his 2016 campaign were "not a crime."


    The cofounder of HQ Trivia and Vine has died at the age of 34

    • Colin Kroll, the cofounder of HQ Trivia and Vine, has died at the age of 34.

    • Kroll was reportedly found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Saturday night. He was pronounced dead on the scene at 12:18 a.m. on Sunday, with TMZ reporting he died from an accidental overdose, though that remains unverified. 

    • The tech community mourned his passing online.
    • Kroll helped create two of the most viral apps of the last decade after getting his start at Yahoo and travel site JetSetter. Take a look at the rest of his career.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    concerns for wealth managersThis 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.

    An increasing number of wealth managers are using new technologies to make their operations more efficient and to increase customer satisfaction.

    The technologies they are implementing include robotic process automation (RPA), chatbots, machine learning, application programming interfaces (APIs), and explainable AI.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence analyzes how emerging technologies like RPA and AI are transforming the wealth management industry, on both the front and back end, by increasing efficiency and opening up the space to new demographics. We explain how both incumbents and startups are applying these technologies to different business areas, and how successful they've been at implementation. Additionally, we take a look at the challenges wealth managers are facing as they look to revamp their businesses for the digital age.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • Startup wealth managers and digitally savvy technology suppliers are bringing emerging technologies to the fore to make wealth management more time- and cost-efficient. These include RPA, machine learning, and AI. Big players in the space are also beginning to wake up to those opportunities.
    • The technologies can improve consumer-facing elements of wealth management, like onboarding and customer service, to increase customer satisfaction.
    • Machine learning and APIs can help wealth managers improve functions like portfolio management and compliance, and help them better stay on top of regulations, and increase customer satisfaction by offering improved and additional services.
    • However, there are some challenges wealth managers are facing when implementing these tools, ranging from a lack of customer trust in emerging technologies to difficulty finding appropriate talent.

     In full, the report:

    • Outlines how the wealth management industry is implementing emerging technologies.
    • Details which technologies they are using, and what their specific benefits are. 
    • Discusses the potential challenges wealth managers are facing when implementing new technologies.
    • Highlights what wealth managers need to do to stay relevant in the field.

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

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

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

    Join the conversation about this story »


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

    nike gift card

    Gift cards are an ideal gift in a lot of ways. For instance, you get to give them exactly what they want — in the color, style, and exact model that they want it — without polling their closest friends, family, and private online wish lists. They also typically don't expire.

    Below, you'll find 30 of the best ones to give. If you want more options, there are also lots of restaurant gift cards on Amazon and plenty of other brands here. Otherwise, you might opt for stores like Best Buy with free in-store pick-up. 

    Below, you'll find 30 of the best gift cards to give this year:

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

    Brooklinen

    Buy a Brooklinen gift card

    Brooklinen makes the best high-end sheets at the best price on the internet. Have a gift card delivered digitally, or in a gift card box. You can find a full review of Brooklinen's sheets here.



    Amazon

    Buy an Amazon gift card

    An Amazon gift card is a more polite version of giving them cash — with it, they can buy pretty much anything they've had on their wish list — whether it's new and exciting tech or completely utilitarian home basics. You can also buy it in a gift card box.



    Spotify

    Buy a Spotify gift card on Amazon or Best Buy

    They probably already have a Spotify account, but that doesn't mean they won't appreciate not having to pay for it for a while. A Spotify gift card lets you fund the next few months of something they love and use multiple times per day. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Amazon

    • Amazon is rethinking its strategy around items it sells that it refers to internally as "CRaP", which stands for "Can't realize a profit,"according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
    • These items include things like bottles of water, paper towels, and snack foods, which are usually sold for less than $15 and are heavy or bulky, leading to slim margins or worse.
    • It's now trying to focus on more profitable items instead, and wants to get rid of its CRaP items.

    Amazon wants customers to buy less "CRaP" online.

    The e-commerce giant is rethinking its strategy around some items it sells which it calls internally "Can't realize a profit"— or "CRaP" for short, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.

    Amazon reportedly does not like selling these items, which involve commonly purchased things like bottled water, soda, and snack foods, because they're usually sold for less than $15 and are expensive to ship due to being heavy or bulky. That means margins are much worse than other items the website sells.

    Amazon is now eliminating some items and working with its manufacturers or vendors to repackage some items so they're more profitable to sell online, the Journal says. In some cases, like with Coca-Cola products, Amazon will work out a deal where it ships directly from Coke, instead of an Amazon fulfillment center.

    Read more: Amazon is reportedly testing a new feature to convince shoppers to buy its own brands

    Amazon is doing this now, according to the Journal, because it can rely on third-party merchants to pick up the slack for selection, which customers now expect from the "everything store." Sales from third parties have grown to account for more than half of all sales on Amazon.com. 

    The move shows Amazon is not afraid to throw its weight around with vendors, like due to its dominant position online. Amazon has grown to account for almost half of online commerce, according to analysts, and many consumer packaged goods brands don't see it as a choice of whether or not to sell on the website anymore. In fact, nearly half of all online searches start on Amazon, according to Emarketer.

    Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

    SEE ALSO: People are accusing Amazon of 'ruining' Christmas by sending items without their own boxes, but there's a really easy fix

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How Ocean Spray harvests 220 billion cranberries a year


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    quarterly global fintech fundingThis 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.

    Fintech hubs — cities where startups, talent, and funding congregate — are proliferating globally in tandem with ongoing disruption in financial services. 

    These hubs are all vying to become established fintech centers in their own right, and want to contribute to the broader financial services ecosystem of the future. Their success depends on a variety of factors, including access to funding and talent, as well as the approach of relevant regulators.

    This report compiles various fintech snapshots, which together highlight the global spread of fintech, and show where governments and regulatory bodies are shaping the development of national fintech industries. Each provides an overview of the fintech industry in a particular country or state in Asia or Europe, and details what is contributing to, or hindering its further development. We also include notable fintechs in each geography, and discuss what the opportunities or challenges are for that particular domestic industry.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Most countries in Europe have made some formal attempt to foster the development of domestic fintech industries, with Germany and Ireland seeing the best results so far. France, meanwhile, got off to a slow start, but that's starting to change. 
    • The Asian fintech scene took off later than in the US or Europe, but it's seen rapid growth lately, particularly in India, China, and Singapore.
    • The increasing importance of technology-enabled products and services within the financial services ecosystem means the global fintech industry isn't going anywhere. 
    • Fintech hubs will continue to proliferate, with leaders emerging in each region.
    • The future fintech landscape will be molded by regulatory bodies — national and international — as they seek to mitigate the risks, and leverage the opportunities, presented by fintech. 

     In full, the report:

    • Explores the fintech industry in six countries or states, and identifies individual fintech hubs.
    • Highlights successful fintechs in each region.
    • Outlines the challenges and opportunities each country or state faces. 
    • Gives insight into the future of the global fintech industry. 

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

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
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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.

    Emerging markets are going to be essential for e-commerce growth, as retailers in developed markets may soon reach saturation in terms of consumer growth.

    APAC CAGR

    For example, almost half of US households now have a Prime membership, diminishing Amazon's growth potential in the country. Meanwhile, in China, the world's largest e-commerce market, nearly half of the population is actively making online purchases, leaving little room for growth. 

    However, India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America are worth keeping an eye on. E-commerce penetration rates in these areas hover between 2-6%, presenting a huge opportunity for future growth as online sales gain traction. Moreover, these regions are expected to grow at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 31%, 32%, and 16%, respectively, through 2021.

    This report compiles several e-commerce snapshots, which together highlight the most notable emerging markets in various regions. Each provides an overview of the e-commerce industry in a particular country, discusses influential retailers, and provides insights into the opportunities and challenges for that specific domestic industry.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Emerging markets are going to be essential for e-commerce growth, as retailers in developed markets may soon reach saturation in terms of consumer growth.
    • India is the clear overall leader in e-commerce potential, but countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America are also worth keeping an eye on. Within Southeast Asia, Indonesia shows the most promise for retailers, as the government is loosening restrictions on foreign investments, and its massive population is gaining spending power and more access to internet. Meanwhile, Mexico is a retailer's best bet for expansion in Latin America, due to its stable economy and rising middle class, but Brazil may be gearing up to steal the top spot.
    • However, doing business in these regions can be difficult. In most of these emerging markets, infrastructure is underdeveloped and the population is largely unbanked, making digital payments a challenge.
    • If retailers can build a brand presence in these markets while online shopping is still in its nascent stages, they may become market leaders as e-commerce takes off in the regions. Moreover, these markets could provide new sources of growth for companies that would otherwise stagnate in more mature e-commerce markets.

     In full, the report:

    • Explores the e-commerce industry in India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
    • Highlights the leading country in each region, as well as key e-commerce players there. 
    • Outlines the challenges and opportunities each region faces.
    • Gives insight into how these emerging markets may shape the future of e-commerce.

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    • The Internet of Things is fueling the data-based economy and bridging the divide between physical and digital worlds.
    • Consumers, companies, and governments will install more than 40 billion IoT devices worldwide through 2023.
    • The next five years will mark a pivotal transformation in how companies and jurisdictions operate, and how consumers live.

    Being successful in the digital age doesn’t just require knowing the latest buzzwords; it means identifying the transformational trends – and where they’re heading – before they ever heat up.

    IoT Forecast BookTake the Internet of Things (IoT), for example, which now receives not only daily tech news coverage with each new device launch, but also hefty investments from global organizations ushering in worldwide adoption. By 2023, consumers, companies, and governments will install more than 40 billion IoT devices globally. And it’s not just the ones you hear about all the time, like smart speakers and connected cars.

    To successfully navigate this changing landscape, individuals and organizations must understand the full extent and functionality of the “Things” included in this network, the key drivers of each market segment, and how it all relates to the work they do every day.

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has forecasted the start of the IoT’s global proliferation in The IoT Forecast Book 2018— and the next five years will be transformational for consumers, enterprises, and governments.

    • Consumer IoT: In the US alone, the number of smart home devices is estimated to surpass 1 billion by 2023, with consumers dishing out about $725 per household — a total of over $90 billion in spending on IoT solutions.
    • Enterprise IoT: Comprising the most mature segment of the IoT, companies will continue pouring billions of dollars into connected devices and automation. By 2023, the total industrial robotic system installed base will approach 6 million worldwide, while annual spending on manufacturing IoT solutions will reach about $450 billion.
    • Government IoT: Governments globally are ushering in IoT devices to spur the development of smart cities, which would be equipped with innovations like connected cameras, smart street lights, and connected meters to provide a real-time view of traffic, utilities usage, crime, and environmental factors. Annual investment in this area is expected to reach nearly $900 billion by 2023.

    Want to Learn More?

    People, companies, and organizations all over the world are racing to adopt the latest IoT solutions and prevent growing pains amidst a technological transformation. The IoT Forecast Book 2018 from Business Insider Intelligence is a detailed three-part slide deck outlining the most important trends impacting consumer, enterprise, and government IoT — and the key drivers propelling each segment forward.

    Representing thousands of hours of exhaustive research, our multipart forecast books are considered must-reads by thousands of highly successful business professionals. These informative slide decks are packed with charts and statistics outlining the most influential trends on the leading edge of your industry. Keep them for reference or drop the most valuable data into your own presentations to share with your teams.

    Whether you’re newly interested in a topic or you already consider yourself a subject matter expert, The IoT Forecast Book 2018 can provide you with the actionable insights you need to make better decisions.

     

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    sold home

    • Many cities and towns have taken to giving away abandoned homes for free, or selling them at minimal prices.
    • Some local governments even offer stipends or discounts to encourage buyers to renovate old properties.
    • While the offerings may seem like a steal, rehabilitating a home can be quite costly.

    Cities may be experiencing a global housing shortage, but there are still plenty of ways to find cheap real estate. You just have to know where to look. 

    In areas where homes are old or unoccupied, governments occasionally offer subsidies to finance a renovation. In other cases, homeowners are willing to list their properties at little to no cost. 

    We've rounded up the locations where you can find a home for free or at a major discount. 

    The list includes small towns like Tulsa, Oklahoma, as well as major urban areas like Baltimore, Maryland, and Tokyo, Japan. Take a look.

    Homeowners in Tokyo are listing their abandoned properties for free.

    Tokyo has been building like crazy, but the city still struggles to get rid of its unoccupied and deserted homes. The Japan Times recently reported that more than one in 10 homes in Tokyo are empty.

    Part of this has to do with the shrinking size of Japan's population, which means fewer buyers. It's also considered bad luck in Japan to purchase a home that has witnessed a murder, suicide, or "lonely death" (one that occurred in isolation). 

    For this reason, many properties are being given away for free on online databases called "akiya banks," a reference to the Japanese word for "empty home."Others are being sold for as little as $4.

    Read more: Millions of Japanese homes are abandoned, and owners are giving them away for free

     



    New Haven, Connecticut, is giving away up to $42,500 in housing discounts to first-time homebuyers.

    First-time homebuyers in New Haven are eligible to receive up to $10,000 to cover the closing costs or the down payments on their homes. The subsidy comes in the form of an interest-free loan, which is fully forgiven after five years.

    City employees, teachers, police officers, firefighters, and members of the military receive an additional $2,500 off.

    On top of that, the city is giving away $30,000 to those who renovate their homes using energy-saving upgrades.

     

     



    Tulsa, Oklahoma, offers remote workers a 33% discount on a fully furnished apartment for three months.

    The Tulsa Remote program is offering a small group of digital nomads — people with the freedom to work from anywhere — up to $10,000 to move to the city.

    While the stipend doesn't go directly toward housing, the program offers a 33% discount on fully furnished apartments in the Brady Arts District, with utilities thrown in for free.

    Workers are expected to live in Tulsa for a full year, but the apartment discount expires at the end of three months. At that time, they'll have to cover their own rent, which is still among the cheapest in the nation

    Read more:Tulsa, Oklahoma, is paying remote workers $10,000 to live there. They'll even throw in a discounted apartment.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    tv usage decline

    As streaming becomes an increasingly mainstream behavior among consumers, the video industry has produced new combinations of streaming video programming services to prepare for the progressive overhaul in how media is distributed.

    These streaming bundles have emerged in response to the problems of media fragmentation, cord-cutting, and high consumer costs. Declining usage of traditional TV across every demographic, particularly among young viewers, has also demanded new solutions to the traditional distribution model that is pay-TV.

    Although streaming media bundles are still evolving, four distinct models have emerged:

    • Skinny bundles — Cheaper, streaming versions of the traditional pay-TV bundle, but with fewer channels.
    • SVOD aggregators — Facilitate a la carte sign-ups to third-party streaming services through a central user portal. The primary example so far is Amazon Channels, Amazon's SVOD partner program. 
    • SVOD integrations — SVOD services like Netflix that bring their offerings to a traditional operator's service.
    • Streaming service partnerships — Combine one or more streaming services under a single offering, at a lower cost than the total price separately.

    In the SVOD Bundling Report, Business Insider Intelligence examines the state of the US video ecosystem and how media companies are refining their distribution strategies to meet the changing needs of consumers. The report situates each of the four bundle model types within the overall SVOD market, and investigates the overarching advantages and challenges each faces. Finally, we predict how player dynamics might transform and adapt, outlining best practices for providers to succeed within the new TV landscape.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • SVOD bundles partake in a growing SVOD market in the US. Business Insider Intelligence estimates that the SVOD market totals $13.6 billion in 2018, primarily driven by uptake on services from SVOD giants Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. 
    • Streaming video accessed on over-the-top (OTT) platforms is going mainstream, while consumers — particularly younger viewers — are reducing usage on live, linear TV. Traditional TV usage among viewers ages 18-24 has dropped 48% since 2011, 35% among 25-34 year olds, and 18% in the 35-49 demographic. 
    • Skinny bundle services are growing in popularity, with 7.2 million subscribers in the US, but they suffer fundamental financial sustainability problems. 
    • Distributors with at-scale platforms and powerful back-end tech can capitalize on the growing consumer demand for content consolidation among consumers. Faced with a fragmented and expanding universe of content options, more than two-thirds of consumers say they would prefer to get all their services from a single source, per Hub Entertainment Research. 
    • Winners in the bundling shakeout will have prioritized internet-connected tech, an effective user experience, reasonable pricing, and content diversity. 

    In full, the report:

    • Identifies the four SVOD model types that have emerged as alternatives or supplements to traditional distribution.
    • Investigates the top advantages and challenges of each model type.
    • Outlines strategies that players across media and distribution companies can use to address business or market challenges.
    • Explores how the dynamics of each model type will evolve as services converge under new bundled offerings.

     

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    Tom Brady

    • Tom Brady threw an awful interception at a critical moment in the Patriots' loss to the Steelers on Sunday.
    • Brady's decision to throw the ball up as the pocket collapsed around him was shockingly uncharacteristic, and gave a huge swing of momentum to the Steelers.
    • The Patriots have now lost consecutive games in December for the first time since 2002.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the New England Patriots on Sunday in a nail-biter, thanks in part to one critical, awful decision from quarterback Tom Brady.

    Heading into Sunday's game, both teams were in need of a win. The Steelers, once a lock for the playoffs, were reeling after three straight losses. Another loss would put Pittsburgh on the outside of a crowded race for the postseason in the AFC.

    The Patriots needed a win maintain their hold on a first-round bye ahead of the Houston Texans. New England was also coming off of an embarrassing loss to the Miami Dolphins last week.

    Read more:Dolphins pull off stunning upset over Patriots with last-second hook-and-ladder play

    Down four points late in the fourth quarter, Brady had the New England offense marching down the field for what would have been the go-ahead score.

    On second and goal from the Steelers' 16-yard line, Brady made a baffling decision. As the pocket collapsed around him, Brady wildly threw the ball towards the sidelines.

    Though Brady attempted to get the ball out of bounds, Steelers cornerback Joe Haden intercepted the pass to give Brady his first red zone interception since December, 2016.  

    This is a common rookie mistake in the NFL, but is as baffling a decision as you'll ever see from a quarterback as protective of the ball as Brady. 

    On Twitter, the sports world was dumbfounded by Brady's decision.

    Rather than getting another shot at the end zone, Brady turned the ball over and handed an extra possession to the Steelers, who would go on to score a field goal on the ensuing drive.

    Brady would get his shot at redemption, but fall short. On fourth-and-15 from just outside the red zone, Brady's final pass would get knocked down in the end zone, turning the ball, and the game, over to the Steelers.

    The Patriots have now lost consecutive games in December for the first time since 2002. New England will take on the Bills and Jets to finish their season, but will now need help to earn a first-round playoff bye. 

    SEE ALSO: Nick Foles has the chance to cash-in big time with Carson Wentz's injury

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


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    costa rica steve harvey miss universe

    Steve Harvey can't live down his Miss Universe mistake.

    During Monday night's Miss Universe pageant, which aired live on Fox, Harvey named Miss Costa Rica, Natalia Carvajal, to the top 20 and asked her advice as a fellow television personality. 

    "If they ever give you a really, really, really important envelope, try to read carefully, OK?" Carvajal said. 

    The audience cheered as Harvey stared into the distance. 

    Read more: Miss Universe paid tribute to its first transgender competitor, Miss Spain, and made viewers emotional

    "So you all thought that was that damn funny?" Harvey asked and did a fake laugh. "Ya'll just won't let it go, huh?" 

    Harvey hosted the pageant in 2015 when he named the wrong winner live on TV. 

    miss universe wrong crown 2015

    He announced Miss Colombia, Adriana Gutierrez, as the winner and she was crowned. But Harvey read the envelope wrong and had to apologize. Miss Colombia was the first runner-up, while Miss Philippines, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, was the official winner. 

    Read more: A new Miss Universe has been named — watch the crowning moment

    As both contestants looked shocked, Gutierrez had to hand over her crown to Wurtzbach. 

    The host called it a "horrible mistake."

    Harvey hosted again the following year and poked fun at himself. 

    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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    russia meddle

    • A draft report seen by The Washington Post shows how effectively Russia twisted Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to influence the right voters and achieve its reported goal — the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.
    • The goldmine of posts and comments provided by the big tech firms for the Senate allowed researchers the first major data dive into responses to Russian influence and is "the most sweeping analysis yet of Russia’s disinformation campaign"The Post reported on Sunday.

    The Washington Post reported that it has seen the very first deep data analysis that covers post-by-post the social media behaviors across the known Russian accounts for a period spanning several years until the middle of 2017 when they were effectively unmasked.

    It is the first study of the millions of posts provided by major technology firms to the Senate Intelligence Committee, and it provides a new window into the many ways that Russia grasped the power of social media, built their understanding of it, and then manipulated it for the political purposes to help elect Donald Trump president.

    According to The Post, citing the Senate-bound report co-authored by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project and network analysis firm Graphika, the soon-to-be president was most often glowingly mentioned in campaigns that energized conservatives and right-wing voters, while left-wing grioups were confused, infuriated and deflated.

    "What is clear is that all of the messaging clearly sought to benefit the Republican Party — and specifically Donald Trump," the report stated. "(While) the main groups that could challenge Trump were then provided messaging that sought to confuse, distract and ultimately discourage members from voting."

    But how did they do it?

    Clinton russia

    "The Russians aimed particular energy at activating conservatives on issues such as gun rights and immigration, while sapping the political clout of left-leaning African American voters by undermining their faith in elections and spreading misleading information about how to vote," The Post reported.

    SEE MORE:  18 political ads you may have seen on Facebook that were actually made by Russian trolls.

    Sifting through the data, researchers were struck by evidence of sloppiness on the part of the Russians — so much so that they thought the Russians probably should have been found out early on in their campaign. 

    These slip-ups included included buying ads with Russian rubles and leaving Russian phone numbers for contact information.

    The report reveals both a little history and strategy: 

    • They started out on Twitter, then added YouTube and Instagram before finally diving into Facebook, the report said.
    • A Twitter campaign targeting the US began as early as 2013, but it appears the Internet Research Agency (IRA) got the hang of it around 12 months later when the mission sprang to life and grew annually as the ideas spread with more demographic accuracy via better targeted platforms.
    • Facebook was particularly effective— 99% of all likes, shares and other social media reactions came from only 20 pages with names including "Heart of Texas" and "Blacktivist."
    • On Instagram, the Russians ran 133 accounts on the photo-sharing tool owned by Facebook, dividing and agitating based on "race, ethnicity or other forms of personal identity," the report concluded.
    • The Russians' fake "Black Matters US" account had followers across the social media map, from YouTube to Tumblr to PayPal, and by linking them up, they created a snowballing influence that even spilled out into the real world,  agitating across sites for donations, organizing real-world political rallies, and funneling all the online traffic to its Russia-controlled home site.
    • The use of YouTube, like the other platforms, appears to have grown after Trump's election victory. Twitter links to YouTube videos grew by 84% in the six months after the election, the report claims.
    • IRA operatives created Google ads that made statements like "Cops kill black kids. Are you sure that your son won't be the next?" to sow fear, discord and division while promoting the "BlackMatters US" site. The sister Twitter account, meanwhile, ranted about Facebook "supporting white supremacy" for shutting its page down.
    • The Russian Facebook campaign reached 126 million people on Facebook and 20 million more on Instagram, Congress has been told by company officials. Russian Instagram posts generated 185 million likes and 4 million user comments.

    While the report touches on the role played by YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, and Instagram, owned by Facebook, in the Russian campaign, for the first time it sheds further light on where Google+, Tumblr and Pinterest fit into the plan, not to mention the email accounts of Yahoo, Microsoft's Hotmail and Google's Gmail.

    Perhaps the most damning insight from the report, which The Post says will be released to the public later this week, is the difficulties researchers said they faced in accessing the tech giants' data.

    The authors noted the "belated and uncoordinated response" to the disinformation campaign. They criticized the companies for not sharing more data faster and finally urged the companies in the future to be a little more "meaningful and constructive."

    SEE ALSO: Russia has allegedly been spreading far-right propaganda on Facebook to try and influence the US midterms — here it is

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    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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