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The latest news from Business Insider

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    mobile payments lumiscapeThis 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.

    In the US, the in-store mobile wallet space is becoming increasingly crowded. Most customers have an option provided by their smartphone vendor, like Apple, Android, or Samsung Pay. But those are often supplemented by a myriad of options from other players, ranging from tech firms like PayPal, to banks and card issuers, to major retailers and restaurants.

    With that proliferation of options, one would expect to see a surge in adoption. But that’s not the case — though Business Insider Intelligence projects that US in-store mobile payments volume will quintuple in the next five years, usage is consistently lagging below expectations, with estimates for 2019 falling far below what we expected just two years ago. 

    As such, despite promising factors driving gains, including the normalization of NFC technology and improved incentive programs to encourage adoption and engagement, it’s important for wallet providers and groups trying to break into the space to address the problems still holding mobile wallets back. These issues include customer satisfaction with current payment methods, limited repeat purchasing, and consumer confusion stemming from fragmentation. But several wallets, like Apple Pay, Starbucks’ app, and Samsung Pay, are outperforming their peers, and by delving into why, firms can begin to develop best practices and see better results.

    A new report from Business Insider Intelligence addresses how in-store mobile payments volume will grow through 2021, why that’s below past expectations, and what successful cases can teach other players in the space. It also issues actionable recommendations that various providers can take to improve their performance and better compete.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • US in-store mobile payments will advance steadily at a 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to hit $128 billion in 2021. That’s suppressed by major headwinds, though — this is the second year running that Business Insider Intelligence has halved its projected growth rate.
    • To power ahead, US wallets should look at pockets of success. Banks, merchants, and tech providers could each benefit from implementing strategies that have worked for early leaders, including eliminating fragmentation, improving the purchase journey, and building repeat purchasing.
    • Building multiple layers of value is key to getting ahead. Adding value to the user experience and making wallets as simple and frictionless as possible are critical to encouraging adoption and keeping consumers engaged. 

    In full, the report:

    • Sizes the US in-store mobile payments market and examines growth drivers.
    • Analyzes headwinds that have suppressed adoption.
    • Identifies three strategic changes providers can make to improve their results.
    • Evaluates pockets of success in the market.
    • Provides actionable insights that providers can implement to improve results.

    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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    Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    • Sen. Lindsey Graham praised President Donald Trump for his decision to shut down the government rather than compromise on his demand for billions in funding for his long-promised wall along the US-Mexico border. 
    • The South Carolina Republican appeared unconcerned about a government shutdown, which is affecting hundreds of thousands of government employees, and encouraged the president to "dig in." 
    • Other Republican lawmakers have expressed disappointment or even outrage over the president's inability to compromise with Democrats and keep the government open. 

    Sen. Lindsey Graham praised President Donald Trump for refusing to walk back his demand for billions in funding for his long-promised wall along the US-Mexico border, forcing the government to shut down for the third time in two years of a Republican-controlled Washington. 

    Aligning himself with the GOP's right-wing which has pushed for absolutism, the South Carolina Republican argued that the president is justified in taking a hard line on the issue, encouraging him to "break" Democratic lawmakers. 

    "When you make a promise to the American people, you should keep it," Graham said during a Friday night interview on Fox News just before the government shut down. "The one thing I like about President Trump ― he's trying his best to keep his promise. He promised to build a wall, and he's going to fight hard to keep that promise. After the caravan, if you don't see the need for more border security, you're blind."

    Graham characterized the fight as a final opportunity to get the $5 billion Trump is demanding for the wall, which Democrats are dead-set against building. During the appearance, Graham did not mention the hundreds of thousands of government workers that will go without pay during the shutdown. 

    "I'm glad he picked this fight. If we do not stand up now to make sure we get more money for the wall, we'll never get any more next year," Graham said. "So, Mr. President, dig in."

    Montana Sen. Steve Daines on Friday echoed Trump's far-fetched call for Republicans to eliminate the filibuster on legislation, the rule that requires a supermajority of 60 votes to pass bills, including those that fund the government.

    Trump has repeatedly called on McConnell to employ the so-called "nuclear option" in the past, but the majority leader has resisted and shot down the suggestion every time. Lawmakers have argued that getting rid of the filibuster would result in a more volatile chamber and destroy the last concrete rule that forces bipartisan agreement.

    But other Republican senators voiced a contrary sentiment, slamming both parties for failing to come to an agreement to keep the government open. 

    Read more: Chuck Schumer just poked a huge hole in Trump's logic in the government-shutdown fight

    "I was not elected to shut down the government, I was elected to make it work for taxpayers. This is a complete failure of negotiations and a success for no one," Sen. Lamar Alexander, who recently announced he will retire in 2020, tweeted on Friday night. "Shutting down the government should be as off limits to budget negotiations as chemical weapons are to warfare." 

    This comes after Trump proclaimed last week that he would be "proud" to shut the government down over the border wall fight, and insisted that he would shoulder the political fallout and take blame for the government closure. Instead, he's pivoted to blaming Democrats for the shutdown.

    "We are going to be working very hard to get something passed in the Senate. There's a very good chance it won't get passed," Trump said. "It's up to the Democrats. So it's really the Democrat shutdown. Because we've done our thing."

    Bob Bryan contributed to this report. 

    SEE ALSO: 'We MUST end these unauthorized wars': the anti-war left hesitantly celebrates Trump's troop pullout

    Join the conversation about this story »

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


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    Santa Claus

    • Americans vary in how they pronounce the words "merry,""marry," and "Mary."
    • A majority, 57%, of Americans pronounce all three words the same.
    • The divide highlights something fascinating about American English.

    You're probably going to hear the phrase "merry Christmas" a lot over the next few days.

    But depending on who you talk to, it might not sound the same every time.

    That's because how people pronounce the word "merry" is at the heart of one of the most interesting divides in American English. And diving into the data reveals a fascinating quirk about our language.

    How do you pronounce 'merry,' 'marry,' and 'Mary'?

    Think of how you pronounce "merry,""marry," and "Mary." 

    Do you pronounce all those words the same? Do you pronounce two of them the same, and one different? Or do they all sound different when you say them?

    If you chose option 1, you're in the majority — 57% of the country pronounces all three words the same. That's according to the Harvard Dialect Study, a legendary 2003 survey of more than 30,000 Americans by linguist Bert Vaux and data scientist Scott Golder.

    Related:'Soda,' 'pop,' or 'coke': More than 400,000 Americans weighed in, and a map of their answers is exactly what you'd expect

    If you're one of that 57%, odds are that all three words rhyme with "hairy" when you say them. It's a phenomenon known as "vowel merging," in which distinct vowel sounds in a dialect slowly converge into the same sound over time.

    Meanwhile, 17% of the country pronounces all three words differently. These are the people whose dialects have resisted vowel merging. If you're in that group, you most likely say "merry" with a "meh" sound at the beginning, rhyme Mary with "hairy," and pronounce "marry" with the same vowel sound in "trap."

    The final 26% of respondents pronounce two of the three words the same, in most cases "marry" and "Mary," with "merry" being the odd one out. You can see the whole results here.

    Interestingly, pronouncing all three words the same can reveal where you come from: It's mostly associated with the Northeast, especially Philadelphia, the New York City area, and Boston. 

    The explanation hinges on the letter R

    For New Yorkers and Bostonians, the reason for the distinction likely has to do with their famous tendency of dropping the R sound at the ends of syllables — "pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd" is an example.

    The presence of an R shapes the way we articulate the vowel before it, San Diego State University linguistics professor Aaron Dinkin told Business Insider. So speakers who treat their R's differently are going to wind up with two different pronunciations of the same word.

    Depending on where you're from, you might consider the R sound in "merry" to be at the end of the first syllable rather than the start of the second. But if your dialect shies away from placing R's at the end of syllables, you'll place the sound at the start of the second syllable, allowing for less influence on the vowel before it. The rules don't just apply to merry and marry, but any similarly-structured words too, like "very,""fairy," or "Harry."

    Over in Philadelphia, speakers have something entirely different going on: they tend to pronounce "merry" the same as "Murray," another example of how sounds in English are constantly shifting.

    "People learn the dialect features of the community they grow up in, for the most part, and every dialect is suitable for the communicative needs of the people that speak it," Dinkin told Business Insider.

    "But changes are always taking place as one generation learns the dialect ever-so-slightly differently than the previous generation did."

    SEE ALSO: 27 fascinating maps that show how Americans speak English differently across the US

    DON'T MISS: 9 common words you probably didn't know came from movies

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why 'moist' is one of the most hated words in the English language


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    Nick Foles

    • The Philadelphia Eagles are 7-7 and currently on the outside looking in at the NFC playoff picture.
    • There are ways for the defending champs to make it back to the postseason, as long as they can get a little help from around the league.
    • The easiest path is to win out, but they may still be alive even if they lose on Sunday.

    It's been a tough season for the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Just months removed from their first Super Bowl win in franchise history, the reigning champions have dealt with a series of devastating injuries and ill-timed collapses. They stand at 7-7 heading into the final two weeks of the season.

    But thanks to Nick Foles and an impressive upset victory over the Los Angeles Rams last weekend, Philadelphia is still alive in their hunt to repeat as champions.

    Below, we break down the four easiest ways the Eagles can earn a playoff spot.

    Here's how the NFL playoff bracket would look if the season ended today:

    The Minnesota Vikings hold the final playoff spot in the NFC. At 7-6-1, a half-game up on the Eagles in the standings. The 8-6 Seattle Seahawks hold claim to the first wild-card spot. The Eagles also trail the 8-6 Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East race. 

    For the Eagles to earn a shot at defending their Super Bowl title, they'll need a bit of help from at least one of those three teams.

    After their win over the Rams, the Eagles chances of making the playoffs jumped from 18% to 39% according to FiveThirtyEight. According to Philly.com's Jeff McLane, there are 10 scenarios through which the Eagles can still make the playoffs, but some of those get into the precarious details of tiebreakers.



    1. If the Eagles win both remaining games, and the Vikings lose at least once

    The most important step to the Eagles getting into the postseason is to win their remaining games. While there are scenarios that can see Philadelphia into the playoffs should they split their final two, things would get a bit more complicated.

    The easiest way the Eagles can get back to the playoffs is to beat the Texans at home in Week 16, beat the Redskins in Washington in Week 17, and hope that the Vikings lose one of their final two.

    Minnesota finishes the season at Detroit, and then home for the Bears, who at that point, might have little to gain from a win. If the Vikings drop one more game and the Eagles win out, Philadelphia would be through with a 9-7 record.



    2. The Eagles win both remaining games, and the Seahawks lose both remaining games

    If Seattle lost its final two games — home against the Chiefs and the Cardinals — and the Eagles won out, Philadelphia could jump them in the wild-card race and snag the fifth seed in the NFC.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The future of retail is looking bright.The future of mobile commerce

    So bright that Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, expects the industry to top $5.5 trillion by 2020!

    While in-store and desktop purchases are certainly helping the retail industry boom, the biggest factor for this incredible growth is in your pocket.

    Find out why the smartphone will be crucial for retailers in 2018 and beyond with the first part of a brand new slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence called The Future of Retail: Mobile Commerce.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • US retail is growing $200 billion year-over-year
    • In-store retail is still dwarfing e-commerce
    • But e-commerce is growing almost 4x faster than in-store
    • Mobile commerce is driving most of that growth
    • And much more

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

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

    • Brett McGurk, the top US official leading a 79-nation coalition fighting ISIS, resigned from his post on Friday in protest of the president's sudden decision to withdraw all US troops from Syria. 
    • McGurk said in an email to staff that President Donald Trump's decision on Syria came as a "shock," was a "complete reversal" of US policy, and "left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered." 
    • "I worked this week to help manage some of the fallout but — as many of you heard in my meetings and phone calls — I ultimately concluded that I could not carry out these new instructions and maintain my integrity," he wrote.

    Brett McGurk, the top US official leading a 79-nation coalition fighting ISIS, resigned from his post on Friday in protest of President Donald Trump's sudden decision to withdraw all US troops from Syria, telling staff in an email that Trump's move came as a "shock" and a "complete reversal" of US policy. 

    "It left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered," McGurk wrote in the email, which the New York Times' Rukmini Callimachi reported brought some staffers to tears. 

    McGurk, the special presidential envoy in the long-fought battle, was planning to retire in February, but sped up his departure as a result of the president's controversial and unexpected decision to pull all 2,000 US troops out of the war-torn Middle Eastern nation, CBS News reported on Saturday. 

    He wrote in the email, which was first reported by the Times, that he could not abide the dramatic change in policy, which Trump announced by tweet without consulting Congress or US allies. 

    "I worked this week to help manage some of the fallout but — as many of you heard in my meetings and phone calls — I ultimately concluded that I could not carry out these new instructions and maintain my integrity," he said.

    Read more: 13 intense images of the rise and fall of ISIS, the feared terror group that has re-surged from previous defeats

    McGurk's resignation comes just one day after Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced he is quitting over Trump's withdrawal from Syria, treatment of US allies, and the handling of American adversaries.

    Just days ago, McGurk, a rare Obama administration holdover who has served three presidential administrations, said US forces would remain in Syria until "we have the pieces in place to ensure that that defeat is enduring."

    "It would be reckless if we were just to say, well, the physical caliphate is defeated, so we can just leave now," he said at the State Department podium. "I think anyone who's looked at a conflict like this would agree with that."

    On Saturday, Trump called news reports concerning Syria "mostly FAKE" and insisted that the terrorist group is "largely defeated" and can be contained by neighboring countries, including Turkey, despite the fact that the group retains as many as 30,000 loyal fighters

    "When I became President, ISIS was going wild. Now ISIS is largely defeated and other local countries, including Turkey, should be able to easily take care of whatever remains," Trump wrote. "We're coming home!"

     

    SEE ALSO: 'We MUST end these unauthorized wars': the anti-war left hesitantly celebrates Trump's troop pullout

    Join the conversation about this story »

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


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    Banksy Seasons Greetings mural Wales

    • British street artist Banksy created a new work called"Season's Greetings," which appeared in Port Talbot, Wales.
    • The new mural is under 24-hour protection, and was attacked by someone trying to damage it Saturday.
    • From one side of the building, the image appears to show a child playing in the snow.
    • But look around the corner and the full picture shows the child is covered in ash generated by a dumpster fire.
    • The image appeared on a garage on Tuesday.

    Banksy's new mural in Port Talbot, Wales, has only been up for five days but is under 24-hour guard and has already been attacked.

    The new work is called Season's Greetings, and it's the street artist's first mural in Wales.

    According to the BBC, security chased away what one local described as a "drunk halfwit" who tried to tear down the fencing that protects the mural.

    Additional security has been drafted in, the BBC reported.

    Local resident Gary Owen wrote on a community Facebook page: "Some drunk halfwit has tried to pull the fencing down and the protection glazing at the Banksy artwork tonight, The security guard chased him off and police were called. This art is for Port Talbot, Neath and surrounding areas. We do not want it wrecked."

    The new mural appeared on a garage in the town on Tuesday. When viewed from one side, the artwork appears to show a boy playing in the snow. But move around the corner, and the full image shows the boy covered in ash thrown up by a dumpster fire.

    Banksy Seasons Greetings mural Wales

    Banksy's mural appears to highlight the plague of polluted air and is the artist's first artwork in Wales. Port Talbot is the site of a major steelworks, which employs around 10% of the town's population. According to locals, the steelworks generates considerable pollution, affecting their health.

    Gary Owen, a 55-year-old former steelworker, revealed that he had written to Banksy via Instagram to ask the artist to create a new mural. The artist never replied but, some months later, the new artwork appeared in Port Talbot.

    The BBC reported that the actor Michael Sheen, who grew up near Port Talbot, is helping pay security and legal bills to protect the mural.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why Harvard scientists think this interstellar object might be an alien spacecraft


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    best of visuals 2018_2x1

    Business Insider's photo and graphics teams captured a lot of 2018's ups and downs through original visuals.

    Our coverage included everything from the floor plans of Jeff Bezos mansion, to Kim Jong Un's family tree, to photos of our Border Patrol ride-along at the US-Mexico border.

    While we've created thousands of graphics and photos this year, these are our highlights from 2018: 

    SEE ALSO: US gun laws, Thai cave divers, and the price of beer around the world: What 2018 looked like in maps

    The space between Earth and the moon is mind-boggling. This graphic reveals just how big it is — and what's out there.

    See the full graphic here.



    7 big health myths that were debunked in 2018

    See more photos here.



    How solstice works and why it starts both summer and winter

    See the full graphic here.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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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.

    Rocketbook 2 (1)

    • Rocketbook is best-known for creating a $30 smart notebook called the Everlast which wipes clean with a damp cloth. You may have seen it on Kickstarter or Shark Tank.
    • By outlining one of the icons printed on each page in pen, you can blast a JPEG or PDF of your handwritten notes to Google Drive, iCloud, messages, Dropbox and more.
    • I've been using the Everlast for a little while now, and I'm surprised by how great the product is. If you're looking for a smart notebook that sends handwritten notes to your devices, this is my personal recommendation based on its price, reliability, and simplicity.

    If you're an old soul who prefers pen and paper notes (they're just more personal, you know?), or you just get how obnoxious it is to be the only person clack-clack-clacking away at your laptop in a big meeting, you'll probably be interested in this $30 Kickstarter-funded smart notebook.  

    Once rejected on Shark Tank, the notebook is made by Rocketbook (the same company that brought you such worldly gifts as microwavable notebooks), and it connects to an app on your phone so you can save your notes easily. 

    How it works

    You can write in the Everlast notebook with the included FriXion pen, take a picture to scan the notes, and seamlessly send either a PDF or JPEG of your writing to a host of destinations (your email, messages, iCloud, Google Docs, Dropbox, and more). Then, once you're done and want a fresh page, you take a wet cloth and wipe it down. Your notes come off, and you can start the process again. There are 36 pages, but some users may find they only regularly touch one to five of them.

    ytjjhgj

    Why it's a good value

    It's a pretty great use of $30. You get access to your notes online without additional typing, get to use something lighter and easier than your laptop to jot things down, and you only need to buy one notebook for $30 to end all future notebook purchases. You don't need to re-up on your Everlast (theoretically), and you'll have digital copies of your notes so you won't find yourself digging through a stack of legal pads in the attic at any point. 

    How it is in real life

    When I heard about the idea of a notebook that lets users wipe down the pages to reuse them, I thought back to high school lab assignments. It seemed like a fun, cool experiment for that would last a couple of days, but not a feature I would bother to use very often. I'm pretty minimal when it comes to day-to-day life, and few gadgets punch through to the everyday. 

    I was surprised by how much I have used the Everlast, and by how much I really, genuinely like it. I personally prefer the ease and immediacy of handwritten notes, and the post-it notes strewn across my desk can attest to that fact. Since Rocketbook sent the Everlast to our office, I've used it nearly every day, almost like a whiteboard. I write down a to-do list for the day with the day's date at the top, and I cross tasks off as I get to them throughout the day. If I'm feeling ambitious, I'll scan the remaining tasks into an email to do later that night if I leave the notebook at the office. The next day, I wipe the page down and start again. It's taken some of the pressure off of note-taking, and I love that it has become a habit. Writing things down helps me organize my thoughts, and crossing them out incentivizes me in a 'simple joy' kind of way. It's also a much less wasteful way to prefer paper in the 21st century. 

    How it compares to competitors

    I've used more expensive options that digitize notes, and each has their merits (like Moleskine's $200 Smart Writing Set, which actually turns your handwritten notes into text you can copy and paste into documents — a huge help during college lectures that didn't allow laptops), but Rocketbook's $30 Everlast is hard to beat in terms of usability and dependability for cost. Plus, you can reuse it. It's a sustainable purchase that won't require you to shell out $30 more in the future when you run out of pages and have to replace your investment. And for a minimalist like me, I appreciated its simplicity. 

    It's also easier than expected to use the Everlast's scanning system (just take a picture in the app) and you get to assign each of the seven icons at the bottom of the page to a specific destination (the diamond can be emails, the apple can be iCloud, and so on). When you want to email your notes rather than send them to iCloud, just outline the assigned email icon with pen. When you scan, the app will understand the command. If you outline more than one, the Everlast app will send it to both destinations.

    27894473_175140513122509_2714555507305086976_n

    Cons to the Everlast smart notebook

    Having said all that, it's worth noting that you're only supposed to use specific pens in the notebook, which is always an added inconvenience. I haven't lost the FriXion pen that comes with the Everlast purchase yet, so this hasn't impacted me, but it is something to consider. Replacement pens are about 7 for $11 on Amazon. Just to be sure, I did a test with a Bic pen, and you really are better off using the recommended styles that wipe away; any other pen is there to stay.

    However, the pens do work particularly well — the paper is smoother than average, and even though they sort of "glide" across it, I never noticed any smudging when my hand rested against past notes. After the designated 15 seconds, the ink dries and stays put until wiped away with a damp cloth.

    Final thoughts

    All in all, the Everlast is a really useful tool if spending $30 for a reusable smart notebook makes sense to you. It saves you money on future notebooks, sends scans of your notes to your devices, and wipes down for easy and immediate reuse. I already prefer handwritten notes, but I'm surprised by how easy and helpful using this notebook has been. If you're looking for a new office or school tool, the Everlast is a really solid option. 

    Buy Rocketbook Everlast Reusable Smart Notebook on Amazon for $30

    SEE ALSO: 7 unexpected fitness tools that really work

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    • We spent four days inside the United States Coast Guard's intense, eight-week basic training program in Cape May, New Jersey.
    • Coast Guard recruits undergo an intense journey that’s heavy on both academic and physical challenges.
    • What sets it apart are the brutal “smoke sessions,” where recruits are disciplined as a group for mistakes made by individuals in their respective companies.
    • We were embedded at Training Center Cape May for four days, allowing us to see different companies at various stages of the program, culminating with the emotional graduation ceremony on the Friday of week eight.

    Recruit: 158, 157!

    Petty Officer Cichosz: Louder.

    Recruit: 156!

    Cichosz: Louder!

    Recruit: 155!

    Cichosz: Louder! Open your mouth!

    Recruit: 154! 153!

    Cichosz: Go around!

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Cichosz!

    Petty Officer Misiuda: Open your mouth, man! Keep going! Did I tell you to stop?

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Misiuda!

    Narrator: This is Coast Guard boot camp.

    Recruit: Zero, zero! One!

    Petty Officer Cichosz: Go away!

    Recruit:
    Aye, aye, Petty Officer Cichosz!

    Narrator:
    Before they get to serve in the United States Coast Guard, all recruits have to graduate from the Coast Guard’s eight-week basic training program.

    Petty Officer Gunn:
    Get louder than that!

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Petty Officer Gunn: Get away from me!

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Chief Brandon Wheeley:
    It's not easy. There's a reason why the program is designed the way it is. We have people from all walks of life that come here. It is a small portion of the youth of this nation that are at least attempting to raise their hand and do something bigger than themselves.

    Narrator: Basic training happens here, at United States Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, located at the southernmost point of New Jersey. But before they get to Cape May, all incoming recruits report to the USO Lounge at the Philadelphia airport. It’s where they spend their final moments before beginning their journeys as Coast Guardsmen.

    Recruit: Why am I doing this? I don’t know, it sounded like a good opportunity.

    Recruit: My grandfather was in the Coast Guard.

    Recruit: My mom’s whole side of the family was in the Navy. But I didn’t really feel like the Navy was my calling. The Coast Guard felt right.

    Recruit: I don’t have a ton of money, man. I don’t come from money. So, I couldn’t really afford school. So, this kind of seemed like my only option to do this without accruing a large amount of debt, so.

    Recruit: I’m most nervous about — honestly just the yelling. It’s something you don’t get used to in day-to-day life as a civilian.

    Mike Schultz: This is the last non-stressful meeting you're going to have for the next several weeks. It's a learning experience. Their teaching methods are just a tad different than what you're used to. They're gonna walk into a world that's very different for them. It's going to be very intense so that when they go out into the fleets, stations, and cutters, they're ready to help and ready to perform.

    Narrator: The incoming recruits enjoy what little downtime they have left...

    Schultz: Get out in the hallway! Let’s go!

    Narrator: Before they line up, and head to the bus that will drive them to Cape May.

    Recruit Coordinator: Okay, Coast Guard, tough eight weeks ahead of you. What’s the motto of the Coast Guard?

    Recruits: Semper Paratus.

    Recruit Coordinator: I can’t hear you!

    Recruits: Semper Paratus!

    Narrator: The motto of the Coast Guard is “Semper Paratus.” It means “Always ready.” These new recruits have about two hours to get ready for what happens the second their bus ride is over.

    Company Commander:
    Hurry up! Let’s go! Move! Get on the triangle!

    Recruits: Aye, aye, sir!

    Company Commander: Aye, aye, what?

    Recruit: Aye, aye, sir!

    Company Commander: Hurry up!

    Chief Brandon Wheeley: Obviously, there's the shock and awe factor to it. Everything goes haywire for a little bit.

    Recruits: Aye, aye, sir!

    Wheeley: While we do need to instill that little bit of fear and sense of urgency in them that evening...

    Company Commander: Tuck your shirt in!

    Recruit: Yes, sir!

    Wheeley:  The main goal is: get them in the building and get them processed, and get the paperwork where it needs to go, and get them in the rack. Do it now! Aye, aye!

    Recruits: Aye, aye, sir!

    Narrator:  The first incarnation of the Coast Guard was born in 1790. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton lobbied Congress to construct a fleet of ten large ships, or “cutters,” intended to enforce tariffs on vessels entering U.S. ports. In 1915, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Lifesaving Service to form what we know today as the United States Coast Guard.  Since then, the Coast Guard has been involved in every major United States military conflict. Today, the Coast Guard has more than 40,000 men and women on active duty, and over 30,000 more serving in reserve and auxiliary capacities. Andit all begins here. On a cold week in November, we spent four days at Training Center Cape May, allowing us to observe different companies at various stages of the eight-week boot camp.

    Recruit: Bootcamp, itself — it is whatever you make it. You do what you're told. Yes, sir. No, sir. Aye aye, sir. And it's as simple as that.

    Recruits: Aye, aye, ma’am!

    Narrator: First, the new recruits are issued uniforms.

    Doctor: Next in line. Come on, this way.

    Narrator: And after a medical exam and standard vaccinations, the male recruits get a free haircut. Then, it’s time for the initial physical fitness assessment, where the recruits have to do as many push-ups and sit-ups as they can in one minute.  Finally, there’s a one-and-a-half mile run. Male recruits have 14 minutes to finish the run. Female recruits have 17 minutes. Not every recruit passes on their first try, but they do get another chance.

    Instructor: You have five minutes to finish this test. Most of you will finish in three minutes.

    Narrator: All Coast Guard recruits have to pass a three-part swimming test.

    Instructor: Go ahead, step to the edge.

    Narrator: First,  jumping into the pool from a six-foot platform.

    Instructor: Step off!

    Narrator: Then, a 100-meter swim. And last, they have to tread water for five minutes. Coast Guard recruits don’t have to be expert swimmers. Remedial swimmers are allowed to wear flotation devices. After all of this physical exertion, the recruits have undoubtedly worked up an appetite… which means it’s time for lunch.. Or as it’s known at Cape May, “chow.” But chow isn’t a time for relaxation or chatting with your fellow recruits. In fact, it’s the complete opposite.

    Company Commander: What is it?

    Narrator: In fact, it’s the complete opposite.

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Sanchez!

    Wheeley: Let’s go! Move your feet! How about you move a little faster, man? Nope, nope! Get out! That’s not where you sit! That’s not where you sit! You have someone right there telling you where to go!

    It should be one of the most relaxing times they have, you would think, but that is when all eyes are on them.

    You’re not special! And you didn’t shave last night like we told you! A razor never touched your face! As soon as you get back from medical, I am taking you in there and ensuring that you shave!

    Recruit: You probably think that you get a little break from the Company Commanders, but when you go to your seats, the Company Commanders are staring you down and asking you questions.

    Petty Officer Greenwell: Tell me about a class-bravo fire. Who was Alex Haley? Tell me about Commodore Bertholf.

    Narrator: Before they can eat, recruits are randomly stopped by company commanders, and tested on required Coast Guard knowledge.

    Petty Officer Greenwell: Go away, Davis.

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Greenwell!

    Narrator: Recruits who answer correctly are allowed to pass and eat their meals.

    Petty Officer Greenwell: Carry on. Tell about Douglas Munro. It’s not on the deck! Start writing!

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Greenwell!

    Petty Officer Greenwell: Start writing! Start writing! Start writing!

    Narrator: Those who fail to answer correctly are ordered to document their mistakes on a  performance tracker, which is collected and reviewed every day by their Company Commanders.

    Wheeley: It just goes to show you that there is no downtime in basic training.

    Misiuda: Who the freak are you?!

    Wheeley: It's a sense of urgency in everything we do. And it really, all at the end of the day is there to assist the recruits and keep them sharp.

    Petty Officer Greenwell: Carry on.

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Greenwell!

    Company Commander: Ah! You don’t respond to “carry on!”

    Narrator: And as boot camp goes on, it doesn’t get any easier outside the galley.

    Misiuda: We’re going outside to play some games because of some stuff that you did.

    Narrator: If an individual recruit makes a mistake in boot camp, the entire company pays for it.

    Misiuda: So, this is what I don’t understand. I don’t understand why we’re in week zero six. We still have gear adrift in our damn squad bays! We still can’t push in the hooks on our freaking racks – our laundry hooks! We’re being lazy, Sierra, aren’t we?

    Recruits: Yes, Petty Officer Misiuda!

    Misiuda: I’m glad you agree. Fire, fire fire!

    Recruits: Fire, fire, fire!

    Narrator: When recruits hear their Company Commander say, “Fire, fire, fire,” it often means they’re about to get “smoked.”

    Misiuda: Find some real estate!

    Wheeley: The“smoke sessions,” if you will, are the physical exertion of energy to re-instill to them that what they were doing was not the correct thing.

    Recruits: Zero, one! One!

    Misiuda: Stop anticipating my command! We’ll just keep playing this game until you get louder! Straight out in front of you!

    I was walking through their squad bays. Their racks weren’t made properly. Just little, minute, attention-to-detail things that they should know as week zero six recruits, so they got punished for it.

    Recruit: Getting smoked is rough. It's hard to push through sometimes, but at the end of it you feel better because you made it through You feel like It makes you stronger.

    Company Commander: Get on the deck!

    Misiuda: Oh, did we lose count? Do we need to start over?

    Recruits: No, Petty Officer Misiuda!

    Misiuda: Just do one good pushup!

    Usually in this week of training, we don’t really discipline them as much, but we still have to uphold standards, and if they’re not meeting those standards, then that’s when we use these tools.

    Have we had enough?

    Recruits: Yes, Petty Officer Misiuda!

    Misiuda: We need to be just as tough as the Army, the Air Force, the Marines, and the Navy. So, we also have to be held up to that standard as well.

    Petty Officer Gunn: Minute two-six, probation, on the quarterdeck!

    Narrator: Recruits who don’t meet the standards of their Company Commanders are put on probation, which is signified by wearing a red belt.

    Cichosz: Are you even using your brain, Press?

    Gunn: If you get put on probation, when you’re falling behind the company, you have an attitude problem.  You wear a red belt that says, “I need special attention. I need extra help. I need you to put the spotlight on me for a couple of days.”

    Narrator: Recruits in need of even MORE motivation enter a program known as RAMP, which stands for Recruit Attitude Motivational Program. Recruits in RAMP are required to wear a red vest.

    Wheeley: RAMP is a program we have in place for the recruits who don't seem to grasp the basic fundamentals of getting on board and aligning themselves with the Coast Guard core values. It gives them a chance to step back, realize the bigger picture and that it means more than just the individuality in which brought the recruits to the training center. It's how they operate as a team and as a cohesive unit.

    Narrator: When we filmed this, these recruits were completely unsupervised, and weren’t being ordered by their Company Commanders.

    Gunn: Get over here, Wentler! Get over here, Wentler! I don’t understand why the hell everyone is counting but you! And then you cross that threshold when I can see you, then you start doing the right thing. Get over here. Get over here. Get over here.

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: Chair sit. Feet shoulder-width apart right now! Doing the right thing when no one’s looking. Say it, you.
    Recruit: Doing the right thing when no one’s looking!

    Gunn: Louder.

    Recruit: Doing the right thing when no one’s looking!

    Gunn: Louder!

    Recruit: Doing the right thing when no one’s looking!

    Gunn: Louder!

    Recruit: Doing the right thing when no one’s looking! Doing the right thing when no one’s looking! Doing the right thing when no one’s looking! Doing the right thing when no one’s looking!

    Gunn: Shut your mouth!

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: So, tell me exactly why, why you think it’s okay to do whatever the hell you want, and then someone sees you and then, oops, wake up! Time for me to start doing the right thing. Not good to go! Not good to go!

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: Get upright!

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: Fly away from me!

    Recruit: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Narrator: In addition to undergoing intense physical and psychological challenges, the recruits actually spend the bulk of their time in the classroom.

    Wheeley: TheCoast Guard basic training is heavy on academics. It’s almost — we use the term sometimes that it's like drinking information through a fire hose.

    Narrator: Recruits are trained to fight fires. This so-called “wet room” is used to simulate a fire on a Coast Guard cutter, giving the recruits a realistic fire-fighting scenario. The recruits are trained in marksmanship...
    Recruits: Shift my rudder, aye, aye!

    Narrator: And seamanship.

    Instructor: We’re going to practice on our knots right now, so everybody get out your lanyards really quick.

    Narrator: While filming in this class, one recruit gestured towards our camera. An officer spotted this, and while the recruit was privately reprimanded for the offense, the entire company would pay the price.


    Gunn: You people want to act like actual crazy people all day at seamanship? I’ve got a tool for that. Two zero zero seconds back on line with a full canteen. Go!

    Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!
     

    Gunn: Fly, fly, fly! Little blue blurs! Little blue blurs!

    Ears.

    Recruits: Open!

    Gunn: Feet shoulder-width apart right now.

    Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: Get your canteens above your skulls!

    Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: Fingers interlaced, cap facing the overhead!

    Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: You people have absolutely no self-discipline! Absolutely no self-discipline! So, you’re just gonna remind yourselves: We have no self-discipline! Go!

    Recruits: We have no self-discipline! We have no self-discipline! We have no self-discipline!

    Gunn: Get your biceps to your ears! Get your biceps to your ears!

    Recruits: We have no self-discipline! We have no self-discipline!

    Gunn: Scream your face off! Get louder! Get louder!

    Recruits: We have no self-discipline! We have no self-discipline! We have no self-discipline!

    Gunn: Get it up! Up! Up!

    Recruits: We have no self-discipline! We have no self-discipline! Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: Hey, Lindsay, you taking a nice little break now that I turned my back?

    Recruit: No, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: Let’s add a few minutes for that there, Victor. Thank you, shipmate, thank you.

    Recruits: Thank you, shipmate, thank you!

    Gunn: We have no self-discipline!

    Recruits: We have no self-discipline! We have no self-discipline!

    Recruit: You might think a small water bottle with water in it isn’t that heavy, but after 20 minutes, your shoulders kind of get a little heavy. And once the sweat starts dripping into your eyes, you want to definitely put it down. But let me advise you, do not put it down because you will be holding the water bottle up for a longer period of time.

    Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: Taking a nice little break, Yelton? Taking a nice little break, Yelton?

    Recruit: No, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: We have no self-discipline!

    Recruits: We have no self-discipline! We have no self-discipline!

    Gunn: It’s immediate recognition for their mess-ups. It’s immediate recognition for something that they’re doing wrong. I let them set their own pace, you know, and say, “All of you as a team are gonna keep it up. Oops he didn’t make it. Let’s all start over.” It’s really productive.

    Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: You taking a nice little rest, there with your hands, Van Brunt? Crazy how “fingers interlaced on the front of the canteen” was the rule and you broke it. Start over!
    Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Recruit: Very challenging to get through it. You just almost laugh at your own pain because you're out of breath from screaming so loud. Your shoulders are burning It’s a huge relief when the whistle blows and you’re told to put your arms down.

    Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: You want to make a deal, Victor?

    Recruits: Yes, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Gunn: Ears.

    Recruits: Open!

    Gunn: Ears!

    Recruits: Open!

    Gunn: Drop the canteens.

    Recruits: Aye, aye, Petty Officer Gunn!

    Narrator: Before graduation, recruits receive their orders for where they’ll be stationed after they leave Cape May.

    Chief Rowton: Davis! Where’d you want to go?

    Recruit: Chief Rowton! Seaman recruit Davis! I want to go to Puerto Rico!

    Rowton: You’re going all the way across to Hawaii. The exact opposite area. Good enough?

    Recruit: Yes, Chief Rowton!

    Rowton: Alright, you can’t get Puerto Rico, you got Hawaii. That’s pretty good, right?

    Recruit: Yes, Chief Rowton! Hawaii!

    Rowton: Where’d you want to go?

    Recruit: Chief Rowton! Seaman recruit Budhram! Anywhere warm!

    Narrator: Recruits can request the region or district where they’d prefer to be stationed after graduation.

    Greenwell: Where’d you want to go?

    Recruit: Petty Officer Greenwell! Seaman recruit Barker! On any Coast Guard cutter!

    Greenwell: Winner. Coast Guard cutter Shackle. South Portland.

    Narrator: But their requests aren’t always granted.

    Rowton: Where’d you want to go?

    Recruit: Chief Rowton! Seaman recruit Dowling! California!

    Rowton: You’re going to Alabama. Woo!

    Recruit: Alabama!

    Narrator: On the Friday of week eight, the recruits are ready for graduation. Friends and family gather for their first glimpse of the recruits since the beginning of boot camp.

    Captain Owen Gibbons: They feel joy and accomplishment. They know that they have done something that is physically and emotionally challenging. They feel satisfied that they've done that. Their parents are impressed because many times the parents see them for the first time as an adult, as an accomplished adult. We get a lot of credit for the change that goes on here. In a lot of cases, we're just the catalyst. The recruits responds to the impetus themselves. They formulate the plan to change themselves as individuals and as a team, and they meet their Company Commanders’ standards. That’s the “you’ve actually done it.” And I think that’s what you see in the room today.

    Petty Officer Wilderman: Disband!

    Recruits: Mission complete, Petty Officer Wilderman!

    Narrator: Meanwhile, at Sexton Hall, boot camp is just beginning for Whiskey Company. That’s the group we first met met at the Philadelphia airport.

    Company Commander: Attention on deck!

    Narrator: Before the company is officially formed, they’re addressed by Captain Owen Gibbons, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Training Center Cape May.

    Gibbons: I can make you the following three promises: Promise one: this will be hard. Do not be afraid of that. Change is difficult. But if you give us your all, we will prove that you can do more than you ever thought yourself capable of.

    Recruits: Yes sir!

    Gibbons: Promise number two: I insist that you meet every single standard of this program in order to graduate, but we will assist you to meet those standards. Do you understand?

    Recruits: Yes sir!

    Gibbons: That assistance will not always be comforting, but it will develop in you the knowledge, skills, and abilities – the attitudes – that you will need to leave here and immediately begin performing frontline Coast Guard missions in the service of the American public. Do you understand that?

    Recruits: Yes sir!

    Gibbons: Promise number three: you will be safe. Let me say that again. You will be safe. You will train in an environment that is free from intimidation or discrimination based on your race, creed, color, gender, religion or orientation. You will not be assaulted. And you will not be harassed. Do you understand that?

    Recruits: Yes sir!

    Gibbons: You can do this... Every single person in this room is capable of completing this program. And the truth is, we need you to do this. All over our Coast Guard, there are units that are sailing short-handed. There are empty racks. Because those units are waiting for you to complete your training and to join them as they serve the American public. But the only question on our mind is: are you ready?

    Recruits: Yes sir!

    Gibbons: We’re about to find out.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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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.

    image

    The US prepaid card ecosystem is huge, with 10.7 billion prepaid card transactions made in 2016 reaching $290 billion. And it’s shifting focus from low-income, un- and underbanked consumers toward millennials and higher-income adults.

    But as the market evolves, legacy prepaid issuers, like Green Dot, are under threat. The market is becoming more competitive as tech companies like Apple, Square, and Venmo develop their own prepaid offerings, likely as part of a push to drive customers to engage with their core peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer or digital wallet apps. These players’ robust digital offerings and ability to offer prepaid services for lower, or no fees are undercutting legacy businesses. And on top of crowding, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is implementing regulations next year that could impact some issuers’ monetization strategies.

    As a result, the US prepaid card market is becoming an increasingly complicated space for issuers to navigate, so prepaid issuers need to rethink their strategies to best attract consumers. Companies can attract a bigger user base if they target younger users from both low-income and high-income segments. They should also provide convenient offerings, that integrate digital features to make account information accessible, to cater to young consumers’ preferences.

    Business Insider Intelligence has put together a detailed report that explores the evolving prepaid card industry, identifies how issuers can maintain profitability in a market that’s being challenged by new players and impending government regulations, and evaluates various paths to success.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • There were 10.7 billion prepaid card transactions worth $290 billion in 2016, according to The Federal Reserve. Business Insider Intelligence expects that to grow to $396 billion by 2022. 
    • The prepaid space has historically been filled with incumbents like Green Dot. But new players, like Apple, Amazon, and Venmo, are trying to gain share, which is pushing large prepaid firms to merge or acquire one another to grow.
    • Issuers can adapt to the change in the space, and grow their share of the market, by providing convenient, multichannel access, and doing so in a way that facilitates profitability. Targeting younger consumers, both from the underbanked and high-income segments, as well as accessing users from physical as well as digital channels, can help facilitate this growth.

    In full, the report:

    • Sizes the US prepaid card market and estimates its future trajectory.
    • Identifies industry leaders and the newcomers to prepaid that are threatening their market share.
    • Evaluates growth factors and inhibitors that are increasing competition in the space.
    • Issues recommendations and strategies that issuers can implement to stay ahead in such a rapidly shifting space.

    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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    voltron

    • Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider the most in-demand TV shows on streaming services.
    • This week includes DC Universe's "Titans" and Netflix's "Voltron: Legendary Defender."

     

    DC Universe's "Titans" has surged since last week in the aftermath of its first season finale, and Netflix's animated "Voltron: Legendary Defender" has debuted on the list thanks to the recent premiere of its eighth season. 

    Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider with a list of the seven most "in-demand" TV shows on streaming services. The data is based on "demand expressions," the globally standardized TV demand measurement unit from Parrot Analytics. Audience demand reflects the desire, engagement, and viewership weighted by importance, so a stream or download is a higher expression of demand than a "like" or comment on social media.

    Other streaming shows this week include Netflix's "Narcos: Mexico" and "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," which was just renewed for seasons three and four.

    Below are this week's seven most popular shows on Netflix and other streaming services:

    SEE ALSO: Stephen King was 'riveted' by Netflix's new thriller, 'Bird Box,' and slammed critics for suffering from 'Netflix Prejudice'

    7. "Voltron: Legendary Defender" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions: 25,903,568 

    Description:"In an all-new series, five unlikely heroes and their flying robot lions unite to form the megapowerfulVoltron and defend the universe from evil."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 8): N/A

    What critic said:"There's no love or warmth here, and it feels like the series retroactively tried to pony up a relationship in apology for the Shiro drama. But it's another debacle that feels fake, forced and patronizing."— Renaldo Matadeen, CBR

    Season 8 premiered on Netflix December 14. 



    6. "Marvel's Daredevil" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions: 26,877,370

    Description: "Blinded as a young boy, Matt Murdock fights injustice by day as a lawyer and by night as the Super Hero Daredevil in Hell's Kitchen, New York City."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 96%

    What critics said: "When D'Onofrio is allowed to be Fisk, to really embody the cruelty and spirit of the villain, he taps into a strain of excited fear, like the tingle you feel after lightning flashes but thunder hasn't yet struck."— Alex Abad-Santos, Vox

    Season 3 premiered on Netflix October 19. The show was recently canceled.



    5. "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon)

    Average demand expressions: 29,578,746 

    Description: "After Midge's triumph at the Gaslight, the fallout from her takedown of Sophie Lennon looms large, making her climb up the comedy ladder more challenging than ever. As the actual grind of being a comic begins to take its toll on Midge, the pressure to come clean to her family weighs on her - especially as her choices have a ripple effect on everyone around her."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 91%

    What critics said: "The second season of Amazon's subversive screwball comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel shows that if the show is succeeding, going bigger sometimes means better."— Dominic Patten, Deadline Hollywood

    Season 2 premiered on Amazon December 5.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mick Mulvaney

    • Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump's incoming chief of staff, has blamed Congressional Democrats for dragging out the partial government shutdown.
    • Mulvaney said that it's "possible" that the shutdown would stretch "into the new Congress."
    • "The shutdown will hopefully not last long," Trump previously said in a video posted to Twitter, but he has repeatedly warned that it could stretch on.

    Donald Trump's incoming chief of staff Mick Mulvaney took to the Sunday morning talk shows to accuse Congressional Democrats of dragging their feet on the government shutdown.

    Mick Mulvaney, who is currently serving as Director of the Office of Management and Budget, told Fox News Sunday that he believes Democrats will stall on negotiations until they assume the majority of the House of Representatives in January 2019.

    In his appearance on Fox, Mulvaney said "it's very possible this shutdown will go beyond the 28th and into the new Congress."

    He singled out Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic designee for Speaker of the House, in his comments.

    Speaking with ABC's Jonathan Karl, Mulvaney said that he and Vice President Mike Pence have spent the last two days meeting with Congressional Republicans and Democratic leaders like Senator Chuck Schumer.

    Read more: The government shutdown over Trump's border wall demands will last at least through Christmas

    "We gave them an offer late yesterday afternoon and we're waiting to hear back from them right now," he told ABC.

    Trump has gone back and forth on the shutdown. 

    In a video posted on Twitter on Dec. 21, the president described the shutdown as necessary because Democratic votes were required for getting his proposed border wall approved.

    "The shutdown will hopefully not last long," he said. But Trump has repeatedly warned that the shutdown could drag on, tweeting on Saturday that "it could be a long stay."

    According to senior administration officials, the White House is adamant about securing $5 billion in funding for border security and a wall. Trump previously said he would be "proud" to take the blame for the shutdown over the wall. But now, Republicans are pointing the finger at Democrats.

    Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, who adjourned official Senate negotiations until Thursday, said, "They've refused to meet President Trump halfway and provide even one-fifth of the resources for the border they were willing to provide just a few months ago."

    Meanwhile, Pelosi took to Twitter to declare that "the new House Democratic majority will swiftly pass legislation to re-open government in January" if the shutdown endures until then.

    SEE ALSO: Trump says 'Democrats now own the shutdown' just 10 days after declaring he was 'proud to shut down the government'

    DON'T MISS: Top US official leading fight against ISIS resigns with scathing letter calling Trump's Syria troop withdrawal a 'complete reversal' of US policy

    SEE ALSO: Trump says he's working with Democrats during the partial government shutdown, but his border security meeting only included Republicans

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Trump’s budget director unveils photos of what the border wall may look like


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    joel kaplan mark zuckerberg facebook

    • Facebook shelved a project called "Common Ground" that would aim to encourage healthier political discourse on the platform, reports the Wall Street Journal.
    • Part of the reason why: Joel Kaplan, the company's policy chief, thought it would spark fears of anti-conservative bias — something Facebook has sought to avoid.
    • Kaplan has had generally more say over product decisions than before, as the company tries to navigate murky political waters, and pushed for conservative outlet the Daily Caller to be included in the company's fact-checking initiative. 
    • Kaplan, formerly of the George W. Bush Administration, came under fire earlier this year for appearing on Capitol Hill to support his friend Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

    Facebook stopped working on a project, called "Common Ground," that was aimed at encouraging healthier political discourse among users, partially at the urging of policy chief Joel Kaplan, reports the Wall Street Journal

    The "Common Ground" initiative is said to have consisted of many parts, including boosting news stories and status updates posted by people on the opposite end of the political spectrum from users, while also demoting "toxic" comments that start "negative discussion." 

    Kaplan's objection, according to the report, was that the term "Common Ground" itself could be taken as patronizing, and that it would ask users to trust Facebook's definition of what healthy conversation looks like. 

    Ultimately, Kaplan is said to have believed that these efforts to curb political polarization would have opened the platform up to criticism from conservatives — something that the social network has sought to avoid in recent years, as conservative lawmakers and public figures have accused it of left-wing bias. Following Kaplan's complaint, Zuckerberg and others raised concerns over how the initiative would affect Facebook user engagement, and the project was shelved, says the Journal.

    Read more: Facebook is battling an internal revolt after one of its execs went to the Kavanaugh hearing

    In general, the Journal reports, Kaplan has become more involved with Facebook product decisions, as the company tries to navigate tricky political waters. Kaplan is said to have recently pushed for conservative news outlet The Daily Caller to be included in the company's controversial efforts to tap news media fact-checkers to curb misinformation on the platform. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly leaned in favor of Kaplan's proposal, but the debate became moot when the Daily Caller lost a key journalism accreditation in November.

    Read the full Wall Street Journal report here.

    Kaplan came into the public eye earlier this year when he visibly seated himself behind Justice Brett Kavanaugh, then an embattled nominee for the Supreme Court, as the judge defended himself against allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple women. Kaplan and Kavanaugh are long-time friends, dating back to their time serving together in the George W. Bush administration.

    Kaplan's attendance at the hearings, in such a visible capacity, outraged Facebook employees. Kaplan is said to have apologized for not clearing his attendance at the hearings with Facebook leadership first.

    Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. A Facebook spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that it is continuing its work to study political polarization, and that it tries to understand a wide variety of political perspectives. 

    SEE ALSO: Leaked Andreessen Horowitz data reveals how much Silicon Valley startup execs really get paid, from CEOs to Sales VPs

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: USB-C was supposed to be a universal connector — but it still has a lot of problems


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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.

    trust smart speaker makersSmart speakers comprise one of the fastest-growing device segments in the consumer technology market today. Ownership levels have nearly doubled from early 2017 to summer 2018. 

    With this rapid growth, there are a few pivotal questions that both companies looking to develop and sell smart speakers as well as those looking to sell products, deliver media, and offer access to services like banking over these devices need answers to in order to craft successful strategies. In particular, they need to know who is and isn’t buying smart speakers, and what consumers who own smart speakers are actually doing with them. 

    To offer these stakeholders insight, Business Insider Intelligence asked more than 500 US consumers about their knowledge of smart speakers, the devices they do or don’t own and what led them to their purchase decisions, as well as the tasks they’re using their smart speakers for.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence will look at the state of the smart speaker market and outline how each of the major device providers approaches the space. We will then focus on the key factors that affect whether or not someone owns one of these devices. Next, we will use our survey data to outline the reasons why people don’t own devices in order to offer guidance for who to target and how. Finally, we will discuss what consumers are actually doing with their smart speakers — specifically looking at how the devices are used and perceived in e-commerce, digital media, and banking — which can help companies determine how well they’re publicizing their smart speaker services and capabilities.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung, Facebook, Sonos, LG, Anker, Spotify, Pandora, Grubhub, Netflix, Hulu, Instagram, Snap.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • Despite their growing popularity, nearly half of respondents still don't own a device — which presents a long runway for adoption. Our survey data reveals a number of key factors that impact whether or not someone owns one of these devices, including income, gender, and age.
    • Smart speakers are establishing themselves as a key platform for e-commerce, media, and the smart home.
    • The introduction of a screen to some smart speakers will expand the possibilities for companies developing for the device — but developers will need to resist the compulsion to use speakers to accomplish too much.

    In full, the report:

    • Provides an overview of the key players and products in the smart speaker market.
    • Highlights critical adoption rates broken out by key factors that define the segment.
    • Identifies how consumers are using devices in important areas where companies in various industries are trying foster greater use of the voice interface.

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    artificial intelligence social network eter9

    Many companies use the term artificial intelligence, or AI, as a way to generate excitement for their products and to present themselves as on the cutting edge of tech development.

    But what exactly is artificial intelligence? What does it involve? And how will it help the development of future generations?

    Find out the answers to these questions and more in AI 101, a brand new FREE report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, that describes how AI works and looks at its present and potential future applications.

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

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    google seinfeld holiday pole

    I'll get straight to the good part: Just open up Google and search for "Festivus." 

    Yep, that's a Festivus pole — the traditional centerpiece of any good Festivus celebration. And just in time for Festivus, which is celebrated every year on December 23rd, too. Hey, that's today! 

    The pole goes all the way down the page:

    If you're unfamiliar, Festivus is a non-demonitational holiday — as in "Festivus, for the rest of us"— popularized by the classic sitcom "Seinfeld." The celebration sees family and friends gather around an unadorned aluminum pole, and perform traditions like the Feats of Strength and the Airing of Grievances. 

    But don't take my word for it. Here's the official explanation, from "Seinfeld:" 

    Also, it should be noted that Google has plenty of other, more traditional holiday surprises, too. 

    This is what you get when you search for Christmas:

    google christmas

    And Hannukah, which has already passed this year:

    google hannukah

    And Kwanzaa, which starts on December 26th:

    google kwanzaa

    SEE ALSO: 40 photos of Google's rise from a Stanford dorm room to becoming a global internet superpower

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    Aquaman 3 Warner Bros.

    • "Aquaman" won the weekend box office with an estimated $72.1 million.
    • It beat out other big releases out this weekend, "Mary Poppins Returns" and "Bumblebee."
    • "Aquaman" now has a worldwide total of over $480 million.

    Warner Bros. sure is happy there wasn't a "Star Wars" release this holiday season. 

    The Disney franchise has dominated the end-of-year box office since 2015's "The Force Awakens," which led to analysts uncertainty over whether a single movie would be able to pick up the slack at the December box office this year. But Warner Bros.' DC Comics Extended Universe has proven the naysayers wrong and has stepped in to lead the box office going into the important Christmas holiday.

    Among a crowded field of new releases this season, "Aquaman" has risen to be as big of a draw domestically as it is globally.

    The movie took in an estimated $72.1 million over the weekend (including preview showings earlier in the week), beating out other big releases that opened going into Christmas — Disney's "Mary Poppins Returns" and Paramount's "Bumblebee." 

    mary poppins emily blunt"Mary Poppins Returns" came in second with $22.2 million while "Bumblebee" came close behind in third place with $21 million.

    Read more: "Aquaman" director James Wan chose the character "everyone makes fun of" because there'd be less pressure. Then the DC Comics franchise imploded.

    It's a major win for Warner Bros., which has been on a roller coaster ride trying to make its DCEU as dominant in the superhero space as Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whenever the industry thought it was gaining momentum, say, with the big success of 2017's "Wonder Woman," it would take a few steps back, like with the disappointing "Justice League."

    WB/DCEU is back on top with "Aquaman." Already the biggest box office earner ever in China, scoring $300 million-plus, the movie started strong going into its domestic box-office premier. The movie now has a $480 million-plus worldwide net. 

    Now the industry will watch to see if the James Wan-directed superhero movie will get to a $100 million five-day domestic opening by the time it gets to Christmas.

    bumblebee paramountBut Warner Bros. isn't the only studio happy this weekend. Paramount must be ecstatic to be so close to knocking off Disney for second place with its latest Transformers movie, "Bumblebee." Having the best Rotten Tomatoes score out of all the new releases (94% rating, compared to 64% for "Aquaman" and 77% for "Mary Poppins Returns"), it will be a photo finish to see if a Transformer or a posh English nanny will earn the silver by Christmas.

    Disney's "Mary Poppins Returns" opened lower than "A Wrinkle in Time," which earned the $33.1 million and "Christopher Robin," which found $24.5 million. It's surprising to see a Disney title not dominating this time of year, but with Poppins seeing mixed reviews and competing with strong fandoms, it has left the family-friendly title trying to find its footing. But business could pick up by Christmas when more families head out to the theaters.

    Then there's Sony's holdover "Spider-Man: Into to Spider-Verse," which is staying strong despite all these new titles, which is a testament to its quality. The movie took in $16.7 million over the weekend, and has earned $85 million for its worldwide total.

    SEE ALSO: Business Insider ranks the 11 best movies of 2018

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    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. That’s the strategy e-tailers will have to adopt if they want to compete with Amazon. To fight back against the e-commerce giant’s expanding dominance, other online retailers must understand exactly why and how customers are buying on Amazon — and which aspects of the Amazon shopping experience they can incorporate into their own strategic frameworks to win back customers.

    Why Amazon First

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has obtained exclusive survey data to give e-tailers the tools to figure out how to do just that with its latest Enterprise Edge Report: The Amazon Commerce Competitive Edge Report.

    Enterprise Edge Reports are the very best research Business Insider Intelligence has to offer in terms of actionable recommendations and proprietary data, and they are only available to Enterprise clients.

    Business Insider Intelligence fielded the Amazon study to members of its proprietary panel in March 2018, reaching over 1,000 US consumers – primarily hand-picked digital professionals and early-adopters – to gather their insights on Amazon’s role in the online shopping experience.

    In full, the study:

    • Uses exclusive survey data to analyze the factors behind Amazon’s success with consumers.
    • Segments three types of Amazon customers that e-tailers should be targeting.
    • Shares strategies on how e-tailers can attract shoppers at key moments.

    First, why is Amazon so popular?

    Amazon is ubiquitous. In fact, a whopping 94% of those surveyed said they’d made a purchase on the site in the last twelve months. And of those who did, the vast majority believed Amazon’s customer experience was simply better than its leading competitors’ — specifically eBay, Walmart, Best Buy, and Target.

    The biggest contributor to Amazon’s superior experience? Free shipping, of course. According to Amazon’s 2017 annual report, the company actually spent $21.7 billion last year covering customers’ shipping costs, a number that’s been compounding over the past few years.

    Not only is free shipping included for all Prime members as part of their subscriptions but, of all e-tailers listed in the survey, Amazon also offers the lowest minimum order value for non-subscription members to qualify for the perk (just $25). The pervasiveness of free (and fast) shipping is steadily heightening customer expectations for the online shopping experience — and forcing competitors to offer similar programs and benefits.

    Who exactly is shopping on Amazon?

    The survey results showed that across generations for a large minority of respondents, Amazon is a standard part of their typical shopping process. Nearly a third (32%) of respondents said they begin their online shopping process on Amazon. Of those who do start their journeys elsewhere, 100% ended up purchasing something from Amazon at some point over the last 12 months.

    Based on the trends in responses, Business Insider Intelligence segmented out three different types of Amazon shoppers, each with unique implications for how competitors could evolve their strategies:

    • Amazon loyalists: This group of consumers is most committed to shopping on Amazon. E-tailers must understand what has made Amazon their default experience — and how they could be pried away.
    • Comparison shoppers: This consumer segment looks at other sites before ultimately completing a purchase with Amazon, which could allow e-tailers to find success at the bottom of the purchase funnel. E-tailers should focus on what they can do more of to steal sales away at the end of the purchasing process.
    • Open-search shoppers: These consumers start their online product search away from Amazon, often with specific reasons including what they’re looking for and why they’re not looking on Amazon. Other e-tailers have the opportunity to attract these shoppers from the beginning of the purchase funnel — keeping them from ever venturing to Amazon.

    Want to learn more?

    Business Insider Intelligence has compiled the complete survey findings into the four-part Amazon Commerce Competitive Edge Report, which dives deeper into each of these consumer segments to give e-tailers an intricate understanding of Amazon’s role in their purchasing processes.

    The report presents actionable strategies for retail strategists and executives to zero in on three individual consumer segments at critical shopping moments, and empower them to win sales in an Amazon-dominated world.

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    In this Nov. 9, 2018, file photo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis waits outside the Pentagon.

    • President Donald Trump is forcing Defense Secretary James Mattis to leave his position by New Year's.
    • Mattis planned to stay until February 28 to ensure an orderly transition.
    • He'll be replaced by Patrick Shanahan, the deputy defense secretary, Trump said in a tweet.
    • Mattis quit his cabinet position because he disagreed with Trump's position to pull American troops out of Syria.

    President Trump announced that Secretary of Defense James Mattis will leave his position by January 1. Patrick Shanahan, Mattis's deputy, will take over as the acting defense chief.

    Mattis announced his resignation from the Defense Department on Thursday over President Trump's decision to withdraw United States troops from Syria and halve the number of troops in Afghanistan. Mattis originally said he would stay in his position until February 28 to ensure an orderly transition.

    In his resignation letter, Mattis blasted Trump for mistreating allies.

    "Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position," he wrote.

    Read more:The incredible career of Jim Mattis, the legendary Marine general turned defense secretary who just quit the Trump administration

    Trump has been furious about the resignation letter, according to the New York Times. On Saturday, he criticized Mattis in a tweet.

    "When President Obama ingloriously fired Jim Mattis, I gave him a second chance. Some thought I shouldn’t, I thought I should," he wrote.

    Mattis is a retired four-star Marine general who oversaw the United States Central Command from 2010 to 2013. He left the position when President Barack Obama was reportedly unhappy with his stance on Iran.

    Before beginning his position as deputy secretary of defense in June 2017, Shanahan was an executive at the aircraft and weapons manufacturer Boeing. He does not have any prior government experience.

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