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- 12/25/18--02:07: _These are the four ...
- 12/25/18--02:12: _Here's why Walmart ...
- 12/25/18--02:29: _Different countries...
- 12/25/18--02:34: _The creator of Grey...
- 12/25/18--03:01: _Three untapped oppo...
- 12/25/18--03:03: _Bono and The Edge w...
- 12/25/18--06:37: _Rest breaks are a '...
- 12/25/18--06:45: _Grammy-winning DJ A...
- 12/25/18--07:00: _Disappointing photo...
- 12/25/18--07:05: _How to book virtual...
- 12/25/18--07:12: _More than half of t...
- 12/25/18--07:12: _The '2-minute rule'...
- 12/25/18--07:27: _The 10 best PlaySta...
- 12/25/18--07:29: _The first 33 apps y...
- 12/25/18--07:30: _I've started teachi...
- 12/25/18--07:45: _'Friends' cast memb...
- 12/25/18--08:06: _Here are the three ...
- 12/25/18--08:09: _40 gift cards you c...
- 12/25/18--08:25: _We visited dozens o...
- 12/25/18--08:54: _The incredibly popu...
- Some Walmart.com shoppers found an extra item in their orders.
- They got a Walmart gift card with nothing on it, which could then be loaded with money online and given as a gift.
- "Unloaded gift cards are another way that we can make gift gifting easier for our customers," a Walmart spokesperson said to Business Insider.
- Different countries have different favourite Christmas films.
- Here are five festive favourites from around the world.
- There's a right way to make a vodka Martini — and it's not the way James Bond told you.
- Business Insider spoke to Francois Thibault, cellar master at Grey Goose vodka who taught us how to do it properly.
- Thilbault told us that you should always have your Martini stirred, not shaken because it dilutes the mixture too much.
- He also said that you shouldn't store your vodka in the freezer, unless it's not very good.
- You can see his recipe in full below.
- 50ml Grey Goose vodka
- 10ml Chilled Noilly Prat dry vermouth
- Dash of orange bitters
- Lemon zest to garnish
- Add Grey Goose and vermouth to a mixing glass filled with ice.
- Stir deliberately and strain into a chilled martini glass.
- After a shaky start, wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers have gained traction in healthcare, with US consumer use jumping from 9% in 2014 to 33% in 2018.
- More than 80% of consumers are willing to wear tech that measures health data — and penetration should continue to climb.
- The maturation of the wearable market will put more wearables in the hands of consumers and US businesses.
- Insurers can use wearable data to enhance risk assessments and drive customer lifetime value. One study shows that wearables can incentivize healthier behavior associated with a 30% reduction in risk of cardiovascular events and death.
- Providers can use the remote patient monitoring capabilities of wearable technology to improve chronic disease management, lessen the burden of staff shortages, and navigate a changing reimbursement model. And since 90% of patients no longer feel obligated to stay with providers that don't deliver a satisfactory digital experience, wearables could help to attract and retain them.
- Employers can combine wearables with cash incentives to lower insurance costs and improve employee productivity. For example, The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority yielded $5 million in healthcare cost savings through a wearable-based employee wellness program.
- 12/25/18--03:03: Bono and The Edge went busking in Dublin on Christmas Eve
- Bono and The Edge from U2 went busking in Dublin on Christmas Eve.
- The event was organized by Glen Hansard, and has become something of a tradition.
- Imelda May joined them for a rendition of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)".
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said on Dec. 21 that California trucking companies don't need to provide paid rest and meal breaks for their truck driver employees.
- In a statement, FMSCA Administrator Ray Martinez said the rest break laws are causing issues at the California-Oregon border, where "more crashes are occurring."
- Martinez also said the breaks reduced truck driver productivity in California by 3%.
- Afrojack is among the world's most popular DJs, and won a Grammy with David Guetta for a Madonna remix they worked on.
- Afrojack said the biggest mistake he ever made was an email he sent declining a credit on David Guetta's 2011 song "Titanium," which he helped write, because he thought it would hurt his underground credibility.
- He remembers that email to remind him to not let his ego lead to bad decisions.
- Airport lounges are advertised as super-exclusive and luxurious oases that offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of a crowded airport.
- But they're not always as grand as they might seem.
- Many of these lounges are actually often overcrowded and place limits on free drinks.
- Combine the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard and Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card for a mostly-free trip to a Hawaiian island of your choosing.
- Each of these cards offers a huge sign-up bonus you can utilize to cover a huge component of your trip.
- Hilton Honors offers a broad range of hotel options across several of the most popular islands in Hawaii.
- Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo— a DoubleTree by Hilton: 40,000 Hilton Honors points and up
- Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach: 49,000 Hilton Honors points and up
- Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort: 58,000 Hilton Honors points and up
- Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay: 45,000 Hilton Honors points and up
- Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort: 95,000 Hilton Honors points and up
- The logistics industry suffers from a number of inefficiencies caused by outdated processes that blockchain could solve. Some of the issues plaguing the space include a lack of transparency caused by siloed, disparate systems, high costs as a result of slow, manual processes, and difficulties related to the amount of time it takes to create and close a contract.
- Firms that deploy blockchain-based solutions are likely to achieve a more streamlined experience through a reduced need for intermediaries, better planning capabilities as a result of improved visibility, and lower costs through the digitization of documentation.
- Major companies are allocating resources toward developing a viable blockchain-based platform. Although few solutions have actually been fully developed, companies including IBM and Maersk, as well as retail heavyweight Walmart and FedEx, are making considerable strides in bringing their blockchain solutions to market.
- However, use of the technology is still in its infancy within the logistics industry. Firms are still confused about the potential benefits of the technology — only 11% of respondents to an MHI Annual Industry survey believe they have a working knowledge of blockchain.
- Having industry-specific case studies will show firms that are exploring the technology how they can go from testing to full deployment. These high-profile companies, which are some of the biggest and most influential in the world, will also be able to help shape a global standard for the use of blockchain and aid in the development of new legislation.
- Sizes the potential market for blockchain in the management of the supply chain.
- Explains how blockchain technology can be used to improve the inefficiencies that have long plagued the logistics industry.
- Details how specific companies are testing blockchain technology to enhance parts of the supply chain, including freight shipments and last-mile delivery.
- Discusses the potential barriers that will challenge the adoption of blockchain in logistics and how these hurdles can be overcome.
- Pinpoints what will likely need to happen next for the mass adoption of blockchain to occur.
- When you're working toward a goal or a new habit, start by doing the quickest and easiest action possible.
- That's according to productivity expert James Clear, who calls it the "two-minute rule."
- Clear suggested "fold one pair of socks" as the two-minute version of "fold the laundry."
- You'll establish a ritual and reinforce your desired identity.
- 12/25/18--07:27: The 10 best PlayStation 4 games for your new console
- With dozens of killer games available right now, it's a great time to buy a PlayStation 4.
- Maybe you're one of the millions of people buying one this year! Or perhaps you got one as a gift!
- After five years, the PS4 has a massive game library. We put together the best games to get you started with your new console.
- 12/25/18--07:29: The first 33 apps you should download for your new iPhone (AAPL)
- You may have received a new iPhone this holiday season.
- Here are 33 great apps to download for it.
- Gratitude must ultimately come from within, but with good modeling, open dialogue, and by creating opportunities for kids to feel thankful, parents can help children teach children to be grateful.
- Gratitude does not come naturally to children; it's important to remember that being grateful is a complex concept younger children might be unable to grasp.
- Here are the ways we are trying to instill a sense of gratitude in our children so they will better appreciate all the good in their lives, including by encouraging them to donate their toys.
- The "Friends" cast members still make $20 million a year each, according to Marketplace.
- Now that the show will remain on Netflix throughout 2019, they could make even more.
- AT&T and Netflix are finalizing a deal to keep the sitcom on Netflix while AT&T can also stream it on its own service launching in 2019.
- Security issues. Edge computing can limit the exposure of critical data by minimizing how often it’s transmitted. Further, they pre-process data, so there’s less data to secure overall.
- Access issues. These systems help to provide live insights regardless of whether there’s a network connection available, greatly expanding where companies and organizations can use connected devices and the data they generate.
- Transmission efficiency. Edge computing solutions process data where it’s created so less needs to be sent to the cloud, leading to lower cloud storage requirements and reduced transmission cost.
- In healthcare, companies and organizations are using edge computing to improve telemedicine and remote monitoring capabilities.
- For telecommunications companies, edge computing is helping to reduce network congestion and enabling a shift toward the IoT platform market.
- And in the automotive space, edge computing systems are enabling companies to increase the capabilities of connected cars and trucks and approach autonomy.
- Explores the key advantages edge computing solutions can provide.
- Highlights the circumstances when companies should look into edge systems.
Identifies key vendors and partners in specific industries while showcasing case studies of successful edge computing programs.
- 2018 was a difficult year for many retailers — and when we visited their stores, it showed.
- But of the dozens of stores we visited this year, TJ Maxx, Kohl's, Five Below, and Aerie stood out from the rest.
- These were some of the best stores we shopped at in 2018.
- The new American Express® Gold Card features a new metallic design, in addition to competitive rewards on restaurants and supermarkets in the US, airfare, and more.
- AmEx also introduced a special rose gold version — it's been a runaway success, with over 60% of new card applicants requesting that version.
- You can request a rose gold card, but only until January 9, 2019.
- New cardholders can also get a unique, limited-time welcome bonus if they apply before the same date.
- Here's what you need to know about the AmEx Gold Card.
Rising smartphone penetration, regulations pushing users away from cash, and globalization demanding faster and new ways to transact are leading to a swell in noncash payments, which Business Insider Intelligence expects to grow to 841 billion transactions by 2023.
This shift has created a greenfield opportunity in the space. Legacy providers are working to leverage their scale as they update their infrastructure and adapt their business models. But at the same time, upstarts are using their strengths in user experience to try to disintermediate or beat out those at the forefront of the space — a dichotomy that’s creating crowding and competition.
Digitization and crowding in the payments space will force companies that want to emerge atop the ecosystem to undergo four critical digital transformations: diversification, consolidation and collaboration, data protection, and automation. Those that do this effectively, and use these shifts as a means of achieving scale without eroding the user experience, will be in the best position to use ongoing digitization in their payments space to their advantage.
In The Future Of Payments 2018, Business Insider Intelligence takes a look at some of the biggest problems digitization and crowding are causing for payments firms, outlines the key transformations players can make going forward to resolve them, and explores areas where firms have already begun to use these transformations to their advantage.
Some Walmart.com shoppers found an extra item in their orders this holiday.
Unbidden, the store slipped in an empty Walmart gift card in some orders. The idea is the card could then be loaded with any amount desired online and then given as a last-minute gift.
"Unloaded gift cards are another way that we can make gift gifting easier for our customers," a Walmart spokesperson said to Business Insider.
For customers who don't want them, the gift cards are simply worthless pieces of plastic that can be thrown away. Walmart did the same thing for some holiday orders last year.
Gift cards are, of course, a top gift for the holidays every year, and they are probably the best thing you can do as a last-minute gesture. By offering this added convenience to customers, Walmart is making it that much more likely that customers will spend just a little more with the retailer this year.
There's also the advantage of it being a physical card, which is easier to give as a gift. Even if customers don't take advantage of it, the cards are relatively cheap to create, so Walmart doesn't lose much.
There's nothing like sitting down in front of your favourite festive film at Christmas time. People may disagree about what the ultimate Christmas film is, but in the UK, "Love Actually" is often hailed as one of the top ones.
Around the world, people have different cult classics they like to settle down with. Language experts at Babbel came up with a list of five foreign holiday films you could try out this year.
Whether you're into romantic comedies or historical dramas, there's something for everyone, they say.
Scroll down to find your new Christmas favourite.
Eastern Europe — Tři Oříšky pro Popelku (Three Wishes for Cinderella)
According to Babbel's experts, this film is like Cinderella, but better. The film was originally released in both Czech and German — "Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel"— in 1973, and has become a seasonal tradition in Eastern Europe. It's broadcast every Christmas Eve in Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Czechia.
The storyline is the same as Disney's "Cinderella" you may be familiar with, except instead of a Fairy Godmother, three hazelnuts grant Cinderella's wishes.
Germany — Alles ist Liebe (All is Love)
"Alles ist Liebe" is Europe's response to Love Actually. It's the story of ten men and women in Frankfurt whose stories intersect during the Christmas season. It was released in 2014, seven years after "Alles is Liefde," which is a Dutch reinterpretation of Love Actually. Babbel's experts say you could argue Love Actually created its own genre of international film.
France — Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas)
This film is famous for the scene where Wilhelm, the German Crown Prince, sent an opera singer to the front lines and brought WW1 to a standstill on 25th December 1914. It follows the lives of six soldiers on various sides of the war, and highlights the inhumanity of battle. It was nominated for best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Francois Thibault is a man who knows a lot about the spirits industry.
Born into a wine-growing family in France's Cognac region, it seemed only natural that he would train as a cellar master and go into the brandy business that the area is so famous for.
What wasn't so expected, however, was that Thibault would eventually help develop one of the world's most popular vodkas — Grey Goose.
The Frenchman was approached by American billionaire Sidney Frank (the man behind Jägermaster) in 1997, who asked him to plug the gap in high-end vodka — and he has remained the cellar master ever since.
Thibault doesn't think the transition is that strange, though.
"I believe that I haven't changed my job, coming from a Cognac house to develop vodka," Thibault told Business Insider.
"I've simply adapted myself to a different type of ingredient but still applied the same rules.
"I've swapped the grapes for the grain of wheat."
Business Insider asked Thibault about his favourite cocktail, the martini, which he described as "the perfect cocktail to compare different vodkas."
He told us how best to prepare and serve the perfect vodka martini — and it seems James Bond's old adage of "shaken not stirred" may not have been so wise after all.
Thibault says you should always have your martini stirred, not shaken.
This is because when you shake your martini you also break up the ice in the mixer, which thereby dilutes the mixture much more than stirring.
"On the palate, we feel this dilution remarkably. There's also a lot of oxygen that enters the spirit while shaken," Thibault says.
"You want your martini to stay as fluid and silky as possible without too much dilution and too much contact with oxygen."
Thibaut recommends 20 seconds of stirring — no more.
You can see Thibault's recipe in full below.
SEE ALSO: The 50 best bars in the world in 2018
The US healthcare industry as it exists today is not sustainable. An aging patient population and rising burden of chronic disease have caused healthcare costs to skyrocket and left providers struggling to keep up with demand for care.
Meanwhile, digital technologies in nearly every consumer experience outside of healthcare have raised patients’ expectations for good service to be higher than ever.
One of the key mechanisms through which healthcare providers can finally evolve their outdated practices and exceed these expectations is wearable technology.
Presently, 33% of US consumers have adopted wearables, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, to play a more active role in managing their health. In turn, insurers, providers, and employers are poised to become just as active leveraging these devices – and the data they capture – to abandon the traditional reimbursement model and improve patient outcomes with personalized, value-based care.
Adoption is going to keep climbing, as more than 80% of consumers are willing to wear tech that measures health data, according to Accenture — though they have reservations about who exactly should access it.
A new report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, follows the growing adoption of wearables and breadth of functions they offer to outline how healthcare organizations and stakeholders can overcome this challenge and add greater value with wearable technology.
For insurers, providers, and employers, wearables present three distinct opportunities:
Want to Learn More?
The Wearables in US Healthcare Report details the current and future market landscape of wearables in the US healthcare sector. It explores the key drivers behind wearable usage by insurers, healthcare providers, and employers, and the opportunities wearables afford to each of these stakeholders.
By outlining a successful case study from each stakeholder, the report highlights best practices in implementing wearables to reduce healthcare claims, improve patient outcomes, and drive insurance cost savings, as well as how the evolution of the market will create new, untapped opportunities for businesses.
As has become a tradition in recent years, Bono and The Edge from U2, Glen Hansard and other musicians went busking on Christmas Eve in Dublin.
Hansard — founder of the Dublin rock band The Frames — organized the event and sang a song which criticized how the Irish government handles homelessness.
Any money thrown into the empty guitar case was donated to the Simon Community housing charity.
"As the buckets go around, fill them with silver, fill them with hope — the season of hope," Bono said. "This is very special for us, you should be proud of this."
One of the songs they sang was "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)", which Imelda May and Glen Hansard joined in with.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said on Dec. 21 that California trucking companies don't need to provide paid rest and meal breaks for truck driver employees.
In 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that carriers in California must ensure truckers get proper rest and meal breaks, just like employees at a typical firm. Labor laws in California stipulate that workers get a 30-minute meal break for shifts longer than five hours, and transportation workers rest for 10 minutes every four hours.
Such labor laws are typical in most states — but not in the trucking industry. Nationwide, truckers are required to take a 30-minute break during their workday and not drive for more than 11 hours in a day.
And unlike most workers, they're not paid by hour or by year. Truckers are paid per mile, which means they aren't compensated for time spent waiting for their shipments to load or unload or doing vehicle checks.
Why the federal government says California truckers shouldn't get paid rest breaks
Industry groups including the American Trucking Associations (ATA) asked the FMCSA to exempt truck drivers from the California’s Meal and Rest Break rules. The FMCSA granted those petitions on Dec. 21, citing that federal laws overrule state laws on how and when truckers work.
"FMCSA is granting this petition to ensure uniform and consistent rules in order to promote safety and economic growth," the administration said in a statement. "Drivers, consumers, and job creators are best served by reliable and consistent rules."
The FMCSA said truckers coming or going from Oregon, for instance, cannot find parking, which have allegedly upped the rate of car crashes. "A patchwork of regulations disrupts interstate commerce and is not an effective or fair way to regulate the industry," the FMCSA added.
In a video accompanying the statement, FMSCA Administrator Ray Martinez said the rest break laws are bad for the economy. If drivers are required to rest, that means they're working less. That's reduced driver productivity in California by 3%.
"California’s extra rules reduce productivity and are a drag on the economy," Martinez said. "Every bit of loss productivity increases costs to consumers and hurts hard-working American families."
But truck drivers and union representatives said the rest breaks are important. Doing away with them just increases the bottom lines for trucking companies, while exhausting the men and women who spend weeks away from home transporting more than 70% of the nation's freight.
"Truck drivers have some of the longest hours of any workers in America," Barry Broad, director of the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, told The Wall Street Journal. "What you're doing is you're making tired people work more."
Are you a truck driver who works in California? What do you think of the FMSCA ruling? Email the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dutch DJ Nick van de Wall, better known by his stage name Afrojack, has built a career as one of the world's most successful DJs. But there's a song he worked on that went multiplatinum in 12 countries and has almost a billion views on YouTube that's missing his name — and it's because he wanted it that way.
David Guetta is a French DJ and an icon in the world of popular electronic dance music. For his 2011 album "Nothing but the Beat," Guetta recruited some of the world's biggest pop stars and DJs, including Afrojack, who had blown up the year prior — the two would also collaborate on a Madonna remix that would win them a Grammy.
For "Nothing but the Beat," Afrojack worked with Guetta and the singer Sia, along with the producer Giorgio Tuinfort, on the track "Titanium." It's an energetic, big song, and one that appeals to a mainstream pop audience.
As Guetta was putting together the final touches on the album, he sent Afrojack an email that Afrojack remembers as, "Hey, so the song is done. You want do 'David Guetta & Afrojack feat. Sia'?" That is, the song was always going to have Guetta, Afrojack, Sia, and Tuinfort as the songwriters in the album's liner notes. Guetta wanted to see if he wanted "Titanium" to be known as partially an Afrojack song.
Afrojack said his reply was silly, and something along the lines of, "Nah, it's too much of a song for me, you know? Like, I'm more cool, and underground." When the song came out, Afrojack then saw his response as naive and arrogant.
He said that after the song became a hit, interviewers who had checked the liner notes would ask him about the song. "And I was like, 'Yeah, it's kind of silly,'" he said, admitting he was being childish about the risk of looking like he was "selling out," making pop music solely for money. He had actually loved working on the song and was proud of his contribution, he said, and should have been confident enough in himself to embrace it.
Afrojack explained that it took him some more time even after that incident to gain that confidence and not link his ego's satisfaction to voices that would be hard on him. "But I think everyone makes that mistake sometimes, you know? Like, you just get pressured into doing something that everyone says is right," he said.
Now that almost eight years have passed, Afrojack can laugh about his decision, but he also wants to use it as a case study for the DJs on his record label that he mentors.
"I still want to print the email and put it in my studio so I can use it as a lesson for other artists," he said.
Subscribe to "This Is Success" on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen. You can find the full Afrojack episode below.
But that's not always the case.
Many airport lounges tend to be overcrowded and difficult to get into, and once you do get in, you'll find that once-gourmet dining options have been replaced with mediocre buffets or finger foods. And limitless alcoholic beverages are no longer a guarantee.
Here's what some airport lounges look like today.
You might think of airport lounges as relaxing retreats from the hectic hustle and bustle of a typical airport.
These exclusive areas are usually only open to first-class fliers or members of a credit card rewards program.
Airlines tout them as a refuge where you can wait for your flight in peaceful solitude.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network.
Even though Hawaii is part of the United States, traveling there feels like a journey to a different world. Each Hawaiian island is as diverse as it is beautiful, but they all feature stunning beaches and dynamic landscapes that will take your breath away.
Lush greenery, volcanoes, waterfalls, and crystal-clear waters perfect for surfing and scuba are the norm in this tropical paradise, making any vacation there a dream come true for both nature lovers and lovers of water and sea life. The only problem? Hawaii is notoriously expensive to visit, both due to the exorbitant costs of airfare and the high prices of hotels.
Fortunately, many travel credit cards make it possible to rack up rewards perfect for an epic Hawaii trip. If two spouses were to pick up two cards and earn the sign-up bonuses on both, they could even get both their hotels and their airfare fully covered for the Hawaiian vacation of a lifetime.
Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard
Like any trip, the first detail you'll need to handle for your journey to Hawaii is airfare. For this component of your trip, you should consider picking up the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard.
Not only does the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard offer 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 within 90 days of account opening, but you also earn 3x points on Hawaiian Airlines purchases, 2x points on gas, dining, and grocery store purchases, and 1x points on all other purchases. You also get a free checked bag on Hawaiian Airlines flights, along with a $100 annual companion discount and no foreign transaction fees.
Currently, Coach SuperSaver flights from the US mainland to Hawaii are just 20,000 miles one-way or 40,000 miles round-trip. You can also fly within the Hawaiian Islands for just 7,500 miles one-way with a Coach SuperSaver fare.
As a result, each person who signs up for the card and earns the sign-up bonus would have enough miles for a round-trip open-jaw fare into Hawaii and one intra-island flight at the very least. This makes this card perfect for a couple who both get the card and want to visit two islands during their trip. For example, a couple could use 20,000 miles each to fly into Oahu, 7,500 miles each to fly from Oahu to Kauai, then 20,000 miles to fly home to the US from Kauai.
On top of their airline miles redeemed, however, each person would need to pay government-mandated airline taxes and fees of $5.60 per leg.
The Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard also charges a $99 annual fee.
Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card
When it comes to covering your Hawaiian hotels, focusing on the Hilton Honors hotel loyalty program is an absolute no-brainer. This is mainly due to the fact that there are so many Hilton hotels all over Hawaii, but it's also due to the fact the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card makes it so easy to rack up points.
Currently, the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card is offering 125,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after you spend $2,000 on your card within three months of account opening. You also earn 12x points on all your Hilton Honors purchases, 6x points at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations in the US, and 3x points on all other purchases.
Finally, this card comes with no foreign transaction fees, automatic Hilton Gold status, and a free weekend night award from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your card within a calendar year. This card does charge a $95 annual fee.
While the points you need for a free night can vary at Hilton properties depending on dates and demand, some of your hotel options include:
These are just some of the Hilton properties you could choose from, but there are plenty of others. Also note that Hilton Silver members and those with higher status receive a 5th night free when they book certain five-night stays with Hilton Honors points. The Hilton Honors programs also lets you pool your points with up to 10 people within the program, which makes it a winner for couples who want to combine their points together for optimal travel redemptions.
As an example of how this could work, let's say that two partners both signed up for the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card and earned the 125,000 bonus Hilton Honors points. This would leave the couple with 250,000 bonus points total not counting points they earned on their regular spending.
If they wanted to spend five nights at the Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach at 49,000 Hilton Honors points per night, they could combine and cash in 196,000 of their points for four free nights and get their fifth night free provided standard award nights were available during their entire reservation period. They could also break their stay up across a few of Hawaii's famous islands, redeeming points for a few free nights at each.
The bottom line
If you're angling for a trip to Hawaii this year, a handful of rewards cards can make travel an especially cheap proposition. You'll still have to pay for food and fun, but having your airfare and hotels covered can help you stretch your travel budget much farther than most people realize.
Click here to learn more about the Hilton Honors Ascend from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.
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.
Blockchain is seemingly being explored by innovation teams in every corner of every industry. This includes the logistics industry, which, despite continuing on an impressive upward trajectory — the market is expected to reach $15.5 trillion by 2023, up from $8.1 trillion in 2015 — is filled with inefficiencies that the distributed ledger technology (DLT) is potentially well suited to fix.
As a result, the DLT has become one of the most attractive investment opportunities for companies in the logistics space; in fact, the market for blockchain technology in supply chain management is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49% from $41 million in 2017 to $667 million in 2024, according to Zion Market Research.
This is leading some of the largest firms in the logistics industry to explore blockchain and its potential use cases. For example, in 2017, a group of technology, transportation, and supply chain executives formed the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) to create a forum for the development of blockchain standards and education for the freight industry. BiTA now has over 450 members, including global heavyweights UPS, FedEx, SAP, Google, Cisco, and Daimler.
However, there are still major hurdles to overcome before the technology can become commonplace. Many companies, especially small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), are still unaware of what blockchain is, how it works, or what the benefits of the technology are.
In this report, Business Insider Intelligence explores how blockchain can provide value to the global logistics industry. We break down some of the inefficiencies in the logistics industry that are leading firms to explore blockchain and explain how the technology can be used to solve these issues. Additionally, we examine some specific use cases along the supply chain and identify some of the hurdles to adoption. And finally, we take a look at what needs to occur in the logistics industry for blockchain to be deployed widely.
The companies mentioned in this report are: BiTA, FedEx, IBM, Maersk, Modum, SAP, Volt Technology, and Walmart.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
A theme of James Clear's "Atomic Habits" is that you can trick yourself into being the person you want to be.
One of my favorite examples of this theme is Clear's explanation of the "two-minute rule": "When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do."
The idea is to scale down the whole habit into a very quick, very easy behavior. Clear suggests "take out my yoga mat" as the two-minute version of "do 30 minutes of yoga" and "fold one pair of socks" as the two-minute version of "fold the laundry."
There are a number of reasons why this strategy works. According to Clear, who runs a popular productivity website, you have to "master the art of showing up" before you turn to the details. What's more, the first two minutes become a "ritual at the beginning of a larger routine," so you can eventually think less about it.
Do less than you can when you're starting a new habit
I've heard versions of Clear's two-minute rule before, for example from Chade-Meng Tan, a former Google engineer who developed the company's emotional-intelligence course, "Search Inside Yourself."In his book by the same name, Tan writes that the best way to start a meditation habit is to "do less formal practice than you are capable of."
Tan previously told me that sustaining a meditation or mindfulness practice means figuring out "how much meditation does it take for you to see meaningful changes in life. And then be careful to not overdose — because overdosing is no longer fun." Over time, your ability to enjoy and benefit from a large dose will increase.
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Chris Bailey had a similar tip in "Hyperfocus": When you're dreading a task like writing a paper or cleaning out your closet, work for at least one minute "with purposeful attention and limited distractions." Bailey writes that it can take just 40 seconds before we get distracted from the task at hand. But if you pass that threshold, chances are, you'll be inclined to continue, since you've gotten over the starting hump.
And on a Reddit thread about overcoming laziness, multiple people shared some variation on the idea that you should tell yourself you'll only work on the dreaded task for a designated time period — and then you can stop. backformore wrote: "I set an alarm for 10 minutes and then see how much I can get done in that time. Usually, it gets me motivated to keep going after the timer goes off, but if it doesn't at least I did something."
Clear offered a more existential justification for the two-minute rule: These tiny behaviors "reinforce the identity you want to build. If you show up at the gym five days in a row — even if it's just for two minutes — you are casting votes for your new identity."
He went on: "You're focused on become the type of person who doesn't miss workouts. You're taking the smallest action that confirms the type of person you want to be."
The time has finally come: You got a PlayStation 4. Congratulations!
Unbelievably, the PlayStation 4 launched over five years ago at this point. Still feels like a pretty modern, swanky little box, doesn't it?
The good news is there are five full years of major games available to play on the PS4. But that means there's a lot of titles out there to sift through. Where to begin?!
What we've put together below is a bit of a cheat sheet — a look through 10 excellent games across a variety of genres that either can only be played on the PlayStation 4 or are best on PlayStation 4.
"Horizon Zero Dawn"
In 10 years, people will still be talking about innovative things that "Horizon Zero Dawn" does. They'll still be talking about how gorgeous it is, how smart and funny its main character is, how it succeeded commercially in the shadow of a new Nintendo console and a new "Legend of Zelda" game.
While playing games, I often experience a small handful of emotions: frustration, accomplishment, fear. While playing "Horizon Zero Dawn," that list expanded dramatically — outside of delighting in the graceful, smart gameplay systems that underlie the game's narrative focus, I often laughed out loud at Aloy's smart quips (she's the protagonist you see above). I found myself endlessly curious about the surprisingly deep lore of the game's world, its people and religions, and the main character's story arc. Perhaps most important, I actually cared about the main character, believed her motivations, and wanted her to succeed.
"Horizon Zero Dawn" is a magnificent accomplishment of a game that stands out among standouts. And I didn't even mention the giant metal dinosaurs.
Listen, "Bloodborne" is not for the faint of heart.
In "Bloodborne," you're a hunter taking on a world that wants you dead. In practice that means you're playing a third-person action game where constant death is pretty much an expectation. It's only through careful attrition that you'll learn to survive and progress. Like the "Souls" series it comes from, "Bloodborne" is a game that demands focus and mastery.
For some people, that will be a massive turnoff. For others, "Bloodborne" is an obsession.
That said: "Bloodborne" is gorgeous/gruesome, tremendously challenging, and easily one of the best games on PlayStation 4. Here's a review-y thing my colleague Dave Smith wrote about the game— it goes into far more depth on why "Bloodborne" is so fantastic.
It's hard to overstate how much fun basic movement is in "Spider-Man."
Even after devoting more than 30 hours of my life to the game, I never tired of high-velocity traversal. If you've seen any of the "Spider-Man" movies, you're already familiar with how swinging around Manhattan works — it's nearly identical in the PS4 game, but you're in control.
And the version of Manhattan that "Spider-Man" lives in is almost as beautiful as the real thing. It's not quite as large, or as detailed, but it's got all the familiar landmarks you'd expect to see: Union Square, Central Park, and much more.
As a NYC resident, I found it shockingly easy to navigate the Manhattan of "Spider-man" without using the in-game map. That it's possible to navigate solely based on my knowledge of the actual Manhattan is incredibly impressive, and a testament to the level of detail in "Spider-Man."
But what's most impressive about the game is that it manages to tell a story and evoke the feeling of a high-budget Marvel superhero film — except you get to play it.
I want to be all the way clear here: I don't even like "Spider-Man" as a character. I never read the comics growing up, and I don't like the few films I saw. I love "Spider-Man" on PlayStation 4.
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Deciding which apps to download from Apple's App Store can be daunting, especially when you have a new phone. After all, there are millions of apps choose from.
We've rounded up 33 of the best apps you should download first on your iPhone. There are some obvious choices on this list, but we've also chosen a few hidden gems that the Tech Insider staff uses and loves.
Let's check them out:
Citizen lets you see if there are emergencies or crimes nearby.
Moment helps you track screen time. Apple has built-in tools, but a lot of people in the tech world use this app.
Mindbody lets you book and search workout classes on the go.
Mindbody is a free app. The classes cost money.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Gratitude does not come naturally to most people.
In fact, according to a 2014 study conducted by Harvard's Graduate School of Education, approximately four out of five children value personal achievement and success more than caring for others. The study's authors concluded that "the root of this problem may be a rhetoric/reality gap, a gap between what parents and other adults say are their top priorities and the real messages they convey in their behavior day to day."
In other words, raising caring kids who are grateful for the good things in life comes down to the Golden Rule: do to others as you would do to yourself.
My wife and I strive to consistently model the type of behavior we want our kids to display themselves in the hopes that our outward actions will reflect the emotions within.
We say please and thank you when simply handing each other objects in the kitchen, we ask each other questions, and we see how the other is feeling when in earshot of the kids even when we're well caught up on each other's day. Crucially, we also involve our kids in as many conversations and activities that provide opportunities for gratitude as possible.
Learning to be grateful
Our son is five, and our daughter is not yet one, so I don't expect much in the way of gratitude from her. The key here is to not expect much from him yet, either.
As Washington Post contributor Meghan Leahy wrote in article from August 2017: "True gratitude can take years to develop. It requires deep empathy and an appreciation of others’ feelings." And empathy is a highly evolved emotion that a child's brain can't fully grasp, both because of the lack of life experience and simply because of its level of development.
As gratitude is not innate in most children, it must be learned. Therefore, it must be taught. And a child is never too young to start learning to be grateful, so long as the caregivers use a light touch.
The first tangible way my wife and I are teaching the kids gratitude is by doing what we call our Thankfuls at dinner. Each night, we go around the dinner table with each family member who can talk sharing one thing for which they were thankful from that day. It's a secular take on a prayer, and already we can tell it's working: for the first week or so of our Thankfuls, it was always a parent who remembered to initiate the sharing session. Now our son is without fail the person who says: "Should we do our Thankfuls?"
And even if he is thankful for beating a level in Super Mario Bros or for it being a sweet desert night instead of expressing appreciation for a warm, safe home, at least he's expressing gratitude in some form every day.
Teaching gratitude for the holidays
The holiday season has presented several unique opportunities for my son to learn about gratitude.
I decided to get one of my wife's gifts from the nonprofit World Vision, a charity that works to "empower people out of poverty." A majority of the purchase price of the handmade silver cuff I chose for her will go to World Vision's Where Most Needed Fund, helping provide people in need with clean water, warm clothing, health care support, and other essentials.
I involved my son in the process of shopping from World Vision, explaining how the money we spent would help other people and that by buying from this type of organization instead of from a regular store, our money would do some small part to improve other people's lives. Sure, I could have simply said: "Not everyone has safe water, a warm home, and toys to play with, so you should appreciate those things." But by doing something concrete instead of simply talking about it, I'm confident he better understood the message. (We'll deal with the fallacy of relative privation when he's older.)
As Christmas approached, my wife and I asked our son if there were any toys he would like to donate so that other kids could enjoy them. We weren't going to force him to give away a single marble if he didn't want to, of course, but we explained that he had more than enough toys himself, while other children went largely without.
Then, with a light touch, we suggested a few toys that he had outgrown or simply never liked that much. He jumped on the opportunity to give several away, and we thanked him for his generosity. Was it a huge sacrifice on his part? No, but the spirit was there. And after boxing up the chosen giveaways, we talked about how fortunate our family was to have enough things that we could give others away.
A few days later, our son's daily Advent calendar gift was a packet of colored glue sticks for his glue gun (don't worry, it's a low temperature "cold" glue gun). He unwrapped them, realized what they were, and then hugged us both and thanked us as if we had given him a bar of gold. It was just a little gift, but he was genuinely grateful.
So maybe it's working.
"Friends" ended in 2004, but 14 years later, the cast still makes millions of dollars off of the popular sitcom.
According to Marketplace, each member of the "Friends" main cast still makes $20 million a year thanks to syndication and Netflix. The show still makes $1 billion a year for Warner Bros., and the actors get 2% of that syndication income, Marketplace said.
And now that the Warner Bros. show will remain on Netflix through 2019, they could make even more.
The show's future on the streaming giant was put in doubt earlier this month when the "Friends" show page on Netflix indicated that it would be unavailable to stream by January. Netflix quickly removed the note, and said that "Friends" will remain on the service throughout 2019.
AT&T, which bought Time Warner this year, confirmed that Netflix and AT&T were finalizing a multiyear agreement to keep "Friends" on Netflix while AT&T would have the freedom to also include it on its own streaming service, expected to launch in 2019.
According to The New York Times, Netflix is dropping $100 million for "Friends," more than the $30 million it was paying per year. But since it won't be exclusive to only Netflix, it will likely negotiate a lower price in the future when the show comes to AT&T's new streaming service.
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.
Edge computing solutions are key tools that help companies grapple with rising data volumes across industries. These types of solutions are critical in allowing companies to gain more control over the data their IoT devices create and in reducing their reliance on (and the costs of) cloud computing.
These systems are becoming more sought-after — 40% of companies that provide IoT solutions reported that edge computing came up more in discussion with customers in 2017 than the year before, according to Business Insider Intelligence’s 2017 Global IoT Executive Survey. But companies need to know whether they should look into edge computing solutions, and what in particular they can hope to gain from shifting data processing and analysis from the cloud to the edge.
There are three particular types of problems that edge computing solutions are helping to combat across industries:
In this report, Business Insider Intelligence examines how edge computing is reducing companies' reliance on cloud computing in three key industries: healthcare, telecommunications, and the automotive space. We explore how these systems mitigate issues in each sector by helping to efficiently process growing troves of data, expanding the potential realms of IoT solutions a company can offer, and bringing enhanced computing capability to remote and mobile platforms.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
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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 40 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 pickup.
Below, you'll find 40 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 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.
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.
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.
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2018 was a difficult year for some retailers. Many of the dozens of stores we visited this year were either in complete disarray or marred by empty shelves.
But while some stores were barely hanging on, others were thriving.
Kohl's, for example, reported comparable sales were up 2.5% in the third quarter. When we visited a Kohl's store recently, we found that it was well-organized, clean, and affordable. Part of why Kohl's is able to continue performing well, despite the ongoing retail apocalypse, is because of its store locations in suburban strip malls, a high demand for budget options, and its continued focus on e-commerce, such as with its expanding partnership with Amazon.
Aerie is another store that is well-loved by shoppers — especially teens. In the third quarter of 2018, American Eagle reported that comparable sales were up 32% at Aerie. Beyond being pleasant to shop at, Aerie is often praised for being a relatable brand, especially because of its "real" ads with no photoshopping and its emphasis on comfort.
Off-price retailers like TJ Maxx and dollar stores also had a great year because of an increased demand for budget products. While dollar stores like Dollar General and Dollar Tree both saw comparable sales growth each quarter this year, Five Below stood out. Five Below was much cleaner, much more organized, and overall better to shop it.
Here are some of the best stores we visited in 2018:
TJ Maxx was among the best stores we visited this year.
TJ Maxx's parent company, TJX Companies, reported on November 20 that comparable sales were up 9% at TJ Maxx and Marshalls in the most recent fiscal quarter.
On a recent store visit, we found the off-price retailer was disorganized, but it was still cleaner and brighter than other similar stores, like Burlington.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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When looking for a new credit card or charge card, aesthetics should not be your biggest concern. Your focus — assuming you pay your bills in time and don't carry credit card debt — should be on things like rewards.
That said, it's nice when you're able to enjoy both.
As part of the overhaul, AmEx unveiled a new chic, gold-colored metal version of the card, similar to the Platinum Card's design. AmEx also introduced a limited-edition rose gold variation of the card — it was so popular that AmEx encountered shipping delays. According to AmEx, over 60% of new card applicants requested the rose gold version of the card, although information on how many existing cardholders requested one was not immediately available.
Current and new users are able request either the regular or the rose gold card. However, the latter option goes away on January 9.
That means that this is the last chance to get the rose gold version of the card.
Also going away January 9: a unique limited-time bonus for new members. If you don't have the Gold Card and open one by then, AmEx will "pick up the tip" when you dine out. During the first three months, new card members will get 20% back on restaurant charges — in the form of a statement credit — up to $100 total.
That's in addition to the standard welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first three months. Some people may be targeted for a higher bonus.
The new Gold Card earns 4x Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at US restaurants, as well as on the first $25,000 spent each calendar year at US supermarkets (and 1x point after that). It also earns 3x points on flights booked directly through the airline, and 1x point on everything else.
That makes it among the most competitive cards for restaurants and supermarkets in the US — since it's possible to get more than 1¢ of value for each Membership Rewards point, the value is more than 4% back.
The Gold Card features several other benefits, too. Cardholders can get up to $120 in dining credits a year — split into $10 chunks each month — when they use their cards to order food through Grubhub or Seamless, or at The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Chris Steak House, and participating Shake Shack locations. That's in addition to a $100 airline fee credit each calendar year.
The card's annual fee is $250, but between the annual credits and the rewards, it should be easy to earn enough value to more than make up for that.