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The latest news from 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.


    There are many perks of online shopping — it's easy, convenient, and can be a huge time-saver. There are some products, though, where online shopping can become a gamble. These are the things you need to feel in order to truly get a sense of whether you want them or not. Before you spend your hard-earned money on an expensive mattress, you want to be sure you'll find it comfortable. The same goes for sheets — if you're going to buy a nice pair, you want to know that you'll like the way they feel. 

    While we can't provide you with fabric samples through the screen (although that would be pretty cool), we can provide you with what we think is the next best thing — reviews from a team whose literal job is to test out sheets (and lots of other products, too). If you're going to buy your first "adult" set of sheets online, we have plenty of in-depth reviews to help inform your purchase. To make it a little easier on you, we put that all together in this article. 

    And, if you're looking for some more resources or in the process of upgrading your whole bedding setup, check out these posts:

    Keep scrolling to find out more about nine of our favorite places to buy sheets online:


    Shop all Brooklinen sheets here

    Queen sheet sets start at $129

    With over 30,000 rave reviews, including some from our own team, it's no doubt that people are obsessed with Brooklinen sheets. Thoughtful design and a cozy feel that gets better with time are a big draw to the brand, but it's the high-quality at a reasonable pricepoint that keeps customers coming back. You have many options for how to shop for sheets at Brooklinen — they offer a range of bundles that include different combinations, but you can also buy pieces individually. Their twill, linen, sateen, and percale options all offer superior comfort and value — and their newest launch of baby bedding called Brooklittles might just be the cutest thing you see today. 

    Read our full review of Brooklinen sheets

    Bed Bath & Beyond

    Shop Bed Bath & Beyond sheets here

    Queen sheet sets start at $24.99

    If you're looking for more options or sheet shopping on a stuffer budget than the startups allow for, check out Bed Bath & Beyond. If the name wasn't enough of an indicator, Bed Bath & Beyond has a serious selection of sheets. The breadth of materials, colors, patterns, brands, and prices, is impressive. You can find sheet sets or buy pieces individually. I'm partial to the silky-soft feel of their Wamsutta PimaCott sheets, but there are plenty of options that accommodate all kinds of tastes. If you're on a budget, Bed Bath & Beyond frequently has sales and offers other ways to save money, like an annual membership

    Right now you can save 20% off your entire purchase and get free shipping with code "ALLYEARLONG". 


    Shop MagicLinen sheets here

    Queen sheet sets start at $227

    If you like to sleep cool, breathable linen sheets will help you get a better nights rest. No, they're not cheap, but these ones are relatively more affordable than the luxury brands charging $400 a set. MagicLinen is a company from Lithuania (a country that has deep traditions of growing and weaving linen) specializing in linen goods — including sheets, aprons, towels, curtains, and more — so you can rest assured that they're focused on quality and craftsmanship. Considering the fact that linen sheets can be harder to find than other materials, MagicLinen is a no-brainer if linen bedding is your preference. We were impressed by MagicLinen's breadth of colors and patterns and their "deep mattress" option, which is made to fit over thicker mattresses and toppers.

    Right now you can save 10% off your purchase at MagicLinen with our exclusive code "MAGICINSIDE".

    Read our full review of MagicLinen sheets

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    AI Drive Revenue

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

    Major logistics providers have long relied on analytics and research teams to make sense of the data they generate from their operations.

    But with volumes of data growing, and the insights that can be gleaned becoming increasingly varied and granular, these companies are starting to turn to artificial intelligence (AI) computing techniques, like machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing, to streamline and automate various processes. These techniques teach computers to parse data in a contextual manner to provide requested information, supply analysis, or trigger an event based on their findings. They are also uniquely well suited to rapidly analyzing huge data sets, and have a wide array of applications in different aspects of supply chain and logistics operations.

    AI’s ability to streamline so many supply chain and logistics functions is already delivering a competitive advantage for early adopters by cutting shipping times and costs. A cross-industry study on AI adoption conducted in early 2017 by McKinsey found that early adopters with a proactive AI strategy in the transportation and logistics sector enjoyed profit margins greater than 5%. Meanwhile, respondents in the sector that had not adopted AI were in the red.

    However, these crucial benefits have yet to drive widespread adoption. Only 21% of the transportation and logistics firms in McKinsey’s survey had moved beyond the initial testing phase to deploy AI solutions at scale or in a core part of their business. The challenges to AI adoption in the field of supply chain and logistics are numerous and require major capital investments and organizational changes to overcome.

    In a new report, BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, explores the vast impact that AI techniques like machine learning will have on the supply chain and logistics space. We detail the myriad applications for these computational techniques in the industry, and the adoption of those different applications. We also share some examples of companies that have demonstrated success with AI in their supply chain and logistics operations. Lastly, we break down the many factors that are holding organizations back from implementing AI projects and gaining the full benefits of this disruptive technology.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • The current interest in and early adoption of AI systems is being driven by several key factors, including increased demands from shippers, recent technological breakthroughs, and significant investments in data visibility by the industry’s largest players.
    • AI can deliver enormous benefits to supply chain and logistics operations, including cost reductions through reduced redundancies and risk mitigation, improved forecasting, faster deliveries through more optimized routes, improved customer service, and more.
    • Legacy players face many substantial obstacles to deploying and reaping the benefits of AI systems, though, including data accessibility and workforce challenges.
    • AI adoption in the logistics industry is strongly skewed toward the biggest players, because overcoming these major challenges requires costly investments in updating IT systems and breaking down data silos, as well as hiring expensive teams of data scientists.
    • Although AI implementations are unlikely to result in large-scale workforce reductions in the near term, companies still need to develop strategies to address how workers' roles will change as AI systems automate specific functions.

     In full, the report:

    • Details the factors driving adoption of AI systems in the supply chain and logistics field.
    • Examines the benefits that AI can deliver in reducing costs and shipping times for supply chain and logistics operations.
    • Explains the many challenges companies face in implementing AI in their supply chain and logistics operations to reap the benefits of this transformational technology.

    Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

    1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >>Learn More Now
    2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Hype around artificial intelligence has never been higher — and one industry where it has a chance to make a major impact on profits is retail.The Future of Retail 2018: Artificial Intelligence

    Business Insider Intelligence projects that AI will boost profitability in retail and wholesale by nearly 60% by 2035, setting off a wave of excitement and investment among companies.

    The areas where AI will have its biggest impact are personalization, search and chatbots.

    But as hype and misunderstanding continue to build, it’s become harder than ever to keep sight of the true disruptive potential of AI.

    Find out how AI is being implemented in these three areas and how each one can impact revenue in this new FREE slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence.

    In this third and final installment of the three-part Future of Retail 2018 series, Business Insider Intelligence takes a hard look at the retail use cases where AI can make an impact, explores noteworthy examples of retailers implementing the technology, and weighs the benefits of investing in AI today.

    As an added bonus, you will gain immediate access to our exclusive Business Insider Intelligence Daily newsletter.

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

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    baby born 15 pounds

    • A Texas babyweighed nearly 15 pounds when he was born at Arlington Memorial Hospital this month, CBS 11 reported.
    • He is the largest that's been born at the hospital, a spokesperson told CNN. 
    • After a weeklong stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, he is at home with his parents and healthy. 

    A baby born in Arlington, Texas this month weighed in at nearly 15 pounds, breaking a hospital record, CBS 11's Gilma Avalos reported Friday. 

    The baby was born via C-section to parents Eric and Jennifer Medlock at Arlington Medical Hospital, weighing 14 pounds and 13 ounces, to be exact. By comparison, the average newborn weighs around 7 pounds at birth, according to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

    A spokesperson confirmed to CNN that, according to hospital records, the baby is the largest child ever born there

    After his birth, the baby spent one week in the neonatal intensive care unit due to low blood sugar and platelet levels, but has since returned home with his parents and is healthy, according to CBS 11. 

    "It doesn't matter how big he is, I'm so blessed," Jennifer told CBS 11. 

    She added that she and her husband were expecting a larger-than-average baby because their firstborn child weighed more than nine pounds when she was born. 

    Many other babies have been born at larger-than-average sizes. The heaviest birth ever recorded was a boy born in 1879 to the world's tallest married couple, according to Guinness World Records. The child weighed 22 pounds at birth but sadly died just hours later. In 2005, a woman in Brazil reportedly gave birth to a 17-pound baby, and in 2009, CNN reported on a 19.2-pound baby born in Indonesia. Last year, a California woman welcomed a healthy baby weighing more than 13 pounds, CBS News reported.

    The Texas baby's birth was significant for another reason: Jennifer told CBS 11 that she has severe polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition in which women have increased levels of male hormones in their bodies. This may cause irregular periods, acne and excess hair growth, and infertility, according to the National Institutes of Health. It's also common, affecting one in every 10 women of childbearing age, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health explains. 

    Read more: Many women don't realize they have a common hormone disorder that can cause weight gain and infertility — here's what you need to know

    Doctors told the Medlocks that having children would be difficult, but the couple decided to try anyway, and they had their first child with the help of fertility treatments, CBS 11 reported. They had been preparing to start these treatments again when they discovered they were expecting their second child, the report added. 

    "I love proving people wrong," Jennifer told CBS 11. 

    Eric told CNN that Jennifer experienced a secondary infection after the C-section that will require a few more weeks of healing. But Ali is doing well after his stay in the hospital. 

    "He's sleeping and eating and he's just a healthy boy," Eric told CNN. "Just a little bit bigger than you would expect."

    Watch CBS 11's full report below. 

    <iframe scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allow="autoplay; fullscreen" src="" width ="640" height="360"></iframe>

    Jennifer and Eric Medlock did not immediately respond to INSIDER's request for comment.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How to get your baby to sleep according to "Baby Whisperer" Dr. Harvey Karp

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    This is a preview of a research report fromBusiness Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence,click here. Current subscribers can read the reporthere.

    FORECAST: Global Enterprise VR Hardware and Software Revenue

    Virtual reality (VR) offers immersive experiences in which users can hear, see, and interact with 360-degree digital environments using head-mounted displays (HMDs) and handheld motion devices. The technology has been historically associated with consumer-facing gaming, but it’s been gaining traction in the enterprise over the past year.

    In fact, companies such as Macy’s, Lowe’s, Walmart, and UPS, among others, have all launched new VR programs since 2017. And as more businesses look to tap the technology, this will drive enterprise VR hardware and software revenue to jump 587% to $5.5 billion in 2023, up from an estimated $800 million in 2018, according to Business Insider Intelligence estimates.

    This shows that retailers and brands should look into implementing VR as early as possible to better compete with other industry players who’ve started to use the tech, especially in three key areas: sales, employee training, and product development. All of the companies mentioned above are using VR to in at least one of these areas, enabling them to increase product sales, reduce product design costs, or speed up employee training processes, for instance.

    In the VR In The Enterprise report, Business Insider Intelligence explores how VR can provide value to retailers and brands in three areas: sales, employee training, and product development.

    The report begins by discussing potential pain points the technology addresses for each use case, examining in-depth case studies to illustrate how companies have implemented the technology, and outlining the broader takeaways each use case presents for brands and retailers.

    Finally, it looks at some of the potential barriers to further enterprise adoption and how both companies and VR incumbents are actively addressing those obstacles.

    The companies mentioned in the report are: Audi, Lowe's, Macy's, McLaren Automotive, Walmart, and UPS, among others.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • VR enables consumers in brick-and-mortar stores to make more informed purchases, which could increase sales conversion rates.
    • Brands and retailers looking to ramp up their employees quicker should consider bringing VR into their training processes.
    • The tech can shorten brands' and retailers' product development life cycles by cutting down on the time associated with building expensive physical prototypes.

    In full, the report:

    • Identifies key VR vendors and device form factors for businesses to consider.
    • Discusses key benefits the tech brings businesses for their sales, training, and product development processes.
    • Illustrates those key benefits by discussing real-world case studies from companies and the takeaways from those implementations.


    SEE ALSO: When it comes to VR hardware, consumers are balancing price point and experience

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Whole Foods

    • Amazon has plans to open even more Whole Foods stores to make its two-hour delivery service more accessible to customers, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
    • A source familiar with the matter told The Journal that Whole Foods may be expanding into parts of the Rocky Mountain region where it does not currently have stores. 
    • The Whole Foods expansion is in large part to help Amazon expand its Prime Now service and grocery delivery.
    • Amazon's plans to further expand Whole Foods shows the retailer has no plans of slowing down with its brick-and-mortar expansion.

    Amazon has plans to open even more Whole Foods stores to make its two-hour delivery service more accessible to customers, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

    The expansion will bring Whole Foods to suburban and rural areas that it's been adding customers in since it was acquired by Amazon in 2017. In the Rocky Mountain region, one person familiar with the plans told The Wall Street Journal, Whole Foods employees have visited potential retail spaces in parts of Idaho, southern Utah, and Wyoming, where the grocer doesn’t have stores now.

    Amazon offers Prime Now, a two-hour delivery service to Prime members that serves more than 60 cities, and online grocery pickup from Whole Foods in nearly 30 cities. Amazon plans on expanding these services to nearly all of its 475 Whole Foods stores, according to The Journal. Amazon also wants to use benefits for Prime members to attract new customers to Whole Foods and draw them back more often.

    Read more:Amazon dominated retail in 2018 — and no one else even came close to touching it

    Amazon's planned expansion of Whole Foods shows the e-commerce giant has no plans to slow down its push into physical retail.

    The company is increasingly moving into the physical world, opening spaces in malls, shopping districts, and even local strip malls. Its latest move is the Amazon 4-star store, which now has locations in New York City; Berkeley, California; and Lone Tree, Colorado. 

    In addition to 4-Star, it has been expanding its Amazon Books and Amazon Go stores.

    One reason that may be, an anonymous source told CNBC last year, is that the company is seeing online sales go up in areas that have physical Amazon stores. Brick-and-mortar stores increase customer awareness of the brand, and it's extra fuel for the Amazon engine.


    SEE ALSO: Amazon reveals the top-selling items of the season as it announces record-breaking holiday sales

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Millennials and teens are making Gucci cool again. Here's how the brand nearly doubled its sales in 2018.

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    bii voice app skills growth over time

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

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

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

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

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

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

    In full, the report:

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

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

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

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    ip6 iPhone 6S

    • Last year, Apple instituted a program to replace out-of-warranty batteries for the iPhone 6 or later for just $29 — a $50 price drop from the usual $79 cost.
    • If you own an iPhone 6 or later and have battery issues, you have until December 31 to take advantage of the lower price to replace your battery.

    If you own an iPhone 6 or later and have issues with your phone's battery life, now's the time to visit an Apple Store and get your battery replaced.

    Last December, Apple acknowledged something that iPhone owners had suspected for some time: It had been quietly "throttling," or lowering, the performance of older iPhones.

    It said the goal was to preserve battery life on those older phones and prevent them from shutting down unexpectedly, but customers felt as if Apple communicated this message too late, as many had come to believe that iPhones purposefully got slower to compel people to upgrade to newer models.

    After a good deal of consumer outrage, Apple addressed iPhone battery and performance in an open letter to customers later that month.

    The most important part of Apple's informational letter was an offer toward the end: Apple said it would reduce the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement to $29 from $79 "for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, available worldwide through December 2018."

    And so if you own an iPhone 6, an iPhone 6s, an iPhone 7, or any other phones made after that and are experiencing battery issues — maybe it's draining faster than it used to — head to an Apple Store before December 31.

    A small anecdote: My wife owns an iPhone 6s and had been experiencing battery issues for months. She'd constantly need to recharge her phone at work and at home, and she felt as if it hadn't always been this bad. So a couple of months ago, we visited an Apple Store, where an employee measured her phone's battery life and found the degradation to be at about 83%.

    Apple says it will offer to replace batteries when battery degradation reaches 80%, but the employee gave my wife the option to replace it right then and there for $29. So we did that and walked around the mall for a few hours while we waited.

    It was worth the wait: Since that visit, she's noticed improvement in her phone's battery life and no longer needs to charge it throughout the day.

    So if you're experiencing anything similar, go visit an Apple Store or mail your device before December 31 and pay the $30 to get your battery replaced. You'll be paying more if you choose to wait.

    SEE ALSO: If the rumors are true, Apple's next iPhone will be called 'XS' — and people are already making fun of the name, calling it 'extra small' and 'iPhone Excess'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Review: Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL are the best smartphones you can buy right now

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    california wildfire

    • California prosecutors are poised to charge the state's largest utility company with an array of crimes, including murder and manslaughter if it is found responsible for starting two recent deadly wildfires.
    • The state attorney general said in a new court filing that if Pacific Gas & Electric Co. was found to have mismanaged or failed to maintain power lines, it would face a wide range of charges.
    • Prosecutors wrote they were prepared to pursue charges including minor offenses, felonies or misdemeanors, and implied-malice murder and involuntary manslaughter.

    California prosecutors are poised to charge the state's largest utility company with an array of crimes, including murder and manslaughter if it is found responsible for starting two recent deadly wildfires.

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a new filing that if Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which provides electricity to about 16 million customers, was found to have mismanaged or failed to maintain power lines, it would face a wide range of charges.

    Prosecutors wrote they were prepared to pursue a wide range of charges, including minor offenses, felonies or misdemeanors, and implied-malice murder and involuntary manslaughter.

    In a statement responding to the filing, the company said it was dedicated to assessing its systems and looks forward to recovery from the deadly wildfires.

    "PG&E's most important responsibility is public and workforce safety. Our focus continues to be on assessing our infrastructure to further enhance safety and helping our customers continue to recover and rebuild," a spokesman told the San Francisco Chronicle.

    The filing is the latest in a long legal battle concerning the company that has been overseen by US District Judge William Alsup who asked last month that the utility company explain whether "reckless operation or maintenance of PG&E power lines" sparked any wildfires.

    The company was found responsible for 17 fires last year, and in 11 instances investigators found agents had failed to comply with guidelines for installing power lines around vegetation, one of the charges mentioned in the new filing. 

    The company has until December 31 to submit its written answers to Alsup's questions.

    The cause of the Camp Fire, which broke out November 8 and killed at least 85 people, is still under investigation.

    Read more: 10 photos show the grim reality for evacuees of California's wildfires

    The Camp Fire ravaged Northern California for over two weeks, initially growing at a speed of 80 football fields a minute and leveling the 27,000-person town of Paradise, California.

    The flames from the other deadly fire, the Woolsey fire, burned 96,949 acres and killed three people.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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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.

    veestro main

    • Healthy eating often falls by the wayside when you lead a busy lifestyle. 
    • Veestro is a meal delivery service that makes it easy to get more plant-based foods into your diet without sacrificing taste or convenience. 
    • If your New Year's resolution is to eat better or lose weight, and you've realized that it's difficult to fit it into your packed schedule, give Veestro a try. 

    Eating a healthy, balanced diet seems fairly straightforward. Years of health research and doctors everywhere tell us we should eat more vegetables and fruits, try to get our daily recommended vitamins, and limit our sugar and fat intake. If my life revolved purely around feeding myself, I'm sure I could become a glowing, nutritionally sound health goddess because I'd actually have the time to carefully grocery shop and cook healthy meals. But like most people, I'm otherwise occupied with work, hobbies, and social obligations, and eating healthy really isn't that easy. 

    When I think about eating healthy or "clean," my mind automatically jumps to salads and raw foods. Don't get me wrong, I love a good salad, but the thought of eating salads all the time makes my heart sink a little. It turns out this approach is pretty narrow-minded and uncreative of me because there are tons of tasty meals that can be made with real, unprocessed ingredients.

    As I discovered while trying Veestro, a plant-based meal delivery service, they don't even have to include meat or dairy to be delicious, either. 

    Veestro sends fully prepared 100% plant-based meals to your door, virtually knocking out all your previous excuses not to eat healthier. All the meals are preservative-free and organic (96% of all ingredients used), and the recipes are conceived by a vegan chef with 30 years of experience. There's no prepping of ingredients and cooking involved — all the meals can be microwaved, reheated on the stove, or baked in the oven, so you can eat a hot meal within half an hour. 

    Veestro offers a variety of options to choose from and incorporate into your busy lifestyle: 

    • A la carte mealsPick and choose from 50 meals, like baked mac and "cheese," Tuscan calzone, portobello steak, and quinoa soup. Available for one-time delivery, start at $10/meal.
    • Meal packs:Options include an introductory starter pack, protein pack, and gluten-free. Available for one-time delivery or subscription, start at $8/meal.
    • Weight loss plans:3, 5, or 7-day plans that ship every two weeks and help take the guesswork out of weight loss. Start at $8/meal.
    • Juice cleanses:3 or 5-day plans of half pressed, half blended juices. Available for one-time delivery or subscription, start at $6/juice. 

    I was sent the $99 Starter Pack, which comprises 12 meals and one juice, to try. Everything arrives in a box packed with dry ice. Make sure your fridge has enough room because everything needs to go in the fridge or freezer. 

    I ate the meals throughout the week, weaving them into my regular diet. The menu included veggie empanadas, country fried chick'n (seitan), three layer scramble, soba noodles, mushroom risotto, and a green juice. In general, I found the thawing and cooking times to be longer than suggested, though they were never grossly off. Because I was usually either impatient or low on time, I tended to microwave or reheat the meals on the stove instead of baking them. 

    veestro red curry

    While there were a couple misses, overall I really liked the taste and variety of the pack. I'll admit, I was surprised. Usually for frozen food to taste good, it contains artificial ingredients or preservatives, but I didn't see any of those while scanning the nutritional labels. My personal favorites were the red curry, Thai chick'n stew, and mushroom risotto.

    The week I tried Veestro was particularly busy for me, so I truly appreciated not having to think about preparing food or give in to greasy takeout. I saw Veestro as a convenient way to incorporate plant-based meals into my diet so I could make a smoother transition into a healthy lifestyle, rather than forcing an unrealistic, abrupt change. Research has shown that a plant-based diet leads to lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. A longer life free of these complications sounds pretty great to me. 

    At $8 to $10 per meal, is it cheaper than making your own food? No, but what you're paying for is the convenience and freedom to concentrate on other parts of your life while still enjoying healthy, tasty food.

    Browse all of Veestro's meal options and try the plant-based meal delivery service here.

    SEE ALSO: 15 kitchen gadgets for terrible home cooks that make life easier

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    bii top 5 startups to watch in digital health

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

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

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

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

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

     In full, the report:

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

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

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

    • Disney World stopped allowing new guests to enter Magic Kingdom at 11:35 a.m. on Monday.
    • The theme park is crowded with people planning to celebrate New Year's Eve there.
    • Last year, Disney was similarly forced to stop allowing new guests in before noon as the theme park reached capacity.

    If you want to celebrate New Year's Eve at Disney World, you need to show up early.

    At 11:35 a.m. on Monday, Walt Disney World Today announced on Twitter that its Magic Kingdom theme park was no longer allowing more guests to enter. Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom remained open as of 1 p.m.

    The time between Christmas and New Year's Day is one of the busiest periods of the year for Disney World. New Year's Eve is especially popular, as each park has its own celebration to kick off the new year.

    "Magic Kingdom is the most popular park and will be the most crowded during New Year's Eve at Disney World,"a post on a tourist blog says. "If Magic Kingdom is your park of choice, we recommend you arrive early and stay all day since it is likely to reach capacity for some part of the day."

    Read more:50 fascinating photos inside Disney's most exclusive spots that you may not know exist

    The crowds are also resulting in long lines for people visiting the parks. As of 1 p.m., there was a three-hour wait to ride the Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coasters, according to the Disney World app.

    Photos from the park show just how crowded Disney World can get around New Year's Eve:

    Just a few people at liberty square at the magic kingdom. No biggie

    A post shared by Eric Shults (@shultzee13) on Dec 31, 2018 at 10:17am PST on

    I never would’ve thought I’d come to Disney with my family and my sweet boyfriend ❤️

    A post shared by M.U.A• Columbus, Ga 📍 (@mimislooks) on Dec 31, 2018 at 9:58am PST on

    DISNEY ❤️

    A post shared by Laura Nunez (@lauranortiz82) on Dec 31, 2018 at 9:32am PST on

    Here are some more photos of the recent crowds at Disney World:

    #2018 #honeymoon #trip #orlando #florida #disney #castle #mickey #sky #statue

    A post shared by José Núñez Barboza (@jose.nunez18) on Dec 31, 2018 at 10:05am PST on

    It's not the first time Disney has been forced to close Magic Kingdom early on New Year's Eve. Last year, the park stopped accepting new guests at 11:30 a.m., but reopened its gates around 5:30 p.m., The Orlando Sentinel reported.

    SEE ALSO: Lady Gaga just gave fans another sign that she is launching a makeup line in 2019

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    NOW WATCH: This fish was sold for $1.8 million — here's why bluefin tuna is so expensive

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    catch 22

    • More books are being adapted into TV series. 
    • Some will be on network channels, like Fox's "The Passage."
    • Others will be streaming, like the new adaptation of "The ABC Murders" on Amazon Prime and "Catch-22" on Hulu.

    Some of the biggest TV series often come from books, and more are on their way. 

    Joseph Heller's "Catch-22" is heading to Hulu and is starring George Clooney, while comic book series "Deadly Class" is heading to the Syfy channel. 

    Here are 24 series based on books that will soon be on TV.

    Fox's "The Passage" is loosely based on Justin Cronin's novel of the same name.

    The sci-fi series will center on a facility called Project Noah, where scientists experiment with a virus that could potentially cure all diseases, but can also kill all humans. A young girl named Amy is chosen to be a test subject at the facility but the Federal Agent put in charge of her decides to protect her. 

    Release date: Monday, January 14 on Fox

    Buy the book >>

    "Roswell, New Mexico" will be the second adaptation of "The Roswell High" series by Melinda Metz.

    A girl moves back to her hometown only to learn that her high school crush is an alien and has hidden his abilities for his entire life, but he's not the only extra-terrestrial around. Fear and hatred in the town threaten to expose the aliens and put them in danger. 

    Release date: Tuesday, January 15 on The CW 

    Buy the book >>

    Rick Remender's comic book series "Deadly Class" is coming to Syfy.

    "Deadly Class" centers on an elite training school for assassins where the world's top crime families send their kids and an orphan who is recruited to join. The series was created by "Infinity War" directors Joe and Anthony Russo. 

    Release date: Wednesday, January 16 on Syfy 

    Buy the book >>

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Chicago CTA holiday train el

    • Business Insider has rounded up deals for free and discounted rides this New Year's Eve.
    • Uber and Lyft are both offering discounts in locations across the US, with many public transit agencies also offering free fares.

    There are more reasons than ever to avoid drinking and driving on New Year’s Eve this year.

    From public transit agencies to ride-hailing services and AAA’s traditional safe-ride program, free rides abound to help get you home safely and legally.

    Business Insider has rounded up some of the offers for this holiday:

    SEE ALSO: How Uber's internal safety team handles everything from car crashes ...


    There aren’t completely free rides like for Election Day. But the company is still making it easier to get home in someone else’s car more cheaply.

    Depending on your city, there is likely a discount code worth anywhere from $10 for first-time users to $35. A partnership with Miller Lite is worth $15 for new customers with the code MILLERTIME18.

    In Detroit, you can be reimbursed up to $35 for rides between 4 pm on December 31 until 4pm on New Year’s Day, easily the biggest discount available, thanks to a local law firm. Details here.

    A similar — but slightly less lucrative — deal is available in Oklahoma City as part of the state’s Drive Sober campaign.


    Uber’s smaller competitor has teamed up with local organizations across the country to offer promo codes and discounts for New Year’s Eve.

    Participating locations include Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Chicago, Oregon, and Kentucky.

    Public Transportation

    A slew of subway and bus agencies are making trips free for holiday revelers:

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    trump kanye snl

    • It was quite the year in politics, which means NBC's "Saturday Night Live" had a lot of material to work with. 
    • The show, which has received a ratings bump during the Trump presidency, got political many times this year.
    • Here are some of the best SNL political sketches of 2018: 

    SEE ALSO: Robert De Niro returned as Robert Mueller in the 'Saturday Night Live' cold open

    SNL reimagines "It's a Wonderful Life" in a world were Trump never became president.

    Youtube Embed:
    Width: 560px
    Height: 315px

    "Wow! Everyone looks so different," Alec Baldwin's Trump says. "What are those things on their faces?"

    "Those are called smiles," says Keenan Thompson as Trump's guardian angel Clarence. 
    This sketch earned a response from Trump. 


    Democrats showed they were very confident about the midterm elections on "Midterm ad."

    Youtube Embed:
    Width: 560px
    Height: 315px

    "They say 'don't trust the polls,' but I'm choosing to," quips a shaky Kate McKinnon. 

    An advertisement featuring Trump's emergency alert system.

    Youtube Embed:
    Width: 560px
    Height: 315px

    Remember the emergency alert test message we got from the Federal Emergency Management Agency when it was trying out the presidential alert system?

    Here's an SNL ad for that. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    bird box

    • "Bird Box" has set the record for most watched Netflix film in its first week of release.
    • The movie, however, never actually shows the monsters that terrorize the world, and that's for a specific reason.
    • The film's team did, in fact, shoot a now-deleted scene that showed the monsters, but upon viewing it, they deemed it to be unnecessary.

    Netflix fans have swarmed their screens over the past few weeks to watch the streaming service's latest original film, "Bird Box." In fact, according to Netflix, the film was so popular that 45 million accounts watched it in its first week, breaking the record for most views during an opening week on the site. Undoubtedly, a large part of the reason the film quickly caught the attention of many was because of the plethora of viral memes that emerged from it.

    "Bird Box"left viewers with many unanswered questions, however. One of which is regarding the movie's mysterious monsters that, upon a glance, leave people with an urge to commit suicide. Although constantly mentioned and feared throughout the film, the monsters are never shown. All that's seen are black shadows and strong gusts of wind picking up leaves and debris that signify the monsters approaching.

    A scene in which the monsters are revealed was both written and filmed

    bird box

    However, according to a recent interview with screenwriter Eric Heisserer, the monsters were initially going to be shown in a now-deleted scene from "Bird Box."

    "There was a time when one of the producers was like, 'No, you have to see something at some point' and forced me to write essentially a nightmare sequence where Malorie experiences one in that house,"Heisserer told

    After writing the scene for the film, Heisserer went on to explain that they did indeed shoot it.

    Sandra Bullock said the monster was "just a long fat baby"

    bird box monsters

    Lead actress Sandra Bullock, who plays the role of Malorie, recalled in the interview that, "It was snake-like, and I was like, 'I don't want to see it when it first happens. Just bring it into the room. We'll shoot the scene.' I turn and he's like this [growling at me.] It's making me laugh. It was just a long fat baby."

    The screenwriter and director decided to cut it out and leave the monsters up to the audience's imagination

    sandra bullock bird box

    After shooting and watching the scene, however, Heisserer and film director Susanne Bier said they knew that it just didn't fit the film. 

    Bier told, "Whatever those beings are, they tap into your deepest fear. Everybody's deepest fear is going to be different from the other person. I think to suddenly take upon a concrete shape in order to illustrate that becomes weak. Where the conceit is really strong, then trying to illustrate it is kind of almost meaningless. So it would have been the wrong decision."

    The "Bird Box" team ultimately decided that they didn't want the audience to turn away from the film because of an unnecessary scary scene in which the monsters emerge. They wanted audiences to remain captivated and interested the entire time, unable to turn away from the screen.

    VisitINSIDER's homepage for more.

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    • Want to exercise more, eat better, and save for retirement? Punish yourself for bad habits immediately, instead of waiting for future consequences.
    • That's according to James Clear, author of "Atomic Habits."
    • For example, you might recruit an accountability partner who will think you're untrustworthy if you don't show up to a workout. Or, you might sign a "habit contract" along with important people in your life.

    I don't exercise nearly enough.

    At the end of the workday, I'm able to effectively ignore the possibility of being weak and withered 50 years from now (or sooner); but what I can't ignore is how comfortable my couch is.

    That is to say, I'm human. I have a hard time visualizing bad things happening to me in the future, and changing my behavior accordingly.

    Read more: 58 cognitive biases that screw up everything we do

    Ask James Clear, a productivity expert and the author of "Atomic Habits," about this issue and he'll tell you to stop trying to make yourself a better future-seer. It'll never work.

    Instead, Clear recommends making something bad happen to you right now as a result of the habit you're trying to quit.

    Clear shares the example of a "habit contract": One man had his wife and trainer sign a document that said he would write down all food that he consumed and weigh himself every day. If he didn't do those two things, he would be required to dress up every day and give his trainer $200.

    Another way to create immediate, negative consequences is to recruit an accountability partner. You probably don't want them to see you as untrustworthy or lazy, Clear writes, so you'll be more inclined to keep your promises.

    Clear's strategies are straightforward enough. But scientists have spent years on this problem and come up with some innovative (if less accessible) potential solutions.

    For example, Hal Hershfield, an associate professor of marketing at the University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management, showed people digitally altered images of themselves that made them look older; the researchers found that those people were more inclined to save for retirement.

    Another creative option, cited on MakeUseOf, is to punish a bad habit with a good one. For example, if you find yourself procrastinating doing your work, you might do a few minutes of exercise. That way, you "penalize" yourself and also make it easier to work now that you've gotten your blood flowing.

    As for me, I've I'm thinking about finding an accountability partner who knows whether I hit the gym or the couch every day (and isn't afraid to ream me out for it).

    Clear puts it simply. "The more immediate the pain, the less likely the behavior," he writes. "There can't be a gap between the action and the consequences."

    SEE ALSO: There's an easy strategy to start breaking your worst habits for 2019, and its opposite can help you build the good habits you want

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jeff Bezos.

    • In 2018, many of the major tech companies found themselves embroiled in scandal, or otherwise under serious scrutiny.
    • But look beyond the headlines: These are the issues and trends bubbling beneath the surface, that will come into play in a big way in 2019. 
    • From Apple's struggles in China, to the resurgent Microsoft, to the potential decline and fall of the video game console, here are the issues you shouldn't sleep on in the new year. 

    Tech companies experienced a tumultuous year marked by controversies, competition, political backlash and a volatile stock market. 

    Many of those challenges are likely to continue into the new year, even as a new generation of products and innovation are set to take the stage. 

    Which products, or challenges, will be the most significant in 2019?

    It probably won't be the ones everyone is expecting. New developments, shifting strategies and complete surprises are likely to determine the year ahead as much as anything already underway. Business Insider's tech team tried to game out some of the biggest "under the radar" issues that could shape the tech industry in 2019. 

    While there's no way to predict the complete surprises that come out of left field, here are some of the top things in tech to watch next year that aren't in the headlines right now:

    SEE ALSO: 15 photos we can't stop looking at that highlight tech's wild, apocalyptic year

    Facebook — Rob Price, News Editor

    The big headline in 2019: Regulation. Lawmakers and consumers are fed up with Facebook's reckless attitude towards privacy.

    But you should really pay attention to:

    Talent retention.

    Regardless of what the government does, Facebook's fate will ultimately come down to its ability to rekindle growth next year, and doing that requires top talent that understands the consumer internet business. 

    Facebook lost lots of important executives in 2018. The company's ability to hold on to its stars and attract new talent, amid its seemingly endless string of scandals, will be the key issue to watch in 2019.

    Uber & Lyft — Becky Peterson, Deals Reporter

    The big headline in 2019: Competing IPOs. Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft are both slated to go public in 2019. The two companies have competed on everything from which bankers they use, to the timing of their confidential filings. Now the wait is on to find out who will ring the bell and actually go public first.

    But you should really pay attention to:

    How volatility on the public market impacts investors in Uber and Lyft.

    Both Lyft and Uber have raised billions of dollars at multi-billion dollar valuations. But those valuations were set during an economic boom.

    If the stock market continues to correct, it's likely that valuations across public tech companies will also sink. So investors who put money into unicorn startups at the end of their rise risk losing money when those companies go public: If the shares trade at a lower price than they were valued at on the private markets, some investors could lose their shirts. 

    Video game platforms — Kevin Webb, Video Game Reporter

    The big headline in 2019: A new generation of video game consoles is on the horizon, with early details expected about the next versions of the Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox. 

    But you should really pay attention to:

    Cloud gaming. 

    Google, Microsoft, and Electronic Arts are all developing new video game streaming platforms capable of delivering the latest titles to phones and even the most average computers, possibly removing the need for consoles entirely.

    In the simplest terms, the cloud server runs the game and sends the player a video feed, while the player's controller inputs are sent back to the server. Obviously this requires a rock solid and lightning fast connection with no lag time, which is why some of the earlier attempts at subscription-based cloud gaming services have gotten mixed reviews. Now, the tech giants are trying again. 

    Google’s ProjectStream entered beta testing in October with a single game, the recently released “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.” Playable from the Google Chrome internet browser, the experience was comparable to playing on the PlayStation 4, a $300 console. In 2019, Microsoft and Electronic Arts will begin beta testing their own respective streaming services: Project xCloud and Project Atlas. 

    "There are 2 billion people who play video games on the planet today. We're not going to sell 2 billion consoles," Microsoft's executive vice president of gaming Phil Spencer said in June.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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