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- 11/14/18--15:33: _The Saints won't be...
- 11/14/18--15:44: _Why the royal famil...
- 11/14/18--15:53: _Some investors are ...
- 11/15/18--14:08: _The US government i...
- 11/15/18--14:11: _Amazon is going to ...
- 11/15/18--14:11: _Meet Nick Ayers, th...
- 11/15/18--14:16: _7 vegetables that y...
- 11/15/18--14:19: _14 of the smallest ...
- 11/15/18--14:19: _A $580 phone from a...
- 11/15/18--14:26: _22 party dresses un...
- 11/15/18--14:30: _Disappointing photo...
- 11/15/18--14:31: _People are outraged...
- 11/15/18--14:33: _Apple cofounder Ste...
- 11/15/18--14:35: _The Rockets are off...
- 11/15/18--14:41: _We got the first lo...
- 11/15/18--14:47: _Trump's support of ...
- 11/15/18--15:03: _AT&T is making big ...
- 11/15/18--15:20: _Popular watch start...
- 11/15/18--15:23: _Big advertisers lik...
- 11/15/18--15:33: _These founders got ...
- The New Orleans Saints will host the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for their Week 11 matchup Sunday, but the two teams will not be sporting their typical home and away jerseys.
- Back in March, the team's head coaches made a series of golfing bets with uniform choice and a $5,000 charitable donation on the line.
- Saints head coach Sean Payton lost, so his team will be sporting its popular alternate color rush jerseys while the Eagles will wear their green home uniforms.
- 11/14/18--15:44: Why the royal family doesn't open presents on Christmas Day
- The royal family opens their Christmas presents on Christmas Eve during teatime at the queen's private estate.
- They spend Christmas morning at their annual 45-minute church service at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene.
- This is followed by a big buffet-style dinner later in the evening.
- The Northern California Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire near Malibu have collectively claimed the lives of at least 50 people as of Wednesday, and destroyed over 8,000 homes.
- Some prominent investors, like Redpoint Ventures' Ryan Sarver and ENIAC Ventures' Nihal Mehta, have responded by offering up their Northern California homes to those displaced by the fires.
- Airbnb has been able to facilitate the offering up of homes, as well, with over 2,000 hosts offering shelter across California through the company's Open Homes Program.
- Other tech companies including Facebook, Google, Apple are doing their part to help as well.
- The US Department of Transportation is creating a task force to figure out how to combat incidents of in-flight sexual assault.
- The task force will make recommendations on best practices for US airlines relating to training, reporting, and data collection regarding sexual assaults.
- The number of FBI Investigations into in-flight sexual assaults increased by 66% between 2014 and 2017.
- Many residents of Long Island City and Arlington aren't happy that Amazon will be opening its HQ2s in their neighborhoods.
- It's important to note that the HQ2s won't be built overnight, and changes will come gradually.
- Hiring will be complete in Arlington by 2030 and by 2028 in New York City.
- 11/15/18--14:16: 7 vegetables that you should cook instead of eating raw
- 11/15/18--14:19: 14 of the smallest animals on Earth
- Two weeks after launching, the OnePlus 6T smartphone has been selling out in about half of the T-Mobile stores nationwide due to high demand.
- That's impressive considering that OnePlus phones have only just become available to buy from a carrier, where most Americans buy their smartphones.
- The OnePlus 6T is also competing against more popular smartphones from Apple and Samsung.
- 11/15/18--14:26: 22 party dresses under $50 that are perfect for the holiday season
- The Woolsey fire has burned nearly 100,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
- TMZ reported that Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West hired a team of private firefighters to protect their $60 million Hidden Hills home when the flames approached their neighborhood.
- This is more common than you may think.
- Many insurance companies employ private firefighting teams; sometimes policyholders who pay a higher premium get the perk, but not always.
- Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak has some advice for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
- His comments came before the bombshell New York Times report that detailed Facebook's efforts to combat criticism and negative coverage.
- Wozniak said Facebook should put people above technology, give users more options on how their data is used, and open itself up to competition.
- The Houston Rockets are officially moving on from Carmelo Anthony after just 13 games.
- Anthony proved to be a bad fit with the Rockets early in the season as the Rockets have gotten off to a 6-7 start, failing to look like the team that won an NBA-best 65 games last year.
- According to a report, the Rockets won't immediately waive Anthony while his representatives survey the league for a next stop, his fifth team in two years.
- Health insurance startup Oscar Health just came out with its third-quarter results.
- According to state insurance filings compiled by Business Insider, for the first nine months of 2018, Oscar lost $12 million. That's significantly less of a loss than a year ago when it reported a $96 million loss.
- It's the first time we've seen results from the company that took place after Alphabet invested $375 million in the company.
- Oscar's revenue across six states was $539 million.
- The company paid out $418 million in medical expenses for its customers.
- There were about 227,000 total members as of September 30.
- The billion-dollar healthcare unicorns you should be watching in 2018
- Investors including Andreessen Horowitz just made a $300 million bet that a startup can take on healthcare giants at caring for elderly Americans
- President Donald Trump celebrated a rare moment of bipartisan unity on Wednesday when he announced his support for the First Step Act, a major sentencing reform bill.
- Trump's backing prompted a wave of relief for the bill's conservative backers, following a painstaking process to win over everyone from skeptical Republican lawmakers, to liberal activist groups, to wary law-enforcement agencies.
- Conservative advocates of the bill say they're confident it will succeed if it's given a chance in the Senate — though they cautioned that even the smallest modifications to the bill pose the risk of alienating either Republicans or Democrats in their shaky alliance.
- AT&T has made a number of changes to DirecTV dealer contracts in recent months that indicate its satellite business could be becoming less of a priority.
- Full-service dealers, those who manage technical installation and sales, are now expected to sell a minimum of four cell phones a week.
- The company also notified a group of dealers that their contracts will end December 1, 2018.
- Comments from AT&T CFO John Stephens have also suggested DirecTV's satellite television service will eventually come to an end.
- MVMT is one of our favorite watch brands for its style, affordability, and quality.
- Right now, you can save up to 25% off the entire site through November 29 — though you may want to grab what you want quickly before any possible sellouts.
- To potentially save more on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can visit Business Insider Coupons to find up-to-date promo codes for a range of online stores.
- Shop Men's watches here
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- Advertisers like Pringles, Cheez-It, Oscar Mayer, and Hertz continue to run ads on NTK Network, the "in-house fake news shop" run by Definers Public Affairs, which was featured in the bombshell New York Times report about Facebook that shocked the industry Wednesday.
- Definers Public Affairs was hired by Facebook in the midst of its PR crisis in October 2017.
The New Orleans Saints' Week 11 matchup with the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles Sunday will look a little bit different than every other game they have played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this season.
Thanks to a golfing bet struck between Saints head coach Sean Payton and Eagles head coach Doug Pederson in March, New Orleans will be sporting their popular alternate color rush jerseys, while the Eagles will wear their typical green home jerseys.
The coaches played a round of golf together while in Orlando, Florida for the NFL Annual Meeting. On the third hole, they struck up the bet that allowed the winner to choose the jerseys for Sunday's contest. Pederson won and chose to rock the team's home jerseys in the Big Easy. According to the New Orleans Advocate's Nick Underhill, Payton also donated $5,000 to the Autism Challenge in Philadelphia as a stipulation of another bet.
In addition to winning the bet, Pederson also earned some points with the Eagles' front office:
"I was fortunate enough to win that bet,"Pederson said, per Zack Rosenblatt of NJ Advance Media. "I tell you it was great because I was able to talk to my owner and general manager later in the day and explained to them what had happened and obviously they couldn't believe it."
On a different hole, Payton suggested that they play with the alternate city's cuisine on the line. Payton once again lost the bet and subsequently sent beignets, coffee, and other New Orleans food to the Eagles' facilities.
Pederson said that their natural competitive instincts kicked in when they took to the course. He was able to cash in shortly after that.
"After a while, your competitive juices start flowing, you kinda try to feel each other out a bit to see 'OK, how is he going to play, how am I going to play,'"Pederson said. "Then I think Sean and I both got to the point where it was like we have to do something here. We have to play for something. We started talking about it, talking about jersey colors and Sean was like, there's only so many things as head coaches that we can control. Obviously, we can control [jersey colors] and we said hey this is a great idea."
The idea of Christmas with the royal family may conjure images of all the royals gathered around the tree with mountains of presents on the morning of December 25, but it turns out that their holiday is structured in a different way than you might expect.
According to their official website, the royal family holds their gift-giving festivities on December 24 by laying their gifts out on trestle tables and opening them over teatime. This typically takes place in Sandringham Estate, the queen's private home in Norfolk, UK.
According to the Mirror, the white, linen-covered tables are in the estate's red drawing room and feature name tags designating each member of the family's pile.
The royal family's former chef Darren McGrady told Express that the tradition is a nod to their German heritage.
"The royals are of German descent so they weave in German traditions to their celebrations," he said according to Express. "After afternoon tea, they open gifts on Christmas Eve, as is the German tradition."
Exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve frees up the family's Christmas morning to attend the annual 45-minute church service at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Sandringham Estate.
McGrady told Cosmopolitan that the service is followed by a big lunch consisting of roast chicken, salads, and traditional sides such as parsnips and Brussels sprouts. They then regroup later for afternoon tea and fruitcake, followed by a buffet-style dinner later in the evening.
The queen also has a few special traditions of her own to ensure the holiday spirit reaches everyone around her.
Each year she personally hands out gifts to members of the royal household in Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. She also purchases about 1,500 Christmas puddings for staff throughout the palaces, which she pairs with a greeting card from herself and Prince Philip.
So gift-giving certainly seems to be a huge part of the royal family's holiday celebrations, just not necessarily on Christmas Day.
Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.
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California is on fire.
The Northern California Camp Fire has killed at least 48 people and destroyed more than 7,600 homes and 260 businesses as of Wednesday morning, making it the deadliest and most destructive fire in state history. The Woolsey Fire near Malibu, California has claimed two lives, forced 275,000 people to evacuate, and destroyed the homes of celebrities including Gerard Butler, Miley Cyrus, and Neil Young.
With so much destruction, so close to home — the Camp Fire burns around 150 miles from San Francisco, filling the city with smoke — the tech community has responded. Some have even offered up their homes over Twitter.
Venture capitalists, like Redpoint Ventures' Ryan Sarver (formerly Director of Platform at Twitter) and ENIAC Ventures' Nihal Mehta, have offered homes that they own in the area to those displaced by the fire.
#CampFire victims, we have a home in Sonoma we are making available to families in need of a temporary home. Please reach out if we can help.— Ryan Sarver (@rsarver) November 11, 2018
Airbnb has opened up doors at scale
Airbnb has been able to do something similar at a much larger scale.
The company's Open Homes Program, which was created back in 2012 to assist with relief from Hurricane Sandy, allows hosts to offer up their homes to those displaced by the fires.
Airbnb told Business Insider that so far over 2,000 hosts on its platform have offered their homes to evacuees of the Camp Fire and Woolsey's Fires. To date, nearly 1,000 evacuees and relief workers have been housed.
Kellie Bentz, Airbnb's Head of Global Disaster Response and Relief, told us over the phone on Wednesday: "It’s always terrible, but also good for us when it’s close to home because it allows us to get a lot closer to the situation. In this case, we’ve been able to do that pretty quickly.”
This week, the company improved its mobile sign up process for evacuees and is planning on opening up a hotline by Thursday for those in need of shelter.
"We're just trying to make it as easy as possible to book," Bentz explained.
Bentz said she helped one woman book a home on Tuesday who needed to flee her Southern California home with her friend and three dogs.
"They were literally on the side of the road," Benz explains. "The hard part about wildfires is, we call them 'no notice events.' Typically, it's so fast moving. It's hard to be as prepared as a hurricane where at least you have a few hours to pack up. With [the wildfires], people literally just got what they could and ran out."
Facebook, Google, Apple have also responded
Facebook is helping as well.
The Menlo Park-based company committed to matching up to $500,000 in donations made on Facebook to American Red Cross' California wildfire relief efforts. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed with Business Insider that the match was met as of Tuesday, and in total, including the company's matching contribution, the Facebook community has raised more than $1.7 million for the American Red Cross.
Also, through Facebook Fundraisers — which the company announced on Wednesday had helped raise over $1 billion— users have been able to set up campaigns to help those who have lost their homes and valuables.
One user, whose brother and 97-year-old grandma both lost their homes in Paradise, California, has helped her family raise over $11,500 over Facebook. Another, who lives in Southern California, has helped raise over $7,500 to provide extra supplies, like water bottles and snacks, for firefighters and victims.
The Google-owned mapping service Waze, is doing its part in helping where it can. Waze tweeted last week that it is working "around-the-clock" to make sure maps were updated with road closures, as well as shelter information.
Fires are unpredictable and fast-moving, but our map editor community is working around-the-clock to make sure that the map continues to stay up-to-date with Butte County closure and shelter info. Stay safe, Wazers. #CampFirepic.twitter.com/TGYOd8DGmi— waze (@waze) November 9, 2018
Apple has also announced, via a tweet from CEO Tim Cook, that it would be donating to fire relief efforts.
Praying for the safety of our neighbors, loved ones and all those affected by the rapidly spreading fires in California. We’re grateful to the firefighters and first responders working to keep everyone safe. Apple is donating to relief efforts for Northern & Southern California.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) November 9, 2018
The US Department of Transportation is creating a task force to figure out how to combat incidents of in-flight sexual assault. The sexual assault task force will be a subcommittee of and report to the Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (ACPAC) that was reconstituted by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Thursday.
"Recent reports of increased incidents of sexual assault and misconduct onboard aircraft have highlighted concerns regarding the response to such incidents," the DOT said in a statement.
Between 2014 and 2017, FBI investigations into in-flight sexual assaults have increased by 66%, CNN reported.
The National In-flight Sexual Misconduct Task Force will evaluate existing US airline practices in how they respond to and report allegations of mid-air sexual assault by passengers. In addition, it will make recommendations on "best practices and protocols for US air carriers relating to training, reporting, and data collection regarding sexual assaults onboard aircraft."
The task force will consist of representatives from the DOT; the US Department of Justice including the FBI, the Office of Victims of Crimes, and the Office of Violence Against Women; The Department of Health and Human Services; national organizations that provide services to sexual assault victims; consumer protection organizations; travel organizations, flight attendants' and pilots' unions; state and local law enforcement agencies; airports; and airlines.
The ACPAC will review current aviation industry consumer protections and make recommendations on how they can be improved.
The committee will convene for the first time in on January 16, 2019, during which they will discuss the "transparency of airline ancillary service fees" and the involuntary bumping of passengers.
And with good reason. HQ2 is going to strain New York City's already-decaying subway system. The influx of six-figure labor will likely boost rents in Queens, where about a fifth of households are in poverty and housing affordability is already a struggle. In Arlington, residents said schools are overcrowded, traffic is a challenge, and housing is pricey — HQ2 is likely to augment those issues.
Compounding those frustrations are the tax breaks Amazon will receive for adding those jobs. Amazon will get a $550 million cash grant for its Arlington office and $1.5 billion from New York. Both cities will also assist Amazon in building a helipad for Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO and the richest man on earth.
Folks are concerned that the essential character of their neighborhoods will be forever altered. As columnist Danny Westneat wrote in The Seattle Times, "Amazon is about to detonate a prosperity bomb in your town."
But missing from this panic is an important note — the neighborhoods won't be changing overnight.
According to the agreements Amazon has with New York and Virginia, the company will have years to hire all 25,000 folks to the respective headquarters. The New York office will be staffed up by 2028, while Arlington will reach 25,000 by 2030.
The hiring will be gradual, as well. Next year will bring only 400 hires to Arlington and 700 to Long Island City, according to the proposals.
Throughout the next 10 to 12 years, on average, the New York office will hire 2,500 employees per year and the Arlington office will hire around 2,100 per year.
There also may be way more than 25,000 folks joining Amazon in each city. The proposals say there is potential for hiring to go on for the next 16 years in both cities. (That's called "Phase Two" in Virginia.)
By 2033, Amazon may have a total of 40,000 workers in Long Island City and nearly 38,000 in Arlington by 2034.
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Nick Ayers is reportedly being considered to take over as White House chief of staff and replace retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, whose status within the administration has been a source of much tumult and speculation.
Ayers, who currently serves as Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, has long been suspected to be Trump's top choice to replace Kelly.
Here's some background on the man who could become the Trump administration's third chief of staff.
Nick Ayers, 36, is reportedly the top candidate to be the next White House chief of staff. He would be one of the youngest people to hold this position in decades.
Ayers currently serves as Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff.
In a White House consumed by chaos, Ayers would have his work cut out for him. Chief of staff is arguably the toughest job in Trump's administration.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
When you eat your veggies — which, you know, you should be doing two to three times a day, according to Choose My Plate— you may be of the belief that, in order to gain all the benefits they have to offer, you must eat them raw.
This isn't exactly true. Although raw vegetables definitely have many health benefits, forgoing cooked vegetables in their favor isn't always a good idea. INSIDER spoke with dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of "Read it Before You Eat It — Taking You From Label To Table," to find out which vegetables you should cook instead of always eating raw.
Raw kale can have negative effects.
Many people eat raw kale without any issues (most major chopped salad chains wouldn't exist otherwise) but it can have negative effects on others. According to Oregon State's Linus Pauley Institute, eating cruciferous vegetables like kale raw can disrupt thyroid hormone synthesis, which could negatively affect your metabolism.
That said, context is key here. Taub-Dix pointed out that you would probably have to eat an excessive amount of raw kale for it to negatively impact the thyroid, so, unless you're eating a bushel of raw kale a day, you're probably in the clear. If you're not sure, just ask your doctor or visit a dietitian.
Tomatoes release a cancer-fighting antioxidant when cooked.
Tomatoes certainly have many health benefits when eaten raw. But if you eat a lot of raw tomatoes, it might be worth giving them some heat every now and then, if only for the sake of variety. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, tomatoes release more lycopene (a cancer-fighting antioxidant) when cooked. According to Scientific American, this is because the heat can break down some tougher cell walls in the plant, making it easier for the body to absorb their nutrients.
You also don't have to cook the tomatoes yourself to reap their benefits.
"When you use canned tomatoes you might absorb more lycopene than when eating them fresh," Taub-Dix told INSIDER. "In addition, it has been said that when you add a bit of oil ([like] add[ing] some olive oil to your tomato sauce) you enhance the absorption of lycopene even further."
Red kidney beans need to be soaked and boiled.
Technically, beans are a legume, not a vegetable. But because beans are often part of a vegetarian diet, it is worth pointing out that, if you ever buy uncanned red kidney beans, it is vital to soak and then boil them. Otherwise, you will be exposing yourself to haemagglutinin, a toxin that, according to The Independent, can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Humans are so small compared to some animals; next to creatures like elephants and whales, we seem minuscule. But on the other end of the spectrum are animals a whole lot smaller than us — so small in fact, that we can hardly find them in the wild, let alone understand how they survive from day to day.
From a tiny chameleon to a pygmy monkey, here are 14 of the smallest animals on Earth.
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The pygmy rabbit can be as small as 9.25 inches long.
Averaging 9.25-11.6 inches (23.5-29.5 centimeters) in length, the endangered pygmy rabbit, or Brachylagus idahoensis, lives primarily on the West Coast of the United States. They tend to live in tall, dense sagebrush, which also makes up the majority of their diets.
A fully-grown dwarf lanternshark is about 8.3 inches long.
The smallest species of shark on Earth is the dwarf lanternshark or Etmopterus perryi, which grows to about 8.3 inches (21.1 centimeters). Their bodies contain light-emitting organs that allow them to camouflage in sunlight and attract small animals in darker, deeper waters.
Pygmy marmosets can wrap around a human's finger at 4.6 inches tall.
The pygmy marmoset, or Cebuella pygmaea, is the world's smallest monkey. The tiny creatures live in the rainforests of South America and tend to be between 4.6-6.2 inches (11.7-15.7 centimeters) tall, without counting their tails.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The OnePlus 6T smartphone from the small smartphone maker OnePlus has been selling out in around half of T-Mobile stores nationwide since its release two weeks ago on November 1, a source familiar with the matter told Business Insider.
Notably, the OnePlus 6T is the first phone from OnePlus to be sold by a US carrier. For many T-Mobile customers, especially those who don't read tech news, the OnePlus 6T could be the first OnePlus phone they lay eyes on.
While it's not clear how many OnePlus 6T smartphones the company has sold so far, it's an impressive feat for a phone and phone maker that relatively few in the US know about, at least when you compare the OnePlus' popularity to Apple and Samsung phones. The company previously said that it sold 86% more OnePlus 6Ts during the first day of sales than it did with the previous model, the OnePlus 6, on its first day of sales.
With that in mind, OnePlus 6T sales seem poised to surpass those of the previous OnePlus 6. The company reported earlier this year that it had sold one million of the previous OnePlus 6 phones in the month after launch. That's significantly less than the number of phones Apple and Samsung will sell in a month, but it was nonetheless an important milestone for a small company like OnePlus.
OnePlus has grown in popularity in the US despite the fact that its previous smartphones have not been sold in carrier stores, where most Americans buy their smartphones. A phone — or an entire phone maker for that matter — can often go by unnoticed if it isn't sold in a carrier's store in the US, no matter how much press it gets.
Before striking an exclusive partnership with T-Mobile for the retail rollout of the latest OnePlus 6T, OnePlus phones were only available from the company's website and occasional, temporary popup store locations in the US. Despite the previous unavailability of OnePlus devices at carrier stores, OnePlus fans would often line up outside of OnePlus popup stores to buy the new model.
When the OnePlus 6T were first made available at T-Mobile, the T-Mobile flagship store in Times Square in New York City saw a longer line than it did for the new iPhones.
Between the months of November and January, there are tons of events and holidays that call for dressing up.
It's easy to assume that festive attire comes with high price tags, but that's not always the case. Below, we've rounded up 22 party dresses that you can get for under $50.
Sparkly dresses work for a number of occasions.
This ruched sequin dress by Forever 21 is cut above the knees and features spaghetti straps, so you'll want to consider wearing a jacket and tights depending on the weather.
Cape dresses are an elegant choice.
Fashion Nova's chiffon cape-style dress features statement sleeves. Pair it with simple accessories and some cherry-red lipstick.
Instead of a sequin dress in a solid color, try one with stripes.
Opt for one with sleeves for extra warmth in the winter.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Black Friday is looming, which means that holiday shopping is about to consume your every waking minute.
INSIDER has got you covered on gift guides if you're looking to do your shopping online. But what about those brave souls who march into a department store in the middle of December?
From less-than-breathtaking holiday decorations to screaming kids, department stores don't always evoke warm and happy holiday feelings.
Here are just a few reasons why department stores might not be your best shopping option this holiday season.
Sometimes walking into a department store inspires childlike wonder. There are so many things to see and do that you can't help but marvel.
You should savor that feeling — department stores might not be long for this world.
But any goodwill you have towards shopping will be knocked out of you by the time you navigate the lion's den that is the parking lot.
You might think you're avoiding crowds by skipping Black Friday this year...
Nobody would blame you for sitting Black Friday out. It can be a nightmare.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The Woolsey fire has burned nearly 100,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Thousands of people in mobile-home parks and tony-gated communities alike have been displaced. Many have lost their homes completely.
California government officials have estimated that more than 1 million homes throughout the state are located in "high-risk" fire areas. That's a lot of property to protect when a fast-moving wildfire is approaching, and county fire departments and volunteers often can't manage the job alone.
So, when the Woolsey fire approached celebrity power couple Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West's $60 million Hidden Hills property last week, TMZ reported that they called on a "private team of firefighters" to help. Their mansion was ultimately saved from destruction, as were their neighbors' homes.
To be clear, the Wests don't have a team of firefighters on speed dial akin to a Kardashian "glam squad." The benefit likely comes from their insurance company, to which they pay a premium — and probably a steep one at that, considering they're located in a "very high fire hazard severity zone" as deemed by Cal Fire.
Wildfire Defense Systems is one of America's largest groups of private firefighters. The Montana-based company is contracted with several insurers, including multinational-insurance-company Chubb, which dispatches its employees to 21 states to supplement the efforts of first responders during a wildfire. They also perform preventive measures in high-risk areas, like clearing flammable debris and spraying flame retardant around a property.
Some insurance companies employ their own firefighting groups. American International Group's (AIG) "Wildfire Protection Unit" serves policyholders in the Private Client Group, Stephen Poux, the insurance company's global head of risk management and loss prevention told NBC News.
These policyholders make up 42% of the Forbes 400 rich list, Poux added, and they pay anywhere from "several thousand dollars to several tens-of-thousands" to insure their homes against fires and gain access to these private firefighting teams.
It's nice that people are able to protect their homes, but the high cost of coverage for these services is problematic, argues Robert Raymond in the Huffington Post. "The real injustice in this story is structural inequality," he wrote. "Wealth shouldn't mean the difference between a home that burns down and a home that doesn't. A society where wealth allows one neighborhood to be saved, while a poorer neighborhood goes up in flames because the people there weren’t able to purchase the same resources, is inherently unjust."
But David Torgerson, the president of Wildfire Defense Systems, said their services aren't only available to the affluent. In fact, he told The Atlantic, 9 in 10 homes they protect are of "average value" and not covered through insurance companies specific to wealthy homeowners.
"We serve nearly a dozen [insurance companies]," Torgerson said. "If anybody wants to have this supplemental response capability during a fire, they need to pick an insurance company that has it." He added that with the growing threat of climate change, private firefighting services are more necessary than ever.
A Sonoma County couple who spoke to NBC News credits the supplemental efforts of Wildfire Defense Systems for saving their home during the wine country wildfire last fall — the most destructive in California history.
The couple said they didn't know they had fire protection under their policy until Chubb contacted them to offer an update on their home. Some of their neighbors weren't so lucky. Unlike publicly funded firefighters, Torgerson said, "We're only allowed to access the properties that we're given permission to access by policyholders."
Some critics also express concern over whether private firefighters contracted by insurance companies are properly trained and adherent to plans and regulations set in place by public fire stations.
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Steve Wozniak doesn't mince his words when it comes to Facebook.
During interviews with CNBC and at the CME Group's Global Financial Leadership Conference in Naples, Florida, the Apple cofounder had some advice for Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. His comments came a few days before the bombshell New York Times report that detailed how Facebook has tried to combat criticism and negative coverage in the past.
Wozniak said Facebook needs to "remember that people matter more than technology and stop putting money before morals," according to NBC reporter Dylan Byers, who paraphrased his interview with Wozniak in a tweet.
In a separate interview with CNBC, Wozniak gave some specific recommendations and criticism for the social media giant, which has faced various crises in the last year.
"They won’t do one thing that will cost them a penny," Wozniak said to CNBC. "I haven’t seen one step. I’ve seen Zuckerberg talk about 'We’ll do this, we’ll make this open, we’ll give you more options"— I haven’t seen them do one real thing."
Wozniak added that Facebook should be more clear with its advertising policies.
"One thing they should do is, if you’re going to be on targeted advertising lists, give you the option to pay your way out of it," Wozniak said. "Or at least tell you what lists you’re on — what categories they put you in out of thousands of categories and you can check or uncheck them. Or you can say 'I don’t want to be on any targeted lists at all.' And they should not keep that sort of data just from every sort of post."
Wozniak had another, slightly more far-fetched idea that he admitted the company would likely never adopt. He said Facebook should open itself up to competition by allowing users to export their data — including timelines, friends, and posts — and move it to another competing social media site.
"I get sick of all executives when I hear diverting around any real answers or issues, or even any real promises or real action that would help people," Wozniak said. "I'm always for the end consumer — the little guy over the big, strong, wealthy company or person."
Wozniak has spoken publicly about Facebook in the past, most recently when he announced in April that he planned to quit Facebook because he didn't think the company respected user privacy or data.
"Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and ... Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this," Wozniak wrote in an email to USA Today at the time. "The profits are all based on the user's info, but the users get none of the profits back.
"Apple makes its money off of good products, not off of you. As they say, with Facebook, you are the product."
Wozniak isn't the only person related to Apple who has taken shots at Facebook while playing up Apple's strengths in privacy. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been voicing a similar argument since 2014, and recently said in an interview he would never be in the situation Facebook and Zuckerberg are in now.
NOW WATCH: 7 places you can't find on Google Maps
The Houston Rockets officially plan to part ways with Carmelo Anthony just 13 games into the season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Over the last week, Anthony has been away from the team as reports surfaced that they were discussing his role going forward. Last Sunday, The New York Times reported that Anthony likely had played his last game with the Rockets.
According to Wojnarowski, the team won't immediately waive Anthony as his representatives search the market for a possible fit.
Anthony signed with the Rockets this summer after being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Atlanta Hawks, then cut by the Hawks.
From the beginning, there were questions about Anthony's fit with the Rockets. The Rockets are built on James Harden and Chris Paul's penetration and emphasize shots at the rim, three-pointers, and foul shots. Anthony thrives in the post and midrange and is known for stopping the ball. Additionally, Anthony, never known as a prolific defender, didn't seem prepared to help a team that finished in the top 10 in defense last year.
In 10 games this year, Anthony averaged 29 minutes, 13 points, and 5 rebounds per game, shooting just 40% from the field and 32% from three.
In 294 minutes with Anthony on the floor this season, the Rockets have been outscored by 63 points. They've been outscored by nine points per 100 possessions with Anthony on the floor.
The Rockets' problems have gone beyond Anthony, however. James Harden dealt with an injury earlier in the season while Chris Paul served a suspension for a fight with the Los Angeles Lakers. Both star guards' shooting percentages are way down from last season, while Anthony and other new additions have failed to fill the holes left by players like Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute.
It's unclear where Anthony could land next, as his game seems to be at odds with the current NBA. The Rockets have emphasized that Anthony was accepting of his role with the team and did what was asked.
2018 is shaping up to be a better year for Oscar Health, a hot Obamacare startup that drew a massive investment from Google's parent company in August.
Oscar lost $12 million in the first nine months of 2018, according to state insurance filings compiled by Business Insider.
That's significantly less of loss than the company experienced a year ago, when it reported a $96 million loss.
Oscar currently offers health insurance plans on the Obamacare marketplace in New York, New Jersey, California, Ohio, Texas and Tennessee. It also sells plans for small employers. The company has already announced plans to sell in more states for next year, and eventually plans to expand into the market for private health insurance plans for seniors, known as Medicare Advantage.
Other notable figures for the first nine months of the year, according to the filings:
Oscar's financial results are affected by a reinsurance deal that the company entered into with Axa last year. A portion of the premiums that Oscar collects are sent to Axa, a massive French insurance company. In return, Axa agrees to share a portion of Oscar's profits or losses.
If you add back in the money that was sent to Axa, Oscar took in $934 million in gross premiums across its states in the first nine months of this year, the company said. That puts it on track to hit its $1 billion in premiums target by the end of 2018.
Oscar in August got $375 million from Google's parent company Alphabet to bring its tech-backed health insurance plans to more people. In total, the company has now raised more than $1 billion. Its last-reported valuation was $3.2 billion, before the Alphabet investment.
Co-founded in 2012 by Josh Kushner, whose brother Jared is a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, Oscar Health is a health-insurance startup that got its start operating on the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges. The goal is to be a more consumer-friendly insurance option by integrating technology.
Mario Schlosser is Oscar's chief executive officer, and also a co-founder.
In 2019, Oscar plans to be in nine states, expanding into Florida, Arizona and Michigan.
The company also plans to go beyond the individual exchanges and the small employer market and into the Medicare Advantage market. When seniors in the US turn 65, they can choose to be part of either traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage, which is operated through private insurers like Oscar and often provides additional healthcare benefits.
President Donald Trump's embrace this week of a major sentencing reform bill sparked a rare bipartisan moment of unity this week — though advocates warn the bill has a long way to go.
Across the country, Republican lawmakers have for years watched the success of criminal justice reform efforts in states like Texas, Georgia, and Kentucky in reducing prison populations and lowering costs to taxpayers — without triggering a corresponding uptick in crime rates.
The party that once gloated over harsh sentencing laws and "tough on crime" rhetoric has become much more divided on the issue, as the nation's prison population has ballooned to a whopping 2.3 million incarcerated people, with a price tag totally in tens of billions of annual taxpayer dollars.
"We're all better off when former inmates can receive and reenter society as law-abiding, productive citizens," Trump said in his remarks from the Roosevelt Room at the White House on Wednesday. "Americans from across the political spectrum can unite around prison reform legislation that will reduce crime while giving our fellow citizens a chance at redemption."
Trump's public support of the First Step Act So prompted a wave of relief for conservative backers of the bill, following a painstaking process to win over the support of a variety of stakeholders — from skeptical Republican lawmakers, to liberal activist groups, and wary law-enforcement agencies.
The bill overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives by 360-59 votes earlier this year, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reluctantly agreed to bring it to the floor for a vote if the lawmakers can whip at least 60 votes.
The movement scored a late win last week, when the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the nation's largest police union, announced that the bill had won over its members' support following the latest round of revisions.
"We are proud to stand with President Trump on this issue. Because of our engagement, the new and revised 'First Step Act' ensures that truly dangerous offenders, like those who commit crimes while armed and those who traffic in deadly narcotics like fentanyl, are ineligible for any early release programs," FOP's president Chuck Canterbury said in a statement.
'Obnoxious and loud voices'
But other law-enforcement associations have refrained from supporting the bill, arguing that the revisions don't go far enough in ensuring that people convicted of dealing drugs like fentanyl and heroin aren't released from prison early.
"A raging heroin and opioid abuse epidemic shows no signs of lessening," Jonathan Thompson, executive director of the National Sheriffs' Association, said in an open letter earlier this year. "This is both a safety concern for the officers themselves, and for the community at large. This is a huge cost on local law enforcement."
The revised bill was crafted by a wide array of bipartisan senators — including Republicans Chuck Grassley and Mike Lee, and Dick Durbin, a Democrat. Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has spearheaded the White House's push for criminal-justice reform, was also a key player.
Conservative advocates of the bill say they're confident it will succeed if it's given a chance in the Senate — though they cautioned that even the smallest modifications to the bill pose the risk of alienating either Republicans who fear a wave of recidivism, or Democrats who could argue the reforms don't go far enough.
"This has been a very carefully constructed bill," Jason Pye, legislative director of the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks, told INSIDER. "We have a lot of work cut out for us. This is not done. This is not over."
He added, however, that some Republican lawmakers may be a lost cause. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, for instance, has vehemently opposed the reforms, even referring to it as a "jailbreak" bill.
"Sen. Cotton has said we've had an under-incarceration problem. He wants more people locked up. That's not someone you can win over," Pye said. "When there's a whip count it's going to show that there's broad Republican support, and that the people in the conference who don't want to do this are just very obnoxious and loud voices. But they're a small minority."
AT&T has made a number of changes to DirecTV dealer contracts in recent months that indicate its satellite business could be becoming less of a priority, and recent comments by the company suggest the same.
DirecTV, a satellite company with about 20 million subscribers, notified "thousands" of dealers that their contracts will end December 1, 2018, according to dealers who spoke with Business Insider. The group who will retain their contracts have been given a recent mandate to push more aggressively to sell non-satellite products.
DirecTV dealers are part of a fleet of third-party laborers who sell DirecTV products and services including satellite, broadband, and phone services.
Full-service dealers, those who manage technical installation and sales, are now expected to sell a minimum of four cell phones a week, where no previous directive on mobility sales existed, according to dealers who spoke with Business Insider. To encourage potential customers to bundle phone packages with other DirecTV services, AT&T allows them to offer a $250 Visa gift cards per phone line, according to a dealer who trains and hires teams of dealers around the US, though the card may be part of a temporary promotion and not a long-term strategy for acquiring new mobile customers.
A spokesperson for AT&T claimed “the information you’ve received is not accurate," but declined to elaborate on the record despite multiple opportunities.
The directives have been taken seriously by dealers who say they understand they need to meet the new targets or face AT&T ending their contracts.
"I don't really want to be a mobility company but we must to retain our dealer contract," a full-service dealer who provides sales, installation, and service for DirecTV, told Business Insider. "Dealers who do not sell mobility will soon be history."
In the past month, AT&T has also loosened requirements around the creditworthiness of applicants to allow a broader pool of potential customers the ability to sign up for services with DirecTV, the dealer who trains and hires teams of employees told Business Insider.
"We regularly assess and make changes to our dealer relationships based on their performance and other factors," a spokesperson for AT&T told Business Insider.
Recent comments from AT&T CFO John Stephens suggested DirecTV's satellite television service will eventually come to an end. Speaking at a conference in Europe, Stephens spoke about a DirecTV streaming service that will roll out in 2019, Fierce Wireless reported.
"It's a device that allows us to, instead of rolling a truck to the home, we roll a UPS or FedEx truck to the home and deliver a self-install box," he said. "This allows the customer to use their own broadband. We certainly hope it’s our own fiber but it could be on anybody’s broadband. And they get the full-service premium package that we would normally deliver off satellite or over our IP-based U-verse service."
The service would enable AT&T to cut installation costs and require fewer dealers to install satellite services. It would also mean that AT&T could retain the customer relationship in place by transferring satellite customers to an over-the-top option.
For its part, AT&T says it has no plans to discontinue satellite service.
"Our video strategy involves offering our customers choices in how they want to receive their video service, including via satellite, our wireline service, or streaming over home broadband, regardless of their provider," a spokesperson for AT&T told Business Insider.
The comments from Stephens come a few weeks after AT&T lost 346,000 traditional video subscribers in the third quarter of 2018, faring worse than Wall Street analysts had projected.
If you have any thoughts or information on DirecTV, AT&T, or the future of cable and satellite TV, contact email@example.com.
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Black Friday traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, but if you're looking for watches and sunglasses, you won't have to wait for the post-Thanksgiving chaos.
MVMT, one of our favorite watch brands, is having a huge flash sale to celebrate the holidays. Now through Thursday, November 29, you can get up to 25% off the entire site.
Their selection of watch designs range from timeless to innovative and edgy. One thing that's consistent throughout the brand is its affordability, and this sale makes it even better.
Sales like this don't come around often, so right now is likely the best time to get one. Whether you're shopping for someone special this holiday season or picking up a watch for yourself, you're not likely to beat this deal.
If you're looking for reviews, we ranked them as the makers of the best minimalist women's watches on the market, and their new $300 automatic watch is one of the best values in automatic watches we've come across — though it appears to be excluded from the Black Friday discounts.
Below you can find some of the best things on sale right now for up to 25% off. Prices may differ by lens and frame color.
Men's Watches: Gunmetal Sandstone
Gunmetal Sandstone, $114.75 (Originally $135) [You save $20.25]
Black Tan Classic
Black Tan Classic, $80.75 (Originally $95) [You save $14.25]
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Big advertisers may have supported Facebook as it embarked on an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat its critics — and they probably don't even know it.
According to a bombshell New York Times report published Wednesday, Facebook hired the conservative lobbying firm Definers Public Affairs in the midst of its PR crisis in October 2017, which, among other tactics, ran a site called NTK Network as an "in-house fake news shop" as part of its operations. NTK Network has a verified Facebook page with more than 120,000 followers, where it publishes and promotes articles about its clients as well as their competitors. Facebook said it ended its relationship with the firm Wednesday.
But a day after the report, advertisers like Pringles, Cheez-It, Oscar Mayer, and Hertz, to name a few, continue to run ads on NTK Network, Business Insider has found. Kellogg's is the parent company of Pringles and Cheez-It while Kraft owns Oscar Mayer.
Business Insider scraped through the site, and found a number of ad tech companies, including Oath, Teads, and Taboola running ads on it. These companies provide automated systems that plug into hundreds of sites on the web, helping advertisers target their desired audiences easily. When we clicked on the "Ad Choices" button on the top of one of the ads, we were directed to a page which said that the ad "was served by Oath or one of Oath's advertising partners."
NTK, like many other sites on the web, seems to generate revenue by programmatic advertising, and this appears to be the latest example of brands finding their ads in shady corners of the web through their programmatic ad buys. Programmatic advertising is both cost and time-efficient, but often comes with the added risk of brands' ads appearing next to questionable content they would rather not be associated with.
Business Insider reached out to Kellogg's, Kraft, and Hertz, but had not heard back at the time of publication.
Getting into Y Combinator isn't easy: the prestigious Silicon Valley startup incubator accepts less than 5% of the hundreds of applicants that apply to its program. Often, startup founders will apply multiple times before they're granted so much as an interview.
No one knows the struggle of getting into Y Combinator better than partners Karn Saroya and Natalie Gray, who applied four times before they were finally accepted on their fifth application.
By the time Saroya and Gray applied to YC the fifth time, they had successfully sold the company they had originally pitched, a fashion application called StyleKick. While selling a company helped the pair snag Y Combinator's attention on their new business concept the fifth time around, there were tweaks they'd made in their application that helped them build a better business concept.
Here are a few of their takeaways:
You don't need a high quality video to pitch.
The first time Saroya and Gray applied to YC, they put a lot of thought into their pitch video.
"We had a script, lighting. We had everything," said Saroya. "It was really dumb. We shouldn't have done that, but we didn't know what we were being judged on."
Turns out, video production wasn't it. The video Saroya and Gray finally got accepted with was completed in one take, Saroya said.
"We did it in about 15 minutes," he said. "Natalie had just rolled out of bed...our dog was yapping in the background. But we'd realized that what they were looking for was a succinct description of our business, and we'd homed in on what we wanted to do. With [our first pitch], there was so much ambiguity about what we were trying to do."
Don't use jargon.
"The goal with your pitch is to help the naive observer understand very quickly what it is you're doing and why it can be important or impactful," said Saroya. "A lot of the time, that's manifested in super concise writing. We learned those lessons the hard way."
It's especially important to not prop up your ideas using jargon language, said Saroya. "There needs to be no business jargon. You need to get down to the essence of your business narrative right from the start."
The ultimate goal isn't getting into Y Combinator.
While it might sound counterintuitive, Saroya said the ultimate goal in applying to Y Combinator isn't getting in.
"You have to remember that you're there to build a business and not to get into YC. YC is a forcing function that helps you determine whether or not you are on the path to find product fit," said Saroya. "YC is not a school. You're competing in the real world for your company to survive. Focus on that."
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