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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Alex Rampell

    • Andreessen Horowitz General Partner Alex Rampell spoke about tech companies that are disrupting the home buying experience.
    • Rampell describes the broken process of buying a home today — mainly, the fixed 6% real estate agent fee. 
    • He explains that the industry is evolving to help lower the friction and bring more transparency to the process for home buyers. 
    • The full video of Rampell's presentation can be found here.

    At Andreessen Horowitz's annual Innovation Summit on Thursday, a16z General Partner Alex Rampell spoke about tech companies that are disrupting the home buying experience. 

    Rampell describes the broken process of buying a home today — mainly, the fixed 6% real estate agent fee and highlights tech companies like Opendoor, Point, and Divvy that are each transforming the industry in different ways. 

    Read more: Meet the startup that's on a mission to help 100,000 people buy homes in the next 5 years, and recently raised $30 million to do so

    From home discovery to purchasing to financing, Rampell explains that the industry is evolving to help lower the friction and bring more transparency to the process for home buyers. 

    The full video of Rampell's presentation can be found here

    SEE ALSO: The 50 most high-tech cities in the world in 2018 Paige Leskin Nov. 16, 2018, 9:53 AM

    "When Software Eats the Real (Estate) World"

    Reasons why the home buying experience is broken.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • On Thursday, Mic laid off its entire editorial team ahead of an acquisition by Bustle Digital Group, which said it plans to relaunch the site in 2019.
    • Elite Daily also laid off staff ahead of its acquisition by Bustle in 2017.
    • Labor lawyers said laying off unionized staff before a sale, while legal, is a way for the acquirer to avoid recognizing the union. 

    On Thursday, millennial-aimed publisher Mic laid off most its 100-person staff ahead of its acquisition and relaunch plan by Bustle Digital Group. Mic cofounder and CEO Chris Altchek blamed Facebook's cancelation of Mic's "Dispatch" show on Facebook Watch for the company's declining finances.

    The revelation sparked "outrage" among former staff who saw the layoffs as an attempt by Mic and Bustle, which both tout progressive editorial missions, to break Mic's editorial union, former employees said.

    "It seems like it’s a pretty blatant way to keep the Mic brand while getting rid of the unionized members and also the members that hold the values that Mic has built their brand on," one employee said. "For me, it’s hard to see how that’s not obvious union-busting."

    Shirley Lung, an expert in labor law at the City University of New York, said laying off staff ahead of being acquired or reopening is a way for companies to get rid of unions

    "If the majority of Bustle’s new employees consist of Mic’s employees, they could have a duty to recognize the union and be able to bargain with them," she said. "If Bustle decided that it would hire new employees and they’re going to structure their workforce so that less than a majority is comprised of former employees, then they would have effectively gotten rid of the union."

    Chaumtoli Huq, who teaches labor law at the City University of New York and is editor-in-chief of social justice publication Law At The Margins, said the practice could be legal unless there is other evidence of "anti-union animus."

    Read more:The 35-year-old founder of Bustle and Bleacher Report reportedly just bought for $1.35 million, and Hulk Hogan is entitled to a cut of the sale

    Bustle's history with acquisitions

    Bustle built its brand on producing highly searchable content produced by writers that were paid as little as $100 per day. Some noted similarities between the Mic situation and what happened when Bustle acquired lifestyle site Elite Daily in 2017.

    Elite Daily laid off 47 of 94 staffers ahead of the sale. Bustle offered some jobs as contract employees with less pay and no benefits, according to former employees. Editors were demoted while reporters with no management experience were promoted to editor positions with no pay increases, the former employees said. Ex-Elite Daily employee Anna Menta tweeted: "I'd keep an eye on what kind of 'rebuilding' goes on here."

    In a statement, Bustle told Business Insider, "Following the acquisition of Mic, Bustle Digital Group will take a thoughtful approach on the company’s future plans. We have no further comment."

    What's next for former Mic employees

    In February, Mic employees announced they planned to join the NewsGuild of New York, joining other digital newsrooms that have unionized in recent years. Mic recognized the union in March, but a union contract hadn't been secured by Thursday's layoffs. 

    Mic leadership told laid-off staff they would be given one month's severance and that their health insurance would continue through December but that because Mic's insurance contracts are terminating after that, COBRA will not be available for purchase.

    In a statement Thursday, the union accused Mic's cofounders of "deception" and indicated its willingness "to fight for what is right and just" and continue "to pursue all options available to us." 

    Lung said that without a contract, Mic has little legal accountability to the union members. Huq and Lung said the employees could still seek unfair labor practice charges, claiming Mic violated its duty to bargain with them.

    "Under the law, Mic had an obligation to make an effort to arrive at a contract — Mic and Bustle’s layoffs could be seen as an anti-union effort in retaliation for that," Huq said.

    "The power that workers have is the power that they create through demands and through collective organizing; it doesn’t rest on them having a contract," Lung said.

    SEE ALSO: Bustle acquires Elite Daily from Daily Mail and rebrands as Bustle Digital Group

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 places you can't find on Google Maps

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    paris protests

    • At least 80 people are injured after a French protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot Saturday in Paris.
    • Police fired tear gas and water cannons in street battles with activists wearing the fluorescent yellow vests of a new movement.
    • The "gilets jaunes," or yellow jackets movement, began as a grassroots movement against business-centric federal policies, in addition to Macron's expressed environmental priorities that would raise fuel prices.
    • This is the third and most violent weekend of protests that have resulted in clashes between activists and authorities across France, with the most extreme confrontations happening in the heart of Paris. 

    A French protest against rising taxes and the high cost of living turned into a riot Saturday in Paris as police fired tear gas and water cannons in street battles with activists wearing the fluorescent yellow vests of a new movement.

    Police said at least 65 people, including 11 police officers, were injured in violent protests in the French capital, and 140 others were arrested. Thousands of police were deployed in Paris to try to contain the protests.

    It was the third straight weekend of clashes in Paris, and the scene contrasted sharply with protests Saturday in other French regions, where demonstrations and road blockades were largely peaceful.

    paris protests

    The clashes started early Saturday near the Arc de Triomphe monument and continued in the afternoon down several streets in the French capital’s most popular tourist area. Pockets of demonstrators built makeshift barricades in the middle of Paris streets, lit fires, sprayed graffiti on the Arc de Triomphe and threw rocks at officers. They also set fire to cars and trash cans.

    Some demonstrators removed the barriers protecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I under the Arc de Triomphe monument, to pose near its eternal flame and sing the national anthem. They were then dispersed by police.

    Graffiti sprayed onto the Arc de Triomphe wrote: "yellow jackets will triumph."

    paris protests

    In addition to rising taxes, demonstrators are furious about President Emmanuel Macron's leadership, saying his government does not care about ordinary people. The grassroots protests began with motorists upset over a fuel tax hike, but now involve a broad range of demands related to France’s high cost of living. Some of the protests appear to have been hijacked by more radical far-right or far-left groups.

    French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said some protesters attacked police "with a rarely seen violence," leading to the arrests.

    French authorities said they counted 36,000 protesters across the country, including 5,500 in Paris.

    Earlier Saturday, several hundreds of peaceful protesters in Paris passed through police checkpoints to reach the Champs-Elysees. They marched on the famed avenue behind a big banner writing "Macron, stop taking us for stupid people."

    Access to the Champs-Elysees was closed to cars and strictly monitored by police with identity checks and bag inspections. All subway stations in and around the avenue were closed for security reasons.

    Read more: Riots broke out in Paris after protests over rising fuel prices and Macron's presidency

    "It’s difficult to reach the end of the month. People work and pay a lot of taxes and we are fed up," said Rabah Mendez, a protester who came from a southern suburb to march peacefully in Paris.

    What began as a grassroots movement against elitism and business interests has won wide popularity across France. Authorities have found it difficult to quell the movement as it has no official leaders or structure.

    Despite the lack of formal organization, several protesters told the Associated Press they were angry with increasing financial burdens from federal officials, namely Macron.

    "Our purchasing power is severely diminishing every day. And then: taxes, taxes, and taxes," said Paris resident Hedwige Lebrun. "The state is asking us to tighten our belts, but they at the contrary live totally above all standards with our money."

    Since the yellow jacket movement kicked off on Nov. 17, two people have been killed and hundreds injured in accidents stemming from the protests.

    Approximately 3,000 security forces were previously dispatched in Paris near the city's busiest areas like the Champs-Elysees, where activists set up makeshift blockades and bonfires. 

    Macron tweeted to condemn the violent protests that sprang up last week to praise law enforcement and state that there is "no place for this violence in the Republic."

    "Thank you to all our law enforcement, for their courage and professionalism. Shame on all the people who assaulted them," Macron tweeted, in a translation reported by CNN. "Shame to those who voluntarily assaulted citizens and reporters. Shame on those who tried to intimidate our elected."


    Reporting by Sylvie Corbet. Chris Den Hond in Paris contributed to this report.

    SEE ALSO: 

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    NOW WATCH: There's so much CO2 in the atmosphere that planting trees can no longer save us

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    Growth in Share of Retail Site Visits

    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.

    Social media is becoming increasingly influential in shoppers' purchasing decisions. In fact, the top 500 retailers earned an estimated $6.5 billion from social shopping in 2017, up 24% from 2016, according to BI Intelligence estimates.

    In addition to influencing purchase decisions, social media is a large part of the product discovery and research phase of the shopping journey. And with more and more retailers offering quick access to their sites via social media pages, and shoppable content becoming more popular, it's likely that social media will play an even larger role in e-commerce. 

    In this report, BI Intelligence examines the advantages and disadvantages of each platform, and reviews case studies of successful campaigns that helped boost conversion and increase brand awareness. Additionally, we explore how retailers can bring social aspects into their own sites and apps to capitalize on consumers' desire for social shopping experiences.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • Social media is becoming more influential in all aspects of the purchasing journey.
    • Facebook is the clear winner in social commerce, with its huge user base and wide-ranging demographics.
    • However, retailers should have a presence on every platform their target market is on. Each platform will require a different strategy for retailers to resonate with its users.
    • Retailers can also benefit from bringing social aspects in-house. They can do this by building their own in-house social networks, or by embedding social media posts into their sites.

    In full, the report: 

    • Provides an overview of the top social media platforms — Facebook, YouTube, Instagram — that retailers should be using, the demographics of each platform, as well as their individual advantages and disadvantages. 
    • Reviews tools recently developed by these platforms that help retailers create engaging content.
    • Outlines case studies and specific strategies to use on each platform.
    • Examines how retailers like Sephora, Amazon, and Poshmark are capitalizing on consumers' affinity for social shopping by creating their own in-house social networks.

    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

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    quarterly global fintech fundingThis is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

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

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

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

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

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

     In full, the report:

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

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

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    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


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    young bill gates 1992

    • Bill Gates has a message for those in the tech industry who think that HBO's "Silicon Valley" is too critical: lighten up.
    • "I always tell them: 'You really should watch it, because they don’t make any more fun of us than we deserve,'" writes Gates, who has consulted on the show.
    • Gates says he identifies most with Richard Hendricks, the CEO of fictional startup Pied Piper, "who is a great programmer but has to learn some hard lessons about managing people." 
    • His one gripe with the show is that it makes the mega-corp Hooli look inept compared to its upstart rival  — but he admits that he may be biased in favor of large corporations.

    There are those in the real-world Silicon Valley who think that HBO's "Silicon Valley," the network's long-running satire, is too critical of the tech industry. 

    But in a new blog entry, no less than Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates has a message for those people: lighten up. 

    "I have friends in Silicon Valley who refuse to watch the show because they think it’s just making fun of them," writes Gates. "I always tell them: 'You really should watch it, because they don’t make any more fun of us than we deserve.'"

    "Silicon Valley," which is going into its sixth season, details the adventures of Pied Piper, a data compression startup that can't quite seem to catch a break. It also follows Gavin Belson, the CEO of Google-esque mega-corp Hooli, who borrows attributes from real-life execs including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Oracle founder Larry Ellison. 

    In his blog entry, Gates says that he's one of the many tech execs who were consulted by the show's creators to ensure authenticity — creator Mike Judge and his production team have interviewed the likes of former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and investor Marc Andreessen, even embedding at a hardware startup to ensure that a running gag rang true. 

    Gates writes that all of that effort paid off, as the show is an accurate lampooning of the types of people and companies that he knows so well. He says that he identifies the most with Richard Hendricks, the founder of Pied Piper, "who is a great programmer but has to learn some hard lessons about managing people."

    "The show is a parody, so it exaggerates things, but like all great parodies it captures a lot of truths," writes Gates.

    Read more:The characters of HBO's 'Silicon Valley' are inspired by real people in the tech world — here they are 

    Similarly, Gates likes the way that the show depicts entrepreneurs and startups.

    "Even a huge believer in technology like me has to laugh when some character talks about how they’re going to change the world with an app that tells you whether what you’re eating is a hot dog or not," he writes. That's a reference to an infamous "Silicon Valley" gag where a character makes a cutting-edge AI-powered app that can tell you, indeed, if something is a hot dog or not. The show's creators even released it as a real iPhone app

    He does have one bone to pick, though, with how the show depicts Hooli, the Goliath to Pied Piper's David, as bloated and inept.

    "Although I’m obviously biased, my experience is that small companies can be just as inept, and the big ones have the resources to invest in deep research and take a long-term point of view that smaller ones can’t afford," writes Gates. 

    Of note is that while Gates may relate to the journey of Pied Piper, their stories are very different.

    The fictional Pied Piper got off the ground after Hendricks and his friends quit Hooli to chase a novel new piece of technology; Gates and his late cofounder Paul Allen started Microsoft after moving to New Mexico to chase an opportunity with a then-revolutionary microcomputer. Gates and Allen definitely had their own problems, but they never had to fend off an angry ex-employer with an axe to grind. 

    Also of note is that not everybody in Silicon Valley seems to love the show as much as Gates. Astro Teller, best known as Google's moonshot boss, is said to have once huffed out of a meeting with the show's producers and tried to make a dramatic exit — on Rollerblades

    You can read Gates' full thoughts on HBO's "Silicon Valley" here.

    SEE ALSO: Check out Bill Gates' first business card at Microsoft, from after he dropped out of Harvard

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 places you can't find on Google Maps

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    iowa houses

    • Saving up to buy your first home can be daunting, but it's not impossible.
    • We calculated how much money aspiring homeowners need to save monthly to buy a home by the time they're 35, depending on what age they begin saving.
    • We ran these calculations for eight housing price points at two down-payment rates, 10% and 20%.
    • We assumed the money is put in a high-yield savings account with a 1.6% annual interest rate.

    Saving up for a down payment to buy a house may seem daunting. Compared with baby boomers who bought their first home in the 1980s, millennials buying their first home today might pay about 39% more on average, a study by Student Loan Hero found.

    But higher home prices don't mean that buying your first house is impossible.

    We calculated how much you would need to save monthly to have enough for a down payment on a home by age 35, depending on what age you begin saving.

    We looked at eight price points, from $250,000 to $1.5 million, and two down-payment rates, 10% and 20%.

    Ultimately, your target home price — and which down payment you opt for — comes down to a variety of factors, like location, income, and other recurring monthly expenses.

    Calculating monthly savings to buy a house

    Assuming that aspiring homeowners would need a few years post-college to get settled and make a dent in their student loans before they start saving for a house, we began our calculations at age 25.

    A high-yield savings account is one of the best places to save for a down payment because it offers a higher interest rate than a traditional savings account. We chose a conservative 1.6% annual percentage yield for our calculation, but Ally Bank offers a 1.9% interest rate on high-yield savings, and Barclays offers a 2.05% interest rate.

    10% down payment house

    To figure out how much you should be socking away every month for a down payment, first find your target home price at the top of the graphic. (The down payment amount is listed below in parentheses.) Then find your age — or the age you think you'll start saving for a down payment — in the left-hand column. Where the two categories meet is the amount you should be saving monthly to afford the down payment by the time you're 35.

    If you start saving at age 25, having enough money for a 10% down payment 10 years later is relatively achievable; you need to put only $192 away every month if you're aiming for a $25,000 down payment on a $250,000 house — not far off the $275,000 median price of homes listed in the US, according to Zillow.

    But if you don't start saving until age 30, that monthly savings amount bumps up to $400.

    To have enough saved by age 35 for a 20% down payment — the typical down payment for a house — simply double those monthly savings:

    20% down payment home

    SEE ALSO: The 25 best places to live if you want to save a lot of money

    DON'T MISS: 20 of the best places in the US to save up and buy your first home

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 4 lottery winners who lost it all

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    George martha washington height difference 2x1

    While every American president and first lady has reached the same heights of political office and public service, not all reached the White House at the same physical height.

    The average height of US presidents was 5-foot-10-inches, and the typical height difference between presidents and first ladies was 6.5 inches.

    Scientific studies suggest that men have it better when it comes to success in the workplace, and that women are more likely to choose taller men than shorter men.

    John Adams and Abigail Adams were only separated in height by an inch, while Thomas Jefferson was over a foot taller than his wife Martha Jefferson.

    We found the heights through online research and speaking with presidential historical sites and libraries. But a few first ladies' heights have been lost to history.

    Here is the height difference of every US president and first lady we could find:

    SEE ALSO: Here's what every president's signature looks like

    DON'T MISS: All of the US presidents, ranked from tallest to shortest in one animation

    George and Martha Washington: 1-foot-2-inches (36 cm)

    John and Abigail Adams: 1 inch (2 cm)

    Thomas and Martha Jefferson: 1-foot-2.5-inches (37 cm)

    Jefferson was a widower when his presidency began, and his daughter, Martha, acted as first lady, along with wives of the Cabinet secretaries.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    AddictiveSubstancesGraphic_BI Graphics

    As anyone who has drunk a cup of coffee knows, not all drugs are equally harmful. Caffeine, the most widely consumed psychoactive drug on earth, is not a danger to human health.

    To give people an idea of the most dangerous substances, a team of psychiatrists, chemists, and pharmacologists at the UK's Royal College of Psychiatrists systematically ranked them based on three factors: how much physical harm they cause, how addictive they are, and how much damage they do to society as a whole, judging by things like costs spent on healthcare. They published their findings in the medical journal The Lancet.

    Here are the drugs that rank highest for dependency:

    SEE ALSO: A vape pen created by Stanford graduates is taking over US high schools — and doctors are frightened

    To assess the danger of each drug, the scientists looked at three types of effects.

    The following ranking focuses on dependency. The researchers further broke this category down into three factors that determine how addictive something is.

    1. Pleasure, the euphoria a user feels on the drug; psychological dependence

    2. The cravings a user experiences when the drug is withdrawn

    3. Physical dependence, the headaches or other physical symptoms a user experiences when the drug is withdrawn

    1. Heroin ranked the highest on the list in terms of dependency.

    The drug received a full three out of three in terms of pleasure, cravings, and physical dependence. 

    2. Cocaine received a three out of three in terms of pleasure.

    However, it was deemed to be slightly less psychologically addictive than heroin and about half as physically addictive.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    13 places travel december

    • To find the best places to visit in December 2018, Business Insider looked at climate data, cultural calendars, and peak travel times.
    • December offers all kinds of travel experiences, from unforgettable Christmas and New Year's celebrations to relaxing getaways on tropical islands.
    • The best places to visit in December include the "Hamptons of South America," a European capital filled to the brim with Christmas markets, and the rugged wilderness of Australia's southernmost state.

    As December nears and the year draws to close, travelers are looking for the site of their last big vacation.

    Thanks to the popularity of Christmas and New Year's Eve vacations, December is often one of the most expensive months of the year to travel to the world's tourism hotspots. 

    Whether you want to indulge in the holiday festivities or escape to a sunny island paradise, there are endless options for travelers in December. 

    We looked at airfare trends, climate data, and worldwide cultural calendars to select 13 vacation spots that should be on your radar for a December vacation. They include a glitzy resort town in Uruguay that's called the "Hamptons of South America," an icy European wonderland filled with Christmas markets and holiday cheer, and the rugged wilderness of Australia's southernmost state.

    Take a look at the places we recommend for a December trip, and plan away.

    SEE ALSO: 13 places to visit in November for every type of traveler

    DON'T MISS: The 13 best places to visit in October for every type of traveler

    Miami, Florida

    No city knows how to party quite like Miami, and on New Year's Eve, the city takes it to another level. You'll have your pick of parties, from sparkling rooftop soirees to thumping ragers on South Beach.

    There are plenty of other non-party activities to keep you busy, too. It's always beach weather in Miami, with December highs typically reaching the mid-70s Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, tourist favorites like the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and Zoo Miami host special holiday-themed events in December. 

    Note that December is a huge month for traveling in Miami, so book airfare and hotels early for the best rates.

    Atlanta, Georgia

    Another Southeastern city that should be on your radar for December is Atlanta, Georgia.

    Only Chicago and New York City see more visitors than Atlanta each year, and for good reason. Must-sees for first-time visitors include the World of Coca-Cola and a studio tour at the CNN Center— both companies are headquartered there — the Georgia Aquarium, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, which includes the civil rights leader's childhood home and church.

    If you can tolerate temperatures in the 40s and 50s Fahrenheit, Piedmont Park and Centennial Olympic Park are always good for a daytime stroll, and nearby Stone Mountain offers an epic lights-filled Christmas celebration each night. 

    San Antonio, Texas

    The end of the year is the perfect time to visit San Antonio, as hotel rates plummet but the temperature stays mostly warm.

    The Alamo is San Antonio's biggest claim to fame, and there are plenty of other activities that make the city worth an extended stay. Locals love the quickly growing Pearl District for its eclectic mix of food, shopping, and art, as well as the 15-mile River Walk and its unique canals, pathways, and architecture. First-time visitors should hop on a cruise for a guided tour.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    handwriting 4x3

    • Your handwriting says a lot about your personality.
    • For example, if you write large letters, it could mean you are people oriented, whereas small letters could mean you are introverted. 
    • Business Insider spoke to master graphologist, Kathi McKnight, who analyzes handwriting for personality traits, to figure out what these details in your handwriting mean. 

    Your handwriting reveals much more than you might imagine.

    There's a whole science behind analyzing handwriting for personality traits called graphology, which has been around since the days of Aristotle. Today, it's used for a variety of purposes, from criminal investigations to understanding your health. Someemployers even use handwriting analysis to screen potential employees for compatibility.

    Business Insider talked to master graphologistKathi McKnight about what the seemingly insignificant details in your writing say about you. "Just from analyzing your handwriting, experts can find over 5,000 personality traits," she says. 

    McKnight readily admits that the information she provides below is a basic overview, so it won't apply to everyone in every situation. Yet these factors can show you aspects about yourself that you may not have considered before. 

    Try writing out a sentence. We suggest: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Then, keep reading to see what your handwriting says about you.

    SEE ALSO: Here's what every president's signature looks like

    Size of letters and words



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Ice cream

    • Whole Foods has revealed the top 10 trends that will shape how we eat and drink in 2019. 
    • Trends include Pacific Rim-inspired flavors, new types of icy treats, and fat-filled ingredients. 
    • Here are the top 10 food-trend predictions for next year. 

    As 2018 comes to a close, the food and beverage industry is wondering what comes next. 

    On Wednesday, Whole Foods released its list of the trends it expects to dominate in 2019. More than a dozen buyers and experts collaborated to predict what new trends will dictate what we eat.

    This year, new flavors are on the horizon, drawing inspiration from things as disparate as the Pacific Rim and the blossoming legal marijuana industry. 

    Here are the top 10 food-trend predictions for 2019: 

    SEE ALSO: Millennials are killing countless industries — but the Fed says it's mostly just because they're poor

    Pacific Rim-inspired flavors

    The grocer says that flavors from Asia, Oceania, and the western coasts of South America are on the rise. Whole Foods name checks guava, dragon fruit, Filipino sausage longganisa, dried shrimp, cuttlefish, and shrimp paste as a few ingredients to keep an eye out for. 

    Shelf-stable probiotics

    Probiotics have been on the rise for a while, in the form of fermented kimchi and various pickled foods. Now, wellness-focused brands, cleaning products, and beauty brands are trying to cash in on the trend. 

    Phat fats

    Whole Foods cites "keto, paleo, grain-free, and even 'pegan' (paleo + vegan) diets" as helping to get people to add more fat to their diets. 

    "New integrations of fat sources — like keto-friendly nutrition bars crafted with MCT oil powder, coconut butter-filled chocolates, snacks affectionately called 'fat bombs' and a new wave of ready-to-drink vegan coffee beverages inspired by butter coffees — are busting on the scene allowing consumers to get their fat fill with convenient treats," the grocer says. 

    Read more:10 of the best keto meal options at popular chain restaurants

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    party sad!

    • You might want to skip your annual holiday work party, but you really shouldn't.
    • Holiday work parties are a key way to show your colleagues and the company leadership that you're a team player and are invested in your company.
    • Luckily, you don't have to stay for the entire bash.


    There are plenty of reasons you might be dreading your holiday work party.

    Maybe you're stressed by upcoming the holidays, and need every minute you can get outside of work to plan and shop. Or maybe you just flat-out don't like your coworkers.

    Regardless, Karen Wickre, author of recently published "Taking the Work Out of Networking: An Introvert's Guide to Making Connections That Count," told Business Insider that you still have to go. 

    "It's more to get brownie points that you are a team player and you're in the mix," Wickre, who was previously an executive at Google and Twitter, told Business Insider. "If you never show up at company events, you lose brownie points."

    Workplace expert Lynn Taylor agreed. Holiday parties are "major annual events — and there’s more obligation to participate," she told Business Insider. 

    Read more: Tell us your funniest or weirdest office holiday party stories

    Although you do need to go, you don't have to go for all that long.

    The conversations at these events aren't likely to be substantial, so even if you attend the party for less than an hour or so, you're not missing out on an opportunity to pitch your big idea to the VP.

    "It's more of a political event for the optics than a professional development opportunity," Wickre said. 

    Here are Wickre's tips for a short and sweet appearance: 

    1. Arrive early (or late). Early is better.
    2. Have one drink in your hand, or just a glass of water.
    3. "Literally circle the space," Wickre said. Walk around with your trusty drink and say hello to your colleagues. 
    4. Keep conversations light and not about work. It's going to be a lot of large group chats, so the conversation topics are more likely to be about, say, vacation plans, pop culture, the food spread, and so on. 
    5. Greet the higher-ups, if you feel like it. But, again, don't say a word about work. Wickre recommended saying a quick thank you: "I love working here. I'm so excited about next year and what you're doing." Or, "I can't wait until we show you our plan on Tuesday, but tonight we’re just celebrating."
    6. Get out of there. "Once you've been seen enough, you can go."

    If you're looking to integrate yourself a little more into your coworkers' lives, Wickre recommended meeting up with a few folks from your team before heading to the party together. Who knows, you might even have fun. 

    DON'T MISS: 23 of the best icebreakers to use at a party where you don't know anyone

    SEE ALSO: 17 things successful people do over long weekends

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    thinking at work

    • You might be wondering how to write an effective email subject line.
    • There are several ways to take a subject line from so-so to excellent.
    • Experts told Business Insider that getting specific, like including a deadline or how you know the person you're emailing, is important. 


    A boring email subject line might mean that your email will never be read. 

    "You do have to grab enough attention with the subject line to make it worth your reader's time," Marc Cenedella, CEO of Ladders, told Business Insider.

    You might already know to avoid writing your emails in all caps or otherwise sounding like spam. But, what should you include instead?

    Business Insider asked experts to understand the key components of any email subject line — whether you're emailing a coworker or a potential mentor. Here's what they told us to include: 

    SEE ALSO: 7 common mistakes people make when writing email subject lines

    A verb

    If you're getting a request from a potential connection to get lunch, you're more likely to be interested in "Let's grab Thai food" than "Networking lunch request." Begin your subject lines with a verb rather than a bland summary of your request.

    "Subject lines that begin with action verbs tend to be a lot more enticing, and your emails could be drastically more clickable by adding a vibrant verb at the beginning,"suggests HubSpot

    "Your subject line should always state exactly what you want as a way to grab attention," career coach Judge Graham told Business Insider. 


    Dmitri Leonov, cofounder of email assistant tool SaneBox, suggested adding tags like [Time Sensitive], [Urgent], or [Action Item] at the beginning of your subject so your recipient knows just what the message entails — and how urgent it is to reply.

    As a caveat, don't tag all your emails with these, especially if you don't know the person you're messaging. The 13th "urgent" email that week about, say, the office's new dishwasher brand is going to be ignored.

    NNTO or EOM

    NNTO means "no need to open," while EOM means "end of message."

    If you just need to send a quick, casual update to your team or a connection, Leonov said this tag is a great addition to a email subject line. Just write what's important in the subject and leave it at that.

    Some workplaces might prefer to send this sort of note over a messaging app, like Slack, instead of fill up people's inboxes. But if your workplace is email-reliant, this might be a useful tip for you. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Hotel President Wilson 1

    • Some luxury hotels avoid posting their most expensive and exclusive rooms online.
    • Many of the rooms are available only for well-connected clientele who have heard of the rooms via word of mouth — and have the funds to pay for them.
    • Hotels keep their rooms unlisted for a variety of reasons, including to protect their assets and to create buzz.

    How are you supposed to book a room that isn't listed on a hotel's website?

    Well, the point, as reported by Bloomberg, is that you probably can't, unless you're connected enough to have heard about it by word of mouth.

    That's often the case with ultra-luxurious rooms and suites that high-end hotels purposely omit from their listings. There are no photographs, no descriptions, and no prices available; to anyone who isn't in the know, it's as if they don't exist.

    Hotels keep such rooms secret for a variety of reasons, whether protecting the hotel's assets or protecting the guest's identity and privacy.

    Then, of course, there's the thrill of exclusivity. As The New York Times put it, hotels use these unlisted rooms "as a way to delight valued guests or generate buzz."

    Read more:A 5-star boutique in Switzerland with a world-famous infinity pool no longer has to pay for advertising, thanks to Instagram

    These rooms go by a variety of terms — owner's suites, partnership suites — but one thing they have in common is a hefty price tag.

    Take, for example, Blue Lagoon— one of Iceland's most recognizable tourist attractions. The Retreat is a luxury hotel with 62 suites that can be booked online, some of which offer direct access to the lagoon. But tucked away within The Retreat is The Blue Lagoon Suite. There's no mention of it on The Retreat's site, but, according to Bloomberg, it goes for $10,050 a night — and requires a minimum two-night stay.

    Booking details vary for these unlisted rooms. In some cases, an interested guest has to call ahead and specifically request the suite. Other hotels require that their penthouse suites be booked by email in advance, so that managers have time to vet the guest before making a decision.

    Even if booking an unlisted hotel room is a bit (or a lot) out of your budget, there are still ways to customize your five-star hotel experience with some semisecret perks. That can include free Champagne or chocolate-covered strawberries and even special decorations in your room.

    And hotels aren't the only businesses that build a name for some of their products — if not their entire brands — by choosing not to advertise them. Consider Goyard, a two-century-old Parisian brand.

    As Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower previously reported: "Goyard's prime press strategy is silence. It forgoes any advertising, e-commerce, and celebrity endorsements. It rarely grants interviews and very occasionally makes products available to the mass market."

    Clearly, in some cases, not talking about your luxury product is the best way to make people want it.

    SEE ALSO: The world's 10 most expensive hotel suites

    READ MORE: This futuristic hotel is going to be built at the base of a glacier in remote, northern Norway — and it looks like it's straight out of a sci-fi movie

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    priyanka chopra nick jonas

    • Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas were married Saturday after dating several months. 
    • After sharing photos earlier this weekend, Chopra shared video of their elaborate pre-wedding celebration on Instagram.
    • It shows Nick performing along with a glimpse of "Game of Thrones" actress Sophie Turner at the wedding.

    Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra were married Saturday at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan in India. But before they tied the knot, the two held a huge pre-wedding celebration Friday night.

    The musical celebration, called the Sangeet, is often held a day or two before an Indian wedding and includes dance performances by family members as the two families join together.

    Sunday morning, Chopra shared some video and photos from the event and it looks very elaborate. Take a look:

    The video shows performances from Joe Jonas, family members, Nick Jonas, and Priyanka Chopra, too.

    joe jonas nick jonas weddingpriyanka chopra sangreet

    The happy couple was also captured smiling during the video.

    nick jonas sangreet priyanka

    If you look close, you can also spy new sister-in-law, "Game of Thrones" actress, Sophie Turner, next to her fiancé, Joe Jonas near the video's start.

    sophie turner joe jonas sangreet

    "It all began as a fierce song & dance competition between the families but ended, as always, as a huge celebration of love," Chopra wrote on Instagram. "Nick and I were looking forward to the Sangeet (musical evening), another pre wedding ritual..and to see what each side had put together."

    "What a performance it was," Chopra added. "Each family telling our stories through song and dance, filled with lots of laughter and love. We were both filled with gratitude for the effort, the love and the laughter and will carry the memories of this special evening for the rest of our lives. It is an amazing start to a lifetime of togetherness for our families and friends."

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Subaru Forester 2019

    • The Subaru Forester is all-new for 2019.
    • The Forester is one of the best-selling compact crossover SUVs in the world and competes against the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and the Nissan Rogue. 
    • The new fifth generation Forester is powered by a 2.5-liter, 182 horsepower, boxer-four-cylinder engine. 
    • The base Forester starts at $24,295, while the top-of-the-line Touring starts at $34,295. Our mid-grade Sport trim test car starts at $28,795. With options and fees, our Forester came to an as-tested price of $31,815. 
    • We were impressed with the Forester's solid feel, great cabin ergonomics, standard all-wheel-drive, and an impressive suite of safety technology.
    • We were underwhelmed by the Forester's naturally aspirated powertrain and rough-around-the-edges demeanor.  

    The compact crossover SUV is a force to be reckoned with. The Subaru Forester has long been a leader in the segment. 

    Launched in 1998, the Subaru Forester was part of the initial wave of modern compact crossovers to reach the US market. Since then, the segment and SUVs, in general, have absolutely exploded in popularity. So much so that major automakers like Ford and General Motors have announced plans to ax the bulk of their passenger models.

    According to data from Kelley Blue Book, nearly 3.1 million compact SUVs rolled off US dealership lots over the first ten months of 2018, equating to roughly one in every five vehicles sold. 

    And the public's demand for these cars seems to be nothing less than insatiable with sales up more than 12% during that same period.

    Read more: We drove a $46,000 Subaru Ascent SUV to see if it's ready to challenge Honda, Toyota, and Ford — here's the verdict.

    The Forester is a lynchpin in Subaru's lineup. The crossover has consistently been its second best-selling model behind only the Japanese brand's signature Outback off-road wagon. 

    For 2019, Subaru is back with a new fifth-generation Forester and it already seems to be a hit. In its first full month on the market, the 2019 model pushed Forester sales up 19% over the previous year. 

    Recently, Business Insider was able to spend a week with a 2019 Subaru Forester Sport in Crystal Black Silica. The base Forester starts at $24,295 while the top-of-the-line Touring starts at $34,295. Our mid-grade Sport trim test car starts at $28,795. With options and fees, our Forester came to an as-tested price of $31,815. 

    Here's a closer look at the 2019 Subaru Forester Sport. 

    SEE ALSO: The Kia Stinger is Business Insider's 2018 Car of the Year

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    The original Subaru Forester launched in 1998 and joined the first wave of modern compact crossover SUVs that also included...

    ... The first generation Toyota RAV4 and...

    ....The first generation Honda CR-V.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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

    foodie gifts 7

    It's not too difficult to identify a foodie in the wild. Do they plan their next meal as they eat their current one? Are their travel itineraries made up entirely of restaurants and bars? Have they exhausted every cooking show and food documentary offered by Netflix? If so, congratulations — you have a foodie on your hands. 

    This holiday, you can fuel their appetite and never-ending quest to enjoy good food with these unique gifts. Treat them to one of the best meals they've ever had, then top it all off with a food or cooking-related gift. 

    The way to a foodie's heart is through their stomachs — and one of these 21 gifts:

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

    A Dutch oven from a new startup

    Dutch Oven, $95, available at Milo

    For a fraction of the price, you can gift a quality Dutch oven that's just as nice as Le Creuset or Staub. Milo may not be a legacy name, but it performs like one — and it comes with a lifetime guarantee. 

    Bowls that look like lettuce leaves

    Tory Burch Lettuce Ware Soup Bowls (Set of 4), $148, available at Nordstrom

    These hand-painted soup bowls are an unexpected and colorful addition to the dinner table. The fact that they resemble lettuce counts as one's daily vegetable intake, right? 



    A book that shows them how to create the ultimate appetizer spread

    Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion, $16.96, available at Amazon

    The beautiful arrangements in this book will have dinner and party guests eating with their eyes first. It contains 40 appetizer boards of spreads, dips, and drinks for all times of the day. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • The College Football Playoff is officially set, and it's filled with familiar faces.
    • Alabama, Clemson, and Oklahoma are all returning to the playoff for the second straight year.
    • Georgia and Ohio State were the first two teams left out of the postseason tournament.

    The College Football Playoff is officially set.

    After an exhilarating Championship Weekend that almost saw Alabama suffer their first loss of the season in the SEC title game, the Crimson Tide are once again the top seed heading into the playoff and will face the Oklahoma Sooners in the semifinal at the Orange Bowl.

    On the other side of the bracket, the Clemson Tigers will take on Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl.

    College Football Playoff Bracket

    The selection committee's decision left some deserving contenders on the outside looking in.

    Georgia wound up as the first team out. The Bulldogs came closer than any team to taking down Alabama in the SEC Championship and some will argue undeniably one of the top four teams in the country, but couldn't overcome their two losses to get into the playoff.

    Read more:Alabama quarterback who was benched in last year's title game was thrown in the SEC Championship and scored 2 touchdowns in 10 minutes to lead a wild comeback

    Ohio State suffered one loss all year and won the Big Ten, but the committee seemingly believed their big loss to Purdue was too bad a mark on their resume to compete for the title.

    The UCF Knights went undefeated for a second straight year, and for the second straight year, the Group of Five powerhouse fell short of earning a seat at the table.

    The semifinal games will both be played on December 29, with the winners meeting in the national championship on January 7 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

    SEE ALSO: Alabama quarterback who was benched in last year's title game was thrown in the SEC Championship and scored 2 touchdowns in 10 minutes to lead a wild comeback

    Join the conversation about this story »

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