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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Edward Snowden

    • Edward Snowden has signed an open letter along with numerous human rights groups asking that Google kill its plan to launch a censored search engine in China.
    • A group of 14 human rights groups sent a similar letter to Google in August about the so-called Project Dragonfly, but say they received a dissatisfactory response.
    • The new letter, which has 71 signatories, was published the evening before Google CEO Sundar Pichai is due to testify in front of Congress.

    NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has added his voice to human rights groups asking Google to back out of its plans to launch a censored search engine in China.

    In an open letter addressed to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, signed by Snowden and various human rights groups including Amnesty International, the signatories asked Google to kill its plans to re-enter the Chinese market, codenamed "Project Dragonfly."

    Snowden signed the most recent letter in his capacity as president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

    In August, 14 human rights groups penned an open letter to Google asking for it to kill Project Dragonfly, to which Google's Senior Vice President for Global Affairs Kent Walker wrote a reply in October. But in this newest letter, the signatories said they found his response dissatisfactory.

    "Google's response – along with further details that have since emerged about Project Dragonfly – only heightens our fear that the company may knowingly compromise its commitments to human rights and freedom of expression, in exchange for access to the Chinese search market," the letter states.

    Read more:Google's Dragonfly execs didn't take written notes and isolated internal teams to hide China search plans from other employees

    "New details leaked to the media strongly suggest that if Google launches such a product it would facilitate repressive state censorship, surveillance, and other violations affecting nearly a billion people in China," it continued.

    The letter pointed to recent media reports which the signatories found troubling, and which in some instances contradicted Walker's letter. For example, the signatories say that while Walker told them the product was not close to launch, a leaked transcript of an internal meeting obtained by The Intercept showed a Google exec saying the product could be "six to nine months [to launch]."

    The new letter, which has 71 signatories, came on the eve of Sundar Pichai's testimony to Congress.

    Business Insider contacted Google for comment.

    SEE ALSO: 'F--- you leakers': A former senior Google employee says a frantic quest to stop internal info getting out is now management's 'number one priority'

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    Daniel O'Day Gilead CEO, formerly of Roche

    • Roche Pharmaceuticals veteran Daniel O'Day will take over as CEO of Gilead Sciences next year.
    • Wall Street is hoping O'Day will put Gilead's cash to work in big deals, but some say his track record for deals is limited.
    • Gilead's flagging pipeline of drugs will need to be a top priority for O'Day — and there are already some hints about what his focus will be.

    Gilead Sciences' quest for a new CEO came to an end early Monday, with the struggling pharmaceutical company announcing that Roche Pharmaceuticals CEO Daniel O'Day will take the helm starting in early March 2019.

    O'Day, who has spent his entire 31-year career at Swiss healthcare giant Roche, was praised by many on Wall Street as a qualified and uncontroversial choice for the position.

    O'Day's total compensation package is valued at just under $31 million in his first year, including a base salary of $1.6 million, a bonus opportunity of up to $2.4 million, and millions in stock options and restricted stock units, which vest over a period of a few years.

    Analysts also enjoyed the opportunity to make some puns.

    "At the end of the day, no huge surprise," RBC Capital Markets analyst Brian Abrahams said, dubbing it a "Brand new day for GILD."

    The pharmaceutical veteran's career has spanned a dizzying array of Roche's business units, with stretches in Switzerland, Japan, and Denmark.

    O'Day led some dealmaking during his time at Roche, prompting hopes that he will put Gilead's billions in available cash to work.

    The search for a replacement for John Milligan, Gilead's current CEO, has spanned roughly 4 1/2 months and left many investors unsure what to think about the drugmaker's future.

    Gilead is seen as a company in need of a turnaround, and the resignations of several high-profile executives haven't helped.

    Even before Milligan's departure was announced in late July, Chairman John Martin and Norman Bischofberger, the company's then chief scientific officer, both said they were exiting the company. Andrew Cheng, who was appointed chief medical officer in March, also departed in recent months.

    The company has been predicting a return to growth for the entire past year, and in recent quarters its financial results have beat Wall Street estimates.

    Yet Gilead's stock continues to slump, dropping 8.4% over the last three months but still outperforming the broader biotech sector.

    Milligan plans to wrap up his 28 years at Gilead at the end of 2018, and longtime Gilead executive Gregg Alton will hold the position between January and March.

    O'Day's compensation package also includes perks for leaving Roche, including $8.5 million in restricted stock options, a one-time cash payment of $5.68 million, and $750,000 a year for his first five years in return for the pension benefits he's leaving behind.

    Gilead said in an SEC filing that it will also provide relocation benefits to help O'Day move to Northern California (Gilead headquarters are located in Foster City).

    By way of comparison, Milligan's pay package totaled about $15.4 million in 2017. A company spokesperson declined to comment on the compensation package beyond the filing.

    O'Day likely won't put out his agenda until he starts at Gilead. But here are some of Wall Street's best thoughts on the company's key challenges — and how the new CEO may address them.

    Building out a pipeline with a new focus on cancer

    Hepatitis C and HIV medications have long been Gilead's core franchises, but they have become less dependable sources of growth.

    In large part, that's been because Gilead's hepatitis C medications have done a good job curing patients and because of patent expiries.

    O'Day will be looking for ways to diversify the company's product pipeline, and his experience in oncology looks like a clear signal to many onlookers.

    Cancer "historically has not been GILD's strong suit, so the hiring of an exec from a major oncology company reflects in part GILD's future direction," Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said.

    Building out cancer partnerships could also provide a nearer-term lift for Gilead than something like cellular therapies, which O'Day will likely continue to invest in, according to RBC's Abrahams.

    Read more: Gilead's CEO is leaving by the end of the year, and the biotech giant still hasn't picked a replacement. Wall Street has a few ideas.

    Notably, Gilead bought cell-therapy biotech Kite Pharma in 2017, and its cutting-edge chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy, Yescarta, was approved for lymphoma later that year.

    Inflammation and respiratory, where Gilead has done some work so far, as well as neurology, are also potential areas for investment, Abrahams said.

    Deals, deals, deals

    Gilead has almost $30 billion in available cash, according to Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Alethia Young's calculations, stoking anticipation on Wall Street that there's dealmaking ahead.

    Roche did at least 17 deals between 2014 and 2018, according to Young, with most valued below $1 billion.

    One notable exception is Roche's $8.3 billion acquisition of biotech company InterMune in 2014, the largest acquisition it made during that time period.

    Other large deals include Roche's $1.9 billion purchase of cancer-data platform Flatiron Health and a $1.7 billion deal for cancer-drug maker Ignyta.

    O'Day's track record, though, could be a bone of contention for investors, Morgan Stanley analyst Matthew Harrison said, noting that O'Day has overseen a "limited number" of deals.

    "Investors are looking for the new CEO to put Gilead's cash to work and given O'Day's history, we think investors will take a wait and see approach related to his ability to transform Gilead through [mergers and acquisitions]," he said.

    But Barclays analyst Geoff Meacham argued that the new job should mark a change of pace for O'Day, who "is more likely to be more aggressive on the deal and biz-dev front, which is a strategy that investors favor as it would help further diversity the core HIV franchise."

    Moving to focus on operations

    In spite of his experience, O'Day is an unusual choice in some ways for Gilead.

    He is the first outside CEO Gilead has appointed in 20 years and the first CEO in 20 years without a PhD or medical degree, Mizuho analyst Salim Syed said.

    The latter quality could make operations at Gilead more of a priority, he said, noting that "the company is also much larger today, so it's not necessarily a bad thing in our view."

    O'Day might also try some new strategies to perk up declining businesses, Cantor Fitzgerald's Young said.

    "One of his key legacies from Roche, in our view, was to weave products with companion diagnostics," Young said.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Truck Driver 1

    • The truck-driver shortage in America has dominated headlines in the logistics space this year.
    • While trucking companies are offering five-digit bonuses and record-high pay raises, the problem has not dissipated.
    • Roadmaster Group CEO John Wilbur said the real reason behind the shortage is not how much drivers are paid but how they are paid. 
    • Truck drivers are generally paid by how many miles they drive, which means they must carry the burden of many external factors such as weather and traffic, Wilbur said.

    It's no secret that America has a massive shortage of truck drivers. 

    More than 50,000 more truckers are needed to support the shipping demand from US companies, like retail giants such as Amazon and Walmart, and that deficit could grow to 175,000 by 2026, according to the American Trucking Associations

    While trucking companies are offering five-digit bonuses and record-high pay raises, many are still complaining their wage hike hasn't helped attract new drivers. 

    "It's not so much how much the drivers are paid, but how they are paid," John Wilbur, CEO of Roadmaster Group, an Arizona-based specialized transportation company, told Business Insider.

    According to Wilbur, truck drivers are generally paid by how many miles they drive, which means they must carry the burden of many external factors such as weather and traffic. This pay model adds many volatilities to drivers' compensation.

    "That is the single biggest systemic flaw in the industry," Wilbur added. "It creates issues in this industry about finding and keeping drivers in the system."

    Generally, being a truck driver is a difficult job, with drivers away from home for weeks at a time while living in a truck on the road. Wilbur says drivers usually hop from one company to another because they feel they are neither respected nor compensated appropriately.

    According to data from the American Trucking Associations, the annualized turnover rate, which measures how often a driver leaves a large truckload carrier, or fleet with more than $30 million in annual revenue, was 96% in the first half of the year, putting 2018 on pace to have the highest annual rate since 2013.

    To attract more drivers, Wilbur's Roadmaster Group has been using a salary-like pay structure since 2012, guaranteeing the minimum wage a driver will make in a day or a week. 

    But the mile-based pay model is not the only hindrance that pulls drivers out of the trucking industry. Since December 2017, the trucking industry has implemented an electronic-logging-device mandate that limits drivers to 11 hours of driving in a 14-hour window.

    Many truck drivers told Business Insider they hate the ELD mandate because their salaries are taking a hit, their independence is being curtailed, and they can't find places to park and sleep.


    Are you a truck driver with a story about the industry? Email the author at

    Now read:

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    Tech v Trump (Jake Kanter's thumb — please do not use)

    • More than 90% of the political donations made by Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google staff went to the Democrats, figures dating from 2004 show.
    • Staff at Google's parent company Alphabet were the biggest benefactors to Democratic candidates and causes, according to the data from GovPredict.
    • The findings come as Google CEO Sundar Pichai will appear before Congress for the first time on Tuesday.
    • US President Donald Trump and other prominent Republicans have criticized what they see as bias at powerful tech firms and are threatening anti-trust probes.

    The political donations made by staff at the world's biggest tech firms have been revealed in data seen by Business Insider.

    BI worked with GovPredict, the political data firm backed by prestigious Silicon Valley tech incubator Y Combinator, to uncover donations made by employees at the FAANG firms: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. 

    The data is drawn from campaign filings and covers a 14-year period. It only measures political contributions made by employees and doesn't reflect company-level donations to candidates. Facebook, for example, donates to candidates at a company level through its own Political Action Committee (PAC.)

    GovPredict found that workers at these tech giants have backed the Democrats to the tune of millions of dollars, while donations to the Republicans have been paltry in comparison.

    In fact, more than 90% of the $40 million donated by big tech employees to political causes since 2004 has gone to the Democrats.

    Staff at Google's parent company Alphabet were collectively the biggest funders of Democratic candidates and causes. Employees donated $16.3 million to the party, which was nearly $10 million more than employees from the next biggest funder, Amazon.

    Democrats had a near-monopoly on donations from staff at Netflix, accounting for 98% of worker contributions to political parties.

    Tech political donations 04–08

    The findings come at a delicate time for Silicon Valley. US President Donald Trump and other prominent Republicans have criticized what they see as bias at powerful tech firms. Trump is also looking at anti-trust proceedings against Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

    The president said in August that Google search results were "RIGGED" against him, while last month, he asked his Twitter followers to "check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats."

    Google, in particular, has been a lightning rod for anger. Trump has repeatedly targeted the company, as have Republicans, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

    Read more: A report on Alphabet employee political donations could light a fire under Trump's war on Google

    Google CEO Sundar Pichai will appear before Congress for the first time on Tuesday, when he gives evidence to the House Judiciary Committee. He is expected to face tough questions about search results, potential antitrust issues, and Google's plans to launch a censored search engine in China.

    The biggest year of donations from Alphabet staffers to the Democrats came in 2016, when staff spent $6 million trying to keep Trump out of office. In fact, all of the tech firm employee donations hit a high in 2016, except Amazon, GovPredict found. Workers at Jeff Bezos' company donated their peak of $3 million to liberal causes in 2012 when Barack Obama secured a second term.

    Tech political donations 16

    Ari Ezra Waldman, director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology at the New York Law School, said there is "zero" evidence to support the theory that Google is fixing search results against the Republicans — and donation patterns do not change that.

    "What comes up on search results on Google, for example, is the product of Google's highly complex and proprietary algorithm, which is sensitive to what other people click on, share, and so forth," he said. "So, if critical articles about Donald Trump are coming up first, that just means that critical articles about Donald Trump are being shared more, clicked on more, and searched for more."

    Google, Apple, Facebook, and Netflix declined to comment. Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.

    GovPredict analyzed Federal Election Commission filings, state and city campaign finance portals, and the Internal Revenue Service. It examined election contributions made by tech staff by tracking the various subsidiary names of their companies used in the filings. 

    GovPredict then categorized, as Democrat or Republican, the unique committees to which employees made donations. Most were labelled by the Federal Election Commission, while on others GovPredict had to make its own call.

    Former Harvard graduate Emil Pitkin launched GovPredict at the Y Combinator demo day in 2015. The company is also said to have $120,000 in seed funding from Y Combinator, which has backed startups such as Airbnb, Reddit, and Stripe.

    SEE ALSO: Bernie Sanders has received donations from more Amazon workers than Barack Obama over the past 14 years

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why it's so difficult to land a spacecraft on Mars

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    Dubai Development Property Real Estate (18 of 40)

    • The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is known for its extravagant, newly built landmarks like the Burj Khalifa, the Palm Jumeirah, and the Dubai Mall.
    • In just over two decades, the city has skyrocketed from a desert backwater port to a thriving metropolis with the third-most skyscrapers in the world.
    • While the rapid development has produced a futuristic city, it has come at the cost of hundreds of thousands of workers and produced a city that can feel soulless.
    • Dubai markets itself as a liberal Hong Kong-for-the-Middle-East, but it hides the fact that it is still ruled by an autocracy and that legal rights frequently don't hold up for foreigners.
    • During a visit to Dubai's downtown, it became apparent just how radically the city has developed and the consequences — both positive and negative — of that development.

    Three decades ago, Dubai was little more than desert.

    The city exploded in prosperity after the United Arab Emirates discovered oil in 1966, leading to a development boom that has resulted in the world's tallest building, the second-biggest mall, the most luxurious hotel, and more skyscrapers than any city besides New York and Hong Kong.

    From the outside, Dubai looks like an unmitigated success story. Whereas many other Gulf nations — from Qatar to Saudi Arabi to Bahrain — still rely heavily on oil exports to drive their economy, Dubai is driven by tourism, real estate, tech, shipping, and financial services.

    Oil and gas now accounts for less than 1% of Dubai's economy, down from 50% at one point, according to Bloomberg.

    The development has been aimed at one thing: becoming the Middle East's Hong Kong or Singapore — an easy place to visit, spend money, and do business.

    But for those looking at Dubai and wishing their country or city would use it as a model, Dubai may look more like a cautionary tale. The shiny, glass towers hide the trampling of the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers that built them, the city's often opaque and arbitrary legal system, and the fear over what happens to the economy when the cranes stop building and the flow of foreign investment dries up — as happened in 2009.

    I recently spent a day in Dubai's downtown to see the fruits of the city's rapid development.

    SEE ALSO: I visited outlandishly wealthy Dubai, known as the 'city of gold,' and was surprised by how much fun you can have even without billions

    DON'T MISS: Dubai's most outrageous open-air market sells only gold and has a $3 million, 141-pound gold ring

    Prior to the discovery of oil in Dubai in 1966, the city was an unremarkable port in the Gulf region. While it had existed as a trading port along important Middle Eastern trade routes since the 1800s, its main industry was pearling, which had dried up as of the 1930s.

    Source: Government of Dubai

    The discovery of oil in the United Arab Emirates in 1966 changed everything. While Dubai's reserves were nothing compared to that of neighboring Abu Dhabi, Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, was determined to turn the city into a trading hub.

    But even as recently as 1979, seen here, the city was trudging along. By most accounts, things changed in the 1990s and early 2000s. In 1985, the city opened the Middle East's first major "free zone"— a place where foreign companies can operate with almost no taxes or customs and streamlined bureaucracy — at Jebel Ali.

    Source:"A History of Future Cities"





    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    macy's 1891

    • Department stores are no longer in their heyday.
    • Many department stores have had to close locations this year, including Sears and JCPenney.
    • There are multiple factors hurting department stores' business, such as the rise of online shopping and declining foot traffic to malls.
    • We visited locations of most major department stores this year and found one rose above the rest. 

    Department stores have had a rocky 2018.

    Sears, Kmart, JCPenney, and Lord & Taylor have all closed stores this year. 

    There are a few reasons department stores had such a difficult year. The rise of e-commerce has created a major obstacle for department stores, many of which have been around for more than 100 years. Stores are being forced to face up against giants like Amazon and Walmart, and many are coming up short in their e-commerce offerings.

    As a result of more shoppers turning to online stores, there's also been a decline in foot traffic to malls. Many mall-based department stores have been hit hard from the decrease in shoppers.

    A disappearing middle class has also taken a toll on many mid-tier department stores. Shoppers are either looking for luxury products or looking for off-price, budget options. As a result, department stores that don't fall into either of these categories are struggling to win over shoppers. 

    But some have managed to overcome the obstacles that are being faced by most department stores. Macy's and Nordstrom both reported growth in the most recent quarter, with Macy's reporting comparable sales were up 3.1% in the third quarter and Nordstrom reporting comparable sales were up 2.3%

    We visited many major department stores in 2018, including Sears, JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, and Macy's. Here's which store was in the best shape: 

    SEE ALSO: Photos show how much holiday shopping has changed in America over the years

    Kmart and Sears had a particularly difficult 2018. In October, the stores' parent company Sears Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

    We visited multiple Kmart and Sears stores throughout New York City this year. We visited some locations more than once. The stores were consistently messy.

    Read more: Kmart is closing dozens of stores as parent company Sears weathers Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Here's how the discount chain fell from grace.

    Each time we visited the Kmart store in Penn Station, it was cluttered ...

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    happy couple

    • Ben Kamens, the first hire and lead engineer of Khan Academy, the ultimate Silicon Valley education platform, founded a new startup called Spring Discovery dedicated to defeating aging and extending life.
    • The company told Business Insider it raised $18 million on Tuesday from venture firms like First Round Capital (backers of Square and Flatiron Health) and General Catalyst (backers of Snap and e-commerce site Jet).
    • The new funding puts the startup on the $850-million longevity map for the first time. 
    • Spring Discovery aims to hasten the scientific discovery process for therapies designed to reverse aging using machine learning and hands-on research at an expanding lab in San Carlos, Calif.

    For a 35-year-old, Silicon Valley startup founder Ben Kamens has a rather intimate relationship to disease.

    Since he was a teenager, Kamens has been taking insulin to stay alive. As someone with type 1 diabetes, Kamens relies on the drug to do the work traditionally accomplished by a healthy pancreas. Each injection helps ferry the sugar from food into his body's various cells, steadying his energy levels and preventing him from falling into a coma or even dying.

    Living with the condition also gave him an appreciation for what it means to be healthy. And that awareness spurred him to create a startup called Spring Discovery that's dedicated to finding therapies designed to beat diseases like his own. 

    "Aging is the single greatest risk factor for some of the worst diseases on earth," Kamens told Business Insider.

    Indeed as we get older, the risk of many diseases ranging from cancer to heart disease to Alzheimer's skyrockets. Age is also a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, which most often develops after age 45. Kamens sees his company as an engine whose job is to shed light on what changes in our cells and tissues as we age so we can discover new therapies that reverse those changes.

    By combining a team of engineers trained in machine learning and artificial intelligence with scientists whose backgrounds include stem cell biology, regenerative medicine, genetics, neuroscience, and dermatology, Kamens believes they'll make discoveries more quickly.

    Read more:The best ways to counter the negative effects of aging and live a long time — starting right now

    Until recently, Kamens' anti-aging startup remained fairly quiet. With only $4 million in funding, it paled in comparison to BioAge Labs, which has raised $11 million, and Google spinoff Calico. But the most recent round brings Spring to $22 million in total funding.

    The fresh $18 million comes chiefly from First Round Capital, the venture firm behind startups like Square and Flatiron Health, and General Catalyst, which backed Snap and e-commerce site Jet. Other new funders include Beijing-based ZhenFund, which joins existing big-name backers like Laura Deming's Longevity Fund and boutique Silicon Valley venture firm Felicis. 

    The quest to live longer and better has given us a handful of tools

    Rhesus MacaqueIn Silicon Valley, aging is considered a collective battle. Dozens of startup founders with diverse backgrounds have told Business Insider that they believe defeating aging is our generation's prime directive.

    Kamens himself was the first hire and former lead engineer at Silicon Valley education startup Khan Academy.

    Funding in the field is at an all-time high: so far this year, investors have poured $850 million into the anti-aging field, according to a recent CB Insights report. Before 2016, almost no one was investing in anti-aging research, the authors of the report concluded.

    Studying what causes aging, and then designing therapies that could stop it, is incredibly tough. Humans take a long time to grow frail, and that's a reality that includes the researchers who are trying to beat it.

    Read more:Tech elites are paying $7,000 to freeze stem cells from liposuctioned fat as a 'back up' for a longer life

    So instead of studying only people, researchers also analyze human cells, along with a host of animals ranging from insects to mice to monkeys. In those creatures, scientists have been able to successfully slow the aging process using a handful of rough techniques.

    That's helped generate what Kamens likes to call "an un-ignorable amount of evidence" that we can slow the biological processes of aging in animals using those techniques, which include the following:

    Read more: A controversial startup that charges $8,000 to fill your veins with young blood is opening its first clinic

    Problem is, these tools don't illuminate the true causes of aging or really show us much about how to beat it.

    "All of these interventions are pretty raw — they're crude — and often times no one knows why they're getting the results they're getting," Kamens said.

    What Spring brings to the table

    spring discovery team photoKamens' leadership and advisory teams include top-flight scientists from universities like Harvard, Stanford, and the University of California at Berkeley, as well as researchers from Google and pharmaceutical giants like Amgen.

    With the new money, Spring Discovery is expanding its laboratory in San Carlos, Calif, Kamens told Business Insider. The space is currently equipped to run full experiments on biological materials including human cells and mice. Kamens is also planning to hire roughly 20 new team members over the next two years, roughly tripling their current staff.

    Kamen's advisors include Elad Gil, the serial entrepreneur behind genetics startup Color Genomics, along with Sasha Kamb, the head of neuroscience discovery at the drug giant Amgen and Y Combinator partner Sam Altman. His leadership team includes biologists from Berkeley and senior engineers from Google and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

    In addition, Silicon Valley startup prodigy Laura Deming, the person behind the only venture fund in the Valley that's entirely devoted to anti-aging, helped train Kamens and some of his team by way of her own longevity accelerator program. 

    "Laura was a huge source of inspiration," Kamens said. "She changed my life."

    Read more:40 AND UNDER: The Silicon Valley biotech stars who are backing startups aiming to cure disease, prolong life, and fix the food system

    Despite their star-studded credentials, Kamens acknowledged that aging research happens slowly and that his team has a lot of work to do. He views their efforts in aging as akin to the early work done to illuminate the causes of diabetes.

    At first when scientists had no idea what caused the disease, a team of researchers simply took out an animal's pancreas. Then, slowly, they added it — piece by piece — back to its body until they realized that it was the organ's inability to make insulin that was causing problems.

    Studying aging is a bit like studying diabetes back then, he said. 

    "We all see the potential to make real progress," Kamens said, "and we're speeding towards it as fast as we can."

    SEE ALSO: The best ways to counter the negative effects of aging and live a long time — starting right now

    DON'T MISS: Tech elites are paying $7,000 to freeze stem cells from liposuctioned fat as a 'back up' for a longer life

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: There's a shady market for breast milk in the US where parents risk buying contaminated milk

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    sudip bose portrait

    • Dr. Sudip Bose is a clinical professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.
    • Whenever he faces a new group of students, he asks them the same question: How do you learn best?
    • In medical school, he says, the stakes are higher than ever — you're learning not just to pass a test, but to save lives. You can't forget the information.

    As a medical-school professor, I ask the same question every time I face a new group of students: How do you learn best?

    Usually, the students tell me about the techniques they used in undergraduate school, where the vast majority finished at or near the top of their class. Most are confident that the same approaches will work in medical school.

    I then make three points.

    First, the amount of material that students must master in medical school is exponentially higher than even the most demanding undergraduate curriculums. Day after day, you're presented with more information to digest. It's truly like drinking from a fire hose. Your old study habits may not suffice. Keep an open mind to better techniques.

    Second, you're not studying to pass a test — you're studying to diagnose and treat patients and, ultimately, save lives. It's not permissible to forget half the material a year later. You must find a way to permanently encode the material in your brain.

    Third, you can never stop learning. Medicine advances at an unrelenting pace. By learning how to learn, you'll be able to stay current in your specialty and be the best doctor you can be for your entire career.

    Read more:I'm an ER doctor who runs my own company, and my best health advice and business advice is the same

    I feel that I can speak with some authority to students on learning. In 2002, I achieved a nearly perfect score on the medical-board exam, outscoring 3,650 other test-takers.

    Here are some of the techniques I used in medical school and continue to use today:

    Deliberately spaced repetition. Pulling an all-nighter may get you through tomorrow's exam, but you'll probably forget much of the information in a few weeks. The best way to permanently learn material is to review it while it's still fresh in your memory — and do that several times at ever increasing intervals. Don't wait until you've forgotten the material to review. In essence, you'll be starting all over again.

    Alternate materials to be learned. Let's say you have three chapters to learn. The logical approach — master one chapter and then move on to the next — is not the most efficient. A better way is to intersperse the chapters, especially if the topics build upon each other.

    So rather than studying the three chapters in a strict order (like 111222333), it's better to go back and forth and sequence your studying (like 123231213). You'll retain more, connect the dots between chapters, and be more engaged.

    Read more:I turned the 3-step process that saves lives in the ER into a system that helps me solve problems as a CEO

    Active learning and testing. When you read a chapter or reread your class notes, you're learning in a passive manner. Sure, if you concentrate well, you'll retain some of the information — but in many cases the material blends into a murky mess in your mind.

    The solution is to take a more active approach to learning. Try this:

    • As you read, write down key pieces of information and then create questions based on that material. Review the questions and answers periodically, making sure to mix up the order of the questions.
    • Create acronyms to help you remember. For instance, the acronym SCALP can be used to remember the layers of the scalp: S is skin, C is connective tissue, A is aponeurotic layer, L is loose connective tissue, and P is pericranium.
    • Make the material important in your mind. Think of a patient with a condition that necessitates understanding the information you're trying to memorize.

    These techniques served me well in medical school, and they serve me well today in keeping up with advances in emergency care, understanding business issues, and even doing everyday activities like remembering people's names.

    Learning to learn is an incredibly valuable life skill. It's not only vital for students — it's the foundation for growth and achievement throughout one's life.

    Bose was accepted into medical school directly out of high school through the Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University, getting his MD at 25. At 28, he was named an assistant clinical professor of emergency medicine at Texas A&M, making him one of the youngest medical-school professors in the country. Later, while serving on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago as an associate clinical professor, Bose cofounded several leading medical-education companies.

    He is currently a clinical professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

    SEE ALSO: A doctor who achieved a near-perfect score on the medical-board exam shares his 6 best strategies to memorize any kind of information

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    • Planning a wedding can be hard, especially if you have a large group of guests.
    • INSIDER asked some chefs which wedding dish they would most like to ban from the menu.
    • You don't want to have garlic breath at a wedding.

    A wedding often involves a large group of guests, meaning tough decisions about which menu items to include.

    Because these difficult choices shouldn’t be made without some professional guidance, we asked a group of chefs to name the dish they’d most like to ban from wedding menus for good. Here are seven wedding eats that deserve to be crossed off your list.

    Salads with "delicate greens" like mesclun or baby lettuces don't last long once dressing comes into play.

    If you're serving salad at your reception, you'll probably have pre-dressed greens offered up to your guests. However, as wedding dinner services tend to take a while, focus on hearty greens that hold up over time and won't wilt once the dressing is applied.

    Steve Fortunato, the CEO and founder of Los Angeles-based caterers Hospitality Collaborative, told INSIDER that "if you want a salad at your wedding, steer clear of 'spring greens' or 'baby lettuces.' [Stay away from] delicate greens that won't hold dressing for 10 or 15 minutes without getting soggy. Choose a more robust leaf instead, like bibb lettuces or romaine hearts."

    "Family-style" dishes sound like a fun choice, until you wind up with overcrowded tables.

    Communal spreads are very popular in today's dining scene, and the trend definitely extends to wedding receptions. While the “sharing is caring” vibe of family-style seems like an appropriate fit for an occasion like a wedding, the chaos that ensues is rarely worth the trouble.

    "We’ve seen hundreds of weddings that demanded family-style, spent thousands on their floral arrangements, and then watched guests move the centerpieces on the floor so they could navigate all the platters of food easier," Fortunato said.

    "If you want to have that communal ‘family style’ experience, a small tweak [like] plating the main courses [individually] and having a few family-style side dishes makes all the difference in the world."


    Delicious though it may be, garlic can cause some friction between couples on the dance floor.

    While garlic adds bold and vibrant flavor to dishes, it's no secret that it has a pungent effect on your breath. For that reason, Los Angeles-based private chef Ed Brik recommends avoiding the ingredient when planning your wedding menu.

    "[I once] catered a wedding, and the father of the bride kept saying that he loved garlic and definitely wanted to include garlic in the chicken [option] for the main course. [I suggested] that garlic should not be added to the chicken because garlic can cause bad breath, and it can leave a bad aftertaste. That's the last thing people want at a wedding. [I was ultimately able to convince] the father to change the main dish to roasted chicken, [which worked much better]," Brik told INSIDER.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Walmart has been on an online brands binge for several years now.
    • Bonobos, ModCloth, and are just a few of the brands the retail giant has snapped up since 2010.
    • Walmart's pivot toward digital-native companies likely indicates its outlook on the future of retail.

    Walmart has been devouring online retailer after online retailer for the past few years.

    So what's behind this banquet of brands? The fact that many of the acquired companies belong to the realm of e-commerce indicates that this is all part of Walmart's ongoing battle with Amazon.

    But it's also about appealing to the younger, more affluent generation of consumers that flocks to brands like Bonobos and ModCloth.

    Read more: Walmart wants to win over millennials, but it might have to acquire '40 to 50' brands to do so

    A Walmart spokesperson previously told Business Insider that "one of the drivers for customers to continue coming back to your brand is going to be finding products and experiences that they just can't get anywhere else."

    So the future isn't just about being online — it's also about having products that exude exclusivity and set you apart from the competition.

    Business Insider previously reported on a note from financial services firm Cowen and Company that said Walmart's e-commerce president and CEO Marc Lore believes the retail giant needs to acquire 40 to 50 "successful digitally native retailers" in order to "resonate with millennials."

    So despite the spate of acquisitions, Walmart still has a long way to go, at least by Cowen and Company's estimate.

    Here's a look at the slew of digitally oriented brands that Walmart has scooped up in recent years:

    SEE ALSO: After wrangling with Amazon, Bernie Sanders has set his sights on Walmart

    DON'T MISS: Walmart CEO reveals why Trump's trade war with China still has him worried over rising prices

    SEE ALSO: Furious Walmart shoppers are complaining that hot video game deals sold out seconds into Cyber Monday


    Walmart acquired streaming and media company Vudu back in 2010, most likely in a move to compete with Amazon.

    This fall, Walmart entered into a partnership with MGM Holdings and interactive video startup Eko, in the hopes of creating more original content for the site.


    Kosmix — the original name of what has since become Walmart Labs — is another one of Walmart's early digital acquisitions.

    The retailer scooped up the social media startup for a cool $300 million in 2011.

    The $3.3 billion acquisition of in August 2016 further propelled Walmart to a larger claim within the realm of online commerce. The purchase was largely seen as Walmart's bid to compete with Amazon in the e-commerce space.

    As an added bonus, Walmart acquired Omaha-based online retailer Hayneedle through its purchase of The Omaha World-Herald speculated that Hayneedle would help Walmart play "online catch-up" with Amazon.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    car headlights

    • AAA investigated degraded car headlights and found that they can greatly reduce the amount of light projected at night.
    • Repairs range from less than $100 for a DIY job to around $450 for a full replacement with original equipment.
    • AAA recommends that driver's routinely examine their headlights for signs of degradation.

    Car owners routinely worry about everything from check engine lights to squeaky brakes, but they could be overlooking a more serious, silent problem.

    AAA investigated the culprit: headlights that are past their prime.

    "New research from AAA reveals that clouded or yellowed headlights generate only 20 percent of the amount of light that new headlights do, leading to dangerous nighttime driving conditions," AAA said in a statement.

    "This decrease is caused by sunlight damage to protective plastic coatings, resulting in discoloration that considerably diminishes the headlight’s ability to provide adequate light on dark roadways. With 50 percent of crashes occurring at night, AAA urges drivers to check their headlights for signs of deterioration and invest in new headlights or, at a minimum, a low-cost service to boost the safety of driving after dark."

    Many people are already disadvantaged when it comes to their subpar headlights.

    "Walk through any parking lot and it is evident that deteriorated headlights are a problem for most vehicle owners," Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations, said in a statement. "Headlights on the road in the US, even when new, don't produce a sufficient amount of lighting, so any reduction in performance is a real safety issue."

    New is best, but refurbished is better than nothing

    Deteriorated Headlight

    The best solution is a complete headlight upgrade; AAA estimated that it would cost about $430 to replace degraded headlights with top-quality original equipment, restoring 100% of functionality. Cheaper, aftermarket headlights would run about $230 for certified units and roughly $200 for non-certified, again at the upper end, and would return 80%-90% of original capability.

    But even sub-$100 refurbishments, either professionally handled or done by the owner, would bring back 70% of a headlight's illuminating power.

    I've personally owned quite a few cars and have seen the headlights degrade literally in front on my own eyes. My 2011 Prius is due for at least a refurbishment, in fact. Given that I drive brand-new vehicles all the time, I can witness the difference between headlights that perform as advertised and ones that don't — and the difference can be dramatic.

    "Unlike batteries or tires, most drivers are not in the habit of routinely inspecting their headlights," AAA said.

    The organization "suggests drivers check their headlights for changes in appearance such as yellowing or clouding and if the bulb is difficult to see, it is time to have the lenses replaced or restored as soon as possible."

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

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    John Kelly

    • President Donald Trump's third chief of staff will likely face a strenuous time in the White House amid a key point in the Russia investigations.
    • The highly publicized nature of the job and the potential for a highly publicized fallout adds more pressure to a potential successor.
    • Several candidates have been mentioned as potential successors — some more outside the box than others.

    After news broke that John Kelly, the former US Marine Corps general who became President Donald Trump's second chief of staff, would leave the White House by the end of the year, the focus shifted to who could be next.

    Trump's first pick, Mike Pence's chief of staff Nick Ayers, already turned the job down (and said he'll leave Pence's side next year), leaving Trump in a more challenging hunt than expected for a replacement.

    Here are a few candidates that have been thrown around in the last few days as potential Kelly successors:

    SEE ALSO: Nick Ayers will not replace White House chief of staff John Kelly as suspected

    Mark Meadows

    Trump has asked close advisers what they think of Rep. Mark Meadows as a potential replacement for Kelly, Axios reported on Sunday.

    Meadows, chairman of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus and representative from North Carolina, told Politico that serving as Trump's chief of staff "would be an incredible honor."

    "The President has a long list of qualified candidates and I know he'll make the best selection for his administration and for the country," said Meadows, who has already been a close adviser to the president.

    Robert Lighthizer

    Robert Lighthizer, the current US Trade Representative, was also reportedly among the names Trump floated around. However, The Washington Post reported that some in the White House are reluctant to move Lighthizer from his key role in China trade negotiations. 

    Lighthizer, who landed in the Trump White House in May 2017, said in a Sunday interview with CBS's "Face the Nation" that he believes Kelly has "done a great job for the president." 

    When asked if he would want the role of chief of staff, Lighthizer said "the president has given me what is a very difficult job," adding that he has not been approached by anyone in the White House for the chief of staff job. 

    "I haven't spoken to anyone," he said. "I'm entirely focused on what I'm trying to do, and it's difficult enough."

    Steven Mnuchin

    Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, has also been floated around as a potential chief of staff, according to Reuters.

    Reuters reported that Mnuchin, who has served the administration since February 2017, sees his role as Treasury secretary as best suited to help the president. However, The Washington Post reported that Mnuchin might change his mind and take the chief of staff position if Trump pleads with him. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    iphone x android notches

    Ad fraud remains rampant, continuing to eat into an increasing share of marketers' ad dollars and cheat publishers out of revenue.

    Click farms, botnets, and domain spoofing are infiltrating everything from websites and video inventory to over-the-top and connected devices and mobile apps.

    But the fastest-growing ad fraud issue in 2018 was in-app ad fraud on mobile devices. Verification company DoubleVerify's Fraud Lab said it saw an 800% increase year over year in the number of fraud attempts that it blocked. (The company wouldn't give raw numbers.)

    Click hereto read more about the growing problems with in-app ad fraud.

    In other news:

    WPP CEO unveiled a three-year plan to restructure the holding company to prepare for rapid changes in the industry, reports The Wall Street Journal. Among other cost-saving measures, WPP will cut its workforce by 3,500 but pump money into creative leadership.

    With digital ad revenue dwindling, media companies are taking another stab at selling their tech to publishers.New York Media is working with to power blockchain-based development in its CMS.

    'Giving stuff away for free won't work' for Victoria's Secret and Pink.Victoria's Secret’s Pink is running aggressive promotions that are pulling demand forward and hurting long-term pricing power, according to a note from Jefferies analyst Randal Konik.

    Some apps can track your phone's location more than 14,000 times a day — here's how to turn that off if you own an iPhone or Android. An investigation by The New York Times found that a huge number of apps track granular data, which is sometimes sold to companies for purposes like targeted advertising.

    Streaming-news service Cheddar is making its content available on Magic Leap augmented reality devices, reports Axios.The content will be the same as the channels outside of the AR environment for now, but the company might experiment with creating custom content specifically for Magic Leap in the future.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Google employees

    • On Monday, Google announced that it would be shutting down Google+ four months early in April 2019 after another bug was discovered.
    • The company said 52.5 million users were affected by this issue, which exposed information including names, email addresses, occupations, and ages, between November 7 and November 13.
    • Between 2015 and 2018, Google+ had a similar bug, which Google announced in October. It prompted the company to plan to shut down the social network in August 2019.
    • Here's how to quickly check if you have a Google Plus account, and how to delete it early.

    After The Wall Street Journal reported in October that Google accidentally exposed the private information of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users over three years, you might not feel so comfortable having a Google+ account anymore, even though Google plans to shut down the social network.

    On Monday, Google announced that it would be shutting down Google+ four months early after another bug involving user data was discovered in November.

    The company said 52.5 million users were affected by this issue, which exposed information including names, email addresses, occupations, and ages, between November 7 and November 13. Google said it has fixed the bug and will begin contacting those whose information has been compromised.

    Previously, Google said it was shutting down the social network in August 2019. Now, that sunset date has moved up four months to April.

    Created in 2011, Google+ never seemed to gain much traction in the social-media sphere, and Google eventually turned it into the underlying account infrastructure connecting its various Google software products, so you might not even realize you're a member. But it's likely that you are — if you have a Google account, you've probably been given a Google+ account by default.

    If you want to jump ship before Google formally shuts down the social network, there's an easy way to check whether you're signed up — and delete your account.

    First, make sure you're signed into Google, then go to or the Google homepage. Next, click on your profile picture in the top-right corner.

    Next, check to see whether there's a link that says "Google+ Profile" beneath your name and email address in that window. If the link shows up, you have a Google+ account. Click it to go to your profile.

    Once you're at your Google+ profile, click "settings" on the left side of the page.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The latest destroyer Izumo of Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) is seen trough the cherry blossoms in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

    • Japan has unveiled plans for its first aircraft carrier since the end of World War II.
    • The country intends to upgrade the Izumo, a 19,500-ton flat-topped destroyer capable of carrying up to 14 helicopters, to accommodate short-takeoff aircraft, like the F-35B.
    • Japan had one of the world's most powerful carrier forces at the start of World War II, but by the end of the conflict, the US Navy had sunk the Japanese fleet.

    Japan unveiled plans to develop the country's first aircraft carrier in over seven decades on Tuesday.

    The Japanese government wants to "enable fighter jets to be operated from existing warships," the draft guidelines explained, according to the Associated Press.

    Japan revealed Tuesday an intention to upgrade its largest post-war naval vessel, the flat-topped Izumo helicopter destroyer, to accommodate short-takeoff fighter jets such as the B variant of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, which has been launched from the deck of an amphibious assault ship.

    Media reports from the end of November suggested that Japan, facing Chinese assertiveness and increased pressure from the Trump administration to buy more US weapons and combat systems, is considering purchasing as many as 100 F-35 stealth fighters.

    "With short take-off vertical landing capability you are now able to operate at sea," a source with knowledge of the plans told CNN late last month. "You are able to penetrate areas and reach ranges in a shorter distance which is an important capability."

    Japan's pacifist constitution prohibits the possession of "attack aircraft carriers," but the defense ministry argues that the proposed plans do not run afoul of the law. "The Izumo was originally designed as a multipurpose escort ship, so it wouldn’t pose any threat to other countries if fighter jets are deployed on it," Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya explained to reporters, according to Kyodo News.

    Japan has a total of four helicopter destroyers, among which are two Izumo-class destroyers that could be quickly converted to serve as aircraft carriers. While Japan once had one of the largest and most powerful carrier forces, the country has not had an aircraft carrier since the end of World War II, during which US Navy ships and fighters sank Japan's aircraft carriers.

    The decision to strengthen Japan's maritime combat capabilities comes as China expands its power at sea, rapidly expanding both its naval and air assets to assert dominance over contested areas such as the East China Sea, where Japanese interests are increasingly vulnerable.

    China is in the process of building a carrier force. The country has one operational carrier, another undergoing sea trials, and a third ship in development.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    kendall jenner british fashion awards.JPG

    • Kendall Jenner freed the nipple in a sheer long-sleeved dress at the British Fashion Awards on Monday.
    • The model has been a longtime fan of nude illusion looks, which has been one of 2018's biggest fashion trends.
    • Jenner wore the "naked" fashion trend several times this year.
    • At the Cannes Film Festival in May, the model wore two see-through dresses back to back.

    Kendall Jenner turned to one of her go-to styles of 2018 at the British Fashion Awards on Monday.

    The model walked the red carpet in a sheer long-sleeved dress from Julien Macdonald's Spring/Summer 2019 collection.

    Opting to go braless, Jenner freed the nipple in the embellished design, which features padded structured shoulders and a hip-high slit on the left side. The reality TV star completed the look with beige Gianvito Rossi heels and gold square earrings.

    kendall jenner naked dress trend copy

    Jenner has been a longtime fan of "naked" fashion, which swept Hollywood in 2018.

    Read more: From bike shorts to 'naked' fashion, here are 5 trends celebrities have made popular in 2018

    In the past year alone, the model has freed the nipple in several memorable sheer looks. Most recently, Jenner attended Longchamp's 70th anniversary party in September in a long-sleeved see-through dress covered in the brand's iconic racing horse logo.

    kendall jenner copy

    Earlier this year, Jenner also wore two different sheer looks during the Cannes Film Festival in May.

    First, the model went braless under a see-through metallic green minidress at the Chopard Secret Night party on May 11.

    kendall jenner chopard party see through dress

    The following day, Jenner ditched her bra again in a gauzy gown at the screening of Eva Husson's "Les filles du soleil" ("Girls Of The Sun").

    kendall jenner 2018 naked fashion copy

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    Read more:

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

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    This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence IoT Briefing subscribers hours before it appeared on Business Insider. To be the first to know, please click here.

    Leading South Korean telecom operator SK Telecom announced a new partnership with Hyundai Construction Equipment and geolocation software company Trimble to use 5G networks to monitor construction equipment, according to ZDNet.

    5G NB-IoT to Emerge As Main Challengers to LTE in Facilitating IoT

    The new collaboration will allow the companies to jointly develop solutions for Hyundai’s construction machinery to enable enhanced monitoring and improved safety protocols at construction sites, while also laying the groundwork for AI-based tools in the coming years.

    The companies plan to use the next-generation cellular connectivity in a number of construction applications:

    • The partners will design tools and sensors that will be integrated into Hyundai’s equipment — primarily excavators and forklifts — for increased safety protocols.The equipment will feature connected sensors that will be able to interface with either local edge computing systems or cloud-based platforms using 5G’s low-latency communication capabilities to monitor activities and send out alerts when dangerous situations are developing.
    • Once connected equipment is deployed in larger numbers, they’ll also be able to start detecting defects in machinery. This requires large amounts of historical data to show what conditions are indicative of defects or are prone to lead to breakdowns, which the devices can collect. Having this information will lead to savings for Hyundai as well as its customers, as they’ll be able to spot issues earlier and rectify them before they lead to actual problems on-site.
    • The long-term aim of this collaboration is to incorporate AI into the construction planning and operations process. An AI system would be able to design and price a job based on historical data very quickly, for example, eliminating the need for an employee to review and draft up a design and estimate. Trimble is also working on tools to incorporate drone-based measurements and observations into this system that the AI would be able to use to optimize construction operations.

    The advent of 5G networks — which will go live in parts of the world in early 2019 — will enable a variety of new practices taking advantage connected IoT sensors. Construction is one area where telecoms will be able to work with equipment manufacturers or other involved parties to deploy 5G-enabled solutions.

    In addition to the use cases listed above, 5G-enabled cameras will be able to stream video data to a cloud-based AI in real time to improve safety by tracking worker and equipment locations. And companies will be able to use those cloud-based analytics platforms to automate things like automatic safety shutdown protocols to prevent accidents.

    The deployment of 5G networks will allow telecoms to become more active partners in a wider variety of IoT segments, and they’re in a prime position to take advantage by offering simple plans that combine connectivity and cloud-based services through one vendor.

    Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

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    SEE ALSO: Sprint is dipping its toes into in-home broadband

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    Vietnam Vet

    • The Senate failed to pass a bill Monday that would extend Veterans Affairs benefits to thousands of Navy veterans who were potentially exposed to Agent Orange.
    • H.R. 299 passed the House of Representatives in a unanimous vote, but has stalled in the Senate due to concerns over the bill's cost.
    • The VA has estimated that the bill would cost some $5.5 million, and has also argued that the addition of thousands of beneficiaries would exacerbate its current backlog.
    • Sen. Mike Enzi cited these concerns when he objected to the bill's unanimous passage on Monday night. 

    On Monday night, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand went to the floor of the Senate to ask her colleagues for unanimous consent to pass H.R. 299, known as the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act.

    The act, which passed in the House of Representatives with a unanimous vote, would extend Veterans Affairs benefits to veterans who served in warships off the coast of Vietnam and were exposed to toxic Agent Orange. 

    Read more:43 years after the Vietnam war, many Navy veterans are still battling for benefits for potential Agent Orange exposure  

    If successful, Gillibrand's request would have expedited the bill's passage — but one senator, Republican Mike Enzi of Wyoming, objected, according to Stars & Stripes.

    "On this bill, many of us have been made aware of the potential cost growth and the budgetary and operational pressures that would happen at the VA,"he said. "They're having a lot of problems, anyway."

    The VA has estimated that the bill would cost the bureau $5.5 million over the course of 10 years. But the Congressional Budget Office has previously estimated it would cost a fraction of that amount — $1.1 million. Regardless of cost, some senators, backed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, view the bill as an obligation.

    "If we can afford to send veterans to war, it's unacceptable that we can't afford to take care of them when they return home wounded," B.J. Lawrence, national commander of the VFW, said in a statement.

    Sen. Jon Tester, the ranking Democrat on the Senate veterans affairs committee, agreed. 

    "It is our obligation to meet the needs of the folks who have sacrificed for our country," he said on the Senate floor.

    Sens. Gillibrand and Tester held a press conference Tuesday morning, calling for more support for the struggling bill. 

    "Shame on the VA for trying to muddy the waters and say 'but we don't have enough money for these veterans,'" Gillibrand said in the press conference. "Is their sacrifice no less?"

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    philips hue

    • For a long time, the idea of smart lighting — that is, light bulbs and other fixtures you can control from your phone — seemed silly to me. 
    • Once I tried smart bulbs, though, I immediately understood their benefits.
    • After setting up smart bulbs from Philips Hue in my own apartment, I could never go back to a home without smart lights.
    • Smart lights might seem costly, but they're a worthy investment that actually makes home living significantly easier and better.

    I'll just come right out and say it: Everyone should have smart lights — light bulbs and other fixtures that you can control from your phone. 

    Whether you're actually trying to build a "smart home," or you just want to make a simple upgrade to your living space, smart lights are a worthy investment. And having tried the popular smart lights from Philips Hue, I can easily recommend them for just about anyone.

    Here's what it's like to set up and use Philips Hue's smart light bulbs.

    Most Philips Hue smart systems require three components: a Philips Hue bulb ...

    ... a Philips Hue Bridge, which hooks directly into your wireless router ...

    ... and the Philips Hue app, for either iOS or Android.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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

    Since you don't have all day to scour the web for noteworthy sales and discounts, we rounded up the best bargains for you to shop in one convenient place.


    1. Save $300 on a professional KitchenAid Stand Mixer at Best Buy

    Best Buy is having 20 Days of Doorbusters with sales on great items every day. Today, one of the best deals you can get is on a KitchenAid Professional 500 Series Stand Mixer. The one-quart bowl and multi-attachment hub allows home chefs to create restaurant-quality cuisine. Originally priced at $499.99, you can save $300 on it right now.

    KitchenAid Professional 500 Series Stand Mixer, $199.99 (Originally $499.99) [You save $300]


    2. Save up to 50% off outdoor gear and apparel at REI

    REI is the one-stop shop for all outdoor camping and hiking gear, and right now is the best time to save big. Now through December 16, you can save up to 50% on select clearance items. The sale includes products from top brands like Patagonia, The North Face, Columbia, Smartwool, and more. 

    Shop the REI Holiday sale now.

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    3. Save big on toys and video games at Target

    Toys are on every kid's holiday wish list — and Target has a huge selection at great prices. Right now, you can save $10 when you spend $50 or $25 when you spend $100. You can also get a free $10 gift card when you spend $50 on LEGOs and a free $50 gift card when you buy two video games. 

    Shop the Target sale now

    East Dane

    4. Save an extra 30% on sale styles at East Dane

    East Dane is an online destination for designer brands for men. Today only, you can save an extra 40% on already discounted sale styles by using the promo code "JOY18" at checkout. In total, you can save up to 65% on brands like Stüssy, Ralph Lauren, KENZO, A.P.C., Ferragamo, and many other high-end menswear brands. On top of great deals, you can use to Amazon Prime account for additional perks like free shipping. Learn more here.

    Shop the East Dane sale now.


    5. Save an extra 30% on sale styles at Shopbop

    As the sister site to East Dane, Shopbop offers a huge selection of designer apparel, shoes, bags, and accessories for women at great prices. With the same sale running today only, you can save 30% on already discounted sale styles with the promo code "JOY18" at checkout. In total, you can save up to 75%. Learn more about getting free shipping with your Amazon Prime account.

    Shop the Shopbop sale now.

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    6. Save 50% on the Instant Pot Ultra 3-Quart 10-in-1 Cooker on Amazon

    The Instant Pot developed a cult following on the Internet because of its versatility and easy-to-use functions. The 10-in-1 cooker can be used as a standard slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, warmer, and sautée pan, cake maker, egg cooker, and sterilizer. As the smallest version, the three-quart Instant Pot is perfect for cooking for couples or small families, or using in kitchens with limited counter space.

    Instant Pot Ultra 3 Quart 10-in-1 Cooker, $59.95 (Originally $119.95)[You save $60]


    7. Save 25% on footwear and apparel at Timberland

    As a tried-and-true American company, Timberland is one of the most popular boot makers around. Its line of products also extends into apparel, with everything from heavy winter outwear and sweaters. Today only, you can save 25% on boots and apparel by using the promo code "SURPRISE25" at checkout. Whether you're looking for a special release like the Midnight Countdown Collection or a classic pair of hikers, you'll find it on sale.

    Shop the Timberland sale now

    Tommy John

    8. Save 20% when you spend $100 at Tommy John

    If you're familiar with the headache that comes along with inferior undershirts, modern underwear startup Tommy John is the answer to your woes. The brand has a wide range of super comfortable underwear, undershirts, socks, dress shirts, and loungewear for men and women — and right now, you can save 20% on all orders of $100 more. 

    Shop the Tommy John sale now

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    9. Save 40% sitewide at Levi's

    When it comes to denim, Levi's is one of the most popular and deeply rooted companies in American culture. Now through December 11, you can save 40% sitewide by using the promo code "GREEN40" at checkout. You'll find selections for men, women, and children.

    Shop the Levi's Green Monday sale now.

    Bear Mattress

    10. Save up to $200 on a Bear Hybrid Mattress

    Bear revolutionized the way we sleep by creating a mattress that supports every body type and sleeping style. Today, you can save $100 on orders over $500 with promo code "HOL100" or save $200 on orders over $1,200 with promo code "HOL200" at checkout. Plus, you can save 20% on select accessories, like sheets, pillows, and mattress protectors.

    Shop the Bear Hybrid Mattress in Queen, King, and California King sizes now.

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