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The latest news from Business Insider

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    This is a preview of a detailed slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service.Click here to learn more. Current subscribers can view the deck here.

    Rising smartphone penetration, regulations pushing users away from cash, and globalization demanding faster and new ways to transact are leading to a swell in noncash payments, which Business Insider Intelligence expects to grow to 841 billion transactions by 2023.

    The Future of Payments 2018

    This shift has created a greenfield opportunity in the space. Legacy providers are working to leverage their scale as they update their infrastructure and adapt their business models. But at the same time, upstarts are using their strengths in user experience to try to disintermediate or beat out those at the forefront of the space — a dichotomy that’s creating crowding and competition.

    Digitization and crowding in the payments space will force companies that want to emerge atop the ecosystem to undergo four critical digital transformations: diversification, consolidation and collaboration, data protection, and automation. Those that do this effectively, and use these shifts as a means of achieving scale without eroding the user experience, will be in the best position to use ongoing digitization in their payments space to their advantage.

    In The Future Of Payments 2018, Business Insider Intelligence takes a look at some of the biggest problems digitization and crowding are causing for payments firms, outlines the key transformations players can make going forward to resolve them, and explores areas where firms have already begun to use these transformations to their advantage.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    walmart gift card

    • Some shoppers found an extra item in their orders.
    • They got a Walmart gift card with nothing on it, which could then be loaded with money online and given as a gift.
    • "Unloaded gift cards are another way that we can make gift gifting easier for our customers," a Walmart spokesperson said to Business Insider.

    Some shoppers found an extra item in their orders this holiday.

    Unbidden, the store slipped in an empty Walmart gift card in some orders. The idea is the card could then be loaded with any amount desired online and then given as a last-minute gift.

    "Unloaded gift cards are another way that we can make gift gifting easier for our customers," a Walmart spokesperson said to Business Insider. 

    For customers who don't want them, the gift cards are simply worthless pieces of plastic that can be thrown away. Walmart did the same thing for some holiday orders last year.

    Read more: Walmart reveals the most bizarre top-selling items of 2018 in every state

    Gift cards are, of course, a top gift for the holidays every year, and they are probably the best thing you can do as a last-minute gesture. By offering this added convenience to customers, Walmart is making it that much more likely that customers will spend just a little more with the retailer this year.

    There's also the advantage of it being a physical card, which is easier to give as a gift. Even if customers don't take advantage of it, the cards are relatively cheap to create, so Walmart doesn't lose much. 

    SEE ALSO: Shoppers trust Amazon, and it has completely changed the way last-minute holiday shopping is done

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

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    love actually

    • Different countries have different favourite Christmas films.
    • Here are five festive favourites from around the world. 

    There's nothing like sitting down in front of your favourite festive film at Christmas time. People may disagree about what the ultimate Christmas film is, but in the UK, "Love Actually" is often hailed as one of the top ones.

    Around the world, people have different cult classics they like to settle down with. Language experts at Babbel came up with a list of five foreign holiday films you could try out this year. 

    Whether you're into romantic comedies or historical dramas, there's something for everyone, they say.

    Scroll down to find your new Christmas favourite. 

    Eastern Europe — Tři Oříšky pro Popelku (Three Wishes for Cinderella)

    According to Babbel's experts, this film is like Cinderella, but better. The film was originally released in both Czech and German — "Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel"— in 1973, and has become a seasonal tradition in Eastern Europe. It's broadcast every Christmas Eve in Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Czechia.

    The storyline is the same as Disney's "Cinderella" you may be familiar with, except instead of a Fairy Godmother, three hazelnuts grant Cinderella's wishes.

    Germany — Alles ist Liebe (All is Love)

    "Alles ist Liebe" is Europe's response to Love Actually. It's the story of ten men and women in Frankfurt whose stories intersect during the Christmas season. It was released in 2014, seven years after "Alles is Liefde," which is a Dutch reinterpretation of Love Actually. Babbel's experts say you could argue Love Actually created its own genre of international film.

    France — Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas)

    This film is famous for the scene where Wilhelm, the German Crown Prince, sent an opera singer to the front lines and brought WW1 to a standstill on 25th December 1914. It follows the lives of six soldiers on various sides of the war, and highlights the inhumanity of battle. It was nominated for best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    grey goose summer martini

    • There's a right way to make a vodka Martini — and it's not the way James Bond told you.
    • Business Insider spoke to Francois Thibault, cellar master at Grey Goose vodka who taught us how to do it properly.
    • Thilbault told us that you should always have your Martini stirred, not shaken because it dilutes the mixture too much.
    • He also said that you shouldn't store your vodka in the freezer, unless it's not very good.
    • You can see his recipe in full below.

    Francois Thibault is a man who knows a lot about the spirits industry.

    Born into a wine-growing family in France's Cognac region, it seemed only natural that he would train as a cellar master and go into the brandy business that the area is so famous for.

    What wasn't so expected, however, was that Thibault would eventually help develop one of the world's most popular vodkas — Grey Goose.

    The Frenchman was approached by American billionaire Sidney Frank (the man behind Jägermaster) in 1997, who asked him to plug the gap in high-end vodka — and he has remained the cellar master ever since.

    Thibault doesn't think the transition is that strange, though.

    "I believe that I haven't changed my job, coming from a Cognac house to develop vodka," Thibault told Business Insider.

    "I've simply adapted myself to a different type of ingredient but still applied the same rules.

    "I've swapped the grapes for the grain of wheat."

    Francois Thibault Grey Goose cellar master

    Business Insider asked Thibault about his favourite cocktail, the martini, which he described as "the perfect cocktail to compare different vodkas."

    He told us how best to prepare and serve the perfect vodka martini — and it seems James Bond's old adage of "shaken not stirred" may not have been so wise after all.

    Thibault says you should always have your martini stirred, not shaken.

    This is because when you shake your martini you also break up the ice in the mixer, which thereby dilutes the mixture much more than stirring.

    "On the palate, we feel this dilution remarkably. There's also a lot of oxygen that enters the spirit while shaken," Thibault says.

    "You want your martini to stay as fluid and silky as possible without too much dilution and too much contact with oxygen."

    Thibaut recommends 20 seconds of stirring — no more.

    Finish with a twist of lemon zest — just make sure you remove the white pith, which tastes very bitter.

    You can see Thibault's recipe in full below.


    • 50ml Grey Goose vodka
    • 10ml Chilled Noilly Prat dry vermouth
    • Dash of orange bitters
    • Lemon zest to garnish


    1. Add Grey Goose and vermouth to a mixing glass filled with ice.
    2. Stir deliberately and strain into a chilled martini glass.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best bars in the world in 2018

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: History of the Christmas tree: Evergreens were sacred to ancient Egyptians. Then people started decorating them.

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    • After a shaky start, wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers have gained traction in healthcare, with US consumer use jumping from 9% in 2014 to 33% in 2018.
    • More than 80% of consumers are willing to wear tech that measures health data — and penetration should continue to climb.
    • The maturation of the wearable market will put more wearables in the hands of consumers and US businesses.

    The US healthcare industry as it exists today is not sustainable. An aging patient population and rising burden of chronic disease have caused healthcare costs to skyrocket and left providers struggling to keep up with demand for care. 

    FORECAST: Fitness Tracker and Health-Based Wearable Installed Base

    Meanwhile, digital technologies in nearly every consumer experience outside of healthcare have raised patients’ expectations for good service to be higher than ever.

    One of the key mechanisms through which healthcare providers can finally evolve their outdated practices and exceed these expectations is wearable technology.

    Presently, 33% of US consumers have adopted wearables, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, to play a more active role in managing their health. In turn, insurers, providers, and employers are poised to become just as active leveraging these devices – and the data they capture – to abandon the traditional reimbursement model and improve patient outcomes with personalized, value-based care.

    Adoption is going to keep climbing, as more than 80% of consumers are willing to wear tech that measures health data, according to Accenture — though they have reservations about who exactly should access it.

    A new report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, follows the growing adoption of wearables and breadth of functions they offer to outline how healthcare organizations and stakeholders can overcome this challenge and add greater value with wearable technology.

    For insurers, providers, and employers, wearables present three distinct opportunities:

    • Insurers can use wearable data to enhance risk assessments and drive customer lifetime value. One study shows that wearables can incentivize healthier behavior associated with a 30% reduction in risk of cardiovascular events and death.
    • Providers can use the remote patient monitoring capabilities of wearable technology to improve chronic disease management, lessen the burden of staff shortages, and navigate a changing reimbursement model. And since 90% of patients no longer feel obligated to stay with providers that don't deliver a satisfactory digital experience, wearables could help to attract and retain them.
    • Employers can combine wearables with cash incentives to lower insurance costs and improve employee productivity. For example, The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority yielded $5 million in healthcare cost savings through a wearable-based employee wellness program.

    Want to Learn More?

    The Wearables in US Healthcare Report details the current and future market landscape of wearables in the US healthcare sector. It explores the key drivers behind wearable usage by insurers, healthcare providers, and employers, and the opportunities wearables afford to each of these stakeholders. 

    By outlining a successful case study from each stakeholder, the report highlights best practices in implementing wearables to reduce healthcare claims, improve patient outcomes, and drive insurance cost savings, as well as how the evolution of the market will create new, untapped opportunities for businesses.



    Join the conversation about this story »

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    bono busking

    • Bono and The Edge from U2 went busking in Dublin on Christmas Eve.
    • The event was organized by Glen Hansard, and has become something of a tradition. 
    • Imelda May joined them for a rendition of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)".

    As has become a tradition in recent years, Bono and The Edge from U2, Glen Hansard and other musicians went busking on Christmas Eve in Dublin.

    Hansard — founder of the Dublin rock band The Frames — organized the event and sang a song which criticized how the Irish government handles homelessness.

    Any money thrown into the empty guitar case was donated to the Simon Community housing charity.

    "As the buckets go around, fill them with silver, fill them with hope — the season of hope," Bono said. "This is very special for us, you should be proud of this."

    One of the songs they sang was "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)", which Imelda May and Glen Hansard joined in with.

    bono imelda may

    The event occurred on Grafton Street, which has become a Christmas tradition. In 2013, Bono was joined by Hozier, Kodaline, and The Script, and in 2015, other friends came along.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A Harvard psychologist reveals the secret to curbing your appetite

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    Pokemon Phone Gamers

    • Lots of classic games from years past are available as free apps for iPhones and Android.
    • We've collected our favorites. 

    You've got a new phone and you want something to play on it.

    But instead of focusing on games that might cost money or are trendy now — looking at you, "Fortnite"— why not take a moment to go through the classics?

    Lots of games you may have loved in the past are available on the iPhone and Android — and they're free.

    Here are some of our favorites: 

    SEE ALSO: 3 video games that deserve a second chance


    The classic "Solitaire" that comes installed on Windows is available for both Android and iOS. Get the version that Microsoft makes. 


    "Minesweeper" is free for iOS, although you can pay $2 for a premium version on iPhones. It's also free for Android, but there are ads.


    A fully licensed "Tetris" game is free for both iPhones and Android phones

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Charcoal coconut ice cream is becoming popular in London. 
    • Over 600 scoops of it are sold every weekend.  


    A London based Filipino ice cream shop makes ice cream using fresh coconut charcoal.

    We were curious about it and went down to Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream to try it. 

    Watch the video to find out what it tastes like.   


    Produced and filmed by Amanda Villa-Lobos

    Join the conversation about this story »

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

    trust smart speaker makersSmart speakers comprise one of the fastest-growing device segments in the consumer technology market today. Ownership levels have nearly doubled from early 2017 to summer 2018. 

    With this rapid growth, there are a few pivotal questions that both companies looking to develop and sell smart speakers as well as those looking to sell products, deliver media, and offer access to services like banking over these devices need answers to in order to craft successful strategies. In particular, they need to know who is and isn’t buying smart speakers, and what consumers who own smart speakers are actually doing with them. 

    To offer these stakeholders insight, Business Insider Intelligence asked more than 500 US consumers about their knowledge of smart speakers, the devices they do or don’t own and what led them to their purchase decisions, as well as the tasks they’re using their smart speakers for.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence will look at the state of the smart speaker market and outline how each of the major device providers approaches the space. We will then focus on the key factors that affect whether or not someone owns one of these devices. Next, we will use our survey data to outline the reasons why people don’t own devices in order to offer guidance for who to target and how. Finally, we will discuss what consumers are actually doing with their smart speakers — specifically looking at how the devices are used and perceived in e-commerce, digital media, and banking — which can help companies determine how well they’re publicizing their smart speaker services and capabilities.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung, Facebook, Sonos, LG, Anker, Spotify, Pandora, Grubhub, Netflix, Hulu, Instagram, Snap.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • Despite their growing popularity, nearly half of respondents still don't own a device — which presents a long runway for adoption. Our survey data reveals a number of key factors that impact whether or not someone owns one of these devices, including income, gender, and age.
    • Smart speakers are establishing themselves as a key platform for e-commerce, media, and the smart home.
    • The introduction of a screen to some smart speakers will expand the possibilities for companies developing for the device — but developers will need to resist the compulsion to use speakers to accomplish too much.

    In full, the report:

    • Provides an overview of the key players and products in the smart speaker market.
    • Highlights critical adoption rates broken out by key factors that define the segment.
    • Identifies how consumers are using devices in important areas where companies in various industries are trying foster greater use of the voice interface.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    royals christmas

    • The Royal Family attended the church service at Sandringham today.
    • But a few members were missing.
    • Prince Philip, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, and Doria Ragland didn't attend.

    The Queen and other members of the Royal Family arrived at Sandringham for the Christmas church service.

    Hundreds of people were waiting to watch them arrive. But a few key members of the family were missing this year.

    Prince Philip stayed at home, but is said to be in good health. The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, also didn't attend because of a heavy cold.

    Another absent family member is Meghan Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, who politely declined the invitation of spending Christmas with the Royal Family.

    Meghan Markle Doria Ragland hotel

    Meghan and Harry are staying at the main Sandringham estate with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. There was a strict protocol as to who should arrive at the estate first.

    "As with other royal engagements and visits, there's a pecking order," James Brookes, royal commentator at Royal Central, told the Express. "The more junior members of the family arrive first, with the senior royal following."

    royals christmas church

    Queen Elizabeth II had to face some rain when she left for the church service this morning.

    Queen Elizabeth Christmas

    But the skies were brighter when she arrived.

    queen happy christmas

    Despite rumors of a feud, Meghan and Kate were all smiles.

    kate meghan

    Newlyweds Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank also attended the service. 

    eugenie and jack

    As did her sister Princess Beatrice of York.


    Meghan and Kate were more than happy to meet some of the public who had been waiting patiently for them. 

    meghan publickate public

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A Harvard psychologist reveals the secret to curbing your appetite

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    Winery Image_33

    • Maximilian Riedel, CEO of glassware company Riedel, believes every wine should be decanted — even Champagne.
    • For old wines, this is because sediment settles at the bottom of the bottle.
    • For new wines, decanting helps to naturally age the wine.
    • It doesn't need to be done hours before — decanting your wine right before you drink it can still make a difference.

    When it comes to wine, what you drink it from can be just as important as what you're drinking.

    From swapping a narrow Champagne flute for a tulip-shaped one to picking the right glass for your Bordeaux, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and pinot noir, there's plenty to learn about the world of glassware.

    But one thing many people don't realise is that what you do before you drink it is also key to getting the most from your wine.

    Maximilian Riedel, CEO of glassware company Riedel, told Business Insider that he believes every wine should be decanted before you drink it — even Champagne.

    "I am a firm believer that every wine must be decanted," he said. "When I say every wine, I truly mean sparkling and still."

    A family run Austrian company that was established in 1756, Riedel is one of the world's most well-known producers of wine glasses — so Riedel himself knows a thing or two about what's best for your bottle.

    Decanting started with Champagne

    wealthy couple drink champagne

    He explained that the concept of decanting actually started with Champagne.

    "Champagne is, thanks to the second fermentation through the yeast in the bottle, the ageing process, one of those wines that in the old times had to be decanted to split the wine from the yeast," he said. With modern Champagne, however, it's done with a machine.

    "The yeast over time moves into the neck of the bottle. There it gets, nowadays, frozen, and you remove it, then you refill it with a special liqueur. Every Champagne house does this, but this is a very modern technique to remove the yeast.

    "In the old days, you bought the Champagne, took it home, then you had to gently decant it to keep the yeast in the base of the bottle."

    max riedel

    He said that despite the fact Champagne is "the most ancient thing to do," for most people it seems like something new.

    "Everyone is afraid that if you decant Champagne that you lose the bubbles, but the difference between Prosecco and Champagne, in Champagne the bubble are binded, it's not artificial. The bubbles grew up, they were bred in the bottle of Champagne, through the fermentation. With Prosecco you're just adding CO2."

    Old wines need to be decanted to get rid of sediment...

    It's well understood that wine tastes better as it ages. However, Riedel explained that with old wines, over time, sediment settles in the bottom of the bottle, so they need to be decanted.

    "People don't like the feel or taste of sediment," he said.

    Decanter_2007 01_Sommeliers_Black_Tie_4100 00

    ...But young wines need to be aged

    However, he said that nowadays "nobody can afford to drink these old wines, [so] at most restaurants the wines on average are very young.

    "Storing wine for time [also] needs space, and space has become very expensive, especially in the big cities."

    That means people are drinking young wine — and it also needs to be decanted, but for different reasons.

    "Young wine must be decanted because young wine is like a young person — they have yet to settle, they're all over the place. The only way to mature them is through time, the ageing process."

    You should even decant rosé

    rose wine

    "I am the guy who decants Champagne, white wine, red wine, and rosé wine," he said. "When I posted once on social media me decanting rose, I had a lot of questions, a lot of doubters. But people who love rose like I do know that sometimes you still have a lot of the gas that they use to kill germs etc. in wine, that sometimes the sulfate is still notable on the nose, and the only way to really get rid of it and enjoy wine that young is by decanting it."

    It doesn't need to take hours

    While he's obviously a proponent of decanting, Riedel added that you don't need to use a decanter if you have time to open a bottle of wine five to eight hours before drinking it.

    "Then you would not need a decanter because there's enough oxygen exchange with the bottle," he said.

    However, if you don't have the time to plan out your day, decanting right before you drink it will still make a difference.

    "If I now open a fresh bottle of wine and pour it into a glass, and the other one I pour into the decanter then into the glass, you, and everybody else, would notice a difference, in smell and in taste," he said. "After five hours open in the bottle, in the glass, and in the decanter, it tastes the same."

    In busy restaurants, Riedel added that the most simple way to decant is from one bottle to another. "It's very similar," he said.

    You need to pick the right one

    1950_09 Eve Decanters come in all different shapes and sizes.

    "For me when it stands on its own it's like a piece of art," Riedeil said. "There are very few art pieces you can actually use on a daily basis."

    He said that a small decanter is good for white wines, because it can fit into an ice bucket to keep the temperature.

    Meanwhile, a big decanter like his "Eve" design exists to stretch a young wine.

    "In particular wines that have power in the fruit, high in alcohol, the decanter stretches the wine and naturally matures it," he said. He explained that as the wine flows through the decanter, it "naturally ages, gets rounded, softer, brings forward the primary aroma in the wine."

    He said the more you rotate the wine through the decanter, the more oxygen you're pumping into it — which means you're naturally ageing it.

    Meanwhile, he said a decanter like this might "rip apart" an old wine.

    If you're not sure where to start, Riedel says you can even try a flower vase that has the shape of a decanter "just to try it."

    "If you really fall in love with the concept and believe it makes a different, then you can start investing money," he said. "You can go for affordable to very expensive."

    The lowest-end decanter from Riedel — its machine-made single bottle size — costs £40, while the Eve design will set you back a whopping £495.

    They're not that hard to wash

    Riedel — who is a proponent of putting wine glasses in the dishwasher — said there's nothing wrong with your decanter looking used.

    In order to wash it, however, he recommends filling the inside two to three times with warm water, then leaving it overnight to absorb the colour pixels.

    "If you want to try to avoid water stains, use a hairdryer," he added. "It sucks out the humidity."

    SEE ALSO: A wine expert says you shouldn't drink Champagne from a traditional flute — here's the glass you should use instead

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Tim Cook's estimated net worth is $625 million — here's how he makes and spends his money

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    • Artificial Christmas trees start with a steel frame and can come in different colors, tipped with "snow," or built to be several stories tall.
    • Strips of green PVC plastic are cut into needles and then attached to the frame. Lights and ornaments are added on by hand and the tree is assembled.
    • The Science Channel shows us how fake Christmas trees are made.

    The quest for the perfect tree is a rite of the holiday season, and ever since the late 19th century, people have been trying to come up with an artificial version. By the 1960s, the use of synthetics finally gave us the perfect fake fir. Today's faux firs can be several stories tall.

    These big, artificial trees start with a steel skeleton. Rollers bend steel tubing into arcs. They'll be joined to form the base of the framework. Workers weld vertical supports to the arcs, building the structure in sections. A spray of polyester powder gives the welded metal a smooth finish that's actually tougher than paint. They bake the parts to set the coating. It's time to assemble all the pieces.

    Meanwhile, a roll of green PVC plastic winds its way towards a roller equipped with many circular cutters. They slice it into a four-inch-wide strip. Each of the narrow plastic strips then goes under a roller with even more blades. They shred it into a needle-like configuration, leaving a solid spine at the center to hold the simulated needles together. An automated spool then winds up the fringed, green PVC. These artificial needles come in an assortment of colors.

    Here, streams of the fringed green and a strip of brown PVC travel over tension control guides. Steel wire unwinds and merges with the green and brown PVC. This machine twists them together. The brown strip lands at the core of the twisted fringe, creating the illusion of a stem among the needles. This twisting technology churns out a continuous supply of artificial greenery. Giant scissors slice it to the correct length.

    To make branches that appear snow-tipped, this machine twists and then frosts the PVC needles with a spray of white, latex paint.

    They use this ring fastener to crimp the artificial foliage together that will be used to cover the tree's framework. They string the lights and then plug them in to check each bulb. They also wire the ornaments to the branches. It's one less job for the customer to do.

    And now it's time to put up the tree. It has taken just one day for this artificial tree to come together, where growing a real one this size would take many years.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Nintendo Switch

    • The Nintendo Switch, the Japanese video game giant's latest console, is expected to be one of the most popular gifts of the holiday season.
    • Released in March 2017, the Switch is a hybrid console: It can be used as a handheld, or easily connected to a TV via a dock.
    • Like most modern video game consoles, the Switch also has a wide range of online and multimedia features.
    • Adults setting up parental controls for their children can use a separate app to monitor playtime and restrict inappropriate content.

    The Nintendo Switch is the fastest selling video game console of this generation, having sold more than 8.7 million units since its launch in March 2017.

    Plenty of people will be giving the console as a gift this season as well, and there are a few important things to keep in mind when first unboxing the new console. While the Switch does a good job of walking new players through the process of getting started, there are a couple of extra steps that could ultimately give you a better experience.

    Here's what you need to know to get the most out of your Nintendo Switch, and fast:

    SEE ALSO: Nintendo's Netflix-like service for classic games is a shattering disappointment, but it's so inexpensive that you should try it anyway

    SEE ALSO: 5 hidden PlayStation 4 features only power users know about

    Create a new profile for everyone who will use the Switch.

    You'll create your first user as soon as you turn the Switch on.

    If the console is being shared by family members or friend, though, its important to create a user for everyone who plans to play. Creating separate users will allow players to maintain separate save data for their games, making sure that no one accidentally erases anybody else's game. 

    The Switch will also ask users to link or create a free Nintendo account. Not every user needs their own Nintendo account — but you'll need one to buy games from the digital eShop. Users can have different Nintendo accounts on the same Switch to make their own separate purchases, if they so choose. Every user on the Switch will be able to play games that are installed under different accounts.

    Learn how to connect Switch Joy-Cons and other controllers.

    In addition to being a portable hybrid console, one of the Switch's most impressive features are its Joy-Con controllers. The Joy-Cons on the side of the Switch can be used as a pair, for a traditional gamepad experience, or on their lonesome as individual controllers. That means that you have two controllers, right out of the box — though they're a little small for most adult hands. 

    The Switch will also let other controllers, including more J0y-Cons or the official Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, connect via bluetooth or USB.

    If you have trouble connecting your controllers, or want to separate your Joy-Cons, navigate to the Change Grip menu to see exactly which controller is assigned to which player. To get there, hit the Home button on the controller, and navigate below your library of games. 

    On the main menu, the Switch will also show you which controller is being used, and which way you should be holding your Joy Con, with an icon in the lower left-hand corner.

    Some controllers and accessories that were originally designed for Nintendo's Wii U actually work with the Switch, like the "Pokken Tournament" controller and the GameCube controller adapter, which can be used to connect up to four controllers for "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate."


    Make sure your system software is up to date.

    Your system should prompt you to update as soon as you connect it to the internet. If your console isn't up to date, you'll lose access to important online features and game specific updates. Unfortunately, Nintendo's online services aren't the fastest and the updates need to be downloaded directly to the system. Expect it to get even slower than normal on Christmas morning, as every new Switch owner does the exact same thing. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Digital trust is the confidence people have in a platform to protect their information and provide a safe environment for them to create and engage with content.
    • Business Insider Intelligence surveyed over 1,300 global consumers to evaluate their perception of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
    • Consumers’ Digital Trust rankings differ across security, legitimacy, community, user experience, shareability, and relevance for the six major social networks.

    If you feel like “fake news” and spammy social media feeds dominate your Internet experience, you’re not alone. Digital trust, the confidence people have in platforms to protect their information and provide a safe environment to create and engage with content, is in jeopardy.

    Digital Trust Rankings 2018

    In fact, in a new Business Insider Intelligence survey of more than 1,300 global consumers, over half (54%) said that fake news and scams were "extremely impactful” or “very impactful” on their decision to engage with ads and sponsored content.

    For businesses, this distrust has financial ramifications. It’s no longer enough to craft a strong message; brands, marketers, and social platforms need to focus their energy on getting it to consumers in an environment where they are most receptive. When brands reach consumers on platforms that they trust, they enhance their credibility and increase the likelihood of receiving positive audience engagement.

    The Digital Trust Report 2018, the latest Enterprise Edge Report from Business Insider Intelligence, compiles this exclusive survey data to analyze consumer perceptions of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

    The survey breaks down consumers’ perceptions of social media across six pillars of trust: security, legitimacy, community, user experience, shareability, and relevance. The results? LinkedIn ran away with it.

    As the most trusted platform for the second year in a row – and an outlier in the overall survey results – LinkedIn took the top spot for nearly every pillar of trust — and there are a few reasons why:

    • LinkedIn continues to benefit from the professional nature of its community — users on the platform tend to be well behaved and have less personal information at risk, which makes for a more trusting environment.
    • LinkedIn users are likely more selective and mindful about engagement when interacting within their professional network, which may increase trust in its content.
    • Content on LinkedIn is typically published by career-minded individuals and organizations seeking to promote professional interests, and is therefore seen as higher quality than other platforms’. This bodes well for advertisers and publishers to be viewed as forthright, honest, persuasive, and trustworthy.

    Want to Learn More?

    Enterprise Edge Reports are the very best research Business Insider Intelligence has to offer in terms of actionable recommendations and proprietary data, and they are only available to Enterprise clients.

    The Digital Trust Report 2018 illustrates how social platforms have been on a roller coaster ride of data, user privacy, and brand safety scandals since our first installment of the report in 2017.

    In full, the report analyzes key changes in rankings from 2017, identifies trends in millennials' behavior on social media, and highlights where these platforms (as well as advertisers) have opportunities to capture their attention.

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    Aspen Colorado home

    • Real estate consultancy Knight Frank's report on global ultra-prime destinations includes four ski destinations.
    • Three of those are in the Alps, including St. Moritz, the hidden gem beloved by the 1%.
    • Aspen is the only American market represented in the list of ultra-prime real estate markets.

    The world's wealthiest people are buying homes in four main ski destinations globally, and they're focused mostly in the Alps. The only exception to the European dominance in this field — and it comes as no major surprise, given its reputation and prices — can be found in Aspen, Colorado.

    That's according to a recent Knight Frank report on the global ultra-prime market, which looks at destinations that have seen at least three home sales over $25 million every year for the past three years running.

    Those four ski destinations fit into a larger scheme of 17 total ultra-prime destinations, including cities like London, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

    While the town is home to a year-round population of only about 7,400, Aspen has for years been recognized as a hot spot for the rich and famous, attracting the likes of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Elton John, and Jack Nicholson.

    Media mogul Lachlan Murdoch numbers amongst the high net-worth individuals who have contributed to Aspen's ultra-prime standing; in 2017, he bought a $29 million mansion that includes a horse stable and a 300-bottle wine cellar.

    Read more: 50 of the best ski resorts to visit this winter in the US and Canada, ranked from most expensive to least

    The three European ski destinations can be found in St. Moritz, Courchevel, and Gstaad. The first two, in particular, are familiar names amongst celebrities and business moguls looking to kick back in style on and off the slopes, and both are host to resorts that have historically been listed amongst the most expensive in the world.

    St. Moritz is, as Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower previously reported, a Swiss resort "... with world-class skiing, the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism, twice a home to the Winter Olympics, and a hidden gem for the one percent."

    Gstaad, meanwhile, also in Switzerland, is home to the winter campus of the world's most expensive school, Switzerland's Institut Le Rosey.

    SEE ALSO: A new report reveals the 17 most popular housing markets for the world's richest people, and a notoriously expensive city is missing from the list

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    GM self-driving bolt

    Tech companies and auto companies are all racing to be the first to roll out self-driving cars onto the road.

    The stakes are high for everyone involved. The self-driving revolution and the prevalence of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft threatens to reduce individual car ownership, which would eat into a sizable piece of automakers' core business.

    Meanwhile, tech companies are jockeying for a piece of the self-driving-car market, which Apple CEO Tim Cook dubbed"the mother of all AI projects." These companies are all looking to deploy self-driving cars as part of a commercial ride-hailing service that would operate similarly to how Uber and Lyft do now.

    In a new free report, Business Insider Intelligence — Business Insider's premium research service — takes an in-depth look at the most expansive self-driving-car tests taking place in the US, and offers insights on the leaders in the self-driving-car race.

    To get your copy of this free report, click here.

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    cruise ship worker

    • Cruise ship passengers used to tip workers in cash, but in recent decades, most cruise lines have begun adding gratuity charges to passengers' bills.
    • Some workers, like room stewards, have seen their overall pay decrease, the maritime lawyer Michael Guilford told Business Insider.
    • Some workers who began receiving tips after the shift to automatic gratuity have seen no change in their overall pay since their base salaries have decreased by the amount they now receive in gratuity.


    Cruise ship passengers used to tip workers in cash, but in recent decades, most cruise lines have begun adding gratuity charges to passengers' bills. Doing so can be convenient for passengers, but the shift has been harmful for some cruise ship workers, the maritime lawyer Michael Guilford told Business Insider.

    Read more: A Royal Caribbean cruise ship rescued two sailors who were stranded at sea for 20 days

    Most cruise lines distribute the gratuity charges among a number of workers, including some, like laundry workers, who previously didn't receive tips, Guilford said. But some workers, like room stewards, have seen their overall pay decrease since they now earn less in tips than they used to, Guilford said, and some workers who began receiving tips after the shift to automatic gratuity have seen no change in their overall pay since their base salaries have decreased by the amount they now receive in gratuity.

    Guilford said he's spoken with hundreds of cruise ship employees both before and after cruise lines moved toward automatic gratuity, and workers who received cash tips reported much higher tip-based income than those Guilford has spoken with since the shift, suggesting that the overall amount of money spent by passengers on tips has decreased.

    "I had crew members come in here saying they were making 'x' when they were getting cash tips and are now making significantly less than 'x' because they've gone to this new tipping program," Guilford said.

    Have you worked on a cruise ship? Do you have a story to share? Email this reporter at

    SEE ALSO: The 10 wildest cruise ship stories of 2018

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Narrator: All of these phones were released in 2018. They were made by 14 different companies. Why do they all look the same? The modern smartphone can be described in three ways, a large screen, a notch, and no headphone jack. It's no surprise that smartphones didn't always look like this. But, how did we end up with this glass slab design? In 1994, IBM released what is considered to be the first smartphone. The Simon Personal Communicator had a monochrome LCD and stylus. It included some smart capabilities, like sending emails and faxes. Compared to other phones at the time, the Simon put more focus on the screen. The body of the phone was just a shell. This balance might remind you of another popular smartphone.

    In 2007, the release of the iPhone started a design trend that has lasted more than a decade. Instead of having a full keyboard or complicated design, the iPhone stripped away most of the hardware, and instead focused on the touchscreen. Buttons can be limiting. They're defined when a phone is created and can't be changed, but software and apps can be changed, and updated with new features. Over time, hardware gimmicks and accessories didn't catch on. But, thousands of new apps are released every single day. Apps can change and evolve, and they've become the reason we use our phones. A few years after the iPhone, companies like Samsung and Motorola followed Apple's lead, and created phones with big screens and buttons on the sides and bottom. As technology has improved, phones have gotten thinner, larger screens, and more powerful processors. Phones continue to have fewer buttons, but the design remains very similar to the original iPhone. So, what's so special about this glass rectangle?

    Neil Mansfield: I think all smartphones look the same, because of two key reasons. One of them is the humans that are using them, are pretty much all the same. So, therefore, there's not a lot of variation that a manufacturer can do from the human perspective.

    Narrator: Neil Mansfield is a professor at Nottingham Trent University. He pointed out that what people want more than anything is a phone that they can comfortably hold and easily put in their pocket.

    Neil Mansfield: The other aspect of it is being driven by the technology that's available. If you can only make batteries of a certain form factor, that's gonna drive how big the phone can be and the shape of the phone. If you can only make a screen of a certain form factor, it's exactly the same. And that's why we see phones that are flat, why we see phones follow that rectangular shape.

    Narrator: New phones are released every year, but manufacturers are limited by the currently available technology. Take the notch, for example. It looks odd, and can be kind of distracting, but it houses useful features like front-facing cameras, sensors, and speakers. Several companies have tried to use hardware tricks to get rid of the notch, but until technology advances, we're stuck with it on mainstream phones. Besides technological challenges, trends play a big role in phone design. Looking at the history of smartphones, it's clear that Apple has been the trendsetter. Apple isn't always first, but when they add or take away features, other manufacturers tend to follow. Samsung, for example, began pushing their screen to the edge before Apple, and so far, they have even avoided including a notch on their phones. But, competitors haven't followed Samsung's design, they've picked Apple's. But, there actually are some benefits to phones looking similar. It's easier for consumers to switch from one phone to another when the learning curve isn't as steep. But, the trouble with these similar designs is a serious lack of innovation. Critics have called out Android manufacturers for missing an opportunity to avoid the notch and adopt a new design, separate from Apple's. If companies aren't willing to innovate, new phone models will always seem the same, giving consumers less reason to upgrade. In a time when over a dozen flagship phones are released each year, it can be really hard for an average user to differentiate between two phones. How do you know if the latest LG phone is better than the latest Google phone, if they both look the same? But, maybe this is it? Have we reached the peak of our smartphone design? Judging by the exponential speed of technological improvements, probably not. Future advancements in technology could dramatically change the way our phones look.

    Neil Mansfield: As we get new materials or batteries, as we get new technology rolling out for displays, that's gonna allow the phone designers and the manufacturers to be more creative in what they do.

    Narrator: But, for now, companies are trying to evolve as much as they can inside the box they are given.

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    Ford raptor (1).JPG

    • 2018 was possibly the wildest year in the history of the auto industry — and it wasn't all because of Tesla and Elon Musk!
    • Auto sales continued to boom in the US, gas prices stayed relatively low, self-driving car companies moved closer to commercialization, electric cars arrived in force, and Uber and Lyft announced IPO intentions.
    • The industry also lost one of its greats in FCA and Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died at 66.

    Every year, I like to look back of the highs and lows of the auto industry and pick out the biggest stories. 

    For 2018, I had so many that the choosing wasn't easy. I've zeroed in on 13 here, but I think I could have listed twice that many.

    Looking ahead, it's hard to imagine that 2019 will be as wild. But then again, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk aren't going anywhere, auto sales in the US continue to boom, and nobody knows what will happen to jailed former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn.

    But for now, let's review that year that's passed:

    SEE ALSO: Tesla has achieved something that nobody in the auto industry thought was possible

    Elon Musk, Elon Musk, and yet more Elon Musk.

    The already incredibly interesting Mr. Musk pushed it right over the edge in 2018. And then he pushed it some more.

    He all but took over personal oversight of Tesla's troubled Model 3 sedan rollout. He slept at his factories, possibly sometimes with the assistance of Ambien. He started dating musician Grimes. He flipped out on Wall Street analysts on an earnings call. He later apologized the analysts for flipping on their earnings call. He made a weak pot joke when he decided to float a Tesla go-private scheme on Twitter ($420? Dude!). The was investigated by the SEC for said tweet and had to pay a fine and resign as chairman of Tesla. He wept in an interview with the New York Times. He talked tough in an interview with "60 Minutes." He accused a rescue diver during the Thai cave crisis of being a pedophile (and later apologized).

    There were many, many, many tweets. I've probably missed a few choice Muskisms. He was seemingly everywhere. And by the end of it all ... Tesla was the most valuable US carmaker, by market capitalization, surpassing GM.

    The Tesla Model 3 arrives in force.

    The Model 3 was officially launched in July of 2017, but building and delivering the 400,000 pre-ordered vehicles to customers proved to be a titanic challenge for Tesla. By the end of the year, just a few thousand had left the factory. 

    The situation didn't improve much in the first half of 2018, as Tesla struggled through an intense version of what Musk called "production hell." 

    But by mid-2018, the situation was under control. Sort of. An innovative Model 3 automated production line wasn't working properly, leading the carmaker to erect a temporary assembly line in its parking lot — under a tent! The $35,000 mass-market Model 3 also didn't materialize, as Tesla concentrated on upscale trim levels, including the almost $80,000 Performance version.

    As the year closed out, Model 3 production was relatively robust, and Tesla was on track to produce twice as many vehicles — 200,000 or more — as it did in 2017.

    Near-record US auto sales hold up.

    The record sales year of 2015 — when 17.5 million new cars, trucks, and SUVs were sold in the US — was followed by a new record in 2016 (17.55 million) and a near-record in 2017 (17.2 million). 

    A US market above 17 million is considered robust, so for the past few years, forecasts of a downturn have been common. 

    It hasn't yet arrived, although sales have been slipping, in a month-by-month basis. And although the final 2018 numbers haven't come in, it looks as though another 17-million-plus year will be in the books. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said on Dec. 21 that California trucking companies don't need to provide paid rest and meal breaks for their truck driver employees. 
    • In a statement, FMSCA Administrator Ray Martinez said the rest break laws are causing issues at the California-Oregon border, where "more crashes are occurring."
    • Martinez also said the breaks reduced truck driver productivity in California by 3%. 


    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said on Dec. 21 that California trucking companies don't need to provide paid rest and meal breaks for truck driver employees. 

    In 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that carriers in California must ensure truckers get proper rest and meal breaks, just like employees at a typical firm. Labor laws in California stipulate that workers get a 30-minute meal break for shifts longer than five hours, and transportation workers rest for 10 minutes every four hours. 

    Such labor laws are typical in most states — but not in the trucking industry. Nationwide, truckers are required to take a 30-minute break during their workday and not drive for more than 11 hours in a day

    Read more:Being away from home for weeks on end can put truckers' mental health at risk, and there's no solution in sight

    And unlike most workers, they're not paid by hour or by year. Truckers are paid per mile, which means they aren't compensated for time spent waiting for their shipments to load or unload or doing vehicle checks. 

    Why the federal government says California truckers shouldn't get paid rest breaks 

    Industry groups including the American Trucking Associations (ATA) asked the FMCSA to exempt truck drivers from the California’s Meal and Rest Break rules. The FMCSA granted those petitions on Dec. 21, citing that federal laws overrule state laws on how and when truckers work. 

    "FMCSA is granting this petition to ensure uniform and consistent rules in order to promote safety and economic growth," the administration said in a statement. "Drivers, consumers, and job creators are best served by reliable and consistent rules."

    The FMCSA said truckers coming or going from Oregon, for instance, cannot find parking, which have allegedly upped the rate of car crashes. "A patchwork of regulations disrupts interstate commerce and is not an effective or fair way to regulate the industry," the FMCSA added.

    In a video accompanying the statement, FMSCA Administrator Ray Martinez said the rest break laws are bad for the economy. If drivers are required to rest, that means they're working less. That's reduced driver productivity in California by 3%.

    "California’s extra rules reduce productivity and are a drag on the economy," Martinez said. "Every bit of loss productivity increases costs to consumers and hurts hard-working American families."

    But truck drivers and union representatives said the rest breaks are important. Doing away with them just increases the bottom lines for trucking companies, while exhausting the men and women who spend weeks away from home transporting more than 70% of the nation's freight.

    "Truck drivers have some of the longest hours of any workers in America," Barry Broad, director of the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, told The Wall Street Journal. "What you're doing is you're making tired people work more."

    Are you a truck driver who works in California? What do you think of the FMSCA ruling? Email the reporter at

    SEE ALSO: An Arkansas court quietly ruled that truck drivers need to be paid minimum wage even when they're not driving on the job — here's what it means for drivers around the US

    Join the conversation about this story »

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