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The latest news from Business Insider

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    mobile payments lumiscapeThis 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.

    In the US, the in-store mobile wallet space is becoming increasingly crowded. Most customers have an option provided by their smartphone vendor, like Apple, Android, or Samsung Pay. But those are often supplemented by a myriad of options from other players, ranging from tech firms like PayPal, to banks and card issuers, to major retailers and restaurants.

    With that proliferation of options, one would expect to see a surge in adoption. But that’s not the case — though Business Insider Intelligence projects that US in-store mobile payments volume will quintuple in the next five years, usage is consistently lagging below expectations, with estimates for 2019 falling far below what we expected just two years ago. 

    As such, despite promising factors driving gains, including the normalization of NFC technology and improved incentive programs to encourage adoption and engagement, it’s important for wallet providers and groups trying to break into the space to address the problems still holding mobile wallets back. These issues include customer satisfaction with current payment methods, limited repeat purchasing, and consumer confusion stemming from fragmentation. But several wallets, like Apple Pay, Starbucks’ app, and Samsung Pay, are outperforming their peers, and by delving into why, firms can begin to develop best practices and see better results.

    A new report from Business Insider Intelligence addresses how in-store mobile payments volume will grow through 2021, why that’s below past expectations, and what successful cases can teach other players in the space. It also issues actionable recommendations that various providers can take to improve their performance and better compete.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • US in-store mobile payments will advance steadily at a 40% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to hit $128 billion in 2021. That’s suppressed by major headwinds, though — this is the second year running that Business Insider Intelligence has halved its projected growth rate.
    • To power ahead, US wallets should look at pockets of success. Banks, merchants, and tech providers could each benefit from implementing strategies that have worked for early leaders, including eliminating fragmentation, improving the purchase journey, and building repeat purchasing.
    • Building multiple layers of value is key to getting ahead. Adding value to the user experience and making wallets as simple and frictionless as possible are critical to encouraging adoption and keeping consumers engaged. 

    In full, the report:

    • Sizes the US in-store mobile payments market and examines growth drivers.
    • Analyzes headwinds that have suppressed adoption.
    • Identifies three strategic changes providers can make to improve their results.
    • Evaluates pockets of success in the market.
    • Provides actionable insights that providers can implement to improve results.

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

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

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    • Farrah Moan appears on the new season of  "RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars."
    • We asked Farrah to show us how to do some basic drag makeup using some cheap items we found at the drugstore.
    • In a very short amount of time, she helped transform one of our producers into her new drag daughter.

    Following is a transcript of the video. 

    Farrah Moan: Oh sh*t.

    Hi guys! I'm Farrah Moan from "RuPaul's Drag Race" season nine and All Stars four. I am here with...

    Jake Gabbard: Jake.

    Farrah: Jake! And he wants to try and become a drag queen today. So we're gonna have some red wine, and we are gonna get all up in this mug with just whatever we could find at the drugstore, and see what happens. So...

    Jake: Oh my gosh.

    Farrah: We're gonna start first with this foundation stick. So, I want you to grab this.

    Jake: Okay.

    Farrah: And look in your little mirror,

    Jake: Alright.

    Farrah: And just smear it all over your face.

    Jake: All over?

    Farrah: Yup. Make sure to really concentrate it on those parts.

    Jake: Alright. It's really thick, that's okay?

    Farrah: Oh, this is drag, babe. You don't have to do it too heavy, because you will blend, but I just wanna do this because it looks satisfying. Oh yeah, cover that beard. Now, you're gonna take your little beauty sponge.

    Jake: Okay. Jake: And just work it in?

    Farrah: Lemme feel it. Yup, it's perfect. Now, what you wanna do is just... Until it's evenly spread all over the face.

    Jake: Okay.

    Farrah: Faster, harder! And not down, don't do downward. Pat in.

    Jake: Pat it in, okay. Oh, I see. Farrah: Pat in. Jake: I'm very new to this.

    Farrah: Have you ever done drag before?

    Jake: No! When I was high school I went as Marilyn Monroe for a project, so I did a little lipstick and a wig. And that was the extent of it.

    Farrah: Lipstick and a wig!

    Jake: That was my drag experience.

    Farrah: Your memoir.

    Jake: Yeah. Farrah: Yeah, don't be afraid to really just beat that foundation in there, baby. You are clearly a man. And we are going to make you somewhat of a woman.

    Jake: You're gonna have to work some magic.

    Farrah: See how it's just very fast? And then, oh my God, look, your beard is gone! Wow. That's wild.

    Jake: Nice.

    Farrah: None of us on our first time doing drag didn't have 5 o'clock shadow. In fact, mine might be growing in right now.

    Jake: You're supposed to...

    Farrah: Oh, don't forget your little pink ears.

    Jake: Oh, I gotta do my ears too?

    Farrah: Yass! Babe! Of course. At this point, the next step would be a cream contour. Oh my God, look! Drag! So you always wanna get the man out. So like, chisel the jaw, get that little cheekbone, contour that forehead, get so girly. So the line here gets rid of the double chin, and like, chisels everything.

    Jake: Nice.

    Farrah: The line here hollows out your cheekbones and kinda gives your cheeks some shape, and kind of creates the illusion of a protrusion. A protrusion illusion?

    Jake: I like it.

    Farrah: Yeah, it kind of tricks the world into thinking you have cheekbones.

    Jake: I already see the points happening.

    Farrah: Yeah, you see it! Do you feel like a queen yet?

    Jake: I'm to feel like a little...

    Farrah: Queenie?

    Jake: Tingly a little bit, yeah. I get it.

    Farrah: Oh my God, it's happening! You're gonna just take this little, and just blend it like that. Is that a woman? My God, I feel so proud! Are you gonna be my first drag daughter?

    Jake: Sure! What does that mean? What are the responsibilities of a drag daughter?

    Farrah: Oh well, the drag mother has all the responsibilities, clearly.

    Jake: Oh. Farrah: What's your drag name gonna be? Jake: What should my drag name be?

    Farrah: Well, if you were my daughter, since I'm Farrah Moan, I've always wanted a little baby girl named Hora Moan.

    Jake: Hora Moan! You heard it here first. Okay, so cue lower third, I am now Farrah Moan's drag daughter, Hora Moan.

    Farrah: Hora Moan.

    Jake: In the flesh.

    Farrah: Okay, next we're gonna set your face with powder. Relax that forehead or else you're gonna permanently put those creases in. Too late.

    Jake: I'm a stressed...

    Farrah: Oh, Hora. You're just a baby girl! Look at this little baby girl! Next, we're gonna go in with some contour again over the cream, because, if you notice, when you put that powder on, it kind of has some pigment to it, so it takes away a little bit of the contour. You can also have a meltdown and just, like, like not finish and just wipe it all off, then stay inside. If I have a bad...

    Jake: This drag queen is staying in her castle.

    Farrah: Castle. Like, her one bedroom apartment.

    Jake: Yeah. Studio.

    Farrah: Studio for sure! Our next step is a good old liquid liner, and you know what, Hora Moan, this doesn't get any easier. Like, I have been doing drag for seven years now, and it's still hard, and I still hold my breath, and I still get very deep, deep, deep anxiety from doing this. Okay, so relax your eyes and kind of go like this, like you're really high.

    Jake: Okay.

    Farrah: And inside of dragging the liner, just move your head.

    Jake: Ohhh.

    Farrah: Yeah. That's what helps me. Oh, oh no, you're doing it on the bottom? This is for the top! This is the cat eye!

    Jake: I don't know!

    Farrah: This is the signature Moan cat eye.

    Jake: Oh my gosh, I am sorry.

    Farrah: Listen kids, you're all gonna look like this when you first start, and it's fine! Because eventually, you go from this to this. Oh my God you're doing so good! Here, let's let it dry a little bit. Oh that looks great, babe.

    Jake: Thank you.

    Farrah: You're doing a great job. Do you want a little sip?

    Jake: Yes please, thank you. Jake: Mm! Okay. Oo, that's yummy.

    Farrah: Bartender, can we get some more when you're available? Okay. Now we're gonna stick these f*cking lashes on. Normally when you put these on, you wanna, like, trim a little bit so that it matches your eye, but today we are creating a different fantasy. Now I don't trust you to try and do this yourself, because you can glue your eye shut.

    Jake: Oh yeah. I see.

    Farrah: Yeah, you can feel the fantasy? Do you feel like a woman?

    Jake: Yeah. Yup, it's there. Farrah: See, the thing about fake eyelashes is it's, like, kryptonite to straight men. Oh my God, so when did you come out of the closet?

    Jake: I'm actually straight.

    Farrah: While your eyes are closed, keep them closed, keep them closed, we're gonna put some lipstick on you. Yeah! Oh God, what brand? Oh. Oh my God! Look at this little baby girl, Hora Moan! You look just like me. It's crazy.

    Jake: Just little baby Hora Moan.

    Farrah: Very, very annoyed that she had to be born, but very thankful for the opportunity to inspire. Okay.

    Jake: We'll make it work.

    Farrah: This is a little bit MySpace. Okay. Look.

    Jake: Oh! I dig it!

    Farrah: Don't you? You look so pretty! Oh my God! Oh my God. Okay, serve us some face. Serve us some face. Do a little. Yes! Give it! Hora Moan! Looking sickening! Looking gorg! Looking like a woman! And no one can tell her differently even with some lipstick on her teeth!

    Jake: Oh my God.

    Farrah: Do you feel it?

    Jake: I feel it! I feel... It's pretty funny to look at. I look like a...

    Farrah: Girl! Like a drag Reba McIntyre or something.

    Farrah: Oh work! Like, oh my God, no. Kelly Osbourne.

    Jake: Yes!

    Farrah: When she was a problematic teen?

    Jake: Yes. 2002 Kelly Osbourne.

    Farrah: We stan.

    Jake: Yeah. Farrah, thank you so much for showing me how to use all this makeup. I had no idea how to do any of it. Now I feel so confident.

    Farrah: And look, for your first time ever using it, I'm actually very impressed. Like, it took me a very long time to, like, figure out what all this... I didn't even know that you could set your face with powder for like the first year. I was just shiny as hell. Yeah, but the straight boys loved it. But I'm so happy I got to do this with you, and I hope that even though you are straight, you are going to continue on with this legacy of my name.

    Jake: I will.

    Farrah: Hora Moan.

    Jake: I will wear your name proudly.

    Farrah: Maybe one day you'll be on "RuPaul's Drag Race."

    -I'm giving you two thumbs up. Honestly, I am so proud of you.

    -You look gorgeous!

    Jake: Well thank you.

    Jake: What do you think?

    -See the hair is on point.

    Jake: Thank you.

    -The makeup is on point.

    Jake: Thank you.

    -Charisma, I assume, is on point.

    Jake: Always.

    -I'll give this a thumbs up.

    -This look is crazy! It looks good, overall. Good job, Jake.

    Jake: Thank you.

    - I give Hora Moan a big thumbs up.

    Jake: My name is Hora Moan.

    -Hora Moan? I love it.

    Jake: Thanks.

    -Thumbs up, for sure.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Tencent mobile video games

    • Chinese officials have expressed concerns about the impact of video games on children, fearing the hobby can lead to addiction and decreased productivity. The country halted new releases for months as they reorganized their process for reviewing new games.
    • China's Online Game Ethics Committee, a newly formed regulatory body, recently approved 80 new video games, ending the freeze that began in March 2018.
    • None of the 80 games approved belong to Chinese corporation Tencent, the world's largest video game publisher, despite the company's push to implement mandatory time limits and age restrictions for its games.

    China has ended a freeze on new video game releases that began in March 2018, with the recently formed Online Games Ethics Committee announcing that 80 new games were approved in late December.

    China spent much of 2018 reorganizing its approval process for new media coming into the country. The Online Games Ethics Committee was created in response to concerns from Chinese officials who fear that video games are sparking addiction and impacting the productivity of the country's youth.

    Chinese regulators maintain strict standards when judging whether games, films, and other media are too violent or offensive for release within the country. As reported by Reuters, the list of 80 games is the first batch to be approved by the Online Games Ethics Committee.

    However, none of the games approved belong to Tencent, the world's largest video game publisher and a Chinese company. Tencent has been severely impacted by the freeze on new releases; the company's share price has dropped nearly 30% since the year began, and the company has lost more than $200 billion of its overall value.


    Read more:Video game addiction has sparked a culture war in China — and it’s having huge repercussions for the world's biggest video game maker


    In a proactive response to criticism in China, Tencent began using facial recognition software to verify player identities in September 2018. Tencent's age verification process uses an official government database to confirm player identities with their photo and personal information. Players under the age of 18 are limited to playing just two hours a day, while those under the age of 12 are limited to one hour a day.

    However, some of Tencent's most successful games released worldwide during 2018 remain barred from release in China. Regulators have also prevented Tencent from monetizing popular games that were already on the market in China, including "Fortnite: Battle Royale" and "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds," both of which have millions of players on a monthly basis.

    Despite restrictions from the government, China remains the largest video game market on the planet. Chinese gamers spent more than $34 billion on video games in the past year, according to New Zoo. As the long freeze on video games begins to thaw, publishers will work to regain access to the massive population of players in China.

    SEE ALSO: Kids in China are trying every trick in the book to beat the facial recognition software that puts a mandatory time limit on popular video games

    SEE ALSO: Video game addiction has sparked a culture war in China — and it’s having huge repercussions for the world's biggest video game maker

    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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    Uber driver

    • Uber is quickly growing its safety and investigation team in Phoenix, the Financial Times reports. 
    • Of the 600 employees, about 65 investigators handle everything from car crashes to assault — and are tasked with getting both sides of the story.  
    • Drivers have previously told Business Insider the system is imperfect, and that often times a single customer complaint could see them suspended from the platform and therefore without a job, pending the investigation. 

    In the 16 months since Dara Khosrowshahi took over as Uber’s chief executive, safety has been at the top of the company’s laundry list of needed changes.

    And as the app adds new features like direct-to-9-1-1 buttons, GPS crash monitoring, and other data-driven safety tools, a team of employees in Phoenix works behind the scenes to manage everything from physical assaults, car crashes, and even murder.

    According to a new profile of the 600-person safety and customer service unit in Arizona published in the Financial Times on Friday, the office has grown quickly. When it launched in July 2017, there were only 23 employees.

    Today, an algorithm monitors incoming tickets from the app, website, safety hotline and elsewhere for red-flags like "gun" or "touch," the paper reported. Then, a team of 65 investigators serve as the first line of contact for the complainant and accused. In urgent cases, the drivers account may be suspended pending a more thorough investigation by the company.

    The company says most investigations into complaints are begun within an hour. Previously, it might have taken days for a representative to contact someone who filed a complaint. 

    Read more: 'Sometimes it takes a punch in the face': Uber's CEO admits he overlooked some important internal problems

    Uber will contact local law enforcement in most situations, especially when there are "public safety issues" at play. However, the company says it has followed advice of advocates and survivors to not involve authorities in cases of sexual misconduct. 

    Drivers say the system still needs improvement

    Still, there’s work to be done. Engineering a perfect system for safety isn’t easy, especially when Uber’s workforce is a network composed of millions of independent contractors who may have little personal contact with the company during their tenure as a driver.

    Many drivers have complained the system views them as "guilty until proven innocent," in the words of one driver in Boston, who spoke to Business Insider on the condition of anonymity. 

    "When people complain, it hurts the driver, he said of the lost income due to being suspended. (He was briefly suspended after a rider said his car smelled like marijuana, which he claimed was because of a previous customer.) 

    Other drivers, online in forums like Reddit and UberPeople say they’ve also been de-activated or suspended because of a customer complaint.

    One driver claimed in a statement online he was suspended without warning after a passenger complaint of "possible impaired driving," the driver said.

    "I understand the need to look into the riders' complaints," said another driver, "but I also expect Uber, "my partner" to seek my side of the story before they punish me when took such a punitive and extreme measure!.”

    Uber seems to be attune to these problems, and is actively working to improve its systems.

    "We haven’t always got it right," Buddy Loomis, a former Arizona special agent, who now heads Uber’s safety team in Phoenix, told the Financial Times. "Training was a challenge before the inception of understanding what the severity level of these incident types are."

    Tony West, Uber’s top lawyer, tweeted that "continuing to improve in this area is essential for Uber." He also touted a transparency report that the company is planning to release in 2019. That report will assumably come ahead of the company’s much awaited public offering, which could value it as high as $120 billion.

    Read the full Financial Times profile of Uber's serious incident team here.

    Do you work for Uber? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (646) 376-6102 using a non-work phone, email at grapier@businessinsider.com, or Twitter DM at @g_rapier.You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

    SEE ALSO: 7 people you never realized were early investors in Uber

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This Rolls-Royce feature might be the world's fanciest way to tailgate


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    girl eating a burger hungry appetite 12

    Going on a diet is a losing game. Some research suggests more than nine out of every 10 people who try to diet will fail.

    Even people who are able to diet successfully often fight a tough battle against the body's evolutionarily savvy attempts to store extra energy. In fact, scientists have found that the bodies of severely overweight people who lose weight can actively work against them: as they slim down, their metabolism drops, making it harder to lose more weight. 

    Experts agree that extreme diets and juice cleanses aren't good long-term strategies for maintaining a healthy weight. To that end, the US News & World Report's 2018 ranking of the best diets put the trendy ketogenic diet dead last. 

    But there are a few simple things you can do to stay trim and satisfied in the long run. 

    We asked dietitian Jason Ewoldt from the nation's top-rated hospital, the Mayo Clinic, for his simplest, sanest ideas for staying lean. Here's his advice:

    SEE ALSO: The most surprising foods Weight Watchers considers zero points — and why

    Stay hydrated. If you hate drinking water, zest it up with citrus or drink it carbonated (without adding empty calories into your diet).

    Ewoldt noted that patients often end up misinterpreting thirst for hunger.

    "A lot of times, people just seem to be a little dehydrated," he said. 

    A 2016 study of more than 18,000 people in the US found that those who drank more water were consistently more satisfied and ate fewer calories on a daily basis. They also consumed lower amounts of sugar, fat, salt, and cholesterol than more dehydrated participants. 

    There's also some limited evidence that drinking water can help you burn through more calories, at least for a little while. So keep sipping.

     



    Whatever you drink, it's best to steer clear of sugar and probably artificial sweeteners, too.

    Drinking a lot of sugary coffee , tea, soda , or juice could increase your risk of an early death, according to a study of over 17,000 Americans above the age of 45. 

    But researchers are starting to discover that consuming drinks with fake sugar may not be any better when it comes to developing dangerous diseases.

    Scientists studying the blood vessels of rats discovered that while sugar and artificial sweeteners act in very different ways inside the animals' bodies, they can both up the odds of developing obesity and diabetes.

    The researchers think that artificial sweeteners may mess with the way our bodies process fat. 



    Aim for seven to eight hours of shut-eye per night.

    Most of us like to think we can operate well without a full night's sleep. But neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker says that's wrong. According to Walker, a lack of sleep is literally killing us.

    And it makes us eat more unhealthy food, too. 

    Research published in 2013 in the journal Nature Communications revealed that sleep-deprived eaters are more likely to reach for high-calorie foods and gain weight than well-rested people. That's because being sleepy also snoozes the region of the brain that helps tell us when we're full.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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

    Briogeo Hair

    • Briogeo is a range of clean, safe hair-care products formulated for all hair types — but it's seen particular success in the curly hair space.
    • Founder Nancy Twine created the line when she noticed a gap in the market for women with natural textured curls.
    • The line is free of sulfates, silicones, and parabens and features natural ingredients like rice aminos, avocado oil, shea butter, and a signature tomato fruit ferment to support healthy curls.

    They say you always want what you can't have, and that's especially true when it comes to hair.

    Those of us with curls and coils usually long for stick-straight strands, so much so that we spend a ridiculous amount of time and money on professional blowouts, at-home straightening tools, and products that promise a "smooth finish" in an attempt to tame our natural texture. Sound familiar?

    As someone with curly hair, I've always harbored a not-so-secret wish for hair that's just slightly more manageable. But my impatient personality renders regular blowouts and straightening sessions out of the question. Most days, I scrunch in a curl cream and let my hair air dry on its own. This usually leaves me with blah waves and at least a little bit of frizz… which I always assumed was my natural texture.

    But when I started using Briogeo, a clean hair-care line that formulates products without sulfates, silicones or parabens, all of that changed. Treated with the right products — namely, Briogeo's Curl Charisma and Don't Despair, Repair! ranges — my curls transformed into the soft, bouncy, voluminous hair of my dreams.

    Even though Briogeo makes products for all hair types, their curl-focused shampoos, conditioners, and stylers are what the brand is best known for — especially in the natural hair community, where there's a dearth of effective products.

    Brand founder Nancy Twine noticed this gap in the market at a young age, and began DIY-ing her own hair care at home with her mother.

    "When I was younger, it was nearly impossible for me to find the right products to tame my curls, which is why my mom and I would concoct our own hair treatments using natural oils, extracts, and butters we'd source from our local health food store," Twine tells Business Insider. Her homemade hair care was merely a hobby; one that she left behind when she moved from West Virginia to New York City to pursue a career in finance. But as Twine became reliant on store-bought products to care for her curls, she realized that the curly community was seriously underserved.

    "After working in finance for seven years, it felt right to be ready for a change," she says of switching careers and launching Briogeo. "The plethora of textured hair-care options didn't exist [then], so I had no choice but to create products that spoke to my specific needs." It's not just Twine's specific needs that are met by Briogeo, though; her formulations speak to all women with curly and coily hair. Myself included.

    Pre-Briogeo, I didn't pay much attention to the hair-care products I used — I would grab something at CVS whenever I was running low, and as long as the words "curly hair" were emblazoned somewhere on the bottle, I thought I was choosing well. In actuality, many of the products in my collection were filled with ingredients Twine sees as no-nos: silicones, sulfates, and parabens. These ingredients can be damaging for any hair type, but curly hair — which is typically drier and more porous than most — is particularly at risk.

    Briogeo Hair Care

    "I am anti-silicones," Twine states.

    Silicones are commonly used in conditioners, since they cover hair in a plastic-like coating that gives the appearance of soft, smooth strands. But silicones are somewhat controversial, since they don't actually affect the health of your hair — they just make it look healthy. Underneath the silicone shine, hair is often damaged and dry. "Silicones can also make curls feel lackluster, and don't do anything to nourish the hair — they're essentially a Band-Aid," Twine says. "I think the curl community has resonated with the fact that Briogeo is a completely silicone-free line."

    Twine avoids sulfates for similar reasons.

    This ingredient is typically seen in shampoos for its ability to deep-clean strands and strip away excess oil and buildup; but it's been shown that sulfates can actually strip away too much, which damages hair in the long run. And since waves and curls — especially textured curls — are already dry and more prone to damage, sulfates disproportionately affect the health of curly hair.

    Parabens are preservatives used to extend the shelf life of skin-care and hair-care products, but they're also known endocrine disruptors, meaning they mess with the body's hormonal functions. This substance is easily absorbed through the skin (and that includes the scalp), so it was important to Twine to create a safe line of hair care free from parabens. "Our products actually do what they say they do, without exposing the skin and hair to potentially harmful ingredients," Twine says.

    Briogeo is so much more than what's not in the bottle, though; the brand's reputation for providing effective products stands on what is inside.

    "We use rice amino acids to help keep frizz at bay," says Twine. "Rice amino acids help to seal the hair cuticle to lock out environmental moisture (aka, humidity) that can cause curls to frizz." The line also relies on natural moisturizers, like avocado oil and shea butter, to keep curls soft, hydrated, and shiny. But what really sets Briogeo apart in the curly space is its "unique tomato fruit ferment ingredient," the founder tells us. "It helps to add definition to curls, boosting curl pattern and vibrancy."

    If you're new to the brad, Twine recommends starting with the best-selling Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask.

    This one isn't just for curly girls, either; it works on all types and textures to visibly repair damage and enhance the healthiness of hair. The founder calls it "a must-have hair-care staple" (and I must I say, I agree).

    Those with waves or curls will do well with Briogeo's Curl Charisma Shampoo and Conditioner— this is what I've been using on my wash days, and my hair has never been happier. "For coily and textured types, I recommend our new Curl Charisma Coil Custard," Twine shares. "It's a rich, creamy styler that really makes coils super defined and hydrated."

    More than anyone else, though, I recommend Briogeo for the naturally curly among us who are still fighting their natural texture. Trust me, I know it seems easier to straighten your curls into oblivion in hopes of a good hair day — but maybe that's only because you haven't seen how soft and bouncy your curls can truly be.

    With the right products in hand (and on your head), you just might find you love your natural hair. Hey, it happened to me.

    Shop for Briogeo hair-care products on Nordstrom and Amazon

    SEE ALSO: I tried the buzzy new Billie razor for women — and now I actually look forward to shaving my legs

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    antonio brown

    • Antonio Brown did not miss Sunday's crucial must-win game because of a knee problem, according to a new report.
    • Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report that Brown was involved in a dispute with a teammate and then refused to practice or take part in team activities in the days leading up to the game.
    • Brown reportedly showed up to the game expecting to play but later left at halftime.
    • The Pittsburgh Steelers won the game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but still missed the playoffs when the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Cleveland Browns.

    Antonio Brown did not play in Week 17 with the Pittsburgh Steelers season on the line, and a new report is now casting doubt on why he was not in the game.

    According to several sources for Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brown was not injured as previously reported. Instead, Brown missed the game after he refused to practice or attend team meetings following a dispute with a teammate. 

    "The disagreement occurred Wednesday morning during a routine walk-through practice that precedes their regular afternoon practice on the South Side," Dulac and Bouchette wrote. "Brown became disgusted and threw a football in anger at one of his teammates, several sources said."

    The Steelers faced the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17, needing a win for any hope at a playoff berth. Brown did not practice all week, and the team eventually listed him as "questionable" for the game, citing a knee injury.

    Read more:The NFL playoff bracket is now set

    mike tomlinOn Friday, head coach Mike Tomlin told the media that Brown did not practice because he "didn’t feel comfortable enough" and would have the knee tested. However, according to Dulac and Bouchette's sources, the knee was not a problem and was never tested.

    After a report that Brown would "test" his knee during warmups before the game, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Brown was feeling "better" and hoped to play.

    "Antonio Brown feels better this morning, giving the Steelers hope he will play today,"Schefter wrote. "They didn’t sound as confident Saturday."

    According to the report, Brown showed up to Heinz Field on Sunday expecting to play, despite not attending Saturday's walk-through practice or the team meeting on Saturday night. Brown is said to have left the stadium at halftime.

    The Steelers won the game but were eliminated from the playoffs when the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Cleveland Browns. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan

    • Travel + Leisure named Japan its 2018 destination of the year.
    • The magazine selects each year's choices among a jury of writers, editors, and relevant experts.
    • Towering mountains, beautiful cherry blossoms, and neon-flooded streets make Japan a remarkable place.
    • Some of the best things to do include taking the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto to see Mount Fuji on the way and walking the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine for an unparalleled view of Kyoto.
    • You can also take a dip in the natural hot springs at Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, which is widely considered the world's oldest hotel.

    Tokyo may be an impressive city, but that's not all Japan has to offer.

    The country's islands, shrines, world-renowned cuisine, and beautiful scenery are just a few reasons why it's a great place to travel. So it should come as no surprise that Travel + Leisure named Japan its 2018 destination of the year.

    From the bustling streets of Shibuya, Tokyo, to the majestic Mount Fuji, here are some things to see and do in Japan that will make you want to visit immediately.

    Ride a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto and see Mount Fuji along the way.

    Traveling across Japan isn't a terribly difficult undertaking thanks to its Shinkansen bullet train network. With trains that travel at speeds of up to almost 200 miles per hour, passengers riding south from Tokyo to cities like Kyoto and Osaka can take the window seat and enjoy a beautiful view of Mount Fuji, a dormant volcano and Japan's highest mountain.



    Visit a cherry blossom festival in the spring.

    The cherry blossom, or sakura in Japanese, is a revered flower in Japan. Considered a symbol of life and its vulnerability, many Japanese families congregate to practice hanami, or the tradition of publicly watching and celebrating cherry blossoms when they bloom in the spring. 

    While there are plenty of festivals devoted to the flower in Japan, the southern city of Matsuyama is most famous for its historic cherry blossom-themed spring festival where the flowers bloom amid Matsuyama Castle each year.



    Visit an island where cats outnumber people.

    Tashirojima earned its nickname as "Cat Island" for good reason. While the island is home to around 100 humans, they are heavily outnumbered by their feline friends. Initially brought to the island for pest control, the cats are now taken care of by the island's residents, largely due to the good luck cats are said to symbolize in Japan.



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    45015702_1755478334578165_2787178392053612544_n

    • The new supplemental collagen drink Skinade, which was formulated by scientists in the UK, has developed an effective delivery system for bioavailable collagen.
    • In addition to collagen peptides, the supplement contains vitamins and minerals that kick-start the body's own collagen production, resulting in firmer, younger-looking skin over time.
    • In clinical trials, 100% of participants said their skin felt better after 100 days of Skinade, and you may see improvements in as little as three weeks.

    A week after moving to the Joshua Tree desert in Southern California, just outside of the festival-famous Coachella Valley, I knew my skin was in serious trouble. I had relaxed into the peace and quiet of desert living, the dry heat like a constant hug — but my face, to put it mildly, was freaking out.

    The moisture-starved air was pulling hydration directly from my skin, it seemed. I looked dry and dull, with wrinkles and fine lines suddenly sketched into my forehead and around my eyes. I guess I should've expected it: Moisture is part of what keeps skin plump and firm, and in the dry air of the desert, signs of aging are all the more obvious. I took it as a sign when an email from Skinade showed up in my inbox: Try a 30 day supply of our new collagen drink and sip your way to younger-looking skin! Yes, please.

    For those not in the know, collagen is the protein that gives our skin the firm, plump bounciness of youth.

    "Collagen is a vital component of the skin because it provides structural support and elasticity, resulting in youthful and healthy appearing skin,"Dr. Aanand Geria of Geria Dermatology in New Jersey tells INSIDER. After age 20, though, we lose roughly 1% of our body's collagen supply every year. Cue the wrinkles, lines, and sagging skin.

    A few years back, supplemental collagen pills and powders were all the rage —  and as a certified skin-care junkie, of course I tried them all. I didn't really notice a difference in my skin at the time, and stopped stirring collagen powder into my morning coffee as soon as I learned that the body can't actually absorb the substance in its usual form.

    "Taking collagen supplements has marginal effects on the skin, as these supplements, like food, are primarily broken down in the GI tract," Dr. Geria explains. "Once broken down, the body is left with amino acids, which may make it into the bloodstream and hopefully to the skin as well to help build collagen — but we don't know how much of the amino acids, if any at all, make it to the skin to have a sizable impact."

    Skinade acknowledges this — in fact, it's their raison d'être.

    "We needed very specific types of ingredients to create a product that actually works,"Louise Marchesin, Skinade's global head of marketing, tells me. "Skinade's main ingredient, collagen peptides, are the smallest on the market today, which is essential to their absorption and bioavailability, and therefore the efficacy and results." In other words, by sourcing collagen peptides instead of standard-issue collagen, Skinade (which was developed by scientists, by the way) makes it possible for the body to absorb these molecules and reap the benefits.

    skinade

    Not only is this collagen supplement more effective than powder or pill versions, it also looks and feels significantly more luxurious. A 30-day supply of the peach-flavored drink arrived on my doorstep in a chic, minimalist white box, and the individual black-and-white bottles added a level of sophistication to my pantry that I never knew was possible. The package also included a handful of travel sachets, perfect for gulping collagen on the go.

    It's important to note that this isn't the kind of drink you can reach for every once in a while and expect to see results — you need to be consistent, and consistent I was. I guzzled down the fruity-but-not-too-sweet collagen drink every morning for a month, and began to notice a distinct difference about three weeks in. My skin didn't look as dry; in fact, it looked pretty plump and firm, if I did say so myself. Dr. Geria notes that typical results take a little longer to register. "I presume it could take several months to see any sort of minor improvements in the skin," he speculates.

    Perhaps the reason why Skinade's collagen cocktail works so well is because it doesn't rely on collagen alone. It actually helps your body create its own collagen, thanks to MSM (a naturally occurring form of organic sulphur that supports the formation of collagen), B vitamins (to promote healthier skin from the inside out), L-lysine (an essential amino acid that aids in rebuilding collagen on the cellular level), and Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids (to keep skin adequately moisturized).

    To be honest, I can't say if my experience is typical. I loved my 30-day run of Skinade, but most of the company's clinical trials are based on a significantly longer three-month timeline. Within that time frame, though, participants noticed 26% less brow furrows and 19% more "suppleness"— and 100% of the study's subjects claimed their skin "felt better" after 100 days.

    For all the skeptics out there, Marchesin has a few choice words: "We get it." She knows that many consumers have been put off by previous collagen supplements that promised major results but didn't deliver. "Of course they would be skeptical — a drink for your skin?" she admits. "So I say, try it. And most people say, ‘Ok, that makes sense, I will give it a go!'"

    I'm with Marchesin: give it a go. If Skinade can revive my dry, dull, desert-dwelling skin, it can probably give you a boost, too.

    Buy a 30-day course of Skinade for $150 here.

    DON'T MISS: This $12 magnesium and vitamin C serum brightened my dull, tired skin practically overnight

    SEE ALSO: I'm using this unexpected pantry item to wash my face — and my skin has never looked better

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    esports audience 2 1

    Esports, which is short for electronic sports, refers to competitive video gaming watched by spectators. Esports are not as mainstream as traditional sports in the US, but the number of esports fans globally is still sizable. The worldwide esports audience reached 335 million in 2017, according to Newzoo. 

    And there’s still significant room for growth beyond that — we predict that 600 million consumers globally will watch esports in 2023, up 79% from 2017. 

    A growing number of brands are acting to capitalize on the growth of esports as the majority of professional gaming fans are millennials and open to brand sponsors. Sixty-two percent of US esports viewers are aged 18-34, according to Activate, while 58% have a positive attitude towards brand involvement in esports, per Nielsen.

    Meanwhile, Newzoo anticipates global esports sponsorship revenue to reach $359 million in 2018, up 53% year-over-year. The growing esports audience and brand activity helps explains why high-profile public figures are jumping in to capitalize on the action: In late October, basketball legend Michael Jordan and platinum-selling artist Drake both made investments into separate esports ventures, for example. 

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence will explain the growth of the esports audience and why it presents an attractive advertising opportunity for brands. We'll begin by exploring the key drivers and barriers affecting esports audience growth. Finally, we'll detail the benefits of advertising to esports fans and outline the best practices for implementing a successful esports ad campaign.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Alibaba, Arby's, Audi, Bud Light, Hyundai, Intel, Mastercard, McDonald's, Red Bull, Skillz, and Turner.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • The number of esports fans globally is anticipated to climb 59% over the next five years, but there’s still significant room for growth.
    • This expansion will be driven by many factors, including investment from traditional sports leagues, a higher number of broadcast deals, and the expansion of the mobile-based esports scene.
    • The majority of esports fans are millennials, while data suggests that Gen Zers are more receptive to nontraditional sports, like esports, than traditional sports.
    • Brands can sponsor esports leagues, competitions, and players as well as advertise on digital platforms like Twitch to reach the eyeballs of esports fans.
    • Whatever shape a brand's esports ad campaign eventually takes, displaying an authentic commitment to the gaming world is paramount.

     In full, the report:

    • Outlines the drivers and potential barriers to esports audience growth.
    • Details the various reasons esports fans are a compelling advertising opportunity for brands.
    • Discusses the different ways brands can invest spend to reach the eyeballs of esports fans.
    • Explains best practices brands advertising to esports fans should adopt in order to make inroads with the gaming community. 

     

    SEE ALSO: The eSports competitive video gaming market continues to grow revenues & attract investors

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    two curious ostriches

    • Crows, ravens, and pigeons are all smarter than you may previously have thought — and scientists have proof.
    • Chickens and ostriches are thought to be descendants of the Tyrannosaurus rex.
    • The average man would need to eat around 285 pounds of meat per day if they had the metabolism of a hummingbird.
    • The Bassian thrush releases gas to scare worms out of hiding.

    The bird world is a fascinating — and strange — place. From a bird with claws on its wings to another bird's ability to recognize human faces, there's a lot of interesting things to know about various bird species. 

    Here are several bizarre bird facts with which to impress your friends and family at trivia nights.

     

    Chickens and ostriches are the closest modern relatives to Tyrannosaurus rex.

    Although a link between dinosaurs and modern birds had long been suspected, in 2008 research was published in the journal Science that found molecular evidence, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

    It's worth noting that chickens and ostriches aren't that closely related themselves, so there's certainly more information to be discovered.

     



    Baby hoatzins have tiny claws on their wings.

    Native to the Amazon, hoatzin babies have tiny claws on their wings — as well as on their feet. Since their nests are in trees that frequently overhang water, it's a safety feature for when predators try to eat the babies. Baby hoatzins can simply hop down into the water, then climb back up the tree when it's safe, according to Audubon.

    The wing claws disappear as the birds mature — once they can fly, they no longer need them.




     



    Crows and ravens are extremely intelligent.

    According to National Geographic, crows can use tools and solve logic puzzles. Further, scientists believe that ravens may even pre-plan their tasks— a trait previously thought to be exclusively human.

    Read more: The smartest bird in the world can use tools like a human, and it's amazing to watch



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Fortnite New Years

    • "Fortnite" is the world's most popular game, with 80 million players spread across the globe.
    • "Fortnite" will feature a ball drop and fireworks at the top of every hour as the New Year reaches all 24 time zones.
    • However, as the celebration began on New Year's Eve in some time zones, players rushed to social media to report that the New Year had arrived early in "Fortnite," prompting a response from the game's creators.

    "Fortnite" has become well known for its special in-game events, many of which coincide with real world holidays. So of course the game has its own New Year's event going on, complete with a ball drop and fireworks for when the clock strikes midnight.

    But "Fortnite" has a global player base with more than 200 million players worldwide; meaning that players in different time zones will see the new year at different times. "Fortnite" creator Epic Games came up with a simple solution, the New Year's ball in "Fortnite" will drop at the top of every hour to account for midnight in all 24 time zones around the world.

    However, some players who spent the early hours of New Year's Eve playing "Fortnite" were shocked to see the fireworks arrive early for their own time zone. When the ball drops in "Fortnite" players are forced to dance for a few seconds, making the moment impossible to ignore. Several players rushed to social media to announce that "Fortnite's" New Year celebration had gone off early.

    An honest mistake to be sure, but the "Fortnite" community has surged with responses to the "early" event, prompting a response from Epic Games. Co-founder and Vice-President Mark Rein gently chided players who believed the event had been triggered early in error.

    "Is it that you don’t really understand how timezones work or you think yours is the only timezone in the world?" Rein tweeted.

    Epic spokesman Nick Chester and Rein both later confirmed that the event would occur every hour to account for every time zone.

    Hopefully, the event will teach how wide the "Fortnite" community stretches, and remind some that the Earth revolves around the sun, not around them.

    SEE ALSO: How big is 'Fortnite'? With more than 200 million players, it's now equal to nearly two-thirds the US population

    SEE ALSO: The CEO behind 'Fortnite' is now worth over $7 billion

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: I tried cooking an entire Thanksgiving dinner using Google Home Hub and found there are two major flaws with it


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    Bill Gates World Health Summit

    • Bill Gates published a blog post in which he reflected on the last 12 months and shared his thoughts about the year to come. 
    • In the post, Gates said he believes the US must spend more on nuclear energy research in order to regain its global leadership leadership in that area.
    •  Burning fossil fuels causes global temperatures to rise. Renewable energy sources don't emit the same heat-trapping gases, but Gates said breakthroughs in solar and wind energy won't be enough.
    • Gates and other billionaires lead a fund called Breakthrough Energy Ventures that invests in startups focusing on clean energy.

    Bill Gates is urging the United States to invest in nuclear power research.

    In his annual year-in-review Gates Notes blog post, Gates noted that, despite the consequences of climate change that people face around the globe, "global emissions of greenhouse gases went up in 2018."

    Because burning fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) releases carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, Gates wrote that we need breakthroughs in clean energy in order to curb the rise of global temperatures. Generating energy from sunlight and wind does not emit CO2; the same goes for nuclear energy.

    "The world needs to be working on lots of solutions to stop climate change," Gates wrote. "Advanced nuclear is one, and I hope to persuade US leaders to get into the game."

    According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world will face catastrophic effects of climate change if global temperatures climb to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. We are on track to hit that 1.5-degree threshold by 2040, though the IPCC said a huge shift in global energy and economic systems could still reverse the trend.

    Read more:The scariest parts of the new climate change report: The goals the world set are inadequate, and the track we're on is disastrous

    Solar and wind energy are becoming much cheaper— which Gates said he was "glad to see"— but he wrote that these energy sources alone are not enough. That's because solar and wind energy are not viable when the sun doesn't shine or the wind doesn't blow. Nuclear power, on the other hand, is available 24 hours a day.

    This is not the first time Gates has sought to improve the world's energy options. Gates, along with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and other billionaires, leads a fund called Breakthrough Energy Ventures that invests in startups that focus on renewable energy. In 2018, the group announced the first companies to get that funding.

    "The companies we chose are run by brilliant people and show a lot of promise for taking innovative clean-energy ideas out of the lab and getting them to market," Gates wrote in his end-of-year note.

    As far as nuclear power is concerned, Gates said he is confident that further innovation can eliminate concerns about the risk of accidents.

    "The United States is uniquely suited to create these advances with its world-class scientists, entrepreneurs, and investment capital," he wrote. "Unfortunately, America is no longer the global leader on nuclear energy that it was 50 years ago. To regain this position, it will need to commit new funding, update regulations, and show investors that it’s serious."

    As an example of a promising approach to nuclear energy, Gates pointed to the company TerraPower that he started 10 years ago. TerraPower is working on creating a traveling-wave reactor, which Gates said is safe, produces minimal waste, and can't be used in nuclear weapon production.

    TerraPower

    TerraPower was trying to building a pilot project in China, Gates wrote, but recent moves by the Trump administration have "made that unlikely."

    Gates said there may be a chance for the project to move forward in the US. But regardless, he plans to continue drawing more attention to energy issues in 2019.

    "Next year I will speak out more about how the US needs to regain its leading role in nuclear power research," Gates wrote.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: China made an artificial star that's 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy


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    AmazonShipping_CostSavings

    Outside of the US Postal Service (USPS), FedEx and UPS have dominated the domestic logistics industry — and in particular, the last-mile of the delivery — for decades. On a quarterly earnings call in 2016, FedEx estimated that itself, UPS, and USPS executed a whopping 95% of all e-commerce orders.

    But rapidly rising volumes have put the pair of legacy shippers in a bind. E-commerce sales have risen over 50% and are projected to continue their ascent into the next decade. High volumes are already straining shippers' networks — UPS struggled to bring consumers their parcels on time due to higher-than-anticipated package volume, which upset some big-name retail partners, including Macy's, Walmart, and Amazon. As online sales surge further, package volumes will outstrip legacy shippers' capacities, creating space for new entrants. 

    Amazon is uniquely well-positioned to dethrone UPS and FedEx's duopoly. It's built up a strong logistics infrastructure, counting hundreds of warehouses and thousands of delivery trucks.

    Further, as the leading online retailer in the US, it has a wealth of data on consumers that it can use to craft a personalized delivery experience that's superior to UPS and FedEx's offerings. Amazon must act soon, however, as UPS and FedEx are hard at work fortifying their own networks to handle the expected surge in parcel volume.

    The longer the Seattle-based e-tailer delays the launch of a delivery service, the more it runs the risk that these legacy players will be able to defend their territory. 

    In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, explains how the age of e-commerce is opening up cracks in UPS and FedEx's duopoly. We then outline how Amazon's logistics ambitions began as an effort to more quickly get parcels out the door and fulfill its famous 2-day shipping process and how it'll be a key building block for the company if it builds out a last-mile service. Lastly, we offer concrete steps that the firm must take to maximize the dent it makes in UPS and FedEx's duopoly.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Alibaba, Amazon, FedEx, and UPS.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • While UPS and FedEx have dominated the US last-mile delivery market for the last few decades, the surge in e-commerce is creating more volume than shipping companies can handle.
    • Amazon is uniquely well-positioned to put a dent in UPS and FedEx's duopoly due to its strategic position as the leading online retailer in the US.
    • Amazon can carry its trust amongst the public, a wealth of consumer data, and its ability to craft a more personalized delivery experience to the last-mile delivery space to ultimately dethrone UPS and FedEx.
    • The top priority for Amazon in taking on UPS and FedEx needs to be offering substantially lower shipping rates — one-third of US retailers say they'll switch to an Amazon shipping service if it's at least 20% cheaper than UPS and FedEx. 

    In full, the report:

    • Outlines Amazon's current shipping and logistics footprint and strengths that it would bring to the last-mile delivery space in the US.
    • Lays out concrete steps that Amazon must take if it wants to launch a standalone last-mile delivery service, including how it can offer a more memorable, higher-quality delivery experience than UPS and FedEx.
    • Illustrates how Amazon can minimize operating costs for a delivery service to ultimately undercut UPS and FedEx's shipping rates in the last-mile space.

     

    SEE ALSO: Amazon and Walmart are building out delivery capabilities

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    artificial intelligence social network eter9

    Many companies use the term artificial intelligence, or AI, as a way to generate excitement for their products and to present themselves as on the cutting edge of tech development.

    But what exactly is artificial intelligence? What does it involve? And how will it help the development of future generations?

    Find out the answers to these questions and more in AI 101, a brand new FREE report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, that describes how AI works and looks at its present and potential future applications.

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

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    top nine Image from iOS

    • You may have to wait a few days for your "top nine"
    • According to a pop-up on the website Top Nine, is currently "being used by millions of users worldwide."
    • Of course, if you're just eager to relive your most-liked Instagram posts of 2018, you can always download the Top Nine app.

    If you have scrolled through Instagram recently, you have probably noticed collages of users' "top nine" posts of the past year. However, if you were trying to figure out your own top nine posts of 2018, you may not know until the new year. As of the evening of December 31, the website appears to be overloaded.

    One of the websites used to make these collages, Top Nine, is currently "being used by millions of users worldwide" and processing all of those collages could take "a few days," according to a pop-up on the website.

    top nine Image from iOS

    The website, which prompts you to enter your Instagram user name and email address, was built by Beta Labs that has offices in the US and Uruguay. INSIDER contacted Top Nine for more information and will update as necessary.

    Of course, if you're just eager to relive your most-liked Instagram posts of 2018, you can always download the Top Nine app.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 6 airline industry secrets that will help you fly like a pro this holiday season


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    Tim Cook

    From massive, multibillion dollar acquisitions to boardroom shake-ups and disturbing scandals, the tech industry had an eventful 2018.

    Business Insider's team of tech journalists was first to report some of the most important developments, from the surprise departure of Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene to the internal turmoil at augmented-reality (AR) pioneer Magic Leap and the problems leading up to Uber's fatal autonomous-car crash.

    As the tech world moves ahead into 2019, we decided to distill the year's catalog of exclusive stories and investigations into a list of the nine most important reports. Check out the list below for some great reads you may have missed, or to refresh your perspective and challenge your assumptions as you prepare for the new year in tech.

    Microsoft in talks to acquire GitHub

    A Microsoft acquisition of GitHub — the popular platform for software developers — seemed like a wild notion when Business Insider's Julie Bort and Becky Peterson broke the news this summer that the two companies were in discussions for a multibillion-dollar deal.

    Within days, however, Microsoft announced plans to buy GitHub for $7.5 billion, sending shockwaves throughout the tech world and spurring competitor IBM to acquire Red Hat.

    Read the full story here »



    The inside story of Travis Kalanick's downfall at Uber

    A lot of stories have been written about the internal turmoil at Uber that led to the ousting of CEO Travis Kalanick.

    Business Insider's chief tech correspondent, Julie Bort, wrote the definitive account, speaking to dozens of people over six months. She unearthed important new details, revelations, and behind-the-scenes events that set in motion a boardroom coup that's sure to be analyzed by business-school professors for years to come.

    Read the full story here »



    Apple's secret app-developer meeting

    Kif Leswing's fascinating and detailed report about an invite-only meeting with app developers that Apple hosted in a New York City luxury loft shed new light on the iPhone-maker's strategy to focus on subscriptions.

    With Apple's recent shift to focusing on its "services" business, building a reliable app-subscriptions revenue stream and keeping developers happy will become increasingly vital to the company's success.

    Read the full story here »



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    • Life insurance is fundamentally hard to sell; it’s morbid to think about, promises no immediate rewards, and often requires a lengthy paper application with minimal guidance.
    • Despite the popularity of personalized products in other areas of finance and fintech, life insurance largely remains unchanged.
    • A small, but growing pocket of insurtech startups are shaking up the status quo by finding ways to digitize life insurance and increase its appeal.

    Life insurance is a fundamentally difficult product to sell; it requires people to think about their deaths without promising any immediate returns.

    Life Insurance Graphic

    And, despite tech innovations and the development of personalized services in other areas of finance, life insurance remains largely unchanged.

    Luckily, there is a small but growing pocket of insurtech startups looking to modernize it. These companies are finding ways to digitize life insurance to  appeal to consumers — and they’re giving incumbents the opportunity to revamp traditional offerings, either by partnering with them or using their technology.

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has forecasted the shifting landscape of life insurance in the The Future of Life Insurance report. Here are the key problems insurtechs are tackling:

    • Lack of education: Forty percent of US consumers told the Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA) that they feel intimidated by the life insurance application process, often drastically overestimating its cost and facing uncertainty about how much or which type of coverage to buy.
    • Inconvenient application process: It can take weeks or months for coverage to take effect because of the sheer number of meetings and parties combing through paperwork in each round of the application process. The risk for the insurer often warrants reviews from the carrier, a team of underwriters, a broker, and even a medical examiner.
    • Low customer loyalty: Life insurance tends to be a “set it and forget it” type of purchase, with very few people revisiting it after buying. Insurers and consumers therefore have limited contact for most of the relationship — with the exception of an annual bill, of course.
    • Inefficient data management and processing: The aggregate data life insurers rely on is typically fed into algorithms that make broad assumptions about particular populations, and often incorporate outdated medical documentation — all of which can delay applications and result in unnecessary rejections.

    Want to learn more?

    The need for modernization in life insurance is clear: Overall sales are slowing and policy ownership is hitting record lows. And because it’s such a tightly-regulated space, innovation from incumbents has stagnated — but they’re not helpless. Consumer-focused and insurer-focused startups have emerged to offer new technologies and process improvements.

    The Future of Life Insurance report from Business Insider Intelligence looks at the two main strategies life insurtechs are adopting to drive change in this market, for the benefit of both buyers and sellers. In full, the report discusses best practices incumbents and startups should adopt to steer clear of the risks attached to applying emerging technologies to such a tightly regulated product.

    Insurtech startups will soon set new industry standards and consumer expectations around this complex product. That, in turn will serve as a catalyst for innovation among legacy players.

    Companies included in this report: Ladder, Haven Life, Getsurance, Tomorrow, Fabric, Atidot, AllLife, Royal London, Polly, Life.io, Legal & General, Vitality, Discovery, John Hancock, Dai-ichi Life.

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    • Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and self-driving technology are helping the transportation and logistics industry finally transform by cutting costs, optimizing delivery routes, and automating mundane tasks.
    • Startups will be the lynchpin of this transformation because they specifically target areas of need  with cutting-edge solutions.
    • Business Insider Intelligence examined the top 5 startups within five key areas: digital freight services, warehouse robotics, AI for supply chain management, last-mile delivery robotics, and self-driving car software.

    Transportation and logistics industries have operated largely the same way for decades. But the surge in e-commerce in the last several years, combined with consumers’ appetite for same-day delivery, has brought us to a tipping point.

    Total Logistics Costs

    Delivery companies are doing all they can to get orders to customers’ doors as quickly as possible, which has facilitated wholesale changes in how they operate.

    Cutting-edge digital solutions (including digital freight services, warehouse robotics, AI for supply chain management, delivery robotics, and autonomous driving software) are forcing traditional delivery companies to either evolve or see their core businesses erode.

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    Wende Hutton

    • We asked healthcare and biotech venture capitalists from leading firms like Venrock, Canaan Partners, and General Catalyst Partners to share their predictions for 2019.
    • While some had their eye on new ways to aid mental health, others are on the lookout for biotechs with a more focused approach to drug development.
    • From biotech-market corrections to an ever-growing field of direct-to-consumer healthcare companies, here's what the VCs anticipate will be in store next year.

    The healthcare industry is at a crossroads.

    Big tech players are encroaching on entrenched healthcare companies, forcing them — as well as startups — to think of different ways to care for patients. In biotech, a red-hot initial-public-offering window appears to be closing.

    Looking ahead to 2019, Business Insider turned to six healthcare and biotech investors at top venture-capital firms to find out what they're keeping an eye on going into the new year.

    SUBSCRIBE: Dispensed: a weekly dose of pharma, biotech, and healthcare news

    Venrock partner Camille Samuels predicts a biotech correction and a slump for Moderna.

    Venrock partner Camille Samuels is ready to get back to the basics in biotech.

    "I'm enthused by the correction," Samuels told Business Insider. Over the past five years, the Nasdaq biotech index is up 25%, though recently stocks have taken a tumble, putting them into correction territory, a term that refers to a 10% or greater decline from a stock's most recent peak.

    In 2019, she said, she's anticipating a return to the basic biotech-business model. That is, instead of a broad platform with six or more potential drugs in the works, a more straightforward focus on one or two lead programs that a company knows super well.

    The correction in turn will drive that because there will be less available capital pouring into early-stage companies, forcing them to have a more zoomed-in approach.

    "I remain an optimist on the fundamentals of biotech, but the industry has gotten so enthusiastic as to be undisciplined," Samuels said.

    On the policy side, Samuels said she expects to see the biopharma industry make a concession on drug pricing to appease the Trump administration. That said, she doesn't expect it to have broad implications.

    Another prediction: "Moderna will exit at a $3 billion valuation next year."

    Moderna debuted on the public market on December 7 after raising more than $600 million in the biggest IPO in biotech history. While the IPO valued Moderna at $7.5 billion, it's currently trading well below its IPO price, with a market value of $5 billion.

    Samuels expects that to drop even further by the end of 2019, to a market value of $3 billion.

    "It's hard for me, looking at their pipeline, to figure out why they're valued five times, six times [as much as] other companies with the same pipeline," Samuels said.

    Lastly, she sees exhaustion with financing cancer-drug makers sinking in, with interest picking up for other diseases that have been left at the wayside.

    Two of the scientific areas she's most interested in at the moment: mitochondrial RNA-based medicines and antiaging biology, particularly a subsection she refers to as "inflamm-aging."



    Wende Hutton, a general partner at Canaan Partners, anticipates a more skittish IPO market.

    "We're coming out of a very ebullient year," Hutton told Business Insider. As part of the massive year biotech companies had entering the public market, Canaan Partners' portfolio had two entries.

    Hutton said she expects to see a lot of new startups form and a lot of early-stage fundraising rounds, given the money that venture funds have raised over the last 18 months. But as the IPO markets start to look more skittish and uncertain, that might signal a slowdown in public debuts for 2019.

    Like Samuels, Hutton said she's anticipating a shift in focus from platform-based companies with a number of drugs in the works to companies focused on one or two drugs, in large part because those are easier buys for pharmaceutical companies looking to build up their development pipelines.

    "If there's any retrenchment of capital, that's a great place to put your money," Hutton said.

    Hutton said she's still seeing a lot of money flowing into cancer-drug makers, particularly those developing drugs that act on the body's immune system. Hers and Canaan's interest, she said, will also be in finding new candidates for neurology and rare diseases.



    Ambar Bhattacharyya at Maverick Ventures sees a 'shadow cash economy' stepping into the light.

    The way Ambar Bhattacharyya sees it, the economy of consumers willing to pay cash — rather than use their insurance — for healthcare is about to emerge.

    "A shadow cash economy is coming out of the shadows," Bhattacharyya told Business Insider.

    Companies like GoodRx, 23andMe, and Warby Parker have already paved the way. Now with the explosion of direct-to-consumer health companies like men's health company Hims, in which Bhattacharyya is an investor, the new relationship with healthcare and a willingness to pay cash for services that might otherwise be covered by insurance will cement itself.

    Bhattacharyya said he also expects to see interest in cybersecurity pick up in 2019, potentially in the form of services like LifeLock's work in identity theft showing up in medical records to protect from health-insurance fraud.

    Maverick, an early investor in One Medical, anticipates seeing more brick-and-mortar doctor's offices for specialties pop up, possibly for diabetes or mental health. Already, he's seen companies like Two Chairs for mental health spring up in northern California and fertility clinic Kindbody in New York.

    On the employment side, Bhattacharyya is looking forward to seeing people who are pursuing careers in technology start to consider healthcare in a more serious way, particularly as tech giants like Facebook face reputational challenges.

    Two areas Bhattacharyya is less interested in seeing new companies: new approaches to pharmacy benefits management (the companies in charge of negotiating drug prices), and tech services for diabetes (an area that already has a fair amount of competition).



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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