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The latest news from Business Insider

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    Marc Benioff and Mark Zuckerberg

    • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told CNBC that it was clear Facebook was a "train wreck" even before its year of scandals.
    • Benioff attacked Facebook in January 2018 at The World Economic Forum in Davos, claiming it was as addictive as tobacco and should be regulated.
    • Benioff said Sheryl Sandberg got in touch afterwards to say she would send him a "variety of materials" disproving his claims. Benioff said the materials never arrived, Facebook said they were sent.

    Marc Benioff said in an interview with CNBC that Facebook looked like a "train wreck" even before it was beset by a series of crippling scandals last year.

    In January 2018, the Salesforce CEO publicly attacked Facebook at the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying it needed to be regulated like the cigarette industry because its product was equally addictive.

    Benioff told CNBC that he hadn't planned to come after the social network in advance. It was conversations with hedge fund billionaire Jim Steyer and tech investor Roger McNamee, who initially was an advisor to Mark Zuckerberg but has since become one of Facebook's most vocal critics, that got him thinking.

    Read more:Mark Zuckerberg's former mentor spent a week attacking Facebook for becoming "toxic"

    Benioff said he came to the conclusion that Facebook "was a train wreck and that the management team was making it worse."

    Since making the comments in Davos, Facebook was embroiled in the giant Cambridge Analytica data scandal and has been firefighting issues including fake news, inappropriate content, and election meddling.

    After the footage of Benioff attacking Facebook went viral, COO Sheryl Sandberg got in touch.

    "Her response and others was that it wasn't true what I was saying and they were going to send me a variety of materials to prove to me that I did not understand the situation," said Benioff.

    "I said I'd be happy to change my position if they sent me those materials that showed I was wrong. Maybe I was wrong, and I'm happy to fall on my sword."

    "But of course those materials never arrived," he added.

    When contacted by CNBC, Facebook said it had sent him the materials on April 6. It did not make clear what these documents consisted of. Business Insider has contacted the company for comment.

    Whether or not Facebook sent the materials, Benioff's position seems unchanged, as he doubled down on the cigarette analogy in November in an interview with Kara Swisher for MSNBC News.

    SEE ALSO: Marc Benioff says ditching his iPhone and iPad on holiday helped him make a huge decision about Salesforce's future

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We tested out $30 tiny spy cameras from Amazon by spying on our co-workers


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    Tim Cook Apple TV

    • Apple and Samsung have put aside their protracted rivalry and signed a deal that will let people access iTunes on their smart Samsung TVs.
    • Samsung plans to add an app to its televisions that lets users browse and play their iTunes movies and television shows as well as purchase or rent new content.
    • Apple is increasingly leaning on its services business for revenue amid slowing smartphone sales.

    Samsung on Sunday said it would add an app to its smart televisions in the coming months to let owners watch content bought on Apple's iTunes service, a possible first sign Apple is looking to distribute its forthcoming television service on devices made by others.

    The deal is part of an ongoing strategy shift for Apple, which is facing weak hardware sales in China and a saturated global smartphone market in which users are hanging on to their old iPhones longer than ever, hammering its biggest business.

    As a result, Apple is increasingly leaning on its services segment, which includes businesses such as iCloud storage in addition to its music, television, and movie content businesses.

    It has announced several high-profile deals for original television content, including a forthcoming show with Oprah Winfrey, but has not yet said how it plans to distribute that content or when its service will launch.

    The Samsung deal could be a step toward Apple distributing content to devices made by others. Apple makes a device called Apple TV that connects to a full television set, but Apple has never produced a full set.

    Read more: The $450 billion wipeout: Apple's value has fallen by more than Facebook's entire worth in 3 short months

    Under the deal unveiled Sunday, Samsung will add an app to its televisions that lets users browse and play their iTunes movies and television shows as well as purchase or rent new content. Samsung also said it would add Apple's AirPlay 2 software that will allow iPhone owners to stream content from their device to Samsung televisions.

    Many existing deals between content companies and smart-television makers involve the content companies paying television makers for the right to appear on their devices. Apple and Samsung declined to comment on whether Apple was paying any fees or a percentage of sales made on the televisions under the new deal.

    The impact of iTunes landing on Samsung movies will be muted for now. Since late 2017, consumers who purchased movies through iTunes have been able to watch them on any device, including Samsung televisions, that supported the Movies Anywhere consortium.

    Films from Warner Bros, Walt Disney, Universal, Sony, and Fox purchased through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Vudu could be viewed on the respective apps and devices and TVs that support the apps.

    The Samsung deal is the second time in recent months in which Apple has made a pact with another technology company to land its services on their devices. In November, it said its Apple Music streaming service would be made available on Amazon's Echo smart speakers, despite Apple selling its own line of HomePod speakers that compete directly with Echo speakers.

    Apple and Samsung are better known as fierce rivals, battling it out for smartphone sales across the world. Samsung is the world's biggest phone manufacturer, while Apple has traditionally been in first or second place but was last year leapfrogged by China's Huawei.

    Apple and Samsung also fought a seven-year legal battle in which Apple accused Samsung of ripping off its ideas and violating its patents. The companies settled last year in a move that could have helped pave the way for this week's iTunes deal.

    SEE ALSO: 'Apple's darkest day in the iPhone era': Here's what Wall Street is saying about Apple's bombshell sales warning

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Deliveroo

    • Deliveroo, the $2 billion British food delivery startup being eyed for acquisition by Uber, has lost one of its most senior executives.
    • Roy Blanga was previously chief operating officer and left in December, sources told Business Insider.
    • Deliveroo has appointed another executive, Rohan Pradhan, as his successor.
    • Uber was in early-stage talks to acquire Deliveroo late last year, per media reports and sources.

    Britain's $2 billion food delivery startup Deliveroo has lost one of its most senior executives.

    Former chief operating officer Roy Blanga left the firm in December, a source with knowledge of the matter said. Business Insider understands that Blanga's departure was announced internally around spring.

    Deliveroo confirmed Blanga's departure, and said it had promoted another executive, Rohan Pradhan, to replace him as COO. Blanga did not respond to a request for comment. The source said Blanga was currently exploring his options.

    Roy Blanga

    Blanga was previously international vice president of northern Europe at discount giant Groupon, joining Deliveroo in 2015. He led Deliveroo's global expansion when the delivery startup raised $100 million to launch outside Europe.

    Pradhan, his successor, previously led Deliveroo Editions, its pop-up kitchens that help restaurants meet demand for takeout orders.

    Deliveroo is one of the best-funded startups in the UK, with almost $1 billion in investment and a $2 billion valuation. Its core offering is the Deliveroo app, which allows customers to order takeaway from a broad range of local restaurants, most of which don't have an in-house delivery service. Contracted Deliveroo "riders" deliver the food by bicycle or motorbike. 

    Its American CEO and cofounder, Will Shu, started the company after being frustrated as a City banker with the poor choice of takeaway food available in London.

    While Deliveroo isn't available in the US, Bloomberg reported in September 2018 that Uber was considering acquiring the firm to bolster its UberEats food delivery business.

    Sources confirmed that Deliveroo had fielded several acquisition offers, but suggested Will Shu was unlikely to sell. Shu subsequently told Business Insider that his company was not for sale, and insiders have said that any offer from Uber would need to be in the $4 billion to $6 billion range.

    According to its 2017 accounts, Deliveroo is growing quickly but also losing large amounts of money. Its revenue for the year grew 116% to £277 million ($361 million) in 2017, on a pre-tax loss of £184.7 million ($241 million).

    SEE ALSO: How Deliveroo went from being the idea of a hungry banker to a $2 billion food delivery giant coveted by Uber

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The safest way to walk on ice is to impersonate a penguin — here's why


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    zuckerberg san francisco general hospital protest

    • Sasha Cuttler, a nurse working at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, alleges the medical institution has illegally retaliated against their whistleblowing.
    • Cuttler has been an outspoken critic of the decision to rename the hospital after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and also raised issues internally about patient falls.
    • The nurse alleges they were passed over for promotions as a result, and removed from leadership positions.
    • Cuttler has filed a legal complaint to the US Department of Labor on Tuesday.

    A nurse who has been an outspoken critic of a San Francisco hospital's decision to rename itself in return for a $75 million donation from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has accused the medical institution of illegally retaliating against them over it and other matters.

    Sasha Cuttler, 58, on Tuesday filed a legal complaint against the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, commonly referred to as just the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where they have worked since on and off since 1987.

    Cuttler, who uses gender neutral pronouns, has repeatedly cited a 2014 study in which Facebook manipulated some users' emotions without their knowledge or consent as unethical and as raising concerns about the Facebook exec's links to the hospital. Cuttler has been openly critical, both internally and in public, organising protests against the 34-year-old billionaire executive and talking to the media (including Business Insider). 

    The nurse alleges that the hospital has illegally retaliated against them, both because of their anti-Zuckerberg activism and because of work they conducted relating to patient falls at the hospital and their warnings that staffing changes could increase the number of falls.

    Cuttler has now filed formal complaints with the California Labour Commissioner's Office (CLCO) and the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), alleging unlawful whistleblower retaliation. Cuttler alleges they were passed over for promotion, removed from the hospital Institutional Review Board and the Falls Task Force leadership, and "[marginalized] and [ostracized] within the workplace."

    In a statement, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital spokesperson Brent Andrew said: "We were not informed of these complaints by the employee and have not been officially informed of these complaints by the agencies contacted and, therefore, have not seen them. Pending a thorough review, we will have no statement on the substance of these claims.

    "ZSFG follows all applicable federal, state and local labor laws and does not retaliate against employees under any circumstances. We will cooperate fully with all investigations into this matter."

    The retaliation has "caused [Cuttler] to suffer from anxiety and depression, insomnia, and other stress-related conditions," the complaint alleges, and it seeks damages from the hospital.

    Zuckerberg's name is causing increasing headaches for the California hospital. San Francisco politician Aaron Peskin is pushing for it to be removed entirely in response to the social media company's recent string of scandals. 


    Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at rprice@businessinsider.com, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

     

    SEE ALSO: A gamer tried to go pro by pretending to be a woman, and the scandal exposed an ugly truth about esports

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The safest way to walk on ice is to impersonate a penguin — here's why


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    facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

    • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that his new year's resolution is to host public debates about the effects of tech on society.
    • Every year Zuckerberg poses himself a challenge; they've varied from wacky to serious.
    • His challenge for 2018 was to fix Facebook's woes after the social network came under fire for its role in spreading misinformation.
    • But 2018 saw Facebook take a beating after it was embroiled in a string of scandals and security incidents.
    • Now Zuckerberg is positioning himself as part of the solution.

    After a year of unprecedented scandals and scrutiny, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his new year's resolution for 2019 is to host a series of debates about tech's influence on society.

    The 34-year-old billionaire chief exec is famous for his sometimes wacky resolutions, from coding his own virtual AI assistant to eating only meat from animals he killed himself. On Tuesday, he announced that this time around, he resolves "to host a series of public discussions about the future of technology in society — the opportunities, the challenges, the hopes, and the anxieties."

    "Every few weeks I'll talk with leaders, experts, and people in our community from different fields and I'll try different formats to keep it interesting. These will all be public, either on my Facebook or Instagram pages or on other media," Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page.

    His resolution last year was to fix Facebook's woes after scrutiny came over the social network's role in spreading misinformation and Russian propaganda. "This will be a serious year of self-improvement and I'm looking forward to learning from working to fix our issues together," he wrote in early 2018.

    Instead Facebook ended up taking a beating in 2018. The company was buffeted by scandals, from Cambridge Analytica to massive hacks and its role spreading hate speech amid genocide in Myanmar. The CEO faced mounting calls to resign, and the spectre of regulatory and legislative scrutiny now hangs over the company's head.

    Zuckerberg's 2019 resolution tries to position the CEO as part of finding the solutions to the issues tech has caused, rather than a key factor in their creation. Debate topics will include the role of central authorities in gatekeeping online debate, the impact of the internet on "our social fabric," and the effects of AI on human labor.

    "There are so many big questions about the world we want to live in and technology's place in it," he wrote.


    Do you work at Facebook? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via Signal or WhatsApp at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at rprice@businessinsider.com, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.



    Here's the full text of his post:

    Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn something new. I've built an AI for my home, run 365 miles, visited every US state, read 25 books, and learned Mandarin.

    Last year, I focused almost all my time on addressing important issues around elections, speech, privacy, and well-being. Facebook is a different company now than it was a couple of years ago because of a much greater focus on these questions. These issues are complex and we will continue focusing on them for years to come.

    There are so many big questions about the world we want to live in and technology's place in it. Do we want technology to keep giving more people a voice, or will traditional gatekeepers control what ideas can be expressed? Should we decentralize authority through encryption or other means to put more power in people's hands? In a world where many physical communities are weakening, what role can the internet play in strengthening our social fabric? How do we build an internet that helps people come together to address the world's biggest problems that require global-scale collaboration? How do we build technology that creates more jobs rather than just building AI to automate things people do? What form will this all take now that the smartphone is mature? And how do we keep up the pace of scientific and technological progress across fields?

    My challenge for 2019 is to host a series of public discussions about the future of technology in society -- the opportunities, the challenges, the hopes, and the anxieties. Every few weeks I'll talk with leaders, experts, and people in our community from different fields and I'll try different formats to keep it interesting. These will all be public, either on my Facebook or Instagram pages or on other media.

    This will be intellectually interesting, but there's a personal challenge for me here too. I'm an engineer, and I used to just build out my ideas and hope they'd mostly speak for themselves. But given the importance of what we do, that doesn't cut it anymore. So I'm going to put myself out there more than I've been comfortable with and engage more in some of these debates about the future, the tradeoffs we face, and where we want to go.

    I'm looking forward to another year of learning and personal improvement, and to discussing a lot important questions with all of you!

    SEE ALSO: Facebook endured a staggering number of scandals and controversies in 2018 — here they all are

    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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    Paul Golding Britain First

    • Facebook allowed political ads for far-right British political group Britain First to run on its platform in December, despite the fact the group is banned from the social network.
    • The ads ran for several days in late December, promoting a Britain First petition against an upgraded mosque in Maidstone.
    • According to the BBC, the ads were bought by Political Gamers TV, which is not directly affiliated to Britain First.
    • Facebook initially said the ads didn't violate its policies but eventually removed the posts.

    Facebook is still finding its feet when it comes to enforcing new rules around political ads on its platform.

    A BBC investigation found that the social network allowed at least two ads promoting a far-right British political group, Britain First, to run on its platform. Britain First and its leaders have been banned from Facebook since May 2018.

    The ads ran for a few days in late December and promoted a Britain First petition to halt the reconstruction of a mosque in Maidstone. You can see an example of one ad below, and the rest on Facebook's archive of political ads:

    Britain First ad

    The ads were not bought by direct representatives of Britain First, according to the BBC.

    Instead they were bought by a page called Political Gamers TV, which described itself to the BBC as: "A new, growing patriotic gaming youth movement... here to defend the rights of gamers and games from the unfair treatment of male gamers coming from SJWs [social justice warriors], feminists and left-wing activists."

    The ads were initially flagged by a Facebook user, Brian Whelan, in January and Facebook said the posts didn't violate its rules. When the BBC flagged the ads, Facebook removed the ads and the Political Gamers TV page, saying the violated its policies.

    A Facebook spokesman said in a statement: "Britain First's Pages were removed from Facebook in March 2018 for repeated content violations. We thank the BBC for bringing the Page 'Political Gamers TV' to our attention, which violated our policies and has now been removed. We urge people to use our reporting tools if they find content that they believe violates our Community Standards, so we can continue to take appropriate action such as this." 

    Read more:We ran 2 fake ads pretending to be Cambridge Analytica — and Facebook failed to catch that they were frauds

    Britain First criticised Facebook for removing content that supported the group, and said it was suing for "political discrimination."

    "This is political gerrymandering and censorship at its worst," the group told the BBC. "This is why Britain First is suing Facebook for political discrimination, in Belfast High Court."

    This appears to be one of the first real-world tests of Facebook's new political transparency tools, which were rolled out in 2018 and were designed to tackle foreign interference in elections and to help with the spread of fake news.

    It follows investigations by Vice and Business Insider which show that it's easy to post prohibited political ads on Facebook, despite its stricter rules. Vice posed as 100 US senators to post fake political ads and was approved by Facebook. Business Insider posed as banned data consultancy Cambridge Analytica and successfully posted divisive ads about Brexit.

    Facebook delayed the rollout of its new political ad transparency tools in the UK as a result. The tools eventually rolled out in November with what Facebook described as tighter approval processes.

    SEE ALSO: Facebook has banned far-right party Britain First and its leaders

    SEE ALSO: We ran 2 fake ads pretending to be Cambridge Analytica — and Facebook failed to catch that they were frauds

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How Apple went from a $1 trillion company to losing over 20% of its share price in 3 months


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    yasuka maezawa lunar moon space tourist japanese billionaire spacex bfr big falcon rocket moon mission lunar event AP_18261106605775

    • The Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has surpassed a chicken-nugget-loving US teen by posting the most retweeted tweet ever.
    • Maezawa's tweet offered a financial incentive for people to retweet it.
    • Elon Musk announced in September that Maezawa had purchased a ticket to fly around the moon on SpaceX's Big Falcon rocket.

    The Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa made headlines last year when Elon Musk announced he would be the first commercial passenger to be flown around the moon in SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket. Now, Maezawa has set a record for the most retweeted tweet.

    The record was held by Carter Wilkerson, a US teen who in 2017 asked Wendy's how many retweets he would need to be awarded a year's supply of free chicken nuggets.

    The fast-food chain replied with "18 million," and Wilkerson's subsequent tweet begging people to help him achieve his goal racked up 3.5 million retweets. Though Wilkerson did not hit the target of 18 million, Wendy's acquiesced and gave him a year's supply anyway.

    Read more:Meet Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese musician turned billionaire art collector who's set to be the first person to travel to the moon with SpaceX

    At the time of writing, a tweet by Maezawa had racked up more than 4.5 million retweets, outstripping Wilkerson by more than a million. The post is a celebration of Maezawa's clothing company, Zozotown, making 10 billion yen ($92 million) in sales over Christmas and New Year's.

    Maezawa, however, is operating with two major advantages. First, he is already a public figure with over 5 million followers, whereas TechCrunch reports that Wilkerson only had 138 followers when his nugget appeal went viral.

    Second — and perhaps most tellingly — Maezawa offered a financial incentive for people to retweet. He has promised to share 100 million yen ($923,000) among 100 randomly selected people who retweeted him.

    Business Insider has contacted Twitter to ask about its policy regarding gambling on the platform.

    SEE ALSO: The first tourist to fly around the moon on SpaceX's new rocket ship bought all the seats for artists — and Elon Musk said it restored his faith in humanity

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic plan on taking you to space


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    Tidelift_Founders

    • Tidelift, founded by former Red Hat employees, on Monday announced $25 million in new funding to try to create a new business model for open-source software.
    • The open-source industry is in the middle of great change as some software companies make defensive moves against Amazon and other cloud providers reselling their open-source projects for a profit.
    • Tidelift helps connect software developers with the people who make open-source software — the developers get better service and support, while the open-source maintainers get financial support for their work.

    In the early 2000s, people would balk at the notion of using free, open-source software to run a serious business — companies like Red Hat, which bet its business model on the concept, were seen as oddities.

    But times have changed. Open-source software is key to most modern computing infrastructures. And over a decade later, IBM is planning to acquire Red Hat for a colossal $34 billion.

    Now, Tidelift, a startup founded by a group of former Red Hat employees that wants to repeat the trick and pioneer a new business model for open-source software, on Monday announced $25 million in new funding from General Catalyst, Foundry Group, and former Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik.

    What Tidelift is trying to do, says its cofounder and CEO, Donald Fischer, is connect the users of open-source software directly with the people who make it.

    "It only makes sense that it should be in our self-interest to pay the maintainers" of open-source software, Fischer told Business Insider. "If we don't do that, it's going to be a rough 2019. We need to set ourselves up with decades of more success."

    Often, open-source projects are maintained by enthusiasts in their spare time as an act of altruism for the developer community. But those maintainers often have day jobs or otherwise don't have the time or financial resources to work on the project full time. Open-source software is always free, and free doesn't pay the bills.

    This results in undermaintained open-source software, Fischer said, where security holes and other bugs go unpatched in even reasonably popular projects. That in turn makes it harder for businesses to rely on open-source software — and sometimes drives them to pricier, but better-supported, commercial products from the likes of Oracle or Microsoft.

    That's where Tidelift comes in, Fischer says. If you're a development team that subscribes to Tidelift, your subscription fee gets disbursed to the maintainers of the open-source projects you're using — provided those maintainers have also signed up for Tidelift. In return, maintainers provide the tech support and fixes needed to put open-source software to work.

    "We observed that there's a two-sided marketplace at work around open-source software," Fischer said. "There's various individuals and teams creating software for different reasons. There's been a missed opportunity where organizations consuming that software would be interested in paying for additional assurances, and many people who would be interested in getting paid for those services."

    'Cracks' in the open-source business

    The founders of Tidelift have been working together in the open-source industry for the past 20 years, including at Red Hat. Fischer recalled that when IBM announced it would acquire Red Hat, it was "both gratifying and a little saddening."

    The new funding comes after a tumultuous year in the industry that brought its traditional business model under fresh scrutiny.

    "It was sort of an amazing year for open source," Fischer said. "At the same time, there are cracks forming around open source."

    Open-source companies like Elastic went public, while high-profile firms like GitHub and Red Hat navigated big-money acquisitions.

    In the traditional open-source business model, called "open core," companies like MongoDB, Elastic, and even Red Hat offer free open-source software that anyone can download and use as they wish, and they make money by charging for tech support and extra features that make the software more suitable for businesses.

    The rise of cloud computing has thrown an interesting wrinkle in that formula, as cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure take the free open-source software created by the open-source community, package it into a paid service, and offer it to their own customers for a profit. It's all perfectly legal, but the practice has sparked some backlash from smaller open-source companies, many of which have been making defensive moves.

    Read more:After Amazon's cloud encroaches on its turf, a startup is taking a stand: Open source can't be 'free and unsustainable R&D' for tech giants'

    Tidelift believes that its subscription solution can thread that needle, offering a way for open-source developers to make money without having to worry about a major cloud platform — or anybody else — eating their lunch.

    The Tidelift solution

    From Fischer's perspective, it's crucial that maintainers get the financial support to continue their open-source work. With the funding, Tidelift plans to expand its coverage and bring more open-source projects into the fold, at a time when it sees good open-source maintenance as more vital than ever.

    In November, the world got an object lesson in the value of good open-source maintenance when an open-source JavaScript package called "event-stream," which had about 100 million downloads a year and was used by the BBC and Microsoft, was found to have bitcoin-stealing malware that was snuck in by a malicious third party.

    While things don't always get that dramatic, a Tidelift subscription could give developers peace of mind that their open-source software is getting timely updates and security fixes, Fischer said. That's something you don't get if you download open-source software from the internet and just start using it.

    "Open-source software hasn't traditionally come with those guarantees," Fischer said. "It does come with the guarantee that you can make a copy of it. Just because you can make a copy and download it from GitHub doesn't mean anyone's ready to keep it working and keeping it well-maintained."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We tried the Costco food court and it totally blew us away


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    The future of retail is looking bright.The future of mobile commerce

    So bright that Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, expects the industry to top $5.5 trillion by 2020!

    While in-store and desktop purchases are certainly helping the retail industry boom, the biggest factor for this incredible growth is in your pocket.

    Find out why the smartphone will be crucial for retailers in 2018 and beyond with the first part of a brand new slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence called The Future of Retail: Mobile Commerce.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • US retail is growing $200 billion year-over-year
    • In-store retail is still dwarfing e-commerce
    • But e-commerce is growing almost 4x faster than in-store
    • Mobile commerce is driving most of that growth
    • And much more

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

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and incoming GitHub CEO Nat Friedman

    • GitHub has announced GitHub Free, which gives users unlimited private repositories for free — a move that brings it into tighter competition with rivals like Atlassian BitBucket or GitLab. 
    • This is GitHub's first major update since Microsoft officially acquired the code-sharing service for $7.5 billion in October.
    • Nat Friedman, CEO of GitHub, says that unlimited free private repositories was the top-requested feature for GitHub.
    • Microsoft bought GitHub to win the hearts and minds of software developers, and this could be an important step towards that goal.

    GitHub has made its first major update since Microsoft officially acquired the ubiquitous code-sharing service for $7.5 billion: It's giving away unlimited free hosting for private coding projects.

    With GitHub Free, developers can now host as many private coding projects they want for free.

    This is a big deal because, in the past, GitHub's free offering only allowed you to make coding projects that could be viewed by anybody, anywhere. The ability to host private projects — like a homework assignment, a side project, or even a coding test for a programming job — was a paid feature.  Now, making private repositories is free for everybody, and users can loop in up to three collaborators on these projects. 

    Nat Friedman, CEO of GitHub, writes on Twitter that since its acquisition, GitHub has shipped over 125 improvements. Based on customer feedback, unlimited free private repositories was the top-requested feature. Notably, free private repositories are a hallmark feature of GitHub rivals like GitLab or Atlassian BitBucket. 

    "I’m especially excited to ship it because GitHub is ultimately a community, and the more collaboration that happens on GitHub, the better it can be for everyone," Friedman tweeted. "We often think of coding as a solitary activity, but in fact it’s the world’s largest team sport."

    GitHub also announced that it's consolidated its existing products for the business under the GitHub Enterprise brand, which it will now sell as one subscription. Those products include GitHub Enterprise Cloud, which gives businesses a private GitHub portal for their own use, and GitHub Enterprise Server, which lets customers run GitHub's software in their own servers for maximum control over their data. 

    Read more: GitHub CEO Nat Friedman lays out the master plan

    Microsoft's acquisition of GitHub was a major play for the hearts and minds of software developers, everywhere. Giving away more of the service for free could be an important step towards that goal. 

    "This is something we've been excited about for a long time," Kathy Simpson, senior director of product management at GitHub, told Business Insider. "It really shows an investment in the future for the community of developers we're looking to build...It's making GitHub an easier platform to everyone to use."



    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We tried the Costco food court and it totally blew us away


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    house of representatives before and after 2x1

    • The 116th Congress was sworn into office on Thursday, January 3.
    • The incoming House of Representatives is shaping up to be the most diverse class in history.
    • There will be more women, women of color, openly LGBT members, and millennials serving in the House than ever before.
    • Those gains in representation are largely concentrated among Democrats.
    • See how the demographics of the House are changing with our interactive graphic.

    The 116th Congress was sworn into office on Thursday, and the incoming House of Representatives is shaping up to be the most diverse House class in history.

    The 2018 midterms saw historic gains in Congressional representation for women, people of color, LGBTQ+, and younger candidates — with the vast majority of those gains coming from Democrats.

    A record 106 women were elected to serve in the 116th House, an increase of 15% over the 92 women who served in the 115th House. Combined with five new female Senators and 10 female Senators not up for re-election, a total of 131 women will serve in the 116th Congress.

    Read more:12 records the 2018 midterm elections smashed

    While 52% of the 67 incoming House Democratic freshmen are female, only two, or 4.5% of the 44 incoming Republican freshmen are women — West Virginia's Carol Miller and Arizona's Debbie Lesko. Lesko won a special election earlier this year to replace Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned in the wake of a sexual misconduct scandal.

    Republicans saw their roster of female House representatives gutted 43% from 23 members to 13, as many Republican women either stepped down to run for higher office — like Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee and Kristi Noem in South Dakota — or were unseated by Democratic challengers.

    As the blue wave swept through suburban America, it unseated many Republican women in its wake, including Karen Handel in the Atlanta suburbs, Barbara Comstock in the DC suburbs of Northern Virginia, and Mimi Walters in Orange County, California — formerly reliable Republican areas.

    Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland,

    The 116th House also boasts more women of color than ever before, including the first Native American women to serve in Congress and the first African-American women to represent Illinois and Massachusetts in the House, respectively.

    As with gender, the gains in representation for people of color are heavily concentrated in the Democratic Party. A full 34% of the incoming House Democrats but 2% of their Republican colleagues identify as people of color. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio will be the only incoming non-white freshman Republican.

    Read more: 2 photos show the stark difference in the new representatives Democrats and Republicans are sending to Congress

    Furthermore, four of the 15 Republican representatives who were identified as Hispanic or African-American in the 115th House either retired or lost-re-election to Democratic challengers, including Florida's Carlos Curbelo and Utah's Mia Love. Among the 200 Republicans in the 116th House, 90% will be white men.

    Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    While two of the 115th House's LGBT members, Krysten Sinema of Arizona and Jared Polis of Colorado, resigned to pursue higher office, four new Democratic LGBT candidates were elected: Chris Pappas of New Hampshire, Sharice Davids of Kansas, Angie Craig of Minnesota, and Katie Hill of California. There have been no openly LGBT Republicans in the House or Senate since 2006.

    The 115th House was one of the oldest in history, but 2018 midterms also ushered in a wave of younger Gen X'ers and Millennials elected to Congress. The average age of an incoming member of Congress is 47, a full decade lower than the average age of the 115th Congress. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    denali

    • Mountains are some of the most fascinating landforms on Earth.
    • The tallest mountains in the world are all in Asia, mostly in China, Nepal, Pakistan, and India.
    • We compiled photos of the tallest mountain in 31 different countries.

    Whether you're an adventurer, a nature lover, or just a sightseer, mountains make for some of the most fascinating landforms on Earth.

    When it comes to the highest mountains in the world, Asia is where the action is — the continent is home to the 188 tallest mountains in the world, most of which are in China, Nepal, Pakistan, and India.

    But with each country listed by just its tallest mountain, many other countries float up the list. Argentina has the 10th tallest national high point, Aconcagua, while the United States' tallest mountain, Denali, is 15th on the list.

    Read more:The highest point in every US state

    We've compiled breathtaking photos of the tallest mountains in 31 different countries, listed in reverse order. Some peaks, like the tallest mountain in the world, are claimed by two countries, so they're listed together here. Measurements were taken from Peakbagger.com.

    Read on to see where each country ranks among the giants.

    SEE ALSO: The highest point in every US state

    DON'T MISS: The tallest building in every US state

    30. and 31. France and Italy — Mont Blanc, 15,781 feet



    29. Indonesia — Pun cak Jaya, 16,024 feet



    28. Venezuela — Pico Bolivar, 16,332 feet



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    bill clinton

    • If the government shutdown doesn't end by Saturday, it will become the longest in US history.
    • Currently, the longest government shutdown in history took place from 1995 to 1996 under former President Bill Clinton.
    • That shutdown came less than a month after another shutdown in November 1995, and was the result of the same set of budgetary issues.
    • The record '95-96 shutdown only resulted in 284,000 employees having to miss work, which is less than half of the estimated 800,000 furloughs for the 2018-19 shutdown.
    • Though the two parties were disagreeing about different issues, the 1995-96 shutdown was similar to the 2018-19 impasse in several key ways.


    The government shutdown that started at midnight on December 22, 2018, is now en route to becoming the longest in US history if Congress doesn't pass funding bills on Friday.

    It is unclear when this shutdown will end. President Donald Trump said he won't budge until the Democrats approve $5.7 billion for the wall he wants along the US-Mexico border. On Wednesday, Trump vowed to continue the partial government shutdown after a contentious meeting with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi about funding for the wall.

    After the meeting, the president tweeted, "I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!"

    Currently, the longest shutdown in US history took place under former President Bill Clinton while Republicans controlled both houses of Congress. It lasted over three weeks, from December 15, 1995 to January 6, 1996.

    Here's how it compares to the 2018-2019 shutdown, which on Saturday is likely to become the longest in US history.

    What happened that time

    us government shutdowns

    That currently record-holding shutdown took place less than a month after a previous shutdown in November 1995 closed the government for five days due to budget battles between Clinton and Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

    Although temporarily resolved after November, the two side's disagreements on funding for public initiatives spilled over again into another funding impasse soon afterward, leaving the government paralyzed as it rang in the new year.

    Like nearly all funding gap problems, the 1995-96 government shutdown was about a difference in priorities. While Gingrich was dead set on reducing government spending at the federal level, Clinton wanted to expand spending on Medicare, education, the environment, and public health.

    How the record shutdown compares to today

    bill clinton donald trump

    While federal spending as an idea was not a sticking point in the 2018-2019 shutdown, this stalemate is similar because the two parties have vastly different ideas about how to tackle what is perhaps the most visible issue in the Trump era — immigration.

    Democrats vehemently refuse to grant Trump $5.7 billion in border wall money. Though Trump previously said he would be "proud" to take the blame for the shutdown over the wall, Republicans are now pointing the finger at Democrats.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that Democrats "refused to meet President Trump halfway and provide even one-fifth of the resources for the border they were willing to provide just a few months ago."

    Though the House — which switched hands during the shutdown and is now under Democratic control — voted to re-open the government, McConnell has said the Senate won't pass any funding bills that do not get the president's approval.

    The delayed effect of the impasse on work in Washington is similar to what happened during the Clinton-Gingrich shutdown. Because government funding officially ran out at the end of Friday, December 15, 1995, the full effects of the shutdown were not felt until thousands of government employees were furloughed starting Monday, December 18.

    While the 1995-96 shutdown has been the longest in history so far, only about 284,000 employees were forced to stay home during the three-week period, compared to the 800,000 who were furloughed during the five-day shutdown in November 1995.

    As if to add insult to injury, just as Clinton and the Republicans were reaching a deal on Saturday, January 6, a massive blizzard dumped two feet of snow on Washington, DC, forcing government workers to stay out of the office for yet another five days.

    The snowstorm that caused these additional environment-related work leaves was aptly dubbed "the Furlough Storm."

    Today, 800,000 federal workers won't receive their first 2019 paycheck if the government doesn't reopen.

    Could this shutdown shatter records?

    Nancy Pelosi

    Likely.

    Though Pelosi tried to re-open the government with a House-approved spending plan, Trump and McConnell continue to refuse to pass anything through the Senate or the White House.

    Republican senators seem to be in no rush to re-open the government. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina praised Trump for his decision to shut down the government, encouraging the president to "dig in."

    "When you make a promise to the American people, you should keep it," Graham told Fox News just before the government shut down. "The one thing I like about President Trump ― he's trying his best to keep his promise. He promised to build a wall, and he's going to fight hard to keep that promise. After the caravan, if you don't see the need for more border security, you're blind."

    On Tuesday, Trump delivered his first Oval Office address, during which he parroted talking points about the need for border security. On Thursday, he said he "maybe definitely"might declare a national emergency on what he has referred to as a "crisis" at the border — a claim Democrats have criticized, and experts say isn't accurate.

    SEE ALSO: WHAT'S OPEN?: Here's how the shutdown is affecting key parts of the federal government

    DON'T MISS: This government shutdown is historic for one big reason

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Young Barack Obama

    • The country's most headline-making politicians might seem like they've always been around, but everyone's got to start somewhere. 
    • We look back at what some of America's most prominent lawmakers, politicians and government figures looked like at the early stages of their careers: 

    SEE ALSO: How Nancy Pelosi went from San Francisco housewife to the most powerful woman in US politics

    California Senator Kamala Harris as a young college graduate.



    Mike Pence loved to play guitar during his college years.



    Former El Paso Councilman Beto O'Rourke poses in front of his hometown.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 30: U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) is surrounded by supporters as he gives a speech during a campaign stop at Moody Park October 30, 2018 in Houston, Texas. With one week until Election Day, O'Rourke is running for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    • Democrats are reaching for Instagram Live videos to showcase relatability and connect with potential voters.
    • Younger Democratic politicians have captivated users and amassed large followings through Instagram Live videos.
    • Other Democrats have experimented with livestreaming, signaling they might be gearing up toward a 2020 presidential run.

    WASHINGTON — The hottest new trend among Democrats looking for a bigger spotlight as the 2020 presidential election kicks into gear is Instagram Live, where politicians can speak endlessly and answer questions from their homes.

    The young Democrats are all doing it, especially among the wave of new freshmen members of Congress such as New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Potential 2020 presidential candidate and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke is also an avid Instagrammer. 

    But it is not limited to the younger generation. Even political veterans like Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown have taken to Instagram to chat with followers and supporters.

    Brown, 66, has a modest following on Instagram of less than 10,000. Other Democrats, like O'Rourke and Ocasio-Cortez, boast following of 746,000 and 1.6 million, respectively.

    Still, each Democrat is using the platform to showcase relatability, whether it is authentic or not.

    Ocasio-Cortez often cooks or bakes while discussing priorities and going back and forth with viewers. She responds to critics and addresses her issues with the way Washington works, like when a symposium for freshmen members of Congress featured a number of lobbyists as speaker, which was co-hosted by the American Enterprise Institute.

    O'Rourke regularly prepares food or takes his followers on hikes through Texas. Shortly after losing his Senate bid to unseat Republican incumbent Ted Cruz, O'Rourke cooked up a steak, which received fawning coverage among left-leaning publications like ELLE and the Daily Dot.

    "During the Senate race, the relentless livestreaming of the candidate’s activities became a feature of his campaign,"wrote Dan Solomon in Texas Monthly. "Supporters could connect with O’Rourke at their leisure, whether it was the mundanities of campaigning or skateboarding."

    O'Rourke took it to the next level by documenting his trip to the dentist, sending Twitter users into a frenzy.

    Beto O'Rourke on Instagram.

    The stunt spurred cringes and mockery, even from both critics and supporters of O'Rourke. 

    "Please don’t do the colonoscopy!"tweeted Republican operative and CNN commentator Doug Heye.

    "Love me some Beto but this is self-parody territory,"quipped Ana Marie Cox, a liberal commentator and writer.

    And Democrats, especially those looking to court voters as they mull 2020 presidential bids, are trying to emulate the casual and relatable trend that Ocasio-Cortez and O'Rourke have so handily mastered.

    Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren used the platform to recap her announcement that she had launched an exploratory committee to run for president in 2020, as well as preview a swing through Iowa.

    "I’m gonna get me … um, a beer," said Warren during a December 31 Instagram Live video, leaving the camera view only to return with a Michelob Ultra. She also used the livestream to introduced her husband, Bruce Mann.

    Warren, whose Instagram account has 1.2 million followers, is currently the most high-profile Democrat officially touring early voting states in pursuit of a presidential bid.

    Whether the trend continues will likely depend on its effectiveness. O'Rourke managed to turn Instagram Live sessions into a fixture of his campaign and personal brand. Others, especially those less with different campaign strategies, might struggle to cultivate a strong following with which young Instagram users want to engage.

    SEE ALSO: Democrats warn that a formal request for Trump's tax returns may not come quickly

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    Debate

    • 2019 just started, but this year's calendar is already getting busy for potential 2020 contenders. 
    • With stops in Iowa and New Hampshire, these are some of the major events 2020 presidential candidates can look forward to in 2019: 

    SEE ALSO: An early look at the 2020 presidential contenders

    Fundraising for Quarter 1 begins — January 1, 2019.

    Presidential candidates will begin making their announcements in the first weeks of January, since fundraising for the first quarter of the year begins on January 1.  



    Politics & Eggs forums — beginning in February 2019.

    The "Politics & Eggs Forums," a long-held tradition in New Hampshire's political calendar, usually begin in February. During the series of forums hosted by the New England Council and Saint Anselm College, candidates meet one-on-one with attendees, sign wooden eggs, eat breakfast, and talk about their proposals, campaigns, and perspectives. 



    Fundraising for Quarter 1 ends — March 31, 2019.

    The first fundraising quarter of the year ends on March 31. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Julian Castro

    • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is running for president.
    • The Obama administration alumnus announced his decision Saturday in his hometown of San Antonio.
    • Castro had been eyeing a presidential run for months. In December, his twin brother Joaquín told Stephen Colbert his brother was ready to run.
    • In his remarks announcing his candidacy, Castro touted his support for increased access to early childhood education, universal healthcare, criminal justice reform, and a re-commitment to environmental policies.

    Julián Castro is running for president.

    The former Housing and Urban Development secretary, a Democrat, announced his bid for the presidency on Saturday in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, surrounded supporters and family, including his twin brother, US Representative Joaquín Castro.

    "When my grandmother got here almost a hundred years ago, I’m sure she never could have imagined that just two generations later, one of her grandsons would be serving as a member of the United States Congress and the other would be standing with you here today to say these words: I am a candidate for President of the United States of America," Castro said, making remarks in English and Spanish.

    Castro announced his campaign, Julián for the Future, with the campaign slogan "One Nation. One Destiny" in Plaza Guadalupe, an outdoor space near San Antonio's Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, where Castro was baptized.

    "I'm running for president because it's time for new leadership, it's time for new energy, it's time for new commitment to make sure the opportunities that I had are available to every American," Castro said.

    In his remarks, Castro went on to tout his commitment to policies including early childhood education, accessible college alternatives, universal healthcare, and criminal justice reform. 

    Castro also took aim at President Donald Trump's recent trip to McAllen, Texas, denouncing Trump's continued claims that there is a "crisis" at the southern border.

    "There is a crisis today," Castro said. "It's a crisis of leadership. Donald Trump has failed to uphold the values of our great nation."

    In another rebuke to Trump, Castro said that if elected, his first executive order would be a recommitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, an international agreement to prioritize efforts to prevent climate change. 

    Texas Rep. James Talarico delivered remarks to introduce Castro, who he called the "West Side's favorite son," referring to the historic neighborhood where the announcement event was held.

    Talarico said while he was a middle school teacher, he pointed to then-Mayor Castro as an example to follow, "not because he is famous or successful but because he always has the courage to do what is right."

    Castro's official announcement comes weeks after his brother had revealed the news during an interview with Stephen Colbert in December. Back then, the former Housing secretary couldn't officially announce his candidacy because, under Federal Election Commission rules, he would've had to file paperwork with the agency immediately.

    "I'll speak on his behalf, here," Joaquín told Colbert after asking why Julián was going to run or not. "He's going to run for president."

    The campaign announced Saturday that Joaquín would assume the role of campaign chairman. 

    Read more: Here's everyone who has officially announced they are running for president in 2020

    Julián Castro, 44, was born and raised in San Antonio and began his career there, as a member of the City Council. In 2009, he was elected mayor and held the position until 2014, when he was picked as secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development by Barack Obama.

    During his tenure, HUD expanded lead safety protections in federally assisted housing, worked to reconstruct communities affected by natural disasters under a $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition, and fulfilled the Fair Housing Act by releasing the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule.

    The grandson of a Mexican immigrant, Castro has remained close to his family's roots and Texas' Latino population. 

    "I'm also very mindful, especially now for the Latino community, that there's a particular meaning to my candidacy," Castro told the Associated Press in 2018. "We can't go through the 2020 cycle with nobody on that stage because of what's happened over the last couple of years."

    He and his brothers were pulled into politics by their mother, a Chicana activist who once ran for San Antonio City Council. 

    Castro said on ABC's "This Week" last Sunday that he felt strongly about advancing a wide variety of policies that aim to benefit all Americans.

    "I'm not going to be a single-issue candidate," he said. "My vision for the country's future is that we aim in the 21st century to be the smartest, the healthiest, the most fair and the most prosperous country."

    Earlier this month, Castro echoed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's calls for an increased tax rate on the rich, saying he "can support folks at the top paying their fair share," citing a time when the top marginal tax rate was over 90%. 

    The former HUD Secretary told the AP last year that he hadn't spoken to Obama about his candidacy but had been in conversations about it with other Democratic leaders. He traveled to Nevada and Iowa last week and is planning on stopping by New Hampshire on January 16 for the traditional "Politics & Eggs" initiative organized by the New England Council and Saint Anselm College that most presidential candidates participate in.

    Castro tweeted a picture of him alongside his twin brother and daughter Saturday morning to tease the announcement before he rode the number 68 San Antonio public bus to the plaza, which was livestreamed from his Facebook page.

    His campaign said this is the same bus he and his twin brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro rode to school as children.

    Attendees were greeted with art depicting Castro's likeness alongside "2020," and stickers and t-shirts bearing what appears to be a campaign slogan, "One Nation. One Destiny."

    SEE ALSO: Democrat Julian Castro says he'll 'likely' run in 2020

    DON'T MISS: Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination are turning to Instagram Live as a secret weapon

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    daimler trucks

    • Daimler Trucks CEO Martin Daum told Business Insider that he thinks Tesla's electric truck is 'fun,' but that he takes competition from them seriously.
    • Daum also said that cracking the market for Tesla will be tough, specifically because to compete in the trucking space, you need to be able to achieve global scale.
    • Daimler Trucks, which sold more than 500,000 trucks in 2018, is a global leader in trucks, and Daum said the company intends to defend that position. 

    LAS VEGAS — The man who runs one of the biggest truck manufacturing companies in the world thinks Tesla's electric semi is 'fun.' 

    Daimler Trucks CEO Martin Daum told Business Insider during an interview at this year's Consumer Electronics Show that while he takes all competition seriously, the truck manufacturing business is not an easy one to crack. 

    "They’re fun, it’s an interesting market. We take every competitor seriously, Tesla has proved they really have the tenacity to really go through huge losses to capture the market," Daum told Business Insider. 

    "But trucking is a difficult business. They will learn the hard way, trucking is not like passenger cars where one size fits all. There’s a lot of variety in trucking...the United States is a highly competitive market, so as I said, they’re fun."

    Daimler Trucks, which sold more than 500,000 trucks in 2018, is a global leader in trucks, and Daum said it intends to stay in that position. 

    In the North American market — which includes the United States, Mexico, and Canada — the company sold 176,000 trucks last year. Daum said that the vehicles within this category include everything from school buses and delivery van chassis, up to large 120,000-ton specialized trucks. But Daum said the company can only afford to develop and build trucks of this variety because it has a global footprint, which is something Tesla is still working on. 

    "How do we survive? Because we run a global business. I don't just look at the 176,000 North American trucks, I look at the more 500,000 trucks we sell worldwide... And that is a unit number you need to survive ultimately. Of all players in the North American market — Volvo, Navistar, in the association with the Volkswagen Group, and Paccar — we all have one big global footprint," Daum said. 

    "So for Tesla, it is a long way for it to get that. Not making fun of them, we take them seriously. In their niche, they could be successful, but to be ultimately the fifth player in the North American market, it’s a long way and we won’t make it easy for them."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Growth in Share of Retail Site Visits

    This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

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

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

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

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

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

    In full, the report: 

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

    Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

    1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >>Learn More Now
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    the upside STX

    • The Kevin Hart-Bryan Cranston dramedy "The Upside" won the domestic weekend box office, taking in an estimated $19.6 million.
    • That knocks "Aquaman" from the top spot after being there for three-straight weekends.
    • "The Upside" had an impressive win, exceeding box office projections that had the movie opening around $10 million-$15 million.
    • The movie was originally to be released by The Weinstein Company before the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein crippled the company. Lantern Entertainment took over the title when the company bought remaining Weinstein Company assets in a bankruptcy auction in July 2018.
    • STXfilms was brought on to release the movie, it marks the first box office win for the company since it launched in 2014.
    • "Aquaman" has now earned over $1 billion at the global box office, marking the first DC Extended Universe title to hit that milestone.

    "Aquaman" has finally been taken down from the number one spot at the domestic box office after being perched there for three straight weeks, and the movie that did it was the unlikely movie to pull it off.

    STXfilms' dramedy "The Upside"— starring Bryan Cranston as a paralyzed billionaire who hires a recently paroled convict, played by Kevin Hart — won the weekend box office with an estimated $19.6 million.

    It's not only a remarkable feat that a $37.5 million-budgeted character study took down "Aquaman," the biggest movie in the world since the holidays. "The Upside" faced tough odds of even making it to screens.

    At one time "The Upside" was part of the upcoming slate for The Weinstein Company, the now defunct production and distribution company of Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Following the numerous sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein that forced him out of Hollywood and left The Weinstein Company and its movies in question, Lantern Entertainment purchased the remaining assets of the company in a bankruptcy auction in July 2018.

    Lantern brought on STX to release "The Upside," which then worked with its director Neil Burger to recut the movie from an R-rated title to a more audience-friendly PG-13 version before its release. 

    Despite sitting on the shelf since being shot in the beginning of 2017, Kevin Hart's Oscar host controversy that surrounded his promotion of the movie, and the movie only having a 40% Rotten Tomatoes score, "The Upside" exceeded industry projections.

    Projected to only open around $10 million-$15 million, the movie's $19.6 million take showed that audiences were ready for a change after weeks of seeing the DC Comics superhero, and it's evident Hart didn't lose his huge fanbase despite backlash from his past anti-gay jokes.

    Read more: The 43 biggest movies coming out in 2019, which could propel the box office to another record-breaking year

    It's a huge win for STX, as this marks the first box office win for the company since it launched in 2014.

    But don't feel bad for "Aquaman." The latest DC Comics title from Warner Bros. succeeded beyond any DC Extended Universe release to date, hitting the $1 billion milestone at the global box office. The movie hit the figure on Sunday following a $17.2 million take over the weekend putting its domestic total at $287.8 million.

    SEE ALSO: The 31 best movies you can watch on Amazon's new free streaming channel, IMDb Freedive

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch the extreme workout regimen of a professional ballerina


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