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    AI In Retail Investments

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

    One of retailers' top priorities is to figure out how to gain an edge over Amazon. To do this, many retailers are attempting to differentiate themselves by creating highly curated experiences that combine the personal feel of in-store shopping with the convenience of online portals. 

    These personalized online experiences are powered by artificial intelligence (AI). This is the technology that enables e-commerce websites to recommend products uniquely suited to shoppers, and enables people to search for products using conversational language, or just images, as though they were interacting with a person. 

    Using AI to personalize the customer journey could be a huge value-add to retailers. Retailers that have implemented personalization strategies see sales gains of 6-10%, a rate two to three times faster than other retailers, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG). It could also boost profitability rates 59% in the wholesale and retail industries by 2035, according to Accenture. 

    In a new report from Business Insider Intelligence, we illustrate the various applications of AI in retail and use case studies to show how this technology has benefited retailers. It assesses the challenges that retailers may face as they implement AI, specifically focusing on technical and organizational challenges. Finally, the report weighs the pros and cons of strategies retailers can take to successfully execute AI technologies in their organization.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • Digitally native retailers are setting new standards for the customer journey by creating highly curated experiences through the use of AI. This has enabled them to cater to consumers' desire to interact with mobile apps and websites as they would with an in-store sales representative.
    • By mimicking the use of AI among e-commerce pureplays, brick-and-mortars can implement similar levels of personalization. AI can be used to provide personalized websites, tailored product recommendations, more relevant product search results, as well as immediate and useful customer service.
    • However, there are several barriers to AI adoption that may make implementation difficult. By and large, these hurdles stem from a general unpreparedness of legacy retailers' systems and organizational structures to handle the huge troves of data AI solutions need to be effective.
    • For many retailers, successfully leveraging AI will require partnering with third parties. Because of the barriers involved, employing an in-house strategy can be extremely costly and difficult. This has led to the rise of AI commerce startups, which can provide a more cost-effective approach to overhauling the customer experience.

    In full, the report: 

    • Provides an overview of the numerous applications of AI in retail, using case studies of how retailers are currently gaining an advantage using this technology. These applications include personalizing online interfaces, tailoring product recommendations, increasing the relevance of shoppers search results, and providing immediate and useful customer service.
    • Examines the various challenges that retailers may face when looking to implementing AI, which typically stems from data storage systems being outdated and inflexible, as well as organizational barriers that prevent personalization strategies from being executed effectively.
    • Gives two different strategies that retailers can use to successfully implement AI, and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy.

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

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

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store


    Join the conversation about this story »

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    bii chatbot ecosystem

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

    Advancements in artificial intelligence, coupled with the proliferation of messaging apps, are fueling the development of chatbots — software programs that use messaging as the interface through which to carry out any number of tasks, from scheduling a meeting, to reporting weather, to helping users buy a pair of shoes. 

    Foreseeing immense potential, businesses are starting to invest heavily in the burgeoning bot economy. A number of brands and publishers have already deployed bots on messaging and collaboration channels, including HP, 1-800-Flowers, and CNN. While the bot revolution is still in the early phase, many believe 2016 will be the year these conversational interactions take off.

    In a new report from Business Insider Intelligence, we explore the growing and disruptive bot landscape by investigating what bots are, how businesses are leveraging them, and where they will have the biggest impact. We outline the burgeoning bot ecosystem by segment, look at companies that offer bot-enabling technology, distribution channels, and some of the key third-party bots already on offer. 

    The report also forecasts the potential annual savings that businesses could realize if chatbots replace some of their customer service and sales reps. Finally, we compare the potential of chatbot monetization on a platform like Facebook Messenger against the iOS App Store and Google Play store.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • AI has reached a stage in which chatbots can have increasingly engaging and human conversations, allowing businesses to leverage the inexpensive and wide-reaching technology to engage with more consumers.
    • Chatbots are particularly well suited for mobile — perhaps more so than apps. Messaging is at the heart of the mobile experience, as the rapid adoption of chat apps demonstrates.
    • The chatbot ecosystem is already robust, encompassing many different third-party chat bots, native bots, distribution channels, and enabling technology companies. 
    • Chatbots could be lucrative for messaging apps and the developers who build bots for these platforms, similar to how app stores have developed into moneymaking ecosystems.  

    In full, the report:

    • Breaks down the pros and cons of chatbots.
    • Explains the different ways businesses can access, utilize, and distribute content via chatbots.
    • Forecasts the potential impact chatbots could have for businesses.
    • Looks at the potential barriers that could limit the growth, adoption, and use of chatbots.
    • And much more.

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

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

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store


    Join the conversation about this story »

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    webster's dictionary

    • There are plenty of English words and phrases that sound made up or incorrect, but are actually valid.
    • They include alternative meanings for "literally" and idioms like "you've got another think coming."
    • Those examples have hundreds of years of history on their side — and so do these other ones.

    When it comes to language, much of what we learn in school is at odds with how language actually works.

    There are plenty of words and phrases people use that grammarians would roll their eyes at, and likewise, there are tons of wrong-sounding phrases that are surprisingly acceptable.

    For example, you might cringe every time you hear a teenager use the word "literally" in a figurative sense — without realizing that authors from Mark Twain to Vladimir Nabokov have been doing so for hundreds of years.

    Here are nine examples of English words and phrases that sound wrong, but simply aren't.

    SEE ALSO: Stephen or Steven? Lindsey or Lindsay? The 'right' way to spell 21 of the most popular names in the US

    DON'T MISS: Americans and British people spell things differently largely thanks to one man with an opinion


    One of the most widely held language peeves is use of the word "literally" in any sense other than "exactly according to definition." In recent years, the meaning has shifted from its original meaning to one that means "figuratively"— essentially, the exact opposite meaning.

    But it turns out that development isn't nearly as recent as most people think. "Literally" has been used to exaggerate for hundreds of years in English, including by esteemed authors like Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce. 

    According to Merriam-Webster, the practice dates back to at least 1789, and in 1909, the dictionary noted that the word is "often used hyperbolically; as, 'he literally flew.'"

    So there's nothing wrong, uneducated, or even new about using "literally" for hyperbolic effect — people have been doing it for centuries, and many of them are some of our greatest English minds.

    Another think coming

    If you think the common expression is "you've got another thing coming," well, you've got another think coming.

    That's right, the popular expression actually uses the word "think," not "thing." That's according to the Oxford English Dictionary, and NPR, which tracked down some early uses of the idiom from the 19th century.

    "Chicago thinks it wants a new charter. Chicago has another think coming,"one example cited by NPR read. Similar examples involved a subject needing to rethink something.

    "Think" eventually changed to "thing" due to enough people misinterpreting the expression, and today "thing" is the more likely word to appear in print.

    Home in

    If you're getting close a particular target or objective, you might say you're "honing in" on something.

    Such an idiom would make a language expert cringe — the standard expression is to "home" in, not to "hone." As a verb, "home" means to return to one's place of origin from a far distance, like the aptly-named homing pigeon.

    People began using "home in" in a figurative sense in the 1950s, according to Merriam-Webster, and within 10 years people were already swapping out the "home" for "hone." But "home in" remains the more popular variant of the expression, and the dictionary advises you use it if you want to avoid criticism.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Tesla Model 3

    • Tesla has a history of proving its doubters wrong, but over the last few months, the automaker has faced a number of challenges.
    • From missed production targets to questions about its financial health, Tesla may be at an inflection point.
    • Whether Tesla can overcome recent challenges could determine whether 2018 sets the stage for another improbable triumph or raise serious questions about the company's future.

    Tesla has a history of beating the odds. 

    CEO Elon Musk has said he believed the company had around a 10% chance of success when it was founded in 2003. Since then, the company has won awards for its vehicles, built an enthusiastic fanbase, and watched its market capitalization approach and temporarily top those of General Motors, Ford, and Fiat-Chrysler.

    Part of the company's success can be attributed to Musk's rare gift for storytelling. Since taking over as the company's chief executive in 2008, he's outlined a vision for the company that extends beyond selling cars to transforming global energy grids. Investors have bought that story, which is why the company has been able to raise money without much difficulty despite posting consistent deficits.

    But that story has taken a hit in recent months as the company has faced concerns over its finances, ability to build cars at scale, and public comments attributed to Musk and Tesla. Now, the company is at an inflection point. Elon Musk says the company will be profitable by the end of the third quarter and won't have to raise money for the rest of the year. Some analysts and investors disagree with him.

    Whether Musk lives up to his assertion could determine whether 2018 sets the stage for another improbable triumph or raise serious questions about the company's future.

    Here are the moments that have led to Tesla's latest moment of reckoning.

    SEE ALSO: Elon Musk wants to ramp up Model 3 production while it's already struggling — but his plan doesn't make sense

    Amazon account hacked to mine cryptocurrency

    In February, Tesla's Amazon Web Services account was hacked to mine cryptocurrency. The hack, which was brought to Tesla's attention by the cybersecurity startup RedLock, also reportedly exposed some of Tesla's proprietary data related to mapping, telemetry, and vehicle servicing.

    According to Fortune, Tesla paid RedLock over $3,000 as part of its bug bounty program, which rewards people who find vulnerabilities in the company's products or services that could be exploited by hackers.

    "The impact seems to be limited to internally-used engineering test cars only, and our initial investigation found no indication that customer privacy or vehicle safety or security was compromised in any way," a Tesla spokesperson told Business Insider in an email.

    A Model S recall

    In March, Tesla issued the largest recall in its history. The recall involved power-steering systems in 123,000 Model S sedans. Tesla said five bolts responsible for holding the power-steering motor in place could corrode, break, or come loose, which could result in the loss of power steering.

    But the company also said the problem was rare and most likely to happen in colder areas that use a specific kind of salt to lessen the amount of ice and snow on the road. According to Tesla, the problem was only relevant to Model S vehicles built before April 2016 and had affected just 0.02% of Model S vehicles at the time the recall was announced.

    A fatal Model X crash

    In March, a Model X crashed into a highway barrier in Mountain View, California. The driver, Walter Huang, died after being taken to the hospital. 

    Autopilot, Tesla's semi-autonomous system, was engaged during the accident, and Huang's wife said he had complained about the system not working properly near the area where the crash occurred. 

    Tesla released a statement blaming Huang for the accident. The company said "the only way for this accident to have occurred is if Mr. Huang was not paying attention to the road, despite the car providing multiple warnings to do so."

    Huang's family said they plan to sue Tesla

    While Tesla pointed to statistics that indicate fatal accidents are 3.7 times less likely to happen in Tesla vehicles that have Autopilot than in other vehicles, the crash highlights the difficulties automakers face as the industry slowly shifts toward autonomous vehicles.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Future of Retail 2018

    The future of retail is looking bright.

    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 2018.

    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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    Taiwan Military

    • Recent Chinese military action shows that Xi Jinping has taken a much more aggressive stance on Taiwan than his immediate predecessors.
    • The tension between the two countries stems from the result of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.
    • War with Taiwan could be disastrous because the Taiwanese military is powerful and a conflict risks the involvement of the US.

    Tensions between the Peoples Republic of China and Taiwan have recently flared up as China held the largest show of naval force in its history this month and made new threats directed towards Taipei.

    "We would like to reaffirm that we have strong determination, confidence and capability to destroy any type of 'Taiwan independence' scheme in order to safeguard the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Ma Xiaoguang, a spokeswoman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, recently said.

    The Chinese also flew bombers around Taiwan in a show of force this week as well, and though tensions decreased a bit when promised live-fire drills were scaled back, the events are a reminder to analysts and policymakers that one of the worlds oldest Cold War-era conflicts remains unsolved, and could escalate to war.

    A war of nerves

    Taiwan Army

    Much of that has to do with Chinese President and General Secretary of the Communist Party Xi Jinping, who has taken a much more aggressive stance on Taiwan than his immediate predecessors.

    "Xi Jinping has essentially linked rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation to the retaking of Taiwan," Bonnie Glaser, the director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Business Insider. 

    "We were in a period of relative quiet with the Taiwan issue, and now it's in a more primary place on the agenda as far as Beijing is concerned," Glaser said.

    At the core of the issue is that the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) wants Taiwan, known officially as the Republic of China, to return to the fold to create one country that is unified under the rule of the Communist Party of China.

    But Taiwan, with the help of the US, has so far managed to resist the PRC's attempts to isolate it politically and economically, and has even shown signs of moving further away from the PRC and towards official independence — a move that would almost certainly provoke an armed response from the mainland.

    "The current situation in the Taiwan [Strait] is a war of nerves," Ian Easton, a research fellow at the Project 2049 Institute and the author of "The Chinese Invasion Threat: Taiwan's Defense and American Strategy in Asia," told Business Insider in an email.

    "Taiwan is winning. They have not compromised under pressure, but tensions are running high and are likely to get much worse."

    Taiwan's military has advantages — and problems

    Taiwan military 5

    Taiwan's military has a few advantages if it comes to war. First and foremost, Taiwan has been training to defend the island for decades. 

    For a country of only 23 million people, its military is quite capable. It has an active force of around 180,000 troops, with 1.5 million reservists — putting its size on par with the militaries of Germany and Japan, despite having a much smaller population. 

    Some of its equipment is relatively high-end. Its air force operates around 100 US-made F-16s, and 100 indigenously made F-CK-1A/Cs. Its Army maintains a number of AH-64 Apache gunships, and AH-1W SuperCobras. 

    Taiwan's navy has roughly eight destroyers and 20 frigates in service, mostly former Oliver Hazard Perry-class and Knox-class ships. But they also have six French-built La Fayette-class frigates. The navy also sails a large number of fast missile boats, and two modified Zwaardvis-class attack submarines.

    On top of that, Taiwan has a lot of anti-air and anti-ship defenses, and hundreds of cruise missiles that can strike mainland China. 

    Taiwan military 4

    Taiwan's geography also provides another advantage. Crossing the Taiwan Strait would take up to 7-8 hours by sea, and during that time Taiwan could prepare for an invasion, and use its navy and air force to attack incoming Chinese ships, and set up anti-ship mines along the Strait.

    The PRC also does not currently have the capability to transport the required number of troops (once estimated to be as high as 400,000) needed to take the island.

    Furthermore, Taiwan is very mountainous, and does not offer a lot of landing zones where the People's Liberation Army (PLA) could establish solid beachheads. Roughly only 10% of its shoreline is suitable for the large-scale amphibious landing that the PLA would have to make. 

    All of this means an invasion of Taiwan by the PRC would be extremely costly. "China has no obvious starting move that guarantees that they don’t absorb a lot of risk from this," Scott Harold, the associate director of the RAND Corporation's Center for Asia Pacific Policy, told Business Insider.

    Taiwan Army

    But Taiwan's military has two large problems — a lack of advanced equipment, and problems with its transition from compulsory service to a fully volunteer force.

    Much of the military equipment needs to be modernized, especially its tanks and ships, and this can't be done for diplomatic reasons. Only around 20 nations officially recognize Taiwan, and the PRC puts a lot of pressure on other countries to not do business with the island, especially in terms of defense. 

    The only nation that is willing to sell Taiwan complete weapon systems is the US, but they have "been slow to provide the weapons that Taiwan has been requesting, especially over the past 10 years," according to Easton.

    The military is also having difficulty making hiring quotas, which is affecting overall capability and performance because they are trying to replace its largely conscript service with professional soldiers.

    "China has a massive military, so Taiwan must maintain its advantage in quality," Easton said.

    An uncertain future

    A war between the PRC and Taiwan would also risk involving the US, which, while not under legal obligation, has opposed to any use of force against Taiwan in the past.

    It deployed carrier battle groups to the Strait in 1995 to prevent war from breaking out, and relations between the two countries remain strong. One analyst Business Insider spoke to calculated that US submarines could sink 40% of a PLA invasion force.

    War between the two Chinas, then, would be catastrophic. "In short, it would be extremely complex and fraught with risk for both China and Taiwan," Easton said, adding that "both sides would stand to lose hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives, and the U.S. would almost certainly join the fight on Taiwan's side."

    Such a quagmire could turn into a war of attrition, and if it were it to result in failure for the PLA, it would be devastating to the Chinese Communist Party. 

    "It is inextricably tied to the legitimacy of the Communist Party," Glaser said. "I think that that is the belief in the leadership — that they can never be seen as soft on Taiwan. They cannot compromise."

    She pointed to Xi's comments at the 19th Party Congress last October; "We will resolutely uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity and will never tolerate a repeat of the historical tragedy of a divided country," he stated to wild applause.

    "We have firm will, full confidence, and sufficient capability to defeat any form of Taiwan independence secession plot. We will never allow any person, any organization, or any political party to split any part of the Chinese territory from China at any time or in any form."

    SEE ALSO: How a tiny city-state became a military powerhouse with the best air force and navy in Southeast Asia

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What living on Earth would be like without the moon

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    Global Messaging Revenue

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

    The communications market is in the midst of an all-out war. The deluge of messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Viber, have over-run the segment traditionally owned by SMS and a massive revenue generator for wireless carriers.

    And consumers are beginning to view these chat apps not as messaging platforms but as portals to the internet. This is threatening the control Google and Apple have over the mobile ecosystem via Android and iOS. And while Apple addressed this concern with the introduction of iMessage in 2011, Google has largely left Android’s messaging capabilities up to phone makers and carriers to deal with.

    For their part, device manufacturers are looking for the newest technology to make their products more appealing than the next vendor’s, as the smartphone market becomes increasingly competitive. Their hunger for improved native messaging capabilities is one of the contributing forces driving the evolution of native messaging.  

    An emerging messaging standard called Rich Communications Services (RCS) is showing promise as a solution for these players. Google is wagering that RCS will make Android more competitive with iOS while improving the attractiveness of the OS's native messaging client compared with chat apps.

    In a new report from Business Insider Intelligence, we explore how Google, carriers, and OEMs can take advantage of the new standard to drive revenue, increase user engagement, and improve the overall messaging experience. Finally, we look at the target markets for RCS, and the required steps to drive adoption.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • An emerging tech standard called Rich Communication Service (RCS) will power Android's next-generation native messaging app, giving Android smartphone users a more powerful alternative to SMS.
    • RCS will enable Android Messaging users to send larger, higher-quality images, as well as share their location information and make video calls by default. Android users currently rely on over-the-top messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to access these features.
    • The strategic implications of Google's embrace of RCS are profound, making Android “stickier” and giving it a competitive edge.
    • Adopting RCS will have knock-on effects across the mobile ecosystem. Because Android's user base is so massive, these may be profound and vary from player to player.

    In full, the report:

    • Explains what RCS is and why it's important.
    • Explores the different ways Google, carriers, developers, and phone makers can access, utilize, and distribute content via RCS.
    • Outlines the steps needed for encourage RCS adoption by global carriers and phone makers.
    • Looks at the potential barriers that could limit the growth, adoption, and use of RCS.
    • And much more.

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

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

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store


    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Rodan + Fields

    • Rodan + Fields was the No. 1 skincare brand in North America in 2017 in terms of total sales, according to Euromonitor
    • It has a unique business structure. Products are either sold directly online or via its nearly 300,000-person team of consultants.
    • Rodan + Fields' skincare starter kits start at $170 and are aimed at reducing the appearance of lines, dark spots, and acne in adult women.

    Rodan + Fields is currently the top-selling skincare brand in North America in terms of total sales, according to Euromonitor. But unless you pay close attention to your more entrepreneurial-minded friends on Facebook, it's likely you've never even heard of it.

    That's partly because you won't find this brand in stores. Its products are sold by a team of consultants who market lotions and potions that claim to combat lines, dark spots, and acne in older consumers. The army of consultants typically sell products by word of mouth, at special events, or on social media. 

    The consultants can either choose to take a commission on each sale or opt for their sales to count towards discounted prices on their own future purchases of these products. There's a roughly 50-50 split between these two types of consultants. According to company data, in 2016 56% of consultants were paid commission on at least one month of sales, while the other 44% received discounted prices. The consultants are not given commission for recruiting new consultants. 

    The biggest benefit to the sellers is that they do not need to store inventory, as products are shipped directly from the company to the consumer. A spokesperson for the brand told Business Insider that consultants are actually discouraged from holding inventory.

    The system seems to be working — Rodan + Fields' $1.3 billion of sales in 2017 made it the top skincare brand in  North America in terms of dollar sales in the skincare category, eclipsing longtime leaders Neutrogena and Olay, according to EuromonitorIt now has nearly 300,000 consultants in the US. 

    The company was founded by dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, who were the brains behind the acne treatment system Proactiv, which made its way into millions of households in the US and became famous via infomercials after initially launching in 1995.

    The duo licensed Proactiv to Guthy-Renker, a company that sells products directly to consumers via infomercials, and these products exploded in popularity in the early 2000s. This was also thanks to several endorsements from celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, and Justin Bieber. 

    Fields and Rodan finally sold off their rights to the brand for $50 billion in 2016, after they had shifted focus to their latest venture, Rodan + Fields, which launched in 2002. The pair is now ranked in joint 27th place on Forbes' list of the richest self-made women in America. 

    Rodan + Fields is the grown-up version of Proactiv

    Rodan + Fields can be seen as a more upscale version of Proactiv. Its skincare is generally aimed at older women and split into four categories: redefine, reverse, unblemish, and soothe. A starter kit, which could include a cleanser, toner, and a day and night moisturizer, starts at $170. The most expensive kit, "Age Assault," costs $363

    Rodan + Fields

    The brand was brought by Estée Lauder a year after it launched, at which point it was being sold in department stores around the US. This method of selling wasn't successful, and realizing that the brand was a low priority in marketing dollars for Estée Lauder, the pair decided to buy back the company in 2007 and relaunch it with a new spin: using consultants to sell its products. 

    "We knew we had products that worked and changed lives," Fields told Forbes in 2016. "We were compelled to continue."

    The change in tactic came at the perfect time for the company as the recession hit and many were looking for work.

    "People were losing their jobs like crazy," Fields told Allure in 2015.

    Moreover, the company was growing at the same time as smartphones, Facebook, and selfies, which made the ideal combination for selling skincare products.

    Today, consultants predominantly use social media to market themselves, posting before-and-after photos as proof of how effective these products are in reversing the signs of aging and curing adult acne. There are hundreds of groups on Facebook geared towards this.

    A select few consultants can end up earning a six-figure salary, according to Allure, but this is generally limited to those who are high-profile figures or celebrities. There's no guarantee of making money, and this is clearly stated on the company's website. In 2016, 60% of paid consultants made on average $334 a year, according to the company. 

    Bumps in the road

    On Tuesday, Racked reported that the company is now facing a potential class-action lawsuit, filed on behalf of four plaintiffs who claim that Rodan + Fields' Lash Boost, an $150 eyelash growth serum, had given them a series of symptoms including burning and swelling. 

    According to Racked, this is due to a controversial ingredient called isopropyl cloprostenate, which has not been approved by the FDA as a drug. The ingredient is banned in Canada, which means Rodan + Fields is unable to stock the product there. 

    In a statement to Business Insider, a spokesperson for Rodan + Fields said: 

    "We stand behind the safety and efficacy of Lash Boost. Many of the legal allegations involve comparisons to unrelated products, including prescription products that have different ingredients and formulations. We are going to let the specifics of our legal defense play out in court.

    Lash Boost is intended for use as a cosmetic and as such, has been consistently advertised as improving the appearance of eyelashes. As with any cosmetic, Lash Boost may cause irritation in some users, especially if it is misused.  Rodan + Fields provides clear directions to users, including those who experience irritations."

    SEE ALSO: A skincare brand with a cult following is in turmoil after its founder goes on bizarre Instagram rampage

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How all-you-can-eat restaurants don't go bankrupt

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    man with mobile phone

    • Police in Largo, Florida, went to a funeral home to press a dead man's finger against his phone in a failed attempt to unlock the handset.
    • This was not the first attempt by police in the United States to unlock a phone in this way.
    • Other tech options exist for law enforcement to hack phones that don't require corpses.  

    Two officers of the Largo Police Department in Florida arrived at a funeral home recently and asked to see the body of a man shot dead last month. They then proceeded with the gruesome duty of trying to unlock the man's mobile phone with his lifeless finger, according to a published report.

    The policemen failed to open the phone belonging to 30-year old Linus Phillip, according to a report Friday in The Tampa Bay Times.

    The newspaper reported that police wanted to search the handset as part of the inquiry into Phillip's death, as well as a separate drug-related investigation. A Largo police officer shot Phillip after he tried to evade arrest and nearly hit the policeman with his car, according to reports. A representative from Largo PD, located about 25 miles west of Tampa, did not respond to Business Insider's interview request.

    A lot of legal and ethical questions are raised here, including whether or not police should treat the dead this way. Phillip's fiancee Victoria Armstrong said she felt violated and disrespected by the officers' actions, the Associated Press reported.

    Another question, that at least those who follow technology might ask, is: what made police think that the finger of a corpse would open the phone? This wasn't the first attempt of its kind in the United States.

    In November 2016, police in Ohio pressed the bloodied finger of Abdul Razak Ali Artan to his iPhone after he injured more than a dozen people at Ohio State University by stabbing and ramming his car into them, according to a report last month in Forbes. In that case too, the dead man's finger failed to open the phone.

    Though it's not clear what brand of phone Phillip owned, Engadget years ago concluded that a finger from a corpse would not unlock an iPhone.

    The Touch ID system uses two methods to sense and identify a fingerprint, capacitive and radio frequency. "A capacitive sensor is activated by the slight electrical charge running through your skin," wrote Engadget in 2013. "We all have a small amount of electrical current running through our bodies, and capacitive technology utilizes that to sense touch."

    And the radio frequency waves in an iPhone sensor would also not open unless living tissue was present.

    But according to the same story in Forbes, a workaround may be possible. The magazine quoted unnamed law-enforcement sources who indicated that police in Ohio and New York have found a way to hack a phone using a dead person's fingerprints. Unclear is whether the police already had the fingerprints on file or whether they obtained them from the bodies. 

    Forbes' sources said "it was now relatively common for fingerprints of the deceased to be depressed on the scanner of Apple iPhones." 

    And police in Largo might have also contacted companies, such as Cellebrite or GrayShift. They reportedly have the ability to hack into phones without handling corpses.

    Regardless of whether police have the legal right to use a dead person's body to open a phone, they might be better served to exhaust some of the other technological options first.

    SEE ALSO: Shadowy hacking industry may be helping FBI crack an iPhone

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    NOW WATCH: A neuroscientist explains why reality may just be a hallucination

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    eSports Advertising and Sponsorships

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

    What is eSports? History & Rise of Video Game Tournaments

    Years ago, eSports was a community of video gamers who would gather at conventions to play Counter Strike, Call of Duty, or League of Legends.

    These multiplayer video game competitions would determine League of Legends champions, the greatest shooters in Call of Duty, the cream of the crop of Street Fighter players, the elite Dota 2 competitors, and more.

    But today, as the history of eSports continue to unfold, media giants such as ESPN and Turner are broadcasting eSports tournaments and competitions. And in 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch, the live streaming video platform that has been and continues to be the leader in online gaming broadcasts. And YouTube also wanted to jump on the live streaming gaming community with the creation of YouTube Gaming.

    eSports Market Growth Booming

    To put in perspective how big eSports is becoming, a Google search for "lol" does not produce "laughing out loud" as the top result. Instead, it points to League of Legends, one of the most popular competitive games in existence. The game has spawned a worldwide community called the League of Legends Championship Series, more commonly known as LCS or LOL eSports.

    What started as friends gathering in each other's homes to host LAN parties and play into the night has become an official network of pro gaming tournaments and leagues with legitimate teams, some of which are even sponsored and have international reach. Organizations such as Denial, AHQ, and MLG have multiple eSports leagues.

    And to really understand the scope of all this, consider that the prize pool for the latest Dota 2 tournament was more than $20 million.

    Websites even exist for eSports live scores to let people track the competitions in real time if they are unable to watch. There are even fantasy eSports leagues similar to fantasy football, along with the large and growing scene of eSports betting and gambling.

    So it's understandable why traditional media companies would want to capitalize on this growing trend just before it floods into the mainstream. Approximately 300 million people worldwide tune in to eSports today, and that number is growing rapidly. By 2020, that number will be closer to 500 million.

    eSports Industry Analysis - The Future of the Competitive Gaming Market

    Financial institutions are starting to take notice. Goldman Sachs valued eSports at $500 million in 2016 and expects the market will grow at 22% annually compounded over the next three years into a more than $1 billion opportunity.

    And industry statistics are already backing this valuation and demonstrating the potential for massive earnings. To illustrate the market value, market growth, and potential earnings for eSports, consider Swedish media company Modern Times Group's $87 million acquisition of Turtle Entertainment, the holding company for ESL. YouTube has made its biggest eSports investment to date by signing a multiyear broadcasting deal with Faceit to stream the latter's Esports Championship Series. And the NBA will launch its own eSports league in 2018.

    Of course, as with any growing phenomenon, the question becomes: How do advertisers capitalize? This is especially tricky for eSports because of its audience demographics, which is young, passionate, male-dominated, and digital-first. They live online and on social media, are avid ad-blockers, and don't watch traditional TV or respond to conventional advertising.

    So what will the future of eSports look like? How high can it climb? Could it reach the mainstream popularity of baseball or football? How will advertisers be able to reach an audience that does its best to shield itself from advertising?

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled an unparalleled report on the eSports ecosystem that dissects the growing market for competitive gaming. This comprehensive, industry-defining report contains more than 30 charts and figures that forecast audience growth, average revenue per user, and revenue growth.

    Companies and organizations mentioned in the report include: NFL, NBA, English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, NHL, Paris Saint-Germain, Ligue 1, Ligue de Football, Twitch, Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, Electronic Arts, EA Sports, Valve, Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, ESL, Turtle Entertainment, Dreamhack, Modern Times Group, Turner Broadcasting, TBS Network, Vivendi, Canal Plus, Dailymotion, Disney, BAMTech, Intel, Coca Cola, Red Bull, HTC, Mikonet

    Here are some eSports industry facts and statistics from the report:

    • eSports is a still nascent industry filled with commercial opportunity.
    • There are a variety of revenue streams that companies can tap into.
    • The market is presently undervalued and has significant room to grow.
    • The dynamism of this market distinguishes it from traditional sports.
    • The audience is high-value and global, and its numbers are rising.
    • Brands can prosper in eSports by following the appropriate game plan.
    • Game publishers approach their Esport ecosystems in different ways.  
    • Successful esport games are comprised of the same basic ingredients.
    • Digital streaming platforms are spearheading the popularity of eSports.
    • Legacy media are investing into eSports, and seeing encouraging results.
    • Traditional sports franchises have a clear opportunity to seize in eSports.
    • Virtual and augmented reality firms also stand to benefit from eSports.  

    In full, the report illuminates the business of eSports from four angles:

    • The gaming nucleus of eSports, including an overview of popular esport genres and games; the influence of game publishers, and the spectrum of strategies they adopt toward their respective esport scenes; the role of eSports event producers and the tournaments they operate.
    • The eSports audience profile, its size, global reach, and demographic, psychographic, and behavioral attributes; the underlying factors driving its growth; why they are an attractive target for brands and broadcasters; and the significant audience and commercial crossover with traditional sports.
    • eSports media broadcasters, including digital avant-garde like Twitch and YouTube, newer digital entrants like Facebook and traditional media outlets like Turner’s TBS Network, ESPN, and Canal Plus; their strategies and successes in this space; and the virtual reality opportunity.
    • eSports market economics, with a market sizing, growth forecasts, and regional analyses; an evaluation of the eSports spectacle and its revenue generators, some of which are idiosyncratic to this industry; strategic planning for brand marketers, with case studies; and an exploration of the infinite dynamism and immense potential of the eSports economy.

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

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
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    Imran Khan

    • Several brands have dabbled in augmented reality and seen promising results. But most of them don't regard AR to be an intrinsic part of their marketing mix.
    • Snapchat is trying to change that, with a slew of AR-powered ad products as a well a full-on charm offensive aimed at brands and ad agencies.
    • This week, Snap executives, including the company's chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, mingled with more than 150 advertisers in New York City, trying to get them on the AR bandwagon.

    Last year, when McDonald's was looking for a fun way to support a promotion for $1 cold beverages, it decided to test augmented-reality ads on Snapchat designed to drive people to its restaurants.

    The campaign resulted in a surge in revenue that was more than 10 times what it spent on the AR ads, according to a Nielsen poll. And people who saw the lens on Snapchat were 6% more likely to end up in a McDonald's restaurant, based on an attribution study by the mobile-data company Placed.

    McDonald's is hardly alone. Hundreds of big name brands have dabbled in augmented reality, and seen promising results, over the past few years.

    Yet most of them continue to regard AR only as an experiment and not as an intrinsic part of their marketing mix, according to a recent report by the consulting firm Boston Consulting Group.

    Snapchat is on a mission to change that.

    Snapchat sees an opening to lead the way on augmented-reality advertising

    Earlier this week, the self-labeled camera company Snap introduced its latest AR-powered ad product. And it also used that opportunity to tutor a group of advertisers on the possibles of the nascent medium, via which real-world images can be blended with computer-generated visuals.

    On Wednesday morning this week, Snapchat unveiled its latest AR ad product, "Shoppable AR," which is a direct-response button on top of its immersive lenses that users can tap to install an app, watch a video, or even shop for products. That same evening, its executives took the stage at the New York City headquarters of Boston Consulting Group, courting a group of advertisers including Budweiser, Coty, American Eagle, and Mondelez — a marked difference in the company's approach that for years was viewed as being unforthcoming.

    As attendees mingled over cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and played with digital carousels displaying some of Snapchat's most popular lenses on the 44th floor of the Manhattan high-rise that houses Boston Consulting Group, Snap executives were out in full force, trying to convince advertisers that the camera — and specifically AR — would be the next big advertising medium.

    "Earlier, people used the camera to preserve memories, but now they are using it to communicate," Snap's chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, said in his opening remarks to a room full of about 150 attendees from both brands and ad agencies. "And as they use the camera to communicate, we have found that they need more tools to create more context."

    Snapchat believes that augmented reality is one such tool, which is why it has been making considerable investments in the field since it launched its first interactive lens back in 2015. The company sees vast potential in AR, and it also believes it is ahead of the curve compared with some of its rivals.

    "All of these companies have been talking about prioritizing the camera and AR only very recently — we've been talking about the camera being a core part of who we are since the very beginning," said Carolina Arguelles, the AR product strategy lead at Snapchat, while delivering a presentation. "We open to the camera, and that in itself is one of our biggest differentiators as a platform."

    Snapchat's aim at the event was to share research on AR, educate brands and agencies about the medium's possibilities, and, of course, try to get more marketers to try Snap's new AR ad products.

    Snapchat has lots of new AR ad types, which it says can work for lots of brands

    The Shoppable AR launch this week, for instance, comes on the heels of Context Cards, a tool to provide users more information about the lenses and filters they play with, and Lens Studio, which allows anybody to create an AR experience with a set of desktop creative tools.

    "We're not just trying to sell to people — we're really trying to educate them because we think it's opportunistic for them," Arguelles later told Business Insider.


    The company also attempted to prove to marketers that AR ads could work both to tell stories and to promote engagement (like TV ads), as well as drive people to take actions (like buying something). Arguelles, for instance, detailed how brands like Nissan and McDonald's had used AR ads to driving foot traffic to their stores. Plus, with shoppable AR lenses, brands look to entice people to make a purchase from a product page.

    Besides showcasing branded case studies, Snapchat also tried to show marketers that AR campaigns didn't necessarily have to be expensive and hugely customized — like say Taco Bell's elaborate face-taco animation from a few years ago that cost $500,000 to $750,000 by most estimates.

    Instead, Snap executives said its "Swipe Up to Try" AR ad product could start at as little as $100 a day, though audience-targeted lenses and national lenses tend to cost more. Further, if brands spend enough with Snapchat, they can get Snapchat's internal team to both create and distribute AR lenses at no additional cost, according to Arguelles.

    But marketers are still figuring AR out

    Many of the advertisers at Snap's event said they were bullish on augmented reality. It's smart for Snap to tout its advantage in the sector as a "camera company," said Tom Buontempo, the president of the ad agency Attention, who was also at the event.

    "They seem to be headed in the right direction by doubling down on something they can own," he said. "It'll be important for them to continue to evangelize the value for advertisers, while lowering the barriers to adoption associated with development and ROI so they can achieve scale."

    On the other hand, while AR may be advertising's shiny new object, it's not for everybody, an executive from a big consumer-packaged-goods brand said.

    "It's a low-hanging fruit for certain categories like auto and beauty," this executive said. "It's different when you're selling cereal and can't get consumers to try it on or look at a 3D product demo. You don't want to be annoying."

    For its part, Snapchat is trying to tackle another new-media challenge head-on: measurement. To help, it's working with partners like Nielsen and Placed, which it recently acquired.

    "One of our priorities is how advertisers can better harness the scale of AR on our platform," Arguelles said. "We also want to give them the right tools to understand the size of their audience and how they're driving business."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This incredible animation shows how humans evolved from early life

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    • JPMorgan Chase is a giant on Wall Street, but it's also very engaged with the smaller players in the fintech world.
    • The bank paid over $220 million to buy WePay in October, and led a $100 million investment in weeks before that.
    • CIO Lori Beer explained how and why JPMorgan decides to get involved with a tech startup — which can take the form of a residency, partnership, investment, or outright acquisition. 

    Last October, JPMorgan Chase made an unprecedented foray into the financial-technology space, inking its first major acquisition with the purchase of payments firm WePay for more than $220 million.

    A couple weeks before that, the firm led a $100 million funding round for, another payments company, which valued the firm at nearly $745 million.

    JPMorgan is a towering giant on Wall Street, but it keeps a keen eye on the industry's smaller players. It's traditionally done that by way of partnerships and smaller investments. 

    But as fintech startups have emerged at an increasingly rapid pace over the past decade, JPMorgan has recognized that engaging with companies that can potentially unleash industry-changing innovations at an earlier stage serves its interest in several ways. 

    How and why does JPMorgan decide to get involved with a fintech startup? 

    Business Insider recently spoke with Lori Beer, JPMorgan's chief information officer, about its strategy for working with companies in the fintech space. 

    The company is picky about who it works with, but for very young companies that it finds promising, it offers a residence program to build out their products within JPMorgan's ecosystem. 

    "Although we go through a very rigorous screening process, once we decide there’s potential in a specific fintech we will bring them inside of our walls via the JPMorgan In Residence program," Beer told Business Insider. "These start-ups have access to our management team and our systems. We help them incubate and think about what their product is. We also carefully consider investment in these companies on a case-by-case basis."

    Some startups are fine scaling on their own, but JPMorgan's knowledge and resources can prove handy for firms dealing with the morass of complicated regulations on Wall Street. A payments company eyeing JPMorgan as a potential customer, for instance, faces a daunting challenge trying to sell its wares to the bank. 

    Here's Beer:

    "In some cases, we saw in the fintech ecosystem that one of their challenges is the size, scale and complexity of a company like JPMorgan Chase. If you're trying to build out something in the wholesale payment ecosystem, you're talking about 200 regulators, $5 trillion dollars we process a day, over 120 currencies and countries. There are multiple layers of complexities considering anti-money laundering rules, fraud requirements and new sanctions. How do you understand that complexity if I'm a startup in the payment space in wholesale?"

    These companies could later wind up with an investment from JPMorgan if all goes well. 

    For startups that are further along, JPMorgan may partner with them — Beer noted the bank has done this recently in the anti-fraud arena — or make a minority investment so it can help shape product development to better serve JPMorgan's business. 

    "Sometimes, we'll make a decision to invest because we want to be able to influence the product design and work together," Beer said. 

    To outright acquire a fintech startup, like it did with WePay, JPMorgan needs to believe the product or service is a game-changer — something that will give it a strategic advantage over competitors.

    "In the case of WePay, we saw a strategic differentiator and we wanted to acquire," Beer said. 

    But even if JPMorgan doesn't ultimately buy or significantly invest, it's still beneficial to start a relationship with startups it finds promising. It can help the bank think differently about its own products and improve its client experience. 

    Not to mention, the startup could become a client one day if it needs to raise capital or is looking to sell itself. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How one CEO went from rejecting an offer from Steve Jobs to an $11 billion IPO

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    james shaw jr. waffle house shooting hero

    • When a nude gunman opened fire at a Waffle House in Nashville early Sunday morning, 29-year-old James Shaw, Jr. leapt into action.
    • He wrestled the AR-15 rifle from the shooter, saving lives.
    • Police are still searching for suspect Travis Reinking, who they believe killed four people and injured two.

    The man who wrestled the gun away from a Waffle House shooting suspect in Tennessee said Sunday if he were going to die, the gunman would "have to work to kill me."

    Police are calling James Shaw Jr. a hero for saving lives in the busy restaurant, but the 29-year-old Nashville resident said he only made a split-second decision to do all he could to challenge the shooter and save himself from being killed.

    Shaw said at a news conference Sunday he had spent an evening out at a nightclub and entered the restaurant minutes ahead of the gunman's arrival. He said he and another friend were seated at a high counter when he heard gunshots. Shaw said he had just seen restaurant workers stacking up freshly washed plates and thought at first that plates had crashed down.

    Then, he said, restaurant workers scattered and he turned and saw a body near the front door as the gunman burst in. It was then he realized he had heard gunshots.

    "I looked back and I saw a person lying on the ground right at the entrance of the door, then I jumped and slid ... I went behind a push door — a swivel door," Shaw said.

    "He shot through that door; I'm pretty sure he grazed my arm. At that time I made up my mind ... that he was going to have to work to kill me. When the gun jammed or whatever happened, I hit him with the swivel door."

    Shaw said it was then that they began wrestling, ignoring his own pain as he grabbed the hot barrel of the gun: "He was kind of cussing while we were wrestling around. When I finally got the gun he was cussing like I was in the wrong ... it wasn't any kind of talking between us; I just knew I just had to get that away from him."

    When asked what he was thinking during the altercation, Shaw said there hadn't been much time for a coherent thought process.

    "It really wasn't a process of thinking, it was more of a 'now. You have to do this now,'" he said. "There wasn't going to be another window. There wasn't going to be another chance."

    'You don't get to meet too many heroes in life'

    waffle house shootingOf the gun, Shaw said: "I grabbed it from him and threw it over the countertop and I just took him with me out the entrance." Shaw said after getting the man out of the Waffle House, he then ran one way and saw the suspect jogging or trotting another way.

    Shaw's right hand was bandaged at the news conference from the struggle, and he explained that the heat from the gun's barrel had burned much of his palm. He said he also had another apparent bullet graze on one elbow and fell and hit his knee as he escaped and skinned up some fingers.

    Shaw added he didn't see himself as a hero, adding he's certain he wouldn't be alive if he hadn't succeeded in his mission.

    "I didn't really fight that man to save everyone else. That may not be a popular thing," Shaw said. "I took the gun so I could get myself out" of the situation.

    Tears welled in his eyes at the news conference as law-enforcement agents called him a hero. He said he was glad he ended up saving other lives.

    Waffle House CEO Walter Ehmer also thanked Shaw at the news conference for his bravery.

    "You don't get to meet too many heroes in life," Ehmer said before addressing Shaw, who dabbed at his eyes. "We are forever in your debt."

    A manhunt was still underway Sunday evening for the suspected shooter, 29-year-old Travis Reinking. Police said he may have two guns and urged residents to contact authorities if they see him.

    SEE ALSO: Manhunt underway for nude gunman who killed 4, injured 2 at Nashville Waffle House

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    boban marjanovic

    • Los Angeles Clippers center Boban Marjanovic couldn't work out at SoulCycle because they didn't have a size 20 shoe.
    • Clippers forward Tobias Harris documented the experience on Instagram, saying Marjanovic couldn't get on a bike at SoulCycle.
    • Harris posted a photo showing Marjanovic's shoe size.

    Los Angeles Clippers center Boban Marjanovic will have to find other ways to work out this season.

    According to the Instagram story of Clippers forward Tobias Harris, Marjanovic, who is 7-foot-3, couldn't work out at SoulCycle this weekend because they didn't have a size 20 sneaker for him.

    "We walk into SoulCycle, and they ain't go a size 20," Harris said on Instagram. "[Boban] here can't get on a bike!"

    Harris then posted a photo showing Marjanovic's sneaker, which is indeed a size 20.

    boban shoe

    Check out Harris' story below, via The Score:


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    NOW WATCH: What it takes to be an NBA referee

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    Donald Trump Benjamin Netanyahu

    • In a phone call last year, President Donald Trump reportedly asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he even cares about making peace with the Palestinians. 
    • Trump reportedly saw on the news that Netanyahu was seeking to build further settlements in disputed territories of the West Bank, which the president thought would anger Palestinians.
    • The relationship between the traditionally close allies has strained recently over diverging Middle East strategies.

    In a phone call last year, President Donald Trump reportedly asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he even cares about making peace with the Palestinians.

    Axios reported Sunday that at the time Trump had read news reports about Netanyahu seeking to build further settlements in disputed territories of the West Bank, which the president thought would further anger Palestinians.

    The two allies reportedly shared a long, mostly friendly conversation, but when Trump discussed the importance of securing a "deal," Trump plainly asked Netanyahu whether or not he truly wanted to make peace, three sources with knowledge of the call told Axios.

    In response to the report, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump has "great relationships with a number of foreign leaders but that doesn’t mean he can’t be aggressive when it comes to negotiating what’s best for America."

    It's unknown when exactly the exchange occurred, but it could have been on the first phone call between the leaders in January last year, which Trump told reporters was "very nice." Netanyahu approved building permits for hundreds of home in settlements located in East Jerusalem on the same day as the call.

    Trump and Netanyahu have spoken several times since that first phone call but the relationship between the close allies has strained over diverging Middle East strategies.

    In a phone call earlier this month, talks between the Netanyahu and Trump reportedly tensed over Israeli concerns that the US would withdraw its troops from Syria, which could allow Iran, through its proxies in the region, to gain a significant stronghold and threaten Israeli security.

    SEE ALSO: Putin called Netanyahu to warn against further airstrikes in Syria

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    NOW WATCH: What will happen when Earth's north and south poles flip

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    waffle house shooting ak-15

    • The suspected nude Waffle House shooter was arrested last year by the Secret Service.
    • Travis Reinking, 29, allegedly killed four people and injured two at a restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee, Sunday morning.
    • Reinking's four guns were seized by authorities after his 2017 arrest, but later returned to him.
    • Authorities believe he may still be armed with two guns.

    The man suspected of fatally gunning down four people at a Nashville Waffle House on Sunday was previously arrested by the Secret Service in 2017 after allegedly attempting to cross a barrier near the White House, authorities said.

    A manhunt was still underway on Sunday evening for 29-year-old Travis Reinking, who authorities believe could be armed with two guns.

    Authorities alleged that Reinking fled the Waffle House on foot — and wearing no clothing — early Sunday morning, after a patron heroically tackled him and wrestled away his weapon. The Metro Nashville Police Department warned that Reinking could still be armed and dangerous.

    "Keep your doors locked, keep your eyes open," Metro Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron told CNN. "If you see this individual — if you see a nude guy walking around this morning — call the police department immediately."

    Police also said Sunday that Reinking's firearms authorization had been revoked after his 2017 arrest, at the request of the FBI. Authorities had seized his four weapons but returned them to Reinking's father, who said he returned them to his son.

    A Secret Service agent said the 2017 White House arrest occurred after Rinking attempted to "set up a meeting" with President Donald Trump.

    Special Agent Todd Hudson said Reinking attempted to cross a set of bike racks near the White House grounds that formed a component of the security barriers, the Associated Press reported. 

    Reinking was then asked to leave, refused, and was arrested on a charge of unlawful entry, Hudson said.

    Nashville police said they recovered two of Reinking's guns after Sunday's massacre — including the AR-15 he allegedly brought to the Waffle House, but believe he could still be armed with the two remaining weapons.

    The 2017 arrest wasn't Reinking's first brush with law enforcement — police records obtained by media outlets showed that authorities took Reinking to a local hospital for an evaluation after he said he believed Taylor Swift was stalking him.

    One police report from May 2016 said that Reinking believed Swift was hacking his phone, and he said he found her at a Dairy Queen in Morton, Illinois, and chased her until she disappeared, The New York Times reported.

    Other police records show that Reinking, dressed in a woman's pink housecoat, once threatened someone with an AR-15, according to The Tennessean. The records added that Reinking then drove to a public pool, dove in, and then exposed himself to the other poolgoers.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    SEE ALSO: 29-year-old customer who stopped the nude Waffle House shooter by wrestling away his rifle is hailed as a hero

    DON'T MISS: Manhunt underway for nude gunman who killed 4, injured 2 at Nashville Waffle House

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    NOW WATCH: Stop blaming violent video games for mass shootings

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    Porsche cars

    • Officials from Porsche AG South Korea have been charged with falsifying gas emissions documents.
    • The Volkswagen-owned company also faced raids and a reported arrest in Germany last week.
    • Volkswagen's emissions scandal cost the company $25 billion in the US alone.
    • South Korea is currently targeting Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz for years of emissions cheating.

    Three officials from Porsche AG in South Korea have been charged with falsifying gas emissions documents.

    The charges relate to the doctoring of gas emission test results on Porsche cars so as to receive local government certification between 2014 and 2015. Porsche, which is owned by Volkswagen, sold 2,000 units of those models up until February 2017, according to Yonhap

    The officials were also charged with violation of environmental laws and obstruction of business in Seoul on Monday. They are not currently being held in detention.

    The indictments follow a raid of Porsche's offices in Germany last week investigating the company and three current and former employees for knowing the engines by sister brand Audi had been manipulated. A senior executive was reportedly arrested.

    "We reject these allegations and will do our utmost to clear up the matter," Porsche CEO Oliver Blume told staff in a memo, seen by Reuters.

    Nearly three years ago it emerged Volkswagen had rigged millions of diesel-powered cars to cheat on emissions tests around the world. The company admitted to equipping nearly 11 million cars with software that cheated the emissions tests.

    In the US the company has paid fines, penalties, compensation, and fees of more than $25 billion. The company pleaded guilty and so too did executives and employees.

    South Korea has also been active in targeting misleading behaviour by Volkswagen and other automotive manufacturers.

    The environment ministry last year announced it would fine BMW AG, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche a collective $63.1 million for violating emissions rules.

    Prosecutors have already indicted six current and former officials from BMW Korea for falsifying records since 2011 and, according to Yonhap, an investigation into Mercedes-Benz is ongoing.

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    NOW WATCH: Wall Street's biggest bull explains why trade war fears are way overblown

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    trader red screen

    • For the duration of the nine-year bull market, US stocks have been aided by a so-called secret medication that has helped them recover.
    • The Leuthold Group argues this backstop has disappeared, leaving the market particularly vulnerable to weakness.

    When stocks get whacked, so do bond yields. Or at least they're supposed to.

    That has been the case for eight of the past nine 10% stock corrections, which have been accompanied by bond-yield declines of 50 to 150 basis points, according to data compiled by The Leuthold Group.

    It's the one outlier — which just so happens to be the most recent instance — that has the firm worried. Since the stock market peaked on January 28, 10-year Treasury yields have actually increased by 10 basis points, Leuthold points out. That's despite the sharp correction that rocked all major indexes in the interim, reaching its darkest depths in early February.

    4 19 18 yields vs stocks COTD

    Leuthold sees this as a highly alarming development. It says the corresponding drop in bond yields has actually been instrumental in aiding past correction recoveries.

    "To some extent, these corrections proved self-medication," Doug Ramsey, Leuthold's chief investment officer, wrote in a client note. "Falling stock prices forced yields to decline, providing another dose of stimulus to the economy while at the same time reducing an already-low hurdle rate for investors."

    The relationship between stocks and bonds that has so piqued Leuthold's interest is a crucial yet overlooked one. And the firm's findings so far in 2018 have been prescient.

    In a report from early February — right before US stocks hit their year-to-date low — the firm warned that the speed of credit deterioration had flashed a sell signal. Given how accurate that ended up being, investors would be wise to heed its warning.

    But that's not to say the nine-year equity bull market is headed for an imminent demise. There are still plenty of catalysts underpinning further strength, most notably continued corporate profit growth, and recent headwinds have been minimized.

    What Leuthold is saying is that the market's ability to recover from a meltdown is severely hampered without the baked-in backstop of lower bond yields. Whether it actually does fall off a cliff is another story entirely.

    "We're not arguing the market can't bottom without the drug of lower yields — and indeed the slack in the economy that allowed yields to drop no longer exists," Ramsey said. "Just beware that the bull's secret medication for longevity is not currently available. And a bull that's 'off its meds' sometimes exhibits not only change in character, but a change in species as well."

    SEE ALSO: Forget a trade war — there's a more threatening 'bogeyman' that should have traders very scared

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Wall Street's biggest bull explains why trade war fears are way overblown

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    Westworld season 2Warning: Huge spoilers for "Westworld" season two. If you aren't caught up on the series, read at your own risk.

    "Westworld" aired its season one finale in 2016, and for the last year and a half fans have been trying to answer a lot of questions. Some of them got answered in the season two premiere Sunday night, but as always with "Westworld," the show raised even more.

    The season two premiere, called "Journey Into Night," is a bit slow-paced as it does more set-up than a typical episode of "Westworld." But it still throws in some action and promises some excellent (if confusing) storylines for season two.

    The premiere sets up some exciting pairings (like Maeve and Lee Sizemore), introduces new characters, and opens the possibility of showing off other parks beyond Westworld.

    Here's our recap of the the season 2 premiere of "Westworld":

    SEE ALSO: The 11 biggest questions we want 'Westworld' to answer in season 2

    We still can’t trust a "Westworld" timeline.

    This episode might seem straightforward, but most scenes are told from Dolores or Bernard’s perspective. Since they’re both hosts, we might think we know what we’re seeing (or more importantly, when), but we can’t be too sure based on what the show pulled on us in season one.

    The premiere picks up right where season one left off: after the host massacre Ford initiated.

    According to Karl Strand, a new character and the Head of Operations, the parks within Delos Destinations lost communication for about two weeks. 

    We get an idea of where Westworld and the other parks are located.

    If you watched closely, you’d know that Delos has jurisdiction over an entire island. When Bernard is observing Strand talking to a man in a military uniform, Strand tells the man that Delos has “authority over this entire island.” This gives us a better idea of where and what exactly this land of expansive parks is.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Next Smartphone

    The smartphone is an essential part of our everyday lives.

    But as with all technology, things change. So the question becomes: What will be the next smartphone?

    Will it be the connected car? Or the smart speaker? What about the smartwatch?

    Find out which device, if any, will take over the smartphone's role with this brand new slide deck from BI Intelligence called The Next Smartphone.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Smartphones are the fastest adopted tech in the U.S.
    • Whichever device becomes the next smartphone needs to go everywhere
    • Consumer expectations around the smartphone are changing
    • And much more

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

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