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Netflix`s first trailer for the second season of "Stranger Things" finally premiered at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con. It looks like Will and his friends are still in danger, and it seems we haven`t seen the last of Eleven. All episodes will hit Netflix on October 27th.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia`s ambassador to Washington Sergei Kislyak, a key figure in ongoing U.S. investigations into Moscow`s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, ended his tenure on Saturday.
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CARACAS (Reuters) - A violinist who has become one of the best-known faces of protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was injured on Saturday in violent clashes in Caracas.
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WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland`s ruling party on Saturday dismissed growing concern from key allies including the EU and United States and protests at home by approving an overhaul of the Supreme Court that critics say will undermine judicial independence.
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  • 0498Healthy ice-cream brand Halo Top`s sales have rocketed by 2500% to 28.8 million pints in 2016 and 132.4 million in sales
  • The brand’s ascent can be attributed to a well-orchestrated marketing strategy that included a focus on social media, particularly Instagram
  • The ice-cream maker just launched its first national digital campaign recently as it looks to broaden its audience 

Four years since it first hit supermarket shelves, "healthy" ice-cream brand Halo Top blew up last summer. Its sales rocketed by 2500%, with the brand selling 28.8 million pints in 2016 and generating 132.4 million in sales, according to data from market research company IRI.

The proliferation of Halo Top’s low-calorie, protein-packed pints, however, was no accident. Sure, the healthy promise of the product itself played a big part, but the brand’s ascent can be attributed to a well-orchestrated marketing strategy, focusing on word of mouth marketing, partnerships and social media, particularly Instagram.

"We started off really focused on digital and social, with more than 90% of our efforts on Facebook and Instagram," Lenny Chase, Halo Top’s vp of marketing, told Business Insider. "We’re 100% a digitally native brand."

Halo Top’s social social posts are the epitome of food porn, featuring its signature bright packaging interspersed with swirls of its colorful flavors in photos as well as GIFs.

Every day is someone`s birthday out there (and if you`re like @50cent, you don`t care either way). Like if you`ll find any excuse to eat Birthday Cake as often as Marj B (PR Manager)! Favorite Flavor: Birthday Cake "My favorite flavor is Birthday Cake, mainly because funfetti is life. 😘” Favorite part of the sweepstakes: “My favorite part of #HaloTopGoldenSeal is the fact that we are bringing happiness to as many people as possible. Not only are five people going to get these once in a lifetime prizes, but we will be making five dreams come true through Make A Wish Foundation. Plus, I love that we are celebrating the fails, giving our diehard fans even more of a chance to win!" No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. See halotop.com/goldenseal for complete rules.

A post shared by Halo Top Creamery (@halotopcreamery) on Jun 16, 2017 at 12:00pm PDT on

The approach has clearly resonated. According to data crunched by social media analytics company Socialbakers, Halo Top`s social media following has grown from over 27,000 to over 603,000 followers on Facebook, and from over 339,000 to 488,000 followers on Instagram in the past one year.

"Halo Top has established a clear and compelling brand voice, using social media to bring that voice to life in a fun and conversational way," said Hannah Post, senior strategist at global branding firm Siegel+Gale. "When a brand makes developing a distinct voice a priority, and leadership is devoted to its success, it shows."

Like any upstart marketer on Instagram, partnerships have too been key to Halo Top’s rise. While the ice-cream maker says it has never paid digital influencers to endorese its brand, Halo Top has promoted ther health and diet-focused brands, such as OhYeah! One bars and Fitjoy bars in its social media feeds in exchange for similar promotions from these companies. 

Halo Top also recently took a page out of "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" and put golden tickets for free prizes in select packages last month. It also makes it a practice to regularly respond to fans on social media, said Ryan Bouton, the company’s director of communications,

That may seem like a lot of work for a bootstrapped company, which started off with five employees, to do. But in the past year since it exploded on the scene, Halo Top has expanded to about 40 full-time employees.

This growth is also the reason that the company finally launched its very first advertising campaign, marking its evolution from last summer’s trendiest breakout brand into "the perfect pint." It continues to handle its own social and digital media efforts in-house.

"We had reached an inflection point, where it was important for us to not only target a broader audience, but also experiment with new mediums," said Chase. "It was time for us to try out video, and we just didn’t have the resources to do that in-house."

Two weeks ago, the brand launched its maiden ad campaign with agency Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners, playing on the "halo" in its name to pit an angel and a devil against each other, with the devil complaining that eating a pint of ice cream no longer feels sinful.

The national campaign launched on social channels and digital platforms such as Hulu on June 29, and has seen over 35% people of people targeted engage with the brand in some form, according to the company.

"The aim was to take the brand beyond their core audience," said Steve O’Connell, executive creative director and partner at the agency. "But it was important for the brand to retain its authentic voice and not alienate its existing devoted and loyal fan base."

The campaign will also help against traditional competitors in the category, who are increasingly encroaching on its territory. "Healthy" and "clean" products within the ice-cream category are seeing the maximum growth, according to Nielsen, with categories growing by 85% and 36% each in 2016. And established brands, including Ben & Jerry’s and Nestle are making inroads in these categories.

"When niche brands begin to play alongside more traditional competitors, experimenting with traditional media spend can be an effective way of gaining traction and market share," said Siegel+Gale’s Post.

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel sent extra troops into the occupied West Bank on Saturday and its police broke up a crowd of stone-throwing Palestinians in Jerusalem as international concern mounted over the deadliest outbreak of violence between the two sides for years.
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CARACAS (Reuters) - A Venezuelan violinist who has become one of the best-known faces of protests against President Nicolas Maduro was injured on Saturday in violent clashes in Caracas.
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CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan soldiers on motorbikes fired teargas at hundreds of masked and stone-throwing youths in Caracas on Saturday during the latest protest against President Nicolas Maduro.
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DC brought a new trailer for "Justice League" to the 2017 San Diego Comic Con, and it does not disappoint. It looks like Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman will all have to unite against an otherworldly foe. "Justice League" will hit US theaters on November 17th.

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James Gorman

  • Morgan Stanley has taken notable steps to expand its digital offerings in its wealth-management business.
  • James Gorman, the firm`s CEO, thinks pure robo platforms only appeal to a certain segment of the industry. He also questions the cost savings associated with going robo. 

Roboadvisers claim they`re going to dominate money managementMorgan Stanley CEO James Gorman isn`t convinced.

The financial giant has announced a number of new digital offerings including a goals-based roboadviser option for the children of existing wealthy clients and for Morgan Stanley stock-plan participants. But Morgan Stanley`s digital push is not an indicator that the firm`s leadership thinks human advisers will become irrelevant.

Gorman said people have predicted the death of the human adviser before, but it never played out. 

"We actually saw this movie once before in 1999, when the direct plays came out, and the big fear was cannibalization," Gorman said."That would only have held true if people actually didn`t value the financial advisors and advice that we`re getting from those advisors, and it didn`t play out that way."

Instead, Gorman said roboadvisers only appeal to a certain segment, robo-clients may move over to traditional players as they get older, and that traditional financial advisers are competitive on cost with roboadvisers when one considers all of the services they offer.

The wealth-management industry is made up of different "segments," according to Gorman. There are some folks who are well-served by digital advice, and others who are better served by human help. An individual who starts out with roboadvice might decide they want a traditional financial adviser as they grow older and wealthier.

"The reality is the marketplace has different segments based upon consumer preference, and I think the digital strategy makes all the sense in the world, but it`s clearly a segment," Gorman said. "Whether they change their behavior as they become wealthy remains to be seen, but there`s clearly a segment that wants to deal digitally just to serve as segment that wanted to deal through direct brokerage trading and so on."

To be sure, it stands to reason that the CEO of a firm with 15,777 advisers on the payroll would defend their value.

Still, when you stack up everything that a human adviser provides, according to Gorman, they`re actually not that much more expensive for the client than a robo-platform. Here`s Gorman:

If you look at the average basis points paid from the various robo-platforms, they range, in general, I think, from something like 20 to 40 basis points. If you look at the average basis points for full-service advisory, like ours, just divide our revenue into our assets, including everything, you get somewhere in the 70s, low-70 basis points.

The affordability of roboadvice platforms such as Betterment and Wealthfront is one reason investors have poured billions into their funds. Still, the two firms, which both manage less than 10 billion, are dwarfed by Morgan Stanley`s giant wealth-management unit, which oversees 2.239 trillion.

Gorman said when you consider all of the services Morgan Stanley provides, such as the human advice, different investment products, research, and access to the hot equity deals, the price difference makes sense. 

"It`s not clear to me that that is such an expensive gap," he said. 

A recent survey conducted by LinkedIn, the social networking site, shows that many financial professionals share Gorman`s view. According to the survey, 43% of those surveyed from the wealth-management space think fintech is overhyped.

"Financial advisors/wealth managers lead the charge on thinking that there will always be demand for traditional financial services, whereas interest in fintech will rise and fall (43%, compared to 29% overall)," the report said. 

A big note on financial technology by Morgan Stanley, penned by a team of analysts led by Giulia Aurora Miotti, supports this notion that humans are safe in wealth-management. 

"The financial sector consumer often needs some sort of human contact, especially when abrupt market moves lead to unexpected losses," the analysts wrote.

As such, they expect firms that deploy a hybrid model of financial advice will be the best positioned for success in the wealth-management space moving forward. 

The so-called cyborg or hybrid model refers to a financial advice platform that pairs algorithm based financial planning with components of human interaction. It`s essentially financial advice with a human face and robo insides.

Betterment, a firm many consider the poster child of roboadvice, provides a recent case study of the industry-wide shift towards hybrid financial advice. Earlier this year, the firm responded to the desire for human help by rolling out new hybrid services that pair human help with its computerized financial advice. 

SEE ALSO: A big question mark is hanging over the hottest trend in investing

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PARIS (Reuters) - France`s far-right National Front party reaffirmed on Saturday its anti-European Union stance while admitting voters` concerns over its policy to quit the euro, at the end of a two-day meeting aimed at analyzing its defeat in this year`s election.
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MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) - Seven months after Libyan forces defeated Islamic State in the coastal city of Sirte, hundreds of bodies of foreign militants still lie stored in freezers as authorities negotiate with other governments to decide what to do with them, local officials say.
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DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates, one of four Arab countries that have imposed sanctions on Qatar, said on Saturday that Doha needed to change its policies before a dialogue could take place.
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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran demanded on Saturday that the United States release Iranians detained there, a day after U.S. president Donald Trump called on the Islamic Republic to release three U.S. citizens.
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Magikarp hat

CHICAGO — “Fix the game!” “Fix the game!”

Boos and jeers erupted from thousands of Pokémon Go players in Chicago’s Grant Park on Saturday after the game stopped working for many who had paid and traveled far to be there.

Server outages and bugs plagued Niantic’s Pokémon Go at the height of its popularity last summer, and a similar situation occurred early into the game’s first-ever, all-day ticketed event.

Because of the server outages, which began early in the day and continued for hours, all roughly 20,000 attendees will be given full refunds for their 25 tickets and 100 worth of in-game coins, which can be used to purchase special items.

A Niantic spokesperson told Business Insider that the game studio was working with carriers like AT&T and Verizon to direct more antennas to the park. Not all players have been affected by the outage.

At roughly 11 a.m. local time, Niantic CEO John Hanke addressed players from a stage in the park. He was loudly booed by the crowd while he welcomed everyone to the event.

“I paid 3,000 for this game!” one person in the crowd loudly shouted at Hanke. Pokémon Go offers in-app purchases and is estimated to be the fastest mobile game to reach 1 billion in revenue.

Tickets to Chicago’s Pokémon Go Fest event sold out in under 10 minutes for roughly 25 each, and many tickets were later resold online for hundreds of dollars. Hanke said that players from Australia, Europe, and other continents had traveled to Chicago for the event.

Besides the ability to catch rare Pokémon that are typically only available in certain parts of the world, Niantic promised that attendees would have the chance to catch the first ultra-powerful, so-called Legendary Pokémon at the end of the event.

SEE ALSO: Here are the best Pokémon for defeating powerful Legendaries in `Pokémon Go`

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Ayman Yesterday, 21:25
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bill miller

The legendary investor Bill Miller is apparently bullish when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Miller told Forbes he invested 1% of his net worth into bitcoin in 2014, determining that the potential gains from a cryptocurrency boom outweighed the risk of a complete loss.

Forbes reporter Antoine Gara writes that the investment has grown tenfold and that bitcoin is one of the top holdings of Miller`s hedge fund.

In 2014, bitcoin traded between 183 and 914. Currently, it`s trading at 2,340, up nearly 1,200% from its 2014 low.

While Miller`s net worth is unknown, his fund LMM had about 2 billion in assets as of February, according to CNBC.

Last year, Miller split from Legg Mason after 35 years with the firm. In February, Miller completed a buyout of LMM, an investment adviser jointly owned by Miller and Legg Mason, which he now runs through his family-owned Miller Value Partners firm.

Miller is well-known for his streak of beating the S&P 500 for 15 straight years — 1991 to 2005 — while running the Legg Mason Value Trust. He was appointed chairman and chief investment officer of Legg Mason Capital Management in 2007.

SEE ALSO: ETHEREUM COFOUNDER: There is `a ticking time bomb` in cryptocurrencies

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel sent extra troops into the occupied West Bank on Saturday and raided the home of the Palestinian attacker who stabbed to death three Israelis on Friday, the military said.
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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African housing minister Lindiwe Sisulu launched her bid on Saturday to succeed scandal-hit President Jacob Zuma as leader of the African National Congress (ANC) by vowing to help save the ruling party from infighting and corruption.
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Zeta Global David Steinberg

The marketing tech company Zeta Global has acquired the artificial intelligence startup Boomtrain.

The deal is said to be valued between 35 and 40 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

Zeta Global aspires to compete with giants in the "marketing cloud" sector, such as Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce and IBM. These companies offer marketers a slew of data and technology-driven services aimed at helping them acquire and keep customers.

For example, a big auto marketer might use one of these companies to manage its list of existing customers, its email database, its ad budget forecasts and its website clickstream data – all via powerful software.

As evidence of the growing importance of this sector, Zeta raised 140 million in new funding in May, valuing the company at 1.3 billion, reported TechCrunch.

All of these cloud giants promise that their tools and technology can help marketers make better decisions about what customers they should go after and where to spend their budgets. And all of them are surely interested in claiming to be pioneers in machine learning or artificial intelligence.

The Boomtrain deal is Zeta`s claim to be ahead on this front. Boomtrain currently works with companies such as CBS Interactive and Dow Jones.

"Nobody knows where anything is going, but we`re making a bet on this being important," said David A. Steinberg, Zeta Global`s cofounder and CEO. He said that via Zeta`s own machine-learning technology and Boomtrain`s proprietary algorithm, marketers will be able to aggregate vast streams of data and get that much smarter about how to correspond with consumers. 

Theoretically a brand using Zeta`s services will be able to figure out the best time of day to advertise, the most compelling offer to display, and the most ideal medium to reach a person with an ad, for example.

"We believe this leapfrogs us past our competitors," he said. "We are putting this tech at the core of our platform. Anybody who is not investing heavily in [AI] is going to lose to their competitors."

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NOW WATCH: The inventor of Roomba has created a weed-slashing robot for your garden

Ayman Yesterday, 20:24
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PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron will call the leaders of Russia, Germany and Ukraine on Monday to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine, his office said in a statement, as world powers step up efforts to try to end the violence in the region.
Ayman Yesterday, 19:53
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Amazon 08

Amazon staff have started moving into a huge new London office, according to one of the company`s executives. 

The Seattle-headquartered tech giant announced the new 15-storey office in September 2014, saying it was necessary to support its continued growth in the UK.

Bill Burkland, head of Amazon Business in the UK, told Business Insider on Wednesday that a number of staff have already moved into the new building, located on the border of trendy Shoreditch and the City of London.

The 600,000 sq ft building, known as Principal Place, can accommodate over 5,000 Amazon employees.

Previously released computer generated images for the office suggested that it would have a swimming pool, a basketball court, and a tennis court on the roof terrace. However, a source with knowledge of the development said there is no basketball court and no swimming pool. 

Amazon`s UK country manager Doug Gurr is hosting an office launch party on July 26 to mark the official opening of the new building, which has been built at an unknown cost. 

Amazon 09Amazon 07Amazon  06

There were concerns that tech giants would cancel their new London offices as a result of Brexit.

Tech City UK CEO Gerard Grech told Business Insider in June 2016 that it was "hard to tell" whether companies like Google and Amazon would relocate their UK headquarters if the UK voted to leave the EU.

Meanwhile, Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital and chair of Tech City UK, said: "London is the biggest tech centre in Europe and attracts the brightest and best talent. Founders and investors fear that advantage would be lost if the UK leaves the EU. We don`t really know what would happen and that uncertainty is dangerous. Would companies move their headquarters?"

Amazon`s office in LondonBut Amazon remains committed to the UK. It announced in May that it has invested £6.4 billion across the UK since 2010 and this year and that it intends to create 5,000 new permanent roles across the UK in 2017, bringing its full time workforce in the country to 24,000.

Amazon first started operating in the UK in 1998 from an office in Slough. The company has since expanded rapidly and today it has a number of offices across the country.

There is a large Amazon office near St Paul`s in London, as well as Amazon research and development (R&D) centres in Edinburgh and Cambridge. There`s also a network of vast Amazon warehouses across the country that contain products sold on Amazon`s website and a secret delivery drone test site just outside Cambridge.

Elsewhere, Google is also in the process of expanding its property empire in the UK, with a new Google "groundscraper" planned for a plot of land behind King`s Cross train station in London. Facebook and Snap have also opened new offices in the last year.

amazon warehouses

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Ayman Yesterday, 19:23
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Lamborghini Aventador S Launch Pocono

When you think loud, flashy, V12 exotica, you think Lamborghini. End of story.

Over the past five decades, Lamborghini and its V12-engined supercars have become pop culture icons. Although the brand has actually released a wide variety of cars ranging from stylish GT cars to a 12-cylinder rival for the Hummer, only five models — the Miura, the Countach, the Diablo, the Murcielago, and the Aventador — have been deemed worthy of being one of Sant`Agata`s flagship supercars. 

Lamborghini`s current flagship, the Aventador, has been on sale for more than half a decade. 

For 2017, Lamborghini reworked the supercar to create the new Aventador S with revamped aerodynamics, upgraded suspension, new electronics, and a more powerful engine.

"This is the next generation Aventador as well as the expression of new technological and performance milestones in super sports car development," Automobili Lamborghini chairman and CEO Stefano Domenicali said in a statement.

"The Aventador S is visionary design, cutting-edge technology and driving dynamics in pure harmony, and elevates the concept of super sports cars to a new level."

Recently, Lamborghini gave Business Insider the opportunity to experience to the Aventador S on the infield road course of Pennsylvania`s Pocono Raceway.

Here`s how it went.

(Business Insider paid for airfare associated with the trip.)

SEE ALSO: Here`s everything we know about Aston Martin`s 3 million Valkyrie hypercar

The day started with an early morning helicopter ride from the west side of Manhattan to Pocono Raceway in northeastern Pennsylvania.

I stepped off the chopper to find...

... the Lamborghini team and a lineup of brand new Aventadors.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Ayman Yesterday, 18:52
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Toshiba has designed a swimming robot to make its way through deadly radiation in one of Fukushima`s flooded and failed reactors. The radiation there is so powerful that a previous robot`s camera shut down. If you were to jump into the water, you`d die within seconds.

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PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron will call the leaders of Russia, Germany and Ukraine on Monday to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine, his office said in a statement.
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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran announced the launch of a new missile production line on Saturday, according to state media, against a backdrop of tension between the United States and Tehran.
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nyse, stock exchange, old school traders, traders,

There are so many ads for sale on the web that ad tech firms can barely even handle it.

Many ad tech companies promise software designed to process thousands of ad transactions in real time. But thanks to header bidding – a tech hack that has leveled the playing field in programmatic ad space over the past several years – ad tech can`t process all the ads that are out there.

That`s according to Tom Kershaw, chief technology officer at the embattled ad tech firm Rubicon Project. The surge in popularity in header bidding, which allows web publishers to open up their ad space to multiple potential buyers simultaneously, has led to such an explosion in inventory that it is straining the current infrastructure, he contends.

That`s why Rubicon just spent 38.5 million to acquire the two-year-old startup nToggle. The company`s technology is designed to make it easier for ad buyers to sift through millions of ad impressions at a given moment.

The very premise of ad tech is that software can evaluate and buy thousands, if not millions, of digital ads with a level of speed, sophistication and precision that humans can`t replicate. Dozens of companies have launched promising to help media buyers avoid having to directly make deals with thousands of websites, instead allowing them to use all sorts of data to target individual web users in milliseconds with a few clicks of a mouse.

Ad buying software companies like DataXu and The Trade Desk, known as demand side platforms, or DSPs, are supposed to be good at doing solving for the challenge Rubicon is describing. But ever since header bidding took off, these companies are dealing with five times the number of ads, said Kershaw.

Previously, when an ad on a publisher`s site went up for sale via various programmatic channels, potential buyers took turns. Google`s ad exchange might get the first chance to bid on that ad, and if that exchange passed, another buyer, like AppNexus might get a shot.

But with header bidding, publishers can let multiple ad buyers all get a chance at their ad inventory all at once. Which means that DSPs are seeing potentially all the same ads on all the same publishers again and again.

"DSPs see tons more traffic than they used to," said Kershaw. "Now every exchange has access to all the impressions. Buyers see see same ad slot 10 times."

That dynamic is straining ad tech companies` infrastructure while adding to their costs, he said. "Something had to give."

That`s where nToggle comes in. The startup had been selling its tech to publishers, helping them avoid having to dig through every single ad impression on the planet by using a proprietary algorithm and compression technology. Rubicon plans to bake it into its ad exchange.

"Buyers will only see requests they want to see," said Kershaw.

The acquisition comes at a pivotal time for Rubicon Project. The company has had a rocky time every since it went public in 2014. And executives have acknowledged that the rise in header bidding has impacted the company`s business negatively. It`s stock price has hovered around 5 for a while.

Rubicon`s founder stepped aside from his CEO role earlier this year, and the company was reportedly looking for a buyer, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, Rubicon is being sued by the Guardian, which alleges that Rubicon did not disclose certain fees.

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NOW WATCH: Heard in Cannes: World`s leading marketing execs told us how they feel about the power of Google and Facebook

Ayman Yesterday, 18:21
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mission district, san francisco, hipster, tacolicious

San Francisco offers visitors more than tourist traps like Fisherman`s Wharf and trolley cars. 

To help you experience the best of the city, we surveyed Business Insider employees based in San Francisco on their favorite local spots. From the nature trails at Lands End to happy hour at the Tonga Room, these off-the-beaten path destinations showcase the best the city has to offer.

SEE ALSO: San Francisco is so expensive, this couple decided to live on a boat — here`s what it`s like 10 years later

On Thursday nights, the California Academy of Sciences stays open late for adults-only special events. Take a yoga class in the aquarium, see the stars at the planetarium, or grab a cocktail and mingle with the nearly 46 million scientific specimens on site.

Address: 55 Music Concourse Drive

Cost: 15

Church of 8 Wheels is a roller disco like no other. On Friday and Saturday nights, skaters (many in costume) fill the rink located inside a 120-year-old former Catholic church.

Address: 554 Fillmore Street

Cost: 10 for admission and 5 for skate rental

GameVibes at the Folsom Street Foundry is a gamer`s paradise. Thursday and Friday nights, players flock to the bar for video games, board games, and everything in between.

Address: 1425 Folsom Street

Cost: 5

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Ayman Yesterday, 18:21
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Elon Musk

Tesla stock had been on a tear through the first half of 2017, at one point threatening 400 per share. The last few weeks have witnessed a pullback from those heights, with the stock now trading at around 330 — still up over 50% since January, a massive rally after shares slid at the end of 2016.

If you were the CEO of Tesla, you might look at these numbers and decide that you`re a genius. But Tesla CEO Elon Musk is in the estimation of many already a genius, and his decision has been to talk the stock price down.

"I`ve gone on the record several times that the stock price is higher than we have the right to deserve and that`s for sure true based on where we are today," Musk said last week at a conference of US governors.

He has indeed negged Tesla shares in the past, and while he probably hasn`t watched the 2017 rally with horror — actually, he`s expressed some glee at short sellers getting clobbered — he know that the carmaker`s fundamentals don`t support a market capitalization that at around 50 billion is higher than Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, and General Motors.

The Detroit Big Three have been steadily profitable for years and captured their shares of a booming US market, selling million of cars and trucks. Tesla, meanwhile, has lost money nearly every quarter since going public in 2010 and delivered less than 100,000 vehicles last year.

Musk`s realism

TSLA Chart

Musk`s realism — his cold hard slap to the Tesla fanatics who somehow think that the company will take over the world — is intended to create the circumstances that are currently transpiring for Tesla in the markets. The carmaker will spend over 2 billion to launch the 35,000 Model 3 this year, straining its balance sheet. The solution is capital raises, of the sort that Tesla has undertaken in 2015 and 2016, collecting over 2 billion in total.

It`s not a question of when, not if, Tesla will return to the public markets to bring in more money. My theory is that Musk wants to reduce future investor risk, which was running quite high with Tesla pushing toward 400. Something in the 300 ballpark is more comfortable, hence Musk`s comments about the stock being overvalued.

The previous raises happened with shares at about 250, so another 50 on the price tag, with the Model 3 coming to market, probably doesn`t seem unreasonable to Musk. Upside for new shareholders would be precarious at 400, but now that a range had been established, a raise at 300 could look pretty tasty if you missed out on previous Tesla rallies.

Keeping everybody happy

Tesla Model 3

Musk wants Tesla owners to be happy with their cars and he wants Tesla investors to be happy with their stock. And while plenty of analysts are bearish on Tesla, with justification, and think a share price below 200 is where the company should be, it`s not easy to predict an event that would cause Tesla to crater that hard. For the moment, shares appear to be settling at a 300-320 level, so perhaps Musk would like to see the stock slide a bit more before talking to the bankers.

In any event, future investors now know that they could have 100 of upside to look forward to if they come on at 300 and have the patience to wait for another breakout.

Musk really knows what he`s doing when it comes to Tesla`s financials. He saw the company through its 2008 brush with bankruptcy and recognizes how far it`s come. But he also understand the exceptional usefulness — one might even wittily call it Tesla "exorbitant privilege" — of Tesla stock. The company uses Wall Street like an ATM and doesn`t want to undermine that fundraising option because issuing more equity is always better than adding more debt (Tesla`s balance sheet is debt-heavy after the SolarCity acquisition last year). 

So while it might seem weird that he talks the stock down so regularly, there`s a method to his apparent madness. And it`s critical to Tesla`s survival.

SEE ALSO: 5 reasons Tesla`s music-streaming service is the best idea Elon Musk has had this year

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NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Tesla, minimum wage, and the Mondelēz CEO on dealing with activists

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Thousands of revelers danced through the streets of Berlin on Saturday, many of them waving rainbow-colored flags, as they promoted lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in a Christopher Street Day parade.
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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon`s Shi`ite militia Hezbollah and the Syrian army advanced against Sunni militants on Saturday, the second day of an assault to drive them from their last foothold along the Syria-Lebanon border, pro-Damascus media reported.
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Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook

Since joining Facebook in 2008, COO Sheryl Sandberg has widely been credited with helping the company soar.

The former Googler also already written two books — "Lean In" and "Option B" — on her experiences balancing her high-powered job with her personal life, along with the insight she`s gleaned along the way.

Here`s a look into the productive daily schedule of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg:

SEE ALSO: A look inside the daily life of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a former chemist who hosts international diplomats and can get by on only 4 hours of sleep

DON`T MISS: A typical day in the life of Mark Zuckerberg, who wears the same thing every day and tucks his daughter in every night

Sandberg is an early riser who plans her morning around dropping her two children off at school. She often arrives at work around 7 a.m., according to Fast Company.

Source: Fast Company, Quora 

While she may work at a tech company, Sandberg keeps track of her day with a "decidedly un-digital spiral-bound notebook," according to Fortune`s Miguel Helft.

Source: Fortune

The notebook is where she keeps various to-do lists. "Once every item on a page is checked, she rips the page off and moves to the next," writes Helft.

Source: Fortune

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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alex heath iphone 2_1024

Closing unused apps on your iPhone won`t improve its battery life.

I repeat, opening up the multitasking window and swiping apps off the screen won`t help your iPhone get through the day.

This myth that it does has persisted for years. Apple blogger and podcaster John Gruber said earlier this week it`s the "single biggest misconception about iOS," the software that iPhones run on.

Apple has also busted the myth. Executives have said in emails that swiping apps off the screen doesn`t help your iPhone`s battery life. 

Last year, Apple fan Caleb sent an email to CEO Tim Cook asking, "Do you quit your iOS multitasking apps frequently and is this necessary for battery life?"

Craig Federighi, the head of software development at Apple, replied: "No and No. :-)"

9to5Mac has a copy of the email.

The myth that closing unused apps can save battery life has been long-running and pernicious. It`s widely believed, and it has even been suggested by reputable publications as a tip.

That has led to the popular habit of swiping to close the apps in the multitasking window until it`s entirely empty.

Killing those appz

The misconception has been debunked several times, but former Apple technician and MartianCraft CEO Kyle Richter wrote a great and detailed explanation earlier this month about why closing unused apps could actually hurt your phone`s battery life.

Many people think that force-quitting these apps will at the very least do no harm since "they aren`t running anyways." The logic of "…you might as well quit, just in case" comes into play ...

The very process of quitting an app will use up a measurable amount of battery life. There are times when the device may need those resources and it will quit the app on your behalf, which will drain the battery in the same fashion. However, modern smartphones have an abundance of memory and you would be surprised how often an app can just stay suspended forever. This is doubly true for any app that you are frequently launching and using, these apps in all likelihood will never need to be closed and the repetitive exiting and relaunching can have a very noticeable toll on your battery life.

Federighi obviously didn`t go into the same level of detail as Richter, but he clearly has a great grasp of how iOS works, and his word should be considered the final one on closing unused apps.

So the next time you have an Apple rumor you want busted, you might try shooting an email to an Apple executive. They might just respond.

SEE ALSO: Closing all of your apps doesn`t actually save your iPhone`s battery

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ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan heads to the Gulf this weekend in an attempt to patch up the rift between Qatar and its neighbors, but the firm Qatari ally may find himself with little room to maneuver as a mediator.
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BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Fighting between the self-styled Libyan National Army and rival armed groups in Benghazi killed six troops and wounded eight as the LNA advanced into the last pockets of resistance in eastern Libya`s largest city, a commander said on Saturday.
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Mercedes Benz X Class

  • The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is the company`s first true pickup truck.
  • It`s not available for sale in the US.
  • Questionable whether it would be profitable.
  • It also doesn`t fit with the brand`s luxury ethos.
  • The X-Class is also built on a Renault-Nissan platform.

This week, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the production version of its long-awaited X-Class pickup truck in Cape Town, South Africa.

Although the German automaker has a long and storied history of producing rugged utility vehicles alongside its luxury cars, the X-Class is the brand`s first true pickup.

According to Mercedes, the X-Class is scheduled to launch in Europe this November followed by South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand in 2018. Argentina and Brazil will get the truck in 2019.

However, one market is conspicuously missing from the list. The largest and most profitable truck market in the world, the United States of America.

Unfortunately, there isn`t a typo to be corrected. A Mercedes-Benz spokesman confirmed to Business Insider that the company has no plans to bring the X-Class to the US. Thus far, the company has not given a full explanation as to why the US of A won`t see the truck.

Mercedes Benz X ClassAfter all, the US pickup market is massive. The three best selling vehicles in America last year were all pickups.

But, take a deeper dive into the mechanics of the US truck market and it becomes fairly clear why the X-Class, at least for now, isn`t coming to America.

Even though automakers have sold more than 1.3 million pickups in the US this year, 1.12 million of them have been full-size trucks like the Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado. The X-Class, on the other hand, is a mid-size truck and that market is much smaller.

(Competition in the full-size segment is so brutally competitive that industry heavyweights like Toyota and Nissan have struggled to gain any type of market traction. The two brands accounted for just of 78,000 of the 1.12 million in sales this year while Detroit`s big three have neatly carved up the rest of the market.)

Mercedes Benz X ClassFor Mercedes, the profitability of bringing an all-new truck into the market is questionable. Through June, consumers have purchased only 216,000 mid-size pickups in the US with annual growth at roughly 2.4%. The full-size segment is growing at 4.8% annually.

Further, Kelley Blue Book data shows the average transaction price for the segment at 32,000 — well below the 43,000 base price Mercedes set for the X-Class in Germany.

Unless Mercedes is willing to sell the X-Class in the US as a purely utilitarian work truck alongside the Metris and Sprinter commercial vans, anything less than 40,000 for a mid-size product doesn`t coalesce with the brand`s premium pricing strategy. For comparison, the cheapest Mercedes-Benz crossover is the GLA at 33,400 while the mid-size GLE starts at 52,200.

And the utility route is what Mercedes seems to be taking with the X-Class. After all, it`s a product of the Mercedes-Benz Vans — the same division responsible for the Metris and Sprinter.

Mercedes Benz X ClassIn addition to luxury cars, Mercedes-Benz is known globally for producing reliable work vehicles ranging from taxis to cargo vans. In the US, however, it`s a brand known almost exclusively as a purveyor of luxury autos. And it`s a mystique that lets Mercedes charge its customers a price premium for the privilege of experiencing the luxury, performance, and refinement of its products.

Having seen the interior of the new X-Class, it`s one that`s definitely geared more toward surviving wear and tear than the cosseting leather-lined cocoons we are used to seeing in Mercedes` passenger cars.

(In case you`re curious, power for the X-Class comes from a selection of turbodiesel engines with the most powerful rated at 258 horsepower. A 165 horsepower gasoline engine is available, but only in select markets like Dubai or Morocco. If, by some miracle, the X-Class does make it to the US, expect it to have more market appropriate powertrain options.)

Mercedes Benz X ClassFinally, there`s the matter of the mechanics of the truck itself. Even though it`s badged as a Mercedes-Benz, the X-Class is actually built on a Renault-Nissan platform at Renault-Nissan plants in Spain and Argentina.

According to Automobile, the X-Class sits on the same platform that underpins Nissan`s NP300 Navarra mid-size pickup. However, the NP300 Navarra isn`t available in the US. (We`re waiting to hear back from Nissan as to why.) Instead, Nissan is still selling the 13-year-old previous-generation version of the truck as the Frontier.

That means Mercedes-Benz would have to work out an arrangement with Nissan should it choose to sell the X-Class in the US.

So, there you have it. The Mercedes-Benz X-Class isn`t coming to America. Even though, on the surface, it makes for a tantalizing option, the economics and the branding challenges associated with bringing the truck to the US simply doesn`t make sense right now.

SEE ALSO: The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon is a beautifully flawed automotive legend

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NOW WATCH: Barclays strategist: You can expect a major department store to fail in the next 18 months

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai Google Assistant

It was a good week for Sears.

On Thursday, its stock skyrocketed at least 20% on the news that it would start selling Kenmore appliances that can be controlled by Amazon`s Alexa digital assistant on Amazon.com.

Sears, which has struggled to transform its image in recent years as it closes stores and flirts with bankruptcy, finally found the a formula to get investors excited about the brand again.

Let`s be clear about what just happened: A troubled company`s market cap rose tens of millions of dollars within minutes because it partnered with a tech giant building a digital assistant into everything from household appliances to cars.

The hype around digital assistants is real. But for now, it`s just that. Hype. And it`s arguably the more overrated than any other emerging technology.

What started as a convenient feature for controlling a smartphone hands-free now has the same expectations as a brand-new computing platform that could potentially replace it.

There`s Siri. Alexa. Cortana. Google Assistant. Bixby. Every major tech company is working on its own digital assistant. On top of that, there are a slew of startups doing the same, hoping they can beat the big incumbents to the future.

Maybe we`ll get there.

But for now, digital assistants have turned into a fragmented mess and they`re all little more than a minor convenience, assuming they work at all. We`ve been promised a lot by AI and voice control, but the reality hasn`t caught up to the expectation. Even worse, there`s no way to choose an AI platform today because everything is still in flux and each system comes with its own caveats.

amazon echo

Want to use Alexa? Great! But it`s really only useful on the Amazon Echo. You`ll still need to use Siri on your iPhone or Google Assistant on your Android phone. Plus, while Amazon can brag about having the best third-party support with over 10,000 Alexa skills, most of them don`t make sense with voice controls. (Try ordering an Uber on an Echo and you`ll see what I mean. It`ll test your patience.)

Want to use Siri? Fine. But you`re stuck inside Apple`s hardware ecosystem, and Siri is still far behind its competitors when it comes to supporting third-party services. For example, the upcoming Siri-powered HomePod won`t let you control third-party music services like Spotify or Pandora with your voice.

What about Google Assistant? This is my favorite assistant of the bunch, mostly because Google is better than anyone at machine learning and tapping into the wealth of knowledge stored on the internet. But Google Assistant seems to be having trouble breaking out. It`s only on a relatively small fraction of Android headsets and had a pitiful debut on the iPhone this summer, with fewer than 200,000 downloads. It can`t be successful until it`s used everywhere.

And Cortana? Microsoft`s assistant technically exists a lot of places like the iPhone, Android, and a futuristic thermostat, but it`s found little success outside of Windows 10.  

Finally, there`s Samsung`s new assistant Bixby, which launched on the Galaxy S8 this week after months of delays. As I wrote earlier, it`s a half-baked flop. Bixby is pretty good for controlling Samsung`s own apps for stuff like texting and setting reminders, but it`s mediocre at best when it comes to other tasks. It can`t even tell you sports scores, for example.

Samsung Galaxy S8 12

Hopefully that paints a picture for you about the current state of digital assistants: It`s a fragmented system of competitors trying to muscle their service onto every device with mixed results. None of them, even the best like Google Assistant, are smart enough to live up to their promise. There isn`t a single one that meets the expectations the industry has dumped on them, and choosing one of them now will just result in headaches down the road.

We`re so early in AI and voice control that it`s impossible to predict a winner now.

But there is one thing I can predict: Most of these efforts will fail, and we`ll eventually see a consolidation of these services into just one or two key players living inside all our gadgets. This is the concept called "ambient computing," where AI is constantly working in the background or responding to your voice commands. It`ll be especially useful in the car, the home, or other times you can`t stare at your phone.

That`s years, if not a decade or more, away from today.

My best advice now is to be smart. Buying into one of these platforms now is a gamble that the one you choose will still be around in the future. It may be fun to control your lights and music with the Amazon Echo now, but there`s no guarantee Alexa can maintain its lead. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos even admitted we`re in the very, very early days of AI.

Until we get there, everything you`re seeing is mostly hype.

SEE ALSO: Samsung released a half-baked assistant for the Galaxy S8

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NOW WATCH: Apple finally unveiled its Siri-powered version of Google Home and Amazon Echo — here`s everything you need to know

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apollo 8 earth blue marble nasa

Twenty-nine years ago, James Hansen, the director of NASA`s Institute for Space Studies, told the US Senate that the question of the day — whether climate change was happening — was no longer in doubt.

"It is time to stop waffling so much and say that the evidence is pretty strong that the greenhouse effect is here," Hansen told reporters at the time.

Hansen`s testimony before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on June 23, 1988 — coincidentally the hottest June 23 in the District of Columbia`s recorded history — is frequently considered the most important climate change hearing in history.

The greenhouse effect that Hansen described — in which the widespread combustion of fossil fuels causes a heat-trapping buildup of gases like carbon dioxide in the Earth`s atmosphere — has since become almost common knowledge. For more than 400,000 years, the concentration of atmospheric CO2 fluctuated between just under 180 and 300 parts per million (ppm). Levels are now over 400 ppm and climbing.

The most alarming consequences of that change, like an uninhabitable planet, are still far off. But the near-term effects of climate change, things people alive today will see, include rising sea levels, exaggerated temperature extremes, and stronger hurricanes and typhoons.

The question Hanson`s testimony raised was what would be done about that threat. Leading scientists had spoken; political leaders had the information; and even ExxonMobil researchers had privately concluded that "major reductions in fossil fuel combustion" would be needed to prevent "potentially catastrophic events," according to prizewinning investigative reporting.

But the answer to that question, nearly 30 years later, is pretty much nothing.

The more time passes, the more difficult and expensive fixing the climate problem will get. Hansen is still sounding alarms — in a study published this week, he calculated that future generations could be forced to spend more than 530 trillion cleaning C02 out of the atmosphere (something we don`t yet know how to do). For context, the entire US budget is about 4 trillion annually.

That`s quite a burden to leave the children of the future.

The leaders that got us here

People`s Climate March (3 of 20)After Hansen`s testimony, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works sent a letter to Lee Thomas, the EPA administrator, asking for an examination of policy options that would help stabilize greenhouse gas emissions.

"It was shelved," Mary Wood, head of the University of Oregon School of Law`s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, told Business Insider.

In 1988, George H.W. Bush, who would take the presidential oath the following January, vowed to "fight the greenhouse effect with the White House effect."

That didn`t happen. In fact, at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Bush famously declared that "the American way of life is not up for negotiation."

The members of the 101st Congress in 1989 hailed mostly from the Silent Generation (the average age was about 53) and to be fair, they were stuck with a problem created by past generations, too. But by the time those leaders were in power, they had access to knowledge about the scale of the problem that previous generations` representatives did not.

hottest yearOf course, behavioral psychologists and economists know that humans aren`t good at coming together to deal with problems whose consequences seem far off.

"On any issue, it takes an enormous amount of effort to overcome the status quo," environmentalist and author Bill McKibben told Business Insider. "In the case of climate change, it`s doubly hard, since you have to deal with the entire world. In a certain way, we shouldn`t be too surprised about how difficult it`s all been."

But the biggest barrier to action hasn`t been cooperation, nor a lack of information.

"It turned out that we were not engaged in an argument for which more evidence and data was the cure — we`d won the argument long ago," McKibben said. "It was a fight, and it was about money and power … And that one we were losing."

The power of money and misinformation

Energy company executives have long known the scientific consensus on global warming. Exxon leaders were informed by company scientists that there was general scientific agreement on the topic in the 1970s. Oil giant Shell created a film in 1991 explaining the future threats of extreme weather, flood, famine, and climate-related conflict.

But they also knew that a serious fight against climate change would hurt their businesses, and lobbied against regulation.

In the early 2000s, groups connected to energy billionaires like the Koch brothers also started funding efforts to discredit climate science. As Jane Mayer explained in her book "Dark Money," political consultant Frank Luntz showed these groups how to persuade voters that the science wasn`t clear.

"On cue, organizations funded and directed by the Kochs tore into global warming science and the experts behind it," Mayer wrote. From 2005 to 2008, the Kochs spent almost 25 million funding anti-climate groups, according to the book.

Such groups poured money into political campaigns, directed at candidates (mostly Republicans) who voiced doubts about the established science. According to a 2013 study, organizations connected to fossil fuel companies have spent almost half a billion dollars on "a deliberate and organized effort to misdirect the public discussion and distort the public`s understanding of climate."

And lo and behold, political inaction continued. In 2001, George W. Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol, which would have gone into effect and required emissions cuts by 2008. (Bill Clinton initially signed it.)

In the most recent presidential election, Republican candidates had already been given a total of more than 100 million from fossil fuel barons by March 2016. President Trump`s administration is now full of officials who don`t accept the scientific consensus on climate change.

"A government decision maker that has taken money from the fossil fuel industry cannot simply turn around and take action on the climate the next day," Wood said. "They`ve been compromised, they`ve breached the duty of loyalty."

The influence that fossil fuels companies now have in politics, Wood added, has created a conflict of interest between government officials and citizens that`s "the size of the Gulf of Mexico." Ironically, the Gulf is particularly at risk of being destroyed by the thousands of oil spills that happen there every year.

Gulf of Mexico oil

A straightforward solution

Those in office during Hansen`s initial testimony may have been part of the Silent Generation, but by the 111th Congress in 2011, the average age of leaders in the House and Senate marked them as Baby Boomers. And their generation has failed to confront the problem, too.

Of course, it`s wrong to blame two full generations for our climate crisis (as tempting as that may be for Millennials, Gen Z and the generations to come). Many older people have spent their lives pushing for solutions, and it`s unfair to villainize the average layperson for the actions of politicians or the 100 companies that are responsible for 71% of global carbon emissions since 1988.

However, the window in which action can still avert the most devastating consequences of climate change is rapidly shrinking. Hansen recently told reporters that his new study suggests putting the problem off for even a few more years could create a situation where "the costs of trying to maintain a livable planet may be too high to bear."

That means that the Baby Boomers currently running our country and energy companies are in a unique position. They may be our last line of defense, our final chance to fix the situation.

"It`s a historic moment, because we`re at the last possible moment of opportunity to avert irrevocable catastrophe," Wood said.

The solution is simple.

china solar panels"The irony of all this is that it`s been entirely clear from the beginning what we need to do," McKibben said. "It has to look like the very rapid conversion to 100% renewable energy."

Eventually, the world will run out of fossil fuels and be forced to make that switch — though if we burn through all oil, gas, and coal before we do so, the planet will be drastically different. Many researchers believe the right policies can facilitate a much faster transition.

"We undertake enormous expenditures to do things that we think are in the long term interest, national security expenses for example, undertaken with a view that they protect us against future threats," Larry Karp, an economist at UC Berkeley, told Business Insider.

Wood also likens the threat of climate change — and necessary action — to military efforts.

"There was certainly a consensus in World War II when everyone stepped up to the threat. Car manufacturers made military equipment, toy manufacturers made gun bets — that kind of war effort was incredible then and that`s exactly what`s needed now," said Wood. "It takes a real leader to meet that threat."

There are substantial bipartisan arguments in favor of switching to renewable energy: It`s the only way for the US to achieve energy independence, and the falling price of renewables has already created a market trend towards cleaner energy.

Plus, the cost of such a transition would be far cheaper than the alternative. A 2014 report by the International Energy Agency estimated that transitioning away from fossil fuels by 2050 would cost the world 44 trillion. But by cutting fuel use, the report estimates, we`d avoid 115 trillion in fuel costs, which would more pay for the switch.

Rising activism around the world

As older leaders continue to stall, millions of individuals in younger generations are now pushing for policies and investments that could avert the worst effects of climate change.

"It became clear, we`ve got to organize for some power of our own," said McKibben — a Boomer who`s devoted his career to this cause.

Competing with oil and gas interests isn`t viable on a financial level. But political mobilization is.

McKibben`s organization 350.org, is filled with young activists leading initiatives to fight projects like the Keystone Pipeline and other new oil, coal, and gas developments.

Climate-related lawsuits are on the rise around the world as well. In the US, a group of 21 kids, aged 9 to 21, are currently suing the federal government. They argue that by engaging in actions that contribute to climate change despite long-held knowledge of its dangerous consequences, the government has violated their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.

youth climate lawsuit our children`s trust

Hansen`s granddaughter Sophie Kivlehan is one of those kids. And if their lawsuit succeeds, they`d establish a fundamental right to a stable climate and compel agencies to pursue that goal.

Advocacy like this has contributed to the emergence of a stronger global consensus about the need to curb emissions.

"Paris was a success, though you have to squint a little bit to see it — at least everyone agreed there was a problem," McKibben said.

Although President Trump has said he will pull the US out of the agreement, cities and states around the country are vowing to meet its emissions reductions goals anyway. Other countries, including China and the EU, have said they plan to stick to their pledges no matter what.

The question, however, is whether any of these efforts can yield results quickly enough.

"In order to catch up with the physics of climate change we have to go at an exponential rate," McKibben said. "It`s not as if this was a static problem. If we don`t get to it very soon, we`ll never get to it."

The looming cliff

himalayan glacier getty

More Gen Xers and Millennials are assuming positions of authority every day. But the threat of climate change is quickly getting harder to deal with.

I am a Millennial — I was born five years before Hansen`s testimony — and I`m also a new father. I wonder every day if we will solve this in time for my son to avoid the most disastrous versions of climate model projections.

"He`s going to look back and think, `what the hell were you all thinking,`" McKibben said of my son. "And the answer will be that we weren`t thinking enough."

"Huge swaths of the world will be living in places that by the end of the century will have heat waves so deep that people won`t be able to deal with them, you have sea level rising dramatically, to the point that most of the world`s cities are drowning, the ocean turning into a hot, sour, breathless soup as it acidifies and warms," McKibben said.

The legislators currently in power could not, of course, be held responsible for that stark future. And they`re not to blame for a problem that started at the beginning of the industrial era. But by virtue of their position at this moment, they`re the ones with the power to finally do something.

"They`re sitting in a historic moment that is cast upon them by nature itself," Wood said. "Everybody in the future will know that we sat in this one fleeting moment of time. Everybody will know who stood up and who stood on the sidelines."

SEE ALSO: A last-resort ‘planet-hacking’ plan could make Earth habitable for longer — but scientists warn it could have dramatic consequences

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 5 science-backed signs you might be smarter than average

Ayman Yesterday, 16:17
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Instagram vs Snapchat

About a year ago, Instagram launched a near identical version of one of Snapchat`s main features, Stories. 

The new Instagram feature had the same name, a similar look, and the same premise: Friends could share photo and video updates on their profiles that would disappear after 24 hours. 

The launch of Instagram Stories was just the beginning. Over the course of this past year, Instagram has added face filters, location tags, stickers, drawing tools, and disappearing photo messages in what has turned into a fierce competition between the two social apps. 

But now, Instagram has eclipsed Snapchat in daily users. The Facebook-owned app announced in June that it had more than 250 million users creating Stories every day. More people are using Instagram Stories than the entirety of the Snapchat app, which had a total of 166 million daily users as of May. 

As the battle wages on, one question remains: Which app is actually better? We decided to compare and contrast six core features that the two apps share to find out. 

SEE ALSO: Here are all the times Facebook has copied Snapchat so far

Test No. 1: Stories

The concept of ephemeral "stories" was the first Snapchat product Instagram cloned, so it makes the most sense to start there.

In looking at Stories on both platforms, I compared both products from a holistic standpoint, rather than trying to compare individual features (like stickers, filters, and drawings). I cared more about the overall experience: Was the Stories feature easy to find within the app? Did it move from story to story smoothly? And did I finish watching stories feeling satisfied with the experience? 


I like how Instagram Stories appear right at the top of the home screen. I see the new Stories as soon as I open the app, which entices me to open them before scrolling through my feed. The availability of them makes them more appealing. 

The downside of Instagram Stories is the fact that they autoplay. Because people can see when you`ve viewed their story, this is a dangerous game Instagram is playing. What if you autoplay a frenemy`s story? What if you accidentally watch your ex-boyfriend`s story? This is a hazardous feature and makes watching Stories on Instagram more difficult. 


Snapchat, mercifully, seems to have done away with autoplay for the time being (although Stories have autoplayed in the past, or you were given the option to add them to a queue). Having the option to pick and choose whose Story you want to watch is a perk, although it tends to make me much more selective than I would be on Instagram. 

The major downside of Snapchat Stories is the fact that you have to swipe to the left to see them within the app. Plus, I`m not as motivated to open Snapchat just watch my friends` Stories, since there`s nothing else to look at while I`m in there — unless you count Discover which, quite frankly, I don`t.

The user experiences of the stories themselves are almost identical. Photos and videos play through automatically, or you can tap the screen to move on to the next one. Tapping on the left side of the screen will rewind to the previous frame. 

The only major difference between uploading content to either app is that Snapchat allows you to choose the length of time someone can view an image for, while Instagram does not. 

Winner: Instagram

For me, the extra swipe to get to the story, plus the lack of additional engaging content within Snapchat were major turn-offs. 

Test No. 2: Direct messaging


Disappearing photo and video messages are Snapchat`s bread and butter, and have been around much longer than Instagram`s version. That said, older doesn`t necessarily mean better. 

Snapchat has the advantage of simplicity: You send a message, someone looks at it, and it`s gone. Same goes for direct messaging: The conversation hangs around for a few messages, but if you close the conversation or quit the app, those messages will disappear as well. That`s a huge plus, and what`s made Snapchat so popular over the years. 

That said, Snapchat`s interface lacks sophistication. The colors are too garish, the typeface isn`t stylish, and the varied bubbles and colors for different types of messages looks messy. Plus, for the life of me, I can`t remember what the various symbols — yellow heart, sunglasses emoji — next to different conversations with friends even mean. 


Instagram`s direct messaging interface is one I use often to communicate with friends and family. I`ll share posts I see around Instagram, send links to products I`m interested in, and reply to peoples` stories. The interface is beautiful and well-integrated with other aspects of the app.

That said, the direct messaging section of Instagram takes several swipes and clicks to navigate to. While Snapchat`s is always just one or two swipes away, Instagram`s is more hidden. Plus, the addition of disappearing messages feels like an unnecessary copycat move. Instagram seems like they`re trying to make a full-service communication center, and I don`t feel like I need it. 

Winner: Snapchat

Sometimes you just can`t beat simplicity. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Ayman Yesterday, 16:17
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BERLIN (Reuters) - Four German women, including a 16-year-old girl, who joined Islamic State in recent years are being held in an Iraqi prison and receiving consular assistance, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday.
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WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland`s ruling party on Saturday dismissed a growing wave of criticism from abroad and worries at home that an overhaul of the Supreme Court would undermine judicial independence.
Ayman Yesterday, 16:17
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Tanks at the military base in preparation of the inauguration by Egyptian President Sisi.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi inaugurated a military base in Egypt that is reportedly the largest in the Middle East.

A number of top Arab government officials, such as Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, attended the inauguration.

The Mohamed Naguib Military Base, located west of Alexandria in Al-Hamam area, was built on a military city that was first constructed in 1993.

According to the Egyptian Armed Forces spokesperson, the military base consists of more than 1,100 new or recently renovated buildings. The spokesperson added that the new base would be used for joint military exercises with other countries.

In addition to military exercises, the base includes a research center and a sports village. Moreover, a wide range of facilities to support those residing in the base, such as swimming pools, gyms, hospitals, lecture halls, and more have also been constructed.

To support the base, renewable energy sources were also constructed, such as solar power sources.

The base is named after President Mohamed Naguib, the leader of the 1952 Egyptian revolution and the first President of Egypt following the ouster of the monarchy.

Ayman Yesterday, 15:46
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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany sought on Saturday to reassure the country`s three million people of Turkish descent it would stand by them as a row with Ankara escalates, saying they were not the target of changes to government policy on Turkey.
Ayman Yesterday, 15:46
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BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian military declared a cessation of hostilities on Saturday in the rebel-controlled Eastern Ghouta region near the capital, state television reported.
Ayman Yesterday, 15:46
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Dead Mall

Amazon and the rise of online shopping have been repeatedly blamed for the staggering rate of store closures and bankruptcies disrupting the retail industry in the US.

But e-commerce accounts for only a small fraction of the problems pushing many American retailers to the brink of death, according to Doug Stephens, a retail-industry consultant.  

"It`s mathematically impossible for it to be Amazon’s fault," Stephens said.

Online sales are growing rapidly — up 15% in the most recent quarter compared to 4% for total retail sales.

But total e-commerce sales account for just 8.5% of overall retail sales in the US. The other 91.5% of purchases are still made in brick-and-mortar stores, according to the US Census Bureau.

So what`s sending mall and store traffic plunging, if most purchases are still made in stores? Screen Shot 2017 07 21 at 12.16.57 PMThere`s no single driver behind the decline of retail stores in America, and the effect of online sales growth certainly can`t be ignored. 

But there are two other factors that arguably play an even bigger role: excess retail stores and shoppers` changing consumption habits.

Retailers expanded rapidly in the 1990s, blanketing the US with hundreds of shopping centers and strip malls under the expectation that demand would follow.Online versus in store purchases chart_03

Demand never quite caught up and then the recession hit, resulting in a sharp contraction in discretionary spending, says John Clapp, a professor at the University of Connecticut`s Center for Real Estate.

"Now there`s two or three times more retail space per person than we need in the US," Clapp says.

The US has 23.5 square feet of retail space per person, compared with 16.4 square feet in Canada and 11.1 square feet in Australia, the next two countries with the most retail space per capita, according to Morningstar Credit Ratings.

Too much excess retail space has led to a drop in retail sales per square foot in the US. A company like Sears would need to close nearly half its stores to restore its sales per square foot to 2006 levels, according to the real estate analytics firm Green Street Advisors. 

Screen Shot 2017 07 21 at 3.37.13 PM

Many retailers expected sales to bounce back after the recession. But that never happened for a majority of mall-based stores, primarily because people changed their shopping habits.

"People are making more discerning decisions about what they buy, where they spend, and how they spend," Stephens says. 

Specifically, shoppers are buying more experiences than things. 

Stephens says this trend, which has been particularly devastating to apparel retailers, is due in part to the rise of social media.

"Experiences make a better story on social media than things," he says.

Screen Shot 2017 07 21 at 4.00.20 PMAdd to that shoppers` growing expenses in other categories, such as health care, technology, and education, and it`s evident why shopping mall visits have been declining over the last decade. 

When shoppers do buy "things," they mostly likely aren`t paying full price — a habit they learned during the recession that has stuck around since then. Discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross Stores are thriving, while full-priced department stores such as Sears and Macy`s are struggling.

E-commerce will eventually play a bigger role in the overall retail economy due to its rapid growth, but for now, it can`t be blamed as the main source for retailers` troubles.

SEE ALSO: More than 5,000 stores are shutting down — here`s the full list

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why almost every pair of jeans has a zipper that says `YKK`

Ayman Yesterday, 15:46
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Brian Chesky

Brian Chesky didn`t know much about tech before starting Airbnb.

The 35-year-old CEO majored in industrial design in college and dabbled in hockey and bodybuilding in his 20s. But now, he`s grown an idea that stemmed from overbooked hotels into a multibillion-dollar startup — and has become one of Silicon Valley`s key players in the process.

Here`s how the upstate New York native became one of the richest young tech founders in America.

SEE ALSO: Airbnb is reportedly creating a fancier service for people who prefer hotels

Chesky grew up in Niskayuna, N.Y., north of Albany. He was into hockey, and he also liked to draw and design new versions Nike sneakers, which turned into an interest in art.

Source: Fortune

Chesky`s high school yearbook quote was "I`m sure I`ll amount to nothing." He thought it was funny — his dad didn`t.

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"Earlier this year, he was happy to find out I`d be speaking at both my high school and college as the commencement speaker," Chesky wrote on Instagram. "See you soon Dad!"

In 1999, Chesky attended Rhode Island School of Design, where he served as captain of the hockey team and studied industrial design.

Source: Fortune

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Ayman Yesterday, 15:15
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Amazon 08

Amazon staff have started moving into a huge new office in London, according to two of the company`s employees.

The Seattle-headquartered tech giant announced the new 15-storey office in September 2014, saying it was necessary to support its continued growth in the UK.

Bill Burkland, head of Amazon Business in the UK, and Matt Keirle, an Amazon PR manager, told Business Insider on Wednesday that a number of staff have already moved into the new building, located on the border of trendy Shoreditch and the City of London.

The 600,000 sq ft building, known as Principal Place, can accommodate over 5,000 Amazon employees. Plans for the office show that it has a swimming pool, a basketball court, and a tennis court on the roof terrace.

Amazon`s UK country manager Doug Gurr is hosting an office launch party on July 26 to mark the official opening of the new building.

Amazon 09Amazon 07Amazon  06

There were concerns that tech giants would cancel their new London offices as a result of Brexit but Amazon remains committed to the UK.

Tech City UK CEO Gerard Grech told Business Insider in June 2016 that it was "hard to tell" whether companies like Google and Amazon would relocate their UK headquarters if the UK voted to leave the EU.

Amazon`s office in LondonAmazon announced in May that it has invested £6.4 billion across the UK since 2010. This year, it has pledged to create 5,000 new permanent roles across the country, bringing its full time workforce to 24,000.

Amazon first started operating in the UK in 1998 from an office in Slough. The company has since expanded rapidly and today it has a number of offices across the country.

Indeed, there is a large Amazon office in London near St Paul`s, as well as Amazon research and development (R&D) centres in Edinburgh and Cambridge. Then there`s the network of vast Amazon warehouses across the country that contain products sold on Amazon`s website. Amazon also has a secret drone test site just outside Cambridge.

Google is also in the process of expanding its property empire in the UK, with a new Google "groundscraper" planned for a plot of land behind King`s Cross train station in London.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Every map of Louisiana is a lie — what it really looks like should scare you

Ayman Yesterday, 15:15
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BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Saturday that Budapest would defend Poland as the European Union threatens Warsaw with sanctions over its plans to extend government control over its courts.
Ayman Yesterday, 14:44
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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany sought on Saturday to reassure the country`s three million people of Turkish descent it would stand by them as a political row with Ankara escalates, saying they were not the target of changes to government policy on Turkey.
Ayman Yesterday, 14:44
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David Einhorn

Tesla is no Apple.

That`s according to David Einhorn, the founder of the hedge fund Greenlight Capital, who wrote out a litany of reasons he`s bearish on Tesla in his firm`s second-quarter letter.

"Tesla bulls look at Elon Musk, think of Steve Jobs, and decide Tesla is the next Apple," Greenlight wrote in the letter, which was reviewed by Business Insider.

Greenlight, which is short Tesla, then argued that`s not the case:

  • "When Apple launched the iPhone, it was immediately profitable," Greenlight wrote. But Tesla "does not make money selling cars and Mr. Musk shows little interest in profits."
  • "When one person buys an Apple product, it makes the experience for other Apple customers better by supporting the developer ecosystem. This network effect attracts a stable and growing user base. TSLA is unlikely to sustain a competitive advantage by having a network of charging stations or by accumulating driver data."
  • "Competition was very slow to develop for Apple ... By contrast, every major car company in the world intends to compete with TSLA in electric vehicles."
  • "Steve Jobs attracted and retained a senior team of loyal lieutenants who implemented his vision ... Mr. Musk is a one-man show (and one distracted with many ventures at that)."

Greenlight is long GM, meanwhile, and sees the car companies as opposites.

  • "GM is capitalized to survive any foreseeable downturn," Greenlight said, citing billions of dollars in free cash flow, among other reasons. Tesla, it said, "is capitalized to survive only the next three quarters."
  • "GM bears are focused on the overhang from leased vehicles returning to the market ... Tesla faces the same risk and then some. 2014 was the first year of Tesla`s three-year leasing program. Already, many of those cars are hitting the resale market at surprisingly low prices."

Performance has waned for Greenlight recently, however. The firm`s funds dropped 2.8% after fees through the end of the second quarter this year, compared with a 9.3% return in the S&P 500 index, according to its letter.

Investors have since asked to pull some of their money. Greenlight was forced to return 400 million by midyear, The Wall Street Journal reported.

DON`T MISS: How teachers, firemen and college endowments ended up enriching America`s hedge fund billionaires

SEE ALSO: 12 BILLION HEDGE FUND: The stock market has changed, and we`re going to have to do things differently

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Barclays strategist: You can expect a major department store to fail in the next 18 months

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