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  • Rubik`s Cube is one of the most popular toys of all time — but not everyone can solve it.
  • The colorful brain teaser was invented in the 1970s by Erno Rubik.
  • Rubik was teaching architecture and design in Hungary when he created the cube to illustrate spatial relationships in 3D to his students — it took him more than a month to solve his own cube.
  • In the video above, Rubik explains how the cube works.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: This is the iconic Rubik`s Cube.

A 22-year-old in Australia can solve it in a record 4.22 seconds. Others might spend hours, days, weeks, or even months trying to get all the colors to match up.

So, who do you have to blame for all that frustration?

Erno Rubik: My name is Erno Rubik. I made it.

Narrator: Rubik was teaching architecture and design when he came up with the idea. Rubik: It was 1974, in Hungary, behind the Iron Curtain.

Narrator: And he created the cube as a way to illustrate spatial relationships in 3D to his students.

Rubik: Wake up their creativity, reminding their childhood. Complex things, if you don`t understand them, it seems complicated. If you understand them, and we know how to handle it, it became simple.

Narrator: And how it works is fairly basic. At least, according to Rubik.

Rubik: In my view it`s very simple. There are axises, to turn the axises the faces, it contains 27 different pieces. What you can see is only 26, because there is one in the middle.

Narrator: There are actually 43 quintillion possible combinations. It took Rubik more than a month to solve his own cube.

Rubik: It was, for me, it was important to prove it`s possible. I can`t say that the optimal one, but I was able to manage it and I was able to show it to people.

Narrator: Rubik didn`t consider the cube a toy at first.

Rubik: I`m calling the cube, it`s a piece of art. At the same time it`s an intellectual task as well.

Narrator: It also wasn`t originally called the Rubik`s Cube.

Rubik: I didn`t give that name, the Rubik`s Cube, and I called it Magic Cube because it`s magic.

Narrator: He was eventually able to trademark his name because it was so unique.

Commercial Narrator: There`s never been a puzzle quite like Rubik`s Cube!

Narrator: But early on, it wasn`t easy to get people to think of the cube as a toy that people would want to buy.

Rubik: First for us, it was difficult to find partners at all because they say it does not look like a toy. It`s not a traditional one. And as a puzzle, it`s very difficult. So why people buy something what they are not able to achieve?

Commercial Narrator: Warning! Once you get your hands on Rubik`s Cube, you may never be able to put it down!

Rubik: The market is two-sided. Partly they are keen for something new, and they are afraid about new.

Narrator: The cube was shown at various international toy fairs. Eventually, it was picked up by Ideal Toy Company and toy marketer, Tom Kremer. More than 450 million have been sold since its official launch in 1980. Rubik says he was a bit surprised by its success.

Rubik: The level of it.

Narrator: It`s been featured in numerous films and TV shows.

Marge Simpson: Ooh, a Rubik`s Cube! Let`s all work it together!

Rockhound: Piece of cake.

Narrator: And there are competitions all over the world where people try to solve the cube in seconds.

Rubik: That`s what speed cubers are doing nowadays. So they are practicing hours, and hours, and days, and days, and years, and years.

Narrator: Feliks Zemdegs of Australia set the most recent world record of 4.22 seconds at a competition in May 2018. Later that year, Red Bull held the Rubik`s Cube World Championship. With a prize of 30,000 and diamond rings for the winners.

You can find guides all over the internet, if you wanna see how it`s done, or try it for yourself.

But the cube is not just fun and games. It`s also being used in classrooms. And it`s still popular, despite the rise of video games and smart phones. Pulling in 250 million dollars in sales in 2017.

Rubik: The cube is approximately, it`s around the same age as the internet, and in that time we had no personal computers, yet. We had no smartphones, yet, and many other things, so, new generation now probably can`t believe it was possible to exist without this equipment, but it was, I can say.

Commercial Narrator: Sir Isaac Newton unraveled the mysteries of gravity, but could he have unraveled the mysteries of Rubik`s Cube? Three weeks ago, Judge Smith retired to her chambers with Exhibit A: Rubik`s Cube. She hasn`t been seen since!

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ntt docomo lightest thinnest phone

While Apple, Google and other major handset makers are packing smartphones with ever more bells and whistles, a Japanese company is releasing a phone that latches onto another trend: the rise of the smaller, simpler smartphone.

NTT Docomo is scheduled to release a phone in November that they claim is the world`s thinnest and lightest smartphone ever made, and is designed as a "lite" version with only basic smartphone capabilities.

But this isn`t even first phone produced this year that prides itself on being so tiny. Here`s how NTT Docomo`s Card Keitai KY-01L stacks up against other smartphones that aim to be more ultra-mobile and simplistic than ever.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft finally made an Xbox I actually want to buy

NTT Docomo says its phone is the "world`s thinnest" smartphone, and is the size of a credit card.

The Card Keitai KY-01L is about the size of a credit card, give or take a few millimeters on the length and width. At 0.2 inches, the phone is incredibly skinny and really not that much thicker than a normal credit card.



The KY-01L can make phone calls and browse the web, but that`s about it.

When a phone is so small in size, some sacrifices have to be made. This is definitely a "lite" smartphone. The phone has LTE connectivity and 4G for phone calls and web browsing. However, the phone does not have a camera or any store to download apps from.



Palm released an "ultra-mobile" phone last week whose size is also comparable to a credit card, but has more functionality.

Palm`s device is designed, like the KY-01L, to be small enough to fit in your wallet alongside your credit cards.

But as Business Insider reported last week, the Palm phone acts as a "companion" smartphone that actually works in tandem with your regular-sized smartphone. Unlike the NTT Docomo phone, Palm`s device has a full set of smartphone functions, including a camera, an app store, and a voice assistant.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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Rwanda`s President Paul Kagame appointed new ministers of defense and foreign affairs in a cabinet reshuffle announced late on Thursday.
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Leftist presidential candidate Fernando Haddad accused right-wing front-runner Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday of soliciting mass messaging over social media via WhatsApp, funded by businesses, in an alleged violation of Brazil`s campaign finance law.
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There have been a bunch of celebrities that have made their mark with some pretty iconic outfits this year. And now with Halloween just around the corner, the timing couldn`t be more perfect to look towards them for a little inspiration.

The pressure of trying to find the perfect costume can be annoyingly stressful, and we`ve all been there at some point. But celebrity costumes are an easy way to getting around this kind of dilemma.  

To make it easier for you, we have gathered a handful of celebrities to dress as this Halloween. From Cher to the Fab Five, take a look at some of the absolute best celebs to impersonate this year. Read more...

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There are increasing worries that the chilly trade relations between the US and China could lead to a deep slowdown in the US economy -- especially as the Federal Reserve continues to fight inflation.
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Taylor Phinney sprinter world class

  • Sprint sent a presentation to the FCC highlighting its dismal business results.
  • It`s making the claim that without the proposed merger with T-Mobile it will continue to fail.
  • Analysts on Wall Street think it`s an accurate claim.
  • In a survey conducted by Cowen Equity Research, analysts found Sprint respondents were the least happy of  the "Big Four" wireless carriers and the most at risk of switching carriers. 


In a wireless business that obsessively monitors customer churn and brand image, coming in last place by a long shot normally hurts. But Sprint is actually touting its dismal results.

"Sprint has not been able to turn the corner with respect to its core business challenges," the company wrote in a presentation to the FCC in September. "Sprint tried a more localized approach in an attempt to drive growth, but continues to face declining subscribers and revenue."

The presentation was part of Sprint`s argument for the endorsement of its merger with T-Mobile, by using a "failing firm" defence to say that it won`t be able to survive without the merger. And it`s not just talk according to a new survey from Cowen Equity Research.

The Cowen survey found that among the "Big Four" carriers, Sprint`s image fell to last place, the largest gap since Cowen started conducting the survey in 2013. The survey also found that Sprint respondents were the least happy of all and the most at risk of switching carriers. 

Broadcasting the precarious state of a company`s business isn`t common. "By all accounts, it`s an aggressive move and further suggests that Sprint will be in worse shape than it was previously if the deal does not go through," the Cowen report said. "It also in our view is accurate."

While the status of the merger is uncertain, Cowen moved the needle closer to affirming a T-Mobile-Sprint deal will close, assigning a 60% probability compared to the 50-50 chance the analysts predicted before. It appears the market is positively responding to the current status of the merger.

"Since last reporting ... [Sprint] is up 15.7%, [T-Mobile US] is up 15.2%, and [Verizon] is up 5.6% vs. the S&P which is down 1.1% the past three months," according to the survey. Those indicators reflect market belief of an improved probability the merger will close. It also indicates investors think a merger will benefit the broader industry.

But concern also exists over what a four-to-three would do to competition. The wireless market has rapidly contracted over the past roughly 15 years, from seven wireless carriers in 2002, to four, on the precipice of three, today. Pro-antitrust enforcement organizations say further contraction will cause harm.

 "A Sprint-T-Mobile deal would further reduce the number of rivals from four to three, stoking even higher concentration in the national US wireless market and contributing to growing concerns over a broader systemic decline in competition, market entry, and equality in the U.S. economy," The American Antitrust Institute wrote in August.

A lack of competition in a marketplace generally benefits an individual company while harming consumers. Fewer choices enable a company to price fix, increasing the cost for goods and services while realizing a consumer has no other option but to pay. Mergers also often result in a loss of jobs that become unnecessary.

The Communications Workers of America, the largest communications union in the US, dispute claims that a joint T-Mobile-Sprint will create jobs, instead projecting that 28,000 jobs will be lost as a result of the merger.

But if you believe Sprint, and Wall Street analysts, the market could dwindle to three carriers anyway if Sprint`s business continues to erode.

SEE ALSO: A new survey says cable will win the battle for broadband customers — and it`s bad news for telecom giants

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uber ceo dara khosrowshahi

  • Uber is reportedly developing a new service that would provide short-term jobs in professions like security and hospitality.
  • It would be a major expansion for the California tech company, and comes as the company gears up for an IPO.
  • But it is also likely to draw criticism from labor activists, who have previously attacked Uber over how it treats its workers.

Uber has transformed the global taxi industry — and now it`s eyeing up other professions.

According to a report from The Financial Times on Thursday, citing "people familiar with the matter," the California transportation giant is quietly building out a new business unit that would connect job-seekers to short-term roles like "waiters and security guards."

The effort, referred to as Uber Works, would be a significant expansion of the services Uber offers, and comes as the company gears up to go public in a long-awaited IPO in 2019. 

The news is also likely to provoke fresh criticism of Uber from labor activists. The company has been long attacked by critics over what they argue is an exploitative work model for its drivers without the benefits of traditional employment, and Uber moving into new industries will spark fresh fears about the company`s impact on workers` rights.

For its part, Uber has argued its model — where self-employed people decide when they want to work via an app — provides workers with greater flexibility, and that workers have spoken favorably of the set-up in surveys.

According to The FT`s report, Uber has tested Uber Works in Los Angeles and is currently being developed in Chicago. It`s not clear exactly what kinds of roles are being considered as suitable for the model beyond the two cited in the report — waiters and security guards.

An Uber spokesperson declined to comment to Business Insider.

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

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Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is often right about Apple`s plans well before they become public. And his latest report might sound tame at first, but — if correct — it has tremendous implications for Apple products down the line. 

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is the sole supplier of Apple`s A-series chips, which ensures the company`s iPhones perform well. Now, in a note shared with MacRumors, Kuo claims that TSMC is so superior to its competitors, that it will continue to be Apple`s only chip supplier for A13 and A14 chips, which should be coming in 2019 and 2020, respectively.  Read more...

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been taking on the Trump administration since election day, but when Trump first signed his travel ban on Muslim immigrants coming to the U.S. last January, donations to the legal nonprofit took off. 

Turns out, riders hailing a Lyft helped give the ACLU a financial bump starting around that time, too. 

As part of an effort from within the ride-hailing app, Lyft has brought in 2 million to the ACLU in the past year and a half. Lyft`s "Round Up & Donate" program is an opt-in donation tool that takes the remaining, say, 12 cents from your 4.88 shared ride and gives it to a charity group of your choice. Other than the ACLU, participating charities include the World Wildlife Fund, Black Girls Code, the Human Rights Campaign, the United Service Organizations (USO), and more. Read more...

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Italy`s Prime Minister defended its free-spending budget on Thursday, brushing off criticism from Brussels as the European Commission stepped up pressure over a draft it labeled an unprecedented breach of EU fiscal rules.
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Italy`s planned budget plan does not pose a "Greek-like" threat to European Union financial stability but Brussels was looking at what could be the "next steps", the bloc`s financial services chief said on Thursday.
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Saudi rulers are considering blaming Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, a deputy intelligence director who is close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
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As more details emerged about the fate of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the museums said they would use their own money for events originally supported by Saudi funds.
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Featured in Ripley`s Believe It or Not!

valley of fire

The Valley Of Fire

Located about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, the Valley of Fire State Park contains striking examples of Aztec Sandstone peering out of the desert’s sands.

elephant rock

Elephant Rock

The rock formations of the Valley of Fire formed in the shifting sandstones of prehistoric deserts 150 million years ago. Dated to the Jurassic period, these rocky outcroppings have born witness to the desert through all of human history. Petroglyphs created by the ancient Anasazi people can be found throughout the park, often consisting of carved and stained renderings of animals.

valley of fire petroglyphs

For 1,500 years, these indigenous people hunted and gathered food in the harsh Mojave. The dry environment likely meant that the Anasazi traveled through the area, instead of staying for long periods of time.

In 1933, the Federal government took interest in protecting the unique features of the Valley of Fire. In the midst of the Great Depression, Civilian Conservation Corps workers built trails, campgrounds and stone cabins in the park before handing it over to the Nevada State legislature.

CCC cabins

Ripley’s recently headed out to the Valley of Fire to showcase the strange dance moves of Solto Esengulov, check the video below for a view of both the Mutant of Dance and the Valley of Fire.

From conga-dancing dogs and bicycling ballerinas, to hair-raising feats of strength and death-defying motorcycle stunts, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! A Century of Strange! is sure to delight readers of all ages. With over 1,200 weird-but-true stories from around the world and 256 pages of wild and wonderful photography, this year’s collection of all things odd is not-to-be-missed.

QUIZ: Which A Century of Strange Personality Are You?

Have your own moves to match the Mutant of Dance? Find out which friendly (or freaky!) face from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! A Century of Strange you are! Take this quiz to find out!

Don’t miss out on being an ODDthority on everything strange, get your copy on Amazon today!

Source: Nevada’s Breathtaking Valley Of Fire Blazes In The Sunlight

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Boston Dynamics` SpotMini recently learned how to hit the moves on the dance floor. Its moves have gone viral on YouTube and just go to show how far robot technology has advanced.  Read more...

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It`s a great time to be a coffee fiend, y`all.

When it comes to getting your daily caffeine dose, heading over to your local coffee shop can feel convenient — until it doesn`t. (AKA when you suddenly realize you`re spending 40 a week on coffee. Oops.) 

That, my friends, is why having a coffee maker at home is a worthwhile luxury. The great news? Walmart has a bunch of these coffee makers on sale, all for less than 150.

Ninja Coffee Bar with Auto IQ and Thermal Carafe — 55 off

We all know about the Ninja blender — but do you know about the Ninja Coffee Bar? This thing is basically everything you need to create your own in-home coffee shop and it`s currently 55 off. With a variety of brew options, you can pretty much create any coffeehouse drink you want, whether it`s hot, iced, or frozen. Plus, you can brew the amount you actually need, whether it`s just a cup or a full 43-ounce carafe. It also comes with Auto-IQ One Touch Intelligence, meaning you don`t need to play guessing games when it comes to filling the water tank. It just knows. The thermal carafe is a nice touch as well: your pot will stay hot for hours. Read more...

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The top U.S. diplomat advised President Donald Trump on Thursday to give Saudi Arabia more time to investigate journalist Jamal Khashoggi`s disappearance even as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin abandoned plans to attend an investor conference in Riyadh, putting the high-profile event in question.
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General Abdul Razeq, one of Afghanistan`s most powerful security commanders, was killed on Thursday in a shooting attack by a bodyguard that dealt a severe blow to the Afghan government ahead of parliamentary elections on Saturday, officials said.
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atlassian cofounders bell ring

  • On Thursday, Atlassian announced the launch of a new version of Jira, its product for tracking the progress of software development projects.
  • Jira was redesigned to progress with modern software development teams, which are becoming smaller and more agile.
  • The new Jira has a Trello influence, with features that allow users to customize and build their own boards for their tasks.

Atlassian’s most popular product is getting a big makeover — so big, that it`s practically a different product.

The Australian tech company valued at 20 billion created its Jira software development platform back when the company was founded in 2002. With the new generation of Jira Software being announced on Thursday, less than 1 percent of the original code used to create Jira is still there, the Atlassian team says.

That`s important because the world of software development has changed a lot since 2002. 

Jira records the progress made in software projects, essentially like a to-do schedule for the code that still needs to be finished and the bugs that need to be fixed. It’s used by developers at major companies like Cisco, Spotify, Airbnb, Square and eBay.

The new Jira has a minimalist look and various echoes of Trello, which Atlassian bought in 2017 for 425 million. 

Most notably, Atlassian has introduced build-your-own boards for users and teams to customize their own workflows in the new Jira. The new layout delivers file previews to prioritize images and design prototypes, which helps as software developers increasingly work more with designers.

Built for smaller teams that ship faster

Atlassian decided to completely uproot and redesign Jira to keep up with changes in how software development teams work today.

For one, software teams are getting smaller and shipping out products more often. For another, they’re increasingly becoming more agile, meaning that they’re more collaborative, continuously developing and need a flexible response to change.

“We’re going from bigger teams shipping a couple of times a year to smaller teams shipping multiple times a year,” Sean Regan, head of growth for Software Teams, told Business Insider. “The agile manifesto is becoming possible.”

Regan acknowledges that the new version of Jira has an influence from Trello. It’s also integrated with Bitbucket, GitLab, GitHub and Slack.

“We combine the simplicity and beauty of Trello with the power of Jira,” Regan said.

It also got easier for non-developers to use. Before, JQL or Jira Query Language was the most flexible way to search for issues in Jira, which required knowing some programming syntax.

Now, the new Jira includes filters that can help users create a custom view of their board based on issue owners, labels and more. Users can view their own board and what they need to do, as well as what the team as a whole needs to do.

Jira also will have a new roadmap feature that anyone on the team can access to find out the most up-to-date progress of the project.

“It’s how fast you can make a change and if you can figure out how to respond to it,” Regan said. “People need to come into it from any team and be able to get it.”

SEE ALSO: The 10 most popular programming languages, according to the `Facebook for programmers`

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Want to launch the next big app? Having a million dollar idea is only half the battle.

If you really want to build something that will become as big as Uber, Venmo, or even Pokémon Go, you need to create a well-functioning app that`s easy for users to tap, swipe, and navigate. Let`s be honest: nobody`s going to fall in love with your app if they can`t figure out how to use it.

SEE ALSO: Learn how to read faster with this 19 online class

That`s where The Complete UI/UX Fundamentals Bundle comes in. With nine courses and over 20 hours of content, this bundle will teach you the fundamentals every UI/UX rookie needs in their wheelhouse. These courses will walk you through everything from determining whether a career in UI/UX is right for you to solving UX problems to the nuts and bolts of user engagement. From there, you`ll learn how to use important programs that will take your app to the next level, such as Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe XD, and creating animation and 3D transformations. Read more...

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It`s no secret that iPhones and iPads are among our favorite devices. But one of the most annoying things about them is that there`s no way to expand the memory, meaning you`re basically stuck with what you`ve got. 

This can put you in a tough spot once that storage starts to run out, forcing you to pick and choose which photos to keep and which to ditch in a vain attempt to free up more space.

The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drives act as external memory for your Apple devices. Amazon is currently running an awesome sale on three different sizes:

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European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Thursday that the dispute over Italy`s deficit-hiking budget will take time to pan out and said Brussels wanted a calm and constructive dialogue.
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Italy`s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Thursday its deviation from EU fiscal targets was "not large", as the European Commission warned of "particularly serious non-compliance" in its draft budget for next year.
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Venus depicted in a painting at the House of the Garden, where the inscription evidencing a new destruction of Pompeii date has been found.

The Ministry of Culture in Italy have issued an extraordinary statement on Pompeii. A new discovery is fiercely challenging the timing of the obliteration of the Roman city, one that has been generally accepted for centuries due to the description of the event provided by an eye witness. 

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Stephen Hawking

  • Stephen Hawking, who died earlier this year, wrote a collection of essays that were released on Tuesday. 
  • The book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, includes a chapter on the potential dangers of artificial intelligence. 
  • Hawking wrote that superhuman intelligence could manipulate financial markets, human leaders, and more without our control.
  • People should invest more in researching the potential effects of artificial intelligence in order to prevent losing control of machines, Hawking said.

Machines with superhuman intelligence have the potential to subdue humans with weapons that "we cannot even understand," Stephen Hawking wrote in a posthumous collection of essays released Tuesday.

The book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, comes seven months after the world-famous scientist`s death. It features commentary on a variety of topics, including black holes and time travel, though some of the most dire predictions relate to artificial intelligence.

If computers keep doubling in both speed and memory capacity every 1.5 years, Hawking wrote, they will likely become more intelligent than people in the next 100 years. Such an intelligence "explosion" would require us to make sure that computers do not begin harming people, he said.

"It`s tempting to dismiss the notion of highly intelligence machines as mere science fiction, but this would be a mistake, and potentially our worst mistake ever," Hawking wrote. 

Hawking noted that integrating artificial intelligence with neuroscience, statistics, and other fields has yielded many successful inventions — including speech recognition, autonomous vehicles, and machine translation. One day, even diseases and poverty could be eradicated with the help of artificial intelligence, he said.

While technology could benefit humans a great deal, Hawking wrote, researchers need to focus on making sure we avoid the risks that come with it. In the near future, artificial intelligence could increase economic equality and prosperity through job automation. But one day, the same systems could take over our financial markets, manipulate our leaders, and control our weapons, Hawking said.

"Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history," he wrote. "Unfortunately, it might also be our last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks."

Researchers have not focused enough on artificial intelligence-related issues, Hawking said, though some technology leaders are stepping in to change that. Hawking cited Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Steve Wozniak as examples of people who share his concerns, adding that awareness of potential risks is growing in the tech community. 

People should not turn away from exploring artificial intelligence, Hawking wrote. Human intelligence, after all, is the product of natural selection in which generations of people adapted to new circumstances, he said.

"We must not fear change," Hawking wrote. "We need to make it work to our advantage."

When humans invented fire, people struggled with controlling it until they created the fire extinguisher, Hawking wrote. This time around, we cannot afford to make mistakes and respond to them later, he said.

"With more powerful technologies such as nuclear weapons, synthetic biology and strong artificial intelligence, we should instead plan ahead and aim to get things right the first," Hawking wrote. "It may be the only chance we will get."

SEE ALSO: Stephen Hawking warned of future `superhumans` threatening the end of humanity

SEE ALSO: Stephen Hawking`s warning that genetically altered superhumans could wipe out the rest of us doesn`t mention a likely characteristic of the future elite

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Alex Karp Palantir Sun Valley

  • Palantir, a secretive data analytics company cofounded by Peter Thiel, is in talks about going public in 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • Bankers have reportedly valued the company as high at 41 billion — twice its last private valuation.
  • Palantir, which was founded in 2003, is known for its super-secretive, but high-profile big data work with entities including the US government.

Palantir, a secretive data-mining company co-founded by Peter Thiel, is looking to go public in a massive IPO that could take place in the second half of 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The company is in talks with banks at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley about the deal, according to the Journal. And some bankers have floated the possibility of hitting a 41 billion valuation, which is twice the size of its last private valuation, according to the report, which cites anonymous sources. 

Palantir was founded in 2003 by Thiel, a PayPal cofounder and tech investor, and Alex Karp, who is CEO of the company. 

It`s known for working on highly-secretive but big budget data analytics projects. Documents leaked to TechCrunch in 2014 revealed its close ties to multiple US government agencies.

While the details of Palantir`s public offering, including the price tag, could change, it falls in line with recent trends of mega valuations as more and more startups chose to stay private longer.

Uber, the ride-hailing service founded in 2009, could be valued at 120 billion when it goes public in an IPO planned for next year, according to the Journal

But both of those valuations far outsize the normal IPO. There were 173 IPOs in the US between January and September 2018, raising a total of 45.7 billion.

The value raised in the first three quarters of 2018 was 46.5% greater than the same period last year, and more than three times that of 2016, according to PwC track of data.

SEE ALSO: Insiders are `shocked` that Adobe is paying nearly 5 billion for Marketo, a deal that Salesforce and SAP also looked over

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NOW WATCH: Apple`s entire iPhone XS event in 8 minutes

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Featured in Ripley`s Believe It or Not!

swallow eight spiders

Or Not

In today’s world many misconceptions have been perpetuated—becoming modern day “facts”—when, in reality, myths and hearsay have taken over. Sorry to burst your bubble, but in this weekly column, Ripley’s puts those delusions to the test, turning your world upside down, because you can’t always…Believe It!

Today: Midnight spider snacks? 

For some reason, many individuals have a strange and completely false belief that the average person, while sleeping, swallows somewhere between eight spiders a year and eight spiders in a lifetime. This is quite a jump in numbers, but most people are likely to have heard at least one variation of this theory involving involuntary nighttime spider guzzling.

cambodia spiders

In some parts of the world, eating insects and spiders is common.

Thankfully, the truth is you probably won’t swallow even one spider in your sleep for your entire life based on a number of human and spider science-related reasons. Still, where did this belief come from, and why is it so prevalent?

The Mysterious Spider Ingestion Myth

Though this urban legend seems old as time itself, it actually has most of its origin stories in recent trickery. For example, it was once presented as “Real Fact” #31 on a Snapple cap (although, Snapple’s website doesn’t list it among its current “Real Facts”).

However, there are other sources that swear this myth came from an article in PC Professional magazine in 1993. Columnist Lisa Holst supposedly wrote a number of fake facts to show how people were too likely to believe what they read in email chains, the spider story being among them. The strange thing the article itself cannot be found through a Google search and the results don’t yield any actual quotes from it. There’s even a conspiracy that states the piece never actually existed in the first place!

So, where exactly did the rumor originate? It’s hard to say for certain, but with relief, Ripley’s can promise you that you’re not likely to swallow a spider while snoozing any time soon.

Humans vs. Spiders: Nighttime Edition

You and all your arachnophobe friends can rest easy with the knowledge that spiders aren’t climbing into your mouth while you slumber. First of all, spiders sense vibrations and humans are putting off all kinds of them while in dreamland. We breathe, our hearts beat, and we are probably snoring, so spiders know not to go spelunking in our mouths if they want to stay safe. According to Scientific American, Rod Crawford, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture’s arachnid curator, states, “A sleeping person is not something a spider would willingly approach.”

spider

What’s more, people who are sleeping are likely to wake up if they feel something moving across their faces, and most people don’t sleep with their mouths open wide enough for a spider to crawl inside. Though Crawford says people often tell him they have swallowed spiders while sleeping, they don’t usually have any evidence of the encounter, and no one has ever documented such an event. Since eight spiders a year seems like a lot for absolutely no concrete proof, it’s best to put this rumor to bed.

So, before you sew your mouth shut or cover it with Duct tape tonight, remember you’re probably not going to swallow a spider any time soon, even though the exact origin of this weird myth remains shrouded in a little bit of mystery.


By Julia Tilford, contributor for Ripleys.com

Source: How Many Spiders Are You Swallowing While You Sleep?

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Most of the characters on American Horror Story don’t deserve a happy ending. There are a few true heroes scattered around its seven and three-quarters seasons — the life-loving witch Misty Day, the well intentioned Kit Walker, Cordelia Goode, and Lana Winters come to mind — but the vast majority of the characters are by design the kind of people who kill, rape, exploit, and murder others. That’s the genre and that’s the show. 

American Horror Story draws most of its drama from pushing their characters, many of whom started out as decent people, to the limitations of their humanity. By the end of each season, the truly bad are often punished and the good left to thrive. The gift of a happy ending, even if that ending doesn’t include survival, is how AHS lets the audience know which character’s motivations were defensible according to its own morality.  Read more...

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Square Terminal MediaKit 01

  • Square launched a new product on Thursday: the Square Terminal, which is a portable, all-in-one card processing device.
  • Square has long focused on helping businesses take credit card payments — most famously with its original smartphone dongle, but also with touchscreen-based cash registers. 
  • The company says that it makes it easy for businesses to put cash registers everywhere: A restaurant could put one in every booth; a salon could put one at every chair.
  • An exec says that Square wanted to make something like this since day one, but focused on the dongles to spread the word first.

Going to the store and paying can be a clunky process, and more often than not, stores use slow, outdated brick-like credit card readers with tiny screens.

Square, the 30 billion mobile payments company helmed by Jack Dorsey, wants to change all this. On Thursday, it launched Square Terminal, a payments terminal that’s small and portable, accepts all forms of payments quickly, and still does everything traditional cash registers do, like ring up sales and print out receipts.

The company is most famous for its 10 smartphone dongle, which made it easy for anyone, anywhere, to start taking credit card payments. After that, Square moved into making svelte, futuristic cash registers. This payment terminal is somewhere in the middle — portable like a smartphone, but with the features of a full register. 

“Payment terminals have been around forever,” Jesse Dorogusker, head of hardware at Square, tells Business Insider. “The logical response would be to [create one] at the beginning of Square, but we had to work on getting card acceptance into as many people’s hands as possible. That’s the problem we solved first.”

Also, at its smaller size, users can easily carry around the terminal on the go, or discreetly place it in public view. For example, at a restaurant, a waiter can let customers pay directly at the table, instead of customers waiting for their receipt. Or, at a store, a salesperson can finish the deal with a customer directly on the spot.

In addition to supporting chip cards and swipe cards both, the Square Terminal accepts mobile payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay, can connect to Wi-Fi, and has a wired networking port built in. There’s a dashboard feature for businesses to track their sales. Users can also see exactly what they’re paying for on the screen.

“There’s a lot more rich interaction with the buyer, show them what they’re being rung up for,” Dorogusker said.

Square Terminal MediaKit 04



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At Business Insider, we believe in the power of digital to connect people in powerful ways.

But that doesn`t mean we don`t get the unique value — and excitement — of face-to-face communication.

Our IGNITION conference is the place to renew your enthusiasm about your work, your industry, and the world around you.

It`s an opportunity to get out and hear from media and tech leaders and changemakers in a fast, fun, and informative setting.

Here are 10 more reasons Business Insider`s IGNITION conference is a must-attend event this December.

IGNITION 2017 audience

  • Grasp how AI and robotics are transforming the global healthcare ecosystem through startups like Zipline and Openwater.
  • Hear why billionaire investor and entrepreneur Steve Case is investing in companies outside the major coastal startup hubs of New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
  • Learn what Cindy Robbins has done to correct the 8.7 million wage-gap problem at Salesforce, and what the company`s efforts mean for the rest of the tech industry.
  • Gain perspective on how your company can encourage social change in today`s often deadlocked political climate. Hear from prolific entrepreneur Mark Cuban, who`ll be joined by Felicity Conrad and Kristen Sonday, the cofounders of one of Cuban`s business investments, the legal startup Paladin.
  • The group discounts: Register with colleagues and receive a discounted rate.
  • The programming: Our flagship conference will give you all the industry news and information you need to work and live better, presented in the same fast, smart, fun style you expect from Business Insider. You`ll get unscripted interviews, "you heard it here first" moments, compelling panels and presentations, fireside chats, and cool demos.
  • The networking: IGNITION attracts senior-level decision-makers in media, technology, and finance, as well as brand marketers, agency heads, entrepreneurs, and investors. Be one of the 600-plus attendees.
  • The timing: IGNITION speakers will have frank conversations about the challenges and opportunities in their world — and yours. Get ready for 2019 now.
  • The location: For the ninth year, IGNITION will take place in New York City, the media and finance capital of the world. For the first time, IGNITION will take place downtown, near Business Insider`s global headquarters. Need a place to stay? Check out our recommendations (special rates expire October 21).
  • The limited-time flash sale: If you haven`t gotten your tickets yet, now`s the perfect time! We`re offering a weeklong FLASH SALE on IGNITION tickets. Take 25% off for one week only when you use code IGN18OCTFLASH. This offer expires on 10/24 at midnight ET, so don`t wait to register!

REGISTER NOW

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In advance of the iPhone XR`s debut, Mashable got an extended hands-on with the device, in all six of the new colors, in a 45-minute meeting with Apple. Check out the video for our first impressions, and watch for our full review coming soon. Read more...

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More new Apple devices are coming.

As if this month wasn`t already jam-packed with new product announcements from every tech company under the sun, Apple just sent out invitations for an event on Oct. 30 where it willl likely announce updated iPad Pros with Face ID support and possibly that rumored 13-inch MacBook we`ve heard so much about.

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facebook ceo mark zuckerberg

  • Facebook has had to contend with an endless string of scandals and fiascos this year.
  • Those problems are an indication that it has a deeper issue to deal with, said Pivotal Research Group financial analyst Brian Wieser in a new note.
  • The company has underinvested in putting in place the kinds of systems that would prevent such mishaps, Weiser said.
  • That`s a good reason to sell the stock, he said.

Facebook`s bad year seems to keep getting worse.

Brian Wieser doesn`t expect it to improve anytime soon, and thinks that`s a good reason to sell the company`s stock.

"We continue to see these issues as representative of systemic problems impacting the company," Wieser, a financial analyst who covers Facebook for Pivotal Research Group, said in a research note on Wednesday. He continued: "We`re not doubting they [can] be fixed, but the fact that problems keep emerging reinforces our view that the company is not as in control of its business as it needs to be." 

Facebook has been pummeled by a seemingly endless string of fiascos, scandals, and public-relations nightmares this year. Just on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook has been spotty about taking down pages from fake veterans groups, while USA Today reported that Facebook was removing ads that mentioned African-Americans and other minority groups, citing them as "political," when the ads weren`t actually promoting political causes or candidates.

Meanwhile, in the last week, Facebook acknowledged that a security breach was worse than it had disclosed before, at least in terms of the data that was compromised, noted Wieser. It was also hit with a claim that it knowingly defrauded advertisers about the amount of time users were spending watching videos on its site.

Investors should expect more to come, Wieser suggested in his note. Facebook simply hasn`t put in place systems that might anticipate problems and correct them before they came to light or caused damage to the company or its users, he said.

"The underlying problem that we see is that the company has been so focused on growth at any cost that it has failed to sufficiently invest in [such] processes," he said.

Facebook`s clean-up effort will come at a price

Facebook has started to try to clean up and better police its site. It`s tweaked the way its News Feed works to emphasize posts from other users, rather than those from organizations. It`s started to label political ads and force the backers of such ads to be identified. And it`s in the process of doubling its team of content moderators to 20,000 people.

Those steps are likely going to come with significant costs for the company, Wieser said. Those costs will likely weigh down its future earnings, but still may not be the end of its misery.

"As problems are fixed, costs will rise, possibly faster than the company has anticipated (if only because the company is slow to acknowledge problems requiring fixing)," he said. "And then other problems with more material commercial consequences might still come to light."

But Facebook faces an even bigger threat than having to spend more money to clean up its messes, Wieser said. The growth in the digital advertising market is likely to slow, putting a crimp on it longer term prospects.

In his note, Wieser`s reiterated his 131 price target for Facebook`s stock. The company`s shares closed regular trading Wednesday at 159.42, down 64 cents or 0.4%. The stock is down 10% in the year to date.

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SEE ALSO: Facebook is taking on Tinder with the official launch of its dating service — but it`s only in Colombia for now

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Screen Shot 2018 10 18 at 12.12.52 PM

Apple has sent invites for a launch event this month in New York City. 

Apple is expected to launch new iPads and potentially laptops at the Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, New York on October 30.

Last month, Apple revealed new iPhones and Apple Watches, so analysts and rumors have pointed to a launch event focusing on new iPad Pro models and potentially new Mac computers.

We`re expecting:

  • Two new versions of the iPad Pro which ditch the home button for Apple`s Face ID and larger screens. Currently, Apple`s iPad Por comes in two sizes: 10.5-inches and 12.9-inches. 
  • A new thin-and-light MacBook that`s more affordable than the current 1299 model. One rumor suggests that the new model will have Touch ID, a fingerprint sensor, but will lack the touchscreen Touch Bar found on Macbook Pro models. 
  • Potentially, a new Mac Mini desktop that`s oriented towards professional usage. It`s unclear whether this device will have a new redesign or simply updated specs. 
  • It`s also possible that Apple will update the specs on its iMac computers, which were last updated in June 2017. 
  • Apple has promised professional users a new Mac Pro, but that`s not supposed to launch until 2019. 
  • AirPower, a wireless charger for iPhones and Apple Watches announced last year, and second-generation AirPods headphones that work with it. 

Unusually, this year, each invite came with a different stylized Apple logo graphic, suggesting that this event will focus on creative drawing and graphics uses for the iPad Pro.

Business Insider will cover all the announcements as they happen live. 

Developing...

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NOW WATCH: Watch Apple unveil the new iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max

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A U.S. student who was initially barred entry into Israel under a law against foreign pro-Palestinian activists who call for boycotts of Israel will be allowed to stay in the country, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
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facebook elections samidh Chakrabarti

  • Facebook has built a physical "war room" in its California headquarters to try and avoid repeating the mistakes of the 2016 US presidential election.
  • On Wednesday, it opened up the room to journalists, including Business Insider.
  • The company has made progress in some areas around securing the integrity of the platform, ahead of the midterm elections — but there are still some worrisome signs that all is not well. 

Facebook can`t afford to repeat the mistakes of 2016.

During the 2016 US presidential election, the social network was wildly abused by Russian propagandists, who spread fake news and misinformation on a massive scale — setting off a chain reaction of scandals for Facebook that reverberates to this day.

Two years later, America is gearing up for its contentious midterm elections, and Facebook is eager to show progress in its fight against election-meddling. 

On Wednesday, the Silicon Valley firm invited journalists into its Menlo Park, California headquarters, to tour the "war room" it has put in place to tackle election-related issues in the US midterms and the presidential election campaign still ongoing in Brazil. 

What is the Facebook `war room?`

The "war room" is literally that —  a room of experts and team members in one place where they can coordinate more effectively — and Facebook can point to it as a symbol of its efforts to be far more prepared this time around. And while its clear the company has made significant strides in some areas, there are still some worrying indicators that all is perhaps not well. 

facebook war room

The war room is a cluster of sitting and standing desks, home to around 20-30 people at once, representing 20 different teams across the company, from threat intelligence to moderation. The walls are draped with American and Brazilian flags, alongside clocks showing different time zones and televisions blaring cable news. 

Big computer screens, meanwhile, display everything from relevant internal analytics and video conferences with other offices, and recent tweets in the TweetDeck app. 

facebook war room

The physical presence of other people means there`s a guaranteed immediacy and faster reaction time when something happens, Facebook`s head of civic engagement Samidh Chakrabarti said: "When you message someone, do you know if you have their attention?"

And the few-dozen people in the room also work with their own respective teams throughout Facebook, making the War Room a "nerve centre of this much broader effort," said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook`s head of cybersecurity policy.

How does Facebook plan on protecting the elections?

There are three main pillars to Facebook`s attempts to protecting elections, company executives said. It is cracking down on fake accounts. It is making advertising more transparent. And it is trying to tackle the distribution of fake news and misinformation.

Progress has been made on this, including the creation of an archive of political advertisements that anyone can view. 

facebook war room

But while Facebook has attempted to crack down on fake news on its core Facebook app, it`s still a problem on other apps it owns — notably messaging app WhatsApp. A recent study found that the majority of the most popular political content shared on the encrypted messaging app in Brazil is false or misleading.

When pressed by reporters, Facebook execs didn`t have a satisfying answer on how it would try to combat the flow of fake news and misinformation, instead pointing to minor cosmetic changes like the addition of a "Forwarded" indicator next to messages that have been forwarded, to show when a message didn`t originate with the sender.

The authors of the report into misleading information on the app suggested possible changes to WhatsApp, including restricting forwarding and limiting the size of new groups, they wrote in a column in The New York Times — but were apparently told by the company "there was not enough time to implement the changes."

The risk of fake news spreading via WhatsApp is less acute in the midterm elections in America, where relatively few people use the app as their primary communication service. But in elections in Europe and elsewhere in the world, the danger is profound. And it`s still not clear that Facebook has a handle on it.

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

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NOW WATCH: How to hack an election, according to a former NSA hacker

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