Ayman's blog

MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - Bodies of what appeared to be executed civilians were found in a ravine outside a besieged Philippine city on Sunday as a six-day occupation by Islamist rebels resisting a military onslaught took a more sinister turn.
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada`s official opposition Conservatives on Saturday chose a little-known, 38-year-old leader to fight a 2019 election against Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau but only after a fierce contest that revealed internal divisions.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has supervised the test of a new anti-aircraft weapon system and ordered its mass production and deployment throughout the country, the state news agency reported on Sunday, after weeks of defiant ballistic missile tests.
Gerard van Honthorst`s 1623 painting ‘The Concert.’

Did you once put a poster of your favorite music artist on your bedroom wall? Are there a few faded gig T-shirts in your bottom drawer? Have you ever bought an LP or CD because of the cover art?

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby arrived in Australia on Sunday after completing a twelve-and-a-half-year sentence for smuggling marijuana to Indonesia, a case which received huge media attention and soured ties between the two countries.
RABAT (Reuters) - Moroccan authorities have arrested 20 people following violent clashes between police and protesters in the northern city of Al-Hoceima on Friday evening, the local prosecutor said on Saturday.
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May`s lead over the opposition Labour Party has narrowed sharply, according to five opinion polls published since the Manchester attack, suggesting she might not win the landslide predicted just a month ago.
CAIRO (Reuters) - Libyan Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia, a group linked to Al-Qaeda, is formally dissolving itself, it said in a statement on Saturday.

hiker sunset hiking outdoors sunrise nature

Ask a healthy person who has tripped on magic mushrooms what it felt like, and they`ll probably tell you they saw sounds or heard colors — the crash-bang of a dropped box took on an aggressive and dark shape, a bright green light seemed to emit a piercing, high-pitched screech.

It doesn`t exactly scream "safe place."

Nevertheless, experts say this is one of the reasons magic mushrooms aren`t nearly as dangerous as other recreational drugs — this type of experience is not one they`d likely be driven to repeat, making it unlikely to be addictive. Plus the drugs have yet to be linked to an overdose.

A new survey provides some additional support for that idea.

The Global Drug Survey, published Wednesday by the independent British research company, found that of the more than 10,000 people who reported taking magic mushrooms in 2016, just 0.2% of them reported needing emergency medical treatment. That figure is less than a fifth of the rate for alcohol, cocaine, or methamphetamines.


While this sounds promising, it`s important to keep in mind that these results are from a survey, essentially a questionnaire in which people are asked about their behaviors. It is not a scientific study — there are no controls or variables, and people`s results could be influenced by things like fear about being truthful or how well they remember an event. In other words, there`s plenty of room for human error, so these findings should be taken with a grain of salt.

And like any drug, magic mushrooms come with risks, including intense feelings of panic and anxiety that can accompany a psychedelic experience, or "trip."

Still, a growing body of scientific research does suggest that magic mushrooms are safe and, more importantly, could have therapeutic uses for people struggling with mental illness.

The cross-wiring of "seeing sounds" or "hearing colors" is known scientifically as synesthesia, and it may be one example of the underlying mechanism by which the drug works to alleviate some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

David Nutt, the director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit in the division of brain sciences at Imperial College London and one of the researchers leading the charge for studying these uses, told Business Insider in January that he believed psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, would be approved as a medical treatment for depression within 10 years.

As for the general safety profile of `shrooms, Nutt said: "We know it`s a safe drug — probably tens of millions of people have used it, and so far as we know, there`s never been a death."

SEE ALSO: Why psychedelics like magic mushrooms kill the ego and fundamentally transform the brain

DON`T MISS: The truth about `microdosing,` which involves taking tiny amounts of psychedelics like LSD

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What magic mushrooms do to your brain and state of mind

LONDON (Reuters) - British police on Saturday released a photograph of Salman Abedi on the night he killed 22 people in a suicide bomb attack in Manchester and said they believed an apartment in the city center was where he put together his device.


Brazillian doctors are taking an experimental approach to treating burns: using tilapia skin. 

Traditionally, burns are treated using pig and human tissue, which transfer collagen, a healing protein, to the victims` skin. In Fortaleza, Brazil, however, those tissues weren`t readily available. 

That shortage led researchers at the José Frota Institute to turn to tilapia as an alternative treatment for people in the community who suffered from burns.

Here`s the story of how the team discovered this unconventional new approach. 


SEE ALSO: Here`s why your mouth might get itchy or tingly when you eat fresh fruits and veggies

DON`T MISS: Nevada is close to passing a landmark bill to tackle high drug prices

Second- and third-degree burns are painful, and occasionally deadly depending on how widespread they are on the body. Using tissue can often help speed up the healing process. But at the José Frota Institute, doctors were only able to use burn creams and gauze that had to be changed out frequently, a painful process.

So the team looked for other options, including sterilized tilapia skin. When they analyzed the tilapia`s skin, they found something unexpected.

“We got a great surprise when we saw that the amount of collagen proteins, types 1 and 3, which are very important for scarring, exist in large quantities in tilapia skin, even more than in human skin and other skins,” Dr. Edmar Maciel, a burn specialist at the institute told Stat News.

Source: Stat News

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

USS Kearsarge amphibious assault ship US Navy

In US Navy history, just four ships have borne the name Kearsarge.

The first, a Civil War sloop, sank the CSS Alabama off the coast of France in 1864.

The next one, a battleship, sailed around the world with Theodore Roosevelt`s Great White Fleet.

The third, an aircraft carrier, recovered astronauts from the sea during Project Mercury, the US`s first human-spaceflight program.

The current USS Kearsarge, an amphibious assault ship that docked in New York City for Fleet Week, has a lower profile, but it is no less essential to the fleet.

"We have a very special mission as opposed to your other ships of the Navy," Lt. J.G. Christian Sedarski, a deck-division officer on the Kearsarge, told Business Insider. "Sometimes we will conduct firings on the beaches and that kind of thing, but we are strictly landing and bringing back Marines from the beach."

"So the way I like to explain it is, we are a glorified hotel with a F-150 flatbed," he added.

It also has extensive medical facilities, capable of taking in wounded troops as well as survivors of natural disasters. Its ability to hold 600 patients makes it second to only the Navy`s ready-reserve hospital ships in medical capacity.

In a display of its versatility, the Kearsarge deployed to provide flood relief in Pakistan in August 2010, steaming west six months later to support operations in Libya as part of Task Force Odyssey Dawn.

Below, you can take a tour of Kearsarge and get an up-close look at a ship that ferries Marines and their gear into battle around the world.

SEE ALSO: The Air Force put on a show of force with the A-10, and a day later it got taken off the chopping block

The Kearsarge stretches 844 feet from bow to stern with a 27-foot draft. Fully loaded, it displaces 44,000 tons and can push through the water at over 24 knots.

Deck-edge elevators, like the one seen here, lift the Kearsarge`s contingent of aircraft to the flight deck, where three cargo elevators lift supplies to meet them.

The ship rises 186 feet from waterline to top of mast. It sails with over 1,100 officers and crew and can carry about 2,000 Marines and their gear.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

travis kalanick uberThe parents of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick were both in a boating accident on Friday. His mother passed away, and his father is currently in the hospital in "serious" condition. The New York Times` Mike Isaac was the first to report the news on Twitter.

Uber provided Business Insider with the following statement:

“Last night Travis and his family suffered an unspeakable tragedy. His mother passed away in a devastating boating accident near Fresno and his father is in serious condition. Our thoughts and prayers are with Travis and his family in this heartbreaking time.”

Business Insider also obtained an internal email that Uber sent to its employees, informing them of the news:


I’m writing to share some heartbreaking news. Last night Travis’ mother died in a tragic boating accident near Fresno. His father, who was also on the boat, is in serious condition and is being treated at the hospital. This is an unthinkable tragedy as everyone in the Uber family knows how incredibly close Travis is to his parents.

Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, and we wanted to let his Uber family know right away.

I know we all want to do whatever we can to help, and I’ll communicate again as soon as there is something we can share."

This story is developing... 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A former iPhone factory worker explains how they keep the new iPhones a secret

Facebook NYC 4904

Who says offices have to be boring?

Not everyone toils the day away in a drab cubicle farm. There are some pretty incredible offices out there.

At Business Insider, we`ve gone on numerous virtual and in-person tours of amazing workspaces — including those of Facebook, Twitter, and Spotify.

Here`s a glimpse of some of the coolest offices we`ve visited:

Jacquelyn Smith, Jessica Mai, Courtney Verrill, Emmie Martin, and Tanza Loudenback contributed reporting.

SEE ALSO: A look inside Kickstarter`s Brooklyn office, where employees enjoy perks like a secret rooftop garden, coffee on tap, and plenty of dogs

DON`T MISS: A look inside Facebook`s New York office, where employees of the 280 billion company enjoy virtual reality games and an in-house pastry chef

Facebook`s Manhattan office is filled with amazing artwork created by both resident artists and employees. These works give the space a creative vibe.

Celebrity sightings aren`t uncommon here. If you look closely at the office`s "wall," you`ll see many famous autographs.

Employees also enjoy numerous perks, from VR tests to gourmet breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

See the full Facebook office tour »

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
PARIS (Reuters) - Vandals on Saturday damaged the tomb of General Charles de Gaulle, leader of France`s resistance to Nazi occupation during World War Two and founder of the Fifth Republic.
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Senior politicians attending a top meeting of South Africa`s ruling ANC tabled a motion of no confidence on Saturday against president Jacob Zuma, News24 reported on its website.

marissa mayer

While media companies dominate the list of top paid CEOs, leaders of tech companies aren`t far behind. 

Combined, the top 30 CEOs in tech made 662 million in 2016, according to a new report out from Equilar, an executive compensation data firm, in partnership with the New York Times

The study only looked at executives at publicly-traded companies with more than 1 billion in revenue that had filed proxy statements before May 1. 

Each exec`s total compensation for 2016 includes salary, cash bonuses, the grant-date value of stock option awards, and other compensation, which includes perks like security expenses. (You can read Equilar and The New York Times full methodology here).

Of the list of the top 200 highest-paid CEOs, 30 are in the tech industry, helming companies that make everything from semiconductors to cloud services. 

Here`s which tech CEOs brought home the most bacon in 2016:

SEE ALSO: 10 important things Evan Spiegel said on Snap`s first ever earnings call

30. Ursula Burns, Xerox: 13.1 million

29. Marc Benioff, Salesforce: 13.2 million

28. Glen Post, CenturyLink: 13.6 million

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Watch your back Cheddar.

Scott Grimes cofounded the entertainment-focused digital media company Woven (now Uproxx), which brought the world the edgy young male-aimed site BroBible. Now he wants to help young people better manage their wallets with a new web video venture.

Stackin aspires to become a go-to outlet for millennials looking for help with personal finance. The media property quietly rolled out a series of short videos on Facebook and Instagram last month, along the lines of “WTF is Compound Interest?”

Unlike the live business-news-focused Cheddar, which just received a round of funding and is now valued at 85 million,  Stackin is focused on a blend of service content and entertainment, like “Overdraft fees are whack."

Grimes, who is still executive chairman at Uproxx, said he was inspired to launch Stackin after managing so many young people. “I was always blown away by their basic basic lack of fundamental knowledge about finance,” he said. “These were educated people. It was amazing. On things like student loan debt, they didn’t know where to begin.”

So he and partner Kyle Arbaugh, who previously ran revenue and strategy at Uproxx, saw an opening. Cheddar founder Jon Steinberg might tend to agree.

During a recent keynote interview at the Luma Digital Marketing Conference in New York ,Steinberg argued that unlike content categories like food and news, business is a less crowded digital media category. “All the financial brands wrote off millennials,” he said. “There is nowhere for all these companies to reach a young audience.”

That’s the plan for Stackin, which recently brought on Lisa Frame, formerly head of social for the web video brand Tastemade, to oversee the new venture`s content.

Stackin has raised funding "in the millions," said a person familiar with the matter. Its investors include Howard Lindzon of Social Leverage, who is cofounder or StockTwits, MuleSoft CEO Ross Mason, and Full Tilt Ventures.

Business-wise, the plan is to sell sponsorships to brands, and also ink affiliate deals with financial services products.

While short form Facebook video will be Stackin’s early content focus, later this year the plan is to roll out longer series and eventually sell content to over-the-top services along the lines of Comcast’s Watchable and SlingTV.

“The ultimate goal is to be inspiring, and maybe make it cool to invest,” said Grimes.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Colonel Sanders` nephew revealed the family`s secret recipe — here`s how to make KFC`s `original` fried chicken


An experimental drug derived from cannabis to treat epilepsy is on the brink of becoming the first of its kind to win US government approval.

The drug`s active ingredient is cannabidiol, the compound in marijuana thought to be responsible for many of its therapeutic effects. Cannabidiol doesn`t contain THC, marijuana`s main psychoactive ingredient, so it doesn`t get users high.

According to results from two large clinical trials released over the past two months, however, cannabidiol does appear to help reduce seizures in two of the hardest-to-treat forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.

If approved, the new drug would be sold under the name Epidiolex as a syrup. 

Because drugmaker GW Pharma was able to show that the product addresses a critical need, it was able to apply for a designation that could speed up the approval process. The company still faces some hurdles, though — the FDA has not yet approved any applications to sell marijuana for a health condition, and hasn`t given the green light to any drugs containing cannabidiol. 

The first cannabidiol trial looked at the effects of the drug by studying 225 young people with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. The subjects were split into groups and given either a higher or lower dose of the drug or a placebo for 14 weeks. The results, presented at the American Academy of Neurology`s yearly meeting in Boston, showed that participants in the higher-dose group saw their seizure occurrence drop by about 42%. Those given the lower dose saw a decrease of roughly 37%, and those given the placebo only saw a 17% reduction.

Epidiolex 100mg Carton Bottle (unenhanced) (0074c) (j10)The second trial, the results of which were published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at 120 children with Dravet syndrome. Half were given the drug and half received a placebo. Forty-three percent of participants given the drug saw their seizures reduced by half, and 5% stopped having seizures entirely. By comparison, the seizure rate in the group given a placebo barely budged.

Those promising findings build on previous research conducted last year by GW Pharma.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, epilepsy affects more than 4.3 million Americans. Among these millions, however, various types and forms of the condition exist — and everyone reacts to treatments differently.

GW Pharma aims to submit its new drug application to the FDA by the middle of the year,  and is exploring treatments for various forms of epilepsy, though Epidiolex would treat only two specific types of the condition.

While Epidiolex could be the first cannabidiol-based drug to get FDA approval, the agency has already given the green light to two other drugs that contain components of cannabis: Marinol and Syndros are designed to treat anorexia using dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC.

SEE ALSO: There`s a medical problem that marijuana might be able to help that no one is talking about

DON`T MISS: What marijuana does to your body and brain

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A pharmacologist explains marijuana`s effect on your dreams

TAORMINA, Italy (Reuters) - Under pressure from Group of Seven allies, U.S. President Donald Trump backed a pledge to fight protectionism on Saturday, but refused to endorse a global climate change accord, saying he needed more time to decide.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran`s hardline Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday Saudi Arabia`s rulers faced "certain downfall" for aligning themselves with the United States, hours after the country`s pragmatist president called for improved ties with Gulf states.
LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways canceled all its flights from London`s two biggest airports on Saturday after a global computer system failure caused confusion and chaos, with thousands of passengers queuing for hours and planes left stuck on runways.
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May`s lead over the opposition Labour Party has narrowed ahead of a June 8 election but she is still on course to win comfortably, according to two opinion polls carried out since the Manchester suicide attack.
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May`s lead over the opposition Labour Party has narrowed by 6 percentage points ahead of the June 8 election, according to a ComRes poll.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran`s President Hassan Rouhani called on Saturday for improved relations with Gulf Arab countries during a telephone call with the emir of Qatar, which has come under fire from its Gulf neighbors over its relationship with Tehran.


May marks the 40th anniversary of "Star Wars: A New Hope," but it also has another, less joyful milestone: the 15th anniversary of "Attack of the Clones," which was (to our disappointment) released to a theater near you on May 16, 2002. 

But maybe it`s not as bad as everyone says it is or as bad as I remember it. Maybe it`s secretly the best prequel. I hadn`t seen it in a long time, so who am I to judge? Turns out, I was right.

I took a stab at re-watching "Attack of the Clones" with the intention of giving it the benefit of the doubt, but it just made me feel like I was getting stabbed in the eyes (and the heart). "Attack of the Clones" is a soulless, disjointed parade of clichés that took everything anyone loved about the "Star Wars" franchise and hid it behind wooden dialogue, junky visual effects, galaxy politics no one cares about, and forgettable characters who don`t matter. At least "Phantom Menace" had a cool villain in Darth Maul and sweet Sebulba. 

The movie is so unwatchable — save for Ewan McGregor`s welcome presence, for which he should win some kind of peace prize — that it literally took me weeks to watch it. I could only bear it in 20-30 minute intervals. At a painful and unnecessary 2 hours and 22 minutes, "Attack of the Clones" makes watching the depressing ending of "Rogue One" on repeat sound appealing. 

Here`s why "Attack of the Clones" is the worst movie in the "Star Wars" franchise: 

SEE ALSO: Here`s the only right way to watch the `Star Wars` movies

While the script is dumbed down, ridden with cheesy one-liners and sentences that are not authentic for any living creature the has a mouth, it`s still hard to follow.

There is so much plot that it’s actually completely plotless. In having too many storylines and new characters, the point of the movie — to showcase Anakin`s eventual turn to the dark side — gets completely lost.

One of those plot lines? Anakin and Padmé`s love story, which is just as forced as it is uninteresting. It`s also terribly portrayed by future Oscar winner Natalie Portman.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Renovation is expensive, especially when you`re renovating a high-end restaurant. Beyond the costs of renovation, every day your restaurant isn`t open you`re losing money. 

For one of the world`s most celebrated chefs, René Redzepi of Copenhagen`s infamous Noma restaurant, a planned renovation presented an opportunity. "We just wanted to come to Mexico," Redzepi told Vogue.

And so they did.

A post shared by noma (@nomacph) on

With Noma`s Copenhagen location closed temporarily, Redzepi and his staff re-located to Tulum, Mexico — a tiny town along Mexico`s Caribbean coastline, where Redzepi, his staff, and a group of locals are serving 7,000 meals across the span of a month.

Each of those 7,000 meals comes with a 600 price tag attached (over 750 with tax and services included) — the absurdly high cost of a "hyper-local" tasting menu meal created by Redzepi and co. When the pop-up restaurant, known both as "Noma Mexico" and "Noma Tulum," closes shop on May 28, it`ll have grossed over 4.2 million. 

A post shared by noma (@nomacph) on

Not too shabby for a one-month pop-up restaurant in a remote region of Mexico! Here`s how they did it.

SEE ALSO: I ate a 17-course tasting menu at one of the world`s best restaurants — here`s what it was like

Noma Mexico opened reservations last December for its 7,000 potential spots. The reservations were snapped up in under two hours.

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A few months later, on April 12, Noma Mexico opened its doors to diners. The pop-up only serves dinner, and only does that from Wednesday through Sunday each week.

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People were very excited to try the new spin on Noma.

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See the rest of the story at Business Insider
SIGONELLA, Italy (Reuters) - With trouble facing him back home, U.S. President Donald Trump ended his nine-day overseas journey in dramatic fashion on Saturday, addressing U.S. troops at a campaign-style rally.
LONDON (Reuters) - British intelligence experts no longer believe another attack is imminent as significant progress has been made by police investigating the suicide bomb attack on a pop concert in Manchester, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Saturday.

President Trump made lots of headlines in his first international trip as president. He also inspired lots of memes. From the mysterious orb in Saudi Arabia to the NATO "shove" seen around the world, here`s a look at some of the ways people online reacted to some memorable moments of the trip.

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People gather at the booth of Chinese electric vehicle start-up Nio as it unveils its ES8 SUV at the Shanghai autoshow, in Shanghai, China April 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

Electric car startup Nio is planning to battle Tesla in the most lucrative market for battery-powered vehicles: China.

Nio will sell its electric SUV, the ES8, in China in early 2018. The move puts the startup in direct competition with Tesla as it looks to gain traction in the country.

China had more electric car sales than Europe and the US in both 2015 and 2016 and has also exhibited faster sales growth.

Tesla has tripled its revenue in China to 1 billion in 2016, though it still makes more money in the US. 

Chinese internet company Tencent acquired a 5% stake in Tesla in March, highlighting a vote of confidence in Tesla`s position in the world`s most populous country. Tencent has also invested in Nio.

Nio, which is based in Shanghai, is smart to introduce a large SUV at a time where demand for the vehicles is on the rise among affluent Chinese buyers. The startup has offices in Munich and San Jose and is led in the US by former Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior.

We spoke to Warrior about the ES8 and what to expect — scroll down for a closer look:

SEE ALSO: Volkswagen just unveiled an electric SUV concept that could challenge Tesla`s Model Y

The electric SUV seats seven and comes with all-wheel drive, but Nio has yet to disclose any specs like horsepower, acceleration, or range. The startup said it will be priced in the same range as a premium car.

Nio has teamed up with JAC Motors, a Chinese car manufacturer, to manufacture the car in China in late 2017. The vehicle will come with a swappable battery.

The SUV features a digital instrument cluster and large infotainment console. Warrior said Nio is trying to become a leader in the connected car space by developing digital cockpits and an AI assistant that can control features in the car and the owner`s home.

Source: Business Insider

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
KABUL (Reuters) - Pakistan announced it had reopened a major border crossing with Afghanistan on Saturday, more than three weeks after several people were killed when troops from both sides exchanged fire for several hours.
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain lowered its security threat level to "severe" on Saturday following significant activity by police investigating the suicide bomb attack on a pop concert in Manchester, Prime Minister Theresa May said.
LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways has canceled all its flights from London`s two biggest airports until Saturday evening after a global computer system outage caused confusion and chaos, with thousands of passengers queuing for hours and planes left stuck on runways.

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Facebook has tried to copy Snapchat for years.

But during the past year Facebook has gone into overdrive, blatantly, systematically and often successfully, cloning Snapchat`s core features.

The result is that Facebook`s family of standalone apps — Instagram, Messenger, core Facebook, and even WhatsApp — look much more like Snapchat than they did one year ago. And Zuckerberg now believes that the future of how people communicate on Facebook will be through the phone`s camera — a concept Snapchat pioneered.

Here are all of the ways that Facebook has copied Snapchat so far:

SEE ALSO: The best Snapchat tips, tricks, and secret hacks

One of the first indications that Facebook was wading into Snapchat`s territory was in March 2016, when it acquired the app MSQRD. The app let you swap faces with goofy effects, similar to Snapchat`s "Lens" filters.

Source: Business Insider

Then, in April, Facebook added scannable Snapchat-like QR codes for profiles in Messenger.

Source: Business Insider

Facebook`s attack on Snapchat culminated with a battle cry Mark Zuckerberg gave to employees during an all-hands meeting in the summer.

Zuckerberg said "the camera is the composer" during an all-hands meeting with Facebook employees over the summer, according to someone familiar with the meeting.

The statement was an obvious nod to Snapchat, which recently rebranded itself as "Snap Inc., a camera company," but since day one has prioritized photo and video messages in its app.

During Facebook`s quarterly earnings call in October, Zuckerberg explained that Facebook now sees the camera as the future of how people share and communicate.

"In most social apps today, a text box is still the default way we share," he said. "Soon, we believe a camera will be the main way that we share."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

reid hoffman

LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman is leading a 30 million investment in Change.org, the for-profit "social change platform" that`s best known as a site for activists to post petitions to the public. 

Hoffman revealed that he`ll be leading the round in a post to LinkedIn, with Fortune reporting that Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and Y Combinator President Sam Altman will also be participating.

All three tech leaders actually participated in the company`s last 24 million investment round back in late 2014. Other existing Change.org investors include Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher, and the rapper Nas.

In his post, Hoffman refers to Change.org as "a crucial democratizing force," elaborating that "its users and petition starters hold powerful interests accountable." Currently, Change.org has 180 million users.

"It helps enable a world where you don`t need to hire a lobbyist to have real impact on the issues and policies that matter to you," writes Hoffman.

The petitions on the site have ranged from the serious, like rallying to save an "exceptional" student from deportation, to the silly, like calling on McDonalds to bring back a retired chicken nugget dipping sauce. The site has inpsired legislative action, too, as when a Change.org petition resulted in new laws protecting the rights of sexual assault victims.

This investment comes less than a year after Change.org had to lay off 30% of its staff, reportedly affecting over 100 employees.

Change.org CEO Ben Rattray tells Fortune that the company generated 20 million in revenue in 2016, and will be pursuing its more recent strategy of letting petition signers contribute funds to a campaign, with the company taking a cut. Similarly, Change.org will be focusing on letting users pay to promote their petitions on the site.

SEE ALSO: This drone company`s tech is so promising, Bill Gates invested millions in it — twice

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Greenpeace activists scaled a 270-foot crane to hang a gigantic `resist` banner in plain view of the White House

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the European Union had presented Turkey with a new 12-month timetable for renewing their relations, the Hurriyet daily said on Saturday.
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian meat traders plan to take the government to court over new rules banning the trading of cattle including buffalo for slaughter, calling it a move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s administration to hurt the business run mainly by Muslims.

On May 18, I got to attend Bungie`s big "Destiny 2" event with my older brother Michael. It was a precious memory I`ll never forget.

dave michael smithThis is Michael. He`s three years older than me, but we`re both very similar: We have similar senses of humor, we both have beards — his is black, mine is red — and our voices sound almost identical. We also share many of the same interests, particularly in movies, games, and pop culture. He`s always been there for me over the years, in both good times and bad. He`s my best friend, and I love him dearly.

But since we live on opposite ends of the country — me in New York, and him in Los Angeles — it hasn`t always been easy for us to keep in touch. Thankfully, "Destiny" is a big reason we`ve stayed connected over the years. And at the "Destiny 2" reveal event, we got to spend a full day geeking out to our favorite video game together. It was just like the old days.

SEE ALSO: Bungie director Luke Smith on `Destiny 2`: Our goal is to `unhide the fun`

Michael and I both grew up playing a lot of video games together, usually in the basement of our old house in Connecticut. As kids, games were an easy and fun way for us to connect, talk, and work together.

One of my fondest memories was playing the classic Zelda game "Ocarina of Time" with him: He`d be the one actually playing the game, while I`d serve as a form of navigator, keeping track of his goals and looking at physical game guides in case he got stuck. As a young kid, I didn`t always feel brave enough to play some games myself, so I was happy to watch him play. (To this day, I still enjoy watching other people play video games, usually on YouTube.)

In our teenage years, Michael and I played lots of "Halo" together. We`d play cooperative missions, but we spent most of our time playing multiplayer matches against each other. We spent countless nights playing on the "Hang `Em High" arena, with rocket launchers only.

Michael regularly got the drop on me: He was so much better at "Halo" than I was, since he was quick to memorize the layouts of the arenas. He`d usually sneak up on me, jump in the air and shout "Death from above!" right before nuking me with a rocket and cackling with delight. He won almost every match we played, but I still had fun.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

saturn hexagonal storm north pole cassini nasa jpl caltech jason major

A giant hexagon is swirling at Saturn`s north pole, and scientists don`t fully understand it, despite years of observation by NASA`s Cassini spacecraft.

The hexagon — a jet stream that traps an entire polar weather system — is as wide as two planet Earths. It`s so big, in fact, that "small" vortices inside of it are often twice as wide as the largest hurricanes on Earth.

This week, NASA released new images and animations of the hexagon.

The photos show that the giant weather system changed from turquoise to a ruddy yellow in just a few years` time — though the 1,800-mile-wide central vortex (about the length of the US East Coast) has kept a rich blue color.

Here`s an animation of hexagon images that Cassini took in June 2013 as it flew overhead from 430,000 miles away:

About five years later, Cassini took these fresh pictures of the hexagon:

The change in color is dramatic, and while NASA isn`t sure why it happened, researchers think the shift has to do with the gas giant`s changing seasons. 

Saturn reached its northern solstice, or the longest day of the planet`s "summer" season, on May 24, 2017 — shortly after Cassini snapped the latter set of photos on April 25, 2017. This shift has gradually increased the amount of ultraviolet light reaching the planet`s north pole (where the hexagon is), creating hazy, yellow smog.

By that logic, the vortex might still be blue because the sunlight touches that area last. It might also have kept its color if — like hurricanes on Earth — it constantly yanks air downward, thus pushing any smog deep below the cloud tops.

While Cassini has been studying Saturn for about 13 years, the planet`s full orbit around the sun takes 29.5 Earth years, so the probe hasn`t observed all of Saturn`s seasons.

NASA is keeping its eye on the hexagon — for now

Before snapping these new images, NASA managed to film the hexagon`s central vortex for about five hours in August 2009. They ended up with this incredible movie, made using 1,680 pictures:

Space scientists followed clouds in the giant storm to calculate wind speeds, and found that the innermost rings of the storm blow at a shocking 340 mph. By contrast, winds inside hurricane Allen in 1980 — the strongest ever recorded on Earth — topped out at 190 mph.

In 2012, NASA swung Cassini over Saturn again, this time for a wider view of of the hurricane and hexagon. The movie below spans about 10 hours and is a bit choppier, since it combines just 128 images in multiple colors of light:

The footage suggests the hexagonal jet stream moves at a speed of about 220 mph.

Unfortunately, Earth won`t be able to enjoy these views for much longer: The Cassini spacecraft is running low on propellant, and NASA doesn`t want it to accidentally crash into one of Saturn`s icy moons, since it could contaminate the vast subsurface oceans that at least two moons contain.

So on September 15, 2017, the 3.26-billion mission will take a plunge into Saturn, break apart, and become one with the giant ball of hydrogen and helium.

SEE ALSO: NASA`s 3.26 billion Saturn mission is in a death spiral — here`s what Cassini may discover before meeting its doom

DON`T MISS: The 15 most important nuclear-powered space missions of all time

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Stephen Hawking warned us about contacting aliens, but this astronomer says it`s `too late`

atlassian cmo robert chatwani

Atlassian, the 8 billion Aussie teamwork software titan, is a little different from most tech companies.

Just for starters, when it filed for its 2015 IPO, it revealed that it had been consistently profitable since the decade previous — without doing a single round of traditional venture capital financing.

Furthermore, Atlassian has gotten to this point without a traditional outbound sales team, instead relying largely on word-of-mouth to bring in big deals. And still, it generates free cash flow every quarter.

"We really operate more like a consumer company than a typical enterprise software company," Atlassian president Jay Simons tells Business Insider. "[We`re] more like Amazon, than a company like Oracle." 

So it`s fitting that the company has brought in Robert Chatwani, a long-time marketing leader who spent 12 years at eBay, as its new chief marketing officer. Chatwani is not Atlassian`s first CMO. Simons tells us that the company briefly had one several years ago, and that he himself had been filling a similar role for a long time.

Simons does, however, say that hiring Chatwani is a signal of Atlassian`s larger ambition to move beyond software developers and the IT department, its core markets, and conquer the larger world of office productivity — an ambition that sets it against the Microsoft Office juggernaut.

Now, Chatwani tells Business Insider that the biggest "challenge and opportunity" will be to "continue our growth, but do it in an efficient way."


Chatwani says that his experience at eBay is directly transferable to Atlassian. On the surface, the two companies don`t have much to do with each other: eBay is an auction site; Atlassian makes tools that are primarily popular among software developers, like the issue-tracking tool Jira and the HipChat messaging app.

jay simons atlassian presidentBut Chatwani says that the basic dynamics are the same: Most eBay sellers come to the site because they want to buy or sell something, not because an eBay salesperson individually pitched them to raid their garage for stuff to auction. Similarly, Atlassian doesn`t have that dedicated salesforce, so customers come to them. 

"It`s one of the reasons I joined this company," says Chatwani. "The feel for me is more consumer-like."

Marketing for Atlassian is something of a tricky proposition, too. The company has a famous expletive-laced motto (we`ll paraphrase it as "open company, no bullsh%t") something it feels strongly enough about to have included in its original IPO paperwork and plaster on the walls of its various offices. 

So instead of an all-out marketing blitz, Chatwani says the game plan is to "continue our growth through data-driven marketing," he says.

atlassian cofounders bell ringLike how Spotify, Netflix, or Uber send you personalized e-mails and push notifications to promote new products and services, Chatwani sees a future where the company can see what you`re using, and give suggestions on how other Atlassian products and services might help. 

That`s important, he says, as the company pursues its goal of going beyond technical users and into every department of the business. It means that Atlassian will be there with helpful tips and tricks for customizing and extending its products to suit the needs of the sales department, legal, or whatever else.

"We`re not trying to sell them something, we`re trying to help them," says Chatwani. "It won`t feel like marketing; it`ll feel like a service."

SEE ALSO: 6 billion Atlassian paid 425 million for a cult hit app so it could take on Microsoft Office

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is the Excel trick that will change everything about how you work with data

Jim Hackett Ford

Ford`s decision to push CEO Mark Fields out of the company has a lot to do with its stock price that has plummeted 40% during his three years of leadership.

But its decision to replace Fields with Jim Hackett, the exec who was overseeing Ford`s Smart Mobility unit that`s responsible for autonomous tech, shows Ford`s desire to shift its narrative as an automaker to a mobility company.

At a time when Tesla`s market value has risen dramatically to challenge both Ford and GM, Ford sees the benefit of of not only channeling more resources into electrification and autonomous tech, but of making a public display of its intention to do so.

We can expect this to play out in the form of a Silicon Valley shopping spree, where Ford will either look to acquire or invest in promising startups.

Ford has already shown it`s willing to spend the big bucks on its self-driving tech before Hackett took over as CEO. It has made over 1 billion worth of investments in companies like Pivotal, Velodyne, and Argo AI as it looks to ramp up its autonomous driving efforts and bring on fresh talent.

Ford has said it plans to keep making those big investments as it places a greater focus on mobility.

"As we’ve shifted from being an automotive company to being automotive and mobility, we`ve seen an increasing need for tech talent," Julie Lodge-Jarrett, Ford`s human resources director, told Business Insider in March.

"We look at how we traditionally buy talent and how we might buy it in greater quantities based on other companies or other resources," she continued.

ford driverless car

Ford realizes it must invest heavily to acquire the software talent that is accustomed to working for tech companies in the Valley.

Automakers will continue to remain an inherent piece of the self-driving-car puzzle as vehicle manufacturers, which is a notoriously challenging business to break into as can be seen through Tesla`s production struggles alone.

But if carmakers wish to dive into the lucrative business of self-driving tech without having to split the profits with giants like Waymo, the self-driving company spun out of Google, they will need to spend more on talent.

Hackett has deep ties to Silicon Valley, Ford Chairman Bill Ford said on a press call with journalists Monday. In fact, he sold furniture to Apple`s Steve Jobs during his 20-year tenure as CEO of Steelcase, a furniture company, Bloomberg reported.

Hackett has also served as the head of University of Michigan`s athletic program and successfully recruited 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh to lead the university`s football program.

"Look for Ford to present itself as an AI Machine Learning Big Data Tech Firm," Morgan Stanley auto and mobility analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note. "During his stint heading the University of Michigan Athletic Department, Jim Hackett proved to be highly effective in bringing talent from Silicon Valley to Southeast Michigan (Jim Harbaugh)."

Ford has already shown it`s serious about spending more on the future of mobility from electric cars to self-driving vehicles, but Hackett will look to use his Silicon Valley ties to ramp up those efforts at a greater pace.

"It`s our right to win here. We don’t have to cede that to anybody, Tesla, any of them," Hackett said on the Monday press call. "It`s our right to win there, and so I love that challenge because I know how to do that."

SEE ALSO: Ford has invested millions in startups to recruit talent — and it has no plans of slowing down

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This Ford crib simulates a driving car to put your baby to sleep

TAORMINA, Italy (Reuters) - Under pressure from allies, U.S. President Donald Trump backed a pledge to fight protectionism on Saturday, but refused to endorse a global climate change accord, saying he needed more time to decide.
COLOMBO (Reuters) - The number of people known to have been killed in floods and landslides in Sri Lanka rose to 113, officials said on Saturday, as the country appealed for international assistance.
LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways canceled all its flights from London`s two main airports until Saturday evening after a global computer system outage caused massive delays and left planes stuck on runways.
LONDON (Reuters) - Two British fighter jets were dispatched from a Royal Air Force base in Scotland on Saturday after an incursion by Russian jets, Britain`s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine government peace negotiators cancelled formal peace talks with Maoist-led rebels in the Netherlands on Saturday after New People`s Army (NPA) guerrillas stepped up offensives in the countryside.
DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Australian drug convict Schapelle Corby is set to be deported from the Indonesian island of Bali on Saturday night after completing a twelve-and-a-half-year sentence for smuggling marijuana, a case that strained ties between the neighboring countries.


ISIS has claimed its responsibility for the attack that was carried out on Friday in Egypt’s Minya, killing at least 28 Coptic Christians and injuring 25 others.

In a statement on Telegram, the terrorist group said that the successful mission had targeted tens of Christians and killed 31 of them.

Gunmen opened fire on buses that were carrying dozens of children and adults as they were heading on a trip to the Monastery.

Following the attack, president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said in a speech that this is a coward attempt from ISIS that is targeting the unity of the Egyptian people and attempting to erupt sectarian violence between Egypt’s Muslims and Christians.

The Egyptian Armed Forces announced a few hours following the speech that it had carried out airstrikes targeting terrorists’ locations in the Libyan city of Derna.

Al-Sisi referred multiple times during his speech to Libya and the threat of ISIS that pours into Egypt through its western borders with it. Al-Sisi added that airstrikes were carried out against locations of terrorists, but he didn’t mention these locations. It is thought that Al-Sisi was referring to the airstrikes that were carried out in Libya.

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