Ayman's blog

MOSCOW (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Friday praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for refraining from retaliation in a dispute over spying and cyber attacks, in another sign that the Republican plans to patch up badly frayed relations with Moscow.
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Congolese President Joseph Kabila will step down after elections to be held by the end of 2017 under a last-minute deal struck by political parties on Friday, the lead mediator of the talks said.

Cadillac CTS-V

Cadillac is General Motors` luxury brand and has been for over 100 years — and it`s undergoing a major reinvention. Sales and marketing operations were moved to New York City in 2014 in order to make Caddy seem hip and fresh and of the global-luxury conversation.

But Cadillac has been in the throes of transformation for more than a decade. For much of its history, it sat at the peak of GM`s famous-brand ladder: You entered your automotive life with a Chevy and closed it with one. Back then, during the US auto industry`s golden age and even into its crisis years in the 1970s and `80s, Cadillac produced big, comfortable cars that were designed to surround passengers in swaths of soft leather and ample ashtrays.

Taking one hard turn into a corner wasn`t something that entered any Cadillac owner`s mind, as he or she piloted the barge down a freeway with Sinatra flowing from the FM radio. The invasion of German sports sedans disrupted this settled arrangement. "Luxury" now had to include "performance." And to up the ante, BMW in particular began to advance its "ultimate driving machine" pitch with street-legal competition-derived cars from its M Sport division. This was German performance — plus!

Even after Cadillac revolutionized its styling to be more aggressive, it had to tackle the impression that the Germans were better at going fast. This led to a synthesis of Cadillac and Corvette. Posh met performance, and "performance" was a big V8 engine with enough horsepower to make you think you`re not just driving — you`re being propelled forward at alarming velocity by a thick column of fire. The V-Series was born.

Caddy has been refining this formula for about a decade now, and Johan de Nysschen, the brand`s boss, stressed to Business Insider how important the V-cars are to the future of the the brand. "[They`re] very stunning and are exciting people around the brand," he said. "They draw people into showrooms who would never consider Cadillac."

A Caddy with the heart of a Corvette? Sounds pretty tasty, and maybe just a little bit rude. So we sampled the core of the V lineup: the 2016 CTS-V sedan.

The Caddy landed in my driveway at Business Insider car-test HQ. The "Red Obsession" paint brightened things up. Base price is about 85,000.

I know the CTS-V doesn`t look anything like its ferocious GM stablemate, the Corvette Z06 supercar, which serves up 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque from the most powerful engine GM has built.

But the Cadillac actually has ... THE SAME ENGINE as the Vette, a 6.2-liter supercharged widow-maker. It`s just been toned down to crank out a mere 640 hp.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

When visiting New York City, you can just eat at the same chain restaurants that you have in your hometown, but there are some truly authentic New York food experiences you really should try. Chef and "Appetites" author Anthony Bourdain gives his unique take on what you should eat and do when you visit New York City.

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Featured in Ripley`s Believe It or Not!


Top 20 Countdown

You read about a man being turned into shoes and the mysterious concealed shoe index in part one of our top 20. Are you ready to see what wonders made it into our top 10?

Rankings are based completely on page views, meaning YOU the reader voted each and every time you read a blog at ripleys.com.

#10 – 200-year-old Chinese Giant Salamander

Researchers in China have discovered a 115-lb, 4.5 foot long, Chinese giant salamander in an underground cave. They estimate it to be 200 years old.

giant salamander found

#9 The Mystery of the Mummified Sea Captain

Believe it or not, he had been dead for only seven days!


#8 – The Creepy Origins of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has become a day of flowers, candy, stuffed animals, and romance, but the origins of the holiday aren’t as rosy as you’d think.

History of Valentine`s Day

#7 – Biohacking: A New Type of Body Modification

Biohacking, the next step in Body Modification, includes surgically implanted computer chips. (Not for the faint of heart)


#6 – The body of a Girl Found in a Coffin Under House

The body of a girl dubbed Miranda was found encased in a lead and bronze coffin buried under the garage of a San Francisco homeowner.


Photo Credit: Elissa Davey

#5 – “Dead Cat” Taken to GSPCA Was Less than It Appeared

While out one day, someone saw a dead cat on the side of the road and decided to take it to the GSPCA. It wasn’t a dead cat.



#4 – Chernobyl’s Deadly Elephant’s Foot

There’s a structure at the heart of the Chernobyl power plant known as the Elephant’s Foot, and it can kill you in 300 seconds.

Elephant`s Foot

#3 – Girl Has an Ant Colony Growing Inside Her Head

Doctors have pulled over 1,000 ants out of Shreya Darji ears, but they just keep coming.


#2 – We Get the Strangest Submissions

Here at Ripley’s, it wouldn’t be a normal day if we didn’t get strange submissions. We’ve received unsolicited submissions and packages of people’s toenail clippings, belly button lint, and hair. To some, this might seem weird. To us, it’s just Tuesday as usual.


#1 – 19-th Century Surgical Illustrations Eerily Captivating

The following surgical illustrations were all made before the use of anesthetic, yet give grisly detail to the internals of the human body.


Missed Part One? See what made the 11-20 spots! Top 20 Countdown of 2016 – Stories 11-20

Source: Top 10 Stories of 2016

Featured in Ripley`s Believe It or Not!

top 20 2016

Top 20 Countdown

This year has had its ups and downs, but we’re looking back at the very best Believe It or Nots! of the year.

Rankings are based completely on page views, meaning YOU the reader voted each and every time you read a blog at ripleys.com.

#20 – Ride Falcor from the Neverending Story

Bavaria Films studio is opening its doors and showing off an exhibit about The NeverEnding Story.

The NeverEnding Story

Falcor | CC Bavaria Filmstadt

#19 – Lake Mead: Drowned Town Emerges from the Depths

After water levels dropped, Lake Mead in Nevada revealed some of her secrets…


# 18 – A Giant Squid’s Food Passes through Its Brain

Thanks to the unique donut shape of its brain, when a giant squid eats, the food passes through the middle!

Giant Squid

CC Citron

#17 – The Story of how the Skin of Big Nose George was Turned into Shoes

America’s Folklore is rich in myths and legends. Everyone’s heard stories of Paul Bunyan and John Henry. But has anyone heard of Big Nose George?


#16 – Fishy Fire Hydrant

Firefighters in Nova Scotia opened a malfunctioning fire hydrant and found a dozen fish clogging up the works.

Fire Hydrant

Shawn Carey | Aylesford and District Volunteer Fire Department

#15 – England’s Mysterious Concealed Shoe Index

Hundreds of old shoes have been found hidden in the walls, foundations, and fireplaces dating from the 16th-century, leading to the concealed shoe index.

concealed shoe

Via Northampton Museum

#14 – The Sailor’s Tattoo Code

We break down the sailor’s tattoo code. What does an anchor mean, and why is there a pig and a rooster on the bottom of their feet?

sailor`s tattoos

#13 – Chinese Foot Binding: Unboxing Lily Slippers

The ancient practice of Chinese foot binding began as early as age four. Today, we are unboxing Chinese Lily Slippers, also known as Lotus Shoes.


#12 – The Centralia Mine Fire

On May 27th, 1962, officials in Centralia, PA tried to clean their landfills by setting a fire. The Centralia Mine Fire has raged ever since.

centralia mine fire

Flickr user Lyndi & Jason

#11 – 2,000-year-old Bog Butter Still Edible

What do you do when you find 20 pounds of butter from the dawn of the millennium buried in a swamp?

Bog Butter

Top 10 Countdown of 2016 – Stories 1-10

Source: Top 20 of 2016: Stories 11-20

Teenagers gathered for a panel at Business Insider`s IGNITION conference to discuss what brands they can`t live without. The high schoolers named Instagram, Snapchat, Sony, and Adidas as some of their favorite brands.

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a trip to unicorn island

In Silicon Valley, a "unicorn" is a company with a billion-dollar valuation. Its name implies how rare it should be to reach that status.

But as more money pours into startups — a prominent trend over the last few years — more startups are achieving "unicorn" status.

Unicorns hit a fever pitch in 2015, when 42 startups achieved billion-dollar valuations. Yet as the data shows, becoming a unicorn wasn`t quite as easy in 2016.

For the purposes of this list, Business Insider asked PitchBook Data to pull a list of US-based companies that reached a 1 billion-plus valuation in 2016. We then ranked them from least to most valuable based on their post-money valuations.

Here are the companies that became unicorns in 2016:

SEE ALSO: 51 enterprise startups to bet your career on in 2017


Founded: 2012

Valuation: 1 billion

What it does: While Compass functions like a traditional broker, the company`s promise is to use technology to reduce the time and friction of buying and selling a house or apartment.

In July, Compass released an app designed to replace "stale" quarterly market reports with more dynamic information. In the app, buyers and sellers can search by things like neighborhood, number of bedrooms, price range, and so on, but they can also look at more advanced metrics, like year-over-year analysis of median price per square foot, days on the market, and negotiability.

SMS Assist

Founded: 2003

Valuation: 1 billion

What it does: The Chicago-based technology company provides software to help property managers supervise things like electrical work, snow-plow contractors, and landscaping. The "no-glamour" company allows property managers to keep tabs on multiple properties at once, and it has already signed on customers like Family Dollar and Colony Starwood Homes.


Founded: 2000

Valuation: 1 billion

What it does: ForeScout`s technology helps companies monitor all the devices that are connected to their network at any given time. For many large enterprises, the number of devices can easily run into the millions with things like PCs, employees` mobile devices, virtual machines used for testing new applications, and now internet of things devices — and that can make it it hard for network administrators to keep tabs on everything happening on their company`s network.

Forescout`s CEO said that when the company first runs its software with a client, it typically finds 20-30% more devices on the network than the client`s IT team expected.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

second avenue subway NYC

New Yorkers will finally get a chance to ride on the long-awaited Second Avenue subway at the start of the New Year.

The grand opening has been the subject of almost a century worth of delays, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed on Twitter that the first phase of the line will open January 1. New Yorkers can already see the new line on the MTA subway map.

MTA has given a sneak preview of the subway and some of its beautiful artwork created by high-profile artists — scroll down for a closer look:

SEE ALSO: Amtrak will start using high-speed trains in 2021 — but your trip will still take just as long

The Second Avenue subway line is a three-stop extension of the Q. Starting in the New Year, the line will travel beyond Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street to service new stations at 72nd, 86th, and 96th Streets.

The grand opening marks the first phase of the Second Avenue subway line extension. The second phase will extend the Q an additional three stops to 125th Street in Harlem, but that won`t come for a number of years.

Source: New York Times

The line may eventually extend to Lower Manhattan as well.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Getting Apple to make iPhones in the US appears to be a sort of pet project for Donald Trump. On multiple occasions, the president-elect has expressed his desire to get the world’s most valuable company to manufacture its most profitable product in America instead of China. He says he’s talked to Apple CEO Tim Cook about it, proposing a “very large tax cut” as an incentive, and Apple has reportedly explored the possibility in the wake of Trump’s election.

More generally, Trump has viciously attacked America’s trade relationship with China. He’s vowed to name the country a currency manipulator (a notion that’s been disputed), and once suggested a massive 45% tariff on any Chinese imports (something he can’t legally do at once). A more recent CNN report said his administration is now considering tariffs as high as 10% on all imports. That’s lower, but the possibility still has some worried about a potential trade war with China, which would likely raise the costs of many US products (the iPhone included).

This could be shaky for Apple’s bottom line. As this chart from Statista shows, China has made up a huge percentage of iPhone shipments over the past few years, according to estimates from research firm Strategy Analytics. Any increased scrutiny would come at a particularly bad time, too, as the iPhone’s growth in China is already declining year-over-year, and overall revenue is down.

When President Obama asked Steve Jobs about the possibility of bringing Chinese manufacturing jobs to the US, the former Apple CEO reportedly said “those jobs aren’t coming back.” The chances of US-made iPhones are still improbable — China has made immense investments to foster iPhone production — but as we head into 2017, it’ll be interesting to see if Tim Cook can tell our next president the same.

apple china chart

SEE ALSO: US tech companies are by far the biggest beneficiaries of skilled foreign workers

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KINSHASA (Reuters) - Congolese President Joseph Kabila will step down after elections held before the end of 2017, under a deal struck by political parties on Friday, according to a lead mediator from the Catholic Church.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin refrained on Friday from retaliating for the U.S. expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies, putting the onus on Donald Trump to help solve a crisis over Russian cyber attacks when he takes over the White House next month.

Temperatures around the Hokou Waterfall in China recently dropped well below freezing, creating a spectacular view of icicles all around the water`s edge. The waterfall is part of the Yellow River, and even colder temperatures are expected — which means more icicles could form soon.

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iPhone 7 and iphone 7 plus

Apple will trim production of iPhones by about 10 percent in the January-March quarter, Nikkei reported, citing calculations based on data from suppliers.

The company slashed output by 30 percent in the January-March quarter in 2016 due to accumulated inventory, Nikkei reported.

Apple sold fewer iPhones in its fiscal 2016 than it had in the previous year for the first time since the iPhone was introduced. 

`Within expectations`

A source at a parts supplier told Nikkei that the cut was "within expectations," suggesting that Apple`s suppliers have been preparing to reduce their dependency on Cupertino. 

The production cuts are likely to affect Apple`s 4.7-inch iPhone 7, not the larger, more expensive iPhone 7 Plus. Demand is stronger for that device, and Apple has had trouble filling demand because its two-lens camera is difficult to manufacture. 

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasted a year-over-year production decline over the entire first half of 2017 in November. 

"We forecast total shipment volume of iPhones will decline YoY in 1H17 due to weak demand in China, slow shipment volume of 4.7” iPhones in 1Q17, and the lack of a new iPhone SE in 2Q17," he wrote in a note distributed to clients in November. 

The gloomy outlook for sales of Apple`s iPhone 7 in 2017 is another reason why the company is widely expected to launch an impressive new iPhone model in September, with a higher-quality screen, wireless charging, and new glass design. 

Apple`s shares were down under 1% in midday trading.

SEE ALSO: Apple is testing more than 10 different prototypes of the iPhone 8

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin refrained on Friday from retaliating for the U.S. expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies, putting the onus on Donald Trump to help solve a crisis over Russian cyber attacks when he takes over the White House next month.
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - A Rio de Janeiro police officer confessed to murdering Greece`s ambassador to Brazil, possibly at the direction of the diplomat`s Brazilian wife with whom the policeman was romantically involved, Globo TV reported on Friday, citing police sources.
NEAR MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi forces faced fierce resistance from Islamic State militants in southern Mosul on Friday, the second day of a renewed push to take back the city after fighting stalled for several weeks.

According to a variety of studies, parents of successful children have many things in common. Whether it be status or child-rearing styles, make sure you include these traits in your child`s life.

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel`s anti-terrorism directorate issued a travel warning for India on Friday, citing an immediate threat of attack to Western and tourist targets, particularly in the south-west of the country.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A Turkish court remanded journalist Ahmet Sik in custody pending trial on Friday after he was accused of spreading the propaganda of various groups, an opposition lawmaker and a lawyer said.
SARAJEVO (Reuters) - Under U.S. pressure, the leader of Bosnia`s autonomous Serb Republic on Friday submitted to questioning by prosecutors, after defying a summons for three months, for holding a referendum in violation of a Constitutional Court ruling.
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Rio de Janeiro investigators suspect that Greece`s ambassador to Brazil was murdered at the behest of his wife and a police officer with whom she was romantically involved, Globo TV reported on Friday, citing police sources.
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Talks on a deal that would see Congo President Joseph Kabila step down next year continue to falter over the naming of an interim prime minister, one negotiator said, but he held out hope that agreement could be reached on Friday.

Infiniti QX50 Concept

On Friday, Infiniti unveiled the new QX50 Concept — its vision for the future of luxury SUVs.

The stylish mid-size crossover is perhaps the most important car Infiniti has shown off in recent memory.

Sitting squarely at the center of what is arguably to most hotly contested segment in the luxury auto market, the QX50 has the tall task of showing off Infiniti`s latest engine and autonomous-drive technology.

At its core, the QX50 is a closer-to-production evolution of the QX Sport Inspiration that debuted at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.

"With the unveiling of the QX Sport Inspiration at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, we showed the future of Infiniti QX models," Infiniti president Roland Kreuger said in a statement. "The new QX50 Concept evolves this concept further and shows how Infiniti could develop its future presence in the fastest - growing vehicle segment globally."

At the heart of the QX50`s tech package is the rollout of Infiniti`s new ProPilot autonomous driving tech. Infiniti seems hesitant to call the system an "autopilot." Instead, the Hong Kong-based automaker prefers to characterize the technology as a "co-pilot" for the driver. 

Infiniti QX50 ConceptAccording to Infiniti, the company intends to keep the driver in control of the vehicle while supplying proactive safety technology as a supplement.

"Infiniti’s autonomous drive technologies will act as a ‘co-pilot’ for the driver, empowering rather than replacing them, and ‘delegate’ more onerous driving tasks to the car – such as navigating stop-start traffic on the highway or keeping track of the positions of surrounding vehicles," the company wrote in its press release. 

In addition to the autonomous driving tech, the QX50 will also see the first implementation of Infiniti`s revolutionary variable compression or VC engine technology that debuted at the 2016 Paris Motor Show

Infiniti expects the new 2.0 liter, turbocharged VC four-cylinder engine to produce 268 horsepower while using 27% less fuel than a comparable V6. 

Infiniti VC-TurboInfiniti`s VC technology allows the engine to adapt its compression ratio based on specific driving conditions — varying output and dynamic characteristics between performance and efficiency. 

The QX50 Concept will likely serve as the basis for Infiniti`s new mid-size luxury crossover due out in the near future to take on rivals such as the Lexus RX and Acura MDX.

The Infiniti QX50 Concept will make its world debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show in January. 

SEE ALSO: This stunning SUV will be Lamborghini`s first electric hybrid

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NOW WATCH: The 10 best concept cars of 2016

People love the Amazon Echo, but more and more people are buying the smaller 50 Echo Dot, which can do all the same things as the Echo voice-controlled smarthome device but also be plugged into other speaker systems to take advantage of the (presumably) better audio quality. In fact, the Echo Dot has been the top-selling device on Amazon.com since November 1.

As more and more people buy into the Echo family, they are also learning the nuances of owning these types of devices — specifically, that they can`t always understand you and don`t always do what you want them to do.

One family learned this the hard way: Watch this 24-second video of a very young boy politely asking the Echo Dot to play him a song, and watch the Echo Dot not understand a word he says. (Warning: Audio NSFW)

If you have young kids, it`s probably a good idea to supervise them if they want to try out an Amazon Echo or similar devices like it. Or, at the very least, have a camera around.

SEE ALSO: I`ve owned an Amazon Echo for nearly a year now — here are my 19 favorite features

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NOW WATCH: How Amazon can become the world`s first trillion-dollar business

Enterprise Drone Shipments

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The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) allocated funding for a pair of drone trials meant to gauge the future utility of drones for humanitarian missions, reports the BBC.

While the exact funding details were not released, the expansion and diversification of government-funded drone testing should spur adoption and add legitimacy to drones as a useful tool. The projects that will soon begin are:

  • A trial partnership with Zipline delivering blood and medical supplies in Tanzania. This project will likely utilize similar infrastructure and methods to Zipline’s existing service in Rwanda, using drones to sharply reduce the amount of time it takes to move blood and other crucial medical supplies from hospitals and depots to the field where people need them in moments of crisis. The drones that will be used in this project have a range of about 90 miles, and release their cargo by hovering and dropping supplies using parachutes. Using drones could reduce the time it takes to transport blood and medication by over 80%, according to a DFID spokesperson.
  • The DFID will also fund drone tests in Nepal, looking to create better maps of remote areas of the country prone to extreme weather. The mountainous country in the Himalayas is prone to blizzards and earthquakes, and populations are often isolated. Drones can be used to identify problems in routes between areas, or they can be called upon during, and in the immediate aftermath, of extreme weather to survey damage. While such tasks can already be accomplished by planes, removing the pilot will allow such a program to act more aggressively, not limited by risk to the pilot.

Drones are a key part of efforts to save lives and eliminate risk through the use of technology. They allow companies and governments to make deliveries of goods, whether frivolous or vital, faster. At the same time, the use of autonomous drones removes a pilot from the equation, reducing the potential casualties and allowing more aggressive missions, where only physical hardware is at risk. Following these tests, other developing nations will likely seek partners to develop drone services.

Drones turned the corner in 2015 to become a popular consumer device, while a framework for regulation that legitimizes drones in the US began to take shape. Technological and regulatory barriers still exist to further drone adoption.

Drone manufacturers and software providers are quickly developing technologies like geo-fencing and collision avoidance that will make flying drones safer. The accelerating pace of drone adoption is also pushing governments to create new regulations that balance safety and innovation.

Safer technology and better regulation will open up new applications for drones in the commercial sector, including drone delivery programs like Amazon’s Prime Air and Google’s Project Wing initiatives.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider`s premium research service, has compiled a detailed drones report that forecasts sales revenues for consumer, enterprise, and military drones. It also projects the growth of drone shipments for consumers and enterprises.

The report details several of world’s major drone suppliers and examines trends in drone adoption among several leading industries. Finally, it examines the regulatory landscape in several markets and explains how technologies like obstacle avoidance and drone-to-drone communications will impact drone adoption.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • We project revenues from drones sales to top 12 billion in 2021, up from just over 8 billion last year.
  • Shipments of consumer drones will more than quadruple over the next five years, fueled by increasing price competition and new technologies that make flying drones easier for beginners.
  • Growth in the enterprise sector will outpace the consumer sector in both shipments and revenues as regulations open up new use cases in the US and EU, the two biggest potential markets for enterprise drones.
  • Technologies like geo-fencing and collision avoidance will make flying drones safer and make regulators feel more comfortable with larger numbers of drones taking to the skies.
  • Right now FAA regulations have limited commercial drones to a select few industries and applications like aerial surveying in the agriculture, mining, and oil and gas sectors.
  • The military sector will continue to lead all other sectors in drone spending during our forecast period thanks to the high cost of military drones and the growing number of countries seeking to acquire them.

In full, the report:

  • Compares drone adoption across the consumer, enterprise, and government sectors.
  • Breaks down drone regulations across several key markets and explains how they’ve impacted adoption.
  • Discusses popular use cases for drones in the enterprise sector, as well as nascent use case that are on the rise.
  • Analyzes how different drone manufacturers are trying to differentiate their offerings with better hardware and software components.
  • Explains how drone manufacturers are quickly enabling autonomous flight in their products that will be a major boon for drone adoption.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the world of drones.

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iPhone 7

If you own an iPhone, be very careful if you receive a text message with a contact card attached.

There`s a prank going around where a single text message or iMessage can freeze an unsuspecting user`s iPhone messages app, rendering it unusable. Even rebooting your iPhone doesn`t fix the problem.

The prank first surfaced in a video from jailbreak researcher vincedes3, who also wrote about recreating the issue on their blog

Basically, a specific contact card — a .vcf file — can be sent through an iMessage or MMS. When the victim taps on the card, their messages go haywire, and won`t respond to any taps. 

The easy way to avoid being a victim is to simply avoid any contact cards you are sent, and delete the threads as soon as possible.

The bug even affects iPhones with the most recent version of iOS, 10.2. Some people are reporting the prank affects Android phones, too. 

Luckily, there is a way to fix your phone if you`ve already been affected. 

Here`s how it works 

Basically, a prankster sends a contact card — the example vincedes3 posted on their site doesn`t actually have any executable code or actual information.

Here`s what the message looks like. Don`t tap it:

Text prank

The card is comprised of a lot of nonsense text, which overwhelms your iPhone`s messages app.

Here`s what it looks like in a text editor:

Contact Card prank

The damage is done when that card is sent to an unsuspecting user, and they try to interact with it.

At first, the Messages app slows down. But then it stops responding to touch or taps entirely. 

How to fix the problem:

The author of the prank has two possible solutions, but only one worked for me when I was trying to recreate the bug. 

First, vincedes3 recommends visiting an HTML link on your iPhone. It is supposed to open a new text message, which frees up the Messages app enough for you to send and receive texts. Make sure to delete the thread with the cursed contact card. 

But that didn`t work for me.

However, a different approach did work: Simply ask Siri on the affected phone to send a text message. The words don`t matter. Tap on the message on the Siri screen, and it will bring you into the Messages app, in which you can navigate again.

tap this

Delete the cursed contact card, and you`re back in business.

For devices (including iPad) where the fix link does not work, ask Siri to send a message to the victim and click on the text. pic.twitter.com/3id4Y8Lhkn

— vincedes3 (@vincedes3) December 29, 2016

The original video:

SEE ALSO: The bug crashing iPhones with a single text also affects Apple Watches and iPads

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NOW WATCH: Why pizzas come with that plastic table in the center

Beijing forbidden4

Like paintings and sculptures, buildings can be beautiful works of art.

We asked architects to tell us the one building that`s a game-changer for building design, inspired them to become architects, or that they simply find stunning.

Here are 22 of the most breathtaking buildings in the world, according to people who build them for a living.

SEE ALSO: Amazon just lost a huge seller because of fake products, a problem it denies is happening

The Parthenon in Athens, Greece.

"It`s the quintessential beautiful architectural form," Tara Imani says. "The Corinthian columns, the use of entasis [a slight curve in columns] to make sure the columns didn`t look spindly from a distance...the siting on a hilltop — it gave us our initial ABCs of architecture that we keep trying to use and improve upon today."

Imani is the founding architect of Tara Imani Designs.

The National Congress of Brazil in Brasília.

"In 1974, my father, a scientist took our family to see the new city of Brasília. It captured the imagination of the world," Julia Donoho says. "Planned in the shape of an airplane, Corbusian [the modern architectural style of Le Corbusier] housing blocks lined the wings like feathers, the body was filled with embassies, government buildings, cultural institutions, and a house of God." 

Donoho is the principal and project lead at Equinox Design and Development.

The São Paulo Museum of Art in São Paulo, Brazil.

"It is daring," Damaris Hollingsworth says. "Designed in 1968, it is made of concrete and glass. The main body is hung from the two beams and it barely touches the columns on the side. I also love the fact that it was designed by a woman."

Hollingsworth is the project manager for DLR Group.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

When you’re out on a Saturday night and that one drink suddenly turns eight, you may realize to late that you’re not sober enough to drive home. Addiction specialist Dr. Samuel Ball explains how your body is only able to process so much alcohol an hour, so it’s wise to stick with this one rule if you want to remain sober.

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MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked his defence minister to move joint naval exercises with the United States away from the disputed South China Sea as Duterte tries to repair Manila`s ties with China.
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - China has blocked India`s request to add the head of the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad to a U.N. Security Council blacklist of groups linked to al Qaeda, India said on Friday.
HELSINKI (Reuters) - A Finnish member of a neo-Nazi group was sentenced on Friday to two years in jail after the death of a 28-year-old man he had assaulted during a demonstration in Helsinki.
BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia`s centers for housing migrants are completely full, the U.N. refugee agency said, leaving more than a thousand facing a winter sleeping rough in the Balkan country that has become a bottleneck as the European Union sealed its borders.

Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge pacific remote islands marine national monument

On December 28, President Obama created two new national monuments in Utah and Nevada, furthering the administration`s environmental legacy before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

The new monuments, Bears Ears and Gold Butte, cover over 1.5 million acres of land, which brings the total land Obama has protected during his presidency to more than 550 million acres — more than double the amount that Theodore Roosevelt did.

Throughout his time in office, Obama has used the Antiquities Act, which Roosevelt signed into law in 1906, to set aside public land for conservation. His efforts have been largely applauded by environmentalists but criticized by some conservatives for placing too much land under federal control.

The vast majority of Obama’s addition to the nation’s protected acreage, however, is water — the President created and expanded several massive marine national monuments in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (not to mention his recent ban on Arctic drilling).

In all, this week’s two new monuments bring Obama’s total to 29. Some include sites of significance to Native Americans (like Chimney Rock in Colorado and Bears Ears in Utah), some have historic importance to oppressed groups (like the Stonewall Inn in New York and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland), and others are simply beautiful pieces of American land.

Here’s the full list, in reverse chronological order.

SEE ALSO: 15 of the most beautiful public spaces in the world, according to urban designers

Bears Ears National Monument

Location: Utah

Size: 1.35 million acres

Date of proclamation: December 28, 2016

Gold Butte National Monument

Location: Nevada

Size: 300,000 acres

Date of proclamation: Dec 28, 2016

Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

Location: Marine waters off the coast of New England

Size: 4,913 square miles

Date of proclamation: September 15, 2016

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Naim Bentley

The Naim audio system in the new Bentley Bentayga is the best I`ve ever heard. I took it out of the running for our Audio System of the Year for 2016 because we experienced the winner, Bowers & Wilkins, in more vehicles. 

But goodness, what a magnificent system Naim has developed for Bentley! I heard details in music I have never heard before — in songs and compositions I`d listened to many, many times.

Now Naim, a British company that has a stupendous reputation for high-end audio, has created a special collaboration with Bentley to introduce a sort of All-England brand mashup that you can enjoy in your home: Naim for Bentley. There are two choices, both borrowed from Naim`s pricey, but impressive Mu-so lineup.

"With a striking new design, including delicately patterned aluminum skin and a knurled volume control reminiscent of classic Bentley styling, the new Naim for Bentley Mu-so and Mu-so Qb are packed with all the features any music lover could demand," Naim declares.

Naim let me borrow both the Mu-so and the Mu-so QB to check them out. I set them up at home and compared them with my own Sonos setup.

Here`s how it went:

SEE ALSO: Bowers & Wilkins is Business Insider`s 2016 Car Audio System of the Year

The Bentley Bentayga, a long-awaited SUV from the luxury brand. We sampled it earlier this year.

The interior is full-on-Bentley, quite luxurious. And due to the SUV`s size and dimensions, it`s an amazing place to to listen to music piped through the specially designed Naim Audio system.

According to Naim, the company`s sound engineers developed the 32-bit digital signal processor (DSP) for the all-in-one home wireless speaker systems, based on the work they did for Bentley`s in-car audio setups.

This was the challenge I set out for the home systems: Would they sounds as good as the system in the Bentayga? 

I`m not an audiophile, but I do listen to a lot of music, at home in the car`s we test at BI. So I felt that I was reasonably qualified to make a judgment.

So, to the homefront. The Mu-so can be had for about 1,700. Yes, that makes it a very pricey choice for multi-room home audio — you have to spend a lot to get a second speaker — not to mention a Bluetooth capable system.

The original Mu-so is completely crammed with advanced audio technology. The total power output is 450 watts. The systems utilizes six speakers, each powered by its own 75-watt amplifier. 

Managing it all it is, according to Naim, a "32-bit digital signal processor capable of millions of calculations per second."

At base, Mu-so is a versatile unit. You can stream audio using various formats, but you can also plug straight into an aux or USB port, and you can pair up using Bluetooth. You can also establish a home wifi network with multiple Mu-so units to have Sonos-like multi-room audio.

The original system can also be customized for its aesthetics.

It`s an exquisitely crafted hunk of fiberboard and aluminum, with impeccable finishing. Yet it`s relatively compact. It fit neatly on several small tables and a cabinet in my house, and it could be located easily enough on a shelf.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Plenty of Fish

If you`re thinking about joining some online dating services as a New Year`s resolution, you aren`t alone. 

Plenty of Fish is predicting that Sunday, January 1 is going to be the online dating platform`s busiest day of the year.

The company expects new member sign ups to reach 110,546 — a 48% increase from the average daily rate in 2016. Sign ups are expected to peak at around 2pm. 

This isn`t the first time that the first Sunday of the new year was expected to yield major traffic for online dating websites. 

Last year, both Match and Plenty of Fish predicted Sunday, January 3 would be the biggest day for new member sign ups of the year. More generally, the period from Christmas to Valentine`s Day is the hottest time for people to sign up for dating sites, while Sunday is the most popular day of the week to sign up. 

"After watching football games and going to New Year`s Day parties solo, singles often think about new beginnings," online dating expert Julie Spira wrote last year on Match.com. "From joining a gym to going on a diet, the list often includes finding someone to have a meaningful relationship with."

Other reasons for the New Year`s sign up explosion, according to Spira, include the prevalence of December breakups and the toll that watching couples having romantic holidays can take on people who aren`t in relationships. 

SEE ALSO: 9 retailers that bombed in 2016

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NOW WATCH: 7 qualities in men that women find attractive

Global WeChat MAU

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More calls are being made over WeChat than telecom carriers, according to a report released on Wednesday by WeChat-owner Tencent. In 2016, over 100 million voice and video calls were made every day via the app, up 180% compared with the volume of calls made over the app in 2015.

The uptick in use is likely a result of faster 4G networks and wireless connections, allowing for higher-quality calls for both voice and video.

Capturing voice and video calling is yet another way WeChat can become entrenched in users’ lives. Becoming an invaluable part of users’ everyday lives makes the app stickier and enhances its network effect — when a service becomes more valuable as more people use it. The average WeChat user born in the 80s or 90s spends around 65 minutes making phone calls each month. This could make it more likely that users will recommend the service to others as a way of contacting them, thereby growing its user base, especially to overseas markets. 

However, WeChat may hit a speed bump as it looks to expand further internationally. Although chat apps are rapidly spreading globally, many countries and regions are already controlled by one app or another. For example, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are the preferred chat apps for a majority of Android users, globally, with a few exceptions including China, Indonesia, and Japan. WeChat will face great difficulty swaying users already signed up to these apps.

Focusing on under-represented demographics, such as users 55 years and older, could help the company grow. These users comprise just 1% of WeChat’s 846 million monthly active users. The chat app is targeting these users to tap into the oft overlooked demographic, which makes up roughly 21% of the Chinese population, according to CIA data.

Messaging apps have evolved beyond simple text communication tools to include commerce, file sharing, artificial intelligence, and more. And that evolution is ongoing.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on messaging apps that takes a close look at the size of the messaging app market, how these apps are changing, and the types of opportunities for monetization that have emerged from the growing audience that uses messaging services daily.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Mobile messaging apps are massive. The largest services have hundreds of millions of monthly active users (MAU). Falling data prices, cheaper devices, and improved features are helping propel their growth.
  • Messaging apps are about more than messaging. The first stage of the chat app revolution was focused on growth. In the next phase, companies will focus on building out services and monetizing chat apps’ massive user base.
  • Popular Asian messaging apps like WeChat, KakaoTalk, and LINE have taken the lead in finding innovative ways to keep users engaged. They’ve also built successful strategies for monetizing their services.
  • Media companies, and marketers are still investing more time and resources into social networks like Facebook and Twitter than they are into messaging services. That will change as messaging companies build out their services and provide more avenues for connecting brands, publishers, and advertisers with users.

In full, this report:

  • Gives a high-level overview of the messaging market in the US by comparing total monthly active users for the top chat apps.
  • Examines the user behavior of chat app users, specifically what makes them so attractive to brands, publishers, and advertisers.
  • Identifies what distinguishes chat apps in the West from their counterparts in the East.
  • Discusses the potentially lucrative avenues companies are pursuing to monetize their services.
  • Offers key insights and implications for marketers as they consider interacting with users through these new platforms.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the future of messaging apps.

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Reuters and its award-winning photographers are on almost every country on the globe.

2016 was a year of political upheaval, and Reuters was there to capture it. But they also made sure not to forget the more quotidian aspects of life.

These 142 photos — one for almost every country Reuters covered this year — don`t capture the politicians who led their nations or the athletes who represented them on the world stage. They`re about the everyday person just living their life.

Here are 142 photos that best represent almost every country in the world in 2016. 

AFGHANISTAN: Sharbat Gula, the green-eyed "Afghan Girl" whose 1985 photo in National Geographic became a symbol of her country`s wars, arrives to meet President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul.

ALGERIA: Girls hug each other beside their school in a refugee camp in southern Algeria.

ANDORRA: A pack of riders cycle during the Tour de France from Vielha Val d`Aran, Spain to Andorre Arcalis, Andorra.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

oneplus 3 galaxy s7

Have you ever taken a selfie, looked at it afterward, and thought, That`s not even what I look like!

The problem was likely wide-angle distortion, the property of smartphone lenses (and other superwide cameras) that renders their subjects a bit odd-looking and cartoonish.

Fortunately, there`s a simple way around the problem if you understand a bit about the optics of these devices.

Here`s what you need to know:

SEE ALSO: Billions of people have the same favorite color and number, and scientists don`t know why

Here`s the thing: Looking like a normal human being in photos is hard.

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And smartphones don`t make it easier.

Manufacturers build them with super-wide-angle lenses that can stretch and distort your face in unflattering ways.

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See the rest of the story at Business Insider

People love Amazon Echo, but more and more people are buying the smaller 50 Echo Dot, which can do all the same things as the Echo but also be plugged into other speaker systems to take advantage of the (presumably) better audio quality. In fact, the Echo Dot has been the top-selling device on Amazon.com since November 1.

As more and more people buy into the Echo family, they`re also learning the nuances of owning these types of devices — specifically, that they can`t always understand you, and don`t always do exactly what you want them to do.

One family learned this the hard way: Watch this 24-second video of a young boy politely asking the Echo Dot to play him a song, and watch the Echo Dot totally not understand a word he says. (Warning: Audio NSFW)

If you`ve got young kids, it`s probably a good idea to supervise them if they want to try Amazon Echo or similar devices like it. Or, at the very least, have a camera around.

SEE ALSO: I`ve owned an Amazon Echo for nearly a year now — here are my 19 favorite features

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Apple revealed why some iPhones are randomly shutting down despite having battery life left

In 2016, we chased down Pokémon in the streets and braved long lines in the cold to buy sunglasses that can record our every move. There were a lot of hot new tech products announced this year, including a new iPhone, but only a select few really got everyone talking. Here`s a look at some of the hottest and most innovative new gadgets and games.

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Benioff Nadella Hololens

Companies spent an estimated 3.4 trillion on business tech in 2016.

With that kind of money, the business technology market has created some of the most powerful people in tech this year. That`s not just business power, either: Some of the market`s biggest millionaires and billionaires also took up political causes this year, fighting the establishment in their own ways. 

Meet the 32 people who left the biggest mark in enterprise tech in 2016:

SEE ALSO: 51 enterprise startups to bet your career on in 2017

Scott Guthrie: Microsoft`s cloud man

Microsoft Executive VP of Cloud and Enterprise Scott Guthrie

Microsoft is betting its entire future on cloud computing, even as sales of its traditional Windows and Office boxed software continue their slow but steady decline.

It`s meant that Scott Guthrie, who leads cloud computing at Microsoft — including its Microsoft Azure cloud platform and Dynamics CRM businesses, both of which grew mightily in 2016 — has become an increasingly huge force at the revitalized company. 

And he`s going to get even more power, very soon. Microsoft`s 26.2 billion takeover of LinkedIn will go under Guthrie`s umbrella, as the data feeds into the Dynamics CRM platform.

Werner Vogels: building upon Amazon`s cloud lead

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels 

Amazon Web Services is far and away the leader in the fast-growing cloud computing market, where companies rent functionally unlimited supercomputing power for fractions of pennies on the hour. It`s already a 12 billion business for Amazon, and the retail giant`s most profitable unit.

So much of that success is because of Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, whose team keeps finding new ways to drive the price of Amazon Web Services down, even as they add new features that make it an increasingly attractive alternative to, say, Oracle.

And as Amazon keeps building its cloud under Vogels` direction, it just keeps the pressure on the legacy IT world and startups alike to drop prices and up their game. 

Michael Dell: taking command of an empire

Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell

In 2016, Dell`s blockbuster 67 billion acquisition of one-time rival EMC finally closed, in the biggest high-tech deal ever.

It makes industry stalwart Michael Dell the leader of one of the world`s biggest IT companies — and one of the last big holdouts against the rise of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and other cloud-computing platforms.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

the trade desk

As The Wall Street Journal pointed out in its end of year media and advertising roundup, a predicted ad tech media bloodbath didn`t happen in 2016.

While most ad tech companies on the public markets still had a torrid time, there were plenty of firms that marked 100 million + exits this year.

And there was even the long-awaited ad tech IPO!

Eric Franchi, cofounder of ad tech company Undertone (which marked its exit, to Israeli firm Perion for 180 million in 2015), has been keeping track of all the large ad tech exits in 2016 with a handy Google spreadsheet.

Scroll down to see all the ad tech firms that were acquired or went public in 2016, in chronological order.

SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 37 hottest pre-IPO ad tech startups of 2016

Addthis — ACQUIRED

What the company does: AddThis began life as a social bookmarking startup that allowed website owners to add social media sharing widgets, with users bookmarking their content using third-party services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. It expanded its services to provide publishers with information about the types of interest their readers had demonstrated on the other sites they visit.

What happened: Oracle acquired AddThis in a deal worth between 100 million and 200 million in January. Sources told Business Insider the sum was toward the latter end of that estimate.


What the company does: Tapad specializes in cross-device technology that gives advertisers a better view of their customers as they switch from smartphone, to desktop, tablet, and smart TV.

What happened: Norwegian telecoms company Telenor acquired Tapad for 360 million in February.


What the company does: Yodle provides cloud-based online advertising and marketing services such as search engine optimization to small businesses.

What happened: Yodle had filed for a 75 million IPO in 2014 but that plan was pulled when Web.com acquired the company for 324 million in February.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Clashes, shelling and air raids in western Syria marred a Russian- and Turkish-backed ceasefire that aims to end nearly six years of war and lead to peace talks between rebels and a government emboldened by recent battlefield success.
BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - European capitals tightened security on Friday ahead of New Year`s celebrations, erecting concrete barriers in city centres and stepping up police numbers after the Islamic State attack in Berlin last week that killed 12 people.
TUNIS (Reuters) - Returning Tunisian militants will be immediately arrested and judged under anti-terrorism laws, the prime minister said, seeking to calm fears over the homecoming of some of the country`s several thousand jihadists.

William Scheimann, organizational psychologist and author of "Fulfilled! Critical Choices: Work, Home, Life," explains why the questions you`ve been asking in job interviews should change. It`s not just about getting the job.

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microsoft ar keys patent augmented reality

Augmented reality is a seriously buzzy concept right now. A head-mounted computer that inserts interactive objects and holograms into your field of view, it could transform the world of work, pave the way for screenless computers, and create radical new entertainment mediums.

It may also have a rather niche, but extremely useful side-effect: It could stop you losing your keys.

A recently published patent application from Microsoft details how the technology could be used for "object tracking." The cameras on the headsets, primarily used to monitor the physical environment (so the virtual objects can be added), could also be used to identify and monitor the locations and movements of real-world objects. (We first saw the patent over on CNET, and you can read the full filing below.)

It might learn what your keys look like, the patent filing suggests — and will then be able to tell you where it saw them last if you can`t remember where you put them down.

It gets even more interesting when it introduces the possible of multiple users` AR headsets communicating with one-another. "Each person may become aware of changes to objects made by other users via the sharing of object tracking information," the filing reads. "In this manner, a user may be able to discover a most recent location of lost keys, may be provided with a reminder to buy more milk while browsing the dairy section at a grocery store, and/or may track and recall other object state information in any suitable manner."

In other words, if Will puts down his wallet, then Lyra moves it, Will`s headset will be told where it was moved to by Lyra`s, so it`s easy for him to find.

justin trudeau hololensAs Microsoft`s milk carton example indicates, this is by no means limited to keys (or wallets). It could be theoretically applied to just about any object, providing the AR cameras are capable of reliably identifying it.

We should caution that this is all likely a long way off — if it ever materializes. Microsoft`s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still in its early stages, and not yet marketed to consumers. And tech companies file thousands of patents every year that never make it into any finished product.

But the patent — first filed in September 2016 — still provides a tantalizing insight into what one of the leaders in the field of augmented reality is thinking about, and the potential use cases we may see in the years ahead.

Here`s the full patent filing:

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NOW WATCH: Why Korean parents are paying for their kids to get plastic surgery

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would not expel anyone in response to Washington`s decision to throw out 35 suspected Russian spies and sanction intelligence agencies it believes were involved in computer hacking in the 2016 presidential election.
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian authorities questioned a police officer overnight in connection with the apparent murder of Greece`s ambassador to Brazil, and investigated if the diplomat`s Brazilian wife was involved, local media reported on Friday.
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