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ISTANBUL/BERLIN (Reuters) - Turkish authorities on Monday arrested a reporter for a prominent German newspaper on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting the public to violence, according to a court witness.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council is set to vote on Tuesday on a bid by Western powers to ban the supply of helicopters to the Syrian government and to blacklist Syrian military commanders over accusations of toxic gas attacks, despite a pledge by Russia to veto the move.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates isn`t opposed to giving people money for free — particularly as a means to lift them out of poverty — but he doesn`t think universal basic income (UBI) is ready for public use quite yet.

In a February 27 AMA on Reddit, the philanthropist and co-chair of the Gates Foundation responded with some hesitation to a question about UBI, a system of income distribution in which everyone receives a set amount of money regardless of job or income level.

Proponents of UBI claim the system could close gaps in equality, as everyone`s basic needs would be met through the basic income and some of the funding could come from heavy taxes at the top.

"Over time countries will be rich enough to do this," Gates said. "However we still have a lot of work that should be done — helping older people, helping kids with special needs, having more adults helping in education."

It`s not the first time Gates has mentioned those factors as pressing problems. In a February interview with Quartz editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney, Gates brought them up as industries currently short on staff.

The automation of American labor through robotics and artificial intelligence doesn`t motivate Gates to push for UBI like it does for many advocates. He believes technology will produce untold wealth for countries, but in his interview with Delaney, Gates said he`d prefer to see the increased wealth used to finance sectors in need of more people. People who have lost their job to automation could receive training to fill those roles.

In any case, countries still don`t have the necessary wealth to finance something as sweeping as UBI, he says.

"Even the US isn`t rich enough to allow people not to work," Gates said. "Some day we will be but until then things like the Earned Income Tax Credit will help increase the demand for labor."

The Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, is a form of "negative income tax." Families who make under a certain threshold and maintain a steady job receive money from the government come tax season instead of paying income tax. The goal of the program is to incentivize work, help low-income families save money, and, ideally, give them the means to escape poverty for good.

Gates has championed other forms of handouts to the poor (namely, donating chickens to citizens of developing countries). Through a partnership with Heifer International, Gates donated 100,000 chickens to families in sub-Saharan Africa in 2016.

"These chickens are multiplying on an ongoing basis, so there`s no investment that has a return percentage anything like being able to breed chickens," he said at a press event announcing the partnership. Families can breed the chickens, sell them for food or other livestock, and, if times get rough, eat them.

Gates bristled at the idea of simply giving families the cash value of those chickens instead.

"It`s the classic thing of teaching someone how to fish," Gates said. "Now, if you don`t live near water, then it`s pretty hard to fish. But the parable could`ve been stated in terms of giving somebody a chicken."

SEE ALSO: Bill Gates says robots that take your job should pay taxes

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elon musk

Elon Musk logged on late Sunday night to tease potentially significant news coming out of SpaceX, the rocket company he founded in 2002.

"SpaceX announcement tomorrow at 1pm PST," the tech billionaire posted to Twitter.

But that`s all Musk posted about the Monday, Feb. 27 event, and since then he`s remained silent.

So what might this announcement be about?

An industry expert who`s familiar with SpaceX, but wished to remain anonymous, shared some best guesses — and they all jibe with SpaceX`s recent progress and long-term ambitions.

"I`m speculating here," the expert told Business Insider. "I think it`s something [already] public that`s going to be more sexy when it`s unveiled," adding that it likely won`t be about Mars. (A second source who`s close to the matter told Business Insider that the announcement has nothing to do with the joint investigation with the FAA into its rocket failure.)

Here`s what Musk might reveal at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) on Monday, February 27.

A new spacesuit

possible spacex spacesuit reddit spacex_fanz"I could see it being spacesuits," our expert said, noting a Reddit post "that shows the spacesuit" in its earlier stages of design.

That`s in reference to a March 2016 post by user Casinoer, who shared two pixelated photos of a spacesuit to r/SpaceX. Those images showed the company`s logo on the shoulders.

But why spacesuits and why now?

"[B]ecause of all the Boeing press on their blueberry suit," the expert says.

The Willy Wonka-esque "blueberry" suit in question is Boeing`s CST-100 Starliner spacesuit, which comes with a zip-off helmet, specialized gloves, breathe-able materials, and more.

In short, Musk might now be eager to share SpaceX`s progress on its own spacesuit — especially after a Feb. 25 episode of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert", in which Colbert donned Boeing`s new suit (and slapped his name on the side of the company`s spacecraft.)

A (very big) Falcon Heavy payload

Falcon Heavy SpaceXSpaceX is also polishing off a new "super heavy-lift" rocket system called the Falcon Heavy, which is supposed to make its debut launch sometime in 2017.

"I could also see this being a Falcon Heavy payload unveil because, for past year or two, it was going to launch with nothing," the source told Business Insider. "So they may have a payload now."

According to 2013 specifications rounded up by Universe Today, the Falcon Heavy should be able to loft:

  • 54,400 kg (119,900 lbs) to low-Earth orbit (where the International Space Station resides)
  • 22,200 kg (48,900 lbs) to geostationary transfer orbit (a kind of "parking orbit" that can be used to slip satellites into geostationary orbit — a fixed point above the Earth`s surface)
  • 16,000 kilograms (35,000 lbs) to lunar orbit
  • 13,600 kilograms (31,000 lbs) to Martian orbit
  • 2,900 kg (6,400 lbs) for a Pluto fly-by

That`s a lot of payload capacity, so if anything does end up launching on the Falcon Heavy`s debut flight, it`d be big news.

A constellation of 4,425 internet satellites

spacex internet satellite details

"It could be satellites," the expert also said. "They`re going to launch a [demonstration] satellite later this year."

The demo satellite in question is designed to test technologies that`d go into a constellation of 4,425 satellites. SpaceX wants to launch them all in the coming years in hopes of blanketing Earth in high-speed 1Gbps internet.

Back in November 2016, SpaceX filed a lengthy application with the Federal Communications Commission to launch that fleet, since the company needs permission to use the communications frequency it wants to beam internet signal with.

According to a database compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 1,419 active satellites are currently orbiting Earth. Roughly 2,600 satellites that no longer work are thought to be floating in space.

Even after factoring those in, however, SpaceX`s planned fleet would be larger than everything already up in space.

Hyperloop, tunnels, or... Something else

uc berkeley hyperloop"There`s always a chance it could be tunnels or Hyperloop," our expert said.

"Tunnels" refers to one of Musk`s independent ventures, the Boring Company. That company`s goal is to efficiently dig underground networks of tubes for vehicles, ostensibly to avoid aboveground traffic.

Hyperloop, meanwhile, refers to an ultra-high-speed transit scheme in a series of tubes. The idea has spawned many startups who are trying to make their concepts work — and revolutionize public transit in the process.

If it`s not any of the above, then Musk`s and SpaceX`s announcement might be related to "some kind of new [business] partnership," the expert said finally.

"They do buy small little companies when they want to bring that stuff in-house."

To find out what SpaceX`s announcement is actually about, visit Business Insider after 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) on Monday, February 27.

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If voice assistants really are the next big user interface, then Amazon is off to fantastic start — by the numbers, at least. As this chart from Statista shows, Amazon’s Alexa assistant now has more than 10,000 “skills” (i.e., third-party voice-enabled applications). That’s double the amount that was available just last quarter.

To be clear: That developers are interested in Alexa is good news for Amazon, and Alexa itself seems to be well ahead in the home compared to rivals like Google Assistant, the AI found in the Google Home speaker that competes directly with the Alexa-centric Amazon Echo.

But, as always, quantity isn’t quality. Calling up an Uber or ordering a pizza just by yelling across the room is convenient enough, but for every useful skill, there are 500 CorkOrnaments.com deal alerts or “Flat Earth Facts.”

This is the trade-off of every open platform, but it points to a simple, non-flat-Earth fact: It’s still early days for voice assistants. Taking that into account, it’s no surprise that most Amazon Echo owners only use Alexa in the simplest ways possible.

alexa skills chart

SEE ALSO: Here’s how thoroughly the smartphone has annihilated other gadgets

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SKOPJE (Reuters) - Several thousand people protested in Skopje against an agreement that would ensure the wider use of the Albanian language in the ethnically divided state.
LONDON (Reuters) - The British government needs to approach divorce talks with the European Union with more charm and less "cheap rhetoric" if it wants to get a good deal, former Conservative prime minister John Major said on Monday.

china package delivery alibaba Tmall.com Taobao.com

For many people, selling knickknacks online is a hobby. In China, it`s becoming a national policy to solve poverty.

As part of one of the more ambitious — and successful — approaches to reach President Xi Jinping`s goal of eliminating poverty by 2020, China has created more than 1,000 "Taobao villages" within the last decade.

These villages are so-named because residents sell everything from dance costumes to electronics to children`s toys on one of the world`s largest retail sites, Taobao. Within just a few years, many communities have seen thousands of people who left for brighter futures come back to build up the local economy in these Taobao villages.

By last measure, Taobao — a property owned by Chinese retail giant Alibaba — was the 12th most visited site on the internet. The total value of all its goods in 2013 was judged to be more than 145 billion, a figure that dwarfs Amazon`s 88 billion.

China`s government has looked at those figures and seen them as an opportunity to spur economic growth in poor villages. As Josh Freedman reported for Quartz, buildings are painted with hopeful slogans, such as "Through Taobao, you can escape bitter days. E-commerce runs toward the road of happiness."

For the most part, different regions sell different items. Villages in Ping county (located in northern Hebei province) sell children`s bicycles, Quartz reports. In villages nestled in southwestern Yunnan province, people sell handmade decorative objects.

Approximately 1,000 of these Taobao villages have been created since 2003. They include thousands of families selling goods that, collectively, are worth millions. The effect has been almost wholly positive: Residents are able to create viable online marketplaces, which has compelled people who previously left to return.

"Some people from our village saw us and would think, `How odd. These brothers are always working till late every day. What are they up to?" entrepreneur Lv Zhenhong told CNBC. "In the first three months of opening a Taobao store, we had no business but we kept on working and didn`t give up."

Today, Lv`s outdoor equipment store does 8 million in annual revenue. He says one out of every three sleeping bags sold on Taobao comes from his company.

A certain portion of goods from Taobao villages are sure to be counterfeits of name-brand products, many of them consumer electronics. In December of 2016, the US Trade Representative Office re-added Taobao to its blacklist of "notorious marketplaces."

The move doesn`t explicitly penalize the site, but it does place it in an unfavorable light.

Image issues aside, such a strategy for reducing poverty likely wouldn`t have been possible 10 years ago. China has spent the better part of the last decade bringing billions of citizens online, and its efforts have led people to both buy and sell from one another, boosting economic growth.

An estimated 10 million people find work in the e-commerce sphere, representing 1.3% of China`s labor force.

Taobao villages won`t be the only means of eliminating poverty — other large, top-down programs meant to uplift social welfare are sure to play a role, too — but they have seemed to energize China`s poor with an entrepreneurial spirit.

In 2016, Bert Hofman, a World Bank economist and country director for China, expressed a strong sense of optimism.

"We hope to be able to help villages in poor and remote areas in China to become Tabao villages as well, and help lift themselves out of poverty," he said. "We won`t stop there: indeed, much like Alibaba is a global e-commerce platform, so can the Taobao villages become a global phenomenon."

SEE ALSO: A Swedish town could give employees paid time off to have sex

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Robots are changing the way of building airplanes. Automated robots called FAUB are now responsible for tasks that were once only accomplished by human hands.

Video courtesy of Boeing.

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tupac bmw

A piece of tragic history is up for sale — the BMW rapper Tupac Shakur was murdered in is selling for 1.5 million.

Shakur died 20 years ago after being shot four times while the BMW was stopped at a red light in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the time, the BMW belonged to Suge Knight, the co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records.

Knight posted Shakur`s 1.4 million bail in October 1995 under the condition Shakur would sign with Death Row. Shakur did and then released his 1996 double album "All Eyez on Me" — his biggest release and the last before his death. The muder remains unsolved.

Shakur was shot and killed in the BMW on September 7, 1996. Las Vegas police impounded the car and later auctioned it off, TMZ reports. The car has changed many hands since then and is now up for sale by Moments in Time, a memorabilia dealer.

Tupac`s final vehicle purchase, a Hummer H1, sold for more than 300,000 at auction May of last year, CNN reported at the time.

Here`s a closer look at the car:

SEE ALSO: The incredible rise and tragic murder of Tupac, who died 20 years ago

Here you see the black BMW at a Las Vegas impound lot in 1996.



The 1996 BMW 750il was riddled with bullet holes after the shooting. The indentations are still visible inside the door panels, as you can see pictured here.



The car has more than 90,000 miles logged.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Amit Singhal

A top Silicon Valley engineer has stepped down from his role at Uber after it was discovered there were allegations of sexual harassment against him at his previous job at Google that he did not disclose when he was hired.

The engineer, Amit Singhal, is leaving Uber after Recode`s Kara Swisher notified the company of the allegations through her reporting. Singhal was SVP of engineering at Uber.

Singhal oversaw Google`s search engine for years and was considered one of the company`s most powerful executives.

According to Swisher`s report, a female employee filed a sexual harassment complaint against Singhal while they were at Google in 2015. Google later allowed Singhal to leave his job before the company could take further action against him, Swisher reported. Singhal is said to have denied the allegations.

Singhal announced his retirement from Google in February 2016 after nearly 15 years at the company.

"I am eager to see what kind of impact I can make philanthropically, and of course, to spend more time with my family — especially with my wife who I miss spending time with given our incredibly busy lives, and our son who will go to college soon, leaving an empty nest behind," he wrote at the time of his departure from Google.

Google, Uber, and Singhal did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt`s parliament on Monday kicked out a prominent legislator with a reputation for being critical of the government because he allegedly "belittled" the assembly in correspondence with foreign organizations.
Plesse, France (Reuters) - France`s presidential pretenders will this week make mandatory campaign stops at the annual Paris farm fair as polls show farmers increasingly tempted by the far-right`s Marine Le Pen when they even bother to vote at all.

Woman with camera

Any professional photographer can instantly tell what the person in this picture is doing wrong. Can you?

Hint: look at the camera strap.

The quickest way to tell an amateur with a fancy DSLR from a pro before they even begin shooting is to watch where they hang their strap.

When I was just a baby photographer in college, I hung my strap from my neck and an older, wiser student named Ray Whitehouse nearly jumped out of his skin setting me straight. Pros hang their straps from their shoulders for some very good reasons. 

Amateurs put it over their necks, like the woman in the photo. Now every time I see shooters with their gear dragging on their necks like medieval torture devices — which is pretty much anytime I see anyone with an expensive camera — I wince.

The first and most important reason for this is back pain. Cameras are heavy — especially when they have top-tier lenses attached. And they`re a lot to haul around even if you`re carrying them properly. If you carry them wrong, however, they can do real damage.

When I shoot a news story or wedding I hardly stop moving. I might chase a shot down to the floor and up to my feet and then climb a chair — all in the span of 30 seconds. And then I`ll likely repeat those motions without a break for the next eight hours. If I tried to do that with a 2,000 pendulum flailing wildly from one of the weakest points on my spine I`d have to file for disability after my first day of shooting.

But even if you tend to stay still while you take pictures, your neck is a terrible appendage to carry a camera around. Think about it: we rarely hang heavy objects on our precious c-spines, which lets us move around freely. Even the weight of your head can hurt when you tilt it for too long while on the phone. So imagine swinging a small backpack with a laptop, textbook and water bottle from your neck all day. That`s about how much damage a five-and-a-half pound D800-long lens combo will do. Even if your camera is on the smaller side, you`re still doing damage, but it`ll take place over time.

Maybe you say, "I don`t care about my body! I`m an artist. I just want the camera as close to my face as possible for that quick shot."

Again, you`ll do better hanging your camera from your shoulders.

Photographers with shoulder strapsA camera swinging from your neck takes a two-handed motion to grab, stabilize, and bring up to your face. But if you let it rest against your hip you can catch it mid-swing, lift, aim and shoot in a single fluid motion like an old-school movie cowboy. Plus, shoulder-strapping lets you dual-wield cameras with different capabilities. I`ve never met a pro who does it any other way. In fact, all the most expensive professional straps on the market (including the one I use and the one I wish I used) are purpose-built to assist that specific motion.

One final tip: hang the camera so the lens points inward toward your body. A lens sticking out will torque your shoulder and bang into things, risking damage. An inward-facing camera is just as easy to grab and causes the least pain and risk.

Do all that, and you might even get mistaken for an expert.

SEE ALSO: Chicago is 1 day away from breaking a weather streak that`s lasted 146 years

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President Sisi and Chancellor Merkel at the end of a press conference in Berlin. Credit: Reuters

Ahead of her anticipated visit to Egypt on 2 March, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Christians in Egypt are living peacefully, in good conditions, and freely exercise their religious rituals.

In her weekly video message, Merkel added that the Egyptian government is providing the Copts with all the support they need.

The German Chancellor comments come amid tension in Egypt’s North Sinai. Dozens of Christian families have fled their homes following increased attacks by ISIS-affiliated militants.

Merkel added that she will tackle during her visit to Egypt the new Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) law that was recently approved by the Egyptian Parliament with Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

She also added that Egypt plays a key role in the peace process of the Middle East, as it’s currently on good terms with Israel, further stressing that the two-state solution is the only way out to the Palestinian conflict.

On the economy situation in Egypt, Merkel said, “Al-Sisi and the government had to approve a courageous economic reform program and Germany will support it.”

 

Jimmy Kimmel Oscars 2017

There were plenty of memorable moments from Sunday`s Oscars.

From the huge best-picture announcement gaffe and the first Oscar win for a TV series, "O.J. Made in America," to Jimmy Kimmel`s blistering jabs at President Donald Trump during his opening monologue, the show certainly kept up a raucous energy.

But what really had viewers talking? In order to find out, Amobee Brand Intelligence — a company that provides marketing insight and measures real-time content consumption across the internet, social, and mobile —analyzed which moments from the 2017 Oscars stoked the most Twitter activity.

Take a look at the 10 most talked-about moments from Sunday`s Oscars show:

SEE ALSO: The `hero` `La La Land` producer who gave the best picture Oscar to `Moonlight` says the moment was `surreal`

DON`T MISS: The Oscars mistakenly used a photo of a living person in its tribute to dead movie talents

10. "O.J.: Made in America" wins for best documentary feature, the first time a TV series has won an Oscar. (It was also shown in theaters.)

9:12 p.m. ET — 25,7oo tweets.



9. The "In Memoriam" segment, which honored Gene Wilder, Patty Duke, Garry Marshall, Anton Yelchin, Mary Tyler Moore, Prince, John Hurt, Nancy Reagan, Debbie Reynolds, and Reynolds` daughter, Carrie Fisher, among many others.

11:26 p.m. ET – 26,000 tweets



8. Casey Affleck wins best actor for "Manchester by the Sea." Surprisingly, the controversy surrounding sexual harassment allegations against the actor didn`t factor much into the night.

11:52 p.m. ET – 26,900 tweets



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Amazon`s purchase of video game streaming Twitch for 1 billion has been paying off for years already, but it`s about to become an even smarter investment with the introduction of a new service.

Starting this spring, people watching games on Twitch will be able to buy whatever game they`re watching — directly within Twitch. As you might imagine, Amazon is taking a cut.

Twitch (Amazon)

And that cut adds up quickly — it`s this exact business model that makes Valve-owned Steam such a juggernaut. On an even broader scale, this is how Apple makes money on the iPhone/iPad App Store. 

The twist with buying games directly through Twitch is that part of the cut also goes toward the streamer (as long as the streamer is part of Twitch`s "partner program," that is). That means Twitch streamers can make a cut of the profits from the sales of whatever game they`re streaming.

Twitch (Amazon)

It also means that the large, loyal audiences that follow Twitch streamers can be directly monetized — Twitch already makes money from those audiences through advertising, as well as through a paid "Pro" service that removes adds and grants other benefits. This enables yet another avenue for Amazon to cash in on the millions of people watching game streams on Twitch.

Twitch

When the service launches this spring on Twitch, you won`t be able to buy every game you see being streamed — just those where the game`s developer and/or publisher worked with Twitch to make it happen. There are some notable names among that initial list, such as Ubisoft and Telltale Games, but all the highest-profile game makers are missing: companies like EA, Activision, Sony, and Microsoft are all missing.

A brief video introducing the service was created by Twitch, which we`ve embedded below — check out the full blog post from Twitch right here.

SEE ALSO: Meet Gabe Newell, the richest man in the video game business

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jeff bezos oscars

Netflix and Amazon both scored Oscar wins on Sunday, marking the first time any streaming service has triumphed at the Academy Awards.

But the awards that each won underscore the huge difference in how Netflix and Amazon are tackling the movie market, and how the industry has responded.

Amazon was the big winner on Sunday, with its gritty indie "Manchester by the Sea" winning best original screenplay and best actor (Casey Affleck), and Iran`s "The Salesman" winning best foreign language film.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was in the audience and even got a good-natured joke about Amazon`s shipping thrown his way by host Jimmy Kimmel.

Netflix won the documentary short-subject category with "The White Helmets," which chronicles the neutral rescue workers in Syria who have saved 80,000 lives from attacks.

Amazon isn`t bucking tradition

Amazon`s wins in high-profile categories — and its nomination for best picture — underscore the difference between its movie strategy and that of Netflix, its main rival. Though Amazon is a streaming service, all of its films get theatrical releases, because Amazon is willing to keep the movies off its online platform for the traditional length of time.

Netflix, conversely, has angered movie theaters by insisting that its movies be available to stream on Netflix the day they are released in theaters. Theater execs have railed against this practice, and have largely refused to show Netflix movies. Netflix has hit back. In October, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he thought the state of film was a "real tragedy" and that movie theaters were "strangling the movie business."

Still, Netflix`s poor relationship with movie theaters puts the company in a tough position, since many filmmakers prize having a traditional theatrical release for their films, even if it`s not a wide one.

Amazon has avoided this issue altogether by sticking to the established release timing. And the company has been rewarded. "Manchester by the Sea" grossed almost 40 million at the US box office, making it a "commercial success" in its category, according to Variety. And now it has won two prestigious Oscars, as well as a best picture nod.

Last year, Netflix pushed hard during awards season for "Beasts of No Nation," but was ultimately snubbed by the Academy.

Documentary prowess

In the documentary categories, however, Netflix has shined at the Oscars.

Netflix`s first Oscar nomination went to "The Square" in 2014 for best documentary feature. In that category, Netflix got another nom for "Virunga" in 2015, before grabbing two last year for "What Happened, Miss Simone?and "Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom." This year, "13th," Netflix`s doc that explores racial inequality in the United States and the prison system, was nominated, though it ultimately didn`t win. (That honor went to ESPN for "O.J.: Made in America".)

Netflix`s one Oscar win this year was for "The White Helmets," in best short-subject doc.

Netflix has been embraced by the Academy in the documentary categories, where it`s not fighting a big battle against entrenched traditions of distribution, and theater owners. As Netflix`s content production continues to ramp up, and it releases more Oscar hopefuls, we`ll see how much of an effect that has on the industry`s most prestigious awards show.

SEE ALSO: Netflix explained why its movie selection has gotten so skimpy

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NOW WATCH: Poll: Trump begins his presidency with the lowest initial approval rating in history

randall stephenson AT&T att

AT&T is introducing two new "unlimited" data plans to better compete with recent similar offerings from Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

The carrier has had an unlimited plan for some time, but it had been available only to subscribers of its DirecTV or U-Verse TV services. Earlier this month, it lifted that requirement.

Now it`s reworking the costs and features of its offer. The new plans will be available on March 2. AT&T says current subscribers will be able to switch to the new plans.

Here`s the rundown:

  • The first new plan, AT&T Unlimited Plus, starts at 90 a month for a single line. Two lines cost 145 a month, and each additional line costs another 20 a month after that (for up to eight lines). That`s down from 100 a month for a single line, plus 40 a month for every additional line, under the previous plan (though that plan previously offered the fourth line for free).
  • If you subscribe to the Unlimited Plus plan, AT&T will take 25 off the price of a subscription to its DirecTV, U-Verse TV, or DirecTV Now service each month. (AT&T still does not count any of those services against your data cap — a controversial practice known as zero-rating.) AT&T says this is a limited-time promotion and that it will start to apply the 25 credit after two to three billing periods.

att logo

  • You can add a tablet to the plan for another 20 a month and a wearable for another 10 a month.
  • The Unlimited Plus plan will now include 10 GB of mobile-hotspot data, which lets you use your phone as a portable router. Once you hit that limit, mobile-hotspot speeds will be throttled to 128 Kbps, which is close to slow 2G speeds. Previously, AT&T did not include mobile-hotspot data at all with its unlimited plan.
  • The Unlimited Plus plan includes "high-definition" video streaming, but to use that you`ll have to turn off AT&T`s Stream Saver feature, which caps video streams at a less-sharp 480p resolution by default.
  • Like before, AT&T says it might slow your connection speeds in areas of network congestion if you use more than 22 GB of data in a single pay period.

AT&T is offering a second, more affordable "unlimited" plan called AT&T Unlimited Choice. That starts at 60 a month for a single line, 115 a month for two lines, and another 20 a month for each additional line after that.

However, it caps all video streaming at "about 480p," has no mobile-hotspot data, and throttles all speeds to 3 Mbps, which isn`t terribly fast by modern standards. Once again, AT&T says it might slow speeds in areas of congestion if you use more than 22 GB of data in a given month.

john legere t-mobile

In either case, the rates above do not take into account monthly fees and taxes, so they`ll be a little more expensive than advertised — a caveat that applies to every carrier but T-Mobile.

You`ll also have to enroll in auto-pay billing — otherwise, AT&T says a single-line plan will cost another 5 a month, while a multiline plan will cost another 10 a month.

While carriers continue to stretch the meaning of "unlimited" — defined as "not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent" — the recent interest in the concept has set off a fluid competition, as Verizon and AT&T attempt to slow market-share gains from the fast-growing T-Mobile, which kick-started the revival this summer, and fourth-place Sprint.

In this case, the lower entry price and mobile-hotspot data should make AT&T`s unlimited offering a bit more competitive with its peers. It is still the most expensive of the bunch, however.

SEE ALSO: Trump`s new FCC boss has already set the stage for a less-open internet

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Featured in Ripley`s Believe It or Not!

mobster cemetery headstone

The Mobster Cemetery

Located in the town of Yekaterinburg in Russia, the mobster cemetery—Shirokorechenskoe Cemetery officially—is the home of thousands of ornate gravestones etched with the person buried and, often, their car.

The laser engraved granite puts a modern twist on what look like Mafiosos from 90s movies. The extravagant tombs are often shown full-bodied in sharp suits with cars, gold chains, food, and their girlfriends surrounding them.

mobster cemetery headstone with car

CC Peretz Partensky

Yekaterinburg

Though the town of Yekaterinburg went through the same organized crime struggle of other Russian cities in the transition to free markets, the town has become somewhat infamous as the home of many of Russia’s most dangerous mob bosses and hitmen.

mobster cemetery headstone

One of the graves before the laser-engraving trend./CC Peretz Partensky

The epithets are equally as strange as the artwork:

  • “Expert at knife-throwing”
  • “Possessed deadly fist-fighting skills”
  • “He was only 29 when he died, but he already had a Toyota Celica!”
Gangster tomb in Russia

CC Peretz Partensky

mobster cemetery headstone back

CC Peretz Partensky

three headstones in russian mobster cemetery

All three died on the same job./CC Peretz Partensky

Source: Russia’s Extravagant Mobster Cemetery

anthony levandowski uber otto self driving cars mwc 2017 17

BARCELONA, Spain — During an onstage interview on Monday, the head of Uber`s self-driving-car unit, Anthony Levandowski, spoke optimistically about the future of autonomous vehicles and the transportation company`s efforts in the field.

Noticeably absent from the interview was any mention of the multiple scandals rocking Uber, including a lawsuit accusing Levandowski of stealing technology, bruising tales of "systemic" workplace sexism, and a report claiming the company misled the public about why a self-driving vehicle ran a red light.

Levandowski, also the CEO of the self-driving truck company Otto, which Uber acquired in 2016, was speaking at Mobile World Congress in Spain, a major technology industry conference focusing on the mobile sector. As part of a broader segment on connected vehicles, he was interviewed in front of an audience by Michael O`Hara, the chief marketing officer for the industry body GSMA.

The interview came just days after news broke that Levandowski was being accused by his former employer Google of stealing data and trade secrets after he left to establish Otto, a claim Uber says is "baseless." Waymo, Google`s self-driving car unit, is suing Uber and Otto over the claims, and this seems to be Levandowski`s first public appearance since.

Before that, a bombshell blog post from a former employee claimed she was sexually harassed and experienced sexism during her time at Uber — sparking further reports about Uber`s bruising workplace culture.

And The New York Times reported on Friday that Uber misled the public over the reason one of its self-driving cars skipped a red light. Uber had said the incident was a case of human error, but sources told The Times that the vehicle was actually in self-driving mode when it ran the light.

uber pittsburghBut if the hundreds of conference attendees were hoping to hear Levandowski address any of those issues, they left disappointed. The interview and his answers were a straightforward affair, focusing on issues like the safety of self-driving cars ("trucks represent 1% of cars, 5% of miles, 90% of fatalities"); Levandowski`s motivations for founding Otto; public education about self-driving cars; and Uber`s mission ("reliable transportation everywhere for everyone").

The interview was peppered with videos about Otto`s landmark autonomous truck delivery of beer and depictions of what the vehicles "see."

Uber is on the defensive following the controversies, and it cancelled all its media interviews at Mobile World Congress after news of the Google lawsuit became public (as The Telegraph`s James Titcomb noted on Twitter).

Reached for comment about the lawsuit, an Uber representative told Business Insider in a statement: "We are incredibly proud of the progress that our team has made. We have reviewed Waymo`s claims and determined them to be a baseless attempt to slow down a competitor and we look forward to vigorously defending against them in court. In the meantime, we will continue our hard work to bring self-driving benefits to the world."

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NOW WATCH: Trump’s executive orders are being turned into hilarious memes

bentley bentayga

Bentley might make an electric SUV in the future.

Bentley certainly plans on adding a small SUV to its lineup and is toying with the idea of making it all-electric, Automotive News first reported.

Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said at the company`s Continental Supersports launch that Bentley will not stay with one model in its SUV lineup going forward. "We have clear indications that a smaller Bentayga as a Bentley SUV would find great acceptance," he said, according to Automotive News.

In order to expand its market share, Bentley is considering making the small SUV all-electric, Rolf Frech, Bentley`s board member for engineering, said at the press event.

"If you are looking for such a car [small SUV] then we are looking to that in combination with the possibilities to go full electric," Frech said, according to Automotive News. "It only makes sense if you get really new customers into the brand."

Last year, Bentley committed to releasing a hybrid Bentayga in 2017, according to the Drive. At the time, Frech said it was likely Bentley`s Speed 6 concept car would be the company`s first fully electric vehicle, but that Bentley hadn`t figured out the precise direction it wanted to go in yet.

Bentley EXP10 Speed 6

It`s possible Bentley is changing course at a time when demand is rising for SUVs. If Bentley were to release an all-electric SUV crossover, it would place the automaker in square competition with Tesla.

Tesla currently sells its Model X SUV and has plans to release a compact SUV, the Model Y, at some point in the future.

Bentley is owned by Volkswagen, which plans to release more than 30 electric or hybrid vehicles by 2025, and to sell at least 2 million of them a year, in the wake of its emissions scandal.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk had one simple request when he discussed electric car subsidies with the Trump administration

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NOW WATCH: Mercedes unveils its first all-electric SUV concept at Paris Motor Show

BISHKEK (Reuters) - A Kyrgyz court jailed a prominent opposition politician on corruption charges on Monday, a move his supporters said was part of a politically motivated crackdown by President Almazbek Atambayev.

The 89th Academy Awards proved to be one of the most eventful in history — and one of the most awkward. Just as the cast and crew from "La La Land" were wrapping up their victory speeches, a man in a headset came rushing on stage, and everything went downhill from there. Here`s what happened during what the internet is calling "envelopegate."

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More than just popular, "Minecraft" is ubiquitous. I`ve said it before, I`ll say it again: "Minecraft" is this generation`s "Super Mario." 

To say it`s a "big deal" is selling it short. It`s on phones, game consoles, and computers. It`s a game; it`s an education tool; it`s even an annual convention. "Minecraft" is a cultural phenomenon.

And that phenomenon just hit a new sales milestone: 121 million copies sold.

Minecraft

For context, that`s nearly 30 million more copies sold of a single game than Nintendo sold of all games on its last console, the Wii U. Heck, it`s three times the number of copies that the original "Super Mario Bros." sold.

It`s this continued dominance that helps explain why Microsoft shelled out 2.5 billion for the game back in September 2014 — the game is a sales juggernaut, having moved over 20 million units in the last six months. 

Microsoft put together some cute stats to contextualize just how large 121 million people really is:

Hurrah! Sending a big thank you to all our amazing players. pic.twitter.com/5RaD1dpW65

— Minecraft (@Minecraft) February 27, 2017

Of note, those 121 million copies aren`t sitting dormant — 55 million people play the game every month, on average. Though it`s hard to know for certain, it`s very likely that those 55 million monthly players make "Minecraft" the largest active gaming community on Earth. It`s no wonder why we get beautiful works of art like this one-to-one re-creation of Vienna — with so many people playing, some folks are bound to create something magical.

SEE ALSO: Why `Minecraft` is the most popular game in the world

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NOW WATCH: 6 reasons why `Minecraft` is so incredibly popular

Travis Kalanick

One of the mysteries surrounding Uber is the question of why the company has not yet filed to go public. The app`s revenues are known to be growing aggressively as it launches services in new countries and new cities. But, repeatedly, leaks of Uber`s financial data have shown the company carrying huge losses.

Uber has taken 12 billion over 15 rounds of investment, and has a reported valuation of nearly 70 billion. If it were to float its stock in an IPO, it would need to raise a staggering amount for all those investors — 77 different groups, according to Crunchbase — to make a profit. 

It would also need to show that its losses are diminishing over time, and that investors in Uber stock might one day own a company that makes money.

There have been several different leaks of Uber`s financial data over the years, covering income from 2012 through Q4 2016. We gathered together all the numbers that have been reliably reported, focusing mainly on data from Uber`s income statements. Our numbers came from Bloomberg, The Information, Valleywag, Gawker, AllThingsD, TechCrunch, The New York Times, and Naked Capitalism (find a full set of links to our raw numbers and references below).

The numbers show some patterns:

  • Revenue is indeed growing aggressively, if the leaks are to be believed, although growth in total business transacted on the Uber app began slowing down late last year. Gross bookings were 5.4 billion last year.
  • Net revenues – the cut that Uber keeps from each trip fare — also continue to grow healthily, reaching 1.7 billion in Q4 2016.
  • Uber`s costs and expenses vastly outweigh its revenues. Uber is cheap because the company is heavily subsidising each trip. 
  • But there is some evidence that Uber`s losses are getting smaller over time. It also appears that Uber has some control over when it makes losses, and how big those losses are. That`s a sign that the company may not be terminally unprofitable.

Of course, the data come with some heavy qualifications and caveats. Some financial periods are missing. The information was gathered from different leaks at different times over a period of years, and so the numbers may not accurately reflect Uber`s current accounting. And the leaks also show that Uber may have changed the way it handles the accounting treatment for its business over the years, so some of our numbers may compare apples to oranges.

Uber acknowledged but did not respond to Business Insider`s request for comment. 

Nonetheless, when charted, the numbers show something typical for a tech startup: a rocket-ship of growing revenues coupled with equally dramatic losses — and yet, some indication that the business could make money in the future.

First, the big picture. Here are Uber`s most recent gross bookings by quarter (data for Q3 2015 is missing):

Uber

Uber sold its China business to Didi Chuxing last year, so that sudden slowdown in growth might be a function of lost Chinese bookings on Uber. We simply don`t know.

Uber`s net revenue per quarter looks very positive. Net revenue is the cut Uber takes on each ride, which is roughly 20%.

Uber

That`s the good news. The bad news is that Uber`s losses vastly exceed its net revenues. This chart shows the same revenue data (in blue) but with Uber`s total losses (before taxes, interest, depreciation, etc.) plotted in red:

Uber

That is not a good chart for Uber. It shows that the company is not only unprofitable but that its losses are sometimes greater than 100% of its revenue. The losses also do not show a pattern of declining over time. That will be fodder for those who suspect that Uber`s model may be fundamentally uneconomic.

Here are Uber`s total annual losses since 2012:

Uber

That`s a lot of red ink. Again, no obvious sign that the scale of the bleeding is getting smaller. 

But this next chart is one that looks a lot better for the company. It plots Uber`s losses as a percentage of its net revenue:

Uber

Clearly, Uber is still wildly unprofitable. But you could make an argument that the percentage scale of its losses is diminishing over time. It certainly looks as if Uber is able to change its spending as time goes by to become more or less unprofitable. 

This is the type of evidence you`d want to demonstrate if you`re making the case that in the long run Uber can become fundamentally profitable. An optimist would argue that Uber is so massive that people just aren`t used to seeing losses on this scale. The revenues are huge too, and it may be that it is simply taking Uber a longer time to get its global business under control than it would take a smaller business, like Snapchat, for instance. 

Of course, the cynics can find plenty here to argue that Uber is simply running its business at a loss, paying riders to get into private cars that are putting traditional taxis out of business. 

Here are the raw numbers we used to create these charts

Raw numbers for 2016:

Uber

Raw numbers for 2015:

Uber

Raw numbers for 2014:

Uber

Raw numbers for 2013:

Uber

Raw numbers for 2012:

Uber

Uber`s leaked finances came mainly from these sources:

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NOW WATCH: Here’s everything we know about the iPhone 8

Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner Inc., attends the Allen & Co Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 10, 2012.  Reuters/Jim Urquhart

Time Warner stock hit a 52-week high after Ajit Pai, President Trump`s FCC chairman, said he didn`t think his agency would review its 85 billion merger with AT&T, during an interview at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Pai said "he understood the companies have structured the deal so that no airwave licenses would be transferred, something that would trigger a broad FCC review," the Wall Street Journal reported.

“That is the regulatory hook for FCC review,” Pai said, according to The Journal. “My understanding is that the deal won’t be presented to the commission.”

The stock was up 1.4% in the aftermath of the news, and hit a 52-week intraday high of 98.32.

The AT&T-Time Warner deal has invited a lot of media speculation, as Trump railed against it on the campaign trail, and has repeatedly taken shots at CNN, which Time Warner owns. Trump has met with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson multiple times since taking office.

But AT&T has maintained that it is optimistic the deal will survive government review.

There are two potential government groups that might have a say in whether the deal AT&T goes through: the FCC and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The FCC is by far the bigger threat, since it has a broad mandate to kill mergers it thinks aren`t in the "public interest," and can also put restrictions on the merger. The DOJ, on the other hand, has to actually prove the deal is anti-competitive, which is a taller order.

But AT&T believes the merger won`t be under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission.

"There will not be a filing with the FCC," Stephenson said earlier this month. "We`re going to assume no [FCC] licenses from Time Warner." Under the purview of the FCC, Time Warner only has WPCH-TV, a broadcast station, and a few smaller licenses, Reuters reported. Those will not transfer.

Pai seems to be satisfied with this, and is signaling that his agency will not try and step in. 

"We still think we`ll be closed by end of year," Stephenson said earlier this month.

On the campaign trail, Trump railed against the merger. "As an example of the power structure I`m fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN — a deal we will not approve in my administration because it`s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few," Trump said in a speech in October.

Trump`s negative view of the deal comes "partly from his frustration with CNN, which is owned by Time Warner, one of the people said," according to Bloomberg.

SEE ALSO: This app will send you alerts when Donald Trump tweets about stocks you own

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NOW WATCH: Everything we know about the next iPhone — including a possible 1,000 price tag

GENEVA (Reuters) - South Korea called on Monday for major powers to criminally pursue North Korea`s leadership before its "ever-worsening" human rights record including mass executions and forced labor threatened world peace.

More than 58 years have passed since Sputnik 1 became the first artificial satellite to orbit Earth. Launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957, Sputnik 1 consisted of a 23-inch-diameter metal sphere with four radio antennas — that`s it.

Compared with the highly sophisticated satellites in orbit today, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station, Sputnik 1 is not much to look at. But this satellite gave scientists critical information about Earth`s upper atmosphere that helped with the success of later launches.

Since that October day in 1957, space agencies and private companies around the world have launched thousands of artificial satellites into orbit around Earth as well as toward more distant worlds like Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, and beyond. As technology continues to advance, so will the size and sophistication of our space-based instruments.

Here are some of history`s famous satellites and how they compare in size:

Satellite size comparison_2017

DON`T MISS: The best astronomy photos of the year have set a `jaw-dropping standard`

SEE ALSO: NASA is recycling Space Shuttle engines for a very important purpose

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NOW WATCH: This 3-minute animation will change the way you see the universe

You’re stranded in the woods alone, the sun is going down, and you need to start a fire quickly before it gets too cold. If you still have your cell phone on you, you can start a quick emergency fire. Here`s how. 

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Liz Wessel WayUp

When it comes to job interviews, there`s plenty that can go wrong. That goes double for college students, recent grads, or anyone who`s just starting out.

WayUp CEO Liz Wessel, who spent two years at Google before founding a startup dedicated to matching college students and recent grads with entry-level jobs, broke down two common mistakes she sees young people make.

1. Neglecting to follow up

"I was with a Google HR person recently and she was telling me that one of the most common [mistakes] that college students make is actually that if you don`t follow up," the 26-year-old CEO told Business Insider in a Facebook Live interview.

Don`t worry about coming on too strong. You want the interviewer to see that enthusiasm.

"Most people don`t realize that they should follow up as soon as possible," Wessel said. "This a tip that people don`t talk about often. Very commonly, an interviewer is going to have a score card where they`re writing their feedback about the interviewee when the interview`s done. You should follow up as soon as soon after as possible. I would say as soon as you can. Don`t wait `til the next day because you`re nervous about seeming too desperate."

So make certain to shoot your interviewer a thank you email that day (handwritten notes take far too long). Not sure what you should write?

Wessel broke down a solid sample thank you note:

  • Thank the interviewer for taking the time to speak with you.
  • Consider listing a few things that you learned, or highlight one of the topics you discussed.
  • If you want to get fancy, throw in a book recommendation.
  • All in all, keep it short, sweet, and grateful.

"It`s thanking them in a personal way, as opposed to a copy and paste that you send to each person," Wessel said.

2. Failing to ask questions

"Commonly, college students will do either a lot of research or they do no research or maybe they`re just nervous and don`t think they need to ask any questions," Wessel said. "Companies will reject you if you don`t ask questions. I know it sounds insane and brutal, but it`s actually true. I have many friends whose companies will just flat out reject you."

Asking questions is also hugely beneficial for the interviewee. Sure, you`ve already done a ton of research, but it`s great to get an insider perspective, as well.

"I`m saying ask questions at the end, but not questions that are similar to, `So when do I start?` or `What`s the salary`? I`m talking about questions like, `What makes a rock star at rock star at your company?` I like when people ask me things like, `How do you spend your day to day`?"

So don`t forget to come into every job interview with a list of potential questions.

Watch the full Facebook Live:

SEE ALSO: A 26-year-old explains why she told Google before accepting a job that she`d quit after 2 years

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NOW WATCH: Bethenny Frankel says Ellen DeGeneres gave her the best life advice

woman cataract surgery

An estimated 500,000 people could retain their sight if a simple, cost-effective program gets the necessary funding.

As part of its 100&Change grant program, the MacArthur Foundation has selected the Himalayan Cataract Program (HCP) as one of eight semi-finalists to win a 100-million prize. Other contenders include programs reducing newborn illness and educating child refugees.

The HCP "will develop and deliver sustainable eye care in Nepal, Ethiopia, and Ghana," and in the process create a model "that can be replicated and scaled around the world," the organization explains in its grant proposal.

Approximately 39 million people worldwide suffer from blindness, and 51% of those cases — or just shy of 20 million people — involve cataracts, according to the World Health Organization.

Despite their prevalence, cataracts are fairly easy to treat with laser-correcting surgery. HCP finds local healthcare providers in Nepal, Ethiopia, and Ghana can deliver the procedures for roughly 25 apiece. That`s important: One recent study found 91% of people said cost was the biggest barrier to getting treatment.

Not all providers can be counted on to know how to perform the surgery, however, so HCP has developed a sustainability model known as "train the trainer" to keep costs low. Experts will go into local communities to give eye specialists the tools and technology not just to perform the corrective surgery themselves, but pass on the wisdom to other doctors and specialists.

The training lets HCP keep costs low while also reaching larger groups of people. A grant of 100 million could feasibly reach 500,000 people in the three countries, the HCP proposal states.

Targeting those groups is essential because blindness disproportionately affects people in developing countries. Out of the 39 million people affected, about 90% live in regions where many people live on just one or two dollars a day. What starts out merely as poor vision remains untreated and quickly turns into something more serious.

HCP doesn`t just view the solution as one brought to individuals — in its proposal, it references research that finds tremendous gains to whole communities as members reclaim their sight. Billions of dollars of revenue are lost each year to challenges related to blindness, studies have found.

"The project is expected to bring significant gains to the families, communities, and countries involved and to provide a model for curing blindness in the developing world," the proposal states.

In a press statement, Dr. Geoffrey Tabin, cofounder of HCP, put the goal in even finer terms.

"The 100&Change grant could enable the Himalayan Cataract Project to reach the tipping point to eliminate needless blindness on a global scale," he said.

SEE ALSO: These dorky-looking `smart glasses` adjust automatically to correct any type of vision

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NOW WATCH: Scientists are using Rorschach inkblots to help build better bionic eyes for the blind

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The spectacular Carnival parade of Rio`s top samba troupes was marred by the injury of 20 people who where pushed against a wall by a faulty float at the start of the famed Sambadrome show, organizers said on Monday.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker will propose to national leaders next month a handful of options for shoring up unity once Britain launches a withdrawal that some fear could trigger a further unraveling of the bloc.

juan benitez braintree paypal

It seems like it should be pretty easy for an app to take a credit card, right?

It`s just a bunch of letters and numbers, after all, and it`s something you only really notice when it doesn`t work. It`s about as vital as your bathroom plumbing — and also about as interesting.

"This perception of plumbing is something we`re trying to overcome," says Kasia Leyden, head of marketing for Braintree, the payments company that PayPal bought for 800 million in 2013, and which also operates the popular social payment app Venmo. Braintree primarily competes with 9 billion Stripe and 2.3 billion European startup Adyen.

In 2016, PayPal says that it processed 354 billion in payments, 102 billion alone of which were on mobile. But from Braintree General Manager Juan Benitez`s perspective, that`s only partially because of that "plumbing."

There are also "offensive weapons," Benitez says.

These are tools like fraud detection, Amazon-style one-click checkout, and support for rising-star technologies like Apple Pay or Android Pay. Benitez says that with these, Braintree can provide a "massive arsenal" of tools that can boost a customer`s bottom line, beyond just letting them process credit cards.

To get that message across, Braintree is actually introducing a series of TV commercials, which begin airing nationally today:

It`s not typical for a company like Braintree to take out ads, Benitez acknowledges, but it`s because the company`s own research found that even people relatively in-the-know about payments and commerce didn`t know that these tools were available.

"After a while, it`s like, whoa, I didn`t know I can do all that stuff," Benitez says. 

These commercials also signal a subtle shift in Braintree`s focus: Where Braintree, Stripe, and Adyen have historically sold straight to the software developer, Benitez says that these commercials reflect a "broadening" of the message to go after ever-larger customers.

braintree commercial paypal

"Developers always have veto rights" over the technology that gets used in their apps and websites, Benitez says, so appealing to that crowd remains important. Now, though, Braintree is talking directly to merchants, saying "here`s what we can do for your business," Benitez says. 

And unlike its upstart rivals, Benitez says, the fact that Braintree is a PayPal company gives it another advantage, too: Lots of businesses already use PayPal, giving Braintree an in with those customers. By the same token, if you use Braintree, it`s easy to hook into the familiar PayPal network of merchants and consumers. 

"Now, when you go to PayPal, you get all of PayPal," Benitez says.

SEE ALSO: Apple and Google want to control your wallet — but PayPal has a secret weapon

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NOW WATCH: The reason millennials became obsessed with payment app Venmo has nothing to do with money

Two YouTube videos posted on Sunday and Monday allegedly show Samsung`s upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone ahead of Samsung`s announcement in March. Take a look.

SEE ALSO: Samsung`s Galaxy S8 is rumored to have an absolutely massive screen

Both videos appear to show screens with rounded corners instead of sharp corners, which we`ve recently seen on the new LG G6.

galaxy s8 rumors video leak rounded corner display





The LG G6`s display has rounded corners, which could hint at what the Galaxy S8 could look like with rounded corners.

lg g6 silver front

Apart from a new design, it`s not clear if the rounded corners on the Galaxy S8 will have other functions. For the G6, LG claims the rounded corners makes the screen more resistant to cracking when the phone is dropped. It`s a claim we`re not ready to test with the pre-production test device we have. Even then, we`re not even sure how rounded corners could truly make the screen more durable. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - More than 31,000 South Sudanese refugees - mostly women and children - have crossed the border into Sudan this year, fleeing famine and conflict, the United Nations refugee agency said on Monday.

Mercedes Benz X Class Concept

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class may be the most highly anticipated pickup truck in recent memory.  Unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz Vans — the division of the the German automaker responsible for the X-Class — has made it very clear over the past year that it has no plans to bring the model to the US. That is until now.

On Friday, MB Vans boss Volker Mornhinweg indicated that his company is looking closely at US demand for mid-size trucks like the X-Class, Reuters reported.

In addition, Mornhinweg told reporters that the current X-Class production facility in Argentina won`t have sufficient capacity to meet US demand. As a result, US spec trucks will be made domestically, the executive said.

Last October, Mercedes-Benz gave the public its first look at the company`s upcoming pickup truck in the form of the new X-Class Concept. According to Mercedes-Benz, the new X-Class will be the world`s first true "premium" pickup truck.

Introduced in a ceremony in Stockholm, the new X-Class marks Mercedes` official entry into what is perhaps the most competitive, territorial, and lucrative segment in the automotive market.

"With the Mercedes-Benz pickup, we will close one of the last gaps in our portfolio," Dieter Zetsche, Daimler chairman and head of Mercedes-Benz, said in a statement at the time of the launch. "Our target: We want to offer customers vehicles matching their specific needs. The X-Class will set new standards in a growing segment."

In the US, the midsize pickup segment, where the X-Class would compete, is growing at more than 20% a year. It also dominates in Argentina, Australia, and Brazil.

Mercedes is expected to offer the X-Class in Europe, Latin America, South America, and Africa when it enters production in late 2017. No official pricing information for the X-Class has been released.

Here`s a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup:

SEE ALSO: These are the 18 most reliable used cars of 2017

In October 2016, Mercedes` Van division debuted two versions of the Concept X-Class.



One is a concept intended to show off Mercedes` design and luxurious appointments: the Stylish Explorer.



Then there`s Powerful Adventurer, which is designed to display the truck`s rugged side.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

steve harvey

Steve Harvey let 2017 Oscars presenter Warren Beatty know that he`s there to lend a hand.

Beatty was involved in the biggest screw-up in Oscars history on Sunday night when he and Faye Dunaway presented best picture to the wrong movie, first announcing it was "La La Land" when it was in fact "Moonlight," in a moment that resembled Harvey`s own mix-up at the 2015 Miss Universe show.

It turns out Beatty and Dunaway had the wrong envelope (the one for best actress, which went to Emma Stone in "La La Land"). Beatty hesitated as he looked at the card from the envelope and showed it to Dunaway, who promptly called out "La La Land."

It was only once the "La La Land" team was up onstage and giving speeches that the gaffe was corrected, and the "Moonlight" team came up while the "La La Land" producers and cast went back to their seats.

"Call me Warren Beatty," Harvey said on Twitter. "I can help you get through this!"

Call me Warren Beatty. I can help you get through this! #Oscars

— Steve Harvey (@IAmSteveHarvey) February 27, 2017

Harvey was making a joking reference to his own infamous gaffe at Miss Universe 2015 when he announced the wrong winner of the competition.

Beatty went up to the mic at the end of the Oscars to explain what happened.

Watch the chaos unfold below:

 

SEE ALSO: `Moonlight` just won best picture in a huge upset — here are all the winners of the 2017 Oscars

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NOW WATCH: Oscar nominees receive a 100,000+ swag bag — here`s what`s inside

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey on Monday criticized Austria after its foreign minister said President Tayyip Erdogan was not welcome to campaign among Turks living in Austria for a referendum to be held in Turkey in April.
GENEVA (Reuters) - Like a headmaster addressing rowdy pupils, the United Nations envoy for Syria began peace talks in Geneva last week by telling the warring parties to behave and show respect.

With each generation of video game consoles, a handful of new, major franchises are born.

During the last generation — when the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii dominated — the "Gears of War" franchise exploded, the "Uncharted" series defined the PlayStation 3, and "Wii Sports" defined Nintendo`s Wii.

gears of war 4

Right at the end of the last generation, in 2014, a new franchise surprised gamers everywhere by taking a long-existing property — the Lord of the Rings — and turning it into something brilliantly modern and fresh. That game was "Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor," a stylish and gritty third-person action game in the vein of "Assassin`s Creed."

middle earth shadow of mordor

Despite generic trappings and a long-worn property in the Lord of the Rings, the game was a smashing success. It was beautiful, fun to play, and had a surprisingly well-done story. Far from generic, it was a breath of life into a worn out genre.

And in 2017, "Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor" is a getting a big new sequel: "Middle-earth: Shadow of War" is scheduled to launch for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on August 22.

There`s only one piece of art for the game available thus far, with a promised gameplay reveal on March 8.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

If you`re a returning fan from the first game, you may be glad to hear that both Talion and Celebrimbor are back as the main playable characters in "Shadow of War." The plot isn`t unlike the film series: unite a divided Mordor against the forces of Sauron, all using a unique ring that grants magical powers. 

The first trailer is out now, with a bigger gameplay reveal coming next week. Check it out right here:

SEE ALSO: YouTube`s biggest star is in hot water over anti-Semitic `jokes` — here`s what`s going on

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NOW WATCH: 5 hidden features only PlayStation 4 power users know about

randall stephenson AT&T att

AT&T is introducing two new “unlimited” data plans to better compete with recent similar offerings from Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

The carrier has had an unlimited plan for some time, but previously it was only available to subscribers of its DirecTV or U-Verse TV services. Earlier this month, it lifted that requirement.

Now, it’s reworking the costs and features of its offer altogether. The new plans will become available on March 2. AT&T says current subscribers will be able to switch to the new plans.

Here’s the rundown:

  • The first new plan, AT&T Unlimited Plus, starts at 90 a month for a single line. Two lines cost 145 a month, each additional line costs another 20 a month after that (for up to eight lines). That’s down from 100 a month for a single line, plus 40 a month for every additional line, under the previous plan.
  • If you subscribe to the Unlimited Plus plan, AT&T will take 25 off the price of a subscription to its DirecTV, U-Verse TV, or DirecTV Now service each month. (AT&T still does not count all of those services against your data cap, a controversial practice known as zero-rating.) AT&T says this is a limited-time promotion, and that it’ll start applying the 25 credit after “2-3 billing periods." 

att logo

  • You can add a tablet to the plan for another 20 a month, and a wearable for another 10 a month.
  • The Unlimited Plus plan will now include 10GB of mobile-hotspot data, which lets you use your phone like a portable router. Once you hit that limit, mobile-hotspot speeds will be throttled down to 128Kbps, which is close to slow 2G speeds. Previously, AT&T did not include mobile-hotspot data at all with its unlimited plan.
  • The Unlimited Plus plan includes “high-definition” video streaming, but you’ll have to turn off AT&T’s Stream Saver feature — which caps video streams at a less-sharp 480p resolution by default — to use it.
  • Like before, AT&T says it might slow your connection speeds in areas of network congestion if you use more than 22 GB of data in a single pay period.

Besides Unlimited Plus, AT&T is offering a second, more affordable “unlimited” plan called AT&T Unlimited Choice. That starts at 60 a month for a single line, 115 a month for two lines, and another 20 a month for each additional line after that.

However, it caps all video streaming at “about 480p,” and throttles all speeds entirely to 3Mbps, which isn’t terribly fast by modern standards. Once again, AT&T says it might slow speeds in areas of congestion if you use more than 22 GB of data in a given month.

john legere t-mobileIn either case, the rates above do not take into account monthly fees and taxes, so they’ll be a little more expensive than advertised. (A caveat that applies to every carrier but T-Mobile.) You’ll also have to enroll in auto-pay billing — otherwise, AT&T says a single-line plan will cost another 5 a month, while a multi-line plan will cost another 10 a month.

While carriers continue to stretch the meaning of “unlimited” — a word defined as “not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent” — the recent re-interest in the concept has set off a fluid competition, as Verizon and AT&T attempt to slow market share gains from the fast-growing T-Mobile, which kickstarted the revival this past summer, and fourth-place Sprint.

In this case, the lowered entry price and mobile-hotspot data should make AT&T’s unlimited offering a bit more competitive with its peers. It is still the most expensive of the bunch, however.

SEE ALSO: Trump`s new FCC boss has already set the stage for a less-open internet

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NOW WATCH: The internet could look vastly different under Trump’s presidency — here’s how

jeff bezos oscars

Netflix and Amazon both scored Oscar wins on Sunday, marking the first time any streaming service has triumphed at the Academy Awards.

But the awards that each won underscore the huge difference in how Netflix and Amazon are tackling the movie market, and how the industry has responded.

Amazon was the big winner on Sunday, with its gritty indie "Manchester by the Sea" winning best original screenplay and best actor (Casey Affleck), and Iran`s "The Salesman" winning best foreign language film.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was in the audience, and even got a good-natured joke about Amazon`s shipping thrown his way by host Jimmy Kimmel.

Netflix won the documentary short-subject category with "The White Helmets," which chronicles neutral rescue workers in Syria, who have saved 80,000 lives from attacks.

Amazon isn`t bucking tradition

Amazon`s wins in high-profile categories, and its nomination for best picture, underscores the difference between its movie strategy and that of Netflix, its main rival. Though Amazon is a streaming service, all of its films get theatrical releases, because Amazon is willing to keep the movies off its online platform for the traditional length of time.

Netflix, conversely, has angered movie theaters by insisting that its movies be available to stream on Netflix the day they are released in theaters. Theater execs have railed against this practice, and have largely refused to show Netflix movies. Netflix has hit back. In October, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he thought the state of film was a "real tragedy" and that movie theaters were "strangling the movie business."

Still, Netflix`s poor relationship with movie theaters puts the company in a tough position, since many filmmakers prize having a traditional theatrical release for their films, even if it`s not a wide one.

Amazon has avoided this issue altogether by sticking to the established release timing. And the company has been rewarded. "Manchester by the Sea" grossed almost 40 million at the US box office, making it a "commercial success" in its category, according to Variety. And now it has won two prestigious Oscars, as well as a best picture nod.

Last year, Netflix pushed hard during awards season for "Beasts of No Nation," but was ultimately snubbed by the Academy.

Documentary prowess

In the documentary categories, however, Netflix has shined at the Oscars.

Netflix`s first Oscar nomination went to "The Square" in 2014 for best documentary feature. In that category, Netflix got another nom for "Virunga" in 2015, before grabbing two last year for "What Happened, Miss Simone?and "Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom." This year, "13th," Netflix`s doc that explores racial inequality in the United States and the prison system, was nominated, though it ultimately didn`t win. (That honor went to ESPN for "O.J.: Made in America".)

Netflix`s one Oscar win this year was for "The White Helmets," in best short-subject doc.

Netflix has been embraced by the Academy in the documentary categories, where it`s not fighting a big battle against entrenched traditions of distribution, and theater owners. As Netflix`s content production continues to ramp up, and it releases more Oscar hopefuls, we`ll see how much of an effect that has on the industry`s most prestigious awards show.

SEE ALSO: Netflix explained why its movie selection has gotten so skimpy

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NOW WATCH: Poll: Trump begins his presidency with the lowest initial approval rating in history

Elon Musk

Tesla shares have been on an epic run since the beginning of the year, up 50% at one point.

They`re still way up, but since fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 earnings were reported last week, the stock has been getting clobbered.

On Monday, Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino, who has assumed Tesla coverage duties from Patrick Archambault, downgraded the stock from "neutral" to "sell" and dropped his target price to 185 from an already bearish 190.

Shares were down 5% in early action on Monday, to 244.

Tamberrino focused on the factors that have typically fueled the bear case for Tesla, which in any case has always been a volatile stock, given to wild spikes and swoons of the sort we`re now witnessing. His note highlighted potential issues with the company`s cash burn, the difficulties of integrating SolarCity after a 2.1-billion acquisition last year — and most importantly, the expectation that the Model 3 mass-market vehicles won`t launch as scheduled in 2017 or achieve sufficient production to move the needle for investors.

Here`s the salient language on the Model 3 from the note:

We believe the Model 3 will have a more subdued launch curve than the company is targeting as some suppliers have expressed concern around final designs not being locked down. As a result, we expect the company to achieve mass market volumes (i.e., above 100k annualized run-rate) in 4Q18 vs. Tesla’s target of 4Q17. Historical operational execution also points to a more gradual production ramp (though we do expect some improvement from the Model X) than Tesla is guiding. Further, as we break down the componentry costs for Tesla’s vehicles, we find that the Model 3 should contribute negative operating margins until the company can break the 100k per year unit mark (we forecast in 2019) and/or lower battery cost to 100/kWh (we currently forecast this to occur by 2020E), even at an average price of 45k – which we assume is the likely selling price (above the 35k base) given the technology and hardware packages for the vehicle.

What they`re worried about

Goldman has generally edged toward the bearish side of Tesla prognostication or occupied a middle ground relative to other firms, whose price targets have at times been above 400 (Tesla has never broken through the 300 barrier, although it`s come close).

TSLA Chart

There`s no question that Tesla will launch the Model 3 in late 2017, but it`s also unlikely that production will ramp quickly until some point in 2018.

What`s more, Tesla will still spend much of its cash-on-hand, around 3.5 billion, to launch the Model 3. 

So Tamberrino`s generally bearishness is justified and, from the point of view of an investor, responsible. His call on the stock price is consistent with previous Tesla slides, and at the moment, a Tesla sell-off makes sense, given how high shares surged over the first two months of 2017, unmotivated by any substantial events. Profit-taking is entirely justified.

Right now, the Tesla bulls and bears are dividing over the Model 3. That makes sense, but there are different varieties of division. Some analysts assume that the disruptive potential of a 35,000 Tesla is considerable, and although the company might now be able to cash in right away its nearly 400,000 pre-orders for the car, the writing is on the wall. 

More circumspect analysts, such as Tamberrino, assume that the Model 3 launch and rollout will be as messy as with Tesla`s previous vehicles. Tamberrino also makes the essential argument that Tesla`s shift from niche, luxury automaker to mass-market car company isn`t necessarily the best thing for the bottom line — and that`s before we even deal with the solar business, the energy storage business, or building a massive battery factory in Nevada.

The story here is that the pullback from the early 2017 rally was inevitable, given that Tesla wasn`t in a good position to offer another surprise profit for Q4 as it did in Q3. In retrospect, a potential tax cut and Donald Trump`s made-in-USA manufacturing policies couldn`t justify a Tesla market cap that was within a few billion of Ford`s. Once attention returned to the Model 3, as well as the challenges of the SolarCity deal and the accelerating pace of cash burn in 2017, the downgrades and price-target reassessments on Wall Street could begin.

The question isn`t how far the stock will drop — it often falls pretty far — but rather how robustly it will recover if the Model 3 hits the streets on schedule by the end of the year. That`s what Wall Street will spend 2017 trying to figure out. 

SEE ALSO: There`s no question that the Tesla Model 3 will launch on schedule in 2017

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NOW WATCH: Elon Musk came up with an ingenious solution to a Tesla owner`s Twitter complaint in just 6 days

bentley bentayga

Bentley might make an electric SUV in the future.

Bentley certainly plans on adding a small SUV to its lineup and is toying with the idea of making it all-electric, Automotive News first reported.

Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said at the company`s Continental Supersports launch that Bentley will not stay with one model in its SUV lineup going forward. "We have clear indications that a smaller Bentayga as a Bentley SUV would find great acceptance," he said, according to Automotive News.

In order to expand its market share, Bentley is considering making the small SUV all-electric, Rolf Frech, Bentley`s board member for engineering, said at the press event.

"If you are looking for such a car [small SUV] then we are looking to that in combination with the possibilities to go full electric," Frech said, according to Automotive News. "It only makes sense if you get really new customers into the brand."

Bentley is owned by Volkswagen, which plans to release more than 30 electric or hybrid vehicles by 2025, and to sell at least 2 million of them a year, in the wake of its emissions scandal.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk had one simple request when he discussed electric car subsidies with the Trump administration

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NOW WATCH: Mercedes unveils its first all-electric SUV concept at Paris Motor Show

PlayStation VR

For all of the hype surrounding virtual reality, we still don`t know if the technology is a breakout hit or fading fad.

That`s because the biggest players in the VR industry, from Facebook`s Oculus to HTC, have refused to disclose how many headsets they`ve sold so far. While critics say that VR is too expensive and clunky to use, proponents like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argue that the tech will one day be as ubiquitous as mobile phones.

But how well is VR selling now? Sony finally broke the silence on VR sales by revealing on Sunday that it has sold 915,000 units of its PlayStation VR headset during the device`s first four months of availability. In an interview with The New York Times, Sony Entertainment CEO Andrew House said sales are on track to surpass the company`s own expectations of 1 million units in six months.

If third-party predictions from SuperData Research are accurate, those sales make Sony the leader in the VR market by a wide margin. A recent study by SuperData said that Oculus has sold only 243,000 of its Rift headsets to date, and that the HTC Vive has sold 420,000 units.

The early success of PlayStation VR, which Sony debuted in October 2016, likely has to do with the fact that it costs 400 and only requires a PlayStation 4 console. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, by contrast, require their own desktop PCs that cost at least 600 to configure.

Overall demand for high-end virtual reality appears to have stagnated in recent months, with Oculus closing nearly half of its demo stations in Best Buys because some stores went days without demos. Now that Sony has disclosed its sales, the pressure is on for its competitors to follow suit.

SEE ALSO: Facebook ordered to pay 500 million in lawsuit against Oculus VR

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NOW WATCH: Forget the Oculus — PlayStation VR is the virtual reality platform to own

Softbank pepper robot

Singularity — the point when machine intelligence surpasses our own and goes on to improve itself at an exponential rate — will happen by 2047, according to Masayoshi Son, the Japanese tech mogul leading SoftBank.

Son was speaking on Monday at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain.

He said: "I totally believe this concept. In next 30 years this will become a reality."

Son went on to say that our world will fundamentally change as a result of so-called superintelligences that will be able to learn and think for themselves, TechCrunch reports.

"There will be many kinds," said Son, whose company spent 32 billion (£26 billion) acquiring UK chip designer ARM last year. "Flying, swimming, big, micro, run, two legs, four legs, 100 legs."

Son went on to highlight how SoftBank plans to invest in the next generation of technology companies that are developing AI with a new 100 billion (£80 billion) tech fund, which was announced last October and is called the SoftBank Vision Fund.

"I truly believe it`s coming, that`s why I`m in a hurry – to aggregate the cash, to invest," said Son. "It will be so much more capable than us — what will be our job? What will be our life? We have to ask philosophical questions. Is it good or bad?"

Son added: "I think this superintelligence is going to be our partner. If we misuse it it`s a risk. If we use it in good spirits it will be our partner for a better life. So the future can be better predicted, people will live healthier, and so on."

Son is not the only person who thinks superintelligent machines will become a reality. A panel of AI leaders including Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, and Demis Hassabis, the cofounder and CEO of Google DeepMind, agreed that superintelligence is likely to be developed in the coming decades.

The panel, which took place in January at the Future of Life Institute, had varying opinions about the exact time frame and the potential risks that could come about through such a breakthrough, while Hassabis voiced concerns about whether tech companies will work together in the lead up to the intelligence explosion he anticipates.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 7 little-known benefits of Amazon Prime

BAKU/YEREVAN (Reuters) - Five Azeri soldiers were killed in clashes with Armenia-backed separatists along the boundary with the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, Azerbaijan`s defense ministry said on Monday, with each side accusing the other of an attempted incursion.

preppers nyc

Inside a church on 189th Street, the New York City Preppers Network gathers for its monthly meeting. Around two dozen men and women sit on plastic chairs facing a whiteboard.

Jason Charles a 39-year-old firefighter who serves as the chapter president, introduces the meeting`s speaker, Shane Hobel. He`s the founder of Mountain Scout Survival School, which teaches wilderness survival skills.

Before beginning his three-hour talk — which will cover the city`s optimal escape routes and what to put in a portable, 72-hour survival bag — Hobel mandates that Trump talk is off-limits.

"I don`t care about your political status," he says. "Do you think mother nature cares about your politics? If you`ve never made a fire, you are going to die." In the back, a toddler shrieks.

preppersThe group Hobel is addressing is a local chapter of the American Preppers Network, a national organization that promotes self-reliance in case a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or other unforeseen catastrophe strikes.

Once perceived as a reactionary, conservative trend, the prepper movement has been portrayed by the TV show "Doomsday Preppers" and the 1981 film "Escape from New York" as full of conspiracy theorists that wear tin-foil hats and build personal bunkers. But the community actually includes people of many backgrounds, economic statuses, races, ages, and political affiliations. It`s even recently evolved to include Silicon Valley`s ultra-wealthy. Preppers simply share a desire to prepare for the worst, whether that`s a nuclear bomb, modern civil war, or hurricane that destroys their home.

Devoted preppers, like Hobel and Charles, say the movement is growing rapidly and is poised to become more mainstream over the next few years.

"It’s getting bigger because people are panicking," Charles says. "If Trump keeps up his shit, it’s going to grow. Once he starts talking about wars, we’re screwed."

A handful of American prepping supply companies have seen spikes in sales since the election. Idaho-based company My Patriot Supply reported double year-over-year sales during the week of Inauguration. And Doomsday Prep, which has a storefront in Georgia, has seen more than 15% year-over-year growth since Election Day, according to owner David Sanders.

Colin Waugh, a 31-year-old resident of Independence, Missouri, launched a Facebook group called the Liberal Prepper the afternoon after Trump`s election, and invited 38 of his friends. It now boasts nearly 1,700 members. The page, which gets updated every half-hour, is littered with posts on everything from how to jar and store vegetables to instructions for building homemade canoes.

"If you were to ask us what cataclysm is most likely now, we’d say some Trump-related accident that causes the dishevelment of society," he says, adding, "My goal is to either prevent tyranny in America or be prepared for it if we can."

Waugh says he never considered buying a gun before the 2016 campaign cycle, but purchased a 12-gauge shotgun right before the election and a 9-millimeter handgun after. He recounts watching a pair of Trump supporters interviewed on CNN in October 2016.

"We saw a gentleman, jumping up and down, telling the reporter, `Whether he wins or loses, we are taking our country back.` I couldn`t believe it," Waugh says.

Screen Shot 2017 02 17 at 6.20.49 PM

After seeing that reportWaugh and his wife started stockpiling protein bars, rice, peanut butter, first-aid supplies, batteries, toilet paper, cat food, trash bags, medical handbooks, and as many canned goods as they could fit in the pantry of their one-bedroom apartment. Waugh`s worst fears are that the US could get attacked or that the white nationalist alt-right could incite a civil war.

"It`s not like it was in 1865," he says. "If we had another civil war, the media and social media would fuel its combustion."

Waugh plans to launch a Liberal Prepper website, which will feature a forum, marketplace, and newsfeed, on March 1. He says he`ll manage it full-time, and has crowd-funded 1,480 for it as of writing.

Jason Charles, on the other hand, doesn`t have any political affiliation (he wrote his own name on the ballot in November). Charles says the White House responded too slowly when Hurricane Katrina hit the US in 2005, which is when he lost faith in the government`s ability to support citizens during emergencies.

"You don`t want to be dependent on the establishment. You want to be ready to rock `n` roll," he says.

preppersCharles lives in an apartment with his wife, two sons, and daughter in Harlem. He doesn`t own any guns because it`s difficult and expensive to obtain a firearm permit in New York City. Instead, Charles has 100 knives and three Samurai swords. He shows me one 300 handmade knife — the most expensive piece of equipment he owns.

Charles started prepping in 2010, after he read William Forstchen`s "One Second After," a novel that describes a man`s efforts to save his family in post-apocalyptic North Carolina.

"There was one part when he says, `I should`ve gotten more. I should`ve gotten more food,` and it got me thinking, I never want that to happen to my kids," he says.

Over the past seven years, Charles has amassed nearly 20,000 worth of supplies and gear, including three vests, a bullet-proof breast plate, dozens of Ramen packets, nylon-silk tarps, two water filtration systems, extra clothing, an ax, a crossbow, a dehydrator, a hammock, a dozen military-grade backpacks, a few first aid kits and blankets, two radios, and "canteens out the ass." 

preppers

He stores most of this in what he calls his "end-of-the-world closet." In 2013, he also got a 100-square-foot storage unit in the Bronx to hold first-aid supplies, backpacks, gas masks, a raft, detergent, boxes of latex gloves, a generator, and a year`s worth of food with a 20-year shelf life. (The unit also stores his family`s Christmas decorations.)

Not all members of the NYC Preppers Network have this much stuff, however. And Shane Hobel of the Mountain Scout Survival School says he has plenty of students that don`t consider themselves preppers at all.

But Hobel says he`s noticed more of his students "are waking up and realizing that no one is going to save them, so they better figure out how to do it themselves."

This spring, he plans to open a second, larger school, the "Mountain Scout Earth School," in East Fishkill, New York.

Charles, meanwhile, is planning to practice the kinds of skills Hobel teaches on an upcoming solo overnight trip. He`s only bringing a tarp, wool blanket, and supplies to make fire.

I ask him to name his worst fear.

"Nothing," Charles says. "We`re ready for anything and all of it."

SEE ALSO: Doomsday prepper supply companies saw a huge sales surge after Trump`s election

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here`s what tech millionaires are doing to prepare for the end of the world

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