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NASA astronaut Barry

  • NASA just launched 20 mice to the International Space Station to study how the stress of space impacts the microbiome. A set of 20 other mice are staying on Earth.
  • Scientists on the ISS and in a US lab will monitor the mice`s weight, excrement, and sleep schedules.
  • They`re hoping to learn more about how our guts respond to stressful conditions, and perhaps find ways to address sleep deprivation.

 

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are getting ready to make room for 20 new rodent roommates.

On Friday morning, a SpaceX Dragon spaceship blasted off from Florida carrying the mice. The rodent crew is expected to arrive at the ISS on Monday. Their record-breaking journey — this is the longest mice will be off the planet — is part of a study on how Earth-dwellers` guts and sleep schedules respond to the stress of being in space.

The NASA research is led by neurobiologists Fred Turek and Martha Vitaterna from Northwestern University. The plan is to leave 10 of the mice in space for three months (those are the record breakers), while 10 will stay at the station for 30 days.

mice in space

"Ninety days might not seem like a long time, but for a mouse, it is," Vitaterna told Business Insider, explaining that mice respond to the effects of being in space more quickly than humans do.  

Keeping a group of identical mouse siblings on the ground for comparison will allow scientists to observe how being in space changes a mouse`s physiology and behaviors. Specifically. the scientists hope to learn more about  how the mouse microbiome is affected by space travel and life on the ISS. 

What the mice will do in space: sleep, eat, poop

The animals are not exactly twins — they`re actually a much bigger identical troupe.

"I don`t know what the word for 10 genetically identical siblings is," Vitaterna said. "We have a decuplet of one family and a decuplet of another family that are going to space."

nasa mouse habitat

The 20 mice on Earth will live inside a NASA simulator that will mimic the conditions the mice are subject to on the ISS (except those on Earth will be in gravity`s pull, of course). There will also be other mouse control groups on the ground that don`t live in the ISS simulator or eat the controlled space diet. 

Every two weeks, astronauts on the ISS and scientists on Earth will take stool samples from all of the mice to compare their excrement. They`ll also keep tabs on how much the bodies of the mice in space are changing relative to their peers on Earth, using a special mass-measurement device that doesn`t rely on gravity.

The researchers will watch videos of the mice to track changes in their sleep cycle, and monitor the animals` bone density, since often the bones and muscles of people (and mice) become much weaker in space. 

Studying twins helps scientists pinpoint what space does to the body

This isn`t the first time that NASA has compared a twin on the ground to a sibling in space. 

Mark Kelly and Scott Kelly

When astronaut Scott Kelly spent a year in space, scientists kept close tabs on the changes happening inside his body and compared that information to his identical brother Mark, who was back on Earth.

The mouse study is similar, but superior in one key way, according to Vitaterna.

"The human twin study was one pair of twins, so the mouse study is statistically better powered," she said, adding that the Kelly brothers` results left unanswered questions that the mice could help solve.

For example, Scott Kelly`s gut bacteria changed, but the scientists aren`t sure how much of that was just due to differences in diet. So the mice will have much stricter laboratory controls over what they eat than the men did.  

The scientists hope that any new information about how the mouse gut changes in space will inform future treatments they give astronauts or even people on Earth. 

"If we understand, `oh, this intervention helps protect the microbiome, which in turn helps protect the immune system and metabolism,` that`s useful information — not just for space," Vitaterna said. "It’s not like stress is just a space flight thing, people here have stress as well."

SEE ALSO: NASA astronauts must sculpt freakishly strong arms to work in space — here`s how former space station commander Peggy Whitson trained

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NOW WATCH: Watch Scott Kelly`s awesome reaction to landing safely on Earth after his record-breaking time in space

Euwyn Poon Spin scooter CEO

  • Scooter startup Spin is said to be looking to raise money with its own cryptocurrency via a Secure Token Offering, widely seen as a safer alternative to an Initial Coin Offering.
  • Spin tokens will be backed by actual financial instruments, which in this case is Spin`s revenue.
  • The report comes a day after rival startup Bird raised 300 million from prominent Silicon Valley investors.

While scooter startups Bird and Lime are courting top Silicon Valley investors, Spin is looking to raise money in a different way: making its own cryptocurrency.

The news was first reported on Friday by TechCrunch and confirmed by Business Insider.

Spin is raising 125 million via a Secure Token Offering, although the company hasn`t officially listed its tokens for sale on an exchange yet. The company told Business Insider it may list on muliple cryptocurrency exchanges, but they are waitng for more mainstream exchanges like Coinbase to support STOs.

During an STO, a new idea that is widely seen as a safer version of an Initial Coin Offering, investors will be able to buy Spin`s tokens — a unit of cryptocurrency. Rather than getting a liquid asset, though, would-be purchasers of the Spin STO would be buying equity in Spin. The company confirmed to Business Insider that a portion of Spin`s tokens will be backed by equity in the company.

The report comes a day after rival startup Bird announced 300 million funding round from some of Silicon Valley`s preeminent venture firms, valuing the company at 2 billion. Investors see e-scooter companies as the next Uber and Lyft, and are clamoring to get in on the ground floor on the business.

To date, Spin has raised 8 million in a series A round led by Grishin Robotics. The company has launched in 18 cities and a number of college campuses. And while Bird and Lime have had testy histories with city officials — who claim the scooters descended on cities with little-to-notice — Spin has been relatively quiet after it was first issued a cease and desist letter in San Francisco.

Electric scooters work by allowing users to reserve a nearby scooter via a smartphone app, ride around on it for a small fee, and, at the end of the journey, leave the scooter anywhere to be claimed by the next rider.

Spin did not respond to request for comment from Business Insider.

SEE ALSO: Scooter startup Bird raises 400 million in 4 months and rockets to 2 billion valuation

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NOW WATCH: What having a dog does to your brain and body

BANJUL (Reuters) - Gambian President Adama Barrow reshuffled his government on Friday, moving the leader of his ruling party from the foreign ministry to the position of Vice President, according to a statement.

Ofo share bikes China

  • China has outpaced the US economically, according to a number of economic metrics.
  • A Chinese professor who has lived in both the US and China believes there is a core cultural difference leading to the country`s diverging paths.
  • He believes Chinese people are fixated on economic advancement and business, while Americans are more focused on politics and personal freedoms.
  • The difference has led Chinese people to be willing to work longer hours and spend more energy on entrepreneurial activities.

By numerous measures — and in particular gross domestic product taking into account relative prices of products — China has outpaced the US economically.

A top Chinese business professor who has spent considerable time in both countries believes that a major cultural difference between the countries may be fueling China`s economic rise, he told Business Insider.

Dr. Zhang Weining, a professor at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, grew up in China, earned his MBA at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and his PhD at the University of Texas in Dallas.

Zhang, who splits his time between the US and China, said that when he visits villages in rural China, the conversations he hears between villagers, farmers, and other people is about technology, business models, and artificial intelligence.

Meanwhile, when Zhang returns to his former homes in Kentucky or Texas, the dominant conversations both among academic circles and regular people is about the governor, the legislature, or hot button political topics of the day like gun control or abortion. The situation has only exacerbated in the Trump era.

"[Chinese people] only care about this: Who can be richer? What are the ways to get rich legally?," Zhang said. "We argue more about business models and new technology."

Zhang believes the American obsession with politics sucks up energy and time that Americans could spend working on new technologies or developing new businesses.

"When you are only arguing about politics, it does not help your life at all," Zhang said. "No one is paying you for that."

Zhang recognizes that political discussions happen in th US because so much of the culture is based around preserving personal freedom. But, he said, Chinese people are currently focused on a different kind of freedom: the freedom for economic development.

By way of example, Zhang points to the country`s 1.2 million couriers, or kuaidi, who zip around Chinese cities delivering packages, food, and just about every other convenience you can imagine. Most work 12-14 hours a day, six days a week. 

"It`s almost unimaginable in the US," said Zhang.

China superpower US politics economy technology military power status foreign policy 2

Journalists from the US often come to China and interview the couriers, many of whom are university graduates, about their labor rights. Many couriers lack the rights provided by western labor laws like overtime pay, workers` compensation benefits, or insurance in case of accidents. 

But what those journalists fail to understand, Zhang went on, is that the couriers want the work, regardless of the long hours and the danger. Couriers can make as much as 2,000 a month after taxes — enough money in China to feed a large family and save for the future.

The obsession with economic advancement isn`t limited to those in the service industry, Zhang said. It goes up the economic ladder. Middle class people in white collar jobs like tech and finance work crazy hours as well, either to chase their dreams or chase the status and respect of others, according to Zhang.

"Go visit Tencent`s offices at 2 a.m. in the morning and see how many lights are still on and how many employees are still coming out," said Zhang.  "All the young people in this country work overtime ... they think if everybody else is going to work eight hours, I`ll work 10 hours. And if everyone else is going to work 10 hours, I`ll work 12."

Take all of that energy and drive together, according to Zhang, and you have the answer as to why China is developing so much faster than the US right now.

SEE ALSO: Chinese people don`t care about privacy on the internet — here`s why, according to a top professor in China

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teens


Generation Z is the most ethnically-diverse and largest generation in American history.

And they`re the youngest — Pew Research Center defined them recently as everyone born after 1997

We usually view teens and the younger generations with a tinge of derision. And Gen Zs, with their obsession over Instagram and rejection of hourly work, are primed for the utmost scorn by their elders. 

But we`re more likely to understand what Generation Z is all about by talking to them. 

Business Insider surveyed 104 Generation Zers nationwide to find out what it`s like to be a teenager in 2018. Learn below about their opinions, fears, dreams, and complexities.

SEE ALSO: Generation Z is already moving away from Facebook, and 8 more industries could be next

DON`T MISS: Teenagers are less likely to work today than any generation before them, and some say school is to blame

SEE ALSO: The US allows teens to start working at 14 — here`s how to get a first job in every state

Who did we talk to?

Business Insider surveyed 104 teens aged 13 to 19. They came from all over the US, including North Carolina, New York, and Michigan.

Many survey respondents came from WeAreGenZ, a consultancy and think tank powered by Gen Zs nationwide.



The average teen got their first smart phone just before their 12th birthday.

Nearly 80% of teens got their first smartphone between the ages of 11 and 13.

Almost 3% of teens got their first smartphone at age 8, and 6% at 15 or older.

  • "We are the first generation to have had access to smartphones our whole lives. We communicate through social media and texts, which changes the dynamic of communication." — 19-year-old
  • "Everything in our generation is immediate. Since we have been raised in an age where texts and messages can be sent in the blink of an eye, we are less patient than other generations because we are used to having instant gratification. But our generation is also very determined to show that we are capable of real thoughts and using the technology and communication methods we have been given for making change, despite what older generations expect from us." — 15-year-old


Most teens had an iPhone.

Among survey respondents, 94% had an Apple phone.

That`s higher than what other surveys have shown, but not shockingly so. Investment bank and asset management firm Piper Jaffray found that, in their semi-annual survey of around 6,000 American teens, 84% of teens plan that their next phone will be Apple. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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Oracle

  • Oracle lost 1 off its price target from at least one investor on Friday after changes to how the company reports revenues wrecked havoc with Wall Streets estimates.
  • The new standards, known as ASC 606, impact all public companies in the US. The current quarter will be Oracle`s first earnings using the updated standards.
  • But analysts made their initial estimates based on Oracle`s old reporting standards. It was like comparing apples and oranges. 
  • Oracle`s revenue in 2018 was 457 million lower using ASC 606 standards than the company initially reported to investors using the old model.


Oracle has confused Wall Street. 

The enterprise tech giant recently restated its revenue for its most recent fiscal year and nearly a half billion seemingly vanished from the topline. 

The missing revenue is not really lost, it`s just a result of new accounting rules that Oracle implemented. But the change appears to have caused confusion on Wall Street, wreaking havoc on the analyst research models that help shape investors` expectations for Oracle`s business. 

Cowen analyst J. Derrick Wood chopped 1 off of his price target for Oracle and lowered his estimates on Friday. He expects others on Wall Street to "follow suit."

Because of new guidelines, known as ASC 606, Oracle`s restated revenue for fiscal year 2018 were lower by 457 million, around 1% down from what it reported using the old standards. Oracle`s EPS was also lower by 0.08, or 2.5%.

Oracle announced its results on June 19, but then restated its revenue on June 20 using the new 606 accounting rules.

ASC 606 primarily affects Oracle`s ability to recognize revenue for licenses over a long period of time. Oracle now has to record the revenue for on-premise software licenses all at once, during the quarter that the software was actually delivered to the customer. This is even the case if a company pays off its license in installments. 

The total amount of revenue Oracle sees doesn`t change, So while the changes impact Oracle`s run rate, they won`t have much of an impact on its overall cash flow, Wood told Business Insider. 

Evercore analyst Kirk Materne said "there were no major surprises" in the restated figures, but also tweaked his estimates downward for fiscal year 2019 to reflect the new numbers. Evercore maintained it`s target price of 53. 

The new standards can impact revenues by millions of dollars

ASC 606 went into effect for all companies in the US for the fiscal year starting after December 15, 2017. Oracle will use ASC 606 for all quarters moving forward, but it wasn`t legally required to issue these numbers during its most recent earnings.

The new standards change how companies report on-going and subscription revenues. This caused a small problem for investors, who base their revenue and earnings estimates, as well as price targets, on models that assume that things stay the same from quarter-to-quarter. 

Oracle isn`t the only company to lose or gain millions in revenue thanks to the new account standard. 

At Tesla, for example, the change added 299 million onto its sales revenue in the first quarter. It looks good, but it`s purely an accounting change — it doesn`t actually say anything about the company`s growth and in theory shouldn`t make the company any more valuable.

Oracle`s stock remained fairly stable on Friday, though it has yet to recover from a big self-off caused by sweeping changes to the way it reports out cloud revenue. The stock fell 7.5% following earnings on June 19, and remains down around 5.3% from where it opened before earnings. 

SEE ALSO: Oracle shares sink 7% as Wall Street freaks out over a surprise decision not to share specific cloud numbers

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bitcoin

  • Research firm Quinlan & Associates` call that crypto markets would tank in 2018 has been spot on.  
  •  If Quinlan continue to be right, then things will only get worse for bitcoin.


At the beginning of the year, consultancy Quinlan & Associates made a call that the bitcoin markets would tank in 2018. 

And so, far the firm`s predication has been spot on. 

Quinlan & Associates put out a report in early January titled "Fool`s Gold: Unearthing The World of Cryptocurrency" in which they outline a case for the crypto markets dropping in value to a total 223 billion in 2018. At last check, the market was down to 233 billion, according to CoinMarketCap data

5a581ce728eecc120f8b4694 480 329At the same time Quinlan made the call, other market observers were calling for bitcoin to hit 25,000 to 40,000 in 2018. 

As for bitcoin, the consultancy expects crypto to dive even lower from its current price just below 5,900 to 1,800 by December.

"`Despite fulfilling most of the characteristics of a traditional fiat currency, cryptocurrencies are largely being utilized as speculative investment assets, leading to considerable volatility in their value," said Benjamin Quinlan, chief executive and managing partner, in a statement shared with Business Insider at the time of the January report. 

Despite the bearish call on bitcoin, the firm expects the cryptocurrency market to rebound — driven by those cryptos with a clear utility — and reach 407 billion by 2020.

SEE ALSO: Big changes may be coming to Robinhood`s crypto platform, and market experts say Coinbase should be worried

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The CNN Freedom Project has collaborated with 3Strands Global Foundation, which has compiled educational materials for children of all ages, as an introduction to its full human trafficking prevention program.

Apple Maps Screenshot

  • Apple currently licenses much of the data underpinning the Apple Maps app from companies like TomTom.
  • But soon, Apple`s own homegrown database will provide all the information needed for Apple Maps.
  • Apple will start to roll out its new maps to iPhones and iPads starting later this year. 

Apple announced on Friday that it had been rebuilding Apple Maps since 2015, and that the next-generation maps will be released for beta testers in San Francisco later this summer.

The underlying map data itself, like the location of roads, businesses, and signs, will be all Apple`s for the first time ever, the company revealed to TechCrunch. This means that Apple will reduce its reliance on data providers like TomTom and OpenStreetMap, which have historically provided most of the data for Apple Maps. 

Apple has been collecting a lot of the data with its Apple Maps vans, which have been spotted on streets as far back as 2015. This is the first time that data will be used in the Maps app, according to Apple. 

The iPhone company also plans to use anonymized data from people`s phones to improve its maps. 

Apple van cameras street viewApple`s own data also has more detail than what it was using before, according to the TechCrunch report. It will include landmarks like grass, pools, parking lots, fields and pedestrian parkways. The overall design will be the same, but the maps themselves will be more detailed and useful. 

Apple Maps was released in 2012, and the software was quickly panned for being worse than Google Maps. Apple CEO Tim Cook was forced to publicly apologize for removing the Google-based Maps app that had been a default iPhone app. 

So Apple has been secretly working to improve its maps since 2014, according to TechCrunch. 9to5Mac previously reported in 2015 that the company had aimed to built its own mapping database by 2018. 

"We haven’t announced this. We haven’t told anybody about this. It’s one of those things that we’ve been able to keep pretty much a secret. Nobody really knows about it. We’re excited to get it out there. Over the next year, we’ll be rolling it out, section by section in the US,” Eddy Cue, Apple`s senior vice president for services, told TechCrunch. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What having a dog does to your brain and body

bird scooter

  • Electric scooter-sharing company Bird has raised 400 million in four months to cover the streets and sidewalks of America with scooters.
  • Plenty of people in Silicon Valley have been scratching their heads over the 2 billion valuation that Bird has gained in a year since founding.
  • We asked investors at Sequoia Capital and other VC firms why they backed Bird of all the scooter startups — and how they justify the 2 billion price tag.
  • VCs said they believe in Bird`s CEO, a former Uber exec, because he invented the scooter-sharing market and has the experience to scale the business.

 

After hearing about Bird through his connections at Uber, where Bird`s founder and CEO previously helped scale the ride-hailing giant, Jordan Nof, an investment partner at Tusk Ventures, flew to Santa Monica, California, to convince Bird to take his money.

In their offices, he remembers seeing a chart that mapped the number of people using Bird and the total number of trips taken — two lines that curved "drastically up and to the right." Since Bird rolled out the first electric scooters in Santa Monica last November, the company has added "more zeroes after those numbers," Nof said.

"Genius is the only way I would describe it," Nof said of Bird`s business model. "It has the opportunity to fundamentally change the way people get from point A to point B."

Tech investors are flocking to Bird, the scooter-sharing company that`s raised 400 million in four months. It`s been less than a year since Bird launched, and already the startup was rumored to be seeking a 2 billion valuation in the last funding round.

Bird lets people reserve a local scooter on their phone, ride for a small fee, and at the end of the journey, leave the scooter wherever to be claimed by the next rider.

The company has deployed vehicles across 11 neighborhoods and cities in California, Texas, and Washington, DC. It`s currently banned in San Francisco, along with all the other scooter sharing startups, as the city works out a permit system for the scooter companies. 

As an avalanche of venture dollars pours into Bird and its rivals, namely Lime, plenty of people in Silicon Valley are scratching their heads over the sky-high valuation.

In a blog post explaining his Bird investment on Thursday, venture capitalist Mark Suster, a partner at Upfront Ventures, said, "No company has ever elicited so many questions by friends, colleagues, entrepreneurs, fellow VCs, and journalists as has Bird."

So we asked investors at Sequoia Capital, Tusk Ventures, and Greycroft Ventures why they backed Bird of all the scooter startups — and how they justify the 2 billion price tag.

bird scooter raising

If you ain`t first, you`re last

According to investors and Bird founder and CEO Travis VanderZanden, a former executive at Uber and Lyft, Bird invented the electric scooter-sharing industry.

When Bird launched the first scooters in its hometown of Santa Monica last fall, its competitors — Spin, LimeBike, and Ofo — were still focused on bike-sharing. They added scooters to the inventory in 2018, and LimeBike later rebranded as Lime.

Dana Settle, a founding partner at Greycroft, said when evaluating companies in the same space for a possible investment, her firm always considers who had the original idea.

Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia, which led Bird`s newly announced 300 million Series C funding round, said being first places Bird one step ahead of the competition.

"If you`re the one who invented it, you`ve probably thought about the problem many layers deep," Botha said of Bird. "That`s the thing with people who copycat — they copy what the see today. But they don`t know what you`ve been thinking. They don`t know the next move that you intend. How you`ve already mapped out the next several months or the next several quarters of product innovations and nuances."

It leaves the competition "playing catch-up," he added.

Massive growth with zero spending on Facebook ads

Settle became aware of Bird when she started seeing the sleek electric scooters buzzing around Los Angeles, where she runs Greycroft`s west coast office.

"It was sort of overnight in Santa Monica," Settle said. "The adoption we saw, it was palpable."

In less than 10 months, Bird built a brand that users love. The company has seen explosive growth in app downloads and usage, according to investors, and it`s managed this success without spending a dollar on Facebook ads or billboards.

"They`ve built a brand that people are already using as a verb," Settle said.

Botha looked at several scooter companies before investing in Bird. He said Bird had the most users and the best user retention, which means "once people try it, they love it."

Botha joined the board as part of the investment deal.

Travis VanderZanden

The other Travis

Several investors agreed that Bird could be the next Uber or Lyft because of "the magnitude of the market opportunity and the magnitude of the problem."

Bird provides what`s called a "last-mile" solution. Customer might use cars or public transportation to get most of the way to their destination, then hitch a scooter for the last mile — a part of the journey that`s notoriously difficult to reach or slow from traffic.

Anyone who walks is a potential customer. And as more people move into cities, which they are, it`s important they be able to get around quickly and easily to reduce congestion, cut down on car usage, and improve mobility for all.

"Something that you think about whenever you`re writing investment memos is how big is the market. ... It`s like, are they going to replace walking? That`s ridiculous. Now it`s like, no, that`s not ridiculous," said Nof, whose firm Tusk invested in the Series A.

Investors said a big reason why they invested is because of Bird`s founder.

Beyond being the other high-ranking executive named Travis at Uber, VanderZanden also held the distinction of having worked at both Uber and Lyft. At Uber, he led the company`s international growth before being tasked with growing the pool of drivers.

Nearly two dozen employees flew the coop from Uber or Lyft to join Bird, according to their accounts on LinkedIn. (Bird looks to be launching in Las Vegas next, as the company just hired a former brand ambassador for Uber who`s based in the city.)

Investors said these Uber and Lyft defectors will learn from the mistakes of the ride-hailing industry and apply best practices to make Bird the leader in scooter-sharing.

But is Bird really worth 2 billion?

The biggest criticism leveled against Bird is that it`s overvalued and overhyped.

Bird said in a state regulatory filing that it was raising new funding that could value the company at 2 billion, Axios reported. Investors would not confirm the valuation.

It`s a hefty price tag for a company that currently operates in mostly coastal cities where the weather allows for riding scooters year-round and the locals wear t-shirts and hoodies to work. As Bird scales to new areas, men in suits and women in business attire might not want to take a scooter to a business meeting or even to dinner with friends.

Investors told Business Insider that only people who have seen Bird`s growth numbers can understand the rare opportunity at hand — and that valuation.

"Do you remember how silly that Instagram acquisition was? Oh, God. Facebook totally overpaid for that, didn`t they?" Botha said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

"Do you remember YouTube, when everybody laughed at Google for paying 1.6 billion for the company? `Gee, how silly.` Or when eBay paid 1.5 billion for PayPal, which is now worth 100 billion. It`s human nature — saying that something that wasn`t there yesterday is now something — for people to question it," Botha said.

"People who say that don`t have the facts," he said.

SEE ALSO: This CEO says his hot startup is working on a fix for the most annoying thing about the San Francisco scooter craze

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Fortnite missile rocket launch

  • After leaving hints and Easter eggs alluding to a missile launch in the game, the "Fortnite: Battle Royale" creators at Epic Games have confirmed that something will be taking place Saturday at exactly 1:30 p.m. EST.
  • The in-game event will only happen once, according to Epic, meaning fans will need to be in the middle of a match when the event happens in order to see it.
  • The mysterious announcement is likely referring to the launch of a missile, which many fans theorize will change the game forever. 

"Fortnite: Battle Royale" creators have confirmed that something big is going to take place on the island on Saturday, June 30 at 1:30 p.m. EST, probably having to do with the huge missile embedded into the side of the mountain just northeast of Snobby Shores, which many fans theorize will change the game forever.

On Friday, an in-game message confirmed fan theories about a one-time-only event taking place in the game, and that players will have to be logged in at the scheduled time to see it happen. 

This means that players who log on even moments after the event probably wouldn`t be able to see it happen.

This will be the first time Epic Games will incorporate a real-time game event that couldn`t be seen by players after its initial introduction. For comparison, as Patricia Hernandez of The Verge points out, the meteor shower that marked the end of Season 3 began days before the actual season ended and could be seen for weeks afterward, allowing many more fans to experience the cosmic event first-hand.

Ahead of the announcement, developers added several in-game hints and Easter eggs that have been hinting toward the launch. Naturally, players and fan-blogs were eager to piece together the clues.

The first hint was found inside the villain`s lair. A hologram had appeared suddenly, above what looked like a control panel. 

hologram

A few days later, a countdown started displaying on many of the TVs across the island, revealing that something was going to happen Saturday at exactly 1:30 p.m. EST. Here`s one fan`s recording of his countdown sighting:

Fortnite countdown ACTIVE on PS4!!#Fortnite pic.twitter.com/Twl2iZW0YW

— Jeremy (@Jeremyodieyo) June 27, 2018

Since then, an alarm has started blaring near the lair, seemingly confirming that a launch is imminent. Here`s a video posted by a fan blog that captured the sound:

A new mysterious siren sound can be heard in-game. Has the countdown started? 🚀

(Source: https://t.co/zfCRDiiS33) #Fortnite pic.twitter.com/RgBCNdeV3S

— LootLake.net | Everything Fortnite Battle Royale (@LootLakeBR) June 27, 2018

The same way that an incoming meteor marked the end of Season 3 and big changes coming to the map, the missile has lots of people worried that the launch — and impact — could alter a substantial area of the map for the conclusion of Season 4.

Others have theorized — based on datamining and other leaks — that the missile might soon be controlled by actual players. The theory (first introduced by known dataminers @TwoEpicBuddies on Twitter) goes: One player per round would be able to launch the missile, and blow a section of the map to smitherines, effectively taking out all the players in that section. In a game like "Fortnite," where it`s literally every player for themselves, this would be a massive advantage for the player or team of players who were able to launch the missile. 

Whatever the fate of the missile, hundreds of players will no doubt record the one-time launch for those of us who aren`t online at the right time.

SEE ALSO: "Fortnite" is free, but hardcore fans are paying hundreds of dollars for rare physical copies of the game

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NOW WATCH: Why Apple is having so many problems right now

GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians, one of them a 14-year-old boy, and wounded 415 others with live fire and tear gas during protests along the Gaza border on Friday, Gaza health officials said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stressed to China the importance of continued enforcement of sanctions on North Korea to press it to give up its nuclear weapons, after warning of signs of backsliding by Beijing.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders on Friday claimed success in reaching a hard-fought agreement to control immigration but it faced instant criticism as vague, hard to implement and a potential threat to human rights.
BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) - A ceasefire has been agreed for southern Syria between the government and rebels, a Jordanian official source said on Friday, amid fears of a gathering humanitarian catastrophe in a region sensitive to neighbors Jordan and Israel.

broken mac computer smashed screen monitor security hacking

Comcast has gone down for some customers, the company has confirmed.

On Friday, Comcast customers across the US reported technical issues with their service. 

In a statement given to CNBC, a company spokesperson said: "We are aware of a nationwide outage affecting some of our internet, video and voice customers and are working to get services restored as soon as possible."

This reporter`s internet is partially affected, with some websites failing to load but others functioning normally.

This story is developing...

SEE ALSO: Larry Page has a reputation for pushing people at Google. Here’s how he pushed a young Sundar Pichai to make Google Chrome the top web browser in the world

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why Siri sucks

Insta style 3

If you`re really trying to set the mood for that perfect Instagram story, it might have just become easier. 

On Thursday, Instagram launched a feature that lets users add clips of songs to their stories.

Instead of playing the songs through their speakers while recording a video, users can include up to 15 seconds of a song in their video and photo posts to their stories. 

There`s a few genres and moods to choose from, and a search feature for anything that`s not included on the front page. Instagram says there`s "thousands" of songs included, but the list isn`t as extensive as what can be found on apps like Apple Music and Spotify. 

Here`s how to jump on Instagram`s latest trend and add music to your stories:

Step 1: Tap on the smiley-face icon in the top right of the screen after you take a photo for the story. This will open up the page of stickers you can add to the story.

Click on "Music" in the second row. 



Step 2: Now you`ll be able to scroll through the various genres and moods, or search for music on your own.





See the rest of the story at Business Insider

spacex falcon 9 rocket dragon launch predawn noctilucent clouds exhaust trail sky crs 15 mission june 29 2018 reuters RTS1UFKG

  • SpaceX launched a Dragon ship to the International Space Station just before dawn on Friday.
  • The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket created a miles-high pillar of exhaust stretching toward space.
  • One witness called the smoke trail a "Dragon`s Tail."
  • If the timing is right, rocket launch plumes can bounce high-altitude sunlight toward dark, pre-dawn locations.

Most rocket launches happen in early daylight, when the weather most often cooperates — and nervous engineers can keep a clear eye on their precious space vehicles.

But for those lucky enough to witness a dark, pre-dawn launch, an incredible sight sometimes awaits. Such was the case Friday morning, when SpaceX fired a Falcon 9 rocket from a launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and toward the International Space Station.

The SpaceX mission, called CRS-15 — NASA`s designation for Commercial Resupply Service — sent a Dragon spaceship with nearly 6,000 lbs of supplies (including a floating robotic head) to the space station`s crew. The launch of SpaceX`s 23-story rocket was stunning, but a phenomenon that the mission left in its wake was even more spectacular.

Taylor Harris, a YouTube artist invited by NASA to watch the launch from a few miles away, described the launch plume as a "Dragon Tail."

"I`m glad I got the opportunity to see the Dragon`s Tail in person," Harris tweeted about 45 minutes after the launch at 5:42 a.m. EDT.

Robert Richards, a space entrepreneur and Google Lunar XPRIZE competitor who saw the launch from a different location, aptly called it a beautiful "rocket rise" on Twitter.

How a `Dragon`s Tail` works

spacex falcon 9 rocket launch nrol 76 usaf 34006001860_8c45f28e69_o

When rockets launch, they leave behind a trail of hot exhaust, also called a plume. The appearance of the plume depends on the fuel, in SpaceX`s case it`s RP-1 — a high-grade kerosene — burned by liquid oxygen.

Falcon 9 rockets can send payloads more than 250 miles above Earth, beyond the edge of space and where the space station orbits our planet.

At first, a rocket leaves behind a relatively thin plume. But as it climbs higher and higher toward space, the air pressure gets lower and lower. About a dozen miles up, the air pressure is less than 1% of that at Earth`s surface, causing hot launch plumes to dramatically expand.

If atmospheric conditions are right, these billowing plumes can make water condense out of the air, which then freezes into tiny ice crystals. And if the timing is right, these crystals can reflect the sun`s light from far over the horizon like a mirror, beaming it down to a dark, pre-dawn location (at least until high-altitude winds blow around the plume and ice).

The phenomenon is known to scientists as noctilucent or "night-shining" clouds, which form naturally and most frequently over the Arctic and Antarctic.

SEE ALSO: This veteran NASA astronaut has tried SpaceX and Boeing`s new spaceships — here`s what she thinks

DON`T MISS: SpaceX rocket launches are getting boring — and that`s an incredible success story for Elon Musk

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch SpaceX launch a Tesla Roadster to Mars on the Falcon Heavy rocket — and why it matters

cimon floating robotic head international space station iss airbus ibm

  • SpaceX launched a Dragon cargo ship toward the International Space Station on Friday.
  • In addition to supplies, the spaceship will deliver an artificially intelligent robotic head to astronauts.
  • The 11-pound robot is called Crew Interactive Mobile Companion (CIMON).
  • CIMON can fly around and will use IBM Watson software to talk with an animated face and interact with astronauts.

SpaceX launched a spaceship with nearly 6,000 lbs of cargo to the International Space Station before dawn on Friday.

The Dragon ship is slated to reach the ISS on Monday and is mostly filled with science experiments, food, water, and other supplies. But the mission contains a few extra goodies for astronauts, including a flying, talking, interactive robotic head.

The orb-shaped device is called the Crew Interactive Mobile Companion, or CIMON, and weighs about 11 pounds. It will use microphones and cameras to record astronauts and has an expressive digital face.

"CIMON will be the first [artificial intelligence]-based mission and flight assistance system," Manfred Jaumann, a payload engineer at Airbus (which helped build the robot), said in a press release. He added that CIMON will be a "a free flyer, a kind of flying brain" that will interact with, aid, and learn from astronauts.

spacex falcon 9 rocket dragon launch predawn noctilucent clouds exhaust trail sky crs 15 mission june 29 2018 reuters RTS1UFKGThough CIMON is a far cry from the HAL 9000 supercomputer in the classic sci-fi book and movie "2001: A Space Odyssey," its capabilities are nonetheless impressive.

The machine`s "brain" is powered by a version of IBM Watson — the software that famously defeated "Jeopardy!" champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in 2011 to win 1 million.

The CIMON project aims explore how astronauts get along with artificially intelligent beings for extended periods of time, according to NASA`s pre-flight briefing materials.

Training a floating head to be a friend

CIMON was created primarily by the German Aerospace Center, in collaboration with IBM, the European Space Agency, and other partners.

At first, the robot`s only friend will be German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who launched to the space station on June 6. CIMON`s team trained the robot to recognize Gerst`s voice via microphones and his face using cameras. In orbit, the machine will follow Gerst around like a puppy, using an air-propulsion system.

alexander gerst german astronaut spacesuit nasa esa

The robot has a stand-alone version of Watson AI in its memory banks. That means CIMON can interpret data, respond to commands, solve problems, and generally be a useful little robot without any internet connection — a tricky problem in space.

Gerst will unbox CIMON sometime after Monday and use the flying robot through October. During that time, it will help Gerst solve basic problems and check off tasks like a digital assistant.

CIMON has three big missions to do, according to Airbus. One is to guide Gerst through a crystal-growth experiment. The second is for CIMON to look at a Rubik`s cube through its camera and give Gerst instructions for how to solve it. The final task is to record and assist Gerst while he performs a complex medical experiment.

"Experiments sometimes consist of more than 100 different steps," Matthias Biniok, the lead Watson architect in Germany, wrote in an IBM blog post. He said "CIMON knows them all" — so astronauts shouldn`t have to worry as much about missing a step.

In addition to helping with experiments, CIMON is equipped with sensors that can alert astronauts to dangerous conditions when they`re not near a computer console.

"It can also serve as an early warning system for technical problems," Airbus said.

A model for artificially intelligent astronaut assistants?

cimon international space station alexander gerst ibm watson.JPG

CIMON will use a neural network to interact with and learn from Gerst, at least at first.

Ultimately, CIMON will monitor space station astronauts to help assess their emotional states and psychological "group effects," Biniok said.

The data gathered could inform the programming of future robotic assistants, which could in turn aid astronauts and ease the tedium of long journeys to the moon or Mars.

"Social interaction between people and machines, between astronauts and assistance systems equipped with emotional intelligence, could play an important role in the success of long-term missions," Airbus said.

Ultimately, CIMON`s technology may even find its way back to the ground.

"We predict that assistance systems of this kind also have a bright future right here on Earth, such as in hospitals or to support nursing care," Biniok said.

In case you were wondering how close we`re getting to "2001: A Space Odyssey," no astronauts named "Dave" are scheduled to fly to the space station anytime soon, according to NASA.

SEE ALSO: I watched SpaceX`s Falcon Heavy rocket thunder into space for the first time — here`s what it was like on the ground

DON`T MISS: Elon Musk: SpaceX will launch more rockets than any nation on Earth this year

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Tour the International Space Station in under 3 minutes

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Shackled in a lightless attic, Ricardo Coquet drew strength from the sound of cheers coming from soccer fans at the 1978 World Cup, held just blocks from the detention center where he was imprisoned by the country`s military dictatorship.
YANGON/COX`S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) - Rohingya refugees returning to Myanmar will have no explicit guarantees of citizenship or freedom of movement throughout the country, under a secret agreement between the government and the United Nations seen by Reuters.

Josh James

  • Utah-based Domo started trading on the Nasdaq on Friday.
  • Despite the many red flags surrounding this company, its IPO is going well so far, with the stock popping 20% in the first few hours of trading.
  • But the company`s regulatory filings were so loaded with red flags that the CEO of watchdog investor research firm New Constructs warned: "Investors should stay away from this IPO."


Utah-based Domo started trading on NASDAQ on Friday, even as it earned distinction as one of the most eyebrow-raising IPOs so far of the year.

The IPO is going well so far. Domo priced at 21/share, at the middle of its expected range of 19 to 22. And the shares are up about 19% to 25 at the time of writing.

But the company`s regulatory filings were so loaded with red flags that David Trainer, CEO of watchdog investor research firm New Constructs published a blog on Thursday, after Domo`s initial stock price was announced, writing, "investors should stay away from this IPO."

New Constructs uses AI to sift through company filings to find the red flags companies bury in their footnotes. Trainer himself is a former member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and its Investors Technical Advisory Committee.

His blog explained why Domo earned New Constructs` "Very Unattractive" rating.

The company offers a service that takes data from lots of sources and turns it into charts and graphs. It has a lot of competition from companies including Tableau and Microsoft.

The first red flag to Trainer`s mind is that Domo is burning through cash on its enormous sales and marketing engine that doesn`t seem to be that effective. Domo pent 132 million on sales and marketing in 2017, or 121% of its revenue. That`s about double what other recent tech IPO companies have spent on sales — and yet Domo has only produced modest revenue growth compared to other companies.

Another red flag to Trainer is that Domo has maxed out its available credit, as Business Insider has previously reported.

Meanwhile, Domo`s valuation has plummeted. It raised about 690 million since it was founded in 2010 at a valuation of about 2.2 billion, plus another 100 million or so in debt financing. However, this IPO values it around 600 million, a fraction of its earlier valuation. 

Domo opening bellMore worrisome to Trainer is that "CEO Josh James has revealed a troubling lack of judgment in the past" in regard to "a significant amount of self-dealing, such as leasing a jet and hiring catering and furnishing services from companies owned by James and his siblings," he writes.

While the company said in a later filing that it terminated those relationships, Trainer points out another issue: Domo is using specific language to sell shares to friends and family that are not subject to the typical 90-180 day lock up period; they can be immediately sold, Trainer says.

On top of all that, Domo is using a dual-class structure to give James 86% of voting power on the 15% of the shares that he owns. Such structures have become increasingly popular with tech company founders in recent years. 

It all adds up to some troubling indicators for this company and its new investors, Trainer believes.

"Domo has the unenviable distinction of earning the lowest return on invested capital (ROIC) of any of the 2,800+ companies we cover. With an ROIC of -344%, it lost over three dollars for every dollar invested in its business in 2017," Trainer writes.

As to the pop of the price on Day 1, Trainer is unmoved. "A pop in the price of Domo would only make it more expensive and riskier," he wrote.

SEE ALSO: Domo filed for an IPO — and warned it will need to `significantly reduce operating expenses` if it doesn`t raise money by August

SEE ALSO: Google warns employees: Be nicer to each other, or face disciplinary action

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Learning to celebrate failure at a young age led to this billionaire`s success

Apple`s Siri is apparently the market leader for mobile voice assistants, beating out popular players like Google`s Assistant.

This may come as a surprise to some, since Android has a much larger share of the market and Siri is often considered inferior in terms of user experience and capabilities. But Google has been struggling to build awareness about its smart assistant (Google Assistant is on 400 million Android devices as of 2017, according to Voicebot.ai) and as this chart from Statista shows, Siri`s first-to-market strategy has made it tough for others to catch up.

Also interesting here is Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana`s high rankings, considering neither one is automatically integrated into a smartphone. Alexa`s particularly impressive 10% share accounts for the people who use the voice assistant through the Alexa app in order to access their Echo smart speakers — a capability that wasn`t even possible until 2017. Cortana, meanwhile, can now only be bought in the Google Play Store. 

Chart of the day

SEE ALSO: Fortnite made 318 million in May — almost 100 million more than any free-to-play game has made in a month

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why Siri sucks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spoken with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-Wha to discuss the next steps on engaging with North Korea after the Singapore summit earlier this month, the State Department said in a statement.
MADRID (Reuters) - Spain`s government will move jailed Catalan separatist leaders to prisons in their home region, as it pursues efforts to take the heat out of a bitter political face-off that has destabilized the country.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia`s communications watchdog said it might strip the France 24 TV channel of its Russian operating license, a day after French authorities accused Russian broadcaster RT of airing distortions about Syria, Russian news agencies reported.

bird scooter

  • Electric scooter-sharing company Bird has raised 400 million in four months to cover the streets and sidewalks of America with scooters.
  • Plenty of people in Silicon Valley have been scratching their heads over the 2 billion valuation that Bird has gained in a year since founding.
  • We asked investors at Sequoia Capital and other VC firms why they backed Bird of all the scooter startups — and how they justify the 2 billion price tag.
  • VCs said they believe in Bird`s CEO, a former Uber exec, because he invented the scooter-sharing market and has the experience to scale the business.

 

After hearing about Bird through his connections at Uber, where Bird`s founder and CEO previously helped scale the ride-hailing giant, Jordan Nof, an investment partner at Tusk Ventures, flew to Santa Monica, California, to convince Bird to take his money.

In their offices, he remembers seeing a chart that mapped the number of people using Bird and the total number of trips taken — two lines that curved "drastically up and to the right." Since Bird rolled out the first electric scooters in Santa Monica last November, the company has added "more zeroes after those numbers," Nof said.

"Genius is the only way I would describe it," Nof said of Bird`s business model. "It has the opportunity to fundamentally change the way people get from point A to point B."

Tech investors are flocking to Bird, the scooter-sharing company that`s raised 400 million in four months. It`s been less than a year since Bird launched, and already the startup was rumored to be seeking a 2 billion valuation in the last funding round.

Bird lets people reserve a local scooter on their phone, ride for a small fee, and at the end of the journey, leave the scooter wherever to be claimed by the next rider.

The company has deployed vehicles across 11 neighborhoods and cities in California, Texas, and Washington, DC. It`s currently banned in San Francisco, along with all the other scooter sharing startups, as the city works out a permit system for the scooter companies. 

As an avalanche of venture dollars pours into Bird and its rivals, namely Lime, plenty of people in Silicon Valley are scratching their heads over the sky-high valuation.

In a blog post explaining his Bird investment on Thursday, venture capitalist Mark Suster, a partner at Upfront Ventures, said, "No company has ever elicited so many questions by friends, colleagues, entrepreneurs, fellow VCs, and journalists as has Bird."

So we asked investors at Sequoia Capital, Tusk Ventures, and Greycroft Ventures why they backed Bird of all the scooter startups — and how they justify the 2 billion price tag.

bird scooter raising

If you ain`t first, you`re last

According to investors and Bird founder and CEO Travis VanderZanden, a former executive at Uber and Lyft, Bird invented the electric scooter-sharing industry.

When Bird launched the first scooters in its hometown of Santa Monica last fall, its competitors — Spin, LimeBike, and Ofo — were still focused on bike-sharing. They added scooters to the inventory in 2018, and LimeBike later rebranded as Lime.

Dana Settle, a founding partner at Greycroft, said when evaluating companies in the same space for a possible investment, her firm always considers who had the original idea.

Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia, which led Bird`s newly announced 300 million Series C funding round, said being first places Bird one step ahead of the competition.

"If you`re the one who invented it, you`ve probably thought about the problem many layers deep," Botha said of Bird. "That`s the thing with people who copycat — they copy what the see today. But they don`t know what you`ve been thinking. They don`t know the next move that you intend. How you`ve already mapped out the next several months or the next several quarters of product innovations and nuances."

It leaves the competition "playing catch-up," he added.

Massive growth with zero spending on Facebook ads

Settle became aware of Bird when she started seeing the sleek electric scooters buzzing around Los Angeles, where she runs Greycroft`s west coast office.

"It was sort of overnight in Santa Monica," Settle said. "The adoption we saw, it was palpable."

In less than 10 months, Bird built a brand that users love. The company has seen explosive growth in app downloads and usage, according to investors, and it`s managed this success without spending a dollar on Facebook ads or billboards.

"They`ve built a brand that people are already using as a verb," Settle said.

Botha looked at several scooter companies before investing in Bird. He said Bird had the most users and the best user retention, which means "once people try it, they love it."

Travis VanderZanden

The other Travis

Several investors agreed that Bird could be the next Uber or Lyft because of "the magnitude of the market opportunity and the magnitude of the problem."

Bird provides what`s called a "last-mile" solution. Customer might use cars or public transportation to get most of the way to their destination, then hitch a scooter for the last mile — a part of the journey that`s notoriously difficult to reach or slow from traffic.

Anyone who walks is a potential customer. And as more people move into cities, which they are, it`s important they be able to get around quickly and easily to reduce congestion, cut down on car usage, and improve mobility for all.

"Something that you think about whenever you`re writing investment memos is how big is the market. ... It`s like, are they going to replace walking? That`s ridiculous. Now it`s like, no, that`s not ridiculous," said Nof, whose firm Tusk invested in the Series A.

Investors said a big reason why they invested is because of Bird`s founder.

Beyond being the other high-ranking executive named Travis at Uber, VanderZanden also held the distinction of having worked at both Uber and Lyft. At Uber, he led the company`s international growth before being tasked with growing the pool of drivers.

Nearly two dozen employees flew the coop from Uber or Lyft to join Bird, according to their accounts on LinkedIn. (Bird looks to be launching in Las Vegas next, as the company just hired a former brand ambassador for Uber who`s based in the city.)

Investors said these Uber and Lyft defectors will learn from the mistakes of the ride-hailing industry and apply best practices to make Bird the leader in scooter-sharing.

But is Bird really worth 2 billion?

The biggest criticism leveled against Bird is that it`s overvalued and overhyped.

Bird said in a state regulatory filing that it was raising new funding that could value the company at 2 billion, Axios reported. Investors would not confirm the valuation.

It`s a hefty price tag for a company that currently operates in mostly coastal cities where the weather allows for riding scooters year-round and the locals wear t-shirts and hoodies to work. As Bird scales to new areas, men in suits and women in business attire might not want to take a scooter to a business meeting or even to dinner with friends.

Investors told Business Insider that only people who have seen Bird`s growth numbers can understand the rare opportunity at hand — and that valuation.

"Do you remember how silly that Instagram acquisition was? Oh, God. Facebook totally overpaid for that, didn`t they?" Botha said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

"Do you remember YouTube, when everybody laughed at Google for paying 1.6 billion for the company? `Gee, how silly.` Or when eBay paid 1.5 billion for PayPal, which is now worth 100 billion. It`s human nature — saying that something that wasn`t there yesterday is now something — for people to question it," Botha said.

"People who say that don`t have the facts," he said.

SEE ALSO: This CEO says his hot startup is working on a fix for the most annoying thing about the San Francisco scooter craze

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This electric bike is disguised as a car

Nike store

  • Nike`s chairman and CEO, Mark Parker, and its CFO, Andy Campion, together said the words "digital" or "digitally" 69 times during a conference call announcing the company`s most recent quarterly results on Thursday. 
  • That frequency is up substantially from the third quarter`s call, when executives mentioned digital 42 times, and the second quarter, when they mentioned it 36 times.
  • Digital sales rose by 41% in the most recent quarter as Nike continues to invest in new digital initiatives.

For Nike, the future is digital.

In fact, it`s all the company`s executives can talk about. Chairman and CEO Mark Parker and CFO Andy Campion together said the words "digital" or "digitally" 69 times during a conference call announcing the company`s most recent quarterly results on Thursday.

That frequency is up substantially from the third quarter`s call, when executives mentioned digital 42 times, and the second quarter, when they mentioned it 36 times.

Parker, Campion, and the rest of the Nike team have good reason to be excited about digital. It`s one of the brightest spots in Nike`s business right now. Nike`s online sales were up 41% for the fourth quarter, boosting the company to a 13% sales increase overall.

"We saw acceleration in digital that quite frankly exceeded even our own expectations," Campion said on the call.

This acceleration comes as Nike continues to evolve its business to sell directly to its customers, including through its online stores, which accounted for 90% of the quarter`s sales growth.

Nike has thrown its considerable weight behind digital as it strives to keep growing.

"Our digital offense is transforming Nike from how we connect with consumers to how we deliver products," Parker said on the call. "This is a major shift from operating models of the past to a new digitally powered model of the future."

Parker said that Nike is continuing to invent new ways to combine digital and retail, and that it will "fundamentally" shift the entire company. What`s driving it is Nike`s membership programs, like Nike Plus, which gathers data on customer buying patterns and preferences.

"Digital is allowing us to realize our vision for smart retail, to remove friction and personalize experiences through the intersection of digital and physical environments," Parker said. 

As an example, he said that Nike is planning a new retail store called Nike Live, which is a "small-format, data-driven store with an assortment influenced by what consumers are buying from surrounding zip codes."

SEE ALSO: Amazon`s plan to take over physical retail is finally becoming more clear

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How Nike`s dad shoes became an iconic sneaker

Germany suffered a surprising loss against South Korea.
Credit: Getty Images

Celebrating Germany’s exit from the World Cup, Mohammad Zaher, a 25-year-old Lebanese man was killed on Wednesday night in Beirut.

Zaher was pronounced dead after being heavily knifed by a 17-year old Germany fan that was provoked by Zaher’s support for Brazil.

Photo courtesy of Bilal Nassour

The killer was identified as Hussein Khodr . He was detained by the Lebanese authorities which have reported to Al-Mudun, a Lebanese news outlet, that Khodr will be tried at juvenile court as he is still  a minor.

As a supporter of the Brasilian team, Zaher was igniting fireworks following Germany’s loss to South Korea. Khodr approached Zaher to end to his celebration while Khodr’s elder brother was trying to protect him. However, the knife that Khodr later used to attack Zaher was reported by Al-Mudun to have caused Zaher internal bleeding which had led to his death.

The tragedy of Zaher’s death and the irrational reaction that Khodr triggered has unsettled Lebanese citizens that have expressed their anger on social media.

 

 

job interview woman talk boss

• Finding questions to ask your interviewer is a crucial part of preparing for any job interview.

• Asking questions is a simple way to show that you`re truly interested in the role and the company.

• Business Insider compiled a number of smart questions that are sure to impress your next interviewer.



Thinking up questions to ask during job interviews is key.

Remember, every interview is a two-way street. You should be interviewing the employer just as much as they`re interviewing you. You both need to walk away convinced that the job would be a great fit.

So when the tables are turned and the interviewer asks, "Do you have any questions for me?" take advantage of this opportunity. It`s the best way to determine if you`d be happy working for this employer, and whether your goals are aligned with theirs.

Plus, asking questions is a simple way to convey your enthusiasm for the role and the organization that you`re looking to join.

But sometimes it`s tricky to think up questions to ask on the spot. So you should do your research, and come prepared with some questions to put your your interview.

Luckily, there are plenty of smart ones to pick from.

Here are a number of questions you should consider asking during your next job interview:

SEE ALSO: 31 smart answers to really tough interview questions

DON`T MISS: The 27 jobs that are most damaging to your health

SEE ALSO: 16 interview questions that are designed to trick you

`Have I answered all your questions?`

Before you begin asking your questions, find out if there`s anything they`d like you to elaborate on. You can do this by saying something like: "Yes, I do have a few questions for you — but before I get into those, I am wondering if I`ve sufficiently answered all of your questions. Would you like me to explain anything further or give any examples?"

Not only will they appreciate the offer, but it may be a good chance for you to gauge how well you`re doing, says Bill York, an executive recruiter with over 30 years of experience and the founder of the executive search firm Tudor Lewis.

If they say, "No, you answered all of my questions very well," then this may tell you you`re in good shape. If they respond with, "Actually, could you tell me more about X?" or "Would you be able to clarify what you meant when you said Y?" this is your chance for a redo.



`Who do you think would be the ideal candidate for this position, and how do I compare?`

Amy Hoover, SVP of Talent Zoo, recommends this question because it`s a quick way to figure out whether your skills align with what the company is currently looking for. If they don`t match up, then you know to walk away instead of wasting time pursuing the wrong position for yourself, she said. 



`Who would I be reporting to?`

It`s important to ask about the pecking order of a company in case you have several bosses, Vicky Oliver wrote in her book, "301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions."

If you`re going to be working for several people, you need to know "the lay of the internal land," she says, or if you`re going to be over several people, then you probably want to get to know them before accepting the position.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Lab Tech

  • Scoring a well-paid job is the goal for most college students.
  • But not everyone wants to fill the obvious roles that we hear about growing up, like doctor, laywer, or engineer.
  • Here are 29 unusual jobs that you might not know exist — and some of them pay six-figures or higher

For many students, a college degree puts you on the direct path to a certain career, such as a doctor, teacher, or journalist. 

But for many others, the future isn`t as clear-cut.

Maybe you want to go to med school, but don`t necessarily want to be a doctor. Maybe you love maps, but aren`t sure how to incorporate that passion into a career. Or perhaps you just haven`t found anything that sounds appealing yet. 

Luckily, there are tons of great career options out there that many college kids have no idea even exist. In these two helpful threads, Reddit users shared some of these under-the-radar occupations that most students probably haven`t heard of. And they pay fairly well, too.

Here are 29 of our favorites, including descriptions and salary data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics or PayScale, for those who need some inspiration finding their dream job.

SEE ALSO: The 9 most popular jobs for college grads, according to LinkedIn

DON`T MISS: 41 jobs to avoid if you hate stress

Air traffic controller

Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of aircraft to maintain safe distances between them.

Median salary: 124,540

"After school and training it pays an average of 100k a year, but there is an age limit to get accepted." — Kate1320

"My father is an ATC at Pearson. 200k a year with brilliant benefits. He provided a great quality of life for my family." — 1stOnRT1



Court reporter

Court reporters create word-for-word transcriptions at trials, depositions, and other legal proceedings.

Median salary: 55,120

"It`s a three-year program (on average — took me four to finish), but if you`re proficient in grammar, have strong language skills, have solid finger dexterity from playing an instrument or video games, and are able to work independently, it`s an incredible career.

"You work from home most of the time, lawyers very rarely schedule depositions before 10:00 am, you can make your own schedule, and the pay is great. Your pay reflects how hard you want to work and the jobs you`re getting, but I made 65k my first year and nearly 80k my second." — Bad_Karma21



Dental hygienist

Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventive dental care.

Median salary: 74,070

"I`m starting dental hygiene school in the fall and I would have never looked into it while in college. It`s only after I graduated and realized that I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do that I started seriously doing some research.

"Most dental hygiene programs only require a certain amount of prerequisite courses and a standardized test score for admission. Most are also bachelors degree programs as well, so mom and dad are pleased and you`re spending the minimal amount of time you would earning a traditional university/college degree.

"Plus, salary starts at 50-60k a year with ridiculous benefits, at least in my area. Dentists treat their hygienists well!" — WinnifredBurkle

 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Larry Page

  • Larry Page is known for being an ambitious goal-setter — he pushed this mindset on executives throughout his time at Google.
  • Before becoming CEO, he was the president of the products team working closely with then-VP of products management Sundar Pichai, who was overseeing the launch of the Chrome browser. 
  • Pichai himself had set very ambitious goals for the launch, having learned the importance of "stretch" goals at the company, but Page stepped in to push the "aggressive goal" even further. 
  • The team reached their goal with weeks to spare. 

In 2008, current Google CEO Sundar Pichai was overseeing the launch of Chrome as part of his role as the vice president of products management, where he worked closely with then-president of products Larry Page. 

When Chrome launched, Pichai set a fairly ambitious goal to hit 20 million weekly active users within the year.

"Candidly, I thought there was no way we would get there," he recalls in John Doerr`s "Measure What Matters." 

The idea was to push the products team to its limits with "stretch" key metrics in order to reach the main goal: to create "the next-generation" web browser that could house third-party web applications.

Pichai was right. The people who used Chrome loved it, but a hiccup led to a missed milestone, and Pichai proceeded to set a second ambitious goal of 50 million users for 2009; this time, the team missed the goal by about 12 million. When Pichai set the next year`s goal at 100 million — doubling up, having put in place safeguards like advertising, faster code, and distribution deals — Larry Page stepped in to say it wasn`t enough. 

"My target, he pointed out, touched only 10% of the world`s one billion internet users at the time," said Pichai. "I countered that 100 million was in fact aggressive."

This was a classic Larry Page mindset, according to various excerpts and accounts from colleagues.

Page was famous for using sayings like "always work hard on something uncomfortably exciting," and encouraging Google employees to "have a healthy disregard for the impossible." He pushed this thinking on Pichai when it came time to popularize Chrome, and the two settled on 111 million users by the end of 2010. 

The more-than-aggressive goal pushed the pair to think about what they could do differently. Google heightened awareness about Chrome via marketing tactics, increased distribution deals, and launched Chrome on Apple`s OS X platform and on Linux. By the second half of the year the outcome still looked uncertain, but a few weeks into Q4, the products team reached their 111-million user mark. 

In the goal-setting process made famous by Google and used by various other companies, the bar for what`s considered success at Google is considered relatively low, because the overall bar is set so high. In fact, consistently achieving goals at a 100% success means you aren`t trying hard enough — a reflection of the work ethic Page left behind. 

"If you set a crazy, ambitious goal and miss it," Page said, "you`ll still achieve something remarkable." 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What people get wrong about superfoods

Featured in Ripley`s Believe It or Not!

cassadaga florida

Cassadaga

Stepping into the quiet town of Cassadaga, FL feels both peaceful and alarming. Amidst the unusual architecture and ominous Spanish moss dangling from the treetops, it feels like a trip back in time. Even stranger, the residents of Cassadaga can communicate with the dearly departed.

Camp Cassadaga, as it was once known, is populated by mediums. They claim to use different senses, or “clairs,” to communicate with spirits. The mediums use hearing (clairaudience), seeing (clairvoyance), knowing (claircognizance) and feeling (clairsentience) to channel messages from spirits—bridging the spiritual and physical world.

Est. 1894

The Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp comes from very mysterious beginnings. In the late 1800s 27-year-old medium George P. Colby was instructed by his spirit guide, a Native American named Seneca, to bring Spiritualism to Florida. Seneca instructed Colby to search for an area with “rolling hills and linked lakes,” which he did in what is now known as Cassadaga.

However, spiritualism has its roots further up North…

Sisters of Spiritualism

Believe It or Not, the science, philosophy and religion of spiritualism can be accredited to three young girls—Leah, Maggie and Kate Fox.

Sisters Leah, Maggie and Kate Fox of Hydesville, New York.

In 1848, in the bedroom of their Hydesville, New York home, these sisters allegedly communicated with spirits through sequences of raps and taps. Quickly becoming a national sensation, the Fox sisters went on tour, drawing large crowds of both believers and skeptics who never found any evidence of trickery.

Summoning Spirits

In the 1920s, magicians, including Harry Houdini, began to prove they could replicate what mediums were doing. Despite his disbelief, after the death of his mother, Houdini sought the help of a medium.

Are humans extremely susceptible to the power of suggestion or can we truly communicate with the dead? Historically, skeptics have tried to debunk séances by binding mediums with ropes, gagging them and even sealing them in “spirit cabinets,” to see if phenomena would occur despite restraint. Many believe these events can be explained by manipulation, but in Cassadaga they are a truly spiritual experience. It is said that many forms of phenomena occur during his séances at Cassadaga’s Colby Memorial Temple, including “apports”—objects appearing to materialize and fall from the ceiling!

One form of séance is table tipping, in which a group of people sit under dim lighting with their hands gently placed on a table. Once there is communication with spirit, the table will begin to move—in some cases rock, in others slide across a room. In Cassadaga, this is even done in broad daylight outside of Colby Memorial Temple!

 

Source: Not For Skeptics, The Florida Town Full Of Mediums And Spirits: Cassadaga

This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence Apps and Platforms Briefing subscribers hours before appearing on Business Insider. To be the first to know, please click here.

Snap is developing an in-app gaming hub, TechCrunch reported Wednesday. The hub will launch later this year, offering instant games within the Snapchat app, and comes on the heels of another recent AR venture by Snap: This past April, the company launched Snappables, which are single player and multiplayer AR games involving touch, motion, and facial expressions. snapchat spectacles glasses app

There`s likely two key reasons why Snap is launching a gaming platform:

  • In-app games can increase users` time spent within the app. Users would be able to browse through and play different games without having to leave the Snapchat app to download them. The platform’s social nature might also help to retain users with leaderboards and multiplayer components.
  • Snap can court the lucrative mobile AR app and gaming market. The move to launch a gaming platform within the Snapchat app could be a part of a larger play to eventually offer AR-based games. AR games could help Snapchat in its efforts to become the preferred platform for AR development and experiences, as the mobile AR gaming market is expected to reach 284.93 billion by 2023.

Snapchat isn`t the only platform embracing “app-within-app” experiences. In November 2016, WeChat started trialing “mini programs,” which are stripped-down apps that can be launched within WeChat’s messaging interface, while Facebook Messenger introduced Instant Games, which lets users battle their friends in games that are streamed within the chat app. 

If Snap can push Snapchat as a gaming platform, it could potentially pull users away from the iOS App Store and Google Play. The ability to download and launch apps within chat apps means users can bypass an app store, effectively turning chat apps into mobile operating systems. This could present a threat to revenue generation for both the App Store and Google Play, particularly in the casual and social gaming categories.

However, Apple and Google are exploring alternative app strategies to shore up their platforms against the threat of companies like Facebook. Apple gave developers the ability to build and launch apps within its native iMessage messaging service, while Google unveiled Instant Apps, which lets users engage with portions of apps through deep links without downloading.

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drake 5

  • On his new album "Scorpion," Drake confirms rumors that he has a son — a subject which entered the public consciousness with the release of Pusha-T`s diss track against Drake, "The Story of Adidon," last month. 
  • "Scorpion," a 25-track, double album, is now available on all major streaming services.

Drake released his fifth studio album, "Scorpion," on Friday. Among other noteworthy elements, the double-sided album finds Drake confirming the rumors of the past month that he has a son. 

In his headline-grabbing diss track "The Story of Adidon," released in May, rapper Pusha-T accused Drake of both hiding a son and allegedly planning to reveal his son to the world alongside an upcoming line of Adidas clothing that Drake was set to release. 

"Look at the way we live / I wasn`t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid," Drake raps on the "Scorpion" track "Emotionless," confirming the existence of his first child. 

Drake raps at length about his son on several of the album`s tracks, including the closing song "March 14," which finds Drake discussing how he had only ever met his son`s mother "two times":

"Yesterday morning was crazy / I had to come to terms with the fact that it`s not a maybe / That s--- is in stone, sealed and signed / She`s not my lover like Billie Jean, but the kid is mine / Sandi used to tell me all it takes is one time / S---, we only met two times. Two times / And both times were nothing like the new times / Now it`s rough times/ I’m out here on front lines just tryna make sure that I see him sometimes."

"Scorpion," the longest album of Drake`s career, clocks in around 89 minutes over the course of 25 tracks. The LP features guest appearances from Jay-Z and posthumous vocals from Michael Jackson and the late singer-producer Static Major. 

The album is now available on all major streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal.

Listen to it below via Spotify:

SEE ALSO: Ed Sheeran sued for 100 million, accused of copying Marvin Gaye`s `Let`s Get It On`

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What happens when you hold in your pee for too long

Featured in Ripley`s Believe It or Not!

Robert Ripley, the World Traveler

Nicknamed “The Modern Marco Polo,” Robert Ripley acquired hundreds of exotic artifacts from around the world. Did you know that his endless search for unbelievable stories was documented by Mr. Ripley himself, in his popular newspaper cartoon feature? Ripley’s first Believe It or Not! books, collections of his cartoon drawings, appeared in 1929 and 1931, at a time when he was receiving millions of pieces of mail each year!

Robert Ripley

Believe it or not, Robert Ripley opened seven different “Odditoriums,” typically associated with World Fairs, to house his vast collection.

Ripley’s Relic Debut

Ripley`s Relics

There is a new “scientific discovery” waiting to be unearthed and unlocked at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square this summer. Opening at the crossroads of the world on June 28th, a new interactive escape adventure—RIPLEY’S RELIC!

Ripley’s Relic will transform you into explorers! Work together to unlock a series of puzzles and decipher a strange assortment of mysterious symbols. Featuring the latest in high-tech components and movie-quality set design, Ripley’s Relic will challenge adventurers to crack the code and unlock the powers of this new, unexplained object.

You now can be just like Ripley—a cartoonist, explorer, reporter, adventurer, and collector, who traveled to 201 countries in 35 years seeking the odd, the unusual, and the unexplained.

The History of Escape Rooms

Puzzles have had a tremendous effect on our culture. From interactive scavenger hunts and mirror mazes, which you can find throughout our Believe It or Not’s!, to video games and haunted houses, you’ve without a doubt dabbled and unraveled a puzzle.

Mirror Maze

Our Mirror Maze at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Panama Beach City

Escape rooms began in 2007 with 35-year-old Takao Kato, of the Kyoto publishing company, SCRAP Co. Following the success of the first Real Escape Game, the concept spilled into Singapore in 2011. These games usually consist of numerical sequences and color-coding. More than 50 escape room games were created and inspired Kato to tell his friend Kazuya Iwata to bring it over to the states. Nate Martin, who co-founded Puzzle Break, followed in the footsteps of Kato and became the first American-based company to create an escape room.

Ripley’s Rarities

From animal oddities to exotic wooden cars, and even medieval torture devices, our warehouse is filled with rarities and relics you probably can’t find anywhere! With our show, Ripley’s Rarities, we take you up close and personal with an exclusive look at some of the most fascinating artifacts and treasures collected by Ripley’s Believe it or Not! since the days of Robert Ripley himself.

When Robert Ripley first visited Canton, China, in 1923, he observed people flagrantly carrying their opium pipes wherever they went!

Phrenology measured bumps on people’s heads to determine their mental faculties. Developed in the 1820s, it was the forerunner of psychology.

This vampire killing kit contains everything needed to fight a vampire. It has holy water, a crucifix, serums, and even a gun with silver bullets.

Let us know in the comment below if you’ve got what it takes to find Ripley’s Relic in New York!

Source: Ripley’s Relic Escape Adventure Debuts In New York City

Featured in Ripley`s Believe It or Not!

fire department pizza delivery

This Week

[June 24-30th, 2018] A World Cup water shortage, a new study on dinosaur tongues, a dog performing CPR, and pizza-delivering firemen.

World Cup Water Surge

The 2018 World Cup has already had world-shaking effects, but the latest disruption has to do with the Japanese water supply. Water authorities were baffled when water surged 24%. Looking for the cause of this mysterious phenomenon, they realized it happened at half-time in the match between Japan and Colombia. Huge numbers of people had apparently been holding out, an ended up all using the bathroom at once.

Japanese bathroom

Police Call Police On Man Calling Police

After a man in Cobb County, Georgia, called the police over 100 times in the past three years, law enforcement called for help. Officers had been sent out each time to just to make sure everything was OK, but the constant requests were proving to be a huge drain on officers’ time. In response, police issued an arrest warrant for the 62-year-old man, putting an end to his requests for milk, finding the TV remote, and many other non-emergency issues.

arrested

Police Dog Demonstrates CPR

A police dog in Spain named Poncho demonstrated puppy-performed CPR on his trainer. After seeing an officer go down, he springs into action, running over with a blue flashing light strapped to his harness. He started by hopping on the officer’s chest for compressions and then stopped to listen for a pulse.

“Heroica” actuación de nuestro #Compañerosde4Patas Poncho, que no dudó ni un instante en “salvar la vida” del agente, practicando la #RCP de una manera magistral.
El perro es el único ser en el mundo que te amará más de lo que se ama a sí mismo- John Billings#Adopta pic.twitter.com/yeoEwPkbRc

— Policía de Madrid (@policiademadrid) June 22, 2018

Dinosaurs Couldn’t Stick Out Their Tongues

According to a new study by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Science and the University of Texas, most dinosaurs couldn’t articulate their tongues like they do in the movies. After studying bone structures in the mouth and throat, they concluded that the tongues of large carnivorous dinosaurs pretty much just stuck to the bottom of their mouths, much like an alligator’s tongue.

alligator tongue

Firefighters Finish Driver’s Pizza Delivery

When firefighters showed up to a car crash in Henrietta, New York, one of the drivers—a pizza delivery man—was injured. After rendering care and safely loading him into an ambulance, they noticed his cargo was intact. Sworn to serve, the team delivered the pizza to a surprised man clad in pajamas.

Source: Firefighters Finish Wrecked Driver’s Pizza Delivery

IBM Discovery - Resized Project Debater with human professional


By Dario Gil, vice president of AI research and IBM Q

Artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing steadily — but how can we measure those gains in human terms?

To gauge AI’s progress, we can point to a handful of milestones: In 1997, Deep Blue defeated grandmaster Garry Kasparov in a chess match. In 2011, IBM Watson challenged "Jeopardy!" champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on the game show.  In both of these examples, computers were programmed to learn from each defeat, refining their strategy until they could match the very best players.

Now, IBM Research has revealed another key moment in AI, a new project that we have been incubating since 2012— Project Debater. After Watson’s "Jeopardy!" victory, we built an entirely new business applying AI to enterprise needs. And we asked ourselves, “What’s next for AI?” The answer, first proposed by scientists in our research lab in Haifa, Israel, was itself a question, and an irresistible one at that: “Could a machine dialogue with us intelligently?” Or put another way, “Could we argue with a machine?”

Project Debater’s goal is to bring us closer to the next great boundary for AI: mastering language. Understanding language is easy for us, but it’s very difficult for a computer. Until now, natural language processing for speech recognition has primarily been used to listen to and understand commands in concise sentences like, “Set a timer for five minutes.” Project Debater set its sights on a different aim: to create the first AI that can engage meaningfully with humans in a full live debate.

A Discovery Channel documentary about the future of artificial intelligence, “This is AI,” offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of this nascent technology. Given only a one-line topic for debate — such as “Should we abolish income tax?” or “Should music education be subsidized?” — Project Debater scans hundreds of millions of articles from numerous well-known newspapers and magazines to generate a coherent four-minute opening speech, using well-structured arguments, factual evidence, and even humor when appropriate to persuade the audience. It then listens to its human opponent’s speech to quickly formulate a compelling rebuttal and, finally, a succinct closing argument.

You can imagine a number of applications for Project Debater in everyday life: weighing business decisions, building legal arguments, or assessing proposed financial investments.  It has the potential to become a tool for nearly any decision requiring pro and con arguments.

It is still early days for Project Debater’s development, but the initial results are promising. In nine live debate sessions at IBM over the past two years, the AI system has demonstrated steady improvement arguing against human opponents on a wide range of topics. In fact, a recent test debate about the legalization of sports betting, televised for the first time in “This is AI,” ended in a virtual tie. 

Although Project Debater is still a work in progress, its potential for broad AI that learns across domains and disciplines is significant. Countless decisions have to be made to construct an original, evidence-based argument — one that is responsive to an opponent’s real-time argument. The computer can process a massive corpus of information but it needs to be able to pinpoint exactly the relevant thousand or so words, originating from many sources, to make its best case. All of this, when you peel down the layers, pushes the envelope of what computers can do on many fronts.

“This is AI” provides a snapshot of where this new AI is now — and where it could be heading. Let’s face it: The world today is complex and messy. It’s not a game that is perfectly controlled by cut and dried rules. Next-generation AI like Project Debater could help us tackle the difficult questions facing all of us now and in the future — in the grey zone where they exist.

 

To learn more about Project Debater and watch the Discovery documentary "This is AI," visit discovery.com/ThisIsAI.

This post is sponsor content from IBM and was created by IBM and Insider Studios.

Join the conversation about this story »

Tesla Model 3

  • All Tesla Model 3 reservation holders in the United States and Canada can now configure and order their vehicles, a Tesla representative confirmed to Business Insider.
  • For now, the Model 3 is only available with a long-range battery.
  • The 35,000 base model with a standard battery will be available in six to 12 months, according to Tesla`s website.
  • The options currently available to customers start between 44,000 and 64,000.


All Tesla Model 3 reservation holders in the United States and Canada can now configure and order their vehicles, a Tesla representative confirmed to Business Insider.

For now, the Model 3 is only available with a long-range battery. The 35,000 base model with a standard battery will be available in six to 12 months for customers who make new reservations, according to Tesla`s website. But, according to a timeline given by CEO Elon Musk in May, the 35,000 option could become available between September and December.

Customers who order their Model 3s now have three options: the rear-wheel-drive (which starts at 44,000) and all-wheel-drive (48,000) versions with a long-range battery, and the performance version (64,000). A Tesla representative said reservation-holders are being given delivery estimates of three to five months for the rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions with a long-range battery and two to four months for the performance version, though the timelines can vary based on when the reservation was placed and which configuration is chosen.

Tesla has received over 450,000 pre-orders for the Model 3 since it started taking reservations in March 2016. The company has struggled to ramp up production for the vehicle since it was launched in July, twice missing deadlines for its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3s per week.

During Tesla`s annual shareholder meeting on June 5, CEO Elon Musk said the company is on track to hit that goal by the end of June.

As of June 19, the company had made about 30,000 Model 3s this year, according to internal documents reviewed by Business Insider and confirmed by two Tesla employees. A person familiar with Model 3 production told Business Insider that Tesla had made around 6,000 Model 3s this month, as of June 19.

SEE ALSO: Some frustrated Tesla customers are canceling their Model 3 orders because they`ve grown tired of waiting

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Former Wall Street CEO reveals how most financial products designed for women completely miss the point

TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to reassure Japan on Friday that Washington was mindful of its interests in talks with North Korea, during a stop in Tokyo that underscored the close U.S. ally`s concerns about the negotiations.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran-backed Hezbollah will coordinate with the Syrian state and Lebanon`s General Security agency to help return Syrian refugees who want to go back to their country, its leader said on Friday.

BAMAKO, -29 June 2018: The headquarters of the G5 Sahel regional military force in central Mali was attacked on Friday by unknown assailants, local and U.N. peacekeeping mission sources told Reuters.

The G5 is a taskforce of soldiers from Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania created last year to root out jihadist violence in West Africa`s semi-arid Sahel region.
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