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Prime Minister Theresa May accused critics of her plans to leave the European Union of "playing politics" with Britain`s future and undermining the national interest in an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper.

Minecraft Dungeons

  • For the first time since the original "Minecraft," the series is getting a new entry.
  • It`s not a sequel — the game is named "Minecraft: Dungeons," and it`s a dungeon crawler along the lines of "Diablo."
  • "Minecraft: Dungeons" is scheduled to arrive on PC in 2019. It`s not clear when it will come to other platforms.

For the first time since "Minecraft" arrived in 2011, a new entry in the series is in the works from the same studio that created the original. It`s named "Minecraft: Dungeons" — it was revealed on Saturday during an annual "Minecraft" live broadcast known as Minecon Earth 2018.

From what we`ve seen so far, it looks like a very "Minecraft-y" version of beloved classics like "Diablo." It sounds lke that, too! 

"Dungeons" is described as, "an all-new action-adventure game inspired by classic dungeon crawlers," in its announcement. Alone, or with a group of up to four friends, you`ll tackle, "a ruthless swarm of new-and-nasty mobs" in a variety of locations: "canyons, swamps and — of course — mines." 

Minecraft Dungeons

The game is said to be a passion project for the folks at Mojang — the Swedish studio that was founded to create the original "Minecraft." It`s the first of several new initiatives within Mojang aimed at expanding the universe of "Minecraft."

Unlike "Minecraft," the focus in "Minecraft: Dungeons" is action. 

"We wanted to focus on making sure that we made the dungeon crawler part as good as possible," Mojang creative lead Jens Bergentsen told me in a phone interview last week. 

To that end, don`t expect to see a lot of the usual mining and crafting. 

"I would say that it`s a distilled version of `Minecraft,`" Bergentsen said. "Building in the game is something that we`ve talked about a lot, but we were concerned that it would distract from what the game was about. So in `Minecraft Dungeons,` it`s strictly an adventure game with a story attached to it."

The game is scheduled to arrive on PC first in 2019 — a beta will precede its arrival, but don`t expect anything like the soft launch "Minecraft" had. "Minecraft: Dungeons" is getting a relatively standard beta before a "traditional" release, we`re told. 

Check out the game`s debut trailer right here:

SEE ALSO: `Minecraft` for the Nintendo Switch proves what`s so great about both the game and the console

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a 1,000 phone that`s actually worth it

Butterfly portable ultrasound

Picture a bulky, wired-up ultrasound machine, condensed to the size of an electric razor that can plug in to your phone, and fit into your pocket. 

And better yet, it costs only 2,000. 

The ultrasound-on-chip is the invention of Butterfly Network, founded by Jonathan Rothberg, who also had a hand in creating Next Generation DNA-sequencing, which made the then-exclusive DNA sequencing technology a standard part of most medical practices and clinics.

The new device, named Butterfly iQ, was inspired by Rothberg`s own personal experiences. His daughter was born with a disease called tubular sclerosis, which creates tiny tumors all over the body. The treatment procedure for this requires the use of a high-frequency ultrasound and MRI-imaging. 

Through this ordeal, Rothberg became frustrated with the limited amount of ultrasound machines available in a hospital and the hassle of waiting for hours for a machine to become available. Rothberg wanted to democratize the access to these machines, which can cost up to 70,000 on average. By sizing the machine down and making it more versatile, Butterfly Network hopes to enable a wider range of doctors and healthcare workers to make more precise diagnoses out in the field, at in-office checkups, and in emergency rooms and ambulances. 

On Thursday, the company announced that it has raised 250 million in a series D fundraising round and is expecting to ship out starting this week, with investments from Fidelity, Fosun Pharma, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It was only a year ago that the Butterfly device was first unveiled at an American College of Emergency Physicians conference. Now, it`s gearing up to ship out its product to key industry leaders, institutions, and private healthcare providers. 

Globally there are currently 40 million healthcare practitioners who Butterfly is trying to serve. 

SEE ALSO: Mount Sinai teamed up with the designers who created projects for Nike and Beyonce to build a futuristic, new clinic — and it`s reimagining how healthcare is delivered

Ultrasound is the safest and most widely used medical imaging equipment. It is used for medical imaging inside the body and can detect the presence of anything from blood flow, to tumors, to unborn babies.

"In almost every single disease state, there`s a role for ultrasound. It has incredible versatility," chief medical officer Dr. John Martin told Business Insider. It`s been in use since the 1950s, but cost has made the equipment extremely prohibitive.

Initially, these machines ran up to a price tag of over 100,000. Now, the average ultrasound costs about 60,000-80,000. Add that to the fact that you needed medical specialists with the expertise to capture and interpret the image. 

"We wanted to make it cheaper, easier to capture the image, easier to interpret the image so it can become available, not only to every healthcare provider in this country, but to address the issue that two-thirds of the world right now has no access to medical imaging," Martin said. 

The only way to make the ultrasound cater to their needs was to in a sense, reinvent the wheel. Traditional ultrasound uses something called piezoelectric crystals (there`s 128 crystals in a standard device), which emit different frequencies that translate to ultrasound when an electric charge is applied. There are three different probes for low, middle and high frequency ranges, and these can have different configurations. 

Butterfly iQ translates that technology onto a tiny silicone chip, which contains 9,000 tiny drum-like mechanisms that can receive and emit sound. 

"Getting an ultrasound done used to be a destination," Martin said. There was a lot of waiting around for results, for technology, for the technicians and doctors to come proctor and administer these tests.

"It`s time for the physical examination to change," Martin said.

Increasingly, medical schools and graduate medical education programs are incorporating ultrasound interpretation and proctoring into their curriculum. More healthcare providers are learning how to administer an ultrasound. These include nurses, nurse practitioners, EMTs, and other healthcare providers. Making a critical diagnosis out in the field or at remote locations ahead of entering the hospital can help providers on the ground anticipate what resources are needed for the patient ahead of time. The device has 13+ settings that can look at musculoskeletal, abdominal, aorta, bladder, cardiac, and pediatric abdomen. These indications are all FDA approved. 


This device is not meant to completely phase out existing ultrasound machines, at least not as of now.

Martin said that they`re to give healthcare providers a quick look at the significant issues such as general heart function or presence of a blood clot, so it can screen out people who don`t need more complex tests.

"This is incredibly good for yes-no answers. Do you have an aneurysm or not?" Martin said. It`s perfect as a bedside tool and as a portable device in developing countries with limited resources he added. 

In fact, last year, Martin used the device to diagnose his own cancer

As far as image resolutions go, the team said that in side-by-side comparisons with 60,000-80,000 machines in the market right now, the difference is indiscernible. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Rochester Institute of Technology professor and science photographer Ted Kinsman captures an unseen side of Cannabis in his new book, "Cannabis: Marijuana Under The Microscope". These microscopic images capture a close up view of Marijuana. We spoke with Ted to find out more about his scanning electron microscope photos. Following is a transcript of the video.

This isn’t some alien planet

It’s cannabis!

These images were taken with a scanning electron microscope.

It’s not your ordinary microscope.

It fires electrons at a sample.

Which creates a high-resolution image by scanning the surface topography.

As well as data about the surface composition.

“Cannabis: Marijuana Under the Microscope” is a book by Ted Kinsman.

He’s a photographic sciences professor at Rochester Institute of Technology.

These fascinating photos reveal a world beneath the surface.

Ted Kinsman: “I like to think what a person would see if they were just a few microns tall.”

But Ted doesn’t just photograph Cannabis.

Ted Kinsman: “I look for things that haven’t been done recently, or haven’t been done well, or even done at all".

This is a real bedbug, in excruciating detail.

And this close up reveals the many eyes of a spider.

Ted has even photographed human brain cells.

Each image starts out as black and white.

And has to be colorized by hand.

Ted Kinsman: “I pick visually exciting colors.”

“I’m trying to make science visually exciting and appealing to the general population”.

Ted paints the THC-containing cannabis sacs a bright color in order to stand out.

This image of pond water shows bacteria, algae, and unidentified protozoa.

And this is what a pumpkin leaf looks like on a microscopic level.

Samples can take several hours to prepare.

Each one has to be completely dried so that water vapor won’t obstruct the image.

Then placed in a vacuum chamber to be photographed.

But, there is no camera involved.

Instead, samples are conductively coated in gold and bombarded with electrons.

Then a computer records how many electrons are scattered from each point on the sample.

Scanning a sample takes about four minutes.

The data is collected to a file and an image is generated.

Ted continues to photograph worlds that are rarely seen.

Join the conversation about this story »

Argentina FIFA 19

Fans worldwide are anticipating the September 28 release of EA Sports` "FIFA 19," one of the top-rated soccer video game franchises. FIFA is celebrated for its attention to detail, featuring dozens of teams from leagues across the globe as well as the national men`s and women`s teams from the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

EA works to accurately recreate each player and their specific skill set for the new FIFA game each year, then provides weekly updates to reflect real-life performance. With the 2018 World Cup complete and European soccer leagues now underway, fans will soon be able to see how FIFA ranked the players on their favorite team. But for now, take a look at the game`s top ranked players for the 2018-19 soccer season.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal/Juventus - 94 Overall

FIFA 19’s cover star is the world’s most popular player, and for good reason. He was the top goal scorer in Europe’s Champions League during 2018 and led Real Madrid to its fourth championship in five years. In July, Ronaldo joined the Italian squad Juventus for a 110 million transfer fee and will earn 35 million a year for the next four years.

2. Lionel Messi - Argentina/FC Barcelona - 94 Overall

Messi has long been considered Ronaldo’s top rival, and this year he became the first player to earn a fifth Europe Golden Shoe award, which is given to the top scorer in Europe’s national leagues. Messi recorded his 600th career goal in March and still holds the European Golden Shoe record for most goals in one season, with 50.

3. Neymar Jr - Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain - 92 Overall

Neymar is considered Brazil’s best player, carrying the legacy of Ronaldo and Ronaldinho in international competition. He is the ntional`s team third-highest scoring player of all-time. After his debut season for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017-18 was cut short due to injury, Neymar started this season by leading the team to three straight wins.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
More than 400 people were confirmed killed, many swept away as tsunami waves triggered by a massive earthquake crashed into the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, and authorities expected the toll to rise sharply on Sunday as news arrives from remote areas.
Syria`s foreign minister, Walid al-Moualem, told the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday that the country was ready for the voluntary return of refugees who fled during the more than seven-year conflict.
Brazil`s far-right presidential frontrunner left the hospital where he has been recovering from a stab wound on Saturday, as tens of thousands of women took to the streets in nationwide protests against his divisive candidacy.
Bangladesh`s main opposition political group, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), "strongly" wants to take part in national elections due in three months, the party`s secretary general told Reuters on Saturday.
Danish police said on Saturday they had questioned and later released two suspects who were found traveling in the Swedish-registered black Volvo that sparked a major crime search on Friday.
Nigeria`s ruling party has nominated President Muhammadu Buhari as its candidate to stand for re-election in February 2019, a spokesman for Buhari said on Saturday.
Congo`s opposition leaders warned thousands of supporters at a rally in the capital Kinshasa on Saturday of what they say are moves by the government to steal the presidential election in December, when Joseph Kabila is due to step down after 17 years.
North Korea`s foreign minister told the United Nations on Saturday continued sanctions were deepening its mistrust in the United States and there was no way the country would give up its nuclear weapons unilaterally under such circumstances.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan wrapped up an ill-tempered visit to Germany on Saturday with a visit to Cologne, where a security lockdown kept supporters and protesters away from a ceremony to open the country`s largest mosque.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland postponed her country`s 2018 address to the United Nations General Assembly so she could focus on ongoing trade talks with the United States, the government said on Saturday.
Italy`s president and its central bank governor on Saturday warned that the country`s debt must remain sustainable after the populist government unveiled plans to significantly raise deficit spending next year.

Photo source: IMDB

According to local media reports, Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga will be collaborating with Mourad Makram and director Hisham Abdel Khalek on the latter’s latest film project ”Jesus and the Others”.

Famed Japanese cinematographer, Tetsuo Nagata, will also be working on the ambitious film project. Nagata is known for having worked on the award-winning movies ‘La Vie en Rose’ and ‘Paris, Je T’aime’.

The film was written by the Egyptian writer Fayez Ghali in 2009, before his death in 2014.

Abdel Khalek, award-wining director of the film and co-producer, announced that the film’s budget was 13 million euros as per Al Masrawy.

“Jesus and the Others” will be a film that is based on the Orthodox Christian view. It features the story of the Virgin Mary, Joseph, and Mary’s cousin, Salome, as well as a young Jesus in their flight from King Harod.

The film supposedly did not undergo approval from Egypt’s Censorship office as it will be shot outside of Egypt and the cast will be majorly comprised of international stars from Europe the US, South Africa and Syria.

It remains to be seen if the movie will be screened in Egypt once produced.

A vast majority of Egypt’s population is Sunni Muslim with approximately up to 15% making up a Christian Coptic population. Nonetheless, Islams bans the depiction of God or prophets while the same restriction does not hold to be true in Christianity.

Six people were arrested in Barcelona on Saturday after pro-independence protesters clashed with riot police, and as thousands joined rival demonstrations to mark the first anniversary of Catalonia`s polarizing vote on secession.
At least 384 people were killed, many swept away as giant waves crashed onto beaches, when a major earthquake and tsunami hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, authorities said on Saturday.

Amazon Spheres

A rainforest is thriving in one of the most unlikely places: Amazon`s campus in downtown Seattle. 

It`s called the Spheres, and it`s a trio of massive glass domes that sit amid Amazon`s business center. The Spheres are intended to serve as a space for Amazon employees to work and collaborate with their colleagues, all while relaxing among flora and fauna from across the globe. 

The Spheres officially opened earlier this year and are part of the 4 billion construction of Amazon`s Seattle headquarters. 

Business Insider got a chance to wander around the Spheres during a recent visit to Seattle. Here`s what they`re like inside. 

SEE ALSO: Amazon`s latest onslaught of hardware proves it won`t stop until it reaches every aspect of your life

The Spheres sit adjacent to Amazon`s Day 1 tower, a 521-foot-tall skyscraper in the heart of downtown Seattle. There are technically three spheres, although they`re all fused together.

The largest sphere, the one in the middle, is 90 feet high and 130 feet wide. Amazon used 620 tons of steel, 12 million pounds of concrete, and 2,642 glass panes to build the Spheres.

Source:  Business Insider

Amazon broke ground on the building in June 2015, and it took nearly two and a half years to complete.

Source: Amazon

See the rest of the story at Business Insider


  • Amazon`s "Forever" premiered in early September, but the creators, stars, and TV critics were sworn to secrecy about the show`s plot. 
  • Business Insider spoke with series creators Alan Yang and Matthew Hubbard about keeping the show`s details secret, and what it was like pitching a show that has so much mystery surrounding it.
  • Yang and Hubbard also talked about what it`s like making the transition from network comedies to streaming (they love how short the seasons are), and what it`s like to write for TV when there is so much of it. 

Amazon`s comedy "Forever," which premiered September 14, was presented to the public in a mysterious way.

Its trailer was more of a quirky montage of a relationship and didn`t explain the show`s plot at all. But even shrouded in mystery, the show has a huge draw. It stars Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph and Catherine Keener. It`s created by two great comedy writers: Alan Yang ( "Master of None") and Matthew Hubbard ("30 Rock").

In early September, I spoke to Yang and Hubbard about the show. But at the time, Amazon didn`t want the show`s mysterious plot leaked in reviews or profiles. So we waited a few weeks to let people get through the series.

WARNING: Heavy spoilers ahead for Amazon`s "Forever."

At the end of the first episode of "Forever," Fred Armisen`s character, Oscar, dies. In episode two, Maya Rudolph`s character, June, adjusts to life without her husband. By episode three, June`s made big changes in her life, including getting a new job in Hawaii. But at the end of the episode, she dies. June comes to and sees a very thrilled Oscar in a mysterious and very mid-century modern neighborhood in the afterlife, where she realizes she`ll spend forever with him.

But spending forever together isn`t as great as Oscar and June imagine. The married couple`s afterlives are still a bit dull, and they begin to learn things about each other that they didn`t even know while they were alive. For example, June finds out that, throughout their entire relationship, Oscar changed the way she loaded the utensils in the dishwasher.

I talked to Yang and Hubbard about keeping the premise a secret, how they pitched a show where the male lead dies in episode one, and how they distinguish their show from "The Good Place," that other afterlife comedy that people are obsessed with right now.

Carrie Wittmer: I read your lovely note that Amazon sent  journalists. You guys said that this show holds a really special place in your heart, could you talk about that?

Matthew Hubbard: When we put this show together, the first idea we had was `What if Fred and Maya were ghosts that don`t haunt people?` That was really it ... Then we were like that`s not enough, and then we started to talk about what would it be like if they were married, and what would happen if you were in a relationship, and it was literally never going to end ...  and what would that mean. It was just an idea that we talked about a lot, and when we got the writers in, everybody was talking about their relationships. 

Alan Yang: And I think a lot of the best stuff comes from personal experience, right? We put elements of ourselves in the show. It`s set in the town I grew up in Riverside, and a lot of the marriage stuff is based on stuff from Matt`s life. For instance, that argument about the utensils in the dishwasher.

Wittmer: I`ve had that argument with my boyfriend.

Yang: Are you utensils up or utensils down?

Wittmer: Up.

Yang: Oh, yeah. Matt`s of the, “who cares camp.” So his wife was on him.

Wittmer: But my boyfriend changes it.

Yang: Oh yes.

Hubbard: He does change it?

Wittmer: Yep. Found out in a very similar way that June does on the show. Except I don’t think we’re dead.

Hubbard: What was cool and maybe special to us, we had this crazy swing, where you`re in a supernatural world, you`re in the afterlife, but we also kept trying to ground it in reality, and that`s hard and challenging but, you know, fun, and it was cool for us.

Wittmer: You’ve both been writing for television for a while now. What’s it like now that there are so many shows?

Yang: Too many.

Hubbard: Too many.

Yang: I was just saying in the last meeting that there is the Sean Penn show, a Jim Carey show, and a Kevin Costner show. I hadn`t heard of any of them until two days ago.

Hubbard: I just heard about "Yellowstone" [the Kevin Costner show], I thought you were kidding with me.

Wittmer: I haven`t even watched "Yellowstone." I don`t have time to watch the Jim Carey show, I probably won`t have time to watch the Sean Penn show.

Hubbard: Well, thank you for watching this one!

Wittmer: I love all the shows both of you have done in the past. Do you feel some kind of pressure to have something truly unique and special in this time where there is just so much?

Yang: Ultimately, the idea is something you want to be passionate about and something you want to spend a big chunk of your time working on. But it certainly doesn`t hurt to have something hokey or a premise that people can talk about, right?

Hubbard: And the biggest thing was the premise of the show was a logical extension of the emotional story we wanted to tell.

Yang: It`s a relationship show. It`s a show about marriage, and longterm relationships. We want to do stuff that challenges us and is ambitious and original and unique, and to me, why do anything, regardless of how many shows are on TV, why do anything unless it`s something that hasn`t been done before? And I think taking that risk is worth it — you may fall on your face but, you know, why make new trends.

Wittmer: Were there any issues pitching this high concept?

Hubbard: We did this a little unusually. Because the show was so unique and so specific, we walked in and said “This is a show about a marriage,” and then we just told the story of the first three episodes. We just went literally beat by beat. A lot of execs at that point were like, "WHAT!?"

Wittmer: Both main characters die!

Yang: Exactly! Exactly. So that was really fun, and Maya and Fred came to all the pitches and so it was really fun.

Hubbard: It was kind of like proof of concept.

Yang: And we sold the show, so it worked!

Wittmer: Was there something specific about Amazon that made you decide to go with it?

Yang: It`s the kind of thing where it was the right place for it. And they came really hard and were willing to commit because we said, pretty much straight up, “If we`re not going straight to series, I don`t know if we`ll make the show.” Because a pilot makes no sense.

Wittmer: Yeah, because most people are probably gonna be like, “Well, I came to watch a Fred Armisen show but now he’s dead.”

Yang: Exactly. It didn`t really make sense to just shoot one. So Amazon was very, very aggressive and interested in the show immediately. They provided us with tremendous resources and they`ve been really supportive the whole way, so it`s been a great experience.

Wittmer: Has it been difficult for you to be so secretive about the plot?

Yang: Yes! I don`t know what to say in any interview.

Hubbard: It is hard especially when you get into marketing. It`s like... you want people to know about the show, but you also don`t. But everyone at Amazon just leaned into the mystery. That`s what we worked for really hard on that trailer, to just show that it was about a marriage, but there was some weird stuff out of context happening.

Wittmer: My favorite show on TV right now is "The Good Place," and these have very similar premises but they`re so different.

Hubbard: Could not be more different.

Yang: They could not be more different. The tone and the themes are so different.

Wittmer: Did you have any push back with people saying something like, “Oh, there`s already another afterlife comedy?”

Yang: Not really. I mean, I know those guys, I love those guys, I directed those guys, and I`ve worked on that show a little, and I`ve obviously worked with Mike [Schur] a ton [Yang worked on ‘Parks and Recreation’]. So we knew early on there`s maybe a tiny overlap in the Venn diagram of the premise.

Wittmer: Very tiny. Afterlife comedy is my new favorite genre, I think.

Yang: Maya did a guest spot on "The Good Place." And she was like, “Hey, does this step on this show?” And we said no, because they could not be more diametrically opposed. We felt good about that.

Hubbard: Yeah, we weren`t worried about that. We actually had some writers from "The Good Place," just because we`d worked with them before.

Wittmer: Yeah, I noticed some familiar names like Joe Mande in the credits.

Yang: Some of the writers worked on "Parks and Rec" and "Master of None" with me. And they could tell us if there was any overlap, and we just didn`t do it.

Hubbard: The amazing thing is what they`re trying to contend with on "The Good Place," the questions they`re trying to answer on that show, it helped us know we were dealing with a slightly different thing.

Wittmer: We talked about how much TV there is earlier. But what shows do you actually watch?

Hubbard: Oh man, I`m pretty swamped with stuff. I love "Atlanta," obviously, that show is great. And I just finished watching "The Assassination of Gianni Versace" from a while ago. And that guy, who plays Andrew Cunanan, Darren Criss, is amazing.

Wittmer: That`s a great one. One of my favorites of the year so far. [Note: we spoke before “Versace” won multiple Emmys]

Yang: Have you ever watched "The Great British Baking Show?"

Wittmer: Oh my God, yes!

Yang: I think that`s my favorite.

Wittmer: I went to the beach Labor Day weekend, but all these new episodes came out, so.

Yang: Yeah, I know...

Wittmer: So I mostly did that.

Yang: Yeah, I love that show. F---ing love it.

Wittmer: I watch a show like that but then I complain. I`m like, "Oh my gosh, I have too much TV to watch and it`s literally my job!"

Hubbard: The life of the TV Critic... it`s crazy. I can`t imagine what it`s like. Remember when there would be like six comedy shows and a few dramas?

Wittmer: Both of you have worked on network comedies. What are some of the differences working for streaming that you guys like?

Hubbard: Only having eight episodes.

Wittmer: The twenty-two episode a year tradition is kind of going away. It`s too much.

Hubbard:  My big thing is not having commercials is huge. Any network show you can do, it`s going to be 21 minutes and 35 seconds. It is very hard to tell a story at the level of complexity that the audience demands now in 21 minutes. This new streaming world gives you some freedom that I think is really cool.

Yang: Yeah, freedom of time, freedom of space, all that stuff.

"Forever" is now available to stream over at Amazon with a Prime subscription.

SEE ALSO: The director of Robert Redford`s final movie describes the pressure and joy of closing out an icon`s career

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Apple took another subtle jab at Facebook during its iPhone XS event

elon musk

  • The SEC filed a lawsuit against Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday, alleging that Musk made "false and misleading statements" in August about taking the automaker private.
  • Musk said he was "deeply saddened and disappointed" by the lawsuit, which he called "unjustified," in a company statement to Business Insider.
  • Three legal experts weighed in on the matter.


The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday, alleging that Musk made "false and misleading statements" in August about the possibility of taking the automaker private. The agency said in the lawsuit that it seeks to bar Musk from being an officer or director of a public company.

On August 7, Musk said that he had "funding secured" to convert Tesla into a private company at 420 per share and only needed a shareholder vote to confirm a go-private deal. In its lawsuit, the SEC alleges that Musk had not acquired the necessary funding or even discussed the terms he mentioned with any potential backers. Those terms included the proposed 420 share price and an option for all existing Tesla shareholders to remain with the company after it went private.

Musk said he was "deeply saddened and disappointed" by the lawsuit, which he called "unjustified," in a company statement to Business Insider.

Here`s what three legal experts told Business Insider about the lawsuit:

Gregory Sichenzia — partner at Sichenzia Ross Ference

  • The speed with which the SEC went from opening an investigation to filing a lawsuit was surprising.
  • The investigation`s subject was narrow, which may have influenced its speed.
  • Markets may be concerned about Tesla in the short term, but if Tesla is successful in the long term, the lawsuit won`t have much of an impact.
  • Musk shouldn`t step aside from the CEO role voluntarily since no one is better suited to the job than him.

Jay Dubow — partner at Pepper Hamilton

  • The SEC might have felt pressure to bring its case quickly due to Musk`s high profile.
  • When the SEC brings a case against a high-profile CEO, it scares employees at other companies and prevents misbehavior.
  • Though this lawsuit only names Musk, the SEC could potentially sue Tesla in the future.

Thomas Gorman — partner at Dorsey and Whitney and former SEC senior counsel

  • The SEC shouldn`t have sued Musk.
  • The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund`s reported interest in a take-private deal was enough to make Musk`s statements legal, if ill-advised. 
  • Winning its case against Musk would be a significant victory for the SEC, as it would send a message to other companies about the agency`s ability and willingness to punish illegal activity.
  • But Gorman said he doesn`t believe the SEC brought its case against Musk as a means of self-promotion.

Read more about the SEC`s lawsuit against Elon Musk:

Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at [email protected].

SEE ALSO: A former SEC lawyer says the agency shouldn`t have sued Elon Musk

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This van transforms into the ultimate adventure vehicle

elon musk

  • The SEC has charged Tesla CEO Elon Musk with fraud and could seek to ban him from leading the carmaker.
  • The SEC`s case hinges on a tweet that Musk wrote in August.
  • The idea that the SEC could crush Tesla based largely on something as trivial as an ill-advised tweet is extremely troubling.

A few months ago, Elon Musk was sitting in his personal Tesla in Los Angeles on his way to the airport. He typed eight words and one bad-joke number into Twitter and posted the missive to his 22 million followers: "Am considering taking Tesla private at 420. Funding secured."

The 420 was a round-up from 419, a 20% premium on Tesla stock price, then about 350. The pot-smoking reference was intended to amuse Grimes, Musk`s girlfriend at the time.

In Musk`s head, he had the funding from the Saudi private wealth fund, based on previous discussions, but he didn`t bother informing investors, NASDAQ, or his board before he tweeted. He later outlined a complicated go-private plan that would have brought most major existing shareholders along. The whole scheme later fell apart, and Tesla shares settled back into a 300-ish trading range.

Last Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission concluded an investigation into the tweet and what happened after Musk sent it. The result was a lawsuit that, in the worst case, would bar Musk from serving as an officer of a public company. 

Musk was reportedly offered a settlement with the SEC prior to the lawsuit being issued, but he declined, and the Tesla board reaffirmed its commitment to his leadership.

That`s understandable, as Musk has presided over the creation of the first new American car company in decades and steered Tesla to a market capitalization larger than Ford or Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. If you bought Tesla after its 2010 IPO, you`ve made, at times, a 1,000%-plus return. The vast majority of people who own Teslas love their cars. And the company is on track to beat its 2017 total of 100,000 vehicle deliveries by a wide margin in 2018.

It`s obvious that Musk was winging it with his tweet. It`s also probably true that Musk was sick of the waves of negativity about the company emanating from short-sellers; the most prominent of these — Jim Chanos and David Einhorn — have long been on the losing end of their bet but weren`t letting up. Chanos was spending a fair amount of time on financial TV promoting his position without actually ever publicly quantifying it and labeling Tesla as insolvent. 

Tesla Detroit sales vs market cap

Musk and traditional business aren`t two great tastes that go great together

I`ve covered Tesla for over a decade, and I can say with certainty that Musk isn`t much of a businessperson. He`s a spectacular salesperson, but those things aren`t the same. He`s run Tesla in a way that`s baffling to Wall Street because he`s reverse-engineered the company from a future in which electric-vehicles have completely replaced gas-powered ones. 

You either accept that he`s a visionary or you don`t. I do — while understanding that like most visionaries in the auto industry`s history, Musk has major flaws — and have often been confused about why he bothers with Twitter. His Elon Musk-ness doesn`t require the platform.

Sure, he can reach millions of people with his tweets and shape impressions of Tesla`s brand. But he does that anyway. His Twitter habits are unfortunately a consequence of his Silicon Valley-ness. Musk is both of Silicon Valley and very much above it; Tesla and his other company, SpaceX, have such a majestic potential for humanity that they make social media look trivial. 

And yet, he tweets. I joined Twitter in 2008 and after a short period when I was active on the platform, I`ve largely avoided it in the past few years because I didn`t believe it was helping me to accomplish anything meaningful and because the nature of the discourse had become viciously unpleasant. 

Nevertheless, Twitter continues to be taken seriously. I know there`s worse, in the dark and more malevolent crevices of the internet. But even if you`re like me and check Twitter only occasionally to discover if you`ve made a mistake — as a journalist, I like it when people point out my errors — you realize that Twitter is a sort of scrolling nightmare. 

elon musk

Who in their right mind makes investment decisions based on a tweet?

So Musk wrote his now infamous "funding secured" tweet, and various financial pundits started to complain about it, my first thought was, "Who in their right mind makes an investment decision on the basis of eight words and goofy number?"

Musk obviously wasn`t tweeting to make any money for himself, as he never sells any Tesla stock and typically borrows against his existing stake of 20% to add to it. I know that can move the stock up, but Tesla is actually a monumentally risky investment, so as a margin trade anybody except Musk should avoid it. After all, Musk can afford to have to stock lose almost all of its value and still be a billionaire. 

It had also been clear for a year or so that Musk realized he had created a monster by taking Tesla public in the first place and wished it could return to being private. In the past, he himself has talked down the stock price numerous times and appeared to be wearying of going back to Wall Street time and time again to sell more shares to raise more funds, even though investors were happy to buy. Remember that Musk actively discouraged outside investment in Tesla in its earliest days because he thought the risk of a complete loss was too great.

Also, remember that Tesla went public at 17 and raised only just over 250 million in 2010. It was the markets and the cash-soaked dynamics of the Federal-Reserve engineered recovery from the financial crisis that created the yield-craving hot money that sloshed into Tesla`s stock after 2012. 

In fact, I`ve always thought that Musk sensed this could be a problem all the way back in 2013, when Musk courted Google`s Larry Page with a buyout offer that would have prevented a then-immature, cash-poor, and struggling Tesla from ending up years later in a supplicant position to Wall Street.

Musk thought he could line up the funding — because he always lines up the funding

tesla factory

Enter the SEC charges, which are a combination of the agency being irked that Musk didn`t settle — spare the rod, spoil the entrepreneur — and a case built largely on a single tweet.

If you know Musk, you know that he thought he could both get the money, even if it added up to multiple billions, and sell the exotic aspects of his go-private plan. Musk always gets the money and always sells the plan. That`s simply the way it`s gone for 15 years.

There`s no shortage of commenters who consider Musk a con-man and a serial dissembler. He always overpromises and underdelivers. Of course, he always eventually delivers. None of this would matter much if Tesla`s market cap weren`t so outsized. The company, after all, is in the context of a global auto industry a completely minor player. It sold 100,000 vehicles last, year, its best year ever. General Motors sold 10 million. Tesla has never posted an annual profit. GM has made over 70 billion since its 2010 IPO and return from bankruptcy.

Tesla could vanish tomorrow and it would literally make almost no difference to the world`s transportation economy. Electric vehicles have almost no market share in the US, much less the rest of the globe. True, the company is a big employer in the East Bay area of Northern California, but it`s also well off the grid of the auto manufacturing centers in the Upper Midwest and the South.

You have to, therefore, wonder why the SEC is even bothering. Tesla`s big institutional investors, along with Musk himself, own most of the company and are supposed to be capable of assessing complex risk. Short-sellers may have been briefly hurt by the short run-up Tesla stock experienced after Musk`s tweet, but they were already in pain.

And in any event, it`s hard to discern what honest market function they serve with Tesla when the company`s fundamentals are so obviously out of whack compared to its financial value. No thinking person looks at Ford and then at Tesla and takes seriously the market`s verdict. Ford`s stock represents a 119-year-old businesses with all that entails, while Tesla`s is an opportunity to bet on the future, with all that entails.

Musk must suffer for his sins

Elon Musk

So why is the SEC bothering, apart from the "Wolf of Wall Street" level annoyance that Musk didn`t take the deal and express dutiful contrition?

The SEC intends to punish Musk, in one way or another, even if it loses the case, as it might. And it intends to punish Musk for a tweet.

Think about that. The upshot is that Musk sits alone in his mansion bought with high-risk borrowed money that he knows he could lose in a matter of months as he has nearly lost it all before and says to himself, "I wish I had never tweeted `funding secured` while I was sitting in my car on my way to my giant battery factory in Nevada, trying to fulfill the largest number of pre-orders for an automobile in the history of the world and simultaneously undertaking a space mission to Mars, drill tunnels underneath the congested streets of big cities, and avoid an artificial intelligence apocalypse."

The SEC wants Musk to understand and admit that he did a bad, bad thing. And it`s willing to wrap a moral crusade in the banner of defending investors who already know better and have accepted that risk, or to preserve the alleged honesty of a securities market that has been grotesquely contorted by a flood of government money following the financial crisis.

It isn`t unthinkable that Musk could be deposed as Tesla`s CEO. As I`ve already explained, that wouldn`t be such a big deal. Tesla might not even collapse as an investment. And even if it did, taking 50 billion in mostly speculative value out of a 20-trillion US economy is irrelevant. The existing auto industry is doing a more than adequate job of satisfying demand. 

The moral is the message

TSLA Chart

But the whole thing is just comically small potatoes. The only reason for the SEC to go after Musk is to send a moralistic message, as if markets and business are governed by moral principles, which as any student of them understands they aren`t. I`m old enough to know that businesspeople and market participants lie, cheat, and steal all the time — and I don`t want to see businesses and market go away.

This bargain is a problem for society when the fraud is vast and systemic, as it was in the run-up to the financial crisis. I don`t want to excuse it on a smaller scale or suggest that markets and business are irredeemably corrupt; at Business Insider, we support the idea of "Better Capitalism," and I can cite many examples of that idea in practice, one of which is, in my opinion, Elon Musk! Nobody in his right mind starts a car company unless he wants to show the world a better way to do something.

For almost the whole time I`ve been covering Tesla, I`ve dealt with the fact that a lot of people just can`t stand Musk. For many reasons, ranging from his lifestyle to his near-miraculous ability to keep Tesla going to his frequent and oft-admitted reliance on government funding. His humiliation is something they fantasize about on a daily basis, going far past those critics who are content to more logically predict Tesla`s failure due to lousy execution or too much debt or whatever apparent basic fault dwells in the enterprise.

Musk, believe it or not, isn`t cunning enough to fight this level of hatred when it`s professionalized. If he were, he wouldn`t tweet anything. His biggest foe is his own guileless dorkiness. His second-biggest foe is his desire to call many of his own shots, and that could be more harmful if reports that the SEC initially wanted to fine Musk and shake up Tesla`s board to include more independent directors turn out to be legit (that also raises an important question about why only Musk wound up being named in the subsequent lawsuit).

It`s tempting to see Musk as a stumbling, heroic figure in a classical drama, especially given his own penchant for admitting to hubris, or tragic overconfidence, which in literature prefigured a downfall. But that`s a bridge too far here. Musk fired off a dumb tweet. He couldn`t ultimately get the money secured that he said he`s secured. End of story, and if any investors got hurt, well ... they need to grow up. 

The SEC is overcooking this one. But here`s the thing: Tesla is Elon Musk. And it isn`t a pre-IPO startup that could be looking to fleece its funders on some outlandish ambitions. The business model is straightforward: build cars, sell, cars, repeat. That business model just happens to be preposterously hard, given the extremely competitive and cash-hungry auto industry. 

So if you penalize Musk for what will wind up being a footnote if Tesla survives, you`ve threatened with destruction a maturing new automaker that in fact has established a real market for its products, not some outrageous medical scam like Theranos. And make no mistake, Tesla won`t be Tesla without Musk at the helm.

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NOW WATCH: What`s going on with Elon Musk

British Prime Minister Theresa May`s Conservative Party apologized on Saturday after releasing a phone app for the annual party conference that let members of the public log in as senior government ministers and view their personal details.
The United States announced on Friday it will effectively close its consulate in the Iraqi city of Basra and relocate diplomatic personnel assigned there following increasing threats from Iran and Iran-backed militia, including rocket fire.
Six people were arrested in Barcelona on Saturday as protesters for and against independence scuffled with police, two days before the first anniversary of a vote on secession that polarized the Spanish region.
At least 384 people have been killed by a powerful earthquake and tsunami that hit the Indonesian city of Palu on Friday, officials said, with the death toll expected to rise.

Mai Taha, Egyptian Ambassador to Cyprus, receives the fishermen on Saturday.
Photo provenance: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Facebook page

According to an official statement by the Ministry of Antiquities, the Egyptian fishermen who had been arrest for breaching North Cyprus’ waters have been released on Friday.

The five men were received by Egypt’s Ambassador Cyprus Mai Taha Mohammed Khali on Saturday, almost a week following their arrest by Turkish forces off the coast of Kyrenia.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid also stated that the men and their vessel’s release followed their payment of a 500 euros fine each (around 10,5000 EGP) by the Cypriot Greek ship owner.

Abu Zeid commended the efforts exerted by the Egyptian Embassy in Nicosia and the Cypriot counterparts.


This year, both parties also collaborated in restoring smuggled Egyptian artifacts.

Fourteen ancient artifacts that were stolen and smuggled out of Egypt in the 1980s were returned by Cyprus in May. 

The return was timely, occurring shortly after President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi and his Cypriot and Greek counterparts launched the “Nostos: Reviving Roots” initiative in Alexandria on Monday. “Nostos” is a cultural festival being held in Cairo, Alexandria, and Sharm el-Sheikh between 30th April and 6th May, giving Greeks and Cypriots an opportunity to return to their old homes and revive memories of these two communities’ historic existence in Egypt.

How airplane wifi works two different ways wifi works on airplanes

  • Inflight WiFi has been a recent and increasingly important development in air travel.
  • Aircraft-based WiFi has gone through several generations of technology over the past decade.
  • WiFi tech has gone from low-bandwidth satellite-based systems to ground-based systems, and now back to high capacity satellite-based tech such as GX Aviation, Gogo 2Ku, and Viasat.

As the society`s need to be constantly connected increases, so has the pressure to have inflight WiFi systems on the world`s airlines.

Incredibly, inflight WiFi is a relatively recent development. For instance, Boeing didn`t get into the business until 2001, while Airbus didn`t enter the market until 2005. Gogo, one of the biggest names in the business didn`t come online until 2008. 

A decade ago, the industry was built on low-bandwidth satellite-based systems to transmit data to connect the aircraft with the internet. 

These systems really couldn`t handle a whole lot of traffic. 

"Ten years ago, at best, you`d get your Blackberry to work and you`d get basic text email," Honeywell senior director of connectivity services, John Peterson told Business Insider in an interview. 

Next came the ground-based systems. 

To get higher data rates, in the United States, they went to ground-based systems," Peterson said. "And these systems got you into what you would call 3G cellular type speeds."

This speed allowed passengers to have web browsing capabilities and the use of smartphone apps. However, these systems depend on ground-based transmitters, which means they only work overland. 

Unfortunately, the experience for many travelers has been expensive and somewhat disappointing. The limited bandwidth of the ground-based system has not been able to keep up with the speed at which technology and data needs have increased. 

This is because inflight wifi systems are incredibly expensive and have longer lifecycles than your everyday consumer electronics. 

"When was the last time you replaced your phone? A year? Maybe Two years ago? Inflight wifi systems are expected to last five or ten years before they are upgraded," Peterson told us. 

However, there looks to be light at the end of the tunnel.

According to Honeywell, its hardware helps GX Aviation use Inmarsat`s Global Xpress network of Ka-band satellites to achieve speeds of up to 50 Mbps to the plane. Gogo`s 2Ku service promises 100Mbps to the plane and 15Mbps of speed to each passenger while Viasat can deliver up to 12 Mbps per passenger and 200 Mbps to the plane. 

With next generations inflight wifi systems, "passengers are going to get an experience closer to what they are used to getting in their living rooms," Peterson said.

SEE ALSO: The amazing story of how the Airbus A320 family became the Boeing 737`s greatest foe

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NOW WATCH: There are a set of wheels the let you drive side to side

Tim Cook Eddy Cue

  • Buzz is picking up that Apple might introduce a bundled service offering.
  • In a recent note, Goldman Sachs laid out what such an offering might look like.
  • For 30 a month a month, Apple might include such things as an iPhone warranty, access to Apple Music, and streaming videos, Goldman Sachs speculated.
  • While such a bundle might make sense to investors, it`s not clear consumers would sign up for it.

If you listen to people in the technology industry, Apple`s next big product might be an automobile or a pair of computer glasses.

But if you`re tapped into the chatter among Apple investors and financial analysts, you`re likely to hear talk of the iPhone maker launching something a bit less techy — an Amazon Prime-like bundle of services for which it would charge a monthly fee of 30 or more.

Sorry, analysts, but such a move would be a bad one for Apple.

Yes, the company already offers several different services, including Apple Music and cloud storage. And yes, the company does have big plans to grow that business, expecting it to hit 50 billion in annual sales by 2021. 

But throwing its various service offerings together in one jumbled bundle isn`t the best way to get there. It`s the kind of move a company makes when it`s trying to placate investors rather than trying to please customers. Indeed, it`s not even clear that the company`s fans will have any interest in what Wall Street is calling "Apple Prime." 

What do you get for 30 per month?

The talk about Apple Prime picked up recently after a research note from Goldman Sachs. The investment bank laid out what such an offering might look like.

For 30 a month, Apple customers might get access to Apple Music, the company`s AppleCare warranty coverage for their iPhones, 200 gigabytes of storage on its iCloud service, and the ability to stream movies and TV shows from the company`s still-in-development video offering.

Apple Prime Goldman Sachs

But that`s just one idea for what Apple Prime might include. Other Apple watchers have had their own ideas.

Earlier this year, The Information reported the company was thinking about creating a bundle out of just its media offerings. Under that scenario, Apple would offer access to videos produced by its Hollywood department, which is buying 1 billion worth of content this year; news from publishers such as Condé Nast and Hearst to which it has access via the Texture digital magazine app it recently purchased; and Apple Music. 

Meanwhile, analysts at Bernstein suggested two years ago that Apple should think about moving from selling iPhones and other devices to offering them as a lease-like subscription service.

Wall Street would love it

Steel MillThe reason Wall Street is excited about Apple developing its own version of Amazon Prime is because investors and analysts think it would help boost the company`s stock price.

Even though it`s the most valuable public company, with a market capitalization of more than 1 trillion, Apple is arguably undervalued compared with its peers. Its price-to-earnings ratio — a standard measure used to compare stock prices of different companies — is significantly lower than its peers among the tech giants, including Alphabet and Microsoft. Indeed, venture capitalist Marc Andreeseen once said that Apple is so undervalued that it "trades like a steel mill going out of business."

That`s where a new, bundled subscription service could help. Investors and analyst tend to assign greater value to companies that have recurring revenues, say from subscription fees. Recurring revenue is much easier to forecast than than consumers` reaction to the next iPhone.

What`s more, services tend to be less costly for companies to offer than hardware. If Apple got more money from services, its bottom line could improve, pulling up the share price along with it.

Consumers might not be so excited about it

But just because Wall Street might love Apple Prime, doesn`t mean consumers would.

The big challenge Apple faces in its service business is not that it doesn`t offer a bundle of them, but that many of the services it does offer don`t match up well with those of its rivals.

Take photo storage. If you want to store more than a bare minimum of photos in Apple`s cloud — 5 gigabytes worth — you have to subscribe to Apple`s iCloud storage service, which starts at 1 a month for 50 gigabytes.

By contrast, Google`s photo storage service is free. It`s also more reliable and generally has better features. Apple is only now starting to catch up with things such as automatic photo sorting.

Why would someone pay for an inferior service, whether it comes in a bundle or not?

Or take streaming music. While Apple Music now has 50 million subscribers, many more people around the world use Spotify. It`s hard to imagine that a bundled offering from Apple that includes access to its music service is going to be terribly attractive to those consumers.

Apple is no Amazon

But it`s also not clear that Apple`s culture is geared to developing a successful bundled service offering.

In giving the prospective bundle the "Prime" moniker, Goldman seemed to be taking inspiration from Amazon`s wildly successful subscription offering by the same name. Prime started as a free shipping service, but it now includes a wide variety of other perks as well — at least 26 of them, at last count.

Prime wasn`t an instant success with consumers. Instead, it took years for Amazon to figure out the right collection of services to offer with it. It would introduce new features, and if customers didn`t respond to them, it would rapidly refine the offering.

That`s not the way Apple generally works. Typically, it develops new technologies over the course of years, usually well away from public scrutiny. It tends to debut those new products or services only on an annual basis, with minor updates in between. 

If the first iteration of Apple Prime flopped, its not clear that Apple would be able as a culture to mimic Amazon and rapidly revamp it until it caught on with consumers.

Apple is what it is, bundle or no

Even if Apple was able to build a successful bundle, such a move likely wouldn`t change it fundamentally, at least not any time soon. 

It took three years for Apple Music to hit 50 million subscribers, and that`s with the app pre-installed on hundreds of millions of phones in more than 100 countries. Even so, it still only accounts for 8% of Apple`s services business, according to the Goldman estimate. And overall, Apple`s services bring in a fraction of the money it makes from selling iPhones and iPads. 

A more expensive, sprawling bundle of several different services and the kitchen sink may take far longer to reach critical mass than Apple Music. Even if such an offering ended up being as successful as its music service, Apple would still largely be what it is today — an electronics maker dependent each year on making a hit product.

SEE ALSO: The 18 best perks you get with an Amazon Prime membership

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NOW WATCH: Watch Apple unveil a new, bigger watch

Tara Fares was gunned down in broad daylight, the latest outspoken woman killed in a series of attacks that Iraqi officials are investigating as possibly linked.

facebook virtual reality rob price oculus quest

  • Facebook unveiled the Oculus Quest, its first standalone virtual reality headset that tracks where you are in a room.
  • Business Insider got to try it out.
  • It`s a remarkable device, but it still has some obvious shortcomings.
  • However, it points to a wild future ahead for virtual reality.

I got shot in the head on Wednesday.

Crouching behind a wooden crate in the desert, I was caught in a gunfight when a stray bullet hit me square in the face. My vision went red; I was dead — until I respawned 10 seconds later, after running behind new cover.

I was at Facebook`s big virtual reality conference, Oculus Connect, in San Jose, California, trying out the latest VR headset from the Silicon Valley tech giant. The new device, the Oculus Quest, is slated for a Spring 2019 launch, and attendees were given the opportunity to test it out in a series of demos at the event.

It`s the first major virtual reality headset that is both completely standalone and able to track a user`s location in the real world — meaning you`re freed from having to place external sensors or lug around a backpack-mounted computer to power the experience.

oculus quest headset

From my admittedly brief time with it, it was a significant step towards the future promised by virtual reality boosters — fully immersive virtual environments, accessed through a simple headset — but the technical shortcomings of the present were still on clear display.

I got to try out two demos. One was Project Tennis Scramble, a quirky tennis game where you face off against a real-world opponent in virtual reality, as the racket and ball morph into quirky sports objects like golf clubs and beach balls. 

During the demo, the headset felt a little heavy on the face, and the Oculus Quest`s motion-sensitive hand controllers struggled to return the ball in the direction I was intending — though I am admittedly terrible at real-world tennis, so I may not be the best judge of this.

oculus quest tennis

Significantly more impressive was Dead & Buried, a Wild West multiplayer shooter that was being held in a 4,000 square foot arena. Teams of three faced off against each other, hiding behind real-world objects that corresponded to pillars and crates in a virtual world. 

It felt exciting and immersive, and the first time I got shot, I involuntarily jolted backwards. It was surreal to feel real-world objects corresponding to the virtual environment. And the standalone headset meant I felt unimpeded by wires or additional equipment, free to run around the area as I wished.

In contrast: During demos of the older Oculus Rift headset, which must be tethered to an external computer, Oculus employees had to hold attendees` cables for them to they didn`t get tangled in them.

facebook oculus rift

This freedom, alone, makes it a significant step foward. And it makes it a far more compelling product than the likes of the Oculus Go, which, while standalone, can`t ascertain users` real-world position or head motions, making it little more than a toy.

But it still fails to to solve any of the fundamental problems bedeviling virtual reality. It`s bulky and heavy, and will be draining to wear on your face for long periods. You can`t focus well on virtual objects close to you. And while it demoed well in carefully controlled environments, it`s not yet at all clear how it will perform in people`s actual homes. 

During the event keynote on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company believes it needs about 10 million users on a VR platform to actually be self-sustaining and making it worth developers` time to keep building for it.

But a Facebook representative I interviewed refused to commit to hitting that target for Oculus Quest sales, stressing that it`s only the first generation of products — suggesting the company isn`t exactly convinced it will be a commercial success.

oculus quest facebook

Without trying it extensively in "real" environments, away from Facebook`s minders, I`d be hesitant to recommend anyone buy the Oculus Quest — and even then, it would come with caveats.

But it`s still remarkable — and demonstrates the potential of virtual reality more clearly than ever.

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

SEE ALSO: Facebook is walking a tricky tightrope with its big bet on the next frontier in human interaction, and the future of the company could be at stake

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Nike by Melrose

  • New technology is increasingly being infused into stores, and the results are finally starting to show.
  • Tech-forward companies like Amazon and Nike are completely changing the idea of what it means to have a physical store.
  • Nike`s Live concept store, which chooses items to stock by analyzing customer data, and Amazon`s Go concept, which uses just-walk-out technology instead of cashiers, are two examples of how the way the industry is thinking about stores is changing.

Retail is changing faster than ever.

Though there has been a lot of talk about how online shopping is changing the retail landscape, forcing traditional shopping centers like malls to close, it`s only now that the future of the industry is truly coming into focus.

And yes, it`s digital, just as we were promised.

Amazon and, more recently, Nike, have debuted store concepts that put their digital smarts front-and-center as they offer new experiences to customers.

Nike lives out loud

Nike is using data pulled from online purchases to inform the products stocked in its new store, which opened in July. 

It`s the first Nike Live concept store, which seeks to maximize speed and convenience by combining digital offerings with a 4,000-square-foot physical retail location.

Called Nike by Melrose, the store is a representation of favorites of customers in the area — in this case, the West Hollywood part of Los Angeles. Much of this information was gleaned from customers using Nike`s online services, whether they were shopping on Nike.com or were members of Nike Plus.

Nike by Melrose

For example, Los Angeles-based customers buy a lot of the Nike Cortez, a retro-styled, low-cut sneaker. Nike knows that from observing their shopping habits, and so it can then stock more of the shoe in more colors and feature it prominently.

The store is stocked with products in categories like lifestyle and running, which are two of Nike`s most popular, and it is predominantly focused on serving customers who care about both style and fitness. The store stocks both men`s and women`s products but allows for variation based on each gender`s preferred styles.

That marriage of digital prowess and physical store experience is the hallmark of Nike Live stores.

"This much more represents how consumers are thinking about shopping. They don`t put the wall up between physical and digital," Heidi O`Neill, president of Nike`s direct-to-consumer business, said to Business Insider during a visit to the new store shortly after its opening. 

Customers can also use the Nike retail app to scan products` barcodes and find out more information about them, including the sizes and colors the store has in stock.

Nike is also adding convenience-oriented features like curbside pickup and digital reservations in lockers that customers can open with their phones. 

With Nike Live, the company will have what you want, where you want it — and it will help you get it with as little friction as possible.

Future Nike stores, like the flagship stores currently slated to open this fall in both New York City and Shanghai, will incorporate some elements of Nike Live, CEO Mark Parker said in the company`s earnings call this week.

Amazon Go creates a `magical` new experience

Amazon opened its first cashierless Go store in late January.

The store features Amazon`s "just walk out" technology, which uses sensors and cameras to track what customers take off shelves and out of the store. Located in Seattle, near Amazon`s campus, it`s seen by many as the future of brick-and-mortar retail, with complicated technology that`s designed to make in-store shopping as seamless and easy as shopping on Amazon.com.

With no lines or checkout process, the store uses cameras and sensors to track what you put in your basket. It then charges you through your Amazon account.

The store opened to the public on January 22 after a lengthy beta period. The opening of the store brought a lot of interest from locals, and lines soon formed on opening day.

Amazon Go

In a letter to investors, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spoke with pride about hearing customers call the experience of shopping in the new store "magical."

Amazon has since expanded its Go footprint to four locations, three in Seattle and one in Chicago, with more on the way in cities like New York and San Francisco.

The company could have an even more ambitious plan to expand Amazon Go. It wants to have at least 10 stores open by the end of this year, then 50 in 2019, then possibly a rapid expansion to about 3,000 by 2021, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Brick-and-mortar stores are changing forever

Taken together, Nike Live and Amazon Go chart a new course for retail that is unconstrained by what came before, and they offer new opportunities to get products to customers more efficiently than ever.

The advent of tech-focused physical stores proves that brick-and-mortar retail isn`t going anywhere soon.

"Physical retail is clearly not dead," retail consultant Steve Dennis writes in a contributor post on Forbes. "Far from it, in fact. But, to be sure, boring, undifferentiated, irrelevant, and unremarkable stores are most definitely dead."

In fact, what`s happening now is what Deloitte calls a "retail renaissance," fueled by new technology and data-centric insights into customers` habits and characteristics. 

"A sea change is clearly taking place in the retail market — but it is not the retail apocalypse. In our view, it is instead a renaissance — driven by huge shifts in economics, competition, and consumer access to options, all fueled by exponential advancement in technology," Deloitte wrote in a March 2018 research report. "And in this renaissance, the winners appear to be those retailers that can capitalize on consumers` experiences of their economic well-being — or lack thereof — to offer a value proposition that aligns with consumer needs."

SEE ALSO: Amazon is launching a better version of the post office in cities around the country. Here`s what it`s like to use.

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North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong ho told the United Nations on Saturday that continued sanctions on Pyongyang were deepening its mistrust in the United States.
Kosovo`s president made a rare visit on Saturday to a disputed, mainly ethnic Serb area in the north of the country, angering Belgrade just three weeks after Serbia`s president infuriated Pristina by visiting the same area.

Elon Musk

  • Someone launched a website selling merchandise to raise money for Tesla CEO Elon Musk after he was sued by the SEC.
  • The Shopify store sells tote bags, bathing suits, T-shirts and coffee mugs all with the goal to "Save Elon from the SEC."
  • The SEC filed charges against Musk on Thursday alleging that he made "false and misleading statements" about Tesla in August.

A site selling "Save Elon" merchandise has been launched to raise awareness for Tesla CEO Elon Musk`s lawsuit with the Security Exchange Commission. 

The Shopify store sells tote bags, bathing suits, T-shirts and coffee mugs all with the goal to "Save Elon from the SEC."

A bathing suit on the site sells for 69, while a tote bag can be bought for 25, and a T-shirt for 26. Baby onesies sell for 32.

It remains unknown who started the shop, or if funds made from selling the products will help cover billionaire Musk`s defense fund. 

The founder`s description for the site says they want to "help Elon Musk with this preposterous SEC filing against him."

"By purchasing these products, we vow to spread the word, to rise up and shout for what is right! As citizens of planet earth, we must show our support for innovation, for attempting to create a positive future, and for our fearless change agent of the world, Elon Musk," the shop description says.

The SEC filed charges against Musk on Thursday, claiming the Tesla CEO made "false and misleading statements" about Tesla in August, when he told his followers his plan to take his electric-car company private at 420 a share.

Tesla shares fell as much as 11% in after-hours trading following the tweets.

Now, the SEC wants to bar Musk from being an officer or director of a public company.

Musk said in a company statement to Business Insider that he was "deeply saddened and disappointed" by the lawsuit, which he called "unjustified."

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The 78

  • Amazon reportedly made a second visit to HQ2 contender Chicago in August, as it prepares to announce its decision on where to place its second headquarters by the end of the year. 
  • According to The Chicago Tribune, Amazon representatives visited The 78, a development slated for the city`s South Loop neighborhood.
  • Amazon did not visit this particular site on its previous HQ2-related visit to Chicago.
  • If Amazon did indeed visit Chicago for HQ2 purposes recently, it could mean the contest is far from over, and it may be more wide-open than had previously been speculated.

Apparently, Amazon hasn`t gotten enough of the Windy City. 

Representatives for the company made a visit to the city in connection with its second headquarters search in August, according to a report from The Chicago Tribune

Amazon declined to comment on the report to Business Insider. 

The visit is notable, as it`s reportedly the only repeat, HQ2-related visit from Amazon representatives to a city or location on Amazon`s short list.

According to the Tribune report, the visit was planned so that representatives could see the site for a new, 62-acre development called The 78. Located in the South Loop, it`s one of the last sizable pieces of undeveloped land close to the city`s core.

That could make it attractive to Amazon, which stipulated in its request for proposals that it desired an urban campus for its second headquarters, much like its original campus in Seattle.

Amazon visited four other potential HQ2 sites in its earlier trip to Chicago this year, but not this one.

A second visit at such a crucial time in the HQ2 process could throw open the doors of speculation on HQ2. Though most analysts and experts have been betting on Northern Virginia as the winner, Chicago remaining in the running as late as August is significant. 

Amazon has said it will make its decision by the end of the year. 

SEE ALSO: Amazon`s new store is its latest huge bet in defiance of the retail apocalypse

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CAIRO - 29 September 2018: Egypt’s Ambassador to Cyprus Mai Taha Mohammed Khalil received on Saturday the four Egyptian fishermen who were taken into custody by Turkish forces in Northern Cyprus last week for allegedly fishing without license, Egypt`s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid stated.

Khalil was keen to receive the fishermen once they had arrived to Cyprus’s Limassol port with the policemen, Abu Zeid added.

She stressed that the fishermen arrived in good health, hailing the efforts the embassy exerted to release them since the moment they were detained, and the full cooperation shown by the Cypriot side.

According to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), citing Turkish Cypriot reports, a Kyrenia judge imposed a fine of 3,500 lira (€500) on the five fishermen who faced charges of illegal entry and unlicensed fishing.

Egypt’s Ambassador to Cyprus Mai Taha Khalil received on Saturday the 4 Egyptian fishermen who were taken into custody by Turkish forces in Northern Cyprus last week

The Egyptian Embassy in Nicosia has been in continuous contact with the Cypriot foreign ministry which was directly monitoring the case with the other side.

The five-member crew of a Greek Cypriot fishing vessel was arrested last Friday while fishing some seven nautical miles off Kormakitis. The boat, owned by the Greek Cypriot company Ta Psarokaika, was stopped in an area between Akamas and Kormakitis. Both the crew and the fishing boat were taken to Kyrenia.

Cypriot Foreign Ministry spokesman Demetris Samuel said the owner of the Cyprus-flagged fishing boat told authorities that a Turkish warship approached his vessel 20 miles (32 kilometers) off the island’s northwestern coast Friday evening, according to CNA.

The crew of the vessel were then arrested and the boat was towed to a harbor in the island’s breakaway Turkish Cypriot north.

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in the film ‘Cleopatra’

Paris, Milan, London and America are widely known to be the home and main influencers of modern day fashion. Yet there is another place that also passed on the world’s conception of beauty and fashion across thousands of generations and centuries, and that is ancient Egypt.

Although it is widely known that wherever one encounters an ancient settlement site worldwide, there is bound to be remains of jewellery and clothing, Egyptian elements of fashion have particularly gripped the public imagination and sense of glamour.

The iconic limestone bust of Nefertiti, showing her clean, smooth and structured facial features, and the imagined portraits of Cleopatra with her dark ‘kohl’ eyeliner and exquisite jewelled collar still symbolises today the main and most iconic expressions of beauty around the world.

Nefertiti in the Neues Museum, Berlin.
Photo provenance: JSTOR Daily

The use of ‘kohl’ eyeliner was also believed to function as a protection from the sun, and scientific research suggeststhat lead-based mineral contained anti-bacterial properties.

“The more I try to understand what the Egyptians themselves understood as ‘beautiful’, the more confusing it becomes, because everything seems to have a double purpose,” Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley once said according to the BBC.

Evidence of what regular ancient Egyptians specifically wore is difficult to pinpoint, and a majority of the artwork represented by ancient artists did not always match the exact interpretation, as Egyptian art expert Elizabeth Riefstahl states.

Nevertheless, an excavation conducted in 1902-1903 by George A. Reisner at a cemetery of Naga-ed-Der in Middle Egypt found four pleated dresses from Tomb 94 that are now found in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

The most distinctive and famous garment worn by the ancient Egyptian women is the long sheath-like garment that was held up by two straps behind the neck. By the time of the Middle Kingdom,  the dress was often decorated with colourful collars or a pleated and fringed robe.

Wealthy women also lavished their dress with extra details using feather, embroidery, sequin and pieces of jewellery.

Queen Nefertari depicted in a white sheath dress in her tomb in Luxor.
Photo source:


Ancient Egyptian influences in modern fashion. Temperly London at London Fashion Week 2013.

There was also the bead-net dress that ancient Egyptian women mostly wore during festivals. A model was discovered inside a 5th/6th dynasty tomb near the city of Qau. Many writers and researchers have gone on to say, that after the emergence of Tutankhamun’s tomb and the subsequent egyptomania, the beaded dress played a role in influencing 1920s fashion in Europe.

Ancient Egyptian beaded dress in the left, and Marion Wulz in the 1920s

1920’s fashion – Beaded dress with ancient Egyptian detailing

Both men and women in ancient Egypt also wore make-up. The red colour on the lips worn by women today could be inspired by the ancient Egyptians mixing red ochre and ointment to make lip balm.

The cosmetic powers were conserved and well-kept in containers made of stone, ceramic, wood and reed, which are housed in the Egyptian department of the Louvre museum in Paris.

Malachite, a bright green mineral, was used for blue and green eyeshadow, and kohl, a black powdery substance, was used by the Egyptians as eyeliner, which still appeals to modern day fashion.

Detail of Colossal Head of Ramses II from Abydos Egypt, ca. 1290 – 1224 BCE, At the University of Pennsylvania Museum

Taking care of the hair was also incredibly important, as it was regarded as a ‘representation of the self’, as researcher Geoffrey John Tassie notes. Different hairstyles were used to represent as a way of establishing status, with longer hair being a symbol of power and divinity.

As such, Egyptians developed wigs that were worn by women and men alike. Often, Egyptians would wear ‘perfume cones’ on top of the wigs: these were made from animal fat or wax and laced with sweet-smelling oils.

Male wig. British Museum.

In regards to jewellery, all classes in Egyptian society wore jewelled collars made of beads, including armbands, anklets and bracelets.

Usekh of princess Neferuptah, 12th Dynasty

The amount of jewellery a person wore was often an indicator of their social status or wealth, yet even the poor in Egyptian society adorned themselves with as much jewels as they could.

Both gold and silver were sought after, with silver being more rare and expensive than the gold. According to Egyptian religious mythology, the god’s skin was made of gold, their bones from silver and their hair from turquoise. As such, it was no surprise that Egyptian rulers paid much attention to their appearances and to the appearance of the gods and goddesses. Statues of the latter were often meticulously decorated and adorning colorful, high-quality clothing as well.

In the modern day, Egyptian motifs and patterns have taken the international fashion world by storm. Hollywood stars like Beyonce and Katy Perry use Egyptian elements in their work as well as various clothing designers. Among the multitude of shapes and motifs, the ‘eye of Horus’, Egyptian cats, the winged sun-disc and the the cobra are most popular.

This splendid civilization did not just give the world knowledge in science, mathematics, religion and governance, but also passed on its dazzling  style and artistic influence.

CAIRO - 29 September 2018: Egypt offered condolences to Indonesia Saturday over the victims of the tsunami and earthquake, which hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, leaving 384 people killed and scores others injured.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry expressed Egypt`s solidarity with the Indonesian government and people, stressing that Jakarta is able to overcome the tragic crisis as soon as possible.
An Egyptian court has sentenced an activist to two years in jail over a video she posted on social media criticizing the government for failing to protect women against sexual harassment and over poor living conditions, her lawyer said.
Indonesia`s geophysics agency lifted a tsunami warning 34 minutes after it was first issued following a major earthquake that sent huge waves crashing into the northeastern coast of Sulawesi island, killing hundreds and leaving thousands more homeless.
Fed up with Macedonia`s economic woes, Solomon Bicakcic will vote "yes" in a referendum on Sunday on whether to change the country`s name to qualify for European Union membership and - many hope - usher in prosperity.
CAIRO – 29 September 2018: Egypt’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology Amr Talaat announced Saturday that by the middle of 2019, the ministry will provide several services for citizens through mobile applications, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

Talat pointed out that the services would include health insurance, vehicle licensing, and general taxation documents, assuring that anyone could get the documents they require as soon as they fill in the application rather than going to the citizens` service offices.

In the same context, the minister of communications told Egypt Today that the ministry seeks to establish the Information Infrastructure Project of the new health insurance system to follow up patients’ registry database and provide medical care for those who cannot afford health coverage.

The initiative comes as part of the government’s plan to transform Egypt into a digital country.

During the second day of the National Youth Conference held on July 29, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi urged the Administrative Control Authority to transform Egypt into a digital country within four years to improve the services offered to citizens in all fields.

He referred that the National Information Infrastructure Project will help the state reach poor families.

The Ministry of Communication plays a vital role in implementing the government’s plan by providing technical advice to ministries to provide Egyptians with electronic services through different channels.

CAIRO – 29 September 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi endorsed Friday Law no. 181/2018 on consumer protection, which was approved by the Parliament. The law guarantees the consumer’s right of a refund within 14 days of purchasing date when returning a product as long as the receipt is available.

The law states that:

- A fine of LE20,000 - LE500,000 is imposed on sellers in case of abstaining from providing a receipt, not indicating the price of products, and circulating products that incite racism or discrimination.
- A fine of LE10,000 – LE 1 million is set for false advertising.
- It is prohibited to announce fake sales, and manipulate expiry dates and prices claiming that the extra value is for VAT.
- Sellers are obliged to provide a receipt even if the consumer does not request it. Receipts must include all data about the product and the seller.
- It is prohibited to advertise real estate projects without first obtaining necessary construction licenses and setting delivery dates.
- All technical labor hired by producers must be registered at the Ministry of Labor.
- Producers must secure spare parts even after the warranty expires as long as the product’s lifespan is not over.
- It is prohibited to announce contests without the permission of the Consumer Protection Agency.
- The consumer has the right to replace the damaged product within 30 days of purchasing date.
- The agency has the right to issue a “consumer friendly” certificate for suppliers and sellers who offer significant benefits for consumers.
- A number of the agency’s employees are given the power of arrest.
- Street vendors are prohibited from reaching out for houses unless requested by buyers.
- Sellers of used cars are obliged to provide reports of the flaws in the cars for buyers.
- NGOs working in the consumer protection domain have the right to file and follow up with relevant lawsuits on behalf of consumers, observe and compare prices and products’ quality, verify data, ensure the sellers’ abidance to indicated prices, and receive and verify the consumers’ complaints.
- NGOs are prohibited from receiving grants or donations from suppliers or advertisers. The agency would provide financial and technical support for NGOs that will receive 10 percent of the settlements’ value collected by the agency.

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At least 384 people were killed, many swept away as giant waves crashed onto beaches, when a major earthquake and tsunami hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, authorities said on Saturday.
Thousands of people demonstrating both for and against Catalan independence shut down parts of central Barcelona on Saturday, two days before the anniversary of a vote on secession last year that polarised the wealthy Spanish region.
Tens of thousands of Brazilian women are expected to take to the streets on Saturday, protesting what they see as the misogynist ways of one of Brazil`s most divisive presidential candidates in years: right-wing Congressman Jair Bolsonaro.
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