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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    Alma Harry Ritter

    Non-invasive, simple, and personal. That's how Alma wants to remake the experience of going to see a therapist. 

    Stepping out of the elevator on the 21st floor at 515 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, you might just think you're headed into a meeting at any other office space housing startups of various sizes.

    Inside, however, the floor is home to Alma, a co-working space geared specifically toward therapists looking for a place to meet with their patients. Alma, which has raised $4.5 million in seed funding, opened its first location on October 10. 

    Therapists who become Alma members can use the space to hold individual therapy meetings and group sessions. 

    Before starting Alma, CEO Harry Ritter was vice president of care delivery at health insurer Oscar Health. There, he helped create 'the doctor's office of the future.' Oscar had worked to bring mental health professionals into the space, but Ritter, a physician by training, noticed that they faced key challenges: the therapists often practiced on their own and space to meet with patients was hard to find and secure for therapists with patchwork schedules.

    So he created Alma to fix that. So far, Alma's signed on about 30 therapists, and it has the capacity to support around 115 providers.

    Take a look inside the practice, where succulents and calming spaces abound. 

    SEE ALSO: Take a look inside Johnson & Johnson's new startup incubator in NYC's SoHo neighborhood, that feels more like a rustic-chic coffee shop with jewel-toned couches

    Alma is a membership-based community for mental health providers, which include therapists as well as nutritionists and acupuncturists. Through a monthly membership fee, Alma provides the physical space they might need, but therapists can set their own rates for patients. Getting off the elevator, there are plants and wood paneling to greet you before entering the practice.

    Patients are given a card from Alma, and they can show that to the doorman to avoid the sometimes intimidating process of having to check in with an ID card. Once they get up to the 21st floor, they can ring the doorbell to be let in.

    Walking in, the first thing you come across is a waiting area for clients. There are mugs for tea, couches, and bookshelves in this space. The couches were designed to face in the same direction to bypass any uncomfortable feelings patients might have encountering other people while waiting for their appointment to begin.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Google is a dream job for many workers in the tech industry.
    • We spoke to former Google employees to find out why they decided to leave the company.
    • Their answers ranged from frustration with company politics to a desire to take the next step in their career, whether that's learning new skills, building a new company, or becoming a social-media influencer.

    Google is routinely rated one of the best places to work in the US.

    It's no surprise that with a median salary over $160,000, generous benefits packages, and perks like free gourmet food, massages, and music lessons, Google is considered a dream job by so many people in the tech industry.

    So why would anyone ever want to leave?

    We spoke to several former Googlers to find out why they left the company, compiling their responses with those of other former employees who have written about their departures publicly.

    Their reasons include everything from frustration with company politics to simply wanting to feel more freedom at a smaller company. One former Googler even quit to become a social-media influencer.

    Read on to see the reasons 15 former Googlers gave for leaving the company.

    SEE ALSO: 3 former Google execs explain why they left a company where just about everyone wants to work

    DON'T MISS: A millennial who left her 6-figure job at Google to be a full-time social media influencer explains why she was willing to take the risk

    Liz Wessel, cofounder and CEO of WayUp

    Former position at Google: Product marketing manager

    Why she left: Wessel told Business Insider she knew it was time to leave Google when she couldn't stop thinking about her next career move.

    "If you can't do a good job at your job anymore because you're spending all of your time thinking about another job opportunity, that's probably a good sign," she said.

    Tyler Breisacher, software engineer at Hustle

    Former position at Google: Software developer

    Why he left: Breisacher was one of about a dozen Googlers who left the company in April to protest Google's controversial collaboration in which it provides the US Department of Defense with artificial-intelligence technology.

    After thousands of employees signed a petition, Google announced it would cease work on the project next year.

    "This is obviously a big deal, and it's very encouraging, but this only happened after months and months of people signing petitions and [internal debate] and people quitting," Breisacher told Business Insider.

    Breisacher said his decision to leave was also influenced by Google's sponsorship of a conservative political conference and its failure to act decisively after YouTube videos related to LGBT issues were flagged as inappropriate on the site.

    "When I started, Google had a reputation as a pro-gay, pro-trans company," Breisacher, who is gay, told Business Insider. "I guess I'm disillusioned. I know that Google is a for-profit company and you shouldn't expect it to do things purely for the good of the world. But in the past, we would expect leaders to listen to the employees and to think carefully about issues and not to cross certain lines.

    "Things have changed at Google."

    Krystal Bick, social-media influencer

    Former position at Google: Product marketing manager

    Why she left: Bick left her six-figure job at Google in 2015 to pursue her side hustle: being a social-media influencer.

    She knew it was time to leave after she recognized that influencer marketing was seeing an influx of advertising dollars. Now, she earns as much as four figures for a single sponsored post and five figures for brand ambassadorships.

    More importantly, she said, being an entrepreneur is liberating.

    "There's 90% certainty, and there's 10% of 'this could really fail miserably, and then I don't know what I'm going to do,'"Bick told Business Insider. "But I think I was comfortable enough with the fact that even if I fall flat on my face, at least I tried it, and I tried it at a moment where I feel like it really was an opportunity to try it."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mistake fall

    • In March, I left New York to travel around the world as Business Insider's international correspondent. In total, in my life, I've traveled to 30-plus countries.
    • While traveling I've made tons of dumb mistakes that I'd like to avoid in the future. Everything from getting pickpocketed in the Mexico City metro to getting tricked by a fake taxi. 
    • Learn from my mistakes and save yourself some aggravation.

    The idea that travel is an adventure is one of the oldest clichès in the book. But, it's a clichè because it's true. And, on adventures, things go wrong. Often.

    I've made so many mistakes while on the road that it would be impossible for me to recount them all. I've worn the wrong footwear on hikes and ended up with blisters as big as my heel.  I've been pickpocketed not once, but twice. I've taken a metro in the wrong direction a dozen times. The mistakes never end.

    But that's also what I love about travel: the constant sense of exploration, of trial and error, of sketching out new terrain on your mental map.

    Below, I've collected as many of the mistakes as I can remember that I've made while traveling. There are a lot. Perhaps you'll learn from my mistakes and save yourself some aggravation. 

    SEE ALSO: I traveled the world for 6 months, and here's the single best piece of advice I can give you for any trip you take

    DON'T MISS: I've been traveling the world for 6 months, and I've found real life doesn't always live up to the hype. These are the most disappointing places I've been.

    1. I forgot to print out my boarding pass before getting on a budget airline. I had to pay $34 to print out my boarding pass at airport check-in.

    I've been traveling the world for 6 months, and I still made an expensive budget airline mistake that should serve as a warning to anyone»

    2. In Bali, I made the mistake of wearing flip-flops while driving a scooter bike. When my hand slipped on the throttle with my foot on the ground, it dragged and I ended up with a nasty cut.

    3. On my last night in Tokyo, I decided it was a good idea to spend the night out drinking at an izakaya and singing karaoke. I woke up in a stupor, barely made my 8 a.m. flight, and was nauseous for the entire 13-hour flight to New York.

    A little-known travel app that is Airbnb-meets-Tinder helped me have the wildest night in Tokyo partying until sunrise»


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Huawei Mate 20

    Huawei's Mate 20 Pro is here. It's a high-end flagship phone to go up against the Google Pixel 3 XL and the iPhone XS Max, with a price tag of €1049 (priced at £899 in the UK and equivalent to $1,220).

    The Chinese phone maker is a huge deal, even if it doesn't quite boast the brand recognition of Samsung or Apple. It is the second biggest smartphone maker in the world, behind Samsung, and has put major spend into crafting beautiful flagship devices.

    You might already be familiar with Huawei's P series, an impressive range of Android phones updated earlier this year. Now there's the year-end Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro.

    Here are the coolest new features on the Mate 20 Pro:

    • Qi-compatible phone-to-phone wireless charging which, in plain English, means you could wirelessly charge an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone by placing it against a Mate 20 Pro.
    • Huawei lets you unlock your phone with your face through a facial recognition feature, similar to an iPhone.
    • There's also on-screen fingerprint recognition, which works smoothly on a first run.
    • A Leica-powered triple-lens camera intelligently tracks the subject of photos, has real-time video filters, and lets you take beautiful ultra-wide and close-up shots.
    • It launches with Android 9 Pie out of the box.
    • It's than the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

    Business Insider spent a few days with the Mate 20 Pro. Here's what we took away from a first look.

    The Mate 20 Pro is a jumbo phone with a curved, OLED, 6.39-inch screen.

    We're firmly into phablet territory with this supersized phone. It isn't even the biggest of the updated range: Huawei, as its "one last thing," unexpectedly announced the Huawei Mate 20 X, a shameless copycat of the iPhone X branding and basically a tablet at 7.2 inches.

    To someone who owns a comparatively modest 5.8-inch iPhone X (and happens to have an injured hand tendon), the size felt a little unwieldy. But if you spend your commutes glued to Netflix, the size, the screen's curved edges, and popping colours make this an excellent device.

    Yes, there's a notch, but it's optional.

    2018 is the year of the notch. Screens without big black borders are becoming a common design feature on flagship phones, but phone makers haven't quite worked out how to achieve a full-screen display and house a front-facing camera. Hence the notch.

    For anyone especially displeased by the notch on the Mate 20 Pro, Huawei lets you switch it off. That feature keeps the bezel running evenly across the top of the phone.

    An advanced chipset and interface update means the phone boasts impressive speed boosts.

    Huawei is promising super speedy performance, thanks to its Kirin 980 chipset, which also packs a neural processing unit (NPU) for clever artificial intelligence features.

    There's also an upgrade to EMUI 9, Huawei's homegrown interface. The company said users should be able to open apps much faster and navigate around the phone quicker.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    iPhone XR

    Apple has a new iPhone coming out next week.

    The iPhone XR was announced in September alongside the iPhone XS and XS Max. The latter two phones were released to the public on September 21, but folks had to wait a month for the more affordable iPhone XR. It's currently available to pre-order, but goes on sale October 26.

    The iPhone XR costs $749 to start, while the iPhone XS costs $999 to start. Still, there are several reasons to consider the more expensive phone, if you're on the fence.

    Here are nine reasons you should buy an iPhone XS instead of the iPhone XR:

    SEE ALSO: Here's how to decide between the red, blue, yellow, white, black, and 'coral' versions of the iPhone XR

    SEE ALSO: The iPhone XR is coming soon: Here are 9 reasons you should buy it instead of an iPhone XS or XS Max

    1. The iPhone XS is available in more sizes than the iPhone XR.

    If you like the look and feel of the iPhone XR, you can only get it in one size, with its 6.1-inch display.

    If you like the iPhone XS, however, you have two size options to choose from: you can get the 5.8-inch model, or the 6.5-inch "Max" size, which costs $100 more than the standard iPhone XS.

    2. The iPhone XS display looks significantly better than the iPhone XR display.

    Your phone screen is important. It's the main window for all of your content: your files, documents, photos, videos, and more.

    The iPhone XS features a "Super Retina" OLED display, while the iPhone XR features a "Liquid Crystal" LCD display.

    OLED displays, in general, are brighter, show more accurate colors, and can achieve far better contrast than LCD displays; the 1,400:1 contrast ratio of the iPhone XR display doesn't come close to the 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio in the iPhone XS. Since OLED displays can actually turn their pixels off, instead of just dim them like LCD displays, black actually looks like black on the iPhone XS, and images look much more vivid.

    The iPhone XR has one of the best LCD displays in a smartphone, but it still doesn't come close to the iPhone XS display, which, thanks to HDR support, is the better way to view high-definition photos and videos. The iPhone XR screen is also a little less great since the bezel, or border around the edge of the display, is thicker than it is on the iPhone XS.

    3. The iPhone XR is available in six beautiful colors, but if you want silver or gold, those are only options with the iPhone XS.

    The iPhone XR is available in red, blue, yellow, black, white, and coral, which is kind of like orange-meets-pink.

    The iPhone XS is also available in black, along with "silver" instead of white (they're pretty similar), as well as a new exclusive gold option.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    A recruit fires flare gun during his 16-day basic training for Poland's Territorial Defence Forces, at a shooting range near Siedlce, Poland

    Poland launched a volunteer militia called the Territorial Defense Forces in 2017, about a year after the nationalist Law and Justice party came to power in October 2015.

    The Polish government plans to spend $153 million on the Territoral Defense Forces this year, and expects to add 10,000 recruits annually, reaching a total of more than 50,000 by the end of 2021. 

    Thus far, more than 12,000 volunteers and more than 2,000 professional soldiers have joined. 

    And they're ready to die to protect Poland from a Russian incursion like what happened in Ukraine in 2014. 

    The militia's mission statement says the biggest benefit for the nation and for recruits will be its “contribution to national security and the strengthening of patriotic values through the practical dimension of sacrifice for Poland.”

    Here's what they do. 

    SEE ALSO: NATO snipers have been performing high-angle shooting way up in the Austrian Alps — and the images are stunning

    SEE ALSO: 11 weapons used by Russia's elite Spetsnaz operators

    The Territorial Defense Forces (WOT) was created in 2015 by Poland's then-Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, who argued it was needed to bolster patriotism among young people and to protect the country from the growing threat of Russia.

    Macierewicz said Poland modeled the WOT off of the US National Guard, which is made up mostly of civilians with part-time military duties.

    “We have consulted repeatedly with Guard officers,” Macierewicz told public broadcaster TVP Info in 2016.

    Young people who join are expected to spend at least four months in training over three years, including 16 days in basic training, for which they'll be paid an $80 monthly stipend as well as education and training allowances.

    In basic training, recruits are taught marksmanship.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jeff Bezos Amazon

    • The World Economic Forum ranked each country according to its business environment and innovation.
    • The United States took the No. 1 spot.
    • The ranking considered the cost and speed of starting a business in each country, as well as attitudes toward risk, and the willingness of companies to embrace disruptive ideas.

    If you're looking for the best place to build a business, you may not have to look far.

    The United States was ranked No. 1 in "business dynamism" in the World Economic Forum's 2018 global competitiveness report on Tuesday, scoring a global high of 86.5 points out of 100 in the category.

    The business dynamism ranking factored in several metrics, such as the cost and speed of starting a business in each country, the attitudes of entrepreneurs toward risk, and the willingness of companies to embrace disruptive ideas.

    "An agile and dynamic private sector increases productivity by taking business risks, testing new ideas, and creating innovative products and services," the report said.

    "In an environment characterized by frequent disruption and redefinition of businesses and sectors, successful economic systems are resilient to technological shocks and are able to constantly re-invent themselves."

    Take a look at the best places in the world for innovative businesses:

    SEE ALSO: The 13 worst job markets in America right now

    DON'T MISS: The 50 most livable cities in the world in 2018

    25. Czech Republic

    Score: 70.2

    24. Slovenia

    Score: 70.3

    23. Thailand

    Score: 71.0

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    pacific swim ben before the swim

    More than 1,200 miles from the coast of Japan, a 51-year-old Frenchman is swimming in the Pacific Ocean right now.

    Or he's eating.

    Those are pretty much the only two activities Benoît Lecomte does these days, as he attempts to become the first person to successfully swim across the Pacific Ocean.

    "I wake up throughout the night because I'm hungry," Lecomte told Business Insider by phone from the 20-meter sailboat, called Seeker, that's traveling with him. 

    Lecomte set out from Japan in June, and is making his way toward California. An eight-person crew is sailing along with him, collecting data about the health of both the ocean and Lecomte along the way.

    Their mission is far less concerned about crushing records than it is with breaking bad habits.

    "We're addicted to plastic," Lecomte said. "That's something we need to change."

    The original plan was to finish this awareness-raising swim in December, but the quest has faced some hiccups. The crew had to turn back in July and take a 20-day break when a series of strong typhoons hit the area. 

    Undeterred, Lecomte is back in the water now, and logging some of his longest daily swims thus far.

    He said the journey hasn't gotten easier over time, but he and the crew have developed a routine that guides their daily activity. Here's what it's like.

    SEE ALSO: A 51-year-old just began a 5,500-mile swim across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to San Francisco

    Every day, Lecomte wakes up around 6 a.m. and prepares for another eight-hour day of swimming. He starts off with a hot bowl of oatmeal that's "loaded with nuts and dried fruit," he said.

    Oatmeal has a high fat content, which helps keep Lecomte full while he swims in the 78-degree waters of the Pacific.

    Before he gets in the water, he answers a few emails, does a bit of writing, rubs Vaseline on his skin to prevent chafing, and may work on some necessary repairs of his gear.

    Then he and a crew of two others get in a rubber dinghy and head back to the precise spot where he stopped swimming the day before. (They monitor Lecomte's progress using a GPS tracker.) The crew members point him in the correct direction, and he plops into the water. 

    Lecomte is a little over a fifth of the way through his journey.

    He tries to swim 30 miles each day, but sometimes he falls short of that goal.

    Swimming eight or nine hours per day makes Lecomte so hungry that he usually wakes up three or four times each night to nosh.

    "Sometimes it's just water," he said. But he also drinks protein shakes and eats pasta leftovers as midnight snacks.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Mall operators are scrambling to point out how Sears' downfall is a positive development for their businesses.
    • They include Seritage, the real-estate spin-off from Sears. The company stands to lose rental income from closed stores but says an investment from Warren Buffett would help it stay afloat.
    • The 125-year-old retailer filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, and a handful of real-estate companies were quick to point out how prepared they are to capitalize on it.

    The ink on Sears' bankruptcy filing hasn't dried, but some companies are already telling their shareholders what they stand to gain.

    That's partly because the news on Monday was no surprise. After years of declining sales, Sears announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closing 142 stores before the end of the year. The 125-year-old company added that Eddie Lampert would step down as CEO but remain chairman.

    Sears' downfall has created potential winners, notably its direct competitors: big-box retailers like JCPenney, TJMaxx, and Marshalls. Because the bankruptcy filing had been a long time coming, they'd already picked up some of the customers who had been fleeing Sears as it crumbled.

    Another group of companies — mall operators — have also positioned themselves to benefit from Sears' downfall by gradually reducing their exposure to its stores.

    Now that Sears has filed for bankruptcy, they're spotlighting what they stand to gain from the stores that will be emptied. In particular, Sears' departure could allow them to lease the same stores at much higher prices and to tenants that generate more sales.

    But this process won't be cheap: Real-estate investment trusts (REITs) could require $100 to rebuild every square foot Sears leaves behind. This could add up to $12 million per store, according to Reuters.

    Here's a rundown of what some major mall owners are telling their investors:

    SEE ALSO: Global investors haven't been this bearish on the economy since the financial crisis — and Bank of America says there's only one way to play it

    Seritage Growth Properties

    Seritage has the most at stake.

    Sears' Lampert founded the company in 2015 as a real-estate spin-off. And in August, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway agreed to lend the company up to $2 billion.

    The company said in a statement on Monday that it has been working to diversify its income away from Sears-operated properties, and about 70% of its signed-lease income was from non-Sears tenants. Even Lampert owns just 2% of the company, according to a regulatory filing.

    Seritage tried to assure investors that it would be able to make up for the shortfall of Sears store closings, partly because of Buffett's cash injection. It said it's been able to raise rents by up to four times on space formerly leased by Sears.

    "The completion of our redevelopment projects brings our signed leased income on-line and will replace any potential lost income from Sears Holdings," Seritage CEO Benjamin Schall said.

    Kimco Realty

    In a statement on Monday, this REIT said it had proactively reduced its shopping centers' exposure to Kmart and Sears stores.

    It added that it was able to raise rents by an average of 211% on stores that Sears and Kmart vacated.

    The company said Sears and Kmart rents were among the cheapest in its portfolio — an average of $5.25 per square foot versus $15.95 overall — suggesting that it expected a minimal hit to its rental income.

    "Today's announcement may afford us the long-awaited opportunity to recapture boxes with significant mark-to-market potential in our core markets, and sparks several new redevelopment opportunities within our portfolio," Conor Flynn, Kimco's CEO, said in the statement.

    Washington Prime

    Washington Prime Group CEO Lou Conforti did not hold back on his thoughts about Sears' bankruptcy. Conforti said in a statement on Friday:

    "We've worked diligently to address unproductive department store space over the previous couple of years and recent reports of an imminent Sears bankruptcy filing shouldn't come as a surprise to any landlord unless they own a few Zayre or E.J Korvette locations trapped in a space-time continuum where the Sansabelt clad relax on shag carpeting, illuminated by the warm glow of a lava lamp while they drink Tang and vodka and listen to The Moody Blues."

    He continued: "In addition, we need to disabuse the farcical notion of a Sears bankruptcy filing (whether or not it comes to fruition) will come as a surprise to us. We have taken the appropriate financial, operational and strategic measures, and as a result regard such events as an opportunity."

    The company added that it had reduced its department-store exposure by half since 2015. After all, the industry hasn't fully figured out how to combat the challenges of e-commerce and Amazon.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Pixel 3 XL

    It's the battle of the big smartphones. 

    Two tech powerhouses, Apple and Google, have released extra-large devices in the past month: the iPhone XS Max and the Pixel 3 XL, respectively. 

    While the two phones have some key differences, they also have a lot in common, most notably their large size. 

    So if you're someone who prefers a big phone — after all, a larger phone means a larger display — it may be a tough choice this fall. 

    Here's how the iPhone XS Max and Pixel 3 XL compare: 

    SEE ALSO: Google's Pixel 3 could be the last smartphone you ever need to buy

    The iPhone XS Max has a slightly larger screen than the Pixel 3 XL.

    The iPhone XS Max has a 6.5-inch OLED display, while the Pixel 3 XL has a 6.3-inch OLED display

    The iPhone XS Max and Pixel 3 XL have nearly identical dimensions otherwise — except when it comes to weight.

    The iPhone XS Max is 157.7 mm tall and 77.4 mmwide, while the Pixel 3 XL is 158 mm tall and 76.7 mmwide.

    But the iPhone XS Max is significantly heavier than the Pixel 3 XL: it weighs 208 grams, while the Pixel 3 XL clocks in at 184 grams. 

    The iPhone XS Max comes in more storage options compared to the Pixel 3 XL.

    You can get an iPhone XS Max in three storage options: 64 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB.

    By contrast, the Pixel 3 comes in only two storage options, 64 GB and 128 GB.

    That said, Google has one-upped Apple with its cloud storage, at least when it comes to your pictures: Google offers free unlimited storage in Google Photos, while Apple makes you pay for iCloud storage if you want more than 5 GB.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • The 2018 FutureBrand Index ranked the brands that are best prepared for the future, based on the companies' corporate purpose combined with people's experiences of it. 
    • While the retail apocalypse doesn't seem to be slowing down, some brands are a lot more likely than others to survive it. 
    • Disney and Nike are among the consumer-oriented brands most likely to thrive in the future. See what other companies made FutureBrand's list.

    The retail apocalypse doesn't seem to be slowing down, with more than 3,800 stores expected to close across the United States this year.

    But, some brands are a lot more likely than others to thrive with the consumers of the future. 

    The 2018 FutureBrand Index looked at the world's 100 most future-proof companies 10 years after the Great Recession. And while it seems as if companies like Google and Amazon are unstoppable, the FutureBrand Index argues that they may not be the brands best poised to thrive in the future.

    Rather, long-established and reputable brands are leading the way. 

    "The most future proofed companies are not defined by their age, their sector, their tech or data savvy-ness, but by their ability to consistently align the totality of the experiences they create with their wider corporate purpose," FutureBrand writes in its report.  

    To asses which brands are the most ready for future success, FutureBrand looked at each company's corporate purpose combined with the experience it provides for consumers, explaining that these are the two factors driving profit and positive growth. 

    The report looked at 100 brands in total. See which consumer goods and services companies are the strongest, according to the report: 

    SEE ALSO: We visited ShopRite and Stop & Shop to see which was a better grocery store, and the winner was clear

    10. Nestle

    Rank in top 100: 24

    9. Amazon

    Rank in top 100: 21

    8. Toyota

    Rank in top 100: 19

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    the private suite lax

    • A new terminal called The Private Suite opened at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in late 2017.
    • The Private Suite offers a $4,500-a-year base membership and costs $2,700 to use per domestic flight and $3,500 per international flight for up to four passengers.
    • Food and drinks, a private room and bathroom, an on-site spa, and a personal chauffeur directly to your plane are included.
    • I recently toured The Private Suite and found it accommodating and comfortable. The best part? No crowds.

    I didn't expect to leave The Private Suite feeling like a pampered billionaire.

    When I pulled into the driveway on an unusually gloomy Los Angeles morning, a man with a wide, toothy grin and a bulletproof vest emblazoned with "SECURITY" greeted me cheerily. The dichotomy caught me off guard; they'd been expecting me, he said, and the tall gates parted, revealing a modern-looking, one-story building facing the airport runway. 

    The Private Suite is a terminal built specifically for wealthy travelers flying in and out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). (I'm not a wealthy traveler by any means, but the folks at The Private Suite made an exception for this story. I get the feeling they treat their paying customers with the same dutiful enthusiasm.)

    The independently owned and operated terminal opened in October 2017 and offers a quiet, crowd-free, luxurious space to hang out before boarding a commercial flight.

    As you may expect, it's not cheap. But for celebrities routinely hounded by paparazzi in the public terminals at LAX and wealthy businesspeople and families seeking solitude, it's a safe haven offering the best privacy, security, and amenities money can buy.

    Here's what it's like inside The Private Suite.

    SEE ALSO: I've spent 6 months traveling the world on business, and I've found the perfect way to make airports less miserable

    DON'T MISS: I've been traveling the world for 6 months, and I've found real life doesn't always live up to the hype. These are the most disappointing places I've been.

    The Private Suite is owned and operated by security firm Gavin de Becker & Associates. It's located opposite the public LAX terminals, so there's no traffic to battle.

    The Private Suite accommodates travelers flying on one of the 70 commercial airlines operating at LAX.

    It's the first private terminal at a major US airport, but similar models exist at airports in London, Munich, Frankfurt, and Dubai. My first impression was that it's intimate and isolated, in the best way.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    man thinking

    • Sometimes, interview questions can be tricky or confusing.
    • Interviewers ask them to learn more about you — including information you may have been trying to conceal. 
    • Here's how to get around them.

    Savvy hiring managers can glean a ton of information about you by asking just a few, well-chosen questions.

    But while they may seem simple, some are actually designed to get you to reveal information you may have been trying to conceal. In other words: they're trick questions.

    "To uncover areas that may reflect inconsistencies, hiring managers sometimes ask these tricky questions," said Tina Nicolai, executive career coach and founder of Resume Writers' Ink.

    But they're not just about exposing your flaws, said Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant." 

    "Their real agenda is for your answers to ultimately paint a picture that you are the perfect fit for the job — not just on paper, but from an overall trust standpoint," Taylor said.

    Here are 21 common examples of tricky job interview questions, complete with advice on how to ace each one:

    SEE ALSO: 13 signs your interviewer wants to hire you

    DON'T MISS: 36 words and phrases you should never include on your résumé

    Can you tell me about yourself?

    Why do they ask this? They ask to determine how the candidates see themselves as it pertains to the position and how confidently they can communicate their skills. "The employer wants to hear that the candidate did their homework," Nicolai said. "If this opening answer is weak, it can send the remainder of the interview into a tailspin or cut the interview short."

    What makes it tricky? It can tempt you to talk about your personal life — which you shouldn't! "Most candidates are not versed in seeing this as a trick question, so they may answer by speaking from a personal perspective: 'I have three kids, I'm married, etc,'" Nicolai said.

    What response are they looking for? A focused answer conveying your value to the organization and department. "The employer wants to hear about your achievements, broken down into two or three succinct bullet answers that will set the tone of the interview," Nicolai said.

    Try this, from Nicolai: "I am known for turning around poor performance teams as a result of my innate skills in analyzing problems and seeing solutions very quickly."

    This statement tells the interviewer that the candidate has analytical skills, problem-solving ability, and leadership ability that enables them to turn around business performance.

    How would you describe yourself in one word?

    Why do they ask this? Through that one word, Taylor said employers will be able to assess your personality type, how confident you are in your self-perception, and whether your work style is a good fit for the job.

    What makes it tricky? This question can be a challenge, particularly early on in the interview, because you don't really know what personality type the manager is seeking. "There is a fine line between sounding self-congratulatory versus confident, and humble versus timid," Taylor said. "And people are multifaceted, so putting a short label on oneself can seem nearly impossible."

    What response are they looking for? Proceed cautiously. "If you know you're reliable and dedicated, but love the fact that your friends praise your clever humor, stick with the conservative route," Taylor said.

    If you're applying for an accounting job, the one-word descriptor should not be "creative," and if it's an art director position, you don't want it to be, "punctual," for example.

    "Most employers today are seeking team players that are levelheaded under pressure, upbeat, honest, reliable, and dedicated," Taylor said. 

    How does this position compare to others you are applying for?

    Why do they ask this? They're basically asking: "Are you applying for other jobs?" And they want to see how you speak about other companies or positions that hold your interest — and how honest you are.

    What makes it tricky? If you respond, "This is the only job I'm applying for," your interviewer will worry. Very few job applicants apply to only one job, so they may assume you're being dishonest. But if you're too effusive about your other prospects, however, the hiring manager may see you as unattainable and pass. "Speaking negatively about other jobs or employers isn't good either," Nicolai added.

    What response are they looking for? Go with this response, Nicolai said: "There are several organizations with whom I am interviewing, however, I've not yet decided the best fit for my next career move."

    "This is positive and protects the competitors," Nicolai said. "No reason to pit companies or to brag."

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    IMG_6094 Trader Joes

    • Trader Joe's wins over customers with its high-quality and affordable products.
    • Selling products under a private label is one way that Trader Joe's is able to cut costs and pass along savings to the shopper.
    • Here are some other ways that Trader Joe's keeps its prices so low. 

    Trader Joe's wins over customers with its affordable products.

    But despite how relatively low its prices are, the quality is still high. 

    Part of the reason is that 80% of Trader Joe's products are made for its own private label. That means the grocer is buying goods directly from the supplier, cutting out the middlemen in the supply chain that can drive up costs. Trader Joe's can pass along those savings to the shopper in turn.

    Another way Trader Joe's cuts costs and passes the savings on to customers is by depending on word of mouth to spread the word about its products, rather than spending a lot on marketing. 

    See what else Trader Joe's does to keep its prices low: 

    SEE ALSO: Trader Joe's execs reveal why employees wear Hawaiian shirts at work

    Trader Joe's sells private-label products. That means the grocer is buying goods directly from the supplier, cutting out the middlemen in the supply chain that can drive up costs.

    Source: Business Insider

    About 80% of the products Trader Joe's carries are private label.

    Source: Business Insider

    Customers can't buy Trader Joe's private-label products anywhere else, but it helps keep costs low.

    Source: Business Insider

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    Skyroam Solis wi-fi hotspot

    • While traveling light is great, I find it equally important to travel organized.
    • I tend to bring a few different things with me on every trip — whether a long weekend or a multi-week journey — to help me stay mobile and efficient.
    • Here are my must-haves on any international trip.

    When I travel, I tend to go for "organized" more than "minimalist." Sure, I try to keep it light, packing as few articles of clothing as I can get away with and asking myself "will I need this?" before anything goes in my bag. Ultimately, though, I might take a couple of things I don't absolutely, strictly need if it makes my trip easier or more comfortable.

    I've taken a number of trips over the past few years, ranging from long weekends away or quick work trips to weeks-long treks to four or five different cities or countries. While I obviously pack differently depending on the trip, there are a few things that go in my bag any time I travel abroad, whether its for a few days or a few weeks. Here are my essentials.

    SEE ALSO: I pay $1,000 in annual fees for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum — and as far as I’m concerned, the math checks out

    A passport wallet to keep my travel documents together.

    Bellroy Travel Wallet, $119.95

    I never really bothered with passport holders before, preferring to just slip my passport in a jeans or backpack pocket. Then I tried one out, and I became a convert. The Bellroy Travel Wallet is basically a folio for all of your travel documents, like a passport, boarding passes, landing cards, extra currency, and anything else you have. I can even put my Priority Pass airport lounge card and a back-up credit card in there so that I don't take up room in my regular, everyday wallet. It's an easy way to streamline everything and stay organized at the airport and at passport control. You can also take a look at a few of the other passport wallets I tested.

    A pair of noise-cancelling headphones to keep things quiet on the plane.

    Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones, $349, available at Amazon

    Bose's noise-cancelling headphones are simply a life changer. Bose developed the first active noise cancellation headphones for commercial use in the 1980s and brought the technology to the masses with the original QuietComfort headphones in 2000. Since then, each iteration of headphones has gotten better and better. The QuietComfort, or 'QC' 35 headphones are effective, wireless, comfortable, and just about perfect. They also come with a wire and an adapter in case you need to connect to something that isn't equipped with Bluetooth — for instance, and airplane's in-flight entertainment system. While my colleague Brandt prefers Sony's latest noise cancelling headphones, I definitely prefer my Bose.

    The right credit card — without foreign transaction fees — to earn rewards and access lounges.

    Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy

    Click here to learn more about the Amex Platinum from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy

    I absolutely never travel without my Platinum Card® from American Express and my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. That may seem nuts, since it means I pay $1,000 in annual fees between the two cards, but it makes sense for me — you can read why here. Even if you don't want to carry both, just one can be incredibly useful.

    The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3x points per dollar spent on all dining and travel — so the vast majority of your purchases during a trip, including internationally — as well as an annual $300 travel credit that offsets a big part of the annual fee. It also includes numerous protections including trip and baggage delay insurance, trip interruption coverage, and primary rental car insurance, as long as you use the card to pay for your trip.

    The card also offers access to airport lounges through the Priority Pass program, which you can read more about here.

    The Amex Platinum offers 5x points on airfare purchased from the airline and prepaid hotels reserved through, but doesn't have the same level of protections as the Sapphire Reserve. It does, however, offer a number of useful credits, and significantly more extensive lounge access within the US.

    Both cards have no foreign transaction fees, and come with rich bonuses for new card members. The Sapphire Reserve offers 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months, while the Amex Platinum offers 60,000 Amex Membership Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in the first three months.

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    giorgio armani

    • Fashion designer Giorgio Armani is worth $8.8 billion, according to Forbes.
    • The 84-year-old has made his fortune not only in fashion, but also in accessories, perfumes, makeup, sportswear, interior design, real estate, restaurants, hotels, and even chocolate.
    • Armani owns a 213-foot luxury yacht and homes in Italy, the French Riviera, and the Caribbean island of Antigua.
    • Here's a look at how Armani makes and spends his billions.


    Giorgio Armani, the co-founder and sole owner of fashion house Armani, is worth $8.8 billion, according to Forbes

    His empire also spans industries that include accessories, perfume, makeup, interior design, real estate, restaurants, and hotels. The business mogul brought in $2.7 billion in revenue in 2017, according to Bloomberg, which looked at filings with Italy's business register.

    The 84-year-old spends part of his fortune on multiple private homes all over the world, from Italy to the South of France to the Caribbean island of Antigua. He also owns a 213-foot luxury superyacht. 

    Here's a look at what nearly $9 billion buys.

    SEE ALSO: The 25 richest people in fashion

    Giorgio Armani is one of the richest people in the fashion industry, with a net worth of $8.8 billion.

    Source: Forbes

    Armani was born in the northern Italian town of Piacenza in 1934 and later attended medical school at Piacenza University for two years before leaving for his military service.

    Source: Bloomberg

    While on leave from the military, Armani got a job as a window dresser at Milan department store La Rinoscente, where he worked up to a buyer position, marking his first foray into fashion.

    Source: Bloomberg

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    amazon echo show google home hub

    A year after Amazon introduced its first smart display, the Echo Show, Google has responded with its own version: the Google Home Hub

    It's good timing, since the 2018 version of the Echo Show ships out to customers on Thursday. 

    These smart displays are still relatively new, but what they can do goes way beyond the first iterations of virtual voice-assistants, which more than 60 million people already have in their homes.

    So whether you're one of those people and are considering an upgrade, or are looking to buy your first smart display, here's how the Amazon Echo Show compares to the Google Home Hub.

    SEE ALSO: Apple's original TV shows and movies could be free for all iPhone and iPad owners with the launch of its new video streaming service

    There are a few key differences between the two devices. The Amazon Echo Show is a much bigger and heavier device than the Google Home Hub. It also has a larger display.

    The Amazon Echo Show is a significantly bigger device than the Google Home Hub, weighing in at almost four pounds. Google's device is incredibly lightweight, comparatively: it's listed at weighing just over one pound. 

    Here are the rest of the specs:

    • Dimensions: Amazon Echo Show (9.7 inches x 6.9 inches x 4.2 inches) vs. Google Home Hub (7.02 inches x 4.65 inches x 2.65 inches)
    • Display: Echo Show (10.1-inch screen) vs. Home Hub (7-inch screen)

    The Echo Show has a camera for video calling, while the Google Home Hub does not.

    This is probably the biggest difference between the two devices. At the Google event where the Home Hub was announced, executives said the company"consciously" decided not to include a camera out of concern for users' privacy.

    The Amazon Echo Show does have a camera, however. Users can make video calls with anyone who has the Alexa app — which is available for both Android and iOS devices — or anyone who has an Echo Spot or Echo Show device.

    Amazon says that it's working on adding Skype calling as well.

    The Echo Show costs $80 more than the Google Home Hub.

    Google is offering the Home Hub for $150. But Amazon's latest version of the Echo Show (they've stopped selling the 2017 edition) costs $230.

    Amazon began shipping its latest Echo Show on Thursday, but orders on the site are already backed up into November. Google is letting customers pre-order the Home Hub online, but it won't start shipping out until Oct. 18.

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    campaign vs. burrow couch

    • Taking a cue from the bed-in-a-box industry, a growing number of startups are shipping sofas and other upholstered seating to your door.
    • We tested sofas from two such companies, Burrow and Campaign, to determine which one deserves a spot in your living room.
    • Though both are excellent options, I preferred the Campaign Sofa with its ample space, sturdy steel frame backed by a lifetime warranty, and soft, comforting cushions.

    Deciding on furniture you plan to use for many years into the future shouldn't hinge upon a few minutes spent sitting on a well-worn showroom piece under the gaze of a commission-starved salesperson. In fact, some experts suggest that it takes up to two weeks to tell if a sofa is right for you. Not many of us can afford to spend two weeks lounging around a showroom. Fortunately, the best online couch manufacturers offer showroom experiences and risk-free trial periods.

    Two of the top companies delivering sofas right to your door are Campaign and Burrow.

    Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Campaign was founded in 2013 by Brad Sewell, an ex-Apple and Honda design engineer. The frames for their furniture are made in Alabama, and everything ships from Tennessee. The company gets its name from the "campaign furniture" that British soldiers would travel with in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    Burrow got its start in 2015 when Wharton School classmates Kabeer Chopra and Stephen Kuhl were discussing how fed up they were with the sofa-shopping experience. They decided to do something about it. After an initial round of funding that raised $330,000 and a $120,000 investment from Y Combinator, Burrow was born. Headquartered in New York City, Burrow has grown into a team of more than a dozen people, and their couches are manufactured in the United States.

    Both companies recently sent me samples of their products. Each has its weaknesses and its advantages. Below, we compare the Campaign sofa and Burrow sofa head-to-head in a few key categories: price, style options, return policy and warranty, ease of assembly, size, comfort, springiness, motion transfer, build quality, and appearance.

    Keep scrolling to see which online sofa wins each category and to read our final verdict on which one you should buy.

    Buy the Campaign Sofa here.

    Buy the Burrow Sofa here.


    Winner: The Burrow Sofa costs $300 less than the Campaign Sofa.

    As I write this, the baseline Burrow Sofa costs $1,195. The Campaign sofa is $1,495. Both of these companies, though, are notorious for offering special discounts, promo codes, and sales throughout the year. So, this price gap could change at any moment. Both companies also offer 0% APR financing options.

    Price is an important factor when buying a sofa, but it should by no means be your most important factor. A couch can potentially last you for decades. Therefore, the price differences might work out to a few cents per day over the sofa's lifetime, which is well worth the added comfort.

    Style options

    Winner: This is a draw. Burrow offers larger sofas, including a chaise king sofa, but Campaign has more fabric options.

    With Burrow, you can choose between six furniture options: a sofa, king sofa, chaise king sofa, loveseat, armchair, and an ottoman. For every piece but the armless ottoman, you can pick either high arms or low arms. The pieces with arms also have a built-in USB charging port. There are five fabric options: charcoal, beige, brick red, crushed gravel, and navy blue. And, they will send you swatches for free so you can feel the fabric and compare it to your décor.

    There are three leg color options: dark wood, light wood, and matte black. I chose a charcoal-colored sofa with dark wood legs and high arms. If you want to see their couch in person before you buy it, Burrow has a few dozen showrooms across the United States.

    Campaign offers a sofa, loveseat, armchair, ottoman, pillows, cover sets, and leg sets. High arms are not an option. The sofa, loveseat, and armchair all have low arms. There are 17 fabric options made with a brushed, flat, or Merino weave. If you have no idea which weave you'd prefer, that's no problem. Campaign sends you free swatches of the fabrics before you decide. You also get to choose between maple or oak with mahogany stain legs. I chose a Merino weave vintage blue couch with the oak legs. Campaign has more than two dozen showrooms across the US.

    Return policy and warranty

    Winner: Though Campaign has a stricter return policy, they do offer an impressive lifetime warranty on their frame.

    Based on our research, the shortest risk-free return period you should consider is 14 days. If a company offers less, then you might want to shop elsewhere. Campaign has a 14-day free return policy. If you don't like the sofa, you can return it for free and get a full refund. There is a slight catch: They do not accept returns without original packaging. So, hold onto that packaging for at least two weeks after you buy the couch. The only warranty information I could find on the Campaign Sofa was a lifetime warranty for the frame. Fortunately, when it comes to long-term durability, this is the most important part of the sofa.

    Burrow has a much better return policy. For up to 30 days after your sofa is delivered, you can return it free-of-charge and get a full refund. However, the return must have all of its original packing material or there will be a 20% fee taken from the refund. Burrow's warranty is relatively weak: one year on parts and manufacturing.

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    Scott and Mike Atlassian

    Tech stocks took a beating in last week's market-wide sell off. 

    But one Wall Street analyst thinks a special breed of software companies are well positioned to withstand choppy stock market conditions. 

    In a note published Sunday, Evercore ISI analyst Kirk Materne flagged a group of software companies and compared them to February 2016 levels — that's when the stock market reached a short-lived low point amid uncertainty and fear.

    "We believe that when it comes to software investing, times of macro stress and market volatility have usually ended up being good buying opportunities," Materne wrote, adding that investors who look past the "noise in prior crises have generally been rewarded," three to six months later.

    The key? Many companies in the software sector have built businesses based on recurring revenue, giving the businesses a "durability" that's now well-understood by investors, Materne wrote.. The top 25 software companies today have 69% of their revenue from recurring business customers, compared to 42% 10 years ago, he said. 

    Materne highlighted software companies with estimated growth of more than 20% in the upcoming years. Those stocks tend to have an enterprise value of around 5x their revenue. And as their revenues grow, so will their valuations. 

    Here are 18 high-growth software companies to keep on your radar:

    SEE ALSO: $7.2 billion Twilio is spending $2 billion to buy one of its publicly-traded partners

    Carbon Black

    Analysts expect Carbon Black (CBLK), which went public this year, to grow its revenues by 22.7% in 2019 and 24.3% in 2020. Its enterprise value— a slightly different figure from market capitalization — is 2.6x its estimated revenue over the next twelve months. Materne thinks that multiple could reasonably grow to 5x. 


    Box (BOX) has had a rough time on the stock market in recent months, and is trading down 10% from a year ago, but its revenues are still slated to grow 20.9% and 17.7% in 2019 and 2020, respectively. The company's enterprise value is 3.7x its estimated revenue over the next twelve months, and Materne thinks it could reasonably grow to a 5x multiple.


    Rapid7 (RPD) is up 80% from where it traded a year ago. With 20% revenue growth expected in 2019 and 22.3% growth expected in 2020, the company could continue to see its valuation grow. Its enterprise valuation is curretly 5.2x its estimated revenue over the next twelve months

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    iphone xs maxApple unveiled three new iPhones this year: the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

    While the iPhone XR is in a league of its own— it doesn't even go on sale until the end of this month — the iPhone XS and XS Max are considered the true successors to last year's iPhone X, which featured a total redesign that removed the traditional home button in favor of a facial recognition system and an edge-to-edge OLED display.

    But if you're considering the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max, which is the right phone for you?

    Here are 3 reasons to choose the larger iPhone XS Max instead of the standard iPhone XS:

    SEE ALSO: 9 reasons you should buy the smaller iPhone XS instead of the iPhone XS Max

    DON'T MISS: The iPhone XR is coming soon: Here are 9 reasons you should buy it instead of an iPhone XS or XS Max

    1. The iPhone XS Max has a bigger display — and for smartphones, bigger screens are better for just about anything.

    The iPhone XS and XS Max both feature the same OLED "Super Retina" display from last year's iPhone X — the same pixel density, same contrast ratio, same everything.

    The only difference, screen-wise, between the iPhone XS and the XS Max, is the size. But size is a pretty big deal.

    Going from 5.8 inches on the iPhone XS to 6.5 inches on the iPhone XS Max is a pretty substantial leap, and that bigger screen comes in handy just about everywhere: If you're writing an email, taking notes, watching a movie, or just reading Reddit or Twitter, having more real estate is a good thing. Your content looks bigger and better — particularly your photos and videos, which really pop on that large OLED screen.

    If you spend a lot of time on your phone, it's worth the extra $100 (to start) to upgrade to the bigger screen on the iPhone XS Max.

    2. The iPhone XS Max has better battery life than the standard iPhone XS.

    Last year's iPhone X could last about 12 to 13 hours on a single charge.

    This year's iPhone XS lasts 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X, so expect 12.5 to 13.5 hours.

    But iPhone XS Max has the best battery life of them all: It lasts 90 minutes longer than the iPhone X, so expect 13.5 to 14.5 hours.

    3. The iPhone XS Max has a slight edge when it comes to graphics and overall performance compared to the standard iPhone XS.

    Both new iPhones feature identical processors — including Apple's new A12 Bionic chip, 6-core CPU, a 4-core GPU, and a next-generation neural engine that's dedicated to machine learning.

    But for some reason, the iPhone XS Max performs slightly better than the iPhone XS when it comes to benchmark scores for graphics and overall speed.

    Tom’s Guide performed three separate benchmark tests on the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max — Geekbench 4, which measures overall speed, and 3DMark Slingshot Extreme and GFX Bench 5, which both measure graphics performance. The iPhone XS Max came out on top in all three tests. (Both phones performed much better in those benchmark tests than last year’s iPhone X.)

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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