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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    Lamborghini Huracan Performante 46

    • Why go for a sensible choice when you can splurge on something expensive or impractical?
    • After all, you only live once!
    • We've gathered 21 of our favorite frivolous car choices.

    With the holiday season upon us, now is the time to go car shopping. Deals will be abundant as the year comes to a close and dealers look to move old inventory to make room for the new model year.

    (Actually, any time is a good time to go car shopping, but the pot is often sweetened after Thanksgiving in the US.)

    Now is also the time to think about splurging on something special. Sure, you can do the responsible thing and live within your means, or opt for versatile basic transportation. But that's, well, kind of boring.

    It's a big, bright world of cars out there, and every once in a while, spending the college fund might be justified. Kidding! Not justified!

    But if you have the dough, or the stupendous credit score, and just want to fulfill a childhood fantasy, why not? You only live once, and you owe it to yourself to experience an exciting set of wheels.

    Here are 21 of our favorite cars to splurge on:

    Photos by Hollis Johnson, unless otherwise indicated.

    FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

    Ferrari 488 Spyder

    Not the 488 GTB, the latest of Ferrari's mid-engine sports cars and a brilliant machine. Rather, the drop-top version, the 488 Spyder, for a cool $393,000.

    Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

    At $120,000, it's far from a bargain. But the level of performance on offer for the top trim level at this stratum of 911-ness is stunning. To do better you have to jump up to the Turbo or GT3.

    Aston Martin DB11 Volante

    For $273,244, you can pretend you're James Bond, or at least an madly suave human enjoying top-down motoring is epic British style.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro

    • The Los Angeles Auto Show begins on Friday and runs through December 9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
    • Major automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as well as startups like Rivian and Byton, will show off production and concept vehicles.
    • This year's lineup includes vehicles that represent the auto industry's present and future, from gas-powered SUVs and pickup trucks like the 2020 Lincoln Aviator and 2020 Jeep Gladiator to electric vehicles like the BMW Vision iNext and Rivian 1T.
    • The LA Auto Show marks the beginning of a six-month period in which automakers will show consumers what they can expect to see in showrooms over the next few years.


    The Los Angeles Auto Show begins on Friday and runs through December 9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

    Major automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as well as startups like Rivian and Byton, will show off production and concept vehicles. This year's lineup includes vehicles that represent the auto industry's present and future, from gas-powered SUVs and pickup trucks like the 2020 Lincoln Aviator and 2020 Jeep Gladiator to electric vehicles like the BMW Vision iNext and Rivian 1T. Some vehicles will be available before the end of 2018, while others won't be ready until 2021.

    Read more: The glorious history of the Ford F-Series truck, America's best selling vehicle for 36 years

    The LA Auto Show marks the beginning of a six-month period in which automakers will show consumers what they can expect to see in showrooms over the next few years. Following the LA Auto Show will be the Consumer Electronics Show and Detroit Auto Show in January, the Chicago Auto Show in February, and the New York International Auto Show in April.

    These are the 24 hottest vehicles you can see at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

    SEE ALSO: The Kia Stinger is Business Insider's 2018 Car of the Year

    2020 Hyundai Palisade

    When you'll be able to drive it: Summer 2019

    2019 Mazda3

    When you'll be able to drive it: Early 2019

    2020 Porsche 911

    When you'll be able to drive it: Summer 2019

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    ryan smith qualtrics CEO

    • Big tech acquirers are more willing than ever to spend big on the best companies on the market, according to a note published by the investment firm Needham.
    • And with the stock market currently in a correction, some of the best public companies are for sale, wrote analyst Scott Berg.
    • These are the five public software companies deemed most attractive to potential acquirers, according to Needham.

    SAP's $8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics, just days before its planned IPO, reveals a new trend, according to analysts at Needham — acquirers are willing to spend big bucks for the best companies out there.

    Companies are prioritizing "higher quality" companies over "a more blended approach, acquiring both high-growth industry leaders and more opportunistic value-orientated targets," wrote Needham analyst Scott Berg in a note to clients published Tuesday.

    "While the list of public software company acquisitions has been relatively short," Berg wrote, "the aggregate valuations have been at a premium level that we consider to be at the upper end of historical ranges."

    Now with the stock market in a correction, even high-growth and otherwise well-placed public software companies suddenly look like they could be for sale — which is great news for large acquirers.

    Neeham chose these five companies based off the criterea that they all have "consistent growth with strong ownership of their respective end markets." It also excluded recently-public companies like Anaplan and Zuroa since leadership has indicated that they wish to stay independent, as well as larger SaaS companies like Salesforce, which few acquirers could afford.

    Here's who Needham thinks are the most attractive software companies for potential acquirers.

    Read more: Insiders explain why BlackBerry’s $1.4 billion acquisition of Cylance could be the last endpoint security deal of its size

    SEE ALSO: SAP's top dealmaker explains the German software giant's strategy behind its $8 billion Qualtrics acquisition and where it's looking in 2019

    Coupa Software

    Coupa Software, a business spend management software company, has a $3.2 billion market cap.  That's down from a high of $4.7 billion in September.

    "While it may not have a clearly defined competitive moat similar to other vendors discussed in this report, we believe Coupa to be one of the more innovative vendors in the business spend management software market and one of the few pure-play multi-tenant SaaS vendors in a space ripe for secular transition to a cloud platform," wrote Berg.

    SPS Commerce

    SPS Commerce, a cloud-based supply chain management company, has a market cap of $1.5 billion. That's down slightly from a high of $1.7 billion in September.

    "We believe this ability to connect the past with the future of within its targeted end market is what would make SPS Commerce a valuable asset to either a strategic or financial acquirer. The SPS Commerce platform is also unique with how it can scale from the very small customers to the large and complex," says Needham in its note.

    Medidata Solutions

    Medidata, a clinical trial software company, has a market cap of $4.3 billion. That's down from its high of $5.3 billion in July.

    Neeham actually has a "hold" rating on the company, because the firm is concerned that the company won't meet its growth targets.

    "However," wrote Berg, "we believe Medidata’s dominant market position in EDC (Electronic Data Capture) working with 18 of the top 25 pharmaceutical companies combined with their increasingly competitive platform product set could prove attractive to a financial or strategic buyer."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    ultimate gaming pc

    • Lewis Hilsenteger from the YouTube channel Unbox Therapy created up the craziest gaming rig we've ever seen.
    • With all the various components, the entire setup costs about $30,000.
    • You have to see it to believe it.

    Lewis Hilsenteger is always showing off the latest and coolest technologies over on his YouTube channel, Unbox Therapy.

    But Hilsenteger may have outdone himself with this particular setup, which he filmed earlier this year. He rigged up a $20,000 gaming computer to probably the craziest-looking game chair we've ever seen, added three monitors, and designated snack areas to create the "ultimate gaming PC setup." He even threw in a PlayStation 4 Pro, just for good measure.

    Check it out.

    SEE ALSO: This guy found a way to use Apple's Mac software on an iPad — and it works surprisingly well

    DON'T MISS: This company built the best-looking smartphone we've ever seen, even better than the iPhone — take a look

    This is it: the "ultimate" gaming experience, according to Hilsenteger.

    It's comprised of an elaborate gaming chair, a high-end gaming PC, a PlayStation 4 Pro, computer accessories from SteelSeries, a snack cart, a refrigerator, and three massive displays.

    Hilsenteger says this setup costs around $30,000.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    teabox $85.50, 3 months

    By now, the idea of a subscription box service is far from new. It remains, however, an excellent gift choice because there's one for pretty much every interest and hobby you can think of. It's also easy to purchase online and send — no pesky gift-wrapping necessary. 

    The best subscription services provide unique discovery opportunities, curate high-quality brands, and automate everyday routines to make life easier. We think the following subscriptions fit the bill and should be on your gifting list this year.

    With some, you can buy a gift card to apply toward a plan of their choice, while with others you can designate the subscription duration and details yourself. 

    Find a subscription service gift they'll love, below. 

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    Harry's: the razors and accessories needed for a close and comfortable shave

    Gift a Harry's custom shave plan here

    The gift of a clean, smooth shave is more cherished than you might think. Harry's full line of shaving products work together seamlessly, and you can customize this combination of blades, creams, foaming gels, and post-shave balms to send to your recipient. 

    Hint: delicious, healthy waters that kick their soda habit

    Gift the Hint Flavor of the Month Club, $16.99/month

    Fans of this flavored water stock it in their pantries by the caseful. The calorie-, sugar-, and GMO-free water comes in refreshing flavors like mango-grapefruit and blood orange, which they can rotate through with this drink subscription. Anyone who's bored with regular water but wants to stay hydrated and healthy will look forward to each month's delivery. 

    Causebox: products for the socially and environmentally conscious

    Gift a Causebox membership, $199.80/year

    Causebox curates ethically made, vegan, and charitable products from the top socially conscious brands in beauty, fashion, wellness, home, and art. Each quarterly box has a retail value of more than $200 but only costs $49.95 and has the added benefit of doing good — for artisans, the environment, and your body. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    costco wine 5

    • Costco wines prove to be a major draw for some members. 
    • Business Insider spoke to Costco Wine Blog founder Andrew Cullen and reviewer Erin Reyes about their top strategies for finding great wines at a good value. 
    • They recommended tips like always checking the vintage year and making friends with the warehouse wine advisor.

    Costco wines, like just about everything else at the warehouse chain, have accrued somewhat of a cult following.

    There's a whole blog — aptly named the Costco Wine Blog— dedicated to reviewing all the whites, reds, rosés, and bubblies the retailer has to offer. The blog is completely independent of Costco, and it's attracted a community of fans.

    "Costco is almost like a curated wine collection for members," blog founder and editor Andrew Cullen told Business Insider. "You're not going to go there and find whatever bottle you may be looking for."

    Business Insider recently spoke to Cullen and contributing reviewer Erin Reyes to get their top tips on how to make the most of your next wine run at Costco. Both agreed that the chain tends to offer high-quality wines for reasonable prices.

    "We all want to find really good wine at really good prices," Cullen said. "Costco's a really good place to do that."

    Here are their top tips for buying wine at Costco:

    SEE ALSO: From entire lawn sets to used toilets, these are the most ridiculous returns employees from Costco, Walmart, and Target say they've ever gotten

    DON'T MISS: Costco sells millions of pumpkin pies every year — and the recipe has apparently been the same since 1987

    SEE ALSO: 50 foods that Costco employees and members love

    Look out for Kirkland wines ...

    "Having access to the selection of Kirkland Signature wines is a huge, huge benefit for any Costco member and wine shopper," Cullen said. "You can only get them at Costco. You're getting access to really good wines from top wine regions at really good prices, typically."

    ... and take a closer look at the labels.

    Costco has a history of partnering up with quality brands in order to craft its Kirkland products. Kirkland wines are no exception. And there's a subtle strategy for checking out where your wine is coming from.

    Cullen said that occasionally, Costco wines list the winemaker on the back of the bottle.

    "Then you can Google him or her and find out where they're producing wine," he said. "Then you can narrow it down and be like, 'Well it's so and so winemaker, and he's in Washington state, and they produce from this vineyard, so this is probably coming from this area or this vineyard.'"

    Don't be afraid to dig around.

    Cullen said that he's never afraid to dig around in the wine section of the warehouse.

    "People think you're really weird when you're doing that, but it's totally worth it," he said.

    That's because different vintages tend to be thrown in the bins together.

    "Don't just grab the first bottle," Reyes said. She said that while vintage might not matter as much for lower-end wines, for high-ticket bottles it's far more crucial.

    Cullen described finding separate vintages at the same price.  

    "If there are a bunch of '15s on top, you might dig down and find a '14," he said. "You might even find a '13 vintage, stuck in there. It doesn't hurt to look."

    Cullen also recommended checking beneath the wooden racks, where you might also find a forgotten bottle of an otherwise sold-out wine. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Maggie Laine

    The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is known for its cast of world-famous Angels and sparkly runway looks. But since the show started in 1995, not every model has been dressed in luxurious lingerie. 

    Instead, some models have graced the stage wearing everything from football-inspired capes to bustiers that resemble popcorn. Of the multiple Angels who have worn these bold looks, Adriana Lima, Lily Aldridge, and Heidi Klum all made the list.

    Until the 2018 fashion show airs on December 2, here's a look back at some of the wildest looks ever worn the Victoria's Secret runway.

    2002 saw some of the most straps ever worn during a Victoria's Secret show, when model Ujjwala Raut walked the runway in this ensemble.

    The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show first began in 1995, but it wasn't until 2002 that the brand began to experiment with looks this bold.

    Victoria's Secret experimented with plastic lingerie when Dewi Driegen wore this ensemble in 2003.

    Rather than wearing a traditional bra, this model appears to have worn a white strap with a plastic overlay.

    There were also a lot of mismatched prints on the 2003 runway.

    Model Frankie Rayder wore a mix of multiple styles, including a shiny pink bra, detachable fur sleeves, and an unhooked bustier.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    argument couple

    • In any relationship, couples argue, but what they argue about will differ from couple to couple.
    • Some subjects become recurring fights, such as how one person spends too much money or how one is too messy.
    • Here, 10 people share what they argue about most in their relationships.


    Although every couple argues to some degree, whether they're married or not, what they argue about in their relationships can vary greatly.

    Toni Coleman, a psychotherapist, relationship coach, and divorce mediator, told Business Insider that it's common for couples to come into counseling with the primary underlying complaint being a problem with communication.

    "This often takes the form of recurring fights that repeat the same dysfunctional dynamics in a seemingly endless loop," she said. "The first thing I emphasize is the need to approach their communication in a different way."

    Coleman said that she emphasizes "a need for compromise, which means that no one wins unless both win."

    Her solution is for couples to  practice reflective listening, where each person is allowed to share their thoughts and feelings uninterrupted, and the other then reflects back what they've heard. "This leads to a much greater understanding of one another — without defensiveness — and an increased willingness to work together and be supportive of one another's needs," Coleman said.

    On the topic of recurring fights, here 10 people share what they argue about most with their significant others.

    SEE ALSO: 14 people share the best advice they've ever received from a teacher

    Amy, 35

    Simple: Money. Whether it's about what I spend from my personal bank account or what I spend from our joint one, money seems to be a constant topic of conversation between me and my husband.

    We even have a meeting with a financial planner and a therapist soon, because I'd rather we get professional opinions. I think a lot of it comes down to how we were raised: My parents were more lax in spending, although they taught me how to save money, too, but his were very, very frugal, so he takes penny-pinching to an extreme.

    Alice, 49

    My long-term boyfriend and I live together and fight the most over housework. While he'd prefer to live in a mess, I feel it's important to clean up right after said mess is made.

    We've tried a chore calendar and even a weekly maid, which was a complete waste of money, but every idea falls to the wayside, and I don't feel it's my job to constantly clean up after him.

    Deena, 40

    I married a Republican, but not a Trump supporter. We don't see eye-to-eye on any political topics. I've learned to not bring up anything.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    meat delivery gifts

    Some people like receiving fine jewelry as gifts, while others prefer to open the box to reveal cool tech accessories. For some — the ones who are always looking forward to their next meal, cooking up something delicious in the kitchen, or eyeing pictures of food hungrily — if it's not something they can consume, what's even the point?  

    Few types of food can make a person drool like meat. It's often the protein that forms the foundation of a meal, or its addition immediately makes an unsatisfying dish more appealing. 

    Sending your friend or family member some meat as a gift is a little weird if it's just the regular stuff from your local grocery store, but certainly not when it's of the artisanal, gourmet, and curated variety. Packaged beautifully and combined with other cuts and kitchen accessories, it's the perfect gift for the carnivore in your life. 

    Keep their bellies full and happy with these 11 gifts from online meat companies. 

    Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.

    A kit to make the perfect prime rib

    American Wagyu Prime Rib Starter Kit, $255, available at Snake River Farms

    Prime rib is actually really easy to make, as long as they get the temperature and seasoning right. The five-pound prime rib in this kit is beautifully marbled with a premium ribeye center. It includes a delicious black pepper salt to bring out the best flavors, and a digital meat thermometer to make sure they attain the perfect medium-rare. 

    A sampler of the best cuts from online meat delivery company Porter Road

    Best of Porter Road Box, $100, available at Porter Road

    A good intro to Nashville-based online butcher shop Porter Road is its "Best Of" sampler, which has steaks, pork chops, ground beef, bacon, country sausage, and chorizo to fulfill all their different cravings. 



    A charcuterie spread

    Classic Box, $44.99, available at Carnivore Club

    If they're always hanging around the charcuterie board at picnics and dinner parties, a Carnivore Club box will let them enjoy their own personal stash of artisanal cured meats. Soppressata, chorizo, and pepperoni may be some of the four to six meats they'll receive. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Alex Rampell

    • Andreessen Horowitz General Partner Alex Rampell spoke about tech companies that are disrupting the home buying experience.
    • Rampell describes the broken process of buying a home today — mainly, the fixed 6% real estate agent fee. 
    • He explains that the industry is evolving to help lower the friction and bring more transparency to the process for home buyers. 
    • The full video of Rampell's presentation can be found here.

    At Andreessen Horowitz's annual Innovation Summit on Thursday, a16z General Partner Alex Rampell spoke about tech companies that are disrupting the home buying experience. 

    Rampell describes the broken process of buying a home today — mainly, the fixed 6% real estate agent fee and highlights tech companies like Opendoor, Point, and Divvy that are each transforming the industry in different ways. 

    Read more: Meet the startup that's on a mission to help 100,000 people buy homes in the next 5 years, and recently raised $30 million to do so

    From home discovery to purchasing to financing, Rampell explains that the industry is evolving to help lower the friction and bring more transparency to the process for home buyers. 

    The full video of Rampell's presentation can be found here

    SEE ALSO: The 50 most high-tech cities in the world in 2018 Paige Leskin Nov. 16, 2018, 9:53 AM

    "When Software Eats the Real (Estate) World"

    Reasons why the home buying experience is broken.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    surface headphones 7

    • Microsoft's $350 Surface Headphones are the company's first-ever headphones.
    • They look beautiful and are very comfortable. 
    • But the sound quality fall short, especially compared to the competition.

    I get it, the Microsoft Surface Headphones are new, flashy, and perhaps something that can compete with the top choice in audio and noise cancelling quality Bose's QuietComfort 35 II headphones.

    As a result, I've had several people come up and ask me if I was, indeed, wearing the Surface Headphones. There's a buzz surrounding these things.

    A TSA agent at JFK airport recently asked me if I'd recommend them, and as I walked through the metal detector, I told him I'd get the Bose QC35 II instead if he was looking to spend $350. It was a pure, off-the-cuff recommendation made from my gut and instinct, as part of my brain was also wondering whether I'd forgotten any metal bits in my pockets.

    Now, with the benefit of having sat down, thought about it, and listened to music and audio in general with the Surface Headphones, I'd recommend the same thing to you. 

    Check out why the Surface Headphones didn't quite make the cut: 

    SEE ALSO: Bose's $350 noise-cancelling headphones are a must-have if you want to live in a quieter world – and they sound great, too

    If you want your headphones to look good, Microsoft's Surface Headphones will absolutely do the trick.

    The Surface Headphones are classy and beautifully designed. They look and feel more premium than Bose's QC35 II headphones, which have a somewhat dated design and plasticky feel to them. Top marks for design on the Surface Headphones. 

    As for comfort, they're also one of the most comfortable pair of headphones I've tried. I never felt any pain on my ears. I did feel some discomfort from the headband at the top of my head, but a simple adjustment of the headband fixed that easily.

    With all this said, I'd still say the Bose QC35 II headphones are even more comfortable. 


    The noise cancellation is very good.

    The Surface Headphones canceled out surrounding noise from a flight and my usual commute on trains and subways very well. They're almost as good as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II, if not extremely similar.

    The controls and overall features in general are great.

    I love the big, easy rotating wheels around each headphone cup to control volume and noise cancellation level. 

    Music controls are also well thought out. I can tap any ear cup to play, pause, select the next track, go back a track, and answer calls. It does take a little bit of learning and practise to figure out how many taps perform which function, but once you got it, you got it. 

    Speaking of calls, the Surface Headphones do superbly with phone calls. No one I spoke to on the phone noticed I was using a headset, which isn't something that a lot of headphones can boast.

    As for battery life, they last a solid 15 hours or so and charge with USB-C. They also come with a 3.5mm headphone cable just in case. 

    Importantly, the Surface Headphones can pair to multiple devices at the same time, so you don't need to disconnect them from one device only to connect to another. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Crystal City

    • Amazon is moving 25,000 employees into a new campus in Northern Virginia.
    • The ecommerce giant chose Arlington's Crystal City neighborhood (along with Queens, New York) as one of two locations for its "HQ2" expansion.
    • We recently visited the area to find out what employees can expect from their new neighborhood.
    • Here's what it looks like at street level.

    It's official — Amazon is moving into Northern Virginia.

    It already had a lot of offices and data centers in the region, but the ecommerce giant chose Arlington's Crystal City neighborhood (along with Queens, New York) as one of two locations for its "HQ2" expansion.

    Crystal City isn't one of Arlington County's most trafficked areas. It's a sleepy, mostly office-and-hotel neighborhood, separated from the more residential and livable parts of the area by a giant, eight-lane highway.

    Crystal City is also very close to the Pentagon, the U.S. military headquarters. 

    Many Northern Virginians have never really explored the Crystal City area, unless they work in the area or serve in the military. For most locals, it's a place you drive through on the way to Reagan National Airport. 

    So one day last week, I spent a day checking out the properties that Amazon has committed to either lease or buy, and imagined what life could be like for the 25,000 employees Amazon plans to hire over the next decade.

    Here's what I learned: 

    Amazon has locked down two large plots of land in Pentagon City and three existing buildings in the Crystal City and Pentagon City area in Arlington, Virginia. The orange dots are where Amazon will build offices.

    It's tucked between Interstate 395, Reagan National Airport, and the Pentagon. Here's the view of DC from Crystal City across a lot of lanes of traffic.

    The entire neighborhood is organized around Route 1, which is regrettably named "Jefferson Davis Highway," after the Confederate president.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    iOS12 Siri Shortcuts Library

    • Apple released iOS 12 for its iPhones and iPads this year, and one of the newest features in an app called Shortcuts.
    • The app lets you create shortcuts for your phone to perform certain actions if you know a little something about programming. But fortunately, tech-savvy users out there have been busy creating their own Shortcuts that you can use for free.
    • Here are some of the best shortcuts we've found, which let you easily transfer playlists, create GIFs from live photos, and even turn on your flashlight with the "lumos" command (a la Harry Potter).

    If you've yet to discover the new Shortcuts tool on your iPhone, you're missing out on something that can make your life a whole lot easier.

    Apple's newest software, iOS 12, was released to iPhones and iPads in September with lots of cool new features, such as an improved Facetime app for group video calls and a new app for tracking how much time you spend on your phone.

    But there's another new goodie included in iOS 12 that you may not have time to pay around with yet: Shortcuts. The feature lets you "program" your phone to automatically perform certain tasks and functions when you tap a button or speak a custom voice command to Siri. For example, you could program your phone to automatically turn on the lights and send your spouse a text when you tell Siri "I'm home."

    Read more:The 11 most useful features in iOS 12

    Creating a shortcut sounds complicated. Luckily you don't have to: You can just use the shortcuts that other people have already created.

    There are shortcuts to help you calculate tip on a bill, make anonymous phone calls, and convert playlists easily between Apple Music and Spotify.

    Here are 15 of the best Shortcuts we've found that will make your life on an Apple device a lot simpler:

    SEE ALSO: 26 essential tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Mac

    Advent Calendar: 25 fun interactive elements for each day leading up to Christmas.

    Source: RoutineHub

    Police: record police interactions and let a trusted contact know you've been pulled over.

    Source: Business Insider

    Ultimate Downloader: Download video, photos, and audio from YouTube, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

    Source: RoutineHub

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Instagram is revolutionizing the way people shop and making it easier for consumers to find new, less-established brands.
    • This has meant that smaller, direct-to-consumer companies can quickly earn success online. 
    • These are the top 10 most-wanted brands on Instagram, according to fashion search site Lyst.

    Instagram is revolutionizing the way people shop and making it easy for consumers to discover new, less-established brands. 

    Smaller companies that would have once found it difficult to get off the ground and establish a presence are getting a head start on Instagram. The app is helping these brands reach larger audiences more quickly, without having to make major investments in advertising and marketing. 

    This process has been aided by Instagram influencers, who have quickly become one of the most powerful tools of promotion, eclipsing traditional celebrity endorsements in some cases. 

    This month, fashion search site Lyst ranked the top 10 most-wanted brands on Instagram, based on spikes in search demand that were related to Instagram mentions as well as brand tags throughout 2018.

    Find out what made the list below:

    SEE ALSO: These 10 fashion and beauty brands are poised to have a huge 2019

    10. Stine Goya

    Danish designer Stine Goya founded her namesake brand in 2006 in Copenhagen. It's known for its colorful prints and feminine shapes.  

    Today, it has three stores in Copenhagen and is stocked in more than 250 stores across 30 countries worldwide


    9. Rouje

    French model and "It" girl Jeanne Damas launched her fashion label Rouje back in 2016. The collection was based on her own style, focusing on vintage-style dresses with floral patterns.

    The brand shot to fame in 2017, after Selena Gomez wore three different Rouje dresses in one month.

    "Rouje's coveted 'French-girl look' very quickly went from being the subject of covert fascination to becoming a mainstream phenomenon," Fashionista writer Andrea Cheng wrote in October

    According to Lyst, there were over 9,000 searches a week for Rouje's Gabin dress (photographed above) between July and September this year.

    8. Faithfull the Brand

    Faithfull The Brand is known for its laid-back vacation and beachwear clothing. 

    All the items are manufactured in Bali, Indonesia, and inspired by vintage prints. 

    Searches for the brand were up 12% year-on-year on Lyst's site after they were photographed on influencers and celebrities such as Candice Swanepoel and Vanessa Hudgens.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    St. moritz ski destination

    • St. Moritz, a ski resort in the Swiss Alps, has played home to the Winter Olympics not once, but twice.
    • With a number of five-star hotels and Michelin restaurants, St. Moritz has also become a pinnacle of luxury and a destination for the elite.
    • Celebrities, billionaires, and royalty flock to St. Moritz every winter to hit the slopes and vacation in style.

    St. Moritz is many things: A holiday resort with world-class skiing, the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism, twice a home to the Winter Olympics, and a hidden gem for the one percent.

    It's also, as Heidi Mitchell of Town & Country wrote, "Europe's most secretive and storied ski town."

    Located in the middle of the Swiss Alps, St. Moritz has done more than popularize modern winter sports like ice cricket and snow polo — it's also spawned a number of five-star luxury hotels and top class restaurants with gourmet chefs. 

    Such a history has created a champagne and caviar lifestyle that the glitterati flock to every winter. Celebrities, royalty, and billionaires alike, from Kate Moss to the Swedish royal family, come for the glitz and the slopes.

    Here's a glimpse into the lavish winter wonderland that is St. Moritz.

    SEE ALSO: What a $1 million vacation looks like in Mykonos, Greece, where you'll fly in on a private jet, sleep in an ocean-view villa, and cruise the seas in a yacht

    DON'T MISS: A luxury travel company says these are the 10 most extravagant requests it's had from its super-rich customers

    St. Moritz is located in Switzerland's Engadin Valley, a high Alpine valley region in the Swiss Alps.

    Source: Google Maps

    St. Moritz's history dates back to 1864, when the first winter tourists stayed from Christmas through Easter.

    Source: Free Press Journal

    In 1928, it hosted the first official Winter Olympics and again in 1948. Women dressed in silk, sequins, and fur; men dressed in three-piece suits, according to Vogue. The event secured its status as a luxury winter tourism destination.

    Source: Vogue

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    iphone x vs pixel 2 xl back

    • Switching from an Android phone to an iPhone can be tough, because you have to adjust to a whole new operating system. 
    • But making the switch itself only requires a few steps, and Apple even created a special app to help you out. 
    • Here's how to quickly and easily switch to an iPhone from an Android device. 

    Switching from Android to iOS can be daunting — you're not just switching to a new device, you're switching to an entirely new operating system. 

    But it turns out that the switch itself actually might be the easiest part. 

    Back in 2015, Apple introduced an Android app called Move to iOS— one of only two apps that Apple has made for Android, with Apple Music as the other. 

    The Move to iOS app is intended to help Android users seamlessly swap to an iPhone without losing their important data, like contacts, photos, calendars, and more. 

    The app is a key part of making the switch, but there are a few other steps along the way before you can get started with your new iPhone. 

    Here's everything you need to do to switch from an Android device to an iPhone: 

    SEE ALSO: 23 tips and tricks to get the most out of your Apple Watch

    Step 1: Back up all your data.

    Before making the permanent switch to a new device, make sure all your data is backed up. 

    On your Android device, go to your settings and look for "Backup & reset" (on some devices, this option may be under "Cloud and Accounts"). Then, check to make sure you have a working email address listed under "Backup account" and ensure "Back up my data" is set to "On."

    Step 2: Download the Google Photos app.

    For many people, preserving their photos is a major concern when switching to a new device.

    There are ways to transfer your photos in one batch along with all the rest of your data (more on that in a minute), but using Google Photos is a smart precautionary measure. 

    The Google Photos app works on both Android and iOS devices. The app also offers unlimited storage and automatic backups, so it's a good idea to use it all the time, not just when switching to a new phone. 

    Before you start the switch, download the app if you don't have it already. Then, allow it to backup all the photos in your camera roll. When you set up your new iPhone, just add the Google Photos app, sign in, and you should see all your photos. 

    Step 3: On your new iPhone, begin the setup process until you get to the screen that says "Apps & Data."

    And while you're at it, plug both of your phones (old Android, new iPhone) into a power source. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    travelpro spinner

    Everyone has the packing essentials they never travel without, but the list can look a little different for business travelers, who tend to take shorter, more frequent trips and must juggle packed schedules once they touch down at their destination. 

    Business travelers need to stay organized, connected, comfortable, and well-rested as they shuffle between time zones. Anything that helps achieve this balance makes for a happier — and more effective — businessperson, so before you send your most trusted employee off to the international office, make sure she has these products and services packed. 

    There are the obvious options, like a reliable, expandable carry-on suitcase and a portable battery pack, but also consider smart and innovative additions like work shoes you can actually walk a whole day in and a notebook that saves all your meeting scribbles to the cloud. 

    Here are 12 things that should be on every business traveler's packing list. 

    DON'T MISS: Amex Platinum vs Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which card offers superior airport lounge access, according to a frequent flyer

    SEE ALSO: 26 packing essentials we never travel without — from a $150 mobile WiFi hotspot to a $6 pack of face wipes

    Wireless earbuds

    Jabra Elite 65t Wireless Earbuds, $169.99, available at Amazon

    While over-ear wireless headphones offer better sound quality, earbuds are better suited for travel when you have limited bag space. The battery life of these earbuds is five hours (15 hours with the charging case) and once you're off the plane, you can make clear phone calls because they're optimized with four-microphone technology. They're also Alexa-, Siri-, and Google Assistant-compatible. For an affordable, under-$100 option, check out these SoundCore wireless earbuds from Anker.

    A foldable Bluetooth keyboard

    Jelly Comb Pocket Size Portable Bluetooth Keyboard, $29.59, available at Amazon

    If you're not packing your laptop but want to get some work done, this foldable keyboard that can connect to your tablet or phone will let you do so without taking up as much space. It's light and sturdy, but a drawback to its portability is that the key positions are squeezed together, so typing might not be as seamless of a process as usual. Still, the convenience might be worth the compromise


    A battery pack

    Jackery Bolt 6000 mAh Power Bank with Built-in Lightning Cable, $29.99, available at Amazon

    It's always a good idea to have a battery pack on hand when you travel, and this doesn't change when you travel for business. While there are many battery packs on the market to choose from, our pick is Jackery's because its built-in cable charges your phone twice as fast as the original charger, and it's neither so small that it can only charge your device once nor so bulky that it weighs you down. 


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    the halal guys 3644

    • The Halal Guys' food carts are open almost 24 hours a day, rain or shine, and there seems to never be a shortage of customers. 
    • The chicken-and-rice chain has been growing throughout New York City and has ambitions to open as many as 400 more restaurants globally, CEO Ahmed Abouelenein told Business Insider. 
    • I spent a morning shadowing The Halal Guys' general manager Mohamed Omar at the chain's original cart on the corner of 53rd Street and 6th Avenue. 

    There's a lot that goes into The Halal Guys' famous chicken-and-rice platters.

    The Halal Guys carts, which are open from 10:00 a.m until 4:00 a.m. on weekdays and 5:30 a.m. on weekends, have a constant stream of customers lining up to try its platters and sandwiches. The chain's carts are open rain or shine, even in snowstorms and hurricanes.  Before the sun even rises, carts are washed, vegetables are chopped, and vendors are stocked up with everything they'll need for the day. 

    The Halal Guys' first cart opened in 1990, initially becoming popular with Muslim cab drivers looking for fast, authentic halal food, which is food that's permissible under Islamic law. The chain has since grown to five carts and two restaurants in New York City, plus 82 locations across the country. The first brick-and-mortar location opened in 2014, just before the company began its franchisee program with Fransmart.

    And according to CEO Ahmed Abouelenein, the expansion is only just beginning. Abouelenein told Business Insider that The Halal Guys plans on opening as many as 400 restaurants globally over the next several years, with more than 100 opening in the first quarter of 2019.

    In New York, general manager Mohamed Omar oversees the kitchen at headquarters and each of the five Halal Guys carts. Omar started with The Halal Guys six years ago as a driver, and before becoming a manager he worked at the carts, cooking food and training new employees. 

    I spent a recent morning shadowing Omar at the original cart on the corner of 53rd Street and 6th Avenue. Here's what the day was like:

    SEE ALSO: We compared Dunkin's first store to its brand-new 'store of the future' — and it showed how far the coffee giant has come

    My day started at The Halal Guys' headquarters in Long Island City, where the carts are washed and stocked every morning.

    In addition to the five food carts, there are two Halal Guys restaurants in New York City.

    All of the ingredients are stored at the headquarters ...

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Red Dead Redemption 2

    Many of the biggest upcoming games are missing this holiday season, intentionally making way for an 800-pound gorilla: "Red Dead Redemption 2," the new opus for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One from the folks behind "Grand Theft Auto."

    With "RDR2," tearing up the charts, major upcoming games like EA's "Anthem" and Sony's "Days Gone" are getting out of the way, and they're not the only two.

    Here are all the big games bolstering the first months of 2019:

    SEE ALSO: The first major game of 2019 will soon be available to play free. Here's how to get your hands on it

    1. "Resident Evil 2" (Remake)

    The long-awaited remake of fan-favorite horror classic "Resident Evil 2" is nearly ready — it's set to arrive early in 2019, just like so many other great games currently in development.

    "Resident Evil 2" introduced the world to Leon S. Kennedy (seen above) — the main character in "Resident Evil 4." Kennedy and Claire Redfield find themselves in the middle of a surprise zombie outbreak in the fictional town of Raccoon City. It's an action-packed introduction to many of the major themes of the "Resident Evil" franchise, and it's getting gorgeously remade for modern consoles.

    Release date: January 25, 2019

    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

    Check it out in action right here:

    Youtube Embed:
    Width: 800px
    Height: 450px

    2. "Kingdom Hearts 3"

    Woody, Buzz, Rex and the rest of the "Toy Story" gang are moving from film to video games with "Kingdom Hearts 3," an upcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4 action-adventure game.

    The game is the long-anticipated third entry in the "Kingdom Hearts" series — the last major entry, "Kingdom Hearts 2," launched all the way back in 2005 on the PlayStation 2. In "Kingdom Hearts," various Disney characters and their worlds are mashed up with characters that would be right at home in a "Final Fantasy" game.

    Alongside the cast of "Toy Story" (and their Earth-like setting), "Kingdom Hearts 3" also stars Goofy and Donald Duck. You may've noticed a third character here — that's "Sora," the main character of "Kingdom Hearts 3" and who you'll play as when the game launches in early 2019 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

    Release date: January 29, 2019

    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    red trees white house christmas

    • The White House has unveiled this year's Christmas decorations.
    • The official theme is "American Treasures."
    • The first family's official holiday card and ornament join the elaborate installations on display throughout the White House's main rooms and public areas.

    Each year, the halls of America's most well-known address get decked out to set off the season's festivities.

    This year's official theme for the White House decorations is "American Treasures," and decorations include hundreds of trees and ornaments of all sizes to celebrate America's cities, states, and citizens.

    Thousands of volunteers and staff contributed to make the winter wonderland that takes over several rooms and hallways.

    According to the White House, more than 100 open houses and many receptions will happen through the month of December, and more than 30,000 visitors will see the decorations in person during public tours.

    The White House released a video tour of this year's decorations on Monday:

    See the highlights in these photos of the decorations.

    SEE ALSO: See what the Trump White House looked like for Christmas last year

    DON'T MISS: 16 behind-the-scenes photos show the White House being decorated for Christmas

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump kicked off the decorating process by receiving the White House Christmas tree from a horse-drawn delivery.

    National Park Service staff then installed the tree as the first decoration in the Blue Room.

    A week later, the main rooms and halls were fully decked and ready to be unveiled days after Thanksgiving. The US Marine Band played in the glistening Grand Foyer during the 2018 Christmas preview.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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