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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    google maps iphone gps

    • Your smartphone could be sharing your location data more than 14,000 times a day if you use certain apps, according to a new report in The New York Times.
    • This location data is sometimes anonymized and then sold to companies for purposes like targeted advertising, but it is often so exact that The Times said it was able to use it to track down someone.
    • There's an easy way to limit — or completely turn off — your apps' access to your location data.

    Some smartphone apps receive data on a user's precise location more than 14,000 times a day, The New York Times found in a new investigation.

    Though each tracked phone is identified by a unique ID rather than a person's name or phone number, the millions of location points collected by the apps are "accurate to within a few yards" and can reveal a person's daily movements "in startling detail," The Times said.

    Using a database that tracks the location data of more than 1 million phones in the New York area, The Times said it was able to identify an app user whose location was being relayed to outside companies via her smartphone apps.

    The Times reported:

    "At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from apps whose users enable location services to get local news and weather or other information, The Times found. Several of those businesses claim to track up to 200 million mobile devices in the United States — about half those in use last year ...

    "But those with access to the raw data — including employees or clients — could still identify a person without consent. They could follow someone they knew, by pinpointing a phone that regularly spent time at that person's home address. Or, working in reverse, they could attach a name to an anonymous dot, by seeing where the device spent nights and using public records to figure out who lived there."

    Apps will often ask smartphone users to enable location-tracking services for better functionality, like those that provide GPS navigation, weather, or food recommendations. But The Times said the privacy policies that many people accept without thinking twice were often "incomplete or misleading," adding that companies could use these permissions to sell your location data.

    "These companies sell, use or analyze the data to cater to advertisers, retail outlets and even hedge funds seeking insights into consumer behavior," the Times story said.

    Read more:Google is tracking your movements whether you like it or not, new investigation finds

    But the good news is you do have some control. You can adjust the settings for individual apps to stop them from tracking your location, though turning off location services for some apps may limit their capabilities or render them unworkable.

    The easiest way to turn off location tracking for each app is through your device's privacy settings — here's how to do that:

    If you have an iOS device, location-tracking settings can be found in Settings under "Privacy."

    Next, select "Location Services" ...

    ... where you'll find the location-data permissions for every app on your device.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    dark berry lipstick

    • Looking ahead to 2019, Pinterest shared its top beauty Pins with INSIDER.
    • Based on search traffic, the Pins give us an idea of the beauty trends we can expect to see during the upcoming year.
    • Shimmery nails, berry-colored lips, and foiled eye shadow are predicted to be everywhere.

    Regardless of your individual style, it's a good idea to get ahead of certain trends before they become too popular.

    To help steer you in the right direction when it comes to makeup and nails, Pinterest shared its top beauty Pins indicating some trends that are predicted to be huge in 2019.

    From shimmery nails to berry-colored lips, these are the upcoming trends you can expect to see everywhere in the new year.

    With the rise of foiled eye shadow, eye makeup is predicted to be shinier than ever in 2019.

    Pinterest searches for foiled eye shadow have increased by 169%. And into the new year, that percentage is expected to continue rising.

    Read more: 5 clothing trends you can expect to see everywhere in 2019

    Even if you're not familiar with the term, you've probably seen foiled eye shadow before.

    Unless you're a serious makeup enthusiast, the word foil might lead you to think of kitchen supplies. But rest assured, foiled eye shadow doesn't actually contain aluminum foil.

    Foiled looks are usually created by using a wet brush to apply a metallic shade of eye shadow or loose pigments. The results should be shiny and reminiscent of metal.

    There are tons of ways to incorporate foiled eye makeup into your daily style.

    The high shine of foiled pigments shouldn't scare away those who typically aim for natural looks.

    Fans of understated eye makeup can use foiled eyeshadow to highlight the inner eye corner, or as a small highlight in the center of the eyelid.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Disney castle

    • The list of the 100 most visited cities in the world includes 12 cities in North America.
    • Cities like Las Vegas, Vancouver, and Mexico City attracted millions of tourists each in 2018.
    • But North America had many fewer tourists than European and Asian cities, the report revealed.

    Euromonitor International released its annual list of the most visited cities in the world last week, and several North American destinations made the cut.

    The market-research firm looked at 600 cities worldwide and ranked the 100 that lured more international visitors than anywhere else using travel data from 2017 and estimates for 2018 using partial-year data.

    Read more:The 31 most popular cities in the world for travelers

    While 12 cities in the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean made the cut this year, that pales in comparison to the tourism numbers of Europe and Asia. Europe placed 30 cities in the top 100 for international tourists, while Asian cities occupied a whopping 48 of the top 100 spots.

    We've compiled the top North American cities for foreign travelers, along with their overall global rankings and the number of tourists they're estimated to attract by the end of 2018. 

    Read on to see which cities made the list:

    SEE ALSO: The 31 most popular cities in the world for travelers

    DON'T MISS: 13 places to visit in January for every type of traveler

    12. Mexico City, Mexico

    Overall rank: 88

    Projected arrivals in 2018: 2,434,000

    11. Honolulu, Hawaii

    Overall rank: 77

    Projected arrivals in 2018: 2,814,900

    10. San Francisco, California

    Overall rank: 73

    Projected arrivals in 2018: 2,958,000

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    bush family portrait

    Yes, the United States is a democracy. However, this doesn't mean it doesn't have its own powerful family dynasties. 

    Four families in America have had two members serve as U.S. presidents, giving them prime slots in the history books, but also making Americans wonder how they did it. That's why we have ranked the 11 most powerful and influential political familes in the U.S. by taking into account their historical legacy, net worth, current influence, and potential to continue producing political heirs.  

    SEE ALSO: The 23 Most Impressive Dynasties In America Today

    1. The Bushes

    The Bush family is one of two families in American history that produced two presidents — the late George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.

    George Sr., the son of Connecticut Senator Prescott Bush, was a congressman, diplomat, CIA director and vice president before winning the presidency in 1988. His eldest son, George W., went on to win 12 years later. In 2016, H.W.'s son Jeb, former Florida governor, ran for president too, ultimately losing the Republican primary. Combined, George Sr. and wife Barbara Bush were worth an estimated $25 million. But the family, overall, is worth an estimated $400 million. Currenty, George P. Bush, Jeb's oldest son, is serving as Texas land commissioner, setting him up as the leader of the fourth generation of Bush politicians. 

    2. The Kennedys

    The Kennedy family is, perhaps, the most recognizable political dynasty in American history. Patrick Joseph Kennedy, the first Kennedy to run for office, was elected to the Massachusetts state legislature in 1884. Ever since, the Kennedys have been a mainstay in American politics, producing the 35th president, John F. Kennedy, as well as a number of senators, representatives and ambassadors.

    Forbes estimates that the top 30 members of the Kennedy family, combined, are worth $1.2 billion. Joseph P. "Joe" Kennedy III, the grandson of former U.S. Attorney General and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, is currently serving his third term as Massachusetts Representative. 

    3. The Adams

    The Adams family was the first in American history to produce two presidents. John Adams, one of the nation's founding fathers and its second president, first served as vice president to George Washington. Together with his wife and advisor Abigail, John Adams raised son John Quincy Adams to become the 8th president of the U.S. John Quincy's son Charles Adams served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and unsuccessfully ran for vice president in 1848. His son, John Quincy Adams II, also served in the Massachusetts state house before unsuccessfully running for governor multiple times in the 1860s. Currently, the only member of the Adams family that remains politically involved is John Donley Adams, a Virginia lawyer who unsuccessfully ran for Virginia Attorney General. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Michael Bloomberg Georgina

    • There aren't any royals with fortunes to envy in America, but there are many heirs and heiresses set to inherit millions from American brands.
    • These fortunes have been built across a variety of industries, from media to fashion; some are relatively new, while others could be considered "old money."
    • From Travis Knight of Nike to Ann Walton Kroenke of Walmart, take a look at some of America's most notable heirs and heiresses.

    America may not have royalty, but it does have plenty of heirs and heiresses set to inherit the thrones — or at least the riches — of the country's biggest brands. 

    Some of the wealthiest families in America have built their fortunes by creating megabrands in various industries, from media to fashion. As their wealth grows, it continues to be passed on to future generations, although some fortunes are newer than others. Alexa Dell is set to inherit part of her father, CEO of Dell Technologies Michael Dell's, fortune, a result of a company that's only been around for roughly 30 years.

    Other heirs and heiresses are in line for wealth that dates way back up the family tree, like Lydia Hearst, who shares an inheritance with more than 60 family members from media mogul William Randolph Hearst.

    Below, meet 16 heirs and heiresses to some of America's most notable brands — some names you may recognize, and others not so much.

    SEE ALSO: The rich keep getting richer — here are the billionaires who made the most billions in a single year

    DON'T MISS: Here's how much money 19 rich and famous power couples are worth

    Lydia Hearst

    Heir to: Hearst

    Granddaughter of media mogul William Randolph Hearst, Lydia Hearst, 33, shares the Hearst fortune among 67 family members. The heiress is an actress, model, writer, and socialite and has an estimated net worth of $100 million.

    Georgina Bloomberg

    Heir to: Bloomberg

    Georgina Bloomberg is an heiress to the $52 billion Bloomberg fortune. Her father, Michael Bloomberg, is the former New York City mayor and media mogul. The 35-year-old is an elite equestrian, novelist, and animal rights activist and has pursued numerous careers.

    Travis Knight

    Heir to: Nike

    An accomplished filmmaker and animator, Travis Knight, 45, is the son of Nike founder Phil Knight. According to Portland Business Journal, he was put in charge of a trust that controls 38 million shares of Nike stock. There's no word on how much he stands to inherit, but Nike is the most valuable fashion brand in America, valued at $28 billion.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mcdonalds Cuba

    • In 2017, the average CEOs of America's largest companies earned 312 times more than their typical worker, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute.
    • Business Insider looked at reports by 15 major companies to see how much more they pay their CEOs than their typical worker. 
    • The CEO of McDonald's earned 3,101 times the median worker's salary in 2017.


    CEOs made 20 times their median employee's salary in 1965. As of 2017, at America's largest companies, that multiple has jumped up to a shocking 312

    And, at many companies, the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio is even higher. The CEO of McDonald's earned 3,101 times the median worker in 2017 ($21,761,052 versus $7,017). That's partially because McDonald's employs workers all over the world, where the cost of living is often lower than the US. 

    But another reason for the jump in CEO compensation is a new perspective on how company earnings should be distributed. For the past few decades, as The New York Times reported, the majority of corporate profits have been going to corporate investors and chief executives, whose compensation is often based on stocks, or foreign mergers and acquisitions.

    Meanwhile, proposals to up worker compensation are met with resistance from major shareholders. When American Airlines announced last year they would be giving raises to pilots and flight attendants, the company's stock tanked by 5.2% in one day.

    In 2018, the public finally got to understand just how much more CEOs are paid than their workers. The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 requires, among other provisions, companies to disclose their company's CEO-to-worker compensation ratio. That part of the law came into effect this year. 

    Here are 15 major employers and how their CEO's salary compares to their global median employee, ranked from the smallest difference to the biggest:

    SEE ALSO: The 50 best places to work in 2019, according to employees

    DON'T MISS: Barbara Corcoran explains why she secretly 'couldn't wait' for Fridays — the day she fired people

    Twitter: CEO earned 0 times the median worker

    Number of employees: 3,372

    CEO compensation: $0

    Median worker compensation: $161,860

    Read Twitter's executive compensation report here

    Alphabet: CEO earned 0.000005 times the median worker

    Number of employees: 80,110

    CEO compensation: $1

    Median worker compensation: $197,274

    Read Alphabet's executive compensation report here

    Amazon: CEO earned 59 times the median worker

    Number of employees: 566,000

    CEO compensation: $1,681,840

    Median worker compensation: $28,446

    Read Amazon's executive compensation report here

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • From Facebook's Cambridge Analytica debacle to Google's sexual misconduct investigations, 2018 has been a year rocked by scandal in tech industry. 
    • Here are the 18 biggest tech scandals that happened this year.

    In the tech world, 2018 was rocked by scandal. 

    Over the last 12 months, many tech companies have found themselves at the center of our country's most pressing social and political issues. 

    Facebook provided Cambridge Analytica — a data firm used by President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign to target voters — with 87 million users' personal information without obtaining proper consent. 

    Google reportedly paid an executive tens of millions of dollars after he was let go over a sexual misconduct investigation.

    And WhatsApp became a hotbed of misinformation, influencing political elections and costing people their lives. 

    What follows are the 18 biggest scandals in the tech industry over the course of the last year:

    February: Uber and Waymo go to court over stolen trade secrets regarding self-driving car technology.

    In February, Uber and Google's self-driving car spinoff, Waymo, went to court over allegations that Uber stole trade secrets relating to Waymo's self-driving-car technology.

    The case centered around Anthony Levandowski, a high-profile engineer who was accused of taking information with him when leaving Google and bringing that information to Uber when he joined the company.

    The trial was hugely anticipated among those in tech, as it included two of Silicon Valley’s largest companies, and even featured testimony from Uber's former CEO, Travis Kalanick.

    Ultimately, Uber agreed to pay Waymo $245 million in equity.

    March: Google’s Project Maven contract to partner with the Department of Defense on AI technology is revealed.

    In March, a report by Gizmodo revealed that Google had a contract in place with the US Department of Defense for the use of artificial intelligence technology, known internally as Project Maven.

    Critics of the AI tech — which speeds up the process of analyzing video images — believed it could be used for increasing the accuracy of drone-missile strikes, which often result in civilian casualties. As a result, thousands of Google employees signed a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, urging the company to end the contract, saying: "We believe that Google should not be in the business of war."

    In June, after facing intense internal and external pressures, Google announced it would not renew its current contract with the DoD, which expires in 2019.

    March: A self-driving Uber car hits and kills a woman in Arizona.

    In March, a woman in Tempe, Arizona, was killed by a self-driving car operated by Uber. It was the first time a pedestrian had been killed by an autonomous vehicle.

    Uber, which had been competing with companies like Waymo and GM to bring self-driving services to market, subsequently paused all of its autonomous vehicle testing.

    Now, as the company prepares to return its cars to the roads, new reports from Business Insider have revealed the internal debates and dysfunction leading up to March’s tragic accident.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • 2019 is set to be an exciting year for food retail thanks to technological innovation in the industry and exciting startups constantly pushing the boundaries.
    • The online grocer FreshDirect has put together a list of what it predicts will be the top 10 food trends for the year ahead. The list was curated by a team of in-house food and wine experts.

    2019 is set to be an exciting year for food retail thanks to technological innovation and exciting startups pushing the boundaries.

    The online grocer FreshDirect has put together a list of what it predicts will be the top 10 food trends for the year ahead. The list was curated by a team of in-house food and wine experts.

    "Our FreshDirect and FoodKick food experts are constantly working with farmers, fishermen, artisans, and producers to source high-quality, great tasting products for our customers," Scott Crawford, the chief merchandising officer at FreshDirect, said in a statement to the press on Thursday.

    FoodKick is FreshDirect's same-day alcohol and essentials delivery business.

    "These deep relationships paired with FoodKick's ability to work with emerging brands place us at the cutting edge of what's happening in food, and we're excited to announce what we see as the major trends and influences coming in 2019 and beyond," Crawford continued.

    See the trends FreshDirect has identified below:

    SEE ALSO: These are the most unhealthy meals in America, ranked

    Fresh alternatives to shelf food

    Consumers can expect to see more innovation of so-called shelf-stable food such as pasta sauces or protein bars, which typically aren't refrigerated before they are opened but will be after they are made with fresher ingredients.

    CBD-infused foods

    Cannabidiol, an ingredient derived from the cannabis plant that has been linked to a range of health benefits, has become one of the most talked-about ingredients of 2018, with retailers selling products as varied as CBD teas, beer alternatives, dog treats, coffee, and supplements.

    The report predicts it's on its way to becoming a major trend in food as well. 

    Canned fish

    Canned fish is in vogue thanks to trendy restaurants putting it on their menus. Now, we can expect to see grocers jumping on the bandwagon.

    "The canned format allows for unique experimentation, fostering the ability for consumers to try rare and flavorful species from all over the world, regardless of season," FreshDirect wrote in its press release. 

    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.

    best dolly carts

    • A good dolly cart helps you move loads weighing hundreds of pounds without back spasms or excessive swearing.

    • The Milwaukee 47109 Flow Back Dolly Cart is the best one you can buy thanks to the classic simplicity of its form and function and its lifetime durability of construction.

    Just a few days ago, I fulfilled what, for some reason, had become a lifelong dream of mine: I bought a deep freezer. Soon, my garage will boast 5.2 cubic feet of ice cold storage in a handsome white cube, and the freezer under our fridge will be free of clutter, stocked only with choice items like ice cream, waffles, and additional ice cream. And ice.

    Singlehandedly getting the freezer off the Home Depot flatbed and into my car wasn't much fun, but it only took about a minute all told. Moving this cumbersome appliance up the driveway and into the garage, however? That was going to require some help. With my wife watching the kids and no neighbors in sight, I turned to my trusty hand truck.

    Thanks to the a few simple machines (namely the wheel and the lever, not to mention the inclined plane if we're factoring in the slope of the property, I guess), the deep freezer's journey from my vehicle to its garage resting place was pleasantly easy. Organizing the garage to accommodate the new appliance? That was less pleasant.

    Call them hand trucks, dolly carts, box carts, or any other name, these plucky contraptions are minor miracle workers. A hand truck lets an individual transport many times more weight than he or she would otherwise be able, and with certain specialized options, a load can even be moved upstairs, over rough terrain, or over long distances. I use a hand truck around my home at least once or twice a month, and in previous periods of life, I used them weekly in offices or daily when working on TV sets.

    Whether your job calls for moving hundreds of boxes a week or your move calls for moving all your furniture, appliances, and stuff in one weekend, a good hand truck is a great thing to have on hand. Save yourself from the backache and get the work done faster with the latest versions of this centuries-old type of hardware.

    Here are the best dolly carts you can buy:

    Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

    The best dolly cart overall

    Why you'll love it: Milwaukee 47109 Flow Back Hand Truck arrives fully assembled and ready to roll, and thanks to its simple, sturdy design, it will remain in service for decades, if not for life.

    There's nothing fancy about the Milwaukee 47109 Flow Back Hand Truck. But guess what? Hand trucks are not supposed to be fancy, they're supposed to be functional. And this hearty hand truck is certainly that.

    It's rated for a 600-pound load with a safe stacking height up to 42 inches, so you can load a number of boxes or a larger, heavier appliance onto this tubular steel beast and start to roll.

    The Flow Back's 14 inches by 8 inches toe plate is ample enough for easy balancing but not so large as to take up extra space while you're storing or transporting the hand truck, while its 8-inch tires are made of a solid rubber that never needs air and can easily handle the rough terrain of parking lots, sidewalks, and even a bit of off road hauling.

    With dozens of reviews posted on Amazon, the Milwaukee 47109 Flow Back Hand Truck has an excellent 4.6-star average rating. One shopper notes its "American made excellent craftsmanship," while another calls it "perfect for heavy duty hauling." The product testers from Ezvid appreciated the fact that a Milwaukee hand truck "arrives fully assembled" and ready for work.

    And I can tell you from personal experience that this type of tall, sturdy hand truck is hard to beat for all basic load bearing needs and is exceptional for stacked boxes.

    Pros: Built to last, large weight capacity, corrosion-resistant finish

    Cons: Emits chemical odor when new

    Buy the Milwaukee 47109 Flow Back Hand Truck on Amazon for $66

    The best collapsible dolly cart

    Why you'll love it: The Magna Cart Personal Hand Truck folds down small enough to fit in the trunk of any car or into a small closet, but it can move 150 pounds around with ease.

    When fully opened and extended, the Magna Cart Personal Hand Truck features a 39-inch handle and a wide 15-inch base. It allows you to easily transport loads weighing up to 15 pounds.

    It's ideal for the person moving into an apartment or dorm room or for use in smaller offices, but not so much because of its size and capacity when deployed for use, but rather thanks to its dimensions when collapsed. With the base plate folded up and the wheels tucked in, the Magna Cart Personal Hand Truck is only 2.5 inches deep can easily tuck away under a bed, on a shelf, in a closet, or in the trunk of your car.

    Another thing that's compact about this hand truck is the price. At less than $40, it's a highly affordable piece of equipment and a justifiable expense even if you'll only use it for one move or for setting up a new office. However, do note that its 150-pound weight capacity is also pretty small, especially compared to other units on our list, so don't try to move a fridge with this thing. 

    The Magna Cart Personal Hand Truck has 3,000-plus reviews posted on Amazon and enjoys a solid 4.5-star rating. A plethora of customers love its abilities as a "car seat carrier for traveling," with many more praising it for being "light and collapsible" yet "handy and tough," as one buyer said in a review that speaks for many.

    A write up from IdeaHacks said it "stores easily at home when not in use" and fits in most "vehicle's trunks." Finally, let's not overlook the clever wordplay of the name, surely inspired by the charter signed by King John back in 1215.

    Pros: Compact when folded, low price point, easy to use

    Cons: Modest weight capacity

    Buy the Magna Cart Personal Hand Truck on Amazon for $36 (originally $50)

    The best high-capacity dolly cart

    Why you'll love it: If you need to move a fridge, washing machine, or a safe, then the Harper Trucks 800 Pound Appliance Truck is ready to serve.

    Any way you look at it, this is one serious hand truck. And yes, that starts with the hefty $200 price tag, but if you're moving appliances or furniture that weighs many hundreds of pounds (and may cost thousands of dollars) it's worth the investment.

    The Harper Trucks 800 Pound Appliance Truck stands 60 inches tall, allowing for plenty of contact area with the load being moved and making best use of the physics of the fulcrum and lever. Its extra wide 24-inch base plate helps spread the weight as you roll, while a pair of ingenious belt stair crawlers — picture tank tracks, basically — set above the wheels help you ease up or down stairs or curbs.

    But, of course, the ultimate metric with hand trucks is the weight capacity, and here the Harper Trucks 800 Pound Appliance Truck shines. It can handle loads as heavy as 800 pounds, so few appliances, pieces of furniture, or other items you'll ever have cause to move are beyond its capabilities.

    Just make sure you make use of the built-in belt and belt tightener to secure the load to the hand truck, because even the best hand truck in the world can't help you if its cargo falls off of it.

    Amazon shoppers have given this beast of a piece of hardware a commendable 4.5-star overall rating. A reviewer called Jonathan said the Harper Trucks 800 Pound Appliance Truck "can be used with just about anything that's heavy or big," while another gentleman said he "would recommend to anyone looking for quality that lasts."

    A few buyers did complain about the shallow base plate, saying that the hand truck was only suitable to the "specialized use" of moving oversized, solid objects, but when it comes to those, it excels.

    Pros: Amazing weight capacity, built-in securing belt, stair crawlers help on stairs or curbs

    Cons: Quite expensive

    Buy the Harper Trucks 800 Pound Appliance Truck on Amazon for $200

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Dyker Heights Christmas Lights 8

    • The neighborhood of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, New York, puts on a Christmas light display every year.
    • It has become a tourist attraction, with guided tours and buses.


    The suburban Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights is a quiet and friendly area year-round – that is, until the holidays start.

    That's when the neighborhood is flooded with thousands of Christmas-light peepers anxious to see the area's famed displays. Countless homes in the neighborhood take part, putting up dazzling and awe-inspiring feats of festivity, and likely producing similarly awe-inspiring electric bills.

    In 2015, I took a trip to Dyker Heights to see the hyped "Dyker Lights" for myself. Keep scrolling to see some lights that would make Clark Griswold die from envy.

    SEE ALSO: Inside New York City's most festive bar, where they spend more than $60,000 a year getting ready for Christmas

    Dyker Heights is a good half-hour drive from downtown Manhattan, and about an hour away on the subway. Luckily, there are Dyker Lights tour buses that will take you there hassle-free — for a price.

    You can see most of the best displays between 11th and 13th avenues around 81st through 86th streets.

    Some of the homes put up stately, elegant arrangements.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    steven john

    • There is no guidebook to life; life lessons are gained only through time and experience, and many of our beliefs and perceptions will change over the years.
    • Often the picture of a life we imagine for ourselves and the life we end up living are quite different, and in most cases that's just fine.
    • Here are 10 life lessons my 20-year-old self might not have wanted to hear, but that my actual adult self can confirm as fact.


    At the time of this writing, I'm 36 years old. I have two cute kids, a wonderful wife, a yard that needs raking, a fair amount of gray hair on the sides, and almost no free time.

    Does my life look exactly like I pictured it would when I was 20? Actually, in some ways, yes. But over the course of the last decade and a half, I've learned that much of what I expected from life would either never come, or would come in different ways than I thought.

    My first career, the thing for which I'd gone to school to prepare, never panned out. (Filmmaking, in case you're wondering.) I figured that as an adult I'd spend time with friends weekly if not daily, just like I always had, yet I've not seen some of my closest friends in months, and a few in years.

    I thought there would be more free time to try new things, travel, have hobbies, and just to relax, yet with each passing year I have to pass on more opportunities, give up on personal projects, and go to bed instead of reading that book or watching that show.

    In short, my 20-year-old self thought life would be easier. Here are 10 hard truths I've learned that have proven that life can be pretty tough stuff.

    SEE ALSO: I just turned 50 — here are 10 life lessons I wish I'd learned a decade ago

    1. You will fail. Many times.

    I came out of college a cockeyed optimist, ready to dive in with both feet and sure to succeed. And quickly, at that. Flash forward a year and a half and I'm signing a severance letter after losing a job. Three years after that, I'm shopping a script all over LA, a script that still sits in a drawer today. It wasn't until I was nearly 30 that my writing finally started to pay the bills, and by then I had long since given up my youthful dream of making movies. And frankly, I'm glad I did, as I love writing. But my 20 year old film student self would be mortified to hear me say that.

    2. The money will probably come slowly.

    Unless you land a job with Google, on Wall Street, or you're lucky enough to make it on screen or pen a best-seller, you will gain wealth incrementally, and you probably won't save much for many years. The cost of living alone, especially if you have debts to pay off, is hard to cover with most salaries offered to junior level employees. Your 20s will likely be spent building up a career that will later be profitable, but don't count on a ballooning bank account any time soon.

    3. You will lose touch with friends.

    Friendships have always been important to me, and I was fortunate enough to have met a great group of people in high school, college, and in my early years of work. There was a time, though, that I could not have counted the people I thought of as genuinely close friends on my fingers and toes and then some. Now, I'd say it's down to fingers and maybe a foot. Which is still a good crew, to be sure, but I'm shocked to realize it has been more than five years since I've had any contact with some people I once saw all the time. And never through a falling out; it just happens.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Apple iPhone Event 2018

    • The above image shows Apple's 2018 iPhone lineup, which includes the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
    • Apple quietly discontinued a few older iPhones to make room for the new models.
    • Apple no longer sells the iPhone 6S, iPhone X, and most notably, the iPhone SE.
    • The iPhone SE was Apple's last 4-inch iPhone, which featured the body of the iPhone 5S but the internals of an iPhone 6S.



    SEE ALSO: 9 reasons you should buy an iPhone XR instead of an iPhone XS

    At the same September event where it unveiled three new iPhones, Apple quietly killed off one of the best smartphones it's ever made: the iPhone SE.

    At $350, the iPhone SE was one of the best "budget" smartphones you can buy. It didn't have a big, flashy high-definition screen like so many modern smartphones, but it had great performance in an adorable package.

    But the iPhone SE wasn't just a "small phone"— it provided an alternative for people who didn't want to buy a large-screened iPhone.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Amazon Popular Books 2018

    • Amazon editors picked their top books of 2018.
    • They range from memoirs to novels to young adult fiction, from first-time authors to New York Times bestsellers.

    From memoirs to novels to young adult fiction, 2018 was full of riveting books that readers just couldn't put down. First-time authors and New York Times bestsellers alike published stories that made us laugh, think, and maybe even reach for a wad of tissues.

    Amazon's editors picked their 100 favorite books of the year. Here are the top 30.

    30. "Circe" by Madeline Miller

    Amazon's synopsis:In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child — not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power — the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

    With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, "Circe"is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.

    29. "You Think It, I'll Say It: Stories" by Curtis Sittenfeld

    Amazon's synopsis: A suburban mother of two fantasizes about the downfall of an old friend whose wholesome lifestyle empire may or may not be built on a lie. A high-powered lawyer honeymooning with her husband is caught off guard by the appearance of the girl who tormented her in high school. A shy Ivy League student learns the truth about a classmate’s seemingly enviable life.

    Curtis Sittenfeld has established a reputation as a sharp chronicler of the modern age who humanizes her subjects even as she skewers them. Now, with this first collection of short fiction, her "astonishing gift for creating characters that take up residence in readers' heads" (The Washington Post) is showcased like never before. Throughout the ten stories in "You Think It, I’ll Say It," Sittenfeld upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided.

    28. "I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer" by Michelle McNamara

    Amazon's synopsis: For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

    Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer." Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

    "I’ll Be Gone in the Dark"— the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle's dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    post malone

    For a music culture dominated by shareable playlists and free listening services, the streaming giant Spotify can offer an extremely accurate look at what songs are capturing our attention at any given moment.

    Some of those songs, however, are more deserving than others.

    We took a look at Spotify's weekly charts and combined the streaming numbers for 2018 until the beginning of December. From the top 50 most-streamed songs on our list, we chose the 10 worst in order to determine the most overhyped songs this year — ranked in order of ascending popularity.

    10. "FEFE (feat. Nicki Minaj & Murda Beatz)" by 6ix9ine

    Number of streams: 317,803,715

    6ix9ine— also known as Tekashi69, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez — is a 22-year-old Soundcloud rapper. He achieved mainstream credibility with "FEFE," a nettlesome and underwhelming track that features some of Nicki Minaj's laziest bars to date.

    Not to mention that as 6ix9ine's star power has grown, renewed attention has been paid to his 2015 conviction for using "a child in a sexual performance," to which the rapper pleaded guilty.

    Read more: Here's everything you need to know about Tekashi 6ix9ine, the controversial 22-year-old rapper who could go to prison for life

    While the controversy surrounding the collaboration with Minaj may have helped "FEFE" climb the charts, the pedophilic nature of 6ix9ine's crime should certainly outweigh any intrigue surrounding his music. 

    9. "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons

    Number of streams: 349,146,360

    Imagine Dragons' blend of dystopian rock and electronic pop hooks has proven its mass appeal many times. But "Thunder" is just a watered-down version of ths formula.

    The song is slightly weird and pretty catchy, but it becomes more and more grating with each listen.

    8. "Love Lies (With Normani)" by Khalid

    Number of streams: 438,975,525

    Both Normani and Khalid have gorgeous vocals and undeniable star power, which makes "Love Lies" all the more unsatisfactory. It's not bad at all, but a collaboration between these two massive talents could have yielded something far more emotional, far more convincing — especially when given such a dramatic, sultry premise.

    Ultimately, beneath the stunning vocal performances, "Love Lies" is just too boring to be so popular.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Bed, Bath & Beyond

    • These tricks can make you an even better shopper at Bed Bath and Beyond.
    • From price matching to a flexible return policy, there are a lot of tips you may not know about.
    • Keep these facts in mind for your next BB&B haul.

    Bed Bath and Beyond is a store with seemingly endless options. And though you may have done your fair share of shopping at the store, there are likely quite a few tips for shopping success that you don't know about.

    If you want to be the savviest shopper in BB&B, then make sure you take note of these facts the next time you step into the store (or shop online!).

    You can use your 20% off a single item coupons anytime.

    We all get these special coupons in the mail, but we tend to toss them away when they're fast their expiration date. Before you throw your stack of coupons away, keep this in mind: although they encourage customers to use them before the expiration date, these coupons can actually be used anytime, according to Bed Bath & Beyond public relations associate Zevenia Dennis. 

    However, keep in mind that unlike the print coupons, any online or emailed coupons and promotions abide by their expiration date.

    You can also combine your 20% off coupons.

    If you're getting a haul of home goods and knickknacks, then you're in luck: you can combine your 20% off a single item coupons in a single transaction. That way, you can get the same discount on two or more items instead of one, giving your bank account a bit of a break.

    Bed Bath & Beyond will price match any item in store.

    Did you find that Soda Stream you've been eyeing on sale at another store? According to Dennis, you can come into your local Bed Bath & Beyond and match that price through their Price Match Promise program.

    "With continuously changing prices and constant sales, we understand that there may be times when you find an item for less elsewhere and we're prepared to accommodate," she said.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    super smash bros ultimate

    • Nintendo's biggest game of 2018 is available now: "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is the latest entry in the long-running fighting game series, and the first on Nintendo's Switch.
    • The new game is already being heralded as the best in the series, and it's deserved; the game is excellent.
    • Unfortunately, the online multiplayer section of the game is marred by persistent lag and confusing design choices.
    • "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is the first major game release with online multiplayer since Nintendo launched its paid service, Nintendo Switch Online, in September. It costs $20 per year and is required for online play.

    The biggest Nintendo game of 2018 is, unsurprisingly, an overwhelmingly good game. 

    "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is available for the Nintendo Switch as of December 7 — a massive, sprawling encyclopedia of gaming history. At its heart, the "Smash Bros." series is about Nintendo characters fighting to the death.

    "Ultimate" is essentially a fighting game, but it contains so, so much more than that: A 700-plus list of songs spanning three decades of games; a surprisingly deep and expansive single-player campaign; a traditional fighting game "story" mode for each of its 70-plus characters; and, notably in this case, an expanded online multiplayer section.

    Nintendo launched a paid online service in September, dubbed Nintendo Switch Online, which is required for online play. "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is the first major Nintendo release since that service launched, and it has a major online component.

    Though "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is excellent in nearly every way, its online component is a mess: Persistent lag and bizarre design decisions hamper what would otherwise be a strong argument for Nintendo's new, paid online service.

    As a longtime "Smash" fan who's been waiting — hoping! — for a great online experience from the franchise, it's been a tremendous let down thus far.

    Here's why:

    SEE ALSO: 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' brings more than 70 characters to the Nintendo Switch — here they all are

    Things start with a lot of promise.

    Like so many other fighting games, "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" has to do two things at once: appeal to the ultra-dedicated/extremely critical base of hardcore fans and, at the same time, appeal to the far larger group that encompasses everyone else.

    The online mode in "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is a focal point for this dichotomy. Hardcore fans want custom game settings, and to play against like-minded players, but most people going online with "Smash" are just looking for a fun game. 

    In this regard, Nintendo definitely caters to the latter group, but there's plenty for the former as well.

    The options are simple, and easy to understand!

    You can jump in with "Quickplay," which defaults to matchmaking you with any multiplayer setting, and one to three opponents. It's the "I just want to play some 'Smash' online" option.

    "Battle Arenas" offer more customization, allowing you to search for specific game types and player counts. It's intended for people who have strong feelings about how "Smash" should be played. 

    But even if you just jump into Quickplay, you're still able to filter by what type of game you'd like to be matched with. Upon first inspection, there's a nice amount of detail to the online section of "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate." 

    It's the "online" part that's the problem.

    It's impossible to overstate the difference between playing "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" online and offline — it's like two different games.

    Of the dozens of matches I've played online, a shockingly small percentage could be described as "smooth." At some point in every match, and often throughout every match, I've hit crushing lag. 

    What do I mean by "lag"? Even if you don't know the term, you've no doubt experienced it: A video buffering in YouTube/Netflix/etc.? That's lag.

    In the case of "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate," that disconnect is far more detrimental.

    Sometimes it's a stutter in gameplay here or there. Sometimes it's a several second stop in the action. It's unpredictable, frustrating, and — worst of all — it makes the game nearly unplayable.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Switzerland Swiss army honor guard soldiers troops military

    Switzerland hasn't had a mass shooting since 2001, when a man stormed the local parliament in Zug, killing 14 people and then himself.

    The country has about 2 million privately owned guns in a nation of 8.3 million people. In 2016, the country had 47 attempted homicides with firearms. The country's overall murder rate is near zero.

    The National Rifle Association often points to Switzerland to argue that more rules on gun ownership aren't necessary. In 2016, the NRA said on its blog that the European country had one of the lowest murder rates in the world while still having millions of privately owned guns and a few hunting weapons that don't even require a permit.

    But the Swiss have some specific rules and regulations for gun use.

    Business Insider took a look at the country's past with guns to see why it has lower rates of gun violence than the US, where gun death rates are now at their highest in more than 20 years. 

    SEE ALSO: Gun control really works — here's the science to prove it

    Switzerland is obsessed with getting shooting right. Every year, it holds a shooting contest for kids aged 13 to 17.

    Zurich's Knabenschiessen is a traditional annual festival that dates back to the 1600s.

    Though the word roughly translates to "boys shooting" and the competition used to be only boys, teenage girls have been allowed in since 1991.

    Kids in the country flock to the competition every September to compete in target shooting using Swiss army service rifles. They're proud to show off how well they can shoot.

    Accuracy is prized above all else, and a Schutzenkonig — a king or queen of marksmen — is crowned.

    Having an armed citizenry helped keep the Swiss neutral for more than 200 years.

    The Swiss stance is one of "armed neutrality."

    Switzerland hasn't taken part in any international armed conflict since 1815, but some Swiss soldiers help with peacekeeping missions around the world.

    Many Swiss see gun ownership as part of a patriotic duty to protect their homeland.

    Most Swiss men are required to learn how to use a gun.

    Unlike the US, Switzerland has mandatory military service for men.

    All men between the ages of 18 and 34 deemed "fit for service" are given a pistol or a rifle and trained.

    After they've finished their service, the men can typically buy and keep their service weapons, but they have to get a permit for them.

    In recent years, the Swiss government has voted to reduce the size of the country's armed forces.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    american eagle 3385

    • American Eagle is hugely popular with teens right now. 
    • American Eagle Outfitters reported on Tuesday that comparable sales were up 5% for its namesake brand and 32% for Aerie. 
    • When we visited the store, we saw why teens love it so much. 

    American Eagle Outfitters is having a moment. 

    On Tuesday, American Eagle reported that comparable sales were up 5% for its namesake brand in the most recent quarter. 

    American Eagle can thank its sister store Aerie for its recent success. In the third quarter, comparable sales were up a whopping 32% at Aerie, the lingerie brand that has been winning over customers with campaigns focused on body positivity and female empowerment.  

    American Eagle itself is also doing well. When we visited an American Eagle store, we found that it was bright and upbeat. Both American Eagle and the attached Aerie boutique seemed to be focused on comfort above anything else, with almost everything in-store being advertised as "cozy" and "plush."

    In October, a Piper Jaffray survey of 8,600 teens across the United States found that American Eagle is teens' second favorite apparel brand, behind only Nike.

    Here's what it was like to shop there: 

    SEE ALSO: Teens are abandoning Victoria's Secret — here's one young person's take why

    I went to an American Eagle store in Midtown Manhattan.

    The store was very bright and upbeat.

    The first floor of the store carried women's clothing.

    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.

    KitchenAid Artisan Series

    For you and anyone else with holiday shopping to complete, Amazon's "12 Days of Deals" is not to be missed.

    Today, the company has slashed prices on a vast selection of kitchen appliances and cookware that consequently make great gifts.

    We weeded through the deals and found 9 that are well worth your time and money, from the perennially popular KitchenAid stand mixer to the cult-favorite Instant Pot. It's also a good idea to visit the main deals page in case you see something else that interests you that's not on our list.

    Remember, these are deals of the day, which means they're only available until midnight tonight. Check out our favorite tech deals from Amazon's "12 Days of Deals", and happy shopping!

    SEE ALSO: All of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides, in one place

    A KitchenAid stand mixer for $250

    KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer and Spiralizer Attachment, $249.99 (originally $329.94) [You save $69.95]

    Get a 5-quart KitchenAid stand mixer and spiralizer attachment for $70 less on Amazon today.


    An 8-piece Cuisinart cookware set for $100

    Cuisinart Classic Stainless Set (8-Pieces), $99.99 (originally $180) [You save $80.01]

    This stainless steel cookware set has all of the pots and pans you need to cook well at home on a regular basis.

    An indoor herb garden for half off

    AeroGarden Harvest Grey, $79.95 (originally $149.95) [You save $80]

    The AeroGarden is a compact addition to your countertop, letting you grow up to six plants at a time with little effort. It comes with soil-free pods for curly parsley, dill, mint, thyme, and Thai and Genovese basil.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • A basket leaves less room for junk foods.
    • You can feel the weight of your purchases in a basket.
    • A cart may encourage dawdling.

    Although picking a shopping cart may be the obvious choice, unless you need to push a kid around the supermarket or physically can't lift a basket, a basket is almost always the better shopping choice.

    Why choose a basket? It's better for your budget and health, plus you may sneak in a little extra exercise lifting that plastic carrier full of fresh produce. INSIDER asked nutrition and shopping experts why a basket stands out as the better shopping choice, to help guide you next time you buy groceries.

    A basket can be more budget-friendly.

    "Grabbing a basket instead of a cart can be a simple, yet effective way to stick to your grocery list, and just buy what you need," said Emily Cooper, RDN of When you fill up your basket with essentials, there's limited room for extra food, which should keep your grocery budget in check and help prevent you from buying in excess and wasting food at home.


    A basket limits impulse buys and temptations.

    "It's all too easy to grab a giant cart and fill it up with extra items or impulse buys," Cooper says. Limited space means less room to make bad choices. "When you get a shopping cart, there's often a psychological need to fill it," said James Nuttall, marketing specialist for

    "This need purely comes from the fact that you need to justify opting for such a large carrier for your shopping. As a result, you start filling it with things you wouldn't have picked up otherwise and which you probably don't actually need."

    Nuttall compared a cart to online shopping, in which your digital "cart" can't ever truly reach its full capacity and "you are more tempted by deals and offers on things that you'd have otherwise passed by; whether they are on offer or not, you aren't saving money if you're buying something you have no use for or wouldn't normally purchase."

    This means spending more money on items you don't really want.

    Baskets get heavy quickly.

    "Carrying around a heavy basket will encourage you to get to the checkout line even faster," Cooper adds. Don't feel like carrying that liter of soda? A cart may ease your not-so-healthy choices but with a basket, you truly feel the weight of your decisions. Instead of wandering aimlessly up and down each aisle, a full basket will signal that it's time to head for the register and get home.

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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