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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    Santa PROMO

    • The jolly, bearded Santa Claus that Americans know and love is not the only version of a Santa-like mythical being.
    • In Spain, children receive gifts from the three Reyes Magos (three Wise Men).
    • In Germany, children are fearful of Krampus: the demonic being that whips and kidnaps children who have misbehaved.

    Most Americans tend to think of Santa Claus as the jolly man in the red suit with a sack full of toys to deliver to children around the world on Christmas. 

    But the Santa you see in American movies and on Coca-Cola bottles is only one version of a mythical being who either rewards or punishes children and gives out gifts around Yuletide.

    From Sinterklaas in The Netherlands who rides a horse to the female Christkind in Austria and Germany, here's how Santa Claus is portrayed in 13 countries around the world.

    United Kingdom — Father Christmas

    Certain traditions are just a natural part of the British Christmas: Yorkshire pudding and turkey on the Christmas table, kids pulling Christmas crackers, and Father Christmas wearing green.

    Although you will see the more popular, red-suited version of Santa on Christmas in the UK, the traditional British Father Christmas wears a hooded green cloak, a wreath of holly or ivy, and carries a staff. His appearance — like many Christmas traditions — is rooted in pagan mythology. 

    In pop culture, he resembles the Ghost of Christmas Present in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." 

    France — Père Noël or Papa Noël

    While his name may just be French for Father Christmas, Père Noël has his own Christmas traditions.

    He wears a long red cloak instead of a red suit, and children leave their shoes by the fireplace hoping that they will be filled with goodies after mass on Christmas Eve.

    Père Noël also traditionally travels with a not-so friendly companion called Père Fouettard, or "the whipping father," who spanks any children who have not behaved well throughout the year. 

    Russia and Ukraine — Ded Moroz and Snegurochka (Father Frost and Snow Maiden)

    Ded Moroz (translated as Father Frost) is a figure of Slavic mythology, often depicted as a wizard or demon. Traditionally, he would punish naughty children by kidnapping them, but this darker part of Ded Moroz's personality has softened over the years.

    Now, on New Year's Eve, he travels all over the Slavic region, mainly in Russia and Ukraine, carrying gifts for children with his cheerful companion, Snegurochka the Snow Maiden.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jennifer lopez christmas

    • Many celebrities are posting pictures of their Christmas decorations on Instagram.
    • Some are stylish; others … less so.
    • From J-Lo's tree adorned with red roses to Kylie Jenner's gold tree, we've rounded up the cutest and most elaborate celebrity Christmas decorations.

    Social media comes with many pros and cons.

    One pro (or con, depending on your point of view) is that it offers us mere mortals a glimpse into the lives of celebrities.

    Come the holidays, many have been sharing snaps of their trees and seasonal decorations. From the grand to the gaudy, check out the best and most elaborate Christmas decorations from celebrities this year.


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    Madonna posted a picture of her 6-year-old daughter Estere hanging a decoration at the bottom of her tree, next to a roaring fire in a grand fireplace.

    Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez

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    J-Lo posted a series of photos of her family decorating their tree.

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    The tree is perfectly shaped, has a strictly red color scheme, and features, curiously, dozens of red roses.

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    Kylie Jenner

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    Kylie Jenner is celebrating the season with a huge, fake, gold tree, embellished with simple gold baubles.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Marck Zuckerberg VR

    • Facebook was sued for $2 billion by Zenimax Media, the former employer of an Oculus executive.
    • A jury awarded Zenimax $500 million, which was subsequently reduced to $250 million. Both parties sought appeals.
    • Facebook and Zenimax reached a settlement in December 2018, a little more than four years after litigation began. The terms are private.

    Facebook is, by far, the largest social media platform on Earth. Nearly 2 billion people use it — just over 25% of the planet's population.

    But the company's vision for the future goes beyond baby photos and shareable headlines: The $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR in 2014 was a strong indication of what's next for Facebook.

    Indeed, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and company see virtual reality as an integral part of Facebook's future. And that future is off to a rocky start.

    Weak sales of the company's first VR headset, the Oculus Rift, are just the beginning. Two months after Facebook purchased Oculus VR, Facebook was sued for $2 billion. The company that sued, Zenimax Media, claimed that a former employee-turned-Oculus CTO took trade secrets with him. Moreover, the suit claimed that those trade secrets were integral to the Oculus Rift headset. 

    oculus rift

    A classic he said/she said litany of statements flowed from both companies, and a two-week jury trial concluded in 2017. Zuck himself even appeared in court for questioning. The result? Facebook was ordered to pay Zenimax $500 million, but no one's to blame. And now, after a 50% award reduction that sparked appeals from both parties, the case was apparently settled for an undisclosed sum out of court.

    Here's what's going on.

    SEE ALSO: Facebook ordered to pay $500 million in lawsuit against Oculus VR

    DON'T MISS: U.S. court halves $500 million verdict in Facebook virtual reality lawsuit

    August 2013: Oculus VR, a startup working on a virtual reality headset called the Rift, hires "Doom" creator John Carmack of id Software as its chief technology officer.

    From the very first days of the Oculus Rift — when it was little more than snowboard goggles, duct tape, and wires — legendary programmer John Carmack was involved. When the Rift was first demonstrated for press, in 2012 at E3 (an annual video game industry trade show), it was demonstrated by John Carmack.

    Carmack showed off a version of "Doom 3" running in the Oculus Rift headset. It would be another year before he officially resigned from id Software, which he cofounded, to become the CTO of Oculus VR. 

    Of note: id Software was founded in 1991, and then sold to Zenimax Media in 2009. 

    Carmack got the prototype headset from Palmer Luckey, the young poster boy of the Oculus Rift. He was repeatedly held up as the genius inventor behind the headset.

    So the story goes: Palmer Luckey was working on the Oculus Rift headset's earliest prototypes from his parents' house. Luckey was a member of several forums dedicated to the world of 3D and, eventually, virtual reality. He was a part of the "mod" community, which is notorious for taking existing hardware and modifying it into something new — a portable Xbox 360, or a GameBoy that plays Super Nintendo games, for instance.

    On the journey from ski-goggle prototype to something sellable, Carmack — an idol of Luckey's and, apparently, a member of the same VR forum — got in touch and asked to be sent a prototype. Wired catalogued the exchange in a 2014 story timed to publish soon after the Facebook acquisition:

    "Carmack private-­messaged him. Would Palmer consider sending him a loaner unit? Palmer, who idolized Carmack, shipped it off to Texas immediately — 'no NDAs, no signing anything,' Carmack says. 'It was one of two proto­types that he had.'

    Carmack got to work on the machine, hot-gluing a motion sensor to it and duct-taping on a ski-goggle strap. But his greatest contribution came in the code he wrote for it. The Rift’s biggest selling point was its 90-degree field of view, which Luckey accomplished by slapping a cheap magnifying lens on the display. The problem was, that lens distorted the image underneath, making it warped and uneven. So Carmack coded a version of 'Doom 3' that pre-­distorted the image, counteracting the effects of the magnifying lens and making the picture appear correct to the viewer. The result was a completely immersive gaming experience, the kind that would other­wise require $10,000 in high-end optics."

    March 2014: Facebook buys Oculus VR.

    In March 2014, Facebook announced the acquisition of Oculus VR — an independent startup. Unlike Instagram or Whatsapp, it was less obvious why Facebook would buy a fledgling startup that was, at the time, creating the first major VR headset since the technology faded from popularity in the mid-'90s. 

    Zuckerberg justified the purchase as such:

    "History suggests that there will be more platforms to come. Today's acquisition is a long-term bet on the future of computing."

    In Zuckerberg's eyes, the folks at Oculus VR were creating "the future," and he wanted Facebook to be integral in building that vision of the future.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    avocado and almonds

    • The paleo diet, inspired by our hunter-gatherer ancestors, involves consuming whole vegetables, fruit, meat, and nuts.
    • Not only can the paleo diet result in weight loss, but it may also benefit those with blood sugar issues, insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes.
    • Though criticised for restricting foods that keep people satiated, like grains, legumes, and dairy, the paleo diet includes a variety of options that should keep you full until your next snack or meal.



    The paleo diet is a popular whole food-based program that mimics the diet we think our caveman ancestors practiced.

    Considering the high rates of lifestyle-induced disease we see today in diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, the paleo diet presumes consuming whole vegetables, fruit, meats, and nuts may reduce biological risk factors for these conditions.

    A small study published in Cardiovascular Diabetology placed 13 individuals with type 2 diabetes on a paleolithic diet for three months and tracked weight loss and several cardiovascular risk factors. At the end of the three month period, participants lost 6.6 lbs on average, their blood-sugar levels (HbA1c) dropped by 0.4%, and their HDL (good cholesterol) increased by 3 mg/dL.

    "In general, the paleo diet can be a great kick-start for someone to eat a diet rich in whole foods, but it isn't for everyone," McKel Hill, registered dietitian and founder of the healthy-living website Nutrition Stripped, told Business Insider over email. "Paleo diets don't celebrate eating grains or legumes, which some people enjoy and do really well on especially if relying on a plant-based diet."

    While you're not technically required to limit carbs on the paleo diet, the goal is to limit consumption of processed and refined carbohydrates, since you're not allowed to eat common carb-heavy foods like bread, pasta, or grains, according to Healthline.

    Some carbs you can eat on the diet include sweet potatoes, potatoes, and fruits like apples and bananas. But eating too many carbs or excess sugar can lead to a buildup of glycogen, which your body will convert to fat for the long-term storage of energy.

    So if you're looking to cut carbs in an effort to improve your health or trim down on the paleo diet, you might want to instead turn to some of the following foods that are lower in carbs.

    Here are 11 low-carb, yet surprisingly filling, foods that you can eat on the paleo diet.

    SEE ALSO: 10 of the best keto meal options at popular chain restaurants

    1. Raspberries

    If you have a sweet tooth or love fruit, berries could be a great option to keep you satiated on the paleo diet since they're sweet, but lower in carbs and sugar compared to other fruits like apples and bananas.

    "Raspberries are considered a low-glycemic food due to the high fiber and low sugar content, making this a great choice for those who are watching their blood sugar, and the amount of carbohydrates they are consuming," Hill told Business Insider.

    2. Strawberries

    "Strawberries contain high amounts of fiber and antioxidants, which have been linked to cardiovascular benefits, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels, and has anti-cancer benefits," Hill said. "These are great in baked goods, topping for salad, and in smoothies for a little bit of sweetness."

    3. Blueberries

    "Blueberries have been shown to help with cardiovascular health, cognitive benefits, eye health, overall antioxidant support, insulin resistance, and anti-cancer benefits. They contain a great amount of fiber, and they’re lower in sugar than some other fruits," Hill said. "They have a low glycemic index which means better blood sugar regulation and steady energy."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mac mini 2018

    • After four long years of neglect, Apple finally updated its smallest and most affordable Mac desktop in 2018, the Mac Mini.
    • I bought the new Mac Mini soon after it was announced — and it wasn't cheap.
    • After spending a couple of weeks with my new computer, I have some thoughts about it.

    For over a year, I was waiting to build out the office space in my den because I was waiting — hoping, really — for Apple to release a new Mac Mini.

    The Mac Mini had not received a meaningful update in four years. But at Apple's big October event this year, it finally happened: The Mac Mini got the love it deserved, with powerful new specs and a beautiful space-gray finish.

    I bought the Mac Mini in November, and I've been using it for a couple of weeks now.

    Here's everything I love and hate about the 2018 Mac Mini (so far).

    SEE ALSO: Apple made a big mistake by killing the iPhone SE, its smallest and most affordable iPhone

    DON'T MISS: I've used the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR — here's which one I'd recommend buying

    LOVE: Apple offers plenty of customization for the Mac Mini.

    The base Mac Mini comes with a quad-core i3 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of solid-state storage. But if you need more processing power, more memory (RAM), or more storage, Apple has a ton of upgrade options available.

    If you max out the new Mac Mini, it will come with a 6-core i7 processor, 64 GB of RAM, and 2 terabytes of solid-state storage.

    There are, of course, plenty of options in between. But I appreciate that Apple considered every type of user when creating its customization options.

    HATE: The pricing to upgrade the Mac Mini borders on absurd.

    The Mac Mini starts at $800, but if you buy every single upgrade option available, it can cost you as much as $4,200.

    I bought my Mac Mini with a core i5 processor, 32 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of storage. Those three upgrades brought the cost of the computer to about $1,900, after taxes and AppleCare+.

    I'm hoping the price of this Mac ends up being a good investment. I spent about $2,900 on the new MacBook Pro back in 2013, but that computer still runs like new five years later. Given the cost of the Mac Mini, I'm hoping to get similar mileage.


    LOVE: The Mac Mini is downright adorable.

    The Mac Mini is a beautiful little computer. It has rounded edges and a matte finish in that deep space gray color. The ports are neatly arranged on the back, while the front face is clean, with the Apple logo on top. It fits almost any aesthetic.

    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 stud finders

    • By finding a solid piece of wood or metal behind the drywall, a good stud finder can help you hang shelves, cabinets, or decorative items.
    • Many can also help you avoid drilling or hammering into a water pipe or electrical wire.
    • The Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710 is the best stud finder because it takes readings rapidly without requiring any sliding back and forth along the walls.

    A stud finder can make the difference between that framed painting hanging majestically for years to come and it crashing to the ground an hour after you hang it as a chunk of drywall rips out in the process. Many stud finders can also make the difference between you drilling a hole or hammering a nail into a water pipe, thereby turning a modest project like putting up a shelf or mounting a TV into a serious home repair almost surely involving pricey professionals.

    In short, a stud finder is an important tool if you value doing a job right and avoiding potentially serious mishaps. But don't worry, this important tool is also affordable and easy to use. Many operate with the push of a single button and use easily interpreted lights to indicate the location of hidden studs. Some have an even more basic operation, simply adhering to the wall near studs thanks to magnetism. And many can also detect electrical wires, helping keep you safe and preventing accidental damage to the wiring in your home, office, or wherever you're working.

    Electric stud finders rely on the dielectric constant of various materials, detecting the density of the surface in close proximity to their sensor plate. In other words, they can tell when they're beaming an electric charge into hollow space beyond the drywall and when they are hovering near a solid wooden stud or a metal stud. Magnetic stud finders literally just magnetize themselves to metal behind the drywall, whether to metal studs or to the screws, nails, bolts, and other materials in a wooden beam.  

    For most DIY projects, a basic stud finder will serve fine. If you're worried about the wiring or pipes hidden in your walls, consider a more advanced unit that can detect various materials. The price of a comprehensive sensor will pay for itself time and time again in the money you save by not ruining your plumbing or electrical system.

    And while you can always aim any stud finder at yourself and say: "Found the stud right here!" note that the best hardware for this activity is a mirror into which you can gaze before coming to the realization that it was only funny the first time.

    Here are the best stud finders you can buy:

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

    The best stud finder overall

    Why you'll love it: The Franklin ProSensor 710 detects studs instantly with no sliding back and forth along the wall required.

    Any decent stud finder is going to ultimately locate a wall stud, but usually not without an annoying process of calibration and sliding the thing back and forth along the wall, usually with a few false positives before you're confident you have indeed found a stud and approximated the location of its center. Not so with the Franklin ProSensor 710.

    This high-accuracy tool simultaneously detects the wall and framing hardware below it at 13 distinct points, instantly creating an accurate readout of the hidden materials. Its extra wide body makes detection easier, and only those lights directly before the stud will illuminate, making end detection easy even without any sliding back and forth to be sure. That wide body design also helps you identify double studs.

    The high sensitivity of the sensors does more than detect quickly and without sliding, too. It also ensures an accurate detection even through uneven materials, such as multiple layers of paint or wallpaper, textured plasters, and more. All that high tech, high accuracy detection requires nothing but the push of one button.

    I will say that I'd expect AC power detection from a stud finder that costs 50 bucks, but the Franklin ProSensor 710 certainly does its primary job with poise.

    More than 3,000 Amazon customers agree with me: The ProSensor 710 enjoys a 4.5-star average rating and positively glowing reviews. A gentleman named Brian hits the nail on the head, as it were, when he calls it "outstanding" and so accurate it "could be used by surgeons."

    A writer from Digital Trends called out the "remarkable stud-finding ability" of the ProSensor 710 that les you "mark exactly where objects begin and end for more detailed work."

    Pros: Instant detection without sliding, wide design for precision readings, can identify multiple studs

    Cons: No AC detection

    Buy the Franklin ProSensor 710 on Amazon for $48.95 (originally $50)

    The best low-cost stud finder

    Why you'll love it: The CH Hanson Stud 4 Sure Magnetic Stud Finder may be low tech, but it's highly effective in most applications, and it's super affordable, too. 

    The CH Hanson Stud 4 Sure Magnetic Stud Finder is basically a fancy magnet, to be frank. Or rather it's a collection of magnets oriented in a solid plastic case with a soft grip rubber exterior.

    It locates studs through attraction to a metal stud itself or to the screws and nails sunk into a wooden beam. If the CH Hanson Stud 4 Sure Magnetic Stud Finder is sticking to your wall, there's a stud under there. If not, no stud. Get it?

    Of course this device is going to be less accurate than an electric stud finder. Some wooden studs have relatively little metal hardware stuck through them, so it's not impossible that you'll miss a piece of framing if you don't move the stud finder up and down and side to side. That extra work is easily justified by the minute $8 price tag of the CH Hanson Stud 4 Sure Magnetic Stud Finder, though.

    The addition of a bubble level makes it easy to keep track of the stud's position behind the wall, while the fact that the unit stays adhered to the wall hands free allows for easy markings and measurements.

    At the time of this writing, the CH Hanson Stud 4 Sure Magnetic Stud Finder is approaching a stunning 9,000 reviews on Amazon, and with a solid 4.5-star average rating to boot. A shopper named Leonard calls it "remarkably accurate and dirt cheap," while a buyer named Amanda said it "sticks to the studs perfectly."

    A writer from The Architect's Guide appreciated how the Stud 4 Sure "doesn't require batteries" and "never needs calibration."

    Pros: Very low cost, no batteries needed, features bubble level

    Cons: Misses some wooden studs

    Buy the CH Hanson Stud 4 Sure Magnetic Stud Finder on Amazon for $7.89

    The best durable stud finder

    Why you'll love it: You can toss your Ryobi LED Whole Stud Detector in the tool box or drop it on the floor and it will keep on working, stud after stud. I know because I have.

    I keep my Ryobi LED Whole Stud Detector in the top of my tool box, where it nestles snugly among a couple of hammers, seven or eight screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, a box of nails, and all the other stuff tossed in as well. In other words, I'm not all that gentle with it.

    But hey, after multiple projects in multiple residences, not to mention 2,800 miles bouncing along during a cross-country move, the thing still works well every time.

    The Ryobi LED Whole Stud Detector uses seven LED lights that do indeed help indicate an entire stud's span as only the lights above the stud illuminate. Even more helpful is the center indication function that clearly displays the middle of a stud for the most solid sinking of nails or screws by illuminating a circle of green light when you have hit the central spot.

    The tool also has an AC detection system that uses both a red light and a beep to warn when you are near active electrical current, a feature I've appreciated many times. There is also a center punch button that can make a small divot on the wall behind the stud finder, so you don't have to use a pen or pencil to mark the spot.

    And while many people complain that this stud finder requires two hands to use, it really doesn't: You just turn the thing upside down and use your index and pinky finger to operate its two buttons. Though single button operation would still be a lot easier.

    One Home Depot customer reported that "being able to identify the edges and center of the stud is something this tool" made easy, while another reported it working well even on "texturized walls."

    Popular Mechanics highlighted the Ryobi LED Whole Stud Detector's ability to "show proximity of [a] stud on either end" of the hidden hardware.

    Pros: Durable construction, center indication light, built in center punch marker, sensitive AC detection

    Cons: Awkward two button operation

    Buy the Ryobi LED Whole Stud Detector at the Home Depot for $36.97

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    workout fitness exercise rowing

    The most common New Year's resolutions tend to be vague goals like losing weight, eating healthier food, or exercising more.

    But most people don't successfully follow through on their resolutions — largely because they're so general and non-specific.

    That's where science can help. Using specific, science-backed resolutions, you can boost your chances of successfully transforming your life in the New Year.

    These are some of our favorite resolution ideas, all backed by recent science. Some have to do with fitness, others with diet or health, and others with boosting productivity. A few are simply intended to help you maximize happiness.

    You don't need to attempt all at once, but pick one or two that'll get you closest to your goals.


    This post has been updated. Kevin Loria wrote an earlier version, which was published in December 2017.

    SEE ALSO: How to make this the winter you finally stay in shape

    To help you lose weight, eat healthier, and feel better, resolve to fix your sleeping habits.

    Some research shows that getting enough sleep makes it easier to avoid cravings for unhealthy foods, keep off excess weight, and that it's key for psychological health.

    In the long run, sleep could be even more important: in several studies published in the summer of 2017, researchers demonstrated that after disrupted sleep, individuals had higher levels of proteins associated with Alzheimer's and dementia in the brain.

    And as sleep expert Matthew Walker, author of the book, "Why We Sleep,"previously told Business Insider, you really can't get by on six or seven hours of sleep — the vast majority of people need an average of eight hours a night.

    To improve your sleep, experts recommend going to bed and getting up at the same time every night, improving your sleep environment, and avoiding screens for at least a half hour before bed, if not longer. If you're struggling with insomnia, there are science-backed tips for that too.

    Resolve to get moving.

    Exercise resolutions are common, and for good reason. Along with fixing your sleep, little else will have as transformative an effect on your life as working out.

    Exercise provides such a laundry list of physical and mental health benefits that it's basically the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.

    Exercise can improve your heart health, up your sex drive, improve your sleep, and boost your mood. Research has also shown that working out may help keep the brain young, improve memory, and fight cognitive impairment.

    The trick is figuring out the targeted exercise resolution that's going to work for you — saying you'll just "go to the gym (more)" probably won't cut it.

    If it fits your schedule, make an early morning cardio workout a new habit.

    Morning workouts aren't for everyone, but experts say that if you can get some morning exercise that'll get your heart going and expose you to some morning sunlight, that'll kickstart your circadian rhythm, which will wake you up for the day and make it easier to sleep at night.

    Getting a good amount of cardio exercise is strongly linked to many of the biggest benefits of exercise, and some research suggests that morning is best time of day to work out to lose weight.

    To provide motivation to actually get out of bed and complete your morning run, swim, or ride, experts suggest working towards a goal (like a race), training with a friend, or adding in an element of competition. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Youtube rewind 2018

    • 'YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls the Rewind' is on track to be the fastest and most-disliked video in the site's history.
    • The annual video put out by YouTube was released six days ago and, as of Wednesday morning, already has over nine million dislikes — less than a million likes behind the current first-place holder, Justin Bieber's 'Baby' music video.
    • In an effort to understand what makes audiences band together to dislike a video, we took a look at the 7 most-hated YouTube videos.

    In the last six days since the video was released, 'YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls the Rewind' has over 114 million views and 9.1 million dislikes, putting it on track to become the fastest and most-disliked video in the site's history.

    Justin Bieber's 'Baby' featuring Ludacris currently holds the first-place title for most-disliked video, at 9.8 million dislikes.

    'YouTube Rewind' features hundreds of its biggest stars and celebrities, though people are criticizing the video, and YouTube itself, for not including some creators who experienced strings of controversy. Vlogging duo and brothers Logan and Jake Paul were excluded, as was Felix "Pewdiepie" Kjellberg, a gaming commentator and comedian. The video appears to be an attempt for the company to keep advertisers on its side following a rather rocky 2018. However, this year's attempt, as previously reported by Business Insider, shows "a clear schism between the expectations and reality of YouTube."

    Logan Paul, one of YouTube's more popular and notable stars, was left out of the video, probably because of his controversial year that began when he posted footage of a dead body he discovered inside Japan's 'Suicide Forest'. Paul's 'So Sorry' video, a one-minute-long apology about the viral video, is YouTube's 11th most-disliked video, at 2.2 dislikes. 

    So what makes a video so hated to begin with? What makes YouTube viewers join forces and collectively bash something someone (probably) put loads of work into?

    Let's take a look at the most-downvoted YouTube videos of all time, shall we?

    7. Rebecca Black - Friday

    With 127 million views and 3.7 million dislikes, Rebecca Black's 'Friday' comes in at #7. But let's cut Black a break: 2011 was a weird time. For example, Nick Jonas was wearing a purity ring and Kim Kardashian was still seen out in public wearing leopard print. If anything, Black's song was an anthem of the times, one everyone still knows all the words to (let's be honest). She has even come into her own as a singer and songwriter, despite the viciousness she faced from this video's release. 

    Fun, fun, fun!

    6. Luis Fonsi - Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee

    If you were alive in the summer of 2017 (or alive now), you may be able to understand why this video has 3.6 million dislikes (and 5.7 billion views). It played on nearly every speaker — from clubs to cabs and restaurants to bridal showers... over and over and over again. It's one of those songs that by the mere mention begins to play in your head. Can you hear it now?

    5. PewDiePie - Can this video get 1 million dislikes?

    This was YouTuber PewDiePie's attempt to encourage followers to dislike his own video. And it worked. The video has 15 million views and trails behind the Call of Duty trailer with 3.76 million dislikes. The video starts with PewDiePie on the phone (for well over a minute), continues with him drinking a bottle of vodka and then proceeding to ride an orange octopus through a neighborhood. Perhaps it may just be one those "in the know" things dedicated fans and followers understand. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mark zuckerberg christmas

    • Facebook threw its annual holiday party for employees last weekend.
    • It was themed around a winter village, with attractions including chainsaw ice-sculpting, a "thumbs up tavern," and costumed dancers.
    • It's been a pretty rough year for Facebook employees, and morale dropping following multiple scandals.
    • Attendees shared photos of the revelry on Instagram.

    Facebook employees blew off steam this weekend with a two-day party at a swanky San Francisco venue that featured a custom-built winter wonderland, chainsaw-ice-sculpting, and Christmas dancers.

    On Friday and Saturday, the Silicon Valley tech giant threw its annual official holiday party for employees. This time around, it was held at the Palace of Fine Arts, and was centered around a winter village with attractions including a Facebook "thumbs up tavern," sweet shop, "toy shop," and ski chalet-like decor. 

    It's been a tough year for Facebook employees, with morale dropping precipitously following multiple scandals — from Cambridge Analytica to the social network's role in the spread of hate speech amid genocide in Myanmar. The company holds festive celebrations for its employees every year; in previous years it has rented out San Francisco's AT&T park, and thrown Great Gatsby-themed shindigs.

    The party may have been held over two nights, but it sounds like that was for crowd control reasons rather than because it was a non-stop bacchanalian carnival — Facebook has tens of thousands of employees in the Bay Area, after all. An attendee told Business Insider that it was incredibly crowded, with queues for everything.

    COO Sheryl Sandberg was spotted there on Friday night, we're told; it's not clear if and when other senior leadership attended. But there was also a private area for execs and VIPs only, so they may have sheltered away from the crowds.

    SEE ALSO: The 18 biggest tech scandals of 2018

    Attendees' Instagram posts provide a window into how Facebook employees let their hair down at the party. There was a life-size bear ice sculpture there, which was carved via chainsaw. (Click the arrows on the Instagram post for a video and more images.)

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    One of the central areas featured shipping containers and a ski-lift gondola.

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    The winter village street was bedecked in holiday lights and festive decorations.

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    • Fifteen of the 20 most popular cities in the world for tourists are in Asia.
    • That's according to Euromonitor International's annual list of the biggest cities for international tourism released last week.
    • The cities were spread out over several countries, including China, India, Thailand, Japan, and Turkey.

    Asian cities are dominating the global tourism scene.

    Euromonitor International released its annual list of the most popular cities for international tourists last week, and Asian cities took an impressive 15 of the top 20 spots.

    The market-research firm looked at 600 total cities and ranked them based on the number of foreign tourists they saw, using travel data from 2017 and partial-year data for 2018.

    Topping the list for the eighth consecutive year was Hong Kong, which received nearly 30 million tourists this year. The top Asian cities were spread out over several countries, including China, India, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, and Turkey. 

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

    The only non-Asian cities to make the top 20 were London, Paris, New York City, Rome, and Prague.

    Read on to see the Asian cities that proved to be the biggest tourism hotspots of the year. You can also check out the list of the 31 best cities for tourism worldwide and the top tourism draws in North America.

    Here are the cities that made the cut:

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

    DON'T MISS: France has been the most-visited country in the world for more than 20 years in a row — but experts think it's about to lose its crown

    15. Mumbai, India

    Overall rank: 19

    Projected arrivals in 2018: 10,670,100

    14. Guangzhou, China

    Overall rank: 18

    Projected arrivals in 2018: 9,392,000

    13. Taipei, Taiwan

    Overall rank: 17

    Projected arrivals in 2018: 9,783,300

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Apple said it would build a new campus in Texas for 15,000 employees on Thursday.
    • But that's not the only place the iPhone-maker is expanding.
    • Here's an incomplete list of Apple's expanding footprint in the United States, and what it's likely to do at all of these new facilities. 

    Apple is building a new campus in Austin, Texas, the iPhone-maker announced on Thursday.

    This new office complex could support up to 15,000 employees in departments like customer service, research and development, and operations, Apple said.

    But that's not the only place where Apple is widening its footprint. Apple is starting to expand far beyond its headquarters in Cupertino, California, with offices, retail stores, and employees in all 50 states.

    Part of this is in response to the Trump administration's pressure on Apple to do more manufacturing in the United States. Apple's responses over the past year have focused on how much business it already does in the US, even if the iPhone is largely assembled in China.

    On Thursday, Apple said its expansion wasn't limited to only Austin — it's going to three more states as well, and that's not even counting the data centers it had previously announced.

    Here's where Apple may be expanding near you: 

    SEE ALSO: Apple threw shade at Amazon 'HQ2' calling it a 'beauty contest,' but then it did the exact same thing

    Apple is building a new 133-acre campus in Austin, Texas, only a mile away from its existing offices in the city.

    According to Apple, this new campus may one day support as many as 15,000 employees.

    But Apple also said it planned to expand to 1,000 employees in other areas, including Seattle, where it has people working on artificial intelligence and Apple Maps.

    Apple has been assembling a team of robotics and data-collection experts to fly drones to improve Apple Maps, Bloomberg reported in 2016

    Apple is also expanding in Culver City, Los Angeles, where it will take over a property previously earmarked for HBO. Apple is likely to base its original-content operations here.

    Source: Variety

    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 products 2018 6

    Thousands of product tests and reviews later, here we stand at the end of the year, excited to present to you our 2018 Insider Picks Hall of Fame.

    The point of Insider Picks has always been to discover and share with you the best of the best. Still, we have some personal favorites that are truly the cream of the crop and we want to make sure you don't miss them.  

    These are all the tech gadgets, kitchen appliances, clothes, shoes, home products, and personal care products that impressed us and rose above everything else we reviewed in 2018. Some are new product launches, while others are just new to us.

    You'll find an explanation for why we loved it, plus a link to the original review or related guide so you'll have all the information needed to decide whether you want to join each product's fan club.

    See the 36 best products we reviewed in 2018 below.

    Crane & Canopy sheets

    Sheets and Sheet Sets, $35 to $249, available at Crane & Canopy

    Read more about the best sheets you can buy for your bed here

    Crane & Canopy is a startup that began selling easy-to-use duvet covers in 2012. Since then, the company has branched out into sheets, comforters, pillows, blankets, towels, washcloths, and more.

    I tried a set of striped sheets from Crane & Canopy and I loved them. Not only are the sheets silky smooth and soft straight out of the package, they also come in several fun prints and colors. I chose the gray and white striped sheets, because they make for a nice, neutral base layer for my bedding. Malarie Gokey, Insider Picks guides editor

    The Sonos soundbar

    Sonos Beam, $399, available at Amazon

    Read our review of the Sonos Beam here

    Once a year I make a significant "treat yourself"-style tech purchase, and in 2018 that was the Sonos Beam. Sonos’ compact soundbar carries over the best features from the company’s Sonos One speaker: built-in Alexa, support for Apple’s AirPlay 2 software, and excellent, well-balanced sound.

    The Beam gets louder than its small size would suggest, and it never sounds distorted. I’ve used it while watching movies, playing video games, and listening to music, and it’s sounded universally excellent. The Beam can’t quite compete with the immersion from a 5.1 surround sound setup, but it doesn’t have to. I live in a small, New York City apartment, and the Beam has given me a home theater system that was easy to set up and enjoy. Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

    A Peak Design backpack

    Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L, $259.95, available at Amazon

    Peak originally began as a camera accessory company, but its Everyday backpack and travel bags are great for, well, everyday use — not just for carrying cameras. The reconfigurable internal shelves can be adjusted quickly for any needs. I use this bag for my daily commute to work, and even as my daypack when I travel. I'm also a fan of Peak’s travel backpack and packing tools. David Slotnick, Insider Picks senior reporter

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    facebook executives in crypto 2x1

    • Facebook is working on a secretive blockchain project, but many Facebook employees are jumping ship to work on their own blockchain and crypto projects.
    • The Facebook veterans are bringing high-level tech experience and discipline to a crypto sector famous for chaos and turmoil.
    • Business Insider spoke to industry insiders to track down 15 alumni from the social network now working in the space, and interviewed many of them.

    Facebook turned heads earlier this year when it announced that it was diving into blockchain

    The social media giant has yet to specify what its blockchain plans entail, but it is currently trying to hire crypto experts and build a team — a recruiting effort that news site Cheddar recently reported has proven more challenging than expected. 

    The irony is that many of the big players in the crypto world once worked at Facebook. Dozens of Facebook alumni have left the company in recent years to join the blockchain boom. 

    The engineering and management experience earned while working on a major tech product like Facebook's 2-billion member social network — along with the financial windfall many employees received in the 2012 IPO — have left the Facebook veterans well-positioned to build a new crop of crypto and blockchain startups. 

    The former Facebook employees — and other tech workers from established companies — will have to apply their skills not only to professionalize the sector but to convince naysayers that the volatile market, currently suffering from a sharp drop in cryptocurrency prices, is not just a flash in the pan.

    Business Insider spoke to people throughout blockchain ecosystem to track down some of the key Facebook alumni who made the jump to work in crypto, and asked what this shift could mean for the industry.

    So, in no particular order, here are fifteen former Facebook employees now trying their luck in the wild world of crypto and blockchain:

    SEE ALSO: Months after killing its drone project, Facebook is testing experimental hardware at a new facility in the New Mexico desert

    1. David Park, a Facebook product guru brought in to manage Refereum's operations.

    Until January 2018, David Park led the product team for Facebook's Mobile App Install Ads business.

    He had been dabbling in the blockchain space and making investments since the end of 2013, but it was only then that he decided to jump into it full time — joining Refereum as its COO later that year. (By the end of his time at Facebook he was "thinking about crypto 24/7," he admitted.) 

    Refereum is a startup that uses cryptocurrency to provide reward tokens to users of other apps and services to encourage growth; it has worked with triple-A game Battlefield, as well as a variety of blockchain projects.

    "It was super exciting to think about jumping into this industry early on and being a player early on," he said, citing the example of how Facebook accelerated the "career trajectories" of early employees — saying he viewed similar potential for people working in blockchain.

    He's also a founder of Orca, a syndicate of current or former Facebook employees who invest in crypto projects.

    2. Veteran finance exec and initial blockchain skeptic Kahina Van Dyke.

    Unlike many of the Facebook employees who transitioned into crypto, Kahina Van Dyke's background isn't in tech but in finance.

    She's a veteran of Citibank and MasterCard, and joined Facebook at the start of 2016 to serve as global director of financial service and payments.

    She held that role for more than two years — until June 2018 — when she moved to Ripple, one of the biggest companies in the blockchain ecosystem, focused on enterprise payments. She now works as the firm's SVP of business and corporate development.

    Van Dyke was, she admits, initially "vocally resistant" to the concept of bitcoin, but started getting more interested in 2016, when the hype around blockchain (as distinct from bitcoin) first started taking off.

    3. Cryptocurrency index fund pioneer Hunter Horsley.

    Bitwise Asset Management launched the first cryptocurrency index fund back in 2017 — and at its helm is Hunter Horsley.

    Horsley, the chief exec, cofounder the firm in November 2016 after leaving Facebook, where he was a product manager focusing on video monetization, and a product manager at Instagram before that.

    Horsley was also named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 finance list in 2018.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    google headquarters

    • Google reorganized to become Alphabet three years ago, but the way the company is structured is still rather confusing.
    • Alphabet is organized in two parts: Google and "Other Bets," which each house the various other parts of the company's business.
    • Here's a breakdown of all the divisions under Alphabet. 

    It's been three years since Google blew up its entire corporate structure to form a new parent company: Alphabet.

    The shake-up was intended to help all of its businesses operate more efficiently, a move CEO Larry Page was working on for years as a secret project he called "Javelin."

    This move also allowed Page to step back from day-to-day operations to "focus on the bigger picture."

    Now, Alphabet is a massive corporation that encompasses everything from internet-beaming hot air balloons to self-driving cars to Google Cloud. 

    Here are all the companies and divisions within Google's parent company, Alphabet: 

    SEE ALSO: From Meghan Markle to the World Cup: Here are the top 10 searches on Google in 2018

    Google officially became Alphabet in October 2015, with the hope of allowing business units to operate independently and move faster. Google cofounder Larry Page is the CEO of the umbrella company, Alphabet.

    Alphabet is divided into two main units: Google and Other Bets. Other Bets is best known for its "moonshot" R&D unit, X, but it also houses several other companies. Let's start with the smaller companies under Other Bets.

    Alphabet's Access division includes Google Fiber, which launched in Kansas City in 2012 and expanded to about 18 cities. Fiber offers extremely fast high-speed internet, TV, and phone service. It's billed as an alternative to traditional cable companies.

    Source: Business Insider

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    airplane seat

    • The journey to your destination is important.
    • Trip Advisor compiled a list of the best airlines of 2018.
    • Some of the top airlines include Emirates Air, Southwest, and Qatar air.

    The journey can sometimes be more important than the destination — and few understand this saying better than those who work in the flight industry.

    As many articles on mastering the art of air travel as you read, sometimes it boils down to the excellence of the airline itself. According to TripAdvisor reviews, these are the 10 carriers that did air travel best in 2018.

    Korean Air has good food, according to users.

    Known for its colorful turquoise planes, Korean Air flies to around 100 international destinations. Travelers love the great customer service as well as that the airline offers traditional Korean food including bibimbap, according to reviews.

    Azul primarily serves domestic flights.

    Brazilian low-cost carrier Azul primarily serves domestic travelers, flying to about 100 destinations within Brazil. Aside from the lower price of the flight, several reviews say the airline's best features were its efficient check-in and cleanliness.

    Qatar Airways travels to every inhabited continent.

    Based at Hamad International Airport in Qatar, Qatar Airways travels to 145 destinations on every inhabited continent. Many reviews reported that the airline's business class offers the best service in air travel.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    steve carell the office

    • Some series like "The Office,""Shameless," and "Parenthood" were perceived as better than the original for many viewers and critics. 
    • In some cases, remakes of "The Parent Trap" and "A Star is Born" have been more successful or better received than their predecessors. 
    • Netflix reboots like "Queer Eye" and "One Day at a Time" have been well-received by critics and audiences alike. 

    With so many TV and movie reboots, remakes, and sequels, original films and series seem to be in short supply. Although many remakes can't compete with their predecessors, plenty of remakes have been more well-received than the originals.

    Here are 50 television and movie remakes that many critics and viewers believe are better than the originals. 

    1. "The Maltese Falcon" (1941) improved upon an adaptation made a decade earlier.

    In 1941 filmmaker John Huston released the film noir "The Maltese Falcon" to great acclaim. The Humphrey Bogart vehicle was a remake of the 1931 film of the same name that starred Bebe Daniels and Ricardo Cortez. Both were adaptations of a novel by Dashiell Hammett.

    Revered film critic Roger Ebert revisited the film in 2001 in an extensive review. "It's all style," Ebert wrote. "It isn't violence or chases, but the way the actors look, move, speak and embody their characters. Under the style is attitude: Hard men, in a hard season, in a society emerging from Depression and heading for war, are motivated by greed and capable of murder."

    2. "The Ten Commandments" (1956) has the same director as the 1923 version.

    "The Ten Commandments" is a biblical epic released in 1956 and was, at the time, the most expensive film ever made. The Cecil B. DeMille picture was a remake of the silent film of the same name DeMille himself made in 1923. Film critics have called the 1956 installment one of the best films ever made.

    "There is no other picture like it,"The Hollywood Reporter critic James Powers wrote in 1956. "There will be none. If it could be summed up in a word, the word would be sublime. And the man responsible for that, when all is said and done is Cecil B. DeMille."

    3. "Airplane!" (1980) was a satirical remake of "Zero Hour!" (1957)

    The comedy "Airplane!" is often included in critics' lists as one of the best comedic films of all time. The movie, directed by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, starred an immense cast of talented comedians including Leslie Nielsen, Julie Hagerty, and Robert Hays. Though it lampooned many movies in the disaster film genre, it particularly parodied the 1957 film "Zero Hour!" and even took large chunks of dialogue straight from its screenplay.

    "The streamlined disaster movie riff... is pure quadruple-distilled comedy, with a gag rate of about three hilarious jokes per minute and a perfect mix of surrealism, wit, parody and inspired physical gags,"Empire magazine wrote earlier this year. "It has inspired approximately a billion quotes and homages in the 30 years since it first hit screens and still hasn't ever been equaled by its many, many imitators."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    friends toast beers alcohol party

    A 2017 study that analyzed sperm samples from nearly 43,000 men from around the world over a few decades found that sperm counts have dropped by more than half over the last 40 years.

    Although the definitive cause is unknown and additional research is needed to find the cause of the drastic decline in sperm counts, researchers have identified some habits and health conditions that may cause a decrease in sperm production.

    Here are some things that can negatively impact your sperm count and sperm quality. 

    Some prescription medications have been known to lower sperm count.

    The Cleveland Clinic notes that 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors used to treat prostate enlargement and hair loss such as finasteride, dutasteride, and propecia, can reduce one's volume of semen and number of sperm within their semen. In some cases, this drop in semen production is temporary or reversible. 

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) used to treat depression and anxiety may also harm sperm or prevent it from moving through the reproductive tract. Chemotherapy drugs will inhibit sperm production and other medications such as spironolactone, cimetidine, nifedipine, sulfasalazine, colchicine, and oral ketoconazole can also negatively impact male fertility.

    If you are on medication but concerned about your sperm count, do not discontinue taking your prescription medications or make any drastic lifestyle changes without first speaking to a healthcare professional.

    Lowered sperm count has been linked to depression and anxiety.

    It's not only the medication taken to treat anxiety and depression that may be tied to a lowered sperm count. A 2017 study published in the journal Neuroendocrinology Letters found that depression and anxiety in males has been linked to a decrease in semen volume and sperm density.

    Low sperm count can be caused by certain medical conditions or infections.

    According to Your Fertility, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and mycoplasma genitalium can cause infertility if they are left untreated. Many STIs have few to no symptoms, which means they can oftentimes be left untreated for long periods of time. The earlier you have them diagnosed and treated, the less likely they are to impact your fertility

    In addition, low sperm count can be related to certain underlying medical conditions. According to WebMD, those with an undescended testicle could face issues with lower sperm count and quality when a corrective surgery is not performed at an early age, which is typically before 18 months of age. 

    Read More: 8 things you should never do right after having sex

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    joy reid

    • MSNBC, America's second most-watched network on basic cable, had a few slips to apologize for this year.
    • The network, popular for its political news coverage, had to confront old homophobic posts by leading anchor Joy Reid, comments by some of its guests, and a premature graphic that gave Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum the victory — one day before the election.
    • Here are seven times MSNBC hosts apologized this year. 


    SEE ALSO: Mika Brzezinski asks if Pompeo is a 'wannabe dictator's butt boy' after he deflects questions on Jamal Khashoggi's killing

    Host Stephanie Ruhle apologizes for 'dismissing' Trump appointee's faith.

    President Donald Trump in March appointed Larry Kudlow as White House economic adviser, who said his tenure in the White House would be decided by "God's will."

    In an offhand remark during an MSNBC broadcast, host Stephanie Ruhle questioned Kudlow's words, saying "That’s an interesting way to talk about being the national economic adviser to the president. 'God’s will?'"

    Kudlow immediately responded, asking why Ruhle is still on air. 

    Ruhle apologized in a tweet, saying that she meant "no offense" to Kudlow. 

    Kudlow accepted the apology. 

    Joy Reid apologizes for anti-LGBTQ posts found in her old blog.

    In April, anti-LGBTQ posts found on MSNBC anchor Joy Reid's old blog made their way around the internet, forcing the "AM Joy" host to issue a meandering apology and launch a cybersecurity quest into whether or not her site was hacked. 

    On her show, Reid said she "genuinely" did not believe she wrote those "hateful" things.

    “But I can definitely understand, based on things I have tweeted and have written in the past, why some people don’t believe me," she said. "I’ve not been exempt from being dumb or cruel or hurtful to the very people I want to advocate for. I own that. I get it. And for that, I am truly, truly sorry." 

    Joy Reid apologizes — again — for old blog posts, this time showing John McCain's head photoshopped on the body of the Virginia Tech shooter.

    In June, Reid apologized for her old blog again, this time for a post showcasing a doctored photo of the late Arizona Sen. John McCain's head on the body of the Virginia Tech shooter. 

    Reid told NBC News that when she published her blog, back in 2005, she "wrote thousands of posts in real time on the issues of the day."

    "There are things I deeply regret and am embarrassed by, things I would have said differently and issues where my position has changed," she said. "Today I’m sincerely apologizing again." 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Barack Obama

    • Former President Barack Obama avoided criticizing his successor and rarely appeared in public in 2017.
    • Obama sought to respect the tradition of the peaceful transition of power.
    • But in 2018, Obama stepped back into the political arena, gradually ramping up his criticism of Trump and the Republican Party over the course of the year.

    Former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump have been political enemies for years. 

    Trump was deeply critical of Obama's presidency, and infamously perpetuated a conspiracy theory widely condemned as racist regarding Obama's place of birth. 

    During the 2016 election, Obama slammed Trump for his routine dismissal of facts and his temperamental disposition as the lame duck president campaigned for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. After Trump won, however, Obama changed his tone as he sought to respect the tradition of the peaceful transition of power.

    Read more: Obama and Trump have a chilly but civil reunion at George H.W. Bush's funeral

    In Trump's first year, the former president avoided criticizing his successor and rarely appeared in public, even as Democrats craved his voice and input amid an array of controversial statements and policies from the White House.

    Obama stepped back into the political arena in 2018, however, gradually ramping up his criticism of Trump and the Republican Party over the course of the year. 

    The former president often employed a tactic of attacking Trump without explicitly stating his name, but abandoned that closer to the 2018 midterms and began issuing direct rebukes of Trump. 

    Here are Obama's most political moments in 2018, the year he returned to politics in his post-presidency. 

    Obama sent a letter to the survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

    Following a deadly shooting in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama sent a letter to the survivors. 

    Many of the students who survived the shooting emerged as unapologetically vocal proponents of gun reform, often criticizing the National Rifle Association in the process. Consequently, they became the targets of the gun lobby and gun rights activists. 

    In this context, the Obamas praised the students for their "resilience, resolve, and solidarity" following an "unspeakable tragedy." 

    "Not only have you supported and comforted each other, but you've helped awaken the conscience of the nation, and challenged decision-makers to make the safety of our children the country's top priority," the Obamas wrote. 

    Obama slammed Trump for withdrawing the US from the Iran nuclear deal.

    In May, Obama issued a deeply critical statement against Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Iran nuclear deal.

    The Obama administration orchestrated the landmark pact, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was designed to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions. 

    Obama described Trump's decision to withdraw from the pact as "misguided." 

    "Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America's closest allies, and an agreement that our country's leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated," Obama said. "In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America's credibility, and puts us at odds with the world's major powers."

    Prior to this statement, Obama had largely avoided directly criticizing Trump. This marked a shift in tone and tactics from Obama in his post-presidency.

    Obama warned that if the US stays so divided then its economy and democracy might not survive.

    At a May tech conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Obama warned about the long-term consequences of political divisiveness.

    "We are a people that came from everywhere else, so we had to figure out how to join together and work together, not based on race, or religious faith or even, initially, language, but based on creed and a sense of principals," Obama said. 

    He said the biggest question the US is facing is "how do we maintain that sense of common purpose, our 'in it together,' as opposed to splintering and dividing?"

    The former president then said, "As we are seeing in some debates in social media and elsewhere, it's harder to do today. But I think it becomes more necessary than ever, because if we don't figure it out, not only will it be hard for our economy to survive but it is going to be hard for our democracy to survive."

    Obama said people needed to step out of their political bubbles and expand their media diets as part of the solution. 

    "Right now part of our polarization is that if you watch Fox News all day, or you read The New York Times, you are occupying two different realities. We have to be able to figure out, in this multiplicity of platforms, to have some common baseline of facts that allow us to meet and solve problems," he said.


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    jaybird run

    • To me, AirPods are the best Apple invention since the iPhone.
    • But they're not for everyone.
    • Apple's one-size-fits-all solution doesn't feel comfortable in everyone's ears — and if you have an Android phone, you miss out on some of the AirPods' best features.
    • No other product right now has the same level of polish as AirPods, but the $150 JayBird Run come mighty close, and even beat Apple's earbuds in some notable ways.

    SEE ALSO: RANKED: The iPhones that give you the most bang for your buck, from the iPhone 6S to the iPhone X

    First, a quick list of similarities between Jaybird Run and AirPods:

    Both Jaybird Run and AirPods last about 4 hours on a single charge.

    Both come with cases that hold and charge the earbuds when not in use. (AirPods get an additional 20 hours of battery life from the case; Jaybird Run get an extra eight hours.)

    Once you pair the earbuds to your phone the first time, the headphones will automatically connect every time you take them out.

    Both earbuds can summon personal voice assistants and control volume and playback

    Both products are compatible with iOS and Android devices, though the AirPods are more limited on Android, and the Jaybird Run loses some features on an iPhone.

    Now, onto the perks of the Jaybird Run versus the AirPods:

    1. There's a better chance the JayBird Run will fit your ears, thanks to the flexible custom tips included with the earbuds. Apple AirPods are one-size-fits-all, for better or worse.

    If Apple AirPods fit your ears, great! But isn't the case for everyone.

    JayBird Run, thankfully, comes with two sets of oval ear tips, two sets of round ear tips, and four pairs of different sized ear "fins" to help people with all kinds of ears find a snug but comfortable fit.

    You can combine different tips and fins to create a better seal for your ear, which is ideal if you're moving around or working out.

    2. JayBird Run earbuds are sweat-proof and water-resistant. Apple AirPods are neither of these, so exercise with them at your own risk.

    Note: Getting Apple to fix your sweat- or water-damaged AirPods will cost you $69 per AirPod, as Apple's Limited Warranty doesn't cover any kind of accidental damage.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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