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The latest news on Features from 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.

    campaign vs. burrow couch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Buy the Campaign Sofa here.

    Buy the Burrow Sofa here.


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

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

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

    Style options

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

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

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

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

    Return policy and warranty

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

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

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

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • The holiday weekend is a perfect time to curl up with some short books.
    • We selected nine that are particularly informative, entertaining, and easy to read.
    • They include guides to building your dream career and being happier.

    The first day back at work after a holiday weekend is a great time to brag to colleagues about all the awesome things you did.

    Here's one idea: "I read an entire book and it changed my life!"

    Below, Business Insider has listed nine books that will do just that. You can probably get through them in a long weekend — both because they're relatively short and because they're so compelling that you won't be able to put them down.

    Grab one (or more) before you head out — we can guarantee you'll resurface as a more knowledgeable and interesting person.

    SEE ALSO: The best business books of 2018

    'Payoff' by Dan Ariely

    This TED book is just over 100 pages and it's jam-packed with creative lessons about what motivates people to do their best work.

    Ariely is a behavioral economist and professor at Duke University, and he's published of a number of popular books, including "Predictably Irrational." In "Payoff," Ariely argues that human motivation is a lot more complex than we might believe. Most importantly, money isn't everything.

    In fact, getting pizza and compliments can be more motivating than getting a financial bonus. And letting people take ownership of a project and giving them credit for it makes them more inclined to do it well.

    Buy it here »

    'Designing Your Life' by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

    "Design thinking" is a process that's typically used to improve on an object or experience, like a lightbulb or online dating. But in this book, two Stanford professors explain how you can apply the same process to your career, relationships, and life in general.

    "Designing Your Life," which is an extension of Burnett and Evans' Stanford course by the same name, includes plenty of helpful brainstorming exercises. One such exercise is "mind-mapping," in which you play a game of word association to help generate ideas about different types of careers you could pursue — or create.

    Another one is "Odyssey Planning," in which you map out different ways your life could potentially unfold. So in one life, for example, you could be a lounge singer; in another, you could be an investment banker. The goal is to realize that you could do a lot of things — and many of them could make you happy and unfulfilled.

    Buy it here »

    'It Doesn't Have to be Crazy at Work' by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

    Basecamp is known for its unconventional people practices: Employees at the small web app company work from places all over the world and everyone gets a $5,000 annual vacation stipend.

    "It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work" is essentially a polemic against the modern workplace, broken down into super short essays about Basecamp's unique culture. For example, every time someone quits or is fired, a detailed "goodbye announcement" email is sent around to the entire company. The idea is to be as honest and as transparent as possible. And salaries are largely non-negotiable, to avoid paying people for their haggling skills instead of their performance.

    Overall, it's a super easy but super enlightening read that will make you rethink the way you work, lead, and live.

    Buy it here »

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan

    2018 was a rough year for celebrity couples. Sure, plenty of pairs got married, like Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth. But over the course of 12 months, more than 100 couples split.

    Long-running couples that fans thought would last forever, like Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, revealed their devastating breakups this year. Other stars weren't dating for too long, but their breakups were still surprising.

    From Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux to Cardi B and Offset, here are the most shocking celebrity breakups that were revealed in 2018. 

    Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux

    Aniston and Theroux technically split in late 2017 but didn't share the news with fans until February 2018. They even adopted a dog together and praised each other's work.

    "Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly," read the statement given to The Associated Press by Aniston's publicist, Stephen Huvane. "Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else's fictional narrative. Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another.”

    Prior to getting married in 2015, they reportedly started dating in 2011

    Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan

    In retrospect, there were probably signs that Tatum and Dewan's marriage wasn't perfect, but fans were surprised when they broke up after nine years of marriage.

    "We fell deeply in love so many years ago and have had a magical journey together,"they said in a statement. "Absolutely nothing has changed about how much we love one another, but love is a beautiful adventure that is taking us on different paths for now." 

    Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga

    The two actors met back in 2009 in a British theater production called "Phedre." They didn't speak much about their relationship but were reportedly together for eight years before splitting

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Trader Joe's has hundreds of locations all over the US, including 11 in the five boroughs of New York City.
    • The chain's largest store on the East Coast just opened on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
    • We visited three Trader Joe's locations — one in the suburbs of Connecticut and two in New York City — to see where it was better to shop.
    • Between your standard suburban location, a standard city location, and a newer city location, the loser was clear.

    With locations all over the US, you might think that shopping at Trader Joe's would be the same no matter where you go.

    And while you'll find much of the same products and prices at different locations, the shopping experience can vary between urban and suburban locations.

    To determine the better shopping experience, we visited two urban locations — one established location in the Murray Hill neighborhood of New York and one new location on the Lower East Side — and the Trader Joe's in Stamford, Connecticut, located about an hour outside of Manhattan.

    We considered three main criteria when evaluating the stores:

    • First, we looked at each store's layout and the ease at which we were able to move around.
    • Next, we judged each store based on how well-stocked it was when we visited on a weekday morning.
    • Finally, we considered how each store handled crowds and lines.

    After evaluating the three stores, we concluded that it is generally much easier to shop at Trader Joe's in the suburbs, with the exception of the newly-opened urban store.

    Urban stores were harder to navigate and tended to have longer lines, which left us longing for the peaceful shopping experience back in the suburbs.

    Keep reading to find out why you may want to upgrade your usual city grocery shopping experience.

    We decided to compare a Trader Joe's store in the suburbs of Stamford, Connecticut ...

    ... with city locations on the Lower East Side ...

    ... and in Murray Hill in Manhattan.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    robin hood

    • At the box office, 2018 saw a record year, but Hollywood still experienced plenty of flops. 
    • From "The Girl in the Spider's Web" to "Robin Hood," these are the biggest box-office disappointments of the year.

    At the North American box office, 2018 saw a record year, but Hollywood still had its fair share of flops.

    A "Star Wars" movie didn't land with audiences the way Disney expected, and anything starring Claire Foy struggled this year. The latest iteration of "Robin Hood" was dead on arrival, and a new big-budget fantasy from Peter Jackson didn't attract moviegoers the way the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy did.

    We've rounded up the biggest box-office disappointments and disasters this year.

    Below are 13 of the biggest movie flops of 2018 (box-office figures and production budgets are based on numbers from Box Office Mojo, unless otherwise stated):

    SEE ALSO: The 10 highest-grossing movies in the US of 2018, from 'Black Panther' to 'The Grinch'

    "A Wrinkle in Time" (March 9)

    Worldwide box office: $132 million

    Estimated production budget: $100 million (source: The Hollywood Reporter)

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 42%

    Disney ruled the box office in 2018 with movies like "Black Panther,""Avengers: Infinity War," and "Incredibles 2." But not everything it released was a wild success. The first disappointment was with Ava DuVernay's Disney adaptation of the fantasy novel "A Wrinkle in Time," which made just $132 million worldwide. Only $32 million of that came from international box office. 

    "Solo: A Star Wars Story" (May 25)

    Worldwide box office: $392 million

    Estimated production budget: $250 million (source: Variety)

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 70%

    "Solo" is in the top 10 of the highest-grossing movies of the year in the US. But it's still a major disappointment by "Star Wars" standards and is the first movie during the Disney era of the franchise to likely lose money. After a troubled production, in which Ron Howard replaced fired directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, "Solo" didn't even crack $400 million worldwide. Every other Disney "Star Wars" movie has grossed over $1 billion.

    "Billionaire Boy's Club" (August 17)

    Worldwide box office: $2.2 million

    Estimated production budget: N/A

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 8%

    Kevin Spacey's new movie made only $126 on its opening day in August, with just six people seeing it per theater in its first weekend. It barely made more than $600 during its opening weekend. The movie went on to earn only $1,300 in the US and $2.2 million internationally. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Airbus taxi

    • Investment banks like Morgan Stanley are already starting to research the flying car ecosystem of the future.
    • The bank has put together a list of 40 stocks that are primed to perform when these new technologies take over.
    • Some names, like Tesla, UPS or Amazon, you might have guessed make the list. Others, like electronics makers and semiconductor companies, are also on the list for their under-the-hood manufacturing. 

    If you want to invest in automakers, there are plenty of exchange-traded funds that will help you do that.

    And for more broad investment themes — like cryptocurrencies or environmental responsibility— there are incredibly specific ETF's built to track a specific idea.

    But for something as nascent as flying cars and taxi drones, you may have to build your own portfolio. Luckily, Morgan Stanley has done some of the homework for you in compiling the "Urban Air 50" a group of more than four dozen stocks it says are ready to reap the rewards of a robust urban air transportation network and rollout.

    "As part of our collaboration across Morgan Stanley, we have constructed a diversified list of stocks that, in our collective view, are most exposed to the adoption of Urban Air Mobility," the team said in its report. "The list is populated irrespective of specific 12-month recommendations, and, so, includes some Underweight-rated names, in addition to Equal-weight- and Overweight-rated names."

    Here’s the full list of 40 names:

    SEE ALSO: Virgin Hyperloop One's new CEO has run subway systems and bike-sharing companies around the world — now he’s focused on making Elon Musk's dream a reality


    Sector: Autos & Shared Mobility

    "Tesla has expertise in batteries, AI software, complete vehicle engineering, charging infrastructure and material science that we believe may have transfer ability to the autonomous aircraft domain. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is regularly asked about flying cars. While he is sometimes cautious about the near-term commercialization of the product due to noise and wind force, he has been outspoken about his desire to design a vertical-take-off-and-landing supersonic electric jet. Tesla’s increasingly close relationship with SpaceX may also prove useful in this adjacent area of development."

    Source: Morgan Stanley


    Sector: Autos & Shared Mobility

    "Aptiv is a leader in software, sense-and-compute, electronic architecture and hardware integration for autonomous and electric cars. Given the skills overlap between AVs and flying cars discussed throughout this report, we see Aptiv as potentially well positioned in flying cars in a magnitude that we believe exceeds the risk of potential cannibalization. The company has conducted 5,000+ automated rides in Las Vegas, with a 4.96 / 5.00 rating on the Lyft app, and expects to have 75 vehicles in Las Vegas by the end of 2018."

    Source: Morgan Stanley

    Seating and interior companies

    Lear and Adient

    Sector: Autos & Shared Mobility

    "Seating/interior companies have expertise in the mass production of seats (including seat structures and mechanism/recliners) that are tested to a high level of longevity and crash safety in a rigorous automotive environment.

    "In our view, while the absolute unit volume of passenger – carrying flying cars may be quite low for the next 10 to 15 years, the $ value per unit may be substantially higher than for light vehicles - perhaps a significant multiple of content value. Adient has been emphasizing the aerospace opportunity broadly for their seating and interior products. Earlier in 2018, Adient and Boeing launched a new company to design and build airplane seats with the aim to sell a portfolio of products directly to airlines and leasing companies. Lear’s seating portfolio is also well positioned on the theme, in our opinion. "

    Source: Morgan Stanley

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    food eating pizza

    • Scientists are constantly researching food and nutrition.
    • It feels like there's more information every week about what we should and should not eat.
    • Here's a round-up of everything we learned in 2018.

    There's been a lot of research into what we should and should not be eating, drinking, and consuming this year. With such a vast amount of information being passed around, it's hard to keep up with the latest advice. 

    So, INSIDER has created a list of some of the most recent and important research about food, drink, vitamins, and diets that you should be following.

    Ultimately, not a lot has changed from the widely accepted advice — diets rich in vegetables, fruit, protein, and with not too many processed foods and refined carbs are good. A broad diet is best, and everything should be eaten in moderation. 

    Scroll down to see the latest research behind the advice in 2018.

    Read more: 11 foods with a bad reputation that you can feel good about eating — including coffee, butter, and cheese

    Do drink: milk

    A study in September found that milk is good for the body, despite having many naysayers. Results showed that people who had 3.2 daily servings of low-fat dairy products had a lower mortality rate than those who had none, and also had a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke specifically

    Some people in the world are lactose-intolerant because they don't have the necessary enzyme to break down the components of dairy. But for everyone else, there isn't much evidence to suggest you should avoid milk to be healthy.

    Do drink: alcohol (in moderation)

    A study published in the summer found there may be some evidence that people who drink in moderation outlive tee-totalers. Results showed that people who never drink alcohol had a 7% higher chance of dying or getting cancer than people who drank up to three bottles of beer or glasses of wine per week.

    Another study this year found that drinking in moderation could also increase male fertility, as men who drank four to seven units a week had higher sperm counts and semen volume.

    However, a global study in August concluded that no amount of alcohol is safe, and the risks far outweigh any benefits.

    Do eat: nuts

    A study from July found eating two handfuls of nuts a day could improve men's sperm counts. The research came after an alarming study found that men's sperm counts in the western world have been dropping since 1973.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Costco 4

    • We visited Costco stores in New York City and Norwalk, Connecticut to compare a city location to a suburban one.
    • The stores themselves were nearly identical.
    • But despite having similar layouts and offerings at both stores, the experience of shopping at Costco in the suburbs had some key advantages.

    With over 500 stores all over the US, Costco is one of the most popular places to shop in bulk.

    And when you think of the wholesale chain, you probably think of suburban families loading up their SUVs with their haul of groceries.

    But Costco does have urban locations, including one in Manhattan.

    We visited two Costco locations — one in suburban Norwalk, Connecticut, and one in Harlem, New York City, to find out which provided a better shopping experience.

    The stores were strikingly similar, from store layout to the items they had in stock. But we concluded that it's ultimately much easier to shop at Costco in the suburbs for a few key reasons.

    Keep reading for more on why it's better to shop at Costco in the suburbs.

    For our comparison, we visited a suburban Costco store in Norwalk, Connecticut ...

    ... and Costco's only store in Manhattan, which is located in Harlem.

    The Costco location in Norwalk is conveniently located right off of I-95, a major highway on the East Coast.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    13-inch 2017 macbook pro

    • Apple's new 2018 MacBook Air is a great laptop, but it's only $100 less than the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro
    • For an extra $100, the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro gives you a little extra over the 2018 MacBook Air. 

    Apple's latest 2018 MacBook Air is a welcome update over the original and severly aging MacBook Air — but you might be better off getting the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro instead. 

    It's not because the 2018 MacBook Air is a bad laptop. Rather, it's because it'll only cost you an extra $100 to buy the base model of the 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro. Indeed, the 2018 MacBook Air costs $1,200 and the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro costs $1,300.

    For $100 extra, you get a slightly better laptop overall in the cheapest MacBook Pro than the 2018 MacBook Air. The 2018 MacBook Air would have been a no-brainer for a lot of people had it cost $1,000 like the original, but that's not the case.

    Here's why you should consider the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro over the 2018 MacBook Air:

    SEE ALSO: Apple quoted me $1,500 to repair a MacBook Pro, so I paid less than $500 at an 'unauthorized' Apple repair shop instead

    The 2018 MacBook Air isn't that much lighter than the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro.

    One of the main reasons to buy a MacBook Air over pretty much any other laptop is because of its incredibly light weight. But the difference between the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro isn't that stark.

    The MacBook Air weighs 2.75 pounds and the MacBook Pro weighs 3 pounds. It's a quarter-pound difference, which is noticeable but not too significant. It's not that the new MacBook Air is heavy, but rather that the recent 13-inch MacBook Pros are already so light to begin with.

    The 2018 MacBook Air is also thicker at its thickest point than the MacBook Pro.

    Another reason many would buy the MacBook Air over any other laptop is because of its incredible thinness.

    Yet, you might be surprised to know that the 13-inch MacBook Pro is actually thinner than the 2018 MacBook Air at its thickest point. It's a mere 0.02-inch difference, but it's still a counterintuitive stat for a laptop that's marketed as a thin and light device. 

    With that said, the 2018 MacBook Air does taper down to an incredibly thin 0.16-inch thickness at its thinnest point, while the MacBook Pro has a consistent 0.59-inch thickness. So, overall, the MacBook Air does take up less space than the MacBook Pro, but not that much less.

    You won't really notice it that much, but the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro still has a slightly better screen.

    The new MacBook Air has the same 2560 x 1600 Retina resolution as the MacBook Pro. The main area where the two displays differ is in colors and brightness.

    Overall, the new MacBook Air's display isn't quite as good as the MacBook Pro's, which comes with better "wide p3" color gamut, according to the specs. The MacBook Pro's display can also get brighter at 500 nits, compared to the MacBook Air's 300 nits. 

    At the end of the day, only professionals are likely to notice the MacBook Pro's additional color depth. The MacBook Air's display will surely be fine for most people.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    best of visuals 2018_2x1

    Business Insider's photo and graphics teams captured a lot of 2018's ups and downs through original visuals.

    Our coverage included everything from the floor plans of Jeff Bezos mansion, to Kim Jong Un's family tree, to photos of our Border Patrol ride-along at the US-Mexico border.

    While we've created thousands of graphics and photos this year, these are our highlights from 2018: 

    SEE ALSO: US gun laws, Thai cave divers, and the price of beer around the world: What 2018 looked like in maps

    The space between Earth and the moon is mind-boggling. This graphic reveals just how big it is — and what's out there.

    See the full graphic here.

    7 big health myths that were debunked in 2018

    See more photos here.

    How solstice works and why it starts both summer and winter

    See the full graphic here.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    spacex falcon heavy starman spacesuit dummy tesla roadster planet earth mars launch february 6 2018 40143096241_0324643b5e_o

    • Tesla endured a wild and crazy 2018.
    • The coming year offers numerous milestones that will determine whether Tesla thrives or struggles.
    • I've broken them down, month-by-month.


    If 2018 was the wildest and craziest year in Tesla's 15-year history, then 2019 is shaping up to be its most critical year.

    CEO Elon Musk's all-electric automaker will enter 2019 having produced and sold more vehicles than ever and the company could be well on its way to a half-million in cars delivered by the end of the year. That might sound awesome — but Tesla has traditionally struggled mightily with the building-cars aspect of the car business.

    Musk will also be facing potential twin headwinds in 2019: an economic slowdown in the US; and the first stages of the 2020 national election. If the US auto market slips into a downturn, then Tesla won't be spared some pain.

    There's good news on the horizon, however, as Tesla prepares to unveil its Model Y crossover SUV, along with some other new vehicles, including a rumored pickup truck.

    Here's a month-by-month look forward to Tesla's big events and news for 2019:

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

    JANUARY: Tesla reports fourth-quarter and full-year vehicle delivery numbers.

    The company expects the Model 3 to add substantially to its 2018 delivery totals. 2017 saw 100,000 vehicles delivered, and 2018 could more than double that total.

    FEBRUARY: Tesla reports fourth-quarter and full year earnings.

    After a profitable third-quarter in 2018, Tesla could post its first six-month period in the black EVER. 

    Regardless of the bottom line, Tesla's topline revenue should continue to surge. For the full year of 2019, the company could bring in close to $30 billion.

    MARCH: Tesla could reveal the Model Y crossover SUV — and pay off convertible bonds.

    Tesla has a market mismatch in the US with its Model 3, a sedan in an SUV world. The Model Y will fix that. 

    The company has also said it will pay off $920 million in convertible debt, due in September, with a mix of stock and cash. But shares need to be trading at around $360 per share for the stock deal to be appealing to bondholders.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Overwatch League Grand Finals

    • "Overwatch" is one of the most popular video games in the world, and the international Overwatch League allows the best players to compete as paid professionals.
    • The 2019 Overwatch League season will start on February 14 with a rematch between last year's grand finalists, the Philadelphia Fusion and defending champion London Spitfire.
    • Eight new teams have joined the Overwatch League for its upcoming second season, bringing the total number of international teams to 20. Activision Blizzard, the parent company of the Overwatch League, reportedly asked for $30 to $60 million from each new franchise.
    • Overwatch League players receive a minimum salary of $50,000, healthcare, housing during the season, and a retirement plan. There are about 170 contracted players involved with the league.
    • The Overwatch League season one finals brought in 10.8 million viewers, according to parent company Activision Blizzard. The finals were streamed on Twitch and broadcast on ABC, ESPN, and Disney XD.

    "Overwatch" is one of the most popular video games in the world, and the best players can pursue a career playing the game through the Overwatch League, an international esports league dedicated to the first-person shooter.

    Overwatch League's first season launched in December 2017 with 12 teams, nine of which are based in the United States. Those teams signed up players from across the globe, offering a minimum salary of $50,000 and a shot at another $3.8 million in prize money. The season one finals brought in 10.8 million viewers across Twitch, ABC, ESPN, Disney XD and Twitch, according to "Overwatch" publisher and league owner Activision Blizzard.

    The 2019 Overwatch League season will start on February 14 with a rematch between last year's grand finalists, the Philadelphia Fusion, and defending champion London Spitfire.

    As it enters its second season, the Overwatch League has added eight new teams, expanding the roster to 20 international franchises. According to Jacob Wolf of ESPN, Activision Blizzard asked each new expansion team to pay between $30 and $60 million for the rights to join the league. The 12 founding teams reportedly paid $20 million each to participate in the inaugural season, meaning that the cost of buying in is going up. 

    The new teams will expand the international scope of the league with three expansions in China (Hangzhou, Chengdu, and Guangzhou), two in Canada (Toronto and Vancouver), and a team based in Paris. The U.S. welcomes new teams in Washington D.C., and Atlanta. At the bottom of this post you can find a list can see every Overwatch League team, their parent organizations (in parenthesis), and their team colors.

    Here's what you need to know about the Overwatch League, the teams, and the key games to watch this season.

    SEE ALSO: What it's like to play in the Overwatch League

    SEE ALSO: Overwatch League aims to make eSports mainstream

    Overwatch League turns players into professionals

    Each Overwatch team can sign up to 12 salaried players, and the league currently employs more than 170 players in total. Overwatch League players earn a minimum salary of $50,000 a year — complete with healthcare, a retirement savings plan and housing during the course of the season. All Overwatch League players need to be 18 years old by June 1, 2019 to compete.

    Top players in the league are reportedly earning more than six figures, and this season Activision is letting teams sign players to contracts that extend up to three years.

    Teams acquired players through free agency prior to the start of the season. Expansion teams got first dibs on signing new players from September 9th, while the free agency signing period opened up to all 20 yeams on October 8th. Each Overwatch team was required to sign a minimum of eight players to their pro roster for the 2019 season.

    Overwatch Contenders helps develop new talent

    To help develop new professional talent, the Overwatch League also has a regional minor league system called Overwatch Contenders. There will be eight Contenders regions in 2019, with eight teams in each region.

    Players on a Contenders team can sign a two-way contract with an Overwatch League squad that allows them to compete in both leagues during the season, while earning the same basic benefits as a full-time League player. The only drawback is that a player cannot compete with both their Contenders team and their Overwatch League team in the same week.

    2019 Overwatch League schedule and prizes

    The 2019 Overwatch League season will start on February 14 with a rematch between last year's grand finalists the Philadelphia Fusion, and defending champion London Spitfire.

    Each team will play a 28-match schedule spread across four 5-week periods during the year. Regular season matches will conclude in August and the eight best teams will qualify for the playoffs. Activision Blizzard is offering a $5 million prize pool spread throughout the season, including a $1.1 million purse for the season 2 champions.

    The majority of the regular season matches will be played in the league's main arena in Burbank, California, but three teams — the Dallas Fuel, Atlanta Reign, and Los Angeles Valiant — will host matches in their home cities during special weekend events.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    madewell 4106

    • J.Crew is being outshined by its sister store Madewell.
    • In the third quarter, comparable sales were up 4% at J.Crew and 22% at Madewell. 
    • J.Crew has been in the process of rebranding its stores, ditching its preppy roots for the more timeless styles at Madewell.
    • We visited neighboring locations of J.Crew and Madewell, and saw why Madewell is thriving as J.Crew struggles to catch up. 


    J.Crew is being outshined by its sister store Madewell. 

    On November 29, J.Crew reported comparable sales were up 4% in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Madewell's comparable sales were up 22%. Prior to the second quarter, J.Crew sales had slipped for three consecutive years.

    Part of why the brand has consistently struggled is that some customers see it as overpriced, generic, and even "wannabe trendy." Former J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons left in early 2017 and was followed by longtime CEO Mickey Drexler. In late November, CEO James Brett stepped down after just 17 months.

    In September, J.Crew began ditching its preppy roots and redefining itself in an effort to win back customers by branching out beyond its iconic preppy style and offering a wider variety of styles and sizes.

    It's also looking to its more successful sister brand, Madewell, for inspiration, adding products like sweaters with French slogans and high-waisted denim pieces that are more likely to be found at Madewell.

    Madewell has been so successful because it knows its customer and doesn't jump on fast-fashion trends. Its focus is on good-quality, longer-lasting clothing, which have a lower price point than at J.Crew. However, when we visited both stores, the prices were about the same. 

    We shopped at both J.Crew and Madewell, and saw why Madewell is doing so much better: 

    SEE ALSO: We went shopping at Nordstrom and Macy's to see which was a better department store, and the winner was obvious

    We went to J.Crew first.

    In the window was a 50% off sale styles sign.

    The front of the store had a few cardigans and blouses on display, most of which were 25% off.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    chilling adventures of sabrina

    • Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider the most in-demand TV shows on streaming services.
    • This week continued to include the likes of Netflix's "Voltron: Legendary Defender" and "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina."

    With the holidays looming, audiences stuck to what interested them on streaming services last week, as the usual suspects and newcomers like Netflix's "Voltron: Legendary Defender" remained on this week's list.

    Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider with a list of the seven most "in-demand" TV shows on streaming services. The data is based on "demand expressions," the globally standardized TV demand measurement unit from Parrot Analytics. Audience demand reflects the desire, engagement, and viewership weighted by importance, so a stream or download is a higher expression of demand than a "like" or comment on social media.

    Below are this week's seven most popular shows on Netflix and other streaming services:

    SEE ALSO: How many millions Netflix's top executives will make in 2019 after big raises, including $31.5 million for its content boss

    7. "Voltron: Legendary Defender" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions: 23,295,462

    Description: "In an all-new series, five unlikely heroes and their flying robot lions unite to form the megapowerfulVoltron and defend the universe from evil."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 8): N/A

    What critics said: "Season 8 manages to do the seemingly impossible by ramping up the stakes to the utmost, delivering the most powerful emotional resonance between our heroes and villains yet, and wrapping everything up in a tearful, bittersweet, and fully satisfying way."— Dave Trumbore, Collider

    Season 8 premiered on Netflix December 14.

    6. "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon)

    Average demand expressions:  25,306,683

    Description: "After Midge's triumph at the Gaslight, the fallout from her takedown of Sophie Lennon looms large, making her climb up the comedy ladder more challenging than ever. As the actual grind of being a comic begins to take its toll on Midge, the pressure to come clean to her family weighs on her - especially as her choices have a ripple effect on everyone around her."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 91%

    What critics said: "Season 2 is definitely more ambitious than the first effort"— Megan Vick, TV Guide

    Season 2 premiered on Amazon December 5.

    5. "Narcos: Mexico" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions: 25,378,639

    Netflix description: "Witness the birth of the Mexican drug war in the 1980s as a gritty new 'Narcos' saga chronicles the true story of the Guadalajara cartel's ascent."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 1): 86%

    What critics said: "This season... is a wonderful showcase for two talented Latinx actors who've long deserved a high-profile TV project. "Narcos: Mexico" is all that and more, a poignant lesson on the bloody history behind our modern war on drugs."— Eric Deggans, NPR

    Season 1 premiered on Netflix November 16.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Christie's the_macallan_1926_60_year old_michael_dillon_1_bottle_per_lot

    • Christie's sold its most expensive spirit lot this year with a single bottle of 60-year-old whiskey that went for more than $1.5 million.
    • Six of the top 10 most expensive lots on this list were French wines, while the other four were rare and antique whiskeys.
    • Half of the lots on this list were sold in a single auction in London, the most successful wine and spirits sale for the auctioneer in 20 years.


    This past year, auction house Christie's sold a bottle of whiskey that is worth more than seven times as much as the average American house.

    In fact, it even broke a world record for the most expensive scotch to ever be auctioned off.

    Nearly $3.3 million of the auction house's total sales in 2018 came from just 10 high-valued alcohol lots alone.

    Here's a look at the most expensive wines and spirits Christie's has sold globally in the past year, ranked in ascending order.

    SEE ALSO: 5 signs you're probably not part of the middle class

    10. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Montrachet 1986 —  $120,960

    A dozen bottles of this French white sold for $120,960 as part of the most successful London wine sale in 20 years for the auctioneer.

    9. Château Latour 1945 — $135,600

    One wine aficionado took home this rare case of 73-year-old Latour for $135,600 at the Geneva, Switzerland, auction in May.

    8. Henri Jayer, Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux 1999 — $136,955

    Selling for $136,955, this case of Cros Parantoux — produced in the heart of France's Burgundy wine region— was the top lot of Christie's Hong Kong wine sale this past fall.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    every state ranked by healthiness 2018 map

    • United Health Foundation has ranked America's 50 states based on how healthy they are. 
    • The group used criteria including obesity and smoking as well as environmental factors like child poverty and air pollution.
    • Hawaii was declared the healthiest state of 2018, while Louisiana was the unhealthiest. 

    Not all states are created equal when it comes to health. 

    To get a better sense of how healthy each state in the US is, for the 29th year in a row, the United Health Foundation has ranked America's states.

    Hawaii made the top of the list as America's healthiest state, while Louisiana was declared the unhealthiest.

    Looking at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, and the Census Bureau, the rankings took into account everything from obesity and smoking to community and environmental factors, such as child poverty and air pollution, to public policies like immunizations, and health outcomes like cancer deaths and diabetes.

    Here are all 50 states, ranked from healthiest to least healthy. 

    1. Hawaii has a low prevalence of obesity and smoking, and low air pollution, helping it clinch the top spot for the ninth time since the rankings began in 1990.

    2. Massachusetts held the spot as the healthiest state in 2017 but dropped down in 2018. The state has among the highest immunization rates and the lowest uninsured rate.

    3. Connecticut has one of the lowest rates of smoking in the country and has one of the lower percentages of uninsured people. But the state does have a higher rate of drug overdose deaths.

    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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    Best tech CEOs 2018

    • This week, Comparably— a website that rates companies across a number of different areas — released its list of Best CEOs of 2018.
    • Of the 50 chief executives on that list, 29 were from tech companies.
    • Below, we've compiled the list of best tech CEOs of the year. 

    For tech, 2018 was a year full of scandal

    From Facebook's dealings with Cambridge Analytica, to Elon Musk smoking weed on-air, the tech industry had its share of controversy in 2018. 

    When tech executives weren't being questioned on Capitol Hill, however, some were being praised by employees for their leadership and the companies they've helped create. 

    This week, Comparablya website that rates companies across a number of different areas — released its 2018 list of Best CEOs. Of the 50 chief execs on that list, 29 were from tech companies.

    Here are the 29 best large tech company CEOs of the year: 

    SEE ALSO: The 29 tech companies with the best company culture in 2018

    29. Bill McDermott, SAP

    Headquarters: Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

    Year they became CEO: 2002

    What their company does: Enterprise software for business operations and customer management

    28. Scott Wagner, GoDaddy

    Headquarters: Scottsdale, Arizona

    Year they became CEO: 2018

    What their company does: Internet domain registry and website hosting 

    27. Daniel Schulman, PayPal

    Headquarters: San Jose, California

    Year they became CEO: 2014

    What their company does: Online payments 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Super Mario Odyssey

    The Nintendo Switch is approaching its second birthday, and there's already a killer line-up of games available.

    Whether you're looking for Nintendo staples like "Mario" and "Zelda," fast-paced first-person shooters like "DOOM", or narrative-driven indie RPGs like "Golf Story," there's something for everyone on the Switch.

    Good news! We've put together a list of the best games to enjoy on Nintendo's latest console:

    SEE ALSO: The 31 best Nintendo Switch games under $20

    1. "Super Mario Odyssey"

    The pure joy of playing "Odyssey" is hard to convey. It's the best Mario game in years, and easily one of the best Mario games ever made. It's certainly the best game on the Nintendo Switch, which is really saying something.

    Read our review of "Super Mario Odyssey" right here.

    Check it out in action right here:

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    2. "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild"

    "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" is a rare gem.

    It's the kind of game that changes player expectations — what they expect of themselves and what they expect from games.

    Read our review of "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" right here.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    greece tourist traveler

    • Business Insider has spent a year finding the best best places to visit in the world for each month of the year.
    • Now, we've taken the top destinations and compiled them into a travel guide for each month of 2019.
    • The best places to visit in 2019 include tropical paradises, rugged outdoor playgrounds, and vibrant cultural hubs.

    The new year is right around the corner, which means there's no better time to start thinking about where you want to visit in 2019.

    Over the course of 2018, I've compiled Business Insider's "Best Places to Visit" series, highlighting 13 destinations that are best for holiday travel for every month of the year.

    Business Insider considered everything from airfare trends and climate data to local cultural events to determine the optimal month to travel to each destination. February, for example, offers the cheapest airfare to Hawaii, with November coming in a close second.

    Related:See the entire "Best Places to Visit" series, highlighting 13 destinations each month

    Now, as 2019 approaches, I'm taking three of the best destinations from each month and presenting them below. The following guide can help you plan a year's worth of vacations and cover everything on your traveler's checklist, from famed historic sites to vibrant nightlife, tropical paradises to icy wonderlands.

    Check out the best places to travel each month of 2019, and enjoy planning.

    SEE ALSO: 13 places to visit in January for every type of traveler

    DON'T MISS: 13 of the best places to visit if you're planning a vacation in February

    January — Aspen, Colorado

    What we said:"More than 200 inches of snow lure winter sports lovers to scenic Aspen, Colorado, each winter.

    "Although December through February are the most expensive months to travel to this powdery haven, early January is when rates for hotels and ski lifts are the most affordable of the season. That's the sweet spot on the calendar between December holidays and the start of the annual X Games, which start in late January."

    Find other places to travel in January here»

    January — Harbin, China

    What we said:"Winter temperatures plunge below zero in Harbin, China's northernmost major city. But there's a reason more than 10 million travelers flock there each December, January, and February — the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

    "The festival — the largest of its kind in the world — centers on a surreal, neon-lit theme park with castles, sculptures, and replicas of monuments like the Taj Mahal and the Sphinx, all carved from ice. It's a scene that needs to be witnessed to be believed — just make sure you bring your warmest jacket."

    Find other places to travel in January here»

    January — Wanaka, New Zealand

    What we said:"Wanaka is a picturesque town on New Zealand's South Island, and it's the perfect place for outdoor adventure. The town's mountain and lakeside setting, as well as its proximity to Mt. Aspiring National Park, make it the ultimate base for outdoor activities like hiking, bicycling, rock climbing and skydiving. Remember, January means warm weather in this part of the world.

    "Back in town, you can take in the magnificent scenery from viewpoints, go wine-tasting, and while away the hours at quirky places like Puzzling World and the National Transport and Toy Museum."

    Find other places to travel in January here»

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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