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The latest news on Features from Business Insider

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    Nine Arches Bridge, Sri Lanka

    • Lonely Planet named Sri Lanka the number one country in the world to visit in 2019.
    • Vast tea terraces, an abundance of wildlife, and stunning beaches (and much more) make Sri Lanka a truly unforgettable destination.
    • I had the pleasure of visiting Sri Lanka in 2018 and I can't recommend it enough.
    • Here's why you simply can't miss it.

    Travel guide company Lonely Planet recently named Sri Lanka the number one country in the world to visit in 2019.

    The South Asian country was chosen because of a diversity of experiences, incredible food, and burgeoning tourism industry.

    I had the pleasure of visiting this extraordinary country for two and a half weeks last year, and I honestly can't recommend it enough.

    During my stay, I was lucky enough to take part in multiple safari tours, travel through the country's central highlands via one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, and much, much more.

    Scroll down for 15 stunning images and reasons why you can't afford to leave Sri Lanka off your bucket list for much longer.

    It has the highest density of elephants in Asia.

    Sri Lanka has around 5,800 wild elephants wandering around its national parks. One of the best places to witness these gentle giants is Udawalawe National Park, which is home to about 600 elephants that roam in herds of up to 50.

    You may even see elephants on the roads, where they often interrupt traffic — it's usually best to let them pass.

    Be warned: There are a number of so-called elephant orphanages and sanctuaries that are very popular with tourists. However, some have been highlighted by PETA for animal abuse as the elephants are often chained up and controlled by a mahout wielding a bullhook.

    Basically, anywhere that allows you to ride the elephants should be a no-go.

    Views don't get much better than sunrise over Adam's Peak.

    I defy you to find a better view than this — it's not possible.

    Adam's Peak (Sri Pada) climbs 2,243 metres (7,359 feet) into the air and is known for its depression at the peak, which Buddhists believe to be the footprint of the Buddha.

    The climb itself should take you around 2-4 hours depending on your level of fitness and is best done first thing for an incredible sunrise view.

    This shot was taken from the monastery, which is located right on the top of the peak.

    Historic Galle Fort is great for shopping and dining.

    While the city of Galle now stretches far beyond the ramparts, the fort itself (built up by the Dutch in the 17th century) has been painstakingly maintained and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    There are plenty of historical monuments to visit, but its also a great place to peruse shops at leisure and stop off at cafés and restaurants for refreshments.

    It is also home to some of the country's best boutique hotels like Fort Bazaar and 41 Lighthouse Street.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Brad Smith

    • Microsoft President Brad Smith penned a blog post on LinkedIn about the 10 biggest issues tech is sure to tackle in 2019. 
    • Artificial intelligence, he mentioned, will play a powerful role in how the economy functions, whether it leads to job growth or decline, and how tech companies work with law enforcement to implement facial recognition. 
    • And with no mention of President Donald Trump, Smith echoed concerns made by other tech giants over the trade relationship between China and America. 

    The tech industry is still reeling from a tumultuous 2018, as growing privacy concerns, cyber security threats and online disinformation campaigns have caused many people to reassess their relationship with technology.

    Things are only going to get more complicated as new innovations like artificial intelligence and voice recognition become increasingly commonplace in our lives. 

    Microsoft President Brad Smith outlined some of the biggest tech issues in store for us this year in a sobering blog post he recently published on LinkedIn.  Another year of public 'tech-lash' seems probable, Smith writes, as society debates the roles that technology, and tech companies, play in our lives. But there's also an opportunity for us to confront the challenges head on, and to take steps that will help us reap the benefits of innovation while avoiding the pitfalls. 

    Here's what Microsoft's President believes the top 10 tech issues will be in 2019: 

    First priority: Privacy

    Smith believes privacy protection is set to gain traction in 2019, both in Europe and the United States. 

    Businesses in Europe will have to continue to find ways to interpret the General Data Protection Regulation — a 2016 law guarding the data and privacy of all those within the European Union. And California's new Consumer Privacy Act means the issue is becoming more widespread. 

    "Look to the next few months for the spread of privacy legislation to several other state capitals, all of which will set the stage for an even bigger debate on Capitol Hill," Smith says. 


    Fakes News and 'Disinformation'

    Social media platforms have become a preferred means for nation-states to spread disinformation campaigns. And last year marked a "sea change" in our understanding of the problem, Smith says. 

    "The big question now is what will be done to address the problem," he writes.

    While social media companies have begun to acknowledge their responsibilities and accountability, Smith suggests that new laws could be used to ensure that social media companies take the issue seriously. He mentions a white paper by Virginia Senator Mark Warner to "impose a duty on social media platforms to determine the origin of accounts or posts, identify bogus accounts and notify users when bots are spreading information." 


    The US/China relationship

    The tech sector could be in for a bumpy ride this year when it comes to trans-Pacific trade, Smith says.

    "Across the American political spectrum there is greater appreciation of China’s momentum in artificial intelligence and other technology and heightened concern about its economic and national security implications," writes Smith. 

    Smith likened the December arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, to a "Netflix drama."  Talk of export controls on emerging tech like AI, and the potential for protectionist rules limiting acquisitions by foreign companies in Europe will become increasingly important stories to follow. 




    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Yandex self-driving car

    • I rode in a self-driving car for the first time at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
    • The car was operated by Yandex, the Google of Russia.
    • If I hadn't been making a point of paying attention to the vehicle's performance, I likely would have forgotten that it was driving without human assistance.


    Yandex is the Google of Russia, known for running a search engine that, by some measures, is more popular than Google in its home country. Like Google (via a spin-off company, Waymo), Yandex is also developing autonomous driving technology.

    The company operates an autonomous ride-hailing service in two Russian cities and demonstrated its software at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. I rode in a converted Toyota Prius on a 4.3-mile loop, my first experience riding in a self-driving car. The car was outfitted with three lidar sensors, five cameras, and eight radars.

    Here's what my ride was like.


    SEE ALSO: These are the 5 leaders in the self-driving-car race

    This is what the car, a converted Toyota Prius, looked like.

    It had three lidar sensors, which emit pulses of light to detect objects and determine how far they are from the car.

    The car had five cameras, like the one pictured below.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    happy children

    • There are wars, famine, poverty, and catastrophe in countries around the globe. 
    • And while there are still many problems that need to be addressed, there are a number of ways in which the world is improving.
    • Every day some 200,000 people around the world are lifted above the US$2-a-day poverty line.
    • More than 300,000 people a day get access to electricity and clean water for the first time every day.
    • Life expectancies continue to rise, child mortality rates continue to fall, global income inequality has decreased, and more people are living in democracies. 

    Swedish academic Hans Rosling has identified a worrying trend: not only do many people across advanced economies have no idea that the world is becoming a much better place, but they actually even think the opposite.

    This is no wonder, when the news focuses on reporting catastrophes, terrorist attacks, wars and famines.

    Who wants to hear about the fact that every day some 200,000 people around the world are lifted above the US$2-a-day poverty line?

    Or that more than 300,000 people a day get access to electricity and clean water for the first time every day? These stories of people in low-income countries simply doesn’t make for exciting news coverage. But, as Rosling pointed out in his book Factfulness, it’s important to put all the bad news in perspective.

    While it is true that globalisation has put some downward pressure on middle-class wages in advanced economies in recent decades, it has also helped lift hundreds of millions of people above the global poverty line – a development that has mostly occurred in South-East Asia.

    The recent rise of populism that has swept across Western countries, with Trump, Brexit, and the election of populists in Hungary and Italy, among various other factors, is thus of great concern if we care about global welfare. Globalisation is the only way forward to ensure that economic prosperity is shared among all countries and not only a select few advanced economies.

    While some people glorify the past, one of the big facts of economic history is that until quite recently a significant part of the world population has lived under quite miserable conditions – and this has been true throughout most of human history. The following seven charts show how the world has become a much better place compared to just a few decades ago.

    1: Life expectancy continues to rise

    Even during the Industrial Revolution, average life expectancy across European countries did not exceed around 35 years. This does not imply that most people died in their late 30s or even 40s, since it was mostly very high levels of child mortality rates that pulled down the average. Women dying in childbirth was obviously a big problem too. So were some common diseases such as smallpox and the plague, for example, which now have been completely eradicated in high-income countries.

    2: Child mortality continues to fall

    More than a century ago, child mortality rates were still exceeding 10% – even in high-income countries such as the US and the UK. But thanks to modern medicine, and better public safety in general, this number has been reduced to almost zero in rich countries.

    Plus, developing economies like India and Brazil now have much lower child mortality rates today than advanced economies had at similar income levels about one century ago.

    3. Fertility rates are falling

    Even though many are concerned about the global population explosion, the fact is that fertility rates have fallen significantly across the globe. UN population estimates largely expect the global population to stabilise at about 11 billion by the end of this century.

    Moreover, as can be seen from the chart, many developing countries such as Brazil, China and a number of African nations have already switched to a low-fertility regime. While this transition took many advanced economies almost 100 years, starting with the Industrial Revolution, many others have since achieved this over just two to three decades.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Copa Airlines Boeing 737

    • Every year, global travel data provider OAG sifts through a mountain of data to create its annual ranking of the airlines with the best on-time performance, or OTP, called the Punctuality League.

    • This year, OAG analyzed over 57 million flight records collected from around the world between January 1 and January 31, 2018.

    • The overall winner is Panama-based Copa Airlines
    • Hawaiian Airlines took the title of most punctual US airline while AirBaltic took the top spot among European carriers. Hong Kong Airlines took the top spot for Asian airlines while LATAM won for South America. South Africa's Mango Airlines was named the most punctual airline from the African continent.

    • Brazil's Azul was named the most punctual low-cost carrier. 
    • The airlines were then ranked based on their OTP, which is defined as the percentage of flights that depart or arrive with 15 minutes of their scheduled times.

    In 2017, more than four billion people around the world traveled by air. The result is a growing airline industry that has pushed the constraints of the global air transport networks' existing infrastructure and technology. 

    In an age of crowded airports and flight delays, some airlines perform better than others. 

    Every year, global travel data provider OAG sifts through a mountain of data to create its annual rankings of the airlines with the best on-time performance, or OTP, called the Punctuality League.

    "On-time performance is one of the single most important metrics in the travel industry," John Grand, a senior analyst at OAG, said in a statement. "Every on-time arrival and departure creates a significant trickle-down impact that affects travelers, other airlines and airports, business, travel suppliers and more."

    Read more: The 10 best airlines in the world for 2019.

    To create the rankings, OAG analyzed over 57 million flight records collected from around the world between January 1 and January 31, 2018. OAG must have data for at least 80% of an airline's flights in order for it to qualify for the list. 

    The airlines are then ranked based on their OTP, which is defined as the percentage of flights that depart or arrive with 15 minutes of their scheduled times.

    The overall winner is Panama-based Copa Airlines, with an on-time performance of just under 90%. 

    Hawaiian Airlines took the title of most punctual US airline while AirBaltic took the top spot among European carriers. Hong Kong Airlines took the top spot for Asian airlines while LATAM won for South America. 

    South Africa's Mango Airlines was named the most punctual airline from the African continent while Brazil's Azul was named the most punctual low-cost carrier. 

    Here's a closer look at the 20 most punctual airlines in 2018: 

    SEE ALSO: The 21 safest airlines in the world

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

    20. Alitalia: 82.87% on-time performance (OTP).

    19. Mango Airlines: 82.88% OTP.

    18. Solaseed Air: 82.90% OTP.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    a series of unfortunate events

    • Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Business Insider the most in-demand TV shows on streaming services.
    • This week includes new entries "Black Mirror" and "A Series of Unfortunate Events."

    Netflix's "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" has given the sci-fi anthology series a boost and fans love that "A Series of Unfortunate Events" is back for its final season. But "Stranger Things" still reigns supreme in anticipation for its third season this summer.

    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: Netflix has been smacked with a lawsuit over 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch' that claims it 'tarnishes' the 'choose your own adventure' trademark

    7. "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions: 23,719,116

    Description:"The extraordinary Baudelaire orphans face trials, tribulations and the evil Count Olaf in their fateful quest to unlock long-held family secrets."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 100%

    What critics said: "A tragic story of loss, grief, and how life grows more and more unfair with each passing year lived, but the truths told in these three excellent seasons are pushed into the realm of entertainment by the enthusiasm and talent of its storytellers."— Ben Travers, Indiewire

    Season 3 premiered on Netflix January 1.

    6. "Marvel's Daredevil" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions: 24,416,766

    Description: "Blinded as a young boy, Matt Murdock fights injustice by day as a lawyer and by night as the Super Hero Daredevil in Hell's Kitchen, New York City."

    Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 96%

    What critics said: "It wasn't great, but it was the first Marvel/Netflix season in years where the ratio of what worked versus what didn't was positive — a bounceback this show, and this entire mini-franchise, very badly needed."— Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone

    Season 3 premiered on Netflix October 19. The show was recently canceled.

    5. "Narcos: Mexico" (Netflix)

    Average demand expressions: 24,830,474

    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: "If you liked Narcos, you'll like this. But I'm beginning to find it exhausting."— Joshua Rivera, GQ

    Season 1 premiered on Netflix November 16.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Gladiator_Game_Of_Thrones_Ait_Ben_Haddou_Filming_Morocco (8 of 41)

    • The medieval ksar of Aït Benhaddou is a gorgeous tiny town in southwestern Morocco and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    • Located in a stunning red desert landscape, Aït Benhaddou is a frequent filming location for historical and epic movies like "The Mummy,""Gladiator,""Alexander,""Prince of Persia,""Kingdom of Heaven," and, most recently, "Game of Thrones."
    • I recently visited. While it doesn't rival ancient archeological sites in places like Greece or Egypt, it is a stunning sight in its own right.

    A tiny medieval town in southwestern Morocco is one of the most iconic sights in the world. You just don't know it by name.

    The medieval ksar of Aït Benhaddou has played the part of an Egyptian town in the 1999 action movie "The Mummy," the Hindu Kush in Oliver Stone's 2004 Greek epic "Alexander," the Roman-era African city of Zucchabar in the 2000 classic "Gladiator," and, most recently, the city of Yunkai in "Game Of Thrones."

    It's a strange phenomenon that locations that are historical and famous in their own right sometimes become more famous for the fictional things that happen there.

    On my first trip to Philadelphia, I recall joking with my parents that Independence Hall is famously where Nicholas Cage's "National Treasure" character Benjamin Gates discovers a pair of glasses "made by" Benjamin Franklin, rather than where The Declaration of Independence was signed. "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" is half the reason I was so excited to visit the ancient city of Petra last year.

    But that doesn't make a place like Aït Benhaddou any less awe-inspiring.  Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, the mud-brick structures of Aït Benhaddou date back to the 1700s and are an impressive example of Moroccan architecture.

    On a recent trip to Morocco, I decided to make a stop to check out Aït Benhaddou. Here's what it was like:

    SEE ALSO: An otherworldly desert in Jordan has doubled as distant planets in movies like 'Star Wars' and 'The Martian' — after seeing it myself, I can tell you it's just as breathtaking in person

    DON'T MISS: One of the 7 wonders of the world is a 10,000-year-old city hidden in the desert — and in real life, it's more incredible than you can imagine

    If you've ever watched Daenerys Targaryen conquer the city of Yunkai in "Game of Thrones" ...

    ... or seen Maximus Decimus Meridius become a slave and shout "Are you not entertained?" to a coliseum of bloodthirsty Romans ...

    ... then you've seen the medieval ksar of Aït Benhaddou. You may just not have known it. A few hours from Marrakech in southwestern Morocco, the fortified town is one of the premier sights in the country. That's it in the distance.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    shaq florida mansion

    Retired NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal is selling his lakeside mansion in Florida for $21.9 million.

    The 12-bedroom, 35,000-square-foot house sits on three acres in the exclusive, gated golf community of Isleworth, which is about a 30 minute drive from Orlando. 

    O'Neal, who retired in 2011 after making more than $286 million over the course of his basketball career, bought the house in 1993 for a little less than $4 million, according to Realtor. He put it on the market in 2018 for $28 million and later dropped the price to $21.9 million.

    The Florida home is in the exclusive Isleworth community, a 600-acre golf-club community bordering a lake that's full of grand cypress and oak trees, and lavish estates.

    Here's a look at the mansion O'Neal is selling after 26 years.

    SEE ALSO: Mark Cuban just bought a $19 million Laguna Beach vacation home that comes with concierge service and walls that open up to views of the Pacific Ocean. Here's a look inside.

    DON'T MISS: Jeff Bezos and his family own at least 6 massive properties across the US. Here's a look at the homes, from a sprawling Seattle estate to a set of historic NYC condos

    Retired NBA star Shaquille O'Neal is selling his lakeside mansion in Windermere, Florida, for $22 million.

    Source: The Agency

    Shaq bought the house in 1993 for a little less than $4 million.

    Source: Realtor

    The house sits on the shores of Lake Butler, in exclusive Isleworth, a gated golf community about a 30-minute drive from Orlando.

    Source: Realtor

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Embraer Manhattan concept

    • Embraer's Manhattan Airship private jet concept evokes the style and beauty of New York City.
    • Designers drew inspiration from the art deco designs of the 1920s and 1930s.
    • Embraer has also released concepts inspired by the Far East, Hollywood, and even Brazilian Ranchers.
    • The Brazilian jet maker used its flagship Lineage 1000E executive jet as the canvas for the design concept.
    • The total cost of the Manhattan Airship is $83 million and includes the $53 million for the Lineage 1000E. 

    For many, a high-end private jet is a point of personal expression. While all jet makers allow for extreme amounts of customization, Embraer Executive Jets takes it a bit further than everyone else.

    The Brazilian firm has become famous over the past few years for its stunning and highly imaginative interior design concepts like the Japanese inspired Kyoto Airship and its ground-breaking skylights. Then there's the Brazilian Rancher-meets-Texas-oil-tycoon themed the Skyranch One

    In 2017, we wrote about Embraer's Hollywood Airship which bathes its occupants in the Art Deco glamour and elegance of tinsel town. 

    As a sister design to the Hollywood, Embraer interior design boss Jay Beever and former Disney Imagineer Eddie Sotto teamed up to create the Manhattan Airship concept. 

    "The Manhattan, featuring deep, rich woods, is the embodiment of the Empire State Building crossed with the Rainbow Room," the company said in a press statement. 

    Read more: Boeing just launched a new $400 million 777X private airliner, and it's a flying mansion that can go halfway around the world.

    For Beever and Sotto, the "thrill of resurrecting the art deco designs found in the buildings, furniture, jewelry, cars and ocean liners of the 1920s and 1930s, with the Normandie cruise liner provided specific inspiration to the project.

    Because of the highly bespoke nature of the business, Embraer's customers can choose to adopt the whole package or simply a few select elements of the concept.

    Here's a closer look at Embraer's Lineage 1000E Manhattan Airship interior design concept:

    SEE ALSO: The 8 most luxurious private jets in the world

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

    The Manhattan Airship interior is designed for Embraer's flagship Lineage 1000E executive jet. The 1000E has room for 13 to 19 passengers, with a range of nearly 5,300 miles. It's based on the company's E190 airliner

    Like the standard Lineage 1000E, the Manhattan Airship is divided into various zones. However, unlike the standard Lineage, all of the crew facilities like the galley have been moved to the back of the plane.

    So when you step on board the Manhattan Airship, instead of being greeted by the galley, the first thing you see is a luxury lounge complete with a relief of the Manhattan skyline.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    samsung china

    • Trade tensions have added to a policy-engineered slowdown in China.
    • Last week, Apple blamed slowing economic growth there as it cut its revenue forecast.
    • Several other large companies have issued similar warnings about the second-largest economy.

    Apple rattled global markets last week as it cited cooling activity in China as a risk to revenue, underscoring expectations for the second-largest economy to slow. And it was far from alone in its warning.

    Prominent companies around the world have been keeping watchful eyes on China's economy, which has been growing at its weakest pace in a decade.

    After the start of a state-led deleveraging campaign in 2017, the slowdown had been widely expected. A spate of tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of American and Chinese products hasn't helped.

    But as warning signs emerge left and right, some seem to have underestimated just how much steam the once-booming economy would lose.

    "While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in his January 2 statement.

    The China Passenger Car Association said Wednesday auto sales in the country slumped for the first time in more than two decades in 2018, laying onto concerns as factory activity contracts and after Chinese stocks closed their worst year in a decade.

    To be sure, not all corporations are struggling in China. Nike, for instance, saw double-digit percentage sales growth in the country during the fiscal second quarter. In the post-earnings call, CFO Andy Campion said ongoing trade tensions had not affected the retailer.

    But in recent months, an increasing number of companies seem to be on the other side of things. Here are a few of them:


    In a letter lowering the technology giant's revenue forecast last week, CEO Tim Cook blamed weak sales in China. Forecasting $84 billion in revenue for the first quarter, compared with analyst expectations of more than $91 billion, he said most of his the revenue decline occurred in greater China across products including iPhones, Macs, and iPads.


    Samsung Electronics on Wednesday estimated that its profit in the last three months of 2018 was down nearly a third from the previous year's. It cited "lackluster" demand for what would mark its first quarterly decline in two years. The company’s market share for smartphones in China has slumped to less than 1%.

    "Depressed demand in China will further drive down Samsung's chip sales there," Song Myung-sup, a senior analyst at HI Investment & Securities, told Reuters. And China's overall smartphone market is stalled and declining, which will affect not only Apple but Samsung."


    China is the second-largest market for Starbucks after the US, growing consistently. But that could become a problem when consumer demand fizzles. As a luxury brand in China, the coffee company is particularly vulnerable to economic conditions.

    Bloomberg reported last month that Starbucks CFO Patrick Grismer said same-stores sales growth in China, a closely-watched indicator in the restaurant industry, could fall to as low as 1% in the long-run.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    City Hall subway station exit

    • New York has the oldest and most expansive subway system in North America.
    • But the first ever underground station to open has long been shuttered since World War II. 
    • Today, the only way to get to the abandoned masterpiece is by special tour. 

    When New York City's subway first opened in 1904, it was a true modern marvel. Its very first station, almost directly beneath City Hall, was a sight to see. Sun flooded the platform from skylights in the ground above, and gilded chandeliers filled the shadows with electric light.

    On the first day of service, some 15,000 New Yorkers would pay the nickel fare to ride the first subway to open outside of Europe. 

    But things wouldn't remain so glorious for this station. Once train cars became longer, the gaps between doors and platforms were deemed too wide to be safe. What's more, many passengers opted to walk from the larger Brooklyn Bridge station nearby, which had express service that the City Hall loop did not.

    Today, there's no service provided to the station — trains made their final stop on December 31, 1945 — but you can catch a glimpse by riding a downtown 6 local train past its terminal stop, which today is known as Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall. Keep your eyes peeled as you go through the loop and a few minutes later you'll end up on the uptown platform of the same station.

    If a mere glance isn't enough, the New York Transit Museum offers tours to members, and they sell out in just minutes. That's how Business Insider got the chance to visit. Here's what it's like:

    SEE ALSO: New York's governor called Tesla to see if the company could help fix NYC's subway system

    As its name suggests, the subway station sits directly beneath City Hall, the oldest municipal headquarters in the United States. It's more than 200 years old.

    The subway station was also beneath the City Hall Post Office and Courthouse Building, a massive French-style building that many derided as an eyesore. It was later demolished in 1939 to make way for what's today called City Hall Park.

    The street cars on Park Row that crossed the Brooklyn Bridge (just out of view on the right) are long gone. 

    Here's how the tracks lie in relation to the City Hall building and the adjacent park. In this diagram it's easier to see how the 6 train makes its 180-degree turnaround while allowing express trains to continue south through downtown and into Brooklyn.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • The past few months have been tough for traders, with the S&P 500 tumbling 14% in the fourth quarter.
    • While firms across Wall Street are warning of evaporating stock market returns as soon as this year, Goldman Sachs is here to bring some reassurance.
    • Goldman has a strategy tailor-made for such conditions: Buy high-growth-potential companies early and often.
    • The firm has highlighted a list of stocks it believes are most undervalued and likely to rocket higher because of solid earnings.

    The past few months have been extremely challenging for investors. After returning 11% through the first three quarters of 2018, the benchmark S&P 500 tumbled 14% during the last three months, dropping its annual total return to a negative 4%.

    While firms across Wall Street are warning of an impending economic slowdown and evaporating stock market returns as soon as this year, Goldman Sachs is here to bring some reassurance.

    The bank has a strategy tailor-made for such conditions: Buy high-growth-potential companies early and often.

    It has published a list of stocks that it believes are most undervalued and likely to rocket higher because of solid earnings.

    Here are the 13 companies Goldman says could deliver the biggest return going forward, in ascending order of their potential upsides (comparing Goldman's price target to where shares were trading as of December 31):

    American Airlines


    Sector: Industrial

    2018 performance: -40%

    Price as of December 31: $32.11

    Upside to target: 65.1%


    Source: Goldman Sachs 



    Sector: Material

    2018 performance: -41%

    Price as of December 31: $77.07

    Upside to target: 68.7%


    Source: Goldman Sachs 



    Sector: Auto

    2018 performance: -30%

    Price as of December 31: $61.57

    Upside to target: 68.9%


    Source: Goldman Sachs 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    chickfila nugs

    • Chick-fil-A has revealed its 10 top-selling items in 2018.
    • Waffle fries took the top spot and the chicken sandwich beat out the chicken biscuit.

    Chick-fil-A is expected to become the third largest fast-food chain in the US this year in terms of sales, behind only McDonald's and Starbucks. 

    That's a significant jump from the No. 7 spot that Chick-fil-A held in 2017, when it ranked behind competitors like Taco Bell,Subway, and Wendy's

    Chick-fil-A's explosive growth has been driven largely by the popularity of its famous chicken sandwich, which was the company's third best-selling menu item last year, according to the company.

    Here are all the other best sellers in 2018, according to Chick-fil-A:

    SEE ALSO: Chick-fil-A is on track to become the third-largest chain in America — and McDonald's and Wendy's should be terrified

    10. Spicy deluxe chicken sandwich

    The spicy deluxe sandwich is a bolder version of Chick-fil-A's classic chicken sandwich.

    9. Chicken biscuit

    This breakfast staple, which consists of a chicken patty on a buttery biscuit, was the ninth most-ordered item last year. 

    8. Chick-n-Strips

    Chick-fil-A's chicken strips ranked lower than their smaller counterparts, the chicken nuggets. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    BreadBot (bread)

    • A new device named the "BreadBot" is said to have a staggering bread production capability: six loaves per hour, and nearly 250 per day, with barely any human intervention, according to the company behind it.
    • Unless you're feeding hundreds of people, the BreadBot probably isn't for you — it's aimed at disrupting the supermarket bread model.
    • The company behind the BreadBot, Wilkinson Baking Company, debuted the device on Sunday at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

    Fresh bread, as we all know, is delicious.

    But what's even better than fresh bread? Loaves of bread produced magically by a robot, over and over, every six minutes. The only input required: Maintaining a steady supply of flour, yeast, and water.

    This is the promise of the "BreadBot"— a newly unveiled creation from Wilkinson Baking Company, which debuted this past weekend ahead of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

    As you might suspect, the BreadBot isn't for the casual home baker. Here's how it works:

    SEE ALSO: Samsung's absurd 219-inch TV takes up an entire wall — thus its name, 'The Wall'

    First, some numbers — here's what BreadBot can do:

    The BreadBot is an all-in-one, automated solution for bread production. It's intended to automate the process of baking fresh bread, and to keep it going all day. 

    To that end, the BreadBot can purportedly produce 10 loaves of fresh bread every hour, with about 90 minutes of start time required before the first fresh loaf comes out.

    With a 30 minute rest (for cleaning) and the occasional ingredient re-supply, Wilkinson Baking Company estimates BreadBot's production capacity at approximately 235 loaves of fresh bread every day.

    That's a serious amount of bread!

    Loaves are deposited into what is essentially a large vending machine, albeit one full of fresh loaves of bread.

    After bread is mixed, kneaded, proofed, and baked, it's sent to the final holding area where customers can walk up and select fresh bread by hand.

    It wouldn't be a modern piece of tech without a touchscreen, and BreadBot is no slouch in this regard. A touchscreen display offers detailed information about each loaf, including how fresh it is and what type of bread it is.

    In one example given, customers can grab loaves of bread directly from the machine:

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Kingdom Hearts 3

    • It's time to start looking ahead to this year's big games!
    • Things kick off soon with the launch of a long-awaited sequel, "Kingdom Hearts 3," in late January.
    • Some major games are expected in 2019: "The Last of Us: Part II" on PlayStation 4 and a brand new "Pokémon" game for the Nintendo Switch are highlights of the year.

    With 2018 in the past, we're hurriedly preparing for 2019's major video game launches. 

    What does the new year bring? Plenty! The year starts with a trip into the worlds of Disney with the long-awaited arrival of "Kingdom Hearts 3" in January. Not too long after that, the folks behind "Mass Effect" have a brand-new series launching in February: "Anthem." 

    And that's just the first two months of the year! Here's a look at 2019 in games:

    SEE ALSO: Forget about 'Fortnite' — the new 'Call of Duty' makes 6 brilliant changes to the Battle Royale formula

    1. "Resident Evil 2" (re-mastered)

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

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

    Release Date: January 25, 2019

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

    2. "Kingdom Hearts 3"

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

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

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

    Release Date: January 29, 2019

    Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One

    3. "Far Cry New Dawn"

    A new "Far Cry" game? Didn't one of those come out, like, in 2018?

    Yep! That game was "Far Cry 5," and it came out back in late March on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The open-world first-person shooter was set in America for the first time ever, and featured a new antagonist: a maniacal cult leader with nuclear ambitions.

    "Far Cry New Dawn" is a sequel to that game, set in a post-apocalypse Montana 17 years after the events of "Far Cry 5." The trailer alludes to a period of extreme weather following a nuclear detonation, eventually leading to a new world — a world where people shoot sawblades from crossbows, apparently.

    Release Date: February 15, 2019

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

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    woman with phone lying in bed

    • If your new year's resolution was "spend less time on my phone," it can already feel challenging to stick to it.
    • Google has some built-in tools to help you relax and de-stress, or use less technology altogether.
    • There are 16 hidden features inside Google's most popular products to help you combat your tech addiction.

    Now that the new year is here, many of us are trying to form new habits, like eating healthier and exercising more.

    But if your resolution is to spend less time staring at screens or using your phone, it can be difficult.

    How do we change years of habits in a few weeks?

    Well, you don't have to do it alone.

    Most of us use at least one Google product regularly, whether that's Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, or even an Android phone or a Pixel. Built into those tools are features to help you wind down and de-stress, or take a break from technology altogether.

    So if you're one of the many whose resolution was "spend less time on my phone," here are some easy ways to stick to it, thanks to Google.

    SEE ALSO: 11 tips and tricks to get the most out of your new Wear OS smartwatch

    If you have an Android phone ...

    • If you're an Android user — if you have a Samsung phone, LG, OnePlus, or virtually any smartphone that's not an iPhone — there's a digital well-being dashboard on your device (as long as it's running Android 9 Pie). The dashboard will give you a picture of how you use each app on your phone daily — as in, how many times you unlock it, how many minutes you've spent staring at it, and even which apps are taking up the largest percentage of your time online.
    • Once you figure out which apps you use way too much, you can use the app timer to limit how much time you spend on an app each day. When that limit is reached, your device will pause that app for the rest of the day.
    • There's also a wind-down feature in Android 9 Pie that will automatically switch on Do Not Disturb and fade your device's screen to grayscale once it's bedtime.

    If you're an iPhone user, don't worry — iOS 12 includes a few similar features.

    If you watch a lot of YouTube videos ...

    • If you spend a lot of time on YouTube, you know how easy it can be to get sucked in to watching video after video. But hidden inside YouTube's mobile app is a time-watched profile, which lets you know how much time you spend inside the app along with a daily average. To find this feature, tap on your account inside the mobile app.
    • The app also includes the ability to set goals for how much you want to watch in a given day. Once you set a goal, YouTube's take a break reminder will pop up. It forces the video to pause at intervals, which you can set yourself. To turn this feature on, tap your account icon inside the mobile app.
    • You can set quiet hours for the YouTube app as well, which will silence notifications from the app during your customizable quiet hours.

    If you own a Google Home ...

    • With Google Home, you can set up bedtime routines to help you wind down at night. If you say a voice command like "Good night" or "Bedtime," Google Assistant will run your routine, which could include anything from turning off the lights to playing sleep sounds as you fall asleep.
    • You can also say, "Hey, Google, turn on Do Not Disturb," which will silence all notifications on both your Google Home devices and your Pixel phone.
    • The downtime feature on Google Home also lets you set up a customizable schedule for your device that allows you to take regular breaks.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    julian castro

    • Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Barack Obama, has announced his bid for the presidency. 
    • Castro has a track record that includes revolutionary early childhood education programs while mayor, and controversy around handling of mortgage sales during his tenure at HUD. 
    • Based on his announcement, Castro plans to use his experience in local government to tout community-minded policies

    Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary, has joined the race for the 2020 Election. 

    Speaking to a crowd in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, on Saturday, Castro touted his commitment to policies that included early childhood education, accessible college alternatives, universal healthcare, and criminal-justice reform.

    See the policies with roots in Castro's personal and professional past that he's cast as key to his campaign:

    SEE ALSO: Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development secretary under Obama, announces 2020 presidential bid

    DON'T MISS: Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination are turning to Instagram Live as a secret weapon

    Castro and his twin brother, Joaquín, who is a US representative that heads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, were raised in San Antonio, Texas by their activist mother, Rosie.

    Source: Business Insider

    Both brothers went to Stanford University, where Julián credited affirmative action for his acceptance, before attending Harvard Law. After finishing his degree at Harvard, Julián ran for San Antonio City Council, which he won in 2001.

    Source: The New York Times

    Castro has been a longtime support of LGBTQ rights. He became the first San Antonio mayor to serve as the grand marshal of the city's Pride Parade in 2009 and signed the "Mayors for the Freedom to Marry" petition for same-sex marriage equality in 2012.

    Source: Politico

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    julia tell honda crv

    • Small cars have advantages in cities, but in the suburbs, I've found that they aren't quite as common or useful as larger vehicles — SUVs, in particular.
    • An ugly-colored SUV is now my suburban camouflage, allowing me to see eye-to-eye with other drivers while disappearing into the background.
    • Here's why I finally decided to buy an SUV after 12 years of resisting it.


    I like small cars. There's a huge advantage to a small car in a city with tight parking. After living in San Francisco for years, and then in Brooklyn, I could squeeze my little hatchback into the tiniest of spaces.

    I was used to driving a car with a short nose and a compact derrière, and I hated it when I rented a car and got a big sedan or SUV. I was always afraid of hitting things because I wasn't used to the length and width of the vehicle. I was a small-car gal.

    But after moving to suburban New Jersey and spending years navigating the area with smaller cars, I decided I needed to move up to an SUV— the Honda CR-V XE — and I'm glad that I did. Here's why.

    SEE ALSO: 6 things people who are good with money always splurge on

    Driving small cars in the suburbs presented a host of issues.

    I moved to the suburbs of Princeton, New Jersey, 14 years ago with my little hatchback. I got no respect on the roads as zippy sports cars zoomed past me and ladies in SUVs seemed to want to drive right over me. The worst was in the Whole Foods parking lot.

    For some reason, this lot seems to be completely populated with the largest SUVs. Skinny moms in the latest workout gear would zoom in and park all while talking on the phone and handing a cookie to the toddler in the backseat.

    They had no time to notice anyone beneath them in a small car. I can't count the number of times I was nearly run over by one of these SUVs speeding into a three-point turn to grab that good parking spot.

    I moved on to two cars that weren't quite big enough.

    About three years into my suburban existence, I graduated to a mini station wagon — a Volvo V50 — which seemed more like a family car, though it still had my small-car aesthetic.

    Somehow, I thought, a wagon would help me blend in with the strip-mall, soccer mom crowd. Nope. I was still completely invisible, like a bug to be squashed on the roadway by the monster machines of everyday life.

    A couple years later, an upgrade to a sizeable Volkswagen Passat sedan helped a little, but I was still the odd-mom out.

    Finally, I settled on a reliable SUV.

    When I set out to buy a new car two years ago, I settled on a Honda CR-V as my model of choice. It had good ratings, it was reliable, and it was reasonably priced. It had plenty of legroom in the backseat, and it was big but not huge.

    The gas mileage was as good as my smaller cars, but the pickup is sluggish. Don't get me wrong; it wasn't minivan sluggish. But suburban driving involves lots of stop lights and turns, so you can't go that fast anyway.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    joel kapan mark zuckerberg facebook

    • Facebook has had a wave of executives leave the company in the past year.
    • With the company under pressure, there are likely to be more ousters, defections, and departures.
    • These are some of the top execs to keep an eye on, according to company insiders.

    Facebook's brutal 2018 was accompanied by a wave of executive departures.

    As the Silicon Valley tech giant grappled with the Cambridge Analytica scandal and its role spreading hate speech that fueled genocide in Myanmar, several longtime senior leaders at the company headed for the exit.

    Instagram cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, vice president of partnerships Dan Rose, WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum, and policy and communications boss Elliot Schrage are just some of the execs that have announced their departures over the last year.

    As the new year kicks off, Facebook's turbulence shows no signs of abating, so Business Insider asked current and former employees a question: Who might be next to go?

    Flight risk is an important issue at tech companies like Facebook whose fortunes can hinge on the talent of product visionaries and engineers, and the degree to which Facebook can retain its top talent will influence its ability to navigate its current crisis.

    To be clear, this is informed speculation and guesswork: The sources we surveyed don't have inside knowledge of any confirmed but unannounced coming departures. But with Facebook under pressure to get its house in order, and with some executives no doubt scanning the horizon for less turbulent jobs, the names listed provide a guide to some of the company's leaders who insiders are watching attentively.

    After being provided with the list of names, Facebook spokesperson Anthony Harrison provided the following statement: "This story is based on complete speculation. None of the people you mentioned to us are planning to leave Facebook."

    SEE ALSO: Facebook endured a staggering number of scandals and controversies in 2018 — here they all are

    Justin Osofsky, vice president of global operations, program management, and integrations.

    Justin Osofsky, Facebook's vice president of global operations, was singled out most by the sources we spoke to.

    He has been at Facebook for more than a decade and is a key lieutenant of Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who has come under scrutiny in recent months.

    His operational role places him at the center of many woes and could potentially make him a scapegoat. "[He's] a really strong leader, but as far as places to shift blame, I think he would be next in line," one source said.

    Osofsky's activities made headlines in December 2018 when the British Parliament released a cache of internal Facebook emails and documents it had seized. The leaked correspondence laid bare the company leadership's cutthroat attitudes towards competition and growth — and some of Osofsky's emails were included.

    Joel Kaplan, vice president of global public policy.

    Apart from CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Sandberg, few Facebook execs attracted more ire in 2018 than Joel Kaplan, the company's vice president of global public policy.

    Kaplan was spotted seated behind Brett Kavanaugh during the judge's acrimonious Supreme Court confirmation hearings, and when it emerged that he was there in support of Kavanaugh, a close friend, many Facebook employees exploded in outrage.

    The 49-year-old previously served as a staffer in the George W. Bush White House, making him a rare conservative at the famously liberal company. Civil-rights groups have consistently called for his firing, citing his role in a smear campaign against Facebook critics.

    A current employee suggested he could be next to go, citing his unpopularity with some at the company.

    Dan Levy, vice president of small business.

    Dan Levy, Facebook's vice president of small business, is an attractive target for potential recruiters.

    "In terms of the best people at Facebook that's still there, you can't ignore Dan Levy, who is the one person that's responsible for Facebook's growth in the past three years," one source said.

    Levy has been at Facebook since December 2008, working as a director on payments, risk, and finance before taking on the small-business role in July 2012.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Rudy Giuliani

    • Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's lead attorney, is increasingly using Twitter to project bombastic claims and false accusations to his nearly 225,000 followers. 
    • In recent weeks, his tweets have attacked Florida election officials, special counsel Robert Mueller, former FBI Director James Comey, and Twitter itself. 
    • Here's a breakdown all of Giuliani's most recent eyebrow-raising tweets. 

    Since taking over as President Donald Trump's chief legal counsel last April, Rudolph "Rudy" Giuliani has made headlines for his bombastic, off-the-cuff remarks, like when he told MSNBC's Chuck Todd that "truth isn't truth."

    The former US Attorney and mayor of New York City — dubbed "America's Mayor" for his leadership following the 9/11 attacks — is now better known for his typo-filled rantings and fiery accusations against his detractors, which he regularly broadcasts to his 225,000 Twitter followers. 

    Over the past two months, Giuliani has used his Twitter account to falsely accuse Florida election officials of fraud and foul play, blame special counsel Robert Mueller for a technical glitch causing text messages of FBI employees to be deleted, and claim that Twitter was responsible for his own typos in his tweets.

    Here's the complete guide to Giuliani's most recent tweets: 

    In November, Giuliani fired off a series of tweets making baseless accusations of election and voter fraud in Florida, where the hotly contested Senate race between Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Rick Scott went to a recount.

    Source: New York Times, Reuters

    Despite Giuliani's bombastic accusations of fraud, there is no evidence of election officials committing fraud or "creating ballots" favoring Democrats. Rather, the races took longer than usual to decide because of the extraordinarily slim margin between the candidates.

    Even though Giuliani warned of sinister efforts by "Democratic" election officials to create falsified ballots, Republican Sen. candidate Rick Scott and gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis ended up victorious in the end.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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