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The latest news on Features from Business Insider
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    When it comes to big games on the Xbox One — which is to say, games that aren't available on the PlayStation 4 — the list is pretty short. 

    This week's launch of "Sea of Thieves" is an outsized addition to that list.

    Sea of Thieves

    Over 20 years after Rare created classics like "Goldeneye 007" and "Perfect Dark" for Nintendo, the veteran game studio is back with something completely different: A massive, open-world pirate game that's only on the Xbox One and PC.

    And with "Sea of Thieves," Microsoft has an amibitious new addition to its list of console exclusive games.

    It's an online-only game, meaning you can only play the game in an open world full of other pirates (actual human players). The game never holds your hand, instead depending on players to teach each other and themselves how to play. And there's no one narrative — the story of the game is what happens while you take on and complete quests. 

    In my brief few hours with it so far, I've found a lot of promise and charm in "Sea of Thieves." Here's why I think you should give it a shot.

    "Sea of Thieves" nails the concept of emergent narrative storytelling — the "story" is the tale of how you completed your quest, not the quest itself.

    This morning, I was sailing in a galleon — a large, three-sail wooden ship — with three other player-controlled pirates. We were headed toward a small tropical island that was said to contain a treasure chest. 

    The mission was simple: Sail to the island, trek to the X on the map, and dig up the treasure chest.

    When we got to the island, we grabbed the chest and started to head out. But what was that ship in the distance? Should we stop? Should we fight?

    We headed in its direction, and it turned out that it was a much smaller ship (a "sloop," to be technical).

    Just as we were arriving, its sails dropped and its crew of no more than two hightailed it. But we were already within firing range, and I nailed the ship's lower rear with a cannonball. As the ship filled with water, its small crew were forced to address the damages rather than even try to sail away from us. As our ship closed in, three of us manned cannons and turned its hull into Swiss cheese.

    Sea of Thieves

    I could tell you the rest of that pirate tale, but we should probably move to a tiki bar. 

    Stories like this are at the heart of "Sea of Thieves." The game itself isn't heavy on narrative, but its world is rich with narrative for the taking — if you're up for adventure, that is.

    "Sea of Thieves" goes all-in on the sailing thing.

    Are you ready to handle some freakin' ropes? How about playing sea shanties with your drunk friends? Maybe you're more of a spyglass person? Oooh, or how about reading maps?

    Get ready for all of that and more, as "Sea of Thieves" is, first and foremost, a game about navigating the sea in an old ship. I mean that in the nicest way possible, as it's tremendously fun to play.

    Remember that story I told about getting a treasure chest? Here's how that went in terms of gameplay:

    -First, we had to pull up the anchor. Even with all four of us working at it, it still took about 10 seconds.

    -Next, we had to lower the sails and angle them. While my buddy took the helm, I ran from rigging to rigging, carefully lowering and angling the sails for as much wind as possible.

    -Meanwhile, another player went below deck to our map table, where he compared his treasure map (which depicts the island's shape) to the larger map in front of him. When he found the right island, he marked it on the map.

    -Then, he explained to my buddy on the helm which direction to head. He also warned of potential obstacles in the way. 

    That's all before we start talking about the process of stopping the ship, repairing the ship, or fighting enemy ships.

    None of this stuff is technically demanding — it all operates like normal video game stuff — but if you're looking for a game that's focused on shooting blunderbusses and cutting down foes, this ain't it.

    "Sea of Thieves" doesn't hold your hand whatsoever, which is both great and not so great.

    At first, "Sea of Thieves" was downright confusing. There's no introduction whatsoever, no form of tutorial. You don't even know which buttons are which if you don't go looking in the settings menu. 

    As I soon realized, the game is mostly intuitive. Of course you have to lower the sails before the ship will move! And the controls are mostly standard video game controls for a first-person game — A to jump, X to interact, and what have you.

    In this way, "Sea of Thieves" seemingly trusts players to figure it out by themselves. Better yet, it asks players to help each other. Unless you're piloting a small ship by yourself (which is dangerous), "Sea of Thieves" requires multiplayer cooperation. There's simply no way to manage steering a massive galleon by yourself without getting overwhelmed.

    In the vast majority of my time with "Sea of Thieves" thus far, this forced cooperation has been very positive. Strangers help me, I help them, and everyone wins. 

    Unfortunately, in the very first group I joined, I was immediately voted into the ship's brig, for no readily apparent reason other than to be cruel. There is no way out other than quitting the game — or if the very people who locked you in vote to let you out. I didn't wait to find out.

    It was a great reminder that multiplayer games are best played with friends instead of strangers.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    elon musk mars bfr rocket spaceship launch earth launch transportation system youtube

    Elon Musk is working on something out-of-this-world in Los Angeles.

    The founder of SpaceX has spokenfor years about building the Big Falcon Rocket: a giant reusable launch system designed to get people to and from Mars (and perhaps around Earth).

    Most recently, Musk said SpaceX hopes to begin short up-and-down launches of the BFR system's 157-foot-tall spaceship in early 2019. The testing will occur on the company's McGregor, Texas, campus.

    Until now, however, SpaceX has been mum about where, exactly, it plans to build such enormous rockets.

    On Monday, a member of the r/SpaceX community on Reddit noticed a curious move by the Board of Harbor Commissioners in Los Angeles. The organization recently and quietly approved a 788-page plan by SpaceX to lease an 18-acre site in the Port of Los Angeles, including a 200,000-square-foot facility to "to manufacture large commercial transportation vessels".

    Eric Berger at Ars Technica has since anonymously confirmed that the facility "is, indeed, intended for the manufacture of the BFR."

    A source close to the matter told Business Insider that SpaceX is likely just weeks away from being officially offered a lease to the site.

    Here's what we know about the proposed plan, and what SpaceX's "state-of-the-art" Mars rocket factory may look like when finished.

    SEE ALSO: SpaceX has some competition — here are 9 futuristic rockets of the new space race

    DON'T MISS: Elon Musk has achieved an incredible feat: Making SpaceX launches increasingly boring

    Musk has dreams of colonizing Mars with reusable BFR spaceships that can carry up to 100 people or 140,000 lbs into space. Eventually, he'd like 1 million people to colonize the red planet over decades, as a backup plan for Earth.

    Source: Business Insider (1, 2)

    Fully assembled, the BFR will be about 348 feet tall — some 40 feet bigger than the Statue of Liberty.

    To transport the rocket's enormous spaceship and booster to a launch site, the company will need to use a boat. Because of that, SpaceX's campus in Hawthorne isn't a practical location to build and assemble the BFR since it's not on the water.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jeff Bezos

    • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' net worth increased by nearly $40 billion in 2017 — the most of any billionaire, according to Forbes.
    • When you break it down, Bezos raked in over $107 million per day in 2017.
    • Mark Zuckerberg, Bernard Arnault, and Carlos Slim were the biggest earners behind Bezos in 2017.


    Several of the world's richest people saw their wealth balloon by billions last year, but none more than Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

    Bezos net worth grew by $39.2 billion in 2017 — "the biggest single-year increase on the Billionaires List this century."

    That's according to Forbes' 2017 and 2018 richest people in the world lists, which Business Insider used to calculate the daily increase in net worth of the richest people in the world. We simply found the difference between their 2017 and 2018 net worths — published by Forbes in March of each year — and divided that figure by 365 to represent the number of days in a year.

    To be clear, these billionaires didn't earn the same amount of money every day in 2017, considering a great deal of their net worth comes from the value of stocks, which can fluctuate wildly. 

    For the purposes of this calculation, every day is counted the same, whether it was a banner day or even one where the billionaire lost millions. Note that figures are approximate because of rounding. 

    See how much the 14 richest billionaires made per day in the last calendar year, ranked from lowest to highest.

    SEE ALSO: Inside the 27-year friendship of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, who didn't even want to meet and now have each other on speed dial

    DON'T MISS: Here's the salary you need to be in the top 50% of earners in 50 major US cities

    14. Michael Bloomberg: $6.8 million per day

    2017 net worth: $47.5 billion

    2018 net worth: $50 billion

    Total increase: $2.5 billion


    13. Bill Gates: $11 million per day

    2017 net worth: $86 billion

    2018 net worth: $90 billion

    Total increase: $4 billion

    12. Larry Ellison: $17.3 million per day

    2017 net worth: $52.2 billion

    2018 net worth: $58.5 billion

    Total increase: $6.3 billion

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The world's oceans are rapidly rising as waters warm and ice sheets melt. Coastal locations, like the San Francisco Bay Area, will be among the hardest hit by the rising tide.

    Beyond sea level rise, San Francisco is slowly sinking at a rate of up to 10 millimeters per year in a process called subsidence.

    All this incoming water will have devastating consequences for the area, where pricey real estate developments and clusters of billion-dollar tech companies may be forced to relocate. 

    Research group Climate Central has created a plug-in for Google Earth that illustrates how catastrophic an "extreme" sea-level rise scenario would be if the flooding happened now, based on projections in a 2017 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA).

    The group's estimates are based on the worst-case scenario forecasting from NOAA's data, and it puts into perspective how dangerous the situation could get for San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and the Greater Bay Area.

    While Apple's brand-new office in Cupertino will be safe, companies based in Menlo Park, like Facebook, will be totally inundated (assuming these companies stay in the same place for the next several decades).

    Check out below which tech companies could have their offices flooded if climate change continues unabated.

    SEE ALSO: Disturbing before-and-after images show what the San Francisco Bay Area could look like in 2100

    Here's San Francisco today.

    And here's what the city's core may look like by 2100, if the worst-case scenario sea level rise pans out.

    Linkedin's San Francisco office is just at the edge of the predicted flood plain, while Square and Twitter look safe — for now.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sergei skripal

    Britain has accused Russia of trying to kill former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter with a deadly nerve agent — but the Kremlin is fighting back.

    The UK blamed Russia partly on the grounds that Novichok, the poison used in the attack, was developed in the former Soviet Union. Allies including the US, France, and Germany have agreed that this is the only plausible explanation.

    Regardless, the Kremlin has denied all involvement. Instead Russian officials and state media outlets have promoted numerous alternative theories which they claim could lead to the real culprits.

    British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Monday described the proliferation of theories as "a classic Russia strategy of trying to conceal the needle of truth in a haystack of lies and obfuscation."

    Scroll down to read the theories in question.

    SEE ALSO: Putin is thought to be testing how isolated Britain is after Brexit — and he won't like the results

    1. Britain supplied the poison itself from a chemical weapons lab.

    On Sunday, Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's ambassador to the European Union, suggested that the Novichok could have originated from a UK military lab at Porton Down.

    The facility is where scientists analysed traces from the murder this week, leading Britain to point the finger at Russia.

    In an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Chizhov said: "Porton Down, as we now all know, is the largest military facility in the United Kingdom that has been dealing with chemical weapons research.

    "And it's actually only eight miles from Salisbury."

    He later added: "I don't have any evidence."

    The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday also used satellite imagery to claim that new labs were built at Porton Down, and suggested a link to the Skripal attack.


    2. Ukraine did it using leftover Soviet chemical weapons.

    Nikolay Kovalev, the former director of Russia's secret service (FSB), pointed the finger at Ukraine because the former Soviet Union republic could have stockpiled the nerve agent used to attack Skripal.

    Novichok, the deadly nerve agent identified in the poisoning, was developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

    The state-backed RT TV network cited Kovalev as saying: "Given that [such substances] were stockpiled in former Soviet Union republics – sorry, but Ukrainian involvement can’t be ruled out."

    3. Sweden, Slovakia, or the Czech Republic were involved.

    Russian officials have also suggested other European countries could have been the source of the poison.

    Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the likeliest source of the posion is "countries which have been carrying out intense research on the substances from the 'Novichok' program."

    She listed Sweden, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic as the countries she meant, as well as Britain.

    The Swedish , Czech and Slovakian foreign ministries have all bluntly rejected that suggestion.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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

    fish tank 4x3

    The Insider Pick:

    • Keeping pet fish is something of a science. To build a great aquarium for your fishy friends, you need a good fish tank and a few accessories.

    • Whether you want to start out small or go big and bold, the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set is the perfect beginner tank and our top pick for the best fish tank overall.

    • We've also included the substrate, filter, light, and heater you'll need for a planted tank.

    There is something about a beautifully maintained aquarium that eases the mind and soothes the soul. Lush aquatic plants, natural décor elements, and colorful fish come together to create something amazing that anyone can appreciate and any aquarium hobbyist can be proud of. Keeping a fish tank at home does come with its challenges, but the beauty of a healthy and thriving aquarium is a reward in and of itself.

    Whether you are a seasoned aquarium enthusiast or a newcomer, your success in the aquarium hobby hinges on the choices you make when starting out. First and foremost, you need to choose the proper fish tank to sustain the kind of aquatic environment you want to cultivate. From there, you’ll need to outfit the tank with the necessary equipment and decorate it according to your liking before adding your fish and other tank inhabitants.

    Fish tanks come in all shapes and sizes — they can even be made from different materials. Before you start shopping for your own tank, you would be wise to learn about the different options available to you. If you have no idea where to start, you’re in luck because we’ve done the hard work for you!

    We’ve scoured the reviews to bring you our top picks for the best fish tank overall as well as the top choices in five other beginner-friendly categories. We've also included the substrate, filter, light, and heater you'll need for a planted tank.

    Updated on 03/21/2018 by Kate Barrington: Added the substrate, filter, light, and heater you'll need for a planted tank. Also updated prices.

    Read on in the slides below to learn why the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set is our top pick and why you might also like the Marineland Contour Glass Aquarium Kit, the Fluval Spec V 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit, the Tetra 20-Gallon Aquarium Kit, the Marina LED Aquarium Kit, and the SCA Starfire 50-Gallon Glass Aquarium Kit. You can also check out our picks for the best substrate, filter, light, and heater you can buy for a planted tank.

    SEE ALSO: The best saltwater aquariums you can buy

    The best fish tank overall

    Why you'll love it: If you’re looking for a beginner tank that offers the ideal combination of durability and good design, look no further than the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set

    When shopping for the perfect beginner tank, there are several things to consider. First and foremost, you want the tank to be well constructed and sturdy. The two most common materials for fish tanks are glass and acrylic. Acrylic is generally the better choice for beginners because it is 15 times stronger than glass but half the weight. It also doesn’t hurt if the tank comes in a variety of different sizes or if it comes as a combo set with all of the equipment you need for set up. Our top pick for the best overall fish tank for beginners that meets these requirements and more is the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set.

    Not only is SeaClear one of the oldest and most trusted names in the aquarium industry, but its Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set comes in a wide range of sizes from 15 to 50 gallons. Constructed from break-proof acrylic, this aquarium is virtually leak-proof and safe for both freshwater and saltwater use. It comes with a fluorescent light fixture and reflector so you can showcase your fish. You’ll need to purchase additional equipment such a heater and filtration system, but most aquarium hobbyists prefer to choose their equipment on their own.

    Best Automatic Fish Feeders comments on the durability and unique design of the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set. Not only is it stronger than glass, but it is clearer and easier to see through as well. Pet Gear Lab confirms the tank’s durability and attractive design. Fishing Picks names this tank its top choice in fish tanks for 2017, commenting on the elegance of the rounded seamless corners and the fact that it is easy to clean.

    With more than 60 reviews on Amazon, the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set has a solid 4.5-star rating. Buyers love the seamless corners and elegant appearance of the tank as well as the fact that it is easy to clean. Several customers commented that the lighting could be better, but that is an easy feature to replace if you want to choose something better.

    Pros: Available in sizes ranging from 15 to 50 gallons, made from break-proof acrylic for durability, half the weight of a glass tank, rounded seamless corners, clear view all the way around, easy to clean, comes with a fluorescent light fixture

    Cons: Not available in sizes under 15 or over 50 gallons, doesn’t come with a filter or heater, some assembly required, included fluorescent light may not be adequate for planted or reef tanks

    Buy the SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set on Amazon for $349.99

    The best betta fish tank

    Why you'll love it: The Marineland Contour Glass Aquarium Kit includes everything you need to get started with your betta tank, and it has a unique design that will show your fish off both day and night.

    If you’ve never kept aquarium fish before, you should start out with a species that is beginner-friendly. Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are a great option for beginners because they are relatively hardy and easy to care for. One thing to keep in mind is that males of the species are highly territorial and should be kept in a tank by themselves. This is perfect for the beginning aquarium hobbyist, however, because you only need to worry about meeting the needs of a single fish. If you choose to get your feet wet in the aquarium hobby by starting out with a betta fish, we recommend the Marineland Contour Glass Aquarium Kit.

    With a sleek, modern design, the Marineland Contour Glass Aquarium Kit is the ultimate desktop tank and the perfect choice for a betta fish. Available in 3- and 5-gallon sizes, this fish tank is constructed from clear glass with rounded corners to give it a unique appearance. The aquarium kit includes a 3-stage filtration system hidden behind frosted glass as well as an energy-efficient LED light fixture and a hinged glass lid for feeding and cleaning.

    Heavy describes the Marineland Contour Glass Aquarium Kit as a stylish aquarium with bonus features like a hinged light rail and a hidden filter. Aquarium Advisor speaks to the benefits of the LED light fixture which, in addition to being energy-efficient, contains both blue and white lights. During the day, white lights beautifully illuminate the tank while, at night, blue lights give it a subtle moonlit glow.

    Similar to the Marineland Portrait 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit, the Marineland Contour Glass Aquarium Kit offers two options for size and a slightly different lighting system. Either model would be a great option for a betta fish, especially considering that both models have a 4.5-star rating on Amazon and are available at a similar price point.

    Pros: Made from clear glass with rounded corners, available in 3 or 5 gallons, comes with a hidden 3-stage filtration system, included LED light fixture with white and blue lights, hinged glass lid for easy feeding and cleaning, perfect for desktop use, room to install a heater

    Cons: Doesn’t come with a heater, may be difficult to remove and replace the included filter, stock lighting could be stronger, water flow from the filter is not adjustable  

    Buy the Marineland Contour Glass Aquarium Kit on Amazon for $63.97

    The best fish tank with less than 10 gallons

    Why you'll love it: With an integrated 3-stage filtration system and included LED light fixture, the Fluval Spec V 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit has everything you need to get started.

    Small fish tanks under 10 gallons in capacity are often referred to as “nano tanks.” While maintaining a healthy environment in a tank this small comes with its challenges, a small tank offers certain benefits. It is a great option for people with limited space for a larger tank and it is cheaper to run. Some aquarium hobbyists also enjoy the challenge of cultivating a thriving aquatic ecosystem in such a small space. Our top pick for a fish tank with less than 10 gallons is the Fluval Spec V 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit.

    Made from durable etched glass with a contemporary design, the Fluval Spec V 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit is an impressive tank for its size. With an integrated 3-stage filtration system and included LED light fixture, this tank comes with everything you need to get started. Its 5-gallon capacity is large enough for several small fish but not so large that it takes up a lot of space in your home.

    Equipped with 37 LEDs to give your tank a gorgeous glow, Aquarium Adviser notes that this tank will keep your fish looking their best while the integrated 3-stage filtration system will keep them feeling their best. The tank comes with a foam block for mechanical filtration, activated carbon for chemical filtration, and BioMax Bio rings for biological filtration. The combination of the three will ensure excellent water quality to keep your fish healthy and thriving. Best Reviews includes this tank in its top five picks for the best fish tank, adding that it is small enough for a desktop or dresser but big enough to hold a few fish.

    With more than 300 reviews on Amazon, the Fluval Spec V 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit has a strong 4.5-star rating. Buyers love the contemporary design and the strength of the integrated filter, though some say the lighting could be stronger. Overall, however, this product receives excellent reviews.

    Pros: Made from durable etched glass, contemporary design with an aluminum trim, included tank hood with LED light fixture, integrated BioMax 3-stage filtration system, filter has an adjustable flow rate, small enough for desktop or dresser, 5-gallon capacity can hold several small fish

    Cons: Doesn’t come with a heater, integrated lighting could be stronger, doesn’t include gravel or other tank decorations, included filter may be difficult to remove and replace

    Buy the Fluval Spec V 5-Gallon Aquarium Kit on Amazon for $89.99

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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  • 03/21/18--08:36: 33 things you can buy for $1
  • one dollar bill

    • Deals are out there, but they aren't always cheap.
    • Luckily for frugal people, there are many cheap things you can still buy for a dollar.
    • And some of those deals are useful: a snack, a book, and a good deed can all cost just a buck.

    A dollar won't get you very far in 2018.

    But on the bright side, there's still plenty of useful things you can buy for a buck, from food and entertainment to a pair of glasses for someone in need.

    Here are 33 ways you can spend your hard-earned dollar:

    SEE ALSO: Income inequality is growing across the US — here's how bad it is in every state

    DON'T MISS: This couple flew around the world in first class using airline points — and paid less than $2,000 for $55,000 of airfare

    A slice of pizza at a dollar slice restaurant in New York

    A song on iTunes

    A McChicken sandwich, cheeseburger, or drink at McDonald's

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Wild wild country

    Netflix's latest docuseries, "Wild Wild Country," depicts the scandals surrounding a "crazy sex cult" that in 1984 committed the largest bioterror attack in US history. 

    The series traces the controversial history of the Indian mystic Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and the spiritual movement he founded in Mumbai in 1970.

    In 1981, Rajneesh fled political resistance in India and led his thousands of followers ("Rajneeshees") to construct a utopian city in the desert of Wasco County, Oregon.

    When the new, expansive commune came into conflict with local ranchers and the Oregon government, many shades of trouble ensued. 

    The following is a brief history of the Rajneeshee movement and its controversies, as depicted in Netflix's "Wild Wild Country" through six hour-long episodes of archival footage and interviews: 

    SEE ALSO: All your favorite Netflix original shows that are coming back for another season

    In 1970, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho, founded a spiritual movement and commune in Mumbai, India. His teachings — which featured "an odd mix of capitalism, meditation, ethnic and dirty jokes, and open sexuality"— earned him an international following and reputation as a "sex guru."

    Source: Slate

    In the early 1980s, Rajneesh faced increasing pressure from Indian authorities over his group's sexual rituals and controversial practices. In 1981, he fled the country and gathered around two thousand of his followers to establish a utopian city on a 64,000-acre plot of land in Wasco County, Oregon.

    Source: Oregon Live

    The utopian commune, called Rajneeshpuram, immediately came into conflict with the small enclave of ranchers residing in the nearby town of Antelope.

    "They're invading," an Oregonian says in footage from the series. “Maybe not with bullets, but with money and, um, immoral sex."


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • More couples than ever are cohabitating before getting married. 
    • If you're already spending a lot of time with your partner, it might not feel like a big deal to take the next step. 
    • I moved in with my partner and wish I had known what to expect and how to navigate the transition. 


    When you're in a long-term relationship without no ending in sight, it's natural to get to a stage where moving in together makes sense.

    But signing a lease with both your names opens your relationship up to a whole host of potential issues and experiences.

    While I don't regret my decision to move in with my partner of eight years, there are a few things I wish I had known before packing up my studio apartment and making the change. 

    SEE ALSO: 10 dating mistakes you're probably making that are sabotaging your relationships

    Your space is no longer your own.

    I'd had my own room or space pretty much my entire life.

    It didn't matter what my place looked like because I was the only one living in it. Once I moved in with my partner, I had to confront the fact that I was no longer the head of household and I could never consider our place as only mine.

    It was a rude awakening for someone who had never shared living space with anyone in my life, save for my freshman year in college. 

    Your partner probably won’t appreciate your clutter.

    Your partner's sensibilities will be somewhat different from your own, and this could be a source of tension unless you make peace with it.

    As a writer and a big reader, I was used to being surrounded by books and papers. My love of cooking meant I had an outrageously large pantry full of ingredients which needed a place in our shared kitchen.

    My partner, who's more of a minimalist, struggled to cope with my cluttered but creative approach to home life, and it took a while to find a happy medium that didn’t drive us both crazy.

    Small kitchens aren't made for two people, but cooking for two is better than cooking for one.

    If you’re lucky enough to live in a huge house with a sizable kitchen, I envy you! Navigating a small kitchen was no big deal when I was living on my own, but sharing one with my partner quickly became a frustrating experience.

    Thankfully, we eat dinner together most nights, and cooking for two is so much better than making food just for me. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Lady Gaga Waitress Side by Side

    There's a reason celebrities joke that everyone in Hollywood has waited tables at one point or another.

    The restaurant industry offers evening hours, flexible scheduling, and an element of performance that appeals to those in the entertainment industry, which is why so many singers and actors started out taking drink orders and sweet-talking unruly customers.

    While it's difficult to fathom the likes of Lady Gaga or Mariah Carey serving anyone, a slew of celebrities waited tables between going to auditions or recording their demos just to scrape by.

    Here are 12 celebrities who have restaurants-to-riches stories.

    Madelaine Petsch worked at a hookah lounge.

    Before getting the part of biting, cherry-lipped Cheryl Blossom on "Riverdale,"Madelaine Petsch worked as a waitress at a hookah lounge, among other odd jobs. It definitely sounds like a far cry from the retro, wholesome allure of Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe.

    Amy Adams waitressed at Hooters.

    That's right: the trilling, dreamy Princess Giselle worked at Hooters after high school. "... It was a great job out of high school and I was a hostess at first, and then I waited tables for a while, and it was great," she told Entertainment Tonight. "It was a great way for me to earn money for college."

    Chris Rock scraped shrimp at Red Lobster.

    "I used to scrape shrimp into the garbage can and then load up the dishwasher," he has said on stage. "I never got a raise, I never got a promotion. They kept me in the back because I had really f----- up teeth."

    Word to the wise: if Chris Rock blesses your restaurant, put him front and center.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    piper orange is new blackIf you have noticed some shows popping up in your Netflix watch history unexpectedly, there's a chance someone might have hacked your account. And it's more common than you might think.

    In fact, while putting together this story, I spoke to a colleague of mine who had noticed some suspicious viewing activity of the TV show "Arrow" on her Netflix, and we figured out her account had been compromised.

    Netflix lets multiple people use an account at the same time, and this feature is great when it allows you to mooch off a friend’s account without inconveniencing them.

    But one problem with this policy is that it has inadvertently created a black market for “access” to stolen Netflix accounts. A report by McAfee Labs in 2015 revealed that you could buy access to Netflix accounts in “Dark Web” marketplaces, which can only be accessed using a special internet browser called TOR that hides your computer's digital footprint, known as an IP address.

    Hackers in these marketplaces were selling lifetime access to Netflix accounts for as little as $0.50. While some of these accounts are likely purchased with stolen credit card information, others used hacked login information, Raj Samani, the CTO of Intel Security, told Tech Insider. And sometimes hackers don't even sell the stolen accounts, but rather, just dump the login credentials on the internet for people to use.

    Luckily, there's an easy ways to check if you've been hacked, and fix it.

    Here's how: 

    SEE ALSO: Cable companies still have one big weapon against Netflix — and they're starting to use it

    First, log into your Netflix and go to the "Your Account" section.

    Then check your viewing activity.

    If you see some suspicious activity there, you can check out your recent account access. Note that since your viewing activity can be modified (you can "x" out certain things), if you think your Netflix has been hacked, go to recent account access even if there isn't unusual viewing.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    toys r us ny 1

    • Toys R Us will be closing or selling all 735 of its US stores after filing to liquidate last week. 
    • Back in late January, the company announced plans to close just 170 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores.
    • We went to a Toys R Us store in Yonkers, New York, that was part of the initial round of store closings. Overall, the store was a sad vision of what's to come as Toys R Us closes locations.

    Toys R Us will be closing or selling all of its US stores after filing a motion to liquidate its US business on March 15. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September.

    In January, the company announced plans to close just 170 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores, many of which have already started going-out-of-business clearance sales.

    Toys R Us' liquidation includes a plan to close or sell all 735 of its remaining stores, but sales at these additional stores aren't set to begin until Thursday in at least some locations.

    To see what a Toys R Us store looks like in the midst of the company's demise, we visited a Yonkers, New York location that was part of the initial round of Toys R Us closures. This is what we found: 

    SEE ALSO: We visited a Babies R Us store that's about to shut down — and it was a mess

    The Toys R Us I went to in Yonkers, New York, was on the list of store closures that were announced in January. It will close imminently.

    When I first walked in, there were no obvious signs that it would be closing soon. Everything looked well-stocked, and we didn't see any clearance tags at first.

    As I continued walking through the store, I realized how wrong my first impression was. The shelves only looked stocked because everything was spread out and pushed to the front. There were small sale signs next to nearly every item.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    millennial london happy smiling sunglasses

    • The best places to visit in 2018 range from Rome to Kathmandu.
    • That's according to traveler data compiled by TripAdvisor for its annual Travelers Choice Awards.
    • To find the best places to visit, the site factored in reviews for attractions, restaurants, and hotels.

    We're just a third of the way through 2018, but travelers around the world are already sharing their tips for this year's best vacation hotspots.

    Travel site TripAdvisor announced the winners of its annual Travelers Choice Awards, honoring the destinations worldwide that are at the top of everybody's travel list.

    TripAdvisor chose the winners based on an algorithm factoring in reviews for attractions, restaurants, and hotels, as well as traveler booking interest within a 12-month period. The list of winners contains familiar favorites such as Rome, Bali, and New York City, as well as some unexpected gems like Kathmandu, Nepal, and Marrakech, Morocco.

    We've compiled the 25 highest-rated international cities, as well as the average hotel price and cheapest month to travel for each destination.

    Read on to see where your next getaway should be:

    SEE ALSO: This couple flew around the world in first class using airline points — and paid less than $2,000 for $55,000 of airfare

    DON'T MISS: The strongest passports in the world all come from the same region— and it's an ocean away from the US

    25. Sydney, Australia

    Average annual hotel rate: $260 per night

    Least expensive month to go: May (12% savings, compared to annual average)

    24. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Average annual hotel rate: $121 per night

    Least expensive month to go: April (12% savings, compared to annual average)

    23. Cusco, Peru

    Average annual hotel rate: $103 per night

    Least expensive month to go: April (1% savings, compared to annual average)

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Bob Iger, Disney

    If you've been following Disney for the last few years, you might be under the impression that CEO Bob Iger will rule the company until the end of time.

    Iger's tenure at Disney has been lengthened on multiple occasions, and his most recent contract extension takes him through December 2021. This means he'll be able to make sure the Fox assets Disney is buying for $52.4 billion integrate into the company, and set out a path for Disney's streaming future as it battles Netflix.

    But eventually Iger will have to retire, and the succession plan at Disney is far from clear.

    In 2016, Disney COO Thomas Staggs, who was widely considered to be Iger's heir apparent, left the company unexpectedly when it became clear that he wasn't going to get the top job. Since then no obvious successor has been anointed by Iger, at least publicly.

    Some industry insiders and analysts have speculated that either Disney will look outside the company for a new CEO when Iger retires, or look to the personnel coming over from Fox.

    "It buys [the board] time," Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser said of Iger's contract extension in December. "I don't think they were satisfied that they had a successor inside of Disney, so there's time either to find outside talent or to assess if James Murdoch or someone from the Fox organization is an appropriate successor."

    But when Disney announced a strategic reorganization last week, talk of potential internal candidates started again. The chatter has focused around three men: Kevin Mayer, Bob Chapek, and James Pitaro (though he's considered much more of an outside shot).

    All three have taken on big new responsibilities recently, with Mayer leading Disney's bet on a Netflix-like future, Chapek adding consumer products to his workload, and Pitaro moving to become the new head of ESPN.

    Here's a breakdown of what these three have done so far in their Disney careers, and why they might have a chance to take over for Iger as chief executive:

    SEE ALSO: How to find out if your Netflix has been hacked — and easily fix it in under 5 minutes

    Kevin Mayer — Disney chairman of direct-to-consumer and international

    Kevin Mayer, 55, was named chairman of Disney's direct-to-consumer businesses last week — a role that will include overseeing the streaming services that ESPN and Disney are set to launch this spring and in 2019, respectively. 

    Mayer previously led corporate strategy at Disney since 2005. He oversaw and advised Bob Iger in the company's acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm, as well as its pending acquisition of 20th Century Fox, the largest in Disney's history. 

    Iger has now given Mayer the pivotal task of leading Disney's shift from traditional TV to on-demand services, which multipleoutlets have pointed to as setting up Mayer to be a potential successor to Iger. 

    "Wall Street likes Kevin," Needham & Co analyst Laura Martin told Bloomberg of Mayer's promotion this week. "He's proven himself to be a visionary, of not being afraid of taking risk. Giving him these assets is a worthy experiment."

    Mayer is also currently in charge of Disney's investment in the Hulu streaming service, its international TV networks, and program and advertising sales for ABC and ESPN. 

    In a statement announcing Mayer's promotion on Wednesday, Iger called Mayer "a proven leader who has played a critical role in bringing together the collection of creative and technological assets that will allow Disney to offer unparalleled entertainment experiences in a direct-to-consumer future."

    Bob Chapek — Disney chairman of parks, experiences, and consumer products

    Disney chairman of theme parks Bob Chapek, 57, added Disney's consumer products line to his purview last week. As with Mayer, Chapek's promotion has outletshighlighting him as a potential successor to Iger. 

    Chapek has worked at Disney for 24 years, in leadership roles that ranged from film distribution to home-video entertainment. He also previously served as president of Disney's consumer products line, which he now oversees as chairman. 

    Chapek has earned praise for delivering "steady returns" in heading the company's theme parks division since February 2015. He oversaw the opening of the Shanghai Disneyland park in 2016, which Disney has said is on track to be the most profitable Disney park globally. 

    Disney also noted in its year-end fiscal report last year that Chapek's parks division was among the only four major Disney divisions that posted an increase in sales and profit.

    In a statement announcing Chapek's promotion on Wednesday, Bob Iger called Chapek the "perfect leader" to run the combined parks and products team, given his "impressive record of success at both."

    James Pitaro — ESPN president and cochair of Disney Media Networks

    Disney recently named company executive James Pitaro as the new president of ESPN and cochair of Disney Media Networks, reporting directly to Bob Iger. 

    Pitaro had previously chaired Disney's consumer products and interactive media divisions since 2016. He was also formerly a vice president and head of Yahoo! Media.

    Sources told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that Pitaro is also in consideration to replace Bob Iger as CEO, but that he is considered a "longer shot" than both Mayer and Chapek. 

    Pitaro joined ESPN, a top asset for Disney, as cord-cutting has significantly narrowed the sports-media company's subscriber base. But Iger sees him as the right person to lead ESPN as the company adapts to the digital world.

    "Jimmy forged his career at the intersection of technology, sports and media, and his vast experience and keen perspective will be invaluable in taking ESPN into the future," Iger said in a statement announcing Pitaro's new role.

    Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg also praised Pitaro's promotion, saying that her late husband Dave Goldberg called Pitaro "one of the strongest strategists and managers he knew."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    amazon hq2 chicago c04

    In January, Amazon revealed the top 20 contenders for its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2. One of those locations is Chicago.

    The city has proposed 10 different sites in a mix of urban and suburban spots, including an industrial area on the North Side. Part of the redevelopment, called Lincoln Yards, would include an old steel plant property.

    This week, local developer Sterling Bay unveiled its plans for the site — just in time for Amazon's tour of the city. Although the details of the visit remain a secret, The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the company's HQ2 selection team will peruse at least three of the proposed locations on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Take a look at the newest renderings for the Lincoln Yards redevelopment, designed by SOM, below. 

    SEE ALSO: These Amazon HQ2 finalist cities could be partially underwater in our children's lifetimes

    For the Lincoln Yards project, Sterling Bay plans to invest up to $10 billion redeveloping over 70 acres of former industrial land along the Chicago River on the city's North Side.

    If Amazon picks Chicago, it could come to all — or a combination — of the 10 proposed sites.

    These include two in the city center (The Downtown Gateway District and City Center Campus), two outside the city (Motorola's former headquarters in Schaumburg and McDonald's former headquarters in Oak Brook), and six in industrial areas surrounding the city (The River District, Fulton Market, The Illinois Medical District, The 78, Burnham Lakefront, and Lincoln Yards).

    The site includes the former A. Finkl & Sons steel plant property, which was demolished in 2015. Here's what the plant looked like in 2014.

    After a series of public meetings, the plan will require city zoning approval.

    The development would include millions of square feet of residential, office, and retail space, as well as a 20,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof. A riverwalk would wind through the area.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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

    best natural makeup

    The Insider Pick:

    • When it comes to natural makeup, it’s hard to know which brands you can actually trust. Many products claim to be natural but contain potentially harmful synthetic ingredients. For a high-performance makeup range that's formulated from natural, organic, and non-toxic ingredients, Jane Iredale is our top pick.

    Natural beauty has exploded in the past few years. Everyone is talking about “clean beauty” as people have become more aware of the potentially adverse effects of certain synthetic chemicals that are often found in makeup. The more careful people become about what they put on their skin, the more popular natural makeup has become.

    The biggest difference between “natural and “synthetic”makeup is the ingredients. Most synthetic makeup products contain potentially harmful chemicals including parabens, phthalates, and SLS. According to studies, your skin can absorb up to 64% of what you place on it. If you find this concerning, perhaps it’s time to go green.

    Unfortunately, due to lack of regulation in the US beauty industry, many products labeled “natural” actually still contain these synthetic chemicals. Even when doing our research, we found it wasn’t always easy to get definitive answers on exactly what ingredients were used by some brands.

    Products cannot be labeled “organic” unless they are USDA Organic-certified, which means formulated with at least 95% organic ingredients that were grown and produced without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics, and formulated without GMOs, toxic chemicals, parabens, synthetic fragrances, or nano particles. However, in California products can be labeled “organic” if they are made with 70% organic ingredients.

    The ingredients list on makeup products can be overwhelming, and it's often in very small print. A good way to check how safe a product is is to visit the online EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Here you can verify the safety ratings of more than 73,000 beauty products.

    One of the biggest concerns with natural makeup has been poor quality and effectiveness. However, thanks to the increase in demand, there is a new generation of makeup brands with bigger and better ranges, with highly effective products formulated from safe and natural ingredients. So, whether you’re lusting after a full-coverage foundation or longing for a strong mascara, there is a great selection of natural makeup on the market. On the downside, products are usually more expensive and might not last as long.

    I was initially very skeptical about how good natural makeup could be, but, after finding out all about potentially harmful ingredients you can find in regular makeup and testing a wide range of products, I’m converted. With our opinions backed up by beauty experts, dermatologists and buyers, we have come up with the best natural makeup brands you can trust.

    Read on in the slides below to find out why Jane Iredale is our top pick and why you might also like RMS Beauty, Mineral Fusion, Ilia Beauty, and Burt's Bees.

    SEE ALSO: The best eye creams you can buy

    The best natural makeup brand overall

    Why you'll love it: Jane Iredale’s makeup is packed with natural, organic, and non-toxic ingredients that are good for your skin, and the products deliver exceptional results. 

    Jane Iredale has developed a line of mineral makeup formulated with high quality, natural ingredients that are designed to nourish the skin and enhance its natural beauty. The company is known for its multi-tasking products and on-trend, highly pigmented shades. The products are free of perfume, alcohol, synthetic chemicals, and artificial dyes. The makeup is also cruelty-free.

    We tried the entire makeup line to see if it lived up to the hype. The Amazing Base Loose Mineral Powder is now one of my favorite foundations. This multi-tasking product comes in 12 shades and is water-resistant. It acts as a foundation, concealer, and sunscreen with SPF20, plus it soothes your skin. I loved the coverage and it didn’t irritate my sensitive skin.

    The Longest Lash Mascara comes in a squeezable tube and adds volume and length. The Eyeliner Pencil comes in five colors, and it's soft, so it glides on smoothly.

    The Pure Moist Lipstick works wonders. Available in 26 colors, it combines vivid pigments with nourishing natural oils and fruit extracts. I liked the fruit scent and it tasted nice, too. I love the PurePressed Blush, a mineral blush that comes in 10 gorgeous colors and has maximum staying power.

    It’s not just us who think Jane Iredale products are amazing. They are highly rated by dermatologists and plastic surgeons. The makeup line gets great praise on The Good Trade, The Trendspotterand Natural Living Ideas. The makeup is hugely popular with Nordstrom buyers, too.

    Pros: Free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, oil-free, certified cruelty-free, vegan, suitable for sensitive skin, very effective, wide range

    Cons: Expensive

    The best non-toxic makeup brand

    Why you'll love it: For non-toxic makeup that delivers great results and is packed with natural ingredients that are actually good for your skin, RMS Beauty is the best.

    RMS Beauty is a clean beauty brand that prides itself on the simplicity of its makeup products. The makeup is formulated with unrefined raw, food grade, and organic ingredients, and it's free of toxic chemicals and artificial preservatives.

    The award-winning “Un” Cover-up can be used as a light foundation or concealer, and it comes in eight shades. It evened out my skin tone and gave it a healthy glow. Makeup artists and celebrities swear by the Living Luminizer, and I agree that it’s a must-have for your handbag.

    The Volumizing Mascara is good for sensitive eyes. Some buyers reported it doesn’t give much volume but I added a couple more coats and it worked perfectly.

    The Wild With Desire Lipstick is also great and comes in 10 beautiful shades. I was impressed with the high color from the rich pigments. For lips and cheeks, the Lip2Cheek, which is available in nine shades ranging from Blush Nude to Deep Berry, is also very popular. I love the natural effect it produces.

    As well as being highly rated by She Knows, Refinery29, and Allure, Sephora shoppers give RMS Beauty glowing reviews.

    Pros: Non-toxic, cruelty-free, gluten-free, no artificial preservatives, GMO

    Cons:  You get all the basics, but the range is fairly limited

    The best cruelty-free makeup brand

    Why you'll love it: For a fabulous, mid-priced makeup line that is certified cruelty-free and non-toxic, Mineral Fusion is hard to beat.

    Mineral Fusion combines pharmaceutical grade minerals, antioxidants, natural ingredients, and the latest technologies to provide makeup that is safe, protective, and effective. All the products are Leaping Bunny certified, which means they're cruelty-free. They are also are free from parabens, gluten, artificial colors, phthalates, and other harsh ingredients.

    The highly rated Pressed Powder Foundation comes in 12 shades and is amazing. You can build it up where you need more coverage, and it has a matte finish. I love the Concealer, a creamy duo that comes in four color options and is great for blemishes and dark under eye circles.

    The Lengthening Mascara is a rich, gentle formula that made my lashes look longer and fuller. The Eye Liner was soft and easy to apply.

    The Mineral FusionLip Stick is now my new favorite lipstick. It comes in seven colors and contains Vitamin E to moisturize and pomegranate to detoxify. There is also a fabulous 3-in-1 Color Stick for cheeks, eyes, and lips that comes in three shades. My favorite shade is Terra Cotta.

    Mineral Fusion is rated the top mineral makeup brand on Best Reviews and gets glowing praise on Project Grace. The range also gets very positive from Influenster reviewers.

    Pros: Certified cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, made with non-toxic ingredients, great for all skin types.

    Cons: Can be hard to find in stores

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump smiles after signing an executive order directing federal agencies to recommend changes to a temporary visa program used to bring foreign workers to the United States to fill high-skilled jobs during a visit to the world headquarters of Snap-On Inc, a tool manufacturer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S., April 18, 2017.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

    • The federal government announced Tuesday it's suspending premium processing for applicants for the popular H-1B visa program.
    • The suspension was meant to help federal officials reduce the overall visa processing times.
    • The Trump administration has frequently targeted the H-1B visa program in his effort to curb legal immigration.

    For the second year in a row, the Trump administration has suspended a program that allows skilled foreign workers to fast-track their applications for a highly coveted US visa.

    The US Citizenship and Immigration Services agency announced Tuesday that "premium processing" for the H-1B visa will be suspended through September 10, meaning applicants and their prospective US employers are temporarily barred from paying an extra $1,225 fee to have their petitions processed within a shortened 15-day timeframe — instead of the usual months-long wait.

    The announcement came barely two weeks before the window opens for H-1B applications to be filed for fiscal year 2019.

    "This temporary suspension will help us reduce overall H-1B processing times," USCIS said in a news release, adding that the agency has been struggling with a high volume of incoming H-1B petitions and a "significant surge" in requests for premium processing.

    President Donald Trump has frequently targeted the H-1B visa program in his effort to curb legal immigration, even signing an executive order last April specifically targeting the program for federal review.

    Critics have assailed the H-1B visa program for years, arguing companies use it to hire cheap, foreign workers in place of Americans.

    Its proponents say it provides much-needed skilled workers to sectors where companies have struggled to hire Americans.

    Here's everything you need to know about the H-1B visa program:

    SEE ALSO: Trump's immigration policies are opening a door to the Silicon Valley of the North

    DON'T MISS: Trump visited his border wall prototypes for the first time — and the photos are great

    What is the H-1B visa program?

    The H-1B program allots temporary visas to foreign workers with specialized skills.

    H-1B visa holders are classified as "nonimmigrants" who are not expected to permanently reside in the US. Instead, they are intended to be guest workers hired for jobs US companies have struggled to fill with Americans.

    Their visas are valid for three years at a time, and can be renewed only once for another three-year period before workers are expected to leave the US for at least a year.

    Demand for H-1B visas has vastly outstripped supply, and they are therefore awarded by an annual lottery system that results in a chaotic rush to mail in paperwork the very day applications open.

    US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) doles out 85,000 such visas annually — 65,000 go to foreign workers who possess at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent, and an additional 20,000 for those who have earned a master's degree or higher in the US.

    Trump took aim at the "totally random" lottery system in his remarks on Tuesday, saying the visa system must ensure that only the most skilled, highly paid workers are allotted such visas — and never at the expense of American labor.

    Last year, USCIS received 199,000 H-1B applications within five days, the fifth year in a row the visa cap was exceeded in a week or less. Yet applications also dropped from 236,000 applications the previous year.

    It was a significant enough drop that former USCIS director Leon Rodriguez speculated to the Wall Street Journal that Trump's vows to crack down on the program may have deterred some would-be applicants.

    Who uses them?

    The vast majority of H-1B visa applicants work in science, technology, engineering, and math occupations, according to USCIS data from recent years.

    But H-1B visas are used for a variety of other workers outside STEM fields, including teachers, journalists, and models.

    Trump's own companies have made significant use of the H-1B program. Trump Model Management and Trump Management Group LLC, combined, have sponsored nearly 250 models under the program's special H-1B3 visa category for models "of distinguished merit or ability," according to The New York Times.

    Even First Lady Melania Trump worked as a model on an H-1B during the 1990s before obtaining a green card in 2001.

    H-1B applicants also disproportionately hail from India, and are sponsored by Indian outsourcing firms. Companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, and Wipro have been called out by the White House and media as scooping up the brunt of the available H-1B visas in recent years.

    In 2014, just 13 outsourcing companies — seven of them based in India — took nearly one-third of all available H-1B visas in 2014, according to The New York Times.

    Why is it controversial?

    The H-1B was intended to bring skilled labor and talent thought to be unavailable within the American workforce to the US . Silicon Valley companies in particular have been vocal proponents of the program, arguing that it supplies necessary talent to growing sectors that need the innovation and creativity.

    But critics say the H-1B program is being exploited by companies to hire cheap foreign labor instead of their more expensive American peers. Anecdotes of American workers being forced to train the H-1B visa holders who are replacing them for lower pay have proliferated throughout the media in recent years.

    Companies are required under federal regulations to declare that the H-1B workers they employ are not displacing American workers, but a loophole exempts them from that rule if the guest workers they employ are paid at least $60,000 per year.

    Since American tech workers usually earn higher salaries than $60,000, companies are able to hire foreign workers at lower salaries than American ones, and need not prove they are not undercutting American labor. White House officials have said that a full 80% of H-1B workers are paid less than the median wage for workers in their fields.

    Trump has been a staunch opponent of H-1B visas since the early days of his campaign, despite his companies' previous use of the program.

    "The H1B program is neither high-skilled nor immigration: these are temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad, for the explicit purpose of substituting for American workers at lower pay,"Trump said in March 2016.

    "I will end forever the use of H1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions."

    The criticisms have validity — a recent research paper found that companies' use of the H-1B program between 1994 and 2001 kept wages down by up to 5.1% and employment of US workers down by as much as 10.8%, even while it created positive effects on the US economy and corporate profits.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    amazon warehouse employee

    • Facebook, Amazon, and Alphabet — Google's parent company — all fared well in LinkedIn's "top companies of 2018" list.

    • Amazon took the top spot, beating out last year's top-ranked company, Alphabet.

    • Tesla, Comcast, and Netflix all rose up in the rankings this year.

    Facebook, Amazon, and Alphabet are some of the biggest names in tech and business today. It's no surprise that plenty of Americans want to work there. 

    But where else do people want to get jobs nowadays? What are the hottest companies out there, in terms of attracting a large applicant pool?

    That's the question that LinkedIn sought to answer in its top companies of 2018 report.

    Using data collected from the job site's more than 546 million members, LinkedIn ranked the 50 companies that people in the US most want to work for.

    The list's metrics included the rate at which users view and apply to a company's job openings, the number of followers and views a company's page accrues, employee retention, and the rate of non-employees asking to connect with a company's employees on the networking site.

    The companies that ended up faring the best spanned industries, from tech giants to banking institutions.

    Here are the top 35 companies on the list that people most want to work for:

    SEE ALSO: A Facebook exec explains why she doesn't hire 'the smartest person in the room' — and the questions she asks to weed them out

    DON'T MISS: A day in the life of the richest person in history, Jeff Bezos — who made $6.44 billion in one day and still washes the dishes after dinner

    35. Nike

    This multinational athletic gear company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon.

    Number of global workers: Over 74,400

    34. Accenture

    Accenture, the world's largest consulting firm by revenue, is a global company with offices and operations in more than 200 cities in 55 countries.

    Number of global workers: Over 411,000

    33. National Basketball Association

    Based in New York City, the NBA is a men's professional basketball league based in North America.

    Number of global workers: Over 2,186

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Young woman in international airport looking at the flight information board, holding passport in her hand, checking her flight

    • You can save money on your airfare depending on when you buy your ticket.
    • On average, the best deals on domestic flights are available 70 days before takeoff.
    • The worst time to buy your ticket is 0 to 6 days before takeoff.
    • However, booking too far in advance can also cost you more.

    Are you in need of a vacation, but have a bank account that disagrees? With a bit of forethought, you don't have to choose between a holiday and fiscal responsibility. analyzed over 917 million airfares and nearly 3 million individual trips in 8,000 markets to determine the best and worst time to buy plane tickets this year. Here are some of their findings.

    SEE ALSO: What $1,500 in rent can get you in every state

    Booking 169 to 319 days in advance will get you the best selection — but not the cheapest tickets.

    You'll get the biggest selection of airlines and seats if you book 169 to 319 days in advance, but you'll also pay $50 more per ticket on average.

    Booking a flight 122 to 168 days in advance will have you spending around $20 more on average.

    Booking between 21 and 121 days in advance is the prime booking window.

    Fares tend to be within 5% of the lowest price when you book during this window.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    A new anonymous messaging app is quickly climbing to the top of the App Store. 

    Lipsi, available for iPhones (and soon Android phones), lets you send and receive messages without revealing your identity. You can also post a link to your Lipsi account on Instagram or Snapchat account to get people to give you anonymous feedback or compliments.

    What makes Lipsi unique is that it's location-based, which means anyone within a 100-yard radius can send you an anonymous message. 

    Lipsi officially launched about six months ago, but it has recently started climbing the App Store's top free apps chart. Right now, it's the 16th most-popular free app, beating out apps like Twitter and Pinterest. 

    Here's how to use Lipsi:

    SEE ALSO: One of my favorite tech gadgets prevents me from ever losing my phone, wallet, or keys — and it only costs $35

    Lipsi is a location-based anonymous messaging app, which means you can chat with people nearby without revealing your identity.

    Lipsi's 23-year-old founder, Matthew Segal, told the Vancouver Sun that he came up with the idea after routinely bumping into a girl he was interested in, but not being brave enough to talk to her.

    Source: Vancouver Sun

    Segal told the Sun that he sees Lipsi being used for more than just dating or hooking up, though.

    In Lipsi's video advertisement for the app, it shows people using it to compliment someone you see in real life, or alert them if they lost or dropped something. 

    According to the Sun, Lipsi is geared toward people age 15 to 25, who are in high school or college.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider