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THE INTERNET OF THINGS 2017 REPORT: How the IoT is improving lives to transform the world

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 02:01 PM PST


This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is disrupting businesses, governments, and consumers and transforming how they interact with the world. Companies are going to spend almost $5 trillion on the IoT in the next five years — and the proliferation of connected devices and massive increase in data has started an analytical revolution.

To gain insight into this emerging trend, BI Intelligence conducted an exclusive Global IoT Executive Survey on the impact of the IoT on companies around the world. The study included over 500 respondents from a wide array of industries, including manufacturing, technology, and finance, with significant numbers of C-suite and director-level respondents. 

Through this exclusive study and in-depth research into the field, BI Intelligence details the components that make up IoT ecosystem. We size the IoT market in terms of device installations and investment through 2021. And we examine the importance of IoT providers, the challenges they face, and what they do with the data they collect. Finally, we take a look at the opportunities, challenges, and barriers related to mass adoption of IoT devices among consumers, governments, and enterprises.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • We project that there will be a total of 22.5 billion IoT devices in 2021, up from 6.6 billion in 2016.
  • We forecast there will be $4.8 trillion in aggregate IoT investment between 2016 and 2021.
  • It highlights the opinions and experiences of IoT decision-makers on topics that include: drivers for adoption; major challenges and pain points; stages of adoption, deployment, and maturity of IoT implementations; investment in and utilization of devices, platforms, and services; the decision-making process; and forward- looking plans.

In full, the report:

  • Provides a primer on the basics of the IoT ecosystem
  • Offers forecasts for the IoT moving forward and highlights areas of interest in the coming years
  • Looks at who is and is not adopting the IoT, and why
  • Highlights drivers and challenges facing companies implementing IoT solutions

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the IoT.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 15 things you didn't know your iPhone headphones could do

Russia practiced electronic warfare on its own troops during a massive military exercise this year

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 01:45 PM PST

POINT-OF-SALE TERMINALS: How evolving merchant demands are pushing POS terminal providers to up their game in an increasingly competitive environment

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 01:09 PM PST

pos terminals graphicThis is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

The downfall of US brick-and-mortar commerce is overblown — despite sharp gains in e-commerce, which will nearly double between now and 2021, the lion’s share of purchasing continues to take place in-store. And that’s unlikely to change anytime soon, since the online environment can’t yet compensate for the reasons customers like brick-and-mortar shopping.

That means the point-of-sale (POS) terminal, which merchants use to accept payments of all types and to complete transactions, isn’t going anywhere. But that doesn’t mean it’s not changing. As merchants look to cut costs amidst shifts in consumer shopping habits, POS terminals, which were once predominantly hardware offerings used exclusively for payment acceptance, are evolving into full-service, comprehensive solutions. These new POS terminals are providing an array of business management solutions and connected offerings to complement payment services. 

This is where the smart terminal, a new product that’s part-tablet, part-register, comes in. Merchants are increasingly seeking out these offerings, which afford them the connectivity, mobility, and interoperability to run their entire business. And that’s shaking up the space, since it’s not just legacy firms, but also mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) players and newer upstarts, that offer these products. 

As merchants begin demanding a wide variety of payment solutions, terminal providers are scrambling to meet their needs in order to maintain existing customers and attract new ones. This is leading to rapid innovation and increased competition in both the POS terminal hardware and software spaces.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together a detailed report on the shifts in this landscape, how leading players can meet them, and who’s doing it most effectively.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Evolving merchant needs are impacting POS terminal players’ strategies. Merchants select terminal providers based on four key areas: payment functionality, user experience (UX), over-the-top (OTT) offerings, and distribution/customer service. Terminal firms need to innovate in these areas, or risk falling behind.
  • Larger players need to double down on existing success. Smaller players can often be more nimble, which gives them the opportunity to innovate more quickly and build in-demand solutions. That’s a disadvantage to market leaders; however, they can, and should, leverage their massive distribution networks when upgrading or updating their offerings. Meanwhile, smaller players can win by focusing on niches instead.
  • It’s all about the platform. No single feature is likely to make or break a merchant’s decision to pursue a specific provider. Above all, they want a robust ecosystem that can evolve over time. 

In full, the report:

  • Explains the current state of in-store retail and why terminal firms need to evolve to meet it.
  • Groups features that matter to merchants and explains why they’re important and what terminal providers stand to gain from focusing on them.
  • Determines the leading players in the space.
  • Assesses how the leading players stack up, and which offerings are the most comprehensive.
  • Issues recommendations about how to develop an attractive platform that best serves merchants' needs as the market continues to shift. 

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND more than 250 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase and download the report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

Join the conversation about this story »

Take a look at what employees at top companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, and PayPal do for fun in the office

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 12:49 PM PST

SAS R chessboard

All work and no play makes ... well, certainly nothing good for office morale.

When Business Insider toured the offices of Yelp, LinkedIn, Facebook, Kickstarter, and Adobe, both virtually and in person, we found that they're all full of opportunities to have a little fun in the workplace during the day.

From swinging around in the gym to playing some fun, old-fashioned board games, here's what these employees do at the office when they aren't working:

SEE ALSO: A look inside Kickstarter's Brooklyn office, where employees enjoy perks like a secret rooftop garden, coffee on tap, and plenty of dogs

DON'T MISS: A look inside Facebook's New York office, where employees of the $280 billion company enjoy virtual reality games and an in-house pastry chef

SAS employees can cool down throughout the day by swimming a few laps in the company pool.

They're also free to visit the meditation garden for a group yoga session.

See the full SAS office tour »

Employees at Yelp's Manhattan office can enjoy a game of corn hole during work hours ...

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Join us at IGNITION: Future of Media!

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 12:08 PM PST

IGNITION Henry onstage

Hello, everyone!

Our 8th annual IGNITION: Future of Media conference kicks off on Wednesday. We'll be at the Time Warner Center in New York City. We would love to see you there.

This year, we'll be joined by, among others:

  • Bharat N. Anand, Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
  • Robert Bakish, President & CEO, Viacom
  • Dean Baquet, Executive Editor, The New York Times
  • Martin Baron, Executive Editor, The Washington Post
  • Nick Bell, VP of Content, Snap Inc.
  • Alex Blumberg, Cofounder & CEO, Gimlet Media
  • Tucker Carlson, Host, Tucker Carlson Tonight
  • Fiona Carter, Chief Brand Officer, AT&T
  • Anne M. Finucane, Vice Chairman, Bank of America
  • Scott Galloway, Founder, L2
  • Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment
  • Chris Hardwick, CEO, Nerdist; Host, The Wall and The Awesome Show
  • Denise Karkos, Chief Marketing Officer, TD Ameritrade
  • Michael E. Kassan, Chairman & CEO, MediaLink
  • Tim Kendall, President, Pinterest
  • Kristin Lemkau, CMO, JP Morgan Chase
  • Ben Lerer, Founding CEO, Group Nine Media
  • Lawrence Lessig, Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard Law School
  • Kate Lewis, SVP & Editorial Director, Hearst Magazines Digital Media
  • Marc Mathieu, CMO, Samsung
  • Janice Min, Media Strategist, Eldridge Industries LLC
  • Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chairman, 21st Century Fox
  • Jonah Peretti, Founder & CEO, BuzzFeed
  • Richard Plepler, CEO, HBO
  • Toni Reid, Vice President, Alexa Experience and Echo Devices, Amazon
  • Dan Rose, VP of Partnerships, Facebook
  • Jeff Schumacher, Founder & CEO, BCG Digital Ventures
  • Larry Thorpe, Senior Fellow, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.
  • Karin Timpone, Global Marketing Officer, Marriott International
  • Marni Walden, EVP & President, Product Innovation & New Businesses, Verizon
  • Troy Young, Global President, Hearst Magazines Digital Media
  • David Zaslav, President & CEO, Discovery Communications
  • Jeff Zucker, President, CNN

The mission of the conference will be to explore where the media industry is headed.  We’ll discuss the future of TV, print, audio, journalism, and marketing. We'll look at how to survive the era of "peak content," audience development in a platform world, and building trust when media and social media platforms have never been more under fire.

Also, new this year, we’ll be unveiling our annual CMO50 list of the most innovative marketers today. Finally, we’ll spotlight a group of exciting new media start-ups.

Future of Media is November 29-30 in New York City. We hope to see you there!

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 6 airline industry secrets that will help you fly like a pro

CHATBOTS EXPLAINED: Why businesses should be paying attention to the chatbot revolution (FB, AAPL, GOOG)

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 11:03 AM PST

bii chatbot ecosystem

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

Advancements in artificial intelligence, coupled with the proliferation of messaging apps, are fueling the development of chatbots — software programs that use messaging as the interface through which to carry out any number of tasks, from scheduling a meeting, to reporting weather, to helping users buy a pair of shoes. 

Foreseeing immense potential, businesses are starting to invest heavily in the burgeoning bot economy. A number of brands and publishers have already deployed bots on messaging and collaboration channels, including HP, 1-800-Flowers, and CNN. While the bot revolution is still in the early phase, many believe 2016 will be the year these conversational interactions take off.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we explore the growing and disruptive bot landscape by investigating what bots are, how businesses are leveraging them, and where they will have the biggest impact. We outline the burgeoning bot ecosystem by segment, look at companies that offer bot-enabling technology, distribution channels, and some of the key third-party bots already on offer. 

The report also forecasts the potential annual savings that businesses could realize if chatbots replace some of their customer service and sales reps. Finally, we compare the potential of chatbot monetization on a platform like Facebook Messenger against the iOS App Store and Google Play store.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • AI has reached a stage in which chatbots can have increasingly engaging and human conversations, allowing businesses to leverage the inexpensive and wide-reaching technology to engage with more consumers.
  • Chatbots are particularly well suited for mobile — perhaps more so than apps. Messaging is at the heart of the mobile experience, as the rapid adoption of chat apps demonstrates.
  • The chatbot ecosystem is already robust, encompassing many different third-party chat bots, native bots, distribution channels, and enabling technology companies. 
  • Chatbots could be lucrative for messaging apps and the developers who build bots for these platforms, similar to how app stores have developed into moneymaking ecosystems.  

In full, the report:

  • Breaks down the pros and cons of chatbots.
  • Explains the different ways businesses can access, utilize, and distribute content via chatbots.
  • Forecasts the potential impact chatbots could have for businesses.
  • Looks at the potential barriers that could limit the growth, adoption, and use of chatbots.
  • And much more.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are several ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

Learn more:

Join the conversation about this story »

The most expensive home for sale in Silicon Valley is this $48 million estate with a private lake, horse stables, and a walk-in closet larger than most studio apartments

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 09:05 AM PST

1550 portola road woodside silicon valley home for sale 32

Three out of the five most expensive zip codes in America are located in the tony suburbs of Silicon Valley, where tech moguls pay all cash and bid well above asking price for mansions.

Still, a historic property located down the road from Facebook and Google has some serious sticker shock. 1550 Portola Road in Woodside, California, hit the market for $48 million in July, up almost 700% since the compound last sold at the height of the recession in 2008.

Once belonging to socialite Adelaide Kirkbride, the sprawling circa-1915 home sits on seven acres with a private lake and horse stables. It is currently the priciest listing in Silicon Valley.

We spoke to listing agent Pierre Buljan about what makes this home worth the dough.

SEE ALSO: Inside the most expensive zip code in America, where tech moguls like Eric Schmidt and Paul Allen have their mansions

Woodside is a semi-rural enclave of Silicon Valley where the technorati, including Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, and SoftBank's Masayoshi Son, have lived over the years.

For $48 million, you can be neighbors with the most influential people in tech.

The property at 1550 Portola Road — named "Canardia" — once belonged to local socialite Adelade Kirkbride. An unnamed real-estate investor bought it for $6.1 million in 2008.

The home was not foreclosed on, contrary to past media reports, according to listing agent Pierre Buljan. Multiple families owned the property through a family trust; after several members died, the bank sold it for a bargain price during the housing crisis in 2008.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

RANKED: The 10 best Super Mario games of all time

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 08:59 AM PST

A mustachioed Italian plumber with a penchant for jumping on the heads of his enemies is, unbelievably, one of the most popular video game characters in the world. Hell, he's one of the most popular characters in the world period

Of course, I'm talking about your friend and mine, Super Mario:

Super Mario

It's been over 35 years since Mario first appeared in 1981 arcade classic "Donkey Kong," and, since then, he's been in, like, a lot of games (the Mario Wiki estimates somewhere in the neighborhood of 170). These range from classics like "Super Mario World" on the Super Nintendo, to more esoteric fare like "Hotel Mario" and "Mario's Time Machine."

And now, he's even on Apple's iPhone and iPad!

Super mario run

Perhaps you have young kids at home who are quickly falling in love with "Super Mario Odyssey"? Or maybe you are

Good news: That's a ton of history to dig through! That's where this list comes in: We put together the 10 best Mario games ever made and where to find them (excluding spin-offs like the "Mario Tennis" franchise, "Mario Kart," or "Mario Party" and "Paper Mario"). Let's begin!

SEE ALSO: Nintendo's new Mario game is a great argument for buying a Nintendo Switch

10. "Super Mario Bros. 2"

It may seem like an unlikely place to start, given that it's not a "real" Mario game, but "Super Mario Bros. 2" is fantastic. Notoriously, it's a re-branded, slightly altered version of a game that already existed at the time: "Doki Doki Panic." Whatever.

"Super Mario Bros. 2" is an excellent Mario game.

It's the first to allow you to play as Mario, Luigi, Toad or the Princess. Each of them has their own special attributes. Princess can float mid-jump for a moment or two. Luigi has a slightly higher jump than anyone else. More importantly, it's a surrealist adventure full of crazy landscapes, crazier enemies, and a bird that shoots eggs out of its mouth. It may not be the first Mario game you should start with, but it's one that you absolutely should not miss.

Where can I play this game?

"Super Mario Bros. 2" is available for purchase on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Virtual Console. It's also one of the 30 games on the NES Classic Console.

9. "Super Mario Land"

The first mobile version of "Super Mario" came with "Super Mario Land," an excellent standalone Mario game that took the concept of the original NES game and created something entirely new. It's still a standard "platformer" game — you start on the left side of a level and traverse it by moving to the right, killing enemies and avoiding your own death along the way — but "Super Mario Land" is full of delightful additions, like an underwater vehicle you get to pilot. It's a bizarre, thrilling Mario game that, admittedly, was especially impactful on my very young brain when it was first released back in 1989.

Where can I play this game?

"Super Mario Land" is available for purchase on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console.

8. "Super Mario 3D World"

"Super Mario 3D World," simply put, is the best Mario game that's been made in the last five years. It's gorgeous, fresh, and perfectly designed. Like the best "Super Mario" games of the modern era, it seamlessly blends nostalgia-laced gameplay with fresh twists. 

As a nod to "Super Mario Bros. 2," players can choose to play as Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Toad — each has the same special ability that they had in the original NES game. "Super Mario 3D World" also borrows the overworld map concept from "Super Mario World" (the SNES game) and evolves it to its next logical conclusion: as an explorable world unto itself, full of secrets. 

Each level in "Super Mario 3D World" feels like a gift waiting to be unwrapped, and playing it co-op with friends and family is a true delight. It may very well be the best game Nintendo made for the Wii U.

Where can I play this game?

"Super Mario 3D World" is available for purchase on the Wii U, digitally on the eShop and in-store on disc. Buy it on Amazon right here.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The best TV show of every year since 2000, according to critics

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 08:15 AM PST

breaking bad

Each year in television, one show stands out as the most critically acclaimed program of the year.

Since the turn of the century, the reviews aggregator Metacritic has compiled an annual list of the year's most well-received TV show seasons by assigning scores based on their composite critical reception.

We selected the top show from each year, starting with 2000. The resulting list includes repeated appearances from contemporary classics like "Breaking Bad," "The Wire," and "Mad Men" for their most notable seasons.

Check out the best TV show of every year since 2000, according to critics:

SEE ALSO: All 26 notable new Netflix original shows that debuted in 2017, ranked from worst to best

2000: "The Sopranos" (Season 2)

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.3/10

What critics said: "It's difficult to single out any particular aspect of the show: It's just plain brilliant." — Variety

2001: "The Office: UK" (Season 1)

Critic score: 98/100

User score: 8.6/10

What critics said: "It takes a little while to get into it (episode two clinched it for me), but once you get used to the accents and dry humor, you're hooked." — The Chicago Sun-Times

2002: "The Office: UK" (Season 2)

Critic score: 93/100

User score: 8.9/10

What critics said: "The pleasure to be taken from 'Office' isn't merely that of laughter — it's the pleasure of watching a piece of entertainment so perfectly made and so delicately acted." — Entertainment Weekly

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Google's new 'landscraper' will be as long as a super-tall skyscraper is high — and it could be the next big building trend

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 08:15 AM PST

landscraper google

When complete, Google's new London headquarters will measure longer than the Shard — the tallest skyscraper in the United Kingdom — is tall. The Shard measures 1,016 feet tall. Google's London headquarters is similar in size, but flipped on its side at 1,082 feet long.

The building's architects — Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studios — call it a "landscraper," meaning it gains most of its size by stretching horizontally rather than vertically.

Google's landscraper will be one of the first of its kind in the world. But futurist Amy Webb expects landscrapers to become more mainstream over the next 20 years in the United States.

"Landscrapers will create entirely new city footprints that we just haven't seen yet in the US, and could make life easier and more realistic," said Webb, who identifies socioeconomic, geopolitical, and business trends based on quantitative data. 

Here's what we can expect from the landscrapers of the future.

SEE ALSO: Designers want to put New York City's homeless in 'honeycomb pods' that attach to buildings

Four major trends point toward landscrapers, Webb said.

The first is a growing migration from America's densest centers, like New York City and San Francisco, to cities with more undeveloped land, like Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. Webb predicts that landscrapers will thrive in metros with more sprawl, since there will be more room to build them.

Source: The United States Census

"We will be freed to locate new economic centers and expand outward, not upward," she said. "There's no reason that other cities — in what most people would consider flyover states — now, in 2017, can't decide that, by 2030, we are going to become America's hub for X, which could be bio-tech, agriculture, genome editing, etc."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Economist Jim Rickards on gold versus bitcoin — intrinsic value is meaningless for both but the bitcoin prices aren't real

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 08:14 AM PST

Jim Rickards is the editor of Strategic Intelligence and the author of Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis. He believes gold can go to $10,000 an ounce but he is much more skeptical about bitcoin. Rickards doesn't trust the bitcoin price action and doesn't believe the cryptocurrency will fare well in a financial crisis. Following is a transcript of the video. 

Jim Rickards: Hi, I am Jim Rickards,  editor of strategic intelligence. Today I’m going to talk today about gold vs. Bitcoin — it's a very popular debate. I'm happy to say the gold and bitcoin are both forms and money but it's a liquidity preference which do you prefer in a crisis?    

Sara Silverstein: So we've been talking a lot about gold versus bitcoin, everybody has. You love gold. How do you feel about bitcoin? How do the two compare?

Rickards: Personally I’m very skeptical of bitcoin, I know where the price action is. It’s, you know, going up about 10% a day at this point. Although bitcoin could go up to 20,000, it can go to 30,000. It's on it’s way to zero — somewhere between zero and 200. It’s a utility token for criminals, terrorists, money launderers, tax evaders — they’ll always find some use for it. So it might not go all the way to zero. It’s clearly a bubble — it looks like the second biggest bubble in history after tulip mania. Although at the rate it's going it will pass tulip mania, you know, in a matter of days. [It’s] bigger than the south sea bubble, bigger than the Mississippi bubble, New York’s — the Dow Jones in 1929, the Nikkei in 1989 — name your bubble, it's bigger than all of them. So I don't own any, I don't recommend it to clients. But, you know, I'm a free market guy, if people want to buy it, you know, knock yourself out.

Silverstein: And why are you skeptical of the price transactions?

Rickards: A couple reasons — number one, there’s pretty good evidence that there's a lot of fraud going on. Look, every market in the world — gold, silver, stocks, bonds, Libor — every market, you name it. They've all been searching to manipulation. That's why we have all these regulators; that's why we have the SEC; that’s why the stock exchange is regulated, etc. Are we supposed to believe that bitcoin is the only market in history that's not manipulated? That’s nonsense, of course it is.

In fact, the fact that it’s unregulated is a magnet for all the manipulators who probably were, you know, The Wolf of Wall Street, you know, 20 years ago. So the point is — imagine the following: you and I are bitcoin miners, right? So I sell you at 10,000. You sell back to me to 10,100. I sell back to you at 10,200. We just traded back and forth all day. There’s no P&L. We’re trading the same bitcoin back and forth. That’s called painting the tape. These exchanges get reported on the bitcoin exchanges. So an outsider who’s completely naive about this, says, “oh look the price is going up.”

It's just you and me painting the tape. It’s the oldest, you know, the oldest fraud in the book. It’s call a ramp or, you know, whatever you want to call it. But the point is that brings in the suckers from the sidelines and then they buy it. And, of course, what do we care? We're miners so our costs — the costs are going up very steeply by the way — this thing is completely non-sustainable. There have been — the amount of electricity power — the reason the bitcoin miners are in China is because they burn coal, pollute the air, and have subsidized electricity. Or they’re in Iceland because it's so cold, it reduces their cooling costs for all the computing power.

Right now they're using — bitcoin miners — every year are using as much electricity as the country of Nigeria — a country of 90 million people. Before long will be using as much as Japan, third largest economy in the world. That's not going to happen. You can say that, that’s the simple extrapolation, but there's no way the bitcoin industry is going to be allowed to use as much electricity as the country of Japan. But that's how much you need to mine the bitcoin. So they're going to hit a wall, in terms of total bitcoin output. At that point the miners have no incentive to mine. So who’s going to validate the blockchain? Are they going to charge a fee? Well fine, that sounds like Wells Fargo. That’s what banks do.  

Silverstein: And when you talk about the electricity cost and other costs of mining, and some people equate that with the value of bitcoin. Where do you stand on the valuation theory of ...

Rickards: Yeah that would be like looking at electricity and mining costs, that would be what you call intrinsic value, which is not how we’ve valued anything since 1871. David Ricardo came up with the theory of intrinsic value around 1812. Karl Marx took the ball and ran with it. And he said yeah, intrinsic value, but you know, capitalists control the means of production so they extract excess value from labor, labor doesn't get their fair share. All that’s nonsense in terms of how we value things. This was overthrown by Karl Manger in 1871, University of Vienna.

He came up with a subjective theory of value. Something is worth what anyone will pay for it. If you and I — you know, if I'm a miner — say a gold miner, a real gold miner, and my costs of production are $1,400 an ounce and the market for gold is $1,300 an ounce, you don't care about me. You’ll say, “Jim, I'll pay you $1,300. I'm not going to pay you $1,400, just because your costs are higher. That's your problem.” So intrinsic value is meaningless. What does matter is subjective value. And that’s true of bitcoin and gold. So when I see bitcoin at $11,000 an ounce or whatever, that’s somebody's subjective valuation of what it's worth, leaving aside the fact that the price is manipulated. That's a separate issue.

But the point of subjective value is based on confidence. It's a liquidity preference. If you're willing to transfer your hard-earned dollars to get a bitcoin, you're expressing a liquidity preference for a different form of money. But confidence is fragile. It can be very easily lost and when it's lost, it's impossible to regain. So there are lots of forms of money in the world. I consider gold money. I’ll say bitcoin’s money. Euro’s money, dollar, yen, yuan — they’re all forms of money. Which one do you want? Where do you want to put your wealth? That’s a liquidity preference. And again, if you’re throwing your wealth into bitcoin and that confidence is lost, what’s left?

Silverstein: And so if intrinsic value doesn't matter, because that's the strong argument we hear a lot for gold.

Rickards: It doesn't matter.

Silverstein: So then what — is it all a liquidity preference? What makes gold more valuable in your eyes than bitcoin?

Rickards: Well basically it has been around a long time. Bitcoin has never weathered a recession or financial crisis. So bitcoin was invented in 2009. We have not had a recession or financial crisis in 2009. We did in 2008, 1998, and many others throughout history — 1929, 1873, you name it. I know how well the other asset classes perform in panics. And, you know, not just gold — gold, stocks, bonds — you can see how they perform. We've never seen bitcoin’s performance in a financial panic. So that's a big uncertainty right there, leaving aside the criminality, and the electricity usage, and the fraud, and painting the tape, and who's behind these exchanges — leaving aside all those issues, which I think are big ones. Even just in a pure economic sense, we have no idea how bitcoin will perform in a panic. My estimate is not very well.

Silverstein: And what is the one thing that can cause the whole thing to collapse — bitcoin to go to zero?

Rickards: I think if one of these frauds were exposed. And there is some research out there. Bear in mind, there's nobody kind of looking into these things. There are no regulators. The one big thing, which I do expect is, you know, let’s say you bought a bitcoin for $1,000 and you sold it for $8,000 or, you know, couple days ago or exchange it, you have $7,000 gain you have to put in your tax return. It’s no different than buying IBM at 150 and selling it at 180. You have to put the $30 gain on your tax return. How many bitcoin sellers are putting those gains on their tax returns? I don't know the answer, but my guess is very few. If you don't, you're a felon. That's a felony. That’s how Al Capone ended up in Alcatraz. And people say, “Oh the IRS will never catch me.” Believe me, I was a tax lawyer before I was a securities lawyer. I was the tax counsel to Citibank. The IRS will track you down. They have ways of doing it. People — Americans who had offshore bank accounts in Switzerland — prior to five or six years ago — thought the IRS would never find them either. And they did.

One whistleblower took a CD with all the names and handed it to the IRS. And some of those people are in jail. They’ve arrested brothel owners for tax evasion by counting the laundry bill. They said – they put the burden of proof on you. They say, “No, we estimate your taxes by the following, prove it's not.” The burden of proof is on you. So they’re going to come into all these exchanges, they’re going to request all the books and records. The exchanges are going to give them up, or they’ll be shut down, or they’ll be frozen. Remember even if you have bitcoin exchange you still have to — you have points of connection with the dollar payment system or the euro payment system. You got to get the money in to sell the people the bitcoin. They can all be shut down. They can all be interdicted. The thing — all these things can be frozen. The IRS is all the authority they need. So between the SEC looking at initial coin offerings, the IRS looking at tax evasion, the FBI looking at criminality, and who knows what else is going on, I just don’t want to play in that space.

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Google searches for bitcoin pass Trump for the first time

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 07:31 AM PST

Screen Shot 2017 12 01 at 8.56.17 AM

  • Google searches for bitcoin have surpassed queries for President Donald Trump for the first time.
  • Interest in the cryptocurrency this year has helped drive a nearly 1,000% rally. 
  • US regulators on Friday cleared the way for bitcoin futures trading, which should further increase participation in the crypto market. 


More people are asking Google about bitcoin than are seeking information on the president of the United States, according to Google Trends data. 

It's one anecdote that shows how interest in bitcoin and buying have driven its parabolic 1,000% rally this year. 

Another is the growing number of top Wall Streeters — from bank CEOs to equity strategists — who have been asked or have offered takes on bitcoin. On Thursday, Carl Icahn told CNBC bitcoin was similar to the Mississippi Bubble of the early 1700s.

Bitcoin searches on Google surpassed Trump searches late in November.

Throughout last month, speculation mounted that US regulators would give the green light to futures trading. The confirmation came Friday when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said it would permit futures on three exchanges.

Futures contracts will allow traders to profit from their bets on bitcoin price moves without necessarily buying the cryptocurrency, and could increase participation among larger Wall Street firms.  

Bitcoin jumped 7% to $10,746 against the dollar at 9:04 a.m. ET, after the CFTC's announcement. It hit an all-time high above $11,000 on Wednesday. 

Screen Shot 2017 12 01 at 9.03.55 AM

SEE ALSO: The price of bitcoin has a 91% correlation with Google searches for bitcoin

DON'T MISS: Bitcoin futures trading gets the green light from US regulators

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NOW WATCH: This is why you should be buying gold

The new Kindle Oasis is the best e-reader you can buy (AMZN)

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 07:00 AM PST

Amazon Kindle Oasis

Using the new Kindle Oasis feels a little bit like stepping back in time. That might sound like a bad thing, but it's actually the opposite. The Oasis is a stylish, premium device that takes you back to simpler times, before apps and blue light kept us perpetually distracted and awake too late. 

The device costs $280 and is available to buy now on Amazon

I've been using the Oasis for a few weeks and comparing it to my other experiences using the Kindle app for iPhone and my practically ancient Kindle Fire from 2012. All of these options have their own strengths and weaknesses, but I wound up being pleasantly surprised by the Oasis. 

Here's what it's like:

SEE ALSO: I wanted to recommend Google's Pixel Buds, but I can't — they fall short on too many promises

What most surprised me about the Oasis was its shape and size.

The Oasis has an aluminum body, which somehow manages two seemingly opposite feats: It makes the device feel high-end and expensive, but it also ensures that the Oasis is shockingly lightweight.

At 6.8 ounces, it's only slightly heavier than an iPhone X, which weighs 6.14 ounces. 

The Oasis also has a funny little hump on its back just like the first generation device, which is likely intended to make it easier to grip one-handed. This is a nice feature — and one that's pretty unique to the Oasis — but is rendered useless if you put a case on it. The case snaps on magnetically to the back of the device, sitting flush next to the hump and creating an even back. The hump is nifty, but if you like having a case on your electronics like I do, you'll probably forget it's there altogether. 

Besides the hump, the Oasis is super, super thin at 3.4 millimeters. 

It has a big, beautiful screen too.

The new Oasis gained an extra inch on its display, making it the largest Kindle display on the market at seven inches. 

Amazon says you'll be able to read 30% more before turning the page, but it doesn't really matter the exact amount. What really matters is the fact that the screen size straddles the line of being small enough to hold one-handed, but large enough that you don't feel like you're constantly turning the page. 

This is where testing the Oasis side by side with the iPhone app made the difference really clear. When reading on my iPhone, I feel like I'm swiping to the next page every few seconds, and it makes reading while I eat or drink a coffee nearly impossible. The Kindle's larger screen size was perfect for me, and was my favorite feature of the device. 

I'd choose reading on the Oasis over a digital display any time.

The screen also comes in handy at the end of a long day at work. Staring at a computer screen for hours on end means I don't want to look at another screen when I get home at night. Having the Kindle's E-Ink display meant my eyes — and brain — got a break. My Kindle Fire also has a digital display, so using the Oasis was a wonderful and much-needed change of pace. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How drones will change the world in the next 5 years

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 07:00 AM PST

drone hardware market 1

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

The fast-growing global drone industry has not sat back waiting for government policy to be hammered out before pouring investment and effort into opening up this all-new hardware and computing market. 

A growing ecosystem of drone software and hardware vendors is already catering to a long list of clients in agriculture, land management, energy, and construction. Many of the vendors are smallish private companies and startups — although large defense-focused companies and industrial conglomerates are beginning to invest in drone technology, too. 

In a report from BI Intelligence, we take a deep dive into the various levels of the growing global industry for commercial drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This report provides forecasts for the business opportunity in commercial drone technology, looks at advances and persistent barriers, highlights the top business-to-business markets in terms of applications and end users, and provides an exclusive list of dozens of notable companies already active in the space. Finally, it digs into the current state of US regulation of commercial drones, recently upended by the issuing of the Federal Aviation Administration's draft rules for commercial drone flights. Few people know that many companies are already authorized to fly small drones commercially under a US government "exemption" program. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • We project revenues form drones sales to top $12 billion in 2021, up form just over $8 billion last year.
  • Shipments of consumer drones will more than quadruple over the next five years, fueled by increasing price competition and new technologies that make flying drones easier for beginners.
  • Growth in the enterprise sector will outpace the consumer sector in both shipments and revenues as regulations open up new use cases in the US and EU, the two biggest potential markets for enterprise drones.
  • Technologies like geo-fencing and collision avoidance will make flying drones safer and make regulators feel more comfortable with larger numbers of drones taking to the skies.
  • Right now FAA regulations have limited commercial drones to a select few industries and applications like aerial surveying in the agriculture, mining, and oil and gas sectors.
  • The military sector will continue to lead all other sectors in drone spending during our forecast period thanks to the high cost of military drones and the growing number of countries seeking to acquire them.

In full, the report:

  • Compares drone adoption across the consumer, enterprise, and government sectors.
  • Breaks down drone regulations across several key markets and explains how they’ve impacted adoption.
  • Discusses popular use cases for drones in the enterprise sector, as well as nascent use case that are on the rise.
  • Analyzes how different drone manufacturers are trying to differentiate their offerings with better hardware and software components.
  • Explains how drone manufacturers are quickly enabling autonomous flight in their products that will be a major boon for drone adoption.

Simply put, The Drones Report is the only place you can get the full story on the rapidly-evolving world of drones.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fascinating world of drones.

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How the Boeing jet no one wanted became the plane airlines scour the planet for (BA, DAL)

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 06:53 AM PST

Boeing 717

  • The Boeing 717-200 went out of production in 2006.
  • Only 156 of the planes have been built.
  • A decade later, the airlines that operate the 717 want more of them.

On May 23, 2006, Boeing delivered the last two 717-200 jetliners to customers at its Long Beach, California factory. It marked to the end of a program filled with promise but that had ultimately failed to capture the interest of airlines. Even Boeing's well-oiled sales operation could only manage to muster up 156 orders for the little 100-seat, short-haul-airliner.

Currently, the 717 is operated primarily by four airlines; Delta, Hawaiian, Qantas, and Spanish low-cost carrier Volotea. With 91 of the planes in its fleet, Delta is the by far the type's largest operator.

Incredibly, a decade after being axed from Boeing's lineup, airlines are scouring the planet looking for available Boeing 717s.

"These guys keep begging me to give them more 717s," Dinesh Keskar, Boeing's senior vice president of sales for the Asia Pacific and India, told Business Insider. "But that era over and it's not going to happen."

So how did a plane Boeing couldn't sell become an aircraft that airlines can't get enough of?

The difficult life of the 717

Well, there are several reasons, but first some background. Even though the 717 carries both the Boeing name and company's signature 7X7 naming scheme, it's not actually a Boeing. Rub on that Boeing logo with a brillo pad and some soapy water and you'll soon find the words McDonnell Douglas imprinted on the plane.

Boeing 717In 1997, Boeing acquired its long-time rival McDonnell Douglas for $13 billion. At the time, McDonnell Douglas produced the MD-11 widebody and the MD-80/90 narrow-body. Soon after the merger, Boeing phased out all of MD's commercial airliners. But, it spared a new variant of the iconic DC-9 airliner called the MD-95 that was set to enter service in 1999. (The MD-80/90 were also variants of the DC-9.)

To make it fit better into the Boeing's portfolio of products, the MD-95 was rebranded the 717-200.

However, that wasn't enough to convince to convince airlines to buy in.

Even though it carried the Boeing name, it was still a plane designed and engineered by a different company with differing thinking and philosophies. Thus, the 717 was an orphan that didn't belong to any of Boeings product families.

"We have the 737MAX 7,-8,-9, and -10. We have a family," Keskar said. "You talk to others and they'll tell you that family has a lot of value."

For airlines, there's great financial incentive to have aircraft of varying sizes and roles being operated by the same crew and serviced by the same maintenance teams using the same spare parts. There's a whole of synergy there.

Even though the McDonnell Douglas DC-9/MD-80/MD-90 still served as the backbone of many major US airlines like American, Northwest, and Delta, none of the big boys would take the bate. In fact, when American acquired Trans World Airlines in 2001, it sold off all of its 717s.

Hawaiian Boeing 717During the turbulent days of the early 2000s, the airline industry was reeling from the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and spiking fuel prices. Which means many of the 717's potential customers were either in no financial position to buy any planes or were dumping its aging MD fleet in favor of more fuel-efficient planes like the Boeing 737NG or the Airbus A320.

Interestingly, the people who did buy the plane loves them.

"They're brilliant aircraft. Anyone who has them wants more of them," Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told Business Insider.

And Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley echoed those sentiments.

"It's great little secret. For what we do here in Hawaii, there's no better aircraft built today or even on the drawing board."

Delta CEO Ed Bastian also praised the 717 for its durability and reliability during a recent interview with Business Insider. 

The rebirth of the 100-seat airliner

As with many things in life, what is old is new again. As the airline industry recovered, demand for air travel boomed while investors ratcheted up the pressure to lower unit costs. The solution; upgauging to bigger planes.

Qantas Boeing 717-200As a result, Boeing and Airbus both neglected the 100-150 seat market in favor of bigger, pricier, and higher margin models.

While this was happening, another little phenomenon happened in the airline industry, the regional jet. During the 2000s, Bombardier's CRJ and Embraer ERJ made their presence felt in a big way by offering small 50-70 seat regional jets that allowed airlines and their regional partners to serve routes traditionally operated by turboprops with jets.

"Back in 2009 we had over 500 small aircraft," Bastian said. "The CRJ-200 was our predominant fleet type."

Over time, airlines began to upgauge their regional jets with mainline aircraft. That's where the 717 jumps back into the picture.

With around 100-130 seats, the 717 is the perfect size aircraft to take over for regional jets. In fact, Boeing used to market the 717 as the "Full-size airplane for the regional market."

Delta CRJ"The 717 is very much about how do we get out of the regional jets," Bastian said. "Customers hated the small regional jets, our employees hated them because they looked at it as an outsourcing of their jobs, and our [investors] hated them because they're fuel inefficient and their ownership costs were escalating."

"Even the regional operators didn't the like them cause they are losing money on it because we had the contracts screwed down pretty low," Bastian added. 

With the addition of AirTran Airways' fleet of 88 717s following the low-cost carrier's acquisition by Southwest, Delta was able to drop 200 regional jets from its fleet.

Unfortunately, for Delta or anyone else looking to their hands on a batch of 717s, they are pretty hard to come by. Delta currently operates roughly 60% of all 717s ever made while Qantas and Hawaiian, the second and third largest operators, have no plans to relinquish their planes anytime soon. And while Volotea's said that they will replace their 17 717s with Airbus A319s, there still aren't that many of the 100-seaters out there.

Boeing 717

Since discontinuing 717, Boeing has also stopped selling the smallest variant of the 737, the 737-600. As a result, the company has abandoned the 100-150 seat market.

That's where a plane like the Bombardier C Series, now under Airbus control, comes into the picture. The CS100 is of a similar size to the Boeing 717, but much greater range and fuel efficiency.

According to Bastian, Delta's long-term plan is to eventually replace the airline's older 717s with the 75 CS100 jets it has on order.

Two decades after it first flew, the Boeing 717-200 is still going strong. Even though Boeing didn't sell many of them, those that did buy the 717 can't get enough of them. That's a sign of a great plane.

SEE ALSO: The CEO of the oldest airline in the world explains the major mistake the industry made 20 years ago

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NOW WATCH: We talked to the chief investment strategist at $920 billion fund giant Invesco about where you should invest right now

CITRON RESEARCH: 'Time to pop some real bubbles. $ROKU, total joke' (ROKU)

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 06:47 AM PST

Andrew Left

  • Roku shares have soared more than 200% since their initial public offering in September to more than $45 apiece.
  • Short seller Andrew Left's Citron Research says the stock is a "total joke" and that it will slide back below $40.

Shares of Roku slumped as much as 2.5% on Tuesday afternoon following some downbeat commentary from short seller Andrew Left's Citron Research. They have recouped those losses and are now higher by 2.45% at $47.66 apiece. 

"Time to pop some real bubbles," the firm's Twitter account said. "$ROKU, total joke."

Roku shares have rallied more than 200% since their initial public offering in September. They climbed more than 25% combined on Monday and early Tuesday after Needham analyst Laura Martin compared the service to Netflix and raised her price target to $50 a share.

"Like Netflix, we view Roku as a pure-play on over-the-top (OTT) TV-viewing growth, but Roku has no content risk," Martin wrote. "Recent announcements and press reports that Disney, Google, Amazon, etc. are launching new Over-The-Top services helps Roku but hurts Netflix."

But Citron doesn't agree, saying that Martin's target was "irresponsible" and that its price should be much lower unless it "finds a way to stream a BTC." The firm says RBC Capital Markets Analyst Mark Mahaney's $28 price target is more in line with their thinking. 

Left will be on CNBC's Halftime Report on Wednesday to explain why shares will slide back below $40.

"This is not just a bubble, this is just plain ridiculous," Citron tweeted


SEE ALSO: A new study predicts the top 13 places where Amazon could build its new headquarters

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NOW WATCH: The Fed is trying to prepare for the next recession without causing it

The 25 best-paying small companies, according to employees

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 06:30 AM PST

SendGrid IPO stock exchange bell NYSE

If you believe that working at a small company means a small salary, think again.

This list of best-paying small companies from job-hunting site Comparably shows that good salaries can be had at smaller companies with less than 500 employees. Comparably dug through its database of over 3 million employee ratings on 30,000 US companies to come up with this list of the best-paying small companies, based on self-reported salaries. 

It then went another step and factored in how employees said they felt about their compensation: if they feel were satisfied with the pay for the job title and work expectations.  All of the companies on this list had a minimum of 10
employee reviews that rated their employers' on at least 100 factors.

All of these companies also rank in the top 15% or greater in compensation sentiment.

SEE ALSO: The 50 best-paying big companies, according to employees

No. 25: Opendoor


Average compensation:

San Francisco

What it does: 
Opendoor is an online marketplace for real estate.

No. 24: TripActions


Average compensation:

Menlo Park, California

What it does: 
TripActions offers corporate travel management software that encourages employees to save money for the company.

No. 23: Swift Navigation

Swift Navigation

Average compensation:

San Francisco

What it does: 
Swift Navigation develops GPS software and hardware for drones, autonomous vehicles, and smart devices.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The difference between antiperspirants and deodorants — and how each one works

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 06:30 AM PST

Got B.O.? Don't reach for the antiperspirant. That's not going to do much good. Deodorant is what you need. But why? Following is a transcript of the video.

The simple explanation is deodorant stops the smell, and antiperspirant stops the sweat. But there's more to it than that.

Your armpits stink because of apocrine sweat glands. These glands are all over your skin but they're highly concentrated in your underarm.

Apocrine glands excrete fats and proteins which feed bacteria and create a stinky odor. Deodorants work by targeting that bacteria. Many deodorants contain a chemical called triclosan.

It makes your skin too salty or acidic to support bacteria. It won't keep you dry, but by keeping the bacteria under control, you won't stink.

Antiperspirants stop you from sweating in the first place. Ingredients like aluminum and zirconium plug sweat glands.

Any bacteria in your armpit won't have anything to eat.

You can also avoid smelling bad by changing your diet. Certain foods, like broccoli or cabbage, can make B.O. worse.

Showering helps too!

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Walmart and Amazon are locked in a bitter retail war — but they're becoming clones of each other in the process (WMT, AMZN)

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 06:10 AM PST


  • The retail war between Walmart and Amazon seems to intensify every day.
  • Each company's new initiatives increasingly look like the best ideas of the competitor.
  • This is the future of retail.


If you want to know what the Walmart of the future looks like, it's best to look at Amazon for a rough sketch.

The same goes for the reverse.

As Walmart and Amazon become fiercer competitors, they're starting to look more and more like each other. Walmart continues to move its business online as Amazon moves offline, and they're becoming the first two truly omnichannel retailers in the process.

Walmart is still the indisputable leader offline as the largest retailer in the US — and possibly the world— by sales, while Amazon still dominates online.

Amazon Bookstore NYC

As businesses start to think about an equilibrium between online and brick-and-mortar, there's no better time to consider what America's biggest retailers will look like in the future.

One of the most obvious recent examples is the development of in-home delivery programs. Walmart was first to the punch, launching its limited pilot program with August Home in September. Then, in October, Amazon leapfrogged it with a nationwide rollout of its own program, which it called Amazon Key.

Though it's unclear who started developing the ideas first, the fact remains that both retailers were working on what amounted to the same service at exactly the same time.

There are larger examples from just this year

Walmart grocery

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods and its 450 stores put it on the map with a significant brick-and-mortar presence. That only makes Walmart and Amazon more similar in that they both have physical stores in their portfolio.

Even more similar is the approach that Amazon has taken with its new acquisition, steeply slashing prices of Whole Foods' most popular items to bring customers in and increase store traffic. The strategy is likely familiar to anyone who knows Walmart's story.

2017 was also the year that Walmart got serious about online shopping. Early this year, it started offering free two-day shipping with every $35 purchase.

Yes, free two-day shipping — the same perk that millions of Amazon Prime members enjoy. The only difference is that Walmart's version calls for a $35 minimum order, and no membership is required. 

Amazon's vast product offering is one of the biggest competitive advantages it has over other retailers, but Walmart has nearly tripled its online assortment over the last year, going from eight million to 23 million items.

Those initiatives have caused Walmart's online sales to soar, and they're increasing at a steady clip. As of its investor's conference, e-commerce sales were up over 60%. It's now making a statement that it's a serious online player.

There are smaller examples, too

In clothing, both retailers are reaching for wealthier shoppers. Walmart is teaming up with Lord & Taylor to sell designer goods online, while Amazon is trying to lure luxury brands, like Nike, to its site with better terms.

Amazon has made a big push with its Alexa platform, working to get its Echo device into as many homes as possible. Not to be outdone, Walmart has partnered with Google and its Express platform, which enables voice shopping via Google Assistant. Customers can link their Google and Walmart accounts to enjoy unique features on the platform.

Voice shopping hasn't yet found mass appeal, but both retailers are in the ready position for when it does.

Amazon echo

Still, each retailer has its strengths and weaknesses

A good example of this is grocery pickup. Both retailers offer this, but Amazon currently only has two locations (both in Seattle) where customers can do it, while Walmart has opened more than 1,100 of them.

While Walmart has gotten grocery logistics down to a science, Amazon has traditionally struggled with it, at least prior to its acquisition of Whole Foods.

Walmart grocery pickup

Walmart's pickup-associated discounts, faster in-store returns, and pickup towers make it easier for customers to buy online and get their items immediately. 

But Amazon's half-million products still dwarf anyone else's offerings, and its ability to sacrifice margin to protect market share is formidable.

SEE ALSO: Target is attracting guys to its stores with a trendy new clothing brand — here's what I thought of it

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NOW WATCH: I spent my birthday looking for free food — here's what I got

Apple's head designer Jony Ive says he 'hears' your MacBook criticism (AAPL)

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 06:00 AM PST

Jony Ive

In the past year, some of Apple's most vocal fans have been expressing issues with the company's oldest line of products: Mac computers.

Complaints about Apple's new MacBooks include: 

  • The touchscreen integrated into the keyboard, Touch Bar, is an expensive gimmick.
  • The keyboard is too prone to breaking and does not feel good to type on. 
  • The new MacBook laptops use USB-C ports, which require users to carry a range of adapters and dongles. 
  • MacBook laptops are underpowered compared to similar Windows PCs. 
  • Apple has abandoned its elegant magnetic breakaway chargers (known as MagSafe) for a more conventional smartphone-style charging port. 

That's only a subset of complaints with Apple's newest laptops. Seriously, check out the list of issues compiled by Mac developer Michael Tsai. 

If there's a silver lining for Mac users, it's that Jony Ive, Apple's chief design officer and one of the most powerful people at the company, says he's listening to user complaints. 

"Absolutely, all of your feelings and feedback around the MacBook you use, we couldn't want to listen to more," Ive said earlier this week in Washington DC. "And we hear — boy, do we hear."

It's the second time this year that Apple has said it's listening to Mac user complaints. In April, Apple executives told journalists that some Mac models didn't "well suit some of the people we wanted to reach." At that event, the company said it planned to release a new, powerful iMac desktop for professional users in December. 

SEE ALSO: Apple apologizes for the bug that let anyone log into a Mac with a blank password

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NOW WATCH: Amazon has an oddly efficient way of storing stuff in its warehouses