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4th of July firework colors come from different elements of the periodic table — here's what fuels red, white, and blue stars in the sky

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 01:50 PM PDT

firework white

America is celebrating its independence this week, but there's nothing revolutionary about the way 4th of July fireworks are made.

Fireworks have been built from a mix of explosive powder, chemicals, and glue for hundreds of years; the earliest fireworks shows date back more than 1,000 years, well before the US made its debut as a country 243 years ago. 

Not all fireworks are built the same — you can't get a burst to look red by using the same ingredients as the ones inside a blue or white firework. That's because the color of a firework explosion depends on which kinds of elements are inside, from common metals to rarer minerals and even some salts.

Pyrotechnicians call these bursts of colored light "stars," and they're made of a mixture of fuel, oxidizer (to help the fuel burn), color-producing elements (like aluminum or copper), and a binder (glue), all packed inside a shell. That shell gets fired high into the air before a time-delayed fuse spits fire onto the stars and they take off. 

California-based pyrotechnician and electrical engineer Mike Tockstein, who prepared the Los Angeles Coliseum for its 4th of July show last year, told Business Insider that it takes days of pounding, digging, wiring, and "well over 10,000 pounds of equipment" to set up for that kind of event.

So before you peer up into the sky this Independence Day, take a look at some of the common elements that are making your celebration possible. 

SEE ALSO: A big solar storm could wreak havoc on GPS and everything else on your phone

Yellow fireworks are made from an element you might associate with the color white: Sodium.

You may think sodium belongs in your salt shaker, but burning-hot sodium produces a bright yellow explosion that's perfect for lighting up the sky.



Red fireworks come from a common element called strontium.

Strontium was used in the glass screens of a lot of old color TV sets because it helped block x-rays from hitting us. The element has a yellowish color, but it burns red hot.



Blue hues are still the biggest challenge for fireworks makers to produce. They're made from copper.

"Blue is still kind of the unicorn of fireworks manufacturing," Tockstein said. The temperature of the flame has to be very precise, he added, otherwise you lose the coloring. 

"There's kind of a physics and chemistry limitation that prevents you from getting a good blue," he said.  



Green fireworks are a result of barium salts exploding in the sky.

Most green fireworks are made from barium nitrate, which is toxic to inhale, so it's not used for much else, though it can be an ingredient in grenades



White light is made from aluminum or magnesium.

These chemical elements have some of the highest burn temperatures. By adding them in to other color creations, you can create lighter hues. 



Firework makers also mix different elements together to create even more colors.



Combinations of copper and strontium burn with purplish hues.



Glittering golden chandeliers use one of the oldest fireworks ingredients around: carbon.



A newer effect in fireworks is called "ghosting." It's basically a layering system that involves rolling different colors on top of each other inside each shell.

Some fancy ghosting displays can make colors look like they're dancing and moving. 

"It's more of the artistic side of pyro," Tockstein said. 



Eventually, what goes up must come down. The firework shell that brought lights into the sky falls to the ground as burnt cardboard.

Once the shell breaks, it falls to the ground as charred remains. Tockstein said that's one of the main reasons you should enjoy fireworks shows at a distance. 

"A shell itself is basically a sphere of cardboard," he said.

It's perhaps the least exciting part of the show, but for the people setting everything up, it's a sign that the end of a long workday is near. 

Update: This story was originally published on July 4, 2018. 



Tesla says it delivered a 'record' 95,200 cars in the second quarter (TSLA)

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 01:42 PM PDT

FILE PHOTO: The Tesla Model 3 is displayed during a media preview of the Auto China 2018 motor show in Beijing, China April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Tesla on Tuesday said it delivered a record-setting 95,200 cars in the second quarter of 2019.

Total production for the quarter ended June 31 exceeded deliveries, as is common, leaving a little about 7,400 cars in the lurch at the end of the reporting period. 

Here are the numbers:

Tesla Q1 deliveries

"We made significant progress streamlining our global logistics and delivery operations at higher volumes, enabling cost efficiencies and improvements to our working capital position," the company said in a press release.

The numbers released Tuesday topped many estimates by Wall Street analysts, despite those expectations being raised by some in recent days. Ahead of the report, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson, long a Tesla bear, upped his delivery estimates to 85,000 from 75,000, still well under the total reported by the company on Tuesday.

Shares of Tesla rose as much 7% following the numbers' release.

In the past week, Tesla has lost several vice presidents, including its head of European operations, production, and engineering. 

Do you work for Tesla? Got a news tip? Get in touch with this reporter at grapier@businessinsider.com. Secure contact methods are available here.

Tesla stock price

SEE ALSO: Tesla loses engineering VP amid end-of-quarter delivery rush

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NOW WATCH: Here's why it's so hard to switch from Apple to Android

8 ways to charge your iPhone faster, including using the right charger and taking it out of direct sunlight

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 01:26 PM PDT

iPhone wireless charger

  • If you need to charge your iPhone in a hurry, there are many things you can do to make the charging process faster.
  • Don't charge wirelessly or plug your iPhone into a computer. And the more wattage your wall charger provides, the faster the phone will charge. 
  • You should also turn off your iPhone or put it in Airplane Mode to help it charge faster. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Charging up your iPhone sounds like it should be a straight forward task. But there are a lot of ways to speed up (or unintentionally slow down) the charging process. 

If you're in a hurry and need more battery life as quickly as possible, here's how to make your iPhone charge faster.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone Xs (From $999 at Apple)

iPhone 8 (From $399 at Apple)

30W USB-C Power Adapter (From $49 at Apple)

USB-C to Lightning Cable (1 m) (From $19 at Apple)

30 Watt USB-C Wall Charger (From $25.99 at Apple)

30 Watt USB-C Charger (From $13.99 at Apple)

SEE ALSO: The best and fastest lightning cables you can buy for your iPhone

Use a wall charger

First thing's first: Using a wall charger — any wall charger — is going to be faster than plugging your phone into a computer's USB port. Use a wall charger if you have one. 

But not all wall chargers are equal. In general, the higher the device's wattage, the faster it can deliver a charge to your iPhone. The wall charger that comes with your iPhone is relatively anemic, rated at 5 watts. 

If you have an iPad, use the wall charger that came with it instead, since it delivers 12 watts and charges about 33 percent faster.



If you have a new iPhone, use a fast charger

The newest crop of iPhones (which include the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X family) include fast charging. Paired with the right wall charger, these phones can go from empty to 50 percent charge in half an hour. 

Apple doesn't include a fast charger in the box, though. You need to purchase a fast charger and a USB-C to Lightning cable. Apple offers its own 30 Watt USB-C Power Adapter and USB-C to Lightning adapter cable

There are other fast charging options as well. Anker offers a 30 Watt USB-C Wall Charger, for example, and iClever has its own 30 Watt USB-C Charger. There are a lot of affordable choices.



Don't charge wirelessly

Wireless charging (if you have a newer iPhone, or you've put an old iPhone in a wireless charging case) is admittedly a convenience. But like most conveniences, this one has an unintended cost: slow charging. 

Wireless chargers work much more slowly than plugging the phone into a Lightning cable, which is why you should skip wireless if you're in a hurry.



Turn the phone off

Your iPhone will charge more slowly if it's powered on and performing tasks while it's also trying to send current to the battery. The best solution is to simply power it down. 

Start the Settings app, tap "General," and then tap "Shut Down."



Put it in Airplane Mode

Sometimes it isn't practical to turn your phone off completely, but the next best thing is to put it in Airplane Mode. In Airplane Mode, your phone disables Wi-Fi and cellular service, which can save a significant amount of power, letting the phone charge faster. 

To do that, pull down the Control Panel from the top right of the screen and tap the airplane icon at the top left. Or, if you're using an iPhone older than the iPhone X, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap the airplane icon at the top left.



Avoid using it

You can probably guess where this is going: Just avoid doing anything with the phone while it charges. Don't stream music, browse the web, or check email. Put the phone down and leave it alone to charge in peace.



Keep it cool

Batteries are little chemical factories, and when you charge a phone, the electric current causes chemical reactions to happen deep inside your phone. 

These chemical reactions tend to heat up the battery, but they work most efficiently when the phone is cool. You can help the phone to charge faster by keeping it out of direct sunlight and in a cool location if possible. If you keep the phone in a case, consider taking it out of the case while it charges — many cases trap heat, which is bad. 

In fact, if the phone gets too hot (about 95 degrees), it may stop charging completely until it has an opportunity to cool down. 



Cycle the battery occasionally

This isn't something you can do in the moment, but put this on your to do list. 

Your iPhone's battery will charge more efficiently if it has a chance to cycle — to go from 100 percent to completely dead about once a month or so. Every once in a while, let your phone run down all the way until it shuts down. 

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:



Dutch airline KLM is telling customers to fly less as the aviation industry confronts the 'flight shaming' movement

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 01:17 PM PDT

KLM

  • The Dutch airline KLM launched an environmental campaign titled "Fly Responsibly."
  • The campaign, which encourages travelers to consider packing lighter, buying carbon offsets, or even flying less, is likely a response to the growing "flight shaming" movement in Northern Europe.
  • While commercial aviation only contributes 2% to 3% of total global emissions, that number is likely to increase without intervention.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Dutch airline KLM has launched a new campaign to confront the environmental impact of air travel.

The airline's new "Fly Responsibly" campaign kicked off with a webpage hosted on a dedicated subdomain, and a video published on YouTube.

The campaign comes as the topic of "flight shaming" has been gaining traction this past spring and summer. A concept that originated among a group of Northern European environmental activists — particularly in Scandinavia — flight-shaming, or the anti-flying movement, has gained enough mainstream traction that airlines are starting to take notice.

Airlines such as Thomas Cook and SAS have recognized that anti-flying sentiment has increased in recent years, according to Skift, as emission-conscious passengers choose slower, but more efficient modes of travel when possible, particularly trains.

Although commercial flying accounts for just 2% to 3% of total global carbon emissions today, that number is likely to increase, particularly as passenger numbers are expected to double to 8.2 billion by 2037, according to the International Air Transport Association.

As emissions rise and passengers become more conscious of the impact of each flight they take, airlines find themselves in the difficult position of needing to continue to grow their businesses while acknowledging legitimate environmental concerns.

KLM's video seemingly encourages viewers to fly less — "Do you always have to meet face-to-face? Could you take the train instead?" — but it's likely simply a tactic to draw attention to the larger "Fly Responsibly" campaign.

The campaign's website highlights various sustainability initiatives KLM currently has in place, like the development of a sustainable fuel plant, offering carbon offsets, and more. Some items, like packing lighter, which would reduce overall weight and fuel consumption, have obvious economic benefits for the airline.

However, promoting awareness of its environmental initiatives — including those already in place, those in development, and those that passengers can contribute to — suggests that KLM is taking the threat of flight-shaming seriously, and hopes that awareness is one way to combat the potential economic threat.

SEE ALSO: United Airlines put an underage passenger on a plane to the wrong country, prompting a panicked mother to beg the airline to keep the plane from taking off

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NOW WATCH: How the 2020 BMW X7 luxury SUV is made

The biggest game of 2019 just got a huge update: Here's everything added to 'Apex Legends' in season 2

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 12:49 PM PDT

Apex Legends Season 2

  • The biggest game of 2019 so far is "Apex Legends," which pulled in over 50 million players in its first month on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. 
  • On July 2, "Apex Legends" got a huge update: a new character, major changes to its map, and a totally new mode.
  • Though the update is free for everyone, paying $10 for the Season Two Battle Pass adds even more. Here's everything coming in Tuesday's big update!
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The biggest game of the year just got a massive expansion: "Apex Legends" Season Two arrived on Tuesday, July 2, and it brought major changes to the wildly popular Battle Royale shooter.

Whether you're playing the game for free or buying the $10 Battle Pass, there's a ton to know about the second season of "Apex Legends."

Or maybe you just want to know how big the download is, and when it'll be out? (Hint: it's out now!) We've got that covered, too:

SEE ALSO: 8 reasons why 'Apex Legends' is the best Battle Royale game available

First and foremost: the basic details about the update itself.

The season two update to "Apex Legends" started rolling out around 1:00 PM ET on July 2, and the download is sizeable: somewhere around 20 GB on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and somewhere around 18 GB on PC.

The reason behind the massive file size is simple: it's a new "build" of the game. You're basically re-downloading the whole game.

"Periodically we make a fresh build of the game, with outdated content removed," Respawn Entertainment community manager Jay Frechette said on Reddit. "So the game is faster for new players to download, more efficient, and takes up less hard drive space for everybody."



1. Dinosaurs! Er, well, they're called "Leviathans."

The largest addition to "Apex Legends" — in the literal sense — is Leviathans: massive, hulking dinosaur-like creatures that roam the landscape of Kings Canyon.

"The Leviathans have breached Kings Canyon and it'll never be the same!" the patch notes for the game say. "Many areas have been affected by our new guests."

It's unclear how interacting with Leviathans will go, but we do have one clue: In a trailer for the new season, a massive Leviathan foot crushes one of the game's characters, Mirage, in the middle of a fight.

Apex Legends Season 2

Ouch!



2. A new character, named Wattson.

Wattson is the latest addition to "Apex Legends" — the ninth "Legend" to be added to the game's roster. 

Like previously added characters Caustic, Mirage, and Octane, Wattson can either be purchased directly with cash for $7.50, or you can earn in-game currency to get her for free (12,000 Legend Tokens). 

So, what can she do? A few things:

  • Perimeter Security: Wattson's primary special ability is erecting electric fences. When passed through by enemies, the fences act like an Arc Star — electrifying and damaging the opponent, as well as slowing them down considerably.
  • Spark of Genius: Wattson's passive ability is pretty amazing: She can fully charge her Ultimate ability with a single Ultimate Accelerant. Finally, a reason for someone other than Lifeline to pick up Ultimate Accelerants!
  • Interception Pylon: And finally, Wattson's Ultimate is a large machine that outright deflects air strikes (like the ones dropped by Gibraltar and Bangalore) and sets up a protective fence. Moreover, any of your teammates inside the perimeter of the ultimate will have their shields charged.



And here's the video introducing Wattson:

Youtube Embed:
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3. An entirely new weapon: the L-Star.

Alongside the Kraber and the Mastiff, the L-Star is the newest addition to the "Gold" tier of weapons in "Apex Legends" that only land in care packages and only appear rarely. It's a rapid-fire weapon that shoots large projectiles — it's particularly effective at melting down shields, according to the game's developers.

There's no unlock involved here — the L-Star is simply a new addition to the overall game.



Check out a full trailer for the L-Star right here:

Youtube Embed:
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4. Major map changes.

Another major change coming to all players of "Apex Legends": huge additions or alterations to the existing map, Kings Canyon.

As you can see above, the tower at Repulsor has been destroyed. In a previous image, there were a bunch of dragon-like creatures sitting on top of buildings not so far from Repulsor.

These are assuredly just a taste of the major structural changes happening to Kings Canyon. 



5. New stuff to unlock, new challenges to complete, and a stats page (!!).

Yes: With Tuesday's update, new skins for characters and weapons are coming to "Apex Legends."

But in addition to that stuff, there are some entirely new unlockable baubles. Starting Tuesday, you can unlock music packs (for the music that plays while you're dropping to the island), emotes for characters as they descend from the sky, and loading screens while you're, uh, waiting for the game to load.

Perhaps most importantly, there's finally a stats screen that will just tell you how well you're doing with any given character. 

But let's be real: There are tons of changes in the new update, and if you want to dig all the way you should check out the patch notes right here.



Check out the debut trailer for the new "Apex Legends" Battle Pass right here:

Youtube Embed:
//www.youtube.com/embed/dW6tGA3OUXA
Width: 800px
Height: 450px



And check out the full trailer for season two of "Apex Legends" right here:

Youtube Embed:
//www.youtube.com/embed/zsUd40fvFm8
Width: 800px
Height: 450px



Amazon is discounting a refurbished 75-inch 4K Vizio smart TV by $300 for a limited time

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 12:46 PM PDT

Vizio refurbished TV deal

  • Vizio's TVs typically offer excellent image quality and large display sizes for decent prices.
  • For a limited time, one of Vizio's more expensive TVs — the Vizio P75-F1 TV — is $300 off on Amazon, which brings the price down to $1,349.99 (originally $1,649.99).
  • The TV offers a 75-inch 4K UHD display with 120 dimming zones. 
  • It is a renewed product, which means that it's a pre-owned product that has been inspected and tested by Amazon's suppliers to ensure quality. Renewed products have a 90-day guarantee.
  • We're compiling all the best deals across tech, home, kitchen, and more for Prime Day 2019. Bookmark our list of the best deals here.

Vizio's TVs have been getting better and better over the past few years, and the company's latest P-series TVs offer beautifully deep colors, excellent black levels, and lots of dimming zones to produce the best picture possible. Now, for a limited time, you can get your hands on a P75-F1 Vizio smart TV with a 75-inch 4K UHD display for a $300 off  — if you're willing to buy a refurbished TV for $1,349.99 (originally $1,649.99).

The Vizio P75-F1 TV has plenty of features. For starters, the TV makes use of 120 dimming zones to ensure that blacks are deep and dark, which in turn helps create a wider contrast ratio. The TV also supports Dolby Vision, HDR 10, and more.

On top of the great image quality features, you'll get support for voice control with the Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa. Google Chromecast is also built in. The smart TV runs on Vizio's SmartCast OS, which allows you to install apps from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and other big-name streaming services.

When it comes to connectivity, there are plenty of options. Apart from the smart features like Chromecast, you'll get five HDMI inputs, along with an Ethernet port, USB port, audio outputs, and more. 

Buying a refurbished TV isn't a bad idea. This particular deal is for an Amazon Refurbished TV, which means that it's guaranteed to work like new and comes with a 90-day warranty. 

Get the Vizio P75-F1 refurbished TV on Amazon, $1,349.99 (originally $1,649.99) [You save $300]

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Uber Eats is quietly testing a 'dine-in' option for customers who want to eat in restaurants (UBER)

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 12:31 PM PDT

Uber Eats

  • Uber Eats is quietly testing a dine-in option. 
  • "A Dine-in order is when you place an order through the Eats app and you go to the restaurant to collect it. You can then choose to sit in the restaurant to eat your food," according to Uber. 
  • Dine-in options can save time by allowing customers to order and pay ahead of time, something that is an increasingly expected feature on apps from chains such as McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Starbucks
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Uber Eats is quietly testing a dine-in option.

Customers in Austin, Texas, can now choose to "dine-in" in addition to ordering delivery or pick-up. 

"A Dine-in order is when you place an order through the Eats app and you go to the restaurant to collect it," Uber states on its list of frequently asked questions. "You can then choose to sit in the restaurant to eat your food."

dine in uber eats

Uber declined to provide further information about where it is testing the dine-in option or when it rolled out the test. 

"We're always thinking about new ways to enhance the Eats experience," an Uber representative said in an email to Business Insider. 

Read more: Rent the Runway is fixing one of its customers' biggest complaints

The test reveals the constantly evolving nature of food delivery. As delivery and ordering ahead via mobile apps is increasingly expected, restaurants and delivery services are battling for dominance in the convenience category. 

Stas Matviyenko, the CEO of dine-in-centric startup Allset, told Business Insider that the dine-in space is one that seems likely to attract greater attention from delivery, takeout, and reservation players moving forward. While both services allow you to pre-order and pre-pay, Allset's service also seats customers, with food served on a plate instead of as a takeout order.

Dine-in options can save time by allowing customers to order and pay ahead of time, something that is an increasingly expected feature on apps from chains such as McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Starbucks. 

"Delivery does not work for a quick bite. It actually takes a lot of time," Matviyenko said.

"With takeout, you need to bring your food to the office or find a place on the street and eat from a box," Matviyenko continued. "But with dine-in, you can have a full dining experience inside the restaurant without waiting, which is convenient and fast." 

SEE ALSO: Top sneaker reseller halts sales of the controversial Nike 'Betsy Ross' American flag shoe selling for over $2,000 because it did 'not align' with the company's 'value system'

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NOW WATCH: These melons can sell for as much as $22,500 each in Japan

The Alphabet arm tasked with fighting online harassment and extremism has reportedly cultivated a toxic work culture of its own (GOOG, GOOGL)

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 12:20 PM PDT

Jared Cohen Jigsaw

  • Jigsaw — an Alphabet arm focused on cybersecurity and geopolitical issues, like an API that identifies toxic language online has a toxic internal work culture of its own, according to a Motherboard report on Tuesday. 
  • Female employees at Jigsaw have been the subject of sexist remarks by executives and discriminated against by leadership, according to the report. 
  • The climate for women at Jigsaw has gotten so bad, the report noted, that a support group, made up of current and former employees, has been formed to help women who want to leave the company.
  • Read the full Motherboard story here

Jigsaw — an Alphabet arm focused on cybersecurity and geopolitical issues, like an API that identifies toxic language online has cultivated a toxic internal work culture of its own, according to Motherboard report on Tuesday. 

Female employees at Jigsaw have been the subject of sexist remarks by executives and discriminated against by leadership, according to the report, which cites more than 12 current and former employees. 

The climate for women at Jigsaw has gotten so bad, according to the report, that a support group, made up of current and former employees, has been formed to help women who want to leave the company. And when an internal post at Google encouraged employees to consider applying for jobs at Jigsaw, employees at the Alphabet spinoff reportedly responded: "Proceed with caution." 

Other employees who spoke to Motherboard point to Jared Cohen, Jigsaw's CEO, as major source of the company's internal issues. 

Read more: Meet the 14 top executives who lead Alphabet's 'Other Bets,' helping the company go beyond just Google

Cohen, who was personally appointed to run Jigsaw — previously known as Google Ideas — by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, has been "disconnected with the day-to-day at the company" and instead, is "more concerned with using Jigsaw as a vehicle to gain visibility and enhance his geopolitical network," one current employee told Motherboard. 

Google did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. 

Read the full Motherboard story here

SEE ALSO: Inside the offices of Jigsaw, an elite think tank created by Google where employees sample food from around the world and take naps in rooms named Narnia and Mordor

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NOW WATCH: The incredible story behind Slack, the app that's taken over offices everywhere

Waymo is now allowed to carry passengers in its self-driving cars in California

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 12:12 PM PDT

Waymo minivan

  • Waymo has received a permit to carry passengers in its self-driving vehicles in California, TechCrunch's Kirsten Korosec first reported.
  • But the Google spinoff cannot charge for rides, and the vehicles must have a safety driver behind the wheel.
  • Waymo is the fourth company to receive California's autonomous-vehicle pilot permit, after Zoox, AutoX Technologies, and Pony.ai.
  • Seen by many experts as the leader in the autonomous-car industry, Waymo launched the first commercial autonomous ride-hailing service in the US, Waymo One, in parts of Arizona in 2018.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Waymo has received a permit to carry passengers in its self-driving vehicles in California, TechCrunch's Kirsten Korosec first reported on Tuesday.

The permit, which was issued by the California Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday, allows Waymo to carry passengers in autonomous vehicles on California highways, though the Google spinoff cannot charge them for rides, and the vehicles must have a safety driver behind the wheel.

Read more: Waymo CEO John Krafcik explains why a parking lot is one of the most difficult environments for a self-driving car

Waymo is the fourth company to receive California's autonomous-vehicle pilot permit, after Zoox, AutoX Technologies, and Pony.ai. Seen by many experts as the leader in the autonomous-vehicle industry, Waymo launched the first commercial autonomous ride-hailing service in the US, Waymo One, in parts of Arizona in 2018.

"This is the next step on our path to eventually expand and offer more Californians opportunities to access our self-driving technology, just as we have gradually done with Waymo One in Metro Phoenix," a Waymo representative told Business Insider.

Waymo is also testing autonomous vehicles in Washington, Texas, Michigan, and Georgia.

In a 2019 report, the consulting firm Navigant Research, ranked Waymo first among companies developing self-driving technology in strategy and execution. And according to a report Waymo submitted to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, its safety drivers had to manually take over their test cars, because of safety concerns, about once every 11,000 miles in 2018 — the best rate of any company testing autonomous vehicles on public roads in California.

SEE ALSO: I drove a $64,000 BMW Z4 to see if this high-end roadster is worth the steep price tag — here's the verdict

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NOW WATCH: Inside Roborace: the Formula One for self-driving cars

Apple's design team is working on projects that 'will blow you away,' says Tim Cook (AAPL)

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 11:58 AM PDT

tim cook

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook said the projects that the company's design team is working on "will blow you away," according to NBC News.
  • The statement came in response to a story from The Wall Street Journal about the firm's design chief Jony Ive growing distant from Apple's leadership, which Cook called "absurd."
  • It's unclear what projects Cook was referring to, as the company rarely discusses new products ahead of their launch. But the firm is said to be working on everything from new iPhones and AirPods to augmented reality glasses and self-driving car software.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 

It's unusual for Apple to tease new products before they're ready to be unveiled. But in a rare move, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement to NBC News that the projects that the company's design team is working on "will blow you away." 

The statement came in response to a story The Wall Street Journal published on Sunday regarding the recently announced departure of Jony Ive, the firm's chief design officer, who has been at Apple since 1996. A disconnect between Ive and Apple's leadership had formed in recent years as he had grown frustrated about the company's focus on operations, the Journal report says. 

Cook called the story "absurd" when contacting NBC News, saying the reporting doesn't "match with reality." He also made a vague mention of upcoming projects.  

"The design team is phenomenally talented," Cook said to NBC News. "As Jony has said, they're stronger than ever, and I have complete confidence that they will thrive under Jeff, Evans, and Alan's leadership. We know the truth, and we know the incredible things they're capable of doing. The projects they're working on will blow you away."

Read more: Jony Ive's departure may be a sign that one of Tim Cook's top lieutenants is becoming even more powerful

Of course, Cook did not elaborate on what those projects entail. But there's been no shortage of rumors and reports claiming to provide insight on where Apple's priorities lie. In addition to launching already-announced products later this year — like new software for its line of hardware and its Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade subscription services — the company is expected to launch three new iPhones later this year.

Those phones will retain a design that's largely similar to the current lineup, but the most expensive model will likely have a triple-camera instead of the current dual-camera, according to reports from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. The company is reportedly planning a new iPhone for next year that will have better 3D cameras and support 5G connectivity, as Bloomberg has reported.

Apple is also rumored to be working on a new set of AirPods, a new Apple Watch, and a large MacBook Pro with a 16-inch screen, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. 

Then there are the long-term rumored projects Apple is said to have in its pipeline, like its ambitions in the auto sector and a set of augmented reality glasses. Both of those reported product lines would represent new territory for Apple as the company grapples with slowing iPhone sales. The augmented reality glasses would run on their own operating system and could be ready to launch in 2020, according to Bloomberg. When it comes to automotive technology, Apple is reportedly working on software for self-driving cars, a pivot from its original goal of building its own autonomous vehicles, as Bloomberg reported. 

It's rare for Cook or any Apple executive to tease upcoming projects. But the Apple CEO has expressed enthusiasm about new technologies in the past. Cook, for example, had indicated his interest in augmented reality long before the company officially debuted ARKit, its augmented reality platform for iPhones and iPads. 

"It will happen in a big way," Cook said in 2016 during a talk with former United States senator Orrin Hatch. "And we will wonder when it does, kind of how we wonder how we live with without our phone today." 

SEE ALSO: I tried tracking my sleep using 3 free Apple Watch apps — and there was a clear winner

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NOW WATCH: The incredible story behind Slack, the app that's taken over offices everywhere

Top sneaker reseller halts sales of the controversial Nike 'Betsy Ross' American flag shoe selling for over $2,000 because it did 'not align' with the company's 'value system' (NKE)

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 11:54 AM PDT

air max usa

  • Nike's Betsy Ross flag-themed sneakers were selling online for more than $2,000 after the company decided against releasing the sneakers.
  • A pair of the sneakers were sold on sneaker resale site StockX on Tuesday morning for $2,499 — more than 20 times the retail price of $120.
  • On Tuesday afternoon, StockX CEO Scott Cutler announced that the company would remove the sneakers from the site "as the sale of this product on our platform does not align with our value system." 
  • Nike decided against launching the Air Max 1 USA this week after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick said that he and others found the shoe offensive, The Wall Street Journal reported. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Nike's Air Max 1 USA shoes were reselling online for 20 times the original retail price after the sportswear brand pulled the sneakers. Now, a top sneaker reseller has removed the shoe. 

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Nike had pulled the Air Max 1 USA — set to launch this week — after former NFL player Colin Kaepernick said that he and others found the American flag-themed shoe offensive.

The sneaker featured an image of the "Betsy Ross" flag, which has 13 white stars and was created in the 1770s. Some have connected this specific version of the American flag to slavery and white supremacy, as in the case of a 2016 high-school football game in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Read more: Nike faces backlash on social media after pulling US flag shoe design days before the Fourth of July

Nike asked retailers to return the shoes after shipping them out, The Journal reported, and is not selling the sneakers on its website.

However, some people got their hands on the Air Max 1 USA before Nike decided against its official release.

Earlier on Tuesday, resellers were raking in the cash. 

sneakers usa

Air Max 1 USA sneakers were selling for hundreds or even thousands of dollars on resale websites such as StockX. As of 11:13 a.m. ET, the last sale of an Air Max 1 USA on StockX was for $2,499. On average, people were paying $608 for the sneakers when ordering via StockX.

On Tuesday afternoon, StockX CEO Scott Cutler announced that the company would remove the Air Max 1 USA from the site. 

"We have decided to remove the Nike Air Max 1 USA from our site today and prohibit any further sales of this item on @StockX as the sale of this product on our platform does not align with our value system," Cutler tweeted at 2:13 p.m. ET. 

Nike faced backlash for pulling the sneakers, with some people arguing that it was unpatriotic for the company to listen to Kaepernick's concerns and decide against releasing the shoes.  

"Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured an old version of the American flag," a Nike representative wrote in an email to INSIDER.

SEE ALSO: Nike is selling a record number of USA women's soccer jerseys thanks to World Cup fever

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A judge is getting tired of the sniping in the Oracle wage and hiring bias case filed by the Labor Department: ‘Stop the invective communication’ (ORCL)

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 11:48 AM PDT

mark hurd oracle ceo

  • A San Francisco judge has grown frustrated with a heated tit-for-tat between Oracle and the Labor Department in a wage bias case filed against the tech giant.
  • Judge Richard Clark has ordered the two parties to discuss in person or by phone, not via email, the contentious issue of how to communicate with potential witnesses in the case which is set to go to trial in December.
  • The Labor Department has accused Oracle of wage and hiring discrimination against minority and women workers, which the tech company has denied.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

A judge has ordered Oracle and the Labor Department to start talking in person or by phone, instead of trading accusations via email in a wage bias case in which the tech giant is accused of underpaying women and minority workers.

"I have mentioned this before — stop with the invective and contentious email communications, get on the phone or meet in person, and get these issues resolved," Richard Clark, an administrative law judge in San Francisco, said in a June 26 order.

Clark's order was in connection with a labor department complaint that said women and minority workers at Oracle lost out on at least $401 million in wages from 2013 to 2016 in what the agency portrayed as systemic discrimination that aso led to the hiring of few African-Americans and Hispanic workers. Oracle has denied the allegations.

The first hearing on the suit, which was filed in 2017, is scheduled to begin in December. 

Heated tit-for-tat

Clark's order was based on a heated tit-for-tat between the two parties which began in May when, in the process of building its case, the labor department, through its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, sent a letter to some Oracle employees asking if they would be willing to share their experiences related to the case.

"This lawsuit alleges Oracle unlawfully discriminated against its employees by suppressing the pay of its female, Black, and Asian employees," the letter which was cited in Clark's order said. "Based on our analysis of Oracle's pay data, we have determined that these employees have been underpaid as much as 20% relative to their peers. We estimate that this discrimination cost these employees at least $600,000,000 in lost wages from 2013 to the present."

The letter said the agency was looking to talk employees "who were affected by this discrimination."

"We want to hear what happened to you," the letter said. Among the employees the agency was specifically interested in reaching out to "black and Asian employees employed in product development, particularly if Oracle used your prior salary to set your starting salary, placed you in lower paying positions than your peers or channeled you into lower paying positions throughout your career."

Oracle blasts 'misleading statements'

The labor department's letter triggered an exchange the two parties. Oracle accused the labor department of making "misleading statements" in reaching out to its employees and of using "bombastic rhetoric" in its communications, according to Clark's order. The labor department fired back by accusing Oracle's attorneys of "violating ethical rules" and intimidating witnesses.

Clark said the issue could be addressed in in-person meetings or by phone, but he appears to have grown frustrated with what he described as "gamesmanship" by both parties.

He ordered Oracle and the labor department to hold a "meet and confer process, which should be in person or voice communication and not email" to resolve the issue of how they must communicate with potential witnesses in the case.

"An extraordinary amount of resources have been poured into this case," the judge wrote, stressing the need to resolve a case which has been dragging on for two years.

"It is time to move forward to a resolution," he wrote. "If Oracle is discriminating against its employees, it needs to end, and the sooner the better. If Oracle is not discriminating against its employees, this litigation needs to end so the parties can move on."

Oracle declined to comment. The Department of Labor could not immediately be reached for comment.

Got a tip about Oracle or another tech company? Contact this reporter via email at bpimentel@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @benpimentel. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

Read Judge Richard Clark's order. 

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The bizarre interstellar object 'Oumuamua that flew through our solar system was almost definitely not aliens, a new study says

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 11:44 AM PDT

oumuamua 1I 2017 u1 solar system trajectory illustration comet asteroid or alien spaceship nasa swri esa stsci PIA22357

In October 2017, a massive object careened past Earth at a distance of 15 million miles.

By the time astronomers became aware of the celestial visitor, it was already careening out of the solar system at 110,000 mph. The object's trajectory strongly suggested it came from another star system, making it the first interstellar object ever detected.

Scientists gave it a Hawaiian name, 'Oumuamua, meaning "scout" or "messenger from afar, arriving first."

But 'Oumuamua's unexpected appearance and rapid exit from our solar system meant that scientists had only a few weeks to study the strange visitor. Several telescopes on the ground and one in space took limited observations of 'Oumuamua as it flew away, but astronomers were unable to examine it in full. The skyscraper-size object is now too far away and too dim to observe further with existing technologies.

"This one's gone forever," David Trilling, an astronomer at Northern Arizona University, previously told Business Insider. "We have all the data we're ever going to have about 'Oumuamua."

The limited information gathered about the object left room for scientists to offer guesses about what it might be and where it came from. Those have run the gamut, from comet to asteroid to never-before-seen alien spaceship. One astronomer from Harvard University and a few of his colleagues have speculated about extraterrestrial origins. But nearly all other experts who have studied 'Oumuamua say the "aliens" hypothesis is extraordinarily unlikely.

Read more: A bizarre interstellar object called 'Oumuamua continues to perplex astronomers a year after it vanished. Here's why a few scientists still wonder if it was alien.

Now, a new study from an international team of astronomers has concluded that the space object has a wholly natural origin.

"The alien spacecraft hypothesis is a fun idea, but our analysis suggests there is a whole host of natural phenomena that could explain it," Matthew Knight, an astronomer who helped write the study, said in a press release.

It's a comet. It's an asteroid. It's ... an alien ship?

The source of the 'Oumuamua controversy is that the object is undeniably weird.

It was initially classified as a comet, but it doesn't appear to be made of ice, and it doesn't emit gases as a comet would. 'Oumuamua's spin, speed, and trajectory can't be explained by gravity alone, which suggested it's not an asteroid either. And 'Oumuamua's cigar-shaped profile — it's about one-quarter of a mile long but only 114 feet wide — doesn't match any comet or asteroid observed before.

What's more, telescopes observed that the object, unlike most space rocks, was accelerating rather than slowing down.

"We have never seen anything like 'Oumuamua in our solar system. It's really a mystery still," Knight said, adding, "This thing is weird and admittedly hard to explain, but that doesn't exclude other natural phenomena that could explain it."

In 2017, Knight and his colleagues suggested that 'Oumuamua was an elongated, roughly 820-foot comet. The new study, published on Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, analyzed all the data available about 'Oumuamua and came to a similar conclusion about the unlikelihood of alien influence.

"We find no compelling evidence to favor an alien explanation for 'Oumuamua," the authors wrote.

Artist's impression of 'Oumuamua

The most prominent scientist suggesting aliens as an explanation has been Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard's astronomy department. His idea was that 'Oumuamua could be some sort of alien solar sail, a craft that uses sunlight to power its travels through space.

In December 2017, Loeb directed a project called Breakthrough Listen, an effort to listen for alien signals, to point radio antennas at 'Oumuamua. No alien communications were detected.

But in a post published by Scientific American, Loeb wrote that humans spotting alien technology "might resemble an imaginary encounter of ancient cave people with a modern cell phone," at first interpreting it as a "shiny rock" and not a "communication device."

Knight and his team disagreed with that hypothesis.

"Our preference is to stick with analogs we know, unless or until we find something unique," he said.

While scientists may never settle on the true identity of 'Oumuamua, Knight and the other authors of the new study think 'Oumuamua won't be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence but the first of many interstellar visitors that scientists can observe.

"We may start seeing a new object every year. That's when we'll start to know whether 'Oumuamua is weird, or common," Knight said. "If we find 10 to 20 of these things and 'Oumuamua still looks unusual, we'll have to reexamine our explanations."

SEE ALSO: Mysterious space objects like 'Oumuamua will visit our solar system again. Scientists may intercept the next one with a robotic probe.

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NOW WATCH: Why Harvard scientists think this interstellar object might be an alien spacecraft

EBay is trolling Amazon over last year's Prime Day outage with a 'crash sale' (EBAY, AMZN)

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 11:17 AM PDT

eBay crash sale 2019 amazon prime day

  • EBay has announced a "Crash Sale," trolling Amazon's outage during its 2018 Prime Day sales.
  • EBay's biggest troll is announcing "a fresh batch of too-good-to-be-true deals that will drop if Amazon crashes." Meaning, eBay's sale will roll out additional deals if Amazon crashes again this year.
  • But eBay isn't the only retailer stepping up to compete with Amazon in July — Walmart, Target, and Nordstrom are holding sales, too. This confluence of major online retailer sales is turning mid-July into a summer Cyber Monday.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

EBay has announced a "Crash Sale" to rival Amazon's Prime Day, with the promise of extra deals if Amazon crashes again like last year. 

Amazon crashed for over an hour at the beginning of its 2018 Prime Day: error messages appeared on web pages, and customers encountered issues with placing items in their carts. Despite this, Amazon had record sales of $4.2 billion in the 36 hours of Prime Day, according to Wedbush Securities Inc. analyst Michael Pachter. This was the company's highest single sales day until Cyber Monday a few months later in November 2018.

Read more: Amazon Prime Day, the made-up holiday that rivals Black Friday, is coming soon. Here's why it's such a big deal.

The eBay Crash Sale will run on July 15, overlapping with the first day of Amazon's now 48-hour Prime Day.

EBay's biggest troll is announcing "a fresh batch of too-good-to-be-true deals that will drop if Amazon crashes." Meaning, eBay's sale will roll out additional deals if, and only if, Amazon has a similar outage to last year.

EBay is also positioning  itself as competitive to Amazon Prime in its free shipping, no membership, and "best price guarantee" that ensures that shoppers who find their eBay Deal item being sold at a competitor for a lower price within 48 hours of their purchase will be paid 110% of the price difference back by eBay. 

But eBay isn't the only retailer stepping up to compete with Amazon in July. Nordstrom's annual anniversary sale begins early access for members on July 12 and public access on July 19. Walmart will be running sales July 14 through 17, and Target's Deal Days is the exact timeframe of Prime Day. This confluence of major online retailer sales is turning mid-July into a summer Cyber Monday.

"July has become a massive shopping season," said eBay COO Jay Hanson in the Crash Sale press release. 

SEE ALSO: OnePlus accidentally sent a push notification that said 'hahahaha' in Chinese to OnePlus 7 Pro users around the world

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A former AOL exec says taking someone else's startup idea might sound like cheating, but it's exactly how the most successful founders work

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 10:56 AM PDT

Jean Case Headshot

  • AOL achieved tremendous success by picking up where other internet startups had left off.
  • That's according to Jean Case, a former AOL exec and the author of "Be Fearless."
  • In turn, Case writes, contemporary tech giants like Google and Facebook have benefited from AOL's innovations.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

AOL was built on the backs of other businesses' failures.

And as former AOL executive Jean Case writes in her book, "Be Fearless," the company's ability to pick up where others had left off was nothing short of brilliant.

Earlier in her career, Case worked at a company called The Source, which she describes as "a text-based information utility for consumers that featured early versions of email, conferencing, and content." While the service was unthinkably slow by today's standards, Case writes that the concept behind it "was a really powerful idea, democratizing access to information and communication."

It just needed the proper execution.

After The Source failed to take off, Case moved on to the company that would become AOL. It was founded by Steve Case (Jean Case's husband), Marc Seriff, and Jim Kinsey — three founders who'd already experienced their own series of business failures.

The previous iteration of the company, Quantum Computer Service, had been a partner of Apple's, until so much conflict led Apple to back out of the deal, as Steve Case writes in his 2016 book, "The Third Wave." From that experience, the founders learned that they wanted to create their own brand and pay for their own marketing.

QCS' service was rebranded as America Online in 1989.

Read more: Billionaire AOL cofounder Steve Case says he waited 10 years for the moment he realized his company was a success

As Jean Case boasts in the book, AOL had nearly 30 million subscribers at its peak and was the first Internet company to go public. She writes that Steve Case "led the team to experiment in areas that had previously limited growth for our competitors," including consumer-friendly pricing and membership plans.

In turn, today's tech giants found success by modeling themselves at least partly after AOL.

Case writes that Facebook, Google, and Twitter "all benefited from the innovations that AOL introduced." She adds, "Innovators can take major leaps or make a Big Bet by looking at where previous efforts fell short, and fully exploiting the lessons of those failures."

SEE ALSO: I've been an angel investor in 100 companies over 8 years, including a bunch of unicorns. There are 3 ways to tell which startup ideas will blow up and get a piece of the deal.

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NOW WATCH: Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Slack and Flickr, says 2 beliefs have brought him the greatest success in life

Chinese officials are forcing tourists to install an invasive app that downloads their texts and scans their phones at the border of one of the most surveilled regions in the country

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 10:55 AM PDT

xinjiang uighur security

  • Chinese officials are forcing tourists visiting the Xinjiang region to install a malware app on their phones at its border, according to a joint report from Motherboard, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The Guardian, The New York Times, and NDR.
  • The malware reportedly seizes all the text messages on a phone and scans for a variety of files linked to Islam, including extremist content, academic research, and music.
  • Officials in Xinjiang use invasive technology to monitor the Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority living in the region.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tourists entering China's Xinjiang region are reportedly being forced to install an app that downloads all of their phone's text messages, contacts, and calendar information, and scans the device for files related to Islam.

According to a joint report from Motherboard, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The Guardian, The New York Times, and NDR, officials are using the data in their campaign to surveil the activities of a primarily Muslim ethnic group in Xinjiang called the Uighurs.

Xinjiang's extensive use of surveillance technology to monitor the Uighur population has garnered international scrutiny. Citizens have been forced to install government surveillance apps and subjected to facial-recognition cameras in public areas. About 8 million Uighurs live in Xinjiang, and as many as 1 million Uighurs are confined to detention centers and reeducation camps.

Read more: China is building a vast civilian surveillance network — here are 10 ways it could be feeding its creepy 'social credit system'

A tourist who crossed the border into Xinjiang provided a copy of the malware to Motherboard and Süddeutsche Zeitung, and a member of the Süddeutsche Zeitung reporting team had the same app installed on their phone when they entered Xinjiang. A team of analysts from Cure53, the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, Ruhr University Bochum, and The Guardian helped deconstruct the app and determine how it works.

china xinjiang ijop surveillance app

The app, called BXAQ or Feng Cai, collects all of the phone's calendar entries, contacts, call logs, and texts and uploads them to a server. The app also conducts a search for files related to Islam, checking for more than 70,000 predetermined files. While analysts couldn't determine all of the files on the app's watch list, the majority that were identified were Islamic extremist content. However, other files were linked to parts of the Quran, documents from the Dalai Lama, and even a pro-Taiwan song from a Japanese metal band.

BXAQ is specifically designed to infiltrate Android phones, but a reporter from Süddeutsche Zeitung said they saw machines searching iPhones at the border as well.

The Uighurs have been subjected to this type of monitoring software for some time, and Chinese officials use it to catalogue sensitive information like political views, blood type, and even how much gas and electricity individual people use.

The Chinese government has justified this treatment of the Uighurs based on Islamophobia and has referred to the region's reeducation camps and detention centers as "free vocational training."

SEE ALSO: China uses an intrusive surveillance app to track its Muslim minority, with technology that could be exported to the rest of the world. Here's how it works.

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NOW WATCH: The incredible story behind Slack, the app that's taken over offices everywhere

Watchdog group Electronic Frontier Foundation warns people of the dangers of using Slack, the popular work chat app now worth $18 billion (WORK)

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 10:28 AM PDT

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield poses for photos outside the New York Stock Exchange before his company's IPO, Thursday, June 20, 2019.

  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the most powerful internet privacy watchdog groups, has written an op-ed in the New York Times to warn people about using chat app Slack.
  • Specifically, the EFF takes issue with the fact that Slack is set to retain all messages forever by default.
  • The EFF wants Slack to give individual users more control over their data.
  • Slack only makes data control features available to people who pay to use its service. Free users have to manually delete messages to remove them from Slack's servers.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

One of the most powerful internet privacy watchdog groups, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, has written an op-ed in the New York Times to warn people about using the work chat app Slack — which recently went public, and is now valued at some $18 billion on the public market. 

The EFF's main complaint is that Slack retains all messages forever by default and does not give individual users, particularly those using its free accounts, enough options to control their own data themselves. 

"Iis possible for Slack to minimize that risk. Or it would be, if Slack gave all its users the ability to decide which information Slack should keep and which information it should delete," wrote the EFF's associate director of research Gennie Gebhart, in the Times. 

"Right now, Slack stores everything you do on its platform by default — your username and password, every message you've sent, every lunch you've planned and every confidential decision you've made," she writes.

Slack's privacy page explains that with all plans, paid or free, "the default message and file retention setting is to keep everything for as long as the workspace exists."

Read: Growth in Microsoft's old-fashioned software business, not just its cloud, will zoom the company well beyond $1 trillion, Morgan Stanley believes

Slack says it keeps all that data so if someone upgrades from free to a paid account, all their messages will still be there. Only paid customers get tools for managing data retention, however.

For people using the free plan, the only option to control data is to manually delete any message you don't want Slack to store forever. And even that is limited, since it limits access to the most recent 10,000 messages. There's no going back earlier than that, even to manually delete messages, without upgrading to a paid account.

A Slack spokesperson explains:

"We do not offer a free version of our product that allows for unlimited message access because at our core, we are an enterprise software platform and our policies, practices, and default settings are aligned to that mission. If a customer exceeds a 10,000 message limit and chooses to upgrade to a paid plan, they are able to access their full archive of messages and files as well as use custom retention settings. All Slack customers — including customers on free teams — can manually delete messages at any time."

It's also worth noting that it's up to the administrator of a paid Slack account to set the policies on data retention. For instance, Business Insider uses Slack, and our administrators have set it up to delete everything after two weeks by default.

There's pluses and minuses to that. The data retention issue is solved, but if you want to refer back to a message or file shared with your team  — or even a note you made to yourself — from longer than two weeks ago, it's gone, and employees cannot do anything on our own accounts to change that.

Businesses on some plans can also gain access to everything their employees enter in Slack, even private messages, and even messages before they were edited. 

Read: Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff explains why billionaires like himself should pay more taxes

Employees can find out their company's policies on this, although the screen to find that info isn't especially easy to find. Users need to login to their corporate Slack in a browser and then go to the URL "/account/workspace-settings."

The EFF also isn't happy with how Slack encrypts messages — although Slack's policies on this are not, perhaps, as dire at the EFF alleges. The EFF wants Slack to implement end-to-end encryption, which means only the sender and intended recipient can see any messages. 

Slack encrypts messages in transit, as many websites do, and while data is stored on its servers, it says. This keeps data safer from hackers, but also means that Slack can hand over plain text data over to law enforcement should they come calling with appropriate legal documents, it says. 

The important point to understand is that Slack is a for-profit business and one of the things it charges for is better control over data. The company also emphasizes that its a tool really designed to be used by businesses, not consumers. For conversations that need to be extra private, like communications between activists, community organizers, journalists, Slack may not be private enough.

A spokesperson tells us:

"Slack is a business tool with both free and paid subscription models that allow us to meet customers where they are. We take the security and privacy of our customers' data very seriously, and have received internationally recognized privacy and security certifications for information security management and protecting personal data in the cloud.

We outline the features of our different plans in our Help Center and on our Product page and encourage organizations to identify the best plan for them. To learn more about Slack's approach to security and privacy, please see our Security Practices and Privacy Policy."

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NOW WATCH: Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Slack and Flickr, says 2 beliefs have brought him the greatest success in life

Gen Z is likely photographed more often than anyone else — and it’s fueling big changes in how they shop

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 10:04 AM PDT

Gen z

  • Generation Z has grown up never knowing a time without social media. Many have had their entire lives documented in photos and videos on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. 
  • Experts say that because of this, Gen Zers feel pressure to dress in new clothes and in unique ways to set themselves apart from the crowd. 
  • This, combined with the rise of more sustainable fashion, is fueling growth in unconventional modes of shopping, such as rental and resale.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Gen Z doesn't remember a time without social media, and many will have their entire lives documented online. 

"They are the most photographed generation in the world's history," Jason Dorsey, a Gen Z expert and consultant who has delivered a TEDx Talk on this generation, recently told Business Insider.

Because of this, there's a need to always be wearing something new. 

In the past, this thirst for newness would have been easily quenched by shopping at fast-fashion stores such as H&M and Forever 21, which are churning out new styles on a daily basis. But, another characteristic of this generation is that they're leading a movement away from fast fashion because they are more environmentally conscious than their predecessors. 

Other modes of shopping, such as rental and resale, are becoming increasingly popular among teens. 

"Gen Z is shopping a lot more for secondhand clothing than previous generations," Jessica Pruitt, an associate manager of marketing at Buffalo Exchange — a thrift store that buys and sells used clothing at 49 stores across the US — told Business Insider. "There is less stigma around this."

Read more: THE STATE OF GEN Z: America's teenagers reveal what they think about everything

Online resale site ThredUp estimates that one-third of Gen Z shoppers will buy used clothing in 2019. 

"There is an obsession with freshness," Karen Clark, the vice president of marketing communications at ThredUp, told Business Insider, adding that the company posts 1,000 new items online every hour.

Secondhand shopping also affords Gen Z the chance to dress in unique ways. They use thrift stores to build their own identity and create their own story, Lennox Thomas, Goodwill NYNJ's executive vice president for retail operations, told Business Insider.

For the same reasons, clothing rental has become the latest trend to hit the fashion industry. 

"In more and more categories, consumers are choosing to rent rather than own goods outright," a group of writers wrote in Business of Fashion's State of Fashion report for 2019, naming Netflix, Spotify, and ZipCar as examples. If millennials aren't buying houses, cars, or the latest movie, why would they keep buying clothes?

"This is a fundamental evolution in consumer behavior and we expect it will have an impact in the fashion business in the years ahead," they wrote.

While Rent the Runway, a clothing-rental service targeted at millennial women, has paved the way here, other more teen-focused brands such as American Eagle and Urban Outfitters have also jumped on the bandwagon. 

"There is a trend toward clothes having a second life or being used again," Chad Kessler, global brand president at American Eagle, recently told Business Insider.

He continued: "This is part of their focus on quality, value, and thoughtful purchasing, and I think these [rental services] are just different ways for them to participate."

SEE ALSO: These are the brands that Gen Z shops at most, according to a survey of more than 1,800 young Americans

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Read the pitch deck that buzzy startup Devoted Health used to reach a $1.8 billion valuation before it signed up a single customer

Posted: 02 Jul 2019 10:02 AM PDT

Devoted Health wants to change the way the U.S. takes care of its senior citizens, and it has big plans in its first five years to do just that.

Todd Park

The startup, which has been gathering lots of buzz in the last year, was founded to sell private health insurance plans to U.S. seniors, a market that is growing rapidly as Baby Boomers age.

Using one pitch deck, Devoted Health managed to secure $300 million from investors in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz late last year, with a valuation of $1.8 billion – all before it signed up a single customer.

But the deck also outlined the company's aggressive plans for its first five years. Devoted Health planned to sign up 5,000 members for 2019 and grow that to 103,722 by 2023. It expects to make about $1.2 billion in revenue in 2023 while generating a small net loss.

Here's what else Devoted Health laid out in the pitch deck:

  • How the company, in part, plans to make money by owning its own medical group in addition to the insurance operation
  • Its plan to take on the healthcare giants in Medicare Advantage
  • Why it thinks it can generate better margins than other Medicare Advantage health insurers
  • How the company can eclipse 100,000 members
  • And more about the company's aggressive five-year plan

BI Prime is publishing dozens of stories like this each and every day. Want to get started by reading the full pitch deck?

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