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Mars has suspended global advertising with Google after two investigations by the BBC and The Times found sexualised comments under videos of children. Volunteer moderators who flag inappropriate comments or suspected predator accounts told the publications they get little help from YouTube. The volunteers said they have no child protection training, and hand over data to the police. YouTube has taken measures to crack down on inappropriate content but acknowledged it has more to do.


YouTube is still failing to clean up inappropriate, sexualised comments left under videos featuring children, according to investigations by the BBC and The Times.

And Mars has suspended its global advertising with Google after The Times found its ads running against videos featuring children, with predatory comments beneath.

YouTube reportedly relies on a handful of volunteers to clean up comments made by sexual predators — with one commenter encouraging a young YouTuber who posted a prank video of himself taking a cold shower to "try not to wear black boxers."

Other predators apparently leave requests related to sexual fetishes under videos featuring children, though the videos themselves may be perfectly innocent in their subject matter.

The allegations were made by people who work for free to flag up inappropriate YouTube content, known as "trusted flaggers." These people are not employed directly by YouTube, but have access to more tools to flag up comments or videos to YouTube's teams.

According to flaggers speaking to the BBC and The Times, YouTube has given little support, instead leaving the volunteers to comb through thousands of inappropriate comments and hand them over to US police. The Times report claimed the flaggers had flagged 12,000 accounts belonging to suspected predators, but an estimated 50,000 remain on the service.

One flagged is quoted as saying: "It should not be our responsibility alone to investigate and liaise with law enforcement.

"YouTube's teams should be the ones actively passing this through their established channels with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other law enforcement agencies to reduce this kind of illegal activity."

According to the BBC, the online form where users can flag up inappropriate content appears to have a flaw too. The form apparently is missing associated links, meaning a YouTube staffer can see a report has been made, but has no idea which comment has been flagged up.

The timing could hardly be worse for YouTube, which held its annual Brandcast event for advertisers on Thursday evening in London.

Mars suspended its global advertising with Google after the Times investigation, which found ads appearing against videos showing half-dressed young girls. While the videos were innocent, they reportedly had several predatory comments beneath. The Times also found ads for Amazon, eBay, and Deutsche Bank appearing against similar videos. The brands said they would investigate immediately.

The reports come just a day after YouTube claimed it was cleaning up its act around inappropriate content relating to children. The site said it would suspend comments left under videos featuring children if there were any signs of inappropriate commenting. It's also clamping down on videos that appear to show the mistreatment of children.

 

YouTube sent the following statement to Business Insider:

"Content that endangers children is abhorrent and unacceptable to us. We have clear policies against videos and comments on YouTube which sexualise or exploit children and we enforce them aggressively whenever alerted to such content. We have recently toughened our approach to videos and comments featuring children which may not be illegal, but give cause for concern. In just the past week we've disabled comments on thousands of videos that we've identified as of potential interest to predators and shut down hundreds of accounts identified as making predatory comments. We are committed to getting this right and recognise we need to do more, both through machine learning and by increasing human and technical resources."

Original author: Shona Ghosh
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An environmental start-up in Indonesia is trying to tackle the country's plastic problem. Evoware has made a form of 'edible glass' that is made from seaweed. The glasses can come in different flavours such as peppermint and green tea. Indonesia produces 10 million tonnes of seaweed every year. 

 

Jakarta food and beverages retailer Ong Tek Tjan sells ice cream in cups his customers can eat afterwards, instead of throwing away - they are made from seaweed and taste like jelly, in flavours from peppermint to green tea.

Indonesian start-up Evoware, which makes the cups, as well as other containers, from farmed seaweed free of chemicals, is relying on its biodegradable alternative to plastic packaging to reduce contamination of the environment.

"I too support this environment-friendly cause," said vendor Ong, who uses Evoware's Ello Jello container to serve ice cream, though he feels consumers may take time to adapt to the product that is pricier than current options.

Indonesia, which has some of the world's filthiest rivers and once-pristine beaches littered with plastic waste, has joined a United Nations-led clean-up drive after being rated the second-biggest plastic marine polluter, behind China.

Evoware co-founder David Christian said the idea of seaweed-based edible packaging was spurred by his desire to fight an explosion in plastic waste over the last few years in his home city of Jakarta, Indonesia's capital of 10 million people.

"I saw how much plastic waste is produced here, which takes hundreds or thousands of years to degrade and contaminates everything," Christian added.

From the first product it developed, the seaweed-based jelly cup, Evoware is expanding into other types of packaging, such as dissolvable sachets for coffee or seasonings.

Indonesia produces 10 million tonnes of seaweed each year and targets 19 million tonnes by 2020, said Christian.

But Evoware's products, now made by hand, still have some way to go before they can compete with plastic on price.

The edible seaweed Ello Jello cone can be up to five times more expensive than ordinary crepe cones, according to Ong. And it uses wrappings of plastic and paper to preserve its texture.

"I hope in future the packaging could be better and not use plastic," said one customer, Vince Lantang Helda.

Produced by Jasper Pickering.

Original author: Jasper Pickering and Reuters
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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions holds a news conference to announce an 'international cybercrime enforcement action' at the Department of Justice July 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

DoJ looking for a case of "pure fraud" to prosecute, according to former crypto "tsar." SEC has already taken action and scrutiny of the initial coin offering space is intensifying globally.

LONDON — The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is considering taking action against "initial coin offerings" (ICOs), according to a report in the Financial Times.

Kathryn Haun, a former federal prosecutor who was the DoJ's first crypto "tsar", told the FT that the watchdog is looking closely at the space and considering bringing its first case.

Haun, who sits on the board of trading platform Coinbase, said she believes the DoJ will pick a case that's "pure fraud or a blatant and wanton violation of securities laws rather than a situation that may be a closer call." This would give the prosecutor a high chance of success and send a warning to the rest of the sector.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged a man and two companies for operating fraudulent initial coin offerings in September, the first known action in the space from US regulators.

ICO is a fundraising method that has exploded in popularity so far this year. Startups issue digital coins or tokens in exchange for real money that they use to build their business. The tokens can then be redeemed for goods or services that the startup develops in the future. Over $3 billion has been raised by over 1,000 issuances in 2017.

ICO fundraisingFunderbeam

However, regulators around the world are wary of ICOs, which many see as simply securities issuances masquerading as something else to avoid regulation.

China and South Korea have banned ICOs and regulators from the US and UK have repeatedly warned investors that ICOs are high-risk and unproven.

Original author: Oscar Williams-Grut
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Original author: James Cook
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internet cafe chinaCancan Chu/Getty Images

China has created a website for vigilante citizens to report distorted headlines and harmful information about its military.  The website also invites the public to report military leaks.  China previously created software that automatically reports if a soldier leaks secret information or uses "sensitive words" online. Strict cyber-security laws are growing in China, where citizens' online activity is closely monitored. 


China launched a new website this week where citizens can report leaks and fake news about the military.

The move is consistent with China's internet censorship laws, which are some of the strictest in the world.

Chinese state media reported the website, China Army Network Report Platform, "accepts tip-offs about people who pretend to be military personnel on social media, malicious posts about the People's Liberation Army, or leaks of potentially classified information."

But China's military site, 81.cn, says the platform takes submissions of violations including "harmful information" or "distorting the headlines" about China's military, "systemically editing original news" about the military, and reports "attacking" or "distorting and deconstructing the history" of the Communist Party. 

The website was created to implement the "guiding spirit" of China's Congress in order to create a "clean and bright cyber-military space," and also accepts reports on illegal internet use by military members, including members opening unauthorized social media accounts.

President Xi Jinping said earlier this year that "strengthening cyber-defense and deterrence capabilities" is one of China's top priorities. And after  China’s top cybersecurity officials pledged complete loyalty to party leadership it was widely expected that more crackdowns would occur.

China has long tried to monitor its own military

Closely monitoring the activities of its military personnel has been longstanding policy in China.

In 2016, a long-term ban on Chinese military personnel using social media was lifted but the military urged soldiers to use encrypted mobile programs or military internet cafes.

Earlier this year, China developed software that immediately alerts authorities if a soldier leaks sensitive data, reported the state run  Global Times. The software, which can be enabled remotely, can also restrict hours of use and "screen for sensitive words."

Internet connected wearables, like smart watches, are also banned in order to prevent leaks, according to an NBC news report

Chinese citizens face major consequences for leaking sensitive military information.

In 2016, one man was sentenced to death for leaking more than 150,000 classified documents to an unidentified foreign power, Reuters reported

Internet surveillance for ordinary citizens is the norm

China has been ramping up its censorship and surveillance of the internet in recent years.

In 2013, The Beijing News reported that China had 2 million people working as "public opinion analysts" which involved monitoring public opinion online. 

Sweeping cybersecurity laws came into effect in June 2017. Both local and international companies must store user data in China and submit to government spot checks.

State news agency Xinhua has since reported there are more than 1000 "Internet police offices" across the country, helping "investigate illegal information" and "collect information from the public."

Original author: Rosie Perper
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Revolut app The Revolut app. Revolut

Revolut now has over 1 million users just over two years after launch. Index Ventures' Jan Hammer says the key to its success is a great product and low-fee model.


LONDON — Fast-growing fintech app Revolut has passed 1 million customers just over two years after launch.

Revolut announced the milestone on Friday, saying that customers have now completed 42 million transactions on its app worth a combined $6 billion (£4.5 billion). The company began as a foreign exchange app linked to a pre-paid card but has since branched out into broader financial services, such as current accounts, insurance, and investments.

The customer milestone puts Revolut ahead of other European rivals such as UK-based Monzo, which has 400,000 customers, and German-headquartered N26, which has over 500,000 users across Europe. All are in a race to build a global, app-only bank that hopes to win over a new generation of millennial customers.

Revolut, which is applying for a full European banking license, said that 42% of its customers are aged 25-35, "a clear indication that traditional banks are no longer meeting the needs of younger, tech-savvy generations."

janhammer Index Ventures partner Jan Hammer. Index Ventures

Jan Hammer, a partner at venture capital firm Index Ventures, which has backed Revolut, told Business Insider that Revolut's "product elegance" has helped to fuel its rapid growth.

"First and foremost, Revolut has built a great product, a great product that has a phenomenal product-market fit, that clearly satisfies the needs of hundreds of thousands of users in a really frictionless way," he said.

Launched in July 2015, Revolut has quickly become one of the hottest fintech startups in the world thanks to its rapid growth. The company has raised over $85 million (£64.1 million) from investors to date and claims to be signing up 3,000 to 3,500 new customers across Europe per day. It plans to launch in North America next year.

One of the appeals for customers is Revolut's lower money changing costs compared to traditional foreign exchange brokers. The company was founded by Nikolay Storonsky, a former FX trader with Credit Suisse who felt he was being overcharged when travelling abroad.

Hammer said: "The user loves the no-frills, no fees model for both the banking part and the foreign exchange model, a market that's historically been burdened by huge fees to the tune of up to 5%.

"Revolut has been at the forefront of eliminating these fees. I would draw the similarity with Robinhood — the upfront fee to transact has been eliminated."

Robinhood, another Index Ventures investment, is a US-based stock trading app that charges no brokerage fees and makes money through margin trading loans instead.

"In both cases, it's been zero [customer] acquisition costs," Hammer said. "Referrals, wait lists, peer-to-peer recommendations, social sharing — the list goes on and on, but non-traditional, non-paid user acquisition channels that are resulting in, in both cases, huge user and transaction growth."

Revolut emailed customers last week asking for help getting to 1 million customers by advertising the service to their friends on Facebook, just one example of how it has relied on viral marketing for growth.

Nikolay Storonsky, Revolut Nikolay Storonsky, cofounder and CEO of Revolut. Revolut

CEO Nikolay Storonsky told BI recently that many staff "work at least 12, 13 hours a day. All the key people, all the core team. A lot of people also work on weekends."

Asked if he was worried about the sustainability of this culture, Hammer told BI: "In general, passion and intensity and commitment and hard work are synonymous with ambition and disruption and building a startup. Culture being described as intense, hard-working is not something that's foreign to many other ambitious, venture-backed companies."

Many fintech market watchers see a rivalry between Revolut and TransferWise, an international money transfer business that is also backed by Index Ventures. TransferWise announced plans for an international currency card earlier this year, a move that was seen by many as a direct response to Revolut's popularity.

"Both of those companies satisfy a slightly different use case," Hammer said. "They are obviously aware of each other. They are pursuing somewhat different use cases."

Read BI's full recent interview with Revolut founder Storonsky on the company's rapid growth.

Original author: Oscar Williams-Grut
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walmart shopperREUTERS/ Kevork Djansezian
Customers are slamming Walmart after items from TVs to clothing ran out of stock online.  Walmart kicked off its online Black Friday sale at 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.  The retailer has tripled its online assortment this year — but it needs to keep items in stock if it wants to compete with Amazon. 

 

Some customers are furious at Walmart after the retailer ran out of Black Friday sales items on Thanksgiving Day. 

"What's the point in having online black Friday if everything is either out of stock or in store purchase only?" reads one comment on Walmart's Facebook page on Thursday.

Another reads: "Why is it that many of the sale items in the black Friday ad that are supposed to be available all day today are not online?!?! This is ridiculous and the worst crap walmart has pulled yet!" 

"Nothing is in stock online and store selection sucks," reads a third. 

Screen Shot 2017 11 23 at 9.47.20 PMTwitter leeburt

Walmart's Black Friday sales started online at midnight on Thursday morning. By Thursday evening, many of the items were sold out. 

Screen Shot 2017 11 23 at 9.46.36 PMTwitter rschineis

Items that were out of stock ranged from electronics such as the advertised Sharp Smart LED TV, to best-selling clothing such as Wrangler jeans, kids' pajamas, and fleece jackets, to a wide range of video games. 

Screen Shot 2017 11 23 at 9.49.00 PMTwitter CassIsReal

A number of people are also reporting that they ordered items from Walmart early on Thursday morning, and were told later in the day that the items had sold out and they would not receive them. 

Screen Shot 2017 11 23 at 9.55.01 PMTwitter earnwithash

It's possible that Walmart will restock these items online, either at sales prices or at higher costs. Walmart did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. 

In any case, restocking later doesn't prevent customers' anger now — or help Walmart compete with Amazon. 

Walmart made a major investment in its online shopping business this year, with perks like free two-day shipping on orders of greater than $35. The retailer announced earlier in November that it has tripled its online assortment for the holidays when compared to a year ago, including doubling its toy offerings. 

The ability to keep these items in stock online is crucial for Walmart if it wants to compete with Amazon. While Amazon's prices often skyrocket on popular items, it rarely truly runs out of stock thanks to its extensive range of third-party retailers who also sell items on the site. 

Original author: Kate Taylor
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iPhone X The iPhone X is a beautiful, deeply flawed device. Hollis Johnson

The iPhone X is beautiful and exciting. The phone has one crucial flaw, however — it's nearly impossible to use with just one hand. The difficulty has changed the way I use my phone for the worse, so I'm selling mine.

 

I still remember the feeling of excitement I had peeling back the protective plastic from the my shiny new iPhone X. What a gorgeous piece of technology.

That feeling didn’t last.

I’m now nearly a month into using the iPhone X, and I’ve slowly realized I unreservedly dislike the device. In fact, I hate using it.

I could rattle off a list of complaints, like how FaceID is inconsistent, the bright chrome the metal casing is scratch-prone, and the price tag is astronomical.

There's a fatal flaw. 

But there’s really only one flaw that really matters to me: the phone is impossible for me to use with one hand.

iphone arc The top of the red arc marks the natural limit of my thumb's reach. Business Insider/Dennis Green

Though the phone's footprint is only a bit bigger than the one of the iPhone 6, 7, and 8, the bigger screen 

The new gestures required by the notch mean there’s no way to look at my notifications with only one hand, or access the control center. Those are pretty essential functions, and it drastically limits the usability of the phone when I’m on the go, or when I only have one hand free.

I've noticed myself actually changing my behavior to try and use the phone, holding it differently and constantly changing my grip by sliding my hand up the back of the device trying to reach the top of the screen with my thumb.

With my hand closer to the top of the device, I feel like I'm going to drop it. That causes me to instinctively bring the phone down and horizontal, parallel to the floor and near my stomach. This puts the phone in an awkward position, forcing me to crane my neck.

The entire top two rows of apps on the home screen are basically inaccessible without this sliding move, and it makes me paranoid I'm going to drop the $1,000 device. 

I've also noticed a new habit of bringing in my left hand when I'm using the phone nearly all the time. It rests near the top left corner of the device, tapping back arrows or notifications as needed. 

With my previous iPhone, the 6, I was able to use my pinky as a kind of shelf for the phone to sit on as I tapped away, composing text messages, checking email, or changing the songs played on Spotify. The X's size doesn't let that happen.

I've enabled Reachability, Apple's solution for small handedness on larger phones. It doesn't help much. The feature is triggered with a downward swipe on the bottom edge of the screen, which is both an awkward motion and also makes me feel like I'm losing grip on the device. It also adds another step to using anything near the top of the phone.

The fear of dropping the phone comes from the $549 repair bill that comes along with cracking the back glass of the phone. I hate the idea of risking that just trying to see my notifications. 

I envied people with the old iPhone. 

At first, I thought it was just an adjustment period — not dissimilar to the feeling of melancholy one gets just after getting married.  I experienced something similar with my previous phone.

The 6 represented a similar dramatic departure in form factor from previous iPhones, similar to the X's new shape. When I upgraded to the 6 from my iPhone 4S, I was struck with similar doubts about one-handed use, and it took me a while to get used to.

However, my hand did get used to it in a few weeks, and I ended up falling totally in love with the phone. A month later, that same thing did not happen with the X.

I had assumed using the new phone would be basically identical to using my previous phone, but I didn't account for how the larger screen size would drastically affect my ability to use it.

A weird thing happened: I saw people with older iPhone devices and actually envied them. How easy they looked to use, how flawless the TouchID was, the more manageable size. When a friend showed me her new iPhone 8, I felt legitimate pangs of jealousy.

Eventually, I realized the phone would never work for me.

I realized, with an air of sadness, that I needed to get rid of it. The screen and size are just too big to use with one hand. It’s not comfortable, and I don't think it ever will be. And the form factor isn’t big enough to comfortably use two hands all the time.

iPhone X The iPhone X — not for those with small hands. Hollis Johnson

I've never had an Apple product that refused to bend to my will with such stubbornness. I realized I don't really need to be on the cutting edge of technology with a gorgeous screen and bleeding edge facial recognition — I just need a phone that works for me.

A phone shouldn't be this difficult to use. 

A phone should adapt to a user — not the other way around. I have no doubt that the phone would work perfectly for someone with larger hands. 

If the iPhone X is the future of the smartphone, I'd rather be left behind. I'll be selling my iPhone X, and invest in the tried-and-true form factor of the iPhone 8 instead.

Original author: Dennis Green
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Black Friday Black Friday is no longer just a one-day event. Getty/George Frey

Overall sales on Black Friday have been steadily declining for years. This year, Black Friday spending was spread out through November with most sales starting Thanksgiving morning. Mobile spending is drastically up on Thanksgiving, making Black Friday more of a season than a one-day event.


November 24 is only one day, but Black Friday is a lot longer than that.

Bargains at America's largest retailers all started on Thanksgiving, with deals online starting Thanksgiving morning. The deals are still labeled as Black Friday, but they start at least a half a day before November 24.

The move seems to be paying off for retailers. Data from Adobe as of Thanksgiving afternoon shows online sales at retailers on Thanksgiving day at over $1.5 billion — an increase of nearly 17% over this time and day last year. The average online order is also up more than 3% on Thanksgiving.

Phones have understandably driven the growth of sales on Thanksgiving, counting for 46% of all retailer traffic according to Adobe — an increase of more than 15% over last year. At the same time, traffic decreased from both tablets and desktops, making mobile the most popular option for Thanksgiving shopping. It's likely due to a combination of a proliferation of shopping apps and the ease of using a phone to sneak some holiday shopping while at a relative's house waiting for turkey.

But it isn't just Thanksgiving that is leading to Black Friday's demise. Online sales from November 1 through 22 totaled almost $30.4 billion this year, counting for nearly 18% year over year growth according to Adobe.

Every single day in November so far saw over $1 billion in online sales, creating a new paradigm for both shoppers and retailers. Black Friday isn't just a day anymore — it's a whole season.

Original author: Dennis Green
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thanksgiving Flickr/We Are Social

Thanksgiving online sales have already reached $1.5 billion.  Almost half of all traffic to retailers' sites is coming from smartphones.  Last year, Walmart and Target Thanksgiving Day smartphones sales were crucial to kicking off the retailers' holiday shopping seasons. 


Americans have already spent more than $1.5 billion online on Thanksgiving Day — and almost half of shoppers are on their smartphones. 

As of 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, 46% of all traffic to retail sites on Thanksgiving was from smartphones, according to Adobe Analytics data. That's a 17% increase from Thanksgiving Day last year.

That means, for the first time, Thanksgiving shoppers are spending more time online shopping on their phones than on their computers. Desktop and tablet traffic both dropped compared to last year.

Ignoring friends and family to shop on your iPhone is becoming something of a tongue-in-cheek Thanksgiving tradition. The New York Times' product review site Wirecutter tweeted on Thursday: "Thanksgiving is for your family, not for shopping... So please be discreet while you do it on your phone". 

Screen Shot 2017 11 23 at 5.52.57 PM Twitter wirecutter

Still, just because everyone is ignoring their families to troll retailers' websites doesn't mean that people are spending the most money on their iPhones. According to Adobe, smartphones sales make up a 30% share of revenue so far today. That's a 22% increase from last year, but still falling short of desktop sales, which accounted for a 57% share.

Last year was also a record year for smartphone shopping on Thanksgiving. As of 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day 2016, mobile sales had reached $449 million, an increase of 58% from 2015.

In 2016, both Walmart and Target highlighted smartphone sales as key to a successful kick off to the online shopping season. According to Walmart, 70% of traffic to the retailer's website during the Thursday kick off of its Black Friday promotion came from mobile devices. 

 

Original author: Kate Taylor
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Original author: Mark Matousek
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2018 Ford Mustang GTAmerican muscle!Matthew DeBord/BI

The 2018 Mustang has been updated. Our test car was the Mustang GT, whose 5.0-liter engine is now more powerful. But the new Stang is about more than a sub-four-second 0-60 mph time.


After redesigning the iconic Mustang for its 50th birthday in 2015, Ford has refreshed the car for the 2018 model year.

Not much has changed, but what has changed is all for the better. 

We recently got some seat time in an all-new 2018 Mustang GT, out in California. The conditions were ideal for muscle-car testing. Here's what we thought.


I used to live in LA and tested plenty of cars there. Here's my typical route. With the Stang, I reversed the sequence.

I used to live in LA and tested plenty of cars there. Here's my typical route. With the Stang, I reversed the sequence.
Google Maps/Skitch

The Mustang looks good in sun. Updates are radical: the front and back end have been made more sleek.

The Mustang looks good in sun. Updates are radical: the front and back end have been made more sleek.
Matthew DeBord/BI

I think the overall effect is to continue presenting the Stang, after over five decades, as a sports car with global appeal, versus a stonking old American muscle car.

I think the overall effect is to continue presenting the Stang, after over five decades, as a sports car with global appeal, versus a stonking old American muscle car.
Matthew DeBord/BI

The front is less snouty that the outgoing design.

The front is less snouty that the outgoing design.
Matthew DeBord/BI

I'm lookin' at you.

I'm lookin' at you.
Matthew DeBord/BI

The rear has also been slimmed down a tad. The spoiler is an option.

The rear has also been slimmed down a tad. The spoiler is an option.
Matthew DeBord/BI

The action is still all-Mustang under the hood. My GT had a 5.0-liter V8, making 460 horsepower, a bump on the 2017 car thanks to re-engineered fuel-injection technology. With a delicious six-speed manual transmission, the price would have been about $45,000 (my tester wasn't officially stickered).

The action is still all-Mustang under the hood. My GT had a 5.0-liter V8, making 460 horsepower, a bump on the 2017 car thanks to re-engineered fuel-injection technology. With a delicious six-speed manual transmission, the price would have been about $45,000 (my tester wasn't officially stickered).
Matthew DeBord/BI

A 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor is also available, making about 100 fewer horses.

A 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor is also available, making about 100 fewer horses. Sadly, there's no V6.

A 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor is also available, making about 100 fewer horses. Sadly, there's no V6.
Matthew DeBord/BI

This Ford stickshift is exceptional. I enjoyed it in a convertible 2017 GT back in New Jersey over the summer and was sold. The clutch is also wonderful, not too demanding, but not smushy, either.

This Ford stickshift is exceptional. I enjoyed it in a convertible 2017 GT back in New Jersey over the summer and was sold. The clutch is also wonderful, not too demanding, but not smushy, either.
Matthew DeBord/BI

A 10-speed automatic is available.

The V8 is slightly higher in displacement over the 2017 car: you round down to 5.0 liters, not up. Put the hammer down (in the automatic) and the 0-60 mph dash passes in under 4 seconds, with the sweet sounds of combustion echoing in your ears.

The V8 is slightly higher in displacement over the 2017 car: you round down to 5.0 liters, not up. Put the hammer down (in the automatic) and the 0-60 mph dash passes in under 4 seconds, with the sweet sounds of combustion echoing in your ears.
Matthew DeBord/BI

The manual will still get you to 60mph in less than 4.5 seconds.

With a small gas tank and only 200 miles of range, such performance comes at a price. Fuel economy is not good. You should be able to get about 20 mpg on the highway, but if you have any fun, you're looking at 15 and frequent fill-ups. Such is the price of pleasure.

With a small gas tank and only 200 miles of range, such performance comes at a price. Fuel economy is not good. You should be able to get about 20 mpg on the highway, but if you have any fun, you're looking at 15 and frequent fill-ups. Such is the price of pleasure.
Matthew DeBord/BI

My Stang was equipped with SYNC 3, Ford's quite capable infotainment system.

My Stang was equipped with SYNC 3, Ford's quite capable infotainment system.
Matthew DeBord/BI

The touchscreen is responsive and not at all laggy, if modestly scaled in this car. There's all the usual stuff: navigation, a dandy audio system with SiriusXM, USB/AUX ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The truck is very roomy, and while the back seats aren't, they large enough to accommodate smaller folks and kids and, you know, a jacket and cap.

The truck is very roomy, and while the back seats aren't, they large enough to accommodate smaller folks and kids and, you know, a jacket and cap.
Matthew DeBord/BI

The font seats, by the way, are comfy for freeway hauls, yet bolstered enough to hold you snug when canyon-carving.

The new digital instrument cluster can be customized and presents different configurations depending on driving mode. Track, for example, strips everything down to a racing-car style tachometer.

The new digital instrument cluster can be customized and presents different configurations depending on driving mode. Track, for example, strips everything down to a racing-car style tachometer.
Matthew DeBord/BI

Including a relative ...

Including a relative ...
Matthew DeBord/BI

... Or two.

... Or two.
Matthew DeBord/BI

Verdict?

Verdict?
Matthew DeBord/BI

When I last sampled a GT, my thoughts were: "Brothers and sisters, if you think a sports car might be for you, just get one of these."

The song remains the same, even though I've also driven the GT's big brother, the GT350, which is a lot of car.

The regular 5.0 GT is plenty, however. I used it as a passable imitation of the daily driver in LA, and though the six-speed was no party, it was fine. Once I got to cut loose in the canyons, you couldn't have given me an automatic. 

That said, because the redline is now 7,500 rpm (up 500 from the previous model), it's possible to park the GT in third gear, or even second, and just rip around and relish the sharp steering and marvelous brakes: point and shoot driving, with the V8 making its music in the background.

Obviously, this is a Mustang, so it can haul in a straight line. Onramp runs and passing on the freeway are tons of fun. When the back end hunkers down and the tires grab, the joy is palpable (the GT is outfitted with a Drag Strip mode, by the way, and joined with the automatic option, that gets you a sub-four-second 0-60 mph time).

The real trick with the V8-motored Stangs these days is to deliver German-sports-car-level performance without grinding the backwoods American edge off. This is harder than it sounds. But Ford has done it, and even sneakily altered the Stang's looks by streamlining the exterior. But that engine continues to rock 'n' roll.

Yeah, let's face it, I loved the car. The gas bill might take some getting used to, but the 2018 Mustang GT is an excellent plaything. You'd want to drive it every single weekend. And then you might even want to spend the money and drive it every day. 

Don't forget, even if you max out the options and get up to $55,000 or so, you're still miles below the cost of comparable Porsche 911 (a Carrera GTS, for example). You can afford the fill-ups.

Original author: Matthew DeBord
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choices shopping store customer decisionFlickr/Paul IsraelBig or small, decisions aren't as easy as they may seem.

Psychologists have found decision-making is fraught with hidden influences, tricky nuances, and the ability to make us happy in the short-term but unhappy in the long-term.

Some of my greatest insights into this aspect of human behavior have come from TED talks, which break down research findings into their most digestible form.

Here are the talks that have changed how I make decisions.


"How to make hard choices"

Philosopher Ruth Chang's 2013 talk explains that people often struggle to choose between two equally good options that are "on a par."

People tend to view hard choices as burdens, but Chang would prefer we see them as blessings that grant us agency. Hard choices make us confront our desire to live in the city over the country, for example, or to eat a healthy breakfast over sugary cereal.

The takeaway: Whenever I face a hard choice, I celebrate it as a way to cement an aspect of my identity.

"Grit: The power of passion and perseverance"

In 2013, UPenn psychologist Angela Duckworth presented the findings of her research on grit — or the ability to keep trucking when life gets hard.

Duckworth has found across numerous fields that grit is the single-biggest indicator of personal and professional success, even more than IQ. And the best way to cultivate grit is to build a "growth mindset" that sees circumstances are flexible, not rigid.

The takeaway: The moment when things start getting tough is the starting point for success, not a sign to call it quits.

"The paradox of choice"

In Barry Schwartz's 2005 talk, the Swarthmore College psychologist reviews research that says people are misled in thinking they should want as much choice as possible, whether it's the number of salad dressings at the supermarket or clothing styles at the mall.

It's actually possible to get worn out from making so many tiny choices throughout the day. It's called decision fatigue, and it can detract from the many important choices you need to make, whether at home or at work.

The takeaway: I limit my number of choices on purpose, because I know I'll be happier with my decision once I make it.

"Are we in control of our own decisions?"

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely gave a talk in 2009 that suggests outside forces quietly nudge people toward certain outcomes over others.

A famous example is organ donation. Some countries have far higher rates simply because the form people fill out is opt-out, and people generally stick with the default option.

The takeaway: I do my best to take will power out of the equation by making the default option the healthiest, such as not buying junk food at the store rather than avoiding it in my cabinet every day.

"The surprising habits of original thinkers"

UPenn psychologist Adam Grant remarked in 2016 that some of history's most original thinkers organized their time in interesting ways to achieve maximum creativity.

Specifically, Grant says people should put off their projects for a bit so they can let disparate ideas congeal into something original. It's not quite procrastination, because it's intentional, but it comes close.

The takeaway: If I want to solve a creative problem, the decision to leave and come back to it really does pay off.

"The riddle of experience vs. memory"

http://feedproxy.google.com/assets/images/logos/BI-placeholder.svg
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman spoke in 2010 about the two ways we find happiness: in the moment and in our memories. People must keep each in mind when trying to create happiness.

For example, according to Kahneman's research, the experiencing self is twice as happy on a two-week vacation over a one-week vacation, but the remembering self isn't, since no new memories are being formed.

The takeaway: I can make more intentional choices in the service of both selves, in order to maximize each kind of happiness.

"The optimism bias" by Tali Sharot

Sharot, a cognitive scientist, explains in her 2012 talk that roughly 80% of people succumb to what's known as an "optimism bias," or the tendency to see themselves and loved ones as better than they really.

Importantly, she's found in her research that high expectations are a good thing, in part because anticipation makes people happy. It's the reason it's thrilling to make vacation plans and why Fridays, a work day, are more enjoyable than Sundays, a weekend.

The takeaway: I make big plans further ahead of time, knowing the event itself isn't the whole picture. The anticipation is part of what makes me happy.

Original author: Chris Weller
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net neutrality protest ajit pai picture cat Proponents of net neutrality protest against Federal Communication Commission Chairman Ajit Pai outside the American Enterprise Institute before his arrival May 5, 2017 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Business Insider asked some of the biggest tech firms in the US about the FCC's plans to kill net neutrality. Netflix, Facebook, Google and more are all speaking out in support of net neutrality, and against the FCC's plans.


The FCC is planning to kill net neutrality — and some tech companies are starting to speak out.

In December, the US telecoms regulator is planning to roll-back Obama-era rules that ensure net neutrality — the principle that all data must be treated equally, and companies can't charge for preferential access.

The plan is expected to pass, and if it does, it will mean ISPs and telecoms firms are able to charge companies for access to "fast lanes," or even block certain apps altogether.

Pro-net neutrality activists, who argue the principle creates a level playing-field online, are up in arms about the plan. And some tech companies are now speaking out in support of net neutrality as well, from Facebook to Netflix.

Business Insider reached out to some of the biggest tech firms in America today to ask for their reaction to the FCC's plan. Their initial responses are below, and we will continue to update this post as more come in.

Facebook: Net neutrality ensures 'the internet remains open for everyone'

In an emailed statement, Facebook's vice-president of US public policy Erin Egan said: "We are disappointed that the proposal announced today by the FCC fails to maintain the strong net neutrality protections that will ensure the internet remains open for everyone. We will work with all stakeholders committed to this principle."

Google: 'We are disappointed'

A Google spokesperson says: "The FCC’s net neutrality rules are working well for consumers and we’re disappointed in the proposal announced today."

ajit pai fcc net neutrality Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai arrives for his confirmation hearing for a second term as chair of the commission before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill July 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Netflix: 'We oppose the FCC's proposal'

In a tweet sent on Tuesday, video-streaming giant Netflix signaled its support of net neutrality and its opposition to the FCC's plans.

Says Netflix:

"Netflix supports strong #NetNeutrality. We oppose the FCC's proposal to roll back these core protections." In response to a Twitter using calling for it to take action, it added: "We've been supporting for years thru IA and Day to Save Net Neutrality with a banner on Netflix homepage for all users. More info in Q4 2016 earnings letter, as well. This current draft order hasn't been officially voted, so we're lodging our opposition publicly and loudly now."

The company did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for additional comment.

Reddit: Net neutrality is 'crucial to innovation'

The Reddit community is fiercely pro-net neutrality, and has been up in arms about the plans. Most of the top posts on the social news and community site right now are calls to arms, or highly critical messages targeting the FCC.

The company itself is also pro-net neutrality.

In a statement, a Reddit spokesperson said:

"Reddit is actively monitoring the FCC's proposed rule changes that could dismantle net neutrality as we know it. From farmers in South Dakota to musicians in Kentucky to small business owners in Utah, net neutrality is just as important to redditors as it is to Reddit and we will continue to advocate for and work constructively to maintain a free and open Internet. It is crucial to innovation and the health of our economy that small businesses have equal access to the internet, with winners and losers chosen by consumers, not ISPs."

Internet Association: The proposal 'defies the will of millions of Americans'

The Internet Association, an industry body whose members include Amazon, Dropbox, Ebay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Spotify, Uber, and others, put out a statement on Tuesday criticizing the plans. It said:

"Chairman Pai’s proposal, if implemented, represents the end of net neutrality as we know it and defies the will of millions of Americans who support the 2015 Open Internet Order. This proposal undoes nearly two decades of bipartisan agreement on baseline net neutrality principles that protect Americans’ ability to access the entire internet.

"The 2015 Order created bright-line, enforceable net neutrality protections that guarantee consumers access to the entire internet and preserve competition online. This proposal fails to achieve any of these objectives. Consumers have little choice in their ISP, and service providers should not be allowed to use this gatekeeper position at the point of connection to discriminate against websites and apps.

“Internet Association and our members will continue our work to ensure net neutrality protections remain the law of the land."

Oracle: Declined to comment

Enterprise tech giant Oracle declined to comment when reached by email.

Salesforce: Reitereated the Internet Association's position

Salesforce, a member of the Internet Association, directed Business Insider to the industry body's statement when reached for comment.

Apple, Twitter, Cisco, and IBM did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. We will update this story as we hear back.

Original author: Rob Price
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When it comes to offering cutting-edge mobile banking features that consumers most value, Wells Fargo tops the list, according to BI Intelligence’s Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study. Banks are increasingly putting mobile first to keep up with consumers' growing reliance on digital channels, as a strong suite of mobile offerings can now give them a major edge in attracting customers.

To help banks understand how to differentiate and win customers on mobile, we identified 33 key mobile banking features and ranked them based on how important consumers say those features are in choosing a new bank. Using this ranking, we evaluated the mobile offerings of the top 15 US banks and credit unions to select our 2017 Mobile Banking Pacesetters.

The rest of the top five are in close competition.

Bank of America’s commitment to digital is undeniable. Like USAA, Bank of America gained points for offering its 23 million mobile users rare features, such as cardless ATM access, the ability to re-order or disable a payment card in-app, and the ability to alert the bank to travel plans. Bank of America tied with Wells Fargo for first place in the security section, and tied for third overall. Rank: 3rd (tie). Overall score: 73 out of 100 points. Citibank is reinventing itself as a digital-first bank. Citi is in the midst of a fundamental digital transformation — it launched 86 digital features in 2016, and is on track to deploy 800 more in 2017. The volume of features offered by the bank, including its range of biometric login options and the ability to order a replacement card via mobile banking, helped set it apart in this benchmark. Citi received top marks in the wallets section of the scorecard, thanks to its innovative mobile wallet Citi Pay, and tied for third overall. Rank: 3rd (tie). Overall score: 73 out of 100 points. Capital One is pioneering next-generation digital banking experiences. Known for its commitment to a superior user experience, Capital One rounded out the top five in this scorecard with cutting-edge features that position it for the future of digital banking. Specifically, Capital One offers a conversational SMS chatbot and an integration with Amazon’s Echo device for voice-based banking. The bank tied with Wells Fargo and Citi for first in the wallets category of the scorecard, scored highest for social, and came in fifth overall. Rank: 5th. Overall score: 72 out of 100 points.

BI Intelligence's Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study ranks banks according to strength of their mobile offerings and offers analysis on what banks need to do to win and retain customers. The study is based on an August benchmark of what features the 15 top US banks offer, and a dedicated September 2017 study of 1,100 consumers on the importance of 32 cutting edge features in choosing a bank.

The full report will be available to BI Intelligence enterprise clients in November. To learn more about this report, email Senior Account Executive Chris Roth (.).  BI Intelligence's Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study includes: Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Fifth Third, HSBC, Key Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, SunTrust, TD, US Bank, USAA, and Wells Fargo.

Original author: Dan Van Dyke
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Balloon Puppeteers Macys Parade 1924Macy'sAround 3.5 million people attend the Macy's Thanksgiving parade in New York City every year. Fifty million more tune in to watch it from home.

Before it became the national spectacle it is today, the first parade in 1924 was a relatively modest assembly of Macy's workers, elephants, monkeys, camels, Broadway performers, and small floats.

Take a look at archive photos of Macy's first parade.


On Thanksgiving morning in 1924, Macy's procession launched as the Christmas Parade.

On Thanksgiving morning in 1924, Macy's procession launched as the Christmas Parade.
Macy's

Macy's was not the first company to have a parade like this. In 1920, Philadelphia’s Gimbel Brothers Department Store staged a Thanksgiving parade with 50 people, 15 cars, and a fireman dressed as Santa Claus.

The performers marched 6 miles, starting from the intersection of 145th Street and Convent Avenue in Upper Manhattan.

The performers marched 6 miles, starting from the intersection of 145th Street and Convent Avenue in Upper Manhattan.
Corbis/Getty Images

Source: The New York Times

The parade featured elephants, monkeys, camels, and bears borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. Live animals made appearances for just two more parades after 1924.

The parade featured elephants, monkeys, camels, and bears borrowed from the Central Park Zoo. Live animals made appearances for just two more parades after 1924.
Getty Images

Source: History

In 1927, Marionette maker Tony Frederick Sarg's large animal-shaped balloons replaced the animals. The first flying balloon, filled with air, was Felix the Cat. That year, the event was also renamed the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.

In 1927, Marionette maker Tony Frederick Sarg's large animal-shaped balloons replaced the animals. The first flying balloon, filled with air, was Felix the Cat. That year, the event was also renamed the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.
A worker assembling the Felix the Cat balloon in 1927.AP

Source: Business Insider

In the first parade, some of the floats matched Macy's Christmas window display themes. The participants dressed up like characters from Mother Goose stories, including the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Little Miss Muffet, and Little Red Riding Hood.

In the first parade, some of the floats matched Macy's Christmas window display themes. The participants dressed up like characters from Mother Goose stories, including the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, Little Miss Muffet, and Little Red Riding Hood.
Macy's

Macy's employees wore costumes to look like clowns, cowboys, and knights.

Macy's employees wore costumes to look like clowns, cowboys, and knights.
Getty Images/NY Daily News Archives

The company threw the parade to draw more holiday shoppers into New York's Macy's, which touted itself as the "world's largest department store" in 1924. It included 1 million square feet of retail space. (The store is only slightly larger today.)

The company threw the parade to draw more holiday shoppers into New York's Macy's, which touted itself as the 
Macy's

Source: Macy's

The last float, decorated like a sleigh, had a Santa Claus who waved to spectators.

The last float, decorated like a sleigh, had a Santa Claus who waved to spectators.
Macy's

The parade ended at the Macy's store in Herald Square on 34th Street, where the Santa climbed a short ladder resting against a new Christmas window display called "The Fair Frolics of Wondertown." He drew a curtain to unveil it.

The parade ended at the Macy's store in Herald Square on 34th Street, where the Santa climbed a short ladder resting against a new Christmas window display called
Macy's

The parade became an annual tradition.

The parade became an annual tradition.
A thank you note from Macy's published in The New York Times on November 28, 1924.Macy's/The New York Times Archives
Original author: Leanna Garfield
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the simpsons movie mobFox

There is no winning for brands in today's hyper-polarized and divisive environment, where the social media outrage cycle runs on a constant loop. Brands inevitably end up being perceived as political, whether they take outright stances or not. The solution is for brands to remain true to their own as well as their consumers values, say experts.


The outrage cycle has always been a constant feature of social media. But the pace, scale and extent of that outrage is now unprecedented, with marketers swiftly getting swept up in a swirl of discontent.

Just ask Keurig. The coffee company was one of the first brands to announce that it was pulling its ads on Fox News host Sean Hannity's show last weekend, following the host's interview on Friday with Roy Moore, in which critics argued that he was too easy on Moore.

Soon enough, many on the right were calling for Hannity's supporters to boycott Keurig, with some people going as far as to post videos of themselves smashing their Keurig coffee machines. And not long after, Keurig's CEO Bob Gamgort was backpedaling and apologizing for "taking sides."

Keurig is just the latest example of how the outrage cycle today runs on a loop. A marketers finds itself in the middle of a hot-button ideological issue – whether it asked to be there or not. There is backlash. And then there is counter-backlash to that backlash. Until another brand find itself in the thick of a similar maelstrom, and the cycle kickstarts all over again.

Basically, there is no winning for brands in today's hyper-polarized and divisive environment. Take a stand on a hot-button issue, and get pummeled by the conservatives. Or don't, and get roasted by the progressives. Markerters — already wary of entering the political fray — now find themselves are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Almost everything is a potential minefield.

A Catch-22 situation

"The social media sparring ushered in with the Trump era creates a Catch-22 for brands," John Barker, founder of ad agency Barker with clients such as Aston Martin and Bennigan's, told Business Insider. "It is very difficult to navigate the gauntlet that awaits regarding anything that appears to lean one way or another."

Brian Collins, co-founder and chief creative officer of brand strategy and design company Collins, agreed.

"Whether you are acting and choosing to be on your front foot about an issue, or reacting when you are involuntarily dragged into it, there is no escape," he said. "There are trapdoors and tripwires for brands in every direction."

Marketers for years have been told to join in on conversations on social media, align their values with those of their consumers and not be afraid to take stands. And many, from Starbucks and Airbnb to Nordstrom have risen up to the occasion. But increasingly, doing that means opening themselves up to backlash. 

When brands take seemingly political stances, they invite all kinds of risks that they’re not necessarily equipped to face. And with the likelihood of them being unwittingly caught in the middle of a social media crossfire only increasing, many brands have veered in the direction of insularity, or worse, back peddling. That's exactly what happened Keurig and Volvo this week.

"Brands are quietly and effectively keeping their commitments to the environment, diversity and immigration, under the radar, without a backlash. This will only continue," said Chris Allieri, principal of  Mulberry & Astor, a public relations, branding, and marketing agency. "Few brands have taken positions and stuck to them."

'Neutrality is not an option'

But being insular and retreating is hardly the solution, at least not in the long term. Corporate values play an increasingly large role in customers' shopping decisions today, and tying a brand to certain values is one way to differentiate, stand out from the crowd and create a passionate consumer base.

"There's no winning if you’re playing yesterday’s game," said Jay Porter, president at PR firm Edelman Chicago. "A lot of brands are trapped in the past, where they were apolitical and today, where they are expected to talk about social issues."

Some of the biggest brands including Levi's and Coca-Cola built their brands on the basis of being 'for everyone.' But today, "brands have to pick sides, neutrality is not an option." Collins said. "Not weighing in on everything is an option, but not weighing in on anything is not an option."

That is because brands don't just enter the conversations at their own behest. They can just as easily be dragged into the conversation by activists and trolls. In such a situation, the best thing to do is to be prepared and have relevant response protocols in place. So when something goes wrong, such as when the right starts smashing your products as was the case with Keurig, the reflex is not to panic and backtrack.

Don't cave in 

"Brands have to lean into shared values with their consumers and align those values with their internal stakeholders in order to respond to these situations," said Porter. "When brands are not aligned and redact or change their stances — that’s where activists and trolls lean in, because they small fear."

Brands have to live at the intersection of what's authentic to them and what's relevant to their consumers, said Collins.

"That is what will help tide over today's climate," he said. 

Original author: Business Insider
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robotSergei Karpukhin/Reuters

If you're keeping up to date on technology news, you're probably seeing references to machine learning everywhere, and for good reason: machine learning is an integral component of the way that computers process information. 

Machine learning is all around us, informing our day to day lives from the way we navigate Google maps right down to the way we check our inboxes. 

But what is it exactly, and when did it start being such a big deal?

Here's a quick explainer to get you up to date: 

 


There have been two especially important developments in the history of machine learning: the first began with artificial intelligence pioneer Arthur Samuel, who coined the term "machine learning" back in 1959.

There have been two especially important developments in the history of machine learning: the first began with artificial intelligence pioneer Arthur Samuel, who coined the term
Arthur Samuel sits at his computing checker machine.IBM

In 1959, MIT engineer Arthur Samuel described machine learning as a "Field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed." Samuel was busy creating his own computing machine: an autonomous checker program that he envisioned would someday beat the top world checker player champion. 

The other important development in machine learning? The internet.

The other important development in machine learning? The internet.
Wikimedia Commons

The advent of the internet presented a trove of accumulated data. With so much information readily available, there seemed but one thing to do: figure out a way to organize it into meaningful patterns — one of machine learning's most integral roles.

Big data is the fundamental building block of machine learning.

Big data is the fundamental building block of machine learning.
Thomson Reuters

Big data, is, essentially, exactly what it's called: a ton of data. It's all of the information accrued by social media companies, search engines, and even microphones and cameras that are constantly collecting information. 

Algorithms sort through this vast collection of information so that technology can predict what we'll do next.

Algorithms sort through this vast collection of information so that technology can predict what we'll do next.
ShutterStock / spaxiax

Vast amounts of data inform machine learning algorithms, equipping technology with methods of predicting future patterns. These algorithms provide a way to forecast future behavior and anticipate forthcoming problems. 

One of the best-known examples of this is Amazon's suggested product feature. It reads your preferences and the buying habits of other people, and then recommends other products you might be interested in. 

 

Machine learning is all about sorting through those troves of collected information to discern patterns and predict new ones.

Machine learning is all about sorting through those troves of collected information to discern patterns and predict new ones.
REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Machine learning differs from human learning, insofar as the machine only knows what you tell it: A computer can't express curiosity or make inferences.

For example, if you watch a lot of scifi movies on Netflix, you might find Stranger Things in your suggestion queue. But it's only a matter of math, based on Netflix's data alone —  if you've never told Netflix that you love documentaries, or rated one highly, the system will likely never show you one.

But current day iterations of machine learning have radically evolved since the 1600s. Today, machines can learn with only minimal human intervention.

But current day iterations of machine learning have radically evolved since the 1600s. Today, machines can learn with only minimal human intervention.
Reuters/ Kai Pfaffenbach

Through machine learning, technologists have mimicked the way the human brain works by producing sophisticated systems called neural networks. In turn, neural networks enable deep learning, an outcome that has produced computer systems superseding human intelligence. 

 

Machine learning plays a key role in the development of artificial intelligence.

Machine learning plays a key role in the development of artificial intelligence.
Denis Balibouse/Reuters

A.I. and machine learning are often conflated, but they're not the same thing. Artificial intelligence refers to a machine's ability to perform intelligent tasks, whereas machine learning refers to the automated process by which machines weed out meaningful patterns in data. Without machine learning, artificial intelligence as we know it wouldn't be possible.

 

There's plenty in store for the future of machine learning. Expect to see machine learning informing the development of virtual reality, the driverless car industry, and artificial intelligence.

There's plenty in store for the future of machine learning. Expect to see machine learning informing the development of virtual reality, the driverless car industry, and artificial intelligence.
Randy Shropshire/Getty

In many ways, machine learning is one of the most powerful forces in technology. Its development is shaping the forefront of the future in industries like artificial intelligence and driverless cars

Original author: Zoë Bernard
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Entrepreneurs working out of India, or with an interest in India, can hear from some key players about their views of the Indian startup scene, India’s venture capital ecosystem and the India – US...

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According to Gartner, the global cloud-based security services market is estimated to grow 21% this year to $5.9 billion and $9 billion by the year 2020. Cloud-based security and compliance solutions...

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