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There are 1.9 billion stolen passwords and usernames available on the black market, and up to 25% of them will still work on a Google account (GOOG, GOOGL)


Mr. Robot

  • Billions of stolen user names and passwords are available on black market forums.
  • Using internal Google data, researchers found between 7% and 25% of these stolen passwords would work on a Google search or Gmail account. 
  • Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail users make up 50% of the victims of stolen passwords in the study — even though the passwords were stolen from different services such as MySpace or LinkedIn. 

There are hundreds of millions of usernames and passwords traded on black markets that can be used to access Google accounts, write Google and Berkeley researchers in a major new paper

The study, published over the weekend, uses Google's own, carefully controlled internal "proprietary data" as a case-study to see whether the hacked passwords and other accounts traded on hacker forums and the dark web actually work on real accounts. 

It turns out, the researchers write, that as many as 25% of exposed passwords from data breaches traded on black market forums could be used to take control of a Google account.

Top 20 largest credential leaksFrom the report: 

"Through a combination of password re-use across thousands of online services and targeted collection, we estimated 7–25% of stolen passwords in our dataset would enable an attacker to log in to a victim’s Google account and thus take over their online identity due to transitive trust."

There are over 1.9 billion usernames and passwords on "black market" forums, write the researchers. 

Basically, what this means, is because lots of people used the same password for their, say, MySpace account and their Google account, then when MySpace's database was breached, hackers could simply try all the breached passwords on Google, hoping that some would work. 

MySpace isn't the only big site that's seen its database of usernames and associated password data breached. 

This problem with password reuse has resulted in some of the most high-profile "hacks" in recent years. For example, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg used the same password — "dadada" — for his Twitter and Pinterest accounts, which were briefly taken over in 2016 by hackers calling themselves the OurMine team.

OurMine, reportedly using stolen passwords, also targeted Google CEO Sundar Pichai, actor Channing Tatum, and Amazon CTO Werner Vogels. 

Low-tech cyberweapons

Top Phishing Kits GoogleThe researchers also looked at the specific pieces of malware used for phishing and for secretly recording what a user types.

Phishing tools are used to include links in fake emails that display websites that look the same as Yahoo, or Hotmail, so an unsuspecting users simply type their passwords into the sketchy site. There are 12.4 million potential victims of these kits, write the researchers. 

There are also thousands of different "keyloggers," which run on a victim's computer and sends information back to an attacker, according to the report. These keyloggers have names like "HawkEye" or "Cyborg Logger." 

It turns out, though there are lots of developers selling and distributing this kind of malware, there really haven't been any updates to how the core technology works in years. 

"Compared to the capabilities of keyloggers and phishing kits dating back to the mid-2000s. we observe a marked lack of pressure on blackhat developers to evolve their core technologies," the researchers write.

"Phishing kits reported nearly a decade ago still rely on the same PHP skeleton and approach for reporting stolen credentials," it continued. 

What you can do 

Most common passwordsThe researchers say there are a few easy steps companies like Google and users can take to protect themselves.

The researchers recommend two-factor authentication, which means that when logging in, a user would need a special security key or to type in a code sent through a text message to gain full access to an account.

The researchers also recommend using a password manager, which creates a new random password for each site — so if one site is breached, then hackers don't have access to your other accounts, especially your email.

Another easy thing to do is to not use an insecure password, especially one of the most commonly used passwords like "123456" or "abc123," especially if you're one of the Americans who are four times more worried about getting hacked than murdered.   

"For all Google users in our dataset, we re-secure all accounts via a forced password reset in the event their real credentials were exposed," the researchers noted. 

Companies such as Google should consider encouraging its users to follow these practices too, the researchers write. The whole report is available from Google.

SEE ALSO: Americans are almost four times more worried about getting hacked than murdered

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5 things you should know if you're flying private for the first time


andrew collins sentient jet

Most of us non-celebrities don't get the chance to fly private whenever we need to get around. 

But there may come a time in the future when you'll be invited — by a business colleague or a friend — to take a flight on a private jet. This could be an intimidating experience for first-timers. 

We chatted with Andrew Collins, president and CEO of on-demand jet membership company Sentient Jet, to get his advice for conquering this milestone with grace. Sentient's Jet Card offers 25 hours of flying time with a membership that ranges from $127,325 to $350,325, depending on the quality of the aircraft.

Here's what Collins recommends for your first private flight.

SEE ALSO: Take a tour of New York's most expensive neighborhood for renters, where the apartments cost $6,500 a month

Don't be late.

"Without long security lines and airport delays, what can be a day-long affair when traveling commercially is often only a couple of hours when flying private," Collins said.

Still, that's no excuse for showing up right at departure time. Collins recommends arriving about 20 to 30 minutes before your flight is set to leave, especially if your host is waiting on you.

Pack light.

"Luggage capacity depends on the jet, but many private jets can have less cargo or baggage space than commercial planes," Collins said. "I typically recommend private jet passengers pack as lightly as possible, especially when you are invited to travel as a guest and might not know what your host is planning to bring."

Don't leave your ID at home.

You won't have to go through traditional airport security, but you will still need to have something to identify yourself, including a passport if you're traveling internationally.

"[Forgetting] this ... is something we see from time-to-time and it can cause a challenge for a first-time flyer or with a guest," Collins said.

And though unlike on commercial flights, you can bring water and other liquids onboard, federal regulations on hazardous materials do still apply. 


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

No one wants to buy the Obamas' former vacation rental on Martha's Vineyard



  • A Martha's Vineyard estate is now for sale for $17.75 million.
  • It's been on the market for years and has seen several price cuts.
  • It was used by the Obama family as a summer getaway in 2013.


This isn't just any ordinary picturesque Martha's Vineyard estate — it has a presidential pedigree.

President Obama and his family rented this sprawling, 7,000-square-foot mansion for an entire summer in 2013, according to The Wall Street Journal. But that seems not to have made the house any easier to sell.

Now it'll be just a little bit cheaper to live like the First Family all year round. The house listed in July 2015 for $22.5 million. Just three months later, the house already had a 15% price chop. 

Now, nearly two years later, the house is still for sale, at a discounted price of $17.75 million.

Sotheby's International Real Estate has the listing.

Brittany Fowler contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.

SEE ALSO: Amazon is coming after Ikea with its first furniture brands — and it's one-upping the competition in one major way

The Wall Street Journal notes that the rural town's seclusion was what drew the Obamas to the property.

Source: WSJ

Sitting on over nine acres of land at 120 feet above the Atlantic, the home affords bountiful ocean views of the South Shore and Chilmark Pond.

A private driveway leads to the estate, which includes a half basketball court, a dock, and access to three private beaches.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Shaq has a simple piece of advice for NBA players who don't want to lose their millions


With career earnings that totaled $292 million, Shaquille O'Neal currently ranks as the third-highest-paid player in NBA history. We asked Shaq what financial advice he gives young NBA players who want to hang on to their fortunes.

Shaq stopped by Business Insider to talk about his collaboration with home security technology company 
Ring, to raise awareness about how homeowners can better protect their property this holiday season. Shaq recently kicked off a campaign with Ring's CEO Jamie Siminoff around protecting holiday package deliveries - specifically as National Package Protection Day approaches on Nov. 29. Following is a transcript of the video.Following is a transcript of the video:

[Shaq is the third highest-paid player in history. His career earnings totaled $292 million.]

I would simplify it for them. I would do what one of my friends did to me. I would take a $100 bill and rip it in half. And I'd say "$50, don’t even look at it. Don’t look at it.”

Now, this other $50 you can play with. Do whatever you want. But if you’re smart, you’ll rip this $50 up and you save that. And now this $25, do whatever you want. You want a house, 10,000 square feet? Do it. You want cars? Do it, but keep it right here.

If my son makes it to the NBA, that’s exactly what I’m gonna tell him. The NBA does a great job of, you know, preparing people and warning people, but you know, sometimes you just get so much money and you forget – like if you’ve got a five-year deal worth $100 million, you’re making $20 million, you spend like, $20 million in the first year, you’ll be like “You know what? I’ve got another $20 million coming.”

That’s how guys are thinking. I always tell them “Don’t think about what’s going on now. Think about what has to happen in the future.”

I never spent, like, an NBA check like my first four years. Then, when I got married and had kids, all that changes, but that’s, to simplify it for them because, you know, a lot of people don’t have the business mind or the business tact, so you have to break it down in their language.

So, I would say save 75%, and this 25%, do whatever you want to do with it. Take care of your family — boom, bam. House, apartment, car – but don’t ever do more than this.

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How you should design your home to maximize happiness


Dan Buettner is a National Geographic Explorer and the author of "The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons from the World’s Happiest People." Here, he shares his insights on how to design your own home, so you can feel more overall happiness.

Dan Buettner: My name is Dan Buettner. I'm a National Geographic Explorer and the author of "Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons From the World's Happiest People."

If you move from an unhappy place to a happy place, that's probably the most powerful thing you can do over time to favor your happiness. Not all of us can move, however. But there are a few things you can look for in your house.

Number one: contrary to what your realtor will say, you do not want to buy the cheapest house on the block. You want to buy the average house on the block because you don't always want to be taunted by the neighbors whose got a nicer house and a better car.

Number two: you want a house with a sidewalk. The happiest Americans are socially interacting five to six hours a day. You're much more likely to do that if you live in a connected neighborhood than if you live in some soulless cul-de-sac. You want a front porch on your house as opposed to a back deck. Once again, a front porch invites social interaction. A back deck you're off by yourself.

You want good light in your home. You want plants in your home. That actually favors happiness. Some studies have shown that if you have Mozart, and I don't know why it's Mozart, but it’s specifically Mozart playing all the time it seems to inspire positive emotions.

And then finally a little trick that I learned from Ed Diener, who wrote the foreword of my book, is this notion of a “pride shrine.” Take one area in your house, ideally a well-trafficked area, maybe between your bedroom and your bathroom.

And you create a pride shrine of pictures that trigger positive memories — pictures of your kids when they were young, a remembrance of a parent or a grandparent, pictures of your vacation spot, diplomas, articles that you’ve liked that make you feel good. Anything that makes you feel pride in something that you'll see several times a day because when it comes to happiness, one important component is how you feel the sum of joyful moments day to day. And you can set up your house so you'll feel more of those.

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Inside one of New York City's oldest and most famous bars, which serves only 2 beers and didn't allow women in until 1970



  • Established in 1854, McSorley's Old Ale House is one of New York City's oldest bars.
  • The bar is still open in its original location.
  • Hundreds of items hang on its walls, some of which have been there since the day it opened.


McSorley's Old Ale House is one of the oldest bars in New York City. Established in 1854, the bar still serves its signature ale and sits in the same location as it did from the beginning.

Plenty of famous people have walked through its doors, like Teddy Roosevelt, Woody Guthrie, John LennonBabe RuthHunter S. Thompson, and Harry Houdini. President Abraham Lincoln is rumored to have paid McSorley's a visit, and E.E. Cummings even wrote a poem about the bar.

Going inside McSorley's feels like a trip back in time, and there are signs of its history all around. Ahead, take a look inside the famous ale house.    

SEE ALSO: Take a tour of New York's most expensive neighborhood for renters, where the apartments cost $6,500 a month

McSorley's Old Ale House is located in the East Village, on 7th Street near 3rd Avenue in the St. Mark's Historic District.

Established in 1854, the pub boasts the slogan: "We were here before you were born."

Only two types of beer are served at McSorley's: a pale ale and a dark porter. Ordering is easy — you simply say "light" or "dark."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Female celebrities are sharing photos of themselves at 14 in light of sexual misconduct allegations against Roy Moore



  • The #MeAt14 Twitter campaign aims to "show what a 14-year-old looks like" in response to allegations that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore made sexual advances toward teenagers.
  • Celebrities like Sarah Silverman have participated in the online campaign, in which women have been sharing pictures of their 14-year-old selves.
  • Several high-profile Republican senators have said they believe Moore should step aside.

Following accusations that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama made sexual advances toward a 14-year-old girl when he was 32 in 1979, women began tweeting pictures of themselves when they were 14.

Many of the photos, which several female celebrities have shared, also include accounts of what they were doing at the time instead of dating men twice their age.

Lawyer Catherine Lawson started the #MeAt14 campaign. She said it aims to circulate images of girls who were the same age Leigh Corfman was when Moore allegedly pursued her.

"Show what a 14-year-old looks like. Affirm they’re not capable of consent. Remind people *kids* deserve protection," Lawson tweeted.

Among the celebrities participating in the campaign so far are comedian Sarah Silverman, reporter Katie Couric, news anchor Gretchen Carlson, and actress Alyssa Milano:

Other women used the campaign to comment on girls' inability to consent at such a young age:

Following the Washington Post's publication of the allegations last week, Moore has denied its claims, and threatened to sue the paper for the article.

Several prominent Republican senators, including Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Roy Gardener, Sen. Susan Collins, and Sen. John Cornyn have all said they think Moore should step down from the Alabama race.

SEE ALSO: Another woman has come forward to accuse Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager

DON'T MISS: THE DAM IS BREAKING: Top Republican floats expelling Roy Moore from Senate immediately if he wins

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Brits need to spend all their old £10 notes by the start of March 2018


new ten pound note held by Mark Carney

  • The old £10 note will cease to be legal tender at the end of March 1 2018.
  • From then on, notes must be swapped at the Bank of England.
  • New polymer £10 notes already account for 55% of all those in circulation.

LONDON — Britain's old £10 note will cease to be legal tender from the beginning of March next year, the Bank of England said in a statement on Tuesday.

The old note — which features famous evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin, and first came into circulation in 2000 — can no longer be used in shops or other financial transactions from the end of March 1 next year. After that, only the new polymer £10 will be legal for use.

It was already known that the Bank of England planned to withdraw the Darwin £10 during the spring of 2018, but no formal date had been provided until now.

The old note is being gradually withdrawn from circulation, and the new £10, which only entered circulation in September, already accounts for 55% of £10 notes currently in use.

While Brits will no longer be able to spend the old note after March 1, it will still be possible to exchange the notes at the Bank of England by swapping them in person at the bank's City of London headquarters.

The new £10 is made from a high tech polymer and features an image of the famous author Jane Austen, alongside a quote from her most famous work, Pride and Prejudice. 

According to the bank, the new note is the most technologically advanced it has ever made, including a series of new features, both visible and invisible that make it much more difficult to counterfeit the notes, which are printed on an advanced polymer made by the firm CCL Secure.

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How a kid from Scranton became Senator, VP, and now a possible 2020 presidential contender


Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on Monday that he is "not closing the door" on running for the Democratic ticket in the 2020 presidential election.

He certainly has reason to be optimistic — throughout his eventful life and political career, Biden has overcome enormous obstacles to get to where he is today.

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on November 20, 1942 to a used car salesman, Biden moved with his family to Mayfield, Delaware when he was 13 years old. From the get-go, he faced many trials growing up, including bullies and an embarrassing stutter.

As he says his father taught him, "The measure of a man is not how often he is knocked down, but how quickly he gets up."

Throughout his long political trajectory, Biden has lived by his father's advice, and gotten back up after facing countless tragedies and challenges to achieve his political dreams.

Here's how a kid from Scranton became a respected Senator, Vice President, and now possible 2020 presidential contender:

SEE ALSO: Joe Biden tells ex-Obama employees who still work for Trump to 'please stay'

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Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965, where he developed an interest in politics following President John F. Kennedy's inauguration. During his first two years, though, he was mainly interested in football and partying.

Source: Biography.com, Times

He met his first wife Neilia on a spring break trip in the Bahamas his junior year. The couple had three children: Joseph "Beau" Hunter III, Robert Hunter, and Naomi Christina Hunter.

Sources: Biography, CNN

Fresh out of University of Syracuse law school in 1968, Biden started working as a defense attorney in Wilmington, Delaware, and launched his own law firm in 1971. He first entered politics as a member of the New Castle County Council in 1970.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

12 high-profile billionaires and millionaires who aren't leaving their fortunes to their children


gordon ramsay tana megan holly AP richard shotwell invision

Many high-profile business magnates, billionaires, and celebrities believe that they've worked too hard to simply hand their fortunes over to their kids when they die.

And with inheritance tax in the UK set at 40% on all values over £325,000 ($425,000), it's clear why many members of the super-rich elite would rather their money went towards more worthwhile causes.

Business Insider has compiled a list of 12 high-profile millionaires and billionaires — some of whom are the world's biggest business magnates — who won't be signing over their fortunes to their kids in their will.

Whether the money's going to worthy causes or they're simply planning on spending every last penny themselves, scroll on to discover 12 high-profile billionaires and millionaires who aren't leaving a penny to their children — ranked in ascending order by their net worth.

Nigella Lawson — $15 million (£11.5 million).

Nigella Lawson is a food writer, TV personality, and journalist. Lawson was one of the pioneers behind the 21st-century "food porn" revolution with her books including "Feast," "Nigella Express," and "How to Be a Domestic Goddess." Lawson is worth an approximate $15 million (£11.5 million), according to The Richest.

Lawson has two adult children from her first marriage and one step-daughter from her second marriage to advertising mogul Charles Saatchi, which ended in 2013.

In an interview with My Weekly in 2008, during her second marriage, Lawson said: "I am determined that my children should have no financial security. It ruins people not having to earn money.

"I argue with my husband Charles, because he believes that you should be able to leave money to your children. I think we’ll have to agree to disagree."

Gordon Ramsay — $160 million (£122.2 million).

Owning and operating 40 restaurants around the globe with 16 Michelin stars between them, Gordon Ramsay is one of the biggest names in the British restaurant industry. The well-renowned celebrity chef has a strong TV presence and has made $60 million so far this year thanks to shows such as "MasterChef USA," "MasterChef Junior" and "Hell’s Kitchen."

The father of four has no intention of leaving his fortune to his children, who still sit in economy on flights while Ramsay and his wife, Tana, peel off for first class: "It’s definitely not going to them," Ramsay told the Telegraph.

"And that’s not in a mean way; it’s to not spoil them. The only thing I’ve agreed with Tana is they get 25% deposit on a flat, but not the whole flat.

"I’ve been super lucky, having that career for the last 15 years in the US. Seriously, it has earned a fortune and I’ve been very lucky, so I respect everything I’ve got," Ramsay said.

Sting — $300 million (£229 million).

Sting is a musician best known for being the frontman of rock band The Police. The singer has received 16 Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Emmy Award. He has an approximate net worth of $300 million (£229 million), according to The Richest.

The father of six publicly declared that his children will not inherit a penny of his vast fortune in an interview with the Mail on Sunday in 2014. He said: "I told them there won’t be much money left because [my wife and I] are spending it! We have a lot of commitments. What comes in we spend, and there isn’t much left.

"I certainly don’t want to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses round their necks. They have to work. All my kids know that and they rarely ask me for anything, which I really respect and appreciate," he said.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Revenue jumps 70% at online fashion retailer Farfetch


Jose Neves, Founder CEO and Co Chairman at Farfetch 1

  • Revenue at Farfetch hit £151 million in 2016.
  • Gross merchandise value rose 81% to £547 million last year.
  • Losses up 18% to £34 million.

LONDON — Online luxury fashion retailer Farfetch sold over half a billion pounds worth of good across its platform last year, new accounts show.

Gross merchandise value, which measures the value of all goods sold, rose by 81% to £547.9 million in 2016, according to accounts filed with Companies House. Revenue rose by 74% to £151.3 million, while losses rose by 18% to £34 million.

London-headquartered Farfetch is an e-commerce platform for luxury boutiques from around the world. The global elite can virtually shop at over 500 shops in locations such as London, New York, and Paris.

Founder and CEO Jose Neves said in an emailed statement: "Farfetch is a fast-growing company, at an exciting stage in its journey, with over 21 million visits to our websites every month and relationships with over 500 partner boutiques and 200 brands.

"Our trajectory of rapid growth and substantial investment continued in 2016, and we are pleased to have seen 81% growth in gross merchandise value, as well as strong growth, of 74%, in revenues."

£12 million of Farfetch's revenue came from the UK, £40 million came from Europe, and the remaining £98 million came from the rest of the world. Farfetch said in accounts that it now gets 21 million visits per month to its website.

Neves said: "Our programme of investment is designed to support the company’s ambitious growth plans, and over the year we focused our investments on technology, as well as customer acquisition and hiring to support our growth. We have very strong foundations in place and will continue to invest and grow our business as we build the definitive technology platform for the luxury industry."

UK employee numbers rose from 189 in 2015 to 233 last year. Globally, the company employs over 1,900 people. The highest-paid UK director, who is not named, made £272,044 last year.

Farfetch acquired Style.com from Vogue publisher Conde Naste in June of this year and accounts show that Farfetch made a share payment worth $12.5 million to acquire the shopping website.

Founded in 2008, Farfetch was valued at $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion) in a funding round last year, making it one of Britain's few "unicorns" — private tech-based companies worth over $1 billion. Farfetch raised $397 million (£313 million) from online Chinese mall JD.com in June but a new valuation was not disclosed at the time.

The company is tipped for a $5 billion float in the US imminently. CEO and founder Jose Neves said in August that an IPO is the "next logical stage for the company.

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

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How Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton makes and spends his £131 million fortune


Lewis Hamilton

  • Lewis Hamilton is one of the world's highest-paid sportsmen.
  • Most of his wealth comes from F1 driving, with extra from sponsors.
  • His biggest purchases include a private jet and property.

Lewis Hamilton is top dog in a sport overflowing with money like almost no other.

The Mercedes driver won a fourth F1 world championship in October, cementing his position as the unquestioned best British driver (he also has more Grand Prix wins than any other Briton and most career points).

His wealth — though difficult to track — is pegged in excess of £130 million, and comes with plenty of perks and controversy.

The Sunday Times Rich List names Hamilton as Britain's wealthiest sportsman — scroll down to find out how he makes and spends his millions.

This is Lewis Hamilton — Formula One's reigning world champion and one of the world's best-paid sportsmen.

Hamilton is worth a scorching £131 million, according to the Sunday Times Sport Rich List.

Source: The Sunday Times

In 2015 Hamilton signed a three-year deal to drive for Mercedes worth £100 million ($131 million). The contract made him the highest-paid British sportsperson at the time.

Instagram Embed:
Width: 658px

 Source: The Telegraph

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An artist made a toilet from £11,000 worth of Louis Vuitton bags — and it's now on sale for £75,000


lv loo thumb

LA-based artist Ilma Gore has made a toilet out of $15,000 (£11,400) worth of Louis Vuitton bags — and it's now on sale for $100,000 (£76,244).

"The Loo-uis Vuitton Toilet" is a collaboration between online US designer retailer Tradesy and Gore.

Gore worked for three months, using 24 different bags valued at $15,000 total — including a $3,000 suitcase — to make the "fully functioning potty," according to the item's online listing. 

The final product has been featured in the Californian Tradesy showroom — and it's now available to buy for $100,000. It will ship from Santa Monica, with delivery only available for buyers from Los Angeles.

As for why she did it? Gore posted her creation on Instagram with the caption: "I wondered what 15k of authentic @louisvuitton bags looked like as a fully functional toilet, so I made this."

Click the arrows on the photo below for a closer look at the creation:

I wondered what 15k of authentic @louisvuitton bags looked like as a fully functional toilet, so I made this.

A post shared by Illma Gore (@illmagore) on Nov 6, 2017 at 7:24am PST on

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There’s now a ‘Frequent Traveler University’ where you can learn to fly first class for free


Private jet JetSmarter

  • A non-profit group is running free talks on how to make the most out of air miles.
  • Frequent Traveller University runs weekend conventions across the world.
  • Seminars explain how to save money and get travel perks, including first class upgrades.

A non-profit group is making it easier to reach your travel goals by running educational seminars on the best ways to maximise air miles, hotel points, and credit card rewards — and their talks are all free.

The Frequent Traveller University (FTU) hosts educational talks led by flying experts, air mile aficionados, and savvy travel bloggers who each have their own tips and tricks for making travel cheaper, more comfortable, and more luxurious.

FTU has run over 30 events across the globe over the past seven years, helping over 8,000 savvy flyers collect points and achieve their own travel goals.

qatar airways first class

The talks all revolve around maximising air miles. For those unfamiliar with the scheme, many airlines reward customers with points for flying with their company. After a while, flyers can redeem points for a variety of benefits, including discounted seats, travel perks, and even a first-class upgrade.

The air miles community is constantly growing, with increasing numbers of flyers getting hooked on the buzz of redeeming increasingly luxurious perks.

Brian Kelly, also known as "The Points Guy," is just one example. Kelly has flown all over the world for next to nothing after he began collecting his dad's frequent flier points. Since then, he has set up a blog that helps flyers maximise their points and has turned his air miles passion into a successful business.

The events run by the Frequent Traveller University aren't just for people obsessed with private jets and first class upgrades, though. The talks are aimed at every level of flyer — from jet-setters always on the road for business, to absolute beginners who want to find ways to save on their annual family holiday.

FTU's talks take place over long weekends across the world, with the next free convention taking place in Chicago later this month.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Denmark's welfare policies help make it one of the world's happiest countries

Scientists have created brain implants that could boost our memory by up to 30%


person lights sand

  • Our memories could one day get a boost from a new brain implant device, according to a new study.
  • Researchers looked at how our brains naturally process memories in order to mimic what they do with micro-electric shocks.
  • The device can boost performance on memory tests by up to 30%, according to the study.

We'd all love to have a better memory. If there was a tool that could make us better at retaining information for exams, or at remembering important facts for a presentation or interview, we would probably pay good money for it.

This is what researchers have been working on at the University of Southern California. According to New Scientist, the team have developed a "memory prosthesis" brain implant, which could enhance human memory. Their findings were presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington DC.

The device is made up of electrodes which are implanted in the brain. It's supposed to mimic the way we naturally process memories by giving small electric shocks to the hippocampus — the region of the brain involved in learning and memory. These electric burts imitate normal brain activity patterns, so the researchers hope it could help people with memory disorders such as dementia.

A group of 20 volunteers were fitted with the electrodes, and asked to participate in a training session where they were given a simple memory game. Each participant was shown images in a short presentation, then had to recall what they had seen up to 75 seconds later.

The researchers then looked at the responses of neurons in the subjects' brains to see which regions were activated while they were using their memory.

In a second session, the implants were used to stimulate these specific brain areas with micro-electric shocks.

According to the study, the device can boost performance on memory tests by up to 30%. The researchers hope in the future it could be adapted to be used as a tool to improve memory, vision, or movement.

"We are writing the neural code to enhance memory function," Dong Song, associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, and one of the authors of the study told New Scientist. "This has never been done before."

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A 26-year-old man lost his ID on a night out — then received a £5,289.87 itinerary for a first class trip to the Maldives


maldives trip

  • Cheltenham student Will Armstrong lost his ID on a night out.
  • A few days later he received an itinerary the Flight Centre travel agent for a first-class trip to the Maldives.
  • The letter was part of a prank by the company, who had found his ID.

26-year-old Will Armstrong — a student from Cheltenham— lost his ID on a night out.

A few days later, he received an itinerary for a first class trip to the Maldives — and was told he had to pay them £5,289.87 just six days later.

Armstrong shared a tweet which read "so I was pretty drunk the other night and I lost my ID, then this turns up today...:"

The letter he received in the post read: "Thank you so much for popping in the other day. We certainly appreciate your business and hope your beginning to get excited about your upcoming first class flight to the Maldives!"

It included an itinerary for a trip to the Maldives in early December, flying first class with Etihad Airways.

"Please keep in mind, balance in due on Friday, November 10th at 12:05 p.m.," the letter went on.

However, the letter was all part of a prank by his local Flight Centre travel agent, who had found his driving licence outside their shop — and found a unique way of returning it.

"We're just kidding. We’ve found you're driving license [sic] (enclosed) outside our shop and thought you might need it!" the letter read, adding: "Just make sure you consider us for your next holiday."

Armstrong visited the store to thank Steve, the man who found his licence and returned it to him with the cruel-but-funny prank.

He posted a photo to Twitter alongside Steve, saying: "here's the man himself, thank you Steve!"

A Flight Centre spokesperson told MailOnline Travel: "We’re delighted that the dedicated Flight Centre team in Cheltenham were able to reunite William with his lost driving licence and we hope he’ll visit the store again soon."

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27 cities around the world where expats are happy, rents are affordable, and jobs are plentiful


Madrid, Spain

  • InterNations recently released its 2017 list of best cities for living and working abroad.
  • City rankings are based on survey responses from nearly 8,000 people in 40 countries.
  • For each city, we also compiled cost of living estimates from Numbeo's database.


If you're thinking about living abroad, the best people to ask for tips might be the people who have already done it: expats.

Expatriate network and global guide InterNations put together a list of the best international cities for living and working abroad, according to expats they surveyed.

To compile the data, InterNations surveyed 7,985 expats living across 40 countries. At least 45 respondents were required for a city to be included in the list. City rankings were determined based on the quality and cost of urban living, quality of work life and finances, and ease of settling into the city.

Below, the overall best cities for expats in 2017. We also noted how much basic necessities (and beer) would cost there, based on figures from Numbeo. All amounts are in US dollars and are current as of November 2017.

SEE ALSO: The 30 countries that are best for your money, according to expats

SEE ALSO: 10 places in the US where young people are happy, rents are affordable, and jobs are plentiful

27. Stockholm, Sweden

Cost of living compared to New York City: 12.76% lower


Rent: $1406.43 for a 1-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $74.58

Commuter pass: $98.96

Cappuccino: $4.33 

Domestic beer: $7.15 

26. Cape Town, South Africa

Cost of living compared to New York City: 59.06% lower


Rent: $716.30 for a 1-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $58.33

Commuter pass: $24.20

Cappuccino: $1.62

Domestic beer: $2.07

25. Kampala, Uganda

Cost of living compared to New York City: 65.43%


Rent: $234.87 for a 1-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $51.57

Commuter pass: $29.90

Cappuccino: $2.10

Domestic beer: $1.10

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Subway rider who got annoyed by being filmed by LeBron James says James nearly elbowed him and he wasn't properly caffeinated


subway guy lebron

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers took the New York City subway on Monday.
  • LeBron James filmed the experienced and annoyed a fellow subway rider who asked "Can you not?" as James filmed him.
  • The rider said in an interview that the Cavs "squished" him and he was cranky from not finishing his latte yet.

The Cleveland Cavaliers made news on Monday when they decided to take the New York City subway while in town to play the New York Knicks.

The Cavaliers were finished with shootaround and opted for a shorter subway ride rather than waiting for a bus.

LeBron James documented the experience for Uninterrupted, and one moment in particular seemed to delight viewers. While filming his teammates on the train, James turned the camera to a subway rider sitting next to him. When the rider realized he was being filmed, he said, "Can you not?", pushing the camera away.

For The Win caught up with the rider, James Michael Angelo, who is apparently a real estate agent and comedian. Angelo explained his side of the story, saying he didn't recognize James and he thought the Cavs were a college basketball team.

"I noticed a bunch of tall guys getting in the train, but I was listening to U2 and I didn’t want to be filmed," Angelo said.

Angelo also said he snapped because James had come close to elbowing him several times and he had asked James to mind his space. According to Angelo, one Cavs player told him, "It's cool!"

"To be honest with you, they got on and they completely squished me and he was really unaware of his space," Angelo said, adding, "It was first thing in the morning. I hadn’t finished my latte and I didn’t feel like being filmed. Plus, it’s not good lighting in the subway"

Still, plenty of people in the sports world had a laugh at Angelo.

Watch James' video below:

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Dropping out of college is a terrible idea if you want to be a millionaire


Peter Thiel is offering a $10,000 fellowship to young entrepreneurs who drop out of college. While it's tempting, Scott Galloway reveals why it is awful advice. Following is a transcription of the video.

Scott Galloway. Professor of marketing, NYU Stern. Despite how outrageously expensive college is, it's still a pretty good plan B.

If a billionaire shows up and offers you $10,000 to drop out of college, punch that person in the face.

It's sort of, in my opinion, obscene that a billionaire with an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree is running around the nation trying to convince people to drop out of college.

It appears that it worked pretty well for him. If you look at new millionaires over the last 20 years, the vast majority of them have two things in common.

One is they work out every day. Physical fitness is very important in terms of your own levels of confidence and avoiding things like depression and having more energy every day.

But the number one thing all these folks have in common?

They went to college.

I just think it's obnoxious that a man who went to Stanford and then got a law degree and became a billionaire off of the credibility he was able to raise money off of is now telling kids to drop out of college.

I think it's f------ obnoxious. I mean if Steve Jobs or if Bill Gates was doing it, they have some credibility or some license to say it, but a guy with a graduate degree?

Drop out of college?

I tried to do this through Berkeley, and they didn't want to do it.

I said to Berkeley, I said " I'll give kids, pick 10 smart kids"– I just endowed a scholarship at Berkeley and said "let’s track 10 of them versus the 10 that Thiel… and we're going to win."

And they said, "well, we don’t want to embarrass the other kids."

But who would you bet on? 10 Berkeley grads, who are smart students with a college degree or...

There are always going to be the JAY-Zs of the world. There's going to be the Kobe Bryants. There’s going to be the Mark Zuckerbergs, the people that drop out of college.

You should assume you're not that person and go to college.


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A relationship psychologist explains why marriage seems harder now than ever before


Eli J. Finkel, a professor at Northwestern University and the author of "The All-or-Nothing Marriage," explains three different ways you can strengthen your relationship.

Eli Finkel: We have arrived at a moment in history where the best marriages are better than the best marriages of earlier eras, while at the same time, the average marriages are getting a little bit worse. Historians divide marriage in America into three different eras. There's sort of, from the Colonial Era until about 1850, when we industrialized, the second era is from about 1850 to 1965 or so, and then we are currently in this third era.

And the first era was really about helping people achieve their basic, physiological, survival sorts of needs, things like food production, clothing, shelter. People preferred to love their spouse, of course, but it wasn't the reason that you married and certainly, if you didn't love your spouse, that wasn't a reason to get divorced. The institution was too sacred, was too important. And so spouses were workmates, rather than soul mates.

And then if you fast-forward, in the second era, people increasingly want to marry for personal fulfillment and in particular, they want to marry for love. And for the first time ever, people start to say things like, "I'm not going to marry that person because I don't love him or her." That was a new idea. 

And then as we fast-forward to this third era from 1965 to the present, we see that, these days, we are looking not only for love, and connection through the marriage, and sexual fulfillment, of course. But also for these more tricky, complicated sorts of need fulfillment. Needs like self-actualization, personal growth, and a sense of vitality. And so these days, for the first time, if you can find yourself in a situation where you'd say, "Look, he's a loving man and a good father but I'm not going to live the next 30 years feeling stagnant, feeling like I can't really grow." 

Our expectations for what we want the marriage to provide us have gotten higher in a lot of ways, more sophisticated in a number of other ways, more emotional, more psychological, and because of this additional complexity, more of our marriages are falling short, leaving us disappointed.


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