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Fauci says the US's record-high COVID-19 cases put it in a precarious position: 'No matter how you look at it, it's not good news'

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Fauci mask coronavirus testimony
Dr. Anthony Fauci at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.
  • The US hit new daily peaks for COVID-19 cases on Friday and Saturday, with reports of more than 80,000 new cases per day. 
  • "Now we're at the highest baseline we've ever been, which is really precarious," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading expert on COVID-19, in an interview Monday.
  • Fauci warned earlier that Americans need to "hunker down" as the weather turns cold, or face increased outbreaks.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

When it comes to daily COVID-19 cases, the US is experiencing "the worst that we've ever had," Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday during an interview with Yahoo Finance. The country hit new daily peaks on Friday and Saturday, with reports of more than 80,000 new cases per day. 

"Now we're at the highest baseline we've ever been, which is really precarious," said the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation's top expert on the COVID-19 pandemic. "No matter how you look at it, it's not good news."

In September, Fauci warned Americans that they would need to "hunker down and get through this fall and winter," or else play a game of whack-a-mole with the virus, as blips and outbreaks pop up. Since the weather has turned colder, new COVID-19 cases have been record-breaking. New COVID-19 cases clocked in at 82,929 on Friday and 83,851 on Saturday, breaking the previous record of 74,818 set in July, according to the CDC

"Luckily, despite the fact that we are dealing with a very very challenging period right now, even more so as we enter the cooler months of the fall and the colder months of the winter, that vaccines are proceeding at a very good pace," Fauci said on Monday.

Results from vaccine trials will be available at the end of November or beginning of December, Fauci said. And last week, Gilead's remdesivir was approved for use on COVID-19 patients.  

In the face of surging infections, Fauci reminded Americans that measures like universal mask wearing, avoiding congregate settings, avoiding indoor public settings, and hand washing can go a long way in stemming outbreaks. 

"We can do this. I'm absolutely convinced that as a nation, if we pull together, and do some fundamental common-denominator public health measures, that we can get through this with a lot of help in the future from vaccines and adequate therapies," Fauci said. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has surpassed 43 million cases worldwide, the US has experienced the worst toll of any country on the globe. There have been nearly 8.7 million reported cases in the US and about 225,000 reported deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data

Watch the full interview with Dr. Fauci over at Yahoo Finance.

Read the original article on Business Insider

This wearable breast pump completely fits in my bra and has transformed my life as an exclusively pumping mom

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Elvie Double Pump wearable breast pump
The Elvie Pump comfortably fits within a bra, allowing you to pump without cords or tubes.

  • The Elvie Pump is a hands-free, wearable electric breast pump without any cords, wires, or tubes.
  • As a mother whose baby struggled to breastfeed, this breast pump was been a life-changing purchase.
  • For the convenience of double pumping, I bought the Elvie Pump Double ($499), but you can also purchase a single pump for $279.
  • While the Elvie Pump is pricey, it's partially reimbursable by many insurance companies.
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Table of Contents

When my daughter was born prematurely and had to spend time in the NICU, feeding her was a challenge. She couldn't seem to get the hang of breastfeeding, so I pumped in the hospital during her stay and continued to try to nurse her at home without much success. 

Every day and night soon became an exhausting blur of trying to nurse her, then pumping, then feeding her the expressed breast milk. After about a week of this, I broke down and spent $500 on the Elvie Pump Double — the first wearable, hands-free breast pump I've ever owned. 

Fortunately, it's exactly what I needed. 

I went from spending hours pumping, tied to a wall while, to being able to pump and hold my baby at the same time, or pump and make breakfast for my other kids, or pump and drive them to school. 

My daughter is turning 5 months this week, and I've been using the Elvie successfully for the past four months. Here's my experience with it, and why I think it's worth considering this wearable electric breast pump if you're a mother who's breastfeeding.

Design and specs

I opted for the Elvie Pump Double, but you can also buy the single for $279 — the only difference is that you get one pump instead of two.

A single Elvie pump is an all-in-one seamless unit that easily fits in your bra. The design is sleek and minimal, with white casing and simple, straightforward controls. 

Each unit consists of three parts: 1) the Hub, which houses the electronics and actual pumping apparatus, 2) the detachable milk bottle with spout and valve, and 3) the breast shield and seal that houses your nipple and breast. 

Elvie Double Pump unit
The all-in-one seamless units are powered by rechargeable lithium-polymer batteries.

What's included with the Elvie Pump Double

  • 2 Hubs, each measures 5 inches (height) by 2.5 inches (width) and weighs 14.8 ounces
  • 4 5-ounce milk bottles with storage lids — all BPA free and dishwasher-safe on the top rack
  • 4 seals, 4 spouts, 4 valves
  • 2 24mm breast shields and 2 28mm breast shields. You can purchase a pack of 2 21mm breast shields separately if needed
  • 4 bra adjusters, machine washable
  • 2 micro USB charging cables. Each pump is powered by a 1460mAh lithium-polymer battery; each lasts approximately 2.5 hours depending on which intensity setting is used
  • 2-year warranty for the Hub, 90-day warranty for the washable parts
  • 2 carry bags

Key features

  • 2 modes (stimulation and expression) and 7 suction intensity settings
  • Infrared (IR) energy sensor monitors milk volume in the bottle
  • Automatically starts in stimulation mode and switches to expression mode after two minutes or if the sensor detects let-down
  • Sensor detects when the milk container is full and automatically stops pumping
  • Free app links to each pump through Bluetooth so you can actively monitor milk while pumping, see your stats for past sessions, and check output levels. The app also works as a remote to start or pause pumping, switch intensity settings, and change to expression or stimulation mode.
  • Manual controls on each pump let you start and pause pumping and change intensity levels
  • Though it's marketed as a "silent" breast pump, the sound is noticeable — though significantly quieter than other pumps.
  • FSA/HSA funds-compatible and reimbursable by many insurance companies

Setup

Out of the box, it took me less than a half-hour to read through the instructions, clean and sterilize the parts, and get everything set up. After about two hours, both pumps were fully charged and good to go.

To use one of the pumps, twist the valve onto the milk container, put the silicone valve over top, then snap the base into the Hub. The breast shield fits into the opening in the Hub, and you align your nipple along the markings for the best fit. 

Elvie Double Pump

The first time I used the Elvie, it took me a few tries to get the nipple alignment right, but now I can literally assemble and place it on in the dark. Pressing the power button on the front of the Hub powers it on and illuminates the other manual controls, which include the play/pause button, two smaller intensity buttons at the top, and a left/right side selector should you wish to use a single pump for both breasts. Alternatively, after manually powering it on, you can use the app to control pump settings.

What it's like to use

When I started pumping, it felt too good to be true. I had come to dread uncomfortable pumping sessions, but compared to the traditional plug-in-the-wall pump I'd been using, the Elvie felt downright invisible.  

For me, it's an incredibly effective breast pump. I immediately went from pumping for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours to pumping a full feeding of 5 ounces on each breast in around five minutes. I'm not entirely sure why it's worked so well for me, but it seems to be a combination of the stimulation mode, suction seal, and the fact that I'm more relaxed using a hands-free pump.

While I prefer to use the manual controls on the Hub, the app is particularly handy if you need to switch back and forth between stimulation and expression modes — this cannot be controlled manually.

One of the most clever features is the IR energy sensor that automatically pauses pumping when the milk container is full — a big plus when you don't have a free hand. Knowing I can just pop the pump in and let it do the rest has been invaluable. 

It's easy to switch out the milk container when pumping is paused. After removing the valve, the easy-pour spout makes pouring your milk into a storage bag or container simple and mess-free. I also like that you can easily see the milk container on the Elvie (unlike the Willow Wearable Pump), so I can peek to make sure the milk is actually flowing and readjust the pump or settings to ensure milk flow.

The battery charge lasts me through almost a whole day of pumping, which is typically four times a day. 

How to clean the Elvie

Elvie Double Pump cleaning
Aside from the Hub apparatus, I can conveniently wash all parts in the dishwasher.

Aside from the Hub, everything is dishwasher safe on the top rack or can be cleaned and sterilized in boiling water or a microwave sterilizer. However, it's incredibly important to make sure all of the parts are completely dry before using them again — I've found that if the breast shield seals are even slightly wet, it will affect the suction. 

The Hub itself should only be wiped clean with a damp cloth. I occasionally have some milk splash up onto the Hub and into its crevices but have found a soft toothbrush works to gently remove any dried milk.

Notes on milk overflow

Initially, I had some issues with milk overflow. Milk would back up into the plastic on the Hub, making it difficult to clean. After reaching out to customer service via email, I discovered I'd been using the wrong size breast shield. My output increased as soon as I switched shields, and my overflow practically disappeared. 

The customer service representative also told me that after hearing from other users who experienced overflow, they released a firmware upgrade (1.7.0) in October 2019 to improve the milk volume algorithm and increase the accuracy of the overflow sensor. Since upgrading my firmware through the app, my overflow issue has completely resolved.

If users experience overflow, aside from getting in touch with customer service, the representative suggested wearing a dark-colored bra or shirt, as the color contrast helps the auto-sensor detect the lighter-colored milk.

Data privacy

I reached out to Elvie via email to ask about data privacy, and a company representative said all data is kept totally private and not shared with third parties. Their website provides full details on how the data is stored anonymously. If you choose to operate the pumps manually without the app, be sure to open it periodically to check for software updates.

The cons

Elvie Double Pump cons
The Elvie isn't completely discreet, a minor con for me.

The downsides are very small in relation to how much I love this pump. First, I wish it came with a sturdy carrying case instead of two small velvet-like drawstring bags that aren't at all practical for carrying the pumps.

Second, the Elvie isn't completely discreet. The pumping sound and the lights on the hub — which can't be turned off — are definitely noticeable. The lights shine through most of my shirts, and while it's a lot quieter than any other pump I've used, if you've ever pumped before and happen to be sitting near me, you'll definitely know what's going on. I'd feel comfortable using it in a noisier location where the sound would be masked, but not in a quiet setting.

The bottom line

If you'll be pumping for any regular amount of time, the Elvie wearable breast pump is worth the investment. It truly gave me my life back, taking the hour-long feeding process with my baby down to minutes and giving me the freedom to pump on the go. I can enjoy the extra time I have with my baby and provide her with breast milk with confidence — a win-win.

If it's within your budget, I recommend getting the Elvie Pump Double, for convenience's sake. However, a single pump is fast and efficient enough that you could get away with simply switching sides to pump both breasts.  

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The best hand sanitizers to buy when Purell is out of stock

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If you can't wash your hands properly with soap and water, you need an effective hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. When the novel coronavirus pandemic hit, the humble hand sanitizer became essential to help prevent the spread of the virus when handwashing was not an option. As the pandemic continued, sanitizers from household brands like Purell sold out even before they hit the shelves. 

While Purell remains a gold standard of hand sanitizers, the stock is questionable at best. We spoke with a brand rep about the volatile stock and focused on hand sanitizers that are all readily available online or in stores so you can keep yourself protected when hand washing isn't possible. You can read about how we tested them at the end of the guide. All of the products in this guide meet the CDC's standards and FDA's guidelines for effective hand sanitizers and do not contain methanol or 1-proponal, which are toxic to humans and have been found in certain formulas. FAQs on these topics are also at the end of our guide.

Over the course of several weeks, I tested more than a dozen brands and 47 different types of hand sanitizer from gels to sprays wipes against a specific series of tests to help you find the best hand sanitizer. 

These are the best hand sanitizers:

The best hand sanitizer overall
palmpalm_horizontal

Palmpalm Hand Sanitizer Gel meets CDC sanitizing standards for an effective hand sanitizer with 70% ethyl alcohol and is offered as a gel, spray, or wipe in a variety of sizes.

At 70% ethyl alcohol, Palmpalm Hand Sanitizer Gel meets the CDC requirements for an effective hand sanitizer. Similar to how you'd use Purell, you rub the gel on your hands until they're dry. This took around 20 seconds during my testing and the additional glycerin left my hands feeling soft without any stickiness or irritation. While I often prefer an unscented product, the cucumber melon scent is light and dissipates quickly.

Palmpalm is available in multiple sizes and as a gel, spray, or wipe on the brand's website and Amazon. While safe for use by children, as with any hand-sanitizing product, care should be taken to keep it out of reach to prevent swallowing.

Palmpalm was founded in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic and was first supplied to essential workers. As the pandemic continued and shortages for hand sanitizers grew more apparent, the company expanded to sell products to the public. The company operates and controls its own supply chain so it's able to create and sell its hand sanitizers without going through a separate manufacturer and experiencing bottlenecks in the process. 

Pros: Contains 70% ethyl alcohol, dries quickly, gentle on hands, non-sticky, available in multiple formats and on multiple sites, reasonably priced, made in the US 

Cons: Not available in brick and mortar stores 

Best hand sanitizer spray
Bare_Hands_horizontal

Bare Hands Hand Sanitizer meets the required amount of ethyl alcohol needed to kill germs while being gentle on hands. The continuous spray covers hands easily and dries quickly.

Bare Hands Hand Sanitizer is available in gel, pump spray, and continuous spray formulas. I tested all three variations and was impressed with the continuous aerosol spray the most. 

The formula contains 62% ethyl alcohol to kill bacteria, as well as aloe and glycerin to prevent dry skin. While the gel and pump spray work well, the continuous spray is quicker to use and provides more thorough coverage to hands with less rubbing. I found the spray especially easy to use for my two-year-old grandson, providing an even coating of sanitizer to his hands that dried in around 10 seconds. There is a distinct scent of alcohol but it dissipates quickly.

If the name sounds familiar, it's because Bare Hands is developed by the sunscreen brand Bare Republic. All of its products are dermatologist-tested, paraben-free, and not tested on animals. Products are available online as well as in many drug and grocery store chains.

Pros: Contains 62% ethyl alcohol, easy-to-use spray mist for complete coverage, dries quickly, gentle on skin, widely available

Cons: Overspray from the product during application may cause discoloration of some non-colorfast fabrics

Best hand sanitizer for dry skin
Sunytizer_horizontal

Sunytizer Hand Sanitizer with Aloe Vera contains 70% ethyl alcohol to sanitize hands but leaves them so moisturized that you may want to use it instead of hand lotion.

When I first looked at the bottle of Sunytizer Hand Sanitizer, I wasn't impressed. The label isn't eye-catching and the gel pump packaging is basic — and then I gave it a try.

The 70% ethyl alcohol level takes care of the germs on my hands and the glycerin and aloe formula leaves my hands feeling soft and moisturized. I have dry skin, so constant hand-washing and repeated use of some hand sanitizers have left them feeling rough in the last few months, but Sunytizer has taken care of that.

Sunytizer was developed by a skincare lab in California, which explains the use of hydroxethylcelluose — a thickening agent used in many skincare and personal lubricating products. I found the product to be so soothing that I use it as a balm after washing my hands. The large bottle and pump make it perfect for sitting next to the sink or on a desk, and it's easy-to-use. The gel is not runny, spreads easily, and dries within 20 seconds. My hands were a little sticky when they were still damp, but the stickiness was gone once my hands were dry. The citrus scent is not over-powering and dissipates quickly.

Pros: Contains 70% ethyl alcohol, leaves skin feeling moisturized, paraben and sulfate-free, never tested on animals, made in the US

Cons: Only available in a 15.2 fl. oz. bottle

Best hand sanitizer for travel
Touchland_horizontal

Touchland Power Mist is sleek, compact, and delivers the sanitizing power you need when traveling or running errands.

The first thing I noticed about Touchland Power Mist was the dispenser. While other hand sanitizers are presented in round spray or pump bottles, or squeezable tubes, Touchland's dispenser is flat and rectangular, like a thicker version of a smartphone. You can even purchase a silicone case with a keyring to loop around your purse, pocket, or backpack.

Containing 67% ethyl alcohol, the hand sanitizer is effective in killing germs. It comes in eight scents — mint, watermelon, forest berry, lavender, citrus, vanilla cinnamon, aloe vera, and neutral. Each scent contains aloe and essential oils that leave hands feeling moisturized and lightly scented. The sanitizer dries in under 10 seconds and the fine mist allows you to easily spray all of the nooks and crannies of your hands. Each container promises 500+ spritzes, but you'll need three or four per application to fully coat your hands.

While a bit more expensive than other hand sanitizers, the convenience and moisturizing qualities make it the best for travel, or more realistically, running errands. 

Touchland was created in 2010 in Barcelona and became available stateside in 2017. It was among the first to revamp what hand sanitizers could look like as it distinguished itself from a sea of household brands like Purell. We had positive experiences when we first tested Touchland in 2019, which you can read here.

Pros: Contains 67% ethyl alcohol, dermatologically tested, conveniently-sized container, eight scents available, moisturizing formula

Cons: Overspray from the alcohol in the product may cause discoloration of some fabrics

Best hand sanitizing wipes
Oars_Alps_horizontal

Oars + Alps Hand Sanitizing Wipes provide gentle but effective cleaning with 65% ethyl alcohol and more protection than standard wet wipes.

Disinfecting wipes for hard surfaces have been difficult to find during the pandemic and so have sanitizing hand wipes. Those that are available are usually saturated with 100% alcohol that leaves hands extremely dry and rough, or benzalkonium chloride, an antimicrobial which according to the CDC may have less reliable activity against certain bacteria and viruses than alcohol-based products. Oars + Alps Hand Sanitizing Wipes offer the germ-killing properties of 65% ethyl alcohol combined with aloe in a soothing wipe.

When comparing different brands of wipes, I took into account the size of the wipe and the cost per piece. At this price, Oars + Alps wipes are around 24 cents each and a generous 6 by 8.5 inches that can deliver a substantial amount of product to both hands. They are presented in a resealable pouch that is perfect for a diaper bag, purse, or car. The wipes are fragrance-free and leave your hands dry and moisturized in around 10 seconds.

Oars + Alps is an S.C. Johnson company best known for its natural skincare line that's formulated for on-the-go lifestyles. Most of the items are packaged in stick form, or in this case, as wipes, making them more convenient than tubes or bottles that can burst and cause a mess. 

Pros: Contains 65% ethyl alcohol, fragrance-free, moisturizing, large sheets, quick drying

Cons: Can dry out if not resealed properly

What else we recommend
Leading_hand_sanitizers_2

We tested 47 hand sanitizers and picked five to be among the best after analyzing performance. Some of them just missed the cut based on our rankings of performance, ingredients, delivery method, availability, and in the case of wipes, cost per use. While the following were not selected as being among the best, they're all effective hand sanitizers and we'd still recommend them.

Clean Drops: This is an effective hand sanitizer that contains 78% ethyl alcohol. It dries quickly and doesn't dry out my hands, and it's unscented, affordable, and has easy-to-use leak-proof packaging. It's not the best hand sanitizer overall because it's only offered in one small size and does not have a spray or wipe variety. The brand is made in the US and distributed by Look Beauty Inc., a Toronto based company that also owns skincare brand Masque Bar.

Hello Bello Hand Sanitizer Spray: Co-founded by Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, Hello Bello's Hand Sanitizer Spray meets CDC standards for an effective hand sanitizer, does not dry skin, and is offered in a delicate Apple Blossom scent or unscented. It was a strong contender for the best spray but was not available in as many formats or outlets as Bare Hands. The product is readily available on the Hello Bello website and at Walmart. 

Noshinku Bergamot Hand Sanitizer: The size of a credit card and only slightly thicker, the sleek Noshinku Bergamot Hand Sanitizer can easily slip into a pocket. Made with 70% ethyl alcohol; moisturizing oils like jojoba, argan, and coconut; and scented with Italian bergamot, this sanitizing mist will leave hands moisturized and well-perfumed. This hand sanitizer brand was created in 2018 and each sprayer has 300+ spritzes, though you'll still need at least three or four to cover both sides of your hand. The price point is too high to be selected as the best hand sanitizer for dry skin.

Welly Clean Hands: Welly is best known for first aid products and one of them is Welly Clean Hands. The sanitizer gel contains 66.5% ethyl alcohol and comes in single-use packets that are perfect for tossing in a purse, briefcase, or backpack. Although it takes two hands to open the packet, the size and convenience make it a good travel choice that will leave your hands clean in around 20 seconds with no bulky dispenser.

Poo-pourri Sanitizing Wipes: The brand made its name in masking bathroom odors and now it's wiping out germs with 65% ethyl alcohol hand wipes. While gentle on the skin, the wipes are only available in a lavender scent and are a bit smaller than Oars + Alps wipes. They are offered in a 20-count resealable pouch at around 24 cents per wipe.

What else we considered

Of the hand sanitizers we tested, there were several that we didn't consider to be among the best due to a variety of reasons — limited availability, limited sizes, and more. Here are the items we tested that didn't make the cut. 

Bravo Sierra Hand Sanitizer: This meets all of the CDC hand sanitizer standards for an effective sanitizer and comes in a squeeze bottle. The gel dries in 15 seconds and leaves hands somewhat moisturized. It has been field-tested by 1,000 US service members and 5% of the proceeds go toward the military's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program. The company was founded in 2018 and is known for military-inspired unisex grooming products, you can read our review of its products here. Wider availability would have moved it into a contender for the best hand sanitizer overall. 

Baby Bum Hand Sanitizer Spray: This spray delivers a fine mist of effective hand sanitizer with 62% ethyl alcohol and a light coconut scent. The product is tested by pediatricians for use by children, contains additional plant-based ingredients for hydration, and is hypoallergenic. Baby Bum is a sister-brand of Sun Bum, the popular sunscreen brand. This would have been a top contender for the best spray if there were more variety in sizes, a lower price point, and wider distribution.

Olika Hydrating Hand Sanitizer: The first thing that you'll notice about Olika Hydrating Hand Sanitizer is the dispenser — it's shaped like a bird. Once you get past the cute packaging, the hand sanitizing mist kills germs with 65% ethyl alcohol and moisturizes with aloe. It also comes in a travel version with a carabiner for purse or backpack straps, and a large refill bag. While refills are available for the cute dispenser, the higher price point took it out of the running for best hand sanitizer spray or best travel hand sanitizer. We tested the brand back in 2017 when its hand sanitizer included dry wipes in the base so you could make your own wipes with the spray.

NudeStix Antibacterial Hand Gel: Many skin-care and beauty companies have started developing hand sanitizer because it contains ingredients you'd normally find in cosmetics — alcohol. Among them is NudeStix, a brand best known for makeup products that come in convenient pencil form. In addition to the 62% ethanol alcohol for an effective sanitizer, NudeStix Hand Gel also provides soothing moisturizers from natural plant extracts and oils. The gel is offered in a pump bottle or in a travel pouch complete with a keychain to attach to straps. Unfortunately, the hand sanitizer is only available on its own site or at Sephora, a specialized beauty store.

Green Goo Hand Sanitizer: It may not have the most appealing name but the product has 70% ethyl alcohol content to kill germs. It's available in scents like aloe and lavender. The brand is a women-owned business that makes plant-based first aid and body care products. This was another strong contender for the best hand sanitizer for dry skin, but stock is limited to its own site or Amazon through its own storefront, and not via Prime. 

Earth to Skin Hand Sanitizer Gel: This is affordable and effective with 72% ethyl alcohol content. It doesn't contain sulfates or parabens and is never tested on animals. Earth to Skin is one of Walmart's in-house brands, and it usually makes beauty products. Since it's only found at Walmart, it's a little more limiting than others we've tested, and it's only available as 2-ounce bottles or 1-gallon jars.  

Grove Collaborative Hand Sanitizer Gel: Online retailer Grove Collaborative has started to make its own products, and one of them is hand sanitizer with 62% ethyl alcohol. It comes in several scents including blood orange, pear, and watermelon in two sizes. A separate holder can be ordered to hold the travel size securely to straps. It's available only when you join Grove Collaborative, so there was a barrier to entry.

How we tested hand sanitizers

Knowing that many legacy brands of hand sanitizers like Purell or Germ-X are low in stock in stores and online, we decided to only test ones that were more readily available for this update. After assessing availability, I tested 47 hand sanitizers across a wide spectrum of brands, prices, and formulas — including wipes, gels, and sprays.

I used a different hand sanitizer at least three times each day for several weeks while on the go and when working at my desk. I took into account how the product was formulated (as a gel, spray, or wipe), how easy it was to use, and how long it took the hand sanitizer to dry on my hands. I also noted how it felt when first applied and how my hands felt after the product dried.

I also researched each product to determine if it met the amount of alcohol for an effective hand sanitizer according to the CDC guidelines and FDA guidance, and made sure that they were not on the recall list of dangerous products (more below). All of this data was noted onto a spreadsheet and carefully analyzed before making the final selections of the best hand sanitizers.

 

Why Purell is not included in our guide
hand sanitizer

While shortages and price gouging of legacy hand sanitizer brands like Purell have occurred, we've excluded them from our guide for now until they're more readily available online and in stores.

"We have been producing Purell Hand Sanitizer at more than double pre-pandemic levels since February, however, we recognize that access has been limited for consumers," said Samantha Williams, senior director of corporate communications at GOJO, which produces Purell. "This is because of the urgent need to supply these essential products to hospitals, first responders, and other places where they play a critical public health role." Williams told us that despite retailers limiting quantities to ensure everyone has equal hand sanitizers, the brand has shipped more products to its retail partners in October than any other month. They've also increased production space to ramp up production efforts over the next six months. 

When should you use a hand sanitizer?
hand sanitizer

We consulted  Tania Elliott, MD, who specializes in infectious diseases related to allergies and immunology for internal medicine at NYU Langone Health, on how to use hand sanitizer correctly.

Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is best to remove germs and prevent the spread of any virus. But if you're in a situation where you can't easily wash your hands such as traveling, commuting, or running errands, then hand sanitizers are a viable option. Use a sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol (sometimes seen as ethyl) or at least 70% isopropyl (or isopropanol) alcohol, though it's important to note that hand sanitizers are not able to kill all types of germs or remove harmful chemicals like pesticides and heavy metals, according to the CDC. Alcohol-free sanitizers that rely on other ingredients are not effective in killing germs like norovirus and coronavirus.

How to use hand sanitizer correctly

More important than using an effective hand sanitizer is to use it correctly. If your hands are dirty, greasy, or heavily soiled, sanitizer alone will not be effective. Elliott suggests wiping your hands off with a paper towel or rinsing with water if that's available before doing a double application of hand sanitizer. This helps it remove most of the grime so the sanitizer can be effective.

Once your hands are visibly clean, use at least a quarter-sized dollop of gel or enough sanitizer spray to completely cover both sides of your hands each time. Rub it in for about 20 seconds paying attention to the areas between fingers and under your nails until your hands are dry — don't wipe it off.

Warnings about hand sanitizer safety and deceiving advertising
kid hand sanitizer coronavirus

The FDA has found that some hand sanitizers sold to consumers contain methanol or 1-propanol. According to the FDA, both ingredients are not acceptable for use in hand sanitizers because of toxicity to humans. They can cause serious side effects when absorbed through the skin and can cause blindness or death when swallowed.

Some hand sanitizers are also being packaged to look like food and drinks and include dyes and flavors, which can deceive shoppers into accidentally ingesting them. Any type of hand sanitizer can be toxic if ingested and we do not advise that anyone ingest hand sanitizer. Keep all hand sanitizers out of the reach of children under the age of six and do not use them on or near the eyes. Read the full list of brands to avoid here.

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Investing for income: 7 money-generating assets for your portfolio and how to get started

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income invest
Though especially prized by retirees, income-oriented investments can play a role in any portfolio.
  • The goal of investing for income is to generate a reliable cash flow from your assets at low risk.
  • Common investment income assets include dividend-paying stocks, bonds, real estate, annuities, CDs, and money market accounts.
  • Though they're traditionally associated with older investors, any portfolio should include some income-producing assets. 
  • Visit Insider's Investing Reference library for more stories.

You can classify investors into two basic types. There are those who want appreciation — that is, they invest for growth. And there are those who ask of their assets "show me the money — now." 

We call the latter type income investors. Income investing involves building a portfolio using dividend-paying stocks, bonds, real estate, and other assets designed to generate cash on a recurring basis. 

With income investing, once you buy the asset, there isn't a whole lot more to do. This is buy-and-hold passive investing at its best. 

There are multiple types of investment income assets, and ways to invest for income. Here's a rundown of the most common.

1. Dividend Stocks

What they are: Dividend-paying stocks are issued by companies that make cash payments per share, generally quarterly, based on how well the company is doing. The two main types of dividend stocks are called common and preferred.

How they work: Common stock dividends are set by the company's board of directors each quarter. You won't know the amount or even if there will be a dividend until the board decides.

Preferred stock dividends are more regular: pre-determined, fixed payments over a specified period of time. Also, preferred stockholders their dividends before common stock shareholders get theirs. 

Although common stock dividends are riskier, you stand to gain more. Preferred stock dividends are less risky, but generally lower.

What to know: The most consistent, good dividend-payers tend to be from blue-chip stocks — that is, those of large, well-established corporations. 

How to tell if a dividend is a good one? Look not just at the dollar amount, but at the dividend yield: that is, the company's annual dividend divided by its stock price and multiplied by 100. (It's often indicated on a stock's online listing.)

Aim for stocks that pay a 2% to 6% dividend yield. That ratio indicates a decent payout relative to a company's earnings and market valuation and helps you avoid companies that may be borrowing excessively to inflate their dividends.

2. Bonds

What they are: Bonds are loans to the government or a company. Your income from bonds comes in the form of fixed-interest payments. As the bondholder (lender) you receive a fixed amount of interest income on a regular schedule. When the loan term ends, you receive your original investment back. 

How they work: The rate of interest you receive on a bond depends on the length of its term — the longer, the higher — the creditworthiness of the borrower, and the conditions of the market. There are three main types of bonds: 

  • Government bonds, also known as Treasuries, are considered extremely reliable because they are backed by the U.S. government, but the tradeoff is a relatively low interest rate.
  • Municipal bonds are a form of government bonds issued by states, cities, counties, and other government entities. Interest is exempt from federal taxes and often from state and local taxes as well.
  • Corporate bonds are issued by companies (both public and private) and therefore riskier than government bonds. For that reason, they pay a higher interest rate than government bonds. depending on the creditworthiness of the issuer.

What to know:  Bond prices tend to go up when the stock market goes down, making bonds a good tool to balance risk from equities, as well as an income source.

3. Real Estate 

What they are: Although it can and does appreciate, real estate often provides a solid cash flow as well. The income derives from rents paid by tenants of residential, industrial, or commercial properties, and sometimes from mortgage interest on the properties as well. You don't have to become a landlord: REITS and RELPs are common ways to invest in real estate indirectly. 

How they work: Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) let you buy shares in a publicly traded company, which pays dividends to you much like stocks. The dividends can vary in both amount and frequency. REITs invest in a variety of projects and are considered ongoing, long-term investments. 

A real estate limited partnership (RELP) lets you pool your money with other investors to buy or develop real estate properties in a private (i.e., not publicly traded) investment. Formed to operate for over a period of years, a RELP offers excellent dividend payments annually, though the big money comes via distributions when the projects are complete and sold towards the end. As with a REIT, a RELP pays fluctuating dividends based on the type of real estate investments it makes. 

What to know:  Dividends in both cases are not fixed but can vary, depending on the profit/rent income received by the REIT or RELP. You stand to gain more with a RELP over a specific, shorter period of time than with a REIT. However, because they don't trade on public exchanges, RELPs can be harder to unload; REITs are much more liquid. 

4. Money Market Funds

What they are: Money market funds (MMFs) are a special type of fixed income mutual funds that invest in short-maturity, low-risk debt securities that pay dividends like most other income-producing investments. 

How they work: MMFs are low-volatility investments that may be taxable or tax-exempt, depending on the types of securities held. MMFs operate on the net asset value (NAV) standard, meaning they attempt to maintain a share value of $1. Any excess is distributed as dividends.

What to know:  Investors like the NAV standard because it forces fund managers to make regular dividend payments to investors, which provides that steady cash flow income investors prize.

5. Certificates of Deposit

What they are: Banks also sell income-producing products that many investors include in their portfolios due to their relatively low risk. One of the most common is certificates of deposit (CDs). 

How they work: Certificates of deposit (CDs) are a type of savings account that come with terms ranging from six months to five years. The longer the amount of time you must keep your money in the CD, the higher the interest rate. 

What to know: If you want income (interest) from your CDs, most banks will let you take it out as it is earned at its fixed rate. Your principal, however, is usually locked in for the duration of the CD. 

6. Money Market Accounts

What they are: Money market accounts, sometimes called money market savings accounts, are another common bank product. They pay higher interest than regular savings accounts, but have more restrictions and often require a higher initial balance to get the best interest rate. 

How they work: You can make withdrawals (including interest) from your money market account up to six times a month.

What to know:  Money market accounts (and CDs too) are not considered major income investments, but rather savings vehicles. Still, they do earn some return, and of course, are highly liquid: Access is as close as the nearest bank branch. And both are FDIC-insured.

7. Annuities

What they are: Income annuities are contracts sold by insurance companies that make regular payments to you for a set period or for life. You invest an initial sum, then the money is repaid to you in periodic installments, a process known as annuitization. The payments typically consist of both principal and interest.

How they work: The three main types of annuities are: 

  • Fixed, which pay a set interest rate
  • Variable, whose interest rate fluctuates, depending on the investments (usually mutual funds) you choose
  • Indexed, which provide a return based on an index, such as the S&P 500.

The risk depends on the underlying stability of the insurance company and the type of annuity: Fixed is the least risky and variable the most. 

What to know:  Compared to other types of investments, annuities are often criticized for high fees and expenses. 

The financial takeaway

Income investing is often associated with older, often retired investors: Common financial wisdom often has portfolios shifting from growth to income as their owners age. Still, all investors can and should include some income producers in their portfolio — as a counterbalance to aggressive growth assets, if nothing else. 

Generally speaking, the more risk you are willing to take or the longer you are willing to let your money work, the higher rate of return you will receive.

That said, the main purpose of income investing is to produce cash flow with a reasonable amount of risk. Income-producing stocks, bonds, and other securities are meant to be the stable foundation of your portfolio.

And you can always diversify your risk further by investing in income-oriented exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds. Often identified with the words "dividend" or "income" or "high-yield" in their names, these invest in everything from real estate to select preferred stocks to corporate bonds.

Related Coverage in Investing:

What are junk bonds? A risky yet high-yield investment that can bring rewards if you're willing to take the chance

Bonds vs. CDs: The key differences and how to decide which income-producing option is better for you

ETFs and mutual funds can instantly diversify your portfolio, but they differ in how they're traded, managed and taxed. Here's what you should know.

How to invest in index funds to build long-term wealth

Liz Weston: How to mess up a variable annuity

Read the original article on Business Insider

Starlink's internet satellite public beta costs $600 upfront, SpaceX says — and some users are dropping even more for better equipment

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SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
  • SpaceX's public beta test for Starlink, its satellite internet project, will cost $600 upfront, it said in an email Monday that was then posted online by Reddit's Starlink community.
  • The "Better Than Nothing Beta" costs $99 for an ongoing monthly subscription, plus $499 for a kit containing a tripod, WiFi router, and terminal to connect to the Starlink satellites.
  • Speeds will vary from 50 Mbps to 150 Mbps, SpaceX said.
  • Some users are already spending more on fancier gear: One Reddit user said they had splashed an extra $100 on a sturdier mount. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

SpaceX is asking people to spend $600 upfront for the public beta of Starlink, its satellite internet service — and some users have already said they'll spend more for a better setup.

SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, sent an email on Monday to people who showed interest in signing up for the service, laying out the costs and projected internet speeds. The email was promptly posted by Reddit's Starlink community.

The monthly subscription for SpaceX's service, known as the "Better Than Nothing Beta," is $99.

It costs a further $499 for the Starlink Kit, which includes a mounting tripod, WiFi router, and a terminal to connect to the satellites. 

In the email, SpaceX said: "As you can tell from the title, we are trying to lower your initial expectations.

"Expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system. There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all."

The company has also released a Starlink app on the Google Play and Apple iOS app stores.

Some users have already said they're willing to pay for extra equipment.

One Reddit user who received the email said: "Placed my order that came to nearly $600 after shipping ($50) and tax. Then I had to place a second order for the ridgeline mount for another $100. Worth it!"

Another expressed interest in a more permanent tripod for the kit. "The tripod mount sounds interesting, sort of temporary to find a good installation place," they said.

SpaceX sent the email to an unspecified number of people who had expressed their interest on the Starlink website.

Nearly 900 Starlink satellites are currently in orbit as part of the planned high-speed internet network. SpaceX is planning to launch a full public beta test in North America shortly.

Musk's firm has begun testing the service in northern US and southern Canada. The most recent development is that SpaceX agreed to provide free internet via Starlink's satellites to 45 families in a Texas school district

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A professional drifter explains the physics behind drifting

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  • Drifting a car looks simple but it's technically difficult, whether as a pastime or a profession. 
  • Leona Chin, known as Malaysia's "Queen of Drift," is a professional motorsports athlete and physics-aficionado. 
  • She explains the concepts behind drifting, including how friction between a wheel and track move a car left or right around a bend, and how to use speed and steering angle to overcome center- to slide.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Drifting, the most exhilarating and mesmerizing exhibition of style and control while driving a car. Drifting is graceful, simple even, in appearance. But inside the car, there is a riot of activity as the driver wrestles with steering angle, braking, and wheel speed to throw the car in an unnatural position: sideways. For those of us that haven't had a chance to push a car to its limit, drifting is hard to comprehend. So we reached out to an expert for help.

Leona Chin: Why do people drift? You want to just demonstrate the supreme car control in showing that you can drive better and more spectacularly than the guy next to you. Think of drifting like an art. Drifting is like dancing. People judge you by how nice you did the dance and how good the angles of your drifting skills are.

Narrator: That's Leona Chin. She's a decorated motorsports veteran of over 10 years with experience in rally, circuit racing, endurance racing, gymkhana, autocross, drag, off-road, and go-kart. She's the driver behind mega-viral prank videos and the Most Inspiring Female Motorsports Athlete as voted by the Motorsports Association of Malaysia. To those who know of her motoring exploits, she goes by another name: the Queen of Drift.

Leona helped us understand how drifting works from a science perspective.

Leona: According to Newton's first law is the law of inertia that states that when an object is moving, it wants to keep moving the same way, and it resists any changes to that motion unless there is an external force causing a change. Thus, in this case, the car's natural tendency is to go straight. When the car's steering wheel is turned, then there is an external force.

Narrator: That force is the friction between the tires and the track, also called traction. When you turn the wheels, some of that traction is angled perpendicular to the car's velocity. So instead of moving in a straight line, the car begins to follow a curved path. But this is not drifting. This is what happens during a normal turn.

So when does a turn into a drift? When you overcome the friction between your tires and the road. And you do that by entering a curve at an unusually sharp angle or an abnormally high speed. Think of a car moving on a surface where the force of friction is very low, like on ice. A driver may turn their tires in order to avoid an obstacle like a stopped car, but the traction between the ice and the tires is so low that it's easy to overcome it. The car is in a slide.

The same thing happens when a driver takes a curve too sharp or too fast on an asphalt racetrack.

Now, a regular driver probably wouldn't know what to do during a slide and would likely lose control and go off the road. But professionals like Leona Chin can turn that slide into a drift by taking back control of the car. How? By turning the driving wheel in the opposite direction of the bend. Turning the wheel changes the direction of the friction force from the skid. That can change the direction of the skid itself. And if you know exactly how fast to hit the curve and exactly how to turn the steering wheel, you'll make drifting look easy. Even though it's anything but.

Leona: So simply put, you need to balance the amount of traction you lose on the rear wheels and balance the wheel speed and slide constantly through a drift.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published in June 2019.

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Reagan's FBI director and 19 other former GOP-appointed US attorneys endorse Biden, saying Trump is 'a threat to the rule of law'

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden departs Delaware for a campaign swing through Georgia.
  • A group of 20 former Republican US attorneys endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday, calling President Donald Trump "a threat to the rule of law," according to the Washington Post.
  • One of the most prominent signatories is William H. Webster, served as both FBI and CIA director under former president Ronald Reagan.
  • The letter is the latest in a series of high-profile GOP endorsements for Biden, who has stressed the need for unity and bipartisanship throughout his entire presidential campaign.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A group of 20 former Republican US attorneys, including a FBI and CIA director under former president Ronald Reagan, endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday, calling President Donald Trump "a threat to the rule of law" in an open letter.

"The President has clearly conveyed that he expects his Justice Department appointees and prosecutors to serve his personal and political interests," wrote the former US attorneys. "He has politicized the Justice Department, dictating its priorities along political lines and breaking down the barrier that prior administrations had maintained between political and prosecutorial decision-making."

The letter was signed by appointees from a long line of Republican presidents, from Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush. Two of the most prominent signatories are William H. Webster, who was a US Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri from 1960 to 1961 and served as both FBI and CIA director in the Reagan administration, and William Weld, who was a US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts from 1981 to 1986 and  state's governor from 1991 to 1997. 

In April 2019, Weld announced his candidacy to challenge Trump in the 2020 GOP presidential primary, but he suspended his campaign this past March.

The letter continued with praise of Biden's leadership, with the prosecutors saying that the state of the judiciary would be starkly different under the former vice president.

"In contrast with President Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden has devoted his career to supporting law enforcement, protecting the independence of the Justice Department, and working to ensure that the federal government exercises its law enforcement powers fairly and impartially and in the interests of all Americans," the attorneys continued in the letter. "Joe Biden understands that unity – and not division – is the key to meeting the challenges that our country is facing."

The letter represents the latest in a series of GOP endorsements for Biden, from members of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project to dozens of former GOP members of Congress to former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele.

This past August, dozens of Republican national security officials wrote an open letter where they announced their support for Biden over Trump, according to the Washington Post.

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Yes, Hulu streams in 4K, but only on certain devices — here's a full guide

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You can watch 4K programming on Hulu if you have a compatible streaming device.
  • Hulu does have 4K programming, but due to a number of limitations, most users will only get HD content.
  • Currently, only five devices support Hulu in 4K, including certain Apple TV devices, and the Amazon Fire TV. 
  • The amount of 4K content is also quite limited, restricted to some of Hulu's flagship original content.
  • This story is a part of Business Insider's Guide to Hulu Tips and Tricks.

4K is becoming more and more common nowadays. So you'd be forgiven if you thought that Hulu offered 4K programming by default on all of its streaming apps.

However, this isn't the case — to watch in 4K on Hulu, you'll need to be using a specific streaming device, and watching one of a select set of shows and movies.

Here's what you should know.

Which devices can display Hulu in 4K

Unlike some other streaming services, Hulu only supports 4K video on a narrow set of devices. These are the media players which can show Hulu in 4K:

If you don't have one of those devices — like if you're using a Roku media device, for example — the highest resolution you can watch in is HD. 

The content that Hulu broadcasts in 4K is limited

If you have a compatible device, the selection of 4K content is relatively slim. There's no official list of what content is available in 4K — Hulu says on its website that "at this time, [4K content is] limited to a select list of programming, including most Hulu Originals." 

hulu
Altogether, not many shows or movies on Hulu are available in 4K resolution.

Unfortunately, that's an optimistic spin on the current state of 4K on Hulu, which currently appears to be limited to the service's highest profile originals, like "The Handmaid's Tale." 

So while you can find 4K video if you look through Hulu's original programming, most content on the service is only available in HD. 

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort charged US taxpayers $3 for a glass of water

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Trump on 60 Minutes
  • President Donald Trump's golf club in Florida once charged US taxpayers $3 for a glass of water when he was hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Washington Post reported.
  • When the two men met in April 2018, the resort charged the US government $13,700 for rooms, $16,500 for food and wine, and $6,000 for floral arrangements, the Post reported.
  • Tuesday's report is the latest example of how Trump's businesses have made millions from taxpayers and the president's supporters since he took office.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida once charged taxpayers $3 for a glass of water, the Washington Post reported.

The water was billed as part of a "bilateral meeting" when Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister at the resort in April 2018. In all, when the two men met, the Post reported that Mar-a-Lago charged the US government $13,700 for rooms, $16,500 for food and wine, and $6,000 for floral arrangements.

The Post's report about the meeting is the latest example of how Trump's properties have made millions off of the US government since he took office in 2017. To date, according to the Post, the president's businesses have made $8.1 million off the taxpayers and Trump's supporters since then.

Legal and ethics experts have long sounded the alarm about Trump's personal interests being entwined with his presidency, and he has been sued multiple times after being accused of violating the Constitution's emoluments clause, which bars public officials from receiving gifts or cash from foreign governments without congressional approval.

In May, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia cleared the way for an emoluments lawsuit that the Maryland and Washington, DC attorneys general filed against Trump to move forward.

Trump's personal defense lawyer, Jay Sekulow, told Politico that the president's legal team would take the case to the Supreme Court, adding, "We disagree with the decision of the Fourth Circuit. This case is another example of presidential harassment."

The Washington, DC, Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit in which congressional Democrats accused Trump of violating the emoluments clause. And in September 2019, a three-judge panel on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York resurrected a 2017 lawsuit alleging that Trump violated the provision through his Washington, DC, hotel and other properties.

The president, for his part, has brushed off the allegations, saying to reporters last October, "You people with this phony emoluments clause."

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Best Buy has announced some of its early Black Friday deals — here's what's on sale now and what to expect on November 27

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Black Friday shopping will look different this year compared to past ones. Instead of camping out in front of stores and braving the crowds and lines, you'll probably be better off staying home to shop. Luckily, you can still count on finding deep discounts from large retailers like Best Buy on tech, smart home gadgets, and more. 

Best Buy is offering many Black Friday discounts during its Prep for the Holidays Event well before the actual day on November 27. To help you get the best discounts this holiday season, we'll be highlighting the best deals both before and during Thanksgiving week.

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Best early Black Friday 2020 deals

How do we select the best deals at Best Buy?

  • We only choose products that meet our high standard of coverage, from brands we've tested and trust.
  • We compare the prices against other retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart and only include the deals that are the same or better (not including promotional discounts that come from using certain credit cards).
  • We research price history thoroughly, to ensure that every deal we list is actually worth your time.

When does Best Buy's Black Friday sale start?

Black Friday 2020 is November 27 and Cyber Monday is November 30, but sales from many retailers, not just Best Buy, are starting now. Best Buy's Prep for the Holidays Event has already begun, during which My Best Buy members are guaranteed Black Friday pricing.

Should I become a My Best Buy member?

My Best Buy membership is free to join and can get you some exclusive discounts and perks — like the ongoing Black Friday price guarantee. If you're planning to shop from Best Buy at any time of year, we recommend becoming a member.

What is the Black Friday price guarantee?

Best Buy's Black Friday price guarantee assures that if you buy something before November 27 and the price drops lower later, you can receive a refund for the difference. However, there is one major caveat: this guarantee excludes Cyber Monday, November 30. If you buy something that drops to a lower price on Cyber Monday, you won't receive a refund for the difference. 

While this exclusion may sound like a deal-breaker, don't worry. If you see one of our posts about a deeply discounted item over Black Friday, chances are, Cyber Monday won't bring any significant price drops. Additional price drops tend to be less than 15% of the item's total value — an extra $10 off an Instant Pot, $5 saved on a Bluetooth speaker. Just don't buy anything at full price this Black Friday, and you should be safe from any significant buyer's remorse. 

What should I buy from Best Buy this Black Friday?

Year after year, Best Buy brings a ton of great discounts on every category it sells, and you can expect to find excellent deals on tech, smart home, gaming, and small home appliances.

Shopping for laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other tech is never more affordable than on Black Friday. Especially great deals we saw last year included price drops like the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 down to $600 (from $960), the 2019 Macbook Air down to $900 (from $1,100), and $400 off the Google Pixel 4. It's likely we'll see discounts this year from these brands and other major players in the category, like HP, Samsung, and Lenovo. 

Smart home deals also thrive during Black Friday, and 2020 will probably be the same. Of the many deals we saw last year, the ones that really stood out from Best Buy were $20 off the Google Home Mini, $50 off the Amazon Echo Show 8, and $30 off the Lenovo Smart Clock. Whether you prefer Amazon Alexa or Google, you can look forward to deeply discounted smart speakers and smart-assistant compatible tech, like smart bulbs and switches, throughout the event.   

Not only can you bank on finding game titles for every console on sale over Black Friday, but older generation consoles tend to drop in price too — usually when bundled with controllers and games. Don't get your hopes up if you're looking for discounts on new consoles like the upcoming PS5 and the Xbox Series X, but older and budget models are typically on sale. 

If you're going to buy a stick vacuum, electric pressure cooker, or other small appliance, Black Friday is the time to do it. Last year we saw $200 off the Dyson V10 Animal, $270 off the Kitchenaid Professional Stand Mixer, and $40 off the Instant Pot Duo Nova 6-quart. Countertop appliances and vacuums of every type (upright, stick, and robot) drop to the best prices we see all year over Black Friday, so if you've been waiting for a sign to buy a waffle maker this year, this is it. 

Can I shop in the Best Buy near me?

Black Friday shoppers can visit Best Buy locations to take advantage of these early Black Friday deals — a stark contrast to Amazon. The retailer also has extensive safety protocols for shopping in stores, including requiring customers and employees to wear face masks and limiting the number of visitors.

Better still, Best Buy offers contactless curbside pickup, store pickup, in addition to same-day and next-day delivery options. This means that if the product you want is in-stock at a location near you, you can just pick it up instead of waiting for it to ship.

How does Best Buy stand up to the competition on Black Friday?

Compared to other major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target, Best Buy is sure to offer solid, competitively priced deals for Black Friday. You can expect a lot of overlap between these stores, and oftentimes if something is out of stock from one retailer, it's still in stock at another. 

Shopping at Best Buy may be the best option for you if you live close to one for curbside pickup or if you're a My Best Buy member with an exclusive discount. Following the trend of past years, Best Buy will most likely bring strong tech and gaming deals — and you may be surprised at its home and kitchen deals as well.

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Legendary investor Mark Mobius says the S&P 500 is forming a 'dangerous' double-top pattern as investor concern grows about a hung election

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  • Investing legend Mark Mobius told CNBC on Tuesday he sees a dangerous double-top forming in the S&P 500 as investor concern about a hung election grows. 
  • A double-top is a bearish reversal pattern that tends to occur at or near the high of a security. 
  • The founding partner of Mobius Capital Partners said investors around the world are watching the US election closely, "because they know a downturn in the US market will affect everybody." 

Investing legend Mark Mobius told CNBC that the S&P 500 is forming a "dangerous" double-top pattern as investors grow worried that the US election may be contested.

A double-top is a bearish reversal pattern that tends to occur at or near the high of a security. The security surges, dips, then surges back near the same level. If the price then falls below the support level reached during the intermittent dip, the double top is confirmed. 

"It is interesting if you are a technician, you look at the S&P 500 and it looks like a double top is forming, which is quite dangerous," said Mobius. "So I think people are quite concerned not only about who will win, but whether there is going to be a hung election."

Read more: Nancy Zevenbergen has outperformed 99% of her investor peers over the last 5 years. She shared 5 tips for starting a successful growth fund — including ones adopted by fellow Wall Street titans Warren Buffett and Cathie Wood.

The S&P 500 hit a record closing high of 3,580 on September 2, then endured a sharp decline during the rest of the month. The benchmark index climbed back to a high of 3,534 points on October 12 but has now lost roughly 2% since then.

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The founding partner of Mobius Capital Partners said that the US election is having a "big bearing on the markets" globally. 

"I think a lot of investors, not only in the U.S. but around the world, are watching this very, very carefully because they know a downturn in the US market will affect everybody," he said. 

Mobius added that a Joe Biden victory may be bad for the US and international markets in the short term. In the long term, investors will need to wait and see what policy changes the former vice president enacts.

"If he decides not to impose tax increases, then that would be good for the markets, so we have to watch what the actual actions are once he gets into office, if he does get into office," said the investor.

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A top exec at a $1.8 billion hedge fund asked his followers for their favorite election trades. Here are the best responses.

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  • With Election Day just one week away, some of Wall Street's top investors are sharing their blue-wave plays for all to see.
  • Joseph Mauro, the head of markets at the hedge fund Light Sky Macro, asked his Twitter followers what their first trade would be if Florida were called early and pointed to an "overwhelming" Democratic sweep.
  • Here's how Mauro's followers, from former hedge-fund giants to finance-Twitter fans, replied.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Wall Street is finalizing its election-night bets. Some are sharing their insights in client-exclusive analyst notes and strategy calls.

Others are sounding off in a Twitter thread.

Joseph Mauro, the head of markets at the hedge fund Light Sky Macro, asked his 5,353 followers on Sunday what their first postelection trade would be if Florida were called early and pointed to "the most overwhelming blue wave in the history of American politics."

The hypothetical is far from unlikely. Recent polls have found former Vice President Joe Biden with a healthy lead and have suggested that Democrats could take control of the Senate. An early reading from Florida is also within the realm of possibility, as the swing state is among those where mail-in ballots can be counted ahead of Election Day.

Here's how Mauro's followers, from Wall Street titans to finance-Twitter loyalists, said they planned to invest should Florida's results point to a Democratic sweep.

Light Sky Macro managed $1.8 billion in assets as of December 31, according to a regulatory filing.

Read more: Bank of America's restaurant analyst told us the 7 stocks that will thrive as frigid winter weather rocks the industry — and broke down the factors that could hurt certain popular destinations

The professionals

"Fade the consensus Blue Wave trades. i.e. buy bonds and buy dollars." — Raoul Pal, the founder and CEO of Real Vision Group and Global Macro Investor

"Long MXN." — Paul McNamara, the investment director at GAM Investments, referring to the Mexican peso

"Sell Bonds." — Mike Novogratz, a former hedge-fund manager and CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners

"Contrarian opinion- don't do anything- just stay calm. There will be a lot of vol anyway. Pickup when the dust settles." — Kunal Shah, a former Goldman Sachs analyst

The less-than-professionals

"Buy nasdaq fade macro portfolios." — @gpcap2

"Non-contrarian: MXN. Contrarian: short longer-dates breakevens and receive fwd inflation swaps. Stay away: gold, steepeners." — @policyerror

"Sell risk parity + don't sell the USD." — @McTeaguePeter

"Long CA and NY munis." — @SobchakCapital

Read more: 'I'm basically going to be long growth': Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya has hauled in a 997% return since 2011. He details the 5 sectors shaping his long-term investment playbook.

The comedians

"Fading whatever is most-liked in your comments." — @FunkPhlex

"Tissue companies, they gonna make a killing." — @Lord_Ashdrake

"Invest in a good bourbon to celebrate." — @DocJDoe

Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:

A fund manager who 'aggressively pushed' Jeremy Grantham's GMO to launch its first climate change fund shares how to capitalize on clean energy before it's too late — including 4 top stock picks

Xilinx rockets 14% after finalizing agreement for $35 billion sale to AMD

Palantir will surge 31% as Wall Street realizes potential for breakneck profit growth, Morgan Stanley says

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dozens of eyeshadow palettes, liners, and primers are 25% off during this huge Ulta sale

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nyx butter gloss colors lip gloss
  • Right now, Ulta is giving shoppers 25% off NYX bestsellers, including eyeshadow palettes, liners, primers, and so much more.
  • Sales from Ulta aren't rare, but it is less common to find sales on makeup for your whole face, from priming to finishing, from a popular brand like NYX Professional Makeup. 
  • The deals are only available online, but no code is necessary to reap the savings — shipping is also free if you buy $35 or more.
  • No Ulta membership is required, though it's free to become an Ultamate and rack up loyalty points.
  • We love the NYX Lip Lingerie collection, and while it's not currently included in the sale, many more of the brand's lip products are discounted. 
  • If you're looking for similar deals, check out these great sales on style, personal care, and beauty.

NYX Professional Makeup bestsellers are 25% off from Ulta right now, online only. The sale includes every part of the NYX lineup; your eyes, brows, lips, and face can all get some pampering at a discount. 

Ulta has sales all of the time, during every season, so this isn't a rare occurrence. What is uncommon, though, is seeing a household name like NYX so deeply discounted, with such a wide variety of makeup included in the sale. Shipping is free with orders of $35 or more, and you don't need to be an Ultamate (Ulta's loyalty membership) to save. 

One of our favorite drugstore lines, the Lip Lingerie collection, isn't included in the sale, but plenty of NYX's other lip collections are discounted right now from Ulta. We've highlighted some of our favorites from the sale below, or you can shop the whole brand sale here

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Skagen Falster 3 is the best Wear OS smartwatch, thanks to its minimalist Scandinavian style

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Skagen_Falster_3_11

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Crafted in partnership with Danish brand Skagen, and manufactured by the prolific Fossil Group, the Skagen Falster 3 combines the best of Google's Wear OS with capable hardware in an elegant design that's irresistible. 

This is not the best smartwatch around; that title goes to the latest Apple Watch., It's not even the best smartwatch for Android phone owners; that would be the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2. But, the Skagen Falster 3 has its charms. 

Is the Falster 3 worthy of a place on your wrist? I've been using it for a few weeks now, and I'm convinced it's the best Wear OS smartwatch currently available, but it does have its flaws.

Skagen Falster 3 specifications 

Dimensions: 1.65 x 0.43 inches (42mm case)

Display: 416 x 416-pixel color OLED

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100

Memory: 1GB

Storage: 8GB

Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth LE, NFC

Sensors: Accelerometer, Altimeter, Ambient Light, Gyroscope, Heart Rate

Battery: 24 Hours

Water resistance: 3ATM

Design

The Skagen Falster 3 is a gorgeous smartwatch. The round, stainless steel, 42mm case has a satisfying heft to it, but at 11mm thick it manages not to be too chunky. The slim, tubular lugs connect to a range of matching bands; I have the steel mesh band, but there are silicone and leather options. There's a rotating crown on the right, with two shortcut buttons flanking it.

When I first tried the Skagen Falster 3 on, I was impressed by the quality feel and look, which carries through to the wonderful array of Skagen watch faces. Spending more time with it has not dulled that first impression, and it's a smartwatch that has drawn admiring glances and compliments from friends and family. The OLED screen is 1.3 inches across, and it's sharp, bright, and responsive to touches.

I think the Skagen Falster 3 works better in a casual or work setting than it does at the gym, especially with the steel mesh band. My daily driver is usually the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, but I will switch to the Skagen for social gatherings or work meetings because I love the way it looks. 

Setup and interface

Smartwatch HR Falster 3 Two Tone Leather Photo

To begin using your Skagen Falster 3 you need to download and install the Wear OS app for Android or iOS. I had some connection issues, possibly because I have a few Wear OS watches, and had to unpair and restart to get things working with my Pixel 4. 

The Wear OS interface is a bit clunky and there isn't much in the way of help if you're new to it. Some options feel as though they're buried quite deep in the settings. To access the Play Store and third-party apps you press the crown, while the two shortcut buttons can be configured for workouts or whatever else you like. You can also rotate the crown to swipe up and down, but it's a little too easy to go too far, so I prefer to swipe on screen. 

Many things on the Skagen Falster 3, from watch faces to tiles, are best configured via the app on your phone.

Performance and fitness tracking

Skagen_Falster_3_6

Since it's packing the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor and 1GB of memory (RAM), the Skagen Falster 3 is relatively slick and responsive. This is about as fast as swiping through screens or loading apps gets on a Wear OS device right now. 

Fitness tracking comes courtesy of Google Fit, and it's distinctly basic. The app tracks your steps and heart points, and you can set up heart rate tracking. There's also an option to record workouts, which features a long list of activities, from Aerobics to Zumba, but you must start and stop the tracking manually. Sadly, this process is cumbersome if you frequently engage in different activities, as only your last three are listed at the top. 

Google Fit also offers a range of breathing exercises to help you stay calm. Data on your wrist is basic, and even if you dig into the app on your phone you won't find much more. This is fine if you only have a casual interest in maintaining fitness, but if you want automatic activity tracking, coaching, or insights, then you'll be much better served by something like Samsung's Galaxy Watch Active 2.

The Google Fit app on your phone also lists sleep tracking, but you need a third-party app like Sleep as Android if you want to track it from your Skagen Falster 3.

I wore the Skagen Falster 3 for several workouts and it survived just fine. It is also 3ATM rated, so it can survive up to a depth of 30 meters. Mine has also been through the shower without any issues, though this is not recommended.

Google, third-party apps, and other features

Skagen_Falster_3_10

The strength of the Wear OS platform is the Google integration. The Skagen Falster 3 has a microphone and speaker, so you can employ Google Assistant just as you would on your phone. It's generally a beat or so slower and sometimes fails inexplicably, but it is a handy thing to have on your wrist. I also appreciate Google Pay for contactless payments, while Maps offers the best navigation experience you can get on your wrist, and I use Google Keep for shopping lists, which syncs across your devices.

There are a lot of different third-party apps, including some options to beef up your fitness tracking data and lots of music apps. But, if you're not a big Google user, I don't think a Wear OS smartwatch is for you. 

One other function that the Skagen Falster 3 offers is the ability to take or make calls. It's surprisingly clear and serves well in a pinch, such as when you can't find your phone or when your hands are full.

If you want to listen to music from your watch, all the big streaming services are there. There's also 8GB of storage, and a few apps make it easy to transfer tracks for local storage, which enables you to leave your phone at home when you go for a run. There's also onboard GPS, so you can track your route.

Battery life

Skagen_Falster_3_12

Skagen suggests 24 hours or more for battery life, but this is a little optimistic. Much depends on how you use your smartwatch and how many notifications come through. If you're playing music, running the heart rate sensor, and GPS tracking it's going to run out of steam quickly. 

For me, the Falster 3 is usually around 30% or below at bedtime, but there have been busy days where I've had to put it into power saving mode to get through the evening. I appreciate the option to set up a custom battery mode where you can finetune the functionality you want to switch off. I like to have the display set to always on and I feel the Skagen-designed watch faces, which are minimal and with dark backgrounds, don't just look great, they also help to squeeze the most from the battery.

Pleasingly, the Skagen Falster 3 charges up quite quickly, going from zero to 45% in just half an hour on the charger that comes in the box.

Cons to consider

Skagen_Falster_3_7

If you have an iPhone, then buy an Apple Watch. Even the cheaper Watch SE will serve you better than a Wear OS device. Android watch connectivity problems with iPhones are common, there's no option to reply to messages from third-party apps, and iMessages don't come through at all.  

Sadly, I find glitches are quite common with Wear OS even with an Android phone, but they're not confined to the Skagen Falster 3. I like the ability to pause music or podcasts from my wrist, but frequently get lag that's enough for me to assume the press didn't register and press it again only to pause and immediately restart what I was listening to. 

Sometimes notifications will seem to come through several times in a row, but I think what happens is if you get an email alert that you ignore and then a new email comes in, it shows the original alert again because you haven't looked at it yet. These small issues mount up and drag down the overall experience.

The bottom line

Skagen_Falster_3_4

With a classy, desirable design, a wide range of different features, and great integration with Google services, the Skagen Falster 3 is a smartwatch worth owning. It ticks all the boxes, from mobile payments to water resistance to GPS tracking. Skagen's design also carries through from the watch exterior and bands to the elegant watch faces.

What lets the Skagen Falster 3 down is the glitchy Wear OS platform and the shallow fitness tracking. 

Should you buy it? 

Yes, if you're an Android phone owner and frequently use Google services, the Skagen Falster 3 could be a great smartwatch for you.

Which model should you get?

The Skagen Falster 3 comes in a few different case and band combinations, and there's also the X by KYGO edition which is black with a silicone band. Pick the look that suits you best.

What are your alternatives?

If you have an iPhone buy the latest Apple Watch, or the SE if your budget won't stretch. Android phone owners should also look at the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, which is a little cheaper and much better for fitness tracking. 

The Wear OS platform is long overdue for a major update, but if you're dead set on it, or perhaps you're used to it and looking to upgrade from an older model, the Skagen Falster 3 is the best Wear OS smartwatch currently available. 

Pros: Beautiful minimalist design, solid performance, can make or take calls, Google services

Cons: Wear OS is awkward, basic fitness tracking, quite expensive

Read the original article on Business Insider

Congress has left town without passing a coronavirus aid bill. Now a 2nd round of $1,200 stimulus checks may have to wait until December.

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Mitch McConnell.
Sen. Mitch McConnell
  • Congress has left town without passing another pandemic aid bill.
  • Negotiations between the White House and Democrats are ongoing, but the prospect of more coronavirus aid is uncertain during a "lame duck session."
  • The next deadline Congress faces is December 11, the date by which it must approve another spending bill to prevent a government shutdown.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Congress has left Washington without approving another coronavirus aid bill as virus cases surge across the nation and the economic recovery threatens to stall out.

The prospect for a coronavirus aid bill before the election all but dissipated when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate after it voted along party lines to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The chamber will not reconvene until November 9.

"We'll come back in November," Senate Appropriations Chair Richard Shelby of Alabama told The Washington Post. "The question might be, will there be something then?"

Stimulus negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Steven Mnuchin are crawling along with very few signs of progress. Both sides are negotiating a roughly $2 trillion package that includes $1,200 stimulus checks, federal unemployment benefits, as well as small business aid.

The odds of congressional action in a "lame-duck" session is highly uncertain, given the election results may reshuffle priorities in both parties. Republicans largely oppose passing another large pandemic relief bill, citing the growing budget deficit.

"The lame-duck agenda depends largely on the outcome of the election," Sen. Ron Wyden, top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, told Bloomberg Tax. "If my choice wins — Vice President Biden — it's hard to see Mitch McConnell supporting another penny of stimulus."

The next deadline Congress faces is December 11, the date it must approve another spending bill to prevent a government shutdown. It could be another window of opportunity for lawmakers to pass additional coronavirus relief legislation.

President Donald Trump strongly supports passing another stimulus package. But his approach was highly unpredictable over the past month. Trump has veered from cutting off relief negotiations to pressing for more money than Democrats in a short time frame.

"After the election we'll get the best stimulus package you've ever seen," the president said Tuesday at a Pennsylvania rally.

Congress hasn't authorized additional federal aid since the pandemic sparked a $3 trillion surge of emergency spending in the spring. Programs for small business aid and federal unemployment benefits expired several months ago, and Americans have largely spent their initial $1,200 stimulus checks.

In recent weeks, Republicans assailed Democrats for demonstrating little flexibility in stimulus negotiations. Democrats blocked a $500 billion pandemic aid bill that the GOP put forward last week.

Read more: An investment chief overseeing $23 billion breaks down 2 critical election-linked risks facing the market — and shares the smartest way to turn them both into profit opportunities

"We have been working on coronavirus relief," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News on Monday. "Unfortunately, the Speaker has not been able to agree to anything remotely reasonable. We can do two things at once and we were trying to do two things at once."

New daily coronavirus cases rose 17% over the past week and most states are grappling with a surge of infections. Many economists say another aid bill is needed to strengthen the economy as layoffs rise and unemployment claims remain high.

On Tuesday, Pelosi slammed the Trump administration for not budging on a national testing and tracing strategy Democrats want in a letter to House Democrats.

During an MSNBC interview, she said the White House hadn't yielded on its refusal to include tax credits for low-income individuals and families, another Democratic priority in a $2.2 trillion economic aid package the House passed earlier this month.

"We have to control the virus. But in addition to that, we cannot sell our souls," Pelosi said. "I know, just say, 'Okay, well, let's just do it, whatever way they want to do it. We'll do it again.' No."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Obama mocked Trump for tweeting 'crazy things' as the president complained on Twitter that Fox News was airing his predecessor's speech

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Trump/Obama
President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump to update him on transition planning in the Oval Office at the White House on November 10, 2016 in Washington,DC.
  • Former President Barack Obama did not hold back while criticizing President Donald Trump during in a speech in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday.
  • Obama mocked Trump over his taxes and for sharing conspiracy theories on Twitter. 
  • Trump responded via Twitter, assailing Fox News for airing Obama's speech.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday mocked his successor's "crazy" Twitter habits during a speech in Orlando, Florida, where he was campaigning for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump aired his grievances in real time on Twitter, complaining that Fox News was airing Obama's speech. 

Obama criticized Trump for using his favored social media platform to amplify a baseless QAnon conspiracy theory that Osama bin Laden was never actually killed, and that Obama and Biden may have had SEAL Team 6 killed to cover it up.

"Our president of the United States retweeted a post that claimed the Navy SEALs didn't actually kill Bin Laden. Think about that. And we act like, well, OK. It's not OK!" Obama said. 

Trump was widely criticized for elevating the bin Laden conspiracy theory, including by retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven, the former head of US Special Operations Command.

"It was a little bit like denying the moon landing," McRaven told CNN earlier this month, describing the conspiracy theory Trump shared as "so crazy."

While Obama excoriated Trump over his Twitter antics on Tuesday, the president was tweeted away — just one week away from Election Day. 

"Now @FoxNews is playing Obama's no crowd, fake speech for Biden, a man he could barely endorse because he couldn't believe he won. Also, I PREPAID many Millions of Dollars in Taxes," Trump tweeted in what was seemingly a response to comments Obama made on his successor's taxes. 

Obama brought up the topic as he directed criticism at Trump's inability to convince Senate Republicans to prioritize an economic relief package as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the US. The GOP instead focused on confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. 

"The only people truly better off than they were four years ago are the billionaires that got Trump's tax cuts," Obama said. "In the meantime, he has not been able to manage extending relief to millions of families who can't pay the rent right now, can't put food on the table right now."

He added: "You know, I don't understand how it is that he cannot organize Republicans in Congress to do the right thing. And it's not like it's his money that we're asking to pay because he doesn't pay taxes."

A bombshell report from The New York Times last month said Trump only paid $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017. Trump dismissed the Times report as "totally fake news."

The Times also recently reported that tax records show Trump paid $188,561 in taxes to China through his business ventures there between 2013 and 2015, far more than he paid in the US in 2016 and 2017. China is one of three foreign countries where Trump has a bank account, per the report.

Trump is the first president in decades to refuse to release his tax returns.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Videos of Tesla's new 'full self-driving' software look futuristic — but show just how far it is from full autonomy

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Tesla FSD youtube capture
  • Tesla released a beta version of its "full self driving" software to some customers this month. 
  • Within days, videos on the internet showed cars easily navigating roads and intersections. 
  • However, plenty of others showed situations where a momentary lapse of attention by the driver could have spelled disaster. 
  • Despite its name, no car currently for sale is actually self-driving, the US government says, and Tesla has been criticized over its driver assistance features — and their branding — before. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

There's still no such thing as a self-driving car, but you wouldn't know that from hearing Elon Musk or Tesla talk about their latest software.

Earlier this month, the company began to release a beta version of the driver-assistance program it calls "full self driving." Despite word from Musk that the rollout would be "extremely slow & cautious, as it should," videos of the software encountering situations where it clearly was not up to the task without driver intervention quickly surfaced online.

In one video posted to YouTube Monday, a Model 3 successfully navigates one stop sign, before another left turn almost sends it straight into a parked car: "A good example of how this is still beta," the driver says.

Over the course of 8 minutes, the drone video shows a handful of occasions where the driver has to take control back from the car's computer to avoid a crash or breaking road rules.

A plethora of other recordings uploaded to YouTube, Twitter, and elsewhere in the week since FSD was released show just how misleading the name is, even as its predecessor, Autopilot, was criticized by industry experts for the same exact reason. In some cases, the mistakes are simple and easily avoided, like missing a median:

 

Or using the wrong blinker and struggling with a traffic circle (and let's face it, many American humans struggle sometimes in roundabouts).

 

After the software was released, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said bluntly: "no vehicle available for purchase today is capable of driving itself."

The agency is investigating Autopilot's role in at least 13 crashes in the past four years. At least three of those have resulted in deaths, while countless other instances of users misusing the product have been caught on video

It's not clear when a wider rollout of FSD may move beyond beta-testing.

As for the criticisms of its name and imperfect status, Tesla did not respond to a request for comment. Musk has regularly pushed back against critics of the software.

"It's not like, 'If you just introduced a different name, I would have really treated it differently,'" he said in August. "If something goes wrong with Autopilot, it's because someone is misusing it and using it directly contrary to how we've said it should be used."

Read the original article on Business Insider

7 upcoming electric pickup trucks are all promising outlandish features — here's what to expect from Tesla, Rivian, Nikola, and others

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Cybertruck 4
Tesla Cybertruck.
  • Electric pickup trucks are set to flood the car market over the next couple of years, with many of promising cool and useful features. 
  • Tesla claims its Cybertruck will be bulletproof, Rivian has showed off an innovative "gear tunnel" cargo area in its R1T, and Nikola Motors says its Badger will have a drinking fountain. 
  • Buyers of the Bollinger B2 will be able to remove doors and windows, and carry cargo that's up to 16 feet long. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

If all goes according to plan, we should see a slew of new electric pickup trucks hit the market over the next few years. Established makes like Ford, General Motors, and Tesla — along with upstarts like Rivian, Nikola, and Bollinger — are all racing to introduce battery-powered options to the hugely popular vehicle segment, and they're trying their best to one-up each other in the process. 

From what we know so far, many of these forthcoming EV trucks share some key qualities. With exceptions, they generally claim to pack tons of horsepower, supercar-like acceleration, and a great deal of utility into a sleek, futuristic package. 

Plus, several companies are looking to set themselves apart from the pack by cramming their trucks with useful and just-plain-cool features — everything from a drinking fountain to in-truck storage for a slide-out camp kitchen.

Check out some of the wildest features promised in the Rivian R1T, the Tesla Cybertruck, the Bollinger B2, Nikola Badger, GMC Hummer EV, and Lordstown Endurance below.

Although they're not on the market just yet, multiple electric pickup trucks are set to take the world by storm over the next couple of years.
Endurance electric pickup truck by Lordstown Motors
The Endurance.
Electric pickups on the way include the Rivian R1T, Bollinger B1, GMC Hummer EV, Nikola Badger, Lordstown Endurance ...
Nikola Badger Electric Pickup Truck2
Nikola Badger Electric Pickup Truck.
... and, of course, the controversially styled Tesla Cybertruck.
The Cybertruck, Tesla's first electric pickup truck, is seen in this undated handout picture released by the company. Tesla/Handout via REUTERS.
The Cybertruck, Tesla's first electric pickup truck, is seen in this undated handout picture released by the company
We don't have all the details yet about these trucks — and some companies haven't revealed working pre-production models — but here are some of the coolest features that will apparently be available.
Rivian R1T
Rivian R1T.
Rivian's R1T will feature what the company calls a "gear tunnel," essentially a long cargo compartment running widthwise through the middle of the truck, behind the rear seats.
Rivian R1T gear tunnel
Rivian R1T.
That tunnel can potentially be customized for lots of different purposes such as a slide-out camp kitchen, which Rivian showed off at the Overland West convention in 2019.
Rivian R1T Camp Kitchen
Rivian R1T.
According to patent filings, the R1T also may have a "swing and drop" tailgate that can fold out to 90 degrees like a standard tailgate, or drop all the way down to 180 degrees for easier access to the bed.
Rivian R1t
Rivian R1T.

Source: Motor Authority

Not to mention, the R1T can spin in place like a tank.
Rivian R1T
Rivian R1T.

Not sure exactly what that tank-turn feature means? 

Fun. That's what it means. 

The GMC Hummer EV, unveiled in October, promises optional features like an "extract mode" that lifts the vehicle by six inches on demand ...
2022 GMC HUMMER EV 038
2022 GMC Hummer EV.
... and a four-wheel-steering system that cuts down its turning radius and lets it drive diagonally.
2022 GMC HUMMER EV 044
2022 GMC Hummer EV.
The Hummer EV also sports a transparent roof made of removable panels.
2022 GMC HUMMER EV 065
2022 GMC Hummer EV.
To help with challenging off-road terrain, customers will be able to opt for underbody cameras ...
2022 GMC HUMMER EV 039
2022 GMC Hummer EV.
... as well as underbody armoring to protect the battery and other vulnerable spots.
2022 GMC HUMMER EV 040
2022 GMC Hummer EV.
Tesla's Cybertruck failed to live up to the hype within minutes of its debut due to its supposedly unbreakable windows, but the model has no shortage of features that'll be quite exciting — should they come to be.
FILE PHOTO: Nov 21, 2019;  Hawthorne, CA, U.S.A; Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the Cybertruck at the TeslaDesign Studio in Hawthorne, Calif. The cracked window glass occurred during a demonstration on the strength of the glass.  Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY
News: Tesla Cybertruck
During the Cybertruck's reveal event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed off a retractable ramp for loading dirt bikes, ATVs, and other cargo into the bed.
Tesla cybertruck ATV
Tesla also claims the retro-futuristic truck will be impervious to dents, scratches, and bullets thanks to a thick, stainless-steel body.
Cybertruck 1
Tesla Cybertruck.
It'll also purportedly have a transparent roof that can be optioned with solar cells. Musk said on Twitter that the solar-roof option could generate 15-plus miles of charge per day.
Cybertruck 3
Tesla Cybertruck.

Source: Elon Musk on Twitter

Nikola's future remains unclear after a tumultuous couple of months and the exit of its founder, Trevor Milton, but the company still intends to build its Badger pickup as of this writing.
nikola badger 1
Nikola Badger.

Read more: Business Insider

Nikola says it will sport an interior that's almost entirely waterproof, including the displays ...
Nikola Badger Electric Pickup Truck7
Nikola Badger.
... along with a fridge inside the cab.
Nikola Badger Electric Pickup Truck8
Nikola Badger.
Nikola's founder Trevor Milton revealed plans to equip the Badger with a drinking fountain that uses the water produced by its hydrogen fuel cell.
nikola badger
Nikola Badger.
Built for utility, the boxy Bollinger B2 doesn't have much in the way of modern conveniences. It sports manual windows, manual mirrors, analog gauges, and no screens, but it still has a few tricks up its sleeve.
Bollinger Motors B2 driving outdoors
Bollinger B2.
It boasts removable windows, doors, and roof panels.
8 Bollinger Motors B1 glass roof top outdoors
Bollinger B2.
Plus, it will supposedly have a nifty, folding rear-cabin wall, which will make room for bulkier items that won't fit in the bed.
21 Bollinger Motors B2 side outdoors
Bollinger B2.
Without a pesky engine in the way, the B2 will offer a full-length pass through, which lets owners haul 16-foot-long boards and other cargo.
bollinger pass through
Bollinger.
The Lordstown Endurance, meanwhile, claims to have a drivetrain with only four moving parts.
Endurance electric pickup truck by Lordstown Motors
The Endurance.
That's because it has a hub motor in each wheel.
Lordstown Endurance   Sneak Peek 3
The Endurance.
But while the EV pickups are on the way, they won't be here right away. Lordstown Endurance and Hummer EV deliveries are expected to begin in 2021, while an electric Ford F-150 won't be around until mid 2022.
Endurance electric pickup truck by Lordstown Motors
The Endurance.

Source: Road & Track

Read the original article on Business Insider

Facebook and Google are back in the spotlight ahead of key earnings and a possibly testy congressional hearing. Here's what to expect during tech's big week.

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mark zuckerberg facebook
  • Big tech companies will be scrutinized by both lawmakers and shareholders this week, when three chief executives are set to testify before Congress and a slew of companies report their third-quarter earnings.
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai will face a Senate panel Wednesday as lawmakers push to repeal or rewrite the legal protections that they say shield tech giants from accountability, frequently referred to as Section 230.
  • Then on Thursday, those three companies will report their third-quarter earnings — along with fellow tech giants Apple and Amazon — and show whether their businesses have kept the momentum that led them to exceed expectations earlier in the year.
  • Here's what to expect from big tech earnings reports and government scrutiny in the week ahead.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The stakes are high this week for big tech companies, which will face tough questions from Congress just one day before many of them report their third-quarter earnings.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai will testify before the Senate Commerce subcommittee on Wednesday in a hearing focused on legal protections that shield tech companies from being held liable for the content of users' posts — and which many lawmakers want to weaken or repeal.

The following day, all three of those companies — as well as Amazon and Apple — will reveal their most recent quarter's earnings to shareholders. The question on Wall Street's mind: Will these companies have sustained the momentum that powered unexpected success during the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, or will the pandemic's fallout have caught up, and send tremors to the broader economy?

Either way, the coming week will showcase the power and concentrated wealth of the five tech giants amid a period of unprecedented legal challenges to their dominance. 

The last time Zuckerberg and Pichai testified before Congress was in July as part of a House antitrust investigation alongside Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The result of those hearings was a sprawling report labeling the four companies monopolies and calling for their businesses to be broken up and regulated.

More recently, the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google accusing it of suppressing competition through exclusionary business deals, and the Federal Trade Commission is reportedly preparing a similar lawsuit against Facebook.

But Wednesday's hearing isn't specifically about antitrust concerns; its focus is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law that shields social media companies from being held legally liable for users' posts as long as they make a good-faith effort to remove illegal content. If Section 230 is repealed, it could reshape or crush big tech companies' businesses.

Democrats say tech companies should face more repercussions for hosting hate speech and misinformation, while Republicans have called for the repeal of Section 230 as retribution for tech companies' alleged bias against President Donald Trump and conservatives (even though data doesn't support that claim).

Here's what Wall Street is looking for as the tech giants report their earnings this week.

Microsoft

Microsoft reports fiscal first-quarter earnings after the market closes on Tuesday. Investors typically pay close attention to growth of the company's cloud computing business, and this quarter will be no different, but there's also increasing interest in the company's Teams chat app. Microsoft Teams communication software landed a surge of users amid the pandemic, and the company recently signaled the product's growing importance for company leaders.

— Ashley Stewart

Apple

When Apple reports its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, Wall Street will be keeping an eye out for clues pointing to the reception of the iPhone 12. For months, analysts had been anticipating that the iPhone 12 would be one of Apple's biggest product launches in years, and now they're looking for the company to deliver on that expectation. 

Apple's delayed iPhone launch also means that initial sales won't be included in the company's fiscal fourth quarter earnings, so analysts will have to rely on commentary made during the earnings call and revenue guidance for the upcoming holiday quarter. Apple hasn't issued guidance all year because of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, so it will be very telling if the company decides to do so for its fiscal first quarter of 2021. Revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter is expected to hit $63.3 billion, coming in slightly lower than the $64 billion in revenue Apple generated during the same quarter one year ago.

— Lisa Eadicicco

Amazon

Amazon is expected to report another big quarter with $92.71 billion in revenue, up 32% from the year-ago period, according to FactSet consensus estimates. The sales growth, boosted by the lockdown-driven demand during the pandemic, is forecast to expand Amazon's profits as well, to $3.81 billion, a 78% jump from the same quarter of last year.

Wall Street is keeping a close eye on Amazon's COVID-related costs, which the company said would result in an additional $2 billion in spend for the third quarter. Amazon's cloud business could come under the scope too, as sales growth is expected to reach a record-low 29% again in the third quarter amid intensifying competition. Investors will look for clues to Prime Day's impact, which took place in October for the first time, through management commentary and fourth-quarter guidance estimates.

— Eugene Kim

Facebook

Facebook's third-quarter earnings on Thursday will show whether the company has maintained the momentum in high daily average users and ad revenue growth that powered it to exceed expectations last quarter. Facebook is expected to report $19.8 billion in revenue, up 12.2% from the same quarter last year, according to Zacks consensus estimates. 

Wall Street will be looking closely at Facebook's advertising revenue, which could have been hurt by several factors in the past quarter. More than 1,000 advertisers joined a boycott of the platform over the summer to protest its policies on hate speech and misinformation — while the boycott didn't meaningfully impact Facebook's advertising revenue last quarter, it could have a reverberating impact this quarter. Apple and Google also made changes to their web browsers in September to give Facebook less access to user data, which could hurt its ads business. 

Facebook's strength is expected to come from Instagram, which has seen a jump in users since the start of the pandemic and already comprises the majority of Facebook's ad revenue. Facebook's rollout of Instagram Reels in the last quarter could keep that momentum strong.

— Aaron Holmes

Google

As if Google didn't have enough on its plate with the recent Justice Department lawsuit, this week the company has third-quarter earnings and a congressional hearing to grapple with. Parent Alphabet reported a historic revenue drop in the last quarter as the pandemic ravaged its advertising business, but analysts expect to see some signs of recovery when it reveals its financials on Thursday. 

One thing is for sure: Wall Street doesn't seem too spooked by the latest regulatory action. Come Thursday, investors and analysts will be more interested in whether Google is showing growth in cloud, YouTube, and ecommerce to offset the hit to advertising revenue.

— Hugh Langley

Twitter

Twitter saw a jump in users since the onset of COVID-19 — but Wall Street is wary about whether the company's ad revenue will match that trend when it reports earnings Thursday. Twitter is expected to report $765.3 million in revenue for the third quarter, down 7.1% from the same quarter last year, according to Zacks consensus estimates. 

The site's advertising revenue could take a hit despite its recent rise in users, as smaller advertisers have grown reluctant to spend money on social media ads as they cut costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But Twitter has also set itself apart from other ad sellers by taking bold content moderation steps — like banning all political ads — which could make advertisers see it as a more trustworthy platform.

— Aaron Holmes

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Microsoft beats Wall Street estimates as it reports $37.2 billion in quarterly revenue, and the stock is barely moving

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Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
  • Microsoft reported earnings for its fiscal first quarter after the market closed on Tuesday.
  • The company reported $37.2 billion in revenue, compared with Wall Street's expectations of $35.72 billion.
  • Microsoft doesn't report revenue figures for Azure but said revenue grew 48% year over year.
  • Are you a Microsoft employee? Contact this reporter via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email (astewart@businessinsider.com).
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Microsoft reported earnings for its fiscal first quarter on Tuesday, exceeding Wall Street revenue and profit expectations.

Here's what the company reported:

  • Revenue: $37.2 billion (Wall Street expected $35.72 billion), compared with $33.1 billion in the same quarter last year.
  • Earnings: $1.82 per share, compared with analysts' estimate of $1.54 per share.
  • Profit: $13.9 billion, up 30% compared with the first quarter 2019.

The company's stock price remained mostly unchanged after the earnings release.

Microsoft's overall commercial cloud business — which includes its Microsoft Azure cloud-computing business and the Microsoft 365 suite of cloud software applications — reached $15.2 billion in sales for the quarter, up 31% compared with the same quarter last year.

Microsoft doesn't report revenue figures for Azure but said revenue grew 48% year over year.

Investors typically pay close attention to growth of the company's cloud-computing business, but there's also increasing interest in its Teams chat app. Microsoft Teams landed a surge of users amid the pandemic, and the company recently signaled the product's growing importance for company leaders.

Microsoft said Teams has reached 115 million daily active users, up from 75 million daily active users in April

Microsoft also doesn't break out revenue specific to Teams but said revenue for the overall "productivity and business-processes" segment — which also includes Office products for businesses and customers, LinkedIn revenue, and Dynamics products and cloud services — reached $12.3 billion for the quarter, up 11% year over year.

Microsoft's "intelligent-cloud" business, which includes Azure, server products, and enterprise and cloud services, brought in $13 billion in revenue, up 20% compared with the same quarter last year.

And revenue for the business unit Microsoft calls "more personal computing," which includes Windows, search, Xbox, and Surface products, was $11.8 billion, up 6% year over year.

Microsoft reported strong sales growth for Xbox and Surface devices, but the company doesn't report specific revenue figures for the products. Xbox revenue was up 30%, highlighting the boom in video gaming amid the pandemic, even as the company prepares to introduce two new models of the Xbox in November. Surface revenue was up 37%.

"The next decade of economic performance for every business will be defined by the speed of their digital transformation," Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, said. "We are innovating across our full modern tech stack to help our customers in every industry improve time to value, increase agility, and reduce costs."

Got a tip? Contact reporter Ashley Stewart via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email (astewart@businessinsider.com).

Read the original article on Business Insider
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