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Brewers Desperately Want Women To Drink More Beer — And They’ve Learned That Pink Beer Isn’t The Answer


Animee Beer“No one wants a pink beer, including ladies.”

Those were the words of Nick Fell, marketing director at the world’s second largest brewer, SABMiller, who was speaking at an event for drinks analysts in London this week to outline the company's long-term strategy for tapping into the female market.

But that logic, which would seem obvious to most people, hasn’t stopped many other alcohol companies desperately trying to woo over females with some ill-fated "pink it and shrink it" attempts at for-her beers over the years (see below).

Women only make up a fifth of the beer drinking population throughout the world, which underlines the huge opportunity that remains unlocked for brewers. That stat is compounded by the fact that beer accounted for just 48.8% of alcohol consumed in the US last year, down from around 72% a decade ago.

In other words, half of everybody mostly isn't drinking beer, and they're future customers.

All the major brewers are hunting down new revenue streams right now, with the biggest companies in the alcohol sector including Diageo, Heineken, Carlsberg all reporting rocky results in their most recent financial quarters.

Something needs to change. Fast.

For its part, SABMiller is looking to create more flavorsome beers and develop marketing pushes that show beer as an accompaniment to distinctive occasions like BBQs and evening meals. But it’s an approach the brewer admitted to Marketing Week would take “up to 20 years” before it (and the rest of the industry) will manage to shift the image of beer amongst females.

Here’s a look at some examples of brewers who have tried (and some ultimately failed) to woo the ladies with their female-friendly beers:


Molson Coors Animée

Molson Coors stuck to stereotypical marketing tactics for the 2011 launch of its Animée brand: pink beer into the UK market.

The 4% ABV beer, named after the French word for "motivated", was lightly sparkling and came in three variants: clear filtered, crisp rose and zesty lemon.

It was backed with a $3.2m marketing push positioning the beer as a “real choice” for women and was also billed as being “bloat resistant." The campaign featured glam-looking women pointing their heels as they sat atop Animée bottles and also included a sampling partnership with hair salon brand Toni & Guy.

Unfortunately, the cutesy approach wasn’t enough to shift the product off the shelves. Molson Coors axed the brand after just 12 months. 

Carlsberg Copenhagen

Carlsberg unveiled its “beer for beer haters” to the world in 2011. The “refreshingly different” beer was first tested in the Nordic markets before rolling out to new markets globally and was pitched as an alternative to white wine and champagne.

In a press release accompanying the launch Carlsberg said: “We can see that there are a number of consumers, especially women, who are very aware of design when they are choosing beverage products. There may be situations where they are standing in a bar and want their drinks to match their style. In this case, they may well reject a beer if the design does not appeal to them.”

And reject it they apparently did. Carlsberg tells us Copenhagen has been delisted globally.

Carling Zest

In another Molson Coors attempt at winning over a female market, the brewer launched Carling Zest citrus beer to the UK market in 2012.

The 2.8% ABV beer was not said to be targeted at women specifically but instead was designed to appeal to “summer drinkers”, the company said, as it looked to position lager as an alternative to rose wines and ciders.

New flavor variants have since been added: Hint of Ginger and Hint of Winter Berries. The brand was supported with a major marketing campaign in 2013 that included TV, which demonstrates Molson Coors’ confidence in its success, and it is still in stores today.

Euromonitor data shows the brand sold 3.6 million litres of the drink in 2013, up from 1.2 million litres in 2012.

Bud Light Lime Ritas

Bud Light Apple-Ahhh-Rita

Demand for traditional “light beer staples” like Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite is due to hit a 10-year low in 2015, according to Devin Leonard at Bloomberg Businessweek.

Forecasting that downward trend early, Anheuser-Busch launched its “Bud Light Lime Rita” range in 2012, which has since led to spin off flavor extensions such as Straw-Ber-Rita, Mang-O-Rita, Raz-Ber-Rita and most recently Apple-Ahhh-Rita . The company hoped the fruity beer-based margaritas in a can would appeal to women who don’t like the taste of heavy craft beer.

The gamble appears to have paid off. Sales of  ‘Ritas hit $462m last year, according to Chicago-based research company IRI.

Euromonitor says global volume sales of the entire Bud Light range reached 23 million litres in 2013, a massive leap from the 8.4 million litres sold in 2012.

Foster's Radler

Foster's Radler

Heinken launched its shandy-style low-alcohol and lemon beer Foster’s Radler in the UK in March 2013, backed by a £4million marketing campaign.

By 2014 the company said sales had topped 17 million bottles, fueling its decision to expand the range to include a new Lime and Ginger flavor and a non-alcohol variant.

Heinken adds the “moderation” beer category is growing in the UK by 62.4% year on year, and Radler the volume of Radler sold reached 4.2 million litres last year in the region, according to Euromonitor.

It appears there’s plenty of fuel left in the tank for this shandy. Heineken also sells Amstel, Gösser and Pelforth-branded versions of Radler in other European territories.

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50 Fictional Places That You Can Visit In Real Life


If you've ever imagined traveling to the kingdom of Arendelle, walking the streets of King’s Landing, or exploring the eerie setting of Twin Peaks? Now you can.  

A new infographic released from Just The Flight shows the 50 real life places that inspired some of our most beloved stories.

Now the only question is: which will you try to visit first? See the full list below.

fictional destinations

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Destinations For People Who Want To Move Abroad

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13 Outrageous Homes For Sale In The Silicon Valley Town That's Now America's Most Expensive Zip Code


atherton 33 emilie avenueSilicon Valley real estate is outrageously expensive, but perhaps nowhere is this more true than in the quiet town of Atherton, California. 

The town of 7,000 was recently named the most expensive zip code in the country in Forbes' annual list.

According to Forbes' analysis, the median listing price in Atherton is a whopping $9.03 million.

Tech billionaires Paul Allen, Eric Schmidt, and Meg Whitman all currently own homes here. Sheryl Sandberg also lived in Atherton before she moved into her new waterfall-equipped home in nearby Menlo Park last year. 

Our friends at Point2Homes helped us find the most expensive homes for sale in Atherton right now.

A structural engineer designed this one-story home for his family.

Address: 297 Polhemus Avenue

Price: $9.95 million

It has 11,843 square feet of living space over more than an acre of land. There's a large basement, with enough  space for extra bedrooms, a media room, gym, and an area reserved for wine tasting.

Don't be fooled by this house's modest exterior.

Address: 97 Fairview Avenue

Price: $9.99 million

Inside there are seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a home gym, and a pool and spa. There's also a detached guesthouse with its own kitchen. 

This 12,000-square-foot home looks like an old European castle.

Address: 65 Selby Lane

Price: $12.3 million

The columns, stonework, and impressive inner courtyard give this home an Old World feel. Inside, sleek countertops and a cutting-edge design make it feel more modern. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why You Should Never Keep New York Times Food Critic Pete Wells Waiting


Huertas restaurant nyc

The opinion of New York Times food critic Pete Wells can make or break your restaurant.

That’s why even though the famous foodie tries to remain as anonymous as possible, New York restaurants often have his picture hanging in the back so their staffs can treat him like royalty if he ever shows up.

So it was shocking that in his most recent review, “A Serendipitous Trip to Spain,” it was revealed that the most famous man in the NYC food industry was left waiting so long for a table that he went to eat somewhere else:

“They say we’re looking at two hours. They’ll call us.”

This was the grim report from inside the latest East Village restaurant to have turned its no-reservations policy into a viral marketing campaign. A small, hungry mob was gathering on the sidewalk. Hoping to find a pleasant place to drink and snack until the phone rang, I herded my group to Huertas, a new Basque-leaning tapas place a few blocks away.

This restaurant's staff members — if they know who they are — must be kicking themselves. Instead of eating at the original mystery establishment, Wells walked to Huertas a few blocks away and gave it an absolutely glowing two-star review:

The room smelled like garlic and smoke. A cured pig’s leg sat at the end of the bar, its ankle held tightly in a clamp. A sharp knife had exposed its interior architecture of meat and fat and sinew. Later, we ordered a few slices of this Iberico ham, and as it melted on our tongues, warm and salty, we all traded looks. We did it again when we ate crumbly shards of aged manchego that tasted of brown butter and caramel. The looks meant: This kitchen knows where to get the good stuff.

Later on, the other restaurant did call to let the Wells party know its table was ready, but “we didn’t want to leave." Ouch.

huertas restaurant new york cityNo word yet on which restaurant turned Wells away for two hours, though it is in the vicinity of the Momofuku Ssäm Bar, which doesn’t do reservations.

Moral of the story: Never keep Pete Wells waiting. And get a reservation at Huertas, because it’s about to get extremely busy.

SEE ALSO: The Best 'Cheap Eats' In New York City

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You Should Always Check Your Hotel Room For Bed Bugs


With thousands of travelers passing through their doors, it's inevitable that hotel rooms are prone to bed bug infestations. Even luxury hotels, like New York City's Ritz-Carlton, are susceptible to these unwelcome guests.

To protect yourself from infestation, you should always check for bed bugs in hotel rooms. Here's how: 

1. When you enter a room, don't unpack. Bring your luggage to a clean bathtub or a rack that will keep it off the floor until you have inspected the room.

luggage rack in a hotel room2. Grab some tools to inspect the bed: a flashlight (or even the flashlight app on your phone) and a credit card will do the trick.

3. Pull the blanket and linens off the bed. Start with the corners, where bed bugs like to hide. You're looking for bugs or dark brown blood spots.

looking for bed bugs

For your reference, here's what you're looking for: bed bugs (they're tiny—about 4 mm long) and dark blood spots:

Bed bugs4. Peel back all of the blankets and sheets from the corner, until you can see the mattress. 

Checking for bed bugs5. Closely examine the folds and seams in the corner of the mattress for signs of bed bugs. Use a credit card to get underneath the folds of the mattress, where bed bugs love to hide, and closely examine the darker hiding spots with a flashlight. 

Checking for bed bugs6. To be thorough, check all four corners of the mattress—not just one.

Checking for bed bugs7. Remove the cover completely and check the surface of the sheets. Again, you'll be looking for small brown spots and dried blood or bugs themselves.

Checking for bed bugs8. Check any upholstered furniture for signs of bed bugs. They like to hide in dark places, so check the seams and folds of the furniture. 

Checking for bed bugs9. Similarly, check the curtains.

Checking for bed bugs10. Look behind the headboard and in any grooves on the headboard or nightstand. Shine the flashlight in the dark area and look for fleeing bugs.

checking for bed bugs

If you do find bed bugs, leave immediately. And if nothing comes up in your search, rest assured that you can sleep unmolested. 

SEE ALSO: You Should Always Tip The Maid When You're Staying In A Hotel

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The Most Popular Honeymoon Destinations In The World, According To Facebook


las vegas

After the wedding, newlyweds have one more event to look forward to: the honeymoon.

Facebook analyzed user data to come up with a list of the most popular honeymoon destinations around the world. 

To create this list, Facebook looked at couples where both partners posted marriage events on their timelines and checked into a destination within two weeks of the posted marriage dates. Check-ins within 20 miles of the couples' home locations were excluded.  

Las Vegas reigned as the top honeymoon destination in the world. Though Vegas has traditionally been thought of as a gambling Mecca, Sin City is turning into a destination for foodies with luxurious hotels and high-end shops and spas. 

Unsurprisingly, Hawaiian honeymoons also scored high, making up 50% of the top U.S. destinations. Destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean also took several spots in the top 10. 

Top honeymoon destinations around the world:


  1. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  2. Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, USA
  3. Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
  4. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  5. Cancun, Mexico
  6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  7. Montego Bay, Jamaica
  8. Antalya, Turkey
  9. Castries, St. Lucia
  10. Gramado, Brazil 


Top honeymoon destinations in the U.S.:

  1. Las Vegas, Nevada
  2. Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
  3. Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
  4. Lihu'e Kaua'i, Hawaii
  5. Key West, Florida
  6. Po'ipu, Kaua'i, Hawaii
  7. Kihei, Maui, Hawaii
  8. Gatlinburg, Tennessee
  9. New York, New York
  10. Lake Buena Vista, Florida

SEE ALSO: The 20 Best Hotels In America

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Bill Gates Has Reportedly Racked Up $40,000 In Fines Over Horse Manure At His Florida Home


bill gates horse farmBill Gates has apparently been creating a stink at his $8.7 million estate in Wellington, Florida.

According to Page Six, the Microsoft billionaire has been racking up daily fines for an illegal "horse-waste storage facility" on the three-acre property.

Gates purchased the home for $8.7 million in 2013. The family had previously rented the house when in Florida for daughter Jennifer's equestrian competitions. The home includes several horse-friendly features, like a 20-stall barn and a show-jumping arena.

But according to the Page Six report, Gates has been penalized for putting the horse manure bin too close to a nearby pond. This is in violation of Wellington code, which states that waste storage must be located at least 100 feet away from bodies of water. Gates has been penalized $250 a day for violating that code, dating back to July.

That may seem like chump change to a man worth more than $80 billion — and it probably is — but Gates has also been written up on a separate violation, reportedly because he failed to obtain a permit for the facility in the first place.

If you add those two charges together, Gates has racked up more than $40,000 in fines since July, just for improperly disposing of horse manure. 

From above, the facility does look very close to the water.

bill gates horse farm

According to Page Six, the bin is being removed to make way for a new one that's in line with regulations.

SEE ALSO: The Incredible Life Of Bill Gates, Who Is Still America's Richest Man

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: A Mansion On Aspen’s ‘Billionaire Mountain’ Is On Sale For $65 Million


The Summit House on Aspen's Red Mountain

Aspen, sometimes called the “Rocky Mountain playground of the rich and famous,” reigns over expensive ski resort real estate.

The newest listing on the block, which is selling for $65 million, is no exception. 

The 17,000-square-foot home sits atop the well-known Red Mountain (aka Billionaire Mountain), and looks over Aspen and all four of its ski areas.

The mansion features 7 bedrooms, 11 baths, and a 4,150 square foot deck — not to mention floor-to-ceiling windows with some pretty breathtaking views.

Welcome to the Summit House.

The lot is 5.98 acres in total on Aspen's Red Mountain.

The mountain is sometimes known as Billionaire Mountain because of its expensive real estate.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Stunning Photos Of 2 Million Muslims Making The Annual Pilgrimage To Mecca


Mecca, Saudi Arabia

This past week in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Muslims from all over the world came together to perform rituals, give thanks and prayer, and celebrate as part of one of the most important Muslim traditions of the year. Over the course of four days, followers completed various stages of ceremony at a number of different locations in and around the city.

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, also known as Hajj, occurs every year on the 8th to 12th days of the last month of the Islamic calendar. Over 2 million people came this year and, while some feared for potential Ebola outbreaks within a group of that size, an epidemic did not occur.

Hajj is thought by many to be the largest annual collection of people in one place. The crowds are massive in size and the magnitude is truly stunning.

The annual journey to Mecca, also know as Hajj in the Muslim faith, is considered one of the largest yearly gatherings of people on the planet.

All Muslims who are physically and economically able to go to Mecca, a city in Western Saudi Arabia, are mandated by the Pillars of Islam to make the journey at least once in their lives. Muslims come from all over the world to the city to give thanks and prayers and to celebrate.

All men who enter Mecca for the Hajj must wear similar white clothes, symbolizing their equality with one another.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

WORK HARD, PLAY HARD: The 20 Most Intense Colleges In America


university of michigan

College is about balance — yes, it's important to take your classes seriously, but it's equally as necessary to cut loose and have fun during your undergraduate years.

Business Insider has created a list of schools that best embody this dual principle — the "work hard, play hard" mentality that many students look for. We found that there was no typical "work hard, play hard" school, and everything from liberal arts colleges to Ivy League universities to large state schools are represented in the following ranking.

To compile this list, we used data from Niche, looking at its rankings of the best party schools and schools with the best academics, smartest students, best Greek life. Niche's college section — College Prowler — features close to 1 million in-depth student reviews on more than 8,000 schools.

We've included a few quotes from each school's Niche profile in our ranking to help illustrate what the student body is like.

#20 Washington University in St. Louis

St. Louis, Missouri

"Amazing nightlife compared to peer institutions. Granted, we are no Arizona State but the students here know when to hit the books and when to party hard. There is a great hook up scene if you're into that."

"The academics at WashU are superb. The teachers add fun and an innovative approach to lessons which create an intellectual vibe here at WashU."

Visit Niche for more on Washington University in St. Louis.

#19 University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

"You can find any type of person at one of USC's parties. As long as you are a Trojan, there is no discrimination. Everybody comes together to enjoy the night."

"USC is the best academically successful party school."

Visit Niche for more on the University of Southern California.

#18 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Urbana and Champaign, Illinois

"The social party scene is top notch and everyone always has a great time. Students are also responsible and know when enough is enough. The bars are always a great place to be to be social and most events occur there."

"The program is great and the advisers and professors are very knowledgeable. The workload is definitely not easy, but my motto is always "work hard and play hard". There are many diverse internship options for students."

Visit Niche for more on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Here's When Peter Thiel Realized He'd Become An Adult


Despite being one of the most successful venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, Peter Thiel, author of "Zero to One" and self made billionaire, is a little unsure of whether or not he considers himself a grown-up.

There is, however, one moment that does stand out for him. 

Produced by Alana Kakoyiannis. Additional Camera by Graham Flanagan.

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How Hard Can It Be? One Reporter's Adventure Flying In A Hot-Air Balloon


For most people, taking a hot-air balloon ride is a beautiful and oftentimes romantic excursion. But for those doing the actual flying, it's a lot of hard work.

While reporting on Richard Branson's extreme adventures, I decided I had to try hot-air ballooning to see what he found so appealing about it. Turns out, flying through trees and skating by power lines are par for the course for hot-air balloonists.

Bill Hughes, a hot-air balloon pilot with 44 years of experience, guided me and my colleague, producer Will Wei, in a ballooning lesson in upstate New York that was both relaxing and intense. It all ended with us landing in a family's front yard. Their son was convinced that we'd stopped by to wish him a happy birthday. We didn't let him think otherwise.

Produced by Will Wei. Additional camera by Justin Gmoser. Special thanks to Blue Sky Balloons.

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An Entrepreneur Who Inspired A 'Wolf Of Wall Street' Character Sold His Crazy Tribeca Condo For $43.5 Million


3 Hubert St Alan Wilzig $43.5 million

Alan Wilzig, a real-life inspiration for a character in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” has sold his Tribeca condo for $43.5 million without a broker, The Real Deal reports.

The entrepreneur and semi-professional race car driver posted the home on Zillow.com as well as Facebook. 

“Feel free to share this with your luxury real estate friends for anyone interested in a Manhattan super-residence,” Wilzig posted on his Facebook account, according to The Real Deal. “All brokers protected. I have no problem paying or sharing in paying a commission(s) – but I’m not willing at the present time to grant an exclusive with any one broker or firm. (Especially since a dozen of my good friends are all NYC brokers.)” 

The 7,500-square-foot townhouse at 3 Hubert Street has a 2,500-square-foot roof deck, backyard, six bedrooms, and an attached garage where Wilzig currently stores his insane amount of motorcycle memorabilia. It also has bulletproof windows and a lighting system that would give Miami clubs a run for their money.

In the Scorsese film, Wilzig inspired the character at the pool party scene who introduced Leonardo Di Caprio’s character to his future wife. Wilzig originally took issue with his portrayal, lamenting that his red Ferrari Testarossa was left out of the scene.

Entrepreneur and semi-professional race car driver Alan Wilzig managed to sell his townhouse for $43.5 million — with no broker.

In total, the home has 7,500 square feet of space.

It also has a 2,500-square-foot roof deck.

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French Author Patrick Modiano Wins Nobel Prize In Literature


ModianoFrench author Patrick Modiano won the Nobel Prize in literature "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation." 

Modiano, 69, has written about 30 books, mostly novels. He has also written some film scripts and children's stories.

Modiano's works "center on topics such as memory, oblivion, identity and guilt," the Nobel Foundation said.

His latest novel, "Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier," was published in 2014. 

Some of Modiano’s works have also been translated into English, including Les boulevards de ceinture (1972; Ring Roads: A Novel, 1974), Villa Triste (1975; Villa Triste, 1977), Quartier perdu (1984; A Trace of Malice, 1988) and Voyage de noces (1990; Honeymoon, 1992).

SEE ALSO: Japanese Physicists Win Nobel Prize For Revolutionary Light Bulbs

SEE ALSO: John O'Keefe And Husband-Wife Team Win Nobel Prize In Medicine

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The Most Famous Animal In All Of Greece — Loukanikos The 'Riot Dog' — Has Died


Athens Riot Dog

Loukanikos, the stray dog that became famous for joining anti-austerity protestors in Greece a few years back, has died, according to I Avgi, a left-wing daily newspaper in Greece. 

The dog, whose name translates directly as "sausage," has probably been the most prominent single participant in Athens' riots, especially between 2010 and 2012. He made it as a runner-up in Time's person of the year 2011.

He was a media darling two years ago, provoking regular admiration from the small army of journalists sent to report on the eurozone's crisis from Athens.

Loukanikos died this week, according to I Avgi, following health troubles that some people believe stemmed from his repeated exposure to tear gas. Here are some of the best pictures of Loukanikos in his rioting prime. 

Loukanikos was probably the most photographed participant in Athens' years of riots and protests.

Even if you're not sure if you know Loukanikos, you have almost certainly seen him in a picture of Athens' riots.

He was usually found in the thick of the action, at the front of the crowds.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Why You See Stars When You Get Up Too Fast


It happens to all of us, but why? The good news is, it's probably not a sign of something serious, but why do we see all those stars when we get up too fast? We figured it out.

Produced By Matt Johnston. Illustrations by Mike Nudelman.
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The 25 Best Executive MBA Programs For Social Life


Anyone enrolled in an executive MBA program — which allows students to earn an MBA while still working full time — is bound to be busy.

But that doesn't mean social life isn't an important factor when choosing a school. In any graduate program in which students are under tremendous academic and financial pressure, it's important to have a healthy social life, says Harvey Berkey, chief operating officer of Graduateprograms.com. This only becomes more important when you add a full-time job.

To find the best executive MBA programs for social life, Graduateprograms.com, a website that allows students to review graduate programs, sorted through reviews from more than 70,000 former and currently enrolled grad students.

On the site, students rank their schools on a 10-point scale across several categories, including academic competitiveness, career support, student diversity, affordability of living, campus safety, value of network, and social life.

The executive MBA programs with the highest ratings in the "social life" category were then pulled and ranked. Here are the top 25: 

Best Executive MBA Programs for Social Life

NOW WATCH: How The Secrets Of The Samurai Can Help You Achieve Laser Focus


SEE ALSO: The 20 Best Business Schools For Networking

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Words With Friends Is Five Years Old — Here Are Some Crazy Facts About The Game (ZNGA)


It's been five years since Zynga launched its wildly popular word-puzzle game, Words With Friends.

Since then, more than 7.7 billion games have been played, scoring a total of 1.2 trillion points. According to Zynga's calculations, if you received a dollar for every point scored on Words With Friends, you'd be a millionaire in just two minutes.

More than 58 billion words have been played in five years — the word that has been played the most is "qi," and it's been played more than 1 billion times.

The company is also launching a revamped version of the game on Thursday, in a separate app called New Words With Friends. The new app includes Dictionary.com integration and a swipe-to-match feature that helps players find ideal opponents.

To celebrate the anniversary and the launch of the new app, Zynga shared this infographic with some more interesting stats on the game:

words with friends

SEE ALSO: Zynga Founder Mark Pincus Is Selling His Gorgeous San Francisco Mansion For $18 Million

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We Followed A Cosplayer Into The World Of Anime, Tight Vinyl Costumes, And Nerd Culture


Warning: This video contains strong language.

It's back!

Thousands of people are descending on the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan dressed as their favorite television, film, comic, video game costumes, and more for New York Comic Con.

Some of the fans are dedicated cosplayers, visiting all Comic Con and anime conventions, and spending all their time and money on handmade costumes.

Last year we met Jenni Hashimoto, a 25-year-old cosplayer living in New York. She and her friends were dressed as characters of 'Cowboy Bebop' for the day, and between their Comic Con commitments they did a photoshoot recreating some of their favorite scenes from the show. 

Produced by Alana Kakoyiannis and Kamelia Angelova.

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An Elegant Solution To The Most Annoying Problem With Eating Out


dash app screen

The most annoying thing about eating out or going to a bar is waiting for the check.

That's why — after waiting for what seemed like an eternity for their check one New Year's Day — Jeff McGregor and Gennady Spirin founded Dash. It's an app that connects directly with a restaurant or bar's checkout program to get you squared away instantly.

If you're at a participating restaurant — there are about 40 in NYC and 20 in Chicago — all you have to do is tell your waiter that you're using Dash. Then check in on the app.

When you're done, you'll see your itemized check on the screen. Add the tip, and then with one touch you're done.

The two Rutgers roommates launched the company back in 2011. At that time, mobile pay wasn't something restaurants were familiar with. They were concerned about how the app would function with their point of sales programs.

"When we were selling to restaurants in 2011, it was totally different. Any restaurant we spoke to had no idea about mobile payments. It's been a complete 180," McGregor told Business Insider.

Now, however, mobile payment has gotten all sorts of buzz (think: Uber, Apple Pay). Plus, bars especially like that with Dash, fewer customers skip out on tabs, or forget their cards and then cancel charges.

"We see most of our success at high volume bars," said McGregor, admitting jokingly — "I hold the record for most credit cards left in NYC."

Dash raised $750,000 back in 2013 with investments from the New York Angels and One Group CEO Jonathan Segal. Then the company raised another $1.2 million in February of this year.

In that time Dash has gotten approval on one patent — for the technology that connects your phone to a point of sales program and splits a bill — and applied for three more. This is key, because they know the mobile payments space is heating up. It's obvious based on Dash's own sales transaction volume.

The app's top venues are seeing 1,000 transactions a week and will process over 100,000 transactions in volume in a single venue this month. That's 200% month over month growth in aggregate transactional volume for 2014.

This explosion mirrors the entire mobile payments market. Globally, mobile payments reached $256 billion in 2012, and are expected to increase to $796 billion by 2014, according to research from Bank Systems and Technology.

So yes, the timing for this is pretty good.

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