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The 25 Best Colleges To Attend If You Want A Job As A Software Developer


Henry Hillman, Bill Gates

More college students are pursuing programs in engineering and applied sciences than ever before. 

Software developers in particular have a very complex set of skills, and a good college education can be the key to success in this field.

LinkedIn recently ranked the best colleges to attend if you want a job as a software developer. To create the list, LinkedIn identified the most desirable companies for developers — Google, Apple, and Oracle, for example — that both attracted and retained employees. They then analyzed which colleges had the greatest percentage of recent grads working as developers at those companies.

These jobs are famously lucrative, too. Engineers at major tech companies have some of the highest salaries around, not to mention the free food, fun work atmosphere, and the other numerous perks tech workers are known to enjoy.

Here are the best schools for aspiring software developers: 

1. Carnegie Mellon University

2. California Institute of Technology

3. Cornell University

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5. Princeton University

6. University of California, Berkeley

7. University of Washington

8. Duke University

9. (tie) University of Michigan

9. (tie) Stanford University

11. University of California, Los Angeles

12. University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

13. The University of Texas at Austin

14. Brown University

15. University of California, San Diego

16. Harvard University

17. Rice University

18. University of Pennsylvania

19. University of Arizona

20. Harvey Mudd College

21. The University of Texas at Dallas

22. San Jose State University

23. University of Southern California

24. Washington University in St. Louis

25. Rochester Institute of Technology

SEE ALSO: The 20 Schools With The Most Alumni At Google

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Here's What They Found Inside A Forgotten Wall Street Time Capsule

15 Incredibly Impressive Students At Stanford


catalin voss, stanford

Stanford is easily considered the best college in the west. It's also the best in the country, taking the No. 1 spot on our list of the Best Colleges in America this year.

Known in particular for its exceptional computer science and engineering programs, Stanford is an active hub for talented and impressive students in all fields, from art to tech to business.

We've profiled 15 incredibly impressive undergrads at this top "dream college". They're starring in feature films, playing with the U.S. National Soccer Team, teaching kids to code, and a whole lot more.

Catalin Voss developed a facial recognition app that revolutionizes the way we learn.

Class of 2016

By the time he was 15, Catalin Voss produced the No. 1 podcast on the German iTunes store and commuted back and forth between his native Heidelberg and Silicon Valley to work with Steve Capps, one of the designers of the original Apple Macintosh computer.

By freshman year he founded Sension, a visual interface company seeking to revolutionize the way we learn. Voss and his team of roughly eight employees developed a lightweight facial recognition software, one that could track and understand many points in a person's face.

Their software can be used in testing and web lectures to improve the user experience (it might prompt you with a question if it senses you're not paying attention, or explain something further if you appear confused), and provide analytics to instructors about which test questions stumped students the most. Voss expects the product to be adopted by most major standardized test associations and universities in the next year.

His passion project, however, is Sension's groundbreaking Google Glass app, which allows the wearer to recognize people's facial expressions in real-time. It begins clinical trials with young people diagnosed with Autism later this month.

Clancey Stahr raises seven-figure sums as a partner at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.

Class of 2015

At 21 years old, you're probably more likely to expect Clancey Stahr to be pitching to venture capitalists, rather than being one. But Stahr has been working at cross-border venture capital firm ZenShin Capital for the last two years, advising startups on product design, business strategy, intellectual property, and general legal advice. He was recently made partner at the firm — the third after the company's two co-founders.

Stahr leads the firm's investments in two major startup clients, Iotera and Simple Emotion, and sits on Simple Emotion's board of directors. Stahr has also raised significant capital, an undisclosed seven-figure sum, for the first close of ZenShin's Core Technology Fund.

School doesn't stop for the Management Science and Engineering major, who still manages to get all his coursework done while working anywhere from 30 to 40 hours a week in Silicon Valley.

Stahr graduates in May and plans to continue in his role as partner at ZenShin, but hopes to someday start his own company.

Garima Sharma is working to end the child bride epidemic in India.

Class of 2015

This past summer, Garima Sharma set off to teach human rights education to girls in Forbesganj, India on a Stanford fellowship. While there, she interviewed 80 mothers in order to better understand why they force their daughters into early marriage.

India is home to 24 million child brides, according to the New Delhi native. The consequences of marrying so young can be devastating: A child bride is twice as likely to suffer from spousal domestic violence and 1.5 times more likely to die in child birth.

"The aspirations that parents have for their daughters shape decisions around education, marriage, and career choices," Sharma says. "I want to better understand the incentives that drive parents' decision-making process[es]." She designed a research study and spent more than 100 hours interviewing the mothers.

Sharma, who also designed and implemented a curriculum to engage adolescent girls in Forbesganj who are at risk of trafficking, plans to pursue a joint MBA/MPA-ID degree and one day run an organization that provides sustainable livelihoods to girls and women in small-town Indian communities.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

14 Habits Of Exceptionally Likable People


the great gatsbyPersonal branding through social media may help you build your professional network, but there will never be a replacement for a charismatic personality. 

Napoleon Hill, author of "Think and Grow Rich" — one of the top-selling books of all time — wrote about the habits of the most likable people in his essay "Develop A Pleasing Personality," published in the forthcoming collection "The Science of Success."

He introduced his steps to having a "million-dollar personality" by explaining it was steel magnate Charles M. Schwab's charming demeanor that in the late 19th century elevated him from day laborer to an executive with a $75,000 salary and a frequent million-dollar bonus (astronomical numbers for the time).

Schwab's boss, the legendary industrialist Andrew Carnegie said "the yearly salary was for the work Schwab performed, but the bonus was for what Schwab, with his pleasing personality, could get others to do," Hill writes.

Here are Hill's 14 habits of people who are so likable that others go out of their way to help them:

1. They develop a positive mental attitude and let it be seen and felt by others.

It's often easier to give into cynicism, but those who choose to be positive set themselves up for success and have better reputations.

2. They always speak in a carefully disciplined, friendly tone.

The best communicators speak deliberately and confidently, which gives their voice a pleasing sound.

3. They pay close attention to someone speaking to them.

Using a conversation as an opportunity to lecture someone "may feed the ego, but it never attracts people or makes friends," Hill says.

4. They are able to maintain their composure in all circumstances.

An overreaction to something either positive or negative can give people a poor impression. In the latter case, says Hill, "Remember that silence may be much more effective than your angry words."

5. They are patient.

"Remember that proper timing of your words and acts may give you a big advantage over impatient people," Hill writes.

6. They keep an open mind.

Those who close themselves off from certain ideas and associate only with like-minded people are missing out on not only personal growth but also opportunities for advancing their careers.

7. They smile when speaking with others.

Hill says that president Franklin D. Roosevelt's greatest asset was his "million-dollar smile," which allowed people to lower their guards during conversation.

8. They know that not all their thoughts need to be expressed.

The most likable people know that it's not worth offending people by expressing all their thoughts, even if they happen to be true.

9. They don't procrastinate.

Procrastination communicates to people that you're afraid of taking action, Hill says, and are therefore ineffective.

10. They engage in at least one good deed a day.

The best networkers help other people out without expecting anything in return.

11. They find a lesson in failure rather than brood over it.

People admire those who grow from failure rather than wallow in it. "Express your gratitude for having gained a measure of wisdom, which would not have come without defeat," Hill says.

12. They act as if the person they are speaking to is the most important person in the world.

The most likable people use conversations as an opportunity to learn about another person and give them time to talk.

13. They praise others in a genuine way without being excessive.

"Praise the good traits of others, but don't rub it on where it is not deserved or spread it too thickly," Hill says.

14. They have someone they trust point out their flaws.

Successful people don't pretend to be likable; they are likable because they care about their conduct and reputation. Having a confidant who can be completely honest with them allows them to continue growing.

NOW WATCH: Why You Hate The Sound Of Your Own Voice

NOW WATCH: Psychologists Discovered How To Make People Like You

SEE ALSO: 11 Productivity Hacks From Successful Entrepreneurs

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Scientists Just Unlocked A Major Truth About Mankind Through These Ancient Drawings


Scientists have calculated that ancient cave drawings in Indonesia are actually tens of thousands of years old. That tells us one huge thing about our past.

Produced by Matt Johnston. Video courtesy of Associated Press.
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Airbnb Banned From Condo Complex After Guest Caused $10,000 Of Damage


L.A. Airbnb living room

L.A. interior designer Amanda Wong is on the hook for over $10,000 damages after an Airbnb guest stuffed feminine products into her condo's toilet and repeatedly flushed it, causing the toilet to overflow, the pipes to back up, and water to leak everywhere, she tells us.

The water poured into the hallway and lobby of her condo's building in the dead of night, and then seeped into her neighbor's apartment, wrecking the wood floor there (see schematic, below).

Airbnb which has a Host Guarantee that promises to pay for up to $1 million in damages, will only cover the $78 plumber's fee, Airbnb told her in an email (see email, below).

An Airbnb spokesperson told us, "More than 20 million guests have stayed in an Airbnb, and problems are incredibly rare. We were incredibly sorry to hear about this matter and we’d encouraged the host to use our resolution tools to work with her guests on this matter."

The situation caused the condo association to ban its owners from renting units with Airbnb, Wong tells us. This is actually the second L.A. condo association that banned Airbnb after she  had trouble with guests.

"I will stop doing business with Airbnb altogether once our current reservations are done," she says.

Wong and her husband, a successful executive, invest in real estate. In the past few years they have bought and sold six condos, she says. They prefer long-term tenants but in-between leases they have rented these condos on Airbnb.

"$10,000 won't kill me," Wong says. "We can afford it. I don’t like it. I hate it. It's ridiculous how exposed I feel. This could happen to anyone, that people decide to trash someone else’s house. And to someone else $10,000 in damages, those people can get really screwed. And if they happen to not own the unit, they are just a tenant, they can get evicted. I want to warn people."

Airbnb L.A. water flow

Why Airbnb Won't Pay

What's particularly scary about this story is that Wong didn't actually find out about the extent of the water damage until 10 days after it all occurred, she tells us. The guests had left, and two more Airbnb guests came and went without incident.

The reason she didn't know was because it all happened at night. The guests called Wong that night telling her the toilet was clogged and that it was no big deal, she says. First thing in the morning, she scheduled the plumber and she came to the condo when the plumber arrived.

The plumber told her the clog was caused by multiple feminine pads stuffed in the toilet. (Most women know not to try and flush pads for exactly these plumbing reasons.)

L.A. Airbnb CondoWhat Wong didn't know was that hours before, at 2 a.m., water was all over the floor in the condo building. Other tenants saw it and called the property managers. The property managers went door-to-door to find the source of the water. When the Airbnb guests answered the door, they found the source and turned off the water valve.

Then the property managers hired an emergency water cleaning crew and all was well when Wong came in the daytime with the plumber.

10 days later, she got an email from the owner of the other apartment, telling her about the damage to his unit. It took him a few days to learn of the incident and to track her down, she says. She also got the bill from emergency clean-up from the association: $10,000 in all.

Alerted that this wasn't a minor clogged toilet after all, she had an inspection done of her own bathroom and discovered mold in the bathroom. The sheet rock needed to be ripped and replaced.

As soon as she knew there was damage involved, she contacted Airbnb to put a claim in, she says. But it was too late.Airbnb L.A. condo denying claim email

Airbnb denied her claim for two reasons: the Host Guarantee only covers the actual unit. Airbnb says it won't cover damage outside of the unit. The Guarantee is void if more guests stay after the damage is incurred.

"I want nothing for my own unit. I want Airbnb to help pay for the common area and neighbors. The Host Guarantee only covers my unit. But that’s not right," she says.

She's also embarrassed by the situation with her neighbors. "These are good people and you've caused them all these problems. They had to find a place for their tenant to live while someone came in to repair the flooring."

How this changes her plans

Wong really didn't want to quit Airbnb.

In fact, she was hoping to put her design career on hold, which requires a lot of traveling, and start a family. Airbnb had grown so profitable for her in the past two years, that it was central to her plan.

Because the site has become so popular, the income it was generating for Wong had grown six fold, she told us. The first two years, it brought in about $10,000, just enough to cover expenses when the condo wasn't rented.

Last year, the condos were rented more than they sat vacant. It brought in $67,000 she said. But as the number of guests increased, so have the damages.

"We've been using it since 2011. We were an early adopter. Airbnb sent us great people for two years. They appreciated the concept of sharing and staying in an at-home-like environment. Then things start to get bad from last year and especially this year," she describes.

The water leak was the second big incident this year. The first was when she suspected her guests had crashed their car into the garage.

Airbnb garage crash"They crashed into my neighbor's garage wall. The guest said they got in a car crash but not in this spot. I sent a photo," she said. "But Airbnb bought the guest's story and denied my claim."

She tried to report the incident to the police but the police asked her for the person's driver's license. Airbnb collects and verifies identity information but it doesn't share it with hosts if it denies a damage claim.

She reached out to them through the Airbnb system, and they maintained their innocence. The police wouldn't take on the case without I.D.

She paid for the repair herself and then the condo association banned owners from using Airbnb.

"Even after that I didn’t give up on Airbnb. I really want this to work, so I could stop traveling so much," she said.

But the water damage in the middle of the night has changed her mind.

"I have major trust issue with the potential guests on Airbnb now. I can't help but assume they will trash my home and ruin everything. The loss of faith is worst than my monetary damage," she says.

That said, sites like Airbnb that let strangers meet and share things over the Internet (homes, cars, errands) are not going away. In fact many Business Insider employees regularly use Airbnb and really like it. Even San Francisco billionaire Marc Benioff uses Airbnb when he travels.

But Wong's story illustrates that it's still early days for such sites and before you jump in, you need to understand the fine print.

SEE ALSO: Banned Airbnb Host Who Entered The House While His Guests Were Sleeping Was Back On Airbnb

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A Brooklyn-Based Photographer Created A Business For Taking Headshots Exclusively For Tinder Profiles


tinder headshots

The online dating scene can be tough to crack.

Tinder can be particularly tricky, as you only have a few photos to persuade someone you're worthy of a date. 

Max Schwartz, a Brooklyn-based photographer who currently works  for JackThreads, is making it a little bit easier with a new side venture he calls Tinder Headshots.

For $75, Schwartz will take one professionally retouched headshot that's optimized for your Tinder profile. For $150, you can get three photos.

Schwartz says he never expected the idea to take off. He originally advertised Tinder Headshots through a post on Craigslist, after a friend whose headshot he had taken jokingly suggested it could be a good idea.

Soon, the requests started rolling in. He now gets about 10 email inquiries a week and sets up 30-minute photo sessions in his Brooklyn studio. 

"We developed the site as a complete joke, a comical approach to online dating," Schwartz told Business Insider. "I didn't expect it to be a business or even get a response." 

Schwartz poses each person with a white background to keep a consistent aesthetic for his brand. He says he has photographed an equal number of men and women. 

tinder headshots

He says that it's better to look warm and inviting, rather than stoic or dramatic, in your Tinder photos. "I try to bring out their personality," he said. "I want them to look like they're having fun."

tinder headshots

Schwartz said that some clients have told him they've seen their matches increase since uploading the new headshots.

tinder headshots

Schwartz was surprised at how much attention Tinder Headshots has gotten. He's even inspired a few copycats, whom he's spotted on Craigslist offering the same service. 

"It's not my sole source of income — I'm shooting full time. The purpose was to do this for fun, but it just worked out," he said. "I can't complain." 

His next side project? Taking professional photos specifically for LinkedIn profiles, which he's calling Look Like a Boss. The site is still under development, but he hopes to get it going soon.

SEE ALSO: How To Choose The Best Photos For Your Online Dating Profile

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North Carolina Diner Takes Prices Off Its Menu, Asks Customers To Pay What God Wants, And Triples Its Revenue


diner serverA diner in North Carolina is putting its faith in a new form of economic self-determination: Pay what God wants.

Dana Parris, owner of the Just Cookin restaurant in Dallas, North Carolina, decided to take the prices off her menus. Instead of having a set number, she asks her customers to pay what they think God would like.

"He just came to me and said I don't need to do it, I need to let him do it," Parris told the Gaston Gazette of Gaston County, North Carolina. "The way I could show I was giving God control was to give him control of the cash register."

The Good Lord has been something of a cash cow for Parris. Revenues tripled in the first week, she says. 

While pay-what-you-want-restaurants are starting to become a trend, like Lentil As Anything in Melbourne, Australia, SAME Cafe in Denver, Colorado, or Jon Bon Jovi's Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey, the diner is the only faith-based one we've come across.

Dallas residents are taking kindly to Parris's new policy. As the Gaston Gazette reports

A few people haven't had the money to pay what might be considered "full price" for a meal, Parris said. She doesn't mind serving them.

Others don't seem to mind paying a little more.

A nurse came in short on cash and left with a drink and a hot dog at a bargain price, Parris said. Two days later the same nurse handed over $20 for an identical meal.

Parris hopes that the good news will keep on coming. 

"I pray that showing this little bit of faith will catch on and other people will have faith. I hope people will see his love shining here," Parris said"Sometimes you just have to give control back to God."

While it's certainly a novel strategy, it's unclear whether it will be sustainable. Restaurant chain Panera Bread suspended its pay-what-you-can experiment last year when payments dropped to just 75% of the retail price, and New York City's only "pay what you feel" restaurant, Santorini Grill, closed its doors in 2012 after just four months of operation. 

Correction: The Just Cookin diner is in Dallas, North Carolina, not Dallas, Texas.

SEE ALSO: Who You Know Is Even More Important Than You Realize

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Bill Gates Reportedly Dropped $18 Million On This Southern California Horse Ranch


bill gates ranchMicrosoft billionaire Bill Gates has reportedly purchased a 228-acre horse farm in Rancho Santa Fe, California, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to property records, the purchase price was a cool $18 million.

The estate formerly belonged to weight-loss expert Jenny Craig, who initially listed the property for $30 million several years ago. 

The property, known as the Rancho Paseana, includes a 3/4-mile racetrack, guesthouse, office, veterinarian's suite, orchard, and five barns. 

Gates' daughter Jennifer regularly participates in equestrian competitions, and the family owns another horse farm in Wellington, Florida.

Rancho Paseana is located about 20 minutes north of San Diego, in a valley in Rancho Sante Fe, California.

The horse-training facility had been owned by the Craig family for more than a decade.

They had hoped to sell to someone who also had a passion for horses.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

GOLDMAN SACHS AND TEEN VOGUE: Here Are The 50 Brands That Young Women Love



Goldman Sachs' equity research team and Teen Vogue's fashion experts teamed up to produce the definitive "Teen Vogue-Goldman Sachs Love List" — a list of the top 50 brands that "It Girls" love.

They focused specifically on the "It Girl" consumer  because she is "more educated on the brands, owns more of them, talks about them more, and has stronger opinions on them."

"Our 2013 'Brands Rising' index included brands that It Girls gave high marks for but were still off the radar for the National Sample," they wrote. "In 2014, 75% of these brands had significant increases in National familiarity and scored high on affinity, supporting the idea that It Girls set the tone for others."

To find the top 50 brands, Goldman polled over 1,200 Teen Vogue 'It Girls' on approximately 350 brands.

The survey takes into account three metrics, each of which was given a score out of 100. 

Two of the metrics were pretty standard: familiarity and affinity. Familiarity measured whether or not the respondent knew the brand, and affinity measured whether or not the respondent liked the brand.

The third metric was "word of mouth," which measured how much respondents discussed a brand relative to others. This metric is especially important today when young millennial women are increasingly discussing brands via social media like Instagram and Pinterest.

Goldman Sachs writes that "familiarity", "affinity" and "world of mouth" all directly impacted "ownership" of a given brand.

50) Vera Wang

Familiarity: 78.7%

Affinity: 73.8%

Word of Mouth: 44.6%

Composite: 65.7%

Source: Goldman Sachs

49) Charlotte Russe

Familiarity: 84.4%

Affinity: 58.4%

Word of Mouth: 54.5%

Composite: 65.8%

Source: Goldman Sachs

48) Pandora Jewelry

Familiarity: 79.3%

Affinity: 64.3%

Word of Mouth: 54.0%

Composite: 65.9%

Source: Goldman Sachs

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This Texas Millionaire Lives In A Low Income Housing Complex In Houston

No, Your Pumpkin Spice Latte Doesn’t Have Pumpkin In It — But Neither Do Most Pumpkin Pies


pumpkin spice latte

Back in August, just as pumpkin spice season was about to descend upon us all, Vani Hari at Food Babe revealed that there is “absolutely no real pumpkin” in a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Everyone freaked out, taking to social media to express their disdain. ‘Pumpkin is literally in the name,’ they cried, ‘how can these lattes not have pumpkin in them?!’

It seemed obvious that Pumpkin Spice Lattes were named after the spice mix used in fall favorites like pumpkin pie, but many people were still surprised.

That spice mix — namely cinnamon, cloves, gingers, and nutmeg— is what makes your lattes taste delicious, not actual pumpkin.

For those of you thinking 'why couldn’t they include pumpkin? Then it would taste like pumpkin pie,' I have two answers for you: First, then it would be called a Pumpkin Pie Latte, and secondly, most pumpkin pies aren’t made with real pumpkin, either. 

I’ll give you a moment to process that.

Dickinson pumpkins libby's selectThe orange, round, sugar pumpkins we all know so well are actually really bad for making pumpkin pie, mainly because the insides are just too fibrous and watery (roughly 90% water) and not sweet enough to make a decent filling. You can do it, but you probably won’t enjoy eating it.

Instead, the majority of ‘pumpkin’ canned mixes are developed and sold by a company called Libby’s Select (roughly 85% of the flavoring comes from there, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center). These mixes are made with Libby's specially developed “Dickinson pumpkins,” which aren’t really pumpkins at all but a type of squash known as Cucurbita moschata.

Not to get super scientific, but traditional sugar pumpkins are a species of winter squash known as Cucurbita pepo while butternut squash is Cucurbita moschata. That means Dickinson pumpkins are more closely related to butternut squash than our friendly orange sugar pumpkins.

The Dickinson pumpkins (and butternut squash) are simply better suited to pie-making than our Jack O' Lantern pumpkins. Their insides are fleshy, sweet, and creamy, pureeing easily and tasting delicious with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg — our “pumpkin” spices.

slice of pumpkin pieThis is not to say that the Cucurbita pepo variety of pumpkins are not also delicious, they’re just better suited to savory dishes, and not pies...or lattes. 

So the next time you order a Pumpkin Spice Latte, enjoy the delicious fall flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, and be thankful there’s no real pumpkin in your cup.

SEE ALSO: 33 Things Every New Yorker Should Do This Fall

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Bill Gates Is Building A Machine To Diagnose Nasty Diseases


bill gates

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is celebrating 10 years of its Grand Challenges in Global Health program, where it asks scientists to brainstorm solutions to gnarly health problems and then offers grants to the best ideas.

Through his foundation, Gates has ventured into areas that others would shun, such as new kinds of toilets,batteries that run on human urine, more-enjoyable condoms that offer better protection against sexually transmitted disease.

On Thursday, he gave an update on a new challenge: "Can you create a new device that quickly diagnoses HIV, TB, malaria, and other diseases… accepts different samples, like blood, saliva, and sputum… is affordable… and reliable… and will work in a small clinic that has only a few hours of electricity a day?" he wrote in a blog post.

Sounds like something akin to a "Star Trek" tricorder, the handheld device from the sci-fi TV show that analyzed the world. But there's already a $10 million X Prize challenge for that sponsored by Qualcomm. (That grand prize will be awarded in 2016.)

Gates shared a picture of the kind of device his scientists are working on, and it looks kind of like a 3D printer. You slip the samples into it and out pops an diagnosis on a screen.

There are five teams working on the challenge, he says. This device pictured below is from a Seattle-based health R&D company called Stratos.

Stratos diagnosis machine protype

"Today we know that it’s technically possible to build a device and that there are partners ready to help," he says.

But he knows that's not enough. There are questions such as if these machines can be made affordably enough and if it will do any good to diagnose people in areas where medical treatment is scarce.

But it is Gates' attitude toward the challenge that is also inspiring.

"If this idea succeeds, that will be fantastic. If it doesn’t, we’ll all be disappointed," he writes. "If one avenue turns out to be a dead end, there are always many more waiting to be explored."

That's just plain good advice for anyone trying to do anything hard in life.

SEE ALSO: Bill Gates Is Way More Involved With Microsoft Than Anyone Realizes

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Here's Who Has The Best Shot At Winning The Nobel Peace Prize


Pope Francis

Oslo (AFP) - There was no clear frontrunner ahead of Friday's Nobel Peace Prize announcement, with a Russian opposition newspaper, Tunisia's democratic leadership, Pakistan schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai and Pope Francis among a record number of candidates.

As in previous years, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland, will reveal the laureate's name at 11:00 am (0900 GMT) at the Nobel Institute in Oslo.

The Nobel committee considered a record 278 candidates, but only those made public by their sponsors have been named.

The Nobel committee's deliberations continued almost until the last minute and a decision wasn't reached until last week, public broadcaster NRK reported.

- Tunisian union - 

The broadcaster, which sometimes but not always has been able to predict the winner, wrote on its website that Tunisia's powerful UGTT workers union and President Moncef Marzouki were among this year's favourites.

"Union can beat out Malala tomorrow," it wrote on its website.

The UGTT was nominated for its role in Tunisia's democratic transition, brokering political negotiations that resulted in a post-revolution constitution being signed.

Marzouki, a secular ally of the moderate Islamist party Ennahda, was chosen as president in Tunisia's first election since dictator Zine El Abidine was toppled in 2011. 

- Russian paper 'popular choice' -

Pundits have also suggested that individuals or groups from the Russian opposition could be a popular choice for the Nobel Committee.

"Russia's policy in Ukraine, annexing Crimea and questioning borders, but also the way the Kremlin treats dissenters cannot be ignored by the Nobel committee," said Antoine Jacob, author of a history of the Nobel prizes.

For the Nobel committee president Thorbjoern Jagland, "sanctioning Moscow would... be a way to prove that he acts independently, since (Jagland) is (also) the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, which counts Russia as a member," Jacob told AFP.

Co-founded by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993 with part of his peace prize money, the pro-democracy Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta has been tipped as a possible laureate.

It is one of the few independent media outlets left in Russia and has seen several of its journalists murdered, including Anna Politkovskaya who exposed huge human rights abuses in Chechnya.

Pope Francis has become a bookmakers' favourite for speaking out on poverty.

"Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless," the first Latin American pope argued in an exhortation last year. 

- Snowden controversial -

Experts have cited Edward Snowden, the former intelligence analyst who revealed the extent of US global eavesdropping, as an outside candidate.

However, most experts say he would be a controversial choice for the 878,000-euro ($1.11-million) award.

Pakistani girls' education campaigner Malala Yousafzai, a favourite last year, is once again being mentioned by observers although many say her young age makes her a somewhat less likely choice for the committee.

It could also increase the terror threat against the 17-year-old, who pushed Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan to meet with the parents of hundreds of girls who were kidnapped by the Islamist group Boko Haram.

Kristian Berg Harpviken, director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), a leading peace prize analyst and one of the few to publish a shortlist, put the peace group Japanese People Who Conserve Article 9 -- which wants to maintain the Asian country's anti-war constitution -- in first place.

"We may have come to think of wars between states as virtually extinct after the end of the Cold War, but events in Ukraine and simmering tensions in East Asia remind us they may reappear," he wrote.

Among the other main contenders  was  favourites were Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, also tipped last year, who has treated female victims of sexual violence for the last 25 years, and the human rights activist Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, who was released from prison by the Russian-backed dictatorship in June. 

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The Nobel Peace Prize Goes To Kailash Satyarthi And Malala Yousafzai


Malala Yousafzai gives a speech after receiving the "Leadership in Civil Society" award at the Clinton Global Initiative 2013 (CGI) in New York September 25, 2013.

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education."

Satyarthi, a human-rights activist from India, has been an active force in the movement against child labor for at least two decades. Satyarthi, 60, "has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain," the Nobel committee said in a statement

Yousafzai, a teenager from Pakistan, has been an advocate for women's right to education. She rose to prominence in October 2012 after the Taliban shot her in the head for criticizing its tactics. Yousafzai was favored to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013, but it went to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. 

"The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism," the group wrote in a statement. 

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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Here Are Some Surprising Differences Between Apple People And Microsoft People


Even in the age of mobile tech, few divisions cut deeper than Apple vs. Microsoft.

There are the clichés that Apple has promoted through the years, that PC users are corporate drones, while Apple users are freethinkers who appreciate beauty. And there are counternarratives, that Apple users blindly adore whatever Apple tells them to, while PC users are savvier computer users and spenders.

But how are Apple people really different from Microsoft people?

For a new take on this question, we turned to Ranker, a crowd-sourced ranking site that is getting into the data-analytics game based on its 20 million data correlations. Ranker chief data scientist Ravi Iyer identified Apple and Microsoft fans through positive interaction on rankings of the best branding, best companies to work for, and best laptop brands, and then he revealed what other opinions Apple and Microsoft fans were unusually likely to hold.

Apple Fans vs. Microsoft Fans Ranker infographic

NOW WATCH: Domino's Vs. Pizza Hut: Who Makes The Best Pizza For The Money?


SEE ALSO: The 20 Most Valuable Brands In The World

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Here's The Science Behind How LeBron James Lost All That Weight

How This Woman Became The Top Reviewer On Amazon And Started Getting Tons Of Free Stuff (AMZN)


joanna danemanBeing Amazon's top reviewer comes with some sweet perks.

Just ask Joanna Daneman, a Delaware woman who has achieved Amazon's Hall of Fame recognition 12 different years, making her the #1 Hall Of Fame reviewer of all time.

She's part of the company's elite, invitation-only Vine program, which means that she gets boatloads of new products sent to her for free.

"It's almost an embarrassment of riches," Daneman tells Business Insider of the trove of stuff Amazon sends her at least once a month. 

Amazon started the Vine program seven years ago to help increase its number of useful reviews. Its only stipulations are that participants need to write reviews of the objects they receive and they can't resell the products afterwards. Companies pay a fee to Amazon to participate. 

Since joining Amazon, Daneman has written nearly 3,000 reviews, 97% of which other Amazon users have deemed exceptionally helpful and says that she averages one post a day, though sometimes it's much more.

Although she isn't the most prolific reviewer on Amazon (another Hall of Fame member has written more than 30,000), Daneman's reviews are insightful, easy to read, full of detail and personal touches, and occasionally funny

Here's her profile at the top of Amazon's rankings:


Daneman receives a wide range of free products through Vine, from the super-expensive to the strange, including strobe lights, green tea powder, a "zombie dissection kit," memory cards, knives, a printer, a soldering iron, baby toys, and a Japanese kitty litter system. Often they're things that Daneman never would have thought to purchase herself otherwise.

When Daneman spoke to Business Insider she had just recieved a welder, which she planned to test out on a friend's farm over the weekend.

The system used to be that Vine Voices would receive a list of goods to choose from every month, but now, Daneman says, she constantly has a queue of new products that she can browse. She says can't even guesstimate the value of what she's recieved over the last seven years, but it is a lot

Here's a five-star review Daneman wrote about a toy bear (she has a friend with a young child) that's packed with colorful details:

Joanna Daneman

But Daneman doesn't always give our five stars. She says she has recieved a lot of really good kitchen stuff, but this strawberry slicer didn't make the cut:

Joanna Daneman

Daneman admits the Vine program has kindled jealousy in reviewers who aren't part of it, who will sometimes ding a review just because a "Vine Voice," as members are called, wrote it. Daneman insists that just because she gets products for free doesn't mean that she'll give them glowing reviews, and that there is no obligation to do so from Amazon or the companies who supply the products. 

Daneman's fast-paced review-writing habit started in the early 2000s. She was living in Germany at the time and fell in love with Amazon because it was the easiest way for her to get her hands on English books. Daneman is a voracious reader — whipping through 30 or 40 books a month — and since shipping costs so much, she'd carefully pick through reviews before ordering a book.

She always found community reviews to be the most helpful, so she started writing some of her own as a way to give back. Her fun, frequent, and thorough reviews attracted a following, and when she came back to the states, she actually had several people come visit her. She's still friends with several other reviewers. 

Daneman kept her habit going because she loves to write, but doesn't like to journal. She works as a financial advisor at Edward Jones and doesn't write for her job, so she keeps her skills sharp through Amazon. Before Edward Jones, she was a product manager at HP.

"Amazon created a community," Daneman says. "Wherever else you might buy things online, you're not talking to anybody. On Amazon, you're yakking away to a bunch of people."

SEE ALSO: Amazon Has New Kindle Fire Tablets, And They Start At A Dirt-Cheap $99

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PRESENTING: The Most Stylish People At This Year's Silicon Alley 100 Party


BI SAI100 Select 0121

On Wednesday night, Business Insider invited the hottest names in tech to come party with us and celebrate our SA 100 list for 2014. Many of those on our list were in attendance, including Lulu founder Alexandra Chong, PopTip founder Kelsey Falter, and Ori Allon and Robert Reffkin, the cofounders of Urban Compass. Many other notables were there as well.

While everyone was dressed to impress, some folks really stole the show. Our photographer, Michael Soto, captured the scene. Here's our selection of some of the most stylish at the party. Who says tech and fashion don't mix? 

David Goldweitz mixed formal and casual for maximum coolness, as only the cofounder and COO of GLAMSQUAD can.

Alexandra Chong, founder and CEO of Luluvise, epitomized simplicity and style.

Camille Fournier, CTO at Rent the Runway, paired a feminine dress with motorcycle boots.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's What It Takes To Visit Iran, North Korea, And Iraq


George W. Bush

Choosing a country from the Axis of Evil might not sound like the best way to start a relaxing vacation, but surely it's one way to have an adventure you'll never forget. 

It was US President George W. Bush who designated Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as three evil nations in his State of the Union Speech in 2002. All three were accused of developing weapons of mass destruction for their "terrorist allies." (Turns out that wasn't entirely true.)

Since then, however, the Saddame Hussein regime in Iraq was overthrown, the government in Iran has softened somewhat, and North Korea has started granting visas to Americans. Since North Korea's visa back-flip in 2010, it has been possible to enjoy a vacation in all three of the countries.

So, if you've got the travel bug and are up for some adventure, here's our guide to vacations inside the former "Axis of Evil."


Tehran IranWhile Iran is seen by some in the West as a country full of crazy fundamentalists hell-bent on America's nuclear destruction, the reality you'll see inside the country couldn't be further from the truth. When Bush named the country as part of the axis, it actually came as a surprise to some observers.

The fact is, the majority of the Iranian public love Westerners — Americans in particular — making Iran one of the safest countries on our list even for female travelers. Opinion polls show the majority of Iranians hold a favorable opinion of Americans, making Iran second only to Israel as the most supportive population in the Middle East. 

Azadi Tower Tehran

To travel as a Westerner is to be routinely stopped on the street and welcomed by curious and generous Iranians. When I was there last summer I was constantly offered with cold drinks, invited to parties, and given free tours by locals. 

There is a ton to see there: the massive shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Tehran, cheap ski resorts in the Alborz mountains north of the city, ancient clay-baked mosques in Kashan, the stunning central square of Isfahan, the Tatooine-like ruins of Na'in, and the ancient ruins of Persepolis near Shiraz.

Esfahan Mosque IranWhile Western sanctions mean you can't use your Visa or MasterCard in the country, you won't have to take much cash. All expenses — including transport, food, and accommodation — amounted to less than $200 for my 11-day trip last year. 

Inexpensive, air conditioned buses run frequently between most cities, and a full falafel sandwich will often only set you back 25 cents. There's amazing rosewater ice cream almost everywhere in summer for about 10 cents a cone.

Return flights to Tehran from mainland Europe can be found for $200-to-400.

Check visa conditions before you book, as those who travel on British or American passports will have to apply in advance


Iran is safe for female travelers. Iranian women dress fashionably, and the level of respect on the streets could be considered high even by Western standards. However, it is mandatory to wear a headscarf in public at all times. Headscarves are skimpy, colorful, and barely attached in Tehran, but in regional areas more conservative coverings are the norm.

Gay travelers should be aware that homosexual sex is punishable by death for Iranian citizens. Deportation is probably the very best you can hope for if authorities somehow discover you. Discretion is highly advised, and as far as we can tell, no foreigners have run into trouble with this.

Despite claims to the contrary by the firebrand former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, there are gay people in Iran. Some more privileged young men in Tehran apparently live somewhat openly.

Nain Na'in IranIranian-Americans should be aware that the country does not recognize dual citizenship and will likely treat you as an Iranian if you end up in trouble. The country's hardline judicial system currently has at least four Iranian Americans imprisoned — three journalists and a pastor.

While many countries have representation in Tehran, US consular services are conducted through the Swiss Embassy. The UK is still in the process of opening its embassy.  

North Korea 

north korea

While Iran is the perfect place for backpackers to explore independently on the cheap, North Korea is anything but. The country is intensely secretive, and the only real way in is an organized tour which will be strictly controlled by the North Korean government. 

While the threat of any violence is low, you should know the government has arrested at least three Americans for suspected subversive activity. Also, be aware that most of the money you pay for your tour will likely end up in the hands of one of the worst human rights abusers in the world today, the North Korean government.

The regime is accused of running Nazi-style labor camps rife with rape, murder, and starvation. Human Rights Watch recently released a video with first-hand accounts and drawings painting a horrific picture of brutal violence.

Yet despite this, thousands of tourists, mostly from China, travel to North Korea every year for a peek inside the clandestine country. One guide estimates that 4,000 non-Chinese tourists tourists visit North Korea annually. 

north korea celebrationTouring North Korea must be one of the most uniquely bizarre travel experiences in the world. Any time you're out of your hotel, you'll be accompanied by at least two government minders who will serve as guides (two so they can keep an eye on you, and each other).

As Anna Fifield of The Washington Post writes, "It’s such a thrill to get an elusive visa and see this closed society with your own eyes, yet so maddening when you realize that you're moving through a kind of real-life 'Truman Show.'"

While in the country, you will see only what the North Korean government wants you to see, so the prison camps and more poverty stricken areas are likely to be off-limits. You will also be denied any chance to speak with any "normal" North Koreans not vetted by the government.

You can, however, say hello if you pass North Koreans on the street and maybe even share a few beers with your guides. But that's about as far as any cultural exchange will go.

Pyongyang, North Korea.What will perhaps strike you most in North Korea is the cult of personality surrounding its former leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. 

"Wherever possible, the magnificence of the Kims, especially KIS [Kim Il Sung], was emphasized. Busts, statues, murals, and slogans were everywhere," North Korean scholar and tourist Robert Kelly writes.

"At a bowling alley, the ball and pins which KIS bowled on the facility’s opening were kept under glass at the entrance, surrounded by flowers, with photos and a dedicatory statement from KIS inscribed on the wall," he wrote. 

You will learn of Kim Il Sung's personal guidance of the construction of Pyongyang's metro, and you'll be told he wrote 18,300 books. You may even be advised against crumpling any newspaper that has his image.

Mansudae Grand Monument in Pyongyang North KoreaMost Western tourists to the country appear to end up in one particular hotel in the country's capital, Pyongyang. The quirky hotel, the Yanggakdo International, is situated on slither of land in the Taedong river. It is known as the "Alcatraz of Fun" by government guides and has 4 out of 5 stars on Trip Advisor.

Tourists are free to explore the small island on foot; however, Lonely Planet is careful to point out that you shouldn't attempt to cross the bridge under any circumstances.

The hotel has a karaoke lounge, a bowling alley, a casino with a foreigners-only disco, and a secret fifth floor which does not appear on the elevator buttons (But if you're brave, you can go to the fourth floor and take the stairs.)

Despite being 47 stories high with a revolving restaurant at the top floor, The Washington Post reports that, "like the thousand or so rooms, the restaurant is mostly empty, all of it an elaborate show of prosperity that doesn't exist." 

Yangakkdo Hotel North KoreaAmericans have been able to visit the country since 2010, and rumors of restrictions on Israeli or Jewish travelers are false. Almost all travelers will require a visa, which will be issued after a trip has been booked, approved, and paid for.

Be aware that while visas are often given late they are rarely denied, and if you arrange it beforehand, you can even pick one up in 20 minutes through the North Korean embassy in London. 

Tours in North Korea cost $200-$400 a day including accommodation, meals, and transport from China. Americans will probably have to pay towards the higher end of that scale because the North Koreans have banned Americans from some forms of travel. A return flight from the US to China can be snatched for as low as $800. 

25.JPGIn case of any emergency, the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang has taken charge of consular services for Canadian, American, Australian, and Nordic travelers. Also take note that certain items are banned; leaving a copy of the Bible with his contact details in a bathroom got one American tourist 15 years in a North Korean prison camp.


streetlevcitadelRounding out our "Axis of Evil" trifecta is Iraq, probably one of the most dangerous countries in the world to visit. The emergence of the militant group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS, has shattered the stability that parts of the country had previously been enjoying. 

For travelers this means most of the country — birthplace of many of the planet's oldest civilizations and most recent conflicts — is entirely off limits.

Dukan, Kurdistan Lake DokanIraq is home to the remains of Babylon, the ruins of Hatra, the Tal Afar fortress, the The Great Mosque of Samarra, and the Al-Shaheed Monument and Swords of Qādisīyah in Baghdad. But to visit any of these sites now is to risk kidnapping, murder, gunfire, and terrorist attacks.

Amedy Iraq Kurdistan

The safer region of Kurdistan, however, still has many sites to offer. The region is semi-autonomous, and with minimal violence in recent years it has experienced massive economic development with high levels of foreign investment, infrastructure development, and tourism. Some areas are highly Westernized.

In Kurdistan there's the towering ancient citadel of Erbil, the mountaintop settlement of Amadiya, and the plunging gorges, waterfalls, and snow capped peaks of the Zagros Mountains. 


There's also the memorial to Saddam Hussein's gassing of the Kurds in Halabja, the Amna Suraka museum which documents Hussein's brutality, and the Sulaimani Museum, the second largest history museum in the country. 

While tourist visas to other areas of Iraq are currently suspended, the Kurds will grant a free 15-day visa on arrival to citizens of the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, and many EU member states. 

Return flights from Turkey to Erbil range from $300-$500. You can fly into Istanbul in Turkey from most major centers in Europe for $150-$200 return. 

Dohuk iraq (check)While it always pays to know where you are, you're at little risk of accidentally venturing outside of the Kurdish safe region — the region's borders are tightly controlled. Still, it's advisable to stay away from the Turkish border and the city of Kirkuk. 

Take extreme care if you're hiking in the mountains near the Iranian border. In 2009 three American hikers wandered too close to the border and were detained and accused of spying by Iran.

The woman in the group was released after 14 months, but the two men weren't freed for more than two years.

Waterfalls Iraq Tourist Kurdistan Ahmed Awa

SEE ALSO: The Truth About Iran: 5 Things That May Surprise Westerners

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